well explained, the author flatters herself that this attempt will not be too severely judged. She hopes it will be remembered that in devising the plan of this work, she was in a great degree obliged to form the path she has pursued, and had scarcely any other guide in this popular mode of viewing the subject, than the recollection of the impressions she herself experienced when she first turned her attention to this study; though she has subsequently derived great assistance from the kindness of a few friends, who revised her sheets as she advanced in the undertaking.

As to the principles and materials of the work, it is so obvious that they have been obtained from the writings of the great masters who have treated this subject, and more particularly from those of Dr Adam Smith, of Mr Malthus, M. Say, and M. Sismondi, that the author has not thought it necessary to load these pages with repeated acknowledgments and incessant references.

It will immediately be perceived by those to whom the subject is not new, that a few of the most abstruse questions and controversies of political economy have been entirely omitted, and that others have been stated and discussed without any positive conclusion being deduced. This is a defect unavoidably attached not only to the author's limited knowledge, but also to the real difficulty of the science. In general, however, when the soundness of a doctrine has appeared well established, it has been stated conscientiously, without any excess of caution or reserve, and with the sole object of diffusing useful truths.

It has often been a matter of doubt among the author's literary advisers, whether the form of dialogues, which was adopted in the Conversations on Chemistry, should be preserved in this essay. She has, however, ultimately decided for the affirmative ; not that she particularly studied to introduce strict consistency of character, or uniformity of intellect, in the remarks of her pupil, an attempt which might have often impeded the elucidation of the subject; but because it gave her an opportunity of introducing objections, and placing in various points of view questions and answers as they had actually occurred to her own mind, a plan which would not have suited a more didactic composition. It will be observed accordingly, that the colloquial form is not here confined to the mere intersection of the argument by questions and anwers, as in common school books; but that the questions are generally the vehicle of some collateral remarks contributing to illustrate the subject; and that they are in fact such as would be likely to arise in the mind of an intelligent young person, fluctuating between the impulse of her heart and the progress of her reason, and naturally imbued with all the prejudices and popular feelings of uninformed benevolence.


ABOUT 5000 copies of the improved edition of Conversations on Natural Philosophy are sold annually; and the sale of the improved edition of Conversations on Chemistry is nearly as great. The author of the improvements in those works is hence induced to adapt to the use of schools, on the same plan, the Conversations on Political Economy. The subject of the volume, now presented to the public in an improved form, has not excited much interest in our country, and is of course but little understood ; but so evident is the importance of it to the wellbeing of the community, and so rapidly advancing is the state of education with us, that the editor doubts not he anticipates, in this undertaking, wants which will soon become so apparent that they cannot be neglected. Indeed, public attention during the last few years, has been considerably directed to the science of Political Economy, and the study of it has already been introduced into some of our seminaries of learning.

It is believed an example so good will generally soon be followed; and, that this new effort to aid the rising generation will receive due consideration and favor.

J. L. BLAKE. Boston, May 30, 1828.


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Errors arising from total ignorance of Political Economy.-

Advantages resulting from the knowledge of its principles.
-Difficulties to be surmounted in this study,



Definition of Political Economy.-Rise and progress of socie

ty.-Connexion between Political Economy and morality. -Definition of wealth,




About the origin of wealth.—Legal institution of property.

Of landed property.-Security the result of propertyObjections to landed property answered.—Origin of nations in a savage or pastoral life.—Their progress in agriculture.-Cultivation of corn.-Recapitulation,




Effects of insecurity of property.—Examples from Volney's

Travels.-Objections raised against civilization.-State of
Boetica from Telemachus.-Objections to com

ommunity of goods.--Establishment of Jesuits in Paraguay.-Moravians. -State of Switzerland.—Advantages resulting from the establishment and security of property,



Origin of barter.—Division of labor.-Extracts from Smith's

Wealth of Nations on the division of labor.-Advantages

of machinery.—Effects of the division of labor on the
morals and intellects of the people.--Recapitulation,


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