Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

wh h:he charge of inaccuracy can. “ interest to invite more substantial
not possibly a p.y. I have mentioned “ tenants, and to grant long leases.
its
age

and its tourider : I have de. 5. I do not know what to think tail the almost illegible inscriptions of Thule’s next sentiment. He exul. fcopied on the spot.) importing the tingly remarks, that the poorest Sheta grandeur of the owner and the per. land tenants are more inde pendant petuity if the building : I have men than substantial tenants possessed of tioned its occupaiion as barracks by stock. But their independance, he Cromwell's solsjers : and have read a is pleased to argue, lies in their pover. useful lesson to human arrogance, by ty: they have nothing to lose, and announcing the hopeless and irremedi “ being fi hers, they may become able decay of Earl Paluck Stewart's " sailors in a moment." This is immutable edifice *.

miserable consolation, surely, to a Such are the grounds on which poor Shetland tenant, with a nume. Thule is pleased to declare that rous family!- When Thule thus ar. “P. N.'s extreme deficiency of obser- go-s, that the independance of the vation, even on matters the most tenantry consists in their wretchedpalpable." must be obvious to every ness and poverty, he exposes more reader! Let every reader judge for of the cloven foot than his brethren himself.

will probably thank him for. I have now, 4thly, to expose a per. In a subsequent paragraph of the version of my meaning, so barefaced, strictures, we are told, that the tenthat it must tend greatly to impeach ant in Shetland pays for his farm either Thule's understanding or bis “ from one half to two-thirds less cadour. He alleges, and repeats his rent than the landlord conid obtain allegation, that P. N. has said that “ from a tacksman." Now, what is 6 it is for the Shetland landlords' in a tacksman? a person from whom terest that theirtenants shall be poor;" the landlord receives a money.rent, and he quaintly, but correctly, adds, and to whom he has no more to say, that " nothing can be more perfect The opposition here stated, by Thule in its kind than this.” Now, the himself, between a tenant and a tacks: truth is, that the very object of my man, seems evidently to imply that paper was to prove the erroneousness the Shetland tenant is a dependant of the sentiment here held out as creature of the landlord. being my own. In proof of this, I 6. Whale-fishing exaction.-Thule have only to follow Thule's example assures us that he knows of " many in referring the reader to the Maga. "hundreds of Shetland lads who have zine for August last, pp. 579,580 - “ often gone to Greenland, and have I there uniformly speak, not of what never been fined.But does not is for the landlords' interest, but Thule" see, that his own language at what has been thought to be so ; of the same time implicitly admits that practical though not avowed princi- other hundreds have gone to Greenples of the landholders themselves. land and have been fined for going? Instead of adopting the absurd opi- In my Supplement I have called the nion ascribed to me by Thule, I im. exaction a bargain ; but the Zetmediately afterwards (p. 582,) shew, land critic himself here styles it a that it would be " for the landholders fine. “A guinea (he says) I should

suppose a very small fine for a * The word domus, in the inscription

“ breach of paction, &c. I do not is enigmatical : but whether it be un

“ believe any thing so small is ac. derstood of the Castle or the Family, the

" cepted.”-What right, I would folly of the founder is the same, both ask, has a Shetland landlord, more bear rally vanished away.

thaa

1

[ocr errors][merged small]

than a Lothian one, thus to' fine his « bawler about oppression,” and tenants at discretion ?

without declaring that it is thie" onI have been informed, that this ly paragraph in my whole paper in whale-fishing exaction was never be which

my

informalion and my judge fore exposed to the public, till the ment are correct."

