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tion of farms. In Italy, when the husbandman's time of holding is nearly expired, it is his custom to ruin the vineyard he rents, by forcing the trees to bear till they become barren. Such ⚫ treatment is called by the neighbourhood lascia podera, or adieu 'farm!' (Harte's Essays, p. 160.) We are ashamed to have to say, that in many parts of England this wretched and barbarous practice is prevalent. The tenant too frequently believes that, were he to bring his farm into fine order, he would either be obliged to leave it, or be charged with a higher rent ; and, not being restricted in his proceedings, he scourges it, in the view of ensuring his own occupancy, or of making it worth as little as possible to a successor. Mr Harte mentions that in some parts, the inhabitants have a proverb expressive of this feeling
He that havocs may sit,
And even at the present day this detestable practice is followed in some of the finest English counties. Speaking of Berks, Messrs Kennedy and Grainger tell us, that owing to the system acted 6 upon, the soil, generally speaking, is very much out of condition. A tenant, up to the last one or two years of his lease, drives his 'land as hard as he possibly can, and in fact leaves it entirely run out thus the labour of several years is required to put it into any thing like good condition; whilst by the time A has brought his land tolerably round, his neighbour B, perhaps, ⚫ intends to relinquish his farm ; and thus is kept up the neglected appearance of the country. When a farmer cultivates his own property, it is, in consequence of this system, generally seen to the greatest advantage, like a fat sheep amongst a lean flock.' (Vol. i., p. 145.) And the practice is nearly similar in Buckingham, Oxford, and several other counties.
All parties the public, landlords, and farmers—are deeply interested in the suppression of such miserable practices. We say farmers, because though a farmer should succeed, which is not very often the case, in squeezing a little more out of a farm he is about to quit by the scourging plan, than if he had kept it always in good heart, he will, if he take another farm, most likely have to enter to one where his predecessor has been equally rapacious and shortsighted as himself; and he will unquestionably have to expend a great deal more in bringing his new farm into a tolerably decent state, than he can have gained by the exhaustion of the old one. The retribution may not, it is true, always fall on the guilty party; but if it do not fall on him, it is sure to fall on some one else of his caste. Hence the custom is admitted by all prac
tical authorities to be in the last degree injurious to the farming interest.
Nothing, of course, can be directly done to obviate this great evil. But we would fain hope, now that the extent and ruinous nature of the practice have been brought fairly under the public notice, that landlords, who alone have the power, will take the proper steps for its suppression. By doing this, they will materially advance their own interests and those of the public. It may not, indeed, be always expedient for a landlord to attempt suddenly to enforce a change very much at variance with the customs of the district in which his estate is situated; but experience has proved that the difficulties in the way of a change from a bad to a good system are not nearly so great as might be supposed, and that by laying down proper regulations, and providing for their gradual introduction, such a change may be effected in the course of a few years, as cannot fail to be advantageous alike to the landlord, the occupiers, and the community.
The customs that prevail as to the entry to farms vary greatly in different parts of England. In some, they seem to be very well fitted for promoting the interests of all parties; but in many extensive districts they are of a very different description, and have a powerful and most mischievous influence. In the northern counties, the usual practice is for the outgoing tenant to retain the last corn-crop, and to thrash it on the premises,-the straw going to the new tenant as an indemnification for the use of the barns, and for his assistance in carrying the crop to market; all that the new tenant has to pay his predecessor being for grass seeds, the manure upon the farm, and sometimes, but not always, for breaking up the fallows. This is called the free-entering system; and how trivial soever it may appear in the estimation of superficial observers, it is a principal cause of the generally improved state of agriculture, and of the better condition of the farmers, wherever it obtains. In Kent, on the other hand, and the greater number of the southern counties, the custom is for the new tenant to take the straw and hay on the farm when he enters to it, which is usually at Michaelmas, at a valuation. The ⚫ old tenant also claims from the incomer a remuneration for all ⚫ the labour he has bestowed during the last year upon the Mi'chaelmas, or turnip fallows, which the outgoer, up to the time of his leaving the farm, has the privilege of sowing. He likewise charges for the seed and the labour of sowing, and has a similar demand upon the incomer for the clover, or other seeds upon the ground, for all the manure laid out during the last on the land, for half that which was used during the preceding year, ' and for the expense of carting, and the labour attending it! In ad
dition to this, all the hop-poles are taken in the same way as 'the rest of the articles, by the incomer, at a valuation.' (Kennedy and Grainger, vol. i., p. 250.)
This practice is in the last degree objectionable; and the present authors have shown that it contributes as much, or more, perhaps, than anything else, to keep agriculture in a backward state. Every one must see that it cannot fail to be productive of the grossest frauds. After a field has been ploughed, harrowed, rolled, &c., some three or four times, how can any one tell how the first operations were performed? And what can an appraiser have to trust to, as to the manure laid out on the land, during the previous year and a half, except the statements of the outgoing tenant, or his servants? But supposing, which however does not hold in one case out of ten, that every thing is, in these respects, correct, the practice is obviously most injurious; as it compels the new tenant to pay for various articles which probably he does not want, or might have got cheaper elsewhere, and for work which he has not superintended, and which, in the vast majority of instances, is neither well executed nor to his mind. A large proportion of the tenant's capital is thus swallowed up at the moment of his entering to the farm, and when, of course, it is most important that he should have his entire funds under his control. The authors of the work before us affirm, that, in many counties of England, 'a farmer entering upon 200 acres of land with a capital of L.1500, has to pay, according to the custom of the place, L.1200, upon a valuation, and for stock, leaving him only L.300 to carry on his business; whilst in the north, and in Scotland, a farmer may enter on the same quantity of land, 'having no valuation to pay, with only L.800, and after stocking his farm to the best advantage, have the same sum left that the other has, but with much better opportunities of employing it profitably.'-(Introd. p. 16.)
