His proper name was Francois Marie Arouet. The word Voltaire is
simply an anagram of Arouet L.
I. (le jeune). Thus have we Stella, Astrophel (q.v.),
Vanessa and Cadenus (q.v.), and a host of other names in
the infidel, built the church at Ferney, which has this
inscription: “Deo erexit Voltaire.” Cowper alludes to this
anomaly in the following lines:
Nor he who, for the bane of thousands born,
Built God a church, and laughed His Word to scron.
Dr. Young said of him -
Thou art so witty, profligate and thin,
Thou seemst a Milton, with his Death and Sin.
comparison between Voltaire and Gibbon is given by Byron
in Childe $$$, canto iii. 106, 107.
The German Voltaire.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1838).
Christoph Martin Wieland (1733-1813).
The Polish Voltaire.
Ignatius Krasicki (1774-1801).
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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