would be of vastly greater value than that of 
the foregoing. But there is no country in 
which the whole annual produce is employed in 
maintaining the industrious. The idle everywhere 
consume a great part of it; and, according 
to the different proportions in which 
it is annually divided between these two different 
orders of people, its ordinary or average 
value must either annually increase or diminish
or continue the same from one year 
to another. 
There is in every society or neighbourhood 
an ordinary or average rate, both of wages 
and profit, in every different employment of 
labour and stock. This rate is naturally regulated, 
as I shall show hereafter, partly by 
the general circumstances of the society, their 
riches or poverty, their advancing, stationary
or declining condition, and partly by the particular 
nature of each employment
There is likewise in every society or neighbourhood 
an ordinary or average rate of rent
which is regulated, too, as I shall shew hereafter, 
partly by the general circumstances of 
the society or neighbourhood in which the 
land is situated, and partly by the natural 
improved fertility of the land
These ordinary or average rates may be 
called the natural rates of wages, profit and 
rent, at the time and place in which they 
commonly prevail. 
When the price of any commodity is neither 
more nor less than what is sufficient to pay 
the rent of the land, the wages of the labour
and the profits of the stock employed in raising
preparing, and bringing it to market, according 
to their natural rates, the commodity 
is then sold for what may be called its natural 
The commodity is then sold precisely for 
what it is worth, or for what it really costs 
the person who brings it to market; for 
though, in common language, what is called 
the prime cost of any commodity does not 
comprehend the profit of the person who is 
sell it again, yet, if he sells it at a price which 
does not allow him the ordinary rate of profit 
in his neighbourhood, he is evidently a loser 
by the trade; since, by employing his stock 
in some other way, he might have made that 
profit. His profit, besides, is his revenue
the proper fund of his subsistence. As, 
while he is preparing and bringing the goods 
to market, he advances to his workmen their 
wages, or their subsistence, so he advances to 
himself, in the same manner, his own subsistence
which is generally suitable to the profit 
which he may reasonably expect from the sale 
of his goods. Unless they yield him this 
profit, therefore, they do not repay him what 
they may very properly be said to have really 
cost him. 
Though the price, therefore, which leaves 
him this profit, is not always the lowest at 
which a dealer may sometimes sell his goods
it is the lowest at which he is likely to sell 
them for any considerable time; at least 
where there is perfect liberty, or where he 
may change his trade as often as he pleases. 
The actual price at which any commodity is 
commonly sold, is called its market price. It 
may either be above, or below, or exactly the 
same with its natural price
The market price of every particular commodity 
is regulated by the proportion between 
the quantity which is actually brought to 
market, and the demand of those who are 
willing to pay the natural price of the commodity
or the whole value of the rent, labour, 
and profit, which must be paid in order to 
bring it thither, Such people may be called 
the effectual demanders, and their demand the 
effectual demand; since it may be sufficient 
to effectuate the bringing of the commodity 
to market. It is different from the absolute 
demand. A very poor man may be said, in 
some sense, to have a demand for a coach and 
six; he might like to have it; but his demand 
is not an effectual demand, as the commodity 
can never he brought to market in 
order to satisfy it. 
When the quantity of any commodity which 
is brought to market falls short of the effectual 
demand, all those who are willing to pay 
the whole value of the rent, wages, and profit
which must he paid in order to bring it thither
cannot be supplied with the quantity which 
they want. Rather than want it altogether
some of them will be willing to give more. A 
competition will immediately begin among 
them, and the market price will rise more or 
less above the natural price, according as 
either the greatness of the deficiency, or the 
wealth and wanton luxury of the competitors
happen to animate more or less the eagerness 
of the competition. Among competitors of 
equal wealth and luxury, the same deficiency 
will generally occasion a more or less eager 
competition, according as the acquisition of 
the commodity happens to be of more or less 
importance to them. Hence the exorbitant 
price of the necessaries of life during the 
blockade of a town, or in a famine
When the quantity brought to market exceeds 
the effectual demand, it cannot be all 
sold to those who are willing to pay the whole 
value of the rent, wages, and profit, which 
must be paid in order to bring it thither
Some part must be sold to those who are 
willing to pay less, and the low price which