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skilful combination of his plans, and the rapidity of his communications and means of receiving intelligence, he contrived to learn the result of the battle of Waterloo len hours before it was known even at the Horse-guards. The possession of such exclusive information, of course, was turned to account by extensive purchases. As he anticipated, and no doubt owing, in some measure, to bis own speculations, the funds went up astonishingly at the peace, and he found himself enormously enriched. The traffic in stocks and exchanges, in which he can always make good bargains, being able to raise or depress prices slightly at his pleasure, and the contract for loans, have iended, and still daily tend, to augment this colossal fortune. He can always take loans on more favourable terms than any one else. Having received orders for certain portions of any given stock from various bankers, he takes a loan and divides it, reserving a portion for himself, and clearing the premium, which he receives as a bonus for making the contract. By this means he obviates any unfavourable reaction on the stocks of which he is already a holder, and which would have been depressed by a loan being taken at a low rate.
“This individual may be looked on as in a peculiar manner the banker of established governments and of the Holy Alliance. War in any shape, and liberal crusades especially, embarrassing national finances, and possibly attacking the inviolability of debts contracted for the support of prescriptive right and the subjugation of the people, are not what he desires. He has never had any thing to do with the South American republics, nor with the mining speculations within their territory, for which he is, of course, all the richer. Latterly, he has learned to distinguish between republics, and to believe that there may be such a thing as a stable one. He has turned his eyes to the only one of the great nations of the world whose government has undergone no change whatever, in the letter or in the spirit, during the last half century of struggles and bloodshed. He has seen a people including no antagonist classes, no aristocracy holding in the same hand the wealth with the power of the country, no child of labour chained for ever hopelessly to ihe oar, and denied all beyond the bare pittance necessary to perpetuate that existence whose energies are to be devoted to the service of his task-master. There labour cherishes no hostility, no deadly purpose of revenge: there it loses no time in repining at its lot, pauses not to complain, but, armed with courage, and secure of its reward, puts forth its energies and grasps wealth. In that country the government has already quietly assumed the form and fashion to which all others tend inevitably through struggles, convulsions and blood, being already in the hands of a democracy, from whom none have the means of withdrawing it. It reposes upon the broad foundation of a whole people, unhappily, though through no fault of ours, disfigured in some portions of our vast territory by the existence of slavery, and the presence of a distinct race unsusceptible of amalgamation ; elsewhere polluted by an inundating emigration, bringing us the degraded materials of the worn-out monarchies of Europe ; yet, in the aggregate, intelligent, moral, cognisant at once of their powers, their privileges, and the means necessary to preserve them.
" This man has had the discernment to discover that our securities are the soundest in the world; reposing upon the existence of governments which alone present no immediate prospect of change, and the guarantee of gigantic and unexhausted resources,-upon British enterprise and British probity, transplanted to more fertile shores, -and on British liberty, intrusted not alone to the guardianship of property and a
privileged few, but made the birthright of all. He has recently taken a loan of one of the most flourishing states: has an agent in America, and is likely soon to have a member of his family there. Moreover, he and our great sachem have recently taken each other by the hand, and he is now our financial agent. It is said that these distinctions are very delightful to him. He glories in being the financial representative of all the great powers at this the capital of the moneyed world. He has declined' the offer of a title from a sovereign prince, having the good sense to see that, as a noble, he would be contemptible; while, as a banker and a capitalist, he stands alone and unapproached, respected and honoured alike by kings and presidents.
“I looked at this individual with no little interest. Men without talents sometimes grow rich by economy, and by hoarding whatever they lay their hands on - by keeping close pent within their pockets every sixpence which finds its way there. But a man who, rising from obscurity, is able, by force of mind and character, boldly and successfully to carve out for himself a great career, and make himself of importance to states and sovereigns, must be one of no ordinary character. Greatness is not confined to any particular sphere; it is various and multiform in its mode of exhibiting itself; and Rothschild may well lay claim to be as great among money-bags, as Napoleon was at the head of armies.”'
