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upon the land. As much as this produce is more than sufficient • for the maintenance of these persons, a power exists of paying rent, if it be necessary.' He maintains that the causes of its rising or falling must be sought for amongst such as affect the quantity and efficiency of the labour and capital which can be advantageously employed in husbandry; as also amongst such as affect the profit accruing from that employment; yet not the absolute or gross profit, but the excess of profit over what is usually acquired in other occupations.
• The origin, the occasion, and the progress of rent may be thus stated. The insufficient supply of the productive agency of the soil, and the consequent increasing difficulty, as population and productive power advance, of raising an adequate quantity of food, cause the prices of provisions, and of every other kind of the produce of land, to be continually advancing. The effect of every successive increase in these prices is to allow of the cultivation of inferior land, and yet to derive from it the customary remuneration of labour and capital. In which case, the larger returns upon the old enclosures of superior quality render their cultivation highly profitable ; and as this proceeds not from superior skill in the farmer, but from the superior advantages of the land, the landlords, who grant permission to occupy these lands, are enabled to demand an advance of rents; while the competition of persons who are desirous of occupying land compels them to offer its full value. In each of these successive advances, that last enclosed land, which paid no sent, becomes charged with a rent equal to the advance, or the excess of profit which the land affords over the fresh and more inferior land ; leaving only the new portion rent-free ; while the other lands, which had formerly paid rent, become severally charged with an addition to their previous rents, by the amount of the advance; or, which comes to the same thing, with a rent equal to the surplus profit their cultivation affords, above what could be acquired by employing the same capital in other occupations. In these advances, the gradation of rents remains unchanged; for the rent of land of the best quality must always be higher than that of the second best ; the second higher than the third ; the third higher than the fourth; and so on.'-_ Vol. ii. pp. 22,-3,
He does not, however, imagine, as some have done, that the unequal fertility, and cultivation of poor soils, can be the cause either of the origin or progress of rent; the latter being the consequence, and not the cause; since it is to
payment of rent that inferior grounds are resorted to. He further conceives that high profits, which prevent the tillage of poorer lands, must always occasion lower rents; whilst on the other hand, low profits, with their usual accompaniment of large capitals devoted to agriculture, spreading thereby cultivation over such lands, usually cause rents to advance. He shows, also, how rent enters into the composition of prices, after a different manner from that which occurs with regard to either wages or profits. High or low wages and profits are the causes of high or low prices. But
as regards the monopoly of land, high prices occasion high rents, and not high rents high prices. Hence the interest of our overgrown aristocracy, in maintaining the corn-laws, becomes as clear as day. The staff of life, which might be procured in the Baltic ports for thirty or forty per cent less than it costs here, can only be obtained, through the operation of protective duties, at that enormous artificial price which the landed leviathans have contrived to impose, in order that their present oppressive rentals may be upheld. That the farmer gains nothing by the corn-laws is abundantly evident. The high price of produce yields him no benefit in the long run, because, on renewing his lease, the landlord will demand as rent, whatever surplus profit that high price may afford above the profits of other occupations. Proprietors indeed gull their uninformed cultivators with glozing speeches, and after-dinner toasts, about the corn-laws being the essence and core of agricultural prosperity ; but the whole juggle is just such a process as we hear of in the voyages of Sinbad the sailor, when he describes the diamond-merchants. These people threw down pieces of meat into a dangerous and inaccessible valley, strewed with precious stones, which of course adhered to the morsels falling upon them. Eagles from the neighbouring cliffs then pounced upon the flesh, and carried it off to their nests for their young ones; but the merchants, watching their opportunity, drove away the birds, rifled every airie they could reach, and appropriated the jewels for their pains. No doubt, could the eagles have remonstrated, they would have been assured that their robbers were their very best friends ! Protection has always struck us as being a gilded name, covering more processes of plunder and iniquity than almost any other word with which we are acquainted. Yet if the farmer gains nothing by the monopoly, so neither does the labourer. Both are neither more nor less than the geese maintained and deluded for the special benefit of an oligarchy, whose heart is still feudal, whatever its professions may be; whose real political creed is, that the eggs and feathers of all other bipeds belong to their 'lordships and lairdships' by divine right; that, in fact,
