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trade in imports and exports by thousands mestic article to the full amount of the duty. of millions." We have no recollection of Thus, a duty of ten cents a yard on cotton ever having read a puff of a quack medi- goods, which sell in our market for eight cine equal to this.
cents a yard, is nevertheless a tax on the Some of the Secretary's figures are so poor consumer of the domestic article of strange, that we cannot make head or tail ten cents a yard; and a duty of a dollar a of them, and presume them to be mis pair on brogan shoes, would be a tax of a prints. Take for example the following: dollar a pair on American brogans,
although they could be bought in any “ By table BB, it appears that the augmen- quantity for seventy-five cents a pair ; and tation of our domestic exports, exclusive of so a duty of one dollar a bushel on wheat, specie, last year, compared with the preceding
would be a tax on the poor American year, was $48,856,802, or upwards of 48 per
laborer of one dollar a bushel on all the cent., and, at the same rate per ceut. per annum of augmentation, would amount in 1849, per
wheat with which he feeds his poor chiltable CC, to $329,959,993, or much greater
dren, although fifty cents should be the than the domestic export from State to State. highest price he ever paid for a bushel of (See tables from 7 to 12, inclusive.) The fu- / wheat. Now this is all ad captandum ture per centage of increase may not be so vulgus, and the President and Secretary great; but our capacity for such increased pro
both know it, and although it might be duction is proved to exist, and that we could
tolerated on the stump, yet when gravely furnish these exports far above the domestic demand, if they could be exchanged free of
put forth from the high places they occupy, duty in the ports of all nations."
it is a disgrace to the Republic.
The Secretary also says, “ The great The following paragraph looks very argument for protection (by which he much as though the Secretary either had means high duties) is, that by diminishbecome or was about to become a Fourier- | ing imports the balance of trade is turned ite:
in our favor, bringing specie into the coun
try." If the Secretary does not know this “When all our capitalists (as some already to be an untruth, he is even a greater have) shall surely find it to be their true inter- | blocklead than we had supposed him to est, in addition to the wages paid to the Ameri
be. We have heard no such argument, by can workman, to allow him voluntarily, because it augments the profits of capital, a fair interest
| any intelligent advocate of either high in these profits, and elevate him to the rank of duties or a protective tariff, in the last a partner in the concern, we may then defy all twenty-five years. That some very absurd competition."
arguments have been urged, both in and
out of Congress, in favor of protecting But whatever may be the meaning of duties, is very true, but Mr. Secretary this, we are inclined to believe that the Walker must not assume that he refutes Secretary's term of office is too short to the policy of a protecting tariff, by refuting enable him to convert the whole United some of the arguments of its advocates. States into phalanxes, groups and series. It is true, that the old school political
On this wise do the President and Sec-economists advocated high duties, for the retary argue in favor of the tariff of 1846 ; purpose of increasing the imports of specie, but the merits of that act are not confined but Mr. Hume and Adam Smith showed to the reduction of duties. “It is not the fallacy of that idea before our revoluonly the reduced duties, that have pro- tion, and the doctrine has never prevailed duced these happy results, (says the Sec- in this country among intelligent political retary,) but the mode of reduction, the economists. High duties are advocated substitution of the ad valorem for unequal by those who understand the subject, for and oppressive minimums and specific du- the purpose of replenishing the treasury. ties.” But without quoting farther, it may Protecting duties are advocated for the be stated generally, that both the Presi-purpose of increasing and extending the dent and Secretary assume the fact, as the market for our products; for the purpose basis of their arguments, that a specific duty of securing to the farmers of Ohio, for upon an article which excludes it from our example, a steady and sure market for all market, is a tax upon the consumer of the do- | the products of their farms at their own door, instead of leaving them to seek a | from a hundred and fifty millions of exports market across the Atlantic ; for the pur- under the tariff of 1846, was less than the pose of enabling them to make their revenue from one hundred and two millexchanges in Cincinnati instead of Liver- | ions under the tariff of 1842, yet the pool. Protecting duties may or may not problem is solved, that the new system augment the revenue. If they afford com- produces more revenue than the old! We plete protection, by excluding the foreign i have no patience to reason longer with so article altogether, they will not augment absurd a man, and therefore dismiss him. the revenue, because they will not increase! We cannot, however, take our leave of the average of duty on the whole impor- the President, without expressing our tation; but if the duty is raised, but not regret that he should have attempted to so high as to exclude the foreign article, disguise the truth in his late Message to the revenue will be replenished. It does Congress. His high station ought to have not, however, follow, as the Secretary placed him above all subterfuge or trickseems to suppose, that the general revenue ery for the purpose of sustaining a favorwill be increased by an increased revenue ite theory. This dirty work should have on a particular article. Protecting duties, been left to the understrappers of his therefore, may greatly increase and secure party in Congress and out of it. When a market for our own products, without he gave forth the responses of the Treaseither increasing or diminishing the gen ury department, he should have given them eral revenue. The home market, notwith forth fairly, and not have made one-sided standing all Mr. Secretary Walker may statements. Why did he not confine himsay to the contrary, is of three times the self to the fiscal year ending the 30th of value to us, that the foreign is or even will | June last? Why lug in five months of the be.
