Puslapio vaizdai

of paper money are suggested : the first is an A bank of issue, however, asks credit from the exclusive issue by Government ; the second, an public. Its wares are thrown into every man's issue by specially privileged incorporations, com- hand ; and it is not desirable, as a shopkeeper or panies, and individuals, as at present; the third trader takes their bills, that he should be obliged is by free-trade in money--that is, by permitting to consult some authority regarding their validity. all companies who can comply with the regula- They should bear the mark of being good and tions devised and adopted, to issue bills for small solvent promises to pay on their brow. There sums payable in bullion on demand. To the should be no doubt left on the subject. The first scheme we have a leading objection, arising Government warranty can be affixed to each note, from the circumstance that the Government me- and thus, wherever it passes, it may be known to chanism is already sufficiently unwieldy, and represent in good faith one pound, or five, or ten again from the suspicion that might be engen- pounds worth of negotiable property. In asking dered of Government interference through its security for the currency, we are reminded of the issues with the course of business.

much larger capital in deposits left with bankers ; In reference to the second or existing scheme, but that is the business of each individual deposiwhile we deny not the abstract right of Govern- tor; while the curreney affects all classes, and no ment to manufacture, or even to manufacture ex- class should, we repeat, be compelled to make clusively, paper money ; yet we deny any right, in special inquiries regarding the character and soljustice, that it can have to pass away this privi- vency of every bank in the kingdom. lege to a certain number of private companies or Our proposal embraces, first, the purchase of individuals. The right in law is not to be ques- Consols by the bankers who mean to issue notes, tioned. The Legislature make the statutes, but equal in amount to one-third above the sum which what is right in law may not always be sound in they intend to issue. Thus, if their fixed issue policy or just in morals. We see no ground to jus- shall be £240,000, we propose that they should tify the bestowal of an exclusive privilege to make hold Government stock to the nominal value of money--the current representative of capital— £320,000, productive of dividends annually to and itself real capital or not, as the case may be. their concern, but in every other respeet with. The Government have monopolised the conveyance drawn from the market, and placed under of letters, which is done ill and cheaply: the Government lock and key. work is not done ill because it is done cheaply ; but The first act in establishing a bank of issue, or both characteristics exist together ; and without continuing one already existing, would be to denyivg the right of the Government to convey mortgage property amounting to one-third more the mails exclusively, we should deny the moral than the circulation which the proposers would right of the Legislature to bestow this privilege ever have before the public. Any other descripor business on one or two private companies—on tion of property might answer for this mortgage the London and North Western, or on Pickford & equally well with Government stock; but yet, the Co. We have, therefore, a radical objection to latter is the most convenient form ; 2d, it is adthe second plan. It is a monopoly, and all mono- | visable, for the interests of the country, to mainpolies are essentially imprudent and impolitie. tain the value of this stock ; 3d, it renders ex

The third plan prevailed in Scotland to the pensive and tedious inquiries unnecessary. date of the Act 1845 and 1816, which confined The bank of issue would necessarily obtain on the power of issuing paper money exclusively to an average 31 per cent. for the capital invested in the banks of issue then established in that country. this mortgaged stock ; but we do not contem

The Bank of England Charter presents an ob plate a state of business where that return will jection to the adoption of free-trade in the metro- form any temptation to capitalists. They would polis and some parts of England. That charter also have the interest accruing from the average has its date, and it has its money value. We know amount of circulation that their notes may obtain when it will die out, and we know also that it may in the course of their business. A bank of issue, be bought out; while we do not think that any sum however, never really circulates to the amount which could be necessary for that purpose should fixed by law. It must always have a stock of prevent a great national reform. Assuming, there- notes at its different offices for the transaction of fore, that the Bank of England can be approached business ; and under a sound system of banking, with proposals regarding the sale of its charter, it becomes the interest of every man to increase we reach the conditions on which any company this slumbering stock of notes. The supposition, might be permitted to issue notes for small sums therefore, that bankers would always have in cirpayable on demand.

