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tors of Ireland; a more spirited and of very moderate fertility, would say more enlightened system of tillage to an offer of such a rent for one would be introduced; the gross pro season for an acre of land, which haduce of the land would be greatly ving been long laid down to grass, increased, and the owner's rent would or having been plentifully manured, be raised in consequence. If the should be considered capable of landlords of Ireland were to pay but yielding an abundant crop of potaa tithe of the attention, which, within toes? We should rather think that the last hundred years, the landed he would laugh at an offer of even proprietors of England and Scotland double that amount. With the exhave bestowed upon the improve- ception of land let under the circumment and cultivation of their estates, stances just detailed, rent in Ireland no doubt can be entertained, that the is greatly below the average rate produce of land already cultivated paid for land of equal quality in Engafter the Irish fashion, might very land. We have seen various estispeedily be doubled, and that a very mates drawn up by persons well acgreat addition might be made to the quainted with the subject; and in present amount of Irish rents, with none of these is the average of Irish out at all distressing the cultivators.rents, taking the whole of the culti

The subject of Irish rents is much vable land into the account, estimamisconceived in this country. We ted at a higher rate than fifteen shilhear of six, eight, or even ten guineas lings per Irish acre. When the naper acre talked of as rent paid for tural fertility of that island is consiland in Ireland ; and too often jump dered, nothing can furnish a more at the conclusion, that an Irish pro- decisive proof of the backward state prietor receives a much higher rent of Irish agriculture. An improved for his estate than an English land- and energetic system of tillage; the owner. That there are in Ireland application of more labour to the many acres of land, which for a sin- cultivation of the soil, would probagle season, let for ten guineas, is un- bly, in twenty years, double the rents; doubtedly true. But it should be if the population which now subsists, recollected that these are small par- either in complete idleness, or upcels of land, termed in the language of on half employment, were regularly that country “cow-acres;” that is to and constantly occupied in digging, say, single acres of fresh and unbro- ploughing, and hoeing, they would not ken soil, which having remained long only raise an ample supply of proviin a state of pasture, are ready and sions for themselves, but also a very fit for the production of an excellent large surplus, which would go in the crop of potatoes. The occupier, or, form of an augmented rent into the to speak more correctly, the cropper pockets of the landlords. The improof this acre incurs no other charge ved system of agriculture followed in in respect of it, than the labour of this country, owes its introduction planting; he pays no rates, taxes, or chiefly to the efforts and encourageother outgoings ; all these are de- ment of enlightened proprietors refrayed by the person w lets the sident upon their estates. But with land. In addition to this, it should exceptions that have little effect upon also be remembered, that in point of the general produce of the country, extent, the Irish acre bears to the no successful attempts have been English acre a proportion of 7840 to made to introduce the convertible 4840. This reduces the rent of ten system of husbandry into the South guineas to about six pounds per of Ireland, although the tenantry are English acre. This is the enormous stated to be really desirous of folrent which is sometimes said to be lowing any useful advice which might paid for land in Ireland. All we ga- be given them on the subject. Hence, ther from the statement, however, is the land having yielded a few crops the fact, that under peculiar circum- of potatoes, is then allowed, for a stances of situation and culture, some long succession of years, to fall into detached acres of land in a condition a state of nature, and yields both to fit for immediate cropping, let for the cultivator and the public, infiniteabout six pounds the English acre. ly less than it would produce under Now, we should like to know what an improved system. During the an English farmer, occupying a soil seed-time and haryest, the Irish pea

santry are fully employed; each upon time over, a long interval intervened his own allotment; but those sea before the harvest called the husband. sons over, all demand for labour man again into the field. An interceases ; as they are generally unac val of still greater length intervened quainted with the various processes between the harvest home and its practised by skilful cultivators to ensuing seed-time. These regular increase the productive powers of intermissions from field-labour furthe soil.

