Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 54, No. 334, August 1843 online

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provinces of the Austrian monarchy, were, on the contrary,
satisfactorily extending. The returns before us, never before published
here, it is believed, do not date further back than 1835, and exhibit
the following results: -

Florins. Florins.
1835, Imports from Austria, 79,678,051 Exports to, 46,408,290
1836, ... 96,057,019 ... 53,876,115
1837, ... 90,404,555 ... 47,878,424
1838, ... 101,396,470 ... 61,684,111

The value of manufactured cottons alone, imported from the other
Austrian provinces, amounted, in 1838, to the almost incredible sum of
sixty-four millions of florins, or say not far short of six and a half
millions sterling; of woollens, the import was nearly to the value of
eighteen millions of florins. It is difficult to conceive that such a
mass of cottons could be destined for internal consumption alone; and
therefore the suggestion naturally occurs, that a considerable portion
at least must pass only in transit to the ports for re-exportation to
the coasts of the Black Sea and the Levant; but on reference to the
exports, we find cottons entered only for 31,296 florins. The
proportions in which the different leading articles of importation and
exportation enter into the total amounts of each may be thus stated: -

Cottons for 62 per cent.
Woollens, 17 ...
Linen and hempen fabrics, 4º7 ...
Silks, 1º7

Wool for 45.6 per cent.
Grains and fruits, 19 ...
Cattle, 12 ...
Various raw products, 5º7 ...

The great bulk of this commerce with Hungary and Transylvania is carried
on with the three great provinces of the empire - Lower Austria, which
alone absorbs about two-thirds of the total; Moravia and Austrian
Silesia, one-fourth; and Gallicia and Austrian Poland, the imports from
whence represent above one-tenth, and the exports to which form
one-twentieth of the whole.

Such has been the progress of the Austrian empire even under the
unwisely strained _régime_ of prohibition and restriction. The absolute
theory men will not gain much certainly by its comparison with the free
trading elysium of Switzerland, although the most favourable for the
latter which could well be selected, inasmuch as representing a
principle carried to a prejudicial extreme.

We have not, however, done with our absolutists of the one-sided
free-trade theory yet. We must traverse Belgium with them, but at
railway speed; Belgium, of commercial system less restricted than
Austria, yet more exclusive than England, where, however, some approach
towards the _juste milieu_ of the equitable principles of reciprocity,
may be observed in progress. How then has she fared in the general
_mêlée_ of industrial strife, and what are her prospects for the future
in despite of her stubborn resistance to the new lights? Let the figures
which follow answer for her. The imports and exports by land and sea,
were in -

Imports. Exports.
1834, for 192,909,426 francs. 135,790,426 francs.
1838, ... 238,052,659 ... 193,579,520 ...
1842, ... 288,387,663 ... 201,970,588 ...

For commerce special, that is, of internal production and consumption
alone, the returns show, in -

Imports. Exports.
1834, for 182,057,851 francs. 118,540,917 francs.
1838, ... 201,204,381 ... 156,851,054 ...
1842, ... 234,247,281 ... 142,069,162 ...

The commerce general comprises as well the imports and exports of the
special commerce as the transit and deliveries in entrepot of foreign
merchandise. From 1834 to 1842 the increase of imports and exports,
combined under the special head, was equal to more than three millions
sterling. Under the general head, the increase was nearly equal to six
and a half millions sterling. The comparatively large and
disadvantageous inequality betwixt the exports and imports, under both
heads, results mainly from the loss of those markets in the Dutch
colonies, and in Holland also, of which, during her connexion with
Holland and under the rule of the same sovereign, Belgium was almost
exclusively in possession. The formation of the German Commercial Union
cannot have failed also to damage her intercourse with Germany, to the
markets of which her contiguity afforded so easy and advantageous an

It was our intention to have reviewed at some length the progress of the
German Customs Confederation since its complete formation, with some
inconsiderable accessions subsequently in 1834; but space forbids. In
brief, but conclusive, evidence of that progress under the rule of
protection, we may afford, however, to cite the following returns of
revenue accruing under the poundage system, representing, of course, the
growing quantities imported. The alternate years only are given, to
avoid the needless multiplication of figures: -

Gross sum. Net sum.
1834, 14,382,066 Thalers. 12,020,340 Thalers.
1836, 18,192,313 ... 15,509,758 ...
1838, 20,110,404 ... 17,801,113 ...
1840, 21,293,232 ... 19,019,738 ...
1842, 23,394,831 ... 21,059,441 ...

