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than to win. Therefore let us keep gold when we bullionists insist upon following vice, and we have it.
looking for the least costly vice in which they can The expense of this course is less than the be indulged. Any premium upon the importation operation now pursued. To restore the gold to of gold, payable whenever the minimum Bank the bank, discounts are raised by two to five per charge for discount reached a danger point, would cent. in accordance with the exigency. We come out of every person's pocket—but it would assume the little go, or two per cent on two be a smaller payment by several millions than hundred millions for six months. The gain to a that now enacted ; and would thus be comparafew, and the loss to many, is two millions sterling. tively a great benefit. Last year the Governments It has been caused by the exportation of four or of Britain and France both followed a foolish five millions more gold than, according to the course, but the latter took the cheaper road to the present laws of the circulating medium, could be cheaper folly, and was, therefore the less prodigal spared without derangement.
of the two. The tax on their exportation at 21 per cent. A tax upon absenteeism is justifiable upon would have been one hundred thousand pounds. strictly political principles, and as the money of Therefore, if we must have a tax it is better to many persons is more important than themselves, pay one hundred thousand pounds directly to the a tax upon its absenteeism must also be correct; Government than two millions to the moneylenders ; and this small bar upon the way of its going and better that the parties concerned in the mat- would really be a tax of that sort. ter should pay whatever has to be paid than that The law respecting the notes and the bullion in the public in general should be taxed for their be. bank coffers was devised and is preserved, not to hoof. The Committee of the Commons engaged effect an apparent, but a concealed purpose. It upon the consideration of the currency laws will was made for the sake of its irregularities, and not never take this simple remedy for the exportation of to preserve regularity. It places all the extra inbullion into their calculation, and yet it would re- terest over the averages paid by the pablic into the move the difficulty and the distresses that origi- hands of the moneyocracy. That, however, would nate in the working of the bullion law. It would be only a few millions now and then-a paltry interfere with the current of trade, but not nearly consideration for millionaires, and therefore it does so much as that law which sends the executive As the screw threads its way into the into
every banker's establishment to count his cash, body and life of society, it reduces the selling and one set of his liabilites—not nearly so price of all securities. The strong can buy when much as the increase of discounts by one, two, and the weak must sell. After a time things get beteven three hundred per cent., which sometimes ter, and prices get up again. Then the strong occurs—and not so much as their sudden con- may sell when the weak can buy. This is most traction and refusal altogether, for no other reason amusing sport to the boys, and is, of course, death except the existence and the requirements of the to the frogs; but the boys have gambled in that present law. But it would not interfere with the way for many years now, and have become fat and current of trade, unless that current became un- utterly obese upon the system which they call profitable. Trade should balance itself and leave essential to the convertibility of those inconvera profit. That profit is the only amount that can tibilities which nobody ever really wants to be be permanently invested anywhere without inter convertible. The crisis of 1847 was said to have fering with the aforesaid current. If, therefore, reduced the value of property by two hundred and foreign trading requires from us payments in gold, fifty millions ; and while it cost sufferings to the some influence is requisite like the bridle's bit to public that ten years have not cancelled, it placed keep it on the straight road. The present curb at least one hundred millions in the pockets of the turns the entire team. The curb proposed would very rich. Where others lost, they won; and deal only with the animal astray, and leave the this system of gambling is that regular current of others to pull along unchecked. Further, we do trade with which the gamblers insist that we not believe that the investment of money in foreign should not interfere. Those other gamblers who loans and railways is trade ; and the transmission kept betting shops, or who now keep loaded dice of bullion from one part of the empire to another for arrant fools, also object to the interference of should be unchecked.
the police with the regular current of their trade, The French Government last year, and the year and no more regularly profitable trade was ever before, evidently paid a premium for the importa- pursued in the three kingdoms; with the exception tion of gold. We do not know the mechanism of perbaps of the professed bullionist business, which the process, but some such proceeding was pur- we wish to destroy. sued. It was said to be fraught with ruin to the The design has been avowed constantly of reState, like the dealings of the same concern in ducing the value of goods so as to secure their
However, the State has not been ruined ; exportation instead of bullion, when a foreign run and the interest of money has been kept under the for gold was formed. This device has been emiebb mark, which it might have been expected to nently successful in lowering wages and reducing attain. We are not seeking out the best of work, but the restoration of the balance of trade, several systems, but the least mischievous. The / which it was meant to effect, may be another mat.