culation, and yielding interest, a sum of money There are many distinctions between a bank equal to their fixed issue, is erroneous. Still, as and trading companies for general purposes. In some expense must be connected with the depositing money, a person satisfies himself re-establishment of Government offices to conspecting his banker's solidity and solvency. In- duct this business, or with the extension of the quiries are not often made ; appearances are staff in the present stamp offices, to include the readily set down for facts ; and sometimes the requisite and additional operations, there is no shrewdest depositors choose the erooked stiek ; fund by which it could be more fairly met than yet we are bound to suppose that in a leisurely the profit accruing from the paper circulation. and deliberate transaction, business is done, in That might be done by an individual tax oy each this regard, on a bound basis.

note stamped by the Government office, as bas

been previously the case ; and as each note would therefore, for internal purposes, do not require require to bear very apparently a Government a large stock of coin. A stook of bullion is restamp as the guarantee for its validity, this mode quired, however, somewhere to balance foreign of raising a revenue to meet the necessary ex. exchanges. There is no probability that our outpense seems least objectionable. A general tax ward business can ever present a fair account. of one or one and a third per cent, might be taken There will be a balance op some side of the from the dividends accruing on the stock lodged paper, and it must be squared off. against the notes issued ; and that plan has also We must, therefore, have a stock of bullion, the advantage of simplicity. On its adoption, and it has been assumed that this stock should banks of issue would require power to withdraw be kept by some large bank, at present by the part of their mortgaged stock, by lodging an Bank of England, We see no sound reason for equivalent amount of their notes to be cancelled. that assumption. Some parties have proposed

The common objection, that we should be in that the Government should buy all the railways, undated with paper money -- that we should and trade in that way. It is, at least, more conhave over-issues, consequent depreciation, de sistent with the functions of Government that the struction of credit, of confidence, accompanied Mint department should have the custody of coin by periodical panics and crashes—may be made and bullion. We do not stop to examine here the to this plan in England, but will scarcely be re- arrangements necessary for the commencement of peated in Scotland, where the guarantees against this system, because they are evidently matters of an over-issue have long and effectively checked detail ; but when the Government has come into the disease, or even in Ireland, where their ope- the position of the Bank of England, as the bulration is practically known.

