Page:Cantillon - Essai sur la nature du commerce en général.djvu/9

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The Essai sur la Nature du Commerce en Général was written between 1730 and 1734 by Richard Cantillon, a natural-born British subject, of the family of Cantillon of Ballyheigue, co. Kerry, Ireland. He was probably born between 1680 and 1690. In 1716 he established himself as a banker in Paris, where his cousin, the Chevalier Richard Cantillon (died in 1717), had long traded, first as a silk mercer, then as a banker. Our author soon became flourishing; but, having given umbrage to John Law by his outspoken belief in the ultimate failure of the Mississippi scheme, he found it dangerous to remain in France. He therefore quitted that country in 1719, but continued his Paris business in the name of a nephew, Richard Cantillon, and gained enormous profits by speculating for the fall of Mississippi shares. Out of these speculations arose several lawsuits, in the course of which he was once arrested in Paris, and spent a night in prison. He married, in 1726,