Front Page Titles (by Subject) 43.: To LORD SHELBURNE - Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence Vol. 6 Correspondence of Adam Smith
Return to Title Page for Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence Vol. 6 Correspondence of Adam Smith
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
Also in the Library:
43.: 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).
About Liberty Fund:
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.
©Oxford University Press 1976. All rights reserved. No part of this material may be stored transmitted retransmitted lent or reproduced in any form or medium without the permission of Oxford University Press.
Fair use statement:
To LORD SHELBURNE
MS., Bowood Libr., Marquess of Lansdowne; Scott 251–2
Glasgow, 3 Dec. 1759
I received by this Post the honour of your Lordships Letter of the 17th November, with the two draughts enclosed. Your Lordship has remitted the money in the manner that is most advantageous to me. As the ballance of Exchange is almost always against Glasgow and in favour of London, all London bills commonly sell above Par, and I this day received ½ per cent advanced price for the two draughts you sent me. I should abuse your Lordships Generosity very grossly if I took advantage of what you are so good as to put into my Power or did not declare that I think the sum you have remitted me full compensation for all the trouble I have been at with Mr Fitzmaurice. That trouble, indeed, is very Little. I have never known anybody more easily governed, or who more readily adopted any advice when the propriety of it is fairly explained to him. Since he came here, he has been, perhaps, the most regular student in the whole University. I shall give your Lordship but one instance of it. We have a meeting of the whole University every Saturday morning for discipline; the whole business of this meeting is to enquire into the delinquencies of the former week and to punish them with some small fine. A very strict attendance upon this meeting is not insisted on and the most regular commonly think they do enough if they attend once in three times. Mr Fitzmaurice never missed this meeting till Saturday last when he happened to oversleep himself and as I did not go out myself that day, I did not think it worth while to set him up. This absence was so remarkable that I had messages that forenoon, from, I believe, half the University to enquire if he was well. I cannot give your Lordship a stronger instance how much he takes it a point of honour to observe the most frivolous parts of his duty as a student with exact regularity. He gives very good application and has a very great ambition to distinguish himself as a man of Learning. He seems to have a particular turn for and delight in Mechanics1 and Mathematics which make the principal part of his business this year continuing, however, all his last year’s studies except Logic. What he is most defective in is Grammar, especially english Grammar, in which he is apt some times to blunder to a degree that I am some times at a loss to account for. This, however, I expect will soon be mended.
Your Lordship will receive along with this letter two covers containing four sheets of Anecdotes relating to the King of Prussia.2 My Lord Fitzmaurice received them from a friend of his in Germany. He sent them to one Mr Boyle at London, I suppose my Lord Orrerys Son,3 in order to be sent to me whom he desired to transmit them to your Lordship that when you had read them, you might burn them, for he was not at liberty to give a copy; These were his Lordships words. I received them about three weeks ago and have read them over and over with great pleasure. They will, I dare to say, give your Lordship the same satisfaction. Mr Boyle desired me to return them to him. I chose, however, to obey My Lord Fitzmaurice, The channel, besides, by which Mr Boyle proposed they should be returned did not appear to me to be perfectly secure, and he did not favour me with his direction. I would, however beg of [your] Lordship not to burn them, till I can clear up this with Mr Boyle, that if My Lord Fitzmaurice intended them to be seen by any fourth person his intention may yet be fulfilled. I ever am
Your Lordships Most Obliged and most Obedient humble Servant
[1 ]Of the period when Thomas Fitzmaurice was a bleacher of linen, a contemporary wrote: ‘The buildings which he has erected, and the machines and apparatus which he has placed in them are really astonishing’ (20 July 1785: HP i. 430).
[2 ]Frederick the Great.
[3 ]Edmund Boyle (1742–89), 3rd son of John Boyle (1707–62), 5th Earl of Cork and 5th Earl of Orrery, friend of Swift, Pope, and Johnson. Edmund became the 7th Earl of Orrery.