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try were entirely exhausted, and the As the numbers of the people inpeople sunk in hopeless submission creased, however, and the value of under the power that oppressed them. the immense farms which had been
But, in the progress of these wars, thus granted to the descendants of their an evil of a far greater and more pere original proprietors was enhanced, the manent description would naturally task of collecting rents over so exarise, than either the loss of lives or tensive a district would have become the devastation of property which they too great for any individual, and the occasioned. In the course of the pro- increased wealth which he had actracted contest, the LANDED PROPER- quired from the growth of his tenTY OF THE COUNTRY WOULD ENTIRE- antry, would have led him to dislike LY HAVE CHANGED MASTERS ; and the personal labour with which it in place of being possessed by natives would be attended. These great tenof the country permanently settled on ants, in consequence, would have subset their estates, and attached by habit their vast possessions to an inferior and common interest to the labourers set of occupiers, who might each superof the ground, it would have come in- intend the collection of the rents with to the hands of foreign noblemen, in his own farm, and have an opporforced upon the country by military tunity of acquiring a personal acpower, hated by the natives, residing quaintance with the labourers by whom always on their English estates, and it was to be cultivated.
As the numregarding the people of Scotland as ber of the people increased, the same barbarians, whom it was alike impoli- process would be repeated by the diftic to approach, and necessary to curb ferent tenants on their respective by despotic power.
farms; and thus there would have But while such would be the feelings sprung up universally in Scotland a and policy of the English proprietors, class of Middle Men between the prothe stewards whom they appointed to prietor and the actual cultivator of manage their Scotch estates, at a dis- the soil. tance from home, and surrounded by While these changes went on, the a fierce and hostile population, would condition of the people, oppressed by have felt the necessity of some as- a series of successive masters, each of sistance, to enable them to maintain whom required to live by their latheir authority, or turn to any ac- bour, and wholly debarred from obcount the estates that were committed taining any legal redress for their to their care. Unable to procure mi- grievances, would have gradually sunk. litary assistance, to enforce the sub- Struggling with a barren soil, and a mission of every district, or collect host of insatiable oppressors, they the rents of every property, they could never have acquired any ideas would of necessity have looked to of comfort, or indulged in any hopes some method of conciliating the peo- of rising the world. They would, ple of the country; and such a me- in consequence, have adopted that
spethod would naturally suggest itself in cies of food which promised to afford the attachment which the people bore the greatest nourishment for a family to the families of original landlords, from the smallest space of ground; and the consequent means which they and from the universality of this possessed of swaying their refractory cause, the Potatoe would have bedispositions. These unhappy men, on come the staple food of the country. the other hand, despairing of the re- The landed proprietors, on the covery of their whole estates, would other hand, who are the natural probe glad of an opportunity of regaining tectors, and ought always to be the any part of them, and eagerly em- best encouragers of the people on their brace any proposal by which such estates, would have shrunk from the a compromise might be effected. The idea of leaving their English possessense of mutual dependence, in short, sions, where they were surrounded by would have led to an arrangement, an affectionate and comfortable tenanta by which the estates of the English ry, where riches and plenty sprung nobles were to be subset to the Scottish from the natural fertility of the soil, proprietors for a fixed yearly rent, and where power and security were and they would take upon themselves derived from their equal law, to settle the task to which they alone were in a northern climate, amongst a peocompetent, of recovering the rents ple by whom they were abhorred, and from the actual cultivators of the soil. where law was unable to restrain the
licentiousness, or reform the barba- Had the English, therefore, suerity of the inhabitants.—They would ceeded in subduing Scotland in the in consequence have universally be time of Robert Bruce, and in maincome ABSENTEE PROPRIETORS; and taining their authority from that penot only denied to the Scottish people riod, we think it not going too far to the incalculable advantages of a resi. assert, that the people of this country dent body of landed gentlemen; but, would have been now in the lowest by their influence in Parliament, and state of political degradation : that their animosity towards their north- religious discussion and civil rancour ern tenantry, prevented any legisla- would have mutually exasperated the tive measure being pursued for their higher and lower orders against each relief.
