Shakespeare and Voltaire

By Thomas R. Lounsbury | Go to book overview
Save to active project

CHAPTER XX
INDIFFERENCE OF THE ENGLISH

AUTHORS are frequently disposed to take themselves very seriously. This is a feeling on their part about themselves which is rarely shared in by their brethren. With them it is more often made a subject of ridicule than of solemn consideration. But while this is true in general, it was not true in the case of Voltaire. Seriously as he took himself, he was taken just as seriously by many of his contemporaries. There was some warrant for their state of mind. He had accomplished so much that lay outside the legitimate fields of literary activity; he had so impressed men by the fact that singlehanded he had overthrown the decisions of judicial tribunals; he had even been so successful in modifying the policy of great sovereigns, that little limit was set to what it was in his power to perform. He had declared war, he said, against England. Men asked themselves gravely, what would be the consequence. The belief in the momentous nature of this proceeding was shared in by others as well as by himself.

That Voltaire with his insatiable vanity, coupled with his long literary sovereignty, should entertain the feeling about the importance of any action he took is not so very surprising; but that it should be exhibited

-397-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Shakespeare and Voltaire
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 463

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?