Page images

with the business can tell every nation by the smell in a moment. Sir Peter: Then which of them has the strongest smell ? Witness:

The Scotch (a burst of laughter, in which the alderman joined) and the Irish. Sir Peter: And which hair carries the most delicate ? Witness: That I cannot tell. It is a matter of taste.”

It would be well if some of our philosophers, curious in the races, would apply themselves to this subject, and endeavour to ascertain the exact scents of the original breeds. They may then, by smelling a Scotch head, for example, discover the precise crosses which it has undergone, and the various infusions of capillary perfume. This science might occasionally serve to throw light on questions of legitimacy. A learned philosopher might be called to smell a head, and to declare whether it was of the genuine Caledonian, Hibernian, or English odour, or in what proportions adulterated.

19th. A morning paper, favoured with the contributions of Mr. Paul Pry, contains this remarkable piece of news:

“ The Rhenish wines are becoming very popular in this country, especially those produced in the neighbourhood of Johannesberg, the estate of Prince Metternich, and the almost unequalled vineyards of the Prince of Nassau, on the right bank of the Rhine.”

To this it may be added, that turtle is becoming very popular in the city of London, especially the green fat; that champagne too is coming into favour; and that a meat called venison is beginning to be relished by gourmands; and further that, as Smith's song has before notified, “ pigeon pies of water rats are very seldom reckoned good." All of these we conceive to be unsuspected facts, well worthy of publication; but then care should be taken to prevent the newsmen from bellowing them about the streets, to the torment of our ears, in these words—“Great news! great news! Morning Chronicle! Extraordinary intelligence! The Rhenish wines popular ! 'specially Johannesberg! Great news! great news !".

Mr. Paulus Pry does not confine himself to telling the public that lobster sauce is eaten with turbot; and that currant jelly is the condiment for hare: he goes further a field for notable facts and rare news, and is good enough to gratify us with accounts of the parties, and fashionable arrangements at Florence. No distance daunts him, and his news comes fresh from every quarter. He would tell you

who took tiffin in Lieutenant Ramrod’s bungalee, at Tingkamacoo, on the banks of the Ganges. The other day he revealed to us, that Captain Medwin was to have given a dinner party at Florence, on the

of, at half-past six exactly, but that it was postponed in consequence of the death of the Duke of York. Had it taken place, he would have blessed us with the intelligence, what there was at the head of the table, what at the bottom; what side dishes, and who supplied the confectionary. Oh, he's a well-informed man, and such a master of the pen! To-day he acquaints us that Lord Burghersh has given a party at Florence. Think of that, ye people of the earth! And that Lady Burghersh was “ attired as a lady of the Westmorland family, taken from a picture in her noble

" It is so

father's gallery." “A lady taken from a picture!”-a most incomprehensible proceeding, I must observe. He further intimates, that Lady Burghersh, as the lady taken from a picture, “ looked AWFULLY beautiful.”

The author of the Preliminary Treatise to the Library of Useful Knowledge, emphatically winds up an eloquent sketch on the pleasure of knowledge, with this forcible argument, ad crumenam. pleasing, that you would give something out of your pocket to obtain it.This finishing stroke to a very glowing and highly wrought description, strikes me as inexpressibly droll; and I question whether any man who had not drawn his first breath in Edinburgh, could have arrived at the felicitous climax. “ You will give something out of your pocket"—there is the brogue in the phrase. The gratification of knowledge is so great, so sublime, that you would give-aye, you would give, a baubee for it! Language cannot rise liigher.

Let the epicure imagine that he has discovered an exquisite and yet unknown dainty-let him suppose himself revelling in the anticipated exclusive enjoyment of it for many dinners_and let him conceive the shock, the mortification, of suddenly seeing his airy structure of gourmandism demolished, by the publication of the existence and nature of the delicacy, in a Mrs. Rundell's cookery book. The thing is blown. Every body eats it; it is scarce-dear; and he is undone. Similar to this has just been my disappointment. In my last Diary, I remarked on the rarity of a certain quality; and observed, that the true British dunderhead was now seldom to be met with. Well, for some weeks past, I have had my eye on a very promising lord. I poted him as he came out of his egg-shell-as he made his debutand at once marked him for my own. I sooli resolved that he should be the support of my Diary; for as he began to toddle, or twaddle, I saw in him the promise of a fund of entertainment, and I revelled in the idea of many a merry bout with him. Here is some one, said I, to supersede the sage Lethbridge ; but let us not alarm the game too soon; let him acquire confidence, and the habit of displaying himself without reserve. Well, in the midst of those anticipations, when undisturbed by an apprehension of danger, out comes an article in the Morning Chronicle, giving a scientific description of my young bird of wisdom, and advertising his points and marks with as much exactness as if he were a stray lap-dog, so that no one can fail to recognise him. It is now idle to affect mystery—Lord Winchelsea is the man; but I have done with him. As the monopoly is not mine, I say to the Chronicle editor, “ What you've touched you may tastehigh-church champion, adieu."

