sells a future revenue of much greater value. 
It is, in most cases, therefore, hurtful to the 
landlord; it is frequently hurtful to the tenant
and it is always hurtful to the community
It frequently takes from the tenant so 
great a part of his capital, and thereby diminishes 
so much his ability to cultivate the 
land, that he finds it more difficult to pay
small rent than it would otherwise have been 
to pay a great one. Whatever diminishes his 
ability to cultivate, necessarily keeps down, 
below what it would otherwise have been, the 
most important part of the revenue of the community
By rendering the tax upon such fines 
a good deal heavier than upon the ordinary 
rent, this hurtful practice might be discouraged
to the no small advantage of all the 
different parties concerned, of the landlord, of 
the tenant, of the sovereign, and of the whole 
Some leases prescribe to the tenant a certain 
mode of cultivation, and a certain succession 
of crops, during the whole continuance 
of the lease. This condition, which is generally 
the effect of the landlord's conceit of his 
own superior knowledge (a conceit in most 
cases very ill-founded), ought always to be 
considered as an additional rent, as a rent in 
service, instead of a rent in money. In order 
to discourage the practice, which is generally 
a foolish one, this species of rent might 
be valued rather high, and consequently taxed 
somewhat higher than common money-rents
Some landlords, instead of a rent in money, 
require a rent in kind, in corn, cattle, poultry
wine, oil, &c.; others, again, require a rent 
in service. Such rents are always more hurtful 
to the tenant than beneficial to the landlord
They either take more, or keep more 
out of the pocket of the former, than they 
put into that of the latter. In every country 
where they take place, the tenants are poor 
and beggarly, pretty much according to the 
degree in which they take place. By valuing
in the same manner, such rents rather 
high, and consequently taxing them somewhat 
higher than common money-rents, a 
practice which is hurtful to the whole community
might, perhaps, be sufficiently discouraged
When the landlord chose to occupy himself 
a part of his own lands, the rent might be valued 
according to an equitable arbitration of 
the farmers and landlords in the neighbourhood, 
and a moderate abatement of the tax 
might be granted to him, in the same manner 
as in the Venetian territory, provided the rent 
of the lands which he occupied did not exceed 
a certain sum. It is of importance that the 
landlord should be encouraged to cultivate
part of his own land. His capital is generally 
greater than that of the tenant, and, with less 
skill, he can frequently raise a greater produce
The landlord can afford to try experiments
and in generally disposed to do so. 
His unsuccessful experiments occasion only a 
moderate loss to himself. His successful ones 
contribute to the improvement and better cultivation 
of the whole country. It might be 
of importance, however, that the abatement of 
the tax should encourage him to cultivate to 
a certain extent only. If the landlords should, 
the greater part of them, be tempted to farm 
the whole of their own lands, the country (instead 
of sober and industrious tenants, who 
are bound by their own interest to cultivate 
as well as their capital and skill will allow 
them) would be filled with idle and profligate 
bailiffs, whose abusive management would 
soon degrade the cultivation, and reduce the 
annual produce of the land, to the diminution
not only of the revenue of their masters, 
but of the most important part of that of the 
whole society
Such a system of administration might, 
perhaps, free a tax of this kind from any degree 
of uncertainty, which could occasion either oppression 
or inconveniency to the contributor
and might, at the same time, serve to introduce 
into the common management of land 
such a plan of policy as might contribute
good deal to the general improvement and 
good cultivation of the country. 
The expense of levying a land-tax, which 
varied with every variation of the rent, would, 
no doubt, be somewhat greater than that of 
levying one which was always rated according 
to a fixed valuation. Some additional expense 
would necessarily be incurred, both by the 
different register-offices which it would be 
proper to establish in the different districts 
of the country, and by the different valuations 
which might occasionally be made of the lands 
which the proprietor chose to occupy himself. 
The expense of all this, however, might be 
very moderate, and much below what is incurred 
in the levying of many other taxes, which 
afford a very inconsiderable revenue in comparison 
of what might easily be drawn from a 
tax of this kind
The discouragement which a variable land-tax 
of this kind might give to the improvement 
of land, seems to be the most important 
objection which can be made to it. The landlord 
would certainly be less disposed to improve
when the sovereign, who contributed 
nothing to the expense, was to share in the 
profit of the improvement. Even this objection 
might, perhaps, be obviated, by allowing 
the landlord, before he began his improvement
to ascertain, in conjunction with the officers 
of revenue, the actual value of his lands, according 
to the equitable arbitration of a certain 
number of landlords and farmers in the 
neighbourhood, equally chosen by both parties: 
and by rating him, according to this valuation
for such a number of years as might 
be fully sufficient for his complete indemnification
To draw the attention of the sovereign 
towards the improvement of the land