Abbildungen der Seite


mentation which has taken place in and the dreaded and dreadful crisis the value of the standard in which inevitably resulting from the Home they are now paid. But we suspect Secretary's communications with the that this class of fundholders would Economists, and dealings with the not, on investigation, turn out to be currency, seems to be at hand. The

The greater part of the farmers, drained of the very dregs of national debt has probably changed their capital, can neither employ lahands at least once since the altera- bourers, nor pay their rents ; and tion in the standard of value. The thousands of them are actually prepersons who derived the benefit of paring to relinquish their farms. that measure, have either sold out of Even the rates required for the mainthe funds, or in some other way have tenance of the labourers thus disdisappeared from the scene. We are carded, can seldom be obtained withtherefore inclined to think, that, with out distress-warrants. How the exceptions too insignificant to de- landowners will act in the crisis serve public attention, these secu which is about to overtake them, we rities have passed into the hands of can scarcely conjecture. Some of strangers, who have purchased them them will perhaps take to farming since 1819.

the lands thrown upon their hands, Hence are we inclined to fear that, and thus endeavour to satisfy the without committing an act of injustice claims of their creditors, in whose upon innocent parties, no reduction behalf they are already but little betcan now be effected in the amount of ter than rent-receivers on their own dividends payable to the public an estates. Others, and that probably nuitant. It thus appears

that the cur the greater number, will, in utter rency bill of 1819 has saddled this despair, deliver up their patrimony unhappy nation with a permanent into the hands of mortgagees and addition, amounting to no less than other creditors. But whether they seven or eight millions per annum, adopt the one or the other of these to burdens which were already all courses, their fate is equally cerbut intolerable. Eight millions ster- tain-their doom equally sealed. If ling, payable for ever, is the penalty they attempt to cultivate their esinflicted upon the impoverished tax tates on their own account, the repayers of this country, for stretching sult of the experiment cannot be out their long ears to catch the ha- doubtful. If they deliver them up rangues, and assenting, with stupid at once into the hands of their credicredulity, to the schemes and pro- tors, they may perhaps, by way of jects of a race of political quacks, indulgence, be appointed as lookers, incalculably more ignorant and pre to superintend the cultivation of essumptuous than ever teazed the pa tates which were once their own. tience of any other nation. But There is, to be sure, one other monstrous as has been the effect of

course open to them; but, after haMr Peel's bill in augmenting our pub- ying tamely submitted to be plunlic burdens, it appears insignificant, dered for the last ten years, we dare when contrasted with its operation in not indulge the hope, that they will private life. The desolation brought adopt it ;-they may combine for the upon private families by that cruel purpose of doing themselves justice. and unconstitutional measure, no pen By an united exertion of strength, can paint—no tongue can tell. It has, which is not yet quite exhausted, the by its silent, but certain operation, landowners of this country might ruined

every farmer from one end of still right themselves. If they roused the kingdom to the other : a large themselves from the shameful apathy proportion of this important class of into which they have fallen, they subjects has, for the last ten years, might enforce the Government to remanfully struggled against the adver- consider the whole question of the sity brought upon them by Mr Peel's currency; and, if it should appear

: year after year they have gone either inexpedient or unjust to reon in the hopes of better times : year duce the weight of the present standafter year they have continued to pay ard, they might, at least, compel the their rents, not out of their profits, Minister to authorize Country Banks, but out of their capital : but their which can give security for their whole capital is at length exhausted; solvency, to issue one-pound notes,

bill :

We do not mean to say, that even sary contraction of the circulating this measure would altogether re

medium. Let them meet in their move the weight which now presses county halls and parish vestries, upon the springs of our national in. where, 'as yet, they are entitled to dustry; but we do contend, that it have a voice ; let them thus unite in would very greatly lighten its press

heart and hand, and we will venture ure. It would not, it is true, reduce to promise them a certain and speedy the quantity of gold which the sove- triumph. They can, if they choose reign contains; but, by allowing paper to exert themselves, load the tables to circulate as a substitute, it would of the House of Commons with ten practically reduce the marketable va thousand parochial petitions before sue of bullion, by diminishing the de- the end of the first week after the mand for it for the purpose of being meeting of Parliament. Such an encoined into