In reference to the county of Kent, Messrs Kennedy and Grainger observe,- In consequence of having so large a sum to pay at the outset, if the first year turns out bad, the farmer is irre'trievably ruined. This has been the case with hundreds, who having entered upon farms with all the money they could raise, ❝ have nothing left with which to go on, in the event of declining markets, or a wet season affording them an unfavourable price 'for the produce of their first harvest.
Let the practice, in this respect, in Kent, Sussex, Surrey, Essex, Suffolk, and some other counties, be compared with that in the north of England, and it will be found decidedly proved, 'that, with a certain capital employed in the latter, a farmer can
do as much, and as well, as with double its amount in the south; for, even in the counties just mentioned, if the first year turns ⚫ out well, a farmer entering under such a practice, with a moderate capital, can never half stock a farm,-an evil which is too well 'known and too much felt in those districts, and which, from the baneful practice alluded to, is easily accounted for.'-(Vol. i., p. 250.)
The same writers elsewhere state, that to this practice it 6 may, in a great measure, be attributed, that so large a proportion of the soil of England lies in a neglected state, or is not 'cultivated under a proper rotation, or rendered efficiently pro'ductive. It is true, that part of these evils may be traced to a 'cause we before stated, the not giving tenants a sufficient ' interest in the land, by means of leases, to render it of any advantage to them to speculate on improvements; much, also, 'must in some cases be ascribed to the ignorance or prejudice of occupiers of land; but perhaps the greatest of all evils is that to which we have just alluded, namely, the compulsory system of valuation; because that either prevents farmers of spirit, experience, or knowledge of the subject, from taking farms which there is no doubt they would greatly improve, and in so doing, set an example in their respective neighbourhoods, ' which might be highly and generally beneficial; or, if they do enter upon land under such a custom, it incapacitates them from 'making those improvements which they wish, and are inclined to make, and which would be in the same degree advantageous.' -(Introd. p. 19.)
These statements ought, we should think, to make a deep impression. They come from gentlemen of great experience, who pledge' themselves that the facts laid before the reader were entirely collected on the spots to which they respectively relate, either from actual observation or local information.' After allowing for difference of taxes and rates, Messrs Kennedy and Grainger state, that the circumstances mentioned as to the entry to farms, are sufficient to occasion a difference of five shillings an acre, or upwards, in the rent of the arable land of Scotland and of the south of England! And they affirm, that were the customs as to entry amended, and leases of a reasonable length, and containing proper conditions as to management, granted to the tenants of the southern counties, their situation would be vastly improved, even though they paid an additional rent of five shillings an acre.
These facts are not only extremely important in themselves, but they show that the agriculturists have it in their power materially to alleviate, or rather, we believe, entirely to remove,
the pressure of that distress under which they are at present suffering. We do not certainly wish to undervalue the relief they will no doubt receive from the commutation of tithes; but there is a large extent of England tithe-free, and the advantages resulting from a commutation, though great, are quite inconsiderable, compared with those that would result from the general introduction of a proper system as to the holding of farms. This would go far to double the agricultural produce of the kingdom, and would consequently render us more than independent of foreign supplies; at the same time that it would add materially to the rents of the landlords, and to the wealth of the farmers. We do, therefore, hope, that the former will give their best attention to this subject. They have it in their power, when their estates are out of lease, or out of occupation, to introduce whatever new rules and regulations they think proper; and those landlords will best promote their own interests, and those of the public, who let their farms for a reasonable period, under stipulations calculated to maintain their fertility, and so that the tenant entering to a farm shall have the full command of his capital.
ART. VII.-Egypt, and Mohammed Ali; or, Travels in the Valley of the Nile. By JAMES AUGUSTUS ST JOHN. 2 vols. 8vo. London: 1834.
IF Fa great book be a great evil, the work before us is certainly in that category. On such a subject as Egypt,' indeed, not to mention that of Mohammed Ali, a couple of bulky octavos might not, perhaps, be thought excessive, even in the present utilitarian age; but when it is considered how much has already been written and published respecting both the country itself and the extraordinary person who at present presides over its destinies, it can scarcely be doubted that Mr St John has exceeded the limits within which he ought to have confined himself. By attempting too much, he has failed to do almost any thing in a complete and satisfactory manner. Egypt, archæologically considered, is a subject with which Mr St John is evidently not in a condition to grapple. His erudition, judging from his book, appears to be somewhat superficial;—on the vast field of Egyptian antiquities he seems scarcely to have broken ground; he has not apparently made himself acquainted