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Introduction - Adam Smith, Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence Vol. 5 Lectures On Jurisprudence 
Lectures On Jurisprudence, ed. R.. L. Meek, D. D. Raphael and P. G. Stein, vol. V of the Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence of Adam Smith (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1982).
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Adam Smith’s Lectures at Glasgow University
Adam Smith was elected to the Chair of Logic at Glasgow University on 9 January 1751, and admitted to the office on 16 January. He does not appear to have started lecturing at the University, however, until the beginning of the next academic session, in October 1751, when he embarked upon his first—and only—course of lectures to the Logic class.
In the well–known account of Smith’s lectures at Glasgow which John Millar supplied to Dugald Stewart, this Logic course of 1751–2 is described as follows:
In the Professorship of Logic, to which Mr Smith was appointed on his first introduction into this University, he soon saw the necessity of departing widely from the plan that had been followed by his predecessors, and of directing the attention of his pupils to studies of a more interesting and useful nature than the logic and metaphysics of the schools. Accordingly, after exhibiting a general view of the powers of the mind, and explaining so much of the ancient logic as was requisite to gratify curiosity with respect to an artificial method of reasoning, which had once occupied the universal attention of the learned, he dedicated all the rest of his time to the delivery of a system of rhetoric and belles lettres.1
This ‘system of rhetoric and belles lettres’, we may surmise, was based on the lectures on this subject which Smith had given at Edinburgh before coming to Glasgow, and was probably very similar to the course which he was later to deliver as a supplement to his Moral Philosophy course, and of which a student’s report has come down to us.2 Concerning the content of the preliminary part of the Logic course, however—that in which Smith exhibited ‘a general view of the powers of the mind’ and explained ‘so much of the ancient logic as was requisite’—we know no more than Millar here tells us.
In the 1751–2 session, Smith not only gave this course to his Logic class but also helped out in the teaching of the Moral Philosophy class. Thomas Craigie, the then Professor of Moral Philosophy, had fallen ill, and at a University Meeting held on 11 September 1751 it was agreed that in his absence the teaching of the Moral Philosophy class should be shared out according to the following arrangement:
The Professor of Divinity, Mr. Rosse, Mr. Moor having in presence of the meeting, and Mr. Smith by his letter voluntarily agreed to give their assistance in the teaching both the publick and private classe in the following manner viz: the Professor undertakes to teach the Theologia Naturalis, and the first book of Mr. Hutchesons Ethicks, and Mr. Smith the other two books de Jurisprudentia Naturali et Politicis, and Mr. Rosse and Mr. Moor to teach the hour allotted for the private classe, the meeting unanimouslie agreed to the said proposals . . .3
About the actual content of these lectures of Smith’s on ‘natural jurisprudence and politics’4 we know nothing, although we do know that according to the testimony of Smith himself a number of the opinions put forward in them had already been the subjects of lectures he had read at Edinburgh in the previous winter, and that they were to continue to be the ‘constant subjects’ of his lectures after 1751–2.5
In November 1751 Craigie died, and a few months later Smith was translated from his Chair of Logic to the now vacant Chair of Moral Philosophy. He was elected on 22 April 1752, and admitted on 29 April. His first full course of lectures to the Moral Philosophy class, therefore, was delivered in the 1752–3 session. He continued lecturing to the Moral Philosophy class until he left Glasgow, about the middle of January 1764,6 to take up the position of tutor to the young Duke of Buccleuch.
In order to obtain an over–all view of the content of Smith’s course in Moral Philosophy it is still necessary to go back to the account of it given by John Millar:
About a year after his appointment to the Professorship of Logic, Mr Smith was elected to the chair of Moral Philosophy. His course of lectures on this subject was divided into four parts. The first contained Natural Theology; in which he considered the proofs of the being and attributes of God, and those principles of the human mind upon which religion is founded. The second comprehended Ethics, strictly so called, and consisted chiefly of the doctrines which he afterwards published in his Theory of Moral Sentiments. In the third part, he treated at more length of that branch of morality which relates to justice, and which, being susceptible of precise and accurate rules, is for that reason capable of a full and particular explanation.
Upon this subject he followed the plan that seems to be suggested by Montesquieu; endeavouring to trace the gradual progress of jurisprudence, both public and private, from the rudest to the most refined ages, and to point out the effects of those arts which contribute to subsistence, and to the accumulation of property, in producing correspondent improvements or alterations in law and government. This important branch of his labours he also intended to give to the public; but this intention, which is mentioned in the conclusion of The Theory of Moral Sentiments, he did not live to fulfil.
In the last part of his lectures, he examined those political regulations which are founded, not upon the principle of justice, but that of expediency, and which are calculated to increase the riches, the power, and the prosperity of a State. Under this view, he considered the political institutions relating to commerce, to finances, to ecclesiastical and military establishments. What he delivered on these subjects contained the substance of the work he afterwards published under the title of An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations.7
So far as it goes, this account would seem to be accurate and perceptive, but there is one point of some importance which it does not make clear. What Millar describes in the passage just quoted is the course of lectures given by Smith, in his capacity as Professor of Moral Philosophy, to what was called the ‘public’ class in that subject. But Professors of Moral Philosophy at Glasgow also normally gave a supplementary course of lectures, on a different subject, to what was called the ‘private’ class.8 The subjects upon which they lectured in this supplementary course, we are told,9 were not ‘necessarily connected’ with those of their ‘public’ lectures, but were ‘yet so much connected with the immediate duty of their profession, as to be very useful to those who attended them’. Hutcheson, for example, had employed these additional hours in ‘explaining and illustrating the works of Arrian, Antoninus, and other Greek philosophers’, and Reid was later to appropriate them to ‘a further illustration of those doctrines which he afterwards published in his philosophical essays’. Adam Smith employed them in delivering, once again, a course of lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres. A student’s report of Smith’s ‘private’ Rhetoric course, as it was delivered in the 1762–3 session, was discovered in Aberdeen in 1958 by the late Professor John M. Lothian,10 and a newly edited transcript of this manuscript will be published in volume iv of the present edition of Smith’s Works and Correspondence.
Turning back now to Millar’s account of Smith’s ‘public’ course in Moral Philosophy, we see that this course is described as having been divided into four parts. About the content of the first of these (‘Natural Theology’) we know nothing whatever, and about the second (‘Ethics, strictly so called’) we know little more than Millar here tells us—viz., that it consisted chiefly of the doctrines of TMS.11 About the third and fourth parts, however—at any rate in the form which they assumed in Smith’s lectures during his last years at Glasgow12 —we now know a great deal more, thanks to the discovery of the two reports of his lectures on Jurisprudence which it is the main purpose of this volume to present.
The term ‘Jurisprudence’, it should perhaps be explained, was normally used by Smith in a sense broad enough to encompass not only the third part of the Moral Philosophy course as Millar described it (‘that branch of morality which relates to justice’), but also the fourth part (‘those political regulations which are founded, not upon the principle of justice, but that of expediency’). In one of the two reports ‘Jurisprudence’ is defined as ‘the theory of the rules by which civil governments ought to be directed’,13 and in the other as ‘the theory of the general principles of law and government’.14 Now the main objects of every system of law, in Smith’s view, are the maintenance of justice, the provision of police in order to promote opulence, the raising of revenue, and the establishment of arms for the defence of the state. These four, then, could be regarded as the main branches or divisions of ‘Jurisprudence’ as so defined; and this is the way in which the subject is in fact divided up in both the reports. Clearly the treatment of justice in the reports relates to the third part of Smith’s Moral Philosophy course as Millar described it, and the treatment of police, revenue, and arms relates to the fourth and final part of it.
The Two Reports of Smith’s Jurisprudence Lectures
The first of the two reports relates to Smith’s Jurisprudence lectures in the 1762–3 session, and the second, in all probability, to the lectures given in the 1763–4 session. Hereafter these reports will usually be referred to as LJ(A) and LJ(B) respectively. It will be convenient to begin here with a description of LJ(B), which was the first of the two reports to be discovered and which will already be familiar to a large number of readers in the version published many years ago by Professor Edwin Cannan. A re–edited version of it is published below, under the title ‘Report dated 1766’.
In 1895, Cannan’s attention was drawn to the existence, in the hands of an Edinburgh advocate, of a bound manuscript which according to the title–page consisted of ‘JURIS PRUDENCE or Notes from the Lectures on Justice, Police, Revenue, and Arms delivered in the University of Glasgow by Adam Smith Professor of Moral Philosophy’. In the edition of this manuscript which Cannan brought out in 1896,15 he described its main physical characteristics as follows:
[The] manuscript . . . forms an octavo book 9 in. high, 7½ in. broad and 1⅛ in. thick. It has a substantial calf binding, the sides of which, however, have completely parted company with the back . . . On the back there is some gilt–cross–hatching and the word JURIS PRUDENCE (thus divided between two lines) in gilt letters on a red lable. There are in all 192 leaves. Two of these are fly–leaves of dissimilar paper and have their fellows pasted on the insides of the cover, front and back. The rest all consist of paper of homogeneous character, water–marked ‘L.V. Gerrevink.’
The manuscript is written on both sides of the paper in a rectangular space formed by four red ink lines previously ruled, which leave a margin of about three–quarters of an inch. Besides the fly–leaves there are three blank leaves at the end and two at the beginning.
There is nothing to show conclusively whether the writing was first executed on separate sheets subsequently bound up, or in a blank note–book afterwards rebound, or in the book as it appears at present.16
This was a careful and accurate description of the document, and not very much needs to be added to it today. The back of the binding was repaired in 1897, and the volume was rebound again (and the spine relettered) in 1969. As a result of these operations the two original end–papers and one if not both of the two original fly–leaves have disappeared.17 Discounting these, there are two blank leaves at the beginning of the volume; then one leaf on the recto of which the title is written; then 179 leaves (with the pages numbered consecutively from 1 to 358) on which the main text is written; then one leaf containing no writing (but with the usual margins ruled); then four leaves, with the pages unnumbered, on which the index is written (taking up seven of the eight pages); then finally three blank leaves—making a total of 190 leaves in all. The new binding is very tight, and full particulars of the format of the volume could not be obtained without taking it apart.
