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who is the Bonniest lass in a' the warld On the Contrariety bet ween an Author's
Life and Writings.
(Continued from page 419.)
YOUNG were three eggs in the pan, and
To the Editor. after dinner we had Dribbles of bran
SIR, dy; the whole cry was Fill the stoup an' haud it clinking, and by no means Have already taken notice of the Drink hooly and fairly; then Come most common causes of that dis.
'es a sang, the lady cried, so Patie crepancy between an author's life and come up frae the glen, and Whistled o'er writings, which has so frequently octhe lave o't, and sung Maggy's tocher. curred in the annals of literature. O it you had seen Auld Kob Morris They are such as extend their inlaughing at the Auld wife ayont the fuerce equally to the conduct of the fire, singing, O as I was kist the learned and the unlearned part of
We were now growing Sae mankind, and lead them both to the merry as we twa ha'e been, and some same actions.
But there are other of them began to Trip upon trenchers. causes which exclusively affect and So the dancing cominenced, The betray those men of cultivated under. bride came in frae the barn, and led scandings, whose natural tempera. down with one of the Bra lads of ments are endued with a peculiar Gala water, to the tune of The Camp. sensibility, which exposes them to bells are coming. The glancing of her templations, and excites sensations afron, Silken Snood, and the Gowd in in their minds that oiher men can her garters, made heart Gae pitty never feel. patiie. I danc'd a reel wi' the Maid I formerly hinted, that delicacy of of the mill and the Shepherd's wife, to passion exposes men of genius to pe. the tune I'll make you be fain. Andrew culiar temptations, or, at least, renwi' his cutty gun was at Kiss me sweet
ders them an easier prey to those very ly, with Bess the gawkie, whispering a' vices, which men of the same natural the while, Come kiss me in a corner. tempers, but of opposite habits, can In short, we all danced heartily, but easily overcome. I shall pursue this I observed Jenny dang the weaver, and idea farther, and endeavour to point Scoff'd and scorn'd at him, saying, O out the different effects this refine. gin ye were ane and twenty, Tam. Af. ment of passion produces ou different ter this, we had a Good night and joy ; men of cultivated understandings. I came Todlin' hame, Not drunk nor The man of feeling enjoys the yet sober, and expected A bonny wee prosperous events of human life with house and a canty wee fire, but I could more lively joy than other men, and not Open the door till three, nor waken is apt to be elated beyond measure Sleeny Magsy. At last My ain by success. But he is also more kind dearie heard me, and She rose deeply wounded by adversity, and and loot me in. By this time I was feels its persecutions withi peculiar a sleepy body, and got to bed by the poignancy. Nay, events which are light of The bunny grey-ey'd morning. indifferent to others, often excite se. Yours,
vere and painful conflicts in his bosom.
He enters into the world, open,
Villie Il'inkie. sincere, and generous ; ardent in all Thursday in the morn.
his pursuits, and kven in every at. tachment. But 800w the common
cares and disappointments of human who warns others against depravation life, wound his feelings, and real or of principle, and points out the pit. imaginary evils perpetually tear his falls of seduction, affords, by his own heart. He entertained but a faint conduct, a mournful instance of hu. idea of the accidents of human life,' man frailty. while he viewed them in security A third inconsistent character a. through the medium of books, and mongst authors is to be found in only heard the realities in faint, re. him who cultivates his imagination verberated sounds. Then all his fa- and taste alone, and allows his other culties were calm and vigorous, and faculties to be overgrown with weeds. his eyes sparkled with confidence of He also acquires this delicacy of successful opposition. But when he passion, but his reason and judgement begins to feel their malignity, and are not strengthened in proportion. sees it is impossible to avoid them, he As his passions become more irrita. becomes peevish and capricious, and ble, they also become more unruly, looks with indignation at the com- and gradually acquire ascendency o. mon course of human affairs. His ver his nobler faculties, till at last sensibility degenerates into a diseased they lcad him captive at their will. irritability of temper, nourished by Biography furnishes us with so many the delusions of imagination, and examples of this very frequent case, flattered more and more by the dise that it requires no illustration. Thus traction they necessarily occasion. he also, who improves and delights Thus his peace is poisoned, and his his fellow.creatures, completely unhappiness is corroded ; so that whilst dermines his own comfort by a fatal he instructs others in their conduct error in his pursuits, and, by the conthrough life, he is unable to guide duct he pursues, invalidates the tenhimself with prudence or success; dency of all he has written. but, on the contrary, exposes him- These examples afford a striking self to the contenipt and hatred of lesson to those about to engage in the those around him.
