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feited what yet remained of his civil virtues, without acquiring the fame of military prowess. A free and vigorous opposition was formed in the city; and when the tribune proposed in the public council to impose a new tax, and to regulate the government of Perugia, thirty-nine members voted against his measures ; repelled the injurious charge of treachery and corruption; and urged him to prove, by their forcible exclusion, that, if the populace adhered to his cause, it was already dies claimed by the most respectable citizens. The pope and the sacred college had never been dazzled by his specious professions ; they were justly offended by the insolence of his conduct; a cardinal legate was sent to Italy, and after some fruitless treaty, and two personal interviews, he fulminated a bull of excommunication, in which the tribune is degraded from his office, and branded with the guilt of rebellion, sacrilege, and heresy. The surviving barons of Rome were now humbled to a sense of allegiance; their interest and revenge engaged them in the service of the church; but as the fate of the Colonna was before their eyes, they abandoned to a private adventurer the peril and glory of the revolution. John Pepin, Count of Minorbino in the kingdom of Naples, had been condemned for his crimes, or his riches, to perpetual imprisonment; and Petrarch, by soliciting his release, indirectly contributed to the ruin of his friend. At the head of one hundred and fifty soldiers, the Count of Minorbino introduced himself into Rome ; barricaded the quarter of the Colonna; and found the enterprise as easy as it had seemed impossible. From the first alarm, the bell of the Capitol incessantly tolled ;-but, instead of repairing to the wellknown sound, the people was silent and inactive; and the pusillanimous Rienzi, deploring their ingratitude with sighs and tears, abdicated the government and palace of the republic.
184.-ON THE RECEIPT OF HIS MOTHER'S PICTURE.
COWPER. [SOUTHEY has emphatically described Cowper as “the most popular poet of his generation, and the best of English letter-writers.” When we are familiar with the strong sense, the earnest piety, the ardent love of nature, the home affections, and the playful humour which characterise both his poetry and his prose, it is painful to know that such a mind was habitually clouded with the deepest gloom, and that occasional insanity was the fearful lot of this gifted being. The events of Cowper's life cannot be understood without much explanatory narrative. We may therefore content ourselves with saying that he was born in 1731, his father being the rector of Great Berkhampstead, that he was educated at Westminster, and that he died in 1800.]
O that those lips had language! Life has pass'd
Faithful remembrancer of one so dear,
And, while that face renews my filial grief,
My mother! when I learn'd that thou wast dead,
Where once we dwelt our name is heard no more, Children not thine have trod my nursery floor; And where the gardener Robin, day by day, Drew me to school along the public way, Delighted with my bauble coach, and wrapt In scarlet mantle warm, and velvet-capt, 'Tis now become a history little known, That once we call'd the pastoral house our own, Short-lived possession ! But the record fair, That memory keeps of all thy kindness there, Still outlives many a storm that has effaced A thousand other themes less deeply traced. Thy nightly visits to my chamber made, That thou mightst know me safe and warmly laid ; . Thy morning bounties ere I left my home, The biscuit, or confectionary plum; The fragrant waters on my cheeks bestow'd By thy own hand, till fresh they shone and glow'd ; All this, and more endearing still than all, Thy constant flow of love, that knew no fall, Ne'er roughen’d by those cataracts and breaks, That humour interposed too often makes; All this still legible in memory's page,
And still to be so to my latest age,
Could Time, his flight revers’d, restore the hours,
Thou, as a gallant bark from Albion's coast (The storms all weather'd, and the ocean cross'd) Shoots into port at some well-haven'd isle, Where spices breathe, and brighter seasons smile, There sits quiescent on the floods, that show Her beauteous form reflected clear below, While airs impregnated with incense play Around her, fanning light her streamers gay, So thou, with sails how swift ! hast reach'd the shore, “ Where tempests never beat nor billows roar;" And thy loved consort on the dangerous tide Of life, long since has anchor'd by thy side. But me, scarce hoping to attain that rest, Always from port withheld, always distress'd, Me, howling blasts drive devious, tempest-toss'd, Sails ripp’d, seams opening wide, and compass lost, And day by day some current's thwarting force Sets me more distant from a prosperous course. Yet O the thought, that thou art safe, and he ! That thought is joy, arrive what may to me. My boast is not that I deduce my birth From loins enthroned, and rulers of the earth; But higher far my proud pretensions rise,The son of parents pass'd into the skies. And now, farewell !-Time unrevoked has run His wonted course, yet what I wish'd is done. By contemplation's help, not sought in vain, I seem to have lived my childhood o'er again; To have renewed the joys that once were mine, Without the sin of violating thine ; And, while the wings of fancy still are free, And I can view this mimic show of thee, Time has but half succeeded in his theft, l'hyself removed, thy power to soothe me left.
185.—THE LAW OF PRICES.
CHALMERS. [THE Reverend Thomas Chalmers, D.D., was one of the most eloquent, pious, and philosophical divines of the Scottish Church. He was born about 1780, and received his education at the University of Saint Andrews. As a preacher, few men ever attained such unbounded popularity. He visited London in 1817, and the effect he produced is thus recorded by Mr. Wilberforce in his Diary: “Off early with Canning, Huskisson, and Lord Binning, to the Scotch Church, London Wall, to hear Dr. Chalmers. Vast crowds. So pleased with him that I went again, getting in at a window with Lady D., over iron palisades, on a bench. Chalmers most awful on carnal and spiritual man. . . . . I was surprised to see how greatly Canning was affected; at times he quite melted into tears. I should have thought he had been too much hardened in debate to show such signs of feeling.” This eminent inan died at Edinburgh, on May 30, 1847. The range of Dr. Chalmers' knowledge was very various ; but perhaps the most original of his views are those connected with what may be termed the morals of political economy.]
