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which is the principal or sole fund of the workman's subsistence. The sine manufacture, on the other hand, was not in those times carried on in England, but in the rich and commercial country of Planders; and it was probably conducted then, in the fame manner as now, by people who derived the whole, or the principal part of their subsistence from it. It was besides a foreign manufacture, and must have paid some duty, the ancient custom of tonnage and poundage at least, to the King. This duty, indeed, would not probably be very great. It was not then the policy of Europe to restrain, by high duties, the importation of foreign manufactures, but rather to encourage it, in order that merchants might be enabled to supply, at as easy a rate as possible, the great men with the conveniences and luxuries which they wanted, and which the industry of their own country could not afford them.
The consideration of these circumstances may perhaps in some measure explain to us why, in those ancient times, the real price of the coarse manufacture was, in proportion to that of the fine, so much lower than in the present times.
CONCLUSION OF THE CHAPTER.
ISHALL conclude this very long chapter with observing, that every improvement in the circumstances of the society tends either directly or indirectly to raise the real rent of land, to increase the real wealth of the landlord, his power of purchasing the labour, or the produce of the labour of other people.
The extension of improvement and cultivation tends to raise it directly. The landlord's share of the produce necessarily increases with the increase of the produce.
That rise in the real price of those parts of the rude produce of land, which is sirst the effect of extended improvement and cultivation, anil afterwards the cause of their being still further extended, the rife in the price of cattle, for example, tends too to raise the rent of land directly, and in a still greater proportion. The real value of the landlord's share, his real command of the labour of other people, not only rises with the real value of the produce, but the proportion of his share to the whole produce rises with it. That produce, after the rife in its real price, requires no more labour to collect it than before. A smaller proportion of it will, therefore, be sufficient to replace, with the ordinary prosit, the stock which employs that labour. A greater proportion of it must, consequendy, belong to the landlord.
All those improvements in the productive Chap. powers of labour, which tend directly to reduce ^ the real price of manufactures, tend indirectly to raise the real rent of land. The landlord exchanges that part of his rude produce, which is over and above his own consumption, or what comes to the fame thing, the price of that part of it, for manufactured produce. Whatever re? duces the real price of the latter, raises that of the former. An equal quantity of the former becomes thereby equivalent to a greater quantity of the latter; and the landlord is enabled to purchase a greater quantity of the conveniencies, ornaments, or luxuries, which he has occasion for.
Every increase in the real wealth of the society, every increase in the quantity of useful labour employed within it, tends indirectly to raise the real rent of land. A certain proportion of this labour naturally goes to the land. A greater number of men and cattle are era>. ployed in its cultivation, the produce increases with the increase of the stock which is thus employed in raising it, and the rent increases with the produce.
The contrary circumstances, the neglect of cultivation and improvement, the fall in the real price of any part of the rude produce of land, the rife in the real price of manufactures from the decay of manufacturing art and industry, the declension of the real wealth of the society, all tend, on the other hand, to lower the real rent
BOOK of land, to reduce the real wealth of the laud^_ l°sd, to diminish his power of purchasing either
the labour, or the produce of the labour of other
The whole annual produce of the land and labour of every country, or what comes to the fame thing, the whole price of that annual produce, naturally divides itself, it has already been observed, into three parts; the rent of land, the wages of labour, and the prosits of stock; and constitutes a revenue to three different orders of people; to those who live by rent, to those who live by wages, and to those who live by prosit These are the three great, original and constituent orders of every civilized society, from whose revenue that of every other order is ultimately derived.
The interest of the sirst of those three great orders, it appears from what has been just now said, is strictly and inseparably connected with the general interest of the society. Whatever either promotes or obstructs the one, necessarily promotes or obstructs the other. When the public deliberates concerning any regulation of commerce or police, the proprietors of land never can miflead it, with a view to promote the interest of their own particular order; at least, if they have any tolerable knowledge of that interest. They are, indeed, too often defective in this tolerable knowledge. They are the only one of the three orders whose revenue costs them neither labour nor care, but comes to them, a§
it it were, of its own accord, and independent of Chap. any plan or project of their own. That indo- XI
lence, which is the natural effect of the ease and security of their situation, renders them too Often, not only ignorant, but incapable of that application of mind which is necessary in order to foresee and understand the consequences of any public regulation.
'she interest of the second order, that of those 'who live by wages, is as strictly connected with the interest of the society as that of the sirst. The wages of the labourer, it has already been shewn, are never so high as when the demand for labour is continually rising, or when the quantity employed is every year increasing considerably. When this real wealth of the society becomes stationary, his wages are soon reduced to what is barely enough to enable him to bring up a family, or to continue the race of labourers. When the society declines, they fall even below this. The order of proprietors may, perhaps, gain more by the prosperity of the society, than that of labourers: but there is no order that suffers so cruelly from its decline. But though the interest of the labourer is strictly connected with that of the society, he is incapable either or comprehending that interest, or of understanding its connexion with his own. His condition leaves him no time to receive the necessary information, and his education and habits are commonly such as to render him unsit to judge even though he was fully informed. In the