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delusion plainly was, that he often forgot this body, unless he had taken pains to master indulgence in pursuit of others; and also, that the evidence in the case. Musset-Pathay, he had less shame than other men in unveil- who spent years in the investigation of ing his faults and frailties, when their disclo: Rousseau's career, avows his conviction of sure ministered to any ruling propensity, not seldom when it fed that same vanity itself
. the suicidal act. He quotes, of course, the But no one can read his account of the fancies procès-verbal, which declares that the body he took in his early years, and not perceive had been examined by the two signing perhow strikingly the love of distinction prevailed sons en entier, and that the death had, in in him even then, and while his existence was their opinion, been occasioned by serous perfectly obscure. The displays that captivaied him, excited his envy, and even led to his apoplizy: but he shows that this entire ezuncouth attempts at imitation, were not the amination must have been a singularly rapid solid qualities or valuable acquirements of one, or its report grossly incomplete, since those he saw at Annecy or at Turin, but the the doctors make no reference whatever to a base tricks and superficial accomplishments of hole in the forehead, which the sculptor, a Bacler and a Venture, performers of the who made a cast the same evening, had to lowest order, but who, he perceived, were fol- stuff with wax before he began his work ; lowed by public applause. Later in life he which hole the proprietor of Ermenonville seems to have been almost insensible to any existence but his own, or when he could and Rousseau's widow accounted for to believe in that of external objects, it was al- their friends at the time by a fall in the ways in reference to himself; and at last this agony of death; but which the innkeeper feeling reached the morbid temperature of in the village told these very friends had fancying that he and his concerns were the been caused by a pistol-shot. only thing about which all other men cared, and with which all were occupying them! many other discrepancies : Thérèse, for
instance, asserted that Rousseau had taken selves; thus absorbing in self-contemplation all the faculties and all the feelings of his own nothing that morning—but the doctors mind.'—pp. 190-192.
found the stomach charged with coffeewhich, however, they did not analyze.
It We have expressed our general satisfac- is obvious that the family of Ermenonville tion with this Rousseau chapter-yet we and 'Thérèse had strong inducements to cannot leave it, without again complaining conceal the suicide, if suicide there was; of some carelessness in the matter of au- for at that time the old laws of felo de se thorities. We do not see any trace of
were in full vigor—and the consequence Lord Brougham's having consulted the of a procés-verbal alleging self-murder most detailed and laborious book as yet would have been the refusal of decent inpublished on the subject—the 'Histoire de
ternient and entire confiscation of properla Vie et des Ouvrages de J. J. Rousseau,
The amiable Girardins were of course, par V. D. Musset-Pathay '-Paris, 8vo., 1827 : and we are induced to observe this led that their friend caused his own death
on every ground, averse to having it believe neglect by the light off-hand style in which while under their roof; and the widow had Lord Brougham treats the story of Rous- indeed more than ordinary reason for soliciseau's death. Lord Brougham being of tode, inasmuch as the neighbors at the opinion that Rousseau was from youth dis- time connected Rousseau's
sudden death eased in mind, and latterly quite mad, the with a discovery by him of her intrigue question whether he did or did not put an with M. Girardin's groom, which groom end to himself cannot appear to his Lord- she in fact married almost immediately ship one of much importance. We doubt afterwards, to the deepest disgust of the about the madness. “As Hallam observes Ermenonville family. But even M. de Gi. in reference to a greater than Jean Jacques, rardin's narrative contains within itself the total absence of self-restraint, with the
some most suspicious circumstances. He intoxicating effects of presumptuousness, admits that his own wife, called at the wing is sufficient to account for aberrations which men of regular minds construe into actual occupied by Rousseau about an hour bé
fore he died, when Rousseau was in posmadness.'* But even with Lord Broug- session of all his faculties, but said he was ham's opinion on the point of insanity, he suffering agonies, and entreated the lady was not entitled to pronounce a brief con
to withdraw, and not witness the inevitatemptuous negative on the story of the sui- ble catastrophe.' He says she did withdraw cide, as an idle fiction, 'over and over
-and heard Rousseau bolt the door inside. again refuted,' and now credited by no
All this does not look like the symptoms of * Introd. to Lit, of Eur,
approaching apoplexy: but if we suppose
vol, i. p.
