Изображения страниц

coffee to France, where it is paid for by the | a man engaged in the management of trade silks that adorn our western farmers' wives who has not himself become more enlarged and daughters. The operations of trade, in his views and more expanded in his libin modern times, are vastly complicated, erality than he would otherwise have been? but the principles are exceedingly simple, If there is such a man on earth, he is that and can be easily understood by any one monster of perverted capacities and diswho is accustomed to think. torted tendencies whom men call a miser. The world owes greater debts to the humanity and generosity of its merchants than to the grandeur of its princes or the power of its Generals.

Nearly everything that we have or enjoy comes to us by trade. That we have so many more things to enjoy, to gratify our minds, to embellish our lives, to increase our possessions, is the result of trade. If we compare our condition with that of our fathers and grandfathers, or with that of our ancestors in former ages, the things that have been added to our means of comfort and gratification are more than we can enumerate. But how small a portion of them have come to us as the direct product of our own labor, without the help of trade!


It is evident that trade, as thus presented, is a great benefit to mankind. It is the chief and indispensable means of the advancement of society. In all ages, there is no instance of a nation that has made any considerable progress in improvement, without the advantages derived from trade. promotes mutual acquaintances among men, and thus enlarges and humanizes the character. It circulates knowledge among all, and makes each the possessor of the discoveries of all. It promotes a sense of mutual dependence, and thus inclines men to mutual forbearance and peace. If conducted with justice, it not only favors the observances of the golden rule -"All things whatsoever ye would that men should do, do ye even so to them" - but it is actual obedience to the second table of the law "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." Without trade, the natural selfishness of mankind works uncounteracted in narrowing the minds of men, and making them mean and sordid. But trade expands their views, liberalizes their feelings, gives them an interest in the welfare of others, cultivates a spirit of benevolence, and tends to a general elevation of character.

Find a community, large or small, where the people have little but what they produce among themselves, and you will find the natural home of bigotry and exclusiveness, minds that seem incapable of traversing a space broader than their own farms, and souls stolidly indifferent to the welfare of their fellow-men or the glory of God. But if you open their eyes to new wants which can be met only by trade, and rouse up their minds to new industries that they may have the means of trade, a few years will suffice to work a total change in the character of such a people. Where will you find

We are safe, therefore, in the conclusion, that trade is one of the grandest among the blessings of Providence. It was the manifest intention of the almighty and benign Creator that mankind should trade. În forming the earth and fitting it for the abode of man he gave great prominence to its adaptations for trade. All the varieties of climate and soil and situation which lead to such endless diversities of production are simply promotives and facilities for trade. There is no end to this natural diversity of production. Hardly a farm can be found which does not in some way encourage or compel differences of crop or treatment.

Then the very rivers and seas and oceans, which at first seemed made only to separate mankind into jealous and hostile nations, are now, by the advance of civilization and intelligence, made the channels of an ever-increasing and multiplying trade which exchanges with every people on earth the products of every clime, and the industries of every hand, and the invention of every mind.

The intentions of the Creator in favor of trade are still more strikingly evinced in the constituting of mankind for the occupancy of the world thus curiously fitted up. The diversities in the circumstances and the desires of men are infinitely greater than even the number of individuals that make up the race, because each one is continually changing in his wants or his conditions.

Moreover, it is a universal rule that these wants are always increasing with every advance in knowledge, in refinement, or in condition. There is no limit to be found but in infinity. And the only means by which this diversity of wants can be met, so as to become a source of enjoyment in place of an aching and miserable void, is through the increase of trade. The God of love and mercy meant all this in favor of trade.

It is a

We are thus brought to the conviction that trade is one of the grandest and most unmingled blessings given to man. matter of common interest and a benefit to all who do not exclude themselves from its reach. It is the duty of all, according to

their opportunity, to promote, encourage gratuituous charges that have not even the and extend the benefits of trade. All im- pretext of an equivalent if this were now proving communities advance by the in- to be proposed for the first time, it would crease of trade, as both the auxiliary and be exclaimed against by the united voice of the measure of their progress. All im- civilization, philanthropy, morality and reprovement in science or art, in mechanics ligion, and by the loud outcry of human or conveyances, in knowledge or humanity, nature itself, as a monstrous absurdity, and finds and shows its value by its effect upon a more monstrous usurpation and opprestrade. Ideas as well as handiworks are the sion, to which it would be a sin and dishonobjects of trade. All good governments or to submit for an hour. have their best records in what they have done to promote trade. The Christian missionary on a barbarous shore, or among a besotted people, knows that his labors are fruitful of good when he sees them realized in the growth of trade.

