Изображения страниц
[ocr errors]

ed 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 large our in return but increased duties on goods coal-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 indepen. on 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 a fact 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 ,

Porter, II, 104.

are not without an answer even to this return for the purchase of 10,000,000 powerful argument, founded on the ab- worth of their produce; that is, of 5,sence of any return whatever for our 000,000 worth of dollars from South maritime concessions in the commer- America, and 5,000,000 worth of procial policy of any other state. They duce from Europe, only five millions say, although it may be desirable if pos- worth of our manufactures off our hands; sible to effect diplomatic arrangements, whereas if we had stipulated for similar whereby the favourable admission of our advantages to our cotton goods, in remanufactures might be secured in re- turn for the advantages conferred by turn for the favourable concessions us upon foreign shipping, we should made on our side to foreign shipping; have been enabled to sell ten millions yet whether this advantage is gained or worth of our manufactures, 5,000,000 not

, a substantial benefit accrues to Bri- to South America, in exchange for the tish industry by the increased importa- bullion, and 5,000,000 worth to Prussia tion of goods from foreign countries. and the other riciprocity countries, in The great thing they contend is to in- exchange for their goods. The differcrease our importations. If that can ence therefore in this case would be be effected, the growth of our exports nothing short of 5,000,000 lost to our must be corresponding; and the vivify- manufactures in the foreign markets. ing effect to British industry must be in the one case we should engage in a felt from one quarter or another. We real interchange of commodities

, both do not, it is said, get the foreign goods with South America and Europe; in we import for nothing. We must pay the other, the intercouse is real only for them, either in our own manufac- with South America ; and in the intertures or in money, and in either case the course with Europe we are nothing benefit is the same, although in the lat- more than carriers, who effect a comter it is more circuitous to our domestic mercial intercourse, not with them. industry; for the money which buys selves, but with the South American foreign goods can be acquired only by and the German states. us by the sale of our own produce. This argument appears to us per

We admit that this argument is fectly decisive. It is quite evident that plausible, and seemingly satisfactory, to justify commercial arrangements but upon a closer examination its falla- with any particular country, we must cy is very apparent. It is quite true be able to show that under those arthat we must purchase the money with rangements, standing by themselves, a which we pay for our foreign imports, by reciprocal benefit flows to the inhabitthe disposal some way of our British ants of both. It is no answer to the manufactures ; but it is not the less objection, that these advantages so far true, that if a real reciprocity system as domestic industry is concerned, are was entered into with the European wholly on one side; to say that, with states; that is to say, if we compelled the other countries, at the same time them in rerurn for the advantages we commercial intercourse is carried on in held out to their shipping and in- which real reciprocal advantages are dustry, to give corresponding advan- obtained, and that we carry the goods tages to our branches of industry, in of the one foreign country to the other. which they stand at a disadvantage There is no doubt some return for such to us, the export of our manufac- a transaction, because the carrying tures and the consequent encourage- trade is attended with certain advanment to our industry would be far great- tages; but there is not nearly so great er than it now is ; for this plain reason, an advantage as there would be, if our that we would ship our exports and the own goods were exported to both counproduce of our industry, not only to the tries, and we gained in the intercourse countries from which we buy our mo- with both, not only the profits of carriney, but to the countries also from ers but also that of producers. If I ask whom we purchase our imports

. For Lord John to dinner, and he asks me in example, if at present we send 5,000,- return, there is a real reciprocity of acts 000 of our manufactures to South of hospitality ; but if I ask him, and he America, with which we purchase dol- never asks me in return, it is quite illulars to a similar amount, and then send sory to say that I gain an equal advanthese dollars to France, Prussia, and the tage, because I frequently dine with other reciprocity countries with a view Mr. Thomas, as well as he with me. to purchase their industry, we gain in The answer is obvious. It is no doubt


