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few can give a good account of the faith that is in them. Of the thousands who believe in the infallibility of Kean, how few are capable of understanding any part he acts, except it be that of Harlequin. Now that such people should mistake their opinons for part and parcel of themselves, and be impertinently rude to whoever presumes to differ but by a hair's breadth from the standard of their convictions, is eminently absurd ; that they should revile, calumniate, and persecute, whatever they may think of the matter, is wholly inexcusable.
How far a man's clothes are or are not a part of himself, is more than I would take on myself to decide, without farther inquiry; though I lean altogether to the affirmative. The inhabitants of the South-sea Islands were astonished and alarmed when they first saw the Europeans strip. Yet they would have been much more so, could they have entered into the notions prevalent in the civilized world on the subject of a wardrobe; could they have understood how much virtue lies inherent in a superfine broad cloth, how much respectability in a gilt button, how much sense in the tie of a cravat, how much amiability in the cut of a sleeve, how much merit of every sort in a Stultz and a Hoby. There are who pretend, and that with some plausibility, that these things are but typical ; that taste in dress is but the outward and visible sign of the frequentation of good company; and that propriety of exterior is but evidence of a general sense of the fitness of things. Yet if this were really the case, if there were nothing intrinsic in the relation of the clothes to the wearer, how could a good coat at once render a pickpocket respectable; or a clean shirt pass current, as it does, with police magistrates for a clean conscience. In England, a handsome toggery is a better defensive armour, than " helm and hau. berk's twisted mail.” While the seams are perfect, and the elbows do not appear through the cloth, the law cannot penetrate it. A gentleman, (that is to say, a man who can pay his tailor's bill,) is above suspicion ; and benefit of clergy is nothing to the privilege and virtue of a handsome exterior. That the skin is nearer than the shirt, is a most false and mistaken idea. The smoothest skin in Christendom would not weigh with a jury like a cambric ruffle ; and moreover, there is not a poor devil in town striving to keep up appearances in spite of fortune, who would not far rather tear his flesh than his unmentionables ; which can only arise from their being so much more important a part of himself. But if a man's clothes enter into his personality, with the women they are all in all. In mere point of mensuration, a woman's head bears no notable proportion to her hat; her arms are nothing to her sleeves, her body to her furbelows, or her natural contour to the more exuberant outline of her multifarious padding. What, in one word, is the most gigantic woman to the boundless dimensions of her complicated attire? Two grains of wheat in a bushel of chaff, a needle in a pottle of hay, or one honest man in a corporation or a jointstock company. The clothes, the clothes are the substantive; and the woman who wears them at best a mere adjunct appended to help the sense, and more commonly an idle expletive that detracts from the signification rather than adds to its weight and dignity. There are few bridegrooms in the present day who, on their first tête-à-tête with the milliner's lay figures they marry, would not be tempted to betray their astonishment and disappointment, by the somewhat impolite exclamation of " Is that all !""
As to titles and dignities I should be ashamed to say a word. Every body knows that they are not only integral parts of the person, but its most distinctive attributes. When Earl Grey said he would stand or fall by his order, it was as if he had said, he would stand or fall by himself. Take a noble lord, and, if the process be possible, abstract him mentally from his titles and privileges, and offer the two lots separately for sale in the market, who would not buy the latter if they could ? who would, in most cases, even bid for the first? It is the title that is asked everywhere to dinner; it is the title receives all the bows and prostrations, that gets the nomination to so many places, that commands the regiments and ships.of-war, and “ robs the Exchequer with unwashed hands.” The man who owns it, may be what he can, an honest man, or a scoundrel, a mushroom or an Howard, a scholar or a brute, a wit or a blockhead, c'est égal. Proud, haughty, highdaring, free England, is not this true to the letter?
By this time it is hoped that the reader begins to feel the value of a little metaphysics, and no longer suspects me of a mauvaise plaisanterie in introducing them into the New Monthly Magazine. By this time it is hoped that he begins to suspect the advantage of understanding the value of words, even the most frequently in his mouth; of not mistaking accidents for essentials, and contingents for inseparables ; and of correcting his logic by the world, and adjusting his experience by his logic.
