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to 1737-by JOHN, LORD HERVEY. This work is a valuable addition to our history of the Georgian period. It abounds in minute details drawn from personal observation; the characters are well painted and discriminated, and the style is plain, vigorous, and concise. Lord Hervey is well known as the Sporus of Pope, the husband of the beautiful Mary Lepell, celebrated by the poets, and as a supple poli tician, though a good parliamentary debater. He was successively vice-chamberlain and lord privy seal, and a great favourite with Queen Caroline, which enabled him to become so thoroughly acquainted with the interior of the court. All the vices, coarseness, and dullness of that court he has described at length, and in some respects a more humiliating or disgusting picture has never been thrown open to the public gaze. Besides his Memoirs,' Lord Hervey wrote occasional verses, and joined with Lady Mary Wortley Montagu in endeavouring vainly to repel the envenomed shafts of Pope. He was a man of talent and energy, though contending with wretched health, drinking asses' milk, and rouging his countenance to conceal his ghastly appearance-all which personal infirmities, Pope mercilessly turned against him; but of moral or religious principle, or public honour, Hervey appears to have been wholly destitute. A few weeks before his death, we find him writing thus characteristically to Lady Mary: The last stages of an infirm life are filthy roads, and, like all other roads, I find the further one goes from the capital, the more tedious the miles grow, and the more rough and disagreeable the way. I know of no turnpikes, to mend them; medicine pretends to be such, but doctors who have the management of it, like the commissioners for most other turnpikes, seldom execute what they undertake; they only put the toli of the poor cheated passenger in their pockets, and leave every jolt at least as bad as they found it, if not worse.' He died in 1743, aged forty-seven. Lady Hervey survived till 1768. volume of her Letters was published in 1821, and does honour to her acuteness and literary acquirements.


Personal Traits of George II. and Queen Caroline.

Many ingredients concurred to form this reluctance in his majesty to bestowing. One was that, taking all his notions from a German measure, he thought every man who served him in England overpaid; another was, that while employments were vacant he saved the salary; but the most prevalent of all was his never having the least inclination to oblige. I do not believe there ever lived a man to whose temper benevolence was so absolutely a stranger. It was a sensation that, I dare say, never accompanied any one act of his power: so that whatever good he did was either extorted from him, or was the adventitious effect of some self-interested act of policy; consequently, if any seeming favour he conferred ever obliged the receiver. it must have been because the man on whom it fell was ignorant of the motives from which the giver bestowed. I remember Sir Robert Walpole saying once, in speaking to me of the king, that to talk with him of compassion, consideration of past services, charity, and bounty, was making use of words that with him had no meaning I once heard him say he would much sooner forgive anybody that had murdered a man, than anybody that cut down one of his oaks; because an oak was so much longer growing to a useful size than a man, and consequently, one loss would be sooner supplied than the other; and one evening, after a horse had run away, and

killed himself against an iron spike, poor Lady Suffolk saying it was very lucky the man who was upon him had received no hurt, his majesty snapped her very short, and said: Yes, I am very lucky, truly; pray, where is the luck? I have lost a good horse, and I have got a booby of a groom still to keep.' The queen, by long studying and long experience of his temper, knew how to instil her own sentiments -whilst she affected to receive his majesty's; she could appear convinced whilst she was controverting, and obedient whilst she was ruling; and by this menus her dexterity and address made it impossible for anybody to persuade him what was truly his case that whilst she was seemingly on every occasion giving up her opinion and her will to his, she was always in reality turning his opinion and bending his will to hers. She managed this deified image as the heathen priests used to do the oracles of old, when, kneeling and prostrate before the altars of a pageant god, they received with the greatest devotion and reverence those directions in public which they had before instilled and regulated in private. And as these idols consequently were only propitious to the favourites of the augurers, so nobody who had not tanipered with our chief priestess ever received a favourable answer from our god: storms and thunder greeted every votary that entered the temple without her protection-calms and sunshine those who obtained it. The king himself was so little sensible of this being his case, that one day, enumerating the people who had governed this country in other reigns, he said Charles I. was governed by his wife, Charles II. by his mistresses, King James by his priests, King William by his men, and Queen Anne by her women-favourites. His father, he added, had been governed by anybody that could get at him. And at the end of this compendious history of our great and wise monarchs, with a significant, satisfied, triumphant air, he turned about, smiling, to one of his auditors, and asked him: And who do they say governs now?' Whether this is a true or a false story of the king, I know not, but it was currently reported and generally believed... . She was at least seven or eight hours tete-a-tete with the king every day, during which time she was generally saying what she did not think, aasenting to what she did not believe, and praising what she did not approve; for they were seldom of the same opinion, and he too fond of his own for her ever at first to dare to controvert it (Consilii quamvis egregii quod ipse non afferret inimicus' -An enemy to any counsel, however excellent, which he himself had not suggested.'-Tacitus) She used to give him her opinion as jugglers do a card, by changing it imperceptibly, and making him believe he held the same with that he first pitched upon. But that which made these tete-a-tetes seem heaviest was that he neither liked reading nor being read to-unless it was to sleep; she was forced, like a spider, to spin out of her own bowels all the conversation with which the fly was taken. However, to all this she submitted, for the sake of power, and for the reputation of having it; for the vanity of being thought to possess what she desired was equal to the pleasure of the possession itself. But, either for the appearance or the reality, she knew it was absolutely necessary to have interest in her hushand, as she was sensible that interest was the measure by which people would always judge of her power. Her every thought, word, and act therefore tended and was calculated to preserve her influence there; to him she sacrificed her time, for him she mortified her inclination; she looked, spake, and breathed but for him, like a weathercock to every capricious blast of his uncertain temper, and governed him--if such influence so gained can bear the name of government-by being as great a slave to him thus ruled as any other wife could be to a man who ruled her. For all the tedious hours she spent, then, in watching him whilst he slept, or the heavier task of entertaining him whilst he was awake, her single consolation was in reflect'ug she had power, and that people i coffee-houses and ruelles were saying she governed this country, without knowing how dear the government of it cost her.



