Page images
PDF
EPUB

71s.
728.

6 8
72s.
73s.

2 8 And whenever above 73s. per quarter 10

Now as by this mode of paying duty great inducements were held out to persons to speculate largely, and by selling from one to another on each market day large quantities of wheat at a nominal high price, to be purchased back again on the next market day, at a much higher nominal price, the wheat in fact never being really sold at all, the average prices which govern the duty are got up to above 73s. per quarter, and then hundreds of thousands of quarters of foreign wheat are liberated from bond at only one shilling per quarter duty. The revenue of the country is not materially benefited, and the growers of corn are seriously injured, as the holders of foreign corn, their speculation having been carried out, sell their corn which is very fine, and prevent the English grower from selling his, until prices have fallen by so much corn being in the market.

If therefore it is necessary to protect the English wheat grower by any duty, it should be a permanent fixed duty of a few shillings per quarter; and then it will not be worth while for the rich capitalists to speculate in buying up corn, and the prices would be more equal at all times.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

Soon after our arrival in England we went to pay a visit to an exhibition of Wax-work Figures, in what was formerly a great horse and carriage bazaar in Baker Street, Portman Square, where there are a great many figures as large as life, dressed exactlyin the costume that they are, orwere, in the daily habit of wearing, and in all respects so exactly resembling living men, that when the room is crowded with visitors it is very difficult, at a very small distance, to distinguish the living real man from his waxen representative. Queen Victoria had been crowned as queen of England on the 28th of June, 1838, and in the centre of the room there was an exact representation of the group that actually surrounded her Majesty at the time. We have, since that time, had the honor and pleasure of seeing her Majesty, and we can bear testimony to the very strong likeness. A very venerable and good-looking old man, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who is the head of the English Church, is just about to place the

crown upon the head of the Queen. We are told his grace is a most correct likeness ; and if We are any judges of human countenances he is and must be a very good man. He looks so placid, so humble, that if he is not one of the greatest of hypocrites, he is a man who, by er. ample as well as precept, would teach people to live properly that they may die nappily, and after death go to that place where good men, whether Parsees, Christians, Hindoos or Mahometans, will all be in a state of happiness superior to anything which we can have upon earth. Surrounding the Queen are—her good mother the Duchess of Kent; and if ever any individual ought to feel proud of a mother, Queen Victoria has reason to love, venerate and respect her mother. Although there did not appear much chance of her ever being sovereign, her prudent mother would not allow her to be made the stalking horse of any faction. She kept her aloof from every interference with public affairs, gave her a sound good practical education, directed her attention to a proper course of reading, and through her care and her sound discretion she was enabled, at eighteen years of age, to assume the sovereignty of England with a well informed and vigorous mind, and bids fair to prove the most popular individual that ever sat upon the British throne. How much, then, do the subjects of Queen Victoria owe to the Duchess of Kent for her wisdom

was

a

in thus rearing, thus fitting her daughter to assume with dignity, with discretion, and, better than all, with good sound common sense, the attributes and duties of a queen. Bearing the sword of state, near her Majesty's right hand,

her prime minister, Lord Melbourne; an exact representation of a good humouredlooking, kind English gentleman, possessing, perhaps, countenance more representing frankness and candour than dignity. In the group is the Duke of Devonshire, one of the richest and most benevolent of the English nobility. The Queen's uncle, the Duke of Sussex, is also near her. He is very popular, mixing much in society, and presiding over meetings calculated to diffuse happiness and to encourage science. He was for many years President of the Royal Society, and is always happy when he can promote benevolent objects. The Duke of Wellington is also there; there is no mistaking his likeness; it is the very man himself. Yes, there stands—the hero—the general—the commander, who, with his master mind and high courage, marched triumphantly even to the very capital of his renowned enemy, Napoleon Buonaparte; and who, in the quiet times of peace, has immortalized himself by removing from the people of Ireland that mark of degradation, which had previously been imprinted upon every man who chose to worship his God as a Roman Ca

tholic. To the Duke of Wellington belongs the high honor of having removed all those foul stains; and a Catholic now is eligible to sit in parliament, to hold offices of trust, and, in nearly every position, to possess the rights and privileges of his Protestant brethren.

In another group we were shewn Alexander, the Emperor of Russia; Frederick William the Third, King of Prussia; that extraordinary man and great general, Napoleon, late Emperor of France; Bernadotte, King of Sweden; Lord Nelson, the brave British admiral, who was killed at the battle of Trafalgar; Blucher and Platoff, Prussian and Russian generals; Marshal Ney, the celebrated French general, who was shot for his devotion to his unfortunate master, Napoleon and several others of great note.

At the upper end of the room we saw George the Fourth, his queen, Caroline, and she who was once the nation's hope, the Princess Charlotte of Wales, daughter of George the Fourth and Queen Caroline; she married Prince Leopold of Saxe Coburg, uncle to the present Queen and brother of the Duchess of Kent, and now King of the Belgians. She unfortunately died in giving birth to a child, who also died at the same time. William the Fourth and his queen, Adelaide, are also there. He looks the very picture of good nature, and in after time he will fill an important niche in British history from having

« PreviousContinue »