To prove that publication of my remarks.. If this this sweeping criticism is nothing be the case, the language of Thule, but empty declamation, I beg leave who speaks as if it had been the sub to ask him, ist, If I am not correct ject of recently previous discussion, in the paragraph which treats of is to me inexplicable.

trees, when I affirm that there are “ The generality of the Shetland. none in Shetland, but that the cire " men who have been at the whale. cumstance of the shores of Norway “ fishery, do much” (according to being clothed with the silver tir, Tbule) "10 corrupt the rest of shews that there can be nothing in “ their countrymen.” Their ample the cliinate of Shetland incompatible wages doubtless enable them to buy with the growth of timber? 2dly, If smuggled gin, when it can be had in I am not correct in my judgment, the islands : but how the gin is that one light-house on the east, (at brought thither, I cannot divine, the Skerries of Whalsey,) and anowhile the landlords (as Thule informs ther on the west coast of Shetland, us) are so sedulously engaged in (at Papa Stour,) would be of infinite watching over “ the morality of the advantage to the shipping ? 3dly, Ł “, people!Honi foit qui mal y penfes would ask, If I was not correct in

7. Increase of the weight called my information when I stated that Lifpound.-Thule is pleased repeated there were no Justices of the Peace ly to allege, that I have “ represent.

in Shetland ; and ci rrect in my judg• ed tenants as the sole persons ag. ment that they would be useful in * grieved” by this increase ; and he the scattered islands* ? And 4thly, anxiously states that the “ proprie.

If " tors, whose lands pay teinds are * principally aggrieved.” Now, the fact is, that my language does not * Justices of the Peace in the ifferby any means necessarily imply that ent islands might not only greatly prorenants are the sole persons aggrie. mote the improvement of the country, ved; for I have expressly stated *, by enforcing the statute-labour, and that the same increased weight which

thus gradually forming some sort of

roads; but they might suppress much is demanded in the payment of rent of the immorality that undeniably preis demanded in the payment of teind, vails in the islands, for example, the and of "super ior's duty.It really pilfering of wrecks. Both in Orkney appears as if Thule had never consi and Shetland, wrecks are, by the vul. dered my paper, but had criticized it gar, considered as God-sends. But, in at random.

some late cases, even the lairds them• 8.- On the impropriety of levy.

selves have not kept clean hands,

“ These are my rocks!” said a Shetland ing teind on the shore-fishery, I am

proprietor to an officer in his Majesty's fortunate enough to meet with Thule's naval service, who interfered to protect approbation, though even here he the cargo of a vessel which was wreckcannot think of allowing me this ed on them :-" These are my rocks!” consolation, without branding me

repeated the laird, as if this circumwith the inflammatory name of a

stance gave him an undoubted right to appropriate the cargo to himself. While the landlord avowed such sentiments,

what could be expected of the poor te * Magazine for August 1805. P, 581,

mantry

If I was not correct in my informa payment in kind should be made to lion in saying that none of tuc gen the minister himself, for the use of Elemen of Shetiand had hitherto his family. But it is well known qualified as 'reeholders; and correct that the ministers of Shetland let in my judgment in condemming their their livings to the highest bidder, supioeness?

(and at present they cannot well de 9. Teinds Thule affirms that my otherwise ;) the lessee again naturally proposal of converting the teinds into tries to make the most be can of his money, would only tend to “ cheat bargain : and it is equally well known the clergy of their livings.” This, at that the tenants, besides their rent, least, is proof to demonstration, that pay curn-ieind, in oil and in butter, I cannot be in concert with any of to the lessce of the stipends. A fair those clergy. Perhaps, Thule catches conversion would surely be preferable at the generality of my expression. to such a system. I certainly did not mean that no 10.--So confident is Thule of a

triumph, that he next puts a string of questions in the most dogmatical

style : When or where I found the nantry? The seam-n from the King's

people of Shetland in a state of vasship had to beat them off with sticks,

just as we beat off valducks (fulinars) sallage? What is meant by unfavou"from tearing tic blubber, while flencb

rabie circumstances, of Danish orie “ ing whales in Greenland,” said one of gin ? &c. and he tauntingly calls upon the sailors to me, who had formerly me to unsay my assertions in my been in that service. The morality of own words. That I am ready to Shetland is still ve y loose with respect admit and to correct my mistakes, to wrecks: but striking instancis of humanity and honesty in parcular the Supplement which I had volun

appears, I think, pretty plainly from landlords are on record ; and a great majority of the present landlords wvuld,

tarily prepared : but I will never I believe, exert themselves to relieve agree to be dragooned into a palithe shipwrecked mariners, and to se pode dictated by an infuriated Zetcure the property for the true owners : lander. what I argue is, that, were these gentle. On the contrary, I repeat, that the men invested with the legal powers of

great bulk of the people of Shetland Justices, they would be able more effectually to remove that greatest reproach

are at this moment in a state of vas. of a civilized country.

