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Western Greece, Argolida, Arcadia, Laconia, practice augmented, so that the contrabandist, and Lower and Upper Messenia, Elida, Achaia, Eubæa, not the treasury, profits by the unwise and impracthe North and South Cyclades, and the Sporades. ticable policy; and so stringent are some of the
The government was re-organised by the fourth articles of the recent customs’-law that the authoNational Congress, which met at Argos in the rities in the out-ports are ashamed to attempt carsummer of 1829, Capo d'Istrias still remaining at rying them into effect. its head. The Panhellenium, a council of twenty- The export-duties are severely oppressive on seven members, was replaced by another body the growers of currants and other fruits. The new consisting also of twenty-seven members, called customs’-law is based upon the principle that the Gerousia, senate or congress. This body gave “ Fraud is the basis of all trade," and that this its opinion on matters of legislation, but had not fraud can only be prevented by a formidable systhe power of a negative upon the decisions of the tem of penalties and punishments. regency. Besides the senate, there was a ministry The taxation of Greece is certainly grievous in consisting of four departments, each having a amount, oppressively exacted from the people, and secretary; viz., the home department, foreign the whole system is ignorantly arranged and worse affairs, including commerce, the judiciary, public managed. For so small a population, the whole instruction, and ecclesiastical affairs, war, and being under a million of inhabitants, the governmarine and finances. Three supreme tribunals ment is upon too great and too expensive a scale, were also instituted.
and the outlay upon palaces and public edifices not In February, 1830, the plenipotentiaries of only profuse, but unjust; while, at the same time, Great Britain, France, and Russia, named Prince there is ample cause to suspect that neither ecoLeopold of Saxe Coburg as the hereditary Sove- nomy nor honesty have been strictly observed in reign of Greece, with the title of “Sovereign any branch of the public expenditure. The Greek Prince.” He accepted the appointment, but after- loan, and the excess of payments over income, has wards resigned it.
increased the debt to nearly two and a half millions Prince Otho of Bavaria was, in virtue of the sterling guaranteed by England, France, and authority transmitted by the Greek nation to the Russia, £600,000 to Bavaria, besides a heavy convention held at London, and by the treaty con- internal debt; and the expenditure for the three cluded there in 1832, appointed king, and as- years ending 1852 exceeds the revenue by onecended the throne in February, 1833, with a sixth. regency of four persons until he attained twenty If Candia had been annexed to Greece on the years of age, which was on the 1st of June, 1835. revolution, and if a strong, intelligent, and strictly
The government was in 1833 divided into ten just administration had been established, the natimonarchies; viz., the Morea into five, Eastern and ral capabilities of Greece and Candia, and the Western Greece into three, and the islands into energy of the people, would have, during the last two monarchies. These were subdivided into ten years, rendered both countries rich and indeeparchies, and the whole into 468 municipalities pendent. Agriculture, commerce, and reyenue, or communes (Dimoi). Since the retirement of would have naturally flourished, the public credit Capo d'Istrias, the affairs of Greece have been would have been maintained, and neither England, involved in financial difficulties, heavy taxations, France, nor Russia, would have had to pay the and commercial restrictions.
interest of the Greek loan. The provisional government of Greece adopted The military force of Greece for 1852 consists liberal and sound principles of commerce and na- of 8,603 men, including gensd'armerie, frontier vigation; and if that under King Otho had con- gvards, and a small cavalry and artillery force. tinned to act under those principles, we might ex- The navy consists of two corvettes, of twentypect that the shipping and trade of this country six guns, two small steamboats, three brigs, seven —so conveniently situated for commerce, although schooners, five cutters, one royal yacht, two or its productions are not very abundant—would, be three packet-boats, and twelve gun-boats. The fore now, have enriched the population as well as whole power of this force is insignificant; but the the treasury.
