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in any other trade, it will produce so much: Which of the two is the greater produce? If the first, he continues the use of all his capital. If the latter, he makes a sacrifice of part of it. But he does so, only because he thereby increases his produce. It is therefore proved that no capital is ever lost in this manner, but when it is good for the country that it should be lost.
The West India gentlemen frequently make pompous mention of the importance of their trade to the navigation of the country. The fallacy of that talk, however, is now pretty generally understood. As far as the capital employed in the navigation or shipping of the country is concerned, the same argument holds exactly, which we have just applied to the capital of the West India gentlemen themselves. Whenever it ceases to be productive, under a system of freedom, it ceases to be of any use, and in fact ceases to be capital. For promoting the wealth of the country, no sacrifice ought ever to be made to it.
There is another point of view in which they exaggerate the importance of the shipping interest; that upon the extent of it depends our power of providing a fleet in case of war. To be under any anxiety respecting a sufficiency of shipping in this country for the provision of a fleet equal to all our necessities, seems one of the most perfectly idle of all possible apprehensions. The West India gentlemen may rest assured that the time is gone by, never to return, when any uneasiness will be felt on that account. The very mention of the navigation laws is now treated with ridicule even by the House of Commons. Besides, there is a fact quite sufficient to afford satisfaction on this head; that the voyage from the East Indies is calculated to employ as much shipping, certainly, as that from the West.
Beside the important advantages which we have thus shown would arise from the introduction of the only true principle of commerce, that of freedom, into the importation of sugar, and more especially, on the present occasion, from the free importation of East India sugars, advantages counterbalanced by disadvantages, which, however magnified on the other side, we have also fully shown to be of inconsiderable moment, having an immense balance of good to be derived from the change which we desire to see introduced, there is still one item in the account of benefits, which is of far too much importance to be passed over in silence. And that is, the advantage which would thence accrue to the people of India, and through them, as the dependants of this country, to this country itself. It is impossible not to see how a new demand, to so great an amount, for a production of their soil, to which that soil and their climate are so admirably adapted,
would increase the value of their annual produce, the demand for their labour, and with it the well-being of all classes of the people. It is also impossible not to see how much the revenue of the East India Company, derived almost wholly from the rent of land in India, would be improved by the extended cultivation of so valuable an article of produce. In addition to all this, it is worthy of attention, that even in the way of compensation we seem to owe a little to India; our commercial intercourse with her having lately operated in a peculiar manner to her disadvantage. It is well known that her great manufacture was cotton goods; and our principal imports from that country consisted in articles of that manufacture. A very remarkable revolution in this branch of traffic has now taken place. From the happy and extraordinary improvements we have made in the art of manufacturing cotton goods by our wonderful machinery, we have so reduced the price, that not only do we not import, except a few fancy articles, from India, but we actually send our cotton goods to that country, and sell them cheaper than their own fabrics can be afforded by the natives. We have thus deprived them of a great branch of their own industry. And we have given them nothing in return; for, of the other articles of their produce, the only ones which we have any desire to consume, namely, certain products of their soil, we have hitherto most strangely bound ourselves not to import. It is not to be wondered at, therefore, if the exports from Great Britain to the East Indies are limited and inconsiderable. Commerce must be reciprocal. How can the people of India buy from us, if we take nothing from them by which they can pay us? If we take from them nothing but money, we make it scarce, and therefore prices fall so low that we can no longer sell at a profit.
It is not duly considered how much every branch of the commerce with India, a country so vast in extent and population, and so rich in produce, depends upon the free importation of sugar, rice and other gruff commodities. When a cargo consists, as under our present most impolitic regulations almost every cargo from India must consist, of fine goods, there is a great proportion of the freightage of the ship actually lost. For safety of sailing, a certain weight must be taken on board. Wherever an assorted cargo can be obtained, this is managed by a proper proportion of ponderous goods. Of this great advantage, the importers of East India goods are at present deprived. They are obliged to bring home their ships comparatively empty of goods, and filled with ballast. This great loss would be most happily prevented by the free importation of sugar and other products of the Indian soil. And the other articles of
Indian produce would immediately receive an important reduction of price, by paying only part of the cost of freight, of which they are now under the absurdly created necessity of defraying the whole.
ART. XIX.-Mr. Holman's Narrative of a Journey in the Years 1819, 1820, and 1821, through France, Italy, &c.
