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They are never to hear mass, but to attend at the ambassador's chapel every Sunday. Such is the general account I have to give you ; their preceptor will be more particular, and I shall visit them from time to
Hume's Sentiments as to the Popularity of his works — A letter to the Scot
tish Clergy - Correspondence with Elliot continued Sir Robert ListonMallet - Hume appointed Secretary of Legation — Chargé d'Affaires at Paris - Proposal to appoint him Secretary for Ireland · Reasons of the Failure of the Project - Lord Hertford — Resumption of Communication with Rousseau - Rousseau in Paris -- Notices of his History and Character — Hume's solicitude for his welfare — Return to Britain - Disposal of Rousseau - Death of Jardine.
ALLUSION has occasionally been made to the difficulty of satisfying Hume with any amount of literary success. His correspondence with Millar is a long grumble about the prejudices he has had to encounter, and their influence on the circulation of his works; while the bookseller, by the most glowing pictures of their popularity, is only able to elicit a partial gleam of content. The success of the History made worthy Mr. Millar very anxious that it should be continued, and Hume for a time acquiesced in the proposal. There is a letter from Millar on the 26th October, enlarging on the great and rapid sales : about 2500 complete sets of the quarto edition, and upwards of 3000 of the History of the Stuarts,” had been sold, along with
1 Minto MSS.
near 2000 of the 8vo. edition. In continuation he says:
The Essays, 8vo, were only published in May; what has been sold of them, of all the different editions, I cannot recollect. I was asked that question at St. James's the other day, when I said, I considered your works as classics, that I never numbered the editions, as I did in books we wished to puff. This I said before many clergy. I am not a little surprised to see one of your excellent understanding and merit so anxious about the sale, when the booksellers entirely concerned never complained, but on the contrary would be ready to give you to your utmost wish any encouragement to proceed in your History; and in truth, considering the number of enemies, some particular Essays have risen from interest, bigotry, folly, and knavery, not less than a one hundred thousand, it is rather astonishing your works have sold so much. While men are men this is to be expected, and you are the last man I should ever thought could paid the least attention to such things.
On this Hume says:
HUME to ANDREW MILLAR.
“ Paris, 14th January, 1765. “DEAR SIR, — I am much obliged to you
your last letter, which is very friendly, and I shall not fail to pay the proper attention to it.
attention to it. The truth is, as I intend to continue my History, I could not possibly have taken a more proper step than to pay a visit to this country, and to make acquaintance here; for as France and England are so intermixed in all transactions since the Revolution, the history of one country must throw light upon the other; and I am now in a situation to have access to all the families which have papers relative to public affairs transacted in the end of the last and beginning of this century. The
I MS. R.S.E.
reason why I was anxious to know the sale of my History, was, that I might judge whether I could expect equal access and information in England. The rage and prejudice of parties frighten me; and above all, this rage against the Scots, which is so dishonourable, and indeed so infamous to the English nation. We hear that it increases every day without the least appearance of provocation on our part. It has frequently made me resolve never in my life to set foot on English ground. I dread, if I should undertake a more modern history, the impertinence and ill manners to which it would expose me; and I was willing to know from you whether former prejudices had so far subsided as to ensure me of a good reception.”
The following very characteristic paper, which appears to have been enclosed to Dr. Blair, needs no introduction.
MS. R.S.E. In answer, Millar tells him that the prejudice is not against the Scots, but against Lord Bute; that matters have now, however, been all put right, for “ it is generally believed that Mr. Greenville is a good manager of the finances, and in general means well : as a proof of it, our stocks have been creeping up daily, and it is now generally believed that 3 per cent will soon come to par if affairs continue peaceable !" One possessed of better opportunities of judging, and more capable of using them, joins in these anticipations of success with which Grenville's disastrous career as a financier
opened. Elliot says, on 25th March, 1765 : “ To-morrow Mr. Grenville opens the budget, as it is usually called, and I believe our revenue will appear to be on a better footing than is usually believed. I hope we shall have discharged as much debt without breach of faith as you have done in a politer way. Not that I pretend to censure your method. You borrow at a high interest during time of war, and it is understood you are to take your own method in peace.
Our mode of proceeding is the very reverse of this. Your negotiation with regard to the French prisoners you must have heard, met allthe approbation it so well deserved.” (MS. R.S.E.) “ DEAR DOCTOR, - I am in debt to all my friends in letters, and shall ever be so. But what strikes me chiefly with remorse, are my great and enormous debts to the clergy. By this my neglect of my
Protestant pastors, you will begin to suspect that I am turning Papist. But to acquit myself at once, allow me to write you a common letter, and to address a few words to every one of you.
DR. ROBERTSON. “Your History has been very very well translated here, better than mine, as I am told. Its success has given me occasion to promise your acquaintance to several persons of distinction; the Duc de Nivernois, the Marquis de Puysieuls, President Hénault, Baron D’Holbach, &c. I wish you could speak French tolerably; you would find this place agreeable. The Marechal Broglio spoke of you to me with esteem the other day.
DR. CARLYLE. “I consulted with the Chevalier Macdonald, (who, by the bye, is here in great vogue, not for his gallantries, like some others who shall be nameless, but for his parts and knowledge ;) I say I consulted with the Chevalier about writing a common letter to Eglinton in favour of Wilson. He told me it would be quite useless. Eglinton would give that kirk and every thing else to the tenth cousin of the tenth cousin of a voter in the shire of Ayr, rather than to the most intimate friend he has in the world. Je baise les mains de Madame Carlyle avec tout l'empressement possible.
highly worthy from his piety and learning to be one; then Mr. Ferguson, I think I have nothing in particular to say to you, except that I am glad of the change of your class, because you desired it, and because it fitted Russell. For otherwise I should have liked better the other science. The news of your great success in teaching has reached me in Paris, and has given me pleasure; but I fear for your health from all these sudden and violent applications. Ah, that you could learn something, dear Ferguson, of the courteous, and caressing, and open manners of this country. I should not then have been to learn for the first time, (as I did lately from General Clark,) that you have not been altogether ungrateful to me, and that you bear me some good will, and that you sometimes regret my absence. Why should your method of living with me have borne so little the appearance of those sentiments ?
DR. BLAIR. Many people who read English have got your dissertation on Fingal, which they admire extremely: å very good critic told me lately that it was incomparably the best piece of criticism in the English language; a self-evident truth to me.
. I met also with many admirers of Fingal; but many also doubt of its authenticity. The Chevalier Macdonald is of use to me in supporting the argument, from his personal knowledge of facts. I cannot, however, but allow that the whole is strange, passing strange.
“You seem to wish that I should give you some general accounts of this country. Shall I begin with the points in which it most differs from England, viz., the general regard paid to genius and learning; the universal and professed, though decent, gallantry to