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First Impressions of England and its People
Chapter I

Led to convert an intended Voyage to Orkney into a Journey to England.— Objects of the Journey.—Carter Fell. — The Border Line. — Well for England it should have been so doggedly maintained by the weaker Country. — Otterburn. — The Mountain Limestone in England, what it is not in Scotland, a true Mountain Limestone. — Scenery changes as we enter the Coal Measures. — Wretched Weather. — Newcastle.— Methodists. — Controversy on the Atonement. — The Popular Mind in Scotland mainly developed by its Theology. — Newcastle Museum ; rich in its Geology and its Antiquities ; both branches of one subject. — Geologic History of the Roman Invasion. — Durham Cathedral.—The Monuments of Nature greatly more enduring than those of Man.—Cyo* thophyllum Fungites. — The Spotted Tubers, and what they indicated.— The Destiny of a Nation involved in the Growth of a minute Fungus.

I had purposed visiting the Orkneys, and spending my few weeks of autumn leisure in exploring the. Old Red Sandstone of these islands along the noble coast sections opened up by the sea. My vacations during the five previous seasons had been devoted to an examination of the fossiliferous deposits of Scotland. I had already in some degree acquainted myself with the Palaeozoic and Secondary formations of the northern half of the kingdom and the Hebrides. One vacation more would have acquainted me with those of Orkney also, and completed my survey of Scotland to the north of the Grampians; and 1 would have reckoned at least half my self-imposed task at an end. When laboring professionally, however, during the previous winter and spring, I had, I am afraid, sometimes failed to remember, what the old chivalric knights used never to forget, that “ man is hut of mould; ” and I had, in consequence, subjected the “mould” to a heavier pressure than, from its yielding nature, it is suited to bear. And now that play-time had once more come round, I found I had scarce health and strength enough left me to carry me in quest of more. I could no longer undertake, as formerly, long journeys a-foot in a wild country, nor scramble, with sure step, and head that never failed, along the faces of tall precipices washed by the sea. And so, for the time at least, I had to give up all thought of visiting Orkney.

“I will cross the Border,” I said, “and get into England. I know the humbler Scotch better than most men, — I have at least enjoyed better opportunities of knowing them; but the humbler English I know only from hearsay. I will go and live among them for a few weeks, somewhere in the midland districts. I shall lodge in humble cottages, wear a humble dress, and see what is to be seen by humble men only,— society without its mask. I shall explore, too, for myself, the formations wanting in the geologic scale of Scotland, — the Silurian, the Chalk, and the Tertiary; and so, should there be future years in store for me, I shall be enabled to resume my survey of our Scottish deposits with a more practised eye than at present, and with more extended knowledge.” August was dragging on to its close through a moist and cloudy atmosphere ; every day had its shower, and some days half a dozen: but I hoped for clearer skies and fairer weather in the south; and so, taking my seat at Edinburgh on the top of the Newcastle coach, I crossed Carter Fell a little after mid-day, and found myself, for the first time, in England. The sun on the Scottish side looked down clear and kindly on languid fields surcharged with moisture, that exhibited greener and yet greener tints as we ascended from the lowland districts to the uplands; while on the southern side, though all was fair in the foreground, a thick sullen cloud hung low over the distant prospect, resembling the smoke of some vast city.

And this was the famous Border-line, made good by the weaker against the stronger nation, — at how vast an amount of blood and suffering! — for more than a thousand years. It wore to-day, in the quiet sunshine, a look of recluse tranquillity, that seemed wholly unconscious of the past. A tumbling sea of dark-green hills, delicately checkered with light and shadow, swelled upwards on either side towards the line of boundary, like the billows of opposing tide-ways, that rise over the general level where the currents meet; and passing on and away from wave-top to wave-top, like the cork baulk of a fisherman’s net afloat on the swell, ran the separating line. But all was still and motionless, as in the upper reaches of the Baltic, when the winter frost has set in. We passed, on the Scottish side, a group of stalwart shepherds, — solid, grave-featured men, who certainly did not look as if they loved fighting for its own sake; and on the English side, drove by a few stout, ruddy hinds, engaged in driving carts, who seemed just as little quarrelsome as their Scottish neighbors. War must be intrinsically mischievous. It must be something very bad, let us personify it as proudly as we may, that could have set on these useful, peaceable people, — cast in so nearly the same mould, speaking the same tongue, possessed of the same common nature, lovable, doubtless, in some points, from the development of the same genial affections, — to knock one another on the head, simply because the one half of' them had first seen the light on the one side of the hill, and the other half on the other side. And yet, such was the state of things which obtained in this wild district for many hundred years. It seems, however, especially well for England, since the quarrel began at all, that it should have been so doggedly maintained by the weaker people, — so well maintained that the border hamlet, round which they struggled, in the days of the first Edward, as a piece of doubtful property, is a piece of doubtful property still, and has, in royal proclamation and act of Parliament, its own separate clause assigned to it, as the “ town called Berwick-upon-Tweed.” It is quite enough for the English, as shown by the political history of modem times, that they conquered Ireland; had they conquered Scotland also, they would have been ruined utterly. “One such victory more, and they would have been undone.” Men have long suspected the trade of the hero to be a bad one; but it is only now they are fairly beginning to learn, that of all great losses and misfortunes, his master achievement — the taking of a nation — is the greatest and most incurably calamitous.

