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My company was not unacceptable to the young and careless, as well as to the studious and literary; and as I took a particular pleasure in the company of modest women, I had no reason to be displeased with the reception I met with from them. In a word, though most men, anywise Edition: current; Page: [ xxxiv ] eminent, have found reason to complain of calumny, I never was touched, or even attacked, by her baleful tooth; and though I wantonly exposed myself to the rage of both civil and religious factions, they seemed to be disarmed in my behalf of their wonted fury.
My friends never had occasion to vindicate any one circumstance of my character and conduct: not but that the zealots, we may well suppose, would have been glad to invent and propagate any story to my disadvantage, but they could never find any which they thought would wear the face of probability 1.
I cannot say there is no vanity in making this funeral oration of myself; but I hope it is not a misplaced one; and this is a matter of fact which is easily cleared and ascertained. It is with a real, though a very melancholy pleasure, that I sit down to give you some account of the behaviour of our late excellent friend, Mr Hume, during his last illness. Though in his own judgment his disease was mortal and incurable, yet he allowed himself to be prevailed upon, by the entreaty of his friends, to try what might be the effects of a long journey 3.
A few days before he set out he wrote that account of his own life, which, together with his other papers, he has left to your care. My account, therefore, shall begin where his ends. He set out for London towards the end of April, and at Morpeth met with Mr John Home and myself, who had both come down from London on purpose to see him, expecting to have found him at Edinburgh 4.
Mr Home returned with him, and attended him, during the whole of his stay in England, with that care and attention which might be expected from a temper so perfectly friendly and affectionate. As I had written to my mother that she might expect me in Scotland, I was under the necessity of continuing my journey. His disease seemed to yield to exercise and change of air; and, when he Edition: current; Page: [ xxxv ] arrived in London, he was apparently in much better health than when he left Edinburgh 1.
He was advised to go to Bath to drink the waters, which appeared for some time to have so good an effect upon him, that even he himself began to entertain, what he was not apt to do, a better opinion of his own health 2. His symptoms however soon returned with their usual violence, and from that moment he gave up all thoughts of recovery, but submitted with the utmost cheerfulness and the most perfect complacency and resignation.
Upon his return to Edinburgh, though he found himself much weaker, yet his cheerfulness never abated, and he continued to divert himself, as usual, with correcting his own works for a new edition, with reading books of amusement, with the conversation of his friends; and sometimes in the evening with a party at his favourite game of whist. His cheerfulness was so great, and his conversation and amusements ran so much in their usual strain, that notwithstanding all bad symptoms, many people could not believe he was dying. Mr Hume's magnanimity and firmness were such, that his most Edition: current; Page: [ xxxvi ] affectionate friends knew that they hazarded nothing in talking and writing to him as to a dying man; and that so far from being hurt by this frankness, he was rather pleased and flattered by it.
I happened to come into his room while he was reading this letter, which he had just received, and which he immediately showed me. I told him, that though I was sensible how very much he was weakened, and that appearances were in many respects very bad, yet his cheerfulness was still so great, the spirit of life seemed still to be so very strong in him, that I could not help entertaining some faint hopes.
When I lie down in the evening I feel myself weaker than when I rose in the morning; and when I rise in the morning weaker than when I lay down in the evening. I am sensible, besides, that some of my vital parts are affected, so that I must soon die. I have done every thing of consequence which I ever meant to do, and I could at no time expect to leave my relations and friends in a better situation than that in which I am now likely to leave them: I therefore have all reason to die contented.
Allow me a little time that I may see how the public receives the alterations 1. There will be no end of such excuses; so, honest friend, please step into the boat. If I live a few years longer, I may have the satisfaction of seeing the downfall of some of the prevailing systems of superstition.
Do you fancy I will grant you a lease for so long a term? Get into the boat this instant, you lazy loitering rogue. But though Mr Hume always talked of his approaching dissolution with great cheerfulness, he never affected to make any parade of his great magnanimity. He never mentioned the subject but when the conversation naturally led to it, and never dwelt longer upon it than the course of the conversation happened to require; it was a subject indeed which occurred pretty frequently, in consequence of the inquiries which his friends, who came to see him, naturally made concerning the state of his health.
