Charles Fourier, “Cosmogony”

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Translated for the Harbinger.



Having reached this twenty-first section, I feel the same temptation which Montesquieu did at his twenty-first book. He wanted to address an invocation to the Muses; I read it in a journal which seemed astonished, and with reason, at this weakness. Montesquieu, amongst other complaints, said to the virgins of Pindus: “I have run a long career, and I am overburdened with cares.” Nevertheless he had, to support his labors and distract him from his cares, an income of 25,000 francs, worth 50,000 francs of the present currency: he had besides, the partisans who always attach themselves to fortune, to rank, to fame, to popular oratory. Could he, with so many supports, lack heart for work, especially when he was assured in all respects of the favor of his age, and when he beheld himself on the way to immortality?

Ah! Montesquieu, was it not an insult to the learned sisters, loaded as you were with the favors of fortune and the resources of genius, to ask for more? The Muses might have answered: “See what we have done for so many great men from the days of Homer to J. J. Rousseau; we have exposed them to the assaults of indigence, of snarling criticism (zoilism), of persecution; but we have given them the sacred fire, which helps man to surmount all obstacles, to suffer while alive a thousand deaths, that he may live only after death; and you, Montesquieu, favorite of fortune and the Muses, you are not satisfied, you ask for more.”

Instead of so many succors which were lavished upon Montesquieu, I have had to sustain all the opposite misfortunes. It is for me to express impatience, to call to my aid, the nine sisters, and tell them: “I have run a long career, and I am overburdened with cares.” It is not by the number of volumes that I have to fill, that my career is made fatiguing; it is by the researches it has cost me, by the fatigues it has caused me and will cause me yet. The fatality has pursued me, that always when I would put hand to the work, I have suddenly discovered that something was mislaid, or some strange accident has interfered, as the loss of manuscripts and precious notes, some of which contained solutions sought for several years. The problems of passional movement seem mere child’s play when they are resolved. Every body says of them, as of the verses of Racine: “I could have done that myself;” but the difficulty is to do it. I was eleven years seeking the distribution of the general scale of characters, and I did not believe it could be found without the experience of a generation in Harmony. I run aground upon the calculation of passional diffraction, in spite of fourteen years of researches, not continuous to be sure, but still frequent, and finally stopped by the loss of a note which had been mislaid.

Often a chapter, which was only sketched, (as that on diffraction,) cost me years: the solutions of problems are not measured off by the yard-stick, like articles of light literature and systems of politics; in the calculation of attraction you cannot cut short a difficulty by an arbitrary decision: the problem of passional gravitation, in the direct ratio of the masses and inverse of the distances, cost me two months loss of sleep.

There was not one work, one single source from which I could draw a shadow of information. Montesquieu found enough of it in a thousand authors, who had been over the road before him; he had no embarrassment but that of choice; but I am in the position of Robinson Crusoe, who, alone in a desert island, is obliged to make every thing for himself; every step has compelled me to change some arrangements, to recast chapters and parts of the work. In such a case a Montesquieu has scribes at his command, and the work goes on while the author is composing. For me, when I want to hasten the transcription, I suffer from a sprain of my thumb, which more than once has delayed me an entire fortnight. So I have no support but myself. I have crosses without number. I have the prospect of laboring for the small critics who, after vexing me all my life, will try to rob me after my death, or will assign to me the comfortless reward of Homer, altars in the other world, and want of bread in this. Let us persevere, however, in spite of every loathing, and let it astonish no one, if my apostrophes to the favorite Coryphœuses of the age smack somewhat of the reception which the age has given me.

We have now to do with Cosmogony, a science which seems to be much in vogue in France, where sciences, like dresses, are a matter of fashion. Cosmogony is now high in public favor there; often they bring upon the stage the diseases of the planets and the chapter of comets, so feebly treated in 1811. Every system-maker thinks himself obliged in conscience to give a Cosmogony, as every one did in 1788 to give a Constitution. Our century is accused of having produced by itself alone more Cosmogonies than all the others put together; we may say as much, unfortunately, of the treatises on political economy of one kind and another. The more fruitful science is in systems, the more sterile it is in benefits; so we see the people reduced to living upon nettles, and compelled to emigrate by thousands, even in Baden, which is the best cultivated country in Europe.

Cosmogony is of the number of those sciences which may discover the remedy for these increasing miseries. They think it limited to vague conjectures about the stars, about the formation of comets and other useless matters, with which the late De La Grange was occupied so much. It has functions of quite other importance, principally that of determining the destiny of the planets and consequently that of their inhabitants; but its grand office is to remedy the sidereal maladies which vitiate the temperature, destroy the harvests, and are rapidly impoverishing our globe. Cosmogony, then, is the medical science of the planet; it is for it to deliver the globe from a crowd of material scourges, from which it has suffered for five thousand years; among others, the paralysis of the extremities, or the congelation of the Poles. Here are functions which the smart minds, who meddle with this sort of study, have not dreamed of. A Cosmogonist, if he is versed in the science, ought to undertake to effect by a given day, the disengaging of the North Pole, and, at a later time, of the South Pole; to make the orange, within five years, grow as well in Spitzbergen as in Lisbon. Whoever cannot subscribe to this engagement, is ignorant in Cosmogony.

I only know the numerous systems of this sort through some articles in Journals. I have read but one, a very ancient one for our times: it is the pleasant fable of Buffon, who supposes an impertinent comet to have struck our sun, and knocked our thirty-two splinters, out of which were formed our planets. Verily this modern age is most indulgent to the fine minds, if it suffers such absurdities of theirs to pass. A comet to strike against a sun! It could not even strike the smallest satellite. One has been seen to pass into the very nave and sanctuary of Jupiter. Even if it were directed against a point through which a satellite must pass, Jupiter and the Sun, by an aromal fillip, would have thrown the comet off its orbit. Of what use, then, the sidereal harmony, if thirty-two pivoted and unitary planets are unable to sustain themselves against an incoherent body?

They make Cosmogonies and Geologies in our day, which are as improbable as the shock of a comet imagined by Buffon. I have read in the Journals of 1816, (Biblioth. Britann.) a refutation of a system of Cuvier upon the formation valleys, whose excavation he ascribes to the diluvial currents; an opinion as strange as that of the sophists, who suppose that these same currents have washed towards the northern Pole the bones of elephants, which were heaped together under the torrid zone. I shall pass in review some of these absurd hypotheses; they spring commonly from the mania which our savans have for refusing to God a talent equal to that of our mechanics. I shall often claim for Him this small concession; and if they will only allow to God as much ability as they do to our carpenters, smiths, and masons, they will see how easy it has been for Him, without the aid of a Deluge, to form valleys all over the earth, to acclimate elephants at the Pole, &c.

We are about to treat of a Cosmogony more interesting, more extended, than those which have been broached thus far, and more flattering for the human race. It will teach us, that mortals, who have been styled worms of the earth, and excluded from initiation into the laws of nature by philosophy and superstition, are on the contrary high and potent personages, co-associates with God in the direction of the planets, anti invested by Him with a colossal over these enormous creatures. Philosophy, to bring us down, takes its stand upon our corporeal littleness; but by virtue of the law of the contact of extremes, this littleness is the pledge or our high power. Man is the inferior link in the chain of universal harmony, the lowest of the keys or stops which derive their titles from the Twelve Passions; Man, by this title, is in contact, in unison with the highest key, which is God. According to this law, we necessarily participate in the power of God, and cooperate directly with him in the control of the universe.

The destiny of Man has been estimated in proportion to his stature: but is the dimension of beings the measure of their intelligence and their ability? If it were so, a whale should have a thousand times more mind than any of our savans. Let us reason better about the laws of movement; it is our position as the link infinitely little, which assures us our identity of action with God, and the most ample share in the series of powers which He has divided amongst the creatures of harmony. Their series or gradation is composed as follows: Man, Planet, Universe, Binuniverse, Trinuniverse, Decuniverse, Centuniverse, Milliuniverse, &c. &c. The keys 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, 36, form unisons or pivots of octaves, and have different properties from the others; but among these keys of octave intervals, Man, as the extreme pivot, is much more brilliantly endowed than the keys 8, 15, 22, and indeed you would be astounded by a table of the truly immense power which God has given to Man.