Cannan had no doubt that this document, as suggested on its title–page, did in fact owe its origin to notes of Adam Smith’s lectures on Juris–prudence at Glasgow University. The close correspondence between the text of the document and Millar’s description of the third and fourth parts of Smith’s Moral Philosophy course, together with the existence of many parallel passages in WN,18 put this in Cannan’s opinion beyond question; and his judgement in this respect has been abundantly confirmed by everything that has happened in the field of Smith scholarship since his day—not least by the recent discovery of LJ(A).
The title–page of LJ(B) bears the date ‘MDCCLXVI’ (whereas Adam Smith left Glasgow in January 1764); the handwriting is ornate and elaborate; there are very few abbreviations; and some of the mistakes that are to be found would seem to have been more probably caused by misreading than by mishearing. These considerations led Cannan to the conclusion—once again abundantly justified—that the manuscript was a fair copy made (presumably in 1766) by a professional copyist, and not the original notes taken at the lectures.19 The only question which worried Cannan in this connection was whether the copyist had copied directly from the original lecture–notes or from a rewritten version of these notes made later by the original note–taker. The scarcity of abbreviations, the relatively small number of obvious blunders, and the comparatively smooth flow of the English, strongly suggested the latter. Cannan was worried, however, by the facts (a) that the copyist had clearly taken great pains to make his pages correspond with the pages from which he was copying (presumably because the index already existed), and (b) that the amounts of material contained in a page were very unequal. These two facts taken together suggested to Cannan that it was at least possible that the copyist had copied directly from the original lecture–notes rather than from a rewritten version of them.20 In actual fact, however, the degree of inequality in the amount of material in a page is not quite as great as Cannan suggests, and certainly no greater than one would reasonably expect to find in a student’s rewritten version of his lecture–notes.21 It seems very probable, then, that the copy was in fact made from a rewritten version.
The question of the purpose for which this rewritten version was made, however, is a rather more difficult one. Was it made by the original note–taker for his own use, or was it made (whether by him or by someone else at another remove) for sale? In those days, we know, ‘manuscript copies of a popular professor’s lectures, transcribed from his students’ notebooks, were often kept for sale in the booksellers’ shops.’22 An interesting comparison may be made here between LJ(A)—a rewritten version almost certainly made by the original note–taker for his own use and not for sale—and LJ(B). LJ(A), although so far as it goes it is much fuller than LJ(B), is very much less polished, in the sense that it contains many more abbreviations, grammatical and spelling errors, blank spaces, etc. LJ(A), again, faithfully reproduces many of the summaries of previous lectures which Smith seems normally to have given at the beginning of each new one, and often notes the specific date on which the relevant lecture was delivered—features which are completely lacking in LJ(B). Nor is there in LJ(A) anything like the elaborate (and on the whole accurate) index which appears at the end of LJ(B). Considerations such as these, although not conclusive, do suggest the possibility that the rewritten version from which LJ(B) was copied had been prepared for sale, and therefore also the possibility that there were two or three steps between the original lecture–notes and the manuscript of LJ(B) itself. But what really matters, of course, is the reliability of the document: does it or does it not give a reasonably accurate report of what was actually said in the lectures at which the original notes were taken? Now that we have another set of notes to compare it with, we can answer this question with a fairly unqualified affirmative. LJ(B) is not quite as accurate and reliable as Cannan believed it to be; but if we make due allowance for its more summary character it is probably not much inferior to LJ(A) as a record of what may be assumed actually to have been said in the lectures.23
In which session, then, were the lectures delivered from which LJ(B) was ultimately derived?24 Cannan, in his perceptive comments on this question,25 declined to lay too much weight on the frequent references to the Seven Years War as ‘the late’ or ‘the last’ war, on the perfectly valid ground that ‘it would be natural after the conclusion of peace for the reporter or the transcriber to alter “the war” or “the present war” into “the late war” ’. The reference to the ransom of the crew of the Litchfield,26 however, which took place in April 1760, clearly meant that it was almost certain that the lectures were not delivered before 1761–2. They could conceivably have been delivered in that session, but Cannan thought it more probable that they were delivered ‘either in the portion of the academical session of 1763–4 which preceded Adam Smith’s departure, or in the session of 1762–3 . . .’
More light can now be thrown on this question as a result of the discovery of LJ(A), which relates without any doubt (since many of the lectures are specifically dated) to the 1762–3 session. The crucial point here is that in LJ(A) the order of treatment of the main subjects is radically different from that in LJ(B). ‘The civilians’, Smith is reported in LJ(B) as saying,27
begin with considering government and then treat of property and other rights. Others who have written on this subject begin with the latter and then consider family and civil government. There are several advantages peculiar to each of these methods, tho’ that of the civil law seems upon the whole preferable.
In LJ(B), then, Smith adopts the method of ‘the civilians’, beginning with government and then going on to deal with ‘property and other rights’. In LJ(A), by way of contrast, he adopts the method of the ‘others who have written on this subject’, beginning with ‘property and other rights’ and then going on to deal with ‘family and civil government’. LJ(B), therefore, cannot possibly relate to the same year as LJ(A), whence it follows (given the decisive Litchfield reference) that it must relate either to 1761–2 or to 1763–4. And it can now fairly readily be shown that it is very unlikely to relate to 1761–2. There is a reference in LJ(B) to Florida being ‘put into our hands’;28 and a comparison of the passage in which this reference occurs with the corresponding passage (a much more extensive one) in LJ(A)29 shows that it must refer to the cession of Florida at the end of the Seven Years War by the Treaty of Paris in February 1763. This event, therefore, could not have been remarked upon in the 1761–2 session; and it thus seems almost certain that LJ(B) relates to 1763–4.
Cannan, when speaking of the possibility that LJ(B) might relate to 1763–4, seemed to suggest that if this were so the lectures from which the notes were taken would have had to be delivered in the portion of that session which ‘preceded Adam Smith’s departure’ from Glasgow.30 But this is surely to take the words ‘delivered . . . by Adam Smith’ on the titlepage of LJ(B) much too literally. After Smith left Glasgow, his ‘usual course of lectures’ was carried on by one Thomas Young, with whom (at any rate according to Tytler’s account) Smith left ‘the notes from which he had been in use to deliver his prelections’.31 Assuming, as would seem probable, that Young was in fact furnished by Smith with these notes and that he kept fairly closely to them in his lectures, it would have been perfectly possible for a student to take down, in the 1763–4 session, a set of lecture–notes from which a document possessing all the characteristics of LJ(B) could quite plausibly be derived.
We turn now to LJ(A), an edited version of which is published for the first time below, under the title ‘Report of 1762–3’. ‘At various dates in the autumn of 1958’, wrote the discover of the document, the late Professor John M. Lothian, ‘remnants of what had once been the considerable country–house library of Whitehaugh were dispersed by auction in Aberdeen.’ In the eighteenth century Whitehaugh belonged to the Leith and later the Forbes–Leith families. Among a number of Whitehaugh books and papers purchased by Professor Lothian at various dates at these sales were two sets of lecture–notes, apparently made by students. One of these (hereafter called LRBL) clearly related to Smith’s lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres, as delivered in the 1762–3 session. The other set, upon closer examination, proved to relate to Smith’s lectures on Jurisprudence, as delivered in the same session.32
The manuscript of LJ(A) is in six volumes, each measuring approximately 120 × 195 mm., bound in a contemporary binding of quarter calf with marbled paper sides and vellum tips. On the spine of each volume its number—‘Vol. 1’, ‘Vol. 2’, etc.—has been inscribed in gilt letters on a red label. The make–up of the volumes is as follows:
The presence of the blank leaves watermarked ‘C. & I. Honig’ at the beginning of vol. i and at the end of vols. iii and vi, we believe, can be accounted for fairly simply. So far as vol. i is concerned, the reporter would seem to have instructed the binder to insert a few blank leaves at the beginning so as to leave space for a list of contents: the list was duly started, but left incomplete. So far as vols. iii and vi are concerned, all the indications are that the reporter still had some relevant material to write up when he took these volumes to be bound, and therefore instructed the binder to insert some blank leaves at the end so that he could include this material when the volume came back from binding. Once again, however, the reporter apparently did not get round to using the blank leaves as he had planned.
The format of the volumes makes it clear that the reporter wrote the notes on loose sheets of paper folded up into gatherings, which were later bound up into the six volumes. Almost all of these gatherings—all except four, in fact—consist of two sheets of paper placed together and folded once, making four leaves (i.e. eight pages) per gathering. Each gathering was numbered in the top left–hand corner of its first page before being bound. The writing of the main text almost always appears only on the recto pages of the volume, the verso pages being either left blank or used for comments, illustrations, corrections, and various other kinds of supplementary material.
The handwriting of the manuscript varies considerably in size, character, and legibility from one place to another—to such an extent, indeed, as to give the impression, at least at first sight, that several different hands have contributed to its composition. Upon closer investigation, however, it appears more likely that at any rate the great majority of these variations owe their origin to differences in the pen or ink used, in the speed of writing, and in the amount which the reporter tried to get into the page. It seems probable, in fact, that the whole of the main text on the recto pages of LJ(A), and all or almost all of the supplementary material on the verso pages,33 was written by one and the same hand. This hand seems very similar to that in which the main text of LRBL is written;34 and this fact, particularly when taken together with certain striking similarities in the structure of the volumes,35 strongly suggests that both LJ(A) and the main text of LRBL were written by the same person.
The main text of LJ(A) appears to us to have been written serially, soon after (but not during) the lectures concerned, on the basis of very full notes taken down in class, probably at least partly in shorthand.36 After having been written up in the form of a more or less verbatim report, the notes were corrected and supplemented in various ways shortly to be described. We do not have the impression, however, that the report was prepared with a view to sale: it has all the hallmarks of a set of working notes prepared, primarily for his own use, by a reasonably intelligent and conscientious student.
