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as dead bodies embowelled or embalmed, but the stink is offensive. Then the pomatum and pultis, which are very uneasy to lie in, wet and greasy, and very unsavory; for all the while they have it on it presents to the nose a chandler's shop, or a greasy dripping-pan, so as all the time they fry, as it were, in grease; neither will their perfumes mend it, or their oils; and though I cannot say they live in purgatory, because they shun all hot places, for they cannot have the comfortable heat of the fire, and shun the natural heat of the sun, as the must live always as is they were at the North Pole, for fear the heat should melt away their oil, and oily drops can be no grace to their face. Dry painting shrivels up the skin, so as it imprints age in their face, in filling it full of wrinkles; wherefore paintings are both dangerous, ill-favored, and sluttish, besides the troublesome pains. But sor other adornments in women, they are to be commended, as curling, powdering, pouncing, clothing, and all the varieties of accoutrement.”
One of the most interesting works of the duchess's composition is a large folio volume of Sociable Letters, for so they are styled, 211 in number. The odd eleven are for individuals with names, the 200 to some madame, evidently an admirer of the duchess and her writings. There is no such thing as a date throughout the work, and names are distinguished by initials, which, provokingly enough, are of frequent occurrence. The letters, however, seem to have been written wholly abroad, and the collection was printed at London in 1664.
There is, of course, a complimentary copy of verses by the duke, and a letter of gratitude and extravagant adulation from the duchess, with a preface to all professors of learning and art, and another to the
“It may be said to me,” she writes to her lord, “as one said to a lady, ‘Work, lady, work—let writing books alone, for surely wiser women ne'er writ one; but your lordship here bid me to work, nor leave writing, except when you would persuade me spare so much time from my study as to take the air for my health; the truth is, my lord, I cannot work, I mean such work as ladies used to pass their time withal; but I am not a dunce in all employments, for I understand the keeping of sheep, and ordering of a grange, indifferently well, although I do not busy myself much with it, by reason my sci ibbling takes away most part of my time.” . . . . “As for the present book of letters,” she writes, “I know not, as }. what aspersion they will lay upon it, but I ear they’ll say, they are not written in a mode style, that is, in a complimenting and romantical way, with high words and mystical expressions, as most of our modern letter-writers use to do.”
The twenty-first letter contains a sad character of her sex.
“I observe,” she says, “that cards is one of the chief pastimes of our sex, and their greatest delight; for few or none of our sex loves or delights in poetry, unless a copy of verses made in their praise, wherein for the most part, is more flattery than wit.” . . . . Neither doth our sex take much pleasure in harmonious music, only in violins to tread a measure; the truth is, the chief study of our sex is romances, wherein reading, they fall in love with the feigned heroes and carpet-knights, with whom their thoughts secretly commit adultery, and in their conversation and manner, or forms or phrases of speech, they imitate the romancy-ladies.”
The forty-seventh letter is a long account of the pains that ladies take, and the cost they go to in getting, making, and buying fine and costly child-bed linen, swaddlingclothes, mantles, and the like, their banquets of sweetmeats, cakes, wafers, biscuits, jellies, and such strong drinks as hippocras and burnt wine, with hot spices, mulled? sack, strong and high-colored ale, well spiced and stuffed with toasts of cakes. This should be read with Letter clif., where there is an account of a gossip meeting.
Some of her descriptions are very graphic, such as that of the sanctified lady to whom black patches had become abominable, and fans, ribands, pendants, and neck. laces, the temptations of Satan, and laced shoes and galoshoes, as so many steps to pride. (Lett. li.)
“You were pleased, in your last letter,” she writes (No. cxlvi.), “to request me to send you my opinion of Virgil and Ovid, as which I thought was the better poet. Truly, madam, my reason, skill, or understanding in poetry and poets is not sufficient to give a judgment of two such famous poets, for though I am a poetess, yet I am but a poetastress, or a petty poetess; but, howsoever, I am a legitimate poetical child of Nature, and though my poems, which are the body of the poetical soul, are not so beautiful and pleasing as the rest of her poetical childrens' bodies are, yet I am, nevertheless, her child, although but a brownet.”
