not yet arrived, nor possibly are we destined ever to the army and navy, and by a shifting 'in the channels of reach it. But we have gained at least the intermediate our commerce and domestic industry, to an extent never space between that and the commencing point of civiliza- perhaps before so suddenly experienced by any nation. tion, when, in the contest between the criminal and the Both these causes must undoubtedly, by throwing many law, we have seen the latter assert its permanent supremacy, thousands of persons loose from their wonted employments and the former acknowledge its strength and its terrors, and resources, have added largely to our criminal populaeven though still striving to elude its notice. Then, the tion. practical benefit of the change, that which we feel every But we are still inclined to think that the cause which day and every hour,-is not to be told. We move about more than any other lies at the root of the evil, and chiefly everywhere without dread and without danger. No man, accounts for the steadily progressive growth among us of generally speaking, dreams of the chance of being either all descriptions of crime, is the vast increase which has of murdered, or knocked down, or robbed, of being exposed | late years taken place in the number of juvenile delinquents. to injury either in person or property, while passing along | All the witnesses that have been examined before the the public street or the king's highway, be it at what hour several committees on police agree in bearing testimony to it may. He moves about upon his lawful occasions, whi- the fact of this increase, although few or any of them exthersoever they may carry him, in the feeling and in the press a distinct opinion as to the causes to which it ought reality of perfect security.

to be assigned. There is probably something in the conThe robberies, and assaults, and murders, that are still jecture which has been hazarded, that it may be partly sometimes perpetrated, take place out of sight, in remote owing to the much greater proportion of children from and lonely situations, not to be kept under perpetual obser- among the whole number born that are now reared to vation by the most numerous and best appointed police, and maturity than were formerly. The value of human life at on victims who have usually been first decoyed and snared every age has been considerably augmented; but the augbefore they have been plundered or sacrificed. If while mentation that has taken place in the value of infant life, two individuals are together in a room, one of them who is owing to the introduction of vaccination and other causes, the stronger of the two, or who is on the watch for his is the greatest of all. If, therefore, five children, for exopportunity, shall suddenly give the other a blow which ample, live now for three that lived formerly, in families stuns him, and shall then rob or murder him, this is a of that class from which the ranks of juvenile delinquency case which no vigilance on the part of a police could have have always been supplied, the consequence is very evident. prevented. Such are our modern crimes of violence. They Those ranks must have acquired an immense accession of will always be committed while the immorality and evil numbers. Now, this is the nursery in which our greater propensities by which they are instigated remain in the criminals are reared. These unhappy children commence bosoms of men; let police be made however perfect. The their career by pilfering and other minor offences; they are machinery for their detection might indeed be improved ; sent to prison, to be there associated with and tutored by but in regard, for example, to those inhuman atrocities of older malefactors; they come out more accomplished adepts this description which are done at the bidding of the worst in villany, more hardened, and if possible more destitute passions to which our nature is subject, and by maddened than ever; they plunge again, and in truth are almost or brutalized wretches incapable of being acted upon by forced to do so, into their former courses, only in all probaany but their one governing impulse, it may be doubted bility, with their increased age and more matured habits of if any possible increase of the chances of detection would lawlessness, choosing a higher and broader path of criminal operate with much effect. Other remedial influences, of a adventure, and pursuing it with bolder and more reckless different character altogether, must be applied to bring steps ; till at last, such of them as dissipation and misery about the extinction of such crimes. Meanwhile the per- have not yet destroyed, ripen into desperadoes of violence sons who suffer from them are extremely few in number; and blood. Very few, we believe, of those most unfortunate and the risk of suffering from them can hardly be said to victims of neglect and destitution are ever reformed into give a moment's uneasiness to anybody. It is a mere useful members of society. The draughting off of such mulmetaphysical possibility, or little more, on which no one titudes of the young of both sexes to an existence of almost spends a thought. And is not this a state of security and hopeless depravity and perdition, is, indeed, a fearful waste ease well worth the price, in so many pounds, shillings, and of the very life-blood and best strength of the community. pence, at which it has been bought?

