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 his duties in the summer, however, he worked double tides during the winter, for besides the work of his own class, he undertook to carry on at the same time the work of Professor Craigie of the Moral Philosophy chair, who was laid aside by ill health, and indeed died a few weeks after the commencement of the session.  This double burden was no doubt alleviated by the circumstance that he was able in both the class-rooms to make very considerable use of the courses of lectures he had already delivered in Edinburgh.  By the traditional distribution of academic subjects in the Scotch universities, the province of the chair of Logic included rhetoric and belles-lettres, and the province of the chair of Moral Philosophy included jurisprudence and politics, and as Smith had lectured in Edinburgh both on rhetoric and belles-lettres and on jurisprudence and politics, he naturally took those branches for the subjects of his lectures this first session at Glasgow.  Professor John Millar, the author of the Historical View of the English Government and other works of great merit, was a member of Smith’s logic class that year, having been induced, by the high reputation the new professor brought with him from Edinburgh, to take out the class a second time, although he had already completed his university curriculum; and Millar states that most of the session was occupied with “the delivery of a system of rhetoric and belles-lettres.”  In respect to the other class, jurisprudence and politics were specially suggested to him as the subjects for the year when he was asked to take Professor Craigie’s place.  The proposal came through Professor Cullen, who was probably Craigie’s medical attendant, and Cullen suggested those particular subjects as being the most likely to suit Smith’s convenience and save him labour, inasmuch as he had lectured on them already.  Smith replied that these were the subjects which it would be most agreeable to him to take up.

     EDINBURGH, 3rd Sept. 1751.

DEAR SIR—­I received yours this moment.  I am very glad that Mr. Craigie has at last resolved to go to Lisbon.  I make no doubt but he will soon receive all the benefit he expects or can wish from the warmer climate.  I shall, with great pleasure, do what I can to relieve him of the burden of his class.  You mention natural jurisprudence and politics as the parts of his lectures which it would be most agreeable for me to take upon me to teach.  I shall very willingly undertake both.  I shall be glad to know when he sets out for Lisbon, because if it is not before the first of October I would endeavour to see him before he goes, that I might receive his advice about the plan I ought to follow.  I would pay great deference to it in everything, and would follow it implicitly in this, as I shall consider myself as standing in his place and representing him.  If he goes before that time I wish he would leave some directions for me, either with you or with Mr. Leechman, were it only by word of mouth.—­I am, dear doctor, most faithfully yours,

     ADAM SMITH.[27]

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Life of Adam Smith from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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