The line of boundary forms the water-shed in this part of the island: the streams on the Scottish side trot away northwards toward the valley of the Tweed; while on the English side they pursue a southerly course, and are included in the drainage of the Tyne. The stream which runs along the bare, open valley on which we had now entered, forms one of the larger tributaries of the latter river. But everything seemed as Scottish as ever, — the people, the dwelling-houses, the country. I could scarce realize the fact, that the little gray parish-church, with the square tower, which we had just passed; was a church in which the curate read the Prayer-book every Sunday, and that I had left behind me the Scottish law, under which I had been living all life-long till now, on the top of the hill. I had proof, however, at our first English stage, that such was actually the case. “Is all right?” asked the coachman, of a tall, lanky Northumbrian, who had busied himself in changing the horses. “Yez, all roit,” was the reply; “roit as the Church of England.” I was, it was evident, on Presbyterian ground no longer.

We passed, as the country began to open, a spot marked by two of the crossed swords of our more elaborate maps: they lie thick on both sides the Border, to indicate where the old battle-fields were stricken; and the crossed swords of this especial locality are celebrated in chronicle and song. A rude, straggling village runs for some one or two hundred yards along both sides of the road. On the left there is a group of tall trees, elevated on a ridge, which they conceal; and a bare, undulating, somewhat wild country, spreads around. All is quiet and solitary; and no scathe on the landscape corresponds with the crossed swords on the map. There were a few children at play, as we passed, in front of one of the cottages, and two old men sauntering along the road. And such now is Otterburn, — a name I had never associated before, save with the two noble ditties of Chevy Chase, the magnificent narrative of Froissart, and the common subject of both ballads and narrative, however various their descriptions of it, — that one stern night’s slaughter, four hundred years ago,

“When the dead Douglas won the field.”

It was well for the poor victors they had a Froissart to celebrate them. For though it was the Scotch who gained the battle, it was the English who had the writing of the songs; and had not the victors found so impartial a chronicler in the generous Frenchman, the two songs, each a model in its own department, would have proved greatly an overmatch for them in the end.

The wilder tracts of Northumberland are composed of the Millstone Grit and Mountain Limestone; and never before had I seen this latter deposit developed in a style that so bears out the appropriateness of its name. It is in Northumberland, what it is rarely or never in Scotland, a true Mountain Limestone, that rises into tall hills, and sinks into deep valleys, and spreads laterally over a vast extent of area. The ocean of the Carboniferous era in England must have been greatly more persistent and extended than the ocean whose deposits form the base of the Coal Measures in the sister country: it appears to have lain further from the contemporary land, and to have been much less the subject of alternate upheavals and depressions. We were several hours in driving over the formation. As we entered upon the true Coal Measures, the face of the country at once altered: the wild, open, undulating surface sunk into a plain, laid out, far as the eye could reach, into fields closely reticulated with hedge-rows; the farm-houses and gentlemen’s seats thickened as we advanced; and England assumed its proper character. With a change of scenery, however, we experienced a change of weather. We had entered into the cloud that seemed so threatening in the distance from the top of Carter Fell; and a thick, soaking rain, without wind, accompanied by a lazy fog that lay scattered along the fields and woods in detached wreaths of gray, saddened the landscape. As we drove on, we could see the dense smoke of the pit-engines forming a new feature in the prospect; the tall chimneys of Newcastle, that seemed so many soot-black obelisks, half lost in the turbid atmosphere, came next in view; and then, just as the evening was falling wet and cheerless, we entered the town, through muddy streets, and along ranges of melancholy-looking houses, dropping from all their eaves, and darkened by the continuous rain of weeks. I was directed by the coachman to by far the most splendid temperance coffeehouse I had ever seen ; but it seemed too fine a lodging-house for harboring the more characteristic English, and I had not crossed the Border to see cosmopolites; and so, turning away from the door, I succeeded in finding for myself a humbler, but still very respectable house, in a different part of the town.

