The fixed capital, and that part of the circulating 
capital which consists in money, so 
far as they affect the revenue of the society
bear a very great resemblance to one another. 
First, as those machines and instruments of 
trade, &c. require a certain expense, first to 
erect them, and afterwards to support them, 
both which expenses, though they make a 
part of the gross, are deductions from the neat 
revenue of the society; so the stock of money 
which circulates in any country must require 
a certain expense, first to collect it, and afterwards 
to support it; both which expenses
though they make a part of the gross, are, in 
the same manner, deductions from the neat 
revenue of the society. A certain quantity of 
very valuable materials, gold and silver, and 
of very curious labour, instead of augmenting 
the stock reserved for immediate consumption
the subsistence, conveniencies, and amusements 
of individuals, is employed in supporting that 
great but expensive instrument of commerce, 
by means of which every individual in the society 
has his subsistence, conveniencies, and 
amusements, regularly distributed to him in 
their proper proportions
Secondly, as the machines and instruments 
of trade, &c. which compose the fixed capital 
either of an individual or of a society, make 
no part either of the gross or of the neat revenue 
of either; so money, by means of which 
the whole revenue of the society is regularly 
distributed among all its different members
makes itself no part of that revenue. The 
great wheel of circulation is altogether different 
from the goods which are circulated by 
means of it. The revenue of the society consists 
altogether in those goods, and not in the 
wheel which circulates them. In computing either 
the gross or the neat revenue of any society
we must always, from the whole annual circulation 
of money and goods, deduct the whole 
value of the money, of which not a single 
farthing can ever make any part of either. 
It is the ambiguity of language only which 
can make this proposition appear either doubtful 
or paradoxical. When properly explained 
and understood, it is almost self-evident. 
When we talk of any particular sum of 
money, we sometimes mean nothing but the 
metal pieces of which it is composed, and 
sometimes we include in our meaning some 
obscure reference to the goods which can be 
had in exchange for it, or to the power of purchasing 
which the possession of it conveys
Thus, when we say that the circulating money 
of England has been computed at eighteen 
millions, we mean only to express the amount 
of the metal pieces, which some writers have 
computed, or rather have supposed, to circulate 
in that country. But when we say that a 
man is worth fifty or a hundred pounds a-year
we mean commonly to express, not only the 
amount of the metal pieces which are annually 
paid to him, but the value of the goods 
which he can annually purchase or consume
we mean commonly to assertain what is or 
ought to be his way of living, or the quantity 
and quality of the necessaries and conveniencies 
of life in which he can with propriety 
indulge himself. 
When, by any particular sum of money
we mean not only to express the amount of 
the metal pieces of which it is composed, but 
to include in its signification some obscure reference 
to the goods which can be had in exchange 
for them, the wealth or revenue which 
it in this case denotes, is equal only to one of 
the two values which are thus intimated somewhat 
ambiguously by the same word, and to the 
latter more properly than to the former, to the 
money's worth more properly than to the money
Thus, if a guinea be the weekly pension of 
a particular person, he can in the course of 
the week purchase with it a certain quantity of 
subsistence, conveniencies, and amusements
In proportion as this quantity is great or 
small, so are his real riches, his real weekly 
revenue. His weekly revenue is certainly not 
equal both to the guinea and to what can be 
purchased with it, but only to one or other of 
those two equal values, and to the latter more 
properly than to the former, to the guinea's 
worth rather than to the guinea
If the pension of such a person was paid 
to him, not in gold, but in a weekly bill for a 
guinea, his revenue surely would not so properly 
consist in the piece of paper, as in 
what he could get for it. A guinea may be 
considered as a bill for a certain quantity of 
necessaries and conveniencies upon all the 
tradesmen in the neighbourhood. The revenue 
of the person to whom it is paid, does not 
so properly consist in the piece of gold, as in 
what he can get for it, or in what he can exchange 
it for. If it could be exchanged for 
nothing, it would, like a bill upon a bankrupt
be of no more value than the most useless 
piece of paper
Though the weekly or yearly revenue of all 
the different inhabitants of any country, in the 
same manner, may be, and in reality frequently 
is, paid to them in money, their real riches
however, the real weekly or yearly revenue of 
all of them taken together, must always be 
great or small, in proportion to the quantity 
of consumable goods which they can all of 
them purchase with this money. The whole 
revenue of all of them taken together is evidently 
not equal to both the money and the 
consumable goods, but only to one or other of 
those two values, and to the latter more properly 
than to the former. 
Though we frequently, therefore, express
person's revenue by the metal pieces which are 
annually paid to him, it is because the amount 
of those pieces regulates the extent of his 
power of purchasing, or the value of the goods 
which he can annually afford to consume
We still consider his revenue as consisting in