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and tore it into a magical shape. This worthy king of patches had at another moment to carry his diamond inexpressibles through a mirror, when after coming down to the lamps, lifting the black mask from his eyes, oil. a run and a muscular spring, he stuck midway in the glass, and you saw him dragged through by the scene shifters. he Clown was as unfortunate—his cabbages would not walk—his gun would not go off. The only successful scene was the green curtain, at twelve o'clock. Such was a Drury Lane Pantomime. They order these matters better at Covent Garden. Mr. Farley has a soul made of spangles, Mr. Grimaldi has a mouth open as a letter-boxwe should guess it to be the original of the latter half of the sign painted on Mr. Willan's coaches. The Columbine is a lively elegant girl—and Mr. Barnes has a humour of the richest and feeblest kind as Pantaloon. The scenery is beautifully ainted and contrived, and the dresses and tricks are admirably plotted and executed. Indeed it is a pleasure, and a laughing pleasure too, to be fairly in for a pantomime at Covent Garden. Mother Bunch must bow (or curtsey) to Mother Goose, but she is potent in her way, and befriends the Yellow Dwarf correctly, according to the book. Oh these j magical tales' These fairy and ever young stories. . What riches do they open to youthful hearts— what Aladdin Lamps are they in childhood l—We could repeat the names of those we have read, when we were so high / and find joy even in the repetition of such names, A Fairy Tale ! Princess Fair Star, and Prince Cherry ! The Little White Mouse ! The White Cat! Tinetta!—Ah! such diamonds as these are not combed out of the hair of literature in these impoverished days—and wenust ever cherish Mother Bunch, Mother Goose, and all those old enchanting mothers, who suckled us with fairy milk when we were little. Gray has said that “ you can have but one mother.” Here are two mothers, kind, glorious and old, and fit and ready for any child. But to the pantomime.
The story of the Yellow Dwarf is minutely, but rather tediously told, for we little folk do not like to be kept waiting , for the pantomimic feast a long time before the covers are icoi We like to see a Harlequin, a Clown, and a Columbine speedily dished up, and cannot par tiently sit out a long and splendid preparation. The King of the Golden Mines bears himself right gallantly, and claims his bride in true bravery: The Yellow Dwarf descends from the fruit tree, at Mother Bunch's call, and looks as ugly and yellow as need be—and the young lady Primcess chooses the handsome suitor, with a truly feminine indifference. But of all the important persons, commend us to the Mother of the Princess . (Mr. Barnes.). She, with her Bonassus body and flaring crimson countenance, shaded by a white veil—is company for Gog How broadly does she career about her mansion—how expressive is her nose, terrifically pugged—how ample her chest,-almost a chest of drawers! how magnanimous her back. When she toddles up the stage to look at her sleeping daughter, she looks like "a trotting copper!—In verity, she is a charming woman, and a widower.
