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their possessions, and grow up into farmers on a more respectable scale: the rest of this class, and the greater proportion, emigrate to America: the cotters, or as many of them as can remain in the country, fall into the station of labourers on these extended farms, and other subordinate employments, multiplying till every blank is filled up. The peasantry in this way takes the form most fit for a commercial state of society; and in order to wind up and complete the abolition of feudal manners, such a change in the people of the Highlands is absolutely necessary. Their established character, founded upon the habits which the former state of the country required, do not accord with the condition of the lower classes in an industrious community.

The obstacles to the requisite change are chiefly found among the more opulent of the commonalty: among them is the greatest difficulty of exciting a spirit of industry, or directing it to any new pursuit, and, nearly in proportion to the amount of their property, are their dispositions intractable. The

tenants are no doubt those who come nearest to the description of men whom an antient chieftain would value. The cotters may not retain so much of the generous spirit of their warlike ancestors; but they will be more easily moulded into the character adapted to the present circumstances of the country,

into industrious and contented labourers.

While the small tenants emigrate, the cotters, if any productive employment is introduced as a resource for them, will feel their circumstances ameliorated in proportion to the growth of their industrious habits. Having little in their previous situation to excite feelings of regret, and animated by the prospect of bettering their condition, they will proceed with vigour and cheerfulness in the career that is opened to them.

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If by any coercive means the small tenants are obliged to remain and to follow the same pursuits, it must be with a very different spirit. They will not forget that they were once in a higher station, nor will they allow their children to forget that they

were once on a level with the men who insult them by their superiority. Instead of the animating prospect of rising in the world, they will have the idea of degradation constantly rankling in their minds, to damp their exertions and to sour their temper.

It is not to be overlooked that among the peasantry of the Highlands, and particularly among the tenants, a spirit of discontent and irritation is widely diffused; nor will this appear extraordinary to any one who has paid a minute attention to the circumstances attending the breaking up of the feudal system. The progress of the rise of rents, and the frequent removal of the antient possessors of the land,have nearly annihilated in the people all that enthusiastic attachment to their chiefs, which was formerly prevalent, and have substituted feelings of disgust and irritation proportionally violent. It is not the mere burthen of an additional rent that seems hard to them: the cordiality and condescension which they formerly experienced from their superiors are now no more: they have not yet learnt to brook their neg

lect they are not yet accustomed to the habits of a commercial society, to the coldness which must be expected by those whose intercourse with their superiors is confined to the daily exchange of labour for its stipulated reward. They remember not only the very opposite behaviour of their former chiefs; they recollect also the services their ancestors performed for them: they recollect that, but for these, the property could not have been preserved: they well know of how little avail was a piece of parchment and a lump of wax, under the old system of the Highlands: they reproach their landlord with ingratitude, and remind him that, but for their fathers, he would now have no estate. The permanent possession which they had always retained of their paternal farms, they consider only as their just right, from the share they had borne in the general defence, and can see no difference between the title of the chief and their own.

Men in whose minds these impressions have taken root, are surely not a desirable population; and if they do not remove,

the irritation that prevails among them may be transmitted from generation to generation, and disturb the peace of the country long after the causes from which it has arisen may be considered as worn out. The example of Ireland may, perhaps, be quoted, to prove to what distant periods the effect of an antiquated ground of discontent may be prolonged by a train of consequences reacting upon each other. Amidst all the variety of opinions that are entertained as to the immediate effect of more recent measures, no one who is acquainted with that kingdom will deny, that the mutual animosity of its religious parties is (at least in a great degree) the legitimate offspring and consequence of the horrible feuds that raged in the 17th century and preceding ages; nor can it be doubted, that if after the forfeitures under Cromwell and King William, all who felt themselves immediately aggrieved by these acts of power, had found the means (as much as they doubtless had the inclination) to seek a distant asylum, the internal state of that country at this day would be much more satisfactory.

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