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.
printer, of “the many happy and flattering hours which he (Smith) had spent with Mr. Hamilton.”  We find again that when Hamilton’s friends propose to print a second edition of the poems, they come to Smith for assistance.  This edition was published in 1758, and is dedicated to the memory of William Craufurd, merchant, Glasgow, a friend of the poet mentioned in the preface to the first edition as having supplied many of the previously unpublished pieces which it contained.  Craufurd appears to have been an uncle of Sir John Dalrymple, and Sir John asks Foulis to get Smith to write this dedication.  “Sir,” says he, in December 1757, “I have changed my mind about the dedication of Mr. Hamilton’s poems.  I would have it stand ’the friend of William Hamilton,’ but I assent to your opinion to have something more to express Mr. Craufurd’s character.  I know none so able to do this as my friend Mr. Smith.  I beg it, therefore, earnestly that he will write the inscription, and with all the elegance and all the feelingness which he above the rest of mankind is able to express.  This is a thing that touches me very nearly, and therefore I beg a particular answer as to what he says to it.  The many happy and the many flattering hours which he has spent with Mr. Hamilton and Mr. Craufurd makes me think that he will account his usual indolence a crime upon this occasion.  I beg you will make my excuse for not wryting him this night, but then I consider wryting to you upon this head to be wryting to him."[26] It is unlikely that Smith would resist an appeal like this, and the dedication bears some internal marks of his authorship.  It describes Mr. Craufurd as “the friend of Mr. Hamilton, who to that exact frugality, that downright probity and pliancy of manners so suitable to his profession, joined a love of learning and of all the ingenious arts, an openness of hand and a generosity of heart that was far both from vanity and from weakness, and a magnanimity that would support, under the prospect of approaching and inevitable death, a most torturing pain of body with an unalterable cheerfulness of temper, and without once interrupting even to his last hour the most manly and the most vigorous activity of business.”  This William Craufurd is confounded by Lord Woodhouselee, and through him by others, with Robert Crauford, the author of “The Bush aboon Traquair,” “Tweedside,” and other poems, who was also an intimate friend of Hamilton of Bangour, but died in 1732.

Another link in the circumstantial evidence corroborating David Laing’s statement is the fact that Smith was certainly at the moment in communication with Hamilton’s personal friends, at whose instance the volume of poems was published.  Kames, who was then interesting himself so actively in Smith’s advancement, was the closest surviving friend Hamilton possessed.  They had been constant companions in youth, leading spirits of that new school of dandies called “the beaux”—­young men at once of fashion and of letters—­who adorned

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Life of Adam Smith from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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