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Life of Adam Smith   By: (1845-1915)

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Life of Adam Smith

By

JOHN RAE

London

MACMILLAN & CO.

AND NEW YORK

1895

PREFACE

The fullest account we possess of the life of Adam Smith is still the memoir which Dugald Stewart read to the Royal Society of Edinburgh on two evenings of the winter of 1793, and which he subsequently published as a separate work, with many additional illustrative notes, in 1810. Later biographers have made few, if any, fresh contributions to the subject. But in the century that has elapsed since Stewart wrote, many particulars about Smith and a number of his letters have incidentally and by very scattered channels found their way into print. It will be allowed to be generally desirable, in view of the continued if not even increasing importance of Smith, to obtain as complete a view of his career and work as it is still in our power to recover; and it appeared not unlikely that some useful contribution to this end might result if all those particulars and letters to which I have alluded were collected together, and if they were supplemented by such unpublished letters and information as it still remained possible to procure. In this last part of my task I have been greatly assisted by the Senatus of the University of Glasgow, who have most kindly supplied me with an extract of every passage in the College records bearing on Smith; by the Council of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, who have granted me every facility for using the Hume Correspondence , which is in their custody; and by the Senatus of the University of Edinburgh for a similar courtesy with regard to the Carlyle Correspondence and the David Laing MSS. in their library. I am also deeply indebted, for the use of unpublished letters or for the supply of special information, to the Duke of Buccleuch, the Marquis of Lansdowne, Professor R.O. Cunningham of Queen's College, Belfast, Mr. Alfred Morrison of Fonthill, Mr. F. Barker of Brook Green, and Mr. W. Skinner, W.S., late Town Clerk of Edinburgh.

CONTENTS

CHAPTER I

EARLY DAYS AT KIRKCALDY

Birth and parentage, 1. Adam Smith senior, 1; his death and funeral, 3. Smith's mother, 4. Burgh School of Kirkcaldy, 5. Schoolmaster's drama, 6. School fellows, 6. Industries of Kirkcaldy, 7.

CHAPTER II

STUDENT AT GLASGOW COLLEGE

Professors and state of learning there, 9. Smith's taste for mathematics, 10. Professor R. Simson, 10. Hutcheson, 11; his influence over Smith, 13; his economic teaching, 14. Smith's early connection with Hume, 15. Snell exhibitioner, 16. College friends, 17.

CHAPTER III

AT OXFORD

Scotch and English agriculture, 18. Expenses at Oxford, 19. Did Smith graduate? 20. State of learning, 20; Smith's censure of, 20. His gratitude to Oxford, 22. Life in Balliol College, 22. Smith's devotion to classics and belles lettres, 23. Confiscation of his copy of Hume's Treatise , 24. Ill health, 25. Snell exhibitioners ill treated and discontented at Balliol, 26. Desire transference to other college, 27. Smith's college friends, or his want of them, 28. Return to Scotland, 28.

CHAPTER IV

LECTURER AT EDINBURGH

Lord Kames, 31. Smith's class on English literature, 32. Blair's alleged obligations to Smith's lectures, 33. Smith's views as a critic, 34. His addiction to poetry, 35. His economic lectures, 36. James Oswald, M.P., 37. Oswald's economic correspondence with Hume, 37. Hamilton of Bangour's poems edited by Smith, 38. Dedication to second edition, 40.

CHAPTER V

PROFESSOR AT GLASGOW

Admission to Logic chair, 42. Letter to Cullen about undertaking Moral Philosophy class, 44. Letter to Cullen on Hume's candidature for Logic chair and other business, 45. Burke's alleged candidature, 46. Hume's defeat, 47. Moral Philosophy class income, 48. Work, 50. Professor John Millar, 53. His account of Smith's lectures, 54; of his qualities as lecturer, 56. Smith's students, 57. H. Erskine, Boswell, T. Fitzmaurice, Tronchin, 58, 59. Smith's religious views suspected, 60. His influence in Glasgow, 60. Conversion of merchants to free trade, 61... Continue reading book >>




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