The question of the origin and function of the supplementary material on the verso pages is not at all an easy one, and there seems to be no single or simple answer to it. Most, if not all, of these verso notes appear to be written in the same hand as the main text; but the appreciable variations in pen, ink, letter size, etc. often make it difficult to be sure about this (particularly in the first volume of the MS., where the verso notes are very numerous), and it is at least possible that a few of them may have been written by another hand—that of a fellow student, or a later owner, or perhaps the original owner at a later date. Our over–all impression, however, is that at any rate the great majority of the verso notes were in fact made by the original owner, and made fairly soon after the text on the recto pages was written. Some of these notes, we think, may have been explanatory glosses added from memory, or perhaps as a result of private reading. Others were very probably the result of collation with at least one other set of notes. And others still, we feel, may possibly have been added as a result of the reporter’s attendance at Smith’s daily ‘examination’ session—at which, we are told, lecturers had the opportunity of ‘explaining more clearly any part of the lecture which may not have been fully understood’, and at which Smith apparently delivered many ‘incidental and digressive illustrations, and even discussions’.37 Some of the longer verso notes in LJ(A) have a distinctly digressive quality,38 and may quite possibly have had this origin.39
The frequency of the verso notes begins to decline after the first volume, with a particularly sharp fall occurring about two–thirds of the way through the third volume. In the first volume, there are verso notes on 64 leaves (out of 170); in the second volume, on 44 leaves (out of 181); in the third volume, on 20 leaves (out of 150), with only one note in the last 50 leaves; in the fourth, on 14 leaves (out of 179); in the fifth, on 5 leaves (out of 151); and in the sixth, on 5 leaves (out of 172). Hand in hand with this decline in the frequency of the verso notes goes a decline in their average length: in the last three volumes the great majority of the notes are very short (there being in fact only three which are more than six lines long), and most of them appear more likely to be glosses added from memory than anything else. There are various possible explanations of these characteristics of the MS., but since no one explanation appears to be more probable than any other there would seem to be little value in speculating about them.
Only one other point about LJ(A) needs to be made at this juncture. Although the treatment of individual topics is usually much more extensive in LJ(A) than in LJ(B), the actual range of subjects covered is more extensive in LJ(B) than in LJ(A). Of particular importance here is the fact that whereas LJ(B) continues right through to the end of the course, LJ(A) stops short about two–thirds of the way through the ‘police’ section of Smith’s lectures. The most likely explanation of this is that LJ(A) originally included a seventh volume which somehow became separated from the others and has not yet come to light; but there are obviously other possible explanations—e.g. that the reporter ceased attending the course at this point.
Adam Smith’s Lecture Timetable in 1762–3
The fact that a large number of the lectures in LJ(A), and all (or almost all) of the lectures in LRBL, were specifically dated by the reporter, means that it is possible up to a point to reconstruct Smith’s lecture timetable for the 1762–3 session. Where the dates are missing, of course, guesses have to be made, and the conclusions sometimes become very conjectural. The exercise seems well worth carrying out, however: it is of some interest in itself, and it provides us with certain information which will be useful when we turn, in the next section of this Introduction, to the problems involved in the collation of LJ(A) and LJ(B).
In Thomas Reid’s Statistical Account of the University of Glasgow, which was apparently drawn up about 1794, the following remarks appear under the heading ‘Time of Lecturing, &c.’:
The annual session for teaching, in the university, begins, in the ordinary curriculum,40 on the tenth of October; and ends, in some of the classes, about the middle of May, and in others continues to the tenth of June . . .
During this period, the business of the College continues without interruption.41 The Professors of Humanity, or Latin, and of Greek, lecture and examine their students, receive and correct exercises, three hours every day, and four hours for two days every week; the Professors of Logic, Moral Philosophy, and Natural Philosophy, two hours every day, and three hours during a part of the session; excepting on Saturdays, when, on account of a general meeting of the public students, there is only one lecture given.42
At any rate in the early 1790s, then, it was the normal practice in the teaching of Moral Philosophy at Glasgow for the Professor of that subject to ‘lecture and examine’ his students for ‘two hours every day, and three hours during a part of the session’.43 The question we must now ask is whether this was also the normal practice thirty years earlier, during the last two or three years of Smith’s period in Glasgow, and if so how the hours concerned were divided up in his particular case.
Curiously enough, it is once again Thomas Reid who provides the crucial piece of evidence here, in the shape of a letter he wrote to a friend on 14 November 1764, a month or so after the beginning of the session in which he took over the Moral Philosophy Chair from Smith. In this letter he describes his lecture timetable as follows:
I must launch forth in the morning, so as to be at the College . . . half an hour after seven, when I speak for an hour, without interruption, to an audience of about a hundred. At eleven I examine for an hour upon my morning prelection; but my audience is little more than a third part of what it was in the morning. In a week or two, I must, for three days in the week, have a second prelection at twelve, upon a different subject, where my audience will be made up of those who hear me in the morning, but do not attend at eleven. My hearers commonly attend my class two years at least. The first session they attend the morning prelection, and the hour of examination at eleven; the second and subsequent years they attend the two prelections, but not the hour of examination.44
There is no suggestion in this letter (or, so far as we are aware, anywhere else) that Reid’s accession to the Moral Philosophy Chair was marked by any change of practice so far as the lecturing arrangements were concerned; and all the indications are that Smith, at any rate in his last years at Glasgow, had followed the same routine: a lecture from 7.30 to 8.30 each morning (except Saturday); an ‘examination’ on this ‘morning prelection’ from 11 a.m. to noon; and in addition, on certain days during a part of the session, a ‘second prelection . . . upon a different subject’ from noon to 1 p.m. Smith’s ‘morning prelection’ at 7.30 was of course his ‘public’ lecture on Moral Philosophy; the ‘examination’ at 11 a.m. (at which, as we already know from Richardson’s account,45 Smith delivered many ‘incidental and digressive illustrations’) related directly to this ‘morning prelection’; and his ‘second prelection . . . upon a different subject’ at noon was his ‘private’ lecture on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres.
In our attempt to reconstruct Smith’s actual lecture timetable in 1762–3 it will be convenient to begin with the Rhetoric course, since its reconstruction involves far fewer difficulties than does that of the Jurisprudence course. The first lecture in the Rhetoric notes is headed ‘Lecture 2d’ and dated Friday, 19 November. From the ‘2d’ in the heading, and from the fact that the argument of this lecture appears to start in midstream, we may reasonably assume that at some time before 19 November Smith had already given a preliminary lecture in the Rhetoric course, which for some reason or other was not reported in this set of notes. Judging from the subsequent pattern of lecture–dates, it would seem probable that this preliminary lecture was given on Wednesday, 17 November. Starting with this latter date, then, the timetable of Smith’s Rhetoric course in 1762–3 would appear to have been as follows:46
Smith’s Rhetoric course in 1762–3, then, started in the third week in November—round about the same time, it would seem, as Reid’s course in the ‘different subject’ two years later55 —and probably finished towards the end of February.56 In so far as a normal pattern is discernible, it would seem to be one involving the delivery of three lectures per week up to the middle of January, and two per week thereafter. This may help to explain the apparent contradiction between Reid’s statement that three lectures per week were devoted to the ‘different subject’57 and Richardson’s statement that only two were so devoted.58
Let us turn now to the Jurisprudence course, the timetable for which is more difficult to reconstruct because the specific lecture–dates noted by the student are fewer and farther between, particularly in the first part of the course. The difficulties start right at the beginning. The first Jurisprudence lecture is dated Friday, 24 December 1762,59 but no further specific lecture–dates appear until p. 90 of the MS. of the first volume, where a new lecture is dated Thursday, 6 January 1763. The problem is to work out (a) how many lectures were given between 24 December and 6 January; (b) where exactly each of them began and ended; and (c) on which of the available lecturing days they were given.
Some assistance can be obtained here from the MS. itself, by trying to detect in it what we may call ‘conjectural breaks’—i.e. points at which it seems plausible to assume, from the presence of a conspicuous space, a change of ink or pen, an unusually large number of dashes, a summary of an earlier argument, or some other indication, that one lecture may have ended and another begun. For example, there would seem to be a ‘conjectural break’ of this type round about the middle of p. 9 of the MS., suggesting that a new lecture began at this point—a lecture delivered, presumably, on Monday, 27 December 1762, which was the next available lecturing day.60
The material in the notes from this first conjectural break to the next specific lecture–date (Thursday, 6 January 1763, on p. 90 of the MS.) occupies 81 MS. pages. The average length of the notes of later (specifically dated) lectures is roughly 15–16 MS. pages per lecture. It may thus be surmised that the material on pp. 9–90 of the MS. was derived from a total of five lectures—a surmise which is supported by the fact that four plausible conjectural breaks (on pp. 23, 40, 53, and 68) can be detected in the MS. between p. 9 and p. 90. So far as the actual dates of the intervening lectures are concerned, we are rather more in the dark. We know that Smith lectured on Rhetoric on Wednesday, 5 January 1763, so we may perhaps assume that on this date he lectured on Jurisprudence as well. We also know that he did not lecture on Rhetoric on Monday, 3 January 1763, so we may perhaps assume that on this date he did not lecture on Jurisprudence either, possibly because it was a holiday. We may also assume that he did not lecture at all on Friday, 31 December 1762, which would certainly have been a holiday.61 But this still leaves us with more available lecturing days than we have lectures to fit into them, so we must necessarily fall back up to a point on guesswork.
All these factors being taken into account, the best guesses we can perhaps hazard about the dates of Smith’s Jurisprudence lectures from Friday, 24 December 1762 to Thursday, 6 January 1763, and about the specific points in the MS. at which these dates should be inserted, are as follows:62
The timetable for the week beginning Monday, 3 January 1763 may then be (conjecturally) completed by adding
We may now proceed on a similar basis (but relegating the ‘working’ to footnotes) to reconstruct Smith’s lecture timetable for the remainder of the Jurisprudence course up to the point where the reporter’s notes break off. The result is as follows:
At the end of vol. vi of the MS., sixteen pages later, the student’s report ends, and there is no way of reconstructing Smith’s lecture timetable for the remainder of the Jurisprudence course. It seems reasonable to assume, however, that the pattern which is fairly consistently revealed in the lectures up to this point was continued until the course was concluded at or near the end of the session.
The Collation of LJ(A) and LJ(B)
As we have seen,75 LJ(A) owes its origin to Adam Smith’s Jurisprudence course as it was delivered in 1762–3, and LJ(B), in all probability, to that course as it was delivered in 1763–4. The collation of two sets of student’s notes relating to the same course of lectures as it was delivered in two successive sessions would not normally involve any special difficulties. In the present case, however, there are certain complications, arising out of three features of the documents which we have already noted above.
