Defence of Usury, shewing the Impolicy of the present legal Restraints on the Terms of pecuniary Bargains, in Letters to a Friend, to which is added, a Letter to Adam Smith … on the Discouragements opposed by the above Restraints to the Progress of inventive Industry, the fourth Edition, to which is also added, third Edition, a Protest against Law-Taxes.

London, J. McCreery for Payne & Foss, 1818.

12mo, pp. [6], 206, 70; without the half-title; a very good copy in later calf by Maclehose of Glasgow, spine blind-ruled in compartments with bands gilt, gilt red morocco lettering-piece in one, marbled edges; slightly rubbed, very light sunning.

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Defence of Usury, shewing the Impolicy of the present legal Restraints on the Terms of pecuniary Bargains, in Letters to a Friend, to which is added, a Letter to Adam Smith … on the Discouragements opposed by the above Restraints to the Progress of inventive Industry, the fourth Edition, to which is also added, third Edition, a Protest against Law-Taxes.

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Fourth edition of Bentham’s criticism of limited interest rates. First published in 1787, the Defence of Usury established the principle that no adult of sound mind acting freely and aware of the circumstances, should be hindered from making any bargain that he sees fit to make. The Defence was written during Bentham’s stay in Russia and takes the form of the letters written to George Wilson amid reports the Pitt was considering reducing the rate of interest to four per cent. The arguments presented here convinced Smith, who had in the Wealth of Nations approved the limitation of interest rates.

Goldsmiths’ 22093.

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