lion keeper of the country, the subsequent workIn Scotland interest is allowed on current ac- ing may require to be explained, and that can be counts; and no man, therefore, who has an account done in a few sentences. with a banker, retains money in his possession. There is at present a fixed price of gold; and There can be no doubt that the circulating medium as an internal standard of value, it may be advanof England is-gold being included—twenty-fold tageous, although a fixed price of any commodity the currency of Scotland, for five times the popula- appears inconsistent with principles very generally tion, who do not transact a proportionately much held. This fixed price, however, is a positive loss larger business than that of Scotland. A five- often in our transactions with foreign countries. pound note in Scotland does four times the work Merchants have frequently exported gold not to of its English contemporary. Notes, however, balance exchanges, but as a commodity yielding thus rapidly paid into the office where the holder a profit. The Government, therefore, should be transacts his business, are not largely those of empowered to sell coin to those who want it for that office. They are composed in average quan- its average value in foreign markets; or, what tities of the general currency; and thus baukers comes nearly to the same result, should be emhave a mutual exchange of their notes, paying powered to charge a commission on coin required the balances in bullion. The tendency to over- from them. issue is thus effectively checked by the knowledge The principle on which the bullionists justify that within three days the “ promises to pay” | the suspended law is, that when the exchanges will be returned. This currency must be con- go against us by any cause, such as the recent vertible in bullion. There is a standard of money large purchases of corn, the bill operates to revalue, and we do not require it changed. The turn gold by reducing the price of commodities, paper currency can still be held convertible into thus forcing them upon foreign markets, and resovereigns at the present weight. This conver- storing the equanimity of the exchanges. The tibility, as an absolute business extending to the operation is extremely expensive. It reduces not whole circulation, however, as has been already merely the value of goods exported or stocks sold stated, is, in any case, a fiction. No man really to a foreign country, but all other goods and imagines that the currency is convertible. It stock whatever. We prefer to throw out the cannot be supposed that all the paper in the coun- inducement in another direction, Under the try could be paid in gold. The existence of this system of currency we propose, there would ability is, indeed, absolutely unnecessary. Public not be large quantities of coin in the vaults confidence is the great requisite for an internal of bankers. When, therefore, a merchant currency. Public confidence is possessed by the required gold for the purposes of export, he Scotch banks pre-eminently, and will ultimately would draw on his banker for the sum in bulbe accorded to all banks governed on the same lion. The latter would have to cancel notes principles, and couducted with equal prudence. to that amount in order to obtain gold ; or depoUntil very recently, little or no gold has been de- sit his notes with the Government office, to cover manded for notes in this country. The gold re- the advance he required, at the price of gold in quired has been for exportation, and we have had the average of foreign countries, if that were no run upon the banks for internal purposes, until higher than our standard ; or at our stan. within a few days in some localities of Eng-dard, if it were lower. This operation would not land. Convertibility, therefore, really means narrow the circulation, because if bankers found public confidence that, when required, the one their issues shortened too much by the transpound note will bring twenty shillings; with a action, they could increase them by farther purstrong conviction that the change will never be chases of stock. The price of stocks generally required, except in small quantities, Bankers, and indirectly of goods and produce would be partially maintained ; while the export of bullion The nation would lose something by the transwould be so far discouraged as could be consis-action in this scarcely possible case, but better tent with prudence, and thus far inducements that it should lose five or ten per cent. on the sum would be given to make payment in goods of debts required, four or five millions, than, as during the to foreign countries. We could conceive the pos- recent crisis, eighteen to fifty per cent. on all stock sibility of the Government officers being nearly run shares and produce, reducing wages, annihilating out of bullion, It is not a likely circumstance, profits, stopping works, and causing a social rebut it might occur. In that case, they would re- volution for the benefit of a few capitalists. quire to buy wherever it could be found ; to incur We are approaching the period when a change loss in the purchase ; and thus to raise the price in the Currency laws will be made, and whatever abroad, and necessarily at home, so as to accomplish may be the system adopted, the principle of freetheir object in getting the exchanges balanced by dom of trade in money, as in other matters, must goods instead of gold.

be vindicated.







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“ But what is it then, Monsieur Germain ?" persisted CHAPTER III.

the brunette, somewhat maliciously.

" Oh, yes ! what is it then?” said Maître Pierre, a WHEN the ladies had retired, and been shortly after- little ruffled. wards followed by the Duke and Charles Clement, Jean

Torticolis and Duchesne nodded their heads, not venTorticolis and Duchesne, who had bitherto kept aloof, turing to put in a word. drew timidly nearer to the fire, the front of which was almost Why, the fact is—" said the maitre d'hotel; "but wholly occupied by the lacqueys and ladies' maids, who, you know, Mam’selle, our first duty in this world is to having no sleeping chamber, had agreed to sit up and en- our king." joy themselves until towards morning, when a few hours' “Exactly!" put in Pierre, quite triumphantly; " that's slumber could be sought on chairs and benches.

what I said."

“ But I don't see it,” said Germain, angrily, glad of “ Mam’selle," observed one of the domestics, addressing a lively brunette who officiated as lady's maid to the the opportunity of being so, as he was somewhat nonCountess Miranda, you have never been to Versailles, plussed at his task.

“Never mind,” muttered the valet; “ we are waiting I think?''

for Never,” said Mam’selle, as she was generally called;

your explanation.”

“Well, then, that's settled,” repeated the maître “ but I suppose I soon shall." “We are all bound to the Court,” said the other, Majesty is by paying what money is necessary for his

d'hotel. Now, our best way of showing respect to his pompously. “ And a good many along with us,” laughed the girl, Majesty to support his army, his nary, his palaces, bis

household.” thus displaying a row of perfectly white teeth, encased in a ruddy setting.

“Certainly,'' repeated the domestics, affirmatively. " Ma foi !said the domestic, shaking his head. “It said Mam’selle Rosa, carelessly.

“ Then, why do not the noblesse pay their share ?" will be a grand sight this meeting of the Etats-Generaux.