Here is a very beautiful picture of the qualities required of a ballad singer:—
* “The vulgar and plainer a voice is, the better it is for an old ballad; for a sweet voice, with quavers, and trilloes, and the like, would be as improper for an old ballad, as golden laces on a thrown suit of cloth, diamond buc kles on clouted or cobbled shoes, or a feather on a monk’s hood; neither should old ballads be sung so much in a tune as in a tone, which
tone is betwixt speaking and singing, for the sound is more than plain speaking, and less than clear singing, and the rumming or humming of a wheel should be the music to that tone, sor the humming is the noise the wheel makes in the turning round, which is not like the music of the spheres; and ballads are only
roper to be sung by spinsters, and that only in cold winter nights, when a company of good housewives are drawing a thread of flax.”— (Lett. cc.ii.)
Her admiration of Davenant's Gondibert is made the subject of a letter, (number cxxvii.), where she speaks with great discrimination when finding fault with the over-precision of his language and the compact closeness of his expressions, “for the language is like so curious and finely engraven a seal as one cannot readily see the figure engraven thereon without a magnifying glass.”
Her love for the writings of Shakspeare breaks out in two or three places, nor has it been hitherto noticed that the duchess was among the first who dared to publish their admiration :
“I wonder,” she writes, “how that person you mention in your letter could either have the conscience or confidence to dispraise Shakspeare's plays, as to say they were made up only with !. fools, watchmen, and the like.” . . . . . . . “Shakspeare,” she says, with admirable wit, “did not want wit to express to the life all sorts of persons, of what quality, possession, degree, breeding, or birth whatsoever; nor did he want wit to express the divers and different humors, or natures, or several passions in mankind; and so well he hath expressed in his plays all sorts of persons, as one would think he had been transformed into every one of those persons he hath described; and as sometimes one would think he was really himself the clown or jester he feigns, so one would think he was also the king and privy counsellor; also as one would think he were really the coward he feigns, so one would think he were the most valiant and ex
might think they were well acquainted with them.”—Pp.245, 6, 7.
All this is excellent, but when the duchess tells us, some hundred pages on (p. 338), that her husband is as far beyond Shakspeare for comical humor, as Shakspeare is beyond an ordinary poet in that way, we love and respect the wife, but laugh outright at the silly weakness of the woman.
Here we stop, and in the belief, be it known, that our readers are as much in love with Margaret Lucas as Oliver Yorke is, or was old William Cavendish himself.
“Is this a lady's closet: 't cannot be,
From the Dublin University Magazine. LIFE AND WRITINGS OF DAVID HUME.
The Life and Correspondence of David Hume, from the papers bequeathed by his Nephew, Baron Hume, to the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and other original sources. By John Hill Burton, Esquire, Advocate. 2 vols. 8vo. Edinburgh, 1846.
Of the life of Hume, his own memoir, Adam Smith's letter to Strahan, and Mr. Ritchie's narrative, have hitherto been the principal accounts. In the course of last year was published Lord Brougham's lively sketch, with several of the letters which are preserved in one of the public libraries of Edinburgh, and which have been long accessible to any person interested in the subject. All these works, and especially the first, are of considerable interest; still, something more was wanting. If correspondence is to be at all published, and is referred to as authority, there is then the general fitness of at least as much of it being given as in any way bears on the subject, to illustrate which it is produced. Allusions, more or less distinct, have been repeatedly made to these letters, and to those of the Scottish divines with whom Hume lived in habits of friendliness, to prove that the infidelity with which Hume was infected extended its taint to them. If such fact can be established, (and we do not believe it,) it must be by other evidence; for from the parts of the correspondence given by Mr. Burton, no inserence of the kind can be derived. That no such account of Hume as Scotland ought to have supplied to the general literature of the country should have before appeared, is easily to be accounted for. Till of late years, the strong feelings which any discussion of his views on religious subjects was sure to excite, would have rendered the publication, in all probability, a losing concern, and at all events be regarded by a great portion of the public as an offence. The Edinburgh publishers were not unlikely to remember the spirit in which, when in the General Assembly, a prosecution against Hume had failed, the parties who were his most active assailants immediately commenced proceedings against the publishers of an essay of Lord Kames's, which essay—so subtle was the zeal of the prosecutors in detecting latent infidelity—was written for the purpose of confuting the principles, supposed to be involved in Hume's doctrine, that we are unable to discover any real connection between cause and effect.” A prosecution
erienced soldier; who would not think he had
een such a man as his Sir John Falstaff 7 and who would not think he had been Harry the Fifth 3 and certainly Julius Caesar, Augustus Caesar, and Antonius did really never act their parts better, if so well, as he hath described them, and I believe that Antonius and Brutus did not speak better to the people than he had feigned them; nay, one would think that he had been metamorphosed from a man to a woman, for who could describe Cleopatra better than he has done, and many other females of his own creating? Who would not swear that he had been a noble lover? who could woo so well? and there is not any person he hath described in his book but his readers
* On the Duchess of Newcastle's Closet. Flecknor's Epigrams.
