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counted them worth little or nothing. Practically it seems and claim a higher place than a descendant of the leaders to have doubted if they had souls. Our faith has had no of banded slaves in the dark centuries. Such claims will home energy. It has propagated only in distant lands, and soon be more readily acknowledged. slowly there. “Slowly there,” because a dreadful error His early years were devoted to business, and his eduhas been committed. The class who are the most gene-cation was consequently not more liberal than was consirous givers, when instructed and enlightened, have been dered, at the close of the last century, sufficient for the neglected. The class from whom our soldiers are re- desk and the warehouse. It has frequently been recruited, and our navies are manned, have been left wit- marked, that classical literature has not any tendency to nesses against our religion. For every missionary sent purify the mind. The characteristics of its heroes are out by “the religious world” to teach our system, the likely to have a different result; and most of the works
State" has sent a hundred to proclaim its inefficiency, submitted to boys at academies, and young men at colas restraining intelligent and civilising truth. Some leges, might be advantageously weeded. Something has little attention has been given to the education of “fe- been done for that object; but the editions formerly used males in India" by many who have done nothing for the were fitting subjects for the Society for the Suppression education of females in England, Scotland, and Ireland, of Vice. though the ignorance of the last has a direct, obvious, and From the following extract, we learn that the son apparent bearing in retarding the conversion of the first, has no reason to consider his father a loser, by the want of and far distant and evil-entreated class.
a classical education. We return again to Mr. Wilson's memoir. Occa- · Ile might also be indebted, in part, for the purity of sionally in the work we come on instructive passages his youthful imagination, to his yet more happy ignorance as when the author writes, as he does repeatedly, of "the of the licentious and abominable deeds ascribed to the Wilson family”--the family of which Thomas Wilson read important than to preserve untainted the native delicacy
heathen gods and goddesses. If nothing can be more a genealogical statement when invited by a scion of the of the youthful mind, nothing, surely, can be more injuhouse—one of the merchants and aldermen of London, rious than to initiate boys at a tender age into all the who has passed the chair, to some of the festive meetings mysteries of the ancient heathen mythology, and to aeduring his mayoralty. The Wilson family · reminds quaint them with the absurdities and impurities of the
Pantheon. He might, indeed, in future lite, labour unone of the Percy family," or “the Douglas family," der some disadvantages in consequence of his unclassical “the Stewart family," or “the House of the Tudors,'' education ; but any such disadvantages were amply commerely by contrast. “The Wilson family” has no claims pensated. If those justly-admired models did not refine corresponding to those of the great aristocratic houses.
his taste, and stimulate his youthful fancy, by their beau
tiful descriptions of natural objects and seenery—if they There is no lustre shed over it, by reflection, from the red did not correct and polish his style by their finished spot that marks a terriblo crime. There is no bloody specimens of composition, and replenish his memory with hand on its banners. Its fortunes were not founded in their ample store of moral maxims-a greater predomi
nance of imagination, a more close attention to the graces any great robbery. It did not even raise from the and elegancies of diction and writing, might only have corner stones of some noble daring deed of unalloy- diverted him, in subsequent years, from his great praced patriotism—an edifice blurred over by many dark tical business. Nor did he sustain any serious loss from crimes in ages of oppression and tyranny, and exhi- unacquaintance with the moral codes and aphoristie pre
cepts of the heathen philosophers and poets, since he had biting the Mosaic work in its history of intermingled known, from a child, those holy Scriptures, which were vice and virtue—a curious blending of the love of liberty not only able to make him wise unto salvation, through with the practice of oppression. “ The Wilson family,'' faith which is in Christ Jesus; but are also profitable for at least in this branch, traced their origin to John Wilson
all the purposes of moral instruction and practical wisdom,
as well as for reproof and correction, that the man of of Stenson, in Derbyshire, an honest farmer, who occu
God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good pied a small freehold and a farm that had been “ in the works." family' for several generations, and who, exactly a hun
He had advantages which no other classical nor outj dred years ago—a hundred years on the 25th of May-of-door instruction can compensate for. left Stenson, which he was never to see again, on a ourney to London, with his son Thomas, the fifth of churches-borrowed, I believe, from our American bre
s. The modern custom, introduced in many of our eleven children. On his return homeward—for a jour-thren--of communicating scriptural instruction in Bible ney from London to Derbyshire was not thon as now classes, is, in my humble opinion, 'a more excellent the work of a few hours-John Wilson became very
way' than the method of teaching them to repeat human ill and died at Leicester. It may be worthy of remark
catechisms, which, however generally accordant they may
be with the oracles of God, and one, at least, in rery that the father and son left Stenson, in Derbyshire, general use, is not entitled even to this praise, are but on the 25th, and reached London about the 30th.”
