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THE LAWS OF LAND.* Me M'CULLOCH's book introduces The cry of complaint to which we us to a question much debated in this have above alluded, is inspired by age of class jealousy. As soon as we many diverse motives. As Mr Cochopen it, we are straightway environed rane's ragged followers flocked to Trawith “a barbarous noise of owls and falgar Square to denounce the incomecuckoos, asses, apes, and dogs," amid tax, so many a man takes up the whose jargon of phrases rises loudest shout against the law of primogeniture and most frequent the cry of ".com- and entail, as tying up lands and remercial principles.” It is a cgreat stricting their sale, who never had the grievance, it seems, that land should wherewithal to purchase a single acre not be disposed of according to "com- if all broad England was in the market. mercial principles ;” that hill and holt, On the other hand, the purse-proud and moor and dale, should not pass citizen, sore that ready money is not from seller to buyer with the same yet quite at the top of the tree, and readiness as candles and calicoes. that he does not receive the same conTruly we have enough, and more sideration at St James's as in Change than enough, of these same commer- Alley, delights to have some grievance cial principles in all walks of thought.. whereon he can vent his spleen ; and Even the pulpit is not free from them. really, in some stolid instances, perPolitics are positively smothered with suades himself that he is kept out of them. Ethical science, with the shal- the land which his gold could buy, lowisms of Paley and Bentham round through the agency of aristocratical her neck, struggles feebly with them. laws, as if George Robins had been a The book-keeper is abroad every mythical personage, or the advertisewhere, with an indestructible faith in ments of Farebrother, Clark, and Lye double entry. The Spirit of the Age were a mockery and delusion. wears a pen behind his ear, and sits on But the largest class of assailants a high stool with three legs. That are those who come to the debate forthe prevailing commercial principles tified with certain specions economical should have been so long excluded arguments, generally derived from a from the absolute possession of our one-sided view of some particular laws of land, and that those laws effect of these restrictive laws. To should have preserved to a time like the demolition of these objectors Mr this so much of their feudal character, M'Culloch's work is more immediately is a notable proof of the adaptation of addressed; and very effectually, in our the laws to the general requirements opinion, does it accomplish its end. of the community, and of the steadi- He has not, perhaps, treated the subness of that social system wbich is so ject so widely as it might have been essentially linked to the maintenance treated : he has not entered into the of these laws.
indirect social influences that might be
* A Treatise on the Succession to Property vacant by Death. By J. R. M'CULLOCH, Esq. London : Longmans, 1848.
VOL. LXIV. -NO. CCCXCIII.