Front Page Titles (by Subject) | Of the cultivation of the antient metayers, or tenants by steelbow.y - Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence Vol. 5 Lectures On Jurisprudence
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| Of the cultivation of the antient metayers, or tenants by steelbow.y - Adam Smith, Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence Vol. 5 Lectures On Jurisprudence 
Lectures On Jurisprudence, ed. R.. L. Meek, D. D. Raphael and P. G. Stein, vol. V of the Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence of Adam Smith (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1982).
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| Of the cultivation of the antient metayers, or tenants by steelbow.y
That through the whole of that very small corner of the world in which slavery has, by a concurrence of different causes, been abolished, what naturally and almost necessarily came after the cultivation by slaves was that by the antient metayers or tenants by steelbow. To these at the commencement of the lease a certain number of cattle were delivered by the lord, to be returned in equal number and goodness at the expiration of it. With these cattle the tenant was to cultivate the land, and the lord and he were to divide the produce between them, each chusing a sheaff in his turn when the corn was cut down and set up in sheaffs on the field. That land could never be improved to the best advantage by such tenants. 1st., because stock could not, without the greatest difficulty, accumulate in their hands; and 2dly., because if it did accumulate they would never lay it out in the improvement of the land, since the lord, who laid out nothing, was to divide the profites with them. That the greater part of the lands in the western parts of Europe, the only corner of the world in which slavery has ever been abolished, particular<l>y about five sixth parts of the lands in France, are still cultivated by tenants of this kind.
[y]The following note is written in the margin at this point: ‘The first of these expressions is French; the second, Scotch. This species of lease having been long disused in England, and even in all the tollerably cultivated parts of Scotland. I know no English word for it at present.’