The literary correspondence of John Pinkerton, pr. from the originals in the possession of D. Turner, Volume 1

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Page 197 - King James the Second, having endeavoured to subvert the constitution of the kingdom by breaking the original contract between King and people, and, by the advice of Jesuits and other wicked persons, having violated the fundamental laws, and having withdrawn himself out of the kingdom, had abdicated the government, and that the throne had thereby become vacant.
Page 89 - I dare to say, anything you do write ; but I am not overjoyed at your wading into the history of dark ages, unless you use it as a canvas to be embroidered with your own opinions, and episodes, and comparisons with more recent times. That is a most entertaining kind of writing. In general, I have seldom wasted time on the origin of nations, unless for an opportunity of smiling at the gravity of the author, or at the absurdity of the manners of those ages...
Page 276 - A small estate, loaded with debt, and of which I do not understand the management, and am too old to learn, a source of law-suits amongst my near relations, though not affecting me, endless conversations with lawyers, and packets of letters to read every day and answer...
Page 441 - Earl of Athol. The Earl of Cowrie's house, which was originally built by the Countess of Huntly about the year 1520, remains. In the year 1746 it was given by the magistrates to William Duke of Cumberland, who sold it to government for the purpose of containing barracks for a company of artillery. This house stands at the south end of the street called the Watergate. It was the scene of one of the most problematical events in Scottish history, that is, the execution of what is called the Cowrie Conspiracy....
Page 177 - M'Pherson and Pinkerton may be introduced. " You must know the origin of this matter :— on my leaving London I went to Beaconsfield,* where the hospitable owner entered very cordially into my plan, which I partly communicated to you, of writing the History of the Revolutions of Ireland, &c. so as to give the spirit rather than the letter of our melancholy Annals. He advised me to be as brief as possible upon every thing antecedent to Henry II.; and, in full conviction of the force of his advice,...
Page 62 - Duke of Buckingham, both which, from a variety of causes, remained many years unfinished in the warehouse of Mr. Tonson, in the Savoy, but were resumed in 1795, and nearly brought to a conclusion, when the whole impression of both works was unfortunately...
Page 71 - Fielding had as much humour, perhaps, as Addison ; but, having no idea of grace, is perpetually disgusting. His innkeepers and parsons are the grossest of their profession ; and his gentlemen are awkward when they should be at their case.
Page 68 - I should suspect that a man, who, sitting coolly in his chamber, could forge but a weak apology for the prerogative, would not have exercised it very wisely. I knew personally and well both Mr. Hume and Mr. Gray, and thought there was no decree of comparison between their understandings; and, in fact, Mr.
Page 226 - Mine have always been light and trifling, and tended to nothing but my casual amusement; I will not say, without a little vain ambition of showing some parts; but never with industry sufficient to make me apply to anything solid. My studies, if they could be called so, and my productions, were alike desultory. In my latter age I discovered the futility both of my objects and writings: I felt how insignificant is the reputation of an author of mediocrity; and that, being no genius, I only...
Page 327 - Nichols expressed his hope that you would consent to give your advice as to the authors employed and other important points, so he and I warmly join (and I hear the literary voice of present and future nations accord with ours,) in the request that you will allow your name to appear as superintending the work, or as the Latin, I believe, would express it, curante, &c.

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