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that it did not cast its shadow before.' Early in spring 1824, an efflux of the metals to South America was taking place; and in June and July 1824, there was a decided fall in the Continental exchanges, and the exportation of gold coin and bullion began to be carried on to a great extent. Here, therefore, as Mr Tooke has justly stated, was a warning not to be mistaken, that the currency had become redundant: And it must ever be regretted, that the Directors of the Bank of England did not then set about contracting their issues. Had they done this, all the subsequent overissue of the country banks, and the absurd speculations that took place in the early part of last year, would have been effectually prevented, while the crisis that would then have taken place would have been comparatively gentle. But instead of being reduced, the issues of the Bank of England were actually increased in 1824 and during the first three months of 1825, and in consequence, the issues of the country banks were increased in a still greater proportion. But it is obvious, that every person acquainted with the state of the exchanges, or who knew that a heavy drain for bullion was operating on the Bank, which nothing but the magnitude of the treasure she had previously accumulated could have enabled her to withstand for any considerable period, must, had he been possessed even of the merest elements of the science of money, have been aware that the whole paper system had become hollow and unsound, and that its explosion could not be long averted. Nor is it true, as has been said, that these are conclusions that have been come to after the event, and when every one was in a condition to make them. It was impossible, indeed, to foretel the exact period when the revulsion was to take place, or its extent. But speculations with respect to the effect that the drain for gold would ultimately have on the banks, were freely indulged in for several months before the Directors began to contract their issues.
We have repeatedly heard merchants and bankers of the greatest experience, express their decided opinion, in March and April 1825, that we were on the eve of a tremendous revulsion. And in various tracts published several months previously, it was shown that the circulation had become over full; and that, when the Bank of England did contract her issues, as it was certain she would in the end be obliged to do, the contraction would affect the country banks in a way which would most probably be destructive of many of these establishments. Nothing, therefore, can be more incorrect, than to contend, that the late revulsion was not foreseen, or that there were no previous presages of the coming tempest. It is true, indeed, that no attention was paid to those
who endeavoured to call the public attention to these signs, or to apprize them of their real situation. It was to no purpose to tel! those infected with the fever of speculation, that a large proportion of the currency rested on no good foundation, that it had become redundant, and that there would inevitably be a recoil. Such representations were almost universally scouted, as the idle suggestions of visionary theorists; while the few who admitted that they might be true, flattered themselves with the expectation-in which, by the way, they have been almost unia versally disappointed--that the system would last long enough to enable them to realize a fortune, and that they would be able to withdraw from the field before the bursting of the bubble.
We have thus shortly endeavoured to investigate the causes of those improvident speculations, into which producers and mer. chants are always so exceedingly prone to enter; and the effects which an increased facility of obtaining money, and an augmentation of the currency, have on such speculations. We hope we have sufficiently indicated the various means by which the temptation to engage in these improvident enterprises may be most effectually diminished, and their pernicious consequences mitigated or averted: The first consists in the establishment of such a system of free intercourse with other countries, as would give greater steadiness both to the demand for, and the supply of commodities; the second, in placing of the currency on such a secure and solid foundation, as would prevent such violent oscillations in its amount and value, as have been experienced since 1793; and, the third, in the more general diffusion of sound information among all classes of the community, but especially among merchants. The details into which we have entered, show how very ill the true principles of commerce and of money are yet understood by the public. Had our merchants and bankers been generally aware of the circumstances which determine the value of money, and of the tests by which it may always be discovered when it is becoming redundant, and when, therefore, a recoil may be expected, it is quite impossible that the late crisis could have occurred. The danger would have been foreseen while it was time to avert it; and bankruptcy and ruin would not have as sailed us at the very moment we were boasting most loudly of our prosperity.
Art. IV.-A History of England, from the first Invasion of the
Romans. By JOHN LINGARD, Þ. D. Vol. VII. and VIII. 8vo. London, 1823.
IN n resuming our examination of Dr Lingard's History of
England, we shall pursue the plan we adopted in our former article. We have already expressed our opinion of his work as a literary composition, and we see no reason to add to our praise, or to soften our disapprobation. We had begun to examine his pretensions to superior diligence and fidelity as an historian; and we now resume the task, without shrinking from the consequences, or being deterred by the labour of the in. vestigation.
We selected for our former Review the Anglo-Saxon portion of his history; not in the vain expectation that we could interest our readers in the dry and uninviting discussions of Saxon controversy, but out of fairness to Dr Lingard, who had bestowed uncommon pains on that part of our national annals, having written a separate work on the subject. The result of our scrutiny was unfavourable to his reputation as a candid and faithful historian.
