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77.: 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. 36; HL i. 407–10.
Fontainebleau, 28 Oct. 1763
My dear Smith
I have been three days at Paris and two at Fontainbleau; and have every where met with the most extraordinary Honours which the most exorbitant Vanity cou’d wish or desire. The Compliments of Dukes and Marischals of France and foreign Ambassadors go for nothing with me at present: I retain a Relish for no kind of Flattery but that which comes from the Ladies. All the Courtiers, who stood around when I was introduc’d to Me de Pompadour,1 assurd me that she was never heard [?] to say so much to any Man; and her Brother, [words obliterated] But I forget already, that I am to scorn all the Civilities. [ ] However, even Me Pompadour’s Civilities were, if possible, exceeded by those of the Dutchess de Choiseul,2 the Wife of the Favourite and prime Minister, and one of the Lady of the most distinguish’d Merit in France. Not contented with the very obliging things she said to me on my first Introduction, she sent to call me from the other End of the Room, in order to repeat them and to enter into a short Conversation with me: And not contented with that, she sent the Danish Ambassador after me to assure me, that what she said was not from Politeness, but that she seriously desir’d to be in Friendship and Correspondence with me. There is not a Courtier in France, who wou’d not have been transported with Joy, to have had the half of these obliging things said to him, by either of these great Ladies; but what may appear more extraordinary, both of them, as far as I could conjecture, have read with some Care all my Writings that have been translated into French, that is, almost all my Writings. The King said nothing particular to me, when I was introduced to him; and (can you imagine it) I was becoming so silly as to be a little mortify’d by it, till they told me, that he never says any thing to any body, the first time he sees them. The Dauphin3 as I am told from all hands, declares himself on every Occasion very strongly in my favour; and many people assure me, that I have reason to be proud of his Judgement, even were he an Individual. I have scarce seen any of the Geniuses of Paris, who, I think, have in general great Merit, as Men of Letters. But every body is forward to tell me the high Panegyrics I receive from [them;] and you may believe that [words obliterated] Approbation which has procur’d me all these Civilities from the Courtiers.
I know you are ready to ask me, my dear Friend, if all this does not make me very happy: No, I feel little or no Difference. As this is the first Letter I write to my Friends at home, I have amus’d myself (and hope I have amus’d you) by giving you a very abridg’d Account of these Transactions: But can I ever forget, that it is the very same Species, that wou’d scarce show me common Civilities a very few Years ago at Edinburgh, who now receive me with such Applauses at Paris? I assure you I reap more internal Satisfaction from the very amiable Manners and Character of the Family in which I live (I mean Lord and Lady Hertford and Lord Beauchamp) than from all these external Vanities; and it is that domestic Enjoyment which must be considerd as the agreeable Circumstance in my Situation. During the two last days in particular, that I have been at Fontainebleau, I have sufferd (the Expression is not improper) as much Flattery as almost any man has ever done in the same time: But there are few days in my Life, when I have been in good Health, that I would not rather pass over again. Mr Neville,4 our Minister, an honest worthy English Gentleman, who carry’d me about, was astonishd at the Civilities I met with; and has assurd me, that, on his Return, he will not fail to inform the King of England and the English Ministry of all these particulars. But enough of all these Follies. You see I trust to your Friendship, that you will forgive me; and to your Discretion, that you will keep my Secret.
I had almost forgot in these Effusions, shall I say of my Misanthropy or my Vanity, to mention the Subject which first put my Pen in my hand. The Baron d’Holbac,5 whom I saw at Paris, told me, that there was one under his Eye that was translating your Theory of moral Sentiments;6 and desird me to inform you of it: Mr Fitzmaurice, your old Friend, interests himself strongly in this Undertaking: Both of them wish to know, if you propose to make any Alterations on the Work, and desire you to inform me of your Intentions in that particular. Please direct to me under Cover to the Earl of Hertford at Northumberland House, London. Letters so directed will be sent to us at Paris. I desire my Compliments to all Friends.
I am My Dear Smith Yours sincerely
[1 ]Jeanne–Antoinette Poisson, marquise de Pompadour (1721–64) mistress of Louis XV.
[2 ]Louise–Honorine Crozat du Châtel (1736–1801) md. in 1750 Étienne François de Choiseul–Stainville (1719–85), duc de Choiseul, Minister for War. In 1766 he became Minister for Foreign Affairs, but was disgraced and exiled four years later as a result of the intrigues of Mme du Barri. Mme de Choiseul (referred to as ‘grand’maman’ in Mme du Deffand’s letters) was perhaps the most charming of the ladies at the French Court, and was greatly admired by British visitors such as Horace Walpole and Hume. She returned Hume’s affection.
[3 ]Louis (1729–65), s. of Louis XV, and fa. of Louis XVI, Louis XVII, and Charles X. Unlike his father, he was thoughtful and pious.
[4 ]Richard Neville Aldworth Neville (1717–93), M.P. for Reading 1747, Under–Secretary of State, Southern Dept. 1748–51; 4 Sept. 1762, apptd. Secretary to the Duke of Bedford’s embassy to France. On 15 Feb. 1763 he brought to London the definitive Peace of Paris, and then returned to France to act as British Minister Plenipotentiary till Lord Hertford’s arrival.
[5 ]Paul–Henri Thiry, Baron d’Holbach (1723–89), born in the Palatinate but lived from his childhood in Paris, where he was the friend of Diderot, d’Alembert, Helvétius, and Condorcet. His best–known work is the Système de la nature (1770), which expresses cogently his naturalistic and materialistic views. From 1759 until 1788, his Paris house at No. 8, rue des Moulins, was the chief rendezvous of men of letters and distinguished visitors for dinners on Sundays and Thursdays: ‘Une grosse chère, mais bonne, d’excellent vin, d’excellent café, beaucoup de disputes, jamais de querelles’ (Morellet, Mémoires, 1821).
[6 ]M.A. Eidous published a French translation of TMS in 1764, in two vols., but the ‘Approbation’ is dated 7 Sept. 1763; see New Letter a, n. 4.