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goods ? and he replies, Yes, I think so; I think the English silks would have the preference in wearing to the French; that they would do more service; but we buy that article in the United States which appears to be the cheapest: for instance, the Canton silks come still lower than the French, but there is not so much service in them as the French; there are a great many Canton silks sold now in preference to the French, in consequence of their being sold at a less price. He is again interrogated— At what per cent. would

you calculate the difference in price between the French and the Chinese ?

I should think,' he answers, ' there was a full 20 per cent difference, if not more; the Chinese can imitate any thing ; our merchants will send out French patterns and get them to manufacture a similar article frequently; I have seen silks from China as handsome as the French levantine silks ; I have seen them made to a French pattern that was sent out,' Here therefore is an article, ‘full 20 per cent.' cheaper than the French, which is estimated to be 30 per cent. cheaper than the English, and which is as . handsome as the French levantine silks,' the manufacturers of which can

ate any pattern with the greatest facility—which article is likewise to come into competition with the English manufacturers, on paying a duty of 30 per cent only! Can it be doubted that certain classes of our fair countrywomen, like their sister citizenesses beyond the Atlantic, will, to a certain extent, be influenced by the American taste, and induced to purchase the cheapest article, especially when that can be made to the exact pattern of the 'handsome' levantines of France ? • The Chinese,' says this gentleman, can imitate any thing. If this be the case, and who can question it, is it not probable, that, when encouraged by the English, they will stretch their inventive and imitative powers still farther, and copy patterns even more fashionable than French levantines, and of higher value and repute ? Unquestionably they will. The Canton silks will, to a certainty, drive all the lighter fabrics of British manufacture out of the market. It is in vain to think of competing with them; and unless a material alteration in the law takes place before this day twelve months, an occurrence, which would not surprise us, those who were wont to be employed with these fabrics, must turn their attention to others, or desist from manufacturing altogether.

The excitation which prevails, and the dread of this compound competition, which is felt in London and the other manufactụring towns of the kingdom, is far less imaginary than is believed. However true it may be, that the embarrassments which press upon the silk trade are not all attributable to the alteration in the laws, or the dread of rivalship; yet it will not admit of a dispute that, as far as regards the English throwsters, and the majority of the manufacturers of Spitalfields and Coventry, the present distress is chiefly to be ascribed to the change. So well satisfied are we of this being the case, that we feel convinced, that were the new law regarding the importation of wrought silks to be delayed being enforced for four or five years, or an additional duty of 10 per cent. imposed, the workmen who are at present suffering the most serious privations, would instantly be employed, and be enabled to maintain themselves and families as heretofore. It has, indeed, been more to lull public opinion; in order to give this important work of liberal legislation, what is called, a fair trial,' that the Right Honourable the President of the Board of Trade, has so unreservedly attributed the prevailing distress of the silk weavers, and the throwsters, to other causes than the real and obvious ones. It requires no exertion to recollect, that the distress in Spitalfields was general a considerable time previous to the failures amongst the bankers, the depression of the funds, and the subsequent commercial embarrassments. Long before it could have been conceived that his Majesty's speech would have contained aught else but a repetition of the congratulations of last year, upon the substantial and increasing prosperity of the country,' the inhabitants of Spitalfields and Macclesfield were struggling with privation, and exhibiting symptoms of the want of employment, of which they now complain, and which all must deplore. On a recent occasion, when this subject was, in a sense, before the public, the fact alluded to was carefully kept in the shade; and the existence of distress in the other branches of trade appealed to as a proof that the source of the evil was in over-trading and over-speculating. With what portion of justice this may be said of the cotton trade, certainly the condition of the warehouses of the respective over-traders and over-speculators exhibits at this moment a singular contrast. For the last twelve months, the stocks of the silk manufacturer and mercer have been gradually diminishing, while those of the cotton manufacturers have been progressively augmenting. The consumption of the former commodity has, beyond all example, exceeded the supply; while that of the latter has been inversely disproportioned. This is no theoretical assumption, pressed by necessity into the support of our argument. It is indisputably true; and whether the dread of competition be real or imaginary-whether it be the dream of the alarmist, or the work of the political economist—the presumption that it has been the principal cause of the distress amongst the silk weavers, is founded on unassailable evidence. Manufacturers are uniformly the best judges of the crisis at which a speculation in trade is likely to be most lucrative: and if the fear of French rivalship were not founded in something beyond mere panic or ignorance, there are numbers of capitalists in that business, who would long since have taken advantage of the want of employment, to have produced a cheap commodity. A pervading, and a sincere, conviction of the superiority of the French goods, in respect of price, has completely paralyzed them. If they cannot employ their capital advantageously, in the present state of wages, and destitute as the workmen have been, and, for some time, are likely to be, they never, we are afraid, will have such an opportunity subsequently to the 5th July, unless the act of 1824 be further altered and amended.'

THE FOREST SANCTUARY, AND OTHER POEMS.

BY MRS. HEMANS.

The article which we had the pleasure of laying before our readers, in March last, on the poetical genius of Mrs. Hemans, obviates the necessity of any detailed preliminary remarks upon the present occasion: The principal poem in the volume before us, “The Forest Sanctuary,' bears a more vivid impress of the characteristics of the genius and poetical sensibility of its distinguished authoress, than any production of length from her pen, which has hitherto fallen under our observation. The subject is one eminently calculated to call her full powers into play. Her principal object has been, she tells us, to describe the mental conflicts, as well as outward sufferings, of a Spaniard, who, flying from the religious persecutions of his own country, in the sixteenth century, takes refuge, with his child, in a North American forest. The story is supposed to be related by himself, amidst the wilderness which has afforded him an asylum. To those who read poetry, not so much for its intrinsic merits, as for the sake of the incidents of which it is the vehicle, this autobiographical sketch, beautiful as it is, will have comparatively speaking, little interest; but with such as are capable of appreciating those outpourings of the spirit, which have their origin in the best and most glorious feelings of our nature, the Forest Sanctuary will be more popular than any of its author's previous works. There is scarcely a chord in that comprehensive lyre the human heart, on which the authoress has not rung some sweet and touching change, calculated to delight all who are endued with the most ordinary feelings of refinement.