The scenery is very beautiful, and the tricks, though not of the newest,
are adroitly executed, which makes
them as good as new. Grimaldi, the rich Grimaldi (we only hope he is as rich off the stage as he is on, for then he may do!) laughs aloud several times, and makes a few remarks in the course of the pantomime, which it is impossible to resist—bursting as they do from that Highgate Archway of a mouth, and seconded as they are by his clear jolly visage. His son should not speak; he is a mimble lad, but no Clown-orator. The exhibition of John Gilpin in all his glory, with bottle necks, and without wig or hat, is a play of itself—a play of the muscles 1 Indeed we enjoyed the pantomime heartily; and what would a critic have more? Miss Dennett is a lively girl; and Mr. Ellar leaps like a Trojan. MR. Editon—I was the other day in company where the propriety of supporting a petition for a free paper currency was much questioned by some gentlemen who had been attending the Norfolk Meeting, and had heard there opinions, as they thought, expressed against the measure. One said the petition was for an increased paper currency; “but what, he would ask, had been the great cause of all the calamities under which we were labouring 2 Was it not the great circulation of paper which had formerly prevailed? What was the disease? A paper currency. What the remedy proposed to be applied for it? Why, the very disease itself. He had heard no arguments in favour of this measure, and he should like to hear whether any could be advanced. In his opinion, the real cause of our distress was to be found in the enormous taxation, as well direct as indirect, imposed at present on the country; and the only remedy would be found in a rigid economy enforced in every department of the State, naval, military, and civil, from the head of the Executive down to the lowest offices of Government.” Another gentleman was opposed to the petition, “ because it had, for its effect, the re-enactment of the Bank Restriction Act, which was the cause and origin of all our difficulties: that Act had given Ministers power to obtain almost unlimited credit with the Bank, and thus enabled them to expend those enormous sums of money which were the real cause of the present distress: it had created a currency of paper which had given a fictitious value to money. Mr. Peel's Bill was proceeding to restore it to its true standard; and one good effect of it was, that it was daily bringing the English farmer nearer to a state of competition with the foreign grower, into which it was at present impossible for him to enter, for the former sold his corn at 80s. a quarter—the latter at 40s. What was the cause of this reat difference? It was, that the oreigner paid no taxes—not that he had a better climate, or greater industry than the English farmer. He concluded with saying, that the opimions which he had stated upon this VoI. V.
oN A FREE PAPER curreNcy.
subject were not opinions which he had himself crudely formed, for he was ready to confess that he was no financier, but opinions supported b those who were best acquainted o the whole bearing of this great financial question.” A third gentleman differed so far from those who preceded him as to “feel convinced, that the alteration of the currency was the chief cause of the distress; but though the Bill which effected this was impolitic when it was passed, he would say it ought not now to be repealed; for, in the last year, many contracts had been framed: and though the operation of the Act might be a scourge, it was only the work of retributive justice; whereas, to repeal it, would be absolute spoliation.” I know that your Miscellany, Mr. Editor, takes no particular side in politics; and, from the absence of all articles in which the views of party are professedly maintained, I conceive that such writings are not likely to gain any favour with you: but, as this subject savours neither of Whig, Tory, nor Radical principles; as it concerns only the common weal; and as all classes are alike interested in its discussion, being equally implicated in the good or ill to which the determination of it must give rise; so I hope you will allow me to oppose, in your pages, the arguments, or rather charges, which, in the above-mentioned speeches, were, at the time, successfully brought against the proposed measure. And, first, let me vindicate the advocates of a free paper currency from the charge of wishing to restore the Bank Restriction Act. They disapprove of that weak and unphilosophical expedient, and would have us do now what ought to have been done when that unfortunate measure was first proposed to the consideration of Parliament, viz. acknowledge the principle of an increased value of gold compared with our paper currency, and provide for their constant interchange at that rate which the extra issues of paper money should render just and necessary. According to this plan, the value of gold would poly have been raised to the price it bore at certain periods of the late war, when, to answer the demands of Government, it was bought up at the premium of seven or eightshillings in the guinea; but it is not unlikely that, if the Bank had been the constant channel of supply, it might have been considerably F. as there was a great quantity of money kept from circulation, partly from timidity, but very frequently from a conviction that it was dishonest to sell it for more than its legal value, and from a natural aversion to part with it for less than its known worth. Be this as it might, no particular class of persons could have gained by the advance; for the country at large would have had the benefit, instead of a few individuals of less tender conscience than the rest.
