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him in their use. He learns to understand, perhaps to make working drawings. He becomes, as a man, a skilled workman, and finds himself one of a class whose numbers have been limited by the expensiveness of a special education, and his wages are high.

But we have now to consider and to explain the fact, that even in the same trade workmen's wages differ. The fact is observable enough, but is, after all, too little observed, especially by young workmen, whose thoughts and conduct now are moulding for them their future. Heretofore we have, in our comparisons, spoken of a rate of wages, leaving the reader to choose as his measure, either “ work by the day,” or “work by the piece.” In some trades work is paid chiefly by the one measure, and in some, chiefly by the other. The bricklayer, for instance, works most commonly by the day, the cooper by the piece. In other trades, again, a mixture of the two measures is found, but in all trades, as must be plain to the most superficial observer, the thought in the mind of the capitalist is the value of the work done for the wages which

he has to pay.

If we agree for the moment to use time as the measure of the wages' rate, we may easily see for ourselves, that in the same trade even, different men earn different wages. It is notorious that the foreman is more highly paid than the men whose work he oversees and directs.

In the building trade, where work is being done at a distance from the workshop, some one of the men is made foreman of the job, and is rewarded for the extra responsibility which he undertakes, with an increase (perhaps temporary only) of his daily wages. And particularly useful men are sometimes retained, especially by large capitalists, at a slightly higher rate of daily pay. But the right way of estimating his wages requires that a workman should consider not only the daily rate at which he is paid when in work, but the continuity of the work.

A workman's wages are the means by which he supports himself and his family both when he is in and when he is out of work. The mechanic, whose daily rate of wages when he is at work is 5s., if he be one-third of his time idle, really earns but 3s. 4d. per day. The unskilled workman who waits upon him, at the wages of 3s. 4d. per day, is, if he be continuously employed, in receipt of as much wages as he,

and since the tools of unskilled workmen are found for them, he may really be better off. We must then bear in mind this method of estimating wages, and especially fix in our minds that this is the method by which the workman must estimate his own earnings. If we do this we shall see at once that workmen's wages do differ indeed, and we shall be prepared to ask why ? Our question will take this shape ; how is it that, even in the same trade, some men obtain wages not merely at a slightly higher rate per day than their fellows, but that their gross earnings during the year are so much larger ?

What is the law by which (average wages having been settled as we have seen before) individual wages are distributed ?

Individual wages (where labour is free) are distributed according to the productive powers of the recipients. And even when workmen interfere with the freedom of labour, the tendency towards this law is so strong, that, although average wages may be reduced by the interference, the distribution amongst individuals is quickly brought into accordance with their powers of production.

The argument in proof is short, simple, and convincing. The hope of profit induces the capitalist to pay wages. His hope of profit depends on the value of what his workmen, helped by his machinery, and guided by his intelligence, can produce. The more productive a man is, then, precisely the more the capitalist desires to have him. To allure him he will give him the highest rate of wages current. To retain him he will in seasons when work is slack dismiss the less productive hands, and turn the work over to him. An investigation of the facts of life will corroborate the conclusion to which our argument has now brought us, and will enable me to fix your attention on the combination of qualities in the workman which make him the productive man. We shall, of course, agree that he must be a skilful workman. About that there cannot be two opinions. But workmen are too apt to think finger skill in their work the only qualification they need possess.

It will be useful for you to notice that the capitalist, in giving continuous employment at the daily rate of wages current in the trade, possesses and exercises a power of choice even amongst men who in handicraft skill are equal. He prefers the sober to the drunken ; the honest to the dishonest; the truthful to the lying ; the man conscientious in discharge of a trust to the eye-servant; the punctual to the un

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punctual ; the civil and companionable to the insolent and quarrelsome. We, no doubt, are glad that he does so exercise his choice. We also respect the men who are preferred, and we notice that they are the best hands for the doing of our work. Further, we see in this choice a warning to bad workmen to alter their ways, and a lesson to young and to intending workmen on the effect of Character in the distribution of wages.

