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those which he should permit them to anxious wish of Buonaparte, by a forced import: and this chimerical project was employment of national merchandize, perhaps one of the first causes of his to impart somé encouragement to in disasters." The distant countries which terior commerce and manufactures, then had retained the rank of powers, could languishing in a state of inactivity, which not endure this new degradation ; and he viewed with considerable alarm. To princes who had patiently submitted to have given this artificial excitement to see provinces torn from their dominion, inert capital and industry would have rose indignantly to oppose this unheard- been the most able of all his adminisof monopoly. Buonaparte granted li- trative measures; but his injudicious censes of importation ; Russia likewise attempts were only calculated to progranted them, but under different regu- duce ruin and destruction. It is true lations: from that time the blockade that some warehouses were speedily was virtually abandoned : the English emptied, that internal commerce and merchandize was no longer excluded some particular manufactures resumed from the Continent. The resentment a partial and precarious activity; but the of the despot induced him to invade English were not made to contribute to Russia, to compel her to observe rigor- the attainment of this object. They ously the very blockade which he had disdained and rejected the merchandize himself violated. We all know the im- which was brought to their ports against portant events which resulted from that their will, and in a quantity infinitely unjust aggression.
exceeding their possible occasions or At first the licenses were not numer. desires. Several French speculators enmus; they were solicited as favours pro- deavoured to sell this dead stock at sea. ductive of great profit, even after pay- Some American ships bought, for the ment of the enormous import duties, merest trifles, bales of silk, embroidered amounting to nearly two francs upon goods, and other articles. But the every pound of sugar or coffee, ten francs greater part of those who congratulated for every pound of quinquina, and so in themselves on these sales, as on a sort proportion for the other articles im- of bonus, found in them their ruin. ported. But these imports were sub- Betrayed either by the crews of their jected to another condition of a peculiar vessels or by some unforeseen accident, nature, namely, that of exporting pre- they were punished for selling at sea viously, in the same vessel," and to the merchandize which was excluded from same amount as the imports, French all ports; and on their return their ships merchandizes enumerated in the li- were seized, with the whole of the imeenses; particularly silk manufactures, ported cargoes. Such was the oppreswhich the exporters were under thé sive treatment of men who deserved a necessity of throwing into the sea, dur- premium, for having saved to their ing the voyage. Buonaparte believed, or country property of which the total rather pretended to believe, that these destruction seemed inevitable. mamfactues, which could not ap As each of the licensed vessels had pear in the English ports without paid at its return about a million of being seized, and subjecting the ship francs in import duties newly imposed, and cargo to forfeiture, would pur- Buonaparte thought that if one vessel chase in those ports the Colonial produce produced one million, an hundred ships required, upon advantageous' terms. would bring in an hundred millions ;
To destroy goods by way of increasing and that, if the forced purchase of a few their consumption was rather an extra- ship-loads of French produce had given ordinary expedient*; but it was the a certain movement to commerce and
manufactures, the simultaneous freightIn some of the last voyages, the English ing of an hundred ships would empty also compelled the adventurers to receive, the warehouses, and restore abundance with the Colonial produce, a certain quantity and animation to French manufactures of their manufactures prohibited in like of every description. He therefore dismanner in France. Thus the merchant tributed licenses in great numbers; and who had been compelled to buy and throw in January 1813 one hundred and eleven into the sea silks, wines, and other French
were delivered. Here his usual acutemerchandizes, was obliged, on his return, ness deserted him, and his political arithhardware, &c. The French and English metic was wretchedly erroneous; for merchandize was thus equally destroyed, these hundred voyages from France to but the French merchant' had to pay for England could neither be successfully both. $ili (<1
performed, nor performed at all in the
short space of a few months. To facilit from their sale. The books thus, extate these adventures, he found himself : ported were said, to be not in usum compelled, to extend the list of the goods Delphinijų but “ in usum, delphinorum.” decreed to be exported as counter-value 5: In many of these transactions neither and many articles were now introduced, i. buyer nor seller considered it of any conwhich, if not likely to be eagerly bought I sequence to which of them the property up, were at least certain of not being of the articles exported should be reconfiscated the instant; they arrived in served; nevertheless those who made an English port, Porcelains, furniture, proper stipulations on this subject acted gilt bronzes, and books, of which some most prudently, as appears by what invoices of 1812 had been very profitable, happened in 1816 and 18178....try constituted the principal part of these In the negotiations, occasioned by new and far more considerable exporta- . these.extraordinary, sales, it was alınost tions. A reasonable quantity of these universally customary to quote the real goods might perhaps have been advan-,' value of goods in hundreds of thousands, tageously sold in England; but the and the value for which certificates were enormous quantities exported were out to be procured in millions.
