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Scotland as it was and as it is
Chapter VIII - The Burst of Industry


THERE is one scene in Scotland which, more than any other, groups within a single landscape so many features identified with the history of the Country and of the Nation, that there is hardly an age in all its Past, which has not some striking memorial in sight. It is the scene lying all around that reach of the Firth of Clyde which not very many years ago was the site of a small fishing village, and is now occupied by the Quays, the Harbour, and Roadstead of Greenock. Splendid as the view is on a clear day, it is not less remarkable on account of the immense variety of interests which belong to all its features. The hills that sweep round from West to North, falling steeply into the Firth along its opposite shores, are the southern extremity, or escarpment, of the Highland mountains. From these shores they stretch without a break, except their own glens and fissures, to the boundary line between Sutherland and Caithness. There is good reason to believe that these mountains, although very far from being among the highest, are among the oldest in the world—older than the Alps, or the Pyrenees, or the Apennines in Europe,—older than the great range of the Himalayah in the Asiatic Continent. The Geologist must ever regard them with curiosity, as suggesting many hard questions in his science, which have not yet been solved. The sudden depression in this line of Hills, which is a conspicuous feature in the landscape immediately opposite to Greenock, marks the boundary line of the Grampian ranges towards the East,—a hue which runs almost straight from that depression on the Clyde to the North-East Coast of Scotland at Stonehaven. These are interests which concern not the Nation but the Land, and carry us back to times before the birth even of the everlasting hills."

Turning our eyes now up the course of the River Clyde every feature in the landscape is crowded with human memories. In the farther perspective we see the point at the foot of the Kilpatrick Hills, where the soldiers of Agricola terminated the line of Forts which then was, and long continued to be, the northern boundary of the Roman Empire. Fifty-six years later the same line was occupied by the continuous Wall of Antoninus Pius. In all history there is perhaps no more striking contrast than the blaze of light which shines upon that Wall and on those who built it, as compared with the profound darkness that encompasses the Tribes against whom it was erected. We know, indeed, that our ancestors were brave, and that they were formidable even in the eyes of Rome. We know that they were defeated, but by no means easily defeated, in open battle with the Mistress of the World, against whom they fought with Chariots and with Horsemen; nay, more—we know that although they lost in the battle, they won in the campaign. Agricola retired from their country into the Province he had gained and fortified. Yet some of them seem to have been so savage that Gibbon sees no reason to doubt the story that they were cannibals. This, however, is a story of events later by about 280 years than the battles of Agricola. It is the story of a mercenary Tribe in the pay of Rome and transported into Gaul. Time does not always mellow or improve. Sometimes it develops Savagery. It certainly did so among the Caesars during the same time. The brutal cruelty of Valentinian is not a greater contrast with the virtue and wisdom of Marcus Aurelius and of Antoninus Pius. than the alleged cannibalism of the Attacotti, with the noble eloquence ascribed to Galgacus. The condition of the Tribes he led, remains a mystery. Of their habits, of their manners, of their polity, of their habitations, and of their dress, we know practically nothing, or so little, that it all seems equally perplexing and inconsistent. We cannot believe that the Caledonian Chief really addressed his army before the battle of the Mons Grampius in a speech the least like that which is put into his mouth by Tacitus.' It bristles with epigram, and with the results of philosophic reflection. It expresses these results in words so vigorous and terse that one of its sentences has, through all later ages, become proverbial.' In short it is a speech breathing the most cultivated eloquence of Rome. Yet neither, on the other hand, can we believe that Tacitus would have put such a speech into the mouth of Galgacus, if that Chief had been known to be a Savage. We are left, therefore, in darkness that can be felt. On the other hand, of the people who built that Wall from the Clyde to the Forth, and whose dominion extended southwards to the Pillars of Hercules, we may be said to know everything in the most minute detail. Such is the power of Literature. The contrast is all the more striking when we remember that this was the epoch when the Roman Empire was at its best. The well-known and splendid panegyric of Gibbon represents the age of the Antonines as the Golden Age of the whole Roman world. Remembering these things, this landscape on the Clyde acquires a special interest. Looking at the Kilpatrick Hills we can see, in imagination at least, the Standards of the Sixth and of the Second Legions covering the men who worked at that famous Rampart. Nor are surviving monuments wanting to fill up the picture. The artificers and the artists of Rome have everywhere left some lasting records of their sense and feeling for the Empire which they served. When the Engineers of our own day were set to join the Clyde and Forth by a Canal, they found that they could do no better than follow the Wall of Antonine. At frequent intervals the pick and the spade struck upon its foundation stones. Here and there some massive Tablet told how many thousand paces had been accomplished by each laborious Legion. Occasionally, too, some sculpture more elaborate and more beautiful than the rest, embodied the natural feelings of satisfaction and of pride with which the Roman Generals regarded every extension of the Imperial dominion. Such were the Tablets found at Kilpatrick, representing Winged Victories in majestic attitudes of triumph and of repose.

A very little nearer to us than the foot of the Kilpatrick Hills, and seen against them—at the junction of the Leven with the Clyde—rises another feature in the landscape inseparable from the history of Scotland—the great Rock Fortress of Dumbarton. There could not be a more striking symbol of the passage from Roman to Medieval times. It is not certain whether it was or was not included within the Wall of Antonine. This uncertainty is itself significant. It arises from the fact that Rock Fortresses were despised by Rome. They did not enter into her military system. Roving tribes and rude barbarians had need of natural Strengths. But Rome had none. If a Roman General wished for some sudden hollow for the purpose of fortification, he did not hunt for a ravine; he dug it with the spade; he made a Fossa. If he wished for some Steep around his position, he did not go out of his way to find a precipice. He threw up a Valium, or he built a Wall. The lofty rock, therefore, which the southern Celts or Britons of Strathclyde made the capital of their territory,—which they called Alcluid," and which, in another Celtic dialect, has since been called after them, "Dun-briton,"—does not seeni to have been valued or thought of by Agricola or by Antonine. If they included it at all in their lines, it was for the purpose of covering a ford across the Clyde, which at that time would have given easy access to the Imperial Province on the southern bank. But when the Romans retired, the great "Dun" of the Strathclyde Britons resumed its military importance. Its very name reminds us of the mixture of races from which we spring. For centuries it was one of the Strengths of the Scottish Kingdom—captured and recaptured —used alternately as a retreat, as a palace, and as a prison. More than once it was both of these in the pathetic career of Mary Queen of Scots. It was to gain its friendly shelter that in May 1568 she set out from Hamilton to the fatal battle of Langside and it had been from the short grassy slope which dips into the river on the western face, that twenty years before, in her early childhood (1548), with her attendant "Four Naries," she had been carried into the Barge which bore her off to be the Bride of France. It is not easy for us now to realise the importance which in those days was set on the Rock Fortress of Dumbarton. Another revolution in military science, quite recent, has brought us back to the sentiment of the Romans. In the face of our new Artillery, Hill Forts have lost their value. But in the Seventeenth Century the dearest interests of the future were concerned in the possession of that precipitous mass of volcanic rock. Scotland was a special scene of contest between the Catholic Reaction and the interests of the Reformed all over Europe. It was through Scotland that the attack could best be made on "Great Elizabeth." The House of Guise was encouraged when they heard that Dumbarton was held for Mary. The English Queen wrote personal letters of congratulation when she heard it was captured for James vi.' John Knox, in the last year of his life and in physical decay, which left untouched his indomitable spirit, heard with joy of the daring escalade of Crawford of Jordan- hill, by which it fell to the Protestant cause in 1571.

This, however, is not by any means the only or even greatest historic memory which is recalled by the same prospect up the Valley of the Clyde. There is another time, much earlier and much more noble in all the influences it has left. Again, a little nearer to us than Dumbarton, on the declivity of the hills of Cardross, which here form the right bank of the Leven, King Robert the Bruce chose his place of residence during the last years of his glorious reign. There he spent his time governing his Kingdom, now and again hunting and hawking, or sailing and rowing in his royal Galley on the two beautiful and then unsullied rivers which flowed—one on each side—beneath his Castle walls. The high but flat- topped ridges of the Kilpatrick Hills, the rocky precipices of Dumbarton, and the far-off blue summit of Benlomond, formed the scene on which King Robert looked when he sickened prematurely under the weight of a memorable life, and when dying he bequeathed his heart to be carried to the Holy Land, in the pathetic scene recorded in verse by Barbour, and by Froissart in prose not less poetic.

The long and troubled Centuries which followed the death of Bruce—the relapse of a large part of the Kingdom into comparative barbarism—the ferocious Epoch of the Clans—have each and all their memorials in the scene before us. The whole length of shores opposite to Greenock are those of the old Province of the Lennox, half Highland, half Lowland, full of the sites on which Celtic Feudalism yielded, slowly but steadily, to the higher Feudalism of Civilisation and of Law. It so happens that immediately fronting Greenock there is one feature in the physical geography of the country which stands in sad connection with the close of that struggle. The high ridge which slopes somewhat steeply into the Firth of Clyde is backed by another ridge, in some lights hardly separate, but which on a clear day is seen to be higher and steeper than the nearer summit. This division between two parallel ranges marks the hollow in which lies Glenfruin. Although so close to one of the great centres of our modern life, few wilder or more solitary Glens are to be found in all the Highlands. It was in this Glen that on the 7th February 1603 was fought the last of the savage and bloody battles of the Clans. The Colquhouns of Luss were beaten and decimated in resisting a blood-feud raid of the Clan Gregor. The horror of the scene was brought home to the rising civilisation of the Lowlands not only by the death of several gentlemen of distinction from the valley of the Leven, near Dumbarton, amongst whom was Tobias Smollet, ancestor of the novelist, but also by the butchery in cold blood of some student lads and boys of that Burgh. who had been induced from curiosity to watch the fight. There can be no more curious contrast than that between the prospect from the nearer summit, then, and the prospect from it, now. On the northern side lie the deep shadows and the wild but peaceful pasturages of Glenfruin. On the southern side lie the reclaimed fields of modern agriculture, and all the various and busy industries of the Clyde.

And yet even this contrast is less striking and less instructive than the change—the transformation —which was wrought as if by magic, in the character of the celebrated Clan which on that and on many previous occasions had been pre-eminent in ferocity. Sentiment is an excellent thing. It is indeed the salt of the world—the cheap defence of nations. But Sentiment may be bad as well as good; and then if the light that is in us be darkness, that darkness is intense! It is a bad sentiment, and not a good one, that can make any man look back with sympathy to the Epoch of the Clans. Sentiment— deep and even enthusiastic —may well be felt for those changes in our national history which broke down that Epoch, and which brought back the character and the genius of Highlanders within the advancing influences of our national civilisation. They soon showed that there they had a part—and a great part—to play. And perhaps never was there a case of it more signal than the case of the Clan Gregor. James VI. was shocked and scandalised, as well he might be, by this massacre in Glenfruin, occurring as it did in a part of his native Kingdom where it could not be concealed, and just at the moment when he was mounting the throne of England.' The Clan Greg-or were proscribed and pursued as a Blood and as a Race, in a manner hardly less savage than their own slaughter of the Colquhouns.

