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millions sterling, three fourths of tion was formerly the topmost ambition which in silver and one fourth in gold. of the most eminent of the mercantile That of the United Kingdom, in cir- class. To judge from the lists of late culation and in the coffers of the years and the present, the case, with banks, is thought not generally to some few exceptions, is altered—not exceed forty millions. And yet the for the better. In the wielding of so external commerce of France is scarce- tremendous an agency as a controling ly equal to one half that of England; power over the whole currency of the and even the internal movement of empire, we do not think, and it is said trade of the first, with a population without any feeling of disrespect, that greater by eight millions, is not of second and third rate merchants, reequal amount with that of the latter. spectable of their standing as they may
With reference to this and other be, but necessarily as incessantly enobjects, which we have hinted at pre- gaged in concerns upon whose regular viously, involving a vital reform of course they are themselves entirely the currency, the expediency of certain dependent, present those guarantees organic changes in the composition which for the responsible discharge of and statutes of the Bank of England, duties of import so transcendantly and more especially in its executive consequential are, not desirable only department, might perhaps merit con- but, indispensable. In the determinasideration. Although, during the late tion of questions so serious as the exmoney crisis, the Directors have in pansion and contraction of the circuthe main discharged their painful lation, for example, the bias of selfduties ably and courageously,* yet we interest may, in a collision with the take leave to doubt whether, viewed sense of public duty, prevail in the collectively or individually, the Board mind, imperceptibly even to the func has not deteriorated materially and tionary. " The expansion may be ad. progressively for several years past vocated as tending to facilitate exin the quality and fitness of its mem- tended speculations with smaller bers, and in the high character of its means; the contraction deprecated as administration. A seat in the Direc- leading to lower prices, as endanger
The conduct of the Bank in the affair of the Northern and Central Bank of Man. chester has been most disinterested, and not less creditable to its prudence and foresight. It has undertaken all the liabilities and engagements of the provincial enterprise, and the risk thus incurred for the safety of the important manufacturing districts of Lancashire and Yorkshire is deserving of all their gratitude, and will be duly estimated in view of the premises. A semi-official account of its affairs, understood to be published under the authority of the management of the Northern and Central Bank, has been circulated recently. By this, it appears that the Bank claims to have a balance, over and above its debts, of 1.490,000. But as the great bulk of its assets consists of balances owing by customers,
L.1,300,000 Ten per cent loss on a final liquidation of these will be a moderate allowance ; therefore say-Balance of credits,
490,000 Probable loss on liquidation of L.1,300,000,
Resulting b. lance only,
L.360,000 This is the most favourable view of the case,
This bank commenced business in March, 1834–capital, according to return to Parliament in June, 1836, L.711,860 ; but now stated at L.780,000: loss, therefore, in rather more than two years and a half, L.420,000. Should the concern wind up so favourably as we have supposed, the shareholders may ultimately get back about nine shillings in the pound of their capital paid up; but we rather fear, when losses are ascertained finally, and all expenses paid, that they will have cause of congratulation if they escape by losing the whole of their advances. Some curious disclosures are expected by and by anent the mysteries of Lancashire joint-stock banking. A dividend was declared and paid last August only of eight per cent to the share-proprietors. Some time ago one of the agents of the Company, on his arrival in London, lost (subsequently recovered) a bag containing heavy remittances to the town agent, of the amount of more than L.111,000, chiefly in bills,—but L.10,000 of it in American and other securities. The Bank of England was not misled, it seems, about American shares being largely trafficked in. Only think of a country bank lending money on values realizable only 5000 miles off!
VOL, XLI, NO, CCLVI.
