rents would rise much beyond what they are 
at present. 
The land which is fit for potatoes, is fit for 
almost every other useful vegetable. If they 
occupied the same proportion of cultivated 
land which corn does at present, they would 
regulate, in the same manner, the rent of the 
greater part of other cultivated land
In some parts of Lancashire, it is pretended
I have been told, that bread of oatmeal is 
a heartier food for labouring people than 
wheaten bread, and I have frequently heard 
the same doctrine held in Scotland. I am, 
however, somewhat doubtful of the truth of 
it. The common people in Scotland, who are 
fed with oatmeal, are in general neither so 
strong nor so handsome as the same rank of 
people in England, who are fed with wheaten 
bread. They neither work so well, nor look 
so well; and as there is not the same difference 
between the people of fashion in the two 
countries, experience would seem to shew, 
that the food of the common people in Scotland 
is not so suitable to the human constitution 
as that of their neighbours of the same 
rank in England. But it seems to be otherwise 
with potatoes. The chairmen, porters
and coal-heavers in London, and those unfortunate 
women who live by prostitution, the 
strongest men and the most beautiful women 
perhaps in the British dominions, are said to 
be, the greater part of them, from the lowest 
rank of people in Ireland, who are generally 
fed with this root. No food can afford a more 
decisive proof of its nourishing quality, or of 
its being peculiarly suitable to the health of 
the human constitution. 
It is difficult to preserve potatoes through 
the year, and impossible to store them like 
corn, for two or three years together. The 
fear of not being able to sell them before they 
rot, discourages their cultivation, and is, perhaps, 
the chief obstacle to their ever becoming 
in any great country, like bread, the principal 
vegetable food of all the different ranks of the 
Part II.—Of the Produce of Land, which 
sometimes does, and sometimes does not, afford 
Human food seems to be the only produce of 
land, which always and necessarily affords 
some rent to the landlord. Other sorts of 
produce sometimes may, and sometimes may 
not, according to different circumstances
After food, clothing and lodging are the 
two great wants of mankind. 
Land, in its original rude state, can afford 
the materials of clothing and lodging to a 
much greater number of people than it can 
feed. In its improved state, it can sometimes 
feed a greater number of people than it can 
supply with those materials; at least in the 
way in which they require them, and are willing 
to pay for them. In the one state, therefore, 
there is always a superabundance of those 
materials, which are frequently, upon that account, 
of little or no value. In the other, 
there is often a scarcity, which necessarily 
augments their value. In the one state, a 
great part of them is thrown away as useless
and the price of what is used is considered as 
equal only to the labour and expense of fitting 
it for use, and can, therefore, afford no 
rent to the landlord. In the other, they are 
all made use of, and there is frequently a demand 
for more than can be had. Somebody 
is always willing to give more for every part 
of them, than what is sufficient to pay the expense 
of bringing them to market. Their 
price, therefore, can always afford some rent 
to the landlord
The skins of the larger animals were the 
original materials of clothing. Among nations 
of hunters and shepherds, therefore, 
whose food consists chiefly in the flesh of those 
animals, every man, by providing himself with 
food, provides himself with the materials of 
more clothing than he can wear. If there 
was no foreign commerce, the greater part of 
them would be thrown away as things of no 
value. This was probably the case among 
the hunting nations of North America, before 
their country was discovered by the Europeans, 
with whom they now exchange their surplus 
peltry, for blankets, fire-arms, and brandy, 
which gives it some value. In the present 
commercial state of the known world, the 
most barbarous nations, I believe, among 
whom land property is established, have some 
foreign commerce of this kind, and find among 
their wealthier neighbours such a demand for 
all the materials of clothing, which their land 
produces, and which can neither be wrought 
up nor consumed at home, as raises their price 
above what it costs to send them to those 
wealthier neighbors. It affords, therefore, 
some rent to the landlord. When the greater 
part of the Highland cattle were consumed 
on their own hills, the exportation of their 
hides made the most considerable article of 
the commerce of that country, and what they 
were exchanged for afforded some addition to 
the rent of the Highland estates. The wool 
of England, which in old times, could neither 
be consumed nor wrought up at home, found 
a market in the then wealthier and more industrious 
country of Flanders, and its price 
afforded something to the rent of the land 
which produced it. In countries not better 
cultivated than England was then, or than the 
Highlands of Scotland are now, and which 
had no foreign commerce, the materials of 
clothing would evidently be so superabundant
that a great part of them would be thrown 
away as useless, and no part could afford any 
rent to the landlord
The materials of lodging cannot always be