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circumstantiating all Events. Too many Particulars oppress and fatigue the Mind; and therefore we should know how to separate those that are of Necessity or Importance, from those that are not. We must consult Lucian, in his Discourse of History, who is a great Ma. Iter of this Secret. Above all, we must learn to fustain great and noble Circumstances with bolder and brighter Figures, (which is one of the Excellencies of Livy) so as to distinguish them by some more lively Colour, and to make them immediately, strike thé Eye. But still the Narration will not be compleat, unless to the Circumstances of Things we joyn the Motives of Actions ; for the Motives, rightly touch'd, make it as fine and curious, as the Circumstances make it natural and probable.


To recite the Adions of Men without entring into their Motives, is not to compose a History, but a Gazette, which delivers the bare Events of Things, and does not trace them to their Source. Cæsar has been blam'd in this Regard

who barely tells us his Marches, his Encampments, and his Battles, amitting the Reafons upon which they were undertaken; and thus his whole Narration may seem, too plain and lifeless, and to have more of the Body, than the Soul of Things: He may be properly said to write only Memoirs. But'tis by the curious Display of the Motives upon which Men act, that History becomes nice and re. find, and by which alone it supports it felf, especially in Affairs of the greatest Consequence. It is but playing about the Surface of Things, to give a naked Relation of Fack,


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without ascending to Causes and Principles. Rerum ra- “ Reason will (says Tully) that, as in Affairs, tio vult, ut u the Design precedes the Execution, fo an quoniam « Historian should give an Account, not of magnis « bare Events, but of the Grounds upon which consilia " they stand, and that in reporting what is primum, deinde en

« donc, he should explain how, and for what &ta, poftea

« Reason it was done. Tacitus observes, (almost eventus ex. in the same Words) “That it is the Business pe&tantur,“ of History, not only to récount the final

" Issues of Things, but to discover their Rife geftis der " and Original, and to touch upon their true folüm quid“ Motives. 'Tis by this sole Excellence that aktum, aut an Hiftorian may make himself confiderable, di&um fit, and appear with Distination and Figure : Nor fed quomo. is there any Part of a Narration so pregnant? do, & cum

of Delight, as that which lays open the Heart dicatur, of the Perfons, and discloses all the important caufa ex- Secrets of their Counsels and Designs. And, plicentur as nothing can make an History more agreeCic. de

able, so there is no celebrated Historian, but Orat. has attempted to signalize himself in this Vi non mo- Character. For what can strike with so much do cafus e- Advantage on human Curiosity, as the letwentusque ting us into Mens Breasts and Bofoms, and ratio etiam their obliging us with a Sightof those fecret caufæque Springs, which put them upon most of their nofcantur. Adventures and Enterprizes? By thus recurTac,Anmring to the Fountain, we learn the true GeXIV.

nius of the Party that acts, we know the Spi-
rit, and the Affections that guide him in act-
ing; we discern what he is capable of, and by
sounding his Intentions, we find Truth at the
Bottom. And yet, how many Falsities have
overspread the Field of History, under this fair
Pretence? Into how many gross Mistakes have
those Historianş fallen, and still do fall, who
are carried away with Injustice, Infincerity or


