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of profound peace, and commerce unfettered, and also that double this quantity is hardly one per cent. upon the amount required for the annual consumption of the nation,—this item becomes too diminutive for a serious refutation; and yet it was the moving cause which produced the French excluding law, inspiring the court with terror. M. Decazes with a sense of his
grande et terrible responsibilité,” and the parliament with unhesitating acquiescence in his scheme. Here information fails us in regard to France, but we have before us documents in relation to England, from which deductions may be made, equally applicable to France.
The Bath society papers, vol. 12, page 253, contain an estimate of the quantity of wheat consumed annually in England which is stated in 1788 to have amounted to 40 millions of bushels, estimating the population at eight millions of persons. In 1810, the population increased to 10 1-2 millions of people, requiring 63 millions of bushels for their supply; now if we add to this Ireland and Scotland, having a population of six millions, it will require, in round numbers, 100 millions of bushels of wheat to supply the nation for a year. We have made the following table of the imports and exports of England in wheat and flour, from the year 1780 to the year 1812 inclusive.
81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96
Quarters of Quarters of
82,971 148,710 140,014 112,656 30,892 222,527 70,626 469,056 300,278 22,417
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Quarters of Quarters of Wheat & Flour Wheat & Flour
exported imported 54,525 461,767 59,782
396,721 39,362 463,185 22.013 1,264,520 28,406 1,424,726 149 304 647,664 76,580 373.725 63,073 641,146 77,955 920,834 29,566 310,342 24,365 400,759 77,567 81,426 31 278 448,827 75,785 1,530,691 97,765 292.038 46,325 246,376
We must leave the reader to repeat the inferences, deduci
ble from the facts annexed to each year, confining ourselves to particular cases. In the years 1800 and 1801, which were years of unusual scarcity in England, the average price of wheat was above 14 shillings per Winchester bushel, or three dollars 11 cents of our money; besides which, bounties were offered upon its importation, and yet such did not exceed 10 per cent of their annual wants. These however were years in which England was engaged in war. The treaty of Amiens was signed the 27th March, 1802, and war recommenced 18th May, 1803; for those years the average price of wheat was about eight shillings, or nearly one dollar 50 cents of our money the Winchester bushel, and yet the imports beyond the exports did not amount to more than 6 1-2 per cent of their annual consumption. Now if we apply this statement to France, whose means of foreign supply cannot be greater than that of England, and whose consumption is supposed to amount to 480 millions of bushels, of all kinds of grain, it will readily be perceived how insignificant must be the influence of foreign supplies upon their prices and consumption. Our estimates are made in round numbers, and inaccuracies may be detected, but we are persuaded they will be found to be so trifling as not to affect the principle.
We have now finished the narrative which we intended to relate, and have introduced a few cursory observations which occurred to us at the moment, in order more immediately to fix the attention of the reader. A wide field now opens itself before us. How far are corn laws efficacious to produce the avowed object of their projectors ? In what respects do they impugn or assist that law of nature, constantly exerted, the design of which is to equalize and balance the affairs and things of creation? What are their influence upon the internal affairs of a nation, and their operation and effect upon its external relations ? Are they emanations from an enlightened and improved state of society, or an inheritance from an age of superstitious ignorance and unfounded apprehension, which is adhered to in the spirit of fanaticism, rather than of sound policy? What measures, if any, ought to be pursued by the nations aggrieved, to counteract their effects upon them? What is the factitious state of things which they are calculated to produce? These are among the number of inquiries which now force themselves upon our attention.
So much has been published upon corn laws, by eminent writers upon political economy, by casual pamphleteers, and in the periodical journals of the day, that it might be considered presumptuous in us to attempt to add to the existing stock of learning upon this subject. To undertake it at this time would certainly be premature, as a full view of the corn laws of England,
and the facts connected with them, ought first to be exhibited ; but we hope that the reflections, which, at a proper period, we shall offer, and which grow out of the facts stated, if they shall not possess the character of novelty, will at least present the subject in such a light as to awaken to it the interest and attention of the community.
We cannot conclude this article, without offering the homage of our respect to M. Chaillou, for his valuable history of the corn laws of France, and for which he was justly distinguished by a gold medal. Such a work was much required, and affords that information without which it is impossible to discuss this subject fairly. There are many facts, however, still wanting, in order to present the subject fully to our view, and which we hope will shortly be supplied by the same hand which has proved itself so well qualified for the task. Upon this subject it is data that we need, and with which alone we can put down the dogmas of idle speculators; and let it be recollected, that with these data we cannot be too abundantly furnished. We think the friends of humanity are interested in this question, and shall rate the benevolence of him whose labours are employed to remove the prejudices, dissipate the gross ignorance, and refute the false reasoning, so conspicuous in this matter, as more rational, and quite as humane, as we do that of a Howard or a Fry; and we would as soon decree triumphs, erect monuments, and establish festivals, in honour of him who shall deliver his country from the shackles of this error, as we would in honour of a Luther or a Wilberforce.
We certainly cannot accord with M. Chaillou, in his notions of the propriety of corn laws, under any modification nor te blind to those marks of a courtier often apparent in his work, and which have caused us sometimes to doubt his independence; but we should do great violence to onr own feelings, and injustice to the author, did we not say, that the work before us exhibits strong evidence of an enlightened mind, diligent research, liberal sentiment, candid inquiry, and just thinking. We recommend it strongly to the perusal of our readers, and should be happy to see an American edition of it, rendered into our language.