ter. “ The balance of trade" is not the thing cu- notion is afforded of the means in gold deemed dangered. The balance of investments is the necessary by the bullionists before the trade of the point, for which provision is sought. The manu- country can proceed in the “regular way. Twelve facturer and operative have an interest in the ba- to fifteen millions in the Bank give an average, lance of trade, but if any, it must be indirect and and eighteen millions are prosperity. The Parliashadowy, in the balance of investments, with the ment, therefore, should buy a pyramid of goldexception of colonial investments, or those in free say of seven to fourteen millions, at the rate of trade countries, being Turkey, China (in one sense), one or two millions per anuum, for custody in the the land of the Damaras, the Ovambos, and ge- tower, and inspection by the curious, along with nerally of the African tribes. The working men of
the crown jewels. The visitors would pay three. Britain and Ireland gain nothing by M. Roths- pence extra for the exhibition of this pyramid of child's investments in Austrian rails and stocks, sovereigns, which would be as useful there as in while they may lose much by Messrs. Baring's pro- any dark vault of the kingdom. Assurance would posed investments in Russian railways. What be thus afforded that we had a stock of gold in reason exists, therefore, to reduce their wages in the country equivalent to the theoretical wants of order to restore the balance of investments ? The the metallists or mineralogical politicians, and an cost of that operation should fall upon the parties end would be made to those distressing circumwho have disturbed the balance for their own stances caused by embarassing fluctuations in the benefit.
price of money, which are triennial. The present plan is moreover extremely expen
We have endeavoured to show the means of neu. sive. It is the reduction of wages, finally of work, tralising the paramount theory of circulation on its over the entire population in order to restore some own basis. We do not agree with the fundamentals three or four millions of gold. It resembles the of that theory; but in circumstances now existing it act of the man who set his house on fire that he is useful to see that the essential conditions of a might have light to search for sixpence. It is so circulation, according to the late Sir Robert Peel absolutely extravagant that human beings never and his followers, may be provided without causwould have entertained the plan, except as a scheme ing that destitution, famine, fever, orphanage, and for procuring cheap goods to themselves--not so widowhood which have been traced to the circuimuch for personal consumption as for sales or tous and costly means by which they worship speculation. We remember one rich man in the their idol. manufacturing districts, and in an extensive spin- The circulating medium should represent the ning trade, but who was reported never to have property of the country, or so much thereof as made anything deserving notice, in his opinion, may be requisite for the purpose. It should be except during a crisis. Commercial distress is the payable in either silver or gold, as the persons proharvest time of money-lenders, from the highest mising to pay might prefer, and they alone should bill broker down to the minutest pawnbroker, or decide upon the measures necessary to keep their even tbe keepers of weepawns. To hese interests own promises ; while the Legislature will do their we add many of the pensioned, salaried, sinecured, duty in holding fast property sufficient to meet classes, in order to find the composition of the the circulation, if it be neglected in the usual party who follow Peel in the reduction of all course. wages over the country, to recover three or four A national circulation payable in taxes is millions of gold, transmitted from the country for not the Utopian scheme described by its opponents. the advantage of a few speculators.
It is nothing more than the issue of Exchequer The Committee selected from the Commons by bills upon a small scale, and would answer all purthe Government to recommend the renewal of the poses of circulation, exactly as they meet some of Bank Charter will perform tbat purpose, and the its wants. If the Government made all its paycurrency laws will remain as they stand. For ments in its own notes, and these notes were legal distress at bome, emigration and the workhouse tenders for all debts and taxes, we should have a will be offered as palliatives. Economy will be circulating medium for domestic purposes of large urged in the public expenditure. The militia will amount and obvious solvency. not be exercised this year, because the turn-out Other schemes for securing a sound circulation would cost a million, and ease the labour market have been proposed, and we have no doubt that for a time. The military and naval forces will be several of them would answer the end well, but reduced, because " the moneyocracy" trust to the bullionists are, in power and out of powerbullion for their desence. They are a demented active, clever, and energetic
, gaining largely by the race, who, for their own gain, would risk the popular folly, growing amidst rottenness, and independence and the liberty of their grandchildren. thriving on wrecks. They have the ear of the
We have suggested simple remedies. Tax the constituencies, because the electors generally do not exportation of gold rather than the entire trade of think over this topic. The industrial interests the country; pay a premium from any national bleed while they sleep. Vampires, they say, fan fand to restore gold, if we must have it, rather their victims with their wings while drawing their than levy a tax on discounts, and stop em- hearts' blood with their fangs. These vampires ployment, throwing men out of wages. Some are illustrations of our cast metal men, who also
TANGLED TALK. fan the public into apathy, while living upon the feed the creature to repletion, but the servants proceeds of skill and work. Therefore we propose steal the meat. A tax upon its withdrawal can the plain remedy ; let those who want to keep gold prevent that crime. Gold we must have at any in the country pay for its withdrawal for their cost, they say. Then there is no high treason own investments. These high priests of our to political economy
to political economy in saying, Gold let us modern idolatry tell us that we must feed the keep when we have got it, even at any idol. That would not be difficult. We can cost.
" Sir, we had talk."- Dr. Johnson.
“The honourablest part of talk is to give the occasion ; and then to moderate again, and pass to somewhat else."--Lord Bacon.
THE PROCRASTINATING WORLD.— WHICH WIG ? | been asking for? ... Still further to puzYour True Briton is one of the slowest of heaven's zle me, I find, among my friends and acquaintances creatures. Often and often does it occur to me numbers of people who, mixing in society, are toto bave to marvel at his obstinate delays in adopt- tally ignorant of the new postal regulation; some ing novelties, which have nothing but their reason who think the Index is sixpence, and therefore !) ableness and uses to recommend them,-at the do not buy it; some “good subjects” who are length of time which it takes for an idea to impress totally indifferent to the topic, although the itself upon his brain. Recently, our Postmaster-comfort of thousands of their fellow-creatures is General instituted a new classification of London concerned in it; and, lastly, some who, with the for the purposes of district delivery. The no- Index in their hands, mistake the drift and uses velty was publicly announced in the plainest words of the arrangements to which it is a key! . . . Is the language conld supply; and a Street Index for not this full of instruction and comfort ? Let postal uses was profusely ádvertised at the price Prophets and Reformers take courage. If the of a penny. This was so public that the wonder world is so slow and so dense in these simis how any one with eyes or ears could miss a ple, everyday concerns, how useless to look for a perfect acquaintance with it all. And the True prompt response in reference to novelties of a Briton has been so long complaining of postal de higher grade! The world moves like a tortoise lays, (for the most part without the least reason," and still it moves ! -only he is the most unreasonable and exacting The procrastinations of individuals are nothing of mortals when he once gets it into his head that in comparison with the procrastination of society. he has paid for anything) that one would imagine a Her way of dallying shyly with a novelty of any priori that immediately upon the announcement of sort for half a century before she at last clutches the new plan and the publication of the guide- at it with a spasm, is a fact in the philosophy of book, he would rush to the post-office round the progress to which too little attention has been corner, buy the little Index, and eagerly conform directed. The bistory of improvement in theatric himself in addressing his correspondence to the accessories would furnish curious illustrations both suggested rules.
of the slowness and of the suddenness of progress. But what are the facts ? Some weeks after One instance occurs to me. In the eighteenth the plans had been made public, ---long after I had, century, even after false bips had been given up for practical purposes, mastered the Index, so as by male actors in France, the profusely powdered to be able almost to dispense with any reference peruke, for all sorts of characters, was obstinately to it in directing my letters,—long after I should retained; and it was by what I might call a coup have imagined every sane person in the capital de theatre, that its sacrifice was at last accomplished. would have done the same, as a matter of course, Some actor-little known, though his courage - I see a paragraph in the papers mentioning, as deserved a statue-came forward one night in the a topic of congratulation, that many thousand part of Hercules, determined to try the question copies of the Index have been sold, which is a of antiquated Wiggery by a practical experiment. striking proof of the public interest in the new On he came, then, with a black, kuotted mop of arrangement, &c., &c. “. Public interest”? I savage-looking curls, befitting the serpent-strangler, should think so, indeed ! Has not the "public" on his head, and in his left hand the fitting club. been clamouring for quicker delivery of its letters But in his right he bore-a powdered peruke, white for ever so long? And, now that the boon is at and frizzled to the very height of fashion, and, its“ discerning ” fingers'-ends, what matter for holding it aloft in air, with an inquiring gesture, notice can it possibly be that it takes what it has he thus put to the startled audience the momentous
question of “ Which Wig ?” The answer was not do these rash generalisers manage to miss such long in coming, and it was fatal to the powdery well-known facts ? Or how do they dispose of abomination. Hercules flung it away with melo them? . . It is indeed difficult to conceive dramatic contempt, the audience cheered, and of a benevolent person as otherwise than kind to thenceforward the actors on the French stage were children, as helpless, and therefore having peculiar free to select, each one, the wig appropriate to his claims upon sympathy; but that is quite a different part.
