Essays and Treatises on Several Subjects: A New Edition

A. Millar; and A. Kincaid and A. Donaldson, at Edinburgh, 1760

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Página 300 - Can we seriously say, that a poor peasant or artisan has a free choice to leave his country, when he knows no foreign language or manners, and lives, from day to day, by the small wages which he acquires? We may as well assert that a man, by remaining in a vessel, freely consents to the dominion of the master; though he was carried on board while asleep, and must leap into the ocean and perish, the moment he leaves her.
Página 127 - Man, by two days labour, may gain enough to feed him the rest of the week; Which I take to be a very plain ground of the laziness attributed to the People: For Men naturally prefer Ease before Labour, and will not take pains, if they can live idle...
Página 49 - Accordingly we find, that, in every kingdom, into which money begins to flow in greater abundance than formerly, every thing takes a new face: labour and industry gain life; the merchant becomes more enterprising, the manufacturer more diligent and skilful, and even the farmer follows his plough with greater alacrity and attention.
Página 41 - ... are not the half of human miseries. All other ills spring from some vice, either in ourselves or others ; and even many of our diseases proceed from the same origin. Remove the vices, and the ills follow. You must only take care to remove all the vices. If you remove part, you may render the matter worse. By banishing vicious luxury, without curing sloth and an indifference to others, you only diminish industry in the state, and add nothing to men's charity or their generosity.
Página 38 - ... that middling rank of men who are the best and firmest basis of public liberty. These submit not to slavery, like the peasants, from poverty and meanness of spirit; and having no hopes of tyrannizing over others, like the barons, they are not tempted for the sake of that gratification to submit to the tyranny of their sovereign. They covet equal laws, which may secure their property, and preserve them from monarchical as well as aristocratical tyranny.
Página 47 - ... kingdom. But to endeavour artificially to increase such a credit can never be the interest of any trading nation; but must lay them under disadvantages, by increasing money beyond its natural proportion to labour and commodities, and thereby heightening their price to the merchant and manufacturer.
Página 43 - MONEY is not, properly speaking, one of the subjects of commerce ; but only the instrument which men have agreed upon to facilitate the exchange of one commodity for another.
Página 85 - Again, suppose that all the money of GREAT BRITAIN were multiplied fivefold in a night, must not the contrary effect follow? Must not all labour and commodities rise to such an exorbitant height, that no neighbouring nations could afford to buy from us; while their commodities, on the other hand, became comparatively so cheap, that, in spite of all the laws which could be formed, they would be run in upon us, and our money flow out; till we fall to a level with foreigners, and lose that great superiority...
Página 56 - It is also evident that the prices do not so much depend on the absolute quantity of commodities and that of money which are in a nation as on that of the commodities which come or may come to market and of the money which circulates. If the coin be locked up in...
Página 314 - ... unfair and inconclusive, yet in all questions with regard to morals, as well as criticism, there is really no other standard, by which any controversy can ever be decided. And nothing is a clearer proof, that a theory of this kind is erroneous, than to find, that it leads to paradoxes repugnant to the common sentiments of mankind, and to the practice and opinion of all nations and all ages.

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