ing commercial combinations already has been called forth to new enterprise advanced, as impairing or narrowing and exertions; that science, and intelcredit not rooted in larger capitals. lect, and reason, and all the efforts of We have no intention here to press the mind, have been called forth to the subject farther, nor shall we do their utmost expansion, in order to more than hazard a suggestion for the meet the growing demands of a mighty remedy of inconveniences which will people, calling forth every vigorous be appreciated. We are not sure that energy of the mind in the career of it will not be found advisable to invest power and substantial greatness. (Imthe Bank with even more of a national mense cheering.) This cannot be decharacter—for the nation to enter into nied. But is it true that human partnership with the Bank—to inter- agency has had no part in these transvene direct by qualified representa- actions and in these blessings, and tives in the board of direction. The which, eminent as they are, we no coinage of money is one of the highest doubt must ascribe to that great Proof royal prerogatives—can it with pro- vidence which dictates the fate of napriety, ought it to be delegated to a tions? But then we know that there joint stock corporation-acting upon, are secondary agents and instruments guided by, the profit and loss princi- to carry into effect those designs, and ple, chiefly if not wholly, and whose to these is to be ascribed the existing checks the most stringent resolve state of things." The secondary agents themselves finally into little more than then have inflated the great balloon of a moral, and therefore an inadequate national prosperity—be it so. The responsibility ? Why should not the gas-swollen machine is now rapidly Governor be nominated by or placed on the descent—the elementary exhain direct communication with, or made lation with which it was bloated is answerable to the Government—and bursting its cerements—with downtherefore armed with certain powers ward inclination' the gaily bedizened and an absolute veto in the adminis- envelope of painted silk in all its tration of the affairs of the Bank ? sides and circumference - is collaps
The monetary and commercial ex- ing. The affrighted voyagers to citement, if not created, has at least lunar realms, glancing below for the been largely administered to, by the hope of escape, behold destruction previous and corresponding intensity on either hand, here rocks and preci. of political agitation, fomented by a pices, there an oceanic gulf. The Whig-Radical Government from the grappling irons, in hands skilled and love of place, and to ensure a perma- resolute, might yet clinch with unfailnency of rule. In troubled waters ing gripe the threatening cliffs, and the shoals and perils of unskilful pilot- achieve a landing-place of safety. Is age are least liable to discovery—the the sensually enervated and graceful lazy incapacity of Lord Melbourne, Melbourne endowed with that steeland the shallow wit of Lord John, may nerved arm? Or Palmerston, the escape more ready penetration, when man of gait and speech so mincing floating along a mud-thick stream, im- and tripping? Or Russell, pigmy in pervious to the rays of light below, and body as puny in mind? Or Glenelg, powerless therefore to reflect above the buried in profound lethargy amidst bladder-puffed emptiness of the things piles of despatches with seals unbrowhich affect to guide the current along ken? which, with other rubbish, they are Amidst the wilderness of doubt and helplessly borne. Lord Glenely re- darkness, on one point alone we are paid his late public entertainment at assured. The secondary agents, who Inverness with a glowing delineation boast of national prosperity as their of the progress, the industrial progress exclusive creation-false and hollow more especially, of Great Britain
as that prosperity appears--are bound, ing the six years of Whig and“ juvenile now and hereafter, to accept all the reWhig" sway. “It is proved that the sponsibility of national reverses and resources of this country have been national degradation. developed, that commercial enterprise
THE WORLD WE LIVE IN.
A wit once defined celibacy to be England actually contains a vast a vow by which the priesthood, in number of individuals, however unaccertain countries of Europe, bound quainted with the fact those pre-emithemselves to be content with other nent personages may be, who marry men's wives. In England the terror and are given in marriage at much of having a wife of one's own is con- less rates than fashion on one side, fined chiefly to those brilliant person and fortune on the other. The marages who, after having flourished in riages are not much less than 100,000 the world of fashion in search of an a-year. Still there are crowds, either heiress, whose return for her tens of too timid or too tongueless, too busy thousands was to be the simple mono- or too bashful to “ tell their love, poly of their Bond Street elegance, find and thus their savings go to the winds that fifty years are no addition to their in the parish club, or are watched for charms, whatever they may be to their by a whole grim generation of cousins, existence; that the most exquisite dex- who grasp at the will with the voraterity of the tailor cannot conceal the city of so many vultures; or, in default increasing rotundity of the form, nor of even the cousins, go to the King's all the art of the bootmaker retard the Attorney-General, the widest-throated departing elasticity of the leg ; that vulture of all. To obviate the diffithere is a time for all things, and culties of approach, an advertisement among those things for ceasing to be in the newspapers is the established irresistible and for beginning to be way; but this is but a poor contrivance ridiculous. After fifty the doors of after all. The fair sex have been so the matrimonial paradise are fast often disappointed by the comparison closing, and unless the man of fashion of the original with the portrait, the suddenly abjures the charms of blue gentleman himself being the limner, eyes, native ringlets, and the love- that no woman who boasts of her own breathing smiles of the generation teeth, and looks in her glass without from seventeen to the anxious age of terror, will take the trouble of followseven-and-twenty, and discover the ing the prize. In the published corsuperior captivations of well-portioned respondence of some of those Damons widowhood, no man stands a fairer and Phylisses—for when the gentlechance of dying that lonesome and man is hanged, or the lady under senunloved incumbrance of the earth, an tence of transportation, the seals of old bachelor.
