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frightened from its propriety. The Freeman's Journal devoted pages to the morning and evening sittings of the league. The half-bankrupt Dublin tradesman, the ranting platform spouter, the light-headed tenant-farmer, the loafing slangwhanger, always ready to aid a popular humbug; the newspaper proprietor from England, anxious to imp his flight in Irish politics; and the Irish editor, fluttering with anxiety lest the Saxon should out-bray him; the priest and the Presbyterian minister, proclaiming the advent of the political millennium; a few country gentlemen, or gentlemen farmers, as we call them in Ireland, spouting what would be sedition, if it were not nonsense, and each man fancying himself a bucolic Boanerges. All these were at the meetings: the result of the speechifying was the resolution to take the advice of counsel; and that advice having been given, just so much of it as pleased the parties interested was acted upon, and so much of it published to the world as was advantageous to the interests of the same individuals. The league wants money-the league wants members— the members are to bind themselves not to take land from which a tenant has been ejected, unless it can be shown that the ejectment was made necessary by the tenant's own default-above all, they bind themselves, priest, minister, tradesman, farmer, agricultural Demosthenes-all bind themselves to use 66 every constitutional means" to attain the passing of some law by which the tenant can claim a valuation of his land; and by it his landlord shall be bound, beyond it he shall not be able to recover one farthing rent; and at the end of seven years the ground shall be revalued, if the tenant shall require it. These are the outlines of the tenant league's strong points. Thus recommended, it throws itself upon the sympathetic bosom of the farmer; and he, being told by the league that his landlord has only a right to a share of the profits of the land, being, in fact, only in the position of a sleeping partner, is delighted with the scheme, he is quite ready to back the agreeable friends who come forward in his defence; and thus the league struggles on, supported by falsified statistics, by perverted history, by slanderous imputations, by insolent assumption. This is the tenant league at its nadir. What, reader, think you will it be at its zenith?

The arguments by which the league attempts to support itself

are certainly as novel as they are impracticable; and are strengthened by authority, as the leaguers assert, collected from Scripture, from Parliamentary blue-books, from the notes of tourists, and the pages of political economists. We wish it were possible to observe the look of intense wonder, with which Adam Smith and Paley would hear the astounding announcement, that in their works the league had discovered the doctrine of a general valuation, and the very remarkable theory, that the landlord is but a dormant partner. We say to the league, throw aside authority; cast off political economy, for it is cited in one hour as a favourite science by you, in the next, it is but a blundering method of enabling the minister to starve the country; say boldly that you will try and make your schemes the law of the land; and then men can consider you are honest and open-minded, however they may differ with you as to principles. The league, we assert, has attempted to apply to the state of things. we at present see around us, the maxims, the rules, and the policy of ages when the world was but emerging from barbarism. If this be not the true cause of their error, they must proceed on principles of spoliation and injustice, careless of every right, so they themselves succeed in carrying out their intentions. If we assume that the landlord is a robber, because he is unwillingly to allow others to meddle with the property which he has obtained, either by purchase or inheritance; if we go back to the early ages of creation, and apply the laws of that state of society to the present; if we be ready to support the doctrine that "property is robbery;" if we are prepared to declare, that the private interests of a class must be annihilated to serve the private behests, or the wants, of another class; if we can convince ourselves of these things, and of their morality, their justice, and their necessity, in such a case, of course, the principles of the tenant league might seem justifiable; but no bouleversement of affairs could ever render them otherwise than violent and extreme. But who is there that can assert he believes any one of these things to be true or reasonable? Who is there, capable of bringing an ordinary reason to bear upon the subject, that can say he believes in the necessity for the change demanded by the league, or that he considers it ever likely to conduce to the permanent good of the tenant-farmer? To argue that the landlord is to set his land at rent

VOL. I.-NO. I.


assumed to be fair, is, we contend, unjust in the highest degree, so long as you refuse to apply the principle of valuation to the goods of the manufacturer, the tea and sugar of the grocer, and to all the commodities of trade, and upon which the sellers place their own prices, regulating those prices, as is their undoubted right, by the demand made for the article, and the quantity ready in the market to supply the demand. The principle of valuation, if it be good and necessary, must be extended to the value of the labourer's work, and thus you commence a series of intermeddling legislations, or you deny the assumed rights of one class, whilst you grant them to the other. But are these assumed rights just and lawful; or are they not rather the Utopian dreams of those who argue from the belly, rather than from the brain? Is it not an open absurdity, patent to all, to hold that any class of the community is bound to use its property in any other manner than that in which its owners please, so long as it be used in a way that is not injurious to the commonwealth? We do not see in what other light the proposal of the tenant league can be considered, than an attempt to cast upon the landlords, to throw upon that single class, the burthen of supporting the poverty, the vice, or the idleness of the whole country. Oh! but some friend of the league may say, we don't ask so very wonderful a thing: we only ask the land at a fair rent. A fair rent! that is always the cry; but let us see what the farmers of England expect. They pay high rents, they think them fair, and we enable the reader to judge for himself as to the means by which they advance in the world; we enable the reader to see how unnecessary a valuation is, when men are industrious and honest.


