The History of Scotland, Volume 1


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Page 74 - Arabia ; the savage state of North America and of New Zealand. Indeed, you have made a noble use of the advantages you have had. You have employed philosophy to judge on manners, and from manners you have drawn new resources for philosophy. I only think that in one or two points you have hardly done justice to the savage character.
Page 74 - I have always thought with you, 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 alt " its stages and periods. History, from its coin" parative youth, is but a poor instructor.
Page 167 - ... me. How would you have turned pale at the sight ! It was a leaf of your History, and the very character of Queen Elizabeth, which you had laboured so finely, little thinking it would so soon come to so disgraceful an end. — I happened a little after to see Millar, and told him the story ; consulting him, to be sure, on the fate of his new boasted historian, of whom he was so fond. But the story proves more serious than I apprehended. For he told Strahan, who...
Page 73 - I am now enabled to thank you, not only for the honour you have done me, but for the great satisfaction, and the infinite variety and compass of instruction I have received from your incomparable work. Every thing has been done which was so naturally to be expected from the author of the History of Scotland, and of the Age of Charles the fifth.
Page 100 - One is also plagued with his notes, according to the present method of printing the book. When a note is announced you turn to the end of the volume, and there you often find nothing but a reference to an authority. All these authorities ought only to be printed at the margin or the bottom of the page.
Page 166 - 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 1 - ... he was possessed in Cheshire, descended to our poet, who was his eldest son, and still remain in the family.
Page 22 - You have very good cause to be satisfied with the success of your History, as far as it can be judged of from a few weeks' publication. I have not heard of one who does not praise it warmly ; and were I to enumerate all those whose suffrages I have either heard in its favour, or been told of, I should fill my letter with a list of names. Mallet told me that he was sure there was no Englishman capable of composing such a work. The town will have it that you was educated at Oxford, thinking it impossible...
Page 96 - In consequence of this innovation, while the province of the historian has been enlarged and dignified, the difficulty of his task has increased in the same proportion ; reduced, as he must frequently be, to the alternative, either of interrupting unseasonably the chain of events, or, by interweaving disquisition and narrative together, of sacrificing clearness to brevity.
Page 169 - A plague take you ! Here I sat near the historical summit of Parnassus,, immediately under Dr Smollet ; and you have the impudence to squeeze yourself by me, and place yourself directly under his feet. Do you imagine that this can be agreeable to me...

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