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are apt to imagine. With a tolerable good memory and some share of cunning, with the help of walking a-nights over heaths and churchyards, with this, and showing the tricks of that there dog, whom I stole from the sergeant of a marching regiment (and, by the way, he can steal too upon occasion), I make shift to pick up a livelihood. My trade, indeed, is none of the honestest; yet people are not much cheated neither, who give a few halfpence for a prospect of happiness, which I have heard some persons say is all a man can arrive at in this world. But I must bid you good day, sir; for I have three miles to walk before noon, to inform some boarding-school young ladies whether their husbands are to be peers of the realm or captains in the army; a question which I promised to answer them by that time.'


and, pulling off a piece of hat, asked charity of
Harley; the dog began to beg too. It was impos-
sible to resist both; and, in truth, the want of shoes
and stockings had made both unnecessary, for Har-
ley had destined sixpence for him before. The
beggar, on receiving it, poured forth blessings with-
out number; and, with a sort of smile on his coun-
tenance, said to Harley, that if he wanted his for-
tune told- "
Harley turned his eye briskly on the
beggar: it was an unpromising look for the subject
of a prediction, and silenced the prophet imme-
diately. I would much rather learn,' said Harley,
'what it is in your power to tell me: your trade must
be an entertaining one: sit down on this stone, and
let me know something of your profession; I have
often thought of turning fortune-teller for a week or
two myself.'

'Master,' replied the beggar, 'I like your frankness much; God knows I had the humour of plain dealing in me from a child; but there is no doing with it in this world; we must live as we can, and lying is, as you call it, my profession: but I was in some sort forced to the trade, for I dealt once in telling truth. I was a labourer, sir, and gained as much as to make me live: I never laid by indeed; for I was reckoned a piece of a wag, and your wags, I take it, are seldom rich, Mr Harley.' 'So,' said Harley, you seem to know me.' 'Ay, there are few folks in the country that I don't know something of; how should I tell fortunes else? True; but to go on with your story: you were a labourer, you say, and a wag; your industry, I suppose, you left with your old trade; but your humour you preserve to be of use to you in your new.'

Harley had drawn a shilling from his pocket; but Virtue bade him consider on whom he was going to bestow it. Virtue held back his arm; but a milder form, a younger sister of Virtue's, not so severe as Virtue, nor so serious as Pity, smiled upon him; his fingers lost their compression; nor did Virtue offer to catch the money as it fell. It had no sooner reached the ground, than the watchful cur (a trick he had been taught) snapped it up; and, contrary to the most approved method of stewardship, delivered it immediately into the hands of his master.

[The Death of Harley.]

Harley was one of those few friends whom the malevolence of fortune had yet left me; I could not, therefore, but be sensibly concerned for his present indisposition; there seldom passed a day on which I did not make inquiry about him.

The physician who attended him had informed me the evening before, that he thought him considerably better than he had been for some time past. I called next morning to be confirmed in a piece of intelligence so welcome to me.

"What signifies sadness, sir? a man grows lean on't: but I was brought to my idleness by degrees; first I could not work, and it went against my stomach to work ever after. I was seized with a jail fever at the time of the assizes being in the county where I lived; for I was always curious to get acquainted with the felons, because they are commonly fellows of much mirth and little thought, qualities I had ever an esteem for. In the height of this fever, Mr Harley, the house where I lay took fire, and burnt to the ground; I was carried out in that condition, and lay all the rest of my illness in a barn. I got the better of my disease, however, but I was so weak that I spit blood whenever I attempted to work. I had no relation living that I knew of, and I never kept a friend above a week when I was able to joke; I seldom remained above six months in a parish, so that I might have died before I had found a settlement in any: thus I was forced to beg my bread, and a sorry trade I found it, Mr Harley. I told all my misfortunes truly, but they were seldom believed; and the few who gave me a halfpenny as they passed, did it with a shake of the head, and an injunction not to trouble them with a long story. In short, I found that people do not care to give alms without some security for their money; a wooden leg or a withered arm is a sort of draught upon heaven for those who choose to have their money placed to account there; so I changed my plan, and, instead of telling my own misfortunes, began to prophesy happiness to others. This I found by much the better way: folks will always listen when the tale is their own; and of many who say they do not believe in fortune-telling, I have known few on whom it had not a very sensible effect. I pick up the names of their acquaintance; amours and little squabbles are easily gleaned among servants and neighbours; and indeed people themselves are the best intelligencers in the world for our purpose; they dare not puzzle us for their own sakes, for every one is anxious to hear what they wish to believe; and He had by this time clasped my hand, and found they who repeat it, to laugh at it when they have it wet by a tear which had just fallen upon it. His done, are generally more serious than their hearers | eye began to moisten too-we sat for some time silent.