Greeks are admirable sailors. Under the government of King Otho, which is The whole exports for 1849 amounted to in practice nearly a despotism, not only have 13,000,000 drachmas, or about £500,000 sterling; many vexatious regulations and restrictions been and the imports to 20,000,000 drachmas, or about introduced, but the state-officers and other em- £750,000 sterling. Yet with this miserable comployés interfere in a manner which in no country merce, and a country the greater part of which is but in Spain and her colonies, and to some extent rendered unfit for profitable agriculture by rocks Portugal and Naples, has offered so unworthy an and mountains, there is a Government, an execuexample to the world. Among other vexatious tive and administrative establishment, consisting practices are those of absolutely rating the prices of ministers of the interior, foreign affairs, finance, at which currants and other articles of export are and justice, war, religion and public instruction, all to be purchased, and of affixing capricious values with extensive bureaucratic appointments. The to augment the duties on commodities. Greece, legislature consists of a senate and house of repreunder these circumstances, certainly does not sentatives; and although the former constitution of afford the prospect of attaining financial, political, France was in a great degree imitated, there is or commercial prosperity.
scarcely a semblance of public liberty in Greece. The export and import duties have been in The legal tribunals are the Areopagus, or Court
of Cassation, the royal Court of Appeal at Athens, their own country they inherit a great share of . and the royal Court of Appeal at Neuplia : besides the mendacity of their ancestors, yet
as merchants which there are minor court3.
in foreign countries they are generally faithful in The police, which is the worst in Europe, is fulfilling their engagements, and they soon acunder a director-general. There is also a post-commodate themselves to the customs and morals master-general, but the communication by letters of the people among whom they reside. is slow and uncertain.
The Court of Athens is the focus of intrigues ; Althongh the Greeks have preserved their and Russia and Greece having the sar e religion ancient language in a much greater degree than for their establishments, an extensive and intimate the Italians, it is only in Eastern Greece that the connexion subsists between the priests of Greece Hellenic race predominates; and they are inferior and those of the Russian empire, which combinaboth in chivalry, bravery, and virtue to the inha- tion, by its influence over a superstitious people, and bitants of Northern Greece, who are chiefly the ambition of an unscrupulous hierarchy, appears Balgarians, Wallachians, and Albanians. Out of to us to be menacing the statu quo of Turkey in Greece, however, the Greeks distinguish themselves Europe. as mariners and as merchants; and although in
THE MYSTERIES OF THE WINE TRADE. An impression has long existed that a very fearing a discovery, thought it prudent to inform extensive manufacture of wines is going on in their royal master that the stock of this favourite various parts of the world for the special benefit beverage was exhausted. of British consumers. Vague rumours about elder- Another suggestive little anecdote, equally well berry-juice, logwood, cider, Cape, and“ brandy- authenticated, was furnished by the late Mr. Porkowe,” about mixing, blending, doctoring, and ter, secretary of the Board of Trade. We give it other mysterious processes and ingredients, have in that gentleman's own words, as reported in his been afloat; and curious bits of knowledge which evidence delivered before the Committee on Wine have occasionally come to light have seemed to Duties. “An acquaintance of mine,” he said, lend these rumours some confirmation. Thus Mr. “who invented, some years ago, a substitute for Cyrus Redding recalls to mind the amusing inci- corks, which were made with India-rubber stuffed dent which occurred in Carlton House, an anecdote with wool, was asked if he could make some to now pretty well known, but which, it seems, Mr. resemble champagne corks. He undertook to do Redding first had from Colonel McMahon. How so, and was desired to make a small quantity by the Prince Regent had in a corner of his cellar a way of trial. Two days after he had sent them small quantity of remarkably fine wine of a peculiar in, he had a note from the parties, requesting to quality and Havour; how this wine remaining for see him; he accordingly went, and they produced some time untouched, “the household" thought a bottle of this quasi champagne wine, with the their master had forgotten it, and to make up for comment that it was in excellent order; he found this inexcusable lapse of memory, took upon them- it very palatable; but he could not make out how selves to drink it nearly out; how the Prince one the corks, which he had supplied to them only day, expecting some illustrious connoisseurs to two days before, could possibly have been used dinner, ordered this particular wine to be served, for the corking of champagne wine; and there can and thus threw “the household" into a state of be no doubt it must have been all made in this consternation; and how one of them hastened country.” thereupon to take counsel with a confidential wine- Stories of this kind-and there have been many merchant in the city, who quickly allayed his such—floating