Of the voluminous writings of the Abbé de Mably (see his Eloge by the Abbé Brizard), the Principes du droit - public de l'Europe, and the first part of the Observations sur l'Histoire de France, may be deservedly praised; and even the Supplément à la Manière d'écrire l'Histoire, contains several useful precepts and judicious remarks. Mably was a lover of virtue and freedom; but his virtue was austere, and his freedom was impatient of an equal. Kings, magistrates, nobles, and successful writers, were the objects of his contempt, or hatred, or envy; but his illiberal abuse of Voltaire, Hume, Buff on, the Abbé Reynal, Dr. Robertson, and tutti quanti, can be injurious only to himself.
Est il rien de plus fastidieux (says the polite Censor) qu'un M. Gibbon, qui dans son éternelle Histoire des Empereurs Romains, suspend à chaque instant son insipide et lente narration, pour vous expliquer la cause des faits que vous allez lire? ' ( Supplément à la Manière d'écrire l'Histoire,, p. 184. See another passage, p. 280.)
Yet I am indebted to the Abbé de Mably for two such advocates as the anonymous French Critic and my friend Mr. Hayley. (Hayley's Works, 8vo. edit., vol. ii, p. 261-3).
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