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in Florence are well lodged; and from the number and contents of the provision stalls in the obscure third-rate streets, the number of butchers' shops, grocers' shops, eating-houses, and coffee-houses for the middle and lower classes, the traveller must conclude that they are generally well fed and at their ease. The labourer is whistling at his work, the weaver singing over his loom. The number of book-stalls, small circulating libraries, and the free access of all classes to the magnificent galleries of paintings and statues, even to the collection in the Pitti palace itself, and the frequent use made by the lower class of this free access to the highest works of art, show that intellectual enjoyments connected with taste in the fine arts the only intellectual enjoyments open to or generally cultivated by those classes on the Continent who do not belong to the learned professions, and are by the nature of their government, debarred from political or religious investigation and discussion -are widely diffused and generally cultivated. No town on the Continent shows so much of this kind of intellectuality, or so much well-being and good conduct among the people. It happened that the 9th of May was kept here as a great holiday by the lower class, as May day with us, and they assembled in a kind of park about a mile from the city, where booths, tents, and carts with wine and eatables for sale, were in crowds and clusters, as at our village wakes and race courses. The multitude from town and country round could not be less than 20,000 people grouped in small parties, dancing, singing, talking, dining on the grass, and enjoying themselves. I did not see a single instance of inebriety, ill temper, or unruly boisterous conduct; yet the people were gay and joyous. There was no police, except, at the crossings of the alleys in the park, a mounted dragoon to make the innumerable carts, horses, and carriages of all kinds and classes keep their files, and their own sides of the roads. The scene gave a favourable impression of the state of the lower classes in Tuscany.

But why should the physical and moral condition of this population be so superior to that of the Neapolitans, or of the neighbouring people in the Papal states? The soil and climate and productions are the same in all these countries. The difference must be accounted for by the happier distribution of the land in Tuscany. In 1836, Tuscany contained 1,436,785 inhabitants, and 130,190 landed estates. Deducting 7,901 estates belonging to towns, churches, and other corporate bodies, we have 122,289 belonging to the people — or, in other words, 48 families in every 100 have land of their own to live from. Can the striking difference in the physical and moral condition, and in the standard of living, between the people of Tuscany and those of the Papal states be ascribed to any other cause? The taxes are as heavy in Tuscany as in the dominions of the Pope; about 12s. 6d. sterling per head of the population in the one, and 12s. 10d. in the other. But in the whole Maremma of Rome, of about 30 leagues in length by 10 or 12 in breadth, Mons. Chateauvieux reckons only 24 factors, or tenants of the large estates of the Roman nobles. From the frontier of the Neapolitan to that of the Tuscan state, the whole country is reckoned to be divided in about 600 landed estates. Compare the husbandry of Tuscany, the perfect system of drainage, for instance, in the strath of the Arno by drains between every two beds of land, all connected with a main drain - being our own lately introduced furrow tile-draining, but connected here with the irrigation as well as the draining of the land, compare the clean state of the growing crops, the variety and succession of green crops for foddering cattle in the house all the year round, the attention to collecting manure, the garden-like cultivation of the whole face of the country,compare these with the desert waste of the Roman Maremma, or with the papal country of soil and productiveness as good as that of the vale of the Arno, the country about Foligni and Perugia,-compare the

work about their cows' food, or their silkworm leaves, with the ragged, sallow, indolent population lounging about their doors in the papal dominions, starving, and with nothing to do on the great estates; nay, compare the agricultural industry and operations in this land of small farms, with the best of our large-farm districts, with Tweedside, or East Lothian and snap your fingers at the wisdom of our Sir Johns, and all the host of our book-makers on agriculture, who bleat after each other that solemn saw of the thriving-tenantry-times of the war-that small farms are incompatible with a high and perfect state of cultivation. Scotland, or England, can produce no one tract of land to be compared to this strath of the Arno, not to say for productiveness, because that depends upon soil and climate, which we have not of similar quality to compare, but for industry and intelligence applied to husbandry, for perfect drainage, for irrigation, for garden-like culture, for clean state of crops, for absence of all waste of land, labour, or manure, for good cultivation, in short, and the good condition of the labouring cultivator. These are points which admit of being compared between one farm and another, in the most distinct soils and climates. Our system of large farms will gain nothing in such a comparison with the husbandry of Tuscany, Flanders, or Switzerland, under a system of small farms,

Next to the distribution of property, the comparative well-being of the lower classes in Tuscany must be ascribed to the government. The ducal family, for some generations, have ruled as a liberal, paternal autocracy. The people have had no representation in the legislature in a constitutional shape; but they have been ably represented by their grand dukes themselves. The public measures of these wise, good, and truly great sovereigns, have been of a more decidedly liberal character than any representative legislature in Italy taking into account the ignorance of the representatives, the influence of the priesthood, and the jealousy of Austria of any shadow of constitutional power vested in

the Italian people could have ventured upon. The feudal privileges of the nobles, the municipal or corporation privileges which shackle the freedom of industry and trade, the restraints on civil liberty which in other parts of Europe keep the working producing classes in a state of thraldom to the government and its functionaries, have been long mitigated or abolished in Tuscany, by the liberal sovereigns who, by rare good fortune, have ruled in succession for three generations, on the same enlightened and beneficent principles. But stability of good laws and good government depending upon the personal character of one man is a stake of fearful magnitude, when the well-being of a whole people depends upon it. One ill-educated, ill-advised successor, may undo all the good his predecessors have planned or accomplished. Capital, commerce, manufacturing industry, the great agencies in the movement of modern society, will not trust themselves freely upon so unstable a foundation. This will ever be the impediment to any considerable progress of Prussia, Austria, Tuscany, and all the paternally governed but autocratic states, in the development of the industry of their people. The prosperity, national wealth, and public spirit they aim at are inseparable from free institutions and legislative power lodged with the people themselves, and independent of the life or will of an individual. It would be a great misfortune to civilised Europe, if Prussia, with an autocratic government in which the public has no legal influence over the executive and its functionaries, were to attain any considerable manufac turing and commercial prosperity among nations. But this prosperity is so linked with that public confidence which can exist only in states in which the people have constitutional checks by their own representatives upon the acts of the government, that such a prosperity is unattainable by such a state as Prussia.

CHAP. XXIII.

FLORENCE TO BOLOGNA-NOTES ON VENICE

THE road from Florence to Bologna, about 25 leagues, crosses the Apennines, and from some points the sea on either side of the peninsula may be descried. The mountain scenery of the Apennine chain is by no means grand, picturesque, or beautiful. The elevation of the hills is so considerable that patches of snow remain unmelted a great part of the summer; but they are covered with a thick bed of clay soil in general, and the breaks made by torrents in beds of clay, the ravines, glens, and valleys of a yellow clay country, are seldom picturesque. In Italy altogether the tracts of country with five natural scenery are rare. The towns, the works of art, the association of ideas with ancient history, and the luxuriant vegetation, and delicious climate, are the charms of Italy. The inhabitants near to Bologna do not partake of the wretchedness and indolence of the subjects of the papal states on the other side of the Apennines. They are evidently in a better condition. The land is more divided among the people in the legations of Bologna, Ferrara, Ravenna, Forli, than in the old, original territory of the papal state in which the Roman pontiffs, and the princely families derived from them, are the landowners. The people, also, had some constitutional rights in former times.

The city of Bologna is remarkable from having an arched colonnade over the foot pavements on each side of the streets, a feature we are not accustomed to in northern towns. One walks under cover, but the effect is very gloomy. The climate must be rainy on this side of the Apennines, as all the cities have some of the principal of their old streets covered in on each side.

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