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Title: Rural Rides
Author: Cobbett, William, 1763-1835
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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  T. Nelson & Sons


  Rural Ride from London, through Newbury, to Burghclere,
  Hurstbourn Tarrant, Marlborough, and Cirencester, to
  Gloucester                                                           5

  Rural Ride from Gloucester, to Bollitree in Herefordshire,
  Ross, Hereford, Abingdon, Oxford, Cheltenham, Burghclere,
  Whitchurch, Uphurstbourn, and thence to Kensington                  21

  Rural Ride from Kensington to Dartford, Rochester,
  Chatham, and Faversham                                              40

  Norfolk and Suffolk Journal                                         45

  Rural Ride from Kensington to Battle, through Bromley,
  Sevenoaks, and Tunbridge                                            54

  Rural Ride through Croydon, Godstone, East Grinstead,
  and Uckfield, to Lewes, and Brighton; returning by
  Cuckfield, Worth, and Red-hill                                      61

  Rural Ride from London, through Ware and Royston, to
  Huntingdon                                                          73

  Rural Ride from Kensington to St. Albans, through Edgware,
  Stanmore, and Watford, returning by Redbourn, Hempstead,
  and Chesham                                                         78

  Rural Ride from Kensington to Uphusband; including a Rustic
  Harangue at Winchester, at a Dinner with the Farmers                85

  Rural Ride through Hampshire, Berkshire, Surrey, and Sussex        107

  Rural Ride from Kensington to Worth, in Sussex                     148

  Rural Ride from the (London) Wen across Surrey, across the
  West of Sussex, and into the South-East of Hampshire               150

  Rural Ride through the South-East of Hampshire, back
  through the South-West of Surrey, along the Weald of
  Surrey, and then over the Surrey Hills down to the Wen             171

  Rural Ride through the North-East part of Sussex, and all
  across Kent, from the Weald of Sussex, to Dover                    200

  Rural Ride from Dover, through the Isle of Thanet, by
  Canterbury and Faversham, across to Maidstone, up to
  Tonbridge, through the Weald of Kent and over the Hills
  by Westerham and Hays, to the Wen                                  221

  Rural Ride from Kensington, across Surrey, and along that
  county                                                             245

  Rural Ride from Chilworth, in Surrey, to Winchester                256

  Rural Ride from Winchester to Burghclere                           269

  Rural Ride from Burghclere to Petersfield                          287

  Rural Ride from Petersfield to Kensington                          296

  Rural Ride down the Valley of the Avon in Wiltshire                327

  Rural Ride from Salisbury to Warminster, from Warminster
  to Frome, from Frome to Devizes, and from Devizes to
  Highworth                                                          348

  Rural Ride from Highworth to Cricklade, and thence to
  Malmsbury                                                          368

  Rural Ride from Malmsbury, in Wiltshire, through
  Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, and Worcestershire                 386

  Rural Ride from Ryall, in Worcestershire, to Burghclere,
  in Hampshire                                                       405

  Rural Ride from Burghclere, to Lyndhurst, in the New Forest        426

  Rural Ride from Lyndhurst to Beaulieu Abbey; thence to
  Southampton, and Weston; thence to Botley, Allington, West
  End, near Hambledon; and thence to Petersfield, Thursley,
  and Godalming                                                      449

  Rural Ride from Weston, near Southampton, to Kensington            462

  Rural Ride to Tring, in Hertfordshire                              485

  Northern Tour                                                      494

  Eastern Tour                                                       498

  Midland Tour                                                       535

  Tour in the West                                                   550

  Progress in the North                                              551



_Berghclere, near Newbury, Hants, October 30, 1821, Tuesday (Evening)._

Fog that you might cut with a knife all the way from London to Newbury.
This fog does not _wet_ things. It is rather a _smoke_ than a fog. There
are no two things in _this world_; and, were it not for fear of
_Six-Acts_ (the "wholesome restraint" of which I continually feel) I
might be tempted to carry my comparison further; but, certainly, there
are no two things in _this world_ so dissimilar as an English and a Long
Island autumn.--These fogs are certainly the _white clouds_ that we
sometimes see aloft. I was once upon the Hampshire Hills, going from
Soberton Down to Petersfield, where the hills are high and steep, not
very wide at their base, very irregular in their form and direction, and
have, of course, deep and narrow valleys winding about between them. In
one place that I had to pass, two of these valleys were cut asunder by a
piece of hill that went across them and formed a sort of bridge from one
long hill to another. A little before I came to this sort of bridge I
saw a smoke flying across it; and, not knowing the way by experience, I
said to the person who was with me, "there is the turnpike road (which
we were expecting to come to); for, don't you see the dust?" The day was
very fine, the sun clear, and the weather dry. When we came to the pass,
however, we found ourselves, not in dust, but in a fog. After getting
over the pass, we looked down into the valleys, and there we saw the fog
going along the valleys to the North, in detached parcels, that is to
say, in clouds, and, as they came to the pass, they rose, went over it,
then descended again, keeping constantly along just above the ground.
And, to-day, the fog came by _spells_. It was sometimes thinner than at
other times; and these changes were very sudden too. So that I am
convinced that these fogs are _dry clouds_, such as those that I saw on
the Hampshire Downs. Those did not _wet_ me at all; nor do these fogs
wet any thing; and I do not think that they are by any means injurious
to health.--It is the fogs that rise out of swamps, and other places,
full of putrid vegetable matter, that kill people. These are the fogs
that sweep off the new settlers in the American Woods. I remember a
valley in Pennsylvania, in a part called _Wysihicken_. In looking from a
hill, over this valley, early in the morning, in November, it presented
one of the most beautiful sights that my eyes ever beheld. It was a sea
bordered with beautifully formed trees of endless variety of colours. As
the hills formed the outsides of the sea, some of the trees showed only
their tops; and, every now-and-then, a lofty tree growing in the sea
itself raised its head above the apparent waters. Except the setting-sun
sending his horizontal beams through all the variety of reds and yellows
of the branches of the trees in Long Island, and giving, at the same
time, a sort of silver cast to the verdure beneath them, I have never
seen anything so beautiful as the foggy valley of the Wysihicken. But I
was told that it was very fatal to the people; and that whole families
were frequently swept off by the "_fall-fever_."--Thus the _smell_ has a
great deal to do with health. There can be no doubt that Butchers and
their wives fatten upon the smell of meat. And this accounts for the
precept of my grandmother, who used to tell me to _bite my bread and
smell to my cheese_; talk, much more wise than that of certain _old
grannies_, who go about England crying up "the _blessings_" of
paper-money, taxes, and national debts.

The fog prevented me from seeing much of the fields as I came along
yesterday; but the fields of Swedish Turnips that I did see were good;
pretty good; though not clean and neat like those in Norfolk. The
farmers here, as every where else, complain most bitterly; but they hang
on, like sailors to the masts or hull of a wreck. They read, you will
observe, nothing but the country newspapers; they, of course, know
nothing of the _cause_ of their "bad times." They hope "the times will
mend." If they quit business, they must sell their stock; and, having
thought this worth so much money, they cannot endure the thought of
selling for a third of the sum. Thus they hang on; thus the landlords
will first turn the farmers' pockets inside out; and then their turn
comes. To finish the present farmers will not take long. There has been
stout fight going on all this morning (it is now 9 o'clock) between the
_sun_ and the _fog_. I have backed the former, and he appears to have
gained the day; for he is now shining most delightfully.

Came through a place called "a park" belonging to a Mr. MONTAGUE, who is
now _abroad_; for the purpose, I suppose, of generously assisting to
compensate the French people for what they lost by the entrance of the
Holy Alliance Armies into their country. Of all the ridiculous things I
ever saw in my life this place is the most ridiculous. The house looks
like a sort of church, in somewhat of a gothic style of building, with
_crosses_ on the tops of different parts of the pile. There is a sort of
swamp, at the foot of a wood, at no great distance from the front of the
house. This swamp has been dug out in the middle to show the water to
the eye; so that there is a sort of river, or chain of diminutive lakes,
going down a little valley, about 500 yards long, the water proceeding
from the _soak_ of the higher ground on both sides. By the sides of
these lakes there are little flower gardens, laid out in the Dutch
manner; that is to say, cut out into all manner of superficial
geometrical figures. Here is the _grand en petit_, or mock magnificence,
more complete than I ever beheld it before. Here is a _fountain_, the
basin of which is not four feet over, and the water spout not exceeding
the pour from a tea-pot. Here is a _bridge_ over a _river_ of which a
child four years old would clear the banks at a jump. I could not have
trusted myself on the bridge for fear of the consequences to Mr.
MONTAGUE; but I very conveniently stepped over the river, in imitation
of the _Colossus_. In another part there was a _lion's mouth_ spouting
out water into the lake, which was so much like the vomiting of a dog,
that I could almost have pitied the poor Lion. In short, such fooleries
I never before beheld; but what I disliked most was the apparent impiety
of a part of these works of refined taste. I did not like the crosses on
the dwelling house; but, in one of the gravel walks, we had to pass
under a gothic arch, with a cross on the top of it, and in the point of
the arch a niche for a saint or a virgin, the figure being gone through
the lapse of centuries, and the pedestal only remaining as we so
frequently see on the outsides of Cathedrals and of old Churches and
Chapels. But, the good of it was, this gothic arch, disfigured by the
hand of old Father Time, was composed of Scotch fir wood, as rotten as a
pear; nailed together in such a way as to make the thing appear, from a
distance, like the remnant of a ruin! I wonder how long this sickly,
this childish, taste is to remain. I do not know who this gentleman is.
I suppose he is some honest person from the 'Change or its
neighbourhood; and that these _gothic arches_ are to denote the
_antiquity of his origin_! Not a bad plan; and, indeed, it is one that I
once took the liberty to recommend to those Fundlords who retire to be
country-'squires. But I never recommended the _Crucifixes_! To be sure,
the Roman Catholic religion may, in England, be considered as a
_gentleman's religion_, it being the most _ancient_ in the country; and
therefore it is fortunate for a Fundlord when he happens (if he ever do
happen) to be of that faith.

This gentleman may, for anything that I know, be a _Catholic_; in which
case I applaud his piety and pity his taste. At the end of this scene of
mock grandeur and mock antiquity I found something more rational;
namely, some hare hounds, and, in half an hour after, we found, and I
had the first hare-hunt that I had had since I wore a smock-frock! We
killed our hare after good sport, and got to Berghclere in the evening
to a nice farm-house in a dell, sheltered from every wind, and with
plenty of good living; though with no gothic arches made of Scotch fir!

_October 31. Wednesday._

A fine day. Too many hares here; but our hunting was not bad; or, at
least, it was a great treat to me, who used, when a boy, to have my legs
and thighs so often filled with thorns in running after the hounds,
anticipating, with pretty great certainty, a "_waling_" of the back at
night. We had greyhounds a part of the day; but the ground on the hills
is so _flinty_, that I do not like the country for coursing. The dogs'
legs are presently cut to pieces.

_Nov. 1. Thursday._

Mr. BUDD has Swedish Turnips, Mangel-Wurzel, and Cabbages of various
kinds, transplanted. All are very fine indeed. It is impossible to make
more satisfactory experiments in _transplanting_ than have been made
here. But this is not a proper place to give a particular account of
them. I went to see the best cultivated parts round Newbury; but I saw
no spot with half the "feed" that I see here, upon a spot of similar

_Hurstbourn Tarrant, Hants, Nov. 2. Friday._

This place is commonly called _Uphusband_, which is, I think, as decent
a corruption of names as one would wish to meet with. However, Uphusband
the people will have it, and Uphusband it shall be for me. I came from
Berghclere this morning, and through the park of LORD CAERNARVON, at
Highclere. It is a fine season to look at woods. The oaks are still
covered, the beeches in their best dress, the elms yet pretty green, and
the beautiful ashes only beginning to turn off. This is, according to
my fancy, the prettiest park that I have ever seen. A great variety of
hill and dell. A good deal of water, and this, in one part, only wants
the _colours_ of American trees to make it look like a "creek;" for the
water runs along at the foot of a steepish hill, thickly covered with
trees, and the branches of the lowermost trees hang down into the water
and hide the bank completely. I like this place better than _Fonthill_,
_Blenheim_, _Stowe_, or any other gentleman's grounds that I have seen.
The _house_ I did not care about, though it appears to be large enough
to hold half a village. The trees are very good, and the woods would be
handsomer if the larches and firs were _burnt_, for which only they are
fit. The great beauty of the place is the _lofty downs_, as steep, in
some places, as the roof of a house, which form a sort of boundary, in
the form of a part of a crescent, to about a third part of the park, and
then slope off and get more distant, for about half another third part.
A part of these downs is covered with trees, chiefly beech, the colour
of which, at this season, forms a most beautiful contrast with that of
the down itself, which is so green and so smooth! From the vale in the
park, along which we rode, we looked apparently almost perpendicularly
up at the downs, where the trees have extended themselves by seed more
in some places than others, and thereby formed numerous salient parts of
various forms, and, of course, as many and as variously formed glades.
These, which are always so beautiful in forests and parks, are
peculiarly beautiful in this lofty situation and with verdure so smooth
as that of these chalky downs. Our horses beat up a score or two of
hares as we crossed the park; and, though we met with no _gothic arches_
made of Scotch fir, we saw something a great deal better; namely, about
forty cows, the most beautiful that I ever saw, as to colour at least.
They appear to be of the Galway-breed. They are called, in this country,
_Lord Caernarvon's breed_. They have no horns, and their colour is a
ground of white with black or red spots, these spots being from the size
of a plate to that of a crown piece; and some of them have no small
spots. These cattle were lying down together in the space of about an
acre of ground: they were in excellent condition, and so fine a sight of
the kind I never saw. Upon leaving the park, and coming over the hills
to this pretty vale of Uphusband, I could not help calculating how long
it might be before some Jew would begin to fix his eye upon Highclere,
and talk of putting out the present owner, who, though a _Whig_, is one
of the best of that set of politicians, and who acted a manly part in
the case of our deeply injured and deeply lamented Queen. Perhaps his
Lordship thinks that there is no fear of the Jews as to _him_. But does
he think that his tenants can sell fat hogs at 7_s._ 6_d._ a score, and
pay him more than a third of the rent that they have paid him while the
debt was contracting? I know that such a man does not lose his estate at
once; but, without rents, what is the estate? And that the Jews will
receive the far greater part of his rents is certain, unless the
interest of the Debt be reduced. LORD CAERNARVON told a man, in 1820,
that _he did not like my politics_. But what did he mean by my
_politics_? I have no politics but such as he _ought_ to like. I want to
do away with that infernal _system_, which, after having beggared and
pauperized the Labouring Classes, has now, according to the Report, made
by the Ministers themselves to the House of Commons, plunged the owners
of the land themselves into a state of distress, for which those
Ministers themselves can hold out no remedy! To be sure, I labour most
assiduously to destroy a system of distress and misery; but is that any
reason why a _Lord_ should dislike my politics? However, dislike or like
them, to them, to those very politics, the Lords themselves _must come
at last_. And that I should exult in this thought, and take little pains
to disguise my exultation, can surprise nobody who reflects on what has
passed within these last twelve years. If the Landlords be well; if
things be going right with them; if they have fair prospects of happy
days; then what need they care about me and _my politics_; but, if they
find themselves in "_distress_," and do not know how to get out of it;
and, if they have been plunged into this distress by those who "dislike
my politics;" is there not _some reason_ for men of sense to hesitate a
little before they _condemn_ those politics? If no great change be
wanted; if things could remain even; then men may, with some show of
reason, say that I am disturbing that which ought to be let alone. But
if things cannot remain as they are; if there must be a _great change_;
is it not folly, and, indeed, is it not a species of idiotic
perverseness, for men to set their faces, without rhyme or reason,
against what is said as to this change by _me_, who have, for nearly
twenty years, been warning the country of its danger, and foretelling
that which has now come to pass and is coming to pass? However, I make
no complaint on this score. People disliking my politics "neither picks
my pocket, nor breaks my leg," as JEFFERSON said by the writings of the
Atheists. If they be pleased in disliking my politics, I am pleased in
liking them; and so we are both enjoying ourselves. If the country wants
no assistance from me, I am quite sure that I want none from it.

_Nov. 3. Saturday._

Fat hogs have lately sold, in this village, at 7_s._ 6_d._ a score (but
would hardly bring that now), that is to say, at 4-1/2_d._ a pound. The
hog is weighed whole, when killed and dressed. The head and feet are
included; but so is the lard. Hogs fatted on peas or barley-meal may be
called the very best meat that England contains. At Salisbury (only
about 20 miles off) fat hogs sell for 5_s._ to 4_s._ 6_d._ a score. But,
then, observe, these are _dairy hogs_, which are not nearly so good in
quality as the corn-fed hogs. But I shall probably hear more about these
prices as I get further towards the West. Some wheat has been sold at
Newbury-market for 6_l._ a load (40 bushels); that is, at 3_s._ a
bushel. A considerable part of the crop is wholly unfit for bread flour,
and is not equal in value to good barley. In not a few instances the
wheat has been carried into the gate, or yard, and thrown down to be
made dung of. So that, if we were to take the average, it would not
exceed, I am convinced, 5_s._ a bushel in this part of the country; and
the average of all England would not, perhaps, exceed 4_s._ or 3_s._
6_d._ a bushel. However, LORD LIVERPOOL has got a _bad harvest_ at last!
That _remedy_ has been applied! Somebody sent me some time ago that
stupid newspaper, called the _Morning Herald_, in which its readers were
reminded of my "_false prophecies_," I having (as this paper said)
foretold that wheat would be at _two shillings a bushel before
Christmas_. These gentlemen of the "_respectable_ part of the press" do
not mind lying a little upon a pinch. [See Walter's "Times" of Tuesday
last, for the following: "_Mr. Cobbett has thrown open the front of his
house at Kensington, where he proposes to sell meat at a reduced
price_."] What I said was this: that, if the crop were good and the
harvest fine, and gold continued to be paid at the Bank, we should see
wheat at four, not two, shillings a bushel before Christmas. Now, the
crop was, in many parts, very much blighted, and the harvest was very
bad indeed; and yet the average of England, including that which is
destroyed, or not brought to market at all, will not exceed 4_s._ a
bushel. A farmer told me, the other day, that he got _so little_ offered
for some of his wheat, that he was resolved not to take any more of it
to market; but to give it to hogs. Therefore, in speaking of the price
of wheat, you are to take in the unsold as well as the sold; that which
fetches nothing as well as that which is sold at high price.--I see, in
the Irish papers, which have overtaken me on my way, that the system is
working the Agriculturasses in "the sister-kingdom" too! The following
paragraph will show that the _remedy_ of a _bad harvest_ has not done
our dear sister much good. "A very numerous meeting of the Kildare
Farming Society met at Naas on the 24th inst., the Duke of Leinster in
the Chair; Robert de la Touche, Esq., M.P., Vice-President. Nothing can
more strongly prove the BADNESS OF THE TIMES, and very _unfortunate
state of the country_, than the necessity in which the Society finds
itself of _discontinuing its premiums, from its present want of funds_.
The best members of the farming classes have got so much in arrear in
their subscriptions that they have declined to appear or to dine with
their neighbours, and general depression damps the spirit of the most
industrious and _hitherto prosperous_ cultivators." You are mistaken,
Pat; it is not the _times_ any more than it is the _stars_. Bobadil, you
know, imputed his beating to the _planets_: "planet-stricken, by the
foot of Pharaoh!"--"No, Captain," says Welldon, "indeed it was a
_stick_." It is not the _times_, dear Patrick: it is _the government_,
who, having first contracted a great debt in depreciated money, are now
compelling you to pay the interest at the rate of three for one. Whether
this be _right_, or _wrong_, the Agriculturasses best know: it is much
more their affair than it is mine; but, be you well assured, that they
are only at the beginning of their sorrows. Ah! Patrick, whoever shall
live only a few years will see a _grand change_ in your state! Something
a _little more rational_ than "Catholic Emancipation" will take place,
or I am the most deceived of all mankind. This _Debt_ is your best, and,
indeed, your _only friend_. It must, at last, give the THING a _shake_,
such as it never had before.--The accounts which my country newspapers
give of the failure of farmers are perfectly dismal. In many, many
instances they have put an end to their existence, as the poor deluded
creatures did who had been ruined by the South Sea Bubble! I cannot help
feeling for these people, for whom my birth, education, taste, and
habits give me so strong a partiality. Who can help feeling for their
wives and children, hurled down headlong from affluence to misery in the
space of a few months! Become all of a sudden the mockery of those whom
they compelled, perhaps, to cringe before them! If the Labourers exult,
one cannot say that it is unnatural. If _Reason_ have her fair sway, I
am exempted from all pain upon this occasion. I have done my best to
prevent these calamities. Those farmers who have attended to me are safe
while the storm rages. My endeavours to stop the evil in time cost me
the earnings of twenty long years! I did not sink, no, nor _bend_,
beneath the heavy and reiterated blows of the accursed system, which I
have dealt back blow for blow; and, blessed be God, I now see it _reel_!
It is staggering about like a sheep with water in the head: turning its
pate up on one side: seeming to listen, but has no hearing: seeming to
look, but has no sight: one day it capers and dances: the next it mopes
and seems ready to die.

_Nov. 4. Sunday._

This, to my fancy, is a very nice country. It is continual hill and
dell. Now and then a _chain_ of hills higher than the rest, and these
are downs, or woods. To stand upon any of the hills and look around you,
you almost think you see the ups and downs of sea in a _heavy swell_ (as
the sailors call it) after what they call a gale of wind. The
undulations are endless, and the great variety in the height, breadth,
length, and form of the little hills, has a very delightful effect.--The
soil, which, to look _on_ it, appears to be more than half flint stones,
is very good in quality, and, in general, better on the tops of the
lesser hills than in the valleys. It has great tenacity; does not _wash
away_ like sand, or light loam. It is a stiff, tenacious loam, mixed
with flint stones. Bears Saint-foin well, and all sorts of grass, which
make the fields on the hills as green as meadows, even at this season;
and the grass does not burn up in summer.--In a country so full of hills
one would expect endless runs of water and springs. There are none:
absolutely none. No water-furrow is ever made in the land. No ditches
round the fields. And, even in the _deep valleys_, such as that in which
this village is situated, though it winds round for ten or fifteen
miles, there is no run of water even now. There is the _bed_ of a brook,
which will run before spring, and it continues running with more or less
water for about half the year, though, some years, it never runs at all.
It rained all Friday night; pretty nearly all day yesterday; and to-day
the ground is as dry as a bone, except just along the street of the
village, which has been kept in a sort of stabble by the flocks of sheep
passing along to and from Appleshaw fair. In the deep and long and
narrow valleys, such as this, there are meadows with very fine herbage
and very productive. The grass very fine and excellent in its quality.
It is very curious that the soil is much _shallower_ in the vales than
on the hills. In the vales it is a sort of hazle-mould on a bed of
something approaching to gravel; but on the hills it is stiff loam, with
apparently half flints, on a bed of something like clay first (reddish,
not yellow), and then comes the chalk, which they often take up by
digging a sort of wells; and then they spread it on the surface, as they
do the clay in some countries, where they sometimes fetch it many miles
and at an immense expense. It was very common, near Botley, to chalk
land at an expense of sixteen pounds an acre.----The land here is
excellent in quality generally, unless you get upon the highest chains
of hills. They have frequently 40 bushels of wheat to the acre. Their
barley is very fine; and their Saint-foin abundant. The turnips are, in
general, very good at this time; and the land appears as capable of
carrying fine crops of them as any land that I have seen. A fine country
for sheep: always dry: they never injure the land when feeding off
turnips in wet weather; and they can lie down on the dry; for the ground
is, in fact, never wet except while the rain is actually falling.
Sometimes, in spring-thaws and thunder-showers, the rain runs down the
hills in torrents; but is gone directly. The flocks of sheep, some in
fold and some at large, feeding on the sides of the hills, give great
additional beauty to the scenery.--The woods, which consist chiefly of
oak thinly intermixed with ash, and well set with underwood of ash and
hazle, but mostly the latter, are very beautiful. They sometimes stretch
along the top and sides of hills for miles together; and as their edges,
or outsides, joining the fields and the downs, go winding and twisting
about, and as the fields and downs are naked of trees, the sight
altogether is very pretty.--The trees in the deep and long valleys,
especially the Elm and the Ash, are very fine and very lofty; and from
distance to distance, the Rooks have made them their habitation. This
sort of country, which, in irregular shape, is of great extent, has many
and great advantages. Dry under foot. Good roads, winter as well as
summer, and little, very little, expense. Saint-foin flourishes. Fences
cost little. Wood, hurdles, and hedging-stuff cheap. No shade in wet
harvests. The water in the wells excellent. Good sporting country,
except for coursing, and too many flints for that.--What becomes of all
the _water_? There is a spring in one of the cross valleys that runs
into this, having a basin about thirty feet over, and about eight feet
deep, which, they say, sends up water once in about 30 or 40 years; and
boils up so as to make a large current of water.--Not far from UPHUSBAND
the _Wansdike_ (I think it is called) crosses the country. SIR RICHARD
COLT HOARE has written a great deal about this ancient boundary, which
is, indeed, something very curious. In the ploughed fields the traces of
it are quite gone; but they remain in the _woods_ as well as on the

_Nov. 5. Monday._

A _white frost_ this morning. The hills round about beautiful at
sun-rise, the rooks making that noise which they always make in winter
mornings. The Starlings are come in large flocks; and, which is deemed a
sign of a hard winter, the Fieldfares are come at an early season. The
haws are very abundant; which, they say, is another sign of a hard
winter. The wheat is high enough here, in some fields, "to hide a hare,"
which is, indeed, not saying much for it, as a hare knows how to hide
herself upon the bare ground. But it is, in some fields, four inches
high, and is green and gay, the colour being finer than that of any
grass.--The fuel here is wood. Little coal is brought from Andover. A
load of fagots does not cost above 10_s._ So that, in this respect, the
labourers are pretty well off. The wages here and in Berkshire, about
8_s._ a week; but the farmers talk of lowering them.--The poor-rates
heavy, and heavy they must be, till taxes and rents come down
greatly.--Saturday, and to-day Appleshaw sheep-fair. The sheep, which
had taken a rise at Weyhill fair, have fallen again even below the
Norfolk and Sussex mark. Some Southdown Lambs were sold at Appleshaw so
low as 8_s._ and some even lower. Some Dorsetshire Ewes brought no more
than a pound; and, perhaps, the average did not exceed 28_s._ I have
seen a farmer here who can get (or could a few days ago) 28_s._ round
for a lot of fat Southdown Wethers, which cost him just that money, when
they were lambs, _two years ago_! It is impossible that they can have
cost him less than 24_s._ each during the two years, having to be fed on
turnips or hay in winter, and to be fatted on good grass. Here (upon one
hundred sheep) is a loss of 120_l._ and 14_l._ in addition at five per
cent. interest on the sum expended in the purchase; even suppose not a
sheep has been lost by death or otherwise.--I mentioned before, I
believe, that fat hogs are sold at Salisbury at from 5_s._ to 4_s._
6_d._ the _score_ pounds, dead weight.--Cheese has come down in the same
proportion. A correspondent informs me that one hundred and fifty Welsh
Sheep were, on the 18th of October, offered for 4_s._ 6_d_, a head, and
that they went away unsold! The skin was worth a shilling of the money!
The following I take from the _Tyne Mercury_ of the 30th of October.
"Last week, at Northawton fair, Mr. Thomas Cooper, of Bow, purchased
three milch cows and forty sheep, for 18_l._ 16_s._ 6_d._!" The skins,
four years ago, would have sold for more than the money. The _Hampshire
Journal_ says that, on 1 November (Thursday) at Newbury Market, wheat
sold from 88_s._ to 24_s._ the Quarter. This would make an average of
56_s._ But very little indeed was sold at 88_s._, only the prime of the
old wheat. The best of the new for about 48_s._, and then, if we take
into view the great proportion that cannot go to market at all, we shall
not find the average, even in this rather dear part of England, to
exceed 32_s._, or 4_s._ a bushel. And if we take all England through, it
does not come up to that, nor anything like it. A farmer very sensibly
observed to me yesterday that "if we had had such a crop and such a
harvest a few years ago, good wheat would have been 50_l._ a load;" that
is to say, 25_s._ a bushel! Nothing can be truer than this. And nothing
can be clearer than that the present race of farmers, generally
speaking, must be swept away by bankruptcy, if they do not, in time,
make their bow, and retire. There are two descriptions of farmers, very
distinct as to the effects which this change must naturally have on
them. The word _farmer_ comes from the French, _fermier_, and signifies
_renter_. Those only who rent, therefore, are, properly speaking,
_farmers_. Those who till their own land are _yeomen_; and when I was a
boy it was the common practice to call the former _farmers_ and the
latter _yeoman-farmers_. These yeomen have, for the greater part, been
swallowed up by the paper-system which has drawn such masses of money
together. They have, by degrees, been _bought out_. Still there are some
few left; and these, if not in debt, will stand their ground. But all
the present race of mere renters must give way, in one manner or
another. They must break, or drop their style greatly; even in the
latter case, their rent must, very shortly, be diminished more than
two-thirds. Then comes the _Landlord's turn_; and the sooner the
better.--In the _Maidstone Gazette_ I find the following: "Prime beef
was sold in Salisbury market, on Tuesday last, at 4_d._ per lb., and
good joints of mutton at 3-1/2_d._; butter 11_d._ and 12_d._ per lb.--In
the West of Cornwall, during the summer, pork has often been sold at
2-1/2_d._ per lb."--This is very true; and what can be better? How can
Peel's Bill work in a more delightful manner? What nice "_general
working of events_!" The country rag-merchants have now very little to
do. They have _no discounts_. What they have out they _owe_: it is so
much _debt_: and, of course, they become poorer and poorer, because they
must, like a mortgager, have more and more to pay as prices fall. This
is very good; for it will make them disgorge a part, at least, of what
they have swallowed, during the years of high prices and depreciation.
They are worked in this sort of way: the Tax-Collectors, the
Excise-fellows, for instance, hold their sittings every six weeks, in
certain towns about the country. They will receive the country rags, if
the rag man can find, and will give, security for the due payment of his
rags, when they arrive in London. For want of such security, or of some
formality of the kind, there was a great bustle in a town in this county
not many days ago. The Excise-fellow demanded sovereigns, or Bank of
England notes. Precisely how the matter was finally settled I know not;
but the reader will see that the Exciseman was only taking a proper
precaution; for if the rags were not paid in London, the loss was his.

_Marlborough, Tuesday noon, Nov. 6._

I left Uphusband this morning at 9, and came across to this place (20
miles) in a post-chaise. Came up the valley of Uphusband, which ends at
about 6 miles from the village, and puts one out upon the Wiltshire
Downs, which stretch away towards the West and South-west, towards
Devizes and towards Salisbury. After about half a mile of down we came
down into a level country; the flints cease, and the chalk comes nearer
the top of the ground. The labourers along here seem very poor indeed.
Farmhouses with twenty ricks round each, besides those standing in the
fields; pieces of wheat 50, 60, or 100 acres in a piece; but a group of
women labourers, who were attending the measurers to measure their
reaping work, presented such an assemblage of rags as I never before saw
even amongst the hoppers at Farnham, many of whom are common beggars. I
never before saw _country_ people, and reapers too, observe, so
miserable in appearance as these. There were some very pretty girls, but
ragged as colts and as pale as ashes. The day was cold too, and frost
hardly off the ground; and their blue arms and lips would have made any
heart ache but that of a seat-seller or a loan-jobber. A little after
passing by these poor things, whom I left, cursing, as I went, those who
had brought them to this state, I came to a group of shabby houses upon
a hill. While the boy was watering his horses, I asked the ostler the
_name_ of the place; and, as the old women say, "you might have knocked
me down with a feather," when he said, "_Great Bedwin_." The whole of
the houses are not intrinsically worth a thousand pounds. There stood a
thing out in the middle of the place, about 25 feet long and 15 wide,
being a room stuck up on unhewed stone pillars about 10 feet high. It
was the Town Hall, where the ceremony of choosing the _two Members_ is
performed. "This place sends Members to Parliament, don't it?" said I to
the ostler. "Yes, Sir." "Who are Members _now_?" "I _don't know_,
indeed, Sir."--I have not read the _Henriade_ of Voltaire for these 30
years; but in ruminating upon the ostler's answer, and in thinking how
the world, yes, _the whole world_, has been deceived as to this matter,
two lines of that poem came across my memory:

  Représentans du peuple, les Grands et le Roi:
  Spectacle magnifique! Source sacrée des lois![1]

The Frenchman, for want of understanding the THING as well as I do, left
the eulogium incomplete. I therefore here add four lines, which I
request those who publish future editions of the Henriade to insert in
continuation of the above eulogium of Voltaire.

  Représentans du peuple, que celui-ci ignore,
  Sont fait à miracle pour garder son Or!
  Peuple trop heureux, que le bonheur inonde!
  L'envie de vos voisins, admiré du monde![2]

The first line was suggested by the ostler; the last by the words which
we so very often hear from the bar, the bench, the _seats_, the pulpit,
and the throne. Doubtless my poetry is not equal to that of Voltaire;
but my rhyme is as good as his, and my _reason_ is a great deal
better.--In quitting this villanous place we see the extensive and
uncommonly ugly park and domain of LORD AYLESBURY, who seems to have
tacked park on to park, like so many outworks of a fortified city. I
suppose here are 50 or 100 farms of former days swallowed up. They have
been bought, I dare say, from time to time; and it would be a labour
very well worthy of reward by the public, to trace to its source the
money by which these immense domains, in different parts of the country,
have been formed!--MARLBOROUGH, which is an ill-looking place enough, is
succeeded, on my road to SWINDON, by an extensive and very beautiful
down about 4 miles over. Here nature has flung the earth about in a
great variety of shapes. The fine short smooth grass has about 9 inches
of mould under it, and then comes the chalk. The water that runs down
the narrow side-hill valleys is caught, in different parts of the down,
in basins made on purpose, and lined with clay apparently. This is for
watering the sheep in summer; sure sign of a really dry soil; and yet
the grass never _parches_ upon these downs. The chalk holds the
moisture, and the grass is fed by the dews in hot and dry weather.--At
the end of this down the high-country ends. The hill is high and steep,
and from it you look immediately down into a level farming country; a
little further on into the dairy-country, whence the North-Wilts cheese
comes; and, beyond that, into the vale of Berkshire, and even to Oxford,
which lies away to the North-east from this hill.--The land continues
good, flat and rather wet to Swindon, which is a plain country town,
built of the stone which is found at about 6 feet under ground about
here.--I come on now towards Cirencester, thro' the dairy county of
North Wilts.

_Cirencester, Wednesday (Noon), 7 Nov._

I slept at a Dairy-farm house at Hannington, about eight miles from
Swindon, and five on one side of my road. I passed through that
villanous hole, Cricklade, about two hours ago; and, certainly, a more
rascally looking place I never set my eyes on. I wished to avoid it, but
could get along no other way. All along here the land is a whitish stiff
loam upon a bed of soft stone, which is found at various distances from
the surface, sometimes two feet and sometimes ten. Here and there a
field is fenced with this stone, laid together in walls without mortar
or earth. All the houses and out-houses are made of it, and even covered
with the thinnest of it formed into tiles. The stiles in the fields are
made of large flags of this stone, and the gaps in the hedges are
stopped with them.--There is very little wood all along here. The
labourers seem miserably poor. Their dwellings are little better than
pig-beds, and their looks indicate that their food is not nearly equal
to that of a pig. Their wretched hovels are stuck upon little bits of
ground _on the road side_, where the space has been wider than the road
demanded. In many places they have not two rods to a hovel. It seems as
if they had been swept off the fields by a hurricane, and had dropped
and found shelter under the banks on the road side! Yesterday morning
was a sharp frost; and this had set the poor creatures to digging up
their little plats of potatoes. In my whole life I never saw human
wretchedness equal to this: no, not even amongst the free negroes in
America, who, on an average, do not work one day out of four. And this
is "_prosperity_," is it? These, Oh, Pitt! are the fruits of thy hellish
system! However, this _Wiltshire_ is a horrible county. This is the
county that the _Gallon-loaf_ man belongs to. The land all along here is
good. Fine fields and pastures all around; and yet the cultivators of
those fields so miserable! This is particularly the case on both sides
of Cricklade, and in it too, where everything had the air of the most
deplorable want.--They are sowing wheat all the way from the Wiltshire
downs to Cirencester; though there is some wheat up. Winter-Vetches are
up in some places, and look very well.--The turnips of both kinds are
good all along here.--I met a farmer going with porkers to Highworth
market. They would weigh, he said, four score and a half, and he
expected to get 7_s._ 6_d._ a score. I expect he will not. He said they
had been fed on barley-meal; but I did not believe him. I put it to his
honour whether whey and beans had not been their food. He looked surly,
and pushed on.--On this stiff ground they grow a good many beans, and
give them to the pigs with whey; which makes excellent pork for the
_Londoners_; but which must meet with a pretty hungry stomach to swallow
it in Hampshire. The hogs, all the way that I have come, from
Buckinghamshire, are, without a single exception that I have seen, the
old-fashioned black-spotted hogs. Mr. BLOUNT at Uphusband has one,
which now weighs about thirty score, and will possibly weigh forty, for
she moves about very easily yet. This is the weight of a good ox; and
yet, what a little thing it is compared to an ox! Between Cricklade and
this place (Cirencester) I met, in separate droves, about two thousand
Welsh Cattle, on their way from Pembrokeshire to the fairs in Sussex.
The greater part of them were heifers in calf. They were purchased in
Wales at from 3_l._ to 4_l._ 10_s._ each! None of them, the drovers told
me, reached 5_l._ These heifers used to fetch, at home, from 6_l._ to
8_l._, and sometimes more. Many of the things that I saw in these droves
did not fetch, in Wales, 25_s._ And they go to no _rising_ market! Now,
is there a man in his senses who believes that this THING can go on in
the present way? However, a fine thing, indeed, is this fall of prices!
My "cottager" will easily get his cow, and a young cow too, for less
than the 5_l._ that I talked of. These Welsh heifers will calve about
May; and they are just the very thing for a cottager.

_Gloucester, Thursday (morning), Nov. 8._

In leaving Cirencester, which is a pretty large town, a pretty nice
town, and which the people call _Cititer_, I came up hill into a
country, apparently formerly a down or common, but now divided into
large fields by stone walls. Anything so ugly I have never seen before.
The stone, which, on the other side of Cirencester, lay a good way under
ground, here lies very near to the surface. The plough is continually
bringing it up, and thus, in general, come the means of making the walls
that serve as fences. Anything quite so cheerless as this I do not
recollect to have seen; for the Bagshot country, and the commons between
Farnham and Haslemere, have _heath_ at any rate; but these stones are
quite abominable. The turnips are not a _fiftieth_ of a crop like those
of Mr. Clarke at Bergh-Apton in Norfolk, or Mr. Pym at Reigate in
Surrey, or of Mr. Brazier at Worth in Sussex. I see thirty acres here
that have less _food_ upon them than I saw the other day upon half an
acre at Mr. Budd's at Berghclere. _Can_ it be good farming to plough and
sow and hoe thirty acres to get what _may_ be got upon half an acre? Can
that half acre cost more than a tenth part as much as the thirty acres?
But if I were to go to this thirty-acre farmer, and tell him what to do
to the half acre, would he not exclaim with the farmer at Botley: "What!
_drow_ away all that 'ere ground between the _lains_! Jod's
blood!"--With the exception of a little dell about eight miles from
Cititer, this miserable country continued to the distance of ten miles,
when, all of a sudden, I looked down from the top of a high hill into
_the vale of Gloucester_! Never was there, surely, such a contrast in
this world! This hill is called _Burlip Hill_; it is much about a mile
down it, and the descent so steep as to require the wheel of the chaise
to be locked; and even with that precaution, I did not think it over and
above safe to sit in the chaise; so, upon Sir Robert Wilson's principle
of taking care of _Number One_, I got out and walked down. From this
hill you see the Morvan Hills in Wales. You look down into a sort of
_dish_ with a flat bottom, the Hills are the sides of the dish, and the
City of Gloucester, which you plainly see, at seven miles distance from
Burlip Hill, appears to be not far from the centre of the dish. All here
is fine; fine farms; fine pastures; all enclosed fields; all divided by
hedges; orchards a plenty; and I had scarcely seen one apple since I
left Berkshire.--GLOUCESTER is a fine, clean, beautiful place; and,
which is of a vast deal more importance, the labourers' dwellings, as I
came along, looked good, and the labourers themselves pretty well as to
dress and healthiness. The girls at work in the fields (always my
standard) are not in rags, with bits of shoes tied on their feet and
rags tied round their ankles, as they had in Wiltshire.


_Bollitree Castle, Herefordshire, Friday, 9 Nov. 1821._

I got to this beautiful place (Mr. WILLIAM PALMER'S) yesterday, from
Gloucester. This is in the parish of _Weston_, two miles on the
Gloucester side of Ross, and, if not the first, nearly the first, parish
in Herefordshire upon leaving Gloucester to go on through Ross to
Hereford.--On quitting Gloucester I crossed the Severne, which had
overflowed its banks and covered the meadows with water.--The soil good
but stiff. The coppices and woods very much like those upon the clays in
the South of Hampshire and in Sussex; but the land better for corn and
grass. The goodness of the land is shown by the apple-trees, and by the
sort of sheep and cattle fed here. The sheep are a cross between the
Ryland and Leicester, and the cattle of the Herefordshire kind. These
would starve in the pastures of any part of Hampshire or Sussex that I
have ever seen.--At about seven miles from Gloucester I came to hills,
and the land changed from the whitish soil, which I had hitherto seen,
to a red brown, with layers of flat stone of a reddish cast under it.
Thus it continued to Bollitree. The trees of all kinds are very fine on
the hills as well as in the bottoms.--The spot where I now am is
peculiarly well situated in all respects. The land very rich, the
pastures the finest I ever saw, the trees of all kinds surpassing upon
an average any that I have before seen in England. From the house, you
see, in front and winding round to the left, a lofty hill, called
_Penyard Hill_, at about a mile and a half distance, covered with oaks
of the finest growth: along at the foot of this wood are fields and
orchards continuing the slope of the hill down for a considerable
distance, and, as the ground lies in a sort of _ridges_ from the wood to
the foot of the slope, the hill-and-dell is very beautiful. One of these
dells with the two adjoining sides of hills is an orchard belonging to
Mr. PALMER, and the trees, the ground, and everything belonging to it,
put me in mind of the most beautiful of the spots in the North of Long
Island. Sheltered by a lofty wood; the grass fine beneath the fruit
trees; the soil dry under foot though the rain had scarcely ceased to
fall; no moss on the trees; the leaves of many of them yet green;
everything brought my mind to the beautiful orchards near Bayside,
Little Neck, Mosquito Cove, and Oyster Bay, in Long Island. No wonder
that this is a country of _cider_ and _perry_; but what a shame it is
that here, at any rate, the owners and cultivators of the soil, not
content with these, should, for mere fashion's sake, waste their
substance on _wine_ and _spirits_! They really deserve the contempt of
mankind and the curses of their children.--The woody hill mentioned
before, winds away to the left, and carries the eye on to the _Forest of
Dean_, from which it is divided by a narrow and very deep valley. Away
to the right of Penyard Hill lies, in the bottom, at two miles distance,
and on the bank of the river Wye, the town of Ross, over which we look
down the vale to Monmouth and see the Welsh hills beyond it. Beneath
Penyard Hill, and on one of the _ridges_ before mentioned, is the parish
church of Weston, with some pretty white cottages near it, peeping
through the orchard and other trees; and coming to the paddock before
the house are some of the largest and loftiest trees in the country,
standing singly here and there, amongst which is the very largest and
loftiest walnut-tree that I believe I ever saw, either in America or in
England. In short, there wants nothing but the autumnal _colours_ of the
American trees to make this the most beautiful spot I ever beheld.--I
was much amused for an hour after daylight this morning in looking at
the _clouds_, rising at intervals from the dells on the side of Penyard
Hill, and flying to the top, and then over the Hill. Some of the clouds
went up in a roundish and compact form. Others rose in a sort of string
or stream, the tops of them going over the hill before the bottoms were
clear of the place whence they had arisen. Sometimes the clouds gathered
themselves together along the top of the hill, and seemed to connect the
topmost trees with the sky.----I have been to-day to look at Mr.
PALMER'S fine crops of _Swedish Turnips_, which are, in general, called
"_Swedes_." These crops having been raised according to _my plan_, I
feel, of course, great interest in the matter. The Swedes occupy two
fields: one of thirteen, and one of seventeen acres. The main part of
the seventeen-acre field was _drilled_, on ridges, four feet apart, a
single row on a ridge, at different times, between 16th April and 29th
May. An acre and a half of this piece was _transplanted_ on four-feet
ridges 30th July. About half an acre across the middle of the field was
sown _broad-cast_ 14th April.--In the thirteen-acre field there is about
half an acre sown _broad-cast_ on the 1st of June; the rest of the field
was _transplanted_; part in the first week of June, part in the last
week of June, part from the 12th to 18th July, and the rest (about three
acres) from 21st to 23rd July. The drilled Swedes in the seventeen-acre
field, contain full 23 tons to the acre; the transplanted ones in _that_
field, 15 tons, and the broad-cast not exceeding 10 tons. Those in the
thirteen-acre field which were transplanted before the 21st July,
contain 27 if not 30 tons; and the rest of _that_ field about 17 tons to
the acre. The broad-cast piece here (half an acre) may contain 7 tons.
The shortness of my time will prevent us from ascertaining the weight by
actual weighings; but such is the crop, according to the best of my
judgment, after a very minute survey of it in every part of each
field.--NOW, here is a little short of 800 tons of food, about a fifth
part of which consists of _tops_; and, of course, there is about 640
tons of _bulb_. As to the _value_ and _uses_ of this prodigious crop I
need say nothing; and as to the time and manner of sowing and raising
the plants for transplanting, the act of transplanting, and the after
cultivation, Mr. PALMER has followed the directions contained in my
"_Year's Residence in America_;" and, indeed, he is forward to
acknowledge that he had never thought of this mode of culture, which he
has followed now for three years, and which he has found so
advantageous, until he read that work, a work which the _Farmer's
Journal_ thought proper to treat as a _romance_.--Mr. PALMER has had
some _cabbages_ of the large, drum-head kind. He had about three acres,
in rows at four feet apart, and at little less than three feet apart in
the rows, making _ten thousand_ cabbages on the three acres. He kept
ninety-five wethers and ninety-six ewes (large fatting sheep) upon them
for _five weeks_ all but two days, ending in the first week of November.
The sheep, which are now feeding off yellow turnips in an adjoining part
of the same field, come back over the cabbage-ground and _scoop out the
stumps_ almost to the ground in many cases. This ground is going to be
ploughed for wheat immediately. Cabbages are a very fine _autumn crop_;
but it is the _Swedes_ on which you must rely for the spring, and on
_housed_ or _stacked_ Swedes too; for they will _rot_ in many of our
winters, if left in the ground. I have had them rot myself, and I saw,
in March 1820, hundreds of acres rotten in Warwickshire and
Northamptonshire. Mr. PALMER greatly prefers the _transplanting_ to the
drilling. It has numerous advantages over the drilling; greater
regularity of crop, greater certainty, the only _sure_ way of avoiding
the _fly_, greater crop, admitting of two months later preparation of
land, can come _after vetches_ cut up for horses (as, indeed, a part of
Mr. PALMER'S transplanted Swedes did), and requiring less labour and
expense. I asserted this in my "_Year's Residence_;" and Mr. PALMER, who
has been very particular in ascertaining the fact, states positively
that the expense of transplanting is not so great as the hoeing and
setting out of the drilled crops, and not so great as the common hoeings
of broad-cast. This, I think, settles the question. But the advantages
of the wide-row culture by no means confine themselves to the green and
root crop; for Mr. PALMER drills his wheat upon the same ridges, without
ploughing, after he has taken off the Swedes. He drills it at _eight
inches_, and puts in from eight to ten gallons to the acre. His crop of
1820, drilled in this way, averaged 40 bushels to the acre; part drilled
in November, and part so late as February. It was the common Lammas
wheat. His last crop of wheat is not yet ascertained; but it was better
after the Swedes than in any other of his land. His manner of taking off
the crop is excellent. He first cuts off and carries away the _tops_.
Then he has an implement, drawn by two oxen, walking on each side of the
ridge, with which he cuts off the _tap root_ of the Swedes without
disturbing the land of the ridge. Any child can then pull up the bulb.
Thus the ground, clean as a garden, and in that compact state which the
wheat is well known to like, is ready, at once, for drilling with wheat.
As to the _uses_ to which he applies the crop, tops as well as bulbs, I
must speak of these hereafter, and in a work of a description different
from this. I have been thus particular here, because the _Farmer's
Journal_ treated my book as a pack of lies. I know that my (for it is
_mine_) system of cattle-food husbandry will finally be that of _all
England_, as it already is that of America; but what I am doing here is
merely in self-defence against the slanders, the malignant slanders, of
the _Farmer's Journal_. Where is a _Whig lord_, who, some years ago,
wrote to a gentleman that "_he_ would have _nothing to do_ with any
_reform_ that _Cobbett_ was engaged in"? But in spite of the brutal
_Journal_, farmers are not such fools as this lord was: they will not
reject a good crop because they can have it only by acting upon my plan;
and this lord will, I imagine, yet see the day when he will be less
averse from having to do with a reform in which "Cobbett" shall be

_Old Hall, Saturday night, Nov. 10._

Went to Hereford this morning. It was market-day. My arrival became
known, and, I am sure, I cannot tell how. A sort of _buz_ got about. I
could perceive here, as I always have elsewhere, very ardent friends and
very bitter enemies; but all full of curiosity. One thing could not fail
to please me exceedingly: my friends were _gay_ and my enemies _gloomy_:
the former smiled, and the latter, in endeavouring to screw their
features into a sneer, could get them no further than the half sour and
half sad: the former seemed in their looks to say, "Here he is," and the
latter to respond, "Yes, G---- d---- him!"--I went into the
market-place, amongst the farmers, with whom, in general, I was very
much pleased. If I were to live in the county two months, I should be
acquainted with every man of them. The country is very fine all the way
from Ross to Hereford. The soil is always a red loam upon a bed of
stone. The trees are very fine, and certainly winter comes later here
than in Middlesex. Some of the oak trees are still perfectly green, and
many of the ashes as green as in September.--In coming from Hereford to
this place, which is the residence of Mrs. PALMER and that of her two
younger sons, Messrs. PHILIP and WALTER PALMER, who, with their brother,
had accompanied me to Hereford; in coming to this place, which lies at
about two miles distance from the great road, and at about an equal
distance from HEREFORD and from Ross, we met with something, the sight
of which pleased me exceedingly: it was that of a very pretty
pleasant-looking lady (and _young_ too) with two beautiful children,
riding in a little sort of chaise-cart, drawn by _an ass_, which she was
driving in reins. She appeared to be well known to my friends, who drew
up and spoke to her, calling her Mrs. _Lock_, or _Locky_ (I hope it was
not _Lockart_), or some such name. Her husband, who is, I suppose, some
young farmer of the neighbourhood, may well call himself Mr. _Lucky_;
for to have such a wife, and for such a wife to have the good sense to
put up with an ass-cart, in order to avoid, as much as possible,
feeding those cormorants who gorge on the taxes, is a blessing that
falls, I am afraid, to the lot of very few rich farmers. Mrs. _Lock_ (if
that be her name) is a real _practical radical_. Others of us resort to
radical coffee and radical tea; and she has a radical carriage. This is
a very effectual way of assailing the THING, and peculiarly well suited
for the practice of the female sex. But the self-denial ought not to be
imposed on the wife only: the husband ought to set the example: and let
me hope that _Mr. Lock_ does not indulge in the use of wine and spirits
while Mrs. Lock and her children ride in a jackass gig; for if he do, he
wastes, in this way, the means of keeping her a chariot and pair. If
there be to be any expense not absolutely necessary; if there be to be
anything bordering on extravagance, surely it ought to be for the
pleasure of that part of the family who have the least number of objects
of enjoyment; and for a husband to indulge himself in the guzzling of
expensive, unnecessary, and really injurious drink, to the tune,
perhaps, of 50 or 100 pounds a year, while he preaches economy to his
wife, and, with a face as long as my arm, talks of the low price of
corn, and wheedles her out of a curricle into a jack-ass cart, is not
only unjust but _unmanly_.

_Old Hall, Sunday night, 11 Nov._

We have ridden to-day, though in the rain for a great part of the time,
over the fine farm of Mr. PHILIP PALMER, at this place, and that of Mr.
WALTER PALMER, in the adjoining parish of PENCOYD. Everything here is
good, arable land, pastures, orchards, coppices, and timber trees,
especially the elms, many scores of which approach nearly to a hundred
feet in height. Mr. PHILIP PALMER has four acres of Swedes on four-feet
ridges, drilled on the 11th and 14th of May. The plants were very much
injured by the _fly_; so much, that it was a question whether the whole
piece ought not to be ploughed up. However, the gaps in the rows were
filled up by transplanting; and the ground was twice ploughed between
the ridges. The crop here is very fine; and I should think that its
weight could not be less than 17 tons to the acre.--Of Mr. WALTER
PALMER'S Swedes, five acres were drilled, on ridges nearly four feet
apart, on the 3rd of June; four acres on the 15th of June; and an acre
and a half transplanted (after vetches) on the 15th of August. The
weight of the first is about twenty tons to the acre; that of the second
not much less; and that of the last even, five or six tons. The first
two pieces were mauled to pieces by the _fly_; but the gaps were filled
up by transplanting, the ground being digged on the tops of the ridges
to receive the plants. So that, perhaps, a third part or more of the
crop is due to the _transplanting_. As to the last piece, that
transplanted on the 15th of August, after vetches, it is clear that
there could have been no crop without transplanting; and, after all, the
crop is by no means a bad one.--It is clear enough to me that this
system will finally prevail all over England. The "loyal," indeed, may
be afraid to adopt it, lest it should contain something of "radicalism."
Sap-headed fools! They will find something to do, I believe, soon,
besides railing against _radicals_. We will din "_radical_" and
"_national faith_" in their ears, till they shall dread the din as much
as a dog does the sound of the bell that is tied to the whip.

_Bollitree, Monday, 12 Nov._

Returned this morning and rode about the farm, and also about that of
Mr. WINNAL, where I saw, for the first time, a plough going _without
being held_. The man drove the three horses that drew the plough, and
carried the plough round at the ends; but left it to itself the rest of
the time. There was a skim coulter that turned the sward in under the
furrow; and the work was done very neatly. This gentleman has six acres
of _cabbages_, on ridges four feet apart, with a distance of thirty
inches between the plants on the ridge. He has weighed one of what he
deemed an average weight, and found it to weigh fifteen pounds without
the stump. Now, as there are 4,320 upon an acre, the weight of the acres
is _thirty tons_ all but 400 pounds! This is a prodigious crop, and it
is peculiarly well suited for food for sheep at this season of the year.
Indeed it is good for any farm-stock, oxen, cows, pigs: all like these
loaved cabbages. For hogs in yard, after the stubbles are gone; and
before the tops of the Swedes come in. What masses of manure may be
created by this means! But, above all things, for _sheep_ to feed off
upon the ground. Common turnips have not half the substance in them
weight for weight. Then they are in the ground; they are _dirty_, and in
wet weather the sheep must starve, or eat a great deal of dirt. This
very day, for instance, what a sorry sight is a flock of fatting sheep
upon turnips; what a mess of dirt and stubble! The cabbage stands boldly
up above the ground, and the sheep eats it all up without treading a
morsel in the dirt. Mr. WINNAL has a large flock of sheep feeding on his
cabbages, which they will have finished, perhaps, by January. This
gentleman also has some "_radical Swedes_," as they call them in
Norfolk. A part of his crop is on ridges _five_ feet apart with _two
rows_ on the ridge, a part on _four_ feet ridges with _one_ row on the
ridge. I cannot see that anything is gained in weight by the double
rows. I think that there may be nearly twenty tons to the acre. Another
piece Mr. WINNAL transplanted after vetches. They are very fine; and,
altogether, he has a crop that any one but a "_loyal_" farmer might envy
him.--This is really the _radical_ system of husbandry. _Radical_ means,
_belonging to the root; going to the root_. And the main principle of
this system (first taught by _Tull_) is that the _root_ of the plant is
to be fed by _deep tillage_ while it is growing; and to do this we must
have our _wide distances_. Our system of husbandry is happily
illustrative of our system of politics. Our lines of movement are fair
and straightforward. We destroy all weeds, which, like tax-eaters, do
nothing but devour the sustenance that ought to feed the valuable
plants. Our plants are all _well fed_; and our nations of Swedes and of
cabbages present a happy uniformity of enjoyments and of bulk, and not,
as in the broad-cast system of Corruption, here and there one of
enormous size, surrounded by thousands of poor little starveling things,
scarcely distinguishable by the keenest eye, or, if seen, seen only to
inspire a contempt of the husbandman. The Norfolk boys are, therefore,
right in calling their Swedes _Radical Swedes_.

_Bollitree, Tuesday, 13 Nov._

Rode to-day to see a _grove_ belonging to Mrs. WESTPHALIN, which
contains the very finest trees, _oaks_, _chestnuts_, and _ashes_, that I
ever saw in England. This grove is worth going from London to Weston to
see. The Lady, who is very much beloved in her neighbourhood, is,
apparently, of the _old school_; and her house and gardens, situated in
a beautiful dell, form, I think, the most comfortable looking thing of
the kind that I ever saw. If she had known that I was in her grove, I
dare say she would have expected it to blaze up in flames; or, at least,
that I was come to view the premises previous to confiscation! I can
forgive persons like her; but I cannot forgive the Parsons and others
who have misled them! Mrs. WESTPHALIN, if she live many years, will find
that the best friends of the owners of the land are those who have
endeavoured to produce such _a reform of the Parliament_ as would have
prevented the ruin of tenants.--This parish of WESTON is remarkable for
having a Rector _who has constantly resided for twenty years_! I do not
believe that there is an instance to match this in the whole kingdom.
However, the "_reverend_" gentleman may be assured that, before many
years have passed over their heads, they will be very glad to reside in
their parsonage houses.

_Bollitree, Wednesday, 14 Nov._

Rode to the forest of Dean, up a very steep hill. The lanes here are
between high banks, and on the sides of the hills the road is a rock,
the water having long ago washed all the earth away. Pretty works are, I
find, carried on here, as is the case in all the other _public forests_!
Are these things _always_ to be carried on in this way? Here is a domain
of thirty thousand acres of the finest timber-land in the world, and
with coal-mines endless! Is this _worth nothing_? Cannot each acre yield
ten trees a year? Are not these trees worth a pound apiece? Is not the
estate worth three or four hundred thousand pounds a year? And does it
yield _anything to the public_, to whom it belongs? But it is useless to
waste one's breath in this way. We must have a _reform of the
Parliament_: without it the whole thing will fall to pieces.--The only
good purpose that these forests answer is that of furnishing a place of
being to labourers' families on their skirts; and here their cottages
are very neat, and the people look hearty and well, just as they do
round the forests in Hampshire. Every cottage has a pig or two. These
graze in the forest, and, in the fall, eat acorns and beech-nuts and the
seed of the ash; for these last, as well as the others, are very full of
oil, and a pig that is put to his shifts will pick the seed very nicely
out from the husks. Some of these foresters keep cows, and all of them
have bits of ground, cribbed, of course, at different times, from the
forest: and to what better use can the ground be put? I saw several
wheat stubbles from 40 rods to 10 rods. I asked one man how much wheat
he had from about 10 rods. He said more than two bushels. Here is bread
for three weeks, or more perhaps; and a winter's straw for the pig
besides. Are these things nothing? The dead limbs and old roots of the
forest give _fuel_; and how happy are these people, compared with the
poor creatures about Great Bedwin and Cricklade, where they have neither
land nor shelter, and where I saw the girls carrying home bean and wheat
stubble for fuel! Those countries, always but badly furnished with fuel,
the desolating and damnable system of paper-money, by sweeping away
small homesteads, and laying ten farms into one, has literally
_stripped_ of all shelter for the labourer. A farmer, in such cases, has
a whole domain in his hands, and this not only to the manifest injury of
the public at large, but in _open violation of positive law_. The poor
forger is hanged; but where is the prosecutor of the monopolizing
farmer, though the _law_ is as clear in the one case as in the other?
But it required this infernal system to render every wholesome
regulation nugatory; and to reduce to such abject misery a people famed
in all ages for the goodness of their food and their dress. There is one
farmer, in the North of Hampshire, who has nearly eight thousand acres
of land in his hands; who grows fourteen hundred acres of wheat and two
thousand acres of barley! He occupies what was formerly 40 farms! Is it
any wonder that _paupers increase_? And is there not here cause enough
for the increase of _poor_, without resorting to the doctrine of the
barbarous and impious MALTHUS and his assistants, the _feelosofers_ of
the Edinburgh Review, those eulogists and understrappers of the
Whig-Oligarchy? "This farmer has done nothing _unlawful_," some one will
say. I say he has; for there is a law to forbid him thus to monopolize
land. But no matter; the laws, the management of the affairs of a
nation, _ought to be such as to prevent the existence of the temptation
to such monopoly_. And, even now, the evil ought to be remedied, and
could be remedied, in the space of half a dozen years. The disappearance
of the paper-money would do the thing in time; but this might be
assisted by legislative measures.--In returning from the forest we were
overtaken by my son, whom I had begged to come from London to see this
beautiful country. On the road-side we saw two lazy-looking fellows, in
long great-coats and bundles in their hands, going into a cottage. "What
do you deal in?" said I, to one of them, who had not yet entered the
house. "In the _medical way_," said he. And I find that vagabonds of
this description are seen all over the country with _tea-licences_ in
their pockets. They vend _tea_, _drugs_, and _religious tracts_. The
first to bring the body into a debilitated state; the second to finish
the corporeal part of the business; and the third to prepare the spirit
for its separation from the clay! Never was a system so well calculated
as the present to degrade, debase, and enslave a people! Law, and as if
that were not sufficient, enormous subscriptions are made; everything
that can be done is done to favour these perambulatory impostors in
their depredations on the ignorant, while everything that can be done is
done to prevent them from reading, or from hearing of, anything that has
a tendency to give them rational notions, or to better their lot.
However, all is not buried in ignorance. Down the deep and beautiful
valley between Penyard Hill and the Hills on the side of the Forest of
Dean, there runs a stream of water. On that stream of water there is a
_paper-mill_. In that paper-mill there is a set of workmen. That set of
workmen do, I am told, _take the Register_, and have taken it for years!
It was to these good and sensible men, it is supposed, that the _ringing
of the bells_ of Weston church, upon my arrival, was to be ascribed; for
nobody that I visited had any knowledge of the cause. What a subject for
lamentation with corrupt hypocrites! That even on this secluded spot
there should be a leaven of common-sense! No: _all_ is not enveloped in
brute ignorance yet, in spite of every artifice that hellish Corruption
has been able to employ; in spite of all her menaces and all her
brutalities and cruelties.

_Old Hall, Thursday, 15 Nov._

We came this morning from Bollitree to _Ross-Market_, and, thence, to
this place. Ross is an old-fashioned town; but it is very beautifully
situated, and if there is little of _finery_ in the appearance of the
inhabitants, there is also little of _misery_. It is a good, plain
country town, or settlement of tradesmen, whose business is that of
supplying the wants of the cultivators of the soil. It presents to us
nothing of rascality and roguishness of look which you see on almost
every visage in the _borough-towns_, not excepting the visages of the
women. I can tell a borough-town from another upon my entrance into it
by the nasty, cunning, leering, designing look of the people; a look
between that of a bad (for _some_ are good) Methodist Parson and that of
a pickpocket. I remember, and I never shall forget, the horrid looks of
the villains in Devonshire and Cornwall. Some people say, "O, _poor
fellows_! It is not _their_ fault." No? Whose fault is it, then? The
miscreants who bribe them? True, that these deserve the halter (and some
of them may have it yet); but are not the takers of the bribes _equally_
guilty? If we be so very lenient here, pray let us ascribe to the
_Devil_ all the acts of thieves and robbers: so we do; but we _hang_ the
thieves and robbers, nevertheless. It is no very unprovoking reflection,
that from these sinks of atrocious villany come a very considerable part
of the men to fill places of emolument and trust. What a clog upon a
Minister to have people, bred in such scenes, forced upon him! And why
does this curse continue? However, its natural consequences are before
us; and are coming on pretty fast upon each other's heels. There are the
landlords and farmers in a state of absolute ruin: there is the Debt,
pulling the nation down like as a stone pulls a dog under water. The
system seems to have fairly wound itself up; to have tied itself hand
and foot with cords of its own spinning!--This is the town to which POPE
has given an interest in our minds by his eulogium on the "_Man of
Ross_," a portrait of whom is hanging up in a house in which I now
am.--The market at Ross was very _dull_. No wheat in demand. No buyers.
It must _come down_. Lord Liverpool's _remedy_, a bad harvest, has
assuredly failed. Fowls 2_s._ a couple; a goose from 2_s._ 6_d._ to
3_s._; a turkey from 3_s._ to 3_s._ 6_d._ Let a turkey come down to _a
shilling_, as in France, and then we shall soon be to rights.

_Friday, 16 Nov._

A whole day most delightfully passed a hare-hunting, with a pretty pack
of hounds kept here by Messrs. Palmer. They put me upon a horse that
seemed to have been made on purpose for me, strong, tall, gentle and
bold; and that carried me either over or through everything. I, who am
just the weight of a four-bushel sack of good wheat, actually sat on his
back from daylight in the morning to dusk (about nine hours) without
once setting my foot on the ground. Our ground was at Orcop, a place
about four miles' distance from this place. We found a hare in a few
minutes after throwing off; and in the course of the day we had to find
four, and were never more than ten minutes in finding. A steep and naked
ridge, lying between two flat valleys, having a mixture of pretty large
fields and small woods, formed our ground. The hares crossed the ridge
forward and backward, and gave us numerous views and very fine sport.--I
never rode on such steep ground before; and really, in going up and down
some of the craggy places, where the rains had washed the earth from the
rocks, I did think, once or twice, of my neck, and how Sidmouth would
like to see me.--As to the _cruelty_, as some pretend, of this sport,
that point I have, I think, settled in one of the Chapters of my
"_Year's Residence in America_." As to the expense, a pack, even a full
pack of harriers, like this, costs less than two bottles of wine a day
with their inseparable concomitants. And as to the _time_ thus spent,
hunting is inseparable from _early rising_: and with habits of early
rising, who ever wanted time for any business?

_Oxford, Saturday, 17 Nov._

We left OLD HALL (where we always breakfasted by candle-light) this
morning after breakfast; returned to Bollitree; took the Hereford coach
as it passed about noon; and came in it through Gloucester, Cheltenham,
Northleach, Burford, Whitney, and on to this city, where we arrived
about ten o'clock. I could not leave _Herefordshire_ without bringing
with me the most pleasing impressions. It is not for one to descend to
particulars in characterising one's personal friends; and, therefore, I
will content myself with saying, that the treatment I met with in this
beautiful county, where I saw not one single face that I had, to my
knowledge, ever seen before, was much more than sufficient to compensate
to me, personally, for all the atrocious calumnies, which, for twenty
years, I have had to endure; but where is my country, a great part of
the present hideous sufferings of which will, by every reflecting mind,
be easily traced to these calumnies, which have been made the ground, or
pretext, for rejecting that counsel by listening to which those
sufferings would have been prevented; where is my country to find a
compensation?----At _Gloucester_ (as there were no meals on the road) we
furnished ourselves with nuts and apples, which, first a handful of nuts
and then an apple, are, I can assure the reader, excellent and most
wholesome fare. They say that nuts of all sorts are unwholesome; if they
had been, I should never have written Registers, and if they were now, I
should have ceased to write ere this; for, upon an average, I have eaten
a pint a day since I left home. In short, I could be very well content
to live on nuts, milk, and home-baked bread.----From _Gloucester_ to
_Cheltenham_ the country is level, and the land rich and good. The
fields along here are ploughed in ridges about 20 feet wide, and the
angle of this species of _roof_ is pretty nearly as sharp as that of
some slated roofs of houses. There is no wet under; it is the top wet
only that they aim at keeping from doing mischief.--_Cheltenham_ is a
nasty, ill-looking place, half clown and half cockney. The town is one
street about a mile long; but, then, at some distance from this street,
there are rows of white tenements, with green balconies, like those
inhabited by the tax-eaters round London. Indeed, this place appears to
be the residence of an assemblage of tax-eaters. These vermin shift
about between London, Cheltenham, Bath, Bognor, Brighton, Tunbridge,
Ramsgate, Margate, Worthing, and other spots in England, while some of
them get over to France and Italy: just like those body-vermin of
different sorts that are found in different parts of the tormented
carcass at different hours of the day and night, and in different
degrees of heat and cold.

Cheltenham is at the foot of a part of that chain of hills which form
the sides of that _dish_ which I described as resembling the vale of
Gloucester. Soon after quitting this resort of the lame and the lazy,
the gormandizing and guzzling, the bilious and the nervous, we proceeded
on, between stone walls, over a country little better than that from
Cirencester to Burlip-hill.----A very poor, dull, and uninteresting
country all the way to Oxford.

_Burghclere (Hants), Sunday, 18 Nov._

We left Oxford early, and went on, through _Abingdon_ (Berks) to
_Market-Ilsley_. It is a saying, hereabouts, that at Oxford they make
the living pay for the dead, which is precisely according to the
Pitt-System. Having smarted on this account, we were afraid to eat again
at an Inn; so we pushed on through Ilsley towards Newbury, breakfasting
upon the residue of the nuts, aided by a new supply of apples bought
from a poor man, who exhibited them in his window. Inspired, like Don
Quixote, by the _sight of the nuts_, and recollecting the last night's
bill, I exclaimed: "Happy! thrice happy and blessed, that golden age,
when men lived on the simple fruits of the earth and slaked their thirst
at the pure and limpid brook! when the trees shed their leaves to form a
couch for their repose, and cast their bark to furnish them with a
canopy! Happy age; when no Oxford landlord charged two men, who had
dropped into a common coach-passenger room, and who had swallowed three
pennyworths of food, 'four shillings for _teas_,' and 'eighteen pence
for _cold meat_,' 'two shillings for _moulds and fire_' in this common
coach-room, and 'five shillings for _beds_!'" This was a sort of grace
before meat to the nuts and apples; and it had much more merit than the
harangue of Don Quixote; for he, before he began upon the nuts, had
stuffed himself well with goat's flesh and wine, whereas we had
absolutely _fled_ from the breakfast-table and blazing fire at
Oxford.--Upon beholding the masses of buildings at Oxford devoted to
what they call "_learning_," I could not help reflecting on the drones
that they contain and the wasps they send forth! However, malignant as
some are, the great and prevalent characteristic is _folly_: emptiness
of head; want of talent; and one half of the fellows who are what they
call _educated_ here, are unfit to be clerks in a grocer's or mercer's
shop.--As I looked up at what they call _University Hall_, I could not
help reflecting that what I had written, even since I left Kensington on
the 29th of October, would produce more effect, and do more good in the
world, than all that had for a hundred years been written by all the
members of this University, who devour, perhaps, not less than _a
million pounds a year_, arising from property, completely at the
disposal of the "Great Council of the Nation;" and I could not help
exclaiming to myself: "Stand forth, ye big-wigged, ye gloriously feeding
Doctors! Stand forth, ye _rich_ of that church whose _poor_ have had
given them _a hundred thousand pounds a year_, not out of your riches,
but out of the _taxes_, raised, in part, from the _salt_ of the
labouring man! Stand forth and face me, who have, from the pen of my
leisure hours, sent, amongst your flocks, a hundred thousand sermons in
ten months! More than you have all done for the last half century!"--I
exclaimed in vain. I dare say (for it was at peep of day) that not a man
of them had yet endeavoured to unclose his eyes.--In coming thro'
Abingdon (Berks) I could not help thinking of that great financier, Mr.
John Maberly, by whom this place has, I believe, the honour to be
represented in the Collective Wisdom of the Nation.--In the way to
Ilsley we came across a part of that fine tract of land, called the
_Vale of Berkshire_, where they grow _wheat_ and _beans_, one after
another, for many years together. About three miles before we reached
Ilsley we came to _downs_, with, as is always the case, chalk under.
Between Ilsley and Newbury the country is enclosed; the land middling, a
stony loam; the woods and coppices frequent, and neither very good, till
we came within a short distance of Newbury. In going along we saw a
piece of wheat with cabbage-leaves laid all over it at the distance,
perhaps, of eight or ten feet from each other. It was to catch the
_slugs_. The slugs, which commit their depredations in the _night_,
creep under the leaves in the morning, and by turning up the leaves you
come at the slugs, and crush them, or carry them away. But besides the
immense daily labour attending this, the slug, in a field sowed with
wheat, has a _clod_ to creep under at every foot, and will not go five
feet to get under a cabbage-leaf. Then again, if the day be _wet_, the
slug works by day as well as by night. It is the sun and drought that he
shuns, and not the light. Therefore the only effectual way to destroy
slugs is to sow lime, in dust, and _not slaked_. The slug is wet, he has
hardly any skin, his _slime_ is his covering; the smallest dust of hot
lime kills him; and a few bushels to the acre are sufficient. You must
sow the lime at _dusk_; for then the slugs are sure to be out. Slugs
come after a crop that has long afforded a great deal of shelter from
the sun; such as peas and vetches. In gardens they are nursed up by
strawberry beds and by weeds, by asparagus beds, or by anything that
remains for a long time to keep the summer-sun from the earth. We got
about three o'clock to this nice, snug little farmhouse, and found our
host, Mr. Budd, at home.

_Burghclere, Monday, 19 Nov._

A thorough wet day, the only day the greater part of which I have not
spent out of doors since I left home.

_Burghclere, Tuesday, 20 Nov._

With Mr. Budd, we rode to-day to see the _Farm of Tull_, at _Shalborne_,
in Berkshire. Mr. Budd did the same thing with Arthur Young twenty-seven
years ago. It was a sort of _pilgrimage_; but as the distance was ten
miles, we thought it best to perform it on horseback.--We passed through
the parish of _Highclere_, where they have _enclosed commons_, worth, as
tillage land, not one single farthing an acre, and never will and never
can be. As a common it afforded a little picking for geese and asses,
and in the moory parts of it, a little fuel for the labourers. But now
it really can afford nothing. It will all fall to common again by
degrees. This madness, this blind eagerness to gain, is now, I hope,
pretty nearly over.--At _East Woody_ we passed the house of a Mr.
Goddard, which is uninhabited, he residing at Bath.--At _West Woody_
(Berks) is the estate of Mr. Sloper, a very pretty place. A beautiful
sporting country. Large fields, small woods, dry soil. What has taken
place here is an instance of the workings of the system. Here is a large
gentleman's house. But the proprietor _lets it_ (it is, just now,
empty), and resides in a _farmhouse_ and farms his own estate. Happy is
the landlord who has the good sense to do this in time. This is a fine
farm, and here appears to be very judicious farming. Large tracts of
turnips; clean land; stubbles ploughed up early; ploughing with oxen;
and a very large and singularly fine flock of sheep. Everything that you
see, land, stock, implements, fences, buildings; all do credit to the
owner; bespeak his sound judgment, his industry and care. All that is
wanted here is the _radical husbandry_; because that would enable the
owner to keep three times the quantity of stock. However, since I left
home, I have seen but very few farms that I should prefer to that of Mr.
Sloper, whom I have not the pleasure to know, and whom, indeed, I never
heard of till I saw his farm. At a village (certainly named by some
_author_) called _Inkpen_, we passed a neat little house and paddock,
the residence of a Mr. Butler, a nephew of Dr. Butler, who died Bishop
of Oxford, and whom I can remember hearing preach at Farnham in Surrey
when I was a very very little boy. I have his features and his wig as
clearly in my recollection as if I had seen them but yesterday; and I
dare say I have not thought of Doctor Butler for forty years before
to-day. The "loyal" (oh, the pious gang!) will say that my memory is
good as to the face and wig, but bad as to the Doctor's _Sermons_. Why,
I must confess that I have no recollection of them; but, then, do I not
_make Sermons myself_?----At about two miles from Inkpen we came to the
end of our pilgrimage. The farm, which was Mr. _Tull's_; where he used
the first drill that ever was used; where he practised his husbandry;
where he wrote that book, which does so much honour to his memory, and
to which the cultivators of England owe so much; this farm is on an open
and somewhat bleak spot in Berkshire, on the borders of Wiltshire, and
within a very short distance of a part of Hampshire. The ground is a
loam, mixed with flints, and has the chalk at no great distance beneath
it. It is, therefore, free from _wet_; needs no water furrows; and is
pretty good in its nature. The house, which has been improved by Mr.
Blandy, the present proprietor, is still but a plain farmhouse. Mr.
Blandy has lived here thirty years, and has brought up ten children to
man's and woman's estate. Mr. Blandy was from home, but Mrs. Blandy
received and entertained us in a very hospitable manner.--We returned,
not along the low land, but along the top of the downs, and through Lord
Caernarvon's park, and got home after a very pleasant day.

_Burghclere, Wednesday, 21 Nov._

We intended to have a hunt; but the foxhounds came across and rendered
it impracticable. As an instance of the change which rural customs have
undergone since the hellish paper-system has been so furiously at work,
I need only mention the fact, that, forty years ago, there were _five_
packs of _foxhounds_ and _ten_ packs of _harriers_ kept within _ten
miles_ of Newbury; and that now there is _one_ of the former (kept, too,
by _subscription_) and _none_ of the latter, except the few couple of
dogs kept by Mr. Budd! "So much the better," says the shallow fool, who
cannot duly estimate the difference between a resident _native_ gentry,
attached to the soil, known to every farmer and labourer from their
childhood, frequently mixing with them in those pursuits where all
artificial distinctions are lost, practicing hospitality without
ceremony, from habit and not on calculation; and a gentry, only
now-and-then residing at all, having no relish for country-delights,
foreign in their manners, distant and haughty in their behaviour,
looking to the soil only for its rents, viewing it as a mere object of
speculation, unacquainted with its cultivators, despising them and their
pursuits, and relying for influence, not upon the good will of the
vicinage, but upon the dread of their power. The war and paper-system
has brought in nabobs, negro-drivers, generals, admirals, governors,
commissaries, contractors, pensioners, sinecurists, commissioners,
loan-jobbers, lottery-dealers, bankers, stock-jobbers; not to mention
the long and _black list_ in gowns and three-tailed wigs. You can see
but few good houses not in possession of one or the other of these.
These, with the Parsons, are now the magistrates. Some of the
_consequences_ are before us; but they have not all yet arrived. A
taxation that sucks up fifty millions a year _must_ produce a new set of
proprietors every twenty years or less; and the proprietors, while they
last, can be little better than tax-collectors to the government, and
scourgers of the people.--I must not quit _Burghclere_ without noticing
Mr. Budd's _radical_ Swedes and other things. His is but miniature
farming; but it is very good, and very interesting. Some time in May, he
drilled a piece of Swedes on four feet ridges. The fly took them off. He
had cabbage and mangel-wurzel plants to put in their stead. Unwilling to
turn back the ridges, and thereby bring the dung to the top, he planted
the cabbages and mangel-wurzel on the ridges where the Swedes had been
drilled. This was done in June. Late in July, his neighbour, a farmer
Hulbert, had a field of Swedes that he was hoeing. Mr. Budd now put some
manure in the furrows between the ridges, and ploughed a furrow over it
from each ridge. On this he planted Swedes, taken from farmer Hulbert's
field. Thus his plantation consisted of rows of plants _two feet apart_.
The result is a prodigious crop. Of the mangel-wurzel (greens and all)
he has not less than twenty tons to the acre. He can scarcely have less
of the cabbages, some of which are _green savoys_ as fine as I ever saw.
And of the Swedes, many of which weigh from five to nine pounds, he
certainly has more than twenty tons to the acre. So that here is a crop
of, at the very least, _forty tons to the acre_. This piece is not much
more than half an acre; but he will, perhaps, not find so much cattle
food upon any four acres in the county. He is, and long has been,
feeding four milch cows, large, fine, and in fine condition, upon
cabbages sometimes, and sometimes on mangel-wurzel leaves. The butter is
excellent. Not the smallest degree of bitterness or bad taste of any
sort. Fine colour and fine taste. And here, upon not three quarters of
an acre of ground, he has, if he manage the thing well, enough food for
these four cows to the month of May! Can any system of husbandry equal
this? What would he do with these cows, if he had not this crop? He
could not keep one of them, except on hay. And he owes all this crop to
transplanting. He thinks that the transplanting, fetching the Swede
plants and all, might cost him ten or twelve shillings. It was done by
women, who had never done such a thing before.----However, he must get
in his crop before the hard weather comes; or my Lord Caernarvon's hares
will help him. They have begun already; and it is curious that they have
begun on the mangel-wurzel roots. So that hares, at any rate, have set
the seal of merit upon this root.

_Whitchurch, Thursday (night), 22 Nov._

We have come round here, instead of going by Newbury in consequence of a
promise to Mr. BLOUNT at Uphusband, that I would call on him on my
return. We left Uphusband by lamp-light, and, of course, we could see
little on our way.

_Kensington, Friday, 23 Nov._

Got home by the coach. At leaving Whitchurch we soon passed the mill
where the Mother-Bank paper is made! Thank God, this mill is likely soon
to want employment! Hard by is a pretty park and house, belonging to
"_'Squire_" Portal, the _paper-maker_. The country people, who seldom
want for sarcastic shrewdness, call it "_Rag Hall_"!--I perceive that
they are planting oaks on the "_wastes_," as the _Agriculturasses_ call
them, about _Hartley Row_; which is very good; because the herbage,
after the first year, is rather increased than diminished by the
operation; while, in time, the oaks arrive at a timber state, and add to
the beauty and to the _real wealth_ of the country, and to the real and
solid wealth of the descendants of the planter, who, in every such case,
merits unequivocal praise, because he plants for his children's
children.--The planter here is LADY MILDMAY, who is, it seems, Lady of
the Manors about here. It is impossible to praise this act of hers too
much, especially when one considers her _age_. I beg a thousand pardons!
I do not mean to say that her Ladyship is _old_; but she has long had
grand-children. If her Ladyship had been a reader of old dread-death and
dread-devil Johnson, that teacher of moping and melancholy, she never
would have planted an oak tree. If the writings of this time-serving,
mean, dastardly old pensioner had got a firm hold of the minds of the
people at large, the people would have been bereft of their very souls.
These writings, aided by the charm of pompous sound, were fast making
their way, till light, reason, and the French revolution came to drive
them into oblivion; or, at least, to confine them to the shelves of
repentant, married old rakes, and those of old stock-jobbers with young
wives standing in need of something to keep down the unruly ebullitions
which are apt to take place while the "dearies" are gone hobbling to
'Change.----"After _pleasure_ comes _pain_," says Solomon; and after the
sight of Lady Mildmay's truly noble plantations, came that of the clouts
of the "gentlemen cadets" of the "_Royal Military College of
Sandhurst_!" Here, close by the road side, is the _drying-ground_.
Sheets, shirts, and all sorts of things were here spread upon lines,
covering, perhaps, an acre of ground! We soon afterwards came to "_York_
Place" on "_Osnaburg_ Hill." And is there never to be an _end_ of these
things? Away to the left, we see that immense building, which contains
children _breeding up to be military commanders_! Has this plan cost so
little as two millions of pounds? I never see this place (and I have
seen it forty times during the last twenty years) without asking myself
this question: Will this thing be suffered to go on; will this thing,
created by money _raised by loan_; will this thing be upheld by means of
taxes, _while the interest of the Debt is reduced_, on the ground that
the nation is _unable to pay the interest in full_?--Answer that
question, Castlereagh, Sidmouth, Brougham, or Scarlett.


_Tuesday, December 4, 1821, Elverton Farm, near Faversham, Kent._

This is the first time, since I went to France, in 1792, that I have
been on this side of _Shooters' Hill_. The land, generally speaking,
from Deptford to Dartford is poor, and the surface ugly by nature, to
which ugliness there has been made, just before we came to the latter
place, a considerable addition by the enclosure of a common, and by the
sticking up of some shabby-genteel houses, surrounded with dead fences
and things called gardens, in all manner of ridiculous forms, making,
all together, the bricks, hurdle-rods and earth say, as plainly as they
can speak, "Here dwell _vanity_ and _poverty_." This is a little
excrescence that has grown out of the immense sums which have been drawn
from other parts of the kingdom to be expended on Barracks, Magazines,
Martello-Towers, Catamarans, and all the excuses for lavish expenditure
which the war for the Bourbons gave rise to. All things will return;
these rubbishy flimsy things, on this common, will first be deserted,
then crumble down, then be swept away, and the cattle, sheep, pigs and
geese will once more graze upon the common, which will again furnish
heath, furze and turf for the labourers on the neighbouring
lands.--After you leave Dartford the land becomes excellent. You come to
a bottom of chalk, many feet from the surface, and when that is the case
the land is sure to be good; no _wet_ at bottom, no deep ditches, no
water furrows necessary; sufficiently moist in dry weather, and no water
lying about upon it in wet weather for any length of time. The chalk
acts as a filtering-stone, not as a sieve, like gravel, and not as a
dish, like clay. The chalk acts as the soft stone in Herefordshire does;
but it is not so congenial to trees that have tap-roots.--Along through
Gravesend towards Rochester the country presents a sort of gardening
scene. Rochester (the Bishop of which is, or lately was, _tax Collector
for London and Middlesex_) is a small but crowded place, lying on the
south bank of the beautiful Medway, with a rising ground on the other
side of the city. _Stroud_, which you pass through before you come to
the bridge, over which you go to enter Rochester; _Rochester_ itself,
and _Chatham_, form, in fact, one main street of about two miles and a
half in length.--Here I was got into the scenes of my cap-and-feather
days! Here, at between sixteen and seventeen, I enlisted for a soldier.
Upon looking up towards the fortifications and the barracks, how many
recollections crowded into my mind! The girls in these towns do not seem
to be _so pretty_ as they were thirty-eight years ago; or, am I not so
quick in discovering beauties as I was then? Have thirty-eight years
corrected my taste, or made me a hypercritic in these matters? Is it
that I now look at them with the solemnness of a "professional man," and
not with the enthusiasm and eagerness of an "amateur?" I leave these
questions for philosophers to solve. One thing I will say for the young
women of these towns, and that is, that I always found those of them
that I had the great happiness to be acquainted with, evince a sincere
desire to do their best to smooth the inequalities of life, and to give
us, "brave fellows," as often as they could, strong beer, when their
churlish masters of fathers or husbands would have drenched us to death
with small. This, at the out-set of life, gave me a high opinion of the
judgment and justice of the female sex; an opinion which has been
confirmed by the observations of my whole life.--This Chatham has had
some monstrous _wens_ stuck on to it by the lavish expenditure of the
war. These will moulder away. It is curious enough that I should meet
with a gentleman in an inn at Chatham to give me a picture of the
house-distress in that enormous wen, which, during the war, was stuck on
to Portsmouth. Not less than fifty thousand people had been drawn
together there! These are now dispersing. The coagulated blood is
diluting and flowing back through the veins. Whole streets are deserted,
and the eyes of the houses knocked out by the boys that remain. The
jackdaws, as much as to say, "Our turn to be inspired and to teach is
come," are beginning to take possession of the Methodist chapels. The
gentleman told me that he had been down to Portsea to sell half a street
of houses, left him by a relation; and that nobody would give him
anything for them further than as very cheap fuel and rubbish! Good God!
And is this "prosperity?" Is this the "prosperity of the war?" Have I
not, for twenty long years, been regretting the existence of these
unnatural embossments; these white-swellings, these odious wens,
produced by _Corruption_ and engendering crime and misery and slavery?
We shall see the whole of these wens abandoned by the inhabitants, and,
at last, the cannons on the fortifications may be of some use in
battering down the buildings.--But what is to be the fate of the great
wen of all? The monster called, by the silly coxcombs of the press, "the
metropolis of the empire"? What is to become of that multitude of towns
that has been stuck up around it? The village of Kingston was smothered
in the town of Portsea; and why? Because taxes, drained from other
parts of the kingdom, were brought thither.

The dispersion of the wen is the only real difficulty that I see in
settling the affairs of the nation and restoring it to a happy state.
But dispersed it _must_ be; and if there be half a million, or more, of
people to suffer, the consolation is, that the suffering will be divided
into half a million of parts. As if the swelling out of London,
naturally produced by the Funding System, were not sufficient; as if the
evil were not sufficiently great from the inevitable tendency of the
system of loans and funds, our pretty gentlemen must resort to positive
institutions to augment the population of the Wen. They found that the
increase of the Wen produced an increase of thieves and prostitutes, an
increase of all sorts of diseases, an increase of miseries of all sorts;
they saw that taxes drawn up to one point produced these effects; they
must have a "_penitentiary_," for instance, to check the evil, and that
they must needs have in the Wen! So that here were a million of pounds,
drawn up in taxes, employed not only to keep the thieves and prostitutes
still in the _Wen_, but to bring up to the Wen workmen to build the
penitentiary, who and whose families, amounting, perhaps, to thousands,
make an addition to the cause of that crime and misery, to check which
is the object of the Penitentiary! People would follow, they must
follow, the million of money. However, this is of a piece with all the
rest of their goings on. They and their predecessors, Ministers and
_House_, have been collecting together all the materials for a dreadful
explosion; and if the explosion be not dreadful, other heads must point
out the means of prevention.

_Wednesday, 5 Dec._

The land on quitting Chatham is chalk at bottom; but before you reach
Sittingbourne there is a vein of gravel and sand under, but a great
depth of loam above. About Sittingbourne the chalk bottom comes again,
and continues on to this place, where the land appears to me to be as
good as it can possibly be. Mr. WILLIAM WALLER, at whose house I am, has
grown, this year, Mangel-Wurzel, the roots of which weigh, I think, on
an average, twelve pounds, and in rows, too, at only about thirty inches
distant from each other. In short, as far as _soil_ goes, it is
impossible to see a finer country than this. You frequently see a field
of fifty acres, level as a die, clean as a garden and as rich. Mr.
_Birkbeck_ need not have crossed the Atlantic, and Alleghany into the
bargain, to look for land _too rich to bear wheat_; for here is a plenty
of it. In short, this is a country of hop-gardens, cherry, apple, pear
and filbert orchards, and quick-set hedges. But, alas! what, in point
of _beauty_, is a country without woods and lofty trees! And here there
are very few indeed. I am now sitting in a room, from the window of
which I look, _first_, over a large and level field of rich land, in
which the drilled wheat is finely come up, and which is surrounded by
clipped quickset hedges with a row of apple trees running by the sides
of them; _next_, over a long succession of rich meadows, which are here
called marshes, the shortest grass upon which will fatten sheep or oxen;
_next_, over a little branch of the salt water which runs up to
Faversham; _beyond that_, on the Isle of Shepry (or Shepway), which
rises a little into a sort of ridge that runs along it; rich fields,
pastures and orchards lie all around me; and yet, I declare, that I a
million times to one prefer, as a spot to _live on_, the heaths, the
miry coppices, the wild woods and the forests of Sussex and Hampshire.

_Thursday, 6 Dec._

"Agricultural distress" is the great topic of general conversation. The
_Webb Hallites_ seem to prevail here. The fact is, farmers in general
read nothing but the newspapers; these, in the Wen, are under the
control of the Corruption of one or the other of the factions; and in
the country, nine times out of ten, under the control of the parsons and
landlords, who are the magistrates, as they are pompously called, that
is to say, Justices of the Peace. From such vehicles what are farmers to
learn? They are, in general, thoughtful and sensible men; but their
natural good sense is perverted by these publications, had it not been
for which we never should have seen "_a sudden transition from war to
peace_" lasting seven years, and more _sudden_ in its destructive
effects at last than at first. _Sir Edward Knatchbull_ and _Mr.
Honeywood_ are the members of the "Collective Wisdom" for this county.
The former was, till of late, a _Tax-Collector_. I hear that he is a
great advocate for _corn-bills_! I suppose he does not wish to let
people who have _leases_ see the bottom of the evil. He may get his
rents for this year; but it will be his last year, if the interest of
the Debt be not very greatly reduced. Some people here think that corn
is _smuggled in_ even now! Perhaps it is, _upon the whole_, best that
the delusion should continue for a year longer; as that would tend to
make the destruction of the system more sure, or, at least, make the
cure more radical.

_Friday, 7 Dec._

I went through _Faversham_. A very pretty little town, and just ten
minutes' walk from the market-place up to the Dover turnpike-road. Here
are the _powder-affairs_ that Mr. HUME so well exposed. An immensity of
buildings and expensive things. Why are not these premises let or sold?
However, this will never be done until there be a _reformed Parliament_.
Pretty little VAN, that beauty of all beauties; that orator of all
orators; that saint of all saints; that financier of all financiers,
said that if Mr. HUME were to pare down the expenses of government to
_his_ wish, there would be others "the Hunts, Cobbetts, and Carliles,
who would still want the expense to be less." I do not know _how low_
Mr. Hume would wish to go; but for myself I say that if I ever have the
power to do it, I will reduce the expenditure, and that in quick time
too, down to what it was in the reign of Queen Anne; that is to say, to
less than is now paid to tax-gatherers for their labour in collecting
the taxes; and, monstrous as VAN may think the idea, I do not regard it
as impossible that I may have such power; which I would certainly not
employ to do an act of _injustice_ to any human being, and would, at the
same time, maintain the throne in more real splendour than that in which
it is now maintained. But I would have nothing to do with any VANS,
except as door-keepers or porters.

_Saturday, 8 Dec._

Came home very much pleased with my visit to Mr. WALKER, in whose house
I saw no drinking of wine, spirits, or even beer; where all, even to the
little children, were up by candle-light in the morning, and where the
most perfect sobriety was accompanied by constant cheerfulness. _Kent_
is in a deplorable way. The farmers are skilful and intelligent,
generally speaking. But there is infinite _corruption_ in Kent, owing
partly to the swarms of West Indians, Nabobs, Commissioners, and others
of nearly the same description, that have selected it for the place of
their residence; but owing still more to the immense sums of public
money that have, during the last thirty years, been expended in it. And
when one thinks of these, the conduct of the people of Dover,
Canterbury, and other places, in the case of the ever-lamented Queen,
does them everlasting honour. The _fruit_ in Kent is more _select_ than
in Herefordshire, where it is raised for _cyder_, while, in Kent, it is
raised for sale in its fruit state, a great deal being sent to the
_Wen_, and a great deal sent to the North of England and to Scotland.
The orchards are beautiful indeed. Kept in the neatest order, and,
indeed, all belonging to them excels anything of the kind to be seen in
Normandy; and as to apples, I never saw any so good in France as those
of Kent. This county, so blessed by Providence, has been cursed by the
System in a peculiar degree. It has been the _receiver_ of immense sums,
raised on the other counties. This has puffed its _rents_ to an
unnatural height; and now that the drain of other counties is stopped,
it feels like a pampered pony turned out in winter to live upon a
common. It is in an extremely "unsatisfactory state," and has certainly
a greater mass of suffering to endure than any other part of the
kingdom, the _Wens_ only excepted. Sir EDWARD KNATCHBULL, who is a child
of the System, does appear to see no more of the cause of these
sufferings than if he were a baby. How should he? Not very bright by
nature; never listening but to one side of the question; being a man who
wants high rents to be paid him; not gifted with much light, and that
little having to strive against prejudice, false shame, and self
interest, what wonder is there that he should not see things in their
true light?


_Bergh-Apton, near Norwich, Monday, 10 Dec. 1821._

From the _Wen_ to Norwich, from which I am now distant seven miles,
there is nothing in Essex, Suffolk, or this county, that can be called a
_hill_. Essex, when you get beyond the immediate influence of the
gorgings and disgorgings of the Wen; that is to say, beyond the demand
for crude vegetables and repayment in manure, is by no means a fertile
county. There appears generally to be a bottom of _clay_; not _soft
chalk_, which they persist in calling clay in Norfolk. I wish I had one
of these Norfolk men in a coppice in Hampshire or Sussex, and I would
show him what _clay_ is. Clay is what pots and pans and jugs and tiles
are made of; and not soft, whitish stuff that crumbles to pieces in the
sun, instead of baking as hard as a stone, and which, in dry weather, is
to be broken to pieces by nothing short of a sledge-hammer. The narrow
ridges on which the wheat is sown; the water furrows; the water standing
in the dips of the pastures; the rusty iron-like colour of the water
coming out of some of the banks; the deep ditches; the rusty look of the
pastures--all show, that here is a bottom of clay. Yet there is gravel
too; for the oaks do not grow well. It was not till I got nearly to
SUDBURY that I saw much change for the better. Here the bottom of chalk,
the soft dirty-looking chalk that the Norfolk people call clay, begins
to be the bottom, and this, with very little exception (as far as I have
been) is the bottom of all the lands of these two fine counties of
Suffolk and Norfolk.--SUDBURY has some fine meadows near it on the sides
of the river Stour. The land all along to Bury Saint Edmund's is very
fine; but no trees worth looking at. _Bury_, formerly the seat of an
Abbot, the last of whom was, I think, hanged, or somehow put to death,
by that matchless tyrant, Henry VIII., is a very pretty place; extremely
clean and neat; no ragged or dirty people to be seen, and women (_young_
ones I mean) very pretty and very neatly dressed.--On this side of Bury,
a considerable distance lower, I saw a field of _Rape_, transplanted
very thick, for, I suppose, sheep feed in the spring. The farming all
along to Norwich is very good. The land clean, and everything done in a
masterly manner.

_Tuesday, 11 Dec._

Mr. SAMUEL CLARKE, my host, has about 30 acres of _Swedes_ in rows. Some
at 4 feet distances, some at 30 inches; and about 4 acres of the 4-feet
Swedes were transplanted. I have seen thousands of acres of Swedes in
these counties, and here are the largest crops that I have seen. The
widest rows are decidedly the largest crops here; and, the
_transplanted_, though under disadvantageous circumstances, amongst the
best of the best. The wide rows amount to at least 20 tons to the acre,
exclusive of the greens taken off two months ago, which weighed 5 tons
to the acre. Then, there is the inter tillage, so beneficial to the
land, and the small quantity of manure required in the broad rows,
compared to what is required when the seed is drilled or sown upon the
level. Mr. NICHOLLS, a neighbour of Mr. CLARKE, has a part of a field
transplanted on _seven turn ridges_, put in when in the other part of
the field, drilled, the plants were a fortnight old. He has a much
larger crop in the transplanted than in the drilled part. But, if it had
been a _fly-year_, he might have had _none_ in the drilled part, while,
in all probability, the crop in the transplanted part would have been
better than it now is, seeing that a _wet_ summer, though favourable to
the hitting of the Swedes, is by no means favourable to their attaining
a great size of bulb. This is the case this year with all turnips. A
great deal of leaf and neck, but not bulbs in proportion. The advantages
of transplanting are, _first_, you make sure of a crop in spite of fly;
and, _second_, you have six weeks or two months longer to prepare your
ground. And the advantages of wide rows are, _first_, that you want only
about half the quantity of manure; and, _second_, that you _plough_ the
ground two or three times during the summer.

_Grove, near Holt, Thursday, 13th Dec._

Came to the Grove (Mr. Withers's), near Holt, along with Mr. Clarke.
Through _Norwich_ to _Aylsham_ and then to _Holt_. On our road we passed
the house of the late _Lord Suffield_, who married Castlereagh's wife's
sister, who is a daughter of the late Earl of Buckinghamshire, who had
for so many years that thumping sinecure of eleven thousand a year in
Ireland, and who was the son of a man that, under the name of Mr.
Hobart, cut such a figure in supporting Lord North and afterwards Pitt,
and was made a peer under the auspices of the latter of these two
heaven-born Ministers. This house, which is a very ancient one, was,
they say, the birth-place of Ann de Boleyne, the mother of Queen
Elizabeth. Not much matter; for she married the king while his real wife
was alive. I could have excused her, if there had been no marrying in
the case; but hypocrisy, always bad, becomes detestable when it resorts
to religious ceremony as its mask. She, no more than Cranmer, seems, to
her last moments, to have remembered her sins against her lawful queen.
Fox's "_Book of Martyrs_," that ought to be called "the _Book of
Liars_," says that Cranmer, the recanter and re-recanter, held out his
offending hand in the flames, and cried out "that hand, that hand!" If
he had cried out _Catherine! Catherine!_ I should have thought better of
him; but it is clear that the whole story is a lie, invented by the
protestants, and particularly by the sectarians, to white-wash the
character of this perfidious hypocrite and double apostate, who, if
bigotry had something to do in bringing him to the stake, certainly
deserved his fate, if any offences committed by man can deserve so
horrible a punishment.--The present LORD SUFFIELD is that Mr. EDWARD
HARBORD, whose father-in-law left him 500_l._ to buy a seat in
Parliament, and who refused to carry an address to the late beloved and
lamented Queen, because Major Cartwright and myself were chosen to
accompany him! Never mind, my Lord; you will grow less fastidious! They
say, however, that he is really good to his tenants, and has told them,
that he will take anything that they can give. There is some sense in
this! He is a great Bible Man; and it is strange that he cannot see,
that things are out of order, when _his_ interference in this way can be
at all _necessary_, while there is a Church that receives a tenth part
of the produce of the earth.--There are some oak woods here, but very
poor. Not like those, not near like the worst of those, in Hampshire and
Herefordshire. All this eastern coast seems very unpropitious to trees
of all sorts.--We passed through the estate of a Mr. Marsin, whose house
is near the road, a very poor spot, and the first really poor ground I
have seen in Norfolk. A nasty spewy black gravel on the top of a sour
clay. It is worse than the heaths between Godalming and Liphook; for,
while it is too poor to grow anything but heath, it is too cold to give
you the chirping of the grasshopper in summer. However, Mr. Marsin has
been too wise to enclose this wretched land, which is just like that
which Lord Caernarvon has enclosed in the parishes of Highclere, and
Burghclere, and which, for tillage, really is not worth a single
farthing an acre.--Holt is a little, old-fashioned, substantially-built
market-town. The land just about it, or, at least, towards the east, is
poor, and has been lately enclosed.

_Friday, 14th Dec._

Went to see the estate of Mr. Hardy at Leveringsett, a hamlet about two
miles from Holt. This is the first time that I have seen a _valley_ in
this part of England. From Holt you look, to the distance of seven or
eight miles, over a very fine valley, leaving a great deal of inferior
hill and dell within its boundaries. At the bottom of this general
valley, Mr. Hardy has a very beautiful estate of about four hundred
acres. His house is at one end of it near the high road, where he has a
malt-house and a brewery, the neat and ingenious manner of managing
which I would detail if my total unacquaintance with machinery did not
disqualify me for the task. His estate forms a valley of itself,
somewhat longer than broad. The tops, and the sides of the tops of the
hills round it, and also several little hillocks in the valley itself,
are judiciously planted with trees of various sorts, leaving good wide
roads, so that it is easy to ride round them in a carriage. The fields,
the fences, the yards and stacks, the buildings, the cattle, all showed
the greatest judgment and industry. There was really nothing that the
most critical observer could say was _out of order_. However, the forest
trees do not grow well here. The oaks are mere scrubs, as they are about
Brentwood in Essex, and in some parts of Cornwall; and, for some
unaccountable reason, people seldom plant the _ash_, which no wind will
_shave_, as it does the oak.

_Saturday, 15 Dec._

Spent the evening amongst the Farmers, at their Market Room at Holt; and
very much pleased at them I was. We talked over the _cause of the low
prices_, and I, as I have done everywhere, endeavoured to convince them,
that prices must fall a great deal lower yet; and that no man, who
wishes not to be ruined, ought to keep or take a farm, unless on a
calculation of best wheat at 4_s._ a bushel and a best Southdown ewe at
15_s._ or even 12_s._ They heard me patiently, and, I believe, were well
convinced of the truth of what I said. I told them of the correctness
of the predictions of their great countryman, Mr. PAINE, and observed,
how much better it would have been, to take his advice, than to burn him
in effigy. I endeavoured (but in such a case all human powers must
fail!) to describe to them the sort and size of the talents of the
Stern-path-of-duty man, of the great hole-digger, of the jester, of the
Oxford scholar, of the loan-jobber (who had just made an enormous
grasp), of the Oracle, and so on. Here, as everywhere else, I hear every
creature speak loudly in praise of _Mr. Coke_. It is well known to my
readers, that I think nothing of him as a _public_ man; that I think
even his good qualities an injury to his country, because they serve the
knaves whom he is duped by to dupe the people more effectually; but, it
would be base in me not to say, that I hear, from men of all parties,
and sensible men too, expressions made use of towards him that
affectionate children use towards the best of parents. I have not met
with a single exception.

