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ing amusement. When Mr Hume went to bed, naturally from his situation, at an earlier hour than his friend, Mr John Home used to put down notes of the conversation which the preceding day had afforded.
Its value, in his estimation, was such, that he got it fairly copied out, with an intention of having it published; but the historian's nephew, our excellent colleague Mr Professor Hume, whose leave he asked previously to carrying this design into execution, conceived, that at that time it would not have been proper for publication; and that in his own very significant words (addressed to Mr John Home, in answer to a letter asking his leave to make this publication), it was one which he thought his uncle, had he been alive, would have objected to. The same reasons, however, not subsisting now, he has given me leave to insert it in this place.
The Society will perceive in those unreserved effusions, the general turn and complexion of Mr Hume's historical notions. Such familiar sketches give the bent and contour of a person's mind, perhaps more truly than his elaborate compositions, as portraits drawn in a night-gown and slippers, shew the figure more freely and more naturally, than when they are finished in the costume of rank or ceremony.
The letters from Mr Hume, which are subjoined to the journal-*-the notes to Dr Blair, and the Codicil to Mr Hume's Will, must interest, from the peculiar situation in which they were written. The Codicil was of his own hand-writing, and dated 7th August, 1776. He died on the 25th of that month.
Copy Letter Mr Adam Feugusson to Mr John Home, dated at Edinburgh, the llth day of April, 1776.
"I Am much such a correspondent as usual; and for some little time have been in doubt where a letter might find you. But David shewed me a line from you to-day, by which you desire to have your letters sent to London, and after such a preamble, you may guess that my silence proceeded in part from want of matter here. The loss of one friend, and the danger of another, are not subjects that make people in haste to write. David, I am afraid, loses ground. He is chearful, and in good spirits as usual, but I confess that my hopes, from the effects of the turn of the season towards spring, have very much abated. A journey to the south, particularly to Bath, has been mentioned to him; but the thoughts of being from home, hurried at inns, and exposed to irregular meals, are very disagreeable to him. Black is of opinion that he ought not to expose himself to any thing that is so; and that for his complaints, the tranquillity and usual amusement of his own fire-side, with proper diet, is his best regimen; so that I think the thoughts of any journey are at present laid aside. I hope we shall see you here soon, and that your attentions will contribute to preserve what we can so ill spare.
"I am, dear John,
"Most affectionately yours,
Note by Mr John Home.
"Soon after Mr Home received the letter from Dr Ferguson, he left London, and set out for Scotland with Mr Adam Smith. They came to Morpeth on the 23d of April, 1776, and would have passed Mr David Hume, if they had not seen his servant, Colin, standing at the gate of an inn. Mr Home thinks that his friend, Mr David Hume, is much better than he expected to find him. His spirits are astonishing: He talks of his illness, of his death, as matters of no moment, and gives an account of what passed between him and his physicians since his illness began, with his usual wit, or with more wit than usual.
"He acquainted Mr Adam Smith and me, that Dr Black had not concealed the opinion he had of the desperateness of his condition, and was rather averse to his setting out. "Have you no reason against it," said David, "but an apprehension that it may make me die sooner ?—that is no reason at all." I never saw him more chearful, or in more perfect possession of all his faculties, his memory, his understanding, his wit. It is agreed that Smith shall go on to Scotland, and that I should proceed to Bath with David. We are to travel one stage before dinner, and one after dinner. Colin tells me that he thinks Mr Hume better than when he left Edinburgh. We had a fine evening as we went from Morpeth to Newcastle. David seeing a pair of pistols in the chaise, said, that as he had very little at stake, he would indulge me in my humour of fighting the highwaymen. Whilst supper was getting ready at the inn, Mr Hume and I played an hour at picquet. Mr David was very keen about his card playing."
"Newcastle, Wednesday, Q&th April.
"Mr. Hume not quite so well in the morning
—says, that he had set out merely to please his
friends; that he would go on to please them; that
Fergusson and Andrew Stuart, (about whom we had been talking,) were answerable for shortening his life one week a-piece; for, says he, you will allow Xenophon to be good authority; and he lays it down, that suppose a man is dying, nobody has a right to kill him. He set out in this vein, and continued all the stage in his cheerful and talking humour. It was a fine day, and we went on to Durham—from that to Darlington, where we passed the night.
"In the evening, Mr Hume thinks himself more easy and light, than he has been any time for three months. In the course of our conversation we touched upon the national affairs. He still maintains, that the national debt must be the ruin of Britain; and laments that the two most civilized nations, the English and French, should be on the decline; and the barbarians, the Goths and Vandals of Germany and Russia, should be rising in power and renown. The French king, he says, has ruined the state by recalling the parliaments. Mr Hume thinks that there is only one man in France fit to be minister, (the Archbishop of Toulouse,) of the family of Brienne. He told me some curious anecdotes with regard to this prelate; that he composed and corrected without writing; that Mr Hume had heard him repeat an elegant oration of an hour and a quarter in length, which he had never written. Mr Hume, talking with the Princess Beauvais about French policy, said that