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these weavers he expended on tournaments or tilting matches with some neighbouring gentlemen ; and though he always fought bravely, and fonetimes carried off the prize, yet he got many bruises and dangerous wounds in these contests of chivalry. Thus in the giddiness of youth his arable lands were ill cultivated, and the price of his wool, the only thing he fold off his farm, was all squandered away in thefe unprofitable excursions : and all that John got, was the reputation of a brave fellow who was somewhat light-headed. But amidst all his youthful follies, he shewed unequivocal marks of great vigour of mind, and several rubs which he met with in life taught him reflection. Hence he grew wiser as he grew older ; and by the time that he arrived at the age of manhood he began to improve his fields and attend to his flocks. Instead of keeping a multitude of idle people about him, who had no fixed employment, he divided his people into two classes. The first class was employed about his farm: but every man got a particular task assigned him. Some ploughed his fields, or wrought as labourers withour doors : others made his plouglas, carts, waggons, and other implements of husbandry. The second class was employed as weavers and other manufacturers. For John seeing the great riches, which the above-mentioned company of weavers had gained from the superior quality of his wool, resolved to fell no more of it to strangers, but to manufacture it himself; and he prevailed on his people to learn the arts of weaving and manufacturing it. To encourage them to exert themselves, he gave them considerable privileges, and very good wages for their labour. In process of time he found great advantage from those regulations; though at first his people were a little aukward, and did not relish confinement. Instead of being Jack of all trades, but master of none, every one of John's servants became very expert at his particular employment. He had now the best ploughs, carts, and waggons in all the country, and also the best ploughmen and waggoners. His weavers manufactured his wool into the finest cloth; and John derived great advantages from their industry. He was naturally a man of observation, and an enterprising character; and he retained all the activity, after he had laid aside the folly of youth. His marriage, which hap, pened at this time, was a prudent one, and attended with many advantages. The people of John's old farms were free of disputes about their inarches; and those on his wife's estate had had the fame advantage in their turn, and found their condition altered much for the better. Instead of making excursions into John's fields, that bordered with their own, carrying off his cattle, boiling the poor beasts in their own îkins, and then making shoes of what had served them for a kettle, they now learned to improve their fields, and manufacture their wool like John's other servants on his old and better cultivated farms. John was now equally successful as a farmer and manufacturer. As his whole property since his marriage was bounded by rivers or lakes in all directions, he could now have no disputes about the marches or boundaries of his lands; but having excellent streams for catching salmon and other kinds of fish, and wishing to carry his corn or cloth to market, or to bring manure to his lands, where it was too expensive, or even impracticable, to carry it in his waggons, John faw it was necessary to encourage the building of a great number of boats, and to excite the same spirit among the watermen, who managed these boats, as he had done among his weavers and farmers. At the fame time being informed that some of the neighbouring gentry en vied his prosperity, and were endeavouring to carry off his cattle and plunder his effects, he built leveral larger boats for the general security of his people. He selected the most expert of his watermen to man these boats, and also several landmen to act as centinels at proper
stations. He had indeed some reason for these precautions. For a wrong-headed gentleman in the South had once come, with a number of men and large boats, to take violent
poffeffion of John's property; and more lately a quarrelsome old fellow had attempted to force John to take back an overseer of his farm, whom John very properly turned off for bad behaviour. By these prudent means John was not only able to defend himself, but to over-awe his troublesome neighbours. He kept no Naves on any part of his farm, but his people were all free
In his youth they were bondmen, and wrought very little, because their work was not their own; buc John when he came to man's estate gave them all their liberty. Hence they were very much attached to him, and always ready to support him. He had only one overseer over all his farms; for John was too wise to have many overseers. Also to encourage his people hè gave his farm servants a piece of land, his weavers a house and a loom, and his watermen a boat ; and took a small share of their profits for his recompence. He likewise allowed them to make bye-laws, or regulations for cropping their grounds, selling their cloth, or fixing the freight of their boats, for their common interest. The overseer was allowed to examine those bye-laws, and to disapprove of them if he thought them bad, or wished to consult John himself concerning them. But if he once approved of these regulations, he was obliged to enforce them. His farmers exchanged his corn with his weavers, who gave them clothes and other necessaries in return. His watermen, who were the best watermen that ever plied an oar, or spliced a rope, carried what John's people could spare to the neighbouring farms or villages, and sometimes to farms at a considerable distance, and brought home in return whatever was wanted at home. In consequence of all these exertions John's own villages became populous, and his lands were highly cultivated, and all his people happy. Instead of lying on straw, in mean cottages, and even in John's great hall (which was the practice when he was a young man), they had all soft beds and comfortable houses. Instead of depending upon the chance of killing any of the deer, Vol. IV.
