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The affairs of a merchant or a tradesman become property tax has been often proposed, and often generally known to his banker, his solicitor, or those with a snivelling apology for the daring nature of houses with whom he deals; to their clerks, and to the scheme, as if he who expounded truth was, his own clerks; but they are all interested in keep nevertheless, ashamed of himself and it. Still, ing the secret, while the commissioners and the this plan consists with equity, and is perhaps the clerks employed by them have no similar interest. only plan possessing that qualification. Five per The opposition of the rate payers to the tax is cent. takes many little pleasures from a family enlivened by this circumstance, and if the income doomed to live upon one hundred pounds a year. tax from earnings and profits in trade be continued, It is a journey to the coast, forfeited. It is the the Government should appoint paid commissioners new gown or shawl that cannot be bought. It to proceed from place to place as an assize, in may be the school-fee that cannot be paid-and order to fix the payments, hear appeals, and re- the child grows up in ignorance. It may be the ceive explanations. They would really have the week's leisure that dare not be enjoyed--and the advantage of local knowledge, for they would ac. weak man grows weaker on that account, until, quire acuteness in estimating profits, because that perhaps, this little tax makes a widow and orphans would be their work from January to December; at a day that might have been postponed, except and they would be diocesan in their nature, con- for five per cent. fined within geographical limits, in which clever The same rate taken out of a thousand pounds men might acquire an acquaintance with an entire per annum is scarcely felt upon the expenditure of population.
a family. It causes, certainly, no real hardship Twenty years since, or nearly, the late Mr. --for we all know that there is no perceptible O'Connor threatened to become Chancellor of difference in the style of living between £950 and the Exchequer, Premier, or something of that kind. £1,000 per annum. The poorer family are taxed He was the leader of a great multitude, who, if severely--the richer are taxed lightly; yet we they had been managed well, might have secured have an equal rate, and without an equitable result. large changes. We remember a long conversa- We need not multiply illustrations of the same tion with him upon a plan of direct taxation. His argument. The facts are self-evident, and they project, although perhaps, like some others, a lit- are not applied to tax gathering, chiefly because the tle Utopian, had method in its madness; if less rich have hitherto had the principal control over the imaginative people than the late member for Not. construction of the tax gatherers' schedules—as tingham deem it mad. He held that tradesmen they, indeed always will have, because they have should be allowed to rate themselves. Every man leisure to superintend these proceedings; but, in business should be considered the best judge of ultimately, they will superintend them with more his income, and deemed honest in his statements; than present justice. but the general list of names and returns was to be The Chancellor of the Exchequer is reported to published. The tax was to be voluntary under the have said that the Government intended to exempt dread of publicity, and while Mr. O'Connor admitted the working classes from the operation of direct that advantage would accrue to persons of miserly taxes. So long as the minimum rate is £100 per habits from his scheme, he calculated that avarice annum, we regret to believe that three-fourths, or would be overcome by vanity, and that, upon the nine-tenths, of the number are exempted, because, whole, the persons who might exaggerate their although a larger proportion may nominally earn means would outnumber those who would underrate £2 weekly-which we doubt-yet even they are their possessions.
exposed to dull seasons, idle times, and other reThe present income tax can only approximate ductions. The working classes appear, therefore, to justice by a division of the tax into the three to be exempted, with few exceptions ; but we are obvious classes—of persons earning profits or wages, not certain that they object to a fair tax, levied of others having annuities or salaries, terminable directly, accompanied by fair rights. The better only with their lives ; and of those who live upon portion of the working classes do not want favours. the proceeds of acquired property.
They are not desirous of exemptions; but would The means of ascertaining profits must be mo- share all the burdens of the state cheerfully, acdified in the manner we have described, or by some companied by its privileges. No small part of other plan that will give greater security to the the apparent zeal for their interests originates with public against unnecessary disclosures.
