Friedrich Grimm 1765

Rousseau vs. Voltaire

Source: Correspondance littéraire, philosophique et critique, Vol III. Maurice Tourneux, editor Paris, Garnier Frères, 1877 ;
Translated: for by Mitchell Abidor 2018.

There appeared in Geneva a seditious letter in favor of M. Rousseau and against M. de Voltaire. It was immediately feared that this letter would trouble the tranquility of the republic, but M. Rousseau lacked either the courage or the desire to profit by the passing fermentation, and the council of Geneva vigorously pursued the author of the letter. Since then the council of Berne has also condemned the works of the citizen of Geneva and ordered the author to leave the territory of the canton. M. Rousseau presented a request to Berne, but in vain; he had to obey and he retreated to the principality of Neufchatel. And so now he is under the protection of a prince he professed to hate because he saw him the object of public admiration. There is an indiscreet and violent passage in his book on this subject, and for Frederick this will be just one more reason to respect the woes of J.-J. Rousseau and protect an illustrious writer, despite fools and his own failings.