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Tuesday. March. 29. 1763 - Adam Smith, Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence Vol. 5 Lectures On Jurisprudence 
Lectures On Jurisprudence, ed. R.. L. Meek, D. D. Raphael and P. G. Stein, vol. V of the Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence of Adam Smith (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1982).
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Tuesday. March. 29. 1763
In yesterdays lecture I endeavour’d to explain the causes which prompt man to industry and are peculiar to him of all the animalls, the naturall feebleness of his frame and his desires of elegance and refinement. These wants a solitary savage can supply in some manner, but not in that which is reckoned absolutely necessary in every country where government has been some time established. I shewed you also how the far greater parts of the arts and sciences have been invented and improved to supply three great wants of mankind, or subservient to these three ends,c food, cloaths, and lodging; how that mankind are far better provided in all the necessaries and conveniences of lifed | in a civilized than in a savage state; that plenty and opulence is far greater. The unassisted industry of a savage can not any way procure him those things which are now become necessary to the meanest artist. We may see this odds in comparing the way of life of an ordinary day–labourer in England or Holland to that of a savage prince, who has the lives and liberties of a thousand or 10000 naked savages at his disposall. It appears evident that this man, whom we falsly account to live in a simple and plain manner, is far better supplied than the monarch himself. Every part of his cloathing, utensils, and food has been produced by the joint labour of an infinite number of hands, and these again required a vast number to provide them in tools for their respective employments.e So that this labourer could not be provided in this simple manner (as we call it) without the concurrence of some 1000 hands. His life indeed is simple when compared to the luxury and profusion | of an European grandee. But perhaps the affluence and luxury of the richest does not so far exceed the plenty and abundance of an industrious farmer as this latter does the unprovided and unnesisted manner of life of the most respected savage. It need not seem strange that the man of fortune should so far exceed in the conveniencies and ease of his life the rude and indigent savage. The labour and time of the poor is in civilized countries sacrificed to the maintaining the rich in ease and luxury. The landlord is maintaind in idleness and luxury by the labour of his tenents, who cultivate the land for him as well as for themselves. The moneyd man is supported by his exactions from the industrious merchant and the needy who are obliged to support him in ease by a return for the use of his money. But every savage has the full enjoyment of the fruits of his own labours; there are there no landlords, no usurers, no tax gatherers. We should expect therefore that the savage should be much better provided than the dependent poor man who labours both for himself and for others. But the case is far otherwise. The indigence of a savage is far greater than that | of the meanest citizen of any thing that deserves the name of a civilized nation. There is an other consideration which increases the difficulty in accounting for this. If we should suppose that labour was equally proportioned to each, the difficulty would cease. That is, if we should suppose that of the 10,000 whose labour is necessary to the support of one individuall, each was maintaind by the labour of the rest, there would here be the reciprocall proportion of the labour of 1 to 10000 and 10000 to 1, so that every one would have the labour of one bestowed upon him. But in no civilized state this is the case. Of 10,000 families which are supported by each other, 100 perhaps labour not at all and do nothing to the common support. The others have them to maintain besides themselves, and besides <?those> who labour have a far less share of ease, convenience, and abundance than those who work not at all. The rich and opulent merchant who does nothing but give a few directions, lives in far greater state and luxury and ease and plenty of all the conveniencies and delicacies of life than his clerks, who do all the business. They too, excepting their confinement, are in a state of ease and plenty far superior to that | of the artizan by whose labour these commodities were furnished. The labour of this man too is pretty tollerable; he works under cover protected from the inclemency in the weather, and has his livelyhood in no uncomfortable way if we compare him with the poor labourer. He has all the inconveniencies of the soil and the season to struggle with, is continually exposed to the inclemency of the weather and the most severe labour at the same time. Thus he who as it were supports the whole frame of society and furnishes the means of the convenience and ease of all the rest is himself possessed of a very small share and is buried in obscurity. He bears on his shoulders the whole of mankind, and unable to sustain the load is buried by the weight of it and thrust down into the lowest parts of the earth, from whence he supports all the rest. In what manner then shall we account for the great share he and the lowest of the people have of the conveniencies of life. The division of labour amongst different hands can alone account for this.17 Let us consider the effects this will have on one | particular branch of business, and from thence we may judge on the effect and from the effe[t]cts it will have on the whole. We shall take for this purpose an instance frivolous indeed, but which will sufficiently illustrate it; this is pin–making. If we should suppose that one man should dig the ore in the mine, break and melt, smelt it, and prepare the furnaces, and forge the brass into bars, draw these out into wire, cut this wire, form the head and etc., etc., he would hardly be able to form a pin in a years time. As therefore it must be that the workman gets the price of his labour, and we should value the labour of a man in a year at £a6, each pin would in this case cost about £6.—If we should suppose that the greatest part of the work is done to his hand, and the brass given him drawn into wire, and that he performs all the severall operations requisite to form it into pins, he would not be able to make above 20 pins a day, and as the value of the labour per diem with the <?addition> of the price of the brass and wearingf of tools will amount to about 20d, he could not afford to sell his pins at less than 1d each. The pin–maker | now divides this work betwixt a great many hands; one cutts the wire, another sharpsg the one end for receiving the head, 3 or 4 are employed in making the head, one puts it on[e], another forms the point, another gild<s> and another papers them. So that in the making of a pin there are about 18 persons employed.18 These in a day will make about 36000 pins, and this comes to the same thing as if each one made about 2000. So that by this means the work is greatlyh increased, and he can afford both to increase the workmans wages [and can] and to sell the commodities cheaper, so that instead of 6 pounds, or 20 pence for one, he can now sell some dozens for a halfpenny. The case is the same in all other mechanicall arts.
