"The richest genius, like the most fertile soil, when uncultivated, shoots up into the rankest weeds; and instead of vines and olives for the pleasure and use of man, produces, to its slothful owner, the most abundant crop of poisons."
— Hume, David (1711-1776)
First published in Essays, Moral and Political. Volume II. (Edinburgh: Printed for A. Kincaid, near the Cross, by R. Fleming and A. Alison, 1742). <Link to ESTC>
Text from Past Masters and Online Library of Liberty. Reading Essays, Moral, Political and Literary, rev. ed. (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1987). The Liberty Fund editor, Eugene F. Miller, takes the 1777 edition of Hume's essays as his copy text.