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Two-minute tales from history, myth and fiction, accompanied by word games, grammar games and writing practice, all based on traditional school textbooks.

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The Economic Case for Generous Wages
Music: William Herschel
Adam Smith asks employers to pay the most generous wages their finances will allow.
By Adam Smith
(1723-1790)

THE liberal reward of labour increases the industry of the common people. The wages of labour are the encouragement of industry, which, like every other human quality, improves in proportion to the encouragement it receives.

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Six Posts
‘No dog exchanges bones with another’
Music: Francesco Geminiani
How do we get the help of millions of people we don’t know? Only by trade.
By Adam Smith
(1723-1790)

NOBODY ever saw a dog make a fair and deliberate exchange of one bone for another with another dog.

A spaniel endeavours by a thousand attractions to engage the attention of its master who is at dinner, when it wants to be fed by him. Man has not time, however, to do this upon every occasion.

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The Economic Case for Time Off
Music: Eric Coates
Adam Smith encourages employers to restrict working hours to reasonable limits, for humanity and for profit.
By Adam Smith
(1723-1790)

WORKMEN, when they are liberally paid by the piece, are very apt to overwork themselves, and to ruin their health and constitution in a few years. A carpenter in London, and in some other places, is not supposed to last in his utmost vigour above eight years.

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The Great Chessboard
Music: William Boyce
If Britain is a chessboard, then politicians should remember that the ‘pieces’ are alive, and they generally play a better game.
By Adam Smith
(1723-1790)

THE man of system, on the contrary, is apt to be very wise in his own conceit; and is often so enamoured with the supposed beauty of his own ideal plan of government, that he cannot suffer the smallest deviation from any part of it.

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The ‘Empire’ of Free Trade
Free trade brings to smaller nations all the advantages of empire without the disadvantages.
By Adam Smith
(1723-1790)

WERE all nations to follow the liberal system of free exportation and free importation, the different states into which a great continent was divided would so far resemble the different provinces of a great empire.

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Big Spenders
Music: Thomas Linley the Younger
Adam Smith warns that politicians are the last people who should lecture the public about how to run their affairs.
By Adam Smith
(1723-1790)

GREAT nations are never impoverished by private, though they sometimes are by public prodigality and misconduct. The whole, or almost the whole public revenue is, in most countries, employed in maintaining unproductive hands.

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Fit and Proper Persons
Music: William Boyce
No one is more dangerous than the man who thinks that it is his destiny to direct things for the common good.
By Adam Smith
(1723-1790)

EVERY individual necessarily labours to render the annual revenue of the society as great as he can. He generally, indeed, neither intends to promote the public interest, nor knows how much he is promoting it. Nor is it always the worse for the society that it was no part of it.

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All Posts
Tagged Adam Smith (8 posts)
page 1
1 The Economic Case for Generous Wages
By Adam Smith
(1723-1790)
Adam Smith asks employers to pay the most generous wages their finances will allow.
2 The Economic Case for Time Off
By Adam Smith
(1723-1790)
Adam Smith encourages employers to restrict working hours to reasonable limits, for humanity and for profit.
3 The Economic Case for Sovereignty
By Adam Smith
(1723-1790)
A nation with its own laws and a strong sense of shared cultural identity makes good economic sense.
4 Big Spenders
By Adam Smith
(1723-1790)
Adam Smith warns that politicians are the last people who should lecture the public about how to run their affairs.
5 The ‘Empire’ of Free Trade
By Adam Smith
(1723-1790)
Free trade brings to smaller nations all the advantages of empire without the disadvantages.
6 The Great Chessboard
By Adam Smith
(1723-1790)
If Britain is a chessboard, then politicians should remember that the ‘pieces’ are alive, and they generally play a better game.
page 2
7 Fit and Proper Persons
By Adam Smith
(1723-1790)
No one is more dangerous than the man who thinks that it is his destiny to direct things for the common good.
8 ‘No dog exchanges bones with another’
By Adam Smith
(1723-1790)
How do we get the help of millions of people we don’t know? Only by trade.
which is ‘English Style’ ?

Word Play: Confusables

Compose your own sentences to show the difference between these words:

Councillor. Counsellor.

JB Cramer was one of the finest pianists of his day, though his reverence for Mozart made his own music more popular in the drawing room than the concert hall.
By Percy Bysshe Shelley
(1792-1822)
Poet Percy Bysshe Shelley says that the pinnacle of political achievement is the government not of others, but of ourselves.
By John Keats
(1795-1821)
Poet John Keats speaks of the beauties of Autumn, her colours, her sounds and her rich harvest.
By Percy Bysshe Shelley
(1792-1822)
Poet Percy Shelley calls on November’s sister months to watch by the graveside of the dead Year.
Cut
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Polyword ‘Green’
Make as many words as you can with the letters below. All your words must be at least four letters long, and must also include the highlighted letter. What’s the nine-letter word?

SEE how many words you can make using the letters below. All your words must be at least 4 letters long, and must include the letter (change).

We found commonly used words, plus one 9-letter word. Can you do better?

Use each letter only once. But if there are e.g. two As, you can used them both.

Don’t count proper nouns such as April, Zeus, or Newcastle (pretty much anything that has to be spelled with a capital letter at the start), or acronyms like HMRC.

Don’t just add -S for plurals or third person singular verbs, e.g. CAT → CATS or SPEAK → SPEAKS.

Note: You can find more Polywords and other games on our Nine Lives puzzle page, and most of our stories are accompanied by games with words, grammar and numbers.

More Puzzles
For each of these things, select the most apposite word of praise.
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with NEAT and finish with TIDY.
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with TOWN and finish with CITY.
See if you can guess these words letter-by-letter.
Make words and get points for using unusual letters such as K, Q and Z.
A word-making and word-searching game with a dash of strategy to it.
top topics
History (379)
Fiction (82)

letters game

What is the longest word you can make using these letters?

Press enter or type a space to see feedback on your word.

More like this: Longest Word (Letters Game) Games with Words

numbers game

Work across from the number on the left, applying each arithmetical operation to the previous answer. What’s the final total?

Tip: Click any of the four inner squares to check your running total.

More like this: Maths Steps (Mental Arithmetic Game) Mental Arithmetic