The Works of William Robertson, D. D...: To which is Prefixed an Account of His Life and Writings, Volume 1


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Page xlvi - I have always thought, with yon, that we possess at this time very great advantages towards the knowledge of human nature. We need no longer go to history to trace it in all its stages and periods. History, from its comparative youth, is but a poor instructor. When the Egyptians called the Greeks children in antiquities, we may well call them children ; and so we may call all those nations which were able to trace the progress of society only within their own limits.
Page cviii - I was carried thence to the count d'A. who is but four years of age, I heard him mumble something, which, though he had forgot in the way, I conjectured from some scattered words to have been also a panegyric dictated to him. Nothing could more surprise my friends, the Parisian philosophers, than this incident » " • » • » * * * * * It is conjectured that this honour was payed me by express order from the D.
Page cii - I think Rollin's success might encourage you, nor need you be in the least intimidated by his merit. That author has no other merit but a certain facility and sweetness of narration, but has loaded his work with fifty puerilities.
Page 370 - At this time the regent called a parliament, in order to proceed to the forfeiture of those who refused to acknowledge the king's authority. The queen's adherents were alarmed, and Argyll and Huntly, whom Mary had appointed her lieutenants, the one in the south, and the other in the north of Scotland, began to assemble forces to obstruct this meeting.
Page cxiv - But whatever success the attempt may sometimes have, it is always obtained at the expence of purity, and of the graces that are natural and appropriate to our language. It is true that when the exigence calls for auxiliaries of all sorts, and common language becomes unequal to the demands of extraordinary thoughts, something ought to be conceded to the necessities which make
Page 190 - Abbeys, cathedrals, churches, libraries, records, and even the sepulchres of the dead, perished in one common ruin. The storm of popular insurrection, though impetuous and irresistible, had extended only to a few counties, and soon spent its rage ; but now a deliberate and universal rapine completed the devastation of every thing venerable and magnificent which had escaped its violence.
Page xlvi - When even those ashes will be spread over the present fire, God knows, I am heartily sorry that we are now supplying you with that kind of dignity and concern, which is purchased to history at the expense of mankind. I had rather by far that Dr. Robertson's pen were only employed in delineating the humble scenes of political economy, than the great events of a civil war. However...
Page cxvii - God to be necessary for the saving understanding of such things as are revealed in the word : and that there are some circumstances concerning the worship of God and government of the church, common to human actions and societies, which are to be ordered by the light of nature, and Christian prudence, according to the general rules of the word, which are always to be observed.
Page ci - It is probable Mar refused compliance, for no steps were taken towards it. I am nearly printed out, and shall be sure to send you a copy by the stagecoach, or some other conveyance. I beg of you to make remarks as you go along. It would have been much better had we communicated before printing, which was always my desire, and was most suitable to the friendship which always did, and I hope always will, subsist between us. I speak this chiefly on my own account. For though I had the perusal of your...
Page cxiv - ... allowances to necessities ought not to grow into a practice. Those portents and prodigies ought not to grow too common. If you have, here and there, (much more rarely, however, than others of great and not unmerited fame) fallen into an error, which is not that of the dull or careless...

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