Front Page Titles (by Subject) LETTER XVI.: Hume's Departure for France. - Letters of David Hume to William Strahan
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
Also in the Library:
LETTER XVI.: Hume's Departure for France. - David Hume, Letters of David Hume to William Strahan 
Letters of David Hume to William Strahan, ed. G. Birkbeck Hill (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1888).
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
Hume's Departure for France.
Mr. Hume's Compliments to Mr. Strahan: He sets out Morrow for France1. ; but wishes to put Mr. Strahan in Mind, of what he promisd, to correspond with him at Paris. His Direction is under Cover to Lord Hertford, Northumberland House in the Strand.
Oct. 14, 1763.
[1.]Note 1. Hume wrote from Edinburgh to Adam Smith on Aug. 9, 1763:—’I have got an invitation, accompanied with great prospects and expectations, from Lord Hertford, if I would accompany him, though at first without any character, in his embassy to Paris. I hesitated much on the acceptance of this offer, though in appearance very inviting; and I thought it ridiculous at my years to be entering on a new scene, and to put myself in the lists as a candidate of fortune. But I reflected that I had in a manner abjured all literary occupations; that I resolved to give up my future life entirely to amusements; that there could not be a better pastime than such a journey, especially with a man of Lord Hertford's character; and that it would be easy to prevent my acceptance from having the least appearance of dependance.’ Burton's Hume, ii. 157. Writing from London on Sept. 13, after mentioning all the advantages of the position, he continues:—’But notwithstanding all these considerations, shall I tell you the truth? I repine at my loss of ease and leisure and retirement and independence; and it is not without a sigh I look backwards, nor without reluctance that I cast my eye forwards.’ Ib. p. 161. On Nov. 9 he wrote from Fontainebleau:—’I am sensible that I set out too late and that I am misplaced; and I wish twice or thrice a-day for my easy chair and my retreat in James's Court. Never think, dear Ferguson, that as long as you are master of your own fireside and your own time you can be unhappy, or that any other circumstance can make an addition to your enjoyment.’ Ib. p. 173. In an undated letter he says:—’Thus you see my present plan of life sketched out, but it is unsuitable to my age and temper; and I am determined to retrench and to abandon the fine folks before they abandon me.’ Ib. p. 181.
[2.]Note 2. John Worrall kept a book shop in Bell Yard, Temple Bar; and his brother Thomas one at Temple Bar. Nichols, Lit. Anec. iii. 739.
[3.]Note 3. In the list of books in the Gent. Mag. for November 1739, p. 608, is entered The Jamaica Laws from 1681 to 1737. Printed by J. Basket. Folio, price £1 1s.