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he adverted, as calling for immediate attention, were fourfold 3 namely, the tithe question—the police—the magistracy—and the education of the poor. These are certainly prominent topics; but when these are exhausted, many of equal consequence will remain—we could instance two, at the moment, absenteeship and the Catholic question—but even then a host would remain behind, and no man knows that better than Mr. Plunket. The filth of six centuries has accumulated, and turned that country into an Augean den, which it will require a political Hercules to purify. There is not a single department in Ireland which is not covered with the slime of the reptiles that
have successively crawled through .
its darkness, seeking what they might devour. We will venture to say, that when the report of the commissioners lately appointed to investigate the Irish revenue meets the public eye, there is not even a veteran peculator in this country who will not laud himself as a Saint, from his comparative purity. As some trifling elucidation of the system generally acted on there, we would just refer to the Tenth Report of the Commissioners of Inquiry into the Courts of Justice in Ireland. The Accountantgeneral, on his oath, states his appointment to have been made out in consequence of his erchange of his seat in parliament; and, after various lamentable details of his subsequent disappointments, ends by pathetically terming himself “ the oldest official Jirture in his Majesty's service / " He makes all this statement in such a quiet kind of tone, that, as was well remarked in parliament, he appeared to think a transaction of this nature a mere matter of course. And so, no doubt, he does; and he must be avery stupid man, if, being so long an
* official firture,” he had so little
profited by his experience as to consider it any thing else. The same document describes a patent office held by the present Lord Lieutenant, the reversion of which was further granted by patent in 1808, to Richard Wellesley, Esq. for life. The office is a sinecure—it is called Chief Remembrancer of the Court of Exchequer–salary, 691. 1 1s. 2d.-gross amount of fees, 4,5321. 10s. 1d. "I To this office, having such arduous duties, there is also attached a Deputy Chief Remembrancer, appointed by the patentee—salary none-gross amount of fees, 3,740l. ' ' ' There are some trifling disbursements, which reduce the salaries a few hundred pounds. We have to record since our last the death of Sir John Sylvester, the Recorder. He is succeeded in his office by Newman Knowlys, Esq.; and Mr. Denman has been elected, after a very active contest, to the vacant office of Common Serjeant. A very melancholy event has taken place in Scotland, the death of Sir Alexander, Boswell (eldest son of Johnson's biographer), in a duel with a Mr. Stuart. The message was sent by the latter, in consequence of an anonymous lampoon inserted in the Beacon newspaper, and acknowledged by Sir Alexander to be his composition. The libel was severe, and so was its retribution. A long programme has been published in some of the foreign papers, of his Majesty's intended summer tour on the Continent. If true, it must occupy considerable time. His Majesty has returned from Brighton in good health and spirits. He held a levee, and afterwards a drawingroom on his birth-day, both of which were numerously attended. Sir B. Bloomfield has been again restored to favour, with additional honours. April 26, 1822.
MONTHLY REGISTER, :
MAY 1, 1822. AGRICULTURAL REPORT. s
THE most prominent feature that presents itself this month, is the second report from the committee appointed to inquire into the agricultural petitions. The main premises resemble very nearly those stated in our last article but one. The most curious part of this document is the declaration with which it sets out, that the committee have made no inquiry into the cause or the extent of the excessive supply which they state the corn markets to exhibit. It is scarcely credible that any set of grave men should thus mistake their way in an investigation so momentous; or, that after having so blundered at the outset, they should hazard such a spontaneous, exposition; of their error. For, upon the nature of the cause alone must entirely depend the nature of any remedy to be proposed; the excessive supply either proceeds from superabundant production at home, or from too great a supply from abroad,—two circumstances so essentially different in their operation and effects, that it must be obvious to the shallowest mind, that what might be an alleviation in the one case, would be found an injury in the other. The two expedients which we anticipated in our last, are formally proposed; first, to expend or advance a million upon corn, to be warehoused by those who may choose so to dispose of their stock; and, secondly, to lay a duty of 15s. per quarter when the ports are opened, lowering the rate at which importation is in future to be allowed, to 70s. instead of 80s. We need not again go over the grounds of objection. It is sufficiently obvious that neither of these plans can benefit the farmer. If the growth be equal to the consumption, by warehousing he would only hold stock to compete with himself at the expiration of a year or eighteen months, the term to which it is proposed to limit the loan. If, on the contrary, the home growth is inadequate, such a measure would only tend to open the ports the sooner, and the kingdom would be deluged for years to come, with the superabundance of the foreign corn, which now loads the granaries of England, America, and the Continent. The question always turns on one point—i.e.—upon the necessity that may or may not exist for an
