I was particularly pleased with your just and sensible preface against the squeamish or bigoted persons who would bury in oblivion the faults and follies of princes, and who thence contribute to their guilt; for if princes, who living are above control, should think that no censure is to attend them when dead, it would be new encouragement to them to play the fool and act the tyrant. When they are so kind as to specify their crimes under their own hands, it would be foppish delicacy indeed to suppress them. I hope you will proceed, Sir, and with the same impartiality. It was justice due to Charles to publish the extravagancies of his enemies too. The comparison can never be fairly made, but when we see the evidence on both sides. I have done so in the trifles I have published, and have as much offended some by what I have said of the Presbyterians at the beginning of my third volume of the Painters, as I had others by condemnation of King Charles in my Noble Authors. In the second volume of my Anecdotes I praised him where he deserved praise; for truth is my sole object, and it is some proof, when one offends both. I am, Sir, your most obliged and obedient servant.
(976) Now first collected. In the March of this year, Sir David Dalrymple was made a judge of the Court of session, when he assumed the name of lord Hailes, by which he is best known.-E.
(977) “The Memorials and Letters relating to the History of Britain in the Reigns of James the First and Charles the First, published from the originals in the Advocates’ Library at Edinburgh,” had just appeared, in two volumes, octavo.-E.
Dear sir, You have, I own, surprised me by suffering your quarrel with Rousseau to be printed, contrary to your determination when you left London, and against the advice of all your best friends here; I may add, contrary to your own nature, which has always inclined you to despise literary squabbles, the jest and scorn of all men of sense. Indeed, I am sorry you have let yourself be over-persuaded, and so are all that I have seen who wish you well: I ought rather to use your own word extorted. You say your Parisian friends extorted your consent to this publication. I believe so. Your good sense would not approve what your good heart could not refuse. You add, that they told you Rousseau had sent letters of defiance against you all over Europe? Good God! my dear Sir, could you pay any regard to such fustian? All Europe laughs at being dragged every day into these idle quarrels, with which Europe only ***. Your friends talk as loftily as of a challenge between Charles the Fifth and Francis the First. What are become of all the controversies since the days of Scaliger and Scioppius, of Billingsgate memory? Why, they sleep in oblivion, till some Bayle drags them out of their dust, and takes mighty pains to