When I entered his apartment, I found him sitting on a couch, leaning on his hand, with his eye turned upwards in the attitude of thoughtful inspiration. His look had always an open benignity, which commanded esteem; there was now something more—a gentle triumph in it.


He rose, and met me with his usual kindness. When I gave him the good accounts I had had from his physician, I am foolish enough,' said he, to rely but little in this instance to physic. My presentiment may be false; but I think I feel myself approaching to my end by steps so easy that they woo me to approach it. There is a certain dignity in retiring from life at a time when the infirmities of age have not sapped our faculties. This world, my dear Charles, was a scene in which I never much delighted. I was not formed for the bustle of the busy nor the dissipation of the gay; a thousand things occurred where I blushed for the impropriety of my conduct when I thought on the world, though my reason told me I should have blushed to have done otherwise. It was a scene of dissimulation, of restraint, of disappointment. I leave it to enter on that state which I have learned to believe is replete with the genuine happiness attendant upon virtue. I look back on the tenor of my life with the consciousness of few great offences to account for. There are blemishes, I confess, which deform in some degree the picture; but I know the benignity of the Supreme Being, and rejoice at the thoughts of its exertion in my favour. My mind expands at the thought I shall enter into the society of the blessed, wise as angels, with the simplicity of children.'



At last, with an attempt at a look of more composure, 'There are some remembrances,' said Harley, which rise involuntarily on my heart, and make me almost wish to live. I have been blessed with a few friends who redeem my opinion of mankind. I recollect with the tenderest emotion the scenes of pleasure I have passed among them; but we shall meet again, my friend, never to be separated. There are some feelings which perhaps are too tender to be suffered by the world. The world is in general selfish, interested, and unthinking, and throws the imputation of romance or melancholy on every temper more susceptible than its own. I cannot think but in those regions which I contemplate, if there is anything of mortality left about us, that these feelings will subsist; they are called-perhaps they are weaknesses here; but there may be some better modifications of them in heaven, which may deserve the name of virtues.' He sighed as he spoke these last words. He had scarcely finished them when the door opened, and his aunt appeared leading in Miss Walton. My dear,' says she, here is Miss Walton, who has been so kind as to come and inquire for you herself.' I could observe a transient glow upon his face. He rose from his seat. If to know Miss Walton's goodness,' said he, 'be a title to deserve it, I have some claim.' She begged him to resume his seat, and placed herself on the sofa beside him. I took my leave. Mrs Margery accompanied me to the door. He was left with Miss Walton alone. She inquired anxiously about his health. 'I believe,' said he, from the accounts which my physicians unwillingly give me, that they have no great hopes of my recovery.' She started as he spoke; but recollecting herself immediately, endeavoured to flatter him into a belief that his apprehensions were groundless. I know,' said he, that it is usual with persons at my time of life to have these hopes which your kindness suggests, but I would not wish to be deceived. To meet death as becomes a man is a privilege bestowed on few. I would endeavour to make it mine; nor do I think that I can ever be better prepared for it than now; it is that chiefly which determines the fitness of its approach.' 'Those sentiments,' answered Miss Walton, are just; but your good sense, Mr Harley, will own that life has its proper value. As the province of virtue, life is ennobled; as such, it is to be desired. To virtue has the Supreme Director of all things assigned rewards enough even here to fix its attachment.'