Relying on the valuable collections of Carte; animated by a strong love of literary fame, which he avowed to be his ruling passion; de sirious also of combating the popular prejudices in favour of Eliza beth and against the Stuarts; and master of a style singularly fasci nating, 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 his 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 three years in literary study and 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 appeared in January 1739, and which he acknowledges 'fell deadborn from the press.' A third part appeared in 1740; and in 1742 he produced two volumes, entitled Essays, Moral and Philosophical.' Some of these miscellaneous productions are remarkable for research and discrimination, and for elegance of style. In 1745, he undertook the charge of the Marquis of Annandale, a young nobleman of deranged mind; and in this humiliating employment the philosopher continued about a twelvemonth. He next made an unsuccessful attempt to be appointed professor of moral philosophy in his native university, after which he fortunately obtained the situation of secretary to Lieutenant-general St. Clair, who was first appointed to the command of an expedition against Canada, and afterwards ambassador to the courts of Vienna and Turin.

In the latter, Hume enjoyed congenial and refined society. While at Turin he cast anew, as he says, the first part of his Treatise on Human Nature,' and it was published in London under the title of an Inquiry concerning Human Understanding.' In this work he promulgated the theory of association, which excited much admiration for its simplicity and beauty. In 1751 he produced his 'Inquiry concerning the Principles of Morals,' which he considered as incomparably his best work; and in the following year, having removed to Edinburgh, he published there his Political Discourses,' the only work of Hume's which was at first successful. At this time, with a view to the promotion of his studies, he assumed gratuitously the office of librarian to the Faculty of Advocates, and 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 Scot

land 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 last two 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 he ac companied the Earl of Hertford on his embassy to Paris, where he was received with marked distinction. In 1766 he returned to Scot land, but was induced next year to accept the situation 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 de cidedly 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.

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. He was constantly subjecting it to revision in point of style, but was content to take his authorities at second hand. 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 careless 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 Calvinistic divines, and his temperament led him at all times to regard with disgust and derision that enthusiasm or bigotry with which the spirit of English freedom was, in his opinion, inseparably associated.' A love of paradox undoubtedly led to his for

mation 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 exaggerations 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 pub lic trial and execution of the sovereign.' Three pages further on, the his torian remarks: The pomp, the dignity, the ceremony of this transac tion, corresponded to the greatest conception that is suggested in the annals of humankind; the delegates of a great people sitting in judg ment upon their supreme magistrate, and trying him for his misgovernment and breach of trust.' With similar inconsistency, he in one part admits, and in another denies, that Charles was insincere in deal· ing 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 shew that, before the time specified, Cromwell was in forty-five committees, 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.

Ample information as to the life and character and studies of Hume was given to the world in the 'Life and Correspondence of David Hume,' two volumes, 1846, by John Hill Burton, advocate, author of the 'History of Scotland.'

The Middle Ages-Progress of Freedom.

Those who cast their eye on the general revolutions of society, will find that, as almost all improvements of the human mind had reached nearly to their state of perfection about the age of Augustus, there was a sensible decline from that point or period; and men thenceforth gradually relapsed into ignorance and barbarism. The unlimited extent of the Roman empire, and the consequent despotism of its monarchs, extinguished all emulation, debased the generous spirits of men, and depressed the noble flame by which all the refined arts must be cherished and enlivened. The military government which soon succeeded, rendered even the lives and properties of men insecure and precarious; and proved destructive to those vulgar and

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