Sayfadaki görseller
PDF
ePub

with respect to dramatic compositions. It is with most modern plays as it is with pills, powders, and other quack medicines. Each is puffed, panegyrized, and has a terr.porary run; and then it falls into disreputė, io makc way for another novelty, doomed in its turn to the same sublunary fate. Thus Anderson's pills, James's powders, and even Daume de Vie and the good Bishop of Cloyne's tar-water, have all yielled the palm to Quassia. Quassia is the catholicon of the present day, the great panacea for every ailment !

What Quassia is in the Materia Medica, Pizarm, for some time past, has been in the lateria Dramatica. Pizarro! Pizarro! sounds from the counter to the palace, and all ranks are equally delighted with that motly incoherent importation : while the Germans laugh at our bad taste, and exclaim “ imitatores ! servum pecus !"What will they say when they learn that this same metamorphoses English-German Pizarro has been re-metamorphosed into its original form? This is, however, the case; and we have now before us a German version of Mr. Sheridan's Pizarro, under the title above granscribed.

Our English readers will not expect that we should quote any part of this new Pizarro for their perusal; and the Germans would not thank us for specimens of it in their own language.-We trust, indeed, that our rage for German plays is nearly over; and that our play-wrights will henceforth have good sense enough to trust to their own native powers for the support of the Engliska theatre.

POLITICS, G*C. Art. 30. Remarks on the Deficiency of Grain, occasioned by the bad

Harvest of 1799; on the Means of present Relief, and of future Plenty. With an Appendix, containing Accounts of all Cora imported and exported, with the Prices, from 1697 to the roth of Octoben 1800 ; and also several other Tables. By John, Lord Sheffield. 8vo. Pp. 120.

Debrett. Party declamation and narrow views ought studiously to be avoided in discussing the question of present scarcity. If the war blends itself, as it necessarily must, with the consideration, it is not its prins ciple but its wide extent and vast magnitude which must be put into the scale. We may say of it as Juvenal says of Hannibal, res humanas miscuit ; and hence the difficulty of obtaining a foreign supply has been added to the circumstance of deficient harvests. It must also be observed, that the bad harvest of 1799 extended over a great part of Europe. Can it be matter of wonder, then, (to use Lord Sheffield's words,) that we are fallen into distress.' Europe, we are told, is nearly exhausted, and if this be true, it is evident that we must depend more on internal management than on succour from abroad.

Lord Sheffield is of opinion that an army and navy of 300,000wmen do not consume more corn than they did as individuals, particularly in the instances of those individuals who were peasants. They may not deyour more; though the circumstances under which they are fed require. a greater quantity to be taken for them out of the common stock, than would be necessary to sustain them in their individual occupa

tions, ,

35. 63.

10

tions. This, however, is a partial view of the subject. In propof. tion as labourers are taken from the soil, its productiveness must be diminished ; and in what are called catching harvests, the want of hands is a grievous evil. How far the extent of our levies has operated in diminishing the quantity of arable land, or in causing it to be sown in a less workman-like manner, we have never heard stated. This fact, if it be a fact, it may be difficult to ascertain.

Dismissing every surmise on the operation of the war, let us attend to other views of the subject. Supposing our annual consumption to be 8,000,000 quarters of wheat, and that communibus annis our proi duce is adequate to our consumption; and supposing the crop of 1799 to yield only two-thirds of the usual supply: there must be a deficiency of 2,666,666; and if we deduct from this deficiency, 1,200,000 quarters imported, there will still remain a deficiency of 1,400,000 quarters. If the stock in hand, at the commencement of the last harvest, was nearly exhausted, so that it was necessary to begin immediately on the new wheat, it must be admitted that peo ouliar attention and economy will be requisi:e to carry us through the year. In the month of September, Lord S. observes, we generally have at least four months of supply in hand; consequently, we have anticipated four months of our usual stock; and, taking the crop of 1800 to be a fair one, we have yet four months' provision to obtain by importation and management. From his investigations, however, his Lordship is inclined to believe that the crop of 1800 is not a full average crop; and therefore our embarrassment is increased. This is certainly a calamity, which, Lord S. apprehends, is likely to be increased by indiscriminate clamours against dealers in corp ; and he very judiciously exposes the practice of arguing, from the customs established in the carly periods of our history, against the present system of trade. He is persuaded that corn cannot be monopolized * to any great and permanent extent in such a country as this ; he maintains the national utility of the middle-man ; and he cannot be. lieve that the instance of a person dealing in hops, with a peculiar boldness of speculation, is sufficient ground for reviving the re. pealed statutes. Some evils, he is aware, exist in the corn-trade; yet he would not encourage the populace in illiberal prejudices against the whole body of those who are engaged in this trade, because the imaginary remedies employed by incensed and misguided mobs must tend to convert scarcity into absolute famine.

