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PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL ECONOMY, AND FELLOW OF UNIVERSITY
LONGMAN, BROWN, GREEN, AND LONGMANS,
The following Lectures have been selected for publication from the course delivered in Lent Term, 1845, in accordance with the conditions of the foundation of the Professorship of Political Economy. Their form has been slightly remodelled, from the necessity of omitting some portions which were connected with the subsequent Lectures, and the tabular results of M. Mallet's researches at Geneva have been inserted for the first time in the fourth Lecture, as they could not well be delivered orally. The title which has been prefixed has been selected as explanatory of the questions which have been chiefly discussed ; but the general scope of the course of Lectures was more comprehensive. If, therefore, the accompanying discussions should seem to be incomplete, the requisitions of the foundation must furnish my excuse for their fragmentary character.
T. T. UNIVERSITY COLLEGE, OXFORD,
April 10. 1845.
A THRIVING POPULATION.
ADAM SMITH, in the 8th chapter of the “Wealth of Nations,” has laid it down that “ the most decisive mark of the prosperity of a country is the increase of the number of its inhabitants." “ It is plain, however,” adds Mr. M‘Culloch in commenting on this passage,
66 that this remark must be received with great modification," and 7 M. Blanqui, in his improved edition of M. Gar
nier's French version of Dr. Smith's work, appends at the foot of the page the words “et l'Ireland!"
It can hardly be doubted that a decrease of the population is amongst the most conclusive symptoms of the decay of a country; and if Dr. Smith's statement had been slightly qualified, if he had laid it down that the increase of the