CUSTOM. No tenant-right, except on the Duke of Bedford's estate. The outgoing tenant cultivates the fallows in the usual way, and is allowed for seeds and labour. Incomer does not pay for hay, straw, or dung.

TENURE. By agreement; leases granted by the Duke of Bedford and some few others. Time of entry, Michaelmas.

*This table of customs is taken from Shaw and Corbet's Digest of Evidence given before the Agricultural Customs Committee, March, 1848.


CUSTOM. No tenant right. All acts of husbandry paid for by the incoming tenant. Hay and straw taken by valuation. Many tenants are are allowed to sell wheat-straw. Drainage very inefficient. TENURE. By agreement. Time of entry, Michaelmas.


CUSTOM.-No tenant-right for improvements. Customs similar to Berkshire. Incomer has the option of taking away growing crops, seeds, and spring and winter ploughing, of which incomer derives the whole benefit valued.

TENURE. By agreement. Time of entry, Michaelmas.


CUSTOM. No tenant-right. Valuation between the outgoing and incoming tenant for tillage on the land, for the unconsumed hay on the farm, taking it at the consuming price. There is no away-going crop; and the outgoing tenant has the right of consuming the last year's crop of straw on the premises.

TENURE.-By lease and yearly tenure. Time of entry, Michaelmas.


CUSTOM.-Allowance for bones unexpended, and for other kinds of tillages, such as guano and rape-dust. Customs very similar to Lancashire. Incomer takes dung without charge.

TENURE.-Yearly tenures principally; some few leases. Time of entry, Lady-day.


CUSTOM.-Compensation for improvements limited. Allowance for bones unexpended, and for guano and rape-dust. Seeds and labour valued, and dung left.

TENURE.-Yearly tenure, leases seldom granted. Time of entry, Lady



CUSTOM.-No tenant-right. The tenant has nothing after he quits his farm; he gives up every thing when he leaves. He never sows his wheat except by agreement; and when he has a six months' notice he sells off by auction, and takes away his cider presses. Dung left.

TENURE.-Short holdings. Time of entry, Lady-day or Michaelmas.


CUSTOM. No tenant-right. The wheat or barley crop is generally taken off by the outgoing tenant, unless by special agreement. Nothing but seeds and labour valued at a Lady-day taking. Dung left.

TENURE. Short holdings. Time of entry, Lady-day.


CUSTOM. No compensation without special agreement. The outgoing tenant has the succeeding corn crop, but is bound to leave seeds and fallow for incomer. Dung left.

TENURE.-Yearly tenures, with leases from twelve to fourteen years. Time of entry, Lady-day.


CUSTOM.-Incomer takes by valuation the Michaelmas crops, turnips, and young seeds. No compensation, except for dung and fallows, or for the tillage for turnips, and sowing and hoeing. The valuation for the dung, measured in the heap, is taken at so much per square yard.

TENURE.-Clay lands on lease, but not general. Time of entry, Mi



CUSTOM. No tenant-right. The outgoing tenant takes the away-going crops at Lady-day, if both wheat and spring corn, paying rent until Michaelmas. The incoming tenant pays for all costs of husbandry, the ploughings, the sowings, and the manuring. Dung belongs to the landlord. TENURE. From year to year, by agreements. Time of entry, Michaelmas or Lady-day.


CUSTOM. No tenant-right. Incomer has the privilege of entry about Lady-day, to prepare his turnip crops; and about June or July has a certain portion of the land to prepare his wheat crops. Nothing valued, and dung left without charge.

TENURE. Yearly tenancy and by leases. Time of entry, Michaelmas or Lady-day.


CUSTOM. No tenant-right. Outgoer takes the away-going crop, if incomer will not take it at a valuation; has liberty to thrash until May-day; twelve months following the Candlemas he leaves. As to fixtures, if the tenant puts them up without screws he can remove them, but they generally belong to the landlord. Seeds and labour valued, and dung left.

TENURE. For twelve months; leases the exception, not the rule. Time of entry, Candlemas-day, 2nd February.


CUSTOM. No tenant-right. The custom of entry is usually upon the fallows at Lady-day. Every tenant is allowed to quit as he entered, if he can prove that entry; if not, the custom is for a certain portion of the fallows to be given up at a certain time; with respect to the straw and manure, he quits as he enters. Outgoer takes an away-going crop of all corn, paying rents for ground growing it until harvest,

TENURE.-Yearly tenures, very few leases. Time of entry, Michaelmas.

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