_Bergh Apton, Sunday, 16 Dec._

Came from Holt through Saxthorpe and Cawston. At the former village were
on one end of a decent white house, these words, "_Queen Caroline; for
her Britons mourn_," and a crown over all in black. I need not have
looked to see: I might have been sure that the owner of the house was a
_shoe-maker_, a trade which numbers more men of sense and of public
spirit than any other in the kingdom.--At Cawston we stopped at a public
house, the keeper of which had taken and read the Register for years. I
shall not attempt to describe the pleasure I felt at the hearty welcome
given us by Mr. Pern and his wife and by a young miller of the village,
who, having learnt at Holt that we were to return that way, had come to
meet us, the house being on the side of the great road, from which the
village is at some distance. This is the birth-place of the famous
_Botley Parson_, all the history of whom we now learned, and, if we
could have gone to the village, they were prepared to _ring the bells_,
and show us the old woman who nursed the _Botley Parson_! These Norfolk
_baws_ never do things by halves. We came away, very much pleased with
our reception at Cawston, and with a promise, on my part, that, if I
visited the county again, I would write a Register there; a promise
which I shall certainly keep.

_Great Yarmouth, Friday (morning), 21st Dec._

The day before yesterday I set out for Bergh Apton with Mr. CLARKE, to
come hither by the way of _Beccles_ in Suffolk. We stopped at Mr.
Charles Clarke's at Beccles, where we saw some good and sensible men,
who see clearly into all the parts of the works of the "Thunderers," and
whose anticipations, as to the "general working of events," are such as
they ought to be. They gave us a humorous account of the "rabble" having
recently crowned a Jackass, and of a struggle between them and the
"Yeomanry Cavaltry." This _was_ a place of most ardent and blazing
_loyalty_, as the pretenders to it call it; but, it seems it now blazes
less furiously; it is milder, more measured in its effusions; and, with
the help of low prices, will become bearable in time. This Beccles is a
very pretty place, has watered meadows near it, and is situated amidst
fine lands. What a _system_ it must be to make people wretched in a
country like this! Could he be _heaven-born_ that invented such a
system? GAFFER GOOCH'S father, a very old man, lives not far from here.
We had a good deal of fun about the Gaffer, who will certainly never
lose the name, unless he should be made a Lord.--We slept at the house
of a friend of Mr. Clarke on our way, and got to this very fine town of
Great Yarmouth yesterday about noon. A party of friends met us and
conducted us about the town, which is a very beautiful one indeed. What
I liked best, however, was the hearty welcome that I met with, because
it showed, that the reign of calumny and delusion was passed. A company
of gentlemen gave me a dinner in the evening, and, in all my life I
never saw a set of men more worthy of my respect and gratitude.
Sensible, modest, understanding the whole of our case, and clearly
foreseeing what is about to happen. One gentleman proposed, that, as it
would be impossible for all to go to London, there should be a
_Provincial Feast of the Gridiron_, a plan, which, I hope, will be
adopted--I leave Great Yarmouth with sentiments of the sincerest regard
for all those whom I there saw and conversed with, and with my best
wishes for the happiness of all its inhabitants; nay, even the _parsons_
not excepted; for, if they did not come to welcome me, they collected in
a group to _see_ me, and that was one step towards doing justice to him
whom their order have so much, so foully, and, if they knew their own
interest, so foolishly slandered.

_Bergh Apton, 22nd Dec. (night)._

After returning from Yarmouth yesterday, went to dine at
Stoke-Holy-Cross, about six miles off; got home at mid-night, and came
to Norwich this morning, this being market-day, and also the day fixed
on for a Radical Reform Dinner at the Swan Inn, to which I was invited.
Norwich is a very fine city, and the Castle, which stands in the middle
of it, on a hill, is truly majestic. The meat and poultry and vegetable
market is beautiful. It is kept in a large open square in the middle, or
nearly so, of the City. The ground is a pretty sharp slope, so that you
see all at once. It resembles one of the French markets, only _there_
the vendors are all standing and gabbling like parrots, and the meat is
lean and bloody and nasty, and the people snuffy and grimy in hands and
face, the contrary, precisely the contrary of all which is the case in
this beautiful market at Norwich, where the women have a sort of uniform
brown great coats, with white aprons and _bibs_ (I think they call them)
going from the apron up to the bosom. They equal in neatness (for
nothing can surpass) the market women in Philadelphia.--The
cattle-market is held on the hill by the castle, and many _fairs_ are
smaller in bulk of stock. The corn-market is held in a very magnificent
place, called Saint Andrew's Hall, which will contain two or three
thousand persons. They tell me, that this used to be a most delightful
scene; a most joyous one; and, I think, it was this scene that Mr.
CURWEN described in such glowing colours when he was talking of the
Norfolk farmers, each worth so many thousands of pounds. Bear me
witness, reader, that _I never was dazzled_ by such sights; that the
false glare never put my eyes out; and that, even then, twelve years
ago, I warned Mr. CURWEN of the _result_! Bear witness to this, my
Disciples, and justify the doctrines of him for whose sakes you have
endured persecution. How different would Mr. CURWEN find the scene
_now_! What took place at the dinner has been already recorded in the
Register; and I have only to add with regard to it, that my reception at
Norfolk was such, that I have only to regret the total want of power to
make those hearty Norfolk and Norwich friends any suitable return,
whether by act or word.

_Kensington, Monday, 24 Dec._

Went from Bergh Apton to Norwich in the morning, and from Norwich to
London during the day, carrying with me great admiration of and respect
for this county of _excellent farmers_, and hearty, open and spirited
men. The Norfolk people are quick and smart in their motions and in
their speaking. Very neat and _trim_ in all their farming concerns, and
very skilful. Their land is good, their roads are level, and the bottom
of their soil is dry, to be sure; and these are great advantages; but
they are diligent, and make the most of everything. Their management of
all sorts of stock is most judicious; they are careful about manure;
their teams move quickly; and, in short, it is a county of most
excellent cultivators.--The churches in Norfolk are generally large and
the towers lofty. They have all been well built at first. Many of them
are of the Saxon architecture. They are, almost all (I do not remember
an exception), placed on the _highest_ spots to be found near where they
stand; and, it is curious enough, that the contrary practice should have
prevailed in _hilly_ countries, where they are generally found in
valleys and in low, sheltered dells, even in those valleys! These
churches prove that the people of Norfolk and Suffolk were always a
superior people in point of wealth, while the size of them proves that
the country parts were, at one time, a great deal more populous than
they now are. The great drawbacks on the beauty of these counties are,
their flatness and their want of fine woods; but, to those who can
dispense with these, Norfolk, under a wise and just government, can have
nothing to ask more than Providence and the industry of man have given.


For, in fact, it is not the _farmer_, but the _Landlord_ and _Parson_,
who wants relief from the "_Collective_." The tenant's remedy is,
quitting his farm or bringing down his rent to what he can afford to
give, wheat being 3 or 4 shillings a bushel. This is his remedy. What
should _he_ want high prices for? They can do _him_ no good; and this I
proved to the farmers last year. The fact is, the Landlords and Parsons
are urging the farmers on to get _something done_ to give them high
rents and high tithes.

At _Hertford_ there has been a meeting at which _some_ sense was
discovered, at any rate. The parties talked about the _fund-holder_, the
_Debt_, the _taxes_, and so on, and seemed to be in a very warm temper.
Pray, keep yourselves _cool_, gentlemen; for you have a great deal to
endure yet. I deeply regret that I have not room to insert the
resolutions of this meeting.

There is to be a meeting at _Battle_ (East Sussex) on the 3rd instant,
at which _I mean to be_. I want to _see_ my friends on the _South
Downs_. To see how they _look_ now.

[At a public dinner given to Mr. Cobbett at Norwich, on the market-day
above mentioned, the company drank the toast of _Mr. Cobbett and his
"Trash,"_ the name "two-penny trash," having being at one time applied
by Lord Castlereagh to the _Register_. In acknowledging this toast Mr.
Cobbett addressed the company in a speech, of which the following is a

"My thanks to you for having drunk my health, are great and sincere; but
much greater pleasure do I feel at the approbation bestowed on that
_Trash_, which has, for so many years been a mark for the finger of
scorn to be pointed at by ignorant selfishness and arrogant and insolent
power. To enumerate, barely to name, all, or a hundredth part of, the
endeavours that have been made to stifle this _Trash_ would require a
much longer space of time than that which we have now before us. But,
gentlemen, those endeavours must have _cost money_; money must have been
expended in the circulation of Anti-Cobbett, and the endless bale of
papers and pamphlets put forth to check the progress of the _Trash_:
and, when we take into view the immense sums expended in keeping down
the spirit excited by the _Trash_, who of us is to tell, whether these
endeavours, taken altogether, may not have added _many millions_ to that
debt, of which (without any hint at a _concomitant measure_) some men
have now the audacity, the unprincipled, the profligate assurance to
talk of reducing the interest. The Trash, Gentlemen, is now triumphant;
its triumph we are now met to celebrate; proofs of its triumph I myself
witnessed not many hours ago, in that scene where the best possible
evidence was to be found. In walking through St. Andrew's Hall, my mind
was not so much engaged on the grandeur of the place, or on the
gratifying reception I met with; those hearty shakes by the hand which I
so much like, those smiles of approbation, which not to see with pride
would argue an insensibility to honest fame: even these, I do sincerely
assure you, engaged my mind much less than the melancholy reflection,
that, of the two thousand or fifteen hundred farmers then in my view,
there were probably _three-fourths_ who came to the Hall with aching
hearts, and who would leave it in a state of mental agony. What a thing
to contemplate, Gentlemen! What a scene is here! A set of men, occupiers
of the land; producers of all that we eat, drink, wear, and of all that
forms the buildings that shelter us; a set of men industrious and
careful by habit; cool, thoughtful, and sensible from the instructions
of nature; a set of men provident above all others, and engaged in
pursuits in their nature stable as the very earth they till: to see a
set of men like this plunged into anxiety, embarrassment, jeopardy, not
to be described; and when the particular individuals before me were
famed for their superior skill in this great and solid pursuit, and were
blessed with soil and other circumstances to make them prosperous and
happy: to behold this sight would have been more than sufficient to sink
my heart within me, had I not been upheld by the reflection, that I had
done all in my power to prevent these calamities, and that I still had
in reserve that which, with the assistance of the sufferers themselves,
would restore them and the nation to happiness."


_Battle, Wednesday, 2 Jan. 1822._

Came here to-day from Kensington, in order to see what goes on at the
Meeting to be held here to-morrow, of the "Gentry, Clergy, Freeholders,
and Occupiers of Land in the Rape of Hastings, to take into
consideration the distressed state of the Agricultural interest." I
shall, of course, give an account of this meeting after it has taken
place.--You come through part of _Kent_ to get to _Battle_ from the
Great _Wen_ on the Surrey side of the Thames. The first town is Bromley,
the next Seven-Oaks, the next Tunbridge, and between Tunbridge and this
place you cross the boundaries of the two counties.--From the Surrey Wen
to Bromley the land is generally a deep loam on a gravel, and you see
few trees except elm. A very ugly country. On quitting Bromley the land
gets poorer; clay at bottom; the wheat sown on five, or seven, turn
lands; the furrows shining with wet; rushes on the wastes on the sides
of the road. Here there is a common, part of which has been enclosed and
thrown out again, or, rather, the fences carried away.--There is a frost
this morning, some ice, and the women look rosy-cheeked.--There is a
very great variety of soil along this road; bottom of yellow clay; then
of sand; then of sand-stone; then of solider stone; then (for about five
miles) of chalk; then of red clay; then chalk again; here (before you
come to Seven-Oaks) is a most beautiful and rich valley, extending from
east to west, with rich corn-fields and fine trees; then comes
sand-stone again; and the hop-gardens near Seven-Oaks, which is a pretty
little town with beautiful environs, part of which consists of the park
of _Knowle_, the seat of the Duchess of Dorset. It is a very fine place.
And there is another park, on the other side of the town. So that this
is a delightful place, and the land appears to be very good. The gardens
and houses all look neat and nice. On quitting Seven-Oaks you come to a
bottom of gravel for a short distance, and to a clay for many miles.
When I say that I saw teams _carting_ gravel from this spot to a
distance of nearly _ten miles_ along the road, the reader will be at no
loss to know what sort of bottom the land has all along here. The bottom
then becomes sand-stone again. This vein of land runs all along through
the county of Sussex, and the clay runs into Hampshire, across the
forests of Bere and Waltham, then across the parishes of Ouslebury,
Stoke, and passing between the sand hills of Southampton and chalk hills
of Winchester, goes westward till stopped by the chalky downs between
Romsey and Salisbury.--Tunbridge is a small but very nice town, and has
some fine meadows and a navigable river.--The rest of the way to Battle
presents, alternately, clay and sand-stone. Of course the coppices and
oak woods are very frequent. There is now and then a hop-garden spot,
and now and then an orchard of apples or cherries; but these are poor
indeed compared with what you see about Canterbury and Maidstone. The
agricultural state of the country or, rather, the quality of the land,
from Bromley to Battle, may be judged of from the fact, that I did not
see, as I came along, more than thirty acres of Swedes during the
fifty-six miles! In Norfolk I should, in the same distance, have seen
five hundred acres! However, man was not the maker of the land; and, as
to human happiness, I am of opinion, that as much, and even more, falls
to the lot of the leather-legged chaps that live in and rove about
amongst those clays and woods as to the more regularly disciplined
labourers of the rich and prime parts of England. As "God has made the
back to the burthen," so the clay and coppice people make the dress to
the stubs and bushes. Under the sole of the shoe is _iron_; from the
sole six inches upwards is a high-low; then comes a leather bam to the
knee; then comes a pair of leather breeches; then comes a stout doublet;
over this comes a smock-frock; and the wearer sets brush and stubs and
thorns and mire at defiance. I have always observed, that woodland and
forest labourers are best off in the main. The coppices give them
pleasant and profitable work in winter. If they have not so great a
corn-harvest, they have a three weeks' harvest in April or May; that is
to say, in the season of barking, which in Hampshire is called
_stripping_, and in Sussex _flaying_, which employs women and children
as well as men. And then in the great article of _fuel_! They _buy_
none. It is miserable work, where this is to be bought, and where, as at
Salisbury, the poor take by turns the making of fires at their houses to
boil four or five tea-kettles. What a winter-life must those lead, whose
turn it is not to make the fire! At Launceston in Cornwall a man, a
tradesman too, told me, that the people in general could not afford to
have fire in ordinary, and that he himself paid 3_d._ for boiling a leg
of mutton at another man's fire! The leather-legged-race know none of
these miseries, at any rate. They literally get their fuel "by _hook_ or
by _crook_," whence, doubtless, comes that old and very expressive
saying, which is applied to those cases where people _will have a thing_
by one means or another.

_Battle, Thursday (night), 3 Jan. 1822._

To-day there has been a _Meeting_ here of the landlords and farmers in
this part of Sussex, which is called the _Rape of Hastings_. The object
was to agree on a petition to Parliament praying for _relief_! Good God!
Where is this to _end_? We now see the effects of those _rags_ which I
have been railing against for the last twenty years. Here were collected
together not less than 300 persons, principally landlords and farmers,
brought from their homes by their distresses and by their alarms for the
future! Never were such things heard in any country before; and, it is
useless to hope, for terrific must be the consequences, if an effectual
remedy be not speedily applied. The town, which is small, was in a great
bustle before noon; and the Meeting (in a large room in the principal
inn) took place about one o'clock. Lord Ashburnham was called to the
chair, and there were present Mr. Curteis, one of the county members,
Mr. Fuller, who formerly used to cut _such a figure_ in the House of
Commons, Mr. Lambe, and many other gentlemen of landed property within
the Rape, or district, for which the Meeting was held. Mr. Curteis,
after Lord Ashburnham had opened the business, addressed the Meeting.

Mr. Fuller then tendered some Resolutions, describing the fallen state
of the landed interest, and proposing to pray, _generally_, for relief.
Mr. Britton complained, that it was not proposed to pray for some
_specific measure_, and insisted, that the cause of the evil was the
rise in the value of money without a corresponding reduction in the
taxes.--A Committee was appointed to draw up a petition, which was next
produced. It merely described the distress, and prayed generally for
relief. Mr. Holloway proposed an addition, containing an imputation of
the distress to restricted currency and unabated taxation, and praying
for a reduction of taxes. A discussion now arose upon two points: first,
whether the addition were admissible at all! and, second, whether Mr.
Holloway was qualified to offer it to the Meeting. Both the points
having been, at last, decided in the affirmative, the addition, or
amendment, was put, and _lost_; and then the original petition was

After the business of the day was ended, there was a dinner in the inn,
in the same room where the Meeting had been held. I was at this dinner;
and Mr. Britton having proposed my health, and Mr. Curteis, who was in
the Chair, having given it, I thought it would have looked like
mock-modesty, which is, in fact, only another term for hypocrisy, to
refrain from expressing my opinions upon a point or two connected with
the business of the day. I shall now insert a substantially correct
sketch of what the company was indulgent enough to hear from me at the
dinner; which I take from the report contained in the _Morning
Chronicle_ of Saturday last. The report in the Chronicle has all the
_pith_ of what I advanced relative to _the inutility of Corn Bills_, and
relative to _the cause of further declining prices_; two points of the
greatest importance in themselves, and which I was, and am, uncommonly
anxious to press upon the attention of the public.

The following is a part of the speech so reported:--

"I am decidedly of opinion, Gentlemen, that a Corn Bill of no
description, no matter what its principles or provisions, can do either
tenant or landlord any good; and I am not less decidedly of opinion,
that though prices are now low, they must, all the present train of
public measures continuing, be yet lower, and continue lower upon an
average of years and of seasons.--As to a Corn Bill; a law to prohibit
or check the importation of human food is a perfect novelty in our
history, and ought, therefore, independent of the reason, and the recent
experience of the case, to be received and entertained with great
suspicion. Heretofore, _premiums_ have been given for the exportation,
and at other times, for the importation, of corn; but of laws to prevent
the importation of human food our ancestors knew nothing. And what says
recent experience? When the present Corn Bill was passed, I, then a
farmer, unable to get my brother farmers to join me, _petitioned singly_
against this Bill; and I stated to my brother farmers, that such a Bill
could do us no good, while it would not fail to excite against us the
ill-will of the other classes of the community; a thought by no means
pleasant. Thus has it been. The distress of agriculture was considerable
in magnitude then; but what is it now? And yet the Bill was passed; that
Bill which was to remunerate and protect is still in force; the farmers
got what they prayed to have granted them; and their distress, with a
short interval of tardy pace, has proceeded rapidly increasing from that
day to this. What, in the way of Corn Bill, can you have, Gentlemen,
beyond absolute prohibition? And, have you not, since about April, 1819,
had absolute prohibition? Since that time no corn has been imported, and
then only thirty millions of bushels, which, supposing it all to have
been wheat, was a quantity much too insignificant to produce any
sensible depression in the price of the immense quantity of corn raised
in this kingdom since the last bushel was imported. If your produce had
fallen in this manner, if your prices had come down very low,
immediately after the importation had taken place, there might have been
some colour of reason to impute the fall to the importation; but it so
happens, and as if for the express purpose of contradicting the crude
notions of Mr. Webb Hall, that your produce has fallen in price at a
greater rate, in proportion as time has removed you from the point of
importation; and, as to the circumstance, so ostentatiously put forward
by Mr. Hall and others, that there is still some of the imported corn
_unsold_, what does it prove but the converse of what those Gentlemen
aim at, that is to say, that the holders _cannot afford_ to sell it at
present prices; for, if they could gain but ever so little by the sale,
would they keep it wasting and costing money in warehouse? There appears
with some persons to be a notion, that the importation of corn is a _new
thing_. They seem to forget, that, during the last war, when agriculture
was so _prosperous_, the _ports were always open_; that prodigious
quantities of corn were imported during the war; that, so far from
importation being prohibited, high _premiums_ were given, paid out of
the taxes, partly raised upon English farmers, to induce men to import
corn. All this seems to be forgotten as much as if it had never taken
place; and now the distress of the English farmer is imputed to a cause
which was never before an object of his attention, and a desire is
expressed to put an end to a branch of commerce which the nation has
always freely carried on. I think, Gentlemen, that here are reasons
quite sufficient to make any man but Mr. Webb Hall slow to impute the
present distress to the importation of corn; but, at any rate, what can
you have beyond absolute efficient prohibition? No law, no duty, however
high; nothing that the Parliament can do can go beyond this; and this
you now have, in effect, as completely as if this were the only country
beneath the sky. For these reasons, Gentlemen, (and to state more would
be a waste of your time and an affront to your understandings,) I am
convinced, that, in the way of Corn Bill, it is impossible for the
Parliament to afford you any, even the smallest, portion of relief. As
to the other point, Gentlemen, the tendency which the present measures
and course of things have to carry prices _lower_, and considerably
lower than they now are, and to keep them for a permanency at that low
rate, this is a matter worthy of the serious attention of all connected
with the land, and particularly of that of the renting farmer. During
the _war_ no importations distressed the farmer. It was not till peace
came that the cry of distress was heard. But, during the war, there was
a boundless issue of paper money. Those issues were instantly narrowed
by the peace, the law being, that the Bank should pay in cash six months
after the peace should take place. This was the cause of that distress
which led to the present Corn Bill. The disease occasioned by the
preparations for cash-payments, has been brought to a crisis by Mr.
Peel's Bill, which has, in effect, doubled, if not tripled, the real
amount of the taxes, and violated all contracts for time; given triple
gains to every lender, and placed every borrower in jeopardy.

_Kensington, Friday, 4 Jan. 1822._

Got home from _Battle_. I had no time to see the town, having entered
the Inn on Wednesday in the dusk of the evening, having been engaged all
day yesterday in the Inn, and having come out of it only to get into the
coach this morning. I had not time to go even to see _Battle Abbey_, the
seat of the Webster family, now occupied by a man of the name of
_Alexander_! Thus they _replace them_! It will take a much shorter time
than most people imagine to put out all the ancient families. I should
think, that six years will turn out all those who receive nothing out of
taxes. The greatness of the estate is no protection to the owner; for,
great or little, it will soon yield him _no_ rents; and, when the
produce is nothing in either case, the small estate is as good as the
large one. Mr. Curteis said, that the _land_ was _immovable_; yes; but
the _rents are not_. And, if freeholds cannot be seized for common
contract debts, the carcass of the owner may. But, in fact, there will
be no rents; and, without these, the ownership is an empty sound. Thus,
at last, the burthen will, as I always said it would, fall upon the
_land-owner_; and, as the fault of supporting the system has been wholly
his, the burthen will fall upon the _right back_. Whether he will now
call in the people to help him to shake it off is more than I can say;
but, if he do not, I am sure that he must sink under it. And then, will
_revolution No. I._ have been accomplished; but far, and very far
indeed, will that be from being the _close_ of the drama!--I cannot quit
Battle without observing, that the country is very pretty all about it.
All hill, or valley. A great deal of wood-land, in which the underwood
is generally very fine, though the oaks are not very fine, and a good
deal covered with _moss_. This shows, that the clay ends before the
_tap_-root of the oak gets as deep as it would go; for, when the clay
goes the full depth, the oaks are always fine.--The woods are too large
and too near each other for hare-hunting; and, as to coursing it is out
of the question here. But it is a fine country for shooting and for
harbouring game of all sorts.--It was rainy as I came home; but the
woodmen were at work. A great many _hop-poles_ are cut here, which makes
the coppices more valuable than in many other parts. The women work in
the coppices, shaving the bark of the hop-poles, and, indeed, at various
other parts of the business. These poles are shaved to prevent _maggots_
from breeding in the bark and accelerating the destruction of the pole.
It is curious that the bark of trees should generate maggots; but it
has, as well as the wood, a _sugary_ matter in it. The hickory wood in
America sends out from the ends of the logs when these are burning,
great quantities of the finest syrup that can be imagined. Accordingly,
that wood breeds maggots, or worms as they are usually called,
surprisingly. Our _ash_ breeds worms very much. When the tree or pole is
cut, the moist matter between the outer bark and the wood putrifies.
Thence come the maggots, which soon begin to eat their way into the
wood. For this reason the bark is shaved off the hop-poles, as it ought
to be off all our timber trees, as soon as cut, especially the
ash.--Little boys and girls shave hop-poles and assist in other coppice
work very nicely. And it is pleasant work when the weather is dry
overhead. The woods, bedded with leaves as they are, are clean and dry
underfoot. They are warm too, even in the coldest weather. When the
ground is frozen several inches deep in the open fields, it is scarcely
frozen at all in a coppice where the underwood is a good plant, and
where it is nearly high enough to cut. So that the woodman's is really a
pleasant life. We are apt to think that the birds have a hard time of it
in winter. But we forget the warmth of the woods, which far exceeds
anything to be found in farm yards. When Sidmouth started me from my
farm, in 1817, I had just planted my farm yard round with a pretty
coppice. But, never mind, Sidmouth and I shall, I dare say, have plenty
of time and occasion to talk about that coppice, and many other things,
before we die. And, can I, when I think of these things, now, _pity_
those to whom Sidmouth _owed his power_ of starting me!--But let me
forget the subject for this time at any rate.--Woodland countries are
interesting on many accounts. Not so much on account of their masses of
green leaves, as on account of the variety of sights and sounds and
incidents that they afford. Even in winter the coppices are beautiful to
the eye, while they comfort the mind with the idea of shelter and
warmth. In spring they change their hue from day to day during two whole
months, which is about the time from the first appearance of the
delicate leaves of the birch to the full expansion of those of the ash;
and, even before the leaves come at all to intercept the view, what in
the vegetable creation is so delightful to behold as the bed of a
coppice bespangled with primroses and blue-bells? The opening of the
birch leaves is the signal for the pheasant to begin to crow, for the
blackbird to whistle, and the thrush to sing; and, just when the
oak-buds begin to look reddish, and not a day before, the whole tribe of
finches burst forth in songs from every bough, while the lark, imitating
them all, carries the joyous sounds to the sky. These are amongst the
means which Providence has benignantly appointed to sweeten the toils by
which food and raiment are produced; these the English Ploughman could
once hear without the sorrowful reflection that he himself was a
_pauper_, and that the bounties of nature had, for him, been scattered
in vain! And shall he never see an end to this state of things? Shall he
never have the due reward of his labour? Shall unsparing taxation never
cease to make him a miserable dejected being, a creature famishing in
the midst of abundance, fainting, expiring with hunger's feeble moans,
surrounded by a carolling creation? O! accursed paper-money! Has hell a
torment surpassing the wickedness of thy inventor?


_Lewes, Tuesday, 8 Jan., 1822._

Came here to-day, from home, to see what passes to-morrow at a Meeting
to be held here of the Owners and Occupiers of Land in the Rapes of
Lewes and Pevensey.--In quitting the great Wen we go through Surrey more
than half the way to Lewes. From Saint _George's Fields_, which now are
covered with houses, we go, towards Croydon, between rows of houses,
nearly half the way, and the whole way is nine miles. There are, erected
within these four years, two entire miles of stock-jobbers' houses on
this one road, and the work goes on with accelerated force! To be sure;
for, the taxes being, in fact, tripled by Peel's Bill, the fundlords
increase in riches; and their accommodations increase of course. What an
at once horrible and ridiculous thing this country would become, if this
thing could go on only for a few years! And these rows of new houses,
added to the Wen, are proofs of growing prosperity, are they? These make
part of the increased capital of the country, do they? But how is this
Wen to be _dispersed_? I know not whether it be to be done by knife or
by caustic; but, dispersed it must be! And this is the only difficulty,
which I do not see the _easy_ means of getting over.--Aye! these are
dreadful thoughts! I know they are: but, they ought not to be banished
from the mind; for they will _return_, and, at every return, they will
be more frightful. The man who cannot coolly look at this matter is
unfit for the times that are approaching. Let the interest of the Debt
be once well reduced (and that must be sooner or later) and then what is
to become of _half a million_ at least of the people congregated in this
Wen? Oh! precious "Great Man now no more!" Oh! "Pilot that weathered
the Storm!" Oh! "Heaven-born" pupil of Prettyman! Who, but him who can
number the sands of the sea, shall number the execrations with which thy
memory will be loaded!--From London to Croydon is as ugly a bit of
country as any in England. A poor spewy gravel with some clay. Few trees
but elms, and those generally stripped up and villanously ugly.--Croydon
is a good market-town; but is, by the funds, swelled out into a
_Wen_.--Upon quitting Croydon for Godstone, you come to the chalk hills,
the juniper shrubs and the yew trees. This is an extension westward of
the vein of chalk which I have before noticed (see page 54) between
Bromley and Seven-Oaks. To the westward here lie Epsom Downs, which lead
on to Merrow Downs and St. Margaret's Hill, then, skipping over
Guildford, you come to the Hog's Back, which is still of chalk, and at
the west end of which lies Farnham. With the Hog's Back this vein of
chalk seems to end; for then the valleys become rich loam, and the hills
sand and gravel till you approach the Winchester Downs by the way of
Alresford.--Godstone, which is in Surrey also, is a beautiful village,
chiefly of one street with a fine large green before it and with a pond
in the green. A little way to the right (going from London) lies the
vile rotten Borough of _Blechingley_; but, happily for Godstone, out of
sight. At and near Godstone the gardens are all very neat, and at the
Inn there is a nice garden well stocked with beautiful flowers in the
season. I here saw, last summer, some double violets as large as small
pinks, and the lady of the house was kind enough to give me some of the
roots.--From Godstone you go up a long hill of clay and sand, and then
descend into a level country of stiff loam at top, clay at bottom,
corn-fields, pastures, broad hedgerows, coppices, and oak woods, which
country continues till you quit Surrey about two miles before you reach
East-Grinstead. The woods and coppices are very fine here. It is the
genuine _oak-soil_; a bottom of yellow clay to any depth, I dare say,
that man can go. No moss on the oaks. No dead tops. Straight as larches.
The bark of the young trees with dark spots in it; sure sign of free
growth and great depth of clay beneath. The wheat is here sown on
five-turn ridges, and the ploughing is amongst the best that I ever
saw.--At East-Grinstead, which is a rotten Borough and a very shabby
place, you come to stiff loam at top with sand stone beneath. To the
south of the place the land is fine, and the vale on both sides a very
beautiful intermixture of woodland and corn-fields and pastures.--At
about three miles from Grinstead you come to a pretty village, called
Forest-Row, and then, on the road to Uckfield, you cross Ashurst Forest,
which is a heath, with here and there a few birch scrubs upon it,
verily the most villanously ugly spot I ever saw in England. This lasts
you for five miles, getting, if possible, uglier and uglier all the way,
till, at last, as if barren soil, nasty spewy gravel, heath and even
that stunted, were not enough, you see some rising spots, which instead
of trees, presents you with black, ragged, hideous rocks. There may be
Englishmen who wish to see the coast of _Nova Scotia_. They need not go
to sea; for here it is to the life. If I had been in a long trance (as
our nobility seem to have been), and had been waked up here, I should
have begun to look about for the Indians and the Squaws, and to have
heaved a sigh at the thought of being so far from England.--From the end
of this forest without trees you come into a country of but poorish
wettish land. Passing through the village of Uckfield, you find an
enclosed country, with a soil of a clay cast all the way to within about
three miles of Lewes, when you get to a chalk bottom, and rich land. I
was at Lewes at the beginning of last harvest, and saw the fine farms of
the Ellmans, very justly renowned for their improvement of the breed of
_South-Down sheep_, and the younger Mr. John Ellman not less justly
blamed for the part he had taken in propagating the errors of Webb Hall,
and thereby, however unintentionally, assisting to lead thousands to
cherish those false hopes that have been the cause of their ruin. Mr.
Ellman may say that he _thought_ he was right; but if he had read my
_New Year's Gift_ to the Farmers, published in the preceding January, he
could not think that he was right. If he had not read it, he ought to
have read it, before he appeared in print. At any rate, if no other
person had a right to censure his publications, I _had_ that right. I
will here notice a calumny, to which the above visit to Lewes gave rise;
namely, that I went into the neighbourhood of the Ellmans, to find out
whether they ill-treated their labourers! No man that knows me will
believe this. The facts are these: the Ellmans, celebrated farmers, had
made a great figure in the evidence taken before the Committee. I was at
WORTH, about twenty miles from Lewes. The harvest was begun. Worth is a
woodland country. I wished to know the state of the crops; for I was, at
that very time, as will be seen by referring to the date, beginning to
write my First Letter to the Landlords. Without knowing anything of the
matter myself, I asked my host, Mr. Brazier, what good corn country was
nearest to us. He said Lewes. Off I went, and he with me, in a
post-chaise. We had 20 miles to go and 20 back in the same chaise. A bad
road, and rain all the day. We put up at the White Hart, took another
chaise, went round, and saw the farms, through the window of the chaise,
having stopped at a little public-house to ask which were they, and
having stopped now and then to get a sample out of the sheaves of wheat,
came back to the White Hart, after being absent only about an hour and a
half, got our dinner, and got back to Worth before it was dark; and
never asked, and never intended to ask, one single question of any human
being as to the conduct or character of the Ellmans. Indeed the evidence
of the elder Mr. Ellman was so fair, so honest, and so useful,
particularly as relating _to the labourers_, that I could not possibly
suspect him of being a cruel or hard master. He told the Committee, that
when he began business, forty-five years ago, every man in the parish
brewed his own beer, and that now, not one man did it, unless he gave
him the malt! Why, here was by far the most valuable part of the whole
volume of evidence. Then, Mr. Ellman did not present a parcel of
_estimates_ and God knows what; but a plain and honest statement of
facts, the rate of day wages, of job wages, for a long series of years,
by which it clearly appeared how the labourer had been robbed and
reduced to misery, and how the poor-rates had been increased. He did
not, like Mr. George and other Bull-frogs, sink these interesting facts;
but honestly told the truth. Therefore, whatever I might think of his
endeavours to uphold the mischievous errors of Webb Hall, I could have
no suspicion that he was a hard master.

_Lewes, Wednesday, 9 Jan. 1822._

The Meeting and the Dinner are now over. Mr. Davies Giddy was in the
Chair: the place the County Hall. A Mr. Partington, a pretty little
oldish smart truss nice cockney-looking gentleman, with a yellow and red
handkerchief round his neck, moved the petition, which was seconded by
Lord Chichester, who lives in the neighbourhood. Much as I had read of
that great Doctor of _virtual representation_ and _Royal Commissioner of
Inimitable Bank Notes_, Mr. Davies Giddy, I had never seen him before.
He called to my mind one of those venerable persons, who administer
spiritual comfort to the sinners of the "sister-kingdom;" and, whether I
looked at the dress or the person, I could almost have sworn that it was
the identical _Father Luke_, that I saw about twenty-three years ago, at
Philadelphia, in the farce of the Poor Soldier. Mr. Blackman (of Lewes I
believe) disapproved of the petition, and, in a speech of considerable
length, and also of considerable ability, stated to the meeting that the
evils complained of arose from the _currency_, and not from the
_importation of foreign corn_. A Mr. DONAVON, an Irish gentleman, who,
it seems, is a magistrate in this "disturbed county," disapproved of
discussing anything at such a meeting, and thought that the meeting
should merely state its distresses, and leave it to the wisdom of
Parliament to discover the remedy. Upon which Mr. Chatfield observed:
"So, Sir, we are in a trap. We cannot get ourselves out though we know
the way. There are others, who have got us in, and are able to get us
out, but they do not know how. And we are to tell them, it seems, that
we are in the trap; but are not to tell them the way to get us out. I
don't like long speeches, Sir; but I like common sense." This was neat
and pithy. Fifty professed orators could not, in a whole day, have
thrown so much ridicule on the speech of Mr. Donavon.--A Mr. Mabbott
proposed an amendment to include all classes of the community, and took
a hit at Mr. Curteis for his speech at Battle. Mr. Curteis defended
himself, and I thought very fairly. A Mr. Woodward, who said he was a
farmer, carried us back to the necessity of the war against France; and
told us of the horrors of plunder and murder and rape that the war had
prevented. This gentleman put an end to my patience, which Mr. Donavon
had put to an extremely severe test; and so I withdrew.--After I went
away Mr. Blackman proposed some resolutions, which were carried by a
great majority by show of hands. But, pieces of paper were then handed
about, for the voters to write their names on for and against the
petition. The greater part of the people were gone away by this time;
but, at any rate, there were more _signatures_ for the petition than for
the resolutions. A farmer in Pennsylvania having a visitor, to whom he
was willing to show how well he treated his negroes as to food, bid the
fellows (who were at dinner) _to ask for a second or third cut of pork
if they had not enough_. Quite surprised at the novelty, but emboldened
by a repetition of the injunction, one of them did say, "Massa, I wants
another cut." He had it; but as soon as the visitor was gone away, "D--n
you," says the master, while he belaboured him with the "cowskin," "I'll
make you know _how to understand me_ another time!" The signers of this
petition were in the dark while the show of hands was going on; but when
it came to _signing_ they knew well _what Massa meant_! This is a
petition to be sure; but it is no more the petition of the farmers in
the Rapes of Lewes and Pevensey than it is the petition of the Mermaids
of Lapland.--There was a _dinner_ after the meeting at the _Star-Inn_,
at which there occurred something rather curious regarding myself. When
at Battle, I had no intention of going to Lewes, till on the evening of
my arrival at Battle, a gentleman, who had heard of the before-mentioned
calumny, observed to me that I would do well not to go to Lewes. That
very observation, made me resolve to go. I went, as a spectator, to the
meeting; and I left no one ignorant of the place where I was to be
found. I did not covet the noise of a dinner of from 200 to 300 persons,
and I did not intend to go to it; but, being pressed to go, I finally
went. After some previous common-place occurrences, Mr. Kemp, formerly a
member for Lewes, was called to the chair; and he having given as a
toast, "_the speedy discovery of a remedy for our distresses_," Mr.
Ebenezer Johnstone, a gentleman of Lewes, whom I had never seen or heard
of until that day, but who, I understand, is a very opulent and most
respectable man, proposed _my health_, as that of a person likely to be
able to point out the wished-for remedy.--This was the signal for the
onset. Immediately upon the toast being given, a Mr. Hitchins, a farmer
of Seaford, duly prepared for the purpose, got upon the table, and, with
candle in one hand and _Register_ in the other, read the following
garbled passage from my _Letter to Lord Egremont_.--"But, let us hear
what the younger Ellman said: 'He had seen them employed in drawing
beach gravel, as had been already described. One of them, the leader,
worked with a bell about his neck.' Oh! the envy of surrounding nations
and admiration of the world! Oh! what a 'glorious Constitution!' 'Oh!
what a happy country! Impudent Radicals, to want to reform a Parliament,
under which men enjoy such blessings! On such a subject it is impossible
(under Six-Acts) to trust one's pen! However, this I will say; that here
is much more than enough to make me rejoice in the ruin of the farmers;
and I do, with all my heart, thank God for it; _seeing, that it appears
absolutely necessary, that_ the present race of them should be totally
broken up, in Sussex at any rate, _in order to put an end to this
cruelty and insolence towards the labourers, who are by far the greater
number and who are men, and a little better men too, than such employers
as these, who are, in fact, monsters in human shape_!'"

I had not the Register by me, and could not detect the garbling. All the
words that I have put in Italics, this HITCHINS left out in the reading.
What sort of man he must be the public will easily judge.--No sooner had
Hitchins done, than up started Mr. Ingram, a farmer of Rottendean, who
was the second person in the drama (for all had been duly prepared), and
moved that I should be _put out of the room_! Some few of the Webb
Hallites, joined by about six or eight of the dark, dirty-faced,
half-whiskered, tax-eaters from Brighton (which is only eight miles off)
joined in this cry. I rose, that they might see the man that they had to
put out. Fortunately _for themselves_, not one of them attempted to
approach me. They were like the mice that resolved that a bell should be
put round the cat's neck!--However, a considerable hubbub took place.
At last, however, the Chairman, Mr. Kemp, whose conduct was fair and
manly, having given my health, I proceeded to address the company in
substance as stated here below; and, it is curious enough, that even
those who, upon my health being given, had taken their hats and gone out
of the room (and amongst whom Mr. Ellman the younger was one) came back,
formed a crowd, and were just as silent and attentive as the rest of the

[NOTE, written at _Kensington, 13 Jan._--I must here, before I insert
the speech, which has appeared in the _Morning Chronicle_, the Brighton
papers, and in most of the London papers, except the base sinking _Old
Times_ and the brimstone-smelling _Tramper_, or _Traveller_, which is, I
well know, a mere tool in the hands of two snap-dragon Whig-Lawyers,
whose greediness and folly I have so often had to expose, and which
paper is maintained by a contrivance which I will amply expose in my
next; I must, before I insert this speech, remark, that Mr. Ellman the
younger has, to a gentleman whom I know to be incapable of falsehood,
disavowed the proceeding of Hitchins; on which I have to observe, that
the disavowal, to have any weight, must be public, or be made to me.

As to the provocation that I have given the Ellmans, I am, upon
reflection, ready to confess that I may have laid on the lash without a
due regard to mercy. The fact is, that I have so long had the misfortune
to be compelled to keep a parcel of badger-hided fellows, like SCARLETT,
in order, that I am, like a drummer that has been used to flog old
offenders, become _heavy handed_. I ought to have considered the Ellmans
as _recruits_ and to have suited my tickler to the tenderness of their
backs.--I hear that Mr. Ingram of Rottendean, who moved for my being
turned out of the room, and who looked so foolish when he had to turn
himself out, is an Officer of Yeomanry "_Gavaltry_." A ploughman
spoiled! This man would, I dare say, have been a very good husbandman;
but the unnatural working of the paper-system has sublimated him out of
his senses. That greater Doctor, Mr. Peel, will bring him down
again.--Mr. Hitchins, I am told, after going away, came back, stood on
the landing-place (the door being open), and, while I was speaking,
exclaimed, "Oh! the fools! How they open their mouths! How they suck it
all in."--Suck _what_ in, Mr. Hitchins? Was it honey that dropped from
my lips? Was it flattery? Amongst other things, I said that I liked the
plain names of _farmer_ and _husbandman_ better than that of
_agriculturist_; and, the prospect I held out to them, was that of a
description to catch their applause?--But this Hitchins seems to be a
very silly person indeed.]

The following is a portion of the speech:--

"The toast having been _opposed_, and that, too, in the extraordinary
manner we have witnessed, I will, at any rate, with your permission,
make a remark or two on that manner. If the person who has made the
opposition had been actuated by a spirit of fairness and justice, he
would not have confined himself to a detached sentence of the paper from
which he has read; but, would have taken the whole together; for, by
taking a particular sentence, and leaving out all the rest, what writing
is there that will not admit of a wicked interpretation? As to the
particular part which has been read, I should not, perhaps, if I had
seen it _in print_, and had had time to cool a little [it was in a
Register sent from Norfolk], have sent it forth in terms so very general
as to embrace all the farmers of this county; but, as to those of them
who put _the bell round the labourer's neck_, I beg leave to be now
repeating, in its severest sense, every word of the passage that has
been read.--Born in a farm-house, bred up at the plough-tail, with a
smock-frock on my back, taking great delight in all the pursuits of
farmers, liking their society, and having amongst them my most esteemed
friends, it is natural, that I should feel, and I do feel, uncommonly
anxious to prevent, as far as I am able, that total ruin which now
menaces them. But the labourer, was I to have no feeling for him? Was
not he my _countryman_ too? And was I not to feel indignation against
those farmers, who had had the hard-heartedness to put the bell round
his neck, and thus wantonly insult and degrade the class to whose toils
they owed their own ease? The statement of the fact was not mine; I read
it in the newspaper as having come from Mr. Ellman the younger; he, in a
very laudable manner, expressed his _horror_ at it; and was not I to
express _indignation_ at what Mr. Ellman felt horror? That Gentleman and
Mr. Webb Hall may monopolize all the wisdom in matters of political
economy; but are they, or rather is Mr. Ellman alone, to engross all the
feeling too? [It was here denied that Mr. Ellman had said the bell had
been put on by _farmers_.] Very well, then, the complained of passage
has been productive of benefit to the farmers of this county; for, as
the thing stood in the newspapers, the natural and unavoidable inference
was, that that atrocious, that inhuman act, was an act of Sussex

_Brighton, Thursday, 10 Jan., 1822._

Lewes is in a valley of the _South Downs_, this town is at eight miles'
distance, to the south south-west or thereabouts. There is a great
extent of rich meadows above and below Lewes. The town itself is a
model of solidity and neatness. The buildings all substantial to the
very out-skirts; the pavements good and complete; the shops nice and
clean; the people well-dressed; and, though last not least, the girls
remarkably pretty, as, indeed, they are in most parts of Sussex; round
faces, features small, little hands and wrists, plump arms, and bright
eyes. The Sussex men, too, are remarkable for their good looks. A Mr.
Baxter, a stationer at Lewes, showed me a _farmer's account book_ which
is a very complete thing of the kind. The Inns are good at Lewes, the
people civil and not servile, and the charges really (considering the
taxes) far below what one could reasonably expect.--From Lewes to
Brighton the road winds along between the hills of the South Downs,
which, in this mild weather, are mostly beautifully green even at this
season, with flocks of sheep feeding on them.--Brighton itself lies in a
valley cut across at one end by the sea, and its extension, or _Wen_,
has swelled up the sides of the hills and has run some distance up the
valley.--The first thing you see in approaching Brighton from Lewes is a
splendid _horse-barrack_ on one side of the road, and a heap of low,
shabby, nasty houses, irregularly built, on the other side. This is
always the case where there is a barrack. How soon a Reformed Parliament
would make both disappear! Brighton is a very pleasant place. For a
_wen_ remarkably so. The _Kremlin_, the very name of which has so long
been a subject of laughter all over the country, lies in the gorge of
the valley, and amongst the old houses of the town. The grounds, which
cannot, I think, exceed a couple or three acres, are surrounded by a
wall neither lofty nor good-looking. Above this rise some trees, bad in
sorts, stunted in growth, and dirty with smoke. As to the "palace" as
the Brighton newspapers call it, the apartments appear to be all upon
the ground floor; and, when you see the thing from a distance, you think
you see a parcel of _cradle-spits_, of various dimensions, sticking up
out of the mouths of so many enormous squat decanters. Take a square
box, the sides of which are three feet and a half, and the height a foot
and a half. Take a large Norfolk-turnip, cut off the green of the
leaves, leave the stalks 9 inches long, tie these round with a string
three inches from the top, and put the turnip on the middle of the top
of the box. Then take four turnips of half the size, treat them in the
same way, and put them on the corners of the box. Then take a
considerable number of bulbs of the crown-imperial, the narcissus, the
hyacinth, the tulip, the crocus, and others; let the leaves of each have
sprouted to about an inch, more or less according to the size of the
bulb; put all these, pretty promiscuously, but pretty thickly, on the
top of the box. Then stand off and look at your architecture. There!
That's "_a Kremlin_"! Only you must cut some church-looking windows in
the sides of the box. As to what you ought to put _into_ the box, that
is a subject far above my cut.--Brighton is naturally a place of resort
for _expectants_, and a shifty ugly-looking swarm is, of course,
assembled here. Some of the fellows, who had endeavoured to disturb our
harmony at the dinner at Lewes, were parading, amongst this swarm, on
the cliff. You may always know them by their lank jaws, the stiffeners
round their necks, their hidden or _no_ shirts, their stays, their false
shoulders, hips, and haunches, their half-whiskers, and by their skins,
colour of veal kidney-suet, warmed a little, and then powdered with
dirty dust.--These vermin excepted, the people at Brighton make a very
fine figure. The trades-people are very nice in all their concerns. The
houses are excellent, built chiefly with a blue or purple brick; and
bow-windows appear to be the general taste. I can easily believe this to
be a very healthy place: the open downs on the one side and the open sea
on the other. No inlet, cove, or river; and, of course, no swamps.--I
have spent this evening very pleasantly in a company of reformers, who,
though plain tradesmen and mechanics, know I am quite satisfied, more
about the questions that agitate the country, than any equal number of

_Kensington, Friday, 11 January, 1822._

Came home by the way of Cuckfield, Worth, and Red-Hill, instead of by
Uckfield, Grinstead and Godstone, and got into the same road again at
Croydon. The roads being nearly parallel lines and at no great distance
from each other, the soil is nearly the same, with the exception of the
fine oak country between Godstone and Grinstead, which does not go so
far westward as my homeward bound road, where the land, opposite the
spot just spoken of, becomes more of a moor than a clay, and though
there are oaks, they are not nearly so fine as those on the other road.
The tops are flatter; the side _shoots_ are sometimes higher than the
middle shoot; a certain proof that the _tap-root_ has met with something
that it does not like.--I see (Jan. 15) that Mr. Curteis has thought it
necessary to state in the public papers, that _he_ had _nothing to do_
with my being at the dinner at Battle! Who the Devil thought he had?
Why, was it not an ordinary; and had I not as much right there as he? He
has said, too, that _he did not know_ that I was to be at the dinner.
How should he? Why was it necessary to apprise him of it any more than
the porter of the inn? He has said, that he did not hear of any
deputation to invite me to the dinner, and, "_upon inquiry_," cannot
find that there was any. Have I said that there was any invitation at
all? There was; but I have not said so. I went to the dinner for my
half-crown like another man, without knowing, or caring, who would be at
it. But, if Mr. Curteis thought it necessary to say so much, he might
have said a little more. He might have said, that he twice addressed
himself to me in a very peculiar manner, and that I never addressed
myself to him except in answer; and, if he had thought "_inquiry_"
necessary upon this subject also, he might have found that, though
always the first to speak or hold out the hand to a hard-fisted artisan
or labourer, I never did the same to a man of rank or riches in the
whole course of my life. Mr. Curteis might have said, too, that unless I
had gone to the dinner, the party would, according to appearances, have
been very _select_; that I found him at the head of one of the tables,
with less than thirty persons in the room; that the number swelled up to
about one hundred and thirty; that no person was at the other table;
that I took my seat at it; and that that table became almost immediately
crowded from one end to the other. To these Mr. Curteis, when his hand
was in, might have added, that he turned himself in his chair and
listened to my speech with the greatest attention; that he bade me, by
name, good night, when he retired; that he took not a man away with him;
and that the gentleman who was called on to replace him in the chair
(whose name I have forgotten) had got from his seat during the evening
to come and shake me by the hand. All these things Mr. Curteis might
have said; but the fact is, he has been bullied by the base newspapers,
and he has not been able to muster up courage to act the manly part, and
which, too, he would have found to be the _wise_ part in the end. When
he gave the toast "_more money and less taxes_," he turned himself
towards me, and said, "That is a toast that I am sure _you approve of_,
Mr. Cobbett." To which I answered, "It would be made good, Sir, if
_members of Parliament would do their duty_."--I appeal to all the
gentlemen present for the truth of what I say. Perhaps Mr. Curteis, in
his heart, did not like to give my health. If that was the case, he
ought to have left the chair, and retired. _Straight forward_ is the
best course; and, see what difficulties Mr. Curteis has involved himself
in by not pursuing it! I have no doubt that he was agreeably surprised
when he saw and heard me. Why not _say_ then: "After all that has been
said about Cobbett, he is a devilish pleasant, frank, and clever fellow,
at any rate."--How much better this would have been, than to act the
part that Mr. Curteis has acted.----The Editors of the _Brighton
Chronicle and Lewes Express_ have, out of mere modesty, I dare say,
fallen a little into Mr. Curteis's strain. In closing their account (in
their paper of the 15th) of the Lewes Meeting, they say that I addressed
the company at some length, as reported in their Supplement published on
Thursday the 10th. And then they think it necessary to add: "For
OURSELVES, we can say, that we never saw Mr. Cobbett until the meeting
at Battle." Now, had it not been for pure maiden-like bashfulness, they
would, doubtless, have added, that when they did see me, they were
profuse in expressions of their gratitude to me for having merely _named
their paper_ in my Register a thing, which, as I told them, I myself had
forgotten. When, too, they were speaking, in reference to a speech made
in the Hall, of "one of the finest specimens of oratory that has ever
been given in any assembly," it was, without doubt, out of pure
compassion for the perverted taste of their Lewes readers, that they
suppressed the fact, that the agent of the paper at Lewes sent them
word, that it was useless for them to send any account of the meeting,
unless that account contained Mr. Cobbett's speech; that he, the agent,
could have sold a hundred papers that morning, if they had contained Mr.
Cobbett's speech; but could not sell one without it. I myself, by mere
accident, heard this message delivered to a third person by their agent
at Lewes. And, as I said before, it must have been pure tenderness
towards their readers that made the editors suppress a fact so injurious
to the reputation of those readers in point of _taste_! However, at
last, these editors seem to have triumphed over all feelings of this
sort; for, having printed off a placard, advertising their Supplement,
in which placard no mention was made of _me_, they, grown bold all of a
sudden, took a _painting brush_, and in large letters put into their
placard, "_Mr. Cobbett's Speech at Lewes_;" so that, at a little
distance, the placard seemed to relate to nothing else; and there was
"the finest specimen of oratory" left to find its way into the world
under the auspices of my rustic harangue. Good God! What will this world
come to! We shall, by-and-bye, have to laugh at the workings of envy in
the very worms that we breed in our bodies!--The fast-sinking Old Times
news-paper, its cat-and-dog opponent the New Times, the Courier, and the
Whig-Lawyer Tramper, called the "Traveller;" the fellows who conduct
these vehicles; these wretched fellows, their very livers burning with
envy, have hasted to inform their readers, that "they have authority to
state that Lord Ashburnham and Mr. Fuller were not present at the dinner
at Battle where Cobbett's health was drunk." These fellows have now
"authority" to state, that there were no two men who dined at Battle,
that I should not prefer as companions to Lord Ashburnham and Mr.
Fuller, commonly called "Jack Fuller," seeing that I am no admirer of
_lofty reserve_, and that, of all things on earth, I abhor a head like a
drum, all noise and emptiness. These scribes have also "authority" to
state, that they amuse me and the public too by declining rapidly in
their sale from their exclusion of my country lectures, which have only
begun. In addition to this The Tramper editor has "authority" to state,
that one of his papers of 5th Jan. has been sent to the Register-office
by post, with these words written on it: "This scoundrel paper has taken
no notice of Mr. Cobbett's speech." All these papers have "authority" to
state beforehand, that they will insert no account of what shall take
place, within these three or four weeks, at _Huntingdon_, at _Lynn_, at
_Chichester_, and other places where I intend to be. And, lastly, the
editors have full "authority" to state, that they may employ, without
let or molestation of any sort, either private or public, the price of
the last number that they shall sell in the purchase of hemp or
ratsbane, as the sure means of a happy deliverance from their present
state of torment.


_Royston, Monday morning, 21st Jan., 1822._

Came from London, yesterday noon, to this town on my way to Huntingdon.
My road was through Ware. Royston is just within the line (on the
Cambridgeshire side), which divides Hertfordshire from Cambridgeshire.
On this road, as on almost all the others going from it, the enormous
_Wen_ has swelled out to the distance of about six or seven miles.--The
land till you come nearly to Ware which is in Hertfordshire, and which
is twenty-three miles from the _Wen_, is chiefly a strong and deep loam,
with the gravel a good distance from the surface. The land is good
wheat-land; but I observed only three fields of Swedish turnips in the
23 miles, and no wheat drilled. The wheat is sown on ridges of great
width here-and-there; sometimes on ridges of ten, at others on ridges of
seven, on those of five, four, three, and even two, feet wide. Yet the
bottom is manifestly not very wet generally; and that there is not a
bottom of clay is clear from the poor growth of the oak trees. All the
trees are shabby in this country; and the eye is incessantly offended by
the sight of _pollards_, which are seldom suffered to disgrace even the
meanest lands in Hampshire or Sussex. As you approach Ware the bottom
becomes chalk of a dirtyish colour, and, in some parts, far below the
surface. After you quit Ware, which is a mere market town, the land
grows by degrees poorer; the chalk lies nearer and nearer to the
surface, till you come to the open common-fields within a few miles of
Royston. Along here the land is poor enough. It is not the stiff red
loam mixed with large blue-grey flints, lying upon the chalk, such as
you see in the north of Hampshire; but a whitish sort of clay, with
little yellow flattish stones amongst it; sure signs of a hungry soil.
Yet this land bears wheat sometimes.--Royston is at the foot of this
high poor land; or, rather in a dell, the open side of which looks
towards the North. It is a common market town. Not mean, but having
nothing of beauty about it; and having on it, on three of the sides out
of the four, those very ugly things, common-fields, which have all the
nakedness, without any of the smoothness, of Downs.

_Huntingdon, Tuesday morning, 22nd Jan., 1822._

Immediately upon quitting Royston, you come along, for a considerable
distance, with enclosed fields on the left and open common-fields on the
right. Here the land is excellent. A dark, rich loam, free from stones,
on chalk beneath at a great distance. The land appears, for a mile or
two, to resemble that at and near Faversham in Kent, which I have before
noticed. The fields on the left seem to have been enclosed by Act of
Parliament; and they certainly are the most beautiful tract of _fields_
that I ever saw. Their extent may be from ten to thirty acres each.
Divided by quick-set hedges, exceedingly well planted and raised. The
whole tract is nearly a perfect level. The cultivation neat, and the
stubble heaps, such as remain out, giving a proof of great crops of
straw, while, on land with a chalk bottom, there is seldom any want of a
proportionate quantity of grain. Even here, however, I saw but few
Swedish turnips, and those not good. Nor did I see any wheat drilled;
and observed that, in many parts, the broad-cast sowing had been
performed in a most careless manner, especially at about three miles
from Royston, where some parts of the broad lands seemed to have had the
seed flung along them with a shovel, while other parts contained only
here and there a blade; or, at least, were so thinly supplied as to make
it almost doubtful whether they had not been wholly missed. In some
parts the middles only of the ridges were sown thickly. This is shocking
husbandry. A Norfolk or a Kentish farmer would have sowed a bushel and
a half of seed to the acre here, and would have had a far better plant
of wheat.--About four miles, I think it is, from Royston you come to the
estate of Lord Hardwicke. You see the house at the end of an avenue
about two miles long, which, however, wants the main thing, namely, fine
and lofty trees. The soil here begins to be a very stiff loam at top;
clay beneath for a considerable distance; and, in some places, beds of
yellow gravel with very large stones mixed in it. The land is generally
cold; a great deal of draining is wanted; and yet the bottom is such as
not to be favourable to the growth of the _oak_, of which sort I have
not seen one _handsome_ tree since I left London. A grove, such as I saw
at Weston in Herefordshire, would, here, be a thing to attract the
attention of all ranks and all ages. What, then, would they say, on
beholding a wood of Oaks, Hickories, Chestnuts, Walnuts, Locusts,
Gum-trees, and Maples in America!--Lord Hardwicke's avenue appears to be
lined with Elms chiefly. They are shabby. He might have had _ash_; for
the ash will grow _anywhere_; on sand, on gravel, on clay, on chalk, or
in swamps. It is surprising that those who planted these rows of trees
did not observe how well the ash grows here! In the hedge-rows, in the
plantations, everywhere the ash is fine. The ash is the _hardiest_ of
all our large trees. Look at trees on any part of the sea coast. You
will see them all, even the firs, lean from the sea breeze, except the
ash. You will see the oak _shaved up_ on the side of the breeze. But the
ash stands upright, as if in a warm woody dell. We have no tree that
attains a greater height than the ash; and certainly none that equals it
in beauty of leaf. It bears pruning better than any other tree. Its
timber is one of the most useful; and as underwood and fire-wood it far
exceeds all others of English growth. From the trees of an avenue like
that of Lord Hardwicke a hundred pounds worth of fuel might, if the
trees were ash, be cut every year in prunings necessary to preserve the
health and beauty of the trees. Yet, on this same land, has his lordship
planted many acres of larches and firs. These appear to have been
planted about twelve years. If instead of these he had planted ash, four
years from the seed bed and once removed; had cut them down within an
inch of the ground the second year after planting; and had planted them
at four feet apart, he would now have had about six thousand ash-poles,
on an average twelve feet long, on each acre of land in his plantation;
which, at three-halfpence each, would have been worth somewhere nearly
forty pounds an acre. He might now have cut the poles, leaving about 600
to stand upon an acre to come to trees; and while these were growing to
timber, the underwood would, for poles, hoops, broom-sticks, spars,
rods, and faggots, have been worth twenty-five or thirty pounds an acre
every ten years. Can beggarly stuff, like larches and firs, ever be
profitable to this extent? Ash is timber, fit for the wheelwright, at
the age of twenty years, or less. What can you do with a rotten fir
thing at that age?----This estate of Lord Hardwicke appears to be very
large. There is a part which is, apparently, in his own hands, as,
indeed, the whole must soon be, unless he give up all idea of rent, or,
unless he can _choack off_ the fundholder or get again afloat on the sea
of paper-money. In this part of his land there is a fine piece of
_Lucerne_ in rows at about eighteen inches distant from each other. They
are now manuring it with _burnt-earth_ mixed with some dung; and I see
several heaps of burnt-earth hereabouts. The directions for doing this
are contained in my _Year's Residence_, as taught me by Mr. William
Gauntlet, of Winchester.--The land is, all along here, laid up in those
wide and high ridges, which I saw in Gloucestershire, going from
Gloucester to Oxford, as I have already mentioned. These ridges are
ploughed _back_ or _down_; but they are ploughed up again for every
sowing.--At an Inn near Lord Hardwicke's I saw the finest parcel of
dove-house pigeons I ever saw in my life.--Between this place and
Huntingdon is the village of Caxton, which very much resembles almost a
village of the same size in _Picardy_, where I saw the women dragging
harrows to harrow in the corn. Certainly this village resembles nothing
English, except some of the rascally rotten boroughs in Cornwall and
Devonshire, on which a just Providence seems to have entailed its curse.
The land just about here does seem to be really bad. The face of the
country is naked. The few scrubbed trees that now-and-then meet the eye,
and even the quick-sets, are covered with a yellow moss. All is bleak
and comfortless; and, just on the most dreary part of this most dreary
scene, stands almost opportunely, "_Caxton Gibbet_," tendering its
friendly one arm to the passers-by. It has recently been fresh-painted,
and written on in conspicuous characters, for the benefit, I suppose, of
those who cannot exist under the thought of wheat at four shillings a
bushel.--Not far from this is a new house, which, the coachman says,
belongs to a Mr. Cheer, who, if report speaks truly, is not, however,
notwithstanding his name, guilty of the sin of making people either
drunkards or gluttons. Certainly the spot, on which he has built his
house, is one of the most ugly that I ever saw. Few spots have
everything that you could wish to find; but this, according to my
judgment, has everything that every man of ordinary taste would wish to
avoid.--The country changes but little till you get quite to Huntingdon.
The land is generally quite open, or in large fields. Strong,
wheat-land, that wants a good deal of draining. Very few turnips of any
sort are raised; and, of course, few sheep and cattle kept. Few trees,
and those scrubbed. Few woods, and those small. Few hills, and those
hardly worthy of the name. All which, when we see them, make us cease to
wonder, that this country is so famous for _fox-hunting_. Such it has
doubtless been in all times, and to this circumstance Huntingdon, that
is to say, Huntingdun, or Huntingdown, unquestionably owes its name;
because _down_ does not mean _unploughed_ land, but open and
_unsheltered_ land, and the Saxon word is _dun_.--When you come down
near to the town itself, the scene suddenly, totally, and most
agreeably, changes. The _River Ouse_ separates Godmanchester from
Huntingdon, and there is, I think, no very great difference in the
population of the two. Both together do not make up a population of more
than about five thousand souls. Huntingdon is a slightly built town,
compared with Lewes, for instance. The houses are not in general so
high, nor made of such solid and costly materials. The shops are not so
large and their contents not so costly. There is not a show of so much
business and so much opulence. But Huntingdon is a very clean and nice
place, contains many elegant houses, and the environs are beautiful.
Above and below the bridge, under which the Ouse passes, are the most
beautiful, and by far the most beautiful, meadows that I ever saw in my
life. The meadows at Lewes, at Guildford, at Farnham, at Winchester, at
Salisbury, at Exeter, at Gloucester, at Hereford, and even at
Canterbury, are nothing, compared with those of Huntingdon in point of
beauty. Here are no reeds, here is no sedge, no unevennesses of any
sort. Here are _bowling-greens_ of hundreds of acres in extent, with a
river winding through them, full to the brink. _One_ of these meadows is
the _race-course_; and so pretty a spot, so level, so smooth, so green,
and of such an extent I never saw, and never expected to see. From the
bridge you look across the valleys, first to the West and then to the
East; the valleys terminate at the foot of rising ground, well set with
trees, from amongst which church spires raise their heads
here-and-there. I think it would be very difficult to find a more
delightful spot than this in the world. To my fancy (and every one to
his taste) the prospect from this bridge far surpasses that from
Richmond Hill.--All that I have yet seen of Huntingdon I like
exceedingly. It is one of those pretty, clean, unstenched, unconfined
places that tend to lengthen life and make it happy.


_Saint Albans, June 19, 1822._

From Kensington to this place, through Edgware, Stanmore, and Watford,
the crop is almost entirely hay, from fields of permanent grass, manured
by dung and other matter brought from the _Wen_. Near the Wen, where
they have had the _first haul_ of the Irish and other perambulating
labourers, the hay is all in rick. Some miles further down it is nearly
all in. Towards Stanmore and Watford, a third, perhaps, of the grass
remains to be cut. It is curious to see how the thing regulates itself.
We saw, all the way down, squads of labourers, of different departments,
migrating from tract to tract; leaving the cleared fields behind them
and proceeding on towards the work to be yet performed; and then, as to
the classes of labourers, the _mowers_, with their scythes on their
shoulders, were in front, going on towards the standing crops, while the
_haymakers_ were coming on behind towards the grass already cut or
cutting. The weather is fair and warm; so that the public-houses on the
road are pouring out their beer pretty fast, and are getting a good
share of the wages of these thirsty souls. It is an exchange of beer for
sweat; but the tax-eaters get, after all, the far greater part of the
sweat; for, if it were not for the tax, the beer would sell for
three-halfpence a pot instead of fivepence. Of this threepence-halfpenny
the Jews and Jobbers get about twopence-halfpenny. It is curious to
observe how the different labours are divided as to the _nations_. The
mowers are all _English_; the haymakers all _Irish_. Scotchmen toil hard
enough in Scotland; but when they go from home it is not to _work_, if
you please. They are found in gardens, and especially in gentlemen's
gardens. Tying up flowers, picking dead leaves off exotics, peeping into
melon-frames, publishing the banns of marriage between the "_male_" and
"_female_" blossoms, tap-tap-tapping against a wall with a hammer that
weighs half an ounce. They have backs as straight and shoulders as
square as heroes of Waterloo; and who can blame them? The digging, the
mowing, the carrying of loads, all the break-back and sweat-extracting
work, they leave to be performed by those who have less _prudence_ than
they have. The great purpose of human art, the great end of human study,
is to obtain _ease_, to throw the burden of labour from our own
shoulders, and fix it on those of others. The crop of hay is very large,
and that part which is in, is in very good order. We shall have hardly
any hay that is not fine and sweet; and we shall have it, carried to
London, at less, I dare say, than 3_l._ a load, that is 18 cwt. So that
here the _evil_ of "_over-production_" will be great indeed! Whether we
shall have any projects for taking hay into _pawn_ is more than any of
us can say; for, after what we have seen, need we be surprised if we
were to hear it proposed to take butter and even milk into pawn. In
after times, the mad projects of these days will become proverbial. The
Oracle and the over-production men will totally supplant the
_March-hare_.--This is, all along here, and especially as far as
Stanmore, a very dull and ugly country: flat, and all grass-fields and
elms. Few _birds_ of any kind, and few _constant_ labourers being
wanted; scarcely any cottages and gardens, which form one of the great
beauties of a country. Stanmore is on a hill; but it looks over a
country of little variety, though rich. What a difference between the
view here and those which carry the eye over the coppices, the
corn-fields, the hop-gardens and the orchards of Kent! It is miserable
land from Stanmore to Watford, where we get into Hertfordshire. Hence to
Saint Albans there is generally chalk at bottom with a red tenacious
loam at top, with flints, grey on the outside and dark blue within.
Wherever this is the soil, the wheat grows well. The crops, and
especially that of the barley, are very fine and very forward. The
wheat, in general, does not appear to be a heavy crop; but the ears seem
as if they would be full from bottom to top; and we have had so much
heat, that the grain is pretty sure to be plump, let the weather, for
the rest of the summer, be what it may. The produce depends more on the
weather, previous to the coming out of the ear, than on the subsequent
weather. In the Northern parts of America, where they have, some years,
not heat enough to bring the Indian Corn to perfection, I have observed
that, if they have about fifteen days with the thermometer at _ninety_,
before the ear makes its appearance, the crop never fails, though the
weather may be ever so unfavourable afterwards. This allies with the old
remark of the country people in England, that "_May_ makes or mars the
wheat;" for it is in May that the ear and the grains are _formed_.

_Kensington, June 24, 1822._

Set out at four this morning for Redbourn, and then turned off to the
Westward to go to High Wycombe, through Hempstead and Chesham. The
_wheat_ is good all the way. The barley and oats good enough till I came
to Hempstead. But the land along here is very fine: a red tenacious
flinty loam upon a bed of chalk at a yard or two beneath, which, in my
opinion, is the very best _corn land_ that we have in England. The
fields here, like those in the rich parts of Devonshire, will bear
perpetual grass. Any of them will become upland meadows. The land is, in
short, excellent, and it is a real corn-country. The _trees_, from
Redbourn to Hempstead are very fine; oaks, ashes, and beeches. Some of
the finest of each sort, and the very finest ashes I ever saw in my
life. They are in great numbers, and make the fields look most
beautiful. No villanous things of the _fir-tribe_ offend the eye here.
The custom is in this part of Hertfordshire (and I am told it continues
into Bedfordshire) to leave a _border_ round the ploughed part of the
fields to bear grass and to make hay from, so that, the grass being now
made into hay, every corn field has a closely mowed grass walk about ten
feet wide all round it, between the corn and the hedge. This is most
beautiful! The hedges are now full of the shepherd's rose, honeysuckles,
and all sorts of wild flowers; so that you are upon a grass walk, with
this most beautiful of all flower gardens and shrubberies on your one
hand, and with the corn on the other. And thus you go from field to
field (on foot or on horseback), the sort of corn, the sort of underwood
and timber, the shape and size of the fields, the height of the
hedge-rows, the height of the trees, all continually varying. Talk of
_pleasure-grounds_ indeed! What, that man ever invented, under the name
of pleasure-grounds, can equal these fields in Hertfordshire?--This is a
profitable system too; for the ground under hedges bears little corn,
and it bears very good grass. Something, however, depends on the nature
of the soil: for it is not all land that will bear grass, fit for hay,
perpetually; and, when the land will not do that, these headlands would
only be a harbour for weeds and couch-grass, the seeds of which would
fill the fields with their mischievous race.--Mr. TULL has observed upon
the great use of headlands.--It is curious enough, that these headlands
cease soon after you get into Buckinghamshire. At first you see
now-and-then a field _without_ a grass headland; then it comes to
now-and-then a field _with_ one; and, at the end of five or six miles,
they wholly cease. Hempstead is a very pretty town, with beautiful
environs, and there is a canal that comes near it, and that goes on to
London. It lies at the foot of a hill. It is clean, substantially built,
and a very pretty place altogether. Between Hempstead and Chesham the
land is not so good. I came into Buckinghamshire before I got into the
latter place. Passed over two commons. But, still, the land is not bad.
It is drier; nearer the chalk, and not so red. The wheat continues good,
though not heavy; but the barley, on the land that is not very good, is
light, begins to look _blue_, and the backward oats are very short. On
the still thinner lands the barley and oats must be a very short
crop.--People do not sow _turnips_, the ground is so dry, and, I should
think, that the _Swede-crop_ will be very short; for _Swedes_ ought to
be _up_ at least by this time. If I had Swedes to sow, I would sow them
now, and upon ground very deeply and finely broken. I would sow directly
after the plough, not being half an hour behind it, and would roll the
ground as hard as possible. I am sure the plants would come up, even
without rain. And, the moment the rain came, they would grow
famously.--Chesham is a nice little town, lying in a deep and narrow
valley, with a stream of water running through it. All along the country
that I have come the labourers' dwellings are good. They are made of
what they call _brick-nog_; that is to say, a frame of wood, and a
single brick thick, filling up the vacancies between the timber. They
are generally covered with tile. Not _pretty_ by any means; but they are
good; and you see here, as in Kent, Susses, Surrey, and Hampshire, and,
indeed, in almost every part of England, that most interesting of all
objects, that which is such an honour to England, and that which
distinguishes it from all the rest of the world, namely, those _neatly
kept and productive little gardens round the labourers' houses_, which
are seldom unornamented with more or less of flowers. We have only to
look at these to know what sort of people English labourers are: these
gardens are the answer to the _Malthuses_ and the _Scarletts_. Shut your
mouths, you Scotch Economists; cease bawling, Mr. Brougham, and you
Edinburgh Reviewers, till _you_ can show us something, not _like_, but
approaching towards a likeness of _this_!

The orchards all along this country are by no means bad. Not like those
of Herefordshire and the north of Kent; but a great deal better than in
many other parts of the kingdom. The cherry-trees are pretty abundant
and particularly good. There are not many of the _merries_, as they call
them in Kent and Hampshire; that is to say, the little black cherry, the
name of which is a corruption from the French, _merise_, in the
singular, and _merises_ in the plural. I saw the little boys, in many
places, set to keep the birds off the cherries, which reminded me of the
time when I followed the same occupation, and also of the toll that I
used to take in payment. The children are all along here, I mean the
little children, locked out of the doors, while the fathers and mothers
are at work in the fields. I saw many little groups of this sort; and
this is one advantage of having plenty of room on the outside of a
house. I never saw the country children better clad, or look cleaner and
fatter than they look here, and I have the very great pleasure to add,
that I do not think I saw three acres of _potatoes_ in this whole tract
of fine country, from St. Albans to Redbourn, from Redbourn to
Hempstead, and from Hempstead to Chesham. In all the houses where I have
been, they use the roasted rye instead of coffee or tea, and I saw one
gentleman who had sown a piece of rye (a grain not common in this part
of the country) for the express purpose. It costs about three farthings
a pound, roasted and ground into powder.--The pay of the labourers
varies from eight to twelve shillings a-week. Grass mowers get two
shillings a-day, two quarts of what they call strong beer, and as much
small beer as they can drink. After quitting Chesham, I passed through a
wood, resembling, as nearly as possible, the woods in the more
cultivated parts of Long Island, with these exceptions, that there the
woods consist of a great variety of trees, and of more beautiful
foliage. Here there are only two sorts of trees, beech and oak: but the
wood at bottom was precisely like an American wood: none of that stuff
which we generally call underwood: the trees standing very thick in some
places: the shade so complete as never to permit herbage below: no
bushes of any sort; and nothing to impede your steps but little
spindling trees here and there grown up from the seed. The trees here
are as lofty, too, as they generally are in the Long Island woods, and
as straight, except in cases where you find clumps of the tulip-tree,
which sometimes go much above a hundred feet high as straight as a line.
The oaks seem here to vie with the beeches, in size as well as in
loftiness and straightness. I saw several oaks which I think were more
than eighty feet high, and several with a clear stem of more than forty
feet, being pretty nearly as far through at that distance from the
ground as at bottom; and I think I saw more than one, with a clear stem
of fifty feet, a foot and a half through at that distance from the
ground. This is by far the finest _plank oak_ that I ever saw in
England. The road through the wood is winding and brings you out at the
corner of a field, lying sloping to the south, three sides of it
bordered by wood and the field planted as an orchard. This is precisely
what you see in so many thousands of places in America. I had passed
through Hempstead a little while before, which certainly gave its name
to the Township in which I lived in Long Island, and which I used to
write _Hampstead_, contrary to the orthography of the place, never
having heard of such a place as _Hempstead_ in England. Passing through
Hempstead I gave my mind a toss back to Long Island, and this beautiful
wood and orchard really made me almost conceit that I was there, and
gave rise to a thousand interesting and pleasant reflections. On
quitting the wood I crossed the great road from London to Wendover,
went across the park of Mr. Drake, and up a steep hill towards the great
road leading to Wycombe. Mr. Drake's is a very beautiful place, and has
a great deal of very fine timber upon it. I think I counted pretty
nearly 200 oak trees, worth, on an average, five pounds a-piece, growing
within twenty yards of the road that I was going along. Mr. Drake has
some thousands of these, I dare say, besides his beech; and, therefore,
_he_ will be able to stand a tug with the fundholders for some time.
When I got to High Wycombe, I found everything a week earlier than in
the rich part of Hertfordshire. High Wycombe, as if the name was
ironical, lies along the bottom of a narrow and deep valley, the hills
on each side being very steep indeed. The valley runs somewhere about
from east to west, and the wheat on the hills facing the south will, if
this weather continue, be fit to reap in ten days. I saw one field of
oats that a bold farmer would cut next Monday. Wycombe is a very fine
and very clean market town; the people all looking extremely well; the
girls somewhat larger featured and larger boned than those in Sussex,
and not so fresh-coloured and bright-eyed. More like the girls of
America, and that is saying quite as much as any reasonable woman can
expect or wish for. The Hills on the south side of Wycombe form a park
and estate now the property of Smith, who was a banker or stocking-maker
at Nottingham, who was made a Lord in the time of Pitt, and who
purchased this estate of the late Marquis of Landsdowne, one of whose
titles is Baron Wycombe. Wycombe is one of those famous things called
Boroughs, and 34 votes in this Borough send Sir John Dashwood and Sir
Thomas Baring to the "collective wisdom." The landlord where I put up
"_remembered_" the name of Dashwood, but had "_forgotten_" who the
"_other_" was! There would be no forgettings of this sort, if these
thirty-four, together with _their_ representatives, were called upon to
pay the share of the National Debt due from High Wycombe. Between High
Wycombe and Beaconsfield, where the soil is much about that last
described, the wheat continued to be equally early with that about
Wycombe. As I approached Uxbridge I got off the chalk upon a gravelly
bottom, and then from Uxbridge to Shepherd's Bush on a bottom of clay.
Grass-fields and elm-trees, with here and there a wheat or a bean-field,
form the features of this most ugly country, which would have been
perfectly unbearable after quitting the neighbourhoods of Hempstead,
Chesham and High Wycombe, had it not been for the diversion I derived
from meeting, in all the various modes of conveyance, the cockneys going
to _Ealing Fair_, which is one of those things which nature herself
would almost seem to have provided for drawing off the matter and
giving occasional relief to the overcharged _Wen_. I have traversed
to-day what I think may be called an average of England as to
corn-crops. Some of the best, certainly; and pretty nearly some of the
worst. My observation as to the wheat is, that it will be a fair and
average crop, and extremely early; because, though it is not a heavy
crop, though the ears are not long they will be full; and the earliness
seems to preclude the possibility of blight, and to ensure plump grain.
The barley and oats must, upon an average, be a light crop. The peas a
light crop; and as to beans, unless there have been rains where beans
are mostly grown, they cannot be half a crop; for they will not endure
heat. I tried masagan beans in Long Island, and could not get them to
bear more than a pod or two upon a stem. Beans love cold land and shade.
The earliness of the harvest (for early it must be) is always a clear
advantage. This fine summer, though it may not lead to a good crop of
turnips, has already put safe into store such a crop of hay as I believe
England never saw before. Looking out of the window, I see the harness
of the Wiltshire wagon-horses (at this moment going by) covered with the
chalk-dust of that county; so that the fine weather continues in the
West. The saint-foin hay has all been got in, in the chalk countries,
without a drop of wet; and when that is the case, the farmers stand in
no need of oats. The grass crops have been large everywhere, as well as
got in in good order. The fallows must be in excellent order. It must be
a sloven indeed that will sow his wheat in foul ground next autumn; and
the sun, where the fallows have been well stirred, will have done more
to enrich the land than all the dung-carts and all the other means
employed by the hand of man. Such a summer is a great blessing; and the
only draw-back is, the dismal apprehension of not seeing such another
for many years to come. It is favourable for poultry, for colts, for
calves, for lambs, for young animals of all descriptions, not excepting
the game. The partridges will be very early. They are now getting into
the roads with their young ones, to roll in the dust. The first broods
of partridges in England are very frequently killed by the wet and cold;
and this is one reason why the game is not so plenty here as it is in
countries more blest with sun. This will not be the case this year; and,
in short, this is one of the finest years that I ever knew.



_Chilworth, near Guildford, Surrey, Wednesday, 25th Sept., 1822._

This morning I set off, in rather a drizzling rain, from Kensington, on
horseback, accompanied by my son, with an intention of going to
Uphusband, near Andover, which is situated in the North West corner of
Hampshire. It is very true that I could have gone to Uphusband by
travelling only about 66 miles, and in the space of about eight hours.
But my object was not to see inns and turnpike-roads, but to see the
_country_; to see the farmers at home, and to see the labourers in the
fields; and to do this you must go either on foot or on horse-back. With
a gig you cannot get about amongst bye-lanes and across fields, through
bridle-ways and hunting-gates; and to _tramp it_ is too slow, leaving
the labour out of the question, and that is not a trifle.

We went through the turnpike-gate at Kensington, and immediately turned
down the lane to our left, proceeded on to Fulham, crossed Putney bridge
into Surrey, went over Barnes Common, and then, going on the upper side
of Richmond, got again into Middlesex by crossing Richmond bridge. All
Middlesex is _ugly_, notwithstanding the millions upon millions which it
is continually sucking up from the rest of the kingdom; and, though the
Thames and its meadows now-and-then are seen from the road, the country
is not less ugly from Richmond to Chertsey bridge, through Twickenham,
Hampton, Sunbury, and Sheperton, than it is elsewhere. The soil is a
gravel at bottom with a black loam at top near the Thames; further back
it is a sort of spewy gravel; and the buildings consist generally of
tax-eaters' showy, tea-garden-like boxes, and of shabby dwellings of
labouring people who, in this part of the country, look to be about half
_Saint Giles's_: dirty, and have every appearance of drinking gin.

At Chertsey, where we came into Surrey again, there was a Fair for
horses, cattle, and pigs. I did not see any sheep. Everything was
exceedingly _dull_. Cart colts, two and three years old, were selling
for _less than a third_ of what they sold for in 1813. The cattle were
of an inferior description to be sure; but the price was low almost
beyond belief. Cows, which would have sold for 15_l._ in 1813, did not
get buyers at 3_l._ I had no time to inquire much about the pigs, but a
man told me that they were dirt-cheap. Near Chertsey is _Saint Anne's
Hill_ and some other pretty spots. Upon being shown this hill I was put
in mind of Mr. Fox; and that brought into my head a grant that he
obtained of _Crown lands_ in this neighbourhood, in, I think, 1806. The
Duke of York obtained, by Act of Parliament, a much larger grant of
these lands, at Oatlands, in 1804, I think it was. But this was natural
enough; this is what would surprise nobody. Mr. Fox's was another
affair; and especially when taken into view with what I am now going to
relate. In 1804 or 1805, Fordyce, the late Duchess of Gordon's brother,
was Collector General (or had been) of taxes in Scotland, and owed a
large arrear to the public. He was also Surveyor of Crown lands. The
then Opposition were for hauling him up. Pitt was again in power. Mr.
Creevey was to bring forward the motion in the House of Commons, and Mr.
Fox was to support it, and had actually spoken once or twice, in a
preliminary way on the subject. Notice of the motion was regularly
given; it was put off from time to time, and, at last, _dropped_, Mr.
Fox _declining_ to support it. I have no books at hand; but the affair
will be found recorded in the Register. It was not owing to Mr. Creevey
that the thing did not come on. I remember well that it was owing to Mr.
Fox. Other motives were stated; and those others might be the real
motives; but, at any rate, the next year, or the year after, Mr. Fox got
transferred to him a part of that estate, which belongs to the _public_,
and which was once so great, called the _Crown lands_; and of these
lands Fordyce long had been, and then was, the Surveyor. Such are the
facts: let the reader reason upon them and draw the conclusion.

This county of Surrey presents to the eye of the traveller a greater
contrast than any other county in England. It has some of the very best
and some of the worst lands, not only in England, but in the world. We
were here upon those of the latter description. For five miles on the
road towards Guildford the land is a rascally common covered with poor
heath, except where the gravel is so near the top as not to suffer even
the heath to grow. Here we entered the enclosed lands, which have the
gravel at bottom, but a nice light, black mould at top; in which the
trees grow very well. Through bye-lanes and bridle-ways we came out into
the London road, between Ripley and Guildford, and immediately crossing
that road, came on towards a village called Merrow. We came out into the
road just mentioned, at the lodge-gates of a Mr. Weston, whose mansion
and estate have just passed (as to occupancy) into the hands of some new
man. At Merrow, where we came into the Epsom road, we found that Mr.
Webb Weston, whose mansion and park are a little further on towards
London, had just walked out, and left it in possession of another new
man. This gentleman told us, last year, at the _Epsom Meeting_, that he
was _losing his income_; and I told him _how it was_ that he was losing
it! He is said to be a very worthy man; very much respected; a very good
landlord; but, I dare say, he is one of those who approved of yeomanry
cavalry to keep down the "Jacobins and Levellers;" but who, in fact, as
I always told men of this description, have _put down_ themselves and
their landlords; for without them this thing never could have been done.
To ascribe the whole to _contrivance_ would be to give to Pitt and his
followers too much credit for profundity; but if the knaves who
assembled at the Crown and Anchor in the Strand, in 1793, to put down,
by the means of prosecutions and spies, those whom they called
"Republicans and Levellers;" if these knaves had said, "Let us go to
work to induce the owners and occupiers of the land to convey their
estates and their capital into our hands," and if the Government had
corresponded with them in views, the effect could not have been more
complete than it has, thus far, been. The yeomanry actually, as to the
effect, drew their swords to keep the reformers at bay, while the
tax-eaters were taking away the estates and the capital. It was the
sheep surrendering up the dogs into the hands of the wolves.

Lord Onslow lives near Merrow. This is the man that was, for many years,
so famous as a driver of four-in-hand. He used to be called _Tommy
Onslow_. He has the character of being a very good landlord. I know he
called me "a d----d _Jacobin_" several years ago, only, I presume,
because I was labouring to preserve to him the means of still driving
four-in-hand, while he, and others like him, and their yeomanry cavalry,
were working as hard to defeat my wishes and endeavours. They say here,
that, some little time back, his Lordship, who has, at any rate, had the
courage to retrench in all sorts of ways, was at Guildford in a gig with
one horse, at the very moment, when Spicer, the Stock-broker, who was a
Chairman of the Committee for prosecuting Lord Cochrane, and who lives
at Esher, came rattling in with four horses and a couple of out-riders!
They relate an observation made by his Lordship, which may, or may not,
be true, and which therefore, I shall not repeat. But, my Lord, there is
another sort of courage; courage other than that of retrenching, that
would become you in the present emergency: I mean _political_ courage,
and especially the courage of _acknowledging your errors_; confessing
that you were wrong when you called the reformers Jacobins and
levellers; the courage of now joining them in their efforts to save
their country, to regain their freedom, and to preserve to you your
estate, which is to be preserved, you will observe, by no other means
than that of a Reform of the Parliament. It is now manifest, even to
fools, that it has been by the instrumentality of a base and fraudulent
paper-money that loan-jobbers, stock-jobbers and Jews have got the
estates into their hands. With what eagerness, in 1797, did the
nobility, gentry, and clergy rush forward to give their sanction and
their support to the system which then began, and which has finally
produced, what we now behold! They assembled in all the counties, and
put forth declarations that they would take the paper of the Bank, and
that they would support the system. Upon this occasion the county of
Surrey was the very first county; and on the list of signatures the very
_first_ name was _Onslow_! There may be sales and conveyances; there may
be recoveries, deeds, and other parchments; but this was the real
transfer; this was the real signing away of the estates.

To come to Chilworth, which lies on the south side of St. Martha's Hill,
most people would have gone along the level road to Guildford and come
round through Shawford under the hills; but we, having seen enough of
streets and turnpikes, took across over Merrow Down, where the Guildford
race-course is, and then mounted the "Surrey Hills," so famous for the
prospects they afford. Here we looked back over Middlesex, and into
Buckinghamshire and Berkshire, away towards the North-West, into Essex
and Kent towards the East, over part of Sussex to the South, and over
part of Hampshire to the West and South-West. We are here upon a bed of
chalk, where the downs always afford good sheep food. We steered for St.
Martha's Chapel, and went round at the foot of the lofty hill on which
it stands. This brought us down the side of a steep hill, and along a
bridle-way, into the narrow and exquisitely beautiful vale of Chilworth,
where we were to stop for the night. This vale is skirted partly by
woodlands and partly by sides of hills tilled as corn fields. The land
is excellent, particularly towards the bottom. Even the arable fields
are in some places, towards their tops, nearly as steep as the roof of a
tiled house; and where the ground is covered with woods the ground is
still more steep. Down the middle of the vale there is a series of
ponds, or small _lakes_, which meet your eye, here and there, through
the trees. Here are some very fine farms, a little strip of meadows,
some hop-gardens, and the lakes have given rise to the establishment of
powder-mills and paper-mills. The trees of all sorts grow well here; and
coppices yield poles for the hop-gardens and wood to make charcoal for
the powder-mills.

They are sowing wheat here, and the land, owing to the fine summer that
we have had, is in a very fine state. The rain, too, which, yesterday,
fell here in great abundance, has been just in time to make a really
good wheat-sowing season. The turnips, all the way that we have come,
are good. Rather backward in some places; but in sufficient quantity
upon the ground, and there is yet a good while for them to grow. All the
fall fruit is excellent, and in great abundance. The grapes are as good
as those raised under glass. The apples are much richer than in ordinary
years. The crop of hops has been very fine here, as well as everywhere
else. The crop not only large, but good in quality. They expect to get
_six_ pounds a hundred for them at Weyhill fair. That is _one_ more than
I think they will get. The best Sussex hops were selling in the Borough
of Southwark at three pounds a hundred a few days before I left London.
The Farnham hops _may_ bring double that price; but that, I think, is as
much as they will; and this is ruin to the hop-planter. The _tax_, with
its attendant inconveniences, amounts to a pound a hundred; the picking,
drying, and bagging, to 50_s._ The carrying to market not less than
5_s._ Here is the sum of 3_l._ 10_s._ of the money. Supposing the crop
to be half a ton to the acre, the bare tillage will be 10_s._ The poles
for an acre cannot cost less than 2_l._ a-year; that is another 4_s._ to
each hundred of hops. This brings the outgoings to 82_s._ Then comes the
manure, then come the poor-rates, and road-rates, and county rates; and
if these leave one single farthing for _rent_ I think it is strange.

I hear that Mr. Birkbeck is expected home from America! It is said that
he is coming to receive a large legacy; a thing not to be overlooked by
a person who lives in a country where he can have _land for nothing_!
The truth is, I believe, that there has lately died a gentleman, who has
bequeathed a part of his property to pay the creditors of a relation of
his who some years ago became a bankrupt, and one of whose creditors Mr.
Birkbeck was. What the amount may be I know not; but I have heard, that
the bankrupt had a _partner_ at the time of the bankruptcy; so that
there must be a good deal of difficulty in settling the matter in an
equitable manner. The _Chancery_ would drawl it out (supposing the
present system to continue) till, in all human probability, there would
not be as much left for Mr. Birkbeck as would be required to pay his way
back again to the Land of Promise. I hope he is coming here to remain
here. He is a very clever man, though he has been very abusive and very
unjust with regard to me.

_Lea, near Godalming, Surrey, Thursday, 26 Sept._

We started from Chilworth this morning, came down the vale, left the
village of Shawford to our right, and that of Wonersh to our left, and
crossing the river Wey, got into the turnpike-road between Guildford and
Godalming, went on through Godalming, and got to Lea, which lies to the
north-east snugly under Hindhead, about 11 o'clock. This was coming only
about eight miles, a sort of rest after the 32 miles of the day before.
Coming along the road, a farmer overtook us, and as he had known me from
seeing me at the Meeting at Epsom last year, I had a part of my main
business to perform, namely, to talk politics. He was going to
_Haslemere_ fair. Upon the mention of that sink-hole of a Borough, which
sends, "_as clearly as the sun at noonday_," the celebrated Charles
Long, and the scarcely less celebrated Robert Ward, to the celebrated
House of Commons, we began to talk, as it were, spontaneously, about
Lord Lonsdale and the Lowthers. The farmer wondered why the Lowthers,
that were the owners of so many farms, should be for a system which was
so manifestly taking away the estates of the landlords and the capital
of the farmers, and giving them to Jews, loan-jobbers, stock-jobbers,
placemen, pensioners, sinecure people, and people of the "dead weight."
But his wonder ceased; his eyes were opened; and "his heart seemed to
burn within him as I talked to him on the way," when I explained to him
the nature of _Crown lands_ and "_Crown tenants_," and when I described
to him certain districts of property in Westmoreland and other parts. I
had not the book in my pocket, but my memory furnished me with quite a
sufficiency of matter to make him perceive that, in supporting the
present system, the Lowthers were by no means so foolish as he appeared
to think them. From the Lowthers I turned to Mr. Poyntz, who lives at
Midhurst in Sussex, and whose name as a "_Crown tenant_" I find in a
Report lately laid before the House of Commons, and the particulars of
which I will state another time for the information of the people of
Sussex. I used to wonder myself what made Mr. Poyntz call me a Jacobin.
I used to think that Mr. Poyntz must be a fool to support the present
system. What I have seen in that Report convinces me that Mr. Poyntz is
no fool, as far as relates to his own interest, at any rate. There is a
mine of wealth in these "_Crown lands_." Here are farms, and manors, and
mines, and woods, and forests, and houses, and streets, incalculable in
value. What can be so proper as to apply this public property towards
the discharge of a part, at least, of that public debt, which is
hanging round the neck of this nation like a mill-stone? Mr. Ricardo
proposes to seize upon a part of the private property of every man, to
be given to the stock-jobbing race. At an act of injustice like this the
mind revolts. The foolishness of it, besides, is calculated to shock
one. But in the _public property_ we see the suitable thing. And who can
possibly object to this, except those, who, amongst them, now divide the
possession or benefit of this property? I have once before mentioned,
but I will repeat it, that _Marlborough House_ in Pall Mall, for which
the Prince of Saxe Coburg pays a rent to the Duke of Marlborough of
three thousand pounds a-year, is rented of this generous public by that
most Noble Duke at the rate of less than _forty pounds_ a-year. There
are three houses in Pall Mall, the whole of which pay a rent _to the
public_ of about fifteen pounds a-year, I think it is. I myself,
twenty-two years ago, paid three hundred pounds a-year for one of them,
to a man that I thought was the owner of them; but I now find that these
houses belong to the public. The Duke of Buckingham's house in Pall
Mall, which is one of the grandest in all London, and which is not worth
less than seven or eight hundred pounds a-year, belongs to the public.
The Duke is the tenant; and I think he pays for it much less than twenty
pounds a-year. I speak from memory here all the way along; and therefore
not positively; I will, another time, state the particulars from the
books. The book that I am now referring to is also of a date of some
years back; but I will mention all the particulars another time. Talk of
_reducing rents_, indeed! Talk of _generous landlords_! It is the public
that is the generous landlord. It is the public that lets its houses and
manors and mines and farms at a cheap rate. It certainly would not be so
good a landlord if it had a Reformed Parliament to manage its affairs,
nor would it suffer so many snug _Corporations_ to carry on their
snugglings in the manner that they do, and therefore it is obviously the
interest of the rich tenants of this poor public, as well as the
interest of the snugglers in Corporations, to prevent the poor public
from having such a Parliament.

We got into free-quarter again at Lea; and there is nothing like
free-quarter, as soldiers well know. Lea is situated on the edge of that
immense heath which sweeps down from the summit of Hindhead across to
the north over innumerable hills of minor altitude and of an infinite
variety of shapes towards Farnham, to the north-east, towards the Hog's
Back, leading from Farnham to Guildford, and to the east, or nearly so,
towards Godalming. Nevertheless, the enclosed lands at Lea are very good
and singularly beautiful. The timber of all sorts grows well; the land
is light, and being free from stones, very pleasant to work. If you go
southward from Lea about a mile you get down into what is called, in the
old Acts of Parliament, the _Weald_ of Surrey. Here the land is a stiff
tenacious loam at top with blue and yellow clay beneath. This Weald
continues on eastward, and gets into Sussex near East Grinstead: thence
it winds about under the hills, into Kent. Here the oak grows finer than
in any part of England. The trees are more spiral in their form. They
grow much faster than upon any other land. Yet the timber must be
better; for, in some of the Acts of Queen Elizabeth's reign, it is
provided, that the oak for the Royal Navy shall come out of the Wealds
of Surrey, Sussex, or Kent.

_Odiham, Hampshire, Friday, 27 Sept._

From Lea we set off this morning about six o'clock to get free-quarter
again at a worthy old friend's at this nice little plain market-town.
Our direct road was right over the heath through Tilford to Farnham; but
we veered a little to the left after we came to Tilford, at which place
on the Green we stopped to look at an _oak tree_, which, when I was a
little boy, was but a very little tree, comparatively, and which is now,
take it altogether, by far the finest tree that I ever saw in my life.
The stem or shaft is short; that is to say, it is short before you come
to the first limbs; but it is full _thirty feet round_, at about eight
or ten feet from the ground. Out of the stem there come not less than
fifteen or sixteen limbs, many of which are from five to ten feet round,
and each of which would, in fact, be considered a decent stick of
timber. I am not judge enough of timber to say anything about the
quantity in the whole tree, but my son stepped the ground, and as nearly
as we could judge, the diameter of the extent of the branches was
upwards of ninety feet, which would make a circumference of about three
hundred feet. The tree is in full growth at this moment. There is a
little hole in one of the limbs; but with that exception, there appears
not the smallest sign of decay. The tree has made great shoots in all
parts of it this last summer and spring; and there are no appearances of
_white_ upon the trunk, such as are regarded as the symptoms of full
growth. There are many sorts of oak in England; two very distinct; one
with a pale leaf, and one with a dark leaf: this is of the pale leaf.
The tree stands upon Tilford-green, the soil of which is a light loam
with a hard sand stone a good way beneath, and, probably, clay beneath
that. The spot where the tree stands is about a hundred and twenty feet
from the edge of a little river, and the ground on which it stands may
be about ten feet higher than the bed of that river.

In quitting Tilford we came on to the land belonging to Waverly Abbey,
and then, instead of going on to the town of Farnham, veered away to the
left towards Wrecklesham, in order to cross the Farnham and Alton
turnpike-road, and to come on by the side of Crondall to Odiham. We went
a little out of the way to go to a place called the _Bourn_, which lies
in the heath at about a mile from Farnham. It is a winding narrow
valley, down which, during the wet season of the year, there runs a
stream beginning at the _Holt Forest_, and emptying itself into the
_Wey_ just below Moor-Park, which was the seat of Sir William Temple
when Swift was residing with him. We went to this Bourn in order that I
might show my son the spot where I received the rudiments of my
education. There is a little hop-garden in which I used to work when
from eight to ten years old; from which I have scores of times run to
follow the hounds, leaving the hoe to do the best that it could to
destroy the weeds; but the most interesting thing was a _sand-hill_,
which goes from a part of the heath down to the rivulet. As a due
mixture of pleasure with toil, I, with two brothers, used occasionally
to _desport_ ourselves, as the lawyers call it, at this sand-hill. Our
diversion was this: we used to go to the top of the hill, which was
steeper than the roof of a house; one used to draw his arms out of the
sleeves of his smock-frock, and lay himself down with his arms by his
sides; and then the others, one at head and the other at feet, sent him
rolling down the hill like a barrel or a log of wood. By the time he got
to the bottom, his hair, eyes, ears, nose, and mouth, were all full of
this loose sand; then the others took their turn, and at every roll
there was a monstrous spell of laughter. I had often told my sons of
this while they were very little, and I now took one of them to see the
spot. But that was not all. This was the spot where I was receiving my
_education_; and this was the sort of education; and I am perfectly
satisfied that if I had not received such an education, or something
very much like it; that, if I had been brought up a milksop, with a
nursery-maid everlastingly at my heels, I should have been at this day
as great a fool, as inefficient a mortal, as any of those frivolous
idiots that are turned out from Winchester and Westminster Schools, or
from any of those dens of dunces called Colleges and Universities. It is
impossible to say how much I owe to that sand-hill; and I went to return
it my thanks for the ability which it probably gave me to be one of the
greatest terrors, to one of the greatest and most powerful bodies of
knaves and fools, that ever were permitted to afflict this or any other

From the Bourn we proceeded on to Wrecklesham, at the end of which we
crossed what is called the river Wey. Here we found a parcel of
labourers at parish-work. Amongst them was an old playmate of mine. The
account they gave of their situation was very dismal. The harvest was
over early. The hop-picking is now over; and now they are employed _by
the Parish_; that is to say, not absolutely digging holes one day and
filling them up the next; but at the expense of half-ruined farmers and
tradesmen and landlords, to break stones into very small pieces to make
nice smooth roads lest the jolting, in going along them, should create
bile in the stomachs of the overfed tax-eaters. I call upon mankind to
witness this scene; and to say, whether ever the like of this was heard
of before. It is a state of things, where all is out of order; where
self-preservation, that great law of nature, seems to be set at
defiance; for here are farmers _unable_ to pay men for working for them,
and yet compelled to pay them for working in doing that which is really
of no use to any human being. There lie the hop-poles unstripped. You
see a hundred things in the neighbouring fields that want doing. The
fences are not nearly what they ought to be. The very meadows, to our
right and our left in crossing this little valley, would occupy these
men advantageously until the setting in of the frost; and here are they,
not, as I said before, actually digging holes one day and filling them
up the next; but, to all intents and purposes, as uselessly employed. Is
this Mr. Canning's "_Sun of Prosperity_?" Is this the way to increase or
preserve a nation's wealth? Is this a sign of wise legislation and of
good government? Does this thing "work well," Mr. Canning? Does it prove
that we want no change? True, you were born under a Kingly Government;
and so was I as well as you; but I was not born under _Six-Acts_; nor
was I born under a state of things like this. I was not born under it,
and I do not wish to live under it; and, with God's help, I will change
it if I can.

We left these poor fellows, after having given them, not "religious
Tracts," which would, if they could, make the labourer content with half
starvation, but something to get them some bread and cheese and beer,
being firmly convinced that it is the body that wants filling and not
the mind. However, in speaking of their low wages, I told them that the
farmers and hop-planters were as much objects of compassion as
themselves, which they acknowledged.

We immediately, alter this, crossed the road, and went on towards
Crondall upon a soil that soon became stiff loam and flint at top with a
bed of chalk beneath. We did not go to Crondall; but kept along over
Slade Heath, and through a very pretty place called Well. We arrived at
Odiham about half after eleven, at the end of a beautiful ride of about
seventeen miles, in a very fine and pleasant day.

_Winchester, Saturday, 28th September._

Just after daylight we started for this place. By the turnpike we could
have come through Basingstoke by turning off to the right, or through
Alton and Alresford by turning off to the left. Being naturally disposed
towards a middle course, we chose to wind down through Upton-Gray,
Preston-Candover, Chilton-Candover, Brown-Candover, then down to
Ovington, and into Winchester by the north entrance. From Wrecklesham to
Winchester we have come over roads and lanes of flint and chalk. The
weather being dry again, the ground under you, as solid as iron, makes a
great rattling with the horses' feet. The country where the soil is
stiff loam upon chalk is never bad for corn. Not rich, but never poor.
There is at no time anything deserving to be called dirt in the roads.
The buildings last a long time, from the absence of fogs and also the
absence of humidity in the ground. The absence of dirt makes the people
habitually cleanly; and all along through this country the people appear
in general to be very neat. It is a country for sheep, which are always
sound and good upon this iron soil. The trees grow well, where there are
trees. The woods and coppices are not numerous; but they are good,
particularly the ash, which always grows well upon the chalk. The oaks,
though they do not grow in the spiral form, as upon the clays, are by no
means stunted; and some of them very fine trees; I take it that they
require a much greater number of years to bring them to perfection than
in the _Wealds_. The wood, perhaps, may be harder; but I have heard that
the oak, which grows upon these hard bottoms, is very frequently what
the carpenters call _shaky_. The underwoods here consist, almost
entirely, of hazle, which is very fine, and much tougher and more
durable than that which grows on soils with a moist bottom. This hazle
is a thing of great utility here. It furnishes rods wherewith to make
fences; but its principal use is, to make _wattles_ for the folding of
sheep in the fields. These things are made much more neatly here than in
the south of Hampshire and in Sussex, or in any other part that I have
seen. Chalk is the favourite soil of the _yew-tree_; and at
Preston-Candover there is an avenue of yew-trees, probably a mile long,
each tree containing, as nearly as I can guess, from twelve to twenty
feet of timber, which, as the reader knows, implies a tree of
considerable size. They have probably been a century or two in growing;
but, in any way that timber can be used, the timber of the yew will
last, perhaps, ten times as long as the timber of any other tree that we
grow in England.