In the first place, although the difference in the content of the actual lectures (taking them as a whole) may not have been very great as between the two sessions concerned, there was, as we have seen,76 an appreciable difference in the order in which the main subjects of the lectures were presented. In LJ(A) the order of treatment is property and other rights, domestic law, government, police; whereas in LJ(B) it is government, domestic law, property and other rights, police.
In the second place, there is a difference in the origin of the reports. LJ(A), if our view of it is correct, is a rewritten version of notes of Smith’s lectures taken down (probably for the most part in shorthand) by a student in class, and was intended primarily as a working document for use by the student himself. The notes are relatively extensive, and the student has usually (although not always) taken some care to fill in gaps, correct errors, and add supplementary material. LJ(B), by way of contrast, would seem to be a fair copy, made by a professional copyist, of a much more summary report of Smith’s lectures—for the most part owing its origin, one may perhaps conjecture, to longhand notes taken down in class.77
In the third place, there is a difference in the range of subjects covered in the reports, which is generally speaking more complete in LJ(B) than in LJ(A). On several occasions the writer of LJ(A), either because he has missed a lecture or for some other reason, fails to report Smith’s discussion of a particular subject which is duly reported upon in LJ(B). And, much more importantly, LJ(A) as we have seen78 stops short about two–thirds of the way through the ‘police’ section of Smith’s lectures, whereas LJ(B) continues right through to the end of the course.
These considerations have largely dictated the particular method of collation which we have adopted below. What we have done is to take the subject–matter of LJ(B) as the starting–point, dividing it up in the first instance in accordance with the successive sectional headings supplied by Cannan in his edition of LJ(B), and then refining and extending these headings in a number of cases where further subdivision makes the task of collation easier. The particular pages of the MS. of LJ(B) on which these topics are dealt with are noted in the second column; and side by side with these, in the third column, we have noted the pages of the manuscript of LJ(A) on which parallel passages dealing with the same topics are to be found. In cases where there seem to us to be significant differences in the treatment of a topic as between the two texts, these differences are described in a note in the ‘Notes on the Collation’ which appear at the end of this section of the Introduction, a reference to the appropriate note being given in the fourth column of the collation itself. In the other cases, where there is no note–reference in the fourth column, it may be assumed that the two texts deal with the topic concerned in roughly the same manner—i.e. that even if (as is generally the case) the treatment in LJ(A) is more extensive than it is in LJ(B), both texts broadly speaking make much the same points in much the same order.
notes on the collation
(1) There is no counterpart in LJ(A) of the remarks about works on natural jurisprudence which are reported on pp. 1–4 of LJ(B). One possible explanation of this, of course, is that in 1762 Smith did not in fact make any such remarks at the beginning of his Jurisprudence lectures. Another possible explanation is that he did do so, but that the student, regarding them merely as a kind of historical prolegomenon, did not think fit to include them in his report of Smith’s lectures proper. A relevant indication here, perhaps, is that (as we have already seen above) there appears to be a fairly definite ‘conjectural break’ half way down p. 9 of the MS., which means that the reporter’s notes of the lecture concerned occupy not much more than half the average space occupied by his notes of subsequent lectures.
There is another point of interest in this connection. Georg Sacke, in an article published in Zeitschrift für Nationalökonomie in 1939 (Bd. IX, pp. 351–6), has drawn attention to the fact that the celebrated Russian jurist S. E. Desnitsky, who had been a student at Glasgow University from 1761 to 1767, gave a lecture at Moscow University on 30 June 1768 in which there is a long passage corresponding almost word for word with Smith’s remarks about works on natural jurisprudence as reported on pp. 1–4 of LJ(B). Desnitsky may well have been making use either of a set of lecture–notes identical with that from which LJ(B) was copied, or (as appears from his inclusion of some statements, not to be found in LJ(B), about Richard Cumberland, author of a seventeenth–century treatise on natural law) of a very close variant of it.
(2) There is no counterpart in LJ(A) of the last five sentences on p. 11 of LJ(B), in which Smith makes the important statement that ‘property and civil government very much depend on one another’, and proceeds to consider the two possible methods of presenting the subject of Jurisprudence.
(3) In LJ(A), these two topics are discussed near the end of the government section, in the context of the problem of the extent of the limits to the power of the sovereign. In LJ(B), they are discussed at the beginning of the government section; the order in which they are treated is reversed; and the context in which they appear is a much wider one. Another matter which perhaps deserves comment is that whereas in LJ(B) there is a fair amount of emphasis on the point that ‘superior wealth’ contributes to ‘confer authority’, this point is mentioned in LJ(A) only in passing, in a summary of the previous lecture (vol. v, p. 129).
(4) Both texts deal with roughly the same points under this heading, but the order in which they are dealt with is rather different. LJ(A) is generally much more extensive in its treatment than LJ(B), and contains many more historical illustrations of the points made.
(5) There is no trace on pp. 95–99 of LJ(A) of the point made on pp. 45–46 of LJ(B) about the difference between military government in Rome and in Asia. There is, however, an extended discussion of this point at the end of the summary of the lecture concerned which Smith apparently gave at the beginning of his next lecture (see LJ(A), pp. 107–109).
(6) The passages on pp. 109–113 of LJ(A) contain certain points of which there is little or no trace in the corresponding section of LJ(B).
(7) The treatment of this topic in LJ(A) is much more extensive than it is in LJ(B). See, for example, the discussion on pp. 167–170 of vol. iv of LJ(A) of ‘the situation and circumstances of England’, and compare the very brief reference to this on p. 62 of LJ(B). It is also worth noting, perhaps, that there is no reference in LJ(B) to the dangers to liberty (as distinct from the ‘securities’), whereas the dangers are specifically referred to on three occasions in LJ(A). See LJ(A), vol. iv, p. 179, and vol. v, pp. 5 and 12.
(8) The two texts make roughly the same points under this head, but they do not always make them in quite the same order.
(9) In LJ(A), on pp. 114–124 and 127–132, there is a discussion of the doctrine of an original contract and the principles of utility and authority. As already stated in note (3) above, the corresponding passages in LJ(B) appear at the beginning of the government section rather than near the end of it. There is a reference back to these passages on p. 93 of LJ(B).
(10) There is no counterpart in LJ(A) of the passages dealing with fidelity and infidelity on pp. 102–105 of LJ(B). The indications (cf. above, p. 20, note 66) are that the LJ(A) reporter either left the relevant lecture early or for some other reason failed to get the latter part of it down, so that there is no record in his notes of Smith’s discussion of fidelity and infidelity. He would also seem to have missed the first part of Smith’s discussion of the next topic, marriage and divorce, corresponding to pp. 105–106 of LJ(B). A report of a summary by Smith of some of the missing parts (but not of his discussion of fidelity and infidelity) will be found on pp. 6–7 of vol. iii of LJ(A).
(11) Subject to the qualification in note (10), both texts make roughly the same points, but do not always make them in quite the same order. In places, particularly round about the middle of the section, it is difficult to keep track of the correspondences.
(12) LJ(A) includes, on pp. 48–52, a report of a summary by Smith of all his previous lectures about the different types of marriage. This summary would seem to correspond to a passage on pp. 117–118 of LJ(B).
(13) Both texts make roughly the same points in roughly the same order, but towards the end, judging from the gaps in the MS., the LJ(A) reporter had difficulty in getting down all the points concerning the differences between the Scots and the English law. The very short summary in LJ(B) is of little help here.
(14) Both texts make roughly the same points, but they do not always make them in quite the same order. The summing–up on pp. 65–66 of LJ(A) is in effect a short summary of all the preceding lectures on the family. The computations reported on p. 123 of LJ(B) were apparently not included in the relevant lecture in 1762–3: see the footnote on p. 64 of LJ(A).
(15) Both texts make roughly the same points in the same order, but there are some differences. In particular, the Pollio story and the Ovid citations which appear on pp. 92–93 and 100 of LJ(A) do not appear in LJ(B) until the following section (pp. 135 and 136).
(16) Some of the emphases are different as between the two texts. In particular, in LJ(B) the Pollio story (see note (15) above) is used to illustrate the readiness of the monarch to be influenced in the slave’s favour rather than (as in LJ(A)) as an illustration of how badly the slaves were treated. See also the penultimate sentence of note (18) below.
(17) There are some quite substantial differences between the two texts here. Both LJ(A) and LJ(B) begin with the same point—that slavery is not only bad for the slave but is also economically disadvantageous. After this, however, the two texts begin to diverge. LJ(B) goes on to discuss the case of the colliers and salters, in order to demonstrate once again that ‘slavery is a disadvantage’. LJ(A), by way of contrast, does not bring the colliers and salters into the picture until pp. 126–130, after the question of the abolition of slavery has been dealt with. LJ(B), after dealing with the colliers and salters, proceeds to discuss the point that slavery ‘diminishes the number of free men’. LJ(A), however, does not discuss this point until later, on pp. 134–141. On pp. 131–134 of LJ(A) there is a discussion of the point that slavery is ‘very detrimentall to population’ of which there is no distinct counterpart in LJ(B).
(18) In this section, LJ(B) embarks immediately upon a discussion of the transition from adscripti glebae to tenants by steelbow. The corresponding part of LJ(A) begins with a longish discussion (on pp. 114–117) of the reasons why the abolition of slavery has been very limited in most parts of the world. The main emphasis in the discussion in LJ(A) is partly on man’s alleged ‘love of domination and tyrannizing’ and partly on the fact that the abolition of slavery would be hurtful to the slave–owners. This discussion would appear to be, in effect, an elaboration of two themes which are briefly announced in LJ(B) on p. 134. After this, the points made by LJ(A) in the following pages, and the general drift of the argument, are much the same as they are in LJ(B), but the order in which the points are dealt with is often different.
(19) There are some marked differences between the two texts here. LJ(B) begins by listing the five methods of acquiring slaves, and in the course of its discussion of the fifth method considers the state of affairs in ancient Rome where many citizens had no means of subsistence except ‘what they received from candidates for their votes’. It then goes on to talk about slavery in the West Indies. LJ(A) discusses the payment of money for votes in ancient Rome on pp. 141–144, before getting on to the methods of acquiring slaves, and in the context of a different problem—that of the reasons for the people’s demand at that time for an abolition of debts. LJ(A)’s discussion of the methods of acquiring slaves is relatively short, and is cut off in mid sentence (at the end of vol. iii) with a reference to the West Indies. Cf. above, pp. 20–1, note 69.
