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which it either may or may not be such- as to afford this greater price. The former must always afford a rent to the landlord. The latter sometimes may, and sometimes may not, according to different circumstances.
Rent, it is to be observed, therefore, enters into the composition of the price of commodities in a different way from wages and prosit. High or low wages and prosit are the causes of high or low price; high or low rent is the effect of it. It is because high or low wages and prosit must be paid, in order to bring a particular commodity to market, that its price is high or low. But it is because its price is high or low ; a great deal more, or very little more, or no more, than what is sufficient to pay those wages and prosit, that it affords a high rent, or a low rent, or no rent at all.
The particular consideration, sirst, of those parts of the produce of land which always afford some rent; secondly, of those which sometimes may and sometimes may not afford rent; and, thirdly, of the variations which, in the different periods of improvement, naturally take place, in the relative value of those two different sorts of rude produce, when compared both with one another and with manufactured commodities, will divide this chapter into three parts.
PART PART t
Of the Produce of Land -which always affords Rent.
AS men, like all other animals, naturally muLtiply in proportion to the means of their subsidence, food is always, more or less, in demand. It can always purchase or command a greater or smaller quantity of labour, and somebody can always be found who is willing to do something in order to obtain it. The quantity of labour, indeed, which it can purchase, is not always equal to what it could maintain, if managed in the most œconomical manner, on account of the high wages which are sometimes given to labour. But it can always purchase such a quantity of labour as it can maintain, according to the rate at which that fort of labour is commonly maintained in the neighbourhood.
But land, in almost any situation, produces a greater quantity of food than what is sufficient to maintain all the labour necessary for bringing it to market, in the most liberal way in which that labour is ever maintained. The surplus too is always more than sufficient to replace the stock which employed that labour, together with its prosits. Something, therefore, always remains for a rent to the landlord.
The most desart moors in Norway and Scotland produce some sort of pasture for cattle, of which the milk and the increase are always more Q 2 than
Book than sufficient, not only to maintain all the labour necessary for tending them, and to pay the ordinary prosit to the farmer or owner of the herd or flock; but to afford some small rent to the landlord. The rent increases in proportion to the goodness of the pasture. The fame extent of ground not only maintains a greater number of cattle, but as they are brought within a smaller compass, less labour becomes requisite to tend them, and to collect their produce. The landlord gains both ways; by the increase of the produce, and by the diminution of the labour which must be maintained out of it.
The rent of land not only varies with its fertility, whatever be its produce, but with its situation, whatever be its fertility. Land in the neighbourhood of a town gives a greater rent than land equally fertile in a distant part of the country. Though it may cost no more labour to cultivate the one than the other, it must always cost more to bring the produce of the distant land to market. A greater quantity of labour, therefore, must be maintained out of it; and the surplus, from which are drawn both the prosit of the farmer and the rent of the landlord, must be diminished. But in remote parts of the country the rate of prosits, as has already been sliown, is generally higher than in the neighbourhood of a large town. A smaller proportion of this diminished surplus, therefore, must belong to the landlord.
Good roads, canals, and navigable rivers, by diminishing the expence of carriage, put the
remote remote parts of the country more nearly upon a c H A p. level with those in the neighbourhood of the XI' town. They are upon that account the greatest of all improvements. They encourage the cultivation of the remote, which must always be the most extensive circle of the country. They are advantageous to the town, by breaking down the monopoly of the country in its neighbourhood. They are advantageous even to that part of the country. Though they introduce some rival commodities intp the old market, they open many new markets to its produce. Monopoly, besides, is a great enemy to good management, which can never be universally established but in consequence of that free and universal competition which forces every body to have recourse to it for the sake of self-defence. It is not more than sifty years ago, that some of the counties in the neighbourhood of London petitioned the parliament against the extension of the turnpike roads into the remoter counties. Those remoter counties, they pretended, from the cheapness of labour, would be able to fell their grass and corn cheaper in the London market than themselves, and would thereby reduce their rents, and ruin their cultivation. Their rents, however, have risen, and their cultivation has been improved since that time.
A corn sield of moderate fertility produces a much greater quantity of food for man, than the best pasture of equal extent. Though its cultivation requires much more labour, yet the surplus which remains after replacing the feed and Q 3 maintaining
BOOK maintaining all that labour, is likewise much I' greater. If a pound of butcher's-meat, therefore, was never supposed to be worth more than a pound of bread, this greater surplus would every-where be of greater value, and constitute a greater fund both for the prosit of the farmer and the rent of the landlord. It seems to have done so universally in the rude beginnings of agriculture.
But the relative values of those two different species of food, bread, and butcher'sjneat, are very different in the different periods of agricuU ture. In its rude beginnings, the unimproved wilds, which then occupy the far greater part of the country, are all abandoned to cattle. There is more butcher's-meat than bread, and bread, therefore, is the food for which there is the greatest competition, and which consequently brings the greatest price. At Buenos Ayres, we are told by Ulloa, four reals, one-and-twenty pence halfpenny sterling, was, forty or sifty years ago, the ordinary price of an ox, chosen from a herd of two or three hundred. He says nothing of the price of bread, probably because he found nothing remarkable about it. An ox there, he says, costs little more than the labour of catching him. But corn can no-where be raised without a great deal of labour, and in a country which lies upon the river Plate, at that time the direct road from Europe to the silver mines of Potosi, the money price of labour could pot be very cheap. It is otherwise when cultivation is ex-: tended over the greater part of th.e country.