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THE CORRESPONDENCE OF THOMAS REID

THE EDINBURGH EDITION OF THOMAS REID General Editor Knud Haakonssen 1 Thomas Reid on the Animate Creation: Papers Relating to the Life Sciences, Paul Wood (ed.) 1995: 0 7486 0459 6 hardback. 2 An Inquiry into the Human Mind on the Principles of Common Sense, Derek R. Brookes (ed.) 1997: 0 7486 0722 6 hardback. 2000: 0 7486 1371 4 paperback. 3 Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man, Derek R. Brookes and Knud Haakonssen (eds) 2002: 0 7486 1189 4 hardback. 4 The Correspondence of Thomas Reid, Paul Wood (ed.) 2002: 0 7486 1163 0 hardback. 5 Thomas Reid on Logic, Rhetoric and the Fine Arts, Alexander Broadie (ed.) expected 2004: 0 7486 1684 5 hardback. 6 Essays on the Active Powers of Man, Knud Haakonssen (ed.) expected 2005: 0 7486 1708 6 hardback. 7 Practical Ethics, Knud Haakonssen (ed.) expected 2005: 0 7486 1709 4 hardback. 8 Reid on Society and Politics, Knud Haakonssen and Paul Wood (eds) expected 2006: 0 7486 1710 8 hardback. 9 Reid on Mathematics and Natural Philosophy, Paul Wood (ed.) expected 2006: 0 7486 1711 6 hardback. 10 Reid and the University, Alexander Broadie and Paul Wood (eds) expected 2007: 0 7486 1712 4 hardback.

James Watt’s ‘perspective machine’, designed c.1765. (Source: James Patrick Muirhead, The origins and progress of the mechanical inventions of James Watt, 3 vols (London, 1854), I, cxii.)

THE

CORRESPONDENCE OF THOMAS REID

E D IT E D BY

Paul Wood

E D IN B U R G H U N IV E R SIT Y PRESS

© Paul Wood, 2002 Edinburgh University Press Ltd 22 George Square, Edinburgh Typeset in 10 1/2 on 13 1/2 pt Times by Hewer Text Ltd, Edinburgh, and printed and bound in Great Britain by MPG Books Ltd, Bodmin, Cornwall A CIP record for this book is available from the British Library ISBN 0 7486 1163 0 (hardback) The right of Paul Wood to be identified as author of the editorial material has been asserted in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

CONTENTS Introduction A ckn owledgemen ts Abbreviations Editorial Principles Life and Works o f Thomas Reid List o f Letters LETTERS

ix xi xiii xv xix xxv 1

Appendix A Thomas Reid’s Comments on James Gregory’s ‘Essay on the Difference between the Relation of Motive and Action, and that of Cause and Effect, in Physics: On Physical and Mathematical Principles’ and Related Papers 241 Appendix B List of Lost Letters 261 NOTES Explanatory Notes Textual Notes

265 267 325

Index o f Places and Subjects Index o f Persons and Titles

339 344

INTRODUCTION In purely numerical terms, the published correspondences of Adam Ferguson, David Hume and Adam Smith are considerably larger than the letters to and from Thomas Reid collected together in this volume. But even though the number of items involved is compara­ tively small, Reid’s correspondence is perhaps more revealing than those of his contemporaries, for it is only in his letters and manu­ scripts that we can discover the full range of his interests and develop a clearer sense of the man and his place in the Enlightenment. Although Dugald Stewart had full access to Reid’s papers when writing his Account o f the life and writings o f Thomas Reid, he based his exposition of Reid’s thought on the published works alone and quoted from only a few letters primarily in order to illustrate Reid’s character. Moreover, Stewart went so far as to claim that ‘I am fa r . . . from thinking, that the correspondence of Dr REID would be generally interesting; or even that he excelled in this species of writing’,1 and in so doing steered his readers away from a body of evidence which challenged the interpretation of Reid’s life and philosophical development presented in the Account. Some sense of the intellectual significance of Reid’s correspondence, however, was provided by the letters from Reid reproduced in Alexander Fraser Tytler, Lord Woodhouselee’s Memoirs o f the life and writings o f the Honourable Henry Home o f Karnes (1807), and the letters included in Sir William Hamilton’s edition of Reid’s Works, first published in 1846, reinforced the impression that Stewart’s assess­ ment was highly problematic. Students of Reid owe Hamilton a considerable debt, not least because a number of the original letters he printed are now lost. But Hamilton’s editing practice inevitably reflected the standards of his day and, as a result, his texts are not accurate. Hamilton system­ atically altered Reid’s spellings, misunderstood Reid’s spacing and paragraph conventions, eliminated or occasionally bowdlerized pas­ sages, changed wordings and conflated letters together. Little was 1.

Dugald Stewart, Account o f the life and writings o f Thomas Reid, D .D . F.R.S.Edin. late Professor o f M oral Philosophy in the University o f Glasgow (Edinburgh, 1803), 193; the Account was first published in 1802.

Introduction

X

done to remedy this situation until 1965, when Ian Simpson Ross published more accurate versions of Reid’s letters to Lord Karnes which survive in the National Archives of Scotland.2 The recatalo­ guing of the Birkwood Papers in Aberdeen University Library undertaken by David Fate Norton in the 1970s alerted scholars to the limitations of the Reid letters printed in the nineteenth century, and this message was driven home by Kurtis Kitagawa’s rediscovery of the originals of Reid’s letters to Andrew and David Skene, which Hamilton had included in the Works.3 The aim of the present volume is to present accurate texts of all known letters to and from Thomas Reid, letters directly connected with, or containing significant fragments of, letters by Reid, and comments on manuscripts that Reid would have sent as enclosures with letters. I have excluded administrative memoranda from Reid’s years at King’s College, Aberdeen, and the University of Glasgow, but have included items which seemed to fall more naturally under the rubric of ‘correspondence’. Of the 131 letters collected here, twenty-one are addressed to Reid (of which nineteen are previously unpublished) and 103 are from Reid (of which thirty-four are un­ published). Seven letters (of which five are unpublished) fall outside of this classification. In addition, I have included three unpublished drafts of letters from Reid to Lord Karnes. I have also listed in Appendix II the eighty-five known letters to and from Reid which cannot now be traced.

2.

3.

Ian Ross, ‘Unpublished letters o f Thomas Reid to Lord Kames, 17621782’, Texas studies in literature and language: A journal o f the humanities, 7 (1965), 17-65. Kurtis G. Kitagawa, “ ‘Cadgers are ay speaking o f Crooksadles” : The rediscovered letters o f Thomas Reid to Drs Andrew and David Skene’, Studies on Voltaire and the eighteenth century, 314 (1993), 207-29.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS For permission to reproduce letters in their possession I thank the following institutions and individuals: Aberdeen City Archives; Aberdeen University Library; the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford; Boston Public Library; the British Library; Edinburgh University Library; Glasgow University Library; Glasgow University Archive Services; National Archives of Scotland; the National Lib­ rary of Scotland; New College Library Edinburgh; the Royal College of Surgeons of England; the Royal Society of Edinburgh; the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin - Preussischer Kulturbesitz; William G. Drummond Moray; Laurence Blair Oliphant Esq.; and Mr Alex Liddell. I especially appreciate the assistance of the many librarians and archivists I have contacted, including Tina Craig and I. F. Lyle of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, Mrs Edith Philip of the Scottish United Services Museum, Fiona Piddock of Lincoln College Oxford, John Pinfold of Rhodes House Library Oxford, the archival staff at Glasgow University Archive Services and Roberta Zonghi of the Boston Public Library. I am also grateful to the Assistant Head of Robert Gordon’s College in Aberdeen, Mrs Rona Livingstone, for responding to my queries regarding the College records. Iain Beavan, Jane Pirie and, especially during the latter stages of work on this volume, Michelle Gait deserve individual recognition for their sup­ port. Because of them, working with the Historic Collections of the Special Libraries and Archives at the University of Aberdeen is always a pleasure. For their help during the lengthy gestation of this edition I am very grateful to: James Burns, Andrew Doig, Roger Emerson, Judith Grabiner, Knud Haakonssen, Kurtis Kitagawa, Cedric Littlewood, Alison Morrison-Low, James Moore, David Fate Norton, David Raynor, Ian Simpson Ross, Tom Saunders, David Scott, Richard Sher, Gordon Shrimpton, Stephen Snobelen, M. A. Stewart, Jennifer Tannoch-Bland, Christian Waltl, Charles Withers, William Zachs and Jan Zwicky. I am also grateful to Joel Black, Paul Ferguson and Lesley Sutton, who at various times served as research assistants. A very special word of thanks goes to Alexander Broadie, who provided

xii

Acknowledgements

a number of references as well as translations of various Latin passages. Welcome research funding has been provided by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Arts and Humanities Sub-Committee of the University of Victoria. A significant portion of my editorial work on the Reid correspondence was carried out in Scotland in 1998, and I would like to thank the Director of the Reid Project, Dr Maria Rosa Antognazza, for awarding me Research Visitor status at the University of Aberdeen. But I am even more indebted to Professor Peter Jones, who was the Director of the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh from 1986 to 2000. The Institute Project European Enlightenment Fellowship which I held from July through December 1998 greatly facilitated my research. Since 1986 I have been affiliated with the Institute on a number of occasions, and I would like to acknowledge the special debt I owe to Professor Jones for his encouragement over the years. Lastly, all of those mentioned above will undoubtedly agree that whatever faults remain in this volume are due solely to the editor.

ABBREVIATIONS LIBRARIES AUL EUL GUA GUL NAS NCL NLS RCSE

Aberdeen University Library Edinburgh University Library Glasgow University Archive Services Glasgow University Library National Archives of Scotland New College Library National Library of Scotland Royal College of Surgeons of England W O R K S BY T H O M A S R E I D

Active Powers

Essays on the active powers o f man (Edinburgh, 1788) Inquiry An inquiry into the human mind, on the principles o f common sense, ed. Derek R. Brookes (Edinburgh, 1997) Intellectual Powers Essays on the intellectual powers o f man, eds. Derek R. Brookes and Knud Haakonssen (Edinburgh, 2002) MISCELLANEOUS Hamilton

Phil, trans. Ross

Stewart

The works o f Thomas Reid, D.D. now fully collected, with selections from his unpublished letters, ed. Sir William Hamilton, 4th edn (Edinburgh, 1854) Philosophical transactions o f the Royal Society o f London ‘Unpublished letters of Thomas Reid to Lord Karnes, 1762-1782’, Texas studies in literature and language: A journal o f the humanities, 7 (1965), 17-65 Dugald Stewart, Account o f the life and

xiv

Abbreviations

Woodhouselee

writings o f Thomas Reid, D.D. F.R.S.Edin. late Professor o f Moral Philosophy in the University o f Glasgow (Edinburgh, 1803) Lord Woodhouselee [Alexander Fraser Tytler], Memoirs o f the life and writings o f the Honourable Henry Home o f Kames, 2 vols (Edinburgh and London, 1807)

EDITORIAL PRINCIPLES In transcribing the letters contained in this volume I have adopted the following editorial conventions: 1. I have made no attempt to normalize Reid’s spelling, and I have silently expanded Reid’s contractions and abbreviations where no modern equivalent exists, or where they are not self-explanatory or readily pronounceable by the modern reader. 2. At the head of each letter I have provided information about the address and the source used for the text, and I have put the place of origin and date in a standard form at the top right thus, ‘King’s College, 7 September 1760’. 3. Where letters have already been published and no original ap­ parently survives, I have followed the published text. Where the letters survive, I have followed the original texts and my tran­ scriptions may therefore deviate in minor ways from previously published versions. 4. I have used square brackets to identify senders, recipients, places of origin and dates which have been inferred on the basis of internal evidence. Where no such inferences can be made, I indicate this thus, T . 5. Where I have supplied words or characters which are missing because of damage to the manuscript or are judged to have been inadvertently omitted, the additions are enclosed thus, )’. Illegible letters or words are indicated thus, ‘(?)’. Any characters written as superscripts are here printed on the regular line. In his manuscripts, Reid normally overlines for emphasis, and the re­ levant passages have been reproduced in italics without editorial comment. 6. In cases where Reid has numbered the pages of his letter, the page numbers are printed in the margins. Page breaks are indicated by a vertical line T in the text. In the textual notes, line breaks are indicated thus, ‘/’. 7. Textual notes have been kept to a minimum. Other known versions of individual letters have been recorded, as have signifi­ cant variants in Reid’s drafts. These variants are keyed to the

Editorial Principles

xvi

letters using the letter number as a heading, along with page and line numbers, thus: 1. 1/11

In the textual notes this refers to letter 1, p. 1, line 11. In the textual notes, editorial comment is in italics and the manuscript texts are in regular typeface. Words repeated and left undeleted by Reid have not been recorded, nor have catchwords, nor those instances where Reid has changed an unfinished text by superimposing a letter or word on top of what he had written originally, or revised a phrase in the course of his initial writing. I have also omitted those instances where Reid has merely gone back and corrected his spelling or grammar, or supplied a missing word or words. Variants are indicated in the following manner. In letter 18, p. 23,1. 35-6, for example, Reid initially wrote ‘included in it, for they are all by mathematical Reasoning drawn from the definition.’, and changed this to ‘included in its definition for all of them by mathematical Reasoning can be drawn out of it.’. Reid’s change is recorded in the textual notes thus: 23/35-6 included . . . it.] included in it, for they are all by mathematical Reasoning drawn from the definition. Where there are variants of variants, I have usually followed this method of indicating Reid’s changes, but in cases where this was not practicable I have explained the textual alterations in the notes. Passages cancelled in the original writing have not been identified or recorded. Words or phrases which Reid has added to a finished text have been recorded in the following manner. In letter 18, p. 23, 1. 28, Reid had added the phrase ‘upon which a great part of Mathematicks depends’. In this and similar cases I have recorded the addition thus: 23/28 upon which a great part of Mathematicks depends] added Where Reid has placed his addition in the margin of the page, I have noted the location of the addition. 8. The explanatory notes preceding the textual notes contain trans­ lations of Latin and Greek words or passages, the details of papers and books quoted from or referred to in the letters and, where

Editorial Principles

xvii

necessary, basic information required for understanding a letter or a particular remark. The explanatory notes also deal with ques­ tions of dating and the identification of senders or recipients. Words, phrases or passages which have explanatory notes are flagged in the text using an asterisk thus, Materials in the explanatory notes are keyed to the texts of the letters using the same convention employed in the textual notes. 9. Information about all persons mentioned in the correspondence who can be identified is contained in the index of persons.

LIFE AND WORKS OF THOMAS REID 1710

Thomas Reid born 26 April and baptized 28 April 1720-22 attends parish school of Kincardine O’Neil attends Aberdeen Grammar 1722 School April-October; matriculates at Marischal College Aberdeen, where he is taught by George Turnbull graduates MA from Marischal 1726 College 14 April 1726-31 studies divinity at Marischal College licensed to preach by the 1731 presbytery of Kincardine O’Neil 22 September 1732 mother Margaret dies 1732-33 acts as Clerk of the presbytery of Kincardine O’Neil appointed Librarian at 1733 Marischal College in July 1736 resigns as Librarian; travels to England with John Stewart and visits Cambridge, London, and Oxford in the spring ordained as Minister of New 1737 Machar 12 May 1738 attends the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in Edinburgh in May travels to London and marries 1740 his cousin Elizabeth Reid 12 August 1741 attends the General Assembly; daughter Jean born 21 July

Life and Works of Thomas Reid

XX

1742 1743 1744 1745 1746

1747 1748

1751

1753

1754 1755 1756 1758

1761 1762

daughter Margaret born 20 October attends the General Assembly daughter Martha born 22 August attends the General Assembly daughter Elizabeth bom 21 February and dies of smallpox 21 August; his wife seriously ill in March attends the General Assembly ‘An Essay on Quantity’, Phil. Trans., 45 (1748), 505-20 elected Regent at King’s College Aberdeen 25 October and admitted 22 November; daughter Anna born 10 July one of the architects of extensive reforms undertaken at King’s College; daughter Anna dies 21 May Honorary Burgess of Aberdeen 20 November son George born 11 February son Lewis born 13 December founding member and first Secretary of the Aberdeen Philosophical Society 12 January; represents King’s College at the General Assembly; son Lewis dies 19 June; attends the inaugural meeting of the Gordon’s Mill Farming Club 14 December represents King’s College at the General Assembly awarded Doctor of Divinity degree by Marischal College 18

1763

1764

1765 1766 1767

January; son David born 26 February; father Lewis dies 26 November represents King’s College at the General Assembly and serves on the Highlands and Islands Commission represents King’s College at the General Assembly and serves on the Highlands and Islands Commission; elected Professor of Moral Philosophy at Glasgow University in succession to Adam Smith 22 May and admitted 11 June; made burgess and guild brother of Glasgow 26 September; elected a member of the Glasgow Literary Society 9 November

Inquiry, edn. 2 daughter Elizabeth born 8 May represents Glasgow University at the General Assembly and serves on the Highlands and Islands Commission; daughter Elizabeth dies 1 June Inquiry, edn. 3

1769 111 2

1774

Inquiry, edn. 1

daughter Jean dies 27 February; death of daughter Margaret; represents Glasgow University at the General Assembly and serves on the Highlands and Islands Commission 4A Brief Account of Aristotle’s Logic’, in Henry Home, Lord Karnes, Sketches o f the History o f Man, II, 168-242

xxii

Life and Works of Thomas Reid

1775-'

1777

1780

1782 1783

1784

1785 1788 1790

1791

1792

anonymous review of Joseph Priestley’s edition of David Hartley appears in Monthly Review, 53 (1775), 380-90 and 54 (1776), 41-7 daughter M artha marries Dr Patrick Carmichael (son of Gershom Carmichael) on 20 December son George dies February; Archibald Arthur elected as Reid’s assistant and successor 18 May son David dies 30 December elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh as a member of the Literary Class appointed Vice-Rector of Glasgow University by the Rector, Edmund Burke, 10 April appointed Vice-Rector by Burke 1 September founder member and first President of the Glasgow Society of the Sons of Ministers of the Church of Scotland 1 April joins the Glasgow Friends of Liberty and attends Bastille Day dinner meeting; medallion of Reid struck by James Tassie contributes money to the French National Assembly; wife Elizabeth dies 26 April; son-inlaw Patrick dies 23 October

Intellectual Powers', Inquiry, edn. 4 Active Powers

Life and Works of Thomas Reid

1794

1796

‘Observations on the Dangers of Political Innovation’, Glasgow Courier, 18 December 1794, 518-23 portrait painted by Henry Raeburn in Edinburgh; dies 7 October and is buried in the family plot in the College Church yard 10 October ‘University of Glasgow’, in The Statistical Account o f Scotland, ed. Sir John Sinclair, XXI, Appendix, 1-50

1799

1805

xxiii

daughter Martha dies in February

LIST OF LETTERS No. Date

Provenance

1 8 January 1736 2 [1737-8]

Keith Hall Manse [Aberdeen]

3 [1739] 4 7 February 1750

[New Machar] Aberdeen

5 7 February 1750 6 [winter 1750-1] 7 [17 June 1752]

Aberdeen [Marischal College] [Aberdeen]

8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

4 September 1755 23 September 1758 25 September 1758 6 July 1759 25 December 1759 6 April 1760 [June 1761] 25 November 1761

King’s Elgin Banff King’s King’s King’s [Banff] King’s

College

College College College College

16 4 July 1762

Edinburgh

17 18 19 20 21 22

King’s College [King’s College] King’s College Edinburgh King’s College Castle o f Banff

29 December 1762 [1763] 14 February 1763 25 February 1763 18 March 1763 22 January 1764

23 [1764] 24 26 May 1764 25 29 May 1764

[King’s College] Edinburgh Edinburgh

26 [13 October 1764]

[Glasgow]

27 28 29 30 31 32 33

14 13 20 30 23 18 30

Glasgow Glasgow Glasgow Glasgow Glasgow Glasgow Aberdeen

34 35 36 37 38

8 May 1766 15 July 1766 16 October 1766 17 December 1766 25 February 1767

November 1764 July 1765 December [1765] December 1765 March 1766 April [1766] April 1766

