« AnteriorContinuar »
ter sarcasms against the whole tribe of pen-, medical advice, to the sea-baths of Debbeand-ink men and politicians. He found ran, afforded him an occasion to visit the also some distraction in the vice of gam- place of his birth, Rostock, where he rebling, for which, under Buonaparte, and in- cognized and received with touching amiadeed down to the reign of Louis Philippe, bility some surviving acquaintances of his every public facility was afforded to all earliest youth. Hamburgh and Altona classes in the French capital. Such dis- were also gratified by glimpses of the vetetractions could only have assisted the pro-ran. He passed on his route the churchcess of mental and bodily decay, which was yard of Ottensen, in which repose the further promoted by an accident. An Eng- ashes of Klopstock. He had been personlish garrison without a horse-race is scarce- ally acquainted with the poet, and as he ly a thing in rerum naturâ. Blücher, at- passed he uncovered his grey head, a soltending one of these festivities at St. Cloud, dier's tribute of respect to the German fell heavily horse and man over a rope muse, which his early patron Frederick the which he was too blind to perceive in his Great would have sneered at. He also vi. path, and it is said that the effects of this sited Klopstock's widow, who opened on fall were perceptible in some very curious the occasion a bottle of tokay, which her forms of hallucination, such as extort a husband thirty years before had charged smile even from those who are contem- ber to reserve for some occasion of singular plating the melancholy spectacle of the joy and festivity. These little incidents ruin of a noble mind.
have their value. Napoleon's esteem for The attractions of Paris were insufficient Ossian, and Blücher's for the poem of the to overcome his aversion for its inhabitants Messiah,' remind us of the veneration for His head-quarters were for the most part female chastity which has been attributed established at St. Cloud, and occasionally to the King of Beasts. Of the honours transferred to Rambouillet and Chartres. showered upon him from all quarters, soveThe arrangement of the conditions of the reigns, burgomasters, and municipalities, it peace of Paris afforded him the opportuni- is unnecessary to speak. ty, of which he gladly availed himself, even We have elsewhere mentioned that Blubefore its final signature, to depart for cher was a nervous and fluent writer; his Prussia. His farewell address to the army intimates also asserted that he was born an bore date the 31st of October, 1815. The orator. At the festive meetings of the taretiring forces began their march, but be- ble, in which, when his health allowed him, fore Blücher himself crossed the frontier, he delighted to the last, he was Nestorian hearing of some further diplomatic difficul in his harangues and varrations, but failure ties, he took npon himself to halt them as of memory as to the order of dates made suddenly and peremptorily as if they had the latter very confused. He never failed been a regiment on parade. The confusion to do justice to the participation of Gneiproduced by this parting act of authority senau in all his greater military exploits. was excessive, and was only put an end to On one occasion he puzzled the society by by positive orders from Paris. Blücher gravely announcing his intention of kissing reached Aix-la-Chapelle in a broken state his own head; he solved the riddle by rising of health on November 20, the day on which and embracing that of Gneisenau. This the peace was signed. Hence, with fre- was an exploit which bis English comrade in quent delays, and harassed by the noisy de- arms could not imitate. His last illness came monstrations of re: pect with which he was upon him in September, 1819, at Kribloweverywhere received, he slowly made his itz. His death-bed was attended by the way to Berlin.
King, and he died calm and resigned in the The light seemed burning to the socket, arms of his faithful aide-de-camp Nostitz. but it was destined still to shine, though with enfeebled and tremulous lustre, some four years longer. He resided chiefly at Kriblowitz, in Silesia, on an estate with which, in 1814, be had been rewarded by the King, but paid occasional visits to Breslau and Berlin. A journey, dictated by
Art. VII.-1. Financial Statement of Sir
Robert Peel in the House of Commons, d'y envoyer des gardes, &c., ce que je fais. Je crois Friday, March 11, 1842. London. qu'ils ne s'ar éteront que quelques heures à Bondy, el qu'ils arriver ce soir.
2. A Letter from Sir Richard Vyvyin, Agréez, &c. " WELLINGTON.'
Bart., M.P., to his Constituents, upon the "Le Maréchal Prince Blücher.'
Commercial and Financial Policy of Sir
Robert Peel's Administration. London, on its retirement towards the close of 1830 1842.