There w’ere several guests in the public room : some two or three smart commercial gentlemen from the midland trading towns; two young Sheffield mechanics, evidently of the respectable class, who earn high wages and take care of them; and a farmer or two from the country. In the course of the evening we had a good deal of conversation, and some controversy. The mechanics were Methodists, who had availed themselves of a few days’ leisure to see the north country, but more especially, as I afterwards learned, to be present at a discussion on controverted points of theology, which was to take place in Newcastle on the following evening, between a prodigiously clever preacher of the    .    very unsound in his creed, of whom I had never heard before, and a more orthodox preacher of the same body, profound in his theology, of whom I had heard just as little. From the peculiar emphasis placed by the two lads on the word    ,    I inferred that neither of them deemed orthodoxy so intellectual a thing as the want of it; and I ultimately discovered that they were partisans of the clever preacher. One of the two seemed anxious to provoke a controversy on his favorite points; but the commercial men, who appeared rather amused to hear so much about religion, avoided all definite statement; and the men from the country said nothing. A person in black entered the room, — not a preacher apparently, but, had I met him in Scotland, I would have set him down for at least an elder; and the young mechanics were gratified.

The man in black was, I found, a Calvinist, — not, however, of the most profound type; the Methodists were wild nondescripts in their theology, more Socinian than aught else, and yet not consistently Socinian neither. A Scottish religious controversy of the present time regards the nature and extent of the atonement; the two Wesleyans challenged, I found, the very existence of the doctrine. There was really no such thing as an atonement, they said; the atonement was a mere orthodox view taken by the Old Connection. The Calvinist referred to the ordinary evidences to prove it something more; and so the controversy went on, with some share of perverted ingenuity on the one side, and a considerable acquaintance with Scripture doctrine on the other. A tall, respectable-looking man, with the freshness of a country life palpable about him, had come in shortly after the commencement of the discussion, and took evidently some interest in it. He turned from speaker to speaker, and seemed employed in weighing the statements on both sides. At length he struck in, taking part against the Calvinist. “Can it really be held,” he said, “ that the all-powerful God — the Being who has no limits to his power—could not forgive sin without an atonement? That would be limiting his illimitable power with a vengeance! ” The remark would scarcely have arrested a theologic controversy on the same nice point in Scotland,—certainly not among the class of peasant controversialists so unwisely satirized by Burns, nor yet among the class who, in our own times, have taken so deep an interest in the Church question; but the English Calvinist seemed unfurnished with a reply.

I was curious to see how the metaphysics of our Scotch Calvinism would tell on such an audience; and took up the subject much in the way it might be taken up in some country church-yard, ere the congregat ion had fully gathered, by some of the “grave-livers” of the parish, or as it might be discussed in the more northern localities of the kingdom, at some evening meeting of “the men.” I attempted showing, step by step, that God did not give to himself his own nature, nor any part of it; that it exists as it is, as independently of his will as our human nature exists as it is independently of ours; that his moral nature, like his nature in general, is underived, unalterable, eternal; and that it is this underived moral nature of the Godhead which forms the absolute law of his conduct in all his dealings with his moral agents. “You are, I daresay, right,” said the countryman; “but how does all this bear on the doctrine of the atonement?”

