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man of her heart, has a family by him, and is living happily, when the first husband unexpectedly presents himself to insist upon his conjugal rights. There is a more remarkable novel, entitled 'André,' by Georges Sand, in which the hero, finding that his young wife, to whom he is devotedly attached, would rather be the wife of a friend, quietly starts for Switzerland and tumbles into a glacier in a way to exclude all suspicion of his having committed suicide to set her free. Mr. Tennyson's Enoch Arden' is a husband of an intermediate quality between these two. On finding, on his return after a ten years' absence, that his wife has committed bigamy, he neither interferes with her domestic arrangements, nor sets her free till he dies a natural death ; when, by way of consolation, she receives a deathbed message to tell her what he has suffered through her fault. His story is made the vehicle for fifty pages of blank verse. There is passage (p. 32) on the island in which Enoch passes a Robinson Crusoe kind of life; there are touches of pathos and bits of poetical description interspersed; but these do not occur often enough to animate the whole, nor to smother the intrinsic doubt whether a story, which could be better told in prose, is to take rank as a standard poem on the strength of that manipulation and inversion of language which are now held to constitute
We pass over Maude,' 'The Holy Grail,' &c., &c., as we have passed over Mazeppa, Cain,'Marino Faliero, Sardanapalus,' Werner,' and the whole of Byron's minor poems, which would make the reputation of half-a-dozen minor poets of our time, and to spare. We call attention to salient points, to grand features. Strike, but hear; pronounce, but read. Let any real lover of fine poetry, who does not freshly remember them, read once again the Third and Fourth Cantos of Childe Harold,' and then say in what class or category the author is to be placed. It is in the ordinary course of things that the popular taste should veer about: that reputation should follow reputation as star chases star across the sky; and a name with innate buoyancy, if accidentally submerged, may commonly be trusted to rise unaided to the surface and float on with the
But it will rise the sooner, if relieved from any adventitious weight; and the weight of prejudice by which Byron's is kept down, has grown with foreign critics into a set topic of national reproach. Goethe pointedly contrasted the dirt and rubbish flung at the noble poet with the glory he had reflected on his country, "boundless in its splendour and incalculable in its consequences.' Having now,' concludes Herr Elze, traced the literary and political influence of Byron from the southern extremity of the earth to its north-eastern boundary, we come back to his native land, where his influence has hitherto been least, where moral and religious illiberality still stands in the way of an unprejudiced estimation.' He thinks that this 'blinding bigotry' cannot go further without producing a reaction, and he discerns, or fancies he discerns, a turning-point. There is at all events a standing-point, from which the lever which will restore the balance may be worked. There is a compact body of sound, ripe, critical opinion in this country that has never wavered, and on its sure, if slow, expansion we confidently rely.
Art. III.-1. Report of the Commissioners of Inland Revenue on
the Duties under their Management, for the Years 1856 to 1869 inclusive, with some retrospective History and complete Tables of Accounts of the Duties from their first Imposition. Vols. I. and II. Presented to both Houses of Parliament by command of Her
Majesty. 1870. 2. The Liquor Trades. A Report to M. T. Bass, Esq., M.P., on
the Capital Invested and the number of Persons employed therein.
By Professor Leone Levi, F.S.A., F.S.S. London, 1871. 3. Intoxicating Liquors (Licensing) Bill. 1871.
N the year 1869 nearly nineteen millions sterling * were raised
which has to do with the sale of exciseable liquors. This sum is a contribution to the public exchequer equal to nine shillings in the pound of the whole inland revenue of the country.
So enormous an amount, raised by indefinitely small driblets from every pint of beer and glass of spirits consumed, is necessarily connected with vast money interests. Maltsters, brewers, distillers, rectifiers, publicans, to say nothing of landowners and farmers and of the various ramifications of the corn trade, are all affected by this vast system of taxation-some looking upon it as an injury, some as an advantage.
Many have been the battles fought over this great field of finance. Malt Tax, Beer Duties, Hop Duties, Brewing Licences, Spirit Duties have one or other of them been from time to time attacked, defended, modified, abolished, or reimposed. Perhaps, however, no direct attack on these duties and imposts has caused so much excitement and roused so much angry feeling as the indirect attacks of which some of them were the objects in the last
18,992,79;l., out of 42,907,0501., gross Inland Revenue. The year ends in March.
session of Parliament; for there can be no doubt that Mr. Bruce's Licensing Bill was an attack on the funds of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and if that bill had passed into law Mr. Lowe would have had to light his lucifer match and look about him for some means of supplying a deficit caused by his colleague's
It may, then, be worth while to enquire what are the interests involved in the production and consumption of fermented liquors, to sketch very briefly the processes of manufacture, and to consider, not in a partisan spirit, Mr. Bruce's plan for regulating the trade. With reference to this last division of our subject, we propose to make a few suggestions of a practical nature.
In the year 1870 there were about 2,600,000 acres of land under barley in the United Kingdom, which, if taken together, would form a block about one-sixth larger than the two counties of Norfolk and Suffolk.* Taking the average yield at 32 bushels per acre, the total produce amounts to 83,000,000 bushels, or more than 10,000,000 quarters. In the same year, nearly 50,000,000 bushels of barley must have been converted into malt; and, although some portion was imported, we shall not be far wrong if we assume that one half, and of course far the more valuable half, of the home barley crop was used for brewing, besides what was converted into spirits by the distillers, which will amount to some 4,000,000 bushels more.
