Front Page Titles (by Subject) 207.: To [WILLIAM STRAHAN] - Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence Vol. 6 Correspondence of Adam Smith
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207.: 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 STRAHAN]
MS., Boston Public Libr., Virginia and Richard Ehrlich Autograph Coll.; Rae 357–8.
Canongate, Edinburgh, 26 Oct. 1780
I think it is predestined that I shall never write a letter to you; except to ask some favour of you, or to put you to some trouble. This letter is not to depart from the style of all the rest. I am a subscriber for Watts copying machine.1 The price is six Guineas for the machine and five Shillings for the packing box; I should be glad too [if] he would send me a ream of the copying Paper, together with all the other specimens of Ink etc. which commonly accompany the Machine. For payment of this to Mr Woodmason, the seller, whose printed letter I have enclosed, you will herewith receive a bill of eight Guineas payable at sight. If after paying for all this there should be any remnant, there is a taylour in Craven Street, one Heddington, an acquaintance of James McPherson to whom I owe some shillings, I believe under ten, certainly under twenty, pay him what I owe. He is a very honest man and will ask no more than is due. Before I left London I had sent several times for his account, but he always put it off.
I had almost forgot I was the Author of the enquiry concerning the Wealth of Nations; but some time ago I received a letter from a friend in Denmark telling me that it had been translated into Danish by one Mr Dreby, Secretary to a new erected board of trade and Oeconomy in that Kingdom.2 My correspondent, Mr Holt, who is an assessor of that Board, desires in the name of Mr Dreby, to know what alterations I propose to make in a second Edition. The shortest answer to this is to send them the second Edition. I propose, therefore, by this Post to desire Mr Cadell to send three copies of the second edition, handsomely bound and gilt, to Mr Anker, Consul General of Denmark, who is an old acquaintance, one for himself, and the other two to be by him transmitted to Mr Holt, and Mr Dreby. At our final settlement I shall debit myself with these three Books. I suspect I am now almost your only customer for my own book. Let me know however how matters go on in this respect.
After begging your pardon a thousand times for having so long neglected to write to you, I shall conclude with assuring you that notwithstanding this neglect, I have the highest respect, and esteem for you and for your whole family and that I am
Most Sincerely and affectionately ever yours
[1 ]One of the remarkable inventions of James Watt (1736–1819), a device as universally employed as his more familiar mechanical productions. Patented 14 Feb. 1780, the duplicator employed a specially prepared ink impressed on a damp sheet of paper to produce a facsimile. Smith had known Watt since 1757, when the latter was appointed mathematical instrument–maker to Glasgow University. It was in his workshop there that Watt repaired the Newcomen steam engine in 1764, leading to his own discoveries in that field of technology.
[2 ]See Letter 206 to Cadell, dated 25 Oct. 1780; also Letter 208 to Holt and Letter 209 to Anker, both dated 26 Oct. 1780.