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influence of this revived glow, resumed God took him to himself. And thougla it that very day, making some additions his son and successor, a man of great to it for several days in succession ;* discretion, in pursuance of his father's and on my reaching the retired and attachment, always favoured me with quiet mansion, which I subsequently his regard, yet upon the loss of one so purchased and still possess, I so zeal- much more suitable to me (particuously continued the work, and so soonlarly in point of age), I determined, completed it, that I can hardly myself in my restlessness, to revisit France, review my efforts without amaze- not so much from a desire to see over ment.
again what I had seen a thousand Returning thence to the Sorga, and times before, as to sooth my sufferings, my residence beyond the Alps, I left like the tossing sick, by a change of behind me my four-and-thirtieth year, place. having every where, thank God, during my long abode at Parma and. Verona, been treated with a degree of kindness far beyond my deserts. Af- THE BRITISH READY RECKONER, AND ter a considerable interval, my reputation attracted the notice of the excellent James de Carrara the younger, The first part of this little volume of all my great
friends the most accom- consists entirely of tables, of which plished ; and for many years, by mes- the largest serves to point out the sengers and letters, which sought me
value of any number of articles, at beyond the Alps, and followed me any rate from a farthing to a pound; through Italy wherever I chanced to
and it may be easily accommodated reside, I was so earnestly urged and
to any higher price. Such a table importuned to accept his friendship, ought to be in every person's hands; that though I hoped for nothing, I for few men live a week without findresolved to pay him a visit, and ascer. ing it requisite to ascertain the value tain what all these pressing solicita of goods. He who buys or sells --who tions of the illustrious stranger meant. pays or receives wages, or who is emAccordingly, at a late period of my ployed in any similar transactions, life, I went to Padua, and was received may, by only inspecting such a table by him with such transports of un- as this, determine with certainty and paralleled esteem and affection (al- ease the amount of his engagement. most, indeed, like a beatified spirit in The less expert calculator is raised heaven), that language can convey no by it, so far as concerns prices, to a idea of their extravagance. Among par with the most acute; and even other favours, knowing that I had been the skilful arithmetician will often find a clerk from my youth, with a view it useful for saving the expense of of binding me'more closely both to time. It is necessary that tables of himself and his country, he bestowed this kind be above all suspicion of inupon me a canonry of Padua ; and had accuracy, and therefore we have exahe fortunately been indulged with mined the table with all the attention longer life, here would have termin in our power. We could not indeed nated all my wanderings. But such, afford the time necessary for calculatalas! is the transitory nature of every ing every number separately. This thing mortal, and so surely is sweet would have subjected us to all the laa succeeded by bitter,—within two years bour of the author. We took a short
er, but, we think, a very effectual * N. B.-—The passages above printed in method. We marked all "he quantiitalics, are variations in my copy of the last passages of the letter, which, for the sake of the printer's convenience, after being * The British Ready Reckoner, and partly printed at full length, have been Universal Cambist, for the use of Bankers, compressed, in a small type and a contract. Merchants, Farmers, Tradesmen, and Men ed phraseology, into a crowded page, bear- of Business in general ; compiled from the ing on its back part of the table of contents most Authentic Sources ; by William Stenof the subjoined volume, De Remediis U. house, Accountant in Edinburgh, Author triusque Fortunæ Roterod. 1649. 12mo. of the Tables of Interest, &c. Third edi. Whether, indeed, the folio editions termi- tion, greatly enlarged and improved. 32mo, nate this abruptly, I have no means of as
Oliver & Boyd, Edinburgh ; certaining at present.
