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duty on wine has stimulated its con- 6,861,374 gallons in 1794. Then sumption to a surprising extent - to came the second experiment which an extent, indeed, which, when we Mr. Pitt made on the wine duties. In bear in mind the small proportion 1795 he raised French wines to 79. which the amount of the reduction 4d., and Portuguese and Spanish to ever bore to the whole price, seems 4s. 10d. per gallon, and even these perfectly unaccountable. Nay, more rates he raised in the year following to than this, it appears from the facts 10s. 2d. and 6s. 100. respectively; which are now before us, that the and what was the result? Why, taste for wine, when once acquired that so confirmed had the country beunder the reduced rate of duty, has come within the ten years past in maintained the consumption almost the habit of using wine, that even this wholly unaffected when the duty was rise of price produced little or no subsequently raised to its original diminution in the consumption : it height — unaffected even by a further fell off, according to our author, but advance to a still higher rate - un- seventeen one-fifth per cent. We then affected by the difficulties interposed, come to the third experimental period, and by the increased price occasioned that between 1801 and 1805, during by a war with a country from which a which time the duty was raised, year considerable portion of our supply after year, until in the last year it was derived ; and finally yielded, amounted to 13s. 8d. on French not to any amount of tax which was wines, and 9s. ld. on other wines. laid upon wine, but to the accumulated But not even these rates could overand increasing pressure on the national come the now confirmed taste of the resources, occasioned by the general country: in the words of our author, taxation of the country in a war of “ strange to say, the consumption unexampled magnitude. This is all proved to be sufficiently elastic to exabundantly evident from the returns pand, notwithstanding this additional with which our author furnishes us, tension." The duties on wine were though we admit that they lead him thenceforth maintained at the scale of to no such conclusion : he can only 1805, but it was not until 1812 that regard them “ as presenting so many the consumption began to sink - not, anomalies that throw no real light on however, under the influence of the the abstract question, and can only high duties, as our author conceives. be accounted for by regarding them as It is preposterous to suppose that such the eccentricities of consumption ex- could be the case after that it had cited by the vicissitudes of war." Let withstood this influence so long, and us briefly glance at the facts with borne every successive rise almost unwhich our author furnishes us, and affected. No; the consumption of their bearing on this question.
wine then sapk, not under the weight It was in the year 1787, when the of its own duty, but under the trepopulation and wealth of the country mendous and increasing pressure of the were very much less than they are at pre- general taxation of the country, occasent, that Mr. Pitt made his first ex- sioned by the wars in which it was periment on the wine duties, by re- then engaged. Once again, in twenty ducing French wines from about 8s. years afterwards, we have a reduction a-gallon to 4s., and Portuguese and in the duty, and accompanied with preother wines from 4s. 6d. to 2s. 7d. cisely the same results as in the previous Now, what was the effect on the con. instance of 1787 - a reduction folsumption of the country of thus lowed by a great increase of consumplowering the price of wine by 4s, and tion. Mr. Huskisson lowered the 2s. a-gallon ? Why, that the consump- rates in 1825 from 13s. 8d, on French tion almost at once all but doubled. wines to 7s. 2d.; and from 9s. Id. on It had been
Portuguese and Spanish wines to 4s. ort 4,064,864 gallons in 1785
10d. ; and the uniform result forthin 1690
with ensued : it rose to 6,601,038
we find that an ingh and to 7,851,707 in 1792
crease in the consumption, to the ex
tent of fifty per cent., took place imIn the next year, 1793, there was a mediately on the reduction of the duty. trifling check, occasioned by the French The average consumption of wine in war which then broke out, and yet we the five years before the duties were find that the consumption amounted to lowered, amounted to 4,751,106 galls.
and, in the five years afterwards, to Shakspeare supplanted the noble na6,741,855.
tional sport of bear-baiting. Our auShall we, then, with all these facts thor says that the English at all times before us, demonstrating as they do have had a taste for strong wines, and the capability of the country to in- he doubts that a demand could now crease its consumption of wine-shall be stimulated for a new class of light we be asked to acquiesce, without a and pure wines. Why this should be trial, in the conclusion that wine could so he does not pretend to tell us ; he not be introduced into general use admits that it cannot be owing to the amongst our people? We doubt not climate, “ for the light wines of France that there are many who have long in- find their most valuable markets in dulged in the strong stimulants of al- the still colder latitudes of Germany coholic spirits, or who have besotted and Northern Europe ; ” he half themselves habitually with heavy malt hints that probably our cookery may liquors, and that by such men the best require a more stimulant digestive wine that could be offered them would than the cuisine of our continental be rejected as a mawkish dose. Our neighbours, but on this he does not punch-drinkers despise claret. We all venture to determine; in fact, he does know that men who have long indulged not pretend to account for it in any in the use of strong stimulants find way, but he simply says, that it is much difficulty in abandoning them. uncontested, that " from a very early It is just as though you would propose period the people of these countries to a coarse and hardened sensualist to have rejected light wines, and drank give up the indulgence of his brutal only those which, along with high ilaappetites, and to seek enjoyment in the vour, combined a large proportion of fine arts or in any other refined and body and spirit." And in further cultivated pursuit. But it is not for proof of the national taste for strong such men that we are to legislate, but liquors, he constantly refers to the for those who are yet undepraved. instance of French brandy, which was for the races now growing up for not excluded from consumption by a generations yet unborn ; and we dare duty of 22s. 10d., and