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sighed, and fell back on his seat. Miss Walton screamed at the sight. His aunt and the servants rushed into the room. They found them lying metionless together. His physician happened to call at: that instant. Every art was tried to recover them With Miss Walton they succeeded, but Harley was gone for ever!


I entered the room where his body lay; I approached it with reverence, not fear. I looked; the recollection of the past crowded upon me. I saw that form which, but a little before, was animated with a soul which did honour to humanity, stretched without sense or feeling before me. 'Tis a connexion we cannot easily forget. I took his hand in mine; I repeated his name involuntarily; I felt a pulse in every vein at the sound. I looked earnestly in his face; his eye was closed, his lip pale and motionless. There is a enthusiasm in sorrow that forgets impossibility; I wondered that it was so. The sight drew a prayer from my heart; it was the voice of frailty and of man! The confusion of my mind began to subside into thought; I had time to weep!

I turned with the last farewell upon my lips, when ' I observed old Edwards standing behind me. I looked, him full in the face, but his eye was fixed on another object. He pressed between me and the bed, and stood gazing on the breathless remains of his benefactor. I spoke to him I know not what; but he took no notice of what I said, and remained in the same attitude as before. He stood some minutes in¦ that posture, then turned and walked towards the door. He paused as he went; he returned a second time; I could observe his lips move as he looked; but the voice they would have uttered was lost. attempted going again; and a third time he returned as before. I saw him wipe his cheek; then, covering his face with his hands, his breast heaving with the most convulsive throbs, he flung out of the room.




He had hinted that he should like to be buried in a certain spot near the grave of his mother. This is a weakness, but it is universally incident to humanity; it is at least a memorial for those who survive. For some, indeed, a slender memorial will serve; and the soft affections, when they are busy that way, will build their structures were it but on the paring of ¦ a nail.

He was buried in the place he had desired. It was shaded by an old tree, the only one in the churchyard, in which was a cavity worn by time. I have sat with him in it, and counted the tombs. The last time we passed there, methought he looked wistfully on the tree; there was a branch of it that bent towards us, waving in the wind; he waved his hand, as if he mimicked its motion. There was something predictive in his look! perhaps it is foolish to remark it, but there are times and places when I am a child at those things.

I sometimes visit his grave; I sit in the hollow of the tree. It is worth a thousand homilies; every noble feeling rises within me! Every beat of my heart awakens a virtue; but it will make you hate the world. No; there is such an air of gentleness around that I can hate nothing; but as to the world, I pity the men of it.


The subject began to overpower her. Harley lifted his eyes from the ground, "There are,' said he, in a very low voice, there are attachments, Miss Walton. His glance met hers. They both betrayed a confusion, and were both instantly withdrawn. He paused some moments: 'I am in such a state as calls for sincerity, let that also excuse it--it is perhaps the last time we shall ever meet. I feel something particularly solemn in the acknowledgment, yet my heart swells to make it, awed as it is by a sense of my presumption, by a sense of your perfections.' He paused again. Let it not offend you to know their power over one so unworthy. It will, I believe, soon cease to beat, even with that feeling which it shall lose the latest. To love Miss Walton could not be a crime; if to declare it is one, the expiation will be made.' Her tears were now flowing without control. Let me entreat you,' said she, to have better hopes. Let not life be so indifferent to you, if my wishes can put any value on it. I will not pretend to misunderstand you I know your worth-I have known it long I have esteemed it. What would you | have me say? I have loved it as it deserved.' He seized her hand, a languid colour reddened his cheek, a smile brightened faintly in his eye. As he gazed on her it grew dim, it fixed, it closed. He


The last of our novel writers of this period was Miss CLARA REEVE, the daughter of a clergyman at Ipswich, where she died in 1803, aged seventyeight. An early admiration of Horace Walpole's romance, The Castle of Otranto,' induced Miss Reeve to imitate it in a Gothic story, entitled The Old English Baron, which was published in 1777. In some respects the lady has the advantage of Walpole; her supernatural machinery is better managed, so as to produce mysteriousness and effect; but her style has not the point or elegance of that

