« AnteriorContinuar »
RICARDO AND THE EDINBURGH
solemnly protest against the sneers and ciety they would be produced, or what sarcasms of those who do, because it is previous steps would be necessary to not for them I write, nor is it their bring matters to this happy consumapprobation that I care any thing a- mation, it is for Mr Ricardo and his bout. I write for the instruction of Reviewer to explain. As matters now plain honest country folks (who, by stand, the case is hopeless, for (page the way, constitute no inconsiderable 77,) “no reduction would take place portion of your readers), and if I can in the price of corn, although landassist one old lady in judging when it lords should forego the whole of their is most advantageous to invest in, or rents.” In other words, although the sell out, of the funds, or save one present landlords should cease to be young gentleman from blushing, when landlords, and the present farmers be he is requested to read and explain the substituted in their place, still the newspaper report of the stocks, I shall land must be occupied by somebody, not consider my own trouble lost, or who will have an interest always opthe paper of your Magazine wasted. I posed to every other class of the comam, Sir, your obedient servant, munity, and will therefore be their 5th Oct. 1818.
T. N. necessary enemy, at the same time that
he would be their necessary friend; for the parties could not subsist without
mutual assistance. If all that is meant In page 81, Edinburgh Review, No be, that the interest of landlords is al59, on Ricardo's Political Economy, ways opposed to that of every other are these words: “ It follows from class of the community, because they, these principles, that the interest of like every other trade, wish to make Landlords is always opposed to that of the most of their commodity, by letevery other class of the community.” ting their land as high as they can, What are these principles may be seen “We need no ghost to tell us this, by those who shall study the book and Ricardo (or Reviewer)”; although it the review of it. This is the conclu. is to be hoped that there is no ghost or sion drawn from them, and sanctioned spiritof any description but would have by the authority of the Reviewer, had more candour than to put so very and of this I shall treat. Were á , trite an observation into so mischievous very long and intricate chain of rea- a form, and to point against one, and soning to conclude with the inference, that an absolutely necessary class of that perjury and fraud were lawful in men, what is equally applicable to the common transactions of life, I every other. If more is meant than suppose it would not be necessary to meets the eye, let it be well observed, follow the chain. Such a conclusion that were the world to rise en masse, would be considered as equivalent to and put the present landlords hors de what mathematicians call Reductio ad combat in this interminable warfare, absurdum, or a Coroners Inquest, Felo others would rise in their place, and de se. If any man, or class of men, the same wholesome discipline would be of such a nature, or in such a state, have to be repeated without end, unthat their interest is always opposed less it be proposed that the whole mass to that of every other class of the of the people should assume the whole community, then that man, or class of mass of the land, and cultivate it, for men, are the natural and necessary the mutual benefit, by Committees. Înenemies of mankind; for the dise deed, it is impossible to discover the position will follow the interest, and sense or use of this remark about the the conduct the disposition ; and it opposition of interests, unless it be to would be for the interest of mankind make it the foundation of some such that such a class did not exist; in scheme as this, which might, by paother words, that landlords did not rity of reason, be extended to every exist, and that there was no such thing other trade or profession. While matas landed property. Yet it is from ters remain on the present footing, and the land or soil that all the necessaries, property of all kinds continues to be conveniences, and material comforts acknowledged and respected, men will of life are obtained. How these would continue, as they have done since the be produced, in such a case, or what commencement of civilized society, to inducement there would be to produce buy and to sell, to let land and to take them, or under what new form of so- it as they best can, those who give themselves the trouble to think well harden but rather soften the heart. knowing, and those possessed of any On the other hand, he was possessed candour acknowledging, that this is not of more than mortal wisdom, who a general and eternal opposition of in- long ago observed, “ that a poor man, terests; but that while every man who oppresseth the poor, is like a pursues his own interest, and attends sweeping-rain which leaveth no food." to his own affairs, under the restraint Whereas, to use a homely but expressive of the laws of God and his country, similitude, a rich man, like a wateringhe may leave the general result to Pro- pan in the hands of Providence, serves vidence, and rest assured, that this is to diffuse more generally and usefully not merely the best, but the only way the means of subsistence ; while the in which human affairs can be con- envious absurdity of the human heart ducted. If political economists chuse grudges even existence to that which to depart from the common use of feeds it! as if the flesh of our bolanguage, and call this a perpetual dies should rise, in unballowed inopposition of interests, and, con- surrection, against the heart. All sequently, a state of perpetual hos- would be watering-pans, all would be tility, let them have the consistency to hearts; but this is not the order of nacall it a general opposition of interests; ture nor of Providence, which must and let the rest of mankind admit ultimately prevail. After derangement that, if in one sense they be mutual shall have succeeded to derangement, enemies, in a more comprehensive and revolution to revolution-after view of the matter, they are mutual having exhausted all the forms of