that Rousseau, brooding over the stable-ever, quote what Lord Brougham says in yard discovery, took poison in his coffee-proof of David's unconscionable carelessthat when Madame de Girardin came in he ness about authorities, as contrasted with was suffering the torture of the poison- the real labor of which we have the fruits that as soon as the lady withdrew and the in his apparently careless style. door was secured, he retired into the closet and clapt a pistol to his head—and that
Hume's first volume could not have been Thérèse concealed the pistol and invented for it was begun when he went to the Advo
the work of above a year or fifteen months; the fall—which must indeed have been a cates Library, early in 1752, and it was pubremarkable fall to produce such a hole as lished in 1754. The second volume succeedthe sculptor describes—then, the whole ed in 1756, but he had written half of it when story becomes clear and intelligible. It the first was published ; and in 1755 there apwas first told in print, as we believe, by peared also his “ Natural History of ReliMadame de Staël, in her · Lettres sur Rous- gion. Consequently we are positively cerseau, 1789'-eleven years after the event : could not have taken above three years to pre
lain that his whole “ History of the Stuaris" at least this was the first publication that
pare and to write. It is impossible to bt had a name of consequence. A young lady ihat this mode of writing history must leave of the Girardin family, who must have been no room for a full investigation of facts and little more than a child at the time of the weighing of authorities. The transactions event, complained to Madame de Staël, and of James's time comprised perhaps the most she answered that if she had fallen into an because the struggle between the Crown and
important period of our constitutional history, error, she had been misled by apparently the Commons then began, and occupied the insurmountable evidence: for her own
greater part of his reign. It was impossible father's secretary, a Swiss well acquainted to examine the period too closely, or in too with Rousseau, had told her that a few minute detail. The struggle continued in days before the death Rousseau announced Charles's time, and ended in the quarrel beto him his intention to commit suicide : tween the King and the people, in the usurpasecondly, another Swiss gentleman, M. tions of the Parliament, and in the overthrow Moultu, a most intimate friend of Rous followed, and the Cromwell usurpation. Now
of the Monarchy. The Commonwealth then seau's, gave exactly similar information : there is hardly one passage in all this history, and thirdly, Madame de Staël herself says from 1600 to 1650, which is not the subject of ve' des lettres que j'ai vu de lui, peu de temps hement controversy among parties of conflictavant sa mort, annoncaient le dessein de ing principles, and among inquiring men of terminer sa vie. Finally, Madame de Stael various opinions; yet all this was examined wrote and published incessantly during her by Mr. Home in less than two years, and his long subsequent life, yet she never retract- his materials collected and his authorities in
history of it was actually composed, as well as ed or cancelled her statement; and M. vestigated and compared and weighed, within Musset-Pathay says of his own knowledge that short period of time. No one can be eurthat she retained ber original belief to the prised il, in so short a time alloted to the whole end of her days, as he does now.—(IIistoire work, far more attention was given to the de la Vie, foc., pp. 430, &c.)
composition of the narrative than to the preThe Life of David Hume is another com- paration of the materials.?-pp. 211, 212. pact and vigorous sketch. It exhibits not such ease that he hardly ever corrected. Even
He is represented as having written with only honest and sagacious criticisnis on the Mr. Stewarı bas fallen into the error; and various classes of his works, but a persect Mr. Gibbon commends as a thing admitted the understanding of his temper and feelings, “ careless, inimitable beauties” of Hume’s and the results of a closer investigation of style. It was exactly the reverse, of which evhis literary habits than seems to have been idence remains admitting of no doubt and no attempted hitherto. We find in an Appen- appeal. The manuscript of his reigns before dix some curious new correspondence, and of the Stuarts and the Tudors,” is still extant, it is obvious that the text has often been and bears marks of composition anxiously lastrengthened and enriched by the use of bored, words being written and scored out, original materials.
