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issued on the 3rd December last was great sum had been obtained from Russia; £40,213,030. This includes both those so that the reserve of that date cannot be actually in circulation,” in the hands of regarded as normal. But supposing it the public, and those which, under the were maintained at the point then reached, heading of “ Notes," appear lower down in the disproportion is so vast between its the assets of the Banking Department, amount and the functions it is intended to the latter being treated, so far as issue fulfil as to be positively alarming. We is concerned, as if it were an outside in- are balancing the financial pyramid upon stitution. The amounts on the other side its apex. This is the reason why our of the issue account are regulated auto. money market is so extremely sensitive, matically, gold being held for every note and why the movements of the rate of issued over £16,450,000, this being the discount in London are more frequent and sum which under the act the bank are more violent than in any other European now entitled to issue against government capital. “Since January, 1883, the num. securities.
ber of changes in Germany have been In the account of the “Banking Depart. twenty, which compares with seven in ment” the first two items on the left-hand France, and sixty-two in England.”. (Our side are the Capital and the Rest; the Gold Reserves. By C. Gairdner, LL.D.) latter consists of the undivided profits, It would not matter so much if these rapid and both together represent the liabilities alterations in the discount rate affected of the bank to its own shareholders. The only the operations of speculative finance, other amounts on the same side represent but they throw out the calculations of the liabilities of the bank to its customers, merchants and traders generally, and are the Public Deposits being balances owing a troublesome burden to our commerce. upon accounts of the government and of It is for the same reason, also, that a no. various public bodies; the “Other De- ticeable decrease in the reserve of the posits” the balances of mercantile firms Bank of England has frequently been the and private persons, including the bank- immediate starting-point of a panic; most ers; while the seven-day and other bills naturally, when the only considerable store are really drafts or letters of credit out of ready money in the country is being standing.
heavily trenched upon. Upon the credit side of the Banking Our commerce and finance are founded Department account, the “ Other Securi- upon credit. The meaning of a crisis is, ties
consist, of course, of discounted that the credit system has been seriously bills, advances upon securities, and vari- undermined and threatens collapse. As ous investments. But it is to the two credit is "the disposition of one man to items that remain, and the proportion they trust another," the time of danger arrives bear to the rest of the account, that the when from any cause a contrary disposiattention of the money market directs tion begins to prevail. For it is certain itself. For these, namely, the Notes and that when it does prevail, the attempt will Coin in the Banking Department, form the be made to restrict credit transactions and bank's “ Reserve,” gold being obtainable to substitute cash for promises to pay. from the Issue Department in exchange The position at such a moment is simply for the Notes as required.
that merchants suspect and distrust othWe see, then, that to meet the deposit ers, and fear that similar suspicion may liabilities of our banks and to form the be attaching to themselves. "It follows cash basis of our immense system of that they call in, wherever possible, the credit, the reserve on the 3d December debts due to them, and strain every nerve last was no more than £16,672,814. It to provide the means of meeting those has also to be borne in mind that this which they owe. The apprehension on amount largely exceeds the average, hav- every side is that it may not be practicable ing been rapidly built up by extraordinary to obtain the necessary command of ready efforts on the part of the bank in view of money. When a great shock to credit a possible catastrophe. Three millions of occurs, such as the failure of an important it had been obtained as a temporary loan bank or mercantile house, experience has from the Bank of France; a circumstance, shown that the immediate consequence is by the way, which enabled the editors of a deterinination of all to protect them. all patriotic French newspapers to inform selves, a determination which makes itself their readers that the savings of French- felt in a heavy drain upon the cash remen, lent with a generosity possible only serve. Experience has showa further that to that great nation, had saved England when this mood rises to panic, the de. from universal bankruptcy ! A further | mands for cash speedily outrun the imme.
diately available supply. The weapon / used to purchase manufactured articles employed by those whose duty it is to pro- and articles of inerchandise, but the re. tect the reserve is to raise the rate of dis- duced cost of agricultural produce leaves count to a high point, thus making money a margin in the hands of the people which dear and checking any demand for it is expended in the same manner, and thus which is not absolutely iinperative. When industries of every kind are stimulated there is sufficient time to allow the full and become prosperous in their turn. It effect of this corrective to be felt, the is evident that this must be a gradual crisis gradually solves itself by natural process; and vice versa, the same is true
Speculation is arrested, and trade of unproductive and unprofitable seasons. restricted; the prices of all articles tend We bave to keep in view, further, that to fall; goods being cheaper, the exporta. years of unusual prosperity or adversity tion of them is increased; the foreign ex- do not as a rule come singly, but in groups. changes become favorable to this country, The effect, therefore, is cumulative; add and capital flows back to us.