about in society, have served to terrors. “Send me," said this ingenious individual, strengthen the prevalent impression, that the wine * a bottle of what remains, and I will send you in consumed in England is largely adulterated. The return as much wine of that description as you result has been, as many respectable wine-merwant; only you must take care that what I send chants complain, not a little injurious to their trade. is drunk immediately." This advice was followed, “ It is spoken of," said Mr. Porter, “as a trade and the success was complete. The Prince Regent very much altered from the respectable character and his distinguished guests (so the story goes) it used to bear; that persons of inferior moral were delighted with this rare old wine, whose pecu- temperament have entered into it, that tricks are liar merits had been so long overlooked. Three or played that would not have been countenanced in four times afterwards the Prince, whose taste in former times, that the trade is getting a very bad wine was exquisite, ordered some from the same name and repute, and that by such means, and, batch; and on every occasion the confidential dealer as he believed, by the restriction of the conhad recourse to his private vineyard in his cellar, sumption arising from the high rate of duties, and “the mixture as before" was forthcoming. it is a confined and restricted, and by no means This process was continued until “the household," a prosperous trade.” On the other hand, some
wine-dealers of good reputation have strenuously were examined, of whom thirty were wine-growdenied the prevalence of objectionable practices ers, shippers, importers, or agents of much expein their trade to any important extent. They rience in the business; two were British wine admit that wines are frequently“ blended," manufacturers, two were licensed victuallers, and and pretty constantly “fortified" with alcohol; the remainder were gentlemen who had had pecuhut these, they hold, are legitimate, proper, and liar opportunities, either official or private, of useful processes. As to the various methods of making themselves acquainted with the subject manufacturing and cooking wines, which are al- under investigation. The witnesses seemed all to · leged to be practised, these witnesses deny their have delivered their minds pretty freely, both on existence, or affirm that they are confined to a matters of opinion and on matters of fact. A very small and disreputable section of the trade.
good deal of information was obtained that proAt length, however, the public are enabled bably would not have been elicited by any other to arrive at some satisfactory conclusion upon means. A careful review of all this evidence leads this interesting question. Among the various to the rather startling conclusion that very little of engines that have at different periods been resorted the wine consumed in this country is in a natural to for eliciting the truth on any subject, there is or wholesome condition. Nearly the whole of it none that will compare for efficiency with a Par-is adulterated, and usually with some noxious inliamentary committee. A court of the Inquisition gredient, the most common and the most deleteriwas well enough in its way ; but it was not infal- ous being brandy. Before proceeding to adduce libly successful. The rack, the thumbscrew, the some of the remarkable evidence bearing upon iron boot, with an auto da fé “looming in the this point, it will be requisite to explain, in a few distance," were powerful pieces of machinery; but words, the injurious effect of the present importit is on record that they sometimes failed to loosen duties, and especially the manner in which they a stubborn tongue, and sometimes extracted from operate to exclude light and pure wines from the an agonised or terrified witness more evidence English market. than the facts would bear out. A jury-trial, It is a well-known historical fact that, two cenmanaged by practised counsel, is not amiss; but turies ago, much more wine was drunk in this astute witnesses are occasionally found, capable of country than at present, in proportion to the popubaffling the most ingenious cross-examination. A lation, and, at the same time, a much smaller committee of Parliament succeeds in getting at the quantity of spirits was consumed. Wine and beer truth simply by not resorting to any means of in- were then the ordinary beverages of all classes of timidation or compulsion. The witness, generally the people. The importation of wine into this speaking, is not required to reply to any question country, in the year 1669, for a population of which he would rather not answer. He may tell about 5,000,000, was 90,000 pipes of all descripas many falsehoods as he chooses to invent, with tions, including 40,000 pipes of French wine. little fear of being legally called to account for This would be at the rate of two gallons, or twelve perjury. The consequence is, that the witnesses bottles (reckoning six bottles to the gallon) per usually answer every question that is put to them, head of the population. The duty was then only and never wilfully make a mis-statement. The fourpence per gallon. In the year 1851, the total latter offence would, it is true, meet with instant importation of wine, for a population of 27,000,000, punishment, of a kind which few men would be was but 56,000 pipes, or not quite two-thirds of willing to endure. The false witness would neither the importation of 1669; and of this quantity only be tortured nor imprisoned; he would merely be 4,000 pipes were French wine. The annual consent to Coventry. A quiet smile of contempt sumption of wine is, therefore, at present only would circulate through the committee as soon as about three-tenths of a gallon, or one bottle and a the attempted deception was perceived; the cour- half per head of the whole population-just oneteous chairman would suddenly stiffen into rigid eighth of what it was in 1669. The duty is at sternness, the examination would be brought to an present 58. 