We heartily rejoice that Rothschild has such a good opinion of us and of our government. But we fear our friend leaps too hastily to conclusions. No one can deny that our government has undergone vast changes in its spirit, and that it has become infinitely more democratic since its foundation. From the time of Jefferson to this very hour, the power of the people has been leaving the hands of its constitutionally delegated holders, and returning to its owners. How many of the states are now making the most dangerous of all experiments, that of an elective judiciary; and how strong is the tendency in that direction, in those where it yet remains to be tried. What has been the fate of the strong federation of the Union ? it sank with its originators. We need not mince the matter: we are daring every thing, heedless, it would seem, of consequences. That fewer evils have resulted, arises from the fact, that the government interferes so little with the governed. We have no antagonist classes yet, but every demagogue who spouts from a stump, endeavours to excite a feeling against the rich. The poor against the rich is a frequent cry. We are rushing headlong to the utmost verge of democracy, to be arrested in our course, perhaps, by lawless power. That the many can be as despotic as one, seems to be still an unlearned lesson.
The Tower, the Tunnel, the Courts, are in turn commented upon. The Park scene on a Sunday, is the theme of some observations upon the dulness of the English in their places of amusement, “where the crowd seemed to have come forth, not in search of joy, but to parade its ennuis,-no one seemed to know another, and there was no gay interchange of sprightly recognition. It was, however, in November,-the
suicidal month. His description of a wet day in that month is excellent.
A meeting of operatives, called together by Owen, is then visited by the "American." Here he finds the usual concomitants of such assemblies; scents, speeches, and sedition.
The poor of England are frequently spoken of as being particularly debased and oppressed. If they are so, and we do not dispute the fact, why is it? Not, we think, because of the despotism of the property-holders, as is so boldly asserted. Let our American remeniber, that the poor rates, which are so celebrated as erroneous, and onerous, fall almost exclusively on the property-holders. The cause of the lowness and insufficiency of wages, is the number of operatives, the huge population of the lower classes ; and this is traced by political economists to the kindly meant but mistaken solicitude of these abused rich, to provide for the sustenance of mechanics and labourers at a time when wages suddenly fell. It was then that the “ allowance” system was put into operation, which, in making up to the poor man the difference between his wages and his wants, increased his pay in proportion to his family; thus removing one of the checks on population, and actually paying a premium on children. The population from that moment increased enormously, and the error was perpetuated. If a person with a family was supported, how much better was it for every one to marry and have a family, than to work! The able bodied mechanic, now a pauper, with his six or ten children, was paid twenty times more than a decrepid or childless one. It was considered, says Bulwer, a very good speculation, to marry a lady with one or two pledges of love. Hence support, thence idleness, thence crime. All this unfortunate charity was done by the property-holders; and though in so doing they have brought such a curse on the greater part of their country, as that a person is better maintained in a workhouse than in a workshop, provided he has been improvident enough to have a large family, it is not therefore to be said that all this was oppression. Legislative interference has begun to be felt in these matters, for the better ; brought about, too, by these very same rich people.
There are some sets off, also, to this universal pauperism. The better operatives are highly paid. It has come to our personal knowledge, that in Sheffield, for instance, the polishers make enough in three days, to be able to spend the rest of the week in idleness, and generally in drunkenness. This is no pleasant result of high wages. Daily instances, too, occur of the rise of wealthy and distinguished people, from the very poorest classes.
Nor do these "cruel rich" escape altogether. Do they enjoy VOL. XIX.-No. 37.
a single luxury, without being taxed for it? If they eat, their food is taxed; drink, their wines are taxed; are waited upon, their domestics are taxed ; ride, their coaches are taxed; look out, their windows are taxed. And all this, besides supporting these very poor, and being called upon for charity in every shape. A man, says an intelligent writer, may have himself and his family nursed, clothed, fed, educated, established, physicked, and buried, for nothing, in England.
Our American feels happy that we are better off. We are so, no thanks to ourselves. Is our system of poor rates and laws any better? We are free to say that they are only less liable to objection than the English, because, owing to the state of our country, their influence is not so much felt. We have started with the same errors. We build palaces for the poor, and invite them to inhabit there; we tax all who are above going into them, to support those who are not above it. Luckily, wages are so high, and population so sparse, that there still remains an inducement for the labourer to keep out of the alms-house, although our wise legislators are giving them every inducement to come in. Public charities, as long as they are confined to those unable to provide for themselves, are all very well; but when they invite persons to come and be fed, and come and be clothed, they take away inducements to labour, promote idleness and crime, and at length transfer the happy pauper from their protecting arms to the jail.
