There are some villages where markets have been established by the interest of some proprietor or gentleman at court. These markets, held once or twice a week, encourage several little undertakers and merchants to set themselves up there. They buy in the market the products brought from the surrounding villages in order to carry them to the large towns for sale. In the large towns they exchange them for iron, salt, sugar and other merchandise which they sell on market days to the villagers. Many small artisans also, like locksmiths, cabinet makers and others, settle down for the service of the villagers who have none in their villages, and at length these villages become market towns. A market town being placed in the centre of the villages, and at length these villages become market towns. A market town being placed in the centre of the villages whose people come to market, it is more natural and easy that the villagers should bring their products thither for sale on market days and buy the articles they need, than that the merchants and factors should transport them to the villages in exchange for their products. (1) For the merchants to go round the villages would unnecessarily increase the cost of carriage. (2) The merchants would perhaps be obliged to go to several villages before finding the quality and quantity of produce which they wished to buy. (3) The villagers would generally be in their fields when the merchants arrived and not knowing what produce these needed would have nothing prepared and fit for sale. (4) It would be almost impossible to fix the price of the produce and the merchandise in the villages, between the merchants and the villagers. In one village the merchant would refuse the price asked for produce, hoping to find it cheaper in another village, and the villager would refuse the price offered for his merchandise in the hope that another merchant would come along and take it on better terms. All these difficulties are avoided when the villagers come to town on market days to sell their produce and to buy the things they need. Prices are fixed by the proportion between the produce exposed for sale and the money offered for it; this takes place in the same spot, under the eyes of all the villagers of different villages and of the merchants or undertakers of the town. When the price has been settled between a few the others follow without difficulty and so the market place of the day is determined. The peasant goes back to his village and resumes his work. The size of the market town is naturally proportioned to the number of farmers and labourers needed to cultivate the lands dependent on it, and to the number of artisans and small merchants that the villages bordering on the market town employ with their assistants and horses, and finally to the number of persons whom the landowners resident there support. When the villages belonging to a market town (i.e. whose people ordinarily bring their produce to market there) are considerable and have a large output the market town will become considerable and large in proportion; but when the neighbouring villages have little produce the market town also is poor and insignificant.
The landlords who have only small estates usually reside in market towns and villages near their land and farmers. The transport of the produce they derive from them into distant cities would not enable them to live comfortably there. But the landlords who have several large estates have the means to go and live at a distance from them to enjoy agreeable society with other landowners and gentlemen of the same condition. If a prince or nobleman who has received large grants of land on the conquest or discovery of a country fixes his residence in some pleasant spot, and several other noblemen come to live there to be within reach of seeing each other frequently and enjoying agreeable society, this place will become a city. Great houses will be built there for the noblemen in question, and an infinity of others for the merchants, artisans, and people of all sorts of professions whom the residence of these noblemen will attract thither. For the service of these noblemen, bakers, butchers, brewers, wine merchants, manufacturers of all kinds, will be needed. These will build houses in the locality or will rent houses built by others. There is no great nobleman whose expense upon his house, his retinue and servants, does not maintain merchants and artisans of all kinds, as may be seen from the detailed calculations which I have caused to be made in the supplement of this essay. As all these artisans and undertakers serve each other as well as the nobility it is overlooked that the upkeep of them all falls ultimately on the nobles and landowners. It is not perceived that all the little houses in a city such as we have described depend upon and subsist at the expense of the great houses. It will, however, be shown later that all the classes and inhabitants of a state live at the expense of the proprietors of land. The city in question will increase still further if the king or the government establish in it law courts to which the people of the market towns and villages of the province must have recourse. An increase of undertakers and artisans of every sort will be needed for the service of the legal officials and lawyers. If in this same city workshops and manufactories be set up apart from home consumption for export and sale abroad, the city will be large in proportion to the workmen and artisans who live there at the expense of the foreigner. But if we put aside these considerations so as not to complicate our subject, we may say that the assemblage of several rich landowners living together in the same place suffices to form what is called a city, and that many cities in Europe, in the interior of the country, owe the number of their inhabitants to this assemblage: in which case the size of a city is naturally proportioned to the number of landlords who live there, or rather to the produce of the land which belongs to them after deduction of the cost of carriage to those whose land is the furthest removed, and the part which they are obliged to furnish to the king or the government, which is usually consumed in the capital.
A capital city is formed in the same way as a provincial city with this difference that the largest landowners in all the state reside in the capital, that the king or supreme government is fixed in it and spends there the government revenue, that the supreme courts of justice are fixed there, that it is the centre of the fashions which all the provinces take for a model, that the landowners who reside in the provinces do not fail to come occasionally to pass some time in the capital and to send their children thither to be polished. Thus all the lands in the state contribute more or less to maintain those who dwell in the capital. If a sovereign quits a city to take up his abode in another the nobility will not fail to follow him and to make its residence with him in the new city which will become great and important at the expense of the first. We have seen quite a recent example of this in the city of Petersburg to the disadvantage of Moscow, and one sees many old cities which were important fall into ruin and others spring from their ashes. Great cities are usually built on the seacoast or on the banks of large rivers for the convenience of transport; because water carriage of the produce and merchandise necessary for the subsistence and comfort of the inhabitants is much cheaper than carriages and land transport.
The Labour of the Husbandman is of less Value than that of the Handicrafts Man
A labourer's son at seven or twelve years of age begins to help his father either in keeping the flocks, digging the ground, or in other sorts of country labour which require no art or skill. If his father puts him to a trade he loses his assistance during the time of his apprenticeship and is necessitated to clothe him and to pay the expenses of his apprenticeship for some years. The son is thus an expense to this father and his labour brings in no advantage till the end of some years. The [working] life of man is estimated but at 10 or 12 years, and as several are lost in learning a trade most of which in England require seven years of apprenticeship, a husbandman would never be willing to have a trade taught to his son if the mechanics did not earn more than the husbandmen. Those who employ artisans or craftsmen must needs therefore pay for their labour at a higher rate than for that of a husbandman or common labourer; and their labour will necessarily be dear in proportion to the time lost in learning the trade and the cost and risk incurred in becoming proficient. The craftsmen themselves do not make all their children learn their own mystery: there would be too many of them for the needs of a city or a state; many would not find enough work; the work, however, is naturally better paid than that of husbandmen.
Some Handicrafts Men earn more, others less, according to the different Cases and Circumstances
Supposing two tailors make all the cloths of a village, one may have more customers than the other, whether from his mode of attracting business, or because he works better or more durably than the other, or follows the fashions better in the cut of the garments. If one dies, the other finding himself more pressed with work will be able to raise the price of his labour, giving some customers a preference in point of expedition to others, till the villagers find it to their advantage to have their cloths made in another village, town or city losing the time spent in going and returning, or till some other tailor comes to live in their village and to share in the business of it. The crafts which require the most time in training or most ingenuity and industry must necessarily be the best paid. A skillful cabinet maker must receive a higher price for his work than an ordinary carpenter, and a good watchmaker more than a farrier. The arts and crafts which are accompanied by risks and dangers like those of founders, mariners, silver miners, etc. ought to be paid in proportion to the risks. When over and above the dangers skill is needed they ought to be paid still more, e.g. pilots, divers, engineers, etc. When capacity and trustworthiness are needed the labour is paid still more highly, as in the case of jewellers, bookkeepers, cashiers and others. By these examples and a hundred others drawn from ordinary experience it is easily seen that the difference of price paid for daily work is based upon natural and obvious reasons.
The Number of Labourers, Handicraftsmen and others, who work in a State is naturally proportioned to the Demand for them