it must conceal prohibited goods in some of its
recesses ; but the proof was kept for a grand ex-
plosion, as the catastrophe of poor M. Gaubion's
trials. The gentlemen of the Custom-house had
PROSPECTIVE BROTHERHOOD. 137
begun now to think that there might be possibly
no more dishonesty in this package than in those
of M. Gaubion's proceedings which had been
already investigated ; and the box had therefore
been opened and examined this morning, when
they found the mummy, the whole mummy,
(which was well for Mademoiselle's museum,)
and nothing but the mummy, (which was equally
well on her brother's account.)
Nothing now remained but to verify the author-
ship of the thirty-seven pieces. Three men swore
to two each as their own ; and every one of the
others was claimed by a maker. These thirty-
seven pieces of unquestionable French goods
were all woven in Macclesfield and Spitalfields !
Culver examined the men, and the marks they
pointed out, and did not glance towards the
Frenchman while the investigation was going on.
Just so was it with the persevering accusers of
the stranger. The difference between them and
Mr. Culver was, that neither did they look in M.
Gaubion's face finally, but slunk away, after the
wont of false accusers ; while Mr. Culver went
up to the acquitted to say ā
" I never gave worse advice, sir, than when I
recommended you to keep quiet, and let matters
take their course. Innocent as you are proved to
have been all this time, I hope you would have
disregarded my advice, if our riotous neighbours
had not compelled you to throw it behind you. I
thought I was giving you the most friendly coun-
sel, sir ; for, to say the truth, I thought, ā without
having a bad opinion of you, either, ā that you
138 PROSPECTIVE BROTHERHOOD.
had most probably been involved as these gentle-
men said you were."
" Without having a bad opinion of me ! How
could that be ? "
" Why, sir, when one considers how long our
prohibitive laws have been evaded by all classes
of people in turn, ā so that the bad were not held
to be the worse for such practices, and they were
considered no stain upon the good, ā it seemed
natural enough that, if your interest tempted you
particularly, you should continue the contraband
trade when other people were thinking to have
done with it."
" In declaring that I might violate public
loyalty and private faith in one set of circum-
stances, without being a bad man," said M. Gau-
bion, " it seems to me that you pass the severest
of censures on the power which framed those
" I have no objection, sir, to having my words
considered in that light. The business of go-
vernments is to guard the freedom of commerce,
and not to interfere with it. If they choose to
show partiality, and to meddle with affairs which
they cannot properly control, they become an-
swerable for the sin of disobedience which is
sure to arise, and for all the mischiefs that follow
in its train. If, moreover, governments take up
any wrong notion, ā such as that which has caused
us a world of woe, ā that the benefits of commerce
arise from what is exported rather than from what
is imported, ā if such a notion is taken up, and
obstinately acted upon, long after the bulk of the
PROSPECTIVE BROTHERHOOD. 139
people know better, the ruling powers are respon-
sible for all the consequences that visit themselves 3
and the subjects whom they have afflicted, either
by commercial misfortunes or by legal punish-
" Then you consider your ancient governments'
(less liberal and enlightened than the present)
answerable alike for my guilt, if I had smuggled,
and for my troubles under the suspicion of hav-
ing smuggled ?"
" Just so ; and for more within my little circle
of observation than I should like to have to bear
my share of."
" For the late prosperity of Breme and his
brother, ā prosperity of which the neighbours
were jealous because it arose from amidst the
destitution of a host of native weavers ?" ;
" I could soon bring myself to bear the
thought of that, seeing that Breme is more pros-
perous still, now that there is not destitution
among his neighbours. The Brighton concern
may have gone down in some degree ; but the
London one has flourished in greater proportion.
I could much sooner forgive myself for Breme's
former prosperity, let it come whence it might,
than for breaking the heart of a fine fellow, ā a
friend of Breme's, ā on the coast. I mention
him because he is a specimen of a large class
who were induced by the temptations of a flou-
rishing contraband trade to quit their proper
business, and set their hearts upon a cast which
must disappoint them, sooner or later. Poor
Pirn was made for as hale and cheerful an old
140 PROSPECTIVE BROTHERHOOD.
age as man need have : but he and his neigh-
bours flourished too much under a bad system,
and now they flourish too little under a better ;
and there sits the poor man, grey before his time,
moping and moaning by his fireside, while his
daughter, who should have gone on to be the
best of housekeepers to a father she looked up to,
is now striving to keep the house in another
sense, and toiling in vain to preserve the appear-
ances on which their scanty bread depends. Pirn
would never have been tempted to be anything
but what lie was fit for, if he had not unhappily
fallen under an artificial svstem. Poor fellow !
