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174 and 175 *. The method of comparison is inaccurate; and if accurate, the inference from it depends entirely on assuming that the whole debt might have been borrowed in a five per cent. stock, with no greater loss by allowance for depreciation than small sums might produce. We by no means deny that during this period it has been sometimes more profitable to borrow by creating five per cents. than three per cents., and that probably this might have been done with advantage to a somewhat greater extent; but we doubt whether the difference of cost would have been in any proportion so great as may be inferred from the statement we have referred to; and we must consider the question as depending very materially on contemporary circumstances as to pecuniary protitu.
We, however, attach no sınall importance to a reduction of the nominal magnitude of the funded capital, believing that, in spite of all dry calculations, a debt of five hundred millions, though
*Taking theamount of money borrowed, and of debtcreated; and also the amount of money employed in redeeming the debt between February 1793 and February 1812, as stated by the Professor in page 169, it appears that we have on a mea dium borrowed at the rate of 66l. 186. 8 d. received in money for 1001. of capital debt created, and have paid in money only 631. 185. 11 d. to redeem 1001. of capital debt, being less in the latter instance by about three per cent. in stock, or five per cent, in money. The contrast would have been more striking if a separate comparison had been made of the debt and redemption during the first and second of the present antirevolutionary wars. But this will shew clearly enough the probable inaccuracy of the method of comparison adopted by Professor Hamilton.
# For instance, in the year 1810 the exchequer bills were funded at 1031. 58. of five per cent. stock for 1001. of their amount; giving therefore for the interest
5 3 3 and requiring for the sinking fund
less by only one-fifth of a penny; or in all
6 3 11
for the total annual charge to be provided for; and this by a redemption at par would extinguish the capital debt created in a little less than thirty-seven years.
But in the same year a loan was borrowed by creating three per cents. at 1401. 7s. 6d. for 1001. in money, giving therefore for the interest 4 4 3 and for the fund
1 8 1
so that the total charge was only
5 12 4
being an annual saving of 15s. 7d. per cent., yet redeeming the capital created in about the same time, if purchasing at eighty per cent., or considerably sooner at seventy-five per cent.
If the same annual charge as for the five per cent.stock, or 6l. 3s. 11d. had been appropriated, then, since only 4l. 45. 3d. would be wanted for interest, there would remain 1l. 19s. Sd, to be employed, in redeeming which, at 751. money for 1001. stock, would extinguish the debt created in less than twenty-seven years, or at 80l. per cent. in little more than twenty-vine years, being ten years saving of time on the first, and almost eight years on the second, and less probablemen dium rate of redemption.
at three per cent. interest, sounds more formidably than one of only three hundred millions at five per cent. We therefore should gladly.s
see realized the Professor's idea of creating no more funded capital than the amount of the loan, and making up the difference by some other arrangement. We cannot think that this could be economically done by giving a long annuity in all cases, but probably the political benefit would amply compensate any small increase of expence.
We will only add on this subject that, for a considerable time, there has been an evident disposition on the part of those who have directed our finances, to keep down as much as possible the nominal magnitude of the funded debt; and that if borrowing by a five per cent. stock has not hitherto been adopted to the extent that might be wished, it has been because, in that extent, it has usually been impracticable without great loss by depreciation,
Art. II. A Journey through Albania and other Provinces of
Turkey in Europe and Asia, to Constantinople, during the Years 1809 and 1810. By J. C. Hobhouse. London, 1813.
If to travel through Albania and Greece to the Turkish capital be an undertaking of enterprize and difficulty, let it be acknowledged too, in justice to Reviewers, that to travel through a quarto of no less than 1150 pages is a task, which if it does not exercise our patience, at least attests our perseverance. To him who enters upon a book not as his sport or recreation, but as his trade and business, a hundred or two of pages, more or less, are a serious consideration. If, therefore, Reviewers in general feel as we feel, the portentous size of the book now lying before us must have excited among our numerous fraternity no little consternation. In our progress through the work, however, these impressions bave given place to others of a more agreeable kind, and we acknowledge with pleasure that the time, much as it has been, which we have thought proper to devote to Mr. Hobhouse, has been purchased by the value of his communications.
The state in which the continent has continued for many years, if it has been fruitful in calamity, has not been without its compensations. How many young gentlemen but for this would have proceeded in the ordinary course of education, to finish by
the lessons and examples of Paris and Geneva that fatal compound of ignorance and impertinence, of sensuality and infidelity, which it is scarcely within the compass of schools and colleges, without foreign aid, to bring to perfection. By the removal of those facilities of roving abroad which used to exist, our English youth are a little sifted and sorted before they can leave our shores. Idle and vacant curiosity has now no easy vent; and that bubbling and boisterous thing which issues from our public places of education, after passing through its processes of slavery and tyranny, of grammar and declamation, of vice and prejudice, is kept at home to fume away its early conceits, and to settle into some manliness of thought and behaviour before it can escape from its bounds.
