It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expence, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
The liberal reward of labour, therefore, as it is the affect of increasing wealth, so it is the cause of increasing population. To complain of it, is to lament over the necessary effect and cause of the greatest public prosperity.
In public, as well as in private expences, great wealth may, perhaps, frequently be admitted as an apology for great folly.
Lands for the purposes of pleasure and magnificence, parks, gardens, public walks
In England, success in the profession of the law leads to some very great objects of ambition; and yet how few men, born to easy fortunes, have ever in this country been emminent in that profession?
Little else is requisite to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarism but peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice: all the rest being brought about by the natural course of things.
Monopoly of one kind or another, indeed, seems to be the sole engine of the mercantile system.
I have no great faith in political arithmetic, and I mean not to warrant the exactness of either of these computations.
Happiness never lays its finger on its pulse.
Thus the labour of a manufacture adds, generally, to the value of the materials which he works upon, that of his own maintenance, and of his masters profits. The labour of a menial servant, on the contrary, adds to the value of nothing.
But though empires, like all the other works of men, have all hitherto proved mortal, yet every empire aims at immortality.
The propensity to truck, barter and exchange one thing for another is common to all men, and to be found in no other race of animals.
Marriage is encouraged in China, not by the profitableness of children, but by the liberty of destroying them.
Justice, however, never was in reality administered gratis in any country. Lawyers and attornies, at least, must always be paid by the parties; and, if they were not, they would perform their duty still worse then they actually perform it.
The evident justice and utility of the foregoing maxims have recommended them more or less to the attention of all nations.
The importation of gold and silver is not the principal, much less the sole benefit which a nation derives from its foreign trade.
If a workman can conveniently spare those three halfpence, he buys a pot of porter. If he cannot, he contents himself with a pint, and, as a penny saved is a penny got, he thus gains a farthing by his temperance.
Poor David Hume is dying fast, but with more real cheerfulness and good humor and with more real resignation to the necessary course of things, than any whining Christian ever dyed with pretended resignation to the will of God.
the competition of the poor takes away from the reward of the rich.
In the long-run the workman may be as necessary to his master as his master is to him, but the necessity is not so immediate.
Upstart greatness is everywhere less respected than ancient greatness.
The real and effectual discipline which is exercised over a workman is that of his customers. It is the fear of losing their employment which restrains his frauds and corrects his negligence.
The ancient Egyptians had a superstitious antipathy to the sea; a superstition nearly of the same kind prevails among the Indians; and the Chinese have never excelled in foreign commerce.
But what all the violence of the feudal institutions could never have effected, the silent and insensible operation of foreign commerce and manufactures gradually brought about.
Whenever the legislature attempts to regulate the differences between masters and their workmen, its counsellors are always the masters. When the regulation, therefore, is in favor of the workmen, it is always just and equitable; but it is sometimes otherwise when in favor of the masters.