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ments, as it were, a distinct branch of trade. It is found an useful division of labour, to employ bankers to perform the greater number of payments which a man has occasion to make. He lodges, accordingly, at his banker's, the sum of money which he would otherwise have been obliged to keep constantly by him. Now what is the consequence of this? It is found, we shall say, by experience, that a banker's customers never make dein?iids upon him, at one time, to the amount of more than one half of the whole of the deposits which are placed at his disposal; he therefore provides himself with daily cash only to one half of the amount of what islodged with him; he thus performs the payments of all those individuals who employ him, with one half of the currency which it would have been necessary to keep employed, and those individuals retained money by them to perform all their payments themselves. Thus, we may safely affirm that, ot the great business of London, any given proportion is performed by one third less currency than an equal amount of business in many _parts of the country. A variety of other circumstances might be mentioned, which require a greater quantity of currency to perform the same quantity of busines* in some situations than in others. But what we have already advanced is sufficient to show, that it is not relative to the amount of purchases and sales in a nation, that its currency equals that of another ; and that it is not even in this sense that the proposition of Mr. Wheatley holds true.
It is not very easy to specify any other sense, in which Mr. Wheatley can pretend that his proposition is accurate. If he comes at last to say, and we see not what else is left for him, that every nation has a currency in proportion to its occasion for it,—this may be true; but what use can be made of so vague a proposition as he would thus advance? What is the measure of this occasion? It is neither population, nor territory, nor wealth, nor the amount of its exchanges. But, if we have no mark by which to know the occasion which any nation may have for money, to say that it has what it lias occasion for, conveys as little instruction, as to say that it has what it has.
Thus have we examined Mr. Wheatley's three propositions, with a most sincere intention to exhibit fairly and clearly their meaning; but for this, we are sorry to say, that we kave searched in vain; or, if we have found any thing in the semblance of a meaning, it has been of so little value, that neither we nor our readers are likely to be much better for the discovery. -.
If we may be permitted to guess at the conceptions of an author, who has not succeeded in expressing them, we would Vol. IV. 'D
say, that the meaning at which Mr. Wheatley has aimed on this occasion, was merely that gold and silver are all over the world of an uniform, or nearly of an uniform value; and that the attempts of any nation to engross an extraordinary quantity of them, which would reduce their value, are sure to he defeated, by their departure, in spite of all restrictions, to other countries. This, under some limitations, is true: but so far is it from being a discovery, as Mr. Wheatley would have us believe, that it is the foundation of a considerable part of the reasonings of Dr. Smith, and has been assumed as a principle by the greater part of all the recent speculators on the subject. We are persuaded, too, that Mr. Wheatley was by no means aware that his meaning reached to no more than this, or he would not have been so proud of the imagined discovery. The whole of his reasonings, it is visible, in support of his third proposition, tend to this point, and to no other.
These reasonings seem to reduce themselves to the three following arguments. 1. By the natural tendency of things, the same commodity isof the same price in all different places, because it is naturally carried to the place where it sells dearest, till the price is thus brought to the general level.— 2. Spain has been unable to retain more than a small quantity of the gold and silver which she has imported from America; because, says Mr. Wheatley, "her specie was invariably exported, when it would exchange for a greater quantity of foreign than home produce."—3. It is found by an examination of the fact, that the prices of ali the more important commodities in all the different parts of Europe, approach very nearly to an equality.—These arguments, as far as they hold, prove that gold and silver are every where of an uniform value; but they prove nothing whatever in regard to the quantity of those metals which any nation may possess.
"Whether, therefore," says Mr. Wheatley, "currency increase or decrease, whether prices be advanced or depressed, money still maintains its attribute as a measure of equivalency.n Now we should indeed like to hear Mr. Wheatley explain what he hleans by a measure of equivalency. The only meaning of equivalency with which we are acquainted-is, equality of value. A guinea we say is equivalent to one and twenty shillings, that is to say, there is an equality of value between a guinea and one and twenty shillings. When Mr. Wheatley therefore says, that money is a measure of equivalency, it means, that money is a measure of equality of value. But, what! is it not a measure of inequality of value as Well? Can it not show the ratio of a brass pin to a diamond, as easily as the ratio of one egg to another? This is one specimen of the use which Mr. Wheatley makes of the English language in philosophical discourse.
The wages of labour in England are much higher than on the continent; this is an objection to Mr. Wheatley's argument. But this he expects to remove, by showing that the labourers on the continent are unable to buy the same quantity of the necessaries of life. "They are compelled," he says, "to submit to a proportionate inferiority of subsistence;" and the necessaries of life are as dear on the continent as they are in England. But Mr. Wheatley does not perceive, that while he thus supports his doctrine in one instance, he betrays it in another. Bread is one important commodity, labour is another important commodity/ indeed the most important, in regard to exchange, of all commodities; of all the commodities which are brought to market, labour is that for which most is given annually in every nation. But while Mr. Wheatley proves that bread is not cheaper on the continent than in England, he proves that labour is much cheaper. The same quantity of money does not purchase the same quantity of labour in England, as it does on the continent; as far therefore as this, the most important of all commodities is concerned, money is not "an uniform measure of value over the whole world;" it is of much less value in England than it is in France.