After having stated, in Part I., the nature, progress, and extent, of our present distress, Lord Sheffield proceeds to detail, in Part II., the Means of Relief; which, comfortable to relate, he says, are within our reach. He protests against a maximum, against public granaries, and against fixing the price of labour; and he recommends the liberal mixture of other grain with wheat, in making bread,—the importation and substitution of rice, which (he observes) pays no toll either to miller or bakers, and the taking out of wheaten flour only the

[ocr errors]

* Heiti crves that, in order to have monopolized only a month's cons vision in this last summer, a capital of nearly five millions ster!.::8 nowd have been requisites

coarse exist

coarse or broad bran. By using no other bread than such as is made of this sort of four, he calculates that a great saving would ensue, in as much as there would be then one-sixth or one-seventh more flour to be converted into bread.

The Third Part of Lord Sheffield's patriotic lucubrations, treating of the Means of future Plenty, is for the present postponed. Art. 31. An Appeal to the good Sense of the higher and wealthier Orders

of the People, on the high Price of Provisions and of Corn in particular. 8vo. 6d. per Dozen. Hatchard.

We fear that this penny worth of admonition will be thrown away; because it advises the rich and luxurious, with whom privation is no easy task, to cease to consume flour and bread in their families till the next harvest; and particularly to banish that stimulant to bread-con sumption, cheese. The author reasonably apprehends that, in genteel establishments, there would be some difficulty in bringing servants, who feel not the pressure of the times, to subscribe to this selfdenying ordinance. Art. 32. Letters to the Duke of Portland and the Earl of Liverpool, &c*

on the present high Price of Provisions. By P. D. Parquot. 8vo. IS. Law.

When the hardships of the poor are daily augmenting by the high price of the necessaries of life, it behoves those who undertake publicly to discuss the subject, to avoid all expressions which tend to infiame the populace; and to refrain from detailing as facts the assertions of the inconsiderate and unexamining vulgar. The author of these letters does not appear to be aware of the consequences of such errors. He attributes the scarcity to Corn-badgers, who he says are called Corn-jews; and to whom he gives the additional title of Famine Mongers ;' and he tells us that it would be invidious to point out any particular places, but that an immense quantity, he is sorry to add, is daily spoiling by hoarding.' If he knows where immense quantities of corn are daily spoiling, and contents himself with being sorry, he is accessary to the wickedness of the famine-mongers : but we do not suspect him of knowing, any such thing: ve accuse him of pretending to know more than he does. His scheme of taxing corn with-holden from market, on a geometrical ratio of so much for the first week, double for the second, &c. is too absurd for comment. This gentleman may have seen sights, (as he tells us,) from a King's coronation down to a cottage :' but when did he see or read of farmers being formerly glad to swig their butter-milk?" Persius mentions as a mark of the growing degeneracy of his times, that

Fænisece crasso vitiarunt unguine pultes :". but we should not draw a proof of the farmer's luxury from his not robbing the pigs of their butter-milk. Art. 33. War proved to be the real Cause of the present Scarcity, and

enormous high Price of every Article of Consumption, with the only Radical Remedies. By Robert Waithman. 8vo. 28. Jordan.

This writer iñi a great measure exonerates the dealers in corn from blame in the present trying period; and he believes that monopolies are the effects rather than the cause of scarcity, which must always Roy, Dse. 1800.

Ff

sary

1790}

{2,0

exist when the supply is inadequate to the demand. The substance, and complexion of this pamphlet, to prevent mistake or misrepresen. tation, shall be exhibited in the author's own words: * The present scarcity and extravagant high price of every neces

article of life, arise from the present expensive, destructive, and most unfortunate war, into which the nation has been unjustly and unnecessarily precipitated, and in the prosecution of which the people have been most fatally deluded;

• First. By the great waste and increased consumption which it occasions.

