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carries everything before it, and the effects of all minor causes operating in a contrary direction are, for the time, quite overwhelmed.

We fully agree with Mr. Alison in all that he says regarding the importance of our colonial system. The colonies are the chief marts for our national industry, and the outlets for our redundant population ; and it is obviously our interest to give every protection and encouragement to the trade by which they are upheld. But that we can possibly be injured by any system of reciprocity that we may adopt towards other nations does seem to us a very absurd and groundless apprehension.

A century has now nearly elapsed since Mons. Quesnay and the economists of his school first broached the doctrine of the freedom of trade. It was afterwards explained and illustrated by Adam Smith ; and perhaps there is no one axiom which has met with a more universal agreement among writers on political economy than this--that it is the interest of all nations to go to market where they can buy the best and cheapest - and that all restrictions and prohibitions are injurious, as preventing industry from flowing into the most profitable or advantageous channels. This doctrine is founded upon this very simple and obvious consideration, that as each country possesses some article or articles in the production or fabrication of which it excels all others, each gains by purchasing those superior or cheaper commodities in exchange for its own. This is, however, what Mr. Alison does not appear exactly to comprehend. He seems to imagine that unless an agreement be entered into on both sides to give and take specific things on specific conditions, one of the countries must necessarily be carrying on a losing trade.

If real reciprocity consists not in admitting the same article into our ports on the same terms on which our neighbours receive ours, but in obtaining admittance for a corresponding article on our side, in which we have a corresponding advantage over them : unless this is done, reciprocity is entirely elusory, because it is all on one side.- Vol. ii. pp. 380, 381.

Mr. Alison fancies that there can be a trade on one side only. But this is impossible. There can be no one-sided reciprocity where every individual transaction is of itself an exchange of equivalents; for every import there must be a corresponding export. The trade between two countries may be greater or it may be less, according to the more or less liberal system upon which it is conducted on both sides; but it can never be confined to one side only. If any country received commodities from others without sending out something else in exchange for them, that country would obtain those commodities for nothing: but we may be quite sure that she would not get them for nothing, but would be obliged to pay for them either in her own productions, or what comes to the same thing, in the gold, silver, or other goods which she had obtained in exchange for her own productions.

The commercial policy of the other European states seems to fill Mr. Alison with alarm.

Not content with giving us no commercial advantage whatever, in return for this huge boon to their shipping interest, the continental nations hare done just the reverse; and Prussia, in particular, to propitiate whom the narigation laws—that is, the nursery for our seamen-were sacrificed, has, in return, organized the celebrated Prussian commercial league, by which more than the half of Germany has been arrayed in decided hostility to our manufacturing industry. By this celebrated confederacy, the Gerinan states, containing


twenty-six millions of inhabitants, having been combined in a league, founded or the principle of commercial hostility to England, and that the duties imposed throughout the whole extent of the league, on all goods of British manufacture, are so heavy, being practically from forty to fifty per cent on the prime cost, that they in reality amount to a total prohibition.-Vol. ii. p. 384, 385.

It is no doubt greatly to be lamented that the German states should have adopted this narrow system, and thrown so many obstacles in the way of our manufactures being imported into their markets; for if those obstacles were removed, and they received our goods in greater abundance, we should in return take more of their produce. The evil, bowever, amounts to this ; not that one of us is carrying on a losing trade, but that both of us are carrying on a less trade than we otherwise should do. In the meanwhile, if those governments are so blind and prejudiced as to tax their subjects by compelling them to purchase their own dear manufactures in preference to our better and cheaper ones, this is surely no reason why our government should follow so bad an example, and oblige the people of this country to pay dearer at home for what they can purchase cheaper abroad. Such a proceeding on our part would still further diminish the trade between us, and perhaps in regard to some articles suppress it altogether.

We allow, indeed, that there are circumstances under which it may become expedient to levy a duty upon imported commodities. This may be done either for purposes of revenue, or in order to countervail the taxes which are imposed upon the domestic industry of a country. In the latter case the tax, so far from being an infringement of the general rule, is in direct accordance with it, and indeed is absolutely necessary in order to carry out the principle. The great object to be had in view is not to oppose any unnecessary obstacles in the way

of capital, flowing, as it would otherwise do, into the most profitable channels. But a tax upon a home production would interfere with this natural distribution of capital, if it were not countervailed by a duty of equal amount on the same article when imported from a foreign country. If, for instance, the growers of barley were subject to a tax of five shillings per quarter, from which the growers of other grain were exempted, it would be right to levy a duty of five shillings per quarter on imported barley; and this should be done, in order to put the different producers on the same footing, after, as they were before, the imposition of the tax. It is precisely on the very same ground that there ought to be a duty on all imported corn. The agriculturist in this country is subjected to the payment of the poor-rate and other parochial assessments, from which the manufacturer is either exempt, or to which he does not contribute in an equal degree. One of these two things ought, therefore, to be done : either both of them ought to be put upon an equality in regard to the payment of these rates, or a permanent and fixed duty ought to be levied upon all foreign grain that is imported.