(20) There is no counterpart in LJ(A) of the discussion of these three topics in LJ(B). The indications are that Smith did in fact lecture on them in 1762–3, but that the student for some reason failed to get, or to write up, any notes of the lectures. Cf. above, pp. 20–1, note 69.
(21) Both texts begin by listing the five ways of acquiring property (LJ(A) on pp. 25–26, and LJ(B) on p. 149), and then proceed to outline the four stages theory—i.e. the theory that society normally tends to develop through four successive stages based on hunting, pasturage, agriculture, and commerce (LJ(A) on pp. 27–35, and LJ(B) on pp. 149–150). But whereas in LJ(B) the context of this outline of the four stages theory is the way in which the laws of occupation vary as one stage succeeds another, in LJ(A) the context appears to be a rather more general one—the way in which the laws and regulations with regard to acquisition of property in general vary as one stage succeeds another. After this, both texts deal with roughly the same points in the same order, but the discussion in LJ(A) is much more extensive than it is in LJ(B).
(22) Both texts deal with roughly the same points in the same order, but LJ(A) brings out more clearly than LJ(B) the ‘four stages’ framework of the discussion.
(23) LJ(A) goes into much more detail than LJ(B), and it is not always easy to keep track of the correspondences.
(24) In both texts the general theme is the same, but LJ(A) goes into so much more detail than LJ(B) that the correspondences appear rather sporadic.
(25) Both texts deal with roughly the same points in the same order, but the treatment in LJ(A) is much more extensive and it is by no means easy to keep track of the correspondences. No counterpart can be found in LJ(A) of some of the passages on pp. 163–164 of LJ(B): it seems likely, judging from the mysterious note on p. 145 of LJ(A) and the 3½ blank pages which follow it, that the student for some reason failed to get a part of the relevant lecture down. The account in LJ(A) includes near the end (pp. 146–147) a summary of some of Smith’s earlier lectures on the subject.
(26) Although the two texts deal with roughly the same points in the same order, LJ(A) becomes much more detailed at the end than LJ(B).
(27) Both texts deal with roughly the same points, but the order of treatment is a little different (e.g. in the case of the discussion of inventions), and there is little trace in LJ(B) of the interesting discussion of thirlage, etc., on pp. 37–41 of LJ(A).
(28) The general tenor of the argument is the same in both texts, but the order in which certain points are dealt with is different and the treatment in LJ(A) is much more extensive, so that it is not easy to keep track of the correspondences. In addition, LJ(A) contains (on pp. 56 ff.) a very extended summary in which a number of points in earlier lectures are elaborated; and LJ(A) also contains discussions of at least three points (the role of the clergy, the effect of the rise of commerce, and culpa) of which there is little trace in LJ(B).
(29) Although the general tenor of the argument is the same in both texts, the illustrations employed are not always the same, and there is no trace in LJ(A) of the point about bankruptcy discussed on p. 181 of LJ(B).
(30) Both texts deal with roughly the same points in the same order, but towards the end LJ(A)’s treatment of some points is much more extensive than LJ(B)’s.
(31) There is no counterpart in LJ(A) of the passage dealing with bonds on p. 192 of LJ(B). The fact that there is a gap in the MS. of LJ(A) at about this point suggests that for some reason the reporter did not get the relevant material down. Otherwise, the points dealt with are roughly the same in both texts, and with one or two exceptions they appear in roughly the same order.
(32) Both texts deal with roughly the same points, but the order of treatment is not always the same, particularly towards the end.
(33) LJ(A) includes, on pp. 24–27, a summary of the main points of the previous lecture.
(34) Details of some of the calculations which appear in LJ(A) are omitted, or drastically summarized, in LJ(B), and on some occasions the figures employed differ as between the two texts.
(35) Both texts deal with roughly the same points, and more or less in the same order—except that the points about the ‘law by Sesostratis’ on pp. 218–219 of LJ(B) have their counterpart in LJ(A) much later (on pp. 54–55), in the course of a summary of the previous lecture.
(36) The main points dealt with in LJ(B) under this heading do not have their counterpart in LJ(A) until later in the story. The parallel passages in LJ(A) in fact occur at the beginning of a new lecture (apparently as a kind of afterthought on Smith’s part), at a point in the course where he has in the previous lecture already embarked upon the next topic, the price of commodities.
(37) Both texts deal with roughly the same points in the same order, but in LJ(A) there is a break in continuity (see previous note). LJ(A) includes a summary of the previous lecture.
(38) LJ(A) includes a summary of the previous lecture.
(39) Both texts deal with roughly the same points, but not always in quite the same order. LJ(A) contains a summary of the previous lecture.
(40) The discussion of circulation, banks, and paper money on pp. 127–132 of LJ(A) breaks off suddenly at the foot of p. 132, at a point in the argument roughly corresponding to the end of the sentence ‘That this has a tendency . . . opulence of the country’ near the foot of p. 246 of LJ(B). There is no counterpart in LJ(A) of any of the material which appears in LJ(B) between this point and the point on p. 253 where a new paragraph begins. It is at the latter point that LJ(A) takes up the argument again, at the top of p. 133 of the MS., and from there to p. 146 the points covered in LJ(A) are roughly the same as those covered in LJ(B) from p. 253 to p. 256 (except that LJ(A) includes a long statistical discussion of which there are only faint echoes in LJ(B)). For a possible explanation of the omission from LJ(A) of what was evidently a large amount of material, see p. 380, note 53, below.
(41) Both texts deal with roughly the same points, but not always in quite the same order. LJ(A) contains a summary of the previous lecture.
(42) Both texts deal with roughly the same topics in the same order, up to the point near the foot of p. 268 of LJ(B) where the last sentence on that page begins. At a point corresponding to this LJ(A) ceases.
Some Particular Aspects of the Report of 1762–3
We do not regard it as any part of our purpose, in this Introduction, to present our personal views and interpretations of the actual thought of Adam Smith, as it is reported in the documents we have edited. Since LJ(A) is published here for the first time, however, it might be considered appropriate for us briefly to list some of the ways in which, in our opinion, the discovery of this document may enable new light to be thrown on the development of Smith’s ideas during the crucial Glasgow period.
Let us begin with three general considerations, arising from the fact that the treatment of individual topics is usually much more extensive in LJ(A) than it is in LJ(B). This fact means, first, that in quite a large number of places (some but not all of which are specifically referred to in our editorial footnotes) where the text of LJ(B) is unclear or corrupt, Smith’s real meaning can now be ascertained by looking at the corresponding passage in LJ(A). It means, second, that in certain places (e.g. the section on occupation and that on contract) where the additional material in LJ(A) is very extensive indeed, some of the major emphases are altered—to such an extent, on occasion, as to make it appear at first sight that a quite different story is being told. And it means, third, that in some places we have been able to go farther than Cannan in our detection of the probable sources upon which Smith drew—not, we hasten to say, because Cannan’s editorial work was in any way unscholarly, but simply because there happens to be more material in LJ(A) than in LJ(B), and therefore more clues as to sources. For example, whereas Smith’s use of Montesquieu is clear from LJ(B), his dependence on Hume’s History and Essays is more pronounced in LJ(A).
Turning now, more specifically, to vols. i–v of LJ(A), one of the most important points which emerges from them concerns the relation between the way in which Smith dealt with the latter part of the Moral Philosophy course in his Glasgow lectures, and the way in which Francis Hutcheson, Smith’s teacher, had dealt with it in his Glasgow lectures some time before. After the discovery of LJ(B), a number of scholars (notably Cannan and Scott) drew attention to certain interesting parallels between Hutcheson’s treatment of the subject and Smith’s. If we now compare Hutcheson’s treatment with that of Smith as reported in LJ(A) the parallels become more striking, since the order of treatment of the main subjects in LJ(A) is much closer to Hutcheson’s than the order of treatment in LJ(B).79 Another point of almost equal importance is that Smith’s use of the four stages theory as a kind of conceptual framework within which much of the discussion is set, and his conscious acceptance of the more general ‘environmental’ or ‘materialist’ approach which underlay the four stages theory, are more clearly evident in LJ(A) than they are in LJ(B).80
There are various other points of a less general nature which emerge from a comparison between vols. i–v of LJ(A) and the corresponding sections of LJ(B). Of these, we may select four of the more interesting ones as examples. First, LJ(A) elaborates Smith’s explanation of the natural right to property by occupation, given very summarily in LJ(B).81 The account follows Smith’s theory of the impartial spectator in TMS and is evidently intended to be an alternative to a celebrated argument of Locke. Second, it is perhaps significant that in LJ(A) the dangers to liberty implicit in certain features of ‘the situation and circumstances of England’ are referred to, whereas in LJ(B), broadly speaking, it is only the safeguards which are mentioned.82 Third, as has already been stated above,83 there is no distinct counterpart in LJ(B) of the interesting discussion in LJ(A) of the fact that slavery is ‘very detrimentall to population’. On the other hand, LJ(B) contains a paragraph about the status in Britain of Negroes who had been slaves in America, an addition apparently prompted by an important court judgement of 1762.84 Fourth, the discussion of exclusive privileges in LJ(A) contains some important passages, of which there is virtually no counterpart in LJ(B), where Smith in effect generalizes the idea that institutions which are harmful to society today may very well in their origin have been convenient and in a sense necessary to society.85
Turning now to vol. vi of LJ(A), which contains the report of Smith’s lectures on ‘police’, this does not appear, at any rate at first sight, to cast quite as much new light on Smith’s economic thought as we might perhaps have hoped. LJ(A), after all, stops short about two–thirds of the way through the ‘police’ section, so that LJ(B) is still our sole source of information concerning the remaining part of this section.86 LJ(A), again, does not in most of this section (so far as it goes) contain as much additional material—as compared with that in LJ(B)—as it does in the ‘justice’ section. And last but not least, at a crucial point where the text of LJ(B) obviously embodies a serious misinterpretation of Smith’s argument, the LJ(A) reporter, as if with a design to thwart us, has omitted to include a report of the relevant part of the lectures.87
Yet when one looks into the matter a little more closely, certain quite interesting points do emerge. For example, it is perhaps significant that there is no trace in LJ(A) of the statement in LJ(B) that ‘labour, not money, is the true measure of value’.88 The more extensive treatment in LJ(A) of the effects of the prohibition on the export of bullion makes Smith’s reliance on Hume’s theory of specie–flow adjustment clearer than it is in LJ(B).89 The inclusion in LJ(A) of the sentence beginning ‘In what manner then . . . ’ at the end of Smith’s account of the relatively poor position of peasants and labourers in the modern state90 may perhaps be regarded as giving an emphasis to these passages rather different from that in LJ(B). The treatment of the division of labour in LJ(A) provides some suggestive evidence relating to the development of Smith’s ideas on this subject.91 And the inclusion in LJ(A) of a number of detailed calculations of the cost of production of a pin (which are either omitted or summarized very briefly in LJ(B)) makes the burden of Smith’s argument much clearer.
