expensive improvements; nor the other to 
raise the most valuable, which are generally, 
too, the most expensive crops; when the 
church, which lays out no part of the expense
is to share so very largely in the profit. The 
cultivation of madder was, for a long time, 
confined by the tythe to the United Provinces
which, being presbyterian countries, and 
upon that account exempted from this destructive 
tax, enjoyed a sort of monopoly of that 
useful dyeing drug against the rest of Europe
The late attempts to introduce the 
culture of this plant into England, have been 
made only in consequence of the statute
which enacted that five shillings an acre should 
be received in lieu of all manner of tythe upon 
As through the greater part of Europe, the 
church, so in many different countries of 
Asia, the state, is principally supported by a 
land tax, proportioned not to the rent, but to 
the produce of the land. In China, the 
principal revenue of the sovereign consists in 
a tenth part of the produce of all the lands of 
the empire. This tenth part, however, is estimated 
so very moderately, that, in many 
provinces, it is said not to exceed a thirtieth 
part of the ordinary produce. The land tax 
or land rent which used to be paid to the Mahometan 
government of Bengal, before that 
country fell into the hands of the English East 
India company, is said to have amounted to 
about a fifth part of the produce. The land 
tax of ancient Egypt is said likewise to have 
amounted to a fifth part
In Asia, this sort of land tax is said to interest 
the sovereign in the improvement and 
cultivation of land. The sovereigns of 
China, those of Bengal while under the Mahometan 
government, and those of ancient 
Egypt, are said, accordingly, to have been 
extremely attentive to the making and maintaining 
of good roads and navigable canals
in order to increase, as much as possible, 
both the quantity and value of every part of 
the produce of the land, by procuring to 
every part of it the most extensive market 
which their own dominions could afford
The tythe of the church is divided into such 
small portions that no one of its proprietors 
can have any interest of this kind. The parson 
of a parish could never find his account 
in making a road or canal to a distant part of 
the country, in order to extend the market 
for the produce of his own particular parish
Such taxes, when destined for the maintenance 
of the state, have some advantages
which may serve in some measure to balance 
their inconveniency. When destined for the 
maintenance of the church, they are attended 
with nothing but inconveniency
Taxes upon the produce of land may be 
levied, either in kind, or, according to a certain 
valuation in money. 
The person of a parish, or a gentleman of 
small fortune who lives upon his estate, may 
sometimes, perhaps find some advantage in 
receiving, the one his tythe, and the other his 
rent, in kind. The quantity to be collected
and the district within which it is to be collected, 
are so small, that they both can oversee
with their own eyes, the collection and 
disposal of every part of what is due to them. 
A gentleman of great fortune, who lived in 
the capital, would be in danger of suffering 
much by the neglect, and more by the fraud, 
of his factors and agents, if the rents of an 
estate in a distant province were to be paid 
to him in this manner. The loss of the sovereign
from the abuse and depredation of 
his tax-gatherers, would necessarily be much 
greater. The servants of the most careless 
private person are, perhaps, more under the 
eye of their master than those of the most 
careful prince; and a public revenue, which 
was paid in kind, would suffer so much from 
the mismanagement of the collectors, that a 
very small part of what was levied upon the 
people would ever arrive at the treasury of 
the prince. Some part of the public revenue 
of China, however, is said to be paid in this 
manner. The mandarins and other tax-gatherers 
will, no doubt, find their advantage in 
continuing the practice of a payment, which 
is so much more liable to abuse than any payment 
in money. 
A tax upon the produce of land, which is 
levied in money, may be levied, either according 
to a valuation, which varies with all the 
variations of the market price; or according 
to a fixed valuation, a bushel of wheat, for 
example, being always valued at one and the 
same money price, whatever may be the state 
of the market. The produce of a tax levied 
in the former way will vary only according 
to the variations in the real produce of the 
land, according to the improvement or neglect 
of cultivation. The produce of a tax 
levied in the latter way will vary, not only 
according to the variations in the produce of 
the land, but according both to those in the 
value of the precious metals, and those in the 
quantity of those metals, which is at different 
times contained in coin of the same denomination. 
The produce of the former will always 
bear the same proportion to the value 
of the real produce of the land. The produce 
of the latter may, at different times, 
bear very different proportions to that value. 
When, instead either of a certain portion of 
the produce of land, or of the price of a 
certain portion, a certain sum of money is to 
be paid in full compensation for all tax or 
tythe; the tax becomes, in this case, exactly 
of the same nature with the land tax of England
It neither rises nor falls with the rent 
of the land. It neither encourages nor discourages 
improvement. The tythe in the 
greater part of those parishes which pay what 
is called a modus, in lieu of all other tythe