Glasgow Glasgow Methven Glasgow College Glasgow College

Correspondent

Page

from James Darling from Thomas Reid and [John Stewart] to ? to John Stewart from Alexander Gordon to William Grant to Alexander Gordon from [John Stewart] to [The Presbytery o f Aberdeen] to Archibald Dunbar from Alexander Irvine from Robert Traill to George Turnbull to William Tytler to John Chalmers from Lord Deskford from The Masters of King’s College to William Ogilvie from David Hume to Hugh Blair to Lord Karnes to [William Ogilvie] to Lord Karnes from David Hume to David Hume from Lord Deskford to William Cullen to [Robert Simson] to [Thomas Miller] from Thomas Miller to William Leechman or James Clow to The Earl o f Findlater and Seafield to Andrew Skene to David Skene to David Skene to Andrew Skene to David Skene to David Skene from The Aberdeen Town Council to Andrew Skene to Andrew Skene from James Oswald o f Methven to Andrew Skene to David Skene

3

3 4 6 6 8 9 9 12 12 13 13 15 16

17 18 20 23 26 29 30 32 32 34

34 35 35 39 41 45 47 50 52 52 54 56 56 57

List of Letters

xxvi 39 40 41 42 43 43a 44

14 September 1767 Glasgow College Glasgow College 31 October 1767 [Glasgow] [July 1770] [Glasgow] [1772/3] Glasgow College 3 December 1772 [November/December 1772] [Glasgow] [Glasgow College] [winter 1772-3]

to to to to to to to

45 46 46a 47 47a 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 70a 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91

17 January 1773 Glasgow College [November/December 1774] [Glasgow College] [November/December 1774] [Glasgow College] 10 April 1775 Glasgow College [Glasgow College] [April 1775] 7 September 1775 Glasgow College Glasgow College 1 October 1775 [Glasgow College] 8 January 1776 Glasgow College 28 October 1777 27 February 1778 Glasgow College [London] 26 March 1778 18 April 1778 Glasgow College Glasgow College 6 May 1778 Glasgow College 6 May 1778 Glasgow College 19 May 1778 Glasgow College 30 October 1778 1 December 1778 Glasgow College Paris 16 December 1778 20 December 1778 Glasgow College 13 January 1779 [Glasgow] 3 February 1779 Glasgow College 21 March 1779 Glasgow College [Glasgow] [spring 1779] 11 March 1780 Glasgow College 23 April 1780 Glasgow College Glasgow College 19 May 1780 Glasgow College 14 June 1780 Green of Glasgow 6 October 1780 [Green o f Glasgow] [October 1780] Glasgow College 30 October 1780 31 October 1780 Glasgow College [Glasgow] 16 December 1780 25 January 1781 [Glasgow College] 10 February 1781 [Glasgow College] 16 November 1781 London 13 June 1782 [Glasgow] [Glasgow] [autumn 1782] [October 1782] [Glasgow] 11 November 1782 Glasgow College 30 January 1783 Glasgow College 7 April 1783 Glasgow College 8 June 1783 Glasgow College Glasgow 1 August 1783 24 November 1783 Glasgow College 14 March 1784 [Glasgow College] [Glasgow] [16 April 1784] [Glasgow College] [June 1784] 12 September 1784 Glasgow 26 September 1784 Glasgow College 31 December 1784 Glasgow College

to to to to to to to to from to from from to to to to to from to to to to from to to to to to to from to to to to from to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to

David Skene David Skene David Skene [Richard Price] Lord Karnes [Lord Karnes] A Trustee o f Dr Williams’s Benefaction Joseph Black Lord Karnes [Lord Karnes] Richard Price [Richard Price] Lord Karnes Lord Karnes William Leechman Archibald Arthur Lord Karnes William Hunter Matthew Baillie William Hunter [Robert Adair] William Creech Lord Karnes Lord Karnes La Blancherie Lord Karnes William Gregory William Hunter William Hunter [Robert Findlay] William Hunter Lord Karnes Lord Karnes Lord Karnes Lord Karnes [Lord Karnes] John Anderson Lord Karnes Lord Karnes Lord Karnes Lord Karnes John Murray Lord Karnes Lord Karnes Lord Karnes Lord Karnes Mrs Drummond James Gregory James Gregory Mrs Drummond Mrs Drummond James Gregory James Gregory James Gregory John Bell John Bell James Gregory

59 61 62 63 64 69 74 74 76 78 84 87 91 92 93 96 96 99 99 100 101 103 103 106 109 112

115 117 119 119 120

121 124 128 130 133 136 136 139 147 149 152 152 154 157 159 161 162 163 164 165 166 168 169 170 171 172

xxvii

List of Letters 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99

100 101 102 103 104 105 106

2 May 1785 14 June 1785 27 June 1785 23 September 1785 [March 1786] 23 March 1786 [spring 1786] 28 August 1786

Glasgow College [Glasgow] Glasgow College Glasgow [Glasgow] Glasgow College [Glasgow] Glasgow

to to to to to to to to

11 July 1787 24 August 1787 26 August 1787 21 February 1788 [late February 1788] [April 1788-90] 1 August 1788

Glasgow [Glasgow] [Glasgow] Glasgow College [Glasgow] [Glasgow] Glasgow College/ Greenhead o f Glasgow

to to to to to to from

108 109 110 111 112 113

27 January 1789 7 April 1789 25 June 1789 30 July 1789 3 February 1790 15 May 1790

Glasgow College Glasgow College Greenock [Glasgow] Glasgow College Glasgow College

to from to to to from to to to

114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131

20 August 1790 [1791] [July/August 1791] October 1791 12 April 1792 [May 1792] 24 July 1792 19 October 1792 21 January 1793 [October 1793] 14 April 1796 28 June 1796 [1771-5] [1772-3] [1775] [31 December 1780-6] [after 1787] [undated]

[Glasgow] [Glasgow] [Glasgow] [Glasgow] Glasgow College [Glasgow] Glasgow Glasgow Greenhead o f Glasgow [Glasgow] Glasgow College Glasgow College [Glasgow College] [Glasgow College] [Glasgow] [Glasgow College] Glasgow College ?

to to to to to to from to to to to to to to from from from from

107 [4 December 1788]

[London]

James Gregory James Gregory John Bell James Gregory James Gregory [John Bell] James Gregory The Committee o f the Subscribers to the Design o f Erecting a Statue to Mr Howard John Bell James Gregory James Gregory [John Bell] James Gregory [John Robison] Thomas Reid, Archibald Arthur and Archibald Davidson [Thomas Brydson] George Wilson Jeremy Bentham ? William Ogilvie James Gregory James Gregory Archibald Alison [George Monck Berkeley] James Gregory [Dugald Stewart] ? Edward Tatham John Robison Dugald Stewart John M’Caul Mrs. Janet Reid Dugald Stewart James Gregory Lord Monboddo [John Bell] Thomas Hamilton Donald Cameron ? Hugh Macleod ? Robert Douglas and William Gordon

173 174 177 178 179 180 181

186 187 187 191 195 196 197

200 201 203 204 204 205 208 210 210 211 223 224 227 230 230 231 231 232 235 236 236 237 237 238 238 238

THE

LETTERS

1. Fr o m J A M E S D A R L I N G Address: To Mr Reid Preacher of the Gospel at Mrs Deans’s in the School hill Aberdeen MS: AUL 2131/3/III/1; unpubl. Keith Hall Manse, 8 January 1736 Dear Brother I thought to have gott the Loan of a Scapula’s Dictionary in the Country; and therefore till I gett it, I woud rather take from you Dionysius Halicarnassus with a Translation, Thucidydes or Herodote, than Eusebius without a Translation.* I am very much obliged to you for the Favour you have done me, and shall chearfully Serve you when an occasion offers. I am Dear Brother Yours most affectionately James Darling 2.

T H O M A S R E I D A N D [ J O H N S T E W A R T ] to ?

MS: AUL 2131 /3/III/7 (draft); unpubl. [Aberdeen, 1737-8] Dear Sir ’Tis with great Pleasure we reflect upon the aggreable hours we past in your Company at London and at Chelsea about a year and a half ago The great civilities you shewed us deserved a more Speedy Acknowledgment. What Accidents have concurred to delay it so long, being personal things would be tedious to relate, you may believe it was owing neither to the want of Esteem nor Gratitude. Having this Opportunity we have chosen rather to write you in this joint Manner than to trouble you with two Epistles The bearer Mr David Fordyce is a young Gentleman of our Particular Acquaintance a lover of Polite Learning who is to pass some time in London onely that he may See men and things and therefore we hope to find your Excuse for Introducing him to you.* You was pleased to entertain us with your Sentiments about the frame (of) human Nature and the Origin of its Passions and Affections, & to Desire that if any objections occurred against your Scheme we should write you of them. To tell the truth Sir you have brought us a great way in to your Opinion and perhaps if we understood one another perfectly we should be entirely agreed. You seem’d to think that The Love of Sensible Pleasure

4

5

10

15

20

25

3o

[John Stewart], [1739], 3

is the Onely Principle that is truly Natural & Original to us That this Principle is Inseparable from our Natures & Always the Same That there are several Other Principles in Grown Men such as the Love of Honour, Riches, Virtue, Affection to the Good of our friends, Of our Countrey or of Mankind. That we seek these things at first onely as the Means of procuring Sensible Good to us but when by long Experience we have found them Closely Connected with sensible Good, the Ideas of them come at last to be so associated with the Idea of Good that we acquire an esteem of them or an affection to them as good in themselves and pursue them for their own sake without any farther view. That these acquired Affections are different in different Persons & may be Strengthned or Weakened or perhaps quite extinguished by Custom Education or Discipline. If this Account of your Scheme is wrong in any thing we should be very glad to be corrected & wherein it is defective to be more fully informd. We agree with you that the Love of Sensible Pleasure seems to be the onely Principle that operates in infants for some time. But the Mind seems then to be in an Infant State as well as the body as we grow up Several Passions and affections begin to Sprout of which we gave no Signs before, and there seems to be equal reason to admire the bounty of Nature in giving us every affection and passion that is convenient for Creatures in our place & rank, & her frugality in bestowing them onely at that period of life when we come to have use for them. But the main Question between us seems to be whether these affections are strictly and properly of Natures Grouth or if they are acquired in the Manner above described or some such like. We incline to think that Nature has in laid the Seeds of them in our Minds and but that the grouth or improvement depends almost entirly upon practice, and 3. To [ J O H N S T E W A R T ] MS: AUL 2131 /3/III/15 (draft); unpubl.

35

[New Machar, 1739] Dear Sir Since I had the pleasure of Seeing you last I finished the Calculation of the Problem with respect to the Earths Figure and found its Semi Axis to be 3255854 toise and its Equatorial Semidiameter 3278858 toises that I might be satisfied of the truth of these Numbers, I assumed them as Data and from them calculated the Radii of the Curvatures in the two Latitudes of 46°44' & 66°30' by a different

3, [John Stewart], [1739]

5

10

15

20

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5

method from that used in the Solution of the Problem, & these Radii differed not from those found in the Solution of the Problem above an unite in the 6th figure which Difference might arise from the fractions neglected in the Operation. As I was going over these things I stumbled on a Demonstration of that beautifull Property of the Elipse upon which your Solution of the Problem is founded which because it is short I shall send you keeping the Letters and Symbols of the figure You sent me which I need not explain Lemma Let DQ be taken to DG as c to t, or as AE:AB. Joyn the points L & Q I say LQ = a or half the parameter of the transverse Axe this is obvious from that property of the Elipse I observed to you when last in town Proposition Let GL be produced to O So that GO be the Radius of a Circle Equicurve to the Elipse at G. I say a2:GLq::GL:GO Demonstration. Let FP another Perpendicular to the Elipse meet AB in K & GL in P, Draw FR paralell to AB meeting GL in R & GD the Ordinate at S then PL:PR::LK:RF. Let the Point F approach towards G till at last it coincide with it, then P will coincide with O & the evanescent triangles FGS & GSR will be Similar to the Triangle GDL & therefore FS or DC:FR::GDq:GLq therefore FR is equal to DC x Sfeq again because CA:CK::DA:DL and each of these ratios as I shewed you when last in town is equal to that of ABq to AEq therefore KL = DC - DC x AEq/ABq instead of LK & RF put these quantities which have been found equal to them and we Shall have OL:OG::DC - DC x :DC x Multiply the two latter terms by W and for OL put OG - GL and it will be OG - LG:OG::GDq GDq x £ i:G L q but GDq - GDq x AEq/AB = LGq - a2 therefore OG - LG:OG::LGq - a2:LG2 therefore LG3 = OG x a2 or a2:LGq::LG:GO. QED.

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William Grant, 7 February 1750, 4

4. A L E X A N D E R G O R D O N to W I L L I A M G R A N T

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Address: To The right honourable William Grant Esquire of Prestongrange his Majesty’s Advocate for Scotland Member of Parliament To the Care of Sir Archibald Grant Bart at his house Edinburgh MS: NLS MS Acc 9261/17; unpubl. Aberdeen, 7 February 1750 Sir I us’d the Freedom last post to write you very fully what occur’d to Mr Reid & me about the Report we were to prepare for the Committee. This Day I had the enclos’d from M r Reid, whom it seems I had been so unlucky as miss seeing in Town, in which he proposes such alterations as upon Reflection, after our last commoning, he thinks will compleat the Report upon his Plan. As the Draughts were sent off to you before I got this, I could not mark these on his Copy as he directs, & therefore I send you his Letter, that you may cause somebody take that Trouble; as I have not Access to read his Additions in the Connection they should stand, I know not whether they would answer my Ideas of the Matter or correct them, but as I’m sure you’ll make the best of them that is not very material. This is a new Evidence of Mr Reid’s Care & Readyness to exert himself in so good & worthy a Design, for which I think not only we but the whole County are much oblig’d to him. When you return his Copy, be so good as return, either the Letter or a Copy of the Corrections along with it. Friends here join in the Offer of their most respectful Compliments to you & the young Ladys. I am, with the greatest Regard Sir Your much oblig’d & most obedient Servant Alexander Gordon

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Address: To The Reverend Mr Alexander Gordon Minister of the Gospel at Kintore MS: NLS MS Acc 9261/17; unpubl. Aberdeen, 7 February 1750 Dear Sir I have been looking over the Overture since you left me and am Sensible that there is some Confusion in the Second Part. I have

5, Alexander Gordon, 7 February 1750

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likewise hit upon some Laws that had not formerly occurred to us which I think may answer some of the Questions we were at a Loss about. And therefore in case I should not see you before you send the Overture to Sir Archibald,* I beg you will take the trouble to make the following Alterations & Additions to my Coppy. which you may please to write down on the blank page at the end with References at the proper places. 1 Representation Article 2d From the Words (The Second Class of Poor &c) let it run thus The Second Class of Poor Comprehends First Boys & Girls past twelve years of age who by Law ought to be put out to Masters on Indentures. And Secondly all such as by Reason of Age or Infirmity cannot work at all or not so much as is Sufficient for their Maintenance. With Regard to the Old and Infirm As the Law has left it in the Option of the Heritors & Kirksession of the Parish either to put such of them as are able to do any Work, into the Country Work house to be employed there; or to put them to work what they are able at their own houses: The Committee is of opinion that in Country parishes at least, they will be less burthensom to the publick their living more Comfortable and their work turn to greater account by allowing them to live at their own Houses and work for themselves, than by putting them alltogether into a publick Work house, and that the sending them to the Work house ought to be used as a punishment for begging, Idleness, or other Misbehaviour. The Reasons that Induced us to this opinion as being pretty obvious we ommit. & have in the Second part of the Overture proposed the best means we could devise for putting out the boys & Girls upon Indentures, and for encouraging and obliging the old & Infirm Poor to contribute as much as they can to their Maintenance by their own Labour, & for giving them Such farther Supply as their Necessities require 2 Overture for Suppressing Begging. At the end of Article 2d Add. The Proclamation 1692 Confirmed by Act of Parliament 1695* gives power to & enjoynes the Heritors & Kirk session to appoint such an officer in every parish and to stint his fee upon the parish as there is directed 3 At the end of Article 5th of the same Overture Add Because. First such as are found Begging without the Parish are to be held as Vagabonds by Act 74. Parliament 1579 & by Proclamations 1692 & 1693 Confirmed by Act of Parliament 1695.* And Secondly as to the Inrolled Poor. If they go abroad to beg, or refuse to work as they are

[John Stewart], [winter 1750-1], 6

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able, or be guilty of other Miscarriages; the Justices of the Peace upon Complaint made by the Overseers of the Poor are to punish them for the first fault as they think fit, and for Continuing in these Mis­ carriages to proceed against them as Vagabonds Act Charles 2d Parliament 1. Session 1 cap. 38.* 3° Let the Tittle of the 2d Part of the Overture be this Overture for putting out poor Boys & Girls upon Indentures, & for Maintaining and Employing the old & Infirm Poor. 4. In the Overture for Maintaining & Educating the Young Poor after the Words (and then brought home and set up in them) Add. That this Overture may not be thought altogether without Founda­ tion from the Laws, we shall onely Mention the Proclamation 1692 Confirmed by Parliament* which appoint, the Heritors to provide Houses for such of the Poor of the Parish as are not provided, the Expence to be stinted on the Parish as there directed. And Act 42 Parliament 1661* Whereby it is ordained that there shall be one or more persons provided in each Parish at the Charges of the Heritors for instructing poor Children, Vagabonds & other Idlers to fine & mix Wool, spin Worsted, and Knit Stockings. 5 Overture 2d Article 2d After the Words as the Circumstances shall Suggest. Add. All which they are Authorised and required to do by the Proclamation aforesaid & by Act Charles 2d Parliament 1 Session 1 C 38 already referred to. I think these additions & alterations will Supply the Defects and Rectify the Confusion which you justly observed to be in the first Draught. I am Sir Your most Affectionate Brother & Servant Thomas Reid 6. F r o m [ J O H N S T E W A R T ] Address: To The Revd Mr T. Reid at Newmacher MS: AUL 2131 /3/III/19; unpubl. [Marischal College, winter 1750-1] The Pole of the Earth, according to Dr Bradley,* revolves in about 18| years in a small Circle nearly of 18" diameter The Discovery has been the Result of 20 Years unequalled Assiduity & Attention in observing some of the Motions of the fixt Stars: the Conclusion being drawn from remarking a Variation in their Declination of 9" at some

S, Archibald Dunbar, 4 September 1755

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times more, at others less than the usual mean Procession of 50" in a Year which the Dr proves cannot be produced by any other means than such a Motion as he herein supposes. This Note to be sent by first Occasion to Mr Reid at Newmacher. 5

7. To [ T H E P R E S B Y T E R Y O F A B E R D E E N ]

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MS: NAS MS Ch/2/1/9, 41-2 (copy); unpubl. [Aberdeen, 17 June 1752] Know all men by these presents me Mr Thomas Reid Minister of the Gospell at Newmachar in the Presbytery of Aberdeen, whereas I have by the Consent & Advice of the Said Reverend Presbytery accepted of the Charge of a Professor of Philosophy in the King’s Colledge of Aberdeen and have been admitted thereunto Therefore to have demitted and resigned as by the T enor of these presents I do Demit the Pastoral Charge of the said Parish of Newmachar and resign the Same into the Hands of the Reverend the Presbytery of Aberdeen Renouncing for me my Heirs and executors all claim and Tittle to the Temporal Profits & Emoluments annexed to the said Pastoral Charge that shall become due after the date of these Presents. And I beseech the said Reverend Presbytery that they will declare the Said Parish of Newmachar vacant and take the necessary Steps in order to have the Same Comfortably Settled according to the Rules of this Church with all convenient Speed In the Testimony of all which these presents written with my hand are subscribed and delivered by me in to the hands of the Moderator & in presence of the Presbytery met at Aberdeen this Seventeenth Day of June one thousand seven hundred and fifty two years Thomas Reid 8. To A R C H I B A L D D U N B A R Address: To Archibald Dunbar, Esq., of Newton, at Duffus E. Dunbar Dunbar, Social life informer days, chiefly in the province o f Moray. Illustrated by letters andfamily papers (Edinburgh, 1865), pp. 5-9. King’s College, 4 September 1755 Sir, I did indeed intend, both last vacation and this, to have seen a little of the north country, and in that case should certainly have done

