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of literature, he went, on the close of the year 1734, to FRANCE, with a view to prosecute his studies in a country retreat, and to be the better enabled to observe that rigid frugality which the deficiency of his fortune, and his love of independence, required. During this retreat, which was first at Rheims, but chiefly at La Fleche, in Anjou, he composed his Treatise on Human Nature; and, after an absence of three years in this agreeable folitude, returned to London, for the purpose of publishing the work; but, to use his own expreffion, "never literary attempt << was more unfortunate than the publication of "this treatise. It fell dead-born from the prefs, "without reaching fuch diftinction as even to "excite a murmur among the zealots: but being naturally of a cheerful and fanguine temper, "I very foon recovered the blow." He entertained a notion that his want of fuccefs in publishing this work, had proceeded more from the manner than the matter, and that he had been guilty of the ufual indifcretion of young authors, in going to the prefs too early. He therefore caft the first part of that work anew, and introduced it into his Enquiry concerning the Understanding, which was published about ten years afterwards, while he was at Turin; but this piece was at firft little more fuccefsful than the Treatise on Human Nature; and, on his return to England,

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he had the mortification to find the whole country in a ferment on account of Dr. MIDDLETON'S Free Enquiry, while his performance was entirely overlooked and neglected. A new edition of his Essays Moral and Political met with little better reception. In the year 1749 he retired from London to the house of his brother in the country, where, during a refidence of two years, he composed the second part of an Effay which he called Political Difcourfes, and alfo his Enquiry concerning the Principles of Morals, which was the other part of his Treatife on Human Nature caft anew; and he flattered himself, from the accounts he received from his bookfeller, and from the railings of Dr. WARBURTON, that his works were beginning to be esteemed in good company. Encouraged by these symptoms of a rifing reputation, he published in the year 1752, at Edinburgh, where he then lived, his Political Difcourfes, which met with fome fuccefs; but, on publishing, in the same year, at London, his Enquiry concerning the Prin ciples of Morals, which, in his own opinion, was, of all his writings, hiftorical, philofophical, or literary, incomparably the best, it came, to use his own words, " unnoticed and unobferved into the world." In the year 1752 the Faculty of Advocates chofe him their librarian; an office from which he received little or no emolument,

emolument, but which gave him the command of a large library. He formed about this period the plan of writing THE HISTORY OF ENGLAND; but being frightened with the notion of continuing a narrative through a period of seven teen hundred years, he commenced with the ac ceffion of the House of Stuart; an epoch when he thought the misrepresentation of faction began chiefly to take place; and he acknowledges that he was extremely fanguine in his expectations of the fuccefs of this work. "I thought," fays he," that I was the only hiftorian that had " at once neglected present power, interest, and "authority, and the cry of popular prejudices ; "and as the fubject was suited to every capacity, "I expected proportional applause: but, mifera “able was my disappointment: I was affailed by "one cry of reproach, disapprobation, and even "deteftation. English, Scotch, and Irish, whig "and tory, churchman and fectary, freethinker "and religionist, patriot and courtier, united "in their rage against the man, who had pre"fumed to fhed a generous tear for the fate "of CHARLES THE FIRST, and the EARL "of STRAFFORD; and after the firft ebulli❝tions of their fury were over, what was still "more mortifying, the book feemed to fink into "oblivion. Mr. MILLAR told me that in a "twelvemonth he fold only forty-five copies of

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" it. I fcarcely, indeed, heard of one man in "the three kingdoms, confiderable for rank or "letters, that could endure the book. I muft "only except the primate of England, Dr. HER "RING, and the primate of Ireland, Dr. STONE, "which seem two odd exceptions. These digni "fied prelates separately fent me messages not to "be discouraged. I was, however, I confess, "difcouraged; and had not the war at that time "been breaking out between France and Eng "land, I had certainly retired to some provincial "town of the former kingdom, have changed my name, and never more have returned to cc my native country. But as this fcheme was

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not now practicable, and the subsequent vo "lume was confiderably advanced, I refolved to "pick up courage, and to perfevere." During this interval he published at London his Natural Hiftory of Religion, along with fome other fmall pieces; but its public entry was rather obfcure, except only that Dr. HURD wrote a pamphlet against it, with all the illiberal petulance, arrogance, and fcurrility of the Warbur tonian school. In 1756, two years after the fall of the first volume, was published the second volume of his Hiftory, containing the period from the death of CHARLES THE FIRST till THE REVOLUTION. This performance happen ed to give lefs difpleasure to the whigs, and was


better received. It not only rofe itself, but helped to buoy up its unfortunate brother. "But "though," adds Mr. HUME, "I had been "taught by experience that the wig party were "in poffeffion of beftowing all places, both in "the state and in literature, I even fo little "inclined to yield to their fenfelefs clamours, that "in above a hundred alterations, which farther "study, reading, or recollection, engaged me "to make in the reigns of the two firft Stuarts, "I made all of them invariably to the tory "fide." In the year 1759 he published his Hiftory of the House of Tudor; but the clamour against this performance was almost equal to that against the History of the two firft STUARTS. The reign of ELIZABETH was particularly obnoxious. But he was now callous against the impreffion of public folly, and continued very peaceably and contentedly in his retreat at Edinburgh, to finish, in two volumes, the more early part of the English History, which he gave to the public in 1762, with tolerable, and with but tolerable, success.* ·



The writings of HUME, however, notwithstanding the variety of winds and feafons to which they were exposed, made fuch advances, that the copy-money given him by the bookfellers much exceeded any thing before known in England, and rendered him not only independent, but opulent. "I retired," fays he, in the little memoir from which the greatest part of the

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