Front Page Titles (by Subject) LETTER VI.: Dr. Hurd's Artifices. - Letters of David Hume to William Strahan
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LETTER VI.: Dr. Hurd's Artifices. - David Hume, Letters of David Hume to William Strahan 
Letters of David Hume to William Strahan, ed. G. Birkbeck Hill (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1888).
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Dr. Hurd's Artifices.
I am positive not to reply a single Word to Dr. Hurd; and I also beg of you not to think of it. His Artifices or Forgeries, call them which you please, are such common things in all Controversy that a man woud be ridiculous who woud pretend to complain of them; and the Parsons in particular have got a Licence to practice them. I therefore beg of you again to let the Matter pass over in Silence1 . I have deliverd to Mr. Becket a Volume of Essays2 .
I am yours D. H.
Note 1. Remarks on Mr. David Hume's Essay on the Natural History of Religion, by a Gentleman of Cambridge, in a Letter to the Rev. Dr. W., is advertised in the list of books for May 1757. Gent. Mag. 1757, p. 243. The book was written by Warburton and Hurd. On Feb. 7 of this year Warburton, writing to Hurd about Hume's Essay, says:—’I will trim the rogue's jacket, at least sit upon his skirts, as you will see when you come hither, and find his margins scribbled over … They say this man has several moral qualities. It may be so. But there are vices of the mind as well as body; and a wickeder heart, and more determined to do public mischief, I think I never knew.’ Letters from a late Eminent Prelate to one of his Friends, p. 239. In a second letter he writes that he is‘beating out of the mass’ an answer to Hume, to which Hurd is‘to give the elegance of form and splendour of polish…. I propose it to bear something like this title, Remarks on Mr. Hume's late Essay, called the Natural History of Religion, by a Gentleman of Cambridge, in a Letter to the Rev. Dr. W. I propose the address should be with the dryness and reserve of a stranger…. The address will remove it from me; the author, a Gentleman of Cambridge, from you; and the secrecy in printing from us both.’ Ib. p. 241.
Note 2. Perhaps a corrected copy of his Essays and Treatises on Several Subjects, of which a new edition was published in the following year.‘Mr. Becket’ is probably Thomas Becket, the bookseller, who had been, and perhaps still was, one of Millar's assistants. See Nichols's Lit. Anec. iii. 387. He had apparently some connection with the Scotch, for he published Macpherson's Ossian. He may at this time have been on a visit to Edinburgh.