The Prussian thaler is 2s. 10-3/4d. sterling.

Year by year the rise has been uninterrupted; and with the growth of
imported commodities thus represented by the revenue, have indigenous
products multiplied, and native manufactures flourished and extended
more rapidly and widely still.

In a review of protected nations it is impossible that France should be
lost sight of. More rigorously protective than Belgium, prohibitive even
in some essential parts of her system, whilst stimulating by bounties in
others, the results of a policy so artificial and complicated can hardly
fail to confound your dabblers in first principles and rigid uniformity.
In the sense economical France has not hesitated to violate outrageously
all these first principles, all that perfect theory, in the worship and
application of which, politically and socially, her philosophers were
wont to run raging mad, and her legislators, like frantic bacchanals,
were in such sanguinary "haste to destroy." Singular as it may seem, and
audaciously heretical as the consummation in defiance of the order
inevitable of first causes and consequences invariable, the comparative
freedom of commercial principles in the old _régime_ of France allied
with political despotism, was, however, ruthlessly condemned to the
guillotine, along with the head of the Capets, never to be replaced by
the ferocious spirit of democracy, revelling in the realization of all
other visionary abstractions of perfect liberty, equality, levelling of
distinctions and monopolies. With the reign of the rights of man was
established, in the body politic, that of prohibition and restriction
over the body industrial - gradually sobered down, as we find it now, to
a system singularly made up of prohibition, restriction, protective, and
stimulant, since the last great revolution of July. It is in vain to
deny that, under the reign of that system, France has prospered and
progressed beyond all former example; that whether freer Switzerland may
have stood still or not, France, at least, has never retrograded one
step, nor ceased to advance for one year, as thus may be concisely
exemplified in the citation of three terms of her commercial career,
faithfully indicative of the annual consecutive movement of the whole
series: -

Imports. - General Commerce, Exports.
1831 512,825,551 francs, 618,169,911
1836 905,575,359 ... 961,284,756
1841 1,122,000,000 ... 1,065,000,000

Thus the imports in ten years had more than doubled, whilst the exports
had advanced 400 millions in official value; say upwards of twenty
millions sterling per annum for imports, and sixteen millions for
exports. The special commerce of France, representing exports of
indigenous and manufactured products, and imports for consumption, and,
therefore, significative of the march of domestic industry, presents the
following movement: -

Imports. - Special Commerce. Exports.
1831 374,188,000 455,574,000
1836 504,391,000 628,957,000
1841 805,000,000 761,000,000

The imports, therefore, for consumption, that is, duty paid upon and
consumed, had multiplied twofold in the ten years; and the exports of
the products of the soil and manufactures, at the rate of 300 millions
of francs or twelve millions sterling.

Thus flourish, wherever we turn our eyes, the interests of industry,
where defended and encouraged by that protection to which so righteously
entitled at home. The abolition of all protection, in the economical
sense, would be policy just as sane as, politically, to dismantle the
royal navy, start the guns overboard, and leave the hulls of the
men-of-war to sink or swim, in harbour or out, as they might. Conscious
of the inherent rottenness or insanity of such a destructive principle
of action, its advocates would now persuade us, that, although inimical
to protective imposts, they are by no means averse from the imposition
of such fiscal burdens as might be necessary for raising the amount of
revenue required for State exigencies. The difference between one sort
of impost and the other, would seem little more than a change of name - a
flimsy juggle of words - "a rose by any other name would smell as sweet;"
and, to the consumer, it matters little whether the tax he pay is levied
for protection or finance, the sum being equal. It is, and it has been
objected against various protective duties, that, as revenue, they are
little productive; but, in fact, they were not originally or generally
laid on with a view to revenue direct, but with the intent of protecting
those growing or established interests, which are productive of revenue
indirectly, by enabling protected producers to consume largely of taxed
commodities, or to contribute, by direct taxation, their quota towards
general revenue. If, by reciprocal agreement and stipulations with
foreign states which are, or might become, consumers of the products of
national industry, equitable equivalents can be found for the sacrifice
of a certain amount of home protection, that may be a question deserving
of consideration; but a very different question from the one-sided
suicidal abolition of all protection. It may pass under review
hereafter. In the mean time, let us hope that neither Government nor
Legislature will be insidiously betrayed, or openly bullied, into any
unsafe tampering with, or rash experiments upon, a sound and rational


