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dom either specified in the lease, or regulated by any precise rule, but by the use and want of the manor or barony. These services, therefore, being almost entirely arbitrary, subjected the tenant to many vexations. In Scotland, the abolition of allservices not precisely stipulated in the lease, has, in the course of a few years, very much altered, for the better, the condition of the yeomanry of that country.
The public services, to which the yeomanry were bound, were not less arbitrary than the private ones. To make and maintain the high roads, a servitude which still subsists, I believe every where, though with different degrees of oppression in different countries, was not the only one. When the king's troops, when his household, or his officers of any kind, passed through any part of the coun
yeomanry were bound to provide them with horses, carriages, and provisions, at a priceregulated by the purveyor. Great Britain is, I believe, the only monarchy in Europe, where the oppression of purveyance has been entirely abolished. It still subsists in France and Germany.
The public taxes, to which they were subject, were as irregular and oppressive as the services. The ancient lords, though extremely unwilling to grant, themselves, any pecuniary aid to their sovereign, easily allowed him to tallage, as they called it, their tenants, and had not knowledge enough to foresee how much this must, in the end, affect their own revenue, The taille, as it still subsists in France, may serve as an example of those ancient tallages. It is a tax upon the supposed profits of the farmer, which they estimate by the stock that he has upon the farm. It is hisinterest, there. fore, to appear to have as little as possible, and con
sequently to employ as little as possible in its cultivation, and none in its improvement. Should any stock happen to accumulate in the hands of a French fariner, the taille is almost equal to a prohibition of its ever being employed upon the land. This tax,besides,is supposed to dishonour whoever is subject to it, and to degrade him below,not only the rank of a gentleman, but that of a burgher; and whoever rents the lands of another becomes subject to it. No gentleman, nor even any burgher who has stock, will submit to this degradation. Thistax, therefore, not only hinders the stock which accumulates upon the land from being employed in its improvement, but drives away allother stocl: from it. The ancient tenthsand fifteenths, so usual in England in former times, seem, so far as they affected the land, to have been taxes of the same nature with the taille.
Under all these discouragements, little improvement could be expected from the occupiers of land. That order of people with all the liberty and security which law cangive,must alwaysimproveundergreat disadvantages. The farmer, compared with the proprietor, is as a merchant who trades with borrowed money,compared with one who trades with his own. The stock of both may improve; but that of the one, with only equal good conduct,must alwaysimprove more slowly than that of the other,on account of the large share of the profits which is consumed by the interest of the loan. The lands cultivated by the farmermust, in the same manner, with only equal good conduct, be improved more slowly than those cultivated by the proprietor, on accountof the large share of the produce which is consumed in therent, and which, had the farmer been proprietor, he might
have employed in the further improvement of the land. The station of a farmer, besides, is, from the nature of things, inferior to that of a proprietor. Through the greater part of Europe, the yeomanry are regarded as an inferior rank of people, even to the better sort of tradesmen and mechanics, and in all parts of Europe to the great merchants and master manufacturers. It can seldom happen, therefore, that a man of any considerable stock should quit the superior, in order to place himself in an inferior station. Even in the present state of Europe, there. fore, little stock is likely to go from
any fession to the improvement of land in the way of farming. More does, perhaps, in Great Britain than in any other country, though even there the great stocks, which are,in some places, employed in farming, have generally been acquired by farming, the trade, perhaps, in which, of all others,stock is commonly acquired most slowly. After small proprietors, however, rich and great farmers are, in every country, the principal improvers. There are more such, perhaps, in England than in any other European monarchy. In the republican governments of Holland, and of Berne in Switzerland, the farmers are said to be not inferior to those of England.
The ancient policy of Europe was,over and above all this, unfavourable to the improvement and cultivation of land, whether carried on by the proprietor, or by the farmer ; first, by the general prohibition of the exportation of corn, without a special licence, which seems to have been a very universal regulation; and, secondly,by the restraints which were laid upon the inland commerce, not only of corn, but of almost every other part of the produce of the farm, by the absurd laws against
engrossers, regraters,and forestallers, and by theprivileges of fairs and markets. It has already been observed, in what manner the prohibition of the exportation of corn, together with some encouragement given to the importation of foreign corn, ob . structed the cultivation of ancient Italy, naturally the most fertile country in Europe, and at that time the seat of the greatest empire in the world. To what degree such restraints upon the inland commerce of this commodity, joined to the general prohibition of exportation, must have discouraged the cultivation of countries less fertile, and less favourably circumstanced, it is not, perhaps, very easy to imagine,
Of the Rise and Progress of Cities and Towns, after
the Fall of the Roman Empire. The inhabitants of cities and towns were,after the fall of the Roman empire, not more favoured than those of the country. They consisted, indeed, of a very differentorder of people from the first inhabitants of the ancient republics of Greece and Italy. These last were composed chieflypfthe proprietors of lands, among whom the public territory was originally divided, and who found it convenient to build their houses in the neighbourhood of one another, and to surround them with a wall, for the sake of common defence. After the fall of the Roman empire, on the contrary, the proprietors of land seem generally to have lived in fortified castles on their
own estates, and in the midst of their own tenants and dependants. The towns were chiefly inhabited by tradesmen and mechanics, who seem, in those days, to have been of servile, or very nearly of servile condition. The privileges which we find granted by ancient charters to the inhabitants of some of the principal towns in Europe, sufficiently shew what they were before those grants. The people, to whom it is granted as a privilege, that they might give away their own daughters in marriage without the consentof their lord, that upon their death their own children, and not their lord, should succeed to their goods, and that they might dispose of their own effects by will, must, before those grants, have been either altogether, of very nearly, in the same state of villanage with the occupiers of land in the country.
They seem indeed to have been a very poor, mean set of people, who seemed to travel about with their goods from place to place, and from fair to fair, like the hawkers and pedlars of the present times. In all the different countries of Europe then, in the same mannerasin severalofthe Tartargovernmentsof Asia at present, taxes used to be levied upon the persons and goods of travellers, when they passed through certain manors, when they wentover certain bridges, when they carried about their goods from place to place in a fair, when they erected in itabooth or stall to sell them in. These different taxes were known in England by the names of passage, pontage, lastage, and stallage. Sometimes the king, sometimes a great lord, who had, it seems, upon some occasions, authority to do this, would grant to particular traders, to such particularly as lived in their own demesnes, ageneralesemption from such taxes. Such traders,