Behold a thesis on this subject quite surprising, but which shall be demonstrated in great detail. Every man who has the means (and there are more than four thousand much in civilization) of founding a passional system (tourbillon), may operate upon the temperament of the planet, correct its aromas and charge its temperature and atmosphere, purge its seas, furnish them with a magnificent creation, modify the aromas of the sun and of the different planets, displace five of them to arrange them in conjunction around our globe, and clothe it, like Saturn, with two rings. As to operations beyond our system, we may effect the entrance of the one hundred and two comets into the common plane of our other planets, accelerate by about three hundred years the concentration of the system as well as of our universe, and the operation which is to elevate them from the second to the third power; whence will result a general displacement in the mass of the fixed stars, which have seemed immovable for five thousand years. But what does this displacement, this new arrangement, concern us, if it is not to be fraught with numerous advantages for us? Those who are astonished by this announcement, may familiarize themselves with it, by meditating upon the most universally known law of nature, that of the contact of extremes; it would be violated, and the whole system of movement would be false, if the extreme key at the bottom, which is Man, were not in full participation of the government with the extreme key at the top, which is God; every violation of this law would untie the fundamental knot of movement, and introduce a radical absurdity in the work of creation.

Our Cosmogonists in their systems, universal and special, make no account of this primordial law; they depict for us a universe after their fashion, in which nothing is united, a pretended unity composed only of general incoherence, a God who establishes no bonds in the system of nature, a God who has no fixed relations, no mode of permanent revelation with his creatures, a father of the universe who does not communicate with his children, who has not even thought of their first want, that of a social code, a monster of a father who seeks to degrade us, to exclude us from the knowledge of destinies which he has inspired us with the curiosity of knowing. He is the sole distributor of attraction: would he not be the most odious of tyrants, if he had condemned us to a slate of ignorance, of indigence and of nullity, so opposed to the attraction which he has given us? According to these fine thinkers, the keys of harmony would have no influence upon one another; Man would have none upon his planet, upon his system, his universe, which on their side would have none upon Man. Thus our savans consider the universe as an orchestra in which every instrument, every musician plays according to his own fancy, without any agreement with the others; we see the contrary; a single instrument, which is false or out of tune, troubles the play of the whole orchestra; it is the same in the universe, where the derangement of one of the keys hinders the play of all the others.

The following Treatise will reveal a God and a universe very different from the pictures of our savans, a system of movement in which all is united, the supreme Chief of which wishes to exceed in generosity the expectation of his creatures. For Him it is little to unveil to us his laws upon the mechanism of nature and upon all the mysteries supposed impenetrable; He wishes also that Man should sit with him upon the throne of the universe, and enter into participation of the divine power, of the government of the worlds.

“Think you so!” some pleasant wit will say; “Do you wish to imitate the regenerators of ’89, who offered the people a part in the sovereignty, when all they asked was bread! A demand still urgently reiterated; and you reply by promising them a seat upon the throne of God, and a share in the direction of the universe. Ah! be less liberal, take more thought of what is most pressing, and give the people bread.”

This is a pleasantry a la Francaise, which conceals a good many absurdities under the mask of a bon-mot. We will remark here three of them:

  1. The theory which I publish does not proceed like our sciences, which promise the superfluous before providing for the necessary. I have already demonstrated that, before seating Man upon the throne of God, it will seat him at a good table, which is the first want and the first desire of every individual.
  2. It does not do God the wrong to demand of him only what is strictly necessary, bread; an insulting demand for a liberal father, who has the power and the will to give us superfluity. His social system not being contrived to procure us mediocrity, we shall seek in vain to discover that system, so long as we seek such mediocrity, which is its very antipodes.
  3. Those who argue from actual miseries against the blessings which I have shown, deceive themselves, since the excess of miseries in Civilization is the measure of the goods of Harmony, according to the rules of inverse proportion and of the contact of extremes. The more deeply we are plunged in the abyss, the more facilities we have for coming out of it, through the progress of the incoherent industry which has plunged us there.

These three observations suffice to show the weakness of certain fine talkers, who think by a play of words, or a captious thought, to invalidate all reasonings. France swarms with these presumptuous people; but the evils which the French sophists have just caused the world are enough to prove, that it is neither to the argumentative wranglers, nor the wits of this nation, that we must refer the judgment of a discovery upon which the fate of Humanity depends.



It is with the universe as with the uncertain sciences, until now; the more men reason about it, the less they comprehend it; and we are going to point out some amusing blunders on this subject. Indeed they have been carried to such a point, that it will be necessary to suppress the word Universe, to which they attach so many contradictory senses, that it becomes impossible to use it in a regular science; I have accordingly substituted for it the Polyverse and Polyversal, to designate the aggregate of what exists in the infinity of things finite.

Every one uses the word Universe in his own way. Our romancers in Cosmogony designate by this name the stellar spheroid or mass of visible stars: which has for its focus our sun and his system, for its vault the visible fixed stars, and for its outer envelope other invisible suns, which form the crust or shell of this stellar gourd, furnished on the inside with a single seed-vessel, which is the milky way. This is what they call the Universe; the aforesaid mass must have some name. But how shall we name those other balls of stars, similar to this, but placed beyond the reach of our glasses and more numerous than the atoms of our globe? If we call them all universes, what shall we call infinite matter and the infinite space in which it gravitates? There would then be a universe and universes; then the word universe in the singular would designate only an infinitely small portion of what exists.

I am not fond of quibbling about words: but it is necessary to show the ludicrousness of this must ludicrous of theories, in as much as it confounds the two extremes, infinite matter with a portion of matter which is but a point in space. What should we say of a man, who, picking up a grain of sand upon his grounds, should say: this grain composes all my domain? We should reply, you are jesting; this grain of sand is only an infinitely small portion of your domain. Equally great is our mistake when we think general matter limited to this ball of stars which we call the universe, and which is only a subdivision of matter smaller than is the smallest worm in comparison with our globe; for this globe having a determinate extent, an exact and definite proportion may be found between the worm and the globe; whereas matter and space being infinite, our universe is much smaller compared to them than a worm compared to our globe.

Nevertheless our universe is very vast, they say, since our telescopes cannot measure the distance from the earth to the nearest suns of the heavenly vault, still less to the ulterior suns which terminate this starry cluster. This appears great to our eyes; but a drop of water appears great to the eyes of a million of animalcules which live and move in that little space; a thimble-full of water would be for them a universe.

To appreciate the relative dimensions of this starry cluster, of which our sun and his system occupy the centre, let us imagine ourselves transported far beyond it, say to the distance of a million times the diameter of the said cluster. It would gradually become so small to our eyes, that we would cease to see it before we had reached half that distance; for every luminous mass becomes a point to the eye, which is removed 100,000 or even 10,000 diameters. Venus, a star of the same magnitude with our globe, seems already like a cherry, though it is only at a distance of 4,000 of its own diameters.

Thus our universe, seen at the distance of ten thousand of its own diameters, would appear to us a point, a little star; we should see it confounded with anthills of other points or similar universes; presently we should see these universes agglomerated by millions forming only one ball, which would be a Binuverse, or spherical mass of universes distributed like the stars and systems in our own.

As we receded from this Binuverse to the distance of 10,000, 100,000, 1,000,000, of its diameters, we should see a crowd of Binuverses, distributed like our stars, and forming a spherical Trinuverse, or note two degrees higher in the scale than our Universe. Then continuing to recede, we should see Quatruverses, Deciuniverses, Vingtiuniverses, Centiuniverses, Milliuniverses, or note of the thousandth power in the scale of harmonic creatures.

Let us reason only on the third power. Supposing that it requires a million universes like ours to form a Binuverse; then it will take about a million Binuniverses to from a Trinuverse, which would contain already a trillion universes like ours; and the whole would be no bigger than a point to the eye placed at a distance of 10,000 of its diameter.

Without pushing the progression any further, I have said enough to show the ludicrous position of those who think they see the limits of the world when they see the ulterior stars, and who do not comprehend that this cluster of stars, named universe, is but a proportional atom. I compare them to the silk-worm, who, shut up in his cocoon, should believe that there existed nothing outside of that little cell. We have committed a similar mistake about our little starry cell, which we call Universe. According to the prejudices and false ideas attached to this word, it will be impossible to make use of it to designate the aggregate of matter and its distributions; we shall have to proceed to a methodical nomenclature of the creatures or notes (touches) of Harmony which compose the world, the general system of matter.

But let as not engage at first in these immense details. I refer them to the chapters in which I shall class those great creatures which are formed of centillions of universes like ours; and I shall give the name of Polyverse to the general series of those creatures or notes of Harmony, and limit myself to indicating one octave, commencing with the lowest note, which is Man.

Polyversal Gamut.—First Octave.

Ut, Monoverse, a Human Couple.

Re, Biverse, a Planet.

Mi, Triverse, a Universe.

Fa, Quatriverse, 1,000,000 Universes.