-after not quite three years' tenure of 3. Guilty or Not Guilty ? being an Inquest office-having during that time repealed
on the Conservative Parliament and Mi- nearly 4,000,0007. of taxes, in addition to nistry. pp. 14. London and Plymouth, more than 30,000,0001. which bad been re
pealed since the war-having reduced the
capital of the national debt by 20,000,0001. It is a common saying that desperate and the annual charge by 1,000,0001.- left diseases require desperate remedies,' and to their successors a surplus revenue of near the deplorable state of commercial distress three millions (2,913,6731.). This surplus and financial embarrassment, under which Lord Melbourne's ministry gradually the Conservative ministers were called to changed to a deficit by the double operation office, would, we are satisfied, have recon- of increasing expenditure and diminishing ciled the country to even stronger measures revenue, and in the last year of their sway than they have found it necessary to adopt the addition made to the public debt by the But we do not rest our humble approbation accumulation of successivo annual deficits of Sir Robert Peel's policy on any such amounted to the enormous sum of 7,500,extreme grounds. The administrative af- 0001., with an ascertained further deficiency fairs of a great country—except under the for the then current year ending April, immediate aralanche of a revolution-can 1942, of 2,350,0001., and for the year endseldom be called desperate; and even when, ing April, 1843, of 2,470,0001. exclusive of as towards the close of the Melbourne ad- the expenses of the wars in the East, estiministration, they most nearly approach that mated at sums that would increase the auhopeless state, they require not a wild kill. nual deficiency to near four millions. The or-cure treatment, but, on the contrary, in- deficiency of the current year could only creased caution, a cooler circumspection, be met by funding it; but how was an anand an adherence to principle the more ri- nual deficiency of pear four millions to be gid as the temptation to depart from it be supplied ? The Whigs bad paralysed or comes stronger. It was, we presume, with drained up all the ordinary sources of taxathese views that Sir Robert Peel contem- tion-first they had made impolitic reducplated the difficulties of his situation, and tions, and then they had imposed inefficient by them he seems to have been guided in substitutes—they had for instance, destroythe choice of his remedies—bold but not ed, instead of modifying (as they might adadventurous, extensive without being ex. vantageously to all interests have done) the travagant-developing rather than altering postage revenue, and threw away, as a the existing system, and endeavouring to mere sop to a small but urgent clique of direct, by the lights of experience, the new their Radical partisans, a million and a half tendencies and impulses of these active and of the fairest, most equal, and least onego-a-head times. The details of these rous of all taxation. Then, on the other measures we shall consider hereafter, but hand, they imposed 5 per cent. on the Cuswe must, at the outset, bear our testimony toms and Excise, which was a notable failto the great, statesmanlike, and, in its main ure, producing, instead of 1,895,0001., as features, novel principle, on which the sys. estimated, only 206,0001.- about per tem has been framed. We do not say that cent. instead of 5 per cent. ; and at the the details are novelties—the elements of very time when they made this unhappy any human work, material or moral, must attempt to increase the revenue by raising be common to all men--the architect of St. the duty on every article of the tariff 5 per Paul's and the mason of the Mansion-house cent., they and their partisans were preachemployed similar stones and tools : the dif- ing two contrary doctrines—one, that the ference between one artist or one statesman best mode of raising an immediate revenue and another, is in the skill and genius which was by lowering the tarif!-and the other, direct the combination ; and in this view that the state of the country required a we venture to pronounce Sir Robert Peel's great remission of the revenue derived budget to be as striking for the novelty of from import duties. And these jumbled its principle as for the admirable simplicity doctrines they next year affected to make of its structure, and, as we believe, for the the foundation of what they called a budget ultimate convenience and efficiency of its - but which was in truth the most ridicupractical working
lous and the most disgraceful abortion that In order to put this in its full light we was ever generated between party spite must give a short summary of the case and ministerial incapacity--ridiculous, bewhich Sir Robert Peel had to deal with. cause no man believed that it could, or was
The Duke of Wellington's administration, even meant to, meet the pressing difficulty
—and disgraceful, because it was a fraudu- / ficulties, will you have recourse to the miseralent device to embarrass the future admin-ble expedient of loans ? I cannot propose such istration, at the risk-nay, at the positive a measure.... I trust that I may, with almost sacrifice—of great national interests, to the the deficiency by the scheme of contracting fresh
universal consent, abandon the idea of supplying maintenance of which these very men were, loans. by the strongest declarations, individually
• If, then, it is necessary for me to have fresh pledged. But what cared they ?--they tatation, shall I lay it upon articles of subsistence knew their ministerial days were numbered -upon those articles which may appear to some --that, for causes entirely distinct from superfluities, but which are now become almost their financial difficulties, they must soon
the necessaries of life? I cannot consent to ingive way to the Conservatives; and the crease the taxation upon articles of subsistence whole policy of their two last years was
consumed by the great body of the labouring narrowed to the miserable hope of embar- you have had conclusive proof (in the failure of
portion of the community. I do think that rassing their successors, and of creating aihe 5 per cent. on the Excise and Customs) that feeling in the country against any of the you have arrived at the limits of profitable taxamodes by which it seemed possible to re iiop on articles of subsistence. trieve our finances. With a system thus
"Is it possible, then, to resort to other means? partly repudiated-partly paralysed-part. I take the duties of the post-office, for instance ?
