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REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.

Schloss Hainfeld; or a Winter in Lower

Styria. By Capt. B. Hall.

THIS is an agreeable little volume; and we envy the author his romantic residence with the Countess Purgstall at the Castle of Hainfeld, and his wanderings among the mountains of Styria. -And then, what a delight to find the old Countess transformed into Miss Jane Anne Cranstoun! and as soon as we have recovered our surprise, to find Miss Jane no less than our fair young friend Diana Vernon! Then there are some young ladies from Gratz, and an old one from Vienna;there is the Archduke John, who is thus described :

"His Imperial Highness is a very pleasant person, about fifty-five years of age, with a fine, high, bold forehead, and an expression of quietness and repose, bordering on melancholy, in his countenance, which is singularly engaging. His conversation and manners, too, are so untainted by the slightest shade of affectation, and withal so cordial, that any one must feel at ease in his presence.

"His chief occupations are, 1st, superintending the great trigonometrical survey of Austria, of which, as chief of the engineer department, he has had the entire con trol: 2ndly, directing the great iron works of Verdernberg: lastly, visiting his estates in Lower Styria, where his extensive vineyards are situated. His chief amusement is the chase of the chamois. Another of his amusements is the encouragement of science at Gratz and elsewhere in Styria : and as he sets about every thing in the most unpretending way, and by his gentle and elegant manners conciliates all parties, his knowledge on these subjects is received, not with jealousy or suspicion, but with that degree of personal favour, which insures the success of every undertaking to which he wishes well. Upon the whole, there probably have been few men in any station, and not many princes, who have proved greater benefactors to their country; very few men indeed have the means, even if they had the disposition and talents and experience, requisite for so great a task; and it is in the highest degree pleasing to witness the effect of so fortunate a combination of circumstances in the person of one individual."

GENT. MAG. VOL. VII.

We shall now pass from the Archduke to a Scotch Professor:

"You know,' said the Countess, that my brother-in-law, Dugald Stewart, had not the faculties of distinguishing colours at any time; and, like your own father, Sir James Hall, he absolutely lost his sight, when this sort of twilight set in. It was a most curious fact, that Dugald Stewart could not see any difference between colours so strongly contrasted as the ripe mulberry fruit and the leaf of the tree. Yet the practical inconvenience of this singular defect in the retina, was nothing in comparison to what he suffered from being blind when the day was nearly at a close. I was laughing at the recollection (said the Countess) of a funny scene I had with your father and Mr. Stewart at least half a century ago. We had all been drinking tea with Mr. Alison, who had then a house in Bruntsfield Links; my two companions, the moment they came into the open air, recommenced a metaphysical discussion the party had been engaged in, and which from the popular tone the graceful genius of Mr. Alison gave to the most profound disquisitions, I had been able, in some degree, to understand. But when your father and Mr. Stewart found themselves alone-for they seemed to consider a young lady as nobody-they dived much deeper into the subject than I could follow; and to the one or two questions I ventured to put, the philosophers made scarcely any answer, but trudged on over the little grassy hillocks of the Links, taking no more account of me than if I had not been present. As I well knew my companions to be two of the very kindest and best-bred men in the world, and they were merely absorbed in their darling topics, I paced after them in respectful patience, thinking of something else, and admiring, as the sun went down, the last touch of bright light on the top of Arthur's seat and the flagstaff and battlements of the old castle. Presently Mr. Stewart, slackening his pace, drew to my side, and remarked that the golf-players had quite destroyed the Links for a lady's walking, and that, unless I took his arm, I might put my feet into one of the holes used in the aforesaid game. As I found none of the inconvenience to which he referred, and as we had passed most of th rough ground, I begged him not to disturb his philosophical tête-à-tête on un

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account; but he continued to press me to take his arm. I knew well enough what was the Professor's motive, for I had long been aware of his optical weakness, and I saw he could scarcely walk a step without setting his foot on a stone or in a hole; but I was willing, by declining his twilight civilities, to punish his broad-day neglect. Sir James, who as yet saw quite well, had no idea what Mr. Stewart was manoeuvring about, and even tried all he could, being deeply interested in the discussion, to detach the blind lecturer's attention from me to himself. Mr. Stewart, however, in his fear of a sprained ancle, seemed quite to forget his moral philosophy, much to your father's surprize. In about five minutes afterwards, however, I was much amused when Sir James also offered me his arm, expressing in like manner a wonderful anxiety about my safety and comfort, and, as Mr. Stewart had done before him, insisted on encumbering me with help of which I stood in no need. It became truly a task of some difficulty, to lead these two gentlemen; for as neither could see an inch before him, I was obliged to act as a guide to both. They, on the other hand, as soon as they had regained their confidence through the agency of my pilotage, forgot their sudden fit of gallantry, and once more recommenced their unintelligible disquisitions across my very nose, and without once seeming to recollect that such an in.. dividual as their female protector was in existence."

