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labourer, at Kilsyth. Prentice died at Edinburgh so late as 1792.-469.
It is sufficiently well known that those who employ themselves in the working of gold or silver mines, do not, at an average, obtain any greater returns than those engaged in the raising of coals or the manufacture of bricks.—481.
The earliest entail on record is that of the estate of Rox. burgh, dated in 1648 ; and the practice was first established on a solid foundation by the statute of 1685, which reduced heirs of entail to the condition of mere tenants for life, and gave the entailer the power of regulating the perpetual destination of the property. The system of entail established by the act of 1685 has been acted upon ever since, and it is most probable that at present (1849) a full half or more of the landed property of Scotland is entailed.--557.
PEOPLE in England being accustomed to associate ideas of wealth and respectability with the possession of landed property, are apt to conclude that a country where almost every second person you meet is a proprietor, must be in a peculiarly prosperous condition. But the reverse is the fact. Very many of the so-called proprietors do not possess above one or two acres, and great numbers not so much; and in most departments the majority of properties vary from two to five, ten, thirty, and forty acres. The single department of the Bouches du Rhone contains three times as many proprietors as are to be found in Scotland. The Contribution Fonciere, though there are great inequalities in its pressure, amounts, at an average, to about a fifth or a sixth part of the rent of the land; and it is estimated that nine-tenths of the whole number of individuals assessed to it pay less than 51 francs a year; which, taking the tax at only a tenth part of the rent, shows that nine in every ten of the existing landed properties in France are not worth more than 510 francs, or £20 88. a year. Such being the case, we need not be surprised to learn that though, speaking generally, the small proprietors are industrious and economical, they are at the same time miserably poor, overwhelmed with debts, and strongly attached to routine practices; and that, even if they were acquainted with improved processes, the want of capital would be an insuperable obstacle to their carrying them into practice. It is customary at this moment, in several of the southern department, as it was 3,000 years ago, to thresh corn by treading it with horses! And in some districts the ploughs now in use are said to be the same as those described by Virgil! The small proprietors rarely taste butcher's meat; and are too happy when they find an opportunity, of eking out their narrow means by working at day wages on the larger properties, if there be any such, in their vicinity. Such proprietors are not nearly so well off as common labourers in England. And yet the system of compulsory division is only as it were in its infancy. If it be suffered to run its full length, it appears pretty certain that properties will be perpetually lessening, until, to use the words of Arthur Young, “ you arrive at the limit, beyond which the earth, cultivate it as you please, will feed no more mouths.” Had an assembly been held for the express purpose of devising means by which France might be most effectually depressed and brought into the same hopeless situation as Ireland, it is not easy to see how they could have hit upon any scheme better calculated to effect their object, and to extinguish every germ of future improvement! -567.
The spirit of monopolists is narrow, lazy, and oppressive : their work is more costly and less productive than that of independent artists; and the new improvements, so eagerly grasped by the competition of freedom, are admitted with slow and sullen reluctance in those proud corporations above the fear of a rival, and below the confession of an error.–Gibbon, 585.
A Man must be in tolerably comfortable circumstances before he is at all likely to be much influenced by prospective considerations. It is the pressure of actual, not the fear of future want, that is the great incentive to the industry of the poor. A man who is comfortable in his circumstances, must, in order not to lose caste, and to secure a continuance of the advantages he enjoys, exercise a certain degree of prudence; but those who possess few comforts, who are near the verge of human society, and have but little to lose, do not act under any such serious responsibility. A want of caution, and a recklessness of consequences, are in their case productive of comparatively little injury, and are less guarded against. The most comprehensive experience proves that this is the case. The lower we descend in the scale of society the less consideration and forethought do we find to prevail. When we either compare the different classes of the same country, or of different countries, we invariably find that poverty is never so little readed as by those who are most likely to become its victims. The nearer they approach to it, the less is it feared by them.-A. Culloch, 598.
-Shepherd and Philosopher.
