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21410:27

HARVARD UNIVERSITY

LIBRARY APR 12 1954

HARVARD
UNIVERSITY

LIBRARY
DEC 19 1960

66

"FRIEND, I DO THEE NO WRONG. DID'ST NOT THOU AGREE WITH A PENNY? TAKE THAT THINE IS, AND GO THY WAY. I WILL GIVE UNTO TUIS LAST EVEN AS UNTO THEE.".

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"IF YE THINK GOOD, GIVE ME HY PRICE; AND IF NOT, TORBEAR THEY WEIGHED FOR MY PRICE THIRTY PIECES OF SILVER."

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PREFACE.

The four following essays were published eighteen months ago in the Cornhill Magazine, and were reprobated in a violent manner, as far as I could hear, by most of the readers they met with.

Not a wbit the less, I believe them to be the best, that is to say, the trucst, rightest-worded, and most serviceable things I have ever written; and the last of them, having bad cspecial pains spent on it, is probably the best I shall ever write.

" This,” the reader may reply, “it might be, yet not therefore well written.” Which, in no mock humility, admitting, I yet rest satisfied with the work, though with nothing else that I have done; and purposing shortly to follow out the subjects opened in these papers, as I may find leisure, I wish the introductory statements to be within the reach of any one who may care to refer to them. So I republish the essays as they appeared. Ono word only is changed, correcting the estimate of a weight; and no word is added.

Although, however, I find nothing to modify in these papers, it is matter of regret to me that the most startling of all the statements in them,—that respecting the necessity of the organization of labour, with fixed wages, -should have found its way into the first essay; it being quite one of the least important, though by no means the least cer. tain, of the positions to be defended. The real gist of these papers, their central meaning and aim, is to give, as I believe for the first time in plain English, —it has often been incidentally given in good Greek by Plato and Xenophon, and good Latin by Cicero and Horace,-a logical definition of WEALTH: such definition being absolutely needed for a basis of economical science. The most reputed essay on that subject which has appeared in modern times, after opening with the statement that “writers on political economy profess to teach, or to investigate, * the nature of wealth," thus follows up the declaration of its thesis—“Every one has a notion, sufficiently correct for common purposes, of what is meant by wealth.” " It is no part of the design of this treatise to aim at metaphysical nicety of definition.t”

Metapbysical nicety, we assuredly do not need; but physical nicety, and logical accuracy, with respect to a physical subject, we as assuredly do.

• Which? for where investigation is necessary, teaching is impossible.

Principles of Political Economy. By J. S. Mill. Preliminary remarks, p. 2.

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