if there is a cycle in commercial affairs, But sometimes the panic stage arrives we ought to expect that it can only be too suddenly. It has happened more than completed within a period of years. once within the last half-century that the It is when the tide of prosperity is flowraising of the rate proved too feeble a ing most freely that the conditions of a weapon, and the drain has continued until calamitous crisis are prepared. So long the whole of the bank's reserve has been as the profits of agriculture and trade exhausted. Upon these occasions resort remain low, so long as the industries of was bad to means that may be called extra- the country do little more than maintain legal. With the permission of the gov- their footing without much prospect of ernment, usually signified by letter from improvement, there is little danger of any the prime minister and the chancellor of great catastrophe. A cautious and thrifty the exchequer, the restriction on the issue spirit prevails at such a time, and whatof Bank of England notes was removed, ever surplus may be realized is carefully and an additional supply was thereby pro- husbanded. But when plentiful seasons vided of what everybody recognized as follow each other, when trade becomes money.
active and profitable, and savings accu. It is a remarkable circumstance in con. mulate, a change comes over the spirit of nection with such a crisis in financial and commerce and finance. Capital is then commercial affairs as has just been de outgrowing the amount wbich can be prof. scribed, that it seems to arrive at regular itably used in the normal expansion of intervals. Taking this year of grace 1890 business. There is always a margin in the and going back through the century, we national income which remains unused find that every ten or eleven years or and is seeking investiment. The amount thereabouts there was a crisis of more or of this margin in our country is now reckless intensity; for 1878, 1866, 1857, 1847, oned at about £200,000,000 a year. This 1836–39, 1825–26, and 1815 were all of is so much added to the capital which is them marked by special commercial dis- ready to be invested in any promising turbance. There is a reason for this pe- enterprise. It may be affirmed generally riodicity. The movement of trade is not that this capital at all times exceeds what a steady onward march, a rapid or slow can be absorbed by really sound and profbut continuous progress; it is rather a itable undertakings. We may take this tide which advances and recedes, a tide to be now the permanent condition of which requires a number of years for its things, but it is greatly aggravated when full ebb and flow. Supposing we take as a long period of growing prosperity has a starting point a season when the harvest been reached. Then occurs what ought has been very abundant. The difference not to be difficult to foresee - the demand which an unusually good harvest makes for channels of investment creates its own to the prosperity of the country amounts supply. A mania for speculation sets in, to very many millions of money; but only and capital is freely expended - it may after the lapse of years will its effects be be upon enterprises of great permanent fully realized by the entire community. At value; or it may be
for it seems very first sight it seems as if only farmers and much a matter of chance - upon unsound landlords should benefit by it, but no great and even ridiculous projects. Itis seldom advantage ever falls to any large interest indeed that this investing and speculating in the country, of which' in the end all mood, engendered by cheap money and classes do not obtain some share. Not the feeling of general prosperity, can be only are the extra profits of agriculture | restrained within reasonable bounds; seldom that it does not outrun them so far as struck by the great number who had, so to bring fiuancial troubles and disasters. to speak, passed by the open door of Bur
The recent crisis is not hard to be ac- mah without looking in to see what lay counted for, consistently with the theory inside. And I fancy I disturbed the equathat has just been explained. One impor. nimity of one or two of these for the motant feature peculiar to it should not be ment, by telling them, in the midst of forgotten. Mr. Goschen reduced the in- their enumeration of the wonders of the terest upon consols to two and three. earth at which they had gazed, that I quarters per cent., an operation which he thought they had omitted that which was, performed with a skill and success that to the passing traveller, the most enseems very astounding when we consider tranciog and interesting country all. the price to which the new stock has since On the other hand, some whom I met fallen. As an inevitable result of that had been wisely advised to see, if no more, reduction, much of the money hitherto at least so much of the country as a visit invested in consols has sought other to Rangoon and a steamer trip up the Irchannels. An active demand had already rawaddy would afford, and, of these, all for some time been in existence for new agreed that it was in very many respects securities, and a stimulus which was little the most delightful of the many strange needed was thus given to it. The new places they had seen. securities were forthcoming, in the shape To theirs I must add my own humble of mines, brewery companies, financial testimony. I bave been in almost every trusts, and the loans and enterprises of part of the globe but South America and foreign states. Amongst those who were Australia; have climbed the passes of the ready to supply the demand for new secu: Himalayas and ridden for weeks over the rities to any extent was the government of broad plains of South Africa, have roamed the Argentine Republic, which, besides about the magnificent jungles of Cochin, the amounts they borrowed for purely wandered into harbors in the east coast governmental
purposes, freely issued of Africa scarcely noted on the map, guarantees to railway and other great un- toured through Japan, drunk champagne dertakings in their territory. The nom. (of a sort) with native governors of Madainal value of Argentine securities in gascan ports, and alike explored the peace: Europe of all sorts — national, provincial, ful bathing ghats of Benares and the wild and municipal obligations, together with scenery of the Rocky Mountains; but noCedulas, railway and other stocks - is where, except perhaps in Japan, have I said to approach £200,000,000.
