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W. STANLEY JEVONS, LL.D., M.A., F.R.S.,
PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL ECONOMY IN UNIVERSITY COLLEGE, LONDON;
UNIVERSITY OF LONDON.
IN preparing this little treatise, I have tried to put the truths of Political Economy into a form suitable for elementary instruction. While connected with Owens College, it was my duty, as Cobden Lecturer on Political Economy, to instruct a class of pupil-teachers, in order that they might afterwards introduce the teaching of this important subject into elementary schools. There can be no doubt that it is most desirable to disseminate knowledge of the truths of political economy through all classes of the
population by any means which may be available. From ignorance of these truths arise many of the worst social evils—disastrous strikes and lockouts, opposition to improvements, improvidence, destitution, misguided charity, and discouraging failure in many well-intended measures. More than forty years ago Miss Martineau successfully popularised the truths of political economy in her admirable tales. About the same time, Archbishop Whately was much struck with the need of inculcating knowledge of these matters at an early age. With this view he prepared his “Easy Lessons on Money Matters,” of which many editions have been printed. In early boyhood I learned my first ideas of political economy from a copy of these lessons, from the preface to which I quote these remarks of Whately: “The rudiments of sound knowledge concerning these (subjects) may, it has been found by experience, be communicated at a very early age. ..
Those, therefore, who are engaged in conducting, or in patronising or promoting education,