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amounting to above six millions ster- coming to that extremity, yet they have iling, which took place for the impor- done so only by refusing credit, and i tation of foreign grain. Every far- thence innumerable bankruptcies.
thing's worth of this grain had to be The almost total destruction of Ameri. purchased in specie, for such was the can credit has shaken that of even the
effect of the onerous duties on British greatest capitalists at home, while the į manufactures in Russia and Prussia, inability of a large portion of the
that the bolders of grain would take American consumers to continue their no part of its price in British manu- wonted purchases, has seriously affectfactures. The result was, that the ed the demand for our manufacturing drain set in so severely upon the Bank industry among our best customers
of England for specie to carry on this who heretofore have taken above i lucrative trade in foreign grain, that twelve millions' worth of our manufac. i the stock of bullion and specie in their tured produce annually off our hands.
coffers was reduced in a few months These results occurring within the from eight millions five hundred thous short period of eight years, and illussand, to two millions five hundred thous trating the opposite effects of the system sand sovereigns--that to avert bank. which they decry and that for which ruptcy, they were obliged, for the first they contend, are decisive against the time, to open a credit with the Bank arguments of the anti-national faction. of France, in order to provide the ne- In the first four years are to be seen cessary funds to meet the incessant plentiful harvests, abundance of prodemand for cash at their establishment; visions, a rigid exclusion of foreign and that between the immediate ad- importation, accompanied by the very vances for grain, and the repayment highest degree of commercial and of the sums borrowed from the Bank manufacturing prosperity. In the of France, not less than ten millions latter, a forcible repeal of the Cornsterling in specie has been drawn laws, occasioned by the badness of the from this country, witbin the last fif- seasons which opened the portsman teen months.
immense importation of foreign grain, The effects of this prodigious drain and the fullest experiment, upon a have been felt with extreme severity large scale, of the effects to be anin every part of the civilized world. ticipated from a free importation of At home it immediately compelled the foreign subsistence. The consequences Bank to take defensive measures for have been high prices—a general dctheir own security, both by restricting pression of the home market for our the circulation, and more effectually manufactures — commercial distress drawing in their advances to other unsurpassed even in this age of vicisBanks, and discount of bills. Al situdes, and a narrow escape from other banking establishments through- national bankruptcy. out the country, of course, immediately If we would figure to ourselves, followed the example. Money quickly therefore, what must be the result of became scarce ; credit was abridged a repeal of the Corn-laws, we have or suspended; bankruptcies speedily but to imagine the commercial state of followed among the least opulent por- 1838 and 1839, perpetuated amongst tion of the trading community, and We have only to figure six or that universal distrust and anxiety eight millions of specie a-year drainensued which is at once the consequence ed annually from the nation to purand the cause of public distress. chase foreign subsistence--the screw
On the other side of the Atlan- perpetually applied by the Bank of tic the consequences were still more England to the currency in order to disastrous. The British merchants, enable them to withstand this
pressure, pushed to the wall themselves, were -every subordinate bank in the kingobliged to demand payment from their dom contracting their issues and pressAmerican correspondents of the large ing their customers for payment of balances due to them since the year the balances or bills due by them--1837; the United States Bank-the distress and anxiety universal among National Bank of America-has stop- the trading classes-the revenue conped payment; every banking establish- stantly falling from the progressive dement in the Southern States has follow- cline of exports and imports—and new ed the example ; and although those taxes upon comforts or necessaries of of New York have contrived to avoid life imposed or threatened, in order to
fill up the yawning deficits of the Es. one shilling of their duties upon our chequer, and we shall have a lively goods, in which we have the advantage picture of the blessings which we may of them, and in regard to which, conanticipate from the complete realiza- sequently, a real reciprocity might be tion of all the projects of the anti- established ? Not one. What ground, national faction. It is in vain to say therefore, is there for supposing that that these anticipations are chimerical the same men, who have obstinately or exaggerated : they have been real. refused for seventeen years to make ized to the letter by the experience even the smallest relaxation of their of the last two years ; hundreds on duties on British manufactured prohundreds of the anti-Corn-law cla: duce, in consequence of our prostrating mourers have been reduced to bank- the safeguards of British industry at ruptcy ; hundreds of thousands of the their feet, are to make any change in multitude whom they strove to delude their system, hitherto so steadily adher. have been landed in the workhouse. ed to, in regard to the matter of the corn
