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of peculiar ignorance or barbarism, maintained the antient feudal customs in all their force. The victory of Culloden broke the spell, which bound these hardy mountaineers to the customs of their ancestors; and while the policy of the government is wearing away the distinction which separated them from their fellow subjects, it is the duty of philosophy to seize their peculiar character, and fix it on the page of history, before it shall for ever vanish from our grasp. The Earl of Selkirk, animated with a noble patriotism, has improved his acquaintance with this singular people to the public good. Observing that, since the rebellion of 1745, the power of the Highland chiefs was broken, and the stimulus to retain a number of idle dependents removed; witnessing the numerous emigrations to Ainerisa, which had followed in consequence of the new system adopted in the Highlands, he was desirous of attracting the emigrants to our own colonies, that the empire might still profit, by this peculiar and valuable portion of its population. In the progress of his patriotic efforts he met with the usual rewards-jealousy and detraction. To remove the unfavourable impression which government had received concerning his Lordship's scheme, he addressed to the Secretary for the colonial department, a letter developing his plan, which, with some additions, and the history of its execution, forms the present volume.
The noble author closes his account of the original condition of the higilanders, with these amiable remarks.
" The authority of the chief, however great, was not of that absolute kind which has sometimes been imagined, and could not be maintained without an unremitted attention to all the arts of popalarity. Condesscending manners were necessary in every individual, of whatever rank; the meanest expected to be treated as a gentleman, and almost as an equal. Nor was this all. The intimate connexion of the chief with his people, their daily intercourse, the daily dependance they had on each other for immediate safety, the dangers which they shared, were all naturally calculated to produce a great degree of mutual sympathy and affection. If there were any of the higher ranks who did not really feel such sentiments, prudence prevented them from allowing this to appear; and the devoted attachment of their followers is described in terms of astonishment by contemporary writers.
Yet this attachment was an effect easily deducible from the general principles of human nature. Among the poor in civilized countries, there is, perhaps, no circumstance more severely felt, than the neglect they meet with from persons of superior rank, and which appears to stigmatize them, as of an inferior species : when any one attends to their distresses, they are often more soothed by the concern which they per. ceive they excite, than by any direct adyantage that may result. When a person of rank treats bis inferiors with cordiality, and shews an interest in their welfare, it is seldom that, in any country, this behaviour is not repaid by gratitude and affection. This was particularly to be expected
among the Highlanders, a people naturally of acute feelings, habituated to sentiments of a romantic and poetical cast: in them the condescending manners and kindness of their chiefs, excited an attachment bordering on enthusiasm. pp. 19-20.
The Highland chiefs, having lost their feudal, military rank, are reduced to the situation of other men of landed property; and now begin to seek their consequence from the incomes of their estates. This has led to the introduction of sheep farming, which is found to afford the highest rent, while it requires, only a very sinall proportion of the former population. 7 The diminution of cottagers, says Dr. Adam Smith. and other small occupiers of land, has in every part of Europe been the immediate forerunner of improvement and better cultivation.'
We are informed, page 45, that frequently thirty or forty families of the small tenants have been dispossessed, all at once, to make way for a great sheep farm.
« Of these alternatives, every one who is acquainted with the country must admit that Emigration is by far the most likely to suit the inclination and habits of the Highlanders. It requires a great momentary effort; but holds out a speedy prospect of a situation and mode of life similar to that in which they have been educated. Accustomed to possess land, to derive from it all the comforts they enjoy, they naturally consider it as indispensable, and can form no idea of happiness without such a possession. No prospect of an accommodation of this kind can enter into the views of any one who seeks for employment as a day ·labourer, still less of those who resort to a manufacturing town.
The manners of a town, the practice of sedentary labour under the roof of a manufactory, present to the Highlander a most irksome contrast to his former life. The independance and irregularity to which he is accustomed, approach to that of the savage : his activity is occasionally called forth to the utmost stretch, in conducting his boat through boisterous waves, or in traversing the wildest mountains amidst the storms of winter. But these efforts are succeeded by intervals of indolence equally extreme. He is accustomed to occasional exertions of agricultural labour, but without any habits of regular and steady industry; and he has not the least experience of sedentary employments, for which, most frequently, the prejudices of his infancy have taught him to entertain a contempt.
To a person of such habits, the business of a manufactory can have no attraction except in a case of necessity; it can never be his choice, when any resource can be found more congenial to his native habits and dispositon. The occupations of an agricultural labourer, though very different, would not be so great a contrast to his former life; but the limited demand for labour leaves him little prospect of employment in this line. Both in this, and in manufacturing establishments, every desirable situation is pre-occupied by men of much greater skill than the untutored Highlander. He has therefore, little chance of finding employment but in works of the lowest drudgery. . .
To this it is to be added, that the situation of a mere day-labourer, is one which must appear degrading to a person who has been accustomed to consider himself as in the rank of a farmer, and has been the possessor even of a small portion of land. In America, on the contrary, he has a prospect of superior rank ; of holding his land on a permanent tenure, instead of a temporary, precarious, and dependent possession. It is not to be forgotten, that every motive of this nature has a peculiar degree of force on the minds of the Highland peasantry. The pride, which formerly pervaded even the lowest classes, has always been a prominent feature of their national character: and this feeling is deeply wounded by the distant behaviour they now experience from their chieftains a mortifying contrast to the cordiality that subsisted in the feudal times." pp. 48–50.
In the true spirit of a liberal and enlightened policy, Lord S. contends against opposing emigration by restrictive laws; that class only, says he, will emigrate, which is become necessarily unproductive, and which, if forcibly detained at home, must be useless; and might be dangerous; finally he maintains, that no act of parliament, but one to empower them to live without eating, can remedy the evil. Himself a genuine disciple of his countryman, the author of the Wealth of Nations, he has freely animadverted on the narrow spirit and conduct of the Highland Society, in the bill which they procured for the regulation of the emigrants from the Highlands to America.
