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57.: From DAVID HUME - Adam Smith, Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence Vol. 6 Correspondence of Adam Smith 
Correspondence of Adam Smith, ed. E. C. Mossner and I. S. Ross, vol. VI of the Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence of Adam Smith (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1987).
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From DAVID HUME
MS., RSE ii. 31; HL i. 345–6.
Ninewells, 29 June 1761
As your Professorship of Hebrew is vacant, I have been applyd to in behalf of young Mr Cummin,1 and you are the Person with whom I am supposed to have some Interest. But as I imagine you will not put this Election on the Footing of Interest, I shall say nothing on that head; but shall speak much more to the Purpose, by informing you, that I have known Mr Cummin for some time, and have esteemed him a young Man of exceeding good Capacity, and of a Turn towards Literature. He tells me, that he has made the Oriental Tongues and particularly the Hebrew a Part of his Study and has made some Proficiency in them: But of this Fact, craving his Pardon, I must be allowed to entertain some Doubt: For if Hebrew Roots, as Cowley says, thrive best in barren Soil,2 he has a small Chance of producing any great Crop of them. But as you commonly regard the Professorship of Hebrew as a Step towards other Professorships, in which a good Capacity can better display itself; you will permit me to give it as my Opinion, that you will find it difficult to pitch on a young Man, who is more likely to be a Credit to your College, by his Knowledge and Industry.
I am so far on my Road to London, where I hope to see you this Season. I shall lodge in Miss Elliots Lisle Street Leicester Fields; and I beg it of you to let me hear from you the Moment of your Arrival.3 I am Dear Smith
[1 ]Patrick Cumin: see Letter 56 from Robert Cullen, dated 24 June 1761, n. 3.
[2 ]Hume is recalling the couplet by Samuel Butler:
[3 ]Smith visited London some time between 27 Aug. and 15 Oct. 1761.