sallage, in the popular sense of the I believe that a very erroneous opi.

word. What is meant by a state of nion generally prevails in Orkney and vassalage? Dr Johnson defines vasShetland, viz. That, in th case of a salage to be tenure at will, depenwrecked cargo, if the owners do not dance, &c. Are not the great body a; pear to claim, within a year, the car. of Shetlanders tenants at will ? are go may lawfully be divided into three

they not therefore necessarily depenshares; one to the High Admiral of those seas ; another to the proprietor of

dant ? the ground (who has not, surely, a ves

Again, I would ask, Are not the tige of night ;) and a third ro the cottar. payments called Scatt, wattle, and 036 families who are supposed to have assis- penny, of Danish origin? are they not ted in saving the cargo, This barba paid by the tenants to Lord Dunrous notion is most probaliy vi“ Da

das, as donatary of the Crown ?, do mish origin.” If ever a case occur, the

nut his Lordship's factors generally landlords and their tenants will doubt. less be taught, that British Courts will exact them in oil and in butter and peremptorily refuse their sancton to

is all this not unfavourable to a poor such lawless seizure and partition of the fishing farmer? --See Siatistical Acproperty of others.

Geunt of Scotland, vol. 1. p. 399.

[ocr errors]

15. Thule denies that the tenants and bays; and villages situated on receive unlimited, credit." Yet the the banks of these, would, by means truth is, that the circumstance of of boats, have an easy communication unlimited credit being allowed by with an extent of peat-moss, which the landlords to their tenants, is ex could not be exhausted in an age. pressly stated in the paper given in to 14. Rents.-Thule explicitly ad. The House of Commons on behalf of mits that the Shetland landlords " do the Shetland lairds in 1785; where “ pot allow the tenants a price for it is candidly confessed that “this “their fish equal to their full value:" “ unlimited credit has been attended and the reason assigned for this con“ with the bad effects, of increasing reluct is, that “the rents are exces“ luxury, dissipation, and immora sively below the real value of the « lity.”

"lands.” But this apology loses 12. He objects to my proposal of much of its plausibility, when we the division of employments in Shet- learn, that, though the rents have not land, insisting that an extensive mar been nominally raised for a long peket for the produce must first be ac riod of time, they have in reality been quired. I acknowledge that I pro- raised: for that, though the tenant ceeded on the supposition that such pays only the same number of lisa market did exist : and I have pounds, the lispound, isstead of beyet to learn for what article of Shet- ing valued by the laird ar 5s. as farland produce a market is likely to be merly, is now valued at 105., that is, wanting. There is a market for its while the tenant pays only the same ling and tusk, and for its herring; number of lispounds as formerly, the for its beef, its hides, its oil, and its landlord now takes more than three grease-butter; for the copper ore times the quantity of produce he forfound in its bowels, and the kelp ma- merly took. nufactured on its shores. The land I.--Let us now hear the leading lords have themselves informed me, improvement proposed by Thule that, even in the best seasons, the himself. “ All the money.rents in agricultural produce of the country " Shetland (he says) ought to be is utterly inadequate to the demand " abolished, and these made payable of its own population ; and that, in “ wholly in the most common proindifferent seasons, the produce can.

