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1. Such an increase of population as the country, in its present situation, and with a total want of openings for the exertion of industry, cannot support.'

2. The removal of many of the tenants 'from their farms, in consequence of a con'viction on the part of the proprietors, that

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they will be better cultivated and managed, · and pay better rents, when let in larger divisions; and more particularly, in consequence of the preference now very generally given to a sheep stock, of which 'the management does not, like that of a 'black-cattle pasture, admit of minute partition of the farm, nor require nearly so many hands.'

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3. The active circulation of seductive accounts of the immense advantages to be ' derived from going to settle in America.'

The two first of these are so candidly stated, and furnish so plain and rational an account of the fact, that it must excite surprise in the reader to find the last-men

tioned reason insisted upon as the principal and the most extensive in its effects.

The Reporter indeed assumes the fact, that the condition of a labourer in America is not so advantageous as in Britain*; and, taking for granted, that the flattering accounts which have reached the people as to America are all false, has to explain how in the course of so long an intercourse as has been kept up between different districts of Scotland and different settlements in America, no contradiction of these falsehoods should have appeared. Here he does not think it beneath the dignity of the Society to repeat the threadbare and ridiculous story of Uncle James, and to assert, that all letters, not of a particular tendency, are detained†; as if every letter had to pass a scrutiny, and as if there was no post-office establishment in America. Had some inquiry been made before such an assertion was hazarded, the Society might have learnt, that throughout

*First Report-page 11-(the whole manuscript contains 16).

+ See Appendix [S.]

all British America at least, the posts are under the same regulations as at home, and that (under the authority of the PostmasterGeneral of England) letters may be conveyed from almost every part of the colonies, more tediously indeed, but (sea-risk excepted) with as much safety as within Great Britain itself.

It is truly surprising, that gentlemen of respectable abilities and information, should give credit to fables of so little apparent probability. To repeat such stories without examination, can be productive of no good. On the contrary, there are so many of the people in the Highlands who have information of the situation of their friends in America on indubitable authority, confirmed by concurring testimonies, that it is in vain to think of concealing from them the true state of the fact; and the attempt to impose on their understanding can only tend to confirm the jealous suspicions, which they entertain against their superiors.

In another Report we find details of the emigrations going on, and representations

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of a spirit, from which the immediate and total devastation of the country is predicted. The discussions contained in the preceding parts of these remarks render it unnecessary to enter into any particular refutation of this assertion. It must, however, be observed, that this representation (as well as the particulars that are given of the artifices of individuals to delude the people) appears to have been transmitted from the Island of Benbecula, one of the prime stations of the kelp manufacture†. No reference is given in the Report, to the authority on which the facts are stated; and the tenor of the accompanying remarks may at least give room to doubt the coolness and moderation of the narrator, a circumstance of no less importance than his veracity for ascertaining the credibility of his information ‡.

* Third Report-page 1 and 2.

↑ This Island is a part of the Long Island, concerning which some particulars are stated in page 115: sufficient to enable the reader to judge what grounds there are far apprehending a total devastation.

See Appendix [T.]

The facts related are not indeed in themselves improbable: the grounds of that irritation which is felt by the common people have already been explained; and it will not be thought extraordinary, that those individuals who have determined on emigration, should speak out their sentiments with little reserve, and make use of the prevailing temper of the country, to induce others to join

in their schemes.

Independantly of any question as to the policy of retaining against their will, a population infected with a spirit of discontent, it seems very doubtful whether their superiors are following the best methods to allay the ferment. If there exist among the Highlanders any such wanton discontent and restlessness as the Society allege, nothing seems so likely to keep alive and extend this spirit, as any attempt to repress it by individual persecution. Every manly heart will revolt at such means employed to restrain the exercise of an acknowledged natural right, and the indignation which every act of oppression must excite, may actually im

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