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or that of England: The preference is due to France. I have often heard the contrary asserted, and with some appearance of reason ; but, I believe, the opinion has arisen more from considering the actual state of husbandry in the two countries, than the distinct properties of the two climates. The English make a very good use of their’s ; but the French are, in this respect, in their infancy, through more than half the kingdom. The importance of a country producing twenty-five bushels per acre instead of eighteen, is prodigious ; but it is an idle deception to speak of twenty-five, for the superiority of English spring corn, barley and oats, is doubly greater than that of wheat and rye, and would justify me in proportioning the corn products of England, in general, compared with those of France, at twenty-eight to eighteen ; and I am well persuaded, that such a ratio would be no exaggeration. Ten millions of acres produce more corn than fifteen millions; consequently a territory of one hundred millions of acres more than equals another of one hundred and fifty millions. It is from such facts that we must seek for an explanation of the power of England, which has ventured to measure itself with that of a country so much more populous, extensive, and more favoured by nature, as France really is ; and it is a lesson to all governments whatever, that if they would be powerful, they must encourage the only ... real and permanent basis of power, AGRICULTURE. By enlarging the quantity of the products of land in a nation, all those advantages flow which have been attributed to a great population, but which ought, with much more truth, to have been assigned to a great consumption ; since it is not the mere number of people, but their ease and welfare, which constitute national prosperity. The difference between the corn products of France and England is so great, that it would justify some degree of surprise, how any political writer could ever express any
degree of amazement, that a territory, naturally so inconsiderable as the British isles, on comparison with France, should ever become equally powerful; yet this sentiment, founded in mere ignorance, is very common. With such an immense superiority in the produce of corn, the
more obvious surprise should have
been, that the resources of England, compared with those of France, were not yet more decisive.
In Languedoc we find by far the
greatest exertion in irrigation to be seen in France ; a solid stank of timber and masonry is formed across a considerable river near Gange, between two rocky mountains, to force the water into a very fine canal, in which it is, on an average, six feet broad by five deep, and half a mile long; built rather than dug, on the side of the mountain just under the road, and walled in like a shelf, a truly great work, equally well imagined and executed . A wheel raises a portion of the water from this canal thirty feet, by its hollow
periphery. An aqueduct, built that
height, on two tire of arches, receives the water, and conducts it on arches built on the bridge, across the river, to , water the higher grounds; while the canal below carries the larger part of the water to lower fields: an undertaking which
must have cost considerable sums,
and shows the prodigious value of water in such a climate. , , . .
In some parts of France, particularly in the southern provinces, this branch of rural economy is very well understood, and largely practised; but the most capital exertions are very much confined; I met with them only in Provence and the western mountainous parts of Languedoc. In the former, canals were cut, at the expence of the province, for conducting water many miles, in order to irrigate barren tracts of land : in England we have no idea of such a thing. The interests of commerce
will induce our legislature to cut through private properties, but never the interests of cultivation. The works I observed at Gange, in Languedoc, for throwing the water of a mountain stream into a canal, and ‘raising it by enormous wheels into aqueducts built on arches, being much more limited in extent, and even confined to single properties, might more reasonably be looked for in the mountainous districts of England and Wales. Such would an'swer greatly, and therefore ought to be undertaken ; for I hardly need observe, that watering in northwardly climates answers on most soils, as well as it does in the south of Europe.
For the Literary Magazine. THE FRENCH IN HANOVER.
THE following account of the sufferings of the Hanoverians, during the late occupation of their country by the French, appears to have been drawn up by one of the inhabitants, and has been published as such, in a British publication. It is interesting in itself, as containing a minute and circumstantial picture of the evils of war. It shows us how much misery may be inflicted by a conqueror who neither massacres nor plunders, and warns us of the destiny that will inevitably await us, if we are visited by an army of foreign invaders.
The a my which Bonaparte had so warily collected at Nimmegen, under pretence of sending it to Louisiana, was destined for Hanover.— Judging from the previous inactivity of the British ministers, they had no suspicions of the views of the French till their army actually made its appearance, and then, as if they had awoke from a dream, they start•ed up and seized the sword, with a desperate resolution of defence. But in the moment of danger the confidence of the country was not to be obtained, and its required spirit of
union was dissipated into considerations of personal safety. A levy en masse was decreed, which compelled the young men to emigrate ; and the army, nominally 30,000, in reality was only 18,000. A slight skirmish near Suhlingen, betwixt the outposts, served to decide the fate of Hanover. The farce of a convention, concluded the 3d of June, 1803, surrendered it to the French, and stipulated that the unbroken Hanoverian army should withdraw beyond the Elbe into Lauenburg, and not serve against France until they had been exchanged. Rudloff was then at the head of affairs, and his well-known character puts it out of doubt, that, in conjunction with some of his colleagues, he acted a treacherous part towards his country, in favour of the enemy. If the French had not received a previous assurance of being admitted without opposition, they never would have ventured through marshes and bogs, without ammunition, or with scarcely a single cartridge, to invade a country that had a regular and respectable force to produce against inferior numbers. However rash and fool-hardy the French may be, they would not thus have devoted themselves to certain ruin, when with the same facility they could have sent a force sufficient to ensure sucCeSS. In possession of Hanover, they no sooner learned that the king refused to ratify the measures of his German ministry, than they proceeded, with newly acquired arms, against the force in Lauenburg. The spirit of the Hanoverian soldiery, who were fired with an ardent zeal to engage the enemies of their country, was such as led every one to expect a bloody conflict: but count Walmo! den put their lives and his out of danger, by a second capitulation, no less disgraceful than the former. According to this convention, signed on the Elbe, on the 5th of July, against the unanimous opinion of the whole army, the Hanoverian troops. were disbanded, and obliged to la down their arms. -
z The number was very small who were afterwards impelled, by distress and want of employment, to enter into the French service. After every endeavour to seduce them, Mortier could not get together more than 3000, the half of whom were not natives; and not deeming it prudent to keep them in Hanover, they were sent to the south of France. The terrors of the people pictured every possible act of violence from the invading foe; and the liberty granted to the French troops of plundering two or three villages, naturally served to confirm these apprehensions, and occasioned many groundless reports; but in a short time every one was convinced that the French had laid down for themselves a very different system of conduct. Policy, in fact, suggested to them conciliatory measures; and as plunder was their object, they clearly saw, that by granting the people existence, they should the most effectually drain the country of its resources, and reap the fruits of its labours. Agreeably to this idea, Mortier had specified as distinct articles in the convention, that the Hanoverian ministry should be dissolved, and such changes adopted in the electoral constitution, as he might think adviseable; yet, when he came to organize the government, he reinstated most of the old administration in high places, excluding only Rudloff, Von Arnswaldt, and Kielmannsegge, who, after having deserted their trust, fled into Mecklenburg. The form of government adopted by the French was purely financial, it being, of course, their sole concern to extract from the country as much as possible during their stay in it. To this end, they established an executive committee, whose task it was to arrange and levy the contributions, and satisfy all the pecuniary demands of France. Durbach, Mortier's brother-in-law, whose familiarity with the German language, and extensive acquaintance among the Germans, fitted him for the office,
was commissioned to select this committee, and he accordingly fixed on five persons for his assistants. . Nor could he have chosen men more fitted to execute the office imposed on them. They consulted the good of the country on every occasion, averted many evils, and made many remonstrances against the extravagant demands of the French. This committee was assisted by a deputation of persons well versed in the peculiar resources, connections, and circumstances of the respective districts to which they belonged, whose advice was necessary in appreciating the wealth of each individual district, and proportioning the burden of taxes to its real condition. Their sphere of action was no less important than that of the committee, and they acquitted themselves with no less credit. They ingratiated themselves with the commissioners, and succeeded in obtaining their confidence by an upright system of conduct, in which they newer lost sight of the interests of their country. While their pecuniary demands were satisfied to the utmost of their expectation, the French did not trouble themselves with any other consideration; but whenever there was any failure or backwardness in the supplies, they would threaten the ministry with taking the management of the finances into their own hands. They would not have abstained from putting this threat in force, if they had not, in reality, taken measures to convince themselves that all was done in the power of men to do. It was truly astonishing to see with what indefatigable activity they scrutinized the revenues of the state, and defeated every possible scheme of deception. They demanded of all the ministers and boards of every province, exact statements of its income and expences, royal, civil, and military, and instituted the minutest inquiries into the accuracy of such statements. The first authorities of the land were likewise required to deliver in exact statistic accounts of the whole electorate, and of each particular province ; and these accounts, containing every thing worthy of notice relative to the internal wealth and resources of the country, when copied fair on fine royal paper, and in a fine hand, were dispatched to Paris. The consequence of this vigilance was the ruin of Hanover. The first five months had drained it of every dollar to be found in it. What the country wanted in ready money it was obliged to supply by its credit : and while loads of specie were con
veying to France, its public treasury
was overwhelmed with debt, and its inhabitants starving. Though a due estimate can never be made of the burdens individually, yet the following statement will serve to prove that the French are merciless when plunder is in question. The public regular expences are calculated to have been— 1. The pay of the troops, amounting, on an average, to 25,000, which may be estimated at two millions and a half rix-dollars yearly”. 2. Bread, meat, forage, wood, and in some cases rice and beer, two millions a year. 3. Clothing, viz.: coats, linen, shoes, breeches, waistcoats, spatterdashes, caps, stockings, knapsacks, great coats, &c., which amounted to above half a million: for there was a constant exchange of soldiers, in want of every article of dress, for such as had been well provided. Besides these, the country had to bear a number of extraordinary expences, the principal of which were: 4. The erection of hospitals, for which purpose private houses were fitted up, and furnished with a vast number of beds, matrasses, linen,&c.; the sick being likewise daily provided with victuals, drink, and medicines; all which combined to make a sum of 200,000 dollars. 5. The constant use of carriages from Hanover to France, and from one part of the country to the other; which cannot be estimated at less
* A rix-dollar is about equal to the panish or United States dollar.
than half a million. The French had an immense number of carts, horses, and men in requisition during their whole stay, particularly for the conveyance of the booty. The transportation of the artillery taken from the armory of Hanover, and the fortresses of Hamel, Ratzburg, &c., employed above half a year; and the value of the whole ordnance, including all the beautiful fire-arms, field-pieces, &c., laid up in store, from the famous founderies of Hanover, and the manufactories of Harzberg, was rated at ten millions. The French had likewise now the gratification of recovering a set of cannon denominated the Twelve Apostles, which they fiad lost in the seven years' war. As these cannon were passing through a village where an old general lived who had been present in the battle when they were taken, he is said to have shed tears, and soon after to have died of grief. Besides the ordnance, the beautiful . horses from the king’s stud, the fine deer in Diesterwald, carried in expensive waggons built for the purpose, and many other royal effects, all exceeding two millions in value, occupied a full year in their conveyance. 6. The maintenance of, and presents to, generals, exceeding 200,000 dollars. All generals, particularly those of the higher ranks, had numerous retinues, consisting of twelve, and oftener of more persons. They resided in the capitals of Luneburg, Verden, Lauenburg, Osnaburg, &c. Upon an average, they received for themselves and their retinue fifty dollars per day. Besides these, the commissaires en chef were to be provided for ; thus, for example, in Osnaburg, Dessolles received for his general staff, and commissariate, seventy-five dollars per day, whence may be easily inferred the amount of maintaining the commander in chief in the town of Hanover, his general staff, and retinue, with the commissaire ordonnateur. He occupied the electoral palace, and had every accommodation on a more princely style than the elector himself would have had. 7. Several millions expended in casualties; among which may be reckoned the supply of quarters for the officers or soldiers who could not be provided for in certain places; the maintenance of artillery horses, and an army post with three horses; the erection of batteries on the Elbe ; the raising and equipping of the Hanoverian legion; the fortification of Hamel and Nienburg, and victualling the former fortress for a whole year ; the single contributions on particular provinces, supposed best capable of bearing the burden, with numberless other et catteras. -8. The French gained likewise 100,000 dollars from the electorate by a financial scheme with count Bentheim, which originated in the following circumstance: count Frederick Charles Philip von Bentheim, being deeply involved in debt, mortgaged his country, in 1753, for thirty years, with all its appurtenances, to the electorate of Hanover, for the sum of 900,000 dollars. The count afterwards lived as a private man in Paris, and had neither money nor inclination to redeem his estate, in consequence of which it remained the rightful possession of Hanover. On his death, which happened in the year 1803, his next relative, the count von Stenfurth, profited by this opportunity to recover the land, on paying the French half the sum in ready money, and the rest by instalments. The French troops then left the county of Bentheim, and he was reinstated in the quiet possession of it. From the preceeding statement, it will be seen that the French actually drew from Hanover, during a stay of two years and ten weeks, no less than twenty-seven millions of dollars, a sum grievously felt by a land enjoying few advantages, having no manufactures or trade of any importance, and scarcely producing sufficient corn for its own people.— The whole electorate yields not more than five millicns of dollars, all of
year; but upon the declaration of the king, that he would not acknowledge any of these loans, it was necessary to use threats, and even coercion, in order to extract money from the smaller states. Hamburgh submitted on the first demand, by paying 500,000 dollars: but Bremen and Lubec persisted in a long and obstinate refusal, till the French blocked them up, by land and water, so effectually, that no person or thing could get in or out either of the cities or territories. Bremen yielded, after a week’s resistance, by complying with half the demand, and receiving a promise of never being troubled with a similar