Quitting the Candovers, we came along between the two estates of the two
Barings. Sir Thomas, who has supplanted the Duke of Bedford, was to our
right, while Alexander, who has supplanted Lord Northington, was on our
left. The latter has enclosed, as a sort of outwork to his park, a
pretty little down called Northington Down, in which he has planted,
here and there, a clump of trees. But Mr. Baring, not reflecting that
woods are not like funds, to be made at a heat, has planted his trees
_too large_; so that they are covered with moss, are dying at the top,
and are literally growing downward instead of upward. In short, this
enclosure and plantation have totally destroyed the beauty of this part
of the estate. The down, which was before very beautiful, and formed a
sort of _glacis_ up to the park pales, is now a marred, ragged,
ugly-looking thing. The dying trees, which have been planted long enough
for you not to perceive that they have been planted, excite the idea of
sterility in the soil. They do injustice to it; for, as a down, it was
excellent. Everything that has been done here is to the injury of the
estate, and discovers a most shocking want of taste in the projector.
Sir Thomas's plantations, or, rather, those of his father, have been
managed more judiciously.

I do not like to be a sort of spy in a man's neighbourhood; but I will
tell Sir Thomas Baring what I have heard; and if he be a man of sense I
shall have his thanks, rather than his reproaches, for so doing. I may
have been misinformed; but this is what I have heard, that he, and also
Lady Baring, are very charitable; that they are very kind and
compassionate to their poor neighbours; but that they tack a sort of
condition to this charity; that they insist upon the objects of it
adopting their notions with regard to religion; or, at least, that where
the people are not what they deem _pious_, they are not objects of their
benevolence. I do not say, that they are not perfectly sincere
themselves, and that their wishes are not the best that can possibly be;
but of this I am very certain, that, by pursuing this principle of
action, where they make one good man or woman, they will make one
hundred hypocrites. It is not little books that can make a people good;
that can make them moral; that can restrain them from committing crimes.
I believe that books of any sort never yet had that tendency. Sir Thomas
does, I dare say, think me a very wicked man, since I aim at the
destruction of the funding system, and what he would call a robbery of
what he calls the public creditor; and yet, God help me, I have read
books enough, and amongst the rest, a great part of the religious
tracts. Amongst the labouring people, the first thing you have to look
after is, _common honesty_, _speaking the truth_, and _refraining from
thieving_; and to secure these, the labourer must have _his belly-full_
and be _free from fear_; and this belly-full must come to him from out
of his _wages_, and not from benevolence of any description. Such being
my opinion, I think Sir Thomas Baring would do better, that he would
discover more real benevolence, by using the influence which he must
naturally have in his neighbourhood, to prevent a diminution in the
wages of labour.

_Winchester, Sunday Morning, 29 Sept._

Yesterday was market-day here. Everything cheap and falling instead of
rising. If it were _over-production_ last year that produced the
_distress_, when are our miseries to have an end! They will end when
these men cease to have sway, and not before.

I had not been in Winchester long before I heard something very
interesting about the _manifesto_, concerning the poor, which was lately
issued here, and upon which I remarked in my last Register but one, in
my Letter to Sir Thomas Baring. Proceeding upon the true military
principle, I looked out for free-quarter, which the reader will
naturally think difficult for _me_ to find in a town containing a
_Cathedral_. Having done this, I went to the Swan Inn to dine with the
farmers. This is the manner that I like best of doing the thing.
_Six-Acts_ do not, to be sure, prevent us from _dining_ together. They
do not authorize Justices of the Peace to kill us, because we meet to
dine without their permission. But I do not like Dinner-Meetings on _my_
account. I like much better to go and fall in with the lads of the land,
or with anybody else, at their own places of resort; and I am going to
place myself down at Uphusband, in excellent free-quarter, in the midst
of all the great fairs of the West, in order, before the winter campaign
begins, that I may see as many farmers as possible, and that they may
hear my opinions, and I theirs. I shall be at Weyhill fair on the 10th
of October, and, perhaps, on some of the succeeding days; and, on one or
more of those days, I intend to dine at the White Hart, at Andover. What
other fairs or places I shall go to I shall notify hereafter. And this I
think the frankest and fairest way. I wish to see many people, and to
talk to them: and there are a great many people who wish to see and to
talk to me. What better reason can be given for a man's going about the
country and dining at fairs and markets?

At the dinner at Winchester we had a good number of opulent yeomen, and
many gentlemen joined us after the dinner. The state of the country was
well talked over; and, during the _session_ (much more sensible than
some other _sessions_ that I have had to remark on), I made the


GENTLEMEN,--Though many here are, I am sure, glad to _see me_, I am not
vain enough to suppose that anything other than that of wishing to hear
my opinions on the prospects before us can have induced many to choose
to be here to dine with me to-day. I shall, before I sit down, propose
to you a _toast_, which you will drink, or not, as you choose: but I
shall state one particular wish in that shape, that it may be the more
distinctly understood, and the better remembered.

The wish to which I allude relates to the _tithes_. Under that word I
mean to speak of all that mass of wealth which is vulgarly called
_Church property_: but which is, in fact, _public property_, and may, of
course, be disposed of as the Parliament shall please. There appears at
this moment an uncommon degree of anxiety on the part of the parsons to
see the farmers enabled to pay _rents_. The business of the parsons
being only with _tithes_, one naturally, at first sight, wonders why
they should care so much about _rents_. The fact is this: they see
clearly enough, that the landlords will never long go without rents, and
suffer them to enjoy the tithes. They see, too, that there must be a
struggle between the _land_ and the _funds_: they see that there is such
a struggle. They see, that it is the taxes that are taking away the rent
of the landlord and the capital of the farmer. Yet the parsons are
afraid to see the taxes reduced. Why? Because, if the taxes be reduced
in any great degree (and nothing short of a great degree will give
relief), they see that the interest of the Debt cannot be paid; and they
know well, that the interest of the Debt can never be reduced, until
their tithes have been reduced. Thus, then, they find themselves in a
great difficulty. They wish the taxes to be kept up and rents to be paid
too. Both cannot be, unless some means or other be found out of putting
into, or keeping in, the farmer's pocket, money that is not now there.

The scheme that appears to have been fallen upon for this purpose is the
strangest in the world, and it must, if attempted to be put into
execution, produce something little short of open and general commotion;
namely, that of reducing the wages of labour to a mark so low as to make
the labourer a walking skeleton. Before I proceed further, it is right
that I communicate to you an explanation, which, not an hour ago, I
received from Mr. Poulter, relative to the _manifesto_, lately issued in
this town by a Bench of Magistrates of which that gentleman was
Chairman. I have not the honour to be personally acquainted with Mr.
Poulter, but certainly, if I had misunderstood the manifesto, it was
right that I should be, if possible, made to understand it. Mr. Poulter,
in company with another gentleman, came to me in this Inn, and said,
that the bench did not mean that their resolutions should have the
effect of _lowering the wages_: and that the sums, stated in the paper,
were sums to be given in the way of _relief_. We had not the paper
before us, and, as the paper contained a good deal about relief, I, in
recollection, confounded the two, and said, that I had understood the
paper agreeably to the explanation. But upon looking at the paper again,
I see, that, as to the _words_, there was a clear recommendation to make
the _wages_ what is there stated. However, seeing that the Chairman
himself disavows this, we must conclude that the bench put forth words
not expressing their meaning. To this I must add, as connected with the
manifesto, that it is stated in that document, that such and such
justices were present, and a large and respectable number of yeomen who
had been invited to attend. Now, Gentlemen, I was, I must confess,
struck with this addition to the bench. These gentlemen have not been
accustomed to treat farmers with so much attention. It seemed odd, that
they should want a set of farmers to be present, to give a sort of
sanction to their acts. Since my arrival in Winchester, I have found,
however, that having them present was not all; for that the names of
some of these yeomen were actually inserted in the manuscript of the
manifesto, and that those names were expunged _at the request of the
parties named_. This is a very singular proceeding, then, altogether. It
presents to us a strong picture of the diffidence, or modesty (call it
which you please) of the justices; and it shows us, that the yeomen
present did not like to have _their names_ standing as giving sanction
to the resolutions contained in the manifesto. Indeed, they knew well,
that those resolutions never could be acted upon. They knew that they
could not live in safety even in the same village with labourers, paid
at the rate of 3, 4, and 5 shillings a-week.

To return, now, Gentlemen, to the scheme for squeezing rents out of the
bones of the labourer, is it not, upon the face of it, most monstrously
absurd, that this scheme should be resorted to, when the plain and easy
and just way of insuring rents must present itself to every eye, and can
be pursued by the Parliament whenever it choose? We hear loud outcries
against the poor-rates; the _enormous_ poor-rates; the _all-devouring_
poor-rates; but what are the facts? Why, that, in Great Britain, _six
millions_ are paid in poor-rates, _seven millions_ (or thereabouts) in
_tithes_, and _sixty millions_ to the fund-people, the army, placemen,
and the rest. And yet nothing of all this seems to be thought of but the
_six_ millions. Surely the other and so much larger sums might to be
thought of. Even the _six_ millions are, for the far greater part,
_wages_ and not poor-rates. And yet all this outcry is made about these
_six_ millions, while not a word is said about the other _sixty-seven_

Gentlemen, to enumerate all the ways, in which the public money is
spent, would take me a week. I will mention two classes of persons who
are receivers of taxes: and you will then see with what _reason_ it is,
that this outcry is set up against the poor-rates and against the amount
of wages. There is a thing called the _Dead Weight_. Incredible as it
may seem, that such a vulgar appellation should be used in such a way
and by such persons, it is a fact, that the Ministers have laid before
the Parliament an account, called the account of the _Dead Weight_. This
account tells how five millions three hundred thousand pounds are
distributed annually amongst half-pay officers, pensioners, retired
commissaries, clerks, and so forth, employed during the last war. If
there were nothing more entailed upon us by that war, this is pretty
smart-money. Now unjust, unnecessary as that war was, detestable as it
was in all its principles and objects, still, to every man, who really
did _fight_, or who performed a soldier's duty abroad, I would give
_something_: he should not be left destitute. But, Gentlemen, is it
right for the nation to keep on paying for life crowds of young fellows
such as make up the greater part of this _dead weight_? This is not all,
however, for, there are the widows and the children, who have, and are
to have, _pensions too_. You seem surprised, and well you may; but this
is the fact. A young fellow who has a pension for life, aye, or an old
fellow either, will easily get a wife to enjoy it with him, and he will,
I'll warrant him, take care that _she_ shall not be _old_. So that here
is absolutely a premium for entering into the holy state of matrimony.
The husband, you will perceive, cannot prevent the wife from having the
pension after his death. She is _our widow_, in this respect, not his.
She marries, in fact, with a jointure settled on her. The more children
the husband leaves the better for the widow; for each child has a
pension for a certain number of years. The man, who, under such
circumstances, does not marry, must be a woman-hater. An old man
actually going into the grave, may, by the mere ceremony of marriage,
give any woman a pension for life. Even the widows and children of
insane officers are not excluded. If an officer, now insane, but at
large, were to marry, there is nothing, as the thing now stands, to
prevent his widow and children from having pensions. Were such things as
these ever before heard of in the world? Were such premiums ever before
given for breeding gentlemen and ladies, and that, too, while all sorts
of projects are on foot to check the breeding of the labouring classes?
Can such a thing _go on_? I say it cannot; and, if it could, it must
inevitably render this country the most contemptible upon the face of
the earth. And yet, not a word of complaint is heard about these five
millions and a quarter, expended in this way, while the country rings,
fairly resounds, with the outcry about the six millions that are given
to the labourers in the shape of poor-rates, but which, in fact, go, for
the greater part, to pay what ought to be called _wages_. Unless, then,
we speak out here; unless we call for redress here; unless we here seek
relief, we shall not only be totally ruined, but we shall _deserve it_.

The other class of persons, to whom I have alluded, as having taxes
bestowed on them, are the _poor clergy_. Not of the _church_ as by _law_
established, to be sure, you will say! Yes, Gentlemen, even to the poor
clergy of the established Church. We know well how _rich_ that Church
is; we know well how many millions it annually receives; we know how
opulent are the bishops, how rich they die; how rich, in short, a body
it is. And yet _fifteen hundred thousand pounds_ have, within the same
number of years, been given, out of the taxes, partly raised on the
labourers, for the relief of the _poor_ clergy of that Church, while it
is notorious that the livings are given in numerous cases by twos and
threes to the same person, and while a clamour, enough to make the sky
ring, is made about what is given in the shape of _relief to the
labouring classes_! Why, Gentlemen, what do we want more than this one
fact? Does not this one fact sufficiently characterize the system under
which we live? Does not this prove that a change, a great change, is
wanted? Would it not be more natural to propose to get this money back
from the Church, than to squeeze so much out of the bones of the
labourers? This the Parliament can do if it pleases; and this it will
do, if you do your duty.

Passing over several other topics, let me, Gentlemen, now come to what,
at the present moment, most nearly affects you; namely, the _prospect as
to prices_. In the first place, this depends upon whether Peel's Bill
will be repealed. As this depends a good deal upon the Ministers, and as
I am convinced, that they know no more what to do in the present
emergency than the little boys and girls that are running up and down
the street before this house, it is impossible for me, or for any one,
to say what will be done in this respect. But my opinion is decided,
that the Bill will _not_ be repealed. The Ministers see, that, if they
were _now_ to go back to the paper, it would not be the paper of 1819;
but a paper never to be redeemed by gold; that it would be _assignats_
to all intents and purposes. That must of necessity cause the complete
overthrow of the Government in a very short time. If, therefore, the
Ministers see the thing in this light, it is impossible, that they
should think of a repeal of Peel's Bill. There appeared, last winter, a
strong disposition to repeal the Bill; and I verily believe, that a
repeal in effect, though not in name, was actually in contemplation. A
Bill was brought in, which was described beforehand as intended to
prolong the issue of small notes, and also to prolong the time for
making Bank of England notes a legal tender. This would have been a
repealing of Peel's Bill in great part. The Bill, when brought in, and
when passed, as it finally was, contained no clause relative to legal
tender; and without that clause it was perfectly nugatory. Let me
explain to you, Gentlemen, what this Bill really is. In the seventeenth
year of the late King's reign, an act was passed for a time limited, to
prevent the issue of notes payable to bearer on demand, for any sums
less than five pounds. In the twenty-seventh year of the late King's
reign, this Act was made _perpetual_; and the preamble of the Act sets
forth, that it is made perpetual, because the _preventing of small notes
being made has been proved to be for the good of the nation_.
Nevertheless, in just ten years afterwards; that is to say, in the year
one thousand seven hundred and ninety-seven, when the Bank stopped
payment, this salutary Act was _suspended_; indeed, it was absolutely
necessary, for there was no gold to pay with. It continued suspended
until 1819, when Mr. Peel's Bill was passed, when a Bill was passed to
suspend it still further, until the year 1825. You will observe, then,
that, last winter there were yet three years to come, during which the
banks might make small notes if they would. Yet this new Bill was passed
last winter to authorize them to make small notes until the year 1833.
The measure was wholly uncalled for. It appeared to be altogether
unnecessary; but, as I have just said, the intention was to introduce
into this Bill a clause to continue the _legal tender_ until 1833; and
that would, indeed, have made a great alteration in the state of things;
and, if extended to the Bank of England, would have been, in effect, a
complete repeal of Peel's Bill.

It was fully expected by the country bankers, that the legal tender
clause would have been inserted; but, before it came to the trial, the
Ministers gave way, and the clause was not inserted. The reason for
their giving way, I do verily believe, had its principal foundation in
their perceiving, that the public would clearly see, that such a
measure would make the paper-money merely assignats. The legal tender
not having been enacted, the Small-note Bill can do nothing towards
augmenting the quantity of circulating medium. As the law now stands,
Bank of England notes are, in effect, a _legal tender_. If I owe a debt
of twenty pounds, and tender Bank of England notes in payment, the law
says that you shall not arrest me; that you may bring your action, if
you like; that I may pay the notes into Court; that you may go on with
your action; that you shall pay all the costs, and I none. At last you
gain your action; you obtain judgment and execution, or whatever else
the everlasting law allows of. And what have you got then? Why the
_notes_; the same identical notes the Sheriff will bring you. You will
not take them. Go to law with the Sheriff then. He pays the _notes_ into
Court. More costs for you to pay. And thus you go on; but without ever
touching or seeing gold!

Now, Gentlemen, Peel's Bill puts an end to all this pretty work on the
first day of next May. If you have a handful of a country banker's rags
_now_, and go to him for payment, he will tender you Bank of England
notes; and if you like the paying of costs you may go to law for gold.
But when the first of next May comes, he must put gold into your hands
in exchange for your notes, if you choose it; or you may clap a
bailiff's hand upon his shoulder: and if he choose to pay into Court, he
must pay in gold, and pay your costs also as far as you have gone.

This makes a strange alteration in the thing! And everybody must see,
that the Bank of England, and the country bankers; that all, in short,
are preparing for the first of May. It is clear that there must be a
farther diminution of the paper-money. It is hard to say the precise
degree of effect that this will have upon prices; but that it must bring
them down is clear; and, for my own part, I am fully persuaded, that
they will come down to the standard of prices in France, be those prices
what they may. This, indeed, was acknowledged by Mr. Huskisson in the
Agricultural Report of 1821. That two countries so near together, both
having gold as a currency or standard, should differ very widely from
each other, in the prices of farm-produce, is next to impossible; and
therefore, when our legal tender shall be completely done away, to the
prices of France you must come; and those prices cannot, I think, in the
present state of Europe, much exceed three or four shillings a bushel
for good wheat.

You know, as well as I do, that it is impossible, with the present taxes
and rates and tithes, to pay any rent at all with prices upon that
scale. Let loan-jobbers, stock-jobbers, Jews, and the whole tribe of
tax-eaters say what they will, you know that it is impossible, as you
also know it would be cruelly unjust to wring from the labourer the
means of paying rent, while those taxes and tithes remain. Something
must be taken off. The labourers' wages have already been reduced as low
as possible. All public pay and salaries ought to be reduced; and the
tithes also ought to be reduced, as they might be to a great amount
without any injury to religion. The interest of the debt ought to be
largely reduced; but, as none of the others can, with any show of
justice, take place, without a reduction of the tithes, and as I am for
confining myself to one object at present, I will give you as a Toast,
leaving you to drink it or not, as you please, _A large Reduction of

       *       *       *       *       *

Somebody proposed to drink this Toast with _three times three_, which
was accordingly done, and the sound might have been heard down to the
close.--Upon some Gentleman giving _my health_, I took occasion to
remind the company that the last time I was at Winchester we had the
memorable fight with Lockhart "the Brave" and his sable friends. I
reminded them that it was in that same room that I told them that it
would not be long before Mr. Lockhart and those sable gentlemen would
become enlightened; and I observed that, if we were to judge from a
man's language, there was not a land-owner in England that more keenly
felt than Mr. Lockhart the truth of those predictions which I had put
forth at the Castle on the day alluded to. I reminded the company that I
sailed for America in a few days after that meeting; that they must be
well aware that, on the day of the meeting, I knew that I was taking
leave of the country, but, I observed, that I had not been in the least
depressed by that circumstance; because I relied, with perfect
confidence, on being in this same place again, to enjoy, as I now did, a
triumph over my adversaries.

After this, Mr. Hector gave a _Constitutional Reform in the Commons'
House of Parliament_, which was drunk with great enthusiasm; and Mr.
Hector's health having been given, he, in returning thanks, urged his
brother yeomen and freeholders to do their duty by coming forward in
county meeting and giving their support to those noblemen and gentlemen
that were willing to stand forward for a reform and for a reduction of
taxation. I held forth to them the example of the county of Kent, which
had done itself so much honour by its conduct last spring. What these
gentlemen in Hampshire will do it is not for me to say. If nothing be
done by them, they will certainly be ruined, and that ruin they will
certainly deserve. It was to the farmers that the Government owed its
strength to carry on the war. Having them with it, in consequence of a
false and bloated prosperity, it cared not a straw for anybody else. If
they, therefore, now do their duty; if they all, like the yeomen and
farmers of Kent, come boldly forward, everything will be done necessary
to preserve themselves and their country; and if they do not come
forward, they will, as men of property, be swept from the face of the
earth. The noblemen and gentlemen who are in Parliament, and who are
disposed to adopt measures of effectual relief, cannot move with any
hope of success unless backed by the yeomen and farmers, and the
middling classes throughout the country generally. I do not mean to
confine myself to yeomen and farmers, but to take in all tradesmen and
men of property. With these at their back, or rather, at the back of
these, there are men enough in both Houses of Parliament to propose and
to urge measures suitable to the exigency of the case. But without the
middling classes to _take the lead_, those noblemen and gentlemen can do
nothing. Even the Ministers themselves, if they were so disposed (and
they must be so disposed at last) could make none of the reforms that
are necessary, _without being actually urged on by the middle classes of
the community_. This is a very important consideration. A new man, as
Minister, might indeed propose the reforms himself; but these men,
Opposition as well as Ministry, are so _pledged_ to the things that have
brought all this ruin upon the country, that they absolutely stand in
need of an overpowering call from the people to justify them in doing
that which they themselves may think just, and which they may know to be
necessary for the salvation of the country. They dare not take the lead
in the necessary reforms. It is too much to be expected of any men upon
the face of the earth, pledged and situated as these Ministers are; and
therefore, unless the people will do their duty, they will have
themselves, and only themselves, to thank for their ruin, and for that
load of disgrace, and for that insignificance worse than disgrace which
seems, after so many years of renown, to be attaching themselves to the
name of England.

_Uphusband, Sunday Evening, 29 Sept. 1822._

We came along the turnpike-road, through Wherwell and Andover, and got
to this place about 2 o'clock. This country, except at the village and
town just mentioned, is very open, a thinnish soil upon a bed of chalk.
Between Winchester and Wherwell we came by some hundreds of acres of
ground that was formerly most beautiful down, which was broken up in
dear-corn times, and which is now a district of thistles and other
weeds. If I had such land as this I would soon make it down again. I
would for once (that is to say if I had the money) get it quite clean,
prepare it as for sowing turnips, get the turnips if possible, feed them
off early, or plough the ground if I got no turnips; sow thick with
Saint-foin and meadow-grass seeds of all sorts, early in September; let
the crop stand till the next July; feed it then slenderly with sheep,
and dig up all thistles and rank weeds that might appear; keep feeding
it, but not too close, during the summer and the fall; and keep on
feeding it for ever after as a down. The Saint-foin itself would last
for many years; and as it disappeared, its place would be supplied by
the grass; that sort which was most congenial to the soil, would at last
stifle all other sorts, and the land would become a valuable down as

I see that some plantations of ash and of hazle have been made along
here; but, with great submission to the planters, I think they have gone
the wrong way to work, as to the mode of preparing the ground. They have
planted _small trees_, and that is right; they have _trenched_ the
ground, and that is also right; but they have brought the bottom soil to
the top; and that is _wrong_, always; and especially where the bottom
soil is gravel or chalk, or clay. I know that some people will say that
this is a _puff_; and let it pass for that; but if any gentleman that is
going to plant trees will look into my _Book on Gardening_, and into the
Chapter on _Preparing the Soil_, he will, I think, see how conveniently
ground may be trenched without bringing to the top that soil in which
the young trees stand so long without making shoots.

This country, though so open, has its beauties. The homesteads in the
sheltered bottoms with fine lofty trees about the houses and yards form
a beautiful contrast with the large open fields. The little villages,
running straggling along the dells (always with lofty trees and
rookeries) are very interesting objects, even in the winter. You feel a
sort of satisfaction, when you are out upon the bleak hills yourself, at
the thought of the shelter which is experienced in the dwellings in the

Andover is a neat and solid market-town. It is supported entirely by the
agriculture around it; and how the makers of _population returns_ ever
came to think of classing the inhabitants of such a town as this under
any other head than that of "_persons employed in agriculture_," would
appear astonishing to any man who did not know those population return
makers as well as I do.

The village of Uphusband, the legal name of which is Hurstbourn
Tarrant, is, as the reader will recollect, a great favourite with me,
not the less so certainly on account of the excellent free-quarter that
it affords.


_7th to 10th Oct. 1822._

At Uphusband, a little village in a deep dale, about five miles to the
North of Andover, and about three miles to the South of the Hills at
_Highclere_. The wheat is sown here, and up, and, as usual, at this time
of the year, looks very beautiful. The wages of the labourers brought
down to _six shillings a week_! a horrible thing to think of; but, I
hear, it is still worse in Wiltshire.

_11th October._

Went to Weyhill fair, at which I was about 46 years ago, when I rode a
little pony, and remember how proud I was on the occasion; but I also
remember that my brothers, two out of three of whom were older than I,
thought it unfair that my father selected me; and my own reflections
upon the occasion have never been forgotten by me. The 11th of October
is the Sheep-fair. About 300,000_l._ used, some few years ago, to be
carried home by the sheep-sellers. To-day, less, perhaps, than
70,000_l._, and yet the _rents_ of these sheep-sellers are, perhaps, as
high, on an average, as they were then. The countenances of the farmers
were descriptive of their ruinous state. I never, in all my life, beheld
a more mournful scene. There is a horse-fair upon another part of the
down; and there I saw horses keeping pace in depression with the sheep.
A pretty numerous group of the tax-eaters, from Andover and the
neighbourhood, were the only persons that had smiles on their faces. I
was struck with a young farmer trotting a horse backward and forward to
show him off to a couple of gentlemen, who were bargaining for the
horse, and one of whom finally purchased him. These _gentlemen_ were two
of our "_dead-weight_," and the horse was that on which the farmer had
pranced in the _Yeomanry Troop_! Here is a turn of things! Distress;
pressing distress; dread of the bailiffs alone could have made the
farmer sell his horse. If he had the firmness to keep the tears out of
his eyes, his heart must have paid the penalty. What, then, must have
been his feelings, if he reflected, as I did, that the purchase-money
for the horse had first gone from his pocket into that of the
_dead-weight_! And, further, that the horse had pranced about for years
for the purpose of subduing all opposition to those very measures, which
had finally dismounted the owner!

From this dismal scene, a scene formerly so joyous, we set off back to
Uphusband pretty early, were overtaken by the rain, and got a pretty
good soaking. The land along here is very good. This whole country has a
chalk bottom; but, in the valley on the right of the hill over which you
go from Andover to Weyhill, the chalk lies far from the top, and the
soil has few flints in it. It is very much like the land about Malden
and Maidstone. Met with a farmer who said he must be ruined, unless
another "good war" should come! This is no uncommon notion. They saw
high prices _with_ war, and they thought that the war was the _cause_.

_12 to 16 of October._

The fair was too dismal for me to go to it again. My sons went two of
the days, and their account of the hop-fair was enough to make one
gloomy for a month, particularly as my townsmen of Farnham were, in this
case, amongst the sufferers. On the 12th I went to dine with and to
harangue the farmers at Andover. Great attention was paid to what I had
to say. The crowding to get into the room was a proof of nothing,
perhaps, but _curiosity_; but there must have been a _cause_ for the
curiosity, and that cause would, under the present circumstances, be
matter for reflection with a wise government.

_17 October._

Went to Newbury to dine with and to harangue the farmers. It was a
fair-day. It rained so hard that I had to stop at Burghclere to dry my
clothes, and to borrow a great coat to keep me dry for the rest of the
way; so as not to have to sit in wet clothes. At Newbury the company was
not less attentive or less numerous than at Andover. Some one of the
tax-eating crew had, I understand, called me an "incendiary." The day is
passed for those tricks. They deceive no longer. Here, at Newbury, I
took occasion to notice the base accusation of _Dundas_, the Member for
the County. I stated it as something that I had heard of, and I was
proceeding to charge him conditionally, when Mr. Tubb of Shillingford
rose from his seat, and said, "I myself, Sir, heard him say the words."
I had heard of his vile conduct long before; but I abstained from
charging him with it till an opportunity should offer for doing it in
his own country. After the dinner was over I went back to Burghclere.

_18 to 20 October._

At Burghclere, one half the time writing, and the other half

_21 October._

Went back to Uphusband.

_22 October._

Went to dine with the farmers at Salisbury, and got back to Uphusband by
ten o'clock at night, two hours later than I have been out of bed for a
great many months.

In quitting Andover to go to Salisbury (17 miles from each other) you
cross the beautiful valley that goes winding down amongst the hills to
Stockbridge. You then rise into the open country that very soon becomes
a part of that large tract of downs, called Salisbury Plain. You are not
in Wiltshire, however, till you are about half the way to Salisbury. You
leave Tidworth away to your right. This is the seat of Asheton Smith;
and the fine _coursing_ that I once saw there I should have called to
recollection with pleasure, if I could have forgotten the hanging of the
men at Winchester last Spring for resisting one of this Smith's
game-keepers! This Smith's son and a Sir John Pollen are the members for
Andover. They are chosen by the Corporation. One of the Corporation, an
Attorney, named Etwall, is a Commissioner of the Lottery, or something
in that way. It would be a curious thing to ascertain how large a
portion of the "public services" is performed by the voters in Boroughs
and their relations. These persons are singularly kind to the nation.
They not only choose a large part of the "representatives of the
people;" but they come in person, or by deputy, and perform a very
considerable part of the "_public services_." I should like to know how
many of them are employed about the _Salt-Tax_, for instance. A list of
these public-spirited persons might be produced to show the _benefit_ of
the Boroughs.

Before you get to Salisbury, you cross the valley that brings down a
little river from Amesbury. It is a very beautiful valley. There is a
chain of farmhouses and little churches all the way up it. The farms
consist of the land on the flats on each side of the river, running out
to a greater or less extent, at different places, towards the hills and
downs. Not far above Amesbury is a little village called Netherhaven,
where I once saw an _acre of hares_. We were coursing at Everly, a few
miles off; and one of the party happening to say, that he had seen "an
acre of hares" at Mr. Hicks Beech's at Netherhaven, we, who wanted to
see the same, or to detect our informant, sent a messenger to beg a
day's coursing, which being granted, we went over the next day. Mr.
Beech received us very politely. He took us into a wheat stubble close
by his paddock; his son took a gallop round, cracking his whip at the
same time; the hares (which were very thickly in sight before) started
all over the field, ran into a _flock_ like sheep; and we all agreed,
that the flock did cover _an acre of ground_. Mr. Beech had an old
greyhound, that I saw lying down in the shrubbery close by the house,
while several hares were sitting and skipping about, with just as much
confidence as cats sit by a dog in a kitchen or a parlour. Was this
_instinct_ in either dog or hares? Then, mind, this same greyhound went
amongst the rest to course with us out upon the distant hills and lands;
and then he ran as eagerly as the rest, and killed the hares with as
little remorse. Philosophers will talk a long while before they will
make men believe, that this was _instinct alone_. I believe that this
dog had much more reason than half of the Cossacks have; and I am sure
he had a great deal more than many a Negro that I have seen.

In crossing this valley to go to Salisbury, I thought of Mr. Beech's
hares; but I really have neither thought of nor seen any _game_ with
pleasure, since the hanging of the two men at Winchester. If no other
man will petition for the repeal of the law, under which those poor
fellows suffered, I will. But let us hope, that there will be no need of
petitioning. Let us hope, that it will be repealed without any express
application for it. It is curious enough that laws of this sort should
_increase_, while _Sir James Mackintosh_ is so resolutely bent on
"_softening the criminal code_!" The company at Salisbury was very
numerous; not less than 500 farmers were present. They were very
attentive to what I said, and, which rather surprised me, they received
very docilely what I said against squeezing the labourers. A fire in a
farmyard had lately taken place near Salisbury; so that the subject was
a ticklish one. But it was my very first duty to treat of it, and I was
resolved, be the consequence what it might, not to neglect that duty.

_23 to 26 October._

At Uphusband. At this village, which is a great thoroughfare for sheep
and pigs, from Wiltshire and Dorsetshire to Berkshire, Oxfordshire, and
away to the North and North East, we see many farmers from different
parts of the country; and, if I had had any doubts before, as to the
deplorableness of their state, those would now no longer exist. I did,
indeed, years ago, prove, that if we returned to cash payments without a
reduction of the Debt, and without a rectifying of contracts, the
present race of farmers must be ruined. But still, when the thing
actually comes, it astounds one. It is like the death of a friend or
relation. We talk of its approach without much emotion. We foretell the
_when_ without much seeming pain. We know it _must be_. But, when it
comes, we forget our foretellings, and feel the calamity as acutely as
if we had never expected it. The accounts we hear, daily, and almost
hourly, of the families of farmers actually coming to the _parish-book_,
are enough to make any body but a Boroughmonger feel. That species of
monster is to be moved by nothing but his own pecuniary sufferings; and,
thank God, the monster is now about to be _reached_. I hear, from all
parts, that the parsons are in great alarm! Well they may, if their
hearts be too much set upon the treasures of this world; for I can see
no possible way of settling this matter justly, without resorting to
their temporalities. They have long enough been calling upon all the
industrious classes for "sacrifices for the good of the country." The
time seems to be come for them to do something in this way themselves.
In a short time there will be, because there can be, no rents. And, we
shall see, whether the landlords will then suffer the parsons to
continue to receive a tenth part of the produce of the land! In many
places the farmers have had the sense and the spirit to _rate_ the
tithes to the _poor-rates_. This they _ought_ to do in all cases,
whether the tithes be taken up in kind or not. This, however, sweats the
fire-shovel hat gentleman. It "bothers his wig." He does not know what
to think of it. He does not know _who to blame_; and, where a parson
finds things not to his mind, the first thing he always does is, to look
about for somebody to accuse of sedition and blasphemy. Lawyers always
begin, in such cases, to hunt the books, to see if there be no
_punishment_ to apply. But the devil of it is, neither of them have now
any body to lay on upon! I always told them, that there would arise an
enemy, that would laugh at all their anathemas, informations, dungeons,
halters and bayonets. One positive good has, however, arisen out of the
present calamities, and that is, the _parsons_ are grown more _humble_
than they were. Cheap corn and a good thumping debt have greatly
conduced to the producing of the Christian virtue, _humility_, necessary
in us all, but doubly necessary in the priesthood. The parson is now one
of the parties who is taking away the landlord's estate and the farmer's
capital. When the farmer's capital is gone, there will be no rents; but,
without a law upon the subject, the parson will still have his tithe,
and a tithe upon the _taxes_ too, which the land has to bear! Will the
landlords stand this? No matter. If there be no reform of the
Parliament, they must stand it. The two sets may, for aught I care,
worry each other as long as they please. When the present race of
farmers are gone (and that will soon be) the landlord and the parson may
settle the matter between them. They will be the only parties
interested; and which of them shall devour the other appears to be of
little consequence to the rest of the community. They agreed most
cordially in creating the Debt. They went hand in hand in all the
measures against the Reformers. They have made, actually made, the very
thing that now frightens them, which now menaces them with _total
extinction_. They cannot think it unjust, if their prayers be now
treated as the prayers of the Reformers were.

_27 to 29 October._

At Burghclere. Very nasty weather. On the 28th the fox-hounds came to
throw off at _Penwood_, in this parish. Having heard that _Dundas_ would
be out with the hounds, I rode to the place of meeting, in order to look
him in the face, and to give him an opportunity to notice, on his own
peculiar dunghill, what I had said of him at Newbury. He came. I rode up
to him and about him; but he said not a word. The company entered the
wood, and I rode back towards my quarters. They found a fox, and quickly
lost him. Then they came out of the wood and came back along the road,
and met me, and passed me, they as well as I going at a foot pace. I had
plenty of time to survey them all well, and to mark their looks. I
watched Dundas's eyes, but the devil a bit could I get them to turn _my
way_. He is _paid_ for the present. We shall see, whether he will go, or
send an ambassador, or neither, when I shall be at Reading on the 9th of
next month.

_30 October._

Set off for London. Went by Alderbridge, Crookham, Brimton, Mortimer,
Strathfield Say, Heckfield Heath, Eversley, Blackwater, and slept at
Oakingham. This is, with trifling exceptions, a miserably poor country.
Burghclere lies along at the foot of a part of that chain of hills,
which, in this part, divide Hampshire from Berkshire. The parish just
named is, indeed, in Hampshire, but it forms merely the foot of the
Highclere and Kingsclere Hills. These hills, from which you can see all
across the country, even to the Isle of Wight, are of chalk, and with
them, towards the North, ends the chalk. The soil over which I have come
to-day, is generally a stony sand upon a bed of gravel. With the
exception of the land just round Crookham and the other villages,
nothing can well be poorer or more villanously ugly. It is all first
cousin to Hounslow Heath, of which it is, in fact, a continuation to the
Westward. There is a clay at the bottom of the gravel; so that you have
here nasty stagnant pools without fertility of soil. The rushes grow
amongst the gravel; sure sign that there is clay beneath to hold the
water; for, unless there be water constantly at their roots, rushes will
not grow. Such land is, however, good for _oaks_ wherever there is soil
enough on the top of the gravel for the oak to get hold, and to send its
tap-root down to the clay. The oak is the thing to plant here; and,
_therefore_, this whole country contains not one single plantation of
oaks! That is to say, as far as I observed. Plenty of _fir_-trees and
other rubbish have been recently planted; but no oaks.

At _Strathfield Say_ is that everlasting monument of English Wisdom
Collective, the _Heir Loom Estate_ of the "_greatest Captain of the
Age_!" In his peerage it is said, that it was wholly out of the power of
the nation to reward his services fully; but, that "she did what she
could!" Well, poor devil! And what could any body ask for more? It was
well, however, that she give what she did while she was drunk; for, if
she had held her hand till now, I am half disposed to think, that her
gifts would have been very small. I can never forget that we have to pay
interest on 50,000_l._ of the money merely owing to the coxcombery of
the late Mr. Whitbread, who actually moved that _addition_ to one of the
grants proposed by the Ministers! Now, a great part of the grants is in
the way of annuity or pension. It is notorious, that, when the grants
were made, the pensions would not purchase more than a third part of as
much wheat as they will now. The grants, therefore, have been augmented
threefold. What right, then, has any one to say, that the _labourers'
wages_ ought to fall, unless he say, that these pensions ought to be
reduced! The Hampshire Magistrates, when they were putting forth their
_manifesto_ about the allowances to labourers, should have noticed these
pensions of the Lord Lieutenant of the County. However, real starvation
cannot be inflicted to any very great extent. The present race of
farmers must give way, and the attempts to squeeze rents out of the
wages of labour must cease. And the matter will finally rest to be
settled by the landlords, parsons, and tax-eaters. If the landlords
choose to give the greatest captain three times as much as was granted
to him, why, let him have it. According to all account, he is no _miser_
at any rate; and the estates that pass through his hands may, perhaps,
be full as well disposed of as they are at present. Considering the
miserable soil I have passed over to-day, I am rather surprised to find
Oakingham so decent a town. It has a very handsome market-place, and is
by no means an ugly country-town.

_31 October._

Set off at daylight and got to Kensington about noon. On leaving
Oakingham for London, you get upon what is called _Windsor Forest_; that
is to say, upon as bleak, as barren, and as villanous a heath as ever
man set his eyes on. However, here are new enclosures without end. And
here are houses too, here and there, over the whole of this execrable
tract of country. "What!" Mr. Canning will say, "will you not allow that
the owners of these new enclosures and these houses know their own
interests? And are not these _improvements_, and are they not a proof of
an addition to the national capital?" To the first I answer, _May be
so_; to the two last, _No_. These new enclosures and houses arise out of
the beggaring of the parts of the country distant from the vortex of the
funds. The farmhouses have long been growing fewer and fewer; the
labourers' houses fewer and fewer; and it is manifest to every man who
has eyes to see with, that the villages are regularly wasting away. This
is the case all over the parts of the kingdom where the tax-eaters do
not haunt. In all the really agricultural villages and parts of the
kingdom, there is a _shocking decay_; a great dilapidation and constant
pulling down or falling down of houses. The farmhouses are not so many
as they were forty years ago by three-fourths. That is to say, the
infernal system of Pitt and his followers has annihilated three parts
out of four of the farm houses. The labourers' houses disappear also.
And all the _useful_ people become less numerous. While these spewy
sands and gravel near London are enclosed and built on, good lands in
other parts are neglected. These enclosures and buildings are a _waste_;
they are means _misapplied_; they are a proof of national decline and
not of prosperity. To cultivate and ornament these villanous spots the
produce and the population are drawn away from the good lands. There all
manner of schemes have been resorted to to get rid of the necessity of
_hands_; and, I am quite convinced, that the population, upon the whole,
has not increased, in England, one single soul since I was born; an
opinion that I have often expressed, in support of which I have as often
offered arguments, and those arguments have _never been answered_. As to
this rascally heath, that which has ornamented it has brought misery on
millions. The spot is not far distant from the Stock-Jobbing crew. The
roads to it are level. They are smooth. The wretches can go to it from
the 'Change without any danger to their worthless necks. And thus it is
"_vastly improved, Ma'am_!" A set of men who can look upon this as
"improvement," who can regard this as a proof of the "increased capital
of the country," are pretty fit, it must be allowed, to get the country
out of its present difficulties! At the end of this blackguard heath you
come (on the road to Egham) to a little place called _Sunning Hill_,
which is on the Western side of Windsor Park. It is a spot all made into
"grounds" and gardens by tax-eaters. The inhabitants of it have beggared
twenty agricultural villages and hamlets.

From this place you go across a corner of Windsor Park, and come out at
Virginia Water. To Egham is then about two miles. A much more ugly
country than that between Egham and Kensington would with great
difficulty be found in England. Flat as a pancake, and, until you come
to Hammersmith, the soil is a nasty stony dirt upon a bed of gravel.
Hounslow-heath, which is only a little worse than the general run, is a
sample of all that is bad in soil and villanous in look. Yet this is now
enclosed, and what they call "cultivated." Here is a fresh robbery of
villages, hamlets, and farm and labourers' buildings and abodes! But
here is one of those "_vast improvements, Ma'am_," called _Barracks_.
What an "improvement!" What an "addition to the national capital!" For,
mind, Monsieur de Snip, the Surrey Norman, actually said, that the new
buildings ought to be reckoned an addition to the national capital!
What, Snip! Do you pretend that the nation is _richer_, because the
means of making this barrack have been drawn away from the people in
taxes? Mind, Monsieur le Normand, the barrack did not drop down from the
sky nor spring up out of the earth. It was not created by the unhanged
knaves of paper-money. It came out of the people's labour; and, when you
hear Mr. Ellman tell the Committee of 1821, that forty-five years ago
every man in his parish brewed his own beer, and that now not one man in
that same parish does it; when you hear this, Monsieur de Snip, you
might, if you had brains in your skull, be able to estimate the effects
of what has produced the barrack. Yet, barracks there must be, or
_Gatton_ and _Old Sarum_ must fall; and the fall of these would break
poor Mr. Canning's heart.

_8 November._

From London to Egham in the evening.

_9 November._

Started at day-break in a hazy frost, for Reading. The horses' manes and
ears covered with the hoar before we got across Windsor Park, which
appeared to be a blackguard soil, pretty much like Hounslow Heath, only
not flat. A very large part of the Park is covered with heath or rushes,
sure sign of execrable soil. But the roads are such as might have been
made by Solomon. "A greater than Solomon is here!" some one may exclaim.
Of that I know nothing. I am but a traveller; and the roads in this park
are beautiful indeed. My servant, whom I brought from amongst the hills
and flints of Uphusband, must certainly have thought himself in Paradise
as he was going through the Park. If I had told him that the buildings
and the labourers' clothes and meals, at Uphusband, were the _worse_ for
those pretty roads with edgings cut to the line, he would have wondered
at me, I dare say. It would, nevertheless, have been perfectly true; and
this is _feelosofee_ of a much more useful sort than that which is
taught by the Edinburgh Reviewers.

When you get through the Park you come to Winkfield, and then (bound for
Reading) you go through Binfield, which is ten miles from Egham and as
many from Reading. At Binfield I stopped to breakfast, at a very nice
country inn called the _Stag and Hounds_. Here you go along on the North
border of that villanous tract of country that I passed over in going
from Oakingham to Egham. Much of the land even here is but newly
enclosed; and it was really not worth a straw before it was loaded with
the fruit of the labour of the people living in the parts of the country
distant from the _Fund-Wen_. What injustice! What unnatural changes!
Such things cannot be, without producing convulsion in the end! A road
as smooth as a die, a real stock-jobber's road, brought us to Reading by
eleven o'clock. We dined at one; and very much pleased I was with the
company. I have seldom seen a number of persons assembled together,
whose approbation I valued more than that of the company of this day.
Last year the prime Minister said, that his speech (the grand speech)
was rendered necessary by the "pains that had been taken, in different
parts of the country," to persuade the farmers, that the distress had
arisen out of the _measures of the government_, and _not from
over-production_! To be sure I had taken some pains to remove that
stupid notion about over-production, from the minds of the farmers; but
did the stern-path-man _succeed_ in counteracting the effect of my
efforts? Not he, indeed. And, after his speech was made, and sent forth
cheek by jowl with that of the sane Castlereagh, of hole-digging memory,
the truths inculcated by me were only the more manifest. This has been a
fine meeting at Reading! I feel very proud of it. The morning was fine
for me to ride in, and the rain began as soon as I was housed.

I came on horse-back 40 miles, slept on the road, and finished my
harangue at the end of _twenty-two hours_ from leaving Kensington; and,
I cannot help saying, that is pretty well for "_Old_ Cobbett." I am
delighted with the people that I have seen at Reading. Their kindness to
me is nothing in my estimation compared with the sense and spirit which
they appear to possess. It is curious to observe how things have
_worked_ with me. That combination, that sort of _instinctive_ union,
which has existed for so many years, amongst all the parties, to _keep
me down_ generally, and particularly, as the _County-Club_ called it, to
keep me out of Parliament "_at any rate_," this combination has led to
the present _haranguing_ system, which, in some sort, supplies the place
of a seat in Parliament. It may be said, indeed, that I have not the
honour to sit in the same room with those great Reformers, Lord John
Russell, Sir Massey Lopez, and his guest, Sir Francis Burdett; but man's
happiness here below is never perfect; and there may be, besides, people
to believe, that a man ought not to break his heart on account of being
shut out of such company, especially when he can find such company as I
have this day found at Reading.

_10 November._

Went from Reading, through Aldermaston for Burghclere. The rain has been
very heavy, and the water was a good deal out. Here, on my way, I got
upon Crookham Common again, which is a sort of continuation of the
wretched country about Oakingham. From Highclere I looked, one day, over
the flat towards Marlborough; and I there saw some such rascally heaths.
So that this villanous tract, extends from East to West, with more or
less of exceptions, from Hounslow to Hungerford. From North to South it
extends from Binfield (which cannot be far from the borders of
Buckinghamshire) to the South Downs of Hampshire, and terminates
somewhere between Liphook and Petersfield, after stretching over
Hindhead, which is certainly the most villanous spot that God ever made.
Our ancestors do, indeed, seem to have ascribed its formation to another
power; for the most celebrated part of it is called "_the Devil's Punch
Bowl_." In this tract of country there are certainly some very beautiful
spots. But these are very few in number, except where the chalk-hills
run into the tract. The neighbourhood of Godalming ought hardly to be
considered as an exception; for there you are just on the outside of the
tract, and begin to enter on the _Wealds_; that is to say, clayey
woodlands. All the part of Berkshire, of which I have been recently
passing over, if I except the tract from Reading to Crookham, is very
bad land and a very ugly country.

_11 November._

Uphusband _once more_, and, for the sixth time this year, over the North
Hampshire Hills, which, notwithstanding their everlasting flints, I like
very much. As you ride along, even in a _green lane_, the horses' feet
make a noise like _hammering_. It seems as if you were riding on a mass
of iron. Yet the soil is good, and bears some of the best wheat in
England. All these high, and indeed, all chalky lands, are excellent for
sheep. But, on the top of some of these hills, there are as fine meadows
as I ever saw. Pasture richer, perhaps, than that about Swindon in the
North of Wiltshire. And the singularity is, that this pasture is on the
_very tops_ of these lofty hills, from which you can see the Isle of
Wight. There is a stiff loam, in some places twenty feet deep, on a
bottom of chalk. Though the grass grows so finely, there is no apparent
wetness in the land. The wells are more than three hundred feet deep.
The main part of the water, for all uses, comes from the clouds; and,
indeed, these are pretty constant companions of these chalk hills, which
are very often enveloped in clouds and wet, when it is sunshine down at
Burghclere or Uphusband. They manure the land here by digging _wells_ in
the fields, and bringing up the chalk, which they spread about on the
land; and which, being free-chalk, is reduced to powder by the frosts. A
considerable portion of the land is covered with wood; and as, in the
clearing of the land, the clearers followed the good soil, without
regard to shape of fields, the forms of the woods are of endless
variety, which, added to the never-ceasing inequalities of the surface
of the whole, makes this, like all the others of the same description, a
very pleasant country.

_17 November._

Set off from Uphusband for Hambledon. The first place I had to get to
was Whitchurch. On my way, and at a short distance from Uphusband, down
the valley, I went through a village called _Bourn_, which takes its
name from the water that runs down this valley. A _bourn_, in the
language of our forefathers, seems to be a river, which is, part of the
year, _without water_. There is one of these bourns down this pretty
valley. It has, generally, no water till towards Spring, and then it
runs for several months. It is the same at the Candovers, as you go
across the downs from Odiham to Winchester.

The little village of _Bourn_, therefore, takes its name from its
situation. Then there are two _Hurstbourns_, one above and one below
this village of Bourn. _Hurst_ means, I believe, a Forest. There were,
doubtless, one of those on each side of Bourn; and when they became
villages, the one above was called _Up_-hurstbourn, and the one below,
_Down_-hurstbourn; which names have become _Uphusband_ and
_Downhusband_. The lawyers, therefore, who, to the immortal honour of
high-blood and Norman descent, are making such a pretty story out for
the Lord Chancellor, relative to a Noble Peer who voted for the Bill
against the Queen, ought to leave off calling the seat of the noble
person _Hursperne_; for it is at Downhurstbourn where he lives, and
where he was visited by Dr. Bankhead!

Whitchurch is a small town, but famous for being the place where the
paper has been made for the _Borough-Bank_! I passed by the _mill_ on my
way out to get upon the downs to go to Alresford, where I intended to
sleep. I hope the time will come, when a monument will be erected where
that mill stands, and when on that monument will be inscribed _the curse
of England_. This spot ought to be held accursed in all time henceforth
and for evermore. It has been the spot from which have sprung more and
greater mischiefs than ever plagued mankind before. However, the evils
now appear to be fast recoiling on the merciless authors of them; and,
therefore, one beholds this scene of paper-making with a less degree of
rage than formerly. My blood used to boil when I thought of the wretches
who carried on and supported the system. It does not boil now, when I
think of them. The curse, which they intended solely for others, is now
falling on themselves; and I smile at their sufferings. Blasphemy!
Atheism! Who can be an Atheist, that sees how _justly_ these wretches
are treated; with what exact measure they are receiving the evils which
they inflicted on others for a time, and which they intended to inflict
on them for ever! If, indeed, the monsters had continued to prosper, one
might have been an Atheist. The true history of the rise, progress and
fall of these monsters, of their _power_, their _crimes_ and their
_punishment_, will do more than has been done before to put an end to
the doubts of those who have doubts upon this subject.

Quitting Whitchurch, I went off to the left out of the Winchester-road,
got out upon the high-lands, took an "observation," as the sailors call
it, and off I rode, in a straight line, over hedge and ditch, towards
the rising ground between Stratton Park and Micheldever-Wood; but,
before I reached this point, I found some wet meadows and some running
water in my way in a little valley running up from the turnpike road to
a little place called _West Stratton_. I, therefore, turned to my left,
went down to the turnpike, went a little way along it, then turned to my
left, went along by Stratton Park pales down East Stratton-street, and
then on towards the Grange Park. Stratton Park is the seat of Sir Thomas
Baring, who has here several thousands of acres of land; who has the
living of Micheldever, to which, I think, Northington and Swallowfield
are joined. Above all, he has Micheldever Wood, which, they say,
contains a thousand acres, and which is one of the finest oak-woods in
England. This large and very beautiful estate must have belonged to the
Church at the time of Henry the Eighth's "_reformation_." It was, I
believe, given by him to the family of _Russell_; and it was, by them,
sold to Sir Francis Baring about twenty years ago. Upon the whole, all
things considered, the change is for the better. Sir Thomas Baring would
not have moved, nay, he _did not_ move, for the pardon of _Lopez_, while
he left Joseph Swann in gaol for _four years and a half_, without so
much as hinting at Swann's case! Yea, verily, I would rather see this
estate in the hands of Sir Thomas Baring than in those of Lopez's
friend. Besides, it seems to be acknowledged that any title is as good
as those derived from the old wife-killer. Castlereagh, when the Whigs
talked in a rather rude manner about the sinecure places and pensions,
told them, that the title of the sinecure man or woman was _as good as
the titles of the Duke of Bedford_! this was _plagiarism_, to the sure;
for _Burke_ had begun it. He called the Duke the _Leviathan of grants_;
and seemed to hint at the propriety of _over-hauling_ them a little.
When the men of Kent petitioned for a "_just_ reduction of the National
Debt," Lord John Russell, with that wisdom for which he is renowned,
reprobated the prayer; but, having done this in terms not sufficiently
unqualified and strong, and having made use of a word of equivocal
meaning, the man, that cut his own throat at North Cray, pitched on upon
him and told him, that the fundholder had as much right to his
dividends, as _the Duke of Bedford had to his estates_. Upon this the
noble reformer and advocate for Lopez mended his expressions; and really
said what the North Cray philosopher said he ought to say! Come, come:
Micheldever Wood is in very proper hands! A little girl, of whom I asked
my way down into East Stratton, and who was dressed in a camlet gown,
white apron and plaid cloak (it was Sunday), and who had a book in her
hand, told me that Lady Baring gave her the clothes, and had her taught
to read and to sing hymns and spiritual songs.

As I came through the Strattons, I saw not less than a dozen girls clad
in this same way. It is impossible not to believe that this is done with
a good motive; but it is possible not to believe that it is productive
of good. It must create hypocrites, and hypocrisy is the great sin of
the age. Society is in a _queer_ state when the rich think, that they
must _educate_ the poor in order to insure their _own safety_: for this,
at bottom, is the great motive now at work in pushing on the education
scheme, though in this particular case, perhaps, there may be a little
enthusiasm at work. When persons are glutted with riches; when they have
their fill of them; when they are surfeited of all earthly pursuits,
they are very apt to begin to think about the next world; and, the
moment they begin to think of that, they begin to look over the
_account_ that they shall have to present. Hence the far greater part of
what are called "charities." But it is the business of _governments_ to
take care that there shall be very little of this _glutting_ with
riches, and very little need of "charities."

From Stratton I went on to Northington Down; then round to the South of
the Grange Park (Alex. Baring's), down to Abbotson, and over some pretty
little green hills to Alresford, which is a nice little town of itself,
but which presents a singularly beautiful view from the last little hill
coming from Abbotson. I could not pass by the Grange Park without
thinking of _Lord and Lady Henry Stuart_, whose lives and deaths
surpassed what we read of in the most sentimental romances. Very few
things that I have met with in my life ever filled me with sorrow equal
to that which I felt at the death of this most virtuous and most amiable

It began raining soon after I got to Alresford, and rained all the
evening. I heard here, that a Requisition for a County Meeting was in
the course of being signed in different parts of the county. They mean
to petition for Reform, I hope. At any rate, I intend to go to see what
they do. I saw the _parsons_ at the county meeting in 1817. I should
like, of all things, to see them at another meeting _now_. These are the
persons that I have most steadily in my eye. The war and the debt were
for the _tithes_ and the _boroughs_. These must stand or fall together
now. I always told the parsons, that they were the greatest fools in the
world to put the tithes on board _the same boat_ with the boroughs. I
told them so in 1817; and, I fancy, they will soon see all about it.

_November 18._

Came from Alresford to Hambledon, through Titchbourn, Cheriton,
Beauworth, Kilmston, and Exton. This is all a high, hard, dry,
fox-hunting country. Like that, indeed, over which I came yesterday. At
Titchbourn, there is a park, and "great house," as the country-people
call it. The place belongs, I believe, to a Sir somebody _Titchbourne_,
a family, very likely half as old as the name of the village, which,
however, partly takes its name from the _bourn_ that runs down the
valley. I thought, as I was riding alongside of this park, that I had
heard _good_ of this family of Titchbourne, and, I therefore saw the
park _pales_ with sorrow. There is not more than one pale in a yard, and
those that remain, and the rails and posts and all, seem tumbling down.
This park-paling is perfectly typical of those of the landlords who are
_not tax-eaters_. They are wasting away very fast. The tax-eating
landlords think to swim out the gale. They are deceived. They are
"deluded" by their own greediness.

Kilmston was my next place after Titchbourn, but I wanted to go to
Beauworth, so that I had to go through Cheriton; a little, hard, iron
village, where all seems to be as old as the hills that surround it. In
coming along you see Titchbourn church away to the right, on the side of
the hill, a very pretty little view; and this, though such a hard
country, is a pretty country.

At Cheriton I found a grand camp of _Gipsys_, just upon the move towards
Alresford. I had met some of the scouts first, and afterwards the
advanced guard, and here the main body was getting in motion. One of the
scouts that I met was a young woman, who, I am sure, was six feet high.
There were two or three more in the camp of about the same height; and
some most strapping fellows of men. It is curious that this race should
have preserved their dark skin and coal-black straight and coarse hair,
very much like that of the American Indians. I mean the hair, for the
skin has nothing of the copper-colour as that of the Indians has. It is
not, either, of the Mulatto cast; that is to say, there is no yellow in
it. It is a black mixed with our English colours of pale, or red, and
the features are small, like those of the girls in Sussex, and often
singularly pretty. The tall girl that I met at Titchbourn, who had a
huckster basket on her arm, had most beautiful features. I pulled up my
horse, and said, "Can you tell me my fortune, my dear?" She answered in
the negative, giving me a look at the same time, that seemed to say, it
was _too late_; and that if I had been thirty years younger she might
have seen a little what she could do with me. It is, all circumstances
considered, truly surprising, that this race should have preserved so
perfectly all its distinctive marks.

I came on to Beauworth to inquire after the family of a worthy old
farmer, whom I knew there some years ago, and of whose death I had heard
at Alresford. A bridle road over some fields and through a coppice took
me to Kilmston, formerly a large village, but now mouldered into two
farms, and a few miserable tumble-down houses for the labourers. Here is
a house, that was formerly the residence of the landlord of the place,
but is now occupied by one of the farmers. This is a fine country for
fox-hunting, and Kilmston belonged to a Mr. Ridge who was a famous
fox-hunter, and who is accused of having spent his fortune in that way.
But what do people mean? He had a right to spend his _income_, as his
fathers had done before him. It was the Pitt-system, and not the
fox-hunting, that took away the principal. The place now belongs to a
Mr. Long, whose origin I cannot find out.

From Kilmston I went right over the downs to the top of a hill called
_Beacon Hill_, which is one of the loftiest hills in the country. Here
you can see the Isle of Wight in detail, a fine sweep of the sea; also
away into Sussex, and over the New Forest into Dorsetshire. Just below
you, to the East, you look down upon the village of Exton; and you can
see up this valley (which is called a _Bourn_ too) as far as West Meon,
and down it as far as Soberton. Corhampton, Warnford, Meon-Stoke and
Droxford come within these two points; so that here are six villages on
this bourn within the space of about five miles. On the other side of
the main valley down which the bourn runs, and opposite Beacon Hill, is
another such a hill, which they call _Old Winchester Hill_. On the top
of this hill there was once a camp, or, rather fortress; and the
ramparts are now pretty nearly as visible as ever. The same is to be
seen on the Beacon Hill at Highclere. These ramparts had nothing of the
principles of modern fortification in their formation. You see no signs
of salliant angles. It was a _ditch_ and _a bank_, and that appears to
have been all. I had, I think, a full mile to go down from the top of
Beacon Hill to Exton. This is the village where that _Parson Baines_
lives who, as described by me in 1817, bawled in Lord Cochrane's ear at
Winchester in the month of March of that year. Parson _Poulter_ lives at
Meon-Stoke, which is not a mile further down. So that this valley has
something in it besides picturesque views! I asked some countrymen how
Poulter and Baines did; but their answer contained too much of
_irreverence_ for me to give it here.

At Exton I crossed the Gosport turnpike road, came up the cross valley
under the South side of Old Winchester Hill, over Stoke down, then over
West-End down, and then to my friend's house at West-End in the parish
of Hambledon.

Thus have I crossed nearly the whole of this country from the North-West
to the South-East, without going five hundred yards on a turnpike road,
and, as nearly as I could do it, in a straight line.

The whole country that I have crossed is loam and flints, upon a bottom
of chalk. At Alresford there are some watered meadows, which are the
beginning of a chain of meadows that goes all the way down to
Winchester, and hence to Southampton; but even these meadows have, at
Alresford, chalk under them. The water that supplies them comes out of
_a pond_, called Alresford Pond, which is fed from the high hills in the
neighbourhood. These counties are purely agricultural; and they have
suffered most cruelly from the accursed Pitt-system. Their hilliness,
bleakness, roughness of roads, render them unpleasant to the luxurious,
effeminate, tax-eating crew, who never come near them, and who have
pared them down to the very bone. The villages are all in a state of
_decay_. The farm-buildings dropping down, bit by bit. The produce is,
by a few great farmers, dragged to a few spots, and all the rest is
falling into decay. If this infernal system could go on for forty years
longer, it would make all the labourers as much slaves as the negroes
are, and subject to the same sort of discipline and management.

_November 19 to 23._

At West End. Hambledon is a long, straggling village, lying in a little
valley formed by some very pretty but not lofty hills. The environs are
much prettier than the village itself, which is not far from the North
side of Portsdown Hill. This must have once been a considerable place;
for here is a church pretty nearly as large as that at Farnham in
Surrey, which is quite sufficient for a large town. The means of living
has been drawn away from these villages, and the people follow the
means. Cheriton and Kilmston and Hambledon and the like have been
beggared for the purpose of giving tax-eaters the means of making "_vast
improvements, Ma'am_," on the villanous spewy gravel of Windsor Forest!
The thing, however, must go _back_. Revolution here or revolution there:
bawl, bellow, alarm, as long as the tax-eaters like, _back_ the thing
must go. Back, indeed, _it is going_ in some quarters. Those scenes of
glorious loyalty, the sea-port places, are beginning to be deserted. How
many villages has that scene of all that is wicked and odious,
Portsmouth, Gosport, and Portsea; how many villages has that hellish
assemblage beggared! It is now being scattered _itself_! Houses which
there let for forty or fifty pounds a-year each, now let for three or
four shillings a-week each; and thousands, perhaps, cannot be let at all
to any body capable of paying rent. There is an absolute tumbling down
taking place, where, so lately, there were such "vast improvements,
Ma'am!" Does Monsieur de Snip call those improvements, then? Does he
insist, that those houses form "an addition to the national capital?" Is
it any wonder that a country should be miserable when such notions
prevail? And when they can, even in the Parliament, be received with

_Nov. 24, Sunday._

Set off from Hambledon to go to Thursley in Surrey, about five miles
from Godalming. Here I am at Thursley, after as interesting a day as I
ever spent in all my life. They say that "_variety_ is charming," and
this day I have had of scenes and of soils a variety indeed!

To go to Thursley from Hambledon the plain way was up the downs to
Petersfield, and then along the turnpike-road through Liphook, and over
Hindhead, at the north-east foot of which Thursley lies. But, I had been
over that sweet Hindhead, and had seen too much of turnpike-road and of
heath, to think of taking another so large a dose of them. The map of
Hampshire (and we had none of Surrey) showed me the way to Headley,
which lies on the West of Hindhead, down upon the flat. I knew it was
but about five miles from Headley to Thursley; and I, therefore,
resolved to go to Headley, in spite of all the remonstrances of friends,
who represented to me the danger of breaking my neck at Hawkley and of
getting buried in the bogs of Woolmer Forest. My route was through
East-Meon, Froxfield, Hawkley, Greatham, and then over Woolmer Forest (a
_heath_ if you please), to Headley.

Off we set over the downs (crossing the bottom sweep of Old Winchester
Hill) from West-End to East-Meon. We came down a long and steep hill
that led us winding round into the village, which lies in a valley that
runs in a direction nearly east and west, and that has a rivulet that
comes out of the hills towards Petersfield. If I had not seen anything
further to-day, I should have dwelt long on the beauties of this place.
Here is a very fine valley, in nearly an eliptical form, sheltered by
high hills sloping gradually from it; and not far from the middle of
this valley there is a hill nearly in the form of a goblet-glass with
the foot and stem broken off and turned upside down. And this is clapped
down upon the level of the valley, just as you would put such goblet
upon a table. The hill is lofty, partly covered with wood, and it gives
an air of great singularity to the scene. I am sure that East-Meon has
been a _large place_. The church has a _Saxon Tower_, pretty nearly
equal, as far as I recollect, to that of the Cathedral at Winchester.
The rest of the church has been rebuilt, and, perhaps, several times;
but the _tower_ is complete; it has had _a steeple_ put upon it; but it
retains all its beauty, and it shows that the church (which is still
large) must, at first, have been a very large building. Let those, who
talk so glibly of the increase of the population in England, go over the
country from Highclere to Hambledon. Let them look at the size of the
churches, and let them observe those numerous small enclosures on every
side of every village, which had, to a certainty, _each its house_ in
former times. But let them go to East-Meon, and account for that church.
Where did the hands come from to make it? Look, however, at the downs,
the many square miles of downs near this village, all bearing the _marks
of the plough_, and all out of tillage for many many years; yet, not one
single inch of them but what is vastly superior in quality to any of
those great "improvements" on the miserable heaths of Hounslow, Bagshot,
and Windsor Forest. It is the destructive, the murderous paper-system,
that has transferred the fruit of the labour, and the people along with
it, from the different parts of the country to the neighbourhood of the
all-devouring _Wen_. I do not believe one word of what is said of the
increase of the population. All observation and all reason is against
the fact; and, as to the _parliamentary returns_, what need we more than
this: that _they_ assert, that the population of Great Britain has
increased from ten to fourteen millions in the last _twenty years_! That
is enough! A man that can suck that in will believe, literally believe,
that the moon is made of green cheese. Such a thing is too monstrous to
be swallowed by any body but Englishmen, and by any Englishman not
brutified by a Pitt-system.


_Worth (Sussex), 10 December, 1822._


The agreeable news from France, relative to the intended invasion of
Spain, compelled me to break off, in my last Letter, in the middle of my
_Rural Ride_ of Sunday, the 24th of November. Before I mount again,
which I shall do in this Letter, pray let me ask you what _sort of
apology_ is to be offered to the nation, if the French Bourbons be
permitted to take quiet possession of Cadiz and of the Spanish naval
force? Perhaps you may be disposed to answer, when you have taken time
to reflect; and, therefore, leaving you to _muse_ on the matter, I will
resume my ride.

_November 24._

(Sunday.) From Hambledon to Thursley (continued).

From East-Meon, I did not go on to Froxfield church, but turned off to
the left to a place (a couple of houses) called _Bower_. Near this I
stopped at a friend's house, which is in about as lonely a situation as
I ever saw. A very pleasant place however. The lands dry, a nice
mixture of woods and fields, and a great variety of hill and dell.

Before I came to East-Meon, the soil of the hills was a shallow loam
with flints, on a bottom of chalk; but on this side of the valley of
East-Meon; that is to say, on the north side, the soil on the hills is a
deep, stiff loam, on a bed of a sort of gravel mixed with chalk; and the
stones, instead of being grey on the outside and blue on the inside, are
yellow on the outside and whitish on the inside. In coming on further to
the North, I found, that the bottom was sometimes gravel and sometime
chalk. Here, at the time when _whatever it was_ that formed these hills
and valleys, the stuff of which Hindhead is composed seems to have run
down and mixed itself with the stuff of which _Old Winchester Hill_ is
composed. Free chalk (which is the sort found here) is excellent manure
for stiff land, and it produces a complete change in the nature of
_clays_. It is, therefore, dug here, on the North of East-Meon, about in
the fields, where it happens to be found, and is laid out upon the
surface, where it is crumbled to powder by the frost, and thus gets
incorporated with the loam.

At Bower I got instructions to go to Hawkley, but accompanied with most
earnest advice not to go that way, for that it was impossible to get
along. The roads were represented as so bad; the floods so much out; the
hills and bogs so dangerous; that, really, I began to _doubt_; and, if I
had not been brought up amongst the clays of the Holt Forest and the
bogs of the neighbouring heaths, I should certainly have turned off to
my right, to go over Hindhead, great as was my objection to going that
way. "Well, then," said my friend at Bower, "if you _will_ go that way,
by G--, you must go down _Hawkley Hanger_;" of which he then gave me
_such_ a description! But, even this I found to fall short of the
reality. I inquired simply, whether _people were in the habit_ of going
down it; and, the answer being in the affirmative, on I went through
green lanes and bridle-ways till I came to the turnpike-road from
Petersfield to Winchester, which I crossed, going into a narrow and
almost untrodden green lane, on the side of which I found a cottage.
Upon my asking the way to _Hawkley_, the woman at the cottage said,
"Right up the lane, Sir: you'll come to a _hanger_ presently: you must
take care, Sir: you can't ride down: will your horses _go alone_?"

On we trotted up this pretty green lane; and indeed, we had been coming
gently and generally up hill for a good while. The lane was between
highish banks and pretty high stuff growing on the banks, so that we
could see no distance from us, and could receive not the smallest hint
of what was so near at hand. The lane had a little turn towards the
end; so that, out we came, all in a moment, at the very edge of the
hanger! And never, in all my life, was I so surprised and so delighted!
I pulled up my horse, and sat and looked; and it was like looking from
the top of a castle down into the sea, except that the valley was land
and not water. I looked at my servant, to see what effect this
unexpected sight had upon him. His surprise was as great as mine, though
he had been bred amongst the North Hampshire hills. Those who had so
strenuously dwelt on the dirt and dangers of this route, had said not a
word about beauties, the matchless beauties of the scenery. These
hangers are woods on the sides of very steep hills. The trees and
underwood _hang_, in some sort, to the ground, instead of _standing on_
it. Hence these places are called _Hangers_. From the summit of that
which I had now to descend, I looked down upon the villages of Hawkley,
Greatham, Selborne and some others.

From the south-east, round, southward, to the north-west, the main
valley has cross-valleys running out of it, the hills on the sides of
which are very steep, and, in many parts, covered with wood. The hills
that form these cross-valleys run out into the main valley, like piers
into the sea. Two of these promontories, of great height, are on the
west side of the main valley, and were the first objects that struck my
sight when I came to the edge of the hanger, which was on the south. The
ends of these promontories are nearly perpendicular, and their tops so
high in the air, that you cannot look at the village below without
something like a feeling of apprehension. The leaves are all off, the
hop-poles are in stack, the fields have little verdure; but, while the
spot is beautiful beyond description even now, I must leave to
imagination to suppose what it is, when the trees and hangers and hedges
are in leaf, the corn waving, the meadows bright, and the hops upon the

From the south-west, round, eastward, to the north, lie the _heaths_, of
which Woolmer Forest makes a part, and these go gradually rising up to
Hindhead, the crown of which is to the north-west, leaving the rest of
the circle (the part from north to north-west) to be occupied by a
continuation of the valley towards Headley, Binstead, Frensham and the
Holt Forest. So that even the _contrast_ in the view from the top of the
hanger is as great as can possibly be imagined. Men, however, are not to
have such beautiful views as this without some trouble. We had had the
view; but we had to go down the hanger. We had, indeed, some roads to
get along, as we could, afterwards; but we had to get down the hanger
first. The horses took the lead, and crept partly down upon their feet
and partly upon their hocks. It was extremely slippery too; for the
soil is a sort of marle, or, as they call it here, maume, or mame, which
is, when wet, very much like _grey soap_. In such a case it was likely
that I should keep in the rear, which I did, and I descended by taking
hold of the branches of the underwood, and so letting myself down. When
we got to the bottom, I bade my man, when he should go back to
Uphusband, tell the people there, that _Ashmansworth Lane_ is not the
_worst_ piece of road in the world. Our worst, however, was not come
yet, nor had we by any means seen the most novel sights.

After crossing a little field and going through a farm-yard, we came
into a lane, which was, at once, road and river. We found a hard bottom,
however; and when we got out of the water, we got into a lane with high
banks. The banks were quarries of white stone, like Portland-stone, and
the bed of the road was of the same stone; and, the rains having been
heavy for a day or two before, the whole was as clean and as white as
the steps of a fund-holder or dead-weight door-way in one of the Squares
of the _Wen_. Here were we, then, going along a stone road with stone
banks, and yet the underwood and trees grew well upon the tops of the
banks. In the solid stone beneath us, there were a horse-track and
wheel-tracks, the former about three and the latter about six inches
deep. How many many ages it must have taken the horses' feet, the
wheels, and the water, to wear down this stone, so as to form a hollow
way! The horses seemed alarmed at their situation; they trod with fear;
but they took us along very nicely, and, at last, got us safe into the
indescribable dirt and mire of the road from Hawkley Green to Greatham.
Here the bottom of all the land is this solid white stone, and the top
is that _mame_, which I have before described. The hop-roots penetrate
down into this stone. How deep the stone may go I know not; but, when I
came to look up at the end of one of the piers, or promontories,
mentioned above, I found that it was all of this same stone.

At Hawkley Green, I asked a farmer the way to Thursley. He pointed to
one of two roads going from the green; but it appearing to me, that that
would lead me up to the London road and over Hindhead, I gave him to
understand that I was resolved to get along, somehow or other, through
the "low countries." He besought me not to think of it. However, finding
me resolved, he got a man to go a little way to put me into the Greatham
road. The man came, but the farmer could not let me go off without
renewing his entreaties, that I would go away to Liphook, in which
entreaties the man joined, though he was to be paid very well for his

Off we went, however, to Greatham. I am thinking, whether I ever did
see _worse_ roads. Upon the whole, I think, I have; though I am not sure
that the roads of New Jersey, between Trenton and Elizabeth-Town, at the
breaking up of winter, be worse. Talk of _shows_, indeed! Take a piece
of this road; just a cut across, and a rod long, and carry it up to
London. That would be something like a _show_!

Upon leaving Greatham we came out upon Woolmer Forest. Just as we were
coming out of Greatham, I asked a man the way to Thursley. "You _must_
go to _Liphook_, Sir," said he. "But," I said, "I _will not_ go to
Liphook." These people seemed to be posted at all these stages to turn
me aside from my purpose, and to make me go over that _Hindhead_, which
I had resolved to avoid. I went on a little further, and asked another
man the way to Headley, which, as I have already observed, lies on the
western foot of Hindhead, whence I knew there must be a road to Thursley
(which lies at the North East foot) without going over that miserable
hill. The man told me, that I must go across the _forest_. I asked him
whether it was a _good_ road: "It is a _sound_ road," said he, laying a
weighty emphasis upon the word _sound_. "Do people _go_ it?" said I.
"_Ye-es_," said he. "Oh then," said I, to my man, "as it is a _sound_
road, keep you close to my heels, and do not attempt to go aside, not
even for a foot." Indeed, it was a _sound_ road. The rain of the night
had made the fresh horse tracks visible. And we got to Headley in a
short time, over a sand-road, which seemed so delightful after the
flints and stone and dirt and sloughs that we had passed over and
through since the morning! This road was not, if we had been benighted,
without its dangers, the forest being full of quags and quicksands. This
is a tract of Crown lands, or, properly speaking, _public lands_, on
some parts of which our Land Steward, Mr. Huskisson, is making some
plantations of trees, partly fir, and partly other trees. What he can
plant the _fir_ for, God only knows, seeing that the country is already
over-stocked with that rubbish. But this _public land_ concern is a very
great concern.

If I were a Member of Parliament, I _would_ know what timber has been
cut down, and what it has been sold for, since year 1790. However, this
matter must be _investigated_, first or last. It never can be omitted in
the winding up of the concern; and that winding up must come out of
wheat at four shillings a bushel. It is said, hereabouts, that a man who
lives near Liphook, and who is so mighty a hunter and game pursuer, that
they call him _William Rufus_; it is said that this man is _Lord of the
Manor of Woolmer Forest_. This he cannot be without _a grant_ to that
effect; and, if there be a grant, there must have been a _reason_ for
the grant. This _reason_ I should very much like to know; and this I
would know if I were a Member of Parliament. That the people call him
the _Lord of the Manor_ is certain; but he can hardly make preserves of
the plantations; for it is well known how marvellously _hares_ and
_young trees_ agree together! This is a matter of great public
importance; and yet, how, in the present state of things, is an
_investigation_ to be obtained? Is there a man in Parliament that will
call for it? Not one. Would a dissolution of Parliament mend the matter?
No; for the same men would be there still. They are the same men that
have been there for these thirty years; and the _same men_ they will be,
and they _must be_, until there be _a reform_. To be sure when one dies,
or cuts his throat (as in the case of Castlereagh), another _one_ comes;
but it is the _same body_. And, as long as it is that same body, things
will always go on as they now go on. However, as Mr. Canning says the
body "_works well_," we must not say the contrary.

The soil of this tract is, generally, a black sand, which, in some
places, becomes _peat_, which makes very tolerable fuel. In some parts
there is clay at bottom; and there the _oaks_ would grow; but not while
there are _hares_ in any number on the forest. If trees be to grow here,
there ought to be no hares, and as little hunting as possible.

We got to Headly, the sign of the Holly-Bush, just at dusk, and just as
it began to rain. I had neither eaten nor drunk since eight o'clock in
the morning; and as it was a nice little public-house, I at first
intended to stay all night, an intention that I afterwards very
indiscreetly gave up. I had _laid my plan_, which included the getting
to Thursley that night. When, therefore, I had got some cold bacon and
bread, and some milk, I began to feel ashamed of stopping short of my
_plan_, especially after having so heroically persevered in the "stern
path," and so disdainfully scorned to go over Hindhead. I knew that my
road lay through a hamlet called _Churt_, where they grow such fine
_bennet-grass_ seed. There was a moon; but there was also a hazy rain. I
had heaths to go over, and I might go into quags. Wishing to execute my
plan, however, I at last brought myself to quit a very comfortable
turf-fire, and to set off in the rain, having bargained to give a man
three shillings to guide me out to the Northern foot of Hindhead. I took
care to ascertain, that my guide knew the road perfectly well; that is
to say, I took care to ascertain it as far as I could, which was,
indeed, no farther than his word would go. Off we set, the guide mounted
on his own or master's horse, and with a white smock frock, which
enabled us to see him clearly. We trotted on pretty fast for about half
an hour; and I perceived, not without some surprise, that the rain,
which I knew to be coming from the _South_, met me full in the face,
when it ought, according to my reckoning, to have beat upon my right
cheek. I called to the guide repeatedly to ask him if he was _sure that
he was right_, to which he always answered "Oh! yes, Sir, I know the
road." I did not like this, "_I know the road_." At last, after going
about six miles in nearly a Southern direction, the guide turned short
to the left. That brought the rain upon my right cheek, and, though I
could not very well account for the long stretch to the South, I
thought, that, at any rate, we were _now_ in the right track; and, after
going about a mile in this new direction, I began to ask the guide _how
much further we had to go_; for I had got a pretty good soaking, and was
rather impatient to see the foot of Hindhead. Just at this time, in
raising my head and looking forward as I spoke to the guide, what should
I see, but a long, high, and steep _hanger_ arising before us, the trees
along the top of which I could easily distinguish! The fact was, we were
just getting to the outside of the heath, and were on the brow of a
steep hill, which faced this hanging wood. The guide had begun to
descend, and I had called to him to stop; for the hill was so steep,
that, rain as it did and wet as my saddle must be, I got off my horse in
order to walk down. But, now behold, the fellow discovered, that he _had
lost his way_!--Where we were I could not even guess. There was but one
remedy, and that was to get back, if we could. I became guide now; and
did as Mr. Western is advising the Ministers to do, _retraced_ my steps.
We went back about half the way that we had come, when we saw two men,
who showed us the way that we ought to go. At the end of about a mile,
we fortunately found the turnpike-road; not, indeed, at the _foot_, but
on the _tip-top_ of that very Hindhead, on which I had so repeatedly
_vowed_ I would not go! We came out on the turnpike some hundred yards
on the Liphook side of the buildings called _the Hut_; so that we had
the whole of three miles of hill to come down at not much better than a
foot pace, with a good pelting rain at our backs.

It is odd enough how differently one is affected by the same sight,
under different circumstances. At the "_Holly Bush_" at Headly there was
a room full of fellows in white smock frocks, drinking and smoking and
talking, and I, who was then dry and warm, _moralized_ within myself on
their _folly_ in spending their time in such a way. But, when I got down
from Hindhead to the public-house at Road-Lane, with my skin soaking and
my teeth chattering, I thought just such another group, whom I saw
through the window sitting round a good fire with pipes in their mouths,
the _wisest assembly_ I had ever set my eyes on. A real _Collective
Wisdom_. And, I most solemnly declare, that I felt a greater veneration
for them than I have ever felt even for the _Privy Council_,
notwithstanding the Right Honorable Charles Wynn and the Right Honorable
Sir John Sinclair belong to the latter.

It was now but a step to my friend's house, where a good fire and a
change of clothes soon put all to rights, save and except the having
come over Hindhead after all my resolutions. This mortifying
circumstance; this having been _beaten_, lost the guide the _three
shillings_ that I had agreed to give him. "Either," said I, "you did not
know the way well, or you did: if the former, it was dishonest in you to
undertake to guide me: if the latter, you have wilfully led me miles out
of my way." He grumbled; but off he went. He certainly deserved nothing;
for he did not know the way, and he prevented some other man from
earning and receiving the money. But, had he not caused me to _get upon
Hindhead_, he would have had the three shillings. I had, at one time,
got my hand in my pocket; but the thought of having been _beaten_ pulled
it out again.

Thus ended the most interesting day, as far as I know, that I ever
passed in all my life. Hawkley-hangers, promontories, and stone-roads
will always come into my mind when I see, or hear of, picturesque views.
I forgot to mention, that, in going from Hawkley to Greatham, the man,
who went to show me the way, told me at a certain fork, "That road goes
to _Selborne_." This put me in mind of a book, which was once
recommended to me, but which I never saw, entitled "_The History and
Antiquities of Selborne_," (or something of that sort) written, I think,
by a parson of the name of _White_, brother of Mr. _White_, so long a
Bookseller in Fleet-street. This parson had, I think, the living of the
parish of Selborne. The book was mentioned to me as a work of great
curiosity and interest. But, at that time, the THING was biting _so very
sharply_ that one had no attention to bestow on antiquarian researches.
Wheat at 39_s._ a quarter, and Southdown ewes at 12_s._ 6_d._ have so
weakened the THING'S jaws and so filed down its teeth, that I shall now
certainly read this book if I can get it. By-the-bye if _all the
parsons_ had, for the last thirty years, employed their leisure time in
writing the histories of their several parishes, instead of living, as
many of them have, engaged in pursuits that I need not here name,
neither their situation nor that of their flocks would, perhaps, have
been the worse for it at this day.

_Thursley (Surrey), Nov. 25._

In looking back into Hampshire, I see with pleasure the farmers
bestirring themselves to get a County Meeting called. There were, I was
told, nearly five hundred names to a Requisition, and those all of
land-owners or occupiers.--Precisely what they mean to petition for I do
not know; but (and now I address myself to you, Mr. Canning,) if they do
not petition _for a reform of the Parliament_, they will do worse than
nothing. You, Sir, have often told us, that the HOUSE, however got
together, "works well." Now, as I said in 1817, just before I went to
America to get out of the reach of our friend, the _Old Doctor_, and to
use my _long arm_; as I said then, in a Letter addressed to Lord
Grosvenor, so I say now, show me the inexpediency of reform, and I will
hold my tongue. Show us, prove to us, that the House "works well," and
I, for my part, give the matter up. It is not the construction or the
motions of a machine that I ever look at: all I look after is _the
effect_. When, indeed, I find that the effect is deficient or evil, I
look to the construction. And, as I now see, and have for many years
seen, evil effect, I seek a remedy in an alteration in the machine.
There is now nobody; no, not a single man, out of the regions of
Whitehall, who will pretend, that the country can, without the risk of
some great and terrible convulsion, go on, even for twelve months
longer, unless there be a great change of some sort in the mode of
managing the public affairs.

Could you see and hear what I have seen and heard during this Rural
Ride, you would no longer say, that the House "works well." Mrs. Canning
and your children are dear to you; but, Sir, not more dear than are to
them the wives and children of, perhaps, two hundred thousand men, who,
by the Acts of this same House, see those wives and children doomed to
beggary, and to beggary, too, never thought of, never regarded as more
likely than a blowing up of the earth or a falling of the sun. It was
reserved for this "working well" House to make the fire-sides of farmers
scenes of gloom. These fire-sides, in which I have always so delighted,
I now approach with pain. I was, not long ago, sitting round the fire
with as worthy and as industrious a man as all England contains. There
was his son, about 19 years of age; two daughters from 15 to 18; and a
little boy sitting on the father's knee. I knew, but not from him, that
there was _a mortgage_ on his farm. I was anxious to induce him _to sell
without delay_. With this view I, in an hypothetical and round-about
way, approached _his case_, and at last I came to final consequences.
The deep and deeper gloom on a countenance, once so cheerful, told me
what was passing in his breast, when turning away my looks in order to
seem not to perceive the effect of my words, I saw the eyes of his wife
full of tears. She had made the application; and there were her children
before her! And am I to be _banished for life_ if I express what I felt
upon this occasion! And does this House, then, "work well?" How many
men, of the most industrious, the most upright, the most exemplary, upon
the face of the earth, have been, by this one Act of this House, driven
to despair, ending in madness or self-murder, or both! Nay, how many
scores! And, yet, are we to be banished for life, if we endeavour to
show, that this House does not "work well?"--However, banish or banish
not, these facts are notorious: _the House_ made all the _Loans_ which
constitute the debt: _the House_ contracted for the Dead Weight: _the
House_ put a stop to gold-payments in 1797: _the House_ unanimously
passed Peel's Bill. Here are _all_ the causes of the ruin, the misery,
the anguish, the despair, and the madness and self-murders. Here they
are _all_. They have all been Acts of this House; and yet, we are to be
banished if we say, in words suitable to the subject, that this House
does not "_work well_!"

This one Act, I mean this _Banishment Act_, would be enough, with
posterity, to characterize this House. When they read (and can believe
what they read) that it actually passed a law to banish for life any one
who should write, print, or publish anything having a _tendency_ to
bring it into _contempt_; when posterity shall read this, and believe
it, they will want nothing more to enable them to say what sort of an
assembly it was! It was delightful, too, that they should pass this law
just after they had passed _Peel's Bill_! Oh, God! thou art _just_! As
to _reform_, it _must come_. Let what else will happen, it must come.
Whether before, or after, all the estates be transferred, I cannot say.
But, this I know very well; that the later it come, the _deeper_ will it

I shall, of course, go on remarking, as occasion offers, upon what is
done by and said in this present House; but I know that it can do
nothing efficient for the relief of the country. I have seen some men of
late, who seem to think, that even a reform, enacted, or begun, by this
House, would be an evil; and that it would be better to let the whole
thing go on, and produce its natural consequence. I am not of this
opinion: I am for a reform as soon as possible, even though it be not,
at first, precisely what I could wish; because, if the debt blow up
before the reform take place, confusion and uproar there must be; and I
do not want to see confusion and uproar. I am for a reform of _some
sort_, and _soon_; but, when I say of _some sort_, I do not mean of Lord
John Russell's sort; I do not mean a reform in the Lopez way. In short,
what I want is, to see the _men_ changed. I want to see _other men_ in
the House; and as to _who_ those other men should be, I really should
not be very nice. I have seen the Tierneys, the Bankeses, the
Wilberforces, the Michael Angelo Taylors, the Lambs, the Lowthers, the
Davis Giddies, the Sir John Sebrights, the Sir Francis Burdetts, the
Hobhouses, old or young, Whitbreads the same, the Lord Johns and the
Lord Williams and the Lord Henries and the Lord Charleses, and, in
short, all _the whole family_; I have seen them all there, all the same
faces and names, all my life time; I see that neither adjournment nor
prorogation nor dissolution makes any change in _the men_; and, caprice
let it be if you like, I want to see a change _in the men_. These have
done enough in all conscience; or, at least, they have done enough to
satisfy me. I want to see some fresh faces, and to hear a change of some
sort or other in the sounds. A "_hear, hear_," coming everlastingly from
the same mouths, is what I, for my part, am tired of.

I am aware that this is not what the "_great reformers_" in the House
mean. They mean, on the contrary, no such thing as a change of men. They
mean that _Lopez_ should sit there for ever; or, at least, till
succeeded by a legitimate heir. I believe that Sir Francis Burdett, for
instance, has not the smallest idea of an Act of Parliament ever being
made without his assistance, if he chooses to assist, which is not very
frequently the case. I believe that he looks upon a seat in the House as
being his property; and that the other seat is, and ought to be, held as
a sort of leasehold or copyhold under him. My idea of reform, therefore;
my change of faces and of names and of sounds will appear quite horrible
to him. However, I think the nation begins to be very much of my way of
thinking; and this I am very sure of, that we shall never see that
change in the management of affairs, which we most of us want to see,
unless there be a pretty complete change of men.

Some people will blame me for speaking out so broadly upon this subject.
But I think it the best way to disguise nothing; to do what is _right_;
to be sincere; and to let come what will.

_Godalming, November 26 to 28._

I came here to meet my son, who was to return to London when we had done
our business.--The turnips are pretty good all over the country, except
upon the very thin soils on the chalk. At Thursley they are very good,
and so they are upon all these nice light and good lands round about

This is a very pretty country. You see few prettier spots than this. The
chain of little hills that run along to the South and South-East of
Godalming, and the soil, which is a good loam upon a sand-stone bottom,
run down on the South side, into what is called the _Weald_. This Weald
is a bed of clay, in which nothing grows well but oak trees. It is first
the Weald of Surrey and then the Weald of Sussex. It runs along on the
South of Dorking, Reigate, Bletchingley, Godstone, and then winds away
down into Kent. In no part of it, as far as I have observed, do the oaks
grow finer than between the sand-hill on the South of Godstone and a
place called Fellbridge, where the county of Surrey terminates on the
road to East Grinstead.

At Godalming we heard some account of a lawsuit between Mr. Holme Sumner
and his tenant, Mr. Nash; but the particulars I must reserve till I have
them in black and white.

In all parts of the country, I hear of landlords that begin to _squeak_,
which is a certain proof that they begin to feel the bottom of their
tenants' pockets. No man can pay rent; I mean any rent at all, except
out of capital; or, except under some peculiar circumstances, such as
having a farm near a spot where the fundholders are building houses.
When I was in Hampshire, I heard of terrible breakings up in the Isle of
Wight. They say, that the general rout is very near at hand there. I
heard of one farmer, who held a farm at seven hundred pounds a-year, who
paid his rent annually, and punctually, who had, of course, seven
hundred pounds to pay to his landlord last Michaelmas; but who, before
Michaelmas came, thrashed out and sold (the harvest being so early) the
whole of his corn; sold off his stock, bit by bit; got the very goods
out of his house, leaving only a bed and some trifling things; sailed
with a fair wind over to France with his family; put his mother-in-law
into the house to keep possession of the house and farm, and to prevent
the landlord from entering upon the land for a year or better, unless he
would pay to the mother-in-law a certain sum of money! Doubtless the
landlord had already sucked away about three or four times seven hundred
pounds from this farmer. He would not be able to enter upon his farm
without a process that would cost him some money, and without the farm
being pretty well stocked with thistles and docks, and perhaps laid half
to common. Farmers on the coast opposite France are not so firmly
bounden as those in the interior. Some hundreds of these will have
carried their allegiance, their capital (what they have left), and their
skill, to go and grease the fat sow, our old friends the Bourbons. I
hear of a sharp, greedy, hungry shark of a landlord, who says that "some
law must be passed;" that "Parliament must do something to prevent
this!" There is a pretty fool for you! There is a great jackass (I beg
the real jackass's pardon), to imagine that the people at Westminster
can do anything to prevent the French from suffering people to come with
their money to settle in France! This fool does not know, perhaps, that
there are Members of Parliament that live in France more than they do in
England. I have heard of one, who not only lives there, but carries on
vineyards there, and is never absent from them, except when he comes
over "to attend to his duties in Parliament." He perhaps sells his wine
at the same time, and that being genuine, doubtless brings him a good
price; so that the occupations harmonize together very well. The Isle of
Wight must be rather peculiarly distressed; for it was the scene of
monstrous expenditure. When the _pure_ Whigs were in power, in 1806, it
was proved to them and to the Parliament, that in several instances, _a
barn_ in the Isle of Wight was rented by the "envy of surrounding
nations" for more money than the rest of the whole farm! These barns
were wanted as _barracks_; and, indeed, such things were carried on in
that Island as never could have been carried on under anything that was
not absolutely "the admiration of the world." These sweet pickings,
caused, doubtless, a great rise in the rent of the farms; so that, in
this Island, there is not only the depression of price, and a greater
depression than anywhere else, but also the loss of the pickings, and
these together leave the tenants but this simple choice; beggary or
flight; and as most of them have had a pretty deal of capital, and will
be likely to have some left as yet, they will, as they perceive the
danger, naturally flee for succour to the Bourbons. This is, indeed,
something new in the History of English Agriculture; and were not Mr.
Canning so positive to the contrary, one would almost imagine that the
thing which has produced it does not work so very well. However, that
gentleman seems resolved to prevent us, by his _King of Bohemia_ and his
two _Red Lions_, from having any change in this thing; and therefore the
landlords, in the Isle of Wight, as well as elsewhere, must make the
best of the matter.

_November 29._

Went on to Guildford, where I slept. Everybody, that has been from
Godalming to Guildford, knows, that there is hardly another such a
pretty four miles in all England. The road is good; the soil is good;
the houses are neat; the people are neat: the hills, the woods, the
meadows, all are beautiful. Nothing wild and bold, to be sure, but
exceedingly pretty; and it is almost impossible to ride along these four
miles without feelings of pleasure, though you have rain for your
companion, as it happened to be with me.

_Dorking, November 30._

I came over the high hill on the south of Guildford, and came down to
Chilworth, and up the valley to Albury. I noticed, in my first Rural
Ride, this beautiful valley, its hangers, its meadows, its hop-gardens,
and its ponds. This valley of Chilworth has great variety, and is very
pretty; but after seeing Hawkley, every other place loses in point of
beauty and interest. This pretty valley of Chilworth has a run of water
which comes out of the high hills, and which, occasionally, spreads into
a pond; so that there is in fact a series of ponds connected by this run
of water. This valley, which seems to have been created by a bountiful
providence, as one of the choicest retreats of man; which seems formed
for a scene of innocence and happiness, has been, by ungrateful man, so
perverted as to make it instrumental in effecting two of the most
damnable of purposes; in carrying into execution two of the most
damnable inventions that ever sprang from the minds of man under the
influence of the devil! namely, the making of _gunpowder_ and of
_banknotes_! Here in this tranquil spot, where the nightingales are to
be heard earlier and later in the year than in any other part of
England; where the first bursting of the buds is seen in Spring, where
no rigour of seasons can ever be felt; where everything seems formed for
precluding the very thought of wickedness; here has the devil fixed on
as one of the seats of his grand manufactory; and perverse and
ungrateful man not only lends him his aid, but lends it cheerfully! As
to the gunpowder, indeed, we might get over that. In some cases that may
be innocently, and, when it sends the lead at the hordes that support a
tyrant, meritoriously employed. The alders and the willows, therefore,
one can see, without so much regret, turned into powder by the waters of
this valley; but, the _Bank-notes_! To think that the springs which God
has commanded to flow from the sides of these happy hills, for the
comfort and the delight of man; to think that these springs should be
perverted into means of spreading misery over a whole nation; and that,
too, under the base and hypocritical pretence of promoting its _credit_
and maintaining its _honour_ and its _faith_! There was one
circumstance, indeed, that served to mitigate the melancholy excited by
these reflections; namely, that a part of these springs have, at times,
assisted in turning rags into _Registers_! Somewhat cheered by the
thought of this, but, still, in a more melancholy mood than I had been
for a long while, I rode on with my friend towards _Albury_, up the
valley, the sand-hills on one side of us and the chalk-hills on the
other. Albury is a little village consisting of a few houses, with a
large house or two near it. At the end of the village we came to a park,
which is the residence of Mr. Drummond.--Having heard a great deal of
this park, and of the gardens, I wished very much to see them. My way to
Dorking lay through Shire, and it went along on the outside of the park.
I _guessed_, as the Yankees say, that there must be a way through the
park to Shire; and I fell upon the scheme of going into the park as far
as Mr. Drummond's house, and then asking his leave to go out at the
other end of it. This scheme, though pretty bare-faced, succeeded very
well. It is true that I was aware that I had not a _Norman_ to deal
with; or, I should not have ventured upon the experiment. I sent in word
that, having got into the park, I should be exceedingly obliged to Mr.
Drummond if he would let me go out of it on the side next to Shire. He
not only granted this request, but, in the most obliging manner,
permitted us to ride all about the park, and to see his gardens, which,
without any exception, are, to my fancy, the prettiest in England; that
is to say, that I ever saw in England.

They say that these gardens were laid out for one of the Howards, in the
reign of Charles the Second, by Mr. Evelyn, who wrote the _Sylva_. The
mansion-house, which is by no means magnificent, stands on a little flat
by the side of the parish church, having a steep, but not lofty, hill
rising up on the south side of it. It looks right across the gardens,
which lie on the slope of a hill which runs along at about a quarter of
a mile distant from the front of the house. The gardens, of course, lie
facing the south. At the back of them, under the hill, is a high wall;
and there is also a wall at each end, running from north to south.
Between the house and the gardens there is a very beautiful run of
water, with a sort of little wild narrow sedgy meadow. The gardens are
separated from this by a hedge, running along from east to west. From
this hedge there go up the hill, at right angles, several other hedges,
which divide the land here into distinct gardens, or orchards. Along at
the top of these there goes a yew hedge, or, rather, a row of small yew
trees, the trunks of which are bare for about eight or ten feet high,
and the tops of which form one solid head of about ten feet high, while
the bottom branches come out on each side of the row about eight feet
horizontally. This hedge, or row, is _a quarter of a mile long_. There
is a nice hard sand-road under this species of umbrella; and, summer and
winter, here is a most delightful walk! Behind this row of yews, there
is a space, or garden (a quarter of a mile long you will observe) about
thirty or forty feet wide, as nearly as I can recollect. At the back of
this garden, and facing the yew-tree row, is a wall probably ten feet
high, which forms the breastwork of a _terrace_; and it is this terrace
which is the most beautiful thing that I ever saw in the gardening way.
It is a quarter of a mile long, and, I believe, between thirty and forty
feet wide; of the finest green sward, and as level as a die.

The wall, along at the back of this terrace, stands close against the
hill, which you see with the trees and underwood upon it rising above
the wall. So that here is the finest spot for fruit trees that can
possibly be imagined. At both ends of this garden the trees in the park
are lofty, and there are a pretty many of them. The hills on the south
side of the mansion-house are covered with lofty trees, chiefly beeches
and chestnut: so that a warmer, a more sheltered, spot than this, it
seems to be impossible to imagine. Observe, too, how judicious it was to
plant the row of yew trees at the distance which I have described from
the wall which forms the breastwork of the terrace: that wall, as well
as the wall at the back of the terrace, are covered with fruit trees,
and the yew tree row is just high enough to defend the former from
winds, without injuring it by its shade. In the middle of the wall, at
the back of the terrace, there is a recess about thirty feet in front
and twenty feet deep, and here is a _basin_, into which rises a spring
coming out of the hill. The overflowings of this basin go under the
terrace and down across the garden into the rivulet below. So that here
is water at the top, across the middle, and along at the bottom of this
garden. Take it altogether, this, certainly, is the prettiest garden
that I ever beheld. There was taste and sound judgment at every step in
the laying out of this place. Everywhere utility and convenience is
combined with beauty. The terrace is by far the finest thing of the sort
that I ever saw, and the whole thing altogether is a great compliment to
the taste of the times in which it was formed. I know there are some
ill-natured persons who will say that I want a revolution that would
turn Mr. Drummond out of this place and put me into it. Such persons
will hardly believe me, but upon my word I do not. From everything that
I hear, Mr. Drummond is very worthy of possessing it himself, seeing
that he is famed for his justice and his kindness _towards the labouring
classes_, who, God knows, have very few friends amongst the rich. If
what I have heard be true, Mr. Drummond is singularly good in this way;
for, instead of hunting down an unfortunate creature who has exposed
himself to the lash of the law; instead of regarding a crime committed
as proof of an inherent disposition to commit crime; instead of
rendering the poor creatures desperate by this species of
_proscription_, and forcing them on to the _gallows_, merely because
they have once merited the _Bridewell_; instead of this, which is the
common practice throughout the country, he rather seeks for such
unfortunate creatures to take them into his employ, and thus to reclaim
them, and to make them repent of their former courses. If this be true,
and I am credibly informed that it is, I know of no man in England so
worthy of his estate. There may be others to act in like manner; but I
neither know nor have heard of any other. I had, indeed, heard of this,
at Alresford in Hampshire; and, to say the truth, it was this
circumstance, and this alone, which induced me to ask the favour of Mr.
Drummond to go through his park. But, besides that Mr. Drummond is very
worthy of his estate, what chance should I have of getting it if it came
to a _scramble_? There are others who like pretty gardens as well as I;
and if the question were to be decided according to the law of the
strongest, or, as the French call it, by the _droit du plus fort_, my
chance would be but a very poor one. The truth is, that you hear nothing
but _fools_ talk about revolutions _made for the purpose of getting
possession of people's property_. They never have their spring in any
such motives. They are _caused by Governments themselves_; and though
they do sometimes cause a new distribution of property to a certain
extent, there never was, perhaps, one single man in this world that had
anything to do, worth speaking of, in the causing of a revolution, that
did it with any such view. But what a strange thing it is, that there
should be men at this time to fear _the loss of estates_ as the
consequence of a convulsive revolution; at this time, when the estates
are actually passing away from the owners before their eyes, and that,
too, in consequence of measures which have been adopted for what has
been called the _preservation of property_, against the designs of
Jacobins and Radicals! Mr. Drummond has, I dare say, the means of
preventing his estate from being actually taken away from him; but I am
quite certain that that estate, except as a place to live at, is not
worth to him, at this moment, one single farthing. What could a
revolution do for him _more_ than this? If one could suppose the power
of doing what they like placed in the hands of the labouring classes; if
one could suppose such a thing as this, which never was yet seen; if one
could suppose anything so monstrous as that of a revolution that would
leave no public authority anywhere; even in such a case, it is against
nature to suppose that the people would come and turn him out of his
house and leave him without food; and yet that they must do, to make
him, as a landholder, worse off than he is; or, at least, worse off than
he must be in a very short time. I saw, in the gardens at Albury Park,
what I never saw before in all my life; that is, some plants of the
_American Cranberry_. I never saw them in America; for there they grow
in those swamps, into which I never happened to go at the time of their
bearing fruit. I may have seen the plant, but I do not know that I ever
did. Here it not only grows, but bears; and there are still some
cranberries on the plants now. I tasted them, and they appeared to me to
have just the same taste as those in America. They grew in a long bed
near the stream of water which I have spoken about, and therefore it is
clear that they may be cultivated with great ease in this country. The
road, through Shire along to Dorking, runs up the valley between the
chalk-hills and the sand-hills; the chalk to our left and the sand to
our right. This is called the Home Dale. It begins at Reigate and
terminates at Shalford Common, down below Chilworth.

