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The first edition of this work was published in May, 1827; the second, in January, 1828 ; and the third, in December, 1834.
As the work appears likely to remain longer in the hands of the public than pamphlets on banking usually do, I have determined to print it in a more permanent form, and to comply with established usage by writing a Preface.
There are three classes of persons to whom, I think, this work may be useful.
The first class includes those public men, who have occasion to write or speak upon our banking institutions. Authors, Reviewers, and Members of Parliament, however correct may be their knowledge of Banking as a science, often fall into mistakes, when they attempt to describe its practical operations. Although it must be admitted, that the principles of Banking may be well understood without any acquaintance with details, yet it is equally true, that if a public man have acquired a competent degree of practical information, his opinions will carry