[ocr errors]


an advantage to have the honour of his foreign shipping into our harbours for lordship's company at dinner at your the same duties as they admit ours, own house, and to dine as often with without stipulating for a corresponding Mr. Thomas as he dines with you; but advantage to some of the staple articles it would be much better, if you could so of our own industry in return. arrange matters, that in addition to your Nothing seems clearer than that it equal social intercourse with Mr. Tho- would be perfectly reasonable and just mas, you had the benefit at the same that we should now say to the reciprotime of as many dinners from Lord city countries with whom we have conJohn as you give to him. And this is cluded reciprocity treaties, precisely the state of the case with the “ Fifteen years ago we made great resciprocity system.

concessions in your favour on foreign Although however, we think it per- shipping, which have had the effect of fectly clear that the reciprocity system quadrupling your tonnage in the British has had the most pernicious effects trade, and reducing our own to nearly upon our maritime interests, and that a fourth-part of its amount before that experience has now demonstrated that period. We did so in the firm belief in its leading principle of giving gratui- that our concession in an article so tous concessions to the shipping inter- indispensable to our national security ests of the European states, without as our shipping interest would be stipulating for any corresponding ad- immediately followed by a correspondvantages to our commercial industry, it ing concession on your part to some is proved to have been founded upon of the staple branches of our industry. entirely erroneous principles, yet we Have you made any similar concesneither assert that Mr. Huskisson's sions to us in return for this great principles were entirely erroneous, nor advantage ? On the contrary, you advocate a return, even in the particu- have gone on loading our manufactures lars in which we had gone astray, to with additional burdens to protect your the whole extent of the restrictive own, until at length you have reduced system.

our exports to your states to a perfect There were two points on which Mr. trifle. We cannot submit any longer Huskisson's principles were clearly to such a state of matters. "Let us well founded. The first was that of understand each other. We must lowering or taking off altogether the have either commercial war, or comduties on foreign raw produce, such as mercial peace. You have no right to silk, on which important British manu. reproach us for the corn laws any more facture was to be exerted. The second than we have right to reproach you for was that of opening a free commercial your standing army. The one is as intercourse between our colonies and indispensable to our national independthe commercial colonies of other ence as the other is to yours. We instates, reserving only the home trade sist then upon a real reciprocal advanto the mother country to its own tage in return for our repeal of the navishipping. The first of these was es- gation laws. Select the article of our sential to the growth of our domestic staple manufactures which you are inanufactures on those articles of for- willing to admit into your ports upon eign produce which we could not raise favourable terms, in return for the confor ourselves ; and the second was cession we have granted to your shipequally indispensable to promote the ping. If you do not, we will re-enact growth of our colonies in the distant the navigation laws, and you will soon parts of our empire with which not only find that your shipping will dwindle our national wealth, but our existence is away to a half of its present amount. inseparably wound up. The real error We are quite willing to have either in Mr. Huskisson's principles, and war or peace, but not such a mongrel

hich has been attended with such system as gives you all the advantages disastrous effect, was the departure of peace, and throws upon us all the from our navigation laws; and above evils of war." all, the deceitful principle of admitting

[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 di- 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

were surrounded by extensive movement of her face, and the quick woods. These together with the small and striking dilation of the pupils 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 quility and beauty.

too little under the government of any Jane was the heiress of a cottage settled principles of action, for the hope and a few fields ; and without those of usefulness and peace. But sur. advantages, 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 afleft on her daughter's mind a tinge of fecting 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 for. he saw that there was mixed up in her eign cities and savage tribes, crimes, disposition a strong portion of the ir. sufferings, wonders, and superstitions regular and fantastic strain, which the —on these she mused at every moold 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 the

would add, had been a sort of fairy dairy and garden. She knew no·body, 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 car. awe. 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 Method. 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 that 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 Medham, where her father had ing, that she seemed for some days in found his future bride. Now the long a 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

[ocr errors]

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 month in every year till she half persuaded herself that away from their wives and children. something more than fancy had 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 graify 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 bod- tracks up the downs. The village lay ies. 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 crubits. 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 which 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 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 have 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 her 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 her 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 seaport 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 fidle tract that divided the plain from the


« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »