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BOOK butter, stores a small part of it for a week: by ^ making it into salt butter, for a year: and by
making it into cheese, he stores a much greater part of it for several years. Part of all these is reserved for the use of his own family. The reft goes to market, in order to sind the best price which is to be had, and which can scarce be so low as to discourage him from sending thither whatever is over and above the use of his own family. If it is very low, indeed, he will be likely to manage his dairy in a very flovenly and dirty manner, and will scarce perhaps think it worth while to have a particular room or building on purpose for it, but will suffer the business to be carried on amidst the smoke, silth, and nastiness of his own kitchen; as was the case of almost all the farmers' dairies in Scotland thirty or forty years ago, and as is the case of many of them still. The fame causes which gradual]) raise the price of butcher's-meat, the increase of the demand, and, in consequence of the improvement of the country, the diminution of the quantity which can be fed at little or no expence, raise, in the same manner, that of the produce of the dairy, of which the price naturally connects with that of butcher's-meat, or with the expence of feeding cattle. The increase of price pays for more labour, care, and cleanliness. The dairy becomes more worthy of the farmer's attention, and the quality of its produce gradually improves. The price at last gets so high that it becomes worth while to employ some of the most fertile and best cultivated
lands in feeding cattle merely for the purpose of Chap. the dairy; and when it has got to this height, it , cannot well go higher. If it did, more land would soon be turned to this purpose. It seems to have got to this height through the greater part of England, where much good land is commonly employed in this manner. If you except the neighbourhood of a few considerable towns, it seems not yet to have got to this height anywhere in Scotland, where common farmers seldom employ much good land in raising food for cattle merely for the purpose of the dairy. The price of the produce, though it has risen very considerably within these few years, is probably still too low to admit of it. The inferiority of the quality, indeed, compared with that of the produce of English dairies, is fully equal to that of the price. But this inferiority of quality is, perhaps, rather the effect of this lowness of price than the cause of it. Though the quality was much better, the greater part of what is brought to market could not, I apprehend, in the present circumstances of the country, be disposed of at a much better price; and the present price, it is probable, would not pay the expence of the land and labour necessary for producing a much better quality. Through the greater part of England, notwithstanding the superiority of price, the dairy is not reckoned a more prositable employment of land than the raising of corn, or the fattening of cattle, the two great objects of agriculture. Through the greater part of Scotland, therefore, it cannot yet be even so prositable.
BOOK The lands of no country, it is evident, can , ever be completely cultivated and improved, till once the price of every produce, which human industry is obliged to raise upon them, has got so high as to pay for the expence of complete improvement and cultivation. In order to do this, the price of each particular produce must be sufficient, sirst, to pay the rent of good corn land, as it is that which regulates the rent of the greater part of other cultivated land; and secondly, to pay the labour and expence of the farmer as well as they are commonly paid upon good corn land; or, in other words, to replace with the ordinary prosits the stock which he employs about it. This rife in the price of each .particular produce, must evidently be previous to the improvement and cultivation of the land which is destined for raising it. Gain is the end of all improvement, and nothing could deserve that name of which loss was to be the necessary consequence. But loss must be the necessary consequence of improving land for the sake os a produce of which the price could never bring back the expence. If the complete improvement and cultivation of the country be, as it most certainly is, the greatest of all public advantages, this rife in the price of all those different sorts of rude produce, instead of being considered as a public calamity, ought to be regarded as the necessary forerunner and attendant of the greatest of all public advantages.
This rife too in the nominal or money-price of all those different sorts of rude produce has
been been the effect, not of any degradation in the c value of silver, but of a rise in their real price. They have become worth, not only a greater quantity of silver, but a greater quantity of labour and subsistence than before. As it costs a greater quantity of labour and subsistence to bring them to market, so when they are brought thither, they represent or are equivalent to a greater quantity.
The third and last sort of rude produce, of which the price naturally rises in the progress of improvement, is that in which the efficacy of human industry, in augmenting the quantity, is. either limited or uncertain. Though the real price of this fort of rude produce, therefore, naturally tends to rife in the progress of improvement, yeti according as different accidents happen to render the efforts of human industry more or lesi successful in augmenting the quantity, it may happen sometimes even to fall, sometimes, to continue the fame in very different periods of improvement, and sometimes to rife more or less in the fame period.
There are some forts of rude produce which nature has rendered a kind of appendages to other forts; so that the quantity of the one which any country can afford, is necessarily limited by that of the other. The quantity of wool or of raw hides, for example, which any.
BOOK country can afford, is necessarily limited by the number of great and small cattle that are kept in it. The state of its improvement, and the nature of its agriculture, again necessarily determine this number.
The fame causes, which, in the progress of improvement, gradually raise the price of butcher's-meat, mould have the fame effect, it may be thought, upon the prices of wool and raw hides, and raise them too nearly in the same proportion. It probably would be so, if in the rude beginnings of improvement the market for the latter commodities was conssined within as narrow bounds as that for the former. But the extent of their respective markets is commonly extremely different.
The market for butcher's-meat is almost every-where conssined to the country which produces it. Ireland, and some part of British America indeed, carry on a considerable trade in salt provisions; but they are, I believe, the only countries in the commercial world which do so, or which export to other countries any considerable part of their butcher's-meat.
The market for wool and raw hides, on the contrary, is in the rude beginnings of improvement very seldom consined to the country which produces them. They can easily be transported to distant countries, wool without any preparation, and raw hides with very little: and as they are the materials of many manufactures, the industry of other countries may occasion a demand