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of her prototype. Miss Reeve wrote several other novels, all marked,' says Sir Walter Scott, by excellent good sense, pure morality, and a competent command of those qualities which constitute a good romance.' They have failed, however, to keep possession of public favour, and the fame of the author rests on her Old English Baron,' which is now generally printed along with the story of Walpole.


of Cicero, in two volumes. Reviewing the whole of
the celebrated orator's public career, and the princi-
pal transactions of his times-mixing up questions
of philosophy, government, and politics, with the
details of biography, Middleton compiled a highly
interesting work, full of varied and important infor-
mation, and written with great care and taste. An
admiration of the rounded style and flowing periods
of Cicero seems to have produced in his biographer
a desire to attain to similar excellence; and perhaps
no author, prior to Johnson's great works, wrote
English with the same careful finish and sustained
dignity. The graces of Addison were wanting, but
certainly no historical writings of the day were at
comparable to Middleton's memoir.
sentences from his summary of Cicero's character
will exemplify the author's style:-

One or two

A spirit of philosophical inquiry and reflection, united to the graces of literary composition, can hardly be said to have been presented by any English historian before the appearance of that illus-all trious triumvirate-Hume, Robertson, and Gibbon. The early annalists of Britain recorded mere fables and superstitions, with a slight admixture of truth. The classic pen of Buchanan was guided by party rancour, undignified by research. Even Milton, when he set himself to compose a history of his native country, included the fables of Geoffrey of Monmouth. The history of the Long Parliament by May is a valuable fragment, and the works of Clarendon and Burnet are interesting though prejudiced pictures of the times. A taste for our national annals soon began to call for more extensive compilations; and in 1706 a Complete History of England' was published, containing a collection of various works previous to the time of Charles I., and a continuation by White Kennet, bishop of Peterborough. M. Rapin, a French Protestant (1661-1725), who had come over to England with the Prince of Orange, and resided here several years, seems to have been interested in our affairs; for, on retiring to the Hague, he there composed a voluminous history of England, in French, which was speedily translated, and enjoyed great popularity. The work of Rapin is still considered valuable, and it possesses a property which no English author has yet been able to confer on a similar narration, that of impartiality; but it wants literary attractions. A more laborious, exact, and original historian, appeared in THOMAS CARTE (1686-1754), who meditated a complete domestic or civil history of England, for which he had made large collections, encouraged by public subscriptions. His work was projected in 1743, and four years afterwards the first volume appeared. Unfortunately Carte made allusion to a case, which he said had come under his own observation, of a person who had been cured of the king's evil by the Pretender, then in exile in France; and this Jacobite sally proved the ruin of his work. Subscribers withdrew their names, and the historian was left forlorn and abandoned amid his extensive collections.' A second and third volume, however, were published by the indefatigable collector, and a fourth, which he left incomplete, was published after his death. Carte was author also of a Life of the Duke of Ormond, able for the fulness of its information, but disfigured by his Jacobite predilections.

The Roman History by HOOKE also belongs to this period. It commences with the building of Rome, and is continued to the downfall of the commonwealth. Hooke was patronised by Pope (to whom he dedicated his first volume), and he produced a useful work, which still maintains its place. The first volume of this history was published in 1733, but it was not completed till 1771.

He (Cicero) made a just distinction between bearing what we cannot help, and approving what we ought to condemn; and submitted, therefore, yet never consented to those usurpations; and when he was forced to comply with them, did it always with a reluctance that he expresses very keenly in his letters to his friends. But whenever that force was removed, and he was at liberty to pursue his principles and act without control, as in his consulship, in his province, and after Cæsar's death-the only periods of his life in which he was truly master of himself—there we see him shining out in his genuine character of an excellent citizen, a great magistrate, a glorious patriot; there we could see the man who could declare of himself with truth, in an appeal to Atticus, as to the best witness of his conscience, that he had always done the greatest services to his country when it was in his power; or when it was not, had never harboured a thought of it but what was divine. If we must needs compare him, therefore, with Cato, as some writers affect to do, it is certain that if Cato's virtue seem more splendid in theory, Cicero's will be found superior in practice; the one was romantic, the other was natural; the one drawn from the refinements of the schools, the other from nature and social life; the one always unsuccessful, often hurtful; the other always beneficial, often salutary to the republic.