madfriends, and cannot do without one ness, of misery, of murder, and of another. The landlord, be his rent blood, it is only by returning to the great or small, cannot enjoy it without order and subordination of nature, communicating it with the merchant that wretched and weary mortals can upon 'change, the banker in his count- escape from anarchy and despotism, ing-room, the retailer in his shop, the and expect to find, if not happiness, mariner on the ocean, the weaver at at least safety and repose. We do not his loom, the smith at his forge, the deny, what we have often felt, that mason with his mallet, the carpenter there is such a thing as the proud with his chisel, the cobler in his stall." man's contumely, as well as the insoLet a man be ever so selfish, if he lence of office, and that nothing gewishes to enjoy his own, he cannot, nerates pride, and contumely, and insofor his heart, do it alone. This lence, more (although many things is equally true of the landholder, as much) than excessive wealth. But the stockholder, the merchant, the these are among the evils of a secondcapitalist of every description, nay, ary kind, inherent in the very nature of the man of no capital, who lives by of society. For the pride of birth, of his daily exertions. He cannot live genius, of talents, of bodily strength without making others live also. Nay, and dexterity, is as mortifying to huit appears to me, that, where there are
man nature as the pride of wealth. It many great landholders and great ca- is only in the dust of death that all pitalists of other descriptions, there visible distinctions shall be levelled, the labourers of every description, the and envy as well as love and hatred manufacturers, the community at large, disappear. Thus it is that the intewill be in a much better situation, rests of the rich and the poor, the than where the same capital is divided high and the low, the producer and among a greater number, but none consumer, however apparently opposed, arising to wealth. For the wealthy are, in fact, linked together by an inman has many wants, and none of visible adamantine chain, which no them can be satisfied without the as- ages nor oceans can interrupt, nor sistance of the poor. Even when the death, nor war, nor the utmost maligpoor coase, from age and infirmity, to nity of the human heart, pointed by be able to contribute to the other en- its utmost ingenuity, destroy. And joyments of the rich, there is still one no wonder ; for it is formed and susremaining to which they can contri- tained by Him, whose weakness is bute, the indulgence of a benevolent stronger than man, and whose folly is disposition. And whoever has obser- wiser than man. vation and candour, will admit that,
He from heaven's height in this country at least, riches do not all these their motions vain sees and de. Not more almighty to resist their might employed in productions of primary Than wise to frustrate all their plots and necessity. It is not disputed that, in wiles.
some other respects, the mercantile has If it is inquired what is meant by the advantage, and in some the stockthe order and subordination of nature holder has the advantage of both, parabove mentioned, I answer (what may ticularly in the immediate command be indeed inferred from what has been of his money. But who would have already said) that it is the order and suspected that the landed interest, subordination which is the natural and forming, in conjunction with the mernecessary consequence of inequality of cantile, the basis of the pyramid upon property, which inequality is the na- which rest our rights, our security, tural and necessary consequence of the and our happiness, was always opposed idea of property being at all admitted to that of every other class of the com, among men. I talk of civilized life.munity? Administrations may stand Wherever there is property there must or fall, be power, and where there is inequa- “ A breath can make them as a breath has lity of property there must be inequa- made," lity of power. And this I look upon but surely landed property does not as the most natural, the surest, and change its nature with the change of safest basis of Government, -what- a ministry. Moreover, in No 20 of ever may be the superstructure. Upon above work, page 407, article-Cobbet's this basis stood the Comitia centuriata Political Register, I read, that "the of Rome. An ancient and complete influence of great families (undoubtinstance of inequality of property made edly great landed families) in the the foundation and principle of Govern- election of members, is rather benement. Itunited independence and intel- ficial than pernicious.” Is it possible ligence, and gave every chance of sta- that the influence of men, whose inbility that can be given to any human terest is always opposed to that of institution. It was the Comitia tri- every other class of the community, buta and curialia, whose numbers, not should be beneficial in the election of property, was the rate of voting, which members ? Will they not poison the introduced corruption and confusion very fountain-head of our political exinto the government, and made the istence? Will they not sacrifice to flatterers of the people masters of the their own interest that of every other legions and the destinies of Rome. class of the community? There ought Reason and experience concur in show- rather to be express laws made to deing, that there is but a step from de- bar them from elections and the mocracy to despotism, and that the House of Commons altogether; and spirit of both is that of robbery and instead of the trust-oath, there should murder; whereas a government found- be one framed, that the claimant did ed upon property must protect pro- not possess, in property or superiority, perty, a fortiori, liberty and life. In directly or indirectly, an inch of this opinion I am much fortified ground. Again, in above No 20, the by that of a very able author, who same article (Cobbett), page 417, I wrote no farther back than the year find, that 1607. See Edinburgh Review, No 18, “ An English Peer has scarcely any other page 366 bottom, and 367 top, article influence than an English Gentleman of -Filangieri on Legislation.
