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mont, in many places of his work, confounds them by the use of the same term, "substitutions," applied to both. He seems to think the law in this respect, much more flexible in England than it really is. The rich man," he says, "has only to speak the word if he wishes to place his property under the egis of a substitution, and to render it inalienable. Does he change his mind, and wish to dispose of it, the law comes to his aid, and, in a moment, renders that capable of alienation which before was not so." The reader must at once perceive that the passage which we have just cited is nonsense. An incapacity of alienation, dependent upon the will of the owner, is, in fact, no incapacity at all. The true statement of the law is, that on a man's marriage, or in certain other circumstances, he may settle his estate in such a manner as to render it inalienable during the lives of the existing generation; but if, afterwards, he wishes to sell it, the law does NOT come to his aid, to enable him to dispose of it. There are, indeed, certain modes of entail which the owner may get rid of; but those entails are not, in practice, considered as any restraints upon alienation.
His account of the Irish aristocracy selling their estates, is an amusing instance of the prejudice with which he regards every thing concerning them. After speaking of the English aristocracy, to whom, on account of their virtue and power, the law of entails is of service, he says, "substitute for this enlightened and powerful aristocracy, an aristocracy destitute of prudence, talents, and ability; degraded in public opinion, and impoverished equally by its vices and its faults; in one word, for the aristocracy of England, substitute that of Ireland. Then the law designed to perpetuate its wealth will only hasten its ruin. Tottering under the weight of its debts, and deprived of all credit, the aristocracy of Ireland can no longer borrow money without pledging its lands. But how pledge land that is under the dominion of an entail. Its embarrassment is great, and hundred times it has occasion to curse the mischievous law that was established in its favour. It has then recourse to those forms of which I have spoken above, and by means of which the troublesome entail is got rid of. It would be tedious to explain here the singular legal fiction by which the proprietor who wishes to bar an entail, pretends to be dispos
sessed of his property, supposes an imaginary usurper, brings an action against him, gains his suit, is restored to the possession of it by judges, who pronounce a formal judgment, although well knowing that the whole is a mere farce, in which every person plays an allotted part, by virtue of which, the possessor of the entailed estate becomes the fee-simple proprietor, and acquires the power of disposing of it as he pleases." Would not any person, on reading the above account of a common recovery, suppose that it was a fiction, devised to meet the wants of the Irish aristocracy, instead of being the course adopted to open estates tail in England, ever since the reign of Edward IV.? Indeed, M. De Beaumont almost asserts that the practice is peculiar to Ireland, page 222.
"Les juges depuis qu'ils sont inamovibles sont devenus amis de l'aristocratie; et ils eludent la loi au profit de celle ci, comme ils la faussaient dans l'interet de la royauté au temps de leur dependence. Voila pourquoi le juge soutient les substistutions en Angleterre, ou elles sont encore bienfaisantes a l'aristocratie, même temps qu'il les renverse en Irlande
ou l'aristocratie en est embarrassée."
"The judges, since they ceased to be removeable, have become the allies of the aristocracy, and they evade the law for its interests, as they falsified it for the interests of the crown, while they were dependent. This is the reason that the judge supports entails in England, where they are still of service to the aristocracy, at the same time that it subverts them in Ireland, where the aristocracy is embarrassed by them."
Of this false and mischievous paragraph we shall take no notice, so far as it charges the judges with corruption; but we must remark, that the legal facts stated in it are notoriously false. The law of fines and recoveries to which he alludes was devised by the judges while they were yet dependent on the crown; and the law and practice of entails and settlements, and the mode, and practice, and law of barring them are precisely the same in England as in Ireland. As if to make every possible blunder, he says it may be inquired why a simple, direct process is not substituted for those legal fictions; and he answers that the present state of the law is too profitable to the lawyers, and therefore that it will not be readily altered; whereas those legal
fictions had been abolished, and a direct conveyance substituted in their stead, four years before M. De Beaumont's work was published!
