were fit for foreign sale. The extension 
and improvement of these last could not 
take place but in consequence of the extension 
and improvement of agriculture, the last and 
greatest effect of foreign commerce, and of 
the manufactures immediately introduced by 
it, and which I shall now proceed to explain. 
The increase and riches of commercial and 
manufacturing towns contributed to the improvement 
and cultivation of the countries to 
which they belonged, in three different ways: 
First, by affording a great and ready market 
for the rude produce of the country, they 
gave encouragement to its cultivation and further 
improvement. This benefit was not even 
confined to the countries in which they were 
situated, but extended more or less to all those 
with which they had any dealings. To all of 
them they afforded a market for some part 
either of their rude or manufactured produce
and, consequently, gave some encouragement 
to the industry and improvement of all. Their 
own country, however, on account of its neighbourhood
necessarily derived the greatest benefit 
from this market. Its rude produce being 
charged with less carriage, the traders 
could pay the growers a better price for it, 
and yet afford it as cheap to the consumers as 
that of more distant countries
Secondly, the wealth acquired by the inhabitants 
of cities was frequently employed in 
purchasing such lands as were to be sold, of 
which a great part would frequently be uncultivated
Merchants are commonly ambitious 
of becoming country gentlemen, and, when 
they do, they are generally the best of all improvers
A merchant is accustomed to employ 
his money chiefly in profitable projects; 
whereas a mere country gentleman is accustomed 
to employ it chiefly in expense. The one 
often sees his money go from him, and return 
to him again with a profit; the other, when 
once he parts with it, very seldom expects to 
see any more of it. Those different habits 
naturally affect their temper and disposition 
in every sort of business. The merchant is 
commonly a bold, a country gentleman a timid 
undertaker. The one is not afraid to lay 
out at once a large capital upon the improvement 
of his land, when he has a probable prospect 
of raising the value of it in proportion to 
the expense; the other, if he has any capital, 
which is not always the case, seldom ventures 
to employ it in this manner. If he improves 
at all, it is commonly not with a capital, but 
with what he can save out of his annual revenue. 
Whoever has had the fortune to live in 
a mercantile town, situated in an unimproved 
country, must have frequently observed how 
much more spirited the operations of merchants 
were in this way, than those of mere country 
gentlemen. The habits, besides, of order, economy, 
and attention, to which mercantile 
business naturally forms a merchant, render 
him much fitter to execute, with profit and 
success, any project of improvement
Thirdly, and lastly, commerce and manufactures 
gradually introduced order and good 
government, and with them the liberty and security 
of individuals, among the inhabitants 
of the country, who had before lived almost 
in a continual state of war with their neighbours, 
and of servile dependency upon their 
superiors. This, though it has been the least 
observed, is by far the most important of all 
their effects. Mr Hume is the only writer 
who, so far as I know, has hitherto taken notice 
of it. 
In a country which has neither foreign commerce 
nor any of the finer manufactures, a 
great proprietor, having nothing for which he 
can exchange the greater part of the produce 
of his lands which is over and above the maintenance 
of the cultivators, consumes the whole 
in rustic hospitality at home. If this surplus 
produce is sufficient to maintain a hundred or 
a thousand men, he can make use of it in no 
other way than by maintaining a hundred or 
a thousand men. He is at all times, therefore, 
surrounded with a multitude of retainers 
and dependents, who, having no equivalent 
to give in return for their maintenance, 
but being fed entirely by his bounty, must 
obey him, for the same reason that soldiers 
obey the prince who pays them. Before 
the extension of commerce and manufactures 
in Europe, the hospitality of the rich and the 
great, from the sovereign down to the smallest 
baron, exceeded every thing which, in the 
present times, we can easily form a notion of. 
Westminster-hall was the dining-room of William 
Rufus, and might frequently, perhaps, 
not be too large for his company. It was 
reckoned a piece of magnificence in Thomas 
Becket, that he strewed the floor of his hall 
with clean hay or rushes in the season, in order 
that the knights and squires, who could 
not get seats, might not spoil their fine clothes 
when they sat down on the floor to eat their 
dinner. The great Earl of Warwick is said 
to have entertained every day, at his different 
manors, 30,000 people; and though the number 
here may have been exaggerated, it must, 
however, have been very great to admit of 
such exaggeration. A hospitality nearly of 
the same kind was exercised not many years 
ago in many different parts of the Highlands 
of Scotland. It seems to be common in all 
nations to whom commerce and manufactures 
are little known. I have seen, says Doctor