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BOOK butter, ftores a small part of it for a week: by making it into falt butter, for a year: and by making it into cheese, he ftores a much greater part of it for several years. Part of all these is referved for the ufe of his own family. The reft goes to market, in order to find the best price which is to be had, and which can fcarce be fo low as to difcourage him from fending 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 fuffer the business to be carried on amidst the smoke, filth, and naftiness of his own kitchen; as was the cafe of almost all the farmers' dairies in Scotland thirty or forty years ago, and as is the cafe of many of them ftill. The fame caufes which gradually raise the price of butcher's-meat, the increase of the demand, and, in confequence of the improvement of the country, the diminution of the quantity which can be fed at little or no expence, raife, in the fame 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 cleanlinefs. The dairy becomes more worthy of the farmer's attention, and the quality of its produce gradually improves. The price at last gets fo high that it becomes worth while to employ fome of the most fertile and beft 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 foon 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 confiderable towns, it seems not yet to have got to this height anywhere in Scotland, where common farmers feldom employ much good land in raising food for cattle merely for the purpose of the dairy. The price of the produce, though it has rifen very confiderably within these few years, is probably ftill 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 prefent circumstances of the country, be difpofed of at a much better price; and the prefent price, it is probable, would not pay the expence of the land and labour neceffary for producing a much better quality. Through the greater part of Eng. land, notwithstanding the fuperiority of price, the dairy is not reckoned a more profitable employment of land than the raifing 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 fo profitable.
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 fo high as to pay for the expence of complete improvement and cultivation. In order to do this, the price of each particular produce muft be fufficient, first, 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 fecondly, 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 profits the ftock 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 raifing it. Gain is the end of all improvement, and nothing could deferve that name of which lofs was to be the neceffary confequence. But lofs must be the neceffary confequence of improving land for the fake of a produce of which the price could never bring back the expence. If the complete improvement and cultivation of the country be, as it moft certainly is, the greatest of all public advantages, this rife in the price of all those different forts of rude produce, inftead of being confidered as a public calamity, ought to be regarded as the neceffary forerunner and attendant of the greatest of all public advantages.
This rife too in the nominal or money-price of all thofe different forts of rude produce has
been the effect, not of any degradation in the CHA P.. value of filver, but of a rife in their real price, They have become worth, not only a greater quantity of filver, but a greater quantity of labour and fubfiftence than before. As it cofts a greater quantity of labour and fubfiftence to bring them to market, fo when they are brought thither, they reprefent or are equivalent to a greater quantity.
The third and laft fort of rude produce, of which the price naturally rifes in the progrefs 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 progrefs of improvement, yet, according as different accidents happen to render the efforts of human industry more or lefs fuccefsful in augmenting the quantity, it may happen fometimes even to fall, fometimes, to continue the fame in very different periods of improvement, and fometimes to rife more or lefs in the fame period.
There are fome forts of rude produce which nature has rendered a kind of appendages to other forts; fo that the quantity of the one which any country can afford, is neceffarily limited by that of the other. The quantity of wool or of raw hides, for example, which any country
BOOK country can afford, is neceffarily limited by the number of great and fmall cattle that are kept in it. The state of its improvement, and the nature of its agriculture, again neceffarily determine this number.
The fame caufes, which, in the progrefs of improvement, gradually raife the price of butcher's-meat, fhould have the fame effect, it may be thought, upon the prices of wool and raw hides, and raise them too nearly in the fame proportion. It probably would be fo, if in the rude beginnings of improvement the market for the latter commodities was confined 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 confined to the country which produces it. Ireland, and fome part of British America indeed, carry on a confiderable trade in falt provifions; but they are, I believe, the only countries in the commercial world which do so, or which export to other countries any confiderable part of their butcher's-meat.
The market for wool and raw hides, on the contrary, is in the rude beginnings of improvement very feldom confined to the country which produces them. They can eafily be transported to diftant 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 occafion a demand