" the words which man's wisdom teacheth.” The great The samo journey, after reaching the Midland Counties thing needed in order to the raising up of a godly seed, Railway, would now require as many hours. Thomas
who shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation, is
that from their childhood, they be taught the Holy Wilson, tlie son, emigrated to the West Indies in 1749 ; Scriptures in those words which the Holy Spirit has inbut returning in 1752, he commenced business as a ribbon dited, and which are able to make them wise unto salvamanufacturer in Coventry, along with some other mem
tion, through faith which is in Christ Jesus. This good
work, so far as it can be carried on in schools and classes, bers of his family, and they were all enriched in the pur- does not surely belong exclusively to ministers. What suit of their profession ; but the wealth they have ac- work can be inore appropriate for devout and devoted quired has been largely applied to public purposes, espe- babes, the babes of those who are themselves ignorant
women, especially pious matrons, than to be teachers of cially in connexion with the propagation of the Gospel. and uninformed in the very principles of the oracles of No reason exists, therefore, why a descendant of “the God? But, certainly, this must be considered as the pe Wilson family" should not be pleased with bis counexion | culiar, imperative, and indispensable duty of enlightened
Christian parents, especially of mothers, who are called | perseverance in England can be clearly trace over ad by God to be the religious teachers of their own offspring great part of the land. at a tender age. How few men have risen to eminence in the Church of Christ, who have not been trained and
In politics he was a liberal—a Whig of the extreme tutored in their early youth by mothers in whom dwelt school, perhaps a fitting representative of Finsbury ; and the same unteigned faith, which Lois and Eunice were in point of fact, such men, whatever may be nominally honoured to be the instruments of communicating, through their party will be always found supporting, in their various the Holy Scriptures, to the future evangelist, when he was a child !!
walks the privileges of the people, for somehow the rule
“Do unto others” perpetually haunts their minds. In after life, he was not froin these circumstances induced to undervalue education. That life indeed was The Irish Priest. London: Longman & Co. given to its promotion. In guiding, as he really guided the A SMALL book, full of strange opinions, intermingling Academy of which he was treasurer, he endeavoured to raise with many truths. We reckon the opinions strange, mostly an improved and more comprehensive standard of educa- in connexion with the title of the volume and the contion ; and we find his name recorded amongst the carliest nexion of the story. An Irish priest's biography, consupporters of the London University.
densed and confined to the leading points in his life, forms Although my father's own advantages of education in the story, which is attractively told. This Irish priest his early life had not been of a superior kind, yet he was
was of the humbler classes, as the greatest proportion of neithe
insensible to the value and importance, nor in the priesthood are. His parents adopted an orphan girl, different to the more extensive diffusion of literature, not because they were rich, but because she was poor. science, and general knowledge.
With this girl, when a boy, the future priest formed one “Of this he gave a decisive proof in May 1825, when he of those very romantic attachments which may occur in complied with an earnest request to attend a meeting, to childhood, to be forgotten. The Father of the parish, be held at the chambers of Ilenry, Brougham, Esq., however, dashed all their speculations, before they rightly (now Lord Brougham,) in Lincoln's Inn, for the purpose of considering a plan for a metropolitan university. One of understood their meaning, by proposing to educate the the other persons present was the late Rev. Edwird Irving. boy for the priesthood. Nothing was more natural in I have often heard him refer to the solemn tones of pro- those circumstances than that the girl should become a test in which that gentleman uttered his denunciation of nun. Such a course was proposed in their juvenile specuthe attempt to establish an university without a theologi-lations; but she died before that time could come. cal faculty. My father did not sympathise with that objection. He considered the proposed arrangement, of
“Do not sorrow so for me, darling; I shall keep my giving instruction during a portion of the day-and that promise by you, and your soul shall not fly so fast heanot commenced at an early hour of the morning-a suffi- ven-ward, that I shall not be there to welcome it. You cient reason for dispensing with all religious worship, in will not forget the little birds that sang to us by the green, connexion with the college exercises."
