2. Letter addressed on back:

To
John Home of Ninewells Esqr
in Butter's Land   New Town of
Edinburgh


Barnaby 27 of April 1776

Dear Brother

You have probably heard, what an agreeable Surprise I receiv'd at Morpeth(it was a few hours after I had written to you)by the Arrival of John Home 5, who had taken that Journey from London on purpose to join me, and if he had found me at Edinburgh, to rouze me to the Journey. He immediately return'd with me: Adam Smith 6, if he had not been bound to pay a Visit to his Mother, woud also have favourd us with his Company 7. We have proceeded in the most agreeable Manner in the World, and I am, as you may believe, much the better for his Company. We advance only at the rate of two Stages a day; and are still at present, on Saturday Evening, one hundred and forty nine Miles from London. I coud easily have proceeded faster; but we think, that the prolonging of the Journey is the best Circumstance for my Health,and my Companion joyfully submits to this slow Method of travelling[.] Never was seen better Weather or a finer Season: Accordingly I am myself better; but my Friend has written both to London and Edinburgh, that I am a great deal better and will shortly be quite well:His Notion is founded on my good Spirits, a Circumstance somewhat fallacious. However, I own, I am sensibly better, but the Root of the Distemper still remains and discovers itself by a heavy dull Pain, about the Pit of my Stomach,which appears more evidently distinct from a Colical Pain, since my Journey. My Friends tell me, that Sir John Pringle 8,from his present Notion of my Case, is resolved to send me to Bath, which will not be disagreeable to me; and the Waters may be us'd/ for such Complaints at all Seasons. Colin takes good Care of me, and provides me in an excellent Bed every Night. I shall probably stay but a few days in London;and you need not write me till you hear again from me. Pray,tell Dr Black, that I delay writing to him, till nearer the End of the Journey, when he will be able to form a better Notion from the Symptoms[.] It is certain at least, that this Journey has provd an Amusement, and is the best thing I coud have done in my Circumstances. My Love to Katy and to Mrs Home 9 and all your Family. Be so good as to write a few Lines to Adam Smith at Kirkaldy, giving him an Account of my Proceedings, such as I have informed you of them. Tell him it was at my Desire[.] I am

Dear Brother

Yours most sincerely

David Hume


5.

John Home(1722-1808),the author of ‘Douglas.’ Hume described it in the ‘dedicatory preface’ of his ‘Four Dissertations’ addressed to Home(1757) as ‘one of the most interesting and pathetic pieces that was ever exhibited in any theatre,’ and he credited Home with ‘the true theatric genius of Shakespeare and Otway, refined from the unhappy barbarism of the one and licentiousness of the other’(Philosophical Works, ed.Green and Grose, III, 66-67). Home recorded in a diary Hume's sayings and doings during this journey(printed in the Appendix to Mackensie's Account of the Life of Home,prefixed to The Works of John Home,I;reprinted in Burton, II, 495-504).

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6. Adam Smith(1723-90),author of ‘The Wealth of Nations’, which was published 9 March 1776; on 1 April Hume wrote Smith a letter of congratulation(HL, 517).
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7. At Kirkcaldy, on 3 June,Smith wrote to William Strahan(see n.12 below), ‘From this obscure and remote part of the country there is nothing to write you about except, the worst of all subjects, ones self. And even upon that subject I have nothing to say except that I am in perfect health and that I found my mother as much so as it is possible for anybody to be who is past eighty.”(The Correspondence of Adam Smith, ed. by Mossner and Ross, letter 158).
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8. Sir John Pringle(1707-82), joint-professor of pneumatics and moral philosophy at Edinburgh,1734-44 (Hume was an unsuccessful candidate for this chair in 1745); Physician-General to the forces in Flanders 1744; elected President of the Royal Society 1772. His great work in life was the reform of military medicine and sanitation. It was at his urging that made the present journey(see Mossner, 590-591).
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9. Agnes, wife of John Home of Ninewells, daughter of Robert Carre of Cavers, Roxburghshire.
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