Philosophical Dictionary, by Voltaire


Cicero, in one of his letters, says familiarly to his friend: “Send to me the persons to whom you wish me to give the Gauls.” In another, he complains of being fatigued with letters from I know not what princes, who thank him for causing their provinces to be erected into kingdoms; and he adds that he does not even know where these kingdoms are situated.

It is probable that Cicero, who often saw the Roman people, the sovereign people, applaud and obey him, and who was thanked by kings whom he knew not, had some emotions of pride and vanity.

Though the sentiment is not at all consistent in so pitiful an animal as man, yet we can pardon it in a Cicero, a Cæsar, or a Scipio; but when in the extremity of one of our half barbarous provinces, a man who may have bought a small situation, and printed poor verses, takes it into his head to be proud, it is very laughable.

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 12:01