The conversation which I mentioned above, and which passed on Thursday the 8th of August, was the last, except one, that I ever had with him. He had now become so very weak that the company of his most intimate friends fatigued him; for his cheerfulness was still so great, his complaisance and social disposition were still so entire, that when any friend was with him he could not help talking more, and with greater exertion, than suited the weakness of his body. At his own desire, therefore, I agreed to leave Edinburgh, where I was staying partly upon his account, and returned to my mother's house here at Kirkaldy, upon condition that he would send for me whenever he wished to see me 2.
On the twenty-second of August, the doctor wrote me the following letter:—. He sits up, goes down stairs once a day, and amuses himself with reading, but seldom sees any body. He finds that even Edition: current; Page: [ xxxviii ] the conversation of his most intimate friends fatigues and oppresses him, and it is happy that he does not need it; for he is quite free from anxiety, impatience, or low spirits, and passes his time very well with the assistance of amusing books.
I received, the day after, a letter from Mr Hume himself, of which the following is an extract:—. Strahan, yet have I left the property of that Manuscript to my nephew David, in case by any accident it should not be published within three years after my decease. The only accident I could foresee was one to Mr. Strahan's life, and without this clause my nephew would have had no right to publish it. Be so good as to inform Mr. Strahan of this circumstance. You are too good in thinking any trifles that concern me are so much worth your attention, but I give you entire liberty to make what additions you please to the account of my life.
I go very fast to decline, and last night had a small fever, which I hoped might put a quicker period to this tedious illness; but unluckily, it has in a great measure gone off. I cannot submit to your coming over here on my account, as it is possible for me to see you so small a part of the day; but Dr Black can better inform you concerning the degree of strength which may from time to time remain with me. It was a strange blunder to send your letter by the carrier. The near approach of his death became evident in the night between Thursday and Friday, when his disease became excessive, and soon weakened him so much, that he could no longer rise out of his bed.
He continued to the last perfectly sensible, and free from much pain or feelings of distress. He never dropt the smallest expression of impatience; but when he had occasion to speak to the people about him, always did it with affection and tenderness. I thought it improper to write to bring you over, especially as I had heard that he had dictated a letter to you, desiring you not to come. When he Edition: current; Page: [ xxxix ] became very weak it cost him an effort to speak, and he died in such a happy composure of mind that nothing could exceed it 1.
Thus died our most excellent, and never-to-be-forgotten friend; concerning whose philosophical opinions men will no doubt judge variously, every one approving or condemning them according as they happen to coincide, or disagree with his own; but concerning whose character and conduct there can scarce be a difference of opinion.
His temper, indeed, seemed to be more happily balanced, if I may be allowed such an expression, than that perhaps of any other man I have ever known. Even in the lowest state of his fortune, his great and necessary frugality never hindered him from exercising, upon proper occasions, acts both of charity and generosity.
It was a frugality founded not upon avarice, but upon the love of independency.
The extreme gentleness of his nature never weakened either the firmness of his mind, or the steadiness of his resolutions. Edition: current; Page: [ xl ] His constant pleasantry was the genuine effusion of good-nature and good-humour, tempered with delicacy and modesty, and without even the slightest tincture of malignity, so frequently the disagreeable source of what is called wit in other men. It never was the meaning of his raillery to mortify; and therefore, far from offending, it seldom failed to please and delight even those who were the objects of it.
To his friends, who were frequently the objects of it, there was not perhaps any one of all his great and amiable qualities which contributed more to endear his conversation. And that gaiety of temper, so agreeable in society, but which is so often accompanied with frivolous and superficial qualities, was in him certainly attended with the most severe application, the most extensive learning, the greatest depth of thought, and a capacity in every respect the most comprehensive. Upon the whole, I have always considered him, both in his lifetime, and since his death, as approaching as nearly to the idea of a perfectly wise and virtuous man, as perhaps the nature of human frailty will admit 1.
