kinsfolk ever since the reign of Edward II.
（1307-1327), that is, for more than five centuries. In Edward's time the rural population of England
was about eleven-twelfths, or more than ninety-one per cent., of the whole.
In the year 1861 it had fallen to forty per cent., and in 1871 to thirty-eight per cent.
Pike attributes this change mainly to the great inventors of the last and the present centuries, who have created new and remunerative occupations.
“In the great bulk of the nation,” he says, “they have substituted town life for country life.”
This is a far stronger statement than could be made of the most thickly settled parts of the United States
; and with our nation as a whole “the great bulk” is still enormously in the ranks of rural life.
It would be easy to show that this change goes far beyond the English-speaking nations.
The concentration of French life in Paris
has long been seen and lamented, and it has extended so far that the provinces are hardly credited with independent opinions.
“To ask what the provinces think,” said a celebrated Frenchman, “is like asking what a man's legs think.”
The practice of subdividing small rural properties everywhere had tended, it was supposed, to anchor the French
peasantry to the soil, and yet the latest observers point out that this tic is wholly