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be appropriated by the capitalist as that a diminution of wages would additional profit, as he must have made appear in every case to involve a dimihis bargain with the labourers, and nution of produce, and vice versa ; in paid them their wages before that con- other words, a labourer ill clothed, ill clusion; and he could not have done lodged, and ill fed, cannot produce so out of a fund which was not in ex- the same quantity of goods with a istence till after it. The fact is, Mr. labourer well clothed, well lodged, and M‘Culloch is unwittingly right in as- well fed, which may again illustrate suming the advance to remain as the falsehood of Mr. Ricardo's hypobefore, £1,000; but he is wrong in thesis, that what is lost by the labourer his estimate of the profit on the trans- is gained by the capitalist, and what is action ; for that profit must have been gained by the labourer is lost by the the original profit of £200, plus the capitalist. Second, the work done by result of the increased produce, or the labourer will vary according to his £1200, that is, £1,400, or 140 per strength, energy, and skill. This work cent., instead of 54 per cent., as stated is the property of the employer or by Mr. M.Culloch ; or 30 per cent., as capitalist, who purchased the right to estimated by Mr. Longfield.
it by the payment of the wages of the If then, it be true, that wages de- labourer before its production, and pend, as has been maintained, exclu- therefore the more powerful and skilsively on the amount of the fund made ful the workmen of a community may applicable by the capitalists to the be, the higher “ceteris paribus” will be purchase. of labour, and that this the rate of profit. Third, the skill amount is determined previous to, and and intelligence of the employers has independent of, the production of the manifestly a great and extensive effect cominodities about which the labourers in increasing the amount of the proare employed ; profits will on the duce from a given quantity of labour, other hand depend altogether on the and must exercise a corresponding inexcess of those commodities thus pro- fluence on the rate of profit ; and it is duced, above the amount distributed the natural increase which in the proamongst the labourers by whom the gress of civilization takes place in the production is effected; in other words, energy, skill, and intelligence of the the rate of profit depends upon, and people at large, which most powerfully is regulated by, the productiveness of tends to check the full of profits, wbich labour. The principal circumstances the decreased efficiency of the agents, which affect the productiveness of by which the labourer is assisted, renlabour, are the following :-Ist. The ders inevitable. It may appear extraremuneration or wages of the labourer; ordinary at first view, that the general 2d. His strength, energy, and skill; efficiency of the agents by which the 3d. The skill and intelligence of the labourer is assisted, should have a concapitalist in the use and direction of stant tendency to decline, when we see his powers ; and 4th. The efficiency around us the numerous and extraordiof the agents or machinery by which nary contrivances which the ingenuity he is assisted. The first of these cir- of man has devised for the saving of cumstances would naturally tend, in time and labour. But, nevertheless, a the progress of society, to make labour closer examination will show that such less productive, by the increased remu- is the fact ; for the efficiency of that neration that would follow the natural agent, which is, of all others, most neaugmentation of the fund for the main- cessary to our existence, has a natural tenance of labour, were this tendency and unavoidable tendency to decrease: not more than counteracted by the that agent is land ; every successive strong propensity to an increase in the addition to the cultivated portion of number of labourers or competitors for which-in other words, every addishares of the labour fund. This cir- tional machine for the production of cumstance, therefore, will, on the whole, food—is likely to be less productive be found in civilized societies to have than the preceding. Mr. "Longfield a tendency to increase the productive has shown that the profits of all mapowers of labour, as this remu- chines, or agents for assisting labour, neration has a tendency to diminish. must be determined by the productiveIt is, however, worthy of remark, ness of that one which is neces
cessarily employed with least effect; for the the amount of the funds made applicable value of the produce of those which by their owners to the purchase of are more efficient, must be reduced so labour, compared with the number of much as to leave the employers of all labourers, or of shares into which those upon a level, otherwise those who funds must be divided ; and the only worked the less productive agents way by which they can possibly be inwould quit them for others by which creased, is by a relative increase of they could procure more.