William Strahan , Hume's correspondent, was born in Edinburgh in the year Johnson, Boswell and blind Mrs. Williams, were one day carried to a dinner at his brother-in-law's house in Kensington. Williams said that another printer, Mr. Hamilton, had not waited so long as Mr.
Strahan, but had kept his coach several years sooner.
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Life is short. The sooner that a man begins to enjoy his wealth the better 4. Edition: current; Page: [ xliv ] In the succeeding Parliament he sat for Wooton Basset; but having supported the Coalition Ministry he lost his seat at the general election of 1. He outlived his friend David Hume nearly nine years, and died on July 9, That he was a man not only of great worth but of a strong and cultivated understanding is shown by the men whom he had made his friends and by the services which he rendered to some of them.
Cadell's 5. Hume and Robertson availed themselves moreover of his knowledge of English in the correction of their proofs. He ranks him indeed among the learned printers, who, since the days of Aldus and Stephens, had not been seen on the earth 8. He made him his literary executor 9. The long correspondence which he maintained with him shows the value that he set on his letters.
Nevertheless the length of many of his answers is a proof that he thought highly of his correspondent's understanding and knowledge of public affairs. He must have had an unusual breadth of character, for he was the friend of men so unlike as Johnson and Hume, as Franklin and Robertson. The warmth of the friendship that existed between him and other eminent men of letters is shown by their letters.
Beattie and Blair are scarcely less warm Johnson indeed, when among the Aberdeen professors, mocked at his intimacy with Bishop Warburton. The intimacy is such as one of the professors here may have with one of the carpenters who is repairing the college The earnestness of the apology which Hume at once made to him is a sure proof of the high value which he set on his friendship.
His portrait was painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds in those troubled days when London was still under the scare of the Gordon riots. During the week when the disorder was at its height Sir Joshua's note-book records that he had sittings fixed, among others, for Mr. He got a garrison into his house, and maintained them a fortnight; he was so frighted that he removed part of his goods 2. Page 94, note 8. I failed to notice that Hume's Letter of May 15, , quoted in this note, was written in a humorous strain.
Warburton was the last man in the world whose compliments he would have transmitted. I am entirely of your opinion, that Mr. Balfour's ill humor on this Occasion has no manner of Foundation. Accordingly, when all the Articles of our Bargain, even the most trivial, were written over, I woud not allow this to be inserted. Baillie 1 Hamilton, who is a very honest Man, remembers and acknowleges this Fact. Indeed, it was very lucky I had that Precaution: For if I had entangled myself in such a Bargain, I never shoud have wrote a second Volume which I coud not hope ever to see succeed in their Management 2.
I certainly deserve the Approbation of the Public, from my Care and Disinterestedness, however deficient in other Edition: current; Page: [ 2 ] Particulars. It was unlucky, that I did not publish the two Volumes together: Fools will be, apt to say, that I am become more whiggish in this Volume: As if the Cause of Charles the 1 and James the 2 were the same, because they were of the same Family 3.
But such Remarks as these, every one, who ventures on the Public, must be contented to endure 4. Truth will prevail at last; and if I have been able to embellish her with any Degree of Eloquence, it will not be long before she prevail. Millar has certainly offerd to take from Baillie Hamilton copies at nine Shillings 5. He never woud have offerd seven at the beginning. It was a strange Infatuation in the Baillie to refuse it. I must own, that, in my private Judgement, the first volume of my History is by far the best 1 ; The Subject was more noble, and admitted both of greater Ornaments of Eloquence, and nicer Distinctions of Reasoning.
On the contrary, he said to me, that he intended to put this Volume of my philosophical Writings 3 into the same hands with the Dissertations 4. I did not oppose him, because I thought, that was a Matter, which it did not belong me to meddle with. Millar thinks of making very soon another Edition in Twelves 7 , and these Observations woud then serve me in good Stead.