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Archibald Dunbar, 4 September 1755, 8

myself the honour to wait of you at Duffus; but sometimes sickness in my family, and sometimes other accidents, have hindred me hitherto. Some ambiguity that has happened in a word of the letter you favour me with, makes me uncertain whether your intention is to put Bob to my class this session, which happens to be the Magistrand class; or whether you intend that both your sons should enter with the Greek Professor.* Give me leave, therefore, to acquaint you what my class is to be employed in, that you may the better judge how it will answer your intention with regard to Bob, and the progress he has made. One hour in the day, for about two months, in the beginning of the session, will be employed upon Optics and some branches of Mathematicks, which I could not overtake last session. All the rest will be employed in the Philosophy of the Mind, Logic, Morals, and Politics.* If this is what you intend for Bob, you may depend upon it that I shall faithfully and timeously acquaint you what progress he makes. If you propose to put him in the Greek class with his brother, this is not at all an unusual thing at this college of late. You may please, in that event, to acquaint him that Charlie M ’Ever, his classfellow, being sensible that he was not well founded in Greek and Latin, and finding the Mathematicks a little too hard for his age, went back last session to the Humanity class,* and enters the Greek class this session, and I believe will make a fine scholar; and Captain Fraser’s son went back to the Bajan* class last session. Your concern that the behaviour of your sons be narowly looked after is most natural, and what every one that knows the heart of a parent must approve of. I can assure you that in this society we have for some years past been using our best skill and application for this purpose. While the students were scattered over the town in private quarters, and might dispose of themselves as they pleased but at school hours, we found it impossible to keep them from low or bad company, if they were so disposed. But they are on a very different footing since they lived within the college: we need but look out at our windows to see when they rise and when they go to bed. They are seen nine or ten times throughout the day statedly by one or other of the masters - at publick prayers, school hours, meals, and in their rooms; besides occasional visits, which we can make with little trouble to ourselves. They are shut up within walls at nine at night. We charge those that are known to be trusty and diligent with the oversight of such as we suspect to be otherwise; and I verily believe there are few

8, Archibald Dunbar, 4 September 1755

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boys so narrowly lookt after, or so little exposed to temptations to vice, at home as with us at present. This discipline hath indeed taken some pains and resolution, as well as some expense to establish it. It makes our work laborious during the session, and must meet with the common prejudices that every new thing does. We behoved to be somewhat diffident of it ourselves till we tried it. But now, after the experience of two sessions we are not only satisfied that it is practicable; but have already seen such effects of it, both upon the morals and proficiency of our students, as we hope will at last justify us to the world, in sticking so obstinately to it in opposition to such an union of the two colleges as behoved to have altogether undone it.* You may rest assured that I will take a particular concern in your sons, and shall take it upon me to acquaint you of the opinion their masters have of them. The board at the first table is 50 merks per quarter; at the second 40 shillings. Some one of the masters dines always at the second table, as well as at the first. The rent of a room is from seven to twenty shillings in the session. There is no furniture in their rooms, but bedstead, tables, chimney grate, and fender - the rest, viz., feather-bed, bedcloaths, chairs, tongs, and bed-hangings, if they chuse any, they must buy or hire, for the session, and indeed the people that let those things are very apt to exact upon them, so that it is much better, especially if one is to be some sessions at the college, to have them of their own, and dispose of them when they leave the college. Whatever they leave in their rooms is taken care of till next session. They provide fire, and candle, and washing to themselves. The other dues are - two guineas to the Master; to the Professors of Greek and Humanity for their publick teaching, five shillings each. All other perquisites not named, from twelve shillings to seventeen and sixpence, as near as I can remember; the greatest part of which goes to four Oeconomy ser­ vants, and four College servants. The Professor of Medicine orders the diet and regimen of those that are valetudinary, and attends the Bursars and poorer sort in case of sickness, gratis. Others who are in good circumstances, if they should need the attendance of a physician, may either employ him or any other their parents recommend. There is an advertisement from this college in the Aberdeen’s Papers of Tuesday last,* which contains a recommendation to the parents of students. You may please to look into it. I think it would not be amiss if your son should be begun to the Greek Grammar

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Alexander Irvine, 23 September 1758, 9

before he comes to town. For every one here has a place in his class according to his proficiency, from the first to the last; and when one sets out in an advanced post, it proves a great spur to diligence, that he may at least keep the rank he has got. I am, with great respect, Sir, your most obedient and most humble servant, Thomas Reid 9. F r o m A L E X A N D E R I R V I N E

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Address: To The Reverend Mr Thomas Reid Professor of Philosophy in the King’s College Old Aberdeen MS: AUL MS K. 263; unpubl. Elgin, 23 September 1758 Dear Sir I hope you got safely home & found your family well. You know I must always give You Trouble at this Season of the Year The Bearer John Russel has been educated at the school here, his Master thinks he has made such Progress, as to venture to join with others at your Competition; I beg you may give him your best Advice, & if he merits Encouragement, I’m sure all Justice will be done him. I had the Pleasure of seeing Mr Macleod* in his Return, pray make my Complements to him, & all my Acquaintances in your good College. I ever am Dear Sir Your’s Alexander Irvine 10. F r o m R O B E R T T R A I L L

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Address: To The Reverend Mr Thomas Reid Professor of Philosophy in King’s College Aberdeen MS: AUL MS K. 263; unpubl. Banff, 25 September 1758 Reverend dear Sir, The Bearer Christopher Douglas proposes to undergo a trial for one of your Burses. Mr Leslie can tell you about him as he was in his Class last winter. He has the character here of a good scholar, and I should be very glad he succeed. I know that you do exact justice and that applications at least are unnecessary. However I hope you will

12, William Tytler, 25 December 1759

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forgive this trouble in favour of one who is represented to me as a very deserving lad. I beg my best to compliments to Mrs Reid and am Dear Sir, Your most obedient humble Servant Robert Traill 11. To G E O R G E T U R N B U L L *

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Address: To Mr George Turnbul Clerk to the Signet Edinburgh MS: AUL MS 2814/1/32; unpubl. King’s College, 6 July 1759 Dear Sir I received yours with the Memorandum inclosed, and have sent an Account with Vouchers, which I hope will satisfy, by John Gordon of Graig who sets out for Edinburg this day. I have been obliged to state the money in John Forbes hands as outstanding, because I have never been able to raise it. I have sent two Attornies to have the will administred at London but there are still exceptions made. So that I should think my self in a very bad situation with regard to the Money in England if it was not that there is less there than will pay the English Legacies and Marys half of the legittim.* As I apprehend it will be necessary that I should have an Extract of the Process I hope the Expence of that will be allowed out of the Executry. I am Dear Sir Your most obedient Servant Thomas Reid 12. To W I L L I A M T Y T L E R Address: To Mr William Tytler Writer in Edinburgh MS: AUL MS K. 255, Box 42; unpubl. King’s College, 25 December 1759 Dear Sir I am desired to write you what occurrs to me in Answer to these facts alledged by our Opponents viz That since the new Statutes the number of our Students has been every year decreasing, & that of the Marischal College increasing.* That last year they had 70 in the first Class & we onely 14. And that all this is owing to the length & Expence of our Session.

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William Tytler, 25 December 1759, 12

The Students of both Colleges consist of Libertines & Bursars. The number of the latter must always be equal to the Number of Burses, whereas the Number of the former is and always has been variable. Now it is allowed, that by uniting the small Burses we have twenty fewer bursars than we had. But we apprehend that 32 bursars bred in the way in which ours are, are far better for the purposes of Learning, & answer more effectually the design of the Institution of Burses than the 52 did in the Old way. Our brethren were of the same opinion for six years, tho now they seem to think otherwise. It is farther to be observed that the Professors of Philosophy and Greek are no losers by the diminution of the Number of Bursars. It was thought un­ reasonable that their small livings should be diminished by a Scheme which tended to the publick good, and brought a great deal of additional trouble and attendance upon them, & therefore the fees of Bursars were so increased as that each Master had four or five pound more of bursars money than he had before. I shall speak next of the Number of Libertines which as above observed has always been fluctuating and depends on circumstances too particular and too personal to be here mentioned. But in fact the Number of Libertines at this College has not been less since the new Statutes took place than it was for many years before. If it should be asked why it was not greater than before since the Education was certainly better? It is perhaps sufficient to answer that the new Statutes could not possibly be the Cause of it, because no Libertine was ever refused the Liberty of living without the College if he pleased, nor was he obliged to stay longer than his parents thought necessary, So that Libertines had all the advantages of the new Statutes if they inclined, but were under no Necessity of taking a Longer Session or of living in a more expensive way than they did before the statutes were in being If the heat and Zeal of some of those Professors for the new Statutes, who now as violently pull them down; did at that time lead them to discourage and discountenance those Libertines who either did not chuse, or could not afford to live within the College and attend seven Months; if the same violent Spirit lead them to multiply penal Laws, and to exercise tyrrannical Inquisitions against some Libertines who lived within the College; we apprehend that these causes have a direct tendency to operate that Effect which these Gentlemen attribute to the Statutes without a Shaddow of Reason.

13, John Chalmers, 6 April 1760

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I shall onely add a word with regard to the Numbers of the other College. At the same time that our burses were diminished in number theirs were increased by several new ones that took place about that time. The town of new Aberdeen has greatly increased in a few years in popolousness and Riches. They have a flourishing Grammar School amply endowed.* And their children being too young when they leave the Grammar School to be put to bussiness, they put them a year or two to the College tho they have no intention that they should follow learning. This is the reason why their first class is commonly for some years past more numerous than all the rest put together. But there is no such disproportion in ours where the highest class is often more numerous than the lowest Many Country Gentlemen have of Late kept lodgings in town where they can Accomodate their Children, others have near Relations with whom they incline to board them. Our Old town has none of these Advantages & is become a desolate Country Village, it is little more than a year since we got a Grammar School. There are no boarding houses which Gentlemens Sons would now put up with, so that they must live and eat within the College, where the Discipline is so strict, that when managed in the most prudent and impartial Manner, it must be grievous to those who are not very regular & very diligent. Upon the whole, the Statutes have no doubt diminished the number of bursars, without any detriment to the livings of the Masters, but it does not appear that they have diminished, nor can a probable reason be offered why they should diminish the Number of Libertines, which is as great presently as it was before the Statutes were made, & I apprehend would have been less than it is now if these Statutes had not been made. I am Dear Sir Your most obedient Servant Thomas Reid 13. To J O H N C H A L M E R S

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Address: To Doctor John Chalmers. Principal of Kings College MS: AUL MS K. 263; unpubl. King’s College, 6 April 1760 Sir The Bursars in my Class have given regular attendance three hours a day as the bursars of the other Classes have done, since the beginning of

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John Chalmers and Thomas Reid, [June 1761], 14

this Session till now. And tho I intend to teach such as shall attend me till my usual Course is done, yet when the other classes are given up and the publick Discipline, my teaching can onely be of a private Nature, and I freely, as far as is in my Power, dispense with any farther Attendance of any of my Bursars who incline to go home, and consent to their Receiving from you either their whole Burses or such part of them as you and the Society think they have merited by their past Attendance. Alexander Maclean has made very good use of his Time, & would willingly stay longer, but that thereby he must be put to the inconvenience & Danger of travelling to the Isle of Sky alone, which for a boy of his Age is too great a risque. The rest that incline to go have other excuses which shall satisfy me if they satisfy you. The renouncing their Right to any part of their Burse in consideration of their being presently dismissed, is a Measure that I can give no countenance to because I do not approve of it, but I think such as go away without necessity at the end of five months when their Master is to continue to teach may justly be deprived of part of a Burse which was intended to maintain them seven Months at their Studies. As to the Bursars that stay till the End of their Course I think they are justly entitled to the whole Burses they were presented to whether double or Single, & that they ought presently to be put upon an equal footing as to their payment with those that go away and receive what further is due to them when their course is done. I claim no fees for any Bursars whether they go or stay but such as have been kept off of the other Bursars. And I think when the publick Discipline is given up and the other Classes dismissed they ought to have leave to eat at the College Table or in private Quarters as they find most Convenient. I am respectfully Sir

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Y our m ost hum ble Servant

Thomas Reid

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14. L O R D D E S K F O R D to J O H N C H A L M E R S AND THOMAS REID* MS: AUL MS K. 255 Box 41A; unpubl. [Banff, June 1761] Gentlemen I am perfectly sensible of the Honour done me by so respectable a

75, William Ogilvie, 25 November 1761

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Body as the University of Aberdeen, unexpectedly and unanimously chusing me their Chancellor.* I should have been glad the Choice of the University had fallen upon one of more Abilities to serve the University, than I am; but I will be ready to do for it’s Service every Thing in my Power; And my first Duty I apprehend to be, to endeavour by Mediation to make up all Differences, that may at present subsist amongst the Members of the University: For this Purpose, I should be glad that a College Meeting were called to fix & settle all the Points, that have been in Dispute, as far as at present the Members of the University can do that amicably among themselves; and if after this, there still remain any Points not agreed upon, I should think it might be useful towards bringing these Matters to a quick Conclusion, to make a Lawyer on each Side draw up a State of the Matters in Dispute, with what honestly appears to him the proper Manner of determining in each, & the Grounds upon which he founds his Opinion. This being done, I will not be wanting, with the best Advice I can procure, to endeavour to reconcile Matters, as I think that of the utmost Consequence to the University, and therefore have it very much at Heart. Deskfoord 15. T H E M A S T E R S O F K I N G ’S C O L L E G E to WILLIAM OGILVIE MS: AUL MS K. 45, 47-8 (copy). King’s College, 25 November 1761 Sir The Masters of the College have this day before them a Letter from Lord Deskfoord, & another from you signifying your willingness to accept of becoming Mr Burnet’s assistant for teaching his Class.* We are sorry that your engagements with Mr Graeme will not permit your being with us this winter.* Since that is the Case, Mr Burnet will employ Mr Temple in your place in case he shall find it necessary. As you have quitted your present employment upon the Assurance, which the Members gave Lord Deskfoord, that you should be chosen into the first vacant Office, that might happen of a Regent’s place, we judge it proper to renew the same assurances, to yourself, promising

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Hugh Blair, 4 July 1762, 16

that each of us will vote for you to succeed to the first vacancy that shall happen of a Regent’s place, & we are Sir Your most Obedient humble Servants Roderick Macleod John Chalmers Thomas Reid John Lumsden John Leslie John Gregory Alexander Burnet Thomas Gordon

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Address: To The Revd Doctor Blair Professor of Rhetorick in the University of Edinburgh MS: AUL MS 2814/1/39. Edinburgh, 4 July 1762 Sir I have read over your Friend’s Performance & read it over with Pleasure, because it has a Quality seldom to be met with in Performances of that Nature; which is that it is wrote in a lively entertaining manner & will be able to fix the Attention even of those who are the least curious about metaphysical Reasonings. You desire me also to give my Judgement of the Argument and of the Piece in general: I own this is not easy, unless one had seen the whole; because the Scope and Tendency of the Parts is not other wise easily discover’d.* However, such an imperfect Judgement as I can form, I shall very candidly deliver to you, leaving you to transmit what part of it you think proper to the ingenious Author. I believe the whole of what I can say may be compriz’d in two or three Remarks. First As far as I can judge, there seems to be some Defect in Method; at least, I do not find the Subject open up gradually, and one part throwing light upon another: The Author digresses frequently: For Instance, under the Article of Smelling, he gives you a Glimpse of all the Depths of his Philosophy.* I own, however, that this Censure of mine is premature, on account of my not having seen the whole. Secondly. The Author supposes, that the Vulgar do not believe the sensible Qualities of Heat, Smell, Sound, & probably Colour to be really in the Bodies, but only their Causes or something capable of

16, David Hume Hugh Blair, 4 July 1762

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producing them in the Mind.* But this is imagining the Vulgar to be Philosophers & Corpuscularians from their Infancy. You know what pains it cost Malebranche & Locke to establish that Principle.* There are but obscure Traces of it among the Antients viz in the Epicurean School.* The Peripatetics maintaind opposite Principles.* And in­ deed Philosophy scarce ever advances a greater Paradox in the Eyes of the People, than when it affirms that Snow is neither cold nor white: Fire hot nor red. Thirdly. It surpriz’d me to find the Author affirm, that our Idea of Extension is nothing like the Objects of Touch.* He certainly knows, that People born blind have very compleat Ideas of Extension; & some of them have even been great Geometers.* Touch alone gives us an Idea of three Dimensions. Fourthly. If I comprehend the Author’s Doctrine, which, I own, I can hitherto do but imperfectly, it leads us back to innate Ideas. This I do not advance as an Objection: For nothing ought ever to be supposd finally decided in Philosophy, so as not to admit of a new Scrutiny; but only that, I think, the Author affirms I had been hasty, & not supported by any Colour of Argument when I affirm, that all our Ideas are copy’d from Impressions. I have endeavourd to build that Principle on two Arguments. The first is desiring anyone to make a particular Detail of all his Ideas, where he woud always find that every Idea had a correspondent & preceding Impression If no Exception can ever be found, the Principle must remain incontestible. The second is, that if you exclude any particular Impression, as Colours to the blind, Sound to the Deaf, you also exclude the Ideas.* These were the most material Remarks, which occurd to me. As to one particular Insinuation, I rather choose not to take notice of it at all because I could not properly reply to it without employing a Style, which I woud not willingly use towards one for whom I have otherwise a great Regard and who has the Honour of bearing the Name of your Friend.* I wish the Parsons wou’d confine themselves to their old Occupation of worrying one another; & leave Philosophers to argue with Temper, Moderation & good Manners. I am Sir Your most obedient Servant David Hume

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Lord Kames, 29 December 1762, 17

17. To L O R D K A M E S

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Address: To The Right Honourable My Lord Kaims Edinburgh MS: NAS MS GD24/1/569/1-3. King’s College, 29 December 1762 My Lord The conversations I had with my Lord Kaims are not vanished into Air. They are often recollected with great Pleasure, sometimes quoted, not without Vanity. They make me look bigger in my own Eyes and in the Eyes of others. I find no inclination to decline my part in the proposals mutually made and rejoice to understand that your Lordship has not forgot yours. It gives me pleasure to hear that a second Edition of the Elements of Criticism goes on with Expedition.* Fingal* will furnish many apt & beautifull Illustrations of your Principles, & your Lordship will act in Character by employing materials of home grouth in your man­ ufacture when you find them fit for the purpose. My hours of Leisure since I parted with your Lordship have been wholly employed in my Enquiry into the five Senses. I long to see an end of it, which I hope to do about the end of February.* My next occupation shall be to consider the Essay on moving Forces, & I hope to send you my remarks upon it sometime in March, but I fear they will be against you.* The Definition you have given of Regularity seems to me to be good. * I shall tell you why? & endeavour to answer your objections against it. Regularity or Irregularity can onely be predicated of things which consist of several parts, capable of being put together so as to produce various forms or modifications of the Whole. A small number of parts may often, by being variously put together, produce an incredible variety of modifications. The changes that can be rung upon twelve bells are more than four hundred & seventy nine millions.* The modifications of a four-sided figure are infinite even when the sides are all given, because the angles may be varied infinitely. A line of any given length admits of an infinite variety of forms or modifications. For first it consists of innumerable parts. Then each part may be streight; or it may be curve, and that in any kind or in any degree, as there are innumerable kinds as well as degrees of Curva­ ture. And lastly the parts may be put one to anothers end, either in directum or at any Angle. Every thing seems to be denominated

77, Lord Kames, 29 December 1762

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Regular or irregular from the manner of putting together the parts of which it is composed. But why should one manner of putting together the parts of a compounded thing be called Regular, another irregular? The Name plainly leads to the definition you have given. And the definition expresses perfectly the nature of the thing defined. You object to the Definition 1 That there is no line nor figure but may be reduced to some Rule simple or complex. Answer. I deny this, & your Lordship will see the reason, if you distinguish betwixt a complex Rule, & a Number of Rules. I grant that every figure may be reduced to one or more Rules, but not that every figure may be reduced to one simple or one complex Rule. An Epicycloid is formed by one Rule although a complex one, and therefore it may be called a regular figure. It admits of a definition which comprehends the whole nature of it, & leaves not a single point of the curve undetermined. The figure of the Isle of Man or of the Island of Great Britain is formed by no Rule, simple or complex. It admits not of a precise definition, but onely of a description. If I was to give an Account of its figure I must begin at some corner and say, From such a point to such a point the coast is a streight line, from thence to such another point, a Bay, then a promomtory & so furth. 1 think therefore we might define a Regular Figure to be that which admits of a Definition, & an irregular Figure to be that which admits onely of a Description. But this at Bottom is the same with the Definition you give of a Regular figure. You say a Regular figure is that which is composed by a precise Rule. Now if it is composed by a precise Rule it may be defined, otherwise, it can not be defined: for the defining of a figure is nothing else but shewing by what precise Rule it is composed. So that I think your Definition good, and that there are figures innumerable which are not composed by any precise Rule, which therefore are irregular. It is however one thing to be Regular & another to be perceived to be regular a figure may be composed by a precise rule & yet that rule may be so complex & so intricate, that the Regularity is not perceived by the Eye, at least not by every Eye. This happens in some geometrical lines of the higher orders. 2 You doubt whether Regularity can be predicated of a line. I see no reason to doubt of this. Nor would I have any hesitation in calling a right line, a circular or parabolic line, a Regular line; or in calling the circumference of Great Britain an irregular line

