Page images

single blessedness. So the squire and had palsied the firm step of the squire, his two faithful companions lived on and silvered the bright locks of the together a long life of tranquil mono- once-blooming sisters. tony, a vegetative dream-like exist, Then was the last branch shaken off ence, so unruffled by the usual acci- the old sapless tree. Three withered dents of “ chance and change,” that leaves yet hung upon it, to be suctheir very minds became stagnant, in- ceeded by no after vegetation. First capable of reflecting exterior objects, dropt the brother; and soon after the and insensible to the noiseless wafting youngest of the venerable sisters; and of Time's pinions, that swept by so then one poor, infirm, solitary female, gently. But those quiet waters brood- the last of her race, was left alone, in ed on their own depths-on " the the desolate habitation of the once long-faded glories they covered," and flourishing De la Veres. But if you perhaps the pride of ancestry, and the would know more of that antique manfeeling of hereditary consequence, sion, and of its aged mistress and her were never more powerful than in the immediate predecessors, you must hearts of those three secluded persons, come outside the church, for there are whose existence was scarcely remem their sepulchres. There, since the clobered beyond the precincts of their sing up of the family vault, have the own domain, whose views, and cares, later De la Veres made their beds in and interests, had long been circum- the dust, though without the walls of scribed by its narrow limits, and with the church, yet as near as might be to whom the very name itself, the long- its subterranean chambers, and to the transmitted name, would so soon de- ashes of their kindred dead. These scend into the dust and be extinct for things that I have spoken of-those ever. Barring this human failing, tombs and those hatchments, and the and perhaps also the unsocial retired- family pew, and the low iron doorness of their general habits, which are they not to be seen, even unto this had grown on them imperceptibly, day, in the ancient church of Hallipartly from natural shyness, height- burn?-You know, dear Lilias ! they ened by indulgence into morbid feel so engrossed our attention on our first ing, and partly from the altered cir- visit to the same, that time remained cumstances of the family, which they not that evening for our purposed surshrank from exposing to the vulgar vey of the old family mansion. Beeye-Barring such human failings, sides, the churchyard was yet to be these last descendants of the De la conned over, and the sun was already Veres were kind, and good, and pious descending behind the distant hills. people, beloved in their household and So taking our outward survey of the amongst their tenantry, and never na- venerable church, and a slight pencilmed but respectfully, (when named sketch, almost as rapidly executed, we at all,) even by the neighbouring gen- turned our faces homeward, reserving try, with whom they had long ceased for another evening the farther proseto keep up any visiting intercourse, cution of our antiquarian researches. beyond the rare occurrence of a morn

A. ing call. So years stole on, till age


STATE COUNSEL, BY THE STATESMEN OF COCKAIGNE. An Infallible Recipe for making a People wealthy, intelligent, moral, loyal, free, and happy; extracted from the New

Encyclopaedia of State Medicine, invented for the benefit of the world in general, and of Great Britain and Ireland in particular, by the Statesmen of Cockaigne.

CONQUER an island, situated as near on the soil. Of course, as the capital as possible to, and having as many of the cultivators, instead of being means of communication as possible augmented, will rapidly vanish, the with, your own shores. If by any ability to occupy good-sized farms means practicable, let its population be will be annihilated, and the island as one to two, compared with your will be cut into potatoe-gardens. own, and let it comprehend about se- Having, by the emigration of the ven millions of souls.

proprietors, practically rid yourselves Induce the proprietors of the soil to of a nobility and gentry, you will now let their estates, at the highest rent find yourselves disencumbered of that they can obtain, to middlemen or land- nuisance, a respectable yeomanry-a jobbers, and then abandon their class of sturdy masters, which, so long country, to dwell and spend their in- as it is permitted to exist, cannot be comes elsewhere. Let it be an indis- prevented from making servants of the pensable condition in the leases, that labourers, communicating to them the land-jobbers shall be permitted to much knowledge, and keeping them subdivide the land as they please; to in bondage. You will find your counlet it by auction to the highest bid- try population, that is, the great mass ders, no matter of what character; and of the population of the island, to conto do anything with it that may be sist almost wholly of men, equal and the most conducive to their own be- independent; you will find the abnefit, save and except making away surd distinctions of class destroyed, with the fee-simple.

