DELIVERED AT CAMBRIDGE IN
MICHAELMAS TERM, 1861
W. WHEWELL, D.D.
MASTER OF TRINITY COLLEGE.
PRINTED AT THE UNIVERSITY PRESS.
HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS
THE PRINCE OF WALES.
I was deeply sensible of the honour of having to deliver the following Lectures to your Royal Highness, by the direction of your illustrious Father, upon whose virtues and wisdom I look back with a veneration which I cannot express.
It was a high gratification to me to have your Royal highness's attention given to these Lectures with that intelligence and punctuality which your Royal Highness gave to all your University occupations.
As the matter of the Lectures requires repeated thought, I have wished, for my own satisfaction at least, to put it in a more permanent form than a spoken lecture.
If it had pleased our Almighty Father to spare to us a little longer your great and good parent, his wisdom might have selected for your Royal Highness's further consideration what is best worth notice in what I have said. I venture to hope that the great Problems which I have had to deal with in Lectures V. and VI.namely, the nature of the recent agricultural progress of England, and the changes which are taking place in the other parts of the vast British Empiremust be regarded by your Royal Highness with interest, even if the solutions which I have given of those problems be incomplete.
With a firm confidence that the destinies of this Land and of this Empire, so far as they depend upon your Royal Highness's goodness of h cart and willingness to listen to enlightened counsels, are fitll of the brightest promise, and with prayers that your Royal Highness may long enjoy the happiness of which you have now the near prospect,
I have the honour to be
Your Royal highness's
Most faithful and devoted Servant,
The following Lectures were delivered at the request of one of the wisest and best fathers who have ever lived, for the instruction of a son on whose education he bestowed much careful thought: and indeed that education was a matter of national as well as of family concern, lie kindly judged that I could deliver a short course of Lectures on Political Economy which might forward his purpose: and I willingly undertook the task, rendered acceptable by the prospect of submitting to him afterwards the purport of what I had said in the Lectures; and of having the gratification and the advantage of hearing his remarks, instructive and interesting as they always were. This satisfaction I was not permitted to enjoy. The All-wise Disposer did not allow the father to see with his earthly eyes the completion of his well-devised plans for his son's education: though I doubt not that those plans will bear their fruit in national blessings.
The scheme of the following Lectures will, I hope, carry with it its own excuse. It seemed to me unwise on such an occasion to aim at any originality beyond that which selects the best passages of writers of acknowledged authority and weighs them against one another. And though the extracts given in the earlier of the following Lectures may by some be thought lightly of; as being common-places, they arc commonplaces which young men of rank, such as those to whom these Lectures were addressed, ought to know, and which they were not likely to learn unless they were brought before them in some such way as this. The later extracts and the reflexions which I have added to them will be found, I think, to contain views of which the importance is now only beginning to be duly felt.
Dec. 18, 1862.
The following are the editions of books which arc principally
referred to in the following Lectures:
Smith's Wealth of Nations, edited with Notes by J. R. Mc Culloch. 5th edition, 1859.
J. R. McCulloch, Art. Political Economy in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, recast, and in 825 published as Principles of Political Economy; and in several subsequent editions.
Malthus, On Definitions in Political Economy. 1831.
Ricardo, Principles of Political Economy and Taxation. 1817.
Chalmers's Political Economy, in connexion with the Moral State and Prospects of Society. 1832.
Harriet Martineau, Illustrations of Political Economy. 1832, &c.
Senior, Appendix to Whately's Elements of Logic. 1848.
Travers Twiss, View of the Progress of Political Economy. 1847.
Jones, On Wealth and Taxation: Part I. Rent. 1831.
John Stuart Mill, Principles of Political Economy. 1848.
De Lavergne, Essai sur l'Economie Rurale de l'Angleterre. 1858.
F. Bastiat, Essays on Political Economy, (English Translation. 1853).