[Footnote I: See _Morning Chronicle's_ report of an anti-corn-law farce
called by himself at Uxbridge or Aylesbury, or elsewhere, which is not
important, as the fact is vouched for. In answer to a query from a
worthy farmer, "to what cause he attributed the present depressed state
of agriculture?" Cobden unhesitatingly replied, "to over-production."
Cross-questioning of this kind would speedily prove the emptiness and
ignorance of the man.]

[Footnote J: _Vide_ Blackwood, 1843.]



In olden times, when monks and friars, and priests of all degrees,
About the land were cluster'd thick as swarms of summer bees,
And, like the bees on sunny days, were wont abroad to roam,
To gather, as they went along, sweet provender for home,

Bright blazed the abbey's kitchen fire, the larder well was stored,
And merrily the beards wagg'd round the refectorial board.
What layman dare declare that they led not a life divine,
Who sat in state to dine off plate, and quaff the rosy wine?

Good men, and true as bricks were they, to every Church decree;
Because as kings were called "The State,"[K] they said "the Church are we;"
And then all men believed "The Church" could pardon every sin;
And foul as was the outward stain, wash white the soul within.

No marvel that they prosper'd so, for then, as in our times,
Sins ever were most plentiful - their traffic was in crimes;
And as each man who pardon sought, became the Church's debtor,
Each wicked deed their store would feed, the worse it was the better.

For they'd a regular tariff, as we've Sir Robert Peel's,
Stating so much for him who "lies, swears, murders, stabs, or steals;"
And p'rhaps a thousand items more, as "not attending mass,"
"Ogling the girls," "neglecting shrift," and others we'll let pass.

However, all a duty paid for priestly absolution,
According to the culprit's sex, rank, purse, or constitution.
Such was the pleasant state of things, some centuries ago,
With holy men throughout the land and jolly Father Joe.

"A round, fat, oily man of God," as ever sang a psalm,
Or closed a penitential fee devoutly in his palm,
Was Father Joe; and he also, when psalms and prayers were done,
In festive scene, with smile serene, aye cheerfully made one.

Fond of a jest, he'd do his best good-humour to provoke,
Fill up his glass, extol some lass, and crack some convent joke;
Nor heed the frown or looks cast down of atrabilious friars,
Till his gills grew red, and his laughing head look'd a rose amid the briers.

Right well he knew each roast and stew, and chose the choicest dishes,
And the bill of fare, as well as prayer, with its venison, game, and fishes;
Were he living now he might, I vow, with his culinary knowledge,
Have writ a book, or been a cook, or fellow of a college.

In those old days the wealthy knew such qualities to prize,
And our good priest much favour found in lords' and ladies' eyes;
For seldom in their ancient halls a sumptuous feast was dressing,
But Father Joe that way would go thereon to "ask a blessing."

When lords and ladies bade their guests to castles, halls, and towers,
Though every thing beside was good they seldom kept good hours;
Course after course slow marshall'd in with dignity and state,
Their prime repasts were apt to last sometimes till rather late.

And Father Joe esteem'd it rude to break a party up,
Indeed, it was his usual plan, where'er he dined to sup;
And then to take what modern rakes sometimes "a nightcap" call -
That is, a friendly parting glass, a sort of "over-all."

He used to say it kept at bay the night-air, cold, and damp,
And cheer'd him on his journey home as though it were a lamp;
Nought cared he then how black the clouds might gather overhead,
His heart felt brave as he humm'd a stave and boldly onward sped.