To conclude: Cicero's death, though violent, cannot be called untimely, but was the proper end of such a life; which must also have been rendered less glorious if it had owed its preservation to Antony. It was, therefore, not only what he expected, but, in the circumstances to which he was reduced, what he seems even to have wished. For he, who before had been timid in dangers, and desponding in distress, yet, from the time of Caesar's death, roused by the desperate state of the republic, assumed the fortitude of a hero; discarded all fear; despised all danger; and when he could not free his country from a tyranny, provoked the tyrants to take that life which he no longer cared to preserve. Thus, like a great actor on the stage, he remark-reserved himself, as it were, for the last act; and after he had played his part with dignity, resolved to finish it with glory.

Or the character of Julius Cæsar

Caesar was endowed with every great and noble quality that could exalt human nature, and give a man the ascendant in society: formed to excel in peace, as well as in war; provident in counsel; fearless in action; and executing what he had resolved. with amazing celerity; generous beyond measure to his friends; placable to his enemies; and for parts, learning, eloquence, scarce inferior to any man. His orations were admired for two qualities which are seldom found together-strength and elegance. Cicero ranks him among the greatest orators that Rome ever bred; and Quintilian says, that he spoke with the


In 1741 DR CONYERS MIDDLETON (1683-1750), an English clergyman, and librarian of the public library at Cambridge, produced his historical Life


same force with which he fought; and if he had de- knowledges fell dead-born from the press.' A voted himself to the bar, would have been the only third part appeared in 1740; and in 1742 he proman capable of rivalling Cicero. Nor was he a master duced two volumes, entitled Essays Moral and Phionly of the politer arts; but conversant also with the losophical. Some of these miscellaneous productions most abstruse and critical parts of learning; and, are remarkable for research and discrimination, and among other works which he published, addressed for elegance of style. In 1745 he undertook the two books to Cicero on the analogy of language, or charge of the Marquis of Annandale, a young noblethe art of speaking and writing correctly. He was a man of deranged intellects; and in this humiliating most liberal patron of wit and learning wheresoever employment the philosopher continued about a they were found; and out of his love of those talents, twelvemonth. He next made an unsuccessful atwould readily pardon those who had employed them tempt to be appointed professor of moral philosophy against himself; rightly judging that by making in his native university, after which he fortunately such men his friends, he should draw praises from the obtained the situation of secretary to Lieutenantsame fountain from which he had been aspersed. His General St Clair, who was first appointed to the capital passions were ambition and love of pleasure, command of an expedition against Canada, and afterwhich he indulged in their turns to the greatest ex-wards ambassador to the courts of Vienna and cess; yet the first was always predominant, to which Turin. In the latter, Hume enjoyed congenial and he could easily sacrifice all the charms of the second, refined society. Having remodelled his "Treatise on and draw pleasure even from toils and dangers when they ministered to his glory. For he thought Tyranny, as Cicero says, the greatest of goddesses; and had frequently in his mouth a verse of Euripides, which expressed the image of his soul, that, if right and justice were ever to be violated, they were to be violated for the sake of reigning. This was the chief end and purpose of his life; the scheme that he had formed from his early youth; so that, as Cato truly declared of him, he came with sobriety and meditation to the subversion of the republic. He used to say that there were two things necessary to acquire and to support power-soldiers and money; which yet depended mutually upon each other. With money, therefore, he provided soldiers, and with soldiers extorted money; and was of all men the most rapacious in plundering both friends and foes, sparing neither prince, nor state, nor temple, nor even private persons who were known to possess any share of treasure. His great abilities would necessarily have made him one of the first citizens of Rome; but disdaining the condition of a subject, he could never rest till he made himself a monarch. In acting this last part, his usual prudence seemed to fail him, as if the height to which he was mounted had turned his head and made him giddy; for, by a vain ostentation of his power, he destroyed the stability of it; and as men shorten life by living too fast, so, by an intemperance of reigning, he brought his reign to a violent