Sol, Quintiverse, 1,000,000,000,000 Universes

La, Sextiverse, 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 Universes

Si, Septiverse, 1 followed by 48 zeros (Quinzillion) Universes

Ut, Octivers, 1 followed by 96 zeros (23illion) Universes

This table denotes that the mass which we name universe is a creature of the third degree, and that if we ascend only to the sixth note, it will require a septillon of universes to form it. Judge, then, how small a thing is a universe, and what a contradiction is implied in the ordinary use of the term. Nevertheless, to capitulate as far as possible with usage, I can easily preserve the name of universe as applied to this starry cluster of which our sun occupies the centre, and which ought in the exact gamut to be called a Triverse, since it is a note of the third degree. It will be borne in mind that by the name Polyverse I designate all the notes of the scale, of which I have named only the first octave.

Keeping within the limits of our universe in this first sketch, I will not startle the reader by proposing a voyage among those stars of the vault which they pretend are so remote, but which are in fact much less so than is commonly believed. We will begin with the examination of the objects which are nearest, like our planets and comets.

Here it is embarrassing to adopt a regular method, since it would be necessary to proceed either by analysis or synthesis, and either would be irksome to the reader. To follow analysis, descending from the whole to the details, I should reason first about our universe, its destiny, its age, its relations with the neighboring universes which we do not see. So, in teaching a child Geography, they begin with the map of the world, the aggregate of the thing to be studied, But this method would repulse the reader; it is enough to have given one chapter upon it, that of the Polyverse.

Equally injudicious would it be to proceed by synthesis. Passing from one extreme to the other, we should have to begin with the mechanism of atoms, which, in spite of their littleness, would appear overwhelming, like the enormous Quintiverses and Sextiverses. What rule then must we follow? If we cannot proceed either by analysis or by synthesis, we must adopt an irregular initiation, put ourselves upon a level with the reader without being subjected to any tedious order, let the pedants who dream of nothing but method and style say what they will, commit a hundred sins against method and rhetoric, as occasion may require; provided we can only initiate minds gently and insensibly, every method is good which attains the end. D’Alembert has been criticized for proposing to study history backwards, commencing with the present and finishing with the past. This method would be good for certain minds; the only false method is that which wishes to subject all to one uniform rule; unity or harmony is composed of varieties and not of monotony.

I shall endeavor to distribute the subjects in the order which I believe to be the most engaging; I shall begin with those about which there has been much vague talk, but little knowledge, as the comets, the suns, the diseases of planets, and especially those of our globe; from them I shall pass to subjects less familiar.



Some moderns have suspected, with reason, that there existed among the planets other bonds of harmony, besides those of weight gravitation. I have read in a poem (The Martyrs, of Chateaubriand,) “that various of the elect occupy themselves in the other life with studying the mysteries of the harmony of the celestial spheres.” Now, as the number of the elect will be very small, according to the prediction in the Gospel: For many are called, but few are chosen, nine tenths of us may fear that we shall not participate after death in the information of the elect about the sidereal harmony, but that we shall be plunged rather into Gehenna, where there is only weeping and gnashing of teeth. Consequently, it will be prudent in the lovers of science to seek to initiate themselves during the present life into these mysteries of the harmony of the celestial spheres, the knowledge of which must be very interesting, since it forms the recreation of the most learned among the elect.

Those who have taken the planets for inanimate bodies, without functions, and limited to certain geometrical promenades, resemble somewhat the idiots who should think the brain inanimate, because it has no visible function, or the belly idle, because it performs no visible labor, like the members. We have always reproached the civilizées with believing nature limited to known effects. If the planets were not creatures animated and provided with functions, then would God be the friend of idleness; he would have created universes filled with great inert bodies passing eternity in promenading up and down, like our idle gentry. They found this opinion on the fact that the planets have no other employment known to us: it is like supposing that the leaves of a plant have nothing to do with fructification, because we see no outward sign of their elaboration of the juices.

The creatures of the different degrees of the Polyversal scale all have the use of the twelve radical passions, but they differ as to the mode of exercising them. It is gross with man, who is a creature of transition, since he is the last in the scale. Thus man seeks nourishment in coarse substances, but the planet in substances more subtle, which we call Aromas. The vulgar notion that the sun drinks up comets is doubtless a great error, but it is less ridiculous than that of the learned world who believe that the stars feed on nothing, that they have not, like us, the use of the five senses, sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch: they have them in a much more perfect degree than we have.

There has been much speculation upon the nature and properties of comets; almost nothing has been ventured upon that of planets. Silence is commendable when one has nothing to teach. Might it please God that men would be silent about so many subjects which they have made more and more perplexed, such as the uncertain sciences, so called!

It is only within a short time that they have begun to attribute some functions to the planets, such as the shedding of aromas upon the sun. It has required ages to obtain this slight concession: so then the moderns have come to believe that the planets are not altogether inert, and that God has not created universes of idlers. It seems to me that Messieurs Mankind might, without any great stretch of liberality, have accorded to the great planetary body which bears them on its surface, those faculties at least which man enjoys. They have not even granted the planets a soul; a refusal by no means surprizing on the part of our century, which has tried to retrench that from man and from the universe itself, since they have wished to suppress God, who is the pivotal soul.

Every planet has, not only, like us, the twelve radical passions, but it has, what we have not, twelve radical aromas analogous to those passions, and susceptible, like them, of combinations without number. By aromal communications are effected all the relations of these great bodies, which execute labors as active as they are varied, although invisible to us; but we may acquire about these mysteries very interesting knowledge, which has been absurdly supposed reserved to the elect.

The theory of the aromal movement will dissipate numerous prejudices, and in the first place those against comets, which so alarm people. They are an aromal troop, whose mission it is to nourish the sun and the planets, and their approach is a subject of joy for all the heavenly bodies. They never can cause the slightest evil. Every star imbibes from them various juices, and sheds upon them others necessary to their temperament.

The planets and comets shoot forth jets or fusees of aromas as rapidly as light, which travels more than 4,000,000, of leagues per minute. Light is the only visible aroma; it holds among the radical aromas the same place with the passion Unityism, which is the compound of all the others. This aroma contains other colors besides the seven visible rays. It can furnish thirty-two, without including white; but our globe is not in a condition to obtain them. It is at the minimum of communication. Hence it comes that it extracts only seven colors; it will not obtain a larger number until its atmosphere is regenerated.

Every planet has, according to its degree, one or more dominant aromas, besides tonics. The distribution in this regard, is the same with that of character.

A planet of the first or lowest degree, like the moons of Jupiter, Saturn, or Herschel has but one dominant aroma. The planets of the second degree, like those three cardinals and our globe, have two dominant aromas of which one is pivotal. These classes of stars correspond to the characters indicated by the name monogynes and dygynes. Our sun is of the degree pentagyne, and has four dominant aromas. Mars, Venus, Bellona, and Sappho, are of the degree mono-mixt, which has a mixture of aromas. Let us remark that the predominance of one aroma does not prevent the star from having the eleven others, and from making certain uses of them.

The sidereal aromas have a perfume with which man is acquainted: in the jonquille we have the pivotal aroma of Jupiter; the violet contains the pivotal aroma of our globe; the rose gives the dominant aroma of Mercury. Each of these plants was created by the star whose aroma it transmits to us. We shall see in the sequel how the stars execute these creations; it is the most interesting part of their mechanism.

I have promised that I would limit myself to satisfying curiosity, without subjecting myself to methodic formulas: in the mean time, without violating at pleasure the rules of method, I have commenced with a subject, the aromal movement, which was not the first one to be treated: I shall be obliged to follow it and devote to it at least the entire section.

I anticipate many questions which people will make haste to put to me; and first, about the generation of the stars: “How do the planets reproduce their species? We do not see them engender little planets (planetons.) Why do they not grow in size, as we do? and are they fixed in dimension? If they are indeed animated bodies, they ought to be subject to the phenomena of growth, reproduction, death, &c.; but we do not see a shadow of these modifications.”

I reply. These are not the most important notions to be acquired; there are others that more nearly touch our interests; among them, those concerning the labor of the planets, of which I shall speak in the following chapter. Meanwhile, I give the present article, which is out of course, and which will help to keep the reader in patience.

The germs of stars are deposited and nursed in the Milky Way, whence they come forth in swarms of comets, which travel for a long time, and usually gravitate about various suns, before they become fixed in a plane in one system.

The aforesaid germs are engendered by the aromal communication of the planets with one another and with their sun. It is not yet time to enter into these details.

We see generation effected in various manners under our own eyes: a dog, a hen, a carp, a bee differ widely in the details of generation and education. A planet follows still other methods. Nature is infinitely various in means, but the functions are essentially the same; it is always generation under different forms, and we cannot too often repeat, upon this subject, that we must not believe nature limited to effects known to us, nor think that the planets do not raise up offspring, because we are ignorant of their processes in this.

