Dialogues of the Dead - Fontenelle

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<p>Dialogues of the DeadLord Lyttelton</p> <p>Dialogues of the Dead</p> <p>Table of ContentsDialogues of the Dead.........................................................................................................................................1 Lord Lyttelton..........................................................................................................................................2 INTRODUCTION...................................................................................................................................4 DIALOGUE I. LORD FALKLANDMR. HAMPDEN.......................................................................6 DIALOGUE II. LOUIS LE GRANDPETER THE GREAT...............................................................8 DIALOGUE III. PLATOFENELON.................................................................................................10 DIALOGUE IV. MR. ADDISONDR. SWIFT..................................................................................12 DIALOGUE V. ULYSSESCIRCE.IN CIRCE'S ISLAND...........................................................14 DIALOGUE VI. MERCURYAN ENGLISH DUELLISTA NORTH AMERICAN SAVAGE..............................................................................................................................................16 DIALOGUE VII. PLINY THE ELDERPLINY THE YOUNGER...................................................18 DIALOGUE VIII. FERNANDO CORTEZWILLIAM PENN.........................................................20 DIALOGUE IX. MARCUS PORTIUS CATOMESSALLA CORVINUS. ......................................22 DIALOGUE X. CHRISTINA, Queen Of SwedenChancellor OXENSTIERN. ................................24 DIALOGUE XI. TITUS VESPASIANUSPUBLIUS CORNELIUS SCIPIO AFRICANUS...........26 DIALOGUE XII. HENRY DUKE OF GUISEMACHIAVEL. .........................................................28 DIALOGUE XIII. VIRGILHORACEMERCURYSCALIGER THE ELDER.........................31 DIALOGUE XIV. BOILEAUPOPE.................................................................................................34 DIALOGUE XV. OCTAVIAPORTIAARRIA.............................................................................41 DIALOGUE XVI. LOUISE DE COLIGNI, PRINCESS OF ORANGEFRANCES WALSINGHAM, COUNTESS OF ESSEX AND OF CLANRICARDE; BEFORE, LADY SIDNEY................................................................................................................................................43 DIALOGUE XVII. MARCUS BRUTUSPOMPONIUS ATTICUS.................................................45 DIALOGUE XVIII. WILLIAM III., KING OF ENGLANDJOHN DE WITT, PENSIONER, OF HOLLAND.....................................................................................................................................48 DIALOGUE XIX. M. APICIUSDARTENEUF................................................................................54 DIALOGUE XX. ALEXANDER THE GREATCHARLES XII., KING OF SWEDEN.................57 DIALOGUE XXI. CARDINAL XIMENESCARDINAL WOLSEY...............................................60 DIALOGUE XXII. LUCIANRABELAIS.........................................................................................62 DIALOGUE XXIII. PERICLESCOSMO DE MEDICIS, THE FIRST OF THAT NAME.............64 DIALOGUE XXIV. LOCKEBAYLE...............................................................................................68 DIALOGUE XXV. ARCHIBALD, EARL OF DOUGLAS, DUKE OF TOURAINEJOHN, DUKE OF ARGYLE AND GREENWICH, FIELDMARSHAL OF HIS BRITANNIC MAJESTY'S FORCES.........................................................................................................................71 DIALOGUE XXVI. CADMUSHERCULES....................................................................................75 DIALOGUE XXVII. MERCURYAND A MODERN FINE LADY................................................77 DIALOGUE XXVIII. PLUTARCHCHARONAND A MODERN BOOKSELLER...................79 DIALOGUE XXIX. PUBLIUS CORNELIUS SCIPIO AFRICANUSCAIUS JULIUS CAESAR...............................................................................................................................................83 DIALOGUE XXX. PLATODIOGENES..........................................................................................87 DIALOGUE XXXI. ARISTIDESPHOCIONDEMOSTHENES..................................................90 DIALOGUE XXXII. MARCUS AURELIUS PHILOSOPHUSSERVIUS TULLIUS....................93</p> <p>i</p> <p>Dialogues of the Dead</p> <p>1</p> <p>Dialogues of the Dead</p> <p>Lord Lyttelton</p> <p>This page formatted 2005 Blackmask Online. http://www.blackmask.com INTRODUCTION. DIALOGUE I. LORD FALKLANDMR. HAMPDEN. DIALOGUE II. LOUIS LE GRANDPETER THE GREAT. DIALOGUE III. PLATOFENELON. DIALOGUE IV. MR. ADDISONDR. SWIFT. DIALOGUE V. ULYSSESCIRCE.IN CIRCE'S ISLAND. DIALOGUE VI. MERCURYAN ENGLISH DUELLISTA NORTH AMERICAN SAVAGE. DIALOGUE VII. PLINY THE ELDERPLINY THE YOUNGER. DIALOGUE