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it is a remainder of protestantism.” Mr: Bayle received an anonymous letter, the author of which says, that he wrote to him of his own accord, being in duty bound to it, as a servant of the queen. He complains that Mr. Bayle, speaking of her majesty, called her only Christina, with
he finds also great fault with his calling the letter, a remainder of protestantism.” He blames him likewise for inserting the words “ I am,” in the conclusion of the letter. « These words, says
anonymous writer, are not her majesty's; a queen, as she is, cannot employ these words but with regard to a very few persons, and Mr. de Terlon is not of that number.".
Mr. Bayle wrote a vindication of himself as to these particulars, with which the author of the anonymous letter declared himself satisfied, excepting as to what related to “ the remainder of protestantism.” He would not admit of the defence with regard to that expression; and, in another letter, advised him to retract it. He adds in a postscript, “ You mention in your Journal of August, a second letter of the queen, which you scruple to publish. Her majesty would be glad to see that letter, and you will do a thing agreeable to her, if you would send it to her. You might take this opportunity of writing to her majesty. This counsel may
be of some use to you; do not neglect it.” Mr. Bayle took the hint, and wrote a letter to her majesty, dated the 14th of November 1686; to which the queen, on the 14th of December, wrote the following answer:
66 Mr. Bayle, " I have received your excuses, and am willing you should know by this letter, that I am satisfied with them. I am obliged to the zeal of the
gave you occasion of writing to me; for I am very glad to know you. You express so much respect and affection for me, that I pardon you sincerely; and I would have you know, that nothing gave, me offence but that remainder of protestantism,' of which you accused me. I am very delicate on that head, because nobody can suspect me of it, without lessening my glory, and injuring me in the most sensible
You would do well, if you should even acquaint the public with the mistake you have made, and with your regret for it. This is all that remains to be done by you, in order to deserve my being entirely satisfied with you.
" As to the letter which you have sent me, it is mine without doubt; and since you tell me that it is printed, you will do me a pleasure if you send me some copies of it. As I fear nothing in France, so neither do I fear any thing at Rome. My fortune, my blood, and even my life, are entirely devoted to the service of the church ; but I flatter nobody, and will never speak any thing but the truth. I am obliged to those who have been pleased to publish my letter; for I do not at all disguise' my sentiments. I thank God, they are too noble and too honourable to be disowned. However, it is not true, that this letter was written to one of my ministers. As I have every where enemies, and persons who envy me, so I in all places have friends and servants; and I have possibly as many in France, notwithstanding the court, as any where in the world. This is purely the truth, and you may regulate yourself accordingly.
“But you shall not get off so cheap as you imagine. I will enjoin you a penance; which is, that you will henceforth take the trouble of sending me all curious books that shall be published in Latin, French, Spanish, or Italian, on whatever subject or science, provided they are worthy of being looked into ; I do not even except romances or satires : and above all, if there are any books of chemistry, I desire you may send them to me as soon as possible. Do not forget likewise to send me your “Journal.' I shall order that you be paid for whatever you lay out, do but send me an account of it. This will be the most agreeable and most important service that can be done me. May God prosper you.
CHRISTINA ALEXANDRA." It now only remained that Mr. Bayle should acquaint the public with the mistake he had made, and his regret for it, in order to merit that princess's entire satisfaction. This he did in his Journal of January, 1687. “We have been informed, to our incredible satisfaction," says he, " that the queen of Sweden having seen the ninth article of the Journal of August, 1686, has been pleased to be satisfied with the explanation we gave there. Properly, it was only the words ' remainder of protestanism, which had the misfortune to offend her majesty-; for, as her majesty is very delicate on that subject, and desires that all the world should know, that after having carefully examined the different religions, she had found none to be true but the Roman catholic, and that she has heartily em
braced it; it was injurious to her glory to give occasion for the least suspicion of her sincerity. We are therefore very sorry that we have made use of an expression, which has been understood in a sense so very different from our intention; and we would have been very far from making use of it, if we had foreseen that it was liable to any ambiguity : for, besides the respect which we, together with all the world, owe to so great a queen, who has been the admiration of the universe from her earliest days, we join with the utmost zeal in that particular obligation which all men of letters are under to do her homage, because of the honour she has done the sciences, by being pleased thoroughly to examine their beauties, and to protect them in a distinguishing manner.”