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3 You say that a mere rustic who knows nothing of a definition can at the first glance say whether a figure be regular or irregular. It is true, every one that hath an Eye will perceive a circle a Square or an Ellipse to be regular Figures, yet perhaps he does not know the precise rule by which they are formed nor can give a definition of them. Here I conceive he observes the uniformity of the parts, and either calls this regularity or infers regularity from it. In a circle all the parts are uniform in an Ellipse or in a Square the corresponding parts are uniform. This uniformity is obvious to the Eye, it gets the name of Regularity often, and where we distinguish between them is consid­ ered as an effect of Regularity. I think your Lordship should reconsider what you have said of the distinction of the vowels in Language, viz that they differ onely in Acuteness or Gravity of tone.* Consider this Argument against it, That some Singers in a Song give every word its proper sound & articulation so that you understand the words as well when they sing as when they say them, & I confess I like such singers best. Now it must often happen that a high note falls upon an (u) or an (o) and a low note upon an (i) or (e). I met lately with a manuscript Table of Scotch money, shewing the proportion of a pound scotch to a pound weight of Silver ever since the twelth Century. By this Table a scotch pound of money was originally a pound of Silver troy Weight. The reigns wherein our money was altered and the particular alterations made are set down and the Authorities quoted in the Margin. By these alterations we have now above 37 pound of our money in a pound of Silver. I have not examined the Authorities, being old acts of Parliament, or taken from books that I am not acquainted with; But would be glad to know whether any such thing has been published or is commonly known. If not, would not such a table deserve a place in the transactions of some of your learned Societies.* When your Lordship does me the honour to write me, I beg your opinion upon this, and wishing you many happy years employed in promoting Learning & Arts & Equity in your Country I am with great Respect My Lord Your Lordships most obedient Servant Thomas Reid

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[King’s College, 1763] I am very glad to hear that Dr Simpson (whom I reverence as the father of the Mathematicians now alive) retains so much vigor of body and Mind. I am just now teaching Euclids Elements, and I think his corrections & remarks have added much to their perfection and accuracy. His delicacy in attributing every inaccuracy in the present Copies not to Euclid but to Theon or some ignorant scholiast,* is without doubt just and well founded in the main, and I think it an admirable Expedient for preserving that entire respect which is due to the Patriarch of Mathematicians, without giving up the liberty of judging for ourselves. I should grant the infallibility of the Pope if I am allowed to a(s)cribe every thing that is amiss in his Decrees to the corruption or ignorance of his Notaries. But it mortifies me not a little to find that in his Judgment the 11 or 12 Axiom upon which so great a part of the System hangs is neither selfevident nor does admit of a demonstration in a strict sense.* Is not this acknowledging a defect in the Elements? a Defect which is not to be attributed to Theon but to the Science itself? I am ashamed to tell you how much time I consumed long ago upon this Axiom, in order to find Mathematical Evidence for what common sense does not permit any man to doubt. After having laboured in vain, I quite despaired when I found that Dr Simpson was of Opinion that it could not be strictly demonstrated, and began to think what the Reason can be that a mathematical Truth not self evident upon which a great part of Mathematicks depends does not admit of Strict demonstration. And I am now to acquaint you of what occurred to me in as few words as I can & would be very glad to know Dr Simpsons opinion of it In other parts of the Elements the properties of every figure are drawn from the definition of that figure. The definition contains the whole Essensce of the thing defined and every property of it may be said to be included in its definition for all of them by mathematical Reasoning can be drawn out of it. Accordingly we see that in every proposition of Euclid which relates to the Circle the Definition of a Circle is quoted, or some preceeding proposition is quoted which is deduced from the definition of a circle. And the same thing may be

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[William Ogilvie], [1763], 18

said of other Geometrical Figures. Their definition contains a Math­ ematical conception of them from which all their properties necessa­ rily follow. And every property of them is drawn out of the Definition. Thus it is with regard to every mathematical Curve line. But the case is far other ways with regard to right lines. The definition given of a right line in the Elements gives no mathematical conception of the thing defined.* Accordingly it is never quoted as far as I remember in the whole Elements. Nor do I see how any demonstra­ tion can be grounded upon it. The Axioms in Mathematicks seem to me to be onely a kind of succedaneum to supply the want of proper definitions Where we have a just mathematical Definition of any thing we reason about it from its definition, and find no need of any axioms relating to it. There are no axioms in Euclid relating to circles squares or Parallelograms. Why? because these figures are justly and mathematically defined and all their Properties are drawn from their definition. There are no Axioms relating to Ratios Why? Because Euclid hath accurately and mathematically defined when one Ratio is said to be the same to, or greater than another, and all the Propositions regarding Ratios are drawn out of these Definitions. All the Axioms in Mathematicks relate either to the Equality Majority or minority of Quantitys in general or to right Lines. I do not allow the 11 Axiom Lib 1 That all Right Angles are equal to be an exception to this Rule.* For that Axiom put in other words is this that if a Right line falls upon a right line making the Adjacent angles equal the Sum of these two angles will always be the same which axiom more properly relates to right lines than to Angles. The Axioms usually prefixed to the fifth book may all be demonstrated from these of the first Now what is the Reason that all the Axioms that are necessary in Mathematicks relate either to the majority minority or equality of Quantitys in general or to Right Lines? I take it to be this, that we have no mathematical Definition either of Equality Majority or minority or of a right line. As to Quantity, The Axioms about it I conceive can never be superceded by Definitions. For in order to this there behoved to be not onely a mathematical Definition of Quantity which perhaps might be found; But there behoved likeways to be mathematical definitions of addition Subtraction sum Difference Greater & Less Now these are too simple objects of thought to admit of Definition.

18, [William Ogilvie], [1763]

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Nor is there any occasion for it, since the Axioms relating to Quantities in general, could receive no addition to their Evidence even from Demonstration. But to come to Right Lines. You will say has not Euclid defined a Right Line. I say he has not and that the definition in the Elements cannot be Euclids but ought to be attributed to Theon or some interpolator. 1 Because it is no mathematical definition at all. It is no more than if you should say A right line is a Streight line, that is, giving a synonimous word for it. 2 This definition is never quoted in the whole Elements as far as I remember, nor can any demonstration be drawn from it. 3 We have a better Definition of a Right line in the Elements Lib 11. prop 1. Recta linea est quae cum recta linea non convenit in pluribus punctis quam in uno alias sibi ipsis congruent.* Of the four Axioms which we have about right lines this Definition might supersede three for it is easy to Demonstrate from it that two right lines cannot have a common section nor include a space and that all right angles are equal between themselves. If the famous Axiom which seems to bring a reproach upon Geometry could be demonstrated from this Definition I would speak big in its favour and plead that all the four Axioms about Right lines as well as the common definition of a right line should be turned out of the Elements to make way for it. But Alas! I have spent much labour in vain to deduce that Axiom by mathematical Reasoning from this Definition. And after what Dr Simpson has said I almost despair of it Shall we say then that this Definition of Right lines is imperfect and does not express the whole Nature of them? And therefore all their properties cannot be deduced from it? If it is so were it not worth while to seek for a more perfect definition of Right lines? If that cannot be done and if Right lines are things too simple to admit of a definition, yet still we ought to lay down onely such Axioms con­ cerning them as are self evident, and to deduce from these what is not so by mathematical Reasoning. The simplest I can think of, if it deserves the name of an Axiom is this. That if two points of a right line be equally distant from another right line in the same plane the intermediate points will be at the same distance from that right line. From this I think we might demonstrate the 12 Axiom. Dr Simpson has very happily deduced the true definition of a plane from that very proposition in which we have the above mentioned definition of a Right line. And if he or any other could find out such a

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Lord Kames, 14 February 1763, 19

definition of a Right line as might serve for demonstrating the simple properties of Right lines which are assumed in the Elements, This in my Judgment would most effectually wipe of(f) that reproach from the Elements of their being in a great measure founded upon an Axiom that is neither self evident nor can be strictly demonstrated. I have wearied you and my self upon this Subject and therefore must be short in what Remains. I am very much pleased with Dr Black’s Theory of Latent Heat.* I hope you will bring with you a full Account of the Experiments that confirm it. I have often wished this winter that the heat that affects our bodies had not been so latent and that the heat that affects the Mind in this Society had been more latent than it has been. I beg you will offer my best Compliments to Dr Simpson, Dr Trail Mrs Trail Principal Leechman whom I had once the pleasure of seeing at Edinburgh and to Mr Leith. I expect from you & him all Dr Smith’s Theories It has been said here of Dr Trail that he is become outrageously orthodox but his friends believe this to be a calumny* 19. To L O R D K A M E S Address: To The Right Honourable My Lord Kaims Edinburgh MS: NAS MS GD24/1/569/4, 9-10. King’s College, 14 February 1763 My Lord In consequence of the letter your Lordship honoured me with, without date, I wrote to Mr Beattie, and, since I received his Answer have conversed with him. I had reason before I wrote, to believe that the Report your Lordship had heard, of his being about a critical work for depreciating the merit of Ossian, was groundless; and now I can assure your Lordship upon his own Authority that it is so.* He professes himself a great admirer of the Bard of Morven, but not an implicite one. He has had disputes in Conversation with those, who to do Honour to Ossian, depreciate the Grecian Bard and his Critic Aristotle. It is his private Opinion, and he may have expressed it in such disputes, that in the very highest Species of Poetry (I suppose he means the Epic) Ossian has not attained an Equality with Homer, & one or two more. But in some of the higher kinds, he thinks the Son of Fingal stands unrivaled. This is the confession of his Faith, which I hope your Lordship will not judge heretical.

19, Lord Kames, 14 February 1763

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Next as to his intention of publishing. He has of late employed his hours of leisure in an Enquiry into the Principles which determine the degrees of our Approbation in the fine Arts especially Poetry. He had an Accademical Oration on this Subject at last Graduation. And lately read a Discourse upon it in our Philosophical Society. In neither were the Ashes of Ossian touched without Reverence. I believe he intends to carry on the Subject both in the College & in the Club but has presently no intention of p u b lish in g his discourses on this Subject farther than the four corners of the Club Room, or the Auditorium publicum of Marischal College. His lucubrations are no more directed against Ossian than against Homer or Pindar. He wants onely to find out, if possible, an even ballance, wherein the poetical Merit of every Bard may be fairly weighed, without any previous intention or even desire of finding one light and another heavy. He makes his acknowledgments to your Lordship for giving him the opportunity of purging himself of this Scandal, and for the Candor and good wishes you express towards him, and hopes he shall never do any thing to forfeit them. Do not Primary and Secondary Qualities in Philosophy, put your Lordship in Mind of two partners in a Country Dance? They stand cheek by joul for a long time very cordially. Then they set, cast off, and turn their backs as if mutually affronted and never to see one another any more. After some time they meet as good friends as ever; set, cast off again, and so on to the end of the Dance, when they are found hand to hand, in perfect friendship. In the first Ages of the World when Common Sense reigned uncontrouled by the Subtleties of Philosophy, Primary and Second­ ary Qualities dwelt peaceably under the same Roof and were joynt Proprietors of the same Subject, Body. Democritus and Epicurus set them at variance.* And pretending to find out that secondary Qualities were mere Spectres and Illusions of Sense they banished them to Fairy land. Aristotle took compassion upon them, recalled them and restored them to their former Inheritance.* And during his Administration they dwelt cordially with the primary, and the distinction betwixt the one and the other was forgot. Des Cartes Malebranche & Locke set them at variance again, but were not so cruel to the secondary Qualities as their predecessors in the Atomical Philosophy had been.* They indeed turned them out of Body, but seemed to make ample amends by giving them a place in

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the Mind, and making them Sensations of the Mind. And now one would think that both Parties must remain for ever satisfied and never more have any thing to do with each other. But Fate had ordained that they should not dwell long asunder, and like true lovers they both soon repent of the Separation. For First the Secondary Qualities, far from being vain of their new Possession, seemed to disdain being called by its name; and retaining a strange and unaccountable liking to the Old material Subject, and to their old Companions, still retained the name and Title of Secondary Qualities o f Body, even among those who believed that they had no part nor lot in Body, but in the Mind onely. Secondly, The Primary Qualities, now in the sole and undisturbed possession of the material Subject, were so far from being satisfied with their Condition, that unable to brook a longer Separation, they took a desperate Resolution, unparalleled in History, & in a body forsook their Native Country and inheritance to follow their old Companions. This Extraordinary Event your Lordship knows happned in the iEra and under the Philosophical Administration of Bishop Berkley.* The good Bishop did the best he could to accommodate both Primary and Secondary Qualities with lodgings in the Human Mind. And having both become meer Sensations, they lost their distinction again. In the mean time the old Material Subject which had made so magnificent a Figure in Ages past, being now stript of all its Qualities, looked so pitifull, that it is said to have sunk into the Abyss to cover the shame of its nakedness. The next .Era again disjoyned Primary and Secondary Qualities, not onely from one another but from every Subject. For having now no where to lay their Head but in the Human Mind; a bold and cunning Engineer (by what motive induced to so daring an Attempt, remains a Secret) dexterously sapped the Foundation of this Edifice, untill at last the Substratum cracked and gave way, and the whole Superstructure fell to pieces. Primary and Secondary Qualities as well (as) all the other Inhabitants who survived the Ruin, were left with Epicurus’ Atoms, vaccuum per inane vagari* In this situation of things your Lordship acts charitably as well as justly, by restoring both primary and secondary qualities to their ancient Inheritance, to which I think they had always a just Title. Your manner of explaining secondary Qualities I subscribe to, with

20, David Hume, 25 February 1763

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this small alteration viz. You say that secondary Qualities have a Relation to a Percipient.* I would say rather that our Notion or Conception of them hath a relation to a percipient. The whiteness of this paper, is that Quality in it, which causes a certain sensation in me when I look upon it. Not knowing what this quality is in itself, I form a relative Notion of it viz That it is that, which causes such a Sensation in the percipient. It will appear evident to any one who considers the common use of the Word (whiteness) that we dont mean by it in common language, the Sensation, but that in the Body which causes the Sensation. Nor are the vulgar so stupid as to think that the Sensation is in the paper, but onely some quality that causes it. Your Lordship very justly makes a similar observation with regard to heat. Of primary qualities Nature hath given us clear and direct perceptions. I know perfectly what figure and Extension are in themselves, as well as how they affect my sense. But of Secondary qualities we know onely how they affect the sense not what they are in themselves, unless in so far as Philosophy hath detected their real Nature.* I am with the most perfect Respect &c Thomas Reid 20. F ro m D A V I D H U M E MS: AUL MS 2814/1/42.

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Edinburgh, 25 February 1763 Sir By Dr Blair’s means, I have been favour’d with the Perusal of your Performance, which I have read with great Pleasure & Attention. It is certainly very rare that a Piece so deeply philosophical is wrote with so much Spirit and affords so much Entertainment to the Reader; tho’ I must still regreat the Disadvantages under which I read it, as I never had the whole Performance at once before me, and could not be able fully to compare one Part with another. To this Reason chiefly I ascribe some Obscurities, which, in spite of your short Analysis or Abstract,* still seems to hang over your System. For I must do you the Justice to own, that, where I enter into your Ideas, no Man appears to express himself with greater Perspicuity than you do; a Talent, which, above all others, is requisite in that Species of Literature, which you have cultivated. There are some Objections,

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David Hume, 18 March 1763, 21

which I would willingly propose to this fourth Chapter of Sight,* did I not suspect that they proceed from my not sufficiently under­ standing it: And I am the more confirm’d in this Suspicion, as Dr Blair tells me, that the former Objections I made had been deriv’d chiefly from that Cause. I shall therefore forbear till the whole can lie before me, and shall not at present propose any farther Difficulties to your Reasonings I shall only say, that if you have been able to clear up these abstruse & important Subjects, instead of being mortifyd, I shall be so vain as to pretend to a share of the Praise, and shall think, that my Errors, by having at least some Coherence, had led you to make a more strict Review of my Principles which were the common ones, and to perceive their Futility. As I was desirous to be of some Use to you, I kept a watchful Eye, all along, over your Style; but it is really so correct and so good English, that I found not any thing worth the remarking. There is only one Passage in this Chapter, where you make use of the Phraze hinder to do instead of hinder from doingf which is the English one; but I could not find the Passage when I sought for it. You may judge how unexceptionable the whole appeard to me, when I could remark so small a Blemish. I beg my Compliments to my friendly Adversaries, Dr Campbell & Dr Gerard; and also to Dr Gregory, whom I suspect to be of the same Disposi­ tion, tho’ he has not openly declard himself such.* I am with Sincerity Sir Your most obedient humble Servant David Hume 21. To D A V I D H U M E

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Address: To David Hume Esquire Edinburgh MS: NLS MS 23157/3. King’s College, 18 March 1763 Sir On Monday last Mr John Farquhar brought me your letter of Feb 25th inclosed in one from Dr Blair. I thought my self very happy in having the means of obtaining at second hand, through the friendship of Dr Blair, your Opinion of my performance; and you have been pleased to communicate it directly, in so polite & friendly a manner as merits great acknowledgments on my part. Your keeping a watchfull Eye over my Style with a view to be of use

27, David Hume, 18 March 1763

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to me, is an Instance of Candor and Generosity to an Antagonist, which would affect me very sensibly although I had no personal concern in it. And I shall always be proud to follow so amiable an Example. Your Judgment of the Style indeed gives me great consolation, as I was very diffident of my self in regard to English, & have been indebted to Drs Campbel & Gerard for many corrections of that kind. In attempting to throw some new light upon these abstruse Sub­ jects, I wish to preserve the due mean betwixt Confidence and Despair. But whether I have any Success in this Attempt or not, I shall always avow my self your Disciple in Metaphysicks. I have learned more from your writings in this kind than from all others put together. Your System appears to me not onely coherent in all its parts, but likeways justly deduced from principles commonly received among Philosophers: Principles, which I never thought of calling in Question, untill the conclusions you draw from them in the treatise of humane Nature made me suspect them. If these principles are Solid your System must stand; And whether they are or not, can better be judged after you have brought to Light the whole System that grows out of them, than when the greater part of it was wrapped up in clouds and darkness. I agree with you therefore that if this System shall ever be demolished, you have a just claim to a great share of the Praise, both because you have made it a distinct and determinate mark to be aimed at, and have furnished proper artillery for the purpose When you have seen the whole of my performance I shall take it as a very great favour to have your opinion upon it,* from which I make no doubt of receiving light, whether I receive conviction or not. Your Friendly Adversaries Drs Campbel & Gerard as well as Dr Gregory return their Compliments to you respectfully. A little Philosophical Society here of which all the three are members, is much indebted to you for its Entertainment. Your Company would, although we are all good Christians, be more acceptable than that of Saint Athanasius. And since we cannot have you upon the bench, you are brought oftner than any other man, to the bar, accused and defended with great Zeal but without bitterness. If you write no more in morals politicks or metaphysicks, I am affraid we shall be at a loss for Subjects.* I am respectfully Sir Your most obliged humble Servant Thomas Reid

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William Cullen, 22 January 1764, 22

22. L O R D D E S K F O R D to W I L L I A M C U L L E N Address: To Dr Cullen MS: GUL MS Cullen 78. 5

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Castle of Banff, 22 January 1764 Sir I have just heard of the Loss sustained by the University of Glasgow by Mr Smith’s leaving it.* It is of Consequence to the University, and to the Education of Scotland, that he should be succeeded by the fittest person. I do imagine that your Acquaintance Dr Thomas Reid, of the King’s College at Aberdeen, is the fittest Man in the Kingdom for that Profession. If you are of the same Opinion, it will be doing a Service to the publick to let your Friends who have Interest in the University of Glasgow know your Opinion. Mr Reid is quite ignorant of my writing, and I suppose has no Thoughts of the Thing. I am with perfect Esteem Sir your most obedient & most humble servant Deskfoord 23. To [ R O B E R T S I M S O N ] MS: AUL MS 2131/3/III/14 (draft); unpubl.

