chapter  13
12 Pages

A. J. Youngson : PROGRESS AND THE INDIVIDUAL IN ECONOMIC HISTORY (Edinburgh, 1959)

MR. DEAN, Ladies and Gentlemen, when I first learned some thirteen or fourteen months ago that I was to be the first Professor of Economic History in the University of Edinburgh I experienced sensations at once of pleasure and alarm: pleasure-I hope not altogether vain-at the honour done me, at the prospect of working again in Scotland, in this ancient and famous University, and in the hope of being able to further the study of Scotland's own remarkable economic history; alarm at the thought that one day I should have to give an inaugural lecture. But, I reminded myself, I am one of those who believe that ancient customs should be preserved (unless good reason can be shown to the contrary); I recalled the words of a nineteenth century economist to the effect that the way to preserve old customs is to enjoy them; and so I have come here this afternoon hoping to demonstrate to myself and perhaps to you that this is a custom which should be preserved and can be enjoyed.