found the interest of travel so varied as in There are no doubt great natural re. British Burmah, nor any paradise for the sources in the Argentine territory, but it voyager where (for a short tour) the commust be said that the rate at which these forts and the wonderments of life lie in securities have been poured into the Eu- such agreeable proximity. ropean money market is eloquent of the And this is perhaps not its least recom. extravagance which characterizes govern- mendation. For if one is not sojourning ments that are unstable and reckless of in foreign lands from motives connected the future.
with either honor, sport, or profit, what is Of the crisis of 1890 the lesson most there that can compensate for discomfort? emphatically taught was the old one, to The traveller, on the other hand, who let caution and thorough knowledge be lands at Rangoon (where, as well as at our constant guides in all financial affairs. Mandalay, he will find very tolerable ho
tels to receive him), can, after seeing the former most curious town, embark in a day or two on board one of the excellent
“flats " which ply up and down the beauFrom Murray's Magazine.
tiful Irrawaddy, and, with all the comfort A TOUR IN BURMAH.
of a Rhine steamer, journey at his leisure It has been my fate of late years to far up the river to a point some way be. spend a certain length of time in India yond Mandalay – either living continuand Burmah, and when, on coming home busly on board, or, if armed with a letter the other day, I joined the tide of English or two of introduction, landing for a short travellers which, gathering from Colombo visit at various points on the way. aod Calcutta, blends at Singapore, and His food and sleeping accommodation sweeps on by Hong Kong and Japan to on board are of the best, and for my part San Francisco, and heard many of them I know nothing more delightful than to relating where they had been, I was sit in a comfortable chair on the ample
deck of one of these steamers, and shoot their really beautiful hair carefully dressed through the rippling waters of this noble in something like the modern European stream, past, on either side, a perpetually fashion of combing it upwards from the changing panorama of forest-clad moun. back of the neck, and a silk scarf banging tains, emphasized here and there with a loosely round the shoulders, much in the gold pagoda or a wood-carved monastery, way our grandmothers used to wear such or, anon, tapering out into a spit of sand adornment; the slightest touch of facecovered with wild fowl.
powder is added to the complexion, and To begin with Rangoon ; the pagoda off sets madame, walking very erectly there and its surroundings furnish a tout along, her arms swinging at her sides with ensemble of color and form that I have a curious, swaggering air, the while sbe never seen elsewhere equalled. All that puffs occasionally at an enormous cheroot. is most curious and intricate in wood Checks and stripes are the favorite patsculpture, all that is most bright and tell- terns for the dresses, especially in the case ing in color – beginning with the huge of the men - but such checks and such dragons at the foot of the staircase that stripes! Chess-patterns with the squares leads up to the pagoda, and going upwards four or five ioches wide, stripes of flame. with the gaily robed crowd of cheerful wor- color and yellow, flame-color and crimson, shippers who throng the way, to the vast plum-color and apple-green, etc., etc., in pile of gilding at the top, with its varied infinite variety. I spent two years in Bursurroundings of temples and shrines — all mah, and, except one pattern rather frethese are here brought into one compara- quently worn in cotton fabrics by the tively small focus, to fail to appreciate poorer classes, I don't think I ever nowhich would argue one blazé indeed. ticed the exact ditto of a check I had seen
I spoke of the brightly dressed crowd. before. Travellers in the East are apt to be much All these silks are made in the country. disappointed when they first arrive there It is the rarest thing, as far as my limited with the non-display of “ Oriental color- experience goes, to see English fabrics ing," and, indeed, upon those who have worn for dress. In the case of the headformed their ideas of such things on mem- kerchief, however, I regret to say that the ories of the colored and illustrated Bibles opposite rule holds, and I never saw one of their youth, or a lecture illuminated by which was not of English make. The dissolving views of painted photographs, manufacturer's taste is however merciful, the dinginess of the women's dress in and plain colors aod harmless patterns are Egypt and that of the men's dress in generally used, in a cheap, fluffy quality many parts of India, will undoubtedly of silk. produce some such effect. But let our One of the most interesting points to traveller take heart of grace; let him push observe in the Burmese population is the on to Burmah, and he will see on festal variety of their features and expressions. occasions in the streets and temples of This is particularly noticeable after any Rangoon, and elsewhere in that country, length of time spent in India, where the crowds compared to which a group of poorer inhabitants of any particular disjockeys might look dull, and a flower-bed trict seem to be all cast, as to their faces, at a seaside watering place appear as quiet in one mould. In Burmah, on the conand prosaic as a patch of potatoes. trary, it is as interesting to watch a pass.