So Father Joe his course pursued - a pleasant mode of living;
Alternately at prayers and feasts - now taking, now forgiving;
But dark or light, by day or night, the great thing to be said is,
Where'er he went he ne'er forgot due homage to the ladies.

By this it is not meant that he knelt down to living beauty -
A deed forbidden and eschew'd by priests who mind their duty;
His were not walking, breathing belles, to monkish rules contrary,
But images of wood and wax, dress'd like the Virgin Mary.

He seldom pass'd by one of these without a genuflexion,
Beseeching that she'd condescend to grant him her protection;
Or if in too much haste to pray, he always bow'd politely
Before her shrine, as heretics to damsels fair and sprightly.

But such a holy, jolly man could scarce escape the eye
Of Satan, who, if all be true that legends testify,
Was then allow'd great liberty, and took, of course, much more,
Playing his pranks among all ranks, till he was "quite a bore."

Go where one might, some ugly sprite of his long-tail'd police
Was ever on the dodge to break, instead of keep, the peace;
And he himself at times appears to have appear'd where he,
By rules canonical forbid, no business had to be.

Much he alarm'd the laity, while reverend men of grace,
Like Father Joe, we're told, might snap their fingers in his face,
Or order him to take a dip all in the sea so red;
Wherefore, when holy men he saw, he turn'd about and fled.

Yet not the less watch'd he their steps, but set his imps to mark
The paths they trode, in hopes to catch them stumbling in the dark;
And one dark night - ah me! it is a grievous tale to tell -
In coming home past twelve o'clock, our jolly father fell.

He fell - and fell into a stream that ran both deep and strong;
No pain felt he, but seem'd to be as borne in sleep along;
His head contused, or else confused, allow'd him not to swim,
And Satan swore, with joyous roar, "At least, I'm sure of him!"

Crowding along the river's banks, his imps all eager ran,
Each striving to be first to catch the fallen holy man;
And when at length they fish'd him up, and laid him on the ground,
'Twas plain an inquest's verdict must have been brought in "found drown'd."

But twelve grave men were not there then, the case was graver far;
An evil set, as black as jet, all gabble, grin, and jar,
Claim'd Father Joe as lawful prize, and Satan said, "No doubt!
Angels and saints abandon him, or they'd have pulled him out:

"So bear him off!" But as he spake a sudden gleam of light
Broke forth, nor ceased, but still increased, till all around was bright;
And then appear'd what most he fear'd, in white and wing'd array,
A company of angels come to take from him his prey.

"We claim all holy men," said one who seem'd to be their chief;
"I don't dispute that," Satan cried; "but really, to be brief,
This friar or monk died reeling drunk, without or shrift or prayer;
So yours can't be, but comes to me. I only want what's fair."

The bright one look'd, of course, surprised, and then observed, that he
Could not conceive nor yet believe that such a thing could be;
So Satan call'd his witnesses, who swore through thick and thin,
That Father Joe couldn't stand or go before he tumbled in.

Now though the angel knew that imps were never over nice
In swearing at their master's call to prop each foul device,
He felt perplex'd, because the case look'd really rather shady,
And so declared, "I daren't decide till I consult Our Lady."

While thus he spake, a sudden quake ran through the dingy crowd,
And, as in votive paintings seen, encircled by a cloud,
With 'broider'd coat and lace-frill'd throat, and jewels rich and rare,
The Virgin Queen, with smiles serene, came sailing through the air.

The angels with an "Ave!" hail'd the lady to the place,
The impish band, each with his hand conceal'd his ugly face,
And Satan stared as though ensnared, but speedily regain'd
His wonted air of confidence, and still his claim maintain'd.

Said he, "I'm sure your ladyship could never stoop to own
Acquaintance with a libertine, to drunkenness so prone;
A gormandizer too you see, as full as any sack,"
And here he gave poor Joe a kick, and turn'd him on his back.

The lady started with surprise, and cried, "That face I know:
Oh yes! 'Tis he! I plainly see! Dear jolly Father Joe!
I do not say but perhaps he may, be somewhat over fat,
But there's no rule why sage or fool should go to you for that.