equal fortune, and scarcely any other inter. “ But no country has ever possessed such
est to maintain it. The whole landed intera mass of landed and mercantile proprietors, est, including the peerage, is scarcely a or such numbers of enlightened citizens, as
match for the moneyed interest either in our own. What lever can overturn a pyra. Parliament or out of it; and, as it is the mid which rests on such a basis as this ? basis of a more steady and permanent, as Not surely a King of England, with less of well as a more liberal and exalted dependencourtly splendour than perliaps becomes his cy, we wish to see Peers concerned in elecdignity, and without the practical choice of tions rather than Stock-jobbers and Nabobs ;" even the servants who form his household !" that is to say, that the influence of
This was written with sound sense Peers, as proprietors of land, should and sound patriotism. I would beg be encouraged in the House of Comonly to add to it, that in these re- mons, from whence, as Peers, they spects landed property has the advan- are constitutionally excluded; and tage of mercantile. It is more visible, yet as proprietors of land, their inter-it is more permanent,
and it is est must always be opposed to that of every other class of the community, ed, and can thence form some opinion, and they must therefore have the whether or not the commercial intersame interest as other land-holders est has suffered by the advancement to do mischief in the House of Com- of the landed interest; and whether mons.
all interests be not much advanced, In page 82 of Edinburgh Review, and much in the same proportion. No 59, it is said :
After the income tax, and all the taxes, “ High rents and low profits, for they and all our debt, and a war of nearly are inseparably connected, ought never to twenty-five years, I can declare, that be made the subject of complaint, if they all classes of men are, beyond all occur in the natural state of society, and under a system of perfectly free intercourse comparison, better fed, better clad, with other nations ; but if they are caused and better lodged, than when I first by an exchusite commercial system, or by opened my eyes
upon this world, upon restrictions which prevent the cheap impor- which I know I must soon close them tation of foreign corn, and which, therefore, forever. Further, were all nations to force the cultivation of inferior soils at home, act upon the principle of what is said they are highly to be deprecated.” in above quotation about the cultiva
Now, if the government of this tion of inferior soils, I suspect (and so country should find expedient, and does the Reviewer, as we shall soon what is called the commercial interest see), that the earth would be less proshould agree to a perfectly free inter- ductive, and consequently less inhabitcourse with other nations, that is, to a ed, than at present. And if this naperfectly free importation of foreign tion in particular, were to act upon it, corn, and of every other foreign article then, and in the event of a foreign war of consumption, I think what is called and Continental system, such as we the landed interest, as such, would have seen, it would be in a
denot, and ought not, to object to it, pendent and dangerous situation. whatever effect it might have upon I shall make one more quotation rents.' But if the meaning be, that from above Review, No 59, page 87, there should be a perfectly free im- being the last on the subject of Ricarportation of foreign corn, and a per- do. fectly restrained importation of every
“ It is, whatever may be said to the con. thing, or of anything else, and trary, the great and leading defect of the this be called the natural state of so
lower classes, that they submit to privatione ciety, then, I would say, that what is with too little reluctance.” called the landed interest, would be
There is much dark reasoning in hardly dealt with and treated as a
this article of Ricardo, and unquestionstepchild by the common mother coun- ably much ingenuity. But it must be try; because it would be obliged to confessed, that this improvement of the sell cheap and buy dear, and would be subject, which may likewise be conthe only class of inhabitants so treated. sidered as the key, is abundantly plain I have said, what is called the com- and practical. I shall now take the mercial and landed interest, because I liberty of making rather a long extract am perfectly sensible that the interest from the same work, No 18, page 371,
that I of all classes is the same, and that none
may have an opportunity of can be injured, in the first instance, comparing above remark concerning but the rest must ultimately suffer. the culpable passiveness of the lower I am more particularly sensible, that classes, with the following eulogy upon the home trade of this country, as of
their poverty and thrift: most other countries, is by far the classes a real check to population, though