But some persons will say, is it not a national calamity to have a paper currency continually increasing in amount? To this I answer, it is not a calamity to possess abundance of gold and silver in the country, and why should abundance of paper money produce such an effect? Because, they say, it is so liable to depreciation. Now here lies the great mistake. Paper is no more liable to depreciation than any other currency is. Suppose, for example, that instead of giving paper money, the Bank of England had possessed a silver mine, and had made all its issues in that kind of coin, would not silver have been depreciated P Depreciation is a relative term : it respects some other thing, which is made the standard of value, and in comparison with which that article is said to be of diminished value, which is increased in quantity while the standard remains the same. Gold is the fittest of all things for a standard, by reason of its slowness of increase or decrease, and because, by common consent, it is considered valuable in almost all parts of the world. Now, compared with gold, corn is depreciated, when we have an abundant harvest;-that is, an ounce of gold will purchase more of it than when the supply is less. In like manner, silver is subject to depreciation when it increases in the country while gold remains stationary: and equally, but not more so, paper money is depreciated when it exists in greater abundance at one time than at another.
But who thinks of lamenting a plentiful supply of corn? Yes, I am sorry to say it is the language of too many at this present moment, who attribute our distresses to an abundantharvest, and who teach us to hope for better times when it shall please God to give us a drought, or blight, or mildew. This impious doctrine, for it is nothing less, since it charges on Providence the misery resulting from man's silly councils, is likely to have a speedy punishment; for the check which has been given to agriculture is sufficient to produce a comparative famine, and then these wiseacres will find no less cause to complain of a bad harvest than they have of a good | one. Whether the farmer can derive much advantage from having a higher rice when he has, at the same time, , É. corn to sell, I leave him to determine; but there is no doubt that all the rest of the community will be sufferers by the undue share of money : which the o of that chief mecessary of life will draw from their annual income. We ought not, I say, to regret having an abundant harvest; for, if it is not the source of comfort and peace to every person in the kingdom, the error is in ourselves. As little should we have cause to deplore an issue of silver coin beyond our usual quantity. It is true, that compared with other things which remain the same as they were, it is depreciated, and we give more shillings for the guinea, and more for the quarter of wheat; but who can complain of that, seeing that he has more to give, and that is the very reason why he gives it: he has first received it in greater abundance before he is called upon to impart some of that superfluity; and what hardship can there be in this? Do you know, Mr. Editor, if it were not an absurdity almost too great for supposition, I could be tempted to imagine that some of those persons who rail at high prices think, positively think, that they shall keep up their receipts to the old amount, while agricultural produce, and other articles which are the first to fall in value, will remain at their present low price. I fear many tradesmen are of this way of thinking, and flatter themselves that their prices will not fall in proportion, and so they shall be the richer for
that which is the ruin of the farmer. But I need not gravely state to them, that their fall will be as certain and as low as that of the farmer; nor is it necessary to tell the landlord, or the clergyman, how soon he must sympathise with the disadvantages of that return to low prices which, at first, seems one source of greater wealth to him, by making his income appear so much larger in comparison with his expenditure. I have hitherto considered the depreciation as belonging to our silver currency; but, though that has been increased, and therefore deteriorated, in a degree, compared with gold, it is our paper currency which has undergone that depreciation from abundance, which it has been so much the fashion to lament of late. But the cases are precisely similar; and, unless I were to repeat what has just been said on the subject of an extra issue of silver, I could not explain what is the necessary consequence of a larger amount of paper money, nor how little we are injured by that excess. Prices are, at all times, relative to the amount of the currency in circulation. When men could buy an ox for a guinea, there was not more than a penny a-day paid to the labourer. Increase your currency to twenty times the amount, and the price of the ox will be twenty guineas, and the wages of the labourer twenty pence. I state the matter loosely, for it requires no nicety. The principle is without doubt just, and applicable to all payments as well as to those just mentioned. Money will find its level; and, when you increase the quantity in the country, the prices of all things will advance; when you diminish the amount, they will fall. In either state, when prices have regained that level to which they continually tend, men are, in fact, neither richer nor poorer for high or low prices. All this is so obvious to every capacity, that I should be ashamed to dwell upon it, were it not so much the practice to represent low prices as containing in them every thing that is desirable; and, on the other hand, to reprobate high prices as the ruin of the country. It may serve to enliven this dull topic, and, perhaps, give some useful information to those who have not much considered the nature of money,
