« ElőzőTovább »
another, it would appear that, instead of advancing with the age, she is going back to the earliest times of commercial embarrassment. Thus, instead of establishing for her people a safe currency, adequate to the necessities of the times, and proportioned to their trade, she desires to return to the exchange of the bulky products of industry, for every commodity demanded by the wants of men. The question of the supply of money in a State, though embarrassed by conflicting theories, is one to be determined by a few very obvious truths. We admit that this supply should be regulated by the government. We go further--the government should not only direct, but adopt it. No other authority can regulate the varying value of a circulating medium, or give it the proper evidence of genuineness. The power of government over the subject of money, on thes principles, is confined to the production of a standard of value, which shall represent all the products of industry and art. The great object is to regulate this supply, so that it shall bear a just proportion to the value of the issues of industry and labor, and be, in itself, of invariable value. The safest experience limits the medium to one-fifth of the value of trade. Invariableness of value may be secured either by its intrinsic worth, as in the case of the precious metals; or by paper, for which a specie basis is always provided. Not one of these truths has been observed by Alabama, during the last fifteen years of her banking history.
She commenced with an overflow of paper money. She has ended with its sudden banishment. The value of her trade, in cotton alone, to say nothing of other employments, amounting to twelve millions of dollars, has been represented by a million and a half of depreciated paper, The consequence has been that all her penal enactments
eve in vain attempted to exclude foreign paper. The people were promised that, if banks were destroyed, gold and silver would flow into the State in exchange for cotton. This promise has never been redeemed. The truth that water finds its level, applies to money. If a vacuum is produced by the banishment of one currency, another will flow into the avenues of trade. If the
paper State is withdrawn, the paper of surrounding States will take its place. Gold and silver, not existing exclusively in these States, the bank notes of Tennessee, Georgia, SouthCarolina, supplied Alabama, as fast as Alabama condemned
her own paper. She thus lost the opportunity of providing a currency, which her own legislature could control. It is true she made the introduction of foreign bank paper, for loans, a highly penal offence; but this only prohibited her citizens from selecting the best paper money, and never prohibited the bad.
The evils of this state of things can only be remedied, by a repeal of all laws which stand in the way of the introduction of foreign capital, and by providing for its investment in stock banks, equal to the commerce of the State. The errors which have so prostituted the banking institutions of the country do not lie in the system, but have grown out of the bad faith or imprudence of its agents. No bank can carry on a safe business unless its issues bear a just proportion to the annual produce of land and labor. If this rule is departed from, the surplus is invested in articles of luxury, or in matters purely speculative. If these are not its uses, the surplus seeks invest ment in other countries. In the last case, the surplus paper must be exchanged for gold and silver. The drain of specie, in the latter instance, breaks the bank; in the former, ruins the people. If a State buys more than she sells, it must make up the difference in coin. If she sells more than she buys, other countries will have to do the same. This is the whole secret of national wealth, and of national poverty. In respect of loans from banks, no one is safe which does not return to the borrower the capital, and, at least, the price of the loan--that is, the interest. With prudent management, and confidence in the strict observance of these principles, thirty millions of specie, and some two hundred thousand pounds of Bank of England notes, in England, sustain thousands of millions of trade. When Alabama adopts the same rules, and adheres to them, her trade will also flourish-but not before.
Happily for the cause of education, these difficulties, though for a time embarrassing, have not permanently affected her university. The munificence of the general government has endowed it with a fund which, though reduced by bad management, is still respectable, and now placed beyond the reach of the varying breath of legislative interference. Seventy-two sections of land, which might have produced half a million of dollars, but which now consists of some two hundred and fifty thousand
dollars, were originally granted for a university fund. The institution, under the control of a faithful and efficient faculty, has established a high standard of education in the State, and, at a very small expense, holds out the advantages
of a collegiate course. Placed beyond the reach, and the denunciations of those who, prompted by ambition and misled in their ignorance, are ever ready to oppose knowledge and virtue, it begins to realize all the hopes of the patrons of knowledge. Under its present enlightened and benevolent president, and efficient professors, we hope to see a long line of graduates go forth from its portals into society, influencing its affairs by wisdom and good morals, and proving the benefactors, as well as the ornaments of our times. More might be said upon the subject of education in Alabama, and of the manner in which it has been affected by the unwise or indifferent legislation, which has too often made it the victim of its capricious humors. Something might be said of the wants and susceptibilities of our people—of their ardency, their capacity, and their anxieties to know and learn ; something, too, of the modus operandi for a system of general education. But we must reserve these topics for a future paper. We have already transgressed beyond our limits in compassing the object originally in our design, which was simply a bird's eye view of the characteristics of a State singularly favored by heaven and singularly neglected by man.
