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dinary increase of duty during the last war, which carried the price of salt to 3ol. a ton, of which the prime cost is only 16s. This enormous addition, and the official difficulties attendant on the collection of the tax, have entirely prevented the application of salt to various purposes; such as the use of the refuse for manure, the mixing of common salt with hay, and its distribution in small quantities for the food of sheep, although it is recognized as an effectual preventive of the rot and other complaints.
The great means of obtaining a stock of salt, when admitted to general use, would be neither from sea-water nor from rock-salt, but from brine springs; a most plentiful and copious source of supply, the brine of Cheshire yielding on an average 25 per cent., or one gallon of solid salt from four gallons of liquid: whereas common sea-water does not yield above one in 28. England is therefore almost as superior to other countries in salt as in coal; and it is no exaggeration to say that the public benefits arising from the unrestrained use of the former would not be inferior to the immense advantages so long derived from the latter. These benefits might be realized without any fanciful projects, any tedious or expensive undertakings; they would require nothing but a recurrence to the natural course of things, and the removal of a burden imposed in a season when we were in extremis. The relief arising from establishing work-houses on a new plan, from digging canals, and laying out roads and rail-ways, is not uniformly certain, and is at all events remote: but the removal of the salt-duties would open a field which would at once be occupied by individuals for their own sake.
What more would be demanded by our ship-owners and our seamen, in order to extend our fisheries all along the coast, particularly in the neighbourhood of the metropolis; where the demand is so large, and where the narrowness of the sea leads in certain seasons to an extraordinary accumulation of fish ? The Kentish seamen (says Sir Thomas) might in October and November take herrings in a quantity more than double the average catch of our great cod-fishery at Newfoundland; and the case would be the same with regard to the shoals of mackarel in May, June, and July; affording thus a most important addition to our means of accomplishing two main points, - the employment of our sailors and the maintenance of our poor.
At present, our advantages are confined to temporary supplies of fresh fish at particular seasons; and it is almost impracticable to salt them for a winter-store, on account of the custon-house difficulties in obtaining a remission of duty.
It is a remarkable fact that salt, which, after all our restrictions at home, we sell duty free to foreigners, is used largely by the American farmers; though, by the time at which it reaches them, it costs not less than half a crown a bushel. When applied as a manure, it has, in addition to other advantages, great efficacy in reducing weeds and dried herbage into a putrid and oily mass. * Even in our manufactures, the unrestricted use of salt would be productive of the most extensive benefit. Three tons of salt suffice to make one ton of mineral alkali, an important ingredient in soap: but, the duty having entirely stopped this manufacture, our soap-boilers have been obliged to have recourse to Spain for barilla, and frequently to substitute inferior materials. Mineral alkali is an article of the most extensive application, and, with the enterprize and capital of our manufacturers, would set at work so many new branches as to occupy several thousands of labourers; perhaps to make up to the revenue, by a new and moderate tax on the alkali, a considerable part of that which might be relinquished on the salt. Sal-ammoniac has hitherto been imported at a heavy expence; and it was in vain that our chemists lately discovered a process for making it both cheaper and better from common salt, because the excise stept in and insisted on levying the full duty. Magnesia and Glauber's Salts are open to the same observations : both might be procured in great quantities by taking off the duty on salt; and both might be made the objects of a new tax in their manufactured state. A farther indemnity to the revenue might, in all probability, be obtained by a tax on the export of salt, founded on the same principle as our tax on the export of coal; a principle which, if in some measure questionable, is certainly less injurious than the present rule of allowing to foreigners that which we deny to our countrymen.
We have thus made it apparent that the object of the worthy Baronet is of the highest importance, and that he does not advise the repeal of one species of duty without suggesting an alternative. Whatever difference of opinion may exist as to the new taxes, proposed by way of commutation, no person can doubt that the public would gain largely by the relinquishment of the present duties, both in the general prosperity of the lower orders and more directly in the reduction of family expences. • The extent of this reduction,' says Sir T. B., is greater than I could have conceived until I made inquiry about the quantity of salt used in my own family and in some others.' İf to all these arguments we add the respect due to the large proportion of the House of Commons that voted for the repeal a few months
* It is even worth while to advert to the salutary effects of salt in scrofulous and other complaints, by enabling the poor to make use of artificial salt-baths, when they cannot afford the expence of a distant journey, or the inconvenience attendant on leaving their business.
ago, when the question came before them, we cannot but hope that the subject will soon engage the serious attention of government.
ART. IX. Symbolic Illustrations of the History of England, from
the Roman Invasion to the present Time: accompanied with a Narrative of the Principal Events. Designed more particularly for the Instruction of Young Persons. By Mary Ann Rundalí, of Bath, Author of the Grammar of Sacred History. 4to.
pp. 645. 21. 25. Boards. Black and Co. THE He size and price of this volume, and the sex of its author,
are so many calls on our attention to its contents. We regret, however, the necessity of noticing it, because both of the former considerations are serious grounds of complaint, and to the latter we have been accustomed to pay such habitual deference that we would gladly avoid any expression which might seem to compromise our gallantry and respect. We must, however, put ourselves in the same situation with a judge who administers the law, and, shutting our eyes on the person, must consider only the facts.