Yet it was not their race nor their blood, but the system under which they lived, which had made them savage. The Savage is close under the skin with all of us. Our humanity and our civilisation depend entirely on our inherited ideas—on our loyal acceptance of them—and on these ideas being themselves consistent with the historical developments of an advancing Commonwealth. The Clan Gregor, like other Clans, had been taught to believe that the robbery of Cattle was not immoral. The Robber Clans, when they condescended to reason or to think at all on such matters, had a theory of their own. Cattle in Scotland had originally been an indigenous animal. They said that God made the Cattle--that He also made the grass upon the hills, and therefore their conclusion was that Cattle—the very earliest form of human property—could not be considered as rightful property at all.' The strongest might always take it, and those who defended it could only hold it by success in battle. This theory is not perhaps quite so incoherent as the modern form of it which applies the same reasoning to property in land, but shrinks from applying it to property in the produce. The old Highland Reivers, on the contrary, applied it only to the produce, and did not think of applying it to the soil from which the produce came. Anarchical doctrines and slovenly reasonings— when not translated into deeds—were little regarded in those days. But the doings of the Clan Gregor in Glenfruin were a little too tangible to be suffered. Their own methods were the only methods which Society, could take to confound their doctrines. And so, however cruelly, yet with the universal consent of all, they were proscribed, and their very name forbidden. But their dispersion, and the transplantation of many of them into another country and another atmosphere of custom and opinion, proved but the beginning of a nobler reputation. In the Church, in the Army, and in the Civil Professions, Macgregor has long been, and is now, a familiar and an honoured name. But there is one branch of the old Clan Alpine which more than any other has exhibited the qualities of a reclaimed and ennobled Race. Here, again, the rights of legal Ownership proved to be the successful remedy for the illegal powers, and the dangerous influences of" Chiefery." The Earl of Murray transplanted three hundred of the proscribed Macgregors from Menteith, and settled them as a barrier against another turbulent Clan, the Mackintoshes, in Aberdeenshire. There, under the name of Gregory, these descendants of the Clan Alpine gave birth not only, to some, but to a whole galaxy of the most distinguished men that Scotland has produced. One of them was the friend of Sir Isaac Newton, and among the earliest teachers of his Philosophy. Another of them was the Patriarch of a whole dynasty of Professors of the highest scientific and literary distinction in several of the Universities, both of Scotland and of England. One of them was the inventor of the Reflecting Telescope. Another was at the head of the Medical Profession in Edinburgh, when Society there was at its best, and where, from the combination of many charms of genius and of virtue, he reigned supreme as the "Beloved Physician." With one of the last of this distinguished family I had the honour of being intimate in early life—the late Dr. William Gregory, Professor of Chemistry in the University of Edinburgh—a man of the utmost refinement of character, and of the most liberal and cultivated mind.

The continuity of our national history is not less remarkable than its changes, and this characteristic is not less visibly represented in the scene before us. In looking at the mountains which enclose Glenfruin, we are looking at a district which is still the property of the Colquhouns of Luss. There they have been—traceable without a break—for some 700 years,' and there they are at the present day. The thriving Town of Helensburgh, which stretches its gardened Villas up the slope of the hill leading to Glenfruin, is built upon land acquired and held from the Colquhouns by feudal Charters, granted under the rights and powers on which property has rested in Scotland since before the days of Malcolm Canmore.

And now letting our eyes fall from the hills in front of us, to rest upon the broad water at our feet, there can be no doubt of the multitude of objects which are representative of the latest developments of our national life. We are standing in the birthplace of James Watt, and we have before us, in all their amplitude, the triumphs of his genius, and of the genius of his successor, Henry Bell. There is not a sight or a sound among the many which fill the eye and the ear from one of the greatest commercial centres of the world, which is not a monument, direct or indirect, to the memory of these two men—of Watt, who, in 1765, by the inspiration of one new idea, which flashed upon him on the Green of Glasgow, that of the "Separate Condenser,"' started the Steam-engine on the path of its immense, and yet unfulfilled developments; and of Bell, who on these waters, in 1812, was the first in Europe to apply it to the purposes of Locomotion. It does indeed seem almost incredible, when we remember that there are men not only now living, but keeping a front place in the contests of active life, who were born several years before a single steam-vessel had moved in British Waters. It is but seventy-four years ago since the "Comet" was launched by Bell upon the Clyde, whilst now its harbours and its bays are crowded with Liners which keep up communication with America more frequently—more regularly—and with more safety—than sailing ferryboats then kept up communication with the neighbouring Sea-lochs of Dumbarton and Argyll.

But the shipping and the harbour of Greenock are the standing memorials of another epoch in our national history which preceded the epoch of Watt and Bell, and in which the way was prepared before them. That was the epoch of the Legislative Union in 1707. The Union of the Crowns in 1603 had put an end to such horrors as the massacre of Glenfruin. But it was not until after the Union of the Legislatures in 1707, that such sights of commercial enterprise as that presented by the Clyde were, or could be seen. I have already observed upon the greatly exaggerated importance often ascribed to the defeat of the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745. On the other hand, as an Epoch, the Legislative Union with England, accomplished in 1707, is almost as immensely undervalued. It was not only the beginning, but it was the one indispensable foundation, of all the later progress of Scotland in industry and in wealth.

The Clyde bears witness to this truth with a loud voice. The only foreign commerce which Scotland enjoyed before the Union was some traditional and old-standing trade with France and Flanders. A stringent Navigation Law had been passed by the Scottish Parliament just after the Restoration, in 1661, which proceeded on a preamble that trade and navigation had terribly declined during the Civil Wars, and it is remarkable that one of the clauses of this Act confesses that Scotland had then no shipping to protect in any Trade with any part of Asia, Africa, or America, nor, in Europe, with Russia or Italy.' Not very much of the world was left to us after these subtractions. All the vast and growing Dominions and Plantations of the British race in India and in the New World were under the Government of the English Parliament. Commerce at that time was universally regulated by the accepted doctrines of restriction and monopoly. Scotland was as jealously excluded from the privileges of English merchants and of English shipowners, as if she were, as in deed she was, a foreign country. In her own protecting Navigation Law of 1661 she had, indeed, offered free trade with England and with Ireland, provided the privilege were made reciprocal. But her comparative poverty, and the smallness of her demand, did not commend this to the English as an equal bargain. On the other hand, Scotchrnen had an aptitude, and even a genius for commercial pursuits which had begun to appear in every direction. The Bank of England was founded by a Scotchman—William Paterson ;—and it was in the desperate efforts of Scotland to get some outlet for her rising spirit of enterprise that her Parliament and people were led, in 165, by the same remarkable man, to throw themselves with enthusiasm into the famous Darien scheme. Founded on the most enlightened commercial principles, and intended to open and to establish a new Trade Route to the Indies which will be one of the triumphs of our own day, this great scheme of a Scotchman, who was far in advance of his time, was thwarted and ruined—as it seemed, entirely by the jealousy of England. Her Parliament and her commercial Companies opposed it with passionate resentment, and pointed with horror to the prospect of Scotland becoming a Free Port for half the commerce of the world. Yet only one-half of the Capital Stock was to be held by Scotchmen. The other half was open to Englishmen, and a large amount of it was actually subscribed, and held by them. This, however, did not conciliate the English Parliament. Narrow and odious as its spirit seems to us now, it is impossible to read the Scotch Act of Parliament' establishing this great new East India Company, and especially the liberal and enlightened regulations for free trade with all nations promulgated at the Settlement, without seeing that Scotland and England could no longer work together without either a more complete union, or a more complete separation. Two immense Monopolies trading by opposite routes with the same markets,—contending with each other on every Ocean,—jealously separate in destinations which were nevertheless geographically united—and both these Monopolies entitled to the protection of common forces under a common Crown,—could not possibly have been worked together. The thing was impracticable. Every detail was as full of difficulties and incongruities as the principle of the whole. The drawing of strict fiscal lines between Scotchmen born and living in Scotland and Scotchmen born or living in England, when every day made the passage and the inter course of the two populations more easy and continual, was like drawing straight lines in water. A complete union or a complete quarrel were the only alternatives. Scotland would have to return to her old historic alliance with France, hostile to England, or the two nations must admit themselves to be one.

It is well to remember how narrowly we escaped from the wrong alternative. The passionate jealousy in England of any rivalry in trade,—the supreme power exercised by the spirit of monopoly over the English government,—the ruinous losses inflicted on Scotland by the failure of the Darien Settlement,—all so exasperated the national feeling in Scotland, that at last in 1703-4 the two Parliaments were actually taking measures for arming against each other.' The Scottish Legislature went the length of passing an Act providing that on the death of the reigning Sovereign, Queen Anne, the next Sovereign of Scotland must not be the successor to the English Crown, unless previous to that event some more satisfactory security had been obtained for the liberties and interests of the Scottish nation.' To this they were driven by the logic of necessity. The bond of Union, through the Crown alone, was proving under trial to be no bond at all. Or, if it was a bond at all, it was a bond which tied their hands in fight for the interests of their country. Their King, surrounded by English Ministers, and swayed by the feelings of the English Capital, had responded cordially to the most outrageous expressions of hostility against the Scotch on the part of the English House of Commons 1 nay more, he had used his Prerogative in Scotland in the same sense. He dismissed his Scotch Ministers, who had the confidence of the Nation, because they promoted the Trade and Commerce of their country.' William's part had been, no doubt, a difficult one to play. His relations with the Dutch, as well as his position in England, embarrassed him in dealing with the bold attempt of his Scottish subjects to rival both in the commerce of the Indies.' Chiefly, however, it was international jealousy, fast rising into international hatred, between his Southern and his Northern Subjects in Britain, which determined his conduct. The nearer, the wealthier, and the more powerful of the two carried the day. Yet nothing can justify the vindictive and almost savage orders which had been issued by the English Government to all the Governors of Plantations in America and in the West India Islands, that they were not, on any account, to succour or support the emigrants from Scotland to the Darien Settlement. This order might have endangered, and in the sequel did actually endanger, the lives of many of the most loyal of William's subjects, as a penalty upon them for undertaking, not only a lawful, but a most meritorious enterprise. It was also a direct invitation to foreign enemies, and particularly to the Spaniards, to attack the Settlement.

Such an exhibition of the spirit of international jealousy between subjects of the same Crown, and contiguous inhabitants of the same Island, is all the more shocking, and all the more instructive, when we remember that some of the leading men against whom the order was directed were the same men who had lately been intimately associated as fellow-countrymen with the merchants and financiers of London in another scheme of great national importance, and from whose aptitudes for Commercial Business, England had derived manifest advantage. But such are the inevitable results of encouraging the passions of separate Nationalities, under the nominal unity of one Crown. Antagonism becomes only the more fierce and ungovernable in proportion to the number of jealousies which are aroused, and of contradictory interests and aspirations which cannot be satisfied. At last not one moment too soon—the English Government became thoroughly alarmed by the bitter animosity which had been roused in Scotland. In June 1704 the Queen addressed an almost imploring letter to the Parliament sitting in Edinburgh, pointing out the dangers to the Protestant Succession, and the encouragement of common enemies, which must arise from the increasing estrangement between the two Kingdoms. She intimated, too, the repentance of England in respect to the Darien affair by a promise to agree to conditions by which such injuries should cease. This Letter or Message was read on the 11th of July 1704, but the only reply was an angry Resolution voted on the 17th that Parliament would not settle the Succession "until we have a previous Treaty with England regulating our commerce and other concerns with that Nation." And this was followed on the 4th of August by the Act providing that the Successor to the Crown of Scotland "be not the Successor to the Crown of England," unless under the protection of a Treaty securing the interests of "this Crown and Kingdom from English or any Foreign influence." Clearly the Spirit of Separation was taking fast— it might be fatal—hold. There is nothing so easy as to fan such flames, and few things more reckless. Scotland had been, and indeed still was, exhibiting consequences not dissimilar in her own dealings with Ireland. Recent acts of the Scottish Parliament had forbidden Trade with Ireland, one of them (1686), in language, and under penalties, which seemed to breathe a special hatred. Not only was any vessel to be confiscated which brought victual from Ireland, but the victual itself was to be "sunk and destroyed."' Scotland, no doubt, had her old causes, and causes only too recent, of grudge against that Dependency of the English Crown. For centuries there had hardly been any attempt against the liberties or the nationality of Scotland, which had not been supported by armed men recruited from among the Celts of Ireland. Nothing can ever be forgotten or forgiven where the amalgamating influences of Time are neutralised and defied, by Institutions which dissociate and repel.