It is here unquestionably, if any chance of success is to be Notwithstanding the undeniable state of the fact, how- given to the attempt, that the suppression of crime must ever, with regard to the metropolis, it has been doubted begin. A few years ago it was stated to a Committee of whether even the more violent description of offences has of the House of Commons that there were 130,000 children in late decreased throughout the country generally. If we London without the means of education. What an appalare to judge by the committals and convictions, it would ling fact is this alone ! and how are we entitled to expect appear that such offences have increased in number very that the growth of immorality and crime should ever be considerably during the last thirty years. The apparent checked so long as this state of things shall remain unreincrease has even been greater in proportion than the in- dressed ? crease of the population. It has only not been so great as the The subject which we have here taken up, and upon only increase of minor delinquencies. There can be no question, a few of the leading points of which we have been able to however, that a considerable part of this apparent increase touch, is likely immediately to engage much of the attention is apparent only, and to be attributed to the more exact of Parliament. Mr. Lamb, the Under-secretary of State, administration of justice, which now takes notice of many has lately brought into the House of Commons a Bill for crimes that would formerly have been overlooked, and consolidating the several Acts relative to the Police-offices neither brought to punishment nor trial. Whatever may of London and Westminster; and a Committee has also be the case also with regard to the mere number of such since been appointed to inquire into the subject of the police more heinous violations of the law, the whole amount of of these cities. What has been already accomplished is the evidence upon the subject goes to show that they are at- best proof that much more may yet be done to improve our tended in general (we do not allude to extraordinary cases) police system. We believe that it may be rendered much with a much less degree of outrage and cruelty than were more perfect than it now is, without being made in any formerly their concomitants. There has been a pro- respect more than it is now either an instrument of oppresgressive mitigation of the old ferocity of the populace, and sion in the hands of the government, or in any way an the improved tone of manners has extended even to the annoyance to the peaceably-disposed portion of society. But worst order of criminals themselves. This is fit matter of it is not to be forgotten, we repeat, that the repression of congratulation, both on its own account, and for the sake of crime is not to be attained by the most complete form of that to which it may lead. It ought also to be remarked what is commonly called a police establishment alone. The that any comparison drawn as to this point between the last general system of the law and of its administration, the eighteen or nineteen years, and the times immediately pre- discipline maintained in prisons and other places appointed ceding, can hardly be expected to show a favourable result, for the punishment of delinquents, and the state of every when the great change which took place in the circum- | institution affecting the social condition of the people genestances of the country at the commencement of the more rally, have each and all a direct and powerful bearing upon recent period is taken into consideration—the transition, we this matter. It is, however, a matter as intimately connected mean, from a state of war to a state of peace, accompanied as any other with the well-being of the community at large, as it was both by the disbanding o. the greater portion of and than which there is none having a stronger claim upon


the best attention of the legislature, or more imperatively portion of it as may remain due, (the meaning being, we demanding that the most strenuous' exertions should be presume, that a twelfth part is to be counted off every year,) applied to its right consideration and management.

shall become absolutely free. The negro may obtain the We shall

, in a future Number, under the head “ Crime money for this purpose, by borrowing it, and binding himin the Country," examine a few of the circumstances which self, for such period as may be agreed upon, as an apprèndistinguish the offences peculiar to our rural population. ticed labourer to the lender.

It is proposed that, in order to compensate the master for

this abstraction of the fourth part of the negro's time and WEST INDIA QUESTION.

labour, a loan of 15,000,0001. sterling shall be granted to On the 14th of the last month, Mr. Stanley, in a speech the proprietors of West Indian estates and slaves, on apof remarkable ability, brought forward in the House of Com- proved security in the case of each individual, and on paymons the plan proposed by ministers for the accomplishment ment of interest. The provisions of the scheme which refer of the great object on which the heart of the country has to this loan are at present somewhat imperfectly stated, and been so long and earnestly set,--the extinction of colonial may probably receive considerable modification.

From a slavery. We shall, in the first place, endeavour to present passage in Mr. Stanley's speech, it would appear that it is such a summary and explanation of the intended measure, to be left to the future consideration of Parliament, whether as may enable our readers perfectly to understand its several it will ever require repayment of the money, or eventually provisions.

convert it into a gift. In the mean time, however, it is proThe most important immediate effect of the new law posed that it shall be, in part at least, liquidated by a dewill be the entire cessation, from that instant, of the further duction or tax, which each negro is to be compelled to pay growth of slavery. All children born after the passing of half-yearly out of his wages. In default of such payment the act, or who, at the time of its passing, shall be under the by the negro, the master is to be liable, and in return may age of six years, are to be free, provided their respective pa- exact an equivalent amount of labour, without wages, in the rents shall take upon themselves the charge of their mainte- succeeding half-year. It is this clause which may, in some