following year? But if he thought proper Two things are essential to commerce: to give the amount of revenue under the goods for sale, and a market where they tariff of 1846, why did he not also give can be sold ; in other words, sellers and the imports and exports of that year? buyers. If there be no goods for sale, Was he afraid that the people would see there can be no market, and if there are that the revenue under the tariff of 1846 no buyers there will be no goods for sale. was some ten or twelve millions of dollars But Mr. Secretary Walker seems to think less than it would have been under the tariff that if we have plenty of buyers, no mat of 1842 ? It almost surpasses belief, that a ter about the goods, they will come of man of common sense could be sincere in themselves when wanted. Hence our the opinion, that a reduction of the duties exports are to equal thousands of millions | would increase the revenue; yet it cannot as soon as free trade shall give us all the be doubted, that President Polk and his world for customers !
party leaders were sincere in that opinion, « The new tariff,” says Mr. Secretary | or they never would have passed an act Walker, “is no longer an experiment; the which would greatly reduce the revenue, problem is solved, and experience proves at the same time that they entered upon that the new system yields more revenue, an expensive war, which would, at least, enhances wages, and advances more rap- double the expenses of the Government. idly the public prosperity,” than the old Had they doubled the duties instead of system, we suppose, though the Secretary halving them, they would have acted does not say so. The experience of a year | much more like sensible men and practiof famine in Europe, with the most boun- | cal statesmen. The people will find out tiful harvest ever known in this country, by and by, that empirics and demagogues has, in the opinion of the Secretary, solved make expensive rulers. They will find it the problem. The experience of a single the cheapest course in the end to place extraordinary year has overthrown the capable men at the head of their Governexperience of a hundred preceding ordi- | ment.
D. R. nary years! And although the revenue ! Cincinnati, Ohio.
JASMIN, THE BARBER POET.*
Las PAPILLOTAS! Such is the title of larger than nature; so when we look back the two volumes of poetry we have before into the past, things become magnified, us—a title which would be singular indeed, and we involuntarily exaggerate their diif it were not accounted for by the pro- | mensions. It is thus in the present case; fession of the author. Jasmin is, indeed, but yet we think it may be said, that a coiffeur, and performs the menial offices among the ancients, as well as during the of his profession with all the accuracy of middle ages, poetry was more widely a Figaro ; but when his work is done, he diffused, and had a more direct and does not, like so many of the brotherhood, powerful influence on the destinies of spend his time in laying in a stock of mankind, than it has in modern times. scandal and gossip, which he may retail The distance which separated the poet the next morning, when standing behind from those who listened to his verses, was the chair of some fair lady, whose chief | then less great. Between them there delight it often is, to listen to such stories. seemed to be established an electric chain. No! Jasmin, when he has laid aside his He often borrowed from the people razors and his curling-tongs, devotes to images, which he returned, after having the Muses his hours of leisure. This con- given to them a new lustre, a new brilltrast between the vulgar occupation of iancy, as the glass refracts the rays of the poet of Agen, and the truly beauti- the sun with increased intensity. The ful poetry we find in his works, is par- earlier Greek bards went from place to ticularly striking, in an age when poetry place reciting their verses, until they beseems to have sought a refuge in the came indelibly engraved in the hearts of higher classes of society, and to have their