« AnteriorContinuar »
contact with it. Instead of making any answer, he with both feet stept on his little model, which bore him (though a tall and stout man) exceedingly well. Impressed by this circumstance, the committee more attentively considered the model, and at last appointed him architect of the new bridge. It was completed at the close of the year 1758, and stood without receiving any injury till 1789, when a few decayed beams were replaced by new wood: since which trifling repair, the bridge is as sound as ever. The same ingenious artist, with the assistance of his brother John, has erected several other bridges and some churches, all of which are admired for solidity and boldness of construction. Ulrkh offered to build a similar onearched bridge across the river Derry in Ireland, which is 600 feet wide: but his plan was rejected.
In foreign lands, the Swiss are known to be frequently seized with so violent a longing after their own country, that, unless permitted to return to it immediately, they will pine away and die. This phenomenon, known to physicians by the name of patrida/gia, is much more frequent among the natives of the canton of Appenzell, than among those of the other cantons; which may be considered as an additional proof of the happiness enjoyed by these people.
How far the melancholy events, whichhaverecently taken place in Switzerland, will influence the constitution and manners of Appenzell, as described by our author, is not easy to be determined. Yet we should presume that so much originalitycan be destroyed only by the most violent and lasting revolutions.
The style of this work is at once lively and easy. We shall be happy to hear of its continuation,
A-RT. II. Zusttae zur tbeorrtisch-praitischen Darstellung der Handlung, i. e. Additions to the theoretical and practical Delineation of Commerce. By J. G. Busch. 8vo. 2 Vols. pp. 320 in each, Hamburgh. 1798.
*Tpwo pamphlets by Professor Busch were noticed in the Appendix to our last vol. p. 564 and 565; and we have now to mention two volumes of intercalary matter, which he offers to the purchasers of his Theoretical and Practical Delineation of Commerce printed in 1792, and which he proposes to incorporate in a future edition of that work. It will thus acquire a doubly enlarged, a wholly altered, and a very improved form.—The Professor, like many of his countrymen, excels rather in the completeness of his information than in the originality of his views. He compiles fatiguing details with infxhausfible industry, but does not always select his facts with
judgment, judgment, nor appreciate their relative value with sagacity. Writers who, in their own country, escape quotation by their obscurity, are not less familiar to him than the leading authorities. From Alonzo Burba to M. Cantillon, every name which is connected with commercial literature is pressed into the support of some unimportant position, or stuck with book-worm assiduity on the full Hie of his quotations.
In vol. i., on the theory of the bill of exchange, at p. 8i# many good observations occur. After due consultation of Sigel's Corpus juris cambialis and other similar authorities, !t is shewn that the law ought not to consider the bill of exchange as a deposit belonging to the drawer, and successively confided to the remittees,—but as a transferable property at all times absolutely vested in the holder; whose neglect, therefore, when it vitiates the value, falls wholly oh himself. This theory is then applied to the difficult and still unsettled case of the holder of a bill having many indorsements, where the drawer, drawee, and early indorsers, have all failed. It is evident that, if the holder proves under each bankruptcy tJie whole amount of the bill, he will receive much more than his due. May he make his election where to prove the whole demand, and where to prove the residue? Or ought he not (which seems most equitable) to be compelled to prove his debt against his immediate predecessor only ?—the assignees of that predecessor proving, in their turn, in like manner, (each party once only,) back to the drawer. This is a case of great importance to discounters, and is in our opinion unjustly regulated by the usage of London.
The intended interpolation, which begins at p. 204, con-r tains the following analysis of the Professor's own theory brought forwards in his work on the circulation of money.
• Be it allowed me here concisely to bring together the leading truths which my work contains; and in the statement of which I had no predecessor. Jn the first book, I sought to delineate the march of tilings in civil society, in as much as they depend on circulation in general. I shewed how this occasions men to furnish subsistence one to another, which, without the medium of money, is very difficult, and ha6 principally been effected by beneficence and by servitude. Money abolishes insulation among men, and occasions each to provide for more than his own subsistence merely. This is effected by means of the reciprocal exchange of services' and wants, which without money is extremely difficult, and would leave every one in want whose art or science is not of daily recurring utility.
* In the second book, I inquired into the causes which limit the worth of money. Here I detected the insufficiency of the usual theories, and especially of that which considers money as one species of wares or merchandize, which sinks when it is plentiful and rises in value when scarce. I had not only to wrestle with the rude theory of Montesquieu, but with the more refined doctrine of HumeThe main matter is this :—Men, collectively, are not inclined to give more money for a thing, because they abound more in money: but with their increase of money they desire to purchase more conveniences and enjoyments. This capability of enlarged enjoyment does not depend so much on the positive augmentation of appropriated money among the people, as on an increased rapidity of circulation; which oftener puts within the power of each, money that he can employ in the satisfaction of his wants. Now this increased rapidity of circulation depends on the multitude and variety of occupations in a nation; and these are a consequence of the increased supply of money. The common notion that money is a sign, a symbolic measure of the value of things, appears to me fraught with no practical advantage.—I know that this book is the most abstruse of my whole work: yet I would not require every one to study it with all the attention which I should claim from a writer on political economy.
'* The third book treats of internal circulation, which I hold to be far more important than external. In the first section, I describe it in as much as it is occasioned by the free occupations of the members of society, and indicate 17 essential conditions of an administration wisely directed to render a people rich in the greatest possible quantity of productive property. Here I had to speak of well-being: and I believe I have said what is most important and most new on the proper condition of the husbandman, and indeed of the whole productive class of the nation.—The second section presents it under the influence of political institutions. Here I digress concerning military establishments, public debts, and taxes, which I divide into taxes on fixed property, on consumption, and on the wages of labor. This distinction appears to me so important, and so interwoven with the theory of commercial affairs, that I propose to print concerning it a separate pamphlet, which will by no means be a mere extract from my former work.
