Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

ted confederacy, the German states, who have arrived at the summit of containing twenty-six millions of in- manufacturing greatness to commence habitants, have been combined in a the throwing down of prohibitions, league, founded on the principle of and proclaim the liberal principle commercial hostility to England, and of the freedom of trade. When that the duties imposed throughout the we have arrived at a similar eleva. whole extent of the league, on all tion, and can adopt the change with goods of British manufacture, are so as much safety, we will with pleaheavy, being practically from forty sure follow your example. In the to fifty per cent on the prime cost, mean-time, you must allow us to that they in reality amount to a total imitate the restrictive system under prohibition. In like manner, we have which, during 170 years, your manumade similar concessions to Portugal factures were elevated to greatness. and Belgium, but met with nothing When our capital is as largemour in return but increased duties on goodscoal-mines as extensive—our skill in of British manufacture, in so much machinery and manufactures as great that the exports to Portugal, which, as yours—we will be very happy to in 1827, were L.1,400,000, fell, till, in meet you on terms of equality and a 1836, they averaged L.1,085,000; and reciprocal trade. Till that period arthose to Belgium, which in the same rives it would be utter madness in us year amounted to above a million, had to admit your manufactured goods on fallen, in 1836, to L.839,276. While, the like terms on which you admit on the other hand, the trade with Hol- ours. The very fact of your now land, which, in 1827, even including proclaiming the reciprocity system is that with Belgium, with whom we the most decisive evidence of the imhave no reciprocity treaty, was only mense benefit which you have so long L.2,104,000, had risen, in 1836, with reaped from the restrictive. We are Holland alone to L.2,509,000. In very happy you admit our ships on the short, to whatever side we turn in same terms as we admit yours, but the Continental Europe, it will be found fact of your having been driven to that our concessions by reciprocity such a concession only shows the treaties, which have so deeply affected more clearly how expedient it is that our maritime interests, have been met we should follow out, with additional by nothing in return from the conti- rigour, that prohibitory policy from nental nations, but increased duties or which you appear to be now willing restrictive prohibitions, and that we to recede. Sparta could with safety have maintained or encouraged our dispense with walls round its capital trade almost exclusively with those city, but wo to the state of Peloponnenations with whom we have made no sus, which, because the Spartan youth such arrangements.

were adequate to the defence of their The principle on which this increa- country, should deem the security of sed hostility to British manufactures walls or ramparts unnecessary for the has every where followed all attempts maintenance of its national indepenon our part to establish a more en- dence." larged trade is founded, is very ob- We do not say that this reasoning vious. Foreign nations think, and is well founded, nor do we assert the perhaps with reason, that we have in reverse ; we mention it as the old age of our national existence merely, that this is the reasoning which adopted the liberal or reciprocity sys- foreign nations employ, and on which tem, because we thought that we had their Governments act, and that, in established such a superiority over the present state of the world, it is other nations by the extent of our perfectly chimerical to suppose that capital, and the skill of our manufac- our reciprocity concessions will ever tures, that we could now without risk be met by any other return, or ever throw down the fences of our prohi- in consequence be any thing else but bition, and proclaim an equal trade a gratuitous and uncompensated inwith all nations. They argue in this jury to the most important branches manner against our reciprocity advo- of our national industry. cates :-" It is very well for you The reciprocity advocates, however, are not without an answer even to this to France, Prussia, and the other reci. powerful argument, founded on the procity countries with a view to purabsence of any return whatever for chase their industry, we gain in return our maritime concessions in the com- for the purchase of 10,000,000 worth mercial policy of any other state. of their produce ; that is, of 5,000,000 They say, although it may be desir- worth of dollars from South America, able, if possible, to effect diplomatic and 5,000,000 worth of produce from arrangements, whereby the favourable Europe, only five millions worth of our admission of our manufactures might oun manufactures off our hands ; be secured in return for the favourable whereas, if we had stipulated for simi. concessions made on our side to fo- lar advantages to our cotton goods, in reign shipping; yet, whether this ad- return for the advantages conferred by vantage is gained or not, a substantial us upon foreign shipping, we would benefit accrues to British industry, by have been enabled to sell ten millions the increased importation of goods worth of our manufactures, viz. from foreign countries. The great 5,000,000 to South America, in exthing, they contend, is, to increase our change for the bullion, and 5,000,000 importations. If that can be effected, worth to Prussia and the other recithe growth of our exports must be procity countries, in exchange for their corresponding; and the vivifying effect goods. The difference, therefore, in to British industry must be felt from this case would be nothing short of one quarter or another. We do not, 5,000,000 lost to our manufactures in it is said, get the foreign goods we the foreign markets. In the one case, import for nothing. We must pay we would engage in a real interchange for them, either in our own manufac- of commodities, both with South Ametures, or in money, and in either case rica and Europe; in the other, the the benefit is the same, although in intercourse is real only with South the latter it is more circuitous to our America ; and in the intercourse with domestic industry ; for the money Europe we are nothing more than which buys foreign goods can be carriers, who effect a commercial inacquired only by us by the sale of our tercourse, not with themselves, but own produce.

