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That there is to the credit of profit and loss, a surplus profit of 5 per cent 1,750,000 That there is an excess provision over and above the estimated loss on

the suspended and bad debts, deemed equal to any possible loss the Bank may sustain

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309,000

"4. That the bonus of 1,500,000, paid for the Charter, and the 205 888 paid for the 5 per cent stock, has been provided for, and liquidated.

"This is truly, to those immediately interested, a most gratifying state of things; but when contrasted with the situation of the Bank at the meeting of stockholders in 1822, bears conclusive evidence, that the public have been equal gainers with the stockholders, by the judicious manner in which the affairs of the Bank have been conducted. In January, 1823, the whole gross circulation was only 4,589,446, while the present circulation amounts to 22,399,447, showing an increase of sound currency of 17,800,000, better for all the purposes of internal trade and commerce, than specie, because always convertible into specie, without loss, and of far easier and cheaper transportation than the precious metals; and the specie and deposits have increased in the same proportion.

In 1822 the whole amount of loans was only

Of which the suspended debt amounted to

32,218,876

10,426,306

Leaving only actively employed

21,792,570

And of this was loaned on stock

5,975.000

And employed in commerce only

15,817,570

And in this year the domestic exchange purchased, was only

7,476,000

In the year ending August, 1831, the amount of loans was

56,794,000

Suspended debt only

3,634,000

Leaving an active capital of

$53,160,000

Amount of stock loans only

800,000

Amount employed in commerce

52,360,000

Amount of domestic exchange purchased for the year ending 1st.

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"And the domestic bills purchased and drafts drawn by the Bank, and treasury transfers made, amount to upwards of ninety-eight millions of dollars. The last three years, the Bank has divided 7 per cent per annum, but the whole dividend paid the stockholders from the commencement does not amount to 5 per cent per annum semi-annually on the par cost of the stock-from all which it is evident that the Bank has been so managed, as that while it has, in a certain degree, advanced the interest of the stockholders-it has, in a much greater degree, promoted the great interest of the community, by furnishing them with the ready means of transmission of funds far exceeding one hundred millions a year on the most economical terms, thereby proving, that, in fact, the Bank of the United States furnishes a circulating medium better than specie, since the Bank received all their paper, every where, for debts due Government, and will furnish drafts on their various establishments. at a far lower rate, than specie can be sent from place to place, and we are satisfied, that the public will join with the committee of the stockholders, in giving all praise to the zealous and efficient officer who so ably presides over this valuable institution. Yours, &c.

"We learn from the Pennsylvania Inquirer, that the President and Directors were authorised by the meeting to apply for a renewal of the charter when they think necessary, and assent to such modifications as they may consider just and preper.'"-Editors Courier and Eng.

VOL. VIII. NO. 15.

6

ART. II.-The Youth and Manhood of Cyril Thornton. 2 volumes, 8vo. New-York. 1827.

TALES of fiction have long ceased to be regarded as the mere amusement of an idle hour. He who seeks, curiously, to fathom the springs of human action-to mark that distinctiveness of character-and to catch those varying manners and customs, which "show the age and body of the time, his form and pressure," will satisfy his researches, more effectually, by the examination of works of fiction, than of productions of a graver cast. They communicate to us the habits and the pursuits of the learned and the ignorant, of the serious and the gay-and enable us to trace the advance of literature and taste, from their earliest dawn, through their successive stages of improvement. Viewed under these aspects, a brief reference to the romances of earlier times, and a comparison of them with the modern novel, will not, we trust, be devoid of interest.

In the romance of the middle ages, the hero was endued with resistless strength, fearless courage, boundless generosity, lofty disinterestedness and stainless honour. His fidelity to his love "par amours" was unconquerable-to question the peerlessness of her charms was a mortal offence-to suspect her chastity, was infamous-to doubt her truth, was unknightly. The heroine, high-born, graceful and beauteous-skilled in riding, falconry and embroidery-versed in the mysteries of superstition and the codes of metaphysical passion, was an object of idolatrous devotion. Such personages, with a due admixture of valorous rescues of damsels from durance-of perils encountered by sea and land-of gorgeous tournaments-of enchanted forests-of saints, hermits, giants, dwarfs, magicians, fairies, dragons and griffins, constituted the materiel of the olden romance. In a state of society, when youthful beauty languished amidst the frivolous ceremonials of the cloister-when the occupations of manhood, were the feud, the foray and the chace-when knowledge, with rare exceptions, was confined to the meagre chronicle and the miraculous legend of the monk; and when science and the arts were comprised in the barren trivium and quadrivium, it was natural, that intense delight should be derived from descriptions of wild adventure, which gratified the curiosity, and of pomp and of pageantry, which dazzled the imagination. Ancient romances were not announced to their contemporary readers and auditors, nor were they received by them as creations of the fancy. By their

authors, they were affirmed to be narrations of facts, and the "crested baron and tissued dame" believed, as implicitly, in the feats of Arthur and his companions, of Amadis of Gaul and of Greece, of Esplandian and of Ogier the Dane, as does many a kelted highlander in the genuineness of the poems of Ossian. Though these and similar compositions are now rarely recurred to from any other motive than learned curiosity, it is to them that we are, chiefly, indebted for our knowledge of the reverence of the sex, the admiration for deeds of valour, the superstitious credulity, the rude taste, the aristocratic haughtiness, and the contempt for the people, which characterized the middle ages.

