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10.: To WILLIAN CULLEN - Adam Smith, Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence Vol. 6 Correspondence of Adam Smith 
Correspondence of Adam Smith, ed. E. C. Mossner and I. S. Ross, vol. VI of the Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence of Adam Smith (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1987).
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To WILLIAN CULLEN
Thomson, Life of Cullen i. 606; Rae 45–6.
Edinburgh, Tuesday, Nov. 1751
I did not write to you on Saturday, as I promised, because I was every moment expecting Mr. Home to town.1 He is not, however, yet come.
I should prefer David Hume to any man for a colleague; but I am afraid the public would not be of my opinion; and the interest of the society will oblige us to have some regard to the opinion of the public.2 If the event, however, we are afraid of should happen, we can see how the public receives it. From the particular knowledge I have of Mr. Elliot’s3 sentiments, I am pretty certain Mr. Lindsay must have proposed it to him, not he to Lindsay.4 I am for ever obliged to you for your concern for my interest in that affair.
When I saw you at Edinburgh, you talked to me of the Principal’s proposing to retire.5 I gave little attention to it at that time but, upon further consideration, should be glad to listen to any proposal of that kind. The reasons of my changing my opinion I shall tell you at meeting. I need not recommend secrecy to you upon this head. Be so good as to thank the Principal in my name for his kindness in mentioning me to the Duke [of Argyll].6 I waited on him at his levee at Edinburgh, where I was introduced to him by Mr. Lind;7 but it seems he had forgot.
I can tell you nothing particular about your own affair, more than what I wrote you last, till I see Mr. Home, whom I expect every moment.8 I am, most dear Sir, ever yours,
[1 ]Henry Home of Kames (1696–1782) lawyer, man of letters, and promoter of economic development; advocate 1723; Lord of Session (civil judge) 1752; Lord Commissioner of Justiciary (criminal judge) 1763; his chief works were Historical Law–Tracts (1758), Principles of Equity (1760), Elements of Criticism (1762), Sketches of the History of Man (1774), and The Gentleman Farmer (1776).
[2 ]David Hume (1711–76) philosopher and historian. In 1744–5 he was an unsuccessful candidate for the Chair of Moral Philosophy at Edinburgh. He also failed to get Smith’s vacant Chair of Logic at Glasgow. As Smith intimates, the Senate was alarmed at the thought of Hume becoming a professor because of the views attributed to him on religion.
[3 ]Gilbert Elliot (1722–77) of Minto, 3rd Bt.; educ. Edinburgh and Leyden; advocate 1743; M.P. 1748–77; Lord of Admiralty 1754–61; Lord of Treasury 1761–70; Privy Councillor 1762; Keeper of the Signet 1766–d. One of Hume’s closest friends.
[4 ]Hercules Lindesay (d. 1761), promoted LL.D. 1746 at Glasgow after teaching law there for several years; appointed Professor of Civil Law 1750. Possibly Lindesay prevailed on Elliot to get Hume to apply for Smith’s Chair, somewhat against Hume’s judgement.
[5 ]Neil Campbell (d. 1761), Minister of Renfrew, admitted to the office of Principal of Glasgow University 1728; taught Divinity. In 1752 he became paralysed and was unable thereafter to take part in University business.
[6 ]Archibald Campbell, 3rd Duke of Argyll (1682–1761).
[7 ]Alexander Lind of Gorgie (f. 1756), advocate, Board of Police, Commissary of Glasgow, Sheriff of Midlothian; amateur chemist and member of the Philosophical Soc. from 1737; associated with Argyll in Glasgow Delft Works; fa. of Dr James Lind.
[8 ]Henry Home wanted Cullen to move to Edinburgh, and helped to arrange rewards for his experimental work with processes of bleaching and purifying salt.