The truth is that the affection, which men call Patriotism, must not be idolised. It may be among the highest, and it may be among the lowest of human virtues. It may be generous and fruitful, or it may be narrow and barbarous, according to the worthiness or the unworthiness—the dignity or the meanness—the amplitude or the narrowness—of the object of it. If our "Country" be a Glen, or a Parish, or a Province,—if our compatriots be a Clan, or a Kindred, or a group of military comrades—our Patriotism will be of a corresponding character. If the idea and the sentiment, by which we feel ourselves to be associated with, and bound to, any group of men, be an idea which has in it any germ of growth and greatness—however small that germ may be—then our love of the country, and of the people by which it is represented, is a noble love. But like all our passions it is liable to degradation. It may cease to expand with expanding growths—it may fail to rise with ennobling opportunities. The love of a great Country may go back to the passions of a petty Province, or to the almost forgotten hatreds and antipathies of the Tribal and Barbarous ages of the world.

This was the danger from which Scotland and England happily, but narrowly, escaped in the years immediately preceding the Union.

When even a man so enlightened as Fletcher of Saltoun was carried away by the narrower view of patriotism, and wrote, spoke, and acted in the interest of Separation, we are better able to estimate all we owe to those wiser Patriots who saw that the larger hopes, and the wider interests of their Country were identified with the cause of Union. Fletcher, we are told, "disliked England merely because he loved Scotland to excess." It was a dangerous moment. The centrifugal forces had begun to work with great momentum. They were arrested just in time. It is pleasant to remember that not a few of those who made this resistance effectual, and directed the national feeling into the true channel of Imperial greatness,—my own ancestors being among the number,—were descendants of the men who had seen the great work of Union begun in the old alliance of Malcolm and of Margaret; of those who in a later time had fought for, and with, the Bruce; and of those who in generations yet more recent had stood by the Scottish Monarchy for three hundred years, against the disintegrating anarchy of the Clans. And now in happier times they saw that the interests of their country, and its glory, lay in assuming its full share of imperial duties under one Imperial Crown. All they asked was that Scotland should retain everything that she cared to keep of her own domestic Institutions in Religion and in Law.

The patriotic men who effected the Union of the two Nations wisely insisted too, as an indispensable condition, on a perfect equality between them in all the privileges of Trade. England also consented to refund to Scotland the losses she had occasioned by her violent conduct in the Darien enterprise. The whole Capital Stock of the Company was to be repaid, with interest.' This, however, wasa small matter compared with the removal of all impediments to Enterprise. The effect was immediate and enormous. Scotchmen not only gained a full share of the expanding commerce of the world, but shot ahead of all rivals and competitors in the race of industry and of maritime activity. Before the Union, Greenock consisted of two straggling Villages, each of them with a single row of cottages, most of them thatched, fronting the natural beach. Only one of them had even the accommodation of a wooden pier along which any vessel could lie. Everywhere else along the shore the boats could only be drawn up upon the shingle. The first ship that ever sailed from Greenock for the American Continent had sailed in 1695, and that solitary ship was destined for the Darien Settlement. The moment the Union was accomplished a new life was opened, and a new career begun.

But Trade and Navigation were not the only industries which received a new impetus at the Union. There was another, older and of necessity slower in its growth, which began at the same time to feel the new blood that was stirring the national life, and penetrating all its members. The scene before us, as we look from the Southern Shores of the Firth of Clyde, is one specially representative and characteristic of all the peculiar conditions of Agriculture in Scotland, then, and ever since. There are many large parts of England which have been cultivated land since before the Conquest. Local memories do not go back to the time when these areas were first cleared and settled. In Scotland, too, there are some areas of land, comparatively small, which are in the same position. But by far the largest part of the country, not only in the Highlands, but also in the Lowlands, were "brown heath and shaggy wood"—forest, bog, morass, and stony waste—down to the time of our grandfathers—sometimes down to the time of our fathers—not seldom down even to our own recent years.

No such transformation has taken place in any country within so short a space—unless, indeed, in the case of new and savage lands, suddenly brought under the dominion of civilised Man. And of this great change the whole country which encircles the harbour of Greenock is a typical example. There is hardly an acre of level arable land visible to the eye. The few that exist are so foreshortened, and so dominated by mountains or hilly surfaces that they form no feature in the landscape. Early in the present Century, during the war with France, some French prisoners were sent in a frigate to the Clyde. One of them, on looking round him from the deck, exclaimed, with almost a shudder at the prospect, "Ah! quelle Terre aride" This may have been a natural impression for a Frenchman who perhaps came from beautiful Provence, and who had no idea of any fertility except in abundance of Corn, and Oil, and Wine. It was nevertheless a most erroneous impression, because in no part of the South of Europe are the mountains so well clothed with grasses as in the West of Scotland. The naked limestone Ranges of the Maritime Alps, of Italy, and of Greece, are barrenness itself compared with the schistose Hills of Dumbarton and Argyll. But the Frenchman's impression was at least so far well founded, that the land around him on every side, whether on the Lowland and Southern, or on the Highland and Northern Shore, was a land which gave no indications of an ancient and settled agriculture. It . was a land which yielded nothing except to laborious Reclamation, and when he spoke, that Reclamation had not proceeded very far. Even now when fields, and enclosures of every kind, have climbed the hills, and spread along all the shores, there is little that can convey to us through the eye any adequate impression of the Work which has been done,—of the Capital which has been invested—of the Enterprise which has been shown—of the prodigious change which has been effected. In this respect Agriculture is at a disadvantage as compared with other kinds of industry. It is peaceful, quiet, unostentatious. The great buildings,—the tall chimneys,—the crowded quays,—the gallant ships,—the forest of masts, which all catch the eye and impose on the imagination when we look at any of the great Hives of manufacturing or maritime activity,—are all in singular contrast with the unobtrusive instruments, and the equally unobtrusive results of Husbandry. No man can see the tangled woods which have been cleared, the bogs which have been drained, the stones and boulders which have been blasted, broken, and removed. Still less can we see the ignorance which had to be encountered, the stiff resistances of prejudice which had to be overborne. It has come to pass that the results of forethought, and of skill, and of faith in principles, are all now represented by nothing but the silent growths of Nature. Agriculture hides her laborious works under the verdure, or under the golden radiance, of her fruits.

Some personal recollections of the second quarter of this Century will give an excellent illustration of this prominent distinction, and of the kind of work which had been going on during the life of men who were then still in the vigour of their years.

All round the shores of Scotland, but specially conspicuous along the shores of the Firth of Clyde, there are the marks of an Old Coast Line, which is from 30 to 40 feet above the present line of tide. At some date which we do not know, and by some agency which is not thoroughly understood, but which, geologically speaking, has been very recent, the whole of Scotland seems to have been hitched up out of the surrounding seas to that extent. If it be possible for the Ocean to change its level, and suddenly to sink or retreat below the line at which it has stood for centuries, without any corresponding change in particular areas of the land itself, the effect may be due to such a change. This is a geological and a physical problem which must be left to speculation and to science. Whatever may be the explanation, the fact is certain. The old level of the sea is indicated by a line, more or less continuous, of steep banks or low rocky precipices, which present in many places the distinctive features of cove and cave, and of under-cut shelves of rock. These are the well-known work of water gnawing at the land. The sea must have washed our Island at this higher level for long and uncounted ages. The horizontal distance between that Old Coast Line and our present Coast Line varies greatly, of course, according to the conformation of the land, and the consequent shallowness or depth of the water at different portions of the shore. In some places where the shore was, and still is steep, the Old Coast Line is close to the existing line—only lifted higher up. In other places where the old shores were shallow, the space which has been left dry by the retreat of the sea is very wide—sometimes one or two hundred yards.

There is no physical feature of our country more distinctive than this difference between two portions of the old sea-margin—the sudden bank and the flats below. Nor is there any more intimately associated with separate historic times. The precipitous rock or bank was the home of the Military Ages. Upon it they built their "Towers along the Steep." The level lands between it and the sea were left for the Industrial Ages to occupy and reclaim. In this historical separation there were, no doubt, some exceptions. Where the old sea-bottom had been sandy or muddy, it was speedily covered with sward. In such places it often became the site of such agriculture as was known and practised by the earliest human inhabitants. But generally along our exposed and rocky shores the spaces thus added to the land had a very different character. They had been swept for Centuries by the ice rafts of the Glacial Age. They had been covered with the boulders and stony rubbish which these rafts bore away from fretted and disintegrating shores. Upon such surfaces, when upraised, nothing but the rough forests of ancient Caledonia could find a footing. When these had been destroyed by fire or flood, peat mosses had been formed, or the land remained as hard and stony as when first it had been elevated above the sea. These old wastes and woods are now generally reclaimed. Very often they are the best fields upon the best farms. Very often they are the sites of comfortable Villas, or of thriving Towns.

Yet the processes by which this great change has been effected are out of sight and out of mind. The very peacefulness of the scene takes away all sense of Work, and all memory of the Workers. I speak from experience. I was born and brought up in a Castle which, somewhere about the Twelfth Century, had been built upon the top of the Old Coast Line, where the last of the Highland mountains slopes into the basin of the Clyde. It was the stronghold of the Clan Macaulay. They were descended from a younger branch of the old Earls of Lennox, and all through the Military Ages they had kept their ground in their Strong House of Ardencaple. From improvidence in expenditure—probably from joining in the new habits of civilised life before new values of produce had enabled them to afford it - their extensive possessions had been gradually alienated, and the last portion of them had been acquired by Lord Frederick Campbell in the latter half of the last Century. Not until after they were dispersed had they produced any very distinguished man. It was reserved for them in our own time to give birth to the most brilliant Essayist, and one of the most interesting Historians in the English tongue. The Macaulays had lost their landsjust before the Age of In- dustry had begun. They had not been improvers. Yet from the high Tower which in later times had been raised upon the massive foundations, and the dungeon-like apartments of the old Castle of the Clan, I used to look down in childhood upon a broad field of level and fertile land, between the Castle and the sea, grazed by "deep uddered kine"—sometimes loaded with golden sheaves— and sometimes rich in the untainted foliage, with its purple and yellow flowers, which used to make the Potato crop one of the most beautiful of all. Those were still the early days of steam navigation in the West of Scotland, and I recollect one river boat, which could be held in the cabin of some of the great Liners now yearly launched, which was called the "Pride of the Clyde." All the talk I heard was of the opening triumphs of the Engineer of the future of navigation on the Ocean, and of the yet unsolved problem of the navigation of the Air. The two brothers Hart, from whom Mr. Smiles has borrowed some pleasant anecdotes of James Watt,' were favourite guests—simple, and self-made men from Glasgow, full of knowledge and of suggestion on every problem of science applied to use. My Father was a mechanic, and not an agriculturist. He was himself an accomplished workman, making, with exquisite finish, various implements and articles in wood, and in ivory, and in metal. Nothing was ever said of the older, slower, and less exciting conquests over Nature, and over the waste condition in which her great natural Engines had left the encumbered soil.

