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opium, or some other narcotic, and are particularly 1 of mere skimming. He rises from his reading with injurious in almost every case in which they are different impressions as to the actual bearing of exhibited to infants, especially in all cases of teething things past, present, and future, and he descends and irritable states of the stomach and bowels. into the arena of actual life a more happy and
This list might be greatly extended, but we have philosophical man than he was before this same given sufficient to show the general nature of all book came into his hand. So far well. But in an such nostrums. It will at once be perceived that, evil hour soon after, John takes up a review, magaunlike all other inventions for which patents or legal zine, or newspaper, and to his astonishment there protections are given, quack medicines are no inven beholds that his favourite author is branded as a tions at all, but the veriest impositions and deceptions. sceptic, a revolutionist, a sciolist, or a mannerist in Strange, then, that government should sanction such style. John takes the alarm; he is a churchman, tricks by which money is filched out of the pockets perhaps even a churchwarden, at all events the head of the lieges, and erroneous notions of diseases and of a family, and the book is thrust into a corner. remedial cures continually impressed upon their John moves on, and time also moves on, and then he minds. In these days of altered tariffs and corn law takes up some guide to public opinion, of whose monopoly, it would be advisable to look into the orthodoxy and talent he has no doubt whatever, for patent lists to reform this gross abuse, which after all it has from first to last been his pole-star in politics produces but a paltry sum of revenue, and which is and theology, and to his still farther surprise he finds a decided nuisance in many ways to the public. No the condemned author eulogized most solidly ; little doubt, were patents abolished, nostrums would still drawbacks are of course admitted, for authors, like continue to be propagated, but the excess of compe- all other mortals, have their peccadilloes, but still tition would soon check the evil, and perhaps be the “ this author possesses mind, and his works must go best means of really opening the eyes of the public down as part and parcel of the intellectual inheritance to the numerous deceptions practised upon the igno- of posterity.” John restores the traduced man to rant. At all events, it would take away the stain favour, although we dare not say that that favour which must ever lie on any government that, for the will always continue free from after attacks. sake of a paltry gain, thus lends its aid in diffusing When in Italy, Byron wrote Murray to send him deceit and imposition. Another means effectually no more reviews, Quarterly or Edinburgh, as he to put down these public nuisances, for they can be wished to read books for himself. We cannot go so considered as nothing less, would be the unanimous far as to recommend this course to all readers, but refusal of the periodical press to sanction the implied we' certainly do think that an approximation to it countenance which insertions of advertisements, but would not be amiss, and we shall briefly assign the more especially of laudatory paragraphs, in their reasons which prompt us to give this advice. columns, having all the weight of editorial commen- Much of the jaundiced criticism of the day prodation, thus bestows. It is not, of course, to be ceeds from disappointed authors,-from men who, expected that conductors of periodical publications having failed to ascend to that altitude in the republic are minutely to scrutinise or to pass judgment upon of letters to which they conceived their genius enthe merits of the various advertisements which are titled them, hesitate not, from sheer spite, to squirt handed to them as a mere matter of business ; still their venom on successful rivals. But, supposing the system of quack medicines is so glaringly false, them free from this bias, is it not brave work to be and, in many instances, their announcement to the harping on a man being superficial or eccentric in public is so revolting to propriety, that already, many style? If a writer be chargeable with irreligion, respectable prints refuse their admission entirely. profanity, or anything else manifestly detrimental to The mere loss of such advertisements can be but a the public interests, by all means let that be exposed, very small consideration compared to the benefits and the more so, because an evil of a tangible kind which a rejection of them, if unanimously agreed is said to be committed, and because the proof, if upon, would confer on the community.
