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cess distinguished by her virtues and found very useful to those who are not piety, were successively dragged from intimately acquainted with the early the Temple to the Conciergerie, and history of the French revolution. thence to the scaffold.—The dauphin, though originally of a vigorous constitution, tell a victim, at the age of On the Principles of Political Economy ten years and two months, to the stu.
and Taxation. By David RICARDO, died barbarity of his treatment.
Esq. Murray, London; Blackwood, We have to regret that these memoirs
Edinburgh. 8vo. 1817. are not continued after the dauphin's The science of Political Economy death, though Madame Royale (now owes its rise to the eighteenth century. the Duchess of Angouleme) remained Many facts, and several of the prinin the Temple six months after that ciples which now enter into treatises event, exposed alone to the persecu- on that subject, had been previously tions and insults of her enemies. She ascertained, but it was reserved for was released on the 11th of December, Stuart, Turgot, Smith, and other emithe seventeenth anniversary of her nent men of the last age, to combine birth; to experience vicissitudes no less them into one consistent and har. wonderful, though happier in their monious whole, and to analyze, in a issue, than those through which she much more accurate manner than had had already passed.
ever been done before, the sources of Whatever opinion may be entertain- wealth, and the laws which regulate ed of the principles which led to the its distribution among the different revolution in France, no diversity of classes of society. Since the publicasentiment can prevail with regard to tion of the Wealth of Nations, politithe atrocities of the Revolutionists. It cal economy has been greatly improve will ever remain a problem in the his- ed. That great work, by shewing its tory of mankind, that a people distin- infinite importance to our best interguished by their refinement, should ests,—by proving that no legislative have become all at once equally dis- measures could be adopted clashing tinguished by their barbarity ;-that a with its principles, but what must be people almost singular in their attach- vitally injurious to the community at ment to monarchy, should, under the large,-and by successfully exposing reign of the best of their monarchs, many absurd theories, enactments, and have forgotten their loyalty and alle practices, hitherto looked upon as the giance; and, in the wildness of republi- acımè of genius and wisdoin, contrican frenzy, have sought to annihilate buted in a very high degree to draw every thing connected with a govern- public attention to the science of ment, for which, but lately before, which it still continues the brightthey thought it all their glory to live est ornament. More lately, the proand to die. The poison administered found and original inquiries of Mr by their philosophists might, perhaps, Malthus have cast a new light on vitiate the principles of the whole mass many subjects, which had either been of the community; the corrupt exam- entirely neglected, or only cursorily ple of a court might have diffused noticed by Dr Smith ; while the exthrough all ranks its pernicious in- traordinary events of the last twenty fluence; but will these causes account years have enabled us, in various infor the violence of their revolutionary stances, to try the deductions of theory fury, unless we suppose, that the force by the touchstoue of experience. The of the revulsion, which burst asunder suspension of cash payments at the all their former political associations, Bank of England, with the subsequent tore up at the same time all the good depreciation of our currency, and de principles of their nature, and drove rangement of the exchanges, rendered them from the excess of admiration us much better acquainted with the and devotion, to the opposite extreme theory of banking and money. And of contempt and hatred?
amiil all the complicated evils arising The translation, conilucted on the from our general factitious system, – most correct ideas, combines, very suc- the orders in council, the corn laws, cessfully, the simplicity of the original and such like measures, have at least with the purest English idiom. The served to bring under our view a varietranslator has occasionally elucidated ty of unprecedented plienoinena in the text with notes, which will be economics, and by interesting the pub
lic, and giving rise to much animated and they may be multiplied, not in one discussion, have conspired to dissemi. country alone, but in many, almost without nate and improve the science.
