15 AUGUST 1829, Page 14


PARALLEL BETWEEN THE SULTAN MAIIMOOD AND THE CZAR PETER.—There is no doubt, much ifs the character and history of Mahmood which may remind us' of the Moseuvite reformer, Peter the Great. We observe in Mahmood the sante obstinacy of purpose, much of the same activity, the same disregard of hytamt life, the same unrelenting cruelty, the same domestic attachments and affeedin for his friends, " as long as they lasted," as in Peter. Peter's life before his ac- cession was endangered by his ambitious sister; Mahmood's by hislrother. Peter remained the only scion of his house except his own children; so dues Mahmood. Peter is accused of having caused the death of his son, from fear of the opponents of innovation rallying around him; the same kind of accusation is brought against Mahmood. Peter found an ignorant, priest-ridden people, which he eutleavoured to reform; Mahmood' s is in a similar position. Peter had to destroy the body of Strelits before he could proceed; Mahmood has been driven to the same course with the Janissaries. Peter was attacked in the beginning of his refinming career by disciplined armies; so is Mahmood. But there are also considerable differences between the two monarchs and their positions, which deserve to be noticed. Peter ruled over a united people, the bulk of which pro- fessed the same religion and spoke the same language, and which in general he found sufficiently pliable to his purposes, while there was no goternor of any part of his states strong enough to oppose his will. In European Turkey, at least, the most useful,part of the population are of a hostile religion and differentspeech ; the most important provinces are in open rebellion, or merely nominally sub- missive, while there is in the bulk of the Mahommedans a spirit of inertness most difficult to move. Besides, it is yet a question whether Mahmood really possesses that love of improventent which so eminently characterized Peter. It is true that, like his prototype, he has begun to discipline his troops; but Peter at the same time commenced by building cities, levelling roads, digging canals, and construct- ine- harbours. Mahmood has as yet distinguished himself in these respects by n othing but suffering the decay of, or destroying, those magnificent works which others had constructed before Imim.-3/cinta4i Review, No. 48.

ANCIENT GREEK LEAse.—The attention of the learned world has recently been called to some inscriptions of unquestionable authenticity,* brought from Greece many years since, and now in the University of Leyden, which had hitherto been most strangely overlooked, that contain not merely an allusion to the practice of letting land in Attica, but leases actually entered into. One of these inscriptioas was found near Mount Hymettus, and is dated in the fourth year of the 10Sth Olympiad, or 345 years before the Christian wra. It is a lease by the Aexonians, the town's people, or demos of Aexone, of a piece of land called time Philaia rear Mount Hymettus, to a father and his son, for forty years, for 152 drachmas a-year. But as the inscription is exceedingly curious and instructive, we take the liberty to subjoin the following translation of it, which we believe will be found to be sufficiently exact. - " The detnos of Aexione let on lease the Philais, to Autecles the son of Auteas, and to Auteas, the son of Autocles, for forty years, for 152 drachmas a-year; the said land to be farmed by them, or planted with trees, as they please; the rent to be paid in the month of Hecatombaron. If they do not pay it they forfeit their security, and as much of the produce as they stand in arrear. The Aexonians not to sell nor to let the said land to any one else, until the forty years have elapsed. In case of a loss on the part of the tenants by hostile invasion, no rent to be paid, but the produce of the land to be divided between the Aexonians and the tenants. The tenants are to deliver up half the land fallow, and all the trees Upon the land ; for the last five years the Aexonians may appoint a vine dresser. The lease to begin with respect. to the corn land with Eubulus the Archon entering into office; but with respect to the wood, not before Eithulus goes out of office. The lease to be cut upon stone, to be set up by the magistrates, one copy in the temple of Hebe, the other in the Lesche ; and boun- dary stones (se.) to be set upon the land, not less than two tripods on each side. And if a tax should be paid for the land to Government, time said tax to he paid by the .Aexonians, or if paid by the tenants, to be deducted from the rent. No soil to he carried away by digging of the ground, except from OHO part of the land to another. If any person make.% a motion in contravention of this contract, or puts it to time vote, he shall be answerable to the tenants for the damage." And there are some ffirther stipulations with respect to time cutting of the olive trees, and time division of the price obtained for them between the Aexonians and the tenants. Now it appears clearly front this inscription or lease, that the mode of letting land for a money rent, for a considerable number of years, and under conditions with respect to management, must have been well understood in Attica. The terms of time lease are such as indicate a very high state of civilization, and a very considerable knowledge of agriculture. In proof of this, it is only necessary to advert to the clause binding the tenants to have half the land in fallow, at the ter- mination of the lease, and to that which authorizes the Aexonians, or lessors, to appoint a vineclresser for the five years previous to its expiration : the making diffefent entries to the corn and vine lands, the provisions with respect to the damage that might arise from hostile invasions, and the interdiction of the carry- immg away any portion of the soil to another farm, all discover a disposition to pro- tect as far as possible the just rights and interests of both parties, and to advance the progress of agriculture. The lease cannot be objected to on account of its being for too short a term ; in this country it would be thought too long.—Forezyn Quarterly Review, No. 8.

* Given by Boeckh in the great work on ancient inscriptions, (vol. i. p. 132,) now publishing at Berlin, at the expense of the Prussian Government.