« PreviousContinue »
dastre, and by this name the French survey has lately been mentioned in some English publications. But in English the word Cadastre is Terrier ;* and as we see no reason for introducing, on this occasion, a new term into our language, it is by this latter name that we shall speak of it, in the observations which follow.
The Cadastre or Terrier, now making in France, is a survey by actual admeasurement of every parish, and parcel of land in France, for the purpose of ascertaining the exact proportion of land-tax which each land-owner or farmer is to pay. The land is afterward valued by a kind of jury, called the assembly of the canton,t taken from among the parishioners; and a plan of the parish, with the valuation of each field, is sent to the minister of finances. One copy of it is given to the head of the department, and another remains with the mayor of the parish.
This Terrier is not an invention of the present government. The idea originated, long before the Revolution, with that sect of theoretical statesmen, so well known under the name of Economistes. A leading tenet of those philosophers was, that agriculture alone is really productive to the state ; it followed, of course, that the state was to look exclusively to it for its support: but, in their romantic notions of justice, the burthen they thus laid inadvertently on the agriculture they wished to foster, would not be equally supported by all, unless an actual survey and valuation of all the lands should actually take place. So prevalent were those ideas in France, at the beginning of the Revolution, that most of the cahiers, or written instructions given to the Deputies of the National Convention by their constituents, contained a recommendation of the Terrier.
The present government, which thus found the principle thoroughly established, soon discerned the advantages to be derived from it. The Terrier will put every acre of land in France as completely at its disposal, as the laws of the conscription mark every man for its soldier. When in want of supplies, it will have only to calculate how much an additional franc on each acre will produce, and a decree will settle the business. The increase of revenue it will thus acquire will be as sudden as it will be great; for it is well known, that in the parishes already assessed according to the terrier, land has been estimated at the value it bad in 1790, and the tax laid accordingly; whereas, the fact is, that in those districts the
Cadastre. Terrier.' French Dictionary. • Terrier. A survey or register of lands.--King James's canons require that the bishops procure a terrier to be taken of such lands. “Ayliffe.' Johnson's Dictionary.
+ France, it will be recollected, is divided, as to temporal concerns, into departments, communes, and cantons.
least injured by the Continental System, the value of land has since that period fallen one half, and much more in those where the produce of the land was chiefly intended for foreign markets.
This new system is to be put in operation in 1813. At that epoch, as stated by M. Regnaud, the French system of taxation is to extend to Holland; and therefore the whole empire will be governed by it.
The following is M. Regnaud's account of the progress which has been made in forming the Terrier, as contained in his report on the Finances for 1811:
Since the beginning of the admeasurement by parcels, which was first adopted in the year 1808, the terrier has proceeded in a regular way.
On the 1st of April, 1811, the admeasurement was completed in 5,943 parishes; in the course of the current year it will be likewise completed m 2,000 more parishes; and thus upward of 7.000 parishes will be admeasured by the 1st of January 1812. This forms a little more than the seventh part of the territory of
'The valuation of the land is, of course, more behind-hand than the admeasurement, by which it must necessarily be preceded. The uumber of parishes in which the lands had been valued on the 1st of April, 1811, was 3,145; that measure will take place in 1700 or 1800 more, in the course of the present year; and thus by the 1st of January, 1812, the lands of about 5000 parishes will have been valued.
One hundred and twenty cantons had already held their assemblies in the beginning of 1811. They had proceeded to examine and to discuss the valuation of lands in the several parishes of their respective districts. The minutes of those assemblies contain, generally, expressions of satisfaction, and of the most respectful gratitude towards your Majesty, to whose parental care they are thus indebted for the signal advantages which are to result froin that measure.
“Those 120 cantons include nearly 1,400 parishes, in which the kad-tax for 18 12 shall be assessed according to their Térriers. This will do away the disproportion in the assessinént which formerly existed between different parishes, and between the inhabitants of the same parish. Formerly, the proportion of assessment varied between them, from one half of the income to one tenth, one tri entieth, and one fiftieth. Uniformity shall thus be introduced in all the assessments.