F. R. S. Law & Whittaker, London.
ties and rates which produced the portion of it which can be called obscure. same value, and then examined the in describing the monies, weights, table whether this value was affixed and measures of England, Scotland, and to each of them ; for example, we Ireland, Mr Stenhouse is more copious found that £1, 6s. 3d. ought to be the than he is in explaining those of fovalue of each of the six following quan- reign nations; but here also he is very tities and rates, viz. of 45 at 7d, of short
, considering the multiplicity of 63 at 5d, of 35 at 9d, of 9 at '2s. 11d., weights and measures which are in of 7 at 3s. 9d., and of 5 at 5s. 3d.; common use among the different parts and we inspected the table to see if of these kingdoms. When pointing this was the case. By proceeding in out the legal measures of length in this manner with other values, we Scotland, the author has adverted to examined considerably more than half a mistaken opinion which has prevailthe table. We then reduced the va- ed among us, that the standard Scotch lues into parcels, and compared their ell is equal to 37.2 English inches. sums and differences with other values And he prefers Mr Troughton's meain the table ; and we used a variety of surement, which makes it only 37.069 other ways of comparing the values, English inches; this length of the ell so as to make the table, by cross-exa- has been lately confirmed by an expeminations carried on through its whole riment of Professor Copland of Aberextent, to bear testimony for or against deen. We have, in this part of the itself. We acknowledge, that the de- performance, a particular account of tection of error was our immediate ob- the local measures of corn in all the ject in this examination ; and if we counties of Scotland, and a method is had discovered in it either numerous explained, of checking and of equalor important errors, our respect for izing these measures, by means of the the author would not have prevented weight of water contained in the us from condemning the work as an standard pint jug of Stirling, comimposition on the public. But we pared with its content in cubical were not successful in discovering a inches; from which it is shown, that single error, and have, in consequence, a single weight for each of our standbeen led to express a high degree of con- ard measures would be sufficient for fidence in its accuracy. It is a matter of regulating the whole; whereas no ves, extreme difficulty to print arithmetical sels made by coopers, to prescribed tables, of such extent, without the forms, can be depended upon. smallest omission or mistake, and on Mr S. has also explained the printhat account we do not venture to as- ciple upon which the bill, brought sert that there is not a wrong figure in into Parliament in the year 1816, for the whole table, but we are certain, equalizing the weights and measures that if there be any, they must be very of the kingdom, was founded ; and few and of minor importance.
his remarks upon the system contained There are three other tables in this in that bill are very candid and judipart of the work, one of them for find- cious. The reader will find them in ing the interest of money for any num- the 195th page of the work, to which ber of days, and the other two for re- we beg leave to refer him. ducing Scotch land-measure into Eng- In settling the intrinsic value of folish, and English land-measure into reign coin, the author has given us the Scotch. The first of these tables will weight of the pure gold or silver in a be found of great use in calculating in- piece, and has expressed their weight terest, at all the usual rates per cent.: in English troy grains, from which the other two, though perhaps not so the value of the piece in sterling mogenerally requisite, will nevertheless ney is then deduced. On this part be of essential utility to the land-sur- Mr S. appears to have bestowed a veyor.
great deal of care. He informs us, in In the second division of the work his preface, that he has consulted all before us, the author treats of the the most eminent writers on commermonies, weights, and measures, of all cial subjects, and has extracted whatthe countries of the world, which are ever was most valuable in their works; concerned in foreign commerce. This and the list of his authorities, both part is remarkable for its accuracy and British and Foreign, is highly respectconciseness, but it possesses also, in a able. Many of them had access to inhigh degree, a quality not always con- formation superior to that of the genesistent with brevity, for there is no rality of writers, and they were well
qualified for making the most advan- which the value of any foreign piece tageous use of it. A knowledge of the may be converted from the old to the relation of foreign money to that of new standard with great ease, in many Britain, might be of great and perma- cases by inspection only, and in every nent utility to the commercial world, case by a simple addition. if the coins of different nations were The weights of foreign nations are constantly to retain the same intrinsic all valued by reducing them to Engworth. But though the variation can- lish troy grains, and their measures not be very great in a century, yet we of length are reduced to English inchknow that it has been the practice of es. Their measures of capacity, both governments, at all times, to alter, in liquid and dry, are first reduced to some degree, either the weight or the English cubical inches, and then comfineness of their coin; and it appears, pared with our wine gallon, or with from the volume before us, that the the Winchester bushel. But the same practice is still continued. We author himself has given a very plain, shall notice only the monies of Spain and, as appears to us, a very faithful and Portugal, because several of the account of all these reductions in his coins of these nations are current in Preface, to which we refer the reader Britain. In the days of Sir Isaac New- who wishes fuller information. ton, the crusado of Portugal was found
It has been the opinion of many to be worth 34.31 pence sterling, eminent men, that instead of making which makes the milree equal to 71.46 use of measures of capacity, which can pence sterling ; but the crusado of the
