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of the inhabitants who were able to take advantage of it.
As you are aware, I am leaving almost immediately for the United States. In my absence, Mr. Collings would be very happy to be of any service in his power completing the arrangements. I sincerely trust that the Mercers' Company may see their way to accept these proposals, and in that case I most strongly urge upon you the advisability of accepting them also, and of thus securing a final settlement of the question which has been so long delayed. In this case I have no doubt that we could press our views successfully on the Charity Commissioners, and that a scheme might be prepared and pass both Houses without opposition in the course of next Session.—Yours very truly,
J. CHAMBERLAIN. William Saunders, Esq.
Secondly, I assumed that the almshouses would be continued as proposed in the rejected scheme.
Thirdly, that' an elementary school, under the Education Department, would be maintained as a free school, without fees, for the benefit of the people of West Lavington and the immediate neighbourhood.
I estimated that these two objects would absorb the interest on £20,000.
As regards the remainder, I suggested that the Mercers' Company should establish in connection with the elementary school, but, of course, for the elder children, an agricultural school for the children of labourers and small farmers, where the necessary technical instruction would be given. Such a school would in the first instance be in the nature of an experiment, and it would therefore be undesirable to go to any large expense for buildings or land, but it was agreed that all the necessary provision could be made without heavy cost.
It was also suggested that as one great difficulty would be in getting the labourers to spare their children from work, it might be necessary to provide meals, and possibly a capitation grant in addition.
If the school turned out a success, it could easily have a large development, and in the meantime any balance of the annual income remaining over could be invested for the purposes of the Charity.
The scheme would have to be thoroughly worked out by experienced persons, and its progress would, I should say, be regarded with immense interest, and would attract a great deal of attention to West Lavington and the operations of the endowment.
The Master of the Company told me that proposals had been made for the establishment of a middle class or high school. I pointed out that this would undoubtedly be strenuously resisted by the same people who had secured the rejection of the previous scheme, on the ground that the intention of the Charity was principally to benefit the poorer classes, who constitute the great majority of the population.
It is quite impossible that a sufficient middle class native population will ever be found at West Lavington to keep a middle class school going, and it would not be right to transfer funds intended for the benefit of the poor of West Lavington to further the education of middle class children coming from a distance.
I suggested, however, that to meet the case of the few residents in the neighbourhood who might be able to avail themselves of middle class education, and also the case of exceptionally gifted children of the labouring classes whose parents might desire them to pursue a higher education, the Mercers' Company might establish a certain number of scholarships tenable at any high school or place of secondary education and open to the scholars in the elementary school. In this way means would be provided for the secondary education of those
MONODY ON WILLIAM JAMIESON
DOUGLAS, THE "SCOTTISH PRESSMAN OF THE “ DEMOCRAT." Oh! sorrow and agony, how can I write? My eyes are as full as my heart to-night; I've scanned the DemocRAT, page by page, For my friend, philosopher, poet, and sage; Sought, as I seek for my favourite rose, Where the choicest pet of my garden grows, And find it suddenly, blasted and bare, By a canker I never thought was there ! Oh, with what anger my bosom glows, To think it has blighted my favourite rose ! I read a few sentences here and there, But missed the ring of his rhythmic air, Listened the many voices among, For the verses new of the same old song, Which warmed my heart with a fervid heat, As I felt it with his in unison beat.
Now he is gone to that far-off shore,
Thou wilt know on whom the sin
To think that men, I am bound to own
Brothers ! brothers ! will ye not tear The curtain that covers this beastly lair ? . Will ye not stand up every one, And let in upon it the light of the sun ? The cavern reeks with the bones and blood Of the young and beautiful, loving and good, The fearless and faithful, once happy and true, Happy and faithful and fearless as you.
What, though 'tis guarded by night and by day,
I have dipped my pen in my tears to-night,
THE CHILDREN'S DEMOCRAT. CHILDREN hear a great deal about prices. Sometimes their fathers cannot afford so and so because prices are so low ; and sometimes they cannot afford it, because prices are so high. There are good causes and there are bad causes both for high and for low prices.