It is the same with respect to education and growth, the forms of which vary: we do not see a planet grow, and yet it waxes and wanes, but in its aromal capacity. Let us use a comparison. A strong liquor is not worth on the first day what it will be after being kept ten years bottled. Yet it will not have increased in volume: it will have become more refined in quality. A violin, fresh from the maker’s hands, is worth little; in twenty years it acquires much power, without augmenting its volume. It is the same with a planet: it is a body immoveable in dimension, though variable in qualities (titres) which have their increasing and decreasing periods. The quality of ours was one of the most gross at the epoch of the primitive creations; thus its offspring were excessively vicious, witness the one hundred and thirty species of serpents. You cannot, with bad aromas, produce good creations. The planet has since become refined, and in the next creations it will give a very precious inventory. Our planet, in spite of this original vice, is of a vigorous species. It may be compared to those children covered with eruptions in the cradle, which disappear with time, and are succeeded by a good humoral system.

The planets, without changing their dimensions, undergo modifications of atmosphere, adjacent or transjacent. I call adjacent atmosphere that which is contiguous to the planet, as the air which we breathe. The transjacent atmosphere is composed of fluids annexed to the planet and placed at a distance from it in a circular, spherical, or other form. The rings of Saturn, and the crystalline sphere of the sun are transjacent atmospheres, detached from the body, and at a great distance from it. Our little globe will lave two rings like that of Saturn, of which it is the conjugal planet in the major octave. * * *



Philosophers and superstitious people have given us such absurd ideas of God, that it is no wonder that our age mistakes Him. So far from creating the stars for idleness, he employs them in immense labors of graduated harmony; that is to say, one star elaborates juices for the two orders of creatures above and below itself; it furnishes aromas for its universe which is one degree higher in the scale; it also furnishes them for the men of each planet, although man is of a degree inferior to the star; but all is united in the system of movement, and the different creatures aid one another in every sense. Jupiter, Saturn, &c,, who seem to have no relation with us men, do labor very actively for us. They hold in reserve certain aromas, destined especially for the service of our planet and of us, aromas whose contributions we shall be able to receive, whenever it shall please us to enter into communion with the stars by the organization of Harmony.

The part of these aromas, which is assigned to the service of man, will be consumed in creations of the four kingdoms; at present we have only a creation, of which we should be very weary; for it keeps us in an extreme poverty, obliges us to war incessantly against the atmospheric scourges, against the vices of temperature, against destructive animals and parasitical plants. This is only a provisional outfit, such as could be made with the gross aromas which the planet furnished at its origin.

Each substance of the different kingdoms is the product of an aroma, shed by one of the stars, and combined with that of the planet. The ox is born of an aroma shed by Jupiter; the horse of an aroma shed by Saturn; the rose of an aroma shed by Mercury; the pink of an aroma shed by Hebe, the eighth satellite of Herschel. The operation is nearly the same with that of our gardeners: we sow seeds, which contain a germ that will combine in fermentation with the juices of the earth. Thus, when Jupiter shed upon us the seeds of the ox, they had to be received and elaborated in the bosom of the planet, then thrown out at different points of its surface, where they produced the first herds of oxen.

Thirty thousand plants, which we enjoy, were the product of thirty thousand influxes (co-plantations[1]) received into the earth from different stars. It takes time for the planet to receive and elaborate the germs. The tradition which pretends that the creation was made in six days, would have done better to have estimated the duration of the work at six centuries, at least. It would be no benefit to the planets to have the toil abridged, since it is for them a source of pleasures, a struggle of ambition, of self-love, in which each displays its ability in competition. Each of their products is seen and judged by the other planets. Saturn, the creator of the flea, had to undergo censure upon this object, as well as upon the horse.

If the creations had been achieved in six days, or in six weeks, the planets would soon have been reduced to the negative pleasure of idleness, so praised in our times. Bella cosa far niente, say the Italians. They have reason, so long as Civilization lasts; there is certainly more pleasure in doing nothing, than in toiling excessively, like our peasants and our mechanics, and getting neither bread, nor wine, nor clothing; but the planets, which are bodies constituted in harmony, have as much pleasure and ardour in their labors as the groups which we have described, so that it would be very irksome for them to have nothing to do; there is always something to be created on some one of the thirty-two globes, and especially upon the interior Sun, which has no holiday in this respect. If our globe is excluded for the moment from cooperation in this labor, there remains a vast field for industry in the other stars, of which the cardinals and mixt ought to receive, each, twenty-four creations, besides the pivotal one. As to the moons, they have only twelve creations, and the pivotal. This number should be extended to sixty for the Sun. We may presume, then, that the stars have commonly three or four creations in full labor, and others just commenced or nearly finished. They hasten those which are disagreeable, like the two whose productions we see upon the globe (I will class them hereafter,) and for which the sidereal cohort had to operate upon vitiated or gross aromas; but they are not precipitous with those that are executed upon aromas of a good quality. Hence it comes, that the creations 3 and 4, which will take place in rapid succession upon our globe, soon after the foundation of Harmony, will be accelerated, while the beautiful creation 5 (major transition,) which will commence about 400 years after Harmony, will go on more deliberately.

The creations being the furnishings of the globe, which have to be renewed from time to time, and which are no longer of use after a certain lapse of centuries, every globe, or rather, every monoverse, or human race upon a globe, is free to preserve those of its productions which may be usefully combined with the new furnishings; for example, it is very certain that our globe will retain the horse after the next creation, although that will furnish new species of carriers; but it is doubtful whether it will retain the ass, except as a curiosity, because the said creation will give for the same kind of service porters more agreeable and not so vicious. The ass, by his sobriety, may suit in a society of mendicants and beggars, like the civilizees, who dispute the very bones with the dogs to make soup of them for their citizens; but in a society, in which extreme abundance will reign, and in which the dogs of the court yard will fare better than our mechanics, they will have no farther need of animals in which the useless merit of sobriety will not balance their numerous defects. Hence I presume the asses will be suppressed from the service of Harmony, which, however, will preserve the zebras from this creation, and know how to tame them. For the rest, this is a rough calculation, which may apply to all the animals and plants of little value. As to the asses, I do not pretend that the horoscope of their suppression is a judgment without appeal, for I have no desire to discompose the Brotherhood of Asses, which is said to be numerous and powerful in Civilization.

On the subject of creations, let us dissipate some of the ridiculous prejudices which the civilizees carry into every study relative to movement. I have already remarked upon the absurdity of believing that the creation produced only a single man, a single ass, a single cabbage, a single radish. There is another foolish notion, into which every one thinks it would be irreligious not to fall: it is the attributing to God all the labor of the creations, and supposing that he has left nothing to be done by the creatures themselves, by men, planets, &c. Ask a civilizee: Who created cabbages? He will answer: God.—Well, who created asses?—God.—Did he then create every thing, even men?—Undoubtedly. Who else should have created them?—With this stupid answer, you behold him more learned than they will be in Harmony after a century of studies; for it will require at least that time to disentangle and classify the work of actual creation, which is very complicated, especially in the vegetable kingdom, where about thirty thousand problems of origin present themselves. Some of them I shall resolve in the part which treats of application. Let us reason about this strange prejudice that God has created every thing. It would follow that God is a despot, and the stars legions of drones. I shall follow my custom in such matters, and prepare the mind by a comparison. Let us suppose ourselves in the country, a hundred leagues from the residence of the king, and having the following conversation with a laborer: Who has the care of this grain?—The king.—Ah! well, who planted these vines?—The king.—You are joking! the king, then, has all the work to himself here. Was it he who planted this orchard, this garden?—Without doubt. Who else did?—Who! why the cultivators, you and your neighbors. It is their work!—What audacity! do you not recognize the authority of the king, then?—Certainly; but I do not confound his authority with his functions, which are to watch over and direct the aggregate of the labors of the kingdom, and to distribute them by gradation from ministers to governors, and so down to laborers.—But the king has all power!—Agreed. Nevertheless, if he can do all, he does not do all; he leaves a portion of the work to each of his subjects, he limits himself to governing the whole, and occupying every body as much as possible; and although he has the right to sow and to plant, it was not he who planted your cabbages.—How! you deny the omnipotence of the king! you are a conspirator.—And you are but half-witted. Adieu.

