Classic French Course in English by William Cleaver Wilkinson

By William Cleaver Wilkinson

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We cleanse our extract a little: — And, therefore, to make an end of this Prologue, even as I give myself to an hundred thousand panniers-full of fair devils, body and soul,... in case that I lie so much as one single word in this whole history; after the like manner, St. Anthony’s fire burn you, Mahoom’s disease whirl you, the squinance with a stitch in your side, and the wolf in your stomach truss you, the bloody flux seize upon you, the cursed sharp inflammations of wild fire, as slender and thin as cow’s hair strengthened with quicksilver, enter into you,...

From the second book of his romance, —an afterthought, probably, of continuation to his unexpectedly successful first book, —we take the last paragraph of the prologue, which shows this. The veracious historian makes obtestation of the strict truth of his narrative, and imprecates all sorts of evil upon such as do not believe it absolutely. We cleanse our extract a little: — And, therefore, to make an end of this Prologue, even as I give myself to an hundred thousand panniers-full of fair devils, body and soul,...

George Saintsbury for example, consider it an absurdly overrated book. For our own part, we are inclined to give it conspicuous place in the history of free thought in France. La Boëtie died young; and his “Contr’ Un” was published posthumously, —first by the Protestants, after the terrible day of St. Bartholomew. Our readers may judge for themselves whether a pamphlet in which such passages as the following could occur, must not have had an historic effect upon the inflammable sentiment of the French people.

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