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Unformatted text preview: oubles between King and Parliament—obviously in reference to Charles I rather than to his father, James I—provides a clue to the advance in Hume’s narrative. On 26 May 1753 he reports that he is “now beginning the Long Parliament,” i.e., chapter V (subsequently chapter LIV of this edition). Five months later, on 28 October, he had come to the execution of the King, representing the final chapter of his original volume. By then, as he realized, “the history of [these] two first Stuarts will be most agreeable to the Tories: That of the two last, to the Whigs. But we must endeavour to be above any Regard either to Whigs or Tories.” The “two last,” Charles II and James II, were of course to be considered in his next volume, one as yet hardly under way. Early in 1754, and still affirming his conviction that “I am of no party, and have no bias,” Hume sent off to press his first volume and on 1 September received his final proofs. During the course of printing, some of the sheets circulated among interested persons, with the Whigs and Tories among them alternately approving or disapproving, and “a few Christians” in some anguish reproaching this “Libertine in religion.” The latter accusation, possibly quite unexpected, quickly prompted Hume to reassure his confidant that he was “tolerably reserved on this head.” Whatever the author’s claims, advanced perhaps all too complacently before issue, the charge of irreligion was hotly pursued upon publication of the volume, 20 November PLL v5 (generated January 22, 2010) 6 http://oll.libertyfund.org/title/695 Online Library of Liberty: The History of England, vol. 1 1754. It may well be, as Hume discloses in his Life, that the primates of England and Ireland—surely much divergent in their own beliefs—both encouraged him to persevere; but the Bishop of Gloucester, in a violent outrage, privately denounced this historian as “an atheistical Jacobite, a monster as rare with us as a hippogriff.” Even among the secular reviewers exception was at once taken, first in the opening chapter to the excessive “enthusiasm” Hume discerned in the Protestant Reformation, then in the next chapter to the intolerable “superstition” he discovered in the Roman Catholic Church. Always responsive to critical commentary, but only when it did not run counter to his own principles, or to the dictates of history itself, Hume in later editions prudentially withdrew both of these passages in their entirety, and thus excised some interior text apparently beyond the immediate cause of complaint. So that the present reader may determine whether, at the very beginning of his work, Hume has maintained in suitable language his own impartial attitude these suppressed sections are now reprinted. The first, on the Protestants, appeared originally in Volume I of the first edition, pages 7–9 (1778 text, Volume VI, page 10) after the paragraph ending “reconcile both parties.” The first reformers, who made such furious and successful attacks on the Romish superstition, and shook it to its lowest foundations, may safely be pronounced to have been universally inflamed with the highest enthusiasm. These two species of religion, the superstitious and fan...
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This note was uploaded on 02/12/2011 for the course CHIN 101 taught by Professor Dr.yu during the Spring '08 term at University Of Southern Mississippi .
- Spring '08