necessary, can be brought home. But inanity in the eyes of one, nay of two, yea of three critics, we hold to be no crime ; for however much they may per
sonally satisfy themselves that this man or that man CRITICISM ON LITERARY MEN. is murdering the Queen's English to no purpose,
they will no more be able to prove that to the We live in an age remarkable for deficiency of mental satisfaction of three other critics, as intelligent as independence. The multitude are swayed by any themselves, than they will be able to show that, one who chooses to adopt a dogmatical and swagger because they may happen to wear green spectacles, ing tone, and who perseveringly deals in iteration. all the world should do so too. Pursuing no definite course of thought, the opinions | And the reason of this is obvious. Literary critiof the masses become ductile as dough, to be kneaded cism is entirely a matter of temperament. The and fashioned as self-constituted leaders of the host sanguine, melancholy, or mixed temperaments never may determine; and hence, what is the prominence will, and never can agree to any given standard of of to-day becomes the indentation of to-morrow ; and writing. Do we then wish to annihilate all canons so will it continue to be until, by the creation of of taste? By no means. Just as all men concur in higher standards of thinking, the mass becomes less agreeing that vinegar is sour and tobacco bitter, so impressible to external influence. Of this passive are there general principles of taste which have only yielding of the public mind no better example could to be announced in order to receive universal assent; be given, than the effects produced by the many all that we contend for is that the critic of one criticisms which are passed on literary men in this temperament should not mercilessly run down the our day and generation. John Bull takes up a writer of another ; for as assuredly as there is a glory work by some well-known author, and he reads it. of the sun, so also is there one of the moon, and Charmed by the eloquence of the style, the freshness another of the stars. Scientifically, we may be able of the ideas, or the novel form in which familiar to measure the amount of illumination individually ideas are brought forward, he is beguiled into hours emanating from each, but that does not measure of sustained perusal, where he only meditated minutes I their “glory,” which consists in something beyond mere volume of light, and resides entirely in the specially, take the individual case of Macaulaypeculiar character of their effulgence. Books of some recent strictures on whom have caused the chemistry will tell us in decimal numbers what is present ink to be shed. Shallowness it seems is, par the precise amount of light respectively derivable excellence, his sin. Let us look into this. Is Macaulay from gas, candles, and floating wicks; but what does ever dull, deficient in illustration, or guilty of disthe glaring light of gas do for him who cannot, from cussing subjects devoid of interest ? His most envious wasting sickness, bear to look on its consuming critic will not say that he is. What, then, is his crime? flame; and so, in like manner, what enjoyment can | Heexplains the thoughts of others well enough, but he the melancholy man receive from the flighty sen- has not given us anything new, that is worth calling tences of the sanguine writer ? Yet the sanguine new, of his own. Very well, friend, we have heard critic will deal with the melancholy writer just as you. It might be a reasonable preliminary question the philosopher deals with the specific gravity of whether you yourself have thoroughly comprehendbodies; he will assume a certain kind of writing as ed the wisdom of the ancients, keeping out of view the unity, and run up his decimals to points without power of communicating what you may have picked number, as showing that all other kinds of writing up ; but we shall waive that, and suppose that exceed it in power.
Macaulay is as guiltless of idea-coining as you would But, independently of mere style, some critics run have him to be. What then? Did Salvator Rosa authors down, because, forsooth, they have no new invent any new colour? No ; but he threw the old ideas, and have not added one single thought to the ones into combinations of exquisite power and cairn of the dead. As we have already hinted, it is sublimity. Well, and if you have a writer who has a very easy matter to talk about superficiality, but read on almost everything,—who can work his another matter to prove it. It cannot even be done reading into beautiful mosaic, that common men thoroughly in science, and much less in literature ; may read about, may understand subjects which and although we may run over upon our fingers that they never did before, is there nothing due to the Ptolemy, Copernicus, Tycho Brahe, Kepler, and artistic skill with which that brilliant mosaic has Newton, did so and so in astronomy, and that been constructed ? Take this, the lowest view of Worcester, Newcomen, Savery, and Watt, did so Macaulay that can be taken, and say if he deserves and so for the steam engine, yet a narrower inspec- to be sneered at by every passing critic. Landor tion will show that seminal ideas preceded the said of one of his defamers, that if the fellow would announcement of established principles, and that write an “ Imaginary Conversation," he would give rudimental experiments were always the precursors him a pint of beer and a herring to breakfast ; and of rigid demonstrations. And if this be the case with so in like manner we should like to see the detractor points cognisable by the senses, who will pretend to of Macaulay write a paper on the Baconian philodetermine what is absolutely new in the more subtle sophy, and still more should we like to see who would region of the thoughts of the mind ? All is not read it. No doubt there is some truth in Johnson's uncertainty ; but, as medical men would say, the observation, that we may find fault with the making diagnosis is difficult, and therefore doginatism should of a chair, although we may not be able to make a be eschewed and put down.
