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THOUGHTS ON AGRICULTURE

IT is apparent, that every trading nation flour- ishes, while it can be said to flourish, by the courtesy of others. We cannot compel any people to buy from us, or to sell to us. A thousand accidents may prejudice them in favour of our rivals ; the workmen of another nation may labour for less price ; or some acci- dental improvement, or natural advantage, may procure a just preference for their com- modities ; as experience has shown that there is no work of the hands, which, at different times, is not best performed in different places.

Traffic, even while it continues in its state of prosperity, must owe its success to agricul- ture ; the materials of manufacture are the pro- duce of the earth. The wool which we weave into cloth, the wood which is formed into cabinets, the metals which are forged into weapons, are supplied by nature with the help of art. Manufactures, indeed, and profitable manufactures, are sometimes raised from im- ported materials, but then we are subjected a second time to the caprice of our neighbours.

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