Those children only whose parents may decline cases, protract the existence of slavery for six months bemaintaining them are to be bound apprentices to the master yond the twelve years. But it is not likely, we think, of the parents, and to work for him without wages, the that the proposal of taxing the negro will be ultimately males till the age of twenty-four, and the females till that of persevered in. No hint has been given as to how much of twenty, at which periods they are to be absolutely free. the loan is expected to be recovered by this arrangement;

With regard, secondly, to the grown-up negroes, it is pro- but we should suppose the amount reckoned upon cannot be posed that they shall all become free within twelve years, or very considerable. It is to be recollected that, although the twelve years and a half, at the farthest, after the passing of negro is now to receive wages for a portion of his time, he the act. Only those who prefer being slaves can remain is, on the other hand, to be burthened with the new charge of such after the expiration of that period.

supporting his family out of his earnings. If it be intended Meanwhile, the condition of the slave is also to be imme- that he shall, in what we may call his state of transition, diately altered in various important respects. Every slave have any opportunity of accumulating property, and thereby who chooses is to be at liberty to claim to be registered as learning some of the habits which promise to be of most an apprenticed labourer to his master; and the effect of value to him when he shall be absolutely emancipated, this change in the relation between the two will be at once it would seem to be unadvisable to diminish the pittance out to destroy and put an end for ever to many of the most de- of which his savings are to be made, by any further deducgrading distinctions by which the lot of the former is at tion than that to which his domestic expenses must subject present marked. Except, indeed, in respect to the compul- it. sion which he will still be under to work for his master, Such are the outlines of the proposed plan. It may be during a certain part of his time, he will immediately enter considered as a scheme for the equitable distribution, among into the enjoyment of all the rights and privileges of a free- the different parties concerned, of the burthen to be borne in man. He will of course cease, though it is not expressly effecting the great object contemplated. so stated in the resolutions, to be a commodity transferable These parties are three in number—the public, the plantby sale.

He will be capable, it is distinctly intimated, of ers, and the slaves. They all receive a certain share of the giving evidence in all courts, criminal as well as civil, and benefit, and are each also called upon to pay something for as well against his employer as against any other person; what they receive. The public is to be gratified by the accomof serving upon juries and in the militia ; of attending what- plishment of its strongly expressed desire for the abolition of ever place of worship or teacher of religion he pleases; and slavery; and for that it is to pay 15,000,0001. sterling in generally will have and enjoy all other rights and privileges money, or some other large sum. The various advantages whatsoever of a British subject. The power of inflicting upon which are to accrue to the slave have just been enumerated. him corporal punishment, also, will be taken out of the hands He is the party having the strongest claim upon any benefits of his master, and be transferred to the magistrate. Finally, which the measure may have to bestow ; but even he is to instead of working, as at present, for ten hours of the day or purchase the immediate liberty of his children, and his own more, he will be obliged, under his contract of apprenticeship, eventual emancipation, by being subjected to compulsory to work only three-fourths of that time. And for this labour for a certain period. The planter, lastly, gives up or amount of labour, he may, at his own option, be either paid, is to be deprived of various things in which he has hitherto as at present, by being lodged, clothed, and fed, or by re- had a legal right of property-of the labour of his slave for ceiving a sum in money, weekly, to be fixed by a magistrate one-fourth part of every day—of the labour of the same with reference to the actual cost of the legal provision. slave for the whole day after a period of twelve years—and of