And yet there was one tool-mark of the Reclaimer which might have recalled his work. Running straight from the foot of the old Coast Line down to the sea, through the middle of the cultivated flats, there was one deep and open cutting, called by the country people the "Red Drain." It had been excavated out of the solid Old Red Sandstone rock, which there overlies the flanks of the Highland Schists. I had often been attracted to its edges by the wild strawberries, which nowhere else grew so large; and by the thickets of bramble in which the Whitethroat skulked and sang. But a chasm—in some places between seven and eight feet deep—with smooth sides of rock, not easily climbed, seemed to a child rather a formidable trap. Of its history and of its purpose I knew nothing —till old documents, in faded ink, have in later years revealed the story. It was the great Outfall by which the fruitful fields, I had so often looked over from the Tower of the Macaulays, had been redeemed from the condition in which they had been left by the Glacial Age, and by the tangled- thickets of "Woody Caledon." The operation at the time had been the talk and the wonder of the neighbourhood, in a generation not long preceding that in which my childhood was spent. The Red Drain had been cut at a cost which was considered fabulous at the time—a time when money was as yet scarce in Scotland. The surrounding areas on both sides had been sub-drained and trenched at a further outlay, not less new and astonishing to the natives. Great roots and prostrate trunks of Oak and Fir had been uncovered in the operations. Loads of stones had been dug up, carted away, and built into dikes, whilst boggy holes and quagmires had been filled up and levelled. Without any mention of details, significant allusions to the change effected by Lord Frederick are to be found in writings published before the close of the Century. Thus we hear that land on which Cattle could not walk with safety, had, in 1794, been converted into land firm enough to bear their weight. Before this operation we are further told that not even a Dog could have run over it without sinking to the belly. This account, meagre as it is, testifies to a further and a later change almost as great as that which had already been accomplished in 1794. To speak of any one of the fields on the Estate of Ardencaple as sound enough to bear the weight of Cattle, would, in my earliest years, have been as absurd as to speak in the same language of the oldest wheat lands of Essex or of the Lothians. Over some 700 acres, every foot of which I knew, it is hardly conceivable to me, even now, where any marsh or bog can possibly have existed. Long before 1823 not a trace, and strange to say, hardly a memory had remained of their unreclaimed condition. The very perfection and completeness of the work had rendered it impossible to think of it as a work at all. It was another country, and in all its surroundings it may almost be said to have been another world.

This story of a particular case is the story of a movement which soon became general and simultaneous over the whole of Scotland. It is a vignette from a great Picture. It presents to us the starting point,—the position and the character of those who began the race,—the triumphs they achieved, and the causes also which have led in our day to a very inadequate appreciation of them. Everywhere in Scotland, not only on the shores of the Old Coast Line, but on all the slopes of all the hills—on many of the great plains which were swamps and peat mosses,—on every variety of surface which was covered with tangled thickets of Alder and Birch and Oak,—over large areas which had before been cultivated in spots and patches—the work of agriculture in Scotland has been the work of laborious and costly reclamation. That work was begun by the Owners as a pleasure and a pursuit, when as yet its economical results were doubtful, and when the outlay was as far beyond the means of the cultivating class, as the effects of it were beyond their comprehension and belief. It was objected at the time to such improvements that they cost many times more than the price of the "fee-simple" of the land ;—that other land of much greater extent, and of better quality, might be bought for less than quarter—often for less than a tenth part—of the enormous outlay thus incurred. And all this was true. Such land was really made, not merely inherited or bought. It was redeemed from absolute waste, and rendered contributory for the first time to the sustenance of Man. Where the Snipe probed in quagmires, and the Badger burrowed under roots of trees, and under cairns of stone, very soon new ploughs were turning the furrow, and Cows of a newly created breed were filling the pails with milk.

The Pioneers in this immense work of reclamation were invariably the larger Landowners, both because generally they were the only men who, by intercourse with an older civilisation in the South, had acquired the spirit, and the knowledge, which are the moving influences of the world, but also because they were the only men who had any command at all over the capital necessary for the work. The last Macaulays seem to have been a perfect type of the true old Celtic school of men who thought much of their Chiefery, of their old connection with the Clan Gregor, and of the retainers whom they could send out to fight or reive in alliance with them,' but who thought nothing of the acres under their own power which could be made to bear the fruits of industry and of peace. And so when, after the Union, first of the Crowns, and then of the Parliaments, the possibility of living came to depend not on swords and dirks, but on ploughshares and the spade, their resources were dried up, and they sank into irremediable decay. The roof of the old Castle of the Macaulays was falling in, and their once extensive territory had dwindled to a few farms, when the last of them, somewhere about 1765,-had to sell the remnant.' The old coast lines, over which they had looked for centuries, and the wastes and morasses which they had valued only for purposes of defence, came into the possession first of my grandfather, and subsequently of his brother, Lord Frederick Campbell. This was the very year, more perhaps than any other definite date that can be named, when the first streaks of the Industrial Dawn were breaking into Day. Both in manufactures and in agriculture this was about the birthday of the new life in the West of Scotland. Fortunately, the place of such Chiefs as the Macaulays was very often taken —not by strangers, but by other Highlanders as Celtic as themselves, but who had kept in the stream of advancing civilisation—had enlisted in the Regiments of Industry,—and had opened their eyes to a wider horizon than the mountain battlements of Gleufruin. They were men who had carried on those best traditions of Scotland which had been embodied in the appeal from Chiefs to Owners, and who now, in the morning of a new day, devoted all the power, and influence, and wealth which had come from a wise rule over Tribe and Sept, and Clan, to the strengthening of an Imperial Crown, and to increasing the resources of a united People.

If such men had not thrown themselves into the new work, it would have been postponed indefinitely. But they did throw themselves into the work with an admirable spirit, and a high intelligence. Across a narrow strait of water belonging to the Firth of Clyde, the elder brother of Lord Frederick, John Fifth Duke of Argyll, was carrying on similar reclamations on a much larger scale upon his Estate of Rosneath. There, on the same old Coast Line, Edward i. of England had held a Strength when he was attempting the subjugation of Scotland, and there, in the capture and burning of the Castle, one of the traditionary exploits of Sir William Wallace had been achieved. There the Glacial Sea had wound round the whole Peninsula—insinuating itself into intricate creeks and coves, where dead valves of the great Clam' are frequent—a shell fish now living in Arctic regions, where it is the favourite food of the Walrus, but which has finally disappeared from the shores of Clyde, along with the icy temperature in which it flourished. All the flats and ancient shores, corresponding with those of the old Macaulay lands, are now covered with fine timber, or converted into good arable soil, every acre of it planted and reclaimed during the same years. Men with whom I have myself spoken recollected the time when a favourite horse had been lost in a bog-hole which is now the most fertile corner of a spacious field.

Such operations were no matters of routine then. They were the beginning of a new era. They were the fruit of a new impulse set up by men whose minds had been awakened by contact with wide movements and Imperial interests. Lord Frederick was the first public man who brought the influence of Government to bear upon the systematic preservation of our neglected National Muniments. He was the first head of the newly founded Register House of Edinburgh; and in that great national Institution the benignant wisdom of his countenance is still preserved by Gainsborough's incomparable brush. Another brother, Lord William Campbell, was Governor of South Carolina, where so many Scotchmen and Highlanders had gone, or were going before the revolt of the Colonies. He was afterwards Governor of Nova Scotia, where he founded the Town of Campbeltown on the southern shore of the Bay of Chaleur, where that great Inlet is joined by the beautiful river, the Restigouche, which divides the Provinces of New Brunswick and Quebec. The eldest of the brothers, John, Fifth Duke, had begun life in the army, had fought at Dettingen, had learnt affairs under his two cousins, his most eminent predecessors, and from their friend Culloden. He was the second Lieutenant-Colonel of the Black Watch, and had done much to discipline them before their departure for Canada in 1757. He succeeded in 1770, and spent the rest of his life in devoted attention to agricultural improvement, dying in 1806 the oldest Field-Marshal in the British army.

Such were the men and such was the class of men who all over Scotland carried on and began and established the work of Rural Reform, It needed all their mental activity, all their enlightenment, all their influence, and all their wealth to make even a beginning. In almost every County it is the same story. In looking over the detailed Reports to the Board of Agriculture in 1794-95, it is impossible not to be struck by the great part played by the principal Landowners all over Scotland, in stirring up into a new life the dead and inert elements with which they had to deal. In the North the family of the Dukes of Gordon is remembered as the beginners of the work,' stimulated, as it is said, so early as 1706, by an Englishwoman, daughter of the Earl of Peterborough, who was himself a great improver in the South. In Ayrshire the Earl of Eglinton takes a high rank among the most energetic improvers of the country. In East Lothian the Haddington family were eminent, whilst the Tweeddales also remind us of those earlier Hays who were the improving Tacksmen under the Abbots of Scone in 1312. In Fife the very ancient title of Rothes acquired a new eminence in the arts of peace. In Banff an Earl of Findlater receives especial honour from all contemporary accounts' for his exertions both in agricultural and manufacturing industry. From the great County of Aberdeen, which had been terribly desolated by the years of famine at the close of the previous century, and a large area of which had actually been abandoned and thrown out of cultivation, we are told that to enumerate all those to whom its recovery, and subsequent advance were due, it would be necessary to give a complete list of all the gentlemen in the County.

The class of capitalist Tenant Farmers had not yet arisen, or were only beginning to appear in the South and East. The introduction of one of this class from East Lothian into Ayrshire by the Earl of Eglinton, is specially mentioned as an epoch in the West. There also some of the smaller Proprietors had more means, and they early joined the race. But all over the West Country, and all over the Highlands, this class had little or no command of money. The extreme poverty of the country in the middle, and during the whole of the latter half of the last Century, seems almost incredible. Some of the oldest families in the Lennox, and some of the most considerable Landowners, were obliged to have recourse to loans when they were called upon to pay sums of the most trifling amount. The Dennistouns of Dennistoun, a Knightly family, so old, that their boast was that Kings had come from them, not they from Kings, in borrowing 33, 6s. 8d. from the Minister of Cardross, somewhere about 1720-5, had to grant a bond backed by two Glasgow merchants. The Napiers of Kilmahew, the most ancient representatives of an illustrious name, in the same Parish, were, in 1732, in much trouble about a bill amounting to 6, 5s. 3d.1 Illustrations without number could be given of the same kind. The whole circulating medium in all Scotland, at the time of the Darien scheme, was supposed to be not more than 800,000, and of this one-half was risked and lost in that unfortunate speculation.

But although Scotland, at this time, was a country singularly poor in realised Capital, it was a country rich in everything that is the source and the fountain out of which Capital can be made. Scotland had an immense "Wages-Fund." For here we come upon distinctions of the very highest interest and importance. The "Wages-Fund" is a formal and scholastic phrase belonging to antiquated theories of Political Economy. The doctrine it expressed has been fiercely and successfully assailed in the interests of Muscle, and the opponents of the doctrine have made good a portion of their case. It is not true that the wages of Muscular Labour come only from realised Capital. That kind of Labour has a good right to vindicate its own inherent contribution to Value. Without its help no Value can be embodied, and no Capital can be gathered. Wages may be advanced for a time out of the savings of the past, but only in the confident expectation that they will be more than repaid out of the gains of the future. Wages therefore come out of Work, and Muscular Labour is a rightful sharer, to the stipulated extent, in the ultimate Value to which it contributes. It may fairly be said that, whilst standing in some aspects pretty nearly abreast in the fighting lines of Industry, Muscular Labour comes rather before than behind its comrade, Capital. It certainly can find, and has often found, employment where there has been little or no Capital—little or no money whether accumulated in Banks, or in Shares, or in the more primitive investments of silver and gold hidden in holes, or kept in stockings. Money must be made before it can be saved or stored; and in the getting of money or of, money's worth some kind of Muscular Labour is always of necessity concerned. But the truth is that both these sources of Wealth, whilst nearly equal in rank as between themselves, stand a long way behind and below another, which is nearer than both to the fountainhead. Capital is the product and representative of a prior and a deeper source. Men who have no Capita]—no hoarded or accumulated money—will, nevertheless, employ Muscle, if they have a reasonable expectation that it can be hired for a stipulated Wage, and that the value conferred on mere physical work by the higher agencies of Enterprise and Forethought, will belong securely to those who wield them. But this reasonable expectation can only be entertained where the laws of Covenant and of Ownership are firmly settled. Such a system of Law therefore is the richest inheritance of any people. It is the true Wages-Fund. Like all other things of the highest rank in Nature, it is intellectual and moral—not physical or material. Here, as elsewhere, it is true that the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Scotland was then poor, not only in money, but in money's worth, so far as actual productions were concerned. The habits and usages of her people were rude and ignorant. Like many other customs, their usages were tending more and more to mischief. Their miserable agriculture had been getting worse and worse. The small area of soil which alone had been cultivated was getting more and more exhausted from over-cropping. Their desperate local attachment was leading to reckless sub-division. In the Highlands ancient predatory habits had grown into such settled and almost acknowledged customs of robbery by violence, that regular Blackmail rents were paid to the Robber Clans, as the price of exemption. But these usages —and others less conspicuous, but hardly less destructive - had never been allowed by the Parliaments of Scotland, or by her Judges, to corrupt her Law. Rooted in an ancient and noble civilisation, that Law had been not only kept pure, but, without departure from fundamental principles, had been adapted from time to time to new requirements of Society. Her poverty was thus, as it were, accidental, temporary, and superficial—arising only from ignorance of some natural laws, and of some natural products. The moment these became known, and in proportion as they came to be generally understood, Enterprise sprang up as if by magic. But Enterprise entirely rested, and could only rest on that confidence in the results of action, and in the fruits of Work, which itself again can have no other foundation than a complete system of acknowledged Rights and of sanctioned Obligations in all the relations of Industry.

