« AnteriorContinuar »
The late financial crisis has been the subject of long debate in the British Parliament. The matter was brought forward by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the 30th Nov., and committees of investigation have been appointed by both Houses. From the debate it appears the ministers are of opinion that, although the pressure may have been ultimately aggravated by the Currency Act of 1844, yet its real cause was an unprecedented drain on the available capital of the country, partly for the purchase of corn and partly for permanent investment in railroads, which began in the summer of 1846, and acting on an unduly extended state of credit, brought on the revulsion. In 1837 there was a season of great commercial depression, which destroyed the houses whose credit was too much extended. In 1839 occurred a severe drain of gold for purchases of corn, but trade being in a healthy state the commerce of the country was not very materially affected. In October, 1847, the circulation in the hands of the public, including bank post bills, was £19,577,000, being £3,000,000 more than at the same period in 1839; and the private securities lodged with the bank were £21,260,000, also showing an increase of £8,000,000 above Oct., 1839; from which it appears that the pressure was not from'the mere want of notes or bank accommodation. In the summer of 1846, the Bank of England had on hand a very large amount of bullion and a large reserved fund; and they, in consequence, reduced the rate of interest to three per cent. There was also at that time an accumulation of deposits of railroad money in the hands of the London bankers, which enabled them to afford facilities to commerce, and made the money market easy. At that time there existed an unlimited expansion of credit. The harvest of 1846 failed and the potato crop also, which caused a great drain of gold from the country for the purchase of corn; and in this period the increased demand of capital for railroads had begun to take place; and the consumption of manufactured articles diminished, in consequence of the high price of food. In January the Bank raised the rate of interest, first to 3j, and afterwards to 4 per cent. The drain of capital for railroads and food increased; and the rate of interest in the money market (not at the Bank) became higher. One of the most important railroad companies announced they were prepared to pay 5 per cent, for money on loan; the Bank fixed the same rate of discount, and
then came the panic. The Bank is severer! blamed for having imprudently parted witi their gold, and having afterwards too suddenly restricted their discounts, by which latter operation a great state of alarm was created. Ot the 30th July the notes in circulation amounts: to £18,892,000; on the 5th August the BirJ raised the rate of discount to 5J per cent.. »yi about that time the great commercial failure; began; but these failures, with few exception* were then confined to houses in the corn trad* Between May and September the price of rcr had fallen no less than 50 per cent.; the aver age price in May being 102s. per quarter, an in September about 48s. The cost of cor imported, from June, 1846, to Jan., 1847, «i £5,139,000; from January to July, 184" £14,184,000; and the amount from* July t October, 1847, was as great as that of the prt ceding six months, viz., £14,240,000; matin altogether an aggregate of about £33,OO0.0i« This was the cost ofimports and freight, e; elusive of profits made in Great Britain. Tt demand of capital for railways increased in like manner. The amount expended on rai ways in 1841, 1842 and 1843, was abw £4,500,000 per annum. In 1844 it rose i £6,000,000, and in 1845 to £14.000,000, i the first half year of 1846 to £9,800,000. si in the last half year of 1846 to £20,600,0<X in the first half year of 1847 to £25,755,om and, if the works had proceeded at the san ratio, they would have required in the last ba year of 1847 no less than £38,000,000. D ducting from this about 5 per cent., for Vf liamentary expenses and land, which was ta sinking capital, the sum expended on ra ways would amount altogether to betwt£80,000,000 and £90,000,000. The W abstraction thus caused from the capital formr at the disposal of ordinary commercial enlerpn and the amount also converted into fixed capi' were the leading causes of the pressure.