One bad way of keeping prices high is to keep things scarce on purpose to keep them dear ; as when men make laws to prevent certain goods from being brought from other countries, in order that they may charge them at a higher price in their own. Another bad way is by certain persons holding together and agreeing to charge exorbitantly for the goods which they sell. These two bad ways may be joined in
There is also another state of things which will sometimes raise prices, and that is when certain persons can get their money very easily, and are determined to have certain things, even at higher prices than they have been sold at hitherto, and the rest of the neighbourhood or community has to come round to the same prices.
Now, there is one bad way that joins all of these bad ways together, and this way was worked very strongly in times between forty and ninety years ago. At certain parts, early parts, of this period, our country was engaged in wars, and it was very much bent upon these wars, and could not carry them on without money. Well, it borrowed this money, and I think I may say it had not much trouble to borrow it ; and like other persons who get money into their hands easily, they were willing to pay pretty high prices for things ; for the corn, for example, that was needed for our fleets and our armies. The farmers by selling their corn so dear obtained large profits, and the landlords received very high rents. In this way a considerable part of the borrowed money went into the pockets of the landlords ; and I should judge that a good deal more had to be borrowed than would have been necessary if it had not been for having to enrich the landlords out of it. When the wars were over and prices likely to go down, the Corn Laws were passed to prevent the free importation of corn from foreign countries, and thus to keep up landlords' rents, just as I said tradesmen's prices might be kept up, by preventing other persons from selling to us cheaper. You see there would have been no sense in the landlords saying, There shall be only so much land in the country for the people to use, for the sea had said that already ; so what they did say was that the corn from other lands should not reach our people.
These laws have been repealed, as you all know. And what I wish you clearly to understand is that the high prices of these former times only came from fearful twists being given to things. The war was one twist and the Corn Laws another.
The Corn Laws have been repealed, but there is still something of those high price times that has come down to us, and this is that the
"Tell our brothers," their voices say,
And sounding too in the blended choir,
For this strive on, and struggle and fight,
A. Tilner, Abertillery, Mon. October, 1887.
For every Irish mouth that is closed there will be opened a dozen English hearts,” said Professor Stuart the other day in Ireland. And he is right.
charges on the borrowed money have still to be paid and taxes to be raised for that purpose. Every person who advanced a thousand pounds to the Government, or the person who stands in his place, receives, say, between twenty and thirty pounds from the public treasury yearly—it is not always the same.
If the wars for which the money was borrowed were just wars, that is, our part in them just, and required by justice, we will be thankful that they were carried on.
If they were necessary wars we may be thankful that they were finished before we were born. I am not going to say a word against the wars in this paper, or against the debt (except what I have said already, that too much of the borrowed money went to enrich the landlords), or against our paying interest upon it ; only one thingwhy, if our fathers have sent us down the debt, why haven't they sent us down the land as well?
Well, here is the land. The great lords have not scraped it off and sold it and left us on the bare rock or on nothing, but they are charging us millions a year for the use of that which is our own property.
described how an agent had aimed a loaded gun at a boy of 12 at Gweedore, merely because he had thrown a stone at him. He described how Mr. Mandeville had been cut across the face with a sword at Mitchelstown while he was sitting peacefully in a friend's hall, and he found the responsibility for these deeds of darkness and for the war between law and people which they illustrate, in the Government which had allowed one of its chief executive officers to telegraph across the country, “Do not hesitate to shoot, if necessary!” and who had not themselves hesitated one moment to base upon a one-sided account provided by the implicated parties a total approval of the doings of the police at Mitchelstown. We agree with Mr. Gladstone that it is a grave mistake to fix our blame on the instrument instead of the hand which wields it. The Government are alone responsible for these things. “ There is a growing account to be settled between the nation and Her Majesty's Government.” And the sooner it is settled the better both for the creditor and the debtorfor the creditor because the vengeance that will surely overtake them will be less severe, and for the debtor because the terrible danger that this deliberate policy of provocation may succeed. The object of the Tory Government, certainly in Ireland, and perhaps even in England, as we have noticed elsewhere, is to provoke the people to outrage in order to have some excuse for reprisals. It is only the almost superhuman patience of the Irish that has brought failure on this policy hitherto. But every day it is continued the danger continues and increases. No good Liberal, then, should be content to let this pernicious Government remain in power for merely party reasons.