For these three years, the land-tax has been already assessed in 9,400 parishes, according to the Terrier, forved on valuations inade on general surveys, and which had remedied in part those imperfections which the admeasurement by parcels removes more completely; and thus nearly 4,000 Terrier rolls will go into opera
tion for the year 1812. The number would have been more considerable, if experience had not proved, that it was fit to await the result of the assemblies of the cantons, to settle the rolls definitively; and this consideration delays the execution of the measure, in a great many parishes which form part of cantons, in which there are still some parishes where the admeasurement is not yet completed.
• The present state of this undertaking, and the labours which will be completed in the course of 1811, will enable me to propose to your Majesty, next year, the first application of the ultimate results expected from the Terrier as affecting the general as. sessment of the land-tax, to a zone composed of a fraction of each department of the empire. The only thing left to be done will be to compare the amount of incomes, as ascertained by the Terrier, in the parishes forming part of the zone, with the total amount of the present assessments of those same parishes; and to establish a proportion between those incomes and the assessments; which proportion must naturally fix the amount of income which each landowner will have to set apart for the payment of the land-tax in the year 1803 ; and that proportion shall be the same for all.
*Uniformity in the assessments will be thus impartially established, between departments, between parishes, and between land-owners; and as completely for that fraction of the Empire, as it will be for the whole, when the measure shall have reached its last stage.'
Mr. Rogers, in some Verses written in Westminster Abbey, after the funeral of the Right Hon. Charles James Fox, Oct. 10th, 1806,' has given us the following artless couplet:
What though with war the madding nations rung,
* Peace,' when he spoke, dwelt ever on his tongue. The phrase, To cry · Peace,' where there is no Peace, was doubt·lessly never so well versified before ; but whether the quality, thus
ascribed by the poet to his political idol, is one which can very much adorn either a statesman or a watchman, is a question which may be safely left to the decision of all but such as are too far gone in the modern nonsense, sometimes called modern philosophy.
An epitaph in the New Church at Plymouth :
Here doth dear William sleep;
His eyes no more shall weep.
The short but simple annals of the Poor.--GRAY.
Good Isaac ASHFORD rear'd his humble shed;
Save Nature's beauties all around him spread: 'Twas his through life a noiseless path to tread,
Content and cheerful in his lonely lot;
His pious trust in heaven forsook him not:
Beneath that ample oak's out-stretching shade;
Beneath that tree full often has he play'd: And when his parents in their grave were laid,
Whose closing days his filial love had blest,
Pure was the flame which glow'd in either breast,
Three sturdy boys, three girls of beauty rare;
And oft the partial mother would declare,
With anxious watchfulness did both combine
Would tell them, Better far be good than fine,'
Nor were the sage inonitions given in vain;
Their elder son had joined a smuggling train,
He, when detected, left his native land, To gain a living on the stormy main,
A desp’rate member of a ruffian band, Whoscorn their country's laws, nor heed their God's command. Nor this the only grief that ASHFORD knew;
Oft from his own and faithful partner's eye, The ready tear a daughter's sufferings drew;
Full oft each busom heav'd the pensive sigh, For fatal symptoms told her end was nigh :
Too well they knew, no doctor's skill could save,
The deathful blow a deep affliction gave;
Was fled each bloom of joy and youthful grace?
Nor shall the tale occasion Jane disgrace:A broken heart had bleach'd that lovely face,
Sorrow for him who dwelt no more on earth; Yet still th' attentive eye might clearly trace
Reliques of beauty, which, when join'd to worth, Might give in guileless breast an ardent passion birth. In early life, for Thames's crowded side,
Poor Jane had left her peaceful village green; A city tradesman, to her sire allied,
With partial eye his smiling niece had seen : Nor faithful wife, nor child, bad he I ween;
But pass'd his cheerless moments all alone;
Much did he wish a girl like her his own,
Consenting pity touch'd each tender breast;
And for her future weal they judg’d it best:
A scene so, new, a relative so kind,
Each summer saw an annual visit paid;
A more belov'd, a more enchanting maid :A steady youth, who, in her uncle's trade,
His anxious toil, and humble profits, shar'd;
Inspir'd by ardent love, he even dared,
Had known the youth, and loved him from a child ;