Abbildungen der Seite

[The Author reserres to himself the right of translation.]

[merged small][ocr errors]






Elevated by your many public and private virtuesby your immense erudition in monetary and commercial affairs—to a rank which places you at the head of those merchant princes and bankers, whose vast commercial enterprises have promoted the most vital interests of the greatest nation in the world, it has been a source of peculiar gratification to me, having your kind permission, to inscribe to you this Treatise on a service which is the sole protection of our nation's trade, navigation, and commerce in foreign countries.

Permit me, then, with the utmost deference, to express my sincere wishes that you may long enjoy that high position, and that you may be spared many years to be one of the Representatives of this great City, to which honor you have been so often returned by the universal voice of its electors.

Allow me to subscribe myself,


Your most obedient and humble servant,



January 1st, 1856.


HE present epoch seemed to me peculiarly to demonstrate the

great and urgent necessity there is for a Work of this description, which has been compiled with a view more to practical utility than to the development of historical research. It will be found to be directed to the useful purpose of conveying instruction, and affording reference, in cases which may not unfrequently arise, wherein the Consul, Vice-Consul, Shipowner, Master Mariner, and others, have occasion, even in their ordinary vocation, for the interposition and aid of Consular authority, to be exercised and applied with due regard to international law, and in accordance with the conventions, treaties, and directions of the respective Governments.

While I am averse to indulge in a political essay upon what I may (however reverentially) conceive to be erroneous on the part of those in authority, in adopting the best mode of securing the most honourable and effective discharge of the important duties which devolve upon persons to whom the execution of that part of the public service is confided, I cannot refrain from directing attentive consideration to the necessity of a wise selection of persons to fill the position of Consul.

That the overwhelming responsibility of the creation of a may attach, with all its fearful consequences, to the performance or non-performance of such duties as are properly within the province of his authority, will justify me abundantly in a brief allusion to the actual requirement that exists for higher qualifications than


would appear to have been hitherto considered as indispensable in a Consular Agent.

Considering the vast importance of the due protection of every branch within the gigantic scope of commerce, trade, navigation, and international enterprise which the British Empire has created, pursued—and, indeed, now actively encourages and promotes in all parts of the habitable globe-surely it becomes well the most enlightened Statesman to devote himself energetically to the amelioration and improvement of the present mode of administration of that part of the public service; and rather to originate a necessary revision of the present course adopted, than wait for the interposition of those who may treat the subject with more rough celerity than would be judicious. Let no one be found who shall be able to exclaim with truth, that the appointments are conferred on persons

“ favoured, not fitted.” In what department of the Civil Service is there so much required as of a Consul—and this, when he is in many instances far from his native land, and those from whom he might otherwise obtain counsel and advice? Placed too in a position wherein he must promptly manifest the possession of firmness—a firmness well based on that proper amount of self-reliance resulting alone from a virtuous and manly confidence that he possesses the necessary qualifications for the performance of the duties of his office-duties no less than identical with those of a clergyman, a lawyer, diplomatist, notary, merchant, shipowner, and all persons acting directly, or as agents for others, in the management of the innumerable affairs (many of considerable delicacy) involved in the transactions of so widely diffused and extensive commercial relations—this proposition is of itself so obviously correct that confirmation is unnecessary. Yet the opinion of probably one of the most acute and observant diplomatists of his own or any other age, occurs to me: I may with propriety remind my readers of the very brief allusion of Prince Talleyrand to such duties, which he made while directing attention to Count Rheinhard, an eminent politician, then lately deceased : “ Après avoir été un ministre habile, que des choses il faut encore savoir pour être un bon Consul! Car les attributions d'un Consul sont variées à l'infini; elles sont d'un genre tout différent de celles des autres employés des affaires étrangères. Elles exigent une foule de connaissances pratiquées, pour lesquelles une éducation particulière est nécessaire. Les Consuls sont dans le cas

« ZurückWeiter »