the determination to resist their rights; or, if some If the friends of uniformity adhere to their persons dislike the name of "rights,” their opinions rigidly, they must allow taxes on annuities " claims.” A large proportion of the indirect and on property, separate from those on income taxation of the country is necessarily paid by them, They cannot allege that employment and strength for it is levied upon articles which they consume. are equally secure with houses and lands. They The Chancellor of the Exchequer produced a list cannot even say that they cause equal trouble to of necessaries of existence, upon which a man the State. Every family's peace and rights have might live well, that contributed nothing to the to be defended or enforced, but every family has
Biscuit and bread, fish and meat, not property to be guarded from foreign foes, or foreign and native fruits, form a bill of fare equal watched from tickets-of-leave men. A graduated to any hermit's; but in this country other produc
tions have become almost necessaries, and while we main, because they are only small evils to endure have neither the desire to see many of them for a short period, according to Act of Parliament, untaxed, nor any wish that the operative classes whereas, according to common sense and experience, should escape taxation, yet it may be remembered the income tax in some form will be perpetual. that a large part of their income must necessarily Its repeal in 1860 is a mirage. Those who live be expended upon articles that contribute largely to see 1860 will pay it if they are within its pale. to the revenue. Although their payments to the Ministers of finance of all parties, will oppose general fund are still equal to their participation repeal. They find it a great convenience, and a of its benefits, yet if any effort had been made to good foundation on which they can build. Let us, popularise the income tax, it might have been ex- therefore, bear the fact before us in all discustended and made more productive than the seven- sions on the subject, that the tax may live longer penny rate, restricted to the classes with incomes than any persons of this generation. It will proexceeding £150 per annum, can ever become. Not bably see us all in our graves.
For that reason it only however, has it been stained by injustice and should be clearly and effectively re-adjusted, and with the reproach of a domestic and local inquisi- then it could fall or rise with national exigencies. tion; but it has been made the ground of a charge A rumour has been common in some political of bad faith; while at no period from its first im- quarters, that the Palmerstonites and the Peelites position by. Sir Robert Peel, as a temporary are to commit fusion for the preservation of the expedient” to the present day, has any statesman tax. They may coalesce for some other object, endeavoured to save trouble by its payment, or but they are not to commit the folly ascribed to grounded upon it a single qualification. Ten years them. They could not save the present arrangesince some persons urged the propriety of extending ments and rate of payment by a coalition. The the circle, and rendering its receipts equivalent, Derbyites would throw them out upon that subject. under the necessary restriction of residence, to They would be abandoned by the extreme Liberal registration. They suggested the union of poli- party. Even the Manchester school, supporting, tical payment to political right. In this way all as they necessarily support, direct taxation, would the failures and frauds of our former system of be unable to vote for direct injustice. registration would have been avoided ; and with lation upon contingency that can never arise is out the destruction of any other qualification a useless. The coalition in question is equally uselarger supplemental roll would have been formed less. What strength could the Premier acquire than the original. The adoption of this course from this alliance ? He could only form it at the should have been more interesting to those who cost of personal friends. Some of them would be fear the consequences of any rapid extension of turned out, in order to make room for other people's the franchise, than to bolder persons who stand in personal friends, who would bring to the Cabinet no dread of evil from doing right. It might have no additional popularity. A general election must even led to a kind of representative electorate be at hand, and any defeated Government would among those classes whose incomes are under now be justified in appealing to the electors. All fifty pounds yearly, and who form a very large por- these circumstances oppose the probability of any tion of the people. They might liave clubbed coalition to maintain a tax that cannot be pretogether the means to qualify a voter for four or served in its present rate ; and a coalition to opfive families; and by a complicated arrangement pose Lord John Russell's Reform Bill, if the the nation might have reached that representation noble lord's Italian sojourn has matured that ineaof classes which other states attain by houses of sure, would lose to the Government more indepeasants and nobles, a little after the fashion pendent members than the Peelites five times adopted by the Turkish Government as in the counted; while the latter will, of course, afford new constitution of Moldavia and Wallachia. the benefit of their conscientious opposition to any
The war extra of ninepence will be abandoned plan for the extension of the suffrage upon a safor the financial year from April next. The ar- tisfactory basis, as a duty, without fee or reward, rangement of 1853, which was to finish the tax in in the shape of a coalition, which will not occur, three years hence, will probably be revived. The ether to preserve the income tax as it stands, or to radical evils of the system will be allowed to re
oppose a Reform Bill.
A SLA VE SALE IN AMERICA.
To an Englishman, in whose mind exists a thorough | upon as though he were a beast, and not God. hatred of slavery, there are few spectacles so created man,” is a wickedness from which humanity truly revolting as the sale of a slave. To behold | turns with horror. Yet shocking as such a sight the image of his Maker exposed before a licen- unquestionably is, it is of almost daily occurrence tious throng, and to hear his merits descanted in the slave states of America. Men, women, and
children of tender years, are publicly sold by auc- to fevers, and chills--had contributed to enfeeble tion, and their physical merits descanted upon
in him, and partly to deprive him of the use of his much the same manner as an English auctioneer at limbs. His clothing was of the coarsest and an agricultural sale would enlarge upon the excel- meanest kind. The old shooting coat, made of lence of an enormous ox.
