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were to sell them, therefore, at four hundred or a thousand per cent profit, this may frequently be no more than reasonable wages of his industry, charged in the only way he can charge them, upon the prices of his preparations. The greater part of his apparent profit is real wages disguised in the garb of profit.
Grocers, and other shopkeepers, are necessary in the smaller towns and villages for the convenience of the inhabitants; but, to enable them to live by their business, and compensate them for their diminutive returns, they are compelled to realize a larger profit on the commodities they sell than dealers in places of greater population. It is thus that most articles of general consumption are cheaper in London than in the country. The quickness of the return, and the greater amount of capital employed by a metropolitan tradesman, enables him to support himself at a rate of profit that would absolutely starve a provincial shopkeeper. The great apparent profit charged on their goods by keepers of chandler-shops, and those in what is called a general line of business,is more properly the wages of labour necessary to compensate them for trouble and loss of time in weighing and measuring out their articles in the small quantities required by their customers.
3. Wages vary with the constancy or inconstancy of employment.
Many trades can only be carried on in particular. states of the weather and seasons of the year; and if the workmen cannot turn to other employments, their wages must be proportionately high. Watch
makers, weavers, shoemakers, and tailors, may usually reckon on constant employment; but masons, bricklayers, paviers, gardeners, and in general all those who work in the open air, are liable to perpetual interruptions. As every one, however, ought to live by his trade, their wages ought not only to suffice for their maintenance while they are employed, but also during the time they are necessarily idle. "This principle," Mr. M'Culloch observes," shows the fallacy of the notions commonly entertained of the great earnings of porters, hackney-coachmen, watermen, and generally of all workmen employed only for short periods, and on casual occasions. Such persons frequently make as much in an hour as a regularly employed workman makes in a day; but their greater hire during the time they are employed is found to be only a bare compensation for the labour they perform, and the time lost in waiting for the next job: instead of making money, such persons are almost universally poorer than those engaged in more constant occupation."
4. Wages vary with the greater or less trust reposed in workmen.
This is a very natural ground of distinction. Greater the trust, and greater the probity and ability required. An overseer, superintendent, or steward, is always better remunerated than a mere journeyman or servant. The wages of goldsmiths and jewellers are superior to those of many other workmen not only of equal but superior ingenuity, on account of the precious materials with which they
are intrusted. "We trust our health," says Smith, "to the physician, our fortune, and sometimes our -life and reputation to the lawyer and attorney. Such confidence could not safely be reposed in people of a very mean or low condition. Their reward, therefore, must be such as may give them that rank in society which so important a trust requires. The long time and the great expense which must be laid out in their education, when combined with those circumstances, necessarily enhance still further the price of their labour."
5. Wages vary with the chance of success in different employments.
A young man of ordinary ability may hope to succeed as a tailor or shoemaker, but as a lawyer or -artist success is much more dubious. But in professions where many fail for one who succeeds, the fortunate one ought not only to gain such wages as will indemnify him for the expenses incurred in his education, but also for all that has been expended in the education of his unsuccessful competitors. It is certain, however, that the aggregate wages of professionals and artists never amount to so large a sum. The law, for instance, has great prizes, but the blanks predominate. It is at the bar, as in the church-a few fortunate aspirants amass wealth, but if the revenue of the entire body of legalists were shared equally among them, they would not probably yield a greater average income than the revenues of the clergy, or of many classes of operatives. Nevertheless the profession is crowded with candidates, and
for this reason, that mere money forms only one element in their remuneration, the remainder being made up by the chances of judicial honours, polititical power, and the reputation of superior talent.
Similar observations will apply to that " unprosperous race of men," as Adam Smith terms them, ❝ called men of letters," who are in the same predicament as lawyers, physicians, and other practisers of the liberal arts. A few authors realize large sums from their productions; but the aggregate earnings of the entire class are inconsiderable. The injustice, however, of this, is more apparent than real. Letters are not cultivated as a trade, nor even profession; they are never deliberately entered upon as a source of profit; no one ever thinks of apprenticing a child to such a pursuit, or training him up with a view of making him an author: for in literature natural fitness is every thing, and choice nothing. Literary men mostly become such, not with a view to gain, or even fame, but to gratify their own thirst for knowledge, and this in truth constitutes their best and greatest reward. Their works are often beyond all price; but mankind are not greatly their debtors. Like their fellow men they are occupied in seeking their own happiness their own way, not in conferring disinterested services on their species. It is not any virtuous self-devotion or forethought which has made them authors-it has been their destiny-they could not help it. We cannot help feeling grateful for the services they render society; but in truth such feeling is hardly more rational than if entertained to
wards the fire that warms us, the bird that delights with its note, or flower with its perfume.
It has been alleged that the rewards of authors are not fairly apportioned. He can hardly be a genuine littérateur who thinks much of pecuniary gain in a pursuit so entirely intellectual. But let us see how this matter stands.
A mere abridgment, which has been executed in a few months, will sometimes yield a greater profit than an original production that has been the labour of years. But the rewards in these cases differ more in kind than quantity. A compiler, however successful, can never compete in celebrity with a man of genius. The Truslers, and Mavors, and Dyches, get money, perhaps, but that is all. An author of a work of science, comprising new discoveries, which influence public legislation and open new sources of wealth to the community, is rewarded by the distinction conferred by his researches; and is not that enough without being superadded thereto the more humble tribute of lucre? The editor of a newspaper fills a toilsome and influential situation, he derives little distinction from his employment, but he is often compensated with a liberal salary. In truth there is not so much injustice in these things as in the cupidity which would grasp both fame and profit when it is hardly in nature they should go together. Sir Christopher Wren received only 3007. a year for superintending the building of St. Paul's, which was probably a less annual emolument than that of his head mason or carpenter, but all the fame of erect