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The MERCANTILE ARITHMETIC has had greater success and a more extensive circulation than the author anticipated. And although he has not been concerned in revising or improving it, since the first edition was printed, and only slight alterations have been made by other hands, it is still regarded by many as a very useful work. He hopes that now, corrected, improved and enlarged, it will continue to be a convenient manual for merchants and others, engaged in trade, and that pupils, who are preparing for business, by thoroughly learning it, will acquire a readiness and accuracy in mercantile calculations, in which, persons, learned in other respects, are frequently deficient. As it is intended to be
very practical, and adapted to the concerns of trade and commerce, by conveying a general knowledge of accounts and exchange,
he numerous examples and exercises have been chiefly taken from actual occurrences.
Every one is bound by his duty to himself and others, to keep accounts; and in order to this, he must have some acquaintance with the systems of arrangement and method, which have been devised by experience. Irregular memoranda, are, from the difficulty of reference, almost useless. This consideration has led him to give a general outline of Book-keeping, comprehending, in his view, the necessary principles, in so plain a manner, that any one, by careful attention, may understand the true theory of accounts, and apply the principles to practice without much hesitation or difficulty. Convinced that no one need be at a loss to keep
clear and satisfactory accounts, who has a just idea of the nature of the subject, he has endeavoured to explain it with all possible precision and simplicity. This part of the work is entirely new, and he hopes, the manner of arrangement will attach a particular value to it. The different forms used by merchants are as various, as the demands of their business ; but as all are reducible to the great principle of classing the several transactions under suitable heads, in such a way, that the state of one's property or business may be easily examined and known, this compendium may be a safe guide for a person of discernment to follow in any circumstances.
Nothing need be said of the propriety of the brief tracts of practical Mensuration and Gauging, which are annexed to the work. Such knowledge is as important and requisite, as most rules of Arithmetic, and what is inserted, is adapted to common purposes.
As the work now under the author's control, he trusts that in future editions it will be more and more improved with whatever may occur, as conducive to its original design of rendering mercantile calculations easy and familiar. In schools it may be studied in connexion with the popular treatises of mental Arithmetic, or as a sequel to them, as will best suit the views of instructers.