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mine, but extends to the whole world. The CHA P. copper of Japan makes an article of commerce in Europe; the iron of Spain in that of Chili and Peru. The filver of Peru finds its way, not only to Europe, but from Europe to China.
The price of coals in Weftmorland or Shropshire can have little effect on their price at Newcastle; and their price in the Lionnois can have none at all. The productions of fuch diftant coal-mines can never be brought into competition with one another. But the productions of the most distant metallic mines frequently may, and in fact commonly are. The price, therefore, of the coarfe, and ftill more that of the precious metals, at the most fertile mines in the world, must neceffarily more or less affect their price at every other in it. The price of copper in Japan must have fome influence upon its price at the copper mines in Europe. The price of filver in Peru, or the quantity either of labour or of other goods which it will purchase there, must have fome influence on its price, not only at the filver mines of Europe, but at those of China. After the difcovery of the mines of Peru, the filver mines of Europe were, the greater part of them, abandoned, The value of filver was fo much reduced that their produce could no longer pay the expence of working them, or replace, with a profit, the food, cloaths, lodging, and other neceffaries which were confumed in that operation. This was the cafe too with the mines of Cuba and St. Domingo, and even with
BOOK the ancient mines of Peru, after the difcovery of thofe of Potofi.
The price of every metal at every mine, therefore, being regulated in fome measure by its price at the moft fertile mine in the world that is actually wrought, it can at the greater part of mines do very little more than pay the expence of working, and can feldom afford a very high rent to the landlord. Rent, accordingly, feems at the greater part of mines to have but a fmall share in the price of the coarfe, and a still smaller in that of the precious metals. Labour and profit make up the greater part of both.
A fixth part of the grofs produce may be reckoned the average rent of the tin mines of Cornwall, the most fertile that are known in the world, as we are told by the Rev. Mr. Borlace, vice-warden of the ftannaries. Some, he fays, afford more, and fome do not afford fo much. A fixth part of the grofs produce is the rent too of feveral very fertile lead mines in Scotland.
In the filver mines of Peru, we are told by Frezier and Ulloa, the proprietor frequently exacts no other acknowledgment from the undertaker of the mine, but that he will grind the ore at his mill, paying him the ordinary multure or price of grinding. Till 1736, indeed, the tax of the King of Spain amounted to one-fifth of the standard filver, which till then might be confidered as the real rent of the greater part of the filver mines of Peru, the richeft which have been known in the world. If there had been
no tax, this fifth would naturally have belonged CHAP. to the landlord, and many mines might have been wrought which could not then be wrought, because they could not afford this tax. The tax of the Duke of Cornwall upon tin is fuppofed to amount to more than five per cent. or onetwentieth part of the value; and whatever may be his proportion, it would naturally too belong to the proprietor of the mine, if tin was duty free. But if you add one-twentieth to one-fixth, you will find that the whole average rent of the tin mines of Cornwall, was to the whole average rent of the filver mines of Peru, as thirteen to twelve. But the filver mines of Peru are not now able to pay even this low rent, and the tax upon filver was, in 1736, reduced from one-fifth to one-tenth. Even this tax upon filver too gives more temptation to smuggling than the tax of one-twentieth upon tin; and smuggling muft be much easier in the precious than in the bulky commodity. The tax of the King of Spain accordingly is faid to be very ill paid, and that of the Duke of Cornwall very well. Rent, therefore, it is probable, makes a greater part of the price of tin at the moft fertile tin mines, than it does of filver at the most fertile filver mines in the world. After replacing the stock employed in working those different mines, together with its ordinary profits, the refidue which remains to the proprietor, is greater it feems in the coarfe, than in the precious metal.
Neither are the profits of the undertakers of filver mines commonly very great in Peru. The
BOOK fame moft refpectable and well informed authors acquaint us, that when any perfon undertakes to work a new mine in Peru, he is univerfally looked upon as a man deftined to bankruptcy and ruin, and is upon that account shunned and avoided by every body. Mining, it seems, is confidered there in the fame light as here, as a lottery, in which the prizes do not compenfate the blanks, though the greatness of some tempts many adventurers to throw away their fortunes in fuch unprofperous projects.
As the fovereign, however, derives a confiderable part of his revenue from the produce of filver mines, the law in Peru gives every poffible encouragement to the discovery and working of new ones. Whoever difcovers a new mine, is entitled to measure off two hundred and fortyfix feet in length, according to what he fupposes to be the direction of the vein, and half as much in breadth. He becomes proprietor of this portion of the mine, and can work it without paying any acknowledgment to the landlord. The intereft of the Duke of Cornwall has given occafion to a regulation nearly of the fame kind in that ancient dutchy. In waste and uninclosed lands any person who discovers a tin mine, may mark out its limits to a certain extent, which is called bounding a mine. The bounder becomes the real proprietor of the mine, and may either work it himself, or give it in leafe to another, without the confent of the owner of the land, to whom, however, a very fmall acknowledgment must be paid upon working it. In both regula
tions the facred rights of private property are C HA P. facrificed to the fuppofe dinterefts of public re
The fame encouragement is given in Peru to the discovery and working of new gold mines; and in gold the king's tax amounts only to a twentieth part of the standard metal. It was once a fifth, and afterwards a tenth, as in filver; but it was found that the work could not bear even the lowest of these two taxes. If it is rare, however, fay the fame authors, Frezier and Ulloa, to find a person who has made his fortune by a filver, it is ftill much rarer to find one who has done fo by a gold mine. This twentieth part feems to be the whole rent which is paid by the greater part of the gold mines in Chili and Peru. Gold too is much more liable to be fimuggled than even filver; not only on account of the fuperior value of the metal in proportion to its bulk, but on account of the peculiar way in which nature produces it. Silver is very feldom found virgin, but, like most other metals, is generally mineralized with fome other body, from which it is impoffible to feparate it in fuch quantities as will pay for the expence, but by a very laborious and tedious operation, which cannot well be carried on but in workhoufes erected for the purpose, and therefore expofed to the infpection of the king's officers. Gold, on the contrary, is almost always found virgin. It is fometimes found in pieces of fome bulk; and even when mixed in fimall and almost infenfible particles with fand, earth, and other extra