May 21, 2003

Kings without Kingship?

My views of things are more conformable to Whig principles; my representations of persons to Tory prejudices.

-- David Hume to John Clephane (1756)

I once had my picture taken at the Old Calton Cemetery in Edinburgh. I was an academic tourist, striking an ironic pose before a monument to the historian and philosopher who thought we might have kings without kingship, but who could not have anticipated the unintended consequences.

The king is dead, long live the king
Kingship is dead, long live philosophy
Hume is dead, long since dead,
Long live Bonnie Prince Charlie on a biscuit tin.

Whig principles, Tory prejudices? I think I get that. But it's no longer relevant, of course, and no more am I.

Posted by Invisible Adjunct at May 21, 2003 03:00 AM