which doubled not so vilify our race as to say, that its consumption, when reduced in such of them as are undepraved by 1846 to 155. a gallon. But this inhabit are yet so depraved by constitu- stance of the brandy proves nothing tion, that it must continue besotted to the purpose; when the price alto all time; and that even when a lowed the genuine article to be imgrateful, nutritive and invigorating ported, a less amount of spurious spirits stimulant is offered to it, it will reject was sold; and again, those who were it, and take, in preference, to such as in the habit of drinking other spirits is destructive, brutalising, and debas- gave up their gin, or whiskey, or rum, ing. We every day establish Athe- or British brandy, for the pure and næums, Mechanics’ Institutes, Parks, genuine French. We have already Galleries of Paintings, Galleries of seen that reductions in the price of Sculpture, and Museums, for the wine were followed by increased conainusement of the people. What do sumption; moreover, the price of most of them yet know about painting brandy has always brought it much or sculpture? but we acknowledge it to more within the means of the bulk of be our business to develop the taste, the community than has ever been the by presenting them with the objects case with wine. A tumbler of brandy of it. And did any one ever hear it punch could always be had at a price put forward as an argument against for which the quantity of wine that such attempts to improve the taste and could be got would be quite insignifito refine the enjoyments of the people, cant. that they would much rather have Neither can we concur with our their good old English pastimes of author as to this fixedness of the naprize-fighting or bull-baiting than all tional taste in the matter of wine; we the galleries of paintings in the world ? read the highest authority on the subIs there in the nature of things any ject very differently; we refer to Mr. greater reason why the tastes of the Henderson's work on “ Ancient and palate should not change than tastes Modern Wines.” He says, “From in other matters of enjoyment; and the preceding details it is manifest that are not these changing every day. the taste of the English in wine bas varied considerably during the two last ask us to believe that pure light wine centuries. For five or six bundred would not be as likely to be substituted years the light growths of France and for intoxicating drink as tea or coffee, of the banks of the Rhine were im being, as we are convinced it is, a much ported in larger quantities, while the more wholesome stimulant ? rich, sweet wines of the Mediterranean But the argument of our author and the islands of the Archipelago about the disinclination of our people were held in the highest estimation. for light wines serves another purpose. Then came the dry wines of Spain, While he admits the vast supply of this which, for a time, were preferred to description of wine, he says, we would all others on account of their strength not receive it, and the better classes of and durability. At the close of the wine he conceives to be too limited in seventeenth and beginning of the eigh- supply to be within our reach. The teenth centuries, the red growths of length to which this article has run prethe Bordelais were in most urgent de- cludes the possibility of our following mand ; but the wars in which the our author into this, which is the most country was then involved put a stop interesting part of his work, in which to their importation, and led to the he examines the present sources of substitution of the rough vintages of supply of wine ; we feel entirely conPortugal. From the long continued vinced, however, that with the market ose of these strong, dry wines, which of England open to the Continent, and are made doubly strong for the English in the present progressive state of market, the relish for sweet wines, agricultural and scientific knowledge, which was once so prevalent, has gra- we could not fail to be, after a little dually declined, and several kinds, such time, abundantly supplied with sound as canary, mountain, &c., which, as and pure wine: A hundred years ago Beveral of my readers may be old the district of the Alto Douro, which enough to remember," were drunk very now supplies Port Wine to the world, generally by way of morning, but are was desert and uncultivated. Nei now scarcely ever met with. Since ther can we now enter into an exami. the peace of 1814, the renewal of our nation of the effect of the change intercourse with the Continent has which we advocate on the public tended to revive the taste for light revenue ; but this is of less imporwines, and to lessen materially
the con- iance as we have avowed that, if the sumption of the growth of Portugal exigencies of war would cease, we and Spain." Why then, we ask, should risk the loss of revenue to effect an obnot this "taste for light wines” con- ject which we believe to be so desirable, tinue to extend itself, if it were but and would supply the deficiency by an properly developed ? Why should not increase in the direct taxation. Indeed
the light growths of France and of this, with many other evils connected the banks of the Rhine be imported in with our finance, would be dispelled at largest quantity" once again to our once if the system of direct taxation, country? Our author himself tells us, which we recently advocated, * were inthat “it is a matter of notoriety that the troduced. At present we can say no large consumption of tea and coffee by more, but again commend Sir James the middle and lower orders in Eng- Emerson Tennent's work to 'all who land has very materially interfered desire information on the subject of with the use of intoxicating drinks in which it treats. this country.” Is it not too much to
* " The War Budget." May, 1855.
THE BAT# OF THE STREAM).
BY DANIS FLORENCE M'CARTRY.
Down unto the ocean,
See the rivers run ;
Madcaps every one.
Like a troop of girls
Onward in their glee ;
With the assailing sea.
See the winds pursue them,
O'er their prison bar.
Wishing too to wander
All their silvery stores ;
Round the rippling shores.
Vainly sought to break
Paths they dare not take.
But the swift streams speed them,
With their murmuring song.
'Mid the whispering reeds-
Down the golden meads
Playing as they run ;
water's edges ; Leaping o'er the ledges,
Glistening in the sun.
IX. Streams and streamlets blending, Each on each attending, All together wending,
Seek the silver sands; Like to sisters holding With a fond enfoldingLike to sisters holding
One anothers' bands.
Now with foreheads blushing
In among the waves ;
Of sequestered caves.
Out upon the strand;
From each others' hand.