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interest, be reduced to the small number who are sufficient for the tending of his flocks.

The tract of country known by the general name of Highlands, is not every where mountainous; and there are situations where, in all probability, sheep-farming will not prevail. In some parts the country consists of low hills, more adapted for pasturing black cattle than sheep; in others, there is a great proportion of arable land; but the climate is generally a discouragement to tillage, even where the soil and situation oppose no obstacles.-The Western Coast and Isles are subject to such excessive rains, that a crop of grain can scarcely be secured without damage, or at least not without great expense, difficulty, and uncertainty. Under these circumstances, the farmer will certainly find it for his advantage to keep the greatest part of his arable land in pasture: and, though the tending of cattle may require rather more labour than that of sheep, a grazing of any kind, when managed with œconomy, can afford employment to very few people in comparison with the numbers

hitherto maintained under the old system of the Highlands.

The same general principle is applicable even to the districts where agriculture can be carried on to advantage: in no part will cultivation require all the people whom the produce of the land can support. Where farms are very small, the proprietors will, in every situation, find it for their interest to throw several into the hands of one man. The occupier of a minute portion of land, who, without any other source of profit, can raise little more produce than enough for his own consumption, has no means of paying an adequate rent. One man constantly employed might accomplish all the work of cultivating several of these small possessions. When they are thrown together, the farmer is enabled, merely by diminishing the number of superfluous mouths, to send a part of the produce to market; and from the same land, without any addition to its fertility, to afford a better rent to the landlord*.

* See Appendix [C.]

The further enlargement of farms throws them into the hands of men of education and efficient capital, who, by following improved modes of cultivation, increase the productiveness of the soil: thus, according to the observation of Dr. Adam Smith, " the diminu"tion of cottagers, and other small occupiers "of land, has in every part of Europe been "the immediate forerunner of improvement "and better cultivation." This the Highland proprietors have already begun to experience; and a tendency towards the accumulation of farms, is very observable in the agricultural districts, as well as in those devoted to pasturage.

Hence a number of small occupiers of land must be dispossessed. Where large farms are already established, many of the people, who were thought necessary in the feudal times, and have since been suffered to remain on the land, will, under any system of cultivation, be found superfluous as workmen, and dismissed. All of these have been hitherto enabled to live by possessing land at a rent below its value: directly or indirectly they are a burthen on the proprietors;

and unless some new and profitable employment can be devised for them, they must continue to be a burthen as long as they remain in the country.

To this the proprietors certainly will not long submit; and therefore a great part of the present inhabitants of the Highlands must in one way or another seek for means of livelihood totally different from those on which they have hitherto depended.

Though there has been a continual progress towards this state of things, it has never till now taken place to its full extent. The new modes of management have reached their full maturity in but a small proportion of the Highlands. From those parts where they are of more recent introduction, emigrations have taken place on former occasions, but not to such an extent, as to produce a sensible diminution of the inhabitants. Thus the change of system, has yet to produce its entire and unimpaired effect in a country still teeming with the superabundant population accumulated by the genius of the feudal times.

IV. Situation and circumstances of the old tenantry: choice of resources when dispossessed of their farms & Emigration preferred; for what reasons; limited in

extent.

In

THIS great change in the system of management throughout the Highlands branches into various and complicated effects. order to give a clear view of its unavoidable consequences, it will be it will be proper first to enter into some details as to the situation and mode of life of the people, such as we actually find them, where the old system still remains. From this it will be easy to deduce the immediate effects which the change must produce on their circumstances; and it will thus appear that emigration is the line of conduct which the occasion leads them most natu

rally to pursue. After considering this consequence, as it affects the interest of the public, the same details will enable us to appreciate how far it may be obviated or modified by legislative wisdom; and this will lead to a discussion of all the resources which have been proposed as remedies for preventing emigration.

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