We should now pass on to the examination of Mr. W.'s controversy with his predecessors, but the length to which our remarks have, in spite of all our caution, extended, induces us to postpone the conclusion of them to the next
■■ •■ ,* ■ ■ —. • 1 .
Art. IV. Poems. In Two Volumes. By William Wordsworth, Author of Lyrical Ballads, foolscap 8vo. pp. 328. Price lis. Longman and Co. London. 1807.
TN this age of poetical experiment, Mr. Wordsworth has distinguished himself, by his " Lyrical Ballads," as one of the boldest and most fortunate adventurers in the field of innovation. Casting away, at once and entirely, all the splendid artifices of style, invented in the earliest ages by the fathers of poetry, and perpetuated among all classes and generations of their successors, he avowed, in his Preface to that work, that " his principal object was to chuse incidents and situations from common life, and to relate and describe them throughout, as far as was possible, in a selection of language really used by men; and at the same time to throw upon them a certain colouring of imagination^ whereby ordinary things should be presented to the mind in an unusual way; and further, and above all, to make these incidents and situations interesting by tracing in them, truly, though not ostentatiously, the primary laws of our nature; chiefly as far as regards the manner in which we associate ideas in a state of excitement." Pref. p. vii. Were these volumes (the Lyrical Ballads, &c.) now before us for criticism, however we might admire and commend Mr. Wordsworth's ingenuity in the advancement and vindication of his theory of poetical phraseology; and however we might agree with him, so far as his system would restrict the multitude of epithets that frequently render verse too heavy for endurance,—we would certainly protest against the unqualified rejection of those embellishments of diction, suited to the elevation of enthusiastic thoughts equally above ordinary discourse and ordinary capacities, which essentially distinguish Poetry from Prose, and have been sanctioned by the successful usage of Bards in every age and nation, civilized or barbarous, on which the light of Song has shed its quickening, ennobling, and ameliorating beams. In dramatic verse, assuredly, the writer, through all his characters, should speak the truth of living nature: the language of violent passions should be simple, abrupt, impetuous, and sublime ; that of the gentler affections, ardent, flowing, figurative, and beautifully redundant; while, in both instances, every colour of expression, every form of thought, which appeals only to the imagination, and touches not the heart, should be rigorously proscribed. But in narrative, descriptive, and ethic poetry, we know no law of nature, and we will acknowledge none of art, that forbids Genius to speak his mother-tongue,—a language which, in sound and structure, as well as in character and sentiment, exalts itself far above the models of common speech.
A Poet—we speak of him who is really such—is no ordinary man; (Mr. Wordsworth allows him " more than usual erganic sensibility''';)—norarehis compositions the prompt and spontaneous expressions of his own every-day feelings; (Mr. W. declares, that" lie must have thought long and deeply, to produce poems to which any value can be attached" :)—No! they are the most hidden ideas of his soul, discovered in his happiest moments, and appareled in his selectest language. Will such a man array the most pure, sublime, and perfect conceptions of his superior mind in its highest fervour, only with "the real language of men in a state of vivid excitement" ? Compare the heroic narratives of Milton, the magnificent descriptions of Thomson, the solemn musings of Young, nay even the soliloquies, and frequently the speeches of Shakspeare, in which characters and passions are pourtrayed with unparalleled force and feeling; compare these with "the real language of men" on the very same subjects, or in the same situations, however animated, interested, or excited they may be. The fact is, that poetical sensibility will, on all occasions, except perhaps in the simple expression of the highest degree of agony or rapture, suggest language more lively, affecting, and fervent, than passion itself can inspire in minds less tremblingly alive to every touch of pain or pleasure. Hence the delight communicated by true poetry is generally more deeply transporting, than any that could be derived from the unassisted contemplation of the objects themselves, which are presented to us by the magic of the author's art: of this art bis language is the master-secret; for by that charm he transfuses into frigid imaginations his warmer feelings, and his brighter views, on subjects and of things that would only indifferently affect rhem in nature and reality.
Mr. Wordsworth is himself a living example of the power which a man of genius possesses, of awakening unknown and ineffable sensations in the hearts of his fellow-creatures. His Cumberland Beggar, Tintern Abbey, his Verses on the naming of Places, and some other pieces in his former volume?, have taught us new sympathies, the existence of which in our nature had scarcely been intimated to us by any preceding poet. But Mr. Wordsworth must be reminded, that in these, his most successful pieces, he has attired his thoughts in diction of transcendent beauty. We will quote two brief passages from Tintern Abbey.
« ■ I have learn'd
To look on Nature, not as in the hour
Of thoughtless youth, but hearing oftentimes
The still, sad music of humanity,
Nor harsh, nor grating, though of ample power
To chasten and subdue. And I have felt
A presence that disturbs me with the joy
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused, . X
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean, and the living air,
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man;
A motion and a spirit, that impels
All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
And rolls thro' all things!
« ——— Therefore let the moon