• The fourth book is closely connected with the third. It treats of the various subdivisions of occupation, to which increased circulation progressively gives rise. Were I young enough to undertake a revival of this whole work, I would much extend my dissertation on the unproductive classes, and on the effects to be expected from the dismission of two of them, the nobility and the clergy, by the Great Nation which has recently undertaken that experiment: but which is beginning anew to tolerate the latter; without, however, an appearance of conceding to it in future any considerable power over internal circulation.
'The lifth book treats of external—or rather compound—circulation between different nations. It contains the germ of many opinions concerning commerce, which, in the present work, I have again advanced and farther evolved. I have warned rulers against that narrow-minded anxiety, with which they often endeavour to resist the exportation of coin. I have proved that an extensive foreign commerce is not always, nor at all, necessarily attended with
great great populousness.—This fifth book is closely connected in subjectmatter and theoretical principle with all my subsequent writing* on commerce, and forms indeed the basis of them. It contains many wholesome cautions against regulations, which are continually occurring in the vicious commercial system of modern nations.
• The sixth book is broken into six sections; in which I have endeavoured to arrange those matters, which, if treated at large where they first occurred, would have given a disproportionate extent ta certain previous sections. In the first section, I went into1 an analysis of what may be called the symbolic value of money. The distinction there made between the symbol of value, and the produce of circulation, still appears to me to afford a just view of the difference between money and commodities; and to account for the distinct laws by which they rise and fall. I also gave a preference to money which circulates for more than its intrinsic worth, over money which circulates for kss;—but on this subject the curious reader will consult my Work on Bank-money, Coin, and Confusion of Specie (Usber Banh^ehl, M'unze, und Munzvcr<wlrrung, 1789).—The third iscction exhibits the effect of the labors of the husbandman on internal circulation. This led me to digress concerning the feudal system and vassalage; and to propose some commutation for those service* vliich, in Bohemia, were to have been too hastily abolished. The fourth section treats of usury, or supposed excessive interest:—interest of money seems to me incoercible. The fifth section treats of the provision of a sufficient demand and reward for labor, and contains the principles on which is founded my plan for the regulation of the poor, now so happily executed in Hamburgh. The sixth section shews the connection which subsists between circulation and political economy in general, which is now become nearly altogether the art of administering a country so as to draw from it the greatest revenue. I there brought forwards my reasons for declaring against the pliysiocratic system, and for deeming it of all others the least calculated for this purpose. This occasioned me to go over the principal points of controversy between the abettors and detractors of; this famous system.'
Professor Busch declares (p. 222) against the utility of 3 chartered bank in London. He seems to think that the monopoly should be abolished, the banking trade thrown open, and every one be left at liberty, as in the provinces, to issue notes on his private security. As a pay-office, and as a register-office for the transfer of stock, the bank of England is become indeed more important than ever; notwithstanding the apparent shock given to its credit by the unusual but patriotic defalcation of its specie.—From the consideration of the London bank, this chapter proceeds to review the condition of the banks at Amsterdam, Venice, Genoa, and in Switzerland, and to bring together much useful information relative to corn-, saercial finance.
At p. 259 the Professor takes into consideration the newmeasure of the French, which the Directory wishes to substitute for the pied royal. He makes merry with their metromania, and observes that their basis is absurd, because incapable of unequivocal ascertainment; and that they might as well have fixed on a ten thousandth part of the height of Montblanc for their metre, and, in reply to the question—how high is Montblanc? have answered as they do now,—that is tut yet made out, but in the mean time our perfect measure is calculated on the ten thousandth part of the supposed height!!—On this subject we have already spoken, Rev. Vol. xxvi. p 505. Condamiiu't project for a basis was to take the length of a pendulum swinging seconds in 45 degrees latitude.
Vol. n. A remarkable project communicated by the author to Baron Von der Horst, who enjoyed a ministerial office in Prussia under the celebrated Frederic, occurs at p. 77. It may be defined a hand-in-hand assurance office for securing mercantile credit. The plan is to permit no merchants to trade without subscribing to this office; and to entitle them, in proportion, to their subscriptions to loans in cases of pressure, and to donations in cases of bankruptcy. Moses Mendelsohn drew up, at the minister's request, objections to this plan (in order that it might be reduced into the best possible form) which ought not to have been withholden from the public; and which appear to have been eventually fatal.
The most important disquisition in this book (but it is much too long for us to extract) relates to what Professor Busch denominates Strand-right, or the mass of usage and of law relative to things wrecked and stranded. Many iniquitous practices of different European maritime countries are here censured with becoming spirit. Some jurisdictions of this nature have a stronger tendency to consult the profit of the sovereign and of his agents, than the permanent interests of the subject; and they do not commonly excel in the expedition and cheapness of their proceedings. Yet to such courts, and not to juries of merchants and ship-owners, are intrusted in most countries the decision of maritime causes. Vattel has well treated the law of nations *: but there is a department of law in which not the sovereigns but the subjects of different nations are principally interested:—it might be called cosmopoli•tical jurisprudence. (See Rev. Vol. xxi. N. S. p. 582.)
This branch of law yet wants its Vattel. He who should aspire to indicate to the different nations of Europe those in
* For the works of this respectable writer, wc refer to our General lnd«x, Vol. I.