any assignable limit, if we are disposed to Among the writers who have signaliz- bestow the labour necessary to obtain them. ed themselves in these discussions, Mr their exchangeable value, and of the laws
“ In speaking then of commodities, of Ricardo holds a distinguished place -- which regulate their relative prices, we mean His Essay on the “High Price of Bul- always such commodities only as can be inlion,” first clearly pointed out the cir- creased in quantity by the exertion of human cumstances regulating the amount of industry, and on the production of which circulating medium in all commercial competition operates without restraint." countries, and his Essays “ On the In the early stages of society, the exProfits of Stock," and on“ Currency," changeable value of these commodities, develop principles of the utmost im- or the rule which determines how much portance, and abound in views equally of one shall be given in exchange for just, novel, and ingenious. Such being another, depends solely on the comthe case, a more than ordinary interest parative quantity of labour expended must be excited by the appearance of on each. the work before us, in which this able “ The real price of every thing," economist has explained his opinions says Dr Smith, “ what every thing respecting some of the fundamental really costs to the man who wants to doctrines of the science, and in which, acquire it, is the toil and trouble of as it appears to us, he has established acquiring it. What every thing is some highly important principles, and really worth to the man who has acrectified many prevailing errors. quired it, and who wants to dispose of
Nothing has contributed in a greater it, or exchange it for something else, degree to perplex and confuse the in- is the toil and trouble which it can save vestigations respecting the principles to himself, and which it can impose of political economy, than the con- on other people. If, among a founding together of what Dr Smith nation of hunters, for example, it usualhas termed value in use, and value in ly cost twice the labour to kill a beaver erchange. Air is extremely useful; it which it does to kill a deer, one beaver is not possible to exist without it; but should naturally exchange for, or be as it can be had at pleasure, as all can worth two deer. It is natural, that acquire it without any exertion, it what is usually the produce of two has no exchangeabile value. Utility, days', or two hours' labour, should be then, as Mr Ricardo has observed, is worth double of what is usually the not the measure of exchangeable value, produce of one day's or one hour's lam although it is absolutely essential to it. bour.” If a commodity were in no way use- That this is the only real foundation ful,--in other words, if it could in no of exchangeable value seems indisputaway contribute to our gratification, ble; and hence it follows, that every it would be destitute of exchangeable increase in the quantity of labour must value, however scarce it might be, or augment the value of that commodity whatever quantity of labour might be on which it is necessarily expended, as necessary to procure it.
every diminution of that quantity must • Possessing utility, commodities derive proportionally lower its value. their exchangeable values from two sources : from their scarcity, and from the quantity though this is the case in early stages
It may perhaps be thought, that alof labour required to obtain them. “ There are some commodities, the value be different ; but Mr Ricardo has
of society, in an advanced state it would of which is determined by their scarcity alone. No labour can increase the
quantity shewn that, in all cases, commodities of such goods, and therefore their value can. vary in value conformably to this prinnot be lowered by an increased supply
. ciple. It is of no consequence among Their value is wholly independent of the how many hands the labour of making Produce them, and varies with the varying aggregate quantity is on the whole
a pair of stockings is divided. If the wealth and inclinations of those who are de- either diminished or increased, the exi sirous
to possess them. “ These commodities, however, form a changeable value of the stockings will very small part of the mass of commodities fall or rise in proportion. daily exchanged in the market. By far the
From what we have
already stated, greater part of those goods, which are the a most important consequence, first objects of desire, are procured by labour; pointed out by Mr Ricardo, necessarily
results,viz. That no increase in the labour Keduces the price of commodiwages of labour can increase the rela- ties. tive exchangeable values of commodi- Suppose,” says Mr Ricardo, “ that ties.
an engine is made, which will last for 100 If a stocking manufacturer employs years, and that its value is £20,000. Supone hundred men, during ten days, in pose too, that this machine, without any manufacturing stockings, which ex
labour whatever, could produce a certain change for the gloves manufactured by profits were 10 per cent., the whole value
quantity of commodities annually, and that the same number of men in twenty of the goods produced would be annually days, the values of these products are £2000 : 2:11; for the profit of £20,000, precisely equal. But if some more ex- at 10 per cent. is
£2000 0 0 peditious method of manufacturing and an annuity of 2s. 11d. for gloves should be discovered, if one 100 years, at 10 per cent will, man was enabled to do as much work at the end of that period, re
0 2 11 as was previously executed by two, the place a capital of £20,000, value of gloves, compared with stockings, (supposing, for the sake of sim- Consequently the goods must
£2000 2 11 plifying the question, that the value of
* If the same amount of capital, viz. the raw materials consumed in both £20,000, be employed in supporting promanufactures are equal,) would be re- ductive labour, and be annually consumed duced one half. If an equal improve and reproduced, as it is when employed in ment had been made in the stocking paying wages, then to give an equal profit manufacture, the relative values of of 10 per centthe commodities must sell both commodities would remain the for £22,000. Now suppose labour so to same as at first ;-a greater quantity of rise, that instead of £20,000 being sufficient the one would' merely be exchanged ducing the latter commodities,
£20,952 is for a greater quantity of the other. It required; then profits will fall to 5 per is obvious, however, that an increase cent.; for as these commodities would sell for in the wages of labour could not affect no more than £22,000, and to produce them this conclusion. Suppose wages to rise £20,952 would be requisite, there would 10 per cent. the stocking manufacturer remain no more than £1,048, on a capital could not say to the glove manufac- of £20,952. Įf labour so rise, that £21,153 turer that he must have a greater quan
were required, profits would fall to 4 per tity of gloves in exchange for his stock- cent; and if it rose, so that £21,359 was ings, on account of the increased wages employed, profits would fall to 3 per cent.
