portraits of men

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: DIDEROT. 1851. The latest studies in relation to Diderot are all alike in their tendency. They accord him his proper rank in literature without exemplifying any undue disapproval, anger, or enthusiasm. The marked qualities of his genius, his character, and his rich intellectual nature, are justly estimated in these criticisms, while his extravagances are reproved and explained. In some measure this explanation lessens the gravity of his faults. M. Gnin has shown us that certain passages of Diderot expressing a positive atheism must have been written by his impetuous editor, Neigeon, who took the liberty of inserting his own comments in his master's manuscript. In philosophically discussing Diderot's anti-religious doctrines, Bersot endeavours to prove that this philosopher was nearer a certain lofty conception of the Deity than he himself believed. Indeed, it often appears that he lacks but one ray of light with which to enlighten all his thoughts. We might say of Diderot what he himself remarked regarding a pastoral view at Vernet, when twilight had darkened the landscape : " Let us wait till to-morrow, when the sun will have risen." Study on Diderot, by M. Bersot, 1851. Works selected from Diderot, with a notice by M. Genin, 1847, Vet in spite of all we may say, we can never prove that Diderot was an unconscious believer, nor even a deist, according to the true acceptation of the word. Moreover, a discussion on this particular point would be too delicate and intricate for me to approach. But I shall have much pleasure in expressing my opinions on Diderot from a literary and moral point of view. Diderot was born at Langres in 1713. Like Rollin's parent, his father was a cutler. From his early childhood he possessed to a high degree the quality of family affection—...
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