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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: CHAPTER III. PASCAL IN THE WORLD. Pascal's health, we have seen, was very delicate. His labours to perfect his arithmetical machine had seriously impaired it. The attack of partial paralysis, described "by his niece, seems to have taken place in the early summer of 1647. As soon as he was able, he removed to Paris, where we find him settled with his younger sister in September of the same year. It was on the twenty- fifth of this month that Jacqueline writes from Paris of Descartes's memorable visits. One of the motives of his change of residence was no doubt to consult the best physicians of the day; and Descartes, who, amongst his other numerous gifts, had some skill in medicine, made his second visit to him partly as a physician. "He came in part," says Jacqueline, "to consult as to my brother's illness." He appears to have given him very sound advice, which, unfortunately, Pascal did not follow—" to lie in bed as much as he could, and take strong soup." On the contrary, he was " bled, bathed, and purged," after the usual medical routine of the time, apparently without any good effects, or any alleviation of his sufferings. Jacqueline's Religious Devotion. 53 The father also returned to Paris in May 1648. The Provincial Parliament, with regained authority, had exacted the recall of the Intendants appointed by the Court. Etienne Pascal's services were remunerated by the dignity of a Counsellor of State, and he was set at liberty to rejoin his children. It was at this period that the struggle took place betwixt father and daughter as to the latter's determination to choose a religious life. Encouraged by her brother after his access of zeal at Kouen, Jacqueline was gradually more and more drawn towards piety. After their settlement in Paris they went frequently togeth...
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