Page:The farm labourer in 1872.djvu/27

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THE FARM LABOURER IN 1872.

a week, but who he said was worth half as much more, yet he never thought of leaving him, or asking for more wages, and what was the secret of that? Why the man had a small holding of five acres of grass land under his employer. "That man," I said, "depend on it, will never leave you of his own accord." In another district, comprising coal and lead mines, as well as an agricultural population, where some interest was taken in the savings' banks' deposits, it was discovered that whereas many miners (that is workers in the lead mines) put by money, there was hardly a single collier who had a deposit. They were earning wages equally high, and the fact seemed incomprehensible, till on examination it was discovered that whereas most of the miners had a patch of land and a cow, the colliers, owing to the smoke or some other local cause, hardly ever had that advantage; and no doubt invested all their earnings in the public-house. Now the same sort of results are found to follow in other places by a similar system of precaution in allowing only thrifty families to come on the land, and notably on the estate of Mr. Hope Johnson, in Dumfrieshire, where, under the direction of his agent, Mr. Charles Stewart, the effect is thus described by an eye-witness in a report published by the Highland and Agricultural Society:—

"What we chiefly value in the system is its marked effect in producing and perpetuating an orderly, respectable and well-conditioned peasantry.