The patlis which now lie open to the enterprize of the traveller, are surely such as none will adventure in but those who are exceptions to the case of the young noblemen and gentlemen above alluded to. To minds uninformed, or unexcited by views of liberal curiosity, the shores of Turkey and Greece, and the voyage of the Mediterranean, present no allurements sufficient to balance against the sacrifice of ease and security involved in the undertaking. Even the vanity concerned in it, is a vanity half-excused by the worth of its object. And our morality is not so fastidious as to scruple at bestowing praise, even where the objects of such a journey are centred in the traveller himself. We still consider him as entitled to praise for his liberal love of distinction. But where views of benefit to mankind, or the actual contribution of useful knowledge, which has a right to take credit for its motives, appear to be a part of the scheme of the traveller, we cordially admit his claim to our gratitude as well as applause.
Mr. Hobhouse has placed himself upon this eminence by the dignity of his undertaking, and his manner of carrying it to its accomplishment. The narrative which he has produced bears unquestionable marks of a curious, capacious, and observant mind, and the same may be said of the poetical production of his friend Lord Byron, who accompanied him on his travels.
But it should not be forgotten, that in travelling for the laudable purpose of acquiring and diffusing the knowledge of men and things, we enter upon an intellectual commerce, which requires no inconsiderable capital. If we would draw much from the countries we visit, we should carry with us much to tender in exchange. To be provided with this merchandize, sufficient time should be taken between the completion of our education at home, and the commencement of our travels abroad, to dissipate our early prepossessions and youthful presumptions, and to study the human character, first by becoming better acquainted with ourselves, and then, by comparing what passes within ourselves, with the motives and objects which appear to actuate the conduct of others. It is not to be expected that the foundations of any substantial knowledge can be laid in those superficial and rapid glances which foreign travel usually affords. So many impedimento oppose themselves to a free communication where the medium of converse is new and embarrassing, the manners reciprocally strange, if not sometimes repelling, and the change of society frequent and abrupt, that but little, indeed, of that knowledge which may be called man-science can be added to our stock, unless our search into character has been previous ly conducted with such diligence as well as intelligence at home, as to make us dexterous in developing the moral constitution of minds, and the operation of external circumstances on the interior condition of society.
A conviction, probably, of the little solid information in general to be gained from the transient glimpses which travelling usually allows, induced Socrates to content himself with the limits of the Athenian territory for his speculations on man; and to answer to him who required a reason of this peculiarity of opinion, that “ stones and trees did not edify him." We should be inclined to push this sentiment a little further by observing, that in our opinion no deeper information is to be gained by the mere observation of external modes and customs.
Having thrown out these general remarks on the proper preparation of the mind for extracting from foreign travel its inost beneficial results, a preparation which implies a postponement of the undertaking to a more advanced age than is usually waited for, we shall take the liberty of supposing that some of the deficiencies of the volume before us may be imputable to the early period of life at which it seems to have been undertaken. It were vain to expect from the most forward talents of early youth the mellow sense and sagacity produced by long acquaintance with books and men: and though the present work is written with great gravity and decorum, and is by no means wanting in excellent description and perspicuous detail, yet we think it camot be denied that there is sometimes an emptiness in the observations and conclusions, together with a rawness of expression, and poverty of style, which are the common characteristics of juvenile compositions. It is only in the attempt to generalize, - and when the narrator suddenly assumes the authority of the teacher, grounding aphorisms upon facts and expanding history into philosophy, that our entertaining conductor through Greece and Turkey reminds us of his want of years.
The author appears, however, to be fully sensible of the proper ends of travelling, as they have been pointed out by Bacon and Locke, and especially with that elegant purpose of it, so pleasingly alluded to by Lord Hardwicke in the 364th number of the Spectator, of improving the taste in the best authors of anti, quity by seeing the places in which they lived, and of which they wrote.
Of religion but little mention is made, and such notices as occur respectiog it shew nothing of the writer's sentiments on the subject. We cannot, however, help saying, that the Turk is somewhạt less a favourite with us than he seems to be with our traveller; and we have no reserve in declaring a more decided dis: approbation of the religion of Mohammed, than he may have thought it consistent with his grave impartiality to profess. Begun in stratagem and continued in blood, it has ended in the per petuation of tyranny and ignorance. Some of the legendary superstitions which have been engrafted on the true religion, are mentioned in a manner which brought Mr. Gibbon's characteristic sneer rather too strongly to our minds. We trust, however, that this is only a fanciful resemblance; and we are desirous of thinking that Mr. Hobhouse is far removed from any such despicable affectation.
We cannot doubt that subsequent editious of this valuable work will give the author the opportunity of reconsidering those passages which have invited the remarks we have just made; and we can as little doubt that a capacity like that which the work in its present condition displays, will save the critic the trouble of being more particular in his censure. As Reviewers are some times charged with a propensity to cavilling, we will not close these introductory remarks without declaring in round terms, in justice to Mr. Hobhouse and in vindication of ourselves, that we have received as much pleasure and instruction from the perusal of these travels as from that of any others which have ever come before us. We have only now to request the reader to sit still and attentive, while we endeavour to present him with a panorama of the regions and cities which our sensible traveller has visited and illustrated.
While the author and his friend were at Malta, hesitating whether they should proceed directly to Smyrna or visit first the shores of European Turkey, a brig of war which was setting out to convoy a small fleet of merchantmen to Patras, the chief port on the western side of the Morea, and to Prevesa on the coast of Albania, decided them in taking their passage to the latter place; and their voyage from Malta accordingly commenced on the 19th of September, 1809. In a few days they found