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comes always much cheaper to market than that CHA P.. which is the principal or fole fund of the workman's fubfiftence. The fine manufacture, on the other hand, was not in thofe times carried on in England, but in the rich and commercial country of Flanders; and it was probably conducted then, in the fame manner as now, by people who derived the whole, or the principal part of their fubfiftence from it. It was befides a foreign manufacture, and muft have paid fome duty, the ancient cuftom 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 reftrain, by high duties, the importation of foreign manufactures, but rather to encourage it, in order that merchants might be enabled to fupply, at as eafy a rate as poffible, the great men with the conveniencies and luxuries which they wanted, and which the induftry of their own country could not afford them.
The confideration of these circumstances may perhaps in fome measure explain to us why, in those ancient times, the real price of the coarse manufacture was, in proportion to that of the fine, fo much lower than in the present times.
CONCLUSION OF THE CHAPTER.
SHALL conclude this very long chapter with obferving, that every improvement in the cir cumstances of the fociety tends either directly or indirectly to raise the real rent of land, to in crease the real wealth of the landlord, his power of purchafing the labour, or the produce of the labour of other people.
The extenfion of improvement and cultivation tends to raise it directly. The landlord's fhare of the produce neceffarily increases with the increase of the produce.
That rife in the real price of those parts of the rude produce of land, which is firft the effect of extended improvement and cultivation, and afterwards the cause of their being still further extended, the rife in the price of cattle, for ex ample, tends too to raise the rent of land di rectly, and in a ftill greater proportion. The real value of the landlord's fhare, his real com mand of the labour of other people, not only rifes with the real value of the produce, but the proportion of his fhare to the whole produce rifes with it. That produce, after the rife in its real price, requires no more labour to collect it than before. A fmaller proportion of it will, therefore, be sufficient to replace, with the ordi nary profit, the ftock which employs that labour. A greater proportion of it muft, confequently, belong to the landlord.
All thofe improvements in the productive c HA P. powers of labour, which tend directly to reduce the real price of manufactures, tend indirectly to raife the real rent of land. The landlord ex, changes that part of his rude produce, which is over and above his own confumption, or what comes to the fame thing, the price of that part of it, for manufactured produce. Whatever reduces 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 occafion for.
Every increase in the real wealth of the fociety, every increase in the quantity of useful labour employed within it, tends indirectly to raife the real rent of land. A certain proportion of this labour naturally goes to the land. A greater number of men and cattle are employed in its cultivation, the produce increases with the increase of the ftock which is thus employed in raising it, and the rent increases with the produce.
The contrary circumftances, 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 declenfion of the real wealth of the fociety, all tend, on the other hand, to lower the real rent
BOOK of land, to reduce the real wealth of the land
lord, to diminish his power of purchafing either the labour, or the produce of the labour of other people.
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 profits of ftock; 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 profit. These are the three great, original and conftituent orders of every civilized fociety, from whose revenue that of every other order is ultimately derived.
The intereft of the firft of thofe three great orders, it appears from what has been juft now faid, is ftrictly and infeparably connected with the general intereft of the fociety. Whatever either promotes or obftructs the one, neceffarily promotes or obftructs the other. When the public deliberates concerning any regulation. of commerce or police, the proprietors of land never can mislead it, with a view to promote the intereft of their own particular order; at least, if they have any tolerable knowledge of that intereft. They are, indeed, too often defective in this tolerable knowledge. They are the only one of the three orders whofe revenue costs them neither labour nor care, but comes to them, as
it were, of its own accord, and independent of CHA P. any plan or project of their own. lence, which is the natural effect of the ease and fecurity of their fituation, renders them too often, not only ignorant, but incapable of that application of mind which is neceffary in order to forefee and understand the confequences of any public regulation.
The intereft of the fecond order, that of thofe who live by wages, is as ftrictly connected with the intereft of the society as that of the first. The wages of the labourer, it has already been fhewn, are never fo high as when the demand for labour is continually rifing, or when the quantity employed is every year increafing confiderably. When this real wealth of the fociety becomes ftationary, his wages are foon reduced to what is barely enough to enable him to bring up a family, or to continue the race of labourers. When the fociety declines, they fall even below this. The order of proprietors may, perhaps, gain more by the profperity of the fociety, than that of labourers: but there is no order that fuffers fo cruelly from its decline. But though the intereft of the labourer is ftrictly connected with that of the fociety, he is incapable either or comprehending that intereft, or of underftanding its connexion with his own. His condition leaves him no time to receive the neceffary information, and his education and habits are commonly fuch as to render him unfit to judge even though he was fully informed.