THE CORONATION OF INEZ DE CASTRO.*
And the courtiers are kneeling by,
He who loved her when living is nigh;
Has torn her away from Corruption's embrace,
Has bade her ascend to her place.
As the notes of a perish'd song,
In the noble attendant throng;
Those are dark hollows now that bright orbs did once fill,
O'er the cheek that was fresher still.
Each shrunk bony lineament shows,
In its grasp would the sceptre enclose.
• The coronation of the body of the murdered Inez de Castro, after it had been six years interred, took place in the church of Santa Clara, at Coimbra, in presence of her husband Don Pedro, her two sons, and the whole Court, after which it was re-interred in the church of Alcobaça, and a splendid monument erected over it. Mr. Alaric Watts lately revived the tale, as a preface to “ Don Pedro's Revenge,” in the Literary Souvenir.
Oh, awful for all is the ghastly sight,
Where it sits in its state, that unearthly thing-
The dust so beloved by a king!
That brow once so dazzling fair, While the rot of the charnel is busy now
Where the chambers of reason were; Though a relic of ashes, that sainted one,
Pedro loves her still, as when beauty shed
He can think of no bride but the dead.
Her sons kiss the skeleton hand
Of their mother the pride of that land.
The things we so love and delight in below
To lead us more surely to woe?
With its scenes o'er his memory flits :
In the arms of the worm, and so dear to his heart! Then he looks on her gaunt wither'd frame till his eyes Are suffused from his bosom's agonies,
And the weight on his crushing heart.
Oh, Inez, my martyred love!
How my faith to thy dust I prove;
Once gentlest, and fondest, and truest, and best, And the lay of the minstrel shall sound in thy praiseThou shalt live in the history of far distant days
The injured, the pitied, the blest ! « Go, liegemen, a sepulchre make for your queen,
Of marble, and pearl, and gold,
Our royal command is told !”
The courtiers pass from the royal room,
On his throne with his queen from the tomb !
THE WEST INDIA INTEREST.*
In proceeding with the consideration of the present state of the West India interest, it is necessary to understand distinctly the true meaning of the term. If by that interest is meant all the parties who palm themselves upon it, and wish the world to believe that they are essential to its existence, then we are ready to admit that embarrassments surround it which it would be difficult to overcome; but if the question be considered upon its true ground, and the real interest of these Colonies regarded, without reference to extraneous objects, the subject will be materially simplified. In pursuing this course, it may be desirable to take a short review of past circumstances, and particularly to refer to the arguments used five or six years since, when the alterations in the duties on sugar, and negro-emancipation, were brought under the consideration of the Legislature. The individuals connected with the East India interest at that time contended, that by admitting their sugars, a vast impetus would be given to the trade of that country and England, by enabling the natives to take in exchange our manufactures, and that the inhabitants of Great Britain would thereby be enabled to obtain sugar at 2d. instead of 4d. per lb. The West Indians, on the other hand, contended that such an alteration would be the ruin of their Colonies, as they and their slave population could not furnish sugar upon such cheap terms, notwithstanding their proximity, as the East India cultivators. This admission on the part of the West Indians, that the free-labourers of the East can produce sugar cheaper than the slave population of the Islands, must tend to remove doubts upon that branch of the subject of negro amelioration that the public, as purchasers, are interested in. The voyage to and from India is double the voyage to and from the West Indies, of itself a tolerable advantage ; but still the West Indians cannot bear up against East India competition, which fact is of itself strong evidence of the unsoundness of their system. They cannot contend with the sugar-growers of the East, because a large proportion of the estates in the Islands are in the hands of parties who are obliged, from circumstances, to submit to the most grinding terms to enable them to carry on the cultivation of those estates; for they neither possess the capi. tal nor skill to do it themselves. At the time we are alluding to, it was declared that an 'alteration in the sugar duties would ruin the West India interest; and that interest is now equally claiming the public attention by reason of the extreme depression that it is labouring under, in consequence, as it unhesitatingly declares, of the continual tampering with the colonial system by the Ministers. Our present object shall be to inquire whether the existing condition of the Islands does not rather originate in circumstances over which the Ministers have no control, and which must inevitably lead to depression, than in any official tampering with the colonial system. We beHieve that the interest under our notice is considerably embarrassed, but it does not follow from thence that a single pound less of sugar or coffee is grown in the West Indies, or that those articles cannot be cultivated there so as to produce a fair profit to the proprietor of an estate free from those inordinate expenses that are now deemed part and parcel of West India transactions, and which, in fact, are essential to individuals purchasing estates in the Islands without the means of paying for them. To understand this, it may be necessary to inquire into the present state of the colonies, the situation of a great proportion of persons who possess estates in them, and the mode by which they have become possessors. An individual, probably without any property, bargains for an estate in Jamaica, for instance, for which he stipulates to pay 50, 60, or even 100,0001, in seven or ten years, by instalments. The arrangement being completed, to enable him to carry on the cultivation of his purchase, pay the instalments, &c. it is absolutely necessary that he should put himself and his estate into the hands of a merchant resident in this country, who engages to advance money to a
* Continued from p. 168.