I hoped there had been comfort in store for him
in the shape of a companion to gossip with. Our
poor nurse "
" My ancient enemy," observed M. Gaubion,
smiling. " I fear she will hardly be glad to hear
the news of me that you will carry home. To
your daughters, at least, I trust it will be wel-
" There is little intelligence that will be wel-
come to them to-day, even though it concerns
yourself. They are mourning their old friend,
who died this morning."
" What, nurse 1 " I shall be more grieved than
ever that I caused her so much pain as I believe
I did, by making myself, as far I could, an Eng-
lishman. But I could not help it. She left us
no message of peace, I fear."
" Not exactly a message, for she left no
messages except one for my son, and one for
Rebecca Pirn ; but I heard her speaking more
PROSPECTIVE BROTHERHOOD. 141
pleasantly of your family yesterday than I should
have expected. She kept her own opinions to
the last ; but she seemed to grow tired of the en-
mities which sprang from them. She felt kindly
towards everybody latterly, as far as I know, ex-
cept Mrs. Mudge's nurse- maid. Why, I can tell
you no more of Mrs. Mudge's nurse-maid (nor
could poor nurse herself, I fancy) than that she
wears, and has for some time worn, a silk gown.
It was this which occasioned the message to my
son ; viz. that, as our firm is now prospering,
she hoped we might do very well without tempt-
ing people to wear silks who never wore them
before ; and that, dying, she could not counte-
nance what she had been so little used to, even
if it was to benefit her master's trade and family.
The message to Rebecca Pirn related to those of
Rebecca's neighbours who had been kind to
nurse's poor son."
11 Ah ! I remember your daughters told my
sisters that sad story. Can we be of any service
to your family ? Shall I send Adele, or "
** My dear sir ! why do you stand here, letting
me talk about a hundred things, while your
ladies are in suspense about your affair ? I de-
serve ā "
11 Not so. I have sent to relieve them, and
shall now follow. Tell me if I can serve you."
" Yes, if you can make your sisters forgive
the part I have acted towards you. For those
who have done worse, I will offer no defence."
11 None is needed beyond that which is before
our eyes in the struggles of an expiring system of
143 PROSPECTIVE BROTHERHOOD.
monopoly. But a few clays ago, I thought I
could hardly forgive my opponents ; but now I
am disposed to wait and see the effects of a na-
tural co-operation of interests. Let your Coopers
have hearts open for i fancies,' and a purse
wherewith to indulge them ; ā let your old friend
Short leave an unfinished piece upon his loom
when his hour shall come ; ā let your daughters
purchase French or English dresses as they list ;
ā let our neighbours and ourselves be free to sell
where we find customers most eager to buy ; ā
let the government trust us to prosper after our
own manner, ā and there will be no antipathies
mixed up with our bargains ; no loss of time and
temper in suspiciously watching one another's
proceedings ; no mutual injury in apprehension,
any more than in reality."
" Do you really expect to see the day when all
will go so smoothly with us ?"
** That the day will fully come I believe, be-
cause I already see the dawn. But a few hours
ago it seemed to me all clouded, and I fretfully
declared I would not abide the uncertainty."
*' And now ? You cannot now think of leav-
ing us, ā to our everlasting shame? You will
allow us to repair our disgrace ?"
11 We will repent our mutual offences ; ā I my
precipitancy, and you your misapprehension.
Yes ; I will stay, and in our brotherhood as in-
dividuals discern the future brotherhood of our
( H3 )
Summary of Principles illustrated in this and
the preceding Volume,
The countries of the world differ in their facilities for
producing the comforts and luxuries of life.
The inhabitants of the world agree in wanting or de-
siring all the comforts and luxuries which the world pro-
These wants and desires can he in no degree gratified
but by means of mutual excbanges. They can be fully
satisfied only by means of absolutely universal and free
By universal and free exchange, ā that is, by each per-
son being permitted to exchange what hfl wants least for
wliat he wants most, ā an absolutely perfect system of
economy of resources is established j the whole world
being included in the arrangement*
The present want of agreement In the whole world to
adopt this system does not invalidate its principle when
applied to a single nation. It must ever be the Interest
of a nation to exchange what it wants little at home for
what it wants more from abroad. If denied what it
wants most, it will be wise to take what is next best ;
and so on, as long as anything is left which is produced
better abroad than at home.
In the above case, the blame of the deprivation rests
with the prohibiting power; but the suffering affects
both the trading nations, ā the one being prevented get-
ting what it wants most ā the other being prevented
parting with what it wants least.
As the general interest of each nation requires that
there should be perfect liberty in the exchange of com-
modities, any restriction on such liberty, for the sake of
benefiting any particular class or classes, is a sacrifice of
a larger interest to a smaller, ā that is, a sin in govern-
This sin is committed when, ā
First, ā Any protection is granted powerful enough to