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Not more almighty to resist their might Than wise to frustrate all their plots and wiles.
If it is inquired what is meant by the order and subordination of nature above mentioned, I answer (what may -be indeed inferred from what has been already said) that it is the order and subordination which is the natural and necessary consequence of inequality of property, which inequality is the natural and necessary consequence of the idea of property being at all admitted among men. I talk of civilized life. Wherever there is property there must be power, and where there is inequality of property there must be inequality of power. And this I look upon as the most natural, the surest, and safest basis of Government,-whatever may be the superstructure. Upon this basis stood the Comitia centuriata of Rome. An ancient and complete instance of inequality of property made the foundation and principle of Government. Itunited independence and intelligence, and gave every chance of stability that can be given to any human institution. It was the Comitia tributa and curialia, whose numbers, not property, was the rate of voting, which introduced corruption and confusion into the government, and made the flatterers of the people masters of the legions and the destinies of Rome. Reason and experience concur in showing, that there is but a step from democracy to despotism, and that the spirit of both is that of robbery and murder; whereas a government founded upon property must protect property, a fortiori, liberty and life. In this opinion I am much fortified by that of a very able author, who wrote no farther back than the year 1807. See Edinburgh Review, No 18, page 366 bottom, and 367 top, article -Filangieri on Legislation.
"But no country has ever possessed such a mass of landed and mercantile proprietors, or such numbers of enlightened citizens, as our own. What lever can overturn a pyramid which rests on such a basis as this? Not surely a King of England, with less of courtly splendour than perhaps becomes his dignity, and without the practical choice of even the servants who form his household!" This was written with sound sense and sound patriotism. I would beg only to add to it, that in these respects landed property has the advantage of mercantile. It is more visible, it is more permanent,-and it is
employed in productions of primary necessity. It is not disputed that, in some other respects, the mercantile has the advantage, and in some the stockholder has the advantage of both, particularly in the immediate command of his money. But who would have suspected that the landed interest, forming, in conjunction with the mercantile, the basis of the pyramid upon which rest our rights, our security, and our happiness, was always opposed to that of every other class of the community? Administrations may stand or fall,
"A breath can make them as a breath has made,"
but surely landed property does not change its nature with the change of a ministry. Moreover, in No 20 of above work, page 407, article-Cobbet's Political Register, I read, that "the influence of great families (undoubtedly great landed families) in the election of members, is rather beneficial than pernicious." Is it possible that the influence of men, whose interest is always opposed to that of every other class of the community, should be beneficial in the election of members? Will they not poison the very fountain-head of our political existence? Will they not sacrifice to their own interest that of every other class of the community? There ought rather to be express laws made to debar them from elections and the House of Commons altogether; and instead of the trust-oath, there should be one framed, that the claimant did not possess, in property or superiority, directly or indirectly, an inch of ground. Again, in above No 20, the same article (Cobbett), page 417, I find, that
"An English Peer has scarcely any other influence than an English Gentleman of equal fortune, and scarcely any other interest to maintain it. The whole landed interest, including the peerage, is scarcely a match for the moneyed interest either in Parliament or out of it; and, as it is the basis of a more steady and permanent, as well as a more liberal and exalted dependency, we wish to see Peers concerned in elections rather than Stock-jobbers and Nabobs ;" that is to say, that the influence of Peers, as proprietors of land, should be encouraged in the House of Commons, from whence, as Peers, they are constitutionally excluded; and yet as proprietors of land, their interest must always be opposed to that of
every other class of the community, and they must therefore have the same interest as other land-holders to do mischief in the House of Com
In page 82 of Edinburgh Review, No 59, it is said:
"High rents and low profits, for they are inseparably connected, ought never to be made the subject of complaint, if they occur in the natural state of society, and under a system of perfectly free intercourse with other nations; but if they are caused by an exclusive commercial system, or by restrictions which prevent the cheap importation of foreign corn, and which, therefore, force the cultivation of inferior soils at home, they are highly to be deprecated."
