For the argument on behalf of William Stevenson's authorship, see Henry Bradley's essay prefixed to his edition of the play in Representative English Comedies (1903).
He represented an empiricism which, so far from refuting, was actually based on, idealism, and yet was alert to expose the fallacies of a particular idealist construction (see his essay in Ethical Democracy, edited by Dr Stanton Coit).
In French appeared also his essay Du Develo p pement des idees revolutionnaires en Russie, and his Memoirs, which, after being printed in Russian, were translated under the title of Le Monde russe et la Revolution (3 vols., 1860-1862), and were in part translated into English as My Exile to Siberia (2 vols., 1855).
More, among others, had imitated Descartes in a discussion of the passions, and Locke's essay had given a still stronger impulse in the same direction; still, Shaftesbury is the first moralist who distinctly takes psychological experience as the basis of ethics.
The essay in which he had studied a hypothetic future led him to examine the effects of the principle he had put forward on the past and present state of society; and he undertook an historical examination of these effects, and sought to draw such inferences in relation to the actual state of things as experience seemed to warrant.
He made considerable contributions to scientific literature, and among his publications were: An Analytical View of Newton's Principia, with Lord Brougham (1855); an Essay on the Stability of a given State of Motion, which won the Adams' prize in 1877; and treatises on the Dynamics of Rigid Bodies, on Analytical Statics, and on the Dynamics of a Particle.
His Swedish Argus (1733-1734) was modelled on Addison's Spectator, his Thoughts about Critics (1736) on Pope's Essay on Criticism, his Tale of a Horse on Swift's Tale of a Tub.
His published works include (besides several volumes of verse) Homer and the Iliad (1866), maintaining the unity of the poems; Four Phases of Morals: Socrates, Aristotle, Christianity, Utilitarianism (1871); Essay on Self-Culture (1874); Horae Hellenicae (1874); The Language and Literature of the Scottish Highlands (1876); The Natural History of Atheism (1877); The Wise Men of Greece (1877); Lay Sermons (1881); Altavona (1882); The Wisdom of Goethe (1883); The Scottish Highlanders and the Land Laws (1885); Life of Burns (1888); Scottish Song (1889); Essays on Subjects of Moral and Social Interest (1890); Christianity and the Ideal of Humanity (1893).
In 1784 he wrote an essay on balloons, and his loge of Vauban, read by him publicly, won him the commendation of Prince Henry of Prussia.
Another year, during which his essay on Cervantes appeared, was spent in the final revision of the History for the press.