This least those funds. Profits, on the other hand, efficient of all the agents for assisting are the result of wages—the end for labour, is the land last brought into the attainment of which, wages are the cultivation, which may appear evident means ; and it therefore cannot be true, from the fact that it is the last employ- " that the wages of labour depend upon ment to which capital was necessarily the rate of profit,” any more than it directed ; and the fact that a similar can be true, that the antecedent can agent, only one degree less powerful, depend upon its consequent, the cause is too inefficient to be employed at all. upon its effect. Profits depend geBy the profits, therefore, or returns to nerally on the productive powers of capital upon this land, other circum- lavour; in estimating which, the price stances remaining unchanged, will the of labour or wages is an important profits of all other businesses be regu- element, but not the only one on lated ; and it is likely, if these views which that productiveness depends. be correct, that it will scarcely be There is but one more subject in denied that the difference existing be- Mr. Longfield's work to which it is tween Mr. Longfield and his predeces- now necessary to advert, viz., his anisors on the subject of the great regu- madversions on the opinion which has lating principle of profits, is one more been extensively entertained among verbal than real. It is the return to political economists, " that the value of capital on the worst land in cultivation, labour, like every thing else, (ultisay they, which regulates the rate of mately,) depends upon the cost of proprofit; it is the return to capital on duction; and that the cost of production the least productive machine, says Mr. of a labourer is that sum which, accordLongfield. Softly, gentlemen.—You ing to his natural or artificial wants, is are all agreed, if it should so happen, sufficient to support the labourer, togethat the least productive machine, or ther with, on the average, such a family agent for assisting labour, is, in fact, as is necessary in order to keep up the the worst land in cultivation.
population of the country” in such a From a consideration of these views condition as the custom of society, and it will appear that wages are paid out the ideas of the labourers themselves, of a fund existing before the commo- recognise as necessary and sufficient. dities are produced by the labourers He maintains that “no such calculato whom they are paid, and not out of tions are made previous to the producthe commodities produced by those tion of a common labourer. He is not labourers; and therefore, that it is produced for the sake of what he can not true that “the great mass of afterwards earn. The expression, labourers must be paid out of the pro- therefore, cost of production, is merely duce, or the price of the produce of metaphorical when applied to such a their labour.”' The produce of their case; and no argument can be drawn labour is the property of the capitalist, from it, since the analogy is deficient part of which may, indeed, and most in the very circumstance through likely will be employed again in the which the cost of production affects purchase of labour, but not of the the price of articles of commerce." labour by which the commodities them- Now, it may fairly be granted to Mr. selves were produced ; and the subse- Longfield, that the expression “cost of quent employment of these commodities production," is one not very suitable will form a new series of productive for the case in question; yet it might operations, which must be considered be rather difficult to make out that as being, and are, in fact, actually there is not some principle analagous distinct from those by which they to the cost of production of articles of themselves were originally produced. commerce, which tends to accommoWages, therefore, depend entirely on date the supply of labour or the number of labourers, to the demand for but unless what he does get is, accordlabour, or the amount of the fund ing to his notion, sufficient to support a applicable to its purchase : in fact, such family in decency and respectability, calculations as Mr. Longfield speaks he ought, and if he be prudent he will, of, are in truth made previous to the avoid having one; and this avoidance, production of a labourer, although it which is nothing very much out of the may not be in the precise and learned common way, and which in well reguterms of a political economist. Such lated societies is occurring every day, calculations are made in every country produces the requisite adjustment of where prudence and forethought form supply to demand, and a consequent any of the characteristics of the pea- rise, or rather maintenance of the price santry: What, for instance, is the of labour. natural question for a prudent young I must now, Sir, conclude my obserman of the labouring class to ask him. vations on this work, which have already self previous to entering into a mar- perhaps run to an inconvenient and riage ? Is it not, have I the means of unreasonable length; at the same supporting a wife and family in decency time, the importance of the subjects and confort, according to the manner treated of demanded full discussion ; in which I have myself been brought they involve principles and rules of up? If the answer be in the negative, conduct in which the well-being of is it not right-nay, in those countries society is deeply, nay, vitally intewhich possess a prudent peasantry, is rested; they involve in a peculiar it not actually the practice, to abstaiu manner, the consideration of the causes, until the necessary means have been circuinstances, and remedies of the saved or procured ?