other; that the landed proprietors In such circumstances, it seems would have been permanently settled hardly conceivable that arts or ma- in the yictorious country; that every nufactures should have made any pro- where a class of middlemen would gress in this country. But, if in spite have been established to grind and of the obstacles which the unfavourable ruin the labours of the poor ; that climate, and unhappy political circum- manufactures would have been exstances of the country presented, ma- tinguished, and the country covered nufactures should have begun to spring with a numerous and indigent popuup amongst us, they would speedily have lation, idle in their habits, ignorant been checked by the commercial jea- in their ideas, ferocious in their manlousy of their more powerful southern ners, professing a religion which held rivals. Bills would have been brought them in bondage, and clinging to preinto parliament, as was actually done judices from which their ruin must in regard to a neighbouring island, ensue. proceeding on the preamble, “ that Is it said, that this is mere conjecit is expedient that the Scottish ma- ture, and that nothing in the history of nufactures should be discouraged;" English government warrants us in and the prohibition of sending their concluding, that such would have goods into the richer market of Eng- been the consequence of the establishland, whither the whole wealth of ment of their dominion in this counthe country were already drawn, would try? Alas! it is not conjecture. The have annihilated the infant efforts of history of IRELAND affords too memanufacturing industry.
lancholy a confirmation of the truth Nor would the Reformation, which, of the positions which we have adas matters stand, has been of such vanced, and of the reality of the deessential service to this country, have duction which we have pursued. In been, on the hypothesis which we are that deduction we have not reasoned pursuing, a lesser source of suffering, on hypothesis or conjecture. Every or a greater bar to the improvement step which we have hinted at, has of the people.. From being embraced there been taken ; every consequence by their English landlords, the Re, which we have suggested, has there formed Religion would have been ensued. Those acquainted with the hateful to the peasants of Scotland; history of that unhappy country, or the Catholic priests would have sought who have studied its present condirefuge among them, from the perse- tion, will recognize in the conjectucution to which they were exposed in ral history which we have sketched, their native seats; and both would of what would have followed the anhave been strengthened in their hatred nexation of this country to England to those persons to whom their com- in the time of Edward II., the real mon misfortune was owing. Religi- history of what HAS FOLLOWED its ous hatred would thus have combined subjugation in the time of Henry II., with all the previous circumstances of and perceive in the causes which we irritation, to increase the rancour be- have pointed out, as what would have tween the proprietors of the soil, and operated upon our people, the real the labouring classes in this country; causes of the misery and wretchedness and from the circumstance of the lat- in which its population is involved. ter adhering to the proscribed reli- Nor is the example of the peaceful gion, they would have been rendered submission of Wales to the dominion yet more incapable of procuring a re- of England, any authority against this dress for their grievances in a legisla- view of the subject. Wales is so in• tive form.
considerable in comparison to England, it comes so completely in con- Bannockburn was consigned to the tact with its richest provinces, and dust, after five centuries of grateful is so enveloped by its power, that remembrance and experienced obligawhen once subdued, all thought of tion. It is by thus appreciating the resistance or revolt became hopeless. merits of departed worth that similar That mountainous region, therefore, virtues in future are to be called forth; fell as quietly and as completely into and by duly feeling the consequences the arms of England, as if it had of heroic resistance in time past, that been one of the Heptarchy, which in the spirit is to be excited by which process of time was incorporated with the future fortunes of the state are to the English monarchy. Very differ- be maintained. ent is the situation of Scotland, where In these observations we have no the comparative size of the country, intention, as truly we have no desire, the fervid spirit of the inhabitants, to depreciate the incalculable blessings the remoteness of its situation, and which this country has derived from the strength of its mountains, conti- her union with England. We feel, as nually must have suggested the hope strongly as any can do, the immense of successful revolt, and as necessari- advantage which this measure brought ly occasioned the calamitous conse- to the wealth, the industry, and the quences which we have detailed. The spirit of Scotland. We are proud to rebellion of Owen Glendower is suffie acknowledge, that it is to the efforts of cient to convince us, that nothing but English patriotism that we owe the the utter insignificance of Wales, com- establishment of liberty in our civil pared to England, prevented the con- code ; and to the influence of English tinual revolt of the Welsh people, and example, the diffusion of a free spirit the consequent introduction of all among our people. But it is just bethose horrors which have followed the
cause we are duly impressed with these establishment of English dominion feelings that we recur, with such grateamong the inhabitants of Ireland.
