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lake, and upon a rising ground, which slants gradually upwards from the water. It is an ancient turreted house, and was formerly the palace of the abbot of the vast convent situated about half a mile distant, and which was, at the time of my visit, still occupied by monks. The college commanded magnificent views. Close below it, spreading out 70 miles in length and 20 miles in breadth, lies the Lake of Constance. To the left rose the ancient timehonoured towers of the Council and martyr-famed city. Far to the right rise the lofty snow-clad peaks of the mountains of Appenzell.

This commodious and splendidly-situated building had, some years before my visit in 1844, been set apart by the Republican Government of the canton as the college for the education of teachers for the village schools of this agricultural canton. The Government had also allotted to it orchards and a large farm, which was entirely managed by the students, who learned there, under skilful teachers, scientific farming.

The education given to the students was such as fitted them to become the teachers of the young children of any class of society. They all were taught, besides the ordinary subjects, mathematics, practical science, music, and drawing. And they were only received into the college after having passed a severe entrance examination. The first time I went there Vehrli was in the fields, superintending the farm labour of the students. One of them offered to go for the director, and begged me to walk through the college and examine anything I desired. found all the furniture of the plainest. The bed linen was coarse-the chairs and tables simple deal. But the books, the mathematical diagrams on the black boards, the drawings of the students, the musical instruments and music books, showed what a contrast the education bore to the daily life.


Vehrli came dressed in a farmer's tweed coat, an old weather-beaten hat, and thick farming shoes, with hands

and skin like a farmer's, but his eye and features told of the intellect and intelligence of the man.

He explained to me, in this and subsequent visits, that his students were intended for rural schools, to live among the farmers, who owned and worked their own farms; that they would have to associate with the peasant farmers and their families, and to teach their children; that it was most important for them to be able to understand the farmers' work, to talk with them, to advise them, and to disseminate a better knowledge of scientific farming and gardening; that in this way, too, they gained the respect, esteem, and support of the parents; that they, being accustomed to these simple country pursuits, did not become discontented. in their simple rural homes; but, on the contrary, found their work and life at the rural schools easier and more comfortable than their simple life in the college.

I began then to realise the fact that the Swiss peasant and yeomen farmers were actually owners of the land they farmed. It was they who paid for the high and careful training being given to the students in Vehrli's college.

I went with him into the fields, and found the students there, clad just like peasants, and engaged in all kinds of farm work. When they returned to the college they deposited their farm clothes and clogs in places provided, and put on their simple students' dresses.

After seeing much of this most remarkable and interesting institution, in which the students remain two years, I went with Vehrli to see a large agricultural school in the neighbourhood. This was supported by the peasant and yeomen farmers of the canton, and not by the Government. To it were sent the sons of farmers who wished their sons to acquire a fair knowledge of agricultural chemistry, the treatment of soils, the management of manures, the management of cattle, &c. There I found a building well supplied with all the scientific materials and apparatus necessary, very intelligent professors, and a large class of students, earnestly pursuing their studies and work. Vehrli again

explained to me that this was maintained, in order to enable the sons of the small farmers to improve to the utmost their modes of farming and the capabilities of their land.

I was extremely surprised, and began to ask myself, Do our leasehold farmers act in this way? Is it true that actual ownership is such a wonderful stimulant to self-improvement, self-denial, and exertion? Is it true that it is not the schools alone to which must be attributed the prosperous and independent condition of the peasantry?

I began, in short, earnestly to study not only the education question, but the almost equally grave one of "free trade in land." The more I travelled through the educated agricultural cantons of Switzerland, the more I was interested and astonished at the beneficial influences of ownership upon the yeomen farmers and the peasants. They laboured and struggled for themselves-the full results of all the labour, self-denial, and intelligence they exercised were their own. They worked for no landlord. They shared none of their winnings from their lands with any master. The more I saw, the more I was impressed with the moral and social effects of the release of the land from the feudal laws, and I began to ask myself-Would not similar results follow a similar release in England?

I returned to England, and began the earnest study of our Land Laws. I then returned to the Continent, and travelled through the principal countries of Germany. Throughout these countries I found that the feudal laws had been done away, and that the educated yeomen farmers and peasants were cultivating their own lands. Everywhere I found the good effects of these great reforms manifested in the moral well-being of the yeomen farmers and peasants, in the healthy self-help they manifested, in their hopeful looks, in the good and substantial appearance of their villages and houses, in the economical and careful management of their fields.

But one of the most remarkable proofs of the vast blessings conferred upon the people by the united effects of

education and "free trade in land" was offered by the condition of Saxony, as compared to the neighbouring country of Bohemia. These two countries lie side by side. A great part of the people of these countries speak the same language, profess the same religion, and belong to the same race, but the condition of the peasants of these two countries at the period of my visit was as different as could well be imagined.

In Saxony the people had for years been educated by admirably trained teachers, from their fifth to their fifteenth year. In Bohemia the instruction then given was much inferior in all respects, and, such as it was, it was more in those days directed to the object of making them good subjects of the absolute Government at Vienna, than of making them intelligent and thoughtful men, as in Saxony.

In Saxony the feudal laws had, as in almost all the rest of Germany, been abolished. The land belonged for the most part to the yeomen farmers and peasants who cultivated it. In Bohemia the land was divided amongst great nobles, who left their estates in the hands of agents, and who carried off their rents, as most of the Irish landlords do, and spent them in the distant capital of Vienna.

Now, what was the comparative condition of the peasantry of these two rich countries lying side by side? In Saxony there was very little pauperism; the peasants were well and comfortably clad; ragged clothes were scarcely ever to be seen; beggars were hardly ever met; the houses of the peasants were remarkably large, high, roomy, convenient, substantially built, constantly whitewashed, and orderly in appearance; the children were clean, comfortably clad, and respectful and intelligent in manners; there was little apparent difference between the young children of the different classes; these children were taught in the same schools and by the same teachers until they were twelve years of age, as is the case throughout a great part of Germany and Switzerland; the land was most carefully cultivated, as well as in any part of Europe, and the general

condition of the peasantry was more prosperous and happy-looking than that of any other country I had seen, except, perhaps, the peasantry of the Swiss cantons, Berne, Vaud, and Neuchâtel, or that of the Rhine provinces of Prussia.

In Bohemia, just across the frontier, on the other hand, a totally different spectacle presented itself, and one which could not fail to strike any observant traveller with astonishment. As soon as I crossed the Saxon frontier, from the land of "free trade in land" and education, into Bohemia, the land of great estates, feudal Land Laws, and defective education, I found myself surrounded by beggars of the most miserable appearance, like our "tramps;" the peasants were poorly dressed, were often in ragged clothes, and were constantly, if not ordinarily, without shoes or stockings. The cottages were small and wretched. The villages were generally only collections of the most miserable wooden cabins of one storey in height, and were crowded together as much as possible. The land was only half cultivated, wanted that appearance of care, neatness, and economy of every available portion which is the invariable sign and consequence of free trade in land.

I travelled through one part of Bohemia with a Saxon. He pointed out the beggars to me, and said with pride, "You will not see such sights in my country. Our peasants are owners of their own little estates, and have been steadily improving in their social condition ever since we repealed our feudal and entail laws, and did away with any impediment to the sale and transfer of land, and since we began to educate the children as we now educate them. people are well educated. They have got libraries in their villages. They are contented, because they are intelligent and know that their success in life is untrammelled by unjust laws, but depends on their own unfettered exertions, and that there is nothing to prevent their succeeding if they are only prudent. But these poor Bohemians have no


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