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Edinburgh, Monday, 26th August, 1776. “ DEAR SIR,

Yesterday about four o'clock afternoon, Mr Hume expired. The near approach of his death became evident in the night between Thursday and Friday, when his disease became excessive, and soon weakened him so much, that he could no longer rise out of his bed. He continued to the last perfectly sensible, and free from much pain or feelings of distress. He never dropped the smallest expression of impatience; but when he had occasion to speak to the people about him, always did it with affection and tenderness. I thought it improper to write to bring you over, especially as I heard that he had dictated a letter to you desiring you not to come. When he be came very weak, it cost him an effort to speak, and he died in such a happy composure of mind, that nothing could exceed it.

Thus died our most excellent, and never to be forgotten friend; concerning whose philosophical opinions men will, no doubt, judge variously, every one approving, or condemning them, according as they happen to coincide or disagree with his own; but concerning whose character and conduct there can scarce be a difference of opinion. His temper, indeed, seemed to be more happily balanced, if I may be allowed such an expression, than that perhaps of

any other man I have ever known. Even in the lowest state of his fortune, his great and necessary frugality never hindered him from exercising, upon proper occasions, acts both of charity and generosity. It was a frugality founded, not upon avarice, but upon the love of independency. The extreme gentleness of his nature never weakened either the firmness of his mind, or the steadiness of his resolutions. His constant pleasantry was the genuine effusion of good nature and good humour, tempered with delicacy and modesty, and without even the slightest tincture of malignity, so frequently the disagreeable source of what is called wit in other men. It never was the meaning of his raillery to mortify; and therefore, far from offending, it seldom failed to please and delight, even those who were the objects of it, To his friends, who were frequently the objects of it, there was not perhaps any one of all his great and amiable qualities, which contributed more to endear his conversation. And that gaiety of temper, so agreeable in society, but which is so often accompanied with frivolous and superficial qualities, was in bim certainly attended with the most severe application, the most extensive learning, the greatest depth of thought, and a capacity in every respect the

most comprehensive. Upon the whole, I have always considered him, both in his lifetime and since his death, as approaching as nearly to the idea of a perfectly wise and virtuous man, as perhaps the nature of human frailty will permit.

I ever am, dear Sir,

Most affectionately yours,

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I, David HUME, second lawful son of Joseph Home of Ninewells, advocate, for the love and affection I bear to John Home of Ninewells, my brother, and for other causes, do, by these presents, under the reservations and burdens after-mentioned, give and DISPOSE to the said John Home, or, if he die before me, to David Home, his second son, his heirs and assigns whatsomever, all lands, heritages, debts, and sums of money, as well heritable as moveable, which shall belong to me at the time of my decease, as also my whole effects in general, real and personal, with and under the burden of the following legacies, viz. to my sister Catherine Home, the sum of twelve hundred pounds sterling, payable the first term of Whitsunday or Martinmas after my decease, together with all my English books, and the life

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