Books, an of all proportion to the demand. The article with which all the dealers in fact is, that the sale of them was scarcely Europe were excessively, overstocked, thought of in freighting the vessels. had accumulated in a frightful manner. The whole of the hundred and eleven in the warehouses of the French, publicenses were not, however, carried into lishers, in consequence of a long and effect : but an irregular and unexpected fatal inactivity: books, therefore, were sensation was nevertheless produced, and particularly suited to this sort of traflica existed for some months in the com The publisher was glad to obtain even merce of Paris, and of some maritime very low price for heaps of editions towns. Let us suppose that the pro- which were to him merely so much prietor of a licence wished to import paper. The merchant could conscien; cotton or coffee to the value of a million tiously, and without fraud, present these francs; he was consequently obliged to books to the French officers of customs, export to the same amount merchan at their legitimate and known prices, dizes .conformable to the French douane. Thus the extensive operation of these ! He would bave incurred a great and licenses, although originating in absur certain loss if he had actually disbursed dity and madness, tended to produce a i such, a sụm to provide the exportable partial good, in diminishing and remove , articles. He therefore endeavoured to ing that state of languor which had long buy the necessary commodities at very debilitated French manufactures, and reduced prices, or even to borrow them particularly the book-trade. But, as it of merchants who were willing to suffer often happens in complicated and irregu; them to be shipped in the name of the lar transactions, the chief and original proprietor of the license, but at their object was forgotten in the progress of own risk and for their own account; the business. When these operations. for which service a commission was became subject to official routine, paid, which varied materially. Five per they were managed by those who did cent. was at first paid to persons who not understand the principles on which had real freights to furnish; and these, alone they could be beneficially, con-1 as the most natural operations, were ducted. The intention of Buonaparte the most successful. The premium had been to occupy the public mind by rose afterwards to ten, fifteen, and twenty an extraordinary movementto absorb per cent.; it was for two days at a great quantity of French produce; twenty-five, then suddenly fell again, and, above all, to secure the receipt of and produced only six per cent. to the an hundred millions of francs. To last who furnished exportable merchan- encourage and facilitate the licensed dize. The quality of this merchandize voyages was, therefore, the duty of those was partly inferior, and was little regard- whom he had appointed to direct and ed in contracts of this nature, in which superintend them : instead of which, the articles exported were considered as they did every thing in their power to lost.
embarass and restrain then. It is true The chief object of the parties acting that a variety of frauds were practised under licenses, was to obtain from the and attempted. Coloured water was exrevenue commissioners the certificate of ported for wine; instead of ribbons, value of the articles proposed for expor, the cases were filled with wooden roltation ; little or nothing was expected Icrs covered with ends of a ribbon ;
gowns, of which only the bottom wasti sellers were, therefore, all more or less embroidered, and many other singular": injured, and some of them every nearly expedients, were used to elinde the law. ruined by these reductions, many of In valuing the merchandize, much des which were made at random, and upon ception was also "practicable, in the the most vague and uncertain grounds, doubtful worth of embroidery, bronzes,' In the sale of the imports the proprie poreelains, &e. But because frauds: tors of the licenses-suffered a loss of a difmight be, and in some instances had "- ferent nature. The twofold effect of been practised, the commissioners would the increased importation of Colonial see nothing but fraud; because they had produce into France, was' to render it discovered that some declarations of dearer in England, where it was to be value had been exaggerated, they re- purchased, and cheaper in France, where solved to reduce all. The narrow, petty it was to be sold. The expenses of the conscientiousness of some of them, in- voyage, the purchase of merchandize or capable of comprehending the idea of freight for exportation, and the extravamerchandize' devoted to destruction, gant import duties, formed the most seemed disposed to require that the ex- conspicuous articles in their accounts, ports should consist of the most valuable and the net produce was truly deplorproperty in the warehouses. They did able. Thus this notable systein of 'linot see that these absurd proceedings censes, which, notwithstanding its ex?" were calculated to inflict a serious wound travagant absurdity, might have proved on the commerce of France. The books in some degree beneficial," produced to trade was treated the worst of all. The the government less than half of what notoriety of its prices exposed it de- was expected from it, and disappoitited fenceless to all the injuries of the sys- the hopes of the greater part of the spes tem of arbitrary reduction, and ac
culators. cordingly it suffered severely.