It is no answer to these observa. trade? And would it not be well to tions to say, that a commercial crisis see some realization of our expeclike that of 1839, though it was doubt- tations of a reduction of duties on less owing to the bad harvest of the British manufactured goods, in return preceding year, which caused all the for our repeal of the Navigation laws, specie to be drained out of the country and the establishment of the free-trade for the purchase of foreign grain, is system, before we adventure upon the not to be considered as a natural or more perilous and decisive step in necessary attendant upon a free trade placing the national subsistence in in corn; but that, on the contrary, if their hands ? we would take off our duties on foreign The cause is perfectly apparent grain, those countries would take off which has hitherto prevented, and will their duties on British manufactures; continue to prevent, the governments and that thus the commerce, beneficial of continental Europe from making to both sides, would take place by an the smallest relaxation in their bur. exchange of commodities, without that dens on British manufactured produce, excessive drain on specie which has re- in return for any concessions we have cently been felt as so distressing. Bee made, or may make to them. Being fore the anti-national faction has any situated nearly in the same latitude right to assume that such will be the with ourselves, their manufactured case, they are bound to show that a productions are, for the most part, the similar relaxation of foreign duties, in same as ours, and they are all making return for British concessions, has the most strenuous efforts to rival us taken place in regard to other articles in every department of manufacturing where the reciprocity system has been skill. Though considerably behind tried. Has experience proved that our manufacturers in many important this has been the case ? We repealed particulars, especially in the amount the Navigation law, and established or price of fuel at their command, and the reciprocity system in February the perfection of the machinery which 1823. Have one of nations, bene, they can obtain, yet there are other fited by that great change, relaxed respects in which they have decidedly a single iota of their duties upon our the advantage ; among which, the manufactures ? Have they not all on water-power in some places, the cheap. the contrary increased them, insomuch ness of labour in others, and the ab. that the nations, as we have repeatedly sence of trades-unions and strikes in demonstrated, who have been benefit all, are some of the most conspicuous. ed the most largely in their shipping Their manufacturers, therefore, are by our concessions, have contrived al. persuaded, that by continuing the promost entirely to exterminate our ex- hibitive system for ten or twenty years ports in manufactures to their people. longer, they will be able completely We introduced the free-trade system, to rival British manufacturing skill; and lowered the duties on a great variety whereas, by opening tlie doors of free of articles of foreign manufacture, on competition just now, immediate ruin French silks, French clocks, French of their munerous and promising eswines, foreign fruits, and almost all the tablishments would ensue. luxuries of foreign manufacture. Have vernments are thoroughly imbued they, in one single instance, relaxed with the same principles; they con
sider the prohibitory system as having But the case is infinitely stronger
been the nursery which raised British than this; for the preceding compariI manufacturing industry to its present son proceeds on the supposition, that
pitch of greatness; and to the extent the “new world” of agricultural culand grandeur of British manufactures, tivators who are to be « called into they justly ascribe the political pre
existence" on the continent, to supeminence which this country has ply the race of the old cultivators long enjoyed. Regarding, as they exterminated in the British islands, do, commerce and manufactures as will consume as large a portion of the bases of national wealth, they British manufactures, as their prede. are fixed in their determination to cessors who now flourish on the banks
admit nothing to interfere with the of the Thames, the Tay, or the Shan1. system destined for their protec. non. But it is utterly impossible that
tion. No relaxation or abandonment this effect can take place; and nothing of British duties on foreign grain, can be clearer, than that any extension would induce them for one moment to of the market for our manufactures, in relax their duties on British manufac. consequence of the enlarged growth of tures. Their principle is, that agri. grain on the banks of the Vistula or culture can stand upon its own basis; the Volga, would be a perfect trifle in but that manufactures, especially be- comparison of that which would be fore they have attained their full lost by the cessation of the production maturity, require the fostering en- of grain to the same amount in the couragement of fiscal protection. We British islands. The great consumphave seen this strongly exemplified in tion of our manufactures in the home the case of France, the government of market, has been owing to the enjoywhich has never relaxed one sous in ment of freedom, affluence, and comthe duties on British manufactures, fort, by the working-classes, for many although we have reduced the duties centuries; and at least as many centuon their wines above fifty per cent. ries, and as much freedom and pros
