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BOOK stock of houfes, well built and properly taken care 11. , of may last many centuries. Though the period
of their total confumption, however, is more diftant, they are still as really a stock reserved for immediate confumption as either clothes or household furniture.
The Second of the three portions into which the general stock of the society divides itself, is the fixed capital ; of which the characteristic is, that it affords a revenue or profit without circulat. ing or changing masters. It confifts chiefly of the four following articles :
First, of all useful machines and inftruments of trade which facilitate and abridge labour :
Secondly, of all those profitable buildings which are the means of procuring a revenue, cot only to their proprietor who lets them for a rent, but to the person who possesses them and pays that rent for them ; such as shops, warehouses, workhouses, farmhouses, with all their necessary build. ings; ftables, granaries, &c. These are very different from mere dwelling houses. They are a fort of instruments of trade, and may be confidered in the same light :
Thirdly, of the improvements of land, of what has been profitably laid out in clearing, draining, enclosing, manuring, and reducing it into the condition moft proper for tillage and culture. An improved farm may very juftly be regarded in the fame light as those useful machines which facilitate and abridge labour, and by means of which, an equal circulating capital can afford a much greater revenue to its em
ployer. An improved farm is equally advan. C HA P. tageous and more durable than any of those machines, frequently requiring no other repairs than the most profitable application of the farmer's capital employed in cultivating it:
Fourthly, of the acquired and useful abilities of all the inhabitants or members of the society. The acquisition of such talents, by the maintenance of the acquirer during his education, ftudy, or apprenticeship, always costs a real expence, which is a capital fixed and realized, as it were, in his person. Those talents, as they make a part of his fortune, fo do they likewise of that of the society to which he belongs. The improved dexterity of a workman may be considered in the fame light as a machine or inftrument of trade which facilitates and abridges labour, and which, though it costs a certain expence, repays that expence with a profit.
The third and last of the three portions into which the general stock of the society naturally divides itself, is the circulating capital; of which the characteristic is, that it affords a revenue only by circulating or changing masters. It is com. posed likewise of four parts:
First, of the money by means of which all the other three are circulated and distributed to their proper consumers :
Secondly, of the stock of provisions which are in the possession of the butcher, the grazier, the farmer, the corn-merchant, the brewer, &c. and from the sale of which they expect to derive a profit : VOL. II.
BOOK Thirdly, of the materials, whether altogether II. rude, or more or less manufactured, of clothes,
furniture and building, which are not yet made up into any of those three shapes, but which remain in the hands of the growers, the manufacturers, the mercers, and drapers, the timbermerchants, the carpenters and joiners, the brick-makers, &c.
Fourthly, and lastly, of the work which is made up and completed, but which is still in the hands of the merchant or manufacturer, and not yet disposed of or distributed to the proper consumers ; such as the finished work which we frequently find ready-made in the shops of the smith, the cabinet-maker, the goldsmith, the jeweller, the china-merchant, &c. The circu. lating capital consists in this manner, of the provisions, materials, and finished work of all kinds that are in the hands of their respective dealers, and of the money that is necessary for circulating and distributing them to those who are finally to use, or to consume them.
Of these four parts three, provisions, materials, and finished work, are, either annually, or in a longer or shorter period, regularly withdrawn from it, and placed either in the fixed capital or in the stock reserved for immediate consumption.
Every fixed capital is both originally derived from, and requires to be continually supported by a circulating capital. All useful machines and instruments of trade are originally derived from a circulating capital, which furnishes the
materials of which they are made, and the main- C HA P. tenance of the workmen who make them. They 1. require too a capital of the same kind to keep them in constant repair.
No fixed capital can yield any revenue but by means of a circulating capital. The most useful machines and instruments of trade will produce nothing without the circulating capital which affords the materials they are employed upon, and the maintenance of the workmen who employ them. Land, however improved, will yield no revenue without a circulating capital, which maintains the labourers who cultivate and collect its produce.
To maintain and augment the stock which may be reserved for immediate consumption, is the sole end and purpose both of the fixed and circulating capitals. It is this stock which feeds, clothes, and lodges the people. Their riches or poverty depends upon the abundant or fparing supplies which those two capitals can afford to the stock reserved for immediate consumption.
So“ great a part of the circulating capital being continually withdrawn from it, in order to be placed in the other two branches of the general stock of the society; it must in its turn require continual supplies, without which it would soon cease to exist. These fupplies are principally drawn from three sources, the produce of land, of mines, and of fisheries. These afford continual supplies of provisions and materials, of which part is afterwards wrought E E 2
BOOK up into finished work, and by which are replaced II. the provisions, materials, and finished work con
tinually withdrawn from the circulating capital. From mines too is drawn what is neceflary for maintaining and augmenting that part of it which consists in money. For though, in the ordinary course of business, this part is not, like the other three, necessarily withdrawn from it, in order to be placed in the other two branches of the general stock of the society, it must, however, like all other things, be wasted and worn out at last, and sometimes too be either lost or fent abroad, and must, therefore, require continual, though, no doubt, much smaller supplies.
Land, mines, and fisheries, require all both a fixed and a circulating capital to cultivate them : and their produce replaces with a profit, not only those capitals, but all the others in the fociety. Thus the farmer annually replaces to the manufacturer the provisions which he had consumed and the materials which he had wrought up the year before ; and the manufacturer replaces to the farmer the finished work which he had wasted and worn out in the same time. This is the real exchange that is annually made between those two orders of people, though it seldom happens that the rude produce of the one and the manufactured produce of the other, are directly bartered for one another; because it feldom happens that the farmer fells his corn and his cattle, his flax and his wool, to the very fame person of whom he chuses to purchase the