Relying on the valuable collections of Carte; animated by a strong love of literary fame, which he avowed to be his ruling passion; desirous also of combating the popular prejudices in favour of Elizabeth and against the Stuarts; and master of a style singularly fascinating, simple, and graceful, the celebrated DAVID HUME left his philosophical studies to embark in historical composition. This eminent person was a native of Scotland, born of a good family, being the second son of Joseph Home (the historian first spelt the name Hume), laird of Ninewells, near Dunse, in Berwickshire. David was born in Edinburgh on the 26th of April 1711. After attending the university of Edinburgh, his friends were anxious that he should commence the study of the law, but a love of literature rendered him averse to this profession. An attempt was then made to establish him in business, and he was placed in a mercantile house in Bristol. This employment was found equally uncongenial, and Hume removed to France, where he passed some years in literary retirement, living with the utmost frugality and care on the small allowance made him by his family. He returned in 1737 to publish his first philosophical work, the Treatise on Human Nature, which he ac

David Hume.

Human Nature,' he republished it in 1751 under the title of an Inquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals, Next year he issued two volumes of Political Discourses, and, with a view to the promotion of his studies, assumed gratuitously the office of librarian to the Faculty of Advocates. He now struck into the path of historical writing. In 1754 appeared the first volume of his History of Great Britain, containing the reigns of James I. and Charles I. It was assailed by the Whigs with unusual bitterness, and Hume was so disappointed, partly from the attacks on him, and partly because of the slow sale of the work, that he intended retiring to France, changing his name, and never more returning to his native country. The breaking out of the war with France prevented this step, but we suspect the complacency of Hume and his love of Scotland would otherwise have frustrated his intention. A second volume of the history was published, with more success, in 1757; a third and fourth in 1759; and the two last in 1762. The work became highly popular; edition followed edition; and by universal consent Hume was placed at the head of English historians. In 1763 our author accompanied the Earl of Hertford on his embassy to Paris, where he was received with marked distinction. In 1766 he returned to Scotland, but was induced next year to accept the situa

tion of under secretary of state, which he held for two years. With a revenue of £1000 a-year (which he considered opulence), the historian retired to his native city, where he continued to reside, in habits of intimacy with his literary friends, till his death, on the 25th of August 1776. His easy good-humoured disposition, his literary fame, his extensive knowledge and respectable rank in society, rendered his company always agreeable and interesting, even to those who were most decidedly opposed to the tone of scepticism which pervades all his writings. His opinions were never obtruded on his friends: he threw out dogmas for the learned, not food for the multitude.

and in another denies, that Charles was insincere in dealing with his opponents. To illustrate his theory of the sudden elevation of Cromwell into importance, the historian states that about the meeting of parliament in 1640, the name of Oliver is not to be found oftener than twice upon any committee, whereas the journals of the House of Commons show that before the time specified, Cromwell was in forty-five_com. mittees, and twelve special messages to the Lords. Careless as to facts of this kind (hundreds of which errors have been pointed out), we must look at the general character of Hume's history; at its clear and admirable narrative; the philosophic composure and dignity of its style; the sagacity with which the views of conflicting sects and parties are estimated and developed; the large admissions which the author makes to his opponents; and the high importance he everywhere assigns to the cultivation of letters, and the interests of learning and literature. Judged by this elevated standard, the work of Hume must ever be regarded as an honour to British literature. It differs as widely from the previous annals and compilations as a finished portrait by Reynolds differs from the rude draughts of a country artist. The latter may be the more faithful external likeness, but is wanting in all that gives grace and sentiment, sweetness or loftiness, to the general composition.