These Writings have already undergone several Editions, and have been very accurately examined every Impression 8 ; yet I can never esteem them sufficiently correct. You will see by my Letter to Mr. Millar that I mention a Dedication, which may perhaps surprize you, as I never dealt in such servile Addresses 9 ; But I hope it will not surprize you, when you hear it is only to a Presbyterian Minister, my Friend, Mr.
Hume, the Author of Douglas You will probably see it publishd in a few Days. I hope the Goodness of the Intention will apologize for the Singularity of the undetaking [ sic ]. I have wrote apart a Letter, which you may send to Mr. Millar: I shall here add a Word to Yourself; and ask a little of your Advice. Some time ago, I wrote to Mr.
I own to you, that the Demand may appear large; but if Mr. Millar and I reason upon the same Principles it will not appear unreasonable. I think History the most popular kind of writing of any 2. We have so little, or rather nothing of this kind that has the least Appearance either of Impartiality 3 or Eloquence, that I cannot doubt but in the long run it will have a considerable Success. This is the View in which the Affair appeard to me: If it appears to you in the same Light, I doubt not but you will express your Mind to him.
Millar in case of a second Edition. It is chiefly in order to avoid the Trouble and Perplexity of such Schemes that I desire at once to part with all the Property. I am Dear S ir Your most obedient humble Servant. It was acted here with vast Success. And reads as well as it acts. Millar woud tell you the Accident, which occasiond many copies of the Dissertations to be sold without the Dedication 5. It has given me some Vexation. However there is no Remedy.
I must also desire you to send them from time to time, as they are printed off; that, if there be any Mistakes in the Press and some are unavoidable I may be able to make a more full Errata. Millar or you may send Covers directed to me to Mr. Mure 3 , Mr. Oswald 4 , Mr. Elliot 5 or S ir Harry Erskine 6. You may chuse either of them whose House lye most convenient. I fancy Mr. Mure may have most Leizure. Please only to tell the Compositor, that he always employ a Capital after the Colons.
Here follow a few Alterations, which I desire you to make on the last published Volume or four Dissertations which are to be inserted in different Places of the Quarto Volume. Please to get a Copy of the Dissertations from Mr. Millar and make these Alterations. Observe also that the two Dissertations, which are to be inserted among the Essays, are to be entitled Essays. The other two are to be inserted in the Places as directed 1. I hope we shall both find our Account in it.
I believe his Offer may be reckond very reasonable and even frank and generous. We have only a small Difference about the time of Payment, which I hope will easily be adjusted. I hope the Douglas has had a good Success in London 4. The Public will certainly at first be divided.
That Simplicity both of Fable and Style are Novelties on the English Stage, and will no doubt meet with Opposition; but they must prevail, I think, at last 5. I am positive not to reply a single Word to Dr. Hurd; and I also beg of you not to think of it. His Artifices or Forgeries, call them which you please, are such common things in all Controversy that a man woud be ridiculous who woud pretend to complain of them; and the Parsons in particular have got a Licence to practice them.
I therefore beg of you again to let the Matter pass over in Silence 1. I have deliverd to Mr. Becket a Volume of Essays 2. I hereby send you the Index, Title-Page, and all the Preface, which I intend; being only a short Advertisement, to be inserted in any Corner: For I do not think it deserves a Page to itself 1. The Errata are many of them Edition: current; Page: [ 23 ] small Alterations, which I coud not forbear making myself in the Style. There are only two Errata which are material, those in page and , where your Compositor has made me say the direct contrary to my meaning.
I know, that such Mistakes are altogether unavoidable; but yet, if it were not too much Trouble, I coud wish, that they were corrected with the Pen, before publication 2. I am so sensible of your great Care in this Edition, that I have desird Mr. Millar to give you one of the Copies, which he delivers to me on every Edition, and I beg of you to accept it as a small Testimony of my Regard.
I have sent you a Letter of mine to Mr. Millar open, because I desire you to peruse it, and to give me your Opinion, as a Friend, of the Contents of it. Millar departs somewhat from an Offer he made me last Spring for a new Volume of History 1. If the Reason be just which he assigns, the slow Sale of the former Volumes, I own I shoud be extremely discouragd to proceed.
