Imágenes de páginas


clothes, furniture, and inftruments of trade which CHA P. he wants. He fells, therefore, his rude produce for money, with which he can purchase, whereever it is to be had, the manufactured produce he has occafion for. Land even replaces, in part at leaft, the capitals with which fisheries and mines are cultivated. It is the produce of land which draws the fish from the waters; and it is the produce of the furface of the earth which extracts the minerals from its bowels.

The produce of land, mines, and fisheries, when their natural fertility is equal, is in proportion to the extent and proper application of the capitals employed about them. When the capitals are equal and equally well applied, it is in proportion to their natural fertility.

In all countries where there is tolerable fecurity, every man of common understanding will endeavour to employ whatever stock he can command, in procuring either prefent enjoyment or future profit. If it is employed in procuring prefent enjoyment, it is a flock referved for immediate confumption. If it is employed in procuring future profit, it must procure this profit either by ftaying with him, or by going from him. In the one cafe it is a fixed, in the other it is a circulating capital. A man must be perfectly crazy who, where there is tolerable fecurity, does not employ all the flock which he commands, whether it be his own or borrowed of other people, in fome one or other of thofe three ways.

[blocks in formation]



In those unfortunate countries, indeed, where men are continually afraid of the violence of their fuperiors, they frequently bury and conceal a great part of their stock, in order to have it always at hand to carry with them to fome place of fafety, in cafe of their being threatened with any of thofe difafters to which they confider themselves as at all times expofed. This is faid to be a common practice in Turkey, in Indoftan, and, I believe, in moft other governments of Afia. It feems to have been a common practice among our ancestors during the violence of the feudal government. Treafure-trove was in thofe times confidered as no contemptible part of the revenue of the greateft fovereigns in Europe. It confifted in fuch treasure as was found concealed in the earth, and to which no particular perfon could prove any right. This was regarded in thofe times as fo important an object, that it was always confidered as belonging to the fovereign, and neither to the finder nor to the proprietor of the land, unless the right to it had been conveyed to the latter by an exprefs claufe in his charter. It was put upon the fame footing with gold and filver mines, which, without a special claufe in the charter, were never supposed to be comprehended in the general grant of the lands, though mines of lead, copper, tin, and coal were, as things of fmaller confequence.



Of Money confidered as a particular Branch of the general Stock of the Society, or of the Expence of maintaining the National Capital.



T has been fhewn in the first Book, that the CHAP, price of the greater part of commodities refolves itself into three parts, of which one pays the wages of the labour, another the profits of the stock, and a third the rent of the land which had been employed in producing and bringing them to market: that there are, indeed, fome commodities of which the price is made up of two of those parts only, the wages of labour, and the profits of stock: and a very few in which it confifts altogether in one, the wages of labour: but that the price of every commodity neceffarily refolves itself into fome one, or other, or all of these three parts; every part of it which goes neither to rent nor to wages, being neceffarily profit to fomebody.

Since this is the cafe, it has been obferved, with regard to every particular commodity, taken feparately; it must be fo with regard to all the commodities which compofe the whole annual produce of the land and labour of every country, taken complexly. The whole price or exchangeable value of that annual produce, muft refolve itself into the fame three parts, and be parcelled out among the different inhabitants of

[blocks in formation]


BOOK the country, either as the wages of their labour, the profits of their stock, or the rent of their land.

But though the whole value of the annual produce of the land and labour of every country is thus divided among and conftitutes a revenue to its different inhabitants; yet as in the rent of a private estate we diftinguish between the grofs rent and the neat rent, fo may we likewife in the revenue of all the inhabitants of a great country.

The grofs rent of a private eftate comprehends whatever is paid by the farmer; the neat rent, what remains free to the landlord, after deducting the expence of management, of repairs, and all other neceffary charges; or what, without hurting his eftate, he can afford to place in his stock referved for immediate confumption, or to spend upon his table, equipage, the ornaments of his house and furniture, his private enjoyments and amufements. His real wealth is in proportion, not to his grofs, but to his neat


The grofs revenue of all the inhabitants of a great country, comprehends the whole annual produce of their land and labour; the neat revenue, what remains free to them after deducting the expence of maintaining; firft, their fixed; and, fecondly, their circulating capital; or what, without encroaching upon their capital, they can place in their flock referved for immediate confumption, or spend upon their fubfiftence, conveniencies, and amufements. Their real wealth


too is in proportion, not to their grofs, but to CHA P. their neat revenue.

The whole expence of maintaining the fixed

capital, muft evidently be neat revenue of the fociety.

excluded from the
Neither the mate-

rials neceffary for fupporting their useful machines and inftruments of trade, their profitable buildings, &c. nor the produce of the labour neceffary for fafhioning thofe materials into the proper form, can ever make any part of it. The price of that labour may indeed make a part of it; as the workmen fo employed may place the whole value of their wages in their ftock referved for immediate confumption. But in other forts of labour, both the price and the produce go to this stock, the price to that of the workmen, the produce to that of other people, whofe fubfif tence, conveniencies, and amufements are augmented by the labour of thofe workmen.

The intention of the fixed capital is to increase the productive powers of labour, or to enable the fame number of labourers to perform a much greater quantity of work. In a farm where all the neceffary buildings, fences, drains, communications, &c. are in the most perfect good order, the fame number of labourers and labouring cattle will raife a much greater produce, than in one of equal extent and equally good ground, but not furnished with equal conveniencies. In manufactures the fame number of hands, affifted with the beft machinery, will work up a much greater quantity of goods than with more imperfect inftruments of trade. The



« AnteriorContinuar »