The history of Hume is not a work of high authority, but it is one of the most easy, elegant, and interesting narratives in the language. The striking parts of his subject are related with a picturesque and dramatic force; and his dissertations on the state of parties and the tendency of particular events, are remarkable for the philosophical tone in which they are conceived and written. He was too indolent to be exact; too indifferent to sympathise heartily with any political party; too sceptical on matters of religion to appreciate justly the full force of religious principles in directing the course of public events. An enemy to all turbulence and enthusiasm, he naturally leaned to the side of settled government, even when it was united to arbitrary power; and though he could shed a generous tear for the fate of Charles I. and the Earl of Strafford,' the struggles of his poor countrymen for conscience' sake against the tyranny of the Stuarts, excited with him no other feelings than those of ridicule or contempt. He could even forget the merits and exaggerate the faults of the accomplished and chivalrous Raleigh, to shelter the sordid injustice of a weak and contemptible sovereign. No hatred of oppression burns through his pages. The care-consciousness that the glosses and traditions of the clergy stood in direct opposition to the original text dictated by Supreme Intelligence; that it was now necessary for the people, so long abused by interested whether the claims of the ecclesiastics were founded pretensions, to see with their own eyes, and to examine on that charter which was on all hands acknowledged Cal-research and curiosity was happily revived, and men to be derived from heaven; and that, as a spirit of tending doctrines of different sects, the proper matewere now obliged to make a choice among the conrials for decision, and, above all, the Holy Scriptures, should be set before them; and the revealed will of God, which the change of language had somewhat obscured, be again by their means revealed to mankind.

[State of Parties at the Reformation in England.] The friends of the Reformation asserted that nothing could be more absurd than to conceal, in an unknown tongue, the word of God itself, and thus to counteract the will of heaven, which, for the purpose of universal salvation, had published that salutary doctrine to all nations; that if this practice were not very absurd, the artifice at least was very gross, and proved a


less epicurean repose of the philosopher was not disturbed by any visions of liberty, or any ardent aspirations for the improvement of mankind. Yet Hume was not a slavish worshipper of power. In his personal character he was liberal and independent he had early in life,' says Sir James Mackintosh, conceived an antipathy to the vinistic divines, and his temperament led him at all times to regard with disgust and derision that religious enthusiasm or bigotry with which the spirit of English freedom was, in his opinion, inseparably associated: his intellect was also perhaps too active and original to submit with sufficient patience to the preparatory toils and long suspended judgment of a historian, and led him to form premature conclusions and precipitate theories, which it then became the pride of his ingenuity to justify.' A love of paradox undoubtedly led to his formation of the theory that the English government was purely despotic and absolute before the accession of the Stuarts. A love of effect, no less than his constitutional indolence, may have betrayed the historian into inconsistencies, and prompted some of his exaggeration and high colouring relative to the unfortunate Charles I., his trial and execution. Thus, in one page we are informed that the height of all iniquity and fanatical extravagance yet remained the public trial and execution of the sovereign.' Three pages farther on, the historian remarks-The pomp, the dignity, the ceremony of this transaction, corresponded to the greatest conception that is suggested in the annals of humankind; the delegates of a great people sitting in judgment upon their supreme magistrate, and trying him for his misgovernment and breach of trust.' With similar inconsistency he in one part admits,

The favourers of the ancient religion maintained, on the other hand, that the pretence of making the people see with their own eyes was a mere cheat, and was itself a very gross artifice, by which the new preachers hoped to obtain the guidance of them, and to seduce them from those pastors whom the laws of ancient establishments, whom Heaven itself, had appointed for their spiritual direction; that the people were, by their ignorance, their stupidity, their necessary avocations, totally unqualified to choose their own principles; and it was a mockery to set materials before them of which they could not possibly make any proper use; that even in the affairs of common life, and in their temporal concerns, which lay more within the compass of human reason, the laws had in a great measure deprived them of the right of private judgment, and had, happily for their own and the public interest, regulated their conduct and behaviour; that theological questions were placed far beyond the sphere of vulgar comprehension; and ecclesiastics themselves, though assisted by all the advantages of education, erudition, and an assiduous study of the

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