The stupidity of this laborer would be the same with that of the civilizees who pretend that God has created every thing. What would remain for the planet’s to do, if God did every thing? Why does he not come to till and sow our lands and reap our harvests? The act by which thirty two families sow and cultivate their canton, is the same, in the scale of movement, with that by which thirty-two planets elaborate and furnish one of their number with aromal germs, from which a creation springs. The farmers, every year, recommence their operation and vary it in divers ways; and just so the planets, after some interval, say four or five thousand years for our globe, reiterate and vary the work of creation, which furnishes them, as well as men, with the germs of harvests; for the aromas of eatable and other plants which a globe sheds upon different planets, are of a quality proportioned to the perfection of the germs with which it is furnished, as well in the aromal kingdom, as in the animal, vegetable and mineral kingdoms. All is united in the system of movement. A planet, badly organized in its four kingdoms,[2] is for the other planets, what a wild tree is for us, which bears inedible fruit; it is like a patch of garden covered with bad herbs, and entirely unproductive. Such is our planet, a useless member for the aromal support and for all harmonic intercourse with the others. The other planets are burning with impatience to be able to put ours under cultivation, and re-furnish it with a new creation more profitable for themselves and for us; an effect impossible since the first creation, when the aromas of the globe, still altogether vitiated, made it necessary to adopt the subversive system, or creation in counter-type, which yields the useful products only by way of an infinitely small exception.

I have sufficiently shown that a creation is the concurrent work of all the planets, in which each one intervenes according to its qualities; the details I will give hereafter. I will show by what method we discern the work of each. Till then, if we ask of the civilizees: Who created cabbages? Who created plums? they ought to answer: We know nothing at all about it. We are ignorant of the laws of Aromal movement, of the origin and distribution of the primitive germs. They should beware of answering: It was God who created the plums. He did, without doubt, create the germs or original aromas; they were distributed among the highest beings in the scale, the milliverses, who again divided them amongst the centiverses; these, amongst the deciverses, noniverses, octiverses, down to inverses or universes; these distribute them to the biverses or planets, and these to monoverses or men, who cultivate them. But, if every thing comes from God, it does not follow that God made every thing; and when we see “in the name of the King” on a proclamation, it does not follow that the king made the paper and the paste, that he composed the contents, printed and posted up the placard; but only that every act is made under his supervision and in the name of the royal officers. It is just so with every property and function assigned to the planets; the whole emanates from God through degrees of superior functionaries, who regulate the harmonic manœuvre according to the instructions and primordial will of God; but it is necessary to refer each subaltern operation to the one who has executed it. If they ask you: Who created cabbages? answer: Herschel. And who created plums? The satellites of Herschel, each one modelling according to its dominant passion.

I will not stop to give an aromal catechism after this fashion, which would lead us too far, since the vegetable kingdom alone would furnish thirty thousand questions of origin, and a thousand times more, thirty millions of questions, about the properties and modifications of each vegetable species. What would it be with the other kingdoms? Each of these questions demands studies, researches, upon which I have often run aground after long labor, although I possess the key to this science. I have in vain sought what star has made us a present of the toad; my suspicions rest upon Mars. I have all along limited myself to some few of the most remarkable problems, which will suffice to put naturalists and competent persons upon the track, and open to them a career as new as it is immense, the explanation of the causes and rules of creation, of which thus far they have only studied the effects. Le: us give an instance of this, drawn from the cabbages, or from the plums, since in these vegetables the French are connoisseurs. I continue the aromal catechism, from which I extract a quadrille of hieroglyphics concerning Love.

Who created the Reine-Claude plum? Hebe, the eighth satellite of Herschel, (shedding an aroma in the dominant of fidelity.)

Who created the Golden Drop plum? Cleopatra, a satellite of Herschel (shedding an aroma in the dominant of coquetry.)

Who created the Apricot, the pivotal fruit among plums? Herschel, the Cardinal of Love (shedding the pivotal aroma of matronage.)

Who created the Peach plum, called Brugnon?

Sappho, an ambiguous planet in the Scale of Love (shedding a mixt aroma in the dominants of Sapphism (sentimental love) and Prudery.)

The questions of causes will turn first upon the general plan adopted before creating plums and all the other products which are the work of the different satellites of Herschel. How did they class the characters and functions of Love, represented allegorically by the Apricots and Plums! how did they distribute the different parts among the ten planets of the Scale of Love? how regulate the competency of each to represent such a table of the effects of Love? Why was it ordained that the fruit of Hebe should be green sprinkled with white? that the fruit of Cleopatra should be yellow, touched with a purple spot? How may we be assured that these arrangements were the regular emblems of such a species of Love? Finally, what were the discussions and calculations after which they resolved upon the forms, colors, tastes, and good or bad properties to be distributed among these different fruits, so as faithfully to represent the effects of Love in the human species, whose passions should be depicted in every created object?

On this point, our naturalists will ‘reply that they did not “assist” at the council of amorous allegories held by these gallant planets, before the creation of plums, and that it is for me to render an account of their deliberations, if I was present. Assuredly I was not there: but, as the discoverer of the science by which the causes and rules of creation are determined, I might reply to these various questions. It is enough for me to show the immensity of this new science, which is going to give a soul to all Nature by holding up to us the portraits of our passions, our characters, our perfidies and our duperies, in all the works of Nature, every one of whose products had seemed to us an enigma not to be deciphered. Every veil shall be lifted, if you will only take the trouble to do it, and all studious men will have an ample harvest to gather in.

We are only preluding on this subject, and combating the shameful prejudice, which supposes the universes and their planets plunged in idleness. Of all the injuries which can be done to God, there is none greater than to suppose him the friend and protector of laziness. The author of movement, then, knows how to create only idle worlds! and this is the opinion of a century which boasts of having carried reason to perfection! O nineteenth century! if the kingdom of heaven belongs to the poor in spirit, what an eminent rank must thou occupy in it, as a recompense for thy stupid smartness (bel esprit), which is so different a thing from good understanding! (bon esprit.)

The prejudice, which supposes God to have created every thing, justifies in fact the atheists and materialists; for a creation so vicious in its productions, engendering societies so favorable to vice, gives room for so many recriminations against God, that men are pardonable for doubting his existence rather than attribute this shameful work to him; but if we admit that creatures may create, like God, by employing the germs originally distributed by him, they may commit faults, and the universes in their operations blunder sometimes, as well as our architects and laborers. Think you, our universe, which is yet young, has never committed a mistake? I shall point some out, and you will see that it is not the fault of God if our globe is furnished with so disastrous a creation and afflicted with so many miseries. Neither is it the fault of our thirty-two planets, which have operated as well as possible; but it is the fault of our universe, which acted precipitately and without due consideration in organizing its pivotal system. We shall see hereafter that this folly caused the loss of a cardinal planet of Friendship, which held this seat before our globe, and revolved in the same orbit. The replacing it by our globe gave room for other faults; for always one mistake draws on another. Errors are difficult and slow to repair. The operations of the sidereal vault requiring several thousand years, we have labored for eighteen hundred years past on the operation which is to repair all; I shall speak of it in a special chapter.

Thus far, we conceive that the disorders of the universe ought not to be attributed to God, but to creatures misusing their free will; and in the object which now occupies us, it is the whole sidereal vault, the whole Areopagus of fixed stars, which has committed a fault, with regard to our system and our globe; but if you suppose that God created all, then God alone must be accused, and his universes will be only monuments of despotism, fatalism and indolence. We suppose God like the lion in the fable, who divided the booty into four parts for his associates, and ate all four himself.—Meanwhile, if there is unity in his system, why did he destine man alone to labor, while the superior creatures, the biverses, called planets, and the triverses, called universes, run their whole career in idleness?

This hypothesis plunges us into a crowd of inconsistencies; and in the first place, if the planets do nothing, cultivate nothing, produce nothing for one another, on what are they nourished, and what can be their bonds of harmony? What charms can hold them by attraction in the plane in which we see them fixed? To solve the difficulty, our savans decide that our planets do not eat; but if they do not labor, nor eat, nor perform other necessary functions, if they have not the use of the passions, sensual and spiritual, their functions are reduced to mere promenades! They are then automata, deprived of free will and mechanically applicable to any uses! In this case, the government of the universe is only an act of despotism on the part of God. He deprives himself of the chances of variety, which might spread a charm over his dominion. He imitates a king who, playing at cards with his minister, should wish to choose his hand, and leave no room for chance; the consequence would be ennui for both of them; can we presume that God, the infinitely wise, would commit such a fault in reducing to the part of automata the creatures whom he governs. Our philosophical and religious dogmas, in refusing to the stars industrial and creative functions, have infected with fatalism all the theories of movement; and to this day our foolishness in this sort is equal to that of the good simpletons who cannot break a pot without exclaiming: God’s will be done! They deceive themselves; it is not God’s will that there should be maladress or idleness; as a wise distributor, he wishes that creatures of all degrees should participate in the labors and delights, reserving to himself only the perpetual impulse or attraction, that it may be distributed unitarily, and leaving to the creatures the free will, the power to operate harmoniously for their happiness, or incoherently for their misery; since from the sub-divisions of Harmony and of the subversive order, spring the innumerable chances which form the stimulus of all creatures and of God himself.

