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The civil functionaries of every class have not only dishonoured the republican character, by a shameless apostacy, but prostitute the dignity of human nature itself, by assuming the trade of spies and informers. In all their discourses and writings, they inculcate the speculative doctrine of oppression, with as much zeal as their oppressors propagate, by conquest, its practical horrours. The mere wantonness of despotism could never exact, nor could the most inordinate vanity relish, a strain of adulation which would disgrace the worst periods of Roman degeneracy. We may fairly conclude, that the tyrant, who is known to require this tribute on all occasions, has it in view, not only to complete his savage triumph over the patriotism of France, but to bring the cause of freedom itself into general contempt, by exhibiting the base servility of those who so lately undertook to vindicate the liberties of mankind.* There are, no doubt, as we have before affirmed, numbers who still cherish a preference for republican institutions; many who officiously promote the measures, in order to heighten the odium of the government; and a few who submit, with evident repugnance, to lend their personal weight to the consolidation of the new system. The first, however, will make no sacrifices of interest to principle; and the last can have little influence, when opposed to a majority, who have fortified their native dispositions by the habit of obsequiousness. The fabrick of a free state can never be reared by such hands, nor framed from such materials, as the populace of Paris, or the soldiery of the frontiers. Should the imperial seat be vacated within a short period of time, the legislative assemblies might, like the Roman senate, in their contest with Maximin, maintain a struggle with some firmness and vigour, but with no permanent means, and scarcely with the benefit of obtaining a choice of masters.
When we meditate upon the probable career of an army of 700,000 men,† greater than any which Rome ever maintained in the meridian of her power, and imbued with such moral and physical energies, our apprehensions for France vanish before the melancholy forebodings we are compelled to entertain for the nations of the continent. A nation of soldiers must be occupied Plunder is their food, and will be sought wherever it is to be found. A people at war from principle, says Montesquieu, must necessarily tri
sion, the trial by jury has been superseded by special tribunals; one of which is now established in each department, consisting of three judges appointed by the emperour.
* This feeling has been displayed strikingly in the bulletins from Spain, on the subject of the leading patriots of that country.
† Infantry of the line, 341,412; light infantry, 100,130; cavalry, 77,488; artillery, 46,489; engineers, 5,445; a total of five hundred and fifty thousand nine hundred and sixty-four. This is the official statement of 1805. Since that period, there has been an augmentation of at least one hundred thousand, exclusive of the foreign troops, Italian, Bavarian, &c. taken into the service. Gibbon remarks, that, in his time, France still felt the efforts which she had made in the reign of Louis the Fourteenth! According to Neckar's estimate, the expenses of the war department, before the revolution, were 124,650,000 francs. In 1805, they were stated at 271,500,000 francs. M. de Pommeller estimated the population of France at 25,065,883, in 1789. Peuchet now rates it at 34,976,313, exclusive of Tuscany. The ratio of this population to the territory, is 1,093 3-32 individuals to the square league ;-a condensation inferiour to none but that of Holland. The annual levies, before the revolution, were stated at one seventeenth of the bachelors capable of bearing arms-estimated by M. de Pommeller at 600,000; but the actual proportion of the yearly levies, at a very low calculation, may be one seventieth of the whole male population between 20 and 40. Peuchet estimates this body at 7,612,690, for 1805; and allows that sixty thousand have been annually recruited since the commencement of the revolution; but the real number must be more than double. The director called forth 200,000 at once in the year 1799.
umph, or be ruined. They will labour in their vocation, and never make peace but as conquerors. Such a temperament as we have ascribed to the chiefs and instruments of this conspiracy against mankind, is essentially at war with all the moral virtues and generous principles of our nature, with the gentle charities, as well as with the hoarded treasures of peace.
FROM THE MONTHLY REVIEW.
Communications to the Board of Agriculture, on Subjects relating to the Husbandry and internal Improvement of the Country. Vol. V. Part II. 4to. pp. 204.
