Page:The World's Famous Orations Volume 5.djvu/94

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upon the whole, better cultivated, and more capital is put into the land than in the large properties of France.

But it is fair that justice should be done to what is called the peasant proprietary. Peasant proprietary is an excellent thing, if it can be had, in many points of view. It interests an enormous number of the people in the soil of the country, and in the stability of its institutions and its laws. But now look at the effect that it has upon the progressive value of the land—and I am going to give you a very few figures which I will endeavor to relieve from all complication, lest I should unnecessarily weary you. But what will you think when I tell you that the agricultural value of France—the taxable income derived from the land, and therefore the income of the proprietors of that land—has advanced during our lifetime far more rapidly than that of England? When I say England I believe the same thing is applicable to Scotland, certainly to Ireland; but I shall take England for my test, because the difference between England and Scotland, tho great, does not touch the principle, and, because it so happens that we have some means of illustration from former times for England, which are not equally applicable for all the three kingdoms.

Here is the state of the case. I will not go back any farther than 1851. I might go back much farther; it would only strengthen my