Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

can

people were happier than others, because and remain with him as farm servants, tu there was scarcely a peasant who had not avoid losing the advantages of farming on some little indieritance. The equal division a large scale, or to preserve the respectof property existed from the remotest times ability attached to the long possession of in the provinces where the old Roman law the same inheritance. For it is to be obprevailed; and it was previous to the sale served, in the present state of men's of the national property, that the conse- minds, this sort of aristocratical feeling is quences of this system to France alarmed much more common in the lower than in Arthur Young. Since that period the sub- the middie classes. division has increased, immense capitals Nothing too is more common, both in have been swallowed up by the wars of France and Switzerland, than to see the the revolution, yet who compare possessor of a small estate farming one France now with the France of 1789, with- more extensive. I would even say, that a out being struck by the increase of the great majority of the farmers are. landnational wealth ?

holders also. The day labourer they em• I have no hesitation in believing, that ploy, is often master of a cot that serves to every artificial direction given to capital shelter his family, a garden that feeds his by the legislature, every shackle imposed children, and a little field that he can culon the division or circulation of property, tivate when he is unemployed, and which is detrimental on any hypothesis.'

enables him to maintain with less ineOur most celebrated writers have, quality the fearful struggle of laborivus as our author remarks, something poverty against exacting wealth. From vague and desultory on the question, this general state of things arises a degree and seem to experience a sort of in- of happiness not to be disdained even if terior struggle between prejudice and which becomes one of the happiest results

attended with no other advantage ; but obvious conclusions. Ir. Malthus

that the social order is capable of producand Mr. M‘Culloch have not escaped ing, when, as we see in the Protestant this defect; but M. de Stael informs parts of Switzerland, it is guaranteed by us, that he heard Mr. Ricardo ex- free institutions, and ennobled by a genepress a very different opinion; and, ral diffusion of knowledge. as he adds, his name alone is a host. It is universally an object of ambition

• The English,' says our author, ' who with the French peasant, to become the attack the equality of division, commonly proprietor of a little plot of ground, or to figure to themselves the inheritance of the enlarge what he has received from his father shared between ten or twelve chil. forefathers. This propensity is of ancien dren; each of these marrying, and having date, and the revolution merely strength. in turn ten or twelve children more ; so ened it, by furnishing him with opportuthat the last would receive only a hun- nities of easily gratifying it. This desire, dredth or a hundred and foris-fourth part it must be confessed, is not always exerof his grandfather's property. But this is cised judiciously : in general he gives not the course of things in the world. In more for land than it is worth, because, fact, if the increase of population fol. labour being the necessary condition of his lowed such a progression, a single family life, he reckons it as nothing when he cal. would overspread the whole of the habit- culates the produce of the soil ; so that an able earth in less than ten generations. estate, which, if sold in a lump, would

• What then is the real state of France ? fetch a price only proportionate to its Does the parcelling out of estates go on rent, sells in detail after the rate of its increasing in so alarming a manner? By gross produce. Our peasants therefore

Our the contrary, we see in the might derive more advantage from their neighbourhood of rich towns, and in geiie- savings, either by placing them in the ral in every part where capitals accuniulate funds, or in saving banks; or by farming through trade and manufactures, that the land of others, and employing their landed estates have a tendency to enlarge. little capitals in the purchase of stock and It is true, in provinces destitute of these agricultural implements; as thus they advantages, in Britanny for example, the would obtain much greater interest for division of inheritances is carried much too their · money. But their superstitious far; but even in such provinces the inter- predilection for landed property is easily agriculture wil set limits to this

explained. In a country where an unin. cantling. Already it is not uncommon, in terrupted succession of public bankruptcies various parts of France, to see a family of had annihilated confidence, where trade peasants agree, that one of the brothers and manufactures were fettered in a thoushall remain proprietor of the paternal sand ways, where justice was impotent, farm. The rest receive from him either a where the relations between the powerful sum of money, or a portion of the profits, and the weak, the rich and the poor, were

no means.

ests

in the hands of arbitrary power, men of farms as having a tendency to enthe labouring class must have been ha- courage early marriages. Employbituated to trust only to solid and pal- ment in manufactures is by far a pable wealth.

