Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub

posed to submit. By doing away all restrictions on the trade with France, the two nations would acquire one common interest. And we should thus not only cause a prodigiously increased demand for our products, and a proportionable augmentation of the comforts of all classes, but, in a great measure, secure ourselves against the risk of future hostilities. Les peuples ne s'entrehaïssent jamais; and we trust the period is now arrived when a selfish and repulsive system of policy will no longer be permitted to

• Make enemies of nations who had else,

Like kindred drops, been mingled into one.' The late glorious revolution in Spain, will not only give additional strength to the cause of freedom in this and every other country; but if we avail ourselves of the opportunity which it presents, it may also be rendered of the very greatest service to our commerce. During the period when Ferdinand was employed in the appropriate task of embroidering petticoats for the Virgin, the Cortes did every thing in their power to promote a free intercourse with this country. No sooner, however, had the Cortes been put down, and the Usurper restored, than our cotton goods were strictly excluded from the Peninsula; and a duty of from 26 to 43 per cent. imposed on the two finer qualities of our woollens, and of 130 per cent. on the inferior qualities. This put an entire stop to the operations of the fair trader :- But there is every reason to hope that the Cortes will again return to their former policy; and that a generous and liberal conduct on our part, will be sufficient to give a vastly greater extent to the commerce with Spain.

But it is not in Europe and America only that the abandonment of the exclusive system would give fresh vigour to com

-It has been nearly as destructive to our intercourse with the Eastern nations, as to that with France and the Baltic. The disadvantages under which our commerce with China is at present carried on, have, it is said, impressed even the practical statesmen of the Board of Trade with a conviction of the necessity of making some partial relaxation in the East India Company's monopoly. But this can be of no material service. If Government are really desirous that the surplus produce of this country should find a vent in the immense market of China, it is indispensably requisite that the freest scope should be given to competition, and that every exclusive privilege, granted to any particular class of traders, should be done away. It is certain, indeed, that if the monopoly is not entirely abolished, we shall very soon be deprived of the share we at present possess of the China trade.--Notwithstanding every advantage derived from long acquaintance with the Indian seas, and the character and manners of the people, the drawback occasioned by the exclusive system has been so great, that the Americans, whose flag first appeared at Canton so late as 1784, have already completely stript us of all share in the foreign tea trade; and, but for the monopoly which the Company have acquired of the home market, they would not be able to send out a single ship. It is not, therefore, a partial opening to the trade with China which can be of any service. All the skill and capital of our merchants would; under a system of perfectly free intercourse, be barely sufficient to enable them to enter into a successful competition with the Americans. It is quite visionary to suppose that we shall be able to regain the ground we have lost, if we continue to fetter and shackle the spirit of private adventure. As a proof of the advantages resulting from the freedom of industry, it is enough to mention, that, under all the absurd and teasing regulations about size of ships, places of sale, &c. imposed by the late act for partially opening the trade to Hindostan and the Eastern Archipelago, the private traders have already fairly beat the Company out of the market, and have prodigiously extended our intercourse with these rich and populous regions. Nor is it possible to estimate the addition that would be made to this traffic, were the nuisance of monopoly completely put down-restraints and shackles of every kind thrown aside and the vast continent of Asia opened as a field for the unrestricted competition of our merchants.

merce.

There are a number of other regulations in our exclusive system equally pernicious and absurd with those to which we have thus directed the attention of our readers; but we cannot spare time at present to specify them. We have already stated enough to show the absolute necessity of abandoning it altogether. When the former sources of our wealth and channels of our commerce have been either dried up or shut against us, and, in consequence, a seventh part of the entire population of the Empire plunged in the abyss of poverty, and reduced to the condition of paupers,-it becomes the imperative duty of Ministers to endeavour to open new markets for our manufactures, and to stimulate the natural demand for labour. It has been our object to endeavour to point out how this may be effected; and to show that, by giving freedom to commerce, those commodities which are now pent up in our warehouses, would meet with an advantageous and ready market. Instead of having too large a supply of manufactured produce, it would be found, were we to consent to relinquish our restrictions and prohibițions, and gradually to recur to the only sound principle on

1

which commercial prosperity can ever be bottomed—that of a perfect freedom of trade--that we might add indefinitely to its amount. The market of the world never has been, and never can be, glutted. The distresses of the manufacturers, as far as they originate in the want of a market, and this is undoubtedly their principal source), are entirely a consequence of our own perverse policy-of our refusing to admit the cheap corn of Poland and America--the timber and iron of the Baltic-the wines, brandies, and cambrics of France-the silks of Spain—the sugars of Brazil, and so forth. Let our rulers renounce this selfish monopolizing system; let them cease to counteract the benevolent wisdom of Providence, which, by giving a diversity of soils, climates and products to different nations, has provided for their mutual intercourse and commerce; and it may be boldly affirmed, that whatever evils we may in future suffer from our oppressive taxation, and these will be neither few nor small, we shall at least be relieved from those which arise from a deficiency of demand for our commodities. We have not chosen to incumber this discussion with

any

inquiry as to the probable effects which a reduction of the

present exorbitant duties on French wines, brandies, &c. might have on the Revenue: And this because, in the first place, it is proved, by universal experience, that a low duty levied from a large quantity, is always more productive than a high duty levied from a comparatively small quantity; and, in the second place, because, although it were otherwise, the loss of two or three hundred thousand pounds, or even of one million, the whole of the present duty on wine, could not be considered as forming any valid objection to a measure, which would infallibly be productive of such very great advantages, and which is indeed absolutely necessary to save the commerce of the country from ruin.

