Sivut kuvina

Louis XVIII, than he would by retiring from office. By his acceptance of office he has been enabled to soothe at least che rage of the victorious against the vanquished party; he had moreover a chance, he might reasonably hope, to induce the Bourbons to recognise and regard as sacred the interests of the great body of the nation, for that would have been the best step they could have taken towards establishing themselves on a solid foundation.

In opposing with firmness and courage a system of moderation to the exterminating doctrine which was preached up against those who were styled Buonapartists, he was equally useful to the Royalists and to those who had grown up under the Revolution. It is evident that he was not actuated by personal ambition in charging himself with the administration ; had he been ambitious, he could have forwarded his views better. His enemies have not been able to charge him with making conditions for himself; nor can they refuse the justice of acknowledging that he preferred proscription to serving a party whom his conscience disapproved.

Had the Duke of Otranto withdrawn from office on resigning the presidency of the government, it is impossible to say what might have happened ; the exasperation and blind rage


party were at their height. Let us call to mind what was said in the chamber of deputies, and what has been revealed to us of the combination of the secret committees. Meantime the first transports of violence were over, the passions seemed to have subsided, and the sword was returned to its scabbard. I have heard the Duke of Otranto reproached with the formation of that chamber; I will state how it was named, in spite of his opposition. A peer of France, better skilled in oratory than in the art of government, affirms that the Duke would have been much embarrassed in appearing there. This NO. XXI.



brings to my recollection another circumstance of his life, which was related to me by Messrs. Malouet and Cazalès. He arrived at the post of minister of the general police in the time of the republic; he had filled that of embassador at Milan, and at the Hague, and had occasion there to combat the dreadful doctrines of anarchy; his sentiments had displeased the constitutional club which was established at Paris, and which, though more moderate than the ancient Jacobins, overawed the government.

Several members of that club affirmed in a similar manner that the Duke would be afraid to appear there. The only answer they received was, their finding next morning the doors of their place of meeting closed up,—and they were never opened afterwards.

Had the plan of the Duke of Otranto been followed when he proposed it, the party called the Ultras would never have been formed, and France would not have been torn by factions,

I am, Sir, with the greatest respect, &c.

















[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

In contradiction to specious arguments and gloomy predictions, it has now been proved, by nearly nineteen years experience in the United Kingdom of Great Britain ; that paper money answers every purpose of specie, as a circulating medium; and that without any inconvenience; nay even with considerable advantage to the Nation !

In the able and laborious work « On the Wealth, Power and Resources of the British Empire," the author says : « All must agree, that from the period when the National Bank was restrained from issuing specie there has been a progressive prosperity, and a self-evident increase of wealth manifested; not only by the ease and facility with which the immense loans have been obtained for the exigencies of the state, which had not been experienced in an equal degree before that period; but also by the more general diffusion of apparent wealth among the middling as well as the higher classes of society; who, notwithstanding the accumulation of taxes, and the unexampled high prices of all the necessaries and luxuries of life, have both in their habitations and mode of living exhibited appearances, which indicate an accession of property, progressively increasing within the last sixteen years, which was not obvious during the same period anterior to 1797."

[ocr errors]

In favor of paper money it may also be asserted as a truth, that supposing the commerce of a nation to require . millions of cash to perform the office of a medium of exchange ; if that nation has the specie, and can establish the credit of the like sum in paper, the specie will no longer be wanted to perform the office of a medium ; but may be turned into stock in trade, and the commerce of the nation thereby increased. For instance : it may be employed in the purchase of the commodities of the eastern to be sold in the western part of the world ; and the contrary : from which traffic a profit may be drawn to the nation exceeding the interest ; besides employing its ships and seamen.--Or it may be let out at interest to foreign nations.

This theory is also corroborated by the author already quoted, who says« The exchange of property through a circulating medium composed of the precious metals, is perfectly impracticable, independent of the almost incalculable expence of it to the nation : first, from the capital which must be sunk and rendered totally unproductive, which might otherwise give vigour and energy to productive industry: and second, by the loss which must arise from deterioration by sweating and by wear.–To the saving of this capital, although not hitherto obvious, Great Britain is indebted for much of that wealth by which she has been distinguished beyond rival nations."

The great advantage therefore of a paper circulating medium, seems evidently proved both by reason and experience. Yet the throwing a great additional sum into immediate circulation, would probably raise a little the price of commodities ; in the same manner as if the like sum was suddenly dug out of new mines and converted into coin, But in the present state of the country, the advantages of an extensive paper currency are demonstrable.

Suppose twenty millions of paper money to be issued in Great

Gold and silver become merchandize, as metals; and are therefore unfit for a circulating medium; being liable to vary so much in real value, as frequently to induce the melting and sending such metallic coin out of the country, as merchandize :- thereby depriving the state of even the quantity of currency, that should exist in it, as a necessary instrument for its internal commerce, manufactures, &c. and obliging the government to be continually on its guard in making, and executing, at a great expence, laws to prevent this injurious ex portation.

« EdellinenJatka »