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to five. During this time, the directors of the bank continued to make loud and frequent remonstrances to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, on the dangers into which the bank was brought by these extraordinary advances, and earnestly to implore that they might be reduced. So far, however, was this from taking place, that from the urgent demands of government on the one hand, and the compliance of the bank on the other, they were carried, in the month of March 1796, to the enormous amount of 11,351,000. From September to December they were reduced about a million and a half, but, after that, began again to rise; and on the 26th of February, when the cash and bullion in the bank scarcely exceeded one million, the advances to government, including interest, amounted to 10,672,490. For a little time before this memorable juncture, the governors of the bank having no command over the money advanced to government, endeavoured to draw in their notes by lessening the amount of their discounts; and, by this circumstance, not by a want of currency, produced that derangement and difficulty in the London payments of which Mr Thornton complains. From the end of December to the 26th of February, the quantity of discounted bills had sunk from 3,796,000l. to 2,905,000/.
The conclusion from all this appears abundantly certain. If the bank of England, provided she never made advances to government, could not, as we have already shown, be ever drained of gold, unless she chose, beyond the amount of her notes in circulation,-and would not, to a moral certainty, be drained to nearly so great an amount,—and if we find her in advance to government, to a pitch so enormous, when she became plunged in inextricable difficulties, is it not clear that to these advances the difficulties must have been owing? It would have given us great pleasure to have entered upon the analysis of this case likewise, and to have traced the operation of these advances, step by step, to the crisis which they at last produced. But we have already so far exceeded all reasonable limits, that we are absolutely precluded from an inquiry, which would still lead us to a considerable length. Besides, the principles which we have already laid down, may be applied by any one who is at all accustomed to these inquiries, in the solution of this case, which presents no peculiar difficulty. In the mean time, we are extremely happy to present to those who are not accustomed to follow a train of reasoning, and who have a strong propensity in this country to treat it as nonsense, something which is well calculated to make a deep impression upon them. It is the testimony of the Governor himself of the bank of England, in express terms, affirming the conclusion, to which, by the preceding inquiry, we have been led. A secret committee
of the House of Lords having been formed to inquire into the circumstances which led to the suspension of payments, the Governor of the Bank was, on the 24th of March 1797, examined before that committee (see the Report of the Committee, which was printed and laid before Parliament), and delivered his evidence in the following remarkable words.
Q. Have you, at any of the conferences you have had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, as Governor of the Bank, made representations to him of the danger to the bank from the dimi nution of its specie?
Q. Can you state the dates of such representations?
A. There are a variety of dates, but I cannot recollect them. I think the first by the bank was in December 1794, when I was directed to make such representations.
Q. Do you conceive that every exertion has been made by the bank to obtain repayment of the advances made to government since the 1st of January 1795?
A. Yes, save that of lending more.
Q. If, in consequence of the various remonstrances that have. been made to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the advances by the bank to government had been either paid off or greatly diminished, do you not conceive it would have enabled the bank to regulate, at their discretion, the amount of the bank-notes in circulation?
Q. If the advances had been either paid off or greatly diminished at the periods you applied for such payments, do you think the necessity of the Order in Council [for suspending the payments in cash] of the 26th of February would have existed?
A. Had the advances to government been considerably less, I do not think the Order in Council would have been necessary.
We ought now to proceed to the last part of our author's disquisition, namely, the subject of exchange; but we have enlarged to so immoderate a length on the important and complicated topics, which previously occupied our attention, that we must, for this time, entirely omit this collateral inquiry. The peculiar errors which Mr Smith has committed by the application of his doctrine of the ideal standard, it will be easy, after the examples which we have presented, to detect; and, with this precaution, the reader will find several acute and very sensible remarks.
ART. IV. Foruling, a Poem in Five Books, descriptive of Grouse,
TH HOSE who find something very admirable in The Chase,' should be pleased, we think, with this poem. It is less raised, indeed, by common places of classical allusion, by formal similes and artificial digressions, than the popular work of Somerville; but it is marked by the same knowledge and love of the subject, by the same accuracy and truth of description; and is animated, throughout, with something more of a natural feeling of the beauties of rural scenery, as well as a greater simplicity both of conception and expression.
To us, indeed, the greater part of what is called didactic. poetry, appears to be a very dull variety of the mock-heroic; and we cannot help fancying, that there is something intrinsically ludicrous in four or five books of lofty and rapturous blank verse, either upon hunting or shooting. Pursuits which are followed for mere amusement, and which necessarily give place to every call of duty, affection, or business, evidently possess in themselves a very subordinate and secondary interest; and are therefore by no means the most natural or advantageous vehicles for awakening the sympathies of mankind by those lofty or pathetic sentiments which constitute the soul of poetry. If shooting and hunting are legitimate subjects for poetry, so are cock-fighting and foot-ball; and if occupations are to be magnified in verse, merely because idle individuals enter into them with great relish and animation, we need not despair of seeing a regular didactic poem under the name of The Tavern,' or The Bathing Machine. '
Though poetical talents are misapplied, therefore, to subjects that can excite no powerful or reasonable interest, yet those talents may still be displayed upon such subjects. Áccurate and lively description will always be delightful; and no subject can be fairly denominated unpoetical, which holds out an opportunity to expatiate on the beauties of nature.
Comparing the subject of this poem with that of Mr Somerville's, in respect of their poetical capabilities, we would say that the latter was more picturesque, and the former more romantic, The Chase, with its neighing steeds and opening hounds-its horns and halloos-and the rapid sweep of its gay and crowded followers, certainly presents a more animated picture to the fancy, than the solitary pedestrian, creeping cautiously with his gun and pointers from field to field. The very loneliness of the fowler, however, and the silence in which he stalks from thicket to hill,
and from heath to forest, afford a greater scope for contempla tion, extend our attention more naturally to the scenes through which he glides, and afford more leisure and apology, both for description and varied reflection. We can easily conceive that a fowler should give way to musings that may ripen into poetry. It is difficult to imagine how a fox-hunter should put the chase into blank verse.
In the First Book, which treats of Grouse Shooting, the loneliness of the scorched and shadeless heaths which the fowler traverses, is very well described; and the merits of setting-dogs discussed in the most scientific manner. We give the following account of the close of the day's labours, as a specimen of the author's powers of description.
Now let us view the spoil, erewhile we trust
This way and that. Their eyes so bright of late,
More frequent, chief where Scotia spreads at large
Primeval Nature, simple and august.
Beneath those deep and solitary shades,
With native freedom blest, the wild deer roves;
Jealous and shy, glide through the verdant gloom.
Farewell, great orb of day! content I view
That clothes the smiling heav'ns. How sweet to mark,
The blue topp'd hills, with floating vapours crown'd,
The peal has ceas'd. The rustic youths repair,
With hasty foot, each to his simple home. p. 31——84.
The second book is about the shooting of partridges; and very full of moral reflections and instructions to young sportsmen. We proceed, however, to the third, which describes the destruction of pheasants, and is more original and poetical.