nished each cultivator with long peIt may, with perfect truth, be said, riods of leisure, which he might dethat the whole attention of the body vote to the fabrication of such arof Irish cottiers, is devoted solely to ticles of necessity or convenience as the culture of one crop—the potato. his taste or habits required. In this They bestir themselves in the spring state of society, manufactures prewhile planting, and in the autumn sented no outlet to absorb the surwhile taking up this crop. But with plus population as it increased in the exception of those who come number; hence it spread itself graover into England in pursuit of em dually over the land; woods and foployment during the summer months, rests were cleared and grubbed up; the rest of their time is spent in a wastes were reclaimed and cultivastate of absolute idleness, and thus ted, according to the imperfect sysentirely lost both to themselves and tem then in practice; farms were the public. This idleness and waste gradually split into minor holdings, of time, is the true source of all the until, in the end, there was no room poverty and misery which are so for further subdivision. The numprevalent in Ireland. They are real- ber of the people continued gradually ly employed only during about three to increase ; and the constantly acmonths in the year, and hence it can- cumulating surplus, having no opnot appear at all wonderful that men portunity to settle on the soil, and no who are idle for nine out of every opening for its labour in any other twelve months, should be steeped in branch of profitable industry, was poverty and distress. Some of the forced to subsist, in a state of idlemost enterprising and industrious ness and vagrancy, on the bounty of come over to England in the begin- those who occupied land. Of the ning of the summer, in pursuit of condition of this portion of the powork: they return home with their pulation of England, in the beginearnings at the close of the harvest ning of the seventeenth century, we season, and live with their families

are presented with the following in perfect idleness until the ensuing lively picture, in a tract published in spring, when they again set out upon the year 1601. “ The golden vale in their travels.

Herefordshire (being ye pride of all A glance at the History of England that country), being the richest, yet will shew that the very energy and (for want of employment) the plenprosperity of British industry date tifullest place of poore in the kingfrom the period when the able- dom-yielding two or three hundred bodied and vagrant beggar was. con

folde. The number so increasing, strained to renounce his mendicant (idleness having gotten the upper idleness, and to exchange a subsist- hand,) if trades bee not raised, begence obtained from the mistaken libe- gary will carry such reputation in rality of the benevolent, for a liveli- my quarter of the county, as if it hood earned by the exertion of his own had the whole to halves. There bee industry. Until the reign of Queen within a mile-and-a-half of my house Elizabeth, the population of Eng- everywaye, five hundred poore haland depended almost entirely upon bitations, whose greatest meanes conthe cultivation of the soil: The ma sist in spinning flaxe, hemp, and nufactures of the country being pure- hardes. They dispose the seasons ly domestic, and pursued only during of the yeare in this manner: I will the intervals of agricultural labour. begin with May, June, and July, The processes of agriculture were (three of the merriest months for then, as they are now, nearly through. beggars,) which yield the best inout the whole of Ireland, confined to crease for their purpose to raise multhe simple operations of sowing the titudes, whey, curdes, butter-milk, seed and gathering the crop; seed- and such belly provision abounding

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tors of Ireland; a more spirited and of very moderate fertility, would say more enlightened system of tillage to an offer of such a rent for one would be introduced; the gross pro- season for an acre of land, which baduce of the land would be greatly ving been long laid down to grass, increased, and the owner's rent would or having been plentifully manured, be raised in consequence. If the should be considered capable of landlords of Ireland were to pay but yielding an abundant crop of potaa tithe of the attention, which, within toes? We should rather think that the last hundred years, the landed he would laugh at an offer of even proprietors of England and Scotland double that amount. With the exhave bestowed upon the improve. ception of land let under the circumment and cultivation of their estates, stances just detailed, rent in Ireland no doubt can be entertained, that the is greatly below the average rate produce of land already cultivated paid for land of equal quality in Engafter the Irish fashion, might very fand. We have seen various estispeedily be doubled, and that a very mates drawn up by persons well acgreat addition might be made to the quainted with the subject; and in present amount of Irish rents, with none of these is the average of Irish out at all distressing the cultivators. rents, taking the whole of the culti