These figures are sufficient to show that a very large proportion of the occupiers of land are interested, as growers of barley, in those manufactures which give to barley its exceptional value. I But if Malting, Brewing, and Distilling are subjects of interest to the farmer, far more are they so to the numerous classes actually engaged in those pursuits or deriving employment from the trades therewith connected. In a Report prepared at the instance of Mr. Bass, M.P., who is, we believe, the largest brewer in the world, Professor Leone Levi has entered very fully into the questions of the capital invested and of the number of
persons employed in what are generally termed the Liquor trades. From some of his conclusions we differ; but there can be no doubt of the general accuracy of his statements, and we think that in some particulars these statements are below the truth. Statistics, even having reference to liquids, are too apt to be dry; but as the whole question has of late excited much interest, we trust that
* Statistical Abstract for the United Kingdom, No. 18,' and 'Agricultural Returns of Great Britain,' presented to Parliament, 1870.
Inland Revenue Report,' vol. ii. p. 11.
We omit from consideration the additional fact that some 60,000 acres of hops are grown in England, the total produce of which goes to the manufacture of beer.
our readers will excuse a sparing use of them, and not consider the present an inappropriate time for a review of the whole Licensing System.
Professor Levi (p. 3) tells us, what is tolerably apparent, that The capital employed in any industry consists partly of what is called fixed capital, viz., land, buildings, machinery, and instruments, and partly of circulating or floating capital, viz., raw materials, wages, interest of capital, &c.' And he estimates the total fixed capital invested in breweries at 21. per quarter brewed, which accordingly he puts at 12,400,0001. He forgets, however, that not all the malt converted into beer was so converted for purposes of sale; that is, he rather exaggerates his quantities, not taking into account the item of homebrewed beer, and he also takes the amount actually consumed at too high a figure. This leads us to consider a curious result of improved manufacture.
There are many of us old enough to remember a solemnity which occurred periodically, in spring and in autumn, in the households of our fathers,—the great Dionysiac festival of an English home. If that home was a small and modest one, the high priest of the festival came from without. He was stout, inflammatory, red about the eyes from much watching and frequent beer, husky in the voice, and of a solemn demeanour. If in a town, he lived in the next street, was probably a cooper by trade, and was supposed to understand a deep mystery which ended in the concoction of a liquid of which the household usually expressed the unanimous hope that the next brewing might be better. If the scene of the festival was at a country house, it took place in a sanctuary called the brewhouse, with a butler for pontiff and helpers in the stable as acolytes. There the result was doubtful; sometimes, we are bound to confess, most successful, but always financially disastrous. We have heard a brewer of our acquaintance say that he would wish no more profitable trade than to be allowed to supply the squires with beer identical in quantity and quality with their own, being allowed their own materials as his only payment. But when the result was failure, no professional brewer, however unskilful, could rival the extent of that failure,-mustiness of cask,—the rank bitter produced by the yeast having sunk through the beer in the process of fermentation,-fatness, muddiness: we shrink from the description as we shudder at the retrospect. The consequence of these failures has been curious, as our readers will see. Between 1828 and 1869, a period of forty-one years, and nearly corresponding with the time during which the manufacture of beer has deve
loped from rule-of-thumb practice into science, the yearly amount of malt used in brewing for sale has increased in round numbers from 26 to 49 millions of bushels. But between the same dates, the annual amount of malt used in home brewing has decreased from 3 millions to less than one million of bushels; whereas, if home brewing had held its own, nearly seven times that quantity ought to have found its way into the domestic mash
But though the learned Professor may have to some extent exaggerated the fixed capital employed in the actual manufacture, he has certainly understated the value (or what was the value till Mr. Bruce affected the market) of public and beer houses in town and country. He values country public and beer houses at 3001. apiece. "Including leases, goodwill, fixtures, and book-debts, we believe that 5001. would be nearer the mark than 3001. ; while 15001., at which he puts their value in London, is certainly not excessive. But, at his own estimate, there being about 140,000 public and beer houses in the kingdom, of which 10,000 are in the metropolis, their value would amount to 54,000,0001., but, at our estimate, to eighty millions of money. To this he adds the value of distilleries, bottle factories, corkcutters' shops, cooperages, and the minor trades attached to them, and he comes to the conclusion that the total amount of capital fixed in these trades is about 75 millions of money.
It is not our object to go into detail on this part of our subject, and we therefore confine ourselves to stating that, in Professor Levi's opinion, about half as much more has to be added for floating capital, including stocks of malt, hops, sugar, beer, wine, spirits, casks, bottles, corks, &c., the value of licenses, and the sums expended in wages; simply observing that he makes no mention of book-debts, which in these trades is usually a very heavy item of charge. We may then conclude that the sum of money invested in the various branches of the Liquor trade is not less than 120 millions sterling.
It will reasonably be asked, What are the processes on which all this vast industry is founded ? to which it may be replied that they are all adaptations of natural results either of vegetable growth or of chemical combination. Few persons, except those whose business it is, know practically what malting, brewing, distilling, and rectifying mean, and we accordingly propose to give a very short and popular account of these processes.
Years ago, we accompanied an aged and somewhat credulous female through a country brewery. There were a good many dark passages and steep flights of steps, b ginning and ending as such affairs generally do, just where one does not expect them.