• The little villains must submit to fate,
That great ones may enjoy the world in state!' It can be demonstrated, that wages do not rise and fall in due proportion to the price of corn. Labourers were frightened, indeed, on a recent occasion, into an opposite belief, through want of knowing better. The truth, nevertheless, flows out at last, that their condition has become worse, instead of baving improved, since the enactment of the corn-law's. Landlords are the solitary gainers; and they only in the sense of grasping an immediate benefit, at the expense of present wastefulness and ultimate ruin. Could prodigals ever be taught practical wisdom,
they would soon see that selfishness is the permanent enemy to self, as the bargain gets older ; that all its compacts are made upon satanic principles; that the victim surrenders substance for a shadow, just as the dairymaid gives her shilling to a fortuneteller, or as the sinner sells his soul to the devil. prietors are in the same boat, together with their tenantry who hold the farms; with their serfs, who water the soil with the sweat of their brow; with their great customers, our manufacturing millions; as well as with all the wives and children in the three kingdoms. By a juggle of long standing, they have contrived to appropriate an undue share of the provisions; or (which comes to the same point) they have been able to impose an unfair price upon the greatest necessary of life. Let them, therefore, come to a proper adjustment, before the company of those who sail with them shall have lost altogether their temper, and so resolve in some evil hour to throw them overboard. The best arbitrators between them and the community at large will be the political economists.
With regard to the Profits of Stock, our author considers that their rate depends on the relation of the supply of capital to the known profitable uses, to which there are the means of applying it; and that the consequent degree of productiveness of the last created, and least advantageously occupied portion, has not been hitherto recognized as it should have been, except in the lectures of Doctor Longfield. The criterion of national prosperity must be sought for in the gross production, which the capital and labour of a country together present; which production is entirely distinct from that share of the produce which goes to the capitalist, and constitutes the rate of his profit. In proceeding to analyze the rewards of labour, he first glances at them in the aggregate, showing that they depend on the productiveness of industry; on the relative magnitude of the shares which, in the distribution of the gross produce, fall under the heads of rent and profits; and on the adjustment of labour being more or less favorably arranged, so as that there may be a supply of commodities in precise proportion to the demand for them. He then touches upon inequality in the rewards of different kinds of labor; on those of learned and scientific exertion; on those derived or received by masters and adventurers; and, lastly, on those of our operative classes. He truly observes
• The opinions that are held on the circumstances which determine wages, whether right or wrong, are never inoperative. The mighty interests involved cause them to be always in action, either for good or evil. These opinions exercise a powerful influence on the prosperity, as well as on the peace and happiness of society. If just, they may lead to the introduction of such measures, as may contribute in a high degree to advance public wealth, and the interest of the poor ; at the same time that they may tend to the satisfaction of the masters, and
the content of the men, by showing that wages are really determined by natural circumstances, of too powerful a character to be much in. fluenced either by legislative enactments, or by any attempts or combinations of masters or men. On the other hand, erroneous views on these points may frustrate the best concerted measures for the public good. Turbulent men may take advantage of such errors to inflame the passions of a misguided populace, by representing the lowness of their wages, and the poverty of their condition, as owing to corruptions of the state, or to wicked combinations of employers, taking advantage of their ignorance or necessities to impose unequal terms upon them, in order to enrich themselves. Such errors may disturb the public peace, may lead to the destruction of property, and to drying up the sources of national prosperity ; or, if not carried to this extent, they may lead to the regulating of wages by law, or by combinations amongst workmen. But the regulation of wages by law, or combinations, though it may do incalculable mischief, can seldom do any good. It may secure to the labourer from his employer that just remuneration for his toil, to which natural circumstances entitle him; but it is impossible for such regulation, by any direct act, to increase the fund for the payment of wages. It may effect a partition of that fund, different from what would take place, if left entirely free ; but as much as it may add to the wages of one class, it must diminish from that which is really due to another, and from what that other would receive, if not so prevented.'—Vol. ii. pp. 127,-8.
