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quite as aristocratic as the others, there need of proofs for such a and tending more directly to the fact ? Is it not the Chamber itself perpetuation of hereditary wealth, which has pointed out its dangers because it deprived the first heir, in to the attention of government? so far, of the right of disposal, was The deliberations of councils genieregarded with less abhorrence than ral every year cry out for a the simple provision regarding the prompt remedy for an evil, the preciput in an intestate succession. progress of which is immense. The discussion was long, and in What proprietor is there who does the Chamber of Deputies, violent. not see country houses taken down, There the debate lasted three and lands divided into pieces all days, and was finished on the third about them ? In whatever direconly in consequence of several tion you traverse France, the inmembers who had inscribed their fluence of this indefinite division names, declining, from the impa- must be remarked, and the traveltience of the Chamber, to exercise ler must observe it even in the their right. The opponents of the abandonment of the means of project, when they quitted rhe transport suitable to the wealth of torical and sentimental declama- great proprietors alone. Nevertion, had little to say against it, theless, precise details are lookexcept that it was contrary to the ed for :--but the minister would manners and feelings of the people, not have waited till they were and that the existing system had asked for, if, in producing those not produced, and would not pro- which he could collect, he was duce, any mischievous subdivision not afraid of committing, in some of property. To the argument sort, an act of Charlatanism, indrawn from the example of Eng- worthy of the good faith of the land they answered: The English king's government. In such a are an emigrating people; they matter, however exact may be the have their East and West Indies, returns and the tables of figures, their Australasia, their Canadas; they cannot furnish a proof incatheir possessions are scattered all pable of being disputed. The over the globe, and in these they documents collected to day cannot quarter their younger sons. But give information, unless we could we have no such resources : our compare them with returns made cadets must either starve, or be at a former period. It is, therequartered upon the public; and the fore, without the hope of any church and army, as before the re great advantage, that government volution, become the exclusive has ordered researches to be made; property of the sons of great fami and it is also without the hope of lies. The speech of M. Villèle founding any argument on them, , contained almost all the sound but merely to satisfy the desire sense that was spoken on the sub of several speakers, that it has ject, and his statistical details fur produced that information which nished irrefragable proof of the it was able to procure. The repractical consequences of the sys turns have been made from the tem. We are asked,” said he, registers of several departments, “for proof of that excessive par- presenting altogether an average celling out of lands which this population of 363,580 individuals. project is to remedy? But is Out of this number the registers
of 1815 present 149,311 taxable contained dispositions advantageof them, 116,433 pay less than ous to the children ; the others 20 francs (16 shillings) impost-- were bequests to strangers. By 9,616 pay from 20 to 30 francs. this it may be judged what has (16s. to 24s.) - 9,243 pay from been the operation of equal par30 to 50 francs. (24s. to 408.)- tition, and whether it is neces7,519 pay from 50 to 100 francs sary to prevent its effects. Eng(21. to 41.)-5,623 pay from 100 land is spoken of-but what other to 500 francs (41. to 201.)-578 country offers an example of equal pay from 500 to 1,000 francs industry, co-existing with the (201. to 402.)--and 302 pay 1,000 greatest accumulation of landed francs (402.) and over.
