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flocks which, when united, form the Mesta, usually consist of about ten thousand sheep in each. Every flock is conducted by an officer, called a mayoral, who superintends the shepherds, and directs the route. It it essential that he should be an active man, well acquainted with the kinds of pasturage, the nature of sheep, and methods of treatment. Placed under him are fifty shepherds.who are divided into four classes.'* The number of persons thus employed in the care of the whole of the flecks which compose the Mesta, are about forty-five or fifty thousand. The dogs are also numerous, fifty being the allowance to each flock.'** The number of sheep which are thus made to migrate has varied at different periods. They amount at present to near five millions.' * The flocks are pat in motion the latter end of April, or beginning of May, leaving the plain* of Estramadura, Andalusia, the kingdom of Leon, and Old and New Ca6tile, where they usually winter; they repair to the mountains of the two latter provinces, and those of Biscay, Navarre, and Arragon. The mountainous districts most frequented by these flocks in New Castile, are those of Cuenca j and in Old Castile, those of Segovia, Soria, and Buytrago.' * The journey which the flocks make in their peregrinations is regulated by particular laws, and immemorial customs. The sheep pass unmolested over the pastures, belonging to the villages, and the commons which lie in their road, and have a right to feed on them. They are not, however, allowed to pass over cultivated lands ; but the proprietors of such lands are obliged to leave for them a path ninety varas, or about forty toises (eighty-four yards) in breadth. "When they traversethe commonable pastures, they seldom travel more than two leagues, or five and a half miles a day ; but when they walk in close order over thexultivated fields, often more than six, or near seventeen miles. The whole of their journey is usually an extent of one hundred and twenty, thirty, or forty leagues, which they perform in thirty or thirty-five days.' Vol. IV. pp. 51—57.
* The public opinion throughout Spain is decidedly opposed to the Mesta, against the vexatious circumstances to which it continually gives rise, and the constant obstacles it throws in the way of agricultural improvements.' lb: p. 59.
But M. Laborde, by a strange fatality, is never long consistent with himself; and accordingly, in a stupid criticism which he has the vanity to make upon the Memoir he has laid under contribution, observes—that' such is thewealth which Spain and especially the revenues derive from the system —■ that the certainty of success, should be very evident before' [' the flocks'] * should be deprived of all power of reinstatement', and that * perhaps several centuries would be requisite to effect this important change'. (Vol. IV. p. 316.)
The Memoir of Jovellanos is pregnant with useful meaning, and: deeply interesting; but our limits-afe too- confined, to give any adequate idea of its contents. The leading, principle which the Memoir undertakes to elucid'ate, is, ' that cultivation naturally tends towards improvement,, that the laws ought to be restricted to increase this tendency, that the legislature should principally occupy itself in removing obstacles, rather than offering encouragements ; and that the only aim of laws enacted relative to agriculture should be the protection of those employed in the concern, and the removal of the causes which may paralyze their vigour, or enfeeble their efforts': (Vol. IV. p. 119.) in fact, it is to shew that individual interest, as it is the main spring of all exertion, so it is tbe most powerful and the most certain of all causes in promoting public good. The memorial then proceeds to take a comprehensive survey of the ' political',' moral', and 'physical' obstacles which have impeded the progress of Spanish agriculture.
The chapter on the administration of justice, is one of the most interesting ; loudly as we may boast of' the law's delay', the tediousness, intricacy, and ex pence of judicial processes in England, the wisdom of our ancestors must yield to the Spanish constitution the glory of having contrived the worst possible method of administering justice.
We hope we shall not be chargeable with exciting the envy of our plebeian readers, if we insert a short passage on the * privileges' of the Spanish nobility. M. Laborde has noticed them aith admirable gravity and discrimination.
'Those amoig the titled nobility who are not raised to the dignity of grandee, enjoy few privileges above those that are untided; the most important are that of having in their houses a saloon of Rate containing a portrait of the king; of being admitted on gala days to kiss the hands of their majesties; of taking an oath to the presumptive heir of the crown, recognizing his right of succession to the throne ; of being invited to some of the court festivals ; and being called senor (your lordship) ;'pp. 78, 79.
• The grandees of Spain are generally divided into three classes, which, however, differ from each other only in the form of the ceremonial to be observed by them when introduced at court. A grandee of the highest rank, when presented to the king, covers himself before he replies to the salutation of his majesty ; one of the second rank remains uncovered till he has paid his compliments; but one of the third rank is not allowed to cover himself till he has paid his compliments, made bis bow, and mingled with the crowd of courtiers.'pp. 80, 81.
M. Laborde has concluded his account of the schools »nd universities in a manner, of which there are, unhappily, few examples in his work.
'Such are the establishments in Spain for the advancement of Science; in number fully adequate to the wants of the nation, but in spirit, activity, and acquaintance with modern discoveries, miserably deficient. Their schools of astronomy are destitute of instruments and observato•>*•» their courses of natural philosophy are without experiments; their teachers of natural history are unfurnished with cabinets, their professors of anatomy give no demonstrations, their schools of chemistry are without laboratories and apparatus, and their libraries are destitute of modern books.