greater inducement; and facts de• In England, on the contrary, where

monstrate that the population inevery kind of right guaranteed by the law

creases faster in manufacturing than is inexpugnable; where the stability of

in agricultural districts. all things is carried to excess; where

• The English economists,' says M. public opinion, going hand in hand with financial science, has always caused the de Stael, ' in general so able at obengagements of the state towards its cre- serving facts, and drawing just inferditors to be respected; the possessor of a

ences from them, have their minds for small capital has justly thought, that the the most part so warped on the quespurchase of land was not the most profit- tion of the division of property, that able way in which he could employ it

. the most palpable truths escape them. Even they, whose habits and inclinations The population of France in 1789, have rendered them attached to agriculo according to the reports of the Conture, have preferred renting farms to pur- stituent Assembly, was 26,300,000 : chasing; and the length of Jeases has it is now about 30,000,000. This, given farmers many of the advantages as well as enjoyments annexed to the posses

certain English writers represent to sion of them. In fact, if we calculate the

us as an alarming fact; while they. chances of human life, and the various forget, that the number of inhabicircumstances that may abridge its dura- tants of England and Wales has risen tion, or change the condition of indivi. from 9,168,000 to 12,218,000. Thus duals, we shall find, that possession se- the population of France has increascured for a long term of years differs very ed fourteen percent. in thirty-five little from absolute proprietorship, and years, amounting to eight percent. in that the difference between them is greater

twenty years; and during the same in the eyes

of imagination than in those of twenty years the increase of the po. reason.' * That England has risen above almost three per cent. or four times as much.

pulation in England has been thirtyevery other country in Europe, by the

Such a rapid increase sufficiently progress of its agriculture, is incontestable; but I have not here to inquire what are

proves, that the concentration of the different causes, that, under the omni

landed property has not all the effipotent ægis of liberty, have produced this, cacy that is ascribed to it, in keeping result; neither is it incumbent on me to up a due balance between the quanprove, that it is in no degree owing to en. tity of food and number of its contails, or the law of primogeniture. In fact sumers. I will even go farther: I if we reflect, that in Italy, in Spain, and will venture to assert, that entails and wherever else the system of irresponsible the law of primogeniture have a tenfreehold succession has been introduced, dency to increase the number of chilit has occasioned the deterioration of land, dren in the higher classes, nearly in and the impoverishment even of those for the same way as the poor rates tend whose benefit it was invented, we shall be convinced, that the agricultural prosperity to the augmentation of indigent faof England must be ascribed to other milies, namely, by preventing the

If a tree abounding in sap be father from cautiously looking forplanted in a fertile soil, it may be sub- ward to the lot that awaits his chiljected to a bad system of management dren.' perhaps with impunity, its natural vigour What will our Macculloch's say to may triumph over the obstacles opposed tu this? When we come to consider the its growth; but we must not ascribe to the state of the English peasantry, we errors of the manager, what is owing to its shall show the misery large farms strength of vegetation.'

have generated among a once honest, It is perfectly ridiculous to hear frugal, and hardy people. our economists talking about small

causes.

RAGUAY.

RORY O'ROURKE, E8Q. TO THE EDITOR. Travels in IRELAND--BjelicalS- town, ay, and 'village too, in my na

EDUCATION-MECHANIC INSTITU- tive country. The last Edinburgh TIONS-EDINBURGH AND QUAR. Review' contains a useful article, TERLY Reviews-POPE's WORKS though not well written by-the-ly, -The LAUREATE's Tale of Pa- on this subject; and the ' Quarterly

-the churchman's oracle-ha: a very MY DEAR Editor,-I herewith extraordinary essay on Mechanics’ send you the MS. of my Travels in Institutions. The article reminds Ireland ; which, I have no doubt, you one of Dr. Johnson's · Life of Milwill find quite as instructive as they ton.' It blows hot and coll at the are entertaining. You may print same time, and would condemn the them in the Magazine if you wish ; education of the operatives altogeand indeed I think it would be your ther if it dared. Happily the sense interest to give them the lead next of the community controls the month. You know how impartial and writer, who, Goth as he is, partially candid I am. In all my accounts you yields to the streams of opinion which will find truth-the whole truth-and he is unable to stem. We must renothing but the truth. I state this, fer,' says he, 'to the state of society lest you should doubt the veracity of as the cause of corruption, if the certain passages, wherein it is writ- minds of the people are corrupted : a ten that I travelled across the Galties state which collects nunbers togein a turf-kish, and spent two nights ther gives them the opportunity of and part of two days with Captain wasting their leisure and their earnRock on Sleibh-na-maun. Such, 1 ings at the haunts of vulgar dissipaassure you, was really the case. tion, and facilitates the diffusion of

The Biblicals are in a devil of a periodical sedition from one corner of way in Ireland.