never be managed so as to secure peryear 1802, is worth only 27.886 pencefect accuracy, it would be not only sterling, and of course the milree is more equitable, but also equally cononly equal to 58.094 pence sterling venient, to buy and sell liquids, as Again, a Mexican dollar ought, ac- well as dry goods, by weight only. cording to law, to be worth 4s. 6d. ster- This, Mr S. informs us, is the generling nearly ; but it is now found, by al practice in Persia, where commerce actual assays at the mint, to be scarcely has been long carried on, and, in some worth 4s. 4d. And a similar deprecia- periods, to a great extent. With retion has taken place in their gold coins. gard to dry goods, our own experience Of the same nature with these changes, ought long ago to have convinced is the alteration which has taken place every person in this country of the last year in the weight of our silver expediency, and even of the necessity, coinage. Instead of 62s. being coin- of valuing them by weight only. Seved out of a troy pound of standard eral experiments have also been made silver, as was done formerly, 66 of upon liquids, with every appearance the new shillings have been coined of success. Indeed, the only objecfrom the same weight, which makes tion in this case is, some inconveni. the new coin about 6 per cent. less
ence in the
way of using the weights ; valuable than the old. We do not if this were got over, and the method stay to discuss the policy or the ad- generally adopted in any nation, the vantages of such a measure, we only people would soon be familiarized with mention the circumstance on account it, and its equity and utility would of its effect in altering the relation recommend it to their approbation. which our money formerly bore to At any rate, the uniformity and simthose of other nations. It makes an plicity of the plan entitles it to a fulapparent rise in the value of foreign ler consideration than it has yet obcoin in the same ratio in which our tained. money has been depressed. In the To facilitate the reduction of the work which we are reviewing, the re- money of one country into that of an, lation of foreign money to our old other, and to shew the nature of excoin appears to be estimated with change, Mr S. has annexed ten ta. great precision, but the performance bles to the work, of which the Arst was prepared for the press before the nine serve for pointing out the sterissue of the new coinage, and therefore ling money equal to any sum of the the alteration which has taken place money of Scotland, Ireland, Isle of could not be introduced into the body Man, and of the different parts of of the work. But the author has pre- North America and the West Indies, fixed a short table, which will be and also the value of Sterling money found at the end of the preface, by expressed in the money of these couns tries. The tenth is a very useful enlightened views of political science, table, containing the courses of ex- which so remarkably distinguish it. change, at a certain period, between It was indeed gratifying to observe, in London and the principal commercial the unanimous and zealous approbacities of Europe ; to which is subjoin- tion of the report, expressed by the Ased, particular and appropriate illus- sembly, the most ample acknowledge trations, which are sufficient for en- ment of the truth of those prinabling persons to judge of the favour- ciples of political economy, which, able or unfavourable state of the ex- however they may have been admired change, by comparing the courses of in theory, have hitherto been allowed exchange given in the newspapers at to exercise but too little practical inany time with the par as given in this fluence on national measures. table, and thus to ascertain the ad- In expressing ourselves thus warmly vantages or disadvantages attending of the Report, it would be unpardonmoney transactions.
The work is able to omit the name of Principal concluded with an account of the Baird, the convener of the sub-commode of discounting bills upon Lon- mittee, who is in fact the author of it, don and other places, by the bankers and who procured and digested the of Edinburgh and Glasgow : this, vast mass of facts on which it is foundthough never before published, is a ed. He has already received the thanks subject with which the people of Scot- of the Assembly for the extraordinary land ought to be intimately acquaint- ability and the disinterested zeal he ed. The table of stamp duties on has displayed in the execution of this bills, receipts, &c. is a proper sequel great work, and we are not going too to the work.
far, when we say that this tribute of Upon the whole, we do not hesitate their approbation is truly the expresto recommend this performance as a sion of that respect and gratitude enwork of great merit, and of very gen- tertained for him by the public, which eral utility.
will be associated with his name long after he shall have ceased, in the course of nature, to occupy the station he
now holds, with so much honour to PRINCIPAL BAIRD'S REPORT ON THE himself and advantage to society.
The general report has not been printed, nor is it intended to be so,
till returns from every parish in ScotOur readers are aware that the public land be received. As yet only about attention in England has at length be- 750 parishes have made returns; but gun to be seriously directed to the there is no doubt that they will all be subject of the poor-laws, with a view received, and their results added to the to alleviate their pressure, if not gra- report, before the next session of Parlidually to effect their abolition, and ament, when we presume it will be that inquiries into the state of the poor published. In the meantime, we prehave commenced, and are now going sent our readers with a paper circulaton, in both Houses of Parliament. ed by the committee, for the purpose
The General Assembly of the Church of enabling the Assembly more easily of Scotland, which met in 1817, in to follow the general report when it consequence of an application by the was read to them by Dr Baird. Parliamentary committees, appointed a committee of their number to inquire into the management of the poor Index to the Report of the Committee of the in Scotland. The result of their la
General Assembly (1817) on the Manbours was laid before last Assembly,
agement of the Poor. embodied in a report (founded on re- 1. Preliminary explanation of the object turns by the clergy to queries circulated of the committee. by the committee), which we have no 2. Summary of Scottish statutes relative to hesitation in pronouncing one of the
a provision for the poor. most interesting and important statisti
3. Sketch of the practical management of cal documents which has appeared in
the poor by the heritors and kirk-session.