"Oh !” exclaimed the horror-struck domestics. All the nobles in grand costume-plumes, and gold, and

Recollect their outlays," said the maître d'hotel. white, and silver-messieurs the clergy in full costume

“Their horses,” put in the negro coachman. the Tiers-Etats in black cloth, chapeaux clabauds, and

“ Their mansions, their hotels," interposed another. short cloaks. It will be worth the journey." " That it will !” exclaimed the other domestics, with maid; "their prodigious charges at court; their house

“ Their dreadfully expensive habiliments," said Adela's profound and solemn looks.

hold.” “ But what is this Etats-Generaux ?" inquired the

“ Ah!” responded Rosa, as if convinced. brunette. “ I assure you, Maître Pierre, it puzzles me.”

“Well, it seems,” continued the maitre d'hotel, “Ah, there I am flambé, puzzled too,” said Maître " that, in the course of time, people, perverted by a set of Pierre," looking thoroughly so ; " but I rather think it

men my master calls philosophers, have got into the bad is a mode of showing respect to his Majesty."

habit of not paying regularly, and there is what is called “Bah !! interrupted the maître d'hotel, who, mixing a de-de-ficit.more with his masters, was, of course, better informed ; A disette," exclaimed the domestics, in chorus. "you are in the wrong, Pierre ; but that's no wonder, since No!” responded M. Germain, contemptuousts, "S this is a most weighty subject ;'' and the maitre d'hotel deficit." shook his head knowingly, pursed up his mouth, and “And what is a deficit ? asked one ; "somethi og worse looked as profound as was in his nature.

than a famine ?"

"Much, I believe, since I heard Count Leopold say, “A pleasant night for the rats," laughed the soldier, a deficit is another word for ruin. It means a want of drawing his wet cloak round him, so as to bring it in money.”

front of the blaze ; " better cozy by one's fireside than “Oh," again chorussed the domestics, visibly touched. abroad; eh, pretty ones ?" And the stranger chucked

So you see his Majesty cannot, for want of money, the pouting Rosa under the chin. carry on the affairs of the state. His navy is without “ Ilands off!"' cried the soubrette, with a laugh ; pay."

“faugh! thy cloak sends forth no pleasant odour. Why Terrible," said the chorus.

not hang it up to dry ?” “And his army !" continued Germain.

“ Ay, I will hang it up for thee,” said Fournier, the “Shocking.”

black coachman, who had been curiously examining the “And his servants!" exclaimed Germain, with oratoric

stranger's countenance, emphasis.

• Thanks, but 'twill stiffen off me,'' exclaimed the “ Dreadful!” cried the domestics, with heart-felt soldier, carelessly; "and I have come to rest, not to energy. " And the people who are starving, what of them, stay; I am bound on the king's service, and when my

horse has eaten and I have warmed my jacket, I shall said an exasperated voice, in a loud and shrill tone. It

ride again.” was the voice of the poor man, of what modern cant calls

“Thou hast ridden far ?"' inquired Rosa. in France the proletaire, making itself heard in an as

“ Far or near, it matters not,” said the soldier, quaffsembly of the untaxed.

ing a huge draught. Scarcely had Torticolis-for it was him-given vent

“What ails you ?" whispered Duchesne to his comto his exclamation than he shrunk terrified into his chair, panion Torticolis, who was pale as death, and sat awaiting the result.

trembling like a leaf. “ Insolence ! unworthy of notice ! better not be re

“Nothing—but that voice !"' replied the crick-neck, peated!” exclaimed the servants, with the true insouciance

with a shudder. “Come away ; let us go to sleep." of power, holding the speaker too contemptible for serious

Duchesne, much puzzled, rose in company with his attention.

friend, and, after a few words with Dame Martin, they “ And the Etats-Generaux will bring his Majesty retired to a loft, overlooking the stable and the remise money for all these purposes,” said Mam’selle, in affected which contained the Duke's carriage. admiration.

Plenty of clean straw," said Torticolis ; “ too good “Why,” replied Germain, “ that's a question I don't for us; as Foulon says, we shall live to eat hay.”, exactly understand; but I think it's to settle about regu

“Plenty,” repeated Duchesne, abstractedly; "but lar payments in future.''

what ails thee? has the soldier given you a fright ?" “And will the Etats-Generaux ask nothing in re

Oh no!” replied Torticolis, “only he reminded turn ?" said the favourite attendant of the Countess

me of the past, when such gallants guarded me to the Miranda.

Grève." Corbleu," laughed Germain ; “but Monsieur le

Not an over pleasant recollection, truly,” said DuDuke says they will ask for a great deal ; from what

chesne, with a grin. Monsieur Clement says, I believe they will want some

“ Are you sleepy ?”' inquired Torticolis, dryly. laws."

Very,” replied the Bourreau, with a yawn, and fall“Ah!" said Pierre, emphatically, "I know a good ng lazily on a heap of fresh straw. many which are much wanted.”

So am I,” said Torticolis ; “wilt thou drink a gôute A“ You do!" exclaimed Rosa, merrily ; “and what

ere you snore ?” And the crick-neck produced his case laws are they ?”

bottle of brandy. “Why, laws against Savoyards, Swiss, Italians, exer

· Readily," replied the Bourreau, taking the flask; cising the etat of domestic, and thus throwing French

“that's the stuff, it's devilish strong. Eh? good night, men born out of work,'' said the kitchen Solon.

Torty; don't mind that gens-of a soldier-ah!” "Most necessary,” continued Germain, approvingly. The discussion, however, was here prematurely closed,

And, after a few more growling words, the Bourreau,

who had almost emptied the flask, was fast asleep. to the great loss, we doubt not, of society in general. “ Hola there ! milles boulets rouges !thundered a

“Good," muttered Jean, putting the brandy away voice from without; "open!"

without tasting it. The tone was so imperious that Madame Martin hur

With this one word he darkened the lanthorn which ried across the apartment to open the door with even

had been given them, and having lit his pipe, put his more energy than she had shown on the arrival of the head out of the window, with the air of a man who is Duke. The servants rose, startled at the intrusion, about to watch. while Jean Torticolis and Duchesne consulted in a low The window at which Torticolis sat overlooked the yard. tone their probable chances of sleep.

Facing him was a small door, which led into the principal Sapristie !said the stranger, entering; "this is room of the auberge, and through the cracks of which came a night! Rain enough to melt a cannon ball. Ob! oh! occasionally the smothered sound of mirth and jollity. a fire and company. Dame, a bottle of good wine! By The servants, excited by the trooper, were evidently en

joying themselves, and giving way to as much merriment With these words the man seized a stool which had as was consistent with a due regard to the slumbers of previously been occupied by one of the domestics, and seat- their master. Beneath was the stable. A trap-door, ing himself on it, proceeded to dry his clothes by the fire. ' half over that and half over the coach-house, was close to Jean's feet, and he once moved towards this aperture, , leged class, we should receive the population with shouts and made sure that there was a ladder to descend by. of derisive laughter, and vote its advocate a sale bos in

your leave."

In the corner of the yard was a snug shed, with a room Bedlam, just as, under existing circumstances, men do the over it occupied by the ostler, and beneath this was the unhappy wight who talks of the aristocracy of merit and trooper's charger, as well as three horses belonging to the talent, and of equal rights and equal duties for all men, servants, the stable itself being quite full.

irrespective of birth. We are aware we give occasion for The night, which was far advanced-it was past one- the accusation of madness, but then we are so in goodly was dark and lowering, though the rain had ceased a while. company. The clouds, in ragged and black masses, hurried headlong Torticolis scarcely knew what was about to happen, by, charged with the storm and the blast. There were save that the thirst for revenge was hot within him, and strange sounds at that hour in the house-tops, which came that the words of Charles Clement had filled his mind with saddening influence to the heart of the watcher. The with hope. The soldier was armed, while he had nolow wind moared, rather than shrieked, in its damp jour- thing but an old knife; but in the hands of the man dead ney through the loaded air, save when a fitful gust came before the law, whose wife had vanished from the earth, howling along, awakening the sleeping echoes, and search- this weapon was mighty. ing out every hole and corner whence to draw a sigh or And the night went on apace.