Art. IV. 1. A General History of Music, from the Earliest

Times to the Present : Comprising the Lives of Eminent Composers and Musical Writers. The whole accompanied with Notes and Observations, Critical and Illustrative. By ThoMAS BUSBY, Mus. Doc. 2 vols. 8vo. pp. 1075. Published

by Sir R. Phillips. London, 1819. 2. The Lives of Haydn and Mozart. In a Series of Letters.

Translated from the French of L. H. C. BOMBERT. 8vo... pp. 493. Murray, London, 1817.

3. Remarks on the Present State of Musical Instruction. By

J. RELFE. Hatchard, London, 1819. pp. 84. 4. The Thorough Bass Primer. By J. F. Burrowes. 2d Edit.

London, 1820.

Among all the tribes of inventors, Painters and Musicians are

certainly the least scrupulous in breaking the Eighth Commandment;-and it must be admitted, that they are less culpable than poets or historians. The painter who steals an idea from another man's picture, is, nevertheless, constrained to render it by the powers of his own pencil; and as ideas in music must necessarily be expressed by the same series of sounds, the musician also has his apology, when he pilfers from (or, as he would call it, imitates the style of ') another composer. But he need never imitate at the expense of candour; and should always satisfy his conscience by a reference to his original. Poets, too, in all ages, have been very much addicted to these petty larcenies. It is said, that Homer is the only poet who stole nothing--which probably only means, that we cannot not now de-tect his offences. Chaucer is very ready, on most occasions, to refer to his original; and yet he makes no acknowledgment of his Knight's Tale being a mere abridgment of the Theseida of Boccace; a poem very little known * even in Italy. And Dr Percy, in his Reliques of Ancient Poetry (Vol. III.

50.), thinks, that the old ballad of the Marriage of Sir Gawaine, suggested the idea of his Wife of Bath's Tale. But Mr Tyrwhitt + has shown very clearly, that he founded it on a story of a much older date: indeed, we should rather suspect that Sir Gawaine is a pillage from Chaucer. Spencer, Milton, Shakespeare, and all who come after them, have borrowed with out scruple-and, for the most part, without saying any thing about the matter. There is no denying that they have generally improved upon their originals; and their works have thriven wonderfully well under such a practice- which is more than can be always said in the case of stolen goods ;--but still the system is not to be defended; and we should hold ourselves very negligent of our duty, were we to pass over a flagrant case of this description, without severe castigation.

It should seem, however, from the principal work before us, that the Historians of the Arts are sometimes disposed to use the same license with those whose deeds they relate.

[ocr errors]

* The only copy of the original edition ever known in England, was in the possession of Dr Askew, + Pages 93. and 107.

When we had opened Dr Bushy's History of Music, and read as far as the fifth

page

of the Preface, we came to the following words. Though with two authors before me, respectable as those just mentioned (viz. Sir John Hawkins and Dr Burney), it was natural, if not indispensable, to make some use of the materials afforded by the ample latitude of their matter, and the general justness of their criticism, I have, I hope, been sparing in the appropriation of their ideas, scrupulous in the adoption of their language, and duly careful not to descend to servile imitation. But while

every invasion of the property of Hawkins and of Burney, whether in their conceptions, or their expressions, is denied, it will not perhaps be ima proper or unnecessary to conciliate the reader's candour towards my. occasional dissentions from their sentiments. The best apology, however, for differing from such precursors, will be deduced from the meditation which dictated, and the independence which emboldened, criticisms equally free and well considered. Pref.

pp. v, vi. Now, we had not proceeded further than the third or fourth chapter in the work, when an indistinct recollection came over us, that we had seen ideas very much the same, expressed in language very much the same, in a work not more rare or recondite, than a certain History of Music written by Dr Burney. Accordingly, we searched--and Lo! 'twas there!

As Dr Burney's work extends to four thick quarto volumes, and, as we trust, Dr Busby's is not in very extensive circulation, we shall, for the accommodation of our readers, present them with a sample, or rather key to his plagiarisms; while the extract we have already given from the preface is yet warm in their remembrance. Our limits will not allow us to give any thing like an account of the whole borrowings; for this would constrain us to transcribe nearly the whole of the Doctor's two volumes, with a corresponding quantity from Burney, and the other authors with whom he has made free ;-But we shall bring sufficient evidence to prove, that, of all poachers upon other men's books, this is the most shameless. Chapters 1st, 2d, and 3d, of Busby, are taken from sections 2d, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th of Burney, the arrangement being varied. Compare Busby I. 44, 51, and Burney I. 109, 113, 122. Nearly the whole

page 49th is in pp. 117 & 118 of Burney; and page 50th is gleaned from 119, 120, and 121. The 52d page, with a very long note, are taken verbatim from pp. 124 & 125 of Burney, and su on to the end of the chapter. Occasionally we come to a passage which, at first sight, does not appear in Burney; but a little patient research soon discovers it. Thus, for example, the long note in page 59 had no corresponding part at page 143, from which the whole of the passage preceding the note is taken; but upon trying back, we found it in page 121-and had the

of

« PředchozíPokračovat »