There is another circumstance to be taken into consideration, which seems to render it necessary that some restriction should be imposed on the admission of foreign corn. Our manufacturing superiority over the rest of the world has caused money to be of much lower value in our own country than in most others ; or what comes to the same thing, the money price of labour and of commodities generally is higher here than elsewhere. Our very large national debt has been contracted during the time that money has been at this low value. Now it is certain that we could not be dependent upon foreign countries for any considerable and regular supply of corn without a great rise taking place in the value of our money ;-and although this would be a boon to the stockholder, and to all others possessing fixed money incomes, it would be severely felt by our productive classes, and by none more than those very manufacturers, who, in entire ignorance of its effect upon themselves, are now clamouring for a free trade in corn. It will be perceived that the reason why a protecting duty becomes in this case necessary, is not merely because we have a debt, and must pay taxes in order to defray it, but because we should otherwise be paying for it in money of a higher value, than that in which it was originally contracted.

We agree, therefore, with Mr. Alison as to the propriety of a corn law-but not altogether on the grounds on which he advocates it; and we are further of opinion that the duty on corn ought, upon principle, to be a fixed and not a fluctuating one; since it is intended to compensate for a difference which does not itself vary with the price of the produce, but changes very slowly and gradually.

In consequence of the mistakes into which Mr. Alison has fallen regarding our commercial policy, we cannot altogether recommend him as a safe guide in those questions which relate to that part of his subject. The chief value of his work lies in the history which it gives of population in different countries, in the statistical matter which it contains, aod in the admirable remarks upon our domestic system.

The style in which the book is written is clear and unaffected. Iis chief fault is its prolixity. The same arguments are ofttimes repeated, and there are few of the chapters which might not be advantageously curtailed. On the whole, however, it is a useful work: the moral and religious portion of it is excellent; and as its errors relate to questions of theory rather than of practice, they are not likely to do any serious harm.

Art. III.-1. The Life and Times of Selina, Countess of Huntingdon.

By A MEMBER OF THE Ilouses Of SHIRLEY AND Ilastings. Lon

don: Painter. 2 Vols. Pp. 488, 544. 2. Letter to the Editor of the Christian Observer. From the Rer.

Henry Venn, in Reply to certain Strictures upon Venn's Life and Letters, contained in the Life and Times of the Countess of Hunting

don. London: Nuttall and Hodgson. 8vo. Pp. 8. We must honestly confess that we are scarcely in a condition to furnish the public with a very distinct or satisfactory account of these volumes; seeing that our patience fairly broke down in the attempt to give them a scarching and complete perusal. Not that the matter treated of is destitute of interest. On the contrary, the rise and progress of Methodism is, undoubtedly, among the most astounding phenomena of these latter days. Neither is there any cause for complaint that the materials are scanty; for, such is the mass of documents, papers, and epistles, that the collection and examination of the same appears to have been the task of many a weary year. Nevertheless, although the work was “a labour of love" to the compiler, we doubt whether many of its readers will be found to have escaped some distressing fits of impatience and exhaustion in their progress to the end of it.

In the first place, if we may judge by what we have experienced, the whole must be pervaded by a most awful and oppressive monotony. The correspondence of Selina, Countess of Huntingdon, and her friends, is terribly voluminous. Of course, it relates to many matters of the loftiest importance; but, though the tone of these compositions is solemn, their notes are few—too few to make much variety of music out of. The changes are rung incessantly upon a small peal of leading topics, till ear and heart are almost deadened with the drowsy iteration. Next to love-letters, we know of no letters so utterly wearisome as the generality of religious letters ; that is, letters such as are often ind:ted in the specially religious world, and written, if we may so express it, with piety prepense. They almost reconcile one to the doctrine of religious reserve, which, of late, has been the subject of so much nervous discussion. The object of the writers of such letters need not be questioned. Let it be as high and pure as partisanship itself can imagine or assert : we speak of its effect upon the reader who happens to be no partisan. And we believe that, with such readers, their tendency is, not to hallow and exalt the divine things, and mighty utterances, of Revelation, but to degrade, and almost to desecrate them, by constant and familiar exhibition. Some effervescence there may be ; but, the result is rapidness and flatness. Indeed, too much of the religion of this day is of that sort which “listens to itself." It loves to hear itself talk ; and its talk is for the most part thin and meagre. It may have something of that which is usually called unction ; but, after all, it lacks the raciness and body which belong to a higher and more ancient school.

