of rude, and with almost all sorts of manufactured 
produce, for a smaller quantity of 
gold and silver than what they themselves can 
either raise or make them for at home. The 
tax and prohibition operate in two different 
ways. They not only lower very much the 
value of the precious metals in Spain and Portugal
but by detaining there a certain quantity 
of those metals which would otherwise 
flow over other countries, they keep up their 
value in those other countries somewhat above 
what it otherwise would be, and thereby give 
those countries a double advantage in their 
commerce with Spain and Portugal. Open 
the flood-gates, and there will presently be 
less water above, and more below the dam-head
and it will soon come to a level in both 
places. Remove the tax and the prohibition
and as the quantity of gold and silver will diminish 
considerably in Spain and Portugal
so it will increase somewhat in other countries; 
and the value of those metals, their proportion 
to the annual produce of land and labour
will soon come to a level, or very near 
to a level, in all. The loss which Spain and 
Portugal could sustain by this exportation of 
their gold and silver, would be altogether nominal 
and imaginary. The nominal value of 
their goods, and of the annual produce of 
their land and labour, would fall, and would 
be expressed or represented by a smaller quantity 
of silver than before; but their real value 
would be the same as before, and would be 
sufficient to maintain, command, and employ 
the same quantity of labour. As the nominal 
value of their goods would fall, the real value of 
what remained of their gold and silver would 
rise, and a smaller quantity of those metals 
would answer all the same purposes of commerce 
and circulation which had employed a 
greater quantity before. The gold and silver 
which would go abroad would not go abroad 
for nothing, but would bring back an equal 
value of goods of some kind or other. Those 
goods, too, would not be all matters of mere 
luxury and expense, to be consumed by idle 
people, who produce nothing in return for 
their consumption. As the real wealth and 
revenue of idle people would not be augmented 
by this extraordinary exportation of gold 
and silver, so neither would their consumption 
be much augmented by it. Those goods 
would probably, the greater part of them, and 
certainly some part of them, consist in materials, 
tools, and provisions, for the employment 
and maintenance of industrious people
who would reproduce, with a profit, the full 
value of their consumption. A part of the 
dead stock of the society would thus be turned 
into active stock, and would put into motion 
a greater quantity of industry than had been 
employed before. The annual produce of 
their land and labour would immediately be 
augmented a little, and in a few years would 
probably be augmented a great deal; their 
industry being thus relieved from one of the 
most oppressive burdens which it at present 
labours under. 
The bounty upon the exportation of corn 
necessarily operates exactly in the same way 
as this absurd policy of Spain and Portugal
Whatever be the actual state of tillage, it renders 
our corn somewhat dearer in the home 
market than it otherwise would be in that 
state, and somewhat cheaper in the foreign
and as the average money price of corn regulates
more or less, that of all other commodities
it lowers the value of silver considerably 
in the one, and tends to raise it a little in the 
other. It enables foreigners, the Dutch in 
particular, not only to eat our corn cheaper 
than they otherwise could do, but sometimes 
to eat it cheaper than even our own people 
can do upon the same occasions; as we are 
assured by an excellent authority, that of Sir 
Matthew Decker. It hinders our own workmen 
from furnishing their goods for so small 
a quantity of silver as they otherwise might 
do, and enables the Dutch to furnish theirs 
for a smaller. It tends to render our manufactures 
somewhat dearer in every market, and 
theirs somewhat cheaper, than they otherwise 
would be, and consequently to give their industry 
a double advantage over our own. 
The bounty, as it raises in the home market
not so much the real, as the nominal 
price of our corn; as it augments, not the 
quantity of labour which a certain quantity of 
corn can maintain and employ, but only the 
quantity of silver which it will exchange for; 
it discourages our manufactures, without rendering 
any considerable service, either to our 
farmers or country gentlemen. It puts, indeed, 
a little more money into the pockets of 
both, and it will perhaps be somewhat difficult 
to persuade the greater part of them that 
this is not rendering them a very considerable 
service. But if this money sinks in its value, 
in the quantity of labour, provisions, and 
home-made commodities of all different kinds 
which it is capable of purchasing, as much as 
it rises in its quantity, the service will be little 
more than nominal and imaginary
There is, perhaps, but one set of men in 
the whole commonwealth to whom the bounty 
either was or could be essentially serviceable. 
These were the corn merchants, the exporters 
and importers of corn. In years of plenty
the bounty necessarily occasioned a greater 
exportation than would otherwise have taken 
place; and by hindering the plenty of the one 
year from relieving the scarcity of another, it 
occasioned in years of scarcity a greater importation 
than would otherwise have been necessary. 
It increased the business of the corn 
merchant in both; and in the years of scarcity
it not only enabled him to import a greater 
quantity, but to sell it for a better price
and consequently with a greater profit, than 
he could otherwise have made, if the plenty