_Reigate, December 1._

I set off this morning with an intention to go across the Weald to
Worth; but the red rising of the sun and the other appearances of the
morning admonished me to keep upon _high ground_; so I crossed the Mole,
went along under Boxhill, through Betchworth and Buckland, and got to
this place just at the beginning of a day of as heavy rain, and as
boisterous wind, as, I think, I have ever known in England. _In_ one
rotten borough, one of the most rotten too, and with another still more
rotten _up upon the hill_, in Reigate, and close by Gatton, how can I
help reflecting, how can my mind be otherwise than filled with
reflections on the marvellous deeds of the Collective Wisdom of the
nation! At present, however (for I want to get to bed) I will notice
only one of those deeds, and that one yet "_incohete_," a word which Mr.
Canning seems to have coined for the _nonce_ (which is not a coined
word), when Lord Castlereagh (who cut his throat the other day) was
accused of making a _swap_, as the horse-jockeys call it, of a
_writer-ship_ against a _seat_. It is _barter_, _truck_, _change_,
_dicker_, as the Yankees call it, but as our horse-jockeys call it
_swap_, or _chop_. The case was this: the chop had been _begun_; it had
been entered on; but had not been completed; just as two jockeys may
have _agreed_ on a chop and yet not actually _delivered_ the horses to
one another. Therefore, Mr. Canning said that the act was _incohete_,
which means, without cohesion, without consequence. Whereupon the House
entered on its Journals a solemn resolution, that it was its duty to
_watch over its purity with the greatest care_; but that the said act
being "_incohete_" the House did not think it necessary to proceed any
further in the matter! It unfortunately happened, however, that in a
very few days afterwards--that is to say, on the memorable eleventh of
June, 1809--Mr. Maddocks accused the very same Castlereagh of having
actually sold and delivered a seat to Quintin Dick for three thousand
pounds. The accuser said he was ready to bring to the bar proof of the
fact; and he moved that he might be permitted so to do. Now, then, what
did Mr. Canning say? Why, he said that the reformers were a low degraded
crew, and he called upon the House to make a stand against democratical
encroachment? And the House did not listen to him, surely? Yes, but it
did! And it voted by a thundering majority, that it would not hear the
evidence. And this vote was, by the leader of the Whigs, justified upon
the ground that the deed complained of by Mr. Maddocks was according to
a practice which was as notorious as _the sun at noon day_. So much for
the word "_incohete_," which has led me into this long digression. The
deed, or achievement, of which I am now about to speak is not the
Marriage Act; for that is _cohete_ enough: that has had plenty of
consequences. It is the New Turnpike Act, which, though passed, is as
yet "incohete;" and is not to be cohete for some time yet to come. I
hope it will become _cohete_ during the time that Parliament is sitting,
for otherwise it will have _cohesion_ pretty nearly equal to that of the
Marriage Act. In the first place this Act makes _chalk_ and _lime_
everywhere liable to turnpike duty, which in many cases they were not
before. This is a monstrous oppression upon the owners and occupiers of
clay lands; and comes just at the time, too, when they are upon the
point, many of them, of being driven out of cultivation, or thrown up to
the parish, by other burdens. But it is the provision with regard to the
_wheels_ which will create the greatest injury, distress and confusion.
The wheels which this law orders to be used on turnpike roads, on pain
of enormous toll, cannot be used on the _cross-roads_ throughout more
than nine-tenths of the kingdom. To make these roads and the
_drove-lanes_ (the private roads of farms) fit for the cylindrical
wheels described in this Bill, would cost a pound an acre, upon an
average, upon all the land in England, and especially in the counties
where the land is poorest. It would, in these counties, cost a tenth
part of the worth of the fee-simple of the land. And this is enacted,
too, at a time when the wagons, the carts, and all the dead stock of a
farm; when the whole is falling into a state of irrepair; when all is
actually perishing for want of means in the farmer to keep it in repair!
This is the time that the Lord Johns and the Lord Henries and the rest
of that Honourable body have thought proper to enact that the whole of
the farmers in England shall have new wheels to their wagons and carts,
or, that they shall be punished by the payment of heavier tolls! It is
useless, perhaps, to say anything about the matter; but I could not help
noticing a thing which has created such a general alarm amongst the
farmers in every part of the country where I have recently been.

_Worth (Sussex), December 2._

I set off from Reigate this morning, and after a pleasant ride of ten
miles, got here to breakfast.--Here, as everywhere else, the farmers
appear to think that their last hour is approaching.--Mr. _Charles
B----'s farms_; I believe it is _Sir_ Charles B----; and I should be
sorry to withhold from him his title, though, being said to be a very
good sort of a man, he might, perhaps, be able to shift without it: this
gentleman's farms are subject of conversation here. The matter is
curious in itself, and very well worthy of attention, as illustrative of
the present state of things. These farms were, last year, taken into
hand by the owner. This was stated in the public papers about a
twelvemonth ago. It was said that his tenants would not take the farms
again at the rent which he wished to have, and that therefore he took
the farms into hand. These farms lie somewhere down in the west of
Sussex. In the month of August last I saw (and I think in one of the
Brighton newspapers) a paragraph stating that Mr. B----, who had taken
his farms into hand the Michaelmas before, had already got in his
harvest, and that he had had excellent crops! This was a sort of
bragging paragraph; and there was an observation added which implied
that the farmers were great fools for not having taken the farms! We now
hear that Mr. B---- has let his farms. But, now, mark how he has let
them. The custom in Sussex is this: when a tenant quits a farm, he
receives payment, according to valuation, for what are called the
dressings, the half-dressings, for seeds and lays, and for the growth of
underwood in coppices and hedge-rows; for the dung in the yards; and, in
short, for whatever he leaves behind him, which, if he had stayed, would
have been of value to him. The dressings and half-dressings include not
only the manure that has been recently put into the land, but also the
summer ploughings; and, in short, everything which has been done to the
land, and the benefit of which has not been taken out again by the
farmer. This is a good custom; because it ensures good tillage to the
land. It ensures, also, a fair start to the new tenant; but then,
observe, it requires some money, which the new tenant must pay down
before he can begin, and therefore this custom presumes a pretty deal of
capital to be possessed by farmers. Bearing _these_ general remarks in
mind, we shall see, in a moment, the case of Mr. B----. If my
information be correct, he has let his farms: he has found tenants for
his farms; but not tenants to pay him anything for dressings,
half-dressings, and the rest. He was obliged to pay the out-going
tenants for these things. Mind that! He was obliged to pay them
according to the custom of the country; but he has got nothing of this
sort from his in-coming tenants! It must be a poor farm, indeed, where
the valuation does not amount to some hundreds of pounds. So that here
is a pretty sum sunk by Mr. B----; and yet even on conditions like
these, he has, I dare say, been glad to get his farms off his hands.
There can be very little security for the payment of rent where the
tenant pays no in-coming; but even if he get no rent at all, Mr. B----
has done well to get his farms off his hands. Now, do I wish to
insinuate that Mr. B---- asked too much for his farms last year, and
that he wished to squeeze the last shilling out of his farmers? By no
means. He bears the character of a mild, just, and very considerate man,
by no means greedy, but the contrary. A man very much beloved by his
tenants; or, at least, deserving it. But the truth is, he could not
believe it possible that his farms were so much fallen in value. He
could not believe it possible that his estate had been taken away from
him by the legerdemain of the Pitt System, which he had been supporting
all his life: so that he thought, and very naturally thought, that his
old tenants were endeavouring to impose upon him, and therefore resolved
to take his farms into hand. Experience has shown him that farms yield
no rent, in the hands of the landlord at least; and therefore he has put
them into the hands of other people. Mr. B----, like Mr. Western, has
not read the _Register_. If he had, he would have taken any trifle from
his old tenants, rather than let them go. But he surely might have read
the speech of his neighbour and friend Mr. Huskisson, made in the House
of Commons in 1814, in which that gentleman said that, with wheat at
less than double the price that it bore before the war, it would be
impossible for any rent at all to be paid. Mr. B---- might have read
this; and he might, having so many opportunities, have asked Mr.
Huskisson for an explanation of it. This gentleman is now a great
advocate for _national faith_; but may not Mr. B---- ask him whether
there be no faith to be kept with the landlord? However, if I am not
deceived, Mr. B---- or Sir Charles B---- (for I really do not know which
it is) is a member of the Collective! If this be the case he has had
something to do with the thing himself; and he must muster up as much as
he can of that "patience" which is so strongly recommended by our great
new state doctor Mr. Canning.

I cannot conclude my remarks on this Rural Ride without noticing the new
sort of language that I hear everywhere made use of with regard to the
parsons, but which language I do not care to repeat. These men may say
that I keep company with none but those who utter "sedition and
blasphemy;" and if they do say so, there is just as much veracity in
their words as I believe there to be charity and sincerity in the hearts
of the greater part of them. One thing is certain; indeed, two things:
the first is, that almost the whole of the persons that I have conversed
with are farmers; and the second is, that they are in this respect all
of one mind! It was my intention, at one time, to go along the south of
Hampshire to Portsmouth, Fareham, Botley, Southampton, and across the
New Forest into Dorsetshire. My affairs made me turn from Hambledon this
way; but I had an opportunity of hearing something about the
neighbourhood of Botley. Take any one considerable circle where you know
everybody, and the condition of that circle will teach you how to judge
pretty correctly of the condition of every other part of the country. I
asked about the farmers of my old neighbourhood, one by one; and the
answers I received only tended to confirm me in the opinion that the
whole race will be destroyed; and that a new race will come, and enter
upon farms without capital and without stock; be a sort of bailiffs to
the landlords for a while, and then, if this system go on, bailiffs to
the Government as trustee for the fundholders. If the account which I
have received of Mr. B----'s new mode of letting be true, here is one
step further than has been before taken. In all probability the stock
upon the farms belongs to him, to be paid for when the tenant can pay
for it. Who does not see to what this tends? The man must be blind
indeed who cannot see confiscation here; and can he be much less than
blind if he imagine that relief is to be obtained by the _patience_
recommended by Mr. Canning?

       *       *       *       *       *

Thus, Sir, have I led you about the country. All sorts of things have I
talked of, to be sure; but there are very few of these things which have
not their interest of one sort or another. At the end of a hundred miles
or two of travelling, stopping here and there; talking freely with
everybody; hearing what gentlemen, farmers, tradesmen, journeymen,
labourers, women, girls, boys, and all have to say; reasoning with some,
laughing with others, and observing all that passes; and especially if
your manner be such as to remove every kind of reserve from every class;
at the end of a tramp like this, you get impressed upon your mind a true
picture, not only of the state of the country, but of the state of the
people's minds throughout the country. And, Sir, whether you believe me
or not, I have to tell you that it is my decided opinion that the
people, high and low, with one unanimous voice, except where they live
upon the taxes, _impute their calamities to the House of Commons_.
Whether they be right or wrong is not so much the question in this case.
That such is the fact I am certain; and having no power to make any
change myself, I must leave the making or the refusing of the change to
those who have the power. I repeat, and with perfect sincerity, that it
would give me as much pain as it would give to any man in England, to
see a change _in the form of the Government_. With _King_, _Lords_, and
_Commons_, this nation enjoyed many ages of happiness and of glory.
_Without Commons_, my opinion is, it never can again see anything but
misery and shame; and when I say Commons I _mean_ Commons; and by
Commons, I mean men elected by the free voice of the untitled and
unprivileged part of the people, who, in fact as well as in law, are the
Commons of England.

I am, Sir, your most obedient and most humble servant,



_Monday, May 5, 1823._

From London to Reigate, through Sutton, is about as villanous a tract as
England contains. The soil is a mixture of gravel and clay, with big
yellow stones in it, sure sign of really bad land. Before you descend
the hill to go into Reigate, you pass _Gatton_ ("Gatton and Old Sarum"),
which is a very rascally spot of earth. The trees are here a week later
than they are at Tooting. At Reigate they are (in order to save a few
hundred yards length of road) cutting through a hill. They have lowered
a little hill on the London side of Sutton. Thus is the money of the
country actually thrown away: the produce of labour is taken from the
industrious, and given to the idlers. Mark the process; the town of
Brighton, in Sussex, 50 miles from the Wen, is on the seaside, and is
thought by the stock-jobbers to afford a _salubrious air_. It is so
situated that a coach, which leaves it not very early in the morning,
reaches London by noon; and, starting to go back in two hours and a half
afterwards, reaches Brighton not very late at night. Great parcels of
stock-jobbers stay at Brighton with the women and children. They skip
backward and forward on the coaches, and actually carry on
stock-jobbing, in 'Change Alley, though they reside at Brighton. This
place is, besides, a place of great resort with the _whiskered_ gentry.
There are not less than about twenty coaches that leave the Wen every
day for this place; and there being three or four different roads, there
is a great rivalship for the custom. This sets the people to work to
shorten and to level the roads; and here you see hundreds of men and
horses constantly at work to make pleasant and quick travelling for the
Jews and jobbers. The Jews and jobbers pay the turnpikes, to be sure;
but they get the money from the land and labourer. They drain these,
from John-a-Groat's House to the Land's End, and they lay out some of
the money on the Brighton roads! "Vast _improvements_, ma'am!" as Mrs.
_Scrip_ said to Mrs. _Omnium_, in speaking of the new enclosures on the
villanous heaths of Bagshot and Windsor.--Now, some will say, "Well, it
is only a change from hand to hand." Very true, and if Daddy Coke of
Norfolk like the change, I know not why I should dislike it. More and
more new houses are building as you leave the Wen to come on this road.
_Whence come_ the means of building these new houses and keeping the
inhabitants? Do they come out of _trade_ and _commerce_? Oh, no! they
come from _the land_; but if Daddy Coke like this, what has any one else
to do with it? Daddy Coke and Lord Milton like "national faith;" it
would be a pity to disappoint their liking. The best of this is, it will
bring _down to the very dirt_; it will bring down their faces to the
very earth, and fill their mouths full of sand; it will thus pull down a
set of the basest lick-spittles of power and the most intolerable
tyrants towards their inferiors in wealth that the sun ever shone on. It
is time that these degenerate dogs were swept away at any rate. The
Blackthorns are in full bloom, and make a grand show. When you quit
Reigate to go towards Crawley, you enter on what is called the _Weald of
Surrey_. It is a level country, and the soil is a very, very strong
loam, with clay beneath to a great depth. The fields are small, and
about a third of the land covered with oak-woods and coppice-woods. This
is a country of wheat and beans; the latter of which are about three
inches high, the former about seven, and both looking very well. I did
not see a field of bad-looking wheat from Reigate-hill foot to Crawley,
nor from Crawley across to this place, where, though the whole country
is but poorish, the wheat looks very well; and if this weather hold
about twelve days, we shall recover the lost time. They have been
stripping trees (taking the bark off) about five or six days. The
nightingales sing very much, which is a sign of warm weather. The
house-martins and the swallows are come in abundance; and they seldom do
come until the weather be set in for mild.

_Wednesday, 7th May._

The weather is very fine and warm; the leaves of the _Oaks_ are coming
out very fast: some of the trees are nearly in half-leaf. The _Birches_
are out in leaf. I do not think that I ever saw the wheat look, take it
all together, so well as it does at this time. I see in the stiff land
no signs of worm or slug. The winter, which destroyed so many turnips,
must, at any rate, have destroyed these mischievous things. The oats
look well. The barley is very young; but I do not see anything amiss
with regard to it.--The land between this place and Reigate is stiff.
How the corn may be in other places I know not; but in coming down I met
with a farmer of Bedfordshire, who said that the wheat looked very well
in that county; which is not a county of clay, like the Weald of Surrey.
I saw a Southdown farmer, who told me that the wheat is good there, and
that is a fine corn-country. The bloom of the fruit trees is the finest
I ever saw in England. The pear-bloom is, at a distance, like that of
the _Gueldre Rose_; so large and bold are the bunches. The plum is
equally fine; and even the Blackthorn (which is the hedge-plum) has a
bloom finer than I ever saw it have before. It is rather _early_ to
offer any opinion as to the crop of corn; but if I were compelled to bet
upon it, I would bet upon a good crop. Frosts frequently come after this
time; and if they come in May, they cause "things to come about" very
fast. But if we have no more frosts: in short, if we have, after this, a
good summer, we shall have a fine laugh at the Quakers' and the Jews'
press. Fifteen days' sun will bring _things about_ in reality. The wages
of labour in the country have taken a rise, and the poor-rates an
increase, since first of March. I am glad to hear that the _Straw
Bonnet_ affair has excited a good deal of attention. In answer to
applications upon the subject, I have to observe, that all the
information on the subject will be published in the first week of June.
Specimens of the _straw_ and _plat_ will then be to be seen at No. 183,
Fleet Street.


_Reigate (Surrey), Saturday, 26 July, 1823._

Came from the Wen, through Croydon. It rained nearly all the way. The
corn is good. A great deal of straw. The barley very fine; but all are
backward; and if this weather continue much longer, there must be that
"heavenly blight" for which the wise friends of "social order" are so
fervently praying. But if the wet now cease, or cease soon, what is to
become of the "poor souls of farmers" God only knows! In one article the
wishes of our wise Government appear to have been gratified to the
utmost; and that, too, without the aid of any express form of prayer. I
allude to the hops, of which it is said that there will be, according
to all appearance, none at all! Bravo! Courage, my Lord Liverpool! This
article, at any rate, will not choak us, will not distress us, will not
make us miserable by "over-production!"--The other day a gentleman (and
a man of general good sense too) said to me: "What a deal of wet we
have: what do you think of the weather _now_?"--"More rain," said I.
"D--n those farmers," said he, "what luck they have! They will be as
rich as Jews!"--Incredible as this may seem, it is a fact. But, indeed,
there is no folly, if it relate to these matters, which is, now-a-days,
incredible. The hop affair is a pretty good illustration of the doctrine
of "relief" from "diminished production." Mr. Ricardo may now call upon
any of the hop-planters for proof of the correctness of his notions.
They are ruined, for the greater part, if their all be embarked in hops.
How are they to pay rent? I saw a planter the other day who sold his
hops (Kentish) last fall for sixty shillings a hundred. The same hops
will now fetch the owner of them eight pounds, or a hundred and sixty

Thus the _Quaker_ gets rich, and the poor devil of a farmer is squeezed
into a gaol. The _Quakers_ carry on the far greater part of this work.
They are, as to the products of the earth, what the _Jews_ are as to
gold and silver. How they profit, or, rather, the degree in which they
profit, at the expense of those who own and those who till the land, may
be guessed at if we look at their immense worth, and if we at the same
time reflect that they never work. Here is a sect of non-labourers. One
would think that their religion bound them under a curse not to work.
Some part of the people of all other sects work; sweat at work; do
something that is useful to other people; but here is a sect of buyers
and sellers. They make nothing; they cause nothing to come; they breed
as well as other sects; but they make none of the raiment or houses, and
cause none of the food to come. In order to justify some measure for
paring the nails of this grasping sect, it is enough to say of them,
which we may with perfect truth, that if all the other sects were to act
like them, _the community must perish_. This is quite enough to say of
this sect, of the monstrous privileges of whom we shall, I hope, one of
these days, see an end. If I had the dealing with them, I would soon
teach them to use the _spade_ and the _plough_, and the _musket_ too
when necessary.

The rye along the road side is ripe enough; and some of it is reaped and
in shock. At Mearstam there is a field of cabbages, which, I was told,
belonged to Colonel Joliffe. They appear to be early Yorks, and look
very well. The rows seem to be about eighteen inches apart. There may be
from 15,000 to 20,000 plants to the acre; and I dare say that they will
weigh three pounds each, or more. I know of no crop of cattle food equal
to this. If they be early Yorks, they will be in perfection in October,
just when the grass is almost gone. No five acres of common grass land
will, during the year, yield cattle food equal, either in quantity or
quality, to what one acre of land in early Yorks will produce during
three months.

_Worth (Sussex), Wednesday, 30 July._

Worth is ten miles from Reigate on the Brighton-road, which goes through
Horley. Reigate has the Surrey chalk hills close to it on the North, and
sand-hills along on its South, and nearly close to it also. As soon as
you are over the sand-hills, you come into a country of _deep_ clay; and
this is called the _Weald_ of Surrey. This Weald winds away round,
towards the West, into Sussex, and towards the East, into Kent. In this
part of Surrey it is about eight miles wide, from North to South, and
ends just as you enter the parish of Worth, which is the first parish
(in this part) in the county of Sussex. All across the Weald (the strong
and stiff clays) the corn looks very well. I found it looking well from
the Wen to Reigate, on the villanous spewy soil between the Wen and
Croydon; on the chalk from Croydon to near Reigate; on the loam, sand
and chalk (for there are all three) in the valley of Reigate; but not
quite so well on the sand. On the clay all the corn looks well. The
wheat, where it has begun to die, is dying of a good colour, not black,
nor in any way that indicates blight. It is, however, all backward. Some
few fields of white wheat are changing colour; but for the greater part
it is quite green; and though a sudden change of weather might make a
great alteration in a short time, it does appear that the harvest must
be later than usual. When I say this, however, I by no means wish to be
understood as saying that it must be so late as to be injurious to the
crop. In 1816, I saw a barley-rick making in November. In 1821, I saw
wheat uncut, in Suffolk, in October. If we were now to have good,
bright, hot weather, for as long a time as we have had wet, the whole of
the corn in these Southern counties would be housed, and great part of
it threshed out, by the 10th of September. So that all depends on the
weather, which appears to be clearing up in spite of Saint Swithin. This
Saint's birth-day is the 15th of July; and it is said that if rain fall
on his birth-day it will fall on _forty days_ successively. But I
believe that you reckon retrospectively as well as prospectively; and if
this be the case, we may, this time, escape the extreme unction; for it
began to rain on the 26th of June; so that it rained 19 days before the
15th of July; and as it has rained 16 days since, it has rained, in the
whole, 35 days, and, of course, five days more will satisfy this wet
soul of a saint. Let him take his five days; and there will be plenty of
time for us to have wheat at four shillings a bushel. But if the Saint
will give us no credit for the 19 days, and will insist upon his forty
daily drenchings _after_ the fifteenth of July; if he will have such a
soaking as this at the celebration of the anniversary of his birth, let
us hope that he is prepared with a miracle for feeding us, and with a
still more potent miracle for keeping the farmers from riding over us,
filled, as Lord Liverpool thinks their pockets will be, by the
annihilation of their crops!

The upland meadow grass is, a great deal of it, not cut yet along the
Weald. So that in these parts there has been not a great deal of hay
spoiled. The clover hay was got in very well; and only a small part of
the meadow hay has been spoiled in this part of the country. This is not
the case, however, in other parts, where the grass was forwarder, and
where it was cut before the rain came. Upon the whole, however, much hay
does not appear to have been spoiled as yet. The farmers along here,
have, most of them, begun to cut to-day. This has been a fine day; and
it is clear that they expect it to continue. I saw but two pieces of
Swedish turnips between the Wen and Reigate, but one at Reigate, and but
one between Reigate and Worth. During a like distance in Norfolk or
Suffolk, you would see two or three hundred fields of this sort of root.
Those that I do see here look well. The white turnips are just up, or
just sown, though there are some which have rough leaves already. This
Weald is, indeed, not much of land for turnips; but from what I see
here, and from what I know of the weather, I think that the turnips must
be generally good. The after-grass is surprisingly fine. The lands which
have had hay cut and carried from them are, I think, more _beautiful_
than I ever saw them before. It should, however, always be borne in mind
that this _beautiful_ grass is by no means the _best_. An acre of this
grass will not make a quarter part so much butter as an acre of
rusty-looking pasture, made rusty by the rays of the sun. Sheep on the
commons _die_ of the _beautiful_ grass produced by long-continued rains
at this time of the year. Even geese, hardy as they are, die from the
same cause. The rain will give quantity; but without sun the quality
must be poor at the best. The woods have not shot much this year. The
cold winds, the frosts, that we had up to Midsummer, prevented the trees
from growing much. They are beginning to shoot now; but the wood must be
imperfectly ripened.

I met at Worth a beggar, who told me, in consequence of my asking where
he belonged, that he was born in South Carolina. I found, at last, that
he was born in the English army, during the American rebel-war; that he
became a soldier himself; and that it had been his fate to serve under
the Duke of York, in Holland; under General Whitelock, at Buenos Ayres;
under Sir John Moore, at Corunna; and under "the Greatest Captain," at
Talavera! This poor fellow did not seem to be at all aware that in the
last case he partook in _a victory_! He had never before heard of its
being a victory. He, poor fool, thought that it was _a defeat_. "Why,"
said he, "we _ran away_, Sir." Oh, yes! said I, and so you did
afterwards, perhaps, in Portugal, when Massena was at your heels; but it
is only in certain cases that running away is a mark of being defeated;
or, rather, it is only with certain commanders. A matter of much more
interest to us, however, is that the wars for "social order," not
forgetting Gatton and Old Sarum, have filled the country with beggars,
who have been, or who pretend to have been, soldiers and sailors. For
want of looking well into this matter, many good and just, and even
sensible men are led to give to these army and navy beggars what they
refuse to others. But if reason were consulted, she would ask what
pretensions these have to a preference? She would see in them men who
had become soldiers or sailors because they wished to live without that
labour by which other men are content to get their bread. She would ask
the soldier beggar whether he did not voluntarily engage to perform
services such as were performed at Manchester; and if she pressed him
for _the motive_ to this engagement, could he assign any motive other
than that of wishing to live without work upon the fruit of the work of
other men? And why should reason not be listened to? Why should she not
be consulted in every such case? And if she were consulted, which would
she tell you was the most worthy of your compassion, the man who, no
matter from what cause, is become a beggar after forty years spent in
the raising of food and raiment for others as well as for himself; or
the man who, no matter again from what cause, is become a beggar after
forty years living upon the labour of others, and during the greater
part of which time he has been living in a barrack, there kept for
purposes explained by Lord Palmerston, and always in readiness to answer
those purposes? As to not giving to beggars, I think there is a law
against giving! However, give to them people will, as long as they ask.
Remove the _cause_ of the beggary, and we shall see no more beggars; but
as long as there are _boroughmongers_ there will be beggars enough.

_Horsham (Sussex), Thursday, 31 July._

I left Worth this afternoon about 5 o'clock, and am got here to sleep,
intending to set off for Petworth in the morning, with a view of
crossing the South Downs and then going into Hampshire through Havant,
and along at the southern foot of Portsdown Hill, where I shall see the
earliest corn in England. From Worth you come to Crawley along some
pretty good land; you then turn to the left and go two miles along the
road from the Wen to Brighton; then you turn to the right, and go over
six of the worst miles in England, which miles terminate but a few
hundred yards before you enter Horsham. The first two of these miserable
miles go through the estate of Lord Erskine. It was a bare heath, with
here and there, in the better parts of it, some scrubby birch. It has
been, in part, planted with fir-trees, which are as ugly as the heath
was: and, in short, it is a most villanous tract. After quitting it, you
enter a forest; but a most miserable one; and this is followed by a
large common, now enclosed, cut up, disfigured, spoiled, and the
labourers all driven from its skirts. I have seldom travelled over eight
miles so well calculated to fill the mind with painful reflections. The
ride has, however, this in it: that the ground is pretty much elevated,
and enables you to look about you. You see the Surrey hills away to the
North; Hindhead and Blackdown to the North West and West; and the South
Downs from the West to the East. The sun was shining upon all these,
though it was cloudy where I was. The soil is a poor, miserable,
clayey-looking sand, with a sort of sandstone underneath. When you get
down into this town, you are again in the Weald of Sussex. I believe
that _Weald_ meant _clay_, or low, wet, stiff land. This is a very nice,
solid, country town. Very clean, as all the towns in Sussex are. The
people very clean. The Sussex women are very nice in their dress and in
their houses. The men and boys wear smock-frocks more than they do in
some counties. When country people do not they always look dirty and
comfortless. This has been a pretty good day; but there was a little
rain in the afternoon; so that St. Swithin keeps on as yet, at any rate.
The hay has been spoiled here, in cases where it has been cut; but a
great deal of it is not yet cut. I speak of the meadows; for the
clover-hay was all well got in. The grass, which is not cut, is
receiving great injury. It is, in fact, in many cases rotting upon the
ground. As to corn, from Crawley to Horsham there is none worth speaking
of. What there is is very good, in general, considering the quality of
the soil. It is about as backward as at Worth: the barley and oats
green, and the wheat beginning to change colour.

_Billingshurst (Sussex), Friday Morning, 1 Aug._

This village is 7 miles from Horsham, and I got here to breakfast about
seven o'clock. A very pretty village, and a very nice breakfast in a
very neat little parlour of a very decent public-house. The landlady
sent her son to get me some cream, and he was just such a chap as I was
at his age, and dressed just in the same sort of way, his main garment
being a blue smock-frock, faded from wear, and mended with pieces of new
stuff, and, of course, not faded. The sight of this smock-frock brought
to my recollection many things very dear to me. This boy will, I dare
say, perform his part at Billingshurst, or at some place not far from
it. If accident had not taken me from a similar scene, how many villains
and fools, who have been well teazed and tormented, would have slept in
peace at night, and have fearlessly swaggered about by day! When I look
at this little chap; at his smock-frock, his nailed shoes, and his
clean, plain, and coarse shirt, I ask myself, will anything, I wonder,
ever send this chap across the ocean to tackle the base, corrupt,
perjured Republican Judges of Pennsylvania? Will this little, lively,
but, at the same time, simple boy, ever become the terror of villains
and hypocrites across the Atlantic? What a chain of strange
circumstances there must be to lead this boy to thwart a miscreant
tyrant like Mackeen, the Chief Justice and afterwards Governor of
Pennsylvania, and to expose the corruptions of the band of rascals,
called a "Senate and a House of Representatives," at Harrisburgh, in
that state!

I was afraid of rain, and got on as fast as I could: that is to say, as
fast as my own diligence could help me on; for, as to my horse, he is to
go only _so fast_. However, I had no rain; and got to Petworth, nine
miles further, by about ten o'clock.

_Petworth (Sussex), Friday Evening, 1 Aug._

No rain, until just at sunset, and then very little. I must now look
back. From Horsham to within a few miles of Petworth is in the Weald of
Sussex; stiff land, small fields, broad hedge-rows, and invariably
thickly planted with fine, growing oak trees. The corn here consists
chiefly of wheat and oats. There are some bean-fields, and some few
fields of peas; but very little barley along here. The corn is very good
all along the Weald; backward; the wheat almost green; the oats quite
green; but, late as it is, I see no blight; and the farmers tell me that
there is no blight. There may be yet, however; and therefore our
Government, our "_paternal_ Government," so anxious to prevent "over
production," need not _despair_ as yet, at any rate. The beans in the
Weald are not very good. They got lousy before the wet came; and it came
rather too late to make them recover what they had lost. What peas there
are look well. Along here the wheat, in general, may be fit to cut in
about 16 days' time; some sooner; but some later, for some is perfectly
green. No Swedish turnips all along this country. The white turnips are
just up, coming up, or just sown. The farmers are laying out lime upon
the wheat fallows, and this is the universal practice of the country. I
see very few sheep. There are a good many orchards along in the Weald,
and they have some apples this year; but, in general, not many. The
apple trees are planted very thickly, and, of course, they are small;
but they appear healthy in general; and in some places there is a good
deal of fruit, even this year. As you approach Petworth, the ground
rises and the soil grows lighter. There is a hill which I came over,
about two miles from Petworth, whence I had a clear view of the Surrey
chalk-hills, Leithhill, Hindhead, Blackdown, and of the South Downs,
towards one part of which I was advancing. The pigs along here are all
black, thin-haired, and of precisely the same sort of those that I took
from England to Long Island, and with which I pretty well stocked the
American states. By-the-by, the trip, which Old Sidmouth and crew gave
me to America, was attended with some interesting consequences; amongst
which were the introducing of the Sussex pigs into the American
farmyards; the introduction of the Swedish turnip into the American
fields; the introduction of American apple trees into England; and the
introduction of the making, in England, of the straw plat, to supplant
the Italian; for, had my son not been in America, this last would not
have taken place; and in America he would not have been, had it not been
for Old Sidmouth and crew. One thing more, and that is of more
importance than all the rest, Peel's Bill arose out of the "puff-out"
Registers; these arose out of the trip to Long Island; and out of Peel's
Bill has arisen the best bothering that the wigs of the Boroughmongers
ever received, which bothering will end in the destruction of the
Boroughmongering. It is curious, and very _useful_, thus to trace events
to their causes.

Soon after quitting Billingshurst I crossed the river Arun, which has a
canal running alongside of it. At this there are large timber and coal
yards, and kilns for lime. This appears to be a grand receiving and
distributing place. The river goes down to Arundale, and, together with
the valley that it runs through, gives the town its name. This valley,
which is very pretty, and which winds about a good deal, is the dale of
the Arun: and the town is the town of the Arun-dale. To-day, near a
place called Westborough Green, I saw a woman bleaching her home-spun
and home-woven linen. I have not seen such a thing before, since I left
Long Island. There, and, indeed, all over the American States, North of
Maryland, and especially in the New England States, almost the whole of
both linen and woollen used in the country, and a large part of that
used in towns, is made in the farmhouses. There are thousands and
thousands of families who never use either, except of their own making.
All but the weaving is done by the family. There is a loom in the house,
and the weaver goes from house to house. I once saw about three thousand
farmers, or rather country people, at a horse-race in Long Island, and
my opinion was, that there were not five hundred who were not dressed in
home-spun coats. As to linen, no farmer's family thinks of buying linen.
The Lords of the Loom have taken from the land, in England, this part of
its due; and hence one cause of the poverty, misery, and pauperism that
are becoming so frightful throughout the country. A national debt and
all the taxation and gambling belonging to it have a natural tendency to
draw wealth into great masses. These masses produce a power of
_congregating_ manufactures, and of making the many work at them, for
the _gain of a few_. The taxing Government finds great convenience in
these congregations. It can lay its hand easily upon a part of the
produce; as ours does with so much effect. But the land suffers greatly
from this, and the country must finally feel the fatal effects of it.
The country people lose part of their natural employment. The women and
children, who ought to provide a great part of the raiment, have nothing
to do. The fields _must_ have men and boys; but where there are men and
boys there will be _women_ and _girls_; and as the Lords of the Loom
have now a set of real slaves, by the means of whom they take away a
great part of the employment of the countrywomen and girls, these must
be kept by poor-rates in whatever degree they lose employment through
the Lords of the Loom. One would think that nothing can be much plainer
than this; and yet you hear the _jolterheads_ congratulating one another
upon the increase of Manchester, and such places! My straw affair will
certainly restore to the land some of the employment of its women and
girls. It will be impossible for any of the "rich ruffians;" any of the
horse-power or steam-power or air-power ruffians; any of these greedy,
grinding ruffians, to draw together bands of men, women and children,
and to make them slaves, in the working of straw. The raw material comes
of itself, and the hand, and the hand alone, can convert it to use. I
thought well of this before I took one single step in the way of
supplanting the Leghorn bonnets. If I had not been certain that no rich
ruffian, no white slave holder, could ever arise out of it, assuredly
one line upon the subject never would have been written by me. Better a
million times that the money should go to Italy; better that it should
go to enrich even the rivals and enemies of the country; than that it
should enable these hard, these unfeeling men, to draw English people
into crowds and make them slaves, and slaves too of the lowest and most
degraded cast.

As I was coming into this town I saw a new-fashioned sort of
stone-cracking. A man had a sledge-hammer, and was cracking the heads of
the big stones that had been laid on the road a good while ago. This is
a very good way; but this man told me that he was set at this because
the farmers had _no employment_ for many of the men. "Well," said I,
"but they pay you to do this!" "Yes," said he. "Well, then," said I, "is
it not better for them to pay you for working _on their land_?" "I can't
tell, indeed, Sir, how that is." But only think; here is half the
haymaking to do: I saw, while I was talking to this man, fifty people in
one hay-field of Lord Egremont, making and carrying hay; and yet, at a
season like this, the farmers are so poor as to be unable to pay the
labourers to work on the land! From this cause there will certainly be
some falling off in production. This will, of course, have a tendency to
keep prices from falling so low as they would do if there were no
falling off. But can this _benefit_ the farmer and landlord? The poverty
of the farmers is seen in their diminished stock. The animals are sold
_younger_ than formerly. Last year was a year of great slaughtering.
There will be less of everything produced; and the quality of each thing
will be worse. It will be a lower and more mean concern altogether.
Petworth is a nice market town; but solid and clean. The great abundance
of _stone_ in the land hereabouts has caused a corresponding liberality
in paving and wall building; so that everything of the building kind has
an air of great strength, and produces the agreeable idea of durability.
Lord Egremont's house is close to the town, and, with its out-buildings,
garden walls, and other erections, is, perhaps, nearly as big as the
town; though the town is not a very small one. The Park is very fine,
and consists of a parcel of those hills and dells which Nature formed
here when she was in one of her most sportive modes. I have never seen
the earth flung about in such a wild way as round about Hindhead and
Blackdown; and this Park forms a part of this ground. From an elevated
part of it, and, indeed, from each of many parts of it, you see all
around the country to the distance of many miles. From the South East to
the North West, the hills are so lofty and so near, that they cut the
view rather short; but for the rest of the circle you can see to a very
great distance. It is, upon the whole, a most magnificent seat, and the
Jews will not be able to get it from the _present_ owner; though, if he
live many years, they will give even him a _twist_. If I had time, I
would make an actual survey of one whole county, and find out how many
of the old gentry have lost their estates, and have been supplanted by
the Jews, since Pitt began his reign. I am sure I should prove that in
number they are one-half extinguished. But it is _now_ that they go. The
little ones are, indeed, gone; and the rest will follow in proportion as
the present farmers are exhausted. These will keep on giving rents as
long as they can beg or borrow the money to pay rents with. But a little
more time will so completely exhaust them that they will be unable to
pay; and as that takes place, the landlords will lose their estates.
Indeed many of them, and even a large portion of them, have, in fact, no
estates now. They are _called_ theirs; but the mortgagees and annuitants
receive the rents. As the rents fall off, sales must take place, unless
in cases of entails; and if this thing go on, we shall see Acts passed
to _cut off entails_, in order that the Jews may be put into full
possession. Such, thus far, will be the result of our "glorious
victories" over the French! Such will be, in part, the price of the
deeds of Pitt, Addington, Perceval, and their successors. For having
applauded such deeds; for having boasted of the Wellesleys; for having
bragged of battles won by _money_ and by money _only_, the nation
deserves that which it will receive; and as to the landlords, they,
above all men living, deserve punishment. They put the power into the
hands of Pitt and his crew to torment the people; to keep the people
down; to raise soldiers and to build barracks for this purpose. These
base landlords laughed when affairs like that of Manchester took place.
They laughed at the _Blanketteers_. They laughed when Canning jested
about Ogden's rupture. Let them, therefore, now take the full benefit of
the measures of Pitt and his crew. They would fain have us believe that
the calamities they endure do not arise from the acts of the Government.
What do they arise from, then? The Jacobins did not contract the _Debt_
of 800,000,000_l._ sterling. The Jacobins did not create a _Dead Weight_
of 150,000,000_l._ The Jacobins did not cause a pauper-charge of
200,000,000_l._ by means of "new enclosure bills," "vast improvements,"
paper-money, potatoes, and other "proofs of prosperity." The Jacobins
did not do these things. And will the Government pretend that
"Providence" did it? That would be "blasphemy" indeed.----Poh! These
things are the price of efforts to crush freedom in France, _lest the
example of France should produce a reform in England_. These things are
the price of that undertaking; which, however, has not yet been crowned
with _success_; for the question is _not yet decided_. They boast of
their victory over the French. The Pitt crew boast of their achievements
in the war. They boast of the battle of Waterloo. Why! what fools could
not get the same, or the like, if they had as much _money_ to get it
with? Shooting with a _silver gun_ is a saying amongst game-eaters. That
is to say, _purchasing_ the game. A waddling, fat fellow that does not
know how to prime and load will, in this way, beat the best shot in the
country. And this is the way that our crew "beat" the people of France.
They laid out, in the first place, six hundred millions which they
borrowed, and for which they mortgaged the revenues of the nation. Then
they contracted for a "dead weight" to the amount of one hundred and
fifty millions. Then they stripped the labouring classes of the commons,
of their kettles, their bedding, their beer-barrels; and, in short, made
them all paupers, and thus fixed on the nation a permanent annual charge
of about 8 or 9 millions, or a gross debt of 200,000,000_l._ By these
means, by these anticipations, our crew did what they thought would keep
down the French nation for ages; and what they were sure would, for the
present, enable them to keep up the _tithes_ and other things of the
same sort in England. But the crew did not reflect on the _consequences_
of the anticipations! Or, at least, the landlords, who gave the crew
their power, did not thus reflect. These consequences are now come, and
are coming; and that must be a base man indeed who does not see them
with pleasure.

_Singleton (Sussex), Saturday, 2 Aug._

Ever since the middle of March I have been trying remedies for the
_hooping-cough_, and have, I believe, tried everything, except riding,
wet to the skin, two or three hours amongst the clouds on the South
Downs. This remedy is now under trial. As Lord Liverpool said, the other
day, of the Irish Tithe Bill, it is "under experiment." I am treating my
disorder (with better success, I hope) in somewhat the same way that the
pretty fellows at Whitehall treat the disorders of poor Ireland. There
is one thing in favour of this remedy of mine, I shall _know_ the effect
of it, and that, too, in a short time. It rained a little last night. I
got off from Petworth without baiting my horse, thinking that the
weather looked suspicious; and that St. Swithin meaned to treat me to a
dose. I had no great-coat, nor any means of changing my clothes. The
hooping-cough made me anxious; but I had fixed on going along the South
Downs from Donnington Hill down to Lavant, and then to go on the flat to
the South foot of Portsdown Hill, and to reach Fareham to-night. Two
men, whom I met soon after I set off, assured me that it would not rain.
I came on to Donnington, which lies at the foot of that part of the
South Downs which I had to go up. Before I came to this point, I crossed
the Arun and its canal again; and here was another place of deposit for
timber, lime, coals, and other things. White, in his history of
Selborne, mentions a hill, which is one of the Hindhead group, from
which two springs (one on each side of the hill) send water into the
_two seas_: the _Atlantic_ and the _German Ocean_! This is big talk: but
it is a fact. One of the streams becomes the _Arun_, which falls into
the Channel; and the other, after winding along amongst the hills and
hillocks between Hindhead and Godalming, goes into the river _Wey_,
which falls into the Thames at Weybridge. The soil upon leaving
Petworth, and at Petworth, seems very good; a fine deep loam, a sort of
mixture of sand and soft chalk. I then came to a sandy common; a piece
of ground that seemed to have no business there; it looked as if it had
been tossed from Hindhead or Blackdown. The common, however, during the
rage for "improvements," has been _enclosed_. That impudent fellow, Old
Rose, stated the number of Enclosure Bills as an indubitable proof of
"national prosperity." There was some _rye_ upon this common, the sight
of which would have gladdened the heart of Lord Liverpool. It was, in
parts, not more than eight inches high. It was ripe, and, of course, the
straw dead; or I should have found out the owner, and have bought it to
make _bonnets_ of! I defy the Italians to grow worse rye than this. The
reader will recollect that I always said that we could grow _as poor_
corn as any Italians that ever lived. The village of Donton lies at the
foot of one of these great chalk ridges which are called the South
Downs. The ridge in this place is, I think, about three-fourths of a
mile high, by the high road, which is obliged to go twisting about, in
order to get to the top of it. The hill sweeps round from about West
North West, to East South East; and, of course, it keeps off all the
heavy winds, and especially the South West winds, before which, in this
part of England (and all the South and Western part of it) even the oak
trees seem as if they would gladly flee; for it shaves them up as
completely as you see a quickset hedge shaved by hook or shears. Talking
of hedges reminds me of having seen a box-hedge, just as I came out of
Petworth, more than twelve feet broad, and about fifteen feet high. I
dare say it is several centuries old. I think it is about forty yards
long. It is a great curiosity.

The apple trees at Donnington show their gratitude to the hill for its
shelter; for I have seldom seen apple trees in England so large, so
fine, and, in general, so flourishing. I should like to have, or to see,
an orchard of American apples under this hill. The hill, you will
observe, does not shade the ground at Donnington. It slopes too much for
that. But it affords complete shelter from the mischievous winds. It is
very pretty to look down upon this little village as you come winding up
the hill.

From this hill I ought to have had a most extensive view. I ought to
have seen the Isle of Wight and the sea before me; and to have looked
back to Chalk Hill at Reigate, at the foot of which I had left some
bonnet-grass bleaching. But, alas! _Saint Swithin_ had begun his works
for the day before I got to the top of the hill. Soon after the two
turnip-hoers had assured me that there would be no rain, I saw,
beginning to poke up over the South Downs (then right before me) several
parcels of those white, curled clouds that we call _Judges' Wigs_. And
they are just like Judges' wigs. Not the _parson-like_ things which the
Judges wear when they have to listen to the dull wrangling and duller
jests of the lawyers; but those _big_ wigs which hang down about their
shoulders, when they are about to tell you a little of _their
intentions_, and when their very looks say, "_Stand clear_!" These
clouds (if rising from the South West) hold precisely the same language
to the great-coatless traveller. Rain is _sure_ to follow them. The sun
was shining very beautifully when I first saw these Judges' wigs rising
over the hills. At the sight of them he soon began to hide his face! and
before I got to the top of the hill of Donton, the white clouds had
become black, had spread themselves all around, and a pretty decent and
sturdy rain began to fall. I had resolved to come to this place
(Singleton) to breakfast. I quitted the turnpike road (from Petworth to
Chichester) at a village called Upwaltham, about a mile from Donnington
Hill; and came down a lane, which led me first to a village called
Eastdean; then to another called Westdean, I suppose; and then to this
village of Singleton, and here I am on the turnpike road from Midhurst
to Chichester. The lane goes along through some of the finest farms in
the world. It is impossible for corn land and for agriculture to be
finer than these. In cases like mine, you are pestered to death to find
out the way to _set out_ to get from place to place. The people you have
to deal with are innkeepers, ostlers, and post-boys; and they think you
mad if you express your wish to avoid turnpike roads; and a great deal
more than half mad if you talk of going, even from necessity, by any
other road. They think you a strange fellow if you will not ride six
miles on a turnpike road rather than two on any other road. This plague
I experienced on this occasion. I wanted to go from Petworth to Havant.
My way was through Singleton and Funtington. I had no business at
Chichester, which took me too far to the South; nor at Midhurst, which
took me too far to the West. But though I stayed all day (after my
arrival) at Petworth, and though I slept there, I could get no
directions how to set out to come to Singleton, where I am now. I
started, therefore, on the Chichester road, trusting to my enquiries of
the country people as I came on. By these means I got hither, down a
long valley, on the South Downs, which valley winds and twists about
amongst hills, some higher and some lower, forming cross dells, inlets,
and ground in such a variety of shapes that it is impossible to
describe; and the whole of the ground, hill as well as dell, is fine,
most beautiful corn land, or is covered with trees or underwood. As to
St. Swithin, I set him at defiance. The road was flinty, and very
flinty. I rode a foot pace; and got here wet to the skin. I am very glad
I came this road. The corn is all fine; all good; fine crops, and no
appearance of blight. The barley extremely fine. The corn not forwarder
than in the Weald. No beans here; few oats comparatively; chiefly wheat
and barley; but great quantities of Swedish turnips, and those very
forward. More Swedish turnips here upon one single farm than upon all
the farms that I saw between the Wen and Petworth. These turnips are, in
some places, a foot high, and nearly cover the ground. The farmers are,
however, plagued by this St. Swithin, who keeps up a continual drip,
which prevents the thriving of the turnips and the killing of the weeds.
The _orchards_ are good here in general. Fine walnut trees, and an
abundant crop of walnuts. This is a series of villages all belonging to
the Duke of Richmond, the outskirts of whose park and woods come up to
these farming lands, all of which belong to him; and I suppose that
every inch of land that I came through this morning belongs either to
the Duke of Richmond or to Lord Egremont. No _harm_ in that, mind, if
those who till the land have _fair play_; and I should act unjustly
towards these noblemen if I insinuated that the husbandmen have not fair
play as far as the landlords are concerned; for everybody speaks well of
them. There is, besides, _no misery_ to be seen here. I have seen no
wretchedness in Sussex; nothing to be at all compared to that which I
have seen in other parts; and as to these villages in the South Downs,
they are beautiful to behold. Hume and other historians rail against the
_feudal_-system; and we, "enlightened" and "free" creatures as we are,
look back with scorn, or, at least, with surprise and pity, to the
"vassalage" of our forefathers. But if the matter were well enquired
into, not slurred over, but well and truly examined, we should find that
the people of these villages were _as free_ in the days of William Rufus
as are the people of the present day; and that vassalage, only under
other names, exists now as completely as it existed then. Well; but out
of this, if true, arises another question: namely, Whether the millions
would derive any benefit from being transferred from these great Lords
who possess them by hundreds, to Jews and jobbers who would possess them
by half-dozens, or by couples? One thing we may say with a certainty of
being right: and that is, that the transfer would be bad for the Lords
themselves. There is an appearance of comfort about the dwellings of the
labourers all along here that is very pleasant to behold. The gardens
are neat, and full of vegetables of the best kinds. I see very few of
"Ireland's lazy root;" and never, in this country, will the people be
base enough to lie down and expire from starvation under the operation
of the _extreme unction_! Nothing but a _potato-eater_ will ever do
that. As I came along between Upwaltham and Eastdean, I called to me a
young man, who, along with other turnip-hoers, was sitting under the
shelter of a hedge at breakfast. He came running to me with his victuals
in his hand; and I was glad to see that his food consisted of a good
lump of household bread and not a very small piece of _bacon_. I did not
envy him his appetite, for I had at that moment a very good one of my
own; but I wanted to know the distance I had to go before I should get
to a good public-house. In parting with him, I said, "You do get some
_bacon_ then?" "Oh, yes! Sir," said he, and with an emphasis and a swag
of the head which seemed to say, "We _must_ and _will_ have _that_." I
saw, and with great delight, a pig at almost every labourer's house. The
houses are good and warm; and the gardens some of the very best that I
have seen in England. What a difference, good God! what a difference
between this country and the neighbourhood of those corrupt places
_Great Bedwin_ and _Cricklade_. What sort of _breakfast_ would this man
have had in a mess of _cold potatoes_? Could he have _worked_, and
worked in the wet, too, with such food? Monstrous! No society ought to
exist where the labourers live in a hog-like sort of way. The _Morning
Chronicle_ is everlastingly asserting the mischievous consequences of
the want of _enlightening_ these people "_i' th a Sooth_;" and telling
us how well they are off in the North. Now this I know, that in the
North the "enlightened" people eat _sowens_, _burgoo_, _porridge_, and
_potatoes_: that is to say, _oatmeal and water_, or the root of _extreme
unction_. If this be the effect of their _light_, give me the _darkness_
"o' th a Sooth." This is according to what I have heard. If, when I go
to the North, I find the labourers _eating more meat_ than those of the
"Sooth," I shall then say that "enlightening" is a very good thing; but
give me none of that "light," or of that "grace," which makes a man
content with oatmeal and water, or that makes him patiently lie down and
die of starvation amidst abundance of food. The _Morning Chronicle_
hears the labourers crying out in Sussex. They are right to cry out in
time. When they are actually brought down to the extreme unction it is
useless to cry out. And next to the extreme unction is the _porridge_ of
the "enlightened" slaves who toil in the factories for the Lords of the
Loom. Talk of _vassals_! Talk of _villains_! Talk of _serfs_! Are there
any of these, or did feudal times ever see any of them, so debased, so
absolutely slaves, as the poor creatures who, in the "enlightened"
North, are compelled to work fourteen hours in a day, in a heat of
eighty-four degrees; and who are liable to punishment for looking out at
a window of the factory!

This is really a soaking day, thus far. I got here at nine o'clock. I
stripped off my coat, and put it by the kitchen fire. In a parlour just
eight feet square I have another fire, and have dried my shirt on my
back. We shall see what this does for a hooping-cough. The clouds fly so
low as to be seen passing by the sides of even little hills on these
downs. The Devil is said to be busy in a _high_ wind; but he really
appears to be busy now in this South West wind. The Quakers will, next
market day, at Mark Lane, be as busy as he. They and the Ministers and
St. Swithin and Devil all seem to be of a mind.

I must not forget the _churches_. That of Donnington is very small for a
church. It is about twenty feet wide and thirty long. It is, however,
sufficient for the population, the amount of which is two hundred and
twenty-two, not one half of whom are, of course, ever at church at one
time. There is, however, plenty of room for the whole: the "tower" of
this church is about double the size of a _sentry-box_. The parson,
whose name is Davidson, did not, when the Return was laid before
Parliament, in 1818, reside in the parish. Though the living is a large
living, the parsonage house was let to "a lady and her three daughters."
What impudence a man must have to put this into a Return! The church at
Upwaltham is about such another, and the "tower" still less than that at
Donnington. Here the population is seventy-nine. The parish is a
rectory, and in the Return before mentioned, the parson (whose name was
Tripp) says that the church will hold the population, but that the
parsonage house will not hold him! And why? Because it is "a miserable
cottage." I looked about for this "miserable cottage," and could not
find it. What on impudent fellow this must have been! And, indeed, what
a state of impudence have they not now arrived at! Did he, when he was
ordained, talk anything about a fine house to live in? Did Jesus Christ
and Saint Paul talk about fine houses? Did not this priest most solemnly
vow to God, upon the altar, that he would be constant, in season and out
of season, in watching over the souls of his flock? However, it is
useless to remonstrate with this set of men. Nothing will have any
effect upon them. They will keep grasping at the tithes as long as they
can reach them. "_A miserable cottage!_" What impudence! What, Mr.
Tripp, is it a fine house that you have been appointed and ordained to
live in? Lord Egremont is the patron of Mr. Tripp; and he has a _duty_
to perform too; for the living is _not his_: he is, in this case, only
an hereditary _trustee_ for the public; and he ought to see that this
parson resides in the parish, which, according to his own Return, yields
him 125_l._ a-year. Eastdean is a Vicarage, with a population of 353, a
church which the parson says will hold 200, and which I say will hold
600 or 700, and a living worth 85_l._ a-year, in the gift of the Bishop
of Chichester.

Westdean is united with Singleton, the living is in the gift of the
Church at Chichester and the Duke of Richmond alternately; it is a large
living, it has a population of 613, and the two churches, says the
parson, will hold 200 people! What careless, or what impudent fellows
these must have been. These two churches will hold a thousand people,
packed much less close than they are in meeting houses.

At Upwaltham there is a toll gate, and when the woman opened the door of
the house to come and let me through, I saw some _straw plat_ lying in a
chair. She showed it me; and I found that it was made by her husband, in
the evenings, after he came home from work, in order to make him a hat
for the harvest. I told her how to get better straw for the purpose; and
when I told her that she must cut the grass, or the grain, _green_, she
said, "Aye, I dare say it is so: and I wonder we never thought of that
before; for we sometimes make hats out of rushes, cut green, and dried,
and the hats are very durable." This woman ought to have my _Cottage
Economy_. She keeps the toll-gate at Upwaltham, which is called Waltham,
and which is on the turnpike road from Petworth to Chichester. Now, if
any gentleman who lives at Chichester will call upon my Son, at the
Office of the Register in Fleet Street, and ask for a copy of _Cottage
Economy_, to be given to this woman, he will receive the copy, and my
thanks, if he will have the goodness to give it to her, and to point to
her the Essay on Straw Plat.

_Fareham (Hants), Saturday, 2 August._

Here I am in spite of St. Swithin!--The truth is, that the Saint is
like most other oppressors; _rough_ him! _rough_ him! and he relaxes.
After drying myself, and sitting the better part of four hours at
Singleton, I started in the rain, boldly setting the Saint at defiance,
and expecting to have not one dry thread by the time I got to Havant,
which is nine miles from Fareham, and four from Cosham. To my most
agreeable surprise, the rain ceased before I got by Selsey, I suppose it
is called, where Lord Selsey's house and beautiful and fine estate is.
On I went, turning off to the right to go to Funtington and Westbourn,
and getting to Havant to bait my horse, about four o'clock.

From Lavant (about two miles back from Funtington) the ground begins to
be a sea side flat. The soil is somewhat varied in quality and kind; but
with the exception of an enclosed common between Funtington and
Westbourn, it is all good soil. The corn of all kinds good and earlier
than further back. They have begun cutting peas here, and near Lavant I
saw a field of wheat nearly ripe. The Swedish turnips very fine, and
still earlier than on the South Downs. Prodigious crops of walnuts; but
the apples bad along here. The South West winds have cut them off; and,
indeed, how should it be otherwise, if these winds happen to prevail in
May, or early in June?

On the new enclosure, near Funtington, the wheat and oats are both
nearly ripe.

In a new enclosure, near Westbourn, I saw the only really blighted wheat
that I have yet seen this year. "Oh!" exclaimed I, "that my Lord
Liverpool, that my much respected stern-path-of-duty-man, could but see
that wheat, which God and the seedsman intended to be _white_; but which
the Devil (listening to the prayers of the Quakers) has made _black_!
Oh! could but my Lord see it, lying flat upon the ground, with the
May-weed and the Couch-grass pushing up through it, and with a whole
flock of rooks pecking away at its ears! Then would my much valued Lord
say, indeed, that the 'difficulties' of agriculture are about to receive
the 'greatest abatement!'"

But now I come to one of the great objects of my journey: that is to
say, to see the state of the corn along at the South foot and on the
South side of Portsdown Hill. It is impossible that there can be,
anywhere, a better corn country than this. The hill is eight miles long,
and about three-fourths of a mile high, beginning at the road that runs
along at the foot of the hill. On the hill-side the corn land goes
rather better than half way up; and on the sea-side the corn land is
about the third (it may be half) a mile wide. Portsdown Hill is very
much in the shape of an oblong tin cover to a dish. From Bedhampton,
which lies at the Eastern end of the hill, to Fareham, which is at the
Western end of it, you have brought under your eye not less than eight
square miles of corn fields, with scarcely a hedge or ditch of any
consequence, and being, on an average, from twenty to forty acres each
in extent. The land is excellent. The situation good for manure. The
spot the _earliest in the whole kingdom_. Here, if the corn were
backward, then the harvest must be backward. We were talking at Reigate
of the prospect of a backward harvest. I observed that it was a rule
that if no _wheat were cut_ under Portsdown Hill on the hill _fair-day_,
26th July, the harvest must be generally backward. When I made this
observation the fair-day was passed; but I determined in my mind to come
and see how the matter stood. When, therefore, I got to the village of
Bedhampton, I began to look out pretty sharply. I came on to Wimmering,
which is just about the mid-way along the foot of the hill, and there I
saw, at a good distance from me, five men reaping in a field of wheat of
about 40 acres. I found, upon enquiry, that they began this morning, and
that the wheat belongs to Mr. Boniface, of Wimmering. Here the first
sheaf is cut that is cut in England: that the reader may depend upon. It
was never known that the average even of Hampshire was less than ten
days behind the average of Portsdown Hill. The corn under the hill is as
good as I ever saw it, except in the year 1813. No beans here. No peas.
Scarcely any oats. Wheat, barley, and turnips. The Swedish turnips not
so good as on the South Downs and near Funtington; but the wheat full as
good, rather better; and the barley as good as it is possible to be. In
looking at these crops one wonders whence are to come the hands to clear
them off.

A very pleasant ride to-day; and the pleasanter for my having set the
wet Saint at defiance. It is about thirty miles from Petworth to
Fareham; and I got in in very good time. I have now come, if I include
my _boltings_, for the purpose of looking at farms and woods, a round
hundred miles from the Wen to this town of Fareham; and in the whole of
the hundred miles I have not seen one single wheat-rick, though I have
come through as fine corn countries as any in England, and by the
homesteads of the richest of farmers. Not one single wheat-rick have I
seen, and not one rick of any sort of corn. I never saw nor heard of the
like of this before; and if I had not witnessed the fact with my own
eyes I could not have believed it. There are some farmers who have corn
in their barns, perhaps; but when there is no _rick_ left, there is very
little corn in the hands of farmers. Yet the markets, St. Swithin
notwithstanding, do not rise. This harvest must be three weeks later
than usual, and the last harvest was three weeks earlier than usual. The
last crop was begun upon at once, on account of the badness of the wheat
of the year before. So that the last crop will have had to give food
for thirteen months and a half. And yet the markets do not rise! And yet
there are men, farmers, mad enough to think that they have "got past the
bad place," and that things will come about, and are coming about! And
Lethbridge, of the Collective, withdraws his motion because he has got
what he wanted: namely, a return of good and "_remunerating_ prices!"
The _Morning Chronicle_ of this day, which has met me at this place, has
the following paragraph. "The weather is much improved, though it does
not yet assume the character of being fine. At the Corn Exchange since
Monday the arrivals consist of 7,130 quarters of wheat, 450 quarters of
barley, 8,300 quarters of oats, and 9,200 sacks of flour. The demand for
wheat is next to Zero, and for oats it is extremely dull. To effect
sales, prices are not much attended to, for the demand cannot be
increased at the present currency. The farmers should pay attention to
oats, for the foreign new, under the King's lock, will be brought into
consumption, unless a decline takes place immediately, and a weight will
thereby be thrown over the markets, which under existing circumstances
will be extremely detrimental to the agricultural interests. Its
distress however does not deserve much sympathy, for as soon as there
was a prospect of the payment of rents, the cause of the people was
abandoned by the Representatives of Agriculture in the Collected Wisdom,
and Mr. Brougham's most excellent measure for increasing the consumption
of Malt was neglected. Where there is no sympathy, none can be expected,
and the land proprietors need not in future depend on the assistance of
the mercantile and manufacturing interests, should their own distress
again require a united effort to remedy the general grievances." As to
the mercantile and manufacturing people, what is the land to expect from
them? But I agree with the _Chronicle_ that the landlords deserve ruin.
They abandoned the public cause the moment they thought that they saw a
prospect of getting rents. That prospect will soon disappear, unless
they pray hard to St. Swithin to insist upon forty days wet _after_ his
birth-day. I do not see what the farmers can do about the price of oats.
They have no power to do anything, unless they come with their cavalry
horses and storm the "King's lock." In short, it is all confusion in
men's minds as well as in their pockets. There must be something
completely out of joint when the Government are afraid of the effects of
a good crop. I intend to set off to-morrow for Botley, and go thence to
Easton; and then to Alton and Crondall and Farnham, to see how the
_hops_ are there. By the time that I get back to the Wen I shall know
nearly the real state of the case as to crops; and that, at this time,
is a great matter.


_Batley (Hampshire), 5th August, 1823._

I got to Fareham on Saturday night, after having got a soaking on the
South Downs on the morning of that day. On the Sunday morning, intending
to go and spend the day at Titchfield (about three miles and a half from
Fareham), and perceiving, upon looking out of the window, about 5
o'clock in the morning, that it was likely to rain, I got up, struck a
bustle, got up the ostler, set off and got to my destined point before 7
o'clock in the morning. And here I experienced the benefits of early
rising; for I had scarcely got well and safely under cover, when St.
Swithin began to pour down again, and he continued to pour during the
whole of the day. From Fareham to Titchfield village a large part of the
ground is a common enclosed some years ago. It is therefore amongst the
worst of the land in the country. Yet I did not see a bad field of corn
along here, and the Swedish turnips were, I think, full as fine as any
that I saw upon the South Downs. But it is to be observed that this land
is in the hands of dead-weight people, and is conveniently situated for
the receiving of manure from Portsmouth. Before I got to my friend's
house, I passed by a farm where I expected to find a wheat-rick
standing. I did not, however; and this is the strongest possible proof
that the stock of corn is gone out of the hands of the farmers. I set
out from Titchfield at 7 o'clock in the evening, and had seven miles to
go to reach Botley. It rained, but I got myself well furnished forth as
a defence against the rain. I had not gone two hundred yards before the
rain ceased; so that I was singularly fortunate as to rain this day; and
I had now to congratulate myself on the success of the remedy for the
hooping-cough which I used the day before on the South Downs; for
really, though I had a spell or two of coughing on Saturday morning when
I set out from Petworth, I have not had, up to this hour, any spell at
all since I got wet upon the South Downs. I got to Botley about nine
o'clock, having stopped two or three times to look about me as I went
along; for I had, in the first place, to ride, for about three miles of
my road, upon a turnpike road of which I was the projector, and, indeed,
the maker. In the next place I had to ride, for something better than
half a mile of my way, along between fields and coppices that were mine
until they came into the hands of the mortgagee, and by the side of
cottages of my own building. The only matter of much interest with me
was the state of the inhabitants of those cottages. I stopped at two or
three places, and made some little enquiries; I rode up to two or three
houses in the village of Botley, which I had to pass through, and just
before it was dark I got to a farmhouse close by the church, and what
was more, not a great many yards from the dwelling of that delectable
creature, the Botley parson, whom, however, I have not seen during my
stay at this place.

Botley lies in a valley, the soil of which is a deep and stiff clay. Oak
trees grow well; and this year the wheat grows well, as it does upon all
the clays that I have seen. I have never seen the wheat better in
general, in this part of the country, than it is now. I have, I think,
seen it heavier; but never clearer from blight. It is backward compared
to the wheat in many other parts; some of it is quite green; but none of
it has any appearance of blight. This is not much of a barley country.
The oats are good. The beans that I have seen, very indifferent.

The best news that I have learnt here is, that the Botley parson is
become quite a gentle creature, compared to what he used to be. The
people in the village have told me some most ridiculous stories about
his having been hoaxed in London! It seems that somebody danced him up
from Botley to London, by telling him that a legacy had been left him,
or some such story. Up went the parson on horseback, being in too great
a hurry to run the risk of coach. The hoaxers, it appears, got him to
some hotel, and there set upon him a whole tribe of applicants,
wet-nurses, dry-nurses, lawyers with deeds of conveyance for borrowed
money, curates in want of churches, coffin-makers, travelling
companions, ladies' maids, dealers in Yorkshire hams, Newcastle coals,
and dealers in dried night-soil at Islington. In short, if I am rightly
informed, they kept the parson in town for several days, bothered him
three parts out of his senses, compelled him to escape, as it were, from
a fire; and then, when he got home, he found the village posted all over
with handbills giving an account of his adventure, under the pretence of
offering 500_l._ reward for a discovery of the hoaxers! The good of it
was the parson ascribed his disgrace _to me_, and they say that he
perseveres to this hour in accusing me of it. Upon my word, I had
nothing to do with the matter, and this affair only shows that I am not
the only friend that the parson has in the world. Though this may have
had a tendency to produce in the parson that amelioration of deportment
which is said to become him so well, there is something else that has
taken place, which has, in all probability, had a more powerful
influence in this way; namely, a great reduction in the value of the
parson's living, which was at one time little short of five hundred
pounds a year, and which, I believe, is now not the half of that sum!
This, to be sure, is not only a natural but a necessary consequence of
the change in the value of money. The parsons are neither more nor less
than another sort of landlords. They must fall, of course, in their
demands, or their demands will not be paid. They may take in kind, but
that will answer them no purpose at all. They will be less people than
they have been, and will continue to grow less and less, until the day
when the whole of the tithes and other Church property, as it is called,
shall be applied to public purposes.

_Easton (Hampshire), Wednesday Evening, 6th August._

This village of Easton lies at a few miles towards the north-east from
Winchester. It is distant from Botley, by the way which I came, about
fifteen or sixteen miles. I came through Durley, where I went to the
house of farmer Mears. I was very much pleased with what I saw at
Durley, which is about two miles from Botley, and is certainly one of
the most obscure villages in this whole kingdom. Mrs. Mears, the
farmer's wife, had made, of the crested dog's tail grass, a bonnet which
she wears herself. I there saw girls platting the straw. They had made
plat of several degrees of fineness; and they sell it to some person or
persons at Fareham, who, I suppose, makes it into bonnets. Mrs. Mears,
who is a very intelligent and clever woman, has two girls at work, each
of whom earns per week as much (within a shilling) as her father, who is
a labouring man, earns per week. The father has at this time only 7_s._
per week. These two girls (and not very stout girls) earn six shillings
a week each: thus the income of this family is, from seven shillings a
week, raised to nineteen shillings a week. I shall suppose that this may
in some measure be owing to the generosity of ladies in the
neighbourhood, and to their desire to promote this domestic manufacture;
but if I suppose that these girls receive double compared to what they
will receive for the same quantity of labour when the manufacture
becomes more general, is it not a great thing to make the income of the
family nineteen shillings a week instead of seven? Very little, indeed,
could these poor things have done in the field during the last forty
days. And, besides, how clean; how healthful; how everything that one
could wish is this sort of employment! The farmer, who is also a very
intelligent person, told me that he should endeavour to introduce the
manufacture as a thing to assist the obtaining of employment, in order
to lessen the amount of the poor-rates. I think it very likely that this
will be done in the parish of Durley. A most important matter it is,
_to put paupers in the way of ceasing to be paupers_. I could not help
admiring the zeal as well as the intelligence of the farmer's wife, who
expressed her readiness to teach the girls and women of the parish, in
order to enable them to assist themselves. I shall hear, in all
probability, of their proceedings at Durley, and if I do, I shall make a
point of communicating to the Public an account of those interesting
proceedings. From the very first, from the first moment of my thinking
about this straw affair, I regarded it as likely to assist in bettering
the lot of the labouring people. If it has not this effect, I value it
not. It is not worth the attention of any of us; but I am satisfied that
this is the way in which it will work. I have the pleasure to know that
there is one labouring family, at any rate, who are living well through
my means. It is I, who, without knowing them, without ever having seen
them, without even now knowing their names, have given the means of good
living to a family who were before half-starved. This is indisputably my
work; and when I reflect that there must necessarily be, now, some
hundreds of families, and shortly, many thousands of families, in
England, who are and will be, through my means, living well instead of
being half-starved, I cannot but feel myself consoled; I cannot but feel
that I have some compensation for the sentence passed upon me by
Ellenborough, Grose, Le Blanc, and Bailey; and I verily believe, that in
the case of this one single family in the parish of Durley I have done
more good than Bailey ever did in the whole course of his life,
notwithstanding his pious Commentary on the Book of Common Prayer. I
will allow nothing to be good, with regard to the labouring classes,
unless it make an addition to their victuals, drink, or clothing. As to
their _minds_, that is much too sublime matter for me to think about. I
know that they are in rags, and that they have not a belly-full; and I
know that the way to make them good, to make them honest, to make them
dutiful, to make them kind to one another, is to enable them to live
well; and I also know that none of these things will ever be
accomplished by Methodist sermons, and by those stupid, at once stupid
and malignant things, and roguish things, called Religious Tracts.

It seems that this farmer at Durley has always read the Register, since
the first appearance of little _Two-penny Trash_. Had it not been for
this reading, Mrs. Mears would not have thought about the grass; and had
she not thought about the grass, none of the benefits above mentioned
would have arisen to her neighbours. The difference between this affair
and the spinning-jenny affairs is this: that the spinning-jenny affairs
fill the pockets of "rich ruffians," such as those who would have
murdered me at Coventry; and that this straw affair makes an addition
to the food and raiment of the labouring classes, and gives not a penny
to be pocketed by the rich ruffians.

From Durley I came on in company with farmer Mears through Upham. This
Upham is the place where Young, who wrote that bombastical stuff, called
"Night Thoughts," was once the parson, and where, I believe, he was
born. Away to the right of Upham lies the little town of Bishop's
Waltham, whither I wished to go very much, but it was too late in the
day. From Upham we came on upon the high land, called Black Down. This
has nothing to do with that Black-down Hill, spoken of in my last ride.
We are here getting up upon the chalk hills, which stretch away towards
Winchester. The soil here is a poor blackish stuff, with little white
stones in it, upon a bed of chalk. It was a down not many years ago. The
madness and greediness of the days of paper-money led to the breaking of
it up. The corn upon it is miserable; but as good as can be expected
upon such land.

At the end of this tract we come to a spot called Whiteflood, and here
we cross the old turnpike road which leads from Winchester to Gosport
through Bishop's Waltham. Whiteflood is at the foot of the first of a
series of hills over which you come to get to the top of that lofty
ridge called Morning Hill. The farmer came to the top of the first hill
along with me; and he was just about to turn back, when I, looking away
to the left, down a valley which stretched across the other side of the
down, observed a rather singular appearance, and said to the farmer,
"What is that coming up that valley? is it smoke, or is it a cloud?" The
day had been very fine hitherto; the sun was shining very bright where
we were. The farmer answered, "Oh, it's smoke; it comes from Ouselberry,
which is down in that bottom behind those trees." So saying, we bid each
other good day; he went back, and I went on. Before I had got a hundred
and fifty yards from him, the cloud which he had taken for the
Ouselberry smoke came upon the hill and wet me to the skin. He was not
far from the house at Whiteflood; but I am sure that he could not
entirely escape it. It is curious to observe how the clouds sail about
in the hilly countries, and particularly, I think, amongst the
chalk-hills. I have never observed the like amongst the sand-hills, or
amongst rocks.

From Whiteflood you come over a series of hills, part of which form a
rabbit-warren called Longwood warren, on the borders of which is the
house and estate of Lord Northesk. These hills are amongst the most
barren of the downs of England; yet a part of them was broken up during
the rage for improvements; during the rage for what empty men think was
an augmenting of the _capital_ of the country. On about twenty acres of
this land, sown with wheat, I should not suppose that there would be
twice twenty bushels of grain! A man must be mad, or nearly mad, to sow
wheat upon such a spot. However, a large part of what was enclosed has
been thrown out again already, and the rest will be thrown out in a very
few years. The down itself was poor; what, then, must it be as
corn-land! Think of the destruction which has here taken place. The
herbage was not good, but it was something; it was something for every
year, and without trouble. Instead of grass it will now, for twenty
years to come, bear nothing but that species of weeds which is hardy
enough to grow where the grass will not grow. And this was "augmenting
the capital of the nation." These new enclosure-bills were boasted of by
George Rose and by Pitt as proofs of national prosperity! When men in
power are ignorant to this extent, who is to expect anything but
consequences such as we now behold.

From the top of this high land called _Morning Hill_, and the real name
of which is _Magdalen Hill_, from a chapel which once stood there
dedicated to Mary Magdalen; from the top of this land you have a view of
a circle which is upon an average about seventy miles in diameter; and I
believe in no one place so little as fifty miles in diameter. You see
the Isle of Wight in one direction, and in the opposite direction you
see the high lands in Berkshire. It is not a pleasant view, however. The
fertile spots are all too far from you. Descending from this hill, you
cross the turnpike-road (about two miles from Winchester), leading from
Winchester to London through Alresford and Farnham. As soon as you cross
the road, you enter the estate of the descendant of Rollo, Duke of
Buckingham, which estate is in the parish of Avington. In this place the
Duke has a farm, not very good land. It is in his own hands. The corn is
indifferent, except the barley, which is everywhere good. You come a
full mile from the roadside down through this farm, to the Duke's
mansion-house at Avington, and to the little village of that name, both
of them beautifully situated, amidst fine and lofty trees, fine meadows,
and streams of clear water. On this farm of the Duke I saw (in a little
close by the farmhouse) several hens in coops with broods of pheasants
instead of chickens. It seems that a gamekeeper lives in the farmhouse,
and I dare say the Duke thinks much more of the pheasants than of the
corn. To be very solicitous to preserve what has been raised with so
much care and at so much expense is by no means unnatural; but, then,
there is a measure to be observed here; and that measure was certainly
outstretched in the case of Mr. Deller. I here saw, at this gamekeeping
farmhouse, what I had not seen since my departure from the Wen; namely,
a wheat-rick! Hard, indeed, would it have been if a Plantagenet, turned
farmer, had not a wheat-rick in his hands. This rick contains, I should
think, what they call in Hampshire ten loads of wheat, that is to say,
fifty quarters, or four hundred bushels. And this is the only rick, not
only of wheat, but of any corn whatever, that I have seen since I left
London. The turnips upon this farm are by no means good; but I was in
some measure compensated for the bad turnips by the sight of the Duke's
turnip-hoers, about a dozen females, amongst whom there were several
very pretty girls, and they were as merry as larks. There had been a
shower that had brought them into a sort of huddle on the road side.
When I came up to them, they all fixed their eyes upon me, and, upon my
smiling, they bursted out into laughter. I observed to them that the
Duke of Buckingham was a very happy man to have such turnip-hoers, and
really they seemed happier and better off than any work-people that I
saw in the fields all the way from London to this spot. It is curious
enough, but I have always observed that the women along this part of the
country are usually tall. These girls were all tall, straight, fair,
round-faced, excellent complexion, and uncommonly gay. They were well
dressed too, and I observed the same of all the men that I saw down at
Avington. This could not be the case if the Duke were a cruel or hard
master; and this is an act of justice due from me to the descendant of
Rollo. It is in the house of Mr. Deller that I make these notes, but as
it is _injustice_ that we dislike, I must do Rollo justice; and I must
again say that the good looks and happy faces of his turnip-hoers spoke
much more in his praise than could have been spoken by fifty lawyers,
like that Storks who was employed, the other day, to plead against the
Editor of the _Bucks Chronicle_, for publishing an account of the
selling-up of farmer Smith, of Ashendon, in that county. I came through
the Duke's Park to come to Easton, which is the next village below
Avington. A very pretty park. The house is quite in the bottom; it can
be seen in no direction from a distance greater than that of four or
five hundred yards. The river Itchen, which rises near Alresford, which
runs down through Winchester to Southampton, goes down the middle of
this valley, and waters all its immense quantity of meadows. The Duke's
house stands not far from the river itself. A stream of water is brought
from the river to feed a pond before the house. There are several
avenues of trees which are very beautiful, and some of which give
complete shelter to the kitchen garden, which has, besides,
extraordinarily high walls. Never was a greater contrast than that
presented by this place and the place of Lord Egremont. The latter is
all loftiness. Everything is high about it; it has extensive views in
all directions. It sees and can be seen by all the country around. If I
had the ousting of one of these noblemen, I certainly, however, would
oust the Duke, who, I dare say, will by no means be desirous of seeing
arise the occasion of putting the sincerity of the compliment to the
test. The village of Easton is, like that of Avington, close by the
waterside. The meadows are the attraction; and, indeed, it is the
meadows that have caused the villages to exist.

_Selborne (Hants), Thursday, 7th August, Noon._

I took leave of Mr. Deller this morning, about 7 o'clock. Came back
through Avington Park, through the village of Avington, and, crossing
the Itchen river, came over to the village of Itchen Abas. _Abas_ means
_below_. It is a French word that came over with Duke Rollo's
progenitors. There needs no better proof of the high descent of the
Duke, and of the antiquity of his family. This is that Itchen Abas where
that famous Parson-Justice, the Reverend Robert Wright, lives, who
refused to hear Mr. Deller's complaint against the Duke's servant at his
own house, and who afterwards, along with Mr. Poulter, bound Mr. Deller
over to the Quarter Sessions for the alleged assault. I have great
pleasure in informing the public that Mr. Deller has not had to bear the
expenses in this case himself; but that they have been borne by his
neighbours, very much to the credit of those neighbours. I hear of an
affair between the Duke of Buckingham and a Mr. Bird, who resides in
this neighbourhood. If I had had time I should have gone to see Mr.
Bird, of whose treatment I have heard a great deal, and an account of
which treatment ought to be brought before the public. It is very
natural for the Duke of Buckingham to wish to preserve that game which
he calls his hobby-horse; it is very natural for him to delight in his
hobby; but _hobbies_, my Lord Duke, ought to be gentle, inoffensive,
perfectly harmless little creatures. They ought not to be suffered to
kick and fling about them: they ought not to be rough-shod, and, above
all things, they ought not to be great things like those which are
ridden by the Life-guards: and, like them, be suffered to dance, and
caper, and trample poor devils of farmers under foot. Have your hobbies,
my Lords of the Soil, but let them be gentle; in short, let them be
hobbies in character with the commons and forests, and not the high-fed
hobbies from the barracks at Knightsbridge, such as put poor Mr. Sheriff
Waithman's life in jeopardy. That the game should be preserved, every
one that knows anything of the country will allow; but every man of any
sense must see that it cannot be preserved by sheer force. It must be
rather through love than through fear; rather through good-will than
through ill-will. If the thing be properly managed, there will be plenty
of game without any severity towards any good man. Mr. Deller's case was
so plain: it was so monstrous to think that a man was to be punished for
being on his own ground in pursuit of wild animals that he himself had
raised: this was so monstrous, that it was only necessary to name it to
excite the indignation of the country. And Mr. Deller has, by his spirit
and perseverance, by the coolness and the good sense which he has shown
throughout the whole of this proceeding, merited the commendation of
every man who is not in his heart an oppressor. It occurs to me to ask
here, who it is that finally _pays_ for those "counsels' opinions" which
Poulter and Wright said they took in the case of Mr. Deller; because, if
these counsels' opinions are paid for by the county, and if a Justice of
the Peace can take as many counsels' opinions as he chooses, I should
like to know what fellow, who chooses to put on a bobtail wig and call
himself a lawyer, may not have a good living given to him by any crony
Justice at the expense of the county. This never can be legal. It never
can be binding on the county to pay for these counsels' opinions.
However, leaving this to be enquired into another time, we have here, in
Mr. Deller's case, an instance of the worth of counsels' opinions. Mr.
Deller went to the two Justices, showed them the Register with the Act
of Parliament in it, called upon them to act agreeably to that Act of
Parliament; but they chose to take counsels' opinion first. The two
"counsel," the two "lawyers," the two "learned friends," told them that
they were right in rejecting the application of Mr. Deller and in
binding him over for the assault; and, after all, this Grand Jury threw
out the Bill, and in that throwing out showed that they thought the
counsels' opinions not worth a straw.

Being upon the subject of matter connected with the conduct of these
Parson-Justices, I will here mention what is now going on in Hampshire
respecting the accounts of the _Treasurer of the County_. At the last
Quarter Sessions, or at a Meeting of the Magistrates previous to the
opening of the Sessions, there was a discussion relative to this matter.
The substance of which appears to have been this; that the Treasurer,
Mr. George Hollis, whose accounts had been audited, approved of, and
passed every year by the Magistrates, is in arrear to the county to the
amount of about four thousand pounds. Sir Thomas Baring appears to have
been the great stickler against Mr. Hollis, who was but feebly defended
by his friends. The Treasurer of a county is compelled to find
securities. These securities have become _exempted_, in consequence of
the annual passing of the accounts by the Magistrates! Nothing can be
more just than this exemption. I am security, suppose, for a Treasurer.
The Magistrates do not pass his accounts on account of a deficiency. I
make good the deficiency. But the Magistrates are not to go on year
after year passing his accounts, and then, at the end of several years,
come and call upon me to make good the deficiencies. Thus say the
securities of Mr. Hollis. The Magistrates, in fact, are to blame. One of
the Magistrates, a Reverend Mr. Orde, said that the Magistrates were
more to blame than the Treasurer; and really I think so too; for, though
Mr. Hollis has been a tool for many many years, of Old George Rose and
the rest of that crew, it seems impossible to believe that he could have
intended anything dishonest, seeing that the detection arose out of an
account published by himself in the newspaper, which account he need not
have published until three months later than the time when he did
publish it. This is, as he himself states, the best possible proof that
he was unconscious of any error or any deficiency. The fact appears to
be this; that Mr. Hollis, who has for many years been Under Sheriff as
well as Treasurer of the County, who holds several other offices, and
who has, besides, had large pecuniary transactions with his bankers, has
for years had his accounts so blended that he has not known how this
money belonging to the county stood. His own statement shows that it was
all a mass of confusion. The errors, he says, have arisen entirely from
the negligence of his clerks, and from causes which produced a confusion
in his accounts. This is the fact; but he has been in good fat offices
too long not to have made a great many persons think that his offices
would be better in _their_ hands; and they appear resolved to oust him.
I, for my part, am glad of it; for I remember his coming up to me in the
Grand Jury Chamber, just after the people at St. Stephen's had passed
Power-of-Imprisonment Bill in 1817; I remember his coming up to me as
the Under Sheriff of Willis, the man that we now call Flemming, who has
_begun_ to build a house at North Stoneham; I remember his coming up to
me, and with all the base sauciness of a thorough-paced Pittite,
_telling me to disperse or he would take me into custody_! I remember
this of Mr. Hollis, and I am therefore glad that calamity has befallen
him; but I must say that after reading his own account of the matter;
after reading the debate of the Magistrates; and after hearing the
observations and opinions of well-informed and impartial persons in
Hampshire who dislike Mr. Hollis as much as I do; I must say that I
think him perfectly clear of all intention to commit anything like
fraud, or to make anything worthy of the name of false account; and I am
convinced that this affair, which will now prove extremely calamitous to
him, might have been laughed at by him at the time when wheat was
fifteen shillings a bushel. This change in the affairs of the
Government; this penury now experienced by the Pittites at Whitehall,
reaches, in its influence, to every part of the country. The Barings are
now the great men in Hampshire. They were not such in the days of George
Rose while George was able to make the people believe that it was
necessary to give their money freely to preserve the "blessed comforts
of religion." George Rose would have thrown his shield over Mr. Hollis;
his broad and brazen shield. In Hampshire the _Bishop_, too, is changed.
The present is doubtless as pious as the last, every bit; and has the
same Bishop-like views; but it is not the same family; it is not the
Garniers and Poulters and Norths and De Grays and Haygarths; it is not
precisely the same set who have the power in their hands. Things,
therefore, take another turn. The Pittite jolter-heads are all
broken-backed; and the Barings come forward with their well-known weight
of metal. It was exceedingly unfortunate for Mr. Hollis that Sir Thomas
Baring happened to be against him. However, the thing will do good
altogether. The county is placed in a pretty situation: its Treasurer
has had his accounts regularly passed by the Magistrates; and these
Magistrates come at last and discover that they have for a long time
been passing accounts that they ought not to pass. These Magistrates
have exempted the securities of Mr. Hollis, but not a word do they say
about making good the deficiencies. What redress, then, have the people
of the county? They have no redress, unless they can obtain it by
petitioning the Parliament; and if they do not petition, if they do not
state their case, and that boldly too, they deserve everything that can
befall them from similar causes. I am astonished at the boldness of the
Magistrates. I am astonished that they should think of calling Mr.
Hollis to account without being prepared for rendering an account of
their own conduct. However, we shall see what they will do in the end.
And when we have seen that, we shall see whether the county will rest
quietly under the loss which it is likely to sustain.

I must now go back to Itchen Abas, where, in the farm-yard of a farmer,
Courtenay, I saw another wheat-rick. From Itchen Abas I came up the
valley to Itchen Stoke. Soon after that I crossed the Itchen river, came
out into the Alresford turnpike road, and came on towards Alresford,
having the valley now upon my left. If the hay be down all the way to
Southampton in the same manner that it is along here, there are
thousands of acres of hay rotting on the sides of this Itchen river.
Most of the meadows are watered artificially. The crops of grass are
heavy, and they appear to have been cut precisely in the right time to
be spoiled. Coming on towards Alresford, I saw a gentleman (about a
quarter of a mile beyond Alresford) coming out of his gate with his hat
off, looking towards the south-west, as if to see what sort of weather
it was likely to be. This was no other than Mr. Rolleston or Rawlinson,
who, it appears, has a box and some land here. This gentleman was, when
I lived in Hampshire, one of those worthy men, who, in the several
counties of England, executed "without any sort of remuneration" such a
large portion of that justice which is the envy of surrounding nations
and admiration of the world. We are often told, especially in
Parliament, of the _disinterestedness_ of these persons; of their
worthiness, their piety, their loyalty, their excellent qualities of all
sorts, but particularly of their _disinterestedness_, in taking upon
them the office of Justice of the Peace; spending so much time, taking
so much trouble, and all for nothing at all, but for the pure love of
their King and country. And the worst of it is, that our Ministers
_impose_ upon this disinterestedness and generosity; and, as in the case
of Mr. Rawlinson, at the end of, perhaps, a dozen years of _services_
voluntarily rendered to "King and country," they force him, sorely
against his will, no doubt, to become a Police Magistrate in London! To
be sure there are five or six hundred pounds a-year of public money
attached to this; but what are these paltry pounds to a "country
gentleman," who so disinterestedly rendered us services for so many
years? Hampshire is fertile in persons of this disinterested stamp.
There is a _'Squire_ Greme, who lives across the country, not many miles
from the spot where I saw "Mr. Justice" Rawlinson. This 'Squire also has
served the country for nothing during a great many years; and of late
years, the 'Squire Junior, eager, apparently to emulate his sire, has
become a distributor of stamps for this famous county of Hants! What
_sons_ 'Squire Rawlinson may have is more than I know at present, though
I will endeavour to know it, and to find out whether they also be
_serving_ us. A great deal has been said about the debt of gratitude due
from the people to the Justices of the Peace. An account, containing the
names and places of abode of the Justices, and of the public money, or
titles, received by them and by their relations; such an account would
be a very useful thing. We should then know the real amount of this debt
of gratitude. We shall see such an account by-and-by; and we should have
seen it long ago if there had been, in a certain place, only one single
man disposed to do his duty.

I came through Alresford about eight o'clock, having loitered a good
deal in coming up the valley. After quitting Alresford you come (on the
road towards Alton) to the village of Bishop's Sutton; and then to a
place called Ropley Dean, where there is a house or two. Just before you
come to Ropley Dean, you see the beginning of the Valley of Itchen. The
_Itchen_ river falls into the salt water at Southampton. It rises, or
rather has its first rise, just by the road side at Ropley Dean, which
is at the foot of that very high land which lies between Alresford and
Alton. All along by the Itchen river, up to its very source, there are
meadows; and this vale of meadows, which is about twenty-five miles in
length, and is in some places a mile wide, is, at the point of which I
am now speaking, only about twice as wide as my horse is long! This vale
of Itchen is worthy of particular attention. There are few spots in
England more fertile or more pleasant; and none, I believe, more
healthy. Following the bed of the river, or, rather, the middle of the
vale, it is about five-and-twenty miles in length, from Ropley Dean to
the village of South Stoneham, which is just above Southampton. The
average width of the meadows is, I should think, a hundred rods at the
least; and if I am right in this conjecture, the vale contains about
five thousand acres of meadows, large part of which is regularly
watered. The sides of the vale are, until you come down to within about
six or eight miles of Southampton, hills or rising grounds of chalk,
covered more or less thickly with loam. Where the hills rise up very
steeply from the valley the fertility of the corn-lands is not so great;
but for a considerable part of the way the corn-lands are excellent, and
the farmhouses, to which those lands belong, are, for the far greater
part, under covert of the hills on the edge of the valley. Soon after
the rising of the stream, it forms itself into some capital ponds at
Alresford. These, doubtless, were augmented by art, in order to supply
Winchester with fish. The fertility of this vale, and of the surrounding
country, is best proved by the fact that, besides the town of Alresford
and that of Southampton, there are seventeen villages, each having its
parish church, upon its borders. When we consider these things we are
not surprised that a spot situated about half way down this vale should
have been chosen for the building of a city, or that that city should
have been for a great number of years a place of residence for the Kings
of England.

Winchester, which is at present a mere nothing to what it once was,
stands across the vale at a place where the vale is made very narrow by
the jutting forward of two immense hills. From the point where the river
passes through the city, you go, whether eastward or westward, a full
mile up a very steep hill all the way. The city is, of course, in one of
the deepest holes that can be imagined. It never could have been thought
of as a place to be defended since the discovery of gunpowder; and,
indeed, one would think that very considerable annoyance might be given
to the inhabitants even by the flinging of the flint-stones from the
hills down into the city.

At Ropley Dean, before I mounted the hill to come on towards Rotherham
Park, I baited my horse. Here the ground is precisely like that at
Ashmansworth on the borders of Berkshire, which, indeed, I could see
from the ground of which I am now speaking. In coming up the hill, I had
the house and farm of Mr. Duthy to my right. Seeing some very fine
Swedish turnips, I naturally expected that they belonged to this
gentleman, who is Secretary to the Agricultural Society of Hampshire;
but I found that they belonged to a farmer Mayhew. The soil is, along
upon this high land, a deep loam, bordering on a clay, red in colour,
and pretty full of large, rough, yellow-looking stones, very much like
some of the land in Huntingdonshire; but here is a bed of chalk under
this. Everything is backward here. The wheat is perfectly green in most
places; but it is everywhere pretty good. I have observed, all the way
along, that the wheat is good upon the stiff, strong land. It is so
here; but it is very backward. The greater part of it is full three
weeks behind the wheat under Portsdown Hill. But few farmhouses come
within my sight along here; but in one of them there was a wheat-rick,
which is the third I have seen since I quitted the Wen. In descending
from this high ground, in order to reach the village of East Tisted,
which lies on the turnpike road from the Wen to Gosport through Alton, I
had to cross Rotherham Park. On the right of the park, on a bank of land
facing the north-east, I saw a very pretty farmhouse, having everything
in excellent order, with fine corn-fields about it, and with a
wheat-rick standing in the yard. This farm, as I afterwards found,
belongs to the owner of Rotherham Park, who is also the owner of East
Tisted, who has recently built a new house in the park, who has quite
metamorphosed the village of Tisted within these eight years, who has,
indeed, really and truly improved the whole country just round about
here, whose name is Scot, well known as a brickmaker at North End,
Fulham, and who has, in Hampshire, supplanted a Norman of the name of
Powlet. The process by which this transfer has taken place is visible
enough, to all eyes but the eyes of the jolterheads. Had there been no
Debt created to crush liberty in France and to keep down reformers in
England, Mr. Scot would not have had bricks to burn to build houses for
the Jews and jobbers and other eaters of taxes; and the Norman Powlet
would not have had to pay in taxes, through his own hands and those of
his tenants and labourers, the amount of the estate at Tisted, first to
be given to the Jews, jobbers, and tax-eaters, and then by them to be
given to "'Squire Scot" for his bricks. However, it is not 'Squire Scot
who has assisted to pass laws to make people pay double toll on a
Sunday. 'Squire Scot had nothing to do with passing the New Game-laws
and Old Ellenborough's Act; 'Squire Scot never invented the New Trespass
law, in virtue of which John Cockbain of Whitehaven in the county of
Cumberland was, by two clergymen and three other magistrates of that
county, sentenced to pay one half-penny for damages and seven shillings
costs, for going upon a field, the property of William, Earl of
Lonsdale. In the passing of this Act, which was one of the first passed
in the present reign, 'Squire Scot, the brickmaker, had nothing to do.
Go on, good 'Squire, thrust out some more of the Normans: with the
fruits of the augmentations which you make to the Wen, go, and take from
them their mansions, parks, and villages!

At Tisted I crossed the turnpike road before mentioned, and entered a
lane which, at the end of about four miles, brought me to this village
of Selborne. My readers will recollect that I mentioned this Selborne
when I was giving an account of Hawkley Hanger, last fall. I was
desirous of seeing this village, about which I have read in the book of
Mr. White, and which a reader has been so good as to send me. From
Tisted I came generally up hill till I got within half a mile of this
village, when, all of a sudden, I came to the edge of a hill, looked
down over all the larger vale of which the little vale of this village
makes a part. Here Hindhead and Black-down Hill came full in my view.
When I was crossing the forest in Sussex, going from Worth to Horsham,
these two great hills lay to my west and north-west. To-day I am got
just on the opposite side of them, and see them, of course, towards the
east and the south-east, while Leith Hill lies away towards the
north-east. This hill, from which you descend down into Selborne, is
very lofty; but, indeed, we are here amongst some of the highest hills
in the island, and amongst the sources of rivers. The hill over which I
have come this morning sends the Itchen river forth from one side of it,
and the river Wey, which rises near Alton, from the opposite side of it.
Hindhead which lies before me, sends, as I observed upon a former
occasion, the Arun forth towards the south and a stream forth towards
the north, which meets the river Wey, somewhere above Godalming. I am
told that the springs of these two streams rise in the Hill of Hindhead,
or, rather, on one side of the hill, at not many yards from each other.
The village of Selborne is precisely what it is described by Mr. White.
A straggling irregular street, bearing all the marks of great antiquity,
and showing, from its lanes and its vicinage generally, that it was once
a very considerable place. I went to look at the spot where Mr. White
supposes the convent formerly stood. It is very beautiful. Nothing can
surpass in beauty these dells and hillocks and hangers, which last are
so steep that it is impossible to ascend them, except by means of a
serpentine path. I found here deep hollow ways, with beds and sides of
solid white stone; but not quite so white and so solid, I think, as the
stone which I found in the roads at Hawkley. The churchyard of Selborne
is most beautifully situated. The land is good, all about it. The trees
are luxuriant and prone to be lofty and large. I measured the yew-tree
in the churchyard, and found the trunk to be, according to my
measurement, twenty-three feet, eight inches, in circumference. The
trunk is very short, as is generally the case with yew-trees; but the
head spreads to a very great extent, and the whole tree, though probably
several centuries old, appears to be in perfect health. Here are several
hop-plantations in and about this village; but for this once the prayers
of the over-production men will be granted, and the devil of any hops
there will be. The bines are scarcely got up the poles; the bines and
the leaves are black, nearly, as soot; full as black as a sooty bag or
dingy coal-sack, and covered with lice. It is a pity that these
hop-planters could not have a parcel of Spaniards and Portuguese to
louse their hops for them. Pretty devils to have liberty, when a
favourite recreation of the Donna is to crack the lice in the head of
the Don! I really shrug up my shoulders thinking of the beasts. Very
different from such is my landlady here at Selborne, who, while I am
writing my notes, is getting me a rasher of bacon, and has already
covered the table with a nice clean cloth. I have never seen such
quantities of grapes upon any vines as I see upon the vines in this
village, badly pruned as all the vines have been. To be sure, this is a
year for grapes, such, I believe, as has been seldom known in England,
and the cause is the perfect ripening of the wood by the last beautiful
summer. I am afraid, however, that the grapes come in vain; for this
summer has been so cold, and is now so wet, that we can hardly expect
grapes which are not under glass to ripen. As I was coming into this
village, I observed to a farmer who was standing at his gateway, that
people ought to be happy here, for that God had done everything for
them. His answer was, that he did not believe there was a more unhappy
place in England: for that there were always quarrels of some sort or
other going on. This made me call to mind the King's proclamation,
relative to a reward for discovering the person who had recently _shot
at the parson of this village_. This parson's name is Cobbold, and it
really appears that there was a shot fired through his window. He has
had law-suits with the people; and I imagine that it was these to which
the farmer alluded. The hops are of considerable importance to the
village, and their failure must necessarily be attended with
consequences very inconvenient to the whole of a population so small as
this. Upon inquiry, I find that the hops are equally bad at Alton,
Froyle, Crondall, and even at Farnham. I saw them bad in Sussex; I hear
that they are bad in Kent; so that hop-planters, at any rate, will be,
for once, free from the dreadful evils of abundance. A correspondent
asks me what is meant by the statements which he sees in the _Register_,
relative to the _hop-duty_? He sees it, he says, continually falling in
amount; and he wonders what this means. The thing has not, indeed, been
properly explained. It is a _gamble_; and it is hardly right for me to
state, in a publication like the _Register_, anything relative to a
gamble. However, the case is this: a taxing system is necessarily a
system of gambling; a system of betting; stock-jobbing is no more than a
system of betting, and the wretched dogs that carry on the traffic are
little more, except that they are more criminal, than the waiters at an
_E O Table_, or the markers at billiards. The hop duty is so much per
pound. The duty was imposed at two separate times. One part of it,
therefore, is called the Old Duty, and the other part the New Duty. The
old duty was a penny to the pound of hops. The amount of this duty,
which can always be ascertained at the Treasury as soon as the hopping
season is over, is the surest possible guide in ascertaining the total
amount of the growth of hops for the year. If, for instance, the duty
were to amount to no more than eight shillings and fourpence, you would
be certain that only a hundred pounds of hops had been grown during the
year. Hence a system of gambling precisely like the gambling in the
funds. I bet you that the duty will not exceed so much. The duty has
sometimes exceeded two hundred thousand pounds. This year it is supposed
that it will not exceed twenty, thirty, or forty thousand. The gambling
fellows are betting all this time; and it is, in fact, an account of the
betting which is inserted in the _Register_.

This vile paper-money and funding-system; this system of Dutch descent,
begotten by Bishop Burnet, and born in hell; this system has turned
everything into a gamble. There are hundreds of men who live by being
the agents to carry on gambling. They reside here in the Wen; many of
the gamblers live in the country; they write up to their gambling agent,
whom they call their stockbroker; he gambles according to their order;
and they receive the profit or stand to the loss. Is it possible to
conceive a viler calling than that of an agent for the carrying on of
gambling? And yet the vagabonds call themselves gentlemen; or, at least,
look upon themselves as the superiors of those who sweep the kennels. In
like manner is the hop-gamble carried on. The gambling agents in the Wen
make the bets for the gamblers in the country; and, perhaps, millions
are betted during the year, upon the amount of a duty, which, at the
most, scarcely exceeds a quarter of a million. In such a state of things
how are you to expect young men to enter on a course of patient
industry? How are you to expect that they will seek to acquire fortune
and fame by study or by application of any kind?

Looking back over the road that I have come to-day, and perceiving the
direction of the road going from this village in another direction, I
perceive that this is a very direct road from Winchester to Farnham. The
road, too, appears to have been, from ancient times, sufficiently wide;
and when the Bishop of Winchester selected this beautiful spot whereon
to erect a monastery, I dare say the roads along here were some of the
best in the country.

_Thursley (Surrey), Thursday, 7th August._

I got a boy at Selborne to show me along the lanes out into Woolmer
forest on my way to Headley. The lanes were very deep; the wet _malme_
just about the colour of rye-meal mixed up with water, and just about as
clammy, came in many places very nearly up to my horse's belly. There
was this comfort, however, that I was sure that there was a bottom,
which is by no means the case when you are among clays or quick-sands.
After going through these lanes, and along between some fir-plantations,
I came out upon Woolmer Forest, and, to my great satisfaction, soon
found myself on the side of those identical plantations which have been
made under the orders of the smooth Mr. Huskisson, and which I noticed
last year in my ride from Hambledon to this place. These plantations are
of fir, or, at least, I could see nothing else, and they never can be of
any more use to the nation than the sprigs of heath which cover the rest
of the forest. Is there nobody to inquire what becomes of the income of
the Crown lands? No, and there never will be, until the whole system be
changed. I have seldom ridden on pleasanter ground than that which I
found between Woolmer Forest and this beautiful village of Thursley. The
day has been fine, too; notwithstanding I saw the Judges' terrific wigs
as I came up upon the turnpike road from the village of Itchen. I had
but one little scud during the day: just enough for St. Swithin to swear
by; but when I was upon the hills I saw some showers going about the
country. From Selborne, I had first to come to Headley, about five
miles. I came to the identical public-house where I took my blind guide
last year, who took me such a dance to the southward, and led me up to
the top of Hindhead at last. I had no business there. My route was
through a sort of hamlet called Churt, which lies along on the side and
towards the foot of the north of Hindhead, on which side, also, lies the
village of Thursley. A line is hardly more straight than is the road
from Headley to Thursley; and a prettier ride I never had in the course
of my life. It was not the less interesting from the circumstance of its
giving me all the way a full view of Crooksbury Hill, the grand scene of
my exploits when I was a taker of the nests of crows and magpies.

At Churt I had, upon my left, three hills out upon the common, called
the _Devil's Jumps_. The Unitarians will not believe in the Trinity,
because they cannot account for it. Will they come here to Churt, go and
look at these "Devil's Jumps," and account to me for the placing of
these three hills, in the shape of three rather squat sugar-loaves,
along in a line upon this heath, or the placing of a rock-stone upon the
top of one of them as big as a church tower? For my part, I cannot
account for this placing of these hills. That they should have been
formed by mere chance is hardly to be believed. How could waters rolling
about have formed such hills? How could such hills have bubbled up from
beneath? But, in short, it is all wonderful alike: the stripes of loam
running down through the chalk-hills; the circular parcels of loam in
the midst of chalk-hills; the lines of flint running parallel with each
other horizontally along the chalk-hills; the flints placed in circles
as true as a hair in the chalk-hills; the layers of stone at the bottom
of hills of loam; the chalk first soft, then some miles further on,
becoming chalk-stone; then, after another distance, becoming burr-stone,
as they call it; and at last becoming hard, white stone, fit for any
buildings; the sand-stone at Hindhead becoming harder and harder till it
becomes very nearly iron in Herefordshire, and quite iron in Wales; but,
indeed, they once dug iron out of this very Hindhead. The clouds, coming
and settling upon the hills, sinking down and creeping along, at last
coming out again in springs, and those becoming rivers. Why, it is all
equally wonderful, and as to not believing in this or that, because the
thing cannot be proved by logical deduction, why is any man to believe
in the existence of a God any more than he is to believe in the doctrine
of the Trinity? For my part, I think the "Devil's jumps," as the people
here call them, full as wonderful and no more wonderful than hundreds
and hundreds of other wonderful things. It is a strange taste which our
ancestors had, to ascribe no inconsiderable part of these wonders of
nature to the Devil. Not far from the Devil's jumps is that singular
place which resembles a sugar-loaf inverted, hollowed out, and an
outside rim only left. This is called the "_Devil's Punch Bowl_;" and it
is very well known in Wiltshire, that the forming, or, perhaps, it is
the breaking up, of Stonehenge is ascribed to the Devil, and that the
mark of one of his feet is now said to be seen in one of the stones.