hearers. In the middle ages, the become rather the passetems of the man minstrel, or the troubadour, was the favorof fortune than the conscientious expres- | ite of all classes. In the castle of the sion of a popular feeling. The class of feudal baron, he would arouse the ardent poets to which Jasmin belongs is, at pres- and chivalrous spirit of the guests assement, very limited. He is essentially a bled around the festive board, by the recital popular poet. Sprung from the lower of the noble exploits of Arthur and his orders of society, an artisan himself, he barons, or the valor of those devoted has, in all his poetic effusions, addressed Christians, who crossed the seas to rescue himself to the multitude, not to the select the sepulchre of their Saviour from an infew. In former times it was not uncom- fidel foe; or else he would bewail, in strains inon to find a poet thus devoted to the so pathetic, the untimely fate of some fair entertainment and to the instruction of the maiden, that every eye would be moistencrowd. Judging of past ages, by means ed with tears of pity and compassion. But of that knowledge of general facts which it was not alone in the mansions of the history affords—for history deigns not to great, that the voice of the poet was heard. descend into the details of every private The peasant, too, would lend an ear to life-we almost fancy that there was a his songs, and himself repeat them, to time when poetry circulated in the world, beguile the weary hours of labor; and, as freely as the air we breathe,-when alas ! how weary must those hours have every man was a poet, if not to create, at been, when he knew that it was not he least to understand and to feel. When who was to enjoy the fruits of this labor, the atmosphere is full of mists and va- but his tyrannical master. How different is pors, objects seen at a distance appear | the occupation of the poet in our own times!
* Las Papillotas de JASMIN COIFFEUR, Membre de la Societat de Sciencos et Arts d'Agen. Agen: 1835, 1812. 2 vols. 8vo.
Shut up in the narrow confines of a dense- | flowers; at the foot of the glaciers, she ly populated city, or at best, inhabiting places verdant meadows and genial springs, some country-seat, in which he is fortunate as if to show that, even when she seems indeed, if, at every hour of the day, the to have become extinct, she can, by the shrill whistle of a railroad train does not secret forces of which she is the mistress, break in upon his meditations, the only arise with renovated vigor. Thus in ages means he possesses of acting on his fel- of comparative barbarity, she often unexlow-men, is the press-a powerful engine pectedly bursts forth with astonishing force indeed, but how inferior, when the heart and brilliancy; and in ages when civiliis to be touched, to the varied tones of zation seems to have reached so high a the poet's voice when he recites his own pinnacle, as to leave nothing more for her verses. The poet, now, is the invisible be- to do, she still asserts her power, and ing who sets the puppets on the stage in shows that she is greater than civilization. motion ; in former days he was himself the She is not particular either about the garb actor. We may indeed be touched by the | in which genius is clothed. She often thoughts which he expresses, for there is spurns the glare of pure and elegant form, a secret harmony between different minds, and pours her richest gifts into a recipient which enables them to communicate with of more homely shape and material. High out any material intermediary; but still, intellectual culture is not always the newe think that the poet, who addressed cessary companion of genius. It is not himself directly to the public, could more alone by the contemplation and study of easily awaken deep emotions in the breast masterpieces, that the poet is enabled to of his hearers. Let us not, however, be produce works of which he may say, with misapprehended. We would not be un- | the great Roman poet, derstood to express a regret for the past. This is but a simple statement of facts.