MR. GLADSTONE ON THE GOVERN
MENT. SINCE the old days of the Bulgarian atrocities, Mr. Gladstone has rarely, if ever, risen to such a pitch of righteous indignation as he reached at Nottingham on Tuesday night. He attacked the “unspeakable Tory” with as much fervour
" as he used to exhibit in attacking the “unspeakable Turk.” What do we see in Ireland ?" The people and the law are at open enmity. The law is administered on behalf of a class, and that law itself turned into lawlessness by the shameful and unscrupulous partisanship. of such an administration. These propositions Mr. Gladstone supported by a wealth of illustrations drawn from recent events. Every phase of the occurrences at Mitchelstown proved the same thing, from the very first action of the police in trying to force the reporter through a closely-packed crowd, down to the entire contempt of the coroner's verdict by the responsible government. Even the somewhat disorderly proceedings in the coroner's court are in like manner proofs of the wide gulf which is fixed between the people and the officers of the law. But a still more striking instance of the maladministration of the law in Ireland is afforded by the murder of Kinsella by emergency-men in broad daylight. 'There were
no firearms among the people ; there was not a blow struck by the people ; there was not a stone thrown by the people ; but a party of emergency-men had come down, and one of those emergency-men, upon Kinsella striking the gate with his pitchfork, shot him dead." This outrage, as Mr. Gladstone went on to point out, was committed in the name of the law.
It is needless for us to go at any length through the other illustrations of the same proposition which Mr. Gladstone quoted. He
Lord Ripon advises the working classes to look for immediate guides and leaders in their political conduct to the most intelligent and best educated in their own ranks. Lord Ripon says well. “Take not advice from your enemy," is a good saying and should be kept in mind by working men, and should cause them to listen very tardily to the advice of landlords and employers. Their one great hope is to increase their representation in Parliament. For a cause is generally valued by its votes.
A LONDON HOUSE RENT CAMPAIGN. А " House Rent League” is the title of a movement which a number of working men in the East-end of London have formed a committee to carry on somewhat on the lines of the Irish National League. Some private meetings have been held and inquiries made in St. George's-in-the-East, Wapping, Shadwell, and other parts as to the amounts at which houses are assessed by the local committees, and also the amounts at which they are let, and the committee allege that in some cases nearly double the assessed rent is obtained by the landlords. The committee of the League are about to issue a “ 'manifesto," and they will carry on their agitation in the winter by meetings, and propose to adopt similar tactics to the Irish League--namely, the appointment of responsible trustees to receive the tendered rent if not accepted by the landlords.
LAND LAWS.-WHEELWRIGHT v.
BRAMWELL. SIR, -My lord's counsel is sound, and I will endeavour to " rectify my want of erudition" by studying our land laws from the beginning. have already found that our forefathers, before they came into this country, permitted no private property in land.
Cæsar says of them that “No man has any lands of his own, or distinguished by fixed boundaries. The magistrates, and those in authority, portion out yearly to every canton and family such a quantity of land, and in what part of the country they think proper, and the year following remove them to some other spot, lest a desire of enlarging their possessions should gain ground, and prompt the stronger to expel the weaker,
lest avarice should get footing among them,
in fine, to preserve contentment and equanimity among the people, when they find their possessions nothing inferior to those of the most powerful."—(De Bello Gallico, lib. vi., c. 22.)
LANDLORDISM. Sir,--It has often been explained in your columns that landlordism was instituted for public, not private, benefit, and that the most intelligent men, entrusted with the use of the soil, had certain personal duties to perform for the State in return, called reddit or rent, and paid a little money besides when little money was coined. Landholding had irksome responsibilities; the holder was, in short, a Government officer, his salary was what he could reasonably get out of the land over and above the reddit he paid ; his office was no sinecure, he was liable to dismissal for failing in duty, and, in such case, the land was resumed and conferred on a more trustworthy man.
Your last number exposed the case of Madame Weatherly, the modiste, who renewed her lease under Lord Portman by paying £1,500 down and eight times as much as she paid before for the use of " a little piece of God's earth.” What benefit is Lord Portman's tenure to the public?