During the remaining fourth of his time, he is to be per- all the profit which he might have made of the negroes born mitted to work for wages, either to his master, from whom within the last six years, or to be born in future on his estate. he shall be entitled to claim employment, or elsewhere if he The advantage by which it is proposed that he shall be compleases. Should he remain in the service of his master, he pensated for these sacrifices, (besides his exemption from the will receive wages at a rate to be regulated on this prin- expense of maintaining the individuals thus made free,) ciple :—The master will fix a price upon him at the time of must be regarded as consisting in the deliverance which the his apprenticeship, and of that he will be bound to pay him successful operation of the plan may be expected to bring a twelfth part every year as his wages. This is an arrange- him, from the obloquy and insecurity to which he is at prement of great importance, and very ingeniously contrived sent exposed, and the increased value which his property for the effecting of its object, the ascertainment of the real will acquire after the establishment of the new system. value of the negro to his master, a point which it would be We shall not at present venture to express our opinion as probably impossible to get at in any other way. By this to how far the above division of the gain and loss may be rescheme it is made equally the interest of the master not to garded as a fair apportionment. Upon this head nothing fix that price either too high or too low. If he should fix it can be certainly advanced, until the details of the measure too high, he will have to pay the negro a correspondingly shall have been discussed and settled. As yet it can be said high rate of wages; if, on the other hand, he should name to exist only in outline. We will add, however, a few words too small a sum, he will run the risk of being obliged alto as to one of the leading principles of the plan, which has gether to forego the benefit of the negro's labour for that been somewhat violently attacked. inadequate compensation, it being provided, that the latter, Of the three parties we have mentioned, the first, namely, on paying, at any time, the price fixed upon him, or such the public or the nation, are unquestionably the authors of the evil to be redressed, and ought, therefore, it may be said, less for its professed purpose, in so far as the benefit of the in strict justice to bear the whole cost of its removal. And slave is concerned, and will be only a cruel prolongation of were it only for the purpose of relieving them of a part of this his servitude for no justifiable end whatever, unless adequate charge, that it was proposed to pay a portion of the master's measures shall, in the mean time, be taken to turn these claim by the labour of the negroes for twelve years longer, years to account in the improvement of his moral and intelwe should certainly not be prepared to defend that arrange- lectual nature. Unless this use shall be made of the interval, ment. But if we rightly understand the government plan, the general emancipation, with which it is proposed that it this is not the object, or at least the principal object, of the shall close, might as well take place now. It is with great enactment in question. It is plain that this most difficult satisfaction, therefore, that we observe the intimation with subject, embarrassed as it is by a multitude of considerations which the announcement of the government plan concludes, both of right and of expediency, cannot be surrendered to the to the effect that means will be taken to establish, in the domination of any single principle, but must be treated with colonies to which this great measure relates, “a general a reference to all the conflicting interests that have become system of religious and moral education." For the reasons mixed up in it, and settled, if at all, only in the way of we have stated, we hope this system will be of such a nature mutual concession and compromise. It would neither be as to comprehend the instruction not only of the emancipated practicable nor just for the government to attempt any other child, but also of his nearly equally ignorant and still unlimode of managing it. It would be an experiment pregnant berated parent. with danger to the interests, not of some of the parties concerned, but of all. Suppose, for instance, that what is called PROPOSED NEW LAWS RELATING TO DRAthe indefeasible claim of the negro to his liberty were alone

MATIC LITERARY PROPERTY AND to be looked to. You have no right to keep these men under

THEATRICAL PERFORMANCES. restraint for another hour, upon any pretence whatever : you have no such right, even on the plea that you do so for their It would be difficult to conceive anything more absurd or good. You are not entitled to sit or judge respecting what is more unjust than our present law of literary property, in so for their good. Arguing the matter merely upon the abstract far as the drama is concerned. In all other cases, the rights of man, the only question is, what do they themselves admitted principle is, that the property of a thing and the feel and wish ? Would you allow them to impose any right of using it are in the person by whom it has been restraint upon you on their conviction that they were thereby created. Sometimes this right is granted with, sometimes doing you a service, or protecting you from a danger ? We without, limitation ; but there is no other instance, we should scout such a pretension, and justly insist upon being believe, in which the benefit of anything having an exallowed to judge for ourselves. On the principle of the rights changeable or pecuniary value is taken from him by whose of man, the negro is equally entitled to do the same. He is labour or ingenuity the article was produced, and transferred entitled, in other words, not only to his freedom, as soon as to another party, who has only had the trouble of seizing you shall conscientiously believe it safe and for his own upon it. Yet this is the manner in which the law treats the interest that he should be made free, but, if he wishes it, to writer of a play. His work, as soon as it issues from the his freedom immediately, and without reference to any appre- press, may be taken possession of by any theatrical manager hensions of yours, however conscientious or disinterested. who chooses to try the speculation, and employed by him in If you are to go simply upon the rights of man, you are not nearly all respects as if it had been the produce of his own more justified in imposing yourself upon him as his guardian brain, or had been purchased by his own money. He cannot, than as his driver.

