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had at first, and consequently the but necessarily implied and caused loss of others is exactly proportion- their prosperity, and, however seled to his gain. Not so the farmer. fish his motive might be, he could, His gain is inseparably connected by no other application of his time, with the increase of the general and talents, and money, more essenmass of human provision, and conse- tially promote the good of the whole quently others, instead of losing in society. proportion to his gains, are benefited It would, however, be no small in that proportion. He may indeed injustice to sir A , to consider fail of enriching himself by his en- the sole or even the chief motive of terprizes. While he materially con- his conduct as a mercenary one, tributes to enrich the whole society, and the general benefit accruing from by making the quantity of food an- his projects as merely incidental nually produced larger than it was and undesigned. On the contrary, before, his individual share may not the power and property created by be augmented by his efforts.
his projects were deemed of no va. Those who employ their capital lue but as they were subservient to in agricultural improvement, in the general good. He applied himGreat Britain, employ it under self originally to these projects, greater disadvantages than are in- merely because his notions of duty cident to any other species of indus- compelled him to employ all his fatry. They are commonly obliged to culties for the benefit of others, and hire the use of the land, under such the great landed proprietor is so restrictions and burthens, and with fortunate, that he cannot benefit a tenure so slavish and precarious others so effectually as by means that their gains are necessarily both which at the same time most effecsmall and uncertain. The proprie- tually secure and advance to himtors of land, who only can improve self the great personal goods, prothe ground with great and certain perty and power. advantage, are generally disquali- The great and little vulgar have, fied, by prejudice and education, for in general, no other conception of any such attempts. They are ha- the use of increasing wealth, than to bituated to expend all their revenue increase the size of their dwellings, on their personal accommodation the number of their servants, the and ease. Their prejudices disin- splendour and variety of their dress, cline them, and their ignorance dis- furniture, and equipage. They ables them, from increasing their know no other value in money, but revenue by their own industry, as it can be exchanged for somethough their avarice is eager enough thing that conduces to their ease, or to profit by the diligence of others. gratifies their vanity. The income
Regarding the exertions of sir of the year is made, they think, to be A- as actuated by the ordinary expended in the year; and their selmotive which influences mankind, fish gratification is equally the end that of making himself richer than they have in view, whether they he was before, he could not possibly expend a thousand guineas in filling have adopted projects more essen- their lialls with guests, who arrive, tially conducive to that end. In the glitter, and disappear, between the course of 20 or 30 years, he raised his rise and set of the same sun; in pur. revenue to an amount very nearly chasing a watch or other trinket, to ten times greater than it was at be worn and displayed, in scenes of first. These projects were so far gay resort, as a token of superior preferable to any others, that their wealth; in maintaining a mistress, or success was no less, or even much a pack of dogs; in building a temple more advantageous to all those or obelisk in their garden, in order within the sphere of their operation, to improve the prospect from their than to himself. His riches were windows; in covering their walls not built upon the poverty of others, with painted canvas, or filling gilded
cases with books. All these em- perfectly improved or quite negployments of money are not equally lected. hurtful, or equally subservient to the The whole annual revenue from end proposed; but in all of them this estate, which gradually mountthe end proposed is the same, and ed from 50001, to 45,0001. sterling, has no.connection with beneficence was bestowed chiefly on the cultiva. or charity.
tion of the land. None of it was apThere is another class who ac- propriated by sir A- to his own quire a passion for money for its own personal expences. From the insake. They will not exchange, for come of his English lands, he mere. transitory or barren gratifications, ly reserved, for family expences, all they obtain, but they either hoard about five hundred pounds a year. up all or the greater part of it, or The residue went almost entirely to they loan it to others, receiving in the little army of builders, fencers, terest, or they purchase with it new and planters, which he constantly lands or new houses, and thus in- inaintained. The sum realized and crease their property or revenue, fixed on the surface of this territory, without, however, designedly or in- from 1750 to 1780, a period of thircidentally increasing the general ty years, exceeded four hundred wealth of the society ; but, on the thousand pounds. The annual wages contrary, diminishing that of some of his workmen were of course proother individual.
