I går tittade jag på första avsnittet av Wolf Hall, och det slog mig att det vore kul att leta upp vad David Hume har att säga om en del av personerna och händelserna som skildras. Här är hans beskrivning av kardinal Wolsey i volym III av The History of England:
Henry entered into all the views of Wolsey; and finding no one so capable of executing this plan of administration as the person who proposed it, he soon advanced his favourite, from being the companion of his pleasures, to be a member of his council; and from being a member of his council, to be his sole and absolute minister. By this rapid advancement and uncontrouled authority, the character and genius of Wolsey had full opportunity to display itself. Insatiable in his acquisitions, but still more magnificent in his expence: Of extensive capacity, but still more unbounded enterprize: Ambitious of power, but still more desirous of glory: Insinuating, engaging, persuasive; and, by turns, lofty, elevated, commanding: Haughty to his equals, but affable to his dependants; oppressive to the people, but liberal to his friends; more generous than grateful; less moved by injuries than by contempt; he was framed to take the ascendant in every intercourse with others, but exerted this superiority of nature with such ostentation as exposed him to envy, and made every one willing to recal the original inferiority or rather meanness of his fortune.
Hume, David. 1983. The History of England. Volume III. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, s 100.