See also:born at
See also:Chambery on the 1st of
See also:April 1754 . His
See also:family was an
See also:ancient and
See also:noble one, enjoying the title of count, and is said to have been of Languedocian extraction . The
See also:father of
See also:Joseph was
See also:president of the
See also:senate of Savoy, and held other important offices . Joseph himself, after studying at
See also:Turin, received various appointments in the
See also:civil service of Savoy, finally becoming a member of the senate . In 1786 he married Francoise de 1\forand . The invasion and annexation of Savoy by the French Republicans made him an
See also:exile . He did not take
See also:refuge in that
See also:part of the
See also:king of
See also:Sardinia's domains which was for the
See also:time spared, but betook himself to the as yet neutral territory of
See also:Lausanne . There, in 1796, he published his first important
See also:work (he had previously written certain discourses,
See also:pamphlets, letters, &c.), Considerations sur la France. in this he
See also:developed his views, which were those of a Legitimist, but a Legitimist entirely from the religious and
See also:Roman Catholic point of view . The philosophism of the 18th century was Joseph de Maistre's lifelong
See also:object of assault . After the still further losses which, in the
See also:year of the publication of this
See also:book, the French Revolution inflicted on Sardinia;
See also:Emmanuel summoned Joseph de Maistre to Turin, and he remained there for the brief space during which the king retained a remnant of territory on the mainland . Then he went to the
See also:island of Sardinia, and held
See also:office at Cagliari . In 1802 he was appointed
See also:envoy extraordinary and
See also:minister plenipotentiary at St
See also:Petersburg, and journeyed thither the next year .
See also:post was no sinecure, its duties were naturally less
See also:engrossing than the official
See also:life, with intervals of uneasy exile and travelling, which he had hitherto known, and his
See also:literary activity was
See also:great . He only published a single
See also:treatise, on the Principe generateur
See also:des Constitutions; but he wrote his best and most famous
See also:works, Du Pape, De L'eglise gallicane and the Soirees de St Petersbourg, the last of which was never finished . Du Pape, which the second-named book completes, is a treatise in
See also:form, dealing with the relations of the
See also:sovereign pontiff to the
See also:Church, to temporal sovereigns, to
See also:civilization generally, and to schismatics, especially Anglicans and the Greek Church . It is written from the highest possible standpoint of papal
See also:absolutism . The Soirees de St Petersbourg, so far as it is anything (for the arrangement is some-what desultory), is a kind of theodicee, dealing with the fortunes of virtue and
See also:vice in this
See also:world . It contains two of De Maistre's most famous pieces, his
See also:panegyric on the executioner as the foundation of social
See also:order, and his acrimonious, and in part unfair, but also in part very damaging, attack on
See also:Locke . The Du Pape is dated May 1817; on the Soirees the author was still engaged at his
See also:death . Besides these works he wrote an examination of the philosophy of
See also:Bacon, some letters on the Inquisition (an institution which, as may be guessed from the remarks just noticed about the executioner, was no stumbling-
See also:block to him), and, earlier than any of these, a
See also:translation of Plutarch's "
See also:Essay on the Delay of Divine
See also:Justice," with somewhat copious notes . After 1815 he returned to Savoy, and was appointed to high office, while his Du Pape made a great sensation . But the world to which he had returned was not altogether in accordance with his desires . He had domestic troubles; and chagrin of one sort and another is said to have had not a little to do with his death by
See also:paralysis on the 26th of
See also:February 1821 at Turin . Most of the works mentioned were not published till after his death, and it was not till 1851 that a collection of Lettres et opuscules appeared, while even since that time fresh
See also:matter has been published .
Joseph de Maistre was one of the most powerful, and by far the ablest, of the leaders of the neo-Catholic and
See also:movement . The most remarkable thing about his stand-point is that, layman as he was, it was entirely ecclesiastical . Unlike his contemporary Bonald, Joseph de Maistre regarded the temporal
See also:monarchy as an institution of altogether inferior importance to the spiritual primacy of the
See also:pope . He was by no means a
See also:political absolutist, except in so far as he regarded obedience as the first of political virtues, and he seldom loses an opportunity of stipulating for a tempered monarchy . But the pope's power is not to be tempered at all, either by
See also:councils or by the temporal power or by
See also:national churches, least of all by private
See also:judgment . The peculiarity of Joseph de Maistre is that he supports his conclusions, or if it be preferred his paradoxes, by the hardest and heaviest
See also:argument . Although a great
See also:master of rhetoric, he never makes rhetoric do
See also:duty for logic . Every now and then it is possible to detect fallacies in him, but for the most part he has succeeded in carrying matters back to those fundamental differences of opinion which hardly admit of argument, and on which men take sides in consequence chiefly of natural bent, and of predilection for one state of things rather than for another . The absolute
See also:necessity of order may be said to have been the first principle of this thinker, who, in more ways than one, will invite comparison with
See also:Hobbes . He could not conceive such order without a single visible authority, reference to which should settle all dispute . He saw that there could be no such temporal
See also:head, and in the pope he thought that he saw a spiritual substitute . The anarchic tendencies of the Revolution in politics and religion were what offended him .
It ought to be . added that he was profoundly and accurately learned in
See also:history and philosophy, and that the superficial blunders of the 18th-century philosophes irritated him as much as their doctrines . To Voltaire in particular he shows no mercy . Of the two works named as his masterpieces, Du Pape and the Soirees de St Petersbourg,
See also:editions are extremely numerous . No
See also:complete edition of his works appeared till 1884-1887, when one was published at
See also:Lyons in 14 volumes . This had been preceded, and has been followed, by numerous
See also:biographies and discussions: C .
See also:Barthelemy, L'Esprit de Joseph de Maistre (1859); R. de Sezeval, Joseph de Maistre (1865), and J . C .
See also:Glaser, Graf Joseph Maistre (same year); L . I .
See also:Moreau, Joseph de Maistre (1879); F . Paulhan, Joseph de Maistre et sa philosophie (1893); L .
Cogordan, " Joseph de Maistre " in the Grands ecrivains franrcais (1894) ; F . Descostes, Joseph de Maistre avant la revolution (1896), and other works by the same writer; J . Mandoul, Un Homme d'etat italien: Joseph de Maistre et la politique de la maison de
See also:Savoie (1900); and E . Grasset, Joseph de Maistre (1901) . (G .
JEAN DE MAIRET (1604–1686)
XAVIER DE MAISTRE (1763-1852)
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