Julie, or the New Heloise

Julie, or the New Heloise

by Jean-Jacques Rousseau

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9783962179533
Publication date: 08/24/2017
Sold by: Bookwire
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 162
File size: 402 KB
Age Range: 13 Years

Preface

Great cities must have theatres; and corrupt peoples, Novels. I have seen the morals of my times, and I have published these letters. Would I had lived in an age when I should have thrown them into the fire!
Although I bear only the tile of Editor here, I have myself had a hand in this book, and I do not disguise this. have I done the whole thing, and is the entire correspondence a fiction? Worldly people, what matters it to you? It is surely a fiction for you.
Every honorable man must acknowledge the books he publishes. I therefore put my name a the head of this collection, not to appropriate it, but to be answerable for it. If it contains evil, let it be imputed to me; if good I do not plan to boast of it. If the book is bad, I am all the more obliged to own it: I do not wish to be thought better than I am.
As for the truth of the facts, I declare that having been several time in the country of the tow lovers, I have never there heard mention of the Baron d'Eetange or his daughter, nor Monsieur d'Orbe, nor Milord Edward Bomston, nor Monsieur de Womar. I also serve notice that the topography is clumsily distorted in several place; either the better to mislead the reader, or because the author indeed knew it no better than that. That is all I can say. Let everyone thing what he will.
This book is not meant to circulate in society, and is suitable for very few readers. The style will put off people to taste; the contents will alarm strict people; all the sentiments will be unnatural to those who do not believe in virtue. It is bound to displease the devout, the libertines, the philosophers: it is bound to shock gallant women, and scandalize honest ones. Whom then will it please? Perhaps on one but me: but very certainly it will please no one moderately.
Anyone who is willing to undertake the reading of these letters must summon his patience with respect to language mistakes, trite and bombastic style, banal thoughts expressed in turgid terms; he must tell himself in advance that their writers are not French, wits, academicians, philosophers; but provincials, foreigners, solitary youths, almost children, who in their romantic imaginations mistake the honest raving of their brains for philosophy.
Why should I fear to speak my mind? This collection with its gothic aura is better suited to women than books of philosophy. It may even prove useful to those who in their dissolute lives have preserved some love for honesty. As for maidens, that is another matter. never did a chaste maiden read novels; and I have affixed to this one a sufficiently clear title so that upon opening it anyone would know what to expect. She who, despite this title, dares to read a single page of it, is a maiden undone: but let her not attribute her undoing to this book; the harm was already done.
Should an austere man leafing through this collection be put off by the complain of his injustice; in his place, I might have done the same. But should anyone, after reading it all the way through, dare censure me for publishing it; let him proclaim it to the world if he pleases, but let him not come tell me: I feel that I could never in my life have a regard for such a man.

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