I got to Thursley about sunset, and without experiencing any
inconvenience from the wet. I have mentioned the state of the corn as
far as Selborne. On this side of that village I find it much forwarder
than I found it between Selborne and Ropley Dean. I am here got into
some of the very best barley-land in the kingdom; a fine, buttery,
stoneless loam, upon a bottom of sand or sand-stone. Finer barley and
turnip-land it is impossible to see. All the corn is good here. The
wheat not a heavy crop; but not a light one; and the barley all the way
along from Headley to this place as fine, if not finer, than I ever saw
it in my life. Indeed I have not seen a bad field of barley since I left
the Wen. The corn is not so forward here as under Portsdown Hill; but
some farmers intend to begin reaping wheat in a few days. It is
monstrous to suppose that the price of corn will not come down. It must
come down, good weather or bad weather. If the weather be bad, it will
be so much the worse for the farmer, as well as for the nation at large,
and can be of no benefit to any human being but the Quakers, who must
now be pretty busy, measuring the crops all over the kingdom. It will be
recollected that in the Report of the Agricultural Committee of 1821, it
appeared, from the evidence of one Hodgson, a partner of Cropper,
Benson, and Co. Quakers, of Liverpool, that these Quakers sent a set of
corn-gaugers into the several counties, just before every harvest; that
these fellows stopped here and there, went into the fields, measured off
square yards of wheat, clipped off the ears, and carried them off. These
they afterwards packed up and sent off to Cropper and Co. at Liverpool.
When the whole of the packets were got together, they were rubbed out,
measured, weighed, and an estimate made of the amount of the coming
crop. This, according to the confession of Hodgson himself, enabled
these Quakers to speculate in corn, with the greater chance of gain.
This has been done by these men for many years. Their disregard of
worldly things; their desire to lay up treasures in heaven; their
implicit yielding to the Spirit; these have induced them to send their
corn-gaugers over the country regularly year after year; and I will
engage that they are at it at this moment. The farmers will bear in mind
that the New Trespass-law, though clearly not intended for any such
purpose, enables them to go and seize by the throat any of these gaugers
that they may catch in their fields. They could not do this formerly; to
cut off standing corn was merely a trespass, for which satisfaction was
to be attained by action at law. But now you can seize the caitiff who
is come as a spy amongst your corn. Before, he could be off and leave
you to find out his name as you could; but now you can lay hold of him,
as Mr. Deller did of the Duke's man, and bring him before a Magistrate
at once. I do hope that the farmers will look sharp out for these
fellows, who are neither more nor less than so many spies. They hold a
great deal of corn; they want blight, mildew, rain, hurricanes; but
happy I am to see that they will get no blight, at any rate. The grain
is formed; everywhere everybody tells me that there is no blight in any
sort of corn, except in the beans.

I have not gone through much of a bean country. The beans that I have
seen are some of them pretty good, more of them but middling, and still
more of them very indifferent.

I am very happy to hear that that beautiful little bird, the American
partridge, has been introduced with success to this neighbourhood, by
Mr. Leech at Lea. I am told that they have been heard whistling this
summer; that they have been frequently seen, and that there is no doubt
that they have broods of young ones. I tried several times to import
some of these birds; but I always lost them, by some means or other,
before the time arrived for turning them out. They are a beautiful
little partridge, and extremely interesting in all their manner. Some
persons call them _quail_. If any one will take a quail and compare it
with one of these birds, he will see that they cannot be of the same
sort. In my "Year's Residence in America," I have, I think, clearly
proved that these birds are partridges, and not quails. In the United
States, north of New Jersey, they are called quail: south and south-west
of New Jersey they are called partridges. They have been called quail
solely on account of their size; for they have none of the manners of
quail belonging to them. Quails assemble in flocks like larks,
starlings, or rooks. Partridges keep in distinct coveys; that is to say,
the brood lives distinct from all other broods until the ensuing spring,
when it forms itself into pairs and separates. Nothing can be a
distinction more clear than this. Our own partridges stick to the same
spot from the time that they are hatched to the time that they pair off,
and these American partridges do the same. Quails, like larks, get
together in flocks at the approach of winter, and move about according
to the season, to a greater or less distance from the place where they
were bred. These, therefore, which have been brought to Thursley, are
partridges; and if they be suffered to live quietly for a season or two,
they will stock the whole of that part of the country, where the
delightful intermixture of corn-fields, coppices, heaths, furze-fields,
ponds, and rivulets is singularly favourable to their increase.

The turnips cannot fail to be good in such a season and in such land;
yet the farmers are most dreadfully tormented with the weeds, and with
the superabundant turnips. Here, my Lord Liverpool, is over production
indeed! They have sown their fields broad-cast; they have no means of
destroying the weeds by the plough; they have no intervals to bury them
in; and they _hoe_, or _scratch_, as Mr. Tull calls it; and then comes
St. Swithin and sets the weeds and the hoed-up turnips again. Then there
is another hoeing or scratching; and then comes St. Swithin again: so
that there is hoe, hoe, muddle, muddle, and such a fretting and stewing;
such a looking up to Hindhead to see when it is going to be fine; when,
if that beautiful field of twenty acres, which I have now before my
eyes, and wherein I see half a dozen men hoeing and poking and muddling,
looking up to see how long it is before they must take to their heels to
get under the trees to obtain shelter from the coming shower; when, I
say, if that beautiful field had been sowed upon ridges at four feet
apart, according to the plan in my _Year's Residence_, not a weed would
have been to be seen in the field, the turnip-plants would have been
three times the size that they now are, the expense would have not been
a fourth part of that which has already taken place, and all the
muddling and poking about of weeds, and all the fretting and all the
stewing would have been spared; and as to the amount of the crop, I am
now looking at the best land in England for Swedish turnips, and I have
no scruple to assert that if it had been sown after my manner, it would
have had a crop double the weight of that which it now will have. I
think I know of a field of turnips, sown much later than the field now
before me, and sown in rows at nearly four feet apart, which have a crop
double the weight of that which will be produced in yon beautiful field.

_Reigate (Surrey), Friday, 8th August._

At the end of a long, twisting-about ride, but a most delightful ride, I
got to this place about nine o'clock in the evening. From Thursley I
came to Brook, and there crossed the turnpike-road from London to
Chichester through Godalming and Midhurst. Thence I came on, turning
upon the left upon the sand-hills of Hambledon (in Surrey, mind). On one
of these hills is one of those precious jobs, called "_Semaphores_." For
what reason this pretty name is given to a sort of Telegraph house,
stuck up at public expense upon a high hill; for what reason this
outlandish name is given to the thing, I must leave the reader to guess;
but as to the thing itself; I know that it means this: a pretence for
giving a good sum of the public money away every year to some one that
the Borough-system has condemned this labouring and toiling nation to
provide for. The Dead Weight of nearly about six millions sterling a
year; that is to say, this curse entailed upon the country on account of
the late wars against the liberties of the French people, this Dead
Weight is, however, falling, in part, at least, upon the landed
jolterheads who were so eager to create it, and who thought that no part
of it would fall upon themselves. Theirs has been a grand mistake. They
saw the war carried on without any loss or any cost to themselves. By
the means of paper-money and loans, the labouring classes were made to
pay the whole of the expenses of the war. When the war was over, the
jolterheads thought they would get gold back again to make all secure;
and some of them really said, I am told, that it was high time to put an
end to the gains of the paper-money people. The jolterheads quite
overlooked the circumstance that, in returning to gold, they doubled and
trebled what they had to pay on account of the debt, and that, at last,
they were bringing the burden upon themselves. Grand, also, was the
mistake of the jolterheads when they approved of the squanderings upon
the Dead Weight. They thought that the labouring classes were going to
pay the whole of the expenses of the Knights of Waterloo, and of the
other heroes of the war. The jolterheads thought that they should have
none of this to pay. Some of them had relations belonging to the Dead
Weight, and all of them were willing to make the labouring classes toil
like asses for the support of those who had what was called "fought and
bled" for Gatton and Old Sarum. The jolterheads have now found, however,
that a pretty good share of the expense is to fall upon themselves.
Their mortagees are letting them know that _Semaphores_ and such pretty
things cost something, and that it is unreasonable for a loyal country
gentleman, a friend of "social order" and of the "blessed comforts of
religion" to expect to have Semaphores and to keep his estate too.

This Dead Weight is, unquestionably, a thing, such as the world never
saw before. Here are not only a tribe of pensioned naval and military
officers, commissaries, quartermasters, pursers, and God knows what
besides; not only these, but their wives and children are to be
pensioned, after the death of the heroes themselves. Nor does it
signify, it seems, whether the hero were married before he became part
of the Dead Weight or since. Upon the death of the man, the pension is
to begin with the wife, and a pension for each child; so that, if there
be a large family of children, the family, in many cases, actually gains
by the death of the father! Was such a thing as this ever before heard
of in the world? Any man that is going to die has nothing to do but to
marry a girl to give her a pension for life to be paid out of the sweat
of the people; and it was distinctly stated, during the Session of
Parliament before the last, that the widows and children of insane
officers were to have the same treatment as the rest! Here is the envy
of surrounding nations and the admiration of the world! In addition,
then, to twenty thousand parsons, more than twenty thousand
stock-brokers and stock-jobbers perhaps; forty or fifty thousand
tax-gatherers; thousands upon thousands of military and naval officers
in full pay; in addition to all these, here are the thousands upon
thousands of pairs of this Dead Weight, all busily engaged in breeding
gentlemen and ladies; and all while Malthus is wanting to put a check
upon the breeding of the labouring classes; all receiving a _premium for
breeding_! Where is Malthus? Where is this check-population parson?
Where are his friends, the Edinburgh Reviewers? Faith, I believe they
have given him up. They begin to be ashamed of giving countenance to a
man who wants to check the breeding of those who labour, while he says
not a word about those two hundred thousand breeding pairs, whose
offspring are necessarily to be maintained at the public charge. Well
may these fatteners upon the labour of others rail against the Radicals!
Let them once take the fan to their hand, and they will, I warrant it,
thoroughly purge the floor. However, it is a consolation to know, that
the jolterheads who have been the promoters of the measures that have
led to these heavy charges; it is a consolation to know that the
jolterheads have now to bear part of the charges, and that they cannot
any longer make them fall exclusively upon the shoulders of the
labouring classes. The disgust that one feels at seeing the whiskers,
and hearing the copper heels rattle, is in some measure compensated for
by the reflection, that the expense of them is now beginning to fall
upon the malignant and tyrannical jolterheads who are the principal
cause of their being created.

Bidding the _Semaphore_ good-bye, I came along by the church at
Hambledon, and then crossed a little common and the turnpike-road from
London to Chichester through Godalming and Petworth; not Midhurst, as
before. The turnpike-road here is one of the best that I ever saw. It is
like the road upon Horley Common, near Worth, and like that between
Godstone and East Grinstead; and the cause of this is, that it is made
of precisely the same sort of stone, which, they tell me, is brought, in
some cases, even from Blackdown Hill, which cannot be less, I should
think, than twelve miles distant. This stone is brought, in great lumps,
and then cracked into little pieces. The next village I came to after
Hambledon was Hascomb, famous for its _beech_, insomuch that it is
called _Hascomb Beech_.

There are two lofty hills here, between which you go out of the sandy
country down into the Weald. Here are hills of all heights and forms.
Whether they came in consequence of a boiling of the earth, I know not;
but, in form, they very much resemble the bubbles upon the top of the
water of a pot which is violently boiling. The soil is a beautiful loam
upon a bed of sand. Springs start here and there at the feet of the
hills; and little rivulets pour away in all directions. The roads are
difficult merely on account of their extreme unevenness; the bottom is
everywhere sound, and everything that meets the eye is beautiful; trees,
coppices, corn-fields, meadows; and then the distant views in every
direction. From one spot I saw this morning Hindhead, Blackdown Hill,
Lord Egremont's house and park at Petworth, Donnington Hill, over which
I went to go on the South Downs, the South Downs near Lewes; the forest
at Worth, Turner's Hill, and then all the way round into Kent and back
to the Surrey Hills at Godstone. From Hascomb I began to descend into
the low country. I had Leith Hill before me; but my plan was, not to go
over it or any part of it, but to go along below it in the real Weald of
Surrey. A little way back from Hascomb, I had seen _a field of carrots_;
and now I was descending into a country where, strictly speaking, only
three things will grow well,--grass, wheat, and oak trees. At Goose
Green I crossed a turnpike-road leading from Guildford to Horsham and
Arundel. I next came, after crossing a canal, to a common called
Smithwood Common. Leith Hill was full in front of me, but I turned away
to the right, and went through the lanes to come to Ewhurst, leaving
Crawley to my right. Before I got to Ewhurst, I crossed another
turnpike-road, leading from Guildford to Horsham, and going on to
Worthing or some of those towns.

At Ewhurst, which is a very pretty village, and the Church of which is
most delightfully situated, I treated my horse to some oats, and myself
to a rasher of bacon. I had now to come, according to my project, round
among the lanes at about a couple of miles distance from the foot of
Leith Hill, in order to get first to Ockley, then to Holmwood, and then
to Reigate. From Ewhurst the first three miles was the deepest clay that
I ever saw, to the best of my recollection. I was warned of the
difficulty of getting along; but I was not to be frightened at the sound
of clay. Wagons, too, had been dragged along the lanes by some means or
another; and where a wagon-horse could go, my horse could go. It took
me, however, a good hour and a half to get along these three miles. Now,
mind, this is the real _weald_, where the clay is _bottomless_; where
there is no stone of any sort underneath, as at Worth and all along from
Crawley to Billingshurst through Horsham. This clayey land is fed with
water soaking from the sand-hills; and in this particular place from the
immense hill of Leith. All along here the oak-woods are beautiful. I saw
scores of acres by the road-side, where the young oaks stood as
regularly as if they had been planted. The orchards are not bad along
here, and, perhaps, they are a good deal indebted to the shelter they
receive. The wheat very good, all through the weald, but backward.

At Ockley I passed the house of a Mr. Steer, who has a great quantity of
hay-land, which is very pretty. Here I came along the turnpike-road that
leads from Dorking to Horsham. When I got within about two or three
miles of Dorking, I turned off to the right, came across the Holmwood
into the lanes leading down to Gadbrook Common, which has of late years
been enclosed. It is all clay here; but in the whole of my ride I have
not seen much finer fields of wheat than I saw here. Out of these lanes
I turned up to "Betchworth" (I believe it is), and from Betchworth came
along a chalk-hill to my left and the sand-hills to my right, till I got
to this place.

_Wen, Sunday, 10th August._

I stayed at Reigate yesterday, and came to the Wen to-day, every step of
the way in a rain; as good a soaking as any devotee of St. Swithin ever
underwent for his sake. I promised that I would give an account of the
effect which the soaking on the South Downs, on Saturday the 2nd
instant, had upon the hooping-cough. I do not recommend the remedy to
others; but this I will say, that I had a spell of the hooping-cough,
the day before I got that soaking, and that I have not had a single
spell since; though I have slept in several different beds, and got a
second soaking in going from Botley to Easton. The truth is, I believe,
that rain upon the South Downs, or at any place near the sea, is by no
means the same thing with rain in the interior. No man ever catches cold
from getting wet with sea-water; and, indeed, I have never known an
instance of a man catching cold at sea. The air upon the South Downs is
saltish, I dare say; and the clouds may bring something a little
partaking of the nature of sea-water.

At Thursley I left the turnip-hoers poking and pulling and muddling
about the weeds, and wholly incapable, after all, of putting the turnips
in anything like the state in which they ought to be. The weeds that had
been hoed up twice were growing again, and it was the same with the
turnips that had been hoed up. In leaving Reigate this morning, it was
with great pleasure that I saw a field of Swedish turnips, drilled upon
ridges at about four feet distance, the whole field as clean as the
cleanest of garden ground. The turnips standing at equal distances in
the row, and having the appearance of being, in every respect, in a
prosperous state. I should not be afraid to bet that these turnips, thus
standing in rows at nearly four feet distance, will be a crop twice as
large as any in the parish of Thursley, though there is, I imagine, some
of the finest turnip-land in the kingdom. It seems strange that men are
not to be convinced of the advantage of the row-culture for turnips.
They will insist upon believing that there is some _ground lost_. They
will also insist upon believing that the row-culture is the most
expensive. How can there be ground lost if the crop be larger? And as to
the expense, take one year with another, the broad-cast method must be
twice as expensive as the other. Wet as it has been to-day, I took time
to look well about me as I came along. The wheat, even in this
ragamuffin part of the country, is good, with the exception of one
piece, which lies on your left hand as you come down from Banstead Down.
It is very good at Banstead itself, though that is a country
sufficiently poor. Just on the other side of Sutton there is a little
good land, and in a place or two I thought I saw the wheat a little
blighted. A labouring man told me that it was where the heaps of dung
had been laid. The barley here is most beautiful, as, indeed, it is all
over the country.

Between Sutton and the Wen there is, in fact, little besides houses,
gardens, grass plats and other matters to accommodate the Jews and
jobbers, and the mistresses and bastards that are put out a-keeping.
But, in a dell, which the turnpike-road crosses about a mile on this
side of Sutton, there are two fields of as stiff land, I think, as I
ever saw in my life. In summer time this land bakes so hard that they
cannot plough it unless it be wet. When you have ploughed it, and the
sun comes again, it bakes again. One of these fields had been thus
ploughed and cross-ploughed in the month of June, and I saw the ground
when it was lying in lumps of the size of portmanteaus, and not very
small ones either. It would have been impossible to reduce this ground
to small particles, except by the means of sledge hammers. The two
fields, to which I alluded just now, are alongside of this ploughed
field, and they are now in wheat. The heavy rain of to-day, aided by the
south-west wind, made the wheat bend pretty nearly to lying down; but
you shall rarely see two finer fields of wheat. It is red wheat; a
coarsish kind, and the straw stout and strong; but the ears are long,
broad and full; and I did not perceive anything approaching towards a
speck in the straw. Such land as this, such very stiff land, seldom
carries a very large crop; but I should think that these fields would
exceed four quarters to an acre; and the wheat is by no means so
backward as it is in some places. There is no corn, that I recollect,
from the spot just spoken of, to almost the street of Kensington. I came
up by Earl's Court, where there is, amongst the market gardens, a field
of wheat. One would suppose that this must be the finest wheat in the
world. By no means. It rained hard, to be sure, and I had not much time
for being particular in my survey; but this field appears to me to have
some blight in it; and as to crop, whether of corn or of straw, it is
nothing to compare to the general run of the wheat in the wealds of
Sussex or of Surrey; what, then, is it, if compared with the wheat on
the South Downs, under Portsdown Hill, on the sea-flats at Havant and at
Tichfield, and along on the banks of the Itchen!

Thus I have concluded this "rural ride," from the Wen and back again to
the Wen, being, taking in all the turnings and windings, as near as can
be, two hundred miles in length. My objects were to ascertain the state
of the crops, both of hops and of corn. The hop-affair is soon settled,
for there will be no hops. As to the corn, my remark is this: that on
all the clays, on all the stiff lands upon the chalk; on all the rich
lands, indeed, but more especially on all the stiff lands, the wheat is
as good as I recollect ever to have seen it, and has as much straw. On
all the light lands and poor lands the wheat is thin, and, though not
short, by no means good. The oats are pretty good almost everywhere; and
I have not seen a bad field of barley during the whole of my ride;
though there is no species of soil in England, except that of the fens,
over which I have not passed. The state of the farmers is much worse
than it was last year, notwithstanding the ridiculous falsehoods of the
London newspapers, and the more ridiculous delusion of the jolterheads.
In numerous instances the farmers, who continue in their farms, have
ceased to farm for themselves, and merely hold the land for the
landlords. The delusion caused by the rise of the price of corn has
pretty nearly vanished already; and if St. Swithin would but get out of
the way with his drippings for about a month, this delusion would
disappear, never to return. In the meanwhile, however, the London
newspapers are doing what they can to keep up the delusion; and in a
paper called _Bell's Weekly Messenger_, edited, I am told, by a
place-hunting lawyer; in that stupid paper of this day I find the
following passage:--"So late as January last, the average price of wheat
was 39_s._ per quarter, and on the 29th ult. it was above 62_s._ As it
has been rising ever since, it may _now be quoted as little under 65s._
So that in this article alone there is a rise of more than _thirty-five_
per cent. Under these circumstances, it is not likely that we shall hear
anything of _agricultural distress_. A writer of considerable talents,
but no prophet, had _frightened_ the kingdom by a confident prediction
that wheat, after the 1st of May, would sink to 4_s._ per bushel, and
that under the effects of Mr. Peel's Bill, and the payments in cash by
the Bank of England, it would _never again exceed that price_! Nay, so
assured was Mr. Cobbett of the mathematical certainty of his deductions
on the subject, that he did not hesitate to make use of the following
language: 'And farther, if what I say do not come to pass, I will give
any one leave to broil me on a gridiron, and for that purpose I will get
one of the best gridirons I can possibly get made, and it shall be hung
out as near to my premises as possible, in the Strand, so that it shall
be seen by everybody as they pass along.' The 1st of May has now passed,
Mr. Peel's Bill has not been repealed, and the Bank of England has paid
its notes in cash, and yet wheat has risen nearly 40 per cent."

Here is a tissue of falsehoods! But only think of a country being
"_frightened_" by the prospect of a low price of provisions! When such
an idea can possibly find its way even into the shallow brain of a
cracked-skull lawyer; when such an idea can possibly be put into print
at any rate, there must be something totally wrong in the state of the
country. Here is this lawyer telling his readers that I had frightened
the kingdom by saying that wheat would be sold at four shillings a
bushel. Again I say that there must be something wrong, something
greatly out of place, some great disease at work in the community, or
such an idea as this could never have found its way _into print_. Into
the head of a cracked-skull lawyer it might, perhaps, have entered at
any time; but for it to find its way into print there must be something
in the state of society wholly out of joint. As to the rest of this
article, it is a tissue of downright lies. The writer says that the
price of wheat is sixty-five shillings a quarter. The fact is that, on
the second instant, the price was fifty-nine shillings and seven-pence:
and it is now about two shillings less than that. Then again, this
writer must know that I never said that wheat would not rise above four
shillings a bushel; but that, on the contrary, I always expressly said
that the price would be affected by the seasons, and that I thought that
the price would vibrate between three shillings a bushel and seven
shillings a bushel. Then again, Peel's Bill has, in part, been repealed;
if it had not, there could have been no small note in circulation at
this day. So that this lawyer is "_All Lie_." In obedience to the wishes
of a lady, I have been reading about the plans of Mr. Owen; and though I
do not as yet see my way clear as to how we can arrange matters with
regard to the young girls and the young fellows, I am quite clear that
his institution would be most excellent for the disposal of the lawyers.
One of his squares would be at a great distance from all other
habitations; in the midst of _Lord Erskine's estate_ for instance,
mentioned by me in a former ride; and nothing could be so fitting, his
Lordship long having been called _the father of the Bar_; in the midst
of this estate, with no town or village within miles of them, we might
have one of Mr. Owen's squares, and set the bob-tailed brotherhood most
effectually at work. Pray can any one pretend to say that a spade or
shovel would not become the hands of this blunder-headed editor of
_Bell's Messenger_ better than a pen? However, these miserable
falsehoods can cause the delusion to exist but for a very short space of

The quantity of the harvest will be great. If the quality be bad, owing
to wet weather, the price will be still lower than it would have been in
case of dry weather. The price, therefore, must come down; and if the
newspapers were conducted by men who had any sense of honour or shame,
those men must be covered with confusion.


_Worth (Sussex), Friday, 29 August 1823._

I have so often described the soil and other matters appertaining to the
country between the Wen and this place that my readers will rejoice at
being spared the repetition here. As to the harvest, however, I find
that they were deluged here on Tuesday last, though we got but little,
comparatively, at Kensington. Between Mitcham and Sutton they were
making wheat-ricks. The corn has not been injured here worth notice. Now
and then an ear in the butts _grown_; and grown wheat is a sad thing!
You may almost as well be without wheat altogether. However, very little
harm has been done here as yet.

At Walton Heath I saw a man who had suffered most terribly from the
_game-laws_. He saw me going by, and came out to tell me his story; and
a horrible story it is, as the public will find, when it shall come
regularly and fully before them. Apropos of game-works: I asked who was
_the Judge_ at the Somersetshire Assizes the other day. A correspondent
tells me that it was Judge Burrough. I am well aware that, as this
correspondent observes, "gamekeepers ought not to be _shot at_." This is
not the point. It is not a _gamekeeper_ in the usual sense of that word;
it is a man seizing another without a warrant. That is what it is; and
this, and Old Ellenborough's Act, are _new things_ in England, and
things of which the laws of England, "the birthright of Englishmen,"
knew nothing. Yet farmer Voke ought not to have shot at the gamekeeper,
or seizer, without warrant: he ought not to have shot at him; and he
would not had it not been for the law that put him in danger of being
transported on the evidence of this man. So that it is clearly the
terrible law that, in these cases, produces the violence. Yet, admire
with me, reader, the singular turn of the mind of Sir James Mackintosh,
whose whole soul appears to have been long bent on the "amelioration of
the Penal Code," and who has never said one single word about this new
and most terrible part of it! Sir James, after years of incessant toil,
has, I believe, succeeded in getting a repeal of the laws for the
punishment of "witchcraft," of the very existence of which laws the
nation was unacquainted. But the devil a word has he said about the
_game-laws_, which put into the gaols a full third part of the
prisoners, and to hold which prisoners the gaols have actually been
enlarged in all parts of the country! Singular turn of mind! Singular
"humanity!" Ah! Sir James knows very well what he is at. He understands
the state of his constituents at Knaresborough too well to meddle with
game-laws. He has a "friend," I dare say, who knows more about game-laws
than he does. However, the poor _witches_ are safe: thank Sir James for
that. Mr. Carlile's sister and Mrs. Wright are in gaol, and may be there
for life! But the poor witches are safe. No hypocrite: no base pretender
to religion; no atrocious, savage, _black_-hearted wretch, who would
murder half mankind rather than not live on the labours of others; no
monster of this kind can now persecute the poor witches, thanks to Sir
James who has obtained security for them in all their rides through the
air, and in all their sailings upon the horseponds!

_Tonbridge Wells (Kent), Saturday, 30 August._

I came from Worth about seven this morning, passed through East
Grinstead, over Holthigh Common, through Ashurst, and thence to this
place. The morning was very fine, and I left them at Worth, making a
wheat-rick. There was no show for rain till about one o'clock, as I was
approaching Ashurst. The shattering that came at first I thought nothing
of; but the clouds soon grew up all round, and the rain set in for the
afternoon. The buildings at Ashurst (which is the first parish in Kent
on quitting Sussex) are a mill, an alehouse, a church, and about six or
seven other houses. I stopped at the alehouse to bait my horse; and, for
want of bacon, was compelled to put up with bread and cheese for myself.
I waited in vain for the rain to cease or to slacken, and the _want of
bacon_ made me fear as to a _bed_. So, about five o'clock, I, without
great coat, got upon my horse, and came to this place, just as fast and
no faster than if it had been fine weather. A very fine soaking! If the
South Downs have left any little remnant of the hooping-cough, _this_
will take it away to be sure. I made not the least haste to get out of
the rain, I stopped, here and there, as usual, and asked questions about
the corn, the hops, and other things. But the moment I got in I got a
good fire, and set about the work of drying in good earnest. It costing
me nothing for drink, I can afford to have plenty of fire. I have not
been in the house an hour; and all my clothes are now as dry as if they
had never been wet. It is not getting wet that hurts you, if you keep
moving while you are wet. It is the suffering of yourself to be
_inactive_ while the wet clothes are on your back.

The country that I have come over to-day is a very pretty one. The soil
is a pale yellow loam, looking like brick earth, but rather sandy; but
the bottom is a softish stone. Now-and-then, where you go through hollow
ways (as at East Grinstead) the sides are solid rock. And, indeed, the
rocks sometimes (on the sides of hills) show themselves above ground,
and, mixed amongst the woods, make very interesting objects. On the road
from the Wen to Brighton, through Godstone and over Turner's Hill, and
which road I crossed this morning in coming from Worth to East
Grinstead; on that road, which goes through Lindfield, and which is by
far the pleasantest coach-road from the Wen to Brighton; on the side of
this road, on which coaches now go from the Wen to Brighton, there is a
long chain of rocks, or, rather, rocky hills, with trees growing
amongst the rocks, or apparently out of them, as they do in the woods
near Ross in Herefordshire, and as they do in the Blue Mountains in
America, where you can see no earth at all; where all seems rock, and
yet where the trees grow most beautifully. At the place of which I am
now speaking, that is to say, by the side of this pleasant road to
Brighton, and between Turner's Hill and Lindfield, there is a rock,
which they call "_Big-upon-Little_;" that is to say, a rock upon
another, having nothing else to rest upon, and the top one being longer
and wider than the top of the one it lies on. This big rock is no
trifling concern, being as big, perhaps, as a not very small house. How,
then, _came_ this big upon little? What lifted up the big? It balances
itself naturally enough; but what tossed it up? I do not like to _pay_ a
parson for teaching me, while I have "_God's own word_" to teach me;
but, if any parson will tell me _how_ big _came_ upon little, I do not
know that I shall grudge him a trifle. And if he cannot tell me this: if
he say, All that we have to do is to _admire_ and _adore_; then I tell
him that I can admire and adore without his _aid_, and that I will keep
my money in my pocket.

To return to the soil of this country, it is such a loam as I have
described with this stone beneath; sometimes the top soil is lighter and
sometimes heavier; sometimes the stone is harder and sometimes softer;
but this is the general character of it all the way from Worth to
Tonbridge Wells. This land is what may be called the _middle kind_. The
wheat crop about 20 to 24 bushels to an acre, on an average of years.
The grass fields not bad, and all the fields will grow grass; I mean
make upland meadows. The woods good, though not of the finest. The land
seems to be about thus divided: 3-tenths _woods_, 2-tenths _grass_, a
tenth of a tenth _hops_, and the rest _corn-land_. These make very
pretty surface, especially as it is a rarity to see a _pollard tree_,
and as nobody is so beastly as to _trim trees up_ like the elms near the
Wen. The country has no _flat_ spot in it; yet the hills are not high.
My road was a gentle rise or a gentle descent all the way. Continual new
views strike the eye; but there is little variety in them: all is
pretty, but nothing strikingly beautiful. The labouring people look
pretty well. They have pigs. They invariably do best in the _woodland_
and _forest_ and _wild_ countries. Where the mighty grasper has _all
under his eye_, they can get but little. These are cross-roads, mere
parish roads; but they are very good. While I was at the alehouse at
Ashurst, I heard some labouring men talking about the roads; and they
having observed that the parish roads had become so wonderfully better
within the last seven or eight years, I put in my word, and said: "It is
odd enough, too, that the parish roads should become _better and
better_ as the farmers become _poorer and poorer_!" They looked at one
another, and put on a sort of _expecting_ look; for my observation
seemed to _ask for information_. At last one of them said, "Why, it is
because the farmers _have not the money to employ men_, and so they are
put on the roads." "Yes," said I, "but they must pay them there." They
said no more, and only _looked hard at one another_. They had, probably,
never thought about this before. They seemed puzzled by it, and well
they might, for it has bothered the wigs of boroughmongers, parsons and
lawyers, and will bother them yet. Yes, this country now contains a body
of occupiers of the land, who suffer the land to go to decay for want of
means to pay a sufficiency of labourers; and, at the same time, are
compelled to pay those labourers for doing that which is of no use to
the occupiers! There, Collective Wisdom! Go: brag of that! Call that
"the envy of surrounding nations and the admiration of the world."

This is a great _nut_ year. I saw them hanging very thick on the
way-side during a great part of this day's ride; and they put me in mind
of the old saying, "That a great _nut_ year is a great year for that
class whom the lawyers, in their Latin phrase, call the 'sons and
daughters of nobody.'" I once asked a farmer, who had often been
overseer of the poor, whether he really thought that there was any
ground for this old saying, or whether he thought it was mere banter? He
said that he was sure that there were good grounds for it; and he even
cited instances in proof, and mentioned one particular year, when there
were four times as many of this class as ever had been born in a year in
the parish before; an effect which he ascribed solely to the crop of
nuts of the year before. Now, if this be the case, ought not Parson
Malthus, Lawyer Scarlett, and the rest of that tribe, to turn their
attention to the nut-trees? The _Vice Society_, too, with that holy man
Wilberforce at its head, ought to look out sharp after these mischievous
nut-trees. A law to cause them all to be grubbed up, and thrown into the
fire, would, certainly, be far less unreasonable than many things which
we have seen and heard of.

The corn, from Worth to this place, is pretty good. The farmers say it
is a small crop; other people, and especially the labourers, say that it
is a good crop. I think it is not large and not small; about an average
crop; perhaps rather less, for the land is rather light, and this is not
a year for light lands. But there is no blight, no mildew, in spite of
all the prayers of the "loyal." The wheat about a third cut, and none
carried. No other corn begun upon. Hops very bad till I came within a
few miles of this place, when I saw some which I should suppose would
bear about six hundredweight to the acre. The orchards no great things
along here. Some apples here and there; but small and stunted. I do not
know that I have seen to-day any one _tree_ well loaded with fine

_Tenterden (Kent), Sunday, 31 August._

Here I am after a most delightful ride of twenty-four miles, through
Frant, Lamberhurst, Goudhurst, Milkhouse Street, Benenden, and
Rolvenden. By making a great stir in rousing waiters and "boots" and
maids, and by leaving behind me the name of "a d--d noisy, troublesome
fellow," I got clear of "_the Wells_," and out of the contagion of its
Wen-engendered inhabitants, time enough to meet the first rays of the
sun, on the hill that you come up in order to get to Frant, which is a
most beautiful little village at about two miles from "_the Wells_."
Here the land belongs, I suppose, to Lord Abergavenny, who has a mansion
and park here. A very pretty place, and kept, seemingly, in very nice
order. I saw here what I never saw before: the bloom of the _common
heath_ we wholly overlook; but it is a very pretty thing; and here, when
the plantations were made, and as they grew up, heath was _left to grow_
on the sides of the roads in the plantations. The heath is not so much
of a dwarf as we suppose. This is four feet high; and, being in full
bloom, it makes the prettiest border that can be imagined. This place of
Lord Abergavenny is, altogether, a very pretty place; and, so far from
grudging him the possession of it, I should feel pleasure at seeing it
in his possession, and should pray God to preserve it to him, and from
the unholy and ruthless touch of the Jews and jobbers; but I cannot
forget this Lord's _sinecure_! I cannot forget that he has, for doing
nothing, received of the public money more than sufficient to buy such
an estate as this. I cannot forget that this estate may, perhaps, have
actually been bought with that money. Not being able to forget this, and
with my mind filled with reflections of this sort, I got up to the
church at Frant, and just by I saw a _School-house_ with this motto on
it: "_Train up a child as he should walk_," &c. That is to say, try to
breed up the Boys and Girls of this village in such a way that they may
never know anything about Lord Abergavenny's sinecure; or, knowing about
it, that they may think it _right_ that he should roll in wealth coming
to him in such a way. The projectors deceive nobody but themselves! They
are working for the destruction of their own system. In looking back
over "_the Wells_" I cannot but admire the operation of the gambling
system. This little _toad-stool_ is a thing created entirely by the
gamble; and the means have, hitherto, come out of the wages of labour.
These means are _now_ coming out of the farmer's capital and out of the
landlord's estate; the labourers are stripped; they can give no more:
the saddle is now fixing itself upon the right back.

In quitting Frant I descended into a country more woody than that behind
me. I asked a man whose fine woods those were that I pointed to, and I
fairly gave _a start_ when he said the Marquis Camden's. Milton talks of
the _Leviathan_ in a way to make one draw in one's shoulders with fear;
and I appeal to any one, who has been at sea when a whale has come near
the ship, whether he has not, at the first sight of the monster, made a
sort of involuntary movement, as if to _get out of the way_. Such was
the movement that I now made. However, soon coming to myself, on I
walked my horse by the side of my pedestrian informant. It is Bayham
Abbey that this great and awful sinecure placeman owns in this part of
the county. Another great estate he owns near Sevenoaks. But here alone
he spreads his length and breadth over more, they say, than ten or
twelve thousand acres of land, great part of which consists of
oak-woods. But, indeed, what estates might he not purchase? Not much
less than thirty years he held a place, a sinecure place, that yielded
him about thirty thousand pounds a-year! At any rate, he, according to
Parliamentary accounts, has received, of public money, little short of a
million of guineas. These, at 30 guineas an acre, would buy thirty
thousand acres of land. And what did he have all this money _for_?
Answer me that question, Wilberforce, you who called him a "bright
star," when he gave up _a part_ of his enormous sinecure. He gave up all
but the _trifling_ sum of nearly three thousand pounds a-year! What a
bright star! And _when_ did he give it up? When the _Radical_ had made
the country ring with it. When his name was, by their means, getting
into every mouth in the kingdom; when every Radical speech and petition
contained the name of Camden. Then it was, and not till then, that this
"bright star" let fall part of its "brilliancy." So that Wilberforce
ought to have thanked the _Radicals_, and not Camden. When he let go his
grasp, he talked of the merits of his father. His father was a lawyer,
who was exceedingly well paid for what he did without a million of money
being given to his son. But there is something rather out of
common-place to be observed about this father. This father was the
contemporary of Yorke, who became Lord Hardwicke. Pratt and Yorke, and
the merit of Pratt was that he was constantly opposed to the principles
of Yorke. Yorke was called a _Tory_ and Pratt a _Whig_; but the devil of
it was, both got to be Lords; and, in one shape or another, the families
of both have, from that day to this, been receiving great parcels of the
public money! Beautiful system! The Tories were for _rewarding Yorke_;
the Whigs were for _rewarding Pratt_. The Ministers (all in good time!)
humoured both parties; and the stupid people, divided into _tools of two
factions_, actually applauded, now one part of them, and now the other
part of them, the squandering away of their substance. They were like
the man and his wife in the fable, who, to spite one another, gave away
to the cunning mumper the whole of their dinner bit by bit. _This
species_ of folly is over at any rate. The people are no longer fools
enough to be _partisans_. They make no distinctions. The nonsense about
"court party" and "country party" is at an end. Who thinks anything more
of the name of _Erskine_ than of that of _Scott_? As the people told the
two factions at Maidstone when they, with Camden at their head, met to
congratulate the Regent on the marriage of his daughter, "they are all
tarred with the same brush;" and tarred with the same brush they must
be, until there be a real reform of the Parliament. However, the people
are no longer deceived. They are not duped. They _know_ that the thing
is that which it is. The people of the present day would laugh at
disputes (carried on with so much gravity!) about the _principles_ of
Pratt and the _principles_ of Yorke. "You are all tarred with the same
brush," said the sensible people of Maidstone; and, in those words, they
expressed the opinion of the whole country, borough-mongers and
tax-eaters excepted.

The country from Frant to Lamberhurst is very woody. I should think
five-tenths woods and three grass. The corn, what there is of it, is
about the same as farther back. I saw a hop-garden just before I got to
Lamberhurst, which will have about two or three hundredweight to the
acre. This Lamberhurst is a very pretty place. It lies in a valley with
beautiful hills round it. The pastures about here are very fine; and the
roads are as smooth and as handsome as those in Windsor Park.

From the last-mentioned place I had three miles to come to Goudhurst,
the tower of the church of which is pretty lofty of itself, and the
church stands upon the very summit of one of the steepest and highest
hills in this part of the country. The church-yard has a view of about
twenty-five miles in diameter; and the whole is over a very fine
country, though the character of the country differs little from that
which I have before described.

Before I got to Goudhurst, I passed by the side of a village called
Horsenden, and saw some very large hop-grounds away to my right. I
should suppose there were fifty acres; and they appeared to me to look
pretty well. I found that they belonged to a Mr. Springate, and people
say that it will grow half as many hops as he grew last year, while
people in general will not grow a tenth part so many. This hop growing
and dealing have always been a _gamble_; and this puts me in mind of
the horrible treatment which Mr. Waddington received on account of what
was called his _forestalling_ in hops! It is useless to talk: as long as
that gentleman remains uncompensated for his sufferings there can be no
hope of better days. Ellenborough was his counsel; he afterwards became
Judge; but nothing was ever done to undo what Kenyon had done. However,
Mr. Waddington will, I trust, yet live to obtain justice. He has, in the
meanwhile, given the thing now-and-then a blow; and he has the
satisfaction to see it reel about like a drunken man.

I got to Goudhurst to breakfast, and as I heard that the Dean of
Rochester was to preach a sermon in behalf of the _National Schools_, I
stopped to hear him. In waiting for his Reverence I went to the
Methodist Meeting-house, where I found the Sunday School boys and girls
assembled, to the almost filling of the place, which was about thirty
feet long and eighteen wide. The "Minister" was not come, and the
Schoolmaster was reading to the children out of a _tract-book_, and
shaking the brimstone bag at them most furiously. This schoolmaster was
a _sleek_-looking young fellow: his skin perfectly tight: well fed, I'll
warrant him: and he has discovered the way of living, without work, on
the labour of those that do work. There were 36 little fellows in
smock-frocks, and about as many girls listening to him; and I dare say
he eats as much meat as any ten of them. By this time the _Dean_, I
thought, would be coming on; and, therefore, to the church I went; but
to my great disappointment I found that the parson was operating
_preparatory_ to the appearance of the Dean, who was to come on in the
afternoon, when I, agreeably to my plan, must be off. The sermon was
from 2 Chronicles, ch. 31. v. 21., and the words of this text described
King Hezekiah as a most _zealous man_, doing whatever he did _with all
his heart_. I write from _memory_, mind, and, therefore, I do not
pretend to quote exact words; and I may be a little in error, perhaps,
as to chapter or verse. The object of the preacher was to hold up to his
hearers the example of Hezekiah, and particularly in the case of the
school affair. He called upon them to subscribe with all their hearts;
but, alas! how little of _persuasive power_ was there in what he said!
No effort to make them see _the use of the schools_. No inducement
_proved_ to exist. No argument, in short, nor anything to move. No
appeal either to the _reason_, or to the _feeling_. All was general,
common-place, cold observation; and that, too, in language which the far
greater part of the hearers could not understand. This church is about
110 feet long and 70 feet wide in the clear. It would hold _three
thousand people_, and it had in it 214, besides 53 Sunday School or
National School boys; and these sat together, in a sort of lodge, up in
a corner, 16 feet long and 10 feet wide. Now, will any Parson Malthus,
or anybody else, have the impudence to tell me that this church was
built for the use of a population not more numerous than the present? To
be sure, when this church was built, there could be no idea of a
Methodist meeting coming to _assist_ the church, and as little, I dare
say, was it expected that the preachers in the church would ever call
upon the faithful to subscribe money to be sent up to one Joshua Watson
(living in a Wen) to be by him laid out in "promoting Christian
knowledge;" but, at any rate, the Methodists cannot take away above four
or five hundred; and what, then, was this great church built _for_, if
there were no more people, in those days, at Goudhurst, than there are
now? It is very true that the _labouring_ people have, in a great
measure, ceased to go to church. There were scarcely any of that class
at this great country church to-day. I do not believe there were _ten_.
I can remember when they were so numerous that the parson could not
attempt to begin till the rattling of their nailed shoes ceased. I have
seen, I am sure, five hundred boys and men in smock-frocks coming out of
church at one time. To-day has been a fine day: there would have been
many at church to-day, if ever there are; and here I have another to add
to the many things that convince me that the labouring classes have, in
great part, ceased to go to church; that their way of thinking and
feeling with regard to both church and clergy are totally changed; and
that there is now very little _moral hold_ which the latter possess.
This preaching for money to support the schools is a most curious affair
altogether. The King sends a _circular letter_ to the bishops (as I
understand it) to cause subscriptions for the schools; and the bishops
(if I am rightly told) tell the parish clergy to send the money, when
collected, to Joshua Watson, the Treasurer of a Society in the Wen, "for
promoting Christian Knowledge!" What! the church and all its clergy put
into motion to get money from the people to send up to one Joshua
Watson, a wine-merchant, or, late a wine-merchant, in Mincing Lane,
Fenchurch Street, London, in order that the said wine-merchant may apply
the money to the "promoting of Christian Knowledge!" What! all the
deacons, priests, curates perpetual, vicars, rectors, prebends, doctors,
deans, archdeacons and fathers in God, right reverend and most reverend;
all! yea all, engaged in getting money together to send to a
wine-merchant that he may lay it out in the promoting of Christian
knowledge _in their own flocks_! Oh, brave wine-merchant! What a prince
of godliness must this wine-merchant be! I say wine-merchant, or late
wine-merchant, of Mincing Lane, Fenchurch Street, London. And, for God's
sake, some good parson, do send me up a copy of the King's circular,
and also of the bishop's order to send the money to Joshua Watson; for
some precious sport we will have with Joshua and his "Society" before we
have done with them!

After "service" I mounted my horse and jogged on through Milkhouse
Street to Benenden, where I passed through the estate, and in sight of
the house of Mr. Hodges. He keeps it very neat and has planted a good
deal. His _ash_ do very well; but the _chestnut_ do not, as it seems to
me. He ought to have the American chestnut, if he have any. If I could
discover _an everlasting hop-pole_, and one, too, that would grow faster
even than the ash, would not these Kentish hop-planters put me in the
Kalendar along with their famous Saint Thomas of Canterbury? We shall
see this one of these days.

Coming through the village of Benenden, I heard a man at my right
talking very loud about _houses! houses! houses!_ It was a Methodist
parson, in a house close by the roadside. I pulled up, and stood still,
in the middle of the road, but looking, in silent soberness, into the
window (which was open) of the room in which the preacher was at work. I
believe my stopping rather disconcerted him; for he got into shocking
_repetition_. "Do you _know_," said he, laying great stress on the word
_know_: "do you _know_, that you have ready for you houses, houses I
say; I say do you know; do you know that you have houses in the heavens
not made with hands? Do you know this from _experience_? Has the blessed
Jesus _told you so_?" And on he went to say that, if Jesus had told them
so, they would be saved, and that if He had not, and did not, they would
be damned. Some girls whom I saw in the room, plump and rosy as could
be, did not seem at all daunted by these menaces; and, indeed, they
appeared to me to be thinking much more about getting houses for
themselves _in this world first_; just to _see a little_ before they
entered, or endeavoured to enter, or even thought much about, those
"_houses_" of which the parson was speaking: _houses_ with pig-styes and
little snug gardens attached to them, together with all the other
domestic and conjugal circumstances, these girls seemed to me to be
preparing themselves for. The truth is, these fellows have no power on
the minds of any but the miserable.

Scarcely had I proceeded a hundred yards from the place where this
fellow was bawling, when I came to the very situation which he ought to
have occupied, I mean the _stocks_, which the people of Benenden have,
with singular humanity, fitted up with a _bench_, so that the patient,
while he is receiving the benefit of the remedy, is not exposed to the
danger of catching cold by sitting, as in other places, upon the ground,
always damp, and sometimes actually wet. But I would ask the people of
Benenden what is the _use_ of this humane precaution, and, indeed, what
is the use of the stocks themselves, if, while a fellow is ranting and
bawling in the manner just described, at the distance of a hundred yards
from the stocks, the stocks (as is here actually the case) are almost
hidden by grass and nettles? This, however, is the case all over the
country; not nettles and grass indeed smothering the stocks, but I never
see any feet peeping through the holes anywhere, though I find Methodist
parsons everywhere, and though _the law compels the parishes to keep up_
all the pairs of stocks that exist in all parts of them; and, in some
parishes, they have to keep up several pairs. I am aware that a good
part of the use of the stocks is the _terror_ they ought to produce. I
am not supposing that they are of no use because not continually
furnished with legs. But there is a wide difference between _always_ and
_never_; and it is clear that a fellow who has had the stocks under his
eye all his lifetime, and has _never_ seen a pair of feet peeping
through them, will stand no more in awe of the stocks than rooks do of
an old shoyhoy, or than the Ministers or their agents do of Hobhouse and
Burdett. Stocks that never pinch a pair of ankles are like Ministerial
responsibility; a thing to talk about, but for no other use; a mere
mockery; a thing laughed at by those whom it is intended to keep in
check. It is time that the stocks were again _in use_, or that the
expense of keeping them up were put an end to.

This mild, this gentle, this good-humoured sort of correction is _not
enough_ for our present rulers. But mark the consequence; gaols ten
times as big as formerly; houses of correction; tread-mills; the hulks;
and the country filled with _spies_ of one sort and another,
_game-spies_, or other spies, and if a hare or pheasant come to an
untimely death, _police-officers_ from the Wen are not unfrequently
called down to find out and secure the bloody offender! _Mark this_,
Englishmen! Mark how we take to those things which we formerly ridiculed
in the French; and take them up too just as that brave and spirited
people have shaken them off! I saw, not long ago, an account of a Wen
police-officer being sent into the country, where he assumed _a
disguise_, joined some poachers (as they are called), got into their
secrets, went out in the night with them, and then (having laid his
plans with the game-people) assisted to take them and convict them.
What! is this _England_! Is this the land of "manly hearts?" Is this the
country that laughed at the French for their submissions? What! are
police-officers kept for this? Does the law say so? However, thank God
Almighty, the estates are passing away into the hands of those who have
had borrowed from them the money to uphold this monster of a system. The
Debt! The blessed Debt, will, at last, restore to us freedom.

Just after I quitted Benenden, I saw some bunches of _straw_ lying upon
the quickset hedge of a cottage garden. I found upon inquiry, that they
were bunches of the straw of grass. Seeing a face through the window of
the cottage, I called out and asked what that straw was for. The person
within said, it was to make _Leghorn-plat_ with. I asked him (it was a
young man) how he knew how to do it. He said he had got a little book
that had been made by Mr. Cobbett. I told him that I was the man, and
should like to see some of his work; and asked him to bring it out to
me, I being afraid to tie my horse. He told me that he was a _cripple_,
and that he could not come out. At last I went in, leaving my horse to
be held by a little girl. I found a young man, who has been a cripple
for fourteen years. Some ladies in the neighbourhood had got him the
book, and his family had got him the grass. He had made some very nice
plat, and he had knitted the greater part of the crown of a bonnet, and
had done the whole very nicely, though, as to the knitting, he had
proceeded in a way to make it very tedious. He was knitting upon a
block. However, these little matters will soon be set to rights. There
will soon be persons to teach knitting in all parts of the country. I
left this unfortunate young man with the pleasing reflection that I had,
in all likelihood, been the cause of his gaining a good living, by his
labour, during the rest of his life. How long will it be before my
calumniators, the false and infamous London press, will, take the whole
of it together, and leave out its evil, do as much good as my pen has
done in this one instance! How long will it be ere the ruffians, the
base hirelings, the infamous traders who own and who conduct that press;
how long ere one of them, or all of them together, shall cause a cottage
to smile; shall add one ounce to the meal of the labouring man!

Rolvenden was my next village, and thence I could see the lofty church
of Tenterden on the top of a hill at three miles distance. This
Rolvenden is a very beautiful village; and, indeed, such are all the
places along here. These villages are not like those in the _iron_
counties, as I call them; that is, the counties of flint and chalk. Here
the houses have gardens in front of them as well as behind; and there is
a good deal of show and finery about them and their gardens. The high
roads are without a stone in them; and everything looks like
_gentility_. At this place I saw several _arbutuses_ in one garden, and
much finer than we see them in general; though, mind, this is no proof
of a mild climate; for the arbutus is a native of one much colder than
that of England, and indeed than that of Scotland.

Coming from Benenden to Rolvenden I saw some Swedish turnips, and,
strange as the reader will think it, the first I saw after leaving
Worth! The reason I take to be this: the farms are all furnished with
grass-fields as in Devonshire about Honiton. These grass-fields give hay
for the sheep and cattle in winter, or, at any rate, they do all that is
not done by the white turnips. It may be a question whether it would be
more _profitable_ to break up and sow Swedes; but this is the reason of
their not being cultivated along here. White turnips are more easily got
than Swedes; they may be sown later; and, with good hay, they will fat
cattle and sheep; but the Swedes will do this business without hay. In
Norfolk and Suffolk the land is not generally of a nature to make
hay-fields. Therefore the people there resort to Swedes. This has been a
sad time for these hay-farmers, however, all along here. They have but
just finished haymaking; and I see, all along my way, from East
Grinstead to this place, hay-ricks the colour of dirt and _smoking_ like

Just before I got to this place (Tenterden), I crossed a bit of marsh
land, which I found, upon inquiry, is a sort of little branch or spray
running out of that immense and famous tract of country called _Romney
Marsh_, which, I find, I have to cross to-morrow, in order to get to
Dover, along by the sea-side, through Hythe and Folkestone.

This Tenterden is a market town, and a singularly bright spot. It
consists of one street, which is, in some places, more, perhaps, than
two hundred feet wide. On one side of the street the houses have gardens
before them, from 20 to 70 feet deep. The town is upon a hill; the
afternoon was very fine, and, just as I rose the hill and entered the
street, the people had come out of church and were moving along towards
their houses. It was a very fine sight. _Shabbily-dressed people do not
go to church._ I saw, in short, drawn out before me, the dress and
beauty of the town; and a great many very, very pretty girls I saw; and
saw them, too, in their best attire. I remember the girls in the _Pays
de Caux_, and, really, I think those of Tenterden resemble them. I do
not know why they should not; for there is the _Pays de Caux_ only just
over the water, just opposite this very place.

The hops about here are not so very bad. They say that one man, near
this town, will have eight tons of hops upon ten acres of land! This is
a great crop any year: a very great crop. This man may, perhaps, sell
his hops for 1,600 pounds! What a _gambling_ concern it is! However,
such hop-growing always was and always must be. It is a thing of perfect

The church at this place is a very large and fine old building. The
tower stands upon a base thirty feet square. Like the church at
Goudhurst, it will hold three thousand people. And let it be observed
that, when these churches were built, people had not yet thought of
cramming them with _pews_, as a stable is filled with stalls. Those who
built these churches had no idea that worshipping God meant going to
_sit_ to hear a man talk out what he called preaching. By _worship_ they
meant very different things; and, above all things, when they had made a
fine and noble building, they did not dream of disfiguring the inside of
it by filling its floor with large and deep boxes made of deal boards.
In short, the floor was the place for the worshippers to stand or to
kneel; and there was _no distinction_; no _high_ place and no _low_
place; all were upon a level _before God_ at any rate. Some were not
stuck into pews lined with green or red cloth, while others were crammed
into corners to stand erect or sit on the floor. These odious
distinctions are of Protestant origin and growth. This lazy lolling in
pews we owe to what is called the _Reformation_. A place filled with
benches and boxes looks like an eating or a drinking place; but
certainly not like a place of worship. A Frenchman, who had been driven
from St. Domingo to Philadelphia by the Wilberforces of France, went to
church along with me one Sunday. He had never been in a Protestant place
of _worship_ before. Upon looking round him, and seeing everybody
comfortably seated, while a couple of good stoves were keeping the place
as warm as a slack oven, he exclaimed: "_Pardi! On sert Dieu bien à son
aise ici?_" That is: "Egad! they serve God very much at their ease
here!" I always think of this, when I see a church full of pews; as,
indeed, is now always the case with our churches. Those who built these
churches had no idea of this: they made their calculations as to the
people to be contained in them, not making any allowance for _deal
boards_. I often wonder how it is that the present parsons are not
ashamed to call the churches _theirs_! They must know the origin of
them; and how they can look at them, and at the same time revile the
Catholics, is astonishing to me.

This evening I have been to the Methodist Meeting-house. I was
attracted, fairly drawn all down the street, by the _singing_. When I
came to the place the parson was got into prayer. His hands were
clenched together and held up, his face turned up and back so as to be
nearly parallel with the ceiling, and he was bawling away, with his "do
thou," and "mayest thou," and "may we," enough to stun one. Noisy,
however, as he was, he was unable to fix the attention of a parcel of
girls in the gallery, whose eyes were all over the place, while his eyes
were so devoutly shut up. After a deal of this rigmarole called prayer,
came the _preachy_, as the negroes call it; and a _preachy_ it really
was. Such a mixture of whining cant and of foppish affectation I
scarcely ever heard in my life. The text was (I speak from memory) one
of Saint Peter's epistles (if he have more than one) the 4th Chapter and
18th Verse. The words were to this amount: that, _as the righteous
would be saved with difficulty, what must become of the ungodly and the
sinner_! After as neat a dish of nonsense and of impertinences as one
could wish to have served up, came the distinction between the _ungodly_
and the _sinner_. The sinner was one who did moral wrong; the ungodly,
one who did no moral wrong, but who was not regenerated. _Both_, he
positively told us, were to be damned. One was just as bad as the other.
Moral rectitude was to do nothing in saving the man. He was to be damned
unless born again, and how was he to be born again unless he came to the
regeneration-shop and gave the fellows money? He distinctly told us that
a man perfectly moral might be damned; and that "the vilest of the vile
and the basest of the base" (I quote his very words) "would be saved if
they became regenerate; and that colliers, whose souls had been as black
as their coals, had by regeneration become bright as the saints that
sing before God and the Lamb." And will the _Edinburgh Reviewers_ again
find fault with me for cutting at this bawling, canting crew? Monstrous
it is to think that the Clergy of the Church really encourage these
roving fanatics. The Church seems aware of its loss of credit and of
power. It seems willing to lean even upon these men; who, be it
observed, seem, on their part, to have taken the Church under their
protection. They always pray for the _Ministry_; I mean the ministry at
_Whitehall_. They are most "loyal" souls. The THING _protects them_; and
they lend their aid _in upholding the_ THING. What silly; nay, what base
creatures those must be who really give their money, give their pennies,
which ought to buy bread for their own children; who thus give their
money to these lazy and impudent fellows, who call themselves ministers
of God, who prowl about the country living easy and jovial lives upon
the fruit of the labour of other people. However, it is, in some
measure, these people's fault. If they did not give, the others could
not receive. I wish to see every labouring man well fed and well clad;
but, really, the man who gives any portion of his earnings to these
fellows deserves to want: he deserves to be pinched with hunger: misery
is the just reward of this worst species of prodigality.

The _singing_ makes a great part of what passes in these meeting-houses.
A number of women and girls singing together make very sweet sounds. Few
men there are who have not felt _the power_ of sounds of this sort. Men
are sometimes pretty nearly bewitched without knowing how. _Eyes_ do a
good deal, but _tongues_ do more. We may talk of sparkling eyes and
snowy bosoms as long as we please; but what are these with a croaking,
masculine voice? The parson seemed to be fully aware of the importance
of this part of the "service." The subject of his hymn was something
about _love_: Christian love; love of Jesus; but still it was about
_love_; and the parson read, or gave out, the verses in a singularly
_soft_ and _sighing_ voice, with his head on one side, and giving it
rather a swing. I am satisfied that the singing forms great part of the
_attraction_. Young girls like to sing; and young men like to hear them.
Nay, old ones too; and, as I have just said, it was the singing that
_drew_ me three hundred yards down the street at Tenterden, to enter
this meeting-house. By-the-by, I wrote some Hymns myself, and published
them in "_Twopenny Trash_." I will give any Methodist parson leave to
put them into his hymn-book.

_Folkestone (Kent), Monday (Noon), 1 Sept._

I have had a fine ride, and, I suppose, the Quakers have had a fine time
of it at Mark Lane.

From Tenterden I set off at five o'clock, and got to Appledore after a
most delightful ride, the high land upon my right, and the low land on
my left. The fog was so thick and white along some of the low land, that
I should have taken it for water, if little hills and trees had not
risen up through it here and there. Indeed, the view was very much like
those which are presented in the deep valleys, near the great rivers in
New Brunswick (North America) at the time when the snows melt in the
spring, and when, in sailing over those valleys, you look down from the
side of your canoe and see the lofty woods beneath you! I once went in a
log-canoe across a _sylvan sea_ of this description, the canoe being
paddled by two Yankees. We started in a stream; the stream became a wide
water, and that water got deeper and deeper, as I could see by the trees
(all was woods), till we got to sail amongst the _top branches of the
trees_. By-and-by we got into a large open space; a piece of water a
mile or two, or three or four wide, with _the woods under us_! A fog,
with the tops of trees rising through it, is very much like this; and
such was the fog that I saw this morning in my ride to Appledore. The
church at Appledore is very large. Big enough to hold 3,000 people; and
the place does not seem to contain half a thousand old enough to go to

In coming along I saw a wheat-rick making, though I hardly think the
wheat can be dry under the bands. The corn is all good here; and I am
told they give twelve shillings an acre for reaping wheat.

In quitting this Appledore I crossed a canal and entered on Romney
Marsh. This was grass-land on both sides of me to a great distance. The
flocks and herds immense. The sheep are of a breed that takes its name
from the marsh. They are called Romney Marsh sheep. Very pretty and
large. The wethers, when fat, weigh about twelve stone; or, one hundred
pounds. The faces of these sheep are white; and, indeed, the whole sheep
is as white as a piece of writing-paper. The wool does not look dirty
and oily like that of other sheep. The cattle appear to be all of the
_Sussex_ breed. Red, loosed-limbed, and, they say, a great deal better
than the Devonshire. How curious is the _natural economy_ of a country!
The _forests_ of Sussex; those miserable tracts of heath and fern and
bushes and sand, called Ashdown Forest and Saint Leonard's Forest, to
which latter Lord Erskine's estate belongs; these wretched tracts and
the not much less wretched farms in their neighbourhood, _breed the
cattle_, which we see _fatting_ in Romney Marsh! They are calved in the
spring; they are weaned in a little bit of grass-land; they are then put
into stubbles and about in the fallows for the first summer; they are
brought into the yard to winter on rough hay, peas-haulm, or
barley-straw; the next two summers they spend in the rough woods or in
the forest; the two winters they live on straw; they then pass another
summer on the forest or at _work_; and then they come here or go
elsewhere to be fatted. With cattle of this kind and with sheep such as
I have spoken of before, this Marsh abounds in every part of it; and the
sight is most beautiful.

At three miles from Appledore I came through Snargate, a village with
five houses, and with a church capable of containing two thousand
people! The vagabonds tell us, however, that we have a wonderful
increase of population! These vagabonds will be hanged by-and-by, or
else justice will have fled from the face of the earth.

At Brenzett (a mile further on) I with great difficulty got a rasher of
bacon for breakfast. The few houses that there are are miserable in the
extreme. The church here (only a _mile_ from the last) nearly as large;
and nobody to go to it. What! will the _vagabonds_ attempt to make us
believe that these churches were _built for nothing_! "_Dark ages_"
indeed those must have been, if these churches were erected without
there being any more people than there are now. But _who_ built them?
Where did the _means_, where did the hands come from? This place
presents another proof of the truth of my old observation: _rich land_
and _poor labourers_. From the window of the house, in which I could
scarcely get a rasher of bacon, and not an egg, I saw numberless flocks
and herds fatting, and the fields loaded with corn!

The next village, which was two miles further on, was Old Romney, and
along here I had, for great part of the way, corn-fields on one side of
me and grass-land on the other. I asked what the amount of the crop of
wheat would be. They told me better than five quarters to the acre. I
thought so myself. I have a sample of the red wheat and another of the
white. They are both very fine. They reap the wheat here nearly two feet
from the ground; and even then they cut it three feet long! I never saw
corn like this before. It very far exceeds the corn under Portsdown
Hill, that at Gosport and Tichfield. They have here about eight hundred
large, very large, sheaves to an acre. I wonder how long it will be
after the end of the world before Mr. Birbeck will see the American
"Prairies" half so good as this Marsh. In a garden here I saw some very
fine onions, and a prodigious crop; sure sign of most excellent land. At
this Old Romney there is a church (two miles only from the last, mind!)
fit to contain one thousand five hundred people, and there are, for the
people of the parish to live in, twenty-two, or twenty-three, houses!
And yet the _vagabonds_ have the impudence to tell us that the
population of England has vastly increased! Curious system that
depopulates Romney Marsh and peoples Bagshot Heath! It is an unnatural
system. It is the _vagabond's_ system. It is a system that must be
destroyed, or that will destroy the country.

The rotten borough of New Romney came next in my way; and here, to my
great surprise, I found myself upon the sea-beach; for I had not looked
at a map of Kent for years, and, perhaps, never. I had got a list of
places from a friend in Sussex, whom I asked to give me a route to
Dover, and to send me through those parts of Kent which he thought would
be most interesting to me. Never was I so much surprised as when I saw
_a sail_. This place, now that the _squanderings_ of the THING are over,
is, they say, become miserably poor.

From New Romney to Dimchurch is about four miles: all along I had the
sea-beach on my right, and, on my left, sometimes grass-land and
sometimes corn-land. They told me here, and also further back in the
Marsh, that they were to have 15s. an acre for reaping wheat.

From Dimchurch to Hythe you go on the sea-beach, and nearly the same
from Hythe to Sandgate, from which last place you come over the hill to
Folkestone. But let me look back. Here has been the squandering! Here
has been the pauper-making work! Here we see some of these causes that
are now sending some farmers to the workhouse and driving others to flee
the country or to cut their throats!

I had baited my horse at New Romney, and was coming jogging along very
soberly, now looking at the sea, then looking at the cattle, then the
corn, when my eye, in swinging round, lighted upon a great round
building standing upon the beach. I had scarcely had time to think about
what it could be when twenty or thirty others, standing along the
coast, caught my eye; and, if any one had been behind me, he might have
heard me exclaim, in a voice that made my horse bound, "The _Martello
Towers_ by ----!" Oh, Lord! To think that I should be destined to behold
these monuments of the wisdom of Pitt and Dundas and Perceval! Good God!
Here they are, piles of bricks in a circular form about three hundred
feet (_guess_) circumference at the base, about forty feet high, and
about one hundred and fifty feet circumference at the top. There is a
door-way, about midway up, in each, and each has two windows. Cannons
were to be fired from the top of these things in order to defend the
country against the French Jacobins!

I think I have counted along here upwards of thirty of these ridiculous
things, which, I dare say, cost five, perhaps ten, thousand pounds each;
and one of which was, I am told, _sold_ on the coast of Sussex the other
day for two hundred pounds! There is, they say, a chain of these things
all the way to Hastings! I dare say they cost millions. But far indeed
are these from being all, or half, or a quarter of the squanderings
along here. Hythe is half _barracks_; the hills are covered with
barracks; and barracks most expensive, most squandering, fill up the
side of the hill. Here is a canal (I crossed it at Appledore) made for
the length of thirty miles (from Hythe, in Kent, to Rye, in Sussex) to
_keep out the French_; for those armies who had so often crossed the
Rhine and the Danube were to be kept back by a canal, made by Pitt,
thirty feet wide at the most! All along the coast there are works of
some sort or other; incessant sinks of money; walls of immense
dimensions; masses of stone brought and put into piles. Then you see
some of the walls and buildings falling down; some that have never been
finished. The whole thing, all taken together, looks as if a spell had
been, all of a sudden, set upon the workmen; or, in the words of the
Scripture, here is the "_desolation of abomination, standing in high
places_." However, all is right. These things were made with the hearty
good will of those who are now coming to ruin in consequence of the
Debt, contracted for the purpose of making these things! This is all
_just_. The load will come, at last, upon the right shoulders.

Between Hythe and Sandgate (a village at about two miles from Hythe) I
first saw the French coast. The chalk cliffs at Calais are as plain to
the view as possible, and also the land, which they tell me is near

Folkestone lies under a hill here, as Reigate does in Surrey, only here
the sea is open to your right as you come along. The corn is very early
here, and very fine. All cut, even the beans; and they will be ready to
cart in a day or two. Folkestone is now a little place; probably a
quarter part as big as it was formerly. Here is a church one hundred and
twenty feet long and fifty feet wide. It is a sort of little Cathedral.
The church-yard has evidently been three times as large as it is now.

Before I got into Folkestone I saw no less than eighty-four men, women,
and boys and girls gleaning or leasing, in a field of about ten acres.
The people all along here complain most bitterly of the _change of
times_. The truth is, that the squandered millions are gone! The nation
has now to suffer for this squandering. The money served to silence
some; to make others bawl; to cause the good to be oppressed; to cause
the bad to be exalted; to "crush the Jacobins:" and what is the
_result_? What is the _end_? The _end_ is not yet come; but as to the
result thus far, go, ask the families of those farmers who, after having
for so many years threatened to shoot Jacobins, have, in instances not a
few, shot themselves! Go, ask the ghosts of Pitt and of Castlereagh what
has thus far been the _result_! Go, ask the Hampshire farmer, who, not
many months since, actually blowed out his own brains with one of those
very pistols which he had long carried in his Yeomanry Cavalry holsters,
to be ready "to keep down the Jacobins and Radicals!" Oh, God!
inscrutable are Thy ways; but Thou art just, and of Thy justice what a
complete proof have we in the case of these very Martello Towers! They
were erected to keep out the Jacobin French, lest they should come and
assist the Jacobin English. The _loyal_ people of this coast were
fattened by the building of them. Pitt and his loyal _Cinque Ports_
waged interminable war against Jacobins. These very towers are now used
to keep these _loyal_ Cinque Ports themselves in order. These towers are
now used to lodge men, whose business it is to sally forth, not upon
Jacobins, but upon _smugglers_! Thus, after having sucked up millions of
the nation's money, these loyal Cinque Ports are squeezed again: kept in
order, kept down, by the very towers which they rejoiced to see rise to
keep down the Jacobins.

_Dover, Monday, Sept. 1st, Evening._

I got here this evening about six o'clock, having come to-day thirty-six
miles; but I must defer my remarks on the country between Folkestone and
this place; a most interesting spot, and well worthy of particular
attention. What place I shall date from after Dover I am by no means
certain; but be it from what place it may, the continuation of my
Journal shall be published in due course. If the Atlantic Ocean could
not cut off the communication between me and my readers, a mere strip
of water, not much wider than an American river, will hardly do it. I
am, in real truth, undecided, as yet, whether I shall go on to France or
back to the _Wen_. I think I shall, when I go out of this Inn, toss the
bridle upon my horse's neck, and let him decide for me. I am sure he is
more fit to decide on such a point than our Ministers are to decide on
any point connected with the happiness, greatness, and honour of this


_Dover, Wednesday, Sept. 3, 1823 (Evening)._

On Monday I was balancing in my own mind whether I should go to France
or not. To-day I have decided the question in the negative, and shall
set off this evening for the Isle of Thanet, that spot so famous for

I broke off without giving an account of the country between Folkestone
and Dover, which is a very interesting one in itself, and was peculiarly
interesting to me on many accounts. I have often mentioned, in
describing the parts of the country over which I have travelled; I have
often mentioned the _chalk-ridge_ and also the _sand-ridge_, which I had
traced, running parallel with each other from about Farnham, in Surrey,
to Sevenoaks, in Kent. The reader must remember how particular I have
been to observe that, in going up from Chilworth and Albury, through
Dorking, Reigate, Godstone, and so on, the two chains, or ridges,
approach so near to each other, that, in many places, you actually have
a chalk-bank to your right and a sand-bank to your left, at not more
than forty yards from each other. In some places, these chains of hills
run off from each other to a great distance, even to a distance of
twenty miles. They then approach again towards each other, and so they
go on. I was always desirous to ascertain whether these chains, or
ridges, continued on thus _to the sea_. I have now found that they do.
And, if you go out into the channel, at Folkestone, there you see a
sand-cliff and a chalk-cliff. Folkestone stands upon the sand, in a
little dell about seven hundred or eight hundred yards from the very
termination of the ridge. All the way along, the chalk-ridge is the
most lofty, until you come to Leith Hill and Hindhead; and here, at
Folkestone, the sand-ridge tapers off in a sort of flat towards the sea.
The land is like what it is at Reigate, a very steep hill; a hill of
full a mile high, and bending exactly in the same manner as the hill at
Reigate does. The turnpike-road winds up it and goes over it in exactly
the same manner as that at Reigate. The land to the south of the hill
begins a poor, thin, white loam upon the chalk; soon gets to be a very
fine rich loam upon the chalk; goes on till it mingles the chalky loam
with the sandy loam; and thus it goes on down to the sea-beach, or to
the edge of the cliff. It is a beautiful bed of earth here, resembling
in extent that on the south side of Portsdown Hill rather than that of
Reigate. The crops here are always good if they are good anywhere. A
large part of this fine tract of land, as well as the little town of
Sandgate (which is a beautiful little place upon the beach itself), and
also great part of the town of Folkestone belong, they tell me, to Lord
Radnor, who takes his title of Viscount from Folkestone. Upon the hill
begins, and continues on for some miles, that stiff red loam,
approaching to a clay, which I have several times described as forming
the soil at the top of this chalk-ridge. I spoke of it in the Register
of the 16th of August last, page 409, and I then said, that it was like
the land on the top of this very ridge at Ashmansworth in the north of
Hampshire. At Reigate you find precisely the same soil upon the top of
the hill, a very red, clayey sort of loam, with big yellow flint stones
in it. Everywhere, the soil is the same upon the top of the high part of
this ridge. I have now found it to be the same, on the edge of the sea,
that I found it on the north-east corner of Hampshire.

From the hill, you keep descending all the way to Dover, a distance of
about six miles, and it is absolutely six miles of down hill. On your
right, you have the lofty land which forms a series of chalk cliffs,
from the top of which you look into the sea; on your left, you have
ground that goes rising up from you in the same sort of way. The
turnpike-road goes down the middle of a valley, each side of which, as
far as you can see, may be about a mile and a half. It is six miles
long, you will remember; and here, therefore, with very little
interruption, very few chasms, there are _eighteen square miles of
corn_. It is a patch such as you very seldom see, and especially of corn
so good as it is here. I should think that the wheat all along here
would average pretty nearly four quarters to the acre. A few oats are
sown. A great deal of barley, and that a very fine crop.

The town of Dover is like other sea-port towns; but really much more
clean, and with less blackguard people in it than I ever observed in any
sea-port before. It is a most picturesque place, to be sure. On one
side of it rises, upon the top of a very steep hill, the Old Castle,
with all its fortifications. On the other side of it there is another
chalk-hill, the side of which is pretty nearly perpendicular, and rises
up from sixty to a hundred feet higher than the tops of the houses,
which stand pretty nearly close to the foot of the hill.

I got into Dover rather late. It was dusk when I was going down the
street towards the quay. I happened to look up, and was quite astonished
to perceive cows grazing upon a spot apparently fifty feet above the
tops of the houses, and measuring horizontally not, perhaps, more than
ten or twenty feet from a line which would have formed a continuation
into the air. I went up to the same spot, the next day, myself; and you
actually look down upon the houses, as you look out of a window upon
people in the street. The valley that runs down from Folkestone is, when
it gets to Dover, crossed by another valley that runs down from
Canterbury, or, at least, from the Canterbury direction. It is in the
gorge of this cross valley that Dover is built. The two chalk-hills jut
out into the sea, and the water that comes up between them forms a
harbour for this ancient, most interesting, and beautiful place. On the
hill to the north stands the Castle of Dover, which is fortified in the
ancient manner, except on the sea-side, where it has the steep _Cliff_
for a fortification. On the south side of the town, the hill is, I
believe, rather more lofty than that on the north side; and here is that
Cliff which is described by Shakspeare in the Play of King Lear. It is
fearfully steep, certainly. Very nearly perpendicular for a considerable
distance. The grass grows well, to the very tip of the cliff; and you
see cows and sheep grazing there with as much unconcern as if grazing in
the bottom of a valley.

It was not, however, these natural curiosities that took me over _this_
hill; I went to see, with my own eyes, something of the sorts of means
that had been made use of to squander away countless millions of money.
Here is a hill containing, probably, a couple of square miles or more,
hollowed like a honeycomb. Here are line upon line, trench upon trench,
cavern upon cavern, bomb-proof upon bomb-proof; in short the very sight
of the thing convinces you that either madness the most humiliating, or
profligacy the most scandalous must have been at work here for years.
The question that every man of sense asks, is: What reason had you to
suppose that the _French could ever come to this hill_ to attack it,
while the rest of the country was so much more easy to assail? However,
let any man of good plain understanding go and look at the works that
have here been performed, and that are now all tumbling into ruin. Let
him ask what this cavern was for; what that ditch was for; what this
tank was for; and why all these horrible holes and hiding-places at an
expense of millions upon millions? Let this scene be brought and placed
under the eyes of the people of England, and let them be told that Pitt
and Dundas and Perceval had these things done to prevent the country
from being conquered; with voice unanimous the nation would instantly
exclaim: Let the French or let the devil take us, rather than let us
resort to means of defence like these. This is, perhaps, the only set of
fortifications in the world ever framed for mere _hiding_. There is no
appearance of any intention to annoy an enemy. It is a parcel of holes
made in a hill, to hide Englishmen from Frenchmen. Just as if the
Frenchmen would come to this hill! Just as if they would not go (if they
came at all) and land in Romney Marsh, or on Pevensey Level, or anywhere
else, rather than come to this hill; rather than come to crawl up
Shakspeare's cliff. All the way along the coast, from this very hill to
Portsmouth, or pretty nearly all the way, is a flat. What the devil
should they come to this hill for, then? And, when you ask this
question, they tell you that it is to have an army here _behind_ the
French, after they had marched into the country! And for a purpose like
this; for a purpose so stupid, so senseless, so mad as this, and withal,
so scandalously disgraceful, more brick and stone have been buried in
this hill than would go to build a neat new cottage for every labouring
man in the counties of Kent and of Sussex!

Dreadful is the scourge of such Ministers. However, those who supported
them will now have to suffer. The money must have been squandered
purposely, and for the worst ends. Fool as Pitt was; unfit as an old
hack of a lawyer, like Dundas, was to judge of the means of defending
the country, stupid as both these fellows were, and as their brother
lawyer, Perceval, was too: unfit as these lawyers were to judge in any
such a case, they must have known that this was an useless expenditure
of money. They must have known that; and, therefore, their general
folly, their general ignorance, is no apology for their conduct. What
they wanted, was to prevent the landing, not of Frenchmen, but of French
principles; that is to say, to prevent the example of the French from
being alluring to the people of England. The devil a bit did they care
for the Bourbons. They rejoiced at the killing of the king. They
rejoiced at the atheistical decree. They rejoiced at everything
calculated to alarm the timid and to excite horror in the people of
England in general. They wanted to keep out of England those principles
which had a natural tendency to destroy borough-mongering, and to put an
end to peculation and plunder. No matter whether by the means of
Martello Towers, making a great chalk-hill a honey-comb, cutting a canal
thirty feet wide to stop the march of the armies of the Danube and the
Rhine: no matter how they squandered the money, so that it silenced some
and made others bawl to answer their great purpose of preventing French
example from having an influence in England. Simply their object was
this: to make the French people miserable; to force back the Bourbons
upon them as a _means_ of making them miserable; to degrade France, to
make the people wretched; and then to have to say to the people of
England, Look there: _see what they have got by their attempts to obtain
liberty_! This was their object. They did not want Martello Towers and
honey-combed chalk-hills, and mad canals: they did not want these to
keep out the French armies. The borough-mongers and the parsons cared
nothing about the French armies. It was the French example that the
lawyers, borough-mongers, and parsons wished to keep out. And what have
they done? It is impossible to be upon this honey-combed hill, upon this
enormous mass of anti-jacobin expenditure, without seeing the
chalk-cliffs of Calais and the corn-fields of France. At this season, it
is impossible to see those fields without knowing that the farmers are
getting in their corn there as well as here; and it is impossible to
think of that fact without reflecting, at the same time, on the example
which the farmers of France hold out to the farmers of England. Looking
down from this very anti-jacobin hill, this day, I saw the parsons'
shocks of wheat and barley, left in the field after the farmer had taken
his away. Turning my head, and looking across the Channel, "There," said
I, pointing to France, "There the spirited and sensible people have
ridded themselves of this burden, of which our farmers so bitterly
complain." It is impossible not to recollect here, that, in numerous
petitions, sent up, too, by the _loyal_, complaints have been made that
the English farmer has to carry on a competition against the French
farmer who has _no tithes to pay_! Well, _loyal gentlemen_, why do not
you petition, then, to be relieved from tithes? What do you mean else?
Do you mean to call upon our big gentlemen at Whitehall for them to
compel the French to pay tithes? Oh, you loyal fools! Better hold your
tongues about the French not paying tithes. Better do that, at any rate;
for never will they pay tithes again.

Here is a large tract of _land_ upon these hills at Dover, which is the
property of the public, having been purchased at an enormous expense.
This is now let out as pasture land to people of the town. I dare say
that the letting of this land is a curious affair. If there were a
Member for Dover who would do what he ought to do, he would soon get
before the public a list of the tenants, and of the rents paid by them.
I should like very much to see such list. Butterworth, the bookseller in
Fleet-street; he who is a sort of metropolitan of the methodists, is
one of the Members for Dover. The other is, I believe, that Wilbraham or
Bootle or Bootle Wilbraham, or some such name, that is a Lancashire
magistrate. So that Dover is prettily set up. However, there is nothing
of this sort, that can in the present state of things, be deemed to be
of any real consequence. As long as the people at Whitehall can go on
paying the interest of the Debt in full, so long will there be no change
worth the attention of any rational man. In the meanwhile, the French
nation will be going on rising over us; and our Ministers will be
cringing and crawling to every nation upon earth who is known to possess
a cannon or a barrel of powder.

This very day I have read Mr. Canning's Speech at Liverpool, with a
Yankee Consul sitting on his right hand. Not a word now about the bits
of bunting and the fir frigates; but now, America is the lovely
daughter, who, in a moment of excessive love, has gone off with a lover
(to wit, the French) and left the tender mother to mourn! What a fop!
And this is the man that talked so big and so bold. This is the clever,
the profound, the blustering, too, and, above all things, "the high
spirited" Mr. Canning. However, more of this, hereafter. I must get from
this Dover, as fast as I can.

_Sandwich, Wednesday, 3rd Sept. Night._

I got to this place about half an hour after the ringing of the eight
o'clock bell, or Curfew, which I heard at about two miles' distance from
the place. From the town of Dover you come up the Castle-Hill, and have
a most beautiful view from the top of it. You have the sea, the chalk
cliffs of Calais, the high land at Boulogne, the town of Dover just
under you, the valley towards Folkestone, and the much more beautiful
valley towards Canterbury; and, going on a little further, you have the
Downs and the Essex or Suffolk coast in full view, with a most beautiful
corn country to ride along through. The corn was chiefly cut between
Dover and Walmer. The barley almost all cut and tied up in sheaf.
Nothing but the beans seemed to remain standing along here. They are not
quite so good as the rest of the corn; but they are by no means bad.
When I came to the village of Walmer, I enquired for the Castle; that
famous place, where Pitt, Dundas, Perceval, and all the whole tribe of
plotters against the French Revolution had carried on their plots. After
coming through the village of Walmer, you see the entrance of the Castle
away to the right. It is situated pretty nearly on the water's edge, and
at the bottom of a little dell, about a furlong or so from the
turnpike-road. This is now the habitation of our Great Minister, Robert
Bankes Jenkinson, son of Charles of that name. When I was told, by a
girl who was leasing in a field by the road side, that that was Walmer
Castle, I stopped short, pulled my horse round, looked steadfastly at
the gateway, and could not help exclaiming: "Oh, thou who inhabitest
that famous dwelling; thou, who hast always been in place, let who might
be out of place! Oh, thou everlasting placeman! thou sage of
'over-production,' do but cast thine eyes upon this barley-field, where,
if I am not greatly deceived, there are from seven to eight quarters
upon the acre! Oh, thou whose _Courier_ newspaper has just informed its
readers that wheat will be seventy shillings the quarter, in the month
of November: oh, thou wise man, I pray thee come forth, from thy Castle,
and tell me what thou wilt do if wheat should happen to be, at the
appointed time, thirty-five shillings, instead of seventy shillings, the
quarter. Sage of over-production, farewell. If thou hast life, thou wilt
be Minister, as long as thou canst pay the interest of the Debt in full,
but not one moment longer. The moment thou ceasest to be able to squeeze
from the Normans a sufficiency to count down to the Jews their full
tale, that moment, thou great stern-path-of-duty man, thou wilt begin to
be taught the true meaning of the words _Ministerial Responsibility_."

Deal is a most villanous place. It is full of filthy-looking people.
Great desolation of abomination has been going on here; tremendous
barracks, partly pulled down and partly tumbling down, and partly
occupied by soldiers. Everything seems upon the perish. I was glad to
hurry along through it, and to leave its inns and public-houses to be
occupied by the tarred, and trowsered, and blue-and-buff crew whose very
vicinage I always detest. From Deal you come along to Upper Deal, which,
it seems, was the original village; thence upon a beautiful road to
Sandwich, which is a rotten Borough. Rottenness, putridity is excellent
for land, but bad for Boroughs. This place, which is as villanous a hole
as one would wish to see, is surrounded by some of the finest land in
the world. Along on one side of it, lies a marsh. On the other sides of
it is land which they tell me bears _seven quarters_ of wheat to an
acre. It is certainly very fine; for I saw large pieces of radish-seed
on the road side; this seed is grown for the seedsmen in London; and it
will grow on none but rich land. All the corn is carried here except
some beans and some barley.

_Canterbury, Thursday Afternoon, 4th Sept._

In quitting Sandwich, you immediately cross a river up which vessels
bring coals from the sea. This marsh is about a couple of miles wide. It
begins at the sea-beach, opposite the Downs, to my right hand, coming
from Sandwich, and it wheels round to my left and ends at the sea-beach,
opposite Margate roads. This marsh was formerly covered with the sea,
very likely; and hence the land within this sort of semi-circle, the
name of which is Thanet, was called an _Isle_. It is, in fact, an island
now, for the same reason that Portsea is an island, and that New York is
an island; for there certainly is the water in this river that goes
round and connects one part of the sea with the other. I had to cross
this river, and to cross the marsh, before I got into the famous Isle of
Thanet, which it was my intention to cross. Soon after crossing the
river, I passed by a place for making salt, and could not help
recollecting that there are no excisemen in these salt-making places in
France, that, before the Revolution, the French were most cruelly
oppressed by the duties on salt, that they had to endure, on that
account, the most horrid tyranny that ever was known, except, perhaps,
that practised in an _Exchequer_ that shall here be nameless; that
thousands and thousands of men and women were every year sent to the
galleys for what was called smuggling salt; that the fathers and even
the mothers were imprisoned or whipped if the children were detected in
smuggling salt: I could not help reflecting, with delight, as I looked
at these salt-pans in the Isle of Thanet; I could not help reflecting,
that in spite of Pitt, Dundas, Perceval, and the rest of the crew, in
spite of the caverns of Dover and the Martello Towers in Romney Marsh:
in spite of all the spies and all the bayonets, and the six hundred
millions of Debt and the hundred and fifty millions of dead-weight, and
the two hundred millions of poor-rates that are now squeezing the
borough-mongers, squeezing the farmers, puzzling the fellows at
Whitehall and making Mark-lane a scene of greater interest than the
Chamber of the Privy Council; with delight as I jogged along under the
first beams of the sun, I reflected, that, in spite of all the malignant
measures that had brought so much misery upon England, the gallant
French people had ridded themselves of the tyranny which sent them to
the galleys for endeavouring to use without tax the salt which God sent
upon their shores. Can any man tell why we should still be paying five,
or six, or seven shillings a bushel for salt, instead of one? We did pay
fifteen shillings a bushel, tax. And why is two shillings a bushel kept
on? Because, if they were taken off, the salt-tax-gathering crew must be
discharged! This tax of two shillings a bushel, causes the consumer to
pay five, at the least, more than he would if there were no tax at all!
When, great God! when shall we be allowed to enjoy God's gifts, in
freedom, as the people of France enjoy them?

On the marsh I found the same sort of sheep as on Romney Marsh; but the
cattle here are chiefly Welsh; black, and called runts. They are nice
hardy cattle; and, I am told, that this is the description of cattle
that they fat all the way up on this north side of Kent.----When I got
upon the corn land in the Isle of Thanet, I got into a garden indeed.
There is hardly any fallow; comparatively few turnips. It is a country
of corn. Most of the harvest is in; but there are some fields of wheat
and of barley not yet housed. A great many pieces of lucerne, and all of
them very fine. I left Ramsgate to my right about three miles, and went
right across the island to Margate; but that place is so thickly settled
with stock-jobbing cuckolds, at this time of the year, that, having no
fancy to get their horns stuck into me, I turned away to my left when I
got within about half a mile of the town. I got to a little hamlet,
where I breakfasted; but could get no corn for my horse, and no bacon
for myself! All was corn around me. Barns, I should think, two hundred
feet long; ricks of enormous size and most numerous; crops of wheat,
five quarters to an acre, on the average; and a public-house without
either bacon or corn! The labourers' houses, all along through this
island, beggarly in the extreme. The people dirty, poor-looking; ragged,
but particularly _dirty_. The men and boys with dirty faces, and dirty
smock-frocks, and dirty shirts; and, good God! what a difference between
the wife of a labouring man here, and the wife of a labouring man in the
forests and woodlands of Hampshire and Sussex! Invariably have I
observed, that the richer the soil, and the more destitute of woods;
that is to say, the more purely a corn country, the more miserable the
labourers. The cause is this, the great, the big bull frog grasps all.
In this beautiful island every inch of land is appropriated by the rich.
No hedges, no ditches, no commons, no grassy lanes: a country divided
into great farms; a few trees surround the great farm-house. All the
rest is bare of trees; and the wretched labourer has not a stick of
wood, and has no place for a pig or cow to graze, or even to lie down
upon. The rabbit countries are the countries for labouring men. There
the ground is not so valuable. There it is not so easily appropriated by
the few. Here, in this island, the work is almost all done by the
horses. The horses plough the ground; they sow the ground; they hoe the
ground; they carry the corn home; they thresh it out; and they carry it
to market: nay, in this island, they _rake_ the ground; they rake up the
straggling straws and ears; so that they do the whole, except the
reaping and the mowing. It is impossible to have an idea of anything
more miserable than the state of the labourers in this part of the

After coming by Margate, I passed a village called Monckton, and another
called Sarr. At Sarr there is a bridge, over which you come out of the
island, as you go into it over the bridge at Sandwich. At Monckton they
had _seventeen men working on the roads_, though the harvest was not
quite in, and though, of course, it had all to be threshed out; but, at
Monckton, they had _four threshing machines_; and they have three
threshing machines at Sarr, though there, also, they have several men
upon the roads! This is a shocking state of things; and, in spite of
everything that the Jenkinsons and the Scots can do, this state of
things must be changed.

At Sarr, or a little way further back, I saw a man who had just begun to
reap a field of canary seed. The plants were too far advanced to be cut
in order to be bleached for the making of plat; but I got the reaper to
select me a few green stalks that grew near a bush that stood on the
outside of the piece. These I have brought on with me, in order to give
them a trial. At Sarr I began to cross the marsh, and had, after this,
to come through the village of Up-street, and another village called
Steady, before I got to Canterbury. At Up-street I was struck with the
words written upon a board which was fastened upon a pole, which pole
was standing in a garden near a neat little box of a house. The words
were these. "PARADISE PLACE. _Spring guns and steel traps are set
here._" A pretty idea it must give us of Paradise to know that spring
guns and steel traps are set in it! This is doubtless some
stock-jobber's place; for, in the first place, the name is likely to
have been selected by one of that crew; and, in the next place, whenever
any of them go to the country, they look upon it that they are to begin
a sort of warfare against everything around them. They invariably look
upon every labourer as a thief.

As you approach Canterbury, from the Isle of Thanet, you have another
instance of the squanderings of the lawyer Ministers. Nothing equals the
ditches, the caverns, the holes, the tanks, and hiding-places of the
hill at Dover; but, considerable as the City of Canterbury is, that city
within its gates stands upon less ground than those horrible erections,
the barracks of Pitt, Dundas, and Perceval. They are perfectly enormous;
but thanks be unto God, they begin to crumble down. They have a sickly
hue: all is lassitude about them: endless are their lawns, their gravel
walks, and their ornaments; but their lawns are unshaven, their gravel
walks grassy, and their ornaments putting on the garments of ugliness.
You see the grass growing opposite the door-ways. A hole in the window
strikes you here and there. Lamp-posts there are, but no lamps. Here are
horse-barracks, foot-barracks, artillery-barracks, engineer-barracks: a
whole country of barracks; but, only here and there a soldier. The thing
is actually perishing. It is typical of the state of the great Thing of
things. It gave me inexpressible pleasure to perceive the gloom that
seemed to hang over these barracks, which once swarmed with soldiers and
their blithe companions, as a hive swarms with bees. These barracks now
look like the environs of a hive in winter. Westminster Abbey Church is
not the place for the monument of Pitt; the statue of the great snorting
bawler ought to be stuck up here, just in the midst of this hundred or
two of acres covered with barracks. These barracks, too, were erected in
order to compel the French to return to the payment of tithes; in order
to bring their necks again under the yoke of the lords and the clergy.
That has not been accomplished. The French, as Mr. Hoggart assures us,
have neither tithes, taxes, nor rates; and the people of Canterbury know
that they have a _hop-duty_ to pay, while Mr. Hoggart, of Broad-street,
tells them that he has farms to let, in France, where there are
hop-gardens and where there is no hop-duty. They have lately had races
at Canterbury; and the Mayor and Aldermen, in order to get the Prince
Leopold to attend them, presented him with the Freedom of the City; but
it rained all the time and he did not come! The Mayor and Aldermen do
not understand things half so well as this German Gentleman, who has
managed his matters as well, I think, as any one that I ever heard of.

This fine old town, or, rather, city, is remarkable for cleanliness and
niceness, notwithstanding it has a Cathedral in it. The country round it
is very rich, and this year, while the hops are so bad in most other
parts, they are not so very bad just about Canterbury.

_Elverton Farm, near Faversham, Friday Morning, Sept. 5._

In going through Canterbury, yesterday, I gave a boy six-pence to hold
my horse, while I went into the Cathedral, just to thank St. Swithin for
the trick that he had played my friends, the Quakers. Led along by the
wet weather till after the harvest had actually begun, and then to find
the weather turn fine, all of a sudden! This must have soused them
pretty decently; and I hear of one, who, at Canterbury, has made a
bargain by which he will certainly lose two thousand pounds. The land
where I am now is equal to that of the Isle of Thanet. The harvest is
nearly over, and all the crops have been prodigiously fine. In coming
from Canterbury, you come to the top of a hill, called Baughton Hill,
at four miles from Canterbury on the London road; and you there look
down into one of the finest flats in England. A piece of marsh comes up
nearly to Faversham; and, at the edge of that marsh lies the farm where
I now am. The land here is a deep loam upon chalk; and this is also the
nature of the land in the Isle of Thanet and all the way from that to
Dover. The orchards grow well upon this soil. The trees grow finely, the
fruit is large and of fine flavour.

In 1821 I gave Mr. William Waller, who lives here, some American
apple-cuttings; and he has now some as fine Newtown Pippins as one would
wish to see. They are very large of their sort; very free in their
growth; and they promise to be very fine apples of the kind. Mr. Waller
had cuttings from me off several sorts, in 1822. These were cut down
last year; they have, of course, made shoots this summer; and great
numbers of these shoots have fruit-spurs, which will have blossom, if
not fruit, next year. This very rarely happens, I believe; and the state
of Mr. Waller's trees clearly proves to me that the introduction of
these American trees would be a great improvement.

My American apples, when I left Kensington, promised to be very fine;
and the apples, which I have frequently mentioned as being upon cuttings
imported last Spring, promised to come to perfection; a thing which, I
believe, we have not an instance of before.

_Merryworth, Friday Evening, 5th Sept._

A friend at Tenterden told me that, if I had a mind to know Kent, I must
go through Romney Marsh to Dover, from Dover to Sandwich, from Sandwich
to Margate, from Margate to Canterbury, from Canterbury to Faversham,
from Faversham to Maidstone, and from Maidstone to Tonbridge. I found
from Mr. Waller, this morning, that the regular turnpike route, from his
house to Maidstone, was through Sittingbourne. I had been along that
road several times; and besides, to be covered with dust was what I
could not think of, when I had it in my power to get to Maidstone
without it. I took the road across the country, quitting the London
road, or rather, crossing it, in the dell, between Ospringe and
Green-street. I instantly began to go up hill, slowly, indeed; but up
hill. I came through the villages of Newnham, Doddington, Ringlestone,
and to that of Hollingbourne. I had come up hill for thirteen miles,
from Mr. Waller's house. At last, I got to the top of this hill, and
went along, for some distance, upon level ground. I found I was got upon
just the same sort of land as that on the hill at Folkestone, at
Reigate, at Ropley, and at Ashmansworth. The red clayey loam, mixed up
with great yellow flint stones. I found fine meadows here, just such as
are at Ashmansworth (that is to say, on the north Hampshire hills.) This
sort of ground is characterized by an astonishing depth that they have
to go for the water. At Ashmansworth, they go to a depth of more than
three hundred feet. As I was riding along upon the top of this hill in
Kent, I saw the same beautiful sort of meadows that there are at
Ashmansworth; I saw the corn backward; I was just thinking to go up to
some house, to ask how far they had to go for water, when I saw a large
well-bucket, and all the chains and wheels belonging to such a concern;
but here was also the tackle for a _horse_ to work in drawing up the
water! I asked about the depth of the well; and the information I
received must have been incorrect; because I was told it was three
hundred yards. I asked this of a public-house keeper farther on, not
seeing anybody where the farm-house was. I make no doubt that the depth
is, as near as possible, that of Ashmansworth. Upon the top of this
hill, I saw the finest field of beans that I have seen this year, and,
by very far, indeed, the _finest piece of hops_. A beautiful piece of
hops, surrounded by beautiful plantations of young ash, producing poles
for hop-gardens. My road here pointed towards the west. It soon wheeled
round towards the south; and, all of a sudden, I found myself upon the
edge of a hill, as lofty and as steep as that at Folkestone, at Reigate,
or at Ashmansworth. It was the same famous chalk-ridge that I was
crossing again. When I got to the edge of the hill, and before I got off
my horse to lead him down this more than mile of hill, I sat and
surveyed the prospect before me, and to the right and to the left. This
is what the people of Kent call the _Garden of Eden_. It is a district
of meadows, corn-fields, hop-gardens, and orchards of apples, pears,
cherries and filberts, with very little if any land which cannot, with
propriety, be called good. There are plantations of Chestnut and of Ash
frequently occurring; and as these are cut when long enough to make
poles for hops, they are at all times objects of great beauty.

At the foot of the hill of which I have been speaking, is the village of
Hollingbourne; thence you come on to Maidstone. From Maidstone to this
place (Merryworth) is about seven miles, and these are the finest seven
miles that I have ever seen in England or anywhere else. The Medway is
to your left, with its meadows about a mile wide. You cross the Medway,
in coming out of Maidstone, and it goes and finds its way down to
Rochester, through a break in the chalk-ridge. From Maidstone to
Merryworth I should think that there were hop-gardens on one half of
the way on both sides of the road. Then looking across the Medway, you
see hop-gardens and orchards two miles deep, on the side of a gently
rising ground: and this continues with you all the way from Maidstone to
Merryworth. The orchards form a great feature of the country; and the
plantations of Ashes and of Chestnuts that I mentioned before, add
greatly to the beauty. These gardens of hops are kept very clean, in
general, though some of them have been neglected this year owing to the
bad appearance of the crop. The culture is sometimes mixed: that is to
say, apple-trees or cherry-trees or filbert-trees and hops, in the same
ground. This is a good way, they say, of raising an orchard. I do not
believe it; and I think that nothing is gained by any of these mixtures.
They plant apple-trees or cherry-trees in rows here; they then plant a
filbert-tree close to each of these large fruit-trees; and then they
cultivate the middle of the ground by planting potatoes. This is being
too greedy. It is impossible that they can gain by this. What they gain
one way they lose the other way; and I verily believe, that the most
profitable way would be, never to mix things at all. In coming from
Maidstone I passed through a village called Teston, where Lord Basham
has a seat.

_Tonbridge, Saturday morning, 6th Sept._

I came off from Merryworth a little before five o'clock, passed the seat
of Lord Torrington, the friend of Mr. Barretto. This Mr. Barretto ought
not to be forgotten so soon. In 1820 he sued for articles of the peace
against Lord Torrington, for having menaced him, in consequence of his
having pressed his Lordship about some money. It seems that Lord
Torrington had known him in the East Indies; that they came home
together, or soon after one another; that his Lordship invited Mr.
Barretto to his best parties in India; that he got him introduced at
Court in England by Sidmouth; that he got him made a _Fellow of the
Royal Society_; and that he tried to get him introduced into Parliament.
His Lordship, when Barretto rudely pressed him for his money, reminded
him of all this, and of the many difficulties that he had had to
overcome with regard to his _colour_ and so forth. Nevertheless, the
dingy skinned Court visitant pressed in such a way that Lord Torrington
was obliged to be pretty smart with him, whereupon the other sued for
articles of the peace against his Lordship; but these were not granted
by the Court. This Barretto issued a hand-bill at the last election as a
candidate for St. Albans. I am truly sorry that he was not elected. Lord
Camelford threatened to put in his black fellow; but he was a sad
swaggering fellow; and had, at last, too much of the borough-monger in
him to do a thing so meritorious. Lord Torrington's is but an
indifferent looking place.

I here began to see Southdown sheep again, which I had not seen since
the time I left Tenterden. All along here the villages are at not more
than two miles' distance from each other. They have all large churches,
and scarcely anybody to go to them. At a village called Hadlow, there is
a house belonging to a Mr. May, the most singular looking thing I ever
saw. An immense house stuck all over with a parcel of chimneys, or
things like chimneys; little brick columns, with a sort of caps on them,
looking like carnation sticks, with caps at the top to catch the
earwigs. The building is all of brick, and has the oddest appearance of
anything I ever saw. This Tonbridge is but a common country town, though
very clean, and the people looking very well. The climate must be pretty
warm here; for in entering the town, I saw a large Althea Frutex in
bloom, a thing rare enough, any year, and particularly a year like this.

_Westerham, Saturday, Noon, 6th Sept._

Instead of going on to the Wen along the turnpike road through
Sevenoaks, I turned to my left when I got about a mile out of Tonbridge,
in order to come along that tract of country called the Weald of Kent;
that is to say, the solid clays, which have no bottom, which are unmixed
with chalk, sand, stone, or anything else; the country of dirty roads
and of oak trees. I stopped at Tonbridge only a few minutes; but in the
Weald I stopped to breakfast at a place called Leigh. From Leigh I came
to Chittingstone causeway, leaving Tonbridge Wells six miles over the
hills to my left. From Chittingstone I came to Bough-beach, thence to
Four Elms, and thence to this little market-town of Westerham, which is
just upon the border of Kent. Indeed, Kent, Surrey, and Sussex form a
joining very near to this town. Westerham, exactly like Reigate and
Godstone, and Sevenoaks, and Dorking, and Folkestone, lies between the
sand-ridge and the chalk-ridge. The valley is here a little wider than
at Reigate, and that is all the difference there is between the places.
As soon as you get over the sand hill to the south of Reigate, you get
into the Weald of Surrey; and here, as soon as you get over the sand
hill to the south of Westerham, you get into the Weald of Kent.

I have now, in order to get to the Wen, to cross the chalk-ridge once
more, and, at a point where I never crossed it before. Coming through
the Weald I found the corn very good; and, low as the ground is, wet as
it is, cold as it is, there will be very little of the wheat which will
not be housed before Saturday night. All the corn is good, and the
barley excellent. Not far from Bough-beach, I saw two oak trees, one of
which was, they told me, more than thirty feet round, and the other more
than twenty-seven; but they have been hollow for half a century. They
are not much bigger than the oak upon Tilford Green, if any. I mean in
the trunk; but they are hollow, while that tree is sound in all its
parts, and growing still. I have had a most beautiful ride through the
Weald. The day is very hot; but I have been in the shade; and my horse's
feet very often in the rivulets and wet lanes. In one place I rode above
a mile completely arched over by the boughs of the underwood, growing in
the banks of the lane. What an odd taste that man must have who prefers
a turnpike-road to a lane like this.

