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123.: 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. 46; HL ii. 214–15.
Edinburgh, 6 Feb. 1770
What is the Meaning of this, Dear Smith, which we hear, that you are not to be here above a day or two, in your Passage to London? How can you so much as entertain a thought of publishing a Book,1 full of Reason, Sense, and Learning, to these wicked, abandon’d Madmen?
I suppose you have not yet got over your Astonishment at this most astonishing Resignation.2 For my part, I knew not at first whether to throw the Blame on the Duke or the King; but I now find it is entirely and compleatly the Dukes own; and I think him dishonourd for ever. Here is the Passage of a Letter, which I receivd yesterday from a very good hand. ‘The most wonderful political Event that ever happened in this Country happend yesterday. The Duke of Grafton, who, it seems, has bad Nerves, thought proper to resign on Tuesday the 30th of Jany at 12 of the clock forenoon. The King, who showd a Firmness, which few people thought he possess’d and a rage that no body expected from him, absolutely refus’d to treat with the Opposition, and calld upon Lord North to stand forth, assuring him, that he would never yield.3 Lord North accordingly took the Duke of Grafton’s place, and yesterday met the house of Commons as Minister. The great danger was the Effect of the Pannic, and he checkt the Pannic by his Declaration, that he woud never resign, and whilst his breathe was in his body that he would support the King’s faithful Servants, and the Dignity of Parliament against faction and Conspiracy: They renewd the same captious and popular Question about the Middlesex Election; and after a long and warm debate, they divided and Lord North carryd the Question by forty Votes. This is reckond the most spirited Conduct that any man has held since the Revolution, and he is extolld to the Skies. The Opposition, who were parcelling out the Kingdom, are in despair; as there is no doubt that the new Minister will gather force every hour, as he has upon this critical occasion shown that strength of Mind, which is the precise thing hitherto wanting to give permanence to administration. Without doors there is nothing but peace and quietness; not a mouse stirring among the Mob; and I think the times will mend.’
So far my Friend, whose Prophesy I hope will be fulfilld; tho’ for my part I am rather inclind to give myself up to despair: Nothing but a Rebellion and Bloodshed will open the Eyes of that deluded People, tho’ were they alone concernd I think it is no matter what becomes of them. Be sure to bring over the Northumberland Household Book4 and Priestley’s Grammar.5 Yours Dear Smith
[2 ]The Duke of Grafton (1735–1811) resigned as First Lord of the Treasury in Jan. 1770, when his colleagues, prompted by Chatham, fell away from him.
[3 ]George III concerted matters with Lord North before Grafton resigned (Geo. III, Corr. ii. 126 f.).
[4 ]The Regulations and Establishment of the Household of Henry Algernon, the fifth Earl of Northumberland, at his castles of Wresill and Lekinfield in Yorkshire, begun anno domini MDXII, ed. Thomas Percy (London, 1770); referred to in WN at I.xi.e.9, where Smith deals with fluctuations in the prices of wheat. He seems to be misled, however, by a mistake in the text of the Household Book: see WN, 6th edn. ed. Cannan (1950), i. 200, n. 1. Hume was later engaged in controversy with Percy over a note to the History of England referring to the Household Book: see NHL, pp. xvii–xix, 197–9.
[5 ]Joseph Priestley, Rudiments of English Grammar (London, 1769).