Dr. M‘Sweeny has the kingdom to the other. gagged them; and Mr. Kensilla has

“ Hinc labor ille domûs, et inextricabilis detected a fellow of Trinity College, mnisquoting the holy fathers. Dr.

Certainly, therefore, we are inMagee, where are you? For shame! clined rather to hope for good than Wili

you let Priests-mere professors to anticipate evil, from any new obin an Irish Catholic College-triumph jects of interest which may tend to over the learned teachers in old Tri- withdraw men out of the seminaries nity? Will you let it go forth to the of depravity, and engage them in betworld, that one of that race, whom ter things. These institutes are an you-on your oath-calumniated, is experiment of this kind ; on the sucinore learned than Mr. Singer, a man cess of which we dare not be enthuwho subjoins F.T.C. and half a dozen siastic, and yet are not willing to other ers to his name?

speak the language of discourageThe tables are now completely ment. We are told, indeed, and truly turned. It appears after all that Pro- told, that the best place for a worktestants, and not Catholics, are op- man,whose daily labour has been disposed to education. The Archbishop charged, is the bosom of his family, of Dublin has sworn that he is an his own fireside. · And if we believed enemy to educating the people; and that the practical effect of these Dr. Miller, of Armagh, and a hun- lectures would be to detach men from dred other Protestant ecclesiastics, their homes and break up their dohave personally opposed the estab- mestic comforts, we should deem the lishment of mechanics' institutions. argument against them insuperable. But the stimulus lately given to the But it is notorious that the habits of progress of knowledge by the founda- these workmen are not generally tion of these institutions throughout domestic. Their “sweet colloquial the country cannot be controlled. pleasures are but few.” They have Ireland is, happily, following the ex- hitherto sought for relaxation abroad, ample of her more fortunate sister; and taken it mixed with moral poison. and I expect, before six months Whatever tends to elevate the man elapse, to hear of one of these insti- will be a boon to the family. We tutions being established in every apprehend no petitions against

error.”

*

*

the institutes from wives or chil- whereas, in fact, these are but a part dren.'

of education, and comparatively an • So far are we from grudging the unimportant part; i. c. a part that people information on these points, may be better spared than some other that we regret the obstacles which acquirements of which no mention is exist in the way of their attaining it; made. The man may have attained from the want, at present, of familiar a knowledge of geometry or chemistreatises to instruct them, and from try surprising in his station ; but if he their own inadequate leisure. It has attained nothing else, he is very would be a real blessing if the work- far from being trained up to be a ing classes could be made acquainted happy man, or a good citizen. These with some of the fundamental prin- arts perish in the using; man returns ciples of political economy; such as to his dust, and then all his thoughts the laws of population ; the causes perish : we wish to see bin possessed of the inequality of mankind; the of thoughts which shall not so perish. circumstances which regulate the inarket of corn, or the market of la

Here probably we shall lie thought bour. They would then perceive that to show the cloven foot not so insich inequality does not originate in the of bigotry as of the policy which encroachments of the rich or the would make religion subservient to enactments of the powerful, but has its own purposes. Why may we not been necessarily coeval with society as justly complain, it will be asked, itself in all its stages ; they would of any of our great philosophical or learn that the recompense of labour literary societies, that they have no is governed by definitive principles, religious tendency? Why must reliand must be determined, on the gion be mixed up with every thing in whole, by the number of candidates which the lower classes are concerned for employ. We sincerely wish them any more than with the higher?' to understand these things fully, and I have always made it a rule to are grateful for any measures which suspect the man who proclaims his may tend to diffuse such knowledge. own honesty; and I think the alluThe perplexity, which the system of sion to the cloven foot,' a proof of poor laws has introduced in England, what was passing at the time in the make3 a subject, never very simple, writer's mind. The article concludes doubly intricate ; and has practically with an encomium on Infant Schools tended to involve domestic economy -establishments not unlike the Charwith public government, and to con- ter Schools in Ireland-founded for nect the idea of private distress with the purpose of recruiting followers the administration of the laws. He for the church. The result, no doubt, would do the state good service, who will be similar to what has happened would put these matters into a popu- to the kidnapping institutions on the lar intelligible form; and the know- other side of the Channel. ledge thus disseminated would be an Have you seen the last “ Quarterly excellent preliminary to a measure Review ? All the articles are 30 medinever to be lost sight of, the gradual ocre that while you are restrained from abolition of some of those objec- praising, there is nothing in them tionable parts of the poor laws, which worth censuring. The first article is a are equally condemned by reason defence of Pope—which I would have and experience, and by which no one done much better myself. But it is beis ultimately more aggrieved than the low the dignity of criticism to contend operative workman himself.