profession of letters, of the baleful Another unsuccessful man of geni. effects of those false steps in the us, endued with the same delicacy of pursuit of literature which greater passion, and of good benevolent dis. fortitude or prudence might have positions, experiences unforeseen and prevented. But we must not conunmerited failure in his best endea- sider the conduct of those unsuccess. vours ; and, from his peculiar situa. ful authors, as being the result of tion, or constitutional timidity, trem. deliberate choice. They have acted bles at the prospect of what he ex. parts repugnant to the best qualities pects to suffer, or at the recollection of their hearts, and “ against their of what he has already endured. To better knowledge, not deceived but dissipate these embittering sensations, overcome,” by the peculiar tempta. he precipitately flies to those vicious tions to which their habits esposed excesses, which his talents have been them. engaged in exposing to contempt. But the facts concerning them Though he cannot lull his conscience form no general rule. If they tend into a false security, or divest himself ed to represent the uniform result of of his principles, yet, as his indulgen- intellectual improvement, science in ces impart a momentary alleviation to general would suffer severely by its his sufferings, he perseveres to banish establishment. For the vicicus are serious reflection, and deliberately ever ready to detect the errors and follows the fatal phantom, which faults of those who have disseminated " lures him to his doom.” Thus he the principles and duties of morality,
and to deride them who have forsa. is exactly worth the whole circulating ken the paths they prescribed to 0.
medium which that nation possueses. thers. But the ignorant scoifer should If so, whatever diminishes the cir. be informed, that such unfortunate culating medium, depreciates the proauthors never tried to justify or de perty of a nation, and, vice verst, fend their own conduct, nor retracted whatever enereases the circulatiny the admonitions they have given to medium, encreases also the value of oihers, to shuntherocks on which they property. themselves have been shipwrecked. If we look back to the beginning
It is well, however, for the cause of the last century, we find the rents, of virtue and of learning, that many almost without a single exception, characters can be enumerated, whose paid ifiso corpore, i. e. in kind. If example and precepts have equally we look a little farther back, we will advanced the peace and happiness of find feu farms, which pay only a shil: society. It is, indeed, always our ling or merk scots, of feu duty, which duty to forget the failings, and dwell at the present day would let for up. on the virtues of those who have in. wards of L.100 sterling,
Even in structed us ; and when we meet with the last valuation of the lands of an author whose life never belied his Scotland, by which the cess, &c. are writings, we must place him amongst levied, it will be generally found, those revered characters in human that an estate which was then valued life, “ qui profecto,” to use the at L.100 Scots, would at present rent words of Cicero, “ si nihil ad perci- at 1.100 sterling, the increase in
piendam colendamque virtutem value being in the proportion of 19 "literis adjuvarentur, nunquam se ad to l. From these facts it will apearum studium contulissent." pear, that the circulating medium was
R. M. then small, and was difficult to be
obtained, so that both heritor and tenant found it more eligible that
Add On the Comparative Merits of a Victual rents should be paid in kind. and of Money-Rent.
to this, that, previous to the revo.
Jution, Scotland was so little engaged To the Editor.
in trade or manufactures, that in the SIR,
course of several centuries the cirIT T is no less singular, than true, culating medium encreased very lit.
that all the tenants of the pre- tle, and the value of property conse. sent day prefer a money to a victual quently kept nearly stationary. rent, whereas our ancestors did quite Posterior to the revolution, and the reverse. What has created this the establishment of the funding diversity of opinion, does not appear system, an addition was made to the to be clearly understood, nor to have circulating medium, and our trade been thoroughly investigated. If the began to
These effects following thoughts on the subject were for a long time feeble, and pro- . will tend to elucidate the matter, you duced little alteration in the value of may insert them in your useful Mis- land, and it is only within these 50 cellany, and oblige, Sir,
years that any considerable part of
Yours, &c. the rent of land began to be paid in Dundee, AN OLD FARMER money. Indeed I might with ac24 Oct. 1806.
curacy enough have dated the rapid
increase of the value of land from I suppose it will readily be granted, the conclusion of the last American that the whole property of a nation war.
The then proprietors who had possible against the further accumu. lived to see this amazing encrease in lation of the national debt, and by the value of land, and had also seen means of war taxes, raising a great it in its depreciated state, were con proportion of the supplies of the şiderably at a loss how to act in leto year. This is indeed a wise measure, ting their farms.
They however for it is absolutely necessary that our steered a kind of middle course, and circulating medium bear a just and made the rents payable, half in money relative proportion to that of the and half in kind. By this means nations with whom we have comthey were sure of a certain stipulated mercial intercourse. For were mo. part of the rent in money, though ney to sink in value, in the same proproperty might fall in value ; and if portion as it has done these 12 years it increased, the moiety of rent pay- pasi, in less than 12 years to come, ble in kind would always keep place our commodities would cost so much, with that increase, and insure them that we could not sell a single article an addition of rent, I recollect no- in any foreign market, thing better than that these half-mo. The funding system appears there. ney rents were submitted to by the fore to have nearly reached its armē, tenants with the greatest reluctance. and the moment it becomes station.