and the wild flowers : they were all I had, Michael, and
they were for you. Mother, kiss me, for I was your child It is somewhat singular that the last public meeting at- -father, bid your Marion farewell; she will climb your tended by him was congregated to oppose Sir James knee no more ! You are growing old, father, and I not Graham's infamous measure for Education. The baneful by: Who will help you when your daughter-for you
called me your daughter-is gone? Farewell, dear Minature of that scheme has never yet been generally and chael; brother dear, farewell ; you will bear me over tho fully understood. Its adoption and operation would have river no more. Do you remember the words of the old plunged England into a system of petty and heartless per- blind man you taught me coming from the school ?secution under the name of education ; but, perhaps, its
“As leaves are begotten, so indeed are men;
Some the wind bears along the ground, evils taught men to regard more favourably the bad While the budding wood, as in spring, produces more ; clauses in the recent minutes of Council, merely by con
Such is the lot of man--one is born, another dies!' trast.
“And now, the IIoly Mother says, “Come,' and
baby at her breast says, 'Come,' and my little sister "Toward the end of May, 1843, my father appeared, says • Come,' and God himself calls me-I come, oh! I for the last time, in a public capacity, as chairman of a
And thus the precious child sank into unconscimeeting, held in Union Chapel, Islington, for the purpose
She never spoke word more, but passed with of taking measures to oppose the passing of Sir James such smile as the malady permitted, from a world so rich, Graham's Education Bill, which he described as an “ un
and yet so full of care, into that spiritual world for which just, unconstitutional, and oppressive measure." He ex
80 many bright gifts prepared her. ressed his opinion very decidedly that no forcible means
“ Nor silk nor satin shrouded her limbs--no cap should be employed to compel parents to send their child thralled her yellow hair! What matter, that body had dren to school, but that education should be perfectly free. shrined a loving heart-an angel soul. He also spoke plainly and strongly in reference to the “We laid her beneath the turf, beside a grassy knoll. Church catechism, as in his judgment teaching children to The wild flowers sho so greatly loved came thick upon say what is false, that they were born again of the Spirit her tomb; and a clustering woodbine made semblance to when baptised—whereas baptism communicates no grace clasp a moss-grown stone, on which was rudely graven or spiritual influence. He declared his great objection to the name of the Church of England, as based on the supposition that all are made Christians in baptism, the subsequent services at confirmation and burial proceeding on the same
“Here, when summer winds blew soft, and the song of false and dangerous assumption; so that the church birds came wasted on the breeze, have I sat far in the "knows nothing of sinners," except flagrant and notorious night, and heard, or fancied I heard, a voice-one, offenders.''
alas! forever stilled-call brother! Then, through tears,
have I gazed upon the stars, and knew that she was of these three men, all labouring in one cause, Mr. there. Wise and gentle Marion, fare-thee-well! Didst
bloom and fade unseen ; but there are those who shall Wilson was unquestionably most uscful, because he was
recall thee, while eyes can see or hearts cherish fond not only doing good himself, but the cause of good in remembrance.”' others. He not merely wrought, but made workers.
The feuds and quarrels that desolate Ireland become He did not stop there, but formed also the scenes where naturally the subject of the priest's manuscript. He early they were to labour ; and the results of his plans and I began to form acquaintance with them; as the following
extract will show. It also brings out the opinions of the structure was no more, and the assailants rushing forauthor, who seems to have been, if priest at all, a bad ward, completely filled the aperture. But the crisis had Roman Catholic-certainly a Universalist, and one who been foreseen; a pealing voice cried, “Now.' A lurid holds by the most comfortable and convenient faith im- flash was seen, a bellowing report was heard, the mansion
quivered, and all was still. Twenty human beings had aginable.
passed into the eternity into which they were so ruthOne day, it so fell out I entered a cabin by the lessly about to thrust others, and the remaining few, dehill-side just as the young master left it, and took part struction at their heels, Hed in wild dismay. in the following discourse.
