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preffing the whole evidence on the oppofite fide of the queftion. His conduct in the controverfy with Mr. Tytler can hardly be defended: And his injurious treatment of Queen Mary of Scotland is not more difgusting than his elaborate panegyrics on the virtues of her pofterity. When we examine Mrs. Macaulay's performance on the fame period, we meet with a profufion of intelligence, of which the mere reader of Hume has not the most diftant conception. The Scottish historian gives but fhort and partial excerpts from the writers of the times. His whig antagonist, on the other hand, gives large extracts from the original writers; and though to a fuperficial reader, her work affumes an air lefs pleafing and claffical, what is loft in elegance is fully repaid in authenticity. He is a zealous advocate for the tawdry ceremonies of the Church of England, and yet the main scope of his metaphyfical writings, is to extinguish every fentiment of religion: His history was written for fale; and there he condefcended to flatter public fuperftition at the expence of reason.

Mr. Hume, in common with most of our hiftorians, has omitted to give an account of his materials. A judicious reader, when he fees them perpetually referred to, will ask who is Froiffart, and who is Rhymer? Till the acceffion of the house of Tudor, his narrative is abrupt. For example, the reign of Edward III. extended to almost half a century, and is one of the most bufy and memorable in ancient or modern annals. It is compreffed by Mr. Hume within an hundred octavo pages, while the reign of Elizabeth alone fills one of his largest volumes. His warmeft admirers must allow, that he betrays a grofs difproportion of parts in the execution of his plan: But in truth, it was by far too extenfive to he completed by any fingle pen. It was neceffary to write a book of a faleable fize. As an epitome of English Hiftory, it is too large; but as a complete hiftory, it is by far too short. We, every day, fee whole folios printed on the antiquities of

a fingle town, or a fingle country parish. Why then fhould we think it tirefome to read twenty or thirty volumes on the national hiftory of our ancestors? Mr. Hume, like many men of eminence, has performed too little, by attempting to perform too much; yet his writings afford univerfal and lafting pleasure. The diftinctness of his manner, and the acutenefs of his general obfervations, cast a veil over the errors and deficiencies of his narrative.

In the Mifcellanies in Profe and Verfe, of which feveral extracts have been lately made in the Bee, and which are just now advertised by Mr. Greech, there is a note on this fubject, which I beg leave to infert.

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"I would not walk across my parlour to learn whe"ther Mary was guilty or innocent of any one crime "laid to her charge. The conduct of Darnley to his "wife, his fovereign, his benefactress, deserved ten "deaths; and Mary, if connected with the conspirators, was at worst but an executioner of juftice. If แ we fhall, without a spark of evidence, admit her a"mour with Rizzio, it may be faid in apology, that "the fhrunk with propriety from the embraces of a "monfter; and is there one of her accufers who has "not, at fome unguarded moment, been feduced by "the infirmities of our nature? In all that relates to "Both well, and the fequel of her ftory, I fee nothing "but fome imprudence, much magnanimity, and infinite "bad fortune. If fhe wanted to depofe and deftroy Eli"zabeth, ftill the ruin of her country, the massacre "of her friends, the lofs of her kingdom, her liberty, " and her child, juftified her revenge. David Hume, "that MAN OF MILD DISPOSITIONS *, who endeavoured to run one of his critics through the body, and who replied to another + in the language of a clown, has, "on this fubject diftinguifhed himself, by perfevering detected untruth. Let us fuppofe a familiar


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* See my own life.

+ Mr. Tytler.

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"cafe, that this philofopher had been confined "but for a month, in one of the dungeons of the Holy Office at Lisbon, and that he was on the point "of making his escape. Query, Would he have re"fufed freedom, for fear of injuring the Inquifitor "who arrefted him? or, would he not have enjoyed a tranfport of honeft fatisfaction, in knocking out the "brains of the whole fraternity. And is not this com



parison in point? I confider as wafte paper our quaint "wire-drawn hiftorical portraits of Becket, Knox, "Beaton, Murray, Morton, Maitland, Strafford, Eli"zabeth, and her four immediate worthy fucceffors. "It is like starting a moral distinction between Tur"pin and Cartouche, or Barrington and Jack Sheppard."


