Images de page
[ocr errors]



[ocr errors]

is estimated to produce, for 1800, no less a sun than 1,250,000l, which is nearly one half the amount of public revenue in the year 1700.

Having placed these strong facts in a clear point of view, he briefly confi. ders some of the leading misrepresentations of the day on the subject of the high price of provisions, &c. and proves, beyond all doubt, by the experience of a century, that it cannot possibly be imputed to the war, the weight of taxes, or the increase of Bank Notes. On the last of these imaginary caufes, his observations are peculiarly pertinent and just.

“ If the increase of Bank of England paper money, now in circulation, be another cause of the high price of provisions, as a recent writer has asserted. *

, it would be natural to suppose that the price would bear a permanent proportion to the Bank notes in circulation. But we find that no change of seasons or circumstances makes a fluctuation in the value of Bank notes; and that at periods, when not one half the quantity was in circulation as at present, provifions were occasionally at exorbitant prices; as it appears from statements laid before Parliament, that the Bank had in circulation, of paper currency, for the year 1800, to the amount of fifteen millions and a half *, and in the year 1795, to the amount of twelve millions nearly ; being an increase of three millions and a half in five years. It would be natural to suppose, if the afsertion be well founded, that the prices of wheat and provisions would bear some proportion to the increased circulation of Bank notes. The reverse is absolutely the fact, since, in the year 1795, the avesage price of a quarter of wheat was 31. 145 6d. ; but we find the average price of wheat was cheaper in the year 1797, 1798, and 1799 ; viz. in the year 1797, it was 21. 125. 9d. per quarter ; in 1798, 21. gs. 7d. per quarter; and in 1799, 31. 65. rod. Hence, taking the average of three years since the stoppage of issues in fpecie, and the consequent increased circulation of Bank notes, it will amount to 2l. 165. 4d. per quarter, which is cheaper by eighteen shillings and two pence per quarter, than in the year 1795.

“ We shall conclude this subject by adducing another simple fact, which, considered with those already fated, will prove incontrovertibly the fallacy of the assertions made, with respect to the increased circulation of Bank notes being the principal cause of the present high price of provisions. It being admitted that the price of wheat regulates, in a great measure, the price of all other provisions; we have only to take the average price of wheat for three years at the end of the seventeenth century, when there was not a tenth part of the present Bank notes in circulation, and compare it with the average price of three years at the end of the eighteenth century. ; the result will be, that for the years 1697, 1698, and 1699 inclusive, the average price of wheat


• The actual produce of the convoy-tax, which comprehends a small per centage on goods exported and imported, and a fmall tonnage on ships acriving at, or failing from, any port in Great Britain, actually produced in the year ending October 10, 1799, 1,292,000l.--See Mr. Rose's pamphlet on the Increase of the Revenue, Commerce, and Manufactures of Great Britain, fixth edit. P. 40.”

* « A Letter to Mr. Pitt on the Stoppage of Issues in Specie at the Bank of England, by Walter Boyd, Esq. M. P."

* * By the return made to the 25th January 1801, the average appears to be nearly fifteen millions and a half."

[ocr errors]

was al. 185. gd. per quarter ; but taking the average of three years in a century afterwards, viz. 1797, 1798, and 1799 inclusive, we shall find it no more than 21. 165. 4d. per quarter. This is a striking fact opposed to the outcry of an increase of Bank notes, the accumulation of taxes, and the expenditure of the war."

We shall transcribe from the Appendix the table which exhibits, at one point of view, the progressive increase of our commerce in the course of the last century.

APPENDIX, No. III. A Table exhibiting the official Value of Imports and Exports; and Balance

of Trade every five Years of the eighteenth Century.





1700 £• 3,482,580 £. 3,525,906

t. 43:326 1705 4,800,000 6,700,000

1,900,000 1710 4,900,000 7,000,000

2,100,000 1715 5,100,000 7,400,000

2,300,000 1720 5,350,000 8,600,000

3,350,000 1725 6,700,000 10,000,000

3:300,000 1730 7,500,000 10,900,000

3,400,000 1735 7,700,000 11,400,000

3,700,000 1740 7,550,000 I 2,000,000

4,450,000 1745

7,400,000 12,400,000. 5,000,000 1750 7,250,000 12,650,000

5,400,000 1755 8,500,000 13,200,000

4,700,000 1760

10,300,000 14,250,000 3,950,000 1765 11,200,000 14,200,000

3,000,000 17.70

11,650,000 16,300,000 4,650,000 1775 13,500,000 15,100,000

1,600,000 1780 10,750,000 12,400,000 1,650,000 1785 15,948,000 16,082,000

134,000 1790 19, 130,000 20,1 20,000

990,000 1795

22,736,000 27,312,000 4,576,000 1 800 29,945,808

35,990,000 6,044,192 “ The computations in this Table to 1780, are chiefly made from Playfair's Commercial and Political Atlas ; and from that period to 1800 are taken from the Custom-house returns of Imports and Exports.”

