Front Page Titles (by Subject) PREFACE. - Illustrations of Political Economy, vol. 9
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PREFACE. - Harriet Martineau, Illustrations of Political Economy, vol. 9 
Illustrations of Political Economy (3rd ed) in 9 vols. (London: Charles Fox, 1834). Vol. 9.
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The task which I originally proposed to myself is now finished. I have done what I could to illustrate the leading principles of Political Economy. But I cannot leave off without attempting something more which I believe will improve the purpose of what I have already done. Now that Taxation is everywhere considered a subject of deep importanee,—attention having been called to it in a remarkable degree since my series was planned,—I feel that my work is not complete without a further illustration of the practice as well as the principle of Taxation. In the present doubtful state of our financial policy, the few Numbers which I am about to issue may be expected to be of greater temporary, and of less permanent, interest than those which have preceded them. However this may be, I believe myself called upon to offer them, before laying aside my pen for a long interval.
That I should be permitted to complete, without interruption, my original plan of monthly publication, for two years, was more than, in the uncertainty of human affairs and the inconsistency of human projects, I ventured to anticipate with any degree of assurance. This is not the place in which to express more than a mere acknowledgment of the fact. But I must be allowed to add that so long a continuance of health and leisure is less surprising to me than the steadiness of the favour by which my exertions have been supported. Unless I could explain how far my achievements have fallen short of my aims, I could not express my sense of the patience with which the wise have borne with my failures, and the ardour with which (for the sake of the science) they have stimulated my successes: while those who have done me the honour of learning anything from me, have given me a yet higher pleasure by their studious appreciation of my object. I know not that my friends of either class can be better thanked than by the assurance, that while in their service I have not experienced a single moment of discouragement or weariness about my task. I have been often conscious of weakness, amounting to failure; but I have never been disheartened. Long after my slight elementary work shall have been (I trust) superseded, I shall, if I live, recur with quiet delight to the time when it formed my chief occupation, and shall hope that the wide friendships which it has originated will subsist when my little volumes are forgotten.
It must be perfectly needless to explain what I owe to preceding writers on the science of which I have treated. Such an acknowledgment could only accompany a pretension of my own to have added something to the science—a pretension which I have never made. By dwelling, as I have been led to do, on their discoveries, I have become too much awakened to the glory to dream of sharing the honour. Great men must have their hewers of wood and drawers of water; and scientific discoverers must be followed by those who will popularize their discoveries. When the woodman finds it necessary to explain that the forest is not of Iris planting, I may begin to particularize my obligations to Smith and Malthus, and others of their high order.
I proceed to my short remaining task untired, and happy to delay, for a few months, the period when I must bid my readers a temporary farewell.