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seventeenth centuries, she subsequently got the start of them. This accelerated movement may be chiefly ascribed to two causes well deserving attention. One consisted in the earlier decline amongst us of the feudal system, and of the oppressive, unsettled, and anti-industrial forms of polity connected therewith. The second cause of prosperity must certainly be sought in the Protestant Reformation and the spirit of religious freedom, security, industry, and intellectual inquiry it tended to diffuse. The bigotry of foreign governments kept in mental bondage the minds of their people, and drove into exile their most useful and ingenious citizens. Scared by the wheels and gibbets of the misled and ferocious Duke of Alva, the Flemish manufacturers fled hither in shoals, and were hospitably received. They repaid this politic kindness by peopling our towns with industrious weavers, dyers, clothdressers, linen-makers, and silk-throwsters. They taught the making of baizes, serges, and other stuffs; and many of their posterity now inherit titles and large possessions in the counties which first sheltered them from a relentless persecution. The revocation of the Edict of Nantes, at a later period, had a like tendency-impoverished France, and laid the foundation of the silk-manufacture in England.
A great impulse was given to mercantile enterprise by extraordinary geographical discoveries. In this direction the Portuguese, Spaniards, Dutch, and Genoese took the lead. impossible that the discovery of a New World, and of a new way to the remotest regions of the Old, should not awaken throughout Europe an irrepressible thirst of maritime adventure, by which the English soon became distinguished in the persons of their famous navigators- Drake, Raleigh, Middleton, Hudson, Baffin, Davis, Lancaster, and Frobisher. As a consequence, followed the establishment of factories and colonies, and the opening up of new branches of commerce in distant and hitherto unknown climes.
Agriculture did not advance so rapidly as commerce and manufactures. According, however, to Harrison, one acre produced as much as two in past times, which he ascribes to the greater thrift and skill of the cultivator. The average yield of corn on each acre, well tilled, was twenty bushels of wheat, thirty-two of barley, and forty of oats and pulse. The farmers paid more attention to manures; and those in the vicinity of London began to buy the sweepings of the streets, which, with the coal-dust, improved their clayey soils. But a judicious rotation of crops, and the use of artificial grasses for winter provender, were unknown. Of course, the means for the improvement and sustenance of cattle were very limited. This gave
rise to serious privations, by compelling all, save the most opulent, to eat salted meat a great portion of the year. In the autumn as much meat was cured as would last the winter; and until the spring pastures had become abundant, there were no means of fattening cattle for the table. The fish used, too, were mostly salted, as only those residing near the coast could have them fresh, owing to the badness of the roads and difficulty of communication with the inland places.
About the period of the revolution of 1688 the country had made prodigious advances in the means of enjoyment and opulence. Sir William Petty, who published his Political Arithmetic in 1676, says, that the number of houses was double what it was forty years before; and there had also been a great increase of houses at Newcastle, Yarmouth, Norwich, Exeter, and Portsmouth. The royal navy had doubled in the same period, and the coal-shipping of Newcastle increased four-fold. The postage of letters had increased in the proportion of one to twenty. He also notices the increase in the quantity of wine imported, and in domestic comforts, luxury, and spendour. His contemporary, Sir Josiah Child, observes that, in 1688, there were on the 'Change more men worth £10,000 than there were in 1650 worth £1000; that £500 with a daughter was, in the latter period, deemed a larger portion than £2000 in the former; that gentlewomen in those earlier times thought themselves well clothed in a serge gown, which a chambermaid would, in 1688, be ashamed to be seen in; and that, besides the great increase of rich clothes, plate, jewels, and household furniture, coaches were in that time augmented a hundred-fold.
These improvements in the condition of the middle orders were almost the exclusive results of the nation's progress in navigation and commerce. The era of manufacturing prosperity was nearly a century later, when, by mechanical discoveries, the foundation was laid for the growth of our great staple manufactures in cotton, linen, and woollen. But in the seventeenth century, several new manufactures had been established in the subordinate branches of industry, as in iron, brass, silk, hats, glass, paper, &c. One Brewer, leaving the Low Countries, brought over the art of dyeing woollen cloth, which was a great saving to the nation. The Gobelin tapestry, which had been established in France in 1677, had begun to appear on the walls of our palaces and of the mansions of the nobility: Turkey carpets, however, still continued to be used for covering tables more than floors; matting of various colours, and rushes, being more generally employed for the latter purpose. The magnificent carved and gilt furniture, after the fashion of Louis XIV., made its appearance towards the close of the seventeenth VOL. 1.-NO, VI,
century, but did not come into general use till after the accession of Queen Anne.
The advantages of trade and the useful arts had become so apparent, that they had almost ceased to be degrading. The change of manners they had wrought, and the intermixture of the higher and middle ranks by marriages, induced the gentry, and even the younger branches of the nobility, to bind their sons apprentices to merchants, and thereby to shed lustre on pursuits before deemed only gainful; to invigorate traffic by their greater capitals, and to extend its operations by superior knowledge and connexion with powerful interests. A progress was thus made towards the general amalgamation of classes and interests, by which harmony of parts and concentration of purpose the country was enabled to advance with accelerated force towards its destined goal of commercial and industrial preeminence. In conclusion, and before closing for the present this first portion of our outline, we consider it necessary to remark that it is important not to err on the causes which impressed upon the age its distinctive features. A remark by Mr. Hume has been often quoted, and is perfectly just, but is liable to be wrongly associated. He says, in substance, that England never before enjoyed so large a measure of national prosperity as from the Restoration to the Revolution-which is true; but it would be fallacious to connect this prosperity with the government of the Stuarts. He might have extended his observation to an earlier date- the accession of the Tudors-for it was under Henry VII. that commerce and industry received their first impulses, and from which period, without serious intermission, they continued steadily to advance. But it has been a common error of historians to ascribe too much to political influences in the production of the aggregate amount of social good as well as evil. The machinery of society is mostly too vast, too complicated, and too unmanageable in its mechanism, to be materially accelerated or retarded by the policy of rulers. They certainly accompany the general movement, frequently encumber it, but till recently, as we shall hereafter establish, have seldom had more to do than the insect on the wheel in producing it.
