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moral and religious state of the European mind which has followed the revolutionary paroxysm of the beginning of this century baffle conjecture. The Protestant religion, existing, it may almost be said, only in detached corners of the world, and there torn into a hundred sects and divisions, and the clergy of her two branches occupied in unseemly squabbles for power and property, and not leading, nor, in public estimation, capable of leading, the religious revival among Protestant Christians, nor of meeting and refuting the learning and theological scholarship of professed infidel writersthe popish church advancing stealthily, but steadily, step by step, with a well-organized, well-educated, zealous, and wily priesthood at the head of and guiding the religious revival in her domain of Christianity, and adapting herself to the state of the public mind, and the degree of social and intellectual development in every country, from the despotism of Naples, to the democracy of New York - the moral tone of society, the power of moral and religious principle over conduct, the weight and value of right or wrong in public estimation, deranged, the influence of public opinion on the moral conduct of public men lowered, by the countenance given by governments to individuals who should be branded in the history of this age as unprincipled depredators setting all moral and international law at defiance in their military and political acts- these are elements in the religious, moral, and political condition of European society, which, together with the change in its social economy by the new distribution of property, must make every thinking man feel that the French revolution, as a vast social movement, is but in its commencement. We are but living in a pause between its

acts.

CHAP. XXII.

THE OLIVE TREE-ITS EFFECTS IN SOCIAL ECONOMY.-MAIZE.— POTATOES.-FLORENCE.-DIVISION OF LAND IN TUSCANY.STATE OF THE PEOPLE.-STATE OF THE CONTINENTAL AND ENGLISH PEOPLE COMPARED.

THE inhabitants of the gloomy little towns in the Papal states, Civita Castellana, Otricoli, Narni, Terni, their squalid nothing-to-do appearance as they saunter in listless idleness about their doors, a prey to ague and ennui, are sadly in contrast to their bright sunny land, and its glorious vegetation. Their country produces every thing -every thing but industry; and man flourishes as a moral intelligent being only where industry is forced upon him and civilization and wellbeing with industry-by natural circumstances-by the want, not the abundance of natural products. Truly the plenty of their country is their curse. Suppose every kail-yard in Scotland had a tree growing at the dyke-side, like the old pollard saughs we usually see there, and requiring as little care or cultivation, and that from this tree the family gathered its butter, suet, tallow, or an oil that answered perfectly all the household uses of these substances, either as a nutritious adjunct to daily food in their cookery, or for soap, or for giving light to their dwellings - all, in short, that our grasslands and dairies, our Russia trade, our Greenland fisheries, produce to us for household uses-would it be no blessing to have such trees? Such trees are the gift of nature to the people here in the south, and are bestowed with no niggard hand. The olive-tree flourishes on the poorest, scarpy soil, on gravelly, rocky land, that would not keep a sheep on ten acres of it, and a single olive-tree will sometimes yield from a single crop nearly fifty gallons of oil. Is this a curse, and not a blessing?

Look at the people of all olive-growing countries and the question is answered. The very productiveness of nature in the objects of industry naturally stifles industry. The countries which produce industry, are in a more civilized and moral condition, than the countries which produce the objects of industry. The Italian governments the Neapolitan, the Papal, the Austrian, the Sardinian - are, perhaps unjustly, blamed for the squalor, idleness, and wretchedness of the Italian people. No government can give incitement to industry in commerce, agriculture, or manufactures, where soil and climate produce, without any great or continuous exertion of man, almost all that industry labours for. The people of Italy, and of all the south of Europe, probably never can be raised to so high a social state as the people of the north of Europe, if the measure of a high social state be the diffusion of industry and all its moral influences, and of the useful arts and all their gratifications- nor the people of the north raised to that of the Italian people, if the general taste for, and cultivation of the fine arts, be the measure of the social condition and civilization of mankind.

The olive-tree is but one of the many fruits of the earth which supply the natural wants of man here without any incessant demand upon his toil, and which lap him in an indolent contentment with a low social condition. The maize, or Indian corn, is, both physically and morally, the equivalent among the populations of the south to the potato among those of the north. It is curious that both these additions to the subsistence of man became generally cultivated about the same period, both being of unknown or unnoticed origin, and the one, as if in compensation, flourishing best where the other succeeds but imperfectly. Maize is almost limited to the climate of the vine. Potatoes, indeed, succeed, although less perfectly both as to quality and quantity, within the climate of the maize and vine, but practically enter little into the supply of food in those countries in which maize succeeds. The first introduc

tion of both these plants is involved in some obscurity. The potato is usually stated to have been brought home by Sir Walter Raleigh from America, in the reign of James; but we have, in the Merry Wives of Windsor, the weighty evidence of Sir John Falstaff himself against this opinion. "Let the sky rain potatoes." The potato must have been commonly known to pit, boxes, and galleries in Queen Elizabeth's time, to have admitted of such a familiar allusion to it. The maize, from its French name probably, bléd de Turquie, is supposed by some to have come to Europe from the East-to have been the fruit of the crusades, and the principal fruit now remaining of those expeditions. When we consider the vast populations now subsisting principally on maize, the potato itself will be found to yield in importance to it. The amount of subsistence from a small space of land is great, and where the vine is cultivated, the maize is often cultivated between the rows of vines as a kind of secondary crop. The cultivation of maize acts upon the amount and condition of the population—on their numbers and habits, precisely as that of potatoes. The moral results have been the same from both. Where the land is not the property of the cultivators, but of a nobility, as in the Sardinian, Neapolitan, and Papal states, the cheap and inferior, but plentiful food, in proportion to the land and labour bestowed on its production, has brought into existence a great population miserably ill off. The difference of value between their inferior food of maize, and the value of other kinds of food, has only gone into the pockets of their landowners, and their employers. Their condition has been deteriorated by a cheaper food increasing the quantity, and thereby reducing the value of labour to a rate equivalent to a subsistence upon an inferior and cheaper diet. Where the land, again, is the property of the labourers themselves, as in Switzerland, in Tuscany, in France, the cheaper and inferior food leaves them more of a superior, higher-priced food for market, or more land to produce marketable pro

visions from; and what they save in their diet goes into their purse. Thus, the very same cause, this cheap article of diet, produces thrifty, active, industrious habits among the Swiss, Tuscan, and French peasants, and lazy, trifling, lazaroni habits among the labourers of the Neapolitan, Papal, and Sardinian states. It is the possession of property that regulates the standard of living in a country, as in a single household, and fixes the general ideas and habits, with regard to the necessary or suitable, in diet, lodging, and clothing and this standard regulates the wages of labour. People who have at home some kind of property to apply their labour to, will not sell their labour for wages that do not afford them a better diet than potatoes or maize, although, in saving for themselves, they may live very much on potatoes and maize. We are often surprised, in travelling on the Continent, to hear of a rate of day's wages very high considering the abundance and cheapness of food. It is want of the necessity or inclination to take work that makes day labour scarce, and, considering the price of provisions, dear in many parts of the Continent, where property in land is widely diffused among the people.

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Italy is a country of contrasts, of finery and rags tacked together; but none of its contrasts strike the political economist so much as the difference between Florence and Rome. All around Rome, and even within its walls, reigns a funereal silence. The neighbourhood is a silent desert, no stir or sign of men, no bustle at the gates tell of a populous city. But without, within, and around the gates of Florence, you hear on all sides the busy hum of men. The suburbs of small houses, the clusters of good, clean, tradesman-like habitations, extend a mile or two. Shops, wine houses, market carts, country people, smart peasant girls, gardeners, weavers, wheelwrights, hucksters, in short, all the ordinary suburban trades, and occupations which usually locate themselves in the outskirts of thriving

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