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215.: From HENRY MACKENZIE - 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 HENRY MACKENZIE
MS., GUL Gen. 1035/162; Scott 284–5.
Edinburgh, 7 June 1782
The inclosed Letter1 will serve as my Apology, and explain the Reason, for my troubling you once more with a Letter. It happens whimsically enough, that it should be on a similar Subject with my last.2 This second Application I could not well avoid, without giving some Offence to a Man2 whose Genius, as well as the Warmth and Goodness of his Heart, I respect, and who being of the ‘Genus irritabile vatum’3 is I am afraid, somewhat easily offended.
He left his Runnamede two Days with me; I gave it such a Perusal as the Leisure of those two Days would allow, sufficient to judge of it’s general Effect on my Feelings, but by no means equal to the forming any critical opinion upon it. I offerd however to the Author, when he called again for his Tragedy, some Observations I had made on the leading Incidents of the Piece, some of which I thought faulty; on the other hand I gave the Commendation I thought they merited to certain Passages, and added in general that if it were now to be brought on the Stage, the Spirit of Liberty it breath’d might catch an Audience, and that some of the Declamation of it, which, critically speaking, I might find fault with, was such as I had seen procure loud Applause in an English Theatre. These were the Observations which produced the inclosed Letter from Mr Logan, which I take the Liberty of sending to you, to save a long Narrative which would be awkward to me, and possibly not very intelligible to you. My Opinion of it (which Mr Logan does me the honor of supposing might have some Influence with you) is nearly as above, allowing for that Delicacy which the ‘sturdiest Moralist’4 must temper his Truth with, in speaking to an Author of his Works.
I hope your former Indisposition has been long quite removed, and that you have escaped the Influenza, which has raged in London and now begins to rage here. About 240 of the S. [Southern] Fencibles are down with it.5 Our weather, however, is now milder, and I hope may blunt it’s Effects with us.
I am Dear Sir, With the greatest Regard, Your most obedient Servant
[1 ]MS GUL Gen. 1035/163; Scott 285–6.
[2 ]Not traced.
[2 ]John Logan (1748–88), poet, pamphleteer, and historical writer. He was educated for the ministry of the Church of Scotland and during his college days was a friend of a young poet, Michael Bruce (1746–67). Logan edited and published Bruce’s poems in 1770, and eleven years later published his own poems, but was accused by Bruce’s relatives of having issued as his own work poems by Bruce. The accusation was directed chiefly at an ode, ‘To the Cuckoo’, which excited contemporary interest. From 1779 to 1781, Logan gave lectures on history at Edinburgh, and he published an analysis of these: Elements of the Philosophy of History (1783). A tragedy, Runnamede, containing advanced political views, was produced at Edinburgh in 1783. His metrical paraphrases found much acceptance in Scotland (and still do), but he was driven from his charge at Leith as a result of scandalous allegations about his publishing ventures, and thereafter he went to London. Undoubtedly able, Logan could not resist finessing about his publishing ventures: see Letter 273 addressed to Smith, dated 20 Aug. 1787.
[3 ]Horace, Epistles, ii. 2, l. 102.
[4 ]An echo from Johnson’s gibe at the Scottish reception of the Ossian fabrications of James Macpherson: ‘A Scotchman must be a very sturdy moralist, who does not love Scotland better than the truth’ (A Journey to the Western Islands, 1775).
[5 ]In London on 29 May, Gibbon described the ‘present influenza’ as a ‘plague’ (Letters, ii. 296), and under 2 June the Gentleman’s Magazine noted its ravages among sailors at naval stations (LII, 1782, p. 306).