“It was morn when I approached. Already soldiers, ""• And so, Michael, darling, you saw him; ho went with magistrates and police, attracted by the firing, and out just as you came in.'
more especially the thunder of the explosion, came pour...I saw him,' was the reply.
ing in. Every one set to work, and in a space of time “• The Virgin be over us,' continued the woman, incredibly short almost every trace of that wild night had • and such a nice young boy!
disappeared.” What pity-heretic cub, spawn of Luther, already We cannot follow this tale through all its sinuosities. damned, or shortly to be,' growled the man. And here There is no little interest in the chapters respecting the he crossed himself while the woman sighed. " • But you do not really think. do not mean to say,
studies at Maynooth, though they are short. The whole that one after God's image, so young, so innocent, shall system is condemned as one likely to chill the heart and incur this fearful doom?'
freeze the feelings and the affections. Maynooth has not Come, now, Michael dear,—and the man smiled produced many great scholars, but that was not its object. incredulously— * I suppose you do not know what is before It was intended to produce earnest men, banded together him.' " • As Christian man, or rather boy, then, I believo
in support of a system; and as high scholarships was not heart and soul, that it is the will and intent, as it is requisite on entering, so we believe the knowledge with within the power, of Almighty God to save each wander- which the pupils came into the seminary is not increased, ing child of Adam—whether he be of Rome or Geneva, except in the peculiarities of Roman theology, when they or wliether he be neither.'
leave. The new colleges will probably enough make an The future priest sared the future landowner, and the improvement in this respect. boys became much attached, although their forms of A fragmentary knowledge of English, and knowledge religion differed widely; and friendship, without con- still more fragmentary of the ancient classics, was all that formity, is not common in Ireland. Afterwards, and only realised. "To these rude acquirements were now to be
was expected, probably because it was all that could be shortly after, he saved the manor-house and family from aduled a little scholastic logic, a course of barren divinity, being destroyed in a midnight attack. The narrative of and some faint inklings of natural science. It was doing the conflict is worth transcribing, though we cannot re- the young men scant justice in the first instance and in member of any Irish landlord having ever adopted this the last ; it was but poorly qualifying them for the infludecisive mode of scorching his foes, and routing them by ence they were to exercise, and the posts they were to blowing out his own door.
fill. The world, its errors and its excellences, were alike
excluded. Associates they had none, beyond those as “ About midnight dark forms shot past the trees, por incult as themselves ; or teachers who for tlie most part tentous noises invaded the silence of the night. Finally, had run the same career. a crowd of men, with stunning execrations, discharged a Better, in truth, their books had been closed; betvolley, bringing down the panes with tingling crash. А
ter they had remained illiterate as the clod, even as the simultaneous rush was now made against the doors, which fishers and sail-makers of Christ! Better have cast withstood the shock.
scholastic lore aside ; praying to God
on bended knees ; ** The pealing echoes had searcely ccased ere the tharking him for the miglity gift of lite, and abiding, with wickets were thrust aside, and destruction was scattered the soul's devotion, by his unalterable law for ever. among the hooting crew. With yells of rage and pain, Better for have braced their loins, and waiting on the the fallen were dragged aside, while the rest sought sick and dying, comforted the unhappy, ministered to the shelter behind the trees.
sorrow-laden. Better even, laying hold of spade and “ A somewhat anxious interval now ensued. It was plough, have taught the right culture of the soil
, and reuncertain whether the besiegers would adventure afresh maining with the rude peasant, banished unthi ist and inor retire. Soon, however, sheaves of straw and piles of temperance. For man, after all, was their theme ; with blazing brush were assiduously thrust forward. Buckets, him they were to live, to die, to smile, to weep; he was emptied from above, somewhat abated the vigour of the
to be their cross, their care, their condemnation, or their faines ; but this dangerous service entailed a degree of
exceeding great reward.' is exposure, of which the assailants were not slow to avail
When the gentleman who put powder to his own hall themselves.
“ The night wore on, but tedions was he progress of door, thereby discomfiting his enemies, died, the young destruction. It was, therefore, proposed, and carried by man succeeded to the estates; followed the advice of the acclaination, to batter in the entrance by means of a re- priest, and the dictates of his own warm heart; so that he cently-felled tree which happened to lie about. While became an excellent landlord; and he was shot dead by some proceeded with this, others stood with levelled mistake while, visiting a neighbour who had with the peapieces ready to discharge the deadly contents against any santry an offensive character. The priest died early, weaone who should interrupt the work.
“ It was but too evident that the door, though iron-ried with the struggle against his country's apparent doom. bound and clenched, must yield at last! It creaked and The question, “What for Ireland ?” that forms part of groaned beneath the ponderous blows, while the house it- the title, finds no clear answer in the book ; which is, self reverberated from top to bottom. On the critical however, very beautifully written, and quite deserves a position of the inmates it was frightful to think. The careful reading. The profits of the work are to be given proprietor's resources, however, were not exhausted.
to the fund for the relief of the Irish poor an additional Barre's, filled with sand and clay, were piled across the hall, while between this barrier and the door, casks of and a strong recommendation in present circumstanes. powder lay in grim repose. An infliction, hardly less Trurels in Peru. By Dr. J. J. Von Tschudi, translated fearful than that which they contemplated, awaited the assailants.
by Thomasina Ross. The misguided men, in fancied security,
London: David Bogue. One urged each other on, and but redoubled their rage and
vol. 8vo. violence as bolt and bar gave way.
Tuis German traveller left Havre De Grace in the ." It was done! With one fell stroke the now frail spring of 1838 for Peru. His voyage out occupied inere
than three months; but he passed a considerable time in to a struggle, in which angry words and blows are interPeru, and has collected such an amount of materials as changed; in short, there ensues a disgraceful scene of give a tolerably fair idea of the country and its prospects. of the priests. Order being restored, the sacred image
uproar, which is only checked by the interposition of one The country itself seems destined for greatness, but its is fixed on the cross by three very large silver nnils, and prospects are dark and miserable. The population of its the head is encircled by a rich silver crown. On each leading towns is receding; and with the name of liberty side are the crosses of the two thicres. Having gaped there appears little of its substance. Doctor Tschudi as this spectacle to their heart's content, the cholos rethrows a large portion of the responsibility for the con
tiro from the church. At eight in the evening they redition of Peru on the priests.
assemble to witness the solemn ceremony of taking down
the Saviour from the cross. The church is then bril"In the Sierra, as well as on the coast, the priests are liantly lighted up. At the foot of the cross stand four usually the tyrants, rather than the guardians of their white-robed priests, called los Santos Varones (the holy flocks; and they would frequently be the objects of men), whose ottice it is to take down the image. Ata hatred and vengeance, but for the deep-rooted, and al- little distance from them, on a sort of stage or platform, most idolatrous reverence, which the Indians cherish for stands a figure representing the Virgin Mary. This priesteraft. It is disgusting to see the Peruvian priests, figure is dressed in black, with a white cap on its head. who usually treat the Indians like brutes, behaving with
A priest, in a long discourse, explains the scene to the the most degrailing servility when they want to get assembleil people, and at the close of the address, turnmoney from them.
The love of the Indians for strong ing to the Santos Varones, he says, Ye holy men drinks, is a vice which the priests turn to their own ad- ascend the ladders of the Cross, and bring down the vantage. For the sake of the fees, they frequently order body of the Redeemer.' Two of the Santos Varones religious festivals, which are joyfully hailed by the In
mount, with hammers in their hands, and the priest then dians, because they never fail to end in drinking bouts.
says, 'Ye holy man on the right of the Saviour, striko · Added to the ill-treatment of the priests, the Indians the first blow on the nail of the hand and take it out!' are most unjustly oppressed by the civil authorities. In The command is obeyed, and no sooner is the stroke of the frequent movements of troops from one place to an
the hammer heard, than deep groans and sounds of other, they are exposed to great losses and vexations. anguish resound through the church; whilst the cry They are compelled to perform the hardest duties with of Misericordia! misericorilia !' repeated by a out payment, and often the produce of their fields is laid | thousand imploring voices, produces an indescribable under contribution, or their horses and mules are pressed sensation of awe and melancholy. The nail is handed to into the service of the military. When intelligence is
one of the priests standing at the foot of the altar, who received of the march of a battalion, the natives convey transfers it to another, and this one in his turn presents their cattle to some remote place of concealment in the it to the figure of the Virgin. To that figure the priest mountains, for they seldom recover possession of them if then turns, and addresses himself, saying, " Thou afflicted once they fall into the hands of the soldiery."