chair ourselves ; but if juvenility and shallowness To apply this to the writers of the day. We have be all that is chargeable against Macaulay, he may Carlyle, with his meteoric abruptness; Whately, safely be left alone, as there is no case on record with his passionless sentences ; Macaulay, with his where those qualities long attracted the world. rhetorical style ; Dickens, with his conversational Our advice, then, is, that uncritical readers should phrases ; Wordsworth, with his allusions to domestic read for themselves, and judge for then selves, in all and familiar life; Brewster, with his poetical diction. matters pertaining to style and originality, and leave Are we to have all these fused into a common deno the critics to their own meditations. If a plain minator, and their different values assigned by any simple man were to visit an exhibition of paintings, given criticiser ? If we are, why may we not ask would it be using him well were a connoiseur to this same Solon to weigh logic in scales, find out the lecture him on the beauties and the defects of some difference between a syllogism and a pound of cheese, gem in the collection ; putting his hat on one place, or measure the rainbow with a twelve-inch rule. and exclaiming, “What a fine tree !”—his hand on The thing cannot be done, and there is an end of another, and then grumble against the anatomy of it. All the great men mentioned possess genius; an arm? Would it not be far better to leave the poor but because you can appreciate or sympathise with man to delight himself with the picture in his own one more than you can do with the others, you must way ?-and similarly people should be greatly left not lay the flattering unction to your soul that there to themselves in the matter of judging literary merit. is nought in those others. Their “ glory" may not Of late we have had too much criticism ; one other be seen by you, but it is seen by your brethren, and bad effect of which is, that it supplies thoughtless if you could only emancipate yourself from the persons with opinions ready made, and having these trammels of idiosyncrasy, you would see it too. No at their finger ends, they can talk, and talk learnedly matter how bazy, prosaic, abrupt, fantastic, glitter and extensively, of authors whose works they have ing, or dull their styles may be, there is mind in never read at all. This degeneracy should not be them all, just as surely as 'the eternal hills stand encouraged ; and, with the view of discountenancing fast on their massive foundations, however much it, so far as our humble influence extends, we purmist, hail, rain, snow, or midnight gloom may con- pose giving a series of prose extracts from the most ceal their gigantie slopes from mortal eyes. Or, to eminent modern British writers, unaccompanied by use another illustration whether the sea roars in note or comment, a plan which, we believe, will show the Atlantic, or breaks in silver foam on the moon that every one of them has excellences of his own, light beach, whether it dashes the wretched mariner and which, we trust, will have the farther good effect on pointed rocks, or floats the gondola on the of inducing our readers to go to the works of these Adriatic, whether it storms in Biscay, or gently authors themselves, and so cultivate substantial and enters a tiny creek, it is the self-same Father improying habits of thought. This series, to be deOcean.
signated ? The Authors of the Nineteenth Century,” Or, if we require to illustrate this point still more will be commenced next week.
