Hume and Matthew Prior’s “Alma”

Hume Studies 26 (1):159-169 (2000)

Abstract
In 1987 M. A. Box identified the verse quotations in Hume’s essays “Of Essay Writing” and “The Epicurean.” It is therefore odd that in their edition of a selection of the essays, Stephen Copley and Andrew Edgar should state in a note to “Of Essay Writing” that “the source of this couplet has not been located. In his [1985] edition of the Essays Eugene Miller has suggested that it may belong to the same author or poem as the couplet quoted in ‘The Epicurean’.” Miller of course was quite right, for, as Box showed, both couplets come from Matthew Prior’s poem “Alma: or, The Progress of the Mind,” first published in 1718.
Keywords History of Philosophy  Major Philosophers
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ISBN(s) 0319-7336
DOI hume20002613
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