thing from kindness to children as children. Nor Now the Wig question thus suddenly settled in could a quick observer mistake one thing for the favour of nature had been simmering in the public other. One may be attracted to an object, living mind for a long time, and the ultimate boiling over or not, by a thousand things apart from a genuine would never have appeared doubtful to any one passion for it. Does anybody suppose that when who could see deep enough. So it is in other Campbell advertised for the pretty little girl he cases. Whenever the reformer has a grain of truth had seen in the Park, he was actuated by either on his side, he may be sure there is some sort of pure love of children or by pure benevolence ? " response to bis cry" in the minds of others, and on the other hand, when Shelley fed the ragged that all it wants, in order to finding a voice, is little waif with bread and milk like a mother, he “importunity and opportunity.” The world is was actuated both by kindness and by love of slow to move--but “still it moves ;" and the children as children. But it is mistaken moral right wig is sure to be chosen at last.
criticism to explain his conduct by saying that Perhaps-and this, not to put too much weight good hearted people are always fond of the young. upon a slight thread, shall be my last observation It is Archbishop Whateley who furnishes me -perhaps the world is so slow to answer the with the second topic. Speaking of what he calls question“ which wig ?” at least in a great many “ Totality (or eusynopticity)" of mind, he says it cases, because only extreme wigs are proffered to enables its possessor (among other advantages) to choose from. I remember reading a story of Dean acquire and retain things which can be formed into Milner, the Church historian, once going into a a system, and, as it were, tied into a bunch. So barber's shop in the Temple to buy a wig. The far good. It is of the elucidating comparison that shopman said, “Would you like a wig to go I complain. "In this respect, it (Totality) is like a-hunting in, or a wig to go to Court in, sir P” an ear for music (which indeed in its own way may The Dean answered steruly, “Is there no medium be called a species thereof), for I do not know that between a hunting wig and a Court wig? I want those who have an ear retain single sounds better neither, but a fair, serviceable wig, suitable for all than others; but they are enabled to retain a vast purposes." Now, it is the "serviceable wig, number, by means of their mutual relation in a suitable for all purposes," which is your innovator's tune. That their remembrance of a tune is not pons asinorum.
the collective remembrance of the individual notes, but of their mutual relation, is quite evident from this--that if they begin any tune in a higher or
lower note than they heard it, they will go all TWO MISTAKES CORRECTED.
through the same, and thus bring out notes which I class together two mistakes which I have no. it is conceivable they never heard in their lives." ticed in my reading, because they both arise from Is there anything peculiar in this "totality ” of imperfect appreciation of the simple character of the musical faculty, which makes it especially elicertain impulses or faculties in our common nature. gible for comparison ? Is not the combining
I have just seen for the thousandth time that power the manifestation of the higher exercises "So-and-so had that invariable trait of a benevo- of every faculty of the human mind (whatever lent man, the love of children.” Nothing can be one's metaphysics), as you ascend from simple perwider of the truth. The love of children is the ception? Is the x of the gamut,—the object of manifestation of a primitive instinct, quite sui the musical faculty-more defiuable than the x of generis, and the most random observation of life the numeration table—the object of the arithmeshould guard against any such fallacia accidentis tical faculty? Is it any more a matter of “relaas the above. Benevolent people are commonly, tion ?” I cannot see it
. And I should say prenot always, fond of the young ; but those who cisely the same of the faculty of causation, or of are fond of the young are not by any means usu- comparison, or of ideation. I apprehend-apally benevolent. I have known a case where a pealing both to my own consciousness and obserwoman adopted and cherished a pair of orphan vation—that it is an error to suppose that musical babes, who was otherwise almost destitute of kind people do not perceive in single sounds qualities impulses. Within this very week, I have conversed which unmusical people do not. A million men with two old acquaintances, both ladies, who are would receive a million different impressions through kind and self-sacrificing enough in a general way, the ear of the same note of a bell
, and each one but to children totally indifferent. Not only the would remember it differently. A single sound may most bloodthirsty beasts, but the most bloodthirsty be musical or unmusical
, as we all know. The savages of the human race, are found capable of statement that music depends upon the relations of the most devoted attachment to their young. How sounds amounts, I think, to nothing but a truism.