with such a creature as sonneteering After saying all this, shall we Bowles ; whose remarks on Pope reseem inconsistent in expressing less minds one of the fabled fly, who found confidence of the effects of these in- fault with the dome of St. Paul's. stitutions than the most sanguine of The · Tale of Paraguay,' by the their supporters ? At least we ought Laureate, is, of course, praised in the to give our reasons. And our reasons Quarterly; but there is a drawback are, that we find these lectures on tantamount to complete censure. natural philosophy, and these books

Yours, in a hurry, on science, treated by their advocates

RORY O'ROURKE. as the education of the people : Beilford Square.

DUBLIN AND LONDON MAGAZINE,

DECEMBER, 1825.

ROBERT EMMET AND HIS COTEMPORARIES.NO. VIII.

A Traitor.— The Fate of Emmet.-The Conclusion. Next morning we arose early, and • But, ceremony apart,'he exclaimed, dispatched Denis to town with money why remain in the mouth of danger? to purchase clothes for us, if he found Why not instantly quit the country, any difficulty in procuring our own; before government obtains informafor Emmet was still dressed in regi- tion respecting your names, dress, mentals, and I retained the old shop- and abode? The ports of Wexford, keepers of the Plunket Street broker. Waterford, Cork, and several other Denis soon equipped himself, threw places, are yet open; why not ina sack of new potatoes across the stantly ily to them, and quit the kinghorse's back for an apology, and, with dom? This morning Denis acquainta significant shake of his head, bid used me of your being in the country, keep up our spirits, and remember and Dwyer has been good enough to that all is not lost that is in dane conduct me hither, where my busiger.'

ness is to afford you all the assistance Having breakfasted on a cake of in my power, and persuade you both griddle bread and some milk, Dwyer instantly to fly from the dangers which conducted us to a mountain cavern, surround you. I can feel for that siand left one of his men on a neigh- tuation which was once my own.' bouring eminence to render us assist- • Thank you, thank you, my good ance if necessary, promising to return friend,' replied Emmet, with great in the evening with whatever infor- emotion; your counsel is wise, and mation he could collect during the I shall folloiv it in a few days.' day, respecting the proceedings of Why not now?'inquired the Exile; the civil power.

· I am ready to accompany you to any The reverses of fortune appeared place of embarkation, and shall into have made but little impression on stantly procure the means.' the sanguine disposition of my friend. Not for a few days,' returned EmHe conversed on different topics met. 'I cannot yet quit Ireland, with his usual correctness and fluency, whatever the consequence may be ; and now and then gently chided me, but my friend, I believe, has no ties when an involuntary sigh declared like mine, and can readily avail himthat my mind was ill at ease; for, self of your generous offer.: though I sometimes succeeded in • Mr.K, said the Exile, ‘being banishing the recollection of my mad, a stranger in the country, does not ness and folly, still the misery and stand in the danger to which you are danger in which I had involved my- exposed. Your name-your conself were continually before me; and, nexions--and, above all, the part you in spite of resolution and hope, re- have acted—will draw upon you the minded me of my fearful situation. utmost vengeance of the government;

The day appeared unusually long, and depend on it large rewards will and we waited with anxiety for sun- soon be offered for your apprehenset; but, some hours before that pe- sion.' riod, Dwyer made his appearance, and I have no doubt of that,' replied begged to introduce a friend ; at the Emmet; ' but I cannot yet quit Ire. same time showing into the cavern land. Excuse my obstinacy; but Mr. J The Exile seized our there is one to whom I must bid an hands and, without reproaching us eternal farewell, before the terrors of for our raslıness and folly, lamented government shall force me into exile. the event which had reduced us to Why should I refuse to acknowledge the necessity of seeking concealment the cause? for I am not ashamed of in the neighbourhood of our friends. a weakness that compels me to do an Vol. I. -No. 10.

3 к

;

« AnteriorContinuar »