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[King’s College, 1764] Dear Sir I have so long delayed answering yours of August 26, because I was ambitious of executing what you did me the honour to desire of me, namely to send you my observations upon your Edition of the data of Euclid.* When I received your letter I was busy about printing a thing of my own of which I have ordered Mr Kincaid to send you a Copy.* And indeed since that was done I have not yet been able to command time to read over your Edition of the data with the care which is necessary in order to make observations upon it, and I believe shall not find time till our Session is up. In the mean time to show you how much I desire to obey your commands I shall mention an observation or two. In the Elements Book first, by the help of Prop 11 you demonstrate that two straight lines cannot have a common Segment.* But this is assumed in the demonstration of the fourth Proposition. And there­

23, [Robert Simson], [1764]

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fore the demonstration of it seems to come too late after the 11. It ought either to be demonstrated before the 4th or laid down as an Axiom and in either case to be referred to in the demonstration of the fourth which seems to me not to be conclusive without it. I am very apt to suspect the first Def book first not to be Euclids,* first because being meerly negative it can give no Idea of the thing defined. & secondly because I can understand the third definition no otherwise than as a definition of a Point, & would translate it thus “Points are the extremities of a line.” * If this is not the meaning of it, it seems to me to be no definition. And if this is the meaning is it probable that Euclid should give two definitions of the same thing. I am perfectly pleased with the Note you have given in this last Edition upon the Notions of a Surface line & point.* They are all terminations, and ought to be defined as such. I think The note on Prop 29 Lib 1. greatly improved in this edition. & I dont know if it be possible to demonstrate the 12 Axiom without the help of some Such Axiom as that which you lay down in that note.* I spent some labour more than a year ago in endeavouring to prove the fundamental properties of right lines from this definition “Right lines are those which if they be applied to one another in any way, and made to touch in two points, must coincide in every point.” * From this definition it is easy to demonstrate that two right lines cannot comprehend a Space That two right lines cannot have a common Segment That all right Angles are equal. So that if this definition was used, one might throw out those three Axioms. In this respect I think it preferable to Euclids definition of a right line from which nothing at all can be inferred I think I was likewise able to demonstrate from this definition That if two right lines stand at right angles upon a third and upon the same side, they shall not approach nearer to each other, and That if two right lines proceed from the same point making an Angle a point may be found in either line which shall be at a distance greater than any given distance from the other line. When I had proceeded so far, I flattered my self that I was in a fair way of demonstrating from the same definition That if two right lines stand at right Angles upon a third and upon the same side they shall not recede from each other. And That if two right lines stand upon a third making the two internal angles less than two right angles they

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[Thomas Miller], 26 May 1764, 24

shall meet. But to my mortification and surprize I was not able to demonstrate either of these propositions from my Definition. I despaired therefore of being able to demonstrate the properties of right lines without assuming some axiom. 5

24. To [ T H O M A S M I L L E R ]

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Address: To the Right Honourable My Lord Advocate MS: GUA MS 34687; unpubl. Edinburgh, 26 May 1764 My Lord I received your Lordships letter of the 22d informing me that the University of Glasgow have by a great Majority elected me Professor of moral Philosophy.* I am estreamly sensible of the honour done me by that very learned Body. And although I cannot without great Fear and Anxiety undertake a Profession which hath been filled by men of so eminent Merit and Abilities; it shall be my Ambition to discharge the duty of it according to the Ability which God hath given me, & in all things to promote the Honour and Interest of the University. I beg of your Lordship to present my most humble Respects to the Principal & to all the Professors, & to be assured that I am with the most perfect Regard My Lord Your Lordship(s) most obliged & most humble Servant Thomas Reid 25.

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T H O M A S M I L L E R to W I L L I A M L E E C H M A N OR JAMES CLOW

Address: To The Reverend Doctor Leechman Principal, or in his abscence to Dr Clow Professor of Philosophy in the University of Glasgow MS: GUA MS 34559; unpubl. Edinburgh, 29 May 1764 Dear Sir I send You inclosed Doctor Reids Letter of Acceptance of the office of Professor of Moral Philosophy in Your University. I should

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have transmitted it by last post but in the hurry of bussiness it escaped me. I am with great regard Dear Sir Your most Obedient humble Servant Thomas Miller 26.

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To T H E E A R L O F F I N D L A T E R A N D SEAFIELD

MS: AUL MS K. 45, 183-4 (copy); unpubl. [Glasgow, 13 October 1764] Know all men by these Presents That I Dr Thomas Reid Late Professor of Philosophy in the University of Old Aberdeen now Pro­ fessor of Morall Philosophy in the University of Glasgow have resigned my said office in the University of Old Aberdeen & hereby resign the same into the hands of the Right Honourable James Earl of Findlater & Seafield Chancellor of the said University; renouncing for me & my heirs all right & Title to the profits & Emoluments of the said office in all time to come; but reserving my Right & Tittle to the Sallary ordinary & additionall & to all other Emoluments of the said office to the date of this my Resignation; And I Request the Right Honourable the Chancellor of the Said University upon receipt of this my Resignation to intimate the same to the Principall & Masters that they may proceed to fill up the Vacant office wishing increase of Prosperity & publick usefullness to that learned Body of which I had the honour to be a member. In testimony whereof I have written & Subscribed these presents at Glasgow this thirteenth day of October one thousand Seven hundred & Sixty four Thomas Reid 27. To A N D R E W S K E N E

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Address: To Dr Andrew Skene Physician in Aberdeen MS: NCL MS THO 2/1. Glasgow, 14 November 1764 Dear Sir I have been for a long time wishing for as much leisure as to write you, if it was onely to revive the Memory of the many happy hours

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which I have enjoyed in your Company, when tete a tete we sat down to speak freely of men and things without reserve and without malignity. The time slipt away so smoothly that I could often have wished to have clipt its wings. I dare not now be guilty of any such agreable irregularities for I must launch forth in the morning so as to be at the college (which is a walk of 8 minutes) half an hour after seven, when I speak for an hour without interruption to an audience of about a hundred. At eleven I examine for an hour upon my morning prelection, but my audience is little more than a third part of what it was in the morning. In a week or two I must for three days in the week have a second prelection at twelve, upon a different Subject where my audience will be made up of those who hear me in the morning but do not attend at eleven.* My hearers commonly attend my Class two years at least. The first session they attend the morning Prelection and the hour of Exam­ ination at eleven, the second and Subsequent years they attend the two prelections but not the hour of examination. They pay fees for the first two years, and then they are Cives of that Class and may attend gratis as many years as they please. Many attend the Moral Philosophy Class four or five years. So that I have many Preachers & Students of Divinity and Law of considerable standing, before whom I stand in awe to speak without more preparation than I have leisure for: I have a great inclination to attend some of the Professors here; several of whom are very eminent in their way, but I cannot find leisure. Much time is consumed in our College Meetings about business, of which we have commonly four or five in the week. We have a literary Society once a week consisting of the Masters & two or three more, where each of the members has a discourse once in the Session.* The Professors of Humanity, Greek, Logic, & Natural Philosophy, have as many hours as I have some of them more. All the other Professors, except one, teach at least one hour a day, and we are no less than forteen in Number. The hours of the different Professors are different as far as can be that the same Student may attend two or three or perhaps more at the same time. Near a third part of our Students are Irish. Thirty came over lately in one ship, besides three that went to Edinburgh. We have a good many English & some forreigners. Many of the Irish as well as Scotch are poor and come up late to

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save money, so that we are not yet fully conveened although I have been teaching ever since the 10 of October Those who pretend to know, say that the number of Students this year when fully conveened will amount to 300. The masters live in good habits with one another and manage their political differences with outward decency and good manners although with a good deal of Intrigue and secret caballing, when there is an Election. I have met with perfect civility from them all. By this time I am sure you have enough of the College, for you know as much as I can tell you of the fine houses of the Masters, of the Astronomical Obser(v)atory, of Robin Fowlis Collection of Pictures & painting College, of the Foundery for Types & printing house;* therefore I will carry you home to my own house, which lyes among the midle of the weavers like the back wynd in Aberdeen. You go through a long dark abominably nasty entry, which leads you into a clean little closs. You walk upstairs to a neat little dining room & find as many other little Rooms as just accomodate my family so scantily that my appartment is a closet of 6 foot by 8 or 9 off the dinning room. To ballance these little inconveniencies the house is new and free of buggs; It has the best Air and the finest prospect in Glasgow; The privilege of a large Garden very airy, to walk in; which is not so nicely kept but one may use freedom with it. A five minutes walk leads us up a rocky precipice in to a large Park partly planted with firs & partly open which overlooks the Town and all the country round & gives a view of the Windings of the Clyde for a great way. The ancient Cathedral stands at the foot of the rock half of its height below you & half above you. And indeed it is a very magnificent Pile. When we came here the Street we live in (which is called the drygate) was infested with the smallpox which were very mortal. Two families in our neighbourhood lost all their children being three each. Little David after some weeks loosness which reduced him was seized with the infection and had a very great Eruption both in his face & over his whole body, which you will believe would discompose his mother. Dr Black saw him sometimes & Dr Hamilton very often. They both agreed in an opinion which I apprehend showed both Judgment and Honesty & that was that the best thing they could do for him was to do nothing at all, because every thing seemed to go on regularly. He has had no second fever altho’ it is now the 19th day, so that I think he is out of danger he got one dose of physic and has been

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a little loose ever since. But he is sometimes very troublesome & capricious sometimes making his Woman rise in the middle of the night to make pottage to him. Mrs Reid wrote you when she was in very low Spirits by a Dissentery accompanying the Natural Evacuation of the Sex. She had something of the same kind about a month after. But I think upon the whole she has had such interchanges of health and ailments of low Spirits and good Spirits as she was wont to have. Although my Sallary here be much the same as at Aberdeen yet if the Class does not fall off, nor my health, so as to disable me from teaching, I believe I shall be able to live as easily as at Aberdeen notwithstanding the difference of the Expence of living at the two places. I have touched about 70£ of fees & may possibly make out the hundred this Session. And now Sir after I have given you so full an account of my own State Spiritual and Temporal, how goes it with you? Are George & Molly minding their bussiness? I know Kate will mind hers. Is Dr David littering up your house more & more with all the birds of the Air the beasts of the field, and the Clods of the Valley? Or has Walker the botanist* been carrying him about to visit vegetable patients, while you are left to drudge among the animal ones? Is your head steady or is it sometimes (ms. damaged) round? I have a thousand Questions to ask about our people, but I ought rather to put them to those who have more time to answer them. I was very sorry to hear by a letter from Lady Forbes of Hatton’s misfortune, & am left in doubt whether the next account shall be of his death or recovery. The common people here have a gloom in their countenance which I am at a loss whether to ascribe to their religion or to the Air and Climate. There is certainly more of religion amon(g) the common people in this town than in Aberdeen and although it has a gloomy Ent(h)usiastical Cast, yet I think it makes them tame & sober. I have not heard either of a house or of a head broke, of a pocket pict or of any flagrant crime since I came here. I have not heard any swearing in the streets, nor seen a man drunk (excepting inter nos one Prof—r)* since I came here. If this Scroll tire you impute it to this that to morrow is to be employed in choosing a Rector* & I can sleep till ten o’clock which I shall not do again for six weeks, & believe me to be with sincere Friendship and Regard Dear Sir Yours Thomas Reid

28. To D A V I D S K E N E Address: To Doctor David Skene Physician in Aberdeen MS: NCL MS THO 2/2. Glasgow, 13 July 1765 Dear Sir We had a Turin Professor of Medicine here lately whom I wished you acquainted with. Count Carburi is his Name, an Athenian born but has been most of his time in Italy. He seems to be a great Connoisseur in Natural History, and has seen all the best collections in Europe. The Emperor and King of France as well as many persons in Italy, he says, have much more compleat Collections of our Scotch fossils than any we have in Brittain. I described to him our Bennachie Porphiry* but he says all that they call Porphiry in Italy consists of small dark coloured grains in a grey ground and has very much the same appearance as many of our Granites, before it is polished. He wanted much to know whether we had any Authentick Evidence from Ireland or any where else of wood that had been seen in the state of Wood and afterwards petrified.* He would have gone over to Ireland on purpose, if we could have given him ground to expect this. He says M Bufon & Daubenton are both positive that no such thing was ever known, and that all the petrified wood dug up in various parts of the Earth of which Carburi say(s) he has two Wagon loads found in Piemont, has been petrified before our Earth put on its present form, and that there is no evidence of any such Petrification now going on. I have a Strong Inclination to attend the Chimical Lecture here next Winter but am afraid I shall not have time. I have had but very imperfect hints of Dr Blacks Theory of Fire. He has a Strong Apprehension that the Phlogistick principle is so far from adding to the weight of Bodies by being Joyned to them that it diminishes, it. And on the contrary by taking the Ph(l)ogistick from any body you make it heavier. He brings many Experiments to prove this; The Calcination of Metals and the Decomposition of Sulphur, you will easily guess to be among the Number, but he is very modest and cautious in his conclusions and wants to have them amply confirmed before he asserts them positively.* I am told that Blacks Theory is not known at Edinburgh. Chemistry seems to be the onely branch of Philosophy that can be said to be in a progressive State here although

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David Skene, 13 July 1765, 28

other branches are neither ill taught nor ill studied As Black is got into a good deal of Practice it is to be feared that his Chymical enquiries must go on slowly and heavily in time to come. I never considered Dollonds Telescopes till I came here. I think they open a new field in Opticks which may greatly enrich that part of Philosophy. The Laws of the Refraction of Light seem to be very different in different kinds both of Glass and of native Chrystal.* I have seen a Prism of brazil peeble which forms two distinct spectrums in Sir I Newtons Experiment, each of them containing all the primary Colours. A German Native Chrystal seemed to me to form four or five. One composition of Glass separates the different colours much more than another composition even with the same degree of Refraction. Dollond has made a fortune by his Telescopes no body else having attempted to imitate them, and is now I am told grown lazy. Nor is the theory of them prosecuted as it ought. Dollonds Micrometer is likewise a very fine instrument although not built upon any thing new in Opticks. We have one of them here fitted to a Reflecting Telescope of about 18 inches by which one may take the Apparent Diameter of the Sun or of any Planet within a second of a degree.* I find a variety of things here to amuse me in the literary way and want nothing so much as my old Friends, whose place I cannot expect at my time of Life to supply. I think the common people here and in the neighbourhood greatly inferior to the common people with you. They are Boeotian in their Understandings, fanatical in their Religion, and clownish in their dress and Manners. The Clergy encourage this fanaticism too much and find it the onely way to popularity. I often hear a Gospel here which you know nothing about, for you neither hear it from the pulpit nor will you find it in the Bible What is your Philosophical Society doing? still battling about D Hum(e) or have you time to look in?* I hope your Papa holds out in his usual way. I beg to be remembred to him most affectionately, and to all the rest of your family. But I believe you do not like to be charged with compliments, otherwise I would desire of you likewise to remember me respectfully to Sir Archibald Grant. Sir Arthur & Lady Forbes and others of my Country Acquaintance when you have occasion to see them. I should be glad too to hear from you when leisure and opportunity and the epistolary humor all meet together.

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My folks are all pretty well and beg their Compliments to you and all yours I am Dear Sir Most affectionately Yours Thomas Reid being the first warm day we have had since the Month of May. 29. To D A V I D S K E N E

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Address: To Dr David Skene MS: NCL MS THO 2/3. Glasgow, 20 December [1765] Dear Sir Your commissions have been lying by me some time for want of a proper Conveyance. An Aberdeen Carrier promised to call for them but disappointed me. I Therefore sent the two thermometers wrapt up (in) a paper & directed for you by Mr Menzies Merchant in the Narrow Wynd who was to set out from hence yesterday morning. One has a circular bore in the small tube, the other an Elliptical one & is on that Account 2 shillings dearer. The last takes the temperature of any fluid much sooner, & is on that Account much fitter for Experiments. As there is a much greater Quantity of Quicksilver in the Circular one, it may take 4 or five minutes to bring it to the temperature of a fluid in which it is immersed. For Nice Experiments some of the Elliptical ones are made by Dr Wilson with the bulb of the small tube naked. But these are so liable to accidents that few chuse them.* The Perspective machine* goes to Edinburgh to Morrow with Dr Trail who will send it to my Sisters to be sent you by the first proper Opportunity. I was obliged to send it in two parcels; one consisting of the three white Iron* feet, one within another, closed at top with the plug of the largest foot, & bound over with paper. The other parcel contains the Machine it self in a green cloth bag, which with the two other plugs is put in to a white iron case bound up in gray paper and directed to you. When the Machine is taken out of the bag, you will see that it consists of a Mahogony box clasped. Opening it while the clasps are on the under side, you will find the apparatus within it together with a printed paper of directions for setting it up and using it. I wish the directions were more distinct; but the Author, seems to have a better

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David Skene, 20 December [1765], 29

talent for invention than for description. The Mahogony box when spread out serves for the drawing board which stands perpendicular to the horizon when it is used, with that side downward which hase the Mortoise holes in it. There are four Springs at the four Corners for fixing the paper on which you draw, tight to the board. The board is kept Spread by skrewing on the two plugs which receive the two smaller feet, with two Skrews which you will find in the Machine. The third plug which receives the largest foot is skrewed tight upon the T which you will see fixed in the Machine The rest of the Apparatus consists of a parallelogram piece, an Index, & an Eye piece The parallelogram piece has two Ends shod with brass which you push into the two mortoise holes in the under side of the board. There are two catches with springs in the innersides of the board which fix these ends when they are pushed far enough. And when you take off the piece again by pulling the ends out of the mortoise holes, you must take care to raise the catch with your finger. The Eye piece consists of several joynts, by which while one end of it is fixed within the box in the manner you find it, the second joynt is brought over the upper side of the board, & by means of the remaining joynts, the perforated brass plate at the other End is brought to the place of the eye, or what in the terms of art is called the point of View. The Perspective plain, is an imaginary Rectangle, equal to the board, and placed above the board so as that the upperside of the board and the lower side of the perspective plain do coincide. The Index has at the lower end a brass plate fixed across which joyns it to the lowest side of the parallelogram piece. This plate has a skrew hole in the middle, into which is skrewed the hose of the pencil. The pencil must be thrust into this hose so that its point reaches about a twentieth part of an inch beyond the hose. The length of the Index is equal to the breadth of the board and it ends above in a brass point. You will easily see by the construction of the parallelogram piece, that the pencil when fixed to it can easily be carried over the whole board; and that as you describe any figure whatsoever upon the paper applyed to the board, the upper end of the Index describes a figure in the imaginary perspective plain, exactly similar and equal. And therefore when you apply your eye to the point of view, and keeping the Eye in that place, survey your Object through the small hole in the brass plate of the Eyepiece; if you apply your Right hand to the

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pencil, and carry it over the board so that the point of the Index touches the out line of the Object in the perspective plain; your pencil draws a similar out line upon the paper on the board. The stroke of the pencil ought to be as slight as possible; and it is proper to keep the paper always close to the board by the left hand. It requires practice to do an outline by this Machine tollerably neat and handsom, but it must be exact & according to the rules of Perspective. I have seen the Machine used for taking off a smal Map from a large one. You will easily see that this is done by making the large Map the Object and the small one the perspective draught of that Object. I have also seen drawings of busts and Statues taken by it. The price including the W(h)iteiron case is £3.6.0 the circular Thermometer £0.10.6 the other £0.12.6. Which you may pay to D. Bartlet. Mr Watt has made two small improvements of the Steam Engine.* The first is in the Iron barrs which support the fire. These have always been made of Solid Iron, & burn away so fast by the great heat that the Expence of repairing them comes to be very considerable. He uses hollow square barrs of plate Iron, always kept full of Water which communicates with a pretty large Reservoir, so that the barrs can never be heated above the degree of boyling water and may be kept far below that degree of heat. The other improvement is to prevent the waste of heat by the chimney pipe of the furnace. It is evident that a very large proportion of the heat of the fire passes off in this way without being applyed to the Water in the Boyler. To prevent this he makes three small chimney pipes of iron which are made to pass through the Boyler. He is just now employed in setting up An Engine for the Caron Company with these Improvements* Since I saw Count Carburi I have it upon good Authority that there are petrifying springs in England which petrify things put into them in a short time. And a Gentleman here expects in a short time a petrifyed periwig from one of them Dr Black tells me that Crammers furnaces both for Essaying and Melting, as you have them described in his Ars Docimastica, are the best he knows.* His are of that kind. Being made of plate Iron lined with a coat of a Lute which is composed of one part clay and three parts fine Sand, which he says never cracks. He has not examined the Fechil Earth,* but conjectures it to be a composision of the same kind with prussian blue. He has seen a Horses head which by being long buried in a clay which had some mixture of Iron, had in several

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places taken a fine blue tinge, or rather was covered with a fine blew dust I have attended Doctor Blacks lectures hitherto. His Doctrine of Latent Heat is the onely thing I have yet heard that is altogether New. And indeed I look upon it as a very important Discovery. As Mr Ogilvie attended him & took Notes I believe he can give you a fuller Account of it than I can. It gives a great deal of light to the Phenomena of heat that appear in Mixture, Solution & Evaporation, but as far I see it gives no light to those which appear in Animal heat, Inflammation, & Friction. I wish this Discovery may not reach any Person, who may be so ungenerous as to make it publick before the Dr has time to publish it himself. If the Account which Ogilvie can give you should suggest any doubts I will be glad to clear them as far as my knowledge of this Doctrine reaches. I am very glad to hear that Dr Hope has a prospect of raising the true Rhubarb.* I believe I forgot to tell you that I wrapped up a head of what I take to be the daucus Sylvestris* in a piece of paper & put in the box with the drawing Machine. It grows in great plenty in the fields here But I never saw it with you I have not met with any botanists here. Our College is considerably more crouded than it was last Session. My class indeed is much the same as last year but all the rest are better. I believe the Number of our Students of one kind or another may be between 4 & five hundred. But the College of Edinburgh is increased this year much more than we are. The moral Philosophy Class there is more than double of ours. The Professor, Ferguson is indeed as far as I can Judge a man of a Noble Spirit, of very elegant manners, & has a very uncommon flow of Eloquence. I hear he is about to publish, I dont know under what title, a Natural History of Man: exhibiting a view of him in the Savage State and in the several Successive States of Pasturage, Agriculture, & Commerce.* Your Friend the Comte de Lauraguais* was very full of you when he was here and shewed an Anxiety that your Merit should be known. I am told that he has wrote many things in the Memoirs of the Accademy.* But I know no body here that has read them. Our College Library is ten or twelve years behind in the Memoirs of the Royal Accademy and all that the Comte has wrote must fall within that period. He seems to have attached himself so entirely to Chemistry as to have neglected every other branch of knowledge.

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Carburi was more Universal; he gave attention chiefly to the Progress of Manufactures & Commerce, & to collect books and Specimens of Natural or artificial things. Our Society is not so harmonious as I wish. Schemes of Interest pushed by some and opposed by others are like to divide us into parties, and perhaps engage us in law Suits.* When you see Mr W Ogilvie please make my Compliments to him. I received his letter and will write him when I can find leisure. I hope your Papa is quite recovered of his Cold and that all the rest of the family are in good health. Pray make my best Compliments to him. Mrs Reid Pegie & I have all had a severe Cold & Cough I have been keeping the house these two days in order to get the better of it. I am Dear Sir Yours most affectionately Thomas Reid Ended December 30 1765 wishing you many happy years. 30. To A N D R E W S K E N E

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Address: To Doctor Andrew Skene Aberdeen MS: NCL MS THO 2/4. Glasgow, 30 December 1765 Dear Sir I have been sometimes apt to impute it to laziness and sometimes to hurry of bussiness that I have been so long without writing you. I am ashamed to plead the last of these excuses when I consider how people there are of my Acquaintance that have a great deal more to do than I have, & would think all my bussiness but idleness. Yet I assure you I can rarely find an hour which I am at liberty, to dispose of as I please. The most disagreable thing in the teaching part is to have a great Number of stupid Irish teagues who attend classes for two or three years to qualify them for teaching Schools or being dissenting teachers. I preach to these as St Francis did to the fishes.* I dont know what pleasure he had in his Audience, but I should have none in mine if there was not in it a mixture of reasonable Creatures. I confess I think there is a smaller proportion of these in my Class this year then was the last although the number of the whole is not less. I have long been of the Opinion that in a Right Constituted College there ought to be two Professors for each Class.

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One for the Dunces and another for those who have parts. The Province of the former would not be the most agreable, but perhaps it would require the greatest talents & therefore ought to be accounted the post of honour There is no part of my time more disagreably spent than that which is spent in College meetings, of which we have often five or six in a week. And I should have been attending one this moment if a bad cold I have got had not furnished me with an Excuse. These meetings are become more disagreable by an Evil Spirit of Party that seems to put us in a ferment and I am afraid will produce bad consequences. The temper of our Northern Colonies makes our Mercantile people here look very grave. Several of them are going to London about this matter to attend the proceedings of Parliament. It is said that the Effects in those Colonies belonging to this town amount to above 400,000£ Sterling. The Mercantile people are for suspending the stamp Act and redressing the grievances of the Colonists.* Others consider their conduct as an open Rebellion and an avowed Claim to independance, Which ought to be checked in the beginning. They say that for all their boasting the Colonists are a dastardly pusilanimous race and that a british fleet and Army would soon reduce them to such :terms as would secure their future dependance upon the Mother Country that this is the most proper time for doing so when we are at peace with all our Neighbours. In what light the house of Commons will view this matter I dont know, but it seems to be one of the most important Matters that have come before them. I wish often an evening with you such as we have enjoyed in the days of former times, to settle the important affairs of State & Church, of Colleges & Corporations. I have found this the best Expedient to enable me to think of them without Melancholy and Chagrin. And I think all that a man has to do in the world is to keep his temper and to do his duty. Mrs Reid is tollerably well just now but is often ailing. She desires to be remembred to you and all your family I am Dear Sir Yours most affectionately Thomas Reid I wish you many happy years

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31 . T o D A V I D S K E N E Address'. Dr David Skene MS: NCL MS THO 2/5. 5

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Glasgow, 23 March 1766 Dear Sir I had yours of the 14th, & this moment that of thursday the 20 with the inclosed, a letter from your Papa by Mr Duguid with your circular Thermometer. I returned the Thermometer repaired by Mr Annan who left this two days ago but was to be a week at Edinburgh in his Return. I shall remember Sir Archibald Grants Commission but must take some time to think of it. What would you think of Alexander Mearns in Gordons hospital. If you are not acquainted with him you may learn his Qualities and tell me your Sentiments.* I shall likewise mind your Elliptical Thermometer. Mr Stewarts Death afflicts me deeply.* A sincere friendship begun at twelve years of age, and continued to my time of Life, without any interruption, cannot but give me some pangs. You knew his worth, yet it was shaded ever since you knew him by too great abstraction from the World. The former part of his Life was more amiable and more Social, but the whole was of a piece in Virtue Candor & humanity. I have often regreted that the Solicitude of providing for a Numerous Family and the labour of managing an Estate & a Farm, should make a man in a great Measure unknown, whose Virtue Integrity and Judgment ought to have shone in a more extensive Sphere. His Scholars could not but observe & revere his Virtues. And I have no doubt but great numbers of them have reaped great improvement by him in matters of higher importance than Mathematical Knowledge. I have always regarded him as my best tutor tho’ of the same Age with me. If the giddy part of my life was in any degree spent innocently and virtuously, I owe it to him more than to any human Creature, for I could not but be virtuous in his Company & I could not be so happy in any other. But I must leave this pleasing Melancholy Subject. He is happy, & I shall often be happy in the remembrance of our Friendship, and I hope we shall meet again. There is no such thing as Chymical Furnaces made here for Sale They are made of plate Iron, and a White Iron man manages that material better than a blacksmith. But you must direct them in every thing and be still over the work.

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I can give but an imperfect Account of the Doctrine of latent heat But some hint I shall give trusting intirely to your honour that you will be cautious not to make any use of it that may endanger the discoverer being defrauded of his Property.* There is in every body a certain Quantity of Heat which makes a part (of) its form or Constitution, & which it never parts with without losing or changing its form. This is called the latent heat of that Body. All or most bodies have three different Forms, Hard­ ness, Fluidity, & Steam or Vapour. Take water for an Example. In its hard State, that of Ice, we have no means of knowing what latent heat it may contain; but in its fluid state it has about 140 degrees of latent heat more than it had in the State of ice. This heat is latent while the water is fluid, it does not affect the thermometer nor produce any other Effect but that of making the body fluid. In the very act of melting from the State of Ice to that of water 140 degrees of heat is absorbed from the circumambient bodies without making the water sensibly warmer than the Ice; and in the Act of passing from the State of Water to that of Ice 140 degrees of heat which was latent in the Water becomes Sensible and must pass from the Water to the ambient bodies before it can be wholly converted into Ice. As there is no intermediate state between water and Ice, a very small part of the water freezes at once and the latent heat of that part being communicated to the remaining water, the freesing even in the coldest Air goes on piece-meal, according as the latent heat goes off, first into the water not yet frozen, and from that into the air or ambient bodies. Sperma Ceti in passing from a solid to a perfectly fluid form requires about 150 degrees of heat which becomes latent. Bees wax about 160 degrees.* But there is this remarkable difference between these bodies as well as iron & some other metals on the one hand, & water on the other; that the former Soften by degrees, so that there are many intermediate degrees of softness between the hardest state which the body takes by cold, & the state of perfect fluidity: Whereas in Water there seems to be no intermediate degree between perfect Ice and perfect water. Accordingly in Sperma ceti, bees wax & Iron the latent heat is more or less according to the degree of softness; But in water it is always the same As water has about 140 degrees of latent heat more than Ice; so steam has about 800 degrees of Latent heat more than water; hence an ounce of Steam though it have little more sensible heat than

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boyling water, will heat the cold water that condenses it almost as much as four ounces of boyling water would do. I can onely at present give you an experiment or two of the many by which this theory is confirmed. But first it is proper to observe that equal quantities of the same fluid of Different temperatures, being mixed, the temperature of the Mixt fluid is always an arithmetical Mean between the temperatures of the ingredients. Thus a pound of Water 40 degrees mixed with a pound of 100 degrees the Mixt is found precisely 60 degrees This has been tried in an infinite variety of Cases and found to hold invariably proper allowance being made for the heat communicated to the vessels or drawn from them in the operation. Experiment 1st Two florence flasks* had six ounces of Water put into each. In one it was made to freeze. In the other brought as near as possible to the freezing point without freezing that is to about 33 degrees. Both were set to warm in a large warm Room. The unfrosen water soon came to the temperature of the Room; but the frozen water took eleven or twelve hours to dissolve, and for the greatest part of that time was not sensibly heated. A Calculation was made upon the Supposition that the frozen water had as much heat communicated to it every half hour, as the unfrozen water had the first half hour. The result of this calculation was that the frozen water had absorbed 136 or 140 degrees of heat in melting over and above that which affected the thermometer.* Experiment 2 Six ounces of Ice of the temperature of 32 degrees had six ounces of boyling water poured upon it. The Ice melted imme­ diately and the whole Water was 52 degrees temperature.* Experiment 3 from Mushenbroek with a little Variation. When the Air is ten degrees below the freezing point, set a deep narrow beer glass of water to freeze, and let it remain perfectly at rest without the least Motion. The water will cool regularly below 32 degrees without freezing even to 22 degrees; but as soon as it is disturbed a number of icy spiculce are formed and in the same moment the sensible heat rises to 32 degrees & continues so till all is frozen.* I need not tell you that by sensible heat is meant that which diffuses it self to the ambient bodies till all are brought to an equilibrium. Of this the thermometer is the Measure. But latent heat adheres to the body without any tendency to diffuse it self to other bodies - unless they are able to change the form of the body from vapour to a fluid,

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or from a fluid to ice or hardness, then the latent heat goes off to other bodies and becomes Sensible. I hope you will understand me though I have wrote in a great hurry. Yet I cannot find that Cullen or the Edinburgh people know any thing of this matter. I may give you more of the Experiments afterwards. Thomas Reid 32. To D A V I D S K E N E

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Address: To Doctor David Skene Physitian at Aberdeen MS: NCL MS THO 2/13. Glasgow, 18 April [1766] Dear Sir There is like to be a Vacancy in one of the Medical Professions of this College by the Removal of Joseph Black to Edinburgh. I thought when I heard of Dr White’s Death* that there was very little probability of our losing Dr Black by that Event, because the Chymical Profession in Edinburgh was that which was thought fittest for Dr Black and there was good Reason to think that Cullen would not give up the Chemistry for The Theory of Medicine although he would very willingly Exchange it for the Practice of Medicine. But I was informed late yesternight that Dr Black is willing to accept of the Theory of Medicine in Edinburgh and that the Council are certainly to present him.* I am very dubious whether his Place here would be worth your Acceptance. But I am sure it would be so much the Interest of this Society to have such a Man in it, (& I need not say how agreable it would be to me), that I beg leave to inform you of what I know of the State of the Matter, that you may think of it and let me know your thoughts. The Sallary of Dr Blacks place is 50£ as Professor of the theory and Practice of Medicine, and the Presentation is in the Crown. The Recommendation of the College would probably have great weight if unanimous, but I think there is no probability of an unanimous recommendation. So that the Court Interest must probably determine it. Dr Black and Dr Cullen before him had 20£ yearly from the College for teaching Chemistry. And the College have from time to time Allowed I believe above 500£ for a Laboratory. The Chemical Class this Session I conceive might bring 50 or 60£ of fees and the Medical Class from 20 to thirty £. So that the Whole Sallary

32, David Skene, 18 April [1766]

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and fees will be between 140 & 160£. At the Same time the College can at any time withdraw the 20£ or give that and the Chimical Labora­ tory to another; and it is not improbable that this may be done if one be presented of whose abilities in Chemist(r)y the College is not Satisfied. Dr Black of late had got a great deal of Practice in the Medical way so as to leave him litle time for prosecuting his Chemical Discoveries and I think you might expect the same after some time, for he had no natural Connexion here it was his Merit alone that brought him in to it, and he long resisted instead of courting it so that it was in a manner forced upon him. The other Medical Professor* has Anatomy and Botany for his Province, he has a good Anatomical Class but he does not teach Botany at all, nor is as I apprehend qualified to teach it. All I have farther to say is that there is a great Spirit of Enquiry here among the young people Literary Merit is much regarded, and I conceive the opportunities a man has of improving himself are much greater than at Aberdeen. The Communication with Edinburgh is easy. One goes in the Stage Coach to Edinburgh before Dinner has all the afternoon there and returns to dinner at Glasgow next day. So that if you have any ambition to get into the College of Edinburgh (which I think you ought to have) I conceive Glasgow would be a good Step. Now Sir if you incline this place you must without delay try your Interest at Court and get the best recommendations you can to the members of this College. The Principal & Mr Clow are not engaged, they are the onely persons to whom I have made known or intend to make known my writing to you. Lord Findlaters* Interest I think would have weight with Trail & Williamson. I am told of three Candidates. Dr Stevenson in Glasgow Dr Smith Carmichael a young Doctor presently at London & one Dr Stark who was educated here. Each of these I apprehend has interest with some of the Members and depend upon them, so that we will probably be divided. & conse­ quently our Recommendation if any is given will have little weight at Court. If after due deliberation you think it not worth your while to stir in this matter for yourself; will you be so good as to communicate the State of the Case to Dr George Skene, he is the Man that next to you I would be fond of for a Colleague and in this I think I am determined more by (ms. damaged) publick Good than my private.

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The Aberdeen Town Council, 30 April 1766, 33

33. Fr o m T H E A B E R D E E N T O W N C O U N C I L

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MS: Aberdeen City Archives, Out Letter Book, 6: 1764-1768 (copy); unpubl. Aberdeen, 30 April 1766 Sir You would no doubt See Advertised in the Scotch newspapers,* the vacancy of a Professor of mathematicks in the Marischal Colledge of Aberdeen, and the magistrates & Town Council being Patrons, and having power to give Presentations to the Said Office, They therefore resolved in order to have the same filled up with an able and qualified Person, that there Should be a comparative Tryal of the Candidates taken at Aberdeen in the month of August next, and that impartial Justice might be done the Candidates, They also resolved that their Examinators should be a Member from each University in Scotland, And that whatever Candidate was declared to be the best qualified by a Majority of the Examinators, was to have the Office And they delayed fixing any precise day, untill we Should advise with the Examinators what time might be most convenient for them.* Have therefore given you this Trouble; Entreating that you would accept of being an Examinator in this matter, and to advise with the Professors of Mathematicks at Edinburgh & St Andrews what day would be most convenient for all of you being at Aberdeen in order to proceed to Said Tryal, and after having fixed on the day amongst yourselves, that you would please inform us thereof, So that the same may be advertised in the public newspapers, and made known to the Candidates - your Complyance with this our Request Shall be acknowleged with Gratitude, and we are with real Regard Sir Your most obedient humble Servants 34. To A N D R E W S K E N E

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Address: To Doctor Andrew Skene Aberdeen MS: NCL MS THO 2/6. Glasgow, 8 May 1766 Dear Sir I cannot presently lay my hand upon the last letter I had from you, and I beg you will impute it to that & to my bad memory, if there was

34, Andrew Skene, 8 May 1766

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any thing in it that I ought to answer. I have sent by the bearer Mr Duguid Merchant in Aberdeen an Elliptical Thermometer for Dr David, which I could not find an opportunity of sending till now. Mrs Reid was this day at one in the Afternoon brought to bed of a Daughter whom we have named Elizabeth, & I hope is in a good way. Dr Hamilton our Professor of Anatomy was Operator. I believe he is excellent in Midwifery, though one would not be apt to think that you and he should both excell in it as you differ so much from one another. He is a Man about the Size of the late W. Johnston the Pewterer, a lazy indolent Mortal, & when he is well set down is not easily raised, but good Nature & skill in his Profession as a Surgeon Anatomist and Man Midwife cover all his infirmities. We have had great canvassing here about a Professor of the Theory & Practice of Physick to succeed Dr Joseph Black although all that we can do is to recommend one to the King, who has the presentation. Dr Stevenson a Son of the late Dr Stevenson in Edinburgh, who has by much the best Practice in this town & Neighbourhood, has obtained a recommendation from the Majority of the College, not without much interest.* The onely objection to him was his great Practice, which it was thought might tempt him to neglect regular teaching. And I believe the majority would have preferred to him any man of Character who had not such a temptation to neglect the duty of his office. However the strongest assurances that he would not neglect the Class, nay that he would think himself bound in Honour to give up the Profession if he could not keep up a Class, brought in a majority to sign a Recommendation in his Favour, and as he has a Strong Interest at Court, & no Rival as far as we know, it is thought he will be the Man. He declines teaching the Chemistry Class, which is in the gift of the College, & I conceive will be given to one of Dr Blacks Scholars. My Class will be over in less than a Month & by that time I shall be glad to have some Respite. I hope to have the Pleasure of seing my friends at Aberdeen in the Month of August if not sooner We have had a thronger College this year than ever before. I had some Reason to think that I should not have so good a Class as last year, & was disappointed for it was somewhat better. I expect a good one next winter if I live so long. The Irish on whom we depend much have an ebb & a flow, as many of them come but one year in two. We have been remarkably free from riots and disorders among the

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Students, & I did not indeed expect that 350 young fellows could have been kept quiet for so many Months with so little trouble They commonly attend so many Classes of different Professors from half an hour after seven in the Morning till eight at Night that they have little time to do mischief. You’l say to all this that Cadgers are ay speaking of Crooksadles* I think, so they ought: besides I have nothing else to say to you; and I have had no time to think of any thing but my Crooksadles for seven Months past. When the Session is over I must rub up my Mathematicks against the Month of August. There is one Candidate for your Profession of Mathematicks to go from this College and if your Colledge get a better Man or a better Mathematician they will be very lucky.* I am so sensible of the Honour which the Magistrates have done me in naming me to be one of the Examinators that I will not decline it though I confess I like the honour more than the Office We are all well if Mrs Reid was well, she is perfectly quiet & sweats plentifully. M r Hamilton told me he was obliged to use the Forceps on account of the weakness of her Pains & a wrong position of the Child the face being turned to the Os Pubis. But it does not appear that the child has got the least hurt. I am Dear Sir Yours most affectionately Thomas Reid half an hour after eleven at night May 14th I missed the opportunity of sending this and the Thermomemeter by Mr Duguid. Mrs Reids recovery has been but very slow. She got little sleep for several Nights and continued very weak but she rested well last night & is greatly relieved. Little Bess is very well, and very civil, she sucked sturdily before she was twelve hours old and seems to have no resentment of the rough manner in which she was introduced into the world. 35. To A N D R E W S K E N E

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Address: To Doctor Andrew Skene Physician in Aberdeen MS: NCL MS THO 2/7. Glasgow, 15 July 1766 Dear Sir I received yours with the thermometer and £0.12.6 from Mr Cruden. I wish you had not sent the money for I cannot get the