THEN we first took up this volume, we were disposed to regard the Narrative as altogether fictitious; we thought it a dull invention, and wondered a little at the laborious perseverance of the inventor. Had we ever hoped to see another De Foe, we might have closed the book with this conviction. The internal marks and tokens of reality are not so decisive as the world is apt habitually to profess. We have heard of some who died in the firm belief of the truth of Robinson Crusoe; and we have no doubt that the authenticity of the admirable " Journal of the Plague" would never have been questioned, if some prying critic had not started the incontestable fact, that the author was an infant at the period of that memorable event. Minuteness and copiousness of circumstance are certainly no conclusive criterions of reality. We have, however, no longer any scepticism about the present Narrative. The travel ler we believe to be è vivis, and to have given a very honest relation of his own tour. He appears to have been destined for the navy, and from early youth, for some years, to have been in the actual service of his profession. At five-and-twenty he lost his sight, and has ever since, that is, about ten years, remained totally, and he fears permanently, blind. Endowed with a busy and observing mind, and accustomed to incessant change of scene and country, repose became intolerable to him. From professional pursuits he was, of course, utterly excluded; to silent and consecutive meditation those pursuits must have indisposed him; and for readings he was entirely dependent on his friends. He soon acquired a greater facility of locomotion than he had anticipated; and the irresistible inclination succeeded of visiting different parts of his native country. In 1819, his health failing, and his ardour for knowledge and love of motion concurring, he determined to travel through the southern parts of Europe. In contempt of all the fears and warnings of his friends, he sallied forth without a companion, or servant, or knowledge of the countries he purposed to visit, or even of their language. His bold and resolute temper, accustomed to front dangers and surmount them, led him to despise the common and the uncommon perils of the tourist. The fearlessness and independence, which the profession of his early and seeing days is
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so calculated to generate, bore him through all, not merely without difficulty, but with facility and pleasure. A natural gaiety, or a light-heartedness-the product of the same animating professionseems never to have failed him; and the painful sense of his privation was forgotten in the kind sympathy, which, with scarcely an exception, he every where met with, from high and low, particularly— and which he gratefully and enthusiastically commemorates-from the female sex. These are circumstances that throw an interest upon the book, which neither the incidents, nor observations, nor information it contains are capable of exciting. There is nothing singular, but the single circumstance of the apparent temerity of the undertaking. This sightless traveller encounters few difficulties, and makes none; the ease and non-chalance with which he weathers all impediments are productive of something like disappointment. We cannot shake off the strong impression made upon our sensibility at the outset, nor the endless perplexities which our imagination figured as awaiting him: but all vanish before his intrepidity; and we soon find that the demand upon our sympathy, which we very naturally expected, vanishes with them. To forebode or bewail is quite superfluous; he might take the command of a frigate and circumnavigate the globe with as much success as he has climbed Vesuvius, and will traverse, as we hear he is on the point of doing, the wilds of Siberia.
We are in general apt to estimate the deprivation of sight at a far higher rate than its original and native absence. If those, who have been blind from their birth, be cheerful and contented, as is so commonly remarked, we attribute it at once to ignorance, and conclude that had they ever enjoyed the sense of sight, the remembrance of its charms, with the despair of recovering them, would cast the gloom of despondency on their brow, and colour their thoughts with the monotonous hues of complaint. And indeed, were it not for the condolings of their friends, they would no more think of deploring the want of it, or of speculating on its advantages, than we, who are in possession of all that nature has allotted to our kind, of seeking for what we never heard of, and the utility of which we can never conceive. But Mr. Holman presents, in his own person, a conspicuous and unquestionable fact to negative our previous conceptions. He is himself an instance of one who has shared the full benefit of this precious faculty till five-and-twenty; and yet, after the loss of it, retaining a cheerfulness, a liveliness, and activity, coupled with a degree of resignation, that leave us little to lament for him. The advantage is greatly in favour of those who have once participated of the blessing. Observe those who have been blind from their birth; they have no knowledge of forms but from feeling; and the inadequacy of this faculty for the complete per
ception of forms is perfectly obvious; some are too large to be grasped, others too small to be handled, and others too remote to be reached: of motions, they know still less; of colours, nothing. The delicate workings of the human countenance, with all its eloquent indications, are lost to them. In a state of civilized life, feelings are suppressed, or displayed, or modified conventionally; and these modifications are acquirable solely by imitation, of the means of which the blind are utterly bereft. The natural expressions of their passions become just so many contortions; no tuition in the world can regulate them, destitute as they unhappily are of the sole mirror by which those expressions can be dressed and disciplined. They are, again, morally deficient; they know not when nor where to sympathize; they know not when nor where, as others do, to exhibit the symptoms of pleasure or disgust; nor even to smile, nor blush, nor weep, in accordance with the restrictions and admissions of society. They neither eat, nor drink, nor handle, like others; they cannot walk freely or fearlessly; or show either vigour of action, or grace of attitude. And how is it possible they should-depending on imitation, through the medium of sight, and of sight alone, as these things do? With all the benefit of the most vigilant inspection and monition, they can never acquire the ease and propriety of their more favoured fellows. The most minute and painful diligence on the part of those who have the care of them, is indispensable to make their appearance even tolerable. But the sad and lamentable consequence of these imperfections is, that while they irresistibly command our pity, our aid and our protection, they can rarely excite our esteem. The mere possession and exercise of the sound qualities of the heart are not enough to secure our esteem; we require them to be exhibited in the manner and measure to which custom has bound us, and to which we are, all of us, more or less indissolubly linked. All these sources of imperfection and of uncomfortable feeling, the man who has possessed the use of his eyes till the age of manhood, and mingled with the world, has had the due opportunity of perceiving and escaping. In the midst of afterdarkness, his recollections are vivid; he knows what will be expected, and has habitually practised it; he recognises where and at what point the deficiency exists, and can provide for its supply; he has a distinct conception of the appearances of things, and can adapt his motions and phrases appropriately, and knows how to redeem the loss of one sense by the application of another. All this is remarkably and clearly exemplified in the case of Mr. Holman.
It is, again, the common opinion, that the loss of one sense is followed by superior sensibility in the rest. The fact is, a person deprived of one-sense is compelled to make a more frequent use of the