When the rage for chivalrous romances had yielded to the influence of religious enthusiasm, moralities and mysteries were addressed to the uncultivated minds of those, who were incapable of comprehending the abstract truths, and relishing the pure doctrines of the gospel. To engage their attention, it was necessary to appeal to their senses, to personify the cardinal virtues and the deadly sins, to present religion to them in the alluring garb of spiritual knight-errantry, victorious over the temptations of passion, and the assaults and stratagems of the everlasting enemy of man. With the progress of intellectual improvement, these absurdities disappeared; but during a long interval, the fictions of various kinds, which succeeded them, though shedding light upon contemporaneous habits and tastes, are, otherwise, little worthy of remembrance. The most distinguished of them, in England, (to the prose works in fiction of which country, our observations are confined,) may be very briefly noticed.

The Arcadia of Sir Philip Sidney, dedicated to his sister, the Countess of Pembroke "that subject of all verse," once eagerly sought for, and enthusiastically lauded, more, perhaps, on account of the chivalrous character of the author than its own merits, is now possessed by few, and only perused by the literary antiquarian. The Euphues and his England, of John Lylie, minute in its details of the manners and sentiments of the Elizabethan age-abounding in metaphysical discourses on constancy and love, in antitheses in ideas and words, and in affectations of learning

66

Talking of stones, stars, planets, fishes, flies,
Playing with words and idle similies,"*

quoted by wits, and treasured in the memories of ladies and courtiers, would, probably, not have occurred to our recol*Michael Drayton.

lection, but for the "pearls of rhetoric" of Sir Piercie Shafton, in the Monastery. The Atalantis of Mrs. Manley, which describes, in gross language, the fashionable scandal of a corrupt and corrupting court, and the licentious amours of distinguished persons, under feigned names, lives only in the line of the poet "as long as Atalantis shall be read." Mrs Behn's novels, displaying some sprightliness of fancy mingled with disgusting indelicacy, are forgotten. The first novels which attracted the public notice after the period of which we have spoken, were those of De Foe, whose Robinson Crusoe appeared in 1719. The novelty and variety of its incidents, the plain yet impressive portrait of its hero, the distinctness and consistency of the story, and the air of truth which pervades it, gave to this favourite of the young and the old, a popularity, at its first publication, which has continued undiminished to the present time.

About twenty years afterwards, Richardson introduced what may be termed the modern novel, which was designed to "hold the mirror up to nature," to describe virtue and vice, and men and manners, so as to please the fancy, without exaggeration, and to instruct, without the formality of precept. The chef d'avre of Richardson is Clarissa Harlowe. Notwithstanding the tediousness with which its plot is unfolded, the improbability of many of the events, the wearisome minuteness with which they are dwelt upon, the indelicacy of some of the scenes, the frequent involution of the sentences, and the occasional coarseness of the language; yet its strong delineations of character, its elevated morality, and its irresistible power over the heart, entitle it to stand in the front rank of modern novels. He who, successfully, laboured to give confidence to virtue-to enable us to meet the ills of fortune, with firmness and resignation-to perform the parts assigned to us in the drama of life, with propriety and usefulness, is justly entitled to the high encomium bestowed upon him by Dr. Johnson-" that he had enlarged the knowledge of human nature, and taught the passions to move at the command of virtue."

Richardson was followed by Fielding, Smollett, Goldsmith, and Mackenzie. Fielding is chiefly indebted to "the History of a Foundling," for the exalted reputation which he enjoys. We know no novel that exceeds it, in the lucid and skilful arrangement and conduct of the story-in faithful specimens of English society-in sarcastic wit, playful irony, vivacity of description, and an undeviating adherence to nature; and in the striking delineation of characters, of the most opposite dispositions and pursuits.

* Pope

Smollett's Roderick Random, Peregrine Pickle and Humphrey Clinker, by no inconsiderable portion of the literary world, have been ranked with "the History of the Foundling." In fertility of fancy, and richness of invention, in deep pathos and in broad humour, in the copiousness of his incidents and the wider range of his characters, Smollett is superior to his rival; but his stories are carelessly digested and clumsily managedhis heroes, generally, have little hold upon our sympathies-his heroines, Aurelia Darnell excepted, are tame and uninteresting-his descriptions often run into caricature, and his humour frequently degenerates into buffoonery. To Smollett, we think, must be allowed the possession of a more brilliant genius and of a more creative imagination; and to Fielding, a purer taste, a more elegant style, a nicer skill in the construction and developement of his incidents, and a more faithful representation of the passions and the feelings which govern and influence mankind.

If literary merit is to be estimated by popularity, few works are to be preferred to Goldsmith's Vicar of Wakefield. In spite of some glaring improbabilities, the tale, though simple in the extreme, is interesting. The narrative is easy, and the style flowing and chaste. The calm resignation of the Vicar, under the severest trials, his fervent piety, his practical virtue, his boundless charity and his parental tenderness, constitute the beau ideal of unaffected dignity and moral sublimity, whilst his unconscious pride in the beauty of his daughters, and his pedantry and ignorance of the world, tend to heighten the effect of his spotless worth and unwearied benevolence, by reminding us that he is formed of mortal elements. Mrs. Primrose, with all her economy and prudence and conjugal affection, seduced by motherly indulgence, to counteract her husband's wisest plans by her own shrewd contrivances, affords a fine contrast to his undoubting confidence. These and other admirably drawn characters, with graphic descriptions of the quiet occupations and humble engagements of domestic life, interspersed with scenes of exquisite tenderness and of genuine humour, impart to the pages of the Vicar of Wakefield a charm which is long remembered, mingled with a regret, that its author should have written so little, in that species of composition, in which he was so eminently qualified to excel.

Mackenzie is peculiarly the novelist of the heart. He combines no elaborated series of incidents to terrify or surprise, but contents himself with common events, inartificially woven into a tale, for the purpose of developing those nice and delicate

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