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LETTER LXIII.: Captain Brydone: Hume's House in St. Andrew's Square. - 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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Captain Brydone: Hume's House in St. Andrew's Square.
You will please to send this Letter to Mr. Cadel, which I have left open for your Perusal.
There is a Friend of mine, Capn Braiden, who has writ, in the form of Letters, his Travels thro Sicily and Malta1 : They are very curious and agreeable; and I as well as others of his Friends have advisd him to publish them; and I also advisd him, to carry them to you. If you read them I hope we shall agree in Opinion. I conjecture they may make one Volume a little less than a Volume of the Spectator2 .
I am Dear Sir Yours sincerely
3 of June, 1772.
(Letter enclosed to Mr. Cadell.)
Note 1. Captain Patrick Brydone published in the spring of 1773 (Gent. Mag. 1773, p. 242) his Tour through Sicily and Malta, in a Series of Letters to William Beckford, Esq. of Somerly in Suffolk. Boswell (Life of Johnson, ii. 468) mentions ‘an antimosaical remark introduced into Captain Brydone's entertaining tour, I hope heedlessly, from a kind of vanity which is too common in those who have not sufficiently studied the most important of all subjects.’ Brydone had met at Catania a Canon, Recupero by name, who had measured in a drawwell ‘the strata of lavas, with earth to a considerable thickness over the surface of each stratum. Recupero has made use of this as an argument to prove the great antiquity of the eruptions of his mountain [Etna]. For if it requires two thousand years or upwards to form but a scanty soil on the surface of a lava, there must have been more than that space of time betwixt each of the eruptions which have formed these strata... He tells me he is exceedingly embarrassed by these discoveries in writing the history of the mountain;—that Moses hangs like a dead weight upon him, and blunts all his zeal for enquiry; for that really he has not the conscience to make his mountain so young as that prophet makes the world. What do you think of these sentiments from a Roman Catholic divine? The bishop, who is strenuously orthodox—for it is an excellent see—has already warned him to be upon his guard, and not to pretend to be a better natural historian than Moses.’ Brydone's Tour, ed. 1790, i. 141. Johnson remarked on this passage:—‘Shall all the accumulated evidence of the history of the world, shall the authority of what is unquestionably the most ancient writing be overturned by an uncertain remark such as this?’ Boswell's Johnson, ii. 468. At another time he said:—‘If Brydone were more attentive to his Bible he would be a good traveller.’ Ib. iii. 356.
Note 2. Almost all the editions of The Spectator were in eight volumes, octavo.
Note 3. Hume had moved from James's Court in the Old Town to his new house in the New Town. ‘I charge you,’ he wrote to a friend, ‘not to think of settling in London, till you have first seen our New Town, which exceeds anything you have seen in any part of the world.’ Burton's Hume, ii. 462. Samuel Rogers, who visited Edinburgh in July, 1789, made the following entry in his Journal:—‘July 16, 1789. Adam Smith said that Edinburgh deserved little notice; that the old town had given Scotland a bad name; that he was anxious to move into the new town.... He said that in Paris as well as in Edinburgh the houses were piled one upon another.’ Early Life of Samuel Rogers, p. 92. The new town was laid out on the plan of ‘the ingenious architect,’ Mr. Craig, nephew of the poet Thomson. Boswell's Johnson, iii. 360. Hume was one of the earliest settlers. His house, which he had been nearly two years in building (ante, p. 171, n. 22), looks northward into St. Andrew's Square and westward into St. David Street, or as he wrote it St. David's Street. Dr. J. H. Burton says that the street got its name from the daughter of Chief Baron Ord, ‘a witty young lady, who chalked on the wall of Hume's house the words “St. David Street.” The allusion was very obvious. Hume's “lass” [maid-servant], judging that it was not meant in honour or reverence, ran into the house much excited, to tell her master how he was made game of. “Never mind, lassie,” he said; “many a better man has been made a saint of before.” Burton's Hume, ii. 436. I have noticed that his earlier letters written from his new house he dates ‘St. Andrew's Square.’ This address he gives in his letter of Sept. 20, 1775 (Burton's Hume, ii. 475); but on Oct. 27 of the same year he writes ‘St. David's Street’ (ib. p. 478). It is likely that Miss Ord had christened the street in the interval. Hume's adoption of the new name shows that he was pleased with it. Perhaps his is the only instance of a man who preferred to name his house, not after the fashionable square into which the front of it looked, but after a side street. In the codicil to his will, dated August 7, 1776, he shows his kindness for the young lady:—‘I leave to Mrs. Anne Ord, daughter of the late Chief Baron, ten guineas to buy a Ring, as a Memorial of my Friendship and Attachment to so amiable and accomplished a Person.’ M. S. R. S. E. The Court of Exchequer of Scotland, of which the Judges were the High Treasurer of Great Britain, with a Chief Baron and four other Barons, was established by the 6th Anne, cap. 26. Penny Cyclo. x. 110. Lord Cockburn in his Memorials, pp. 295—300, describing the introduction into Scotland in the year 1816 of a Jury Court in civil cases, says:—‘One great outcry against this Court at first was excited by our being required to adopt the English unanimity of juries. We had been accustomed to it for above a century in the Exchequer, which was an English Court. But its sittings were solely in Edinburgh, and its verdicts were of a penal nature.’ Writing of the year 1830 he says (ib. p. 466):—‘Nobody could dream of making judicial work out of our Exchequer sufficient to give occupation even to a single judge.’