the heart have been sometimes too But these follies are for the region lightly broken-all the answers were of high life. These pains are for the from the vicinity of Billingsgate and purgatory which the “
Coldbathfields. In fact, this mode ton” make for themselves beyond the has fallen into the "sere, the yellow visible diurnal sphere of common leaf," and the temple of Hymen is at sense. Those privations are the in- one entrance completely blocked up. heritance of the superfine race who They manage those matters, as they see mankind only out of the window do every thing, better in France. at Brookes's, are unconscious of the There they have “ Bureaux Matriexistence of any man under ten thou- monielles," where all arrangements sand a-year, know no other fragment for wedded bliss are made by expeof London than the lounge from Re- rienced officials. The gentleman sends gent Street to Piccadilly, learn the in his credentials, the lady sends in passage of the seasons only from the hers. After those preliminaries are hunting at Melton or the racing at adjusted, the introduction follows, Newmarket, and augur the prosperity satisfies the parties that neither has or decline of the empire from the emerged from the galleys, or is likely greater or less number of invitations to be consigned to them, within the on their table to my lord's battue and year. The “contract” receives the my lady's ball.
signature, the priest of the Faubourg attends, the ceremonial is punctiliously lish peer may have danced at the Ri. performed, and Monsieur and Madame dotto this evening, may be practising are made happy.
the art of “ ways and means" on the Still the failure of the advertisement public purse at the theatre the next; system has arisen rather from the and that where every human being, proverbial fallacy of its statements from the prince to the peasant, plays than from the original deficiency of at the same hazard-table, the lower its means.
They have aimed too race quickly adopt the style of the much at eloquence, they have rivalled superior, and raise swindling to the too ardently the Packwood razor- dignity of a profession. strop, and the Warren's liquid black- Some time since, an extremely ing style. The marriage garden has clever thing of this species was done been so teeming with imaginary in Vienna. A young count, with flowers, so redolent of sweets on paper, some prodigiously high-blood name, that disappointment was the irresis- an officer in the Imperial Hulans, was tible consequence. But we give one sitting on his horse, waiting outside advertisement, which appeared a short the gate of the cathedral for the return time since in the papers, and which, of their Majestics. A watch set with from its touching the true string, brilliants, which he took out from neither fearfully repulsive nor im- time to time, showed that he was possibly rapturous, was formed to suc- weary of the ceremony. A vastly ceed. We have no doubt that its sparkling snuff-box, to which he frehonest writer has already found a quently applied, showed that he remate to his mind.
quired a stimulus : in fact, the hand“ I hereby give notice to all unmar- some Hulan was evidently falling ried women, that I, John Hobnail
, am asleep. He was roused by a wellat this writing five-and-forty, a widow- dressed person's making his way to er, and in want of a wife. As I wish him, and with a very low bow begging no one to be mistaken, I have a good of him “ to preserve that attitude.' cottage, with a couple of acres of He explained this odd request, by sayland, for which I pay L.2 a-year. I ing, that one of the archduchesses was have five children, four of them old desperately smitten with him, and enough to be in employment; three desired to have his picture ; but that, sides of bacon, and some pigs ready no opportunity having hitherto occurfor market. I should like to have a red, and etiquette being altogether woman fit to take care of her house against her asking it in person, she when I am out. I want no second had employed an eminent artist to family. She may be between forty sketch his likeness as he mounted and fifty, if she likes. A good stirring guard. The count, notorious for a woman would be preferred, who could good opinion of his own charms, was take care of the pigs.”
infinitely delighted; but he affected We give this as a specimen of the to laugh at the idea, and threw himtrue style. It has no affected ele- self into an attitude which he conceiv: gance, it puzzles none by prodigality ed to be much more captivating. His of promises. The dairymaid who friend in the mob again begged of him reads may run, and probably will to to remain steady for a moment, and the threshold of Hobnail, and if that pointed out to him, in an opposite man dies a widower we shall abandon window, an artist busy in sketching a our faith in the power of the pen.