property? The resources which In 1826, the results are as fol- she offers to her cadets are talked low, from the same registers : of-but is France less fertile in 161,739 are taxable, of whom resources of the same kind ? has 183,903 pay less than 20 francs— she not even this additional ad8,983 from 20 to 30-7,915 from vantage, that all the outlets opened 30 to 50-6,083 from 50 to 100 to her industry are her own; that 3,649 from 100 to 300-(this new the products of her manufactures class has been formed on account are consumed in her own interior, of the electoral census, to which while England is obliged to look the old tables paid no attention) for consumers from abroad? France 580 from 300 to 500-411 from then, in this point of view, has 500 to 1,000-and 206, 1,000 no reason to envy England, and francs and upwards. It may be nothing hinders her, after the extrue that the registers do not give ample of her neighbours, from ato the exact number of proprietors; tempting to introduce within wise but, if it be taken for granted that
limits, a little fixedness in properthe comparison of the two returns ties and families. Of what conmay give an exact idea of the pro sequence, it is said, is this fixed gressive division of lands, it will ness to their fortunes, which debe found that, in ten years, the crease and perish, and are replaced number of persons paying under by others which spring up and twenty francs has increased about augment without there being any a ninth-while those who pay necessity that society should disabove one hundred francs has di- quiet itself about the change? If minished a third, which is far from fortunes in money are spoken of, offering a satisfactory result. the minister agrees that the losses
“To appreciate the definite of one are compensated to a cereffect of the law of equality of tain point by the gains of another; divisions, it may perhaps be suffi- but if fortunes interfere one with cient to recollect in what spirit, another, it is very different with and in the midst of what circum- landed properties. Lands may be stances, this law was made ; but, very easily divided, but, after they if figures be called for, let an ex have been divided, it is not easy ample be taken, and it will be to reunite them. The greatest seen that in Paris, out of 7,649 sacrifices will sometimes be insuccessions opened in 1825, 6,568 effectual to obtain success in such were opened at intervals. Of the an undertaking. A man becomes 1,081 remaining, fifty-nine only naturally attached to the soil which
3 to live, cans
ments into which it holyo Such 10
out alteration intention of the 19
. 240] he has purchased, or inherited, small
properties, she has alsą, from his ancestors. The smaller enough of moderate properties; the inheritance, the stronger very perhaps some great properties, in often is his desire of retaining itaddition
to what she has, might be You may cover out prevailing on him to yield it. state of things has produced so
such an extension to our commerce, vided-and it may be truly said, that we desire to maintain it withthat in all countries the great do
To its maintemains have been generally formed nance, besides, is attached the seat the epoch of a conquest. Small curity of our political institutions. properties are not an evil; but it The limited monarchy, under which is necessary that moderate
we have the happiness ties should be preserved, and that not in reality do without the ingreat properties should not be fluence of great properties, of this tirely dismembered. Such is the necessary bond which attaches the
law. All the different parts of the social edifice effect expected from it is to arrest to one another of this indispens a little the progress of the evil, able support of the throne and and maintain for a longer time public liberty, which the indefinite the actual state of things, or a division of properties leaves in state something resembling it. In isolation, feebleness, and abandonorder to appreciate this, we must ment. Cultivation itself loses know what that state is. During more than may be thought by the the course of the Revolution, the parcelling out of great properties of the clergy and the The small proprietor cultivates at old corporations were sold, and greater loss, and, if we compare have passed into the hands of what his acre costs him with what 666,000 purchasers; 440,000 in- the acre costs the great proprietor, dividuals have purchased the lands: it will be seen that the spade is of twenty-seven thousand emi
more expensive than the plough, grant families; the properties of that cultivation is like all other communes have been shared among branches of industry, and the more 110,000 persons; finally, 100,000 it is restrained the less profitable hectares of forests have been sold' it is. On the other hand, it is since the restoration : in short, in not the small properties, but the consequence of these sales,1,222,000 large, which provision the markets, 30,000 old proprietors, without market that support the population speaking of the purchasers of the of cities, and all the manufacturing forests, or the consequences of later part of the nation. Small properdivisions.
ties, no doubt, swell the popula“From this statement it may be tion, but this excess of population judged, that we need not fear too absorbs all the products of the great a concentration, Division earth which it brings into există has produced all the effect that ence, and there remains nothing any one could desire. France be- to assist the wants of the remains yond contradiction has enough of der of society,
his own powers..
The law was carried in the was bound by treaty to England, Chamber of Deputies
by a majority to join heartily in effecting its exof 261 voices against 75; but in tirpation, and had enacted severe the Chamber of Peers, the first laws against those who should be paragraph of the first article which, detected engaged in its prosecution, in the case of intestate succession, she had never received much credit gave the eldest son as preciput, for being in earnest. It was inthe whole of the portion of which dubitable that the traffic was still the deceased might have legally carried en in her colonies to a very disposed, was rejected by a ma- considerable extent, in despite of jority of 120 to 94. With this the naval force which stationed alteration, the law passed ; the last to prevent it; but a much more clause which allowed the testator serious and dishonouring fact was, o name the heir of his heir among that in Nantz, Bourdeaux, and that heir's children, being carried other French ports,
vessels were by an overwhelming majority. A fitted out for slaving voyages, and has an interest in extending were allowed, by the carelessness
or the connivance of which he does not feel in enabling ties, although the mode of their the law to make such a division equipment told every one of it, as perhaps would not have purposes for which they were inbeen accordant with his own tended, to proceed unmolested to wishes and feelings.