Want of confidence in the public mil also caused a large hoarding of gold i notes, which were thus withdrawn from cirt lation. Two of the great discount hoase* London stopped payment, the others feared act in such a state of affairs; and thus t discounting business of the country was. ir great measure, thrown upon the Bank of Et land. "At this time," (October,) says t Chancellor of the Exchequer, " the Governra saw parties of all descriptions, who said tc 'We do not want notes; we only want yoo e us confidence.' We asked, 'What will t yon confidence?' They replied, 'If we f know that we can get notes, that will be ogh. We do not want the notes. You
charge any rate of interest you please. irjje 10 or 12 per cent.; we do not mean to ; the notes, we only want to know that we
hare them.'" Under these circumstances Government, on the 25th October, gave the unmendation to the Bank of England read lo in our number of December last, when r amounts which had been kept in the & of capitalists were again deposited with 1-nndon bankers, the amounts drawn from Bank of England were very materially Iess1. and public confidence restored. a the 29th November, a bill for the supfion of crime in Ireland was introduced
the House of Commons by Sir George f, who stated that, so far from the disturb* king general throughout Ireland, in the Set fan at that country crime has dimini. and life and property are as safe as in other portion of the kingdom; and that the ** azainst which the bill is directed are
in detestation and abhorrence by far the tef portion of that country. The bill is of U character, and had the support of a gTeat »« of the Irish members; it passed a first lag with a majority of 206, only 18 votes ([given«<rainst it, and on the 13th of Dekr it finally parsed the House of Commons
We of 173 to 14. A motion for repeal be union was brought forward by Mr. g^ O'Connor, on the 7th December, which
negatived by a vote of 255 to 23. Bills
iko been introduced for removal of all *o Catholic and Jewish disabilities, which "peeled to pass the Commons; but the «pe of the latter through the House of »i« doubtful. About the 6th of December oast of Great Britain was visited with terplea, and the destruction of shipping and
la* been most extensive. An American the "Robert G. Shaw," was burned to the r» edge, off Weymouth, havingbeeu ttruck i'litaing, December 6th. The present a»»n of Sir Robert Peel's act for the 'iamtof the Com Laws expires on the W next. The President of the Board *de,in reply to an inquiry on the subject, I that it was not the intention of the funt-nt to propose a further suspension; ich case the import duties on wheat will fciited by the following scale :—When itrage price for six successive weeks is '<8s. per quarter, the duty will be 10s. Mrter. At every advance of Is. per qr. W the duty will fall Is., until the price » 53s., at which price, and upwards, the *'U he 4s. per quarter. The average [<•' the six weeks ending 11th December >>•■*. per quarter, at which rate the duty 1 « 5*. Accounts to the 1st January,
state that commercial affairs have not improved to the extent which the increased facilities for discount might have been supposed to warrant. In the manufacturing districts there is more employment, more hands are employed, and the short time system is being curtailed; but the produce markets continue depressed. In sugar and cotton there is a decline, and the general consumption is much affected by the state of the public health. The fluctuations in the funds have been less considerable than for a long time previously. On the 1st January consols for the account were 85j. The Bank of England has replenished its coffers to the extent of £ 11,991,376, in both departments, and the position of that establishment is considered safe and satisfactory. The Bank rate of discount was 6 per cent/ on the 18th Dec, and was reduced on the 23d to 5 per cent.
The influenza prevails very generally throughout Great Britain. The number of deaths has consequently increased to an immense extent. In the week ending November 20th the number in London was 1086; and in the three following weeks, 1677, 2454 and 2416: the latter showing an increase over the average of the same season in other years of 1370, or 130 per cent. Mr. Robert Liston, the celebrated surgeon, died at London, on the 7th December, from a disease of the throat. An account for the year ending 10th October last shows the in.ome of the United Kingdom from taxes, &-c., to be £52,579,501, 2s. Id., and the expenditure to exceed that sum by JE327.608, 8s.
The governments of France and England have been in communication, relative to the blockade, by the former, of the river Plata; and on the 13th of November it was stated by Lord Palmerston that he had no doubt, on the arrival of instructions there, a speedy cessation of hostilities would take place. The grippe (influenza) is extremely prevalent in many parts of France: 10,000 persons are said to be laid up with it at Lille; at Toulouse, 15,000 out of 55,000 are suffering from that malady; and at Marseilles half the population (of 160,000 souls,) are said to be confined to bed from the same cause. Precautions are being taken in France to prevent the introduction of the cholera. The reform banquets still continue, and are frequented by persons of distinguished character and station. Arrangements have been made by which, after the 1st of January, two mails will be daily dispatched between London and Paris—a day mail and a night mail from each capital. Specimens of cotton grown in Algeria have been sent, by the Minister of Commerce to the principal manufacturing towns, with a view to ascertain its quality. The reports have been so favorable that the French government is likely to adopt measures to promote the growth of cotton in Algeria upon an extensive scale. Since 1830, Algeria has cost France half a million of soldiers.