indeed, (at least immediately,) print and sell another edition But all this only shows the absurdity of attempting to of it on his own account; but he can turn it to profit in a combat the difficulties of a great political question with the way which is commonly much more productive. What can armour of this schoolboy metaphysics. Let the doctrine of be made by the sale of the printed copies is what the law, in the rights of man say what it will, there are few people in its wisdom and liberality, allots to the author; the remainder their sound senses who will be ready to consent to liberate of the productive value of the piece belongs, it says, no more the West Indian negroes by a mere proclamation of Slaves ! to him than it does to anybody else. The hardship of this be free ! Those among us who are most anxious for the is in every way grievous. If the play is what a play ought extinction, and if possible the instant extinction, of the state to be, it will be something adapted essentially and principally of slavery, would hardly demand that the bondsman of the for exhibition on the stage ; it will be dependent, in a main last moment should be the entirely-unrestricted freeman of degree, for its effect upon the illusions of the theatre and the next. The apprehension might, after all, by possibility the presence of an audience; it will be only half felt and be an unfounded one ; but all rational persons would consent enjoyed by him who peruses it in his closet. The money to act to a certain extent, in this case, upon the supposition return, therefore, of such a production will be derived in that the negro, if at once released from all his customary great part from its representation. This is not an imaginary restraints, would be in some danger of making an unfortu- case ; it is one which has often happened. nate use of his freedom; and that both himself and others

that the drama, as sometimes happens, shall might run the risk of suffering terribly by his imprudence not have been written specially for representation, and that and misconduct. It would be generally, for instance, thought the author, conscious that it is not adapted for the stage, necessary to provide, in such an event, against the chance gives it to the world rather as a dramatic poem than as a of the social system of the West India islands being thrown play, and proclaims bis aversion to its being acted. His into confusion by the land being allowed to lie uncultivated, aversion is all that he can express; it is not in his power to were it only for a single year, even although the regulations issue his prohibition. The players, induced by the notoriety deemed necessary to avert that calamity should trench some of his name, or by some similar consideration, lay their hands what upon the absolute freedom of the emancipated negroes. upon the unfortunate production, and he can no more protect Of the two evils, the less would be submitted to in order to it from their grasp than if he had not any right of property avoid the greater.

in it whatever. It receives the unsuitable honour of being But the moment that this mode of proceeding is adopted, acted, probably only to be followed by the disgrace of the principle of mere abstract right is relinquished, and that failure and condemnation. This also has actually happened. of expediency is taken as the rule. So it is in the present The operation of the law here, it will be observed, inflicts a plan. It is true, that, on the doctrine of the equal rights of positive injury upon the author, and is, therefore, still more all men, you are not entitled to retain these negroes another oppressive and iniquitous than in the former case, in which day, either in a state of slavery or in a state of apprentice- it only deprives him of a right. ship; but you take the liberty of looking to other considera- All this arises from the error of not giving to the author tions as well as to this,—to the security, for instance, of the of a dramatic composition the same property in his producproperty of the planters, and to the benefit of the negroestion which is recognized in the case of every other producer. themselves. With a reference to these two objects, it is He is undoubtedly entitled to claim that another party shall proposed that the emancipation of the slave shall not be not be permitted to make a profit by the use of what he has immediate, but gradual; that he shall have to work his way created, without his consent. Nobody is allowed to print his up to his new state of freedom through a period of consider- play but himself; why should any one be allowed to act it, able length, in the course of which both he and his master and thus to appropriate what is, in almost all cases, by far may have ample opportunity to prepare for the changed con- the greater part of its commercial value ? dition of things to which they are both to be transferred. A bill, having for its object the correction of this glaring But this delay, we are bound to add, will be altogether use- defect in the law, has this session been introduced into Para

But suppose

liament, and has already passed the House of Commons. | permanent fountains of feeling and reflection, is gone. It It provides that no play, which may be written from this is resorted to as the mere amusement of a listless or vacant time forward, and also no one which has been printed within hour, and with the expectation that the senses shall be grathe last seven years, shall be produced on any theatre, with- tified at least as much as the intellect. It is, in short, a out leave obtained in writing from the author, for a period disenchanted thing; like a rich shrine to which devotees of twenty-eight years from the date of its first publication, have ceased to crowd, and which is only visited by successive nor for so many years beyond that term as the author shall companies of the curious and the worldly, who come to feed live. This is the same extent of protection which the legis- their eyes on the glare of its gold and jewellery. lature has already thought proper to grant to authors against the piracy of their works by the press. A penalty of 501.,

BILL FOR THE RELIEF OF THE JEWS. which may be reduced by the Judge to 10l., with double ANOTHER great triumph of the principle of religious liberty, costs, is affixed to every infringement of the regulation. The in addition to those of the emancipation of the Catholics, and action must be brought within twelve months from the date the repeal of the Corporation and Test Acts, is likely soon to of the offence.