--and it is precisely present condition of the labouring this calculation which forms the means, classes in Ireland. To that condition and the only means the labouring it is impossible that you, Sir, can look classes possess of keeping up the price without anxiety; it is scarcely possible of their labour, to what some may that any one can look without percall the cost of production, but which plexity ; and on the means which shall might, with more propriety, be called be taken to check the tide of pauperism the natural or proper price in each and turbulence which threatens to peculiar society. When these calcu- overwhelm us, will depend the happilations are not made, and it is too true ness and prosperity of millions yet that in many cases and in many coun- unborn. Let one more false step be tries (our own unfortunately amongst made, and who shall be found bold the number) they are not, the result enough to answer for the consequences ? must inevitably be the depression of The apparently unruffled surface of the price of labour below its natural society at the present moment is but value, and the consequent misery, des
“The torrent's smoothness ere it dash below." titution, and crime, which are the invariable concomitants of such a state of And who can say, with certainty, how things; and the misfortune is, that it far we may be from the cataract which is one which, instead of having a ten- will involve all orders of society in dency to bring its own remedy, rather one common gulf of ruin. tends, (and herein there is a difference To Mr. Longfield, for his work, his between the cost of production of country is much indebted ; and I trust labour and commodities,) when it its appearance will form a new era in arrives at a certain point of degrada- the history of our gentry—of that class tion, to perpetuate itself,
on whose conduct and whose principles
so much of the well-being of society “ Haud facile emergunt, quorum virtutibus depends. That it may serve the pur
obstat Res angusta domi.”
pose of arresting their attention, and
directing their minds to the careful It is undoubtedly true, that at any examination of the present condition given time the expenses and mode of the people, and the adoption of of living of a labourer must depend such means as may, by tending to inupon his wages, for he cannot spend crcase the amount of the fund for the more than he can get, and he cannot support of labour relatively to their get more that there is to give him ; numbers, or to decrease their numbers in relation to the amount of the fund hope of recovery still more distant and for their support, lay the foundations futileof a permanent edifice of social happi
“ Facilis descensus Averno: ness. Without such attention and Sed revocare gradum superasque evadere ad close examination on the part of those
hic labor est." who are, or at least ought to be, the prime movers of our public affairs, I
I have the honour to be, Sir, can see little before us but a deeper plunge into the abyss of misery and
Your very obedient servant, social disorganization, rendering any
THE PLEASURES OF GRIEF.
“ Heu quanto minus est cum reliquis versari, quam tui meminisse !"-SHENSTONE.
How strangely are our tempers cast !
I seek not to forget ;
With something like regret.
There's hoarseness ever in the roll
Of floods that towards us flow;
And soften as they go.
The gloomiest season of distress,
When grief has had its day,
As it recedes away.
Thus, upward as the mist doth move,
It blushes into sight ;
And dyed with heavenly light.
God ! 'tis a glorious sight to see the star of day
At noon tide climb to his empyrean height,
Then check one moment bis eternal flight
Pierces the leafy grove's umbrageous night,
The streamlet shuns its shadeless banks, and bright
The bee is rustling in the wild flower's cell,
The broad red sun wheel down the mountain's side ;
To view, through heaven's blue, deep and boundless tide,
His beams shoot up beyond the baffled cloud
That vainly seeks his setting rays to shroud :
The gladsome laugh of heart untouched by care
Melts into music on the evening air,
Where mortal's voice intrudes no earthly care,
Whence I may view heaven's glorious fabric rear
Day uttering unto day God's wondrous pow'r ;f
Or, at the moonless, starry, midnight hour,
To hide from thee who countless worlds cau fill ?-
And darkness finds him trembling 'fore thee still :
* No. I. “ Night,” Vol. II. p. 443; No. II. “ MORNING,” p. 556.
t “ Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge." Psalm 19. v. 2.