Your general Character and the Instances, which I have receivd of your Friendship, assure me of your Candor, and make me have recourse to you on this Occasion. Can I believe, that he has any real Reason for coming down of the Offer which he formerly made me? I have sent you along with this, an ostensible Letter, of the Nature of those you desird me to write. I hope Mr. Millar did not forget to deliver you the Copy of my last Volume, as I desird him.
I need not put you in mind to put a Wafer in my Letter to Mr. I fancy, you woud have found part of it answerd, before I receivd it. Millar, which is probably put into your hands by this time. The Alterations I make on this Volume are not very considerable; those I make on the first Volume are more so, particularly in the Reign of James, which requires to be changd in many Places, in order to adjust it to this previous Volume 2.
It is for this Reason, I coud wish Mr. Millar woud make a new Edition of both at once, and I have told him my Sentiments on that head. His Resolution will probably depend on the Number of Copies, which remain of the first Volume 3. For there is always a considerable Defalcation in the Sale of second Volumes 4. I am really concernd for what you tell me of Mr. Millar's being Ill, tho I hope his Ailment will only be slight. I know few who woud make a greater Loss to this Country, Edition: current; Page: [ 26 ] especially to the young Men of Letters in it 5. I propose to see you about the Autumn, when I hope to commence a personal Acquaintance with you.
Edin R. I am glad to find that Mr. Millar and I have agreed about reprinting the first Volume of my History 1. I shall soon send you up a corrected Copy of it; and in the mean time you may proceed in printing the second Volume. By this Means they will be different Works; and some few Repetitions which will be unavoidable in this Method of composing them, will be the more excusable. I had once an Intention of changing the Orthography in some particulars: But on Reflection I find, that this new Method of Spelling which is certainly the best and most conformable to Analogy has been followd in the Quarto Volume of my philosophical Writings lately publishd; and therefore I think it will be better for you to continue the Spelling as it is 3.
I woud not give you the Trouble of sending me the Sheets. I shall see you in London before the Publication; and shall then be able to correct any Errata that may have escapd you. I sent off last Tuesday by the Stage Coach a corrected Copy of the first Volume of my History directed to you, and it will probably be with you as soon as this. There is only a small Correction more, which you will please to make.
At Page Line 16; Add this Note. Rushworth Vol. As there are in the same Boxes a few Papers on private Business, you will please to leave the Boxes unopened till I come to London, which will probably be about the End of this Month or beginning of the next. I go up on Horse-back 2. I shall be sure to see you as soon as I arrive, and hope then to commence a personal Acquaintance with you, and to return you thanks for the many Instances, which I have receivd of your Attention and Friendship.
On the Conclusion of this Work, I thank you for your Care, Exactness, Diligence and Dispatch; and have put my angry Letter into the Fire, where, partly by its own heat, partly by that of the burning Coals, it was immediately consumd to Ashes. I had a Letter from Dr.
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Robertson, who is very earnest with me to have a Copy of my Volume as soon as possible, promising not to show it to a mortal, till publication. Millar's Consent 2. Robertson Minister of the Gospel at Edinburgh, near the head of the Cowgate 3.
The Stage Coach sets up near you 4. Andrew Reid 5. I must therefore beg of you to bind in boards another compleat Copy of small Paper, and to send it to my House as soon as it is ready. You gave me a sensible Satisfaction by writing to me; and tho I am a little lazy myself in writing I mean, Letters: For as to other kinds of writing, your Press can witness for me, that I am not lazy there is nothing gives me greater Pleasure than hearing from my Friends, among whom I shall be always fond of ranking Mr. You have probably heard from Mr. Millar, that I am wholly engrossd in finishing my History 2.
If I keep my Health, which is very good and equal to any Fatigue, I shall be able to visit you in eight or nine Months; and then you may expect to have a very troublesome Dun upon you, in making Demands of a regular Visit of your Devil 3. However, it will give me some Satisfaction to come to you in case of any Negligence, and first scold you and then gain your Money, in order to punish you. I am sorry, both on your Account and Mr. Rose's 5. If I had leizure, I shoud certainly comply with his Request: He only disobliges me in mentioning any other Acknowlegement, than his being sensible of my Inclination to oblige him.