be achieved in parliament, by the repeal of the disabiliAnother bill, of great importance in relation to this sub- ties affecting the Jews. The resolution in favour of this ject, has also been brought into the House of Commons, measure, agreed to by the House of Commons on the 18th entitled “ A Bill for Licensing Theatres, and for the Regu; of April

, was to the effect, " that it is expedient to remove lation of Dramatic Performances in the cities of London and all civil disabilities at present existing with respect to his Westminster, and within a certain distance thereof." At Majesty's subjects professing the Jewish religion, with the present, as is well known, the only theatres licensed in the like exceptions that are provided with respect to his Majesty's metropolis

, for the performance of what is called the regular subjects professing the Roman Catholic religion ; " and the drama, are those of Drury Lane and Covent Garden for bill which has since been brought in, and the second reading eight months in the year, and that of the Haymarket for the of which took place on the 22d of the last month, merely remaining four. In other words, the number of theatres, contains the enactments necessary to secure the object thus open for the representation of comedies and tragedies during announced. It is proposed, that from the passing of the act the principal theatrical season, is still just the same as it it shall be lawful for the persons to whom it refers, “ to have was at the Restoration, or nearly two hundred years ago, and enjoy all such and the same civil rights, franchises, and although the population of London has at least doubled since privileges, and to hold, exercise, and possess such and the then, and its extent been increased in even a higher ratio. same offices, places, emoluments, trusts and confidences, as The object of the present bill is to rectify this state of things, the subjects of his Majesty professing the Roman Catholic by giving to the Lord Chamberlain the power of licensing religion are now by law able and competent to have, enjoy, additional theatres in London and Westminster, and within hold, exercise, and possess, and under the same restrictions." a circuit of twenty miles around these cities ; or, rather, They are to take the same oaths on being admitted to sit making it compulsory upon him to grant a licence to every and vote in parliament, and on being appointed to any establishment within that space, which shall adduce certain office under the crown, which are required by the late relief specified recommendations in support of its claim. Of these act to be taken by Catholics on the like occasions ; with this required conditions, the principal is, that the application difference, that, in the declaration substituted in room of the shall not be opposed by a majority of the contiguous pro- sacramental test, the words “ upon the true faith of a Chrisprietors, who are defined to be all persons, residing not far- tian " shall be omitted. The incapacities to which they are to ther than a quarter of a mile from the building, who have continue liable are also the same with those to which Cathothe privilege of voting at the election of a member of Parlics are still subjected; the chief of these being inability to liament. The licence is to be renewed annually. It is pro hold the offices of Lord High Chancellor and Lord Lieuposed that, on the institution of this new system, an end tenant of Ireland, or any office in the established churches or shall be put to the power, at present exercised by, justices the universities. of the peace, of licensing theatres for certain descriptions of In 1752, a bill was brought into parliament, and passed entertainments in the neighbourhood of the metropolis; but through both houses almost without opposition, for permitting all those houses which are open under such authority at persons professing the Jewish religion, who had resided in present, are immediately to receive new and more unre- Great Britain or Ireland for three years, to be naturalized stricted licences from the Lord Chamberlain. The second without taking the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper. Every part of the bill gives to that officer the same right of super- Jew actually born in Great Britain, it is to be observed, was intendence over the performances at all the houses to be already naturalized independently of this new law; so that licensed under the new system, as he has at present over what it proposed to effect was in reality as small a matter those which take place at the two patent theatres. That is as it is easy to conceive. The few Jews born abroad who, to say, no new piece is to be represented without first being under its operation, would have been admitted denizens of submitted to his inspection, and having obtained his sanc- the kingdom, would not thereby have acquired a single tion as containing nothing either immoral, profane, or sedi- privilege beyond those of their brethren who happened to tious. Persons contravening any prohibition which he may be the King's natural born subjects. All the disabilities issue against the performance of an objectionable play, may affecting persons professing the Jewish religion would still be sent to prison for six months by any two justices of the have attached to them as well as to the rest. The only peace within whose jurisdiction the theatre may be situate. possible effect, therefore, of the law would have been to add

There are several of the enactments in this latter bill a few more individuals to a class already existing among us which may probably give rise to some discussion, and which to the number of several thousands. may be considerably modified before it becomes a law. But