Our readers, we are persuaded, will dwell with delight on this gratifying picture of our national wealth, and consider it as a jult ground of hope, and the best stimulus to exertion.

* “ Smith, in his Wealth of Nations, vol. i. P. 490, gives a fact which corroborates what has been advanced to prove that Bank paper money is not the cause of provisions being dear. From the beginning of the last century to the present time (1776) he observes provisions never were cheaper in Scotland than in 1759, though, from the circulation of ten and five shilling Bank notes, there was then more paper money in the country than at present.

“ Corn was upon most occasions fully as cheap in England as in France, though there was a great deal of paper money in England, and scarce any in




Price 35.

Providence Difplayed :'or, the. Remarkable Adventures of Alexander Selkirk, &c. &c. Si, E3c. By Isaac James.

1 Vol.

1800. THE HESE adventures of Alexander Selkirk, a native of Largo, in Scot

land, were much the topic of conversation about the beginning of the last century, when they afforded amusement and instruction to the mariner and the moralist. Steele has made them the subject of a few papers in his Englishman, drawing from them fome pious and useful reflections. The prelent compiler of them has introduced the geographical and natural history of Juan Fernandez; the buccaneering and privateering voyages of Dampier and others; the stories of Serrano, How, an Indian woman near Hudson's Bay, &c. in order to swell out slender materials into a three shilling volume.

The voluntary seclusion of this man on a desolate island for more than four years having excited the anxiety of the curious, it is supposed "that he drew up a kind of narrative which he entrusted to De Foe to transcribe and improve the style; who, mingling the products of his own lively fancy with the real adventures of Selkirk, produced the celebrated novel of Roc binson Crusoe-returning the papers afterwards to Selkirk, telling him his history would not sell.” The account of this literary swindling obtained credit while both these persons were living.

In has fince been called in question by Mr. Chalmers; and the ast vol. of Robinson Crusoe attributed to the Earl of Oxford--all which circumftances are related by Mr. James.

A reason for this compilation is given in the commencing sentence of the work.

“ The celebrity of Robinson Crusoe appears to have arisen from two causes; the affecting situation in which he is placed, and the lively fancy of De Foe, in delineating the peculiar difficulties with which it is attended. On the first of these alone depends the success of the following sheets, my design being to relate nothing but absolute facts.”

One anecdote is related of the ist volume of Crusoe in 1719; that the reception was immediate and universal; and Taylor, who purchased the MS. after every Bookfeller had refused it, is said to have gained a thousand pounds."

Without the spirit of prophecy we predict, that with the names of fix adventurous booksellers to it, the prelent work will not be quite so fortunate.

My Uncle Thomas : a Romance. From the French of Pigault Lebrwn. 1200

4 vols. Lane. London. , 1801. THIS novel has been highly celebrated on the Continent for its humour its wit, and its satire ; to all of which it lays unquestionable claim, Though the scene of my uncle's life appears to have commenced in the year 1735, yet all the incidents which adorn it refer either to whimsical or political situations of the present time. The character of my Uncle is certainly intended to personify the French revolution, the germ of which was sown about that period : he is brought as a boy into England to allist at the rebellion in 1745, when he first learns the rudiments of liberty: he is engaged

through through a variety of circumstances, afterwards, always in some turmoil or battle, and no fatire on his country's Gasconades could be better hit off than the description of my Uncle's victories. He at last turns pirate, marauder,

‘ common thief, and invader of countries; becomes poffeffed of fovereignty, makes and unmakes constitutions ; rules his subjects with the iron sceptre of uncontroulable will, and is, at length, conquered by the English ; so far, and in branches our limits will not allow us to trace, runs the allegory ; an al. legory happily interspersed with pleasantries, and neatly decorated with its language ; but left the author's design should be too striking, he sends my nephew back to his native country, France where

" I found that all those who had been distinguished for honesty and virtue had been the victims of anarchy, and had been happy to redeem their lives by the sacrifice of their fortunes.''--- A deluded people had been tearing each other to pieces for the sake of obscure and ambitious tyrants who only fought power in order to oppress them, and for plunderers who shared their spoils ; criminals fate on the seat of justice; men, ruined by profusion and debauchery, prescribed the peaceful citizens, in order to obtain poffeffion of their patrimony. Avarice enriched itself without labour; vengeance was exercised without fear ; licentiousness unrestrained, and the brutal fury of the multitude destroyed, what they were incapable of enjoying.”