money; and the effect of ergetic demonstration on their part this fall in the price of gold, from a

of a determination to protect prodiminution of the demand for it, perty, either inherited from their would be a rise, of moderate amount, forefathers, or acquired by their own in the selling price of agricultural industry, would shatter to atoms the commodities. The public have a impolitic and unjust restrictions right to insist upon the adoption of which the pseudo-economists have every measure of relief, not incon- deluded the legislature to impose sistent with maintaining, in its fair upon the monetary system of the sense, the integrity of the present empire. standard. But if the landowners and In parting, we beg to address one farmers in thekingdom sitdown quiet- word both to the Ministry and the ly any longer under the ruin which great body of fund-holders. If it be has been brought upon them, in order considered on any grounds desirable to please the whims of cold-blooded that the integrity of the present and heartless projectors; if they standard of value should be mainstand with their arms folded, and do tained; that the pound sterling should nothing, then they may rest assured, hereafter contain the same weight of that for them nothing will be done; gold as it now contains, they will acnothing will be left for them, except cede at once to the demands of the to pass through the last act of the landed interest, and consent to the tragedy, and surrender the wreck of resuming of the one-pound note cirtheir property and their place in so culation ; if they refuse to listen to ciety to the money-lending and tax this reasonable, and, we will add, receiving classes, who have been en equitable proposition, we request riched exactly in the same propor them to prepare for the consetion that all persons connected with quences. In that case, the integrity land have been impoverished. It is, of the present standard cannot be indeed, difficult to account for the maintained for another year. They supineness with which the agricul- must not imagine, that when the tural classes have submitted, and still pinching moment arrives, a class so submit, to be fleeced! How differ numerous, and, when really roused ent, in this respect, is the ever-watch- into action by a sense of overwhelmful conduct of the manufacturers ! ing oppression, so powerful, as the If any measure be proposed which agricultural interest, will permit itself has a tendency to affect the interest to be stripped of its possessions withof this class to the amount of one out a struggle. The prices of agrifarthing per cent, the whole body is cultural produce remaining at their instantly set in motion, and the floor present level, (and without a change of St Stephens becomes deluged in our monetary system, they must with petitions. We earnestly call remain at this level) the payment upon the agriculturists to awake of public dividends will become a from their characteristic apathy; we financial impossibility. The fundwould advise them to petition by holders must, therefore, make their counties, and also by separate pa- election between two alternatives ; rishes, for a redress of the intolera- they must either consent to the reble grievances under which they la- moval of the restrictions which fetter bour, from an undue and unneces the circulation of a paper medium to

be used for the purposes of exchange, in the latter end of 1825 and the beor submit to a reduction of the in- ginning of 1826, Lord Goderich raised terest of the national debt.

against that useful class of citizensThe most unlimited circulation of the country bankers—the cry of inone-pound notes, convertible into solvency and rash speculation. This cash at the will of the holder, is charge has been since proved to have perfectly consistent with the exist been utterly destitute of foundation. ence of a metallic standard. The It is no doubt true, that, from the discurrency of the country would then trust which prevailed during that mebe placed on the old basis in which morable period,a small proportion out it stood before the original suspen- of the great body of banking establishsion of cash payments. So far from ments which issued one-pound notes being an innovation, this measure stopped payment. The remainder would prove only a return to old and stood their ground without flinching; tried principles. It would leave and of those firms which were comevery member of the community at pelled to suspend their payments, perfect liberty to use either paper or the majority paid very large divigold as the medium of exchange. dends ; many of them even liquidaThe advocates of our present iniqui ting all the claims upon them in full. tous and ruinous monetary system Hence it is quite clear that the losses seem to believe, that between a me sustained by the holders of onetallic standard of value, and a cur- pound notes during the late panic, rency purely metallic, there is no were extremely inconsiderable. The middle place; they seem to conceive reason advanced for the suppresthat because a metallic basis is found sion of this species of circulation, indispensable, in order to prevent was therefore a shallow pretence, put undue fluctuations in the measure of forward by Lord Goderich to supvalue, the whole circulating medium port a measure on which he had deof exchange must be also metallic. But termined, in order to please the ecothis is a gross fallacy, which has led nomists. the legislature so recently to tamper We beg again to impress upon with the currency, and by that means the minds of the agricultural classes, to plunge the country into the fright that their fate rests entirely in their ful difficulties which so many differ own hands : if they remain quiescent ent classes now experience. Parlia under the unjust pressure which the ment must instantly retreat from the contraction of the currency has fatal error into which they have fallen: thrown upon their shoulders, their while they maintain the integrity of utter ruin is inevitable. Even “ the our metallic standard as the measure Master” of the Ministry, if he were of value, they must,-if they be not disposed to assist them, can afford resolved to destroy the agricultural them no relief, if they do not stand classes altogether,---remove the re boldly forward and demand redress. striction which has been so wantonly He is beset on one hand by the ecoand injuriously imposed upon the nomists, and on the other by the operations of the country bankers. stock-jobbers and money-lenders;

