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which will diminish, to say the least, specting the causes of these troubles the preëminence of Great Britain as of our transatlantic friends, we may a commercial and manufacturing derive one lesson from our repeople among the nations of the view of them,-a lesson which the earth. Into the consideration of events that transpired among us ten these causes we may be disposed 10 years since, taught even more imenter at a future time.

pressively; to avoid overtrading It may be well in concluding our and extravagance. During ihe five remarks on the financial crisis of years past the people of the United Great Britain, to speak of its effects Siates have, with hardly an excepupon our own country. Owing to tion or an interruption, been prosthe season of the year in which the perous in all the various branches principal bankrupicies took place, of industry, and have accumulated and to some other causes, the direct wealth and developed the national loss experienced by our fellow cili. resources 10 an extent which our zens has been much less than we most intelligent citizens can hardly should have anticipated, when we appreciate or realize. Much of the consider the intimate and very exten. wealth acquired has been employed sive commercial relations between in the payment of debts previously the iwo nations. The depression of incurred, or has been expended business in England however, has for valuable and productive propoccasioned a great decline in the value erty, such as manufactories and rail. of our staple productions, particularly roads. Probably at no previous of cotton, which will be severely felt time was the great mass of the peoin this country, particularly at the ple more free from embarrassing south. We have also had asihe direct debt than at ihis moment. Whether result of this state of things in Great this state of things shall continue, Britain, a serious pressure for mo. depends in part upon many things ney and increase in its market val. connected with the action of govern. ue, in some of our large cities. But ment, and of foreign nations ; but as we regard this pressure as arrifi. the cause most influential and potent cial and transitory, and as it has not is within our own control; we shall occasioned prosiration of private determine for ourselves, and our de. credit, we trust its effect upon our termination will decide the future merchants will on the whole, be fa. prosperity of our country, whether vorable, particularly as it will dimin. we will shun or imitate the example ish the importation of foreign goods, of speculative folly, extended and and induce caution in forming new baseless commerce, and extrava. engagements.

gance in the habits of life, which we If we have judged correctly re. have been considering.

SHORT NOTICES.

Traill's New Translation of Jose with Medallion Heads of the person. phus.-Mr. George Virtue, 26 John ages mentioned by Josephus, from street, New York, has in course of the only authentic sources." The publication, “The Works of Flavius illustrations are from an eminent JOSEPHUS, an entirely new transla- artist, who spent nearly a year in tion, by the Rev. Robert Traill, Palestine for the sole purpose of obD.D., M.R.I.A., &c. &c., with notes taining them; and the engravings and explanatory essays, by Isaac are among the finest specimens of Taylor, of Ongar ; 'accompanied the art. But that in which our readby numerous steel engravings, illus- ers will justly feel the deepest intertrating the scenes of the history; est, is the character of the translation. In this there is manifestly a cult task of bringing the whole Catvery great improvement upon Whis. echism within the comprehension of ton's version, buth in point of style, children, and investing its study and fidelity to the original. Mr. with the necessary interest. With Virtue publishes this edition, agree. this in view, the author has connect. ably 10 an arrangement with the ed with each question, an illustra. representatives of the translator, who live tale; which bears the marks lost his life by his indefatigable ex- of his well known power over the ertions to relieve the sufferings of youthful mind. If the succeeding his parishioners, during the late dis. volumes shall equal the first, we tressing famine in Ireland ; and a can, in advance, congratulate him portion of the profits go to the ben- upon the complete success of his efit of his family. Those who can difficult undertaking. overlook this consideration, and the superior style of this splendid edi.

I The unexpected length of several, tion, may supply themselves, we articles, obliges us to postpone the notices understand, with an inferior article, of other works which we had prepared with which the enterprise of Mr. for this number. Virtue is forced to contend.

Nore.The Common School Con. Williston on the Sabbath.-Mr. troversy in Massachusells.—The au. William G. Hooker, of New Haven, thor of a pamphlet, containing four Conn., has just published a new edi. letters to the Rev. Heman Humphrey, tion of the “ Five Discourses on the D.D., to whom wpfavorable allusion Sabbaih, preached at Durham, N. Y., was made in an article with the above by the Rev. Seth Williston, D.D., titie, contained in our last Number, and first given to the public in 1813.” has sent us an extended vindication This he has done with the consent of himself, which he desires us 10 of the author, who has given it a publish. It would be so entirely in. careful revision; and he now offers consistent with the plan of the New to furnish it in quantities of not less Englander, to admit a personal con. than one hundred copies, at cost, to troversy between writers, that we Those who may wish to circulate it must shun every thing which can gratuitously, and for a small profit, 10 possibly be construed into a preceihose who purchase for sale. With dent for such a course. this view, he has caused the work to known at first the name of the rebe stereotyped. His object is, “10 spondent, we should have been un. promote the better observance of willing to suspect that he could be the Lord's day, rather than pecuni. guilty of any measures, in the slightary advantage."