for sorcery or witchcraft was no pleasant thing a century ago; and in later times, proceedings against a man for blasphemy or heresy were no joke. It would, we fear, be regarded even now as an insufficient defence to such an accusation to be able to show that Lord Brougham has affirmed the first crime to be impossible, or to suggest that it would not be easy to find a tribunal, consisting of more than one individual, likely to agree in what constituted the second. That a serious offence against society was committed by the publication of Hume's writings, was certainly the public feeling of the period in which they appeared; and under what name society was to punish it, was a matter that seemed of comparative indifference. Though the proceedings against Hume were defeated in the General Assembly, yet that against the publishers of Kames failed only by the death of the prosecutor. Of late years the total defeat and rout of speculative infidelity has rendered it possible to reprint all such works with no other danger than the unpleasant consequence of the sale being insufficient to pay the publisher's expenditure. The result of inquiry has, in every instance, as far as we know, been directly opposed to that which the alarm of zealous but ignorant men suggested. Hume's “Inquiry into the Doctrine of Cause and Effect” led to those investigations in Germany which have ended in the total demolition of all the Babels which in Paris and Edinburgh had affronted high heaven. The “Inquiry into Miracles” has issued not only in the signal triumph of the defenders of revelation on the particular subject of controversy, but in what is of almost as much moment—in fixing attention to the fact, that what has been rashly assumed, and even expressed,” to be a violation of the laws of nature, is never, in any true sense, such, but is in reality a new phenomenon not within the range of our ordinary experience—most often the expression of some more general law, the constant operation of which would be perceptible, but for hindrances thus for a moment removed. There can, we think, never be danger in the full discussion of any subject of scientific inquiry. Of this how remarkable a proof is given in the fact that Butler's “Analogy” and Hume's “Treatise on Human Nature " were published within two years of each other. Hume's essay is forgotten, or holds a doubtful place in such books as record the shiftings of opinion on topics of metaphysical inquiry. It certainly is not read; while there probably is no man who at all seriously thinks of his own present duties or future existence, to whom Butler's work is not a frequent study; and yet, when the “Analogy” was first published, not only does Butler in his preface represent the prevalent opinion “of persons of discernment” to be against the truth of Christianity, but, what is more strange, his own book was looked upon with jealous and distrustful eyes. Even Gray, the poet, spoke of it with dislike and apprehension. “He dissuaded me,” says Nichols, “from reading ‘Butler's Analogy,’ and said he had given the same advice to Mason.” The true inference is, we think, that when the decencies of society are not invaded, no interruption whatever should be given to the publication of any work. The dull will fall, “swayed by the impulse of their own dead weight.” Undoubtedly, prosecutions, whether in the civil or ecclesiastical courts, do nothing but mischief. David Hume was born at Edinburgh, on the 26th of April, (old style,) 1711. His father's family was, he tells us, a branch of the Earl of Home's. His mother was daughter of Sir David Falconer, a successful advocate, compiler of books on Scottish law, and finally President of the Court of Session. Falconer was of a respectable family, and one of his sons succeeded, in the year 1727, to the title of Lord Halkerton. The father of Hume died while David was still an infant, leaving to his eldest son, Joseph, the lands of Ninewells, which had been for many generations in that branch of the family of Hume, or Home. The future historian, and Catherine, the sister, with whom at an after period Hume lived, were slenderly provided for. David had the feeling of family pride in more than its due strength. It is a feeling with which we do not fall out, for its tendency, in any rightly constituted mind, seems to be to lead the individual to regard rather his tribe than himself; and we think it—on the whole, if a prejudice—one that encourages the generous affections. In a letter to Alexander Home, of Whitfield, he tells him of Ninewells having been the scene of many a foray in the days of old. He has to trace the name of his paternal estate through the mazes of a spelling that
