Philosophical Dictionary, by Voltaire

Declaration of the amateurs, inquirers, and doubters, who have amused themselves with proposing to the learned the preceding questions in these volumes.

We declare to the learned that being, like themselves, prodigiously ignorant of the first principles of all things, and of the natural, typical, mystical, allegorical sense of many things, we acquiesce, in regard to them, in the infallible decision of the holy Inquisition of Rome, Milan, Florence, Madrid, Lisbon, and in the decrees of the Sorbonne, the perpetual council of the French.

Our errors not proceeding from malice, but being the natural consequence of human weakness, we hope we shall be pardoned for them both in this world and the next.

We entreat the small number of celestial spirits who are still shut up in the mortal bodies in France, and who thence enlighten the universe at thirty sous per sheet, to communicate their gifts to us for the next volume, which we calculate on publishing at the end of the Lent of 1772, or in the Advent of 1773; and we will pay forty sous per sheet for their lucubrations.

We entreat the few great men who still remain to us, such as the author of the “Ecclesiastical Gazette”; the Abbé Guyon; with the Abbé Caveirac, author of the “Apology for St. Bartholomew”; and he who took the name of Chiniac; and the agreeable Larcher; and the virtuous, wise, and learned Langleviel, called La Beaumelle; the profound and exact Nonnotte; and the moderate, the compassionate, the tender Patouillet — to assist us in our undertaking. We shall profit by their instructive criticisms, and we shall experience a real pleasure in rendering to all these gentlemen the justice which is their due.

The next volume will contain very curious articles, which, under the favor of God, will be likely to give new piquancy to the wit which we shall endeavor to infuse into the thanks we return to all these gentlemen.

Given at Mount Krapak, the 30th of the month of Janus, in the year of the world, according to

Scaliger 5,022
According to Les Etrennes Mignonnes 5,776
According to Riccioli 5,956
According to Eusebius 6,972
According to the Alphosine Tables 8,707
According to the Egyptians 370,000
According to the Chaldæans 465,102
According to the Brahmins 780,000
According to the Philosophers

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Last updated Tuesday, March 4, 2014 at 18:25