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mon people in Scotland, who are fed with oat- CHA P. meal, are in general neither fo ftrong nor fo handfome as the fame rank of people in England who are fed with wheaten bread. They neither work fo well, nor look fo well; and as there is not the fame difference between the people of fashion in the two countries, experience would feem to fhow, that the food of the common people in Scotland is not fo fuitable to the human conftitution as that of their neighbours of the fame rank in England. But it seems to be otherwife with potatoes. The chairmen, porters, and coal-heavers in London, and those unfortunate women who live by proftitution, the strongeft men and the most beautiful women perhaps in the British Dominions, are faid to be, the greater part of them, from the lowest rank of people in Ireland, who are generally fed with this root. No food can afford a more decifive proof of its nourishing quality, or of its being peculiarly fuitable to the health of the human conftitution.
It is difficult to preferve potatoes through the year, and impoffible to ftore them like corn, for two or three years together. The fear of not being able to fell them before they rot, difcourages their cultivation, and is, perhaps, the chief obftacle to their ever becoming in any great country, like bread, the principal vegetable food of all the different ranks of the people.
Of the Produce of Land which fometimes does, and sometimes does not, afford Rent.
UMAN food feems to be the only produce
of land which always and neceffarily affords fome rent to the landlord. Other forts of produce fometimes may and fometimes may not, according to different circumftances.
After food, cloathing and lodging are the two great wants of mankind.
Land in its original rude state can afford the materials of cloathing and lodging to a much greater number of people than it can feed. In its improved state it can fometimes feed a greater number of people than it can fupply with those materials; at least, in the way in which they require them, and are willing to pay for them. In the one state, therefore, there is always a fuperabundance of those materials, which are frequently, upon that account, of little or no value. In the other there is often a scarcity, which neceffarily augments their value. In the one state a great part of them is thrown away as ufelefs, and the price of what is ufed is confidered as equal only to the labour and expence of fitting it for ufe, and can, therefore, afford no rent to the landlord. In the other they are all made ufe of, and there is frequently a demand for more than can be had. Somebody is always willing to give more for every part of them than
what is fufficient to pay the expence of bringing C HA P. them to market. Their price, therefore, can always afford fome rent to the landlord.
The skins of the larger animals were the original materials of cloathing. Among nations of hunters and fhepherds, therefore, whofe food confifts chiefly in the flesh of those animals, every man, by providing himself with food, provides himself with the materials of more cloathing than he can wear. If there was no foreign commerce, the greater part of them would be thrown away as things of no value. This was probably the cafe among the hunting nations of North America, before their country was dif covered by the Europeans, with whom they now exchange their furplus peltry, for blankets, fire-arms, and brandy, which gives it fome value, In the prefent commercial ftate of the known world, the moft barbarous nations, I believe, among whom land property is established, have fome foreign commerce of this kind, and find among their wealthier neighbours fuch a demand for all the materials of cloathing, which their · land produces, and which can neither be wrought up nor confumed at home, as raises their price above what it cofts to fend them to thofe wealthier neighbours. It affords, therefore, fome rent to the landlord. When the greater part of the highland cattle were confumed on their own hills, the exportation of their hides made the moft confiderable article of the commerce of that country, and what they were exchanged for afforded fome addition to the
BOOK rent of the highland eftates. The wool of Eng
land, which in old times could neither be confumed nor wrought up at home, found a market in the then wealthier and more industrious country of Flanders, and its price afforded fomething to the rent of the land which produced it. In countries not better cultivated than England was then, or than the Highlands of Scotland are now, and which had no foreign commerce, the materials of cloathing would evidently be fo fuperabundant, that a great part of them would be thrown away as ufelefs, and no part could afford any rent to the landlord.
The materials of lodging cannot always be tranfported to fo great a diftance as thofe of cloathing, and do not fo readily become an object of foreign commerce. When they are fuperabundant in the country which produces them, it frequently happens, even in the prefent commercial ftate of the world, that they are of no value to the landlord. A good ftone quarry in the neighbourhood of London would afford a confiderable rent. In many parts of Scotland and Wales it affords none. Barren timber for building is of great value in a populous and well-cultivated country, and the land which produces it affords a confiderable rent. But in many parts of North America the landlord would be much obliged to anybody who would carry away the greater part of his large trees. In fome parts of the highlands of Scotland the bark is the only part of the wood which, for want of roads and water-carriage, can be fent
to market. The timber is left to rot upon the CHA P. ground. When the materials of lodging are fo fuperabundant, the part made use of is worth only the labour and expence of fitting it for that ufe. It affords no rent to the landlord, who generally grants the ufe of it to whoever takes the trouble of asking it. The demand of wealthier nations, however, fometimes enables him to get a rent for it. The paving of the ftreets of London has enabled the owners of fome barren rocks on the coaft of Scotland to draw a rent from what never afforded any before. The woods of Norway and of the coasts of the Baltic, find a market in many parts of Great Britain which they could not find at home, and thereby afford fome rent to their proprietors.
Countries are populous, not in proportion to the number of people whom their produce can cloath and lodge, but in proportion to that of those whom it can feed. When food is provided, it is eafy to find the neceffary cloathing and lodging. But though these are at hand, it may often be difficult to find food. In fome parts even of the British dominions, what is called a House, may be built by one day's labour of one man. The fimpleft fpecies of cloathing, the skins of animals, require fomewhat more labour to dress and prepare them for use. They do not, however, require a great deal. Among favage and barbarous nations, a hundredth or little more than a hundredth part of the labour of the whole year, will be fufficient to provide them with fuch cloathing and lodging as fatisfy