Let us suppose his proposed alterations all adopted, and what would be the effect. He assumes that the land would be shortly divided among a number of small proprietors who, paying no rent for their little farms, would cultivate them with the greatest care, whereas now the farmer has no interest to exert himself, as he is unable to pay the rent of the land, and knows that if by any exertions he can make it yield more, the added produce, after his bare subsistence is taken out of it, will all be taken by the landlord. This is expanded and illustrated at great length, and spread over a great number of pages, and although it has a semblance of truth, yet it is false and even inconsistent with the other parts of his work. If there are in Ireland four millions of wretched beings in that state of destitution which M. De Beaumont describes, how can any alteration in the law of primogeniture affect them. Property may be more divided, but they will get no part of it. They will not inherit it, and they cannot buy it. Those who can scarcely procure the cheapest food to support themselves cannot save money to purchase land. If, therefore, a middle class is to be formed by such means, it must be composed of the descendants of the present detested aristocracy, among whom the landed property of Ireland will be divided by the destruction of the law of primogeniture. If it is said it will be composed of those who purchase small lots of ground, we answer that the purchaser must have made his money, and thus become a member of the middle class before he can invest it in the purchase of land. Indeed at present a middling class is fast growing up in Ireland, and the man who saves a little money has a hundred means of investing it. Although a small fee-simple estate is not easily purchased, yet he may buy a beneficial interest in land under a lease, or he may take a lease at the fair value, and create an interest of value in it belonging to himself, by building or other improvements on it. This is much more beneficial to the country and to himself, than if he were to buy the fee-simple of the land. Let us suppose land worth £1 an acre to sell freely at 20 years' purchase, the man who has saved one hundred pounds may become absolute owner of five
acres, but will not have a shilling of capital to improve it. How much better for himself and for the country it would be if he were to take a lease of a good farm of 40 or 50 acres, and employ his little capital in stocking and improving it. M. De Beaumont's argument, that at present if a farmer improves his land, or makes it yield more by a better system of husbandry, the landlord would reap all the profit, and therefore that the tenant has no motive to exert himself, is mere idle declamation. It supposes a state of things which does not exist. He himself admits that the demand of such high rents is injurious to the landlord as well as to the tenant. If this be the case, it is not unreasonable to expect that a practice injurious to both parties will not continue long. The fact is, that it is decreasing every day, and that it is a rare exception, every day becoming more rare, to find too much rent demanded for land. The tenant at a fair rent has precisely the same motive to exert himself as if he paid no rent at all. The Irish farmer does not want motives to exert himself; but he does want skill, and habits of order and of industry; and these he will gradually acquire, if the government does its duty by enforcing obedience to the law. When M. De Beaumont repels any idea of expecting that Irish misery can be relieved by the introduction of manufacturing industry, by emigration, or by poor laws, he describes the Irish people as little better than a nation of savagesthen, these four millions of paupers are in a state of misery utterly inconsistent with the maintenance of social order— then the Irish are false, and reckless, and prone to violence, so that neither law, nor religion, nor a regard to their own interests will induce them to respect the rights of property, or to abstain from those combinations which are fatal to themselves. On this hypothesis, it is easy to prove that any project for their relief must fail. But if it is his object to prove how happy Ireland would be under a democracy, then the Irish are a number of small capitalists, ready to purchase land if it was in the market to be sold-then the Irish are described as peaceable, intelligent, industrious, attentive to their interests-so much so, that when he wants to prove what course they will take, it is only necessary for him to show what course their interests point out. they are disposed to act in such a manner, they may be happy under the existing laws.
WILBRAHAM'S TRAVELS IN CAUCASUS, GEORGIA, AND PERSIA.
WHEN the handsome volume which is now under our consideration first came to our hands, and we cast our eyes over the imposing and somewhat pompous verbiage of its title-page, we looked forward with great pleasure to the instruction as well as entertaining information which its pages were, in all likelihood, destined to afford us. The peculiar position which the author occupied in Persia, affording, as it must have done, such favorable opportunities for becoming acquainted with the political state of that country, and its bearings and connections with Russia and Turkey, naturally led us to expect that those most interesting subjects of investigation would receive an ample discussion in the course of the work; while we felt convinced, in addition, that the tour of an educated gentleman through the comparatively unfrequented regions in which Captain (or, as his present rank entitles him to be called, Colonel) Wilbraham travelled, could not fail to be full of lively interestregions that rise up to our fancy arrayed in hues of imperishable love liness-the gorgeous pageantries of oriental romance, those strange yet beautiful fictions which take captive the youthful mind, binding it with fetters so strong, that multiplied years, sobered imaginations, and matured judg ments weaken but little, and never dispel the delusions.
Our first and most prominent expectation has, we are forced to avow, been sadly disappointed. The author has evidently traversed a great portion of these interesting countries with a haste that appears to have set asleep or rendered impotent all his reasoning and reflective powers; and where we might fairly look to have political motives investigated or political move ments discussed—where we might hope to have obtained some insight into the social and moral condition, the capabilities, prospects, and resources of nations, which for some years past have been engrossing so large a share of public attention, we are not unfre
quently treated to the mere details of posting, hard names, or the heat of the weather.
Colonel Wilbraham seems to have felt, and naturally enough, that this travel is a serious offence in an age omission of philosophising in a work of when the appetite for knowledge is constantly increasing with the capacity for devouring it; and accordingly he offers an apology about as satisfactory as it is novel; and while he admits that his journal was kept for private amusement, and often written in hurry and confusion, or after a long and fatiguing march, he yet prefers giving the remarks which the moment suggested unaltered or unadded to.