Is this new Reign to be the Augustan Age 6. I hear that they brag much of their Acquisition; but he seems by his Speech to be a great Admirer of his Cousin of Prussia 8. As to poor Kings they are obligd sometimes to retract and to deny their Writings. You may infer from this, that I think I have kept clear of Party in my History; that I think I have been much injurd when any thing of that Nature has been imputed to me, and that I now hope the public Ear will be more open to Truth: But it will be a long time first; and I despair of ever seeing it I beg my compliments to Mrs.
Strahan, and all your Family, and am Dear Sir with great Sincerity,. I cannot give you a better Return for your obliging Letter than by introducing to your Acquaintance, the Edition: current; Page: [ 36 ] Bearer, Mr. M c pherson, who translated some Fragments of Highland Poetry, which have been extremely well receivd by the Public, and have probably come to your Hands. He proposes to print it by Subscription, and his Friends here are already very busy in procuring him Encouragement. Millar, in disposing of the Copy. He will probably need your Advice in several Particulars, and as he is an entire Stranger in London, you will naturally of yourself be inclind to assist him.
He is also very worthy of your Friendship; being a sensible, modest young Fellow, a very good Scholar, and of unexceptionable Morals. I return you thanks for the favourable Sentiments you express, in which I am sensible there is great Partiality; a Circumstance, however, which renders them the more obliging. I do not expect ever to live and see the Completion of your Prophecy. I send you the second Volume of the Stuarts 2. Millar tells me, that he intends to throw off a small Number of to compleat the Sets; and at the same time a larger number of , on Medium paper, which he intends likewise for a new Edition of the Tudors and this antient History.
Now I am going to propose to you an Improvement, if it be practicable. I always intended, that the whole six Volumes shoud be printed and shoud read as one continued Work, and that the Chapters shoud go on without Interruption from beginning to end. In that Case, the first Chapter of James I, is the forty fifth of the whole. Could you not therefore without any difficulty alter the Types for the last Copies, so as to accommodate the Work to this Alteration. Unless this be done at present, I do not know when we shall be able to bring them to an Uniformity 3.
Hume's Compliments to Mr. Strahan: He sets out Morrow for France 1. Strahan in Mind, of what he promisd, to correspond with him at Paris. Worral 2. I have long expected to hear from you and to learn your Sentiments of English Politics 1. But I have now broke the Ice, and it will be your Fault, if our Commerce of Letters does not continue. Are you acquainted with the Merit of Madame Riccoboni's Novels?
She is the Author of Lady Juliette Catesby, and others which have been very well receivd both in France and England; and are indeed wrote with great Elegance and Decency 3. She has just now in the Press a Novel 4. Woud you think it worthy of being translated? I coud get from her some Sheets of it, which I woud send you by a Courier 5. As she is a Woman of Merit, but poor, any small Present, proportiond to the Success of the Work, I shall only mention in general, and shall leave the Amount of it to your own Discretion afterwards. But what is the Reason of that, after the Peace has been establishd for above a twelve month?
They will secure you the Property, if you think proper to have them translated, which I think they very much deserve. The whole will make two small Volumes. These are the proof Sheets corrected. The Translator must follow the Corrections on the Margins.
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What do you think of a French Edition also of the Original? He sent him the two first Sheets of this Work, which he hopes Mr. Strahan receivd. In case he has not, Mr. Hume recommends it to Mr. Strahan to be translated into English. Hume will send over the other Sheets as they come from the Press.
He desires Mr. Strahan to write to him. This Sheet may come to Mr. Strahan's hand before the two others: As this goes by a Messenger 1. I receivd Yours, for which I am much obligd to you: It gave me great Insight into the Affairs you mention. I am desird by some People here to enquire how many Presses there may be in London. I suppose it must be an Affair more of Conjecture than of exact Calculation 1.
