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97.: To LADY FRANCES SCOTT - 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 LADY FRANCES SCOTT1
MS., SRO GD1/479/14; unpubl.
Paris, Wednesday 11 o’clock at night, 15 Oct. 1766
I resume the very melancholy History of Mr Scott’s illness from where I left it off in my last letter.2
On Monday morning Dr Gem3 observed some degree of fever in Mr Scott’s pulse which he had thought entirely free of it for some days before. Mr Quenay observed the same thing. His vomitings, however, and Purgings continued with great violence all day, notwithstanding a dose of ipp[eca]cuana which they had given him in the morning. His fever seemed to go off almost entirely in the evening, and they gave him, what they had given for two days before, a very gentle opiat to quiet his stomach and to give him a little rest in the night time. Yesterday morning Dr Gem imagined he felt more quickness in his pulse than he had ever done before; this, however, soon subsided and his pulse returned to a degree of frequency that was not much beyond its natural state. He was all day much freer from vomitings than he had been for some days before, and his purgings seemed to be no greater than what might be expected from fifteen grains of Rhubarb which they had given him the night before and that morning: from one to about three o’clock afternoon I thought I observed some alterations in his speech, and an extraordinary hurry and confusion in his Ideas. This disagreeable symptom, however, soon went off, so as to have me uncertain whether I had not fancy’d it from my own apprehensions; His pulse continuing all the while, tho’ a little feverish, extremely gentle and moderate. In the evening he appeared easier than he had been for some days before: They gave him no opiat that night and he Passed it very easily notwithstanding. This morning he ordered himself to be taken out of bed at eight o’clock and sit up to Eleven. He was entirely free from sickness and vomiting; his pulse had very little quickness; and his purging was no greater than what was to be expected from the fifteen grains of Rhubarb he had taken this morning and the night before. The Physicians were both much pleased with his situation and imagined that all the violence of his disorder was over. Quenay said that he had been at a loss before but he now knew what to do. I thought I might venture to go to my Bankers to get some money which, tho I had much occasion for it, I had put off doing for eight days before in order not to leave him. Dr Gem undertook to sit by him till I should return. I stayed out about an hour happy to imagine that all my anxiety was likely to be at an end. Upon my return I found him quite delirious, and that too with no very violent fever. I immediately sent for Quenai who ordered him instantly to be blooded. The delirium diminished upon bleeding: he fell into a sleep and into a sweat; his pulse rose; and in about two hours after he bled very copiously at the nose. Tho’ he speaks distinctly sometimes, the delirium is not yet, however, entirely gone of. All his other symptoms, however, are abated: His stomach is quite easy; he has no complaint in his bowls; he complains of no pain anywhere, not even of a headach. This terrible symptom only remains. I have already wrote twice to the Duke to return; in a way, however, that will not alarm him. I have sent an express to him this afternoon besides. Tho’ I have entire confidence in the skill of the Physicians that have hitherto attended him, notwithstanding they have been mistaken in their predictions, I have thought proper to call in Tronchin,4 who will attend him for the future along with them. He is my particular and intimate friend, Quênai is one of the worthiest men in France and one of the best Physicians that is to be met with in any country. He was not only the Physician but the friend and confident of Madame Pompadour a woman who was no contemptible Judge of merit. Gem is a man of the most perfect probity and friendship. Since the beginning of Mr Scotts illness he has seldom been less than twelve hours a day by his bedside and has all along acted the part of a Nurse as well as of a Physician. Tho’ the event has not hitherto answered their expectations I am convinced, they have both acted a very prudent and proper part. They both have still good hopes. Your humanity will excuse the confusion of this letter. The very sound of Mr Scotts voice, when I hear it from the next room, makes me almost as delirious as he is. I dare not desire you to say anything from me to Lady Dalkeith at present: I pray God to preserve and to prepare her for whatever may be the event of this terrible disorder. I ever am
Mr Scott has had a very good night. He has raved at intervals, but in general had been very quiet and distinct and has slept for a good deal. Dr Gem finds his Pulse not very quick and rather weak than strong. Thursday 7 o’clock in the morning.
[1 ]Younger sister of Duke of Buccleuch, b. (posthumous) 26 July 1750; md. Archibald, Lord Douglas, 13 May 1783; d. 31 Mar. 1817. This letter and the following one reveal that her brother, the Hon. Hew Campbell Scott, died of illness and was not ‘assassinated on the streets of Paris’ as was claimed in The New Statistical Account of Scotland (Edinburgh, 1845), i. 490, by Dr. Peter Steele, ‘lately rector of Dalkeith Grammar School’.
[2 ]Not traced.
[3 ]Dr. Richard Gem (? 1716–1800), educ. at Cambridge, settled in Paris; physician to the British Embassy there, 1762; he was steeped in French philosophy and in 1765–6 was often to be found dining at the Baron d’Holbach’s house in the Rue Royale, in the company of Diderot and Helvétius; later in life Franklin and Jefferson were his intimate friends, and he supervised the education of the statesman William Huskisson.
[4 ]Théodore Tronchin (1709–81), Genevan physician and contributor to the Encyclopédie: his early education was supervised by Bolingbroke and continued under Hermann Boerhaave at Leyden. He was principal physician to the house of Orleans and attended Voltaire. In 1761 he sent his son to Glasgow to be educated by Smith. His friendship with Smith would be strengthened by latter’s residence in Geneva, Oct.–Dec. 1766.