that of almost any artificers: and though their 
whole life is one continual scene of hardship 
and danger; yet for all this dexterity and skill
for all those hardships and dangers, while they 
remain in the condition of common sailors
they receive scarce any other recompence but 
the pleasure of exercising the one and of surmounting 
the other. Their wages are not 
greater than those of common labourers at the 
port which regulates the rate of seamen's 
wages. As they are continually going from 
port to port, the monthly pay of those who 
sail from all the different ports of Great Britain, 
is more nearly upon a level than that of 
any other workmen in those different places
and the rate of the port to and from which the 
greatest number sail, that is, the port of London, 
regulates that of all the rest. At London
the wages of the greater part of the different 
classes of workmen are about double 
those of the same classes at Edinburgh. But 
the sailors who sail from the port of London
seldom earn above three or four shillings a-month 
more than those who sail from the port 
of Leith, and the difference is frequently not 
so great. In time of peace, and in the merchant-service, 
the London price is from a 
guinea to about seven-and-twenty shillings the 
calendar month. A common labourer in London
at the rate of nine or ten shillings a-week
may earn in the calendar month from 
forty to five-and-forty shillings. The sailor
indeed, over and above his pay, is supplied 
with provisions. Their value, however, may 
not perhaps always exceed the difference between 
his pay and that of the common labourer
and though it sometimes should, the excess 
will not be clear gain to the sailor, because 
he cannot share it with his wife and family
whom he must maintain out of his wages 
at home. 
The dangers and hair-breadth escapes of a 
life of adventures, instead of disheartening 
young people, seem frequently to recommend 
a trade to them. A tender mother, among the 
inferior ranks of people, is often afraid to send 
her son to school at a sea-port town, lest the 
sight of the ships, and the conversation and 
adventures of the sailors, should entice him to 
go to sea. The distant prospect of hazards
from which we can hope to extricate ourselves 
by courage and address, is not disagreeable to 
us, and does not raise the wages of labour in 
any employment. It is otherwise with those 
in which courage and address can be of no 
avail. In trades which are known to be very 
unwholesome, the wages of labour are always 
remarkably high. Unwholesomeness is a species 
of disagreeableness, and its effects upon 
the wages of labour are to be ranked under 
that general head
In all the different employments of stock
the ordinary rate of profit varies more or less 
with the certainty or uncertainty of the returns
These are, in general, less uncertain 
in the inland than in the foreign trade, and in 
some branches of foreign trade than in others; 
in the trade to North America, for example, 
than in that to Jamaica. The ordinary rate 
of profit always rises more or less with the 
risk. It does not, however, seem to rise in 
proportion to it, or so as to compensate it 
completely. Bankruptcies are most frequent 
in the most hazardous trades. The most hazardous 
of all trades, that of a smuggler, though, 
when the adventure succeeds, it is likewise the 
most profitable, is the infallible road to bankruptcy
The presumptuous hope of success 
seems to act here as upon all other occasions
and to entice so many adventurers into those 
hazardous trades, that their competition reduces 
the profit below what is sufficient to 
compensate the risk. To compensate it completely
the common returns ought, over and 
above the ordinary profits of stock, not only 
to make up for all occasional losses, but to 
afford a surplus profit to the adventurers, of 
the same nature with the profit of insurers
But if the common returns were sufficient for 
all this, bankruptcies would not be more frequent 
in these than in other trades
Of the five circumstances, therefore, which 
vary the wages of labour, two only affect the 
profits of stock; the agreeableness or disagreeableness 
of the business, and the risk or security 
with which it is attended. In point of 
agreeableness or disagreeableness, there is little 
or no difference in the far greater part of the 
different employments of stock, but a great 
deal in those of labour; and the ordinary profit 
of stock, though it rises with the risk, does 
not always seem to rise in proportion to it. 
It should follow from all this, that, in the 
same society or neighbourhood, the average 
and ordinary rates of profit in the different 
employments of stock should be more nearly 
upon a level than the pecuniary wages of the 
different sorts of labour
They are so accordingly. The difference 
between the earnings of a common labourer 
and those of a well employed lawyer or physician
is evidently much greater than that between 
the ordinary profits in any two different 
branches of trade. The apparent difference
besides, in the profits of different trades, is 
generally a deception arising from our not 
always distinguishing what ought to be considered 
as wages, from what ought to be considered 
as profit
Apothecaries' profit is become a bye-word, 
denoting something uncommonly extravagant
This great apparent profit, however, is frequently 
no more than the reasonable wages of 
labour. The skill of an apothecary is a much 
nicer and more delicate matter than that of 
any artificer whatever; and the trust which is 
reposed in him is of much greater importance. 
He is the physician of the poor in all cases
and of the rich when the distress or danger is 
not very great. His reward, therefore, ought