ONE solitary paper occupies the whole of this second part: but it equals in value a host of ordinary communications, and merits a more detailed account than our miscellaneous pages will warrant us in bestowing. It is entitled:
An Essay on the Nature, Produce, Origin, and Extension of the Merino Breed of Sheep: to which is added, a History of a Cross of that Breed with Ryeland Ewes; describing their Qualities and Produce, and a successful Method of managing them. By Caleb Hillier Parry, M. D. F. R. S. &c.-On this subject, Dr. Parry is known to have bestowed particular attention, and to have established, by actual experiments, many important facts. He appears to have more completely studied the Merino breed of sheep than any other agricultural gentleman or philosopher in the united kingdom; and, in addition to the remarks with which he has previously favoured the publick, he here furnishes a most elaborate essay, containing the result of patient inquiry and long experience. All judicious readers will be gratified not only by the mass of useful information here collected by Dr. Parry, but by his methodical and luminous exhibition of it. After such indisputable traits of a mind truly philosophick, we require not his assurance that "he has been actuated by no motives of personal interest, but solely by the love of what has appeared to him to be the truth."
This essay is divided into two parts, in the first of which the nature, produce, origin, and extension of the Merino breed are considered, in order fully to meet and completely to solve the question proposed by the Board, which solicits information as to "the growth of wool from the Spanish breed of sheep, or from some cross between the Spanish and British breeds, in Great Britain; as to the advantages which may have attended such crosses in respect of wool, carcase, application of food, freedom from distempers, &c. and as to the most effective means of spreading this race of sheep." On each of these points, Dr. Parry has laboured to afford the Board an ample and satisfactory account; and he has even taken a wider range than the mere terms of the prize question require, in order to place the subject in all its amplitude before the reader. For the purpose of establishing the importance of this disquisition, the ingenious author, in the first place, states the quantity of the superfine wool imported into England from foreign countries in the years 1802, 1803, and 1804, to have been 18,467,718lbs. and from Spain alone, either in Spanish or neutral vessels, 15,307,718lbs. for which the clothiers paid 4,391,0441. and for which, supposing the merchant's profit to be 15 per cent. or 658,6561. the sum of 3,733,2881. went out of the kingdom.
Being dependent to so large an amount on a foreign state for the basis of our fine woollen manufactures, it becomes an object truly patriotick to inquire into the most effectual mode of remedying this want; and, since the fine wool in question is the produce of a breed of sheep called in Spain
Merinos, to examine whether this breed cannot be domesticated, or a race obtained by crosses which shall answer the purpose of the manufacturer, and at the same time be valuable for its carcase. To satisfy the reader on these points, the author enters first into a history of the Merino breed, as it exists in Spain. According to this memoir, the number of these sheep now depastured in that country amounts to about five millions, which are divided into two classes, the Trashumantes and Estantes, i. e. the travelling and the stationary. Dr. P. thus describes their form and quality :
The Merino sheep in Spain is an animal below the middle size, comparatively with our native English breeds, and probably about that of the pure Ryeland, or old South Down. Though these sheep possess a great deal of picturesque beauty, and are exactly such as Rosa of Tivoli and others of the best painters have chosen as models, from which to decorate their immortal works, they are by no means furnished with that form, which modern fancy or experience has presumed to be inseparably connected with a disposition to early maturity and fatness. Thus they are, in general, rather high on their legs. Their heads are large, and their necks long. Their chests are contracted, and therefore they are sharp on the shoulders and flat sided. They are also narrow across the loins; whence it inevitably follows, that their hind quarter is straight and defective.
In all these respects, however, there is great difference in individuals of the same flock, and more especially in the general character of form in different flocks of this
The defects which I have mentioned are, however, in some degree counterbalanced by the peculiar quality of the skins of the Merino sheep, which are remarkably thin, soft, and loose, affording that evidence of a strong disposition to fatten, which many of our farmers call "proof."
There is another respect in which the skin of the Merino race differs from that of our native sheep. It is of a fairer hue, with a vivid tint of what is called carnation or flesh colour; bearing the same relation to that of our English breeds, as the skin of women with red or auburn hair does to that of those whose hair is dark brown or black. This tint is particularly conspicuous on those parts which are naturally free from wool, as the eye lids and lips.
With this peculiar condition of the skin is connected that quality of the fleece, which has hitherto been generally considered as the chief characteristick of the Merino race: I mean its fineness and flexibility, in which it is probably superiour to any other breed in the known world.
These animals seem absolutely buried in wool. It exists on their foreheads almost as low as the eyes, and on their cheeks; covers their bellies, and envelops their hind legs, and sometimes their fore legs, down to their very hoofs.
