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MR MCCULLOCH'S PUBLICATIONS.
In addition to this Treatise, Mr MỘCULLOCH has published the fol
lowing Works, viz. :
1. A DICTIONARY, PRACTICAL, THEORETICAL, AND
HISTORICAL, OF COMMERCE AND COMMERCIAL NAVIGATION. A new and improved Edition, in one very thick volume 8vo, illustrated with Maps and Plans. London, 1852.
2. A DICTIONARY, GEOGRAPHICAL, STATISTICAL, AND
HISTORICAL, of the various Countries, Places, and principal Natural Objects, in the World. A new and much improved Edition. 2 thick vols. 8vo. Illustrated with Maps. London, 1851.
3. A DESCRIPTIVE AND STATISTICAL ACCOUNT OF
THE BRITISH EMPIRE, exhibiting its Extent, Physical Capacities, Population, Industry, and Civil and Religious Institutions. Third and greatly improved Edition. 2 thick vols. 8vo. London, 1847.
4. SMITH'S WEALTH OF NATIONS; with a Life of the
Author, Notes, and Supplemental Dissertations. New Edition. 1 vol. 8vo, double columns. London, 1850.
5. THE PRINCIPLES OF POLITICAL ECONOMY; with
some Inquiries respecting their Application, and a Sketch of the Rise and Progress of the Science. Fourth and amended Edition. 1 vol. 8vo. Edinburgh, 1849.
6. A TREATISE ON THE PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICAL
INFLUENCE OF TAXATION AND THE FUNDING SYSTEM. The second Edition, enlarged and improved. 1 vol. 8vo. London, 1852.
7. THE LITERATURE OF POLITICAL ECONOMY: a Classi
fied Catalogue of Select Publications in the different Departments of that Science, with Historical, Critical, and Biographical Notices. 1 vol. 8vo. London, 1845.
8. A TREATISE ON THE SUCCESSION TO PROPERTY
VACANT BY DEATH; including Inquiries into the Influence of Primogeniture, Entail, Compulsory Partitions, Foundations, &c., over the Public Interests. 1 vol. 8vo. London, 1848.
CALIFORNIA WAGES constitute the reward or compensation paid to labourers by those who employ them, in return for their services.
Taken in its widest sense, the term labourers is very comprehensive. In addition to the myriads who are engaged in agricultural, commercial, and manufacturing pursuits, it comprises all sorts of public functionaries, from the prime minister downwards, with those who crowd the ranks of what are called the learned and liberal professions. These parties, how widely soever they may differ in everything else, agree in this, that they exchange their services for valuable considerations of one sort or other. Their entire subsistence, in so far at least as they depend on their employment, is derived from wages; and they are as evidently labourers as if they handled a shuttle or a spade, or held a plough. Even those to whom ample fortunes have descended, are not exempted from the necessity of exertion. The duties and obligations which property brings along with it, are not a little onerous. The judicious management of a large estate, or other property, requires much care and circumspection. Without this, it will probably be wasted or dissipated; and, at all
events, it cannot be applied to its legitimate ends, of advancing the interests and the honour of its possessors, and the well-being of their tenants, dependants, and neighbours. Though the contrary be sometimes affirmed, the rich have little in common with the gods of Epicurus. Idleness is hardly less injurious to them than to the poor. Notwithstanding the influence which justly belongs to rank and wealth, every one is aware that “ It is the hand of the diligent which bears rule.” We may therefore say with Paley, that “ Every man has his work. The kind of work varies, and that is all the difference there is. A great deal of labour exists beside that of the hands; many species of industry beside bodily operation, requiring equal assiduity, more attention, more anxiety. It is not true, therefore, that men of elevated stations are exempted from work; it is only true that there is assigned to them work of a different kind: whether more easy or more pleasant may be questioned; but certainly not less wanted, not less essential to the common good.” 1
In the following treatise the term labourers is taken in its popular and more confined sense. Our investigations refer to the wages of those only who labour with the hand, as contradistinguished from those who labour with the head. Manual labourers form, however, by far the most numerous class in all nations, and though ranking lower in public estimation than the others, their functions are of paramount importance. Our fleets and armies depend on them for recruits; their expenditure furnishes the largest portion of the public revenue; and their industry and ingenuity supply most part of the conveniences and enjoyments which raise civilised man above the savage. An inquiry into the circumstances which determine the wages and condition of those to whom the other classes are so deeply indebted, and who at the same time form so large a portion of all societies, must possess a superior degree of interest. It has much more of a practical than of a theoretical character. The vast majority of the labouring classes are very imperfectly informed with respect to the circumstances in question. And yet it will be seen that these are powerfully influenced by, and indeed in great measure depend on, themselves. A knowledge of their nature and operation is, therefore, of all things that which is most indispensable to their well-being, and to that of the communities of which they form so large a portion. Till it be acquired and actėd upon, they cannot help forming unreasonable and unfounded conclusions in regard to many important points in the conduct of life ; sometimes doing that from which they ought most carefully to abstain, and at other times leaving undone that which they ought resolutely to set about ; neglecting the good that is dependent on themselves and within their command for what is dependent on others, contingent, and generally unattainable; suffering themselves to be deceived and misled by impostors pretending to be their friends; and ascribing those unfavourable results to defective laws and institutions, and the proceedings of hostile parties, for which they are themselves solely and certainly responsible.
1 Works, v. 98. Ed. 1819.
The labour or service of man may, like everything else which is bought and sold, vary in its price. Those who at one time exchange a certain quantity of labour, for a rtain quantity, or the value of a certain quantity, of necessaries and conveniences, may, at another time, exchange it for a different quantity or value. Our first object will therefore be, to appreciate the circumstances on which these fluctuations depend, and the limits within which they are confined.