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OF

ADAM

SMITH LID.

anderson
2-16-25
115rb

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Anecdotes tending to throw light on the character and

opinions of the late Adam Smith, I LD,-author of the wealth of nations, and feveral other well-known performances.

Thoracallan It has been often observed, that the history of a lie lerary person confifts chiefly of his works. The works of Dr. Adam Smith are fo generally known, as to stand in need neither of enumeration nor encomium in this place ;-nor could a dry detail of the dates when he entered to such a school or college, or when he obtained such or such a step of advancement in rank or fortune, prove interesting. It is enough, if our readers be informed, that Mr. Smith having discharged for some years, with great applause, the important duties of professor of moral philofophy in Glasgow, was made choice of as a proper person to fuperintend the education of the Duke of Buccleugh, and to accompany him in his tour VOL. III.

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to Europe. In the discharge of this duty, he gave so much satisfaction to all the parties concerned, as to be able, by their intereft, to obtain the place of commif-fioner of customs and salt-duties in Scotland; with the emoluments arising from which office, and his other acquirements, he was enabled to spend the latter part of his life in a state of independent tranquillity. Before his death, he burnt all his manuscripts, except one, which, we hear, contains a history of Astronomy, which will probably be laid before the public by his executors in due time.

Instead of a formal drawn character of this great man, which often tends to prejudice rather than to inform, the Editor believes his readers will be much bet. ter pleased to fee some features of his mind fairly delineated by himself, as in the following pages, which were transmitted to him under the strongest assurances of authenticity ;--concerning which, indeed, he entertained no doubt after their perusal, from the coincidence of certain opinions here mentioned, with what he himself had heard maintained by that gentleman.

SIR,

In the year 1780, I had frequent occasion to be in company with the late well-known Dr. Adam Smith. When business ended,' our conversation took a literary turn; I was then young, inquisitive, and full of respect for his abilities as an author. On his part, he was tremely communicative, and delivered himself, on evety subject, with a freedom, and even boldness, quite opposite to the apparent reserve of his appearance.

I took down notes of his conversation, and have here sent you an abstract of them. I have neither added, altered, ñor diminished, but merely put them into such a shape as may fit them for the

eye

of

your readers. Of the late Dr. Samuel Johnson, Dr. Smith had a very contemptuous opinion." I have seen that crea“ ture," said he, “ bolt up in the midst of a mixed

company; and, without any previous notice, fali

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