The length of the staple, or filaments, of wool is from two to somewhat more than three inches; being much alike on the shoulder and on the rump. The wool of the ram is generally esteemed the coarsest and longest; that of the ewe finest and shortest; and that of the wether, in both respects, between the two former.
These sheep are stated to produce, one with the other, five pounds of unwashed wool on the animal's back: but the loss of weight in scouring is very considerable. The grandees and societies of monks possess numerous flocks which are distinct varieties of this race, differing in the form and size of the carcase, and in the weight and fineness of the fleece. One of these, from a title in the family of count del Campo Alange, is called Negrette; others, Infantado, from the duke of that name; others, Paular, from the Carthusian monastery to which they belong; while others bear the appellation of the monasteries of Guadeloupe and the Escurial. These different breeds vary as to the proportion of yolk or grease which imbues all wool; but which is so superabundant in the Merino race, that it attaches to the fleece a great quantity of dust, earth, and other substances, and gives to it a dirty and unsightly appearance; yet, as the finest fleeces have the most yolk, the superficial darkness is no discouraging circumstance.
We are further informed that
The wool of the Merino sheep differs from that of all our breeds, in being of nearly an equal degree of fineness on the shoulder and on the rump. It grows more
thickly on the latter than on the former. The whole fleece is remarkably free from those white, opake, and coarser hairs, called by the French, jarre, and by us, kemps, stitchel hairs, or cat's hairs. Those which here and there occur among Merino wool, are extremely short, and easily drop out during the process of manufacture, so as not to injure the fabrick.
It is remarked that if these sheep be slower in becoming adult, they live much longer than other known races; that they eat more indifferently of all sorts of food; and that it is a striking peculiarity, in which they differ from every breed of short-woolled sheep, that "while very few of the rams are polled, or have short snags, the majority have large spiral horns; and on the other hand, a horned Merino ewe is rarely to be found." The Spanish management of the flocks is too curious and entertaining, as a matter of history, to be omitted; and independently of its reference to the subject in question, it exhibits in a striking light the uncultivated state of this vast peninsula.
The Merino rams and ewes in Spain form separate flocks till the beginning of July; when those which are appropriated to the increase of the species are put to gether, and suffered to continue till the middle of August. The youngest rams so chosen are from two to three years old; and they continue in use till eight or nine. There seems to be little further ground of preference of one ram to another, except that the shepherds studiously avoid all those which have black spots on their bodies, or in their mouths. The period of union in the ewes is from two to seven years of age; though, sometimes, the two-tooth ewes are permitted to copulate. One ram is generally allotted to twenty or twenty-five ewes.
The ewe rarely produces more than one lamb at a birth. The lambs fall in Novem. ber and December. The common custom is, immediately to kill one half of these; or even three-fourths, or more, if the season is bad, or there is any probability of want of food. This massacre is first practised on the males; of which, however, they take care to preserve a sufficient number to maintain the stock. In every hundred and eighty sheep the proportion is usually as follows: 100 ewes, 50 lambs, 25 wethers, and 5 rams. One reason why half the lambs are destroyed is, that each which remains may have the benefit of two nurses; for the Spaniards hold that the wool of the ewe would be injured both in quantity and quality, if she were exhausted by being obliged wholly to support her lamb. In order to produce this curious association, the shepherds take off the skin of a lamb which is killed, and wrap in it another which has already been suckled by its natural mother. The lamb so dressed they bring to the ewe which has been deprived of its young one; and which, deceived, as they say, by its appearance, allow the stranger to suck her. This operation they repeat three or four times in twenty-four hours; and, by next day, the animals generally take to each other of themselves. When the ewe is not readily deceived, and is in consequence refractory, they reduce her to order by tying her by the leg to a stake. The lambs continue to suck till the flock commences its journey to the mountains, which is when they are about five months old.
Very few, perhaps none, of the ram lambs are castrated. The wethers abovementioned are rams, cut at the age of six or seven years, when no longer fit for propagation. The mutton which they yield must, of course, be very bad. In fact, this breed is rarely eaten except by the shepherds themselves, or others connected with the flock; and by them usually in the mountains. So little, indeed, are these sheep considered as an article of food, that though immense flocks of them pass through or near Madrid twice every year, the beef and pork of that capital are supplied from the neat cattle and pigs of France, and the mutton from the sheep of Africa.