Trade is always unavoidably abridged in proportion as burdens are laid upon it, or obstruction put in its way. There is no escape from this conclusion. The cost of trade is made up of two items, management and transportation; and all cost comes out of the value of the commodities, and goes to lesson the profits of the producers; and any artificial impost is only an additional charge. Whatever ingenuity or power may do to throw off this loss, or to cast it upon one party in the first place, it will be avenged in the long-run upon all parties who would otherwise enjoy the benefits of unimpeded trade. When trade is allowed to develop itself normally, according to its own instincts and tendencies, the persons producing are enriched by the increasing wealth of the persons consuming. The seller depends for his advantage upon the ability of the buyer. The consumer is directly benefited by the increase of production. The buyer is helpless if there are no sellers. Each and all depend for their continued prosperity upon the progress of each and every other. And the inexorable laws of Heaven have so fixed things that whosoever attempts, by fraud or force, to secure to himself the whole profits of trade, will find his retribution at last in the impoverishment of his customers.

Philosophy, philanthropy, religion, all concur in pronouncing the encouragement of trade a universal duty. All men ought to promote trade by all the wise methods in their power. The more trade the better, may be received as a maxim in morals, in economics and in legislation. The only limit to trade is the limit to human advancement. Should that point be reached, this world will have served the end for which it was created, and may well give place to new spheres of grander capabilities.

Trade being in its nature thus beneficent, so congenial to the welfare of mankind, and so in harmony with the good will of God to man, it must be a good thing to remove the obstacles which impede it, and an evil thing to create obstruction in its way. A distinguished preacher of our day, Dr. Bushnell, preached a sermon on the subject of roads, maintaining the doctrine that the state of the highways determined the stage of civilization in a country. But the use of highways is to facilitate and cheapen trade. What excellent effects have been seen in many neighborhoods by the removal of turnpike gates and throwing open the bridges to free travel! The improvements in navigation, the mariner's compass, canals, steamships, have extended the blessings of trade by cheapening_transportation in all parts of the world. Invention is still laboring to contrive other methods, and to discover other forces to reduce the expense of the interchange of commodities, even among distant nations.

It does not need argument now to prove that any voluntary and intentional obstruction put in the pathway of trade by any human power or will must be a great evil and a great wrong. To load trade with burdens, to enhance the cost of transportation, to restrict the intercourse of communities and the interchange of products, by rendering it more expensive than Nature has made it, by actually taxing it with

The whole force of the protective policy goes, in the long-run, to curtail and cripple trade by the twofold process of lessening the ability of one nation to produce by diminishing the motives for invention and enterprise, and by learning the ability of other nations to buy by depriving them of a fair equivalent in trade. God has not constituted things in such a way as to make such legislation the appropriate methods of national growth. On the contrary, he has made necessity the mother of invention, and generosity the soul of enterprise. Poverty is the nurse of frugality, and labor is the source of strength. By these capital is accumulated, skill increased, co-operation promoted, credit established, energy strengthened, and thus and then production is indefinitely extended. It is a reproach to our free institutions, to our Christian civilization, to the wisdom and beneficence



From The Spectator, 27 Feb. AMERICAN FEELING TOWARDS ENGLAND. WE publish to-day a letter from our old correspondent A Yankee," which will, we believe, seriously vex every well-wisher of the United States on this side the water. In it he describes the state of American feeling on the recent negotiations for a settlement of the Alabama claims, and his description, which tallies precisely with that of the able correspondent of the Daily News, is supported more or less by every Republican journal to which we have had access. According to this view, which we regret to believe is perfectly correct, the American people is in a mood only to be compared to that of an angry woman, who, when every possible form of conciliation consistent with self-respect has been exhausted, declares to herself that "the sulks" are very enjoyable luxuries. They do not care about damages; they are indifferent to reparation; they will not be bothered with arbitrations; they do not want to fight; they do not desire amity; one thing, and one thing only, will content them, that they shall have the The Spectator, of all journals in Europe, last word, and that we shall acknowledge will scarcely be suspected of hostility to the ourselves in the wrong precisely on the United States, and we would just ask our only point where we were unmistakably in American friends to consider the position the right. The Government of Great Brit- in which they are urging their Government ain has gone, not indeed further than was to place itself. Is it worthy either of their right, but quite as far as was possible on the dignity or shrewd sense? Even granting road of conciliation; has agreed to submit their own case, is it wise, is it even possible, everything, except its right to acknowledge to import sentiment into politics in this a belligerent, to arbitration, and allows style? They were insulted, they say. even that to be advanced as a plea in en- Well, they are now the greatest power in hancement of damages; and is ready, if the whole world, so great that British judgment goes against this country, to make statesmen openly avow that rather than the clearest conceivable acknowledgment quarrel with them they will concede anyof error, by paying a fine; and the Ameri- thing short of honour, twice as much as cans say that is all of no use. They were they would concede to any other power on insulted, so they were, and they won't take earth. They were injured, they say. The the bracelet, so they won't; and they were injurers offer to submit to any penalties a never in the wrong, and Edwin shall say so, Court may award. They were treated, before they'll kiss and be friends; and if they say, in an unfriendly way. These not, they'll wait, they will, and pay him off some day. They will not be content with damages, even though submission to the