Our planets, faithful to his intentions, pursue their harmonic labors of creation; while we think them idle, they are ready to give us a brilliant catalogue in the place of our hundred and thirty serpents and other reptiles hatched from the two first creations. It requires all the effrontery of the naturalists to flatter nature for a work so disgusting.

I have said nothing of the other functions of the planets; it is enough to have commenced with dissipating the prejudice upon a single one of these functions, that of production. In other chapters we shall treat of matters pertaining to the consumption, reproduction and passional mechanism of these stars, which are quite identical with ours, in spite of the variety of methods and processes. It is always, at bottom, the development of the twelve passions, subject, as to forms, to innumerable differences, as I have remarked on the subject of the reproduction of animals.

In truth, we see nothing of all this mechanism of the stars; the aroma is not visible by us. If we could perceive it, we should see the whole planetary air occupied by a crowd of aromal columns crossing it in all directions. We do not see the magnetic fluid, whose circulation about our globe is well established by the motion of the needle which it governs. We do not see the seven colors which exist in the solar ray, before the prism has divided them. We do not see certain other aromas, such as that of electricity, which nevertheless make themselves felt: is it astonishing that we do not see the agents of communication between the planets, and the transmissions of aromal and other substances which take place habitually in their society, from which our planet is excluded? The great planetary atmosphere is all furrowed by these columns of aromas, which traverse it in all directions, and cross each other like the bullets on a field of battle. The planets absorb and give out these aromas in various ways; an aroma of reproduction is absorbed by the poles, an aroma of manducation by the equator, one of plantation or of seed by various latitudes which favor its development; and so with the others, for the planet has points especially adapted to the exercise of each sense. All this mechanism, invisible to us, exists none the less, and it must be repeated for the hundredth time, that men judge nature falsely, when they believe her limited to known resources, to effects and phenomena which fall under our senses.

Is it astonishing that they have been so slow to recognize the interior mechanism of the planets? It is but yesterday that we have known that of the objects contiguous to us: the circulation of the blood, the sexual functions of plants. We believed for twenty-five learned centuries, that nothing, except nourishment, circulated in our body; that the blood, the humors and the corporeal fluids were stationary; that the veins, arteries and glands were in a state of lethargy, condemned to inactivity. Have we not, moreover, thought that the leaves of plants were without functions! It was not known that, the leaf labors as well as the root, that it absorbs the juices to carry them to the trunk, which sends them back into the. wood and the fruit, after elaboration. Now if for twenty-five centuries, we were too ignorant to judge either of the mechanism of our bodies, or that of plants which we had under our hands, is it surprising that we should have erred about the mechanism of the great planetary body, which is, like ourselves and our vegetables, a collection of springs and channels, in which circulate a crowd of fluids inspired and set in operation by the star, to be again respired and distributed amongst other stars.

But how can stars so far from one another talk together? What writing, or what concert can they have? How can they do this? And how can they do that? One might soon fill a page with these questions; but am I expected to explain all in a single chapter? and is it not time to finish this one? The important point was to dissipate that grossest of all prejudices, which establishes the inertia of the stars. Our savans reason continually about the unity of analogy, without ever wishing to subordinate thereto their speculative calculations, since they know in the polyversal scale but three creatures, man or the monoverse, the planet or biverse, and universe or triverse. If yon wish to suppose unity, let us attribute to these creatures passions and labors, as well as to ourselves. We may be deceived in the determination of the labors, it is true; but at least let us hold fast to the principle, and discuss at leisure the details, the most probable mode of passional and industrial relations of the stars. We will examine the different problems in succession. Let us continue first upon the aromal industry before passing to the other planetary functions.



Mineral Kingdom, Vegetable Kingdom, Animal Kingdom.

I have designated by the term terrestrial furnishings (mobilier terrestre) the product of the creations made upon the surface of a planet. They furnish also its interior, for new aromas may be created, which penetrate the body of the planet. We have seen that on the satellites or moons, keys of the first degree, the creations number only 12, besides pivotal one, which is never counted. Upon the cardinal planets, like our globe, they are of the number of 24, distributed as follows:

I have said that we can obtain at will the two creations numbered 3, neuter simple, and 4, neuter composite, because the simple (which will take place, like the second, pivotally on the American continent) is adapted to the seventh social period indicated in the table. Now as we shall omit this period, to pass immediately to the eighth, we shall be able to have the two creations simultaneously, the materials being ready. The aromas of the globe, all vitiated as its system is, exist not the less in a degree sufficient for Harmony. A very short operation, which the planet itself will execute by its boreal ring, will suffice to purge them and refine them. Once raised to the rank of the fourth creation, the third will be all the easier. For this reason they will be put together, twin-like, and will commence, one upon the new, the other upon the old continent, immediately after the inauguration of Harmony. So, every man now living may flatter himself that he will see them, but not in their completeness, for, in spite of the extreme acceleration with which the stars will Ret about it, the work will occupy at least a sieclade, one hundred and forty-four years, but it will be urged on without regard to regular methods. The planetary system will engage in the work, every other business being suspended, because it has pressing need of reinstalling our planet in its functions, where it cannot enter fully without new furnishings or a complete equipment. They will proceed as men do where there i» danger of inundation, when all hands are called out to remove in a couple of hours the crops, which ordinarily could not be gathered in less than two days.

A globe which should not periodically receive new creations, would fall into the same exhaustion with a field which is over-cultivated and never manured. We should see the vegetation degenerate into a bastard growth. Such is the state of our globe: it is a field run out. The creation which we are using will be sufficient to serve during the course of the obscure Lymb, provided the duration of the Lymb do not exceed a certain time, and they do not force the matter, as has happened. Thus the actual creation can no longer suffice for our globe. Let us examine its unsuitableness in the different kingdoms.

In the Mineral kingdom, we soon shall have no more gold and silver. We are stripped of diamonds and precious stones: we are stripped of various minerals very useful in industry, as platina, zinc, antimony, and even tin and mercury. America, or three centuries, has supplied the world with metals and diamonds, because she was yet virgin; but she is already a faded beauty. Potosi today is only Potosi in name: it is a mine in its last agonies. Mexico still yields, but she is sensibly in a decline. They count upon the interior of Africa; it is certain that it conceals more than one Potosi, thanks to the absence of civilization; for the civilizees soon use up the mines. Moreover Africa has mines in the shape of sand, containing gold, open the surface of the earth, as abundant as the iron in the fields of Franche-Comté. Africa is the corps de reserve of the globe in mineralogy. The English know that very well, and send there swarms of travellers under the pretext of philanthropy and geographical explorations. It is evident that the secret end of these philanthropists is to discover the Potosis of Africa, after which it will be easy to enter into understanding with the petty kings of the country for the exploitation: inasmuch as the cannon law, in addition to the means of seduction and of intrigue, would soon bring them to terms; and England would find brilliant resources in Africa; she would succeed there sooner or later, and venturing some caravans with presents, she would finish by immersing herself in the very midst of its wealth.

This perspective is nothing but a subject of alarm, in a mineralogical, and still more in a political point of view. The poor continentals are already slaves enough of the commercial Minotaur; and once let England get possession of the mines of Africa, mines untouched and consequently very fruitful for two or three centuries to come, and soon, of necessity, the whole continent will be reduced to a slavery still more horrible, if that be possible. Europe to-day does service, like a day-laborer, who sells himself for a determinate time, for the harvest or the vintage, in other words as long as the funds hold out; but if England gets hold of the mines of Africa, miserable Europe will finish like the poor villagers, who abandon the plough and go into domestic service.

Let us view this subject on a larger scale; let us abstract the three centuries of domestic servitude which this event would cause for Europe, and suppose ourselves arrived at the epoch when the mines of Africa shall be in as declining a state as those of America, and soon after exhausted, as Mexico will be within a century. Five hundred years will suffice for this. Then there will remain nothing in the way of precious mines upon the globe; the only resource left will be the 400,000 volumes of philosophy, which teach that gold and silver are vile metals, perfidious metals, which ought to be sunk in the bottom of the sea; still, they are less perfidious than copper, which poisons us, and causes sometimes the death of a whole family by the use of a copper kettle overlaid with verdigris. Gold, vile as they may call it, cannot play us such a trick. It is permissible, therefore, to esteem gold, whatever the philosophers may say of it, and to contemplate with alarm the time when the gold and silver of the globe shall begin to fail. So many people are alarmed already at the idea of wanting these vile metals! What will it be when all the mines are exhausted; when the goldsmith’s uses, and meltings down, when the mania for burying treasures in the ground, so common in India and in Europe since the revolutions, when shipwrecks and other absorbents shall have consumed the whole!