* The title of Kames's book, which was prosecuted, was “Essays on the Principles of Morality and Natural Religion.” Kames's theory is, that there is no real liberty to human beings, but that in our nature is implanted the feeling that we are free. It seems to be a statement, in the philosophical jargon of his day, of a doctrine that ought not to have been offensive to persons who would have, perhaps, been satisfied had the thought been expresed in the language of the theological schools. There can be no doubt that Kames thought he was answering Hume, though there is no distinct allusion to any particular passage in his essay, nor is he mentioned by name; and that Hume so understood his courteous adversary there is no doubt. In a letter to Ramsay, written in the year in which Kames's book was published, we find the following passage :-" Have you seen our friend Harry's essays? They are well wrote, [written,) and are an unusual instance of an obliging method of answering a book. PhilosoF. must judge of the question, but the clergy have already decided it, and say he is as bad as me! Nay, some affirm him to be worse—as much as a treacherous friend is worse than an open enemy. “Mr. Burton tells us, in a tone of grave humor, that “those who constituted themselves judges of the matter seem to have taken example from the stern father, who, when there is a quarrel in the nursery, punishes both sides, because quarrelling is a thing not allowed in the house.”
Vol. VIII.-No. I. 42
* “A miracle is a violation of the laws of nature.”—Hume, Essays and Treatises. Edinburghs. 1793.
would desy less diligent inquirers. In Hall's Chronicle, he finds a statement that the Earl of Surrey, in an inroad upon the Merse, made during the reign of Henry the Eighth, after the battle of Flodden, destroyed, among others, the towers of “East Nisgate and Winwalls. The names,” adds Hume, “you see, are somewhat disfigured ; but I cannot doubt but he means Nisbett and Ninewells—the situation of the places leads us to that conjecture.” Ninewells, however, is not often mentioned in the records of such invasions, for the very sufficient reason that it lay near Berwick, “and our ancestors,” says Hume, “paid contributions to the governors of that place, and abstained from hostilities, and were prevented [protected 7) from ravages.” It would almost seem that the historian is scarcely pleased with his ancestors for thus securing themselves from plunder, and thereby losing such distinction as is implied by names occurring in the records of the barbarities of older times. The historian tells that the early spelling of the name was Hume, which is that which represents the pronunciation. About the time of the Restoration, HoME became the way of writing it. The name often occurs in Rymer’s “Foedera,” and is always spelt Hume. There is no doubt of the connection of the family with that of the Earl of Home; and on one occasion, if it were not that they were near relations, and that a feudal lord had a right to do what he pleased with his own, we should think that a brother of the Earl's pressed the privileges of kindred too far. The incident is given in Law’s “Memorials.”
“December, 1683—About the close of the month, the Earl himself being from home, the Lairds of Hilton and Nynhools [Nineholes or Ninewells] came to make a visit to the Earl of Home his house, and went to dice and cards with Mr. William Home, the Earl's brother. Some sharp words fell amongst them at their game, which was not noticed, as it seemed to them; yet when the two gentlemen were gone to their bed-chambers, the foresaid Mr. William comes up with his sword, and stabs [Johnston of] Hilton with nine deadly wounds on his bed, that he dies immediately; and wounds [Hume of] Ninehools mortally, so that it was thought he would not live, and immediately took horse and fled to England.”
Law does not tell the whole story. A feature which he omits is supplied by Lord Fountainhills: “William Home made his escape to England on Hilton's horse.”
