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ful things, they, by their exchange or consumption, supply the necessaries, or conveniencies of life. Thirdly, In money there is a double value, answering to both of these, first, as it is capable, by its interest, to yield us such a yearly income: and in this it has the nature of land, (the income of one being called rent, of the other use) only with this difference, that the land, in its soil being different, as some fertile, some barren, and the products of it very various, both in their sorts, goodness, and vent, is not capable of any fixed estimate by its quantity: but money being constantly the same, and by its interest giving the same sort of product through the whole country, is capable of having a fixed yearly rate set upon it by the magistrate; but land is not. But though, in the uniformity of its legal worth, one hundred pounds of lawful money being all through England equal in its current value to any other one hundred pounds of lawful money, (because by virtue of the law it will every where pass for as much ware, or debt, as any other hundred pounds) is capable to have its yearly hire valued better than land: yet in respect of the varying need and necessity of money, (which changes with the increase or decay of money, or trade, in a country) it is as little capable to have its yearly hire fixed by law as land itself. For were all the land in Rumney-marsh, acre for acre, equally good, that is, did constantly produce the same quantity of equally good hay, or grass, one as another, the rent of it, under that consideration, of every acre being of an equal worth, would be capable of being regulated by law; and one might as well enact, that no acre of land in Rumney-marsh shall be let for above forty shillings per annum, as that no hundred pounds shall be let for above four pounds per annum. But nobody can think it fit (since by reason of the equal value of that land it can) that therefore the rent of the land in Rumney-marsh should be regulated by law. For supposing all the land in Rumney-marsh, or in England, were all of so equal a worth, that any one acre, compared at the same time to anyone other, were equally good, in respect of its product; yet the same acre,
compared with itself in different times, would not, in respect of rent, be of equal value. And therefore it would have been an unreasonable thing, if in the time of Henry VII. the rent of land in Rumney-marsh had been settled by a law, according to the judged value of it at that time, and the same law, limiting the rent perhaps to 5s. per acre, have continued still. The absurdity and impracticableness of this every one sees, at the first proposal, and readily concludes within himself, that things must be left to find their own price; and it is impossible, in this their constant mutability, for human foresight to set rules and bounds to their constantly varying proportion and use, which will always regulate their value.
They who consider things beyond their names will find that money, as well as all other commodities, is liable to the same changes and inequalities; nay, in this respect of the variety of its value, brought in by time, in the succession of affairs, the rate of money is less capable of being regulated by a law, in any country, than the rent of land. Because, to the quick changes that happen in trade, this too must be added, that money may be brought in or carried out of the kingdom, which land cannot; and so that be truly worth six or eight per cent. this year, which would yield but four the last.
2. Money has a value, as it is capable, by exchange, to procure us the necessaries or conveniencies of life, and in this it has the nature of a commodity; only with this difference, that it serves us commonly by its exchange, never almost by its consumption. But though the use men make of money be not in its consumption, yet it has not at all a more standing, settled value, in exchange with any other thing, than any other commodity has ; but a more known one, and better fixed by name, number, and weight, to enable us to reckon what the proportion of scarcity and vent of one commodity is to another. For supposing, as before, that half an ounce of silver would last year exchange for one bushel of wheat, or for 15lb. weight of lead ; if this year wheat be ten times scarcer, and lead in the same quantity to its vent as it was, is it not evident, that half an ounce of silver will still exchange for 15lb. of lead, though it will exchange but for one-tenth of a bushel of wheat ? and he that has use of lead will as soon take 15lb. weight of lead as half an ounce of silver, for one-tenth of a bushel of wheat, and no more. So that if you say, that money now is nine-tenths less worth than it was the former year, you must say so of lead too, and all other things, that keep the same proportion to money which they had before. The variation, indeed, is first and most taken notice of in
money : because that is the universal measure by which people reckon, and used by every body in the valuing of all things. For calling that half an ounce of silver half a crown, they speak properly, and are readily understood, when they say, half a crown, or two shillings and sixpence, will now buy one-tenth of a bushel of wheat, but do not say, that 15lb. of lead will now buy onetenth of a bushel of wheat, because it is not generally used to this sort of reckoning: nor do they say, lead is less worth than it was, though, in respect of wheat, lead be nine-tenths worse than it was, as well as silver; only by the tale of shillings we are better enabled to judge of it: because these are measures, whose ideas by constant use are settled in every Englishman's mind.
