电影摘要：‘I may cite next those less profound thinkers, who instead of exacting difficult researches, seemed destined only to amuse the mind; the followers of which philosophy, deviating wide from vulgar opinion, peaceably sustain the arguments for and against the propositions advanced. Such was the philosophy of Carneades and the Academicians, to whom we may add the Grammarians and Rhetoricians.’
The destiny of all the inferior orders that surround us, appears to terminate upon the earth. Ours alone is evidently not accomplished here. The animals, exempt from vice, incapable of virtue, experience, in ceasing to live, neither hopes nor regrets. They die without the foresight of death. Man, in the course of an agitated life, degrades himself by follies and vices, or honors himself by generous and useful actions. Remembrances, loves, ties, in countless forms, twine about his heart. He is torn, in agony, from beings for whom he has commenced an affection that he feels might be eternal. Persecuted for his virtue, proscribed for his wisdom and courage, calumniated for his most conscientious acts, he turns to heaven a fixed look of confidence and hope. Has he nothing to perform beyond death? Has the author of nature forgotten his justice, only in completing his most perfect work?Let not a sensitive and wandering imagination kindle too readily at the recitals of travellers. Were we to transport ourselves to one of those remote points of the earth where felicity is represented to have chosen her asylum, new usages, manners and pleasures, and a foreign people every moment reminding us that we are strangers, would, perhaps, give birth to the most painful regrets. When in our youth we were charmed as we read of the prodigies of Athens and Rome, we uttered the wish that we had been born in those renowned republics. There is little doubt that, had our wish been realized, we should be glad to escape their storms, in exchange for obscurely tranquil days.