It seemed to be 'all' over with the French industry, however, soon dis- licenses, when they were unexpectedly covered a way of suddenly creating er- revived to a certain extent. The English portation values ; a measure which ex- became tired of seeing their docks in ii cess and abuse only could render repre- cumbered with innumerable cases and hensible.' New editions, and even new packages of books, notwithstanding the works, were quickly fabricated expressly enormous quantities which had actually it for exportation under the licenses; en been thrown into the sea during the :) graved plates which had long been use voyage. A warehouse-duty had been'" less, were reprinted, and produced cus- imposed of one shilling per month for torn-house values, in property which every bale; but who was to be com? might, as soon as the certificates were pelled to pay it? The real proprietors? obtained, be thrown into the sea without -Where were they to be found? and impoverishing the country. In short, the when found, it might have been very most industrious were most successful; difficult to enforce the payment. They and those who thus exported the printed resorted to the merchandize itself, and bales taken out of their warehouses, ob- endeavoured to sell it by auction. It tained for them little more than the produced scarcely any thing, and these value of the paper, These proceedings sales alarmed the London book-trade. were attended with many examinations In order, therefore, to get rid of the inand reports of the commissioners, who numerable masses of books without would have thought themselves guilty losing the warehouse-duty, they perof a dereliction of their duty if they had mitted them to be re-exported exempt not reduced the greater part of the fac- from import duty, but after payment of tures ør declarations of value *. The all other charges, which 'amounted' to
no less than forty, or fifty shillings for One speculator conceived the ingenious other, from eight to ten reams of printed
every bale, containing, one with 'anidea of printing an immense number of por- paper. By these means a great
quantity traits of the Imperial Family, accompanied of French books thus redeemed, left by a text purporting to be historical, written the English docks in 1816 and 1817, expressly for the purpose, and in the most and either returned to France, or were auditors of the Council of State would noé consigned to different destinations more dare to touch the holy ark, or risk incurring or less remote; but more than half of the charge of disaffection. He judged rightly these goods had been so damaged eithér his declaration was 'received with respect, by lying so long in damp warehouses, and admitted without any reduction. bad packing, or the inevitable injuries of
two voyages, that the greater part of the comprehending all the effects of this books returned might be consider- system on the destinies of Europe, ed as destroyed. Porcelains and gilt would prove' a most fertile subject of bronzes, it is said, were in the same investigation. We have here only enmanner restored to their old warehouses. deavoured to describe their nature,
A complete inquiry into the history origin, and immediate effects, on comof these licenses, (which forms a singu- merce, and particularly on the BOOK lar episode in that of the political rela- Trade. tions between France and England,)
ON THE LIVING NOVELISTS.-NO. III.
Mr. Godwin is the most original- endued with a deep sense of beauty, or not only of living novelists—but of living a rare faculty of observation, or a sporwriters in prose.
There are, indeed, tive wit, or a breathing eloquence, may very few authors of any age who are so fabricate as the “ idle business." of his clearly entitled to the praise of having life, as the means of profit or of fame. produced works, the first perusal of They have more in them of acts than which is a signal event in man's inter- of writings. They are the living and nal history. His genius is by far the the immortal deeds of a man who must most extraordinary, which the great have been a great political adventurer shaking of nations and of principlesm had he not been an author. There is in the French revolution-impelled and di “ Caleb Williams" alone the material rected in its progress. English litera- the real burning energy, which might ture, at the period of that marvellous have animated a hundred schemes for change, had become sterile; the rich the weal or woe of the species. luxuriance which once overspread its No writer of fictions has ever succeed. surface, had gradually declined into thin ed so strikingly as Mr. Godwin, with so and scattered productions of feeble little adventitious aid. His works are growth and transient duration. The neither gay creatures of the element, nor fearful convulsion which agitated the pictures of external life-they derive world of politics and of morals, tore up not their charm from the delusions of this shallow and exhausted surface-dis- fancy, or the familiarities of daily habiclosed vast treasures which had been tude and are as destitute of the fasciconcealed for.centuries—burst open the nations of light satire and felicitous desecret springs of imagination and of lineation of society, as they are of the thought-and left, instead of the smooth magic of the Arabian Tales. His style and weary plain, a region of deep valleys has “no figures and no fantasies,” but and of shapeless hills, of new cataracts is simple and austere. Yet his novels and of awful abysses, of spots blasted have a power which so enthralls us, that into everlasting barrenness, and regions we half doubt, when we read them in of deepest and richest soil. Our author youth, whether all our experience is partook in the first enthusiasm of the not a dream, and these the only realities, spirit-stirring season--in“ its pleasant He lays bare to us the innate might and exercise of hope and joy”-in much of majesty of man. He takes the simplest ils speculative extravagance, but in none and most ordinary emotions of our naof its practical excesses. He was roused ture, and makes us feel the springs of not into action but into thought; and delight or of agony which they contain, the high and undying energies of his the stupendous force which ties hid soul, unwasted on vain efforts for the within them, and the sublime mysteries actual regeneration of man, gathered with which they are connected. He strength in those pure fields of medita- exhibits the naked wrestle of the pastion to which they were limited. The sions in a vast solitude, where no object power which might have ruled the dis- of material beauty disturbs our attention turbed nations with the wildest, direct- from the august spectacle, and where ed only to the creation of high theories the least beating of the heart is audible and of marvellous tales, imparted to in the depth of the stillness. His works its works a stern reality, and a move endow the abstractions of life with more less grandeur which never could spring of real presence, and make us more in· from mere fantasy. His works are tensely conscious of existence, than any not like those which a man, who is others with which we are acquainted.
