Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Laid back success …

… Hume as historian – Incudi Reddere. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Nor was it a passing phase; even in industry, the man was idle. Writing again to his publisher, having begun to “tire of [his current] course of life” (by which he meant “such a life of dissipation as not to be able to think of any serious occupation”), he described some of the diligent researches he had been recently undertaking, which he hoped to use in a future (“very distant”) edition: he had “run over” the memoirs of King James and “picked up some curious passages.” Of course, he soon thought better of the idea, and relapsed into sloth and indolence. “Some push me to continue my History. Millar [Hume’s publisher] offers me any price. All the Marlborough papers are offered me; and I believe nobody would venture to refuse me. But cui bono? Why should I forego idleness, and sauntering, and society, and expose myself again to the clamours of a stupid factious public? I am not yet tired of doing nothing; and am become too wise either to mind censure or applause.”

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