and your population melted into one The jobbers having got due autho- grand class. You will find this grand rity, and being secured from any per- class to be composed of people without nicious restraint that the presence of both capital and income-without food the proprietors might impose upon and raiment-not half employed-hathem, will immediately commence a ving no masters to control them-hacourse of the most liberal and benefi- ving no other class to mislead them by cial conduct. Having an interest in example-having full liberty to spend the land for only a fixed term of their time as they please-impelled years; having no other object than to by idleness to congregate together, and extract from it the greatest possible to contract habits of the most liberal amount of profit; and being under no character and having no means of responsibility touching the state in changing their condition. Any plan which they inay leave it, or the culti- that would cause the proprietors to vators whom they may settle upon it, promote the system of subdivision,they will naturally exhaust every ef- for example, one that should give the fort to re-let it for the very highest elective franchise to the potatoe-garrent that can be procured. If the po- den occupiers,-might aid greatly in ulation be dense, a matter devoutly producing this glorious consumma

be wished, they will, by auction- tion. ting and subdividing, to accommo- This will necessarily make the peote competition, easily be able to let ple of your island WEALTHY. r considerably higher rents than any In accomplishing this great work, ndeavours or privations of the sub- you will, no doubt, have much oppocenants can pay. This, aided by the sition to encounter from the bigotted salutary labours which it will impose slaves of antiquated prejudices. Alupon certain functionaries of the law, though the influence of these wretchwill speedily dissipate any capital that ed people is rapidly hastening to exthe cultivators may possess; the job- tinction, it is still formidable. Your bers and attorneys will not only ob- weapons in combating them must be tain a rack-rent, but they will obtain the divine science of Political Ecoall the stock, utensils, &c. that the nomy and the divine Liberal System. fortunate occupiers may adventure up- If these bigots declare that this,


without the operation of any other cause, double the amount in some countles, of will inevitably make the people pau- what they are in others. Manufacpers, barbarians, profligates, and ruf- turing labourers can earn nearly as fians, first laugh at them one laugh much more as agricultural ones. A has more potency with the mass of vast portion of the large proprietors of men than ten facts or argumeuts; land let their farms for half the rent then assert that the absence of the that small proprietors obtain. A very landlords cannot produce any evil, and large share of the land of England that the jobbers are a beneficial order would, at this moment, let for nearly of men, and quote the Edinburgh Re- double its present rent, if it were let view to prove it,-shew, by the divine by auction. This is not an accidental, science of Political Economy, that the temporary state of things, but it is the stale maxim, “ custom is second na- regular and permanent one; it is one ture,” is a fiction--that in rents, wa- which is immediately re-established, ges, prices, &c., supply and demand if accident change it for a moment. govern everything, and differences in All this, no doubt, militates most depersonal disposition and feeling, in ha- testably against the doctrines of supbits and means, in the prejudices and ply and demand, natural equalizations, partialities of education, rank, and &c., as applied to rents and wages. class, have no influence over them. No If the bigots get hold of these things, landlord will ever take less than the scoff at their ignorance, and swear that full rent for his land, and no tenant facts are nothing when opposed to Powill ever offer more for it. A landlord litical Economy,--if they dilate on any will not, from large revenue, a prince- awkward traits in the character and ly spirit, prejudices derived from his condition of your Islanders, protest forefathers, and a pride in seeing his that the Islanders are beggared by estates in high cultivation, and peo- taxes even though they pay none; propled by an intelligent and opulent te- test, that the Government, by its tynantry, let his land below its value; ranny, drives them to crime, even and a tenant will not, from the fear of though it suffer them to do nearly starvation, a contempt of honesty, and what they please ; if the land be suba peculiar system of land-letting, co- ject to tithes, protest that these ruin venant to pay a rent which will feed the occupiers, though they may not him on potatoes, clothe him in rags, be equal to one-twentieth of the rent. and prevent him from paying any cre- Above all things, never admit that ditor that he may have, save his land- rents can be excessive and ruinous. In lord. If rents become excessive, the addition to all this, cover your oppocultivators of land will immediately nents with the most unsavoury epithets. betake themselves to trade and manu- The adjectives bigotted, illiberal, infactures, which, of course, will find tolerant, slavish, &c., are, at this mothem profitable employment. Provi- ment, exceedingly effective when emded the laws do not interfere, society ployed against the bigots; be profuse will ever adopt those systems which in the use of them. will produce it the most benefit; it Having exalted your Islanders to the will ever keep its different kinds of la- condition described, you must next bourers equally paid, and it will ever take measures for preventing them equalize profits. All this may be tri- from being dragged from it, Their umphantly established by the divine own efforts would do nothing, but science of Political Economy.