woollen material, probably the cast-off clothing of As might be supposed, such scenes cannot be his master, which he wore, was torn and ragged. participated in, or even frequently witnessed, One of the sleeves was partly gone, and a huge without producing great demoralisation. As no rent in the side would have afforded ample scope one can violate the laws of nature without punish- for the reparatory genius of the tailor. His vest, ment following, so the people of the slave states at some remote period, had been formed of black of America, by permitting a most iniquitous system cloth ; but had grown so rusty with age, that the to exist in their territory, inflict upon themselves original colour was with difficulty distinguished. a moral injury which, although it may be unob. Of buttons it possessed only two or three, and even servable by themselves, nevertheless produces ap- those were placed at great intervals from each palling results. Were the evil terminated to mor- other. His trousers were made of fustian, or some row, many years would elapse before the southern such material. An ugly looking pair of brogans, states could cast off the demoralisation which or coarse shoes, such as are generally worn by the has grown around them; and, until this be done, slaves, protected his feet from the damp ground, they will never enjoy among the nations of the and bis grey, woolly head was covered with an old earth the moral weight which their political influe shapeless felt hat. “ Take him for all in all," he ence should enable them to wield.
was a most wretched looking spectacle. GeneBut it is not upon the slaveholders alone that rally town negroes are better dressed than English the crushing weight of demoralisation falls. Upon mechanics, yet this slave was in poverty, being, as the guiltless heads of the unfortunate blacks, the I afterwards learned, sold because his master had galling curse of slavery is felt with all its soul. been unfortunate in a speculation. Certainly, the degrading influences; and that they become old man looked most unhappy. When any one puerile in their intellects, degenerate in their feel-spoke to him, and addressed him by the familiar ings, grovelling and unambitious in their pursuits, appellation of “Uncle,” his visage for a moment and sensual in their propensities, are circumstances brightened with a smile, and then relapsed into a which can excite neither wonder nor surprise. The look of utter despair. Once he involuntarily gave negro race in America have endured the thraldom utterance to a laugh; but again the quivering lip of slavery for nearly three hundred years—a and half stifled sigh betokened too perceptibly the period during which, notwithstanding the advances agony within. made in civilisation, not the slightest improvement A young mulatto woman, of about twenty years, has occurred in the condition of the poor negro carrying in her arms a baby, on which her eyes slave,
ever and anon glanced with looks expressive of Three years ago, while residing in the city of tenderness and fear, stood next; and looked St. Louis, I witnessed for the first time the sale of timidly and anxiously upon the brutal throng who a slave. One day, while rambling about the streets were gathered to hear what she and her child of that extensive city, my attention was attracted would bring. Large tears trickled down her dusky by a large concourse of people who had assembled checks. Beside her stood another female slave, in front of the “Court-house” (a church-looking whose respectable and cleanly attire evinced that edifice without a steeple), used in the United she had been accustomed to a more refined life States for the purposes of guildhalls in England. than usually falls to the lot of slaves. Her woolly On approaching I learned that a slave sale was head was neatly encircled with a scarlet handkerabout to commence; and, with the view of observ.chief,--a mode of head decoration in which neing the proceedings, I remained among the crowd. gresses take much pride. In the portico of the building, a number of negrocs, In close proximity stood three or four young -men, women, and children, of all ages, the sub- men whose ages could scarcely have exceeded jects of sale—were accommodated.
twenty years. They were all tall and muscular, Standing in front of the group was an old negro accustomed, as their appearance indicated, to bard slave, and being the first slave whom to my know. work. Yet I have seldom seen men who looked so ledge I had ever seen, his appearance made an sad and dejected. Their sorrow was too deep for impression on me which time can never efface. tears. Their dress consisted of merely a pair of He was a decrepid old man of fifty ; yet he looked trousers, made apparently of fustian, or much older than he really was. Hard work from snch material, and a blue checked shirt. Their an early age, and still harder usage, had contributed feet, head, and arms were without covering of any to break down a naturally strong constitution, and kind, and their straw hats they carried in their to render him prematurely old. He was above hands. They had been evidently subjected to
. the middle height, and was built in a Herculean cruel treatment. One had lost a toe and two mould; yet the labours of the swamp and the fingers, another was marked by deep scars upon cotton field—exposure to almost tropical heat in the arms, which showed plainly that he had felt summer and to intense cold in winter, to agues, I the driver's lash. Another had had an eye
of their power.
severely injured, while the face and neck of a was a short, fat, vulgar, illiterate, drunken man. fourth were deeply marked by blows which he had His bloated aud unmeaning-looking face, his dull recently received. Nearly all of them exhibited eye, his sensual mouth, his protruding lips, his some mark of cruel usage.