ful pride, to the patriotic resistance of Do we then rejoice in the prosperity Robert Bruce; it is because we feel of our country? Do we exult at the that we should be unworthy of sharing celebrity which it has acquired in arts in English liberty, unless we had and in arms? Do we duly estimate struggled for our own independence, the blessings which it has long enjoy- and incapable of participating in its ed from equal law and personal free- benefits, unless we had shewn that we dom ?-Do we feel grateful for the in- were capable of acquiring it. Nor are telligence, the virtue, and the frugali- we ashamed to own, that it is the spity of our peasantry, and acknowledge, rit which English freedom has awak. with thankfulness, the practical bene- ened that first enabled us fully to apficence and energetic spirit of our preciate the importance of the efforts landed proprietors ? Let us turn to the which our ancestors made in resisting grave of Robert Bruce, and feel as we their dominion; and that but for the ought the inexpressible gratitude due Union on equal terms with that to him as the remote author of all these power, we would have been ignorant blessings. But for his bold and un- of the debt which we owed to those conquerable spirit, Scotland might have who saved us from its subjugation. In shared with Ireland the horrors of our national fondness, therefore, for the English conquest; and, instead of ex
memory of Robert Bruce, the English ulting now in the prosperity of our should perceive the growth of those country, the energy of our peasantry, principles from which their own unand the patriotic spirit of our resident equalled greatness has arisen; nor landed proprietors, we might have been should they envy the glory of the field deploring with her an absent nobility, of Bannockburn, when we appeal to it an oppressive tenantry, a bigotted and as our best title to be quartered in ruined people.
their arms. It was therefore, in truth, a memor- Yet mourn not, land of Fame, able day for this country when the re- Though ne'er the leopards on thy shield mains of this great prince were redis. Retreated from so sad a field covered amidst the ruins in which they Since Norman William came.
thine annals justly boast, had so long been hid ; when the arms
Of battles there by Scotland lost, which slew Henry de Bohun were re
Grudge not her victory ; interred in the land which they had When for her freeborn rights she strove, saved from slavery; and the head Rights dear to all who freedom love, which had beheld the triumph of To none so dear as thee.
LETTER FROM THE ARCTIC LAND EXPEDITION.
[We have been favoured with a copy of the following interesting letter, addressed to a Lady in this neighbourhood, by one of the Officers on the Expedition now travelling in the interior of North America towards the shores of the Arctic Ocean.]
August 27, 1819.-At Sea. having been overturned twice or thrice, After passing the southern point of the old water lines, intersecting each Greenland, named Cape Farewell, we other in various directions, being still met with much ice, but as it did not deeply engraved on their surfaces. lie thick, little difficulty was expe- « We first beheld the land (Resolurienced in foreing a way through it, tion Island) during a fog, which soon nor did it prove so great an impedi- became so thick, that we could not ment as the contrary winds which see the length of the ship. In constill continued to thwart us. Near sequence of this we got involved in a the Greenland coast, the streams field of ice ; then, to add to our disor fields of ice consisted of a collec- tress, it fell calm, and although we tion of loose and comparatively flat could perceive that we were carried pieces, more or less densely compact- along by a violent current, yet the ed together, according to the state of fog deprived us of ascertaining its dithe weather ; but on approaching the rection, and the depth of water was shores of Labrador, we fell in with too great to admit of our anchoring. many icebergs, or large floating fields After remaining in this situation for of ice. The variety of forms assumed two or three hours, receiving occaby these masses afforded us amuse- sionally some heavy blows from the ment, but occasionally we saw some ice, an alarm was given that we were of such an enormous size, that every close on the rocks. We all ran upon other feeling gave place to astonishe deck, and beheld a tremendous cliff, ment. One of these larger bergs we frowning directly over the mast heads estimated to be 200 feet high above of the ship. It was perfectly perthe water, and above half a mile in pendicular, covered in many places by length. Its surface was broken by sheets of ice, and its summit was so mountains of no mean size, with deep high, and shrouded in so thick a fog, vallies between. Enormous as these that it could not be traced from the dimensions must appear, you will be deck. We had scarcely time to make more surprised when I inform you, any useful exertions, for in a few that the part of an iceberg which minutes the ship fell broadside against projects above water, amounts only to the cliff, along the face of which she a ninth part of the whole mass, that was violently hurried by the current, being the proportion of ice which towards a ridge of broken rocks, which floats above salt water. Arthur's Seat in a short time would have torn the clothed in snow would have formed stoutest vessel to pieces. The heavy only one pinnacle to this berg. When swell which prevailed, caused the ship, these bodies became familiar to us in her passage, to beat against various from their frequency, we derived rocky ledges which projected under much pleasure from the various shades water. One of the blows she thus and gradations of colour they exhi. sustained, drove the rudder out of its bited. The more compact parts were place, but it fortunately hung susgenerally of a bright verdigrease blue; pended by a tackling which had been towards the base a fine sea green pre- employed to secure it on coming vailed; here and there a tint of red amongst the ice. At this instant, was seen, and the summits alone were when all human exertions seemed persnow-white. As the part of the ice fectly fruitless, the current eddied off which is covered by the sea, decays shore, the land breeze sprung up, a more rapidly than that which is in boat that we had put overboard sucthe air, it often happens that one of ceeded in taking us in tow, and what these islands become top-heavy and appeared almost miraculous-one of tumbles over. We never saw one in the last thumps the ship received, the act of making this revolution, but caused the rudder to fall back into its most of them bore evident marks of place. By this combination of favourVol. VI.
