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fancying he was kicking up all the dust around him. When the Prince became sensible- and it was not too soon that he was personally not thought of in the question by the Swiss people, and found himself in the mortifying position of being the cause, without, in the slightest degree, being the object of the impending rupture, he took himself off, and the question was at once at an end. This trifling affair, however, may give the political philosopher something to reflect on. This federal bundle of apparently discordant materials, when a question arose to be met with national spirit and united vigour, showed itself thoroughly nationalised, and prepared to act: and the readiness of federated Switzerland to hazard all in defence of a just principle, and of monarchical France to break through all international principle, shows that federalism is not always weak, nor always wrong.

CHAP. II.

FRANCE FACE OF THE COUNTRY.

ARTHUR YOUNG

OF ENGLAND OLD SUBDIVISION OF LAND IN ENGLAND.GREAT SOCIAL EXPERIMENT IN FRANCE ABOLITION OF PRIMOGENITURE.-OPINIONS OF MR. BIRBECK EDINBURGH REVIEWERS — DR. CHALMERS, REVIEWED. — EFFECTS OF THE DIVISION OF LAND IN FRANCE EXAMINED. FRENCH CHARACTER MORALS HONESTY -DECIMAL DIVISION OF WEIGHTS AND MEASURES, WHY NOT POPULAR.

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THE traveller should either know a great deal about the country he is going to visit, or nothing at all; and perhaps his readers would find themselves better off with his ignorance than his knowledge. He is very apt to shut one eye, and look with the other through a coloured glass which he has been at great pains to stain with the opinions and prejudices of other people, and which gives its own hue to every thing he sees through it. In politics, political economy, and the fine arts, most people can only see through their neighbours' spectacles. In France it is particularly difficult to exert the rare faculty of seeing through one's own eyes. France is a moral volcano which has shaken to the ground ancient social structures, laws, governments, and the very ideas, principles, or prejudices which supported them. Who of this generation can approach the crater of such mighty movements, and conscientiously say that he is able to examine them calmly, philosophically, without preconceived theories or speculations upon their causes or tendencies? Every reflecting traveller admits that the great elements of change in the social condition of Europe which were thrown out by the French revolution are only now beginning to work powerfully; that the most important and permament of its results have been moral, not political; that in reality the French revolution is but in its commencement, as a

great social movement. times we live in travel together: but here they diverge. Each observes the agencies brought into operation upon the mass of the European people by the French Revolution, through the distorting medium of the opinions and prejudices of his own country, class, or social position as an individual, and reasons and prophesies only upon the shapes and colours which he sees through this false medium. Am I in a condition to see with clearer eyes? I doubt it. I do not profess it.

So far all observers of the

The traveller in France finds much to observe, but little to describe. The landscape is a wearisome expanse of tillage land unvaried by hill and dale, stream and lake, rock and woodland. The towns and villages are squatting in the plains, like stranger beggar-women tired of wandering in an unknown land. No suburbs of connected rows of houses and gardens, and of lanes dotted with buildings, trees, and brick walls, stretch, as in England, like feelers into the country, fastening the towns to it by so many lines, that the traveller is in doubt where country ends, and town begins. Here, the towns and villages are distinct, round, inhabited patches upon the face of the land, just as they are represented upon a map and the flat monotonous surface of the map is no uncharacteristic sketch of the appearance of the country. La belle France, in truth, is a Calmuc beauty; her flat pancake of a face destitute of feature, of projection or dimple, and not even tattooed with lines and cross lines of hedges, walls, and ditches. This wide unhedged expanse of corn land on either hand, without divisions, or enclosures, or pasture fields, or old trees, single or in groups, is supremely tiresome. The traveller at once admits that France has a natural claim to the word which all other countries have borrowed from her- ennui.

The green network of hedges spread over the face of England, that peculiar charm of English land, must have been formed at some very peculiar period in the history of the English people. It must have been the

work of a nation of small proprietors long employed upon it. We view it as an embellishment only, and frequently as an incumbrance, rather than a convenience in husbandry; but it is a memorial of an extinct social condition different from the present, which has prevailed in some former and distant age in England. This subdivision of the land into small portions by permanent hedges and mounds of earth, is almost peculiar to England. In Scotland, in France, in Germany, in all European countries in which the feudal system gave the original law and tenure of land, no small properties fenced all round from each other have existed of old, unless, it may be, in a few small localities. In England, the history of society and property is written upon the face of the country. This immense work, unexampled in extent in any other country, must have been executed in the 600 years between the final departure of the Romans and the Norman conquest. The open, unenclosed surface of those districts of France which belonged to the earlier kings of our Norman line, shows that in the state of the possession of landed property in those provinces in their time, no subdivisions by numerous small permanent enclosures had ever been required or formed. The small enclosures in England must have been made in a different state of society, before the Norman conquest, yet probably after the Romans left the country. No country occupied by the Romans shows any such traces of subdivision among a small proprietary. The Roman occupation of Britain was altogether military; and such a body of small proprietary would have been adverse in a civil view, and their separate strong enclosures upon the face of the country obstructive in a military view, to the Roman power. The Saxons and Danes-one people in the principles of their laws, institutions, and languages, although in different states of civilisation — must have woven this immense veil over the face of the land during the six centuries they possessed England under a social arrangement altogether different from

the present; one in which their law of partition of property among all the children, excluding the feudal principle of primogeniture, would produce this subdivision of the land into small distinct fields.

France is now, by the abolition of the feudal tenure of land, and of the law of primogeniture, recommencing a state of society which was extinguished in England by the Norman conquest and the laws of succession adopted from that period. France is in the midst of a great social experiment. Its results upon civilisation can only be guessed at now, and will only be distinctly seen, perhaps, after the lapse of ages. The opinions of all our political economists are adverse to it. Listen to the groans of the most acute observers of our days, on the appalling consequences of this division of landed property. Says Arthur Young, in 1789, (consequently before the sale of the national domains, crown and church estates, and confiscated estates of the noblesse, and before the law of partition of property among all the children became obligatory on all classes of the community,) "Small properties, much divided, prove the greatest source of misery that can possibly be conceived, and has operated to such a degree and extent in France, that a law ought certainly to be made to render all division below a certain number of arpens illegal." Arthur Young wrote this just about fifty years ago, and a few months only before a law was passed directly opposed to the principle he recommends - the law abolishing the rights of primogeniture, and making the division of property among all the children obligatory; and which law has been ever since, that is, for nearly half a century, in general and uninterrupted operation. Listen, again, to Mr. Birbeck, a traveller of no ordinary sagacity. "Poor," says he, of the French people under this law, "from generation to generation, and growing continually poorer as they increase in numbers in the country, by the incessant division and subdivision of property; in the towns, by the division and subdivision of trades and professions such a people, instead of

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