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it is much cleanlier. A journeyman blackfinith, CHA P. though an artificer, feldom earns fo much in twelve hours as a collier, who is only a labourer, does in eight. His work is not quite fo dirty, is lefs dangerous, and is carried on in day-light, and above ground. Honour makes a great part of the reward of all honourable profeffions. In point of pecuniary gain, all things confidered, they are generally under-recompenfed, as I fhall endeavour to show by and by. Difgrace has the contrary effect. The trade of a butcher is a brutal and an odious bufinefs; but it is in most places more profitable than the greater part of common trades. The most deteftable of all employments, that of public executioner, is, in proportion to the quantity of work done, better paid than any common trade whatever.

Hunting and fishing, the most important employments of mankind in the rude ftate of fociety, become in its advanced state their moft agreeable amufements, and they purfue for pleasure what they once followed from neceffity. In the advanced ftate of fociety, therefore, they are all very poor people who follow as a trade, what other people purfue as a paftime. Fishermen have been fo fince the time of* Theocritus. A poacher is every-where a very poor man in Great Britain. In countries where the rigour of the law fuffers no poachers, the licensed hunter is not in a much better condition. The natural tafte for thofe employments makes more people follow them than can live comfortably by them,

*See Idyllium xxi.

BOOK and the produce of their labour, in proportion I. to its quantity, comes always too cheap to market to afford any thing but the most scanty fubfiftence to the labourers.

Difagreeableness and difgrace affect the profits of stock in the fame manner as the wages of labour. The keeper of an inn or tavern, who is never master of his own houfe, and who is expofed to the brutality of every drunkard, exercises neither a very agreeable nor a very creditable bufinefs. But there is scarce any common trade in which a small stock yields fo great a profit.

Secondly, The wages of labour vary with the eafinefs and cheapnefs, or the difficulty and expence of learning the business.

When any expenfive machine is erected, the extraordinary work to be performed by it before it is worn out, it must be expected, will replace the capital laid out upon it, with at leaft the ordinary profits. A man educated at the expence of much labour and time to any of those employments which require extraordinary dexterity and fkill, may be compared to one of thofe expenfive machines. The work which he learns to perform, it must be expected, over and above the ufual wages of common labour, will replace to him the whole expence of his education, with at least the ordinary profits of an equally valuable capital. It muft do this too in a reasonable time, regard being had to the very uncertain duration of human life, in the fame manner as to the more certain duration of the machine.



The difference between the wages of fkilled CHA P. labour and those of common labour, is founded upon this principle.

The policy of Europe confiders the labour of all mechanics, artificers, and manufacturers, as skilled labour; and that of all country labourers as common labour. It feems to fuppofe that of the former to be of a more nice and delicate nature than that of the latter. It is fo perhaps in fome cafes; but in the greater part it is quite otherwife, as I fhall endeavour to fhew by and by. The laws and cuftoms of Europe, therefore, in order to qualify any perfon for exercifing the one fpecies of labour, impose the neceffity of an apprenticeship, though with different degrees of rigour in different places. They leave the other free and open to every body. During the continuance of the apprenticeship, the whole labour of the apprentice belongs to his master. In the mean time he muft, in many cafes, be maintained by his parents or relations, and in almost all cafes must be cloathed by them. Some money too is commonly given to the mafter for teaching him his trade. They who cannot give money, give time, or become bound for more than the ufual number of years; a confideration which, though it is not always advantageous to the mafter, on account of the ufual idleness of apprentices, is always disadvantageous to the apprentice. In country labour, on the contrary, the labourer, while he is employed about the eafier, learns the more difficult parts of his bufinefs, and his own labour maintains him through


BOOK through all the different ftages of his employment. It is reasonable, therefore, that in Eu-. rope the wages of mechanics, artificers, and manufacturers, should be fomewhat higher than thofe of common labourers. They are fo accordingly, and their fuperior gains make them in moft places be confidered as a fuperior rank of people. This fuperiority, however, is generally very fmall; the daily or weekly earnings of journeymen in the more common forts of manufactures, fuch as thofe of plain linen and woollen cloth, computed at an average, are, in moft places, very little more than the day wages of common labourers. Their employment, indeed, is more steady and uniform, and the fuperiority of their earnings, taking the whole year toge ther, may be fomewhat greater. It feems evidently, however, to be no greater than what is fufficient to compenfate the fuperior expence of their education.

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Education in the ingenious arts and in the liberal profeffions, is ftill more tedious and expenfive. The pecuniary recompence, therefore, of painters and sculptors, of lawyers and phyfi cians, ought to be much more liberal: and it is fo accordingly.

The profits of stock seem to be very little affected by the eafinefs or difficulty of learning the trade in which it is employed. All the different ways in which stock is commonly employed in great towns feem, in reality, to be almost equally eafy and equally difficult to learn. One branch either of foreign or domeftic trade, cannot

cannot well be a much more intricate bufinefs C HA P. than another.


Thirdly, The wages of labour in different occupations vary with the conftancy or incon ftancy of employment.

Employment is much more conftant in fome trades than in others. In the greater part of manufactures, a journeyman may be pretty fure of employment almost every day in the year that he is able to work. A mafon or bricklayer, on the contrary, can work neither in hard frost nor in foul weather, and his employment at all other times depends upon the occafional calls of his customers. He is liable, in consequence, to be frequently without any. What he earns, therefore, while he is employed, muft not only maintain him while he is idle, but make him fome compenfation for those anxious and defponding moments which the thought of fo precarious a fituation must fometimes occafion. Where the computed earnings of the greater part of manufacturers, accordingly, are nearly upon a level with the day wages of common labourers, thofe of masons and bricklayers are generally from one half more to double thofe wages. Where common labourers earn four and five fhillings a week, mafons and bricklayers frequently earn feven and eight; where the former earn fix, the latter often earn nine and ten, and where the former earn nine and ten, as in London, the latter commonly earn fifteen and eighteen. No species of skilled labour, however, seems more eafy to learn than that of masons and bricklayers. Chairmen

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