Nothing can be conceived more and nothing short of a determined flimsy than the pretence under which and united movement on the part the suppression of the one-pound of the agriculturists, can nullify the note circulation has been carried in intrigues and importunities of these to effect. Availing himself of the persevering parties. panic and confusion which prevailed


“Let the whole earth praise thee, of contentment, any can be so call. oh Lord ! from the rising up of the ed; he was a man of sorrows, too, if sun, to the going down of the same; parting with those best loved, in the for glorious and bountiful are thy assured trust that they were gone to works, my God and my Saviour, and the regions of the blessed, to the land may my soul ever declare the great- which is watered by no tears, can be - ness and goodness of thy name !" called a source of grieving; and suresaid old Michael Raeburn, as he clo- ly it may-for if the light in the eyes sed the door of his humble cottage, of those who love us is a gladsome and stept forth and met the face... happiness to us, who can look up the rejoicing and happy face-of crea with the same joyfulness when in the tion, on a lovely morning in August, darkness or the shadows of bereavewhen nature appeared in all the fresh- ment ? But he had one tie to this ness and calm beauty that must have world-one loved link that bound delighted our first parents on their him to life, and made him pray to be awakening each blest morning in Pa- spared for her sake. And a little joy radise, save the last fatal morning: she was to him; and little did she Michael was a man of piety, and of know, when she was smiling with her poetry too; indeed, I almost think sunny eyes up in the old man's face, that the purity and aspiring thoughts, and doing all she could to please yet humble contentment, of the first, him, that she was repaying him fourimply the possession of the other. fold for days, months, years of anNone can look from nature up to na tious watching over her, for never ture's God, as he was wont to do, did womankind tend more devotedwithout having a living fountain in ly on her heart's best treasure, than their hearts ever springing, upon did old Michael Raeburn on this one which the Iris, the beauteous beams precious legacy of a darling child. of light from heaven, will often de- Little Mary Glenthorne never knew light to set; and in its enchanting a mother's tenderness, for her mominglings, sparkle into a starry poet

poet- ther died ere she had seen her babe; ry, which shines for them alone per but she had never wanted it, for the haps, but still is the true essence of old man had friends who loved and poetry.

pitied him, and though he never But Michael deemed little of these would part with the little orphan, thingsnothing; to have told him yet there was one kind soul near who that the sublimities he treasured in

was ever ready to watch by it and his memory, and delighted to repeat nurse it; and Michael's deep love in the secret places of the lofty moun soon taught him to take kindly care tains, or whilst tending the sheep on of it when he had it for hours out the open hills, as he pleased himself in the fields with him, the while he in lingering beside the calm waters, tended sheep. It was the pleasant as evening shades were closing round talk of the country folk round about him, and leaving him to guess at what where they lived, how nice a mother the scene might be--to have told old Michael made to the sweet child; him that “ the plaintive tenderness and many thought it a happier day of Jeremiah,” or the soarings and when they could go to their home in gladsomeness, the deep-toned pa- the evening and tell that they had tience, and lofty, glorying praises of seen the babe of the Violet Hut, as the Psalms, were Poetry, would not, the old man's cot was called, because could not, have more endeared the for years and years far back the first Book of Promise unto him ; for he violets were to be found in the neat knew it to be the word of God-he bit of ground that lay round his teneknew that to study it and practise it ment. with humility and prayer, would tend But I am a long time in introducing to make him holy--and he sought no you to this good old man, and I am wisdom or learning, save only to be leaving him all this time making his “ wise in heart.”