The amazing and unprecedented in. ary, property of every description crease of the circulating medium du- will assume a stationary and permanent ring the late and present French war value. But as soon as the funding must be in the recollection of every system ceases to accumulate ; owing
Our national debt is nearly tri- to the operation of the sinking fund, pled, and our taxation in the same pro. it must begin to decrease, and this portion. Add to this, that we have diminution must operate to depress mearly engrossed the whole commerce the value of property in the same of Europe, owing to the almost total proportion that its accumulation eo. extinetion of that of France, Spain,' hanced it, Holland, and Flanders. That such a The consequences of Peace seem rapid and unprecedented increase of to be anticipated by the nation in no circulating medium should have a very favourable point of view, for powerful tendency to depreciate the the rejoicings at the tupture of the value of money, and enhance the value negotiation cannot otherwise be ac. of the necessaries of life, is at once counted for, Peace in our present si self-evident. Hence the avidity of a tuation is an undesirable object, and tenant to get rid of a victual, and pay war is not less so ; but of the two, a a money rent.
Money is every day safe and honourable peace is surely falling in value, and the productions of to be preferred. Peace will however his farm are in the same proportion ri- bring along with it disagreeable con. sing in price. As long as the national sequences to the farmer. It will debt continues to accumulate, and decrease our trade, as other nations
to extend, the said will naturally resume that share from causes will uniformly produced the which, during the war, they have same effects.
been excluded. It will withdraw But there is in the affairs of na. from circulation 40 millions annually tions as well as individuals a certain spent on account of the war. It acmē which they cannot pass.
This will prevent the accumulation of the the great and sagacious Pitt wisely national debt, and cause the sinking foresaw, and his sucsessors have with fund to have its full effect in dimithe greatest propriety trodden in his nishing it, &c. Peace will there. footsteps, by guarding as much as fore greatly diminish the circulating
medium, and consequently depretiate the army which was fixed about a the value of the necessaries of life ; century ago. A soldier's pay was at and if we might indulge the hope of that time 6d. per day, which would 50 years uninterrupted peace, and have purchased him a peck of meal the gradual diminution of the nation. and 3 lib. of beef. Now, instead al debt by the operation of the sink- of fixing his pay
had ing fund, property would gradually it been fixed in meal and beef, it fall along with the funding system, would have kept pace with the rise in the same proportion that it rose or fall of money, and have afforded with it.
him a comfortable subsistence under From the arguments laid down, it every possible fluctuation of the cirwill appear that
pro- culating medium of the nation. per equivalent which a tenant ought Had renis in kind been still adheto render a landlord for his farm. red to, we should not every day see Every heritor who let a farm 20 years heritors purchasing money leases at ago for a money rent, will readily as- double the value the farm would sent to this doctrine, because he has have sold for, at the time the lease, experienced the fact ; and every farmer was granted; nor should we, as prowho pays a money rent 20 years bably we may at no distant period, hence will probably find as little dif. see the tenantry of a whole nation ficulty in assenting to it, however ruined, by their ill-judged predilection much he may doubt it at present. in favour of
every It is in the power of no man alive day Aluctuate with the increase or to deternine what money rent a diminution of the circulating medium; farm will be worth 3 or 4 years and which, on the explosion, or exhence, and far less 30 or 40. All is tinction, of the funding system (cirmystery and conjecture. But any cumstances by no means improbable), man versed in agriculture may form would, instead of the annual value of a pretty accurate estimate of the prothe farms, be found more than adebable produce of a farm, and what quate to the complete purchase of part thereof he could give for rent. them.
This is in reality the true way of Within these 20 years that the naestimating a rent: a rent paid in kind tional capital has increased so rapid. has this superior and exclusive advan- ly it is only a paper capital) every, tage, that it keeps pace equally with thing respecting farming has been the rise and fall of money, and is ade- mystery and speculation, and the quate to all emergencies, being the li. most seemingly disadvantagous leateral produce of the farm. The ses have turned out great bargains man who pays a victual rent inight in a few years. But this is owing lye down composed and easy, tho'the neither to the industry nor sagacity funding system should explode to. of the tenant, but the rapid increase
He might do the same thor of the circulating medium, which, the value of money should decrease like a resistless tide, carried every tenfold more than at present. None thing before it, and which on its ebb of these consequences could possibly will absorb and carry every thing affect him.
back with it to that goal from which But wbilst a rent in kind is pecule it originally started. liarly adapted to the interest of the But a rent payable in kind, and jutenant, it is in every respect equally dicious!y imposed in proportion to io favour of the heritor. Nothing the actual produce of the farm, is can set this matter in a clearer point founded on the firm basis of the unof view, than adverting to the pay of alterable laws of nature.
It keeps Nov. 1806.