Berthelot, " alchemy rested partly on the industrial processes of the ancient Egyptians, partly on the speculative theories of the Greek philosophers, and partly on the mystical reveries of the Gnostics and Alexandrians."
From these reveries he was at length awakened by news which indicated that the consequences of Macdonald's defeat had been far more serious to the moral of that command than he had imagined.
He finished his Confessions, wrote his Dialogues (the interest of which is not quite equal to the promise of their curious sub-title, Rousseau juge de Jean Jacques), and began his Reveries du promeneur solitaire, intended as a sequel and complement to the Confessions, and one of the best of all his books.
And in such passages as the famous "Voila de la pervenche" of the Confessions, as the description of the isle of St Pierre in the Reveries, as some of the letters in the Nouvelle Helotise and others, he had achieved absolute perfection in doing what he intended to do.
The Confessions and Reveries, which, read in private, had given much umbrage to persons concerned, and which the author did not intend to be published until the end of the century, appeared in Geneva in 1782.
His warning, "No nonsense, gentlemen" (Point de reveries, Messieurs), was taken in very ill part, and it was perhaps naturally, but beyond question most unhappily, the truth that the tsar's concessions only served to encourage the Poles to revolt, and to produce a strong Russian reaction against his liberal policy.
In India from the soma frenzy in the Vedas, through the mystic reveries of the Upanishads, and the hypnotic trances of the ancient Yoga, allied beliefs and practices had never lost their importance and their charm.
He endeavoured to define his ideas, and in 1833 published his Reveries politiques, suivies d'un projet de constitution, and Considerations politiques et militaires sur la Suisse; in 1836, as a captain, in the Swiss service, he published a Manuel d'artillerie, in order to win popularity with the French army.
Reveries about Sonya had had something merry and playful in them, but to dream of Princess Mary was always difficult and a little frightening.