The Best of All Possible Worlds

Writing at Taki’s Magazine, Dalrymple examines the public reactions to two earthquakes: London in 1750 and Lisbon in 1755. Why was the reaction to the London earthquake (there were actually two that year) so desperate and fearful even though the earthquakes were relatively mild? Because one’s reaction depends largely on one’s perspective, and he quotes Rousseau’s famous reply to Voltaire on the same subject:

I cannot refrain, Sir, from remarking on the striking difference
between you and me on these matters. Full of glory and
disillusioned by vain triumphs, living in the seat of
abundance and sure of immortality, you philosophise serenely
on the nature of the soul, and if you suffer in body you have
Tronchin as doctor and friend; nevertheless, you find nothing but
evil on earth; while I, an obscure, poor man, tormented by an
illness without cure, meditate with pleasure in my retreat, and I find
that all is good.

Read it here

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