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Posts: 5,472
Registered: ‎06-14-2007
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Chapters 11-20

Please don't go past Chapter 20 in your discussions in this thread.

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Posts: 6,768
Registered: ‎04-04-2007
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Re: Chapters 14-15

Here is a letter that relates to Voltaire's denunciation of the Jesuits in Paraguay:

"Voltaire addressed the following letter to the Journal encyclopédique, dating it 1 April 1759. (This may have been a poisson d'avril, an April Fool's joke!) It was not printed in the Journal encyclopédique until 15 July 1759."

" the matter of the pretended kingdom of the Jesuits in Paraguay, which you call a wretched fable, I tell you in the face of all Europe that nothing is more certain. I served on one of the Spanish vessels sent to Buenos Aires in 1756 to restore reason to the nearby settlement of Saint Sacrement; I spent three months at Assumption; the Jesuits have to my knowledge twenty-nine provinces, which they call 'Reductions,' and they are absolute masters there, by virtue of eight crowns a head for each father of a family, which they pay to the Governor of Buenos Aires--and yet they only pay for a third of their districts. They will not allow any Spaniard to remain more than three days in their Reductions. They have never wanted their subjects to learn Spanish. They alone teach the Paraguayans the use of firearms; they alone lead them in the field. The Jesuit Thomas Verle, a native of Bavaria, was killed in the attack on the village of Saint Sacrement while mounting to the attack at the head of his Paraguayans in 1737--and not at all in 1735 as the Jesuit Charlevoix has reported; this author is as insipid as he is ignorant. Everyone knows how they waged war on Don Antequera, and defied the orders of the Council in Madrid.

"They are so powerful that in 1743 they obtained from Philip the Fifth a confirmation of their authority which no one has been able to shake. I know very well, gentlemen, that they have no such title as King, and therefore you may say it is a wretched fable to talk of the Kingdom of Paraguay. But even though the Dey of Algiers is not a King, he is none the less master of that country. I should not advise my brother the Captain to travel to Paraguay without being sure that he is stronger than the local authorities."
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