and even several times changed, until he As we but lately placed before our read- could find the expression to his mind. The ers (Q. R. vol. Ixxiii.) a somewhat length- manuscript of his ** Dialogues ” also remains
and is written in the same manner. Nay, his ened article on the structure, and especially the influence of Ilume's great historical The result of care and labor. The maxim of
very letters appear by this test 10 have been work, we need not be tempted to a new dis- Quinctilian—"Quæramus optimum, nec protisertation on these subjects. We must, how- nus offerentibus gaudeamus"-seems always
to have been his rule as to words; and his own i still remaining and in Edinburgh. “Those testimony to the same effect is to be found in who have examined the Hume papers, which a letter which I have obtained.'— pp. 221, 222. we know only from report, speak highly of
their interest, but add that they furnish painful Lord Brougham produces some fac sim- disclosures concerning the opinions then preiles of the Hume MSS., which show many tropolis; distinguished ministers of the Gospel
vailing among the clergy of the northern mealterations of word and arrangement; the
encouraging the scoffs of their familiar friend, change almost always towards the side of the author of the Essay on Miracles, and echosimplicity. We wish we had more exam-ing the blasphemies of their associate, the auples : not to confirm the general fact, that thor of the Essay on Suicide.” (Quart. Rev., Hume's felicity was the result of pains, but vol. Ixxiii. p. 556.) Now this heavy charge for the sake of the lesson in taste involved against some of the most pious and most virin each specific instance.
We have not
Tuous men who ever adorned any church-Dr. the least suspicion that compact perspicuity dale, and others-seemed eminently unlikely to
Robertson, Dr. Blair, Dr. Jardine, Dr. Dryscan ever be sustained without much care be well founded. I have caused minute search and reflection ; but different men conduct to be made; and on fully examining all that the mechanism of composition in different collection, the result is to give the most unfashions, and the negative evidence of an qualified and peremptory contradiction to this unblotted page is worth next to nothing. scandalous report. It is inconceivable how Of the two most graceful prose writers on
such a rumor should have arisen in any quara large scale, in our own time, the MSS. show few erasures. But the one had so ex
We beg leave to say that the Quarterly Retraordinary a memory that he could finish
view did not mention one of the reverend a chapter during a ride, and then set it down so as hardly to need revision. The names here enumerated by Lord Brougham; other not only kept common-place books and that we quite agree with him in rein which every thought that occurred to
specting some of those individuals as sinhim as likely to be useful afterwards, was circle were at least long-headed, cautious
cere ministers of the Gospel. Others of the separate paragraph on a scrap, and worked men-very unlikely, knowing with what it up in pencil, before he trusted his pen regarded, to commit themselves in writing.
suspicion their intimacy with Hume was with a syllable of what we can now com- The rumor,' however, will not be entirepare with the print. If the pencilled fragments had been preserved, then we should ly dispersed by Lord Brougham's note. have had a curious study. Such we have
He produces no evidence except as to the
actual contents of the Hume papers. They in the autograph of Ariosto, which marks the unrelenting sacrifice of a thousand lofty
caine but lately into the hands of their present possessors;
and and figurative expressions, succeeded by
we think it might have that chaste simplicity, to the imitation of occurred to Lord Brougham as not altogether which Galileo ascribed his own success in impossible (considering the late Mr. Baron
Hume's refusal to let any use be made of making science attractive. Such we have, thanks to Mr. Moore, in the case of Sheri- them during his own lifetime) that the learn.. dan; the wording of 'whose dramas will al- ed Judge purified the collection before he ways repay any scrutiny that an artist can bequeathed it to the Royal Suciety of
Edinburgh. bestow on a model. But see what bundles of self-contrast we are.
It is to the lazi.
