HETAYER (Ital. mea, Fr. moitig, half), in French, is the cultivator of a metairie, or farm, the tenant of which gives the landlord a portion of the produce a-s his rent. In some of the ol(ler French dictionaries, such as that of Trevoux, the word is said to apply to any kind of farmer, but in the oldest dictionary of French and English, Cotgrave's, the word is thus interpreted: " Properly one that takes ground, to the halves, or binds himself by contract to answer unto him of whom he holds them half, or a great part of the profits thereof." The term has lately got a meaning in political economy on account of some eminent writers having raised the question whether this arrangement between landlord and tenant is not so much more advantageous than any other, both to the par ties immediately concerned and to the public at large, that it ought to be specially encouraged. Sismondi appears to have been the first to open this wide view of the influ ence of the practice, and he has given a. chapter to its consideration in his Political Economy (b. iii. ctiap. 5). FIe says what cannot be denied, that such an arrangement was a great improvement on mere serfdom, which gave the cultivator no interest in the produce of his industry. But in giving the reasons for his admiration of the system as one which provides in the general case for the wants of the peasant while relieving him of all anxiety about markets and prices, he admits that a metayer peasantry never advance beyond the humble, happy, and contented lot which immediately falls to them. It is a system, therefore, inconsistent with the application of large capital to cultivation, and consequently with the extraction of the highest value which the soil can yield. A
tenant will hesitate to lay £50 worth of guano on his fields if half the additional crop it will bring goes to his landlord. To those who maintain that the moral effect of the sys tem is beneficial, this will be no argument against it, but to the political economist it is an argument against the practicability of the system in a rich money-making agricultural country. Where there is an enterprising peasantry without capital it is a valuable resource; a great portion of the valuable agricultural districts of Scotland were thus brought into cultivation by improvers whose rent was a portion of the crop. But while these very districts in a great ineasure owe their present prosperity and the existence of a set of capitalist-farmers to such a system of cultivation pursued with more energy than M. Sismondi considers natural to it, there is no doubt that the substitution of such au arrangement for money-rent would now be a very serious waste.
3iETCALFE, a co. in s. Kentucky, drained by the south fork of Green river, which rises within its limits; 370 sq.m.; pop. '80, 9,428--9,414 of American birth, 1036 colored. Its surface is varied, and largely covered with timber. Its soil is fertile, producing large quantities of tobacco, and suited to the production of wool, sweet-potatoes, the products of the dairy, flax, maple sugar, sorghum, honey, fniit, and every kind of grain. Stock raising receives much attention, and its grist-mills are run by steam. Seat of justice, Edmonton.