Then shall we have to resort to Spartan virtues, to money of iron or copper? But copper itself will be exhausted; the mines of Coperberg and Ekaterniburg are not far from their decline, if they have not already reached it; and what will become of our globe within a thousand years, if it is to receive no new creation in the Mineral as well as other kingdoms? So, as long as we occupy ourselves only with scientific moonshine, with the perceptions of sensation, of intuition, of cognition, it is too certain that all which pertains to the solid goods will go on declining; and it is no trifling damage, this speedy loss of the precious metals, already so rare even during the fertility of the mines! They never yet have furnished wherewithal to meet the demands of urgent utility, such as the table service of silver. Nine tenths of the human race are reduced to spoons of tin, iron or wood. What poverty! Diogenes and Seneca will not persuade us that a service of iron is as convenient as one of silver; that a copper tea-pot, liable to verdigris, is worth as much as one of silver, which cannot hurt us; and on this point, as on so many others, we must feel the want of a new creation, which will give us in abundance the pure metals, so necessary to domestic uses. The actual creation has given us the good only as the exception; in the next it will predominate; it will furnish us with gold and silver sowed in grains, like the iron on the surface of certain countries, which will have foundries of gold, as they have now of iron. Then, (and this may commence within five years,) the whole of the poorer class of the human race, composing two thirds of the population, will be served, for economy, in solid plate. Iron fixtures, as those pertaining to harness, locks, arms and kitchen utensils, in short every thing which man will have to handle, will be wrought only in the pure metals, brilliant, and exempt from rust or poison, as gold and silver and platina are to-day, as many other metals will be, which the creation will afford us in as great abundance as this, present creation has afforded iron, copper and other impure substances: how could it have failed to lavish upon us these unclean productions in the mineral, vegetable and animal kingdoms, since it had to represent, hieroglyphically, the effects of the passions, which engender nothing but political uncleanness during the obscure Lymb, or the civilized, barbarous and savage! chaos?

The same observations apply to diamonds and precious stones, to pearls, marbles, and whatever precious things the mineral kingdom produces. The primitive creation has given us these various objects with a parsimony truly ironical, j It seems as if Nature meant to say to us:’ “I could create the good, but I limit myself to merely showing it to you, that you may feel that you are deprived of it. Gold, diamonds, marble, so useful for the adorning of your persona and the structure of your habitations, shall be hidden away in inaccessible places, whence you can extract them only by unheard of pains. I give you but the shadow of these things, to convince you that you are disgraced and reduced to general indigence.”

I hear the philosophers reply that we have nothing to do with marble or pearls, and that it is enough for an austere re- j publican to have bread, iron, salt-petre and virtues, (in the phrase of 1793,) and { a wife to prepare his radishes, dressed with water, as the house-keeper of Phocion did for her worthy spouse! They will think very differently in Harmony, and, independently of good cheer, upon which I have discoursed, they will be of the opinion that, by virtue of that unity of system, so much demanded by philosophers, man ought to be clothed and adorned like the universe. The universe is sprinkled with suns; man should be sprinkled with diamonds; and of all our fashions the most judicious is that at spangled and embroidered dresses. It is the costume of Gods and Kings upon the stage. Such is the purpose of the Deity, and the destiny of Humanity: a purpose to which philosophy itself adheres, without perceiving it; for it says that man is the mirror of the universe: he ought, then, for the fidelity of the portrait, to be, like the universe, clothed with stars, and dwelling in splendor. A single, bath of unitary aroma will suffice to whiten the interior of certain chains of rocks, to coagulate their grain and form marbles of every species.

Other baths of aroma will give us gold, silver, diamonds and pearls in profusion, not in inaccessible places, not in the bowels of the earth, but on its surface. In the chapter on the Animal Kingdom we shall see in what relations of counter-type the new creations will be distributed.

II. Vegetable Kingdom.

Passing to the Vegetable kingdom, I shall have more than one assault to make upon the naturalists, who will begin by boasting of the gentle presents of Flora, Ceres and Pomona. Poor dupes, these three divinities are mocking you . Flora gives yon play-things at the very moment when you need subsistence. The vegetable system is organized in such a manner, as to satirize the civilizee in the periodical famines to which he is subjected. Three long months of the beautiful season roll away before man reaps the slightest food, for I count as nothing some little trifles, radishes and other minutia; which the Spring affords. Famine, when it steps upon the stage, as in 1812 and 1817, remains famine in spite of Flora; and during the whole reign of Flora our famished people see roses flourishing in May, which are like thorns and thistles for the wretches, dying of hunger, who want fruits and not flowers.

“Ah! but must not the flower precede the fruit? Must not nature have an order, an established method? We must regulate our necessities accordingly, and husband our provisions, &c. &c.” Admirable reasoning! The civilized order, and all the societies of the obscure Lymb, have not the property of laying in provisions in anticipation; they are necessarily the victims of a vegetable system which does not begin to yield until after the equinox, and which furnishes nothing en roquee (nor by diffraction.)

We see so many plants which give the flower before the leaf, why have we none which give a fruit, an eatable substance, before they give the blossom? To support us in this way, nature might have created certain vegetables out of the regular order (roquees,) growing under the snow, and furnishing an aliment to man, in the same manner as the mosses of Lapland, the Ichos of the Cordilleras, are stored up under the snow for the reindeers and vigognes. Nature, in the black truffle, shows us the infinity of her means as to transitions: she gives us a fruit without leaves, or stalk, or root, and more than that, without sowing. The truffle, far more remarkable than the mush-room, proves that nature has ways of effecting bonds and transitions of every sort, even seed-plots of aromas, for the truffle has no other origin. How could nature, so ingenious in binding together her whole system, neglect to bind together winter and summer by some fruits roquees, or anterior to the season of flowers? The creation might provide us thus in two manners; first, by eatable plants with fleshy leaves, which should have their leaves in spring before the flower, without inverting the established order; and then by roots which, sowed like wheat at the end of autumn, should be ripening under the snow (or in the water) and furnish their tubercles in the season of the freshets (fontes.) By these provisions we should have been sheltered from famine; for as soon as we should see a danger of famine, (and any empire may assure itself of that after, the month of October, by looking at an inventory of its harvests,) we should sow an abundance of the two classes of vegetables above mentioned, and we should reap an ample supply therefrom in the months of March and April, at the time of the vernal equinox, when famine first makes itself felt after any scarcity in the grain harvests.

Thus is our vegetable kingdom doubly deficient in products which may be gathered before the general season. There are some for animals, but none for man. Now, an operation is defective when it does not unite itself with the pivot of movement, which is man. Out of 30,000 vegetables one ten thousandth would have sufficed, or four plants formed of fleshy roots or leaves, which might be eaten in the Spring, and growing under the snow like the mosses. Let us add that, if the creation were regular, man would have at his service not four, but forty plants at least of this kind. This, then, is the wise and provident Nature, which his made no provision of guarantees against famine. Is it for want of means? Certainly not. If we could explore a planet as well organized as Jupiter, we should find these premature plants as numerous and as various as the fruits of our orchards. Our globe is completely destitute of this sort of vegetables, and it is evident that this creation is only an abortion in the movement called roquee, notwithstanding its pretended wealth of 30,000 species, 29,000 of which are worse than useless. This I shall prove hereafter.

Were the planets ignorant that it is necessary in a regular system to contrive a movement roquee, an anticipation of the harvest? Undoubtedly not. This anticipation (roquage) is one of the fundamental rules of movement; a rule which characteristic minds[3] divine by inspiration. Thus the inventor of the game of chess has made use of it, though with too much restriction; but he has at least the honor of having recognized a great principle of movement in a game, which, among amusements, is the most beautiful conception of the human mind.