portioned to their skill and merit, To neither of these classes did but a vast majority of them were lisir A belong. By marriage he berally paid at twenty pounds a came into possession of a tract of year. The above sum, if divided land which produced, without any equally between thirty years, will other trouble than that of opening be found sufficient to employ, during his hand to receive it, about five all that period, not less than five thousand pounds a year. By the hundred persons. same means he acquired considera- I mention these things to prepare ble power over the welfare and your mind for a more particular condition of four thousand seven account of the things that have hundred persons. Unlike his pre- been done, which I shall take anodecessors, who received this sum ther opportunity of sending you, and through the hands of others, and to bring the general account I have indolently transferred their power already given you within the bounds to agents selected with no regard to of credibility. their industry, knowledge, or bene- But to improve the ground was volence, he went to the spot; inspec- far from being his sole design. To ted the condition of his tenants; ac- introduce sober and industrious hacurately calculated the means of bits among a race of tipplers and exalting their condition; of improv- idlers was a necessary task, and a ing their morals; enlightening their far more arduous one. He laboured understanding; and enlarging their to create, in his tenants, some decomforts, by giving them more spa- sire for useful knowledge, and to cicus and commodious dwellings, supply them with the easy means of and better food, and better furni- gratifying this new born desire. ture. The primary expedient for Sir
A w as no visionary. He effecting all these purposes was to did not expect to transform men into make the ground more productive. philosophers and saints by the touch He thus enriched the tenant, and, of his wand. Old habits he decmed at the same time, encreased his incurable, and believed that there own power of benefiting, by em- was no safety for the common weal plc;ing the value of a larger quan- but in new modelling the rising geiity of the products of the ground, neration. The system, indeed, as in the fencing, building, planting, he found it, was corrupted at the and stocking the land, hitherto im- fountain ; for, in the first place, the ministers of religion were but little possible should be consumed, and enlightened themselves; their man- that it should be sold at the highest ners were coarse and rude, and price. their diligence more exerted to pro Various methods had been adopcure a livelihood than to reclaim the ted by successive lords to make the reprobate. Their wages were scanty most of this monopoly. The mode and mean, and paid stintingly and which indolence and rapacity would grudgingly. Being a certain portion find most convenient to itself was of the produce in kind, the collec- that in which the proprietors finally tion was difficult and painful, and adopted. The right of distilling made them be considered more as was let out for an annual rent or paywolves to devour, than as shepherds ment, and a licence to sell the liquor to feed, the flock. Besides, their granted on the same terms. These number, though large enough for licences were renewable from year the ancient population of the district, to year, and was naturally bestowed was much too small for the rapidly upon him that paid the most for it. increasing population.
The distiller likewise received auEducation was anciently conduc thority to seize and confiscate, to ted on a miserable plan. On the his own use, all liquor brought into cultivated land, and the houses in the barony, or sold within it, that the town, there was a kind of perpe. came from any still but his own. tual charge or tax for the support of As the distiller's interest was to schools. This whole tax was no make the greatest possible profit of more than sufficient to pay twenty his contract, it was, of course, his pounds a year a piece to five school business to purchase rye as cheap, masters, who were bound to teach and sell gin as dear, as possible. reading, writing, and arithmetic to As the retailer's profit was levied boys of a certain age, whom their upon the consumer, it was thus the parents thought proper to send to common interest of the lord, the them. The district seldom contain- distiller, and the petty vender to ed less than six or seven hundred encourage the passion for gin among boys of the prescribed age ; a num. the people, and to make the indulber by far too great, even if equally gence as expensive as possible. distributed, for five schools ; but, In consequence of this system, in fact, these schools were badly every twentieth house in the disattended, not only from the little trict was a gin shop, and the pasesteem in which the masters were sion for gin became universal. Inheld, as from the small regard ge- fants of a few months old became nerally paid to book learning of any familiar with the taste of it, and not sort.
one of a thousand of mature age These were negative evils of no was exempt from its destructive efsmall magnitude ; but by far the fects. greatest positive mischief was the Your imagination may easily excessive use of whiskey. Prescrip- figure the endless train of evils that tion had invested the lord of C could not but flow from this prolific with the exclusive right of distilling source. To shorten life, and to and vending this pernicious liquid make it the prey of disease and imwithin the precincts of his barony. becility while it lasts; to subvert As none could be legally sold or im. utterly all industrious and frugal ported without his permission, all habits, and supplant them with a that was exposed to sale without wild profusion and desperate indothis warrant was liable to seizure lence; to stupify the understanding and forfeiture. The idleness and into the dreary condition of idiocy; ignorance of the people naturally or work up the passions to madness, created an attachment to this spi. are the proper and unavoidable rit, and the interest of the lord was effects of a passion for gin. These concerned that the greatest quantity effects, indeed, are less violent and
VOL. III. NO. XVII.
terrible as the use of it is more lie to rely implicitly on the representamited, but the difference between tions of his agent. moderation and excess is only the The existence of so large a tract difference between more or less dis of ground as a common, was, in vaease, vice, poverty, and misery..... rious respects, extremely detrimenAny use of gin is properly excess, tal to the district. It was injurious since a single drop must necessarily to the health of the inhabitants..... be hurtful, though in a small degree. Much of it was continually wet, and Since it cannot be procured for no- many hollows and low places were thing, and since the money spent in filled with stagnant water. The obtaining it is diverted from the exhalations from these bogs and purchase of necessaries to the pur- pools, in a warmer climate, would chase of a superfluity, to those who be fertile sources of bilious and peshave no money to throw away, gin, tilential fevers. As it was, obstiin any shape or quantity, is a moni- nate agues were extremely prevastrous evil.
lent in spring and autumn. What exasperated the evil in the This circumstance considerably present case was the exorbitant increased the natural asperity of price of the article. This circum- the climate, and rendered it not only stance had no effect in lessening more uncomfortable and unwholethe use of it, for this species of dis- some to man, but also more unge. couragement can never exist in a nial to the soil. By making the case where any price is really ex- fruits of the earth more scanty and orbitant, since any price is far too precarious, and augmenting the negreat for a superfluity, and where cessity of shelter, clothing, and fuel, the facilities of obtaining it, and the it multiplied the chances, and, at the enticements to excess were, in the same time, the hardships, of other respects, so numerous and poverty. powerful.