Nothing, indeed, can be more misleading than the ordinary definition of the sources of 'Wealth, and no wonder—because before we can make clear to ourselves the sources of anything, we must begin with some clear idea as to what that thing is in itself. Wealth must be defined before its sources can be traced. Yet the common definitions of 'Wealth by the Political Economists very generally omit, or slur over, the one most essential element in the whole group of ideas which are represented in the word. I know of only one definition which goes straight to the point, and leaves a complete and satisfying impression upon the mind. It is the definition given in the searching words, "A man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth." Here the whole strength of the definition is concentrated in the last word—"possesseth." No mere enumeration, or description of the kind of things possessed, however elaborate and ingenious, can ever convey the idea of Wealth, unless stress is laid, before all others, upon the one fundamental idea of Possession. Wealth may be defined to be—the Possession, in comparative abundance, of things which are objects of human desire, and which cannot be obtained without some sacrifice, or some exertion. There may be infinite variation in the kind of things which men desire. There may be infinite variation in the strength of that desire. There may be infinite variation in the quantities which constitute abundance in the eyes of a poor or of a rich community. But there can be no variation in the one fundamental conception of Possession as the root idea of Wealth.

The sources of Wealth must therefore be inseparable from the sources of Possession. We all know what these sources are. In early and rude societies the mental and physical qualities which make men Chiefs and Leaders, are the powers which enable them to take, and to give, Possession. As society advances these powers are translated into Law. This, then, becomes the source and the guarantee of all Possession. It is in this august name that we find the ultimate source of Wealth. It is a source, like all other ultimate sources, which lies in Mind—in the settled Jurisprudence of a well-ordered Commonwealth. Compared with this, nothing can be more poor and meagre—nothing indeed can be more confounding and confusing than the stereotyped definitions of the sources of Wealth. Land, Labour, and Capital, are the orthodox Three. In this enumeration the deepest source of all—Possession—is either omitted altogether, or else it is hid under a word which does not suggest it. Labour of the Brain is confounded with Labour of the Hands. Capital is treated as something separate from both, which it certainly is not. Capital is the purest representative of Mind, because our very conception of it turns on special acts of Purpose and of Intention in the disposal or use of Income. Land is a most confusing word if it be intended to designate the whole external world. The definition, therefore, altogether is scholastic and artificial in the highest degree—teaching nothing, suggesting nothing,—because none of its distinctions correspond with such great dividing lines as exist in Nature. One of these lines runs along the seeming gulf between Mind and Matter, and another between our own share in both of these, and the boundless volume of them which is external to ourselves, but with which, nevertheless, we have close relations. These dividing lines are familiar to us all—in our thoughts, in our actions, and in our language. They seem to point to a better three than Land, Labour, and Capital. Mind, Matter, and Opportunity, would be the amended list. Mind is that which we know— as we know nothing else. Matter is that which is ours also in Muscle, and in all that it acts upon, or that re-acts on it. Opportunity is a convenient term for every kind, degree, and variety of condition, and of circumstance which helps to stimulate our desires, to clear our aims, or to facilitate the attainment of them.

These being the Three great sources of Wealth, Scotland was, by nature, rich in two of them, and was every day becoming richer and richer in the Third. In Mind there was no better fibre in the world than the fibre which had been spun out of her old amalgamated races. Mind among them might be mis-directed and wasted, or it might be sleeping. But it was there—with an immense and unknown Potential Energy. It had been shown for generations in all the special faculties appropriate to the Military Ages. It had now caught the fire which burns in mechanical genius, and in peaceful enterprise. So, in like manner, Scotland was rich in the raw materials of Nature, which it is the function of Mind to work with, to work upon, and to subdue. Her country was soon found to be full of the savings hoarded in the depths of Time, the great accumulations of Energy which had been laid up in her stores of Coal and Iron. Her agricultural and pastoral surfaces were rough and unreclairned, but they were not poor. Even the Glacial Ages had done Scotland enormous good—for their great Planing Engines, though they had left, here and there, tough and tenacious clays, had also scattered everywhere the materials of a better soil. Nor were these two sources of Wealth all that had been prepared for Scotland in starting her in the race of Industry. The Third, and the last of the Three great sources of Wealth, Opportunity, had been secured and opened up for her in that one fundamental condition on which all the possibilities of Opportunity depend. This was the condition without which no opportunity can be seized—no design can be formed, no enterprise can be undertaken—the condition, namely, of an ancient, accepted, and well-defined system of Law and of Jurisprudence. Men knew their own rights and their own obligations, because these rested on written and recorded Instruments, and because the exact force of all of them had been settled and applied through centuries of Judicial interpretation. As in the Kingdom of Nature the invariableness and certainty of her Laws are the necessary Implements of Purpose and Design, so in Human Society there can be no other foundation for Industry and for Enterprise, than Laws accurately defining, and Courts impartially enforcing, all the rights and all the obligations of men. There is no place in Science for the Slattern or the Sloven. In dealing with Nature the loose reasoner, and the inaccurate observer, soon find their level. So it must be in every Political Society which desires to preserve the germs of life, and to keep open to men the infinite opportunities of knowledge.

If, in the purchase or inheritance of land from old Owners of the type of the Macaulays, such new Proprietors as Lord Frederick Campbell had not been able to trust in the validity of the Titles by which Property had been conveyed for seven or eight hundred years—if the words of Charters, which carried the full rights and powers of Owner ship over Moors, and Marshes, and Woods, and Peateries, and over all the other enumerated varieties of surface, had not, during all these Centuries, been uniformly sustained as living and truthful words, not only in all the decisions of law, but also in all the acknowledged obligations and practical transactions of life—then, such reclamations as those of the old Coast Line on the Firth of Clyde, would never have been undertaken, and Scotland would have remained even more waste and wild than she had been in the days of Malcolm Canmore.

But direct, rapid, and costly reclamations of this kind were not the only, nor perhaps the most important, application of that great Wages Fund which consists in the confidence of men in the security of all legal rights, and in the enforcement of all legal obligations Land in Scotland had for centuries been almost universally let on "Tacks" or Leases. These varied more or less in their conditions and in the period of their duration. But one essential fundamental principle was expressed and embodied in them all, viz., that the Owner lent his land to the Occupant for a time, and for a time only. At the end of it the right of disposing of the land on new conditions reverted to the Owner. This principle extended as a matter of course to Subtenants, if there were any such. They could not have any higher or larger right of possession than those under whom they held. As water can rise no higher than its fountain, so derivative tenures cannot rise above the tenures from which they are derived. We have seen how, under the advice of Culloden, many of these Sub-tenants had in the Hebrides been raised from the condition of Tenants at Will to the higher condition of Tacksrnen, more than thirty years before the operations of Lord Frederick and of his brother in Dumbartonshire. But this was before the new practices of Agriculture had begun, and before its new resources had been placed at the disposal either of Owner or of Tenant. All that these Leases therefore did, in this direction, was to encourage definite lengths of tenure for such industry as was then understood, leaving the Tenants to pick up any new methods which might arise. But this is precisely what men of that class, in that stage of society, never do. They run on from generation to generation in the ruts of custom—hating every novelty and blind to every suggestion. One thing, nevertheless, the system of Leases did which was in itself invaluable. It established definite breaks in the continuity of occupation, and therefore saved the country from a perpetuity of ignorance. That feature in Leases which is often made an objection to them by the ignorant, was the very feature that gave saving entrance to the new life, and to the new knowledge, which would otherwise have been excluded for generations. As Leases had been given during 400 years at an immense variety of dates, it followed that everywhere, all over Scot- land, at all times, a crop of Leases was coming to an end; and the necessity of making new arrangements for a new Tack gave precisely that kind of opportunity which Mind requires for the discharge of its special functions in directing Muscle. As Longfellow says of the awakening Song of Birds all round the Globe, "'Tis always morning somewhere," so it may be said of Scotland as regards these opportunities of improvement, that all through her Counties and Parishes they were arising everywhere. Thus, for example, the Leases given by the advice of Culloden on the Argyll estates, between 1739 and 1750, were expiring during the very years between 1759 and 1770, when the enthusiasm of new discoveries and of new aspirations was at its height, and when it was beginning to transform the whole conditions of the National Industry in all its branches.

Among these transformations there was one affecting Agriculture, the value of which is now confused under an ignorant form of sentiment. It consisted in the steady gradual disapearance of Township farms. These were farms tenanted by small groups of men, using their pastures in common, and cultivating their arable lands in Runrig. I designate the sentiment in favour of these old Townships as an ignorant sentiment, because it is mainly founded on a misunderstanding as to their real nature. They were not farms under a common management for the equal benefit of a community. The flavour of communism, which makes the memory of them popular with some theorists now, which is a flavour which comes from nothing but mistaken analogies. The Township farms were not what we should now call Club-farms. They were not held nor managed by the representatives of a community on behalf of the whole. They were mere groups of individual men, each man having his own individual property in the Cattle, and his own exclusive share in the arable areas of land. The principle of occupation was the principle of pure individualism—only, under such conditions that none of its benefits could arise. The common grazing might contain the very best land of the farm, if only it could be reclaimed. But no one of the Tenants could exert his Mind or his muscles in reclaiming a single morsel, because it would have limited by so much the grazing of the others. Neither could any one Tenant, more intelligent than the rest, and seeing that Common grazing was overstocked, gain anything by limiting the number of his own beasts, because all ignorant neighbours would at once add corresponding number, and so keep down the old herd to the old starvation point. Neither, again, could any of the Tenants, even if they had the capital and the knowledge, be to establish a better breed, because the good breed could not be kept separate from the bad. Thus all were kept down, even as regarded the Cattle and the grazing, to one level, and that was the level of the stupidest.

The case was if possible worse as regarded the arable land. Each Tenant had indeed his own scattered patches exclusively to himself, so long as he had them at all. He got no help, if his crop failed, out of any share in the comparative abundance of others, nor on the other hand did he share with others in any fortunate excess.  In all these ways, and in others, he was an individual farmer, and nothing else. But he was not allowed to benefit by individual wit, if by chance he had it, as regarded the possibility of improvement. He had no inducement to dig deeper, or to manure better his little patches, because all the benefit of his labour would probably go next year by lot to a less intelligent or less industrious neighbour. Then with other kinds of improvement even more important, the whole system was absolutely incompatible. If one man, seeing the starved condition of the Cattle, wished to make and store a little hay for winter feeding, he had no means of doing so. The moment the harvest was over, the whole area of the arable land was turned into a common. pasture field for all the Township. No man could enclose a morsel of ground to save a bite of hay. No man could drain, lime, or otherwise improve any portion of the farm, because, although it was exclusively his to-day, it would be as exclusively an other's to-morrow.

