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CHAPTER II.

PART I. Of the Unreasonableness of those

Restraints, even upon the Principles of

the Commercial System......

Digression concerning Banks of Deposit, par-

ticularly concerning that of Amsterdam 194 Of the Sources of the General or Public Rev-

PART II-Of the Unreasonableness of those

extraordinary Restraints, upon other

Principles....

enue of the Society.......

PART I.-Of the Funds or Sources of Rev-
enue which may particularly belong
to the Sovereign or Commonwealth.... 343

PART II.-Of taxes....

347

ARTICLE I.-Taxes upon Rent; Taxes
upon the Rent of Land...
Taxes which are proportioned, not to the
Rent, but to the Produce of Land...... 352
Taxes upon the Rent of Houses........... 354
ARTICLE II.-Taxes upon Profit, or upon

348

357

the Revenue arising from Stock...

Taxes upon the Profit of particular Em-

ployments...

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INTRODUCTORY ESSAY.

ADAM SMITH emphatically belongs to the class of "philosophers or men of speculation whose trade it is not to do anything but to observe everything;" and unlike many members of that class, he was all his life in easy circumstances, engaged in congenial occupation, and intimate with the best literary society of the day. As a natural consequence, his life is singularly free from striking events.

He was born in Kirkcaldy on the 5th of June, 1723. He was a posthumous child, and in infancy was very delicate. When only three years old he was stolen by gipsies, but was soon recovered. At the age of fourteen he was sent to the University of Glasgow, where he remained for three years. He then obtained a Snell Exhibition, and entered Balliol College, Oxford. Here he remained for seven years, occupied no doubt for the most part in private study, as the course of instruction at Oxford at that time could hardly have presented to a student of Smith's character sufficient attraction for so long a stay. He writes: "In the University of Oxford the greater part of the public professors have, for these many years, given up altogether even the pretence of teaching; and it can hardly be doubted that the severe remarks on some of the richest and best endowed universities were aimed at the Oxford system—at least no exception is made. In 1748, after a stay of nearly two years at Kirkcaldy, Smith came to reside in Edinburgh, and delivered two courses of lectures on Rhetoric and BellesLettres. This was the first course of lectures on polite literature in Scotland, and one of Smith's pupils, Dr. Blair, was the first occupant of the Chair of Rhetoric established in the University of Edinburgh in 1760; and it is worthy of note that another attendant on Smith's Rhetoric class, Sir W. P. Johnstone, founded

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the Chair of Agriculture. At this period Smith formed his celebrated friendship with David Hume, on whom, after his death, he pronounced the opinion that his deceased friend "had approached as nearly to the idea of a perfectly wise and virtuous man as perhaps the nature of human frailty will permit." In 1751 Smith was elected Professor of Logic in the University of Glasgow; and in the following year he accepted the Chair of Moral Philosophy in the same University. This position he filled with eminent success for thirteen years, and it is said that "a multitude of students from a great distance resorted to the University merely on his account." Smith first appeared as an author by contributing to the Edinburgh Review (commenced in 1755) an article on Johnson's Dictionary, and another on the literatures of different European countries.

Perhaps nothing is better calculated to expose the prevailing error that Political Economy inculcates selfishness than a statement of the manner in which the "Wealth of Nations" was conceived and executed. Smith's course of lectures on Moral Philosophy was divided into four parts. The first was devoted to Natural Theology, and, as Mr. Cliffe Leslie has pointed out, its principles pervade every other part. It is under the influence of the conception of "that great, benevolent, and all-wise Being who directs all the movements of nature, and who is determined to maintain in it at all times the greatest possible quantity of happiness," that Smith supposes the pursuit of self-interest will result in the general benefit of society. "He generally, indeed, neither intends to promote the public interest nor knows how much he is promoting it......and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention." The second part of the course embraced Ethics, the lectures on which formed the basis of his treatise on the "Theory of Moral Sentiments." The third part was devoted to Jurisprudence as a system of natural justice; whilst it was only in the last part that Smith examined the political regulations which are founded on expediency, and which are calculated to increase the riches, the power, and the prosperity of a state. The lectures on the fourth part were afterwards expanded into the "Wealth of Nations; and throughout that work it is difficult to overlook the constant references to the earlier subjects of the course of Moral Philosophy.

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