Paddy at Home (Chez Paddy)
baron de E. Mandat-Grancey
Agriculture has been subjected for some years past in all parts of Europe, and particularly in France, to a crisis so intense and terrible as only to be compared to that which Italy passed through at the time when, by the extinction of piracy in the Mediterranean, the transport of grain from Egypt and Algeria to Rome became possible. The effect of that measure was to ruin the agriculture of the peninsula, and to compel the rural population to exile themselves from their country; but it must be admitted that the result in the end was to benefit all the nations of the Mediterranean coast by enabling them to participate in the advantages of civilisation, which until then had been the appanage of a very small number. This economic revolution, disastrous as it was to the Roman Empire, proved beneficial to humanity.
I am absolutely convinced that the application of the discovery of steam, to diminish the spaces which separate us from the thinly-populated continents of America and Australia, must bring about an analogous revolution—that is to say, a more equal division of wealth, and a more logical distribution of the human race upon the surface of the globe. I understand very well that those who can set the love of humanity before the love of country will rejoice at this—but I am not one of them.