In offering this text-book to teachers and students of economics, the authors feel that a brief word of explanation and suggestion may afford help in judging the quality of the book as well as in the use of the book, should favoring judgment result in its adoption for class-room work.

It has been the aim of the authors first of all to make the book teachable. In choice and rejection of substantive and illustrative material and in its arrangement; in the form of the chapters, paragraphs, sentences, and words; in all that can affect the ease or difficulty of conveying an understanding of economics to the beginner, this complicated quality of teachableness has been earnestly and constantly sought.

Fortunately for the welfare of the science of economics, there is more or less disagreement among economists as « to many points of theory. But manifestly an elementary text-book on the subject is not a place in which conflicting views should be presented and discussed, even if space would permit. Nor have the authors wished to use the pages of the book for the propagation of views in which they might chance to differ from other economists. It has seemed best to regard constantly the purpose of the book as a text, and hence to subordinate individual opinion to the general good of the student. Here, as in many another question of choice, Pope's rule may well apply: Be not the first by whom the new is tried, Nor yet the last to lay the old aside.

In the main, therefore, and so far as the authors have been able, they have presented the outlines of theory in the form in which they are to-day most generally accepted by economists, leaving for later and advanced study the conflicting assumptions and arguments and points of view of economists who may be paving the way for the most acceptable text-book of a coming decade.

An examination of the book will show that scattered passages, amounting in the aggregate to many pages, have been printed "solid," i.e. without the interlinear spaces regularly used. Such are the passages which, either from their greater difficulty or from their subsidiary character, may best be omitted by a teacher pressed for time. Moreover, for classes in which the time limits are too narrow to permit careful study of the whole text, it may be found expedient to omit Book IV, on Public Finance.

It is perhaps unnecessary to add the word of caution that the summaries and questions at the close of the chapters may easily become a hindrance rather than a help to real thought and study if the teacher permit himself or his class to fall into slavish reliance upon them. Like the references to collateral reading, the questions and summaries are to be used as starting-points and guides to further study and discussion.

It has been the hope of the authors, moreover, that the material carefully elaborated in the appendixes may not only help to guide both teacher and class during the period of the formal study of the book, but may also encourage and direct the student in the after days of his professional or business or political life.