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 Greek, both of whom were still members in Smith’s time.  Lindsay, who, it will be remembered, acted as Smith’s substitute in the logic class, was a man of force and independence, who had suffered much abuse from the Faculty of Advocates in Edinburgh for giving up the old practice of delivering his lectures in Latin, and refusing to return to it.  Moor was the general editor of the famous editions of the classics printed by his brother-in-law, Robert Foulis, a man, says Dugald Stewart, of “a gaiety and levity foreign to this climate,” much addicted to punning, and noted for his gift of ready repartee.  He was always smartly dressed and powdered, and one day as he was passing on the Plainstanes he overheard two young military officers observe one to the other, “He smells strongly of powder.”  “Don’t be alarmed, my young soldier,” said Moor, turning round on the speaker, “it is not gunpowder.”  A great promoter of the merriment of the club was Dr. Thomas Hamilton, Professor of Anatomy, the grandfather of Sir William, the metaphysician, who is thus described in some verses by Dr. John Moore, the author of Zelucco—­

    He who leads up the van is stout Thomas the tall,
    Who can make us all laugh, though he laughs at us all;
    But entre nous, Tom, you and I, if you please,
    Must take care not to laugh ourselves out of our fees.

Then we remember what Jeffrey says of “the magical vivacity” of the conversation of Professor John Millar.


[65] Add.  MSS., 6856.

[66] Carlyle’s Autobiography, p. 73.

[67] Fleming’s Scottish Banking, p. 53.

[68] Oswald’s Correspondence, p. 229.

[69] Caldwell Papers, ii. 3.

[70] Wealth of Nations, Book II. chap. ii.

[71] Notices and Documents illustrative of the Literary History of Glasgow, p. 132.

[72] Strang’s Clubs of Glasgow, 2nd ed. p. 314.

[73] Ramsay’s Scotland and Scotsmen in Eighteenth Century, i. 468.

[74] Smiles’s Lives of Boulton and Watt, p. 112.



During his residence in Glasgow Smith continued to maintain intimate relations with his old friends in Edinburgh.  He often ran through by coach to visit them, though before the road was improved it took thirteen hours to make the journey; he spent among them most part of many of his successive vacations; and he took an active share, along with them, in promoting some of those projects of literary, scientific, and social improvement with which Scotland was then rife.  His patron, Henry Home, had in 1752 been raised to the bench as Lord Kames, and was devoting his new-found leisure to those works of criticism and speculation which soon gave him European fame.  David Hume,

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Life of Adam Smith from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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