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the commodity, the whole fifty labourers are still employed, in producing ten times the quantity that the same labour would formerly realize. This has been the general result of all improvements in machinery, with the exception of agricultural machinery. And the reason of this exception is, that the quantity of agricultural produce cannot be so increased by an economy of labour, as to afford employment for all the labour that is economized. Society may gain by the cheapening of the commodity, consequent upon the saving of labour ; but if the unemployed labour is thrown back as a dead weight upon society, the loss will outweigh the gain: just as if eighteen labourers were, by extra exertion, to do the work of twenty, while the other two, being disabled, had to be supported at the employer's expense. And if the commodity is not cheapened, and if less labour is beneficially employed, in proportion as the beneficial power of labour is increased, -the whole advantage of the boasted economy is frustrated, and the gain of the community is something less than nothing.
We cannot help strongly wishing that Miss Martineau would exemplify all this ; for we are quite sure that her good sense will enable her to perceive the accordance of our principles with facts; facts too generally overlooked by the framers of axioms and the lovers of abstract principles. And there is another point upon which we would recommend her to exercise a strong distrust of the dogmas of political economy; that of the superior benefit of large capitals. We give her great credit for the saving clause, ' capitals may be too large’; and also for the qualification of the principle, that “large capitals produce in a larger proportion,' implied in the expressive proviso, when well managed. Capitals are too large, it is remarked, "when they become disproportioned ' to the managing power. They are too large also, when they confer the power of monopoly. By enabling the capitalist to content himself with small profits, they tend to produce a fall of profits, which ultimately diminishes the fund for the employment of labour. This has especially proved to be the case with large agricultural capitals, which have had the effect of at once depressing profits and depreciating labour. Nor is this the worst consequence of over large capitals. Instead of uniformly calling into employment new powers of production, 'as in the cultivation
of wastes, they have sometimes led to the abandonment of cultivation for less productive modes of employing the soil, and have converted corn-fields into parks and pastoral wastes. What have great capitals done for Lombardy, for Tuscany, for Ireland ? Under the fatal patronage of the Medicean princes, the agriculture of Tuscany revived at the expense of commerce, and all the great capitalists became transformed into territorial proprietors. But, remarks the enlightened Historian of the Italian Republics, it is not agriculture that has ever enriched Italy. • Agriculture
can augment capital, and become a source of national wealth,
only when the peasantry are accumulating property; and this 'can take place only when they are at once cultivators and pro• prietors.'*
How strikingly has this been verified in the history of Ireland ! When the trade in grain was first laid open between the two British islands, the effect was immediate and surprising, in promoting an extension of tillage, by which the incomes of the landlords and of the clergy were doubled or trebled ; but what was the result with regard to the population ? "Tillage,' it has been justly remarked, does not bring wealth into a country, unless the corn
grown in it, be consumed there also. The increase of tillage in
Ireland, had the effect of sending wealth out of the country. “The increase of rents which was derived from the increase of tillage and population, enabled great numbers of the smaller gentry to quit the country. And their removal from Ireland 'had the effect of impoverishing the country, both by the with
drawment of their expenditure, and by leading to the exaction of high rents. As rents rose in Ireland, as tillage extended, as population increased, the country became poorer and poorer; and every day added to the number of absentees.' f Will it be said, that great properties, rather than great capitals, have contributed to the ruin of Ireland ; and that the subletting system proves that capital has been alienated from the land ? We reply, that while this has been working destruction in some districts, in others, capital has been exerting its productive energies. For the five years ending in 1816, there were exported from the port of Dublin alone, 1,144,181 barrels of grain and flour; 272,431 casks of beef, pork, and butter ; 180,235 head of oxen, sheep, and swine; and 40,335 packs and boxes of linen I. And the labourers who raised all these provisions, never taste of animal food, never consume a morsel of wheaten bread, but live chiefly on potatoes and water; and the artizans who wove all this linen, are often unacquainted with the comfort of a shirt! And what is the condition of what Dr. Chalmers would call the disposable class ? It will not endure description. Thus, in unhappy Ireland, doomed to suffer at once from the most opposite evils, and to exhibit all sorts of contradictions, the absence of ca
* Sismondi. Tableau de l'Agric. Tosc. p. 297.