Although the title-page informs us that this work is . designed more particularly for the use of young persons, we must acknowlege that even we, as old critics, found no little difficulty in comprehending the mode by which the instruction is to be conveyed; and even now we doubt whether we have been successful in our endeavours. The preface commences with an assertion in which we cannot concur; viz. • that the history of England is considered by youth less amusing than any other which is usually put into their hands. In order to shew that this does not originate in the wantof interestingevents, but in the want of sufficiently celebrating them, the author asks a few such questions as these : • If Cincinnatus was taken from the plough, to fill the highest dignities in Rome, were not Cranmer and Wolsey raised from the meanest situations to fill the highest offices in church and state ? - and -. If a Codrus devoted himself for the safety of his country, is the generous valour of British seamen less glorious, who at the memorable siege of Gibraltar plunged amidst a sea of fire to save the lives of their enemies at the hazard of their own?' - comparisons in which we do not see an adequate resemblance. Mrs. R. then proceeds to account for the fact thus assumed, by stating that the paintings that illustrate our own history are very few when compared with those of antiquity,' and that the remembrance of every memorable action of old was perpetuated by temples and triumphal arches:' -- thus taking it for granted that these young persons, who are engaged in the study of the rudiments of history, must be perfectly well acquainted with the pictures of the antient masters, and with the ruinous records of the heroes of old. The next sentence in the preface contains all the explanation that is given of the method proposed.
· Objects that are seen make a more lasting impression on the mind than the mere RECITAL of facts: it has therefore been my aim in the composition of the symbols or hieroglyphics, to embody, as it were, the most striking incidents recorded in the annals of our country: and, as the ingenuity and penetration of the student is Care] exercised in discovering the meaning of the symbolical representation, the fact itself, with all its connecting associations, becomes more forcibly impressed upon the memory.'
Thus, then, according to this train of argument, the impression which has been produced with regard to antient history by poetry, painting, and sculpture,' is to be effected in English history by " symbols and hieroglyphics. Let us see how this is to be accomplished.
In the advertisement is a key to the Symbols,' which, after having stated that . a nation collectively is represented by a small
flag on which is depicted a symbolic figure, such as a lion for the English, a thistle for the Scotch, and a leek for the Welsh, contains among others the following explanations: - The Roman standard is the eagle, with S.P.Q.R. The Saxons are represented by the old Saxon letter S on a white ground. The Danes by a D on a field azure. The Normans by an 1 on a field vert :' so that the boyish student must have a little knowlege of heraldry also, as these symbols are not coloured.
· The English individual is designated by an upright line, sure mounted with an oak leaf: if a diagonal line crosses it, it is a knight or noble. The triple lines are females. Kings and queens are distinguished by crowns. Princes and princesses have a small crescent reversed on the top of a perpendicular line.
An upright line with a death's-head is an assassin.'
The method being thus simply detailed, we proceed to the work itself. It consists of 40 plates, each of which is divided into compartments, (generally about nine in number,) and in each compartment is a symbolic representation of an insulated fact in the history of England. The letter-press is arranged in sections, each section recording a particular fact, the title of which is placed at its head, with a reference to the figure representing the subject in the preceding plates; and in many instances an explanation of the symbols is prefixed. In order to shew the effect of all this, we will take at random one of the figures. In the reign of Richard II. is a section intiiled Queen Anne's intercession for Burley:' a subject, by the way, scarcely interesting enough to justify the labour of decyphering an hieroglyphic. The diagram to which it refers is headed 1388, and consists of two figures; one is an upright line surmounted with an oak-leaf,' - something like the mast of a ship, - crossed by a diagonal line, which may be compared to one of the yards across the mast;: the other is a triple line,' bent into a sort of obtuse angle, and surmounted by a crown; - resembling in some degree a broken flag-staff with the ropes attached to it. The explanation is, ' Anne, Queen of Richard II. pleading before the Duke of Gloucester for the life of Sir Simon Burley.' – The questions naturally arise, how two lines — the one upright and the other bent— can by any possibility designate in an intelligible manner an historical fact; and how the upright line is to be recognized by the most ingenious pupil as the Duke of Gloucester, any more than another line in a similar position, of which there are several hundreds : or how the triple line can be known for the queen of Richard II., rather than for the Queen Elgiva, who in the 6th figure of plate 2. is represented in exactly the same form? We confess that we are puzzled in seeking the advantage possessed by these symbols, compared with the more natural and pleasing mode of representing events in pictures; and in ascertaining why this two-guineabook is to be preferred to the more interesting and useful tract of Mrs. Trimmer, price about two shillings.
The suggestion of the idea of this work is attributed to Mr. Von Feinagle, who delivered some years ago a series of Jectures on Mnemonics, of which an unauthorized and imperfect account was noticed in our Review for May 1813: but surely a wide difference exists between learning, by such means as are here described, events of which the pupil is at first wholly ignorant, and fixing in the memory the date of facts which are supposed to be already known. The system of the Professor, moreover, was not intended to convey the instruction, but to methodize and fix that knowlege which had been already acquired.