occasional foreign supply; for if at any future period such a necessity should exist, as the measure of the want must be indefinite, so also must be the measure of the supply. This report contemplates only a temporary relief; we contend that there can be no such thing as a temporary relief. The farmer must be put in possession of the means to calculate his expenses, and the price of his commodity, upon just and certain grounds; if not, his trade will be mere gambling, mere speculation, which must be alike destructive to himself, and to those who subsist on his labours. Parliament must legislate for the whole, not for a part of the community; and as the first report very justly stated in almost the only valuable part of its complicated and contradictory contents, the country could not bear, nor would any government venture to impose duties sufficiently heavy to countervail the expenses under which the farmer now stands. Duties then are fallacies, even according to the committee's own showing, fallacies ruinous to the country, ruinous to the individual, and therefore ruinous to the state. It appears from these arguments, that the committee have taken the contrary direction to that which reason suggests. Instead of vainly endeavouring to raise the price of corn,-the object of all the provi-sions hitherto suggested, they should have: endeavoured to bring about an immediate reduction of the farmer's expenses, and, this is chiefly to be effected by a reduction of taxation, the only solid plan for bettering his condition, and the only part of the question palpably cvaded by the committee. When the Marquis of Londonderry assumed that five per cent. upon the rent was a fair estimate of the taxation that falls upon the farmer, he grossly mis-stated or mistook the facts. Taxation must be drawn from the production; and the relation which the total amount of the one bears to the total amount of the others, shows the true quantum of the pressure. Colquhoun, in I812, computed the one to the other, as 1 to 8, or thereabouts. JHe then estimated the price of wheat (to meet a supposed average of years) at 76s. 9d. per quarter, although it was at the time at 140s. and z
had not been of late years so low as he computed. He made the agricultural production 216 millions. The pressure of taxation must now be nearly double what it then was, even taking his calculation as the ground of our own, and comparing it with present prices; but, in point of fact, it is almost quadruple; the fair average of price of wheat now being scarcely above 40s. per quarter. And if we consider that the landlord and the clergyman, as all other trades do, lay their taxation, and that of those they employ, upon their commodity, upon land, and upon tythes; it is clear that production must ultimately pay such taxation. The particular evil now is, that the farmer cannot make his cost price of his article; therefore, whilst others are taking their taxes, &c. from him, he alone stands in the gap, and pays for all out of his capital. If taxation does not afford the reason why the landlord and the clergyman cannot make adequate abatements, it comes to this. Their expensive habits of life, which forbid their accepting lower sums, must in any event be abridged, and consequently revenue must diminish as individual expenditure is contracted. The same effect would therefore follow ; a reduced taxation must come. In the one instance, it may be voluntarily done by the government; in the other, it must be done to meet the defalcation of revenue. At present, one of the most curious phenomena of the times is, that the revenue does not appear to fall off; but, on the contrary, to be a little on the increase, in diametrical opposition to all general reasoning, and to the contraction of expenditure which must Abe presumed to follow reduction of income among the agricultural classes; to the decrease of the foreign trade which must happen from the cessation of the barter in corn; to the diminution of all duties ad valorem, in consideration of the depression of prices generally. But we consider the effects of the wide-spreading ruin amongst the landed interest, to be yet far from their height. It is well known, that there are many landlords who wait for their arrears of rent till the barns be filled, when they will not again suffer themselves to be forestalled by the tax-gatherer. The land owners have hitherto hesitated as to reducing their establishments, in hopes of parliamentary or other aid; but now they see their case is without hope, the work of retrenchment will begin. We are assured on authority, that one nobleman high in the agricultural world, will dismiss fourteen domestic servants at the close of the London season, and the same informant adds, that there are not less than one hundred gentlemen living in the neighbourhood of St. James's Square, who will cut down
their establishments in a similar proportionIt will not be then till about Michaelmas next, or soon after, that the urgency of the distress will be most apparent; when, if Providence should bless (curse in the language of ministers) the land with a fine harvest, the further reduction of prices will add to the universality of the ruin amongst the agricultural classes. In the meanwhile they are upon the alert; and county, and hundred, and district meetings are continually petitioning for the reduction of taxation to begin, and for reform to complete the remedy. Norfolk, hitherto the most opulent, perhaps, in respect to its farmers, sets the strongest example; near twenty of the hundreds have met, and the unanimous declaration of the resolutions, whether emanating from Tories or Whigs, is, that taxation is the grand cause of the distress. In one instance only has a protecting duty been prayed for ; in most of the others it has been as decidedly reprobated. This mode of procedure presents the most efficacious means of producing a powerful effect upon the House of Commons; for, if followed up with energy, it will command success, and never was there a time when every individual seemed to consider it so much his duty to use his greatest exertions as at this instant. We would second this feeling to our utmost, for upon its exercise depends, as we esteem it, the salvation of the landed interest, perhaps of the monarchy and the constitution. We touch upon the very verge of violence. For the proof, unhappily, we may still refer to the burnings of agricultural property, and the more open destruction of rural machinery in Norfolk and Suffolk, where, though the most energetic means have been used for the suppression of these disgraceful proceedings, and where some of the perpetrators have been executed, the disorders still continue. It cannot perhaps be much wondered at, when starving unemployed labourers are told by the servants of the crown that abundance is the cause of the distress, that these deluded men should practically enforce the theory of ministers. The weather at the end of March, and till the close of the first week in April, has been as favourable as could be to the operations of the field : the lambing season has been forward, and the drop abundant beyond all memory. Barley sowing has proceeded well and rapidly, and much Talavera wheat has been sown again this season, not as a substitute for winter wheat, but for barley, it takes the same place in the course of crops, and clover may succeed as well. The cold northern and easterly winds which prevailed during a few days, accompanied with hail and sleet, affected the appearance of wheats which had looked yellow previously, and which, since the cold, nave assumed still more of that colour, but it is not considered that they are injured. The effects are much more visible upon the leaves of the hedge rows, which are in many places as black as if burned. The clovers look remarkably well and forward. The appearance of beans varies according to soil and culture, some being strong and healthy, as those that are drilled in Oxfordshire, while in stiff countries, as Bedfordshire, it is feared some of those ploughed
in will scarcely get up. The turnips are all in flower, and, in most parts, it is difficult to find means of consuming them; the grass is very forward; the general business at the fairs has been as dull as the stock show has been abundant. Wool is declining in price. The mutton trade in Smithfield was decidedly worse on Monday, the beef market remaining much the same.
April 20, 1822.
HORTICULTURAL REPORT FOR MARCH AND APRIL, 1822.
THIs is the season of gratification to him whose delight it is to trace the ever varying rocesses of vegetable life. As the morning of the year advances, the plants, the herbs, the flowers, throw forth their riches to the lengthening day; the garden and the field spread their brilliant tapestry beneath a genial sun; and the florist scans his ‘gay parterre' with a joyous but discriminating eye. March 20th.-The lightly verdant leaf. lets of the white raspberry, (Rubus idaeus) are emerging from their scaly envelope. 21. Those of the eringo are also rapidly expanding. The blossoms of the red currant are generally opening, fair promise of a crop, “fresh, delicious, keen.”
The melancholy hyacinth, that weeps All night, and never lifts an eye all day,
has unfolded the first of its pendant flowers. 23. The blossom of the gooseberry has likewise “opened to the sun,” and is thronged with bees, “busy and with unwearied hum:”—these social insects should find a place in the garden of every lover of nature. 24. The wrinkled leaves of the filbert (Corylus avellana); the acid ones of the barberry (Berberis vulgaris); and the downy ones of the jeannotin apple, are rapidly developing themselves. The crown imperial, in despite of the transient, yet chilly blusterings of the north-western gales, has displayed her crimson umbels.
Ever bent on earth, Favouring her secretrites and pearly sweets.
The garden mice have become more destructive; the most effectual mode of destroying them is to scatter peas, which have for some days been soaking in a strong decoction of nux vomica, over those beds which are likely to suffer from their depredations. 27. The clustered bloom of the white blossomed sloe (Prunus spinosa) is
now spangling the hedges, and contrasting with the leafless branches, “makes desolation grin the more supreme.” The tunicate shoots of asparagus have pierced the surface of their beds. 29. The leaves of the medlar (Mespilus germanica) are rapidly developing; this fruit tree, above all others, appears the least subject to disease of any description. All advancing crops of peas, beans, &c. are exceedingly healthful and vigorous, though by no means so forward as the temperature of the season might warrant us to expect. The plantations of cabbages (Brassica) are among the few which are not benefited by a mild winter; many are advancing to seed, without producing for the table of “that all-glutton, man.” This serviceable vegetable is one of the most faithful of his horticultural attendants; wherever he can exist, the cabbage will flourish. I have seen it growing within a few paces of the sea, and M. Candolle found it upon the Alps, “at every height that man can take up his abode.” 30. The glutinous leaves of the horse chesnut (AEsculus hippocastanum) are rapidly expanding. Thus terminated the month, and . no variation have we to report in the temperature of its close; to the last it breathed “ethereal mildness; ” no ruthless blasts, no piercing colds, cast a glooms on its farewell, or strewed o'er the trace of its footsteps with blossoms untimely stricken; but—
Smiling came the nymph and gay, Smiling too she passed away.