But, further, it would seem as if some pains had been taken to make the book unreadable, from the manner in which it has been got up. There is no compact and perspicuous biography, with occasional extracts from the more important parts of the correspondence, and with current references to the whole body of that correspondence, placed, as it well might have been, at the end, as a collection of Pièces Justificatifs. There is only a small current of narrative, winding its uneasy way through a vast and mountainous congeries of letters. And the consequence is, a sense of intolerable confusion and perplexity. But this is not all. As Mr. Venn has observed, the author has unfortunately mixed up his documents with a crude compilation from a multitude of printed biographies, magazines, &c. &c., with no references whatever to the sources from which he has drawn his information, or any mark of distinction between what is original and what is borrowed. He has, moreover, pursued a method quite unparalleled, I should think, in religious biography ;[we should think, in any biography:) He has not only borrowed, without acknowledgment, the language of others, in its original application : but, by altering proper names, and even genders, he has frequently applied it to totally different persons and occasions.-Venn, p. 4. Among various specimens of this strange sort of patchwork, Mr. Venn lias produced one which is most outrageously absurd and ludicrous. The following passige has been torn away from Haweis's Life of


Romaine ; and transferred by the compiler from Mr. Romaine and Mr. Berridge to Mr. Henry Venn and Lady Huntingdon. Dr. Haweis's words are quoted, and the alterations inserted in brackets ; thus:

Mr. Romaine (Mr. Venn] not only wished Mr. Berridge (Lady Huntingdon] good luck, in the name of the Lord, but supported him (her) in what some of his more strait- ced [timid) brethren might reckon very objectionable irregularities. Poor dear old man! [inestimable woman!) thou art gone to thy rest; and, whether thy great Master will praise or blame thee for doing good to the souls of men, regularly or irregularly, is now no longer dubious.Haweis's Life of Romaine, p. 105. Lady Huntingdor's Life, Vol. I. p. 291. Upon which very peculiar mode of composition Mr. Venn remarks,not, we think, without some justice,- that it betrays, to say the least, a very loose style of writing; and such an incapacity on the part of the compiler of expressing his own ideas, as can hardly fail to throw suspicion on every statement in his book.

One note-worthy thing there is about these volumes, "quite un paralleled," we may well believe, "in religious biography;" we mean the overpowering array of “worldly right-honourableness" with which they come before the public. Those “gentle historians, the Garters, and Norroys, and Clarencieux, and Rouge Dragons," might gaze on them with transport. On the outside cover we find the armorial bearings of Selina, Countess of Huntingdon, emblazoned in gold. Her ladyship’s portrait, in the frontispiece, is surmounted by the coronet, and finished below by a repetition of her heraldic device. And, again, the title-page is decorated by another stately representation of the same gestamina. In the same title-page, as also in the preface, we are informed that the compiler is a cadet of her illustrious family, a member of the houses of Shirley and Hastings ; and the first chapter of the work is altogether dazzling with the gems and spangles of splendid genealogy. The blood of emperors, kings, princes, dukes, and renowned earls, we are told, is, at this moment, running in the veins of the living descendants of this illustrious house. And the whole closes with a fly-leaf advertisement, wherein we find a crowded constellation of the royal, noble, and celebrated personages, who figure, more or less conspicuously, in the biography of the Countess,-kings, dukes, duchesses, marquesses, marchionesses, archbishops, bishops, lords, ladies, sirs, doctors, deans, reverends, &c. &c. &c. So that, on a light inspection, a man might almost fancy that he had before him an authentic list of the attendance at a crowded levee! And then, the critical notices—the opinions of the press !—We have the Watchman, the Pantheon, the Wesleyan Methodist Magazine, the Plymouth Herald, the Record, the Evangelical Magazine-all of them in laudatory chorus; not to mention a whole cloud of witnesses from the provincial press almost throughout Great Britain. Never before, we verily believe, was any “religious biography” ushered into this world with such waving of banners, and such flourishing of trumpets. The organ of veneration must have been in prodigious activity, with all the parties engaged in the preparation of this goodly pageant; and the organ of acquisitiveness not, perhaps, altogether torpid. But we wonder whether " the cadet of this illustrious house" ever asked himself what his noble and sainted relative would have thought of all this pomp

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