The waste was really the properAnother evil connected with this ty of the lord, but the tenants enjoysystem, was the fraud and violence ed a sort of impiied privilege of to which it gave birth in the at- turning their cattle upon it; of digtempts of those who endeavoured ging turf for family use; and gleanto evade the law, by clandestinely ing from it, at pleasure, every kind importing or selling gin, and the in- of superficial product it afforded. justice and oppression exercised by It was the resort of a good deal of what may be termed a set of excise wild fowl, and some quadrupeds. officers. The nature of their pri. These being abandoned to the tevilege made it necessary to invest nants, afforded an irresistible tempthe farmers, or monopolists, of this tation to hunt, and the passions for article with extensive and indefinite hunting and fishing united to depowers of entering houses and prave the minds of the people, and searching and arresting persons, turn their attention from tillage. and the abuses of this authority Foxes and other vermin found harwere innumerable.
bour among the rocks and furze, in To these evils no remedy could great numbers, and the havock they be expected from the lord, because committed in the poultry yards and his interest was supposed to be pro- corn fields, was no inconsiderable demoted by their existence, and even duction from the profits of husbandry. by their multiplication; and yet These evils, so intolerable in the profits of this monopoly were al. themselves, were occasionally carmost wholly intercepted by the far ried to a most destructive pitch by mers and the steward. The latter the cruelty, the avarice, and the had the whole powers of the land folly of those who enjoyed and abuslord, and resided on the spot, while ed the power of the landlord. The the lord himself lived at a great steward, chosen in the manner I distance, and was of course obliged have already described, could hardly fail of being a dishonest man. He had been brought up with him as was generally some unprincipled his valet; a shrewd and artful fel. member of the law, who banished low, who found it easy to inspire his himself to this dreary spot with no master with a high opinion of his other view than to enable himself, fidelity, honesty, and capacity. by a residence of a few years, to This man, who supplanted his pass the remainder of his life in more worthy predecessor by fraud ease and luxury.
and calumny, carried with him to His double object, therefore, was
some of the worst passions to fleece the tenant, and to rob the which degrade human nature. He lord of as much as possible. In was avaricious, sensual, and cruel, pursuit of this end, he could not be and not only carried every prerogasupposed to be deterred by any kind. tive of his station to its utmost li. ness to the tenants, to whom he was a mits, but perverted every one of stranger, not only in blood, but some them to the gratification of his abotimes even in language; or by any minable lusts. The lord only could regard to the future or permanent redress these evils, by recalling his value of the property, because he was minister, but the lord was in a disliable to be supplanted, in a year, by tant country, and was prevented a higher bidder, and all his views of from conceiving the possibility of profit were closed by his departure such enormities, not only by his from the place. The clan enter- confidence in his quondam valet, tained an affection for their native but by his total ignorance of all lords as strong as was their abhor- things relating to his estate, but the rence of these basc-born and mer- money it produced. He was far cenary representatives; the stew- better acquainted with the geogra. ard, had he been of himself kindly phy of ancient Latium than with disposed towards them, could hardly that of Scotland. fail of having all his evil passions After five years residence abroad, aroused by the stupidity or hatred of he married an Italian lady, and this half civilized race.
brought her to his native country, The evils arising from misma- where he shortly after died, leaving nagement alone had grown to an an infant daughter, whose guardians enormous height at the time of sir had their own concerns to attend to, A- 's marriage. His wife's fa and were qualified, by neither their ther, the last male of his family, situation, their interest, or theireduwas a man of mild temper and great cation, to make any beneficial humanity ; but he received what is change in the old system. called a learned education, and had Affairs thus proceeded for upimbibed views and inclinations wards of twenty years, during which widely remote from those which Donald's career was unchecked, and might have qualified him for a pru. his tyranny uncontrouled, by his sudent and generous landlord. He periors. In that time, he had connever saw his own patrimonial do- trived to lessen the population of the main in his life. He was born at district one-third, by those whom he the family mansion in London ; banished from the district, who exspent his youth at Oxford ; and the iled themselves, in order to escape first use he made of his manly free. his vengeance or oppression, or who dom, was to pass into France and had come to an untimely death, by Italy, where he spent his days and his means. The very bonds of so. his income in collecting the monu. ciety were, in some degree, loosenments of ancient and modern art, ed, for a little community of outlaws with which he enriched his Lon- had insensibly been formed in the don cabinets and galleries.
ruggedest recesses of the forest, who Shortly after his father's death subsisted on the product of little he was persuaded to name, for his fields, which they illegally took from agent at C- , one Donald, who the waste, and in the pillage of their