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either keep adding or altering somewhat. I once thought of using the same letter with that in which Dr Brookes Practice of Physic is printed; but I don't love it; and will have a larger if possible, as I think it gives a book a confused and mean look to be printed in too sınall a letter. What say you? I think the letter of Dr Houes Principia a very neat size, and could wish to use such a one, if would come in with it. If we use a pica letter, the pages must be as full as possible, Do you
think forty lines in the page, and fifty letters in the line will be too many ?
I could wish to be as soon as possible determined with regard to the place of printing, and must beg you to give me all the information you can in the affair. I think it would be a job of very great importance to you, as you are only beginners; and I own it would give me pleasure if I could be of service to you. I also imagine that I could have the work much more accurately done by you than by any person here; and I have sundry reasons for not chusing to print, at least the first edition, in London. You know it would be folly to be at the expence of printing an edition in London, which is all to come down to the
country: But at Edinburgh, I could stay both with more satisfaction and at a much smaller expence.
I think I might pick up some useful hints at Edinburgh during my stay, which might be of service to my performance. Pray write me soon; and give me all the hints about the affair that
think proper. I shall also thank
you for all news, literary, political, philosophical, &c. Yours, &c.
To Mr William Smellie from Dr WILLIAM
No date. Your favour of the 20th ultimo came duly to hand. I am glad to hear that you have tolerable success in collecting subscriptions, as that is an affair which I have greatly at heart; and must beg of you to leave no stone unturned in order to promote it. Your extensive acquaintance, especially among the youth in the literary way, will, I hope, be of great service in this affair. Youth is the season when
people are keen in undertaking, and generally ardent in pushing, whatever they take in hand. Their friendship is more warm, and their efforts to shew it more vigorous than those of
age. I would, for this reason, have you to make use of the students of
de nomination, and try to induce them to take half a dozen, in order to frank one for their
This, I find, goes greatly down among the peasantry of this part of the country; and I dare say most of your students in divinity will like this plan, as they can easily procure six subscriptions among their friends in the country. I have not so much hope from the students in physic, as I fear they will deem the publication an encroachtheir prerogative;
but of this they have no reason to be apprehensive, as the physicians province shall never be infringed by me. This is by no means the intent of my work, nor could I possibly be of service to mankind by decrying physicians. My plan, in one word, pray God prosper it, is this:-To put mankind on their guard against diseases by pointing out their causes, and likewise to show them how far it is in their power to remove slight disorders by the use of simple remedies,
I would have you to take particular care to recommend it to the clergy, as they are the most likely people to promote its sale and usefulness. If you can find means to convey one of the proposals to every minister of the Church of Scotland, and likewise to the dissenters, I shall be obliged to you, and shall not grudge any expence. If you can find an honest fellow whom you can depend upon, who is pretty well acquainted with the country, and has got somewhat to say for himself, I shall be obliged to you to employ him in collecting subscriptions. What Mr WARD allows here is ten shillings a-week; but I
generally put the allowance upon the number of subscriptions procured, as that is an incitement to industry. What I allow is one shilling for each subscription.' If I know the subscribers, or can depend upon the honesty of the person I employ, I give one half of this when he delivers in the names, and the other at the delivery of the book. This I think the better plan for sundry reasons. With regard to the time of publication, I generally tell people that it will be out next spring ; but, for my own part, I think there will be no loss in delaying it as long as we can, for the following reasons : First, that no more copies can be sold by subscription after the first püblication; second, the extreme deadness of trade and consequent want of money at present, in these parts; third, the high price of provisions of all sorts. These two latter are reasons of much greater weight than you are aware of, and greatly influence the sale of any thing here. You must know, when trade is brisk, and provisions low, we are all brisk as Lords in this trading country; but when the contrary happens, we are as poor as rats or beggars.
I have now teazed you to death about my book; and it is high time to talk of something else. I am very sorry that our good friend Mr HAMILTON has lost the class, as I think he would have been an honour to the chair, and might have proved of great use; and I think it a pity his genius should be thrown away on trade. Pray offer him my best respects; and I hope his lucky stars have reserved him for somewhat better. I had the pleasure of spending an evening very agreeably with our friend Mr Miller at Doncaster, on his way to Edinburgh. I think him greatly improved both in his taste and humour, and was extremely happy in his