From Kirkpatrick Sharpe we learn a little more of this romance. William Home, after many a long year, returned to Scotland, smitten with remorse, and anxious to ask pardon for what he had done, of the family of Johnstone. A near relative of Johnstone's, a resident in Edinburgh, was, “in the dusk of the evening, called forth to the outside stairs of the house to speak with a stranger muffled in a cloak. As he proceeded along the passage, the door being open, he recognized the murderer; and, immediately drawing his sword, rushed towards him, on which the other leapt nimbly down from the stairs into the street, and was never again seen in Scotland.” Of such materials was the fabric of Hume's family pride erected. “I am not of the opinion,” says David, speaking of his descent from the chieftains whom we have described, “that these matters are altogether to be slighted. I doubt that our morals have not much improved since we began to think riches the sole thing worth regarding.”
Our readers may, perhaps, fancy that the Nine-wells or Nine-holes took its name from the tragedy enacted on poor Johnstone and his fellow-sufferers, one of whom was pierced with nine wounds—no such thing —“The estate of Ninewells is so called from a cluster of springs of that number. They burst forth from a gentle declivity in front of the mansion, which has on each side a semicircular rising bank, covered with fine timber, and fall, after a short time, into the bed of the river Whitewater, which forms a boundary in front. The place is worth going to look at if it were only that it was Hume's residence in early boyhood, though never did a man look upon scenery with a less observing eye than Hume. Of imagination he cannot be regarded as wholly deficient who possesses in so high a degree as Hume did the power of animated and picturesque narrative ; but the actions which he describes might as well have been “the battles of kites and crows" warring in the air, for any thing that we can ever learn from him of their locality. This is well stated by Mr. Burton.
“It was not part of his mental character to find any pleasing associations in spots re... only for the warlike or adventurous achievements they had witnessed. Intellect was the material on which his genius worked: with it were all his associations and sympa. thies; and what had not been adorned by the
seats of the mind had no charm in his eye. Had he been a stranger of another land, visiting at the present, or some later day, the scenes of the Lay and of Marmion, they would, without doubt, like the land of Virgil, have lit in his mind some sympathetic glow ; but the scenes illustrated solely by deeds of barbarous warfare, and by a rude illiterate minstrelsy, had nothing in them to rouse a mind which was yet far from being destitute of its own peculiar enthusiasm. He had often, in his history, to mention great historical events that had taken place in the immediate vicinity of his paternal residence, and in places to which he could hardly have escaped, if he did not court occasional visits. About six miles from Ninewells, stands Norham Castle. Three or four miles farther off, are Twisel-bridge, where Surrey crossed the Till to engage the Scots, and the other localities connected with the battle of Flodden. In the same neighborhood is Holiwell Haugh, where Edward I. met the Scottish nobility, when he professed himself to be the arbiter of the disputes between Bruce and Baliol. In his notices of these spots, in connexion with the historical events which he describes, he betrays no symptom of having passed many of his youthful days in their vicinity, but is as cold and general as when he describes Agincourt or Marston Moor; and it may safely be said, that in none of his historical or philosophical writings does any expression used by him, unless in those cases where a Scoticism has escaped his vigilance, betray either the district or the country of his origin.” —Vol. I. pp. 8, 9.
The name of David Home (not Hume) appears in the matriculation book of the University of Edinburgh, as entering 27th of February, 1723. There is no record of his having taken a degree.
In his seventeenth year he commenced, and scarcely commenced before he abandoned, the study of the law. “I found,” he says, “an insuperable aversion to every thing but the pursuits of philosophy and general learning, and while my friends fancied I was poring over Voet and Vennius, Cicero and Virgil were the authors I was secretly devouring.”
Mr. Burton, himself a Scottish advocate, feels surprised that Hume should, in the days in which his lot was cast, have felt disgust for the study of the law. “The advocate of that day,” he tells us, “often commenced his pleadings with a quotation from the young philosopher's favorite poet, Virgil, and then digressed into a speculative inquiry into the general of law and government; the philosophical genius of Themis long soaring sublime, until at last solding her wings she rested on some vulgar question about dry multures, or an irritan