4. Detail of the proceedings of the comany age or country; whether we consid- mittee of the Assembly to procure informaer the nature, and extent, and accuracy tion as to the management and state of the of the facts, or the sound sense and poor in the different parishes.
Result of Information received by the Com- parishes that are assessed their population,
mittee of Assembly on the following Points, and the proportion of the poor to the in the order of the Queries transmitted to 100 of the population. It shews, farther, the Ministers of Parishes.
the amount of the assessments the amount 1. Annual collections at the church-doors.
of the general session funds--the sum total 2. Contributions by heritors.
of parish funds (as consisting of the two 3. Expense of managing the funds of the preceding items), and the average allowkirk-sessions.
ance paid to each pauper per annum. This
table shews, also, the dates of the com4. Assessments, including—their total amount, the rate or rule of levying them,
mencement of the respective assessments in the authority by which they are levied, the different synods, their progressive intheir commencement and increase in num
crease in number, and their total present ber,—their rise and amount, and the ex
number in each synod ; and, consequently,
their whole number in Scotland, so far as pense of management. 5. Reluctance of the poor to apply for reported.
Table III.-It contains a state of the charity to the parish funds.
6. Number of the poor, and the rate of parishes in each synod that are not assessed. relief given to them.
There are seven columns in it, shewing the 7. Consideration paid to the character of total number of parishes in each synoda pauper on admission to the roll, and fixing the number of parishes in each that are not the allowance.
assessed—their population—the proportion 8. Removal of
of poor in the 100 of population--the whole 9. Litigations betwixt parishes as to pau- and the average allowance paid to each
amount of the parish funds for the poor pers, and the expense of them.
10. The claim by kirk-sessions to the ef. páuper per annum. fects of paupers at their death.
Table IV.-There are eleven columns in 11. The enforcement by paupers of high- all the parishes reported in all the synods as
this table, which contains a summary of er allowances than kirk-sessions fix. 12. The poor of the different religious population of each synod—the total amount
to the following particulars, viz. the total sects. 13. The practice of begging by stranger lections of general session funds-of as
of contributions by heritors--of annual coland parish poor. 14. Extraordinary collections for indivi
sessments of the whole parish funds for dual cases of distress.
the poor jointly-of the total number of 15. Number of the deaf and dumb.
poor in each synod, either regularly, or per16. Relief to the industrious poor in 1817. manently, or occasionally only on the roll 17. Savings banks.
the total number of poor of both these classes 18. Friendly societies.
-the proportion of poor to the 100 of po19. Sunday schools.
pulation, and the average allowance paid to 20. Mortifications for the support and
each pauper per anuum-and, by the sumeducation of the poor.
mation of the items for the synods, this 21. Means of common and religious edu- table shews the same particulars for the cation.
whole of the parishes of Scotland from 22. Conclusion.
which reports have been sent by the clergy. Appendix. The Appendix contains the fol- It is impossible for us to enter into lowing Tables illustrative of the Report. any thing like a detail of the results Table 1.- This table consists of seventy
of the inquiries in the Report, as it eight leaves, each leaf containing a view, ar
could have but slender pretensions to ranged in nine columns, of the whole re- accuracy; but some important facts, ported parishes in one presbytery, in respect taken down during the reading, may to the following particulars, viz. the amount not be unacceptable. of the population, of contributions by heritors, of the annual collections, of the gene- from which returns have been received,
It appears that, in the 750 parishes ral session funds, of the assessments, and of the annual collections at the churchthe total parish funds for the poor, as made
It contains a
doors amount to £21,730. up of the preceding items.
The volview also of the number of poor regularly untary contributions by heritors and permanently on the roll-of those only £35,438, and the assessments for occasionally on the roll—and of the total the poor to £13,317. In those parnumber of the poor. This table shews far- ishes where there are assessther, a separate abridged view of the above ments, the distribution of the poor's particulars, and of some others, as to the funds is gratuitously managed by cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow. Table II.-It contains a state of all the
upwards of 4000 persons; while in assessed parishes reported, and of their as
those where an assessment exists, it sessments in the different synods. It shews,
is done at
an expense of £1400 in nine columns, the total number of par- per annum. The rapid increase ishes in each synod the number of these in the number of these assessments is VOL. III.