mother, approach and receive the nail which pierced the And yet, from the tenor of the following extract, we right hand of thy holy son!” The priest stops forward should judge that these same priests are actually endea- a few paces, and the figure, by some concealed mechanisin, vouring to recover her people from the erroneous prac- advances to meet him, receives the nail with both lands, tices of their predecessors. The details of Palm Sundays' lays it on a silver plate, dries its eyes, and then returns and Good Fridays’ observances say little, certainly, for to its placo in the middle of the platform. The samo
ceremony is repeated when the two other nails are takon the religion, or even the taste, of the Peruvians.
out. Throughout the whole performance of these solen“In order to facilitate the conversion of the idolatrous nities, an uninterrupted groaning and howling is kept up Indians, the Spanish monks who accompanied Pizzaro's | by the Indians, who, at every stroko of the hammer, raise army sought to render the Christian religion as attractive their cries of Viscricordia." These sounds of anguish as possible in the eyes of the heathen aborigines of Peru. reach their climax when the priest consigns the body of With this view they conceived the idea of dramatising the Saviour to the charge of the Virgin. The image is certain scenes in the life of Christ, and having them re- laid in a coffin tastefully adorned with flowers, which, topresented in the Churches. In the larger towns these per-gether with the figure of the Virgin Mary, is paraded formances have long since been discontinued ; but they through the streets. Whilst this nocturnal procession, are still kept up in most of the villages of the Sierra. lighted by thousands of wax tapers, is making the circuit Indeed, the efforts made by enlightened ecclesiasties for of the town, a purty of Indians busy themselves in erecttheir suppression have been met with violent oppositioning before the church door twelve archios decorated with on the part of the Indians.
flowers. Between every two of the arches they lay "On Palm Sunday, an image of the Saviour seated on flowers on the ground, arranging them in various figures an ass is paraded about the principal streets of the town and designs. These flower-carpets are singularly ingenior village. The Indians strew twigs of palm over the ous and pretty. Each one is the work of two cholos, animal, and contend one with another for the honour of neither of whom scems to bestow any attention to what throwing their pouchos down ou the ground, in order that his comrade is doing ; and yet, with a wonderful harmony the ass may walk over them. The animal employed in of operation, they create the most tasteful designs, arathis ceremony is, when very young, singled out for the besques, animals, and landscapes, which grow, as it were, purpose, and is never suffered to carry any burden save by magic, under their hands. Whilst I was in Tarma, the holy image. He is fed by the people, and at every I was at once interested and astonished to observe, on one door at which he stops, the inmates of the house pamper of these flower-carpets, the figure of tho Austrian double him up with the best fodder they can procure.
eagle.' On inquiry, I learned from an Indian that it had " The ass is looked upon as something almost sacred, and been copied from the quicksilver jars, exported from Idria is never named by any other appellation than the Burro to Peru. On the return of the procession to the church, de Nuestro Senor (our Lord's ass). In some villages I a hymn, with harp accompaniment, is sung to the Vir. have seen theso animals so fat that they were scarcely gin, as the figure is carried under the arches of Howers. able to walk.
The bier of the Saviour is then deposited in the church, “Good Friday is solemnised in a manner the effect of where it is watched throughout the night. which, to the unprejudiced foreigner, is partly burlesque “On the following morning, at four o'clock, the cereand partly seriously impressive. From the early dawn mony of hanging Judas takes place in front of the church. of morning the church is thronged with Indians, who A figure of Judas, the size of life, is filled with squibs spend the day in fasting and prayer. At two in the after- and crackers, and is frequently made to bear a resemnoon, a large image of the Saviour is brought from the blance to some obnoxious inhabitant of the place. After sacristy, and laid down in front of the altar. Immedi- the match is applied to the combustible figure, the cholos ately all the persons in the church rush forward with dance around it, and exult in the blowing up of their pieces of cotton to touch the wounds. This gives rise enemy.”,
The work extends to nearly five hundred pages; the state the country. For Peru, Nature's bounteously favoured ments made are very interesting, and. we believe, their laud, let us hope that there is reserved a future, happier
than either the past or the present.” accuracy may be relied upon. They are thus wound up:
But of that, there is no immediate expectation, for all “The facts adduced in the course of this volume, rela- the hopes formed of the South American Republics have tive to the barbarous Colonization system of the Spaniard, must sufficiently prove how adverse was Spanish dominion led to miserable disappointments. to the improvement of the natives, and to the prosperity of We believe the work to be well translated.