This, I suppose, is the true value of money, when it passes from one to another, in buying and selling; where it runs the same changes of higher, or lower, as any other commodity doth: for one equal quantity whereof you shall receive in exchange more or less of another commodity, at one time, than you do at another. For a farmer that carries a bushel of wheat to market, and a labourer that carries half a crown, shall find that the money of one, as well as corn of the other, shall at some times purchase him more or less leather, or salt, according as they are in greater plenty, and scarcity, one to another. So that in exchanging coined silver for any other commodity, (which is buying and selling) the same measure governs the proportion you receive, as if you exchanged lead, or wheat, or any other commodity. That which regulates the price, i.e. the quantity given for money (which is called buy ing and selling) for another commodity, (which is called bartering) is nothing else but their quantity in pro· portion to their vent. If then lowering of use makes not your silver more in specie, or your wheat or other commodities less, it will not have any influence at all to make it exchange for less of wheat or any other commodity, than it will have on lead, to make it exchange for less wheat, or any other commodity.
Money therefore, in buying and selling, being perfectly in the same condition with other commodities, and subject to all the same laws of value, let us next see how it comes to be of the same nature with land, by yielding a certain yearly income, which we call use, or interest. For land produces naturally something new and profitable, and of value to mankind; but money is a barren thing, and produces nothing; but by compact transfers that profit, that was the reward of one man's labour, into another man's pocket. That which occasions this is the unequal distribution of money; which inequality has the same effect too upon land that it has upon money. For my having more money in my hand than I can or am disposed to use in buying and selling, makes me able to lend: and another's want of so much money as he could employ in trade makes him willing to borrow. But why then, and for what consideration, doth he pay use? For the same reason, and upon as good consideration, as the tenant pays rent for your land. For as the unequal distribution of land, (you having more than you can or will manure, and another less) brings you a tenant for your land ; and the same unequal distribution of money, (I having more than I can or will employ, and another less) brings me a tenant for my money: so my money is apt in trade, by the industry of the borrower, to produce more than six per cent, to the borrower, as well as your land, by the labour of the tenant, is apt to produce more fruits than his rent comes to; and therefore deserves to be paid for, as well as land, by a yearly rent. For though the usurer’s money would bring him in no yearly profit, if he did not lend it,
(supposing he employs it not himself) and so him six per cent may noon to be the fruit of another man'a lim bour, yet be shares not near so much of the profit of another man's labour as he that lets land to a tenant. Por,without the tenant's industry,(supposing, as before, the owner would not manage it himzell, his land would yield him little or no profit. So that the rent he roocives is a greater portion of the fruit of his tenant' labour than the use is at six
cent. Por generally, he that borrows one thousand pounds at six per cent., and so pays sixty pounds per annum use, ycts more above hís une in one year, hy his industry, than he that rents a farm of sixty pounds per annum gets in two, above his rent, though his labour be harder.
It being evident therefore, that he that has skill in. traffic, but has not money enough to exercise it, bias not only reason to borrow money, to drive his trade and get a livelihood; but as much reason to pay use for that money su he, who having skill in husbandry, but bo land of his own to employ it in, has not only reacon to rent land, but to pay money for the use of it: it follows, that borrowing money upon use is not only, by the necessity of affairs, and the constitution of hisman society, unavoidable to some men ; but that also to receive profit from the loan of money is as equitable and lawful as receiving rent for land, and more tolerable to the borrower, notwithstanding the opinion of some over-scrupulous men.
This being, no, one would expect, that the rate of interest should be the measure of the value of land in number of years' purchase for which the fee is sold; for 100l. per anntirn being equal to 100l. per annum, and so to perpetuity, and 100), per annuin being the product of 10001. when interest'in at 10 per cent., of 12501. when interest is at per cent., of 16661. or there abouts, when interest is at 6 per cent., of 20001, when money is at 55 per cent., of 20001. when money is at 4 per cent. One would conclude, I say, that land should sell in proportion to unc, according to these following rates, víz.