Very near to Westerham there are hops: and I have seen now and then a
little bit of hop garden, even in the Weald. Hops will grow well where
lucerne will grow well; and lucerne will grow well where there is a rich
top and a dry bottom. When therefore you see hops in the Weald, it is on
the side of some hill, where there is sand or stone at bottom, and not
where there is real clay beneath. There appear to be hops, here and
there, all along from nearly at Dover to Alton, in Hampshire. You find
them all along Kent; you find them at Westerham; across at Worth, in
Sussex; at Godstone, in Surrey; over to the north of Merrow Down, near
Guildford; at Godalming; under the Hog's-back, at Farnham; and all along
that way to Alton. But there, I think, they end. The whole face of the
country seems to rise, when you get just beyond Alton, and to keep up.
Whether you look to the north, the south, or west, the land seems to
rise, and the hops cease, till you come again away to the north-west, in

_Kensington, Saturday night, 6 Sept._

Here I close my day, at the end of forty-four miles. In coming up the
chalk hill from Westerham, I prepared myself for the red stiff clay-like
loam, the big yellow flints and the meadows; and I found them all. I
have now gone over this chalk-ridge in the following places: at Coombe
in the north-west of Hampshire; I mean the north-west corner, the very
extremity of the county. I have gone over it at Ashmansworth, or
Highclere, going from Newbury to Andover; at King's Clere, going from
Newbury to Winchester; at Ropley, going from Alresford to Selborne; at
Dippinghall, going from Crondall to Thursly; at Merrow, going from
Chertsey to Chilworth; at Reigate; at Westerham, and then, between
these, at Godstone; at Sevenoaks, going from London to Battle; at
Hollingbourne, as mentioned above, and at Folkestone. In all these
places I have crossed this chalk-ridge. Everywhere, upon the top of it,
I have found a flat, and the soil of all these flats I have found to be
a red stiff loam mingled up with big yellow flints. A soil difficult to
work; but by no means bad, whether for wood, hops, grass, orchards, or
corn. I once before mentioned that I was assured that the pasture upon
these bleak hills was as rich as that which is found in the north of
Wiltshire, in the neighbourhood of Swindon, where they make some of the
best cheese in the kingdom. Upon these hills I have never found the
labouring people poor and miserable, as in the rich vales. All is not
appropriated where there are coppices and wood, where the cultivation is
not so easy and the produce so very large.

After getting up the hill from Westerham, I had a general descent to
perform all the way to the Thames. When you get to Beckenham, which is
the last parish in Kent, the country begins to assume a cockney-like
appearance; all is artificial, and you no longer feel any interest in
it. I was anxious to make this journey into Kent, in the midst of
harvest, in order that I might _know_ the real state of the crops. The
result of my observations and my inquiries, is, that the crop is a _full
average_ crop of everything except barley, and that the barley yields a
great deal more than an average crop. I thought that the beans were very
poor during my ride into Hampshire; but I then saw no real bean
countries. I have seen such countries now; and I do not think that the
beans present us with a bad crop. As to the quality, it is, in no case
(except perhaps the barley), equal to that of last year. We had, last
year, an Italian summer. When the wheat, or other grain has to _ripen in
wet weather_, it will not be _bright_, as it will when it has to ripen
in fair weather. It will have a dingy or clouded appearance; and perhaps
the flour may not be quite so good. The wheat, in fact, will not be so
heavy. In order to enable others to judge, as well as myself, I took
samples from the fields as I went along. I took them very fairly, and as
often as I thought that there was any material change in the soil or
other circumstances. During the ride I took sixteen samples. These are
now at the Office of the Register, in Fleet-street, where they may be
seen by any gentleman who thinks the information likely to be useful to
him. The samples are numbered, and there is a reference pointing out the
place where each sample was taken. The opinions that I gather amount to
this: that there is an average crop of everything, and a little more of

Now then we shall see how all this tallies with the schemes, with the
intentions and expectations of our matchless gentlemen at Whitehall.
These wise men have put forth their views in the _Courier_ of the 27th
of August, and in words which ought never to be forgotten, and which, at
any rate, shall be recorded here.

"GRAIN.--During the present unsettled state of the weather, it is
impossible for the best informed persons to anticipate upon good grounds
what will be the future price of agricultural produce. Should the season
even yet prove favourable for the operations of the harvest, there is
every probability of the average price of grain continuing at that exact
price which will prove most conducive to the interests of the corn
growers, and at the same time encouraging to the agriculture of our
colonial possessions. We do not speak lightly on this subject, for we
are aware that His Majesty's Ministers have been fully alive to the
inquiries from all qualified quarters as to the effect likely to be
produced on the markets from the addition of the present crops to the
stock of wheat already on hand. The result of these inquiries is, that
in the highest quarters there exists the full expectation, that towards
the month of November, the price of wheat will nearly approach to
seventy shillings, a price which, while it affords the extent of
remuneration to the British farmer recognized by the corn laws, will at
the same time admit of the sale of the Canadian bonded wheat; and the
introduction of this foreign corn, grown by British colonists, will
contribute to keeping down our markets, and exclude foreign grain from
other quarters."

There's nice gentlemen of Whitehall! What pretty gentlemen they are!
"_Envy of surrounding nations_," indeed, to be under command of pretty
gentlemen who can make calculations so nice, and put forth predictions
so positive upon such a subject! "_Admiration of the world_," indeed, to
live under the command of men who can so control seasons and markets;
or, at least, who can so dive into the secrets of trade, and find out
the contents of the fields, barns, and ricks, as to be able to balance
things so nicely as to cause the Canadian corn to find a market, without
injuring the sale of that of the British farmer, and without admitting
that of the French farmer and the other farmers of the continent! Happy,
too happy, rogues that we are, to be under the guidance of such pretty
gentlemen, and right just is it that we should be banished for life, if
we utter a word _tending_ to bring such pretty gentlemen into contempt.

Let it be observed, that this paragraph _must_ have come from Whitehall.
This wretched paper is the demi-official organ of the Government. As to
the owners of the paper, Daniel Stewart, that notorious fellow, Street,
and the rest of them, not excluding the brother of the great Oracle,
which brother bought, the other day, a share of this vehicle of
baseness and folly; as to these fellows, they have no control other than
what relates to the expenditure and the receipts of the vehicle. They
get their news from the offices of the Whitehall people, and their paper
is the mouth-piece of those same people. Mark this, I pray you, reader;
and let the French people mark it, too, and then take their revenge for
the Waterloo insolence. This being the case, then; this paragraph
proceeding from the pretty gentlemen, what a light it throws on their
expectations, their hopes, and their fears. They see that wheat at
seventy shillings a quarter is _necessary_ to them! Ah! pray mark that!
They see that wheat at seventy shillings a quarter is necessary to them;
and, therefore, they say that wheat will be at seventy shillings a
quarter, the price, as they call it, necessary to remunerate the British
farmer. And how do the conjurers at Whitehall know this? Why, they have
made full inquiries "in qualified quarters." And the qualified quarters
have satisfied the "highest quarters," that, "towards the month of
November, the price of wheat will nearly approach to seventy shillings
the quarter!" I wonder what the words towards the "end of November," may
mean. Devil's in't if middle of September is not "_towards_ November;"
and the wheat, instead of going on towards seventy shillings, is very
fast coming down to forty. The beast who wrote this paragraph; the
pretty beast; this "envy of surrounding nations" wrote it on the 27th of
August, _a soaking wet Saturday_! The pretty beast was not aware, that
the next day was going to be fine, and that we were to have only the
succeeding Tuesday and half the following Saturday of wet weather until
the whole of the harvest should be in. The pretty beast wrote while the
rain was spattering against the window; and he did "not speak lightly,"
but was fully aware that the highest quarters, having made inquiries of
the qualified quarters, were sure that wheat would be at seventy
shillings during the ensuing year. What will be the price of wheat it is
impossible for any one to say. I know a gentleman, who is a very good
judge of such matters, who is of opinion that the average price of wheat
will be thirty-two shillings a quarter, or lower, before Christmas; this
is not quite half what the _highest quarters_ expect, in consequence of
the inquiries which they have made of the _qualified quarters_. I do not
say, that the average of wheat will come down to thirty-two shillings;
but this I know, that at Reading, last Saturday, about forty-five
shillings was the price; and, I hear, that, in Norfolk, the price is
forty-two. The _highest quarters_, and the infamous London press, will,
at any rate, be prettily exposed, before Christmas. Old Sir Thomas
Lethbridge, too, and Gaffer Gooch, and his base tribe of Pittites at
Ipswich; Coke and Suffield, and their crew; all these will be prettily
laughed at; nor will that "tall soul," Lord Milton, escape being
reminded of his profound and patriotic observation relative to "this
self-renovating country." No sooner did he see the wheat get up to sixty
or seventy shillings than he lost all his alarms; found that all things
were right, turned his back on Yorkshire Reformers, and went and toiled
for Scarlett at Peterborough: and discovered, that there was nothing
wrong, at last, and that the "self-renovating country" would triumph
over all its difficulties!--So it will, "tall soul;" it will triumph
over all its difficulties; it will renovate itself; it will purge itself
of rotten boroughs, of vile borough-mongers, their tools and their
stopgaps; it will purge itself of all the villanies which now corrode
its heart; it will, in short, free itself from those curses, which the
expenditure of eight or nine hundred millions of English money took
place in order to make perpetual: it will, in short, become free from
oppression, as easy and as happy as the gallant and sensible nation on
the other side of the Channel. This is the sort of renovation, but not
renovation by the means of wheat at seventy shillings a quarter.
Renovation it will have: it will rouse and will shake from itself curses
like the pension which is paid to Burke's executors. This is the sort of
renovation, "tall soul;" and not wheat at 70_s._ a quarter, while it is
at twenty-five shillings a quarter in France. Pray observe, reader, how
the "tall soul" _catched_ at the rise in the price of wheat: how he
_snapped_ at it: how quickly he ceased his attacks upon the Whitehall
people and upon the System. He thought he had been deceived: he thought
that things were coming about again; and so he drew in his horns, and
began to talk about the self-renovating country. This was the tone of
them _all_. This was the tone of all the borough-mongers; all the
friends of the System; all those, who, like Lethbridge, had begun to be
staggered. They had deviated, for a moment, into our path! but they
popped back again the moment they saw the price of wheat rise! All the
enemies of Reform, all the calumniators of Reformers, all the friends of
the System, most anxiously desired a rise in the price of wheat. Mark
the curious fact, that all the vile press of London; the whole of that
infamous press; that newspapers, magazines, reviews: the whole of the
base thing; and a baser surely this world never saw; that the whole of
this base thing rejoiced, exulted, crowed over me, and told an impudent
lie, in order to have the crowing; crowed, for what? _Because wheat and
bread were become dear!_ A newspaper hatched under a corrupt Priest, a
profligate Priest, and recently espoused to the hell of Pall Mall; even
this vile thing crowed because wheat and bread had become dear! Now, it
is notorious, that, heretofore, every periodical publication in this
kingdom was in the constant habit of lamenting, when bread became dear,
and of rejoicing, when it became cheap. This is notorious. Nay, it is
equally notorious, that this infamous press was everlastingly assailing
bakers, and millers, and butchers, for not selling bread, flour, and
meat cheaper than they were selling them. In how many hundreds of
instances has this infamous press caused attacks to be made by the mob
upon tradesmen of this description! All these things are notorious.
Moreover, notorious it is that, long previous to every harvest, this
infamous, this execrable, this beastly press, was engaged in stunning
the public with accounts of the _great crop_ which was just coming
forward! There was always, with this press, a prodigiously large crop.
This was invariably the case. It was never known to be the contrary.

Now these things are perfectly well known to every man in England. How
comes it, then, reader, that the profligate, the trading, the lying, the
infamous press of London, has now totally changed its tone and bias. The
base thing never now tells us that there is a great crop or even a good
crop. It never now wants cheap bread and cheap wheat and cheap meat. It
never now finds fault of bakers and butchers. It now always endeavours
to make it appear that corn is dearer than it is. The base _Morning
Herald_, about three weeks ago, not only suppressed the fact of the fall
of wheat, but asserted that there had been a rise in the price. Now _why
is all this_? That is a great question, reader. That is a very
interesting question. Why has this infamous press, which always pursues
that which it thinks its own interest; why has it taken this strange
turn? This is the reason: stupid as the base thing is, it has arrived at
a conviction, that if the price of the produce of the land cannot be
kept up to something approaching ten shillings a bushel for good wheat,
the hellish system of funding must be blown up. The infamous press has
arrived at a conviction, that that cheating, that fraudulent system by
which this press lives, must be destroyed unless the price of corn can
be kept up. The infamous traders of the press are perfectly well
satisfied, that the interest of the Debt must be reduced, unless wheat
can be kept up to nearly ten shillings a bushel. Stupid as they are, and
stupid as the fellows down at Westminster are, they know very well, that
the whole system, stock-jobbers, Jews, cant and all, go to the devil at
once, as soon as a deduction is made from the interest of the Debt.
Knowing this, they want wheat to sell high; because it has, at last,
been hammered into their skulls, that the interest cannot be paid in
full, if wheat sells low. Delightful is the dilemma in which they are.
Dear bread does not suit their manufactories, and cheap bread does not
suit their Debt. "_Envy of surrounding nations_," how hard it is that
Providence will not enable your farmers to sell dear and the consumers
to buy cheap! These are the things that you want. Admiration of the
world you are; but have these things you will not. There may be those,
indeed, who question whether you yourself know what you want; but, at
any rate, if you want these things, you will not have them.

Before I conclude, let me ask the reader to take a look at the
_singularity_ of the tone and tricks of this Six-Acts Government. Is it
not a novelty in the world to see a Government, and in ordinary seasons,
too, having its whole soul absorbed in considerations relating to the
price of corn? There are our neighbours, the French, who have got a
Government engaged in taking military possession of a great neighbouring
kingdom to free which from these very French, we have recently expended
a _hundred and fifty millions of money_. Our neighbours have got a
Government that is thus engaged, and we have got a Government that
employs itself in making incessant "inquiries in all the qualified
quarters" relative to the price of wheat! Curious employment for a
Government! Singular occupation for the Ministers of the Great George!
They seem to think nothing of Spain, with its eleven millions of people,
being in fact added to France. Wholly insensible do they appear to
concerns of this sort, while they sit thinking, day and night, upon the
price of the bushel of wheat!

However, they are not, after all, such fools as they appear to be.
Despicable, indeed, must be that nation, whose safety or whose happiness
does, in any degree, depend on so fluctuating a thing as the price of
corn. This is a matter that we must take as it comes. The seasons will
be what they will be; and all the calculations of statesmen must be made
wholly independent of the changes and chances of seasons. This has
always been the case, to be sure. What nation could ever carry on its
affairs, if it had to take into consideration the price of corn?
Nevertheless, such is the situation of _our Government_, that its very
existence, in its present way, depends upon the price of corn. The
pretty fellows at Whitehall, if you may say to them: Well, but look at
Spain; look at the enormous strides of the French; think of the
consequences in case of another war; look, too, at the growing marine of
America. See, Mr. Jenkinson, see, Mr. Canning, see, Mr. Huskisson, see,
Mr. Peel, and all ye tribe of Grenvilles, see, what tremendous dangers
are gathering together about us! "_Us!_" Aye, about _you_; but pray
think what tremendous dangers wheat at four shillings a bushel will
bring about _us_! This is the git. Here lies the whole of it. We laugh
at a Government employing itself in making calculations about the price
of corn, and in employing its press to put forth market puffs. We laugh
at these things; but we should not laugh, if we considered, that it is
on the price of wheat that the duration of the power and the profits of
these men depends. They know what they want; and they wish to believe
themselves, and to make others believe, that they shall have it. I have
observed before, but it is necessary to observe again, that all those
who are for the System, let them be Opposition or not Opposition, feel
as Whitehall feels about the price of corn. I have given an instance, in
the "tall soul;" but it is the same with the whole of them, with the
whole of those who do not wish to see this infernal System changed. I
was informed, and I believe it to be true, that the Marquis of Lansdowne
said, last April, when the great rise took place in the price of corn,
that he had always thought that the cash-measures had but little effect
on prices; but that he was now satisfied that those measures had no
effect at all on prices! Now, what is our situation; what is the
situation of this country, if we must have the present Ministry, or a
Ministry of which the Marquis of Lansdowne is to be a Member, if the
Marquis of Lansdowne did utter these words? And again, I say, that I
verily believe he did utter them.

Ours is a Government that now seems to depend very much upon the
_weather_. The old type of a ship at sea will not do now, ours is a
weather Government; and to know the state of it, we must have recourse
to those glasses that the Jews carry about. Weather depends upon the
winds, in a great measure; and I have no scruple to say, that the
situation of those two Right Honourable youths, that are now gone to the
Lakes in the north; that their situation, next winter, will be rendered
very irksome, not to say perilous, by the present easterly wind, if it
should continue about fifteen days longer. Pitt, when he had just made a
monstrous issue of paper, and had, thereby, actually put the match which
blowed up the old She Devil in 1797--Pitt, at that time, congratulated
the nation, that the wisdom of Parliament had established a solid system
of finance. Anything but solid it assuredly was; but his system of
finance was as worthy of being called solid, as that system of
Government which now manifestly depends upon the weather and the winds.

Since my return home (it is now Thursday, 11th September), I have
received letters from the east, from the north, and from the west. All
tell me that the harvest is very far advanced, and that the crops are
free from blight. These letters are not particular as to the weight of
the crop; except that they all say that the barley is excellent. The
wind is now coming from the east. There is every appearance of the fine
weather continuing. Before Christmas, we shall have the wheat down to
what will be a fair average price in future. I always said that the late
rise was a mere puff. It was, in part, a scarcity rise. The wheat of
1821 was grown and bad. That of 1822 had to be begun upon in July. The
crop has had to last thirteen months and a half. The present crop will
have to last only eleven months, or less. The crop of barley, last year,
was so very bad; so very small; and the crop of the year before so very
bad in quality that wheat was malted, last year, in great quantities,
instead of barley. This year, the crop of barley is prodigious. All
these things considered wheat, if the cash-measures had had no effect,
must have been a hundred and forty shillings a quarter, and barley
eighty. Yet the first never got to seventy, and the latter never got to
forty! And yet there was a man who calls himself a statesman to say that
that mere puff of a rise satisfied him that the cash-measures had never
had any effect! Ah! they are all _afraid_ to believe in the effect of
those cash-measures: they tremble like children at the sight of the rod,
when you hold up before them the effect of those cash-measures. Their
only hope, is, that I am wrong in my opinions upon that subject;
because, if I am right, their System is condemned to speedy destruction!

I thus conclude, for the present, my remarks relative to the harvest and
the price of corn. It is the great subject of the day; and the comfort
is, that we are now speedily to see whether I be right or whether the
Marquis of Lansdowne be right. As to the infamous London press, the
moment the wheat comes down to forty shillings; that is to say, an
average Government return of forty shillings, I will spend ten pounds in
placarding this infamous press, after the manner in which we used to
placard the base and detestable enemies of the QUEEN. This infamous
press has been what is vulgarly called "running its rigs," for several
months past. The _Quakers_ have been urging it on, under-handed. They
have, I understand, been bribing it pretty deeply, in order to
calumniate me, and to favour their own monopoly, but, thank God, the
cunning knaves have outwitted themselves. They won't play at cards; but
they will play at _Stocks_; they will play at Lottery Tickets, and they
will play at Mark-lane. They have played a silly game, this time. Saint
Swithin, that good old Roman Catholic Saint, seemed to have set a trap
for them: he went on, wet, wet, wet, even until the harvest began. Then,
after two or three days' sunshine, shocking wet again. The ground
soaking, the wheat growing, and the "_Friends_;" the gentle Friends,
seeking the Spirit, were as busy amongst the sacks at Mark-lane as the
devil in a high wind. In short they bought away, with all the gain of
Godliness, _and a little more_, before their eyes. All of a sudden,
Saint Swithin took away his clouds; out came the sun; the wind got
round to the east; just sun enough and just wind enough; and as the
wheat ricks everywhere rose up, the long jaws of the Quakers dropped
down; and their faces of slate became of a darker hue. That sect will
certainly be punished, this year; and, let us hope, that such a change
will take place in their concerns as will compel a part of them to
labour, at any rate; for, at present, their sect is a perfect monster in
society; a whole sect, not one man of whom earns his living by the sweat
of his brow. A sect a great deal worse than the Jews; for some of them
do work. However, GOD send us the easterly wind, for another fortnight,
and we shall certainly see some of this sect at work.


_Reigate, Wednesday Evening, 19th October, 1825._

Having some business at Hartswood, near Reigate, I intended to come off
this morning on horseback, along with my son Richard, but it rained so
furiously the last night, that we gave up the horse project for to-day,
being, by appointment, to be at Reigate by ten o'clock to-day: so that
we came off this morning at five o'clock, in a post-chaise, intending to
return home and take our horses. Finding, however, that we cannot quit
this place till Friday, we have now sent for our horses, though the
weather is dreadfully wet. But we are under a farmhouse roof, and the
wind may whistle and the rain fall as much as they like.

_Reigate, Thursday Evening, 20th October._

Having done my business at Hartswood to-day about eleven o'clock, I went
to a sale at a farm, which the farmer is quitting. Here I had a view of
what has long been going on all over the country. The farm, which
belongs to _Christ's Hospital_, has been held by a man of the name of
Charington, in whose family the lease has been, I hear, a great number
of years. The house is hidden by trees. It stands in the Weald of
Surrey, close by the _River Mole_, which is here a mere rivulet, though
just below this house the rivulet supplies the very prettiest flour-mill
I ever saw in my life.

Everything about this farmhouse was formerly the scene of _plain
manners_ and _plentiful living_. Oak clothes-chests, oak bedsteads, oak
chests of drawers, and oak tables to eat on, long, strong, and well
supplied with joint stools. Some of the things were many hundreds of
years old. But all appeared to be in a state of decay and nearly of
_disuse_. There appeared to have been hardly any _family_ in that house,
where formerly there were, in all probability, from ten to fifteen men,
boys, and maids: and, which was the worst of all, there was a _parlour_.
Aye, and a _carpet_ and _bell-pull_ too! One end of the front of this
once plain and substantial house had been moulded into a "_parlour_;"
and there was the mahogany table, and the fine chairs, and the fine
glass, and all as bare-faced upstart as any stock-jobber in the kingdom
can boast of. And there were the decanters, the glasses, the
"dinner-set" of crockery-ware, and all just in the true stock-jobber
style. And I dare say it has been _'Squire_ Charington and the _Miss_
Charington's; and not plain Master Charington, and his son Hodge, and
his daughter Betty Charington, all of whom this accursed system has, in
all likelihood, transmuted into a species of mock gentlefolks, while it
has ground the labourers down into real slaves. Why do not farmers now
_feed_ and _lodge_ their work-people, as they did formerly? Because they
cannot keep them _upon so little_ as they give them in wages. This is
the real cause of the change. There needs no more to prove that the lot
of the working classes has become worse than it formerly was. This fact
alone is quite sufficient to settle this point. All the world knows,
that a number of people, boarded in the same house, and at the same
table, can, with as good food, be boarded much cheaper than those
persons divided into twos, threes, or fours, can be boarded. This is a
well-known truth: therefore, if the farmer now shuts his pantry against
his labourers, and pays them wholly in money, is it not clear, that he
does it because he thereby gives them a living _cheaper_ to him; that is
to say, a _worse_ living than formerly? Mind, he has _a house_ for them;
a kitchen for them to sit in, bed rooms for them to sleep in, tables,
and stools, and benches, of everlasting duration. All these he has: all
these _cost him nothing_; and yet so much does he gain by pinching them
in wages, that he lets all these things remain as of no use, rather than
feed labourers in the house. Judge, then, of the _change_ that has taken
place in the condition of these labourers! And be astonished, if you
can, at the _pauperism_ and the _crimes_ that now disgrace this once
happy and moral England.

The land produces, on an average, what it always produced; but there is
a new distribution of the produce. This 'Squire Charington's father
used, I dare say, to sit at the head of the oak-table along with his
men, say grace to them, and cut up the meat and the pudding. He might
take a cup of _strong beer_ to himself, when they had none; but that was
pretty nearly all the difference in their manner of living. So that
_all_ lived well. But the _'Squire_ had many _wine-decanters_ and
_wine-glasses_ and "a _dinner set_" and a "_breakfast set_," and
"_desert knives_:" and these evidently imply carryings on and a
consumption that must of necessity have greatly robbed the long oak
table if it had remained fully tenanted. That long table could not share
in the work of the decanters and the dinner set. Therefore, it became
almost untenanted; the labourers retreated to hovels, called cottages;
and, instead of board and lodging, they got money; so little of it as to
enable the employer to drink wine; but, then, that he might not reduce
them to _quite starvation_, they were enabled to come to him, in the
_king's name_, and demand food _as paupers_. And, now, mind, that which
a man receives in the _king's name_, he knows well he has _by force_;
and it is not in nature that he should _thank_ anybody for it, and least
of all the party _from whom it is forced_. Then, if this sort of force
be insufficient to obtain him enough to eat and to keep him warm, is it
surprising, if he think it no great offence against God (who created no
man to starve) to use another sort of FORCE more within his own control?
Is it, in short, surprising, if he resort to _theft_ and _robbery_?

This is not only the _natural_ progress, but it _has been_ the progress
in England. The blame is not justly imputed to 'Squire Charington and
his like: the blame belongs to the infernal stock-jobbing system. There
was no reason to expect, that farmers would not endeavour to keep pace,
in point of show and luxury, with fund-holders, and with all the tribes
that _war_ and _taxes_ created. Farmers were not the authors of the
mischief; and _now_ they are compelled to shut the labourers out of
their houses, and to pinch them in their wages in order to be able to
pay their own taxes; and, besides this, the manners and the principles
of the working class are so changed, that a sort of self-preservation
bids the farmer (especially in some counties) to keep them from beneath
his roof.

I could not quit this farmhouse without reflecting on the thousands of
scores of bacon and thousands of bushels of bread that had been eaten
from the long oak-table which, I said to myself, is now perhaps, going
at last, to the bottom of a bridge that some stock-jobber will stick up
over an artificial river in his cockney garden. "_By ---- it shan't_,"
said I, almost in a real passion: and so I requested a friend to buy it
for me; and if he do so, I will take it to Kensington, or to
Fleet-street, and keep it for the good it has done in the world.

When the old farmhouses are down (and down they must come in time) what
a miserable thing the country will be! Those that are now erected are
mere painted shells, with a Mistress within, who is stuck up in a place
she calls a _parlour_, with, if she have children, the "young ladies and
gentlemen" about her: some showy chairs and a sofa (a _sofa_ by all
means): half a dozen prints in gilt frames hanging up: some swinging
book-shelves with novels and tracts upon them: a dinner brought in by a
girl that is perhaps better "educated" than she: two or three nick-nacks
to eat instead of a piece of bacon and a pudding: the house too neat for
a dirty-shoed carter to be allowed to come into; and everything
proclaiming to every sensible beholder, that there is here a constant
anxiety to make a _show_ not warranted by the reality. The children
(which is the worst part of it) are all too clever to _work_: they are
all to be _gentlefolks_. Go to plough! Good God! What, "young gentlemen"
go to plough! They become _clerks_, or some skimmy-dish thing or other.
They flee from the dirty _work_ as cunning horses do from the bridle.
What misery is all this! What a mass of materials for producing that
general and _dreadful convulsion_ that must, first or last, come and
blow this funding and jobbing and enslaving and starving system to

I was going, to-day, by the side of a plat of ground, where there was a
very fine flock of _turkeys_. I stopped to admire them, and observed to
the owner how fine they were, when he answered, "We owe them entirely
_to you_, Sir, for we never raised one till we read your _Cottage
Economy_." I then told him, that we had, this year, raised two broods at
Kensington, one black and one white, one of nine and one of eight; but,
that, about three weeks back, they appeared to become dull and pale
about the head; and, that, therefore, I sent them to a farmhouse, where
they recovered instantly, and the broods being such a contrast to each
other in point of colour, they were now, when prowling over a grass
field amongst the most agreeable sights that I had ever seen. I intended
of course, to let them get their full growth at Kensington, where they
were in a grass plat about fifteen yards square, and where I thought
that the feeding of them, in great abundance, with lettuces and other
greens from the garden, together with grain, would carry them on to
perfection. But I found that I was wrong; and that, though you may raise
them to a certain size, in a small place and with such management, they
then, if so much confined, begin to be sickly. Several of mine began
actually to droop: and, the very day they were sent into the country,
they became as gay as ever, and, in three days, all the colour about
their heads came back to them.

This town of Reigate had, in former times, a Priory, which had
considerable estates in the neighbourhood; and this is brought to my
recollection by a circumstance which has recently taken place in this
very town. We all know how long it has been the fashion for us to take
it for _granted_, that the monasteries were _bad things_; but, of late,
I have made some hundreds of thousands of very good Protestants begin to
suspect, that monasteries were better than _poor-rates_, and that monks
and nuns, who _fed the poor_, were better than sinecure and pension men
and women, who _feed upon the poor_. But, how came the monasteries! How
came this that was at Reigate, for instance? Why, it was, if I recollect
correctly, _founded by a Surrey gentleman_, who gave this spot and other
estates to it, and who, as was usual, provided that masses were to be
said in it for his soul and those of others, and that it should, as
usual, give aid to the poor and needy.

Now, upon the face of the transaction, what _harm_ could this do the
community? On the contrary, it must, one would think, do it _good_; for
here was this estate given to a set of landlords who never could quit
the spot; who could have no families; who could save no money; who could
hold no private property; who could make no will; who must spend all
their income at Reigate and near it; who as was the custom, fed the
poor, administered to the sick, and taught some, at least, of the
people, _gratis_. This, upon the face of the thing, seems to be a very
good way of disposing of a rich man's estate.

"Aye, but," it is said, "he left his estate away from his relations."
That is not _sure_, by any means. The contrary is fairly to be presumed.
Doubtless, it was the custom for Catholic Priests, before they took
their leave of a dying rich man, to advise him to think of the _Church
and the Poor_; that is to say to exhort him to bequeath something to
them; and this has been made a monstrous charge against that Church. It
is surprising how blind men are, when they have a mind to be blind; what
despicable dolts they are, when they desire to be cheated. We, of the
Church of England, must have a special deal of good sense and of
modesty, to be sure, to rail against the Catholic Church on this
account, when our Common Prayer Book, copied from an Act of Parliament,
_commands our Parsons to do just the same thing_!

Ah! say the Dissenters, and particularly the Unitarians; that queer
sect, who will have all the wisdom in the world to themselves; who will
believe and won't believe; who will be Christians and who won't have a
_Christ_; who will laugh at you, if you believe in the Trinity, and who
would (if they could) boil you in oil if you do not believe in the
Resurrection: "Oh!" say the Dissenters, "we know very well, that your
_Church Parsons_ are commanded to get, if they can, dying people to
give their money and estates to the Church and _the poor_, as they call
the concern, though the _poor_, we believe, come in for very little
which is got in this way. But what is _your Church_? We are the real
Christians; and we, upon our souls, never play such tricks; never, no
never, terrify old women out of their stockings full of guineas." "And,
as to us," say the Unitarians, "we, the most _liberal_ creatures upon
earth; we, whose virtue is indignant at the tricks by which the Monks
and Nuns got legacies from dying people to the injury of heirs and other
relations; we, who are the really enlightened, the truly consistent, the
benevolent, the disinterested, the exclusive patentees of the _salt of
the earth_, which is sold only at, or by express permission from our old
and original warehouse and manufactory, Essex-street, in the Strand,
first street on the left, going from Temple Bar towards Charing Cross;
we defy you to show that Unitarian Parsons...."

Stop your protestations and hear my Reigate anecdote, which, as I said
above, brought the recollection of the Old Priory into my head. The
readers of the Register heard me, several times, some years ago, mention
Mr. Baron Maseres, who was, for a great many years, what they call
Cursitor Baron of the Exchequer. He lived partly in London and partly at
Reigate, for more, I believe, than half a century; and he died, about
two years ago, or less, leaving, I am told, _more than a quarter of a
million of money_. The Baron came to see me, in Pall Mall, in 1800. He
always came frequently to see me, wherever I was in London; not by any
means omitting to _come to see me in Newgate_, where I was imprisoned
for two years, with a thousand pounds fine and seven years heavy bail,
for having expressed my indignation at the flogging of Englishmen, in
the heart of England, under a guard of German bayonets; and to Newgate
he always came in _his wig and gown_, in order, as he said, to show his
abhorrence of the sentence. I several times passed a week, or more, with
the Baron at his house, at Reigate, and might have passed many more, if
my time and taste would have permitted me to accept of his invitations.
Therefore, I knew the Baron well. He was a most conscientious man; he
was when I first knew him, still a very clever man; he retained all his
faculties to a very great age; in 1815, I think it was, I got a letter
from him, written in a firm hand, correctly as to grammar, and ably as
to matter, and he must then have been little short of ninety. He never
was a bright man; but had always been a very sensible, just and humane
man, and a man too who always cared a great deal for the public good;
and he was the only man that I ever heard of, who refused to have his
salary augmented, when an augmentation was offered, and when all other
such salaries were augmented. I had heard of this: I asked him about it
when I saw him again; and he said: "There was no _work_ to be added, and
I saw no justice in adding to the salary. It must," added he, "be _paid
by somebody_, and the more I take, the less that somebody must have."

He did not save money for money's sake. He saved it because his habits
would not let him spend it. He kept a house in Rathbone Place, chambers
in the Temple, and his very pretty place at Reigate. He was by no means
stingy, but his scale and habits were cheap. Then, consider, too, a
bachelor of nearly a hundred years old. His father left him a fortune,
his brother (who also died a very old bachelor), left him another; and
the money lay in the funds, and it went on doubling itself over and over
again, till it became that immense mass which we have seen above, and
which, when the Baron was making his will, he had neither Catholic
priest nor Protestant parson to exhort him to leave to the church and
the poor, instead of his relations; though, as we shall presently see,
he had somebody else to whom to leave his great heap of money.

The Baron was a most implacable enemy of the Catholics, as Catholics.
There was rather a peculiar reason for this, his grand-father having
been a _French Hugonot_ and having fled with his children to England, at
the time of the revocation of the Edict of Nantz. The Baron was a very
humane man; his humanity made him assist to support the French emigrant
priests; but, at the same time, he caused Sir Richard Musgrave's book
against the Irish Catholics to be published at his own expense. He and I
never agreed upon this subject; and this subject was, with him, a
_vital_ one. He had no asperity in his nature; he was naturally all
gentleness and benevolence; and, therefore, he never _resented_ what I
said to him on this subject (and which nobody else ever, I believe,
ventured to say to him): but he did not like it; and he liked it less
because I certainly beat him in the argument. However, this was long
before he visited me in Newgate: and it never produced (though the
dispute was frequently revived) any difference in his conduct towards
me, which was uniformly friendly to the last time I saw him before his
memory was gone.

There was great excuse for the Baron. From his very birth he had been
taught to hate and abhor the Catholic religion. He had been told, that
his father and mother had been driven out of France by the Catholics:
and there was _that mother_ dinning this in his ears, and all manner of
horrible stories along with it, during all the tender years of his life.
In short, the prejudice made part of his very frame. In the year 1803,
in August, I think it was, I had gone down to his house on a Friday,
and was there on a Sunday. After dinner he and I and his brother walked
to the Priory, as is still called the mansion house, in the dell at
Reigate, which is now occupied by Lord Eastnor, and in which a Mr.
Birket, I think, then lived. After coming away from the Priory, the
Baron (whose native place was Betchworth, about two or three miles from
Reigate) who knew the history of every house and every thing else in
this part of the country, began to tell me why the place was called _the
Priory_. From this he came to the _superstition_ and _dark ignorance_
that induced people to found monasteries; and he dwelt particularly on
the _injustice to heirs and relations_; and he went on, in the usual
Protestant strain, and with all the bitterness of which he was capable,
against those _crafty priests_, who thus _plundered families_ by means
of the influence which they had over people in their dotage, or who were
naturally weak-minded.

Alas! poor Baron! he does not seem to have at all foreseen what was to
become of his own money! What would he have said to me, if I had
answered his observations by predicting, that _he_ would give his great
mass of money to a little parson for that parson's own private use;
leave only a mere pittance to his own relations; leave the little parson
his house in which we were then sitting (along with all his other real
property); that the little parson would come into the house and take
possession; and that his own relations (two nieces) would walk out! Yet,
all this has actually taken place, and that, too, after the poor old
Baron's four score years of jokes about the tricks of _Popish_ priests,
practised, in the _dark ages_, upon the _ignorant_ and _superstitious_
people of Reigate.

When I first knew the Baron he was a staunch _Church of England man_. He
went to church every Sunday once, at least. He used to take me to
Reigate church; and I observed, that he was very well versed in his
prayer book. But a decisive proof of his zeal as a Church of England man
is, that he settled an annual sum on the incumbent of Reigate, in order
to induce him to preach, or pray (I forget which), in the church, twice
on a Sunday, instead of once; and, in case this additional preaching, or
praying, were not performed in Reigate church, the annuity was to go
(and sometimes it does now go) to the poor of an adjoining parish, and
not to those of Reigate, lest I suppose, the parson, the overseers, and
other rate-payers, might happen to think that the Baron's annuity would
be better laid out in food for the bodies than for the souls of the
poor; or, in other words, lest the money should be taken annually and
added to the poor-rates to ease the purses of the farmers.

It did not, I dare say, occur to the poor Baron (when he was making
this settlement), that he was now giving money to make a church parson
put up additional prayers, though he had, all his lifetime, been
laughing at those, who, in the _dark_ ages, gave money, for this
purpose, to Catholic priests. Nor did it, I dare say, occur, to the
Baron, that, in his contingent settlement of the annuity on the poor of
an adjoining parish, he as good as declared his opinion, that he
distrusted the piety of the parson, the overseers, the churchwardens,
and, indeed, of all the people of Reigate: yes, at the very moment that
he was providing additional prayers for them, he in the very same
parchment, put a provision, which clearly showed that he was thoroughly
convinced that they, overseers, churchwardens, people, parson and all,
loved money better than prayers.

What was this, then? Was it hypocrisy; was it ostentation? No: mistake.
The Baron thought that those who could not go to church in the morning
ought to have an opportunity of going in the afternoon. He was aware of
the power of money; but, when he came to make his obligatory clause, he
was compelled to do that which reflected great discredit on the very
church and religion, which it was his object to honour and uphold.

However, the Baron _was_ a staunch churchman as this fact clearly
proves: several years he had become what they call an _Unitarian_. The
first time (I think) that I perceived this, was in 1812. He came to see
me in Newgate, and he soon began to talk about _religion_, which had not
been much his habit. He went on at a great rate, laughing about the
Trinity; and I remember that he repeated the Unitarian distich, which
makes _a joke_ of the idea of there being a devil, and which they all
repeat to you, and at the same time laugh and look as cunning and as
priggish as Jack-daws; just as if they were wiser than all the rest of
the world! I hate to hear the conceited and disgusting prigs, seeming to
take it for granted, that they only are wise, because others _believe_
in the incarnation, without being able to reconcile it to _reason_. The
prigs don't consider, that there is no more _reason_ for the
_resurrection_ than for the _incarnation_; and yet having taken it into
their heads to _come up again_, they would murder you, if they dared, if
you were to deny the _resurrection_. I do most heartily despise this
priggish set for their conceit and impudence; but, seeing that they want
_reason_ for the incarnation; seeing that they will have _effects_,
here, ascribed to none but _usual causes_, let me put a question or two
to them.

     1. _Whence_ comes the _white clover_, that comes up and covers all
     the ground, in America, where hard-wood trees, after standing for
     thousands of years, have been burnt down?

     2. _Whence_ come (in similar cases as to self-woods) the
     hurtleberries in some places, and the raspberries in others?

     3. _Whence_ come fish in new made places where no fish have ever
     been put?

     4. _What causes_ horse-hair to become living things?

     5. _What causes_ frogs to come in drops of rain, or those drops of
     rain to turn to frogs, the moment they are on the earth?

     6. _What causes_ musquitoes to come in rain water caught in a
     glass, covered over immediately with oil paper, tied down and so
     kept till full of these winged torments?

     7. _What causes_ flounders, real little _flat fish_, brown on one
     side, white on the other, mouth side-ways, with tail, fins, and
     all, _leaping alive_, in the _inside_ of a rotten sheep's, and of
     every rotten sheep's, _liver_?

There, prigs; answer these questions. Fifty might be given you; but
these are enough. Answer these. I suppose you will not deny the facts?
They are all notoriously true. The _last_, which of itself would be
quite enough for you, will be attested on oath, if you like it, by any
farmer, ploughman, and shepherd, in England. Answer this question 7, or
hold your conceited gabble about the "_impossibility_" of that which I
need not here name.

Men of sense do not attempt to discover that which it is _impossible_ to
discover. They leave things pretty much as they find them; and take
care, at least, not to make changes of any sort, without very evident
necessity. The poor Baron, however, appeared to be quite eaten up with
his "_rational_ Christianity." He talked like a man who has made a
_discovery_ of his _own_. He seemed as pleased as I, when I was a boy,
used to be, when I had just found a rabbit's stop, or a black-bird's
nest full of young ones. I do not recollect what I said upon this
occasion. It is most likely that I said nothing in contradiction to him.
I saw the Baron many times after this, but I never talked with him about

Before the summer of 1822, I had not seen him for a year or two,
perhaps. But, in July of that year, on a very hot day, I was going down
Rathbone Place, and, happening to cast my eye on the Baron's house, I
knocked at the door to ask how he was. His man servant came to the door,
and told me that his master was at dinner. "Well," said I, "never mind;
give my best respects to him." But the servant (who had always been with
him since I knew him) begged me to come in, for that he was sure his
master would be glad to see me. I thought, as it was likely that I might
never see him again, I would go in. The servant announced me, and the
Baron said, "Beg him to walk in." In I went, and there I found the Baron
at dinner; but _not quite alone_; nor without _spiritual_ as well as
carnal and vegetable nourishment before him: for, there, on the opposite
side of his _vis-à-vis_ dining table, sat that nice, neat, straight,
prim piece of mortality, commonly called the Reverend Robert Fellowes,
who was the Chaplain to the unfortunate Queen until Mr. Alderman Wood's
son came to supply his place, and who was now, I could clearly see, in a
fair way enough. I had dined, and so I let them dine on. The Baron was
become quite a child, or worse, as to mind, though he ate as heartily as
I ever saw him, and he was always a great eater. When his servant said,
"Here is Mr. Cobbett, Sir;" he said, "How do you do, Sir? I have read
much of your writings, Sir; but _never had the pleasure to see your
person before_." After a time I made him recollect me; but he, directly
after, being about to relate something about America, turned towards me,
and said, "_Were you ever in America_, Sir?" But I must mention one
proof of the state of his mind. Mr. Fellowes asked me about the news
from Ireland, where the people were then in a state of starvation
(1822), and I answering that, it was likely that many of them would
actually be starved to death, the Baron, quitting his green goose and
green pease, turned to me and said, "_Starved_, Sir! Why don't they go
to _the parish_?" "Why," said I, "you know, Sir, that there are no
poor-rates in Ireland." Upon this he exclaimed, "What! no poor-rates in
Ireland! Why not? I did not know that; I can't think how that can be."
And then he rambled on in a childish sort of way.

At the end of about half an hour, or, it might be more, I shook hands
with the poor old Baron for the last time, well convinced that I should
never see him again, and not less convinced, that I had seen his _heir_.
He died in about a year or so afterwards, left to his own family about
20,000_l._, and to his ghostly guide, the Holy Robert Fellowes, all the
rest of his immense fortune, which, as I have been told, amounts to more
than a quarter of a million of money.

Now, the public will recollect that, while Mr. Fellowes was at the
Queen's, he was, in the public papers, charged with being an
_Unitarian_, at the same time that he officiated _as her chaplain_. It
is also well known, that he never publicly contradicted this. It is,
besides, the general belief at Reigate. However, this we know well, that
he is a parson, of one sort or the other, and that he is not a Catholic
priest. That is enough for me. I see this poor, foolish old man leaving
a monstrous mass of money to this little Protestant parson, whom he had
not even known more, I believe, than about three or four years. When the
will was made I cannot say. I know nothing at all about that. I am
supposing that all was perfectly fair; that the Baron had his senses
when he made his will; that he clearly meant to do that which he did.
But, then, I must insist, that, if he had left the money to a _Catholic
priest_, to be by him expended on the endowment of a convent, wherein to
say masses and to feed and teach the poor, it would have been a more
sensible and public-spirited part in the Baron, much more beneficial to
the town and environs of Reigate, and beyond all measure more honourable
to his own memory.

_Chilworth, Friday Evening, 21st Oct._

It has been very fine to-day. Yesterday morning there was _snow_ on
Reigate Hill, enough to look white from where we were in the valley. We
set off about half-past one o'clock, and came all down the valley,
through Buckland, Betchworth, Dorking, Sheer and Aldbury, to this place.
Very few prettier rides in England, and the weather beautifully fine.
There are more meeting-houses than churches in the vale, and I have
heard of no less than five people, in this vale, who have gone crazy on
account of religion.

To-morrow we intend to move on towards the West; to take a look, just a
look, at the Hampshire Parsons again. The turnips seem fine; but they
cannot be large. All other things are very fine indeed. Everything seems
to prognosticate a hard winter. All the country people say that it will
be so.


_Thursley, four miles from Godalming, Surrey, Sunday Evening, 23rd
October, 1825._

We set out from Chilworth to-day about noon. This is a little hamlet,
lying under the South side of St. Martha's Hill; and, on the other side
of that hill, a little to the North West, is the town of Guilford, which
(taken with its environs) I, who have seen so many, many towns, think
the prettiest, and, taken, all together, the most agreeable and most
happy-looking, that I ever saw in my life. Here are hill and dell in
endless variety. Here are the chalk and the sand, vieing with each other
in making beautiful scenes. Here is a navigable river and fine meadows.
Here are woods and downs. Here is something of everything but _fat
marshes_ and their skeleton-making _agues_. The vale, all the way down
to Chilworth from Reigate, is very delightful.

We did not go to Guildford, nor did we cross the _River Wey_, to come
through Godalming; but bore away to our left, and came through the
village of Hambleton, going first to Hascomb, to show Richard the South
Downs from that high land, which looks Southward over the _Wealds_ of
Surrey and Sussex, with all their fine and innumerable oak trees. Those
that travel on turnpike roads know nothing of England.--From Hascomb to
Thursley almost the whole way is across fields, or commons, or along
narrow lands. Here we see the people without any disguise or
affectation. Against a _great road_ things are made for _show_. Here we
see them _without any show_. And here we gain real knowledge as to their
situation.--We crossed to-day, three turnpike roads, that from Guildford
to Horsham, that from Godalming to Worthing, I believe, and that from
Godalming to Chichester.

_Thursley, Wednesday, 26th Oct._

The weather has been beautiful ever since last Thursday morning; but
there has been a white frost every morning, and the days have been
coldish. _Here_, however, I am quite at home in a room, where there is
one of my _American Fire Places_, bought, by my host, of Mr. Judson of
Kensington, who has made many a score of families comfortable, instead
of sitting shivering in the cold. At the house of the gentleman, whose
house I am now in, there is a good deal of _fuel-wood_; and here I see
in the parlours, those fine and cheerful fires that make a great part of
the happiness of the Americans. But these fires are to be had only in
this sort of fire-place. Ten times the fuel; nay, no quantity, would
effect the same object, in any other fire-place. It is equally good for
coal as for wood; but, for _pleasure_, a wood-fire is the thing. There
is, round about almost every gentleman's or great farmer's house, more
wood suffered to rot every year, in one shape or another, than would
make (with this fire-place) a couple of rooms constantly warm, from
October to June. _Here_, peat, turf, saw-dust, and wood, are burnt in
these fire-places. My present host has three of the fire-places.

Being out a-coursing to-day, I saw a queer-looking building upon one of
the thousands of hills that nature has tossed up in endless variety of
form round the skirts of the lofty Hindhead. This building is, it seems,
called a _Semaphore_, or _Semiphare_, or something of that sort. What
this word may have been hatched out of I cannot say; but it means _a
job_, I am sure. To call it an _alarm-post_ would not have been so
convenient; for people not endued with Scotch _intellect_ might have
wondered why the devil we should have to pay for alarm-posts; and might
have thought, that, with all our "glorious victories," we had "brought
our hogs to a fine market," if our dread of the enemy were such as to
induce us to have alarm-posts all over the country! Such unintellectual
people might have thought that we had "conquered France by the immortal
Wellington," to little purpose, if we were still in such fear as to
build alarm-posts; and they might, in addition, have observed, that, for
many hundred of years, England stood in need of neither signal posts nor
standing army of mercenaries; but relied safely on the courage and
public spirit of the people themselves. By calling the thing by an
outlandish name, these reflections amongst the unintellectual are
obviated. _Alarm-post_ would be a nasty name; and it would puzzle people
exceedingly, when they saw one of these at a place like Ashe, a little
village on the north side of the chalk-ridge (called the Hog's Back)
going from Guildford to Farnham. What can this be _for_? Why are these
expensive things put up all over the country? Respecting the movements
of _whom_ is wanted this _alarm-system_? Will no member ask this in
Parliament? Not one: not a man: and yet it is a thing to ask about. Ah!
it is in vain, THING, that you thus are _making your preparations_; in
vain that you are setting your trammels! The DEBT, the blessed debt,
that best ally of the people, will break them all; will snap them, as
the hornet does the cobweb; and, even these very "Semaphores,"
contribute towards the force of that ever-blessed debt. Curious to see
how things _work_! The "glorious revolution," which was made for the
avowed purpose of maintaining the Protestant ascendancy, and which was
followed by such terrible persecution of the Catholics; that "glorious"
affair, which set aside a race of kings, because they were Catholics,
served as the _precedent_ for the American revolution, also called
"glorious," and this second revolution compelled the successors of the
makers of the first, to begin to cease their persecutions of the
Catholics! Then, again, the debt was made to raise and keep armies on
foot to prevent reform of Parliament, because, as it was feared by the
Aristocracy, reform would have humbled them; and this debt, created for
this purpose, is fast sweeping the Aristocracy out of their estates, as
a clown, with his foot, kicks field-mice out of their nests. There was a
hope, that the debt could have been reduced by stealth, as it were; that
the Aristocracy could have been saved in this way. That hope now no
longer exists. In all likelihood the funds will keep going down. What is
to prevent this, if the interest of Exchequer Bills be raised, as the
broad sheet tells us it is to be? What! the funds fall in time of peace;
and the French funds not fall, in time of peace! However, it will all
happen just as it ought to happen. Even the next session of Parliament
will bring out matters of some interest. The thing is now working in the
surest possible way.

The great business of life, in the country, appertains, in some way or
other, to the _game_, and especially at this time of the year. If it
were not for the game, a country life would be like an _everlasting
honey-moon_, which would, in about half a century, put an end to the
human race. In towns, or large villages, people make a shift to find the
means of rubbing the rust off from each other by a vast variety of
sources of contest. A couple of wives meeting in the street, and giving
each other a wry look, or a look not quite civil enough, will, if the
parties be hard pushed for a ground of contention, do pretty well. But
in the country, there is, alas! no such resource. Here are no walls for
people to take of each other. Here they are so placed as to prevent the
possibility of such lucky local contact. Here is more than room of every
sort, elbow, leg, horse, or carriage, for them all. Even _at Church_
(most of the people being in the meeting-houses) the pews are
surprisingly too large. Here, therefore, where all circumstances seem
calculated to cause never-ceasing concord with its accompanying
dullness, there would be no relief at all, were it not for the _game_.
This, happily, supplies the place of all other sources of alternate
dispute and reconciliation; it keeps all in life and motion, from the
lord down to the hedger. When I see two men, whether in a market-room,
by the way-side, in a parlour, in a church-yard, or even in the church
itself, engaged in manifestly deep and most momentous discourse, I will,
if it be any time between September and February, bet ten to one, that
it is, in some way or other, about _the game_. The wives and daughters
hear so much of it, that they inevitably get engaged in the disputes;
and thus all are kept in a state of vivid animation. I should like very
much to be able to take a spot, a circle of 12 miles in diameter, and
take an exact account of all the _time_ spent by each individual, above
the age of ten (that is the age they begin at), in talking, during the
game season of one year, about the game and about sporting exploits. I
verily believe that it would amount, upon an average, to six times as
much as all the other talk put together; and, as to the anger, the
satisfaction, the scolding, the commendation, the chagrin, the
exultation, the envy, the emulation, where are there any of these in the
country, unconnected with _the game_?

There is, however, an important distinction to be made between _hunters_
(including coursers) and _shooters_. The latter are, as far as relates
to their exploits, a disagreeable class, compared with the former; and
the reason of this is, their doings are almost wholly their own; while,
in the case of the others, the achievements are the property of the
dogs. Nobody likes to hear another talk _much_ in praise of his own
acts, unless those acts have a manifest tendency to produce some good to
the hearer; and shooters do talk _much_ of their own exploits, and those
exploits rather tend to _humiliate_ the hearer. Then, a _great shooter_
will, nine times out of ten, go so far as almost to _lie a little_; and,
though people do not tell him of it, they do not like him the better for
it; and he but too frequently discovers that they do not believe him:
whereas, hunters are mere followers of the dogs, as mere spectators;
their praises, if any are called for, are bestowed on the greyhounds,
the hounds, the fox, the hare, or the horses. There is a little
rivalship in the riding, or in the behaviour of the horses; but this has
so little to do with the personal merit of the sportsmen, that it never
produces a want of good fellowship in the evening of the day. A shooter
who has been _missing_ all day, must have an uncommon share of good
sense, not to feel mortified while the slaughterers are relating the
adventures of that day; and this is what cannot exist in the case of the
hunters. Bring me into a room, with a dozen men in it, who have been
sporting all day; or, rather let me be in an adjoining room, where I can
hear the sound of their voices, without being able to distinguish the
words, and I will bet ten to one that I tell whether they be hunters or

I was once acquainted with a _famous shooter_ whose name was William
Ewing. He was a barrister of Philadelphia, but became far more renowned
by his gun than by his law cases. We spent scores of days together
a-shooting, and were extremely well matched, I having excellent dogs and
caring little about my reputation as a shot, his dogs being good for
nothing, and he caring more about his reputation as a shot than as a
lawyer. The fact which I am going to relate respecting this gentleman,
ought to be a warning to young men, how they become enamoured of this
species of vanity. We had gone about ten miles from our home, to shoot
where partridges were said to be very plentiful. We found them so. In
the course of a November day, he had, just before dark, shot, and sent
to the farmhouse, or kept in his bag, _ninety-nine_ partridges. He made
some few _double shots_, and he might have a _miss_ or two, for he
sometimes shot when out of my sight, on account of the woods. However,
he said that he killed at every shot; and, as he had counted the birds,
when we went to dinner at the farmhouse and when he cleaned his gun, he,
just before sun-set, knew that he had killed _ninety-nine_ partridges,
every one upon the wing, and a great part of them in woods very thickly
set with largish trees. It was a grand achievement; but, unfortunately,
he wanted to make it _a hundred_. The sun was setting, and, in that
country, darkness comes almost at once; it is more like the going out
of a candle than that of a fire; and I wanted to be off, as we had a
very bad road to go, and as he, being under strict petticoat government,
to which he most loyally and dutifully submitted, was compelled to get
home that night, taking me with him, the vehicle (horse and gig) being
mine. I, therefore, pressed him to come away, and moved on myself
towards the house (that of old John Brown, in Bucks county, grandfather
of that General Brown, who gave some of our whiskered heroes such a
rough handling last war, which was waged for the purpose of "deposing
James Madison"), at which house I would have stayed all night, but from
which I was compelled to go by that watchful government, under which he
had the good fortune to live. Therefore I was in haste to be off. No: he
would kill the _hundredth_ bird! In vain did I talk of the bad road and
its many dangers for want of moon. The poor partridges, which we had
scattered about, were _calling_ all around us; and, just at this moment,
up got one under his feet, in a field in which the wheat was three or
four inches high. He shot and _missed_. "That's it," said he, running as
if to _pick up_ the bird. "What!" said I, "you don't think you _killed_,
do you? Why there is the bird now, not only alive, but _calling_ in that
wood;" which was at about a hundred yards distance. He, in that _form of
words_ usually employed in such cases, asserted that he shot the bird
and saw it fall; and I, in much about the same form of words, asserted,
that he had _missed_, and that I, with my own eyes, saw the bird fly
into the wood. This was too much! To _miss_ once out of a hundred times!
To lose such a chance of immortality! He was a good-humoured man; I
liked him very much; and I could not help feeling for him, when he said,
"Well, _Sir_, I killed the bird; and if you choose to go away and take
your dog away, so as to prevent me from _finding_ it, you must do it;
the dog is _yours_, to be sure." "The _dog_," said I, in a very mild
tone, "why, Ewing, there is the spot; and could we not see it, upon this
smooth green surface, if it were there?" However, he began to _look
about_; and I called the dog, and affected to join him in the search.
Pity for his weakness got the better of my dread of the bad road. After
walking backward and forward many times upon about twenty yards square
with our eyes to the ground, looking for what both of us knew was not
there, I had passed him (he going one way and I the other), and I
happened to be turning round just after I had passed him, when I saw
him, putting his hand behind him, _take a partridge out of his bag and
let it fall upon the ground_! I felt no temptation to detect him, but
turned away my head, and kept looking about. Presently he, having
returned to the spot where the bird was, called out to me, in a most
triumphant tone; "_Here! here!_ Come here!" I went up to him, and he,
pointing with his finger down to the bird, and looking hard in my face
at the same time, said, "There, Cobbett; I hope that will be a _warning_
to you never to be obstinate again"! "Well," said I, "come along:" and
away we went as merry as larks. When we got to Brown's, he told them the
story, triumphed over me most clamorously; and, though he often repeated
the story to my face, I never had the heart to let him know, that I knew
of the imposition, which puerile vanity had induced so sensible and
honourable a man to be mean enough to practise.

A _professed shot_ is, almost always, a very disagreeable brother
sportsman. He must, in the first place, have a head rather of the
emptiest to _pride himself_ upon so poor a talent. Then he is always out
of temper, if the game fail, or if he miss it. He never participates in
that great delight which all sensible men enjoy at beholding the
beautiful action, the docility, the zeal, the wonderful sagacity of the
pointer and the setter. He is always thinking about _himself_; always
anxious to surpass his companions. I remember that, once, Ewing and I
had lost our dog. We were in a wood, and the dog had gone out, and found
a covey in a wheat stubble joining the wood. We had been whistling and
calling him for, perhaps, half an hour, or more. When we came out of the
wood we saw him pointing, with one foot up; and, soon after, he, keeping
his foot and body unmoved, gently turned round his head towards the spot
where he heard us, as if to bid us come on, and, when he saw that we saw
him, turned his head back again. I was so delighted, that I stopped to
look with admiration. Ewing, astonished at my want of alacrity, pushed
on, shot one of the partridges, and thought no more about the conduct of
the dog than if the sagacious creature had had nothing at all to do with
the matter. When I left America, in 1800, I gave this dog to Lord Henry
Stuart, who was, when he came home, a year or two afterwards, about to
bring him to astonish the sportsmen even in England; but those of
Pennsylvania were resolved not to part with him, and, therefore they
_stole_ him the night before his Lordship came away. Lord Henry had
plenty of pointers after his return, and he _saw_ hundreds; but always
declared, that he never saw any thing approaching in excellence this
American dog. For the information of sportsmen I ought to say, that this
was a small-headed and sharp-nosed pointer, hair as fine as that of a
greyhound, little and short ears, very light in the body, very long
legged, and swift as a good lurcher. I had him a puppy, and he never had
any _breaking_, but he pointed staunchly at once; and I am of opinion,
that this sort is, in all respects, better than the heavy breed. Mr.
Thornton, (I beg his pardon, I believe he is now a Knight of some sort)
who was, and perhaps still is, our Envoy in Portugal, at the time here
referred to was a sort of partner with Lord Henry in this famous dog;
and gratitude (to the memory of _the dog_ I mean), will, I am sure, or,
at least, I hope so, make him bear witness to the truth of my character
of him; and, if one could hear an Ambassador _speak out_, I think that
Mr. Thornton would acknowledge, that his calling has brought him in
pretty close contact with many a man who was possessed of most
tremendous political power, without possessing half the sagacity, half
the understanding, of this dog, and without being a thousandth part so
faithful to his trust.

I am quite satisfied, that there are as many _sorts_ of men as there are
of dogs. Swift was a man, and so is Walter the base. But is the _sort_
the same? It cannot be _education_ alone that makes the amazing
difference that we see. Besides, we see men of the very same rank and
riches and education, differing as widely as the pointer does from the
pug. The name, _man_, is common to all the sorts, and hence arises very
great mischief. What confusion must there be in rural affairs, if there
were no names whereby to distinguish hounds, greyhounds, pointers,
spaniels, terriers, and sheep dogs, from each other! And, what pretty
work, if, without regard to the _sorts_ of dogs, men were to attempt to
_employ them_! Yet, this is done in the case of _men_! A man is always
_a man_; and, without the least regard as to the _sort_, they are
promiscuously placed in all kinds of situations. Now, if Mr. Brougham,
Doctors Birkbeck, Macculloch and Black, and that profound personage,
Lord John Russell, will, in their forth-coming "London University,"
teach us how to divide men _into sorts_, instead of teaching us to
"augment the capital of the nation," by making paper-money, they will
render us a real service. That will be _feelosofy_ worth attending to.
What would be said of the 'Squire who should take a fox-hound out to
find partridges for him to shoot at? Yet, would this be _more_ absurd
than to set a man to law-making who was manifestly formed for the
express purpose of sweeping the streets or digging out sewers?

_Farnham, Surrey, Thursday, Oct. 27th._

We came over the heath from Thursley, this morning, on our way to
Winchester. Mr. Wyndham's fox-hounds are coming to Thursley on Saturday.
More than three-fourths of all the interesting talk in that neighbourhood,
for some days past, has been about this anxiously-looked-for event. I
have seen no man, or boy, who did not talk about it. There had been a
false report about it; the hounds did _not come_; and the anger of the
disappointed people was very great. At last, however, the _authentic_
intelligence came, and I left them all as happy as if all were young and
all just going to be married. An abatement of my pleasure, however, on
this joyous occasion was, that I brought away with me _one_, who was as
eager as the best of them. Richard, though now only 11 years and 6
months old, had, it seems, one fox-hunt, in Herefordshire, last winter;
and he actually has begun to talk rather _contemptuously_ of hare
hunting. To show me that he is in no _danger_, he has been leaping his
horse over banks and ditches by the road side, all our way across the
country from Reigate; and he joined with such glee in talking of the
expected arrival of the fox-hounds, that I felt some little pain at
bringing him away. My engagement at Winchester is for Saturday; but, if
it had not been so, the deep and hidden ruts in the heath, in a wood in
the midst of which the hounds are sure to find, and the immense
concourse of horsemen that is sure to be assembled, would have made me
bring him away. Upon the high, hard and open countries, I should not be
afraid for him; but here the danger would have been greater than it
would have been right for me to suffer him to run.

We came hither by the way of Waverley Abbey and Moore Park. On the
commons I showed Richard some of my old hunting scenes, when I was of
his age, or younger, reminding him that I was obliged to hunt on foot.
We got leave to go and see the grounds at Waverley, where all the old
monks' garden walls are totally gone, and where the spot is become a
sort of lawn. I showed him the spot where the strawberry garden was, and
where I, when sent to gather _hautboys_, used to eat every remarkably
fine one, instead of letting it go to be eaten by Sir Robert Rich. I
showed him a tree, close by the ruins of the Abbey, from a limb of which
I once fell into the river, in an attempt to take the nest of a _crow_,
which had artfully placed it upon a branch so far from the trunk as not
to be able to bear the weight of a boy eight years old. I showed him an
old elm tree, which was hollow even then, into which I, when a very
little boy, once saw a cat go, that was as big as a middle-sized spaniel
dog, for relating which I got a great scolding, for standing to which I,
at last, got a beating; but stand to which I still did. I have since
many times repeated it; and I would take my oath of it to this day. When
in New Brunswick I saw the great wild grey cat, which is there called a
_Lucifee_; and it seemed to me to be just such a cat as I had seen at
Waverley. I found the ruins not very greatly diminished; but it is
strange how small the mansion, and ground, and everything but the trees,
appeared to me. They were all great to my mind when I saw them last; and
that early impression had remained, whenever I had talked or thought,
of the spot; so that, when I came to see them again, after seeing the
sea and so many other immense things, it seemed as if they had all been
made small. This was not the case with regard to the trees, which are
nearly as big here as they are anywhere else; and the old cat-elm, for
instance, which Richard measured with his whip, is about 16 or 17 feet

From Waverley we went to Moore Park, once the seat of Sir William
Temple, and when I was a very little boy, the seat of a Lady, or a Mrs.
Temple. Here I showed Richard Mother Ludlum's Hole; but, alas! it is not
the enchanting place that I knew it, nor that which Grose describes in
his Antiquities! The semicircular paling is gone; the basins, to catch
the never-ceasing little stream, are gone; the iron cups, fastened by
chains, for people to drink out of, are gone; the pavement all broken to
pieces; the seats, for people to sit on, on both sides of the cave, torn
up and gone; the stream that ran down a clean paved channel, now making
a dirty gutter; and the ground opposite, which was a grove, chiefly of
laurels, intersected by closely mowed grass-walks, now become a poor,
ragged-looking alder-coppice. Near the mansion, I showed Richard the
hill, upon which Dean Swift tells us he used to run for exercise, while
he was pursuing his studies here; and I would have showed him the
garden-seat, under which Sir William Temple's heart was buried,
agreeably to his will; but the seat was gone, also the wall at the back
of it; and the exquisitely beautiful little lawn in which the seat
stood, was turned into a parcel of divers-shaped cockney-clumps, planted
according to the strictest rules of artificial and refined vulgarity.

At Waverley, Mr. Thompson, a merchant of some sort, has succeeded (after
the monks) the Orby Hunters and Sir Robert Rich. At Moore Park, a Mr.
Laing, a West Indian planter or merchant, has succeeded the Temples; and
at the castle of Farnham, which you see from Moore Park, Bishop
Prettyman Tomline has, at last, after perfectly regular and due
gradations, succeeded William of Wykham! In coming up from Moore Park to
Farnham town, I stopped opposite the door of a little old house, where
there appeared to be a great parcel of children. "There, Dick," said I,
"when I was just such a little creature as that, whom you see in the
door-way, I lived in this very house with my grand-mother Cobbett." He
pulled up his horse, and looked _very hard at it_, but said nothing, and
on we came.

_Winchester, Sunday noon, Oct. 30._

We came away from Farnham about noon on Friday, promising Bishop
Prettyman to notice him and his way of living more fully on our return.
At Alton we got some bread and cheese at a friend's, and then came to
Alresford by Medstead, in order to have fine turf to ride on, and to
see, on this lofty land that which is, perhaps, the finest _beech-wood_
in all England. These high down-countries are not garden plats, like
Kent; but they have, from my first seeing them, when I was about _ten_,
always been my delight. Large sweeping downs, and deep dells here and
there, with villages amongst lofty trees, are my great delight. When we
got to Alresford it was nearly dark, and not being able to find a room
to our liking, we resolved to go, though in the dark, to Easton, a
village about six miles from Alresford down by the side of the Hichen

Coming from Easton yesterday, I learned that Sir Charles Ogle, the
eldest son and successor of Sir Chaloner Ogle, had sold to some
_General_, his mansion and estate at Martyr's Worthy, a village on the
North side of the Hichen, just opposite Easton. The Ogles had been here
for _a couple of centuries_ perhaps. They are _gone off now_, "for good
and all," as the country people call it. Well, what I have to say to Sir
Charles Ogle upon this occasion is this: "It was _you_, who moved at the
county meeting, in 1817, that _Address to the Regent_, which you brought
ready engrossed upon parchment, which Fleming, the Sheriff, declared to
have been carried, though a word of it never was heard by the meeting;
which address _applauded the power of imprisonment bill, just then
passed_; and the like of which address, you will not in all human
probability, ever again move in Hampshire, and, I hope, nowhere else.
So, you see, Sir Charles, there is one consolation, at any rate."

I learned, too, that Greame, a famously loyal 'squire and justice, whose
son was, a few years ago, made a Distributor of Stamps in this county,
was become so modest as to exchange his big and ancient mansion at
Cheriton, or somewhere there, for a very moderate-sized house in the
town of Alresford! I saw his household goods advertised in the Hampshire
newspaper, a little while ago, to be sold by public auction. I rubbed my
eyes, or, rather, my spectacles, and looked again and again; for I
remembered the loyal 'Squire; and I, with singular satisfaction, record
this change in his scale of existence, which has, no doubt, proceeded
solely from that prevalence of mind over matter, which the Scotch
_feelosofers_ have taken such pains to inculcate, and which makes him
flee from greatness as from that which diminishes the quantity of
"_intellectual_ enjoyment;" and so now he,

  "Wondering man can want the larger pile,
  Exults, and owns his cottage with a smile."

And they really tell me, that his present house is not much bigger than
that of my dear, good old grandmother Cobbett. But (and it may not be
wholly useless for the 'Squire to know it) she never burnt _candles_;
but _rushes_ dipped in grease, as I have described them in my _Cottage
Economy_; and this was one of the means that she made use of in order to
secure a bit of good bacon and good bread to eat, and that made her
never give me _potatoes_, cold or hot. No bad hint for the 'Squire,
father of the distributor of Stamps. Good bacon is a very nice thing, I
can assure him; and, if the quantity be small, it is all the sweeter;
provided, however, it be not _too small_. This 'Squire used to be a
great friend of Old George Rose. But his patron's taste was different
from his. George preferred a big house to a little one; and George
_began_ with a little one, and _ended_ with a big one.

Just by Alresford, there was another old friend and supporter of Old
George Rose, 'Squire Rawlinson, whom I remember a very great 'squire in
this county. He is now a _Police_-'squire in London, and is one of those
guardians of the Wen, respecting whose proceedings we read eternal
columns in the broad-sheet.

This being Sunday, I heard, about 7 o'clock in the morning, a sort of a
jangling, made by a bell or two in the _Cathedral_. We were getting
ready to be off, to cross the country to Burghclere, which lies under
the lofty hills at Highclere, about 22 miles from this city; but hearing
the bells of the cathedral, I took Richard to show him that ancient and
most magnificent pile, and particularly to show him the tomb of that
famous bishop of Winchester, William of Wykham; who was the Chancellor
and the Minister of the great and glorious King, Edward III.; who sprang
from poor parents in the little village of Wykham, three miles from
Botley; and who, amongst other great and most munificent deeds, founded
the famous College, or School, of Winchester, and also one of the
Colleges at Oxford. I told Richard about this as we went from the inn
down to the cathedral; and, when I _showed him the tomb_, where the
bishop lies on his back, in his Catholic robes, with his mitre on his
head, his shepherd's crook by his side, with little children at his
feet, their hands put together in a praying attitude, he looked with a
degree of inquisitive earnestness that pleased me very much. I took him
as far as I could about the cathedral. The "service" was now begun.
There is a _dean_, and God knows how many _prebends_ belonging to this
immensely rich bishopric and chapter; and there were, at this "service,"
_two or three men and five or six boys_ in white surplices, with a
congregation of _fifteen women_ and _four men_! Gracious God! If William
of Wykham could, at that moment, have been raised from his tomb! If
Saint Swithin, whose name the cathedral bears, or Alfred the Great, to
whom St. Swithin was tutor: if either of these could have come, and had
been told, that _that_ was _now_ what was carried on by men, who talked
of the "_damnable_ errors" of those who founded that very church! But it
beggars one's feelings to attempt to find words whereby to express them
upon such a subject and such an occasion. How, then, am I to describe
what I felt, when I yesterday saw in Hyde Meadow, a _county bridewell_,
standing on the very spot, where stood the Abbey which was founded and
endowed by Alfred, which contained the bones of that maker of the
English name, and also those of the learned monk, St. Grimbald, whom
Alfred brought to England _to begin the teaching at Oxford_!

After we came out of the cathedral, Richard said, "Why, Papa, nobody can
build such places _now_, can they?" "No, my dear," said I. "That
building was made when there were no poor wretches in England, called
_paupers_; when there were no _poor-rates_; when every labouring man was
clothed in good woollen cloth; and when all had a plenty of meat and
bread and beer." This talk lasted us to the inn, where, just as we were
going to set off, it most curiously happened, that a parcel which had
come from Kensington by the night coach, was put into my hands by the
landlord, containing, amongst other things, a pamphlet, sent to me from
Rome, being an Italian translation of No. I. of the "_Protestant
Reformation_." I will here insert the title for the satisfaction of
Doctor Black, who, some time ago, expressed his utter astonishment, that
"_such_ a work should be published in the _nineteenth_ century." Why,
Doctor? Did you want me to stop till the _twentieth_ century? That would
have been a little too long, Doctor.

               Riforma Protestante
          In Inghilterra ed in Irlanda
               La quale Dimostra
     Come un tal' avvenimento ha impoverito
  E degradato il grosso del popolo in que' paesi
       in una serie di lettere indirizzate
        A tutti i sensati e guisti inglesi
              Guglielmo Cobbett
         Dall' inglese recate in italiano
               Dominico Gregorj.
                   Roma 1825.
            Presso Francesco Bourlie.
                Con Approvazione.

There, Doctor Black. Write _you_ a book that shall be translated into
_any_ foreign language; and when you have done that, you may _again_
call mine "pig's meat."


_Burghclere, Monday Morning, 31st October 1825._

We had, or I had, resolved not to breakfast at Winchester yesterday: and
yet we were detained till nearly noon. But at last off we came,
_fasting_. The turnpike-road from Winchester to this place comes through
a village called Sutton Scotney, and then through Whitchurch, which lies
on the Andover and London road, through Basingstoke. We did not take the
cross-turnpike till we came to Whitchurch. We went to King's Worthy;
that is about two miles on the road from Winchester to London; and then,
turning short to our left, came up upon the downs to the north of
Winchester race-course. Here, looking back at the city and at the fine
valley above and below it, and at the many smaller valleys that run down
from the high ridges into that great and fertile valley, I could not
help admiring the taste of the ancient kings who made this city (which
once covered all the hill round about, and which contained 92 churches
and chapels) a chief place of their residence. There are not many finer
spots in England; and if I were to take in a circle of eight or ten
miles of semi-diameter, I should say that I believe there is not one so
fine. Here are hill, dell, water, meadows, woods, corn-fields, downs:
and all of them very fine and very beautifully disposed. This country
does not present to us that sort of beauties which we see about
Guildford and Godalming, and round the skirts of Hindhead and Blackdown,
where the ground lies in the form that the surface-water in a boiling
copper would be in if you could, by word of command, _make it be still_,
the variously-shaped bubbles all sticking up; and really, to look at the
face of the earth, who can help imagining that some such process has
produced its present form? Leaving this matter to be solved by those who
laugh at mysteries, I repeat that the country round Winchester does not
present to us beauties of _this sort_; but of a sort which I like a
great deal better. Arthur Young calls the vale between Farnham and Alton
_the finest ten miles_ in England. Here is a river with fine meadows on
each side of it, and with rising grounds on each outside of the meadows,
those grounds having some hop-gardens and some pretty woods. But though
I was born in this vale I must confess that the ten miles between
Maidstone and Tunbridge (which the Kentish folks call the _Garden of
Eden_) is a great deal finer; for here, with a river three times as big,
and a vale three times as broad, there are, on rising grounds six times
as broad, not only hop-gardens and beautiful woods, but immense orchards
of apples, pears, plums, cherries and filberts, and these, in many
cases, with gooseberries and currants and raspberries beneath; and, all
taken together, the vale is really worthy of the appellation which it
bears. But even this spot, which I believe to be the very finest, as to
fertility and diminutive beauty, in this whole world, I, for my part, do
not like so well; nay, as a spot to _live on_, I think nothing at all of
it, compared with a country where high downs prevail, with here and
there a large wood on the top or the side of a hill, and where you see,
in the deep dells, here and there a farm-house, and here and there a
village, the buildings sheltered by a group of lofty trees.

This is my taste, and here, in the north of Hampshire, it has its full
gratification. I like to look at the winding side of a great down, with
two or three numerous flocks of sheep on it, belonging to different
farms; and to see, lower down, the folds, in the fields, ready to
receive them for the night. We had, when we got upon the downs, after
leaving Winchester, this sort of country all the way to Whitchurch. Our
point of destination was this village of Burghclere, which lies close
under the north side of the lofty hill at Highclere, which is called
Beacon Hill, and on the top of which there are still the marks of a
Roman encampment. We saw this hill as soon as we got on Winchester
Downs; and without any regard to _roads_, we _steered_ for it, as
sailors do for a land-mark. Of these 13 miles (from Winchester to
Whitchurch) we rode about eight or nine upon the _green-sward_, or over
fields equally smooth. And here is one great pleasure of living in
countries of this sort: no sloughs, no ditches, no nasty dirty lanes,
and the hedges, where there are any, are more for boundary marks than
for fences. Fine for hunting and coursing: no impediments; no gates to
open; nothing to impede the dogs, the horses, or the view. The water is
not _seen running_; but the great bed of chalk _holds it_, and the sun
draws it up for the benefit of the grass and the corn; and, whatever
inconvenience is experienced from the necessity of deep wells, and of
driving sheep and cattle far to water, is amply made up for by the
goodness of the water, and by the complete absence of floods, of
drains, of ditches and of water-furrows. As _things now are_, however,
these countries have one great drawback: the poor day-labourers suffer
from the want of fuel, and they have nothing but their _bare pay_. For
these reasons they are greatly worse off than those of the _woodland
countries_; and it is really surprising what a difference there is
between the faces that you see here and the round, red faces that you
see in the _wealds_ and the _forests_, particularly in Sussex, where the
labourers _will_ have a _meat-pudding_ of some sort or other; and where
they _will_ have _a fire_ to sit by in the winter.

After steering for some time, we came down to a very fine farmhouse,
which we stopped a little to admire; and I asked Richard whether _that_
was not a place to be happy in. The village, which we found to be
Stoke-Charity, was about a mile lower down this little vale. Before we
got to it, we overtook the owner of the farm, who knew me, though I did
not know him; but when I found it was Mr. Hinton Bailey, of whom and
whose farm I had heard so much, I was not at all surprised at the
fineness of what I had just seen. I told him that the word _charity_,
making, as it did, part of the name of this place, had nearly inspired
me with boldness enough to go to the farmhouse, in the ancient style,
and ask for something to eat, for that we had not yet breakfasted. He
asked us to go back; but at Burghclere we were _resolved to dine_.
After, however, crossing the village, and beginning again to ascend the
downs, we came to a labourer's (_once a farmhouse_), where I asked the
man whether he had any _bread and cheese_, and was not a little pleased
to hear him say "_Yes_." Then I asked him to give us a bit, protesting
that we had not yet broken our fast. He answered in the affirmative at
once, though I did not talk of payment. His wife brought out the cut
loaf, and a piece of Wiltshire cheese, and I took them in hand, gave
Richard a good hunch, and took another for myself. I verily believe that
all the pleasure of eating enjoyed by all the feeders in London in a
whole year does not equal that which we enjoyed in gnawing this bread
and cheese as we rode over this cold down, whip and bridle-reins in one
hand, and the hunch in the other. Richard, who was purse bearer, gave
the woman, by my direction, about enough to buy two quartern loaves: for
she told me that they had to buy their bread _at the mill_, not being
able to bake themselves for _want of fuel_; and this, as I said before,
is one of the draw-backs in this sort of country. I wish every one of
these people had an _American fire-place_. Here they might, then, even
in these bare countries, have comfortable warmth. Rubbish of any sort
would, by this means, give them warmth. I am now, at six o'clock in the
morning, sitting in a room, where one of these fire-places, with very
light _turf_ in it, gives as good and steady a warmth as it is possible
to feel, and which room has, too, been _cured of smoking_ by this

Before we got this supply of bread and cheese, we, though in ordinary
times a couple of singularly jovial companions, and seldom going a
hundred yards (except going very fast) without one or the other
speaking, began to grow _dull_, or rather _glum_. The way seemed long;
and, when I had to speak in answer to Richard, the speaking was as brief
as might be. Unfortunately, just at this critical period, one of the
loops that held the straps of Richard's little portmanteau broke; and it
became necessary (just before we overtook Mr. Bailey) for me to fasten
the portmanteau on before me, upon my saddle. This, which was not the
work of more than five minutes, would, had I had _a breakfast_, have
been nothing at all, and, indeed, matter of laughter. But _now_ it was
_something_. It was his "_fault_" for capering and jerking about "_so_."
I jumped off, saying, "_Here!_ I'll carry it _myself_." And then I began
to take off the remaining strap, pulling with great violence and in
great haste. Just at this time my eyes met his, in which I saw _great
surprise_; and, feeling the just rebuke, feeling heartily ashamed of
myself, I instantly changed my tone and manner, cast the blame upon the
saddler, and talked of the effectual means which we would take to
prevent the like in future.

Now, if such was the effect produced upon me by the want of food for
only two or three hours; me, who had dined well the day before and eaten
toast and butter the over-night; if the missing of only one breakfast,
and that, too, from my own whim, while I had money in my pocket to get
one at any public-house, and while I could get one only for asking for
at any farm-house; if the not having breakfasted could, and under such
circumstances, make me what you may call "_cross_" to a child like this,
whom I must necessarily love so much, and to whom I never speak but in
the very kindest manner; if this mere absence of a breakfast could thus
put me _out of temper_, how great are the allowances that we ought to
make for the poor creatures who, in this once happy and now miserable
country, are doomed to lead a life of constant labour and of
half-starvation. I suppose that, as we rode away from the cottage, we
gnawed up, between us, a pound of bread and a quarter of a pound of
cheese. Here was about _fivepence_ worth at present prices. Even this,
which was only a mere _snap_, a mere _stay-stomach_, for us, would, for
us two, come to 3_s._ a week all but a penny. How, then, gracious God!
is a labouring man, his wife, and, perhaps, four or five small children,
to exist upon 8_s._ or 9_s._ a week! Aye, and to find house-rent,
clothing, bedding and fuel out of it? Richard and I ate here, at this
snap, more, and much more, than the average of labourers, their wives
and children, have to eat in a whole day, and that the labourer has to
_work_ on too!

When we got here to Burghclere we were again as _hungry_ as hunters.
What, then, must be the life of these poor creatures? But is not the
state of the country, is not the hellishness of the system, all depicted
in this one disgraceful and damning fact, that the magistrates, who
settle on what the _labouring poor_ ought to have to live on, ALLOW THEM
LESS THAN IS ALLOWED TO FELONS IN THE GAOLS, and allow them _nothing for
clothing and fuel, and house-rent_! And yet, while this is notoriously
the case, while the main body of the working class in England are fed
and clad and even lodged worse than felons, and are daily becoming even
worse and worse off, the King is advised to tell the Parliament, and the
world, that we are in a state of _unexampled prosperity_, and that this
prosperity must be _permanent_, because _all the_ GREAT _interests_ are
THEY WILL BE FOUND TO BE ONE, BY-AND-BY. What is to be the _end_ of
this? What can be the _end_ of it, but dreadful convulsion? What other
can be produced by a system, which allows the _felon_ better food,
better clothing, and better lodging than the _honest labourer_?

I see that there has been a grand _humanity-meeting_ in Norfolk to
assure the Parliament that these humanity-people will _back_ it in any
measures that it may adopt for freeing the NEGROES. Mr. Buxton figured
here, also Lord Suffield, who appear to have been the two principal
actors, or _showers-off_. This same Mr. Buxton opposed the Bill intended
to relieve the poor in England by breaking a little into the brewers'
monopoly; and as to Lord Suffield, if he really wish to _free slaves_,
let him go to Wykham in this county, where he will see some drawing,
like horses, gravel to repair the roads for the stock-jobbers and
dead-weight and the seat-dealers to ride smoothly on. If he go down a
little further, he will see CONVICTS at PRECISELY THE SAME WORK,
harnessed in JUST THE SAME WAY; but the convicts he will find hale and
ruddy-cheeked, in dresses sufficiently warm, and bawling and singing;
while he will find the labourers thin, ragged, shivering, dejected
mortals, such as never were seen in any other country upon earth. There
is not a negro in the West Indies who has not more to eat in a day, than
the average of English labourers have to eat in a week, and of better
food too. Colonel Wodehouse and a man of the name of Hoseason (whence
came he?) who opposed this humanity-scheme talked of the sums necessary
to pay the owners of the slaves. They took special care not to tell the
humanity-men _to look at home for slaves to free_. No, no! that would
have applied to themselves, as well as to Lord Suffield and humanity
Buxton. If it were worth while to _reason_ with these people, one might
ask them whether they do not think that _another war_ is likely to
relieve them of all these cares, simply by making the colonies transfer
their allegiance or assert their independence? But to reason with them
is useless. If they can busy themselves with compassion for the negroes,
while they uphold the system that makes the labourers of England more
wretched, and beyond all measure more wretched, than any negro slaves
are, or ever were, or ever can be, they are unworthy of anything but our

But the "education" canters are the most curious fellows of all. They
have seen "education," as they call it, and crimes, go on increasing
together, till the gaols, though six times their former dimensions, will
hardly suffice; and yet the canting creatures still cry that crimes
arise from want of what they call "education!" They see the felon better
fed and better clad than the honest labourer. They see this; and yet
they continually cry that the crimes arise from a want of "education!"
What can be the cause of this perverseness? It is not perverseness: it
is _roguery_, _corruption_, and _tyranny_. The tyrant, the unfeeling
tyrant, squeezes the labourers for gain's sake; and the corrupt
politician and literary or tub rogue find an excuse for him by
pretending that it is not want of food and clothing, but want of
education, that makes the poor, starving wretches thieves and robbers.
If the press, if only the press, were to do its duty, or but a tenth
part of its duty, this hellish system could not go on. But it favours
the system by ascribing the misery to wrong causes. The causes are
these: the tax-gatherer presses the landlord; the landlord the farmer;
and the farmer the labourer. Here it falls at last; and this class is
made so miserable that a _felon's_ life is better than that of a
_labourer_. Does there want any _other cause_ to produce crimes? But on
these causes, so clear to the eye of reason, so plain from experience,
the press scarcely ever says a single word; while it keeps bothering our
brains about education and morality; and about ignorance and immorality
leading to _felonies_. To be sure immorality leads to felonies. Who does
not know that? But who is to expect morality in a half-starved man, who
is whipped if he do not work, though he has not, for his whole day's
food, so much as I and my little boy snapped up in six or seven minutes
upon Stoke-Charity Down? Aye! but if the press were to ascribe the
increase of crimes to the true causes it must _go further back_. It must
go to the _cause of the taxes_. It must go to the debt, the
dead-weight, the thundering standing army, the enormous sinecures,
pensions, and grants; and this would suit but a very small part of a
_press_ which lives and thrives principally by one or the other of

As with the press, so is it with Mr. Brougham and all such politicians.
They stop short, or, rather, they begin in the middle. They attempt to
prevent the evils of the deadly ivy by cropping off, or, rather,
bruising a little, a few of its leaves. They do not assail even its
branches, while they appear to look upon the _trunk_ as something _too
sacred_ even to be _looked at_ with vulgar eyes. Is not the injury
recently done to about _forty thousand poor families_ in and near
Plymouth, by the Small-note Bill, a thing that Mr. Brougham ought to
think about before he thinks anything more about _educating_ those poor
families? Yet will he, when he again meets the Ministers, say a word
about this monstrous evil? I am afraid that no Member will say a word
about it; but I am rather more than afraid that _he_ will not. And
_why_? Because, if he reproach the Ministers with this crying cruelty,
they will ask him first how this is to be prevented without a repeal of
the Small-note Bill (by which Peel's Bill was partly repealed); then
they will ask him, how the prices are to be kept up without the
small-notes; then they will say, "Does the honourable and learned
Gentleman _wish to see wheat at four shillings a bushel again_?"

B. No (looking at Mr. Western and Daddy Coke), no, no, no! Upon my
honour, no!

MIN. Does the honourable and learned Gentleman wish to see Cobbett again
at county meetings, and to see petitions again coming from those
meetings, calling for a reduction of the interest of the...?

B. No, no, no, upon my soul, no!

MIN. Does the honourable and learned Gentleman wish to see that
"_equitable_ adjustment," which Cobbett has a thousand times declared
can never take place without an application, to new purposes, of that
great mass of public property, commonly called Church property?

B. (Almost bursting with rage). How _dare_ the honourable gentlemen to
suppose me capable of such a thought?

MIN. We suppose nothing. We only ask the question; and we ask it,
because to put an end to the small-notes would inevitably produce all
these things; and it is impossible to have small-notes to the extent
necessary to _keep up prices_, without having, now-and-then, _breaking
banks_. Banks cannot break without _producing misery_; you must have the
_consequence_ if you will have the _cause_. The honourable and learned
Gentleman wants the feast without the reckoning. In short, is the
honourable and learned Gentleman for putting an end to "_public

B. No, no, no, no!

MIN. Then would it not be better for the honourable and learned
Gentleman to _hold his tongue_?

All men of sense and sincerity will at once answer this last question in
the affirmative. They will all say that this is not _opposition_ to the
Ministers. The Ministers do not _wish_ to see 40,000 families, nor any
families at all (who give them _no real annoyance_), reduced to misery;
they do not _wish_ to cripple their own tax-payers; very far from it. If
they could carry on the debt and dead-weight and place and pension and
barrack system, without reducing any _quiet_ people to misery, they
would like it exceedingly. But they _do_ wish to carry on that system;
and he does not _oppose_ them who does not endeavour to put an end to
the system.

This is done by nobody in Parliament; and, therefore, there is, in fact,
_no opposition_; and this is felt by the whole nation; and this is the
reason why _the people_ now take so little interest in what is said and
done in Parliament, compared to that which they formerly took. This is
the reason why there is no man, or men, whom the people seem to care at
all about. A great portion of the people now clearly understand the
nature and effects of the system; they are not now to be deceived by
speeches and professions. If Pitt and Fox had _now to start_, there
would be no "Pittites" and "Foxites." Those happy days of political
humbug are gone for ever. The "gentlemen _opposite_" are opposite only
as to mere _local position_. They sit on the opposite side of the House:
that's all. In every other respect they are like parson and clerk; or,
perhaps, rather more like the rooks and jackdaws: one _caw_ and the
other _chatter_; but both have the same object in view: both are in
pursuit of the same sort of diet. One set is, to be sure, IN place, and
the other OUT; but, though the rooks keep the jackdaws on the inferior
branches, these latter would be as clamorous as the rooks themselves
against _felling the tree_; and just as clamorous would the "gentlemen
opposite" be against any one who should propose to put down the system
itself. And yet, unless you do _that_, things must go on in the present
way, and _felons_ must be _better fed_ than _honest labourers_; and
starvation and thieving and robbing and gaol-building and transporting
and hanging and penal laws must go on increasing, as they have gone on
from the day of the establishment of the debt to the present hour.
Apropos of _penal laws_, Doctor Black (of the Morning Chronicle) is now
filling whole columns with very just remarks on the new and terrible
law, which makes the taking of an apple _felony_; but he says not a
word about the _silence_ of Sir Jammy (the humane _code-softener_) upon
this subject! The "_humanity_ and _liberality_" of the Parliament have
relieved men addicted to _fraud_ and to _certain other crimes_ from the
disgrace of the pillory, and they have, since Castlereagh cut his own
throat, relieved _self-slayers_ from the disgrace of the cross-road
burial; but the same Parliament, amidst all the workings of this rare
humanity and liberality, have made it _felony to take an apple off a
tree_, which last year was a trivial trespass, and was formerly no
offence at all! However, even this _is necessary_, as long as this
bank-note system continue in its present way; and all complaints about
severity of laws, levelled at the poor, are useless and foolish; and
these complaints are even base in those who do their best to uphold a
system which has brought _the honest labourer to be fed worse than the
felon_. What, short of such laws, can prevent _starving men_ from coming
to take away the dinners of those who have plenty? "_Education_"!
Despicable cant and nonsense! What education, what moral precepts, can
quiet the gnawings and ragings of hunger?

Looking, now, back again for a minute to the little village of
_Stoke-Charity_, the name of which seems to indicate that its rents
formerly belonged wholly to the poor and indigent part of the community:
it is near to Winchester, that grand scene of ancient learning, piety,
and munificence. Be this as it may, the parish formerly contained ten
farms, and it now contains but two, which are owned by Mr. Hinton Bailey
and his nephew, and, therefore, which may probably become _one_. There
used to be ten well-fed families in this parish at any rate: these,
taking five to a family, made fifty well-fed people. And now all are
half-starved, except the curate and the two families. The _blame_ is not
the land-owner's; it is nobody's; it is due to the infernal _funding_
and _taxing_ system, which _of necessity_ drives property into large
masses in order to _save itself_; which crushes little proprietors down
into labourers; and which presses them down in that state, there takes
their wages from them and makes them _paupers_, their share of food and
raiment being taken away to support debt and dead-weight and army and
all the rest of the enormous expenses which are required to sustain this
intolerable system. Those, therefore, are fools or hypocrites who affect
to wish to better the lot of the poor labourers and manufacturers, while
they, at the same time, either actively or passively, uphold the system
which is the manifest cause of it. Here is a system which, clearly as
the nose upon your face, you see taking away the little gentleman's
estate, the little farmer's farm, the poor labourer's meat-dinner and
Sunday-coat; and while you see this so plainly, you, fool or hypocrite,
as you are, cry out for supporting the system that causes it all! Go on,
base wretch; but remember that of such a progress dreadful must be the
end. The day will come when millions of long-suffering creatures will be
in a state that they and you now little dream of. All that we now behold
of _combinations_, and the like, are mere _indications_ of what the
great body of the suffering people _feel_, and of the thoughts that are
passing in their minds. The _coaxing_ work of _schools_ and _tracts_
will only add to what would be quite enough without them. There is not a
labourer in the whole country who does not see to the bottom of this
_coaxing_ work. They are _not deceived_ in this respect. Hunger has
opened their eyes. I'll engage that there is not, even in this obscure
village of Stoke-Charity, one single creature, however forlorn, who does
not understand all about the _real motives_ of the school and the tract
and the Bible affair as well as Butterworth, or Rivington, or as Joshua
Watson himself.

Just after we had finished the bread and cheese, we crossed the turnpike
road that goes from Basingstoke to Stockbridge; and Mr. Bailey had told
us that we were then to bear away to our right, and go to the end of a
wood (which we saw one end of), and keep round with that wood, or
coppice, as he called it, to our left; but we, seeing Beacon Hill more
to the left, and resolving to go, as nearly as possible, in a straight
line to it, steered directly over the fields; that is to say, pieces of
ground from 30 to 100 acres in each. But a hill which we had to go over
had here hidden from our sight a part of this "coppice," which consists,
perhaps, of 150 or 200 acres, and which we found sweeping round, in a
crescent-like form so far, from towards our left, as to bring our
land-mark over the coppice at about the mid-length of the latter. Upon
this discovery we slackened sail; for this coppice might be a mile
across; and though the bottom was sound enough, being a coverlet of
flints upon a bed of chalk, the underwood was too high and too thick for
us to face, being, as we were, at so great a distance from the means of
obtaining a fresh supply of clothes. Our leather leggings would have
stood anything; but our coats were of the common kind; and before we saw
the other side of the coppice we should, I dare say, have been as ragged
as forest-ponies in the month of March.

In this dilemma I stopped and looked at the coppice. Luckily two boys,
who had been cutting sticks (to _sell_, I dare say, at least _I hope
so_), made their appearance, at about half a mile off, on the side for
the coppice. Richard galloped off to the boys, from whom he found that
in one part of the coppice there was a road cut across, the point of
entrance into which road they explained to him. This was to us what the
discovery of a canal across the isthmus of Darien would be to a ship in
the Gulf of Mexico wanting to get into the Pacific without doubling Cape
Horne. A beautiful road we found it. I should suppose the best part of a
mile long, perfectly straight, the surface sound and smooth, about eight
feet wide, the whole length seen at once, and, when you are at one end,
the other end seeming to be hardly a yard wide. When we got about
half-way, we found a road that crossed this. These roads are, I suppose,
cut for the hunters. They are very pretty, at any rate, and we found
this one very convenient; for it cut our way short by a full half mile.

From this coppice to Whitchurch is not more than about four miles, and
we soon reached it, because here you begin to descend into the _vale_,
in which this little town lies, and through which there runs that
_stream_ which turns the mill of 'Squire Portal, and which mill makes
the Bank of England Note-Paper! Talk of the Thames and the Hudson with
their forests of masts; talk of the Nile and the Delaware bearing the
food of millions on their bosoms; talk of the Ganges and the Mississippi
sending forth over the world their silks and their cottons; talk of the
Rio de la Plata and the other rivers, their beds pebbled with silver and
gold and diamonds. What, as to their effect on the condition of mankind,
as to the virtues, the vices, the enjoyments and the sufferings of men;
what are all these rivers put together compared with the _river of
Whitchurch_, which a man of threescore may jump across dry-shod, which
moistens a quarter of a mile wide of poor, rushy meadow, which washes
the skirts of the park and game preserves of that bright patrician who
wedded the daughter of Hanson, the attorney and late solicitor to the
Stamp-Office, and which is, to look at it, of far less importance than
any gutter in the Wen! Yet this river, by merely turning a wheel, which
wheel sets some rag-tearers and grinders and washers and re-compressers
in motion, has produced a greater effect on the condition of men than
has been produced on that condition by all the other rivers, all the
seas, all the mines and all the continents in the world. The discovery
of America, and the consequent discovery and use of vast quantities of
silver and gold, did, indeed, produce great effects on the nations of
Europe. They changed the value of money, and caused, as all such changes
must, _a transfer of property_, raising up new families and pulling down
old ones, a transfer very little favourable either to _morality_, or to
real and _substantial liberty_. But this cause worked _slowly_; its
consequences came on by slow _degrees_; it made a transfer of property,
but it made that transfer in so small a degree, and it left the
property quiet in the hands of the new possessor _for so long a time_,
that the effect was not violent, and was not, at any rate, such as to
uproot possessors by whole districts, as the hurricane uproots the

Not so the product of the little sedgy rivulet of Whitchurch! It has, in
the short space of a hundred and thirty-one years, and, indeed, in the
space of the last _forty_, caused greater changes as to property than
had been caused by all other things put together in the long course of
seven centuries, though during that course there had been a sweeping,
confiscating Protestant reformation. Let us look back to the place where
I started on this present rural ride. Poor old Baron Maseres, succeeded
at Reigate by little Parson Fellowes, and at Betchworth (three miles on
my road) by Kendrick, is no bad instance to begin with; for the Baron
was nobly descended, though from French ancestors. At Albury, fifteen
miles on my road, Mr. Drummond (a banker) is in the seat of one of the
Howards, and close by he has bought the estate, just pulled down the
house, and blotted out the memory of the Godschalls. At Chilworth, two
miles further down the same vale, and close under St. Martha's Hill, Mr.
Tinkler, a powder-maker (succeeding Hill, another powder-maker, who had
been a breeches-maker at Hounslow), has got the old mansion and the
estate of the old Duchess of Marlborough, who frequently resided in what
was then a large quadrangular mansion, but the remains of which now
serve as out farm-buildings and a farmhouse, which I found inhabited by
a poor labourer and his family, the farm being in the hands of the
powder-maker, who does not find the once noble seat good enough for him.
Coming on to Waverley Abbey, there is Mr. Thompson, a merchant,
succeeding the Orby Hunters and Sir Robert Rich. Close adjoining, Mr.
Laing, a West India dealer of some sort, has stepped into the place of
the lineal descendants of Sir William Temple. At Farnham the park and
palace remain in the hands of a Bishop of Winchester, as they have done
for about eight hundred years: but why is this? Because they are public
property; because they cannot, without express laws, be transferred.
Therefore the product of the rivulet of Whitchurch has had no effect
upon the ownership of these, which are still in the hands of a Bishop of
Winchester; not of a William of Wykham, to be sure; but still, in those
of a bishop, at any rate. Coming on to old Alresford (twenty miles from
Farnham) Sheriff, the son of a Sheriff, who was a Commissary in the
American war, has succeeded the Gages. Two miles further on, at
Abbotston (down on the side of the Itchen) Alexander Baring has
succeeded the heirs and successors of the Duke of Bolton, the remains of
whose noble mansion I once saw here. Not above a mile higher up, the
same Baring has, at the Grange, with its noble mansion, park and estate,
succeeded the heirs of Lord Northington; and at only about two miles
further, Sir Thomas Baring, at Stratton Park, has succeeded the Russells
in the ownership of the estates of Stratton and Micheldover, which were
once the property of Alfred the Great! Stepping back, and following my
road, down by the side of the meadows of the beautiful river Itchen, and
coming to Easton, I look across to Martyr's Worthy, and there see (as I
observed before) the Ogles succeeded by a general or a colonel somebody;
but who, or whence, I cannot learn.

This is all in less than four score miles, from Reigate even to this
place, where I now am. Oh! mighty rivulet of Whitchurch! All our
properties, all our laws, all our manners, all our minds, you have
changed! This, which I have noticed, has all taken place within forty,
and most of it within _ten_ years. The _small gentry_, to about the
_third_ rank upwards (considering there to be five ranks from the
smallest gentry up to the greatest nobility), are _all gone_, nearly to
a man, and the small farmers along with them. The Barings alone have, I
should think, swallowed up thirty or forty of these small gentry without
perceiving it. They, indeed, swallow up the biggest race of all; but
innumerable small fry slip down unperceived, like caplins down the
throats of the sharks, while these latter _feel_ only the codfish. It
frequently happens, too, that a big gentleman or nobleman, whose estate
has been big enough to resist for a long while, and who has swilled up
many caplin-gentry, goes down the throat of the loan-dealer with all the
caplins in his belly.

Thus the Whitchurch rivulet goes on, shifting property from hand to
hand. The big, in order to save themselves from being "_swallowed up
quick_" (as we used to be taught to say in our Church Prayers against
Buonaparte), make use of their _voices_ to get, through place, pension,
or sinecure, something back from the taxers. Others of them _fall in
love_ with the _daughters_ and _widows_ of paper-money people, big
brewers, and the like; and sometimes their daughters _fall in love_ with
the paper-money people's sons, or the fathers of those sons; and,
whether they be _Jews_, or not, seems to be little matter with this
all-subduing passion of love. But the _small gentry_ have no resource.
While _war_ lasted, "_glorious_ war," there was a resource; but _now_,
alas! not only is there no war, but there is _no hope of war_; and not a
few of them will actually come to the _parish-book_. There is no place
for them in the army, church, navy, customs, excise, pension-list, or
anywhere else. All these are now wanted by "their _betters_." A
stock-jobber's family will not look at such penniless things. So that
while they have been the active, the zealous, the efficient
instruments, in compelling the working classes to submit to
half-starvation, they have at any rate been brought to the most abject
ruin themselves; for which I most heartily thank God. The "harvest of
war" is never to return without a total blowing up of the paper-system.
Spain must belong to France, St. Domingo must pay her tribute. America
must be paid for slaves taken away in war, she must have Florida, she
must go on openly and avowedly making a navy for the purpose of humbling
us; and all this, and ten times more, if France and America should
choose; and yet we can have _no war_ as long as the paper-system last;
and, if _that cease_, then _what is to come_!

_Burghclere, Sunday Morning, 6th November._

It has been fine all the week until to-day, when we intended to set off
for Hurstbourn-Tarrant, vulgarly called Uphusband, but the rain seems as
if it would stop us. From Whitchurch to within two miles of this place
it is the same sort of country as between Winchester and Whitchurch.
High, chalk bottom, open downs or large fields, with here and there a
farmhouse in a dell sheltered by lofty trees, which, to my taste, is the
most pleasant situation in the world.

This has been, with Richard, one whole week of hare-hunting, and with
me, three days and a half. The weather has been amongst the finest that
I ever saw, and Lord Caernarvon's preserves fill the country with hares,
while these hares invite us to ride about and to see his park and
estate, at this fine season of the year, in every direction. We are now
on the north side of that Beacon Hill for which we steered last Sunday.
This makes part of a chain of lofty chalk-hills and downs, which divides
all the lower part of Hampshire from Berkshire, though the ancient
ruler, owner, of the former took a little strip all along on the flat,
on this side of the chain, in order, I suppose, to make the ownership of
the hills themselves the more clear of all dispute; just as the owner of
a field-hedge and bank owns also the ditch on his neighbour's side. From
these hills you look, at one view, over the whole of Berkshire, into
Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire, and you can see the Isle of
Wight and the sea. On this north side the chalk soon ceases, and the
sand and clay begin, and the oak-woods cover a great part of the
surface. Amongst these is the farmhouse in which we are, and from the
warmth and good fare of which we do not mean to stir until we can do it
without the chance of a wet skin.