We need not com- est degree dishonorable, for promomend this laudable design to the at- ting an object, however dear and tention of the friends of the Sabbath, important. And now with his es. by speaking of the merits of Dr. planation of the facts before us, we Williston's work, which has long ihink he has successfully exonerated been before the public, and justly himself from such an imputation. esteemed as a popular, yet able ar- This expression of opinion, we hope gument for the Christian Sabbath. will have the effeci of doing him

full justice, with those few persons, Todd's Shorler Catechism.-J. H. 10 whom an anonymous writer's Builer, Northampton, Mass., has name can be known. At the same published the first volume, 18mo, of time, he will pardon us for saying, a series, entitled, “ The Shorter Cat. in justice to the author of the arii. echism illustrated, by John Todd, cle, that the facts, as understood D.D.” This work is designed 10 and stated by him, fully justify the aid parents and teachers in the diffi. view which was taken of his course.

Had we

THE

NEW ENGLANDER. .

No. XXII.

APRIL, 1848.

THE BRITISH SYSTEM OF POSTAGE.

The people of the United States feeling was the only change that are very poorly informed as to the afforded a rational prospect of sucnature and bearings of the British

cess.

They would therefore resystem of postage, first devised by duce the rate of postage at once to Mr. Rowland Hill. They look at the lowest rale proposed, and would it only through the medium of pre- have the post-office henceforth con. conceived notions, and compare it ducted as a public convenience and with the present system as if it were not as a means of making money only an amendment of the latter. for the government. Hence the inWhereas in fact it is an entirely new quiry is continually before the desystem. Its adoption was, so far, a partment-How can the public conrevolution. It introduces a new set of venience be better promoted than it principles, and a new current of is? Never is the question raised ideas. Mr. Hill himself was not By what vexatious interference with entirely divested of old notions, and the free use of the mail can a little therefore, in commending his sys- more money be made for the gov. tem to public favor, he endeavored ernment? A letter is never scruto show that it would produce as tinized by prying clerks to see if it much revenue, in five years' time, does not contain another letter to as the old system.

But the practi. somebody else. The infallible cal stalesmen who took up the scales determine at once how much scheme as a measure of the gov. the government is entitled 10, and ernment, Lord Melbourne and Mr. as they render no more service, Francis Baring, better understood they ask no more pay on account of its radical character, and boldly the nature and objects of the conavowed that they were constrained tents. And when a letter is once to adopt it because the people de. put into the mail, and the postage manded it, and the public good paid, the department is then bound would be promoted by it, and be for its delivery, although it may go cause it was demonstrated that the to a dozen offices before finding its old system was incapable of meet. owner, without additional charge. ing the wants of the country, and And so indefatigable are the subhad fallen utterly behind the spirit ordinates of the department, that of the age. They were therefore they rarely miss of finding a man satisfied that a radical change of if he is in the kingdom. We know VOL. VI.

20

He saw

the case of a gentleman from the said that unless they adopted Mr. West, who went to London, but neg. Hill's plan of Id. they would not be lected to give his family any direc. able to prevent the illegal convey. tions as to the sending of letters. ance of letters. The only way they His wife addressed him in Londort, could hope to prevent that would be and the letter had not been three by taking the postage at the lowest days in town before the carrier rate, namely, a penny. He thought found him out, a stranger among the principle should be adopted 10 two millions of people. That is encourage letter writing, and there. very unlike an American post office. fore they should allow every man In like manner a newspaper that is to write, and send a letter wiihout a once put into the mail, may be re- stamp, if he pleased, but that all mailed until it is worn out, without such letters should be charged, on ever being charged with postage. delivery, at a higher rate.

Being satisfied that nothing but no reason why the treasury should information is wanting to arouse the not purchase the stamps as well as people of this country to secure for other persons, and then it would be themselves the same precious boon known what the amount of the of cheap postage, which has proved money would come to in this way, so great a blessing in England, we and thereby the whole of the abuse have looked about for new sources of official franks would be got rid of information to spread before our of. He would also throw out the readers. The debates in Parlia. propriety of allowing persons who ment on this subject have probably purchased stamps, to send their let. never been read in this country by ters by any coach, carrier, or steam. any eye except our own. In them boat that might choose to take them, the whole subject was discussed in because, so long as the revenue was all its bearings, by the ablest states. secured, parties ought to have their men of England. The debates own option as to the mode of confill nearly one hundred and fifiy veyance.-Parl. Deb., xlvii, pp. pages, double-columned and closer 1231, 2. than the pages of the New Eng- But the regular debate was openlander. We have examined them ed on the 5th of July, 1839, by the carefully, pen in hand, and have Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr. transcribed from these volumes what Francis Baring, in connection with we now present to our readers, opening of the Budget," or which will afford the means of un- exhibition of the financial condition derstanding the views with which and plans of the goveroment. The the new system was adopted, and Chancellor of the Exchequer showed the rule by which the success is to that there was a deficiency in the be tested.

revenue to meet the wants of the The subject was alluded to from year, of no less than one million, time to time, during the session of and then explains his plan of post1839, in both Houses of Parliament, age reduction, which contained in it in connection with the presentation a pledge of Parliament to make of some of the numerous petitions good the deficiency which it was erthat poured in from the people. pected would be caused in the rev.

The Duke of Richmond, June 3, 1839, in presenting petitions from

"Sir," said he, “if my proposition a great many places in favor of a

were one to reduce the postage on letters uniform rate of penny postage, ex

to one uniform rate of a penny, without pressed his dissent from the measure

making good the deficiency of revenue

which mighi ensue, I should expose myproposed by the committee, of 2d.

self not only to the censure of the House as the uniform rate of postage. He and of the public, but to the ridicule and

the "

enue.

scorn of men of sense.”—Vol. xlviii, p. Committee, and the petitions of the 1358.

.: The purport of the resolution is this: people, and showed ihe grounds on That it is expedient to reduce the post which he had departed from the reage on letters to one uniform rate of one commendations of the Committee, penny, chargeable on every letter of a in adopting a penny instead of a weighi to be hereafter fised by law, the parliamentary privilege of franking being

two penny rate.

He said :abolished, and the official franking being “In the course of last year, a commit. placed under strict regulations: this tee was moved for, and acquiesced in by House pledging itself, at the same time, me on the part of the government, to con to make good any deficiency of revenue sider the subject of postage. Of that which may be occasioned by such altera- committee I may justly observe, that there lion in the rate of postage.

are points on which I differ from their re"If the committee will not pledge it- port, and on which indeed, let me add, self to make good the deficiency, I shall they differ from themselves-but yet I abandon the bill aliogether. And should

must admit, that a committee which took any honorable gentleman on either side of

more pains to inform itself, whose collecthe House, undertake the management of tion of evidence is more valuable, as give the question under such circumstances, ing the opinions of many of the most inhe will find me as steadfastly opposed to telligent persons of all classes in the counthe measure, without this pledge, as the try, I never remember in my parliamenHouse will find me a steadfast, earnest and tary experience. They sat for many days, eager friend of the measure, if I am given they examined a great variety of persons, the means of carrying it into effect in the

and though the proposition I have to make only way in which it can be honestly car- differs from that which ihey have suggestried out.”—p. 1359.

ed, I fully believe they would have sanc" It would be clearly impossible for any tioned it. They made a recommendation person who reasons justly, or who prop- to the House, not for the adoption of a erly considers his political duties, 10 say uniform penny postage, but for a general that we are entitled to put at risk a mil. iwo-penny postage, to be collected under lion and a half of the revenue of the

certain regulations, and they considered country, without at the same time bind.

that this two pence postage could be in. ing ourselves to make good any deficien

troduced without any loss to the revenue. cy which may arise."-p. 1360.

Now, sir, from the best consideration * The Committee may expect me to which I have been able to give to the substate what amount of loss may be likely ject, comparing one proposition with the to arise from this change. I shall not go other, and, above all, considering the evinto much detail on this point, because it idence taken before the committee, I find must be at the best mere matter of con- the whole of the evidence, the whole of jecture, and not at all open to demonstra- the authorities conclusively bearing in fation. Gentlemen may assume that this

ror of a penny postage in preference to a or that amount of correspondence will be

two penny postage. And, sir, I am quite created, but I believe the ingenuity of no

sure ibat in making an experiment of this man can predict with any degree of close

nature, it behoves this House to set to ness, what the future increase of letters

work, not only fairly and frankly, but will be. I am bound to say, that my own largely, in order to come to a satisfactory anticipation is, that at the outset the loss

result. And further, I conscientiously will be tery considerable indeed. I am of believe that THE PUBLIC RUN LESS RISK course anxious that this resolution shall be carried, but I can not disguise from the

FOR A PENNY POSTAGE, THAN IT WOULD House or the public, the fact, that in my opinion, the loss will be very great. I

AGE.”-p. 1360. am the more bound to disclose this opin. jon, because, if I did not now avow it, The judgment and will of the and if hereafter the loss does turn out to be public at large is then adverted to, considerable, and the House and the public should therefore be called upon to pily

as evinced by the infinite number of an equivalent to supply this deficiency, petitions presented on this subject, the Honse might say that I had given from all classes and from all parts them no warning, that ! bad deluded of the country. them into a vote, and had paltered with the truth."-p. 1364.

"I find that the mass of them present He then proceeded to call atten- the most extraordinary combination I ever tion to the considerations by which

sau, of representations to one purpose

from all classes, unswayed by any policithe measure itself was urged upon cal motives whatever; from persons of all their adoption, the report of the shades of opinion, political and reli

OF LOSS IN ADOPTING THE PROPOSITION

IF WE INTRODUCED A TWO-PENNY POST

He says:

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