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HE firft Edition of the following Work was printed in the end of the year 1775, and in the beginning of the year 1776. Through the greater part of the Book, therefore, whenever the present state of things is mentioned, it is to be understood of the state they were in, either about that time, or at fome earlier period, during the time I was employed in writing the Book. To the third Edition, however, I have made feveral additions, particularly to the chapter upon Drawbacks, and to that upon Bounties; likewise a new chapter entitled, The Conclu
fion of the Mercantile Syftem; and a new article to the chapter upon the expences of the fovereign. In all these additions, the prefent ftate of things means always the state in which they were during the year 1783 and the beginning of the year 1784.
N this fourth Edition I have made no al
terations of any kind. I now, however, find myself at liberty to acknowledge my very great obligations to Mr. HENRY HOPE of Amfterdam. To that Gentleman I owe the most diftinct, as well as liberal information, concerning a very interesting and important subject, the Bank of Amfterdam; of which no printed account had ever appeared to me fatisfactory, or even intelligible. The name of that Gentleman is fo well known in Europe, the information which comes from him must do fo much honour to whoever has been favoured