Front Page Titles (by Subject) LETTER XL.: Cadell disbelieved: Sir Archibald Grant's Plantations. - Letters of David Hume to William Strahan
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LETTER XL.: Cadell disbelieved: Sir Archibald Grant's Plantations. - 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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Cadell disbelieved: Sir Archibald Grant's Plantations.
5 June, 1770.
Even according to Mr. Cadel's present account, which I have not the least Reason to give any Credit to, you have copies enow1. to serve you for many Years’ Sale; and I give over all thoughts of any new Edition. Only, if such a thing shoud happen, I think it proper to inform you, that I have a Copy by me, corrected in many places, especially in the four first Volumes2. . This shall be sent you on demand either by myself, if alive, or by my Brother or Heirs; and I wish that no Edition be made without following it. I shall never make any more Enquiries about the Matter: I did not even make any Enquiries at this time; but receiving from Mr. Cadel some inconsistent Accounts, which he had sent me voluntarily of himself, I took Occasion to mention them to you. As he finds his Credit runs very low with me in that particular (tho’ I believe him a very honest man) he may spare himself the trouble of saying any thing farther concerning it. I wish Millar had savd the Expence of this Magnificent Quarto Edition3. , which can serve to no purpose but to discredit the Octavo; and make the sale, if possible, still more slow.
There is a notable4. Error of the Press in this last Quarto of my Essays, which confounds and perplexes the Sense; and being so easily corrected, I wish you woud give orders for that purpose. It is Vol 2. p. 395. 1. I. for useful read usual5. . A boy with his pen in half an hour coud go thro all the Copies. It is the very first Line of the third Appendix. I beg of you not to forget this Request. I have writ to Cadel to the same purpose. It is in the second page of Sheet E. e. e.6.
I have seen Lady Grant. I am told, that she and Sir Archibald hold as much amorous play and dalliance7. , as ever Adam and Eve did in paradise; and they make every body in love with the marryd State. It will be a curious Experiment whether his sly Flattery or her tenacious Avarice will get the better: I conjecture, that the contest is begun already. I took occasion to mention to her Sir Archibald's extensive and noble Plantations8. but she told me, that she thought that Planting was his Folly, and that people ought to take care, lest their concern for Posterity shoud hurt themselves9. . Thus she will check the poor man in the only laudable thing he has ever done10. .
I wish you woud be so good as to send me an account of the Debt I owe you, which, tho’ it be but a trifle, I coud wish to pay11. .
The Madness and wickedness of the English (for do not say, the Scum of London) appear astonishing, even after all the Experience we have had. It must end fatally either to the King or Constitution or to both12. .
You say nothing to me of the new Edition of my Essays in 12°, and of my desire to have six copies of it whenever it is finishd. Perhaps, you have stopd short in that work, and I think you much in the right in so doing.
I am Dear Strahan Yours sincerely
[1.]Note 1. See ante, p. 8, for Hume's distinction between enough and enow.
[2.]Note 2. See ante, p. 97, n. 17.
[3.]Note 3. See ante, p. 141, n. 7.
[4.]Note 4. Notable as applied to men was still struggling between the two meanings of remarkable, memorable, observable, and careful, bustling. ‘I expressed,’ writes Northcote, ‘to Sir Joshua my curiosity to see Dr. Goldsmith. Soon afterwards Goldsmith came to dine with him, and immediately on my entering the room, Sir Joshua, with a designed abruptness, said to me, “This is Dr. Goldsmith; pray why did you wish to see him?” I was much confused by the suddenness of the question, and answered in my hurry; “Because he is a notable man.” This, in one sense of the word, was so very contrary to the character and conduct of Goldsmith, that Sir Joshua burst into a hearty laugh, and said that Goldsmith should in future always be called the notable man. What I meant to say was, that he was a man of note or eminence.’ Northcote's Life of Reynolds, i. 249.
[5.]Note 5. The Third Appendix—the Fourth according to Hume's subsequent arrangement—begins:—’Nothing is more usual than for philosophers to encroach upon the province of grammarians.’ Hume's Phil. Works, ed. 1854, iv. 382.
[6.]Note 6. Each sheet of a book is distinguished by a letter, or signature as it is technically called. J, V, and W are not used. When the end of the Alphabet is reached, the letters are doubled, and, if that does not suffice, are trebled. In a quarto, with only eight pages to each sheet, the Alphabet is soon run through. E. e. e. is found on p. 393.
[7.]Note 7. ‘Youthful dalliance.’ Paradise Lost, iv. 338.
[8.]Note 8. Johnson in his Journey to the Hebrides says:—’It may be doubted whether before the Union any man between Edinburgh and England had ever set a tree. Of this improvidence no other account can be given than that it probably began in times of tumult, and continued because it had begun.’ Works, ix. 8. Sir Archibald's country, being on the borders of the Aberdeenshire Highlands, would have remained insecure even longer than the district south of Edinburgh. ‘The love of planting,’ says Sir Walter Scott, ‘which has become almost a passion, is much to be ascribed to Johnson's sarcasms.’ Croker Corres. ii. 34. Sir Archibald had done his planting before Johnson visited Scotland. There were, however, earlier sarcasms than Johnson's. Wilkes, in 1762, in The North Briton, No. 13, had said that ‘in that country Judas had sooner found the grace of repentance than a tree to hang himself on’ (ante, p. 61). Churchill, in 1763, in The Prophecy of Famine, describes how in Scotland,
Churchill's Works, ed. 1766, i. III.
[9.]Note 9. Addison, in The Spectator, No. 583, after recommending planting ‘to men of estates, not only as a pleasing amusement, but as it is a kind of virtuous employment,’ continues:—’I know when a man talks of posterity in matters of this nature, he is looked upon with an eye of ridicule by the cunning and selfish part of mankind. Most people are of the humour of an old fellow of a college, who, when he was pressed by the society to come into something that might redound to the good of their successors, grew very peevish. “We are always doing (says he) something for posterity, but I would fain see posterity do something for us.”
[10.]Note 10. He had served on the Committee of the House of Commons which in 1729 examined into the state of the gaols. Hogarth's picture of the Examination of Bambridge was painted for him, and his portrait, no doubt, is given among the Committee men. Anecdotes of William Hogarth, ed. 1833, p. 350.
[11.]Note 11. Very likely the debt for the Chronicle (ante, p. 138).
[12.]Note 12. Horace Walpole wrote to Mann ten days later:—’This is a slight summer letter, but you will not be sorry it is so short, when the dearth of events is the cause. Last year I did not know but we might have a Battle of Edgehill by this time. At present, my Lord Chatham could as soon raise money as raise the people; and Wilkes will not much longer have more power of doing either. . . . You could not have a better opportunity for taking a trip to England.’ Letters, v. 242.