This rain has given me time to look at the newspapers of about a week
old. Oh, oh! The Cotton Lords are tearing! Thank God for that! The Lords
of the Anvil are snapping! Thank God for that too! They have kept poor
souls, then, in a heat of 84 degrees to little purpose after all. The
"great interests" mentioned in the King's Speech do not, _then_, all
continue to flourish! The "prosperity" was not, then, "permanent,"
though the King was advised to assert so positively that it was!
"Anglo-Mexican and Pasco-Peruvian" fall in price, and the Chronicle
assures me that "the respectable owners of the Mexican Mining shares
mean to take measures to protect their _property_." Indeed! Like
_protecting_ the Spanish Bonds, I suppose? Will the Chronicle be so good
as to tell us the names of these "_respectable_ persons"? Doctor Black
must know their names; or else he could not know them to be
_respectable_. If the parties be those that I have heard, these mining
works may possibly operate with them as an emetic, and make them throw
up a part at least of what they have taken down.

There has, I see, at New York, been that confusion which I, four months
ago, said would and must take place; that breaking of merchants and all
the ruin which, in such a case, spreads itself about, ruining families
and producing fraud and despair. Here will be, between the two
countries, an interchange of cause and effect, proceeding from the
dealings in _cotton_, until, first and last, two or three hundred
thousands of persons have, at one spell of paper-money work, been made
to drink deep of misery. I pity none but the poor English creatures, who
are compelled to work on the wool of this accursed weed, which has done
so much mischief to England. The slaves who cultivate and gather the
cotton are well fed. They do not suffer. The sufferers are these who
spin it and weave it and colour it, and the wretched beings who cover
with it those bodies which, as in the time of old Fortescue, ought to be
"clothed throughout in good woollens."

One newspaper says that Mr. Huskisson is gone to Paris, and thinks it
_likely_ that he will endeavour to "inculcate in the mind of the
Bourbons wise principles of _free trade_!" What the devil next! Persuade
them, I suppose, that it is for _their good_ that English goods should
be admitted into France and into St. Domingo with little or no duty?
Persuade them to make a treaty of commerce with him; and, in short,
persuade them to make _France help to pay the interest of our debt and
dead-weight_, lest our system of paper should go to pieces, and lest
that should be followed by _a radical reform_, which reform would be
injurious to "the monarchical principle!" This newspaper politician
does, however, _think_ that the Bourbons will be "too dull" to
comprehend these "_enlightened_ and _liberal_" notions; and I think so
too. I think the Bourbons, or, rather, those who will speak for them,
will say: "No thank you. You contracted your debt without our
participation; you made your _dead-weight_ for your own purposes; the
seizure of our museums and the loss of our frontier towns followed your
victory of Waterloo, though we were 'your Allies' at the time; you made
us pay an enormous Tribute after that battle, and kept possession of
part of France till we had paid it; you _wished_, the other day, to keep
us out of Spain, and you, Mr. Huskisson, in a speech at Liverpool,
called our deliverance of the King of Spain an _unjust and unprincipled
act of aggression_, while Mr. Canning _prayed to God_ that we might not
succeed. No thank you, Mr. Huskisson, no. No coaxing, Sir: we saw, then,
too clearly the _advantage we derived from your having a debt and a dead
weight_ to wish to assist in relieving you from either. 'Monarchical
principle' here, or 'monarchical principle' there, we know that your
mill-stone debt is our best security. We like to have your wishes, your
prayers, and your abuse against us, rather than your _subsidies_ and
your _fleets_: and so farewell, Mr. Huskisson: if you like, the English
may drink French wine; but whether they do or not, the French shall not
wear your rotten cottons. And as a last word, how did you maintain the
'monarchical principle,' the 'paternal principle,' or as Castlereagh
called it, the 'social system,' when you called that an unjust and
unprincipled aggression which put an end to the bargain by which the
convents and other church-property of Spain were to be transferred to
the Jews and Jobbers of London? Bon jour, Monsieur Huskisson, ci-devant
membre et orateur du club de quatre vingt neuf!"

If they do not actually say this to him, this is what they will think;
and that is, as to the effect, precisely the same thing. It is
childishness to suppose that any nation will act from a desire of
_serving all other nations, or any one other nation, as well as itself_.
It will make, unless compelled, no compact by which it does not think
itself _a gainer_; and amongst its gains it must, and always does,
reckon the injury to its rivals. It is a stupid idea that _all nations
are to gain_ by anything. Whatever is the gain of one must, in some way
or other, be a loss to another. So that this new project of "free trade"
and "mutual gain" is as pure a humbug as that which the newspapers
carried on during the "glorious days" of loans, when they told us, at
every loan, that the bargain was "equally advantageous to the
contractors and to the public!" The fact is, the "free trade" project is
clearly the effect of a _consciousness of our weakness_. As long as we
felt _strong_, we felt _bold_, we had no thought of _conciliating_ the
world; we upheld a system of _exclusion_, which long experience proved
to be founded in _sound policy_. But we now find that our debts and our
loads of various sorts cripple us. We feel our incapacity for the
_carrying of trade sword in hand_: and so we have given up all our old
maxims, and are endeavouring to persuade the world that we are anxious
to enjoy no advantages that are not enjoyed also by our neighbours.
Alas! the world sees very clearly the cause of all this; and the world
_laughs at us_ for our imaginary cunning. My old doggrel, that used to
make me and my friends laugh in Long Island, is precisely pat to this

  When his maw was stuffed with paper,
  How JOHN BULL did prance and caper!
  How he foam'd and how he roar'd:
  How his neighbours all he gored!
  How he scrap'd the ground and hurl'd
  Dirt and filth on all the world!
  But JOHN BULL of paper empty,
  Though in midst of peace and plenty,
  Is modest grown as worn-out sinner,
  As Scottish laird that wants a dinner;
  As WILBERFORCE, become content
  A rotten burgh to represent;
  As BLUE and BUFF, when, after hunting
  On Yankee coasts their "_bits of bunting_,"
  Came softly back across the seas,
  And silent were as mice in cheese.

Yes, the whole world, and particularly the French and the Yankees, see
very clearly the _course_ of this fit of modesty and of liberality into
which we have so recently fallen. They know well that a _war_ would play
the very devil with our national faith. They know, in short, that no
Ministers in their senses will think of supporting the paper-system
through another war. They know well that no Ministers that now exist, or
are likely to exist, will venture to endanger the paper-system; and
therefore they know that (for England) they may now do just what they
please. When the French were about to invade Spain, Mr. Canning said
that his last despatch on the subject was to be understood as a
_protest_ on the part of England against permanent occupation of any
part of Spain by France. There the French are, however; and at the end
of two years and a half he says that he knows nothing about any
intention that they have to quit Spain, or any part of it.

Why, Saint Domingo _was_ independent. We had traded with it as an
independent state. Is it not clear that if we had said the word (and had
been known to be able to _arm_), France would not have attempted to
treat that fine and rich country as a colony? Mark how wise this measure
of France! How _just_, too; to obtain by means of a tribute from the St.
Domingoians compensation for the _loyalists_ of that country! Was this
done with regard to the loyalists of _America_ in the reign of the good
jubilee George III.? Oh, no! Those loyalists had to be paid, and many of
them have even yet, at the end of more than half a century, to be paid
out of taxes raised on _us_, for the losses occasioned by their
disinterested loyalty! This was a masterstroke on the part of France;
she gets about seven millions sterling in the way of tribute; she makes
that rich island yield to her great commercial advantages; and she, at
the same time, paves the way for effecting one of two objects; namely,
getting the island back again, or throwing our islands into confusion
whenever it shall be her interest to do it.

This might have been prevented by _a word_ from us if we had been ready
for _war_. But we are grown _modest_; we are grown _liberal_; we do not
want to engross that which fairly belongs to our neighbours! We have
undergone a change somewhat like that which marriage produces on a
blustering fellow who while single can but just clear his teeth. This
change is quite surprising, and especially by the time that the second
child comes the man is _loaded_; he looks like a loaded man; his voice
becomes so soft and gentle compared to what it used to be. Just such are
the effects of _our load_: but the worst of it is our neighbours are
_not_ thus loaded. However, far be it from me to _regret_ this, or any
part of it. The load is the people's best friend. If that could,
_without reform_: if that could be shaken off, leaving the seat-men and
the parsons in their present state, I would not live in England another
day! And I say this with as much seriousness as if I were upon my

The wise men of the newspapers are for a repeal of the _Corn Laws_. With
all my heart. I will join anybody in a petition for their repeal. But
this will not be done. We shall stop short of this extent of
"liberality," let what may be the consequence to the manufacturers. The
Cotton Lords must all go, to the last man, rather than a repeal, these
laws will take place: and of this the newspaper wise men may be assured.
The farmers can but just rub along now, with all their high prices and
low wages. What would be their state, and that of their landlords, if
the wheat were to come down again to 4, 5, or even 6 shillings a
bushels? Universal agricultural bankruptcy would be the almost instant
consequence. Many of them are now deep in debt from the effects of 1820,
1821, and 1822. One more year like 1822 would have broken the whole
mass up, and left the lands to be cultivated, under the overseers, for
the benefit of the paupers. Society would have been nearly dissolved,
and the state of nature would have returned. The Small-Note Bill,
co-operating with the Corn Laws, have given a respite, and nothing more.
This Bill must remain _efficient_, paper-money must cover the country,
and the corn-laws must remain in force; or an "equitable adjustment"
must take place; or, to a state of nature this country must return.
What, then, as _I want_ a repeal of the corn-laws, and also _want_ to
get rid of the paper-money, I must want to see this return to a state of
nature? By no means. I want the "equitable adjustment," and I am quite
sure that no adjustment can be _equitable_ which does not apply _every
penny's worth of public property_ to the payment of the fund-holders and
dead-weight and the like. Clearly just and reasonable as this is,
however, the very mention of it makes the FIRE-SHOVELS, and some others,
half mad. It makes them storm and rant and swear like Bedlamites. But it
is curious to hear them talk of the impracticability of it; when they
all know that, by only two or three Acts of Parliament, Henry VIII. did
ten times as much as it would now, I hope, be necessary to do. If the
duty were imposed _on me_, no statesman, legislator or lawyer, but a
simple citizen, I think I could, in less than twenty-four hours, draw up
an Act that would give satisfaction to, I will not say _every man_, but
to, at least, ninety-nine out of every hundred; an Act that would put
all affairs of money and of religion to rights at once; but that would,
I must confess, soon take from us that amiable _modesty_, of which I
have spoken above, and which is so conspicuously shown in our works of
free trade and liberality.

The weather is clearing up; our horses are saddled, and we are off.


_Hurstbourne Tarrant (or Uphusband), Monday, 7th November 1825._

We came off from Burghclere yesterday afternoon, crossing Lord
Caernarvon's park, going out of it on the west side of Beacon Hill, and
sloping away to our right over the downs towards Woodcote. The afternoon
was singularly beautiful. The downs (even the poorest of them) are
perfectly green; the sheep on the downs look, this year, like fatting
sheep: we came through a fine flock of ewes, and, looking round us, we
saw, all at once, seven flocks, on different parts of the downs, each
flock on an average containing at least 500 sheep.

It is about six miles from Burghclere to this place; and we made it
about twelve; not in order to avoid the turnpike-road, but because we do
not ride about to _see_ turnpike-roads; and, moreover, because I had
seen this most monstrously hilly turnpike-road before. We came through a
village called Woodcote, and another called Binley. I never saw any
inhabited places more recluse than these. Yet into these the
all-searching eye of the taxing Thing reaches. Its Exciseman can tell it
what is doing even in the little odd corner of Binley; for even there I
saw, over the door of a place, not half so good as the place in which my
fowls roost, "_Licensed to deal in tea and tobacco_." Poor, half-starved
wretches of Binley! The hand of taxation, the collection for the
sinecures and pensions, must fix its nails even in them, who really
appeared too miserable to be called by the name of _people_. Yet there
was one whom the taxing Thing had licensed (good God! _licensed!_) to
serve out cat-lap to these wretched creatures! And our impudent and
ignorant newspaper scribes talk of the _degraded state of the people of
Spain_! Impudent impostors! Can they show a group so wretched, so
miserable, so truly enslaved as this, in all Spain? No: and those of
them who are not sheer fools know it well. But there would have been
misery equal to this in Spain if the Jews and Jobbers could have carried
the Bond-scheme into effect. The people of Spain were, through the
instrumentality of patriot loan-makers, within an inch of being made as
"enlightened" as the poor, starving things of Binley. They would soon
have had people "licensed" to make them pay the Jews for permission to
chew tobacco, or to have a light in their dreary abodes. The people of
Spain were preserved from this by the French army, for which the Jews
cursed the French army; and the same army put an end to those "bonds,"
by means of which _pious_ Protestants hoped to be able to get at the
convents in Spain, and thereby put down "idolatry" in that country.
These bonds seem now not to be worth a farthing; and so after all the
Spanish people will have no one "licensed" by the Jews to make them pay
for turning the fat of their sheep into candles and soap. These poor
creatures that I behold here _pass their lives amidst flocks of sheep_;
but never does a morsel of mutton enter their lips. A labouring man told
me, at Binley, that he had not tasted meat since harvest; and his looks
vouched for the statement. Let the Spaniards come and look at this poor,
shotten-herring of a creature; and then let them estimate what is due
to a set of "enlightening" and loan-making "patriots." Old Fortescue
says that "the English are clothed in good woollens throughout," and
that they have "plenty of flesh of all sorts to eat." Yes; but at this
time the nation was not mortgaged. The "enlightening" patriots would
have made Spain what England now is. The people must never more, after a
few years, have tasted mutton, though living surrounded with flocks of

_Easton, near Winchester, Wednesday Evening, 9th Nov._

I intended to go from Uphusband to Stonehenge, thence to Old Sarum, and
thence through the New Forest, to Southampton and Botley, and thence
across into Sussex, to see Up-Park and Cowdry House. But, then, there
must be no loss of time: I must adhere to a certain route as strictly as
a regiment on a march. I had written the route: and Laverstock, after
seeing Stonehenge and Old Sarum, was to be the resting-place of
yesterday (Tuesday); but when it came, it brought rain with it after a
white frost on Monday. It was likely to rain again to-day. It became
necessary to change the route, as I must get to London by a certain day;
and as the first day, on the new route, brought us here.

I had been three times at Uphusband before, and had, as my readers will,
perhaps, recollect, described the bourn here, or the _brook_. It has, in
general, no water at all in it from August to March. There is the bed of
a little river; but no water. In March, or thereabouts, the water begins
to boil up in thousands upon thousands of places, in the little narrow
meadows, just above the village; that is to say a little higher up the
valley. When the chalk hills are full; when the chalk will hold no more
water; then it comes out at the lowest spots near these immense hills
and becomes a rivulet first, and then a river. But until this visit to
Uphusband (or Hurstbourne Tarrant, as the map calls it), little did I
imagine that this rivulet, dry half the year, was the head of the river
Teste, which, after passing through Stockbridge and Rumsey, falls into
the sea near Southampton.

We had to follow the bed of this river to Bourne; but there the water
begins to appear; and it runs all the year long about a mile lower down.
Here it crosses Lord Portsmouth's out-park, and our road took us the
same way to the village called Down Husband, the scene (as the
broad-sheet tells us) of so many of that Noble Lord's ringing and
cart-driving exploits. Here we crossed the London and Andover road, and
leaving Andover to our right and Whitchurch to our left, we came on to
Long Parish, where, crossing the water, we came up again on that high
country which continues all across to Winchester. After passing
Bullington, Sutton, and Wonston, we veered away from Stoke-Charity, and
came across the fields to the high down, whence you see Winchester, or
rather the Cathedral; for at this distance you can distinguish nothing
else clearly.

As we had to come to this place, which is three miles _up_ the river
Itchen from Winchester, we crossed the Winchester and Basingstoke road
at King's Worthy. This brought us, before we crossed the river, along
through Martyr's Worthy, so long the seat of the Ogles, and now, as I
observed in my last Register, sold to a general or colonel. These Ogles
had been deans, I believe; or prebends, or something of that sort: and
the one that used to live here had been, and was when he died, an
"admiral." However, this last one, "Sir Charles," the loyal address
mover, is my man for the present. We saw, down by the water-side,
opposite to "Sir Charles's" _late_ family mansion, a beautiful
strawberry garden, capable of being watered by a branch of the Itchen
which comes close by it, and which is, I suppose, brought there on
purpose. Just by, on the greensward, under the shade of very fine trees,
is an alcove, wherein to sit to eat the strawberries, coming from the
little garden just mentioned, and met by bowls of cream coming from a
little milk-house, shaded by another clump a little lower down the
stream. What delight! What a terrestrial paradise! "Sir Charles" might
be very frequently in this paradise, while that Sidmouth, whose Bill he
so applauded, had many men shut up in loathsome dungeons! Ah, well! "Sir
Charles," those very men may, perhaps, at this moment, envy neither you
nor Sidmouth; no, nor Sidmouth's son and heir, even though Clerk of the
Pells. At any rate it is not likely that "Sir Charles" will sit again in
this paradise contemplating another _loyal address_, to carry to a
county meeting ready engrossed on parchment, to be presented by Fleming
and supported by Lockhart and the "Hampshire parsons."

I think I saw, as I came along, the new owner of the estate. It seems
that he bought it "stock and fluke" as the sailors call it; that is to
say, that he bought moveables and the whole. He appeared to me to be a
keen man. I can't find out where he comes from, or what he or his father
has been. I like to see the revolution going on; but I like to be able
to trace the parties a little more _closely_. "Sir Charles," the loyal
address gentleman, lives in London, I hear. I will, I think, call upon
him (if I can find him out) when I get back, and ask how he does now?
There is one Hollest, a George Hollest, who figured pretty bigly on that
same loyal address day. This man is become quite an inoffensive harmless
creature. If we were to have another county meeting, he would not, I
think, threaten to put the sash down upon anybody's head! Oh! Peel,
Peel, Peel! Thy Bill, oh, Peel, did sicken them so! Let us, oh, thou
offspring of the great Spinning Jenny promoter, who subscribed ten
thousand pounds towards the late "glorious" war; who was, after that,
made a Baronet, and whose biographers (in the Baronetage) tell the world
that he had a "presentiment that he should be the founder of a family."
Oh, thou, thou great Peel, do thou let us have only two more years of
thy Bill! Or, oh, great Peel, Minister of the interior, do thou let us
have repeal of Corn Bill! Either will do, great Peel. We shall then see
such _modest_ 'squires, and parsons looking so queer! However, if thou
wilt not listen to us, great Peel, we must, perhaps (and only perhaps),
wait a little longer. It is sure to come _at last_, and to come, too, in
the most efficient way.

The water in the Itchen is, they say, famed for its clearness. As I was
crossing the river the other day, at Avington, I told Richard to look at
it, and I asked him if he did not think it very clear. I now find that
this has been remarked by very ancient writers. I see, in a newspaper
just received, an account of dreadful fires in New Brunswick. It is
curious that in my Register of the 29th October (dated from Chilworth in
Surrey) I should have put a question relative to the White-Clover, the
Huckleberries, or the Raspberries, which start up after the burning down
of woods in America. These fires have been at two places which I saw
when there were hardly any people in the whole country; and if there
never had been any people there to this day it would have been a good
thing for England. Those colonies are a dead expense, without a
possibility of their ever being of any use. There are, I see, a church
and a barrack destroyed. And why a barrack? What! were there bayonets
wanted already to keep the people in order? For as to an _enemy_, where
was he to come from? And if there really be an enemy anywhere there
about, would it not be a wise way to leave the worthless country to him,
to use it after his own way? I was at that very Fredericton, where they
say thirty houses and thirty-nine barns have now been burnt. I can
remember when there was no more thought of there ever being a barn there
than there is now thought of there being economy in our Government. The
English money used to be spent prettily in that country. What do _we_
want with armies and barracks and chaplains in those woods? What does
anybody want with them; but _we_, above all the rest of the world? There
is nothing there, no house, no barrack, no wharf, nothing, but what is
bought with taxes raised on the half-starving people of England. What do
_we_ want with these wildernesses? Ah! but they are wanted by creatures
who will not work in England, and whom this fine system of ours sends
out into those woods to live in idleness upon the fruit of English
labour. The soldier, the commissary, the barrack-master, all the whole
tribe, no matter under what _name_; what keeps them? They are paid "by
Government;" and I wish that we constantly bore in mind that the
"Government" pays _our_ money. It is, to be sure, sorrowful to hear of
such fires and such dreadful effects proceeding from them; but to me it
is beyond all measure _more sorrowful_ to see _the labourers of England
worse fed than the convicts in the gaols_; and I know very well that
these worthless and jobbing colonies have assisted to bring England into
this horrible state. The honest labouring man is allowed (aye, by the
magistrates) less food than the felon in the gaol; and the felon is
clothed and has fuel; and the labouring man has nothing allowed for
these. These worthless colonies, which find places for people that the
Thing provides for, have helped to produce this dreadful state in
England. Therefore, any _assistance_ the sufferers should never have
from me, while I could find an honest and industrious English labourer
(unloaded with a family too) fed worse than a felon in the gaols; and
this I can find in every part of the country.

_Petersfield, Friday Evening, 11th November._

We lost another day at Easton; the whole of yesterday, it having rained
the whole day; so that we could not have come an inch but in the wet. We
started, therefore, this morning, coming through the Duke of
Buckingham's Park, at Avington, which is close by Easton, and on the
same side of the Itchen. This is a very beautiful place. The house is
close down at the edge of the meadow land; there is a lawn before it,
and a pond, supplied by the Itchen, at the end of the lawn, and bounded
by the park on the other side. The high road, through the park, goes
very near to this water; and we saw thousands of wild-ducks in the pond,
or sitting round on the green edges of it, while, on one side of the
pond, the hares and pheasants were moving about upon a gravel walk on
the side of a very fine plantation. We looked down upon all this from a
rising ground, and the water, like a looking-glass, showed us the trees,
and even the animals. This is certainly one of the very prettiest spots
in the world. The wild water-fowl seem to take particular delight in
this place. There are a great many at Lord Caernarvon's; but there the
water is much larger, and the ground and wood about it comparatively
rude and coarse. Here, at Avington, everything is in such beautiful
order; the lawn before the house is of the finest green, and most neatly
kept; and the edge of the pond (which is of several acres) is as smooth
as if it formed part of a bowling-green. To see so many _wild_-fowl in
a situation where everything is in the _parterre_-order has a most
pleasant effect on the mind; and Richard and I, like Pope's cock in the
farmyard, could not help _thanking_ the Duke and Duchess for having
generously made such ample provision for our pleasure, and that, too,
merely to please us as we were passing along. Now this is the advantage
of going about on _horseback_. On foot the fatigue is too great, and you
go too slowly. In any sort of carriage you cannot get into the _real
country places_. To travel in stage coaches is to be hurried along by
force, in a box, with an air-hole in it, and constantly exposed to
broken limbs, the _danger_ being much greater than that of ship-board,
and the _noise_ much more disagreeable, while the _company_ is
frequently not a great deal more to one's liking.

From this beautiful spot we had to mount gradually the downs to the
southward; but it is impossible to quit the vale of the Itchen without
one more look back at it. To form a just estimate of its real value, and
that of the lands near it, it is only necessary to know that from its
source at Bishop's Sutton this river has, on its two banks, in the
distance of nine miles (before it reaches Winchester) thirteen parish
churches. There must have been some _people_ to erect these churches. It
is not true, then, that Pitt and George III. _created the English
nation_, notwithstanding all that the Scotch _feelosofers_ are ready to
swear about the matter. In short, there can be no doubt in the mind of
any rational man that in the time of the Plantagenets England was, out
of all comparison, more populous than it is now.

When we began to get up towards the downs, we, to our great surprise,
saw them covered with _Snow_. "Sad times coming on for poor Sir Glory,"
said I to Richard. "Why?" said Dick. It was too cold to talk much; and,
besides, a great sluggishness in his horse made us both rather serious.
The horse had been too hard ridden at Burghclere, and had got cold. This
made us change our route again, and instead of going over the downs
towards Hambledon, in our way to see the park and the innumerable hares
and pheasants of Sir Harry Featherstone, we pulled away more to the
left, to go through Bramdean, and so on to Petersfield, contracting
greatly our intended circuit. And, besides, I had never seen Bramdean,
the spot on which, it is said, Alfred fought his last great and glorious
battle with the Danes. A fine country for a battle, sure enough! We
stopped at the village to bait our horses; and while we were in the
public-house an Exciseman came and rummaged it all over, taking an
account of the various sorts of liquor in it, having the air of a
complete master of the premises, while a very pretty and modest girl
waited on him to produce the divers bottles, jars, and kegs. I wonder
whether Alfred had a thought of anything like this when he was clearing
England from her oppressors?

A little to our right, as we came along, we left the village of
Kingston, where 'Squire Græme once lived, as was before related. Here,
too, lived a 'Squire Ridge, a famous fox-hunter, at a great mansion, now
used as a farmhouse; and it is curious enough that this 'Squire's
son-in-law, one Gunner, an attorney at Bishop's Waltham, is steward to
the man who now owns the estate.

Before we got to Petersfield we called at an old friend's and got some
bread and cheese and small beer, which we preferred to strong. In
approaching Petersfield we began to descend from the high chalk-country,
which (with the exception of the valleys of the Itchen and the Teste)
had lasted us from Uphusband (almost the north-west point of the county)
to this place, which is not far from the south-east point of it. Here we
quit flint and chalk and downs, and take to sand, clay, hedges, and
coppices; and here, on the verge of Hampshire, we begin again to see
those endless little bubble-formed hills that we before saw round the
foot of Hindhead. We have got in in very good time, and got, at the
Dolphin, good stabling for our horses. The waiters and people at inns
_look so hard at us_ to see us so liberal as to horse-feed, fire,
candle, beds, and room, while we are so very very sparing in the article
of _drink_! They seem to pity our taste. I hear people complain of the
"exorbitant charges" at inns; but my wonder always is how the people can
live with charging so little. Except in one single instance, I have
uniformly, since I have been from home, thought the charges too low for
people to live by.

This long evening has given me time to look at the Star newspaper of
last night; and I see that, with all possible desire to disguise the
fact, there is a great "_panic_" brewing. It is impossible that this
thing can go on, in its present way, for any length of time. The talk
about "speculations"; that is to say, adventurous dealings, or, rather,
commercial gamblings; the talk about _these_ having been the cause of
the breakings and the other symptoms of approaching convulsion is the
most miserable nonsense that ever was conceived in the heads of idiots.
These are _effect_; not _cause_. The cause is the _Small-note Bill_,
that last brilliant effort of the joint mind of Van and Castlereagh.
That Bill was, as I always called it, a _respite_; and it was, and could
be, nothing more. It could only put off the evil hour; it could not
prevent the final arrival of that hour. To have proceeded with Peel's
Bill was, indeed, to produce total convulsion. The land must have been
surrendered to the overseers for the use of the poor. That is to say,
without an "Equitable Adjustment." But that adjustment as prayed for by
Kent, Norfolk, Hereford, and Surrey, might have taken place; it _ought_
to have taken place: and it must, at last, take place, or, convulsion
must come. As to the _nature_ of this "adjustment," is it not most
distinctly described in the Norfolk Petition? Is not that memorable
petition now in the Journals of the House of Commons? What more is
wanted than to act on the prayer of that very petition? Had I to draw up
a petition again, I would not change a single word of that. It pleased
Mr. Brougham's "best public instructor" to abuse that petition, and it
pleased Daddy Coke and the Hickory Quaker, Gurney, and the wise
barn-orator, to calumniate its author. They succeeded; but their success
was but shame to them; and that author is yet destined to triumph over
them. I have seen no London paper for ten days until to-day; and I
should not have seen this if the waiter had not forced it upon me. I
know _very nearly_ what will happen by _next May_, or thereabouts; and
as to the manner in which things will work in the meanwhile, it is of
far less consequence to the nation than it is what sort of weather I
shall have to ride in to-morrow. One thing, however, I wish to observe,
and that is, that, if any attempt be made to repeal the _Corn-Bill_, the
main body of the farmers will be crushed into total ruin. I come into
_contact_ with few who are not gentlemen or very substantial farmers;
but I know the state of the _whole_; and I know that, even with present
prices, and with _honest labourers fed worse than felons_, it is
_rub-and-go_ with nineteen-twentieths of the farmers; and of this fact I
beseech the ministers to be well aware. And with this fact staring them
in the face! with that other horrid fact, that, by the regulations of
the _magistrates_ (who cannot avoid it, mind,), the honest labourer is
fed worse than the convicted felon; with the breakings of merchants, so
ruinous to confiding foreigners, so disgraceful to the name of England;
with the thousands of industrious and care-taking creatures reduced to
beggary by bank-paper; with panic upon panic, plunging thousands upon
thousands into despair: with all this notorious as the Sun at noon-day,
will they again advise their Royal Master to tell the Parliament and the
world that this country is "in a state of unequalled prosperity," and
that this prosperity "must be permanent, because _all_ the great
interests are _flourishing_?" Let them! That will not alter the
_result_. I had been, for several weeks, saying that the _seeming
prosperity_ was _fallacious_; that the cause of it must lead to
_ultimate_ and shocking ruin; that it could not last, because it arose
from causes so manifestly _fictitious_; that, in short, it was the
fair-looking, but poisonous, fruit of a miserable expedient. I had been
saying this for several weeks, when, out came the King's Speech and
gave me and my doctrines the _lie direct_ as to every point. Well: now,
then, we shall _soon see_.


_Petworth, Saturday, 12th Nov. 1825._

I was at this town in the summer of 1823, when I crossed Sussex from
Worth to Huntington in my way to Titchfield in Hampshire. We came this
morning from Petersfield, with an intention to cross to Horsham, and go
thence to Worth, and then into Kent; but Richard's horse seemed not to
be fit for so strong a bout, and therefore we resolved to bend our
course homewards, and first of all to fall back upon our resources at
Thursley, which we intend to reach to-morrow, going through North
Chapel, Chiddingfold, and Brook.

At about four miles from Petersfield we passed through a village called
Rogate. Just before we came to it I asked a man who was hedging on the
side of the road how much he got a day. He said, 1_s._ 6_d._: and he
told me that the _allowed_ wages was 7_d._ a day for the man _and a
gallon loaf a week for the rest of his family_; that is to say, one
pound and two and a quarter ounces of bread for each of them; and
nothing more! And this, observe, is one-third short of the bread
allowance of gaols, to say nothing of the meat and clothing and lodging
of the inhabitants of gaols. If the man have full work; if he get his
eighteen-pence a day, the whole nine shillings does not purchase a
gallon loaf each for a wife and three children, and two gallon loaves
for himself. In the gaols the convicted felons have a pound and a half
each of bread a day to begin with: they have some meat generally, and it
has been found absolutely necessary to allow them meat when they work at
the tread-mill. It is impossible to make them work at the tread-mill
without it. However, let us take the bare allowance of bread allowed in
the gaols. This allowance is, for five people, fifty-two pounds and a
half in the week; whereas the man's nine shillings will buy but
fifty-two pounds of bread; and this, observe, is a vast deal better than
the state of things in the north of Hampshire, where the day-labourer
gets but eight shillings a week. I asked this man how much a day they
gave to a young able man who had no family, and who was compelled to
come to the parish-officers for work. Observe that there are a great
many young men in this situation, because the farmers will not employ
single men _at full wages_, these full wages being wanted for the
married man's family, just to keep them alive according to the
calculation that we have just seen. About the borders of the north of
Hampshire they give to these single men two gallon loaves a week, or, in
money, two shillings and eight-pence, and nothing more. Here, in this
part of Sussex, they give the single man seven-pence a day, that is to
say, enough to buy two pounds and a quarter of bread for six days in the
week, and as he does not work on the Sunday there is no seven-pence
allowed for the Sunday, and of course nothing to eat: and this is the
allowance, settled by the magistrates, for a young, hearty, labouring
man; and that, too, in the part of England where, I believe, they live
better than in any other part of it. The poor creature here has
seven-pence a day for six days in the week to find him food, clothes,
washing, and lodging! It is just seven-pence, less than one half of what
the meanest foot soldier in the standing army receives; besides that the
latter has clothing, candle, fire, and lodging into the bargain! Well
may we call our happy state of things the "envy of surrounding nations,
and the admiration of the world!" We hear of the efforts of Mrs. Fry,
Mr. Buxton, and numerous other persons, to improve the situation of
felons in the gaols; but never, no never, do we catch them ejaculating
one single pious sigh for these innumerable sufferers, who are doomed to
become felons or to waste away their bodies by hunger.

When we came into the village of Rogate, I saw a little group of persons
standing before a blacksmith's shop. The church-yard was on the other
side of the road, surrounded by a low wall. The earth of the church-yard
was about four feet and a half higher than the common level of the
ground round about it; and you may see, by the nearness of the church
windows to the ground, that this bed of earth has been made by the
innumerable burials that have taken place in it. The group, consisting
of the blacksmith, the wheelwright, perhaps, and three or four others,
appeared to me to be in a deliberative mood. So I said, looking
significantly at the church-yard, "It has taken a pretty many thousands
of your fore-fathers to raise that ground up so high." "Yes, Sir," said
one of them. "And," said I, "for about nine hundred years those who
built that church thought about religion very differently from what we
do." "Yes," said another. "And," said I, "do you think that all those
who made that heap there are gone to the devil?" I got no answer to
this. "At any rate," added I, "they never worked for a pound and a half
of bread a day." They looked hard at me, and then looked hard at one
another; and I, having trotted off, looked round at the first turning,
and saw them looking after us still. I should suppose that the church
was built about seven or eight hundred years ago, that is to say, the
present church; for the first church built upon this spot was, I dare
say, erected more than a thousand years ago. If I had had time, I should
have told this group that, before the Protestant Reformation, the
labourers of Rogate received four-pence a day from Michaelmas to
Lady-day; five-pence a day from Lady-day to Michaelmas, except in
harvest and grass-mowing time, when able labourers had seven-pence a
day; and that, at this time, bacon was _not so much as a halfpenny a
pound_: and, moreover, that the parson of the parish maintained out of
the tithes all those persons in the parish that were reduced to
indigence by means of old age or other cause of inability to labour. I
should have told them this, and, in all probability a great deal more,
but I had not time; and, besides, they will have an opportunity of
reading all about it in my little book called the _History of the
Protestant Reformation_.

From Rogate we came on to Trotten, where a Mr. Twyford is the squire,
and where there is a very fine and ancient church close by the squire's
house. I saw the squire looking at some poor devils who were making
"wauste improvements, ma'am," on the road which passes by the squire's
door. He looked uncommonly hard at me. It was a scrutinizing sort of
look, mixed, as I thought, with a little surprise, if not of jealousy,
as much as to say, "I wonder who the devil you can be?" My look at the
squire was with the head a little on one side, and with the cheek drawn
up from the left corner of the mouth, expressive of anything rather than
a sense of inferiority to the squire, of whom, however, I had never
heard speak before. Seeing the good and commodious and capacious church,
I could not help reflecting on the intolerable baseness of this
description of men, who have remained mute as fishes, while they have
been taxed to build churches for the convenience of the Cotton-Lords and
the Stock-Jobbers. First, their estates have been taxed to pay interest
of debts contracted with these Stock-jobbers, and to make wars for the
sale of the goods of the Cotton-Lords. This drain upon their estates has
collected the people into great masses, and now the same estates are
taxed to build churches for them in these masses. And yet the tame
fellows remain as silent as if they had been born deaf and dumb and
blind. As towards the labourers, they are sharp and vigorous and brave
as heart could wish; here they are bold as Hector. They pare down the
wretched souls to what is below gaol allowance. But, as towards the
taxers, they are gentle as doves. With regard, however, to this Squire
Twyford, he is not, as I afterwards found, without some little
consolation; for one of his sons, I understand, is, like squire
Rawlinson of Hampshire, _a police justice in London_! I hear that Squire
Twyford was always a distinguished champion of loyalty; what they call a
staunch friend of Government; and it is therefore natural that the
Government should be a staunch friend to him. By the taxing of his
estate, and paying the Stock-Jobbers out of the proceeds, the people
have been got together in great masses, and, as there are Justices
wanted to keep them in order in those masses, it seems but reasonable
that the squire should, in one way or another, enjoy some portion of the
profits of keeping them in order. However, this cannot be the case with
every loyal squire; and there are many of them who, for want of a share
in the distribution, have been totally extinguished. I should suppose
Squire Twyford to be in the second rank upwards (dividing the whole of
the proprietors of land into five ranks). It appears to me that pretty
nearly the whole of this second rank is gone; that the Stock-Jobbers
have eaten them clean up, having less mercy than the cannibals, who
usually leave the hands and the feet; so that this squire has had pretty
good luck.

From Trotten we came to Midhurst, and, having baited our horses, went
into Cowdry Park to see the ruins of that once noble mansion, from which
the Countess of Salisbury (the last of the Plantagenets) was brought by
the tyrant Henry the Eighth to be cruelly murdered, in revenge for the
integrity and the other great virtues of her son, Cardinal Pole, as we
have seen in Number Four, paragraph 115, of the "History of the
Protestant Reformation." This noble estate, one of the finest in the
whole kingdom, was seized on by the king, after the possessor had been
murdered on his scaffold. She had committed no crime. No crime was
proved against her. The miscreant Thomas Cromwell, finding that no form
of trial would answer his purpose, invented a new mode of bringing
people to their death; namely, a Bill, brought into Parliament,
condemning her to death. The estate was then granted to a Sir Anthony
Brown, who was physician to the king. By the descendants of this Brown,
one of whom was afterwards created Lord Montague, the estate has been
held to this day; and Mr. Poyntz, who married the sole remaining heiress
of this family, a Miss Brown, is now the proprietor of the estate,
comprising, I believe, _forty or fifty manors_, the greater part of
which are in this neighbourhood, some of them, however, extending more
than twenty miles from the mansion. We entered the park through a great
iron gateway, part of which being wanting, the gap was stopped up by a
hurdle. We rode down to the house and all round about and in amongst the
ruins, now in part covered with ivy, and inhabited by innumerable
starlings and jackdaws. The last possessor was, I believe, that Lord
Montague who was put an end to by the celebrated _nautical adventure_ on
the Rhine along with the brother of Sir Glory. These two sensible
worthies took it into their heads to go down a place something
resembling the waterfall of an overshot mill. They were drowned just as
two young kittens or two young puppies would have been. And as an
instance of the truth that it is an ill wind that blows nobody good, had
it not been for this sensible enterprise, never would there have been a
Westminster Rump to celebrate the talents and virtues of Westminster's
Pride and England's Glory. It was this Lord Montague, I believe, who had
this ancient and noble mansion completely repaired, and fitted up as a
place of residence: and a few days, or a very few weeks, at any rate,
after the work was completed, the house was set on fire (by accident, I
suppose), and left nearly in the state in which it now stands, except
that the ivy has grown up about it and partly hidden the stones from our
sight. You may see, however, the hour of the day or night at which the
fire took place; for there still remains the brass of the face of the
clock, and the hand pointing to the hour. Close by this mansion there
runs a little river which runs winding away through the valleys, and at
last falls into the Arron. After viewing the ruins, we had to return
into the turnpike road, and then enter another part of the park, which
we crossed, in order to go to Petworth. When you are in a part of this
road through the park you look down and see the house in the middle of a
very fine valley, the distant boundary of which, to the south and
south-west, is the South Down Hills. Some of the trees here are very
fine, particularly some most magnificent rows of the Spanish chestnut. I
asked the people at Midhurst where Mr. Poyntz himself lived; and they
told me at the _lodge_ in the park, which lodge was formerly the
residence of the head keeper. The land is very good about here. It is
fine rich loam at top, with clay further down. It is good for all sorts
of trees, and they seem to grow here very fast.

We got to Petworth pretty early in the day. On entering it you see the
house of Lord Egremont, which is close up against the park-wall, and
which wall bounds this little vale on two sides. There is a sort of
town-hall here, and on one side of it there is the bust of Charles the
Second, I should have thought; but they tell me it is that of Sir
William Wyndham, from whom Lord Egremont is descended. But there is
_another building_ much more capacious and magnificent than the
town-hall; namely, the Bridewell, which, from the modernness of its
structure, appears to be one of those "wauste improvements, Ma'am,"
which distinguish this _enlightened_ age. This structure vies, in point
of magnitude with the house of Lord Egremont itself, though that is one
of the largest mansions in the whole kingdom. The Bridewell has a wall
round it that I should suppose to be twenty feet high. This place was
not wanted, when the labourer got twice as much instead of half as much
as the common standing soldier. Here you see the true cause why the
young labouring man is "_content_" to exist upon 7_d._ a day, for six
days in the week, and nothing for Sunday. Oh! we are a most free and
enlightened people; our happy constitution in church and state has
supplanted Popery and slavery; but we go to a Bridewell unless we
quietly exist and work upon 7_d._ a day!

_Thursley, Sunday, 13th Nov._

To our great delight we found Richard's horse quite well this morning,
and off we set for this place. The first part of our road, for about
three miles and a half, was through Lord Egremont's Park. The morning
was very fine; the sun shining; a sharp frost after a foggy evening; the
grass all white, the twigs of the trees white, the ponds frozen over;
and everything looking exceedingly beautiful. The spot itself being one
of the very finest in the world, not excepting, I dare say, that of the
father of Saxe Cobourg itself, who has, doubtless, many such fine

In a very fine pond, not far from the house and close by the road, there
are some little artificial islands, upon one of which I observed an
arbutus loaded with its beautiful fruit (quite ripe), even more thickly
than any one I ever saw even in America. There were, on the side of the
pond, a most numerous and beautiful collection of water-fowl, foreign as
well as domestic. I never saw so great a variety of water-fowl collected
together in my life. They had been ejected from the water by the frost,
and were sitting apparently in a state of great dejection: but this
circumstance has brought them into a comparatively small compass; and we
facing our horses about, sat and looked at them, at the pond, at the
grass, at the house, till we were tired of admiring. Everything here is
in the neatest and most beautiful state. Endless herds of deer, of all
the varieties of colours; and, what adds greatly to your pleasure in
such a case, you see comfortable retreats prepared for them in different
parts of the woods. When we came to what we thought the end of the park,
the gate-keeper told us that we should find other walls to pass through.
We now entered upon woods, we then came to another wall, and there we
entered upon farms to our right and to our left. At last we came to a
third wall, and the gate in that let us out into the turnpike road. The
gate-keeper here told us, that the whole enclosure was _nine miles
round_; and this, after all, forms, probably, not a quarter part of what
this nobleman possesses. And is it wrong that one man should possess so
much? By no means; but in my opinion it is wrong that a system should
exist which compels this man to have his estate taken away from him
unless he throw the junior branches of his family for maintenance upon
the public.

Lord Egremont bears an excellent character. Everything that I have ever
heard of him makes me believe that he is worthy of this princely estate.
But I cannot forget that his two brothers, who are now very old men,
have had, from their infancy, enormous revenues in sinecure places in
the West Indies, while the general property and labour of England is
taxed to maintain those West Indies in their state of dependence upon
England; and I cannot forget that the burden of these sinecures are
amongst the grievances of which the West Indians justly complain. True,
the taxing system has taken from the family of Wyndham, during the lives
of these two gentlemen, as much, and even more, than what that family
has gained by those sinecures; but then let it be recollected, that it
is not the helpless people of England who have been the cause of this
system. It is not the fault of those who receive 7_d._ a day. It is the
fault of the family of Wyndham and of such persons; and, if they have
chosen to suffer the Jews and jobbers to take away so large a part of
their income, it is not fair for them to come to the people at large to
make up for the loss.

Thus it has gone on. The great masses of property have, in general, been
able to take care of themselves: but the little masses have melted away
like butter before the sun. The little gentry have had not even any
disposition to resist. They merit their fate most justly. They have vied
with each other in endeavours to ingratiate themselves with power, and
to obtain compensation for their losses. The big fishes have had no
feeling for them; have seen them sink with a sneer, rather than with
compassion; but, at last, the cormorant threatens even themselves; and
they are struggling with might and main for their own preservation. They
everywhere "most liberally" take the Stock-jobber or the Jew by the
hand, though they hate him mortally at the same time for his power to
outdo them on the sideboard, on the table, and in the equipage. They
seem to think nothing of the extinguishment of the small fry; they hug
themselves in the thought that they escape; and yet, at times, their
minds misgive them, and they tremble for their own fate. The country
people really gain by the change; for the small gentry have been
rendered, by their miseries, so niggardly and so cruel, that it is quite
a blessing, in a village, to see a rich Jew or Jobber come to supplant
them. They come, too, with far less cunning than the half-broken gentry.
Cunning as the Stock-Jobber is in Change Alley, I defy him to be cunning
enough for the country people, brought to their present state of
duplicity by a series of cruelties which no pen can adequately describe.
The Stock-Jobber goes from London with the _cant of humanity_ upon his
lips, at any rate; whereas the half-broken Squire takes not the least
pains to disguise the hardness of his heart.

It is impossible for any just man to regret the sweeping away of this
base race of Squires; but the sweeping of them away is produced by
causes that have a wider extent. These causes reach the good as well as
the bad: all are involved alike: like the pestilence, this horrible
system is no respecter of persons; and decay and beggary mark the whole
face of the _country_.

North Chapel is a little town in the Weald of Sussex where there were
formerly post-chaises kept; but where there are none kept now. And here
is another complete revolution. In almost every country town the
post-chaise houses have been lessened in number, and those that remain
have become comparatively solitary and mean. The guests at inns are not
now gentlemen, but _bumpers_, who, from being called (at the inns)
"riders," became "travellers," and are now "commercial gentlemen," who
go about in _gigs_, instead of on horseback, and who are in such numbers
as to occupy a great part of the room in all the inns, in every part of
the country. There are, probably, twenty thousand of them always out,
who may perhaps have, on an average throughout the year, three or four
thousand "ladies" travelling with them. The expense of this can be
little short of fifteen millions a year, all to be paid by the
country-people who consume the goods, and a large part of it to be drawn
up to the Wen.

From North Chapel we came to Chiddingfold, which is in the Weald of
Surrey; that is to say, the country of oak-timber. Between these two
places there are a couple of pieces of that famous commodity, called
"Government property." It seems that these places, which have extensive
buildings on them, were for the purpose of making gunpowder. Like most
other of these enterprises, they have been given up, after a time, and
so the ground and all the buildings, and the monstrous fences, erected
at enormous expense, have been sold. They were sold, it seems, some time
ago, in lots, with the intention of being pulled down and carried away,
though they are now nearly new, and built in the most solid,
substantial, and expensive manner; brick walls eighteen inches through,
and the buildings covered with lead and slate. It appears that they have
been purchased by a Mr. Stovell, a Sussex banker; but for some reason or
other, though the purchase was made long ago, "Government" still holds
the possession; and, what is more, it keeps people there to take care of
the premises. It would be curious to have a complete history of these
pretty establishments at Chiddingford; but this is a sort of history
that we shall never be treated with until there be somebody in
Parliament to rummage things to the bottom. It would be very easy to
call for a specific account of the cost of these establishments, and
also of the quantity of powder made at them. I should not be at all
surprised, if the concern, all taken together, brought the powder to a
hundred times the price at which similar powder could have been

When we came through Chiddingfold, the people were just going to church;
and we saw a carriage and pair conveying an old gentleman and some
ladies to the churchyard steps. Upon inquiry, we found that this was
Lord Winterton, whose name, they told us, was Turnour. I thought I had
heard of all the Lords, first or last; but, if I had ever heard of this
one before, I had forgotten him. He lives down in the Weald, between the
gunpowder establishments and Horsham, and has the reputation of being a
harmless, good sort of man, and that being the case I was sorry to see
that he appeared to be greatly afflicted with the gout, being obliged to
be helped up the steps by a stout man. However, it is as broad, perhaps,
as it is long: a man is not to have all the enjoyments of making the
gout, and the enjoyments of abstinence too: that would not be fair play;
and I dare say that Lord Winterton is just enough to be content with the
consequences of his enjoyments.

This Chiddingfold is a very pretty place. There is a very pretty and
extensive green opposite the church; and we were at the proper time of
the day to perceive that the modern system of education had by no means
overlooked this little village. We saw _the schools_ marching towards
the church in military order. Two of them passed us on our road. The
boys looked very hard at us, and I saluted them with "There's brave
boys, you'll all be parsons or lawyers or doctors." Another school
seemed to be in a less happy state. The scholars were too much in
uniform to have had their clothes purchased by their parents; and they
looked, besides, as if a little more victuals and a little less
education would have done as well. There were about twenty of them
without one single tinge of red in their whole twenty faces. In short I
never saw more deplorable looking objects since I was born. And can it
be of any use to expend money in this sort of way upon poor creatures
that have not half a bellyful of food? We had not breakfasted when we
passed them. We felt, at that moment, what hunger was. We had some bits
of bread and meat in our pockets, however; and these, which, were merely
intended as stay-stomachs, amounted, I dare say, to the allowance of
any half-dozen of these poor boys for the day. I could, with all my
heart, have pulled the victuals out of my pocket and given it to them;
but I did not like to do that which would have interrupted the march,
and might have been construed into a sort of insult. To quiet my
conscience, however, I gave a poor man that I met soon afterwards
sixpence, under pretence of rewarding him for telling me the way to
Thursley, which I knew as well as he, and which I had determined, in my
own mind, not to follow.

We had now come on the Turnpike road from my Lord Egremont's Park to
Chiddingfold. I had made two or three attempts to get out of it, and to
bear away to the north-west, to get through the oak-woods to Thursley;
but I was constantly prevented by being told that the road which I
wished to take would lead me to Haslemere. If you talk to ostlers, or
landlords, or post-boys; or, indeed, to almost anybody else, they mean
by a _road_ a _turnpike road_; and they positively will not talk to you
about any other. Now, just after quitting Chiddingfold, Thursley lies
over fine woods and coppices, in a north-west direction, or thereabouts;
and the Turnpike road, which goes from Petworth to Godalming, goes in a
north-north-east direction. I was resolved, be the consequences what
they might, not to follow the Turnpike road one single inch further; for
I had not above three miles or thereabouts to get to Thursley, through
the woods; and I had, perhaps, six miles at least to get to it the other
way; but the great thing was to see the interior of these woods; to see
the stems of the trees, as well as the tops of them. I saw a lane
opening in the right direction; I saw indeed, that my horses must go up
to their knees in clay; but I resolved to enter and go along that lane,
and long before the end of my journey I found myself most amply
compensated for the toil that I was about to encounter. But talk of
toil! It was the horse that had the toil; and I had nothing to do but to
sit upon his back, turn my head from side to side and admire the fine
trees in every direction. Little bits of fields and meadows here and
there, shaded all over, or nearly all over, by the surrounding trees.
Here and there a labourer's house buried in the woods. We had drawn out
our luncheons and eaten them while the horses took us through the clay;
but I stopped at a little house, and asked the woman, who looked very
clean and nice, whether she would let us dine with her. She said "Yes,"
with all her heart, but that she had no place to put our horses in, and
that her dinner would not be ready for an hour, when she expected her
husband home from church. She said they had a bit of bacon and a pudding
and some cabbage; but that she had not much bread in the house. She had
only one child, and that was not very old, so we left her, quite
convinced that my old observation is true, that people in the woodland
countries are best off, and that it is absolutely impossible to reduce
them to that state of starvation in which they are in the corn-growing
part of the kingdom. Here is that great blessing, abundance of fuel at
all times of the year, and particularly in the winter.

We came on for about a mile further in these clayey lanes, when we
renewed our inquiries as to our course, as our road now seemed to point
towards Godalming again. I asked a man how I should get to Thursley? He
pointed to some fir-trees upon a hill, told me I must go by them, and
that there was no other way. "Where then," said I, "is Thursley?" He
pointed with his hand, and said, "Right over those woods; but there is
no road there, and it is impossible for you to get through those woods."
"Thank you," said I; "but through those woods we mean to go." Just at
the border of the woods I saw a cottage. There must be some way to that
cottage; and we soon found a gate that let us into a field, across which
we went to this cottage. We there found an old man and a young one. Upon
inquiry we found that it was _possible_ to get through these woods.
Richard gave the old man threepence to buy a pint of beer, and I gave
the young one a shilling to pilot us through the woods. These were
oak-woods with underwood beneath; and there was a little stream of water
running down the middle of the woods, the annual and long overflowings
of which has formed a meadow sometimes a rod wide, and sometimes twenty
rods wide, while the bed of the stream itself was the most serpentine
that can possibly be imagined, describing, in many places, nearly a
complete circle, going round for many rods together, and coming within a
rod or two of a point that it had passed before. I stopped the man
several times, to sit and admire this beautiful spot, shaded in great
part by lofty and wide-spreading oak trees. We had to cross this brook
several times, over bridges that the owner had erected for the
convenience of the fox-hunters. At last, we came into an ash-coppice,
which had been planted in regular rows, at about four feet distances,
which had been once cut, and which was now in the state of six years'
growth. A road through it, made for the fox-hunters, was as straight as
a line, and of so great a length, that, on entering it, the farther end
appeared not to be a foot wide. Upon seeing this, I asked the man whom
these coppices belonged to, and he told me to Squire Leech, at Lea. My
surprise ceased, but my admiration did not.

A piece of ordinary coppice ground, close adjoining this, and with no
timber in it, and upon just the same soil (if there had been such a
piece), would, at ten years' growth, be worth, at present prices, from
five to seven pounds the acre. This coppice, at ten years' growth, will
be worth twenty pounds the acre; and, at the next cutting, when the
stems will send out so many more shoots, it will be worth thirty pounds
the acre. I did not ask the question when I afterwards saw Mr. Leech,
but, I dare say, the ground was trenched before it was planted; but what
is that expense when compared with the great, the permanent profit of
such an undertaking? And, above all things, what a convenient species of
property does a man here create. Here are no tenants' rack, no anxiety
about crops and seasons; the rust and the mildew never come here; a man
knows what he has got, and he knows that nothing short of an earthquake
can take it from him, unless, indeed, by attempting to vie with the
stock-jobber in the expense of living, he enable the stock-jobber to
come and perform the office of the earthquake. Mr. Leech's father
planted, I think it was, forty acres of such coppice in the same manner;
and, at the same time, he _sowed the ground with acorns_. The acorns
have become oak trees, and have begun and made great progress in
diminishing the value of the ash, which have now to contend against the
shade and the roots of the oak. For present profit, and, indeed, for
permanent profit, it would be judicious to grub up the oak; but the
owner has determined otherwise. He cannot endure the idea of destroying
an oak wood.

If such be the profit of planting ash, what would be the profit of
planting locust, even for poles or stakes? The locust would outgrow the
ash, as we have seen in the case of Mr. Gunter's plantation, more than
three to one. I am satisfied that it will do this upon any soil, if you
give the trees fifteen years to grow in; and, in short, that the locusts
will be trees when the ash are merely poles, if both are left to grow up
in single stems. If in coppice, the locust will make as good poles; I
mean as large and as long poles in six years, as the ash will in ten
years: to say nothing of the superior durability of the locust. I have
seen locusts, at Mr. Knowles's, at Thursley, sufficient for a hop-pole,
for an ordinary hop-pole, with only five years' growth in them, and
leaving the last year's growth to be cut off, leaving the top of the
pole three-quarters of an inch through. There is nothing that we have
ever heard of, of the timber kind, equal to this in point of quickness
of growth. In parts of the county where hop-poles are not wanted,
espalier stakes, wood for small fencing, hedge stakes, hurdle stakes,
fold-shores, as the people call them, are always wanted; and is it not
better to have a thing that will last twenty years, than a thing that
will last only three? I know of no English underwood which gives a hedge
stake to last even _two years_. I should think that a very profitable
way of employing the locust would be this. Plant a coppice, the plants
two feet apart. Thus planted, the trees will protect one another against
the wind. Keep the side shoots pruned off. At the end of six years, the
coppice, if well planted and managed, will be, at the very least, twenty
feet high to the tips of the trees. Not if the grass and weeds are
suffered to grow up to draw all the moisture up out of the ground, to
keep the air from the young plants, and to intercept the gentle rains
and the dews; but trenched ground, planted carefully, and kept clean;
and always bearing in mind that hares and rabbits and young locust trees
will never live together; for the hares and rabbits will not only bite
them off, but will gnaw them down to the ground, and, when they have
done that, will scratch away the ground to gnaw into the very root. A
gentleman bought some locust trees of me last year, and brought me a
dismal account in the summer of their being all dead; but I have since
found that they were all eaten up by the hares. He saw some of my
refuse; some of those which were too bad to send to him, which were a
great deal higher than his head. His ground was as good as mine,
according to his account; but I had no hares to fight against; or else
mine would have been all dead too.

I say, then, that a locust plantation, in pretty good land, well
managed, would be twenty feet high in six years; suppose it, however, to
be only fifteen, there would be, at the bottom, wood to make two locust
PINS for ship-building; two locust pins at the bottom of each tree. Two
at the very least; and here would be twenty-two thousand locust pins to
the acre, probably enough for the building of a seventy-four gun ship.
These pins are about eighteen inches long, and, perhaps, an inch and
half through; and there is this surprising quality in the wood of the
locust, that it is just as hard and as durable at five or six years'
growth as it is at fifty years' growth. Of which I can produce an
abundance of instances. The _stake_ which I brought home from America,
and which is now at Fleet-street, had stood as a stake for about eight
and twenty years, as certified to me by Judge Mitchell, of North
Hampstead in Long Island, who gave me the stake, and who said to me at
the time, "Now are you really going to take that crooked miserable stick
to England!" Now it is pretty well known, at least, I have been so
informed, that our Government have sent to America in consequence of my
writings about the locust, to endeavour to get locust pins for the navy.
I have been informed that they have been told that the American
Government has bought them all up. Be this as it may, I know that a
waggon load of these pins is, in America itself, equal in value to a
waggon load of barrels of the finest flour. This being undeniable, and
the fact being undeniable that we can grow locust pins here, that I can
take a seed to-day, and say that it shall produce two pins in seven
years' time, will it not become an article of heavy accusation against
the Government if they neglect even one day to set about tearing up
their infernal Scotch firs and larches in Wolmer Forest and elsewhere,
and putting locust trees in their stead, in order, first to provide this
excellent material for ship-building; and next to have some fine
plantations in the Holt Forest, Wolmer Forest, the New Forest, the
Forest of Dean, and elsewhere, the only possible argument against doing
which being, that I may possibly take a ride round amongst their
plantations, and that it may be everlastingly recorded that it was I who
was the cause of the Government's adopting this wise and beneficial

I am disposed to believe, however, that the Government will not be
brutish enough, obstinately to reject the advice given to them on this
head, it being observed, however, that I wish to have no hand in their
proceedings, directly or indirectly. I can sell all the trees that I
have for sale to other customers. Let them look out for themselves; and
as to any reports that their creatures may make upon the subjects I
shall be able to produce proofs enough that such reports, if
unfavourable, are false. I wrote, in a Register from Long Island, that I
could if I would tell insolent Castlereagh, who was for making
Englishmen dig holes one day and fill them up the next, how he might
_profitably put something into those holes_, but that I would not tell
him as long as the Borough-mongers should be in the state in which they
then were. They are no longer in that state, I thank God. There has been
no positive law to alter their state, but it is manifest that there must
be such law before it be long. Events are working together to make the
country worth living in, which, for the great body of the people, is at
present hardly the case. Above all things in the world, it is the duty
of every man, who has it in his power, to do what he can to promote the
creation of materials for the building of ships in the best manner; and
it is now a fact of perfect notoriety, that, with regard to the building
of ships, it cannot be done in the best manner without the assistance of
this sort of wood.

I have seen a specimen of the locust wood used in the making of
furniture. I saw it in the posts of a bed-stead; and any thing more
handsome I never saw in my life. I had used it myself in the making of
rules; but I never saw it in this shape before. It admits of a polish
nearly as fine as that of box. It is a bright and beautiful yellow. And
in bedsteads, for instance, it would last for ever, and would not become
loose at the joints, like oak and other perishable wood; because, like
the live oak and the red cedar, no worm or insect ever preys upon it.
There is no fear of the quantity being too great. It would take a
century to make as many plantations as are absolutely wanted in England.
It would be a prodigious creation of real and solid wealth. Not such a
creation as that of paper money, which only takes the dinner from one
man and gives it to another, which only gives an unnatural swell to a
city or a watering place by beggaring a thousand villages; but it would
be a creation of money's worth things. Let any man go and look at a
farmhouse that was built a hundred years ago. He will find it, though
very well built with stone or brick, actually falling to pieces, unless
very frequently repaired, owing entirely to the rotten wood in the
window-sills, the door-sills, the plates, the pins, the door frames, the
window frames, and all those parts of the beams, the joists, and the
rafters, that come in contact with the rain or the moisture. The two
parts of a park pailing which give way first, are, the parts of the post
that meet the ground, and the pins which hold the rails to the post.
Both these rot long before the pailing rots. Now, all this is avoided by
the use of locust as sills, as joists, as posts, as frames, and as pins.
Many a roof has come down merely from the rotting of the pins. The best
of spine oak is generally chosen for these pins. But after a time, the
air gets into the pin-hole. The pin rots from the moist air, it gives
way, the wind shakes the roof, and down it comes, or it swags, the wet
gets in, and the house is rotten. In ships, the pins are the first
things that give way. Many a ship would last twenty years after it is
broken up, if put together with locust pins. I am aware that some
readers will become tired of this subject; and, nothing but my
conviction of its being of the very first importance to the whole
kingdom could make me thus dwell upon it.

We got to Thursley after our beautiful ride through Mr. Leech's
coppices, and the weather being pretty cold, we found ourselves most
happily situated here by the side of an _American fire-place_, making
extremely comfortable a room which was formerly amongst the most
uncomfortable in the world. This is another of what the malignant
parsons call Cobbett's Quackeries. But my real opinion is that the whole
body of them, all put together, have never, since they were born,
conferred so much benefit upon the country, as I have conferred upon it
by introducing this fire-place. Mr. Judson of Kensington, who is the
manufacturer of them, tells me that he has a great demand, which gives
me much pleasure; but really, coming to conscience, no man ought to sit
by one of these fire-places that does not go the full length with me
both in politics and religion. It is not fair for them to enjoy the
warmth without subscribing to the doctrines of the giver of the warmth.
However, as I have nothing to do with Mr. Judson's affair, either as to
the profit or the loss, he must sell the fire-places to whomsoever he

_Kensington, Sunday, 20th Nov._

Coming to Godalming on Friday, where business kept us that night, we had
to experience at the inn the want of our American fire-place. A large
and long room to sit in, with a miserable thing called a screen to keep
the wind from our backs, with a smoke in the room half an hour after the
fire was lighted, we, consuming a full bushel of coals in order to keep
us warm, were not half so well off as we should have been in the same
room, and without any screen, and with two gallons of coals, if we had
our American fire-place. I gave the landlord my advice upon the subject,
and he said he would go and look at the fire-place at Mr. Knowles's.
That was precisely one of those rooms which stand in absolute need of
such a fire-place. It is, I should think, five-and-thirty, or forty feet
long, and pretty nearly twenty feet wide. I could sooner dine with a
labouring man upon his allowance of bread, such as I have mentioned
above, than I would, in winter time, dine in that room upon turbot and
sirloin of beef. An American fire-place, with a good fire in it, would
make every part of that room pleasant to dine in in the coldest day in
winter. I saw a public-house drinking-room, where the owner has tortured
his invention to get a little warmth for his guests, where he fetches
his coals in a waggon from a distance of twenty miles or thereabouts,
and where he consumes these coals by the bushel, to effect that which he
cannot effect at all, and which he might effect completely with about a
fourth part of the coals.

It looked like rain on Saturday morning, we therefore sent our horses on
from Godalming to Ripley, and took a post-chaise to convey us after
them. Being shut up in the post-chaise did not prevent me from taking a
look at a little snug house stuck under the hill on the road side, just
opposite the old chapel on St. Catherine's-hill, which house was not
there when I was a boy. I found that this house is now occupied by the
family Molyneux, for ages the owners of Losely Park, on the out-skirts
of which estate this house stands. The house at Losely is of great
antiquity, and had, or perhaps has, attached to it the great manors of
Godalming and Chiddingfold. I believe that Sir Thomas More lived at
Losely, or, at any rate, that the Molyneuxes are, in some degree,
descended from him. The estate is, I fancy, theirs yet; but here they
are, in this little house, while one Gunning (an East Indian, I
believe) occupies the house of their ancestors. At Send, or Sutton,
where Mr. Webb Weston inhabited, there is a Baron somebody, with a De
before his name. The name is German or Dutch, I believe. How the Baron
came there I know not; but as I have read his name amongst the _Justices
of the Peace_ for the county of Surrey, he must have been born in
England, or the law has been violated in making him a Justice of the
Peace, seeing that no person not born a subject of the king, and a
subject in this country too, can lawfully hold a commission under the
crown, either civil or military. Nor is it lawful for any man born
abroad of Scotch or Irish parents, to hold such commission under the
crown, though such commissions have been held, and are held, by persons
who are neither natural-born subjects of the king, nor born of English
parents abroad. It should also be known and borne in mind by the people,
that it is unlawful to grant any pension from the crown to any foreigner
whatever. And no naturalization act can take away this disability. Yet
the Whigs, as they call themselves, granted such pensions during the
short time that they were in power.

When we got to Ripley, we found the day very fine, and we got upon our
horses and rode home to dinner, after an absence of just one month,
agreeably to our original intention, having seen a great deal of the
country, having had a great deal of sport, and having, I trust, laid in
a stock of health for the winter, sufficient to enable us to withstand
the suffocation of this smoking and stinking Wen.

But Richard and I have done something else, besides ride, and hunt, and
course, and stare about us, during this month. He was eleven years old
last March, and it was now time for him to begin to know something about
letters and figures. He has learned to work in the garden, and having
been a good deal in the country, knows a great deal about farming
affairs. He can ride anything of a horse, and over anything that a horse
will go over. So expert at hunting, that his first teacher, Mr. Budd,
gave the hounds up to his management in the field; but now he begins to
talk about nothing but _fox-hunting_! That is a dangerous thing. When he
and I went from home, I had business at Reigate. It was a very wet
morning, and we went off long before daylight in a post-chaise,
intending to have our horses brought after us. He began to talk in
anticipation of the sport he was going to have, and was very inquisitive
as to the probability of our meeting with fox-hounds, which gave me
occasion to address him thus: "Fox-hunting is a very fine thing, and
very proper for people to be engaged in, and it is very desirable to be
able to ride well and to be in at the death; but that is not ALL; that
is not everything. Any fool can ride a horse, and draw a cover; any
groom or any stable-fellow, who is as ignorant as the horse, can do
these things; but all gentlemen that go a fox-hunting [I hope God will
forgive me for the lie] are scholars, Richard. It is not the riding, nor
the scarlet coats, that make them gentlemen; it is their scholarship."
What he thought I do not know; for he sat as mute as a fish, and I could
not see his countenance. "So," said I, "you must now begin to learn
something, and you must begin with arithmetic." He had learned from mere
play, to read, being first set to work of his own accord, to find out
what was said about Thurtell, when all the world was talking and reading
about Thurtell. This had induced us to give him Robinson Crusoe; and
that had made him a passable reader. Then he had scrawled down letters
and words upon paper, and had written letters to me, in the strangest
way imaginable. His knowledge of figures he had acquired from the
necessity of knowing the several numbers upon the barrels of seeds
brought from America, and the numbers upon the doors of houses. So that
I had pretty nearly a blank sheet of paper to begin upon; and I have
always held it to be stupidity to the last degree to attempt to put
book-learning into children who are too young to reason with.

I began with a pretty long lecture on the utility of arithmetic; the
absolute necessity of it, in order for us to make out our accounts of
the trees and seeds that we should have to sell in the winter, and the
utter impossibility of our getting paid for our pains unless we were
able to make out our accounts, which accounts could not be made out
unless we understood something about arithmetic. Having thus made him
understand the utility of the thing, and given him a very strong
instance in the case of our nursery affairs, I proceeded to explain to
him the meaning of the word arithmetic, the power of figures, according
to the place they occupied. I then, for it was still dark, taught him to
add a few figures together, I naming the figures one after another,
while he, at the mention of each new figure said the amount, and if
incorrectly, he was corrected by me. When we had got a sum of about 24,
I said now there is another line of figures on the left of this, and
therefore you are to put down the 4 and carry 2. "What is _carrying_?"
said he. I then explained to him the _why_ and the _wherefore_ of this,
and he perfectly understood me at once. We then did several other little
sums; and, by the time we got to Sutton, it becoming daylight, I took a
pencil and set him a little sum upon paper, which, after making a
mistake or two, he did very well. By the time we got to Reigate he had
done several more, and at last, a pretty long one, with very few errors.
We had business all day, and thought no more of our scholarship until
we went to bed, and then we did, in our post-chaise fashion, a great
many lines in arithmetic before we went to sleep. Thus we went on mixing
our riding and hunting with our arithmetic, until we quitted Godalming,
when he did a sum very nicely in _multiplication of money_, falling a
little short of what I had laid out, which was to make him learn the
four rules in whole numbers first, and then in money, before I got home.

Friends' houses are not so good as inns for executing a project like
this; because you cannot very well be by yourself; and we slept but four
nights at inns during our absence. So that we have actually stolen the
time to accomplish this job, and Richard's Journal records that he was
more than fifteen days out of the thirty-one coursing or hunting.
Nothing struck me more than the facility, the perfect readiness with
which he at once performed addition of money. There is a _pence table_
which boys usually learn, and during the learning of which they usually
get no small number of thumps. This table I found it wholly unnecessary
to set him. I had written it for him in one of the leaves of his journal
book. But, upon looking at it, he said, "I don't want this, because, you
know, I have nothing to do but to _divide by twelve_." That is right,
said I, you are a clever fellow, Dick; and I shut up the book.

Now, when there is so much talk about education, let me ask how many
pounds it generally costs parents to have a boy taught this much of
arithmetic; how much time it costs also; and, which is a far more
serious consideration, how much mortification, and very often how much
loss of health, it costs the poor scolded broken-hearted child, who
becomes dunder-headed and dull for all his life-time, merely because
that has been imposed upon him as a task which he ought to regard as an
object of pleasant pursuit. I never even once desired him to stay a
moment from any other thing that he had a mind to go at. I just wrote
the sums down upon paper, laid them upon the table, and left him to
tackle them when he pleased. In the case of the multiplication-table,
the learning of which is something of a job, and which it is absolutely
necessary to learn perfectly, I advised him to go up into his bed-room
and read it twenty times over out loud every morning before he went a
hunting, and ten times over every night after he came back, till it all
came as pat upon his lips as the names of persons that he knew. He did
this, and at the end of about a week he was ready to set on upon
multiplication. It is the irksomeness of the thing which is the great
bar to learning of every sort. I took care not to suffer irksomeness to
seize his mind for a moment, and the consequence was that which I have
described. I wish clearly to be understood as ascribing nothing to
extraordinary _natural_ ability. There are, as I have often said, as
many _sorts_ of men as there are of dogs; but I do not pretend to be of
any peculiarly excellent sort, and I have never discovered any
indications of it. There are, to be sure, sorts that are naturally
stupid; but, the generality of men are not so; and I believe that every
boy of the same age, equally healthy, and brought up in the same manner,
would (unless of one of the stupid kinds) learn in just the same sort of
way; but not if begun to be thumped at five or six years old, when the
poor little things have no idea of the utility of anything; who are
hardly sensible beings, and have but just understanding enough to know
that it will hurt them if they jump down a chalk pit. I am sure, from
thousands of instances that have come under my own eyes, that to begin
to teach children book-learning before they are capable of reasoning, is
the sure and certain way to enfeeble their minds for life; and, if they
have natural genius, to cramp, if not totally to destroy that genius.

I think I shall be tempted to mould into a little book these lessons of
arithmetic given to Richard. I think that a boy of sense, and of age
equal to that of my scholar, would derive great profit from such a
little book. It would not be equal to my verbal explanations, especially
accompanied with the other parts of my conduct towards my scholar; but
at any rate, it would be plain; it would be what a boy could understand;
it would encourage him by giving him a glimpse at the reasons for what
he was doing: it would contain principles; and the difference between
principles and rules is this, that the former are persuasions and the
latter are commands. There is a great deal of difference between
carrying 2 for such and such a reason, and carrying 2 because you _must_
carry 2. You see boys that can cover reams of paper with figures, and do
it with perfect correctness too; and at the same time, can give you not
a single reason for any part of what they have done. Now this is really
doing very little. The rule is soon forgotten, and then all is
forgotten. It would be the same with a lawyer that understood none of
the principles of law. As far as he could find and remember cases
exactly similar in all their parts to the case which he might have to
manage, he would be as profound a lawyer as any in the world; but if
there was the slightest difference between his case and the cases he had
found upon record, there would be an end of his law.

Some people will say, here is a monstrous deal of vanity and egotism;
and if they will tell me, how such a story is to be told without
exposing a man to this imputation, I will adopt their mode another
time. I get nothing by telling the story. I should get full as much by
keeping it to myself; but it may be useful to others, and therefore I
tell it. Nothing is so dangerous as supposing that you have eight
wonders of the world. I have no pretensions to any such possession. I
look upon my boy as being like other boys in general. Their fathers can
teach arithmetic as well as I; and if they have not a mind to pursue my
method, they must pursue their own. Let them apply to the outside of the
head and to the back, if they like; let them bargain for thumps and the
birch rod; it is their affair and not mine. I never yet saw in my house
a child that was _afraid_; that was in any fear whatever; that was ever
for a moment under any sort of apprehension, on account of the learning
of anything; and I never in my life gave a command, an order, a request,
or even advice, to look into any book; and I am quite satisfied that the
way to make children dunces, to make them detest books, and justify that
detestation, is to tease them and bother them upon the subject.

As to the _age_ at which children ought to begin to be taught, it is
very curious, that, while I was at a friend's house during my ride, I
looked into, by mere accident, a little child's abridgment of the
History of England: a little thing about twice as big as a crown-piece.
Even into this abridgment the historian had introduced the circumstance
of Alfred's father, who, "through a _mistaken notion_ of kindness to his
son, had suffered him to live to the age of twelve years without any
attempt being made to give him education." How came this writer to know
that it was a _mistaken notion_? Ought he not rather, when he looked at
the result, when he considered the astonishing knowledge and great deeds
of Alfred--ought he not to have hesitated before he thus criticised the
notions of the father? It appears from the result that the notions of
the father were perfectly correct; and I am satisfied, that if they had
begun to thump the head of Alfred when he was a child, we should not at
this day have heard talk of Alfred the Great.

       *       *       *       *       *

Great apologies are due to the OLD LADY from me, on account of my
apparent inattention towards her, during her recent, or rather, I may
say, her present, fit of that tormenting disorder which, as I observed
before, comes upon her by _spells_. Dr. M'CULLOCH may say what he
pleases about her being "_wi' bairn_." I say it's the wet gripes; and I
saw a poor old mare down in Hampshire in just the same way; but God
forbid the catastrophe should be the same, for they shot poor old Ball
for the hounds. This disorder comes by spells. It sometimes seems as if
it were altogether going off; the pulse rises, and the appetite returns.
By-and-by a fresh grumbling begins to take place in the bowels. These
are followed by acute pains; the patient becomes tremulous; the pulse
begins to fall, and the most gloomy apprehensions begin again to be
entertained. At every spell the pulse does not cease falling till it
becomes lower than it was brought to by the preceding spell; and thus,
spell after spell, finally produces the natural result.

It is useless at present to say much about the equivocating and
blundering of the newspapers, relative to the cause of the fall. They
are very shy, extremely cautious; become wonderfully _wary_, with regard
to this subject. They do not know what to make of it. They all remember,
that I told them that their prosperity was delusive; that it would soon
come to an end, while they were telling me of the falsification of all
my predictions. I told them the Small-note Bill had only given a
_respite_. I told them that the foreign loans, and the shares, and all
the astonishing enterprises, arose purely out of the Small-note Bill;
and that a short time would see the Small-note Bill driving the gold out
of the country, and bring us back to another restriction, OR, to wheat
at four shillings a bushel. They remember that I told them all this; and
now, some of them begin to _regard me as the principal cause of the
present embarrassments_! This is pretty work indeed! What! I! The poor
deluded creature, whose predictions were all falsified, who knew nothing
at all about such matters, who was a perfect pedlar in political
economy, who was "a conceited and obstinate old dotard," as that polite
and enlightened paper, the _Morning Herald_, called me: is it possible
that such a poor miserable creature can have had the power to produce
effects so prodigious? Yet this really appears to be the opinion of one,
at least, of these Mr. Brougham's best possible public instructors. The
_Public Ledger_, of the 16th of November, has the following passage:--

"It is fully ascertained that the Country Banking Establishments in
England have latterly been compelled to limit their paper circulation,
for the writings of Mr. COBBETT are widely circulated in the
Agricultural districts, and they have been so successful as to induce
the _Boobies_ to call for gold in place of country paper, a circumstance
which has _produced a greater effect on the currency than any
exportation of the precious metals_ to the Continent, either of Europe
or America, could have done, although it too must have contributed to
render money for a season scarce."

And, so, the "_boobies_" call for gold instead of country bank-notes!
Bless the "_boobies_"! I wish they would do it to a greater extent,
which they would, if they were not so dependent as they are upon the
ragmen. But, does the _Public Ledger_ think that those unfortunate
creatures who suffered the other day at Plymouth, would have been
"_boobies_," if they had gone and got sovereigns before the banks broke?
This brother of the broad sheet should act justly and fairly as I do. He
should ascribe these demands for gold to Mr. Jones of Bristol and not to
me. Mr. Jones taught the "boobies" that they might have gold for asking
for, or send the ragmen to jail. It is Mr. Jones, therefore, that they
should blame, and not me. But, seriously speaking, what a mess, what a
pickle, what a horrible mess, must the thing be in, if any man, or any
thousand of men, or any hundred thousand of men, can change the value of
money, unhinge all contracts and all engagements, and plunge the
pecuniary affairs of a nation into confusion? I have been often accused
of wishing to be thought the cleverest man in the country; but surely it
is no vanity (for vanity means unjust pretension) for me to think myself
the cleverest man in the country, if I can of my own head, and at my own
pleasure, produce effects like these. Truth, however, and fair dealing
with my readers, call upon me to disclaim so haughty a pretension. I
have no such power as this public instructor ascribes to me. Greater
causes are at work to produce such effects; causes wholly uncontrollable
by me, and, what is more, wholly uncontrollable in the long run by the
Government itself, though heartily co-operating with the bank directors.
These united can do nothing to arrest the progress of events. Peel's
Bill produced the horrible distresses of 1822; the part repeal of that
bill produced a respite, that respite is now about to expire; and
neither Government nor bank, nor both joined together, can prevent the
ultimate consequences. They may postpone them for a little; but mark,
every postponement will render the catastrophe the more dreadful.

I see everlasting attempts by the "Instructor" to cast blame upon the
bank. I can see no blame in the bank. The bank has issued no small
notes, though it has liberty to do it. The bank pays in gold agreeably
to the law. What more does anybody want with the bank. The bank lends
money I suppose when it chooses; and is not it to be the judge when it
shall lend and when it shall not? The bank is blamed for putting out
paper and causing high prices; and blamed at the same time for not
putting out paper to accommodate merchants and keep them from breaking.
It cannot be to blame for both, and, indeed, it is blameable for
neither. It is the fellows that put out the paper and then break that do
the mischief. However, a breaking merchant, whom the bank will no
longer prop up, will naturally blame the bank, just as every insolvent
blames a solvent that will not lend him money.

When the foreign loans first began to go on, Peter M'Culloch and all the
Scotch were cock o' whoop. They said that there were prodigious
advantages in lending money to South America, that the interest would
come home to enrich us; that the amount of the loans would go out
chiefly in English manufactures; that the commercial gains would be
enormous; and that this country would thus be made rich, and powerful,
and happy, by employing in this way its "surplus capital," and thereby
contributing at the same time to the uprooting of despotism and
superstition, and the establishing of freedom and liberality in their
stead. Unhappy and purblind, I could not for the life of me see the
matter in this light. My perverted optics could perceive no _surplus
capital_ in bundles of bank-notes. I could see no gain in sending out
goods which somebody in England was to pay for, without, as it appeared
to me, the smallest chance of ever being paid again. I could see no
chance of gain in the purchase of a bond, nominally bearing interest at
six per cent., and on which, as I thought, no interest at all would ever
be paid. I despised the idea of paying bits of paper by bits of paper. I
knew that a bond, though said to bear six per cent. interest, was not
worth a farthing, unless some interest were paid upon it. I declared,
when Spanish bonds were at seventy-five, that I would not give a crown
for a hundred pounds in them, if I were compelled to keep them unsold
for seven years; and I now declare, as to South American bonds, I think
them of less value than the Spanish bonds now are, if the owner be
compelled to keep them unsold for a year. It is very true, that these
opinions agree with my _wishes_; but they have not been created by those
wishes. They are founded on my knowledge of the state of things, and
upon my firm conviction of the folly of expecting that the interest of
these things will ever come from the respective countries to which they

Mr. Canning's despatch, which I shall insert below, has, doubtless, had
a tendency (whether expected or not) to prop up the credit of these
sublime speculations. The propping up of the credit of them can,
however, do no sort of good. The keeping up the price of them for the
present may assist some of the actual speculators, but it can do nothing
for the speculation in the end, and this speculation, which was wholly
an effect of the Small-note Bill, will finally have a most ruinous
effect. How is it to be otherwise? Have we ever received any evidence,
or anything whereon to build a belief, that the interest on these bonds
will be paid? Never; and the man must be mad; mad with avarice or a love
of gambling, that could advance his money upon any such a thing as these
bonds. The fact is, however, that it was not _money_: it was paper: it
was borrowed, or created, for the purpose of being advanced. Observe,
too, that when the loans were made, money was at a lower value than it
is now; therefore, those who would have to pay the interest, would have
too much to pay if they were to fulfil their engagement. Mr. Canning's
State Paper clearly proves to me, that the main object of it is to make
the loans to South America finally be paid, because, if they be not
paid, not only is the amount of them lost to the bond-holders, but there
is an end, at once, to all that brilliant _commerce_ with which that
shining Minister appears to be so much enchanted. All the silver and
gold, all the Mexican and Peruvian dreams vanish in an instant, and
leave behind the wretched Cotton-Lords and wretched Jews and Jobbers to
go to the workhouse, or to Botany Bay. The whole of the loans are said
to amount to about twenty-one or twenty-two millions. It is supposed,
that twelve millions have actually been sent out in goods. These goods
have perhaps been paid for here, but they have been paid for out of
English money or by English promises. The money to pay with has come
from those who gave money for the South American bonds, and these
bond-holders are to be repaid, if repaid at all, _by the South
Americans_. If not paid at all, then England will have sent away twelve
millions worth of goods for nothing; and this would be the Scotch way of
obtaining enormous advantages for the country by laying out its
"_surplus capital_" in foreign loans. I shall conclude this subject by
inserting a letter which I find in the _Morning Chronicle_, of the 18th
instant. I perfectly agree with the writer. The Editor of the _Morning
Chronicle_ does not, as appears by the remark which he makes at the head
of it; but I shall insert the whole, his remark and all, and add a
remark or two of my own.--[See _Register_, vol. 56, p. 556.]

"This is a pretty round sum--a sum, the very naming of which would make
anybody but half-mad Englishmen stare. To make comparisons with _our own
debt_ would have little effect, that being so monstrous that every other
sum shrinks into nothingness at the sight of it. But let us look at the
United States, for they have _a debt_, and a debt is a debt; and this
debt of the United States is often cited as an apology for ours, even
the parsons having at last come to cite the United States as presenting
us with a system of perfection. What, then, is this debt of the United
States? Why, it was on the 1st of January, 1824, this 90,177,962; that
is to say dollars; that is to say, at four shillings and sixpence the
dollar, just _twenty millions sterling_; that is to say, 594,000 pounds
_less_ than our 'surplus capital' men have lent to the South Americans!
But now let us see what is the net revenue of this same United States.
Why, 20,500,755, that is to say, in sterling money, three millions,
three hundred and thirty thousand, and some odd hundreds; that is to
say, almost to a mere fraction, a _sixth part_ of the whole gross amount
of the debt. Observe this well, that the whole of the debt amounts to
only six times as much as one single year's net revenue. Then, again,
look at the exports of the United States. These exports, in one single
year, amount to 74,699,030 dollars, and in pounds sterling £16,599,783.
Now, what can the South American State show in this way? Have they any
exports? Or, at least, have they any that any man can speak of with
certainty? Have they any revenue wherewith to pay the interest of a
debt, when they are borrowing the very means of maintaining themselves
now against the bare name of their king? We are often told that the
Americans borrowed their money to carry on their Revolutionary war with.
_Money!_ Aye; a farthing is money, and a double sovereign is no more
than money. But surely some regard is to be had to the _quantity_; some
regard is to be had to the amount of the money; and is there any man in
his senses that will put the half million, which the Americans borrowed
of the Dutch, in competition, that will name on the same day, this half
million, with the twenty-one millions and a half borrowed by the South
Americans as above stated? In short, it is almost to insult the
understandings of my readers, to seem to institute any comparison
between the two things; and nothing in the world, short of this
gambling, this unprincipled, this maddening paper-money system, could
have made men look with patience for one single moment at loans like
these, tossed into the air with the hope and expectation of re-payment.
However, let the bond-owners keep their bonds. Let them feel the sweets
of the Small-note Bill, and of the consequent puffing up of the English
funds. The affair is theirs. They have rejected my advice; they have
listened to the broad sheet; and let them take all the consequences. Let
them, with all my heart, die with starvation, and as they expire, let
them curse Mr. BROUGHAM'S best possible public Instructor."

_Uphusband (Hampshire), Thursday, 24th Aug. 1826._

We left Burghclere last evening, in the rain; but as our distance was
only about seven miles, the consequence was little. The crops of corn,
except oats, have been very fine hereabouts; and there are never any
pease, nor any beans, grown here. The sainfoin fields, though on these
high lands, and though the dry weather has been of such long
continuance, look as green as watered meadows, and a great deal more
brilliant and beautiful. I have often described this beautiful village
(which lies in a deep dell) and its very variously shaped environs, in
my _Register_ of November, 1822. This is one of those countries of chalk
and flint and dry-top soil and hard roads and high and bare hills and
deep dells, with clumps of lofty trees, here and there, which are so
many rookeries: this is one of those countries, or rather, approaching
towards those countries, of downs and flocks of sheep, which I like so
much, which I always get to when I can, and which many people seem to
flee from as naturally as men flee from pestilence. They call such
countries _naked_ and _barren_, though they are, in the summer months,
actually covered with meat and with corn.

I saw, the other day, in the Morning Herald London "best public
instructor," that all those had _deceived themselves_, who had expected
to see the price of agricultural produce brought down by the lessening
of the quantity of paper-money. Now, in the first place, corn is, on an
average, a seventh lower in price than it was last year at this time;
and what would it have been, if the crop and the stock had now been
equal to what they were last year? All in good time, therefore, good Mr.
Thwaites. Let us have a little time. The "best public instructors" have,
as yet, only fallen, in number sold, about a third, since this time last
year. Give them a little time, good Mr. Thwaites, and you will see them
come down to your heart's content. Only let us fairly see an end to
small notes, and there will soon be not two daily "best public
instructors" left in all the "entire" great "British Empire."

But, as man is not to live on bread alone, so corn is not the _only_
thing that the owners and occupiers of the land have to look to. There
are timber, bark, underwood, wool, hides, pigs, sheep, and cattle. All
those together make, in amount, four times the corn, at the very least.
I know that _all_ these have greatly fallen in price since last year;
but I am in a sheep and wool country, and can speak positively as to
them, which are two articles of very great importance. As to sheep; I am
speaking of Southdowns, which are the great stock of these counties; as
to sheep they have fallen one-third in price since last August, lambs as
well as ewes. And, as to the wool, it sold, in 1824, at 40_s._ a tod: it
sold last year, at 35_s._ a tod; and it now sells at 19_s._ a tod! A tod
is 28lb. avoirdupois weight; so that the price of Southdown wool now is
8_d._ a pound and a fraction over; and this is, I believe, cheaper than
it has ever been known within the memory of the oldest man living! The
"best public instructor" may, perhaps, think, that sheep and wool are a
trifling affair. There are many thousands of farmers who keep each a
flock of at least a thousand sheep. An ewe yields about 3lb. of wool, a
wether 4lb., a ram 7lb. Calculate, good Mr. Thwaites, what a difference
it is when this wool becomes 8_d._ a pound instead of 17_d._, and
instead of 30_d._ as it was not many years ago! In short, every middling
sheep farmer receives, this year, about 250_l._ less, as the produce of
sheep and wool, than he received last year; and, on an average, 250_l._
is more than half his rent.

There is a great falling off in the price of horses, and of all cattle
except fat cattle; and, observe, when the prospect is good, it shows a
rise in the price of lean cattle; not in that of the meat which is just
ready to go into the mouth. Prices will go on gradually falling, as they
did from 1819 to 1822 inclusive, unless upheld by untoward seasons, or
by an issue of assignats; for, mind, it would be no joke, no sham, _this
time_; it would be an issue of as real, as _bona fide_ assignats as ever
came from the mint of any set of rascals that ever robbed and enslaved a
people in the names of "liberty and law."

_East Everley (Wiltshire), Sunday, 27th August, Evening._

We set off from Uphusband on Friday, about ten o'clock, the morning
having been wet. My sons came round, in the chaise, by Andover and
Weyhill, while I came right across the country towards Ludgarshall,
which lies in the road from Andover to this place. I never knew the
_flies_ so troublesome, in England, as I found them in this ride. I was
obliged to carry a great bough, and to keep it in constant motion, in
order to make the horse peaceable enough to enable me to keep on his
back. It is a country of fields, lanes, and high hedges; so that no
_wind_ could come to relieve my horse; and, in spite of all I could do,
a great part of him was covered with foam from the sweat. In the midst
of this, I got, at one time, a little out of my road, in, or near, a
place called Tangley. I rode up to the garden-wicket of a cottage, and
asked the woman, who had two children, and who seemed to be about thirty
years old, which was the way to Ludgarshall, which I knew could not be
more than about _four miles_ off. She did _not know_! A very neat,
smart, and pretty woman; but she did not know the way to this rotten
borough, which was, I was sure, only about four miles off! "Well, my
dear good woman," said I, "but you _have been_ at
LUDGARSHALL?"--"No."--"Nor at Andover?" (six miles another
way)--"No."--"Nor at Marlborough?" (nine miles another
way)--"No."--"Pray, were you born in this house?"--"Yes."--"And how far
have you ever been from this house?"--"Oh! I have been _up in the
parish_ and over _to Chute_." That is to say, the utmost extent of her
voyages had been about two and a half miles! Let no one laugh at her,
and, above all others, let not me, who am convinced, that the
_facilities_, which now exist, of _moving human bodies from place to
place_, are amongst the _curses_ of the country, the destroyers of
industry, of morals, and, of course, of happiness. It is a great error
to suppose, that people are rendered stupid by remaining always in the
same place. This was a very acute woman, and as well behaved as need to
be. There was, in July last (last month) a Preston-man, who had never
been further from home than Chorley (about eight or ten miles), and who
started off, _on foot_, and went, _alone_, to Rouen, in France, and back
again to London, in the space of about ten days; and that, too, without
being able to speak, or to understand, a word of French. N.B. Those
gentlemen, who, at Green-street, in Kent, were so kind to this man,
_upon finding that he had voted for me_, will be pleased to accept of my
best thanks. Wilding (that is the man's name) was full of expressions of
gratitude towards these gentlemen. He spoke of others who were good to
him on his way; and even at Calais he found friends on my account; but
he was particularly loud in his praises of the gentlemen in Kent, who
had been so good and so kind to him, that he seemed quite in an extasy
when he talked of their conduct.

Before I got to the rotten-borough, I came out upon a Down, just on the
border of the two counties, Hampshire and Wiltshire. Here I came up with
my sons, and we entered the rotten-borough together. It contained some
rashers of bacon and a very civil landlady; but it is one of the most
mean and beggarly places that man ever set his eyes on. The curse
attending corruption seems to be upon it. The look of the place would
make one swear, that there never was a clean shirt in it, since the
first stone of it was laid. It must have been a large place once, though
it now contains only 479 persons, men, women, and children. The borough
is, as to all practical purposes, as much private property as this pen
is my private property. Aye, aye! Let the petitioners of Manchester
bawl, as long as they like, against all other evils; but, until they
touch this _master-evil_, they do nothing at all.

Everley is but about three miles from Ludgarshall, so that we got here
in the afternoon of Friday: and, in the evening a very heavy storm came
and drove away all flies, and made the air delightful. This is a real
_Down_-country. Here you see miles and miles square without a tree, or
hedge, or bush. It is country of green-sward. This is the most famous
place in all England for _coursing_. I was here, at this very inn, with
a party eighteen years ago; and the landlord, who is still the same,
recognized me as soon as he saw me. There were forty brace of greyhounds
taken out into the field on one of the days, and every brace had one
course, and some of them two. The ground is the finest in the world;
from two to three miles for the hare to run to cover, and not a stone
nor a bush nor a hillock. It was here proved to me, that the hare is, by
far, the swiftest of all English animals; for I saw three hares, in one
day, _run away_ from the dogs. To give dog and hare a fair trial, there
should be but _one_ dog. Then, if that dog got so close as to compel the
hare _to turn_, that would be a proof that the dog ran fastest. When the
dog, or dogs, never get near enough to the hare to induce her to _turn_,
she is said, and very justly, to "_run away_" from them; and, as I saw
three hares do this in one day, I conclude, that the hare is the
swiftest animal of the two.

This inn is one of the nicest, and, in summer, one of the pleasantest,
in England; for, I think, that my experience in this way will justify me
in speaking thus positively. The house is large, the yard and the
stables good, the landlord _a farmer_ also, and, therefore, no cribbing
your horses in hay or straw and yourself in eggs and cream. The garden,
which adjoins the south side of the house, is large, of good shape, has
a terrace on one side, lies on the slope, consists of well-disposed
clumps of shrubs and flowers, and of short-grass very neatly kept. In
the lower part of the garden there are high trees, and, amongst these,
the tulip-tree and the live-oak. Beyond the garden is a large clump of
lofty sycamores, and in these a most populous rookery, in which, of all
things in the world, I delight. The village, which contains 301 souls,
lies to the north of the inn, but adjoining its premises. All the rest,
in every direction, is bare down or open arable. I am now sitting at one
of the southern windows of this inn, looking across the garden towards
the rookery. It is nearly sun-setting; the rooks are skimming and
curving over the tops of the trees; while, under the branches, I see a
flock of several hundred sheep, coming nibbling their way in from the
Down, and going to their fold.

Now, what ill-natured devil could bring Old Nic Grimshaw into my head in
company with these innocent sheep? Why, the truth is this: nothing is
_so swift_ as _thought_: it runs over a life-time in a moment; and,
while I was writing the last sentence of the foregoing paragraph,
_thought_ took me up at the time when I used to wear a smock-frock and
to carry a wooden bottle like that shepherd's boy; and, in an instant,
it hurried me along through my no very short life of adventure, of toil,
of peril, of pleasure, of ardent friendship and not less ardent enmity;
and after filling me with wonder, that a heart and mind so wrapped up in
everything belonging to the gardens, the fields and the woods, should
have been condemned to waste themselves away amidst the stench, the
noise, and the strife of cities, it brought me _to the present moment_,
and sent my mind back to what I have yet to perform about Nicholas
Grimshaw and his _ditches_!

My sons set off about three o'clock to-day, on their way to
Herefordshire, where I intend to join them, when I have had a pretty
good ride in this country. There is no pleasure in travelling, except on
horse-back, or on foot. Carriages take your body from place to place;
and if you merely want to be _conveyed_, they are very good; but they
enable you to see and to know nothing at all of the country.

_East Everley, Monday Morning, 5 o'clock, 28th Aug. 1826._

A very fine morning; a man, _eighty-two years of age_, just beginning to
mow the short-grass, in the garden: I thought it, even when I was young,
the _hardest work_ that man had to do. To _look on_, this work seems
nothing; but it tries every sinew in your frame, if you go upright and
do your work well. This old man never knew how to do it well, and he
stoops, and he hangs his scythe wrong; but, with all this, it must be a
surprising man to mow short-grass, as well as he does, at _eighty_. _I
wish I_ may be able to mow short-grass at eighty! That's all I have to
say of the matter. I am just setting off for the source of the Avon,
which runs from near Marlborough to Salisbury, and thence to the sea;
and I intend to pursue it as far as Salisbury. In the distance of thirty
miles, here are, I see by the books, more than thirty churches. I wish
to see, with my own eyes, what evidence there is that those thirty
churches were built without hands, without money, and without a
congregation; and thus to find matter, if I can, to justify the mad
wretches, who, from Committee-Rooms and elsewhere, are bothering this
half-distracted nation to death about a "surplus popalashon, mon."

My horse is ready; and the rooks are just gone off to the
stubble-fields. These rooks rob the pigs; but they have _a right_ to do
it. I wonder (upon my soul I do) that there is no lawyer, Scotchman, or
Parson-Justice, to propose a law to punish the rooks for _trespass_.


     "Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn; and,
     The labourer is worthy of his reward."--Deuteronomy, ch. xxv, ver.
     4; 1 Cor. ix, 9; 1 Tim. v, 9.

_Milton, Monday, 28th August._

I came off this morning on the Marlborough road about two miles, or
three, and then turned off, over the downs, in a north-westerly
direction, in search of the source of the Avon River, which goes down to
Salisbury. I had once been at Netheravon, a village in this valley; but
I had often heard this valley described as one of the finest pieces of
land in all England; I knew that there were about thirty parish
churches, standing in a length of about thirty miles, and in an average
width of hardly a mile; and I was resolved to see a little into the
_reasons_ that could have induced our fathers to build all these
churches, especially if, as the Scotch would have us believe, there were
but a mere handful of people in England _until of late years_.

The first part of my ride this morning was by the side of Sir John
Astley's park. This man is one of the members of the county (gallon-loaf
Bennet being the other). They say that he is good to the labouring
people; and he ought to be good for _something_, being a member of
Parliament of the Lethbridge and Dickenson stamp. However, he has got a
thumping estate; though it be borne in mind, the working-people and the
fund-holders and the dead-weight have each their separate mortgage upon
it; of which this Baronet has, I dare say, too much justice to complain,
seeing that the amount of these mortgages was absolutely necessary to
carry on Pitt and Perceval and Castlereagh Wars; to support Hanoverian
soldiers in England; to fight and beat the Americans on the Serpentine
River; to give Wellington a kingly estate; and to defray the expenses of
Manchester and other yeomanry cavalry; besides all the various charges
of Power-of-Imprisonment Bills and of Six-Acts. These being the cause of
the mortgages, the "worthy Baronet" has, I will engage, too much justice
to complain of them.

In steering across the down, I came to a large farm, which a shepherd
told me was Milton Hill Farm. This was upon the high land, and before I
came to the edge of this _Valley of Avon_, which was my land of promise;
or, at least, of great expectation; for I could not imagine that thirty
churches had been built _for nothing_ by the side of a brook (for it is
no more during the greater part of the way) thirty miles long. The
shepherd showed me the way towards Milton; and at the end of about a
mile, from the top of a very high part of the down, with a steep slope
towards the valley, I first saw this _Valley of Avon_; and a most
beautiful sight it was! Villages, hamlets, large farms, towers,
steeples, fields, meadows, orchards, and very fine timber trees,
scattered all over the valley. The shape of the thing is this: on each
side _downs_, very lofty and steep in some places, and sloping miles
back in other places; but each _outside_ of the valley are downs. From
the edge of the downs begin capital _arable fields_ generally of very
great dimensions, and, in some places, running a mile or two back into
little _cross-valleys_, formed by hills of downs. After the corn-fields
come _meadows_, on each side, down to the _brook_ or _river_. The
farm-houses, mansions, villages, and hamlets, are generally situated in
that part of the arable land which comes nearest the meadows.

Great as my expectations had been, they were more than fulfilled. I
delight in this sort of country; and I had frequently seen the vale of
the Itchen, that of the Bourn, and also that of the Teste, in Hampshire;
I had seen the vales amongst the South Downs; but I never before saw
anything to please me like this valley of the Avon. I sat upon my horse,
and looked over Milton and Easton and Pewsy for half an hour, though I
had not breakfasted. The hill was very steep. A road, going slanting
down it, was still so steep, and washed so very deep, by the rains of
ages, that I did not attempt to _ride_ down it, and I did not like to
lead my horse, the path was so narrow. So seeing a boy with a drove of
pigs, going out to the stubbles, I beckoned him to come up to me; and he
came and led my horse down for me. Endless is the variety in the shape
of the high lands which form this valley. Sometimes the slope is very
gentle, and the arable lands go back very far. At others, the downs come
out into the valley almost like piers into the sea, being very steep in
their sides, as well as their ends towards the valley. They have no
slope at their other ends: indeed they have no _back ends_, but run into
the main high land. There is also great variety in the width of the
valley; great variety in the width of the meadows; but the land appears
all to be of the very best; and it must be so, for the farmers confess

It seemed to me, that one way, and that not, perhaps, the least
striking, of exposing the folly, the stupidity, the inanity, the
presumption, the insufferable emptiness and insolence and barbarity, of
those numerous wretches, who have now the audacity to propose to
_transport_ the people of England, upon the principle of the monster
Malthus, who has furnished the unfeeling oligarchs and their
toad-eaters with the pretence, that _man has a natural propensity to
breed faster than food can be raised for the increase_; it seemed to me,
that one way of exposing this mixture of madness and of blasphemy was to
take a look, now that the harvest is in, at the produce, the mouths, the
condition, and the changes that have taken place, in a spot like this,
which God has favoured with every good that he has had to bestow upon

From the top of the hill I was not a little surprised to see, in every
part of the valley that my eye could reach, a due, a large portion of
fields of Swedish turnips, all looking extremely well. I had found the
turnips, of both sorts, by no means bad, from Salt Hill to Newbury; but
from Newbury through Burghclere, Highclere, Uphusband, and Tangley, I
had seen but few. At and about Ludgarshall and Everley, I had seen
hardly any. But when I came, this morning, to Milton Hill farm, I saw a
very large field of what appeared to me to be fine Swedish turnips. In
the valley, however, I found them much finer, and the fields were very
beautiful objects, forming, as their colour did, so great a contrast
with that of the fallows and the stubbles, which latter are, this year,
singularly clean and bright.

Having gotten to the bottom of the hill, I proceeded on to the village
of Milton. I left Easton away at my right, and I did not go up to Watton
Rivers where the river Avon rises, and which lies just close to the
South-west corner of Marlborough Forest, and at about 5 or 6 miles from
the town of Marlborough. Lower down the river, as I thought, there lived
a friend, who was a great farmer, and whom I intended to call on. It
being my way, however, always to begin making enquiries soon enough, I
asked the pig-driver where this friend lived; and, to my surprise, I
found that he lived in the parish of Milton. After riding up to the
church, as being the centre of the village, I went on towards the house
of my friend, which lay on my road down the valley. I have many, many
times witnessed agreeable surprise; but I do not know, that I ever in
the whole course of my life, saw people so much surprised and pleased as
this farmer and his family were at seeing me. People often _tell_ you,
that they are _glad to see_ you; and in general they speak truth. I take
pretty good care not to approach any house, with the smallest appearance
of a design to eat or drink in it, unless I be _quite sure_ of a cordial
reception; but my friend at Fifield (it is in Milton parish) and all his
family really seemed to be delighted beyond all expression.

When I set out this morning, I intended to go all the way down to the
city of Salisbury _to-day_; but, I soon found, that to refuse to sleep
at Fifield would cost me a great deal more trouble than a day was
worth. So that I made my mind up to stay in this farm-house, which has
one of the nicest gardens, and it contains some of the finest flowers,
that I ever saw, and all is disposed with as much good taste as I have
ever witnessed. Here I am, then, just going to bed after having spent as
pleasant a day as I ever spent in my life. I have heard to-day, that
Birkbeck lost his life by attempting to cross a river on horse-back; but
if what I have heard besides be true, that life must have been hardly
worth preserving; for, they say, that he was reduced to a very
deplorable state; and I have heard, from what I deem unquestionable
authority, that his two beautiful and accomplished daughters are married
to two common labourers, one a Yankee and the other an Irishman, neither
of whom has, probably, a second shirt to his back, or a single pair of
shoes to put his feet into! These poor girls owe their ruin and misery
(if my information be correct), and, at any rate, hundreds besides
Birkbeck himself, owe their utter ruin, the most scandalous degradation,
together with great bodily suffering, to the vanity, the conceit, the
presumption of Birkbeck, who, observe, richly merited all that he
suffered, not excepting his death; for, he sinned with his eyes open; he
rejected all advice; he persevered after he saw his error; he dragged
thousands into ruin along with him; and he most vilely calumniated the
man, who, after having most disinterestedly, but in vain, endeavoured to
preserve him from ruin, endeavoured to preserve those who were in danger
of being deluded by him. When, in 1817, before he set out for America, I
was, in Catherine Street, Strand, London, so earnestly pressing him not
to go to the back countries, he had one of these daughters with him.
After talking to him for some time, and describing the risks and
disadvantages of the back countries, I turned towards the daughter and,
in a sort of joking way, said: "Miss Birkbeck, take my advice: don't let
anybody get _you_ more than twenty miles from Boston, New York,
Philadelphia, or Baltimore." Upon which he gave me a most _dignified_
look, and observed: "Miss Birkbeck has _a father_, Sir, whom she knows
it to be her duty to obey." This snap was enough for me. I saw, that
this was a man so full of self-conceit, that it was impossible to do
anything with him. He seemed to me to be bent upon his own destruction.
I thought it my duty to warn _others_ of their danger: some took the
warning; others did not; but he and his brother adventurer, Flower,
never forgave me, and they resorted to all the means in their power to
do me injury. They did me no injury, no thanks to them; and I have seen
them most severely, but most justly, punished.

