Chapter 19: A Prince should not engage himself in Commerce

Theophilus saw a vessel laden with merchandises for his wife Theodora and ordered it to be burnt.

He might have added:

When the Portuguese and Castilians bore sway in the East Indies, commerce had such opulent branches. ul li | Their princes did not fail to seize them. li | This ruined their settlements in those parts of the world.

The viceroy of Goa granted exclusive privileges to particular persons.

Chapter 21: The Commerce of the Nobility in a Monarchy

In a monarchy, it is contrary to the spirit of commerce for the nobility to be merchants.

It is contrary to the spirit of monarchy, to admit the nobility into commerce.

Chapter 22: A singular Reflection

Persons, struck with the practice of some states, imagine, that in France they should make laws to engage the nobility to enter into commerce.

 In despotic kingdoms no body can or should have emulation.

No one can say that every one will succeed better in his profession if he cannot change it for another.

The possibility of buying honour with gold, encourages many merchants to put themselves in circumstances by which they may attain it.

In France, the dignity of the long robe, which places those who wear it between the great nobility and the people, and without having such shining honours as the former, has all their privileges;

Chapter 23: To what Nations Commerce is prejudicial

Riches consist either in lands, or in moveable effects.

A country that constantly exports fewer manufactures or commodities than it receives, will soon find the balance sinking.

In trading countries, the specie which suddenly vanishes quickly returns, because those nations that have received it are its debtors.

Poland is an example.

Japan receives a vast quantity.

It is not those nations who have need of nothing, that lose by trade.

It is not such people as have a sufficiency within themselves, but those who are most in want, that will find an advantage in ending all commercial intercourse.

Next: Book 21, Chapter 1