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were instantly produced, as a matter of course, out of a press in which they had been carefully put away as property not belonging to the house. It is the great diffusion and exposure of property in small things, among a nation of small proprietors, that produce this regard for its safety even in trifles, this practical morality. It is not the value lost, but the injury to the feeling of ownership, which constitutes the criminality, or rather the injury, in many petty aggressions on property; and respect for the feelings of others enters into the manners and morals of the French.

Society left to itself will, probably, always work itself up to its moral wants. The moral condition of France, from 1794 to 1816, had certainly no aid from the clerical, educational, civil, or military establishments of its government, or from the wars and tumults in which the country was engaged; yet countries blessed, during all that period, with the fullest, most powerful, and best endowed church establishments, as part of their government, may envy the moral condition of the great mass of the French people. The social economist, who looks at France and at the United States of America, will pause before he admits in its fullest extent the usual clerical assumption, that a powerful church establishment, and an union of church and state, are essential to the morality, piety, or education of a people. He will be apt to conclude, that society left to itself will provide according to its wants, and to its recipient capabilities, for education, morals, and religion that these must grow naturally out of social circumstances, and cannot be forced by establishments, clerical or educational, into any wholesome existence and that a people will no more fall into barbarism, or retrograde in civilisation, from the want of establishments suitable to their social condition, than a family will turn cannibals from wanting a butcher's shop or a cook.

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It is nearly half a century since the decimal division of money, weights, and measures, was adopted by the French Convention, and by every succeeding govern

ment it has been adhered to, and enforced by law. The learned in all other countries, as well as in France, are unanimous in recommending its adoption, on account of the greater practical facility in operations and accounts, of the decimal than the duodecimal division of weights, measures, and money; yet, in spite of law and science, the French people continue to use the duodecimal division. They persist in thinking duodecimally, even when by law they must express themselves decimally. Is this obstinate adherence to the least perfect and most difficult mode of reckoning quantity, or value in the ordinary affairs of life, the effect of mere prejudice, of blind custom, of the perversity, in short, of the public mind? I suspect the cause lies deeper. Prejudice, custom, or perversity, will not make people forego a clear advantage. Men of science, and legislators, in recommending and adopting the decimal division, have considered only the arithmetical operations to be performed with numerals; but not the nature of the subjects to which those operations with numerals are applied. Weights, measures of capacity or of extension, and money, are measures applied to the products of nature, or of human industry, and to their value in exchange with other products through the medium of money. Now the value of the products either of nature, or of art, is the time and labour involved in them. The value of the most valuable of natural products, the diamond, has the same base as the value of a pin,-it is the value of scarcity; that is to say, of the time and labour it would cost to find such another diamond, or to make such another pin. The value of those two elements time and labour-is what we buy, and sell, and record in our accounts, and to which all measurement of quantity with a reference to value, and all reckoning in the ordinary transactions of life, refer. One of these two elements-time— regulates, in a considerable degree, the value of the other

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labour and is the usual measure of it. It is the

and estimate its value in ordinary affairs. But time is divided by nature duodecimally, not decimally. The four seasons, the twelve months of a year, the four weeks in a month, the twenty-four hours in a day, the twelve working hours, the hours of light and darkness, the six working days in a week, are partly natural divisions of time connected with changes in our planetary position, and partly conventional, such as the number of working hours in a day, or of working days in a week, but derived from the natural divisions, and all are duodecimally divided. Labour being estimated by time, and time divided duodecimally, the products of time and labour-that is to say, all that men buy, sell, use, or estimate in reckoning-are necessarily and properly measured by weights, measures, or money, also duodecimally divided; so that parts of the one correspond to parts of the other. To measure or pay in decimals what is delivered in duodecimals, is not an easy or natural process; although, apart from all consideration of what numerals are applied to, and in more abstract operations with them, the decimal system is unquestionably the most easy and perfect to reckon by. To pay one hour's work, or two hours' work, of a day divided into twelve working hours, out of money divided duodecimally, is an easy process or to measure the product of time and work by measures of quantity also duodecimally divided; but to measure the same by decimal weights or measures, or pay for the work in decimally divided money, is not a simple operation. It is time, in reality, which is the element bought and sold between man and man, if we resolve the value of productions to its base; and unless time is divided decimally, which natural arrangement renders impracticable, the decimal division cannot be generally adopted in ordinary affairs. It would be a retrograde step to measure all production in which time is the main element of value, by one scale, and to measure time itself by another. It may be arithmetically right, looking only to the abstract operations with the numerals, to adopt the decimal di

vision; but it would be philosophically wrong, looking at the nature of the things to which the numerals are to be applied. A great proportion of the food of mankind, also, is divided by nature duodecimally. The beasts of the field and birds of the air happen to have generally four, not five limbs; and the butcher, in spite of decimals, will divide, cut, and weigh his beef and mutton by quarters and halves, not by five tenths or five twentieths of the carcass. In many of the most necessary and perpetually recurring applications of weight, measure, time, labour, and money value, to natural objects duodecimally divided by nature, the decimal division is inconvenient, and therefore never will come into general use in France or any where else.

CHAP. III.

SOCIAL ECONOMY-WHY NOT TREATED AS A DISTINCT SCIENCE. -ARISTOCRACY REPLACED BY FUNCTIONARISM IN FRANCEIN GERMANY. INTERFERENCE OF GOVERNMENT WITH FREE AGENCY.-AMOUNT OF FUNCTIONARISM IN A FRENCH DEPARTMENT-INDRE ET LOIRE AMOUNT IN A SCOTCH COUNTYSHIRE OF AYR.-EFFECTS OF FUNCTIONARISM ON INDUSTRYON NATIONAL CHARACTER -ON MORALS-ON CIVIL AND POLITICAL LIBERTY.-CHANGE IN THE STATE OF PROPERTY IN PRUSSIA. TWO ANTAGONIST PRINCIPLES IN THE SOCIAL ECONOMY OF PRUSSIA.

SOCIAL economy-the construction of the social body of a country, the proportions in numbers and influence of the elements of which it is composed, the arrangements and institutions for the administration of its laws, police, and public business, civil, military, and ecclesiastical, and the principles on which all this social machinery should be constructed for working beneficially on the physical and moral condition of the people

a science distinct from the sciences of government, legislation, jurisprudence, or political economy. These are but branches of social economy in its most extended meaning. It embraces all that affects social prosperity, and the well-being, moral and physical, of the individuals composing the social body of the country. Although its subjects are well defined, and its objects important, this science is rarely touched upon by philosophers. What we know of the social economy of any foreign country, we must gather from travels and statistical works. These give the materials, but not the principles; the facts, but not the conclusions upon their causes or consequences. The political philosopher has never taken up these materials, or facts, and deduced from them the principles on which society ought to be

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