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From these and other considerations we have always advised our friends never to engage as officers of banking corporations. Better, far better, to do twice as much work in an avocation which involves less responsibility. There is an old saying, that “all is not gold which glitters,” and this is peculiarly applicable to bank officers. When you see them with calm countenances and apparently void of care, do not imagine that their minds are quiet. The most of them have studied to keep up an external appearance of ease; but if you could know the weight of responsibility which rests upon them and their nervousness, you would covet neither their places por their salaries.
FOREIGN INVESTMENTS IN THE UNITED STATES.
A writer who has had access to the books of the subtreasury in New York, where the interest on about seven-eighths of the public debt of the United States is paid, says :
These books are a curious study. Many of the names they contain are household words. Some are the names of Europeans, others of West Indians, and even Asiatics. Barely a third of the public debt is held in this country. The bulk of it, we imagine, is held in continental Europe. One is not surprised to find the names of John J. Astor, WILLIAM B. ASTOR, JACOB LITTLE, GEORGE PEABODY, and such men, in the list of the creditors of the United States, but they and their countrymen are in a minority.
The heaviest foreigo creditor we noticed is LORD OVERSTONE, (the famous Joun LLOYD,) who has lent this country no less than $350,000. A Spanish lady, MERCED DE LASSES, is our creditor in the sum of $200,000, and a noble friend of hers, the Count CASA MONTLOVOY CASTILLO, draws six per cent on $100,000. Several persons connected with the royal families of Europe are our creditors. The brother of the King of Naples took $50,000 some years ago and instructed his agent to invest the dividends as they accrued in the same security. He now owns over $75,000. His niece, the daughter of BOMBA, is registered as a creditor for over $50,000. These wise people have been looking out for a rainy day. Another noble personage, the late Duchess of Orleans, has enough in the United States sixes to save the Count of Paris from being compelled to follow his grandfather's example, and keep school. Several of the Saxe COBURG Gothas have also invested in the same security.
The Count Rossi saw enough of this country wbile he was here to invest a few thousands in the famous name of Sontag; and little Paul JULIEN has a trifle-enough to keep him when his violin fails. One can readily account for the appearance of the name of the ROTHSCHILDS, both in London and Paris ; but it is curious that the famous publisher, PonchONCKE, of Paris, is a creditor of the United States, and that the dramatic author, SCRIBE, has also invested enough to give him nearly 10,000 francs a year. A careful study of democracy in America appears to have persuaded Monsieur TOCQUEVILLE to lodge some of his savings in the hands of our government; and Lord MACAULEY, who began with a bagatelle of some $5,000, has since increased his venture to nearly $30,000.
But we shall never end if we attempt to enumerate all the people who have the money placed in United States securities. Here are Lord DUNDONALD, the great sailor, wbo has a large sum for a son of NEPTUNE ; the Prince De BeauVEAU, the Count De NARBOUNE, Sir John Bailey, the Marquis of CHAMPAGNE, BARING BROTHERS, Count DE BEAUMONT, General BERMALOFF, and a bost of titled people, who, perhaps, depend upon the hopesty and solvency of the United States government for a living.
Lord Elgin saw enough of us to leave $17,000 of his savings in our six per cents, and the famous Russian, ALEXANDER HERZEN, has a bagatelle of $80,000 in the same security. There is another creditor, whose name is a curiosity. It runs thus. Baron Louis NUMA EPAMINONDAS JUSTINIAN ARISTIDES DECIUS SALUS HALDENSTEIN DICHENSTEIN GERTENSTEIN. Fancy a man with such a name drawing $26 50 from the United States.
WASHINGTON ON CURRENCY. At a meeting of the New York Board of Currency, held recently, Mr. John V. YATMAN presented a letter written by General WASHINGTON upon the subject of the then existing “ continental rags,” which had succeeded the colonial currency, or “ bills of credit," issued by the several colonies. The soundness of his views are the more remarkable when we remember that he had not then the light of the French assignat system, the suspension of the Bank of England, or the results of our own experience, to judge them by. The letter we record as a curiosity :
Mount VERNON, February 27, 1787. DEAR SIR :-Your favor of the 30th ult. came duly to hand. To give an opinion in a cause of so much importance as that which has warmly agitated the two branches of your Legislature, and which, from the appeal that is made, is likely to create great and perhaps dangerous divisions, is rather a delicate matter; but as this diversity of opinion is on a subject wbich has, I believe, occupied the minds of most men, and as my sentiments thereon have been fully and decidedly expressed long before the Assembly, either of Maryland or this State, was convened, I do not scruple to declare that if I had a voice in your Legislature it would be given decidedly against a paper emission, upon the general principle of its utility as a representative, and the necessity of it as a medium. To assign reason for this opinion would be as unnecessary as tedious—the ground has been so often trod that a place hardly remains untouched ; in a word, the necessity arising from a want of specie is represented as greater than it really is. I contend that it is by the substance not the shadow of a thing that we are to be benefited.
