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which they are severally produced: and the value of A is to the value of B universally as the quantity of labor which produces A to the quantity of labor which produces B.
Here then is the great law of value as first explained by Mr. Ricardo. Adam Smith uniformly takes it for granted that an alteration in the quantity of labor, and an alteration in wages (i. e. the value of labour) are the same thing and will produce the same effects: and hence he never distinguishes the two cases, but every where uses the two expressions as synonymous. If A, which had hitherto required 16s. worth of labor for its production, should to-morrow require only 12s. worth,-Adam Smith would have treated it as a matter of no importance whether this change had arisen from some discovery in the art of manufacturing A which reduced the quantity of labor required from four days to three, or simply from some fall in wages which reduced the value of a day's labor from 4s. to 3s. Yet in the former case A would fall considerably in price as soon as the discovery ceased to be monopolized; whereas in the latter case we have seen that A could not possibly vary in price by one farthing. Phed. In what way do you suppose that Adam Smith came to make so great an oversight, as I now confess it to be?
X. Mr. Malthus represents Adam Smith as not having sufficiently explained himself on the subject: "he does not make it quite clear," says Mr. Malthus, whether he adopts for his principle of value the quantity of the producing labor or its value. But this 18 a most erroneous representation. There is not a chapter in the Wealth of Nations in which it is not made redundantly clear that Adam Smith adopts both laws as mere varieties of expression for one and the same law. This being so, how could he possibly make an election between two things which he constantly confounded and regarded as identical? The truth is, Adam Smith's attention was never directed to the question: he suspected no distinction: no man of his day, or before his day, had ever suspected it: none of the French or Italian writers on Political Economy had ever suspected it; in
deed none of them has suspected it to this hour. One single writer before Mr. Ricardo has insisted on the quantity of labor as the true ground of value; and what is very singular at a period when Political Economy was in the rudest stateviz. in the early part of Charles II.'s reign: this writer was Sir William Petty, a man who would have greatly advanced the science, if he had been properly seconded by his age. In a remarkable passage too long for quotation he has expressed the law of value with a Ricardian accuracy: but it is scarcely possible that even he was aware of his own accuracy: for though he has asserted that the reason why any two articles exchange for each other (as so much corn of Europe suppose for so much silver of Peru) is because the same quantity of labor has been employed on their production, and though he has certainly not vitiated the purity of this principle by the usual heteronomy (if you will allow me a learned word) i. e. by the introduction of the other and opposite law derived from the value of this labor, yet it is probable that in thus abstaining he was guided by mere accident and not by any conscious purpose of contradistinguishing the one law from the other; because, had that been his purpose, he would hardly have contented himself with forbearing to affirm-but would formally have denied-the false law. For it can never be sufficiently impressed upon the student's mind that it brings him not one step nearer to the truth to sayThat the value of A is determined by the quantity of labor which produces it-unless by that proposition he means-That it is not determined by the value of the labor which produces it.- -To return to Adam Smith, not only has he "made it quite clear" that he confounded the two laws, and had never been summoned to examine whether they led to different results-but I go farther; and will affirm that, if he had been summoned to such an examination, he could not have pursued it with any success until the discovery of the true law of Profits. For in the case of the hats as before argued, he would have said-" The wages of the hatter, whether they have been augmented by increased quantity of
your way of conducting the argument, though some little confusion still clouds my view. But with regard to the consequences you speak of,-how do you explain that under so fundamental an error (as you represent it) many writers, but above all Adam Smith, should have been able to deduce so large a body of truth that we all regard him as one of the chief benefactors to the science?
labor or by increased value of labor, must in any case be paid." Now what is the answer? They must be paid but from what fund? Adam Smith knew of no fund, nor could know of any until Mr. Ricardo had ascertained the true law of Profits, except Price: in either case therefore, as Political Economy then stood, he was compelled to conclude that the 15s. would be paid out of the pricei. e. that the whole difference between the 12s. and the 15s. would settle upon X. The fact is that his good sense the purchaser. But we now know interfered every where to temper the that this will happen only in the extravagant conclusions into which a case when the difference has arisen severe logician could have driven from increased labor; and that him. every At this very day, a French farthing of the difference, which and an English Economist have reared arises from increased value of labor, a Babel of far more elaborate errors will be paid out of another fund- on this subject; M. Say, I mean, viz. Profits. But this conclusion and Mr. Malthus; both ingenious could not be arrived at without the writers, both eminently illogical; new theory of Profits (as will be seen especially the latter, with whose more fully when we come to that "confusion worse confounded" on the theory); and thus one error was the subject of value, if reviewed by some necessary parent of another. unsparing Rhadamanthus of logical justice, I believe that Chaos would appear a model of order and light. Yet the very want of logic, which has betrayed these two writers into so many errors, has befriended them in escaping from their consequences: for they leap with the utmost agility over all obstacles to any conclusions which their good sense points out to them as just, however much at war with their own premises. With respect to the confusion which you complain of as still clinging to the subject,-this naturally attends the first efforts of the mind to disjoin two ideas which have constantly been re
Here I will pause; and must beg you to pardon my long speeches in consideration of the extreme importance of the subject: for every thing in Political Economy depends, as I said before, on the law of value: and I have not happened to meet with one writer who seemed fully to understand Mr. Ricardo's law, and still less who seemed to perceive the immense train of consequences which it involves.