But Lord Brougham has himself printed, ness of Hume that we owe these demonstra- Hume's to his friend Colonel Edmonstone
in this self-same Appendix, a letter of David tions of his diligence. He could be tempted to polish and repolish bit by bit—but (written in 1764), from which we appreshrunk' from a complete transcript ; which hend many readers will draw an inference done, we should have been left to our con
in tolerable harmony with the 'rumor’so jectures. Thanks then to the strenua iner: magisterially dismissed. tia of David's sofa. Lord Brougham, in "What–do you know that Lord Bute is his Appendix, has a paragraph which it con- again all-powerful ?-or rather that he was alcerns us to notice. He
ways so, but is now acknowledged for such hy
all the world? Let this be a new motive for • It is necessary to correct a very gross mis- Mr. V. to adhere to the ecclesiastical prosesstatement into which some idle or ill-intention- sion, in which he may have so good a patron, ed person has betrayed an ingenious and learn for civil employments for men of Jeiters can ed critic respecting the papers of Mr. Hume scarcely be found. All is occupied by men of
business, or by parliamentary interest. It is ges very singular for their ridicule and absurdputting 100 great a respect on the vulgar, and ity. He says that Mark Anthony, travelling on their superstitions, to pique oneseli on sin- from Rome in a post-chaise, lay the first night cerity with regard to them. Did ever one make at Redstones. I own I did not think this a very it a point of honor to speak truth to children classical name, but on recollection I found by or madmen? If the thing were worthy being the Philippics that he lay at Sara rubra. He treated gravely, I should tell him that the Py. talks likewise of Mark Anthony's favorite poet, thian oracle, with the approbation of Xeno Mr. Gosling, meaning Anser, who methinks phon, advised every one to worship the gods should rather be called Mr. Goose. He also Youo tolews. I wish it were still in my power to takes notice of Virgil's distinguishing himself be a hypocrite in this particular. The com.in his youth by his epigram on Crossbow, the mon duties of society usually require it; and robber. Look in your Virgil: you'll find that, the ecclesiastical profession only adds a little like other robbers, this man bore various more to an innocent dissimulation, or rather names. Crossbow is the name he took at Absimulation, without which it is impossible to erdeen, but Balista at Rome. The book has pass through the world. Am I a liar because many other flowers of a like nature, which I order my servant to say I am not at home made me exclaim, with regard to the author, when I do not desire to see company?' “Nec certe apparet utrum Minxerit in putrios
cineres, an triste bidental Moveril incestus: This letter, we suspect, would never have certe furil.” But other people who have read been intrusted by the late Baron Hume to through the volume, say that notwithstanding the keeping of the Royal Society of Edin- these absurdities it does not want merit; and burgh. Here we have David earnestly urg- if it be so, I own the case is still more singuing a young infidel to take on him the vows should speak of the mayoralty of Mr. Veitch,
What would you think of a man who of a Christian minister, as the likeliest means of procuring a comfortable income, this a fine way of avoiding the imputation of
meaning the consulship of Cicero ? Is not and to trample down as mere follies what-pedantry ? Perhaps Cicero, to modernize him ever scruples he had been entertaining as entirely, should be called Sir Mark Veitch, beto the breach of 'honor' involved in the cause his father was a Roman knight.'* deliberate dedication of bis life to a course of 'dissimulation, or rather simulation ;'
The life of Robertson (whose niece was and Hume conveys his high-minded advice Lord Brougham's mother) is the most in
young student through a third party teresting one in the volume—and indeed -a gentleman of Home's own standing, liv- we think it might be selected as the best ing in precisely the same Scotch society as example yet published of his Lordship's himself. We think the whole affair does skill in this kind. Not that we agree with throw very clear and very unpleasing light him, or suppose that the majority of conon the interior of Edinburgh 'life, both lay temporary readers, far less that posterity and clerical, in 1761. Will any man be- will agree with him in his estimate of lieve that David Hume would have ventur. Robertson as an author ; that seems to us ed to write as he did to Colonel Edmon- somewhat exaggerated ; but the view of stone unless he knew that the Colonel was his character, manners, and personal story as familiar as himself with a set of their is hardly to be overpraised. It is a charming fellow-countrymen who considered it hon- piece of composition-animated throughout orable to preach the Gospel every Sunday by feelings that do honor to the author, in the year, all the while holding believers who in early life sat at the feet of his venein Christianity to be what David and the rable kinsman, remembers with affectionate Colonel esteemed them—to wit, on a par fidelity his looks, words, tones, and geswith children or madmen ?
tures, and having treasured the ampler reWe too have had access to some of miniscences of several dear relations now Hume's unpublished letters, and we are glad also removed by death, presents the world to extract part of one which may amuse
with a picture which something within some of our readers, and can offend no- every breast at once acknowledges for a body :
portrait. As no future edition of Dr. Rob
ertson's works can appear without the ad· Edinburgh, April 20, 1756.
vantages of this ornament, we shall not copy "Even places more hyperborean
more than a few passages. than this, more provincial, more uncultivated, and more barbarous, may furnish articles for 'He had laid down for himself a strict plan a literary correspondence. Have you seen the of reading; and of the notes which he took second volume of Blackwall's “Court of Au. gustus”? I had it some days lying on my * Veitch-the northern form of vetch-is a com table, and on turning it over met with passa- 1 mon patronymic in Scotland.