if I insert here what a very old writer says of it:—
The monoyes were established first for as moche as they had not of all thinges necessarye to gydre I that one had whete | another had wyn I and another cloth or other wares"| He that had whete had not wyn withoute he chaunged one for another and so must they dayly chaunge one for another | For to have that they had not
as they that knew none other mene I
Than the philosophres sawe this they dyde so moche that they established wyth the lordes somtime regnyng I alytil lyght thynge which every man myght bere with him to bye that was ...? to him I and behoefful for his lyf. And so ordeyned by advyse to gydre a thynge whiche was not over dere ne holden for over vyle and that it were of some valure for to bye and use wyth all true marchandyse one with another | by vertue of such enseygne | and that it were comune over all and in all maner | And establed thenne a lytil monoye || which should goo and have cours thurgh the world | And by cause it lad men by the waye and mynystred to them that was necessarye it was called monoye || That is as moche to saye |as to gyve to a man al that hym behoveth for his lyvyng | Monos in grekysh langage is as moche to saye | as one thyng only | For thenne was but one maner of monoye in all the world | But now every man maketh monoye at his playsir by which they desnoy and goo out of the waye more than yf ther were but one coyne only | For by this cause is seen ofte plente of diverse monoyes Thus, establisshed not the philosophres For they establisshed for to save the state of the world | And I saye it for as moche yf the monoye were out of grotes and pens of silver so thenne it shold be of jasse weyght and lasse of valewe and that shold be better for to bere by the waye for poure folke and better shold be easid for the helpe of their nedes to their lyvyng| And for none other cause it was ordeyned first For the monoyes be not preysed but for the gold and sylver that is therin | And they that establisshed it first made it right lytil and lyght | For the more ease to be born al aboute where men wold goo For now in late dayes as in the begynnyng of the regne of Kynge Edward and longe after was no monoye curraunt in Englond but pens and halfpens and ferthynges | And he ordeyned first the grote and halfgrote of sylver I and noble half noble and ferthynge in golde.—From Carton's “Ymage or Mirrour of the World,” 1480.
tering of commodities, as Diomedes' armour was valued at 10 cowes, and Glaucus, his golden armour, at 100. But I read of no money till Abraham paid 400 shekels for a burying place.—The old, Britons used iron rings and plates for money. The custom of using light pieces of money was doubtless a great improvement over the iron rings and plates of the old Britons; and as great is the advantage of paper over metal. For if it was not possible to transact with iron money the business of this country in 1480, equally impossible I should conceive it to be to represent the immense transactions of our day by a gold currency. Has any body calculated the length of time it will take to make our payments, merely in the way of counting gold; the great hazard, and delay, and labour of carrying it; the difficulty of conveying small sums from one town to another? Why should we be so in love with the imperfection of a cumbrous coin, when we already possess one so far superior in these respects? A gold currency belongs to an uncultivated people; all men in our time can read and write, and judge of money by other marks” than. †: of weight and sound:* *d to So on our heels a fresh perfection treads. Besides, if we are to go back to a lower state of civilization, why sto at the currency of 1797 ? There is no argument used for that day's money, which would not equally apo to the currency of 1480. But the nglish are a nation easily alarmed, and under any of their panics they will rush into the opposite extreme of danger. It ... not else be easy to account for the affection shown to a paper currency during the war, and for the present extreme aversion to it. Let us hope that a cooler judgment is returning. It ... "certainly be a ridiculous spectacle, if it were not so tragical in its effects, to see our much vaunting John Bull abandon all his glorying about great trade, and public credit, and begin to sweat himself down like a jockey to feather weight, that he may ride a race on equal terms with the Frenchman, when, left to his natural strength and with a fair course, not all the world could match him.—Why have we not an Act to prevent canals from keeping water above the level of
the rivers? it would not be a whit