The latter part of this work is rendered highly interesting, by some recollections of Sir Walter Scott; and the following letter is a beautiful specimen

of his mind:

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"You cannot imagine how much I was interested and affected by receiving your token of your kind recollection, after the interval of many years. Your brother Henry breakfasted with me yesterday; and gave me the letter and the book, which served me as a matter of much melancholy reflection for many hours. Hardly anything makes the mind recoil so much upon itself as the being suddenly and strongly recalled to times long past, and that by the voice of one whom we have so long loved and respected. Do not think that I have ever forgotten you; or the many happy days I passed in Frederick Street, in society which fate has separated so far, and for so many years. The little volume was particularly acceptable to me, as it acquainted me with many circumstances of which distance and imperfect communi

cation had left me either entirely ignorant, or had transmitted only inaccurate information.

"Alas! my dear friend, what can the utmost efforts of friendship offer you beyond the sympathy which, however sincere, must sound like an empty compliment in the ear of affliction. God knows, with what willingness I would undertake anything which might afford you the melancholy consolation of knowing how much your old and early friend interests himself in the sad event which has so deeply wounded your peace of mind. The verses, therefore, which conclude this letter, must not be weighed according to their intrinsic value; for the more inadequate they are to express the feelings they would fain convey, the more they show the author's anxious wish to do what may be grateful to you. In truth, I have long given up poetry: I have had my day with the public; and being no great believer in poetical immortality, I was very well pleased to rise a winner, without continuing the game till I was beggared of any credit I might have acquired. sides, I felt the prudence of giving way before the more forcible and powerful genius of Byron. If I were either greedy, or jealous of poetical fame-and both are strangers to my nature-I might comfort myself with the thought, that I would hesitate to strip myself to the contest, so fearlessly as Byron does; or to command the wonder and terror of the public, by exhibiting in my own person the sublime attitude of the Dying Gladiator. But with the old frankness of twenty years since, I will fairly own, that this same delicacy of mine may arise more from conscious want of vigour and inferiority, than from a deli

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cate dislike to the nature of the conflict. At any rate, there is a time for everything; and without swearing oaths to it, I think my time for poetry is gone by. My health suffered horribly last year, I think from over-labour and excitation; and though it is now apparently restored to its usual tone, yet during the long and painful disorder (spasms in the stomach), and the frightful process of cure, by a prolonged use of calomel, I learned that my frame was made of flesh and not of iron-a conviction which I will long keep in remembrance, and avoid any occupation so laborious and agitating as poetry must be to be worth anything.

"In this, however, I often think of passing a few weeks on the continenta summer vacation if I can; and of course my attraction to Gratz would be very strong. I fear this is the only chance of our meeting in this world-we, who once saw each other daily for I understand

from George and Henry that there is little chance of your coming here. And when I look around me, and consider how many changes you will see in features, forms, and fashion, amongst all you knew and loved, and how much no sudden squall or violent tempest, but the slow and gradual progress of life's long voyage has severed all the gallant fellowships whom you left spreading their sails to the morning breeze, I really am not sure that you would have much pleasure. The young and wild romance of life is over with all of us. The real, dull, and stern history of humanity has made a far greater progress over our heads; and age, dark and untimely, bestowed his crutch over the stoutest fellow's shoulders. One thing your old society may boast, that they have all run their course with honour, and almost all with distinction, and the brother suppers of Frederic Stewart have certainly made a very considerable figure in the world, as was to be expected, from his talents under whose auspices they were assembled. One of the most pleasant sights which you would see in Scotland, as it now stands, would be your brother George in possession of the most beautiful and romantic place in Clydesdale-Core-house. I have promised often to go out with him, and assist him with my deep experience as a planter and landscape gardener; I promise you, my oaks will outlast my laurels, and I pique myself more upon my compositions for Horace, than any other compositions whatever to which I was accessary; but so much does business of one sort or another engage us both, that we never have been able to fix a time which suited us both, and with the utmost wish to make out the party, perhaps we never may. This is a melancholy letter; but it is chiefly so from the sad one of yours, who have had such real disasters to lament, while mine is only the humorous sadness, which a retrospect of human life is sure to produce on the most prosperous. For my own course of life, I have only to be ashamed of its prosperity, and afraid of its termination; for I have little reason, arguing on the doctrine of chances, to hope that the same good fortune will attend me ever. I have had an affectionate and promising family, many friends, few unfriends, and, I think, no enemies, and more of fame and fortune than mere literature ever produced for man before. I dwell among my own people, and have many whose happiness is dependent on me, and which I study to the best of my power. I trust my temper, while you know my nature is good and easy, has not been spoiled by flattery or prosperity; and therefore I have escaped entirely that irritability

