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The reader may wish to know something of Antoine Arnauld and his times. His life was full of conflict, with the Jesuits, with the king of France and, though he was a zealous Catholic, with the pope.[ Note ] The son of a wealthy lawyer, he never had to work for his living at anything he did not choose to do. As a priest he never seems to have had any pastoral or teaching responsibilities except those he chose to assume. By choice he was an almost full-time controversialist, whose extant writings fill some forty large volumes. Day by day he went into his study, sharpened his pen and attacked someone---or defended someone, or refuted an answer, or answered a pretended refutation, or wrote a Premier Écrit pour la defense de la seconde lettre. His writings are mostly in the style of some of the less well-known works of Hobbes and Locke, or of certain writings Marx and Engels left to the criticism of the mice.
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