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231.: 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]
Extracts in Goodspeed (18 Beacon Street, Boston), Catalogue No. 526, item 315; letter sold 22 Oct. 1963, Parke–Bernet Galleries: American Book–Prices Current (1964), 870.
Custom–house, Edinburgh, 6 Oct. 1783
The alterations and additions which I propose to make to my new Edition of the Wealth of Nations are now either finished compleatly [or soon will be] . . . I still . . . wait for the Accounts which our good friend Sir Grey Cooper was so kind as to promise me1 soon after the late political revolution.2 . . . It is possible some fees may be due to the Clerks who copied the Accounts. . . .
I intended to have asked a four months leave of absence . . . in order to have attended the reprinting of my Book. But a Welch Nephew of mine tells me that unless I advance him two hundred pounds he must sell his commission in the army. This robs me of the money with which I intended to defray the expence of my expedition.3 . . .
I wrote to Mr Cadell . . . recommending to his attention (for I never pretend to recommend to anything else) a theory and History of Music by the revd. Mr Robertson Minister of Dalmeny.4 I read the theory (not the History) and was much instructed. [Smith also recommends publication of the sermons of the Revd. Mr. Samuel Charteris5 ]. . . .
It would give me the greatest pleasure to believe that the present Administration rests on a solid Basis.6 It comprehends the worthiest and ablest men in the nation, the heads of the two great Aristocracies, whose disunion had weakened the . . . Government so much as at last to occasion the dismemberment of the empire. Their coalition, instead of being unpopular, was most devoutly to be wished for. . . . I trust that the usual folly and impertinence of next winters opposition will more effectually reconcile the King to his new ministers, than . . . any address of theirs has yet been able to do. . . .
[1 ]See Letter 227, n. 2; also, Letters 222, 223, 228, and 232.
[2 ]The fall of Shelburne in Feb. 1783.
[3 ]The nephew has not been traced, but the details of the story agree with what is known about Smith’s charitable activities as reported to Dugald Stewart by ‘a near relation of [Smith’s] and one of his most confidential friends, Miss Ross, daughter of the late Patrick Ross, Esq., of Innernethy’ (Rae 437).
[4 ]Thomas Robertson (d. 1799), Minister of Dalmeny 1775–99; published a History of Music (1784) and a History of Mary Queen of Scots (1793); see Letter 237 addressed to William Strahan, dated 10 June 1784.
[5 ]Samuel Charters (1742–1825) educ. Glasgow Univ. where he was a pupil of Smith, whose Moral Philosophy chair he is said to have declined; minister of Wilton, Hawick, from 1771/2, on patronage of 3rd Duke of Buccleuch; friend of Revd. Thomas Somerville (My Own Life and Times, 1741–1814, Edinburgh, 1861, pp. 50, 166–7, 227) and like him a member of Hugh Blair’s circle; his Sermons were published at Edinburgh in 1786 (other edtns. Hawick, 1807, 1809, 1816); he also published an Essay on Bashfulness (Hawick, 1815).
[6 ]The Fox–North coalition came to power in April 1783 and survived until December of the same year, when Pitt took over as First Lord of the Treasury with the backing of the King.