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market than that of the poor. The corn of CHA P. Poland, in the fame degree of goodness, is as I. cheap as that of France, notwithstanding the fuperior opulence and improvement of the latter country. The corn of France is, in the corn provinces, fully as good, and in most years nearly about the fame price with the corn of England, though, in opulence and improvement, France is perhaps inferior to England. The corn-lands of England, however, are better cultivated than thofe of France, and the corn-lands of France are faid to be much better cultivated than thofe of Poland. But though the poor country, notwithstanding the inferiority of its cultivation, can, in some measure, rival the rich in the cheapness and goodness of its corn, it can pretend to no fuch competition in its manufactures; at least if those manufactures fuit the foil, climate, and fituation of the rich country. The filks of France are better and cheaper than those of England, because the filk manufacture, at least under the prefent high duties upon the importation of raw filk, does not fo well fuit the climate of England as that of France. But the hard-ware and the coarse woollens of England are beyond all comparison fuperior to thofe of France, and much cheaper too in the fame degree of goodness. In Poland there are faid to be fcarce any manufactures of any kind, a few of thofe coarfer houfehold manufactures excepted, without which no country can well fubfift.
This great increase of the quantity of work, which, in confequence of the divifion of labour,
BOOK the fame number of people are capable of per
forming, is owing to three different circumftances; firft, to the increase of dexterity in every particular workman; fecondly, to the faving of the time which is commonly loft in paffing from one fpecies of work to another; and laftly, to the invention of a great number of machines which facilitate and abridge labour, and enable one man to do the work of many.
First, the improvement of the dexterity of the workman neceffarily increases the quantity of the work he can perform; and the divifion of labour, by reducing every man's bufinefs to fome one fimple operation, and by making this operation the fole employment of his life, neceffarily increases very much the dexterity of the workman. A common fmith, who, though accustomed to handle the hammer, has never been used to make nails, if upon fome particular occafion he is obliged to attempt it, will scarce, I am affured, be able to make above two or three hundred nails in a day, and thofe too very bad ones. A fmith who has been accustomed to make nails, but whofe fole or principal business has not been that of a nailer, can feldom with his utmost diligence make more than eight hundred or a thousand nails in a day. I have seen feveral boys under twenty years of age who had never exercifed any other trade but that of making nails, and who, when they exerted them. felves, could make, each of them, upwards of two thousand three hundred nails in a day. The making of a nail, however, is by no means one
of the fimpleft operations. The fame perfon CHA P. blows the bellows, ftirs or mends the fire as there is occafion, heats the iron, and forges every part of the nail: In forging the head too he is obliged to change his tools. The different ope rations into which the making of a pin, or of a metal button, is fubdivided, are all of them much more fimple, and the dexterity of the perfon, of whofe life it has been the fole bufinefs to perform them, is ufually much greater. The rapidity with which fome of the operations of thofe manufactures are performed, exceeds what the human hand could, by those who had never feen them, be fuppofed capable of acquiring.
Secondly, the advantage which is gained by faving the time commonly loft in paffing from one fort of work to another, is much greater than we should at firft view be apt to imagine it. It is impoffible to pafs very quickly from one kind of work to another, that is carried on in a different place, and with quite different tools. A country weaver, who cultivates a fmall farm, must lose a good deal of time in paffing from his loom to the field, and from the field to his loom. When the two trades can be carried on in the fame workhouse, the lofs of time is no doubt much lefs. It is even in this cafe, however, very confiderable. A man commonly faunters a little in turning his hand from one fort of employment to another. When he first begins the new work he is feldom very keen and hearty; his mind, as they fay, does not go to it, and for fome time he rather trifles than applies to good
BOOK purpose. The habit of fauntering and of indolent
careless application, which is naturally, or rather neceffarily acquired by every country workman who is obliged to change his work and his tools every half hour, and to apply his hand in twenty different ways almost every day of his life; renders him almost always flothful and lazy, and incapable of any vigorous application even on the most preffing occafions. Independent, therefore, of his deficiency in point of dexterity, this caufe alone muft always reduce confiderably the quantity of work which he is capable of performing.
Thirdly, and laftly, every body must be fenfible how much labour is facilitated and abridged by the application of proper machinery. It is unneceffary to give any example. I fhall only obferve, therefore, that the invention of all those machines by which labour is so much facilitated and abridged, feems to have been originally owing to the divifion of labour. Men are much more likely to difcover eafier and readier methods of attaining any object, when the whole attention of their minds is directed towards that fingle object, than when it is diffipated among a great variety of things. But in confequence of the divifion of labour, the whole of every man's attention comes naturally to be directed towards fome one very simple object. It is naturally to be expected, therefore, that fome one or other of those who are employed in each particular branch of labour fhould foon find out easier and readier methods of performing their own particu
lar work, wherever the nature of it admits of fuch CHA P. improvement. A great part of the machines made ufe of in thofe manufactures in which labour is moft fubdivided, were originally the inventions of common workmen, who being each of them employed in fome very fimple operation, naturally turned their thoughts towards finding out easier and readier methods of performing it. Whoever has been much accustomed to vifit fuch manufactures, muft frequently have been shewn very pretty machines, which were the inven. tions of fuch workmen, in order to facilitate and quicken their own particular part of the work. In the first fire-engines, a boy was conftantly employed to open and fhut alternately the communication between the boiler and the cylinder, according as the pifton either afcended or defcended. One of those boys, who loved to play with his companions, obferved that, by tying a ftring from the handle of the valve which opened this communication to another part of the machine, the valve would open and shut without his affiftance, and leave him at liberty to divert himself with his play-fellows. One of the greatest improvements that has been made upon this machine, fince it was first invented, was in this manner the discovery of a boy who wanted to fave his own labour.
All the improvements in machinery, however, have by no means been the inventions of those who had occafion to ufe the machines. Many improvements have been made by the ingenuity of the makers of the machines, when