of the Creator, to suppose that such a peo- | award is, under the circumstances, an open ple, blessed with such a country, and en- acknowledgment of error; but will have the joying such culture, are unable to make British Government say, in the teeth of all headway in the struggle for national ad- the facts, that they had no right to acknowlvancement without throwing artificial ob-edge the South, that it was an unfriendly structions in the paths of other nations. act," though the North did it first, though it Let us take a more cheerful, a more mag- was done to prevent war, for war must else nanimous view, and offer to all nations the have followed on the seizure of our vessels helping-hand of equal favor, and unite all on their way to a non-belligerent port, in the fraternity of free trade. and though staunch friends like Mr. Forster pressed for the recognition in the interest of the Northern people. Well, the Government cannot, ought not, and will not do it. Admit that every threat now addressed to this country is as serious in meaning as it is irritable in tone, that fleets of Alabamas will one day attack our trade, that in the consequent war we are defeated, that all manner of woes come upon our people and none upon our adversaries, still even that prospect must be faced, sooner than the nation should say that an act clearly right and friendly was evidently wrong and hostile. We would not lie so for any amount of threats, even if we believed them, which, happily, we do not. That the people of America are extremely irritated is, doubtless, true; but that they will spoil the world's future because we prevented all Europe from declaring war on them at once, by acknowledging that they had a right to blockade Southern ports, -a right wholly dependent on the belligerency of those ports, - we entirely refuse to believe. They will as soon declare war on us because an old gentleman of Maryland, who has just seen brothers cutting each other's throats, chooses to keep on saying that cousinhood is an indissoluble bond of amity.


unfriends" are asking, through every conceivable channel, even through a Queen's Speech, for the honour of their alliance. Is

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

it possible to conceive fuller gratification to herself wrong in this matter, and insert their national pride than that which events clauses in the treaty precluding the future have given them, that amazing recognition recognition of such vessels. There, at last, of their place in the world involved in the we seem to touch ground, to get out of the French retreat from Mexico and the Brit- region of sentiment and into that of sense. ish Convention on the Alabama claims? No government is unwilling to refer a Can they not see that they are throwing strictly legal point to arbitration, or if deaway a magnificent position, something like cided to have been in the wrong through a a primacy among the great nations of the misinterpretation of the law, to say so, and world, for no better end than to make Great the principle contended for in America is Britain declare that the right thing which contended for also here by all men with she did years ago was a wrong thing? Sup- foresight. The legality of our conduct in pose after years of war, after both coun- giving the Alabama the position of a mantries had been ruined by useless expendi- of-war is a fair question of international ture, after emigration, that immense pro- law, and if that is the American grievance, cess which daily reinvigorates the New and General Grant will send over a MinisWorld and daily relieves the old, had ter with some reticence and sense of digceased; after the two free powers had neu- nity, the broken threads of the negotiation tralized their beneficial influence with man- may yet be reunited, and the dispute kind, they compelled us to submit, and say brought finally to an end. Only if that is that we were wrong, what would they have the American object, we cannot see why gained? An enforced signature to a false- the Senate should reject a convention which hood, which the signers, as they signed, allows this and every other question bewould know to be false. Is that a prospect tween the two Governments, not to say for which to keep open a sore between Eng- every question the ingenuity of a lawyer land and America? for which to alienate could invent, to be brought up for arbitrathe friendship maintained throughout the tion. war unbroken by the electors now ruling Great Britain? for which to despise an alliance that once cemented would give to the English-speaking peoples irresistible influence throughout the world? Is it worth while, for such an advantage, even to leave Great Britain in her present position, that of a power which has exhausted conciliation, has gone even beyond the limit dictated by self-respect in her efforts to repair a wrong, and now waits patiently, satisfied that, judged by her own highest conscience in France. He insisted that the negotiaand the opinion of statesmen throughout tion had only succeeded by reason of the the world, she can do no more, that the provision in the Imperial Constitution which responsibility of all the ill that may happen empowered the Executive to conclude comdoes not rest with her? We cannot be-mercial treaties without the sanction of the lieve that a sensible though sensitive people Legislature. In 1856 the Corps Législatif will, when the irritation caused by their had made an unavailing demand for the aboEnvoy's ill-advised speechifying has passed lition of this power, and Mr. Horsman conaway, judge so. If they do, there is noth- tended that for England, knowing this, to ing for it but to wait patiently till some be a party to a treaty which, as he mainevent gives us at last the opportunity of tained, the Corps Législatif would certainly proving that insult, unfriendliness, and hos- have rejected had it been consulted, was to tility were alike either imaginary, or the make herself the accomplice of Napoleon accidental results of the passed-away pre- III. in silencing even that attenuated repredominance of a caste. sentation which was still left to the French people. The argument was worth nothing, since one nation can only deal with another through the medium of its recognized sovereign, and if France is content to be governed after this absolute fashion there is no reason why England should be more squeamish for her than she chooses to be for herself. But the facts on which Mr. Horsman founded his reasoning have now for the first

