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the greater part of Europe too the expence of c HA P. land-carriage increases very much both the real and nominal price of moft manufactures. It cofts more labour, and therefore more money, to bring first the materials, and afterwards the complete manufacture to market. In China and Indoftan the extent and variety of inland navigations fave the greater part of this labour, and confequently of this money, and thereby reduce still lower both the real and the nominal price of the greater part of their manufactures. Upon all these accounts, the precious metals are a commodity which it always has been, and still continues to be, extremely advantageous to carry from Europe to India. There is fcarce any commodity which brings a better price there; or which, in proportion to the quantity of labour and commodities which it cofts in Europe, will purchase or command a greater quantity of labour and commodities in India. It is more advantageous too to carry filver thither than gold; becaufe in China, and the greater part of the other markets of India, the proportion be tween fine filver and fine gold is but as ten, or at most as twelve, to one; whereas in Europe it is as fourteen or fifteen to one. In China, and the greater part of the other markets of India, ten, or at most twelve, ounces of filver will purchase an ounce of gold: in Europe it requires from fourtéen to fifteen ounces. In the cargoes, therefore, of the greater part of European fhips which fail to India, filver has generally been one of the most valuable articles. It is the most valuable article
BOOK in the Acapulco ships which fail to Manilla. The filver of the new continent feems in this manner to be one of the principal commodities by which the commerce between the two extremities of the old one is carried on, and it is by means of it, in a great measure, that those distant parts of the world are connected with one another.
In order to fupply fo very widely extended a market, the quantity of filver annually brought from the mines muft not only be fufficient to support that continual increase both of coin and of plate which is required in all thriving countries; but to repair that continual waste and consumption of filver which takes place in all countries where that metal is used.
The continual confumption of the precious metals in coin by wearing, and in plate both by wearing and cleaning, is very fenfible; and in commodities of which the ufe is fo very widely extended, would alone require a very great annual fupply. The confumption of those metals in fome particular manufactures, though it may not perhaps be greater upon the whole than this gradual confumption, is, however, much more fenfible, as it is much more rapid. In the manufactures of Birmingham alone, the quantity of gold and filver annually employed in gilding and plating, and thereby difqualified from ever afterwards appearing in the shape of those metals, is faid to amount to more than fifty thousand pounds fterling. We may from thence form fome notion how great must be the annual confumption in all the different parts of the world,
either in manufactures of the fame kind with c HA P thofe of Birmingham, or in laces, embroideries, gold and filver ftuffs, the gilding of books, furniture, &c. A confiderable quantity too muft be annually loft in tranfporting thofe metals from one place to another both by fea and by land. In the greater part of the governments of Afia, befides, the almost universal cuftom of concealing treasures in the bowels of the earth, of which the knowledge frequently dies with the, person who makes the concealment, muft occafion the lofs of a ftill greater quantity.
The quantity of gold and filver imported at both Cadiz and Lisbon (including not only what comes under regifter, but what may be fuppofed to be fmuggled) amounts, according to the best accounts, to about fix millions fterling a year.
According to Mr. Meggens the annual importation of the precious metals into Spain, at an average of fix years; viz. from 1748 to 1753, both inclufive; and into Portugal, at an average of feven years; viz. from 1747 to 1753, both inclufive; amounted in filver to 1,101,107 pounds weight; and in gold to 49,940 pounds weight. The filver at fixty-two fhillings the pound Troy, amounts to 3,413,431%. 10s. fterling. The gold, at forty-four guineas and a
* Postscript to the Univerfal Merchant, p. 15 and 16. This Poftfcript was not printed till 1756, three years after the publication of the book, which has never had a fecond edition. The poftfcript is, therefore, to be found in few copies: It corrects feveral errors in the book.
BOOK half the pound Troy, amounts to 2,333,4467. 145. fterling. Both together amount to 5,746,8781. 45. fterling. The account of what was imported under register, he affures us is exact. He gives us the detail of the particular places from which the gold and filver were brought, and of the particular quantity of each metal, which, according to the register, each of them afforded. He makes an allowance too for the quantity of each metal which he fuppofes may have been smuggled. The great experience of this judicious merchant renders his opinion of confiderable weight.
According to the eloquent and, fometimes, well-informed author of the Philofophical and Political Hiftory of the Establishment of the Europeans in the two Indies, the annual importation of registered gold and filver into Spain, at an average of eleven years; viz. from 1754 to 1764, both inclufive; amounted to 13,984,185 piaftres of ten reals. On account of what may have been fmuggled, however, the whole annual importation, he fuppofes, may have amounted to feventeen millions of piaftres; which, at 4s. 6d. the piaftre, is equal to 3,825,000l. fterling. He gives the detail too of the particular places from which the gold and filver were brought, and of the particular quantities of each metal which, according to the regifter, each of them afforded. He informs us too, that if we were to judge of the quantity of gold annually imported from the Brazils into Lisbon by the amount of the tax paid to the
King of Portugal, which it feems is one-fifth of the standard metal, we might value it at eighteen millions of cruzadoes, or forty-five millions of French livres, equal to about two millions fterling. On account of what may have been smuggled, however, we may fafely, he fays, add to this fum an eighth more, or 250,000l. fterling, fo that the whole will amount to 2,250,000l. fterling. According to this account, therefore, the whole annual importation of the precious metals into both Spain and Portugal, amounts to about 6,075,000l. fterling.
Several other very well authenticated, though manufcript, accounts, I have been affured, agree, in making this whole annual importation amount at an average to about fix millions fterling; fometimes a little more, fometimes a little lefs.
The annual importation of the precious metals into Cadiz and Lisbon, indeed, is not equal to the whole annual produce of the mines of America. Some part is fent annually by the Acapulco ships to Manilla; fome part is employed in the contraband trade which the Spanish colonies carry on with thofe of other European nations; and fome part, no doubt, remains in the country. The mines of America, befides, are by no means the only gold and filver mines in the world. They are, however, by far the most abundant. The produce of all the other mines which are known, is infignificant, it is acknowledged, in comparifon with theirs; and the far greater part of their produce, it is likewife acknowledged, is annually imported into Cadiz