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goods ? and he replies, Yes, I think so; I think the English silks would have the preference in wearing to the French; that they would do more service; but we buy that article in the United States which appears to be the cheapest: for instance, the Canton silks come still lower than the French, but there is not so much service in them as the French; there are a great many Canton silks sold now in preference to the French, in consequence of their being sold at a less price. He is again interrogated— At what per cent. would
you calculate the difference in price between the French and the Chinese ?
I should think,' he answers, ' there was a full 20 per cent difference, if not more; the Chinese can imitate any thing ; our merchants will send out French patterns and get them to manufacture a similar article frequently; I have seen silks from China as handsome as the French levantine silks ; I have seen them made to a French pattern that was sent out,' Here therefore is an article, ‘full 20 per cent.' cheaper than the French, which is estimated to be 30 per cent. cheaper than the English, and which is as . handsome as the French levantine silks,' the manufacturers of which can
ate any pattern with the greatest facility—which article is likewise to come into competition with the English manufacturers, on paying a duty of 30 per cent only! Can it be doubted that certain classes of our fair countrywomen, like their sister citizenesses beyond the Atlantic, will, to a certain extent, be influenced by the American taste, and induced to purchase the cheapest article, especially when that can be made to the exact pattern of the 'handsome' levantines of France ? • The Chinese,' says this gentleman, can imitate any thing. If this be the case, and who can question it, is it not probable, that, when encouraged by the English, they will stretch their inventive and imitative powers still farther, and copy patterns even more fashionable than French levantines, and of higher value and repute ? Unquestionably they will. The Canton silks will, to a certainty, drive all the lighter fabrics of British manufacture out of the market. It is in vain to think of competing with them; and unless a material alteration in the law takes place before this day twelve months, an occurrence, which would not surprise us, those who were wont to be employed with these fabrics, must turn their attention to others, or desist from manufacturing altogether.
The excitation which prevails, and the dread of this compound competition, which is felt in London and the other manufactụring towns of the kingdom, is far less imaginary than is believed. However true it may be, that the embarrassments which press upon the silk trade are not all attributable to the alteration in the laws, or the dread of rivalship; yet it will not admit of a dispute that, as far as regards the English throwsters, and the majority of the manufacturers of Spitalfields and Coventry, the present distress is chiefly to be ascribed to the change. So well satisfied are we of this being the case, that we feel convinced, that were the new law regarding the importation of wrought silks to be delayed being enforced for four or five years, or an additional duty of 10 per cent. imposed, the workmen who are at present suffering the most serious privations, would instantly be employed, and be enabled to maintain themselves and families as heretofore. It has, indeed, been more to lull public opinion; in order to give this important work of liberal legislation, what is called, a fair trial,' that the Right Honourable the President of the Board of Trade, has so unreservedly attributed the prevailing distress of the silk weavers, and the throwsters, to other causes than the real and obvious ones. It requires no exertion to recollect, that the distress in Spitalfields was general a considerable time previous to the failures amongst the bankers, the depression of the funds, and the subsequent commercial embarrassments. Long before it could have been conceived that his Majesty's speech would have contained aught else but a repetition of the congratulations of last year, upon the substantial and increasing prosperity of the country,' the inhabitants of Spitalfields and Macclesfield were struggling with privation, and exhibiting symptoms of the want of employment, of which they now complain, and which all must deplore. On a recent occasion, when this subject was, in a sense, before the public, the fact alluded to was carefully kept in the shade; and the existence of distress in the other branches of trade appealed to as a proof that the source of the evil was in over-trading and over-speculating. With what portion of justice this may be said of the cotton trade, certainly the condition of the warehouses of the respective over-traders and over-speculators exhibits at this moment a singular contrast. For the last twelve months, the stocks of the silk manufacturer and mercer have been gradually diminishing, while those of the cotton manufacturers have been progressively augmenting. The consumption of the former commodity has, beyond all example, exceeded the supply; while that of the latter has been inversely disproportioned. This is no theoretical assumption, pressed by necessity into the support of our argument. It is indisputably true; and whether the dread of competition be real or imaginary-whether it be the dream of the alarmist, or the work of the political economist—the presumption that it has been the principal cause of the distress amongst the silk weavers, is founded on unassailable evidence. Manufacturers are uniformly the best judges of the crisis at which a speculation in trade is likely to be most lucrative: and if the fear of French rivalship were not founded in something beyond mere panic or ignorance, there are numbers of capitalists in that business, who would long since have taken advantage of the want of employment, to have produced a cheap commodity. A pervading, and a sincere, conviction of the superiority of the French goods, in respect of price, has completely paralyzed them. If they cannot employ their capital advantageously, in the present state of wages, and destitute as the workmen have been, and, for some time, are likely to be, they never, we are afraid, will have such an opportunity subsequently to the 5th July, unless the act of 1824 be further altered and amended.'
THE FOREST SANCTUARY, AND OTHER POEMS.
BY MRS. HEMANS.
The article which we had the pleasure of laying before our readers, in March last, on the poetical genius of Mrs. Hemans, obviates the necessity of any detailed preliminary remarks upon the present occasion: The principal poem in the volume before us, “The Forest Sanctuary,' bears a more vivid impress of the characteristics of the genius and poetical sensibility of its distinguished authoress, than any production of length from her pen, which has hitherto fallen under our observation. The subject is one eminently calculated to call her full powers into play. Her principal object has been, she tells us, to describe the mental conflicts, as well as outward sufferings, of a Spaniard, who, flying from the religious persecutions of his own country, in the sixteenth century, takes refuge, with his child, in a North American forest. The story is supposed to be related by himself, amidst the wilderness which has afforded him an asylum. To those who read poetry, not so much for its intrinsic merits, as for the sake of the incidents of which it is the vehicle, this autobiographical sketch, beautiful as it is, will have comparatively speaking, little interest; but with such as are capable of appreciating those outpourings of the spirit, which have their origin in the best and most glorious feelings of our nature, the Forest Sanctuary will be more popular than any of its author's previous works. There is scarcely a chord in that comprehensive lyre the human heart, on which the authoress has not rung some sweet and touching change, calculated to delight all who are endued with the most ordinary feelings of refinement.
The poem opens with the following passionate aspirations, after days departed, never to return.'
The voices of my home! I hear them still !
They call me through this husle of woods, reposing
And find mine ark !-yet whither!must bear
So must it be !--These skies above me spread,
Ye far amidst the southern flowers lie sleeping,
But the faint echos in my breast that dwell,
The following apostrophe of the exile to his child, is also equally beautiful of its kind :
And thou, my boy! that silent at my knee
Is it not much that I may guide thy prayer,
Why should I weep on thy bright head, my boy?
As mine hath done; nor bear what I have borne,
This shall not be thy lot, my blessed child !
Yet there are hours when the charged heart must speak,
He then recalls to his recollection the fearful vision of an auto de fe, which he had witnessed in early years, in which his bosom friend, and that friend's two sisters were sacrificed to the bloody bigotry of a gloomy superstitious and persecuting priesthood. Some of the more nervous of these descriptions are not unworthy the pen of Byron in his loftiest moods of inspiration. Witness the following stanzas :
What pageant's hour approached ?—The sullen gate
Things that bewildered !-O'er their dazzled sight,
In this train he recognizes the friend of his boyhood, and the saviour of his life, and by his side his two sisters Inez and Theresa, each of whom are willing martyrs for the faith in which they have been educated. One of them is described in the following exquisite stanzas :
And if she mingled with the festive train,
And finding first that hour their pathway free :