Another point which emerges is perhaps of sufficient importance to deserve a paragraph to itself. A number of scholars, basing themselves on LJ(B), have argued that in Smith’s Glasgow lectures capital and the accumulation of capital did not yet play anything like the central role which they were later to do in WN; that the concept of profit on capital as a basic category of class income was still missing; and that the concept of a normal rate of profit on capital was also missing. Now that we have another, and more extensive, report of Smith’s Glasgow lectures to turn to, it is possible that these judgements may require some—although perhaps not very much—modification. In relation to the question of the role of capital, scholars interested in this problem will probably see some significance in a passage where Smith tries to calculate the value of ‘the stock of the whole kingdom’.92 In relation to the question of the concept of profit as a category of class income, they may wish to refer to a passage where he talks of the capacity of industry, when improved, to ‘give considerable profit of the great men’.93 And in relation to the question of the rate of profit, they will certainly be interested in a passage where Smith says that the price of a commodity must be sufficient to repay the costs of education and the apprentice fee ‘not only in principall but with the interest and profit which I might have made of it’,94 and also perhaps in another where he describes what happens in a competitive market when a trade is ‘overprofitable’.95
The Principles Adopted in the Transcription of the Texts
The preparation of LJ(A) and LJ(B) for publication has involved a number of serious difficulties, arising in large part from the particular way in which LJ(A) appears to have been originally compiled.
As stated above,96 the main text on the recto pages of LJ(A) would seem to have been written serially, soon after (but not during) the lectures concerned, on the basis of very full notes taken down in class, probably in shorthand. The reporter evidently took some care, when writing up the notes, to ensure that they were as accurate as possible a representation of what Smith had actually said. But the degree of the reporter’s care varied appreciably from place to place; and since the notes were intended merely as working notes he was not overmuch concerned with legibility, grammar, and the niceties of spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and paragraphing. The handwriting varies from perfectly legible copper–plate to a hurried scrawl which is very difficult to decipher, and there is a large number of abbreviations, overwritings, deletions, and interlineations. The spelling is often careless and wildly inconsistent; punctuation and capitalization are usually very arbitrary; and paragraphing is minimal.
The editors of LJ(A) were thus faced right at the outset with a difficult problem: to what extent, if at all, should these ubiquitous imperfections be cleaned up in the interests of readability? On the one hand, it could be argued that the published text should be in effect the editors’ reconstruction of what Smith might be presumed actually to have said in the lectures concerned—which would mean, of course, that the published text would deviate appreciably from the reporter’s imperfect notes. On the other hand, it could be argued that the text should properly be no more than a reproduction, as exact as possible, of the reporter’s manuscript notes as they stood, with all their manifest blemishes.
In the end, we decided that some kind of compromise between these two extreme views would have to be arrived at. The adoption of the first method would have allowed too much room for the editors’ own subjective judgements, and would have largely deprived the reader of the opportunity to make up his own mind about the exact circumstances in which LJ(A) originated. The second method, as a number of experiments eventually showed, would have necessitated an impossibly extensive apparatus of footnotes, and would have succeeded only in making the text in many places virtually unreadable.
An important constraint here was that the principles adopted in transcribing LJ(A) should as far as possible be the same as those adopted in transcribing LJ(B), in order that the comparison of the two documents should be facilitated. LJ(B), generally speaking, is much more readable as it stands than LJ(A): there are very few corrections and additions; the writing is almost always perfectly legible; and spelling and paragraphing are on the whole quite rational and consistent. The capitalization, however, is just as arbitrary in LJ(B) as it is in LJ(A); and the punctuation, although less arbitrary, would often hamper the reader if left unaltered.
The basis of the set of principles eventually arrived at was the drawing of a distinction between two more or less separate groups of imperfections in the manuscripts—first, those which it was thought could justifiably be corrected in the published text without (in normal cases) any specific footnote reference; and, second, those others which it was felt ought to be allowed to remain in the published text, either with or without a specific footnote reference. After much experimentation, we decided to place in the first group (a) punctuation and capitalization, which we felt should up to a certain point be modernized; (b) straightforward overwritings and interlineations, which we decided need not (in normal cases) be specifically noted; and (c) contractions, most (but not all) of which we thought should be spelt out. In the second group, we decided to place all the remaining imperfections—notably spelling errors, omissions, inadequate paragraphing, deletions, replacements, etc.—feeling that these should be allowed to remain in the text, with specific footnote references (or other indications) wherever necessary. This distinction was, and was bound to be, to some extent arbitrary,97 but experience showed that it offered the best basis for a text which would satisfy as fully as possible the demands both of the general reader and of the Smith scholar.
Another and related set of decisions had then to be made concerning the number and character of the symbols and conventions to be used in the critical apparatus. From the nature of the case, it was clear that this apparatus would inevitably have to be somewhat complex; and the editors were therefore very conscious of the fact that unless they made a special effort to reduce the number of symbols and conventions to the absolute minimum it might be very difficult for readers—specialist as well as non–specialist—to find their way through the text. Three basic decisions were accordingly made:
These three basic decisions were eventually crystallized in a number of specific principles relating to the presentation of the text and the critical apparatus, the most important of which are the following:
Numbering of Pages
At the beginning of vol. i of the original MS. of LJ(A), the recto pages upon which the main text is written have been numbered by the reporter 1, 3, 5, 7, etc. up to 39, when this numbering ceases. The first pages of the gatherings on which the report is written are also numbered. All these numbers have been ignored in our text, and in the case of each volume the recto pages upon which writing appears have been numbered 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. right through to the end of the volume concerned. Thus each volume is numbered separately, and the verso pages (together with any blank recto pages) are left unnumbered.99 In the text, the point at which one (recto) page of a particular volume of the MS. ends and the next page begins is marked by the insertion of a vertical rule in the text and the placing of the relevant page number (in ordinary arabic figures) in the margin. For example, 23 in the margin indicates that at the point in the line level with this number where a vertical rule is inserted, p. 22 of the MS. ends and p. 23 begins.100 If one or two words at the end of one page of the MS. are repeated at the beginning of the next, as frequently happens in LJ(A), the repetition is as it were credited to the next. At the point where one volume of LJ(A) ends and another volume begins (but only at that point), the number of the new volume is also stated. For example, iii.1 in the margin indicates that at the point in the line level with this number where a vertical rule is inserted, vol. ii of the MS. ends and vol. iii begins.
In the case of LJ(B) the position is less complex, since the main text is written on both the recto and the verso pages of the MS.; all the material is contained in one volume; and the pages of the MS. (although not of the index), whether writing appears on them or not, have all been numbered successively by the copyist. These page numbers are those which are referred to in our text. The conventions adopted for indicating where one page ends and another begins are the same (mutatis mutandis) as those adopted in the case of LJ(A). The few cases in which words at the end of one page are repeated at the beginning of the next, however, are specifically noted.
In our footnotes to the texts, page references to LJ(A) and LJ(B), if the number is not preceded by ‘p.’, are to pages of the MSS. If the number is preceded by ‘p.’ it refers to a page of this edition.
As indicated above, the punctuation in LJ(A) is often arbitrary and irrational (or non–existent); and that in LJ(B) is not much better. In the interests of readability, therefore, the punctuation in both texts has to a certain extent been cleaned up. In particular, full points have normally been inserted between sentences where they are lacking in the MSS., and in a large number of cases where a sentence requires more (or less) breaking–up for full comprehensibility, semicolons or commas have been inserted (or deleted). We have not attempted to secure complete rationality or consistency in punctuation, however; and in a few cases where the interpretation of a particular passage may depend upon the punctuation no alterations have been made.
The profusion of capital letters in both MSS. raises a special problem. Not only are capital letters used very frequently, but they are also used very inconsistently; and in a great number of cases it is quite uncertain whether or not a capital letter was in fact intended. In the interests of readability, therefore, a more modern system of capitalization has been employed, and an attempt made to secure a reasonable degree of consistency both within and between each of the two texts. In a few cases where the use of a capital letter in the MS. can reasonably be regarded as serving some special purpose (e.g. the emphasis of a key word, or of a new concept on the occasion of its first introduction) we have retained it.
Straightforward Overwritings and Interlineations
In very many cases in LJ(A), and occasionally in LJ(B), a word (or series of words) has been changed to another simply by overwriting: e.g. the scribe has begun by writing ‘then’ and has changed it to ‘there’ (the correct word) by overwriting ‘there’ in the space occupied by ‘then’. As stated above,101 in many of these cases the overwritten word is illegible, and since to note them all would have meant a tremendous expansion of the apparatus of footnotes and greatly hindered readability, they have not in fact been specifically indicated in the text, except where some special point is involved. Similarly, straightforward interlineations—i.e. those clearly intended to form part of the text and not involving the replacement of deleted words—have also not been specifically indicated, except where some special point is involved.
The contractions used in the MS. of LJ(A) for the words ‘the’, ‘against’, ‘with’, ‘that’, ‘than’, ‘neither’, ‘either’, ‘betwixt’, ‘which’, and ‘brother’ are not reproduced in the text, all these words being spelt out. So far as other contracted words (in both MSS.) are concerned, the general rule adopted is that all contractions which are raised, and all those above which a contraction symbol is placed, are spelt out, with the exception of ‘1st’, ‘2nd’, etc., which are reproduced in the text exactly as they appear in the MS. ‘Mr’, ‘Dr’, and ‘Sr’ are rendered as ‘Mr.’, ‘Dr.’, and ‘Sir’. All ampersands are spelt out, and ‘&c.’ (or ‘&ca.’) is rendered as ‘etc.’ (or ‘etca.’). The different signs used for the pound sterling are all rendered as ‘£’. All other contracted words, monetary symbols, measures, numbers, etc. are reproduced in the text exactly as they appear in the MS.