Upon what relations ? Not upon those of time anything in which a kind heart and cultivated or succession, for—not to refer to the nations conscience more frequently make themselves known whose music was almost wholly rhythmical, and than in the suggestion of "mild alternatives” in would not be recognised under that name by us- repressive measures. One man, stung with a sense we all know persons who have the keenest car for of some wrongness in another, seizes the first means the "music" of music, and almost no perception that offers, refuses to admit the possibility of any of time or rhythm. The statement, then, comes to other, and fancies he is embodying Eternal Justice. this—music lies in the musical relations of sounds! Another, with a better inspiration, looks anxiously Would not the accurate statement be, Music lies round the whole horizon of circumstances and in the musical quality of sounds, (i.e., in the x possibilities, and chooses his remedy upon the which is the object of a certain perception) and a immortal principle of doing unto others as he would musical composition is a combination of musical be done by. Let any one look back upon his past sounds, resulting from the musical faculty, joined life, and see how often he has failed in his schemes to other faculties, in a high degree of activity ? from taking too narrow a survey of his position to A musical composition includes—I. Tune. II. see all the alternative courses open to him; how Time. III. Rhythm, accent, or momentum. often he has done this when his brain was cool
Let me be understood. I do not deny that the and his band steady, and no need pressed upon exercise of “ totality " is like that of “a good him—and I think he will gather a lesson of caution ear”-only, that it is more like that than like for all hours of excitement, and especially for hours the exercise of any other good natural gift—the of indignation, which will make him pause upon arithmetician's, the painter's the mechanist's. Com the question —" Is there no kind alternative ?" bination is the flower and crown of every faculty ; but its fundamental action is an ultimate fact not admitting of any such definition as the passage from Whateley seems to imply for music.
LITERARY HONOURS. It is a common and a just complaint that people who write, and especially people who write poetry,
are vulgarly supposed to be several heads superior THE KIND ALTERNATIVE.
to the rest of mankind. And the supposition is People who keep gardens are all annoyed by the sometimes answered by saying that there is, persparrows. What to do? Expatriated the birds haps, no more ability required to make a Tennyson cannot be; exterminated they can be. Shoot them, than a Rothschild. Perhaps not ; but then there then, or otherwise destroy them. That is the is the little question of kind following upon that answer which would occur to nearly every mind. of degree. Unalterable instincts make people But the spirit of her who, “in a basket of Indian admire supremely, and follow with plaudits (i.e., woof,” carried away into a wood the noxious things with expressions of their delight, not necessarily from the garden where grew the " sensitive plant" with praises in the common sense) the man who lives yet. The Times contained, not long ago, a can find his way inside their minds, and touch the letter from which this is an extract :
springs of action—who, in a word, can influence Being rather fond of gardening, I did not, of course, like them. Upon the action of these instincts depends to see the young shoots of my pinks and other plants care a great part of the education of the race, and they fully picked out. Upon examining the question dispassion. must have way. ately, I came to the conclusion that this depredation on the Bat does the most conceited verse-maker in the part of my pugnacious and querulous friends was one of world—admitting that poetry is the highest of the necessity, and that they were compelled to it by hunger. I accordingly applied a remedy which was as efficacious as it
arts of expression--does such an one ever dream was astonishing. It was simply this : Every morning before that he is better or greater than any humble hero breakfast I soaked a few hard crusts and stale pieces of bread, bebind a cobbler's stall, or heroine of a wash-tub? and threw them out on the walk in my garden, and gave I hope not. I cannot conceive a pride of penmanthree distinct whistles. After the first week they under: ship so besotted. Nor does the world at large do stood the signal, and came regularly when I called, and, if I happened to be a little after my time, I found them quietly much to favour its growth, I think; at least, it perched upon the branches of the trees and shrubs nearest is repenting of any past misdeeds of the kind. the window, awaiting their daily meal. From that moment But exemplarily good people have always commanded I have never had reason to complain of their conduct--not the highest homage, and always will, in the minds a young shoot or any seeds were touched by them. I have which give the moral tone to the community. Grace now continued this experiment for upwards of five years, the Darling ranks before Tennyson ; and we all
sym; last three in Kensington, where I keep up the custom, although the shady and north-easterly aspect of my garden pathise with Arnold for saying of a dull, dutiful has forced me to abandon growing any flowers. I have a pupil—"I would stand to that boy hat in hand.” large pear tree, but I have never discovered any injury done People, then, who command influence through the to the fruit by the sparrows.
pen or the tongue, must always be distinguished The fate of a few sparrows is (as far as we know or admired in proportion to the extent of that -we don't know everything) a trifling matter ; influence; but this fact does not suppose any false but it is instructive to notice that there is scarcely moral estimate of them in healthy minds. Literary