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sary to take from the subjects of the nation, and from its reproductive capital, an amount equal to what has been expended in the vast majority of cases unproductively, to use the language of political economy. The payment of a debt cannot, therefore, make a nation richer; and as loans are frequently contracted abroad, or, at least, a large amount of the stock held by foreigners, by the redemption of the national debt, the capital employed in branches of industry is greatly diminished. By the payment of the existing public loan of the United States, nearly twenty four millions of dollars would be taken from our efficient capital,* unless the facilities of reinvestment should induce the foreign stockholders to place their money in our local stocks. An ignorance of our moneyed institutions would probably prevent this being done to any extent. The public debt of the union has a definite value on 'change in London and Paris, and an interest even a half
cent. greater than can be procured by investments in English or French funds would induce purchasers. Not so with regard to other American securities. The foreign capitalists may be individually satisfied of their sufficiency, though in this respect they must, in general, yield to government stocks; but as they want the faculty of being at any moment converted into cash, and of always commanding a value in the market, they lose, in the view of the speculator, no small portion of their value.
We would certainly not wish to be the advocates of the creation of a national debt, but its principal evil—the unproductive consumption of wealth, has already taken place in relation to the existing public stocks. In a political point of view, the repayment of the loan is to be regretted as weakening the the chains which bind together the members of the confederacy. The proprietors of the government stock residing in different sections of the union are attached to the existing order of things by considerations of individual interest, the most powerful motives that can govern the actions of men.
* Of the amount of the public debt of the United States due on the 1st of October 1824, there was held By the British,
$18,515,764,50 By the Dutch,
3,382,366,46 By all other foreigners,
Amount held by foreigners,
patriotism sometimes requires aid from such sources, the history of every country will demonstrate.
The most singular part of the Treasury report is that which relates to the last loan negociated with the Bank of the United States. Not to be charged with misrepresentation, we give the Secretary's own words.
“ Although the individual offers are, apparently, more favorable than that of the bank, yet, taking into consideration that the government is the proprietor of one-fifth of the capital of the bank, and that a portion of the means of the bank, equal to the amount of the loan, would otherwise have been unemployed; the offer of the bank at par, was decidedly the most advantageous to the government; being equal to an individual offer of 4 3-4 per cent. premium."*
We trust that we showed sufficiently, when speaking of “Restrictions on Banking,” that a bank has not the power of increasing its issues beyond its means of redemption. It is not easier, therefore, for such an institution, than for an individual possessing the same capital and furnished with the same deposits, to lend a given sum of money. The Secretary's reasoning must proceed on the supposition that when capitalists and moneyed associations throughout the union were obtaining from five to seven per cent. for their loans, the Bank of the United States was so badly managed, that one-seventh part of its whole capital would have been absolutely unproductive if it had not been borrowed by government. If, indeed, the bank could have obtained for its money one per cent. per annum from other sources, the statement in the report is incorrect. But even if money was so little in demand that no one could be found to take it of the bank at one per cent., would not that fact alone have brought down the market price so that the government might have borrowed at a rate considerably less than that actually offered by individuals or given by the bank ? Had the foregoing extravagant suppositions been correct, would it have affected the government's interest in the bank, if the offers of that institution had been refused, and the money procured from individuals ? A demand in the market would have taken place equal to the void caused by the loan to government, and the bank would have been able to supply the deficiency at the rate at which those who lent to the United States previously furnished their borrowers.—. Without pursuing this subject farther, we would ask what will be the effect of the Treasury decision on the biddings of capitalists for future loans ?
In our view of the great national questions which we have considered, we have endeavored to take as our land marks,
[Feb those immutable principles, which, like the discoveries of Galileo, may be proscribed, but cannot be refuted. We are aware that it has been fashionable for those who esteem it too much trouble to think for themselves, and who are willing to trust implicitly in the artificial theories of their forefathers, to stigmatise the science of political economy as a collection of “new-fangled notions.” Nothing, however, can better illustrate who is right in the view of untutored common sense,
than an anecdote related in the journal of a voyage made by a British officer to the coast of Spanish America, since the independence of the new states has been established. On enquiring of a mountaineer of Mexico, bis sentiments as to the recent political events in his country, Captain Hall received this answer :
My opinion of the free trade rests on this ; formerly I paid nine dollars for the piece of cloth of which this shirt is made, I now pay iwo;--that forms my opinion of the free trade."