The labour of the farmer is intirely seperated from that of the manufacturer. The farmer has his part and the manufacturer his. How many different hands and seperate businesses are there betwixt the grazier who feeds the sheep or the raiser of the flax, and the smoother and presser of the woolen or he who glazes and finishes the linnen. Agriculture however does not admit of thisi seperation of employment in the same degree as the manufactures of wool or lint or iron work. The same man must often be the plower | of the land, sower, harrower, reaper and thresher of the corn (tho here there may be some distinctions). But the difference of the seasons at which these different works are carried on makes it impossible for one to make a livelyhood by any one of these. The thresher, the millar, as they can work equally at all times of the year; the husbandman may also be greatly relieved when the different parts of the work necessary toj provide his instruments are done by other hands, when plow wrights, cart and waggon wrights, smiths who do the iron work of these, are seperated from the others. But still the impracticability of seperating the labour in so great a degree as it is done in the manufactures renders it impossible that the improvements in agriculture should ever keep pace with those in the manufactures. Tho an oppulent state will no doubt far exceed a poorer one both in the culture of the ground and the goodness and cheapness of its manufactures, yet this will not be so remarkable in the produce of the soil as the handycraft trades. Thus the corn of France is generally as good in every respect and as cheap as that of England; but the toys, the buttons, buck<l>es, knives, etc., etc. of the latter far exceed | those of the other in neatness, strength of work, and cheapness. When these improvements have been made, each branch of trade will afford enough both to support the oppulence and give considerable profit of the great men, and sufficiently reward the industry of the labourer. Every trade can afford somethingk for those who do not work, and give enough to the industrious. Thus to take the same frivolous example as before, if we should suppose that the pin makers can furnish 1000 pins in the day, that these (including the price of the mettall which is about 20d per pound, out of which many thousand pins may be made) can be sold at the rate of 3 halfpence per 100. The whole thousand will then be worth 15d, of which the artizan can afford 3 to his master and have 12 as the price of his labour, or may give him 200 and retain 800 to himself, for it is the same thing whether we suppose eachl one to have the commodity he works in or the value of his share. If we should again suppose that the pin maker can so contrive it that each man shall make 2000 per diem, and that he sells these at 1d per 100, 20d will be the value of the whole. The master may here have 5 for his share and can | afford the artizan 15d. The price of the work will here be less, the publick will be far better supplied, and the artizan will be far better rewarded. The work now costs but very little. The brass wire is about 20d per pound, and after it has been made into pins, of which severall thousands may be made from a pound, it costs no more than 2sh. 6d, so that the price of the work of a lib. of pins is no more than 10d. In this manner the price of labour comes to be dear while at the same time work is cheap, and these two things, which in the eyes of the vulgar appear altogether incompatible, are in this evidently very consistent, as the improvement of arts renders things so much easier done that a great wage can be afforded to the artizan and the goods still be at a low price. That state is opulent where the necessaries and conveniencies of life are easily come at, whatever otherwise be its condition, and nothing else can deserve the name of opulence but this comeattibleness. That is, a state is opulent when by no great pains and a proper | application of industry these things may be easily obtaind; and this whether money or other things of that sort abound or not. Industry and well applied labour must always improve the productions, and an opulent state can always afford commodities more reasonably than a poor one. And if it everm happens that of two states, whereofn one is opulent and the other poor, the former loses any branch of its trade by being undersold by the other who can afford it at a less price, the opulence of the former can never be the cause of it. We must look for it somewhere else. It must proceed from some improper inconveniencies that that branch of business has imprudently been laid under by oppresive and insupportable taxes or excise, or from the insolence and oppression of the officers, still more insupportable than any tax, or the excessive price of the necessaries of life from some particular