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GRUB STREET, November 8, 1866.

My love for intellect has made me seek a reconciliation with Arminius, in spite of all I had to complain of in him, and any one who had looked in here tonight might have seen him puffing away at his pipe, and laying down the law just in his old style. He was so immensely tickled at the Daily Telegraph calling his poor friend,-artless and obscure garretteer that he knows him to be," a high priest of the kidglove persuasion," that he has been in a good humour ever since, and to-night he has been giving me some information which I do think, notwithstanding the horrid animus he betrays in delivering it, is highly curious and interesting, and therefore I hasten to communicate it to you.

It is about the Prussian land reforms, and this is

1 Besides all I had to endure from Arminius himself, our leading newspapers persisted in holding me answerable for every paradox uttered by him.-ED.

"You made me look rather

how I got it out of him. a fool, Arminius," I began, "by what you primed me with in Germany last year about Stein settling your land question." "I dare say you looked a fool," says my Prussian boor, "but what did I tell you?"

Why," says I, "you told me Stein had settled a land question like the Irish land question, and I said so in the Cornhill Magazine, and now the matter has come up again by Mr. Bright talking at Dublin of what Stein did, and it turns out he settled nothing like the Irish land question at all, but only a sort of tithecommutation affair." "Who says that?" asked Arminius. "A very able writer in the Times," I replied.

I don't know that I have ever described Arminius's personal appearance. He has the true square Teutonic head, a blond and disorderly mass of tow-like hair, a podgy and sanguine countenance, shaven cheeks, and a whity-brown moustache. He wears a rough pilot-coat, and generally smokes away with his hands in the pockets of it, and his light blue eyes fixed on his interlocutor's face. When he takes his hands out of his pockets, his pipe out of his mouth, and his eyes off his friend's face, it is a sign that he is deeply moved. He did all this on the present occasion, and passing his short thick fingers two or three times through his blond hair: "That astonishing paper!" muttered he.

Then he began as solemn as if he was in a pulpit. "My dear friend," says he, "of the British species of the great genus Philistine there are three main varie ties. There is the religious Philistine, the well-to-do

Philistine, and the rowdy Philistine. The religious Philistine is represented by" "Stop, Arminius," said I, "you will oblige me by letting religion alone!" "As you please," answered he; "well, then, the rowdy Philistine is represented by the Daily Telegraph, and the well-to-do Philistine by the Times. The well-todo Philistine looks to get his own view of the British world,—that it is the best of all possible worlds as it is, because he has prospered in it,-preached back to him ore rotundo in the columns of the Times. There must be no uncertain sound in his oracle, no faltering, nothing to excite misgivings or doubts; like his own bosom, everything his oracle utters must be positive, pleasant, and comfortable. So of course about the great first article of his creed, the sacro-sanctity of property, there must in the Times be no trifling. But what amuses me is that his oracle must not even admit, if these matters come to be talked of, that Stein trifled with it in another country. The ark is so sacred, the example so abominable, and the devotee so sensitive. And therefore Stein's reforms become in the Times, for the reassurance of the well-to-do British Philistine, a sort of tithe-commutation affair, -nothing in the world more! nothing in the world more !"

"Don't go on in that absurd way, Arminius," said I; "I don't tell you it was a tithe-commutation, but a commutation like the tithe-commutation. It was simply, the Times says, the conversion of serf-tenures into produce-rents. I hope that gives you a perfectly clear notion of what the whole thing was, for it doesn't


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But I make out from the Times that the leibei gener "Rubbish about the leibeigener," cries Arminius, in a rage, "and all this jargon to keep your stupid mind in a mist; do you want to know what really happened?" Yes, I do," said I, quietly, my love for knowledge making me take no notice of his impertinence. "Yes, I do, and particularly this: In the first place, was the land, before Stein's reforms, the landlord's or the tenant's?" "The landlord's,' says Arminius. "You mean," said I, "that the landlord could and did really eject his tenant from it if he chose." "Yes, I do," says Arminius. "Well, then, what did Stein do?" asked I. "He did this," Arminius answered. "In these estates, where the landlord had his property-right on the one hand, and the tenant his tenant-right on the other, he made a compromise. In the first place he assigned, say, two-fifths of the estate to the landlord in absolute property, without any further claim of tenant-right upon it thenceforth for ever. But the remaining three-fifths he compelled the landlord to sell to the tenant at eighteen years' purchase, so that this part should become the tenant's absolute property thenceforth for ever. You will ask, where could the tenant find money to buy? Stein opened rent-banks in all the provincial chief towns, to lend the tenant the purchase-money required, for which the State thus became his creditor, not the landlord. He had to repay this loan in a certain number of years. To free his land from this State mortgage on it and make it his own clear property, he had every induce

ment to work hard, and he did work hard; and this was the grand source of the frugality, industry, and thrivingness of the Prussian peasant. It was the grand source, too, of his attachment to the State." "It was rotten bad political economy, though," exclaimed I. "Now I see what the Times meant by saying in its leading article yesterday that Ireland is incomparably better governed than the United States, France, Germany, or Italy, because the excellence of government consists in keeping obstacles out of the way of individual energy, and you throw obstacles in the way of your great proprietors' energy, and we throw none in the way of ours. Talk of a commutation like the tithe-commutation, indeed! Why it was downright spoliation; it was just what Lord Clanricarde says some people are driving at in Ireland, a system of confiscation." "Well," says Arminius, calmly, "that is exactly what the Prussian junkers called it. They did not call it commutation, they called it confiscation. They will tell you to this day that Stein confiscated their estates. But you will be shocked to hear that the Prussian Government had, even before Stein's time, this sad habit of playing tricks with political economy. To prevent the absorption of small proprietors by a great landed aristocracy, the Prussian Government made a rule that a bauer-gut,-a peasant property, could not, even if the owner sold it, be bought up by the Lord Clanricarde of the neighbourhood; it must remain a bauer-gut still. I believe you in England are for improving small proprietors off the face of

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