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"small stone walls are erected, so that by dint of “ skill and industry, cultivation is extended over " tracts which would otherwise be a continued “ surface of naked rock."*

Switzerland is so well known, and the industry, and frugality, and public spirit of its inhabitants so highly appreciated, that it may seem hardly necessary to quote authorities in proof of its superior condition. “It is a country of small proprie“tors, an estate of 150 or 200 acres, belonging to “ an individual, worth perhaps from £90 to £100 “ a year, would be considered large every where, “except in the Canton of Tessin, or the Emmen" thal in Berne, and a few other districts, where “ local customs exist to prevent the too great sub“ division of property.”......“ There are generally “ speaking no farmers, each proprietor farming “ his own small portion of land, and the moun“ tainous tracts belonging to the different commu“nities being depastured in common."...“ Every “ parish or community is obliged to support its “ own poor, who become chargeable in their own “ commune, but those only having the rights of “ citizenship have a right to eleemosynary sup“port.”...“ The number of poor appears to be on the “ decrease ; and it is only in Uri, Tessin, Valais,

* M'Culloch's Geographical Dictionary, art. Kingdom of Sardinia.

" and one or two other cantons that pauperism is " at all common.”...“ The peculiar feature in the "condition of the Swiss population, the great “ charm of Switzerland, next to its natural scenery, “ is the air of well-being, the neatness, the sense of “ property imprinted on the people, their dwell“ings, their plots of land. They have a kind of “Robinson Crusoe industry about their houses and “ little properties; they are perpetually building, “ repairing, altering, or improving something about “ their tenements. The spirit of the proprietor is “ not to be mistaken in all that one sees in Switzer“ land. Some cottages, for instance, are adorned “ with long texts from scripture, painted on or “ burned into the wood in front over the door ; “ others, especially in the Simmenthal and Hasli" thal, with the pedigree of the builder and owner. “ These shew sometimes that the property has been “ held two hundred years by the same family."*

The canton of Zurich ranks first in the confederation. “ Agriculture is perhaps better conducted “ in this than in most other parts of Switzerland. “ Manuring is well understood, and irrigation is “ successfully practised.... The labouring classes in “ this canton are almost universally proprietors “ of the small farms and cottages which they cul“ tivate and inhabit.”...“ Zurich is also one of the “ principal manufacturing cantons of Switzerland ; “ its inhabitants generally dividing their attention “ between the labours of agriculture and those of “ the loom. “I have seldom entered,' says Dr. “ Bowring, “a rural dwelling, without finding one “ or more looms in it employed in the weaving of “ silk or cotton. If the labours of the field de“ mand the hand of the peasant, his wife or “ children are employed in manufacturing indus“ try; when lighter toils suffice for the agricultural “ part of the family exertions, the females and the “ young people resign the loom to the father or “ the brothers. The interstices of agricultural “ labour are filled up by manufacturing employ“ment; and in more than half of the operations “ of Zurich, the farmer and the weaver are united.' “ Most of the families of Zurich canton, consisting “ of father and mother and two or three children, “ earn among them, or possess in the produce of “ their land, an income fully equal to thirty shil“ lings a week in England. The working classes “ are, compared with those of England, more “ moral and better educated. With regard to “ education, the law compels it ; and consequently “ there are scarcely any persons to be found, “ who cannot read, and very few who cannot " write. Music is much cultivated in this can

* M‘Culloch's Geographical Dictionary, art. Switzerland.

“ ton ; and the whole demeanor and appearance “ of the working classes, present a most gratifying “ picture of high prosperity, contentment, morality “ and intelligence. Few cantons are really more “ flourishing : the entire poor-rates a few years “ since were only two pence halfpenny per head, “per annum. In point of fact, however, this “ state of things is mainly to be ascribed to the “ extreme economy of the people, a consequence “ in part, of severe sumptuary laws, and to their “ avoiding all superfluous expenditure."*

The frugality and cleanliness of the Dutch, are as remarkable as the energy and persevering industry which reclaimed the polders and sandy plains, and which still maintain them from the constant attacks of the ocean. “ Nothing,” says Mr. Nicholls, “ can exceed the cleanliness, the personal propriety, " and the apparent comfort of the people of Holland. “ I did not see a house or a fence out of repair, or “ a garden that was not carefully cultivated. We “met no ragged or dirty persons, nor any drunken “man.... We only saw two beggars, and they in “ manner and appearance scarcely came within the “ designation.....A scrupulous economy and cautious “ foresight seem to be the characteristic virtues of - every class. To spend their full annual income is

* M'Culloch's Geographical Dictionary, art. Zurich.

II

“accounted a species of crime. The same syste“matic prudence pervades every part of the “ community, agricultural and commercial ; and “ thus the Dutch people are enabled to bear up " against the most formidable physical difficulties, “ and to secure a larger amount of individual “ comfort than probably exists in any other "country."*

The highly cultivated plains of Flanders afford striking evidence, of the effects of care and labour on a soil naturally sterile. The country is not, like Holland, actually below the level of the sea ; yet it requires to be defended by broad and high dykes. The natural soil consists almost wholly of barren sand, and its great fertility is entirely the result of very skilful management, and the judicious application of various manures. "The commerce “and agriculture of Flanders grew together.”... “By “ the prosecution of spade husbandry, an indus" trious Fleming, with fifteen acres of good light “ land, brings up his family in decent independence, “and in the course of his life accumulates sufficient “ means to put them in possession of a little farm “ of their own. There are many small proprietors, “ who have risen slowly by the labour of their own “bands; and their habitations shew, by the great

ren

* M‘Culloch's Geographical Dictionary, art. Holland.

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