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75.: 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. 35; HL i. 394–7.
Lisle Street, Leicester Fields, 13 Sept. 1763
My dear Smith
The Settlement, which I had made in Scotland, was so much to my Mind, I had indeed struck Root so heartily, that it was with the outmost Reluctance I could think of transplanting myself; and I began to approach towards that Age, in which these Experiments become no longer practicable with Safety. I own, that, on my arrival in London, I found every Circumstance more inviting than I had reason to expect; particularly the Characters of Lord and Lady Hertford,1 who are allowd to be the two Persons the most unexceptionable among all the English Nobility. Even that Circumstance of Lord Hertford’s Character, his great Piety, ought to make my Connexions with him more agreeable, both because it is not attended with any thing sour and rigid, and because I draw the more Honour from his Choice, while he overlookd so many seeming Objections which lay against me on that head. My Fortune also receives a great Addition during Life from the Connexion; besides many Openings to Ambition, were I so simple as to be exposed to Temptation from that Passion. But notwithstanding all these Considerations; shall I tell you the Truth? I repine at my Loss of Ease and Leizure and Retirement and Independance, and it is not without a Sigh I look backwards nor without Reluctance that I cast my Eye forwards. Is this Sentiment an Instinct which admonishes me of the Situation most proper and suitable to me? Or is it a momentary Disgust, the Effect of low Spirits, which Company and Amusement and a better State of Health will soon dissipate and remove? I must wait with Patience, till I see the Decision of this Question.
I find, that one View of Lord Hertford in engaging me to go along with him, is that he thinks I may be useful to Lord Beauchamp2 in his Studies. That young Nobleman is generally spoke of as very amiable and very promising: But I remember, tho’ faintly, to have heard from you something to the contrary, which you had from that severe Critic, Mr Herbert.3 I shoud be obligd to you for informing me of it. I have not yet seen My Lord Beauchamp, who is at this time in Paris. We shall not leave London these three Weeks.
You have, no doubt, heard of the strange Jumble among our Ministers, and of the Negotiation open’d with Mr Pit. Never Story was told with such contrary Circumstances as that of his secret Conference with the King, and of the Terms demanded by that popular Leader. The general Outlines of the whole Story seem to be these. Lord Bute disgusted with the Ministers, who had almost universally conspird to neglect him, and suspecting their bottom to be too narrow, had, before Lord Egremont’s4 Death, opend a Negotiation with Mr Pit, by means of Lord Shelburn, who employ’d Colcraft, the Agent.5 Mr Pit says, that he always declard it highly improper that he should be brought to the King, before all Terms were settled on such a Footing as to render it impossible for them to separate without agreeing. He accordingly thought they were settled: His first Conference with the King confirm’d him in that Opinion, and he wrote to the Duke of Devonshire6 to come to Town in order to place himself at the head of the Treasury: The Duke of Newcastle7 said at his Table, on Sunday was a Fortnight, that the Ministry was settled: But when Mr Pit came to the King that Afternoon, he found him entirely chang’d, and every thing was retracted, that had been agreed on. This is his Story: The other Party says, that he rose in his Terms and wanted to impose the most exorbitant Conditions on his Sovereign. I suppose, that the first Conference pass’d chiefly in generals, and that Mr Pit would then be extremely humble and submissive and polite and dutiful in his Expressions: But when he came to particulars, they did not seem to correspond to these Appearances. At least, this is the best Account I can devise of the Matter, consistent with the Honour of both Parties.
You woud see the present Ministry by the Papers. It is pretended, that they are enragd against Lord Bute for negotiating without their Knowledge or Consent; and that the other Party are no less displeasd with him for not finishing the Treaty with them. That Nobleman declard his Resolution of going abroad a week or two ago: Now, he is determind to pass the Winter in London. Our Countymen are visibly hurt in this Justle of Parties; which I believe to be far from the Intentions of Lord Bute.
Lord Shelburne resignd because he found himself obnoxious on account of his Share in the Negotiation. I see you are much displeasd with that Nobleman but he always speaks of you with regard. I hear that your Pupil, Mr Fitzmaurice, makes a very good figure at Paris.
It is generally thought, that Mr Pit has gaind Credit and Force by this Negotiation. It turns the Eyes of the Public towards him: It shows that the King can overlook personal Resentment against him and Lord Temple.8 It gains him the Confidence of his own Party, who see that he was negotiating for the whole of them: And puts People in mind of the French Rhyme Ville qui parle et femme qui ecoute &c.
You wou’d hear, that the Case of the Douglas is now made clear even in the Eyes the most blinded and most prejudicd; which I am glad of, on account of our Friends.9 I am Dear Smith
Yours most sincerely
[1 ]In 1741 Lord Hertford md. Isabella (1726–82), 4th dau. of the 2nd Duke of Grafton.
[2 ]Francis Seymour Conway, afterwards Ingram–Seymour (1743–1822), Lord Beauchamp, eldest s. of Lord Hertford, whom he succeeded as the 2nd Marquis 1794.
[3 ]Henry Herbert: see Letter 70 addressed to Hume, dated 22 Feb. 1763.
[4 ]Sir Charles Wyndham (1710–63), 4th Bt., succeeded as 2nd Earl of Egremont 1750; Secretary of State, Southern Dept., 1763.
[5 ]John Calcraft (1726–72), political and army agent; a protégé of Henry Fox, but deserted to Pitt 1763; M.P. for Calne 1766–8, and Rochester 1768–72. On 15 Aug. 1763, he tried during an interview of three hours to reconcile Pitt and the Duke of Bedford.
[6 ]William Cavendish (1720–64), 4th Duke of Devonshire; Master of the Horse 1751–5; Ld. Lt. of Ireland 1755–7; Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury 1756–7; Lord Chamberlain 1757–62.
[7 ]Thomas Pelham–Holles (1693–1768), 1st Duke of Newcastle; Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury 1745–6, and 1757–62.
[8 ]Richard (1711–79), 2nd Earl Temple; bro. of George Grenville and bro.–in–law of Pitt; Lord Privy Seal 1757–61.
[9 ]e.g. William Mure and Andrew Stuart.