The subject of Irish rents is much vable land into the account, estimamisconceived in this country. We ted at a higher rate than fifteen shilhear of six, eight, or even ten guineas lings per Irish acre. When the naper acre talked of as rent paid for tural fertility of that island is consiland in Ireland; and too often jump dered, nothing can furnish a more at the conclusion, that an Irish pro- decisive proof of the backward state prietor receives a much higher rent of Irish agriculture. An improved for his estate than an English land- and energetic system of tillage; the owner. That there are in Ireland application of more labour to the many acres of land, which for a sin- cultivation of the soil, would probagle season, let for ten guineas, is un- bly, in twenty years, double the rents; doubtedly true. But it should be if the population which now subsists, recollected that these are small par- either in complete idleness, or upcels of land, termed in the language of on half employment, were regularly that country “cow-acres;” that is to and constantly occupied in digging, say, single acres of fresh and unbro- ploughing, and hoeing, they would not ken soil, which having remained long only raise an ample supply of proviin a state of pasture, are ready and sions for themselves, but also a very fit for the production of an excellent large surplus, which would go in the crop of potatoes. The occupier, or, form of an augmented rent into the to speak’ more correctly, the cropper pockets of the landlords. The improof this acre incurs no other charge ved system of agriculture followed in in respect of it, than the labour of this country, owes its introduction planting; he pays no rates, taxes, or chiefly to the efforts and encourageother outgoings ; all these are de- ment of enlightened proprietors refrayed by the person who lets the sident upon their estates. But with land. In addition to this, it should exceptions that have little effect upon also be remembered, that in point of the general produce of the country, extent, the Irish acre bears to the no successful attempts have been English acre a proportion of 7840 to made to introduce the convertible 4840. This reduces the rent of ten system of husbandry into the South guineas to about six pounds per of Ireland, although the tenantry are English acre. This is the enormous stated to be really desirous of folrent which is sometimes said to be lowing any useful advice which might paid for land in Ireland. All we ga- be given them on the subject. Hence, ther from the statement, however, is the land having yielded a few crops the fact, that under peculiar circum- of potatoes, is then allowed, for a stances of situation and culture, some long succession of years, to fall into detached acres of land in a condition a state of nature, and yields both to fit for immediate cropping, let for the cultivator and the public, infiniteabout six pounds the English acre. ly less than it would produce under Now, we should like to know what an improved system. During the an English farmer, occupying a soil seed-time and harvest, the Irish

the church-boxes, with others who, change, much individual suffering with living upon bad food, fall into presents itself to the eye of the phivarious diseases,) 200,000 people beg. lanthropist. It is, however, an inging from door to door. These are stance of that apparently severe, but not only no way advantageous, but a ultimately benevolent economy of very grievous burden to so poor a Providence, by which human entercountry: and though the numbers prise and industry are directed into of them be perhaps double to what' their most beneficial channel ; and it it was formerly, by reason of the is also the dawn of national wealth present great distress, yet in all and prosperity. As long as a comtimes there have been about 100,000 munity remains devoted solely to of these vagabonds, who have lived agricultural pursuits, so much of the without any regard or submission, time of each cultivator is lost or either to the laws of the land, or even wasted, that he can do little more to those of God and nature. No ma than extract from the imperfectly gistrate could ever discover, or be tilled soil a scanty supply of food for informed, which way any of these his own family. There is scarcely wretches died, or that ever they were any surplus to pass into the pockets baptized. Many murders have been of the landlord, or to meet the neces. discovered among them; and they sary demands of the state. are not only a most unspeakable op This was precisely the condition pression to poor tenants, (who, if they of the population of England, until give not bread, or some sort of pro- matters came to a crisis in the reign vision, to perhaps forty such villains of Queen Elizabeth. It was the good in one day, are sure to be insulted by fortune of England to have its affairs them,) but they rob many poor peo- at that period administered by a caple, who live in houses distant from binet unrivalled in sagacity and wisany neighbourhood. In years of plen- dom; they fully appreciated the difty, many thousands of them meet to ficulties which were to be overcome, gether in the mountains, where they and established a system of laws for feast and riot for many days; and at the management of the poor, admicountry-weddings, markets, burials, rably calculated to answer the ends and other the like public occasions, of humanity, as well as to accelerate they are to be seen, both men and and assist the change which was then women, perpetually drunk, cursing, taking place in the distribution of the blaspheming, and fighting together." population. Until that period, the

The state of things here described only attempts made by the legislaas subsisting, both in England and ture to suppress mendicant idleness Scotland, at the period in question, were confined to the infliction of seis by no means peculiar ; it marks an vere pains and penalties; the idle ordinary epoch in the natural pro- beggar was treated as a criminal, gress of population and society. The “ who had no right to be where he cultivable land of every country be- was ;" and his presumption in a sitcomes gradually occupied; the po- ting down uninvited at the feast of pulation, continuing to multiply, at nature,” was considered as a crime length overflows. This gives rise to to be expiated only by whipping and want, idleness, and vagrancy. The boring in the ear with “a red-hot surplus population cannot obtain iron, not exceeding the compass of land to cultivate; and manufactures, an inch ;” and a repetition of his ofnot yet existing, offer them no re fence was punishable even with

