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to the Laird, and received them from the tenants. This tenure still subsists, with its original operation, but not with the primitive stability. Since the islanders, no longer content to live, have learned the desire of growing rich, an ancient dependent is in danger of giving way to a higher bidder, at the expence of domestic dignity and hereditary power. The stranger, whose money buys him preference, considers himself as paying for all that he has, and is indifferent about the Laird's honour or safety. The commodiousness of money is indeed great; but there are some advan. tages which money cannot buy, and which therefore no wise man will by the love of money be tempted to forego.
I have found in the hither parts of Scotland, men not defective in judgment or general experience, who consider the tacksmen as a useless burden on the ground, as a drone who lives upon the product of an estate, without the right of property, or the merit of labour, and who impoverishes at once the landlord and the tenant. The land, say they, is let to the tacksman at sixpence an acre, and by him to the tenant at tenpence. Let the owner be the im. mediate landlord to all the tenants; if he sets the ground at eightpence, he will in. crease his revenue by a fourth part, and the tenant's burden will be diminished by a fitth.
Those who pursue this train of reason. ing, seem not sufficiently to inquire whither it will lead them, nor to know that it will equally show the propriety of suppressing all wholesale trade, of shutting up the shops of every man who sells what he does not make, and of extruding all whose agency and profit intervene between the manufac. turer and the consumer. They may, by stretching their understandings a little wider, comprehend, that all those who by undertaking large quantities of manufacture, and affording employment to many labourers, make themselves considered as bene. factors to the public, have only been rob. bing their workmen with one hand, and their customers with the other. If Crowly had sold only what he could make, and all his smiths had wrought their own iron with their own hammers, he would have lived on less, and they would have sold their work for more. The salaries of su. perintendants and clerks would have been partly saved, and partly shared, and nails þeen sometimes cheaper by a farthing in a
Flarede de builder supply hit
hundred. But then if the smith could not have found an immediate purchaser, he must have deşerted his anvil ; it there had by accident been at any time more sellers than buyers, the workmen must have re. duced their profit to nothing, by undersel. ling one another; and as no great stock could have been in any hand, no sudden demand of large quantities could have been answered, and the builder must have stood still till the nailer could supply him.
According to these schemes, universal plenty is to begin and end in universal misery. Hope and emulation will be utterly extinguished; and as all must obey the call of immediate necessity, nothing that requires extensive views, or provides for distant consequences, will ever be performed.
To the southern inhabitants of Scotland, the state of the mountains and the islands is equally unknown with that of Borneo or Sumatra : Of both they have only heard a little, and guess the rest. They are stran. gers to the language and the manners, to the advantages and wants of the people, whose life they would model, and whose evils they would remedy,
Nothing is less difficult than to procure one convenience by the forfeiture of an.
other. A soldier may expedite his march by throwing away his arms. To banish the Tacksman is casy, to make country plentiful by diminishing the people, is an expeditious mode of husbandry; but that a. bundance, which there is nobody to enjoy, contributes little to human happiness.
As the mind must govern the hands, so in every society the man of intelligence must direct the man of labour. If the Tacksmen be taken away, the Hebrides must in their present state be given up to grossness and ignorance; the tenant, for want of instruction, will be unskilful; and for want of admonition, will be negligent. The Laird, in these wide estates, which of ten consist of islands remote from one an. other, cannot extend his personal influence to all his tenants; and the steward having no dignity annexed to his character, can have little authority among men taught to pay reverence only to birth, and who regard the Tacksman as their hereditary superior; nor can the steward have equal zeal for the prosperity of an estate profita. ble only to the Laird, with the Tacksman, who has the Laird's income involved in his own.
The only gentlemen in the islands are the Lairds, the Tacksmen, and the Minis. ters, who frequently improve their livings by becoming farmers. If the Tacksmen be banished, who will be left to impart knowledge, or impress civility ? The Laird must always be at a distance from the greater part of his lands; and if he resides at all upon them, must drag his days in solitude, having no longer either a friend or a companion; he will therefore depart to some more comfortable residence, and leave the tenants to the wisdom and mercy of a factor.
Of tenants there are different orders, as they have greater or less stock. Land is sometimes leased to a small fellowship, who live in a cluster of huts, called a Tenants Town, and are bound jointly and separately for the payment of their rent, These I believe, employ in the care of their cattle, and the labour of tillage, a kind of tenants yet lower; who have a hut, with grass for a certain number of cows and sheep, pay their rent by a stipulated quan. tity of labour.
The condition of domestic servants, or the price of occasional labour, I do not know with certainty, I was told that the maids have sheep, and are allowed to spin
y for the are boun's called a