Now, if the government of this country should find expedient, and what is called the commercial interest should agree to a perfectly free intercourse with other nations, that is, to a perfectly free importation of foreign corn, and of every other foreign article of consumption, I think what is called the landed interest, as such, would not, and ought not, to object to it, whatever effect it might have upon rents. But if the meaning be, that there should be a perfectly free importation of foreign corn, and a perfectly restrained importation of every thing, or of any thing else, and this be called the natural state of society, then, I would say, that what is called the landed interest, would be hardly dealt with and treated as a stepchild by the common mother country; because it would be obliged to sell cheap and buy dear, and would be the only class of inhabitants so treated. I have said, what is called the commercial and landed interest, because I am perfectly sensible that the interest of all classes is the same, and that none can be injured, in the first instance, but the rest must ultimately suffer. I am more particularly sensible, that the home trade of this country, as of most other countries, is by far the most important that the proprietors and occupiers of land are the greatest consumers in such trade, and that they cannot be impoverished, but the other classes must be ruined. I have been now nearly three-score and ten years in this world, and have had some opportunity of observing the former and present number of retail shops in different county, and other towns, and the goods and customers with which they were formerly, and are now fill
ed, and can thence form some opinion, whether or not the commercial interest has suffered by the advancement of the landed interest; and whether all interests be not much advanced, and much in the same proportion. After the income tax, and all the taxes, and all our debt, and a war of nearly twenty-five years, I can declare, that all classes of men are, beyond all comparison, better fed, better clad, and better lodged, than when I first opened my eyes upon this world, upon which I know I must soon close them forever. Further, were all nations to act upon the principle of what is said in above quotation about the cultivation of inferior soils, I suspect (and so does the Reviewer, as we shall soon see), that the earth would be less productive, and consequently less inhabited, than at present. And if this nation in particular, were to act upon it, then, and in the event of a foreign war and Continental system, such as we have seen, it would be in a very dependent and dangerous situation.
I shall make one more quotation from above Review, No 59, page 87, being the last on the subject of Ricardo.
"It is, whatever may be said to the contrary, the great and leading defect of the lower classes, that they submit to privations with too little reluctance."
There is much dark reasoning in this article of Ricardo, and unquestionably much ingenuity. But it must be confessed, that this improvement of the subject, which may likewise be considered as the key, is abundantly plain and practical. I shall now take the liberty of making rather a long extract from the same work, No 18, page 371, that I may have an opportunity of the culpable passiveness of the lower comparing above remark concerning classes, with the following eulogy upon their poverty and thrift:
"Nor is the poverty of the labouring classes a real check to population, though lamented with much benevolent feeling by Filangieri. It was poverty, the parent of labour, the duris urgens in rebus egestis, which first tamed the habitable earth; and still, though more slowly, encroaches on the swamp and the thicket (inferior soils), to augment the sustenance of mankind. But food may not only be augmented, it may be economized. It may seem at first, the cravings of hunger must be nearly the same in all men, and require nearly an equal portion of food to allay them. But some are fed with less, and some are fed with
more, than nature would mete out. What a difference between the consumption of a Bedouin Arab and an English farmer! Perhaps Mr Malthus has not sufficiently taken notice of this key to some of the phenomena of population. There seems to be no mode of accounting for the well-attested populousness of some nations, but their extreme thrift and temperance. If we may put any faith in the early books of Livy, nearly 200,000 citizens were included in the census soon after the expulsion of the kings, when the territory of Rome was less than Rutlandshire. The book of chronicles bears testimony to the astonishing population of the Hebrews, who united, with the common frugality and temperance of the east, institutions more favourable to agriculture than have commonly existed.In modern Palestine, the sensible Volney gives credit to a population of 40,000 fighting men among the barren mountains of the Druses. This would give 150,000 persons for a district of 110 square leagues, or about 150 for each square mile, which approaches to the populousness of France or England. Volney ascribes this to their liberty ; but free men must eat as well as slaves; and though a bad government will make a fruitful land desert, yet the best cannot turn barrenness into fertility. It is only their frugal style of life, and especially their abstinence from animal food, which can explain it. Poverty then, which puts men upon short allowance, makes the same quantity feed more than if they were at ease; and thus the inequality of property, whatever may be its evils, has a tendency to help forward population, because it stimulates to the production of more, and checks the consumption of what there is."
I presume, the good sense contained in this quotation, will recommend it equally to others, as it has done to me, and that I shall need no other apology for its length. The hints it suggests to the English farmer and manufacturer, may be as useful to them and their families as the remark about their too easy acquiescence in privations, may be agreeable. The ingenious author has certainly furnished the materials of the utile and the dulce. will have carried every point, if, by a farther exertion of his ingenuity, he can get them to mix and amalgamate together.
I shall conclude with one general observation, on an author whose style and taste, rather than whose sentiments, I would wish to adopt; that it is the great and leading defect of one of the ablest critical works that has
ever appeared in this, or, I believe, any other country or age; that it has a strong, not an intentional, tendency to make mankind unhappy and discon
The mind's taper burns bright, the heart springs to the muses,
When nectar its magical virtue infuses ; To me far more grateful the tavern's pure juices,
Than what my Lord's butler with water reduces.
