« 前へ次へ »
to warrant a certain pride and glory, not only in the robes of kings and fine ladies, but in the decoration she has bestowed upon certain ani. mals, -as in the mane of the lion, the tail of the peacock, &c. An "article” might be written on these propensities in her, which, in human beings, would be thought weaknesses, or a superfluous love of ornament and display. She thus furnishes one of the best arguments we know of for the shews of state, and an ornamental condition of government; only, in impelling us to see beyond them, she leaves us to settle the question as we please. We, therefore, for our parts, avail ourselves of this license; and are for clipping the robes of kings, and reducing the establishment of all kinds of lions.
How came the Americans, when they set up a republic, to take an eagle for their symbol ? Their eagle, it is true, is an American one, the “ bald eagle ;" but why a “ bald” eagle, or any other eagle? Why any animal feræ naturæ, and of the old royal brute standard ? It was as much as to say to royaltv, “ I am as powerful as you, and have as good elaws." Well; what then? Such an answer might have been well enough at the moment; but why give it for ever? Why set up with an everlasting intention, an emblem of brute rivalry? It was done, proba. bly, out of sheer want of thought. Or, perhaps, victory and military power had an eye in it to Washington and the Romans. Washington himself had a bit of the eagle in his countenance, as soldiers are apt to have, and of the “ bald” eagle too. Here was the beak and the decision ; but no great indication of mind. Franklin objected to this royal, and imperial, and ravening symbol; and said, he should have preferred a “turkey." “ At dinner, so would I,” Washington might have replied ; " and you, Doctor, are of the eating, rather than the fighting species." Frank. lin, it must be owned, was a little fatter than sage beseemed, and had something of the turkey in the cut of his figure.
A time will come, perhaps not long first, when nations will be ashamed of these representations in the shape of eagles and lions, and adopt sym. bols more consonant with the ideas of wisdom and justice. Wild animals may be, and undoubtedly are, fit emblems of such governors of the world as the world has hitherto consented to have,-- shearers, not shepherds of the people,”—war-making, devouring robbers,-blood-suckers of the public body. See in what brutal and prodigious shapes the monarchs of the world present themselves before us,-the Austrian, Prussian, and Russian despots, with their eagle heads; other sovereigns, in the guise of lions and leopards; others, of horses; and behind them come their feudal rout of lions rampant, and dragons, and griffins, and Herald knows how many other monsters, real and fabulous; all bent upon only one thing, -tearing us, and snatching the spoil. It is like the unseemly multitude in Ariosto :-
Non fu veduta mai piu strana torma,
Orlando Furioso, Canto 5. v. 6.
Was never et beheld uncout her train,
Dom Miguel and the Duke of Brunswick, to wit, and the Emperor Francis. It is not only the cup of luxury that has induced men to make beasts of themselves; the cup of power has had an equal enchant. ment. It is now understood, even by those who abused him by wholesale, out of secret envy, that Bonaparte did a foolish thing when he looked back upon the ancient world and the Roman eagles, instead of directing his eyes forward with the advancement of knowledge. The consequence of making himself an eagle, was, that he got hunted down by his fellowbirds of prey, whose race he ought to have superseded by being a man. France has no longer an eagle to lead it. It has got Dr Franklin's turkey, fat and homely, and making ludicrous ostentation of its tale of Jemappes. But the individual degradation is a part of the general advancement. The French, for their present national symbol, we believe, have revived the old Gallic cock,-a foolish emblem founded on a pun. By and by they will have a better. If Bonaparte had not condescended to be an emperor, and if, instead of an eagle, he had taken for his device, a human being, or Justice with her scales, he would now have been sitting at the top of the world, distributing happiness, and receiving such homage as never was yet received by man. His gains were thought great : but oh ! how little they were compared with his loss! Such an opportunity was never put into the hands of a conqueror, since the world began; but alas ! he was educated a conqueror, and did not know his good luck. He was not aware, that the most frightful of all lost occasions began at the very moment he thought himself most fortunate, and identified himself with the old potencies.
What will be the symbol of England, when she has a new one? what her own coat of arms, if she chooses to keep up that anomaly ? For her lion is but the crest of her old kings, worn to distinguish them in battle, as other knights wore their respective devices ; and nobody wears coat-armour now. A new coat-of-arms at the Herald's office is as ridiculous as if the heralds were to give a man a licence to walk about in the dress of the twelfth century. England, as England,—as a country and a people,-has in reality no device, unless the figure of Britannia be called one, which is rather a personification, and one in bad pedantic taste; a kind of Minerva with a bale of goods by her side, fit only for a broker's card, or the head of a merchant vessel. Pitt took away the best thing about this figure, when he exchanged the cap of liberty for a trident; an alteration which ought to have been resented, whatever may have been the abuse of liberty in France : for the abuses of others do not destroy one's own propriety. That apocryphal, according to Gibbon, scandalous, and bacon-selling personage, St. George, with his dragon, was no better. He suited Mr. Pitt's time far better than ours, especially if Gibbon's account of him be true, that he was a contractor. At any rate, he is nothing but an heraldic absurdity, and we ought to have done with him. And what has England, and especially existing England, to do with lions and unicorns, and other beasts never found upon its soil, and representing nothing but ravening power? However, these changes must take time. We only propose to give the first intimation of them, and to help the general inclination to question the old customs. If it be answered that they are “ only customs," we must reply with the Greek philosopher, that we must not say “ only," when speaking of a custom ; we must inquire whether it is a fit habit of the acquiescence, and whether its tendency be to maintain good or evil.
BY CAPTAIN CALDER CAMPBELL.
Come back ! Come back !
Come, with the green weed to its last year's track ; Come, with the first shoot of the sprouting grain,
Come back to me again!
Is thy heart cold ?
