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TO THE MEMORY
OF KAMES AND BLAIR-DRUMMOND,
ONE OF THE SENATORS OF THE COLLEGE OF
ONE OF THE COMMISSIONERS OF JUSTI
CIARY IN SCOTLAND:
A most worthy, learned, and upright JUDGE, an enlightened PHILOSOPHER, and a most respectable and intelligent COUNTRY GENTLEMAN; with whose friendship Mr SMELLIE was long honoured, and to whose early and steadily continued patronage, he owed material obligation: These Memoirs are inscribed as a testimony of indelible gratitude from ALEXANDER SMELLIE, to the illustrious friend and benefactor of his father; and as a mark of high respect for his LORDSHIPS character and talents, by
LIFE, WRITINGS, AND CORRESPONDENCE
The life even of an eminent printer may scarcely appear of sufficient importance for biography, as by many persons his whole time and talents may be considered as occupied in correcting the proof-sheets of the literary productions of other men. But Mr SMELLIE was not only the most learned printer of his day, and the most eminent of his profession in the capital of Scotland; he was likewise an author of no ordinary genius and talent, and contributed not inconsiderably to the extent and celebrity of Scots literature. Besides his own acknowledged original comVol. I.
positions and translations, many learned and ingenious Scots authors had the good fortune to have their works critically examined by him in their passage through the press, and the candour to acquiesce in his liberal and judicious corrections. Almost from his boyish days some works of sterling merit, which still hold a distinguished place in public estimation, were materially indebted to his correct taste and critical skill, for improvements in their language, arrangement, and reasoning; and in his more mature years, few works of importance were printed at Edinburgh without having been submitted to his consideration. Of this position a strong confirmation is afforded in the following extract of a letter from a respectable and worthy clergyman of the Church of Scotland, who was several years corrector to the late Mr SMELLIE, and made this communication to his son and successor in June 1810.
“ I REMEMBER that, about the year 1771, " a Mr P. Wilson published something in La“ tin about the inequalities observable on the “ moons surface; and I perfectly recollect “ that this paper passed through Mr Smel
LIES hands, and have reason to believe