The wisdom of man, in my bumble opinion, cannot at this time devise a plan by which the credit of paper money would be long supported ; consequently, depreciation keeps pace with the quantity of emission, and articles for which it is exchanged rise to a greater ratio than the sinking value of the money. Wherein, then, is the farmer, the planter, and artisan benefited ? The debtor may be, because, as I have observed, he gives the shadow in lieu of the substance, and in proportion to bis gain the creditor or body politic suffer. Whether a legal tender or not, it will, as has been observed very truly, leave no alternative. It must be that or nothing. An evil equally great is the door it immediately opens for speculation, by which the least designing and perhaps most valuable part of the community are preyed upon by the more knowing and crafty speculators. But, contrary to my intention and declaration, I am offering reasons in support of my opinion; reasons, too, wbich, of all others, are least pleasing to the advo. cates for paper money. I shall therefore only observe, generally, that so many people have suffered by former emissions, that, like a burnt child who dreads the fire, no person will touch it who can possibly avoid it, the natural consequence of which will be, that the specie which remains unexported will be instantly locked up. With great esteem and regard, I am, dear sir, &c.,
TRICK OF TRADE. It has been decided in England that tradesmen ticketing their goods for sale in their windows at a specific sum, cannot be compelled to sell such goods at the prices marked.
COMMERCIAL HONESTY. The Rev. HENRY WARD BEECHER recently delivered the inauguratory lecture before the Mercantile Library Association of Boston. The lecture was entitled “ The Bargain Makers.” In that portion of his lecture referring to the laxity of morals which is said to exist in commercial circles, and necessary to its success, he says :
" It is an aspersion on commerce, to be disdained by every man, that it makes laxity of morals indispensable to success. Practical commerce is founded in equity. Beginning in the wants of men, every step, when best conducted, is deficient. Benevolence and public good, based in equity, are the thoughts that God bad when be ordained commerce, and therefore it is that in spite of the short sighted ambition of men, commerce works out the largest measure of public good, and world-wide beneficence. It is, therefore, not necessary that men should be less than honest in order that they may be successful merchants. I put my foot, as on scorpion's eggs, upon that maxim that a man must be dishonest to suc
“Success requires that a man should be the largest pattern of a man ; it is the half and quarter part of men, it is the infinitesimal men who have degraded commerce. The great want in bargain makers is moral faith. Men are seldom found who dare to trust themselves implicitly to their principles. The last thing men learn to trust is the inevitable safety of truth and principle. They esteem truth, they respect honesty, they revere honor, but they dare not follow them except in the sunshine and on the ground, and when these divine qualities come to them walking a tempestuous sea in the night, and bid them come forth from the tossed ship, then, like Peter, they sink ; but alas ! uplike Peter, no hand plucks them from the wave, and down they go to the mud at the bottom.”
The relations of commerce to politics were next touched upon, and the essential relations of commerce to the public weal declared to be such that there could be no justification of political selfishness, for anything in commerce that goes wrong, in the matter of politics and true public weal, is a blunder, and blunder means a crime and universal laughter. It is a wrong known and laughed at, and being laughed at, is next to perdition in common folks' estimation. The permanent well-being of commerce depends upon the moral life of the whole community. All forms of social vice, all demoralization of public opinion, all circumscription of human right, all limitations of the condition of the citizen, are a damage in the end to commerce.
Political life, founded upon political justice, and the contentment of the citizen, built upon the recognition of all his rights, is the very prosperity and permanence of commerce. It is not the church nor the pulpit that needs morality most, although they might still use profitably a little more; it is not art and refinement that most require to stand upon equity and purity; every wheel that revolves in a factory is a plea for justice, every thread in the loom, every blow on the anvil, every machine, every shop, every store, is the voice of their necessity could be heard, would plead for rectitude and justice between man and man ; every man damaged by injustice in a community, is a lack in that community, its laws and institutions; and where a whole class of men is wronged, the whole ship drinks water, and must be instantly bailed or siok. Therefore it is a shame that the merchant should ever weigh in his scales moral principle against profit. The men in our land, who have sold their political principles for pelf, bave been paid in bankruptcy, thank God! So long as the divine example of Christ shall teach the world that death for the sake of recitude is resurrection into immortality; so long shall everywhere the example of Judas teach that they who sell Christ for pieces of silver, shall at last in their despair cast down their profits and hang themselves. And in all questions of public morals, all questions of religious freedom, all questions of right and wrong, that merchant who takes the side of injustice, is a suicide, and if angels were to write the man's epitaph on his tombstone, it would be found in one word—“ fool!” The ways of God are straight, and no man can pervert the inflexibleness of Divine justice. Not into the nature of man himself is the necessity of rectitude wrought more than into the framework of human society. The way of integrity may seem hard, but it ends in the orchard and the garden, as sure as there is a God; unmistakable flowers may blossom in the ways of wrong, and the blandishments of deceit may wile men into fancied security, but the end is inevitable destruction bere and damnation hereafter.
