Hutchinson -DA407 .H9 H7 1806

XI to take so much trouble, that of giving her children, and especially her eldest son, then about · to enter on the stage of life, a true notion of those eventful scenes which had just been passing before her eyes, and which she well judged must be followed by others not less interesting to the same cause and persons, will surely be thought .to have possessed both the means and the inClination to paint with truth and correctness: in effect she will be seen to exhibit such a faithful, natural, and lively picture, of the public mind and manners, taken sometimes in larger, sometimes in smaller groupes, as will give a more satisfactory idea to an observant reader than he will any where else discover. He will be further pleased to see avoided the most common error of historians, that of displaying the paradoxical a11d the marvellous, both in persons and things. But surely the use of history being to instruct the present and future ages by the experience of the past, nothing can be more absurd than a wish to excite and leave the reader in astonishment, which instead of assisting, can only confound his judgment. Mrs. Hutchinson, on the contrary, has made it her business, and that very successfully, to account by common and easy causes for many of those actions and effects which others have left unaccounted for, and only to be gazed at in unmeaning wonder; or, in attempting to account for them, have employed vain subtility or groundless conjecture. She has likewise not merely described the parties in the state by their general characte1:, but delirteated them in their minute 1'amifications, and thus enabled us to trace the springs, and discover the reasonableness, of many of those proceedings which had hitl;!erto seemed incongruous and inconsistent. . Many of these instances will be pointed out in the notes as the passages arise: at present we will only observe that some very signal ones will be found, pages ·57, 66, 72, 81, 131, 142, 200, 203, 206, 252, 265, 268-9, 270, 275, 277, 288, 303, 307, 313, 315, 326, 328, 333,346,348,355,360,362. c