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254.: To FRASER TYTLER - 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 FRASER TYTLER1
MS., NLS Acc. 3639, fol. 19; RSE Transactions viii (1818), 538,
[Edinburgh,] 4 Feb. 1786
I have read over your Paper2 with the greatest pleasure. The composition is, what it ought to be, simple, elegant and perfectly perspicuous, and will be a very great ornament to our memoirs. Some of my Chymical friends, however, are of opinion that the degree of Vitrification, which takes place in the specimens of those forts, is too great to be the effect of any accidental fire such as you suppose, and could be produced only by a great accumulation of wood heaped upon the wall after it was built. This is a subject of which I am totally ignorant. You had convinced me who fancied that this imperfect vitrification was more likely to be the effect of accident than of knowledge. The friends I mean are Dr Black and Dr Hutton,3 who, in every other respect, entertain the same high opinion of your composition that [I]4 do. You had better c[onsult] with them, or they may convince you; and even tho neither of these two events should happen, the offense, I apprehend, will not be great either to them or to you. I have the honour to be, with the greatest respect and esteem, Dear Sir
Your most humble Servant
[1 ]Alexander Fraser Tytler (1747–1813), lawyer and historian; educ. Edinburgh; advocate 1770; protégé of Lord Kames, whose Dictionary of Decisions he continued (1778, 1797); Professor of Universal History at Edinburgh 1780—published his lectures, Elements of General History (1801); Judge–Advocate for North Britain 1790; Court of Session Judge, as Lord Woodhouselee 1802, and Lord Commissioner of Justiciary 1811; notable works: Essay on the Principles of Translation (1791) and Memoirs of . . . Henry Home of Kames (1807, 1814).
[2 ]Read to RSE in 1789: Transactions viii (1818) 537; Smith was one of the presidents of the RSE literary class. Tytler was one of the secretaries of RSE by 1788 (Rae 377).
[3 ]Dr. Joseph Black, Smith’s co–executor with Dr. James Hutton (1726–97), geologist, educ. Edinburgh, Paris, and Leyden (M.D. 1749). Hutton’s Theory of the Earth (1795) established uniformitarianism in geology, and the modern theory of the formation of the earth’s crust.
[4 ]MS. damaged.