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Paul and Virginia Bernadin de Saint

The following translation of "Paul and Virginia," was written at Paris, amidst the horrors of Robespierre's tyranny.  During that gloomy epocha it was difficult to find occupations which might cheat the days of calamity of their weary length.  Society had vanished; and amidst the minute vexations of Jacobinical despotism, which, while it murdered in mass, persecuted in detail, the resources of writing, and even reading, were encompassed with danger.  The researches of domiciliary visits had already compelled me to commit to the flames a manuscript volume, where I had traced the political scenes of which I had been a witness, with the colouring of their first impressions on my mind, with those fresh tints that fade from recollection; and since my pen, accustomed to follow the impulse of my feelings, could only have drawn, at that fatal period, those images of desolation and despair which haunted my imagination, and dwelt upon my heart, writing was forbidden employment.  Even reading had its perils; for books had sometimes aristocratical insignia, and sometimes counter revolutionary allusions; and when the administrators of police happened to think the writer a conspirator, they punished the reader

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 No. 292
 Posted on 8 June, 2006
 
 
 
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