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Interest ; or such as giving themselves up to vain Conjecture, impose their own Speculations and visionary Schemes upon the Publick, as the Reasons of Adions? As for Instance, that Pericles rais'd the War in Peloponnesus, for the Love of the Courtesan Aspasia: That Xerxes march'd his prodigious Army into Greece, only to treat the Soldiers with Figs; that Marc Antony lost the Empire for no other Reason, but because he would not lose his Mistress Cleopatra : That Francis carried his Troops into Italy, for the sake of the fair Milanese Clarice. These are a very dangerous Sort of Authors, that pretend to an Art of Divination about Men's Thoughts; who say, all they know, and all they do not know, for fear of not hitting upon the Truth. This is a great Default in Davila, whose Reasonings are otherwise very just and natural: But his Conjectures on the Motives of Fact, are very wide and erroneous, if we believe the Reports of our old Courtiers, who had the opportunity of learning the Secrets from their Fathers. It must be still acknowledg'd, that an Aation well laid open, and stript to its Causes, and a deep Counsel rightly founded and fathomed, give us a noble idea of the Capacity of an Author, make him speak like a Man of true Reach, of exact Intelligence and Infor. Haud famation, and compose one of the brightest Oracilè aninaments of Story. But then, whosoever at. tempts this conjectural Part, must set the ubi officia strongest Guard upon his Prejudices of all cent odium, Kinds : He must be alike deaf to Love and amicitia, Hatred, that he may avoid that Artifice, and ira, atque those Colours that we are wont to put upon dia.

mifericor. Things, to make them fuit with our own Incli- Cæs.apud nations, and favour the side which we have Saluf.

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espous'd: He must advance no false Hypothesis to support his Conjectures, and to bring Things to the Turn that he pleases to give them: He must neither diminish nor magnify, he must not strew Weeds and Poyfons over every Page like Tacitus, nor Flowers and Sweets like Pae terculus : For the last of these Authors is as grand a Flatterer, as the other is a Critick and

Cenfor: He must not pervert and wreft Men's Plat. in Intentions to a worse Sense, as Herodotus does; Herod. when he reports that the People of Sparta in

'vited the Persians into Greece, as being unable either to refift, or to endure the Greatness of the Athenians. (For which he is censur'd by Plus tarch.) : Nor must he on the other Hand, ex cuse ill Aations under the Colour of good Intentions, as Diodorus observes of Calbi as the Syracufian, who justified all the Measures of his Patron and Benefactor Agathocles : The like Compliment Paulus Jovias has paid to Cosmo de Medicis among the Moderns. There is scarce any Historian, but has given himself a Loose this Way ; because there is scarce any, that has had Resolution and Firmness enough, to bear up against his own Prepossessions But tho' the Motives of A&ing in great Perfons ought, according to regular Course, to be finer and nobler than the Actions that follow ; (because the Effect of the Motives depends upon themselves, whereas the Event of the Actions does not) yet, if we consider their ordinary Frame, we must not deny an Historian the Liberty of mixing, in their Counfels and Deliberations, somewhat of that Vanity and Weakness, to which they ate alike subject with other Men. For the Motives which determine the Generality of Mankind, are very often impertinent and ridiculous:


as might be evinced by infinite Examples, were it proper for me to enlarge on this Topick. He must have a perfect Knowledge of the Vanity, Malice, Ignorance, and Folly of Man's Heart, which are (as 'twere) its settled Principles, 'ere he can be able to found its Intention: And he must throughly apprehend its Weakness, which is the common Source of its Malice. He must know, that a Boldness of Enterprize, is a great Art in the Management of Affairs, which are often spoild by too cautious a Prudence and Circumspection. Above all, he must not be ignorant, that the Negligence of great Men in examining Things, and their Impatience in deciding them, are the Wheels upon which their main Conduct necessarily turns. These are the Persons that an Historian ought throughly to un

derstand ; because being the chief Actors upon ! the Stage of the World, Things run for the

most Part, according to their Humour or Frolick. Not that an Author who has had once the good Fortune to reason justly upon these Principles, will always be able to do so. We have seen Historians in the present Age lose their Reputation, by the too great Itch they had of interposing their own Conjectures in all Events, and rather laying out themselves, than displaying their Subjects. As Herrera,

for" Instance, who would make us believe that : the Duke of Parma did not put out all his

Strength against the Hollanders, that he might manage them by Art and Policy. Nothing

is more repugnant' to the Spirit of an Hi. : storian, which ought to be strictly true and

fincere, than these airy Notions;, and all Reasonings that are founded upon bare Conjectyre, are either impertinent, or at best up


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