those of others might do much if not It is a most lamentable truth, that opposed. You must, in the first place, things in Great Britain set themselves use every exertion to prevent the proin fearful array against this divine prietors from changing their conduct. science. The servants of wealthy trą- Defend them in every practicable way. ders and people of fortune have double Declare that they do exactly what and treble the wages that the servants they ought. Protest, that on every of other people have, yet they form a principle of Political Economy, if they large portion of the whole servants of dwelt on their estates they would exact the country, and there is as great a su- as high rents as the jobbers--they perabundance of them as of any other would pay no regard to the character description of servants. They have and conduct of, and obtain no influthe least labour and no extra share of ence over, their tenants—they would trust. Agricultural wages are nearly employ no labourers on sheir grounds

- they and their large establishments more liberal and enlightened than those of well-taught domestics would do of other nations. The conversion of nothing towards civilizing the barbar- the proprietors into profligate spendous villagers-they would implant no thrifts must be the principal object of good habits and principles-their pre- your attention. Only mould them insence would destroy no petty oppres- to these, and you may then easily sions, and put down no pernicious feel- make them anything else that you ings—in a word, their residence on may desire. Such spendthrifts, withtheir estates would not alter matters out any tuition, adopt the principle in the smallest degree.

of supply and demand in letting their Political Economy, like surgery, is estates. Virtual auction is their rule. a fine science for freezing the blood. They operate as a pestilence upon that It disposes men to operate on each abomination, a wealthy yeomanry, other as though they were logs of tim- and upon that intolerable subjection ber; it brings them to a level in feel- in which such a yeomanry keeps agriing, and makes them measure every- cultural labourers ; of course they dething by the rule of profit and loss. stroy those pernicious habits and feelIt is a most admirable pioneer for the ings which have so long distinguished liberal system. When you have, by so large a portion of the peasantry of the aid of this sublime science, Great Britain. thoroughly filled the noble and other While you are thus operating upon landlords with the sentiments of the the land-proprietors of the island, you counting-house and the shop-count- will be producing the most beneficial er, you must then assail them with effects among those of your own counthe liberal system. Attack with all your try: might religious teachers, and the prac- If any attempts be made to introtice of religious precepts: this will duce those baleful things the poor-laws purify them from any principles that into your island, resist them to the may restrain them from dissipation utmost. Here again the divine science and licentiousness. Assail any laws of Political Economy must be your that may

be meant to protect public chief weapon. Prove by this incommorals—defend by implication, if you parable science, that the assuring to cannot in decency do it directly, vice the labourer of a provision from the and immorality-if you know any pro- parish when he cannot procure work, fligates stained with every private and will inevitably make him refuse to public vice, cry them up as the most work at all--that labourers ought to liberal and estimable of men, and as be left to beg if they cannot obtain emperfect models of conduct: this can ployment: that begging, whether sucscarcely fail of rendering the land- cessful or not, instead of making them lords licentious and profligate. Pour idle, will make them most industrious the most blackening libels on your --that the depraved habits, which country and your countrymen, and the begging inevitably gives, will make most dazzling panegyrics on other na- them the more valuable members of tions ; this will necessarily divest the society—that it will add prodigiously landlords of those vulgar and pernici- to public wealth, if the land be covered ous prejudices--the love of country and with clouds of beggars—that work can public spirit.