This period, whenever it death. Various statutes, both of the occurs, forms a great and important English and Scottish Parliaments, crisis in the internal economy of a passed in the course of the fifteenth nation, constituting, in effect, what and sixteenth centuries, enact,“ that may be termed the transition period, a vagabond above the age of thirteen, from a state purely agricultural, to shall be adjudged to be grievously another and a better arrangement of whipped, and burnt through the gristhe community, which takes off the tle of the right ear with a hot iron of surplus hands, not required for tilla the compass of an inch, unless some age, to be profitably employed in me credible person will take him into his chanical and manufacturing indus- service for a year; and if being of the try. During the progress of this age of eighteen years, he after so fall

source.

manner.

again into a roguish life, he shall suf- their children, all sit round, envelofer death as a felon, unless some cre- ped in smoke. If the family possess dible person will take him into ser- any poultry, a pig, a cow, an ass, or vice for two years; and if he fall a a horse, they are all inmates of the third time into roguish life, he shall cabin, and the provender which they be adjudged a felon.” Bacon and his get for these animals, which someassociates, however, took a different times extends to the luxury of a few view of the matter : They seem to oats, is laid down on the floor, which have not only come to the conclusion is composed of the natural earth. that the able-bodied beggar had a With all this company, it may easily right to be here, but that the sound- be conceived that the floor must be limbed varlets, whom the economists nearly as dirty as the highway; yet of that day wished either to transport the whole family generally lie on it, or annihilate, might, if properly set and there is not a seat to be met with to work, be rendered highly produc- in the house. That their clothing aptive to the commonwealth. And to pears so ragged, is entirely their own work they set them accordingly. fault; they are so lazy, that as long This laid the foundation of our pre as they can get any new clothing, sent national greatness; it called into they will never mend any of the old. full play the whole physical force of They never darn a hole in a stocking, the population, and directed it ulti- but wear it till the foot comes off'; mately into the channels best adapted and they treat every other part of to promote the accumulation, as well their dress in the same as creation, of public wealth.

“ The broad and striking contrast," The present distribution of the observes Sir John Walsh,“ which Irish population seems to bear con the face of the country, and the considerable resemblance to that which dition of the people, present to the prevailed in this country as lately as eye of the traveller arrived from the the close of the sixteenth century; rich agricultural counties of Salop and until that period, many of the evils Chester, or the manufacturing disnow complained of in Ireland exist- tricts of Lancashire, bas not been suffied here; and it appears at least pro- ciently dwelt upon. He has just left bable, that they would yield to the the well-clothed peasantry, the neat discreet application of the same re cottages, the large, comfortable farmmedy.

houses, surrounded by a little town It will be seen that we advocate of barns and out-houses; the strong, the introduction into Ireland of a pro sleek cart-horses; the compact, wellper system of laws for the manage- built waggons, carts, and agriculment of the poor, not for the pur- tural implements; the neat, trim pose of enabling the idle to subsist fences; in fine, all the marks of high at the expense of the industrious, but and expensive farming which meet of forcing the owners of land to pay the eye in almost all the midland and some attention to the habits and oc southern counties of England; or he cupations of the peasantry. The mi- has seen the bustle and commercial sery which prevails among Irish activity, the immense manufactures, population is all brought on, not by the swarming population, the wealth, any peculiar oppression under which and prosperity,of the neighbourhood they labour, but by their own bad of Manchester and Liverpool. He management and inactivity. They finds on the other side of the channel are mostly stout and active, and can a naked country, with a character of work well if they will; but the will neglect and desolation. He does not to work is generally wanting. Hence at first perceive the numerous brownthe quality of their fare, the slovenly looking thatched huts which are scatappearance of their dwellings, and tered in all parts, and which, at least, the raggedness of their clothing. A prove that there is no deficiency of large proportion of them live entirely inhabitants. He looks in vain for the on potatoes and salt, with an occa houses of the better class of yeomen sional supply of milk in the summer and farmers. The nearest approach months. The fire being in the mid- to them are a few low cottages, whitedle of the hovel, the pot in which washed, slated roofs, small windows, they boil the potatoes is set on three the frames not painted, and the glass stones, and the man, his wife, and broken, Nowhere does he see the

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