قراءة كتاب Life and Correspondence of David Hume, Volume I (of 2)

تنويه: تعرض هنا نبذة من اول ١٠ صفحات فقط من الكتاب الالكتروني، لقراءة الكتاب كاملا اضغط على الزر “اشتر الآن"

‏اللغة: English
Life and Correspondence of David Hume, Volume I (of 2)

Life and Correspondence of David Hume, Volume I (of 2)

تقييمك:
0
No votes yet
المؤلف:
دار النشر: Project Gutenberg
الصفحة رقم: 1


Transcriber's Notes: Variations in spelling and hyphenation have been left as in the original. Ellipses match the original. Greek words that may not display correctly in all browsers are transliterated in the text like this: βιβλος. Position your mouse over the line to see the transliteration.

A few typographical errors have been corrected. A complete list of corrections follows the text.

The original uses two different kinds of blockquotes. An explanation of the display of those blockquotes can be found here.

The Index that was printed at the end of Volume II. of this series has been included at the end of this Volume for reference purposes.


LIFE AND

CORRESPONDENCE OF

DAVID HUME.


bust of David Hume

LIFE

AND

CORRESPONDENCE

OF

DAVID HUME.

FROM THE PAPERS BEQUEATHED BY HIS NEPHEW TO THE
ROYAL SOCIETY OF EDINBURGH; AND OTHER
ORIGINAL SOURCES.

By JOHN HILL BURTON, Esq.
ADVOCATE.

VOLUME I.

EDINBURGH:
WILLIAM TAIT, 107, PRINCE'S STREET.
MDCCCXLVI.


EDINBURGH:
Printed by William Tait, 107, Prince's Street.


TO THE PRESIDENT AND COUNCIL

OF

THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF EDINBURGH,

THIS WORK IS RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED

BY

THEIR MOST OBEDIENT HUMBLE SERVANT,

J. H. BURTON.


ADVERTISEMENT.

In this work, an attempt has been made to connect together a series of original documents, by a narrative of events in the life of him to whom they relate; an account of his literary labours; and a picture of his character, according to the representations of it preserved by his contemporaries. The scantiness of the resources at the command of previous biographers, and the extent and variety of the new materials now presented to the world, render unnecessary any other apology for the present publication. How far these materials have been rightly used, readers and critics must judge; but I may be perhaps excused for offering a brief explanation of the spirit in which I desired to undertake the task; and the responsibility I felt attached to the duty, of ushering before the public, documents of so much importance to literature.

The critic or biographer, who writes from materials already before the public, may be excused if he give way to his prepossessions and partialities, and limit his task to the representation of all that justifies and supports them. If he have any misgivings, that, in following the direction of his prepossessions, he may not have taken the straight line of truth, he may be assured, that if the cause be one of any interest, an

advocate, having the same resources at his command, will speedily appear on the other side. But when original manuscripts are for the first time to be used, it is due to truth, and to the desire of mankind to satisfy themselves about the real characters of great men, that they should be so presented as to afford the means of impartially estimating those to whom they relate. We possess many brilliant Eulogiums of the leaders of our race—many vivid pictures of their virtues and their vices—their greatness or their weakness. But if a humbler, it is perhaps a no less useful task, to represent these men—their character, their conduct, and the circumstances of their life, precisely as they were; rejecting nothing that truly exemplifies them, because it is beneath the dignity of biography, or at variance with received notions of their character and the tendency of their public conduct. The desire to have a closer view of the fountain head whence the outward manifestations of a great intellect have sprung, is but one of the many examples of man's spirit of inquiry from effects to their causes; and the desire will not be gratified by reproducing the object of inquiry in all the pomp and state of his public intercourse with the world, and keeping the veil still closed upon his inner nature. It is difficult to write with mere descriptive impartiality, and without exhibiting any bias of opinion, on matters which are, at the same time, the most deeply interesting to mankind, and the objects of their strongest partialities. Though the task that was before me was simply to describe,

and never to controvert, I do not profess to have avoided all indications of opinion in the departments of the work which have the character of original authorship. I have the satisfaction, however, of reflecting, that the documents, which are the real elements of value in this work, are impartially presented to the reader, and that nothing is omitted which seemed to bear distinctly on the character and conduct of David Hume.

I now offer a few words in explanation of the nature of these original documents. The late Baron Hume had collected together his uncle's papers, consisting of the letters addressed to him, the few drafts or copies he had left of letters written by himself, the letters addressed by him to his immediate relations, and apparently all the papers in his handwriting, which had been left in the possession of the members of his family. To these the Baron seems to have been enabled to add the originals of many of the letters addressed by him to his intimate friends, Adam Smith, Blair, Mure, and others. The design with which this interesting collection was made, appears to have been that of preparing a work of a similar description to the present; and it is a misfortune to literature that this design was not accomplished. On the death of Baron Hume, it was found that he had left this mass of papers at the uncontrolled disposal of the Council of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. This learned body, after having fully considered the course proper to be adopted in these circumstances, determined that they would permit the papers to be made use of by any person

Pages