there remain a number of books, beginning duct as a great party chief, and their uniform when he was only fourteen, all bearing the observation was upon the manifest capacity sentence as a motto which so characterized which he displayed for affairs. “ That he his love of learning, indicating that he delight- was not in his right place when only a cleried in it abstractedly, and for its own sake, cal leader or a literary man, but was plainly without regarding the uses to which it might designed by nature, as well as formed by be turned-Vita sine litteris mors. I give study, for a great practical statesman and orathis gloss upon the motto or text advisedly. tor," is the remark which seems to have struck His whole life was spent in study. I well re- all who observed his course. His eloquence member his constant habit of quitting the was bold and masculine; his diction, which drawing-room both after dinner and again flowed with perfect ease, resembled that of his after tea, and remaining shut up in his libra- writings, but of course became suited to the ry. The period of time when I saw this was exigencies of extemporaneous speech. He after the History of America had been pub. had the happy faculty of conveying an argulished, and before Major Rennel's map and ment in a statement, and would more than memoir appeared, which he tells us first sug- half answer his adversary by describing his gested the Disquisition on Ancient India. propositions and his reasonings. He showed the Consequently, for above ten years he was in greatest presence of mind in debate; and, as the course of constant study, engaged in extend- nothing could uffle the calmness of his teming his information, examining and revolving per, it was quite impossible to find him getthe facts of history, contemplating ethical and ting into a difficulty, or to take him at a disad. theological truth, amusing his fancy with the vantage. He knew precisely the proper time strains of Greek and Roman poetry, or warm- of coming forward to debate, and the time ing it at the fire of ancient eloquence so con- when, repairing other men's errors, supplying genial to his mind, at once argumentative and their deficiencies, and repelling the adverse asrhetorical; and all this study produced not saults, he could make sure of most advantaone written line, though thus unremittingly geously influencing the result of the conflict, carried on. The same may be said of the to which he ever steadily looked, and not to ten years he passed in constant study from display: If his habitual command of temper 1743, the beginning of his residence in a small averied anger and made him loved, his undeparish, of very little clerical duty, to 1752, viating dignity both of demeanor and conwhen we know from his letter to Lord Hailes duct secured him respect. The purity of his he began his first work. But, indeed, the com- blameless lise, and the rigid decorum of his position of his three great works, spread over manners, made all personal attacks upon him a period of nearly, thirty years, clearly evinces hopeless; and, in the management of party that during this long time his studies must concerns, he was so far above any thing like have been more subservient to his own grati- manœuvre or stratagem, that he achieved the fication than to the preparation of his writings, triumph so rare, and for a party chief so hard which never could have required one halsthat to win, of making his influence seem always number of years for their completion.
to rest on reason and principle, and his success Translations from the classics, and espe- in carrying his measures to arise from their cially from the Greek, of which he was a per- wisdom, and not from his own power. fect master, formed a considerable part of his 'They relate one instance of his being labor. He considered this exercise as well thrown somewhat off his guard, and showing calculated to give an accurate knowledge of a feeling of great displeasure, if not of anger, our own language, by obliging us to weigh in a severe remark upon a young member. the shade of difference between words or But the provocation was wholly out of the orphrases, and to find the expression, whether dinary course of things, and it might well by the selection of the terms or the turning of have excused, nay, called for, a much more the idioms, which is required for a given unsparing visitation than his remark, which meaning; whereas, when composing original- really poured oil into the wound it made. ly, the idea may be varied in order to suit the Mr. Cullen, afterwards Lord Cullen, was celdiction which most easily presents itself, of ebrated for his unrivalled talent of mimicry, which the influence produced manifestly hy and Dr. Robertson, who was one of his farhymes, in moulding the sense as well as vorite subjecis, had left the Assembly to dine, suggesting it, affords a striking and familiar meaning to return. As the aisle of the old example.'— pp. 259, 260.
church consecrated to the Assembly meetings,
was at that late hour extremely dark, the arOf Robertson as leader of the then tist took his opportunity of rising in the Prindominant party in the Kirk of Scotland, cipal's place and delivering a short speech in and the foremost speaker in the General his character, an evolution which he accomAssembly, Lord Brougham says :
plished without detection. The true chief re
iurned soon asier; and, at the proper tinie for of the lustre with which his talents now his interposition rose to address the house. shone forth all men are agreed in giving the The venerable Assen bly was convulsed with same account. I have frequently conversed laughter, for he seemed to be repeating what with those who can well reinember his con- he had said belore, so happy had the imitation