" But as no wag 8 would be paid by of his workmen, because the other the owner of the machine when profits fell would answer, that the same rise af- to 5 per cent., the price of his goods must fected him in precisely the same de fall to £1007 : 13: 8, viz. £1000 to pay gree. The relation of proportional his profits, and £7: 13:8 to accumulate numbers is not altered by being all for 100 years, at 5 per cent., to replace his multiplied by the same number. "If a capital of £20,000." When profits fall to 5 pair of stockings be exchanged for a pair per cent. his goods must sell for £816:3:2;
and when at 3 per cent. for £632 : 16: 7. of gloves when wages are at Is. per By a rise in the price of labour, then, undiem, the same exchange would take der 7 per cent, which has no effect on the place after wages had risen to 20s. per prices of commodities wholly produced by diem. In the one case a very small share labour,
a fall of no less than 68 per cent is only of the produce of the labourer's effected on those commodities wholly proexertions would belong to himself, and duced by machinery lasting 100 years
. If a large share to his employer; in the the proprietor of the machine sold his goods other, the labourer's share would be for more than £632 : 16:7, he would get much augmented, and his employer's stock ; and as others could furnish them.
more than 3 per cent., the general profit of proportionally reduced. The value of selves with machines at the same price of the commodity would, in both cases, £20,000, they would be so multiplied, that be the same, but it would be very dif- he would be inevitably obliged to sink the ferently divided.
price of his goods, till they afforded only the Mr Ricardo, however, has not only usual and general profits of stock." shewn that a rise in the wages of labour In proportion as the machine was does not raise the price of the commo- more or less durable, prices would be dities purchased by that labour, but more or less affected by a rise of wages; he has also shewn, that when fixed but for a further elucidation of this capitals, and machinery,' are employed subject, our readers must peruse Mr in producing, a rise iu the wages of Ricardo's own statements. VOL. I.
We have here supposed, for the sake the production of which no additional of perspicuity, that the value of money quantity of labour is required. " If was invariable, but whether it is ris- then,” says Mr Ricardo, wages coning or talling has no effect on these tinued the same, profits would remain conclusions. Like every other com- the same; but it, as is absolutely cera modity, the exchangeahle value of tain, wages should rise with the rise money varies as the labour of produc-of corn, then profits would necessarily ing it is increased or diminished fall.” It does not follow, from the
im- Mr Ricardo had already developed portant principles which Mr Ricardo this principle, though more concisely, has with so much talent and ingenu- in his “Essay on the Profits of Stock," ity endeavoured to establish, that and had successfully applied it to shew Wages may be increased in one coun- the folly of restricting the corn trade; try, though they should remain sta- for, by forcing us to have recourse to tionary in others, without any inis- land of a very inferior quality for our chievous consequences being experi- supplies of food, the restrictive system enced. If the wures of labour in Great necessarily lowers the profits of every Britain, from the eff cts of taxation, - kind of stock throughout the country, from the operation of the corn laws, and increases the desire to tranfer caor from any other caust", —are higher pital abroad. than in any other country of Europe, Mr Ricardo has also given a satisthe profits of stock must be propor- factory, and in many respects an oritionally lower. Hence, there is an in- ginal, view of the nature of rent, and ducement to remit capital abroad to of the effects of taxation. As our liwhere it will yield a larger return; and mits, however, will not permit us to although capitalists, as well as other enter on these topics, we earnestly remen, have a n tural repugnance to re- commend our readers to have recourse move to foreign countries from the land to the work itself, which contains much of their fathers and their friends, yet, valuable and profound discussion, as as Mr Kicardo has justly observed, well on these as on subjects to which “ There are assuredly limits to the it has not been possible for us even to price, which, in the form of perpetual allude. taxation, individuals will submit to Mr Ricardo's style is simple and pay for the privilege merely of living unaffected, but there are some parts in their native country.