Yet seldom has any political question excited such a some legislative provision, embracing at least its principal ferment in England as did the passing of this bill. The object, the breaking up of the monopoly of the two patent people were plied with pamphlets, sermons, and other intheatres, is imperatively required. In addition to the argu- flammatory appeals upon the subject, till they were perment, already noticed, derived from the vast extension of suaded that the ruin of the constitution and of the country the metropolis since that monopoly was established, there are was certain to be the speedy consequence of the step the various other pressing reasons which demand this reform. legislature had taken. No prognostication of the tendency Let us mention only one more. The attempt to make the and necessary results of the new law was too absurd to be same number of two theatres serve for the London of the gravely proclaimed, and to obtain ready and extensive acpresent day which served for that of the seventeenth century, quiescence. It was alleged, for instance, that, with their has led to an extension of each house, altogether incompa- early marriages, the Jews, under the encouragement about tible with the effective performance, at least, of the higher to be given them, would increase at such a rate as in no drama. But it is the interest created by this high drama long time to form a body in a high degree dangerous to the alone that can ever give to the theatre anything like an commonwealth from its numerical force. Another favourite empire over the national mind. Banish that from your topic was that, whether their numbers increased or not, they boards, and the playhouse becomes merely one among the would certainly soon draw to themselves all the trade of multitude of places of entertainment, with nothing national the kingdom. The Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Livery of about it more than any other show. The true love of the London, presented a petition to parliament against the bill, drama languishes and dies among the population. It loses in which they expressed their strong apprehensions that, if altogether its old character of a high intellectual banquet. passed into a law, it would place the constitution in jeopardy. All its power over the imagination, and the deeper and more After it had passed, many of the other corporations through: out the country followed this wise example. Public meet- | thousand; and the notion, therefore, of danger to any of ings were held in most of the boroughs and counties, and our institutions, either in church or state, from the aboliresolutions voted calling upon the members to get the law tion of disabilities affecting so mere a handful of the popurepealed. So perseveringly, in short, were the clamour and tion, is quite out of the question. agitation continued, that it was at length deemed expedient

THE BANKING SYSTEM OF GREAT BRITAIN. to yield to it; and the law was actually repealed the follow

No. II. ing session. No class of persons have ever endured so general and so

COUNTRY BANKING IN ENGLAND. long-continued a persecution as have the Jews.

It has COUNTRY banks began to be formed in England after the been their lot to be subjected to all the degradation and middle of last century,–a time when the inhabitants of our oppression that contempt and hatred could inflict in almost provincial towns slowly but perceptibly increased their num. every nation in which they have sojourned, and alike by the bers. The chief causes of increase were the improvement adherents of all the other great systems of theological belief. of turnpike roads, the extension of canals, and the diffusion Sects opposed to each other in almost every other point of of the cotton and iron manufactures. There was no obdoctrine and feeling have united in trampling upon this un- stacle to the establishment of a bank in any town, except happy race. In this particular, Roman Catholics and Protes- the attendant expense ; if that could be defrayed by the tants, Christians and Mahometans, have pursued with equal

paper circulated, and the accompanying agency, a partnerzeal the same course. In Turkey, in Spain and Portugal

, ship was formed, and notes were engraved and issued in in France, in Germany, in England, the Jew has been looked the name of the firm. The lowest sum on a bank note, at upon not merely as an alien, but almost as an outcast from that time as at present, was 5). Country banks thus contithe great human family, and often treated as if he possessed nued to increase. They met

, like other mercantile estaneither the feelings nor the form of man. In some cases, blishments, with a severe check in the sudden transition indeed, the treatment so far vindicated the notion from from peace to war in 1793; but most of them recovered which it sprung as to produce, in a certain degree, that very from the shock, and their number throughout England was result. The physical structure of the Jew, when allowed computed at 280 in 1797. In that year leave was given to to develop itself freely and in favourable circumstances, has them, as well as to the metropolitan bank, to issue 1l. and always manifested eminent activity, strength, and elegance; 21. bank notes. This privilege was coupled with the equally this, for instance, is its character generally in both sexes important one of not paying their notes in cash. From in Poland, where for a long time the race has enjoyed a

this period there was a surprising extension in the business degree of consideration which it has scarcely anywhere else of country banks; in the seventeen years between 1797 attained. But in most of the European capitals a Jew used and 1814, their number was more than trebled, for in the to be distinguishable by his feeble and stunted appearance; latter year it exceeded 900. Then, indeed, came a time of and probably in many places this is still, to a considerable ex

severe trial. In the course of three years (1814, 1815, tent, the case. Ages of persecution had dwarfed and withered 1816) there were no less than ninety insolvents among the race: and no doubt the debasement and suffering they country banks, followed by an equal number of dissolutions have had to endure have not passed over them without leav- of partnership. The number of country banks throughing some of their noxious effects upon their moral nature as

out England was now between 7 and 800: in the year well as upon their physical. There is one thing which makes the dislike and hostility down by the heavy failures of that and the following year.