| reading, and I diversify them at pleasure,--sometimes
a philosopher, sometimes a poet,—which change is David Hume, the celebrated metaphysician, philoso
not unpleasant nor disserviceable neither, for what pher, and historian, was the second son of Joseph
will more surely engrave upon my mind a Tusculan Home or Hume, advocate, and proprietor of the
disputation of Cicero's · De Ægritudine Senienda' estate of Ninewells in Berwickshire, and was born
than an Eclogue or Georgick of Virgil's ? The philothere on the 26th of April 1711, 0. S. His mother,
pher's wise man and the poet's husbandman agree in a woman of “singular merit," was a daughter of Sir
peace of mind, in a liberty and independency on forDavid Falconer of Newton, who was at one time Lord
tune, and contempt of riches, power, and glory. President of the Court of Session, and who is favour
Everything is placid and quiet in both : nothing ably remembered by members of the legal profes
perturbed or disordered. I live like a king, pretty sion as the compiler of “ Falconer's Collection
much by myself, neither full of action nor perturof Decisions." Hume, great and intellectual as
bation,-nolles somnos. This state, however, I can he was, seems to have been proud of his “gentle
see, is not to be relied on. My peace of mind is not blood,” or, at any rate, to have derived a quiet satis
sufficiently confirmed by philosophy to withstand faction from the idea of being a descendant from
the blows of fortune. This greatness and elevation nobility, his family being an offset from the great
of soul is to be found only in study and contemplaborder clan of the Homes. Little is correctly known
tion,—this can alone teach us to look down on of the early period of the historian's life. Had he
human accidents. You must allow me to talk thus, been & poet, or at all embued with the feelings of
like a philosopher : 'tis a subject I think much on, one, we would, in all probability, have had some
and could talk all day long of. But I know I must interesting particulars from himself. There was,
not trouble you. Wherefore I wisely practise my however, an entire want of poetical enthusiasm in
rules, which prescribe to check our appetite, and, the embryo metaphysician, and we need not, there
for a mortification, shall descend from these superior fore, be surprised that we have not from the great man himself any of those stirring reminiscences of
| regions to low and ordinary life; and so far as to
tell you, that John has bought a horse: he thinks it boyish feelings and pursuits, which the romantic
neither cheap nor dear. It cost six guineas. If it locality of Ninewells would have drawn from a poet.
were not for breaking the formal rule of connexions, The foundation of the future historian's education,
I have prescribed myself in this letter,--and it did it is probable, was laid at the parish school of Chirn
not seem unnatural to raise myself from so low side, continued at the High School of Edinburgh,
rgn, | affairs as horses to so high and elevated things as and finished at the University there. “It is to be
be books and study, I would tell you that I read some regretted," says an eminent writer, “ that so little is l of Longinus already, and that I am mightily delighted known about the early days of Hume, and the habits
s with him. I think he does really answer the chaof his boyish years. There are, indeed, very few
"racter of being the great subliine he describes. He instances in which the information which can be del
an be delivers his precepts with such force, as if he were derived about the early habits and inclinations of a enchanted
nations of a enchanted with the subject; and is himself an author man who has afterwards distinguished himself repays that may be cited for an example to his own rules the labour of research, or even that of reading the by any one who shall be so adventurous as to write statements brought forward ; while many who have upon his subiect " busied themselves in such tasks, have only shown From the earliest period at which we begin to have that the objects of their attention were by no means
a record of the thoughts and feelings of this eminent distinguished from other men in the inanner in which
man, we find many traces of a great and far-stretchthey have spent their childhood; but it must be
ing literary ambition. Indeed, we are told by himallowed that, in the case of Hume, a narrative of the
self, in the work before mentioned, that he was early gradual rise and development of that stoical con
seized with that taste for literature, which was tempt towards the objects which distract the minds
tract the minds ultimately destined to become the ruling passion of of most men, that industry without enthusiasm, that his life, and the greatest source of his enjoyment. independence without assumption, and strict morality « He
“ He was,” says his biographer, “an economist of founded only on reason, which distinguished his
all his talents from early youth. No memoir of a conduct through life, might have taught us a lesson
literary man presents a more cautious and vigilant
lit of the world, and would at least have gratified a well
husbandry of the mental powers and acquirements. grounded curiosity."_“My father," says the histo
There is no instance of a man of genius who has rian himself, in his short autobiography," who passed
wasted less in idleness, or in availing pursuits. Money for a man of parts, died when I was an infant, leaving
was not his object, nor was temporary fame, though, me with an elder brother and a sister, under the care
of the means of independent livelihood, and a good of our mother, who, though young and handsome,
repute among men, he never lost sight; but his ruling devoted herself entirely to the rearing and education
object of ambition, pursued in poverty and riches, in of her children.”
health and sickness, in laborious obscurity, and amidst “Of his method of studying, and of his habits of
the blaze of fame, was to establish a permanent life after he left the university,” says Burton, “ as
name, resting on the foundation of literary achieveof his literary aspirations and projects, we fortunately
ments, likely to live as long as human thought enpossess some curious notices in his correspondence."
