Imágenes de páginas

tity of theirs.


He fupplies them abundantly CHAP. with what they have occafion for, and they accommodate him as amply with what he has occafion for, and a general plenty diffuses itself through all the different ranks of the fociety.

OBSERVE the accommodation of the most common artificer or day-labourer in a civilized and thriving country, and you will perceive that the number of people of whofe industry a part, though but a small part, has been employed in procuring him this accommodation, exceeds all computation. The woollen coat, for example, which covers the day-labourer, as coarse and rough as it may appear, is the produce of the joint labour of a great multitude of workmen. The fhepherd, the forter of the wool, the woolcomber or carder, the dyer, the fcribbler, the fpinner, the weaver, the fuller, the dreffer, with many others, muft all join their different arts in order to complete even this homely production. How many merchants and carriers, befides, must have been employed in transporting the materials from fome of those workmen to others who often live in a very diftant part of the country! how much commerce and navigation in particular, how many fhip-builders, failors, failors, fail. makers, rope-makers, muft have been employed in order to bring together the different drugs made ufe of by the dyer, which often come from the remoteft corners of the world! What a variety of labour too is neceffary in order to produce the tools of the meaneft of those workmen! To fay nothing of fuch complicated maVOL. I. chines


BOOK chines as the fhip of the failor, the mill of the


fuller, or even the loom of the weaver, let us confider only what a variety of labour is requifite in order to form that very fimple machine, the fhears with which the fhepherd clips the wool. The miner, the builder of the furnace for fmelting the ore, the feller of the timber, the burner of the charcoal to be made use of in the smelting-houfe, the brick-maker, the bricklayer, the workmen who attend the furnace, the mill-wright,. the forger, the fmith, must all of them join their different arts in order to produce them. Were we to examine, in the fame manner, all the different parts of his drefs and household furniture, the coarse linen fhirt which he wears next his fkin, the shoes which cover his feet, the bed which he lies on, and all the different parts which compose it, the kitchen-grate at which he prepares his victuals, the coals which he makes ufe of for that purpofe, dug from the bowels of the earth, and brought to him perhaps by a long fea and a long land carriage, all the other utenfils of his kitchen, all the furniture of his table, the knives and forks, the earthen or pewter plates upon which he ferves up and divides his victuals, the different hands employed in preparing his bread and his beer, the glass window which lets in the heat and the light, and keeps out the wind and the rain, with all the knowledge and art requifite for preparing that beautiful and happy invention, without which thefe northern parts of the world could fcarce have afforded a very



comfortable habitation, together with the tools C H A P. of all the different workmen employed in producing those different conveniencies; if we examine, I fay, all these things, and confider what a variety of labour is employed about each of them, we fhall be fenfible that without the affiftance and co-operation of many thousands, the very meaneft perfon in a civilized country could not be provided, even according to, what we very falfely imagine, the eafy and fimple manner in which he is commonly accommodated. Compared, indeed, with the more extravagant luxury of the great, his accommodation must no doubt appear extremely fimple and eafy; and yet it may be true, perhaps, that the accommodation of an European prince does not always fo much exceed that of an industrious and frugal peafant, as the accommodation of the latter exceeds that of many an African king, the abfolute master of the lives and liberties of ten thousand naked favages.


Of the Principle which gives occafion to the
Divifion of Labour.


HIS divifion of labour, from which fo many advantages are derived, is not originally the effect of any human wisdom, which forefees and intends that general opulence to which

C 2

BOOK which it gives occafion. It is the neceffary,


though very flow and gradual, confequence of a certain propensity in human nature which has in view no fuch extenfive utility; the propenfity to truck, barter, and exchange one thing for another.

WHETHER this propenfity be one of those original principles in human nature, of which no further account can be given; or whether, as feems more probable, it be the neceffary confequence of the faculties of reafon and speech, it belongs not to our present fubject to enquire. It is common to all men, and to be found in no other race of animals, which feem to know neither this nor any other species of contracts. Two greyhounds, in running down the fame hare, have fometimes the appearance of acting in fome fort of concert. Each turns her towards his companion, or endeavours to intercept her when his companion turns her towards himself. This, however, is not the effect of any contract, but of the accidental concurrence of their paffions in the fame object at that particular time. Nobody ever faw a dog make a fair and deliberate exchange of one bone for another with another dog. Nobody ever faw one animal by its geftures and natural cries fignify to another, this is mine, that yours; I am willing to give this for that. When an animal wants to obtain fomething either of a man or of another animal, it has no other means of perfuafion but to gain the favour of those whose service it requires. A puppy fawns upon its dam, and a spaniel endea


yours by a thousand attractions to engage the CHAP. attention of its mafter who is at dinner, when it wants to be fed by him. Man fometimes ufes the fame arts with his brethren, and when he has no other means of engaging them to act according to his inclinations, endeavours by every fervile and fawning attention attention to obtain their good will. He has not time, however, to do this upon every occafion. In civilized fociety he ftands at all times in need of the co-operation and affiftance of great multitudes, while his whole life is fcarce fufficient to gain the friendship of a few perfons. In almost every other race of animals each individual, when it is grown up to maturity, is intirely independent, and in its natural ftate has dccafion for the affiftance of no other living creature. But man has almoft conftant occafion for the help of his brethren, and it is in vain for him to expect it from their benevolence only. He will be more likely to prevail if he can interest their felf-love in his favour, and fhew them that it is for their own advantage to do for him what he requires of them. Whoever offers to another a bargain of any kind, proposes to do this: Give Give me that which I want, and you fhall have this which you want, is the meaning of every fuch offer; and it is in this manner that we obtain from one another the far greater part of those good offices which we ftand in need of. It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard

C 3

« AnteriorContinuar »