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30.: To LORD SHELBURNE - 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 LORD SHELBURNE
MS., Bowood Libr., Marquess of Lansdowne; Scott 243–5.
Glasgow College, 4 Apr. 1759.
I did myselfe the honour to write to your Lordship some time ago and promised to write more distinctly by next post. It was not in my Power to keep my word. A slight indisposition which has hung about me ever since, joined to a multiplicity of business which several accidents have conspired to bring upon me, have kept me either so exhausted or so hurried that till this moment I have not had one hour in which I had both leisure and spirits to sit down to write to your Lordship.
I have nothing to add to what I said to your Lordship in my Last letter concerning Mr Fitzmaurices behaviour here. It has hitherto been altogether unexceptionable.
With regard to the Plan which I would propose for his education while he continues here; he will finish his Philosophical studies next winter; and as My Lord Fitzmaurice1 seemed to propose that he should stay here another year after that, I would propose that it should be employed in perfecting himselfe in Philosophy and the Languages, but chiefly and principally in the Study of Law and history. In that year I would advise him to attend the Lectures of the Professor of Civil Law:2 for tho’ the civil law has no authority in the English courts, the study of it is an admirable preparation for the Study of the English Law. The civil Law is digested into a more regular System than the English Law has yet been, and tho’ the Principles of the former are in many respects different from those of the latter, yet there are many principles common to both, and one who has studied the civil law at least knows what a System of law is, what parts it consist of, and how these ought to be arranged: so that when he afterwards comes to study the law of any other country which is not so well digested, he carries at least the Idea of a System in his head and knows to what part of it he ought to refer every thing that he reads. While he attends the lectures of the Proffessor of Civil Law, I shall read with him myselfe an institute of the feudal law, which is the foundation of the present laws and Government of all European Nations.3
In order to have him immediately under my own eye I have hurried him a little in his Philosophical studies. I have made him pass the logic class, which ought regularly to have been his first study, and brought him at once into my own, the moral Philosophy. He attends however the lectures of the Proffessor of Logic4 one hour a day. This, with two hours that he attends upon my Lectures, with one hour which he gives to the Professor of Mathematics,5 one hour to the Proffessor of Greek6 and another to that of Latin,7 makes his hours which he attends every day except Saturday and Sunday to be six in all. He has never yet missed a single hour, and in the evening and the morning goes over very regularly with me the business of those different classes. I chuse rather to oppress him with business for this first winter: It keeps him constantly employed and leaves no time for Idleness. The oppression too is not so great as it may seem. The Study of Greek and latin is not at all new to him: Logic requires little attention so that moral philosophy and mathematicks are the only studies which take up much of his time. The great vigour both of mind and body with which he seems to be peculiarly blessed makes every thing easy to him. We have one holiday in the month which he has hitherto constantly chosen of his own accord to employ rather in learning something which he had missed by being too late in coming to the College, than in diversion.
The College breaks up in the beginning of June and does not sit down again till the beginning of October. During this interval I propose that he should learn french and Dancing and fencing and that besides he should read with me the best greek, latin and french Authors on Moral Philosophy for two or three hours every morning, so that he will not be idle in the vacation. The Proffessor of Mathematics too proposes to teach him Euclid at that time as he was too late to learn it in the Class. That Gentleman, who is now turned seventy but preserves all the gaiety and vigour of youth, takes more pains upon Mr Fitzmaurice than I ever knew him to do upon any Person, and generally gives him a private lecture twice or thrice a week. This is purely the effect of personal liking, for no other consideration is capable of making Mr Simson give up his ease.
I make Mr Fitzmaurice pay all his own accounts after he has summed and examin’d them along with me. He gives me a receipt for whatever money he receives: in the receipt he marks the purpose for which it is to be applyed and preserves the account as his voucher, marking upon the back of it the day when it was payed. These shall all be transmitted to your Lordship when there is occasion: But as My Lord Fitzmaurice left fifty Pounds here I shall have no occasion to make any demand for some time.
Your Lordship may depend upon the most religious complyance with whatever commands you shall please to lay upon me with regard to the conduct or Education of Mr Fitzmaurice.
I have been lately made to flatter myselfe with the Pleasure and Honour of seeing your Lordship in Scotland this summer. It would give the greatest satisfaction both to Mr Fitzmaurice and me. Your Lordship would then see with your own eyes in what manner he was employed and could judge better how far it was necessary either to increase or diminish the quantity of work which is now imposed upon him.
We are no Strangers in this country to the very noble and generous work which your Lordship has been employed in in Ireland. We have in Scotland some noblemen whose estates extend from the east to the west sea, who call themselves improvers, and are called so by their countrymen, when they cultivate two or three hundred acres round their own family seat while they allow all the rest of their country to lie waste, almost uninhabited and entirely unimproved, not worth a shilling the hundred acres, without thinking themselves answerable to God, their country and their Posterity for so shameful as well as so foolish a neglect. Your Lordship, I hear, is not of that opinion, and tho’ you are not negligent either of the elegance or magnificence of your country Villas, you do not think that any attention of that kind dispenses with the more noble and important duty of attempting to introduce arts, industry and independency into a miserable country, which has hitherto been a stranger to them all. Nothing, I have often imagined, would give more pleasure to Sir William Petty,8 your Lordship’s ever honoured ancestor, than to see his representative pursuing a Plan so suitable to his own Ideas which are generally equally wise and public spirited.
Believe me to be with the greatest respect
My Lord Your Lordships most Obliged and most obedient Humble Servant,
[1 ]Later 2nd Earl of Shelburne.
[2 ]Hercules Lindesay.
[3 ]See LJ for elaboration of Smith’s ideas on law. Possibly the ‘institute on feudal law’ was Sir Thomas Craig’s Jus Feudale, 1603, which was used in the Dutch Universities as an authoritative legal source.
[4 ]James Clow.
[5 ]Robert Simson.
[6 ]James Moor.
[7 ]George Muirhead.
[8 ]Sir William Petty (1623–87), political economist and founder of ‘political arithmetic’ (statistics); friend of Hobbes; Professor of Anatomy, Oxford, 1651; carried out for the Commonwealth the ‘Down Survey,’ the first systematic survey of Ireland; superintended redistribution of lands in Ireland; knighted and made F.R.S., 1662; his economic treatises, published 1662–90, rejected the mercantilist identification of wealth and money, holding that wealth resided in labour and land. While he refers here to Petty in a respectful way, Smith was sceptical about ‘political arithmetic’ and wrote in WN he had ‘no great faith in [it]’ (IV.v.6.30); see, also, Letter 249 addressed to George Chalmers, dated 10 Nov. 1785.