It is painful, however, to come to this resolution. I read in the debates his maiden speech, on presenting an anti-catholic petition; I discovered in the space of six lines his scarcely then budding genius, and watched him shooting up like the prophet's gourd, and promising a prodigious pumpkin, which I would one day scoop out, and carve into a goodly No Popery shoy-hoy. But vain are all human caleulations. Yea, he is cut down, in the flower of his youth, by the remorseless editor of the Chronicle. Indeed, it is barbarous to nip them so young. Sportsmen spare partridges till they are strong enough to take wing; and scribes ought to show a like forbearance to peers. We ought to make some bye-laws for the prevention of the destruction of the white bait and callow birds. Peer squibbing should not commence before the 1st of April at the earliest; and here was my poor dear Lord Winchelsea stuck upon paper, as flat as one of his own speeches, on the 19th of March.

- It seems to be the opinion of a number of highly respectable people in this country, that they must persecute somebody, and they have accordingly fixed upon Catholics. God forbid that I should object to their gratifying themselves in this innocent way; but I cannot help thinking that they have not chosen the best sport. If they must persecute, why not get up a nice persecution of the Jews? A Catholic may, like a fox, give a good run, I grant; but when you have run him down, there is no booty in him. Now the Jew would be the hare, and we should devour his dainty substance. Imagine a roasted Rothschild, with current-coin sauce. What a rich meal he would make! Really, the very thought of it gives me an appetite. Let us, by all means, revive the old laws, devised by the wisdom of our ancestors, for the coercion of that stiff-necked race, and repeated only by the mistaken liberality of their unthinking posterity. The Jews are obtaining a fearful ascendancy in the state. They have already their feet on, instead of in, the stocks, and control the money markets ; and who can guarantee us against the danger apprehended in the case of the Catholics that of their coming to the throne ? Suppose a Jew should be king !-as Mathews says, “ here would be a circumstance!What would become of protestantism or pork? Imagine a monarch with the beard of an old clothesman, striking at our hierarchy and our hams, abolishing bishops and bacon. The church demolished, and triumphant sin agog. Remember their old tricks; think of the days of Pontius Pilate, and smite them hip and thigh, in good time, before they get the upper hand again, as they infallibly must do, like the Catholics, unless disabled by the laws, and hunted down by the friends of established order, and the preachers of peace and good will among men.


One of the gravest and best conducted hoaxes of modern times, is that which has been recently played off by his majesty's ministers on the question of the Corn Laws. It is, we think, about two yeais since it was first announced, that a plan for the amendment of the Corn Laws was in agitation. Combined with the indications which Mr. Huskisson and Mr. Robinson liad given in small matters, of a desire to establish something approaching to a system of free trade, this announcement gave rise to the most extravagant expectations among the friends of improvement. Since the pregnancy of Johanna Southcote, we doubt whether there was ever a birth looked forward to with so much delight by a band of faithful believers. It is, perhaps, hardly fair to charge the ministers with having created these expectations : but they certainly humoured the thing with amazing skill. How tender and touching their reproaches to all who would force them to a premature accouchement; how solicitous their care not to bring out the Shiloh in an inclement season.-Poor Mr. Whitmore was last year considered a perfect brute for having rudely jostled against a ministry in their condition; and endangered the fond hope of a nation. Mr. Huskisson held forth to the shipowners, the advantages which they would derive from the trade in corn that was to be. Who could doubt, that something very fine was about to be produced. For two years the ministry drew on the credit of this opinion. It was a liberal ministry, less for what it had done, than for what it was to do. Even at the moment, when the imposture was necessarily to be revealed; the magnificent style of pretence continued ; Mr. Canning was brought from his sick bed to open the subject—no one else could, with propriety, take the responsibility, if he could possibly encounter the labour; but, on the other hand, rather than the country should encounter the misery of a delay, Mr. Peel was willing to hazard himself in the undertaking. What caution, yet what devotedness—what modesty, yet what boldness!