“Exegi monumentum aere perennius." We belong not to that class of worship- Imitation is useless. The poet may, pers of all that is gone by, who, in their it is true, borrow from others, but even admiration for what no longer exists, for- | that which he borrows must be new get the beauties and the blessings of the created within him, if it is to go forth in a present hour. The progress of civiliza-poetic form. He must surround himself tion modifies everything. Poetry; in an by that spiritual solitude, in which the age of material improvement, and of sci- voice of the world may yet be heard, but entific discovery, cannot be the same as in in which it only reaches him in a purer an age when love and war seemed alone and more hallowed tone. Such a poet to reign in the world. But it may still, may well be found in the lower ranks of it does still exist, although modified in its society. There is, indeed, a youthful manifestation. At a period of high intel- | force and vigor of intellect in those whose lectual culture, poetry must, of course, faculties have not been wasted on too partake in some degree of the philoso- | vast a number of objects. Their thoughts phical spirit of the times. Happy then, are concentrated on some few great points. when it does not take the form of the Unincumbered by the immense mass of stately and almost supernatural indiffer- | knowledge which ages have accumulated, ence of a Goethe, or the impassioned they can, when genius lends them wings, skepticism of a Byron! But even in these | take the most bold and lofty flights. ages of improved civilization, the simple Such a child of nature is Jasmin, the barvoice of pure and natural poetry is still ber poet. at times heard. In an age of political and | Jaques Jasmin, or Jaqueon Jansemin, (as social reform, like our own, when all the he is called in his native patois,) was born idols of the past are falling, one by one, in the year 1787 or 1788 at Agen. His to the ground, there are still some poets, father was a tailor, who, although he did whose poetry flows on in a calm and not know how to write, composed almost tranquil stream, and fills the soul with all the principal couplets which were sung nought but pure and healthful instructions. | in the popular festivities of the neighboring Nature delights in these contrasts. In a country. Jaques' father and mother were barren soil, she, at times, brings forth / both poor, but he was as happy as a prince
when he was a child, for he had not yet he could, opened a shop. His skill as a learnt the meaning of those two words coiffeur, and, we may add, the charming rich and poor. Until the age of ten, he verses which he had already composed, spent almost all his time in the open air soon brought him customers. He married, playing with his little companions or cutting and his wife, who at first objected to his wood. In the long winter evenings, he wasting his time in writing poetry, soon would sit at the family fireside on his urged him to do so when she found that grandfather's knee and listen to those won- this employment was likely to be profitderful stories which we all have heard as able. He has since then been able to buy children, but which in the child of genius the house in which he lives. The first, may be said to be the first cause which perhaps, of his family, he has experienced develops the poetic inspiration with which that feeling of inward satisfaction which he is endowed. But ihese happy days the right of possession is so apt to confer, could not last. One day, as he was play. when it has been purchased by the meritoing in the street, he saw his grandfather rious labors of the hand and the head. taken to the hospital. “Why have you He now enjoys that honest mediocrity left us? Where are you going ?” were which seems to be the height of his worldly the boy's questions at this melancholy ambition. Such are the only circumstansight.“ To the hospital,” was the reply ; ces of Jasmin's life which we have been " it is there that the Jansemins must die." | able to gather from the poetical autobiogFive days afterwards the old man was no raphy entitled, “ Mons Soubenis.” The more. From that time Jasmin knew how life of a poet is not always interesting. poor he was. How bitter was this expe- | Not unfrequently, its most striking features rience to him! He felt no longer any in- | are the poetic flowers he has himself terest in his childish pastimes. As he has strewed on his path. himself beautifully expressed it, if any. ! We have already said that Jasmin was thing drew from him a smile, it was but a popular poet. To be this, in the true like the pale rays of the sun on a rainy sense of the word, it is necessary to speak day. One morning, however, he saw his the language of the people. This Jasmin mother with a smiling countenance. What has understood. With the exception of then had happened ? She had succeeded two or three pieces in the collection we in gaining admittance for bim in a charity have before us, all his poems are written school. In six months afterwards he in his native patois. But he not only could read ; in six months more, he could makes use of this language, he defends it assist in the celebration of mass ; in an- | against all attacks as the last distinguishing other six months, he could sing the Can-mark between his countrymen and the intum ergo, and in two years from the time habitants of the rest of France. Among when he first went to school he was ad- his poems, there is a reply to the discourse mitted into a seminary. Here, however, of a Mr. Dumon, member of the Chamber he remained but six months. He was of Deputies, in which that gentleman, afexpelled from thence on account of a rather ter having paid, it is true, a just tribute to suspicious adventure with a peasant girl, the genius of the Gascon poet, said that it and perhaps still more because he had was not even desirable that the patois eaten some sweetmeats belonging to the should be maintained. The reply of Jasdirector of the establishment. The de- min is full of an ardent patriotic spirit, spair of his family was great at this unex- and is a noble defence of his native lanpected event, for they had been furnished guage. with bread at least once a week from the seminary. They were now without money “ The greatest misfortune," he says, “ which and without bread! But what will a can befall a man in this world, is to see an mother not do for her children! His aged mother, sick and infirm, stretched out on mother had a ring—her wedding ring:
her bed and given over by the doctors. At her
pillow, which we do not leave for an instant, she sold it, and the children had bread once
our eye fixed on hers and our hand in her hand, more, at least for a few days. He was
we may for a day revive her languishing spirits ; now to learn a trade ; he became the ap but alas! she lives to-day but to die to-morprentice of a hair-dresser, and as soon as row! This is not the case, however, with that