Art. II.-A Memoir on the Commerce and Navigation of the
Black Sea, a d the Trade anl Maritime Geography of Turkey and Egypt; illustrated with Charts: by HENRY Å. $. DEARBORN. 2 vols. Svo. with a vol. of Maps, pp. 790. Boston. Wells & Lilly, 1820.
The author of these volumes, as we learn from the preface, was first impressed with the importance (to the United States) of the trade furnished by the shores of the Euxine, and the adjacent and other territories of Turkey, by a conversation with Commodore Bainbridge; who, in the year 1800, had, it seems, made a reluctant voyage to Constantinople, at the instance of the Dey of Algiers. It was not, however, till 1816 that Mr. Collector Dearborn found leisure to give to this subject a full examination; nor till 1819, that the result of his researches was offered to the public, in the two volumes, now under examination.
In reviewing a literary work, it is always useful to ascertain the motives, under which it has been begun and conducted; because these will, in general, furnish an abundant source of illustration to the text. Fortunately, in the present case, the frankness of the writer spares us both the labour of research and the uncertainty of conjecture; for he explicitly avows, that “not ' finding among the many volumes which had been written, ' respecting Turkey, Egypt, and the shores of the Black Sea, any connected, historical, geographical and statistical account of these regions,' he had been induced to supply the deficiency. And again; that not finding in the government, a sufficient attention to the subject, and that they had even passed over
the Euxine, as a blank in the map of the world,' he had thought it his duty to enlighten their darkness, and quicken them into a competition with the powers of Europe,-who had all, little and great, found means to unlock this mare clausum; and were now actually employed in dividing among them that golden fleece, which Jason and his followers left behind them. He accordingly concludes his introduction, by sugg-sting an immediate diplomatic mission to the Ottoman Porte!
To this exposition of his views, in writing the book, Mr. Dearborn has, with very commendable modesty, annexed a view of the means by which he was enabled to execute it. The names of five or six American contributors are given, and with them a catalogue of seventy-six European authors, ancient and modern-from whose labours, we are told, the present work is principally compiled. With all possible deference however, for the decisions of the author, we may be permitted to remark, that this wholesale way of acknowledging his obligations, is not, for
many reasons, the best; and that the old fashioned retail method of inverted commas, to apprise the reader that he has got on foreign ground, and a note at the bottom giving the name of the owner, would have much better promoted both convenience and justice, convenience, because it would not then have been necessary in testing the accuracy of a quotation, to wade through a whole book in getting at a single page, or perhaps a single paragraph ; and justice, because as it now stands, we have column upon column of sermonising, good, bad, and indifferent, without knowing the name of a single preacher! What blunders this omission may bring with it, can only be imagined. What, for instance, if we should mistake the turgid, Asiatic stile of Gibbon, or the literary smattering of Barthelemy, for the pure, Attic and profound learning of the Collector himself, or vice versa? When, therefore, public curiosity shall call for a second edition of the work, we vould humbly recommend to the modest author, that neither his own, nor any other candle, should longer remain under a bushel.
Notwithstanding this blemish, and the omission in the catalogue, of several publications of high authority, (which we supposed sufficiently common-place to have reached the Emporium,*) we scruple not to acknowledge, that we opened the book with a higher degree of expectation than is usual to us; and even had no doubt, but that we should find it a compendium of much that was worth knowing, in relation to the Euxine, &c. by mariners, merchants, and statesmen. Whether, in these anticipations, we have or have not been disappointed, will probably be sufficiently seen, by the following brief and rapid examination of its contents.
The first division of the work, under the title of History of the Commerce of the Black Sea, occupies 132 pages,--and without much additional labour or ingenuity might, with similar matérials, have been made to occupy as many more. Beginning with the name [Euxinos] which the Greeks, either in compliment or in derision,t imposed on this great sheet of water, the author,
* Such are Peysonnel's Traité sur la Commerce de la Mer Noir-Mentelle et Malte Brun's Géographie Mathématique, physique, &c.—Beauchamp's Relation historique et géographique d'un Voyage de Constantinople à Trebizonde par mer l'an 5 de la République: Voyage de la Propontide et de la Mer Noire, par Chevalier: Mémoirs sur l'Egypte, (by the French Institute,) and (in every thing that belongs to the ancient monuments of Greece) Chandler's Marmora Arundaliana :--Inscriptiones Attica (Schædis Maffai,)--Antiquités d'Athènes, par Stewart & Revett :-Ruins of Athens, by R. Sayer:-Les Ruines des plus beaux Monumens de la Grèce, par M. Seroi:- Voyage pittoresque de la Grèce, par M. Choiseul:~Gouffier:--Monumens Antiques, par Mellin:Recueils de Cayleu et de M. Guattani, &c.
+ “ La Mer Noire, ou, en turc, Kara Denghisi, a été appelée anciennement Eurin ou Eurinos, par ironie, car Luxinos veut dire hospitalier, et les bords de cette mer étaient habités par les peuples les plus feroces et les plus inhospitaliers du monde.” Géographie Physique et Mat. Tom. 10 p. 12.