35, Andrew Skene, 15 July 1766

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thermometer repaired for some time. Dr Wilson who is the onely man that makes them, is gone to London and is not expected home before the Month of October, & I dont know any other that can be trusted with the repairing it. I hope to have the pleasure of seeing you about the beginning of August & Mrs Reid intends to come along with me. Mrs Reid had yesterday a severe fit of the bilious disorder in her Stomach. Dr Black has recommended to her Hem­ lock leaves in pouder to be taken when she is well, but you know she never takes medicines when she is well. Jeannie has likewise been distressed for a fortnight with her headach and sore Eyes, but she is now recovered. Pattie is at Edinburgh with my Sister. I believe I shall take Edinburgh in my way to Aberdeen & if you have any commissions here or there that I can execute I beg you will employ me. When you are disposed to laugh you may look into the inclosed proposals from a Physician here who has been persecuting every body with an Edition of Celsus, and now with an Index to him as large as the Book.* Another Physician here is printing a History of Medicine & of all the Arts and Sciences from the beginning to the present time.* 4 Vols 8° price one Guinea. He is not thought mad, but whimsical. I have not the proposals to send you, & I suppose I have sent enough of this kind. We, Authors, had rather be known for mad men or fools, than pass our lives in obscurity. Stevensons Presentation to the Profession of Medicine here is not yet come but is expected as certain. The College have appointed a Lecturer in Chemistry & one in Materia Medica for next Session.* I think we might have a College of Medicine here, if we had an Infirmary. I think our Surgeons rather ecclipse our MD.s I dont hear much of the last if you Except Black and Stevenson. Our Professor of Anatomy is not an M.D. otherwise I would have excepted him also.* Have you ever tried the Seeds of the Daucus Sylvestris in Nephritick cases.* It has been much talked of, of late I never saw it in the North but it is pretty common in the fields here. I am Dear Sir Yours most affectionately Thomas Reid

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James Oswald of Methven, 16 October 1766, 36

36. F r o m J A M E S O S W A L D O F M E T H V E N

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Address'. To The Reverend Doctor Reid Professor of Moral Philo­ sophy Glasgow MS: AUL MS 2131/3/III/17; unpubl. Methven, 16 October 1766 Dear Sir You may remember that in conversation on Theological & moral subjects I mentioned Muralt as ane Author who entered deeper into human nature than any I had met with on which you expressed some curiosity to see his works* I have therfore sent them by my Son & wil recommend them to your perusal not for their orthodoxy but for the Author’s masterly way of writing. As Principal Lechman & Dr Gray may be curious to see them I wil give you the trouble of ofering them with my compliments & when you have perused them be pleased to send them to my Son’s lodgings With compliments to Mrs Reid & your young family I am Dear Sir Your affectionat humble Servant James Oswald 37. To A N D R E W S K E N E

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Address: To Doctor Andrew Skene Aberdeen MS: NCL MS THO 2/8. Glasgow College, 17 December 1766 Dear Sir I long to write you & to hear from you, & tho this must be short & hurried for want of time I resolved not to slip this opportunity. I sent your Thermometer repaired about three or for weeks ago by Capt Burnet. Jamie Burnets Son who was so kind as to see us in his passage from Ireland to Aberdeen He was to be a week or two at Edinburgh, however I hope before this time you have received the thermometer from him. We have had a long tract of bad weather here, & colds and sore throats have been epidemical several children have died of a mortification in the throat which was past cure before it was ob­ served. Where it has been taken in time the bark has been found of great Use. Most of my family have had sore throats but in a slight

38, David Skene, 25 February 1767

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degree. I live now in the College,* and have no distance to walk to my Class in dark mornings as I had before I enjoy this ease, tho’ I am not sure whether the necessity of walking up & down a steep hill three or four times a day was not of Use. I have of late had a little of your distemper, finding a giddiness in my head when I ly down or rise or turn my self in my bed. Our College is (v)ery well peopled this Session, my publick Class is above three score besides the private Class. Dr Smith never had so many, in one year There is nothing so uneasy to me here as our factions in the College, which seem to be rather more enflamed than last Session. Mrs Reid begs to be remembred to you kindly & blames her self for not writing you before now. Be so good when you see Dr Burnet to make our kind Compliments to him and to Mrs Burnet. Will you take the trouble to ask of Dr David whether he knows of a Bird called a Stank hen.* It is a water foul less than a Duck with scolloped membranes at the toes but not close footed, and has a Crest on the forehead of the same kind of Substance with a cocks Comb but white & flat. It has a very fishy taste and is found here in the loughs. If he has none of this kind I could send him one when I find a proper occasion. I am with entire affection & regard Dear Sir Yours Thomas Reid

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Address: To Doctor David Skene Physician in Aberdeen MS: NCL MS THO 2/9. Glasgow College, 25 February 1767 Dear Sir I intend to send your Stank hen along with the Furnace which was ready long ago and I suppose would have been sent before Now, but that Dr Irvine was confined a long time by a Megrum and was like to lose one Eye by it, but is now pretty well recovered and intends to send your furnace this week. Since the repeal of the Stamp Act Trade which was languishing has revived in this Place, and there is a great bustle and great demand for money. We are now resolved to have a Canal from Carron to this

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Place if the Parliament allows it. 40,000£ was Subscribed last week by the Merchants and the Carron Company for this purpose, & Com­ missioners are immediately going up to London to apply for an Act of Parliament.* The freight upon this Canal is not to exceed two pence per Tun for every Mile; the Land Carriage is more than ten times as much. Our Medical College has fallen off greatly this Session most of the Students of Medicine having followed Dr Black; however our two Medical Professors and two Lecturers have each of them a Class. & Irvine expects a great many to attend him for Botany in Summer. The Natural & Moral Philosophy Classes are more numerous than they have ever been, but I expect a great falling off if I see another Session. The Lecturer in Chemistry has general Approbation, He chiefly follows Dr Black and Stahl. There is a book of Stahls called three hundred Experiments which he greatly admires, and very often quotes.* I was just now seeing your Furnace along with Irvine; I think it a very decent piece of furniture for a Man of your Profession, and that no Limb of the Faculty should be without one, accompanied with a proper Apparatus of Retorts Cucurbits &c. For my part if I could find a Machine as proper for analysing Ideas, moral Senti­ ments, and other materials belonging to the fourth Kingdom, I believe I should find in my heart to bestow the money for it. I have the more use for a Machine of this kind because my Alembeck for performing these Operations I mean my Cranium has been a little out of order this Winter by a Vertigo, which has made my Studies go on heavily, tho it has not hitherto interrupted my teaching I have found Air and Exercise & a clean Stomach the best remedies; but I cannot command the two former so often as I could wish. I am sensible that the Air of a crouded Class is bad, and often thought of carrying my Class to the common Hall; but I was afraid it might have been constructed as a piece of Ostentation. I hope you are carrying on your Natural History or something else in the club, with a view to make the World wiser.* What is my Lord Linnaeus doing? Are we ever to expect his 3d Vol. upon the fossile Kingdom* or not? We are here so busie reading Lectures that we have no time to write. Mrs Reid & the rest of my family joyn with me in their Respects to you to your Papa your Sisters & George. Mrs Reid is very tender and most of the young folks have had colds or other ailments since the

39, David Skene, 14 September 1767

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Snow went off The cold here when greatest I am told was at eleven degrees of farenheits thermometer this answers to 8 degrees in the Country for there is commonly three degrees of odds. Mrs Reid wants to have her young Daughter inoculated, and we have not the small pox in this Neighbourhood just now If there is good matter to be got with you, could you send a little of it with Mr Duguid the bearer of this at his return. Do in this as you judge reasonable. I am Dear Sir Yours most affectionately Thomas Reid 39. To D A V I D S K E N E MS: NCL MS THO 2/10.

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Glasgow College, 14 September 1767 Dear Sir It gave me much Surprize as well as affliction to hear from my Daughter Patty of the Death of my dear Friend your Papa.* Fifteen years ago it would have been no Surprize, but for some years back I thought there was great probability that his Life and usefullness might have had a longer period. I can never, while I remember any thing, forget the many agreable hours I have enjoyed with him, with that entire confidence and friendship, which gives relish to Life. I never had a friend that shewed a more hearty affection or a more uniform disposition to be obliging and usefull to me & to my Family. I had so many opportunities of observing his disinterested concern to be usefull in his profession to those from whom he could expect no Return, his Sympathy with the distressed; and his assiduity in giving them his best Assistance, that if I had had no personal Friendship with him, I could not but lament his death as a very great and general Loss to the place. It is very uncommon to find a Man that at any time of Life, much more at his, possessed the Active, the Contemplative, and the Social Disposition at once in so great Vigor. I sincerely sympathize with you, and I beg you will assure each of your Brothers and Sisters of my Sympathy, and that besides my personal regard to every one of them, I hold my self to be under the strongest obligation from Gratitude and Regard to the Memory of my deceased Friend, if I can ever be of the least Use to any of them. You are now Dear Sir, in the Providence of God, called to be a

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Father as well as a Brother, and I doubt not but you will acquit your self in that Character as you have done in the other. I need not say that Dr Skene’s death gave very great affliction to Mrs Reid and to all my Family they all desire that you and all your Family may be assured of their Respect and Sympathy. We have most of us had ailments that go by the Name of the Influenza: and indeed few here have escaped it; but the Symptoms in different persons have been so various that I cannot describe them Intermitting headaches, and Sweatings have I think been the most general Symptoms. Some days after I parted from you at Edinburgh I was called home to do the last Duty to my sweet little Bess, whom I had left in perfect health some days after her Inoculation. Since that time I have not been three miles from Glasgow, but once at Hamilton with Mr Beattie. Having my time at (my) command I was tempted to fall to the tumbling over Books, as we have a vast Number here which I had not access to see at Aberdeen. But this is a Mare Magnum* wherein one is tempted by hopes of discoveries to make a tedious voyage which seldom rewards his Labour. I have long ago found my Memory to be like a Vessel that is full; if you pour in more you lose as much as you gain; and on this Account have a thousand times resolved to give up all pretence to what is called Learning, being satisfied that it is more profitable to ruminate on the little I have laid up than to add to the indigested heap. To pour Learning into a leaky vessel is indeed a very childish & ridiculous occupation Yet when a Man has leisure and is placed among books that are new to him it is difficult to resist the temptation. I have had little Society, the college people being out of Town, and have almost lost the faculty of Speech by Disuse. I blame myself for having corresponded so little with my Friends at Aberdeen. I wished to try Linnaeus Experiment which you was so good as to communicate to me. I waited for the heat of Summer which never came till the first of August and then lasted but a few days. Not having any of the fungus pouder at hand I put a piece of fresh fungus which grew on rotten Wood into pure water. In a day or two I found many animalcules diverting themselves in the water by diving and rising again to the top. But after three or four days the water turned muddy and Stunk. And from all I could then observe I should rather have concluded that my animal (c)ules died and putrified than that they were transformed into Young Mushrooms. I see a Letter in the

40, David Skene, 31 October 1767

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Edinburgh Courant of Wednesday last on this Subject.* About 20 hours ago I put some smutty oats in water but have not seen any animals in it yet. A nasty custom I have of chewing tobacco has been the occasion of my observing a Species of as nasty little animals. On the above occasion I spit in a bason of Saw dust which when it comes to be drenched produces a vast number of animals thre(e) or four times as large as a louse and not very different in shape, but armed with four or five rows of prickles like a hedge hog which seem to serve it as feet. Its motion is very sluggish; it lies drenched in the forsaid mass, which swarms with these animals of all ages from top to bottom, whether they become winged at last I have not discovered. Dr Irvine was taken up a great Part of the Summer with his botanical course, & since that was over has been in the Country. I have gone over Sir James Stewart’s great Book of Political Oeconomy,* wherein I think there is a great deal of good Materials; carelessly put together indeed; but I think it contains more sound principles concerning Commerce & Police than any book we have yet had. We had the favour of a visit from Sir Archibald Grant. It gave me much pleasure to see him retain his Spirits and Vigor. I beg when you see him you will make my best Compliments to him. I beg to be remembred to the Club, which I hope goes on with Spirit, & I am with great Regard Dear Sir Yours most affectionately Thomas Reid Be so good as to put the inclosed into Sandie Leslies shop. 40. To D A V I D S K E N E

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Address: To Doctor David Skene Aberdeen MS: NCL MS THO 2/11. Glasgow College, 31 October 1767 Dear Sir You will easily guess that my chief motive in writing you at this time, is by the benefite of your frank to save the postage of the two inclosed, of which I give you the trouble. Perhaps I would have dissembled this if I had had any thing to say. I long to hear how Linnaeus Experiment has succeeded with you. For my own part I have found nothing about it but what I wrote you before. The Chymists here are hunting for something by which Cambrick may be stamped

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as it comes from the Loom, so that the Stamp shall stand out all the Operations of boyling, bleaching &c. The onely thing that is like to answer, I am told, is that solution of Silver which is used to dy ivory black. The Act of Parliament anent Cambrick* requires it to be stamped in the Loom, & if this Stamp is not apparent after bleaching, it is contraband. But the Wisdom of the Nation has not thought fit to prescribe the material to be used for this purpose; if no such Material is found the Act will be use less. I passed eight Days lately with Lord Kaims at Blair Drummond. You was very honourably mentioned. My Lord has it much at heart to have a Professor of Practical Mechanicks established at Edin­ burgh,* & wants onely a proper Person. He is preparing a fourth Edition of his Elements.* I have been labouring at Barbara Celarent for three weeks bygone,* & on Monday begin my own Course. I do not expect such a Cropt of Students as I had last year, but the College in general promises pretty well. My Compliments to all your Family & believe me to be with great Affection Dear Sir Yours Thomas Reid

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[Glasgow, July 1770] Dear Sir Having this opportunity I could not forbear asking how you do? and what you are doing? I know you are giving feet to the lame and Eyes to the blind and healing the Sick. I know you are gathering heaps of fossils vegetables and animals. And I hope among other fossils you are gathering Gold & Silver. This is all very Right. I know likewise that you have been, ever since you was in petticoats, most avariciously amassing knowledge. But is it all to die with you & to be buried in your Grave. This my Dear Sir ought not to be. You see we Scotch people will be blotting paper though you should hold your hand. - Stultum est periturce par cere Char tee* Can you find no Time, either when you are laid up in the Gout, or when the rest of the World is in good Health, to bequeath something to posterity. Think ser­ iously of this, if you have not done so already.

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42, [Richard Price], [1772/3]

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Permit me Sir to offer you another Counsell, for you know that we Moralists know better how to give good Counsell than to take it. Is it not possible for you to order things so as to take a Jaunt of six weeks or two Months? I verily believe there are things worth knowing here, much more at Edinburgh, of which you can not be fully informed while you keep benorth Tay. We have Speculatists in Medicine, in Chemistry, in Mechanicks, in Natural History, that are worth being acquainted with, & that would be fond of your acquaintance. As to my Self the immaterial World has swallowed up all my thoughts since I came here, but I meet with few that have travelled far in that Region, & am often left to pursue my dreary way in a more Solitary manner than when we used to meet at the Club. What is Linnaeus doing? When you have leisure indulge me the pleasure of knowing that you have not forgot Dear Sir Your affectionate Friend Thomas Reid 42. To [ R I C H A R D P R I C E ] MS: AUL MS 2131/3/III/18 (draft). [Glasgow, 1772/3]

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Dear Sir I beg Leave to introduce to your acquaintance the bearer Mr Patrick Wilson, whose paper on the Aberration of Light was shewn to you some Months ago by Mr Maskelyne.* As he goes to London about Bussiness, he was very desirous to be introduced to you and to have the opportunity of thanking you in person for the trouble you was so good as to take in giving your opinion of that Paper. Mr Maskelynes Remarks do not satisfy either him or me that the Notion he has started is void of foundation. And if you have leisure to enter again into the Subject with him, I am very hopefull that you will understand one another more clearly & come to be of one Mind. But I would be sorry to rob you of any of that Time which is devoted to the benefit of the Nation. I have seen your Observations on Reversionary payments,* and it is a Work which I value highly. It gives me great Pleasure to hear that it has raised an allarm and shaken the foundation of many Visionary Schemes which would have produced Ruin to many innocent families.

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Lord Kames, 3 December 1772, 43

About forty years ago there was a Phrenzy in the Nation about mechanical Projects. Many were ruined and many more were in danger of being drawn into ruin by such Projectors. This Disease seems to have been cured in a great degree by shewing Men clearly upon principles of Science the utmost Effects that the Mechanical Powers can produce. And in this I think Desaguliers had no small Merit at that time.* I hope your Observations will have no less Success in curing the present Epidemical Disease of trusting to visionary Projects of Reversionary Annuities; by shewing upon Scientifick Principles, the utmost Effects that can be expected from such Projects. I have not yet had leisure to examine your Sentiments upon the National Debt,* with the Attention I would wish. But as it is a Subject of the utmost Importance to this Nation so I have been long perswaded that the Administration may receive great aid in this Matter from those who have entered most deeply into the Science of Numbers. It is much to the Honour of Science, & ought to draw more Respect to it than it commonly meets with in this Age of Dissipation that even the most abstract parts of it are found of so great utility in the affairs of Life Your Respect for Dr Leechman is well founded. He is a Man of great Worth and Respects you highly. I am sorry to acquaint you that he has been very valetudinary this Winter. I am with very great Esteem Dear Sir 43. To L O R D K A M E S

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Address’. To The Honourable Lord Kaims Edinburgh MS: NAS MS GD24/1/569/5-8. Glasgow College, 3 December 1772 [1] My Lord I was very glad to understand by the letter you honoured me with of November 9 that you got safe home after a long Journey in such Dreadfull rainy Weather. I got to Mr Clows* on horseback soon after you left me where I was in good warm quarters. The Case you state is very proper to discover how far we differ, with Respect to the Influence of the Doctrine of Necessity upon Morals.*

43, Lord Kames. 3 December 1772

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A Man in a mad fitt of Passion stabs his best Friend. Immediately after he condemns himself. & at last is condemned by a Court of Justice although his Passion was no less irresistible than if he had been pushed on by external Violence. My Opinion of the Case, my Lord, is this. If the passion was really as irresistible as you represent it, both in its beginning and Progress, the Man is innocent in the sight of God, who knows that he was driven as by a whirlwind, & that the moment he was Master of himself he abhorred the Action as much as a good Man ought to do. At the same time he reasonably may condemn himself & be condemned by a Court of Justice He condems himself because, from his very Constitution he has a Conviction that his passion was not irresistible. Every Man has this Conviction as long as he believes himself not to be really mad and incapable of self Government. Even if he is a Fatalist in Speculation, that will not hinder this natural Conviction when his Conscience smites him; any more than Speculative Scepticism will hinder a man from apprehension of danger when a Cart runs against him The Court of Justice condemns him for the same Reason; becausel they believe that his Passion was not irresistible. But if it could be proved that the Man was really incapable of bridling his Passion, that is that he was really Mad, then the Court of Justice ought not to punish him as a Criminal but to confine him as a Madman. What is Madness, My Lord? In my opinion, It is such Weakness in the power of self government, or such Strength of Passion, as deprives a Man of the command of himself. The Madman has Will and intention, but he has no Power to restrain them. If this Madness continues so long as to be capable of Proof from the Tenor of a Mans Actions, he is no subject of criminal Law because he is not a free Agent. If we suppose real Madness to continue but for a Moment, it makes a Man as incapable of a Crime while it lasts as if it had continued for years. But a momentary Madness can have no Effect to acquit a Man in a Court of Justice because it cannot be proved. It would not even hinder him from condemning himself, because he cannot know that he was Mad. In a word, if by a mad fit o f Passion your Lordship means real madness, though temporary, & not permanent, the man is not criminal for what this fit of Madness produced. A Court of Justice would not impute the Action to him if this could be proved to be the

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Case. But if, by a m adfit o f Passion , you m ean onely a strong Passion, which still leaves a M an the pow er o f self governm ent, then he is accountable for his C onduct to G od and M an. F or every good M an, yea every M an that w ould avoid the m ost heighnous Crimes m ust at 5

som e tim es do violence to very strong Passions. But hard w ould be our Case indeed, if we were required, either by G od or M an to resist irresistible Passions. Y o u think that W ill and Intention is sufficient to m ake an A ction im putable, even though that will be irresistibly determ ined.* I beg

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leave| to D issent for the follow ing R easons. 1 A n invincible Error o f the U nderstanding, o f M em ory, o f Judge­ m ent or o f R easoning is not im putable for this very R eason that it is invincible, w hy then should an Error o f the W ill be im putable when it is supposed equally invincible G od A lm ighty has given us various Powers o f U nderstanding and o f will. They are all equally his workm anship. Our U nderstandings m ay deviate from Truth as our W ills m ay deviate from Virtue. Y o u will allow that it w ould

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be unjust and tyrrannical to punish a m an for unavoidable deviations from Truth; where then is the Justice o f condem ning and punishing him for the deviations o f another faculty which are equally unavoid­

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able. Y o u say we are n ot to Judge o f this M atter by R eason but by the M oral Sense* W ill you forgive m e, m y Lord, to put you in M ind o f a saying o f M r H obbes, That when Reason is against a M an , he will be against Reason* I hope R eason and the M oral Sense are so good Friends as n ot to differ upon any point.