_Amesbury, Tuesday, 29th August._

I set off from Fifield this morning, and got here about one o'clock,
with my clothes wet. While they are drying, and while a mutton chop is
getting ready, I sit down to make some notes of what I have seen since I
left Enford ... but, here comes my dinner: and I must put off my notes
till I have dined.

_Salisbury, Wednesday, 30th August._

My ride yesterday, from Milton to this city of Salisbury, was, without
any exception, the most pleasant; it brought before me the greatest
number of, to me, interesting objects, and it gave rise to more
interesting reflections, than I remember ever to have had brought before
my eyes, or into my mind, in any one day of my life; and therefore, this
ride was, without any exception, the most pleasant that I ever had in my
life, as far as my recollection serves me. I got a little wet in the
middle of the day; but I got dry again, and I arrived here in very good
time, though I went over the Accursed Hill (Old Sarum), and went across
to Laverstoke, before I came to Salisbury.

Let us now, then, look back over this part of Wiltshire, and see whether
the inhabitants ought to be "transported" by order of the "Emigration
Committee," of which we shall see and say more by-and-by. I have before
described this valley generally; let me now speak of it a little more in
detail. The farms are all large, and, generally speaking, they were
always large, I dare say; because _sheep_ is one of the great things
here; and sheep, in a country like this, must be kept in _flocks_, to be
of any profit. The sheep principally manure the land. This is to be done
only by _folding_; and, to fold, you must have a _flock_. Every farm has
its portion of down, arable, and meadow; and, in many places, the latter
are watered meadows, which is a great resource where sheep are kept in
flocks; because these meadows furnish grass for the suckling ewes, early
in the spring; and, indeed, because they have always food in them for
sheep and cattle of all sorts. These meadows have had no part of the
suffering from the drought, this year. They fed the ewes and lambs in
the spring, and they are now yielding a heavy crop of hay; for I saw men
mowing in them, in several places, particularly about Netheravon, though
it was raining at the time.

The turnips look pretty well all the way down the valley; but, I see
very few, except Swedish turnips. The early common turnips very nearly
all failed, I believe. But the stubbles are beautifully bright; and the
rick-yards tell us that the crops are good, especially of wheat. This is
not a country of pease and beans, nor of oats, except for home
consumption. The crops are wheat, barley, wool, and lambs, and these
latter not to be sold to butchers, but to be sold, at the great fairs,
to those who are going to keep them for some time, whether to breed
from, or finally to fat for the butcher. It is the pulse and the oats
that appear to have failed most this year; and therefore this Valley has
not suffered. I do not perceive that they have many _potatoes_; but what
they have of this base root seem to look well enough. It was one of the
greatest villains upon earth (Sir Walter Raleigh), who (they say) first
brought this root into England. He was hanged at last! What a pity,
since he was to be hanged, the hanging did not take place before he
became such a mischievous devil as he was in the latter two-thirds of
his life!

The stack-yards down this valley are beautiful to behold. They contain
from five to fifteen banging wheat-ricks, besides barley-ricks, and
hay-ricks, and also besides the contents of the barns, many of which
exceed a hundred, some two hundred, and I saw one at Pewsey, and another
at Fittleton, each of which exceeded two hundred and fifty feet in
length. At a farm, which, in the old maps, is called Chissenbury Priory,
I think I counted twenty-seven ricks of one sort and another, and
sixteen or eighteen of them wheat-ricks. I could not conveniently get to
the yard, without longer delay than I wished to make; but I could not be
much out in my counting. A very fine sight this was, and it could not
meet the eye without making one look round (and in vain) _to see the
people who were to eat all this food_; and without making one reflect on
the horrible, the unnatural, the base and infamous state, in which we
must be, when projects are on foot, and are openly avowed, for
_transporting_ those who raise this food, because they want to eat
enough of it to keep them alive; and when no project is on foot for
transporting the idlers who live in luxury upon this same food; when no
project is on foot for transporting pensioners, parsons, or dead-weight

A little while before I came to this farm-yard, I saw, in one piece,
about four hundred acres of wheat-stubble, and I saw a sheep-fold,
which, I thought, contained an acre of ground, and had in it about four
thousand sheep and lambs. The fold was divided into three separate
flocks; but the piece of ground was one and the same; and I thought it
contained about an acre. At one farm, between Pewsey and Upavon, I
counted more than 300 hogs in one stubble. This is certainly the most
delightful farming in the world. No ditches, no water-furrows, no
drains, hardly any hedges, no dirt and mire, even in the wettest
seasons of the year: and though the downs are naked and cold, the
valleys are snugness itself. They are, as to the downs, what _ah-ahs!_
are, in parks or lawns. When you are going over the downs, you look
_over_ the valleys, as in the case of the _ah-ah_; and if you be not
acquainted with the country, your surprise, when you come to the edge of
the hill, is very great. The shelter, in these valleys, and particularly
where the downs are steep and lofty on the sides, is very complete.
Then, the trees are everywhere lofty. They are generally elms, with some
ashes, which delight in the soil that they find here. There are, almost
always, two or three large clumps of trees in every parish, and a
rookery or two (not _rag_-rookery) to every parish. By the water's edge
there are willows; and to almost every farm there is a fine orchard, the
trees being, in general, very fine, and, this year, they are, in
general, well loaded with fruit. So that, all taken together, it seems
impossible to find a more beautiful and pleasant country than this, or
to imagine any life more easy and happy than men might here lead, if
they were untormented by an accursed system that takes the food from
those that raise it, and gives it to those that do nothing that is
useful to man.

Here the farmer has always an abundance of straw. His farm-yard is never
without it. Cattle and horses are bedded up to their eyes. The yards are
put close under the shelter of a hill, or are protected by lofty and
thick-set trees. Every animal seems comfortably situated; and, in the
dreariest days of winter, these are, perhaps, the happiest scenes in the
world; or, rather, they would be such, if those, whose labour makes it
all, trees, corn, sheep and everything, had but _their fair share_ of
the produce of that labour. What share they really have of it one cannot
exactly say; but, I should suppose, that every labouring _man_ in this
valley raises as much food as would suffice for fifty, or a hundred
persons, fed like himself!

At a farm at Milton there were, according to my calculation, 600
quarters of wheat and 1200 quarters of barley of the present year's
crop. The farm keeps, on an average, 1400 sheep, it breeds and rears an
usual proportion of pigs, fats the usual proportion of hogs, and, I
suppose, rears and fats the usual proportion of poultry. Upon inquiry, I
found that this farm was, in point of produce, about one-fifth of the
parish. Therefore, the land of this parish produces annually about 3000
quarters of wheat, 6000 quarters of barley, the wool of 7000 sheep,
together with the pigs and poultry. Now, then, leaving green, or moist,
vegetables out of the question, as being things that human creatures,
and especially _labouring_ human creatures, ought never to use _as
sustenance_, and saying nothing, at present, about milk and butter;
leaving these wholly out of the question, let us see how many people the
produce of this parish would keep, supposing the people to live all
alike, and to have plenty of food and clothing. In order to come at the
fact here, let us see what would be the consumption of one family; let
it be a family of five persons; a man, wife, and three children, one
child big enough to work, one big enough to eat heartily, and one a
baby; and this is a pretty fair average of the state of people in the
country. Such a family would want 5 lb. of bread a-day; they would want
a pound of mutton a-day; they would want two pounds of bacon a-day; they
would want, on an average, winter and summer, a gallon and a half of
beer a-day; for I mean that they should live without the aid of the
Eastern or the Western slave-drivers. If _sweets_ were absolutely
necessary for the baby, there would be quite _honey_ enough in the
parish. Now, then, to begin with the bread, a pound of good wheat makes
a pound of good bread; for, though the offal be taken out, the water is
put in; and, indeed, the fact is, that a pound of wheat will make a
pound of bread, leaving the offal of the wheat to feed pigs, or other
animals, and to produce other human food in this way. The family would,
then, use 1825 lb. of wheat in the year, which, at 60 lb. a bushel,
would be (leaving out a fraction) 30 bushels, or three quarters and six
bushels, _for the year_.

Next comes the mutton, 365 lb. for the year. Next the bacon, 730 lb. As
to the quantity of mutton produced; the sheep are bred here, and not
fatted in general; but we may fairly suppose, that each of the sheep
_kept_ here, each of the _standing-stock_, makes first, or last, half a
fat sheep; so that a farm that keeps, on an average, 100 sheep, produces
annually 50 fat sheep. Suppose the mutton to be 15 lb. a quarter, then
the family will want, within a trifle of, seven sheep a year. Of bacon
or pork, 36 score will be wanted. Hogs differ so much in their
propensity to fat, that it is difficult to calculate about them: but
this is a very good rule: when you see a fat hog, and know how many
_scores_ he will weigh, set down to his account a sack (half a quarter)
of barley for every score of his weight; for, let him have been
_educated_ (as the French call it) as he may, this will be about the
real cost of him when he is fat. A sack of barley will make a score of
bacon, and it will not make more. Therefore, the family would want 18
quarters of barley in the year for bacon.

As to the _beer_, 18 gallons to the bushel of malt is very good; but, as
we allow of no spirits, no wine, and none of the slave produce, we will
suppose that a _sixth_ part of the beer is _strong_ stuff. This would
require two bushels of malt to the 18 gallons. The whole would,
therefore, take 35 bushels of malt; and a bushel of barley makes a
bushel of malt, and, by the _increase_ pays the expense of malting.
Here, then, the family would want, for beer, four quarters and three
bushels of barley. The annual consumption of the family, in victuals and
drink, would then be as follows:

           Qrs.  Bush.
  Wheat     3      6
  Barley   22      3
  Sheep     7

This being the case, the 3000 quarters of wheat, which the parish
annually produces, would suffice for 800 families. The 6000 quarters of
barley, would suffice for 207 families. The 3500 fat sheep, being half
the number kept, would suffice for 500 families. So that here is,
produced in the parish of Milton, _bread_ for 800, _mutton_ for 500, and
_bacon and beer_ for 207 families. Besides victuals and drink, there are
clothes, fuel, tools, and household goods wanting; but there are milk,
butter, eggs, poultry, rabbits, hares, and partridges, which I have not
noticed, and these are all eatables, and are all eaten too. And as to
clothing, and, indeed, fuel and all other wants beyond eating and
drinking, are there not 7000 fleeces of Southdown wool, weighing, all
together, 21,000 lb., and capable of being made into 8400 yards of broad
cloth, at two pounds and a half of wool to the yard? Setting, therefore,
the wool, the milk, butter, eggs, poultry, and game against all the
wants beyond the solid food and drink, we see that the parish of Milton,
that we have under our eye, would give bread to 800 families, mutton to
580, and bacon and beer to 207. The reason why wheat and mutton are
produced in a proportion so much greater than the materials for making
bacon and beer, is, that the wheat and the mutton are more loudly
demanded _from a distance_, and are much more cheaply conveyed away in
proportion to their value. For instance, the wheat and mutton are wanted
in the infernal Wen, and some barley is wanted there in the shape of
malt; but hogs are not fatted in the Wen, and a larger proportion of the
barley is used where it is grown.

Here is, then, bread for 800 families, mutton for 500, and bacon and
beer for 207. Let us take the average of the three, and then we have 502
families, for the keeping of whom, and in this good manner too, the
parish of Milton yields a sufficiency. In the wool, the milk, butter,
eggs, poultry, and game, we have seen ample, and much more than ample,
provision for all wants other than those of mere food and drink. What I
have allowed in food and drink is by no means excessive. It is but a
pound of bread, and a little more than half-a-pound of meat a day to
each person on an average; and the beer is not a drop too much. There
are no green and moist vegetables included in my account; but, there
would be some, and they would not do any harm; but, no man can say, or,
at least, none but a base usurer, who would grind money out of the bones
of his own father; no other man can, or will, say, that I have been _too
liberal_ to this family; and yet, good God! what extravagance is here,
if the labourers of England be now treated justly!

Is there a family, even amongst those who live the hardest, in the Wen,
that would not shudder at the thought of living upon what I have allowed
to this family? Yet what do labourers' families get, compared to this?
The answer to that question ought to make us shudder indeed. The amount
of my allowance, compared with the amount of the allowance that
labourers now have, is necessary to be stated here, before I proceed
further. The wheat 3 qrs. and 6 bushels at present price (56_s._ the
quarter) amounts to 10_l._ 10_s._ The barley (for bacon and beer) 22
qrs. 3 bushels, at present price (34_s._ the quarter), amounts to 37_l._
16_s._ 8_d._ The seven sheep, at 40_s._ each, amount to 14_l._ The total
is 62_l._ 6_s._ 8_d._; and this, observe, for _bare victuals and drink_;
just food and drink enough to keep people in working condition.

What then _do_ the labourers get? To what fare has this wretched and
most infamous system brought them! Why such a family as I have described
is allowed to have, _at the utmost_, only about 9_s._ a week. The parish
allowance is only about 7_s._ 6_d._ for the five people, including
clothing, fuel, bedding and everything! Monstrous state of things! But
let us suppose it to be _nine shillings_. Even that makes only 23_l._
8_s._ a year, for food, drink, clothing, fuel and everything, whereas I
allow 62_l._ 6_s._ 8_d._ a year for the bare eating and drinking; and
that is little enough. Monstrous, barbarous, horrible as this appears,
we do not, however, see it in half its horrors; our indignation and rage
against this infernal system is not half roused, till we see the small
number of labourers who raise all the food and the drink, and, of
course, the mere trifling portion of it that they are suffered to retain
for their own use.

The parish of Milton does, as we have seen, produce food, drink,
clothing, and all other things, enough for 502 families, or 2510 persons
upon my allowance, which is a great deal more than three times the
present allowance, because the present allowance includes clothing,
fuel, tools, and everything. Now, then, according to the "Population
Return," laid before Parliament, this parish contains 500 persons, or,
according to my division, one hundred families. So that here are about
_one hundred_ families to raise food and drink enough, and to raise
wool and other things to pay for all other necessaries, for _five
hundred_ and _two_ families! Aye, and five hundred and two families fed
and lodged, too, on my liberal scale. Fed and lodged according to the
present scale, this one hundred families raise enough to supply more,
and many more, than fifteen hundred families; or seven thousand five
hundred persons! And yet those who do the work are half starved! In the
100 families there are, we will suppose, 80 able working men, and as
many boys, sometimes assisted by the women and stout girls. What a
handful of people to raise such a quantity of food! What injustice, what
a hellish system it must be, to make those who raise it skin and bone
and nakedness, while the food and drink and wool are almost all carried
away to be heaped on the fund-holders, pensioners, soldiers,
dead-weight, and other swarms of tax-eaters! If such an operation do not
need putting an end to, then the devil himself is a saint.

Thus it must be, or much about thus, all the way down this fine and
beautiful and interesting valley. There are 29 agricultural parishes,
the two last being in town; being Fisherton and Salisbury. Now,
according to the "Population Return," the whole of these 29 parishes
contain 9,116 persons; or, according to my division, 1,823 families.
There is no reason to believe, that the proportion that we have seen in
the case of Milton does not hold good all the way through; that is,
there is no reason to suppose, that the produce does not exceed the
consumption in every other case in the same degree that it does in the
case of Milton. And indeed if I were to judge from the number of houses
and the number of ricks of corn, I should suppose that the excess was
still greater in several of the other parishes. But, supposing it to be
no greater; supposing the same proportion to continue all the way from
Watton Rivers to Stratford Dean, then here are 9,116 persons raising
food and raiment sufficient for 45,580 persons, fed and lodged according
to my scale; and sufficient for 136,740 persons, according to the scale
on which the unhappy labourers of this fine valley are now fed and

And yet there is an "_Emigration Committee_" sitting to devise the means
of getting _rid_, not of the idlers, not of the pensioners, not of the
dead-weight, not of the parsons, (to "relieve" whom we have seen the
poor labourers taxed to the tune of a million and a half of money) not
of the soldiers; but to devise means of getting rid of _these working
people_, who are grudged even the miserable morsel that they get! There
is in the men calling themselves "English country gentlemen" something
superlatively base. They are, I sincerely believe, the most cruel, the
most unfeeling, the most brutally insolent: but I know, I can prove, I
can safely take my oath, that they are the most base of all the
creatures that God ever suffered to disgrace the human shape. The base
wretches know well, that the _taxes_ amount to more than _sixty
millions_ a year, and that the _poor-rates_ amount to about _seven
millions_; yet, while the cowardly reptiles never utter a word against
the taxes, they are incessantly railing against the poor-rates, though
it is, (and they know it) the taxes that make the paupers. The base
wretches know well, that the sum of money given, even to the fellows
that gather the taxes, is greater in amount than the poor-rates; the
base wretches know well, that the money, given to the dead-weight (who
ought not to have a single farthing), amounts to more than the poor
receive out of the rates; the base wretches know well, that the common
foot-soldier now receives more pay per week (7_s._ 7_d._) exclusive of
clothing, firing, candle, and lodging; the base wretches know, that the
common foot-soldier receives more to go down his own single throat, than
the overseers and magistrates allow to a working man, his wife and three
children; the base wretches know all this well; and yet their railings
are confined to the _poor_ and the _poor-rates_; and it is expected that
they will, next session, urge the Parliament to pass a law to enable
overseers and vestries and magistrates _to transport paupers beyond the
seas_! They are base enough for this, or for any thing; but the whole
system will go to the devil long before they will get such an act
passed; long before they will see perfected this consummation of their
infamous tyranny.

It is manifest enough, that the _population_ of this valley was, at one
time, many times over what it is now; for, in the first place, what were
the twenty-nine churches built _for_? The population of the 29 parishes
is now but little more than one-half of that of the single parish of
Kensington; and there are several of the churches bigger than the church
at Kensington. What, then, should all these churches have been built
_for_? And besides, where did the hands come from? And where did the
money come from? These twenty-nine churches would now not only hold all
the inhabitants, men, women, and children, but all the household goods,
and tools, and implements, of the whole of them, farmers and all, if you
leave out the wagons and carts. In three instances, Fifield, Milston,
and Roach-Fen, the _church-porches_ will hold all the inhabitants, even
down to the bed-ridden and the babies. What then? will any man believe
that these churches were built for such little knots of people? We are
told about the _great_ superstition of our fathers, and of their
readiness to gratify the priests by building altars and other religious
edifices. But we must think those priests to have been most devout
creatures indeed, if we believe that they chose to have the money laid
out in _useless_ churches, rather than have it put into their own
pockets! At any rate, we all know that Protestant Priests have no whims
of _this sort_; and that they never lay out upon churches any money that
they can, by any means, get hold of.

But, suppose that we were to believe that the Priests had, in old times,
this unaccountable taste; and suppose we were to believe that a knot of
people, who might be crammed into a church-porch, were seized, and very
frequently too, with the desire of having a big church to go to; we
must, after all this, believe that this knot of people were more than
_giants_, or that they had surprising _riches_, else we cannot believe
that they had _the means_ of gratifying the strange wishes of their
Priests and their own not less strange _piety_ and _devotion_. Even if
we could believe that they thought that they were paving their way to
heaven, by building churches which were a hundred times too large for
the population, still we cannot believe, that the building could have
been effected without bodily force; and, where was this force to come
from, if the people were not more numerous than they now are? What,
again, I ask, were these twenty-nine churches stuck up, not a mile from
each other; what were twenty-nine churches made _for_, if the population
had been no greater than it is now?

But, in fact, you plainly see all the traces of a great ancient
population. The churches are almost all large, and built in the best
manner. Many of them are very fine edifices; very costly in the
building; and, in the cases where the body of the church has been
altered in the repairing of it, so as to make it smaller, the _tower_,
which everywhere defies the hostility of time, shows you what the church
must formerly have been. This is the case in several instances; and
there are two or three of these villages which must formerly have been
_market-towns_, and particularly Pewsy and Upavon. There are now no less
than nine of the parishes out of the twenty-nine, that have either no
parsonage-houses, or have such as are in such a state that a Parson will
not, or cannot, live in them. Three of them are without any
parsonage-houses at all, and the rest are become poor, mean,
falling-down places. This latter is the case at Upavon, which was
formerly a very considerable place. Nothing can more clearly show, than
this, that all, as far as buildings and population are concerned, has
been long upon the decline and decay. Dilapidation after dilapidation
have, at last, almost effaced even the parsonage-houses, and that too in
_defiance of the law_, ecclesiastical as well as civil. The land
remains; and the crops and the sheep come as abundantly as ever; but
they are now sent almost wholly away, instead of remaining, as
formerly, to be, in great part, consumed in these twenty-nine parishes.

The _stars_, in my map, mark the spots where manor-houses, or
gentlemen's mansions, formerly stood, and stood, too, only about sixty
years ago. Every parish had its manor house in the first place; and then
there were, down this Valley, twenty-one others; so that, in this
distance of about thirty miles, there stood fifty mansion houses. Where
are they _now_? I believe there are but eight that are at all worthy of
the name of mansion houses; and even these are but poorly kept up, and,
except in two or three instances, are of no benefit to the labouring
people; they employ but few persons; and, in short, do not half supply
the place of any eight of the old mansions. All these mansions, all
these parsonages, aye, and their goods and furniture, together with the
clocks, the brass kettles, the brewing-vessels, the good bedding and
good clothes and good furniture, and the stock in pigs, or in money, of
the inferior classes, in this series of once populous and gay villages
and hamlets; all these have been by the accursed system of taxing and
funding and paper-money, by the well-known exactions of the state, and
by the not less real, though less generally understood, extortions of
the _monopolies_ arising out of paper-money; all these have been, by
these accursed means, conveyed away, out of this Valley, to the haunts
of the tax-eaters and the monopolizers. There are many of the _mansion
houses_, the ruins of which you yet behold. At Milton there are two
mansion houses, the walls and the roofs of which yet remain, but which
are falling gradually to pieces, and the garden walls are crumbling
down. At Enford, Bennet, the Member for the county, had a large mansion
house, the stables of which are yet standing. In several places, I saw,
still remaining, indubitable traces of an ancient manor house, namely a
dove-cote or pigeon-house. The poor pigeons have kept possession of
their heritage, from generation to generation, and so have the rooks, in
their several rookeries, while the paper-system has swept away, or
rather swallowed-up, the owners of the dove-cotes and of the lofty
trees, about forty families of which owners have been ousted in this one
Valley, and have become dead-weight creatures, tax-gatherers,
barrack-fellows, thief-takers, or, perhaps, paupers or thieves.

Senator Snip congratulated, some years ago, that preciously honourable
"Collective _Wisdom_" of which he is a most worthy Member; Snip
congratulated it on the success of the late war in creating capital!
Snip is, you must know, a great _feelosofer_, and a not less great
_feenanceer_. Snip cited, as a proof of the great and glorious effects
of paper-money, the new and fine houses in London, the new streets and
squares, the new roads, new canals and bridges. Snip was not, I dare
say, aware that this same paper-money had destroyed forty mansion houses
in this Vale of Avon, and had taken away all the goods, all the
substance, of the little gentry and of the labouring class. Snip was
not, I dare say, aware that this same paper-money had, in this one Vale
of only thirty miles long, dilapidated, and, in some cases, wholly
demolished, nine out of twenty-nine even of the parsonage houses. I told
Snip at the time (1821), that paper-money could create no valuable
thing. I begged Snip to bear this in mind. I besought all my readers,
and particularly Mr. Mathias Atwood (one of the members for
_Lowther_-town), not to believe that paper-money ever did, or ever
could, _create_ anything of any value. I besought him to look well into
the matter, and assured him that he would find that though paper-money
could _create_ nothing of value, it was able to _transfer_ everything of
value; able to strip a little gentry; able to dilapidate even parsonage
houses; able to rob gentlemen of their estates, and labourers of their
Sunday-coats and their barrels of beer; able to snatch the dinner from
the board of the reaper or the mower, and to convey it to the
barrack-table of the Hessian or Hanoverian grenadier; able to take away
the wool, that ought to give warmth to the bodies of those who rear the
sheep, and put it on the backs of those who carry arms to keep the poor,
half-famished shepherds in order!

I have never been able clearly to comprehend what the beastly Scotch
_feelosofers_ mean by their "national wealth;" but, as far as I can
understand them, this is their meaning: that national wealth means that
which is _left_ of the products of the country over and above what is
_consumed_, or _used_, by those whose labour causes the products to be.
This being the notion, it follows, of course, that the _fewer_ poor
devils you can screw the products out of, the _richer_ the nation is.

This is, too, the notion of Burdett as expressed in his silly and most
nasty, musty aristocratic speech of last session. What, then, is to be
done with this _over-produce_? Who is to have it? Is it to go to
pensioners, placemen, tax-gatherers, dead-weight people, soldiers,
gendarmerie, police-people, and, in short, to whole millions _who do no
work at all_? Is this a cause of "national wealth"? Is a nation made
_rich_ by taking the food and clothing from those who create them, and
giving them to those who do nothing of any use? Aye, but this
over-produce may be given to _manufacturers_, and to those who supply
the food-raisers with what they want besides food. Oh! but this is
merely an _exchange_ of one valuable thing for another valuable thing;
it is an exchange of labour in Wiltshire for labour in Lancashire; and,
upon the whole, here is no _over-production_. If the produce be
exported, it is the same thing: it is an exchange of one sort of labour
for another. But _our course_ is, that there is not an exchange; that
those who labour, no matter in what way, have a large part of the fruit
of their labour taken away, and receive nothing in exchange. If the
over-produce of this Valley of Avon were given, by the farmers, to the
weavers in Lancashire, to the iron and steel chaps of Warwickshire, and
to other makers or sellers of useful things, there would come an
abundance of all these useful things into this valley from Lancashire
and other parts: but if, as is the case, the over-produce goes to the
fund-holders, the dead-weight, the soldiers, the lord and lady and
master and miss pensioners and sinecure people; if the over-produce go
to them, as a very great part of it does, nothing, not even the parings
of one's nails, can come back to the valley in exchange. And, can this
operation, then, add to the "national wealth"? It adds to the "wealth"
of those who carry on the affairs of state; it fills their pockets,
those of their relatives and dependents; it fattens all tax-eaters; but
it can give no wealth to the "nation," which means the whole of the
people. National Wealth means the Commonwealth or Commonweal; and these
mean, the general good, or happiness, of the people, and the safety and
honour of the state; and these are not to be secured by robbing those
who labour, in order to support a large part of the community in
idleness. Devizes is the market-town to which the corn goes from the
greater part of this Valley. If, when a wagon-load of wheat goes off in
the morning, the wagon came back at night loaded with cloth, salt, or
something or other, equal in value to the wheat, except what might be
necessary to leave with the shopkeeper as his profit; then, indeed, the
people might see the wagon go off without tears in their eyes. But now
they see it go to carry away, and to bring next to nothing in return.

What a _twist_ a head must have before it can come to the conclusion
that the nation gains in wealth by the government being able to cause
the work to be done by those who have hardly any share in the fruit of
the labour! What a _twist_ such a head must have! The Scotch
_feelosofers_, who seem all to have been, by nature, formed for
negro-drivers, have an insuperable objection to all those establishments
and customs which occasion _holidays_. They call them a great hindrance,
a great bar to industry, a great drawback from "national wealth." I wish
each of these unfeeling fellows had a spade put into his hand for ten
days, only ten days, and that he were compelled to dig only just as much
as one of the common labourers at Fulham. The metaphysical gentlemen
would, I believe, soon discover the _use of holidays_! But _why_ should
men, why should _any_ men, work _hard_? Why, I ask, should they work
incessantly, if working part of the days of the week be sufficient? Why
should the people at Milton, for instance, work incessantly, when they
now raise food and clothing and fuel and every necessary to maintain
well five times their number? Why should they not have some holidays?
And, pray, say, thou conceited Scotch feelosofer, how the "national
wealth" can be increased by making these people work incessantly, that
they may raise food and clothing, to go to feed and clothe people who do
not work at all?

The state of this Valley seems to illustrate the infamous and really
diabolical assertion of Malthus, which is, that the human kind have a
natural tendency _to increase beyond the means of sustenance for them_.
Hence, all the schemes of this and the other Scotch writers for what
they call checking population. Now, look at this Valley of Avon. Here
the people raise nearly twenty times as much food and clothing as they
consume. They raise five times as much, even according to my scale of
living. They have been doing this for many, many years. They have been
doing it for several generations. Where, then, is their natural tendency
to increase beyond the means of sustenance for them? Beyond, indeed, the
means of that sustenance which a system like this will leave them. Say
that, Sawneys, and I agree with you. Far beyond the means that the
taxing and monopolizing system will leave in their hands: that is very
true; for it leaves them nothing but the scale of the poor-book; they
must cease to breed at all, or they must exceed this mark; but the
_earth_, give them their fair share of its products, will always give
sustenance in sufficiency to those who apply to it by skilful and
diligent labour.

The villages down this Valley of Avon, and, indeed, it was the same in
almost every part of this county, and in the North and West of Hampshire
also, used to have great employment for the women and children in the
carding and spinning of wool for the making of broad-cloth. This was a
very general employment for the women and girls; but it is now wholly
gone; and this has made a vast change in the condition of the people,
and in the state of property and of manners and of morals. In 1816, I
wrote and published a _Letter to the Luddites_, the object of which was
to combat their hostility to the use of machinery. The arguments I there
made use of were general. I took the matter in the abstract. The
_principles_ were all correct enough; but their application cannot be
universal; and we have a case here before us, at this moment, which, in
my opinion, shows that the mechanic inventions, pushed to the extent
that they have been, have been productive of great calamity to this
country, and that they will be productive of still greater calamity;
unless, indeed, it be their brilliant destiny to be the immediate cause
of putting an end to the present system.

The greater part of manufactures consists of _clothing_ and _bedding_.
Now, if by using a machine, we can get our coat with less labour than we
got it before, the machine is a desirable thing. But, then, mind, we
must have the machine at home, and we ourselves must have the profit of
it; for, if the machine be elsewhere; if it be worked by other hands; if
other persons have the profit of it; and if, in consequence of the
existence of the machine, we have hands at home, who have nothing to do,
and whom we must keep, then the machine is an injury to us, however
advantageous it may be to those who use it, and whatever traffic it may
occasion with foreign States.

Such is the case with regard to this cloth-making. The machines are at
Upton-Level, Warminster, Bradford, Westbury, and Trowbridge, and here
are some of the hands in the Valley of Avon. This Valley raises food and
clothing; but, in order to raise them, it must have _labourers_. These
are absolutely necessary; for without them this rich and beautiful
Valley becomes worth nothing except to wild animals and their pursuers.
The labourers are _men_ and _boys_. Women and girls occasionally; but
the men and the boys are as necessary as the light of day, or as the air
and the water. Now, if beastly Malthus, or any of his nasty disciples,
can discover a mode of having men and boys without having women and
girls, then, certainly, the machine must be a good thing; but if this
Valley must absolutely have the women and the girls, then the machine,
by leaving them with nothing to do, is a mischievous thing; and a
producer of most dreadful misery. What, with regard to the poor, is the
great complaint now? Why, that the _single man_ does not receive the
same, or anything like the same, wages as the _married_ man. Aye, it is
the wife and girls that are the burden; and to be sure a burden they
must be, under a system of taxation like the present, and with no work
to do. Therefore, whatever may be saved in labour by the machine is no
benefit, but an injury to the mass of the people. For, in fact, all that
the women and children earned was so much clear addition to what the
family earns now. The greatest part of the clothing in the United States
of America is made by the farm women and girls. They do almost the whole
of it; and all that they do is done at home. To be sure, they might buy
cheap; but they must buy for less than nothing, if it would not answer
their purpose to _make_ the things.

The survey of this Valley is, I think, the finest answer in the world to
the "Emigration Committee" fellows, and to Jerry Curteis (one of the
Members for Sussex), who has been giving "evidence" before it. I shall
find out, when I can get to see the _report_, what this "Emigration
Committee" would be _after_. I remember that, last winter, a young woman
complained to one of the Police Justices that the Overseers of some
parish were going to transport her orphan brother to Canada, because he
became chargeable to their parish! I remember, also, that the Justice
said, that the intention of the Overseers was "premature," for that "the
Bill had not yet passed"! This was rather an ugly story; and I do think
that we shall find that there have been, and are, some pretty
propositions before this "Committee." We shall see all about the matter,
however, by-and-by; and, when we get the transporting project fairly
before us, shall we not then loudly proclaim "the envy of surrounding
nations and admiration of the world"!

But, what ignorance, impudence, and insolence must those base wretches
have, who propose to transport the labouring people, as being too
numerous, while the produce, which is obtained by their labour, is more
than sufficient for three, four, or five, or even ten times their
numbers! Jerry Curteis, who has, it seems, been a famous witness on this
occasion, says that the poor-rates, in many cases, amount to as much as
the rent. Well: and what then, Jerry? The rent may be high enough too,
and the farmer may afford to pay them both; for a very large part of
what you call _poor-rates_ ought to be called _wages_. But, at any rate,
what has all this to do with the necessity of emigration? To make out
such necessity, you must make out that you have more mouths than the
produce of the parish will feed. Do then, Jerry, tell us, another time,
a little about the quantity of food annually raised in four or five
adjoining parishes; for, is it not something rather damnable, Jerry, to
talk of _transporting_ Englishmen, on account of the _excess of their
numbers_, when the fact is notorious that their labour produces five or
ten times as much food and raiment as they and their families consume!

However, to drop Jerry, for the present, the baseness, the foul, the
stinking, the carrion baseness, of the fellows that call themselves
"country gentlemen," is, that the wretches, while railing against the
poor and the poor-rates; while affecting to believe that the poor are
wicked and lazy; while complaining that the poor, the working people,
are too numerous, and that the country villages are too populous: the
carrion baseness of these wretches is, that, while they are thus _bold_
with regard to the working and poor people, they never even whisper a
word against pensioners, placemen, soldiers, parsons, fundholders,
tax-gatherers, or tax-eaters! They say not a word against the prolific
dead-weight to whom they give a premium for breeding, while they want to
check the population of labourers! They never say a word about the too
great populousness of the Wen; nor about that of Liverpool, Manchester,
Cheltenham, and the like! Oh! they are the most cowardly, the very
basest, the most scandalously base reptiles that ever were warmed into
life by the rays of the sun!

In taking my leave of this beautiful vale, I have to express my deep
shame, as an Englishman, at beholding the general _extreme poverty_ of
those who cause this vale to produce such quantities of food and
raiment. This is, I verily believe it, the _worst used labouring people
upon the face of the earth_. Dogs and hogs and horses are treated with
more civility; and as to food and lodging, how gladly would the
labourers change with them! This state of things never can continue many
years! _By some means or other_ there must be an end to it; and my firm
belief is, that that end will be dreadful. In the meanwhile I see, and I
see it with pleasure, that the common people know that they are ill
used; and that they cordially, most cordially, hate those who ill-treat

During the day I crossed the river about fifteen or sixteen times, and
in such hot weather it was very pleasant to be so much amongst meadows
and water. I had been at Netheravon about eighteen years ago, where I
had seen a great quantity of hares. It is a place belonging to Mr. Hicks
Beach, or Beech, who was once a member of parliament. I found the place
altered a good deal; out of repair; the gates rather rotten; and (a very
bad sign!) the roof of the dog-kennel falling in! There is a church, at
this village of Netheravon, large enough to hold a thousand or two of
people, and the whole parish contains only 350 souls, men, women and
children. This Netheravon was formerly a great lordship, and in the
parish there were three considerable mansion-houses, besides the one
near the church. These mansions are all down now; and it is curious
enough to see the former _walled gardens_ become _orchards_, together
with other changes, all tending to prove the gradual decay in all except
what appertains merely to _the land_ as a thing of production for the
distant market. But, indeed, the people and the means of enjoyment must
go away. They are _drawn_ away by the taxes and the paper-money. How are
_twenty thousand new houses_ to be, all at once, building in the Wen,
without people and food and raiment going from this valley towards the
Wen? It must be so; and this unnatural, this dilapidating, this ruining
and debasing work must go on, until that which produces it be destroyed.

When I came down to Stratford Dean, I wanted to go across to Laverstoke,
which lay to my left of Salisbury; but just on the side of the road
here, at Stratford Dean, rises the _Accursed Hill_. It is very lofty.
It was originally a hill in an irregular sort of sugar-loaf shape: but
it was so altered by the Romans, or by somebody, that the upper
three-quarter parts of the hill now, when seen from a distance, somewhat
resemble _three cheeses_, laid one upon another; the bottom one a great
deal broader than the next, and the top one like a Stilton cheese, in
proportion to a Gloucester one. I resolved to ride over this Accursed
Hill. As I was going up a field towards it, I met a man going home from
work. I asked how he _got on_. He said, very badly. I asked him what was
the cause of it. He said the _hard times_. "What _times_," said I; "was
there ever a finer summer, a finer harvest, and is there not an _old_
wheat-rick in every farm-yard?" "Ah!" said he, "_they_ make it bad for
poor people, for all that." "_They?_" said I, "who is _they_?" He was
silent. "Oh, no, no! my friend," said I, "it is not _they_; it is that
Accursed Hill that has robbed you of the supper that you ought to find
smoking on the table when you get home." I gave him the price of a pot
of beer, and on I went, leaving the poor dejected assemblage of skin and
bone to wonder at my words.

The hill is very steep, and I dismounted and led my horse up. Being as
near to the top as I could conveniently get, I stood a little while
reflecting, not so much on the changes which that hill had seen, as on
the changes, the terrible changes, which, in all human probability, it
had _yet to see_, and which it would have greatly _helped to produce_.
It was impossible to stand on this accursed spot, without swelling with
indignation against the base and plundering and murderous sons of
corruption. I have often wished, and I, speaking out loud, expressed the
wish now: "May that man perish for ever and ever, who, having the power,
neglects to bring to justice the perjured, the suborning, the insolent
and perfidious miscreants, who openly sell their country's rights and
their own souls."

From the Accursed Hill I went to Laverstoke where "Jemmy Burrough" (as
they call him here), the Judge, lives. I have not heard much about
"Jemmy" since he tried and condemned the two young men who had wounded
the game-keepers of Ashton Smith and Lord Palmerston. His Lordship
(Palmerston) is, I see, making a tolerable figure in the newspapers as a
_share-man_! I got into Salisbury about half-past seven o'clock, less
tired than I recollect ever to have been after so long a ride; for,
including my several crossings of the river and my deviations to look at
churches and farm-yards, and rick-yards, I think I must have ridden
nearly forty miles.


     "Hear this, O ye that swallow up the needy, even to make the poor
     of the land to fail: saying, When will the new moon be gone that
     we may sell corn? And the Sabbath, that we may set forth wheat,
     making the Ephah small and the Shekel great, and falsifying the
     balances by deceit; that we may buy the poor for silver, and the
     needy for a pair of shoes; yea, and sell the refuse of the wheat?
     Shall not the land tremble for this; and every one mourn that
     dwelleth therein? I will turn your feasting into mourning, saith
     the Lord God, and your songs into lamentations."--Amos, chap.
     viii. ver. 4 to 10.

_Heytesbury (Wilts), Thursday, 31st August, 1826._

This place, which is one of the rotten boroughs of Wiltshire, and which
was formerly a considerable town, is now but a very miserable affair.
Yesterday morning I went into the Cathedral at Salisbury about 7
o'clock. When I got into the nave of the church, and was looking up and
admiring the columns and the roof, I heard a sort of _humming_, in some
place which appeared to be in the transept of the building. I wondered
what it was, and made my way towards the place whence the noise appeared
to issue. As I approached it, the noise seemed to grow louder. At last,
I thought I could distinguish the sounds of the human voice. This
encouraged me to proceed; and, still following the sound, I at last
turned in at a doorway to my left, where I found a priest and his
congregation assembled. It was a parson of some sort, with a white
covering on him, and five women and four men: when I arrived, there were
five couple of us. I joined the congregation, until they came to the
_litany_; and then, being monstrously hungry, I did not think myself
bound to stay any longer. I wonder what the founders would say, if they
could rise from the grave, and see such a congregation as this in this
most magnificent and beautiful cathedral? I wonder what they would say,
if they could know _to what purpose_ the endowments of this Cathedral
are now applied; and above all things, I wonder what they would say, if
they could see the half-starved labourers that now minister to the
luxuries of those who wallow in the wealth of those endowments. There is
one thing, at any rate, that might be abstained from, by those that
revel in the riches of those endowments; namely, to abuse and
blackguard those of our forefathers, from whom the endowments came, and
who erected the edifice, and carried so far towards the skies that
beautiful and matchless spire, of which the present possessors have the
impudence to boast, while they represent as ignorant and benighted
creatures, those who conceived the grand design, and who executed the
scientific and costly work. These fellows, in big white wigs, of the
size of half a bushel, have the audacity, even within the walls of the
Cathedrals themselves, to rail against those who founded them; and
Rennell and Sturges, while they were actually, literally, fattening on
the spoils of the monastery of St. Swithin, at Winchester, were
publishing abusive pamphlets against that Catholic religion which had
given them their very bread. For my part, I could not look up at the
spire and the whole of the church at Salisbury, without _feeling_ that I
lived in degenerate times. Such a thing never could be made _now_. We
_feel_ that as we look at the building. It really does appear that if
our forefathers had not made these buildings, we should have forgotten,
before now, what the Christian religion was!

At Salisbury, or very near to it, four other rivers fall into the
Avon--the Wyly river, the Nadder, the Born, and another little river
that comes from Norrington. These all become one, at last, just below
Salisbury, and then, under the name of the Avon, wind along down and
fall into the sea at Christchurch. In coming from Salisbury, I came up
the road which runs pretty nearly parallel with the river Wyly, which
river rises at Warminster and in the neighbourhood. This river runs down
a valley twenty-two miles long. It is not so pretty as the valley of the
Avon; but it is very fine in its whole length from Salisbury to this
place (Heytesbury). Here are watered meadows nearest to the river on
both sides; then the gardens, the houses, and the corn-fields. After the
corn-fields come the downs; but, generally speaking, the downs are not
so bold here as they are on the sides of the Avon. The downs do not come
out in promontories so often as they do on the sides of the Avon. The
_Ah-ah!_ if I may so express it, is not so deep, and the sides of it not
so steep, as in the case of the Avon; but the villages are as frequent;
there is more than one church in every mile, and there has been a due
proportion of mansion houses demolished and defaced. The farms are very
fine up this vale, and the meadows, particularly at a place called
Stapleford, are singularly fine. They had just been mowed at Stapleford,
and the hay carried off. At Stapleford, there is a little cross valley,
running up between two hills of the down. There is a little run of water
about a yard wide at this time, coming down this little vale across the
road into the river. The little vale runs up three miles. It does not
appear to be half a mile wide; but in those three miles there are four
churches; namely, Stapleford, Uppington, Berwick St. James, and
Winterborne Stoke. The present population of these four villages is 769
souls, men, women, and children, the whole of whom could very
conveniently be seated in the chancel of the church at Stapleford.
Indeed, the church and parish of Uppington seem to have been united with
one of the other parishes, like the parish in Kent which was united with
North Cray, and not a single house of which now remains. What were these
four churches _built for_ within the distance of three miles? There are
three parsonage houses still remaining; but, and it is a very curious
fact, neither of them good enough for the parson to live in! Here are
seven hundred and sixty souls to be taken care of, but there is no
parsonage house for a soul-curer to stay in, or at least that he _will_
stay in; and all the three parsonages are, in the return laid before
Parliament, represented to be no better than miserable labourers'
cottages, though the parish of Winterborne Stoke has a church sufficient
to contain two or three thousand people. The truth is, that the parsons
have been receiving the revenues of the livings, and have been suffering
the parsonage houses to fall into decay. Here were two or three mansion
houses, which are also gone, even from the sides of this little run of

To-day has been exceedingly hot. Hotter, I think, for a short time, than
I ever felt it in England before. In coming through a village called
Wishford, and mounting a little hill, I thought the heat upon my back
was as great as I had ever felt it in my life. There were thunder storms
about, and it had rained at Wishford a little before I came to it.

My next village was one that I had lived in for a short time, when I was
only about ten or eleven years of age. I had been sent down with a horse
from Farnham, and I remember that I went by _Stone-henge_, and rode up
and looked at the stones. From Stone-henge I went to the village of
Steeple Langford, where I remained from the month of June till the fall
of the year. I remembered the beautiful villages up and down this
valley. I also remembered, very well, that the women at Steeple Langford
used to card and spin dyed wool. I was, therefore, somewhat filled with
curiosity to see this Steeple Langford again; and, indeed, it was the
recollection of this village that made me take a ride into Wiltshire
this summer. I have, I dare say, a thousand times talked about this
Steeple Langford and about the beautiful farms and meadows along this
valley. I have talked of these to my children a great many times; and I
formed the design of letting two of them see this valley this year, and
to go through Warminster to Stroud, and so on to Gloucester and
Hereford. But, when I got to Everley, I found that they would never get
along fast enough to get into Herefordshire in time for what they
intended; so that I parted from them in the manner I have before
described. I was resolved, however, to see Steeple Langford myself, and
I was impatient to get to it, hoping to find a public-house, and a
stable to put my horse in, to protect him, for a while, against the
flies, which tormented him to such a degree, that to ride him was work
as hard as threshing. When I got to Steeple Langford, I found no
public-house, and I found it a much more miserable place than I had
remembered it. The _Steeple_, to which it owed its distinctive
appellation, was gone; and the place altogether seemed to me to be very
much altered for the worse. A little further on, however, I came to a
very famous inn, called Deptford Inn, which is in the parish of Wyly. I
stayed at this inn till about four o'clock in the afternoon. I
remembered Wyly very well, and thought it a gay place when I was a boy.
I remembered a very beautiful garden belonging to a rich farmer and
miller. I went to see it; but, alas! though the statues in the water and
on the grass-plat were still remaining, everything seemed to be in a
state of perfect carelessness and neglect. The living of this parish of
Wyly was lately owned by Dampier (a brother of the Judge), who lived at,
and I believe had the living of, Meon Stoke in Hampshire. This fellow, I
believe, never saw the parish of Wyly but once, though it must have
yielded him a pretty good fleece. It is a Rectory, and the great tithes
must be worth, I should think, six or seven hundred pounds a year, at
the least.

It is a part of our system to have certain _families_, who have no
particular merit, but who are to be maintained, without why or
wherefore, at the public expense, in some shape, or under some name, or
other, it matters not much what shape or what name. If you look through
the old list of pensioners, sinecurists, parsons, and the like, you will
find the same names everlastingly recurring. They seem to be a sort of
creatures that have an _inheritance in the public carcass_, like the
maggots that some people have in their skins. This family of Dampier
seems to be one of these. What, in God's name, should have made one of
these a Bishop and the other a Judge! I never heard of the smallest
particle of talent that either of them possessed. This Rector of Wyly
was another of them. There was no harm in them that I know of, beyond
that of living upon the public; but where were their merits? They had
none, to distinguish them, and to entitle them to the great sums they
received; and, under any other system than such a system as this, they
would, in all human probability, have been gentlemen's servants or
little shopkeepers. I dare say there is some of the _breed_ left; and,
if there be, I would pledge my existence, that they are, in some shape
or other, feeding upon the public. However, thus it must be, until that
change come which will put an end to men paying _fourpence_ in tax upon
a pot of beer.

This Deptford Inn was a famous place of meeting for the _Yeomanry
Cavalry_, in glorious anti-jacobin times, when wheat was twenty
shillings a bushel, and when a man could be crammed into gaol for years,
for only _looking_ awry. This inn was a glorious place in the days of
Peg Nicholson and her Knights. Strangely altered now. The shape of the
garden shows you what revelry used to be carried on here. Peel's Bill
gave this inn, and all belonging to it, a terrible souse. The unfeeling
brutes, who used to brandish their swords, and swagger about, at the
news of what was called "a victory," have now to lower their scale in
clothing, in drink, in eating, in dress, in horseflesh, and everything
else. They are now a lower sort of men than they were. They look at
their rusty sword and their old dusty helmet and their once gay
regimental jacket. They do not hang these up now in the "parlour" for
everybody to see them: they hang them up in their bedrooms, or in a
cockloft; and when they meet their eye, they look at them as a cow does
at a bastard calf, or as the bridegroom does at a girl that the
overseers are about to compel him to marry. If their children should
happen to see these implements of war twenty or thirty years hence, they
will certainly think that their fathers were the greatest fools that
ever walked the face of the earth; and that will be a most filial and
charitable way of thinking of them; for it is not from ignorance that
they have sinned, but from excessive baseness; and when any of them now
complain of those acts of the Government which strip them, (as the late
Order in Council does), of a fifth part of their property in an hour,
let them recollect their own base and malignant conduct towards those
persecuted reformers, who, if they had not been suppressed by these very
yeomen, would, long ago, have put an end to the cause of that ruin of
which these yeomen now complain. When they complain of their ruin, let
them remember the toasts which they drank in anti-jacobin times; let
them remember their base and insulting exultations on the occasion of
the 16th of August at Manchester; let them remember their cowardly abuse
of men, who were endeavouring to free their country from that horrible
scourge which they themselves now feel.

Just close by this Deptford Inn is the farm-house of the farm where that
Gourlay lived, who has long been making a noise in the Court of
Chancery, and who is now, I believe, confined in some place or other for
having assaulted Mr. Brougham. This fellow, who is confined, the
newspapers tell us, on a charge of being insane, is certainly one of
the most malignant devils that I ever knew anything of in my life. He
went to Canada about the time that I went last to the United States. He
got into a quarrel with the Government there about something, I know not
what. He came to see me, at my house in the neighbourhood of New York,
just before I came home. He told me his Canada story. I showed him all
the kindness in my power, and he went away, knowing that I was just then
coming to England. I had hardly got home, before the Scotch newspapers
contained communications from a person, pretending to derive his
information from Gourlay, relating to what Gourlay had described as
having passed between him and me; and which description was a tissue of
most abominable falsehoods, all having a direct tendency to do injury to
me, who had never, either by word or deed, done anything that could
possibly have a tendency to do injury to this Gourlay. What the vile
Scotch newspapers had begun, the malignant reptile himself continued
after his return to England, and, in an address to Lord Bathurst,
endeavoured to make his court to the Government by the most foul, false
and detestable slanders upon me, from whom, observe, he had never
received any injury, or attempt at injury, in the whole course of his
life; whom he had visited; to whose house he had gone, of his own
accord, and that, too, as he said, out of _respect_ for me; endeavoured,
I say, to make his court to the Government by the most abominable
slanders against me. He is now, even now, putting forth, under the form
of letters to me, a revival of what he pretends was a _conversation_
that passed between us at my house near New York. Even if what he says
were true, none but caitiffs as base as those who conduct the English
newspapers, would give circulation to his letters, containing, as they
must, the substance of a conversation purely private. But I never had
any conversation with him: I never talked to him at all about the things
that he is now bringing forward. I heard the fellow's stories about
Canada: I thought he told me lies; and, besides, I did not care a straw
whether his stories were true or not; I looked upon him as a sort of
gambling adventurer; but I treated him as is the fashion of the country
in which I was, with great civility and hospitality. There are two
fellows of the name of Jacob and Johnson at Winchester, and two fellows
at Salisbury of the name of Brodie and Dowding. These reptiles publish,
each couple of them, a newspaper; and in these newspapers they seem to
take particular delight in calumniating me. The two Winchester fellows
insert the letters of this half crazy, half cunning, Scotchman, Gourlay;
the other fellows insert still viler slanders; and, if I had seen one of
their papers, before I left Salisbury, which I have seen since, I
certainly would have given Mr. Brodie something to make him remember me.
This fellow, who was a little coal-merchant but a short while ago, is
now, it seems, a paper-money maker, as well as a newspaper maker. Stop,
Master Brodie, till I go to Salisbury again, and see whether I do not
give you a _check_, even such as you did not receive during the late
run! Gourlay, amongst other whims, took it into his head to write
against the poor laws, saying that they were a bad thing. He found,
however, at last, that they were necessary to keep him from starving;
for he came down to Wyly, three or four years ago, and threw himself
upon the parish. The overseers, who recollected what a swaggering blade
it was, when it came here to teach the moon-rakers "hoo to farm, mon,"
did not see the sense of keeping him like a gentleman; so they set him
to crack stones upon the highway; and that set him off again, pretty
quickly. The farm that he rented is a very fine farm, with a fine large
farm-house to it. It is looked upon as one of the best farms in the
country: the present occupier is a farmer born in the neighbourhood; a
man such as ought to occupy it; and Gourlay, who came here with his
Scotch impudence to teach others how to farm, is much about where and
how he ought to be. Jacob and Johnson, of Winchester, know perfectly
well that all the fellow says about me is lies; they know also that
their parson readers know that it is a mass of lies: they further know
that the parsons know that they know that it is a mass of lies; but they
know that their paper will sell the better for that; they know that to
circulate lies about me will get them money, and this is what they do it
for, and such is the character of English newspapers, and of a great
part of the readers of those newspapers. Therefore, when I hear of
people "suffering;" when I hear of people being "ruined;" when I hear of
"unfortunate families;" when I hear a talk of this kind, I stop, before
I either express or feel compassion, to ascertain _who_ and _what_ the
sufferers are; and whether they have or have not participated in, or
approved of, acts like those of Jacob and Johnson and Brodie and
Dowding; for if they have, if they have malignantly calumniated those
who have been labouring to prevent their ruin and misery, then a crushed
ear-wig, or spider, or eft, or toad, is as much entitled to the
compassion of a just and sensible man. Let the reptiles perish: it would
be injustice; it would be to fly in the face of morality and religion to
express sorrow for their ruin. They themselves have felt for no man, and
for the wife and children of no man, if that man's public virtues
thwarted their own selfish views, or even excited their groundless
fears. They have signed addresses, applauding everything tyrannical and
inhuman. They have seemed to glory in the shame of their country, to
rejoice in its degradation, and even to exult in the shedding of
innocent blood, if these things did but tend, as they thought, to give
them permanent security in the enjoyment of their unjust gains. Such has
been their conduct; they are numerous: they are to be found in all parts
of the kingdom: therefore again I say, when I hear of "ruin" or
"misery," I must know what the conduct of the sufferers has been before
I bestow my compassion.

_Warminster (Wilts), Friday, 1st Sept._

I set out from Heytesbury this morning about six o'clock. Last night,
before I went to bed, I found that there were some men and boys in the
house, who had come all the way from Bradford, about twelve miles, in
order to get _nuts_. These people were men and boys that had been
employed in the _cloth factories_ at Bradford and about Bradford. I had
some talk with some of these nutters, and I am quite convinced, not that
the cloth making is at _an end_; but that it _never will be again what
it has been_. Before last Christmas these manufacturers had full work,
at one shilling and threepence a yard at broad-cloth weaving. They have
now a quarter work, at one shilling a yard! One and three-pence a yard
for this weaving has been given at all times within the memory of man!
Nothing can show more clearly than this, and in a stronger light, the
great change which has taken place in the _remuneration of labour_.
There was a turn out last winter, when the price was reduced to a
shilling a yard; but it was put an end to in the usual way; the
constable's staff, the bayonet, the gaol. These poor nutters were
extremely ragged. I saved my supper, and I fasted instead of
breakfasting. That was three shillings, which I had saved, and I added
five to them, with a resolution to save them afterwards, in order to
give these chaps a breakfast for once in their lives. There were eight
of them, six men and two boys; and I gave them two quartern loaves, two
pounds of cheese, and eight pints of strong beer. The fellows were very
thankful, but the conduct of the landlord and landlady pleased me
exceedingly. When I came to pay my bill, they had said nothing about my
bed, which had been a very good one; and, when I asked why they had not
put the bed into the bill, they said they would not charge anything for
the bed since I had been so good to the poor men. Yes, said I, but I
must not throw the expense upon you. I had no supper, and I have had no
breakfast; and, therefore, I am not called upon to pay for them: but _I
have had_ the bed. It ended by my paying for the bed, and coming off,
leaving the nutters at their breakfast, and very much delighted with the
landlord and his wife; and I must here observe that I have pretty
generally found a good deal of compassion for the poor people to
prevail amongst publicans and their wives.

From Heytesbury to Warminster is a part of the country singularly bright
and beautiful. From Salisbury up to very near Heytesbury, you have the
valley, as before described by me. Meadows next the water; then arable
land; then the downs; but when you come to Heytesbury, and indeed a
little before, in looking forward you see the vale stretch out, from
about three miles wide to ten miles wide, from high land to high land.
From a hill before you come down to Heytesbury, you see through this
wide opening into Somersetshire. You see a round hill rising in the
middle of the opening; but all the rest a flat enclosed country, and
apparently full of wood. In looking back down this vale one cannot help
being struck with the innumerable proofs that there are of a decline in
point of population. In the first place, there are twenty-four parishes,
each of which takes a little strip across the valley, and runs up
through the arable land into the down. There are twenty-four parish
churches, and there ought to be as many _parsonage-houses_; but seven of
these, out of the twenty-four, that is to say, nearly one-third of them,
are, in the returns laid before Parliament (and of which returns I shall
speak more particularly by-and-by), stated to be such miserable
dwellings as to be unfit for a parson to reside in. Two of them,
however, are gone. There are no parsonage-houses in those two parishes:
there are the scites; there are the glebes; but the houses have been
suffered to fall down and to be totally carried away. The tithes remain,
indeed, and the parson sacks the amount of them. A journeyman parson
comes and works in three or four churches of a Sunday; but the master
parson is not there. He generally carries away the produce to spend it
in London, at Bath, or somewhere else, to show off his daughters; and
the overseers, that is to say, the farmers, manage the poor in their own
way, instead of having, according to the ancient law, a third-part of
all the tithes to keep them with.

The falling down and the beggary of these parsonage-houses prove beyond
all question the decayed state of the population. And, indeed, the
mansion-houses are gone, except in a very few instances. There are but
five left, that I could perceive, all the way from Salisbury to
Warminster, though the country is the most pleasant that can be
imagined. Here is water, here are meadows; plenty of fresh-water fish;
hares and partridges in abundance, and it is next to impossible to
destroy them. Here are shooting, coursing, hunting; hills of every
height, size, and form; valleys, the same; lofty trees and rookeries in
every mile; roads always solid and good; always pleasant for exercise;
and the air must be of the best in the world. Yet it is manifest that
four-fifths of the mansions have been swept away. There is a
parliamentary return, to prove that nearly a third of the parsonage
houses have become beggarly holes or have disappeared. I have now been
in nearly threescore villages, and in twenty or thirty or forty hamlets
of Wiltshire; and I do not know that I have been in one, however small,
in which I did not see a house or two, and sometimes more, either
tumbled down, or beginning to tumble down. It is impossible for the eyes
of man to be fixed on a finer country than that between the village of
Codford and the town of Warminster; and it is not very easy for the eyes
of man to discover labouring people more miserable. There are two
villages, one called Norton Bovant, and the other Bishopstrow, which I
think form, together, one of the prettiest spots that my eyes ever
beheld. The former village belongs to Bennet, the member for the county,
who has a mansion there, in which two of his sisters live, I am told.
There is a farm at Bishopstrow, standing at the back of the arable land,
up in a vale, formed by two very lofty hills, upon each of which there
was formerly a Roman Camp, in consideration of which farm, if the owner
would give it to me, I would almost consent to let Ottiwell Wood remain
quiet in his seat, and suffer the pretty gentlemen of Whitehall to go on
without note or comment till they had fairly blowed up their concern.
The farm-yard is surrounded by lofty and beautiful trees. In the
rick-yard I counted twenty-two ricks of one sort and another. The hills
shelter the house and the yard and the trees, most completely, from
every wind but the south. The arable land goes down before the house,
and spreads along the edge of the down, going, with a gentle slope, down
to the meadows. So that, going along the turnpike road, which runs
between the lower fields of the arable land, you see the large and
beautiful flocks of sheep upon the sides of the down, while the
horn-cattle are up to their eyes in grass in the meadows. Just when I
was coming along here, the sun was about half an hour high; it shined
through the trees most brilliantly; and, to crown the whole, I met, just
as I was entering the village, a very pretty girl, who was apparently
going a gleaning in the fields. I asked her the name of the place, and
when she told me it was Bishopstrow, she pointed to the situation of the
church, which, she said, was on the other side of the river. She really
put me in mind of the pretty girls at Preston who spat upon the
"individual" of the Derby family, and I made her a bow accordingly.

The whole of the population of the twenty-four parishes down this vale,
amounts to only 11,195 souls, according to the Official return to
Parliament; and, mind, I include the parish of Fisherton Anger (a suburb
of the city of Salisbury), which contains 893 of the number. I include
the town of Heytesbury, with its 1,023 souls; and I further include this
very good and large market town of Warminster, with its population of
5,000! So that I leave, in the other twenty-one parishes, only 4,170
souls, men, women, and children! That is to say, a hundred and
ninety-eight souls to each parish; or, reckoning five to a family,
thirty-nine families to each parish. Above one half of the population
never could be expected to be in the church at one time; so that here
are one-and-twenty churches built for the purpose of holding two
thousand and eighty people! There are several of these churches, any one
of which would conveniently contain the whole of these people, the two
thousand and eighty! The church of Bishopstrow would contain the whole
of the two thousand and eighty very well indeed; and it is curious
enough to observe that the churches of Fisherton Anger, Heytesbury, and
Warminster, though quite sufficient to contain the people that go to
church, are none of them nearly so big as several of the village
churches. All these churches are built long and long before the reign of
Richard the Second; that is to say, they were founded long before that
time, and if the first churches were gone, these others were built in
their stead. There is hardly one of them that is not as old as the reign
of Richard the Second; and yet that impudent Scotchman, George Chalmers,
would make us believe that, in the reign of Richard the Second, the
population of the country was hardly anything at all! He has the
impudence, or the gross ignorance, to state the population of England
and Wales at _two millions_, which, as I have shown in the last Number
of the Protestant Reformation, would allow only twelve able men to every
parish church throughout the kingdom. What, I ask, for about the
thousandth time I ask it; what were these twenty churches built for?
Some of them stand within a quarter of a mile of each other. They are
pretty nearly as close to each other as the churches in London and
Westminster are.

What a monstrous thing, to suppose that they were built without there
being people to go to them; and built, too, without money and without
hands! The whole of the population in these twenty-one parishes could
stand, and without much crowding too, in the bottoms of the towers of
the several churches. Nay, in three or four of the parishes, the whole
of the people could stand in the church porches. Then the _church-yards_
show you how numerous the population must have been. You see, in some
cases, only here and there the mark of a grave, where the church-yard
contains from half an acre to an acre of land, and sometimes more. In
short, everything shows that here was once a great and opulent
population; that there was an abundance to eat, to wear, and to spare;
that all the land that is now under cultivation, and a great deal that
is not now under cultivation, was under cultivation in former times. The
Scotch beggars would make us believe that _we_ sprang from beggars. The
impudent scribes would make us believe that England was formerly nothing
at all till they came to enlighten it and fatten upon it. Let the
beggars answer me this question; let the impudent, the brazen scribes,
that impose upon the credulous and cowed-down English; let them tell me
_why_ these twenty-one churches were built; what they were built FOR;
why the large churches of the two Codfords were stuck up within a few
hundred yards of each other, if the whole of the population could then,
as it can now, be crammed into the chancel of either of the two
churches? Let them answer me this question, or shut up their mouths upon
this subject, on which they have told so many lies.

As to the produce of this valley, it must be at least ten times as great
as its consumption, even if we include the three towns that belong to
it. I am sure I saw produce enough in five or six of the farm-yards, or
rick-yards, to feed the whole of the population of the twenty-one
parishes. But the infernal system causes it all to be carried away. Not
a bit of good beef, or mutton, or veal, and scarcely a bit of bacon is
left for those who raise all this food and wool. The labourers here
_look_ as if they were half-starved. They answer extremely well to the
picture that Fortescue gave of the French in his day.

Talk of "liberty," indeed; "civil and religious liberty": the
Inquisition, with a belly full, is far preferable to a state of things
like this. For my own part, I really am ashamed to ride a fat horse, to
have a full belly, and to have a clean shirt upon my back, while I look
at these wretched countrymen of mine; while I actually see them reeling
with weakness; when I see their poor faces present me nothing but skin
and bone, while they are toiling to get the wheat and the meat ready to
be carried away to be devoured by the tax-eaters. I am ashamed to look
at these poor souls, and to reflect that they are my countrymen; and
particularly to reflect that we are descended from those amongst whom
"beef, pork, mutton, and veal, were the food of the poorer sort of
people." What! and is the "Emigration Committee" sitting, to invent the
means of getting rid of some part of the thirty-nine families that are
employed in raising the immense quantities of food in each of these
twenty-one parishes? Are there _schemers_ to go before this conjuration
Committee; Wiltshire _schemers_, to tell the Committee how they can get
rid of a part of these one hundred and ninety-eight persons to every
parish? Are there schemers of this sort of work still, while no man, no
man at all, not a single man, says a word about getting rid of the
dead-weight, or the supernumerary parsons, both of whom have actually a
premium given them for breeding, and are filling the country with
idlers? We are reversing the maxim of the Scripture: our laws almost
say, that those that work shall not eat, and that those who do not work
shall have the food. I repeat, that the baseness of the English
land-owners surpasses that of any other men that ever lived in the
world. The cowards know well that the labourers that give value to their
land are skin and bone. They are not such brutes as not to know that
this starvation is produced by taxation. They know well, how unjust it
is to treat their labourers in this way. They know well that there goes
down the common foot soldier's single throat more food than is allowed
by them to a labourer, his wife, and three children. They know well that
the present standing army in time of peace consumes more food and
raiment than a million of the labourers consume; aye, than two millions
of them consume; if you include the women and the children; they well
know these things; they know that their poor labourers are taxed to keep
this army in fatness and in splendour. They know that the dead-weight,
which, in the opinion of most men of sense, ought not to receive a
single farthing of the public money, swallow more of good food than a
third or a fourth part of the real labourers of England swallow. They
know that a million and a half of pounds sterling was taken out of the
taxes, partly raised upon the labourers, to enable the poor Clergy of
the Church of England to marry and to breed. They know that a regulation
has been recently adopted, by which an old dead-weight man is enabled to
sell his dead-weight to a young man; and that thus this burden would, if
the system were to be continued, be rendered perpetual. They know that a
good slice of the dead-weight money goes _to Hanover_; and that even
these Hanoverians can sell their dead-weight claim upon us. The "country
gentlemen" fellows know all this: they know that the poor labourers,
including all the poor manufacturers, pay one-half of their wages in
taxes to support all these things; and yet not a word about these things
is ever said, or even hinted, by these mean, these cruel, these
cowardly, these carrion, these dastardly reptiles. Sir James Graham, of
Netherby, who, I understand, is a young fellow instead of an old one,
may invoke our pity upon these "ancient families," but he will invoke in
vain. It was their duty to stand forward and prevent
Power-of-Imprisonment Bills, Six Acts, Ellenborough's Act, Poaching
Transportation Act, New Trespass Act, Sunday Tolls, and the hundreds of
other things that could be named. On the contrary, _they were the cause
of them all_. They were the cause of all the taxes, and all the debts;
and now let them take the consequences!

_Saturday, September 2nd._

After I got to Warminster yesterday, it began to rain, which stopped me
in my way to Frome in Somersetshire, which lies about seven or eight
miles from this place; but, as I meant to be quite in the northern part
of the county by to-morrow noon, or there-abouts, I took a post-chaise
in the afternoon of yesterday and went to Frome, where I saw, upon my
entrance into the town, between two and three hundred weavers, men and
boys, cracking stones, moving earth, and doing other sorts of work,
towards making a fine road into the town. I drove into the town, and
through the principal streets, and then I put my chaise up a little at
one of the inns.

This appears to be a sort of little Manchester. A very small Manchester,
indeed; for it does not contain above ten or twelve thousand people, but
it has all the _flash_ of a Manchester, and the innkeepers and their
people look and behave like the Manchester fellows. I was, I must
confess, glad to find proofs of the irretrievable decay of the place. I
remembered how ready the bluff manufacturers had been to _call in the
troops_ of various descriptions. "Let them," said I to myself, "call the
troops in now, to make their trade revive. Let them now resort to their
friends of the yeomanry and of the army; let them now threaten their
poor workmen with the gaol, when they dare to ask for the means of
preventing starvation in their families. Let them, who have, in fact,
lived and thriven by the sword, now call upon the parson-magistrate to
bring out the soldiers to compel me, for instance, to give thirty
shillings a yard for the superfine black broad cloth (made at Frome),
which Mr. Roe, at Kensington, offered me at seven shillings and sixpence
a yard just before I left home! Yes, these men have ground down into
powder those who were earning them their fortunes: let the grinders
themselves now be ground, and, according to the usual wise and just
course of Providence, let them be crushed by the system which they have
delighted in, because it made others crouch beneath them." Their poor
work-people cannot be worse off than they long have been. The parish
pay, which they now get upon the roads, is 2_s._ 6_d._ a week for a man,
2_s._ for his wife, 1_s._ 3_d._ for each child under eight years of age,
3_d._ a week, in addition, to each child above eight, who can go to
work: and, if the children above eight years old, whether girls or boys,
do not go to work upon the road, they have _nothing_! Thus, a family of
five people have just as much, and eight pence over, as goes down the
throat of one single foot soldier; but, observe, the standing soldier;
that "truly English institution" has clothing, fuel, candle, soap, and
house-rent, over and above what is allowed to this miserable family! And
yet the base reptiles, who are called "country gentlemen," and whom Sir
James Graham calls upon us to commit all sorts of acts of injustice in
order to _preserve_, never utter a whisper about the expenses of keeping
the soldiers, while they are everlastingly railing against the working
people, of every description, and representing them, and them only, as
the cause of the loss of their estates!

These poor creatures at Frome have pawned all their things, or nearly
all. All their best clothes, their blankets and sheets; their looms; any
little piece of furniture that they had, and that was good for anything.
Mothers have been compelled to pawn all the tolerably good clothes that
their children had. In case of a man having two or three shirts, he is
left with only one, and sometimes without any shirt; and, though this is
a sort of manufacture that cannot very well come to a complete end,
still it has received a blow from which it cannot possibly recover. The
population of this Frome has been augmented to the degree of one-third
within the last six or seven years. There are here all the usual signs
of accommodation bills and all false paper stuff, called money: new
houses, in abundance, half finished; new gingerbread "places of
worship," as they are called; great swaggering inns; parcels of
swaggering fellows going about, with vulgarity imprinted upon their
countenances, but with good clothes upon their backs.

I found the working people at Frome very intelligent; very well informed
as to the cause of their misery; not at all humbugged by the canters,
whether about religion or loyalty. When I got to the inn, I sent my
post-chaise boy back to the road, to tell one or two of the weavers to
come to me at the inn. The landlord did not at first like to let such
ragged fellows upstairs. I insisted, however, upon their coming up, and
I had a long talk with them. They were very intelligent men; had much
clearer views of what is likely to happen than the pretty gentlemen of
Whitehall seem to have; and, it is curious enough, that they, these
common weavers, should tell me, that they thought that the trade never
would come back again to what it was before; or, rather, to what it has
been for some years past. This is the impression everywhere; that the
_puffing is over_; that we must come back again to something like
reality. The first factories that I met with were at a village called
Upton Lovell, just before I came to Heytesbury. There they were a-doing
not more than a quarter work. There is only one factory, I believe, here
at Warminster, and that has been suspended, during the harvest, at any
rate. At Frome they are all upon about a quarter work. It is the same at
Bradford and Trowbridge; and, as curious a thing as ever was heard of
in the world is, that here are, through all these towns, and throughout
this country, weavers from the North, singing about the towns ballads of
Distress! They had been doing it at Salisbury, just before I was there.
The landlord at Heytesbury told me that people that could afford it
generally gave them something; and I was told that they did the same at
Salisbury. The landlord at Heytesbury told me, that every one of them
had a _license to beg_, given them, he said, "by the Government." I
suppose it was some _pass_ from a Magistrate; though I know of no law
that allows of such passes; and a pretty thing it would be, to grant
such licenses, or such passes, when the law so positively commands, that
the poor of every parish shall be maintained in and by every such

However, all law of this sort, all salutary and humane law, really seems
to be drawing towards an end in this now miserable country, where the
thousands are caused to wallow in luxury, to be surfeited with food and
drink, while the millions are continually on the point of famishing. In
order to form an idea of the degradation of the people of this country,
and of the abandonment of every English principle, what need we of more
than this one disgraceful and truly horrible fact, namely, that _the
common soldiers, of the standing army in time of peace, subscribe, in
order to furnish the meanest of diet to keep from starving the
industrious people who are taxed to the amount of one-half of their
wages, and out of which taxes the very pay of these soldiers comes_! Is
not this one fact; this disgraceful, this damning fact; is not this
enough to convince us, that _there must be a change_; that there must be
a complete and radical change; or, that England must become a country of
the basest slavery that ever disgraced the earth?

_Devizes, (Wilts), Sunday Morning, 3rd Sept._

I left Warminster yesterday at about one o'clock. It is contrary to my
practice to set out at all, unless I can do it early in the morning; but
at Warminster I was at the South-West corner of this county, and I had
made a sort of promise to be to-day at Highworth, which is at the
North-East corner, and which parish, indeed, joins up to Berkshire. The
distance, including my little intended deviations, was more than fifty
miles; and, not liking to attempt it in one day, I set off in the middle
of the day, and got here in the evening, just before a pretty heavy rain
came on.

Before I speak of my ride from Warminster to this place, I must once
more observe, that Warminster is a very nice town; everything belonging
to it is _solid_ and _good_. There are no villanous gingerbread houses
running up, and no nasty, shabby-genteel people; no women trapesing
about with showy gowns and dirty necks; no jew-looking fellows with
dandy coats, dirty shirts, and half-heels to their shoes. A really nice
and good town. It is a great corn-market: one of the greatest in this
part of England; and here things are still conducted in the good, old,
honest fashion. The corn is brought and pitched in the market before it
is sold; and, when sold, it is paid for on the nail; and all is over,
and the farmers and millers gone home by day-light. Almost everywhere
else the corn is sold by sample; it is sold by juggling in a corner; the
parties meet and drink first; it is night work; there is no fair and
open market; the mass of the people do not know what the prices are; and
all this favours that _monopoly_ which makes the corn change hands many
times, perhaps, before it reaches the mouth, leaving a profit in each
pair of hands, and which monopoly is, for the greater part, carried on
by the villanous tribe of _Quakers_, _none of whom ever work_, and all
of whom prey upon the rest of the community, as those infernal devils,
the wasps, prey upon the bees. Talking of the Devil, puts one in mind of
his imps; and talking of _Quakers_, puts one in mind of Jemmy Cropper of
Liverpool. I should like to know precisely (I know pretty nearly) what
effect "late panic" has had, and is having, on Jemmy! Perhaps the reader
will recollect, that Jemmy told the public, through the columns of base
Bott Smith, that "Cobbett's prophecies were falsified as soon as
spawned." Jemmy, canting Jemmy, has now had time to ruminate on that!
But does the reader remember James's project for "making Ireland as
happy as England"? It was simply by introducing cotton-factories,
steam-engines, and power-looms! That was all; and there was Jemmy in
Ireland, speech-making before such Lords and such Bishops and such
'Squires as God never suffered to exist in the world before: there was
Jemmy, showing, proving, demonstrating, that to make the Irish
cotton-workers would infallibly make them _happy_! If it had been now,
instead of being two years ago, he might have produced the reports of
the starvation-committees of Manchester to confirm his opinions. One
would think, that this instance of the folly and impudence of this
canting son of the monopolizing sect, would cure this public of its
proneness to listen to cant; but nothing will cure it; the very
existence of this sect, none of whom ever work, and the whole of whom
live like fighting-cocks upon the labour of the rest of the community;
the very _existence_ of such a sect shows, that the nation is, almost in
its nature, _a dupe_. There has been a great deal of railing against
the King of Spain; not to becall the King of Spain is looked upon as a
proof of want of "liberality," and what must it be, then, to _applaud_
any of the acts of the King of Spain! This I am about to do, however,
think Dr. Black of it what he may.

In the first place, the mass of the people of Spain are better off,
better fed, better clothed, than the people of any other country in
Europe, and much better than the people of England are. That is one
thing; and that is almost enough of itself. In the next place, the King
of Spain has refused to mortgage the land and labour of his people for
the benefit of an infamous set of Jews and Jobbers. Next, the King of
Spain has most essentially thwarted the Six-Acts people, the Manchester
16th of August, the Parson Hay, the Sidmouth's Circular, the Dungeoning,
the Ogden's rupture people; he has thwarted, and most cuttingly annoyed,
these people, who are also the poacher-transporting people, and the new
trespass law, and the apple-felony and the horse-police (or gendarmerie)
and the Sunday-toll people: the King of Spain has thwarted all these,
and he has materially assisted in blowing up the brutal big fellows of
Manchester; and therefore I applaud the King of Spain.

I do not much like weasels; but I hate rats; and therefore I say success
to the weasels. But there is one act of the King of Spain which is
worthy of the imitation of every King, aye, and of every republic too;
his edict for taxing traffickers, which edict was published about eight
months ago. It imposes a pretty heavy annual tax on every one who is a
_mere buyer and seller_, and who neither produces nor consumes, nor
makes, nor changes the state of, the article, or articles, that he buys
and sells. Those who bring things into the kingdom are deemed producers,
and those who send things out of the kingdom are deemed changers of the
state of things. These two classes embrace all _legitimate merchants_.
Thus, then, the farmer, who produces corn and meat and wool and wood, is
not taxed; nor is the coach-master who buys the corn to give to his
horses, nor the miller who buys it to change the state of it, nor the
baker who buys the flour to change its state; nor is the manufacturer
who buys the wool to change its state; and so on: but the Jew or Quaker,
the _mere dealer_, who buys the corn of the producer to sell it to the
miller, and to deduct _a profit_, which must, at last, fall upon the
consumer; this Jew, or Quaker, or self-styled Christian, who acts the
part of Jew or Quaker, is taxed by the King of Spain; and for this I
applaud the King of Spain.

If we had a law like this, the pestiferous sect of non-labouring, sleek
and fat hypocrites could not exist in England. But ours is, altogether,
_a system of monopolies_, created by taxation and paper-money, from
which monopolies are inseparable. It is notorious that the brewer's
monopoly is the master even of the Government; it is well known to all
who examine and reflect that a very large part of our bread comes to our
mouths loaded with the profit of nine or ten, or more, different
dealers; and I shall, as soon as I have leisure, prove as clearly as
anything ever was proved, that the people pay two millions of pounds a
year in consequence of the Monopoly in tea! that is to say, they pay two
millions a year more than they would pay were it not for the monopoly;
and, mind, I do not mean the monopoly of the East India Company, but the
monopoly of the Quaker and other Tea Dealers, who buy the tea of that
Company! The people of this country are eaten up by monopolies. These
compel those who labour to maintain those who do not labour; and hence
the success of the crafty crew of Quakers, the very _existence_ of which
sect is a disgrace to the country.

Besides the corn market at Warminster, I was delighted, and greatly
surprised, to see the _meat_. Not only the very finest veal and lamb
that I had ever seen in my life, but so exceedingly beautiful that I
could hardly believe my eyes. I am a great connoisseur in joints of
meat; a great judge, if five-and-thirty years of experience can give
sound judgment. I verily believe that I have bought and have roasted
more whole sirloins of beef than any man in England; I know all about
the matter; a very great visitor of Newgate market; in short, though a
little eater, I am a very great provider. It is a fancy, I like the
subject, and therefore I understand it; and with all this knowledge of
the matter, I say I never saw veal and lamb half so fine as what I saw
at Warminster. The town is famed for fine meat; and I knew it, and,
therefore, I went out in the morning to look at the meat. It was, too,
2_d._ a pound cheaper than I left it at Kensington.

My road from Warminster to Devizes lay through Westbury, a nasty odious
rotten-borough, a really rotten place. It has cloth factories in it, and
they seem to be ready to tumble down as well as many of the houses.
God's curse seems to be upon most of these rotten-boroughs. After coming
through this miserable hole, I came along, on the north side of the
famous hill, called Bratton Castle, so renowned in the annals of the
Romans and of Alfred the Great. Westbury is a place of great ancient
grandeur; and it is easy to perceive that it was once ten or twenty
times its present size. My road was now the line of separation between
what they call South Wilts and North Wilts, the former consisting of
high and broad downs and narrow valleys with meadows and rivers running
down them; the latter consisting of a rather flat, enclosed country:
the former having a chalk bottom; the latter a bottom of marl, clay, or
flat stone: the former a country for lean sheep and corn; and the latter
a country for cattle, fat sheep, cheese, and bacon: the former by far,
to my taste, the most beautiful; and I am by no means sure that it is
not, all things considered, the most rich. All my way along, till I came
very near to Devizes, I had the steep and naked downs up to my right,
and the flat and enclosed country to my left.

Very near to Bratton Castle (which is only a hill with deep ditches on
it) is the village of Eddington, so famed for the battle fought here by
Alfred and the Danes. The church in this village would contain several
thousands of persons; and the village is reduced to a few straggling
houses. The land here is very good; better than almost any I ever saw;
as black, and, apparently, as rich, as the land in the market-gardens at
Fulham. The turnips are very good all along here for several miles; but
this is, indeed, singularly fine and rich land. The orchards very fine;
finely sheltered, and the crops of apples and pears and walnuts very
abundant. Walnuts _ripe now_, a month earlier than usual. After
Eddington I came to a hamlet called Earl's Stoke, the houses of which
stand at a few yards from each other on the two sides of the road; every
house is white; and the front of every one is covered with some sort or
other of clematis, or with rose-trees, or jasmines. It was easy to guess
that the whole belonged to one owner; and that owner I found to be a Mr.
Watson Taylor, whose very pretty seat is close by the hamlet, and in
whose park-pond I saw what I never saw before; namely, some _black
swans_. They are not nearly so large as the white, nor are they so
stately in their movements. They are a meaner bird.

_Highworth (Wilts), Monday, 4th Sept._

I got here yesterday, after a ride, including my deviations, of about
thirty-four miles, and that, too, _without breaking my fast_. Before I
got into the rotten-borough of Calne, I had two _tributes_ to pay to the
Aristocracy; namely, two _Sunday tolls_; and I was resolved that the
country in which these tolls were extorted should have not a farthing of
my money that I could by any means keep from it. Therefore I fasted
until I got into the free-quarters in which I now am. I would have made
my horse fast too, if I could have done it without the risk of making
him unable to carry me.


_Highworth (Wilts), Monday, 4th Sept. 1826._

When I got to Devizes on Saturday evening, and came to look out of the
inn-window into the street, I perceived that I had seen that place
before, and always having thought that I should like to _see_ Devizes,
of which I had heard so much talk as a famous corn-market, I was very
much surprised to find that it was not new to me. Presently a
stage-coach came up to the door, with "Bath and London" upon its panels;
and then I recollected that I had been at this place on my way to
Bristol last year. Devizes is, as nearly as possible, in the centre of
the county, and the _canal_ that passes close by it is the great channel
through which the produce of the country is carried away to be devoured
by the idlers, the thieves, and the prostitutes, who are all tax-eaters,
in the Wens of Bath and London. Pottern, which I passed through in my
way from Warminster to Devizes, was once a place much larger than
Devizes; and it is now a mere ragged village, with a church large, very
ancient, and of most costly structure. The whole of the people here
might, as in most other cases, be placed in the _belfry_, or the

All the way along the mansion-houses are nearly all gone. There is now
and then a great place, belonging to a borough-monger, or some one
connected with borough-mongers; but all the _little gentlemen_ are gone;
and hence it is that parsons are now made justices of the peace! There
are few other persons left who are at all capable of filling the office
in a way to suit the system! The monopolizing brewers and rag-rooks are,
in some places, the "magistrates;" and thus is the whole thing
_changed_, and England is no more what it was. Very near to the sides of
my road from Warminster to Devizes there were formerly (within a hundred
years) 22 mansion-houses of sufficient note to be marked as such in the
county-map then made. There are now only seven of them remaining. There
were five parish-churches nearly close to my road; and in one parish out
of the five the parsonage-house is, in the parliamentary return, said to
be "too small" for the parson to live in, though the church would
contain two or three thousand people, and though the living is a
Rectory, and a rich one too! Thus has the church-property, or, rather,
that public property which is called church property, been dilapidated!
The parsons have swallowed the _tithes_ and the rent of the glebes; and
have, successively, suffered the parsonage-houses to fall into decay.
But these parsonage-houses were, indeed, not intended for large
families. They were intended for a priest, a main part of whose business
it was to distribute the tithes amongst the poor and the strangers! The
parson, in this case, at Corsley, says, "too small for an incumbent with
a family." Ah! there is the mischief. It was never intended to give men
tithes as a premium for breeding! Malthus does not seem to see any harm
in _this_ sort of increase of population. It is the _working_
population, those who raise the food and the clothing, that he and
Scarlett want to put a stop to the breeding of!

I saw, on my way through the down-countries, hundreds of acres of
ploughed land in _shelves_. What I mean is, the side of a steep hill
made into the shape of _a stairs_, only the rising parts more sloping
than those of a stairs, and deeper in proportion. The side of the hill,
in its original form, was too steep to be ploughed, or, even, to be
worked with a spade. The earth, as soon as moved, would have rolled down
the hill; and besides, the rains would have soon washed down all the
surface earth, and have left nothing for plants of any sort to grow in.
Therefore the sides of hills, where the land was sufficiently good, and
where it was wanted for the growing of corn, were thus made into a sort
of steps or shelves, and the horizontal parts (representing the parts of
the stairs that we put our feet upon) were ploughed and sowed, as they
generally are, indeed, to this day. Now no man, not even the hireling
Chalmers, will have the impudence to say that these shelves, amounting
to thousands and thousands of acres in Wiltshire alone, were not made by
the hand of man. It would be as impudent to contend that the churches
were formed by the flood, as to contend that these shelves were formed
by that cause. Yet thus the Scotch scribes must contend; or they must
give up all their assertions about the ancient beggary and want of
population in England; for, as in the case of the churches, what were
these shelves made _for_? And could they be made at all without a great
abundance of hands? These shelves are everywhere to be seen throughout
the down-countries of Sussex, Hampshire, Wiltshire, Dorsetshire,
Devonshire, and Cornwall; and besides this, large tracts of land,
amounting to millions of acres, perhaps, which are now downs, heaths, or
woodlands, still, if you examine closely, bear the marks of the plough.
The fact is, I dare say, that the country has never varied much in the
gross amount of its population; but formerly the people were pretty
evenly spread over the country, instead of being, as the greater part of
them now are, collected together in great masses, where, for the
greater part, the idlers live on the labour of the industrious.

In quitting Devizes yesterday morning I saw, just on the outside of the
town, a monstrous building, which I took for _a barrack_; but upon
asking what it was, I found it was one of those other marks of the
JUBILEE REIGN; namely, _a most magnificent gaol_! It seemed to me
sufficient to hold one-half of the able-bodied men in the county! And it
would do it too, and do it well! Such a system must come to an end, and
the end must be dreadful. As I came on the road, for the first three or
four miles, I saw great numbers of labourers either digging potatoes for
their Sunday's dinner, or coming home with them, or going out to dig
them. The land-owners, or occupiers, let small pieces of land to the
labourers, and these they cultivate with the spade for their own use.
They pay in all cases a high rent, and in most cases an enormous one.
The practice prevails all the way from Warminster to Devizes, and from
Devizes to nearly this place (Highworth). The rent is, in some places, a
shilling a rod, which is, mind, 160_s._ or 8_l._ an acre! Still the poor
creatures like to have the land: they work in it at their spare hours;
and on Sunday mornings early: and the overseers, sharp as they may be,
cannot ascertain precisely how much they get out of their plat of
ground. But, good God! what a life to live! What a life to see people
live; to see this sight in our own country, and to have the base vanity
to _boast_ of that country, and to talk of our "constitution" and our
"liberties," and to affect to _pity_ the Spaniards, whose working people
live like gentlemen, compared with our miserable creatures. Again I say,
give me the Inquisition and well-healed cheeks and ribs, rather than
"civil and religious liberty," and skin and bone. But the fact is that,
where honest and laborious men can be compelled to starve quietly,
whether all at once or by inches, with old wheat ricks, and fat cattle
under their eye, it is a mockery to talk of their "liberty," of any
sort; for the sum total of their state is this, they have "liberty" to
choose between death by starvation (quick or slow) and death by the

Between Warminster and Westbury I saw thirty or more men _digging_ a
great field of I dare say twelve acres. I thought, "surely that
'humane,' half-mad fellow, Owen, is not got at work here; that Owen who,
the _feelosofers_ tell us, went to the Continent to find out how to
prevent the increase of the labourers' children." No: it was not Owen:
it was the overseer of the parish, who had set these men to dig up this
field previously to its being sown with wheat. In short, it was a
digging instead of a ploughing. The men, I found upon inquiry, got
9_d._ a day for their work. Plain digging in the market gardens near
London is, I believe, 3_d._ or 4_d._ a rod. If these poor men, who were
chiefly weavers or spinners from Westbury, or had come home to their
parish from Bradford or Trowbridge; if they digged six rods each in a
day, and _fairly_ did it, they must work well. This would be 1-1/2_d._ a
rod, or 20_s._ an acre; and that is as cheap as ploughing, and four
times as good. But how much better to give the men higher wages, and let
them do more work? If married, how are their miserable families to live
on 4_s._ 6_d._ a week? And, if single, they must and will have more,
either by poaching, or by taking without leave. At any rate, this is
better than the _road work_: I mean better for those who pay the rates;
for here is something which they get for the money that they give to the
poor; whereas, in the case of the road-work, the money given in relief
is generally wholly so much lost to the rate-payer. What a curious
spectacle this is: the manufactories _throwing the people back again
upon the land_! It is not above eighteen months ago that the Scotch
FEELOSOFERS, and especially Dr. Black, were calling upon _the farm
labourers to become manufacturers_! I remonstrated with the Doctor at
the time; but he still insisted that such a transfer of hands was the
only remedy for the distress in the farming districts. However (and I
thank God for it), the _feelosofers_ have enough to do at _home_ now;
for the poor are crying for food in dear, cleanly, warm, fruitful
Scotland herself, in spite of a' the Hamiltons and a' the Wallaces and
a' the Maxwells and a' the Hope Johnstones and a' the Dundases and a'
the Edinbro' Reviewers and a' the Broughams and Birckbecks. In spite of
all these, the poor of Scotland are now helping themselves, or about to
do it, for want of the means of purchasing food.

From Devizes I came to the vile rotten borough of Calne leaving the park
and house of Lord Lansdown to my left. This man's name is Petty, and,
doubtless, his ancestors "came in with the Conqueror;" for _Petty_ is,
unquestionably, a corruption of the French word _Petit_; and in this
case there appears to have been not the least degeneracy; a thing rather
rare in these days. There is a man whose name was Grimstone (that is, to
a certainty, _Grindstone_), who is now called Lord Verulam, and who,
according to his pedigree in the Peerage, is descended from a
"standard-bearer of the Conqueror!" Now, the devil a bit is there the
word Grindstone, or Grimstone, in the Norman language. Well, let them
have all that their French descent can give them, since they will insist
upon it, that they are not of this country. So help me God, I would, if
I could, _give them Normandy_ to live in, and, if the people would let
them, to possess.

This Petty family began, or, at least, made its first _grand push_, in
poor, unfortunate Ireland! The _history_ of that push would amuse the
people of Wiltshire! Talking of Normans and high-blood, puts me in mind
of Beckford and his "Abbey"! The public knows that the _tower_ of this
thing fell down some time ago. It was built of Scotch-fir and cased with
stone! In it there was a place which the owner had named, "The Gallery
of Edward III., the frieze of which (says the account) contains the
achievements of seventy-eight Knights of the Garter, from whom the owner
is lineally descended"! Was there ever vanity and impudence equal to
these! the negro-driver brag of his high blood! I dare say that the old
powder-man, Farquhar, had as good pretension; and I really should like
to know whether he took out Beckford's name and put in his own, as the
lineal descendant of the seventy-eight Knights of the Garter.

I could not come through that villanous hole, Calne, without cursing
Corruption at every step; and when I was coming by an ill-looking,
broken-winded place, called the town-hall, I suppose, I poured out a
double dose of execration upon it. "Out of the frying-pan into the
fire;" for in about ten miles more I came to another rotten-hole, called
Wotton-Basset! This also is a mean, vile place, though the country all
round it is very fine. On this side of Wotton-Basset I went out of my
way to see the church at Great Lyddiard, which in the parliamentary
return is called Lyddiard _Tregoose_. In my old map it is called
_Tregose_; and to a certainty the word was _Tregrosse_; that is to say,
_très grosse_, or _very big_. Here is a good old mansion-house and large
walled-in garden and a park belonging, they told me, to Lord
Bolingbroke. I went quite down to the house, close to which stands the
large and fine church. It appears _to have been_ a noble place; the land
is some of the finest in the whole country; the trees show that the land
is excellent; but all, except the church, is in a state of irrepair and
apparent neglect, if not abandonment. The parish is large, the living is
a rich one, it is a Rectory; but though the incumbent has the great and
small tithes, he, in his return, tells the Parliament that the
parsonage-house is "worn out and incapable of repair!" And observe that
Parliament lets him continue to sack the produce of the tithes and the
glebe, while they know the parsonage-house to be crumbling-down, and
while he has the impudence to tell them that he does not reside in it,
though the law says that he shall! And while this is suffered to be, a
_poor_ man may be transported for being in pursuit of a hare! What
coals, how hot, how red, is this flagitious system preparing for the
backs of its supporters!

In coming from Wotton-Basset to Highworth, I left Swindon a few miles
away to my left, and came by the village of Blunsdon. All along here I
saw great quantities of hops in the hedges, and very fine hops, and I
saw at a village called Stratton, I think it was, the finest _campanula_
that I ever saw in my life. The main stalk was more than four feet high,
and there were four stalks, none of which were less than three feet
high. All through the country, poor, as well as rich, are very neat in
their gardens, and very careful to raise a great variety of flowers. At
Blunsdon I saw a clump, or, rather, a sort of orchard, of as fine
walnut-trees as I ever beheld, and loaded with walnuts. Indeed I have
seen great crops of walnuts all the way from London. From Blunsdon to
this place is but a short distance, and I got here about two or three
o'clock. This is a _cheese country_; some corn, but, generally speaking,
it is a country of dairies. The sheep here are of the large kind; a sort
of Leicester sheep, and the cattle chiefly for milking. The ground is a
stiff loam at top, and a yellowish stone under. The houses are almost
all built of stone. It is a tolerably rich, but by no means a gay and
pretty country. Highworth has a situation corresponding with its name.
On every side you go up-hill to it, and from it you see to a great
distance all round and into many counties.

_Highworth, Wednesday, 6th Sept._

The great object of my visit to the Northern border of Wiltshire will be
mentioned when I get to Malmsbury, whither I intend to go to-morrow, or
next day, and thence through Gloucestershire, in my way to
Herefordshire. But an additional inducement was to have a good long
political _gossip_ with some excellent friends, who detest the
borough-ruffians as cordially as I do, and who, I hope, wish as
anxiously to see their fall effected, and no matter by what means. There
was, however, arising incidentally a third object, which, had I known of
its existence, would of itself have brought me from the south-west to
the north-east corner of this county. One of the parishes adjoining to
Highworth is that of Coleshill, which is in Berkshire, and which is the
property of Lord Radnor, or Lord Folkestone, and is the seat of the
latter. I was at Coleshill twenty-two or three years ago, and twice at
later periods. In 1824 Lord Folkestone bought some Locust trees of me;
and he has several times told me that they were growing very finely; but
I did not know that they had been planted at Coleshill; and, indeed, I
always thought that they had been planted somewhere in the south of
Wiltshire. I now found, however, that they were growing at Coleshill,
and yesterday I went to see them, and was, for many reasons, more
delighted with the sight than with any that I have beheld for a long
while. These trees stand in clumps of 200 trees in each, and the trees
being four feet apart each way. These clumps make part of a plantation
of 30 or forty acres, perhaps 50 acres. The rest of the ground; that is
to say, the ground where the clumps of Locusts do not stand, was, at the
same time that the Locust clumps were, planted with chestnuts, elms,
ashes, oaks, beeches, and other trees. These trees were stouter and
taller than the Locust trees were, when the plantation was made. Yet, if
you were now to place yourself at a mile's distance from the plantation,
you would not think that there was any plantation at all except the
clumps. The fact is that the other trees have, as they generally do,
made as yet but very little progress; are not, I should think, upon an
average, more than 4-1/2 feet, or 5 feet, high; while the clumps of
Locusts are from 12 to 20 feet high; and I think that I may safely say
that the average height is sixteen feet. They are the most beautiful
clumps of trees that I ever saw in my life. They were indeed planted by
a clever and most trusty servant, who, to say all that can be said in
his praise, is, that he is worthy of such a master as he has.

The trees are, indeed, in good land, and have been taken good care of;
but the other trees are in the same land; and, while they have been
taken the same care of since they were planted, they had not, I am sure,
worse treatment before planting than these Locust trees had. At the time
when I sold them to my Lord Folkestone, they were in a field at Worth,
near Crawley, in Sussex. The history of their transport is this. A
Wiltshire wagon came to Worth for the trees on the 14th of March 1824.
The wagon had been stopped on the way by the snow; and though the snow
was gone off before the trees were put upon the wagon, it was very cold,
and there were sharp frosts and harsh winds. I had the trees taken up,
and tied up in hundreds by withes, like so many fagots. They were then
put in and upon the wagon, we doing our best to keep the roots inwards
in the loading, so as to prevent them from being exposed but as little
as possible to the wind, sun, and frost. We put some fern on the top,
and, where we could, on the sides; and we tied on the load with ropes,
just as we should have done with a load of fagots. In this way they were
several days upon the road; and I do not know how long it was before
they got safe into the ground again. All this shows how hardy these
trees are, and it ought to admonish gentlemen to make pretty strict
enquiries, when they have gardeners, or bailiffs, or stewards, under
whose hands Locust trees die, or do not thrive.

N.B. Dry as the late summer was, I never had my Locust trees so fine as
they are this year. I have some, they write me, five feet high, from
seed sown just before I went to Preston the first time, that is to say,
on the 13th of May. I shall advertise my trees in the next Register. I
never had them so fine, though the great drought has made the number
comparatively small. Lord Folkestone bought of me 13,600 trees. They are
at this moment worth the money they cost him, and, in addition the cost
of planting, and in addition to that, they are worth the fee simple of
the ground (very good ground) on which they stand; and this I am able to
demonstrate to any man in his senses. What a difference in the value of
Wiltshire if all its Elms were Locusts! As fuel, a foot of Locust-wood
is worth four or five of any English wood. It will burn better green
than almost any other wood will dry. If men want woods, beautiful woods,
and _in a hurry_, let them go and see the clumps at Coleshill. Think of
a wood 16 feet high, and I may say 20 feet high, in twenty-nine months
from the day of planting; and the plants, on an average, not more than
two feet high when planted! Think of that: and any one may see it at
Coleshill. See what efforts gentlemen make _to get a wood_! How they
look at the poor slow-growing things for years; when they might, if they
would, have it at once: really almost at a wish; and, with due
attention, in almost any soil; and the most valuable of woods into the
bargain. Mr. Palmer, the bailiff, showed me, near the house at
Coleshill, a Locust tree, which was planted about 35 years ago, or
perhaps 40. He had measured it before. It is eight foot and an inch
round at a foot from the ground. It goes off afterwards into two
principal limbs; which two soon become six limbs, and each of these
limbs is three feet round. So that here are six everlasting gate-posts
to begin with. This tree is worth 20 pounds at the least farthing.

I saw also at Coleshill the most complete farmyard that I ever saw, and
that I believe there is in all England, many and complete as English
farmyards are. This was the contrivance of Mr. Palmer, Lord Folkestone's
bailiff and steward. The master gives all the credit of plantation and
farm to the servant; but the servant ascribes a good deal of it to the
master. Between them, at any rate, here are some most admirable objects
in rural affairs. And here, too, there is no misery amongst those who do
the work; those without whom there could have been no Locust-plantations
and no farmyard. Here all are comfortable; gaunt hunger here stares no
man in the face. That same disposition which sent Lord Folkestone to
visit John Knight in the dungeons at Reading keeps pinching hunger away
from Coleshill. It is a very pretty spot all taken together. It is
chiefly grazing land; and though the making of cheese and bacon is, I
dare say, the most profitable part of the farming here, Lord Folkestone
fats oxen, and has a stall for it, which ought to be shown to
foreigners, instead of the spinning jennies. A fat ox is a finer thing
than a cheese, however good. There is a dairy here too, and beautifully
kept. When this stall is full of oxen, and they all fat, how it would
make a French farmer stare! It would make even a Yankee think that "Old
England" was a respectable "mother" after all. If I had to show this
village off to a Yankee, I would blindfold him all the way to, and after
I got him out of, the village, lest he should see the scare-crows of
paupers on the road.

For a week or ten days before I came to Highworth I had, owing to the
uncertainty as to where I should be, had no newspapers sent me from
London; so that, really, I began to feel that I was in the "dark ages."
Arrived here, however, the _light_ came bursting in upon me, flash after
flash, from the Wen, from Dublin, and from Modern Athens. I had, too,
for several days, had nobody to enjoy the light with. I had no sharers
in the "_anteelactual_" treat, and this sort of enjoyment, unlike that
of some other sorts, is augmented by being divided. Oh! how happy we
were, and how proud we were, to find (from the "instructor") that we had
a king, that we were the subjects of a sovereign, who had graciously
sent twenty-five pounds to Sir Richard Birnie's poor-box, there to swell
the amount of the munificence of fined delinquents! Aye, and this, too,
while (as the "instructor" told us) this same sovereign had just
bestowed, unasked for (oh! the dear good man!), an annuity of 500_l._ a
year on Mrs. Fox, who, observe, and whose daughters, had already a
banging pension, paid out of the taxes, raised in part, and in the
greatest part, upon a people who are half-starved and half-naked. And
our admiration at the poor-box affair was not at all lessened by the
reflection that more money than sufficient to pay all the poor-rates of
Wiltshire and Berkshire will, this very year, have been expended on new
palaces, on pullings down and alterations of palaces before existing,
and on ornaments and decorations in and about Hyde Park, where a bridge
is building, which, I am told, must cost a hundred thousand pounds,
though all the water that has to pass under it would go through a
sugar-hogshead; and does, a little while before it comes to this bridge,
go through an arch which I believe to be smaller than a sugar-hogshead!
besides, there was a bridge here before, and a very good one too.

Now will Jerry Curteis, who complains so bitterly about the poor-rates,
and who talks of the poor working people as if their poverty were the
worst of crimes; will Jerry say anything about this bridge, or about the
enormous expenses at Hyde Park Corner and in St. James's Park? Jerry
knows, or he ought to know, that this bridge alone will cost more money
than half the poor-rates of the county of Sussex. Jerry knows, or he
ought to know, that this bridge must be paid for out of the taxes. He
must know, or else he must be what I dare not suppose him, that it is
the taxes that make the paupers; and yet I am afraid that Jerry will not
open his lips on the subject of this bridge. What they are going at at
Hyde Park Corner nobody that I talk with seems to know. The "great
Captain of the age," as that nasty palaverer, Brougham, called him,
lives close to this spot, where also the "English ladies'" naked
Achilles stands, having on the base of it the word WELLINGTON in great
staring letters, while all the other letters are very, very small; so
that base tax-eaters and fund-gamblers from the country, when they go to
crouch before this image, think it is the image of the Great Captain
himself! The reader will recollect that after the battle of Waterloo,
when we beat Napoleon with nearly a million of foreign bayonets in our
pay, pay that came out of that _borrowed money_, for which we have _now_
to wince and howl; the reader will recollect that at that "glorious"
time, when the insolent wretches of tax-eaters were ready to trample us
under foot; that, at that time, when the Yankees were defeated on the
Serpentine River, and before they had thrashed Blue and Buff so
unmercifully on the ocean and on th