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even of the loweft and pooreft order, if he is Introduct. frugal and industrious, may enjoy a greater share of the neceffaries and conveniences of life than it is poffible for any favage to acquire.

The caufes of this improvement, in the productive powers of labour, and the order, according to which its produce is naturally distributed among the different ranks and conditions of men in the fociety, make the subject of the First Book of this Inquiry.

Whatever be the actual ftate of the skill, dexterity, and judgment with which labour is applied in any nation, the abundance or fcantinefs of its annual fupply muft depend, during the continuance of that ftate, upon the proportion between the number of those who are annually employed in ufeful labour, and that of those who are not fo employed. The number of useful and productive labourers, it will hereafter appear, is every where in proportion to the quantity of capital ftock which is employed in setting them to work, and to the particular way in which it is fo employed. The Second Book, therefore, treats of the nature of capital ftock, of the manner in which it is gradually accumulated, and of the different quantities of labour which it puts into motion, according to the different ways in which it is employed.

Nations tolerably well advanced as to skill, dexterity, and judgment, in the application of labour, have followed very different plans in the general conduct or direction of it; and thofe plans have not all been equally favourable to the greatnefs

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Introduct. greatness of its produce. The policy of fome nations has given extraordinary encouragement to the industry of the country; that of others to the industry of towns. Scarce any nation has dealt equally and impartially with every fort of industry. Since the downfal of the Roman empire, the policy of Europe has been more favourable to arts, manufactures, and commerce, the industry of towns; than to agriculture, the induftry of the country. The circumftances which feem to have introduced and established this policy are explained in the Third Book.

Though thofe different plans were, perhaps, firft introduced by the private interests and prejudices of particular orders of men, without any regard to, or forefight of, their confequences upon the general welfare of the fociety; yet they have given occafion to very different theories of political œconomy; of which fome magnify the importance of that industry which is carried on in towns, others of that which is carried on in the country. Those theories have had a confiderable influence, not only upon the opinions of men of learning, but upon the public condu& of princes and fovereign ftates. I have endea voured in the Fourth Book, to explain, as fully and diftinctly as I can, thofe different theories, and the principal effects which they have produced in different ages and nations.

To explain in what has confifted the revenue of the great body of the people, or what has been the nature of thofe funds, which, in dif ferent ages and nations, have fupplied their an


nual confumption, is the object of thefe Four Introduct. firft Books. The Fifth and laft Book treats of the revenue of the fovereign, or commonwealth. In this book I have endeavoured to fhow; first, what are the neceffary expences of the fovereign, or commonwealth; which of thofe expences ought to be defrayed by the general contribution of the whole fociety; and which of them, by that of fome particular part only, or of fome particular members of it: fecondly, what are the different methods in which the whole fociety may be made to contribute towards defraying the expences incumbent on the whole fociety, and what are the principal advantages and inconveniences of each of thofe methods: and, thirdly and lastly, what are the reafons and caufes which have induced almost all modern governments to mortgage fome part of this revenue, or to contract debts, and what have been the effects of thofe debts upon the real wealth, the annual produce of the land and la bour of the fociety.

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Of the Divifion of Labour.

HE greatest improvement in the productive powers of labour, and the greater part of the skill, dexterity, and judgment with which it is any where directed, or applied, feem to have been the effects of the divifion of labour.

The effects of the divifion of labour, in the general business of fociety, will be more eafily understood, by confidering in what manner it operates in fome particular manufactures. It is commonly fuppofed to be carried furtheft in fome very trifling ones; not perhaps that it really is carried further in them than in others of more importance: but in those trifling manufactures which are deftined to fupply the finall wants of but a small number of people, the whole number of workmen muft neceffarily be fmall; and thofe employed in every different branch of the work can often be collected into the fame



workhouse, and placed at once under the view of C H A P. the fpectator. In those great manufactures, on the contrary, which are destined to supply the great wants of the great body of the people, every different branch of the work employs fo great a number of workmen, that it is impoffible to collect them all into the fame workhouse. We can feldom fee more, at one time, than thofe employed in one fingle branch. Though in fuch manufactures, therefore, the work may really be divided into a much greater number of parts, than in those of a more trifling nature, the divifion is not near fo obvious, and has accordingly been much less obferved.

To take an example, therefore, from a very trifling manufacture; but one in which the divifion of labour has been very often taken notice of, the trade of the pin-maker; a workman not educated to this business (which the divifion of labour has rendered a diftin&t trade), nor acquainted with the use of the machinery employed in it (to the invention of which the fame divifion of labour has probably given occafion), could fcarce, perhaps, with his utmost industry, make one pin in a day, and certainly could not make twenty. But in the way in which this bufinefs is now carried on, not only the whole work is a peculiar trade, but it is divided into a number of branches, of which the greater part are likewife peculiar trades. One man draws out the wire, another straights it, a third cuts it, a fourth points it, a fifth grinds it at the top for receiving the head; to make the head requires

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