I send you over three other Sheets. The Work seems to be very fine. It will be 4 Volumes Edition: current; Page: [ 47 ] in twelves of about pages each. The Dutch Ambassador has desird me to procure him the enclosd Medicine. The whole must not be bought nor sent at a time. Send only so many as may make a small Packet, which a Courier may carry. Pardon this Trouble. Becket answers none of her Letters, sends her none of the Copies which she bespoke, informs her nothing of the Success of her Book, and in short takes no manner of Notice of her 1.
I beseech you make him write, or write yourself for him, if he continues obstinately negligent. I owe Mr. Becket three Pounds, which I shall either pay him in London, or pay M de Riccoboni for him, in case the Success of her Book has been such, as to entitle her to any Recompence. You or Becket may write her in English. I am somewhat in a hurry, which will apologize for the Shortness of my Letter.
I receivd both your Letters, which gave me great Satisfaction. Your Accounts of things are the fullest and most candid I meet with; and if your Leizure allowd you, you coud not do me a greater Satisfaction, than to continue them, when any thing remarkable occurs. I think there is Edition: current; Page: [ 49 ] all the Probability that this will prove a quiet Session 1. I am sorry, that the last Publication 5. I only saw the Beginning and judged from the Authors Character.
The Beginning is much the best of the Work. I have not lost view of continuing my History 6. But as to the Point of my rising in Reputation, I doubt much of it 7. Happily their Opinion gives me no great Concern 8. I see in your Chronicle 9.
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My Health and Spirits are as good at present as when I was five and twenty. Believe me, Dear S ir , with great Sincerity,. The House of Lords was not however careless of the tranquillity of America. On March 6 of this year the keeper of the Sun Tavern, in the Strand, was summoned to their bar, and examined about an exhibition in his house of two Indian Warriors. Lord North opened his budget.
Grimm, writing on Jan. A man of fashion at Paris, however contemptible we may think him here, must be acquainted with the reigning modes of philosophy as well as of dress to be able to entertain his mistress agreeably. The sprightly pedants are not to be caught by dumb show, by the squeeze of a hand, or the ogling of a broad eye; but must be pursued at once through all the labyrinths of the Newtonian system, or the metaphysics of Locke.
Moore, in his View of Society and Manners in France , i. You can scarcely believe the influence which this body of men have in the gay and dissipated city of Paris. Their opinions not only determine the merit of works of taste and science, but they have considerable weight on the manners and sentiments of people of rank, of the public in general, and consequently are not without effect on the measures of government.
At Paris the pedants of Moliere are to be seen on the stage only. Horace Walpole wrote from Paris on Sept. I think it rather pedantic in society; tiresome when displayed professedly; and besides in this country one is sure it is only the fashion of the day. Their taste in it is worst of all: could one believe that when they read our authors Richardson and Mr.
Hume should be their favourites? The latter is treated here with perfect veneration. His History , so falsified in many points, so partial in many, so very unequal in its parts, is thought the standard of writing. I can only say, that I eat nothing but ambrosia, drink nothing but nectar, breathe nothing but incense, and tread on nothing but flowers. Every man I meet, and still more every lady, would think they were wanting in the most indispensable duty, if they did not make to me a long and elaborate harangue in my praise.
What happened last week, when I had the honour of being presented to the D[auphi]n's children at Versailles, is one of the most curious scenes I have yet passed through. The Duc de B[erri] the eldest [afterwards Lewis XVI] a boy of ten years old, stepped forth, and told me how many friends and admirers I had in this country, and that he reckoned himself in the number from the pleasure he had received from the reading of many passages in my works.
When he had finished, his brother, the Count de P[rovence], [afterwards Lewis XVIII] who is two years younger, began his discourse, and informed me that I had been long and impatiently expected in France; and that he himself expected soon to have great satisfaction from the reading of my fine History.
It was customary with him to doze after dinner, and one day at a great entertainment he happened to fall asleep. At the Opera his broad unmeaning face was usually seen entre deux jolis minois. In one respect Hume had owned that authors were far better off here than on the other side of the Channel.