carbuncled nose, his low and retreating forehead, At an extremity of the portico were a number his protruding stomach, -all indicated too plainly of middle aged women, surrounded by children, that he was a man of grossly debased tastes and with babies in their arms. If the appearance of habits; and but very few degrees removed, in. the other negroes indicated sadness, the negroestellectually, above the brute creation. Altogether who composed this group displayed no such he was one of the most intensely dehumanized feeling. They seemed merry, and were chatting specimens of the genus homo I ever bebeld, and and laughing among themselves, as if nothing his appearance was almost sufficient to stagger my unusual was going on. They appeared, indeed, to belief in the doctrine that all human beings postreat the thought of a change of master (that sess immortal souls. His manner corresponded word in the present case had a slavish meaning !) with his appearance-to his superiors he was a as a particularly good joke. So it might be for sycophant; to those over whom he possessed power aught that any one in that crowd knew or cared to he was a tyrant. the contrary. Perhaps they had a tyrannical The other auctioneer presented a striking conmaster, or believed that they could not really trast. He was a handsome looking man of thirty, change for the worse ; or perhaps they had been so or thereabouts, of gentlemanly appearance, and his frequently sold that their hearts had become thick black beard and moustache imparted to his callous, or they cared not whose property they features a dignity observable only in men who have became. They had toiled througli life without been accustomed to pass their days among refined experiencing any of its pleasures, and seeing society. How such a person could stoop to this
a nothing but a gloomy prospect before them, had degrading office was inexplicable. Perhaps it apparently resolved to banish care from their hearts might be accounted for in the same way as unfor ever, and to enjoy the present to the utmost principled attorneys undertake, for the sake of a
fee, "to trip up justice in the toils of law !" But Still gazing with saddened feelings at the to continue. melancholy spectacle my attention was attracted
The sale at length began.
The little fat man to a discussion carried on by a number of negroes had rudely ordered one of the negro women to standing anong the spectators. The subject of stand forward be sold. His command was their discourse was the merits and demerits of obeyed with hesitation and evident reluctance, and the unfortunate beings about to be sold-how the poor creature stood trembling before a rude much labour each boy* could perform--and how crowd, who had no sympathy for her or her enmany dollars each would sell for! Was not this a
slaved race. convincing proof of the demoralisation produced
What's by slavery among the negroes themselves ? I have how old is your child p” roughly asked the auc
your name? How old are you ? and witnessed several slave sales in America, and at every one I have seen numbers of negroes present
lioneer, preparatory to commencing the sale. -all apparently experiencing a considerable degree
The reply was inaudible to the crowd; but Mr. of pleasure in witnessing the degradation of their Byped—that was the name rejoiced in by the illusfellow men.
trious seller of human souls-quickly told his “ How much dat hyar nigga sell for ?-six auditors that it was Eliza; that her age was hunder doller, does you spose, Cuff ?” inquired one twenty-two, and that her child's age was only a sable-hued individual of another standing beside few months. him."
“Now, gentlemen," he continued, “this here “Six hunder doller!—no, you nigga, no.t He gal belongs to Mr. of street. She's am not worth picayune, sah,” rejoined the sapient sold for no fault, only her owner's got hard upCuff. “Dat nigga good for nuffin. Um aint that's a fact. He's 'bliged to sell her right off. worth six hundred cents,—not he, sah ! Dat She's a good house servant, can do everything nigga gal on de left, with the lilly piccaninny,"
about a house, from cooking the dinner to spankto what profound opinion the sable Solon was ing the babies. She's worth eight huudred dollars about to give utterance, I cared not to listen, for if she's worth a cent. How much do you bid me the individuals who were to officiate as auctioneers to start with? Who'll say five hundred ? Nonow mounted their respective rostrums. They body. Well then four-fitty. Come then, say formed a striking contrast to each other. One four hundred. Darn it, let's go ahead—who says
four hundred ?" * In the slave states, negro men how old soever they may “I'll say two hundred to begin with," said a be, are generally designated by the appellation of “ boys.”
lanky looking southerner standing near the auc* In America, I have frequently heard quarrelsome negroes tioneer. apply the epithet nigger” to each other as expressive of the most inetfable contempt, seemingly forgetful that while
“Thank you, sir," returned Byped. "Go on, they stigmatized others with possessing sable skins, they gentlemen, two-ten, two-twenty, two-thirty, that's themselves were not one whit ligliter coloured!
it, go ahead-two-forty; who says two-fifty ?"