which roamed at large through the country during his minority, and often starving for several days afterwards, they had all plenty of excellent bread and roast meat, and were both well clothed and well fed. They were strong, wealthy, healthy, virtuous, and all free as their own thoughts. These were John's best days; and though some discontented people think these days are gone, yet I would still rent a house or a few acres of land from John Bull, sooner than from any person that I know.
But though John is one of the worthiest and best men in the world, a regard to truth obliges me to point out his foibles. I say his foibles; for I don't accuse him of any intentional error or crime. But I must honestly state the instances in which he has been misinformed or ill advised.
Upon any false alarm, his watermen are taken by the neck, and put on board of John's large boats. For, with all his good qualities, he is rather credulous : and though he has more boats and far better watermen than any of his neighbours, he is too easily made to believe that some of them are going to attack him, and carry off his cattle, or even take possession of his lands. Indeed some of them are a little hair-brained and troublesome at present. His centinels or landmen are hired for life, instead of watching only a limited time in their turn; and none but privileged persons are allowed to destroy the moles which appear in his fields. nal estates his shepherds, instead of being paid a fixed allowance for taking care of his flocks, are allowed to carry away a tenth part of all his corn. As they do not plough any themselves, John did right to give them as much corn as would maintain their families. But he should have given them a certain quantity, and then his farmers would not have complained, nor his lands have been neglected or broken up. John knows this is a bad practice ; but as it is an old one, he does not choose to abolish it. Another great error of John is, that his labourers are encouraged to be indolent, by receiving a
On his old pater.
certain allowance, when they will not work. This is false humanity; and all these things are hurtful to his old and best cultivated lands. On his wite's estate, by an equally bad old custom, if a man once get a farm, his children are continued in it, though they thould neither cultivate the soil nor pay their debts; and the bye-laws are not so good on this estate, nor executed in the same way, as in his older and better improved farms. These things certainly prevent its improvement: but were it not for them, it would soon be highly cultivated, John is really a friend to liberty : yet out of regard to fome old rules of his forefathers, he fometimes compels his labourers to work at any price he pleases. Also, no farmer is allowed to carry any corn off John's estate, without getting a present from John to take it away, when it is very cheap; and when it became too dear, John lately gave a much larger donation to bring it back again. In the sale of his corn, likewise, John is a little whimsical. The full of his hat is the standard of his corn measures ; and, unluckily, though John has but one head he has four hats, all differing somewhat in their size ; and as John's farmers also use their hats for their corn measures, the weavers are often hurt by these practices. Indeed it is a thing well known, that John's bye-laws at first were simple and wise : but they are now both more numerous and more obscure. All these things hurt the interests of his people. Nay, what is more remarkable, their riches have hurt their health and their virtue. Some of his farmers are become so effeminare, that they will not work in all weathers. His weavers drink pretty freely; and one of them actually swallowed a Bank note, to lhew that he despised money. Hence they become bankrupts"; and sometimes help themselves out of John's, granaries, or storehouses. John employs a physician, a furgeon, and an apothecary, and he has built an infirmary; but he has been unfortunate and ill-advised in this affair. The health of his people has not generally, mended; but many of them have contracted the jail