Spelling Errors, Omissions, etc.
The spelling in the MSS. has normally been retained in the text, even when it is clearly wrong, and no attempt has been made to secure consistency. When the spelling of a word in the MS. is doubtful, the spelling used in the text is that which is normally used elsewhere in the MS., or (in cases where this criterion cannot be applied) the correct modern spelling. Similarly, grammatical errors, unconscious omissions or repetitions of words, etc. in both MSS. have normally been reproduced in the text.
Where such errors, omissions, etc. seem likely to interfere seriously with readability, however, the following devices are used:
The paragraphing in LJ(A) is minimal, and often very conjectural, if only because the first lines of new paragraphs are not indented. Sometimes the beginning of a new paragraph is marked in the MS. by a dash (or series of dashes) immediately following the preceding sentence; but such dashes, unfortunately, also frequently occur at the end of a sentence which is obviously not intended to be the last in a paragraph.102 Sometimes a change in ink and/or the style of the handwriting in the MS., coupled with a change in the subject–matter, indicates that a new paragraph was probably intended. In the text, new paragraphs have normally been formed only in those cases where the indication in the MS. is reasonably unambiguous, or where the absence of a new paragraph would interfere seriously with readability.
The paragraphing in LJ(B) is reasonably clear and rational, and with very few exceptions has simply been reproduced in our text.
When a new paragraph starts on a new page, the vertical rule indicating the change of page is inserted at the beginning of the new paragraph and not at the end of the preceding paragraph.
Deletions, Replacements, etc.
Doubtful Readings, Illegible Words, Blanks in MS., etc.
The footnotes ‘Reading doubtful’, ‘Reading of last two words doubtful’, etc., indicate that the editors are more than usually dubious about the reading of the word or words concerned which they have given in the text. The relevant footnote references are keyed in at the end of the word or words.
In cases of complete illegibility, a blank space of approximately the same length as the illegible word or words is left in the text, a footnote reference is keyed in at the beginning of the following word, and an appropriate footnote inserted. If the editors wish merely to note the illegibility, without making any comment, the footnote is a textual one, indicated by an italic letter and in most cases reading simply ‘Illegible word’. If the editors wish not only to note the illegibility but also to make a comment, the footnote is an editorial one, indicated by an arabic numeral in roman type.
When a blank space has been left in the MS., a similar procedure is normally adopted.103 A space of roughly the same length as the space in the MS. is left in the text, a footnote reference is keyed in at the beginning of the following word, and an appropriate footnote inserted. This footnote is a textual one if the editors wish merely to note that a blank space has been left in the MS. at this point, and an editorial one if they wish also to make a comment.
In cases where the degree of illegibility is such that the number of illegible words cannot be exactly ascertained, an attempt is made in the relevant footnote to give an approximate indication of the number of words concerned—e.g. ‘Two or three illegible words’. Cases in which it appears possible that it is only part of a word which is illegible are not separately delineated—e.g. the footnote ‘Illegible word deleted’ must be taken to include the possibility that it is only part of a word which has been deleted at the relevant point in the MS.
Treatment of the Verso Notes in LJ(A)
The verso notes in LJ(A) are incorporated in the main text, at what appears to be the appropriate place, within braces. It is to be assumed, in the absence of any indication to the contrary, that the note concerned is written on the verso of the previous (recto) page. Thus if a passage appears within braces on (recto) page 28, and no contrary indication is given, it can be taken that in the MS. it is written on the verso of (recto) page 27. If a verso note continues on to the next verso page, as sometimes happens, an indication of this is given in square brackets at the appropriate point. Thus if a passage in braces appears on (recto) page 64 of the text, and at a certain point in this passage the indication [v.64] appears, this denotes the fact that the note in question, although starting on the verso of (recto) page 63, is carried over at the indicated point to the verso of (recto) page 64.
In view of the fact that a detailed collation of LJ(A) and LJ(B) has been included in this Introduction, cross–references between the two documents have been provided only in special cases. The scope of our cross–references to other works of Smith has also been deliberately restricted, in the light of a general policy decision by the Board of Editors of the Glasgow edition to the effect that in each of the volumes of Smith’s works cross–references should normally be provided only to work of an earlier date. One of the results of this policy is that in the present volume there are virtually no references forward to WN. In WN itself, however, there are very many references back to the documents published in the present volume,104 to which readers are referred for the relation between Smith’s earlier and later ideas in the relevant fields.
The editors gratefully acknowledge the help on particular points of Professor J. A. Boyle, Mr. J. A. Crook, Dr. J. Diggle, Professor A. D. Fitton Brown, Professor M. C. Meston, Mrs. Dorothy Owen, Dr. J. Riley–Smith, Mr. A. S. Skinner, and Mr. D. E. C. Yale. They are also grateful to Amax Inc. of Greenwich, Connecticut, for their generous contribution to the publication costs of this volume.
D. D. R. and P. G. S. wish it to be known that the main part of the editorial burden in relation to the present volume has been carried by R. L. M.
The editors have made extensive use of the invaluable notes provided by Edwin Cannan for his edition of LJ(B) in 1896.
R. L. M.
D. D. R.
P. G. S.
LECTURES ON JURISPRUDENCE
REPORT OF 1762–3
[1 ]Stewart, I.16. The original version of Stewart’s ‘Account of the Life and Writings of Adam Smith’, in which these remarks of Millar’s were incorporated, was read by Stewart to the Royal Society of Edinburgh on 21 January and 18 March 1793.
[2 ]See below, pp. 4, 9, 11, and 15–17.
[3 ]Minutes of University Meeting of 11 September 1751 (Glasgow University Archives).
[4 ]In the letter from Smith mentioned in the extract just quoted (Corr., Letter 9 addressed to William Cullen, dated 3 Sept. 1751), Smith wrote: ‘I shall, with great pleasure, do what I can to relieve him [Professor Craigie] 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.’
[5 ]See Stewart, IV.25. Stewart is referring here to a document drawn up by Smith in 1755 which apparently contained ‘a pretty long enumeration . . . of certain leading principles, both political and literary, to which he was anxious to establish his exclusive right; in order to prevent the possibility of some rival claims which he thought he had reason to apprehend’. From this document Stewart quotes (apparently verbatim) the following statement by Smith: ‘A great part of the opinions enumerated in this paper is treated of at length in some lectures which I have still by me, and which were written in the hand of a clerk who left my service six years ago. They have all of them been the constant subjects of my lectures since I first taught Mr Craigie’s class, the first winter I spent in Glasgow, down to this day, without any considerable variation. They had all of them been the subjects of lectures which I read at Edinburgh the winter before I left it, and I can adduce innumerable witnesses, both from that place and from this, who will ascertain them sufficiently to be mine.’
[6 ]The exact date on which Smith left Glasgow is not known. The fact that he was probably going to leave the University was publicly announced for the first time at a Dean of Faculty’s Meeting on 8 November 1763. Two months later, at a Faculty Meeting on 9 January 1764, Smith stated that ‘he was soon to leave this place’ and that ‘he had returned to the students all the fees he had received this session’. The previous Faculty Meeting (at which Smith had also been present) was held on 4 January 1764, so it may reasonably be assumed that his last lecture to the Moral Philosophy class (at which, according to Tytler’s account, the fees were returned) was delivered at some time during the period between these two Faculty Meetings. The last meeting at Glasgow University which Smith attended in his capacity as a member of the teaching staff was a University Meeting on 10 January 1764, and all the indications are that he left Glasgow within a few days of this date. Cf. Rae, 169–70; Scott, 97; and A. F. Tytler, Memoirs of the Life and Writings of Lord Kames (2nd edn., Edinburgh, 1814), i.272–3.
[7 ]Stewart, I.18–20.
[8 ]Cf. Rae, 51; David Murray, Memories of the Old College of Glasgow (Glasgow, 1927), 516; and Discourses on Theological & Literary Subjects, by the late Rev. Archibald Arthur . . . with an Account of some Particulars of his Life and Character, by William Richardson (Glasgow, 1803), 514–15.
[9 ]By William Richardson, loc. cit.
[10 ]See John M. Lothian (ed.), Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres delivered . . . by Adam Smith (1963).
[11 ]What appears to be part of one of Smith’s lectures on ethics is reprinted and discussed in Appendix II of the Glasgow edition of TMS. The Introduction, 1(a), to that volume considers further evidence about the character of these lectures.
[12 ]Little direct information is available about the form which they assumed during Smith’s first years at Glasgow. A certain amount can be conjectured, however, from the Anderson Notes. For the full text of these notes, and a commentary establishing their connection with Smith’s lectures, see R. L. Meek, ‘New Light on Adam Smith’s Glasgow Lectures on Jurisprudence’ (History of Political Economy, vol. 8, Winter 1976).
[13 ]Below, p. 5.
[14 ]Below, p. 398. Cf. TMS VII.iv.37.
[15 ]Edwin Cannan (ed.), Lectures on Justice, Police, Revenue and Arms, delivered in the University of Glasgow by Adam Smith (Oxford, 1896).
[16 ]Ibid., xv–xvi.
[17 ]One of the leaves at the beginning of the book looks as if it may have been the original fly–leaf, but a letter has been mounted on it and it is difficult to be sure about this.
[18 ]Cannan, op. cit., xxxv–ix.
[19 ]Ibid., xvii–xviii. W. R. Scott, in an article printed as Appendix V to the 2nd edn. of James Bonar’s Catalogue of the Library of Adam Smith (London, 1932), deduced from the remnants of a book–plate which was formerly pasted inside the front cover that the volume originally belonged to Alexander Murray of Murrayfield—for whom, Scott surmised, the copy was made.
[20 ]Cannan, op. cit., xviii–xix.
[21 ]It is certainly no greater than that found in LJ(A) and in the report of the Rhetoric lectures.
[22 ]Rae, 64.
[23 ]The beginning of LJ(B), which repeats almost verbatim some phrases from the end of TMS, appears to be a highly accurate record.
[24 ]We are assuming that these lectures were all of a piece—i.e. that the original notes of them were all taken down in one and the same session. We have found no evidence which suggests the contrary.