It wanted but an groan. Save the speaking of the breeze, Nature was hour of morning ; and, had the weather been less temsilent; the low whisper of a summer's night was replaced pestuous, he would have discovered the first grep by the blustering fury of the tempest.

streak of dawn. Jean listened attentively - the tuTorticolis, however, paid no attention to the warfare of mult within had some time ceased—and yet the soldier heaven. A tempest of hate, revenge, and mingled hope, had not appeared to pursue his journey on the king's was raging in his bosom, which blinded him to all else. service. It was time to act—all in the public-room proThis man, poor, unknown, humble, had endured unheard bably slept. His first desire was to make sure of his of sufferings. Once happy, with a young and cherished man. Taking his knife between his teeth, Torticolis, wife, who loved him as he loved her, his happiness had without the aid of his lantern, descended the ladder into been destroyed by the illicit passion of a noble. Perse- the coach-house, groped about with both his hands, and cuted and followed unceasingly, the young wife had com- found the door. It was on the latch. He opened it and plained to her husbar.d, then a tradesman, well to do in stood in the yard. Before him was the side door of the the world ; and ho, forgetting all prudence, had personally cabaret, to his left a high wall covered with grape vines, chastised the insolent aristocrat, who sought to rob him and leaning against there a number of poles and a small of his greatest treasure. But the law was strict. A noble ladder. was inviolate, and l'aul Ledru was condemned to death. Jean listened, scarcely drawing breath. What became of the refractory wife was not known; the A slight noise fell upon his ear. It was the unbarring, husband's fate has already been explained.

in the most stealthy manner, of the small door already reInconceivable as it was, Jean Torticolis—thus, in cyni- ferred to. cal remembrance of his escape, had he christened himsef “He is going," muttered Jean, falling at the same -had fincied that, in the ragamuffin of a soldier, he had time behind the shadow of the poles, between which and recognised the voice, the tone, the face of him whom he the wall his small and frail body was easily concealed. hated with a hate which is impossible to be characterised, At the same moment the door opened, and two men but which may be in part conceived in one who had, by came out, who noiselessly reclosed the issue behind an act of foul injustice, been robbed of life, of fortune, of them. her he loved, of legal existence, and even a name. But Jean Torticolis allowed a heavy sigh of rage to escape Jean hated not only the man, but his class, the system, his bosom, for the soldier was not alone. To kill was the thing called aristocracy, which gave such monstrous not his only object. He had a secret to wring from rights to men over their fellow-men, to creatures of God his heart, for which purpose it was necessary to take his over creatures of God.*

enemy at a disadvantage. Modified as aristocracy has been by the progress of To be quite sure, the crick-neck peered forth into the civilization, it still enjoys privileges enough to excite the air, and looked carefully towards the pair, wonder of all reasonable men. Were any one to propose, It was the trooper and Fournier, the American coachat this time of day, that a certain number of persons should be chosen, whose sons and son's sons should be There are moments in a man's existence when, enlightborn legislators, who should hold land without having it oned by love, or hate, or both, his intelligence usually answerable for their debts, who should bave a monopoly slugged and lazy--and it is oftener so than naturally dull of all the high offices of the state, and be in fact a privi- -acts with a degree of rapidity that seems to him at the

moment almost prophetic. The mind, sharpened by the Came not the revolution in time when the following passions, dives deep and brings up truth_not always, but could be truly quoted with regard to the system of French often. It was so with Torticolis. The association of feudalism :-" He (Lapoule) spoke of the mort-main, as well real as personal, of the forced obligation to nourish these two men was a shaft of light which pierced the dull the dogs of the nobles, and of that horrible right, con- husk and went to his very soul, infusing a terrible and fined, doubtless, for ages to the dusty monuments of barbarism, but which existed, by which the seigneur was autho-savage joy. lle saw crime in their union, and for crime rised, in certain cantons, to disembowel two of his vassals there was punishment. on bis return from the chase, to refresh himself, by putting his feet within the warm bodies of these unhappy death which had so nearly been his lot? Such;

Might not he live to see him receive that igna minious wretches!"-Hist, Pop, de la Revolution Francaise, par Horace Raisson,

thought of this man, ignorant, debased, degni ded; but


was the

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