Nor do the younger sons of english lords despise

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not unreasonably, to a Roman citizen. Nor do the younger sons of English Lords despise commercial matters. . . . [while French nobles] look down on businessmen, and French businessmen hear so much criticism of their profession they are foolish enough to blush. However, I’m not certain who is more useful to a country, a nobleman who knows when the King gets up or goes to bed, and gives himself grand airs while playing the part of a slave in some Minister’s hallway, or a business man who makes his country rich . . . and contributes to the well-being of the world.--ToleranceWhat is tolerance? It is our due as human beings. We are all foolish; we all make mistakes. Let us pardon each other’s follies. This is the first law of nature. .We all agree that every private person who persecutes a man, his brother, because he disagrees with him is a monster. This admits of no difficulty. But the government, the magistrates, the princes! —how do they react to people whose faith is different from their own? If they are powerful foreigners, princes always form alliances with them. The Most Christian Francis I [King of France] allies with Muslims against the Most Catholic Charles V [Holy Roman Emperor of Germany]. Francis I gives money to the Lutherans in Germany, to support their rebellion against the Emperor, but, as usual, he will first have French Lutherans burned at the stake. Policy dictates he pay them in Germany and burn them in France. But what happens?
Persecutions make converts. France will soon be filled with new Protestants. At first they will let themselves be hanged; afterwards they will hang their opponents in turn. . . . If your country is divided between two religions, they massacre each other; if you have thirty sects, they live in peace. Look at the Grand Turk: he governs Guegers, Banians, Greek Catholics, Nestorians, and Roman Catholics. The first to stir up trouble is impaled; and all is peaceful. . . .The name of any religious sect is no more than a name of some error; but there are no sects of geometricians, algebraists, or arithmeticians because all the propositions of geometry, algebra, and arithmetic are true. In all the other sciences, anyone can be mistaken.

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