cause. As a rich merchant can always afford to under–sell a poor one, so can a rich nation one of less wealth. In Holland where the artizans are as well paid as any where | one can purchase goods for exportation cheaper than any where else, tho for home consumption they are pretty dear; which difference is intirely owing to the taxes and excise laid on them in the latter case, which are not in the former. The masters having greater stocks in the severall works cano divide the work amongst the greater number of hands; by this means they get it better done and can afford it cheaper. By the division of the work, 10, 20, or 40 times the quantity of work is done which is done when the hands are fewer, and the more highly the work is divided the cheaper it will always be. We see accordingly, tho it is not generally imagined, that the price of allmost all commodities has fallen since the Revolution, of linnen and woolen cloth, of all sorts of wares and manufactures, notwithstanding the supposed abundance of money. The only things which have rose in their prices are grass and in consequence of it butcher meat, for a particular reason.19 In the Mogulls country, where every art and manufacture is carried to the greatest perfection, every thing of the necessaries of life can be purchased for much less money than here. There, cottons | of different sorts, and silks, which in their different sorts serve much better as cloathing than our linnen and woolen, are far cheaper, and were it not for the high taxes which are laid upon them (notwithstanding the great carriage), which are sometimes 4 or 5 times the value of them at this distance, we should be cloathed by the labour of the Mogulls in their cottons and silks, which would be cheaper and better than any thing of our own produce. These taxes alone support our manufacturers.p
We are not to judge whether labour be cheap or dear by the moneyd price of it, but by the quantity of the necessaries of life which may be got by the fruits of it. We are told that at Bengal 2d or there abouts is the hire of a man for a day; but we are not to conclude from thence that labour is cheaper than in this country. Labour may be as highly rewarded in that country by 1d as at London by 1sh or 1sh 6d, as the penny there will purchase as much of the necessaries of life as 1 shill. will do in this country. The conveniencies of life are more | comeattible, and this low moneyd price of labour takes place, conterary to the commonly received notions, notwithstanding that money is there in great abundan<c>e. The money’d price of labour seldom rises in the same proportion as the improvements of industry and arts advances. Gold and silver being found usefull in the exchange of commodities, the multiplying of them in a country adds no doubt to its wea<l>th. But they can not be so easily multiplied as other commodities. A man who cultivates oneq acre, by cultivating two or a certain method of treating that one, can be almost certain of doubling his stock of corn; but he has no such certainty that by applying double industry to the mine he shall multiply in the same proportion the quantity of gold and silver. The same addition of industry applied to the one and the other is much more certain of multiplying corn or other produce than of multiplying gold; and as I shall show hereafter, every other trade is rather more profitable than the working of gold mines.
| This increase of the stock of commodities, and the cheapness of work arisingr from the division of work, has three causes.—1st, the dexterity which it occasions in the workmen; 2dly, the saving of time lost in passing from one piece of work to an other; and 3dly, the invention of machines which it occasions. The 1st of the increase of dexterity from this division of work is immense, thes work being reduced to the most simple operations, and one man being employed constantly in one of these acquires an amaxing dexterity in it and can do many times the quantity of work that another can. A country smith who works occasionall<y> at all sorts of works, locks, ploughs, grates,t hinges, etc. and employs himself sometimes in spare hours in making of nails, may make in a day at most 1500; whereas a nail smith of 15 years old who has wrought at nothing else will make 3 or 4000. And a smith who has never perhaps made nails, tho he has been employed in all sorts of work, wont make above 2 or 300, and then but very indifferent. And this great odds there is, altho this of | nail making be not one of the most simple operations even in the way it is practised. The odds in needle or pin–making, which are reduced to the simplest operations, is far greater. The rapidity with which some of these operations are performed by those who have been long habituated to them is altogether wonderfull and inconcivable to those who have not been accustomed to the like.