Shall I revive old taxes now abolished ? Shall ly exhausted—and wholly disorganised• how,'they fondly asked themselves, 'how, which I am sometimes taunted, but which,
I will not say-speaking with that caution with in the face of doctrines so popular as those nevertheless, I find very useful—I will not say we have been inculcating on the public that the post-office ought not to be a source of mind, is a new ministry to raise four mil- revenue. I will not say that it may not fairly lions of new tares ?'
become a means of taxation : but I say this, I Sir Robert Peel asked himself the same do believe the late measure has not yei had its
full trial; and that I am so sensible of the question, and found in his own good sense
many and courage, and in the concurrence and think that in the present year it is advisable
advantages that result from it, that I do not confidence of his Cabinet, the Parlia- that we should change it.... Shall I revive ment, and the Country, an answer which taxes which were levied on great articles of conthe Whigs bad not contemplated. He pru- sumption, and which were very productive ?— dently began, as he stated in his speech of shall I revive the taxes on salt, on leather, on the 11th March, by examining the more ob- wool ? I do not know but, in respect to leather, vious resources ; and he boldly and bon that the reduction of that tax took place withestly exposed all the difficulties which that out public benefit; I fear that the full amount
of the advantage did not go to the consumer. . . examination revealed.
I fear that, in ihis instance, you reduced a duty
which benefited monopolists. But the question • Shall we pursue the system on which we is not now whether we shall reduce an existing have been acting of late years? Shall we, in tax; it is whether we shall revive duties which a time of peace, have resori to the miserable ex- have been done away with, and in the abolition pedient of loans ? Shall we try a re-issue of of which various compacts and commercial arexchequer bills ? Shall we resort to the savo rangements have taken place.' ings-banks? Shall we have recourse to any of
After showing by some details the imthese plans, which are neither more nor less policy and bad faith-he might, we think, than permanent additions to our debt ? • We have 10 supply a deficiency of upwards
have said the impossibility-of reviving of 5,000,0001. upon two years. Is there a pros- taxes lately repealed, he proceeded to nopect, by ordinary means, of retrieving the loss ? tice the various objects of new taxation
Can you calculate, do you anticipate, a which had been suggested some impoli. possibility of reducing the amount of our next tic, as weighing upon new industry, such year's expenditure? I do not anticipate that as on railroads and gas-lights--others simsuch can be the case. Is this an occasional or ply ridiculous, as on forte-pianos and uma casual deficiency, and for which you can easily brellas. He then exposed the Whig vosprovide ? Is it a deficiency for the present year trum of lowering the iarif as a source of only? It is not. This deficiency has existed for the last seven or eight years. It is not an
immediate revenue-and he showed (as occasional deficiency. In 1838 the deficiency the Quarterly Review, No. cxxxv, had was 1,428,0001. ; in 1839 it was 430,0001.; in done, and as everybody who ever thought 1840 it was 1,457,0001.; in 1841 it amounted to
on the subject must know) that the improve1,851,0001. ; in 1842 it amounted to 2,334,0001.: ment of the revenue by a reduction of duty the amount of the deficiency in the five years must be in most cases a doubtful, and in all a was 7,500,0001. To that I add the estimated slow process, and wholly inadequate to meet deficiency for 1843—2,570,000l. ; making in all, for the six years, a deficiency of 10,070,0001. the present emergency; and this obvious
. After the proof I have given that our finan- truth he illustrated by some remarkable excial embarrassments are not mere occasional dif- ' amples drawn, partly from the great experia
ment of reduction made by Lord Liver- , right. We have been told by some who pool's government in 1825, partly from some affect an air of authority that an income tax more recent alterations. On wine, for in. is essentially and exclusively a war taz. stance, the duty was lowered from Is. 13d. We beg leave to ask why it should be so? to 4s. 2}d. the gallon—the revenue fell im and in what code that dogma is written ! mediately 800,0001. a-year, and has never Lord Broughain, the powerful and victoriyet recovered itself; and wine we should ous adversary of the attempt to continue the have, à priori, thought to be the very most former Income Tax after ihe war, holds no promising article for such an experiment. such doctrine ; but, on the contrary, in a So of tobacco; so of sugar; so of hemp; series of very able and argumentative Res. so even of newspapers, on which the reduc- olutions which he offered to the House of tion was so great, that, coupled with the Lords on the 17th of March last, he places growing taste for newspaper reading, a dif- the proposition of the tax and his own acferent result might have been anticipated. quiescence in it on their true grounds : Coffee indeed was in some degree an exception to the general failure-yet it was That a direct tax on income ought never to three years before the duty even on coff-e be resorted to, unless in some great emergency recovered its former amount ; and we need of public affairs, when an extraordinary expenhirdly observe that an article which, like diture may become unavoidable for a tine, or in coffee, is introduced into habitual consump which can be sustained by no other means.'
some pressure upon the finances of the country tion as a substitute for other food is an exceptional case, and would be an unsafe
The principle of an Income Tax is this guide for a general system.
that in great emergencies, which in an es. While the prospect of any adequate re- 'pecial degree endanger property, it is just lief by the ordinary processes of taxation and natural to ask property to make special was thus hopeless, the general emergency exertions to protect itself. Hitherto such had become more pressing : increased ex- emergencies had arisen only in var-but penses-growing commercial embarrass- ten years of Whig misrule, during what ment-aggravated distress of the labouring Lord Palmerston called Peace, had brought classes-want of work, and consequently the public revenue and public credit into a want of food-discontent--sedition, almost |
more serious and pressing jeopardy than insurrection! It is indeed a master-mind our most gigantic War had done. We had that could see its way through such difficul- had for six or seven years a growing and ties, and a master band that could control accumulating deficit-a word which was them--nay, that could make the
unknown to our language, as the thing was culties themselves equipoise, as it were, and to our finances, till Lord Melbourne's min. correct one another-and could by a skilful istry-a deficit larger than that which had adaptation bring them to contribute, each occasioned the first Revolution in Franceits quota, to an enlarged and general system a deficit which those who caused it had for the security of public credit and the de- abandoned all hope of reducing-a deficit
, velopment of national resources.
in short, which is not extirpated would, like The first object, the basis of the whole a cancer, have eaten into the vitals of every operation, was to find means of equalizing species of property. Every species of the Revenue with the Expenditure. This property was therefore interested in the an Income Tax was certain to do, and it danger and in the cure. We were engaged was nearly as certain that nothing else – to say nothing of Affghanistan and Chiwould : remission of taxes had failed-in-na-in a war against national bankruptcy, crease of taxes had failed-per centage on and therefore Sir Pvbert Peel was, even in taxes had failed ;* and not only failed, but the parrowest view of the case, sufficiently had failed under circumstances that forbad justified in calling up the only effectual aid a repetition of such experiments. In this 'which circumstances had left the country. position Sir Robert Peel did not shrink
But he had higher views in proposing from the deep responsibility and supposed his Income Tax than those which would unpopularity of an Income Tax; he formed have sufficed for mere justification. Puba juster estimate of the honesty as well as lic credit was indeed his first and most the ability of the country—he knew that it pressing object—but he saw there were could, and he believed that it would, make other great interesis whose claims on his any exertion vecessary for the maintenance atteution and sympathy were very urgent, of public credit, and he was, every way, and to which, if possible, some relief should
be immediately afforded. We shall not * The per centage on the Assessed Taxes laid on by Mr. Baring, in 1840, had not failed, as we shall bere pause to inquire whether the prodimore particularly notice; but cverything else had. gious extension of our Manufactures ought