+ Eclect. Rev. Vol. XXVIII. p. 101. There can be no impropriety in now disclosing, that for the valuable article on Ireland from which we cite this statement, the readers of our Journal were indebted to the able pen of a sincere patriot, the late John O'Driscol, Esq.
Eclectic Review, Vol. XXIX. p. 19. During the same period, not more than 2553 packs of linen were used at home!
pital, and the influx of capital, would seem to be alike a source of depression and misery.
When Miss Martineau comes to illustrate the consumption of wealth, we hope that she will take us over to Ireland. And we could also wish that, after reading Sismondi's Picture of Tuscan Agriculture, and his “ Nouveaux Principes”, she would favour us with an Italian Tale, the scene of which might be laid in the territory of Lucca l'Industriosa, and the title be, The Noble
and the Merchant'. In connexion with the subject of Rent, the system of metayers claims to be illustrated. We had intended to offer a few remarks upon the Author's principles relating to Rent, but must forbear. We will only suggest, that the cause of rent, and the measure of rent, are very different things, though often confounded ;--that the situation of lands, and not merely their fertility, is often the reason of their being first appropriated, and enters into their value ;--that rent, when it is more than a simple tribute to the territorial lord, is, in fact, the profits of fixed capital owned by the land-holder and lent to the tenant;-enclosures, the soil itself, buildings, and all tenements being, in a sense, fixed capital produced by previous labour. Accordingly, we speak of the rent of a house, as well as of the rent of a field; and again, land is considered as yielding rent, although the cultivator be at the same time the owner, and therefore pays no rent. The distinction between what our Author calls 'real rent' and actual rent, we think inaccurate. All rent is paid for capital laid out by the land-owner either in the purchase or in the improvement of the estate, and consists of the profits of capital. As regards, therefore, the distribution of wealth, we should class rent, (or the profits of fixed property,) interest of money, and the profits of working capital in trade or husbandry, as subdivisions under one general head, Profits; Wages describing the other class. At the same time, the threefold division of land-owner, farmer, and labourer, is of course proper in itself, because it is real and not merely technical.
But it is more than time that we should draw this article to a close; and waving all further discussion, we shall simply lay before our readers, as they may reasonably expect, a specimen or two of the happy style of illustration by which Miss Martineau has succeeded in making her principles talk and act, and in exhibiting abstract truths in the tangible shape of living experiments.
The following conversation takes place between the Laird of Garveloch and his steward.
or Then for what, Callum, would you have her be grateful and ready to obey? I never did her any service that I am aware of, (though I hope to do some yet,) and I know of no title to her obedience that either you or I can urge. Can you tell me of any ?”
*Callum stared, while he asked, if one party was not landlord, and the other tenant.
r«. You are full of our Scotch prejudices, I see, Callum, as I was once. Only go into England, and you will see that landlord and tenant are not master and slave, as we in the Highlands have ever been apt to think. In my opinion, their connexion stands thus,-and I tell it you, that you may take care not to exact an obedience which I am far from wishing to claim from my tenants :—the owner and occupier of a farm, or other estate, both wish to make gain, and for this purpose unite their resources. He who possesses land, wishes to profit by it without the trouble of cultivating it himself; he who would occupy has money, but no land to lay it out upon, so he pays money for the use of the land, and more money for the labour which is to till it (unless he supplies the labour himself). His tillage should restore him his money with gain. Now why should the notion of obedience enter into a contract like this?”
