times of poverty and depression, so gold and 
silver are not likely to be worse paid for. 
The price of gold and silver, when the accidental 
discovery of more abundant mines 
does not keep it down, as it naturally rises 
with the wealth of every country; so, whatever 
be the state of the mines, it is at all times 
naturally higher in a rich than in a poor country
Gold and silver, like all other commodities
naturally seek the market where the 
best price is given for them, and the best price 
is commonly given for every thing in the 
country which can best afford it. Labour, it 
must be remembered, is the ultimate price 
which is paid for every thing; and in countries 
where labour is equally well rewarded
the money price of labour will be in proportion 
to that of the subsistence of the labourer
But gold and silver will naturally exchange 
for a greater quantity of subsistence in a rich 
than in a poor country; in a country which 
abounds with subsistence, than in one which 
is but indifferently supplied with it. If the 
two countries are at a great distance, the difference 
may be very great; because, though 
the metals naturally fly from the worse to the 
better market, yet it may be difficult to transport 
them in such quantities as to bring their 
price nearly to a level in both. If the countries 
are near, the difference will be smaller, 
and may sometimes be scarce perceptible; because 
in this case the transportation will be 
easy. China is a much richer country than 
any part of Europe, and the difference between 
the price of subsistence in China and in 
Europe is very great. Rice in China is much 
cheaper than wheat is anywhere in Europe
England is a much richer country than Scotland, 
but the difference between the money 
price of corn in those two countries is much 
smaller, and is but just perceptible. In proportion 
to the quantity or measure, Scotch 
corn generally appears to be a good deal cheaper 
than English; but, in proportion to its quality
it is certainly somewhat dearer. Scotland 
receives almost every year very large supplies 
from England, and every commodity 
must commonly be somewhat dearer in the 
country to which it is brought than in that 
from which it comes. English corn, therefore, 
must be dearer in Scotland than in England; 
and yet in proportion to its quality, or 
to the quantity and goodness of the flour or 
meal which can be made from it, it cannot 
commonly be sold higher there than the Scotch 
corn which comes to market in competition 
with it. 
The difference between the money price of 
labour in China and in Europe, is still greater 
than that between the money price of subsistence
because the real recompence of labour 
is higher in Europe than in China, the 
greater part of Europe being in an improving 
state, while China seems to be standing still. 
The money price of labour is lower in Scotland 
than in England, because the real recompence 
of labour is much lower: Scotland, 
though advancing to greater wealth, advances 
much more slowly than England. The 
frequency of emigration from Scotland, and 
the rarity of it from England, sufficiently 
prove that the demand for labour is very different 
in the two countries. The proportion 
between the real recompence of labour in different 
countries, it must be remembered, is 
naturally regulated, not by their actual wealth 
or poverty, but by their advancing, stationary
or declining condition
Gold and silver, as they are naturally of the 
greatest value among the richest, so they are 
naturally of the least value among the poorest 
nations. Among savages, the poorest of all 
nations, they are scarce of any value. 
In great towns, corn is always dearer than 
in remote parts of the country. This, however, 
is the effect, not of the real cheapness of 
silver, but of the real dearness of corn. It 
does not cost less labour to bring silver to the 
great town than to the remote parts of the 
country; but it costs a great deal more to 
bring corn
In some very rich and commercial countries
such as Holland and the territory of 
Genoa, corn is dear for the same reason that 
it is dear in great towns. They do not produce 
enough to maintain their inhabitants
They are rich in the industry and skill of their 
artificers and manufacturers, in every sort of 
machinery which can facilitate and abridge 
labour; in shipping, and in all the other instruments 
and means of carriage and commerce
but they are poor in corn, which, as 
it must be brought to them from distant countries
must, by an addition to its price, pay 
for the carriage from these countries. It does 
not cost less labour to bring silver to Amsterdam 
than to Dantzic; but it costs a great deal 
more to bring corn. The real cast of silver 
must be nearly the same in both places; but 
that of corn must be very different. Diminish 
the real opulence either of Holland or of the 
territory of Genoa, while the number of their 
inhabitants remains the same; diminish their 
power of supplying themselves from distant 
countries; and the price of corn, instead of 
sinking with that diminution in the quantity 
of their silver, which must necessarily accompany 
this declension, either as its cause or as 
its effect, will rise to the price of a famine
When we are in want of necessaries, we must 
part with all superfluities, of which the value, 
as it rises in times of opulence and prosperity
so it sinks in times of poverty and distress. 
It is otherwise with necessaries. Their real 
price, the quantity of labour which they can 
purchase or command, rises in times of poverty 
and distress, and sinks in times of opulence 
and prosperity, which are always times 
of great abundance; for they could not otherwise 
be times of opulence and prosperity