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with curtains, bedclothes, and the whitest linen; carefully kept furniture surrounds it; the wardrobes are filled with linen; the dairy is vast, well aired, and of exquisite cleanness; under the same roof is a great provision of corn, salt meat, cheese and wood; in the cow-houses are the finest and most carefully tended cattle in Europe; the garden is planted with flowers, both men and women are cleanly and warmly clad, the women preserve with pride their ancient costume; all carry in their faces the impress of health and strength. Let other nations boast of their opulence, Switzerland may always point with pride to her peasants." *

The same eminent writer thus expresses his opinion on peasant proprietorship in general.

"Wherever we find peasant proprietors, we also find the comfort, security, confidence in the future, and independence, which assure at once happiness and virtue. The peasant who with his children does all the work of his little inheritance, who pays no rent to any one above him, nor wages to any one below, who regulates his production by his consumption, who eats his own corn, drinks his own wine, is clothed in his own hemp and wool, cares little for the prices of the market; for he has little to sell and little to buy, and is never ruined by revulsions of trade. Instead of fearing for the future, he sees it in the colours of hope; for he employs every moment not required by the labours of the year, on something profitable to his children and to future generations. A few minutes' work suffices him to plant the seed which in a hundred years will be a large tree, to dig the channel which will conduct to him a spring of fresh water, to improve by cares often repeated, but stolen from odd times, all the species of animals and vegetables which surround him. His little patrimony is a true savings bank, always ready to receive all his little gains and utilize all his moments of leisure. The ever-acting power of nature returns them a hundred-fold. The peasant has a lively sense of the happiness attached to the condition of a proprietor. Accordingly he is always eager to buy land at any price. He pays more for it than its value, more perhaps than it will bring him in; but is he not right in estimating highly the advantage of having always an advantageous investment for his labour, without underbidding in the wages-market—of being always able to find bread, without the necessity of buying it at a scarcity price?

"The peasant proprietor is of all cultivators the one who gets most from the soil, for he is the one who thinks most of the future, and * Etudes sur VEconomic Politiqite, Essai III.

who has been most instructed by experience. He is also the one who employs the human powers to most advantage, because dividing his occupations among all the members of his family, he reserves some for every day of the year, so that nobody is ever out of work. Of all cultivators he is the happiest, and at the same time the land nowhere occupies, and feeds amply without becoming exhausted, so many inhabitants as where they are proprietors. Finally, of all cultivators the peasant proprietor is the one who gives most encouragement to commerce and manufactures, because he is the richest." * This picture of unwearied assiduity, and what may be called affectionate interest in the land, is borne out in regard to the more intelligent Cantons of Switzerland by English observers. "In walking anywhere in the neighbourhood of Zurich," says Mr. Inglis, "in looking to the right or to the left, one is struck with the extraordinary industry of the inhabitants; and if we learn that a proprietor here has a return of ten per cent, we are inclined to say, ' he deserves it.' I speak at present of country labour, though I believe that in every kind of trade also, the people of Zurich are remarkable for their assiduity; but in the industry they show in the cultivation of their land I may safely say they are unrivalled. When I used to open my casement between four and five in the morning to look out upon the lake and the distant Alps, I saw the labourer in the fields; and when I returned from an evening walk, long after sunset, as late, perhaps, as half-past eight, there was the labourer mowing his grass, or tying up his vines. . . It is impossible to look at a field, a garden, a hedging, scarcely even a tree, a flower, or a vegetable, without perceiving proofs of the extreme care and industry that are bestowed upon the cultivation of the soil. If, for example, a path

* And in another work (Nouveaux Principes d'Economie Politique, liv. iii. ch. 3,) he says: "When we traverse nearly the whole of Switzerland, and several provinces of France, Italy, and Germany, we need never ask, in looking at any piece of land, if it belongs to a peasant proprietor or to a farmer. The intelligent care, the enjoyments provided for the labourer, the adornment which the country has received from his hands, are clear indications of the former. It is true an oppressive government may destroy the comfort and brutify the intelligence which should be the result of property; taxation may abstract the best produce of the fields, the insolence of government officers may disturb the security of the peasant, the impossibility of obtaining justice against a powerful neighbour may sow discouragement in his mind, and in the fine country which has been given back to the administration of the King of Sardinia, the proprietor, equally with the day-labourer, wears the livery of indigence." He was here speaking of Savoy, where the peasants were generally proprietors, and, according to authentic accounts, extremely miserable. But, as M. de Sisniondi continues, *% it is in vain to observe only one of the rules of political economy; it cannot by itself suffice to produce good; but at least it diminishes evil."

leads through or by the side of a field of grain, the corn is not, as in England, permitted to hang over the path, exposed to be pulled or trodden down by every passer-by; it is everywhere bounded by a fence, stakes are placed at intervals of about a yard, and, about two or three feet from the ground, boughs of trees are passed longitudinally along. If you look into a field towards evening, where there are large beds of cauliflower or cabbage, you will find that every single plant has been watered. In the gardens, which around Zurich are extremely large, the most punctilious care is evinced in every production that grows. The vegetables are planted with seemingly mathematical accuracy; not a single weed is to be seen, not a single stone. Plants are not earthed up as with us, but are planted in a small hollow, into each of which a little manure is put, and each plant is watered daily. Where seeds are sown, the earth directly above is broken into the finest powder; every shrub, every flower is tied to a stake, and where there is wall-fruit a trellice is erected against the wall, to which the boughs are fastened, and there is not a single thing that has not its appropriate resting place." *

Of one of the remote valleys of the High Alps the same writer thus expresses himself.f

