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The Complete English Tradesman (1839 ed.)   By: (1661?-1731)

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First Page:

THE COMPLETE ENGLISH TRADESMAN

BY

DANIEL DEFOE

[LONDON 1726, EDINBURGH 1839]

CONTENTS

AUTHOR'S PREFACE

INTRODUCTION

CHAPTER I THE TRADESMAN IN HIS PREPARATIONS WHILE AN APPRENTICE

CHAPTER II THE TRADESMAN'S WRITING LETTERS

CHAPTER III THE TRADING STYLE

CHAPTER IV OF THE TRADESMAN ACQUAINTING HIMSELF WITH ALL BUSINESS IN GENERAL

CHAPTER V DILIGENCE AND APPLICATION IN BUSINESS

CHAPTER VI OVER TRADING

CHAPTER VII OF THE TRADESMAN IN DISTRESS, AND BECOMING BANKRUPT

CHAPTER VIII THE ORDINARY OCCASIONS OF THE RUIN OF TRADESMEN

CHAPTER IX OF OTHER REASONS FOR THE TRADESMAN'S DISASTERS: AND, FIRST, OF INNOCENT DIVERSIONS

CHAPTER X OF EXTRAVAGANT AND EXPENSIVE LIVING; ANOTHER STEP TO A TRADESMAN'S DISASTER

CHAPTER XI OF THE TRADESMAN'S MARRYING TOO SOON

CHAPTER XII OF THE TRADESMAN'S LEAVING HIS BUSINESS TO SERVANTS

CHAPTER XIII OF TRADESMEN MAKING COMPOSITION WITH DEBTORS, OR WITH CREDITORS

CHAPTER XIV OF THE UNFORTUNATE TRADESMAN COMPOUNDING WITH HIS CREDITORS

CHAPTER XV OF TRADESMEN RUINING ONE ANOTHER BY RUMOUR AND CLAMOUR, BY SCANDAL AND REPROACH

CHAPTER XVI OF THE TRADESMAN'S ENTERING INTO PARTNERSHIP IN TRADE, AND THE MANY DANGERS ATTENDING IT

CHAPTER XVII OF HONESTY IN DEALING, AND LYING

CHAPTER XVIII OF THE CUSTOMARY FRAUDS OF TRADE, WHICH HONEST MEN ALLOW THEMSELVES TO PRACTISE, AND PRETEND TO JUSTIFY

CHAPTER XIX OF FINE SHOPS, AND FINE SHOWS

CHAPTER XX OF THE TRADESMAN'S KEEPING HIS BOOKS, AND CASTING UP HIS SHOP

CHAPTER XXI OF THE TRADESMAN LETTING HIS WIFE BE ACQUAINTED WITH HIS BUSINESS

CHAPTER XXII OF THE DIGNITY OF TRADE IN ENGLAND MORE THAN IN OTHER COUNTRIES

CHAPTER XXIII OF THE INLAND TRADE OF ENGLAND, ITS MAGNITUDE, AND THE GREAT ADVANTAGE IT IS TO THE NATION IN GENERAL

CHAPTER XXIV OF CREDIT IN TRADE, AND HOW A TRADESMAN OUGHT TO VALUE AND IMPROVE IT: HOW EASILY LOST, AND HOW HARD IT IS TO BE RECOVERED

CHAPTER XXV OF THE TRADESMAN'S PUNCTUAL PAYING HIS BILLS AND PROMISSORY NOTES UNDER HIS HAND, AND THE CREDIT HE GAINS BY IT

AUTHOR'S PREFACE

The title of this work is an index of the performance. It is a collection of useful instructions for a young tradesman. The world is grown so wise of late, or (if you will) fancy themselves so, are so opiniatre , as the French well express it, so self wise, that I expect some will tell us beforehand they know every thing already, and want none of my instructions; and to such, indeed, these instructions are not written.

Had I not, in a few years' experience, seen many young tradesmen miscarry, for want of those very cautions which are here given, I should have thought this work needless, and I am sure had never gone about to write it; but as the contrary is manifest, I thought, and think still, the world greatly wanted it.

And be it that those unfortunate creatures that have thus blown themselves up in trade, have miscarried for want of knowing, or for want of practising, what is here offered for their direction, whether for want of wit, or by too much wit, the thing is the same, and the direction is equally needful to both.

An old experienced pilot sometimes loses a ship by his assurance and over confidence of his knowledge, as effectually as a young pilot does by his ignorance and want of experience this very thing, as I have been informed, was the occasion of the fatal disaster in which Sir Cloudesley Shovel, and so many hundred brave fellows, lost their lives in a moment upon the rocks of Scilly.[1]

He that is above informing himself when he is in danger, is above pity when he miscarries a young tradesman who sets up thus full of himself, and scorning advice from those who have gone before him, like a horse that rushes into the battle, is only fearless of danger because he does not understand it.

If there is not something extraordinary in the temper and genius of the tradesmen of this age, if there is not something very singular in their customs and methods, their conduct and behaviour in business; also, if there is not something different and more dangerous and fatal in the common road of trading, and tradesmen's management now, than ever was before, what is the reason that there are so many bankrupts and broken tradesmen now among us, more than ever were known before? I make no doubt but there is as much trade now, and as much gotten by trading, as there ever was in this nation, at least in our memory; and if we will allow other people to judge, they will tell us there is much more trade, and trade is much more gainful; what, then, must be the reason that the tradesmen cannot live on their trades, cannot keep open their shops, cannot maintain themselves and families, as well now as they could before? Something extraordinary must be the case... Continue reading book >>




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