Back to my breast's forsaken heap of gold,
In thy enthusiasm's trance ?
Come back !-- The earth
The sleets of winter whiten into birth,
Earth calls it back agen.
The summer birds,
Have their inconstant hour ; but there are words Will bring them back to the abandoned spray ;
Hast thou less heart than they?
The mountains rude
And from their caves, where infant echoes brood, Each thunder-peal its solemn answer hath,
Making through air its path!
And in this world
Fond mysteries round the human heart are curl'd, Which make it to its brother-bosom cling,
Even in hope's perishing.
Think not thy heart,
Come back, and let kind Nature play her part
Thy feelings into stone !
Come back again!
Come, with the sky-lark's renovated strain,
Shall all but man prove true ?
A voice replies « They come not back, the dead --My love is o'er;
Thy heart and its recall I do not prize, I woo the world—the muse I woo no more
Who can the past restore?”
Alas! for thee-
Courting a world, that looks contemptuously
To dross should turn bright gold!
A FEW WORDS ON THE EFFECTS OF ABOLITION AND
COMMUTATION OF TITHES.
LET no reader start away from our paper in the fear that it will either be a long or an abstruse one:-we are tired of these scientific criticisms; and, in plain truth, they suit not our Magazine, And they who hold our sentiments, on the knotty question of our title to partake somewhat of paradox, will also, before concluding what is here written, find reason to acquit us of the dishonesty of hunting for arguments in favour of a predetermined opinion ; of looking only at one side of the diverse-coloured object, and studiously suppressing any incommodious information which may come from its opposite surface. It is our purpose and desire to bring out the whole truth, in regard of what is rather an intricate point; and we may here give utterance to our firm expectation, that the following brief sketch will, in not a few respects, modify the opinions of those who have hitherto perceived nothing objectionable or difficult in the popular project of Commutation.
That the true incidence of Tithe, in a country whose whole land is so burdened, is upon the consumer, is a proposition admitting of the closest demonstration; and the reader who would understand why we say so, is referred to the criticism on Colonel Thompson's True Theory of Rent, in our ninth Nuniber,
But this case does not involve the situation of Great Britain. One half of our land, Scotland being included, is tithe free ; and it is from such a state that we are required to make the transition. Now, it is recognized by every one whose head contains the veriest elements of appropriate knowledge, as the natural as well as actual consequence of these circum.. stances, that the tithed land is far back in cultivation when compared with the tithe-free land ; and this, further, is understood by the accurate observer, that the lowest soil in cultivation on tithed estates is more fertile just by one-tenth, than the lowest on untithed estates. Of two estates so situated, consisting of six different corresponding qualities of soil, the following Schedule may represent the actual position. The numbers are the supposed quarters of wheat obtainable from each soil, in return for the same outlay; and, of course, they represent the comparative fertilities:
Why soil No. 4. is the last cultivated on the tithed estate, while soil No. 6. is cultivated on the untithed one, must be plain to a child; it is, because the exaction of tithe renders them equally unfertile or only productive of 9 grs, in so far as respects the farmer and the landlord. Now, the foregoing is an artificial state of things, and the tax keeps up the artificial inequality. If tithe had been non-existent, or utterly abolished, the culture of the estates had been uniform ; and the country would
have obtained from them the required supply of 158 qrs. in equal quotas.
The following will show the condition in which each estate had then been :Scale of Soils.
Estate now free. Estate now fithed,
but supposed free.
Thus far we are safe, as we have but described undeniable, because notorious facts. One step farther, however, and exceptions and diversities of opinions begin ; nor is it difficult to recognize the ambiguous or double-faced circumstance to which their origin may be traced. The foregoing artificial or tax-produced state, differs from the foregoing natural or free state, in two important consequences; and just as we look most at the one, or most at the other, will our favours most attach to one or the other proposed methods of transition. The plan is, to look fully at both, at least if we would form an impartial judgment.
The Two Effects we allude to are as follows :Effect First. - In the tax-produced state, the inferior soil No.6.is forced into cultivation, whilst in the free state it would not be required; the necessary produce being obtained, as shown in the table, by the extension of uniform cultivation as far as No. 5. Now, as every civilized mortal is aware, the price of corn is measurable by the expense of raising it on the lowest soils cultivated ; so that, if we take £18 as the uniform outlay necessary to produce the enumerated quantities on each of the various soils, we have for the price of one quarter of corn in the taxproduced state £18 divided by 9 or L2 ; and, in the same manner, for its price in the free state £18 divided by 9 or £1, 17s. 103d. Because of the existence of tithe therefore, the consumer pays 2s, 1 d additional for every quarter of corn he consumes ; which, to the whole consumers upon the whole 159 quarters, amounts to the sum of £16, 13s. 6ļd. annually. The imposition of this grievance, which we hold to be equivalent to a barbarous tax, we therefore set down as Effect the First.
Effect Second.-In consequence of the inequality of cultivation, the owners of tithed and untithed estates are in unequal positions. Tithed estates confessedly yield less rent than untithed ones of corresponding soils, by the value of the tithe on them. The details of this effect will be found in the Note at the end of this article, by whoever is curious. Its reality will be noticed at a glance; but it must not be held as a grievance on the individual proprietor, as he purchased his estate with the burden, and is only entitled to the amount he receives.
Upon this latter fact, and it exclusively, the modern advocates of Commutation found their schemes. We shall not follow their example, hav. ing seldom, during our terrestrial pilgrimage, found it injudicious to cast our eyes everywhere around.
1. And, first, let us calculate the influence of a measure of ABOLITION upon both effects.
1. We argue, it must be remembered, upon the supposition that the former quantity of produce, and NO MORE, is meant to be extracted from the land ; and it is clear, that in respect of the First Effect, Abolition