Life of Adam Smith eBook

John Rae (educator)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 551 pages of information about Life of Adam Smith.
of Tassie and Kay.  Smith was of middle height, full but not corpulent, with erect figure, well-set head, and large gray or light blue eyes, which are said to have beamed with “inexpressible benignity.”  He dressed well—­so well that nobody seems to have remarked it; for while we hear, on the one hand, of Hume’s black-spotted yellow coat and Gibbon’s flowered velvet, and on the other, of Hutton’s battered attire and Henry Erskine’s gray hat with the torn rim, we meet with no allusion to Smith’s dress either for fault or merit.

Smith’s books, which went on his death to his heir, Lord Reston, were divided, on the death of the latter, between his two daughters; the economic books going to Mrs. Bannerman, the wife of the late Professor Bannerman of Edinburgh, and the works on other subjects to Mrs. Cunningham, wife of the Rev. Mr. Cunningham of Prestonpans.  Both portions still exist, the former in the Library of the New College, Edinburgh, to which they have been presented by Dr. D. Douglas Bannerman of Perth; and the latter in the possession of Professor Cunningham of Queen’s College, Belfast, except a small number which were sold in Edinburgh in 1878, and a section, consisting almost exclusively of Greek and Latin classics, which Professor Cunningham has presented to the library of the college of which he is a member.  Among other relics of Smith that are still extant are four medallions by Tassie, which very probably hung in his library.  They are medallions of his personal friends:  Black, the chemist; Hutton, the geologist; Dr. Thomas Reid, the metaphysician; and Andrew Lumisden, the Pretender’s old secretary, and author of the work on the antiquities of Rome.


[365] “My dear Ascanius” are the words of the text, because Ascanius was the pseudonym under which the Earl happened to be writing.

[366] The Bee, 1791, iii. 166.

[367] Kerr’s Memoirs of W. Smellie, i. 295.

[368] The Bee, 1791, iii. 167.

[369] Original letter in Edinburgh University Library.

[370] Stewart’s Works, x. 74.

[371] Clayden’s Early Life of Samuel Rogers, p. 168.

[372] Memoirs of Sir Samuel Romilly, i. 403.

[373] Cockburn’s Memorials of My Own Time, p. 45.

[374] Bonar’s Library of Adam Smith, p. xiv.

[375] Playfair’s edition of Wealth of Nations, p. xxxiv.

[376] Edinburgh Review, January 1837, p. 473.

[377] Bonar’s Library of Adam Smith, p. xxii.


Abbeville, Smith at, 213

Abercromby, Professor, expected resignation of chair of Law of
    Nature, 132

Absence of mind, Smith’s, in childhood, 4;
  at Glasgow, 60;
  exaggerated, 66;
  Glasgow anecdote of, 147;
  London anecdote, 237;
  Dalkeith anecdotes, 245;
  Kirkcaldy anecdote, 259;
  the story of “La Roche,” 314;
  Custom House anecdotes, 330;
  unobserved by Samuel Rogers, 422

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Life of Adam Smith from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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