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166.: 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.39; Rae 300–1.
Kirkcaldy, 22 Aug. 1776.
My Dearest friend
I have this moment received your Letter of the 15 inst. You had, in order to save me the sum of one penny Sterling, sent it by the carrier instead of the Post; and (if you have not mistaken the date,) it has lain at his quarters these eight days and was, I presume, very likely to lie there for ever.
I shall be very happy to receive a copy of your dialogues; and, if I should happen to die before they are published, I shall take care that my copy shall be as carefully preserved as if I was to live a hundred years. With regard to leaving me the property in case they are not published within five years after your decease, you may do as you think proper. I think, however, you should not menace Strahan with the loss of anything in case he does not publish your work within a certain time. There is no probability of his delaying it, and if anything could make him delay it, it would be a clause of this kind, which would give him an honourable pretence for doing so. It would then be said that I had published, for the sake of an Emolument, not from respect to the memory of my friend, what even a printer for the sake of the same emolument had not published. That Strahan is sufficiently zealous you will see by the enclosed letter,1 which I will beg the favour of you to return to me, but by the Post and not by the carrier.
If you will give me leave I will add a few lines to your account of your own life;2 giving some account, in my own name, of your behaviour in this illness, if, contrary to my own hopes, it should prove your last. Some conversations we had lately together, particularly that concerning your want of an excuse to make to Charon, the excuse you at last thought of, and the very bad reception which Charon was likely to give it, would, I imagine, make no disagreeable part of the history. You have in a declining state of health, under an exhausting disease, for more than two years together, now looked at the approach, or what you at least believed to be the approach of Death with a steady chearfulness such as very few men have been able to maintain for a few hours, tho’ otherwise in the most perfect Health.
I shall likewise, if you will give me leave, correct the Sheets of the new edition of your works, and shall take care that it shall be published exactly according to your last corrections. As I shall be at London this winter it will cost me very little trouble.
All this, I have written upon the supposition that the event of your disease should prove different from what I still hope it may do. For your spirits are so good, the Spirit of Life is still so very strong in you, and the progress of your disorder is as slow and gradual that I still hope it may take a turn. Even the cool and steady Dr Black, by a letter I received from him last week,3 seems not to be averse to the same hopes.
I hope I need not repeat to you that I am ready to wait on you whenever you wish to see me. Whenever you do so, I hope you will not scruple to call on me. I beg to be remembered in the kindest and most respectful manner to your Brother, Your Sister, Your Nephew4 and all other friends
I ever am My Dearest friend, Most affectionately yours
[1 ]Presumably Letter 160 from Strahan, dated 10 June 1776.
[2 ]Smith chose to print Letter 178 addressed to Strahan, dated 9 Nov. 1776.
[3 ]Letter 164 from Black, dated 14 Aug. 1776.
[4 ]John Home of Ninewells (1709–85); Katherine Home (? 1710–90); and either Joseph or David Hume the Younger (1757–1838), sons of Home of Ninewells (see HL ii. 333–4).