9d. per gallon. Let not the sincere abrupt close, and the witness would slink hurriedly advocates of total abstinence imagine that this surfrom the committee-room, with the consciousness prising decrease in the consumption of wine has that he was a disgraced man for life. But, as has resulted from, or contributed to, the growth of been said, this moral penalty is one that is very temperate habits in this country. The exact conrarely, if ever, incurred. There are, of course, trary is unfortunately the fact. Two hundred in the volumes of evidence on various subjects years ago, as has been already stated, though light which every session brings forth, plenty of rash wines and beer were consumed in much larger assertions, of biassed opinions, of fallacies and de- quantities than at present, distilled spirits were lusions; but probably no statement of fact will be comparatively little known. They were drunk in found which the person who made it did not at coffee-houses and in the lobbies of theatres, under the time believe to be correct; and facts being the name of " strong waters;" in fact, much as what are chiefly required in such cases, it is this “liqueurs are now taken on the Continent. circumstance which gives to the labours of Par- About the commencement of last century, the liamentary committees almost all their value. duties on all wines were raised for revenue pur
The “Select Committee on Import Duties on poses; and, at the same time, from a desire to Wines," which sat last session, collected a large favour our Portuguese allies at the expense of our mass of evidence, much of it of a highly interest- French opponents, the duty on the light French ing and valuable character. Forty-one witnesses wines was made more than double that on the fiery
wines of Portugal - the latter paying 28. and the time, a bad pre-eminence for the quantity of disformer 4s. 10d. per gallon. These duties were tilled liquors consumed by its population. Yet, increased from time to time, until, in the year in former days, previous to the union with England, 1782, French wines paid a duty of 9s. 5d. per this was not the case. When French wines were gallon, and Portuguese of 4s. 10d. The conse- admitted at a low duty, they were abundantly imquence was, that in the last-mentioned year the ported, and were largely consumed by the very consumption of all wines had fallen to about 18,000 parties who, when prevented from indulging their pipes, being just a fifth part of what it was in taste for this favourite cordial, betook themselves 1669. But the consumption of spirits had, in the to spirits as the only substitute that was to be had. meantime, frightfully increased. The common There was a time when it was common to see, in people, debarred by the high price from the use the mansion of a country laird, the cask of claret of the light, exhilarating, but not intoxicating on tap and free to all comers, like the ale-barrel in beverage to which they were previously accus- an old-fashioned English farmhouse. Mr. Redding tomed, were driven to supply its place by various says that he “was told by the late poet, Thomas preparations of ardent spirits
, all about equally Campbell (his father was born in 1710, and, conpernicious to health as well as to morals. It was sequently, the statement goes back a great way), given in evidence before a Committee of the House that his grandfather told him they fenced in garof Commons, in 1743,” said Mr. Porter, “ that the den, field and paddock, with claret-staves." Those quantity of spirituous liquors made for consump- who deprived the Scottish people of what was tion in England and Wales was, in 1733, once their national beverage are responsible for 10,500,000 gallons; in 1734, 13,500,000 gallons; the serious deterioration of the national morals in 1740, 15,250,000 gallons; in 1741, 17,000,000 in point of temperance which afterwards took gallons ; and in 1742, 19,000,000 gallons. These place."* quantities were consumed by a population not ex- Another consequence of the imposition of these ceeding 6,000,000, giving three and one-sixth high duties is that the consumption of wine in the galions for each individual in 1742. There were United Kingdom has been directed almost entirely then more than 20,000 places within the bills of to the very strong and spirituous descriptions, mortality in which gin was sold by the glass. such as highly-brandied ports, sherries, Madeira, Abont that period there were very stringent laws and Marsala. The reason is obvious enough. passed for the prohibition of the sale of spirits, When wine is made costly, people must buy that which were evaded by a variety of means; in fact, kind which will “ go farthest.” A single bottle it was found quite impossible to enforce the Gin of strong port or sherry will serve for four or Act, as it was called. Within less than two years five persons, who would perhaps consume half a