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stone tower, called the castle of the governor. A fountain stood in the middle of the court, and we, were ushered into his presence, in a sorry little apartment, through the sides and roof of which the sun and rain could both find their way. He was much astonished at seeing us, and swore he had never known the passage of the wilderness, unguarded and on foot, succeed before, except in the case of some pilgrims, several of whom, however, had been slain by the Arabs: but they had attempted it in the daytime. About thirty soldiers are maintained here to keep the Arabs in awe. The situation is a wretched one, and the village of Jericho consists of about thirty miserable cottages: there are no ruins worthy of mention. Dinner was now served up; we had anticipated some pleasant wine and savoury viands; and having formed a circle of half a dozen round a low table on the floor, the party including two or three officers, a huge wooden vessel was placed amongst us. It contained not the exquisite baklou, prepared expressly for the Sultan's palate, or famed cakes of roses of Damascus; but a mass the aspect of which defied investigation. After a mouthful or two, however, it was found to be composed of warm cakes of bread, baked on the hearth, and broken into small pieces, hot water and melted-butter being poured over it: it was stirred about well by the hands of one of the faithful. A few mouthfuls were devoured by us with good grace, as we expected another entrée quickly. The Turks took enormous handfuls with extreme deliberation; and his excellency, the governor, having a fancy that a hard substance, bolted into the mouth, had a higher and more prolonged relish, compressed his handful with some skill into a large ball, while the moister ingredients streamed over his fingers. The wooden bowl being removed, we looked long and anxiously, but no viand came more, and water only was permitted to dignify this repast. We were too much fatigued to visit the Jordan this day, but in the evening walked to the fountain at the foot of the mountain Quarantina. It has ever been venerated as the same that the prophet Elisha purified, "whose waters were bitter, and the ground barren." It is a beautiful fountain, and gushing forth with a full rapid stream, falls into a large and limped pool, whence several streams flow over the plain. The fruitfulness of the neighbourhood, which is covered with a rich verdure and many trees, and well cultivated, arises chiefly from the vicinity of this celebrated fountain, the waters of which are remarkably sweet. The "City of Palms" cannot now boast of one of those beautiful trees around it. The plain, about six miles wide, and inclosed by ranges of mountains, as far as Tiberias, a distance of three days' journey, has a rich soil and delightful aspect, the Jordan's course through it being perfectly straight. At present it is visited and dwelt in only by the Arab tribes. The rocky mountain Quarantina, that rises near the fountain, is pointed out as the scene of the Saviour's temptation in the wilderness; on what authority it is difficult to guess. The next day, accompanied by some of the governor's soldiers as a guard, we rode to the Jordan. About four miles across, the plain brought us to the banks, which were adorned with acacia and tamarind trees, and many shrubs and wild flowers. The sight of this verdure in such a spot was very pleasing. The river rushed by in a full and rapid torrent; its force would have swept away man and horse: this was the effect partly
VOL. IX. No. 54.-1825.
of the rains. It looked rather discoloured from the same cause: its taste was perfectly sweet, and the stream was little below the surface of its banks. The soldiers were restless, and anxious to be gone; for which there was no apparent cause: but they are fond of enlarging on danger from the Arabs. During the summer season the quantity of water in the river must be greatly diminished, but it never now overflows its banks. Tradition has not preserved the spot where the Israelites crossed; and, what is strange, it is impossible to find out from Christian or Arab in what part Mount Nebo is to be found. The width of the river was about twenty yards, and it appeared very deep. We returned to Jericho, and endeavoured to amuse the evening in the governor's desolate tower; but the resources were very scanty: and as he is seldom honoured by strangers' visits, he makes them pay handsomely when they do come. The rain fell in torrents in the night, and found its way through his excellency's roof, and fell in profusion on our beds; and it was only after one or two experiments on different sites in the chamber, that we could close our eyes without being deluged.
The next day, attended by a few horsemen from the castle, we set out on our return to Jerusalem. It was a comfortless and pitiless journey, leading over a succession of dreary hills, far unlike the route through the fine and romantic wilderness of Ziph. The rain beating heavily in our faces, and swelling every mountain torrent, compelled us to proceed at a slow rate. Poor Ibrahim walked beside the horses the whole way, and looked as if he would rather have been in his native desert. At last we wound up the ascent to Bethany, descended the hills, and crossing the bridge over the Kedron, entered the city again. Father Giuseppé received us with uplifted hands and looks; not quite so interesting as the sight of two or three warm dishes, attended by a good bottle of wine, which were quickly set before us, and made some atonement for penance at Jericho. Ibrahim also got accommodated, and, for the first time in his life, feasted in a monkish cell and seemed so much taken with it, that it was doubtful if he would not have forsaken his cave at Engedi, and turned Catholic, to have tasted such luxury always. The governor was much enraged with the poor fellow for undertaking to guide us on the journey, and threatened to punish him; we begged him off, however, and sent him home to his cavern, well rewarded.
THE CORONATION AT RHEIMS.
KING-CROWNING City of Rheims, rejoice!
Your banners be waved from each steeple ;
And the trumpet, the drum, and the cymbal make
Kings in the Cross and the Gospels right,
Let a Moor, and a Turk, and a Christian knight,
From each as a pledge be present;
For when monarchs are crown'd, ye should all combine,
Bishops and priests who have lavish'd your oil,
Such were your prayers, and your oaths, and your toil,
The God ye dishonour your mockery loaths,
And took back the brother to reign in his stead,
Who broke both his oath and the charter;
THE JOINT STOCK COMPANIES.
