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of erudition. Not so. Each piece of information is carefully set in place, as in a mosaic, in order to create the atmosphere of 'divertissement et fete' which the official 'recueils' of 'Triumphes et Magnificences' only remotely suggest. One marvels at the ingenuity, erudition, and imagination displayed by the civic organizers of each solemn royal entry. One is delighted by descriptions of tournaments, bull fights, regional dances, citizens in costumes representing ancient civilizations as well as the 'savages' of the New World, and the mechanical crocodile at Nimes. During the splendid court festivities of Fontainebleau and Bar-Ie-Duc one moves into an imaginary world of chivalry in which the king was both actor and spectator, as he fought his way to rescue maidens held prisoner in enchanted castles, while other less virtuous knights were dropped into dungeons, or, like the Duke of Orleans, carried off in a cloud. Masquerades , ballets, plays, and fireworks all played an essential part in the festivities. One of the most enchanting events, evoked on the jacket of the book by Antoine Caron's drawing of the excursion to the island in the Adour, is that of the sumptuous 'fete champetre: with all its literary and classical reminiscences, offered by Catherine de' Medici to her children at Bayonne. It is wonderfully appropriate that it should figure as one of the scenes depicted in the beautiful Valois tapestries now hanging in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence. Unlike Bouvard and Pecuchet, Flaubert's comical researchers into the history of France, Graham and Johnson deserve a well-earned 'Chapeau bas' for their rigorous application of logical method, coupled with true perception and interpretation ofsuch a massive array of documents. Their research sheds light upon all aspects of Renaissance thought and art and their book is to be recommended to every serious scholar of the period, as well as to the bibliophile who will covet such a beautifully produced book. (ELAINE LIMBRICK) Etienne Bonnot de Condillac. Les Monades Edited with an introduction and notes by Laurence L. Bongie Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century, vol 187. £24 Professor Bongie's identification of the author of the anonymous Les Monades as Condillac is an astonishing event. Was the author of the Traite des systemes a crypto-Leibnizian? In the Berlin Academy the lines were drawn between the Newtonians and the Leibnizians over the question of monads. A contemporary refers to the 'bruit Ii Berlin ou, Ii la cour, 1; la ville, dans les clubs des savans, et dans les societes de tout ordre, on ne parloitpresque d'autre chose que de monades; et Dieu sait comment I'on en raisonnoit ou deraisonnoit: The issue was to be decided by the Academy's prize essay on the question '44 LEITERS IN CANADA 1980 whether the doctrine of monads could be either firmly refuted and destroyed by unanswerable arguments or proved.Among the anonymous submissions was Les Monades. In the following year, 1748, it was published, still anonymous, together with six other of the entries. A peculiar feature of Condillac's dissertation is that it seeks to satisfy both sides of the question. Part I is a critique of the Leibnizians and much of it was to appear verbatim in the Traite des systemes in the following year. In Part II Condillac constructs a 'new system of monads' purged of the errors alleged in Part I, which have mainly to do with the doctrines offorce and of perception. At the end he claims: 'rai demontre qu'il y a des monades, qu'elles different necessairement entre elles, et qu'elles produisent les phenomenes de l'etendue et des corps, qui n'en sont que des aggregats. ]'ai prouve qu'elles n'agissent point les unes dans les autres, et que, par consequent, elles ne concourent it former l'univers qu'en vertu de l'harmonie qui a ete preetablie.' This is enough to mark down the 'French Locke' as indisputably also the French Leibniz. That the Academy's prize should have gone to Justi, whom he despised, and that he himself should be well down the list could be reason enough for Condillac not to acknowledge authorship. What is mysterious is that...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 143-145
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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