2d, the saving of time by this division of labour is very considerable. It is altogether evident that there must be a loss of time in some cases where the work is to be performed at different places. A weaver who cultivates a farm must lose a good deal of time in passing from the ground to his loom. But altho the different branches of business are carried on in the same work house, there is still a considerable loss. He saunters and rests himself betwixt the one and the other; one can hardly apply their mind to any work at once; they find a sort of listlesness and innactivity at the beginning, and this makes them apt to saunter betwixt them.—A man of spirit when hard pushed will pass | quickly from one work to another and apply to each with equall vigour. But even a man of spirit must be hard pushed before he will do this, otherwise even he will saunter betwixt them. This is one great reason why country work men who cant apply themselves to any particular branch20 —where a smith cant make his livelyhood by locks or nails but must work at all different sorts and with all different tools; where a wright cant live by making chairs and tables only, or cant use the axeu only, but now must plaine, then saw, then hew with the hatchet, then with the adse, afterwards work with the chisel—contract a certain indolence and sauntering disposition altogether different from the activity of a town workman, besides the want of dexterity.
The invention of machines vastly increases the quantity of work which is done. This is evident in the most simple operations. A plow with 2 men and three horses will till more ground than twenty men could dig with the spade. A wind or water mill directed by the miller will do more work than 8 men with hand–mills, and this too with great ease, whereas the handmill was reckoned the hardest labour | a man could be put to, andv therefore none were employed in it but those who had been guilty of some capitall crime. But the handmill was far from being a contemptible machine, and had required a good deal of ingenuity in the invention. How far superior was this to the rubbing of the corn betwixt two rough stones, a method practisedw not only in the savage countries but by the inhabitants of the remote parts of this country. When one is employed constantly on one thing his mind will naturally be employed in devising the most proper means of improving it. It was probably a farmer who first invented the plow, tho the plough wright perhaps, having been accustomed to think on it <?>. And there is none of the inventions of that machine so mysterious that one or other of these could not have been the inventor of it. The drill plow, the most ingenious of any, was the invention of a farmer. A slave who had been set to rub corn into pouder betwixt two hard and rough stones was probably the person who first thought of facilitating the labour by supporting | one of the stones on a spindle and turning it round by a horizontall crank. He too might improve it by means of the feeder and hopper, and with the assistance of the mill–wright might adapt the trundle, etc. by means of which and the hole in the upper stone the feeder and hopper supplied it with grain. The wheel wright also, by an effort of thought and after long experien<ce>, might contrive the cog wheel which, turne[n]d by a verticall winch, facilitated the labour exceedingly as it gave the man a superior power over it. But the man whox first thought of applying a stream of water and still more the blast of the wind to turn this, by an outer wheel in place of a crank, was neither a millar nor a mill–wright but a philosopher, one of those men who, tho they work at nothing themselves, yet by observing all are enabled by this extended way of thinking to apply things together to produce effects to which they seem noway adapted. | To apply a power of ay sort which has been used in that way before is what many, nay any, are capable of who are much employed in that way; but to apply powers which have never been used in that way and seem altogether unfit must be the work of one of these generall observers whom we call philosophers. The fire engine which raises water by a power which appears hardly applicable to such an effect, tho it has been improved no doubt by artists who have observed, was the invention of an ingenious philosopher; and such without doubt was the inventor of wind and water mills.z
Philosophy itself becomes a seperate trade and in time like all others subdivided into various provinces: we have a mechanical, a chymicall, an astronomicall, a metaphysicall, a theologicall, and an ethical philosopher. This division improves it as well as all other trades. The philosophers, having each there peculiar business, do [do] more work upon the whole and in each branch than formerly.