Here for a few minutes there was a pause. The tempt with which they spoke of the “nagurs,” they auctioneer for a time ineffectually endeavoured to regarded themselves as superior to the negro race obtain another bid. At length the silence was in every respect. broken by a Yaukee, who evidently thought he An Englishman who had also witnessed the had now an excellent chance of buying a “nigger" scene expressed his feelings of sympathy for the at a very cheap rate.
oppressed slave, with that bluntness of manner “Two-fifty-three !" exclaimed he, after ejecting so characteristic of John Bull. a mouthful of tobacco juice upon the ground.
“It's a darn'd shame to sell black men and wo“ Two-fifty-three !" ejaculated the auctioneer in men in this way,” exclaimed he, striking his stick affected astonishment. "Two-fifty-three did you violently upon the ground to give emphasis to his say? I'm very dull of hearing this morning; I remark. “It's a disgrace in any Christian land, caught a cold last night, and now can't hear less and ought to be put a stop to,” he continued with than five dollars at a bid !"
increased vehemence. “If we had those fellows This sally, as was intended, produced a laugh, in England --" and the bidding commenced with vigour. Three, “ I'll just tell you what it is, Master Bull," four, five, six hundred dollars were successively interposed a good natured “ Down East Yankee," bid for the woman and her infant child.
“you'd better keep that tongue of yours a leetle It was truly painful to witness the misery which quieter, or else you'll be getting yourself into a the unfortunate negro woman underwent as the nice scrape, I can tell ye. You'll get tarred and sale was going on. Tears fell incessantly down feathered as sure as snakes is snakes, I know. her checks, as she clasped her child convulsively I've got no more liking for slavery than you have, to her bosom-not knowing how long she might but who bequeathed to us that institution, I'd like be permitted to call it her own. Her own, indeed, to know? Why, you Britishers did! And now she could not call it ; for she was a slave. Liberty you rile us some, because the evil can't be got rid she had never known, and not only had she that of. You abuse us all like thieves--free states injury to endure, but had likewise to see her and slave states—because we can't give our nigchildren torn from her, and sent to other parts of gers freedom, and ruin ourselves. We've got so the country never to behold them more. As every that we can't do without them-I wish we could bid was given, her anxious gaze was turned to- -we'd get along better. But, stranger, while you wards the person from whom it came, and his blackguard us don't you go and forget the darned features were scanned with the utmost eagerness. bad laws in your own country. I've been tharNow and then a would-be purchaser rudely ordered your garden patch is so everlastin' small that I her to walk up and down, and let them see "what used to be afraid to take a walk afore breakfast like she was;" while another would pinch her on for fear I should walk into the sea ! Precious the arms or body to feel “if she was sound," just, game laws you've got on t'other side of the in fact, as cattle dealers in this country may be herring-pond—if a man goes and kills a hare, or seen doing when examining animals they are about game of any kind, as you alls it, to feed his to purchase.
starving family, he's taken and fined, or else put in Finally, the sale was concluded. The woman gaol for it. Just as if God did not create all the and her offspring had been sold for 700 dollars — beasts of the field and birds of the air for the use (a sum equal to about £145 sterling). A few of all men—especially starving ones—and not for a minutes later, and she followed her new master | lot of tarnation lazy loafing fellows with titles, who along the streets to his home!
are no use whatever in this 'varsal world. Poor men While the one auctioneer had been busy, the in the old country aint allowed to take some kinds other had not been idle. A little boy and a little of fish out of the rivers even. Then, again, your girl—each about eleven or twelve years old—had poor men have no more political rights than even fallen to his lot to dispose of. They were both one of these niggers bas. We have no beggars sadly distressed at the thought of being sold; here--except krish, while near one half of your and, notwithstanding the words of encouragement population is not much better off than beggars ; addressed to them by the kind-hearted man, they and as for grub, why our slaves have better than sobbed as though their hearts would break. The your mechanics—and even have better homes than happy days of childhood were behind them; the some of yours, I guess.
Come now, old gentleevil days of sorrow and oppression were before man, don't get,” he added kindly, “ don't get riled them; and they contemplated the dreary prospect at what I've said. When my tongue gets loose, it with sadness and sorrow.
goes along slick, like a two-forty racehorse on a A number of Irishmen regarded the scene with blank road. Take
my advice, Sir ; throw all your feelings of delight.* Admirable as are many of prejudice about lords, earls, dukes, and sich "like the traits in the character of the Irish, certain it tomfoolery to Frenchmen, who can't do without is that between them and the negroes confirmed 'em. They're no better than you, and you ain't hostility exists ; and if I might judge of the con- better than them. Foller our example, change
your constitution and form of government, and * We are surprised at the statement, since the Irish at you'll quickly become as great as our nation, the home never participated in slaveholding.
best and freest on the surface". Here he