And yet, deprecating the evils arising from the system of entail, I must acknowledge that there are no other means by which (in a monarchical government) the desirable end of upholding rank is to be obtained. I remember once, when conversing with an American, I inquired after one or two of his countrymen, who, but a few years before, were of great wealth and influence. To one of my remarks he answered, “In our country, all the wealth and power at the time attached to it does not prevent a name from sinking into insignificance, or from being forgotten soon after its possessor is dead, for we do not entail property. The distribution scatters the amassed heap, by which the world around him had been attracted; and although the distribution tends to the general fertilisation of the country, yet with the disappearance, the influence of the possessor, and even his name, are soon forgotten.”
These remarks, as will appear in the sequel, are apposite to the parties whom I am about to introduce to the readers. As, however, they are people of some consequence, it may appear to be a want of due respect on my part, if I were to introduce them at the fag-end of a chapter.
his the vast and trackless deep to rove.
Alternate change of climates has he known,
And felt the fierce extremes of either zone,
Where polar skies congeal th’ eternal snow,
Or equinoctial suns for ever glow;
Smote by the freezing or the scorching blast,
A ship-boy on the high and giddy mast.”