-The Mother, the Nurse, and the Fairy. Lest men suspect your tale untrue, Keep probability in view; The trav'ler, leaping o'er those bounds, The credit of his book confounds. Who with his tongue hath armies routed, Makes ev'n his real courage doubted. But flatt'ry never seems absurd ; The flatter'd always take your word; Impossibilities seem just; They take the strongest praise on trust. Hyperboles, tho' ne'er so great, Will still come short of self-conceit.
--The Painter who pleased nobody and everybody. Who friendship with a knave hath made, Is judg'd a partner in the trade. 'Tis thus that on the choice of friends Our good or evil name depends.
-The Old Woman and her Cats. I no man call an ape or ass : ”T is his own conscience holds the glass.
— The Dog and the Fox. If you true happiness prefer, 'Tis to no rank of life confin'd, But dwells in every honest mind. Be justice, then, your sole pursuit; Plant virtue, and content 's the fruit. - The Countryman and Jupiter.
By outward show let's not be cheated :
-The Pack-horse and the Carrier.
-Plutus, Cupid, and Time.
SCOTT.-NOVELS. (PEOPLE'S EDITION.) By degrees the laird, who was much estranged from general society, became partial to that of Dominie Sampson. Conversation, it is true, was out of the question ; but the Dominie was a good listener, and stirred the fire with some address. He attempted even to snuff the candles, but was unsuccessful, and relinquished that ambitious post of courtesy after having twice reduced the parlour to total darkness. So his civilities thereafter were confined to taking off his glass of ale in exactly the same time and measure with the laird, and in uttering certain indistinct murmurs of acquiescence at the conclusion of the long and winding stories of Ellangowan.Guy Mannering, 196.
MANNERING now turned his eye upon the Dominie, who had made bows since his entrance into the room, sprawling out his leg and bending his back like an automaton, which con. tinues to repeat the same movement until the motion is stopped by the artist. “My good friend, Mr. Sampson," said Man. nering, introducing him to his daughter, and darting at the same time a reproving glance at the damsel, notwithstanding he had himself some disposition to join her too obvious inclination to risibility. “This gentleman, Julia, is to put my books in order when they arrive; and I expect to derive great advantage from his extensive learning." "I am sure we are obliged to the gentleman, papa; and, to borrow a ministerial mode of giving thanks, I shall never forget the extraordinary countenance he has been pleased to show us. But, Miss Bertram," continued she, hastily, for her father's brows began
to darken, " we have travelled a good way ; will you permit me to retire before dinner ?” This intimation dispersed all the company save the Dominie, who, having no idea of dressing but when he was to rise, or of undressing but when he meant to go to bed, remained by himself, chewing the cud of a mathematical demonstration, until the company again assembled in the drawing-room, and from thence adjourned to the diningparlour.—234.
The popular idea that the protracted struggle between life and death is painfully prolonged by keeping the door of the apartment shut, was received as certain by the superstitious eld of Scotland. But neither was it to be thrown wide open. To leave the door ajar was the plan adopted by the old crones who understood the mysteries of death-beds and lykewakes. In that case there was room for the imprisoned spirit to escape ; and yet an obstacle, we have been assured, was offered to the entrance of any frightful form which might otherwise intrude itself. The threshold of a habitation was in some sort a sacred limit, and the subject of much superstition. A bride, even to this day, is always lifted over it—a rule derived apparently from the Romans.-Note F.
The redding-straik, namely, a blow received by a peacemaker who interferes betwixt two combatants to red or separate them, is proverbially said to be the most dangerous blow a man can receive.—250.
In civilized society law is the chimney through which all that smoke discharges itself that used to circulate through the whole house, and put every one's eyes out. No wonder, therefore, that the vent itself should sometimes get a little sooty: -283.
He that is too proud to vindicate the affection and confidence which he conceives should be given without solicitation, must meet much, and perhaps deserved, disappointment.320.
“Why sitt'st thou by that ruin'd hall,
Thou aged carle, so stern and grey ?
Or ponder how it pass'd away ?"
“ So long enjoy'd, so oft misus'd-
Desired, neglected, and accused ;
Man and his marvels pass away ;