to be, on abstract consideration, matter of occasions are rare in which they can be, by regret or satisfaction-whether, if we were any administrative measures, even imperfounding a Utopia, we should have wished fectly relieved; and we do not remember so large a proportion of our national any instance in which such a relief was strength and our social existence to be im. generally and systematically attempted. plicated in enterprises so essentially fluctu- It remained for Sir Robert Peel to take ating and precarious—whether the vast and advantage of a circumstance, to the common rapid accession of wealth which these en-eye, so inauspicious as a great financial terprises produce be not counterbalanced difficulty, to endeavour to afford some relief by the sudden and extensive distress which to those social and commercial embarrassevery fluctuation of seasons, markets, and ments: any minister might have thought even fashion, is certain to inflict on a popu- of meeting the deficit by an Income Tax, lation factitiously created by these manu
though few would have bad the courage to factures, and which cannot exist without have attempted it; but to propose and them.*
These may be interesting ques- apply it as Sir Robert Peel has done-to tions for the speculative philosopher, but pay our debts, and at the same time inthe practical statesman must deal with the crease our capital-to escape from imminent existing facts. We might on moral and bankruptcy and to create by the same effort social grounds prefer, and feel it our duty a surplus for the alleviation of distress, for to encourage, an agricultural rather than a the encouragement of industry, and for manufacturing population-but our present sowing with a liberal hand the seeds of lot is cast---we must take it as it is, and reviving prosperity and of future wealthabide the consequences of a system which, this is what we pronounce to be a happy wisely or unwisely, we have created, and novelty in the annals of finance. May the gradually swelled to its present gigantic ultimate success be answerable to so original proportions.
and so noble a conception ! See, then, besides the mere financial The public approbation and parliamentary embarrassment-what a variety and mag- support which enabled Sir Robert Peel to nitude of other difficulties were afloat. carry this great measure do honour to the Trade, and particularly manufacturing national character; for, contrary to the trade, was low and languishing—the de- usual course of things, the burden was most clared value of the exports of cotton cheerfully accepted by those on whom it manufactures had fallen off one million was expected to fall with the greatest in the last year. In 1840 they were severity. The leaders of the Opposition 17,000,0001, in 1841 only 16,000,0001. bad at first determined to support the The financial, and consequently the com- measure, but they soon
and suddenly mercial, affairs of our great partner in trade, changed their course, and every possible the United States, were deeply disordered, impediment to its progress was conjured and re-acted powerfully on our markets. up--in Parliament, the warfare of vexation France, Belgium, and Germany, were and delay, adjourned debates, discussions closing their doors against our industry- on petitions, and bye-battles on every prethus enhancing, though to their own ulti- tence-out of Parliament, harangues, promate cost, the immediate distress of our cessions, placards, and every other device manufacturing masses. The Poor-Rates of agitation. No effort was omitted to ex, had been for the last four years rapidly in- cite the middle orders against a tax which creasing, and threatened, after overwhelm- was, they were told, a peculiar bardship ing the town districts, to invade—by rates on them. But in vain; the honesty and in aid—the rural ones. For much-for the good sense of the people rendered abortive greater part—of such evils no Government the incendiary efforts of their would-becan be responsible—it can neither wholly leaders; and the sound and practical view prevent nor effectually cure them, and the of the case taken in Lord Brougham's
Resolutions had undoubtedly a considerable . Dr. Holland, of Sheffield, has, in a series of effect upon reasonable men of all sides. letters, under the title of The Millocral,' exhibited in a very striking way the concomitant progress of But peculiar credit is due to the majorities manufacturing weallh and popular distress. The of the House of Lords and Commons, and great mill-owners are so unscrupulous as to charge to the great Conservative party throughout This distress to the account of the Aristocracy, the the country; for it cannot be denied that it the Corn-law. Dr. Holland, on the contrary, proves appeared, at first sight, that, in the new that it is produced by the millocracy—that is, by the adjustment of the general burden, the it is one of the inevitable accompaniments, if in property of the country, and particularly the deed it be not the main source, of the prosperity of landed property, which constitutes the most the millocrats themselves.
prominent strength of the Conservative