So great, their destination." Either the law however, was the triumph sup was too feeble" and imperfect to posed to have been gained by the meet the boldness and expedients popular voice in the rejection of of the traders; or those to whom the first provision, that many the execution of it had been ins quarters of Paris were illuminated, trusted, winked at its violation. the opponents of the minister were vernment to secure the due execu. reckoning on his downfall
. But tion of the law, certainly did not the question was no party or poli, at present justify the suspicion that tical question. Perhaps the mea- they had been taken merely as a sure was urged with too much covering against the disgrace of an precipitancy, when so loud a cla- avowed encouragement of the trade, mour had been excited against it; under which the colonial market for such changes ought always to might still be supplied, without be introduced gradually, and with compromising the character of the much deference even to the pre
mother country. France, indeed, judices of the people; but M. de had not followed the example of Villèle was no more interested in Britain and America, in declaring the law of primogeniture than the the trade to be piracy; the French most vehement of his opponents, politicians objected to such a meaand failure to carry a measure
sure that it would expose their not essentially ministerial could flag to the insult of subjecting the scarcely be fatal to the existence vessels which bore it to be visited of the ininistry itself.
by British cruisers ; but the force Although for several years, the stationed abroad, and the regulaSlave Trade had been formally tions established, and proceedings abolished by France, though she carried on, at home, were fair proots Vol. LXVIII.
thát government was anxious to be strictly necessary for the crew, suppress the trade, however much and not to deliver the musterthey might have been mistaken in roll in cases where the number of the efficacy of their means, or the the crew exceeded that usually honesty and vigilance of the sub- employed in vessels to which no ordinate officers. On the coast of suspicion attached. All contravenAfrica were stationed a frigate, à tions of the laws prohibitory of sloop of war, and six smaller slave-trading were judicially provessels; and another frigate, with vided against; and since 1817, 153 three smaller vessels, cruized off cases had been submitted to the Cuba, for the purpose of inter- courts abroad and at home, which cepting slave-ships. The gover- led to 53 convictions and 74 acquitnors of French colonies and naval tals, leaving 26 in which the legal officers commanding in the West procedure was not yet finished. Indies, Cayenne, and Madagascar, But whatever the good faith of had received injunctions to use the government might be, either all due vigilance, and to seize their plans were badly seconded by all French vessels which might those to whom the execution of attempt to trade in slaves : orders them was confided, or the law had been issued from the depart- itself was unable to grapple with ment of the marine, addressed to the evil. The trade continued, all king's ships on their leaving and the harbours of France were French ports, to assist in the disgraced by being the scene of the repression of the traffic, by board- preparations made for it. The ing and searching all French vessels law of Britain might be violated suspected of engaging in it, and to occasionally in a remote colony; detain those whose lading and but it was never suspected that equipment furnished proof of their slave ships were fitted out from being slave-ships. There was Liverpool or Bristol ; while in held out to the captors a premium France, both the public voice, and of 100 fråncs head-money, for judicial proceedings, proved, that every slave brought in, to be em- individual love of gain was too ployed in the public works; and powerful for the law. The very the French consuls on the western number of prosecutions which had coasts of America were authorized been brought, implied a strong to sequester any French ship con belief of being able successfully victed of trading in slaves, with to evade its prohibitions; and such orders to send her to the nearest a belief cannot exist, or, at least, French colony for adjudication. continue to exist, where good law At home, the naval authorities in is faithfully and diligently admithe different ports were required nistered. A petition from the to throw every obstacle in the way merchants of Paris and Havre was of the clearance of any vessel, presented to the Chamber of Depuwhose outfit and general equip ties, praying for the enactment of ment might appear suspicious: they severer laws, stating that the traffic were commanded to be vigilant in was carried on daily under the preventing the shipment of mana French flag, with scandalous effect cles for fastening slaves together, and activity, and that the law inas also of a greater number of tended to suppress it had only water-cocks or boilers than might increased its horrors. So long,