April 1. The buds of the red raspberry, and of the guelder rose (Vibernum opulus) “exist as buds no more.” The once selfenamoured boy has opened his flowers, still turned towards the fatal pool,—
The pale narcissus on the bank, in vain Transformed, gazes on himself again.
The blossom of the gooseberry promises an abundant crop, and that of the currant a very partial one, whilst that of the various plums augurs “a path betwixt the wide extremes.” 6. The young grey and downy leaves of the laburnum (Cytisus) are taking a determinate form. The fruit of the apricot has set in abundance, and they are rapidly increasing in size. 8. The jonquil has opened her starry flowers—
— Loads with potent breath the air, Andrich in golden glory nods.
The blossom of the cherry is opening in boundless profusion, fair but falsely flattering promise of an abundant fruitage:– cherries, of all fruits, are the most uncertain; they often wither and fall, when on the point of assuming a ruddy tinge; “you are never certain of them,” a gardener will tell you, “until you have them in your mouth : ”—the blossom of this plant, as well as that of wall-trees, &c. is characterised by a fragrance which is commonly designated “almondy;” this, as well as the
flavour of the bay-leaf, and of the kernels of stone-fruit in general, is caused by the presence of prussic acid, perhaps the most deadly of poisons, a single drop of it, when pure, being fatal to human life. 13. The lily of the valley (Convallaria maialis) has thrust its shoots above the soil. The last few days have been excessively cold, with the wind at the E. : there has not, however, 1 trust, been a sufficient reduction of temperature to injure the wall-fruit. The numerous varieties of pears are in succession unfolding their delicate blossom ; as are also the leaves of the apple tribe:-in doing so, these last betray an incipient destruction; caterpillars are visible in their curled-up leaflets, the edges of which are cut and withered by the keen winds; “ill bodes the aspect of the times,” for this certainly portends—
(London, April 23.)
WE have observed on a former occasion ‘that the proceedings in the present session of parliament respecting commerce, would probably be of the highest interest and importance; and we have likewise stated the opinion generally entertained, that the measures to be adopted were likely to give a great impulse to the foreign commerce of the empire. As the session proceeds, the most intense anxiety is directed to the measures brought forward. Among them are the following:—The West India Islands - and Settlements to be declared free ports; British and foreign flags to be admitted with cargoes indiscriminately, and all goods legally imported may be re-exported; also the produce of the settlements to all European countries; free intercourse with South America and the United States to be also allowed; the produce of the latter, such as lumber, corn, flour, &c. to be subject to a small duty, to give some advantage to the British Colonies in North America. As it would far exceed our limits to give the particulars of the bills introduced, so it would be useless, in fact, to abridge them, as persons interested will naturally have recourse to the Acts themselves. We will, however, add the titles of some of them. “A Bill for the encouragement of Navigation and Commerce, by regulating
the Importation of Goods and Merchandise, so far as relates to the Countries from whence, and the Ships in which such Importation shall be made ; ” the second, “A Bill to repeal certain Acts, and parts of Acts, relating to the Importation of Goods and Merchandise; ” and a third, “A Bill to repeal divers ancient Statutes and parts of Statutes, so far as they relate to the Importation and Exportation of Goods and Merchandise from and to Foreign Countries; ” but they are too extensive, and go too much into detail, for insertion; and, as they relate to very old Acts of Parliament, they would be of little interest unconnected with the whole voluminous particulars. The following is an abstract of a Bill to regulate the Trade between his Majesty's Possessions in America and the West Indies, and other places in America and the West Indies. All former Acts regulating the Importation and Exportation of certain articles into and from certain Colonies in America and the West Indies, repealed.—Act not to discharge any seizure, forfeiture, or penalty, already made or incurred.—Goods in table B. may be imported into Ports mentioned in table A. either in British or foreign vessels, whether belonging to the subjects of