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revenue is, in this case, derived from his labour CHA P. only. This is the state of the greater part of the labouring poor in all countries.
But when he possesses stock fufficient to maintain him for months or years, he naturally endeavours to derive a revenue from the greater part of it; reserving only so much for his immediate consumption as may maintain him till this revenue begins to come in. His whole stock, therefore, is distinguished into two parts. That part which, he expects, is to afford him this re. venue, is called his capital. The other is that which fupplies his immediate consumption ; and which consists either, first, in that portion of his whole stock which was originally reserved for this purpose; or, fecondly, in his revenue, from whatever source derived, as it gradually comes in; or, thirdly, in such things as had been purchased by either of these in former years, and which are not yet entirely consumed; such as a stock of clothes, household furniture, and the like. In one, or other, or all of these three articles, consists the stock which men commonly reserve for their own immediate consumption.
There are two different ways in which a capital may be employed so as to yield a revenue or profit to its employer.
First, it may be employed in raising, manufacturing, or purchasing goods, and felling them again with a profit. The capital employed in this manner yields no revenue or profit to its employer, while it either remains in his poffeffion, or continues in the same shape. The goods of the
BOO K merchant yield him no revenue or profit till he
sells them for money, and the money yields him as little till it is again exchanged for goods. His capital is continually going from him in one shape, and returning to him in another, and it is only by means of such circulation, or succeslive exchanges, that it can yield him any profit. Such capitals, therefore may very properly be called circulating capitals.
Secondly, it may be employed in the improvement of land, in the purchase of useful machines and instruments of trade, or in such. like things as yield a revenue or profit without changing masters, or circulating any further. Such capitals, therefore, may very properly be called fixed capitals.
Different occupations require very different proportions between the fixed and circulating capitals employed in them.
The capital of a merchant, for example, is altogether a circulating capital. He has occafion for no machines or instruments of trade, unless his shop, or warehouse, be considered as fuch.
Some part of the capital of every master artificer or manufacturer must be fixed in the inftru. ments of his trade. This part, however, is very small in fome, and very great in others. A master taylor requires no other instruments of trade but a parcel of needles. Those of the master shoemaker are a little, though but a very little, more expensive. Those of the weaver rife a good deal above those of the shoemaker. The far greater part of the capital of all such master
artificers, however, is circulated, either in the c H A P. wages of their workmen, or in the price of their materials, and repaid with a profit by the price of the work.
In other works a much greater fixed capital is required. In a great iron-work, for example, the furnace for melting the ore, the forge, the sitt-mill, are instruments of trade which cannot be erected without a very great expence. In coal-works, and mines of every kind, the machinery necessary both for drawing out the water and for other purposes, is frequently still more expensive. That
part of the capital of the farmer which is employed in the instruments of agriculture is a fixed; that which is employed in the wages and maintenance of his labouring servants, is a circulating capital. He makes a profit of the one by keeping it in his own possession, and of the other by parting with it. The price or value of his labouring cattle is a fixed capital in the same manner as that of the instruments of huf. bandry: Their maintenance is a circulating capital in the same manner as that of the labouring servants. The farmer makes his profit by keeping the labouring cattle, and by parting with their maintenance. Both the price and the maintenance of the cattle which are bought in and fattened, not for labour, but for sale, are a circulating capital. The farmer makes his profit by parting with them. A flock of sheep or a herd of cattle that, in a breeding country, is bought in, neither for labour, nor for sale,
BOOK but in order to make a profit by their wool, by
their milk, and by their increase, is a fixed capital. The profit is made by keeping them. Their maintenance is a circulating capital. The profit is made by parting with it; and it comes back with both its own profit, and the profit upon the whole price of the cattle, in the price of the wool, the milk, and the increase. The whole value of the seed too is properly a fixed capital. Though it goes backwards and forwards between the ground and the granary, it never changes masters, and therefore does not properly circulate. The farmer makes his profit, not by its fale, but byits increase.
The general stock of any country or society is the same with that of all its inhabitants or members, and therefore naturally divides itself into the same three portions, each of which has a diftinet function or office.
The First, is that portion which is reserved for immediate consumption, and of which the characteristic is, that it affords no revenue or profit. It consists in the stock of food, clothes, houfehold furniture, &c. which have been purchased by their proper consumers, but which are · not yet entirely consumed. The whole stock of mere dwelling-houses too subsisting at any one time in the country, make a part of this first portion. The stock that is laid out in a house, if it is to be the dwelling-house of the proprietor, ceases from that moment to serve in the function of a capital, or to afford any revenue to its owner. A dwelling-house, as such, contributes nothing to the revenue of its inhabitant; and though it
is, no doubt, extremely useful to him, it is as his C HA P. clothes and household furniture are useful to him, which, however, make a part of his expence, and not of his revenue. If it is to be let to a tenant for rent, as the house itself can produce nothing, the tenant must always pay the rent out of fome other revenue which he derives either from labour, or stock, or land. Though a house, therefore, may yield a revenue to its proprietor, and thereby serve in the function of a capital to him, it cannot yield any to the public, nor serve in the function of a capital to it, and the revenue of the whole body of the people can never be in the smallest degree increased by it. Clothes, and household furniture, in the same manner, sometimes yield a revenue, and thereby serve in the function of a capital to particular persons. In countries where masquerades are common, it is a trade to let out masquerade dresses for a night. Upholsterers frequently let furniture by the month or by the year. Undertakers let the furniture for funerals by the day and by the week. Many people let furnished houses, and get a rent, not only for the use of the house, but for that of the furniture. The revenue, however, which is derived from such things, must always be ultimately drawn from some other source of revenue. Of all parts of the stock either of an individual, or of a society, reserved for immediate consumption, what is laid out in houses is most slowly consumed. A stock of clothes may last several years : a stock of furniture half a century or a century: but a