B. F. P.
Art. X.--El Buscapié. Opúsculo inédito que en defensa
de la primera parte Del Quizote, escribio Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. Publicudo con notas históricas, críticas i bibliográficas; por Don ADOLFO DE CASTRO. Cadiz. 1818.
It has been known to the admirers of Don Quixote, at least since the publication of the life of its illustrious author, by Don Vicente de Los Rios, that Cervantes composed a kind of adjunta to that work, entitled Buscapié. In a letter addressed to Señor Rios by Don Antonio de Ruidiaz, 18
vol. XVI.— NO. 31.
of Madrid, under date of Dec. 16th, 1775, the latter informs him that he had seen a copy of the work, about sixteen years before. This copy, a small duodecimo volume published at Madrid, was, at that time, in the possession of Count de Saceda, to whom it had been lent by some person unknown to Señor Ruidiaz, and by the Count it was placed in his hands for a period which was barely sufficient for a hurried perusal. Ruidiaz evidently believed that the Buscapié had perished, for he cites a similar instance of a very rare book, which he had once seen, but which had since disappeared. He related, from memory, the substance of the Buscapié. This was incorporated by Rios in his Life of Cervantes, and promised to be all that the world would hereafter know of the lost work.*
It is somewhat surprising that this hint did not set the scholars of Spain in search of the Buscapié, and, when we reflect upon the long interval which elapsed between the letter of Ruidiaz and the discovery of the work, we are inclined to endorse the character ascribed to the Spaniards by an old geographer, when he says, “ Their pace is exceedingly slow, and they do every thing with great deliberation."!
Not only was the work itself lost, but the fact of its former existence seemed to be fast fading from the memory of men.
The authors of the Nouveau Dictionaire Historique do not mention it; Sismondi and Hallam are igno rant of its existence; and the Penny Cyclopedia, in an article of considerable pretension on Cervantes, makes no allusion to the Buscapié. This precious opusculo of the maimed hero of Lepanto might have been lost forever, but for the accident which brought it to the notice of Don Alfonso de Castro, a gentleman of Cadiz, who has acquired a high reputation by his successful researches in Spanish antiquities. I
The circumstances, of the discovery were as follows: A lawyer of San Fernando, a small town, a few miles from Cadiz, had gathered together a large number of books, among which were old editions of the Fathers and of the Greek and Latin classics, works of the golden age of Spa
* Vida de Cervantes, $ 44. Ed. Don Quixote, Tomo i. Paris. 1814. † Salmon's Geographical and Historical Grammar. London. 1758.
Among the publications of Señor Castro are Historia de la Cuidad de Cadiz, Historia de la Cuidad de Jerez de la Frontera, Historia de los Judios en España, &c.
nish literature, together with a heterogeneous collection of lives of saints, treatises on theology, works of Jesuits, and many other books, all written in the seventeenth century. At his decease, this olla podrida of a library was taken to Cadiz for sale, when Señor Castro, whose antiquarian tastes led him to examine the curious collection, found a manuscript of the Buscapié.
The character of the manuscript, according to Señor Castro, who must be admitted to be a competent judge in a matter of Spanish chirography, assigns it to the end of the sixteenth or the beginning of the seventeenth century. It bears the following title :
“EL MUY Donoso LIBRILLO LLAMADO
DOTRINA, VAN DECLARADAS
In the same hand-writing are the following words : “Copied from another copy, Feb. 27th, 1606, by Señor Augustin de Argote, son of the right noble Señor (now in glory) Gonzalo Latieco de Molina, knight of Seville."
Then comes, in Portuguese, and written apparently in the style of the early part of the eighteenth century,
“From the Library of the Duke de Lofoes."
How the MS. escaped from the library of the Duke, and got into Spain, it is impossible to tell. Señor Castro knew nothing about it, until he had the luck to espy it in the recherché collection of that omnivorous abogado, Don Pascual de Gándara. It is probable that the worthy gentleman, like many other proprietors of an “old curiosity shop," was ignorant of the value of his own wares, and quietly left the Buscapié to slumber among the forgotten saints and sinners of a former generation.
" 'Tis found ! and O, his happy lot,