of speculation, 1825, it increased, but was soon brought which Christians have so long displayed to the Jews pecu- To this was added the forced recall of the small notes in liarly discreditable to the former. It appears to have been 1829. Since this time, several country banks have dissolved originally excited in a great measure by envy of the Jew's superiority in learning, science, the arts of life, and all the partnership, the total number in England last year being

reduced to 636. constituents of civilization. It was in the darkest night of what are called the middle ages, that the persecution of this attention of parliament. Fourteen years ago the Committee

Country banking has had a comparatively small share of the ill-fated people by Christian states commenced, and was

on the Resumption of Cash Payments was altogether at a loss carried on with the greatest rage and cruelty. During this to form an opinion of the amount of country bank notes period they were the most cultivated inhabitants of Europe. in circulation. They conjectured that it might exceed În England they appear to have existed in considerable twenty millions sterling ; but they could make no satisfacnumbers some centuries before the Conquest; but the first tory estimate of the occasional variations in the amount, general plunder and massacre of them of which we read, because they had no means of judging except by returns took place towards the close of the twelfth century, in the from the Stamp-office. This was a very uncertain criterion, reign of Richard I. During the hundred years that followed, since the same stamps might remain in circulation three, four, similar outbreakings of the popular fury, generally excited and aided by the public authorities, were frequently re- the Society of Country Bankers who meet in London, gave to

or five years. Last year, however, a Mr. Burgess, Secretary to peated, till at last, in 1290, Edward I. completed the work the Committee on the Bank of England Charter some useful by seizing upon all estates in the hands of Jews, and ba- information in regard to the variations, or rather the companishing every individual of that denomination from the rative steadiness in the circulation of country bank paper, kingdom. The Jews, as is well known, remained excluded for the fluctuation proved to be less than had been previously from England, till they were re-admitted, in 1655, by Crom- supposed. Take, for instance, the eight years from 1818 to well,—not without vehement remonstrances against the 1825, a period first of declining, afterwards of increasing bumeasure from the prejudice of that day,—the remains of siness. During the first six years of the eight, there was a the old popular feeling, which nearly four centuries of the decrease in the amount of country bank notes of about 2 per cessation of all irritation from the presence of its objects had cent. annually; while in the two remaining years, (1824 not been able to extinguish. Englishmen could not, even and 1825,) the increase amounted to 7 per cent. each year, at that distance of time, forgive the Jew that his forefathers leaving very nearly the same sum in circulation at the end had been distinguished by talents, knowledge, and wealth, as at the beginning of the period. when theirs were ignorant, rude, and poor,- that the former had acquired property to be plundered, at an era when the

Security from Country Bankers. latter could boast of nothing except the numerical force The great defect in the system of country banking in which enabled them to effect the spoliation.

England hitherto has been the want of security to the It is time that this unworthy jealousy should cease, and public. Any partnership of individuals, not exceeding six that even its last faint traces should be obliterated. Since in number, could exercise the important privilege of issuing the Christian has succeeded to that superiority which was notes in provincial towns and districts, without giving a formerly the distinction of the Jew, the ancient aversion, as guarantee of their ability to pay them. The history of is natural, has become greatly mitigated. The Hebrew commerce does not exhibit so gross an anomaly. Yet in race has been amply repaid for the decline of its old social consequence, at one time, of the dependence of governconsequence, by the freedom from molestation which, in its ment on the Bank of England,—at another, of the unaccomparative obscurity, it now enjoys. There is no reason, of quaintance of men in office with the principles of banking, — any force that we can see, against adding to this release this abuse has been allowed to continue until the present from actual oppression the other boon of political emancipa- day. The expiration of the Bank of England Charter pretion. The number of Jews at present in England is not vents any further toleration of it, and renders it incumbent supposed to amount to more than between twenty and thirty on government to provide for the security of the public,

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