Appropriate the stamp which from nature each bore;
No stanzas when hungry and parched do I pour;
Beyond me, if famished, the schoolboy may
And hunger and thirst like the grave I abhor. The strains I indite mate the wine in my glass; Not a verse I can scrawl when I'm fasting, alas!
Or, if I attempt it, I find I'm an ass; Though Naso himself in my cups I surpass.
The poet's fine phrenzy to feel is not mine, Till from table I rise with my skin full of wine;
When my brain owns the influence of Bacchus divine,
Then-then comes the glow-then Apollo ! I'm thine! X.
LINES by WALTER DE MAPES, Archdeacon of Oxford, and the Anacreon of England.
Mihi est propositum in taberna mori:
May my life in a tavern fleet joyous away, With a flask at my lips as my spirits decay; That angels descending to fetch me, may say, "Heaven's blessing on him who thus mois tens his clay."
VERSES, by a Young Man of Trinity College, Cambridge, upon being denied by the Dean (along with another scholar) the office of reading grace, on account of the lack of personal comeliness and other qualifications, though they eventually proved, respectively, the Senior Medallist and Senior Wrangler of their year.
Una ibant Juvenes duo
Ripam ad flumineam forte; silentium
Luctus causa eadem, culpa eadem. Deus
Ore; at lingua minus congrua gutturi,
Tum, par flebile turturum,
Alterno incipiunt cum gemitu. B. "Scelus
Ut me tu, Juvenum sancte Pater, vetes
R. "Sprevisti quoque me; muneris at memor
B." At quamvis mihi vox barbara Vandalum,
R." Quamvis et statua sim taciturnior,
R." Quamvis me superat ventus et improbus,
R." Quamvis me superat pullus avis querens,
B. "Non flavens meruit dedecus hoc coma, Aut gressus pedis impares:"
R. "Nec nos hoc tulimus jure, quia in genis
Doctrinam ex liquido fonte Matheseos :"
Dum corvi veluti grex alius strepunt."
Down to the river's side,
Silent and sad of heart, went Gownsmen twain ;
In cause of grief they vied,
And vied in crime: to pour the flowing strain
Ill could their faultering tongue
As moan two turtle-doves, they mourn: B. "What sin
Against these walls, O Dean,
Is mine, that me thus sternly thy behest
R." Me, too, thou'st spurn'd; yet, mind
ful of my cue,
To thee thy priest was true." B." But though my struggling throat's hoarse tones, alas!
Vandal and Goth surpass ;"
R. "Still as a statue, though I seldom speak, And shriek whene'er I speak ;"
B. "Though harsher than the hinge my
Which bears the rusted gate;"
"Granta, fui studiisque totus !'"
may the Muse of sprightliest vein, Still found in gay Good-humour's train, Thy parting steps attend!
Dear Perceval! beloved name!
The scholar and the friend!
What elegance, what faith, are thine!
R. "Though forced through slender chink, What virtue-Goddess ever seen,
the whistling wind
My thin lisp leaves behind;"
B. "Though Indian gongs, or hammer'd stithy, far
My voice exceeds in jar;"
When throned on the ingenuous mein,
More bright and more refined!
Hail! youth, most worthy to engage
R.Though me excels the callow chirp- Whom Learning's venerable host
Whose dam's abroad for food;"
B. "My yellow locks deserved not such a fate,
Nor such my halting gait ;"
R." Nor this of right my meed, for that my face
Is reft of youth's soft grace."
B." But me the Samian sage his son shall deem;
And, mute for aye, the stream Deep from thy fount, Mathesis, will I drain:
R. "For me the lyre's sweet strain Shall speak, while all beside like ravens hoarse shall scream."
Ad Percevallum e Granta exiturum,
O latioris quæ comes ingeni
Et Musa blandis apta teporibus,
Delicias decus et tuorum!
Proh! quanta morum gratia! quæ fides
Their gentlest noblest son might boast
Thee Granta's genius tends with care,
"O though thou quitt'st this happy spot, Be not my fostering love forgot,
Dearest of births and best.
Thy God, the Muse, be dear!
"Or favouring stars thy footsteps guide To holier joys-the loved fireside,
The wife and prattling line;
• Granta (thou❜lt say), to thee in truth, And studious lore, I gave my youth
In head in heart I'm thine." "