But farther, is it not plain that the perity, will be requisite to bring the only effect of abolishing the protecting Polish or Russian peasants to a similar duty on corn would be, even if they did level, or capacity of enjoyment. Arconsent to take our manufactures, to tificial wants among the masses of the transfer the purchase of these manu. people, are of the slowest possible factures from home growers of grain to growth, even in the most favoured foreign growers, without making any circumstances. To suppose that they addition to the sum-total of the demand will ever extend to any considerable for the manufacturing produce of the degree under the present villanage Nation ? If the annual consumption system of Poland and Russia, is, of all of grain by the present inhabitants of absurdities, the most extravagant. Great Britain is thirty millions of quar- The idea that a Polish peasant, who ters, which is probably not far from the now takes nothing but rye-bread and mark, and that for some years prior to water, who inhabits a clay-built cotthe disastrous harvest of 1838, this tage with an earthen floor, and is amount has been yearly raised by the clothed in the coarse woollens of his agricultural cultivators of the united own country, is to replace or compenempire, what benefit would accrue to sate the loss of the Norfolk, the East the British manufacturers by having the Lothian, or the Carse of Gowrie farproduction of a half, or a third of this mer in the consumpt of British manuproduce transferred from British to factures, is perfectly ridiculous. No foreign growers? Would their condi- man now alive would see any material tion be improved would the market change in the habits of the Polish or for their produce be increased--if, in- Ukraine peasants, or in the amount of stead of the whole thirty millions being our exports for their consumption. raised by the farmers of Great Britain Whatever was gained by the importaand Ireland, a third of it were to be tion of foreign grain into the British transferred to the farmers of Poland harbours, at the expense of the British and the Ukraine ? Would not the for- cultivators, would accrue to the benefit mer set of cultivators, our own fellow- of the Polish and Russian land holders, countrymen and brethren, be as much and they would expend it upon the injured as the latter, our aliens and manufactures of their own country, or enemies, would be benefited :
the dissipation of Paris or Naples, leaving scarce a perceptible fraction duced rate of wages ? There is at to be diverted to the encouragement once an end, then, of all profit to be of British manufactures.
derived on each individual bale, from Let the truth, then, be fairly stated the reduction in the rate of wages. at once. It is neither from any idea And as to the extension of the foreign that our farmers, weighed down with market from this lower rate of price, the burdensome rents and taxes of this or the increased opulence of the foreign country, can compete in the growth of growers of grain, is not this the most grain with the agriculturist of foreign illusory and chimerical of all possible states, who pay half-a-crown an acre advantages, if it is to be purchased by for the best wheat land, and can com- the sacrifice of our own agricultural mand the stoutest labourer at fivepence industry-straining thus after a remote, a-day, nor from any idea that the opu- uncertain, precarious foreign comlent and sturdy race of British cultiva. merce, which nourishes only our enetors, consuming at an average five mies, instead of a certain, steady, and pounds' worth of British manufactures constantly increasing market just at a-head, can ever be compensated in our own doors, which enriches only the encouragement of our manufac. ourselves ? turing industry by the wretched and Agriculture, in all its branches, squalid serfs of Poland or Russia, who yields about two hundred and fifty have hardly a shirt to their backs, and millions' worth a-year of produce in consume sixpence worth of the same the British islands. Manufactures, in manufactures, that the efforts of the all their branches, produce one hun. anti-national faction are so strongly dred and fifty millions' worth a-year of directed to the substitution of foreign produce, of which only fifty millions' for British grain in the supply of the worth are raised for exportation, the home market. It is because they think remainder being consumed in the home that the price of provisions, and con. market. The families employed in sequently of wages, will be permanent. agriculture, in Great Britain and Irely lowered in this country, that they land, amounted, in 1831, to eighteen make such strenuous exertions to effect hundred thousand ; those employed the destruction of domestic, for the in manufactures, as distinguished protection of foreign agriculture. But from retail dealers, &c., amounted to is this a change in which the other eight hundred thousand, of whom not classes of society have any interest ? more than a half, or four hundred Must not the wages of labour imme. thousand, are employed in producing diately fall in proportion to the cost for the foreign market. Thus, neither of subsistence ? Nay, is it not on the the number of the inhabitants in the supposition of such a fall, and of its empire employed in manufactures for being durable, that all the calculations foreign exportation, nor the wealth of the anti-national faction are found. they produce, is so much as a fourth ed? What the better will the labour. part of that which is produced or ing man be then, when wheat falls maintained by agricultural industry. from sixty to forty shillings a quarter, And it is this anti-national factionif, at the same time, his wages descend not a fourth either in number or value from eighteenpepce to a shilling a- to their antagonists—who, relying on day?
