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Batavia—the destroying half the crop, or, which amounts to the same thing, leaving half the land uncultivated. As this demand for labour increases, so will the expense of raising the wheat, and, with both, the price to be paid for manufactures. The revenue, which can no longer be obtained from foreign commerce, must be raised by land taxes and excise; the first impair the value of the farm, and the second increases the expense of living on it :-The support of government, the interest, and, gradually, the principal of our national debt, and a suitable naval and military force, must be paid for. If an excise of 25 per cent. is laid on domestic commodities, manufacturers would hardly thank congress for this mode of encouraging them; and farmers would be as unwilling to take the burden, directly on their own shoulders, in the shape of a land tax. From the operation of these causes, the same impatience of suffering inconvenience, that now prompts many of our citizens to demand from government a cure for their difficulties, will, in a short time, sicken them of their remedy. The great body of consumers will find the only method of relieving themselves from heavy taxes and high prices, will be to employ those unhappy beings who are starving in foreign workshops. With that ready expedient before them, they will not be long in resorting to it; our ports will again be opened, and manufacturers will meet with the same fate they did in 1816.
We will here notice a remark frequently made, that if any branch of business becomes unprofitable, the capital employed in it will be directed to new channels. It may as well be said that if a man has $10,000 in any description of stock, which suddenly depreciates one half in the amount of his dividends, he has only to take away his money and invest it in some other stock that pays better interest. Changes in the investment of capital should be gradual; even then, the loss is not prevented, but its effects are less sensibly felt, and more fairly distributed. All rapid changes in the course of national industry destroy capital. If commerce, from the operation of any causes whatever, becomes no longer worth pursuing, the merchant cannot remove his warehouses to situations adapted to manufactories, nor turn his ships into jennies and spindles; nor can he sell them, for none will be willing to purchase. So, when the employment of the manufacturer is stopped, his looms, his machinery, his extensive establishments, and his skill are rendered useless, and, consequently, worthless.
No prudent man would invest his fortune in any line of business, where the only security from ruin would be the continuance of a restrictive act of congress. Whatever argument might be urged in favour of its policy, the moment it was felt to
be oppressive it would be repealed; and those who had trusted their all upon its duration, would be beggared.
We trust we have expressed ourselves with sufficient precision to clear us of any imputation of being hostile to manufacturers. We are as free from prejudice or attachments in respect to them, as to merchants or farmers. In this country, above all others, industry should be free; and any law restraining its honest exercise would be an act of tyranny: our system of revenue lays already a heavy duty on foreign importations, and that is a sufficient legislative encouragement to our own manufacturers. The advantages which merchants derive from some of the navigation laws, may, perhaps, make it proper for them to sustain this burthen. .
Our dispute is not, however, with the manufacturers, but with politicians; while the latter are demanding from congress the trial of a dangerous theoretical experiment, those of the former who understand their business, and pursue it with prudence, ask for no farther national encouragement. This is known to be the sentiment of the owners of the Waltham Factory; and we have heard the same language from a proprietor of an extensive establishment at Paterson. The following remarks merit serious attention.
• We are beginning a series of years, probably the happiest we have experienced since 1806. As the nations in the world are all now, more or less, engaged in commerce, we cannot expect so large a share of foreign trade as we had, when they were fighting the battles of ambitious men; but our coasting trade is increasing rapidly, and will permanently supply its loss. We shall probably, too, enjoy as large a foreign trade as any other nation.
Indeed, if we could but forget old dreams, we might believe ourselves at this moment in a happy condition; we have a surplus of money, of food, and of clothes. Let us have a little patience, and we shall have something better to do than to croak about the times.
If men would but pay more attention to these changes in the world, as natural as day and night, and trouble their brains less for discoveries of fanciful causes and new systems, we should all make better farmers, better merchants, better manufacturers and better legislators.
The author must not expect to escape from our hands without having some fault found with his book; it would be transgressing against the rules of our order : Some inaccuracies in expression have been suffered to remain, and are more conspicuous from the general correctness of the style. His great fault, however, is, that he has not availed himself sufficiently of “the craft and mystery of book-making;" he has given us, in about 260 pages, more sound information and good argument, than is often found in a volume of thrice its size: we apprehend some people have their VOL. II.
opinion of a work influenced a little by large type, broad margin, and a formal division into books, sections, and chapters.
We think this publication calculated to do more good than any work of the kind that has been written in this country for many years, and we trust the measures of congress will be in unison with the correct and liberal policy it advocates.
ART. VI.-On the Works of Miss Edgeworth ;—and Memoirs
of Richard Lovell Edgeworth, Esq. Few writers have acquired more extensive popularity than Miss Edgeworth. This lady may be said to be the first who possessed courage to strip romance of the artificial and sickly sentiments, the bright but false colours, with which it had been loaded by depraved taste. It was a bold attempt in a youthful author to publish a novel which was the transcript of real life, heightened only by her own talent and humour; in which there were no miraculous escapes, inexplicable mysteries, or moonlight adventures; and where the heroes were men of mortal mould, and the heroines women whom we might claim as fellow beings. This, however, Miss Edgeworth dared to attempt; and from that period we may date a general reformation in novels, and the taste of novel readers.--To those sentimental writers, who sullied their pages with delusive views of life, and scenes of delirious passion, or feeble sensibility, she might truly have used the words of Prince Henry, “mark, how a plain tale shall put you down.”