With such a plan as the ministers have produced, the practical comment on which is, that its announcement raised the price of grain 38. per quarter, what was the necessity for all this mystery? There are some people who put an air of significancy into all they do; and tell us it is a fine day, with an air, as if they had discovered the author of Junius; but when a minister shakes his head for two years together, surely there ought to be something in it.

The new Corn Law project is a cumbrous plan for leaving things as they are; for letting not good, but bad, alone.

The plan proposed by the ministry, after all the parade with which it has been preceded, is one for the free admission of wheat when the price is at or above 708. per quarter of ls. duty; and when the price is lower, of a duty augmenting as the price falls, according to the following table:


[ocr errors]

'If the Price be .. 70 and upwards

1 Duty.
69 and under 70



6 66


8 65


10 64


12 63

64 14 62

63 16 61


18 Assumed Point

Learing to the Importer 60

*61 .... 20
of Protection.

of Foreign Wheat 40s.
60 22


58 26


57 28
Average of the

56 30

55 32

Average Price of?

51 34

19 1827, to Feb. 15. S

.... 24


last six years.

It will be seen, that in this scale there is a point called the assumed point of protection; a phrase used in the tables printed for the use of the House of Commons; and below this point, it is presumed, that by the scale of duties, the British grower of corn is protected from competition; while above that point, he is exposed to a constantly increasing importation of foreign corn.

Now it will be immediately perceived, that in its principle, a plan which aims at this end, is precisely similar to, and as far as it attains the end, is the same as the Corn Law now in existence. (The details we shall presently speak of.) The assumed point of protection is fixed lower in this plan than in the Corn Laws of 1815 and 1822.

The assumption in this plan, as well as in the former laws, is, that a certain price, here taken at 608. is necessary for the remuneration of the farmer; the plan taken to secure it to him is to shut out corn when the price here is at less than that rate to admit it when the price is greater.

Such a plan would be undoubtedly effectual, if the production of corn were exactly like the manufacture of stockings or hats; if the farmers could exactly ascertain the quantity usually wanted, and the quantity which a given number of acres in tillage would produce every year. They might then grow exactly enough for the supply of the markets to which they resorted; and receiving the remunerating price, foreign corn would be neither needed, nor, on the supposition, admitted to competition with their own.

But the supply of corn is not like the manufacture of stockings, and varies from year to year, not in proportion to the quantity of land tilled, or labour bestowed on it; but in consequence of rain or drought, of cold or heat, over which the farmer has no controul. Mr. Hodgson, who gave evidence before the Committee of 1822, as to the inquiries made by the house of Cropper and Co. in which he is a partner, concerning the produce of the crops of several years, a subject on which they have taken great trouble, and obtained most accurate information, gave the following as the results :

In 1815—37 bushels per acre; in 1816—25) bushels per acre; in 1817-3818 ; in 18184-32,8 ; in 1819–—2710; in 1820–374.-Minutes of Evidence, p. 264.

The variation between the best year and the worst, amounted to a third, and yet in this time there was not one year equal for scarcity or abundance to many known at other periods; and even in this period, if the quality were taken into amount, the difference would be greater per acre than the mere quantity in bushels indicates.

If we suppose, that our farmer, satisfied with “ the assumed point of protection," cultivates boldly enough land to supply, on the average of years, enough corn for the consumption of the kingdom, let us see how the protection will be felt. In the first year, or series of years, we may imagine, that as in 1816, the crop is to the average produce as 25 is to 32, or one-fourth below it, and had in quality to boot. It would be, therefore, necessary for the farmer to sell his bad grain at 768. 9d. in order to remunerate himself: but this is far above the assumed point of protection ; foreign corn would, therefore, be poured in, (if the supposition on which the plan is founded be true,) long before prices mounted so high. If, in spite of the supply, the price


« PreviousContinue »