interest for the stock laid out by the landlord 
upon its improvement. This, no doubt, may 
be partly the case upon some occasions; for it 
can scarce ever be more than partly the case
The landlord demands a rent even for unimproved 
land, and the supposed interest or profit 
upon the expense of improvement is generally 
an addition to this original rent. Those 
improvements, besides, are not always made 
by the stock of the landlord, but sometimes 
by that of the tenant. When the lease comes 
to be renewed, however, the landlord commonly 
demands the same augmentation of rent 
as if they had been all made by his own. 
He sometimes demands rent for what is 
altogether incapable of human improvements
Kelp is a species of sea-weed, which, when 
burnt, yields an alkaline salt, useful for making 
glass, soup, and for several other purposes. 
It grows in several parts of Great Britain, 
particularly in Scotland, upon such rocks only 
as lie within the high-water mark, which are 
twice every day covered with the sea, and of 
which the produce, therefore, was never 
augmented by human industry. The landlord
however, whose estate is bounded by a kelp 
shore of this kind, demands a rent for it as 
much as for his corn-fields
The sea in the neighbourhood of the islands 
of Shetland is more than commonly abundant 
in fish, which makes a great part of the 
subsistence of their inhabitants. But, in order 
to profit by the produce of the water, they 
must have a habitation upon the neighbouring 
land. The rent of the landlord is in proportion
not to what the farmer can make by the 
land, but to what he can make both by the 
land and the water. It is partly paid in sea-fish
and one of the very few instances in 
which rent makes a part of the price of that 
commodity, is to be found in that country
The rent of land, therefore, considered as 
the price paid for the use of the land, is naturally 
a monopoly price. It is not at all proportioned 
to what the landlord may have laid 
out upon the improvement of the land, or to 
what he can afford to take, but to what the 
farmer can afford to give
Such parts only of the produce of land can 
commonly be brought to market, of which the 
ordinary price is sufficient to replace the stock 
which must be employed in bringing them 
thither, together with its ordinary profits. If 
the ordinary price is more than this, the surplus 
part of it will naturally go to the rent of 
the land. If it is not more, though the commodity 
may be brought to market, it can afford 
no rent to the landlord. Whether the 
price is, or is not more, depends upon the demand
There are some parts of the produce of land
for which the demand must always be such as 
to afford a greater price than what is sufficient 
to bring them to market, and there are 
others for which it either may or may not be 
such as to afford this greater price. The 
former must always afford a rent to the landlord
The latter sometimes may and sometimes may 
not, according to different circumstances. 
Rent, it is to be observed, therefore, enters 
into the composition of the price of commodities 
in a different way from wages and profit
High or low wages and profit are the 
causes of high or low price; high or low rent 
is the effect of it. It is because high or low 
wages and profit must be paid, in order to 
bring a particular commodity to market, that 
its price is high or low. But it is because its 
price is high or low, a great deal more, or 
very little more, or no more, than what is sufficient 
to pay those wages and profit, that it 
affords a high rent, or a low rent, or no rent 
at all. 
The particular consideration, first, of those 
parts of the produce of land which always afford 
some rent; secondly, of those which sometimes 
may and sometimes may not afford rent
and, thirdly, of the variations which, in the 
different periods of improvement, naturally 
take place in the relative value of those two 
different sorts of rude produce, when compared 
both with one another and with manufactured 
commodities, will divide this chapter 
into three parts
Part I.—Of the Produce of Land which 
always affords Rent
As men, like all other animals, naturally multiply 
in proportion to the means of their subsistence
food is always more or less in demand
It can always purchase or command 
a greater or smaller quantity of labour, and 
somebody can always be found who is willing to 
do something in order to obtain it. The 
quantity of labour, indeed, which it can purchase, 
is not always equal to what it could 
maintain, if managed in the most economical 
manner, on account of the high wages which 
are sometimes given to labour; but it can always 
purchase such a quantity of labour as it 
can maintain, according to the rate at which 
that sort of labour is commonly maintained in 
the neighbourhood
But land, in almost any situation, produces 
a greater quantity of food than what is sufficient 
to maintain all the labour necessary for 
bringing it to market, in the most liberal way 
in which that labour is ever maintained. The 
surplus, too, is always more than sufficient to 
replace the stock which employed that labour
together with its profit. Something, therefore, 
always remains for a rent to the landlord
The most desert moors in Norway and Scotland 
produce some sort of pasture for cattle
of which the milk and the increase are always 
more than sufficient, not only to maintain all 
the labour necessary for tending them, and to