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On Emigration and the State of the Highlands
Appendix L.


On this point I have received some very valuable observations from a most respectable proprietor resident in the Western Isles, whose name, if I were at liberty to mention it, would leave no doubt of their accuracy: I have always looked upon the indolence attributed to the Highlanders as proceeding in a very great measure from the misplaced attachment of friends and relations, and even the native spirit of hospitality, in this respect to general amongst the lower orders. It is a common practice for people to go to service in the Low Country for several years; but they almost uniformly return and are often sent for by their friends, to remain idle at home, when tired, as they say, of work. Those friends have frequently but a scanty subsistence for themselves; but no one will refuse a residence or a share of his homely fare to a friend or connection. They frequently (unknown) share their little portions of land, so that no one dreads the danger of absolute want, however idle; and thus a great spur to industry is withdrawn. From this cause it proceeds, that no Highlander can he got to be sufficiently industrious, or to work hard in his own country.


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