"In the whole of the Engadine the land belongs to the peasantry, who, like the inhabitants of every other place where this state of things exists, vary greatly in the extent of their possessions. . . . Generally speaking, an Engadine peasant lives entirely upon the produce of his land, with the exception of the few articles of foreign growth required in his family, such as coffee, sugar, and wine. Flax is grown, prepared, spun, and woven, without ever leaving his house. He has also his own wool, which is converted into a blue coat, without passing through the hands of either the dyer or the tailor. The country is incapable of greater cultivation than it has received. All has been done for it that industry and an extreme love of gain can devise. There is not a foot of waste land in the Engadine, the lowest part of which is not much lower than the top of Snowdon. Wherever grass will grow, there it is; wherever a rock will bear a blade, verdure is seen upon it; wherever an ear of rye will ripen, there it is to be found. Barley and oats have also their appropriate spots; and wherever it is possible to ripen a little patch of wheat, the cultivation of it is attempted. In no country in Europe will be found so few poor as in the Engadine. In the village of Suss, which contains about six hundred inhabitants, there is not a single individual who has not wherewithal to live comfortably, not a single individual who is indebted to others for one morsel that he eats."

* Switzerland, the South of France, and the Pyrenees, in 1830. By H. D. Inglis. Vol. i. ch. 2. j- Ibid. ch. 8 and 10.

Notwithstanding the general prosperity of the Swiss peasantry, this total absence of pauperism and (it may almost be said) of poverty, cannot be predicated of the whole country; the largest and richest canton, that of Berne, being an example of the contrary; for although, in the parts of it which are occupied by peasant proprietors, their industry is as remarkable and their ease and comfort as conspicuous as elsewhere, the canton is burthened with a numerous pauper population, through the operation of the worst regulated system of poor-law administration in Europe, except that of England before the new Poor Law.* Nor is Switzerland in some other respects a favourable example of all that peasant properties might effect. There exists a series of statistical accounts of the Swiss Cantons, drawn up mostly with great care and intelligence, containing detailed information, of tolerably recent date, respecting the condition of the land and of the people. From these, the subdivision appears to be often so minute, that it can hardly be supposed not to be excessive: and the indebtedness of the proprietors in the flourishing canton of Zurich "borders," as the writer expresses it, "on the incredible;" | so that "only the intensest industry, frugality, temperance, and complete freedom of commerce enable them to stand their ground." Yet the general conclusion deducible from these books is that since the beginning of the century, and concurrently with the subdivision of many great estates which belonged to nobles or to the cantonal governments, there has been a striking and rapid improvement in almost every department of agriculture, as well as in the houses, the habits, and the food of the people. The writer of the account of Thilrgau goes so far as to say, that since the subdivision of the feudal estates into peasant properties, it is not uncommon for a third or a fourth part of an estate to produce as much grain, and support as many head of cattle, as the whole estate did before.*

* [1852] There have been considerable changes in the Poor Law administration and legislation of the Canton of Berne since the sentence in the text was written. But I am not sufficiently acquainted with the nature and operation of these changes to speak more particularly of them here.

f "Eine an das unglaubliche granzen.de Schuldenmasse" is the expression. (Historisch-geoyraphisch-statistische Gemalde der Schweiz. Erster Theil. Der Kanton Zurich. Von Gerold Meyer von Knonau, 1834, pp. 80-81.) There are villages in Zurich, he adds, in which there is not a single property unmortgaged. It does not, however, follow that each individual proprietor is deeply involved because the aggregate mass of encumbrances is large. In the Canton of Schaffhausen, for instance, it is stated that the landed properties are almost all mortgaged, but rarely for more than one-half their registered value (Zwolfter Theil. Der Kanton Schaffhausen, von Edward Im-Thurn, 1840, p. 52), and the mortgages are often for the improvement and enlargement of the estate. (Siebenzehnter Theil. Der Kanton Thiirgau, von J. A. Pupikofer, 1837, p. 209.)

§ 3. One of the countries in which peasant proprietors are of oldest date, and most numerous in proportion to the population, is Norway. Of the social and economical condition of that country an interesting account has been given by Mr. Laing. His testimony in favour of small landed properties both there and elsewhere, is given with great decision. I shall quote a few passages.

"If small proprietors are not good farmers, it is not from the same cause here which we are told makes them so in Scotland— indolence and want of exertion. The extent to which irrigation is carried on in these glens and valleys shows a spirit of exertion and co-operation" (I request particular attention to this point), "to which the latter can show nothing similar. Hay being the principal winter support of live stock, and both it and corn, as well as potatoes, liable, from the shallow soil and powerful reflection of sunshine from the rocks, to be burnt and withered up, the greatest exertions are made to bring water from the head of each glen, along such a level as will give the command of it to each farmer at the head of his fields. This is done by leading it in wooden troughs (the half of a tree roughly scooped) from the highest perennial stream among the hills, through woods, across ravines, along the rocky, often perpendicular, sides of the glens, and from this main trough giving a lateral one to each farmer in passing the-head of his farm. He distributes this supply by moveable troughs among the fields; and at this season waters each rig successively with scoops like those used by bleachers in watering cloth, laying his trough between every two rigs. One would not believe, without seeing it, how very large an extent of land is traversed expeditiously by these artificial showers. The extent of the main troughs is very great. In one glen I walked ten miles, and found it troughed on both sides: on one, the chain is continued down the main valley for forty miles.f Those may be

* Thiirgau, p. 72.

t [1852] Reichensperger (Die Agrarfrage) quoted by Mr. Kay (Social Condition and Education of the People in England and Europe,) observes, "that

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