1788 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Adam Smith

Anonymous, in Catalogue of five hundred Celebrated Authors (1788).



Doctor Smith, the friend of Mr. David Hume, published an account of the death of that great man, which subjected him to the animadversions of the clergy, as being calculated to prove, that a man, who was an atheist, might pass through the last scene of life in serenity. His chief antagonist was doctor George Horne, dean of Canterbury, who was answered in a very curious style by Mr. Courtney Melmoth, alias Pratt. Doctor Smith published in 1759, the Theory of Moral Sentiments in one volume octavo; and in 1776 a Treatise on the Causes of the Wealth of Nations, in two volumes quarto. The latter of these works, though it has risen into notice by slow degrees, has at length been translated into almost all the languages of Europe, and bids fair to secure its author an unfading reputation. It is the greatest monument, that has yet been erected, of the successful exertions of human genius in the science of politics. If its leading principles have been anticipated by the great Fenelon, this, though it does the highest honour to that first and most amiable of men, is not calculated to detract from the reputation of doctor Smith. It is not second praise, to have added demonstration to truth, and to have pursued it regularly through its various consequences.