"The interest," he says, "which many of my friends have expressed in the perusal of the Journals which form the contents of this volume has encouraged me to offer them to the public; although I feel that they are by no means what I could have wished them to be, or even what they would have been had I contemplated at the time the possibility of their appearing in print."
"A chi mi fido guardi mi dio; a chi mi non fido mi guardaro io," saith the Tuscan proverb. God protect me from my friends, I will protect myself from my enemies; and truly Colonel Wilbraham adds one more to the innumerable instances in which, from the days when Job was comforted by the friendship of Eliphaz, Bilbad, and Zophar, to those of Peter Purcell the befriended of Daniel O'Connell, man has had to complain more of his friend than his enemy. May we, then, assure our author, in all charity which is consistent with a conscientious discharge of our duty-and we trust he will the rather believe us to be sincere, as we do not arrogate to ourselves the treacherous title of friend-that had he suffered himself to be less influenced by the encouragement of misjudging friendship than by the just and modest misgivings of his own mind, to which
* Travels in the Trans-Caucasian Provinces of Russia, and along the Southern Shore of the Lakes of Van and Urumiah, in the Autumn and Winter of 1837, By Captain Richard Wilbraham, 7th Royal Fusiliers, lately employed on a particular service in Persia, London: John Murray.
he alludes, he would, we are sure, before committing the crude contents of his journal to press, have sat down and thought over what he had seen and heard he would have carried his reflections and reasonings somewhat beneath the surface of things, and thus produced a volume calculated to confer on society a greater benefit, and on himself a higher literary reputation than, in our judgment, he has now earned.
Having said so much as to the deficiencies of the volume in what we consider should be the principal end and object of such a work, we shall now look at it in the light of-what we wish it had been called-a journal of travel. No man that has the use of his eyes and ears can travel from Dan to Beersheba and contrive to find all barren.
Colonel Wilbraham has passed through, or rather along, the skirts of a vast country, with the geography of which though we are tolerably familiar, yet with whose inhabitants and their peculiarities of manners and habits we are, in comparison with our knowledge of the rest of the East, by no means well acquainted; he finds us, therefore, with appetites sufficiently sharp to receive willingly whatever a traveller in those regions may think fit to bestow upon us, however we may be disposed to grumble that he has not given us more or better fare. This last reflection has a wonderful effect in reconciling us to our author, and putting us in a state of amity and good-humour with him-a temper which we are, upon such occasions as the present, most solicitous to induce-knowing that in travelling, whether over the surface of earth and sea, or that of ink and paper, there is no greater discomfort than the companionship of one with whom you are constantly dissatisfied. To begin, then, by way of amende, with an admission, which we feel great pleasure in making, Colonel Wilbraham's journal contains a good deal that is interesting and agreeable, and occasional sketches of personal character and general manners, that make us wish he had devoted more of his attention to such subjects: ere we conclude our observations we shall lay
before our readers some extracts from
the volume that we doubt not will induce them to be of our opinion.
Our readers have not yet forgotten the long-protracted negociations between Persia and Herat in 1836 and
1837, which terminated in the summer of the latter year by the departure of the Affghan ambassador from Tehran, and the marching of the Persian army eastward from the capital, contrary to the remonstrance of the British court. This juncture released Colonel Wilbraham from his official employment, and afforded him a favorable opportunity of visiting the interesting countries lying between the Caspian and the Black Seas. Before, however, we set out with him on his wanderings, we will give our readers the benefit of his description of the present capital of Persia :
"Tehran stands in the centre of a barren and extensive plain, bounded on three sides by arid mountains, while, to the southward, a succession of low ranges, over which leads the road to Isfahan, separates the plain from the great salt desert of Yezd. To the north-west, the high chain of the Shemeroon hills, rarely, if ever, entirely free from snow, divides the province of Irak from the dense woods of Mazanderan, (the ancient Hyrcania,) and abounds in clear streams, which, after fertilizing the numerous villages scattered along its base, flow through the plain and supply the city. High above this chain, Tehran, stands the lofty mountain of at a distance of about forty miles from Demawend, whose conical peak, clad with eternal snow, bears evidence of extinct volcanic fires. Demawend has been conCaucasus and the gigantic chain of the sidered a connecting link between the Himalaya, and, in common with the former, sometimes bears the name of Elburz. Its height is nearly 15,000 feet above the sea, far beyond the limit of perpetual snow, but in summer the ascent is neither perilous nor difficult. Near the summit are caves of sulphur. To the south-east of the city, at a distance of about three miles, stand the massive, but shapeless ruins of the ancient city of Rhé, not, as has often been supposed, the Rhages of Scripture, some vestiges of which may be seen farther to the eastward, but celebrated as the burying-place of Haroun Alraschid. These ruins cover a vast extent of ground, and on the rocky range, at the foot of which they lie, may be traced the interrupted lines of extensive fortifications.