VIII. FERNANDO CORTEZWILLIAM PENN. DIALOGUE IX. MARCUS PORTIUS CATOMESSALLA CORVINUS. DIALOGUE X. CHRISTINA, Queen Of SwedenChancellor OXENSTIERN. DIALOGUE XI. TITUS VESPASIANUSPUBLIUS CORNELIUS SCIPIO AFRICANUS. DIALOGUE XII. HENRY DUKE OF GUISEMACHIAVEL. DIALOGUE XIII. VIRGILHORACEMERCURYSCALIGER THE ELDER. DIALOGUE XIV. BOILEAUPOPE. DIALOGUE XV. OCTAVIAPORTIAARRIA. DIALOGUE XVI. LOUISE DE COLIGNI, PRINCESS OF ORANGEFRANCES WALSINGHAM, COUNTESS OF ESSEX AND OF CLANRICARDE; BEFORE, LADY SIDNEY. DIALOGUE XVII. MARCUS BRUTUSPOMPONIUS ATTICUS. DIALOGUE XVIII. WILLIAM III., KING OF ENGLANDJOHN DE WITT, PENSIONER, OF HOLLAND. DIALOGUE XIX. M. APICIUSDARTENEUF. DIALOGUE XX. ALEXANDER THE GREATCHARLES XII., KING OF SWEDEN. DIALOGUE XXI. CARDINAL XIMENESCARDINAL WOLSEY. DIALOGUE XXII. LUCIANRABELAIS. DIALOGUE XXIII. PERICLESCOSMO DE MEDICIS, THE FIRST OF THAT NAME. DIALOGUE XXIV. LOCKEBAYLE. DIALOGUE XXV. ARCHIBALD, EARL OF DOUGLAS, DUKE OF TOURAINEJOHN, DUKE OF ARGYLE AND GREENWICH, FIELDMARSHAL OF HIS BRITANNIC MAJESTY'S FORCES. DIALOGUE XXVI. CADMUSHERCULES. DIALOGUE XXVII. MERCURYAND A MODERN FINE LADY. DIALOGUE XXVIII. PLUTARCHCHARONAND A MODERN BOOKSELLER. DIALOGUE XXIX. PUBLIUS CORNELIUS SCIPIO AFRICANUSCAIUS JULIUS CAESAR. DIALOGUE XXX. PLATODIOGENES. DIALOGUE XXXI. ARISTIDESPHOCIONDEMOSTHENES. DIALOGUE XXXII. MARCUS AURELIUS PHILOSOPHUSSERVIUS TULLIUS.Transcribed from the 1889 Cassell &amp;Company edition by David Price, email ccx074@coventry.ac.uk</p> <p>DIALOGUES OF THE DEAD. 2</p> <p>Dialogues of the Dead BY LORD LYTTELTON. CASSELL &amp;COMPANY, LIMITED: LONDON, PARIS, NEW YORK &amp;MELBOURNE. 1889.</p> <p>3</p> <p>Dialogues of the Dead</p> <p>INTRODUCTION.</p> <p>George, Lord Lyttelton, was born in 1709, at Hagley, in Worcestershire. He was educated at Eton and at Christchurch, Oxford, entered Parliament, became a Lord of the Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer. In 1757 he withdrew from politics, was raised to the peerage, and spent the last eighteen years of his life in lettered ease. In 1760 Lord Lyttelton first published these Dialogues of the Dead, which were revised for a fourth edition in 1765, and in 1767 he published in four volumes a History of the Life of King Henry the Second and of the Age in which he Lived, a work upon which he had been busy for thirty years. He began it not long after he had published, at the age of twentysix, his Letters from a Persian in England to his Friend at Ispahan. If we go farther back we find George Lyttelton, aged twentythree, beginning his life in literature as a poet, with four eclogues on The Progress of Love. To the last Lord Lyttelton was poet enough to feel true fellowship with poets of his day. He loved good literature, and his own works show that he knew it. He counted Henry Fielding among his friends; he was a friend and helper to James Thomson, the author of The Seasons; and when acting as secretary to the king's son, Frederick, Prince of Wales (who held a little court of his own, in which there was much said about liberty), his friendship brought Thomson and Mallet together in work on a masque for the Prince and Princess, which included the song of Rule Britannia. Before Lord Lyttelton followed their example, Dialogues of the Dead had been written by Lucian, and by Fenelon, and by Fontenelle; and in our time they have been written by Walter Savage Landor. This halfdramatic plan of presenting a man's own thoughts upon the life of man and characters of men, and on the issues of men's characters in shaping life, is a way of essay writing pleasant alike to the writer and the reader. Lord Lyttelton was at his best in it. The form of writing obliged him to work with a lighter touch than he used when he sought to maintain the dignity of history by the style of his History of Henry II. His calm liberality of mind enters into the discussion of many topics. His truths are old, but there are no real truths of human life and conduct, worth anything at all, that are of yesterday. Human love itself is called the old, old story; but do we therefore cease from loving, or from finding such ways as we can of saying that we love. Dr. Johnson was not at his wisest when he found fault with Lord Lyttelton because, in his Dialogues of the Dead, that man sat down to write a book, to tell the world what the world had all his life been telling him. This was exactly what he wished to do. In the Preface to his revised edition Lord Lyttelton said, Sometimes a new dress may render an old truth more pleasing to those whom the mere love of novelty betrays into error, as it frequently does not only the wits, but the sages of these days. Indeed, one of the best services that could now be done to mankind by any good writer would be the bringing them back to common sense, from which the desire of shining by extraordinary notions has seduced great numbers, to the no small detriment of morality and of all real knowledge. At any rate, we now find it worth while to know what the world had been telling all his life to