* Secondly. By the numerous government contracts, and the large stores collected for the use of our armies and navies.

• Thirdly. By the immense luad of public debt, or false capital which it creates.

• Fourthly. By the amazing quantity of paper-money, which is a natural consequence; and

• Fifthly. The prodigious increase of taxes.'

Under the first head, the following statements respecting imported grain are giver.. The average importation of wheat for 12 years previous to the war was 169,082, sor a fortnight's consumption. • In

7 the importation of corn of va.
rious kinds was about

2,000,000 quarters, 1797

1,091,079 1798

1,239,091 1799

1,006,994.' By this increased importation, our wants are not relieved; for which the following reason is assigned :

« There are between three and four hundred thousand men now employed in the land and sea service, who not only consume, but add nothing to the general stock: were they employed in the cultivation of land, the produce of their labour would maintain upwards of twelve hundred thousand persons, instead of which they require as much at least as would maintain one million of inhabitants at home.'

Under the second head, the author maintains that, even were the quantity sold precisely the same, the very circumstance of one man known as a government buyer, purchasing a large quantity, must raise the market much higher than if the same quantity were bought by several small dealers.'

In support of the third position, it is observed that the national debt forms a false capital, and for every accumulation of debt, there are so many more persons to be supported in indolence at the expence of the industrious; so that it is not one of the least evils of war, that it multiplies the indolent, and diminishes the industrious, besides .rendering the condition of those remaining less tolerable by the additional burthens they are forced to sustain.';

The fourth position is thus supported. The quantity of this fictitious money has had a direct tendency to raise the price of every thing else; notling can be more trứe than the assertion, that, if money be dear, every thing else must be cheap; and if money be cheap, every thing else must be dear in proportion to their relative quan'itice.',

On On the last head, or on the operation of increased taxation, it is remarked that numberless instances might be produced to shew that every thing has risen in price with our debt and taxes, but it is suf. facient to refer to the American war, as it must be within the recol. lection of many.

During that war, articles' rose gradually with our debt and taxes, and after its conclusion they never returned to their former prices, because, when the war ended, the taxes were not discontinued ; while the present enormous taxes exist, it is impossible that things can revert to their former channel.”

Some subordinate observations, with some strong anti-ministerial remarks, are added; after which, Mr. W. proceeds to the enumeration of his radical reinedies: which are the restoration of

peace a rigid and radical reform in the public expenditure-the abolition of untecessary places and pensions--some limitation to paper currency -a general inclosure billma speedy and effectual relief for the labouring poor, by the erection of a sufficient number of cottages throughout the kingdom-a repeal of the income tax;—as also some regulations in the mode of taxing horses, livery servants, &c. by which the consumption may be lessened, and employment given to the helpless females, who now become a burthen to themselves and to society.'

Thus have we suff-red Mr. W. to speak for himself; and we shall also leave our readers to form their own judgment. He dedicates his pamphlet to the late Lord Mayor, and concludes it with a fervent wish for the dismissal of ministers. Art. 34. The Discharge of 37,000,000l. of the National Debt, den

monstrated to be part of the Cause of the rapid Dearness of Provisions that has taken Place within the last Ten Years : proving on the same compound Principle upon which the Debt is discharged, the Extent of that Part, viz. That the first Four Millions discharged had the pernicious Effect of depreciating each annual Income of 26l. to the Amount of 11. 145. 8d. that is, to 241. 58. 4d. and so on progressively: with some Thoughts on-the Principles that must be adopted to save the Nation from the impending Ruin attendant on such a Disaster. Being Part the Second of " The Cause of the threatened Famine traced to its real Source." By. Common Sense. 8vo. is, 6d. Scott.

The pamphlet, of which this is announced as a continuation, was noticed in our last Review, p. 326. The arguments there employed are here, according to the author's confession, for the most part re.. peated, but with a more extensive application. As to the principle of the system which the author deems it · his duty to God, to human nature, and social order, to expose, it may not be generally undera stood even with his repetitions and additional explanations. Mr. Common Sense states his doctrine in the form of a paradox, viz. that the immense quantity of money in the nation, or what passes for money, is the cause of our present want *; and that it is this circumstance

* He gives it afterward, however, in plainer terms, viz. that the right of individuals to issue paper to any amount is the root of all our evits Ffz

whisk

« ÖncekiDevam »