a fact

* Porter, II., 104.

with the South American and the We admit that this argument is German states. plausible, and seemingly satisfactory, This argument appears to us perbut, upon a closer examination, its fal. fectly decisive. It is quite evident lacy is very apparent. It is quite that, to justify commercial arrangetrue that we must purchase the money ments with any particular country, we with which we pay for our foreign must be able to show that under those imports, by the disposal, some way, of arrangements, standing by themselves, our British manufactures; but it is a reciprocal benefit flows to the inhanot the less true, that if a real reci. bitants of both. It is no answer to procity system was entered into with the objection, that these advantages, so the European states ; that is to say, if far as domestic industry is concerned, we compelled them, in return for the are wholly on one side, to say that, advantages we held out to their ship with the other countries, at the same ping and industry, to give correspond time commercial intercourse is carried ing advantages to our branches of on in which real reciprocal advantages industry, in which they stand at a dis- are obtained, and that we carry the advantage to us, the export of our goods of the one foreign country to manufactures, and the consequent en- the other. There is, no doubt, some couragement to our industry would be return for such a transaction, because far greater than it now is; for this the carrying trade is attended with plain reason, that we would ship our certain advantages ; but there is not exports, and the produce of our indus- nearly so great an advantage as there try, not only to the countries from would be, if our own goods were exwhich we buy our money, but to the ported to both countries, and we gained countries also from whom we purchase in the intercourse with both, not only our imports. For example, if at pre- the profit of carriers, but also that of sent we send 5,000,000 of our manu- producers. If I ask Lord John to factures to South America, with which dinner, and he asks me in return, there we purchase dollars to a similar is a real reciprocity of acts of hospitaamount, and then send these dollars lity; but if I ask him, and he never

VOL, XLIV. NO, CCLXXV.

Y

66 Fifteen year

asks me in return, it is quite illusory departure from our navigation laws, to say that I gain an equal advantage, and, above all

, the deceitful principle because I frequently dine with Mr of admitting foreign shipping into our Thomas, as well as he with me. The harbours for the same duties as they answer is obvious. It is, no doubt, an admit ours, without stipulating for a advantage to have the honour of his corresponding advantage to some of lordship's company at dinner at your the staple articles of our industry in own house, and to dine as often with return. Mr Thomas as he dines with you; Nothing seems clearer than that it but it would be much better, if you would be perfectly reasonable and just could so arrange matters, that, in addi- that we should now say to the reci. tion to your equal social intercourse procity countries with whom we have with Mr Thomas, you had the benefit, concluded reciprocity treatiesat the same time, of as many dinners

so we made great from Lord John as you give to him. concessions in yo favour on foreign And this is precisely the state of the shipping, which have had the effect of case with the reciprocity system. quadrupling your tonnage in the Bri.