Finding that, even in the history of so remote an age, zeal for his order had made him forgetful of his duty as an historian, we had little doubt, that, if we selected for examination a more trying period, where the credit and interests of his church were more directly concerned, we should see displayed in a stronger light the passions and prejudices of the author: And, adhering to our former rule, of not intermeddling with the disputes between the Roman and the Anglican church, we made choice of his account of the Massacre of St Bartholomew as the next subject for our critical dissection. If this was an event calculated to excite or imbitter his religious animosities, it was for that very reason the business of a cautious historian to be on his guard against them. If it was a transaction, respecting which the English public were comparatively but slightly informed, it became more imperatively his duty, not to take advantage of their ignorance, to mislead and deceive them. We do not deny, that, from the specimen we had already had of Dr Lingard's talents for ecclesiastical controversy, we were prepared for many errors and misrepresentations in this part of his work. And certainly we have not been mistaken in our anticipations. The harvest has been infinitely more abundant than we had expected, and our opinion of Dr Lingard, as an historian, has in the same proportion declined.
In the dissertation he has introduced on the St Bartholo. mew, Dr Lingard assures his readers, that, if he has given a different explanation of that bloody transaction from the hypothesis usually adopted by historians, his opinion was not form
ed till after a diligent perusal and comparison of the most • authentic documents on the subject.
We have a better opinion, we must confess, of Dr Lingard's talents, than to give entire credit to this assertion. Of the authors he has referred to on the St Bartholomew, we are persuaded there are some, of whose works he has not seen even the title-page, and that, of others, he has been content with a slight and transient glance. We have found in his account of that transaction no marks of diligence or research, and many plain indications of carelessness and haste, of borrowed learning and inexcusable indifference to historical accuracy., . If he had read with attention, or read at all, the works to which he appeals, he could not have misconceived or misrepresented them as he has done. If he had taken the pains to examine the authorities he cites, he could not have referred his readers to passages that prove the reverse of what they are brought to establish. If he had even perused with ordinary care such authors as he appears to have consulted, he could not have hazarded the assertions he has made, or, in his desire to give dramatic effect to a particular scene in his narrative, have ventured on the colouring he has there employed.
The view Dr Lingard has given of the St Bartholomew is taken from the Abbé de Caveyrac, a controversial writer of the last century, who annexed to an apology for the Revocation of the Edict of Nantz, published in 1758, a dissertation on that massacre. Dr Lingard has selected with judgment from Caveyrac the strongest points of his case, and has condescended on several occasions even to translate his words. We suspect, indeed, that all the knowledge he possesses of the St Bartholomew is derived from that author; and that it is only through the medium of Caveyrac that he has seen and diligently compared the original documents on the subject. But, though he has occasionally referred to Caveyrac's dissertation for authorities that were probably not within his reach, he has nowhere acknowledged the extent of his obligations to the Abbé, or informed his readers of the source from which the account he has given of the massacre is derived. The work of Caveyrac had little success when it first appeared, and obtained no favourable reputation for its author. The doctrines
* Lingard, viii. 515.
he maintained were repugnánt to the spirit of the age in which he lived, and, with the intolerance he professed, his book sunk rapidly into oblivion. Resuscitated by the zeal of Dr Lingard, he really ought to have had more ample credit for his labours, from one who had embraced his theory, and adopted, without adding to, his researches.
In discussing the number of persons that perished in the St Bartholomew, we have the following passage in Caveyrac.• Perefixe a écrit qu'il périt cent mille personnes ; Sully, soixante et dix mille; De Thou, trente mille, ou même un peu moins; La Popelinière, plus de vingt mille; le Martyrologe des Calvinistes, quinze mille; Papire Masson, près de dix mille,'*--which we have thus translated by Dr Lingard, Among the Flugonot writers, Perefix reckons 100,000, Sully 70,000, Thuanus 30,000, La Popeliniere 20,000, the Reformed • Martyrologist 15,000, and Masson 10,000.'+ Our readers will observe, that the only alteration made by Dr Lingard, in his version of this passage, is the epithet of Hugonot bestowed on the authors. But, if he had read, or even looked into their works, is it conceivable he could have fallen into such a blunder? Perefixe was preceptor of Louis XIV, Bishop of Rhodez, and afterwards Archbishop of Paris. It is needless to add, he was no Hugonot, and difficult to explain how Dr Lingard could have. mistaken him for one. De Thou, indeed, has been accused by Caveyrac of a secret bias to Calvinism. There is an expression, it seems, in that great and impartial historian, which, to the piercing eye of the Abbé, jette un furieux soupçon sur sa Catholi
cité; 'I and Dr Lingard, better versed in the works of Caveyrac than in those of De Thou, (whom he has not once quoted in his History), has been probably misled by this passage. He may be assured, however, that De Thou was ostensibly at least a Catholic, and has been usually accounted such. But though Caveyrac may be made responsible for Dr Lingard's mistake about De Thou, what excuse can be offered for his classing Papire Masson among the Hugonots? How greatly would that worthy personage have been surprised to find himself in such company! Papire Masson was not only a Catholic, but for part of his life he wore the habit of a Jesuit; and though he became afterwards a lawyer, he continued so furious and blind a zealot, that, unconscious of the impression it had made on the rest of mankind, he considered the St Bartholomew a fit subject for pleasantry, and had no other fault to find with the massacre, but the extraordinary one, that blood enough
* Çaveyrac, xxxvi. + Lingard, viii. 520. I Caveyrac, liv.