The persecution which the protestants at this time suffered in France affected Mr. Bayle extremely. He made occasionally some reflections on their sufferings in his Journal; and he wrote a pamphlet also on the subject: Some time after he published his “ Commentaire philosophique," upon these words, “ Compel them to come in;" against compulsion in matters of religion ; but the great application he gave to this and his other works, threw him into a fit of sickness, which obliged him to discontinue his Literary Journal. Being advised to try a change of air, he left Rotterdam, and went to Cleves; whence, after having continued some time, he removed to Aix la Chapelle, and thence returned to Rotterdam. In 1690, the famous book, entitled, “ Avis aux Refugiez,” &c. made its appearance : Mr. Jurieu, who took Mr. Bayle for the author, wrote a piece against it, and prefixed an advice to the public, wherein he calls Mr. Bayle a profane person, and a traitor engaged in a conspiracy against the state. As soon as Mr. Bayle had read this accusation, he went to the grand schout of Rotterdam, and offered to go to prison, provided his accuser would accompany him, and undergo the punishment he deserved, if the accusation was found unjust. He published also an answer to Mr. Jurieu's charge; and as his reputation, and even bis life was at stake, in case the accusation of treason was proved, he therefore thought himself not obliged to keep any terms with his accuser, and attacked him with the utmost severity. Mr. Jurieu applied to the magistrates of Amsterdain, who advised him to a reconciliation with Mr. Bayle, and enjoined them not to publish any thing against each other
till it was examined by Mr. Boyer, the pensioner of Rota terdam. But, notwithstanding this prohibition, Mr. Jurieu attacked Mr. Bayle again, and drew from him to write a new vindication of his character and principles.
In November, 1690, Mr. de Beauval advertised in his Journal, a scheme for a " Critical Dictionary.” This was the work of Mr. Bayle. The articles of the three first letters of the alphabet were already prepared; but a dispute happening betwixt him and Mr. de Beauval, he for some time laid the work aside. Nor did he resume it till May 1692, when he published his scheme; but the public not approving of his plan, he threw it into a different form, and the first volume was published in August, 1695, the second the October following. The work was extremely well received by the public; but it engaged him in fresh disputes, particularly with Mr. Jurieu and the abbé Renaudot. Mr. Jurieu published a piece, wherein he endeavoured to engage the ecclesiastical assemblies to condemn the Dictionary: he presented it to the senate sitting at Delft; but they took no notice of the affair. The consitory of Rotterdam granted Mr. Bayle a hearing; and after having heard his answers to their remarks on his Dictionary, declared themselves satisfied, and advised him to communicate this to the public. Mr. Jurieu made another attempt with the consistory in 1698; and so far he prevailed, that they exhorted Mr. Bayle to be more cautious about his principles in the second edition of his Dictionary ; which was published in 1702, with many additions and improvements.
Mr. Bayle was a most laborious and indefatigable writer. In one of his letters to Des Maizeaux, he says, that since his 20th year he hardly remembers to have had any
leisure. His intense application contributed perhaps to impair his constitution, for it soon began to decline. He had a decay of the lungs, which weakened him considerably; and as this was a distemper which had cut off several of his family, he judged it to be mortal, and would take no medicines. *He died the 28th of December 1706, after he had been writing the greatest part of the day. He wrote several books besides what we have mentioned, many of which were in his own defence against attacks from the abbé Renaudot, M. le Clerc, M. Jaquelot, and others; a particular account of his works may be seen in the sixth volume of Niceron. Among the productions which do honour to
the age of Lewis XIV. M. Voltaire has not omitted the Critical Dictionary of our author : It is the first work of the kind, he says, in which a man may learn to think. He censures indeed those articles which contain only a detail of minute facts, as unworthy either of Bayle, an understanding reader, or posterity. In placing him, continues the same author, amongst the writers who do honour to the age of Lewis XIV. although a refugee in Holland, I only conform to the decree of the parliament of Toulouse; which, when it declared his will valid in France, notwithstanding the rigour of the laws, expressly said, “that such a man could not be considered as a foreigner.'
The opinion of Voltaire, however, which we have preserved (as we have done the article of Bayle nearly as it stood in our last edition), must not be allowed much weight in a question where religion or morals are concerned. Bayle has been hailed as one of those who introduced the spirit of free inquiry; and while this merit may be allowed him, we may add that he has exhibited in his own person, the consequences of pushing free inquiry beyond all reasonable and necessary bounds. But it would have been more just to have said that he was one of those who have conducted an opposition to the truths of revealed religion by the means of sarcasm and impertinence, instead of fair argument; and except the French Encyclopedie, there is not perhaps any book so likely to unsettle the minds of young readers as his celebrated Dictionary. Nor is this the only objection that '
be urged against it. Bayle has been praised for his morality in private life; but what are we to think of the morals of a man, who not only takes every opportunity that may lay in his way to introduce ob. scene discussions, quotations, and allusions, but even perpetually trávels out of his way in search of them, who dea lights in accumulating the anecdotes and imagery of vice, and presenting them to his readers in every shape ? Considered in a critical light, this Dictionary may be allowed to form a vast mass of information, but the plan is radically bad. It has been said that he wrote it merely for the sake of the notes, which had accumulated in his common-place book : hence the text bears a very small proportion to the notes suspended from it, and the reader's attention is perpetually diverted from the narrative to attend, not always to what may throw light on the object of the text, but to Mr. Bayle's tattle and gossip collected from various quar