He was a yery slow way, with feeble steps, in the poor man, if, with a many-veinedmine still, fresh sweetness of opening

morning. He was going to his day's the bliss of being a mother. “ Yea, work, that he would not give up, high were we all in hope that day!" though he was barely strong enough said the old man, and he sighed, and to do any ; ; but his employer knew looked down in sadness; but it was him well, and made it an easy task only for a moment.

« And are not to him; and so highly was he vene they happy ?” said he, with upraised rated and looked up to by all, that and cheerful gaze; " and shall not I his younger and stronger fellow-la on this day too be high in hope? bourers would gladly have worked Yes, yes; Heaven be praised, I am! double, to have saved the trembling And for the dearest wish of my knees of old Michael ; and often has heart—what is it? I know the time he been found stretched in comfort when I used to have to weigh what on the grass, and repeating whole ought to be the dearest—to reflect, chapters of the Blessed Book, as he ere I asked a boon of the Spirit, or ever called it, to those who were the Angel of the Gate-to consider around him, or teaching hymns to whether I was about to shew myself the young children whose parents a selfish worldly man, or a sincere, were at work. In the winter he was a heaven-seeking Christian ; yea, I generally ill, and unable to leave his can remember when on my lips I home; but he could then make nets had it to wish for some creaturefor the trees, and a number of other comfort for those dear unto me, and little works ; and when his cough then would my better self, that part was not too bad, he would have the of me that seems not myself, put it young ones come to him of a morn into my spirit, that far better would ing, and teach them; and many a it be to wish them and all of us the neighbour delighted to join in the contented hearts that would make us evening prayer and reading at Old grateful even for our wants ; but now Michael's ingle. He had, for some have seen too long the mercies of years, given shelter to a poor widow- my God-I have known the riches ed soul who had none else to care of poverty, the possessions of having for her, and she took a grateful care nothing, the rejoicings of sorrow; I of him when he was sick, and look- have read mercy clearly written on ed to little Mary ; but old Martha the darkest spots of my life; and was no companion to Michael, though now, at the end of many lays, and a good quiet body; and though she after many wishes, I have but one and Mary were excellent friends, to ask of the kind Spirit--and that yet her dear grandfather was Mary's is, that I may bring up my dear one teacher, and what he told her of her in the nurture and admonition of the mother's ways, went to the forming Lord, and that she may be holy in her feminine character and habits. heart, in hope, and in life.” Years had glided on, and Mary was He rested awhile, and then, with seven years old at the time my story staff in hand, went on his way; he opens. Well, the old man walked had more than a mile to walk before forth to the music of his own holy he came in sight of the prettiest little thoughts, and the first chirpings of the cottage in the country, where he had awakening birds; he made his way, a daily summer duty to perform in and by the sun soon found that he his way to the corn-fields where he was something earlier than usual, so laboured. He quietly opened the he determined to go a little out of wicket in the lane where the cottage his course,

and rest him for a while was, and walked in as one welcome, on the WISHING-GATE.

He was no

and expected; he made his way up rare visitor, but he never came but to a side of the house upon which on some day that was especially grew, in beautiful luxuriance, a marked in his heart's calendar, and broad-leaved myrtle, which was in this was the day when his own love fine flower; he seemed about to pluck ly Mary, the child almost of his old it where it was the thickest, as he age, had been married. High had they placed his fingers carefully between all been in hope on that joyous day! the branches—but it was not to rob But it had pleased the Lord first to the stem of its blossoms, but to quiettake the youth-Oh! early was it in ly unhook a loop of string from a their wedded life !-and then poor nail, and by that act he opened the Mary herself, or ever she had tasted pretty rustic cottage window that

« ZurückWeiter »