of disposition which I think is planted, like the slave in the poet's chariot, to prevent his enjoying the triumph. Should things therefore change with me-and in these times, or indeed in any times, such change is to be apprehended-I trust I shall be able to surrender these adventitious advantages, as I would my upper dress, as something extremely comfortable, but which I can make a shift to do without."

1. Speech of John Clay, Esq. M.P. on Joint-Stock Banks, &c. 1836.

2. Letter to W. Clay, Esq, By Vindex. Ridgway.

3. Examination of the Report of the Joint-Stock Bank Committee. By T. Joplin.

WE recommend these pamphlets to public attention. Paid-up capital, limited liability, and publicity of accounts, Mr. Clay considers to be the three great principles on which a sound system of Banking is to be created. Of course, it is not to be supposed that a bank may not be distressed, or may not fail, although formed under this system, no more than a man may not die or become diseased who has a strong constitution; but it appears to Mr. Clay to be the safest and most solid basis upon which a banking firm can stand it offers the greatest prospect of stability. In fact, he considers a banking establishment must not and safely cannot be a reservoir from which speculators and adventurers may draw for a supply for their wild and visionary schemes. It is not an establishment that has a right to seek large profits by incurring great hazards; but it is an establishment, above all others, whose prosperity must be founded on the caution and prudence of its dealings, and consequently on the confidence of the public. The profits of the most prudent banking establishment ought to be sufficient to satisfy those embarked in it: and, indeed, we know establishments of great wealth, which has been realized by a steady. course of the most cautious foresight and prudent forbearance. It is not to be supposed that in a question like the present, so extensive as to admit many views of it, and so much mixed up. with the interests of individuals concerned in it, much difference of opinion should not exist; and many

plausible and indeed some solid arguments may not be advanced on the other side; but nothing properly can be discovered further in the discussion than that a plan should be selected which offers the greater security, and is founded on the mere prudential arrangements. After reading the review of the subject in the Edinburgh, and knowing how much ingenuity can advance, and being also aware how easy it is on these extensive and complicated questions by an involuntary suppression of some part of it, to throw an imperfect and dubious light on the whole, we have no hesitation in giving our opinion, that the present session of Parliament will be most usefully engaged in considering the subject of the Joint-Stock Banking system, and its growing importance to the country.

The pamphlet by Vindex defends the principles of the Joint-Stock Banks, though it confesses their occasional imprudence. It brings forward strong evidence in their favour by Mr. Gurney, and it attributes the overtrading and speculation of these last two years to other causes. The Bank of England, it says, has eighteen millions afloat, private banks eight millions, and the Joint-Stock Banks only three millions. Vindex agrees in two of Mr. Clay's propositions paid-up capital, and publicity of accounts: but he differs as to the third, of limited liability. It appears to us that if the English JointStock banks secure themselves by their wealth, respectability, usefulness, and prudence in the opinion of the country, as the Scotch banks have done, no partner would refuse to join them, even if his property was to be responsible without limit; though we think Mr. Clay's argument holds good pro tempore, as far as the limited or unlimited liability would at this time influence persons as to the connection with concerns too lately commenced, to offer that fearless security which a man expects who has embarked his whole property. If they do not prove secure or steady, they will be a great evil to the country; if they do, they will possess unlimited credit, upon which our landed security will lean with confidence.

Mr. Joplin, the author of the third pamphlet, claims to himself the honour

(and well might it be so called) of having suggested the enlargement of issues by the Bank on the panic in 1825; and certainly he shows a very close agreement between his suggestion in the Courier on the evening of Tuesday the 13th of December, and the adoption of it on Wednesday morning the 14th. His account of the transaction will be read with interest. In Mr. Joplin's views of the errors of judgment in the Committee which issued their Report on the Stock-banks, we fully agree; especially in the recommendation of its making its reserve in stock, which we should have supposed to be the least desirable method of investment. Mr. Joplin mentions the Northern and Central Bank of England, which appears to us to unite at once all that is active with all that is firm, which is based on a property almost invulnerable, and which exerts a large influence over the wealthiest and most industrious portion of the kingdom. It has,' he says, "1,200 partners. The whole property of each partner is liable for the engagements of the Bank, and the paid-up capital is £70,000." This, if there be any degrees in perfect safety, renders it safer than the Bank of England; and the circumstance of its chief dealings being with its own partners and their connections (who, so far from being likely to run upon it, would uphold its credit in periods of emergency), adds to the probability that, in the event of a panic, the run would be not to take money out, but to put money in, for better security; and then its resources would rather be increased than diminished.