always be had if labourers will seek If you succeed in rendering the pro- it—and that every system ought to be prietors covetous and selfish, sensual immediately destroyed, which produand debauched, and the despisers of ces the least of abuse and evil, no their country and countrymen, in a matter how comprehensive and comword, liberal and enlightened men, plicated it may be, and what benefits you will make them the steadiest may flow from it. friends of your system in the island. Here again you will, no doubt, be You will impel them to dwell con- vigorously assaulted by the bigots. stantly amidst the licentiousness of They will fling some awkward facts other countries, incite them to give at your teeth, for Fortune, that illibethe utmost encouragement to the job-ral and slavish goddess, seems to have ber system, and lead them to regard maliciously fashioned the history of any vices and crimes that may distin- this despicable country in which we guish those who people their estates, have had the misfortune to be born, inas so many proofs that the people are to an inveterate enemy to our sublime science. They will tell you that the posed to Political Economy. Declare poor-laws operated for centuries with that this sublime science stands upon out injuring the labourers' industry the infallible maxims, that men and that, not forty years since, the country bodies of men will always do what it labourer held it to be the extreme of is their interest to do, and that all degradation to receive aid from the men, no matter of what disposition, parish, and would never crave it ex- habits, rank, and country, will always cept from imperious necessity. They act alike in the same circumstances. will maintain that these incontrover- Demonstrate the truth of these maxtible facts prove that the poor-laws, and ims. Shew that, as it is the manifest the highest degree of industry in the interest of all men to be industrious, labourer, can exist together, not for a honest, virtuous, and orderly, it is immoment, but permanently. They will possible for any man, or body of men, maintain that the natural operation of to be idle, knavish, vicious, and turthe poor-laws is, not to injure, but to bulent, if not impelled to it by such promote industry—that if you compel causes as the poor laws; and that, a man to beg, you make him a liar therefore, religion and irreligion, the and a thief, you destroy his morals most opposite kinds of instruction, the that if you destroy his morals,


de- most discordant opinions and prejudistroy his industry-and that the poor- ces, will have the same effect on hulaws, in protecting his morals, protect man conduct. Quote in proof the nohis industry. They will assert exist torious facts, that the radicals, a few ing facts to prove that there may be years since, did what it was their inan excess of labourers, that it may be terest to do that the mobs and proimpossible for this excess to obtain cessionists of the late Queen did what employment or to escape starvation, it was their interest to do—and that save through parish relief or begging; the Roman Catholics, and the weaver, that this excess would still be found collier, and other associations of laif the poor-laws were destroyed, and bourers, are at this moment acting in that the destruction of these laws the wisest possible manner for their would increase, in a frightful degree, own interests. Shew that it is contrathe evils that flow from it. They will ry to every principle of Political Ecotell you that the scarcity of work, and nomy, for the labouring classes to be Cobbett and your liberal writers, were kept under surveillance and control, the means of destroying the pride, in- and point in proof to the splendid redependence, and other good feelings of sults which have sprung from the reyour labouring population ; and that peal of the combination-laws. Having the poor-laws were not their auxiliary, done this, ou may then, by means of but their enemy. They will maintain the celestial liberal system, prove that that a British labourer will still work public morals are a public curse, and whenever he can obtain employment, that the community will never prosand will still do as much labour in per until it is converted into a mass of the day as two labourers of any other vice and profligacy. nation, notwithstanding the operation Your island will, perhaps, be threatof the poor-laws. And they will, ened with another evil from which you perhaps, have the blushless effrontery must vigilantly protect it. In the latto say, that these laws have done more ter part of the war there were, in Great to exalt the moral and intellectual cha- Britain, as many respectable farmers' racter of the labouring orders, than sons and others, in want of good-sized anything else in your system; and farms, and unable to obtain them, in that the divine science of Political Eco- their native country, as would have nomy, in so far as it operates against been able to occupy a very large part public morals—against national phi- of your island. This, from the prelanthropy and benevolence against sent aspect of things, is very likely to the pure and lofty feelings which an- happen again; and if these persons tiquated moralists and philosophers have reasonable inducement, they will were at such pains to implant-it ope- throng to your island in crowds. Their rates not only against the other inte being permitted to do so would have rests of the state, but most pernicious- the most fatal and melancholy consely against national wealth.

quences. They would introduce a Meet all this by once more assert- most pernicious amount of unborrowing, that facts are nothing when op- ed agricultural capital-they would

« PreviousContinue »