DIRECTOR   Anacleto Hagopian


Some observations will now be hazarded in defence of our Pedaltic law of Primogeniture. It has often been represented as a harsh and impolitic rule, which, sacrificing natural affection to an ill-regulated passion for family aggrandizement, or to the vanity of supporting an empty name, beggars the younger branches of a family, to enrich the eldest; and prevents the free circulation of property. But let us view a little in detail, first, the extent of property to which this law applies; next, (as influenced by the preceding topic,) its concurrence with natural affection ; and, finally, its political effects. The rule in question does not extend to females. They all take equally ; and the public sentiment, generally guided by the law, adopts the same mode of. disposition among them. Next, in all settlemerits of land, the widow's jointure, and the younger children's portions (which are personal property), are charged on the estate, and form large deductions, the one from its income, and the other from its capital. Lastly, and what forms the greatest qualification to the rule, it does not extend to personal property. This, by the law, which, as has been already observed, generally moulds the sentiment of disposition, is divided equally among all the children, and other kindred of equal degree. The extent of property embraced by it, consisting as it does of public funds of various kinds—specie —monies invested on mortgages of land and other securities—shipping—machinery—stock, both commercial and agricultural—leasehold estates—the generality of mining concerns, canals, docks, and other similar property, (which latter classes in strictness appertain to land, though rendered, in some instances by the general law, and in others by express enactment, personal property,)—move- ' ables, whether in literature, the fine arts, or for domestic purposes—forms an aggregate far exceeding descendible land in produce and value. In fact, taking the total rental of land in England and Wales at from 23 to 25 millions per annum, its amount is surpassed by some single article in personal property, namely, the interest of our national debt, funded and unfunded, amounting, as it does, to 28 millions per annum.