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137.: To 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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To DAVID HUME
MS., RSE vii. 38; Rae 262–3.
Edinburgh, 16 Apr. 1773
My Dear Friend
As I have left the care of all my literary papers to you,1 I must tell you that except those which I carry along with me2 there are none worth the publishing, but a fragment of a great work which contains a history of the Astronomical Systems that were successively in fashion down to the time of Des Cartes.3 Whether that might not be published as a fragment of an intended juvenile work, I leave entirely to your judgement; tho I begin to suspect myself that there is more refinement4 than solidity in some parts of it. This little work you will find in a thin folio paper book in my writing desk in my bedroom. All the other loose papers which you will find either in that desk or within the glass folding doors of a bureau which stands in My bed room together with about eighteen thin paper folio books which you will likewise find within the same glass folding doors I desire may be destroyed without any examination.5 Unless I die very suddenly I shall take care that the Papers I carry with me shall be carefully sent to you. I ever am
My Dear Friend, Most faithfully yours
[1 ]The precarious state of his health led Smith to make Hume his literary executor, but Hume died first (1776) leaving Smith in charge of the publication of Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, a duty which Smith evaded and left to Hume’s nephew, David Hume the Younger. See Letters 156 and 157 from Hume, dated 3 May 1776.
[2 ]MS. of WN.
[3 ]Posthumously published as ‘The Principles which lead and direct Philosophical Enquiries; illustrated by the History of Astronomy’ in Essays on Philosophical Subjects, ed. by Smith’s literary executors Joseph Black and James Hutton (Edinburgh, 1795). For a commentary on the ‘Principles’ as guidelines to Smith’s view of scientific method, see A. S. Skinner, ‘Adam Smith: Philosophy and Science’, Scottish Journal of Political Economy xix. 3 (1972), 307–19.
[4 ]Repetition omitted of five previous words.
[5 ]Black and Hutton followed similar instructions in 1790 and committed sixteen vols. of MSS. to the flames (Rae 434).