Miss Edgeworth's most distinguishing merits are close, accurate observation, and spirited delineation of character.The every day scenes of common life, touched by her animated pen, become vivid and interesting. That she possesses true humour and refined wit, we need only cite, in illustration, her scenes among the Irish peasantry, and the inimitable “ Lady Delacour." Another, and not the least of her merits, is the pure moralitythe ardent desire of proving useful-which breathes through all her works,—and the chastened and healthful tone of mind they not only evince, but communicate to the reader. Her dialogues charm by their wit and spirit-her descriptions of humble life, by their accuracy and humour. We had rather, with Lord Colambre, have been entertained by his Irish tenants, than have feasted with all the crowned heads that were congregated in London.
But like all reformers, Miss Edgeworth has gone too far.
She has judiciously discarded the flummery of false sentiment; but she has not substituted the tenderness of deep feeling in its stead. She seldom rises to passion, scarce ever to the pathetic; and we meet with few of those sudden touches which come home to our bosoms. There is not, in all her works, one stroke to be compared to the scene in Waverley, where Baron Bradwardine accepts Edward as his son-in-law. She never surprises us into sympathy; and in her softest scenes there is an evident want of tenderness. We are aware that, in perusing these assertions, every reader will instantly recur to the affectionate old nurse in Ennui, and many instances of Irish devotedness; but these, though they please and interest us, go no farther. The “Modern Griselda” is, we think, one of her best productions. It is a gem in which no eye can detect a blemish; shining in the purity of wit, and the polish of fine writing. It seems to have been written at a single effort; in some happy humour of the mind, which would not permit the author to resign her pen till the task was completed. Of “Belinda” nothing is left to say. The avidity with which it was read, the rank it holds, and the innumerable imitations of its principal character, are sufficient proofs of its excellence. Who has not dwelt on and admired “ Ennui ;” or triumphed over the manoeuvring Mrs. Beaumont?
Those of her works which have been least spoken of have, probably, been the most useful. Popular Tales” were an invaluable gift to society. While to the higher class of readers they afforded pleasure to the middle ranks they offered wholesome amusement, and held characters to their view in whose feelings they could enter-whose motives they could appreciate-and whose example the natural events of the narrative, as well as the truths they demonstrated, led them to copy.—That men should be rendered better by the influence of novels has been generally ridiculed. If it is allowed, however, that their effects are sometimes mischievous, it may be fairly granted that they may sometimes be beneficial. There are many who would turn from a moral work, or yawn over a serious essay, who peruse the same sentiment, adorned by the pen of Miss Edgeworth, with delight. No heart, however hardened, if it had not lost the impress of humanity, and the recollections of parental kindness, but would feel a glow of pleasure in reading the last scene in “ The Contrast;" where the children of Frankland, being enabled by their industry to remove him from the almshouse, assemble round their aged but happy father, to conduct him in honest triumph to a comfortable home. His son throws away the badge coat with rapture, while one sister strokes her father's gray hair and the other ties on his neckcloth, that he may appear properly before their friends. Few persons ever rose from the perusal of “ To-morrow” without re
solving against procrastination. It is true, that to resolve and to execute, are widely different, yet it is a great point gained, when one acknowledges a fault, and wishes to amend. It is sufficient compensation for an author's labours, if they have instilled one right feeling into their reader's mind :
-Even if it be but a transient one, it may prove beneficial. An old author has quaintly said, “ Evil thoughts are the devil's harbingers; for he lodgeth not but where they provide for his entertainment." Thus, one virtuous thought may introduce another, and though the seed lie long dormant, it may yet take root and blossom into beauty.
Miss Edgeworth was blessed with great advantages in possessing a father whose mind was of a superior order, and whose highest virtues were those all-essential ones in authorship, perseverance and application. Her obligations to her parent are feelingly acknowledged in her continuation of his memoirs.
• Invention, it is said, is often overawed by criticism, and many writers have complained, perhaps with justice, of critics, who can Dever suggest any thing new, in the place of that to which they object. Mine was a critic of a different sort; one who knew well both the difficulties and pleasures of invention-one who, if he objected, knew how to remedy--who, even in assisting, knew how to give the writer all the pleasure of original composition. He left me always at full liberty to use or reject bis hints, throwing new materials before me continually, with the profusion of genius and of affection. There was no danger of offending, or of disappointing him by not using what he offered. There was no vanity, no selfishness, to be managed with delicacy and deference ; he had too much resource ever to adhere tenaciously to any one idea or invention. So far from it, he forgot his gists almost as soon as he had made themthought the ideas were mine, if they appeared before him in any form in which he liked them ; and if never used, he never missed, never thought of inquiring for them. Continually he supplied new observations on every passing occurrence, and awakened the atten-, tion with anecdotes of the living or the dead. His knowledge of the world, and all that he had had opportunities of seeing behind the scenes in the drama of life, proved of inestimable service to me; all that I could not otherwise have known, was thus supplied in the best possible manner. Few female authors, perhaps none, have ever enjoyed such advantages, in a critic, friend, and father, united. Few have ever been blest in their own family with such able assistance, such powerful motive, such constant sympathy.'
We cannot be contented with noticing these memoirs only by a slight allusion,-especially as the criticisms we have seen have seemed to attend more to the character of the book than of the man of whom it treats. If to mark the operations of an uncommonly active and intelligent mind—to observe the events of a long, varied and useful life, be interesting, this work possesses