Politics

Tories by Chance

In James Boswell’s Life of Samuel Johnson, the following comment is attributed to Johnson: “He would not allow Mr David Hume any credit for his political principles, though similar to his own; saying of him, ‘Sir, he was a Tory by chance’.” Boswell elsewhere records Johnson as having said, “Sir, Hume is a Tory by chance, as being a Scotchman; but not on a principle of duty, for he has no principle. If he is anything, he is a Hobbist.” Johnson dismissed Hume’s brand of Toryism far too swiftly and glibly. I say that not just because I myself am…

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