In footnote [7] of Marx's Capital, T.I, Ch. 1, Sec 1, after ...contradictio in adjecto, there are these quotes: «Nothing can have an intrinsick value.» (N. Barbon, t. c., p. 6); or as Butler says - «The value of a thing is just as much as it will bring.».

Does somebody knows who is this Butler and where is that quote?


1 Answer 1


I googled "The value of a thing is just as much as it will bring." in quotes, and got several hits that show Marx referred to Samuel Butler, the author of Hudibras.

Here is one.

Here is a another, see Inscription.

  • $\begingroup$ I can't reproduce your googling that shows your claim!! $\endgroup$
    – tatojo
    Commented Nov 10, 2019 at 0:45
  • $\begingroup$ @tatojo I added some links. $\endgroup$
    – Giskard
    Commented Nov 10, 2019 at 9:01
  • $\begingroup$ There are two Samuel Butler, one (4 December 1835 – 18 June 1902) wrote Erewhon, the other (baptized 14 February 1613 – 25 September 1680) Hudibras. In you second link, it points that the quote is from Hudibras. There I found "For what is worth in any thing, But so much money as ’twill bring?" (Part II, Canto I). Although similar, is not the quote. $\endgroup$
    – tatojo
    Commented Nov 10, 2019 at 11:14
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @tatojo Oops, my mistake, it is the second Butler they are talking about. The poem was translated several times (as was Marx's writing), this much variance is normal. Both the links I gave claim the quote is from Hudibras, yet even those texts do not match perfectly. $\endgroup$
    – Giskard
    Commented Nov 10, 2019 at 11:29

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