Although, however, we think it tish trade, and reducing our own to perfectly clear that the reciprocity nearly a fourth-part of its amount system has had the most pernicious before that period. We did so in the effects upou our maritime interests, firm belief that our concession in an and that experience has now demon- article so indispensable to our national strated that in its leading principle of security as our shipping interest would giving gratuitous concessions to the be immediately followed by a corresshipping interests of the European ponding concession on your part to states, without stipulating for any some of the staple branches of our corresponding advantages to our com industry. Have you made any simi. mercial industry, it is proved to have lar concession to us in return for this been founded upon entirely erroneous great advantage ? On the contrary, principles, yet we neither assert that you have gone on loading our manuMr Huskisson's principles were en- factures with additional burdens to tirely erroneous, nor advocatea return, protect your own, until at length you even in the particulars in which we ve reduced our exports to your had gone astray, to the whole extent states to a perfect trifle. We cannot of the restrictive system.

submit any longer to such a state of There were two points on which Mr matters. Let us understand each Huskisson's principles were clearly other. We must have either commerwell founded. The first was that ofcial war, or commercial peace. You lowering or taking off altogether the have no right to reproach us for the duties on foreign raw produce, such as corn laws any more than we have silk, on which important British ma- right to reproach you for your standnufacture was to be exerted, The ing army. The one is as indispensecond was that of opening up a free sable to our national independence as commercial intercourse between our the other is to yours. We insist, then, colonies and the commercial colonies upon a real reciprocal advantage in of other states, reserving only the return for our repeal of the naviga. home trade to the mother country to tion laws. Select the article of our its own shipping. The first of these staple manufactures which you are was essential to the growth of our willing to admit into your ports upon domestic manufactures on those arti- favourable terms, in return for the cles of foreign produce which we concession we have granted to your could not raise for ourselves; and the shipping. If you do not, we will resecond was equally indispensable to enact the navigation laws, and you promote the growth of our colonies in will soon find that your shipping will the distant parts of our empire with dwindle away to a half of its present which not only our national wealth, amount. We are quite willing to but existence, is inseparably wound have either war or peace, but not such up. The real error in Mr Huskisson's a mongrel system as gives you all the principles, and which has been attend. advantages of peace, and throws upon ed with such disastrous effect, was the us all the evils of war."

[blocks in formation]

Jane Martin was the only daughter ever, from her bed apparently strong, of a yeoman living in the village of and fresh as before. Her beauty had Meadham, not far from the southern lost nothing of its attractiveness, and coast of England. The place was die had gained something in expression. vided from the sea by a low range of But she did not look formed for haphills, and the fields of pasture and of piness. The sensitive and excitable corn wo surrounded by extensive movement of her face, and the quick woods. These, together with the small and striking dilation of the pupiis in collection of cottages and the village her large light eyes, conveyed the nochurch, presented a prospect of tran-, tion of a mind too early disturbed, and quillity and beauty.

too little under the government of any Jane was the heiress of a cottage settled principles of action, fo he hope and a few fields, and, without these of usefulness and peace. ut, suradvantages, had beauty enough to at. rounded as was this countenance with tract more than one rustic lover. But pale brown hair, and supported by a none of them could win her affections. figure of healthy, youthful elasticity, Her mother had died early, but had the whole picture of the girl had an left on her daughter's mind a tinge of affecting sweetness. her own imaginative character. Her Her favourite reading was an old father was possessed of some books, collection of voyages and travels, filled which he was fond of reading, and with records of gainful and warlike delighted to put in her hands. But adventurers, their intercourse with fohe saw that there was mixed up in her reign cities and savage tribes, crimes, disposition a strong portion of the ir. sutferings, wonders, and superstitions regular and fantastic strain, which the-on these she mused at every mo. old man used to say she must have ment which she could save from the had from her mother, who always, he care of her household affairs and of would add, had been a sort of fairy the dairy and garden. She knew nobody, rather than of common flesh and thing of the world except within a blood like himself. Whatever touch circle of four or five miles around her of superstition Jane could light on in father's house, and all beyond prehis books of history or travels, or in sented itself to her mind as made up the belief and stories of her neigh- of sparkling seas and spicy islands, bours, had for her a powerful charm. gorgeous towns, and beautiful and heDreams, and prophecies, and accounts roic men-ships so light and gay as of ghosts and visions, filled her with might sail among the clouds, and carawe. When she was about fifteen, goes of gold and fruits as glittering as and was taken by her father to hear those summer clouds themselves. But, the preaching of a wandering Methods alas ! though within seven miles of the ist, a man of coarse but fervid elo- coast, she had never seen the sea ; and quence, the descriptions in which he the wish to behold that unknown, rioted of the bodily torments of the boundless miracle of nature, became, lost, and the never-ending delights of when she had grown out of childhood, heaven, were for her an exquisite, un- the strongest feeling of her mind. imagined contrast to the calm morality Her mother, she knew, was the daughand grave devotion of the parish church. ter of a seaman, and had spent her The effect of this evening, for the ser- unmarried life at Southport, a town mon was delivered after nightfall in a and harbour distant some twenty miles dimly-lighted barn, was so overpower- from Meadham, where her father had ing, that she seemed for some days in found his future bride. Now the longa restless fever, and at last was actually buried mother, whose grave was in seized with illness. She rose, how. the churchyard, and met her eyes