I limit myself to this complaint against the amiable Flora. I might lay a thousand other sins to her charge, and change her crown of roses into a crown of thistles, but beautiful women require to be managed. This flower-goddess bamboozles us with her sweet Spring, which regales only the eyes! I can only compare it to a feast given at Lyons by a certain general, who made a great flourish of trumpets about this soiree for a month beforehand. People canvassed for admission, and various speculators, they say, took medicine and clysters the night before to prepare their stomachs. We may say without exaggeration that several arrived there with appetites of twenty-four hours standing, a very common calculation with certain guests. The debut was brilliant for the eyes: the young danced, the old conversed and waited for the supper. Midnight arrives; the clock strikes one, and there is nothing heard of it. The impatient guests scarcely find a few glasses of lemonade, which only serve to deepen tbo abyss. They judge the tapper to be altogether too much deferred. Finally it strikes two; all the oracles decide that it will not do to delay the supper a moment longer, and in all frankness they intimate as much to one of the chiefs of the house, but, O sad and dolorous discomfiture! He replies that it is a dancing party, and that there is no supper! I leave the reader to imagine what an impression this thunder-clap produced upon the assembly. Every one would have betaken himself to the restorateur, but in the provinces the restorateurs are all asleep by that time, especially in winter. The majority of the assembly deserted and went to wake up whom they could, to give them refreshments. The gourmands next day had the laugh upon them for their disappointment, and even the most sober declared themselves mystified; for there is no good feast, where there is no table set; and I wished to bring this complaint against the ridiculous season of Flora, who nourishes with vapor the poor human race, after a winter passed most commonly in privations.

Then comes Ceres with her sad harvests. What pains it costs to reap and to prepare this miserable bread! Well did the God of the Jews say to our first father: “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou earn thy bread!” The Scriptures, in representing this cultivation of wheat as a punishment inflicted upon man, do not exaggerate. It is not possible to accumulate more fatigues and disgusts than are experienced in the labors necessary to this cheap nourishment. And yet it is the pivot of the alimentary system of man. Fine trophy for those who first imagined this creation, so much boasted by our naturalists! The stars who made it, take compassion on us for it. The aromal crossness of the globe does not permit this epoch to operate better; but it will be seen after the next creation how the stars operate upon a globe which furnishes them with good materials! and then the gifts of Ceres in grains will be appreciated at their mediocre value.

I say as much of the gifts of Pomona, which, for the most part, shine only in a negative sense, for the same reason that one-eyed men are kings among the blind. There are undoubtedly some pleasant fruits, but too many insects with whom we have to dispute the title. Besides, their duration is too short, their preservation too difficult, and their distribution very unseasonable. The temperate zone wants fruits in the very season when they are most needed, in the great heats. There is a whole month’s cessation between the red fruits and those of autumn; the plum and the apricot, which occupy the interregnum, are feverish and repugnant to many.

I speak here of the popular consumption. Without doubt the rich, by getting the first pick, are always well provided; Prince Potemkin ate cherries at St. Petersburg in the month of January, by paying a crown a piece for them; but in discoursing of the abundance or scarcity of an article of food, it is understood that we speak with reference to the people; and in this view it may be said that the inhabitant of London has no melons, although the rich may at a great expense procure them.

In fact, if we observe how few varieties the 30,000 plants furnish for our tables, we cannot fail to be astonished at the poverty of this creation, and to desire that the human race should exert itself to replace it as soon as possible, preserving only the better and more distinguished vegetables, which after the new creation will be far more precious than before, since it will furnish us, in the animal kingdom, with counter-types or destroyers of these legions of insects which devour our garden vegetables and fruits. In agriculture, as in other functions, the honest industrial toils only for knaves; and nature, who has surrounded him with a legion of knaves in the human form, should, by analogy, by unity of system, assail his granaries, fields and gardens with knaves, who, in the shape of insects, carry off the fruit of his labors in all directions. What was the need of creating thirty-three species of weevils to devour our wheat? When the God of the Jews condemned Adam to reap this wheat by the sweat of his brow, he might at least have left him in possession of the wheat so painfully obtained, and not have unloosed against him thirty-three species of the same genus of ravagers! One must be an enemy of good sense, to see the work of a beneficent God in a creation so odious, and to refuse to recognize in it a provisionary monstrosity, compelled by circumstances, and which authors arc impatient to replace!

I have said that the creations grow old and become in time unsuitable for a globe; our own furnishes a proof of this, it gives us nothing good for the great majority: it reduces the villagers to gross dishes, cabbages, and kidney-beans and peas. On the other hand, this paltry creation, in depriving the poor man of wines and perfumed tonics, reduces him to the use of garlic, which corrupts his breath. . . . . A corruption of the composite order, which transforms the civilizee into a walking dunghill; worthy fruit of a creation so well distributed for the aromal perfection of man! These gross productions could suffice in the primitive ages of industry, when kings, like Ulysses, lived upon the product of their flocks, and when the princess Nausicaa was proud of going out to wash her own robes. The times are changed; the progress of intelligence has created more wants for the middling class, than the class of kings had in the age of Homer. Meanwhile the creation has not augmented its productions: the new tributes of the two Indias, sugar, coffee, &c., are not diffused among the people, and it is evident that our people live more poorly than the people of antiquity, who devoured great quarters of meat, while ours have often only vegetables and had bread. The creation therefore has grown old, inasmuch as it no longer coincides with the wants of the social world; it would be still more out of proportion if we had arrived at the sixth period, or guaranteeism.

From the earliest ages the creation has presented inexcusable omissions, among others that of fruits. It has been seen that they fail us in the heat of summer, and that the feverish cohort of plums and apricots is equivalent to a veritable destitution, During the hot season, the cities, well provided in their environs with skilful gardeners, can prolong the duration of the red fruits, accelerate the pear, and nearly cover the interval. But the country has nearly six weeks holiday and suspension of fruits in midsummer; the melting pears, the melons and the grapes, which would be so desirable in July, do not arrive until the end of August, when the weather is cooler. In September the fruits offer the same superabundance with the flowers in May, every thing in one season, and nothing in another: the pear does not hold out till November, the grape is over in December (for the people); there remains in January only the apple, which seems to linger to remind us of the absence of fruits: it is the exception which confirms the rule.

We are only preluding upon the subject, and I shall take up again the vices of this odious creation, which seems, and really is a system of organized treachery against man, even in the most seducing gifts of nature. There is nothing more tempting than the gooseberry; you think to refresh yourself with a beautiful bunch, and instantly you taste the noisome little bugs concealed between the berries, and whose color has deceived the eye. If you would believe the naturalists, they would find in all these abominations a theme for a panegyric upon beneficent Nature; but, to speak plainly, let us confess that our globe is furnished with an infernal creation, the vices of which I shall explain more regularly in the following chapter.

III. Animal Kingdom.

Tigers and wolves! wasps and bedbugs! rats and vipers! it is for you to reply to the apologists of good and simple Nature; and I have been waiting to bring you upon the stage to describe her work.

In the scale of general harmony, an animal, a subaltern who attacks the chief, or man, is a monstrosity, as much as an assassin who stabs the King. Habituated to a divergent creation, in which all nature is in war against man, we have not observed the absurdity of such an order. It is all regular enough if you please to consider it according to our political prejudices, according to our laws, which consecrate only violence and falsehood; but on a globe harmonically furnished, the creations ought to give only creatures friendly to man, with the exception of one eighth, of a mixed or unsocial character, without being in rebellion against man. Such is the swallow, which does us no harm, but which is incompatible with us, and from which we derive no service; for neither its flesh nor its plumage can be useful to us; while the partridge and the quail, although not associated with us, are negative servants who furnish us a very precious subsistence.

To estimate the poverty of the animal kingdom upon our globe, it is necessary to analyze the proportion of creatures useful and useless to man; it give the following:

Domesticated Quadrupeds.

[Here the manuscript is broken off, and as to the section on the Aromal Kingdom, indicated in the summary, it was never even commenced.]

[1] I use the word co-plantation to signify the active intervention of two animated creatures, identical in species, one of which explants and the other implants; whereas in our plantations and cultures, the earth which cooperates with us by its surface, and the sun, which co-operates with us by its rays, are not creatures of the same species with ourselves.

[2] Observe, the pivot is never counted in movement. This is why we only count four kingdoms, without mentioning the pivotal, or passional kingdom which is superior; just as we only count thirty-two planets, without speaking of the sun, which is the principal.

[3] I use the words characteristic minds as a correction upon the word inspiration. I am far from believing in inspirations; but it is evident that certain minds are inclined by character to this or that kind of labor, and that they divine ingeniously, or mechanically if you will, its natural methods; witness Homer in Epic poetry, witness Archimedes and Pascal in geometry. A mendicant, three thousand years before us, and in an age of ignorance, determines the rules of a transcendent style of poetry, unknown to his own time, a style to which our savans, with all their study, cannot attain, in spite of the artificial aids which have been lavished upon them? After that, how can we doubt that there are characters in whom the excess of natural aptitude is equivalent to inspiration? And am not I, in the theory of Harmony, what Homer was in the Epic! I appeal to posterity.—Note of Fourier.


About Shawn P. Wilbur 2703 Articles
Independent scholar, translator and archivist.