Well, the people of England are become alive to their position. There is no rebellion, said Lord Bacon, like that of the belly. Already has the ball begun to move, which we fear may become the car of Juggernaut to its propellers. Already has dread reform waved her weapons over the wealthy. Yet, while we cannot gainsay that the abuses are many and vast, we fear and tremble for the result. But we digress.
Our American, in consequence of indisposition, is obliged to retire from the city, and pass some time at Islington. He here presents us with a new and well-drawn picture of suburban life, which we must give our readers. It puts us in mind of Geoffrey Crayon.
“In these my rambles over Islington and its pretty neighbourhood, I made some remarks for myself, and was assisted to others by the maturer observation of my friend, concerning the habits and manners of the inhabitants of this region, which excited my curiosity and tended to amuse me. It seems that it is inhabited almost entirely by retired tradespeople; a general phrase, which includes almost every one in this couniry below the dignity of a gentleman, or man living without occupation on his means, and on the labours of his ancestors. People engaged in business here have a sufficiently, general practice, which it were well that we imitated in America, of realising their property the moment they have secured a competence, and, investing it in some safe and con
venient way, so as to yield them a moderate interest, retiring either to the country or to some suburban situation, where they may compass the luxury of a garden-spot, there to pass the evening of their days in iranquillity. In the neighbourhood of Islington there are many pretty and modest villas thus inhabited, and in the town itself frequent ranges of dwellings, called places or terraces, which are constructed on a uniform design, frequently standing back from the road, and having verandas in front, with a common garden laid out for the resort of the inmates. These houses, though mostly unpainted and of a gloomy hue without, gave evidence within of great neatness and comfort. The windows were tastefully curtained, having blinds to obstruct the gaze of passers in the street, or else the same effect more tastefully produced by means of shrubs and flowers, amid which hung the frequent prison-house of lark or canary.
"Some of these retired citizens keep lumbering carriages, covered with heavy armorial bearings. Here there are no equipages with simple ciphers, or without arms of some sort, which are generally largely and glaringly painted, and conspicuous in the inverse ratio of the established dignity of the aspirant. One of the earliest uses that is made of wealth is to pay a handsome fee to a herald, for the contrivance of an elegant coat of arms.
“There is one thing, however, in which they evince more sense than we do; that is, in never setting up a coach until their fortune entitles them to do so. Each graduates his expenses nicely to his means; if they do not justify the extravagance of a pair, he contents himself with an enormous fly, a species of close carriage, drawn by one horse, and of which two horses would stand in awe over our rugged pavements. Others rejoice in the possession of a huge phaeton, capable of containing the entire household, which is drawn by a single family horse, a meekspirited jade, which jogs along with a millhorse perseverance-an air of motiveless and heartless dulness, in happy accordance with the heavy, stupid looks of the group which he drags after him. Here and there antiquated cobs, which in their younger days had carried their impatient masters to the scene of money-making in a twinkling, now crept over the ground calmly, contrasting singularly with the rapid movements of the young traders, the sons probably of the former in many instances, who, starting in life on their own account, seemed to be full of motive, and as greedy to gain time as the others were anxious to consume it.
“ Those, indeed, who had achieved the competence which had been the cherished object of their hopes, seemed fo be far more miserable than those who were in pursuit of it. The retired trader was ever ready to pull up his equally willing steed, which had learned, by long practice, to adapt itself to the habits of its master, to talk with some equally timeridden worthy of trade and the stocks.' Others lounged at the corners, or before their doors, speaking in monosyllables or speaking not at all, and gazing with vacani and envious stare upon the passing whirl of the busier population. It was difficult, indeed, to imagine people more evidently at loss and out of tune. The retirement and competence which they had sighed for through the earlier years of a busy life, seemed to have become, by robbing them of their occupation, the source of their misery.
“Perhaps the morning with its freshness of sensations, physical and moral, agreeably ministered to by breakfast, and the newspaper, which circulated from house to house at the cheap rate of a shilling a week, was the season in their existence freest from corroding ennui, and coming nearest to a negative something that might be called happiness.