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young, would help to make their old age fomewhat comfortable, and contribute to ferenity of mind and cheerfulness of spirit. A dignity of onind, and a regard to character, would also be inspired by independence. .

An act of parliament passed in July 1793, and extending to Scotland, puts all the charitable societies who choose to accept of it under legal protection, and gives them particular privileges, which is a great encouragement to such as may be wise enough to form them *.

Sect. VIII.-- Population. The state of population in this county, as it stood in 1755, , and as it stands at present, may be seen in the Statistical Table

in the following chapter. Although many parishes have greatly decreased in their number of inhabitants, owing to the prevalence of the sheep fyftem, yet, upon the whole, the number is greater now than it was 40 years ago. This is owing to the greater population of the town of Campbelton, and village of Oban, which have more than doubled their joint numbers in that period; fo that, if these are left out of the reckoning, the population in the county will be found to have decreased considerably.

If landlords would encourage population, by giving moderate poffefsions, by cherishing cottagers, and adopting such plans as would tend to the cultivation of the ground, there is no doubt that the county could easily maintain double its present numbers. There is every reason to believe, that in very remote times it maintained more. Of this the whole face of the country seems to give fufficient indication. Fields, now covered with heath, and at a great height in the mountains,

* See Ofervations on the All for the Relief and Encouragement of Friendly Sosientes, by the Gentleman who framed the Act.

retain still the traces of ancient cultivation. The remains of castles and forts, mouldered into dust, and at short distances from each other, are undoubted proofs both of opulence and numbers. The unaccountable mode of vitrifying the walls of some of these buildings, before lime was used as a cement, is a further proof not only of the opulence and numbers of the inhabitants, but also of their civilization, and knowledge of fome of the arts and sciences.

The vast number of churches, of which the names or vestiges still remain, and their vicinity to each other, is a further proof of more than modern population. The very monuments of the dead, whose ashes are found under such vast heaps of stones, in many parts of the county, as would require many thousands to collect, and to carry to the distance at which they muft have been brought, are another proof of the power and population of this county in ancient times.

The superior population of this county, in ancient times, might be further illustrated by a detail of historical facts, if this were a proper place to enter on such a disquisition. The accounts transmitted to us of the armies, navies, and conquests of some of the Scottish kings, whose territories hardly extended beyond the limits of this county, till the year 843, and the power of the family of Somerled of Kintyre, for some time after that period, furnish undoubted evidence of a population vastly greater than the present. In a period still more remote, we find the Attacotti (who inhabited less than what is now called Argyllshire) making such a figure in the Notitia Imperii, and in the Roman armies, that Mr. Pinkerton infers no less than 10,000 effective men could be supposed to have attracted so much notice in those accounts as wa find they do *.

* About the end of the 4th century there was one body of them in Illyricum, another at Rome, and the Attacotti Honoriani in Italy. Ammianus Marcellinus calls the Attacotti “ a warlike race of men, formidable to all Britain."

In the first century, the inhabitants of Argyllshire, joined perhaps by a part of those of Dumbartonshire, were so numerous as to be able to resist the Roman legions under the conduct of the renowned Agricola. Tácitus informs us, that

Agricola, in the fifth year of his expeditions, shipping his army in the Clyde, attacked nations till then unknown in that part of Caledonia which lies over against Ireland *. To have been able to resist so powerful an attack, is a moft irrefragable proof of the power and number of the inhabitants at that time.

How the country could at that period maintain such numbers, is not difficult to account for. They attended more to the cultivation of the ground than is done at present in many parts of the county; they distilled none of their grain, into spirits ; they exported none of their cattle, and they lived more frugally, and took but one meal a-day. Every possible encouragement was also given to population ; for the great object with every chieftan then was, to have men. Now the great, the only object, is to have money. But those certainly mistake the way of accomplishing this object, who depopulate their estates. It is only by encouraging population, that the country can be improved, and manufactures and commerce established; without which no country can attain to any considerable degree of affluence or prosperity.

It deserves also to be considered, whether, in a period fo eventful as the present, it would not be wise to cherish the {mall remains of that brave people who resisted the Romans, fubdued the Picts, and shook off the yoke of the Danes ?

* Vit. Agricole, XXIII. “ The counties of Dumbarton and Argyll were the “ theatre of war in Agricola's fifth campaign. The inhabitants were so nume. “ rous, that for a whole summer they gave ample employment to the Roman “army." Macpberson's Introd. The number of Agricola's forces on this occafion is not mentioned; but at another period of the Caledonian war, under the same leader, they seem to have consisted of three legions, and were probably the same at this time.

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The principal obstacles to improvement have been occaFionally noticed already, so that it is unnecessary to enlarge upon them now. It is enough just to mention a few of them.

Short leases, and much more no leases at all, as is sometimes the case, are obviously adverse to improvements. No man of common fense, on a short and precarious tenure, will set about any great or permanent improvement. Either the landlord must do these himself, or grant such leafes as will reimburse the tenant, or the land must remain in its unimproved state. The unwillingness, perhaps in many cases the inability, of landlords to enclose and make other permanent improvements, which cannot be expected from tenants on short leafes, is much against the improvement of the country. Servitudes, when they take place, are altogether incompatible with improvements. If the landlord exacts much fervice from his tenants, and employs them on his business when they ought to be engaged in their own, he cannot expect that they will either improve their lands or pay their rent.

Large possessions are also highly inimical to improvement. The man who occupies a thousand acres will hardly attend to the cultivation of one of them. What is waste must therefore remain as it is, and whar was once cultivated must revert to a state of nature, if such possessions are not divided. By this system the tenant may be a gainer, but the landiord and the public fuffer. The landlord's rent must soon be at a stand, instead of advancing gradually, as it would be if his lands continued to be improved. The public too will be deprived of the additional corn and cattle that might be fur

nished from the improvement of those lands which lie in an uncultivated, and comparatively unproductive state. Every estate, perhaps every farm in the county, is capable of being brought to such a state of improved cultivation as would maintain, perhaps, double the men and cattle which it maintains at present. The system, therefore, which takes away from the public every hope of such improvement, is hurtful to the public interest *.

But the greatest obstacle to improvement, and the most ferious evil to the county, and to the public at large, is the tendency of large possessions and sheep-farming to depopulate the country. Every system that is adverse to population is rui-' nous to a country. No improvement can be carried on without hands; a depopulated country must ever be a wilderness. Let sheep be encouraged, but let the people be cherished also. Keep these, and they will improve the ground, so as to make it capable of feeding more sheep as well as more men. Encourage them to manufacture the wool, and they will enrich the country. Sheep-farming and population, though now considered as incompatible, might easily be made to give mutual aid to each other to

The little encouragement given to cottagers, who in many places are hardly tolerated, even on arable farms, is a great obstacle to the improvement of the country. Cottages are the feed-beeds of labourers and servants for the improvement

* From the quantity of various kinds of animal and vegetable food required to make a sufficient meal for one person in good health, and from the number of such meals in the produce of one acre, it has been computed, that for every one meal of butcher's meat produced by one fertile aere consumed by cattle or fheep in pasture, it would produce 12 i-half if occupied under good corncrops; and 77 1-half if occupied under potatoes. The application of arable lands to grazing must, therefore, be highly detrimental to the public interest; as it will not furuish, under grass, the 12th part of the food which it would do under corn. See Monthly Revietu, XXIV. 410.

+ See Chap, XIII, Sect. 2.

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