Monday, January 1, 2018

Adventures in real estate...............

     Upon his return to Scotland Hume found his house at Jame's Court still "very cheerful and even elegant, but too small to display my great talent for Cookery, the Science to which I intend to addict the remaining Years of my Life."  The development of Edinburgh's New Town had begun a few years earlier, and in the autumn of 1770 he purchased a plot on the southwest corner of St. Andrew Square and began overseeing the construction of a new house.  The eighteenth-century equivalent of a suburb, the New Town provided a clean, spacious residential haven from the cramped squalor of what became the Old Town. ...
     There are two delightful stories connected with Hume's move to the New Town.  As his house was being built the North Bridge connecting the New Town with the Old had not yet opened, so Hume was forced to make his way across a bog that then separated the two.  One day, so the story goes, he slipped from the narrow path, fell into the bog, and was unable to extract himself.  Eventually he was able to draw the attention of a group of fishwives.  The women, however, recognized him as the "wicked unbeliever David Hume" and refused to help him until he solemnly repeated the Lord's Prayer.  He quickly complied and, true to their word, the proceeded to rescue the philosopher.  According to the source for this story Hume "used to tell [it] himself with great glee, declaring that Edinburgh fishwives were the most acute theologians he had ever encountered."

-Dennis C. Rasmussen,  The Infidel And The Professor:  David Hume, Adam Smith, And The Friendship That Shaped Modern Thought

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