The civil war in Switzerland is terminated by the complete overthrow of the Sondtrbund. After the capture of Fribourg, the Federal army advanced against Lucerne, and after some sharp fighting on the 22d and 23d of November, in which their superiority in artillery gave them great .advantage, this stronghold of the Sonderbund was reduced, and the war virtually concluded. The number of the Federal troops engaged in the war was about 94,000, while their opponents did not muster above one third of that number. The Jesuits are entirely expelled from Switzerland, and their establishments and property forfeited. The cantons of the Sonderbund are to pay collectively and separately all the expenses of the war, to make good all damages done by their troops, and to pay the expenses of the occupation of the Federal forces. The total cost of the war on the side of the Federal government is estimated at 3,163,000/and it is supposed the cost of occupation will be nearly two millions more. The result has created a great sensation in Austria, to which kingdom a considerable portion of the Jesuits have retired. The proposed intervention of the great European powers was rendered abortive by the termination of hostilities. The canton of Neufchatel is in rather an anomalous position. From 1707 to 1805, it was a principality of the crown of Prussia. In the latter year it was ceded to France and granted ,by Napoleon to Berthier, as a fief of the French empire. In 1814 the king of Prussia resumed possession, and gave to Neufchatel a constitution, and it was, with his majesty's consent, admitted into the Helvetic confederation ; without, however, any cession of the rights of the king of Prussia. In the late civil war, that canton, with the approbation of the king, decided on a strict neutrality, and his majesty declared, in precise terms, to the Diet that every violation of this neutrality by the Diet would be regarded as a breach of the peace against himself. The Diet insisted that Neufchatel, as a member of the confederacy, was bound to furnish its contingent for the war, and has declared that it reserves to itself full liberty of action against the defaulting state. Thus between its loyal and conservative predilections, and its Federal relations, Neufchatel is in a most awkward dilemma.
On the 15th of November the Pope on the throne, at the Quirinal, received the members of the consults,, and, to an address from their President, replied in the following terms:
"I thank you for your good intentions, and as regards the public welfare, I esteem them of value. It was for the public good that since my elevation to the Pontifical throne 1 have, in accordance with the councils inspired by God, accomplished all that I could ; and am still ready, with the assistance of God, to do all for the future, without, however, retrenching in any degree the sovereignty of the Pontificate; and^inasmuch as
I received it full and entire from my predeee sors, so shall I transmit this saored deposit to E successors. I havo three millions of subjects i witnesses, and I have hitherto accomplish much to unite my subjects with mc, and to i certain and provide for their necessities- tt w. particularly to ascertain those wants and to pr vide better for the exigencies of the public tt viee, that I have assembled a permanent cf. cil. It was to hear your opinions, when oect sary, and to aid me in my sovereign resolotBK in which I shall consult my conscience,ami » fer on them with the ministers and the Sicr College. Anybody who would take any oi view of the functions you are called to fa' would materially err, as-Vell as they that w« see, in the Council of State I have created, I realization of their own Utopias, and the gens an institution incompatible with the Poura sovereignty."
His holiness having pronounced these 1 words with some vivacity and some heat. >s> ped a moment, and then resuming in hU cs mild manner, continued in the following ten
"This warmth, and these words are rot dressed to any of you whose social educat Christian and civil probity, as well as the I alty of your sentiments and the rectitud< your intentions, have been known to me si the moment I proceeded to your election. 1 ther do those words apply to the majority cf subjects, for I am sure of their fidelity and t obedience. I know that the hearts of my i jects unite with mine in the love of order a= concord. But there exist, unfortunately, * persons (and though few, they still exisO' having nothing to lose, love disturbance Mk volt, and even abuse the concessions mad them. It is to those that my words are dressed, and let them well understand their nification. In the co-operation of the Dep< I see only the firm support of persons who, void of every personal interest, will labor' me, by their advice, for the public good,and will not be arrested by the vain language of less men devoid of judgment. You will ai with your wisdom to discover that which i» useful for the security of the throne and th« happiness of my subjects."
