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The object of this tender interest died in the year 1724. But because he had been the “ ancestor of a man”, who had treated Mr. Rose as a parent, and he conceived he had the means of justifying him in his possession, he could not bear that severe and unmerited reflections should be adopted in his day without being noticed; he could not remain silent. This Mr. Rose avows to be “ his sole “ motive at first for deciding to publish on the subject.” It has been observed already that Sir Patrick Hume's Narrative, thus published for his justification, proves that the reflections, which occasioned it, were well founded, as we shall shew in the subsequent pages. Mr. Rose's respect for the memory of one, who had been 85 years numbered with the dead, is the more striking, as it shews that he was more feelingly alive to the reputation of this ancestor of his friend, than that ancestor himself had been. Mr. Rose says, that “ Sir Patrick Hume, from anticipation “ as it would appear, of the obloquy which is apt to be “ fastened on men concerned in unfortunate enterprizes, “ drew up during his residence in Holland, before he was “ joined there by his family, a narrative of the rise, pro“ gress, and issue of the expedition of the Earl of Argyle “ in as far as he was himself concerned, which is the “ paper I am anxious to publish*.” If the obloquy, here alluded to, was to be anticipated, the narrative could not be intended as an answer to those reflections which have given Mr. Rose so much pain, for Argyle had given currency to them before the Narrative was drawn up, as appears from the Narrative itself. He was executed on the 30th of June, 1685t, but the time when Sir Patrick fled into Holland, is not exactly ascertained by the documents published by Mr. Rose. It is probable however, that the Narrative was not composed till some time after Argyle's death, it is almost impossible that it could have been written till that event had taken place, and Sir Patrick Hume acquainted with the charge made upon him. The passage alluded to was written by the Earl. of Argyle 38 years before the decease of Sir Patrick Hume, and we may reasonably give him credit for feeling the circulation of the supposed calumny with at least as much keenness, as Mr. Rose can do now. Yet for that length of time did he submit in silence to the charge, which it is manifest he felt most sorely ; but he did not publish his Narrative, though it was written expressly “ for the nation, his friends, and his family.” The question naturally occurs why then did he not publish it, as it was clearly his intention to do when he wrote it? For though it might have been unsafe to publish it before the revolution, it might have been circulated without danger afterwards. Probably he was aware that it would be no answer to what Argyle had written of his conduct.
* Mr. Rose's Introduction, p. v.
+ Rapin says, Argyle was taken on the 17th of June, 1685, 28 days, after he landed in Scotland, and he was executed 13 days after, viz on the.
In his Introduction Mr. Rosé takes for granted, that Mr. Fox had a wish to favour Argyle and acquit him of misconduct in his enterprize, at the expence of the character of Sir Patrick Hume. But if Mr. Rose is right in the supposition that Mr. Fox was also strongly prejudiced in favour of every body who felt indignation at the abuses of monarchy, upon what principle are we to account for his willingly sacrificing the reputation of Sir Patrick Hume, who was unequivocally engaged in an attempt to correct those abuses, or feel pleasure in the giving currency to reports derogatory to his honour and his courage? Mr. Fox must either not have felt the general prejudice above mentioned, or it did not pervert his judgment, or deprive him of the power of discriminating between the merits of individuals entitled to the benefit of it, or appreciating truly their respective characters. The charges made by Mr. Rose are not consistent with each other, for if Mr. Fox had been the slave of prejudice, and favoured all those who felt indignation at the abuses of monarchy, he could not have wilfully detracted from the character of one of the most zealous champions against them.
It may be proper to notice here a remarkable instance of carelessness in an author, who boasts of superior accuracy, for he describes the notes of Lord Dartmouth, on which much reliance is placed afterwards, to have been written by the second Earl of that name*. The fact is that the writer was the first Earl. No improper propensity or motive is imputed as the cause of this mistake, though it materially affects the authority of the notes themselves.
Before we proceed to explain the object of the present publication, it may be proper to notice some observations of a general nature which are found in Mr. Rose's Introduction. In some respects, he seems to think himself peculiarly qualified to write a history, or to make observations upon the histories of others. He was the intimate friend of Lord Marchmont, and had seen Hume the historian very frequently; he
* Mr. Rose's Introduction, p. xxxiii.
was accustomed to official accuracy, had read much and thought more upon the history of his country, and agreed with Mr. Fox that there are certain periods, at which the mind naturally pauses to meditate upon. Fortunately too he had had the custody of some records, and had expressed an opinion of our constitution in a report made several years ago on their state, to support which he enters into an elaborate discussion. He quotes Lord Coke, Plowden, Lord Ellesmere, Whitelocke, Doomsday Book, the Rolls of Parliament, Abbot's Records, Rymer's Fædera, and Dugdale's Origines. Strongly attached to the species of history approved of by Mr. Fox, he has long lamented the want of such a work, and thinks it even culpable in the latter to have confined himself to one period only, including the reestablishment, as he is pleased to term it, of our liberties in 1688. He seems also to feel disappointment, that Mr. Fox should have left only so small a fragment behind hiin, but is not satisfied with the manner in which it is written. To prove that he is a competent judge upon the subject, he ec ommends Vertot's * Revolutions of Rome, and tanta
* This recommendation of Mr. Vertot by a person accustomed to official accuracy is rather extraordinary; for it is a well-known anecdote, that when his history of Malta was preparing for the press, notes of the transactions at the siege, taken by an eye-witness, being sent to him, he declined to use thein, saying, Mon siege est fait.