3. Letter addressed on back:

John Home of Ninewells Esqr
New Town

2 of May 1776

Dear Brother

I arrived yesterday in London, after a very agreeable Journey of twelve days. I immediately sent a Message to Sir John Pringle, who was so obliging as to prevent my calling on him, and to come to me. After long Conversation, he told me that he saw nothing alarming in my Case, and doubted not of my speedy Recovery. He will not, however, tell me any thing farther of his Intentions, till tomorrow, when I shall know to what place he intends to send me:For to be sure I shall not live in the midst of this Smoke and Noise of London. The Truth is, I improved on my Journey, after the Letter I wrote you from Burnaby:And both John Home and Colin affirmed, that were it not for my leanness, which was not sensible except to those who knew me before, any one wou'd have taken me for an old Gentleman in good Health. I do really feel myself somewhat light and easy, and begin to fancy that this Complaint may possibly go over:But as it never lay either in want of Sleep, Appetite, or Spirits, but in some secret unknown Cause, which wasted me, and about which I find the Physicians are likely to differ, we can pronounce nothing till farther Trial: Though at worst, the happy Effects of the Journey afford the Hint of a proper Remedy, whatever may be the Case. I have seen nobody but Sir John and the Miss Elliot's 10 next door to whom I lodge:But shall, today, make a few and the only Visits I shall make while in London:For I may still, without Hypocrisy, pretend to all the Privileges of a sick Person. I intend to draw either today, or tomorrow for a hundred Pounds on the Bank, and may perhaps draw for two, according to the present State of my Cash account with Mr Coutts 11. I hope Sir John does not intend to send me out of the Island: For that is the only point in which I am in danger of proving disobedient to him. I was vastly the better of John Home's Company, and it is impossible for me to express my Obligations to him. Please send all my Letters under cover to William Strahan Esqr 12 Member of Parliament; as also the Paper that Davy 13 / woud send you. Take care that the Letters do not exceed two Ounces. My Love to Katy and to all your Family.


Anne and Peggy Elliot, lodging-housekeepers for Scottish gentlemen in London. Hume sometimes lodged with them on his visit to London. This time he stayed at Mrs. Perkins's (Mossner, 594).

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11. Thomas Coutts (1735-1822), founder with his brother James of the banking house of Coutts&Co.in the Strand.
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12. William Strahan (1715-1785), printer and publisher; left Scotland and became partner with Millar in London, with whom he produced Johnson's ‘Dictionary’, and subsequently with Thomas Cadell the elder; publisher to Hume, Adam Smith, Johnson, Gibbon, Robertson, Blackstone, and others; maintained friendly relations with his clients;M.P., Malmesbury, 1774, Wootton-Bassett, 1780-84. Postage was free on letters to and from M.P., but franked letters were restricted to two ounces in weight.
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13. David (1757-1838), second surviving son of John Home of Ninewells, afterwards professor of Scots Law at Edinburgh and the author of Commentaries on the Law of Scotland (1797). The philosopher paid for David's education at Glasgow University under Professor John Millar and proudly watched his progress in law. Even during his last illness, Hume advised him about his course of summer reading (see Letter 6, and extract from Hume's letter to his nephew, 20 May 1776, Mossner, 643). Hume in his will directed that David should be his principal heir and executor if Hume's brother John died before Hume himself;and he also made David responsible for publishing the Dialogues concerning Natural Religion if they were still unpublished two and a half years after Hume's death (Mossner, 591-593). The Dialogues were published on David's responsibility in 1779. He also adopted Humes's spelling of the family name in preference to his father's "Home."
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