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tions than correct states, although derived from the best authorities; but are of considerable interest in a statistical view, as showing something of the standard of food and living among the labouring class. It is evidently not owing to any defect or inferiority in their physical condition, in their food or comforts, but in their civil condition, in their want of self-respect, from the want of self-direction, and of equal law, under a meddling and arbitrary system of government, that this mass of the population is demoralised. These two classes of labourers pay a direct tax to the state, a pole-tax on each male and female above 17 years of age. The torpares' landlords have to pay the taxes affecting their portions of land, as part of the hemmans, but reckon with them for it; and all have to pay the various dues to the clergy and parish functionaries, and are subject to the very onerous conscription, or military exercise during the summer, of the ablebodied men, which is a grievous tax upon the time of the labouring class, and from the system of passports necessarily connected with it, an impediment to the free circulation of labour. The corn laws also press severely on this class. It is a fixed duty on corn imported, and therefore upon a sound principle; but the rapacity of government and the class of landowners have fixed it one half too high, so that when' crops fail, government is obliged suddenly to reduce the duty. In consequence of this frequent interference, the merchant is afraid to import a stock of grain when prices are moderate, and the country has, therefore, to pay the alarm price.
Grain, for instance, has been this year about three times the average price, or 21 dollars, for what usually costs 7 dollars. It has now, before any new grain can be in the market, fallen to 14 dollars. With a more moderate duty requiring no abatement, and a steady adherence of government to it, the country would have been supplied ever since last crop at or under 14 dollars, instead of paying one third more to the foreign merchant.
The next class are the proprietors of hemmans, or parts of hemmans. Of the 65,596 hemmans, into which all the land of Sweden is divided, 21,580 possess political privileges and exemptions, more or less, from taxes and public burdens, and 44,016 pay all burdens and taxes, and had no voice in the representation, until this injustice was remedied in the last diet; and all who belong to the peasant class are now entitled to represent and be represented in the chamber of peasantry. But the qualification and description of the persons qualified are very undefined, and leave openings to the intrigue and influence of the crown and nobility in the elections. The qualification is a besutenhed, or possession of a part of a hemman paying taxes, and giving the owner a living, residence, and occupation upon the land; and the description is a peasant who never belonged to any other class. The proportion of the yearly produce of their lands paid in taxes and other burdens by this class is already stated.
The class above the peasant class are the people of condition; that is, people who, in office, trade,
professions, or other employments, have acquired money, and purchased estates for their families. They are neither peasants, nor burgesses, nor clergy, nor nobles, and, consequently, are neither represented by either of these classes or corporate bodies, nor eligible to represent. They are the only class in the social body both educated and independent, are 72,417 in number, and own one fifth of the whole property of the country. The whole is estimated at 283 millions, of which 59 millions of dollars banco belong to this class, who pay one fifth of the taxes, yet have no voice in the election of a representative to the legislative assembly; while the clergy, with a property less than one million, and that held from the state, and with not above 14,000 persons belonging to their class, have a fourth part of the legislative power in their hands. In proportion to their intelligence, station, and stake in the community, this middle class is the worst off of any. They cannot, upon an equal footing, put their sons into any of the employments, civil or military, which are in the hands of a needy nobility, whom the mistaken policy of this weak government cherishes and provides for in the public service. In the clerical profession they meet the competition of relatives of clergymen who have no doubt a less difficult path to tread to appointment or preferment than entire strangers to those belonging to the corporation of clergy. In trade, as merchants, they labour under the same practical disadvantage. Every corporate body can breed within itself members to fill its own vacancies, and looks upon all but its own children
as intruders upon the family business, or that of their neighbours.
The mode of election to the legislative assembly, in the popular branches of this constitution, is as vague and unsatisfactory as the qualifications. The community in each hered, or court district, according to the list of those paying land-tax within it, are to meet and elect one representative of the peasant class dwelling and possessing his land within the hered, and who never before belonged to any other class having elective rights. This excludes all persons of condition who as burgesses have acquired fortunes in trade or business of any kind in the towns, and have retired to the country. It excludes all who, being allied to noble families, have acquired property in office or public service, as these are considered to be represented in the chamber of nobles. These hereds may, if the electors please, club together and send one representative for two or three hereds, in order to save expense; as the representatives of all the classes, except of the nobles, are paid by their constituents during their attendance at the diet. The towns, in the same way, of the class electing only one representative, may join together two or three, and send one person with full powers to represent them. The representatives of towns must have been magistrates, or burgesses living in the town for three years previous to the election. The magistrate in towns is appointed by the crown, and is generally the representative. By this constitution, all educated persons, unless they belong
to one or other of the privileged classes-the clerical or the noble-are excluded from the legislative body. Berzelius could neither elect nor be elected until he was raised to the class of nobility, which qualified him for his seat in the diet. The two higher classes, the nobility and clergy, or, more properly, factions of these two classes, effected the revolution of 1809, and established a constitution suitable to themselves, to their own power, influence, and safety from responsibility to any future legislative assembly for their acts, and well defined as to their own parts in it, and as to the exclusion of all not belonging to their own corporations, or those whom they could influence; but vague and undefined as to the representation of the other two chambers, leaving these open to chicanery, intrigue, or influence, for getting individuals elected or excluded.
The diet meets every five years; but an extraordinary diet may be called together, if necessary, in the interim, and it sits for three months suo jure; and on the demand of the chambers, the session must be prolonged for one month more. But the king has the power to prolong the session as long as he pleases; and practically three or four months are found insufficient for the ordinary business. The last diet continued assembled for nearly as many years, to the great discontent of the constituency, who have to pay the representatives, and who feel the local tax for their allowance a heavy burden on poor towns and small hereds, and the representation itself a mockery on