1795 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

David Hume

Richard Hurd, "Hume's History of England" 1795 ca.; Commonplace Book in Kilvert, Memoir of the Life and Writings of Richard Hurd (1860) 284.



This writer's bias to the French taste and manners, which appears throughout his History, is ridiculous: his political doctrines, arising out of his bigotry to the Stuart family, are pernicious: and his libertinism, which breaks out on so many occasions, is detestable. Otherwise, this is the most readable History we have of England. The faults of the composition are, a too frequent affectation of philosophical disquisition, and an incorrect and sometimes an inflated style. The former is unsuited to the general nature of History: the latter is a capital blemish in a work that pretends to be nothing but a compilation. With these faults, his work will be read and admired. The worst is, the mediocrity of this History will prevent an able writer from undertaking a better.