In the West of England landlordism is mulcting the people for displacing God's water with something more solid. Between the towns of Plymouth, Stonehouse, and Devonport exists a little arm of the sea called Deadlake, which is fast filling up by the amount of sewage it receives. It is crossed by an ancient bridge on which stands a tidal mill. The bridge was a public and the mill a private benefit; so far, good. Now the people of the three towns have conceived the idea of accelerating the filling in by carting rubbish there and converting the ground so made into a public park, but Lord Mount Edgcumbe, who claims manorial rights, says the sites so formed would be commercially worth £9,000 for building purposes, and demands payment. What benefit is Lord Mount Edgcumbe's tenure to the public ?
Further westward is the little seaport of Fowey, once a borough that opposed the return of the nominee of a vindictive landlord, who declared that grass should grow in the streets, and fulfilled his threat by constructing a rival harbour on the coast four miles off.
My informants, who took a summer tour to
revisit scenes of their childhood, say that this lord's successor has removed stiles and shut up several pleasant paths over fields and put obstacles in the shape of wire fences which ladies could not sur. mount, and had the audacity to appropriate an ancient entrance road, into Fowey, from which picturesque views of the river could be had.
A narrow road led from the town along the cliff, yielding beautiful views of the harbour. It was much frequented by old and young after work was done, or on the Lord's day. The views have been shut out of late years by buildings along the cliff, and the attractiveness of the place injured. If sel. fish people of a lower grade could scrape enough money to build houses, the lord of the manor should have known better than to have granted them permission to follow their meaner instincts, especially as the land on the farther side of the road was more advantageous for building. A clergyman, I have heard, commented on the sordid spirit in the Western papers, under the head of " Cannot I do what I like with mine own ?" Truly you said in your last number that, those who should "regulate the use of the land for the public benefit, confiscate the people's land for their own advantage."
An ancient castle overlooks the harbour and once defended it; at the foot, the bolder swimmers of Fowey used to plunge into deep water; of late the approach is cut off and the ground built on. If Government wanted to reconstruct a battery on their own ground they would be expected to redeem it at a price! What was the coastguard officer about to permit the infringement of public rights ?
Public and charity lands are said to have been filched by these manor-lords, and sundry other delinquencies committed.
Now, what benefit is their tenure to the public ?
Precedents are on record for the State's abso. lutely terminating tenures whence it derived no benefit, á fortiori they should be terminated when they become injurious to the public.
The soil of England belongs to the whole people of England. By law, the landholder has only an estate in it, and is the people's tenant. If they understood their position they could insist that obnoxious tenures should be terminated, the land resumed, and better men substituted to render real service to the State by paying a reddit into the exchequer
I hope the words in your last number are true, that “the holders of land realise that their sins are being found out and that their unjust tenure is becoming precarious."
Sir,-Bar. Bramwell has, with a childish outburst of pomposity, declined to discuss the land question with Mr. Wheelwright. He is, of course, a most erudite and highly educated man, and evi. dently most anxious to impress us with the fact. A highly educated man is, after all, but a man whose faculties, whether great or_little, are developed and trained by exercise. Education does not create talent but is the development of what we have got from nature. Who would not be an uneducated man, with a head to think and heart to feel, in preference to being a liliputian philosopher with all his faculties stretched to their utmost capacity? The Baron advises Mr. Wheelwright to
Study the laws of his country and he will soon understand that every landlord's title to absolute ownership of the land is indefeasible."
Very much greater legal authorities than Bar. Bramwell, such as Blackstone, say the reverse.
The real question, however, is not what the law is but what it ought to be. The laws of our country were, until recently, made by a worthless, rentdevouring aristocracy, who made them almost exclusively in the interests of their own class. To tell a man to study such laws to discover what is right, is simply childish nonsense, and an insult to common-sense. With men of principle, with men of brains, the appeal will not be to laws made by robbers or the reputed heirs of robbers, but to first principles.
So far as law is based on justice it is conducive to the well-being of the State—the entire peopleand will stand; but so far as it is based on injustice and fraud it is contemptible, and doomed to eternal destruction in spite of the puny defences of legions of sophists whom we sure to encounter and as sure to ultimately vanquish. As Bar. Bramwell evidently knows
little about the question from a scientific point of view, he ought, as an introduction to the subject, to read • The Peer and the Prophet," in which he will see all that the Duke of Argyll thought proper to say in defence of private property in land, and how Henry George crushed those sophistries in his masterly answer.
