8. Letter addressed on back:

John Home Esqr

Edinburgh 10 of July 1776

Dear Brother

I arrived here safely, but very much distressed from the horrible Roads between Greenlaw and Blackshiels, which hurt me so, that I have not been able to endure a Chaise ever since. However, I shall make a new Trial tomorrow; as the Miss Ord's 24 have urgd me to use their Father's Chaise, which, they naturally suppos'd woud be easier than any of Ramsay's 25. If I can bear a Chaise (which I am hopeful I may)I shall soon see you at Ninewells; and near Prospect of this, as well as the Uncertainty of my Letter's reaching you, was the Reason why I did not desire you to meet me at Greenlaw. Both my Sister and Peggy 26, and indeed all my Friends here, were struck with my Appearance, which, it seems, is worse than when I left you, though I do not think my Health any worse. Two days ago, I had a grand Jury of Physicians to sit on my Case, viz the Drs Cullen 27, Black, and Home 28. They all agree in condemning the Sentiments of the English Physicians, that the Seat of my Distemper is the Liver. They own there is a Tumour there but a very small one, and such as I might carry about me twenty Years, without either feeling it or complaining of it: And they affirm it utterly impossible, that the Blood I daily void coud come from that Source: They return therefore to the former Supposition of a Haemorhage, but whether I gain or lose by this Change, I cannot determine. However Exercise, they all say, is good for me; and is the only thing they have/ prescribed.

I saw Mains 29 today who is wonderfully recover'd. Our Sister has been ill today and yesterday, I believe chiefly from Vexation at seeing my State of Health.

I wish Josey's Journey to Spain and his longer Stay abroad, do not straiten him for money. I shoud have sent him a small Supply more, but I apprehend my Letter coud not now reach him before he leave that Place. However, he has a Credit, though unknown to himself, on Coutts; and I hope he will employ it rather than be in any Difficulties.

Never, since Joseph's seven Years of Plenty, was the Earth loaded with such a Quantity of Grain as we saw in England during a Journey of 400 Miles. If the Harvest be good, Corn will be cheaper than it has been any time these twenty Years.


Anne Ord (d.1825), the third daughter of Robert Ord, Lord Chief Baron of the Court of the Scottish Exchequer (d.1778). “Nancy” was a lovely and charming young woman and a favourite of David's. She had a keen sense of humour and one day roguishly chalked on the outside of her friend's house “St.David Street.” Peggy Irvine(see n.26, below) discovered the sign and excitedly protested to her master. Upon inspection David forbade her to touch it; “Never mind, lassie, many a better man has been made a saint of before." The jest took hold and Hume's Street, thereafter, was commonly called St.David Street, later acquiring official sanction as St.David Street (Burton, II.436, Mossner, 566.) According to Henry Mackenzie (Anecdotes and Egotisms, 170, 176) Hume “certainly at one time meant to pay his addresses to Miss Nancy Ord, ” but the “disparity of age” prevented his proposing. Hume left Anne ten guineas “to buy a Ring, as a Memorial of my Friendship and Attachment to so amiable and accomplished a Person.” (Royal Society of Edinburgh, ms.ix, 24.quoted in: Mossner, 600)

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Probably Peter Ramsay, stabler in the Cowgate-Port. (Hunter, 146 n.)

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Peggy Irvine, Hume's housekeeper.

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William Cullen (1710-90), professor of medicine, Glasgow, 1751-55; professor of chemistry, Edinburgh, 1756; professor of theory of physic, 1766; president of the Edinburgh College of Physicians, 1773-5; author of An Essay on the Cold produced by Evaporating Fluids (1755) and First Lines of the Practise of Physic (1776-84). When he was professor of medicine at Glasgow he supported Hume's unsuccessful attempt to get the chair of logic there (HL 76, 21 Jan.1752).

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Francis Home (1719-1813), son or nephew of Hume's cousin Alexander Home of Ecdes, an old friend of Hume (HL 56, to John Clephane, 18 June 1747&n.) and afterwards first professor of materia medica at Edinburgh; published Principia Medicinae (1758) and other works.

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Possibly John (?) Molle of Mains House. (Hunter, 146 n.)

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