15 JULY 1893, Page 25

Voltaire. By Francis Espinasse. (Walter Scott.) — Mr. Espinasse is

not by any means a victim to the has biographica. He is just—it might almost be said, severely just—to the subject of his memoir. One cannot help feeling that Voltaire was a man of no principle but with considerable feeling, which, if there were no prepossession in the way, was roused on the side of the oppressed. If the oppressor was a priest, so much the more vehement the feeling. The story of Voltaire's sojourn in England is especially interesting, while the legend of his agonised death- bed is effectually dispersed,—effectually, we say, though such things are not easily disposed of. "Let me die in peace " were his last coherent words, addressed to two priests 'who visited him, The story seems to have arisen from the language used by one Tronchin, a physician. But Tronchin was not present at the death.