Mr. Eisdell, in his third book, takes up the subject of consumption, in the sense of its being synonymous with use. And here we cannot fail to be struck with all those traces of divine contrivance visible throughout the whole frame-work of society. Instead of consumption leading to destruction, or annihilation, the very reverse ensues. The consumers themselves are the producers; and the satisfaction, so to speak, of every human necessity, from pole to pole, is but casting seed into the earth to spring up again into the more and more overflowing harvest of almighty and infinite benevolence. Winter and summer, day and night, the motions of the heavenly bodies, together with all the demands and supplies of man, maintain sweet and perpetual proportions one with another; proclaiming, so that even he that runs may read, that God is the founder of families, appointing unto each nation its dwelling-place. In that dwelling-place people must be, and are fed, clothed, lodged, and favoured, according to their circumstances. Opulent, intelligent, and industrious nations are greater consumers than poor ones; but then they are incomparably greater producers. The well-being and happiness, however, both of individuals and societies, depend much upon the mode of their consumption. Wise expenditure will, of course, aim at the largest amount of enjoyment consistent with reason, the prospect of continuance, and general prosperity. It is observable, too, that although individuals may sometimes save to their injury, nations can never do it. Magnum vectigal est parsimonia! So
ciety never dying, nor being responsible to a future judgment in its aggregate capacity, may reap enormous benefits from accumulation, where there exists sufficient intelligence to employ its property aright. Such wealth becomes a fountain of civilization, -a prosperous bank of capital,-a magazine, whence fresh machinery may be constantly derived to push forward the work of re-production. Luxury, indeed, waits upon this state of things, with a legion of evils in her train, ready to corrupt individuals, and so through them infuse a leprosy into the community. Yet an era will come, when a degree of religion and consequent virtue shall so prevail, that probably the tendencies of mere civil improvement may take an upward direction altogether; when the wealth of nations may be possessed by nations almost without alloy ex necessitate rerum. Even now, perhaps, too much has been made by former political economists of the difference between productive and unproductive consumers. A gentleman, engaged in pursuits most important to the commonwealth, may keep a man-servant, whom Adam Smith would have termed an unproductive labourer; yet in this instance, according to Mr. Eisdell, the services rendered by the valet relieve his master from performing them himself, and therefore set free a greater portion of his time to be devoted to the important business. It is hard and difficult to say there is nothing in this, we think; but when, instead of keeping a footman for purposes of necessity, there are a dozen or a score kept for purposes of ostentation, then indeed the distinction re-appears in hideous dimensions. We in our conscience believe, that the expenditure of revenue, by an aristocracy generally, is the circulation by Mammon and Belial of the wages of slothfulness and iniquity, amidst consequences which angels only can fully discern, whilst piety or patriotism in vain bewails them.
In arguing against luxurious consumption, our author puts the question, as to what would be the consequences to society were no desire to exist amongst our species for any articles except such as are plain, cheap, and useful? He answers, that the effect would be a mere change of employment. Instead of lace, brocades, and finery, on the persons of a few, more feet would be shod, more ancles invested in socks or stockings, more linen, broad cloth, and gloves would be manufactured than is now the
But there would be no want of work arising from this change of tastes, but rather the reverse. The world is the gift of God to mankind, and they are bound to use it for the sustentation and happiness of the greatest possible number. Frugality and simplicity of manners would conduce more towards these objects than extravagance, which is the hot-bed of vice and profligacy. They constitute, in fact, what is called economy, that is to say, the direction of expenditure with jadgment and discretion. A prudent man balances his means against the present or future