What is it that confers ownership of anything? Ask Mill, Spencer, Carlyle, Locke, and a host of other great thinkers, and they all answer, labour. In the last analysis the mental and physical labour which produces a thing is the only title to private ownership of that thing. Of course, as Mill says, " Labour does not produce objects but utilities." Nature presents the objects or materials free, and human exertion confers exchange-value on them by changing their situation, form, or substance, so as to confer on them a utility which in a state of nature they did not possess. This utility, created by human agency, is the only moral basis of private property, and cannot apply to land, which, as Mill again says, "No man made," it being like air or sunshine, " The original inheritance of the entire species."
Any slave-owner in the South could have argued as well in favour of private property in man as this legal gentleman now can in the case of land. Did quibblers in America not say : “ It is the law and sanctioned by the Constitution ? "
They did; but were beaten, first in the forum and then in the battle, and the Great Republic took an enlarged lease of liberty and of life.
What the landlords want is principally rent ; they want land as a means of obtaining rent. Rent represents the difference in natural fertility or advantage of situation of one piece of land as compared with another. In other words, rent is the surplus produce over what is necessary to give the average remuneration to labour and capital. Now, this extra natural fertility which enables some land to produce this surplus—this economic rent -was in no way created by the landlord, but is nature's gift. Why, therefore, pay the idle landlord for what nature did ? So also of urban land, the great value of the land on which a city is built, over what its value would be as agricultural land, is caused by the presence of so many people, is created by the citizens of the city. Why, there. fore, should this rent be paid to a small class who do not produce the value it represents, and who
give nothing in return any mure than if they dwelt in Jupiter ?
All rents belong to the community; when they are paid to a class, the community is robbed and industry offers sacrifice on the altar of idleness. A“ rent devouring " class, as Carlyle calls them, sustains the same relation to the State that the parasite does to its victim whose life's blood it sucks.
There is in some countries a creature called a " land-leech." It attaches itself to the land, hut draws not its nutriment therefrom. It knows better than that, for it watches its opportunity and attaches itself to cattle. They suck the land and it sucks them. Land would be of no value to these creatures were they the sole inhabitants; but it is valuable to them in proportion as there are other animals on it for them to suck their blood. This is a perfect analogy of landlordism, the landlord giving nothing in return any more than the land-leech, which is his brother in life's lower strata.
The masses now are masters potentially ; when they understand ihese things they will be masters actually. When that good time comes, landlordism and aristocracy must make a speedy exit. Aristocracy thy race is nearly run, Thy power doth wane, thy devilish work is done. Thine honour! what hast thou on history's page ? Bloody thy youth, vile is thine age. Soon, soon thou must yield, The blood-stained sword thou never more canst
wield, Thy mail and helmet are consumed by rust, And thou, thyself, art tottering to the dust.
THOMAS WILSON. 38 Euston-street, Belfast, October 8th, 1887.
Sir,-The letter of “ A Farmer" in your last issue of the DemocRAT, with the balance-sheet showing what has been done with three acres without the cow, is exactly what is wanted to convince those who cannot be brought to see that agriculture is the mother of all trades whatsoever, and that when all concerned in it are prosperous and happy, other industries must as a consequence follow suit.-Yours truly. Thos. J. Fox.
467 Kingsland-road, N.
SIR.—I have perused your answer to my letter in your October number, and I beg to say that I offer no obstruction to the abolition of landlordism, but am compelled by simple force of logic to concur in your views of that element entirely.
To say that English land cannot be worked at a profit under any circumstances would be absurd, but my idea is this, that in order to balance social and commercial conditions between one country and another it will be necessary to nationalise land universally, otherwise advantages possessed by one country necessarily act detrimentally to another. Free trade, with all its benefits, has not come to us unalloyed with evil-most certainly in some instances it undersells us by a system of many hours and low wages-and if, as I understand the case to be from agricultural opinion, farmers here can make no return beyond rent, and