certain extent, and in return, he stipulates that he shall have the produce of the said estate for sale, the furnishing of supplies, the carriage of all articles connected with the estate in his own vessels, and various other stipulations. The commission, with other advantages that attach to the London merchant, together with the interest of money on his purchase, amounting in all, probably, to ten or twelve per cent. on the capital advanced to him, come out of the pocket of the planter. Besides this charge, he has to pay an attorney a per centage for managing his estate in Jamaica, for he, forsooth, lives in England; to enable him to do which, as he has become a great West India proprietor, he must be allowed a certain sum out of his estate, say 1500i. or 2000l. a-year, although it probably is not paying a single shilling beyond the enormous expenses that it is saddled with. Thus he proceeds, not calculating upon the produce of his estate, but upon the magnitude of his purchase, not a pound of which probably has been accomplished with his own money. The improvident purchaser thus mortgages his property, or rather that which he calls his property, to bear six per cent. Jamaica interest to the very letter, in addition to which he has five or six per cent. commission to pay to the London merchant, two-and-a-half per cent. to the attorney in Jamaica, and the same sum will be required for the maintenance of the self-styled owner here in London. If prices should be high, these extravagant charges may be met; but the moment a decline in the value of produce takes place, then the fearful result to the purchaser is apparent. Besides these immoderate disadvantages that the planter labours under who is thus situated without capital, his mortgagee in London is a ship-owner, and must have full freights from his own consignments. To make profit, he must ship the herrings, negro-clothing, salt, implements of husbandry, &c. for the estate that he has lent his money upon, from London instead of from Liverpool, Glasgow, Dundee, or any other port direct. The mortgagee is probably a large holder of dock-shares, and of course is an advocate for high dock-rates rather than low ones. He is an underwriter, and very naturally prefers high premiums to low ones. As regards premiums, there is a singular instance of the pertinacity with which London mercantile houses, acting as agents to West India planters, cling to war profits. When the premium of insurance was eight guineas, which was the rate before the peace, ten shilJings per cent. commission was paid on the insurance to the merchant in London. Since the peace, the rate of insurance has fallen to twenty shillings; and yet upon this comparatively trilling premium the half per cent. commission to the London merchant is still charged, and which, in point of fact, forms half the amount of the premium. That which was a small commission upon eight guineas, becomes exorbitant upon twenty shillings, but it is still retained. We merely notice this fact as a proof of the disinclination of those who set themselves up as the West India interest, to give up an iota of their profits. Under such circumstances it behoves the public calmly to look at their own benefit that has been so long neglected, and the real benefit of the Islands. When the evil hour arrives, and sugar, molasses, rum, and coffee, fall so as not to leave a pound to pay the etceteras that a West India proprietor without capital must provide for, the improvident purchaser and the relentless mortgagee have the boldness to come forward and say, that unless the Government of the country will persist in preserying this monstrous system of extortion, the Colonies must inevitably be ruined. To enter into the variety of details that the efforts of the West Indians include, and which they have been anxiously struggling for, ever since the excitement of the war was over, would carry us beyond the limits that we can assign to this article; but we may confidently, we think, appeal to the most casual observer of the question as to the anxiety of this interest to enhance the price of its produce upon the public. That it has fallen upon evil days for the success of such an effort, is not the fault of those who have made it. They have been persevering to the last, and are now loudly declaiming against every legislative measure that has been adopted with respect to the Colonies, and are as apparently blind to the real circumstances