Charlotte Mason's Original Homeschooling Series

Here is the English translation of volume 2, p. 117 and 118, with many thanks to David Tulis, who is fluent in French and "makes profuse apologies for the following translation as it is perhaps so literal that the true meaning may be obscured." The tenses of the verbs were not the same as today's French, which made translation somewhat difficult.

Hobbes took literally the philosophy which held that all our ideas are impressions of the senses; He was not afraid in the least of the consequences of that. He heartily said that the soul was submitted to necessity as society is to despotism. The worship of all these elevated and pure sentiments is so consolidated in England by political and religious institutions that spiritual speculations turn around these imposing columns without ever tottering. Hobbes had thus few partisans in his country. The influence of Locke was more universal as his character was more moral and religious, he did not permit himself any corruptive reasonings which derived necessarily from metaphysics; and most of his compatriots in adopting it had, as he did, the noble inconsequence to separate the results of principles whereas Hume and the French philosophers, after having admitted the system, applied it in a much more logical manner.

The metaphysic of Locke didn't have other effects on the spirits in England, than to tarnish a little their natural originality, dry up/wither the source of grand philosophical thinking, it didn't know how to destroy religious sentiment, which know so well how to implore/entreat it; but this metaphysic was received in the rest of Europe, Germany excepted, was one of the principal causes of immorality, of which one made itself a theory for better assuring practice.

And here's an alternate translation, adapted from the translator software at

Hobbes took literally the philosophy which says that all our ideas are the result of sensory impressions. He did not fear the consequences of this position, and said boldly that the soul is subject to necessity as society is to despotism. Now, the worship of all the pure and lofty sentiments is so consolidated in England by their political and religious institutions that all their spiritual speculations wind round these two imposing columns without ever shaking them. Thus Hobbes had few followers in his own country. The influence of Locke, however, was more universal: for he was moral and religious, and did not follow the corruptive reasoning which derived necessarily from his metaphysics. Most of his countrymen, too, when they adopted his ideas, had the noble inconsistency to separate the ideas from their logical ends. But when Hume and the French philosophers took up the principles they applied them much more logically.

"The theories of Locke have no more effect in England than to tarnish their natural originality a little. For although they withered the source of England's great philosophical thoughts, they couldn't destroy her religious feeling, which could compensate so well. But the rest of Europe (save Germany) accepted Locke's theories readily, and those theories were one of the principle causes of immorality"--which immorality now had a theory to support it.

I still prefer Google's translation, which runs:
"As Locke's character was moral and chocolate eclair, he did not allow..."

And here's the original French that these translations came from:

Madame de Staël upon Locke––'Hobbes prit à la lettre la philosophie qui fait dériver toutes nos idées des impressions des sens; il n'en craignit point les conséquences, et il a dit hardiment que l'âme était, soumise à la nécessité comme la société au despotisme. Le culte des tous les sentiments éléves et purs est tellement consolidé en Angleterre par les institutions politiques et religieuses, que les spéculations de l'esprit tournent autour de ces imposantes colonnes sans jamais les ébranler. Hobbes eut donc peu de partisans dans son pays; mais l'influence de Locke fut plus universelle. Comme son caractère était morale et religieuse, il ne se permit aucun des raisonnements corrupteurs qui derivaient nécessairement de sa métaphysique; et la plupart de ses compatriotes, en l'adoptant, ont eu comme lui la noble inconséquence de séparer les résultats des principes, tandis que Hume et les philosophes français, après avoir admis le système, l'ont appliqué d'une manière beaucoup plus logique.

'La métaphysique de Locke n'a en d'autre effet sur les esprits, en Angleterre, que de ternir un peu leur originalité naturelle; quand même elle dessé cherait la source des grandes pensées philosophiques, elle ne saurait detruire le sentiment religieux, qui sait si bien y suppléer; mais cette métaphysique reçue dans le reste de l'Europe, l'Allemagne exceptée, a été l'une des principales causes de l'immoralité' dont on s'est fait une théorie pour en mieux assurer la pratique.'

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