After ridiculing; after condemning the unhappy state of France; he is com. pelled to sweeten the palate of the ufurping tyrant there by “ an hard-bound eulogy."

“ At my return a clouded sun, but warm and penetrating, animated the horizon; the wretches who had sullied my country had reverted to their original obscurity and contempt; the impunity of guilt, and the violation of the laws had vanished at the appearance of that astonishing mortal become the first of heroes by the mere energy of his own great soul!!!"

In describing a meditated invasion of England to assist the forlorn hopes of the pretender, the author tells us-

si Since the days of William of Normandy, these forts of enterprizes have been constantly defeated ; in order to beat the English on their own ground, it is absolutely necessary to be first matters of the sea ; and they have acquired in that element a superiority which would more than balance the united naval forces of the rest of Europe. The reason of this is fimple, the English depend wholly upon that commerce, with which other nations can in a great ineasure dispense; the science of navigation is therefore essentially neceifary to their existence; and an industrious people are ever certain of succeeding in whatever is indispensable to the supplying of their wants. The Seine has nothing to boast of but its small boats ; London is a considerable sea-port, and the talie and manners of the people of the Capital, have ever an irresistible influence over the more diftant parts of the empire. Perhaps too the climate and foil of England produce men more vigorous in their constitutions, and more constant in their pursuits, in the same manner as they produce the best breed of horses and hounds in the world. However, although such an attempt has never yet succeeded, it has not been demonstrated impracticable; all that is required is ; to land there ; but I much question whether even the good fortune of Bonaparte would not desert him, should he ever be rafh enough to make the experiment."

We cannot resist making a few shorter quotations.

“ In England, however, where we are assured they are all saves; not even the king himself dares attack the liberty of a citizen,"



[ocr errors]




What does the usurper think of this when he applies it to his infernal.machine, expatriation ?

“ The Opposition. Journals magnified his (Lord Chatham's} least faults, and frequently attributed to him those he had not committed ; yet he neither dared seize the presses nor transport the Journalists even under the sanction of those high sounding words, the meanings of which are perverted in order to impart to injustice an appearance of legality--words in common use, but which have no signification, and only impose on persons of weak under. standings."

Did not Bonaparte feel a little twitch at reading this?

" In revolutions every one is actuated solely by motives of self-interest and the men they employ, as their inftrument, they afterwards deftréy as soon as they have obtained their ends of them.”

This is no bad hint to English Revolutionists. " At length the result of this wonderful night was, that with the exception of those who were killed, or wounded, or plundered, every one was in some measure grátified ; because every one turned the adventure to his own profit. Such is the general consequence of small revolutions as well as the most splendid ones.

One more political quotation. .The lower orders of people in every nation are insolent; those in England who imagine themselves free, and who, in fa& are so, let men say what they will, join to that insolence a certain degree of foolish pride, which fomea times impel them to acts of violence, particularly towards the French, against whom the government carefully nourishes the most inveterate hatred; by the fame rule it is endeavoured to imprefs the French with a belief that the Eng= lish are a selfish and avaricious set of people. Notwithstanding these res ciprocal calumnies it must be allowed that there are in England, as well as in France, men no less distinguished for their bravery than their loyalty.' We shall now lay before our readers the greater part of


Uncle's New Constitution.

“We are all free and equal; but you shall all obey me; because I will have it so.” This appears the basis of a constitution he had determined to make himself.

You uncle ; you make a conftitution.
“ S’Death why not as well as another ?
" I fear it will not answer.
". Well, then, I will make a secondo
" Which will be no better.
" Then I will try a third.
" Which will not last longer than the other.
After meditating two hours he produced the following--

Rights of Man.-"Every man has a right to live in plenty, and without doing any thing for his livelihood.

Of the Government.--"Gen, Thomas having been proclaimed Grand Regilator, shall regulate and misregulate just as he pleases.

Civil and Criminal Code.--As the only difference among men consists in the one wanting what another possesses, no man shall have any exclusive possessions of his own.

“ As Magistrates are useless where there are no disputes, there shall be no Magistrate among us. NO, XXXIII, VOL. YIII.





« PrécédentContinuer »