a component part altogether different 
from the wages of labour, and regulated by 
quite different principles
In this state of things, the whole produce 
of labour does not always belong to the labourer
He must in most cases share it with 
the owner of the stock which employs him. 
Neither is the quantity of labour commonly 
employed in acquiring or producing any 
commodity, the only circumstance which can 
regulate the quantity which it ought commonly 
to purchase, command or exchange for. 
An additional quantity, it is evident, must be 
due for the profits of the stock which advanced 
the wages and furnished the materials of 
that labour
As soon as the land of any country has all 
become private property, the landlords, like 
all other men, love to reap where they never 
sowed, and demand a rent even for its natural 
produce. The wood of the forest, the 
grass of the field, and all the natural fruits of 
the earth, which, when land was in common
cost the labourer only the trouble of gathering 
them, come, even to him, to have an additional 
price fixed upon them. He must 
then pay for the licence to gather them, and 
must give up to the landlord a portion of 
what his labour either collects or produces
This portion, or, what comes to the same 
thing, the price of this portion, constitutes the 
rent of land, and in the price of the greater 
part of commodities, makes a third component 
The real value of all the different component 
parts of price, it must be observed, is measured 
by the quantity of labour which they 
can, each of them, purchase or command
Labour measures the value, not only of that 
part of price which resolves itself into labour
but of that which resolves itself into rent, and 
of that which resolves itself into profit
In every society, the price of every commodity 
finally resolves itself into some one or 
other, or all of those three parts; and in every 
improved society, all the three enter, more or 
less, as component parts, into the price of the 
far greater part of commodities
In the price of corn, for example, one part 
pays the rent of the landlord, another pays the 
wages or maintenance of the labourers and labouring 
cattle employed in producing it, and 
the third pays the profit of the farmer. These 
three parts seem either immediately or ultimately 
to make up the whole price of corn. 
A fourth part, it may perhaps be thought is 
necessary for replacing the stock of the farmer
or for compensating the wear and tear of 
his labouring cattle, and other instruments of 
husbandry. But it must be considered, that 
the price of any instrument of husbandry, such 
as a labouring horse, is itself made up of the 
same three parts; the rent of the land upon 
which he is reared, the labour of tending and 
rearing him, and the profits of the farmer, who 
advances both the rent of this land, and the 
wages of this labour. Though the price of the 
corn, therefore, may pay the price as well as 
the maintenance of the horse, the whole price 
still resolves itself, either immediately or ultimately
into the same three parts of rent, labour
and profit
In the price of flour or meal, we must add 
to the price of the corn, the profits of the miller
and the wages of his servants; in the price 
of bread, the profits of the baker, and the 
wages of his servants; and in the price of 
both, the labour of transporting the corn from 
the house of the farmer to that of the miller
and from that of the miller to that of the baker, 
together with the profits of those who advance 
the wages of that labour
The price of flax resolves itself into the 
same three parts as that of corn. In the price 
of linen we must add to this price the wages 
of the flax-dresser, of the spinner, of the weaver, 
of the bleacher, &c. together with the 
profits of their respective employers
As any particular commodity comes to be 
more manufactured, that part of the price 
which resolves itself into wages and profit
comes to be greater in proportion to that which 
resolves itself into rent. In the progress of 
the manufacture, not only the number of profits 
increase, but every subsequent profit is 
greater than the foregoing; because the capital 
from which it is derived must always be 
greater. The capital which employs the weavers
for example, must be greater than that 
which employs the spinners; because it not 
only replaces that capital with its profits, but 
pays, besides, the wages of the weavers: and 
the profits must always bear some proportion 
to the capital. 
In the most improved societies, however, 
there are always a few commodities of which 
the price resolves itself into two parts only, 
the wages of labour, and the profits of stock; 
and a still smaller number, in which it consists 
altogether in the wages of labour. In 
the price of sea-fish, for example, one part 
pays the labour of the fisherman, and the other 
the profits of the capital employed in the fishery. 
Rent very seldom makes any part of it, 
though it does sometimes, as I shall shew 
hereafter. It is otherwise, at least through 
the greater part of Europe, in river fisheries. 
A salmon fishery pays a rent; and rent, though 
it cannot well be called the rent of land, makes 
a part of the price of a salmon, as well as 
wages and profit. In some parts of Scotland
a few poor people make a trade of gathering
along the sea-shore, those little variegated 
stones commonly known by the name of Scotch 
pebbles. The price which is paid to them by 
the stone-cutter, is altogether the wages of 
their labour; neither rent nor profit makes any 
part of it. 
But the whole price of any commodity must 
still finally resolve itself into some one or other