"His appetite was always good, a fact that makes it clear
He was no heavy-headed sot, be-stupefied with beer,
Nor spoil'd his dinners with hot lunch, but kept his palate clean,
And sat down cheerfully to dine - and that's no sin, I ween.

"And as for drink, I really think a man who weighs twelve score,
May be allow'd an extra pint, or p'rhaps a bottle more,
Than folks who're slim, or gaunt and grim, like some that I could name,
Who, when in company, are wish'd safe back to whence they came."

Here the black prince was seen to wince, the lady waved her hand,
And then resumed, "But now I'll speak of what I understand
A trifle better than you all - I mean of what is due
To ladies from all gentlemen. Of course I don't mean you.

"I mean all those whom folks suppose, or who themselves believe,
To be entitled to the name, (although I oft perceive
That many are mistaken quite,) should keep on the alert
In ladies' company, lest they our tender feelings hurt.

"A word or look that men may brook, may give a lady pain,
Wherefore from all that's coarse and rude, real gentlemen refrain;
Their manners gentle as their name, when they a lady greet,
A pleasant thing enough it is such gentlemen to meet.

"And such a man was Father Joe. He never pass'd me by
In disrespectful haste, although there might be no one nigh;
Nor duck'd his head, or look'd askance, like some rude people now,
Who seem to chuckle as they pass, to cheat one of a bow."

"But may it please your ladyship!" exclaimed the dusky wight,
"A man may be a precious rogue, though perfectly polite."
"I don't know that," the lady said, "but grant that now and then
Some fellows may appear polite who really are rude men,

"'Tis not the simple smirk or bow that makes the gentleman,
But constant care to please the fair in every way he can;
And this good father never miss'd whene'er my shrine he pass'd,
To kneel or bow, extremely low, up to the very last.

"Therefore I don't, because I won't, believe a word you say
Against him in his present plight, which, happen how it may,
Was doubtless accidental quite - at all events my will
Must be obey'd, and I command, you'll let him lie there still."

The dark one scowl'd and mutter'd low, about "a losing game,"
And being "done clean out of one," "done brown," and "burning shame,"
Then hung his head, and slank away, and all his dirty crew
Dispersed themselves about the land fresh mischief to pursue.

The lady then, in accents kind, accosted Jolly Joe,
"They're gone! You're safe! Come! Rouse yourself! You are not dead, I know;
But in a swoon that very soon away like dreams will pass,
Much sooner than the cold you'll catch by sleeping on the grass.

"Go quickly home and get to bed - don't stop to thank me now,
But come to-morrow to my shrine and make a solemn vow,
That when for friends or fellowship henceforth abroad you roam,
You'll never take a drop more wine than you can carry home."

She spake and vanish'd, and again the night was dark and drear;
Joe gave a grunt and shook himself, then shook again with fear,
For though his body lay inert, to all appearance dead,
It seems his mind was quite awake to what pass'd overhead.

Such near escape from such a scrape was certainly enough
To shake the stoutest nerves, and his were not by nature tough;
He got upon his legs, and then went down upon his knees,
Gave thanks, and said, "Dear Lady, pray do with me what you please."

Then up he rose and shook his clothes, and dripping by the way,
Straight homeward sped, and went to bed, where long he sleepless lay;
But natheless at the peep of dawn rose up again alert,
And as beseem'd a penitent put on a hairy shirt.

With humble air he then repair'd unto the Lady's shrine,
And took the vow, as she advised, concerning taking wine;
And thenceforth, as the legend runs, was never after found
In such a plight as on the night when he was nearly drown'd.

Here ends the tale. May it prevail this moral to impress
On good men all, who're apt to fall at times into excess,
To seek the ladies' company when sins or wine entice,
And strive not only for their smiles, but follow their advice.

Now prosper long our lovely Queen, and Albert whom she loves;
And may they, though at eagles' height, live lovingly as doves,
From youthful prime till father Time may change their locks to gray,

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Online LibraryVariousBlackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 54, No. 334, August 1843 → online text (page 20 of 23)