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I.

BOOK wheat amounted to, they were bound by capìtulation to pay for the furplus at the rate of four feftertii, or eight-pence fterling, the peck; and this had probably been reckoned the moderate and reasonable, that is, the ordinary or average contract price of thofe times; it is equal to about one-and-twenty fhillings the quarter. Eightand-twenty fhillings the quarter was, before the late years of scarcity, the ordinary contract price of English wheat, which in quality is inferior to the Sicilian, and generally fells for a lower price in the European market. The value of filver, therefore, in thofe ancient times, muft have been to its value in the prefent, as three to four inverfely; that is, three ounces of filver would then have purchased the fame quantity of labour and commodities which four ounces will do at prefent. When we read in Pliny, therefore, that Seius* bought a white nightingale, as a present for the empress Agrippina, at the price of fix thousand feftertii, equal to about fifty pounds of our present money; and that Afinius Celer + purchased a furmullet at the price of eight thoufand feftertii, equal to about fixty-fix pounds thirteen fhillings and four-pence of our prefent money; the extravagance of those prices, how much foever it may furprife us, is apt, notwithstanding, to appear to us about one-third lefs than it really was. quantity of labour and given away for them, was about one-third more than their nominal price is apt to express to us

Their real price, the fubfiftence which was

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XI.

in the present times. Seius gave for the nightin- CHA P. gale the command of a quantity of labour and fubfiftence equal to what 661. 13s. 4d. would purchase in the prefent times; and Afinius Celer gave for the furmullet the command of a quantity equal to what 887. 17s. 9d., would purchase. What occafioned the extravagance of thofe high prices was, not fo much the abundance of filver, as the abundance of labour and fubfiftence, of which thofe Romans had the difpofal, beyond what was neceffary for their own ufe. The quantity of filver, of which they had the difpofal, was a good deal less than what the command of the fame quantity of labour and fubfiftence would have procured to them in the prefent times.

Second Sort.

THE fecond fort of rude produce of which the price rifes in the progrefs of improvement, is that which human induftry can multiply in proportion to the demand. It confifts in those useful plants and animals, which, in uncultivated countries, nature produces with fuch profuse abundance, that they are of little or no value, and which, as cultivation advances, are therefore forced to give place to fome more profitable produce. During a long period in the progress of improvement, the quantity of these is continually diminishing, while at the fame time the demand for them is continually increafing. Their real value, therefore, the real quantity of labour which they will purchafe or command, gradually rises, till at last it gets fo

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BOOK high as to render them as profitable a produce 1. as any thing else which human induftry can raise

upon the moft fertile and beft cultivated land. When it has got fo high it cannot well go higher. If it did, more land and more industry would foon be employed to increase their quantity.

WHEN the price of cattle, for example, rifes fo high that it is as profitable to cultivate land in order to raise food for them, as in order to raife food for man, it cannot well go higher. If it did, more corn land would foon be turned into pasture. The extenfion of tillage, by diminishing the quantity of wild pafture, diminishes the quantity of butcher's-meat which the country naturally produces without labour or cultivation, and by increafing the number of those who have either corn, or, what comes to the fame thing, the price of corn, to give in exchange for it, increafes the demand. The price of butcher's-meat, therefore, and confequently of cattle, must gradually rife till it gets fo high, that it becomes as profitable to employ the most fertile and beft cultivated lands in raising food for them as in raifing corn. But it must always be late in the progrefs of improvement before tillage can be so far extended as to raise the price of cattle to this height; and till it has got to this height, if the country is advancing at all, their price must be continually rifing. There are, perhaps, fome parts of Europe in which the price of cattle has not yet got to this height. It had not got to this height in any part of Scotland before the union. Had the Scotch cattle

been

XI.

been always confined to the market of Scotland, CHA P. in a country in which the quantity of land, which can be applied to no other purpofe but the feeding of cattle, is fo great in proportion to what can be applied to other purposes, it is fcarce poffible, perhaps, that their price could ever have risen so high as to render it profitable to cultivate land for the fake of feeding them. In England, the price of cattle, it has already been obferved, feems, in the neighbourhood of London, to have got to this height about the beginning of the last century; but it was much later probably before it got to it through the greater part of the remoter counties; in fome of which, perhaps, it may fcarce yet have got to it. Of all the different fubftances, however, which compose this second fort of rude produce, cattle is, perhaps, that of which the price, in the progress of improvement, firft rifes to this height.

TILL the price of cattle, indeed, has got to this height, it seems scarce poffible that the greater part, even of those lands which are capable of the highest cultivation, can be completely cultivated. In all farms too distant from any town to carry manure from it, that is, in the far greater part of thofe of every extenfive country, the quantity of well-cultivated land must be in proportion to the quantity of manure which the farm itself produces; and this again must be in proportion to the stock of cattle which are maintained upon it. The land is manured either by pafturing the cattle upon it, or by feeding them in the ftable, and from thence

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1.

BOOK thence carrying out their dung to it. But unless
the price of the cattle be fufficient to pay both
the rent and profit of cultivated land, the farmer
cannot afford to pafture them upon it; and he
can fti lefs afford to feed them in the ftable.
It is with the produce of improved and culti-
vated land only, that cattle can be fed in the
ftable; because to collect the fcanty and scattered
produce of waste and unimproved lands would
require too much labour and be too expensive.
If the price of the cattle, therefore, is not suffi-
cient to pay for the produce of improved and
cultivated land, when they are allowed to pasture
it, that price will be fill lefs fufficient to pay
for that produce when it must be collected with
a good deal of additional labour, and brought
into the ftable to them. In thefe circumstances,
therefore, no more cattle can, with profit, be
fed in the ftable than what are neceffary for til-
lage. But thefe can never afford manure enough
for keeping conftantly in good condition, all the
lands which they are capable of cultivating.
What they afford being infufficient for the whole
farm, will naturally be referved for the lands to
which it can be most advantageoufly or conve-
niently applied; the most fertile, or thofe, perhaps,
in the neighbourhood of the farm-yard. These,
therefore, will be kept conftantly in good con-
dition and fit for tillage. The reft will, the
greater part of them, be allowed to lie wafte,
producing fcarce any thing but some miferable
pafture, juft fufficient to keep alive a few ftrag-
gling, half-ftarved cattle; the farm, though

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