the possession of capital, and in the Nay, will even the master manufac- force of concentrated masses, have the turers themselves be, in the end, bene audacity to call upon the Legislature fited by such a reduction in the money to sacrifice, for the problematical conwages of labour? Must not the price of tingent extension of their sales in ':-. the commodities which they manufac- tant lands, the certain welfare, subsist. ture be speedily reduced, by competi- ence, and independence, of the imtion, to the lowest level consistent with mense majority of the people of both making a moderate profit at the re- Great Britain and Ireland!
It is said continually-that the age which is most widely diffused through of miracles is past. We deny that it Pagan and Christian ages alike, but 12 is so in any sense which implies this which has the least root in the solem
age to differ from all other genera. nities of the imagination, we may call là tions of man except one. It is neither the Ovidian. By way of distinction, e past, nor ought we to wish it past. it may be so called ; and with some
Superstition is no vice in the constitu- justice, since Ovid in his Metamora. tion of man : it is not true that, in phoses gave the first elaborate record many philosophic view, primus in orbe of such a tendency in human supersti
deos fecit timor -- meaning by fecit tion. It is a movement of superstition even so much as raised into light. As under the domination of human affec
Burke remarked, the timor at least tions; a mode of spiritual awe which I must be presumed to pre-exist, and seeks to reconcile itself with human
must be accounted for, if not the gods. tenderness or admiration ; and which
If the fear created the gods, what represents supernatural power as ex * created the fear? Far more true, and pressing itself by a sympathy with
more just to the grandeur of man, it human distress or passion concurrently would have been to say- Primus in with human sympathies, and as suporbe deos fecit sensus infiniti. Even porting that blended sympathy by a in the lowest Caffre, more goes to the symbol incarnated with the fixed sense of a divine being than simply agencies of nature. For instance, a his wrath or his power. Superstition, pair of youthful lovers perish by a indeed, or the sympathy with the in, double suicide originating in a fatal visible, is the great test of man's na- mistake, and a mistake operating in ture, as an earthly combining with a each case through a noble self-oblicelestial. In superstition lies the vion. The tree under which their possibility of religion. And though meeting has been concerted, and which superstition is often injurious, degrad- witnesses their tragedy, is supposed ing, demoralizing, it is so, not as a ever afterwards to express the divine form of corruption or degradation, sympathy with this catastrophe in the but as a form of non-development. gloomy colour of its fruit:The crab is harsh, and for itself worthless. But it is the germinal form “ At tu, quæ ramis (arbor !) miserabilo of innumerable finer fruits : not apples corpus only the most exquisite, and pears ;
Nunc tegis unius, mox es tectura duorum, the peach and the nectarine are said
Signa tene cædis :---pullosque et luctibus to have radiated from this austere
aptos stock when cultured, developed, and Semper habe fructus gemini monumenta
cruoris :” transferred to all varieties of climate. Superstition will finally pass into pure Such is the dying adjuration of the forms of religion as man advances. lady to the tree. And the fruit beIt would be matter of lamentation to comes from that time a monument hear that superstition had at all de- of a double sympathy-sympathy from cayed until man had made corre- man, sympathy from a dark power sponding steps in the purification and standing behind the agencies of nadevelopment of his intellect as appli- ture, and speaking through them. cable to religious faith. Let us hope Meantime the object of this sympathy that this is not so. And, by way of is understood to be not the individual judging, let us throw a hasty eye over catastrophe ; but the universal case of the modes of popular superstition. If unfortunate love exemplified in this these manifest their vitality, it will particular romance. The inimitable prove that the popular intellect does grace with which Ovid has delivered not go along with the bookish or the these early traditions of human tenworldly (philosophic we cannot call derness, blending with human superit) in pronouncing the miraculous ex- stition, is notorious; the artfulness of tinct. The popular feeling is all in the pervading connexion, by which all.
every tale in the long succession is This function of miraculous power, made to arise spontaneously out of