and his own family will not, perhaps, wear 
out six pairs. Unless, therefore, he has the 
custom of, at least, 50 such families as his 
own, he cannot dispose of the whole produce 
of his own labour. The most numerous 
class of artificers will seldom, in a large country, 
make more than one in 50, or one in a 
100, of the whole number of families contained 
in it. But in such large countries, as 
France and England, the number of people 
employed in agriculture has, by some authors, 
been computed at a half, by others at a third, 
and by no author that I know of, at less than 
a fifth of the whole inhabitants of the country
But as the produce of the agriculture of both 
France and England is, the far greater part 
of it, consumed at home, each person employed 
in it must, according to these computations
require little more than the custom of 
one, two, or, at most, of four such families as 
his own, in order in dispose of the whole produce 
of his own labour. Agriculture, therefore, 
can support itself under the discouragement 
of a confined market much better than 
manufactures. In both ancient Egypt and 
Indostan, indeed, the confinement of the 
foreign market was in some measure compensated 
by the conveniency of many inland 
navigations, which opened, in the most advantageous 
manner, the whole extent of the 
home market to every part of the produce of 
every different district of those countries
The great extent of Indostan, too, rendered 
the home market of that country very great
and sufficient to support a great variety of 
manufactures. But the small extent of ancient 
Egypt, which was never equal to England
must at all times, have rendered the 
home market of that country too narrow for 
supporting any great variety of manufactures
Bengal accordingly, the province of Indostan 
which commonly exports the greatest quantity 
of rice, has always been more remarkable for 
the exportation of a great variety of manufactures
than for that of its grain. Ancient 
Egypt, on the contrary, though it exported 
some manufactures, fine linen in particular, 
as well as some other goods, was always most 
distinguished for its great exportation of 
grain. It was long the granary of the Roman 
The sovereigns of China, of ancient Egypt
and of the different kingdoms into which Indostan 
has, at different times, been divided
have always derived the whole, or by far the 
most considerable part, of their revenue, from 
some sort of land tax or land rent. This 
land tax, or land rent, like the tithe in Europe
consisted in a certain proportion, a fifth 
it is said, of the produce of the land, which 
was either delivered in kind, or paid in money, 
according to a certain valuation, and 
which, therefore, varied from year to year, 
according to all the variations of the produce
It was natural, therefore, that the sovereigns 
of those countries should be particularly attentive 
to the interests of agriculture, upon 
the prosperity or declension of which immediately 
depended the yearly increase or diminution 
of their own revenue. 
The policy of the ancient republics of 
Greece, and that of Rome, though it honoured 
agriculture more than manufactures or 
foreign trade, yet seems rather to have discouraged 
the latter employments, than to 
have given any direct or intentional encouragement 
to the former. In several of the 
ancient states of Greece, foreign trade was 
prohibited altogether; and in several others 
the employments of artificers and manufacturers 
were considered as hurtful to the 
strength and agility of the human body, as 
rendering it incapable of those habits which 
their military and gymnastic exercises endeavoured 
to form in it, and as thereby disqualifying 
it, more or less, for undergoing the 
fatigues and encountering the dangers of war
Such occupations were considered as fit only 
for slaves, and the free citizens of the states 
were prohibited from exercising them. Even 
in those states where no such prohibition took 
place, as in Rome and Athens, the great body 
of the people were in effect excluded from 
all the trades which are now commonly exercised 
by the lower sort of the inhabitants of 
towns. Such trades were, at Athens and 
Rome, all occupied by the slaves of the rich
who exercised them for the benefit of their 
masters, whose wealth, power, and protection, 
made it almost impossible for a poor freeman 
to find a market for his work, when it came 
into competition with that of the slaves of the 
rich. Slaves, however, are very seldom inventive
and all the most important improvements, 
either in machinery, or in the arrangement 
and distribution of work, which 
facilitate and abridge labour have been the 
discoveries of freemen. Should a slave propose 
any improvement of this kind, his master 
would be very apt to consider the proposal 
as the suggestion of laziness, and of a 
desire to save his own labour at the master's 
expense. The poor slave, instead of reward 
would probably meet with much abuse, perhaps 
with some punishment. In the manufactures 
carried on by slaves, therefore, more 
labour must generally have been employed 
to exercise the same quantity of work, than 
in those carried on by freemen. The work 
of the former must, upon that account, generally 
have been dearer than that of the latter. 
The Hungarian mines, it is remarked by Mr
Montesquieu, though not richer, have always 
been wrought with less expense, and therefore 
with more profit, than the Turkish mines in 
their neighbourhood. The Turkish mines 
are wrought by slaves; and the arms of those 
slaves are the only machines which the Turks 
have ever thought of employing. The Hungarian 
mines are wrought by freemen, who