suburbs, where the workmen, having no exclusive 
privilege, have nothing but their character 
to depend upon, and you must then 
smuggle it into the town as well as you can. 
It is in this manner that the policy of Europe, 
by restraining the competition in some 
employments to a smaller number than would 
otherwise be disposed to enter into them, occasions 
a very important inequality in the 
whole of the advantages and disadvantages of 
the different employments of labour and stock. 
Secondly, The policy of Europe, by increasing 
the competition in some employments beyond 
what it naturally would be, occasions 
another inequality, of an opposite kind, in the 
whole of the advantages and disadvantages of 
the different employments of labour and stock. 
It has been considered as of so much importance 
that a proper number of young people 
should be educated for certain professions
that sometimes the public, and sometimes the 
piety of private founders, have established 
many pensions, scholarships, exhibitions, bursaries
&c. for this purpose, which draw many 
more people into those trades than could 
otherwise pretend to follow them. In all 
Christian countries, I believe, the education 
of the greater part of churchmen is paid for 
in this manner. Very few of them are educated 
altogether at their own expense. The 
long, tedious, and expensive education, therefore, 
of those who are, will not always procure 
them a suitable reward, the church being 
crowded with people, who, in order to get 
employment, are willing to accept of a much 
smaller recompence than what such an education 
would otherwise have entitled them to; 
and in this manner the competition of the 
poor takes away the reward of the rich. It 
would be indecent, no doubt, to compare 
either a curate or a chaplain with a journeyman 
in any common trade. The pay of a 
curate or chaplain, however, may very properly 
be considered as of the same nature with 
the wages of a journeyman. They are all 
three paid for their work according to the 
contract which they may happen to make 
with their respective superiors. Till after the 
middle of the fourteenth century, five merks, 
containing about as much silver as ten pounds 
of our present money, was in England the 
usual pay of a curate or a stipendiary parish 
priest, as we find it regulated by the decrees of 
several different national councils. At the same 
period, fourpence a-day, containing the same 
quantity of silver as a shilling of our present 
money, was declared to be the pay of a master 
mason; and threepence a-day, equal to 
ninepence of our present money, that of a 
journeyman mason[13]. The wages of both 
these labourers, therefore, supposing them to 
have been constantly employed, were much 
superior to those of the curate. The wages 
of the master mason, supposing him to have 
been without employment one-third of the 
year, would have fully equalled them. By 
the 12th of Queen Anne, c. 12. it is declared
'That whereas, for want of sufficient maintenance 
and encouragement to curates, the 
cures have, in several places, been meanly 
supplied, the bishop is, therefore, empowered 
to appoint, by writing under his hand 
and seal, a sufficient certain stipend or allowance
not exceeding fifty, and not less 
than twenty pounds a-year.' Forty pounds 
a-year is reckoned at present very good pay for 
a curate; and, notwithstanding this act of 
parliament, there are many curacies under 
twenty pounds a-year. There are journeymen 
shoemakers in London who earn forty 
pounds a-year, and there is scarce an industrious 
workman of any kind in that metropolis 
who does not earn more than twenty
This last sum, indeed, does not exceed what 
is frequently earned by common labourers in 
many country parishes. Whenever the law 
has attempted to regulate the wages of workmen
it has always been rather to lower them 
than to raise them. But the law has, upon 
many occasions, attempted to raise the wages of 
curates, and, for the dignity of the church, to 
oblige the rectors of parishes to give them 
more than the wretched maintenance which 
they themselves might be willing to accept of. 
And, in both cases, the law seems to have 
been equally ineffectual, and has never either 
been able to raise the wages of curates, or to 
sink those of labourers to the degree that was 
intended; because it has never been able to 
hinder either the one from being willing to 
accept of less than the legal allowance, on account 
of the indigence of their situation and 
the multitude of their competitors, or the 
other from receiving more, on account of the 
contrary competition of those who expected 
to derive either profit or pleasure from employing 
The great benefices and other ecclesiastical 
dignities support the honour of the church
notwithstanding the mean circumstances of 
some of its inferior members. The respect 
paid to the profession, too, makes some compensation 
even to them for the meanness of 
their pecuniary recompence. In England
and in all Roman catholic countries, the lottery 
of the church is in reality much more advantageous 
than is necessary. The example 
of the churches of Scotland, of Geneva, and 
of several other protestant churches, may satisfy 
us, that in so creditable a profession, in 
which education is so easily procured, the 
hopes of much more moderate benefices will 
draw a sufficient number of learned, decent
and respectable men into holy orders
In professions in which there are no benefices
such as law and physic, if an equal proportion 
of people were educated at the public 
expense, the competition would soon be so