from that measure passing, namely, in March, dozen bottles of ordinary French wine. The 1738, there was a proclamation issued to inforce latter quantity, under the present duty, would cost the Gin Act. Within less than those two years, twenty or thirty shillings, while the bottle of 12,000 people had been convicted under the Act spirituous wine would be obtained for four or five. within the bills of mortality ; of these, 5000 had Of course, most persons prefer the stronger wine, been sentenced to pay each a penalty of £100, and not as a matter of taste, but as a matter of eco3000 others had paid £10 each to excuse their nomy. If the light French wines could be being sent to Bridewell House of Correction. But obtained in this country, as at Hamburgh and these proceedings entirely failed, and, subsequent other German seaports, for eighteenpence or a to and including that period, the consumption of shilling a bottle, they would certainly be preferred spirits was as I have stated to you. It was con. to the fiery compounds which are now consumed siderably greater in 1741 and 1742 than it had under the names of port and sherry. been in 1738, when that proclamation was issued." We
e are thus brought to the causes which lead Such were the consequences which followed the to such extensive adulteration of wines for the imposition of a duty upon wine so high as to with English market. So long as wine is dear, it must draw it from the consumption of the mass of the be had strong. Consequently, wherever in any people. At the present day, owing to the improved part of the world a district is discovered producing habits which prevail, and more especially to the introduction of tea and coffee into common use, * A remarkable example of the effect produced by the op. the consumption of spirits is less than it was in the posite system is presented in the case of Liberia. The
founders and rulers of that colony have been especially anxious middle of the last century. But it is still disgrace- to foster habits of sobriety among the settlers. With this fully large, amounting to nearly one gallon per object, a high duty has been imposed upon distilled spirits
, annum for every man, woman and child in the while French wines are admitted free. The result has fully United Kingdom. This is five times the quantity who have recorded their impressions of the colony, take par.
answered the expectations of the law-makers. Several writers of wine that is consumed; and each gallon of ticular notice of the temperate habits which prevail among spirits, it must be recollected, contains at least all classes of the cominunity. A respectable Liberian colonist,
Mr. Roberts (brother of the president) stated at a public seven times the quantity of alcohol which is con- meeting at New York, a few weeks ago, that he knew of but tained in a gallon of the light wines of France. two drunkards in the settlement. Of course, higher inAuThe effect produced by the high duties which ences than any mero fiscal regulations have been at work to place these wines out of the reach of the common which gives them cheap wines and makes spirits
costly, the people, in extending the consumption of spirits, Liberians had adopted such a tariff as exists in Great Britain, has been especially marked in the case of Scotland it may be doubted whether churches, schools and " temperance
societies” would have been more effectual in promoting good That portion of the United Kingdom has, at this habits on the coast of Africa than in this
wine which is naturally of great strength, it is must, of course, have his profit upon that, as well appropriated to the supply of British consumers. as upon the original cost of the wine. The wineThere is one such district in Portugal, in the valley merchant, who pays the import-duty, must in like watered by the Upper Douro; another in southern manner obtain a fair return for bis money; and Spain, around the town of Xeres de la Frontera; the result is that the wine is thus raised in cost to a third in Madeira, and a fourth on the Western about 4s. the bottle- of which is goes to the coast of Sicily. Of course the greater the natural Imperial Treasury, and the rest to the Portuguese strength of the wine, the larger will be the in- Wine Company, or into the pockets of the dealers. fusion of alcohol which it will bear. Wine- Now, to make wine saleable at this excessively growers and wine-dealers, finding that the demand high price, it is necessary that it should be an in Great Britain is for very strong wines—simply exceedingly strong wine, so that a little of it may because such wines will “ go farthest," and thus be go a great way, either when taken unmixed, or cheapest to the buyer-
--are accustomed to add large when “ blended" with other wines. The Portuquantities of spirits, both before and after the guese authorities, being aware of this necessity, wines are imported into this country. Then, to have established the law that no wines shall be disguise the flavour of the spirits, other ingredients imported from Portugal to England but such as are are added. And, finally, to supply in some mea- very “ black, sweet, and strong,” possessing suffisure the demand for cheap wines, various other cient body, flavour, colour, and richness, to qualify mixtures are manufactured in which the genuine them for use in doctoring other wines. · The juice of the grape is only one of the several raw Portuguese Government,” says this witness, “conmaterials” employed.