“Very directly on your remark respecting it,” I replied. “It shows us that the will and power of God, in dealing with the sins of his accountable creature, man, cannot, if we may so speak, be arbitrary, unregulated power and will, but must spring, of necessity, out of his underived moral nature. If it be according to this moral nature, which constitutes the governing law of Deity, — the law which controls Deity, — that without the ‘ shedding of blood there can be no remission,’ then blood must be shed, or remission cannot be obtained; atonement for sin there must be. If, on the contrary, there can be remission without the shedding of blood, we may be infallibly certain the unnecessary blood will not be demanded, nor the superfluous atonement required. To believe otherwise would be to believe that God deals with his moral agent, man, on principles that do not spring out of his own moral nature, but are mere arbitrary results of an unregulated will.”—“But are you not leaving the question, after all, just where you found it?” asked the countryman. — “Not quite,” I replied: “of God’s moral nature, or the conduct which springs out of it, we can but know what God has been pleased to tell us: the fact of the atonement can be determined but by revelation; and I believe, with the gentleman opposite, that revelation determines it very conclusively. But if fact it be, then must we hold that it is a fact which springs directly out of that underived moral nature of God which constitutes the governing law of his power and will; and that, his nature being what it is, the antagonist fact of remission without atonement is in reality an impossibility. Your appeal in the question lay to the omnipotence of God; it is something to know that in that direction there can lie noappeal. Mark how strongly your own great poet brings out this truth. In his statement of the doctrine of the atonement, — a simple digest of the Scriptural statement, — all is made to hinge on the important fact, that God having once willed the salvation of men, an atonement became as essentially necessary to Him, in order that the moral nature which He did not give himself might not be violated, as to the lapsed race, who might recognize in it their sole hope of restoration and recovery. Man, says the poet,

‘To expiate his treason hath nought left,
But to destruction, sacred and devote,
He, with his whole posterity, must die :
Die he, or justice must; unless for him
Some other, able, and as willing, pay 
The rigid satisfaction, death for death.”

The countryman was silent. “You Scotch are a strange people,” said one of the commercial gentlemen. “When I was in Scotland two years ago, I could hear of scarce anything among you but your Church question. What good does all your theology do you?”—“Independently altogether of religious considerations,” I replied, “it has done for our people what all your Societies for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, and all your Penny and Saturday Magazines, will never do for yours; it has awakened their intellects, and taught them how to think. The development of the popular mind in Scotland is a result of its theology.”

The morning rose quite as gloomily as the evening had fallen: the mist cloud still rested lazily over the town; the rain dashed incessantly from the eaves, and streamed along the pavement. It was miserable weather for an invalid in quest of health; but I had just to make the best I could of the circumstances, by scraping acquaintance with the guests in the travellers’ room, and beating with them over all manner of topics, until mid-day, when I sallied out, under cover of an umbrella, to see the town museum. I found it well suited to repay the trouble of a visit; and such is the liberality of the Newcastle people, that it cost me no more. It is superior, both in the extent and arrangement of its geologic department, to any of our Scotch collections with which I am acquainted; and its Anglo-Roman antiquities, from the proximity of the place to the wall of Hadrian, are greatly more numerous than in any other museum I ever saw, — filling, of themselves, an entire gallery. As I passed, in the geologic apartment, from the older Silurian to the newer Tertiary, and then on from the newer Tertiary to the votive tablets, sacrificial altars, and sepulchral memorials of the Anglo-Roman gallery, I could not help regarding them as all belonging to one department. The antiquities piece "on in natural sequence to the geology; and it seems but rational to indulge in the same sort of reasonings regarding them. They are the fossils of an extinct order of things, newer than the Tertiary, — of an extinct race, — of an extinct religion, — of a state of society and a class of enterprises which the world saw once, but which it will never see again. And with but little assistance from the direct testimony of history, one has to grope one’s way along this comparatively modern formation, guided chiefly, as in the more ancient deposits, by the clue of circumstantial evidence. In at least its leading features, however, the story embodied is remarkably clear. First, we have evidence that in those remote times, when the northern half of the island had just become a home of men, the land was forest-covered, like the woody regions of North America, and that its inhabitants were rude savages, unacquainted with the metals, but possessed of a few curious arts which an after age forgot, — not devoid of a religion which at least indicated the immortality of the soul,—and much given to war. The extensive morass, in which huge trunks lie thick and frequent,— the stone battle-axe, — the flint arrow-head,— the Druidic circle, — the vitrified fort, — the Picts’ house,— the canoe hollowed out of a single log, — are all fossils of this early period. Then come the memorials of an after formation. This wild country is invaded by a much more civilized race han the one by which it is inhabited; we find distinct marks )f their lines of march, — of the forests which they cut down, — of the encampments in which they intrenched themselves,— of the battle-fields in which they were met in fight by the natives. And they, too, had their religion. More than half the remains which testify to their progress consist of sacrificial altars, and votive tablets dedicated to the gods. The narrative goes on : another class of remains show us that a portion of the country was conquered by the civilized race. We find the remains of tesselated pavements, baths, public roads, the foundations of houses and temples, accumulations of broken pottery, and hoards of coin. Then comes another important clause in the story; we ascertain that the civilized people failed to conquer the whole of the northern country; and that, in order to preserve what they had conquered, they were content to construct, at an immense expense of labor, a long chain of forts, connected by a strong wall flanked with towers. Had it been easier to conquer the rest of the country than to build the wall, the wall would not have been built. We learn further, however, that the laboriously-built wall served its purpose but for a time : the wild people beyond at length broke over it; and the civilized invader, wearied out by their persevering assaults, which, though repelled to-day, had again to be repelled to-morrow, at length left their country to them entire, and retreating beyond its furthest limits, built for his protection a second wall. Such is the history of this bygone series of occurrences, as written, if one may so speak, in the various fossils of the formation. The antiquities of a museum should always piece on to its geologic collection.*

*Some of the operations of the Romans in Scotland have, like the catastrophes of the old geologic periods, left permanent marks on the face of the country. It is a curious fact, that not a few of our southern Scottish mosses owe their origin to the Roman invasion. Of their lower tiers of trees, — those which constituted the nucleus of the peaty formation,— many have been found still bearing the marks of the Roman hatchet, — a thin-edged tool, somewhat like that of the American woodsman, but still narrower. In some instances the axe-head, sorely wasted, has been detected still sticking in the buried stump, which is generally found to have been cut several feet over the soil, just where the tool might be plied with most effect; and in many, Roman utensils and coins have been discovered, where they had been hastily laid down by the soldiery among the tangled brushwood, and forthwith covered up and lost. Rennie, in his “Essay on Peat Moss,” furnishes an interesting list of these curiosities, that tell so significant a story. “In Ponsil Moss, near Glasgow,” he says, “a leather bag, containing about two hundred silver coins of Rome, was found; in Dundaff Moor, a number of similar coins were found about forty years ago; in Annan Moss, near the Roman Causeway, an ornament of pure gold was discovered; a Roman camp-kettle was found, eight feet deep, under a moss, on the estate of Ochtertyre; in Planders Moss a similar utensil was found; a Roman jug was found in Locker Moss, Dum.

The weather was still wretchedly bad; but I got upon the Great Southern Railway, and passed on to Durham, expecting to see, in the city of a bishop, a quiet English town of the true ancient type. And so I would have done, as the close-piled tenements of antique brick-work, with their secluded old-fashioned courts and tall fantastic gables, testified in detail, had the circumstances been more favorable; but the mist-cloud hung low, and I could see little else than dropping eaves, dark ened walls, and streaming pavements. The river which sweeps past the town was big in flood. I crossed along the bridge; saw beyond, a half-drowned country, rich in-fields and woods, and varied by the reaches of the stream; and caught between me and the sky, when the fog rose, the outline of the town on its bold ridge, with its stately cathedral elevated highest, as first in place, and its grotesque piles of brick ranging adown the slope in picturesque groups, continuous yet distinct. I next visited the cathedral. The gloomy day was darkening into still gloomier evening, and I found the huge pile standing up amid the descending torrents in its ancient grave-yard, like some mass of fretted rock-work enveloped in the play of a fountain. The great door lay open, but I could see little else within than the ranges of antique columns, curiously moulded, friesshire; a pot and decanter, of Roman copper, was found in a moss in Kirkmichael parish in the same county; and two vessels, of Roman bronze, in the Moss of Glanderhill, in Strathaven.” And thus the list runs on. It is not difficult to conceive how, in the circumstances, mosses came to be formed. The felled wood was left to rot on the surface; small streams were choked up in the levels; pools formed in the hollows; the soil beneath, shut up from the light and the air, became unfitted to produce its former vegetation: but a new order of plants, — the thick water-mosses, — began to spring up; one generation budded and decayed over the ruins of another; and what had been an overturned forest, became, in the course of years, a deep morass, — an unsightly but permanent monument of the formidable invader. and of girth enormous, that separate the aisles from the nave; and, half lost in the blackness, they served to remind me this evening of the shadowy, gigantic colonnades of Martin. Their Saxon strength wore, amid the vagueness of the gloom, an air of Babylonish magnificence.

The rain was dashing amid the tombstones outside. One antique slab of blue limestone beside the pathway had been fretted many centuries ago into the rude semblance of a human figure; but the compact mass, unfaithful to its charge, had resigned all save the general outline; the face was worn smooth, and only a few nearly obliterated ridges remained, to indicate the foldings of the robe. It served to show, in a manner sufficiently striking, how much more indelibly nature inscribes her monuments of the dead than art. The limestone slab had existed as a churchyard • monument for perhaps a thousand years; but the story which it had been sculptured to tell had been long since told for the last time ; and whether it had marked out the burial-place of priest or of layman, or what he had been or done, no one could now determine. But the story of an immensely earlier sepulture, — earlier, mayhap, by thrice as many twelvemonths as the thousand years contained days, — it continued to tell most distinctly. It told that when it had existed as a calcareous mud deep in the carboniferous ocean, a species of curious zoophyte, long afterwards termed Cyathophyllum fungites, were living and dying by myriads; and it now exhibited on its surface several dozens of them, cut open at every possible angle, and presenting every variety of section, as if to show what sort of creatures they had been. The glossy wet served as a varnish; and I could see that not only had those larger plates of the skeletons that radiate outwards from the centre been preserved, but even the microscopic reticulations of the cross partitioning. Never was there ancient inscription held in such faithful keeping by the founder’s bronze or the sculptor’s marble; and never was there epitaph of human composition so scrupulously just to the real character of the dead.

I found three guests in the coffee-house in which I lodged,— a farmer and his two sons: the farmer still in vigorous middle life; the sons robust and tall; all of them fine specimens of the ruddy, well-built, square-shouldered Englishman. They had been travelling by the railway, and were now on their return to their farm, which lay little more than two hours’ walk away, but so bad was the evening, that they had deemed it advisable to take beds for the night in Durham. They had evidently a stake in the state of the weather; and as the rain ever and anon pattered against the panes, as if on the eve of breaking them, some one or other of the three would rise to the window, and look moodily out into the storm. “God help us!” I heard the old farmer ejaculate, as the rising wind shook the casement; “we shall have no harvest at all.” They had had rain, I learned, in this locality, with but partial intermissions, for the greater part of six weeks, and the crops lay rotting on the ground. In the potatoes served at table I marked a peculiar appearance : they were freckled over by minute circular spots, that bore a ferruginous tinge, somewhat resembling the specks on iron-shot sandstone, and they ate as if but partially boiled. I asked the farmer whether the affection was a common one in that part of the country. “Not at all,” was the reply: “we never saw it before; but it threatens this year to destroy our potatoes. The half of mine it has spoiled already, and it spreads among them every day.” It does not seem natural to the species to associate mighty consequences with phenomena that wear a very humble aspect. The teachings of experience are essentially necessary to show us that the seeds of great events may be little things in themselves; and so I could not see how important a part these minute iron-tinted specks — the work of a microscopic fungus — were to enact in 'British history. The old soothsayers professed to read the destinies of the future in very unlikely pages, — in the meteoric appearances of the heavens, and in the stars, — in the flight and chirping of birds, — in the entrails of animals, — in many other strange characters besides; and in the remoter districts of my own country I have seen a half-sportive superstition employed in deciphering characters quite as unlikely as those of the old augurs, — in the burning of a brace of hazel-nuts, — in the pulling of a few oaten stalks, — in the grounds of a tea-cup, — above all, in the Hallowe’en egg, in which, in a different sense from that embodied in the allegory of Cowley,

“The curious eye,
Through the firm shell and the thick white may spy
Years to come a-forming lie,
Close in their sacred secundine asleep."

But who could have ever thought of divining over the spotted tubers ? or who so shrewd as to have seen in the grouping of their iron-shot specks Lord John Russell’s renunciation of the fixed duty, — the conversion to free-trade principles of Sir Robert Peel and his Conservative ministry, — the breaking up into sections of the old Protectionist party, — and, in the remote distance, the abolition in Scotland of the law of entail, and in England the ultimate abandonment, mayhap, of the depressing tenant-at-will system? If one could have read them aright, never did the flight of bird or the embowelment of beast indicate so wonderful a story as these same iron-shot tubers.

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