utmost height to which it is capable of rising
or to the price which pays the labour and expense 
of cultivating the land which furnishes 
them with food, as well as these are paid upon 
the greater part of other cultivated land
The business of the dairy, like the feeding 
of hogs and poultry, is originally carried on 
as a save-all. The cattle necessarily kept upon 
the farm produce more milk than either 
the rearing of their own young, or the consumption 
of the farmer's family requires; and 
they produce most at one particular season
But of all the productions of land, milk is 
perhaps the most perishable. In the warm 
season, when it is most abundant, it will scarce 
keep four-and-twenty hours. The farmer, by 
making it into fresh butter, stores a small part 
of it for a week; by making it into salt butter
for a year; and by making it into cheese
he stores a much greater part of it for several 
years. Part of all these is reserved for 
the use of his own family, the rest goes to 
market, in order to find the best price which 
is to be had, and which can scarce be so low 
as to discourage him from sending thither 
whatever is over and above the use of his own 
family. If it is very low indeed, he will be 
likely to manage his dairy in a very slovenly 
and dirty manner, and will scarce, perhaps, 
think it worth while to have a particular 
room or building on purpose for it, but will 
suffer the business to be carried on amidst 
the smoke, filth, and nastiness of his own 
kitchen, as was the case of almost all the farmers
dairies in Scotland thirty or forty years 
ago, and as is the case of many of them still. 
The same causes which gradually raise the 
price of butcher's meat, the increase of the 
demand, and, in consequence of the improvement 
of the country, the diminution of the 
quantity which can be fed at little or no expense
raise, in the same manner, that of the 
produce of the dairy, of which the price naturally 
connects with that of butcher's meat, or 
with the expense of feeding cattle. The increase 
of price pays for more labour, care
and cleanliness. The dairy becomes more 
worthy of the farmer's attention, and the quality 
of its produce gradually improves. The 
price at last gets so high, that it become worth 
while to employ some of the most fertile and 
best cultivated lands in feeding cattle merely 
for the purpose of the dairy; and when it has 
got to this height, it cannot well go higher
If it did, more land would soon be turned to 
this purpose. It seems to have got to this 
height through the greater part of England, 
where much good land is commonly employed 
in this manner. If you except the neighbourhood 
of a few considerable towns, it seems 
not yet to have got to this height anywhere in 
Scotland, where common farmers seldom employ 
much good land in raising food for cattle
merely for the purpose of the dairy. The 
price of the produce, though it has risen very 
considerably within these few years, is probably 
still too low to admit of it. The inferiority 
of the quality, indeed, compared with that 
of the produce of English dairies, is fully 
equal to that of the price. But this inferiority 
of quality is, perhaps, rather the effect of 
this lowness of price, than the cause of it. 
Though the quality was much better, the 
greater part of what is brought to market 
could not, I apprehend, in the present circumstances 
of the country, be disposed of at a 
much better price; and the present price, it 
is probable, would not pay the expense of the 
land and labour necessary for producing
much better quality. Through the greater 
part of England, notwithstanding the superiority 
of price, the dairy is not reckoned a more 
profitable employment of land than the raising 
of corn, or the fattening of cattle, the two great 
objects of agriculture. Through the greater 
part of Scotland, therefore, it cannot yet be 
even so profitable
The lands of no country, it is evident, can 
ever be completely cultivated and improved
till once the price of every produce, which 
human industry in obliged to raise upon them, 
has got so high as to pay for the expense of 
complete improvement and cultivation. In 
order to do this, the price of each particular 
produce must be sufficient, first, to pay the 
rent of good corn land, as it is that which regulates 
the rent of the greater part of other 
cultivated land; and, secondly, to pay the labour 
and expense of the farmer, as well as 
they are commonly paid upon good corn land
or, in other words, to replace with the ordinary 
profits the stock which he employs about 
it. This rise in the price of each particular 
produce, must evidently be previous to the 
improvement and cultivation of the land which 
is destined for raising it. Gain is the end of 
all improvement; and nothing could deserve 
that name, of which loss was to be the necessary 
consequence. But loss must be the necessary 
consequence of improving land for the 
sake of a produce of which the price could 
never bring back the expense. If the complete 
improvement and cultivation of the country 
be, as it most certainly is, the greatest of 
all public advantages, this rise in the price of 
all those different sorts of rude produce, instead 
of being considered as a public calamity, 
ought to be regarded as the necessary forerunner 
and attendant of the greatest of all 
public advantages
This rise, too, in the nominal or money 
price of all these different sorts of rude produce
has been the effect, not of any degradation 
in the value of silver, but of a rise in 
their real price. They have become worth, 
not only a greater quantity of silver, but a 
greater quantity of labour and subsistence 
than before. As it costs a greater quantity 
of labour and subsistence to bring them to 
market, so, when they are brought thither 
they represent, or are equivalent to a greater