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The Life of David Hume$
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Ernest C. Mossner

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780199243365

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199243365.001.0001

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Boyhood at Ninewells

Boyhood at Ninewells

Chapter:
(p.20) Chapter 3 Boyhood at Ninewells
Source:
The Life of David Hume
Author(s):

Ernest Campbell Mossner

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199243365.003.0003

In all that idyllic countryside of the Merse, there is no lovelier situation than the estate of Ninewells. The house itself stands on a bluff some 80 feet above the rushing waters of the Whiteadder. Down the bluff a few yards, and to the south-east of the house, an overhanging rock forms a shallow cave. Here, David Hume probably played as a boy, or read a book in solitary majesty; and here, according to the inevitable local legend, he indulged in profound philosophical meditation. Here also, according to the same source, his great-grandfather hid an Episcopalian poet from a search-party of Covenanters. Along the waterside are other caves, quarries, and freestone rocks. At the southern extremity of Ninewells, on the bluff above the town and extending out across the public road, are the remains of an old Roman earthwork fort. The trenches and ramparts would have provided the Ninewells boys with a fine playground.

Keywords:   Merse, estate, Ninewells, cave, David Hume, meditation, poet, Covenanters, fort, playground

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