The volume closes with the details of a considerable emigration, which Lord S. himself conducted to the Island of Prince Edward, in the gulph of St. Lawrence. For the sake of experiment, and to prove that the Highlanders might, by proper attention, be attracted to our own colonies, eight hundred were collected from a part of the Highlands, where the general inclination ran strongly in favour of a very different part of America. After having devoted to their settlement his own personal attention for some time, his Lordship made a tour on the Continent, and thus relates the situation of things on his return. • " I found the settlers engaged in securing the harvest which their industry had produced. They had a small proportion of grain of various kinds, but potatoes were the principal crop; these were of excellent quality, and would have been alone sufficient for the entire support of the settlement. The prospect of abundance had diffused universal satisfaction, and every doubt as to the eligibility of the situation seemed to be removed. In the whole settlement I met but two men who shewed the least appearance of despondency. There were three or four families who had not gathered a crop adequate to their own supply : but many others had a considerable superabundance. The extent of land in cultivation at the different hamlets, I found to be in general in a proportion of two acres or thereabouts to each able working hand : in many cases from three to four. Several boats had also beer búilt, by means of which, a considerable supply of fish had been obtained, and formed VOL. II,
no trifling addition to the stock of provisions. Thus, in little more than one year from the date of their landing on the island, had these people made themselves independant of any supply that did not arise from their own labour.
The commencement of improvement to be seen in some of these habitations, is, I believe, the result, not so much of a personal wish for better accommodation, as of the pride of landed property; a feeling natural to the human breast, and particularly consonant to the antient habits of the Highlanders; a feeling which, among the tenantry, has been repressed by recent circumstances, but not extinguished; and which is ready to resume its spring whenever their situation will permit, These sentiments are not confined to the superior classes of the settlers, One of very moderate property, who had held a small possession in the Isle of Sky; traces his lineage to a family which had once possessed an estate in Ross-shire, but had lost it in the turbulence of the feudal times. He has given to his new property the name of the antient seat of his family, has selected' a situation with more taste than might have been expected from a mere peasant; and, to render the house of Auchtertyre worthy of its name, is doing more than would otherwise have been thought of by a man of his station. pp. 206—209, 210.
To conclude; the noble author has here displayed a mind caltivated by true philosophy, a heart warmned with generous patriotism, and a temper capable of persevering exertion; he has at the same time furnished a successful example, in the highest degree important and useful to his country, and afforded the publie a volume of agreeable and improving information. We trust he will not be deprived of his due reward, in securing to himself the honour and satisfaction of turning the tide of Highland emigration into a channel, where it will How to the advantage of the parent state. It only remains for us to hope, that the Earl of Selkirk, in the prosecution of his philanthrophic and patriotic plans, will not neglect to call in the aids which Religion affords, without which, we are convinced, that all endeavours to amend the character, and increase the happiness of mankind, will prove ineffectual.
Art. VI. The Christian Mirror-exhibiting some of the Excellencies and
Defects of the Religions World: containing various Essays in Prose and Verse. 12mo. pp. 288. - Price 55. Williams and Co. Cundee,
Conder, 1805. THAT the mind of man, as well as his body, exhibits marks
I of depravity, is evident to every serious and impartial observer. · Divine revelation as evidently tends to the cure of moral evil; and Christianity, especially, is completely adapted to that important purpose. "It is, however, undeniable, that a vast proportion of people called Christians, are slaves to vice; and that, among the comparatively few who, in the main, evince
the the sincerity of their belief in the Gospel, no small share of in. consistency is to be found. Enemies of religion often avail themselves of the defects of its professors; to question its reality, or to depreciate its authority. It therefore behoves the friends of genuine Christianity, to expose the fallacy of such inferences, by demonstrating the excellencies, and at the same time censuring the defects, of persons who are distinguished by a religious profession.
For these and other reasons, a book under the title of that now before tis, lays claim to our attention; and so far as it corresponds with its title; merits no slight recommendation. We observe, so far as it does this; because, although the present work proposes to exhibit ,only some excellencies and some defects, yet as they are stated to be those, not of any one party of religious people; but of the religious world, and ihe resemblance is said to be presented by the Christian Mirror, we acknowledge the difficulty of fulfilling the expectations raised by such a promise.
How extensive must be the observation, how comprehensive the knowledge, how superior to prejudice the judgement, that can appreciate these qualities which belong, in common to the Christian world, the appearances and manners of which are not only wonderfully diversified, but in many instances strongly contrasted!
It is not on this large scale, that the volume under review delineates the religious world. It is, apparently, the joint performance of some pious dissenters; and the manners which it describes, are peculiarly those of their own denomination. They discover, however, more of candour, than of general info mation; and while little, if any thing, appears, which can reasonably disgust readers of a different party, there is much, which, by the analogy of human nature, and of national customs, may interest and admonish them. ,
The Essays which compose this work assume the form and style of periodical papers. We doubt. whether they derive advantage from it on the whole: because the introduction of occasional correspondents can only appear plausible, when the papers are actually published in succession; and because we apprehend that works of this kind require a greater variety of subjects, a greater compass of literature, and a more general knowledge of mankind, than are here displayed. The authors have likewise attempted a task in which even the ablest periodical writers have partially failed; that of describing and sustaining the various characters of supposed stated contributors to the performance. The failure is also rendered the more conspicuous by the triteness of the names assigned to this literary junto. Sir Roger de Coverley, Will Honeycomb, or Isaac Bickerstaff, might trespass without immediate detection: but