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139.: From ADAM FERGUSON - 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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From ADAM FERGUSON
Edinburgh, 23 Jan. 1774
My Dear Friend
It has given me great pleasure that you have avoided doing anything that might tend to urge Lord Stanhope farther than he has already gone in the proposal respecting Lord Chesterfield.1 If I had known the part he took in that business, I should certainly at first have either frankly accepted of the offer made me, or declined it in a way that could not imply an intention to raise the terms. This is certainly the only alternative that is now left me. I have revolved the subject all night and this morning, and the possibility of my becoming a burden on Lord Stanhope’s family weighs much, but the odds on Lord Chesterfield’s life is so great as very much to reduce that consideration. My place here, a few years ago, was worth about £300 a–year, but this and the preceding year it has fallen considerably short; and while the present alarm of the scarcity of money, and the expense of education at Edinburgh, continues, it may not rise again to its former value. To this I must add, that in case of debility or old age, I shall probably be reduced to my salary, which is no more than £100 a–year. For these reasons I think that I can fully justify myself to my family in accepting of £200 a–year certain, with the privilege of choosing my place and my occupations; and if my Lord Chesterfield’s guardians should be of opinion that he ought, when he comes of age, not only to relieve my Lord Stanhope of his engagement, but likewise, in case I shall have acquitted myself faithfully and properly, to make some such addition to my annuity as I mentioned, I shall then likewise think that I can justify my conduct to the world, who rate men commonly as they do horses, by the price that is put upon them.2 But of this I would not have the least hint to my Lord Chesterfield at present. I have so far proceeded without consulting anybody, and have formed an opinion subject to correction. I mean to read your letters, and this I am writing to one or two of my friends. If they approve, it shall go to you; and if you agree with me, be so good as intimate my resolution to the guardians of my Lord Chesterfield; or, if you have any objections of moment, delay it till I shall have heard from you. My own present feeling is, that I should be to blame if I omitted putting myself and family under the protection of persons so worthy and so respectable, when I have an opportunity of doing it without any real hazard to my interest. But I shall not enter on this subject, my heart, indeed, being too full, especially with respect to Lord Stanhope. I am etc.
[1 ]See previous Letter.
[2 ]Ferguson gave up teaching Moral Philosophy and acted as travelling tutor to Chesterfield at a salary of £400. He was promised a pension of £200 for life. The Edinburgh Town Council dismissed him from his professorship in 1774, then reinstated him two years later as a result of legal action.