THE POET'S SOLILOQUY.
My thoughts are not like those of other men,
I feel not as they feel;
But how, or why, or when
Such as I am, and must be still,
In union strange by fancy tied,
Or cruel or unkind,
Can find a moment's place
Nor will I bend the knee or mind
Before their fellows they parade;
For I was called of nobler things to tell ;
New worlds I can create,
And in them I can dwell;
Beyond the power of time or fate :
And hail the genius of the spot,
Mine is the fire the subtle Titan stole,
That in the forms I choose,
Can wake a living soul,
And with their strifes, their wrongs, their woes,
Shall weep for sorrows never felt,
I can make holy ground; and pilgrims there,
Shall after ages long,
With reverent feet repair,
Winged words live in immortal song ;
Their fathers' language may forget,
A sickly lustre shows,
On earth burns pale and dim:
Like Rosicrucian lamp that glows
In the clear cope, with beams divine,
Annals of the Lyceum of Natural History of New York. Vol. 1. Part I.
8vo. Wilder & Campbell. New-York. 1825. NAPOLEON, in a fit of spleen, once called the English a nation of shopkeepers, and we believe this annoyed them quite as much as his victories. Some of their writers very foolishly winced under this epithet, and attempted to show that “the free and haughty Briton” could not, by any possibility, have the humble condescension of a shop-keeper, and that it was exceedingly ridiculous to associate the idea of “the world's last hope,” with the traffick in rum, molas:ses and tobacco. A better class,
however, boldly maintained that trade in itself was not degrading; that its exercise gave scope to the highest powers of the mind; and as a proof that it occasioned no narrow views or parsimonious habits, they demonstrated clearly, that all, or nearly all the charitable and literary institutions in Europe, were originally founded by merchants, and were supported by them down to the present day. This dispute was, however, an
Men naturally take their standing in society, in the exact proportion to their usefulness, or their importance to the common weal. Thus at Rome the priest is pre-eminent, at Paris the soldier, at London the merchant, at Gottingen the learned man, and at Washington, peradventure, the politician. In this country we are unconsciously imitating the slang of the lowest Grub-street scribe, when we attempt to ridicule the honorable standing of the merchant. He may not, it is true, be profoundly acquainted with “ longs and shorts” of prosody, but he understands them thoroughly when applied to the staple of the country. He may be ignorapt of the value of the Greek article; but, what is far better, he comprehends the value of every article of commerce. He may even affect to smile at the niceties of book learning, but he takes care that his own books will bear the ost rigid inspection. He cultivates the society of “good” men; and surely no one regrets more sincerely the failings of his neighbors.
We have been insensibly led into these remarks by the perusal of the volume before us. It comes from a society which has silently risen up among us; and the first notice we have of its existence, is the appearance of this unpretending volume. Composed, as we believe the society chiefly is, of young merchants, it is not only highly creditable that they have devoted their leisure hours to the study of the Natural Sciences, but that they should have exhibited (as this volume testifies) a proficiency that will bear an honorable comparison with the labors of the learned of Europe. Among the contributors, we perceive few of those titled gentlemen who, from immemorial usage, are considered essential to the well being of a scientific society; and few indeed of those “doctores sed non docti," who so often figure before the public with all the consequence derived from the addition of a few cabalistic letters to their names. It strikes us, indeed, as exceedingly curious, that the members of a liberal profession, whose reputation for learning has arisen from their labors in these sciences, should in this country bestow so little of their attention to the cultivation of Natural History. « On such researches and such studies," observes the justly celebrated Lawrence,“ on a foundation no less extensive than the whole empire of living nature, the science of medicine must be established, if indeed it be destined to occupy the rank of a science; if, in short, it shall be permanently raised above the early state of an empirical and blind belief in the virtues of herbs, drugs and plasters, or above its more rnodern, but equally deplorable condition of servile submission to the dogmas of schools and sects, or subjection to doctrines, parties, or authorities." From this quarter we must expect the future improvement of the profession,-not from the addition of new medicines to a catalogue already too long-not from fresh accessions to that mass of clinical observations which lie upread on the shelves of our medical libraries. An acquaintance with these subjects is necessary to the rational improvement of the science of medicine, but by no means so to the mere routine of practice, and the very successful prosecution of the traile. But we are wandering from the subject. It is perhaps natural to express surprise at finding merchants more learned than the members of a learned profession.