| This division of work is not however the effect of any human policy, but is the necessary consequen<c>e of a naturall disposition altogether peculiar to men, viz the disposition to truck, barter, and exchange; and as this disposition is peculiar to man, so is the consequence of it, the division of work betwixt different persons acting in concert. It is observed that the hounds in a chacea turn the hare towards one [one] another, and in this manner are helpfull to each other and divide the labour, but this does not arise from any contract, as is evident since they generally quarrell about her after she is killed; no one ever saw them make any agreement giving one bone for another, nor make any signs by which they declared, This is mine and that is thine.—Dogs draw all the attention of others by their fawning and flattering. Man too some times uses this art, when no others will do, of gaining what he wants by fawnin<g> and adulation. But this is but seldom the case; he commonly falls upon other expedients. | The other animalls live intirely independent of others. And some times indeed when in danger its cries may draw the attention of man or other animalls; but this rarely is the case, and there seems to be no more provision made by nature in such cases than there is for one who is shipwrecked in the midst of the sea. The propagation of the kind and the preservation of the species goes on notwithstanding. Man continually standing in need of the assistance of others, must fall upon some means to procure their help. This he does not merely by coaxing and courting; he does not expect it unless he can turn it to your advantage or make it appear to be so. Mere love is not sufficient for it, till he applies in some way to your self love. A bargain does this in the easiest manner. When you apply to a brewer or butcher for [for] beer or for beef you do not explain to him how much you stand in need of these, but how much it would be your21 interest to allow you to have them for a certain | price. You do not adress his humanity, but his self–love.—Beggars are the only persons who depend on charity for their subsistence; neither do they do so alltogether. For what by their supplications they have got from one, they exchange for something else they more want. They give their old cloaths to one for lodging, the mony they have got to another for bread, and thus even they make use of bargain and exchange. This bartering and trucking spirit is the cause of the seperation of trades and the improvements in arts. A savage who supports himself by hunting, having made some more arrows than he had occasion for, gives them in a present to some of his companions, who in return give him some of the venison they have catched; and he at last finding that by making arrows and giving them to his neighbour, as he happens to make them better than ordinary, he can get more venison than by his own hunting, he lays it aside unless it be for his diversion, and becomes an arrow–maker. | In the same manner one who makes coverings for huts becomes altogether a maker of coverings, another a smith, another a tanner, etc. Thus it is that the certainty of being able to exchange the surplus produce of their labours in one trade induces them to seperate themselves into different trades and apply their talents to one alone.22
It is not the difference of naturall parts and genius (which if there be any is but very small), as is generally supposed,23 that occasions this seperation of trades, as this seperation of trades by the different views it gives one that occasions the diversity of genius. No two personsb can be more different in their genius as a philosopher and a porter, but there does not seem to have been <?any> originall difference betwixt them. For the 5 or 6 first years of their lives there was hardly any apparent difference; their companions looked upon them as persons of pretty much the same stamp. No wisdom and ingenuity appeared in the one superior to | that of the other. From about that time a difference was thought to be perceivd in them. Their manner of life began then to affect them, and without doubt had it not been for this they would have continued the same. The difference of employment occasions the difference of genius; and we see accordingly that amongst savages, where there is very little diversity of employment, there is hardly any diversity of temper or genius.c
This disposition to truck, barter, and exchange does not only give occasion to the diversity of employment, but also makes it usefull. Many animalls who are confessedly of the same species and are of very different genius make no advantage of it, as they want this disposition. The philosopher and the porter do not differ so much in their naturall genius as the differen<t> sorts of dogs. Yet these are noways useful. The swiftness of the greyhound, the streng<t>h and sagacity of the mastiff, and the docil<i>ty of the sheep dog, as they do not occasion a divisi|on of work, no way ease the labour of the species. Each works for himself. But even the philosopher and the porter are mutually beneficiall to each other. The porter assist<s> the philosopher not only by carrying to him what he wants; but by his assistance in packing, carrying, and unpacking the goods which fill the shop<s> and ware houses of the merchants he makes every thing the philosopher byes come so much cheaper than if a less diligent workman had been employed. The philosopher again benefits the porter not only as being occasionally a customer, but by the improvements he makes in the different arts. Every one who burns coalls or eats bread is benefitted by the philosopher who invented the fire engine or the corn mill; and those who do not invent any engines or improve upon them are beneficiall as they preserved the knowledge of the idea illegible worde others, or as they form plans of improvement for other sciences.
[c]The last six words are interlined, a caret apparently referring to them being placed between the words ‘supply’ and ‘three’ in the preceding phrase
[e]The words ‘It will not indeed seem to’, followed by three or four illegible words, are deleted at this point
[17 ]Cf. Mandeville, II (Dialogue 6), 284.
[18 ]Cf. Encyclopédie (vol. V, 1755), s.v. Épingle, where eighteen successive operations are minutely described. Cf. also E. Chambers, Cyclopaedia (1728), s.v. Pin, where twenty–five workmen are said to be successively employed.
[l]Replaces an illegible word
[m]Reading of last two words doubtful
[19 ]See 95–6 below.
[r]Four or five illegible words deleted
[20 ]Cf. ii.40 above.
[u]Reading doubtful; ‘of’ deleted
[v]Illegible word deleted
[x]The last three words replace ‘it was a philosopher’
[y]Reading of last two words doubtful
[a]Reading doubtful; illegible word deleted
[21 ]Sic. Presumably ‘his’ was intended.
[22 ]Cf. Mandeville, II (Dialogue 6), 335–6, 421.
[23 ]e.g. by Harris, I.11.
[c]Illegible word deleted