expensive. The pecuniary recompence, therefore, 
of painters and sculptors, of lawyers and 
physicians, ought to be much more liberal
and it is so accordingly. 
The profits of stock seem to be very little 
affected by the easiness or difficulty of learning 
the trade in which it is employed. All 
the different ways in which stock is commonly 
employed in great towns seem, in reality, 
to be almost equally easy and equally difficult 
to learn. One branch, either of foreign or 
domestic trade, cannot well be a much more 
intricate business than another. 
Thirdly, the wages of labour in different 
occupations vary with the constancy or inconstancy 
of employment
Employment is much more constant in 
some trades than in others. In the greater 
part of manufactures, a journeyman may be 
pretty sure of employment almost every day 
in the year that he is able to work. A mason 
or bricklayer, on the contrary, can work 
neither in hard frost nor in foul weather, and 
his employment at all other times depends upon 
the occasional calls of his customers. He is 
liable, in consequence, to be frequently without 
any. What he earns, therefore, while he 
is employed, must not only maintain him 
while he is idle, but make him some compensation 
for those anxious and desponding moments 
which the thought of so precarious a 
situation must sometimes occasion. Where 
the computed earnings of the greater part of 
manufacturers, accordingly, are nearly upon a 
level with the day-wages of common labourers
those of masons and bricklayers are generally 
from one-half more to double those 
wages. Where common labourers earn four 
of five shillings a week, masons and bricklayers 
frequently earn seven and eight; where 
the former earn six, the latter often earn nine 
and ten; and where the former earn nine and 
ten, as in London, the latter commonly earn 
fifteen and eighteen. No species of skilled 
labour, however, seems more easy to learn 
than that of masons and bricklayers. Chairmen 
in London, during the summer season, 
are said sometimes to be employed as bricklayers
The high wages of those workmen
therefore, are not so much the recompence of 
their skill, as the compensation for the inconstancy 
of their employment
A house-carpenter seems to exercise rather 
a nicer and a more ingenious trade than a 
mason. In most places, however, for it is not 
universally so, his day-wages are somewhat 
lower. His employment, though it depends 
much, does not depend so entirely upon the 
occasional calls of his customers; and it is 
not liable to be interrupted by the weather
When the trades which generally afford 
constant employment, happen in a particular 
place not to do so, the wages of the workmen 
always rise a good deal above their ordinary 
proportion to those of common labour. In 
London, almost all journeymen artificers are 
liable to be called upon and dismissed by their 
masters from day to day, and from week to 
week, in the same manner as day-labourers in 
other places. The lowest order of artificers
journeymen tailors, accordingly, earn their 
half-a-crown a-day, though eighteen pence 
may be reckoned the wages of common labour
In small towns and country villages
the wages of journeymen tailors frequently 
scarce equal those of common labour; but in 
London they are often many weeks without 
employment, particularly during the summer
When the inconstancy of employment is 
combined with the hardship, disagreeableness
and dirtiness of the work, it sometimes raises 
the wages of the most common labour above 
those of the most skilful artificers. A collier 
working by the piece is supposed, at Newcastle
to earn commonly about double, and, 
in many parts of Scotland, about three times
the wages of common labour. His high wages 
arise altogether from the hardship, disagreeableness
and dirtiness of his work. His employment 
may, upon most occasions, be as 
constant as he pleases. The coal-heavers in 
London exercise a trade which, in hardship
dirtiness, and disagreeableness, almost equals 
that of colliers; and, from the unavoidable irregularity 
in the arrivals of coal-ships, the 
employment of the greater part of them is necessarily 
very inconstant. If colliers, therefore, 
commonly earn double and triple the 
wages of common labour, it ought not to seem 
unreasonable that coal-heavers should sometimes 
earn four and five times those wages
In the inquiry made into their condition a few 
years ago, it was found that, at the rate at 
which they were paid, they could earn 
from six to ten shillings a-day. Six shillings 
are about four times the wages of common labour 
in London; and, in every particular 
trade, the lowest common earnings may always 
be considered as those of the far greater 
number. How extravagant soever those earnings 
may appear, if they were more than sufficient 
to compensate all the disagreeable circumstances 
of the business, there would soon 
be so great a number of competitors, as, in a 
a trade which has no exclusive privilege, would 
quickly reduce them to a lower rate
The constancy or inconstancy of employment 
cannot affect the ordinary profits of 
stock in any particular trade. Whether the 
stock is or is not constantly employed, depends
not upon the trade, but the trader. 
Fourthly, the wages of labour vary according 
to the small or great trust which must be 
reposed in the workmen
The wages of goldsmiths and jewellers are 
everywhere superior to those of many other 
workmen, not only of equal, but of much superior 
ingenuity, on account of the precious 
materials with which they are entrusted. 
We trust our health to the physician, our