21 NOVEMBER 1885, Page 23

The Postulates of Political Economy. By the late Walter Bagehot.

With a Preface by Alfred Marshall. (Longmans.)—The experience of Professor Marshall as a lecturer on Political Economy at Cambridge has convinced him that the two remarkable essays by the late Mr. Bagehot, which form the opening chapters of his " Economic Studies," would be very useful as a text-book to students if republished separ- ately; and it is by his advice, accordingly, that the present republica- tion, to which he furnishes a preface, appears. We need hardly say anything fresh to recommend these essays to students, by many of whom they are doubtless already well known, except that they are here republished in a neat and convenient form. We are persuaded that they contain the real reconciliation between the two modern schools of economy, one of which maintains that political economy is a strict science, and the other of which maintains that it is a science only in the loose sense in which we might speak of the science of history or the science of character. Mr. Bagehot regarded political economy as a hypothetical science constructed on given postulates, none of which describe accurately actual fact, and most of which are not even approximately true except in modern times and in highly. civilised Western States.