of his work in which, perhaps, he is a The vast number of English fa- little obscure, and others in which milies which have emigrated to the there appears too much of controversy. continent since the peace, is a too con
Of all the writers on Political Econovincing proof of the accuracy of this my, M. Say stands unrivalled for perstatement; and until the weight of spicuity,—for natural and luminous our taxation is diininished, and the arrangement,--and for instructive and profits of stock rendered as high, and elegant illustration. the expense of house-keeping as cheap, in this country as on the other side of the water, the tide of emigration Bingley's Useful Knowledge ; or an will continue to roll on. Besides adventitious causes, such as
Account of the various Productions taxation, &c., which may raise the
of Nature, Mineral, Vegetable, and wages of labour and lower the rate of
Animal, which are chiefly employed proiit, Mr Ricardo lays it down as a
for the use of Mun. 3 vols 121no. general principle, that in every country
London, Baldwin & Co. 1817. the profits of stock must be diminish- This work well entitles its author ed according as it becomes more diffi- to rank among the friends of youth. cult to raise food. If corn, or manu- It is really what it pretends to be, a factured goods, always sold at the repository of useful knowledge, consame price, profits would be high or taining a clear and interesting account low, in proportion as wages were low of many of those productions which or high. But although corn rises in are useful to man in the mineral, veprice because more labour is necessary getable, and animal kingdoms. to produce it, that cause will not raise That part of it which treats of anithe price of manufactured goods, in mals has been executed on a plan similar to that of Mavor, Bigland, and rocks, and, above all, of the different others; and the subjects of the two kinds ot' soils, and also to give some first parts are to be found in systems idea of what is meant by the theories of mineralogy and botany; but there of the earth. Another subject which is no work with which we are ac- we should have expected to see noquainted, in which so much valuable ticed, is fossil rem ins. In this there information in all these departments is much to interest and amuse"; and it is comprised within the same extent. certainly fails within the author's plen. There is, we are persuaded, no class All these things would add litti: to of readers to whom this book will not the size, while they would ratly inbe both amusing and instructive. To crease the value of the publication. It those who have already studied the is proper also to remark, that the ausubjects in larger works, it will serve thor might have taken more frequent to recall the particulars which are occasion than he has done to impiess most interesting, and may be advan- on the minds of his readers the appeartageously employed as a book of refer- ances of wisdom and goodness which ence. Those, on the other hand, who are so often to be met with in the have not entered upon such inquiries, works of nature. In books intended will find a great deal to gratify their for the use of the young, this is a duty curiosity, conveyed in an agreeable that ought never to be omitted ; and manner. To young persons, especially the performance of it constitutes one young ladies, who have seldom an op- great excellence in the writings of portunity of studying large systems of Bigland and Mavor. Of the style and natural history, we would particularly manner we cannot give a better idea, recommend this work. If it were read than by making an extract almost at in small portions daily, and an account randon, which may be consider d a of the pupil's progress rendered, either fair specimen of what the book conin writing or in conversation, the tains. young would soon be found to have
“ The common pear is a well-known acquired more information on the garden fruit, derived from an English stock, topics of which it treats, than many the wild pear tree (Pyrus communis), which who have perused larger systems in a grows in hedges and thickets in Somersetvague and cursory manner. Besides shire and Sussex. It would be an endless affording much information, -as it is task to describe the different known varieties arranged on the plan of the best sys
of the cultivated pear. Some of these are tems, it will insensibly accustom the very large, and others extremely small :
some have a rich and luscious flavour, and mind to the classifications of natural others, as the iron pear, are so hard and history, and thereby prepare the reader disagreeable to the taste, as to be absolutely for the study of more extensive works. unfit to eat. Pears are chiefly used in des
We must not, however, forbear to serts; and one or two of the kinds are mention some slight defects, which stewed with sugar, baked, or preserved in we would much wish to see supplied, syrup: whenever it comes to another edition. •• The fermented juice of pears is called In addition to the general index, there perry, and is prepared nearly in the same
The should be a separate index to each
manner as that of apples is for cider. volume. In the first volume, only Worcestershire and Herefordshire.
greatest quantities of perry are made in
The some of the families of minerals are Squash, the Oldfield, and the Barland enumerated, and for no other reason perry are esteemed the best. Many of the than that the Table might all be con- dealers in champaigne wine are said to use tained in one page. Another defect perry to a great extent in the adulteration in the same part of the work is, that of it: and indeed, really good perry is little little is said of what are called com
inferior in flavour or quality to champaigne. pound rocks, or even of the different light, smooth, compact, and of a yellowish
** Of the wood of the pear tree, which is soils ; and nothing at all of what every colour, carpenters' and joiners' tools are one has often occasion to hear men
usually made, as well as the common kinds tioned, we mean the manner in which of flat rulers, and measuring scales. It is the earth is supposed to have been also used for picture frames that are to be forned. Now we think that it would stained black. The leaves impart a yellow be interesting, and at the same time dye, and are sometimes employed to comeasy, to give a short account of these municate a green colour to blue cloth,"