The deputies were afterwards admiiU pay their homage to the Pope, and, bavin ceived his benediction, withdrew. Thev expressed their intention of inquiring, as others, Into the following subjects:
"As to an equal division of taxes; the nution or suppression of all charges whicl on the poor classes, or which impede the c opment of national prosperity; the re-esta ment of public credit; the destruction a nopoly.and the extension of commercial lithe introduction in the prisons of a rtj which may render the penalty not a pumVr which degrades, but a measure which ms; mote the" regeneration of the culprit; Ik tension throughout the provinces of the □ nitem, such as it is at Rome ; and lastly, the ption of a system of education and public iniction, and of a just and moral policy."
riwre is no news of importance from Spain Portugal, except that in the former the indents appear to have been almost entirely : down; and, in the latter, the elections have atly preponderated in favor of the Cabral 7; the ministerial candidates at Lisbon hav
ill been withdrawn, and those at Oporto deted.
The cholera has almost disappeared from uuntinople, and is now so slight there as be little regarded. It still continues to <ad in Russia, but has lost its force in Motsf From the appearance of the disease up hi 22d of November, the number of persons eked at the latter place was 2360, of whom •7 died. It has made its appearance, but in »ilder form, at Dunaburg, within forty miles Ibf Prussian frontier. The St. Petersburg raalof tlie 18th of November, publishes an wial okase for contracting a loan of 600,000 silver roubles, for the works of the
Petersburg and Moscow railroad. The iperor of Russia has lately published a
ukase which involves a great question of international law, having for its object to suspend the exercise of the right of fishing along the coast of the Black Sea, from Anapa as far as Batoumi, in order to prevent assistance to the Caucasus. By this measure the Emperor appears to arrogate to himself an exclusive property in the Black Sea.
Appalling accounts of famine have been received from the Polish provinces of Austria. Out of 328,641 inhabitants no less than 60,820 have died.
Accounts from the East Indies show a state of unusual tranquillity, and in Bombay the greatest commercial confidence prevails. It is said that not a single house there has suspended payment
In a council of state of the united kingdoms of Sweden and Norway, held on the 28th ult., the King ratified the treaty of commerce and navigation between China and those two kingdoms. The treaty was signed at Canton, the 20th of March last, by M. Lillienvalch, counsellor of commerce, on behalf of Sweden and Norway, and by the Imperial Commissioner KiYng, on the part of China.
■■■ Quixote de la Mancha. Translated from >* Spanish ofMiguel de Cervantes Saavedra, y Charles Jarvis, Esq. Carefully revised ad corrected, with Illustrations, by Tony hhannot. In two volumes. Philadelphia: <ea and Blanchard. 1847.
fnis is a very respectable new edition of a 'k that can never grow old. The illustra-". however, which are either the copies or vonvont originals of those given in a Paris Ujs some years since, are not much to our if- Tony Johannot, the Leach of the French "tutors, is hardly equal to the task of proin? scenery for Cervantes; and to those "> have seen the elegant engravings of wke, these sketchy wood-cats will possess le attraction.
rbe translation is by Jarvis, and it appears, i probably is, more exact than that of Smol. though to those who were early accustomed ■oat version it cannot but seem less spirited I more artificial.
W all the books in the world there is none '[' Sliak'peare's play s so full of the vigor youth as Don Quixote. De Foe had the
same minute observation and much of the same vigor, but in comparison with Cervantes he writes like an old battered voyager. In Don Quixote we find all that cool self-possession and confident reliance on the reader's credulity that appears in Mrs. Veal's Ghost and the History of the Plague, joined to the most hearty humor, the most unfailing vivacity, and indeed, all qualities that make an overflowing bodily and mental health. In respect of tho bodily part, out of Cervantes, Shakspeare, John Bunyan, De Foe and Sir Walter Scott, all good stomachic writers, any reader of delicate perception would surely choose the former; Shakspeare's digestion was so good that he appears never to think of dining; Bunyan must have had a powerful organ for solid viands; De Foe could relish the same dinners all the year round, with a few grapes of his own rearing; Scott would have been tremendous at a venison pasty after a long ride; but to read Cervantes is of itself a cure for dyspepsia. The bodily vigor is so apparent throughout his pages that it is impossible to read without insensibly getting an appetite.
But the mental vigor, the liveliness of fancy, the air of mirth that pervades the whole, the range of observation, a dozen lives all over Spain crowded into one, and so alive that it appears the writer has much ado to keep himself within proper bounds—these are qualities in which he must rank far below Shakspeare, yet still at the head of all other prose writers. No one lias manifested himself to the world with more of the spirit of youth and apparent ignorance of care and sorrow.
