Examen d'un livre intitulé, La Metaphysique de Newton, ou Paralèlle des sentimens de Newton & de Leibnitz, par Mr. de Voltaire KAHLE, Louis Martin & DE GAUTIER SAINT BLACHARD, [French Translation]
Louis Martin Kahle was a professor of philosophy at Góttingen university. This is a very rare edition of this early comentary on a work by Voltaire. Not in KB. Copies are only in Danish collections, General catalogue of the Bibliothèque nationale de France, The union catalogue for over 2.000 Italian libraries and the Regina - Catalogue of the National Library of Sweden. Voltaire himself reacted as critisising a critic [ Source: Voltaire in his Letters] in1744. I am very pleased sir, that you have written a little book against me. On page 17 you reject the proof, from final causes, of the existence of God. If you had argued thus at Rome, the reverend father and Governor of the Holy Palace would have condemned you to the inquisition: if you had written thus agains a theologian of Paris, he would have had your proposition censured by the sacred faculty: if against a devout person, he would have abused you: but I have the honour to be neither a Jesuit, nor a theologian nor a devotee. I shall leave you to your opinion, and shall remain to mine. I shall allways be convinced that a watch proves a watchmaker, and the universe proves God. I hope that you yourself understand what you say concerning space and eternity, the necissity of matter, and preordained harmony: and I recoommend you to look once more at what I said, finally, in the new edition, where I earnestly endeavoured to make myself thoroughly understood - and in metaphysics that is no easy task.
You quote, à propos of space and infinity, the Medea of Seneca, the Phillipics of Cicero, and the metamorphoses of Ovid; also the verses of the Duke of Buckingham, of Gombaud, Regnier and Rapin. I must tell you , sir, I know at least as much poetry as you do: that I am quite as fond of it: that it comes to capping verses we shall see some very pretty sport: only I don't think it suitable to shed light on a metaphysical question, be they Lucretius' or the Cardinal the Polignac's. Furthermore If ever you understand anything about preordained harmony, if you discover how, under the law of necessity, man is free, you will do me a service if you will pass on the information to me. When you have shown, in verse or otherwise, why so many man cut their throats in the best of all possible worlds. I shall be exceedingly obliged to you. I await your arguments, your verses and your abuse: and assure you from the bottom of my heart that neither you nor I know anything about the matter. I have the honour to be, etc.