an enlightened, highlyeducated man, who was an active politician in the days of Walpole and of the elder Pitt, who was a friend of Pope's and of the best writers of the day, and who in his occasional verse added at least one line to the household words of English literature when in his warmhearted Prologue to Thomson's play of Coriolanus , produced after its writer's death, he said of that poet what we may say of Lord Lyttelton himself, that he gave to the world Not one immoral, one corrupted thought, One line which, dying, he could wish to blot. H. M. DIALOGUES OF THE DEAD. 4</p> <p>Dialogues of the Dead</p> <p>5</p> <p>Dialogues of the Dead</p> <p>DIALOGUE I. LORD FALKLANDMR. HAMPDEN.Lord Falkland.Are not you surprised to see me in Elysium, Mr. Hampden? Mr. Hampden.I was going to put the same question to your lordship, for doubtless you thought me a rebel. Lord Falkland.And certainly you thought me an apostate from the Commonwealth, and a supporter of tyranny. Mr. Hampden.I own I did, and I don't wonder at the severity of your thoughts about me. The heat of the times deprived us both of our natural candour. Yet I will confess to you here, that, before I died, I began to see in our party enough to justify your apprehensions that the civil war, which we had entered into from generous motives, from a laudable desire to preserve our free constitution, would end very unhappily, and perhaps, in the issue, destroy that constitution, even by the arms of those who pretended to be most zealous for it. Lord Falkland.And I will as frankly own to you that I saw, in the court and camp of the king, so much to alarm me for the liberty of my country, if our arms were successful, that I dreaded a victory little less than I did a defeat, and had nothing in my mouth but the word peace, which I constantly repeated with passionate fondness, in every council at which I was called to assist. Mr. Hampden .I wished for peace too, as ardently as your lordship, but I saw no hopes of it. The insincerity of the king and the influence of the queen made it impossible to trust to his promises and declarations. Nay, what reliance could we reasonably have upon laws designed to limit and restrain the power of the Crown, after he had violated the Bill of Rights, obtained with such difficulty, and containing so clear an assertion of the privileges which had been in dispute? If his conscience would allow him to break an Act of Parliament, made to determine the bounds of the royal prerogative, because he thought that the royal prerogative could have no bounds, what legal ties could bind a conscience so prejudiced? or what effectual security could his people obtain against the obstinate malignity of such an opinion, but entirely taking from him the power of the sword, and enabling themselves to defend the laws he had passed? Lord Falkland.There is evidently too much truth in what you have said. But by taking from the king the power of the sword, you in reality took all power. It was converting the government into a democracy; and if he had submitted to it, he would only have preserved the name of a king. The sceptre would have been held by those who had the sword; or we must have lived in a state of perpetual anarchy, without any force or balance in the government; a state which could not have lasted long, but would have ended in a republic or in absolute dominion. Mr. Hampden.Your reasoning seems unanswerable. But what could we do? Let Dr. Laud and those other court divines, who directed the king's conscience, and fixed in it such principles as made him unfit to govern a limited monarchythough with many good qualities, and some great oneslet them, I say, answer for all the mischiefs they brought upon him and the nation. Lord Falkland.They were indeed much to blame; but those principles had gained ground before their times, and seemed the principles of our Church, in opposition to the Jesuits, who had certainly gone too far in the other extreme. Mr. Hampden.It is a disgrace to our Church to have taken up such opinions; and I will venture to prophesy that our clergy in future times must renounce them, or they will be turned against them by those who mean their destruction. Suppose a Popish king on the throne, will the clergy adhere to passive obedience and nonresistance? If they do, they deliver up their religion to Rome; if they do not, their practice will confute their own doctrines. Lord Falkland.Nature, sir, will in the end be sure to set right whatever opinion contradicts her great laws, let who will be the teacher. But, indeed, the more I reflect on those miserable times in which we both lived, the more I esteem it a favour of Providence to us that we were cut off so soon. The most grievous misfortune that can befall a virtuous man is to be in such a state that he can hardly so act as to approve his own conduct. In such a state we both were. We could not easily make a step, either forward or backward, without great hazard of guilt, or at least of dishonour. We were unhappily entangled i...</p>