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Full Online Book HomeNonfictionsA Treatise On Government - BOOK I - Chapter XI
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A Treatise On Government - BOOK I - Chapter XI Post by :cmoos Category :Nonfictions Author :Aristotle Date :January 2011 Read :1020

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A Treatise On Government - BOOK I - Chapter XI

Having already sufficiently considered the general principles of this
subject, let us now go into the practical part thereof; the one is a
liberal employment for the mind, the other necessary. These things
are useful in the management of one's affairs; to be skilful in the
nature of cattle, which are most profitable, and where, and how; as
for instance, what advantage will arise from keeping horses, or oxen,
or sheep, or any other live stock; it is also necessary to be
acquainted with the comparative value of these things, and which of
them in particular places are worth most; for some do better in one
place, some in another. Agriculture also should be understood, and the
management of arable grounds and orchards; and also the care of bees,
and fish, and birds, from whence any profit may arise; these are the
first and most proper parts of domestic management.

With respect to gaining money by exchange, the principal method of
doing this is by merchandise, which is carried on in three different
ways, either by sending the commodity for sale by sea or by land, or
else selling it on the place where it grows; and these differ from
each other in this, that the one is more profitable, the other safer.
The second method is by usury. The third by receiving wages for work
done, and this either by being employed in some mean art, or else in
mere bodily labour. There is also a third species of improving a
fortune, that is something between this and the first; for it partly
depends upon nature, partly upon exchange; the subject of which is,
things that are immediately from the earth, or their produce, which,
though they bear no fruit, are yet useful, such as selling of timber
and the whole art of metallurgy, which includes many different
species, for there are various sorts of things dug out of the earth.

These we have now mentioned in general, but to enter into particulars
concerning each of them, though it might be useful to the artist,
would be tiresome to dwell on. Now of all the works of art, those are
the most excellent wherein chance has the least to do, and those are
the meanest which deprave the body, those the most servile in which
bodily strength alone is chiefly wanted, those most illiberal which
require least skill; but as there are books written on these subjects
by some persons, as by Chares the Panian, and Apollodorus the Lemnian,
upon husbandry and planting; and by others on other matters, (1259b)
let those who have occasion consult them thereon; besides, every
person should collect together whatsoever he hears occasionally
mentioned, by means of which many of those who aimed at making a
fortune have succeeded in their intentions; for all these are useful
to those who make a point of getting money, as in the contrivance of
Thales the Milesian (which was certainly a gainful one, but as it was
his it was attributed to his wisdom, though the method he used was a
general one, and would universally succeed), when they reviled him for
his poverty, as if the study of philosophy was useless: for they say
that he, perceiving by his skill in astrology that there would be
great plenty of olives that year, while it was yet winter, having got
a little money, he gave earnest for all the oil works that were in
Miletus and Chios, which he hired at a low price, there being no one
to bid against him; but when the season came for making oil, many
persons wanting them, he all at once let them upon what terms he
pleased; and raising a large sum of money by that means, convinced
them that it was easy for philosophers to be rich if they chose it,
but that that was not what they aimed at; in this manner is Thales
said to have shown his wisdom. It indeed is, as we have said,
generally gainful for a person to contrive to make a monopoly of
anything; for which reason some cities also take this method when they
want money, and monopolise their commodities. There was a certain
person in Sicily who laid out a sum of money which was deposited in
his hand in buying up all the iron from the iron merchants; so that
when the dealers came from the markets to purchase, there was no one
had any to sell but himself; and though he put no great advance upon
it, yet by laying out fifty talents he made an hundred. When Dionysius
heard this he permitted him to take his money with him, but forbid him
to continue any longer in Sicily, as being one who contrived means for
getting money inconsistent with his affairs. This man's view and
Thales's was exactly the same; both of them contrived to procure a
monopoly for themselves: it is useful also for politicians to
understand these things, for many states want to raise money and by
such means, as well as private families, nay more so; for which reason
some persons who are employed in the management of public affairs
confine themselves to this province only.

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e are then three parts of domestic government, the masters, ofwhich we have already treated, the fathers, and the husbands; now thegovernment of the wife and children should both be that of freepersons, but not the (I259b) same; for the wife should be treated as acitizen of a free state, the children should be under kingly power;for the male is by nature superior to the female, except whensomething happens contrary to the usual course of nature, as is theelder and perfect to the younger and imperfect. Now in the generalityof free states, the governors and the governed alternately changeplace; for an
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We have now determined what was before doubtful, whether or no the artof getting money is his business who is at the head of a family or astate, and though not strictly so, it is however very necessary; foras a politician does not make men, but receiving them from the hand ofnature employs them to proper purposes; thus the earth, or the sea, orsomething else ought to supply them with provisions, and this it isthe business of the master of the family to manage properly; for it isnot the weaver's business to make yarn, but to use it, and todistinguish what
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