* Hence it follows that, though there are many learned and profoundly erudite men in Spain, they are unable to bring their talents to any account; the subjects to which they devote their attention have long since been abandoned by the rest of Europe; or, if retained, have been so advanced and modified by the superior knowledge of the present age, as to render a recurrence to the i ude outlines of the early masters on these subjects a mere waste of time and solemn trifling.' pp. 142—14:3. •
With respect to the style of the translation, it is commonly heavy and inelegant; and, when a higher flight is attempted, we cannot speak in terms of unqualified praise. We see no reason for exalting the vaccine matter into a 'principle', (Introd. p. ci.)—a winding path is quite as good as a 'tortuous' one, (Vol. III. p. 180.)—por does a 'factitiout road' (lb. 205.) possess any great advantage over one that is artificial. Such of our epic poets as are ambitious of rivalling Homer, may esteem the compound epithet of 'Killdog-over-precipice1,. (Vol. II. p. 5.) as a valuable acquisition. The English Editor is careful to inform us, that * the liberties taken with the original text' amount to little more than the erasing of a few • fulsome compliments to the reigning family of France,' and the 'retrenchment of a few particulars' in the chapter on Spanish language. We cannot but wish that a translation had been undertaken on a less scrupulous plan,—the style compressed, — the immense 'mass of erudition which' (as our author remarks of-the early Spanish writers) * renders the perusal so disgusting' somewhat reduced ; and the ' multiplied repetitions' and contradictions expunged. The operose volumes of this indiscreet, undistinguishing compiler, condensed with taste and judgement to half their compass, would form a most useful and amusing book. But the highest praise we can fairly bestow upon the publication in its present form is, that it contains a vast accumulation of important details, and is the most comprehensive and satisfactory work on the subject.
Art. III. A Dissertation on the Propagation of Christianity in Asia } in two Parts. To which is prefixed a brief historic View of the Progress of the Gospel in different Nations, since its first Promulgation; illustrated with a chronological Chart. By the Rev. Hugh Pearson, Mi A; . of St. John's College, Oxford. 4to. pp. 227. Price 15s. Parker, Hatchard, Rivingtons. 1808.
A MUCH earlier notice ought to have been taken of this •** respectable work; but tbe preventing causes are too insignificant to deserve mentioning in explanation or apology. Indeed, any apology would be impertinent, since the work could not stand in need of any attention or recommendation from humbler critics, after obtaining Dr. Buchanan's prize by the adjudgement of the university of Oxford.
The work is not mnch of a controversial complexion, having been written previously to the now nearly subsided contest between the friends of Christianity and the advocates of heathenism. These, we think, are not illiberal terms of description, in adverting to that controversy. Nor are they terms unlikely to be employed by the future ecclesiastical historian of these times, provided he happen to find, and have patience to read, a few of the productions ; without which he could form no adequate conception either of the depravity or the imbecility displayed on the occasion. There might have been a mode of opposing the Christian designs on India, which should have been very decidedly irreligious, quite sufficiently so to satisfy any reasonably moderate hater of Christianity," and yet should clearly have stopped short of intitling those who employed it to the denomination of advocates of heathenism. Pretending a firm belief in the religion of the Bible, and a profound veneration for it (as indeed has been done by some of the persons alluded to), they might have avowed the utmost abhorrence of paganism, protesting that they thought it a most melancholy thing to see millions of the human race ignorant of the true God, and a hideous thing to see them prostrating themselves before idols, and practising, as a religion, many ridiculous and cruel and abominable rites; and that therefore they entertained, and should ever entertain, an earnest wish that this horrid mass of combined delusion and depravity could be immediately annihilated. And then, after duly avowing these proper sentiments, they might have proT ceeded to say,that, notwithstanding such a view of heathenism, they must take leave to think that it is no business of ours to attempt the rescue of any of our foreign subjects from such a condition; that in the "East we ought to keep strictly to our vocation of conquest "and commerce; that any attempt to introduce the true religion, though by persuasion alone, might possibly irritate the pagans, and render them less submissive subjects; and that religious considerations are, systematically, to be sacrificed to political ones. Now ihis we should call irreligion. We should hold it a virtual renunciation of Christianity to maintain, that any interest can be involved in our connexion with foreign subjects, for the sakeof which it can be lawful to repel from them the proselyting approaches of that religion; and a virtual renunciation of faith in a Supreme Governor to believe, that a sincere? and peaceful endeavour to promote his cause can . ver, whilft his superintendauce continues in the creation, be found contrary to sound policy. But the persons who obtained a momentary notoriety in the late controversy, were not content with any such irreligton as this. It Should be distinctly recorded, as it may possibly be a fact Worth knowing long after their pamphlets and names have perished, that they have not only represented that the effort to supplant paganism bypeaceful Christian instruction may be politically mischiev6us, and insisted that to political considerations all others are without hesitation to be sacrificed, but shewn an explicit partiality to the paganism itself. In speaking of its fables, institutions, and ministers, they have carefully employed a language not only of forbearance of * abuse', as they call it, but of marked veneration; and they have been violently angry, that the friends of Christianity should assume the truth of that religion in terms implying that all other religions are therefore necessarily false. They have been quite furious when the zealous Christians in the East have applied, and have been justified by their friends at home in applying, to superstitious notions and idolatrous rites, the identical language applied to them in the Bible, or language of identicafimport. Every expression of hatred to the whole, or the particular parts, of the Indian pantheon and its rituals,—a kind of expression in which the Christians had imagined they might innocently and consistently indulge,—was received by their opponents as an affront to a respected friend, which they were bound to resent for him, and which they would have been glad to be able also to punish. If they have now and then made some pretension of faith in the Christian religion, it is so much the worse thus to have added hypocrisy to impiety; and it was also extremely foolish, for whom was it intended to delude into good opinion or co-operation? No other persons in the nation, assuredly, besides these gentlemen, Would have thought it worth one paragraph or sentence of simulation to gain the good opinion of those, whose understandings could give credit to .professions of attachment to Christianity ridiculously speckling a general language of defensive respect for idolatry. As no credit can be sincerely given to such professions, we disapprove of any of the advocates of ^religion pretending, for the sake of politeness, to give it- Let men be plainly taken for what the general tenor of their performances evinces them to be; and let the fact go down formally recorded to posterity, that, at the beginning of this century, a set of men in this country, some of