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states of Bavaria, Austria and Hungary, in com- CHAP. parison of what it would be if any of them pof
III. seffed the whole of its course till it falls into the Black Sea.
CHAP. IV. Of the Origin and Use of Money. WHEN the divifion of labour has been once CHA P.
thoroughly established, it is but a very small part of a man's wants which the produce of his own labour can supply. He fupplies the far greater part of them by exchanging that furplus part of the produce of his own labour, which is over and above his own consumption, for such parts of the produce of other men's labour as he has occasion for. Every man thus lives by exchanging, or becomes in fome measure a merchant, and the fociety itself grows to be what is properly a commercial fociety.
But when the division of labour first began to take place, this power of exchanging must frequently have been very much clogged and embarrassed in its operations. One man, we shali suppose, has more of a certain commodity than he himself has occasion for, while another has less. The former confequently would be glad to dispose of, and the latter to purchase, a part of this fuperfluity. But if this latter should chance to have nothing that the former stands in need of, no exchange can be made between them.
BOOK The butcher has more meat in his shop than he
himself can consume, and the brewer and the baker would each of them be willing to purchase a part of it. But they have nothing to offer in exchange, except the different productions of their respective trades, and the butcher is already provided with all the bread and beer which he has immediate occasion for. No exchange can, in this case, be made between them. He cannot be their merchant, nor they his customers; and they are all of them thus mutually less serviceable to one another. In order to avoid the inconveniency of such fituations, every prudent man in every period of fociety, after the first establishment of the division of labour, must naturally have endeavoured to manage his affairs in such a manner, as to have at all times by him, besides the peculiar produce of his own industry, a certain quantity of some one commodity or other, such as he imagined few people would be likely to refuse in exchange for the produce of their industry.
Many different commodities, it is probable, were successively both thought of and employed for this purpose. In the rude ages of society, cattle are said to have been the common inftrument of commerce; and, though they must have been a most inconvenient one, yet in old times we find things were frequently valued according to the number of cattle which had been given in exchange for them. The armour of Diomede, says Homer, coft only nine oxen; but that of Glaucus cost an hundred oxen. Salt is said to
be the common inftrument of commerce and ex- C HA P.
IV. changes in Abyslinia ; a species of thells in some parts of the coast of India ; dried cod at Newfoundland; tobacco in Virginia ; fugar in fome of our West India colonies ; hides or dressed leather in some other countries ; and there is at this day a village in Scotland where it is not uncommon, I am told, for a workman to carry nails instead of money to the baker's shop or the ale house.
In all countries, however, men seem at last to have been determined by irresistible reasons to give the preference, for this employment, to metals above every other commodity. Metals can not only be kept with as little lofs as any other commodity, scarce any thing being less perishable than they are, but they can likewise, without any loss, be divided into any number of parts, as by fusion those parts can easily be reunited again ; a quality which no other equally durable commodities pofsefs, and which more than any other quality renders them fit to be the instruments of commerce and circulation. The man who wanted to buy falt, for example, and had nothing but cattle to give in exchange for it, must have been obliged to buy salt to the value of a whole ox, or a whole sheep, at a time. He could feldom buy less than this, because what he was to give for it could seldom be divided without loss; and if he had a mind 'to buy more, he muft, for the same reasons, have been obliged to buy double or triple the quantity, the value, to wit, of two or three oxen, or
BOO K of two or three sheep. If, on the contrary, in
stead of sheep or oxen, he had metals to give in exchange for it, he could easily proportion the quantity of the metal to the precise quantity of the commodity which he had immediate occafion for
Different metals have been made use of by different nations for this purpose. Iron was the common instrument of commerce among tient Spartans ; copper among the antient Romans; and gold and silver among all rich and commercial nations.
Those metals seem originally to have been made use of for this purpose in rude bars, without any stamp or coinage. Thus we are told by Pliny *, upon the authority of Timæus, an antient historian, that, till the time of Servius Tul. lius, the Romans had no coined money, but made use of unftamped bars of copper, to purchase whatever they had occasion for. These rude bars, therefore, performed at this time the function of money.
The use of metals in this rude state was attended with two very considerable inconvenien. cies ; first, with the trouble of weighing; and, fecondly, with that of affaying them. In the precious metals, where a small difference in the quantity makes a great difference in the value, even the business of weighing, with proper exactness, requires at least very accurate weights and fcales. The weighing of gold in particular is an
* Plin. Hift. Nat. lib. 33. cap. 3.
operation of some nicety. In the coarser metals, CHA P. indeed, where a small error would be of little consequence, less accuracy would, no doubt, be necessary. Yet we should find it excessively troublesome, if every time a poor man had occasion either to buy or sell a farthing's worth of goods, he was obliged to weigh the farthing. The operation of affaying is still more difficult, still more tedious, and, unless a part of the metal is fairly melted in the crucible, with proper diffolvents, any conclusion that can be drawn from it, is extremely uncertain. Before the inftitution of coined money, however, unless they went through this tedious and difficult operation, people must always have been liable to the groffest frauds and impositions, and in. stead of a pound weight of pure silver, or pure copper, might receive in exchange for their goods, an adulterated composition of the coarseft and cheapest materials, which had, however, in their outward appearance, been made to resemble those metals. To prevent such abuses, to facilitate exchanges, and thereby to encourage all sorts of industry and commerce, it has been found neceffary, in all countries that have made any considerable advances towards improvement, to affix a public stamp upon certain quantities of such particular metals, as were in those countries commonly made use of to purchase goods. Hence the origin of coined money, and of those public offices called mints; institutions exactly of the fame nature with those of the aulnagers and stampmasters of woollen