and dry ditch, between four and five "Tehran is surrounded by a mud wall
miles in circumference, flanked at intervals
by circular towers, little higher than the ornamented with coloured tiles, open upon Five gates of brickwork, the principal roads, and are carefully closed soon after sunset. Nothing can well be
imagined less imposing than the external appearance of the capital of Persia. The mass of low houses, all of clay or sundried brick, is scarcely visible above the wall; here and there a low cupola, or a broken pillar, rising above the terrace roofs, peers from among formal rows of poplar and chunar, but the eye misses the splendid mosques and the numerous taper minarets with which every town of Turkey and Asia Minor is adorned, Within, the scene is still less attractive: narrow lanes, for they are not worthy of the name of streets, choked with heaps of rubbish, and full of open drains, which threaten to break your horse's legs, wind between dead walls, which jealously exclude the gaze of the passer by from the courts which they enclose, and upon which every window opens. Under the shadow of these walls lie the most loathsome figures-men, women, and children, imploring the charity of the passer by. Nor do the bazaars present that gay and varied picture which meets the eye in those of Turkey, where the native of each country retains his national costume.
"Here, with the occasional exception of a group of Arabs, or of turbaned Koords, all, whether Persians, Georgians, or Armenians, have adopted the graceful, but sombre dress of the country; the women, wrapped from head to foot in their dark cloaks, which quite conceal all charms of face and figure, do not contribute to enliven the scene. Tehran boasts of no spacious squares or princely palaces like those of the great Abbas at Isfahan; the Maidan, or open space in front of the palace, is choked with rubbish, and surrounded by paltry buildings. A few old guns of every form and calibre, mounted on broken carriages, line either side of the principal gateway, while, in the centre of the square, on a high pedestal of brickwork, stands a curious piece of brass ordnance, round which I have often seen the discontented troops assert the privileges of sanctuary. The pedestal is usually the stage of some wandering Dervish. In the corner of the Maidan stands the state carriage of the Shah, an ancient chariot, the gift of some European ambassador; on which has accumulated the venerable dust of years. Four ragged horses, with gun-harness, and ridden by artillery-men, draw this crazy vehicle, which never moves beyond a foot's pace. "The palace itself consists of a vast number of distinct buildings, each with its courts and gardens, but without pretensions to architectural beauty. The lofty audience-chamber, which stands in the centre of an extensive garden laid out in formal avenues, is not unsuited to the somewhat gaudy brilliancy of an
Oriental court; and on occasions of ceremony, when the Shah sits in state, surrounded by princes of the blood, and by all the nobles of the land, in their gorgeous dresses, while the spacious avenues are lined with troops, and the bright eastern sun lights up the varied pageant, it requires no great stretch of the imagination to realize the enchanting descriptions of the Arabian Nights. But examine the scene in detail, and you will search in vain for objects worthy of your notions of Oriental splendour. The walls of unbaked brick, the roughly-hewn window-frames, and the ill-executed mosaic of mirrors and coloured porcelain look paltry and incongruous, while the perishable material of the whole, already falling into decay, forcibly contrasts with the durable and massive architecture of the palaces of Europe."
It will be recollected that when Aga Mahommed Khan, the uncle and predecessor of the late king, Fatteh Ali Shah, had raised himself to the throne, he removed the court of Persia from the brilliant capital of the Sefavean dynasty, the once magnificent Isfahan, to the city of Tehran, which has since continued to be the principal residence of the Persian sovereigns, and however political considerations might have justified the change, it was undoubtedly in no other view to be commended. At a short distance from the city, among groves of poplar and oriental plane trees, stands the Nigaristan, or picture gallery, a summer palace, at which Mahommed Shah, the present sovereign of Persia, was residing when our author attended his levee.
"His majesty," says the Colonel, "was scated near the window, supported by a pile of cushions, while a single attendant knelt behind him, waving a broad fan of feathers above his head. His dress was, as usual, perfectly simple; the richlyjewelled handle of his dagger alone betokened his rank. His age does not exceed one or two and thirty, but his thick beard and heavy figure make him appear an older man: his countenance is rather handsome, and, except when his anger is excited, of a prepossessing and good-humoured expression: his manner, especially towards Europeans, is extremely affable; he generally speaks Turkish, the language of his tribe, but, both in that and in Persian, his enunciation is so rapid that it requires some practice to understand him. Compared with the generality of Asiatics, the Shah is a man of con