“ Nor is the poverty of the labouring most important-that the proprietors lamented with much benevolent feeling by and occupiers of land are the greatest Filangieri. It was poverty, the parent of consumers in such trade, and that they labour, the duris urgens in rebus egestis, cannot be impoverished, but the other which first tamed the habitable earth ; and elasses must be ruined. I have been still, though more slowly, encroaches on the now nearly three-score and ten years swamp and the thicket (inferior soils), to in this world, and have had some op- augment the sustenance of mankind. "But portunity of observing the former and food may not only be augmented, it may be present number of retail shops in dif- economized. It may seem at first, the craferent county, and other towns, and in all men, and require nearly an equal the goods and customers with which portion of food to alláy them.' But some they were formerly, and are now fill. are fed with less, and some are fed with
more, than nature would mete out. What tented with their situation to set a difference between the consumption of a them together by the ears—in short, Bedouin Arab and an English farmer! almost in every respect diametrically Perhaps Mr Malthus has not sufficiently opposite to that of the book which intaken notice of this key to some of the phe- culcates the salutary precept, that in nomena of population. There seems to be no mode of accounting for the well-attested whatever state we are, we should learn populousness of some nations, but their ex. therewith to be content. J. G. treme thrift and temperance. If we may put any faith in the early books of Livy, nearly 200,000 citizens were included in the census soon after the expulsion of the kings, when the territory of Rome was less
Lines on than Rutlandshire. The book of chronicles JOHN WILLIAM Rizzo HOPPNER, bears testimony to the astonishing popula
born at Venice on the Eighteenth of tion of the Hebrews, who united, with the
January 1818. common frugality and temperance of the east, institutions more favourable to agri. His father's sense, his mother's grace, culture than have commonly existed. In him I hope will always fit so, In modern Palestine, the sensible Vol. With (still to keep him in good case) ney gives credit to a population of 40,000 The health and appetite of Rizzo. fighting men among the barren moun
LORD BYRON. tains of the Druses. This would give 150,000 persons for a district of 110
Translated into Greek. square leagues, or about 150 for each square mile, which approaches to the populousness Φρήν πυκνή Πατρός και Μητέρος αγλαόν τιδος of France or England. Volney ascribes this Αρσιτόκου κοσμοί νούν τι, δέμας το βρέφους: to their liberty ; but free men must eat as o'ppa di carri Bio sóabios, anèv spavvo well as slaves; and though a bad govern
Σκoίη παις Ρίζου και γάνος, ηδε βίην. ment will make a fruitful land desert, yet the best cannot turn barrenness into fertili
Latin. ty. It is only their frugal style of life, and Magnanimos Patris verset sub pectore sensus, especially their abstinence from animal food, Maternus roseo fulgeat ore decor ; zohich can explain it. Poverty then, which Neu quid felici desit, quo robore Rizzus puts men upon short allowance, makes the same Festivo pollet, polleat iste puer. quantity feed more than if they were at ease; and thus the inequality of property, what
Italian. ever may be its evils, has a tendency to Del Padre il senno, e il bel materno aspetto help forward population, because it stimu. Splendano ognora in Te, fanciul diletto. lates to the production of more, and checks Felice appien ! se al tuo corporeo velo the consumption of what there is.”
Dona il lieto vigor di Rizzo il cielo. I presume, the good sense contained in this quotation, will recommend it
The Venclian Dialect. equally to others, as it has done to me, De graziette el to modelo and that I shall need no other apology Sia la Mama, bel Putelo. for its length. The hints it suggests E 'l talento del Papà to the English farmer and manufac- In ti cressa co l' età; turer, may be as useful to them and E per salsa, o contentin their families as the remark about their Roba a Rizzo el so morbin. too easy acquiescence in privations,
German. may be agreeable." The ingenious author has certainly furnished the ma
aus des Kindes auge årahlec terials of the utile and the dulce. He
Seines Baters hoher Sinn, will have carried every point, if, by a
Und der mutter Schonheit malet farther exertion of his ingenuity, he Sich in Tuange, und, und Rinn. can get them to mix and amalgamate Glucklich Kleiner wirû du seyn together.
kannt du Rizzo 's frohen puthes I shall conclude with one general
Seines feurigen Blutes observation, on an author whose style and taste, rather than whose senti
Seiner Starke dich erfreu 'n. ments, I would wish to adopt; that it
French. is the great and leading defect of one of the ablest critical works that has Porte dans les festins la valeur de Rizzo,
Sois en tout fortuné, semillant Jouvenceau, ever appeared in this, or, I believe, Porte au barreau l'ésprit qui fait briller ton any other country or age; that it has
père, a strong, not an intentional, tendency Et pour vaincre ! --au boudoir sois beau to make mankind unhappy and discon
comme ta mère.