every Sunday, appeared to her in her sailor that comes wandering here dreams as wearing some indistinct sea catches thy foolish fancy, and

carries shape, as treading lightly on the waves, thee off' from all our honest country and beckoning her to come to that new fellows. But take care, Jane—they and delightful region. The thought are an unsteady, spendthrift, drunken was too precious to be spoken of to set. At best, their trade keeps them her father, and the girl cherished it many a long mofth in every year till she half persuaded herself that away from their wives and children. something more than fancy bad shaped Don't marry a sailor, Jane, don't the image. For months she turned marry a sailor, or thy old father will the wish over and over till it grew into break his heart." a project. The notion of some unac- This advice was not very likely to countable good to be derived from change the current of Jane's thoughts. looking on the sea—of some magical Her longing to look upon the sea grew beauty clothing the great element, rather the stronger; but to gratify it and of some mystery connected with was not easy. The summit, indeed, the moment of her success in the en- of the hills which bounded that inland terprise, fastened on her imagination country was not further off than two with no less strength than would on hours' walking ; but this was through many minds the hope of mounting unfrequented paths and lonely sheepfrom earth to one of the heavenly bo- tracks up the downs. The village lay dies. The plan, however, seemed al- on no line of traffic with the coast, most impracticable. Her father was and to undertake an expedition to the growing old, a little peevish at any shore without some purpose of busiopposition to his will, and more and ness would have sounded among her more settled in his daily round of ha- neighbours like setting off on a cru. bits. He was impatient at his daugh- sade or a pilgrimage. She shrank ter's absence, except when he visited from owning her beloved secret even his fields and gave directions to his to her father, and nothing, therefore, one labourer, a business wbich seldom remained but to plan a clandestine exoccupied more than an hour at a time. cursion. This was possible only at The old man was kind and sagacious. night. A ramble of the kind, however, His slightest peculiarities were dear had nothing very alarming for a counto her, and no image she had ever try girl. The imaginative apprehenseen with her bodily eyes was to her sions, which alone presented themselves so agreeable as that of the grey-headed to the mind of Jane, added to the and weather-beaten face; but often charm, by enhancing the dignity of while she sat beside him and supplied her enterprise. Spirits, she thought, his little wants, or answered his few must needs be peculiarly her attendand simple observations, her thoughts ants on the most momentous occasion would wander away to the restless of her whole life, which had now boundless sea, with all its shores and reached the mature age of eighteen. ships; and the little world around her, The moon was shining in the sumfor which alone she had outwardly mer sky when she crept through her lived, and which alone she knew, chamber-window and sprang lightly seemed poor and small, compared with on the ground. Had any one seen the dazzling and amazing world of her, it must bave seemed, from the which she knew nothing. She natu- excitement of her look and manner rally avoided to express her feelings, under the homeliness of ber dark which she was aware were stronger dress, that she was bent on a different and more unusual than her father, or kind of meeting from that which she indeed any of her acquaintance, could really meditated. She traversed the understand or would approve. But little garden, and went on by wellthe books which he found lier reading, known paths which led her away from and the questions which she sometimes the village, and under the shade of ventured to ask as to the scaport town hedges and coppices. Rapidly and which he had visited in his earlier life, with beating heart she walked through in part betrayed her. One day dur- quiet fields of corn, and began to think ing such a conversation he suddenly that she was now escaping all danger exclaimed, “ Heaven help thee! the of interruption. In an hour she reached sea seems always running in thy head! the less cultivated and less populous I should not wonder if the first idle tract that divided the plain from the

« ForrigeFortsæt »