To those of advanced age and settled habits the warning, in too many instances, comes, alas ! in vain. In age habits cannot be cast off. The old drunkard will be a drunkard still ; the greyhaired man, whose youth was spent in ignorance and in an assiduous devotion to prodigality and vice, must remain boorish, wasteful, and destitute. But very different indeed is the case of the schoolboy. He is yet unstained with vice, his habits are yet to be formed, and hence the responsibility which the schoolmaster feels to send him forth into the field of labour prepared to escape the perils in which his elders have been wrecked.

But a lesson on wages cannot be complete without some allusion to “Strikes.” Space will permit me to say very little on this subject, important as it is ; but I may perhaps usefully adopt here à plan resorted to in our treatises on Geometry. Appended to the propositions which are proved, we have others to be proved. The pupil exercises his ingenuity in seeing how the new truth may be made to grow out of the old, and, needing it, gets assistance from his teacher. So be it here.

Each assertion I make shall be proveable from the lesson I have given, or I will add to it such suggestions as will make the acquisition of the new matter easy.

(1.) A strike for the raising of wages is always wrong ; it is a suicidal act on the part of the workmen, because a strike always diminishes the means of paying wages ; it never can increase them.

(2.) When a strike ends as workmen think successfully for their class, they are mistaken : all a strike can do is to alter the distribution of the wages—i.e., to take from one class of workmen, and to give to another; in other words, a strike is said to be against the masters, but is, in fact, against other workmen : e.g., The brass-founders limit the number of lads to be employed by the masters, and so, as they believe, limit the candidates for

wages in their business ; but the rejected candidates remain suitors for wages. The brass-founders

say,

6 You shan't share with us ;” and they are obliged therefore to go elsewhere, and diminish the share of each there, &c.

(3.) That where great wealth on the part of some is accompanied by great poverty on the part of others, the wealth is not the cause of the poverty, but it is the means by which the poverty may be relieved in the present, and a recurrence of it prevented in the future.

(4.) That the existence in a nation of abundance of capital is a good thing for those who are seeking wages.

(5.) That the art of making a profit is benefit, not only to the capitalist, but to the workman, in as much as it tends to secure to them a continuity of work.

(6.) That the increase by a skilful capitalist of his plant and machinery is a good thing for his workmen, in as much as it shows he has been making a profit, is prepared to undertake the payment of wages in greater quantity than heretofore, and is a guarantee of continuous employment to the workman.

(7.) That quarrels and hostile combinations either of masters or workmen lower profit, decrease capital, and lower wages.

(8.) That honest and intelligent co-operation between them increase profit, and, with economy, increase capital and increase wages; and that this benefit to both masters and men is gained by their joint work benefiting us all.

To conclude :—The examination of the various questions with which I have crowded this lesson should be done at school. The boy has time to go over the whole ground, guided, of course, by his teacher, and he has a comparatively unprejudiced mind. The young workman, as he shakes hands with his teacher on quitting school for the workshop, should know whether these things be true or false ; and, if true, he should start with some such feeling produced by his school teaching as this : I will acquire the skill and the character necessary for getting the best wages that are to be had in that occupation which my parents have procured for me. I will save that I may be a self dependent man, and may, as far as in me lies, increase the wages fund. I will heartily endeavour so to work that when hereafter I look

back upon my success, I may trace out that I have been doing good to others in getting good for myself, and I will earnestly, by my conversation, influence, and example, try so to lead, especially the young of my order, that the virtues of workmen may no longer be obscured by the envy, malice, and uncharitableness which they now exercise towards both their masters and each other.

IV. MONEY.

Origin and Nature of Money.In a rude state of society. exchanges are made by bartering one article for another, according to some kind of understood value. “ But when the division of labour first began to take place,” says Adam Smith, “this power of exchanging must frequently have been very much clogged and embarrassed in its operations. One man, we shall suppose,

has more of a certain commodity than he himself has occasion for, while another has less. The former, consequently, would be glad to dispose of, and the latter to purchase, a part of this superfluity. But if this latter should chance to have nothing that the former stands in need of, no exchange can be made between them. 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 inconvenience of such situations, every prudent man in every period of society 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 instrument of

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