It is difficult while watching those excitements which stir up at times certain classes of the community, often uncontrollable in force, and undefinable in their effects at first, to assign them their due measure of good and evil. They must be judged of in their totality; and yet to try them all by the example of one which may have casually come in our way, whether good or bad of its kind, is manifestly wrong. It is necessary to bring the most impartial feeling to the investigation, and to separate every thing extraneous from the question; for in such outbreakings something good is always found. We must not suffer previous notions to interfere, nor the idea that the abandoning preconceived opinions upon the subject, is for a moment to be considered disgraceful to us, when on being put in competition with sound reason and simple principles they are found erroneous. The great desideratum is to get at the truth; and we must not be afraid of visiting her even at the bottom of her well. Still less must the prejudices of the past be suffered to blind our eyes to future benefits; we must boldly sacrifice them all. That the world can never get beyond infancy in foreknowledge, is a law of nature; things therefore which now appear of small importance, time may change into enterprises "of great pith and moment"—into matters of infinite concern to the industry of the country, and to the accumulation of the means of national prosperity.
The impulses from which national benefits frequently accrue, arising from certain passions in the body politic, like those in the individual body, can seldom be duly regulated at the moment. By and by, however, they subside, and begin to shew that they do not exist in vain. The rage for joint-stock companies has made this apparent in a remarkable manner. Not only the schemes of monied and respectable men have been speedily seconded, but new ones of all sorts formed, many of which have no other object than to entrap the unwary, and supply means for supporting a system of gambling by which enormous sums are gained and lost. As long as attorneys could grasp the costs of a new scheme, it was brought into the market, and then they prowled around for more prey. The shares were bought and sold to the cost of the speculatist and the profit of the wary planner of the system of plunder the bubble of the moment. Those who belonged to the old and blind school of political economy, cried out for the legislature to interfere, that legislature which had just emancipated itself from the trammels of our former financial dotage, and begun a new career upon sound principles and a more enlightened policy. The Lord Chancellor in particular was loud in his reprobation of these companies; but their constitution and the peculiar circumstances attending them, required, if they were to be regulated by the legislature, some one to take them in hand better versed in political economy than his lordship. His lord
* His lordship proposed that two thirds of the money should be lodged as a security at the time of obtaining a legislative enactment for the establishment of a company. But his lordship should have known that such a proceeding, in mining companies in particular, would be highly mischievous. When the sum wanted could be pretty nearly estimated, as in railway and canal companies, &c. &c. much inconvenience might not arise by locking up the capital at once; but in mining a share-holder is called upon for small sums only at a time, and the ultimate outlay
ship's declarations respecting them had, however, one good effect, namely, that they in some measure kept back many daring adventurers from appearing with their bubbles, by the fear of a scrutiny; and they caused persons who wished to be purchasers of shares in new companies, to enquire more closely into their respectability;-thus far they did good. Messrs. Robinson and Huskisson, however, with more sound discretion, while they lamented the evil arising from the excessive stimulus abroad, preferred leaving things to find their own level; and they accordingly bid fair to do so, without any very fearful consequences to the community. A few speculatists will suffer, and some persons dip pretty largely into their superfluous capital, which has been thereby put into circulation before it otherwise might. The bulk of the public can sustain no injury by its shifting hands a little, and the real and bona-fide companies will be of considerable use to the industry and commerce of the country. The bubbles will explode the spring, the elasticity of which had forced it out of form, will soon return to its proper shape.
If, however, unprincipalled men sought in many cases to swindle the too eagar speculatist, it must be granted that the fear of those who looked on the exacerbation of the speculative spirit was excessive. They were wedded to old things; and, like the Lord Chancellor, had a pious horror for what was out of a jog-trot pace over the old beaten track they were grossly ignorant of the true state of the modern principles of trade and commerce; and when they endeavoured to draw a comparison between the South-Sea bubbles and the bubbles of 1825, they exhibited a deplorable ignorance of facts with which at first they might easily have made themselves acquainted. The character of jointstock companies and the South-Sea adventure differ ab origine. The present speculations are made with surplus unemployed capital, which no period of our history has shown we ever before possessed to a fraction of its present extent. In the South-Sea adventure people of all classes ventured, as in a lottery, their entire fortunes and means of subsistence, led by two or three besotted persons. They were destitute of any medium of acquiring a knowledge for themselves of remote points connected with the speculation in which they hazarded their all. In our day, every individual not only possesses channels of correct information, but uses them before he trades, for trading is more the term for the present proceedings as in contradistinction to the South-Sea adventure. The speculators at present have surperfluous money, of which they seek to make a profit. This superfluous cash would else lie idle,
may not amount to more than one-third or one-half of the capital proposed. It is I hard, therefore, that the adventurer's money must be kept almost profitless for years, when he may make it return him fifteen to twenty per cent. in trade. In mining, the largest possible sum is always named to secure the undertaking against contingencies. One of the Mexican mining companies, before expending a fourth of the sum allotted for one of its mines, is not only paying all the current expenses, but realizing a large sum from it by the discovery of an accidental vein. Would it not be hard that the remainder of the capital should be laid by unproductive? The care which is shown for the property of speculators in these concerns is misplaced. When have City men, and men of business in general, been incautiousin looking after their gold? They certainly do not need in this respect the profective and sympathizing guardianship of the opponents of free trade principles !