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.
Scotch society between the Rebellions, and continued to adorn many an after-dinner table in Edinburgh down till the present century.  Hamilton owns that it was Kames who first taught him “verse to criticise,” and wrote to him the poem “To H.H. at the Assembly”; while Kames for his part used in his old age, as his neighbour Ramsay of Ochtertyre informs us, to have no greater enjoyment than recounting the scenes and doings he and Hamilton had transacted together in those early days, of which the poet himself writes, when they “kept friendship’s holy vigil” in the subterranean taverns of old Edinburgh “full many a fathom deep.”


[19] Home and Hume, it may be mentioned, are only different ways of spelling the same name, which, though differently spelt, was not differently pronounced.

[20] Tytler’s Life of Kames, i. 218.

[21] Blair’s Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles-Lettres, i. 381.

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

[23] Stewart’s Works, ed.  Hamilton, vol. x. p. 68.

[24] Correspondence of James Oswald, Preface.

[25] Caldwell Papers, i. 93.

[26] Duncan’s Notes and Documents illustrative of the Literary History of Glasgow, p. 25.



1751-1764. Aet. 27-40

The Edinburgh lectures soon bore fruit.  On the death of Mr. Loudon, Professor of Logic in Glasgow College, in 1750, Smith was appointed to the vacant chair, and so began that period of thirteen years of active academic work which he always looked back upon, he tells us, “as by far the most useful and therefore by far the happiest and most honourable period” of his life.  The appointment lay with the Senatus—­or, more strictly, with a section of the Senatus known as the Faculty Professors—­some of whom, of course, had been his own teachers ten years before, and knew him well; and the minutes state that the choice was unanimous.  He was elected on the 9th of January 1751, and was admitted to the office on the 16th, after reading a dissertation De origine idearum, signing the Westminster Confession of Faith before the Presbytery of Glasgow, and taking the usual oath De fideli to the University authorities; but he did not begin work till the opening of the next session in October.  His engagements in Edinburgh did not permit of his undertaking his duties in Glasgow earlier, and his classes were accordingly conducted, with the sanction of the Senatus, by Dr. Hercules Lindsay, the Professor of Jurisprudence, as his substitute, from the beginning of January till the end of June.  During this interval Smith went through to Glasgow repeatedly to attend meetings of the Senatus, but he does not appear to have given any lectures to the students.  If he was relieved

Project Gutenberg
Life of Adam Smith from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook