I N dealing with the history of agriculture and wages, I am not immediately concerned with those topics on which historians ordinarily dilate. The struggles of bygone diplomacy, the claims of extinct dynasties, the exploits of historical heroes, the rivalries of buried factions, the ambitions of mythical statesmanship, the plans of obsolete policy, the enmities and friendships, the intrigues, the victories, the defeats of kings, generals, and ministers, are nearly all out of that which I propose to myself. They are properly recorded and dwelt on by historians. It may be that not a single force in politics is wasted, as we are told none are in nature, and that if we could trace the effect of those political occurrences, which are not wholly superficial, we should be able to follow them into the life of our own age. It is sometimes, indeed, the fortune of the historian to detect some such results, and to trace them back to their veritable causes,—as, for example, the development of the Burgundian duchy of the fifteenth century, and its influence on the politics of Western Europe even up

301 Economical History. to recent times. But the narrative of the historian rarely aids the science of politics, and only occasionally the philosophy of society.