“I only know,” replied Callum, “that in my young days, if the laird held up a finger, any one of his people who had offended him would have been thrown into the sea.”
co Such tyranny, Callum, had nothing to do with their connexion as landlord and tenant, but only with their relation as chieftain and follower. You have been at Glasgow, I think?
«« Yes; a cousin of mine is a master in the shawl-manufacture there.”
cor Well; he has labourers in his employment there, and they are not his slaves, are they? ”
«« Not they ; for they sometimes throw up their work when he wants them most.”
“ And does he hold his warehouse by lease, or purchase ? " "“ He rents it of Bailie Billie, as they call him, who is so fierce on the other side in politics."
«« If your cousin does not obey his landlord in political matters, (for I know how he has spoken at public meetings,) why should you expect my tenants to obey me, or rather you—for I never ask their obedience? The Glasgow operative, and the Glasgow capitalist, make a contract for their mutual advantage ; and if they want further help, they call in another capitalist to afford them the use of a warehouse which he lets for his own advantage. Such a mutual compact I wish to establish with my people here. Each man of them is usually a capitalist and labourer in one, and in order to make their resources productive, I, a landholder, step in as a third party to the production required ; and if we each fulfil our contract, we are all on equal terms. I wish you would make my people understand this; and I require of you, Callum, to act upon it yourself.”
• The steward made no reply, but stood thinking how much better notions of dignity the old laird had, and how much power he possessed over the lives and properties of his tenants.
"“Did this croft pay any rent before it was let out of cultivation?" enquired the laird.
c" No, your honour; it only just answered to the tenant to till it, and left nothing over for rent ; but we had our advantage in it too; for then yon barley field paid a little rent; but since this has been let down, that field has never done more than pay the tillage. But we shall have rent from it again when the lease is renewed, if Ella makes what I expect she will make of this croft.”
rus Is there any kelp prepared hereabouts, Callum ? "
56 Not any; and indeed there is no situation so fit for it as this that Ronald is to have. There is nothing doing in Garveloch that pays us anything, except at the farm.”
ios Well then, Ella can, of course, pay nothing at first but for the use of the cottage, and the benefit of the fences, &c. Is there any other capital laid out here?”
56 Let us see. She has a boat of her own, and the boys will bring their utensils with them. I believe, sir, the house and fence will be
«« Very well: then calculate exactly what they are worth, and what more must be laid out to put them in good condition, and tell me: the interest of that much capital is all that Ella must pay, till we see what the bay and the little field will produce.”' No. V. pp. 14–17.
Our next extract must be a scene from Life in the Wilds 'the return of the messenger despatched to Cape Town from the ruined settlement.
• One fine evening, about the beginning of February,—that is, near the end of summer at the Cape,-a very extraordinary sight was seen by our settlers. The boys who were climbing trees for fruit perceived it first, and made such haste down from their perches, and shouted the news so loudly in their way home, that in a few minutes every one was out at the door, and all formed in a body to go and meet the new arrival. This arrival was no other than a loaded waggon, drawn by eight oxen; a scanty team at the Cape, where they sometimes harness twelve or sixteen.
· There was a momentary anxiety about what this waggon might be, and to whom it might belong; for it did now and then happen that a new band of settlers, or a travelling party from Cape Town, passed through the village, and requested such hospitality as it would, in the present case, have been inconvenient or impossible to grant. The young eyes of the party, however, presently discovered that the driver of the team was their friend Richard the labourer, their messenger to Cape Town, of whom they spoke every day, but whom they little expected to see back again so soon. It was Richard assuredly. They could tell the crack of his whip from that of any other driver. The captain waved his cap above his head and cheered; every man and boy in the settlement cheered; the mothers held up their babies in the air, and the little ones struggled and crowed for joy. The oxen quickened their pace at the noise, and Richard stood up in front of the waggon, and shaded his eyes with his cap from the setting sun, that he might see who was who in the little crowd, and whether his old mother had come out to meet him. He saw her presently, leaning on the captain's arm, and then he returned the cheer with might and