31 MAY 1930, Page 17

The Duke's vain plea has become poignant by reason of

the advertised sale of the very eye of the Montrose estates. They are not only historic : their history is bound up in- extricably with their owner's name and interest. They are hardly less famous in verse, as in Scott's "Lady of the Lake," than in history and prose romance. Many of the farms are household words among agriculturists. What Ben Lomond and Inversaid are to the chronicler, Spittnlhill and Finnick are to sheep-farmers. For one reason or another the sale of the Montrose estates is regarded through the length and breadth of Scotland as sign and symptom of a vital, almost a revolu- tionary, change in social organization. I should doubt whether any single event in the history of the land has been taken as so characteristic of the change that the Death Duties were designed to bring about in the course of time. The Duke of Rutland's sales, for example, though they were the first proprietary change in the neighbourhood of Belvoir for some 800 years, did not stir an equal emotion ; nor were they re- garded with the same significance. The Scottish people; perhaps, are better historians than the midland English.