The poem opens with the following passionate aspirations, after days departed, never to return.'

I.

The voices of my home! I hear them still !
They have been with me through the dreamy night
The blessed household voices, wont to fill
My heart's clear depths with unalloyed delight !
I hear them still, unchanged :-though some from earth
Are music parted, and the tones of mirth-
Wild, silvery tones, that rang through days more bright!
Have died in others, yet to me they come,
Singing of boyhood back-the voices of my home!

II.

They call me through this husle of woods, reposing
In the grey stillness of the summer morn,
They wander by when heavy flowers are closing,
And thoughts grow deep, and winds and stars are born;
Ev'n as a fount's remembered gushings burst
On the parched traveller in his hour of thirst,
E'en thus they haunt me with sweet sounds, till worn
By quenchless longings, to my soul I say
oh! for the dove's swift wings, that I might flee away,

III.

And find mine ark !-yet whither!must bear
A yearning heart within me to the grave.
I am of those o’er whom a breath of air-
Just darkening in its course the lake's bright wave,
And sighing through the feathery canes-hath power
To call up shadows, in the silent hour,
From the dim past, as from a wizard's cave ! -

So must it be !--These skies above me spread,
Are they my own soft skies ?-Ye rest not here, my dead !

IV.

Ye far amidst the southern flowers lie sleeping,
Your graves all smiling in the sunshine clear,
Save one !-a blue, lone, distant main is sweeping
High o'er one gentle head-ye rest not here !
'Tis not the olive, with a whisper swaying,
Not thy low ripplings, glassy water, playing
Through my own chesnut groves, which fill mine ear!

But the faint echos in my breast that dwell,
And for their birth-place moan, as moans the ocean-shell.

The following apostrophe of the exile to his child, is also equally beautiful of its kind :

VIII.

And thou, my boy! that silent at my knee
Dost lift to mine thy soft, dark, earnest eyes,
Filled with the love of childhood, which I see
Pure through its depths, a thing without disguise ;
Thou that hast breathed in slumber on my breast,
When I have checked its throbs to give thee rest,
Mine own! whose young thoughts fresh before me rise !

Is it not much that I may guide thy prayer,
And circle thy glad soul with free and healthful air ?

IX.

Why should I weep on thy bright head, my boy?
Within thy fathers' halls thou wilt not dwell,
Nor lift their banner, with a warrior's joy,
Amidst the sons of mountain chiefs, who fell
For Spain of old.-Yet, what if rolling waves
Have borne us far from our ancestral graves ?
Thou shalt not feel thy bursting heart rebel

As mine hath done; nor bear what I have borne,
Casting in falsehood's mould the indignant brow of scorn.

X.

This shall not be thy lot, my blessed child !
I have not sorrowed, struggled, lived in vain-
Hear me! magnificent and ancient wild;
And mighty rivers, ye that meet the main,
As deep meets deep; and forests, whose dim shade
The flood's voice, and the wind's, by swells pervade ;
Hear me !—'tis well to die, and not complain,

Yet there are hours when the charged heart must speak,
Ev'n in the desert's ear to pour itself, or break !

He then recalls to his recollection the fearful vision of an auto de fe, which he had witnessed in early years, in which his bosom friend, and that friend's two sisters were sacrificed to the bloody bigotry of a gloomy superstitious and persecuting priesthood. Some of the more nervous of these descriptions are not unworthy the pen of Byron in his loftiest moods of inspiration. Witness the following stanzas :

XIV.
Silence upon the mountains !--But within
The city's gates a rush-a press-a swell
Of multitudes their torrent way to win;
And heavy boomings of a dull deep bell,
A dead pause following each-like that which parts
The dash of billows, holding breathless hearts
Fast in the hush of fear—knell after knell;
And sounds of thickening steps, like thunder-rain,
That plashes on the roof of some vast echoing fane !

XV.

What pageant's hour approached ?—The sullen gate
Of a strong ancient prison-house was thrown
Back to the day. And who, in mournful state,
Came forth, led slowly o'er its threshold stone ?
They that had learned, in cells of secret gloom,
How sunshine is forgotten!—They, to whom
The very features of mankind were grown

Things that bewildered !-O'er their dazzled sight,
They lifted their wan hands, and cowered before the light!

In this train he recognizes the friend of his boyhood, and the saviour of his life, and by his side his two sisters Inez and Theresa, each of whom are willing martyrs for the faith in which they have been educated. One of them is described in the following exquisite stanzas :

XXXIV.

And if she mingled with the festive train,
It was but as some melancholy star
Beholds the dance of shepherds on the plain,
In its bright stillness present, though afar.
Yet would she smile and that, too, hath its smile
Circled with joy which reached her not the while,
And bearing a lone spirit, not at war
With earthly things, but o'er their form and hue
Shedding too clear a light, too sorrowfully true.

XXXV.
But the dark hours wring forth the hidden might
Which hath lain bedded in the silent soul,
A treasure all undreamt of ;-as the night
Calls out the harmonies of streams that roll
Unheard by day. It seemed as if her breast
Had hoarded energies, till then suppressed
Almost with pain, and bursting from control,

And finding first that hour their pathway free :
--Could a rose brave the storm, such might her emblem be!

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