[25 ]Op. cit., xix–xx.
[26 ]Below, p. 432.
[27 ]Below, p. 401.
[28 ]Below, p. 435.
[29 ]Below, p. 324.
[30 ]Above, p. 8. Cf. Scott, 319.
[31 ]Tytler, op. cit., i.272. Not very much is known about Thomas Young. At a Dean of Faculty’s Meeting on 26 June 1762 we find his name heading a list of six students of Divinity which was to be presented to the Barons of Exchequer with a view to the selection of one of them ‘to study Divinity three years upon King Williams mortification from the 10th October next’. At a University Meeting on 24 June 1763 ‘a presentation was given in and read from the Barons of Exchequer in favour of Mr. Thomas Young to study Theology three years commencing at Martinmass last’. The decision to appoint Young to carry on Smith’s Moral Philosophy course was taken at the Faculty Meeting on 9 January 1764 to which reference has already been made in note 6 above. According to the minutes, ‘the Meeting desired Dr. Smiths advice in the choice of a proper person to teach in his absence and he recommended Mr. Thomas Young, student of Divinity who was agreed to’. Young was a candidate for the Moral Philosophy Chair which Smith vacated, and was supported by Black and Millar. Black reported to Smith on 23 January 1764 that ‘T. Young performs admirably well and is much respected by the students’; and Millar, in similar vein, reported to him on 2 February 1764 that Young ‘has taught the class hitherto with great and universal applause; and by all accounts discovers an ease and fluency in speaking, which, I own, I scarce expected’. See Scott, 256–7; also Corr., Letter 79 from Joseph Black, dated 23 Jan. 1764, and Letter 80 from John Millar, dated 2 Feb. 1764. Young did not obtain the Chair (which was given to Thomas Reid), and nothing is known of his later career.
[32 ]John M. Lothian, op. cit., xi–xii.
[33 ]There are a few corrections and collations on the verso pages of vol. i which may possibly be in a second hand, although this is by no means certain. Such cases are rarely if ever to be found in the later volumes.
[34 ]We speak here only of the ‘main text’ of LRBL, rather than of the MS. as a whole, because in this MS. a large number of corrections and collations were in fact made, without any doubt at all, by a second hand.
[35 ]Cf. the description of LJ(A) given above with that of the MS. of LRBL given in the Appendix (by T. I. Rae) to John M. Lothian, op. cit., 195. Another possibly significant similarity is that the average number of pages of MS. devoted to a lecture is almost the same in both cases—roughly 15.5 in LJ(A) and 15.3 in LRBL. The bindings of the two MSS., it is true, do differ in certain respects, but even here the differences are not very significant, and according to the opinion of the Glasgow University binder both of them could quite possibly have come from the same bindery.
[36 ]Our suggestion that the original notes were probably taken down at least partly in shorthand is based mainly on the sheer length of the reports of a large number of the specifically dated lectures. Take, for example, the reports of the lectures delivered on 5, 6, and 7 April 1763 (below, pp. 355–74), which occupy respectively 18, 20, and 16½ pages of the MS. There is little padding in these reports; they contain a great deal of quite intricate detail; and there is every reason to think that they are on the whole reliable and accurate accounts of what Smith actually said. It is difficult to believe that these reports could have been as full and accurate as this if the original notes had been taken down entirely in longhand.
[37 ]Our authority here is once again William Richardson in his Life of Arthur (op. cit., 507–8). The complete statement reads as follows: ‘The professors of Ethics, or Moral Philosophy, in the University of Glasgow, employ two hours every day in instructing their pupils. In the first of these, they deliver lectures; and devote the second, after a proper interval, to regular and stated examinations. Such examinations are reckoned of great utility to those who study, as tending to insure their attention, to ascertain their proficiency, and give the teacher an opportunity of explaining more clearly any part of the lecture which may not have been fully understood. Those who received instruction from Dr. Smith, will recollect, with much satisfaction, many of those incidental and digressive illustrations, and even discussions, not only in morality, but in criticism, which were delivered by him with animated and extemporaneous eloquence, as they were suggested in the course of question and answer. They occurred likewise, with much display of learning and knowledge, in his occasional explanations of those philosophical works of Cicero, which are also a very useful and important subject of examination in the class of Moral Philosophy.’
[38 ]See, for example, the verso notes reproduced on pp. 20–1, 128–9, and 153–4 below.
[39 ]It would appear, however, from a statement made by Thomas Reid (quoted below, p. 14), that it would be unusual for a student to attend the Moral Philosophy lectures, the Rhetoric lectures, and the daily examination session in one and the same academic year. But the writer of LJ(A) may of course have collated his notes with those of another student who did attend the examination session.
[40 ]According to Reid’s account, ‘what is called the curriculum, or ordinary course of public education, comprehends at present five branches—the Latin and Greek languages, Logic, Moral Philosophy, and Natural Philosophy. These branches are understood to require the study of five separate sessions.’ See The Works of Thomas Reid, ed. Sir William Hamilton (Edinburgh, 1846), 732.
[41 ]In other words there were no terminal vacations as there are today. There were, however, holidays on a number of specific days during the session. Cf. David Murray, Memories of the Old College of Glasgow, 461–2.
[42 ]The Works of Thomas Reid, 773–4.
[43 ]Reid describes this as the daily programme ‘excepting on Saturdays, when . . . there is only one lecture given’. Whatever the situation may have been in the 1790s, there is no evidence that Smith ever lectured on a Saturday in 1762–3.
[44 ]The Works of Thomas Reid, 39.
[45 ]Above, p. 12, note 37.
[46 ]The ‘Number of Lecture’ in the first column is the ordinal number actually ascribed to each lecture by the reporter, except in the case of the first and the last lecture where the number is conjectural (this being indicated by enclosing it in square brackets). The ‘Date of Lecture’ in the second column is the date actually ascribed to each lecture by the reporter, with the dates of the first and the last lecture being enclosed in square brackets to indicate their conjectural character. The course is divided up on a week–by–week basis, with a ruled line being inserted under the last lecture given in each particular week.
[55 ]In the letter cited on p. 14 above, which is dated 14 November 1764, Reid says that the course in the ‘different subject’ is due to commence ‘in a week or two’.
[56 ]We do not know for certain that it finished in February. It is at least possible that it went on longer, but that the remaining lectures were not reported in the set of notes which has come down to us.
[57 ]Above, p. 14.
[58 ]William Richardson, op. cit., 514.
[59 ]From October to December Smith will have lectured on Natural Theology and Ethics. Stewart (III.1) tells us that after the publication of TMS Smith dealt with Ethics much more briefly than before.
[60 ]Smith lectured on Rhetoric on Monday, 27 December 1762, so we may reasonably assume that he also lectured on Jurisprudence on that day.
[61 ]Christmas Day and New Year’s Day were also holidays, but in 1762–3 they fell on Saturday, when Moral Philosophy lectures were not given anyway.
[62 ]As before, numbers and dates in square brackets are conjectural; those without square brackets are as given by the reporter.
[75 ]Above, pp. 7–9.
[76 ]Above, p. 8.
[77 ]On the other hand, the close similarity which is quite often to be observed between the actual words used in LJ(B) and in corresponding passages in TMS and WN suggests a degree of accuracy in the original lecture–notes which might be regarded as inconsistent with this hypothesis about the origin of LJ(B)—unless, of course, we assume that Smith (or Young) was dictating at the particular points concerned. Another possibility is that LJ(B) is a copy of a summary (perhaps made for sale) of what was originally a much longer set of notes.
[78 ]Above, p. 13.
[79 ]Cf. R. L. Meek, ‘New Light on Adam Smith’s Glasgow Lectures on Jurisprudence’, 452–3 and 461–2.
[80 ]Cf. R. L. Meek, Social Science and the Ignoble Savage (Cambridge, 1976), 116 ff.
[81 ]Below, pp. 16–17 and 459.
[82 ]Cf. above, p. 28, note 7.
[83 ]p. 29, note 17.
[84 ]Below, p. 456.
[85 ]Below, pp. 85–6. This section also contains, on p. 86, a brief discussion of ‘the separation of trades’ which heralds the later discussion of the division of labour in vol. vi.
[86 ]And also, of course, concerning the whole of the ‘revenue’ and ‘arms’ sections.
[87 ]Above, p. 31, note 40.
[88 ]Below, p. 503.
[89 ]Below, pp. 385–9.
[90 ]Below, p. 341.
[91 ]Cf. R. L. Meek and A. S. Skinner, ‘The Development of Adam Smith’s Ideas on the Division of Labour’ (Economic Journal, vol. 83, Dec. 1973).
[92 ]Below, pp. 381–3.
[93 ]Below, p. 343.
[94 ]Below, p. 357.
[95 ]Below, p. 363.
[96 ]p. 11.
[97 ]For example, it is obvious that no clear logical line can be drawn between overwritings (at any rate those of a more radical kind) and replacements. To note all the overwritings in LJ(A), however, would have been a virtually impossible task: there are literally hundreds of them, many of which are uncertain or illegible and most of which are of little importance. Many of the replacements in LJ(A), on the other hand, are of much greater importance, representing as they do attempts by the reporter to alter his original formulations so as to make them more consonant with what Smith actually said, or to improve the flow of the argument.
[98 ]Square brackets are also used to enclose certain manuscript page numbers, and are sometimes employed in footnotes for other (self–explanatory) purposes. In LJ(B), where the main text is written on both the recto and the verso pages of the MS., braces merely reproduce braces used in the text as a form of brackets.
[99 ]The page containing the incomplete table of contents at the beginning of vol. i has also been left unnumbered.
[100 ]For the conventions relating to the pagination of the notes on the verso pages of LJ(A), see p. 42 below.
[101 ]p. 36, note.
[102 ]Dashes occurring in the middle of a paragraph are normally reproduced in the text; single dashes occurring at what is construed as the end of a paragraph are normally omitted. When several dashes occur at the end of a paragraph, however, they are normally reproduced, since they may indicate a break of some kind (e.g. the end of a lecture).
[d]The last three words replace ‘with’
[103 ]In some cases, however (e.g. where a large part of a page, or a number of pages, has been left blank), a note of this fact is inserted in the text in italics.
[104 ]WN also contains a number of references back to the Anderson Notes, in the version presented in the article referred to above, p. 4, note 12.