The poem is available in an excellent translation by Tobias Smollett and others in The Works of Voltaire (Paris, 1901), from which quotations are made. It is the humanitarian Voltaire, a man deeply moved, who posed the question, can we indeed say that innocent victims were being punished for sin by a just God? And can you then impute a sinful deed To babes who on their mothers' bosoms bleed? Was then more vice in fallen Lisbon found, Than Paris, where voluptuous joys abound? Was less debauchery to London known, Where opulence luxurious holds the throne? He rejected the charge that selfishness and pride had made him rebel against suffering: When the earth gapes my body to entomb, I justly may complain of such a doom. Why, asked Voltaire, could not an omnipotent God achieve His purpose in another way? The
This is the end of the preview. Sign up
access the rest of the document.
This note was uploaded on 12/05/2011 for the course ENGLISH 101 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '11 term at Texas State.