Such was the stupid and ruinous system on which land was tenanted not only in the Highlands but all over the Lowlands of Scotland during a great part of the Eighteenth Century, and in some cases down to our own time. It was the same in England only a little earlier, and Lady Verney has disinterred the curious fact that one Parish in the County of Buckingham, within a few hours' journey of London, continued to be occupied in Runrig for more than 400 years—from 1441 to 1845, when it was divided into individual holdings by the external authority of the Enclosure Commission. Although now banished from every, pt of Scot- land, except where it yet lingers in the most distant and poorest Hebrides, have myself had to interpose for the abolition of it on the mainland of Argyllshire about forty years ago. As late as the middle of the last century it was as general on farms within sight of the great Lowland Towns of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Paisley, and Greenock as it was round the more Highland Towns of Perth, Dundee, and Inverness. Nothing but an unquestioning and unquestioned adherence to the rights of Ownership, operating steadily but gradually through the opportunities afforded to awakened Mind by the termination of Leases, could have redeemed the country from this system. The people themselves generally clung to it with a dull and blind tenacity. Nor is this surprising. It was a system of which all the parts so hung together, and which as a whole was so rooted in all the routine habits of daily and yearly life, that not one stone of it could be touched without the whole structure tumbling. Any change involved a total change in the prospects and in the life of every family concerned.

Under such circumstances the initiative never is, and never can be taken by those who live under such a yoke of custom. it is so with all of us. Our eyes and our lips can be opened only by the touch of a live coal from some altar other than our own. There was a race of Scotch Judges in the last century whose witty sayings, expressed in the broadest native Doric, were long the amusement of the legal profession in Edinburgh. One of them, on hearing a Counsel plead on behalf of his Client that he had acted in ignorance of the Law, interrupted the pleader at once, saying, "Mr. --, the Law taks nae cogneesance o' stupeedity." But if Judges can take no cognisance of stupidity, Historians are compelled to do so, because mental blindness is a perpetual wonder from generation to generation as we trace the movements of Mankind, whether in the progress of civilisation or in the backslidings of corruption and decline. There is a profound passage on this subject in the Apocryphal Book called the Wisdom of Solomon, in which the slow progress of our knowledge in Natural Things is set forth as diminishing the wonder, and yet enlarging the estimate, of our ignorance of the Spiritual World:-" For the thoughts of mortal men are miserable, and our devices are but uncertain. For the corruptible body presseth down the soul, and the earthly tabernacle weigheth down the mind that museth upon many things. And hardly do we guess .aright at things that are upon earth, and with labour do we find the things that are before us."

It is fortunate, however, for Mankind that very often new truths are borne in upon us by the mere weight of external circumstances, not as the result of any "musing" at all, and when we ourselves may be as blind as ever to "the things that are before us." And so it was with the cultivating classes in Scotland. Great, and indeed complete, as the change was which came about within a time comparatively short, we must not exaggerate the rapidity of the process. It had begun, as we have seen, in the Border Counties after the Union of the Crowns, more than a century before the time we are now considering, and the displacement of the Military Classes there when the Border Wars ended, had been connected with the poverty and distress which were conspicuous in Scotland before the Union of the Parliaments. It received a great impetus after that event, and about 1760 it went forward at an accelerated pace. they were dispersed had they produced any very distinguished man. It was reserved for them in our own time to give birth to the most brilliant Essayist, and one of the most interesting Historians in the English tongue. The Macaulays had lost their lands just before the Age of Industry had begun. They had not been improvers. Yet from the high Tower which in later times had been raised upon the massive foundations, and the dungeon-like apartments of the old Castle of the Clan, I used to look down in childhood upon a broad field of level and fertile land, between the Castle and the sea, grazed by "deep uddered kine"—sometimes loaded with golden sheaves— and sometimes rich in the untainted foliage, with its purple and yellow flowers, which used to make the Potato crop one of the most beautiful of all. Those were still the early days of steam navigation in the West of Scotland, and I recollect one river boat, which could be held in the cabin of some of the great Liners now yearly launched, which was called the "Pride of the Clyde." All the talk I heard was of the opening triumphs of the Engineer of the future of navigation on the Ocean, and of the yet unsolved problem of the navigation of the Air. The two brothers Hart, from whom Mr. Smiles has borrowed some pleasant anecdotes of James Watt, were favourite guests—simple, and self-made men from Glasgow, full of knowledge and of suggestion on every problem of science applied to use. My Father was a mechanic, and not an agriculturist. He was himself an accomplished workman, making, with exquisite finish, various implements and articles in wood, and in ivory, and in metal. Nothing was ever said of the older, slower, and less exciting conquests over Nature, and over the waste condition in which her great natural Engines had left the encumbered soil.

And yet there was one tool-mark of the Reclaimer which might have recalled his work. Running straight from the foot of the old Coast Line down to the sea, through the middle of the cultivated flats, there was one deep and open cutting, called by the country people the "Red Drain." It had been excavated out of the solid Old Red Sandstone rock, which there overlies the flanks of the Highland Schists. I had often been attracted to its edges by the wild strawberries, which nowhere else grew so large; and by the thickets of bramble in which the Whitethroat skulked and sang. But a chasm—in some places between seven and eight feet deep—with smooth sides of rock, not easily climbed, seemed to a child rather a formidable trap. Of its history and of its purpose I knew 'nothing —till old documents, in faded ink, have in later years revealed the story. It was the great Outfall by which the fruitful fields, I had so often looked over from the Tower of the Macaulays, had been redeemed from the condition in which they had been left by the Glacial Age, and by the tangled' thickets of "Woody Caledon." The operation at the time had been the talk and the wonder of the neighbourhood, in a generation not long preceding that in which my childhood was spent. The Red Drain had been cut at a cost which was considered fabulous at the time—a time when money was as yet scarce in Scotland. The surrounding areas on both sides had been sub-drained and trenched at a further outlay, not less new and astonishing to the natives. Great roots and prostrate trunks of Oak and Fir had been uncovered in the operations. Loads of stones had been dug up, carted away, and built into dikes, whilst boggy holes and quagmires had been filled up and levelled. Without any mention of details, significant allusions to the change effected by Lord Frederick are to be found in writings published before the close of the Century. Thus we hear that land on which Cattle could not walk with safety, had, in 1794, been conoffered. Like everything else in Scotland which was valuable, it was nowhere absolutely new, because Parliament, even during the Military Ages, had encouraged the fencing and protection of woods and plantations. It had, moreover, recognised afresh, in recent years, the value to be set on the concentration of individual interest and of individual motive upon landed property. In some places, though not generally, the Ownership of land, and not the Occupancy only, had been held on the fashion of Runrig. That is to say, certain areas of land belonged, in small lots, to different Owners, and these were re-divided from time to time. This involved the same evil, and although it did not extensively prevail, yet wherever it existed it affected indirectly all surrounding properties. It did prevail, however, extensively in Annandale, where Border wars had long rendered property valueless. Accordingly, in 1695, it had become sufficiently mischievous to attract the attention of the First Parliament of King William iii., and an Act was passed for remedying it—on the significant Preamble that "great disadvantage was arising to the whole Subjects from lands lying in Runrig," and that "the same was highly prejudicial to the Policy and Improvement of the Nation by planting and enclosing."' Wherefore, power was given to every one having an interest in such property, to call for a separation and final division of it under the authority of the Sheriffs. No such Act was needed for the abandonment of Runrig in respect to Occupation, because this could at any time be effected by virtue of the ordinary rights of Ownership. The farms occupied by several Tenants, and grazed or cultivated by them according to the habits and knowledge of the time, were so occupied and cultivated only under the terms of Covenant. The terms of that Covenant might be altered from time to time. There was no legal impediment in the way. No Legislation, therefore, was required. The saving effects of permanent divisions and of individual farming were only just beginning to be understood. Rude and unsubstantial fences had from time immemorial been erected to divide the "Infield" from the "Outfield" land—the area which was under crop from the area which was uncultivated. The same practice had now to be extended to the internal divisions of the arable land, and to the immense areas which were being reclaimed and brought within that description by reclamation from the wastes of common grazings. In the district of the Lennox, typical from its geographical situation bordering on both Highlands and Lowlands, the progress of Enclosure was so rapid and continuous that in 1794 the Report says, "Not a year passes but several thousand acres are surrounded with fences."

In the fine district of Annandale, the old home of the Bruces, the evil of Commons seems to have been specially enduring and obstructive, since owing to them the greatest exertions of individuals could not make the country capable of modern cultivation. Yet in 1794 scarcely a single Common remained undivided, except in the case of lands belonging to the Royal Burghs. As compared with individual Proprietors, either the intelligence of these Corporate Bodies was less, or their difficulties were greater, since, it was said, "they alone could claim the privilege of keeping waste tracts of the country useless to mankind,—an eyesore to the benevolent passenger, and fit only to indulge the indolent occupier in brooding over his poverty and his turf-fire."

This passage is curious, and directs our attention to a fact of some interest. The Old Royal Burghs in Scotland were in some cases not inconsiderable Landowners. They possessed certain areas of land, fishings, and various other rights of property, as other Landowners did, by Charters from the Sovereigns who had the power and the, right to give them along with the Municipal "liberties" and privileges which rested on the same Instruments. Thus the same early Sovereign of Scotland, William the Lion (A.D. 1165-1214), who gave by Charter to the ancestor of Robert Bruce the great Estate of Annandale, also erected the Town of Ayr into a Royal Burgh, and granted it certain lands, which are carefully described by boundary names as purely Celtic as any now used in the heart of the Highlands. It was specified that out of this area belonging to the Town each Burgess might reclaim six acres out of the Wood or Forest "to make their own profit thereby." This would seem to point to an unlimited power of individual appropriation corresponding to the number of Burgesses. But practically the use of these Burgh lands was generally the use of pasture for the benefit of the Burgesses as a Community, and for centuries they continued to be so used in common, by all who acquired the position and rights of a Burgess.

It was natural that under these conditions there should be great difficulties in changing the mode of use. But if the Burghs were in 1794 behind in the improvement of their lands, this reproach has been removed long ago. Burgh property in Scotland was called the "Common Good," and the Burghs soon found out by the example of other Landowners around them that the best way of consulting the "Common Good" was to give up common Occupation and resort to individual holdings. Accordingly the landed property of the Burghs has long been managed on the same principle on which it is managed by individual Owners,—except that the public interest of the Community has led to a more rigid and universal system of letting by open competition, so as to secure the highest possible rents. Every tendency to let land on terms below the market rate was very naturally regarded as simply a cover for jobbery. Early Statutes forbade Burghs to grant Leases for a longer term than three years, and the object of this prohibition was to secure to the Burgh the growing value of land, and to prevent the transfer of that growing value from those in whom Ownership resided to those who had no other right than that of temporary Occupation and of special bargain. This principle was finally embodied in stringent legislation by an Act passed in 1832, which prohibited all feuing, alienation, or leasing of any part of Common Good of Burghs except by public roup—that is to say, except at the very highest attainable rent or feu-duty. When, therefore, Burghal Owners discovered, as other Owners did, that lands enclosed, and otherwise reclaimed from slovenly and promiscuous uses, immediately rose in value, and afforded at once double or treble the former rent, they joined in the great industrial race of enclosure and reclamation by which the whole face of Scotland has been transformed from being one of the poorest to being one of the best cultivated countries in the world.

The principle thus laid down by Parliament, that the value of all property belonging to Corporate Bodies must always be tested by competition, and let by public roup at the highest market rent, is obviously the only safe principle in the management of a "Common Good." It is undoubtedly the principle on which all land would be let which falls directly in the hands of the State.' Private Owners can and do depart from it with more or less advantage, because the preferences of character and the considerations of sentiment which lead an individual Owner to let his farms to one man who can give less, rather than to another man who can give more, are preferences which, in his case, must always have their natural limits, and which, whether wise or not, are at least always generous and can never be corrupt. In the case of Public Bodies, on the contrary, such preferences are quite sure to be the result of intrigue and of corruption. Accordingly it is certain that in the centuries when publicity was unknown, and when the government of Burghs was far from pure, the "Common Good" had been often jobbed and wasted. Repeated Acts of Parliament were passed during the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries, recording and vainly endeavouring to check this evil. A strict adherence, therefore, to the principle laid down in the Act of 1832 was the only remedy—the principle, namely, of free and open competition in the hire of land or of other property belonging to all Public Bodies.