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The Report of the Committee is very accurately examined by Mr. Joplin, and his observations on re-discounting, and on paying dividends out of banking profits alone, are well worth attention, as well as on the subject of the branches which a bank should have. We ourselves have had not much acquaintance with these new banks; but from those in our neighbourhood, which are connected with the East of England Bank, the public has derived this benefit: 1stly, that the private bankers allow 2 per cent. on balances in the hand, which they did not do before 2dly, that those Joint-Stock Banks accommodate their customers upon more steady and liberal prin

ciples than the private ones; who sometimes would make unsafe loans; and at other times, most capriciously, not permit a man with thousands, to overdraw his account ten pounds: again, they would call in their advances without any just cause of apprehension whatever. These are all the disadvantages of a monopolising system; there being only three large banking establishments in the whole county. The Joint-Stock Bank which has now come in among them has hitherto acted with liberality and prudence, and on principles that appear quite satisfactory; and the success of it has been very great, especially among the trading part of the community.

Memoir of the Life and Works of William Wyon, Esq. A.R.A., Chief Engraver of the Royal Mint. By Nicholas Carlisle, Esq. D.C.L., F.R.S. &c. &c. [Not printed for sale.]

EVERY work which may be referred to as a record of the Coinage of a particular period of English history, or of the labours of an eminent artist employed in its execution, must be valuable to future numismatists. The volume before us opens with a welldigested historical summary of the coinage of our monarchs, chiefly derived from the voluminous materials collected by the late Rev. Rogers Ruding. We pass to the more immediate subject of Mr. Carlisle's publi. cation, the Biography and works of Mr. Wyon. It appears that his ancestors for three generations had been artists of talent. George, the greatgrandfather of the Mint engraver, was a chaser in silver, and came from Hanover in the suite of George the First; his son George was apprenticed to Hemmings, goldsmith to George the Second; and about 1775 was engaged in the manufactory at Soho. In 1772, when the cry was, Wilkes and Liberty!" the city of London presented that popular but not very immaculate character (the whole catalogue of virtues is not always necessary for a patriot), with a silver cup, embossed with the assassination of Julius Cæsar, from a cast by Mr. George Wyon. An example, it may be presumed, of

the ne plus ultra of democratic freedom, of which in France alone now are found some humble imitators. This cup is described and engraved in the Gentleman's Magazine, vol. XLIV. p. 456.

Thomas, one of the grandsons of the above-named artist, became distinguished as a medallic engraver, but was cut off in 1817 in the twenty-fifth year of his age; William, the other grandson, born 1795, is the subject of our author's memoir. It is shewn by the circumstance detailed, that his youth was cradled by the arts. In his fourteenth year he was apprenticed to his father Peter; in his sixteenth he engraved a head of Hercules in bold relief, which attracted the notice of the late Nathaniel Marchant, R.A. the celebrated engraver of gems.

In 1813, the youthful Wyon executed

a die for a head of Ceres, which obtained the large gold medal from the Society of Arts, and was purchased by them to be employed for the prize medal in the Agricultural Class. This award was speedily followed by a similar prize for a die executed by young Wyon from his own design for a naval prize medal.

"Thus," says his biographer, "we see a youth of eighteen, unaided but by natural genius, breaking through all impediments of his difficult art, and claiming and receiving the highest rewards, such as might only be conferred upon matured excellence." p. 41. Until the year 1823, when Mr. Wyon was appointed by the Right Hon. Thomas Wallace (now Lord Wallace) Master of the Mint, Mr. Wyon had to struggle with an adverse, ill-directed current of official control, which had kept his talents in the back-ground, and conferred on Pistrucci the Italian artist, the meed of emolument and favour. The manner and qualifications of Pistrucci as chief engraver of our national mint, may, we think, be best appreciated by his large crown-piece, bearing the head of George III. and, the reverse of St. George and the Dragon. In the first, the bold English features of that worthy monarch are softened down and Italianized to utter dissimilarity: the reverse is a lame attempt to turn one of the equestrian figures of the Elgin marbles into

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