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50.: To WILLIAM STRAHAN - 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 WILLIAM STRAHAN1
MS., Goldsmith Libr., University of London, A.L. 709; Bonar, facing xxviii (facsim.); Rae 149–50.
Glasgow, 4 Apr. 1760
I sent up to Mr Millar four or five Posts ago the same additions which I had formerly sent to you, with a good many corrections and improvements which occurred to me since.2 If there are any typographical errors remaining in the last edition which had escaped me, I hope you will correct them. In other respects I could wish it was printed pretty exactly according to the copy which I delivered to you. A man, says the Spanish proverb, had better be a Cuckold and know nothing of the matter, than not be Cuckold and believe himself to be one. And in the same manner, say I, An Author had sometimes better be in the wrong and believe himself in the right; than be in the right and believe or even suspect himself in the wrong. To desire you to read my book over and mark all the corrections you would wish me to make upon a sheet of paper and send it to me, would, I fear, be giving you too much trouble. If, however, you could induce yourself to take this trouble, you would oblige me greatly: I know how much I shall be benefitted and I shall at the same time preserve the pretious right of private judgement for the sake of which our forefathers kicked out the Pope and the Pretender. I believe you to be much more infallible than the Pope, but as I am a Protestant my conscience makes me scruple to submit to any unscriptural authority.
A propos to the Pope and the Pretender, have you read Hooks memoirs?3 I have been ill these ten days, otherwise I should have written to you sooner, but I sat up the day before yesterday in my bed and read them thro’ with infinite satisfaction, tho they are by no means well written. The substance of what is in them I knew before tho not in such detail. I am afraid they are published at an unlucky time, and may throw a damp upon our militia. Nothing, however, appears to me more excusable than the disaffection of Scotland at that time. The Union was a measure from which infinite Good has been derived to this country.4 The Prospect of that good, however, must then have appeared very remote and very uncertain. The immediate effect of it was to hurt the interest of every single order of men in the country. The dignity of the nobility was undone by it. The greater part of the Gentry who had been accustomed to represent their own country in its own Parliament were cut out for ever from all hopes of representing it in a British Parliament. Even the merchants seemed to suffer at first. The trade to the Plantations was, indeed, opened to them. But that was a trade which they knew nothing about: the trade they were acquainted with, that to France, Holland and the Baltic, was laid under new embarressments which almost totally annihilated the two first and most important branches of it. The Clergy too, who were then far from insignificant, were alarmed about the Church. No wonder if at that time all orders of men conspired in cursing a measure so hurtful to their immediate interest. The views of their Posterity are now very different; but those views could be seen by but few of our forefathers, by those few in but a confused and imperfect manner.
It will give me the greatest satisfaction to hear from you. I pray you write to me soon. Remember me to the Franklins.5 I hope I shall have the Grace to write to the youngest by next post to thank him in the name both of the College and of myself for his very agreable present.6 Remember me likewise to Mr Griffiths.7 I am greatly obliged to him for the very handsom Character he gave of my book in his review. I ever am Dear Strahan
Most faithfully, Sincerely yours
[1 ]William Strahan (1715–85) of Little New St., London, printer, publisher, and politician; son of a Writer to the Signet; educ. Edinburgh High School; apprenticed as printer in Edinburgh, then moved to London; entrusted with printing Johnson’s dictionary, 1754; by 1760, he was laying up £1,000 a year after maintaining his family and paying his charges; the authors he published, together with Andrew Millar and later Thomas Cadell, included Hume, Robertson, Gibbon, Johnson, Blackstone, Blair, Beattie, Mackenzie, Macpherson, and Hawkesworth, as well as Smith; M.P., 1774–94. He sent valuable reports of parliamentary debates to Ralph Allen (Fielding’s ‘Allworthy’), Hume, and David Hall in Philadelphia.
[2 ]See Letter 40 addressed to Gilbert Elliot, dated 10 Oct. 1759, and its enclosure, for some of the improvements to TMS; also, see Letter 54 addressed to William Strahan, dated 30 Dec. 1760, for a list of errata. The intro. to Glasgow TMS presents details of alterations in ed. 2.
[3 ]Nathaniel Hooke, The Secret History of Colonel Hooke’s Negotiations in Scotland, in Favour of the Pretender; in 1707 (London, 1760). GUL copy has Smith’s bookplate and a pencilled note from this letter.
[4 ]See WN I.xi.m.13 and I.xi.b.8 for discussions of the economic effects of the Union, e.g. the fall in the price of wool and the rise in that of cattle; also, V.iii.89 for analysis of political effects.
[5 ]Benjamin Franklin (1706–90), American printer, man of letters, scientist, and statesman; intimate friend of Strahan; had visited Glasgow in the autumn of 1759 with his son William (1731–1813), who was the last royal Governor of New Jersey. The elder Franklin was interested in economics and wrote on that subject. Together with Smith, he was a believer in the value of high wages as a spur to productivity, not then a common view (see J. A. Schumpeter, History of Economic Analysis, New York, 1954).
[6 ]Not traced.
[7 ]Ralph Griffiths (1720–1803), founder (1749), owner, and publisher (with Strahan) of the Monthly Review. The notice of TMS appeared anonymously in Vol. xxi (July, 1759), 1–18, but it is marked ‘R’ in Griffiths’s own run of the periodical, now in the Bodleian, indicating that TMS was reviewed by William Rose. See Benjamin C. Nangle, The Monthly Review, First Series, 1749–1789, Indexes of Contributors and Articles (Oxford, 1934), 199.