"* ductions of the country.” One not meet above four or five months would think it a conclusion cicar as consumption. They have proclaimed sunshine, that such a plan would efaloud the large sums which they an. fectually fetter the tenant in the nually disburse in importing grain for management of his farm. By what the aliment of their tenants : And standard, further, would the value of yet I am now coolly told, that a the productions be ascertained? for market would be wanting for

any

even Thule would not, surely, proadditional Shetland produce. Is Thule pose that the landlord should be seriously afraid that, under a dif the sole valuator, or that the te ferent course of management, Shet nant should derive

advan. land would become too productive, tage from a rise in the market.-and would overstock the market? What security would the tenant tave

13. Villages.--Thule's chief ob- that his laird would give him a projection to the establishment of villa- portionably higher price acco: 5 ges, is, that the inhabitants might 10 the goodness in quality of his son. feel difficulty in procuring fuel. Buc duce ? and withoút this spur wiat the large islands are every where in motive would the tenant his o imtersected by vies, or winding gulfs prove, by care and skill, the various Feb. 1806.

pro

no

processes through which the articles

The severity of Thule's animad. of his produce must pass before versions has not, I trust, made me being ready for market?

appear to lose temper, though it may 16.---The landlords (we are told)

just. are the exporters of the produce “ of their own estates.” They are not, it would appear however, necessi. tated to be so ; for they complain managing in Shetland, in terms of de. bitterly of what they call jaggers, i.o.

“ cided disar probation.” But this seems pedlars, who surreptitiously pass Tiule's reading : for I am well entitled

to inply only the limited extent of through the islands, and, by giving

to retort the converse un Thule, and to a much higher price than the lairds, say, 'hat, besides Thule and“ A Friend to 'obtain the best articles of produce Zetland," I have seen no publication from the little farmers! It is evi that decidedly approves of the Shetland dent that these yaggers must find management, though, of late, I have entheir profit in this traffic ; and it is

deavoured to acquaint myself with eveequally evident that yaggers of a

ry book that touches on the subject.

I know that Mr White, in his prize eshigher order, or travelling merchants, say on the Scots Fisheries, gives the would regularly visit Shetland, if the Shetland landlords credit for producing lairds did not stipulate with their well-cured fish ; but this praise he would tenants for the delivery, into their equally have bestowed, had they emown stores, of their produce of every ployed Negro-slaves, instead of fishingkind.

farmers, in the catching and curing of

the fish. To crown all, we are told that the

I beg the reader's particular attention “ laudlord's profit on the fishing is

to the conclusion of the Letter addres. « about 16 per cent." Credat Judæus sed by the Shetland Landlords to the apella.

Highland Society in 1802. It is conThule has thought fit, as an appen. cluded with an ardent apostrophe to the dix to his strictures, to exhibit a shade of PENNANT : “ O Pennant !

“ friend of human kind! had your suft string of absurdities, alleged to have

“ pencil depicted our country and us, how been published as discoveries in po

pleasing a contrast would have been litical economy, by those whom he

“ produced! Where you could not apaccounts his adversaries. Those

prove, you would mildly have markthat are ascribed to me, are one and ed our errors, and by the suavity of allofthem unfounded (as I have shewn your rebuke, allured us from them. in the course of the preceding re

* You would have concluded that even

“ Shetland was the work af God!" view ;) they are the inventions of

This Letter was publicly avowed, (in Thule's owo prolific brain, to which he has seen fit to foist in my initials. It Bolt, John Mouat, Gideon Gifford of

many more,") by Thomas sine to defend Vindi. Busta, Robert Robertson of Gossaburgh, cator ; and Toule may plume himself and Thomas Mouat of Garth”, five of on a victory in his absence from the the principal land holders in Shetland. field. Mr Menzies, the worthy It so happens that Mr Pennant has given clergyman of Lerwick, is indeed his opinion of Shetland and of Shetland

lairds, of their country and of them; and slightly known to me ; but I never conversed with him on these subjects, Pennant's own words : “ In these distant

I shali lay it before the reader in Mr and I am confident he can answer for • islands the hand of oppression reigns himself*.

h uncontrolled. The poor vassals, in “ degance of laws still kept in bondage,

are compelled to slave and hazard * Thule has told us that, besides Vin “ their lives in the capture, to deliver dicator and P. N. he has not seen any “ their fisb to their lords for a trifling “ publication that mentions the mode of sum, who sell them to adventurers

[ocr errors]

name of 4

js not my

[ocr errors]
« ZurückWeiter »