On the ancient history of England, few writers have thrown more light than the famous FROISSART. His chronicle commences with the acceffion of Edward III. and ends with the death of Richard II. containing a period of feventy three years. Like almost every other writer, he has numerous and obvious imperfections. But what Plutarch has remarked of an ancient hiftorian, may with equal juftice be applied to this author. Froiffart does not defcribe a march, a battle, a fiege, or a pursuit, but he places them before our eyes. By the firft ftroke of his artlefs, yet magic pen, we are tranfported into the tumult of action, and are forward to forget that we continue in the clofet. He has not indeed attempted the higher walks of eloquence. He is neither a Thucydides nor a Salluft, nor does he display the judgment and accuracy of Polybius; but he deferves to be termed the Xenophon of his age. Replete with materials, it is true that he has inferted a multiplicity of particulars, which are no longer interefting at the distance of four centuries. But wherever his fubject rifes equal to his abilities, full, without redundancy, intelligent and inftructive, without oftentation, he charms us by Chat pathetic fimplicity of manner, that minute but


happy felection of circumftances, which animates the page of the admired Athenian. Nor is it the leaf honourable part of his praise, that he appears to have been entirely divefted of national and of perfonal prejudice, and that without any veftige of parade or affectation, he frequently discovers the traces of a feeling heart. The candid reader will forgive this tribute of refpect. While hourly opprefled with a fresh multitude of infipid compilations from compilations, we are in the most ferious danger of forgetting the very exiftence of those ineftimable writers from whom our whole fources of information are originally derived. Of the many fhip loads of treatifes on Roman affairs, which English, and still more, French idleness has dragged into light, a numberlefs majority make not the moft diftant approaches to claffical merit; and yet of the greater part of Greek and Roman historians, an entire and decent tranflation will be fought for in vain in either language. After fuch mournful evidence of our ftupidity, it is hopeless to add, that an accurate verfion of Froiffart would be an important acquifition to the literary world.

His memoirs exhibit a beautiful portion of modern history; and a liberal mind will obferve with peculiar pleasure, that they are not deformed by the madness of theological rancour. They do not exhibit the horrid farce of nations exterminating each other for antiquated systems of faith, in the wildest degree abfurd, or abfolutely unintelligible. This venerable veteran was not to difguft us by the detail of controverfies and of martyrdoms, where learning is frivolity, and fortitude at beft but the frenzy of ignorance; nor were a cockfight and a card table, a masquerade and an horse race, to limit the amufements and ambition of a brave and proud nobility. The black Prince never condefcended to become arbiter in the quarrels of a band of jockics or of fiddlers. Neither his father nor his fellow-foldiers would have admired his magnanimity. Glowing

May 25, with the most exalted fentiments of perfonal indepen-. dence and heroic fame, it was to vindicate the importance of his family, or the beauty of his miftrefs, that the knight couched his lance, and rushed into the field. The rough, but manly features of the foul, difplayed an interesting dignity: The paffions blazed into their wildeft effort; and though reason and humanity cannot always approve, the tear of fenfibility attefts that we admire.


To the Editor of the Bee.

On America.

As a foundation has been laid for an extenfive circulation of your excellent journal, in the States of North America, and as I have for more than five and twenty years paft entered with fincere good will into the interefts and happinefs of that noble community, which had the honour and refolution to obtain its freedom from the tyranny of the parent ftate, I feel myself inclined to fulfil my good offices towards the good people of America, by inferting fuch papers in your ufeful collection as may prove of peculiar advantage to our tranf-Atlantic children. With this view, I cannot begin with a fentiment that affects me more, or that feems of equal importance, than that expreffed by the great Washington, when in the year 1789 he addressed the Congrefs, on his accepting the fupreme magistracy. "No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invifible hand which conducts the affairs of men, more than the people of the united states. Every ftep by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation, feems to have been diftinguished by fome token of providential agency; and in

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