It is one of the innumerable benefits of Private over Public Ownership, that it is not hound by such rigid necessities. The free choice of persons in selecting Tenants, is one of the most essential of its powers. The highest offerer is not necessarily the best Tenant, except under an equality of other conditions, which is rare. Yet even in respect to land belonging to private Owners, the larger interests of the public are at least presumably in favour of the same principle. The rent of agricultural land must ultimately be determined by the produce. The man who can pay the highest rent is presumably the man who can turn out the largest amount of produce. This he can only do by superiority over other competitors in some faculty or aptitude of Mind, or in the possession of Capital which has been stored by the foresight of himself, or by others whom he represents. There are wonderful bits of faculty and of aptitude connected, each of them, with some corresponding bits of Brain, which in Agriculture, as much as in any other pursuit, tell upon the result. It may be a faculty for estimating the "points" in the breeding of domestic animals on which all progress in utility and in value depends. It may be some inborn and instinctive aptitude for the best methods of manufacture in the artificial productions of the Dairy—it may be merely the faculty of thrift in everything, and of turning everything to the best account—it may be any one, or any combination of these, that will enable one man to pay for land a rent much higher than can be afforded by others who have no similar qualifications, and who are the blind followers of routine. Private Owners may, and continually do, prefer some man who is inferior in all these respects, and they may do so wisely on account of personal or hereditary associations. But in general the interests of agricultural production, which on the whole are the interests of the nation, are to some extent sacrificed thereby. It can never be for the public interest that dull men should be preferred to men of ability, or men with no means to men who have adequate capital. It is only when the extreme test of competition for the holding of land is applied to men who are all equally poor, and who seek for it as a means of bare subsistence, that it ceases to have any value in the public interests. Yet even in this case, those who think that the hire of land should be dealt with as a matter of charity, will find it difficult to defend the rejection of several candidates who offer more, on behalf of some favoured one who offers less. It would be a strange exercise of benevolence not to prefer those who, from the very fact of being the most needy, are willing to give the most, because they are satisfied with the smallest residue. Accordingly, the Irish Land Act of 1880 incites and encourages the Cottier Tenantry of Ireland to exact the last farthing they can get for the sale of their interest to any new Tenant. Private Owners had made rules modifying the severity of this principle in favour of incoming Tenants. But the coarse hands of the State, when it intervenes, have nothing to fall back upon except the principle of Competition in its extremest form.

This system when applied to conditions of hungry and necessitous competition which are in themselves disastrous, can end in nothing but the ruin of agriculture and universal pauperism. Under such circumstances there is no presumption in favour of the highest offerer. He is the hungriest, and nothing more. It would be a bad principle of selection applied to a morbid condition of society, and securing further degradation by systematic preference of the most unfit. This was the actual result in some parts of Ireland—not at all as the consequences of English law or of English customs, but, on the contrary, as the natural fruit of the most genuine old Celtic habits and traditions.

The total absence of any elevating guidance, or of any intelligent control, over men with a low standard of living, and a narrow horizon of desire, can never end in anything but disaster, whatever be the avocation or pursuit to which such a system is applied. Most disastrous of all must it be when applied to that industry and pursuit which comes before every other in the progress of nations. Unlimited licence to sub-let and to sub-divide, and to multiply down to the level of a potato diet—a perfect jungle of sub-tenures—one set of lettings beneath another, and single "rigs" below the lowest—all let to the highest bidder-- all except the first, from year to year only—and all interposed for long and indefinite periods of time between the Owner and any possibility of improvement or even of regulation—such a system was perfectly adapted to banish Mind, in all its higher faculties, from the business of agriculture, and from the building up of Society upon foundations even tolerably safe. Ownership lost all its virtue along with all its opportunities, and all its power. And all this system was purely native—purely Celtic. The Middleman holding tracts of lands for Life or Lives, and living on the competitive rents of very poor and very ignorant people, all struggling for a bare subsistence, is the nearest possible modern representative and analogue of the old Irish Chieftain nourishing a crowd of Septs as his servitors and retainers, and living in his turn upon them, by their help in inter-tribal wars, and in peace "by coign and livery," "cosherings and cuttings." The abuses of the system adopted by the Middlemen were multiplied and intensified by the abuses which grew up like weeds among all below them. There was one hideous practice of Tenants of Ireland, unheard of in any civilised country in the world, to which they were stimulated by the high prices of wheat during the many years of war towards the end of the last, and the first quarter of the present century. This was the practice of burning the land—setting fire to the finest grass lands, whereby the best mineral and vegetable ingredients of the soil could be used up and carried off in a few years of enormous and exhausting profits. In vain had the Irish Parliament passed one enactment after another to prohibit and punish this barbarous waste. It was only one of a thousand other mischievous practices arising out of the paralysis of the powers of Ownership. Laws are useless when they cannot be enforced, and they never can be enforced when the power to practise and to compel obedience is not in the hands of those who have a motive and an interest in doing so.

Like many other noble words that are used without thought, the word Custom has suffered degradation. It has a venerable sound—reminding us of harmless ancestral usages, loved, regretted, and commemorated. It has its own place, too— and a very high place—in the most civilised systems of Jurisprudence and of Law. Neither oral nor written Covenants between men, however definite, can express the whole of the conditions which they imply. Many of these conditions may be, and indeed must be omitted,—not at all because they are inapplicable, but, on the contrary, because their application is of necessity understood. Customs so universal or so general, as to occupy this rank, are not opposed to Covenant or Contract as the basis of all relations between men in matters of business. They are essential parts of every system of Contract, in so far as they are evidence of things mutually understood. In the oldest Charters in Scotland there are many references to customary Use and Wont, to be ascertained as a matter of fact, in the determination of the most important rights; as, for example, in the extent and boundary of lands, or in the extent and limits of the privilege of fishing. But nothing can be more different from this high idea of Custom than that other idea which consecrates under the same name every stupid practice and every abuse which may creep in and establish itself among the ignorant or the weak.

The wonderful burst of Industry which transformed the 'whole face of Scotland in the course of the Eighteenth Century, and especially during the latter half of it, could never have arisen if her ancient Law had not been kept pure and uncontaminated from such debasement. Everything that takes from Knowledge its initiative by depriving it of Opportunity - everything that discourages Enterprise by accumulating against it unknown elements of uncertainty—is a barrier—often an insuperable barrier—to improvement. Fortunately for Scotland the rights recognised by Charter on the one hand, and conveyed by Covenant on the other, had been kept clear and definite. If the property conferred on Corporations was longer left without improvement, or if it had been wasted and dispersed, this result had only arisen because Corporate Bodies can never in such matters represent, except very imperfectly, the natural influences and motives which animate Individual Owners, and which make their aspirations and desires coincident in the main, and in the long-run, with the public interests. No such law was ever thought of for them, as the law which was ultimately passed for Burghal Owners, laying down an universal and unbending rule that nothing should be let except by roup, and at the highest rates determined by competition. On the contrary, in a memorable Act passed at a memorable epoch in the national history, Parliament had called upon all Landowners to remember that in the disposal of their lands they held, and were free to use a large and a wide discretion over the choice of their Tenants. Upon the loyal exercise of this power, the Monarchy had relied in its long contention against the most formidable political dangers. Upon the wise and enlightened exercise of the same power the Nation now again relied, not less securely, for its advance from famines and poverty to comfort and to abundance, and from comparative barbarism to a high and advancing civilisation. As in the Sixteenth Century Landowners were called upon not to let their farms and "rooms" to men ignorant of their duty to the National Government, so now, in the dawn of the Industrial Ages, they were trusted not to let their lands to men ignorant of, or deaf to, the new duties, the new demands, and the new opportunities of their day.

On the other hand, as the progress of agricultural knowledge had been slow even among the educated classes, it could not fail to be much more slow among those who had no education except that of tradition and routine. It was not possible, and it would not have been wise, if it had been possible, to bring about too suddenly the immense changes which were absolutely required. Nothing but the free play of individual motive,—of knowledge, of enterprise, and of personal relations,—could have worked with the elasticity, and with the variety of application, which such circumstances eminently demanded. And never, perhaps, in the history of any country was a more signal illustration given of the inestimable value, on the one hand, of a strict and clear definition of all legal rights, and on the other hand, of perfect individual freedom in the handling of them. In the beginning of the century, by far the largest part of the country, not only in the Highlands and in the Borders, but also in the Lowlands, was unenclosed, unimproved, and cultivated, or rather wasted, by groups of Tenants whose relations with each other were an insuperable obstacle to every reform. At the end of the century all this had been reversed. By far the largest part of the country had been or was being enclosed, and improved, or for the first time reclaimed. The farms had been generally let to individual Tenants, free to change and to adapt their management without let or hindrance from slower "neighbours," or from more ignorant or more obstinate partners.

And all this great change—great in itself, but greater still from the opening it gave to a continuity of progress—had been effected without any disturbance, or commotion, or serious discontent. At one time in the wilds of Galloway alone, there is some record of bands of men going about the country pulling down the newly erected dikes, just as in much later times bands of men in the West of England went about breaking the new machines which were another of the instruments of advancing agriculture. But this excitement in Galloway was transitory and local, not unconnected with the Celtic origin of the "Galwegians," who in the days of the early Monarchy were always addressed as a separate people from the Scots. But here, too, as elsewhere, the work of improvement was speedily resumed, and went on with that sure and steady pace, and with that silent and peaceful development, which are the sure indications of healthy organic growth.

And this is exactly what it was, and what the progress of Nations must always be, if it is to be great and lasting. It was not a mere burst of speculation like the South Sea Bubble, or even as the Darien Scheme. It was a general awakening of Mind, directing stronger Muscle, and taking advantage of new and boundless horizons of Opportunity. All ranks and classes—all orders and conditions of men—took part in it. It was a general advance all along the line. The rising industry of the Towns was ready to absorb the overflowing idleness of the country. The rising activity and the increasing knowledge of the agricultural classes were ready to supply all markets as they had never been supplied before, and to feed as they had never been fed before, all who came from Potato patches to enlist in the ranks of industry. Many of those who did so were continually returning to their old homes with sums of money which enabled them to take their place among the new Tenants of single, undivided, and therefore unwasted Farms. All values were rising, partly from a change in the value of money, but mainly from a rising demand which even an increasing volume of production could not adequately supply. Muscle was among the articles which had a rapidly increasing value, and this was one of the many simultaneous adjustments, due to natural growth, which made all the changes fit into each other, and work with so little friction or disturbance.

Great distress had arisen in the Seventeenth Century from the displacement of the military population out of the Border Counties, after the Union of the Crowns, because at that time the progress of industry had not, either in town or country, reached a point which enabled it to afford employment. But in the Eighteenth Century, after the Union of the Parliaments, the ranks of the Industrial Army were never full. Every recruit was welcome, and every soldier was paid far better than ever he had been paid before, even by the most successful raids for cattle. So early as 1730-35, Captain Burt found that about Inverness every young fellow with any genius for his trade or business, and with any spirit of enterprise,' was looking and going for employment to England or to the Low Country. All over the Western Highlands the rising industries of the Clyde were the great centre of attraction. They were like a powerful magnet waved over an area full of particles of iron. Even when smothered in earth and sand, these particles will respond to such attraction,—heaving aside the inert particles around them, and moving like Ants in an Ant-hill, until the whole grainy mass seems alive with creatures. Such was the effect produced, only more slowly and more gradually, by the magnetic attraction of the wages offered in Greenock, Paisley, and Glasgow, —and all over the country in works of Reclamation —to the men who had been gathering in the glens and hills of Dumbarton and Argyll. The Minister of one of these Highland Parishes tersely and graphically describes the condition from which this great opening relieved them, when in his Statistical Report he says, "Idleness was almost the only comfort they enjoyed."