dured, and mental philosophy was studied.” In one of his letters, written when he was only fif
There are various specimens extant, of Hume's teen, to one of his friends, Hume says, “ I am entirely
early studies in composition. The letter from which confined to myself and library for diversion since we
we bave already quoted may be considered a very parted,
remarkable production for one so young in years. - Ea sola voluptus, Solamenque mali;'
That portion of it which has been laid before our
readers is, in itself, sufficient to show the dawning of and, indeed, to me they are not a small one ; for Ithat grave and high-toned philosophical feeling in take no more of them than I please, for I hate task- which it became his great delight to indulge. Another
* Abridged from the “Life and Correspondence of David / very interesting paper, and one of his earliest proHume." By John Hill Burton, Advocate.' Tait, Edinburgh. ductions, is “ An Historical Essay on Chivalry and
Modern Honour.” It must have been written when, But you will please to observe, that it is with nations he was only sixteen or seventeen years old, “ al- as with particular men, where one trifle frequently though its matured thought, and clear systematic serves more to discover the character than a whole analysis, might, in other circumstances, have indi. train of considerable actions. Thus, when I compare cated it as the fruit of a mind long and carefully our English phrase of humble servant,' which likecultivated." In another letter, found among the wise we omit upon the least intimacy, with the Hume Papers, addressed “ To a Physician,' but French one, of 'the honour of being your most humble which we believe was never sent, we have a very servant,' which they never forget--this, compared striking revelation of the mind of Hume, the perse- with other circumstances, lets me clearly see the vering young student, and, indeed, the Hume he different humours of the nations. This phrase, of afterwards becaine. Had our space permitted, it, the honour of doing or saying such a thing to you, might have tempted us to insert the whole of these goes so far, that my washing woman, to-day, told “ Confessions of a Student."
me, that she hoped she would have the hunour of The estate of Ninewells was not large enough to serving me while I staid at Rheims; and, what is support both of the brothers in becoming dignity as still more absurd, it is said by people to those who country gentlemen ; it was deemed prudent, there- ! are very much their inferiors." fore, that the younger one should learn a profession. During his three years' residence in France, and His relations supposed that so steady, grave, and for some time before, our young philosopher had been industrious a youth as Hume was quite cut out for gradually accumulating that great mass of observation a lawyer, and to learn the law he was accordingly and reflection which he worked into his " Treatise sent. The love of literature, however, was too strong on Human Nature." He left the Continent in 1737, upon him, and Hume's study of the law was soon with two volumes of that work completed, and came numbered among things passed away. He says, over to London to have it published. We may, from in his “ own life,”—“My studious disposition, my this time, date the beginning of that extensive litesobriety, and my industry, gave my family a notion rary and social correspondence, of which Mr Burton that the study of the law was a proper profession for has made such an extensive use, and which furnishes me; but I found an insurmountable aversion to every the best commentary on his mental life. In a letter thing but the pursuits of philosophy and general to his friend, Henry Home, afterwards Lord Kames, learning ; and while they fancied I was poring upon we find some interesting information about the proVoet and Vinnius, Cicero and Virgil were the authors gress of his book. “I am sorry," he says, “I am which I was secretly devouring.'
not able to satisfy your curiosity by giving you An unsuccessful attempt was made, in the year some general notion of the plan upon which I pro1734, to establish Hume in business in the city of ceed. But my opinions are so new, and even some Bristol, by placing him in the office of a respectable terms I am obliged to make use of, that I could merchant there. In the course of a few months he not propose, by any abridgement, to give iny system found that commercial life was as little suited to his an air of likelihood, or so much as make it intellitaste as the study of the law, and it, too, was relin- gible. * * * * I have been here near three quished. “I went over to France," he says, “ with nonths, always within a week of agreeing with my a view of prosecuting my studies in a country retreat, printers; and you may imagine I did not forget the and I there laid that plan of life, which I have stea- work itself during that time, when I began to feel dily and successfully pursued. I resolved to make some passages weaker for the style and diction than a very rigid frugality supply my deficiency of fortune, I could have wished. The nearness and greatness to maintain unimpaired my independency, and to of the event roused up my attention, and made ine regard every object as contemptible, except the im- more difficult to please than when I was alone in provement of my talents in literature."
perfect tranquillity in France.” The concluding Hume proceeded in the first instance to Paris, then portion of this letter tells us, although in a playful to Rheims, and he subsequently took up his residence way, a painful tale. “I have a great inclination," at La Flèche, where he remained for a year or two. he says, "to go down to Scotland this spring to see While a resident in the metropolis of France, le my friends, and have your advice concerning my was much occupied about some miracles which had philosophical discoveries ; but cannot overcome a been performed two years before at the tomb of the certain shamefacdness I have to appear among you Abbé Paris, and which were afterwards prominently at my years, without having yet a settlement, or 80 referred to in his philosophical writings. In Sep-much as attempted any. How happens it that we tember, 1734, we find him thus writing from philosophers cannot as heartily despise the world as Rheims to his friend Ramsay, “I am now arrived at it despises us? I think in my conscience the conRheims, which is to be my place of abode for some tempt were as well founded on our side as on the considerable time, and where I hope to spend my other.” Hume received L.50 for the first edition of time happily for the present, and lay up a stock for his work, a very liberal sum at that time. We the future. It is a large town, containing about have his own account of its success in the followforty thousand inhabitants, and has in it about thirty | ing well-known sentences. “Never literary attempt families that keep coaches, though, by the appearance was more unfortunate than my Treatise of Human of the houses, you would not think there was one. Nature. It fell dead born from the press, without I am recommended to two of the best families in reaching such distinction as even to excite a murmur town, and particularly to a man, who, they say, is among the zealots." This, however, is rather exone of the most learned in France." Burton thinks aggerated ; it did meet with some notice ; but Hume it not improbable, that the person here alluded to was never satisfied with the success of his works. was the Abbé Pluche, a native of Rheims, and the The philosopher now busied himself in preparing his greatest literary ornament of that city. After some third volume for publication, and in the meantime remarks upon French and English politeness, the endeavoured to get a situation as travelling tutor to letter goes on to say,-“ You may perhaps wonder Lord Haddington and Mr Baillie. He did not suc. that I, who have stayed so short time in France, and ceed in getting it. The manuscript of Hume's third who have confessed that I am not master of their volume of his Treatise was shown to a new correlanguage, should decide so positively of their manner. | spondent of his, Mr Hutcheson, professor of moral
philosophy in the university of Glasgow, and at this readers will find given at full length by Mr Burton. gentleman's suggestion several alterations were made It is well worthy of being referred to. in the details of the work. It was published by Hume was deeply affected by the death of his Thomas Longman in 1740.
mother, an event which took place while he was on Hume's literary ambition was not in the least his way back from Turin. This painful occurrence, damped by the cool reception of his first work. The and the marriage of his brother soon after, occasioned only difference it occasioned was in turning his some changes in his domestic arrangements. He and attention for a time to subjects of a more popular his sister proposed at one time to take up their renature, in order to suit the taste of general readers. sidence in Berwick-upon-Tweed, but ultimately they And, in accordance with this design, he, in 1741 and resolved to come to Edinburgh, whither, in 1751, 1742, gave to the world two small volumes of Essays, they removed, and took up their abode, first in which were composed in retirement at Ninewells, Riddel's Land, and after a year or two in Jack's where at that time he was residing with his brother. Land. « We find,” says Mr Burton, “through the These essays were published anonymously, and it is whole of his acts and written thoughts, before his remarkable that, although thus shielded, he was return from the embassy to Turin, the indications of very anxious that they should not appear to be an earnest wish to possess the means of independent written by him. The success of these volumes was livelihood, suitable to one belonging to the middle very considerable, and made him quite forget his classes of life.” Shortly after his removal to the previous disappointment. After the publication, he Scottish metropolis, was published his “ Political says, “I continued with my mother and brother in Discourses," and also his * Inquiry concerning the the country, and in that time recovered the know Principles of Morals.” The “ Principles " “came ledge of the Greek language, which I had too much unnoticed and unobserved into the world.” The“Poneglected in my early youth."