The man's eyes
were fixed on him. It was undeniable Knavery, like snow, condenses in that he was sketching the count, and our streets on the coming of winter, the handsome Hulan was too generous and scarcely a day passes in which the to make an archduchess wretched for little Magisterial Courts do not give want of his picture. Two or three their tribute to the genius of the pick- slight changes of attitude were repocket mind. But our affairs of this quired to complete the performance ; kind are vulgar. It is on the Conti- they were gently recommended by the nent that the pickpocket studies the count's new friend, and approved of picturesque. The reason of this dif- by the nod of the artist in the window. ference is simply that the trade there At length the operation was completis in higher hands—that the Exquisite ed. The artist made a low bow, and with whom the daughter of an Eng- retired from the window. His friend
on the pavé did the same. The count often said, that he was unconscious of was enchanted with having captivated the chances which the Revolution opena princess. But what was the time ed before him. His nature was to which this interesting performance love power ; his spirit was to scorn had occupied ? He felt for his watch rivalry; and his ambition was to be at -no watch was there; for his snuff- the head of the country. A man of box—it had disappeared. His purse his penetration must have known that had followed them. He was now the time of public confusion was the thoroughly awake. The worst of the time for his obscure but powerful famatter was, that the unkind pickpock- culties to rise. A man of his educaets were so proud of their having tion must have known the historic plucked the young dupe, that they examples of ancient and modern Retold the story at the first roulette-table publicanism. And from the moment they came to. Thence, of course, it when the sword was drawn by the spread like wild-fire through the Parliament, he must have felt that the Court, the capital, and the country. first soldier of the country might be
come the sovereign. “ But the pear Secretary King, in his Memoirs, was not ripe." If after the most celesays, that having had opportunities of brated of his early histories he had sceing a good deal of all the most re- openly aimed at the supremacy, he markable men of his time, he had come must have been crushed. to the conclusion, that presence of of the Parliament was still in its vimind, implying quick decision, was gour. It was not till the palpable sucthe rarest, as it is undoubtedly the cess of the struggle, and the returning most important quality in the emer- security of the popular cause had.engencies of public life. It was for this abled the people to turn their eyes on quality that Themistocles was cele- the Parliament, that the public disbrated by the historian as the most contents had time to grow, that Parextraordinary man of his time—“ That liament fell into disrepute, that the no man of all the Greeks saw so ra- contest seemed to be carried on for pidly where the difficulty lay, or was nothing but the aggrandizement of the so quick in discovering the way out of House of Commons, and finally, that it.” A large part of this fine quality the nation felt eager to change the depends on the avoidance of haste- oligarchy, whom they began to despise, on the sober view of events as they for any form of government which are, and on waiting till things are promised novelty. The pear was then ripe. William the First, Prince of ripening. But a single premature Orange, was memorable for this fa- step even then would have sent Cronculty, and it conducted him in triumph well to the scaffold. The army at to the freedom of Holland. If, in the length assumed tlie power. The pear earlier years of those perpetual provo- was then ripe. And Cromwell, never cations which he suffered from the in more imminent danger than at the Spanish viceroys of the Netherlands, moment when his foot was about to and the still more stimulating demands ascend the throne, left London in the of the people to place himself at their critical instant, and was dictator. head, he had raised the standard, he Napoleon's early career was marked must have been crushed. “ But the by this memorable sagacity. No man pear was not ripe." Though one of was nearer perishing in its commencethe bravest men alive, and resolved on ment. If he had joined Robespierre finally hazarding life and fortune in in Paris, there can scarcely be a doubt the cause, he waited until he saw the that he would have been joined with Continent prepared to take a direct him at the guillotine. The offer was interest in the war— the German made to him to take the command of princes outraged, and eager for the the garrison of Paris. Nothing could fall of the Spanish domination, and be more tempting to a young officer, the people of the Netherlands, roused poor, conscious of talent, and encumby the double sense of persecuted re- bered with a crowd of brothers and ligion and insulted freedom, to strike sisters, who all seem to have looked up the blow with all their strength, and to him for a place in society, if not for be successful, or be undone.
bread. Robespierre at that hour was This was the great quality of Crom- virtual monarch of France. All the well. It is idle to say, as has been so parties of the Legislature had openl