In judging of your own writings, doings, or speeches, you should recollect that you are judging of your own offspring. Therefore on all doubtful points, when the judgment halts, as it were, upon the threshold, you should always construe them, that is, give the turn of the scale, against yourself.
A little misery sweetens life. It is the salt that makes it palatable and wholesome; the shade that relieves and sets off the monotony and brilliancy of the sunshine.
History of the War in France and Belgium in 1815; containing
minute details of the Battles of Quatre-bras, Ligny, Wavre, and Waterloo. By Captain W. Siborne, of the Royal Mili
tary Asylum. 2 vols. 8vo., Boones, 1844. We are no advocates for war, either as a pastime for kings or as a trade for their most loyal subjects. Nor, on the other hand, are we advocates for submitting either our civil or international rights to the caprice and cupidity of any people under heaven. That the strong will oppress the weak, and the tyrant of his own country will attempt the tyranny of all, is, however, a dogma of which not only the history of man, but the experience of every day, gives additional demonstration. Till, therefore, not one nation alone, but all powerful nations are sufficiently enlightened to see the real social and moral, as well as the dreadful physical consequences of war, there is little ground to hope that the sword shall be turned into a ploughshare, and the spear into a pruning-hook. The spirit of self-defence is the strongest principle in the human bosom; and so long as there shall be kingly aggressors, so long will there be, in British bosoms at any rate, a bold and uncompromising, a noble and soul-devoted spirit of defence and defiance !
Happily, the rulers of Europe appear to be generally convinced of the national as well as the moral and social advantages of peace; and whilst the present sovereigns retain their power there is little danger of national rupture, and consequently little reason to expect a speedy repetition of the wars which desolated Europe, from the commencement of the French Revolution till the battle of Waterloo closed the sanguinary tragedy. What may be our future_history-when Louis Philippe shall have ceased to govern France, and Frederic William to govern Prussia-it is left for history to tell; but the events of yesterday only, and the excitement created by the Tahitian farce, must shew that should the occasion call for it, there yet exists in English breasts the same determination to resist foreign age gression and defend our national position, that led to the unexampled sacrifices and courage, which were displayed during the wars of the Revolution and of the Empire.
The Empire! Its glory set—its creator lowered his eagle, his fearful and victorious banner-on the plain of Waterloo ! A quarter of a century of war-the greater part of it marked by the irresistible and whirlwind course of one man, whose name was at the same time a talisman and a terror-was then closed ! Devastation marked the entire course of the French arms, and even England was all but worn out with the unceasing and, at times, almost hopeless struggle. We yet feel its effects; and no man now alive will cease to feel them, either in England or in any part of Europe. Notwithstanding, however, the vast drain upon our resources, and its crippling effects upon the national prosperity in the shape of inevitable taxation, we preserve our nationality, we preserve untarnished our honour and renown. Europe is better-England is better-in its condition than as provinces of the unwieldy French empire; and our gratitude is due to those who weathered the storm. We judge Pitt by a false standard when we judge him by what it is now the fashion to call “political purity :' we must judge of Pitt by the circumstances in which he found himself-circumstances of political difficulty which have few examples in history, and none in English history. He surmounted difficulties which probably no other man could have surmounted : and if the measures of domestic polity by which he supported the nation in this deathstruggle were unsuited to our more expanded views of British freedom, we must recollect also that his measures were by no means unprecedented, whilst his difficulties were not only without a parallel, but could hardly have been overcome by less stringent and unconstitutional principles than he adopted.
But this is beside our purpose. Every one knows the general features of the history of Napoleon's ‘ hundred days,' and the broad character of the great battle which terminated them. Few, we believe, are well acquainted with the formidable exertions made by the Emperor, and the near approach to success wbich attended his extraordinary energy; and few are able to appreciate the superlative ability of the one general who was, alone, able to cope with Napoleon, apart from the influence of elements and the advantages of a population inimical to French domination. Yet this knowledge is important to every one who makes the least pretension to historical knowledge, and though we have read every work of any character relative to this celebrated
passage of arms,' there have always appeared to us difficulties which required further investigation-and to investigate which, moreover, we knew not where to look for the requisite data.
We are happy to be able to say that the greater part of our difficulties are cleared up by the able and intelligent work of Captain Siborne-a work which bespeaks the author to possess the rare faculties of sifting evidence, divesting himself of professional prejudices, and deducing from conflicting testimonies a consistent account of all the great events of that brief but eventful war; whilst he looks upon war with the eye of a philosopher, and upon peace with the pleasure of a philanthropist !
We have already said that the general features of that war are matters of familiar history. In the space which we can