Yet Cervantes could not have been a heartless gay man of mere animal life. The preface to his first volume and the prologue to the second bear the tone of reflection. Indeed, some of his episodes show that he had as keen a perception of the pathetic as of the comic, and could have written a serious novel had he chosen to do so. Charles Lamb calls him "the most consummate artist in the book way the world has ever produced." This was the secret of his success; he had infinite nerve; his hand was so steady nothing could shake it. When he had conceived what, if it were not now an old story, we should all consider the most whimsical fiction that ever was thought of, and requiring the most delicate touches, he set himself to work it out with such marvellous ease, such glorious cool strength, as amount almost to the power of a great epic poet. He himself always maintains the most dignified gravity; only by an occasional twinkle of the eye does the reader see that his author, like an old story-teller, is enjoying the fun internally as much as he.
And all this was done by him in advancing age, after a life of adventures and misadventures enough to have bowed any less resolute spirit, and in humble circumstances. Mow like a true gentleman does ho put down the man who had not only anticipated him by writing a second part to Don Quixote, but had gone out of his way to revile him. "What I cannot forbear resenting is, that he upbraids me with my age, and with having lost my hand, as if it were in my power to have hindered time from passing over my head, or as if my injury had been got in some drunken quarrel at a tavern, and not on the noblest occasion that past or present ages have seen, or future can ever hope to see."
The introduction to this edition contains a memoir of Cervantes, from which the following summary is worth extracting:—
"Born of a family, honorable but poor; receiving in the first instance a liberal education, but thrown into domestic servitude by calamity; page, valet de chambre, and afterwards soldier; crippled at the battle of Lepanto; distinguished at the capture of Tunis; taken by a Barbary corsair ; captive for five years in the slave-depots of Algiers j ransomed by public charity, after every effort to effect his liberation by industry and courage had been made in vain; again a soldier in Portugal and the Azores; struck with
a woman noble and poor, like himself; reca! one moment to letters by love, and exiled h them the next by distress; recompensed fci services and talents by the magnificent »pf>a ment of clerk to a victualling board; accoso malversation with regard to the public moti thrown into prison by the king's minister?, leased after proving his innocence ; subsets?! again imprisoned by mutinous peasants; been a poet by profession, and a general ageot: tra acting, to gain a livelihood, negotiations by ct mission, and writing dramas for the tfcest discovering, when more than fifty yean of i the true bent of liii genius; ignorant what p*» be could induce to accept of the dedicatic* his work; finding the public indifferent * book at which they condescended to laugh, did not appreciate, and could not comprehei finding also jealous rivals, by whom he was n culed and defamed; pursued by want evta old age; forgotten by the many, unknown tsi and dying at last in solitude and poverty . so during his life and at his death, was Murw! Cervantes Saavedra. It was not till after I lapse of two centuries that his admirers th«ii of seeking for his cradle and his tomb; than! adorned with a medallion in marble the 1 house in which he lived; that they raise* statue to his memory in the public square; i that, effacing the cognomen of some obscure more fortunate individual, his countrymen scribed at the corper of a little street in Mm! that great name, the celebrity of which raou through the civilized world."
Vie Poetical Works of John MiUnn; vti Memoir, and Critical Remarks on his Gt* and Writings, by James Moxtgostu and one hundred and tieenty Engraving* Drawings by William Harvet. Id' volumes. Harper &, Brothers.
With the exception of the engravings, w are common-place in design, and by no ro delicately executed, this is one of the mo* gant editions of Milton ever issued. Th per is excellent, and the type so beautiful! that an hour's reading seems rather to ro the eyesight. Bound in cloth, and will edges, these two volumes make as desin gift book as the season has produced, am which ought to be on every parlor table l there is not a Milton already.
We cannot have the fathers ofonrlitel and poetry too much with us. Tboo.fr number that read and relish Milton be fei it is something to see him daily, and to !'•. conservative influence of his presence:' he is there will continue still some ester learning, some reverence for sound thii some love of nobleness. Even where tha use made of him is to dust him every nn as he lies in gilt edges, with such compi as the annuals ana the Book of Beaut* daily sight of his form will be like the pnsl