After all the proper subjects of taxation 
have been exhausted, if the exigencies of the 
state still continue to require new taxes, they 
must be imposed upon improper ones. The 
taxes upon the necessaries of life, therefore, 
may be no impeachment of the wisdom of that 
republic, which, in order to acquire and to 
maintain its independency, has, in spite of 
its great frugality, been involved in such expensive 
wars as have obliged it to contract 
great debts. The singular countries of Holland 
and Zealand, besides, require a considerable 
expense even to preserve their existence, 
or to prevent their being swallowed up by the 
sea, which must have contributed to increase 
considerably the load of taxes in those two 
provinces. The republican form of government 
seems to be the principal support of the 
present grandeur of Holland. The owners 
of great capitals, the great mercantile families
have generally either some direct share, or 
some indirect influence, in the administration 
of that government. For the sake of the respect 
and authority which they derive from 
this situation, they are willing to live in a 
country where their capital, if they employ it 
themselves, will bring them less profit, and if 
they lend it to another, less interest; and 
where the very moderate revenue which they 
can draw from it will purchase less of the 
necessaries and conveniencies of life than in 
any other part of Europe. The residence of 
such wealthy people necessarily keeps alive
in spite of all disadvantages, a certain degree 
of industry in the country. Any public calamity 
which should destroy the republican 
form of government, which should throw the 
whole administration into the hands of nobles 
and of soldiers, which should annihilate altogether 
the importance of those wealthy merchants, 
would soon render it disagreeable to 
them to live in a country where they were no 
longer likely to be much respected. They 
would remove both their residence and their 
capital to some other country, and the industry 
and commerce of Holland would soon 
follow the capitals which supported them. 
In that rude state of society which precedes 
the extension of commerce and the improvement 
of manufactures; when those expensive 
luxuries, which commerce and manufactures 
can alone introduce, are altogether unknown
the person who possesses a large revenue, I 
have endeavoured to show in the third book 
of this Inquiry, can spend or enjoy that revenue 
in no other way than by maintaining 
nearly as many people as it can maintain. A 
large revenue may at all times be said to consist 
in the command of a large quantity of 
the necessaries of life. In that rude state of 
things, it is commonly paid in a large quantity 
of those necessaries, in the materials of 
plain food and coarse clothing, in corn and 
cattle, in wool and raw hides. When neither 
commerce nor manufactures furnish any thing 
for which the owner can exchange the greater 
part of those materials which are over and 
above his own consumption, he can do nothing 
with the surplus, but feed and clothe 
nearly as many people as it will feed and clothe. 
A hospitality in which there is no luxury, and a 
liberality in which there is no ostentation
occasion, in this situation of things, the principal 
expenses of the rich and the great. 
But these I have likewise endeavoured to 
show, in the same book, are expenses by which 
people are not very apt to ruin themselves. 
There is not, perhaps, any selfish pleasure so 
frivolous, of which the pursuit has not sometimes 
ruined even sensible men. A passion 
for cock-fighting has ruined many. But the 
instances, I believe, are not very numerous, of 
people who have been ruined by a hospitality 
or liberality of this kind; though the hospitality 
of luxury, and the liberality of ostentation 
have ruined many. Among our feudal 
ancestors, the long time during which estates 
used to continue in the same family, sufficiently 
demonstrates the general disposition 
of people to live within their income. Though 
the rustic hospitality, constantly exercised by 
the great landholders, may not, to us in the 
present times, seem consistent with that order 
which we are apt to consider as inseparably 
connected with good economy; yet we 
must certainly allow them to have been at 
least so far frugal, as not commonly to have 
spent their whole income. A part of their 
wool and raw hides, they had generally an 
opportunity of selling for money. Some part 
of this money, perhaps, they spent in purchasing 
the few objects of vanity and luxury
with which the circumstances of the times 
could furnish them; but some part of it they 
seem commonly to have hoarded. They 
could not well, indeed, do any thing else but 
hoard whatever money they saved. To trade, 
was disgraceful to a gentleman; and to lend 
money at interest, which at that time was 
considered as usury, and prohibited by law
would have been still more so. In those 
times of violence and disorder, besides, it 
was convenient to have a hoard of money at 
hand, that in case they should be driven from 
their own home, they might have something 
of known value to carry with them to some 
place of safety. The same violence which 
made it convenient to hoard, made it equally 
convenient to conceal the hoard. The frequency 
of treasure-trove, or of treasure found, 
of which no owner was known, sufficiently 
demonstrates the frequency, in those times,