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tinction without a difference, as applied to national wealth. The man who builds a church, or a palace, lays out his money in the payment of labour, as much as the man who builds a spinning mill, or a ship. It is only a transfer of capital, in both cases, from those who buy labour to those who sell labour; and the capital, although it may be lost by the one individual, is gained by the other, and cannot be said to be sunk, or lost to the country, in the one application of it more than in the other. This is the view of many political economists: but it is not correct. Suppose two merchants build each a ship at the cost of 15,000l. The sum is paid to wood merchants, rope and sail makers, carpenters, riggers, and others, for labour, or material of which the value consists in the labour of producing and transporting it. At this step there is no loss of capital; but only an exchange of it between those who buy labour, or its products, and those who sell it. The nation or community gains by the circulation, as new objects, the two vessels, are produced by the labour. But suppose one of these vessels is kept well employed for a dozen years. She reproduces her cost, the 15,000l. This is capital laid out reproductively. It is laid out again and again, and employs and remunerates labour and industry from generation to generation. Suppose the other vessel is made an habitation of, laid up by the side of a canal, and converted into a Venetian palace. Her cost is unreproductive: it is capital sunk and lost, as far as regards national wealth, and well-being, and employment of labour, having acted only once in the labour market, and having then been totally withdrawn from it. This has been precisely the case with an incalculable amount of capital, not only in Italy, but in the Hanse Towns, in Flanders, in Holland, in all the old seats of European commerce and wealth. In visiting those ancient cities, which once were in the trade of the world what London, Liverpool, Bristol, Glasgow, are now, the traveller sees that the besetting error of commercial wealth, in the ages and countries which preceded England and her rise, has been to

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over-build and over-display itself in unreproductive objects, instead of retaining their capitals as working means or capitals in trade or manufactures. Wealth acquired in commerce, properly so called, that is, in the transport of products, natural or artificial, from one country to another, seems to have a tendency to expand itself unreproductively, to overstep its prudent limits and true interests, not only in private dwellings and gratifications, but even in works of undeniable utility, as in cutting and facing harbours and canals, building quays, piers, town walls, citadels, town houses, churches, and in our days in docks, warehouses, and railroads all very useful works, but not always useful in proportion to their cost, not always saving time and labour to an extent that will ever be reproductive of the capital invested in their construction. Wealth acquired by manufacturing industry seldom falls into this error. The value of convenience, time, and labour, is more exactly appreciated, and is rarely overpaid by those who have daily to estimate time, labour, and convenience in the economy of manufacturing operations. Of this unreproductive outlay of capital, the traveller sees less in Great Britain than in the poorest countries of Europe; and to this may be mainly ascribed her vast national wealth, her industrial activity, and her boundless working capital at the present day. In proportion to the wealth of the country, how few in Great Britain are the buildings of any note, public or private, civil, military, or ecclesiastical! how little is the absorption of capital in museums, pictures, gems, curiosities, palaces, theatres, or other unreproductive objects! This, which is the main foundation of the greatness of the country, is often stated by foreign travellers, and by some of our own periodical writers, as a proof of our inferiority. Time and money are not employed in works of the fine arts, either by individuals, or by the state, in the same proportion as in other countries in France, Prussia, Bavaria, Italy - and are lightly esteemed by our public, when so employed. Music, painting, architecture, sculpture, dancing, cook

ing, all the arts, fine or not fine, that address themselves only to the senses, or please only through the gratification of the senses, have but little hold of the public mind with us. It is one of the strongest characteristics of the British people, that all the sports and amusements of every rank and class must, to be popular, occupy the intellectual powers, the judgment of the individual. He will not sit and listen, or look, and be a mere passive recipient of pleasurable sensations or impressions. Hunting, shooting, horse-racing, boat-sailing, all amusements in which judgment is exercised, and individuality is called into play, should it be only in betting upon the most absurd objects, have so decided a preponderance in the national mind, that it is altogether a hopeless attempt to instil into our lower or middle classes any thing like the passive taste for music or painting that prevails in foreign countries. The museum, or concert-room, or opera, would always be deserted for the meeting, or club, or circle, whatever be its objects, religious, political, or convivial, in which the individual's own faculties or powers take a part. I cannot think this any proof of a want of intellectuality in a people. Be it so or not, it is undeniable that in the character of the people of Britain, even of the higher classes, there is no feeling for the fine arts, no foundation for them, no esteem for them. A single town in Italy or Germany could produce more show edifices, more costly palaces, museums, picture galleries, and music saloons, than half the island of Great Britain. The wealth of some of the smaller European states, as for instance of Bavaria, Saxony, Denmark, Sweden, and of all the little German principalities, has in modern times been almost entirely absorbed in building royal palaces, museums, theatres, and in lodging the nobility proportionably to their sovereigns. Royalty itself is poorly lodged in England in proportion to the wealth of the country, and to the palaces of many a little continental prince; and the merchant in London or Liverpool, or the manufacturer in Manchester or Glasgow, lives in a modest cheap dwelling,

compared to the vast magnificent palaces of the same classes in the middle ages, still to be seen in the old commercial cities of Italy and Flanders, and in the old Hanseatic cities all over the Continent, and which are literally the tombs of their commercial prosperity. In them are buried the means which would to this day have commanded the trade of the world, had these vast private capitals been still available by having been laid out reproductively in the industry market, as the same class of capitals has always been in England, instead of being buried in marble and mortar. In this English taste there is nothing to regret, nor is any want of intellectual employment in such a social existence to be justly complained of.

CHAP. XXV.

NOTES ON MILAN. COMO. AUSTRIAN GOVERNMENT. — LAGO MAGGIORE. ISOLA BELLA. THE ALPS. ON THE SOCIAL

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STATE OF FRANCE, PRUSSIA, ITALY.

THE traveller tires of the plain of Lombardy in an hour. He has no extensive view of country in this garden of Europe. Every field is beset with rows of pollard-mulberry trees, plucked bare of foliage for feeding the silk-worms. The fields are beautifully irrigated with clear water carried in little ducts along them; and one or two such little fields, rows of pollards surrounding them, and the endless straight avenue from city to city, make very uninteresting scenery. It is flat, tame, and without the character of nationality, which gives an interest to the flat, tame scenery of Holland. The gay bustle of Milan, and the view of its duomo with the forest of white marble pinnacles on the roof-the most beautiful roof-scenery in the worldwill scarcely repay the traveller for the dull duty of approaching them through an endless tedious avenue of stiff trees, presenting, mile after mile, the same and the

same.

Como is a pretty considerable town at the foot of the picturesque lake of the same name, a town of 12,000 or 15,000 inhabitants. The population of the neighbouring country consists almost entirely of the class of travelling pedlars who go out into the world to sell stucco figures, barometers, birdcages, and such small wares. They are often absent ten or twelve years from their families, and return with their little savngs to buy a cottage, and bit of land, at ten times what we would consider the value, on the side of their native lake. About 3000 of these travelling dealers from this district are reckoned to be in or about London; and they

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