For here men and women, old and ing crowd as it often is in England. young, all seem to vie with one another in There are, certainly, types into which brilliancy of dress, and all, or almost all, many of the faces may be grouped, and dress in silk.
very distinct ones, but they are much The men, with a strip of silk twisted more numerous than in India, and a great towel-fashion round the waist, and the portion, say one-third of the population, long end that remains hung round the come under no particular type of face as back and over the shoulder, somewhat as far as I could see, but might be classed as a Scotch plaid is occasionally adjusted; a miscellaneous."
" brilliant handkerchief on the head, a long, As to the inner life of the people, the Alexible cane with silver top in the hand, mainsprings of their conduct, their modes and a good-bumored and cheerful person of thought, and any enquiries into the inside all this, complete the sketch of a psychological structure which leads to Burmese dandy.
what is visible of their babits and actions, The ladies wear a piece of silk wound it would, of course, be grossly audacious tightly round their body from waist to of me to speak; as, beyond the entire feet, topped by a white jacket above ; | absence of other qualifications on my part
for such study, the busy and essentially sence of a better name, I may perhaps be hand-to-mouth life I led while in Burmah permitted to call the "flame-shaped” or. entirely precluded any examination into nament, gives a very unique and charming such matters. Such as are suited and character to the designs of their wooden equipped, however, for enquiry into these buildings. Some, too, of their most sucpoints would, I imagine, find a rich and cessful effects are produced in the manulittle explored vein of ore awaiting their facture of the chests, or arks, in which are hammer and pickaxe.
preserved in the monasteries the copies of Before I go further I may as well say various sacred writings. These effects one word regarding the climate. Burmah are attained by applying to the front of is essentially a hot country — perhaps the box some kind of black resinous plasshould better describe it as a steamy one, ter in an intricate pattern of bold relief, and to my mind has an unhealthy climate which is afterwards covered with convex for many constitutions, if exposed for any fragments of colored glass. The whole length of time to its influences during the is then varnished and duly finished off, summer months — say from April to Sep- and the effect finally produced is much tember, both included. It is, however, a that of a very good and very old stainedvery different thing to live off the river, glass window. Other such chests are among unwholesome surroundings and covered with a series of bas-reliefs giving under uobealthy conditions, as many have incidents in the history of Gautama, or had to do of late years, from passing kindred subjects, and these are usually through the country at the best time of gilt all over. Examples of the above may the year, surrounded by numerous com- be seen in the Indian section of the South forts and spending the greater portion of Kensington Museum, but the glass work, the time among the breezes which are though the best I could procure, is unenever long absent from the river; and qual to many specimens that I saw in the under the latter circumstances I distinctly country. consider that the country is more healthy Another manufacture of great interest than most parts of India.
is that of the iron work much used to On the way up the river there are vari- ornament the tops of the pagodas. These ous places of more than a passing interest | latter are often surmounted by a so-called to be seen : Miahla, with its fort, in which umbrella (tee); I suppose, as it were, an were found the chains, each duly supplied “ umbrella of honor," generally made in with a sixpenny padlock, that were sent the form of a series of crowns of pierced down by Theebaw in 85 to secure the iron-work, often of the greatest beauty and “audacious invaders ; ” Myingyan, with lightness of design. A specimen of this its most interesting manufactures of iron may also be seen at the Museum. and glass work; Yenangyoung, with its Little has yet been written on Burmese petroleum wells ; Pagan, with its acres of art. A great authority on the subject is deserted and ruined shrines; the Ruby Mr. Tilly, now the deputy commissioner Mines ; Mandalay, a quite unique city, of the Yeu country, to whose knowledge with its marvellous temples and its Incom- and taste the recent Calcutta Exhibition parable Pagoda, and further up the river was, I believe, indebted for the choice the beautiful gorges and magnificent and superintendence of the art manufacpasses through which the river narrows tures shown in its Burmese section.
all these afford a constant succession Of the scenery I have spoken little. of sights of very varying interest indeed. The climate, with its humid warmth, fa.
As to the art of the land. The art of vors the development of tropical vegetaBurmah is quite distinct from that of the tion, and the scenes in many of the dense neighboring countries, and has a character jungles would be “difficult to beat," and, all its own. The silver work is especially for me, quite impossible to adequately noticeable, the best coming, I believe, describe. from Thayatmyo and Rangoon. It has a To my mind the one thing that during massiveness that at first recalls the Swami my recent time in the far East I look back work of Madras, but without any of the upon as a distin revelation of unexpected oppressive heaviness and grossness that beauty is the interior of a jungle. No characterize the latter.
books that I had read had previously led In wood-carving the Burmans surpass me to expect anything of the sort, and the any race that I know, in the way of only one that I have come across that masses of elaborate detail combined to gives any idea of such scenes is that produce a general architectural effect; charming work of Sanderson's called and their predilection for what, in the ab- “ Thirteen Years among the Wild Beasts