RAILWAYS AND CURRENCY.
tionably a limit to everything short of infinity ; but if the
railway speculation was stopped by Peel's bill, before it Tue recent currency acts of Sir Robert Peel have come
wrought its own cure, we are startled to think how near up at length for judgment before the public, and they are condemned. So long as the country is prosperous, they infinity human contrivances may go if left to their
own course and guidance. do neither good nor harm ; but whenever the tide of our
We rejoice that the railway speculation was of such affairs turn, they begin to accelerate its backward mo
an innocent character, as affects this country. It ruined tion. The most remarkable thing connected with these laws, to us, is not that so many bankers and merchants whole, it came in good time to take up the surplus la
some individuals, and embarassed others; but, on the oppose them, but that they are supported by any person
bourers that agriculture was throwing off, and manufacengaged in the industrial pursuits of the country. Their
tures could not employ. The supporters of the present curoperation, when prosperity does not suspend them, is
rency acts blame it, indeed, for the existing money panie. the best illustration of lighting the candle at both ends with this charge we have not the slightest reason to be ever afforded by the legislature. Whenever the goods surprised. Their support of these acts is judicial eviimported into this country rise in price, and more moneydence that they have not studied this class of topics sufis required for the transactions, the circulation is made ficiently. The railways have certainly little to say or do less by law; for at that time the exchanges will assuredly in the subject. They must have straitened individuals, be against this country, and the balances must be paid in but they cannot have straitened the country. The money gold.
expended upon them passes from one man's bank account The avowed object of Sir Robert Peel, in all his cur
to another. In accomplishing this process, very little rency acts, has been the prevention of speculation, and time is required. For a large part of the payments
, the over-trading. Of over-trading we hear so much that,
act is momentary. It is an affair of passing eheques. occasionally, we are tempted to ask whether the people for the major part, some time is needed; but the money have been over-fed, over-housed, over-clothed, and over
paid by labourers to shopkeepers and tradesmen falls taught, or if they have become over-rich.
rapidly into the hands of local and branch banks, or ultiOver-trading in one sense there never can be. The
mately into those of the wholesale dealer, who seldom operative classes are more ambitious of leisure than of
keeps cash on hand. work. The contest for the Ten Ilours Bill teaches that
The railway expenditure does not go out of the counlesson. All the laws, often crude, sometimes injurious, try, and can only therefore affect the foreign exchanges adopted by trades-unions prove the existence of a check to a very limited extent, and in no other way than house imposed by labour on “over-tradingo' far more efficient or ship-building--than draining or fencing, or any other than any currency act. We suspect that, if events were
process in the reclamation of waste lands. The only way rightly named, politicians would find what they call in which it can affect the exchanges is, that, if railways “over-trading" is the absence of “ under-trading;" were not in course of formation, a great number of the and that while the operatives have the management of labouring population would be idle and the remainder these matters, so much in their own hands, there will would be working for smaller wages. Of course they never be any “ over-trading."
.” They take care to make would consume less tea and sugar, and, undoubtedly, also a “over-trading," in the right meaning of the term, un- smaller quantity of beer and spirits. There would be, profitable, by exacting high prices for, and putting, in short, consequently, a reduced consumpt of colonial products a scale of almost prohibitive duties upon extra hours. and grain, while the sums to be paid for these commo
It is quite possible to make more goods than may be dities would be proportionally reduced, and the exchanges sold, only because bad laws intervene between the maker so far eased. and his customer. It would be impossible to
Railways, however, share this tendency in common trade" in that way with the present disposition of our with house and ship-building, or with those beneficent operative classes in favour of short time, even with re-operations in draining land, undertaken through direct duced wages, if artificial obstacles were not thrown up to Government encouragement, and the road-destroying and prevent the intercourse of nations, and preserve their most unprofitable expenditure, sanctioned by the Governpresent state of alienation.
ment in Ireland. Sir Charles Wood may, therefore, The object of Sir Robert Peel's late bills is, however, quite as wisely press resolutions to stop all public works to prevent over-speculation. They were passed in 1844 in Ireland, and all house or bridge-building-all harbourand 1845, and were followed by the most extensive spe- making or dock-formation—all ship, boat, or steam vessel culation ever manifested in this country. Their friends, construction, and the cutting of the drains for which he however, allege that they prevented that speculation lent the money—as resolutions to suspend railway legisfrom going much farther than it did. There is unques- / lation and railway bills,