Hence it will be seen that the land-owner risks nothing but a little injury to the surface of his fields, which will appear trifling when it is considered that if the mine is unsuccessful, the work is soon stopped; and that on the other hand many cases exist, where, by the sacrifice of an acre or two of land, an income of two or three thousand pounds has been obtained for several years.
The mode of levying the dues on the gross produce of a mine, tends to discourage enterprize, where considerable expense is incurred by the adventurers without an immediate return. It seems reasonable that the land-owners should contribute something in favor of that exertion which so often leads to their great advantage.
If an equitable mode of assessing the dues in some proportion to the net profit, could be devised, and was liberally and fairly acted upon, it would probably tend more than any thing else to the encouragement of mining.
As it now stands, the land-owner often derives a great revenue from a mine, which is swallowing up the money of the adventurers.
2. The Arrangements between the Partners or Adventurers themselves, and the System of Controul and Management appointed by them.
The parties who take the set, after reserving such shares in the adventure for themselves as they are disposed to carry on, generally allot the remainder to such of their friends as are inclined to join them. The whole concern is usually divided into 64 shares or doles, which division admits of its being held in various proportions, so that one person may have an eighth of the mine, another a sixteenth, and so on, until the whole is taken up.
Vol. II.2 r