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book may succeed that of Mun upon Foreign Trade, Sir Josiah Child, Locke upon Coin, Davenant's Treatises, the British Merchant, Dictionnaire de Commerce, and, fòr an abstract or compendium, Gee, and an improvement that may hereafter be made upon his plan.
XI. The principles of laws and government come next to be considered; by which men are taught to whom obedience is due, for what it is paid, and in what degree it may be justly required. This knowledge, by peculiar necessity, constitutes a part of the education of an Englishman, who professes to obey his prince according to the law, and who is himself a secondary legislator, as he gives his consent, by his representative, to all the laws by which he is bound, and has a right to petition the great council of the nation, whenever he thinks they are deliberating upon an act detrimental to the interest of the community. This is therefore a subject to which the thoughts of a young man ought to be directed; and that he may obtain such knowledge as may qualify him to act and judge as one of a free people, let him be directed to add to this introduction Fortescue's Treatises, N. Bacon's Historical Discourse on the Laws and Government of England, Temple's Introduction, Locke on Government, Zouch's Elementa Juris Civilis, Plato Redivivus, Gurdon's History of Parliaments, and Hooker's Ecclesiastical Polity.
XII. Having thus supplied the young student with knowledge, it remains now that he learns its application; and that thus qualified to act his part, he be at last taught to choose it. For this purpose a
section is added upon human life and manners; in which he is cautioned against the danger of indulging his passions, of vitiating his habits, and depraving his sentiments. He is instructed in these points by three fables, two of which were of the highest authority in the ancient Pagan world. But at this he is not to rest; for if he expects to be wise and happy, he must diligently study the ScripTURES of God.
Such is the book now proposed, as the first initiation into the knowledge of things, which has been thought by many to be too long delayed in the present forms of education. Whether the complaints be not often ill-grounded, may perhaps be disputed ; but it is at least reasonable to believe, that greater proficiency might sometimes be made; that real knowledge might be more early communicated ; and that children might be allowed, without injury to health, to spend many of those hours upon useful employments, which are generally lost in idleness and play; therefore the publick will surely encourage an experiment, by which, if it fails, nobody is hurt; and if it succeeds, all the future ages of the world may find advantage; which may eradicate or prevent vice, by turning to a better use those moments in which it is learned or indulged; and in some sense lengthen life, by teaching posterity to enjoy those years which have hitherto been lost. The success, and even the trial of this experiment, will depend upon those to whom the care of our youth is committed ; and a due sense of the importance of their trust will easily prevail upon them to encourage a work which pursues the desigu
of improving education. If any part of the following performance shall upon trial be found capable of amendment; if any thing can be added or altered, so as to render the attainment of knowledge more easy; the Editor will be extremely obliged to any gentleman, particularly those who are engaged in the business of teaching, for such hints or observations as may tend towards the improvement of this book, and will spare neither expense nor trouble in making the best use of their information
No expectation is more fallacious than that
which authors form of the reception which their labours will find among mankind. Scarcely any man publishes a book, whatever it be, without believing that he has caught the moment when the publick attention is vacant to his call, and the world is disposed in a particular manner to learn the art which he undertakes to teach.
The writers of this volume are not so far exempt from epidemical prejudices, but that they likewise please themselves with imagining, that they have reserved their labours to a propitious conjuncture, and that this is the proper time for the publication of a Dictionary of Commerce.
The predictions of an author are very far from infallibility; but in justification of some degree of confidence it may be properly observed, that there was never from the earliest ages a time in which trade so much engaged the attention of mankind, or commercial gain was sought with such general emulation. Nations which have hitherto cultivated no art but that of war, nor conceived any means of increasing riches but by plunder, are awakened to
* A new Dictionary of Trade and Commerce, compiled from the Information of the most eminent Merchants, and from the Works of the best Writers on Commercial Subjects in all Languages, by Mr. Rolt. Folio, 17.
more inoffensive industry. Those whom the possession of subterraneous treasures, have long disposed to accommodate themselves by foreign industry, are at last convinced that idleness never will be rich. The merchant is now invited to every port, manufactures are established in all cities, and princes who just can view the sea from some single corner of their dominions, are enlarging harbours, erecting mercantile companies, and preparing to traffick in the remotest countries.
Nor is the form of this work less popular than the subject. It has lately been the practice of the learned to range knowledge by the alphabet, and publish dictionaries of every kind of literature. This practice has perhaps been carried too far by the force of fashion. Sciences, in themselves systematical and coherent, are not very properly broken into such fortuitous distributions. A dictionary of arithmetick or geometry can serve only to confound : but commerce, considered in its whole extent, seems to refuse
other method of arrangement, as it comprises innumerable particulars unconnected with each other, among which there is no reason why any should be first or last, better than is furnished by the letters that compose their names.
We cannot indeed boast ourselves the inventors of a scheme so commodious and comprehensive. The French, among innumerable projects for the promotion of traffick, have taken care to supply their merchants with a Dictionnaire de Commerce, collected with great industry and exactness, but too large for common use, and adapted to their own trade. This book, as well as others, has been care