Phad. I now see enough to believe that Mr. Ricardo is right: and, if so, it is clear that all former writers are wrong. Thus far I am satisfied with
"The Wealth of Nations" has never yet been ably reviewed; nor satisfactorily edited. The edition of Mr. Buchanan is unquestionably the best, and displays great knowledge of Political Economy as it stood before the Revolution effected by Mr. Ricardo. But having the misfortune to appear immediately before that Revolution, it is already to some degree an obsolete book. Even for its own date however it was not good as an edition of Adam Smith; its value lying chiefly in the body of original disquisitions which composed the 4th volume; for the notes not only failed to correct the worst errors of Adam Smith (which indeed in many cases is saying no more than that Mr. Buchanan did not forestal Mr. Ricardo); but were also deficient in the history of English finance and generally in the knowledge of facts. How much reason there is to call for a new edition, with a commentary adapted to the existing state of the science, will appear on this consideration: The Wealth of Nations is the text book resorted to by all students of Political Economy. One main problem of this science, if not the main problem (as Mr. Ricardo thinks) is to determine the laws which regulate Rent, Profit, and Wages: but every body, who is acquainted with the present state of the science, must acknowledge that precisely on these three points it affords "very little satisfactory information." These last words are the gentle criticism of Mr. Ricardo: but the truth is -that not only does it afford very little information on the great heads of Rent, Profits, and Wages-but (which is much worse) it gives very false and misleading information.
THE BRIDE OF MODERN ITALY.
On a serene winter morning two young ladies, Clorinda and Teresa, walked up and down the garden of the convent of St. S, at Rome. If my reader has never seen a convent, or if he has only seen the better kind, let him dismiss from his mind all he may have heard or imagined of such abodes, or he can never transport himself into the garden of St. S. He must figure it to himself as bounded by a long, low, straggling, white-washed, weather-stained building, with grated windows, the lower ones glassless. It is a kitchen garden, but the refuse of the summer stock alone remained, except a few cabbages, which perfumed the air with their rank exhalations. The walks were neglected, yet not overgrown, but strewed with broken earthen-ware, ashes, cabbage-stalks, orange-peel, bones, and all that marks the vicinity of a much frequented, but disorderly mansion. The beds were intersected by these paths, and the whole was surrounded by a high wall. This common scene was, however, unlike what it would have been in this country. You saw the decayed and straggling boughs of the passionflower against the walls of the convent; here and there a geranium, its luxuriant foliage starred by scarlet flowers, grew unharmed by frost among the cabbages; the lemon plants had been removed to shelter, but orange trees were nailed against the wall, the golden fruit peeping out from amidst the dark leaves; the wall itself was variegated by a thousand rich hues ; and thick and pointed aloes grew beneath it. Under the highest wall, opposite the back door of the convent, a corner of ground was enclosed; this was the burial place of the nuns; and the path that led from the, door to this enclosure Clorinda and Teresa walked up and down.
"He will never come!" exclaimed Clorinda.
"I fear the dinner bell will ring APRIL, 1824.
and interrupt us, if he does come;" observed Teresa.
"Some cruel obstacle doubtless prevents him," continued Clorinda, sighing" and I have prayed to St. Giacomo, and vowed to give him the best flowers and a candle a foot long next Easter."
Teresa smiled: "I remember," she said, "that at Christmas you fulfilled such a vow to San Francesco, -was not that for the sake of Cieco Magni? for you change your saint as your lover changes name;-tell me, sweet Clorinda, how many saints have been benefited by your piety?"
Clorinda looked angry, and then sorrowful; the large drops gathered in her dark eyes: "You are unkind to taunt me thus, Teresina;-when did I love truly until now? believe me, never; and if heaven bestows Giacomo upon me-oh! that is his bell!-naughty Teresa, you will cause me to meet him with tears in my eyes."
Away they ran to the parlour of the convent, and were joined there by an old woman purblind and nearly deaf, who was to be present at the visit of Giacomo de' Tolomei, the brother of Teresa. He kissed the hands of the young ladies, and then they commenced a conversation, which, by the lowness of their tones, and an occasional intermixture of French, was quite incomprehensible to their Argus, who was busily employed in knitting a large green worsted shawl.
“Well?”—said Clorinda, in a tone of inquiry.
"Well, dear Clorinda, I have executed our design, though I hope little from it. I have written a proposal of marriage; if you approve of it, I will send it to your parents. Here it is."
"What is that paper?" cried the Argus.
Teresa bawled in her ear: "Only the history of the late miracle performed at Asisa" (Italians, male or female, are not great patronizers of truth),