sider literally that port wines are not known or With these preliminary explanations, we may drunk as port wines, but really are used simply proceed to give some account of the mysterious for making up artificial wines in England." In processes which the liquids by courtesy or custom this opinion the Portuguese Government cannot termed" wines,” undergo to prepare them for this be very far wrong, if it be the fact, as is stated in market. Taking the several varieties in due order, another part of these minutes, that although only we commence with that illustrious beverage, “ good, 20,000 pipes of port wine are imported into this honest, old English port,” as one of the witnesses country, 60,000 pipes of what passes for port are affectionately termed it. On this subject we have, consumed by our population. Concerning the manin the first place, the evidence of Mr. Joseph ner in which these essential qualities of blackness, Forrester, a gentleman who has been twenty-two sweetness, and strength, are secured, Mr. Forrester years engaged in growing and shipping Port gives the following explanation :-“If the fermenwines, and who is laudably anxious that the duty tation of the grape-juice were allowed to have its should be lowered, in order that lighter and more full course, sufficient colouring matter would be wholesome wine may reach the British consumer, extracted by that process from the skins or nusks and that the injurious practices of adulteration of the grapes which are thrown in with the juice. may be prevented. From this unexceptionable “ But,” says Mr. Forrester," in order to produce the testimony it appears that by the present Portuguese other two qualities, namely, the strength and sweetlaw no unsophisticated port wine is allowed to reach ness, the fermentation is sometimes, and very this country! When an Oporto merchant desires to frequently, checked; by which, as the wine is not ship a pipe of pure wine, he purchases of a farmer properly attenuated, the saccharine matter is not cona “permit,” which has been obtained for shipping verted into its proper alcohol, and the residue of this a pipe of the sophisticated wine, and, by a species unconverted saccharine matter remains suspended of what is considered allowable smuggling, sub- in the imperfect wine: and hence, to prevent a stitutes his good wine for the doctored wine, which reaction, when the deposit takes place, brandy alone the law allows to be exported. The follow- must be thrown into it to prevent that reaction, as ing are the terms in which Mr. Forrester made well as to give it the strength and the body that this important statement :-“If the wine be un- is ordained by law. If any further colouring sophisticated, as a matter of course by law that wine matter be absolutely requisite by the speculatoris not permitted to come to this market; the law I would not suppose by the merchant (for the distinctly prohibits its being shipped thence; as merchants generally do not like, unless they are the wine is intended by the merchant for this obliged, to sell very common wines, and do not market, he purchases from one whose wines have like to have recourse to these practices)—then the been allowed a permit, and with that permit sub- elderberry is, I believe, the only dye made use of stitutes his unsophisticated wine, and loads that in this country, and costs an enormous sum of down to his stores at Oporto.” The purchase of money." Mr. Forrester is naturally disposed to this permit, it is stated, increases the cost of the deal tenderly with his friends the merchants ; wine by about £3 a pipe. The prime cost of a but as the only object of thus colouring the wine pipe of good port wine, in the farmer's hands, is, is to make it suitable for exportation to England, it appears, on an average, about £11. This wine, it is clear that the whole, or nearly the whole of this at a duty of ls. a gallon (about £5 10s. a pipe), large quantity of elderberry juice, for which "an could be sold in this country at 10d. a bottle. At enormous sum of money” is paid, goes down English present, however, it has to pay export-dues in throats. The sum of Mr. Forrester's evidence on Portugal amounting to about £7 a pipe, and an this particular point may be thus stated. By the import-duty in England amounting to about £33 Portuguese law, there are required to be united a pipe. The shipper, who pays the export-duty, Jin all wine that is exported to England three quali