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Preface - Adam Smith, Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence Vol. 4 Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres 
Lectures On Rhetoric and Belles Lettres, ed. J. C. Bryce, vol. IV of the Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence of Adam Smith (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1985).
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The Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence of Adam Smith and the associated volumes are published in hardcover by Oxford University Press. The six titles of the Glasgow Edition, but not the associated volumes, are being published in softcover by Liberty Fund. The online edition is published by Liberty Fund under license from Oxford University Press.
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This volume, consisting of a version of Adam Smith’s first work, may in a double sense claim as its ‘onlie begetter’ John Maule Lothian (1896–1970), himself a son of the University of Glasgow, M.A. 1920; he discovered the manuscript, and the careful scholarship with which he edited it has enormously eased the labours of anyone who now studies it. Both publicly and privately he acknowledged the help he had received over the classical references from Professor W. S. Watt of the Chair of Humanity in the University of Aberdeen, and as Professor Watt’s beneficiary at one remove I wish to add my own thanks. My longest–standing debt in this field is to that great scholar who taught so many to take seriously the literary criticism of the eighteenth century, David Nichol Smith; and he delighted to recall his own beginnings as an academic teacher in Adam Smith’s University. Gaps and errors are of course my own. ‘What is obvious is not always known, and what is known is not always to hand’. Johnson’s wry comment must haunt the mind of anyone who tries to annotate a text as densely allusive as the present one.
The contribution of Professor Andrew Skinner to this book far exceeds what even the most generous General Editor might be expected to make. That the materials ever reached printable shape, or after arduous and complex proof–reading became presentable, is due entirely to his determined energy and wisdom. My personal as distinct from my editorial debt to him is for all he has taught me in conversation and by his writings about the central role of the Rhetoric in Adam Smith’s work as a whole. To the secretaries of the Glasgow Political Economy Department, especially Miss Chrissie MacSwan and Mrs Jo Finlayson, I am very grateful for the skill and patience with which they typed extremely awkward copy. I have enjoyed the counsels of Mr Jack Baldwin of Glasgow University Library’s Special Collections; of Professors D. D. Raphael and M. L. Samuels; and of Mr J. K. Cordy of the Oxford University Press, who in addition has shown apparently inexhaustible patience. I am also grateful to Mary Robertson for her invaluable assistance in compiling the index.
Key to Abbreviations and References
WORKS OF ADAM SMITH
Note: symbols used in the textual apparatus are explained on pp. 7 and 27.