The history of Scotland, during the reigns of queen Mary and of king James vi. To which is prefixed An account of the life and writings of the author, by D. Stewart, Volume 1


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Page 159 - Strahan, who thence suspects villany among his prentices and journeymen ; and has sent me very earnestly to know the gentleman's name, that he may find out the grocer, and trace the matter to the bottom. In vain did I remonstrate that this was sooner or later the fate of all Authors, serius, ocyus, sors exitura. He will not be satisfied ; and begs me to keep my jokes for another occasion.
Page 174 - I will frankly own that my pride is elated, as often as I find myself ranked in the triumvirate of British Historians of the present age, and though I feel myself the Lepidus, I contemplate with pleasure the superiority of my colleagues. Will you be so good as to assure Dr A. Smith of my regard and attachment. I consider myself as writing to both, and will not fix him for a separate answer. My direction is, A Monsieur Monsieur Gibbon d Lausanne en Suisse.
Page 177 - be sorry to see further advanced by a writer of your just " reputation. The tendency of the mode to which I allude " is, to establish two very different idioms amongst us, " and to introduce a marked distinction between the En" glish that is written and the English that is spoken.
Page 68 - I am perfectly sensible of the very flattering distinction I have received in your thinking me worthy of so noble a present as that of your History of America. I have, however, suffered my gratitude to lie under some suspicion, by delaying my acknowledgment of so great a favour. But my delay was only to render my obligation to you more complete, and my thanks, if possible, more merited. The close of the session brought a great deal of very troublesome though not important business on me at once....
Page 156 - ... expressed your wish that I should not write this period. I could not write downward. For when you find occasion, by new discoveries, to correct your opinion with regard to facts which passed in Queen Elizabeth's days, who, that has not the best opportunities of informing himself, could venture to relate any recent transactions ? I must, therefore, have abandoned altogether this scheme of the English history, in which I had proceeded so far, if I had not acted as I did. You will see what light...
Page 70 - But now the great map of mankind is unrolled at once, and there is no state or gradation of barbarism, and no mode of refinement, which we have not at the same moment under our view...
Page 97 - Robertson's works have been allowed, by the most competent judges, to be remarkably free ; but to an occasional substitution of general or of circuitous modes of expression, instead of the simple and specific English phrase. An author who lives at a distance from the acknowledged standard of elegance, writes in a dialect different from that in which he is accustomed to speak ; and is naturally led to evade, as much as possible, the hazardous use of idiomatical phrases, by the employment of such as...
Page 183 - ... 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 155 - September 1572. He was then sent into Scotland. It there appears that the Regents, Murray and Lennox, had desired Mary to be put into their hands, in order to try her and put her to death. Elizabeth there offers to Regent Mar to deliver her up, provided good security were given, " that she should receive that she hath deserved there by order of justice, whereby no further peril should ensue by her escaping, or by setting her up again.
Page 178 - But the 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, you have an author who is himself guilty, in his own tongue, of the same fault, in a very high degree. No author thinks more deeply, or paints more strongly ; but he seldom or ever expresses himself naturally.

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