litical Discourses " "was the only work of his that was Hume's correspondence in 1742 and the years successful on the first publication.” Hume again atimmediately following became very extensive, and tempted, in 1751, to obtain the chair of logic in the extended to most of the celebrated literati, as well University of Glasgow, but was again unsuccessful. as to many of the well educated country gentlemen In 1752, Hume was appointed librarian to the of the day. Henry Home, Professor Hutcheson, | Advocate's Library, an office which he held only for Mure of Caldwell, and Oswald of Dunnikier, enjoyed a year or two, and which was valuable to him merely & share of his letters. In 1743, he made a strong from the great number of books and manuscripts to effort to be appointed to the chair of moral which it gave him access; the salary at that time philosophy in the university of Edinburgh, which it being not more than L.40 a year. Shortly after his was expected would be vacated about that time. appointment to this office he commenced his celeVarious circumstances occurred, however, which brated.“ History of England,” which he composed prevented this scheme being accomplished. “Early with great rapidity. The first volume, a 4to. of in 1745," says Hume, in his "own life," "I received 473 pages, made its appearance at the end of a letter from the Marquis of Annandale, inviting me the year 1754, and the others in rapid succession ; to come and live with him in England. I found, this work “ laid the foundation of a title to that also, that the friends and family of that young which all the genius and originality of his philosonobleman were desirous of putting him under my phical works would never have procured himcare and direction, for the state of his mind and the reputation of a popular author.” About this health required it. I lived with him a twelvemonth. time he busied himself much in the affairs of My appointment during that time made a consider- Thomas Blacklock, the blind poet, whose gentle able accession to my small fortune." The particulars sensitive character and hard fate operated strongly of Hume's residence with Lord Annandale, and the upon Hume's feelings. In 1755, his opinions became various events to which it gave rise, are curious, but the subject of much public discussion in church take up too much space for insertion here.*
courts and elsewhere. Hume's connexion with the Marquis was abruptly We pass over several little matters, of no general terminated after about a year's duration. The next interest, in the life of the historian, and proceed to event of any consequence in his life was his being his second and last residence in France. In 1763, appointed secretary to General St Clair, who had been Hume accompanied Lord Hertford, the French Amchosen to command an expedition against Canada, bassador, to Paris, as his secretary. His reception which, however, ended in a uselesss incursion upon in the French capital was a kind of triumph. Every the French coast. In 1746 " we find Hume restored, where he met with the most extraordinary honours; though but for a brief period, to the tranquil retire- he was introduced to all the eminent people of ment of Ninewells; and undisturbed by public events, France, aristocratic, as well as literary, and it was at civil or warlike, sitting down quietly among his this time that he formed acquaintance with the books in the midst of his family circle, consisting of celebrated Rousseau. This friendship, after lasting his mother, his elder brother, and his sister. It for some years, was terminated in consequence of a would be interesting to obtain a glimpse of this circle quarrel. In 1765, Hume was appointed secretary of and its habits; but the lapse of nearly a century has legation at Paris, at the usual salary of L.1200 a year. thrown it too far into the shade of time, to permit Nearly the whole of chapter 14th, in the second of these minute objects being distinguished. He volume of Mr Burton's book, is occupied with the did not long enjoy this studious retirement at Nine- detail of matters regarding a proposal to get Hume wells, being again called into active life, as secretary appointed secretary to the Lord Lieutenant for Ireonce more to his friend, General St Clair, who had land. So much objection was raised about this, been appointed to proceed on a mission to the coast however, that the idea had to be abandoned. As a of Turin. During his absence from England he kept kind of set off against this disappointment, he rea voluminous journal of his proceedings ; which our ceived a pension of L.400 per annum. In 1766,
| Hume made a short visit to Scotland, and in the * Mr Burton says he is indebted to a collection of letters, I following year he received an invitation from Mr edited by Thomas Murray, LL.D., author of " The Literary | History of Galloway,” for this interesting portion of his late work.
| which he held for some time.