little respect for foreign trade. Your beggarly 
commerce! was the language in which the 
mandarins of Pekin used to talk to Mr. De 
Lange, the Russian envoy, concerning it[44]. 
Except with Japan, the Chinese carry on, 
themselves, and in their own bottoms, little 
or no foreign trade; and it is only into one 
or two ports of their kingdom that they even 
admit the ships of foreign nations. Foreign 
trade, therefore, is, in China, every way confined 
within a much narrower circle than that 
to which it would naturally extend itself, if 
more freedom was allowed to it, either in 
their own ships, or in those of foreign nations
Manufactures, as in a small bulk they frequently 
contain a great value, and can upon 
that account be transported at less expense 
from one country to another than most parts 
of rude produce, are, in almost all countries
the principal support of foreign trade. In 
countries, besides, less extensive, and less favourably 
circumstanced for inferior commerce 
than China, they generally require the support 
of foreign trade. Without an extensive 
foreign market, they could not well flourish
either in countries so moderately extensive as 
to afford but a narrow home market, or in 
countries where the communication between 
one province and another was so difficult, as 
to render it impossible for the goods of any 
particular place to enjoy the whole of that 
home market which the country could afford
The perfection of manufacturing industry, it 
must be remembered, depends altogether 
upon the division of labour; and the degree 
to which the division of labour can be introduced 
into any manufacture, is necessarily 
regulated, it has already been shewn, by the 
extent of the market. But the great extent 
of the empire of China, the vast multitude of 
its inhabitants, the variety of climate, and 
consequently of productions in its different 
provinces, and the easy communication by 
means of water-carriage between the greater 
part of them, render the home market of that 
country of so great extent, as to be alone sufficient 
to support very great manufactures, 
and to admit of very considerable subdivisions 
of labour. The home market of China 
is, perhaps, in extent, not much inferior to 
the market of all the different countries of 
Europe put together. A more extensive 
foreign trade, however, which to this great 
home market added the foreign market of all 
the rest of the world, especially if any considerable 
part of this trade was carried on in 
Chinese ships, could scarce fail to increase 
very much the manufactures of China, and 
to improve very much the productive powers 
of its manufacturing industry. By a more 
extensive navigation, the Chinese would naturally 
learn the art of using and constructing
themselves, all the different machines made 
use of in other countries, as well as the other 
improvements of art and industry which are 
practised in all the different parts of the 
world. Upon their present plan, they have 
little opportunity of improving themselves by 
the example of any other nation, except that 
of the Japanese
The policy of ancient Egypt, too, and that 
of the Gentoo government of Indostan, seem 
to have favoured agriculture more than all 
other employments. 
Both in ancient Egypt and Indostan, the 
whole body of the people was divided into 
different casts or tribes each of which was 
confined, from father to son, to a particular 
employment, or class of employments. The 
son of a priest was necessarily a priest; the 
son of a soldier, a soldier; the son of a labourer, 
a labourer; the son of a weaver, a weaver
the son of a tailor, a tailor, &c. In both 
countries, the cast of the priests holds the 
highest rank, and that of the soldiers the 
next; and in both countries the cast of the 
farmers and labourers was superior to the casts 
of merchants and manufacturers. 
The government of both countries was particularly 
attentive to the interest of agriculture
The works constructed by the ancient 
sovereigns of Egypt, for the proper distribution 
of the waters of the Nile, were famous in 
antiquity, and the ruined remains of some of 
them are still the admiration of travellers
Those of the same kind which were constructed 
by the ancient sovereigns of Indostan
for the proper distribution of the waters 
of the Ganges, as well as of many other rivers
though they have been less celebrated, seem 
to have been equally great. Both countries 
accordingly, though subject occasionally to 
dearths, have been famous for their great fertility. 
Though both were extremely populous
yet, in years of moderate plenty, they were 
both able to export great quantities of grain to 
their neighbours
The ancient Egyptians had a superstitious 
aversion to the sea; and as the Gentoo religion 
does not permit its followers to light a 
fire, nor consequently to dress any victuals, 
upon the water, it, in effect, prohibits them 
from all distant sea voyages. Both the 
Egyptians and Indians must have depended 
almost altogether upon the navigation of other 
nations for the exportation of their surplus 
produce; and this dependency, as it must 
have confined the market, so it must have 
discouraged the increase of this surplus produce
It must have discouraged, too, the 
increase of the manufactured produce, more 
than that of the rude produce. Manufactures 
require a much more extensive market than 
the most important parts of the rude produce 
of the land. A single shoemaker will make 
more than 300 pairs of shoes in the year;