able circumstances, we succeeded in ters were enabled the more readily getting round the point we so much to repair the damage that had been dreaded ; and, setting all sail,
sustained : and they ultimately suce steered from the land. Upon the ceeded so well, that one pump proved first alarm of danger, the women and sufficient to discharge the water as children, of whom we had a large fast as it leaked in. In this state we number on board, going to Lord Sel- have continued ever since. kirk's colony, rushed upon deck much “ In these straights the Hudson's terrified. The officers, however, suc- Bay vessels are generally visited by a ceeded in calming their fears, and pre
tribe of Esquimaux, who frequent the vailed on them to go below out of the shores during summer, and come off way of the sailors, but scarcely had to the ships for the purpose of barthis been effected, when the current tering their whole wealth, which concarried us against a large iceberg sists in whale and seal blubber, for which had grounded upon a ridge of iron, which has become an article of sunken rocks that lay at some distance the first consequence to them. Aca from the shore. The crash of the cordingly, one day when we masts and yards, together with the above 20 miles from the shore, these grinding of the ships side against the poor creatures ventured off in their ice, terrified them more than ever, skin canoes, pulling with the utmost but we speedily got clear of this se- anxiety to reach the vessels. It somecond danger with receiving farther times happens, when the ships have damage. Our troubles were not, how- a fair wind, that they run past the ever, at an end ; the ship had receiv- Esquimaux haunts without stopping ; ed so much damage whilst on the in the present instance, however, rocks, that, on examination, a great
were detained by light condeal of water was found in the hold. trary winds, which enabled them to All hands were instantly set to the overtake us, and when they did so, pumps, but, to our mortification, we they expressed so much joy and exul found that the water rushed in faster tation, that it was easy to conceive than we could, with every exertion, how great their disappointment must discharge it. Affairs now
have been when they missed us. gloomy aspect; the water in the hold a short time we were surrounded by increased to upwards of five feet, and 30 or 40 canoes, each carrying one the men were getting tired of the man with his small cargo of mer. pumps, when fortunately the weather chandize, which, to their great satiscleared up a little, and we saw the faction, they speedily exchanged for Eddystone, one of the vessels that pieces of iron, hoops, knives, saws, accompanied us, at no great distance; hatchets, and harpoons, and tin-pots. we bore down and informed them of The wind continuing contrary during our situation. Every assistance in the remainder of the day, we stood in their power was promptly supplied; towards the land, and gave
the women they sent 20 men and two carpenters. of the tribe an opportunity to come off, The services of the latter were in-, which they did in five large canoes, valuable, as our own carpenter had framed like the large one of skins, died in the earlier part of the voyage. but open, and each capable of carrying With this fresh accession of strength, from 20 to 30 people. The oars were we kept the leak from gaining upon pulled by women, but there was an us; and after some time the carpen- old man in each boat to direct them. ters succeeded in discovering and As they brought off a great many patching up the broken parts so as children, I suppose we saw the whole sensibly to diminish the influx of tribe, amounting to nearly 200 souls. water. Their operations were how- • The features of the Esquimaux ever slow, and it was not till the even- are not the most regular in the world; ing of the second day, that we suc- but it was pleasing to see their flat, ceeded in getting all the water out of fat, greasy faces. When they had the ship. During the whole of this disposed of their articles of trade, we time, not only the officers and men presenteà the women and children worked hard, but even many of the with a few needles, beads, and other women, recovering their spirits, prov. trinkets, and sent them away highly deed eminently useful at the pumps. lighted. Since that time we have been As the water decreased, the carpena contending against contrary winds