The pleasant pattern of David Hume's last years in Edinburgh was customarily varied with country visits during the late summer, to the family home at Ninewells, to William Mure at Caldwell, to Sir Gilbert Elliot at Minto, to James Edmonstoune at Newton, and to the Argyll estates at Roseneath on the Gareloch and at Inveraray Castle on Loch Fyne. The ‘Congress at Inveraray’ of August 1771 was so well attended that 50 beds had been prepared. These country excursions from the pleasure of urban life were themselves strictly in the line of pleasure. The picture of Hume's autumnal serenity is, although essentially true in focus, somewhat distorted in detail, for the last years of his life were somewhat ruffled by a resurgence of controversy, the most acrimonious and personal of his entire career.
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