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of that highly-gifted people. But before passing away from the objection that the French system of compulsory subdivision on the death of an owner necessarily leads to excessive subdivision and to inconveniently small properties, it is necessary to bear in mind a fact to which I have already alluded, but which cannot be too earnestly impressed on the attention of my readers. It is this: The average size of the actual farms, properly so called, cultivated and farmed by their owners, is lessened and unfairly represented in many of the calculations published on this subject, by adding to the number of these actual farms, the little kitchen gardens, the small orchards, the little fields for the keep of a cow or a donkey, which belong to peasants who do not pretend to be farmers, but who are in reality only day labourers or operatives, who live in their own cottages, and who have purchased their gardens, orchards, or fields to add to the comfort and maintenance of their families, and then calculating the average size of the real farms on the total number of the actual owners of farms, and also on the owners of the gardens, orchards, and fields. In all these countries it is a common thing in the manufacturing districts for a mechanic, or an operative, or a mere day labourer to own a good kitchen garden or a good orchard, in which he works and employs himself in the evenings. These are the freeholds of these men, purchased by themselves, cultivated by themselves, and adding to the comforts of their families and to their own happiness. And need I say that many a man is by this possession of property of his own often kept from drink, and the drinking shop, because he wants to invest all he can spare in the improvement of his own garden or orchard? He would have far less interest in their prosperity if they belonged to a landlord, who might resume them any day. It is ridiculous to reckon these classes of owners among the agricultural owners.

I have written so far from my own personal knowledge and observations in these countries; but let me confirm my evidence by an interesting passage from Mr. Thornton's

"Plea for Peasant Proprietors," (second edition, p. 85). He says, speaking of the Swiss, who have almost universally the French system of Land Laws: "The peasantry, although almost universally landed proprietors, may be divided into two classes-those who are principally or exclusively agriculturists, and those who gain a livelihood chiefly by manufacturing industry. The farms of the former, except in the cantons of Berne and Tessin and a few other districts, seldom exceed forty or fifty acres, but they are as rarely of less size than ten acres, and the poorest farmers, having rights of pasturage on the common lands belonging to every parish," (or, as he might have said, on the often very extensive and rich mountain pasturages which belong to most parishes), "can afford to keep two or three cows. Members of this class are always in the enjoyment of competence, and many of them possess considerable wealth. Besides these, however, there is a more numerous body of smaller proprietors, whose territorial possessions consist only of a field or two, altogether not larger than an ordinary garden, and much too small for the maintenance of the family to which they belong. . . . The owners of these patches are almost invariably manufacturers rather than husbandmen. . . . In England the makers of these articles" (the manufacturers of Switzerland) "would have been pent up in towns, and compelled to pass their days in close dismal factories ; but in Switzerland a happy combination of circumstances permits them to practise their business without forfeiting the use of fresh air or the other advantages of a country life. . . . They gain their living principally as manufacturers ; land is valued by them as affording a means not so much of employment as of amusement" (and, as Mr. Thornton might have added, of adding to the comforts of their families); "and they require no more of it than will suffice to occupy their leisure. . . . In the outskirts of one or two English towns patches of garden ground are rented by a few operatives. . . . The difference between such operatives and those of Switzerland is that the latter, besides possessing


more land, and besides being owners instead of mere renters, are not confined to towns, but are spread over the whole country, and have their fields and gardens adjoining their dwellings. They are manufacturers, deriving from land a small addition to their principal occupation. . . 'I am acquainted,' says Dr. Bowring, 'with no country in which prosperity has descended so low, and spread so widely, as among the laborious classes of the Swiss manufacturing districts. I was surprised to find what large proportions of them had by their savings acquired landed property; how many of them dwelt in houses and cultivated fields and gardens, which their industry had made their own. . . . Everywhere, indeed, where the operatives are settled I found in their habitations a mass of enjoyments, such as are possessed by few of similar station in other countries.' (See Bowring's 'Report on Commerce and Manufactures of Switzerland,' pp. 3-6.) A weaver in Argovia (one of the Swiss cantons), says Mr. Symons, is almost universally the proprietor, or the son of a proprietor of land, and few householders are there in the whole canton who do not keep a pig, and generally a few sheep. Their cottages are strewn over the hills and dales, and exhibit in the interior every degree of comfort and ease. . . . The cottages of St. Gall and Appenzel (two Swiss cantons) are scattered separately over the vales and hills, each standing in the midst of its little estate, with the goats or sheep, with their melodious bells around their necks, grazing on the land, which is generally pasture. The interiors of the cottages, which are built of wood, are cleanly beyond description, and are well furnished with every article of cottage comfort,' (see his 'Report on Swiss Handloom Weavers,' passim)." So far Mr. Thornton. I quote him

