subjects of conversation at the court and in 
the capital, are attended to, and all the rest 
neglected. In China, besides, in Indostan
and in several other governments of Asia
the revenue of the sovereign arises almost altogether 
from a land tax or land rent, which 
rises or falls with the rise and fall of the 
annual produce of the land. The great interest 
of the sovereign, therefore, his revenue
is in such countries necessarily and immediately 
connected with the cultivation of the 
land, with the greatness of its produce, and 
with the value of its produce. But in order 
to render that produce both as great and as 
valuable as possible, it is necessary to procure 
to it as extensive a market as possible, and 
consequently to establish the freest, the 
easiest, and the least expensive communication 
between all the different parts of the 
country; which can be done only by means 
of the best roads and the best navigable canals
But the revenue of the sovereign does 
not, in any part of Europe, arise chiefly from 
a land tax or land rent. In all the great 
kingdoms of Europe, perhaps, the greater 
part of it may ultimately depend upon the 
produce of the land: but that dependency is 
neither so immediate nor so evident. In 
Europe, therefore, the sovereign does not feel 
himself so directly called upon to promote 
the increase, both in quantity and value of the 
produce of the land, or, by maintaining good 
roads and canals, to provide the most extensive 
market for that produce. Though it 
should be true, therefore, what I apprehend 
is not a little doubtful, that in some parts of 
Asia this department of the public police is 
very properly managed by the executive 
power, there is not the least probability that, 
during the present state of things, it could be 
tolerably managed by that power in any part 
of Europe
Even those public works, which are of 
such a nature that they cannot afford any revenue 
for maintaining themselves, but of 
which the conveniency is nearly confined to 
some particular place or district, are always 
better maintained by a local or provincial revenue
under the management of a local and 
provincial administration, than by the general 
revenue of the state, of which the executive 
power must always have the management
Were the streets of London to be lighted and 
paved at the expense of the treasury, is there 
any probability that they would be so well 
lighted and paved as they are at present, or 
even at so small an expense? The expense
besides, instead of being raised by a local tax 
upon the inhabitants of each particular street
parish, or district in London, would, in this 
case, be defrayed out of the general revenue 
of the state, and would consequently be raised 
by a tax upon all the inhabitants of the 
kingdom, of whom the greater part derive no 
sort of benefit from the lighting and paving of 
the streets of London. 
The abuses which sometimes creep into the 
local and provincial administration of a local 
and provincial revenue, how enormous soever 
they may appear, are in reality, however, almost 
always very trifling in comparison of 
those which commonly take place in the administration 
and expenditure of the revenue 
of a great empire. They are, besides, much 
more easily corrected. Under the local or 
provincial administration of the justices of 
the peace in Great Britain, the six days labour 
which the country people are obliged to 
give to the reparation of the highways, is not 
always, perhaps, very judiciously applied, but 
it is scarce ever exacted with any circumstance 
of cruelty or oppression. In France
under the administration of the intendants
the application is not always more judicious, 
and the exaction is frequently the most cruel 
and oppressive. Such corvees, as they are 
called, make one of the principal instruments 
of tyranny by which these officers chastise any 
parish or communeaute, which has had the 
misfortune to fall under their displeasure. 
Of the public Works and Institutions which are 
necessary for facilitating particular Branches 
of Commerce
The object of the public works and institutions 
above mentioned, is to facilitate commerce 
in general. But in order to facilitate 
some particular branches of it, particular institutions 
are necessary, which again require 
a particular and extraordinary expense
Some particular branches of commerce 
which are carried on with barbarous and uncivilized 
nations, require extraordinary protection
An ordinary store or counting-house 
could give little security to the goods 
of the merchants who trade to the western 
coast of Africa. To defend them from the 
barbarous natives, it is necessary that the 
place where they are deposited should be in 
same measure fortified. The disorders in 
the government of Indostan have been supposed 
to render a like precaution necessary, 
even among that mild and gentle people
and it was under pretence of securing their 
persons and property from violence, that both 
the English and French East India companies 
were allowed to erect the first forts 
which they possessed in that country. Among 
other nations, whose vigorous government 
will suffer no strangers to possess any fortified 
place within their territory, it may be necessary 
to maintain some ambassador, minister
or consul, who may both decide
according to their own customs, the differences 
arising among his own countrymen; 
and, in their disputes with the natives, may