It is a striking illustration, too, of the close inter-communion between all classes in Scotland during this great period of national advance, that when we look into local records we find that Landowners had often much to do with the rise of Towns, whilst there are conspicuous examples of the dwellers in Towns taking the lead in agricultural improvements. Thus, for example, the earliest germ and nucleus of the present Town of Greenock lay in a little Village called Cra\vfordsdyke, part of the Barony of Crawfordsburn, which belonged to a family of the name of Crawford. Immediately after the Revolution the Proprietor appointed the grand-father of James Watt to be his Baron-bailie—a position at that time of great local influence and importance. In like manner, Greenock itself, then a separate but adjoining village, was on the property of Sir John Shaw, whose heirs and representatives are still in possession of the Estate, and whose interests have ever since been identified with the rising fortunes of this great Seaport. The quiet bit of sandy shore which is now covered with its Docks and Quays, was then known as "Sir John Shaw's little Bay."' The new centres of industry which were then rising in Scotland needed at that time not only the encouragement of such Landowners, but also their influence and protection in their contests with the oppressive monopolies of the older Royal Burghs, such as Dumbarton and Glasgow.

On the other hand, turning from the West to the East of Scotland, it seems to have been a Lord Provost of Edinburgh, who, about 1688, set the first example of the most fundamental of all agricultural improvements, in dividing and enclosing his estate of Prestonfield close to that city.' This, however, he did, not in his capacity of Provost dealing with Burghal Property, or "Common Good," but in his capacity of a Private Owner, in the exercise of those full rights which such Ownership always carried and implied. No doubt those lands, almost touching the old walls of Edinburgh, must have been previously grazed by the cows of some definite or indefinite number of persons, each paying some "grass mail" for the poor support in summer of some still poorer cattle. But common use did not constitute common Property. The ignorant usages of an ignorant time were not stereotyped by being converted into legal rights standing in the way of every kind of progress. And yet, in the result, the exercise by the Provost of his rights of private Ownership over these lands, was an immense gain to the citizens of Edinburgh. The meat market and the milk market were at once better supplied. Cows which barely gave two or three pints a day, during a very small portion of the year, were replaced by cows which gave perhaps eight or ten pints a day, and for a much longer period of time. The measure of this public benefit was indicated by the correlative share of it which was secured by the Proprietor. It became gradually known all over Scotland that by virtue of enclosure alone, land near Towns rose in rental by more than a third or 331.- per cent., which meant that the total produce rose on at least a corresponding scale. Land was never so well and so fruitfully "municipalised" as when it was owned as the private property of an intelligent and enterprising Citizen.

On the other hand, the not less important function discharged by individual Ownership in mitigating the hardness, and modifying the rapidity of changes so great, was not less signally illustrated on another Estate contiguous with that of Prestonfield. This was the Estate of Duddingston—embracing the southern slopes of Arthur's Seat, and the hollow which lies between that hill and the heights crowned by the Castle of Craigmillar. The most tragic scenes in the tragic life of Mary Queen of Scots make all that land classic ground in the history of Scotland. It is almost startling to find that for the long period of sixty- three years after the enclosure of Prestonfield, the lands of Duddingston, so close to the Scottish Capital, continued to be held by a number of poor Tenants, on the Runrig system, with all the pastures common and unenclosed, and with all the arable land miscropped and exhausted under the same barbarous usages which still linger in the remotest and poorest Parishes of the Hebrides. It was not until 1751 that the Estate was brought under the conditions of agricultural civilisation by the enclosure of the lands, the separation of the farms, the erection of better houses, and the introduction of a better husbandry. All this was done at last under the powers and rights of Ownership by the Abercorn family; and so well and wisely done that the Minister reporting in 1796 could describe the change as not less happy for the Tenants than for the Proprietor and the Country.

We may well wonder, sometimes, at the stupidities of men which so long prevented them from putting the gifts and opportunities of Nature to those methods of use which seem to us now so. obvious. But our wonder may well be greater still when we find that new stupidities, in our own day, and after all the enlightenments of experience, are scolding at the knowledge, and at the enterprise, and at the achievements, by which in our fathers' time the older stupidities were replaced. Among these new stupidities there is none so great as the modern revolt against enclosures. These are equally necessary, and equally the symbol of all improvement, whatever be the purpose to which land may be applied after it has been enclosed. It is equally necessary to enclose land whether it be used as Allotments for the poorer classes, or for Farms of all sizes for men having various amounts of capital, or even whether it is to be kept wild and uncultivated, for the purposes of public recreation. It may have been one of the stupidities of former generations not to foresee the importance which would come to be attached to this last purpose from the enormous growth of Cities. But their growth was so gradual, and the want of open spaces was for generations so little felt, that this particular failure in foresight is not really any great matter of surprise. However this may be, the preservation of certain - areas of ground for public Parks near great Towns has now become a most rational and even a most necessary use. It affords, however, no justification for the denuncia- tion of Enclosures which has become loosely popular. This denunciation rests upon nothing but a vague jealousy of all individual appropriation, and against all the improvement which depends upon it. As such it is a sentiment more ignorant and barbarous than any of those that retarded the progress of Agriculture during the stagnant ages. Some of these had, so far as mere sentiment is concerned, a far better justification. The ruinous customs of Runrig, for example, rested originally on a sentiment of justice and of fairness as between the individual shareholders in a Township—a feeling that every one should have his chance and his turn of the best and of the poorer bits of soil. Hence the custom of innumerable sub-divisions, and of the yearly disposal of them by lot. But though the sentiment was good, the ignorance was profound. Alen did not then know that the worst land might be made into the best, if it became the interest of any individual to make it so. Nor did they consider that the very best land would become as bad as the very worst by the continued cropping of it by men who had no motive to improve. But none can plead these ignorance's now. In our time, therefore, any feeling against Enclosures which are the indispensable foundation of all agricultural improvement, is simply a return to barbarism, far worse than any old failure of our fathers to rise above the knowledge of their times. It is a sentiment in favour of the right of everybody in general to keep the country waste, lest anybody in particular should profit by its reclamation.

In 1756 there was published an elaborate and indeed a sumptuous Work on the Agriculture of England, which in not a few things is even now ahead, if not of the science, yet at least of the practice of our own day.' Nowhere is there to be found a more clear and forcible exposition of the place which Enclosure occupies as the one preliminary condition of every possible improve.- ment, both of the land and of the people who live upon it. The authors declare as the result of their own observation and experience that "Whatever pretences may be made of the oppression of the poor by the enclosing of Lands, this is certain, that they nowhere are so happy as where the land in general is under enclosure, and nowhere so miserable, poor, ragged, and idle, as in those places where most of the land lies in common." Again they say, "Upon the edges of all great commons we see a set of miserable cottagers. Hunger is in their faces, and misery upon their backs: they idle away their time in tending their own and other people's cattle, and breed their children to this poor employment."

Most fortunately for Scotland "Commonties," in the full sense of that word, had almost entirely disappeared before the close of the last century. Moors, and "outfield" pastures used as a common grazing by the joint-tenants of one farm—these, indeed, remained in abundance all over the country. In all the backward parts of it they remain still. But these are not Commons or "Commonties," as they were called in Scotland, in the English sense of the word. "Commonties" were areas of land over which an indefinite number of per- Sons had various and indefinite rights of use, founded only on customs of ancient origin. Farm grazings open to nobody except to the legal Tenants of the farm, and used by them under no other rights than those conveyed to them from the Owner by Lease or otherwise, were indeed, in one sense, "common" grazings. But they were totally different in their nature from Commonties. They could be divided, enclosed, reclaimed, planted, or otherwise dealt with, at the will of the Proprietor whenever an existing Lease expired. And even during an existing Lease they might be similarly dealt with by bargain and agreement between the Owner and the few Tenants who were exclusively concerned. "Commonties," on the other hand, could only be divided and reclaimed by some Judicial process. But the Judicial processprovided by the Law of Scotland for dealing with them, was less expensive and troublesome than any which had been provided in England. They never seem to have existed in Scotland to anything like the same extent as in England. The clear and sharp definition of all rights and tenures, which the system of Leases had established with the earliest civilisation of the Kingdom, had tended to keep out confusion. But it is curious and instructive to observe how, in the Border Counties, where centuries of continual war had unsettled everything, and where large areas of land could not be secured for a twelvemonth from devastation, the natural results of promiscuous, hap-hazard, and indefinite usages of Occupation, had precisely the same effects as those so forcibly denounced in England by the universal voice of all impartial observers. In the excellent Report on the County of Dumfries, rendered to the Board of Agriculture in 1794, the strongest language is used in condemnation of the "Commonties" which had existed there, and of the impediments which even the more favourable Law of Scotland had placed in the way of the abolition of them. "Commonage" is declared in that Report by a competent observer "to be so inimical to all improvement of land, and a source of so many moral evils affecting the whole community, that they ought to be abolished everywhere by a general enactment." But this was quite unnecessary, so far as Scotland was concerned. All difficulties and impediments disappeared before the obvious interest of almost all who were locally concerned. Commonties soon completely vanished from the map of Scotland; and nothing remained to be dealt with that even savoured of the same evils, except those ignorant methods of cultivation in Runrig which were pursued by the Tenants of Township Farms.

It is well to remember, however, that, even in this very mitigated form, the principle and the practice of stifling individual interests, and personal aptitudes, in their application to the most important of all industries, was specially dangerous in Scotland because of the great amount of intelligence and of enterprise which were needed to reclaim her rough and encumbered soil. It is impossible to read the account, given in the Report of 1794 on the County of Aberdeen, of the tremendous effect produced by a few "ill years" or bad seasons at the close of the previous century, without seeing that not over the Highlands alone, but over a very large proportion of the whole of Scotland, Famine had been always standing at the door. Very widely indeed that gaunt Figure not only stood at the door, but entered within the House. It was said of the "ill years" referred to, that, in addition to all those who were only kept from starvation by collections at the churches, there were more than 200,000 people who were wandering mendicants begging from door to door.' This represents a terrible percentage of the then population of Scotland. The County of Aberdeen was depopulated. The land was waste; and not until after the new burst of Industry had begun, and an appeal was made to individual skill, enterprise, and capital, in the holding of undivided farms, was the country redeemed from its desolation.

Neither was it enough that the Tenants should all be men with single holdings, and freed from the common interest of ignorant partners in the perpetuation of senseless usages. This was not enough, unless the new Tenants were fitted to take advantage of their new position, by having themselves risen above the old level. Accordingly, nothing is more striking in the accounts we have of the condition of the country before the Union, than the testimony they hear to the failure which followed the letting of land to men who had neither knowledge nor capital. Many Proprietors after the Famine had no opportunity of exercising any effective power of selection, because there was no competition. They were glad to let their land to any applicants who could take it, even in the smallest portions, and with the poorest qualifications. They were tempted to break down their farms into minute holdings at from 2 to 5 Rent. The Occupants made a little money by knitting stockings. They could eat potatoes. But they were ignorant of agriculture. The result was that, in 1794, where- ever these small holdings prevailed, the condition of the Occupiers was described as having become gradually reduced to "the degraded state they held at present."' Next followed the great scarcity of 1740, and again the repetition of famine in 1782, which affected with special severity the County of Aberdeen. But by this time the new knowledge had begun, and the general rise of Industry, had been well established. As usual under such conditions, both Migration and Emigration followed, and a race of new Tenants, with the requisite skill and capital,—selected by the Owners—holding undivided Farms,—and encouraged by adequate Covenants, joined the broad and rapid stream of national advance.


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