Peace can only be achieved through excessive acts of seemingly mindless violence. Who do bullies pick on in the playground?
We soon forget the crowd of victims who have fallen in the course of innumerable battles, not only because this is a destiny inevitable in war, but because those who thus fell might also have given death to their enemies, and did not lose their lives without defending themselves.
Where the danger and the advantage are equal, our wonder ceases, and even pity itself is in some measure lessened; but where the father of an innocent family is delivered up to the hands of error, passion, or fanaticism; where the accused person has no other defense but his virtue; where the arbiters of his destiny have nothing to risk in putting him to death but their having been mistaken, and where they may murder with impunity by decree, then every one is ready to cry out, every one fears for himself, and sees that no person's life is secure in a court erected to watch over the lives of citizens, and every voice unites in demanding vengeance.
In this strange affair, we find religion, suicide, and parricide. The object of inquiry was, whether a father and a mother had murdered their own son in order to please God, and whether a brother had murdered his brother, or a friend his friend; or whether the judges had to reproach themselves with having broken on the wheel an innocent father, or with having acquitted a guilty mother, brother, and friend.
Jean Calas, a person of sixty-eight years of age, had followed the profession of a merchant in Toulouse for upwards of forty years, and was known by all as a good parent in his family. He was a Protestant, as was also his wife, and all his children, one son only excepted, who had abjured heresy, and to whom the father allowed a small annuity.
Indeed, he appeared so far removed from that absurd fanaticism which destroys the bonds of society, that he even approved of the Essay about vengeance of his son, Louis Calas, and he had for thirty years a maid-servant, who was a zealous Catholic, and who had brought up all his children.
Another of his sons, whose name was Marc-Antoine, was a man of letters, but, at the same time, of a restless, gloomy, and violent disposition. This young man finding that he could neither succeed nor enter into business as a merchant, for which indeed he was very unfit, nor be admitted to the bar as a lawyer, because he lacked the certificates of his being a Catholic, resolved to end his life, and gave some intimation of his design to one of his friends.
He confirmed himself in his resolution by reading everything that had been written upon the subject of suicide. At length, one day, having lost all his money in gambling, he chose that as a most proper opportunity for executing his design. A friend named Lavaisse, a young man of nineteen years of age, the son of a famous lawyer of Toulouse, and a youth esteemed by every one who knew him, happened to come from Bordeaux the evening before.
He went by chance to dine with the Calas family at their house. Old Calas, his wife, Marc-Antoine, their eldest son, and Pierre their second son, all ate together that evening; after supper was over, they retired into another room, when Marc-Antoine suddenly disappeared.
After some time, young Lavaisse took his leave, and Pierre Calas accompanied him downstairs; when they came near the store they saw Marc-Antoine hanging in his shirt behind the door, and his coat folded up and laid upon the counter.
His shirt was not in the least rumpled, and his hair was well combed. There was no wound on his body, nor any other mark of violence.
We shall not here enter into all the minute circumstances with which the lawyers have filled their briefs; nor shall we describe the grief and despair of the unhappy parents; their cries were heard by the whole neighborhood.
Lavaisse and Peter Calas, almost beside themselves, ran, the one to fetch a surgeon, and the other an officer of justice. While they were thus employed, and old Calas and his wife were sobbing in tears, the people of Toulouse gathered in crowds about the house.
The Toulousians are a superstitious and headstrong people; they look upon their brothers who are not of the same religion as themselves, as monsters. It was at Toulouse that a solemn thanksgiving was ordered for the death of Henry III and that the inhabitants took an oath to murder the first person who should propose to acknowledge that great and good prince Henry IV for their sovereign.
This same city still continues to solemnize, by an annual procession and bonfires, the day on which, about two hundred years ago, it ordered the massacre of four thousand of its citizens as heretics.
In vain has the council issued six decrees prohibiting this detestable holiday. The Toulousians still continue to celebrate it as a high festival.
Some fanatic among the mob cried out that Jean Calas had hanged his own son; this cry, taken up, became in an instant unanimous; some persons added that the deceased was to have made his abjuration the next day; that his own family and young Lavaisse had murdered him out of hatred for the Catholic religion.
No sooner was this opinion stated than it was fully believed by every one; and the whole town was persuaded that it is one of the articles of the Protestant religion for a father or mother to murder their own son, if he attempts to change his faith.
When minds are once aroused, they are not easily appeased.
It was now imagined that all the Protestants of Languedoc had assembled together the preceding night, and had chosen by a plurality of voices one of their sect for an executioner; that the choice had fallen upon young Lavaisse; that this young man had, in less than four and twenty hours, received the news of his election, and had come from Bordeaux to assist Jean Calas, his wife, and their son Pierre, to murder a son, a brother, and a friend.
The Sieur David, magistrate of Toulouse, excited by these rumors, and desirous of bringing himself into notice by the ready execution of his office, took a step contrary to all the established fuies and ordinances, by ordering the Calas family, together with their Catholic maid-servant and Lavaisse, to be put in irons.
After this a legal declaration was published which was no less vicious. Matters were carried still farther; Marc-Antoine Calas had died a Calvinist, and as such, if he had laid violent hands on himself, his body ought to have been dragged on a hurdle; he was buried with the greatest funeral pomp in the church of St.
Stephen, in spite of the curate who entered his protest against this profanation of holy ground. There are in Languedoc four orders of penitents, the white, the blue, the gray, and the black, who wear a long capuchin or hood, having a mask of cloth falling down over the face, in which are two holes to see through.
These orders wanted the Duke of Fitz-James to become one of their body, but he refused. On the present occasion the white penitents performed a solemn service for Marc-Antoine Calas as for a martyr; nor was the festival of a martyr ever celebrated with greater pomp by any church:The Fallacies of Egoism and Altruism, and the Fundamental Principle of Morality (after Kant and Nelson) I have not done wrong.
The "Negative Confession" or Protestation of Ani, The Egyptian Book of the Dead, The Book of Going Forth by Day, The Complete Papyrus of Ani, Featuring Integrated Text and Full-Color Images, translated by Dr.
Raymond O. Faulkner [, , Chronicle Books, San. Vengeance is the act of taking revenge for a past wrong. In the Crucible, Thomas Putnam and Abigail Williams both took advantage of circumstances to carry out vengeance against different people. Underlying Themes in “An Act If Vengeance” Essay Sample.
The main theme Isabel Allende’s short story ‘An Act of Vengeance’ is that of Vengeance and the various approaches Dulce Rosa takes.
However, with vengeance, one takes the law into their own hands and anger controls ones actions rather than then the love that controls the way one seeks justice.
For example, when someone starts a rumor about someone and a person knows who started the rumor, that person can pick from two options/5(3).
B. Structure of Paper. In this paper, I will examine how the themes of justice and vengeance are treated in the Oresteia. I will examine the progress of the trilogy from the savage cycle of bloodshed to a more civilized and justice oriented society.
- Malicious Vengeance: The Ghastly Acts of Murder Both Edgar Allen Poe’s short story, “The Cast of Amontillado,” and Louise Erdrich’s essay, “Fleur,” have prominent themes about revenge, Poe focused on the act of Revenge, whereas Erdrich focused more on the events leading up to the horrific act.