During the winter, the Merino flocks cover the plains of some of the warmest and most fertile provinces of Spain. Such are Valencia, Murcia, Arragon, Castile, La Mancha, Andalusia, Estremadura, the neighbourhood of Cadiz, &c. The herbage of these countries, which had been burnt up during the summer, begins to reappear on the first autumnal rains; after which it pushes so rapidly, and acquires such a degree of luxuriancy, that the shepherds are often obliged to fold their flocks, which they do by means of nets, in order to prevent their injuring themselves by feeding too hastily. Thus the herbage continues to shoot more or less during the whole winter. But as soon as, from the increasing heat of the sun and the constant consumption, the feed begins to fail, which takes place from the middle of April to the beginning of May, the flocks commence their journey to the mountains of Leon, Castile, Arragon, Na
varre, Gallicia, Soria, Segovia, Cuencas, Albarazin, Burgos, the Asturias, &c. The tops of many of these mountains are in the winter covered with snow, but, in the summer enjoy only a refreshing coolness, and are well clothed with short herbage, admirably suited to the animals which they are designed to support. This herbage, according to the author of the Oryctographia et Zoologia Arragoniæ, chiefly consists of festuca ovina (sheep's fescue) aira cristata (crested hair grass) and medicago lupulina (melilot snail shell).
The beginning of the journey of each flock is in some measure regulated by the distance which it has to travel. Those which go from Estremadura to the Asturias have a march of at least 550 English miles. They proceed towards the mountains at the rate of from 5 to 16 miles a day, according to the pastures which they meet with by the way; and more slowly before than after shearing. A road is left for them, which is held, as it were, sacred, of 80 or 90 varas, or about 75 yards in breadth, often marked out or bounded by stones. There are several of these roads, through which pass different divisions of those immense flocks, so as to arrive about the same time at the place of their ultimate destination. This variety permits them also to choose or avoid, on their march, those districts of land which are sown with various kinds of grain, according as they have been gathered or not.
Each cavana, or great flock, has a mayoral, or principal shepherd; and each subdivision of such a flock, which, for convenience of travelling, consists of from 1000 to 1500, has its leading shepherd, who goes at its head, and is accompanied by two others, who proceed respectively on each flank. Each leader has for his companions one or more mansos, which are old wethers, or, what is more extraordinary, frequently old castrated goats, each of which is furnished with a large bell about its neck. These bell wethers being much caressed, become extremely docile; and are very useful in guiding the flocks to which they are attached.
The shepherds are accompanied with dogs; which are not, as ours of the present day, intended to regulate the movements of the flock, but are large and fierce mastiffs, like those of the Pyrenees, solely calculated to protect the sheep against wolves and robbers.
Other details are given respecting the method of administering to them a certain quantity of salt, of shearing (which is performed in vast encerra does, or houses of reception, some of which are capable of containing 20,000 sheep at once) and of sorting the wool, which is divided into four parts, viz. refina, fina, tercera, and cahidas.
A set of bags, containing the whole of the three first sorts of a certain number of fleeces, is called pila, or a pile; and each bag is marked with the initial of the name, which expresses the quality of its contained wool, R. F. or T. The profits arising from the sale of the fourth sort, or cahidas, which is marked C. or K. is allotted for the consolation of souls in purgatory; an end to which no great aid is contributed by the merchants of England.
Dr. Parry might have remarked that the solicitude of the Spanish Catholicks for the deliverance of souls groaning in purgatory cannot be very great, when only the refuse of their wool is appropriated to this purpose: but it at the same time evinces the moderation of the priesthood, that they are satisfied with so small a tribute for so essential a service. A heretick, who doubts the efficacy of their prayers in this respect, may think that this little is too much but if he could find his interest in purchasing the cahidas, he would not concern himself about the pious application of the money. As the case stands, the rescued souls owe no thanks to the English, who are too cunning to put themselves into the material purgatory of coarse cloths, for the chance of thinning immaterial purgatory of any of its spiritual inhabitants.
As England is not in so wild and uncultivated a state as Spain, it is a point worthy of notice that the migration of flocks from one extremity of the kingdom to the other is in no respect necessary to the health or productiveness of these animals; that the estantes or stationary flocks, yield fleeces equal in excellence to the best of the trashumantes; and that a system of laws called the mesta, prevails in Spain, which is injurious to its internal, agricultural improvement.