They give us a new feeling of the capa- but how dissimilar are the impressions city of our nature for action or for suf- which they leave on the spirit ! Lord fering, make the currents of our blood Byron strangely blends the moral degramantle within us, and our bosoms heave dation with the intellectual majesty; with indistinct desires for the keenest so that goodness appears tame, and excitements and the strangest perils. crime only is honoured and exalted. We feel as though we could live
Godwin, on the other hand, only teaches in moments of energetic life, while we us bitterly to mourn the evil which has sympathize with his breathing cha. been cast on a noble nature, and to racters. In things which before ap- regard the energy of the character not peared indifferent, we discern sources as inseparably linked with vice, but as of the fullest delight or of the most destined ultimately to subdue it. He intense anguish. The healthful breath makes us everywhere feel that crime ings of the common air seem in- is not the native heritage, but the accistinct with an unspeakable rapture. dent, of the species of which we are The most ordinary habits which link members. He impresses us with the one season of life to another become immortality of virtue; and while he the awakeners of thoughts and of re- leaves us painfully to regret the stains membrances “ which do often lie too which the most gifted and energetic deep for tears.". The nicest disturban- characters contract amidst the pollutions ces of the imagination make the inmost of time, he inspires us with hope that fibres of the being quiver with the most these shall pass away for ever. We penetrating agonies. Passions which drink in unshaken confidence in the have not usually been thought worthy good and the true, which is ever of to agitate the soul, now first seem to more value than hatred or contempt for have their own ardent beatings, and the evil ! their gwelling and tumultuous joys. “Caleb Williams," the earliest, is also We seem capable of a more vivid life the most popular of our author's rothan we have ever before felt or dreamed mances, not because his latter works of, and scarcely wonder that he who have been less rich in sentiment and could thus give us a new sense of our passion, but because they are, for the own vitality, should have imagined that most part, confined to the developemind might become omnipotent over ment of single characters; while in this matter, and that he was able, by an there is the opposition and death-grapple effort of the will, to become corporeally of two beings, each endowed with immortal!
poignant sensibilities and quenchless The intensity of passion which is energy. There is no work of fiction manifested in the novels of Godwin is which more rivets the soul-o tragedy of a very different kind from that which which
exhibits a struggle more sublime, burns in the poems of a noble bard, or sufferings more intense, than this ; whom he has been sometimes errone- yet to produce the effect, no complicated ously supposed to resemble. The former machinery is employed, but the springs sets before us mightiest realities in clear of action are few and simple. The movision; the latter embodies the phantoms tives are at once common and elevated, of a feverish dream. The strength of and are purely intellectual, without apGodwin is the pure'energy of unsophisti- pearing for an instant inadequate to cated nature; that of Lord Byron is the their mighty issues. Curiosity, for infury of disease. The grandeur of the stance, which generally seems a low last is derived from its transitoriness; and ignoble motive for scrutinizing the that of the first from its eternal es secrets of a man's life, here seizes with sence. The emotion in the poet re strange fascination on a gentle and inceives no inconsiderable part of its genuous spirit, and supplies it with exforce from its rebound from the dark citement as fervid, and snatches of derocks and giant barriers which seem to light as precious and as fearful, as those confine its rage within narrow bounda- feelings create which we are accustomed ries; the feeling in the novelist is in its to regard as alone worthy to enrapture own natural current deep and resistless. or to agitate. The involuntary recurThe persons of the bard feel intensely, rence by Williams to the string of because they soon shall feel no more; frenzy in the soul of one whom he those of the novelist glow, and kindle, would die to serve the workings of and agonize, because they shall never his tortures on the heart of Falkland till perish. In the works of both, guilt is they wring confidence from him and often associated with subliine energy; the net thenccforth spread over the path