Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

PREFACE.

“So long as we see the many instances which occur of men, long experienced in business, failing, we may properly conclude that all is not yet known that can be known by even the experienced, and that it is quite probable that many, who by reason of the length of time they have been in business the world regards as wise and skilful in managing their affairs, have yet much to learn."-S. H. TERRY.

ORE than twenty years have elapsed since the

author, then a young man, issued a little

work on the elementary principles of Business, which was received with unexpected favor, and more than a hundred thousand copies were disposed of in the United States and Great Britain. Subsequently he prepared a volume on the laws of Business, in the novel form of Legal Advice, and of this, also, many editions were sold. Since these works were published, a new generation of men have entered the arena

13

of commerce; and those who were then nurslings are now, in the flush and vigor of early manhood, eager contestants for the crown of laurel, while many hundreds of firms, whose names were then current in the market, and honored in bank parlors, have disappeared, some cut down like Jonah's gourd in a night, others, after many struggles, overwhelmed in the billows of insolvency. Since then also great changes have been made in the methods of doing business—a new system of finance has been organized-rules that were then uncertain have become established, and what were then usages of trade are now sanctioned as laws.

The author has been repeatedly requested by booksellers and others to revise the works referred to, and adapt them to the requirements of the present day; but circumstances, combined with an unfeigned reluctance to appear as a Mentor on subjects so momentous as the principles that underlie success or failure in business, have hitherto deterred him from undertaking the task. When, however, he did engage in the work, he found so many new and important questions presenting themselves for consideration, and so

much in the volumes referred to inapplicable to the present time, that, instead of preparing a revised edition of them, he has made a new or altogether different work, designed especially to be the nucleus of a “Business Library,” which, when completed, will contain the wisdom touching negotiation or business which, if collected into writing, Bacon thought would enable learned men with mean experience to far excel men of long experience without learning, and outshoot them with their own bow."

The principles set forth in this work are, it is believed, practical, and applicable wherever business is carried on in accordance with English or American customs and laws. Care has been taken to avoid the discussion of controverted questions, to state only such principles as are well established, and not local nor limited in their application; and the advice given, it is hoped, will enable men everywhere to avoid legal disputes and entanglements in their intercourse with their fellow-men, and maintain their own rights without infringing those of others in their business transactions.

While the plan adopted of question and answer, though sanctioned by the popularity of Dr. Brewer's Guide to Familiar Science, and some other works, may not be satisfactory to those to whom years “have brought the philosophic mind,” it is believed it is the best form for a text-book or manual of instruction for the young; and the aim of the author has been to produce a book which will give to the young business men of the present and future ages, who may honor it with their attention, advantages of information and knowledge not possessed by their predecessors, and which fathers may place in the hands of their sons, with the commendation that it contains the essence of the combined experience of many men, and that practical wisdom to which Solomon alluded when he said, “the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.”

« ForrigeFortsett »