The first thing to be attended to is the way in which the price of any article brought to market is affected by the variations of its supply on the one hand, and of the demand for it on the other. The holders of sugar, for example, after having reserved what they need for their own use, bring the whole surplus to market, where they dispose of it in return for those other things which they do need. It must be quite obvious, that if there be more of this sugar exposed than there is a demand for, the great force of the competition will be among the sellers, to get it off their hands. Each will try to outstrip the others, by holding out a greater inducement for purchasers to buy from him and this he can only do by holding it out to them on cheaper terms. It is thus that each tries to undersell the restor, in other words, the great supply of any article of exchange is always sure to bring down the price of it.
On the other hand, let the same article have been sparingly brought into the market, insomuch that, among the buyers, there is a demand for it to a greater extent than it is to be had. The force of the competition now changes place. It is among the purchasers, instead of the sellers. Each will try to outstrip his neighbours, by holding out a larger inducement to the holders of a commodity now rare, and, therefore, in more urgent request than usual. This he can only do by offering a greater price for it. It is thus that each tries to overbid the other-or, in other words, the small supply of any article of exchange is always sure to bring up the price of it.
The price, then, of a commodity falls with the increase of the supply, and rises with the diminution of it; a law of political economy, which is expressed still more shortly thus that the price of every article of commerce is inversely in proportion to its supply.
But it is conceivable, that there might be no variation whatever in the supplythat, from one week to another, the same quantity of sugar, or corn, or any other commodity, may be brought to market, and yet, for all this, may there be a great weekly variation in the price of them. The truth is, that not only may the holders of an article have not always the same quantity on hand for sale, but the buyers may not always have the same need of it. There may be a fluctuation in the demand for an article, as well as in the supply of it; and it is quite evident that the price just rises and falls with the demand, instead of rising and falling inversely to it. Hence the more extended aphorism in political economy, that the price of any commodity is directly in proportion to the demand, and inversely in proportion to the supply-a doctrine that is somewhat more loosely and generally expressed, by saying that the price of an article depends upon the proportion which the demand and the supply bear to each other.
There is nought in the interposition of money to affect this process. Its office is merely to facilitate the exchange of commodities. But the proportion of their quantities in the exchange is just the same, when made to pass through such an intermedium, as when brought closely and directly into barter. The vendors of so much corn may, with the price of it, buy so much sugar. It is not convenient to bring both these articles, or perhaps either of them, in bulk and body, to the scene of the negociation; and so the money that is received for the one is given for the other. This, however, does not affect the proportion between the number of quarters of the one commodity, which, in the then state of the market, is held as equivalent to the number of hundredweights of the other commodity. This depends on the two elements of demand and supply alone; and is the same as if the expedient of money for carrying into effect the contracts of merchandise had never been devised.
The mere intervention, then, of money, will not perplex the reader out of a right estimation upon this subject. He has only to remember, that either by adding to the supply of any article, or lessening the demand for it, the price of it is diminished; and that either by lessening the supply, or adding to the demand, the price of it is increased.
Now there are certain articles, that, in this respect, are far more tremulous than others, or that more readily vibrate in price, and with a much wider range too of fluctuation. All are aware of the fluctuations of the corn market; and how, in consequence, the heat, and often the phrensy, of deep and desperate adventure, are associated with the temptations and the losses of such a trade. The truth is, that, generally speaking, the necessaries of life are far more powerfully affected in the price of them by a variation in their quantity, than are the luxuries of life. Let the crop of grain be deficient by one-third in its usual amount, or rather, let the supply of grain in the market, whether from the home produce or by importation, be curtailed to the same extent, and this will create a much greater addition than of one-third to the price of it. It is not an unlikely prediction, that its cost would be more than doubled by the short-coming of one-third or one-fourth in the supply. Not so with an article of luxury, and more especially if something else can be purchased for it in the way of substitution. For example, let such be the failure of West India produce, in any particular year, that rum is deficient by one-third from its usual supply. There will be a consequent rise in the price of it, but nothing at all like the rise which an equal deficiency would create in the price of grain.
Such is the fact; and there can be no difficulty in apprehending the cause of it. Men can more easily suffer the deprivation or the diminution of a luxury; and, when its price offers to rise extravagantly, they can limit their demand for it. I can commute the use of rum for the use of another and a cheaper substitute; or, failing this, I can restrain my consumption, or abandon it altogether. Its scarcity will enhance its cost on the one hand; and this, on the other hand, can be met or counteracted, to any extent, by a slackening of the demand. The point of equilibrium between the sellers and the buyers of rum will be shifted; and its price will become higher than before, but not so high as it would have been had rum been an indispensable of human comfort, and therefore given all the more of urgency to the applications of purchasers. This is not the case with rum; but it is so with grain The mass of our families could not, without distress or great inconvenience, limit their use of it to two-thirds of their wonted consumption. Each will press forward to obtain a larger share of the general stock than his neighbour; and it is just this earnest competition among the buyers that raises the price of necessaries greatly beyond the proportion by which the supply of them is deficient. Men can live without luxuries; and will be content to put up with a smaller allowance of them