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96.: 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. 39; HL ii. 82–3.
[Lisle Street, Leicester Fields, Aug. 1766]2
There is a Bookseller at Paris, one Dessain,3 who has some Character, but has play’d me a very ugly Trick. I bought of him two Volumes of Buffon’s Natural History and paid him thirty Livres4 for them; but as M. Buffon made me a Present of them afterwards, Dessain took them back. I gave him a pretty large Commission of Books to be sent to me to the Care of David Wilson,5 and I left among the rest, these two Volumes of Buffon, together with Mrs Macaulay’s History6 and some other Books. He has sent over several Parcels to Mr Wilson, but will neither send over my Books, nor answer my Letters nor take any Notice of me. He lives on the Quay des Augustins, not far from you: I wish you woud speak to him and threaten him a little. Tell him I shall prosecute him either myself on my Return to Paris or by Order, if he do not send over my Books and Money. I wonder he acts so foolishly: For my Commission woud be more profitable to him, than so small a Pittance as this sum.
You may see in M. Dalembert’s hands the whole Narrative of my Affair with Rousseau along with the whole Train of Correspondence. Pray is it not a nice Problem, whether he be not an arrant Villain or an arrant Madman or both: The last is my Opinion; but the Villain seems to me to predominate most in his Character. I shall not publish them unless forc’d, which you will own to be a very great Degree of Self denial. My Conduct, in this Affair, woud do me a great deal of Honour; and his woud blast him for ever; and blast his Writings at the same time: For as these have been exalted much above their Merit, when his personal Character falls, they woud of Course fall below their Merit. I am however apprehensive that in the End I shall be oblig’d to publish. About two or three days ago, there was an Article in the St. James’s Chronicle copyd from the Brussels Gazette, which pointed at this Dispute. This may probably put Rousseau in a Rage; he will publish something, which may oblige me for my own Honour to give the Narrative to the Public. There will be no Reason to dread a long Train of disagreeable Controversy: One Publication begins and ends it on my Side. Pray, tell me your Judgement of my Work, if it deserves the Name: Tell D’alembert I make him absolute Master to retrench or alter what he thinks proper, in order to suit it to the Latitude of Paris.
Were you and I together Dear Smith we should shed Tears at present for the Death of poor Sir James Macdonald. We could not possibly have sufferd a greater Loss than in that valuable young Man.
I am Yours most sincerely
In a little time, I go down to pass a few Weeks with my Friends in Scotland but direct still to me at Miss Elliots: My Letters will follow me. I wish I had a strong unanswerable Motive to determine me whether I shall live henceforth in London or in Paris. My Inclination and indeed my Resolutions lead me to the latter place; but my Reason points out the former. I for [ ]7 :ar, that I would have a great Facility to continue my History [ ]. Clamour of Faction on both Sides seems to have subsided: But c[ ] me a good Reason, why I should put myself to that Trouble? [ ] Compliments to Baron D Holbach.
[1 ]‘Paris’ is struck through and ‘a Compiegne’ added twice, in another hand.
[2 ]As the Postscript indicates, Hume was staying at the London boarding house kept by the sisters Ann and Peggy Elliot. The date of the letter is suggested by the references to the quarrel with Rousseau.
[3 ]Jean Dessaint (d. 1776), commenced bookseller in 1720; associated with Charles Saillant (1716–86): their firm is mentioned passim in Rousseau’s Correspondence, ed. R. A. Leigh (Geneva, 1964– ).
[4 ]In WN (I.iv.10), Smith stated that the English pound was reduced to a third of its original value, and the French pound to one sixty–sixth, by his time. This would suggest that the livre was worth about one shilling.
[5 ]Bookseller in the Strand, London (d. 1777).
[6 ]Catherine Sawbridge (1731–91), md. (1) Dr. George Macaulay, and (2) William Graham. The first volume of her History of England was published in 1763, and Dr. Macaulay sent a copy to Hume in Paris. The last of the eight volumes appeared in 1783.
[7 ]MS. torn.