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MY OWN LIFE. It is difficult for a man to speak long of himself without vanity; therefore I shall be short. It may be thought an instance of vanity that I pretend at all to write my life; but this narrative shall contain little more than the history of my writings; as, indeed, almost all my life has been spent in literary pursuits and occupations. The first success of most of my writings was not such as to be an object of vanity. I was born the... more...

An act was passed for the security of the king's person and government. To intend or devise the king's imprisonment, or bodily harm, or deposition, or levying war against him, was declared, during the lifetime of his present majesty, to be high treason. To affirm him to be a Papist or heretic, or to endeavor by speech or writing to alienate his subjects' affections from him; these offences were made sufficient to incapacitate the person guilty... more...

The ill humor of the commons, thus wantonly irritated by the court, and finding no gratification in the legal impeachment of Buckingham, sought other objects on which it might exert itself. The never-failing cry of Popery here served them in stead. They again claimed the execution of the penal laws against Catholics; and they presented to the king a list of persons intrusted with offices, most of them insignificant who were either convicted or... more...

Had the subscribers of this zealous league been content only to demand a toleration of the new opinions, however incompatible their pretensions might have been with the policy of the church of Rome, they would have had the praise of opposing tyrannical laws, enacted to support an establishment prejudicial to civil society: but it is plain that they carried their views much further; and their practice immediately discovered the spirit by which... more...

Henry was not ignorant of these intentions of his enemies, and he prepared himself for defence. He ordered troops to be levied in different parts of the kingdom, and put them under the command of the duke of Bedford and earl of Oxford. He confined the marquis of Dorset, who, he suspected, would resent the injuries suffered by his mother, the queen dowager; and, to gratify the people by an appearance of devotion, he made a pilgrimage to our lady... more...


The bishop of Valence, a prelate of the house of Savoy, and maternal uncle to the queen, was his chief minister, and employed every art to amass wealth for himself and his relations. Peter of Savoy, a brother of the same family, was invested in the honor of Richmond, and received the rich wardship of Earl Warrenne; Boniface of Savoy was promoted to the see of Canterbury: many young ladies were invited over to Provence, and married to the chief... more...

The religion of the Britons was one of the most considerable parts of their government; and the druids, who were their priests, possessed great authority among them. Besides ministering at the altar, and directing all religious duties, they presided over the education of youth; they enjoyed an immunity from wars and taxes; they possessed both the civil and criminal jurisdiction; they decided all controversies among states as well as among private... more...

PART 1 After I joined the company, whom I found sitting in CLEANTHES's library, DEMEA paid CLEANTHES some compliments on the great care which he took of my education, and on his unwearied perseverance and constancy in all his friendships. The father of PAMPHILUS, said he, was your intimate friend: The son is your pupil; and may indeed be regarded as your adopted son, were we to judge by the pains which you bestow in conveying to him every useful... more...

SECTION I. OF THE GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF MORALS. DISPUTES with men, pertinaciously obstinate in their principles, are, of all others, the most irksome; except, perhaps, those with persons, entirely disingenuous, who really do not believe the opinions they defend, but engage in the controversy, from affectation, from a spirit of opposition, or from a desire of showing wit and ingenuity, superior to the rest of mankind. The same blind adherence to... more...

102. I was lately engaged in conversation with a friend who loves sceptical paradoxes; where, though he advanced many principles, of which I can by no means approve, yet as they seem to be curious, and to bear some relation to the chain of reasoning carried on throughout this enquiry, I shall here copy them from my memory as accurately as I can, in order to submit them to the judgement of the reader. Our conversation began with my admiring the... more...