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to cherish worthier notions of our Colonies than we are apt to have. Let us not look at them merely as subordinate provinces of England, but as the germs, which many of them are, of mighty nations. Even at this moment there is not one of them in which the labouring classes are not better off, in the usual sense, than in England ; in our new Australasian Colonies I believe no case has ever occurred of physical destitution among those classes. For many of them it is not impossible that a more glorious and powerful career is in store than ever England has had; and our hope and care ought to be that they should be imbued with as much as possible of what is good, and tainted with as little as possible of what is evil, in our own country. Our course hitherto has not been such that we can flatter ourselves that we have even approached this lofty object. In the Colonies the prevailing evils are an excess of the democratic spirit, an excess of the money-getting spirit ; not improvements upon what is good at home, but exaggerations of what is bad. But there is yet ample scope in these for the victory of good over evil; and our part in this great work will be worthily engaged in, if we set before us, as our great object, the real good of the Colonies, and not the supposed gain or the false pride of ourselves. I lately heard it well urged in the House of Commons by my eminent relative, under whom I was honoured by serving in the Colonial Office, Mr. Gladstone, that we were wrong in so anxiously considering whether such and such a course of policy tended to preserve the connexion between us and the Colonies. “ Let not that,” he said, “ be your first thought. Inquire and do what is for the good of this country and what is for the good of the Colonies ; and then you need not fear for the connexion.” I believe so too; and I have said that I would have the connexion a permanent one. Yet would I even go further, and say that if we can, in some good measure, (for what great object was ever in this world completely realized ?) succeed in rearing in those distant regions of the earth such a progeny as I have imagined our Colonies ought to be, whatever becomes of our definite connexion with them, it will be glory enough for England to have so peopled the world.
It is said by an able writer, that in former times England was content to leave her Colonies nearly independent, caring only to derive pecuniary gain from them; whereas now, on the contrary, we are willing even to pay largely for the pleasure of governing them.* And this is at least a less sordid object than the other; yet it is by no means the best. In the course I have just indicated lies the worthiest national amendment and atonement, even as in much of our former Colonial history which I have laid before you, I should wish to have led you to take part in national repentance, for great national sins.
Finally, let me press upon you one obvious but momentous consideration. If we wish to see our Colonies such as we would have them, not indeed the only rule but one great rule is this—let us look to ourselves, to our own hearts and characters. Such as we are, such, not perhaps wholly, but in a good measure, will our Colonists be. It has been from whatever good qualities are ineradicable in the English character, accompanying
* Merivale's Lectures on Colonization, first Edit. I quote from memory
them across the world, that amidst and in spite of so much that has been defective in our systems of Colonization, the Colonists of England still exhibit so much, of which their ancient mother may well be proud.* Let us strive to be such, that it may still be so, and far better yet. For if we can keep our national character unimpaired and elevate it still more, and if, as has been said, we labour to communicate to the Colonies the best of that character, then with the blessing of Heaven we may hope to see those who dwell in them such as they ought to be,-lovers of England and of England's institutions, lovers of God and of man.
* Compare Smith's Wealth of Nations, II. 500,
LETTER TO TENANTS ON RENTS AND
MY DEAR SIR,—You have been informed that I have directed the payment of your rent to be deferred from the end of the present month till Lady-day. This I have done chiefly, as I did once before, in order that you may be enabled to avail yourself of improvement in the markets for the produce of your farm, should such occur, in the course of that time. But inasmuch as this will deprive me of the opportunity of addressing you, together with my other tenants, which I usually have about this time of the year, I take this method of communicating to you a few remarks which I might otherwise have made in another manner.
At times of low prices, like the present, it is usual with many excellent landlords to make a temporary abatement, a return of part of the rent, generally ten per cent, to their tenants on the rent-day. I am bound to state distinctly that this is a practice which I never shall adopt in any circumstances, as it seems to me to proceed · upon very objectionable principles. It is usually done, as it has been recently, after the said low prices have prevailed for not more than a year or a year and a half. If it means anything, therefore, it means that the agreement between landlord and tenant for a fixed rent was made on an implied understanding that if prices were not every year to be up to a given amount, fairness, or at least liberality, required that in any year in which they
were materially below that amount, the agreement should be departed from. Now, in the first place, if such were the case, the result ought not to be all on one side : the landlord ought to be considered as well as the tenant ; when the prices for the year exceeded the supposed amount, the landlord ought to receive an increase of rent, as the tenant receives an abatement when they fall below. Did any one ever hear of such a thing being done, or does any one conceive that it could by any possibility be done ?
But I entirely deny that rents are, or ought to be, fixed on any such understanding, and I consider that if they were it would be fatal to the interests of agriculture. A tenant ought to calculate what he can afford to pay, according to the average of a long course of years. Leases are, of course, founded upon this principle, and are utterly unmeaning on any other; and it is denied by no one that for a proper system of cultivation a tenant must either have the security of a lease, or some practical equivalent to it. Wherefore, not the fluctuations from year to year, but the average of twenty or twenty-one years ought to govern the agreement by which both landlord and tenant shall be bound. The good years are to make up for the bad. No doubt this requires that a tenant shall be a man with resources which he can lay by and fall back upon; and I know some persons say that this is all very well, but that it cannot be expected that farmers shall have such resources, and that they must needs live from hand to mouth. To this I can only say that I have never found this to be the case with my tenants—that I do not believe it is the case with themand that if I did believe it, I never would do anything