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But, to be serious, I agree with your Lordship That it is the M oral Sense that m ust Judge o f this point, whether it be just to punish a M an for doing w hat it was not in his pow er not to do. The very Ideas or N o tio n s o f Just & U njust are got by the M oral Sense as the Ideas o f blue & red are got by the Sense o f seeing. A nd as by the Sense o f Seeing we determ ine that this B ody is blue & that is red, so by the M oral Sense we determ ine this A ction to be Just and that to be unjust. It is by m y M oral Sense that I determ ine in general That it is unjust to require any duty o f a M an which it is not in his pow er to perform. By the sam e M oral Sense, in a particular Case, I determ ine a m an to be guilty, upon finding that he did the D eed voluntarly & with Intention, w ithout m aking any enquiry about his Power. The way to reconcile these tw o determ inations I take to be this, T hat in the last Case I take

[3]

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for granted the m ans Power, because the C om m on Sense o f M ankind dictates that what| a M an did voluntarily & with Intention he had

[4]

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2 A Second Reason of my Dissent is That the Guilt of a bad Action is diminished in proportion as it is more difficult to resist the Motive Suppose a Man intrusted with a Secret, the betraying of which to the Enemy may ruin an Army. If he discloses it for a Bribe however great, he is a Villain and a Traitor, and deserves a thousand Deaths. But if he falls into the Enemys hand, & the Secret be wrested from him by the Rack, our Sentiments are greatly changed, we do not charge him with villany but with weakness. We hardly at all blame a Woman in such a Case, because we conceive torture or the fear of present Death to be a Motive hardly resistable by the weaker sex. As it is therefore the uniform Judgement of mankind that where the Deed is the same & the Will & intention the Same, the Degree of Guilt must depend upon the difficulty of Resisting the Motive, will it not follow that when the Motive is absolutely irresistable the Guilt vanishes alltogether. 3 That this is the common Sense of Mankind appears farther from the way in which we treat Madmen. They have will and Intention in what they do. And therefore if no more is necessary to constitute a crime they ought to be found guilty of Crimes. Yet no man conceives that they can be at all Subjects of criminal Law. For what Reason? For this in my Opinion that they have not that power of Selfcommand, which is necessary to make a man accountable for his conduct. You suppose my Lord a Physical Power to forbear an Action even when it is necessary.* But this I cannot grant. Indeed upon the System of free Agency I can easily conceive a Power which is not exerted; but upon the System of Necessity there can be no such thing; every Power that acts by Necessity must be exerted | [5] I do indeed think that a Man may Act without a Motive, and that when the Motives to Action ly all on one side, he may Act in Contradiction to them. But I agree with your Lordship that all such Actions are Capricious. And I apprehend that if there were no Actions of this kind, there could be no such thing as Caprice, nor any word in Language to signify it. For why should every Language have a word to signify a thing which never did nor can exist.

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I agree also with your Lordship that there can be no merit in such an Action, even if it is innocent. But if it is vicious it has the highest Degree of Demerit. For it is sinning without any Temptation, & serving the Devil without any wages. It ought to be observed however that a Virtuous Action can never be capricious; because there is allways a just and sufficient motive to it. For if I have no other Motive I must at least have this That it is a worthy Action, & is my Duty, which in Reason ought to weigh down all Motives that can be put into the opposite Scale. A capricious Action may be innocent, & then it is folly. Or it may be vicious, & then it is pure wickedness. Liberty like all other good Gifts of God may be abused. As Civil Liberty may be abused to Licentiousness, so our natural Liberty may be abused to Caprice Folly and Vice. But the Proper Exercise of Liberty is, after weighing duly the Motives on both Sides; to be determined, not by the strongest Motive but by that which has most Authority. It is of great Importance in this Matter to distinguish between the Authority of Motives and their Force. The Part that is decent, that is Manly, that is virtuous, that is Noble, has allways Authority upon its side. Every Man feels this Authority in his own breast. And there are| few Men so wicked as not to yield to it when it has no antagonist. But Pleasure, Interest, Passion, Sloth, often Muster a great Force on the other Side, which though it has no Authority has often the greater Power. And a Conflict arises between these opposite Parties. Every Man is conscious of this Conflict in his own Breast, & is too often carried down by the superior Force of the Party which he knows to have no Authority. This is the Conflict which Plato describes between Reason & Appetite.* This is the Conflict which the New Testament describes between the Spirit & the Flesh.* The opposite Parties like Israel & Amalek dispute the Victory in the plain. When the self determining Power, like Moses upon the Mount, lifts up its hand & exerts itself, then Israel prevails & Virtue is triumphant; but when its hands hang down, & its vigour flaggs then Amalek prevails* I am my Dear Lord most respectfully yours Thomas Reid

43a , [Lord Karnes], [November/December 1772]

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43a. To [ L O R D K A M E S ]

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MS: AUL MS 2131/3/III/4 (draft); unpubl. [Glasgow, November/December 1772] [1] My Lord I am very glad to understand by yours of the 9th that you got safe home in such dreadfull rainy weather I got to Mr Clows in a very short time & continued there till his family came to Glasgow The case you State is very proper to discover how far we differ with respect to the influence of the Doctrine of Necessity upon Morals. A Man in a mad fit of Passion stabs his best Friend. He is condemned by a Court of Justice & even with his own approbation, although his Passion was no less irresistible than if he had been pushed on by external Violence. My Opinion of this case, my Lord, is this. If the passion was really irresistible as you represent it both in its beginning and progress; the Man is innocent in the Sight of God, who knows that he was driven as by a whirlwind and that the Moment he was master of himself he abhorred the Action as much as every good man ought to do. If I could suppose the Almighty to make a Devil I cannot suppose that he would condemn him for being a Divel. This would be unjust or else I have no Notion of what Justice or Injustice is At the same Time he may condemn himself, and be justly be condemned by a Court of Justice. He condemns himself because he has from his very Constitution a Conviction that his passion was not irresistible. Every Man has this Conviction, as long as he believes himself not to be really mad and incapable of self government. Speculative Fatalism does not destroy this Conviction in any Man when his Conscience smites him, any more than Speculative Scepticism hinders a Man from believing himself in danger when a Cart runs against him. Secondly the Court of Justice condemns him for the same| Reason [2] because they believe that his Passion was not irresistible But if it could be proved that the Man was really incapable of bridling his passion, that is, that he was really mad, then the Court of Justice ought not to punish him as a Criminal but to confine him as a mad man. What is madness? In my opinion it is such weakness in the Power of self Government, or such strength of passion, that the Man has not

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the com m and o f him self. I f this M adness continues so long as to be capable o f p ro o f from the tenor o f the M ans A ctions, it acquits a m an o f all Crim inality. I f we suppose real m adness to continue but for a 5

M om ent, it m akes the M an as incapable o f a crime while it lasts as if it had continued for years. But a m om entary m adness if any such m adness there be can have no effect to acquit a M an in a Court o f Justice, because it cannot be proved. It w ould not even hinder the m an from condem ning him self, because he could not know that he was m ad.

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M adness drove him to. A Court o f Justice w ould not im pute the A ction to him if they knew this to be the Case. But if by a M ad fit o f Passion is m eant a Strong Passion but such as still leaves a m an the power o f self governm ent then he is accountable for his C onduct to G od & M an. F or every good M an, yea every M an that will avoid great Crimes m ust at tim es do violence to strong Passions and resist strong Tem ptations. Y our Lordship thinks that W ill and Intention is sufficient to m ake the A ction im putable to Praise or Blam e, though that W ill be irresistibly determ ined

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I beg leave to D issent for the follow ing R easons 1 I cannot help believing that an invincible Error o f the U nder­ standing, o f the M em ory, o f Judgm ent, or o f R easoning is no Crime for this R eason that it is invincible The determ inations o f our U nderstanding are N ecessary, therefore not im putable if the deter­ m inations o f our W ill are as N ecessary, there will be the same reason for n ot im puting them . G od A lm ighty has given us various Powers o f U nderstanding | and o f W ill. They are all equally his workm anship.

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Our U nderstandings m ay deviate from Truth as our wills m ay from Virtue. Y o u will allow that it w ould be unjust to punish a M an & condem n him for unavoidable deviations from Truth, where then is the Justice o f condem ning and punishing him for the deviations o f another faculty, w hich are equally unavoidable. Y o u say, That we are n ot to Judge in this M atter by R eason but by the M oral Sense. W ill you forgive m (e) m y Lord to put you in M ind o f a saying o f M r H obbes That when R eason is against a M an he will be against R eason I allw ays took R eason and the M oral Sense to be good Friends and should be sorry to find that they differed upon any point.

[3]

43a , [Lord Kames], [November/December 1772]

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But, to be serious, I agree with your Lordship that this point, Whether it be unjust to punish a Man for what it was not in his power to help, is to be judged of by the moral Sense, and that if Reason be not taken as it frequently is. in such a Sense as to include the Moral Sense as a part or Branch of it. the point in hand is not to be judged by Reason but by the Moral Sense onely. The very Ideas or Notions of Just and Unjust of Right & Wrong in Conduct, we get by the Moral Sense onely, as we get the Ideas of Colours by the sense of seeing & of hard and soft by the Sense of Touch. It is also by the Moral Sense that we perceive one Action to be just another unjust as by Touch we perceive one body to be hard and another Soft. Therefore When I determine in general that it is unjust to exact any duty of a Man which is not in his Power to perform, or to punish a Man for doing what he was under an absolute Necessity of doing, this is a determination of the Moral Sense. Again when in a particular Case I determine a man to be guilty meerly upon finding that he did the Deed voluntarily and with Intention, without enquiring about his power to abstain from it, this is also a Determination of the Moral Sense. The same Faculty is employed in both determinations. And the onely way to reconcile the seeming Contradiction is in my Apprehension this That in the last Case I took it for granted that the Action was not irresistible because the Common Sense of Mankind dictates that no Action is irresistible which is done voluntarly & with Intention by a Man who is compos Mentis 2 When the Will and intention are the Same, the guilt of an Action is much lessened by the strength and Violence of a Temptation. Suppose a Man intrusted with a Secret the disclosing of which will ruin an Army If he discloses it for any bribe however great he is a villain & a traitor, and deserves a thousand Deaths. But if he should fall into the Enemys hands and have the Secret wrested from him by the Rack or by the terror of present Death and Torture, our sentiments are greatly changed, we do not charge him with villainy but with weakness. If a Woman should disclose such a secret from the fear of present Death or Torture, we hardly blame her conceiv­ ing such a powerfull Motive almost irresistible by the weaker sex. As therefore it is the Uniform Judgment of Mankind that the will and intention being the same the Guilt is lessened or increased in the same proportion as the temptation is less or more easily resisted, will

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[Lord Karnes], [November/December 1772], 43a

it not follow that when the temptation is absolutely irresistible the Guilt vanishes altogether. 3 That this is the common sense of Mankind seems farther evident from the treatment of Mad men Lunaticks and Idiots. These have will and intention. And therefore if that were all that is required to make an Action criminal they may be conceived guilty of the crimes of theft and of Murder. But this contradicts the Judgment of all Lawgivers and of all Nations, who have allways considered insanity as a bar to any criminal indictment. And now wise Lawgiver ever considered the insane as subjects of Criminal Law. We consider them onely as subjects of restraint as we do wild beasts. Mad men & children may have civil Rights because they are men but they cannot commit crimes, because Nature has not given them the power of self govern­ ment. For these Reasons it seems to me to be the Judgment of Mankind as well as my own that an action is not imputable, when the Motive is irresistible. Because| although this is a good General Rule yet it [4] admits of many Exceptions and we find every Case where the temptation can be shewn to be irresistible is made an Exception, As first in the Case of Nonage 2 In the Case of Insanity 3 Where the Action is done from the fear of immediate Death or through the violence of Torture, Motives which indeed are not irresistible but which Men who are good Members of Society may not have the fortitude to resist do not either exculpate altogether or at least mightily extenuate a crime In other cases a Mans Will and intention is a sufficient proof and the onely possible proof that he was truly and properly the cause of the Action & therefore that it is imputable to him You suppose, my Lord, that a Man may have a Physical power to abstain from an Action when at the same time the Action is necessary. But this I cannot grant. Upon the System of free Agency I can easily conceive a power which is not exerted: But upon the System of Necessity the Act is inseparable from the power; and a Necessary Agent can have no power which he does not exert. To suppose a Man to have a power which he does not exert is the same thing as to suppose him a free Agent. I do indeed think that a man may Act without a Motive, and that when Motives to an Action ly all on one Side, he may act in contradiction to them; But I agree with your Lordship that all such

43a, [Lord Kames], [November/December 1772]

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actions are capricious A nd I farther A pprehend that if there were no actions o f this kind there could be no such thing as Caprice nor w ould the W ord be found in Language. For can it be supposed that all 5

Languages should have a word to signify a Thing which never did nor can exist an A ction o f this kind can have no M erit even when it is innocent: But if it is vicious it has the highest degree o f Dem erit. It is sinning w ithout any T em ptation, & serving the D evil w ithout W ages. I hope with the w orst M en this is seldom the Case, but that it never is I am not Sure.

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It ought to be observed how ever that a Virtuous action can never be capricious because it never can be w ithout a just and Sufficient m otive. F or if I have no other m otive to do w hat is R ight I m ust at least have this, That it is m y D u ty it is a w orthy Action; which in R eason ought to weigh dow n all the M otives that can be put in the

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opposite Scales. A Capricious A ction, if innocent is folly, if vicious it is pure wickedness. Liberty like all the good Gifts o f G od m ay be abused A s Civil Liberty m ay be abused to Licentiousness, and Free A gency to Caprice F olly and Vice. Its proper Exercise is to act wisely & virtuously that is to act according to the M otives that have m ost A uthority though they m ay have least Force It is o f great im portance in this M atter to distinguish between the A uthority o f M otives & their Force. The Part that is decent, that is m anly, that is virtuous| that is N o b le has the A uthority. Every M an

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feels this A uthority in his ow n Breast, & there is hardly any m an so wicked as n ot to yield to it when it has no antagonist. But Pleasure, Interest A ppetite Passion, sloth often M uster a great force on the other Side, and a conflict ensues betw een these opposite Parties. Every M an is conscious o f this conflict in his ow n Breast, A nd is too often carried dow n by the superior force o f the Party which he know s has no A uthority This is the C onflict which Plato & the other Greek Philosophers describe betw ixt R eason and A ppetite. This is the Conflict which the N ew Testam ent describes between the Flesh and the Spirit. The opposite Parties like Israel and A m aleck dispute

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the V ictory in the Plain. W hen the self determ ining Power, like M oses upon the M oun t lifts up its hand and Exerts itself then Israel Prevails & Virtue is trium phant, w hen its hands hang dow n and its vigour flaggs then the A m alekite prevails.

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A Trustee of Dr Williams’s Benefaction, [winter 1772-73], 44

44. To A T R U S T E E O F D R . W I L L I A M S ’S BENEFACTION 5

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MS: AUL MS 2131/3/III/6 (draft); unpubl. [Glasgow College, winter 1772-73] Dear Sir I give you this trouble to Sollicit your Favour as one of the Managers of Dr Williams Benefaction to this College, in behalf of a Young Man who I hope will be found not undeserving of it. I would hardly take this Liberty were it not that I understand the Managers are sometimes at a loss to find persons properly qualified for this benefaction, & on that account have sometimes been obliged to deviate in some particulars from the precise Qualifications required by the founder in those that shall be put upon his foundation. The Young Man I would recommend is John Holden Son to the Deceased John Holden who was a Teacher of Musick Writing & Mathematicks in Glasgow. The Father was really an ingenious literary Man as well as of an excellent Character. He wrote a Treatise on the Theory of Musick* which does him much honour in the Opinion of good Judges. He commonly had some Students of better Rank at the University who boarded in his house. He wrote our Records and Diploma’s and Directed the Church Musick in the College Chappel So that he was much connected with the College & much respected by the Masters He had been some time a teacher as I have heard in an English Academy & both he & his wife were English People although the Young Man I recommend was born in Scotland as I understand two Young Men of the Name of Kid who now enjoy Dr Williams Benefaction were The Father died two years ago and left his family in straitned Circumstances The Son entered to the College the beginning of this Session and is a boy of very good hopes 45. To J O S E P H B L A C K

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Address: To Doctor Joseph Black Professor of Chemistry Edinburgh MS: EUL MS Gen. 873/1/49-50; unpubl. Glasgow College, 17 January 1773 Dear Sir In answer to yours of the 16, I never was at Peterhead, nor ever

45, Joseph Black. 17 January 1773

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made any Experiment upon that mineral water worth mentioning.* I had the Water brought to my house several Seasons sometimes in a Cask, sometimes in a Stone bottle which I found much fitter for conveying it. My wife used it for complaints in her Stomack, which were thought Acid, or bilious; and she thought she received benefit by it. Principal Chalmers used it for complaints of the same Nature and with the same Success. Both of them agreed in this that the Water produced in them some degree of intoxication. I have drunk of it my self meerely from curiosity, but did not feel this Effect. I have made Ink of it without any other Ingredient but Nut-galls, which ink had a bluish cast. But these things I suppose are common to many chalibeate Waters.* I remember to have made some Experiments upon another Chalibeate water, in the highland part of Aberdeen Shire, called Pananach wells.* This was much frequented for some years, and it was given out that it was sulphureous. Dr George Skene & I happened to meet there & pass some Days, which we partly employed in making some Experiments, chiefly with a view to discover whether it was any thing else than a common chalibeate Water. We could find no evidence of any sulfur, or any thing but a vitriol of Iron. It was found very light upon the Stomach by all who drunk it; and I believe was very usefull to Persons of a relaxed habit. Perhaps the fine Air the sober diet and great exercise the patients were obliged to take, most of them being obliged to lodge at the distance of some miles from the well in very poor cotages, con­ tributed not a little to the efficacy of the Waters. But I believe there is hardly any body resorts to that well now but some poor people. Peterhead is the Rendevous for people of Fashion, and has been more thronged than usual, of late. This is all I know, I have onely to add that Peterhead is upon a low flat Coast exposed to sea breezes & foggs from every point of the Compass except the west, & that many tender people find the Air very chilly and disagreable. I am respectfull Dear Sir Your affectionate humble Servant Thomas Reid

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46. To L O R D K A M E S

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Address: To The Honourable My Lord Kames Edinburgh MS: NAS MS GD24/1/569/48-9. [Glasgow College, November/December 1774] My Lord I have some compunction for having been so tardy in answering the letter which your Lordship did me the honour to write me the 6th of November, especially as it suggests two very curious Subjects of Correspondence; but indeed my vacant time has been so much filled up with triffles of College bussiness and with the frequent Calls of a more numerous Class than I ever had before, that there was no room for any thing that could admit of delay. You have expressed with great Elegance & Strength the Conjecture I hinted with regard to the Generation of Plants. I am indeed apt to conjecture that both plants and Animals, are at first organized Atoms, having all the parts of the Animal or Plant; but so slender and folded up in such a Manner as to be reduced to an Atom far beyond the reach of our senses, and perhaps as small as the constituent parts of Water.* The Earth the Water and the Air, may, for what I know be full of such Organized Atoms. They may be no more liable to hurt or injury than the constituent elementary parts of Water or Air. They may serve the purpose of common Matter untill they are brought into that Situation which Nature has provided for their unfolding themselves. When brought into their proper Matrix or Womb, perhaps after some previous preparations, they are com­ monly surrounded with some fluid Matter in which they unfold & stretch themselves out to a length & breadth perhaps some thousand times greater than they had when folded up in the Atom. They would now be visible to the naked Eye were it not that their Limbs & vessels are so slender as that they cannot be distinguished from the fluid in which they float. All is equally transparent, & therefore neither figure nor colour can be discerned although the object has a considerable bulk. The Foetus now has a fluid circulating in its Vessels, all the Animal functions go on, it is nourished and grows and some parts, first the heart, then the head, then the Spine, by get(t)ing some colour become visible. It is to be observed that from the time that the Heart first appears in the pellucid Liquor untill the time of birth the animal grows

46 , Lord Kames, [November/December 1774]

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gradually & insensibly as it does after birth. But before it is visible it must have increased in size many thousand times in a few days. This does not look like grouth by nourishment, but like a sudden unfold­ ing of parts which before were wrap