The Works of Voltaire: History of the Russian empire under Peter the Great

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Page 228 - And surely your blood of your lives will I require : at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man ; at the hand of every man's brother will I require the life of man. Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed : for in the image of God made he man.
Page 234 - it would be very singular, that all nature, all the " planets, should obey eternal laws, and that there " should be a little animal, five feet high, who, in " contempt of these laws, could act as he pleased, " solely, according to his caprice.
Page 22 - God has given me over you, denounce against you my eternal curse ; and, as your sovereign, declare to you that I will find means to punish your disobedience, in which I trust God himself will assist me, and espouse the just cause of an injured parent and king. " For the rest, remember that I have never laid any restraint upon you. Was I obliged to leave you at liberty to choose your way of life ? Had I not the power in my own hands to oblige you to conform to my will ? I had only to command, and...
Page 31 - Now, as we should pity our states and faithful subjects, if, by such a successor, we should throw them back into a much worse condition than ever they were yet ; so, by the paternal authority, in virtue of which, by the laws of our empire...
Page 79 - These were to be nominated by the emperor, and consecrated by the synod. Peter frequently presided in person at the assembly. One day that a vacant see was to be filled, the synod observed to the emperor, that they had none but ignorant persons to present to his majesty : * Well, then,' replied the czar, ' you have only to pitch upon the most honest man, he will be worth two learned ones.' It is to be observed, that the Greek church has none of that motley order called secular abbots. The petit collet...
Page 45 - If his majesty is inclinable to punish the offender according to his deeds and the measure of his crimes, he has before him the examples in the Old Testament ; if, on the other hand, he is inclined to show mercy, he has a pattern in our Lord Jesus Christ, who receives the prodigal son, when returning with a contrite heart, who set free the woman taken in adultery, whom the law sentenced to be stoned to death, and who prefers mercy to bunrt-offerings.
Page 128 - ... him to succeed to so great an empire? With how much stronger reason does such a design deserve to be punished with death ? It is therefore with hearts full of affliction, and eyes streaming with tears, that we, as subjects and servants, pronounce this sentence ; considering that it belongs not to us to give judgment in a case of so great importance, and especially to pronounce against the son of our most precious sovereign lord, the czar. Nevertheless, it being his pleasure that we should act...
Page 43 - ... or partiality either to him or me ; for should you apprehend that he deserves but a slight punishment, it will be disagreeable to me. I swear to you by the great God and his judgments, that you have nothing to fear on this head. " Neither let the reflection...
Page 29 - ... private parents, and with much more reason those who are besides invested with a sovereign authority as we are, have an unlimited power over their children, independently of any other judge; and we set forth on one side, the just and affectionate manner with which we had always used our son, and, on the other, his disobedience ; representing, in the conclusion, the ill consequences...

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