BANK COMMITTEE OF 1856.
REPORT OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE BANK ACT COMMITTEE, 1856. Mr. CHAPMAN, manager for the great house of OVEREND, GURNEY & Co., gave evidence as follows before the bank committee of 1856.
Five joint-stock banks in London hold £35,000,000 of deposits, and allow in. terest upon them about one per cent under the bank charge. The Bank of England never allows interest on deposits, and its private deposits have remained stationary for many years. The largest bills are drawn in the East India and China trades. The Irish banks are required to have their specie in four fixed places of deposit; the Scotch banks are allowed to retain their own bullion. The use of large notes in England is greatly decreasing, while that of £5 or £10 notes is greatly increasing. The gold coinage in circulation in the kingdom is estimated at £59,000,000. The Bank of England holds upwards of forty government accounts. A Bank of England note is not a legal tender in Scotland or Ireland. The English country banks are £1,000,000 below their authorized issue; the Scotch and Irish are as much above it. The Court of Chancery has generally from £300.000 to £500.000 in the Bank of England. The governor of the bank can raise the rate of interest without consulting the court of directors if he chooses ; £4,000,000 out of £6,000,000 of the dividends every quarter go into the hands of the bankers. The deposits of the banks in Scotland are no less than £50,000,000, and the gold held by them under £1,000,000. In 1852, first-class bills were discounted as low as 14 per cent.
There is more than one capitalist who can withdraw from the circulating medium £1,000,000 or £2,000,000 of notes, if they have an object to attain by it-to knock down the funds and create a scarcity. One morning there was a great demand for money in the Stock Exchange ; nobody knew how it was ; a person came and asked me whether I would lend money; I said “ certainly.” He said, “I will take £50,000 of you at 7 per cent.” I was astonished ; our rate of money was much below that; I said, “ You shall have it." He came back for £50,000 more at 77 per cent. He afterwards came back for £100,000 at 8 per cent, and again came back for some at 87 per cent; I said, “Sir, I am frightened, I do not know what this means.” It afterwards turned out that there had been a sudden withdrawal of money from the market, which created the immense pressure. I did lend a large sum at 8 per cent; I was afraid to go beyond; I did not know what was coming ; but it is in the power of great capitalists to do that under a very low state of the circulating medium.
We have had an extraordinary amount of bullion arriving from Australia, and even from America, entirely beyond all calculation, coming from the bowels of the earth, which has kept us alive during this extraordinary demand upon us for war and other purposes. We have looked to the arrival of these vessels from Australia, as much almost as to anything else, to know whether we were safe in going on with our business. The destinies of the country seem to bave hung on their arrival.
Commercial capital does not consist in money alone; capital is in a man's intelligence, in a man's stability of character, and a variety of things, which give him that position in the community which we call capital.
Capitalists avail themselves of these crises to make enormous profits out of the ruin of the people who fall victims to them. There can be no doubt about it.
DAYS OF GRACE ON COMMERCIAL PAPER. A correspondent of the New York Evening Post furnishes the following information upon this subject :
In the following States of the Union it has been provided by statute that days of grace be allowed on bills of exchange payable at sight :- Maide, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, Wisconsin.
In the following States, days of grace are allowed on bills of exchange payable at sight, although not enacted by statute-Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky, Texas.
In Louisiana a decision has been made in one of the inferior courts, allowing days of grace on sight bills, but the usage is to pay on presentation.
In Vermont and Connecticut days of grace are disallowed by statute on bills payable at sight.
In the following States, days of grace are not allowed on bills payable at sight, by the usage among banks and merchants, but no legal decisions have confirmed this usage law-Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee.
In Arkansas, the statute provides that “ foreign and inland bills shall be goperned by the law of merchants as to days of grace, protest, and notice."
THE STOMACH AND THE MIND. Much of our conduct depends, no doubt, upon the character of the food we eat. Perhaps, indeed, the nature of our meals governs the nature of our impulses more than we are inclined to admit, because none of us relish well the abandonment of our idea of free agency. Bonaparte used to attribute the loss of one of hi- battles to a poor dinner, which, at the time, disturbed his digestion. How many of our misjudgments--how many of our deliberate errors