to show how absurd it is to reckon this class of small landowners with the agricultural farming landowners in order to reduce the general average of the size of farms properly so called, and which are cultivated by the owners themselves. I cannot leave the notice of Switzerland, which this part of

my subject has forced upon me, without quoting a sentence from Mr. Laing's "Notes of a Traveller" (p. 354); and all the more so because he is the cold and very cautious critic of the French system of Land Laws which prevails in Switzerland. He says: "The peculiar feature in the condition of the Swiss population-the great charm of Switzerland, next to its natural scenery—is the air of well-being, the neatness, the sense of property imprinted on the people, their dwellings, and their plots of land. The spirit of the proprietor is not to be mistaken in all that one sees."

The above remarks I well know, from my own personal observations during many visits to that country since 1843, are singularly true. I was living in 1876 for six weeks among a community of these Swiss proprietors and farmers, on a rich slope of the mountains above the Lake of Thun. On the vast slopes of these mountains, within six miles of where I was residing, there were three communes or parishes, composed of many homesteads and many farms. Each parish had its excellent school and its trained and certificated teacher. Each of these parishes had vast tracts of common pasture grounds on the higher parts of the mountains. On these common pastures, at different heights up the mountains, as far as the pastures extend, large wooden cowsheds are built. As the snow melts, the cattle of the whole parish are driven by a certain number of experienced herdsmen up the mountains, first to one great cowshed and its pastures, and then later on, as the snow melts, to another still higher, until they attain an altitude of some 6000 feet above the sea. Each evening the herdsmen bring them to the shed, milk them, churn the butter, make cheese, carefully collect the solid and liquid manure, and then men employed for the purpose from time to time carry down the produce and sell it in the valleys below. In October, when the cattle have returned to the homesteads, driven down. by degrees by the snow from one pasture ground to another, the produce of the season is divided among the farmers of the parish, according to the amount of their land and the

number of their cattle. After this has been done, each farmer puts his cows into their winter quarters, and the manure is carefully brought down from the cowsheds to the parish and its farmers. This is effected by carrying it in large wooden tubs or cases, slung on the backs of porters. I have myself seen all these operations. But what I particularly want to observe is that in this beautiful land (which ought to be a "pauper warren" according to the English prophet, as it is governed by the French laws) these parishes, with their rich meadows, from which, by means of manure, two crops of hay are annually obtained, with their fruit trees, their picturesque cottages surrounded by their kitchen gardens, their picturesque winter cowsheds, and the general look of wellbeing and comfort which prevailed, formed one of the most prosperous, happy, and beautiful scenes imaginable.

But travellers go and see the men and women working in their everyday-carefully and decently patched and mended -workday clothes; the travellers are there in the summer months, when the children are not in the schools, but helping in little ways in the fields, in old patched workday clothes, and often without shoes and stockings, their tidy garments being put away for Sundays and schooltime, when they must appear clean and neat; and these intelligent travellers return home with the most piteous accounts of the pauperism and misery which they had observed in Switzerland, not troubling themselves to notice the same people on Sundays, when you may meet the whole family in neat, unpatched clothes, often made out of an excellent home-spun material, with clean and comfortable linen, and the women with their silver chains or cantonal costumes. I have often stopped to chat with them, and said to myself, "What a contrast to an English labourer's family, on the same good day of rest! Are these the people who are being ruined by the French system of compulsory subdivision?"

I shall conclude this letter by a passage I shall quote from Mr. Thornton's "Plea," &c., (p. 147, second edition).


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