WHEN the French treaty was under discussion in the House of Commons, Mr. Horsman laid great stress upon the slight which it put upon parliamentary government


For the present, in all the accounts which reach us of American opinion we see but one pleasant spot. It is suggested in several journals that the greatest offence of England was in conceding the privileges of a war ship to the Alabama, though she had never been within the ports of the belligerent who owned her. They demand therefore, that Great Britain shall acknowledge



time been given to the world on the author- | never been doubtful, wished Lord Palmersity of an unimpeachable witness. ton to remain in office, and might, there In an appendix to Professor Bonamy fore, be expected to look approvingly on Price's Lectures on Currency appears a let- any scheme which increased his chance of ter from M. Michel Chevalier, containing a doing so. In October M. Chevalier visited complete account of the manner in which England again, had interviews with Mr. the treaty of commerce was arranged. It Cobden and Mr. Bright, and finally, on the seems that, on the first publication of Pro- evening of the 15th, with Mr. Gladstone. fessor Price's inaugural lecture at Oxford, Mr. Cobden had so well prepared the way M. Chevalier considered that in one passage that all the details of the proposed treaty of it the credit of introducing free trade into were settled in three quarters of an hour. France had been too exclusively attributed M. Chevalier then crossed over from Carlto the Emperor. Professor Price at once ton-gardens to the Athenæum Club and aroffered to publish any statement which his ranged with Mr. Cobden to meet him in correspondent might feel disposed to make Paris on the 22nd. It was agreed that they by way of correction. The offer was ac- should travel by different routes, "in order cepted, and a long letter dated the 8th of not to attract the notice of the ProhibitionJanuary, 1869, is the result. Considered ists." On reaching Paris, M. Chevalier as a contribution to contemporary history laid the matter before M. Rouher, by whom M. Chevalier's narrative is of unusual inter- it was communicated to the Emperor. M. The Imperial Government, he says, Chevalier and Mr. Cobden were at once rehad been convinced by the Exhibition of ceived in strict privacy at St. Cloud. The 1855, that French industry was perfectly Emperor told them that he had determined competent to hold its own against all comers upon concluding the treaty, but begged without the aid of prohibitory duties; but them to keep the secret for some weeks an attempt to act upon this conviction in the longer. In the middle of November the following year was so ill received by the negotiations were formally begun — MM. Corps Législatif that the idea was altogeth- Rouher and Baroche representing France, er abandoned. This failure drew M. Cheva- and Lord Cowley and Mr. Cobden, Englier's thoughts to the exceptional power land. M. Fould, the Minister of State, possessed by the Emperor under the Con- was favourable to the treaty, and was, stitution, but as the moment was not favour- therefore, let into the secret. M. Magne, able to its employment, he was obliged to the Minister of Finance, and M. Gréterin, wait for better times. In the summer of the Director-General of the Customs, were 1859, however, he came to London and Protectionists, and consequently no hint there met Mr. Cobden, to whom he pointed was given them of what was going on. Inout the provision in the French Constitution, deed so great were the precautions taken and the use that might be made of it in the that not a single subordinate was employed conclusion of a commercial treaty between throughout the negotiations. M. Rouher's their respective countries. Mr. Cobden, notes were written out fair by his wife, and who was at first opposed to the project, Mdme. Michel Chevalier performed the soon came round to it, and undertook to same service for Mr. Cobden. It was not communicate it to the English Government. till the treaty was all but ready for signaSeveral reasons combined to point out that ture that the Emperor mentioned the subautumn as the time for action. Lord Pal-ject to the Council of Ministers. The Promerston wanted to strengthen his majority tectionist leaders made all the use they in the House Commons, and, with that could of the brief interval that remained, view, was anxious to secure the wavering but their efforts, as we know, were unavailvotes of the Manchester school; while the ing. M. Michel Chevalier may well claim Emperor of the French, whose personal to be the "promoter" of free trade in sympathy with the cause of free trade had France.


THERE is hardly any thing in which mankind | variety of ornament when once the system of is so thoughtless, so servile, and, as regards moulding was invented. This, of course, suits ideas, so poverty-stricken, as in ornamentation. men's indolence, as similar ornaments, if ornaThe imitative nature of the monkey comes out ments they can be called, may be turned out by strongly in man upon such occasions. But per- the thousand with but little trouble, and at a haps the death-blow was given to beauty and small expense. Author of Friends in Council.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »