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quet Isle, Sa- you, that our little
a course pretty near to the north shore, extensive ruin of Tantallan Castle, and passing the Island of Inchkeith, which deservedly makes so fine a fiwhere Dr Johnson, in former times, gure in Scott's Marmion. As the day "made the first experiment of landing closes, we see the mutilated ruins of upon unfrequented coasts," we open the Castle of Dunbar, the scene of the spacious bay and extensive range of many exploits connected with the histhe town of Kirkcaldy, and have fully tory of Scotland. To landsmen disin view the house of Raith, delight tant objects are now shrouded in a fully situate on the contiguous rising dusky shaule, but our far-sighted ground. Perhaps on no part of the captain could descry the hoary head coast of Great Britain is there so of St Abb's, situated on the coast of many small but populous towns and Berwickshire, just as the party had villages, as along the shores of Fife; resolved to take the repose of the and although the great ports of Leith night, and for a time bid adieu to the and Dundee have, like Gog and Ma- beautiful scenery of the Frith of Forth, gog, almost entirely swallowed up and the scene of many a youthful gambol, monopolized the trade of these ancient and now doubly interesting from dear ports, yet in former times the mer- family connections, intermixed with chants of Fife were not only exten- the sweetest sympathies of our nasively concerned in trade at home, ture. but likewise in foreign commerce. It
I need hardly tell is also well known, that, previous to
of the Cothe Union of the British Crowns,
vessel, when newly these burgh towns were frequently
fitted up, was conhonoured with a royal visit; and on sidered one of the most commodious these occasions the kings of Scotland and handsome of her class, though were entertained with great magnifi. those fine and elegint vessels, which cence, according to the ideas of those now ply between Leith and London, times. Continuing our course along far outstrip her in the size and gay the north shore, on the left, we have appearance of their apartments. Yet the town and castle of Wemyss; still our cabins are not to be complainwhere, in days of yore, the Thanes of ed of, for, independently of the births Fife are said to have had their abode, for the officers of the ship, and a and where Mary Queen of Scots first place for the servants of the party, met with Lord Darnly, on the 15th of there is a fore and after cabin, where February 1565. On the right, but each has a state-room, or bed place, at a great distance, we see the shining with distinct doors. The vessel is also front of Gosford, the princely mansion well provided with an attentive and of the Earls of Wemyss. After pas- obliging steward, and an excellent sing many a smoking town and blith- cook, with all the necessary furniture some fishing village, we reach Anstru- of the table. Yet, notwithstanding ther, famous as the residence of Mog- all this, the change to a landsman, ry Lauder, and from thence stretch from the manifold apartments and conacross the Frith to the southern shore, veniences ashore, together with the leaving on the north, the classic and retirement and seclusion of the night venerable towers of St Andrews, and a at home, is so great, that he cannot numerous train of places of less note, all at once resign those, even for a together with the dangerous Carr Rock short life at sea. Accordingly, when and the curious Isle of May, interest- the party came to compare notes in ing both on account of its ecclesiasti- the morning, it did not appear that al and natural history. Passing the one good night's rest could be made Islets of Fidra, the Lamb, and Craig- out, after putting the whole together. leith, and town of North Berwick, the Nor was this at all imputable to the natural port of half the shire of Had- unnecessary hollowing out of the crew, dington, we sail close past the singu- or the noise by treading and passing lar and almost inaccessible island cal- upon the deck, so commonly comled the Bass, famous as, a prison in plained of on ship-board, for, in this the reign of Charles the Second, and respect, nothing could be more guardremarkable for the innumerable crowds ed or circumspect on the part of our of solan geese and other sea-fowl which ship's company, But still one heard Destle here. On the right we see the gurgling of the water along the perched upon the precipitous rock the ship's side ;-another felt that un
pleasant closeness and confinement, ever direction you turn, the air is more perhaps inseparable from the air of or less contaminated with noxious and a ship, while the creaking of the spars, fetid effluvia. Even the very lanes of and the chirping noise of the bulk- the village are encumbered with fish heads, or partitions, allowed very garbage. I mention this the more transient. sleep, with long and tire- particularly, as Holy Island, under & some periods for meditation. Impa- different system, might not only be tient, therefore, of this sort of dur- extended as a fishing station, but is alance, the day and the deck were hail- so particularly well calculated to be ed about the same hour; and, at come a great resort for sea-bathing breakfast-time, it was no unwelcome quarters, were a proper selection made discovery to find, that the ship, being of the grounds for the visitors and the then about opposite to Holy Island, fishers. To obtain this more fully, it might just as well go into the harbour would require some attention to be there for six hours, during an adverse paid to providing a better supply of tide, as keep the sea, from the state of fresh water, and the establishment of the winds, which were such, as to a regular post to communicate over prevent our getting through the nar- the sands with the mainland. row sound, between the Fern Isles and I was informed, that, independentthe Castle of Bamborough, without ly of the fish caught for the daily conmuch beating and tacking, for which sumption of the island, and the supfew of the party had any great incli- ply of the market of Berwick, &c. nation.
from 30 to 40 tons of salted cod and Holy Island presents little that can ling are annually shipped here for Loninterest the curious, or engage the at-, don. These formerly sold at the rate tention of the traveller, if we except of about L. 40 per ton ; but the price the ruin of the monastery of the once has, of late, fallen about one half, perfamous Lindisfern. This religious haps partly from the present dulness house is said to have been founded of every kind of merchandise, together about the year 651, and was again with the recent introduction of the rebuilt, with considerable additions, Dutch fishermen into our market. If in 1014. It still presents some cu the mind happens to be raised with rious arches, and is the subject of expectation from any particular object, some of the very beautiful passages in the effects of disappointment in such the poem of Marmion. You will cases are much more severely felt than readily suppose that I landed here if no such hopes had existed. with considerable pleasure, as a place I, therefore, turned with pecuto which I had attached the fondest liar pleasure from Holy Island, and, ideas of the antiquary, and where I as the wind was favourable, though expected to meet with all the neat extremely gentle, we were enabled to cleanliness and comfort of an English land for a short time, in passing, at watering-place, connected with a small Bamborough Castle. This is a strucfort and garrison. But how was I ture, not only curious as a building, disappointed upon landing at Holy but interesting as a charitable founIsland, to find a very paltry and irre- dation, being, along with a great exgular village, at some little distance tent of lands, placed under the direcfrom the sea, and really without any tion of the Bishop of Durham, by the very favourable or accessible bathing- late Nathaniel Lord Crewe, for pious place.
and benevolent purposes. The castle The chief employment of the inha- is understood to have been originally bitants of this island, said to be about founded in the year 558, and was one 500 in number, is the prosecution of of the Roman stations in this part of the fishing, for which it seems to be the country. It is probable that Lord every way fitted as a most excellent Crewe, during his occasional residence station ; but, as the whole process of here, had been so much affected with gutting and curing the fish is conduct the frequency of shipwrecks, and the ed close to the village, and as the walls distressing scenes inseparable from of every inclosure and walk about the such accidents, that he established a place are covered with fish, in propor- set of signals here, to forewarn the mation to its thriving state as a fishing riner of his danger, and amply en. station, it becomes more unfit for the dowed for the relief of ships and residence of strangers; for, in what- shipwrecked seamen. Upon entering
the lobby of Bamborough Castle, you of 150 feet. This well, which was one are at once struck with the immensely discovered of late years in clearing thickness of the old walls of the build- away some rubbish, is shewn with ing, and with the ponderous prepara- four lighted candles stuck into a frame tions belonging to the institution for of wood, let down by a cord with a accidents by shipwreck, such as screws small windlass. The upper part of for raising vessels, great chains for the rock on which the Castle is built mooring and lifting them, with blocks appears to be greenstone or whinstone, and tackle of enormous size, and of resting upon a bed of sandstone, in various kinds, to which Captain Man- which the water is in all probability by's recent apparatus has very properly found. The lowering of the candles been added. There are also apartments into this abyss, and the shade of the with bedding, &c. for the shipwreck- light glistening on its rugged sides, ed sailors; and store-houses for the have a very curious and striking effect. reception of all kinds of mercantile Towards the sea this building has an goods. There are likewise certain re- extensive and castellated appearance. gulations for firing a gun, setting off Upon the land side, the rock is still fre-rockets, and tolling a large bell in more precipitous and rugged, and has thick and foggy weather; and a pa- a much more picturesque and beautia trole and watch are also understood to ful effect than to seaward. In return. be kept up at the castle in certain ing to the ship, the conversation turna states of the weather. But so greated upon the probable effects of this a change has taken place upon the charity, especially on the frugal and coast, since this institution was found- industrious habits of the people of the ed, with regard to the establishment neighbouring village of Bamborough. of better lighthouses every where, But this would lead me too far from that comparatively few wrecks now my subject; and I shall therefore take place upon this part of the coast. close the observations of this day, by Indeed, if we take into account, the telling you that the farthest object much greater extent of trade and ship- which could be descried from the ship ping in the present day, we shall find, as the day began to close, was the little that what with the help of lighthouses island of Coquet, situated on the Nor. and better surveys of the coast ; toge- thumberland coast. I am, &c. S. ther with the superior mode of rigging, and better management of ships, there are really fewer shipwrecks now than formerly; though vessels go to MR EDITOR, sea all the year round, instead of ly From a return laid on the table of ing up during the winter months, the the House of Commons, in compliance constant practice even so late as twen- with a motion of Mr Grenfell, it apty or thirty years ago. Under these pears that the amount of Bank of Engcircumstances, it may readily be sup- land notes in circulation was, at 12th posed, that the departments of this January last, L.30,619,440. It is establishment intended for the pre- vouched by the same document, that vention of shipwrecks, or the safety these issues had, from 7th January and comfort of the mariner, have now 1817, varied from near 24 millions to in a great measure become obsolete, this previous sum. The medium aven and the good done by this foundation, rage between these two sums exceeds is perhaps now chiefly confined to the that of any year since 1797, by nearly education of 50 or 60 children, under two millions. Within the last six the system of Dr Bell. As our time months the average, as was observed only admitted of a cursory view of the by Mr Grenfell and Mr Tierney in a place, we walked round the exterior recent debate, exceeds, by a sum of of the Castle, entering by the south- between two and three millions, the east gate, we left it by the sally-port highest averages at any time since the towards the north-west; having only Bank Restriction Act. taken time to pass through the libra It is well known that the late py and several apartments, to enjoy notice from the Bank was talked the extensive view from the top. The of by the Chancellor of the Exmost curious part of the Castle is the chequer as a virtual return to cash well said to have been cut by the Ro- payments. This, however, was dee mans through solid rock to the depth nied by those who were fully aware
ON TIIE STATE OF THE CURRENCY.
that the amount of notes still in cir It would be worse than useless to culation, of a date prior to the period repeat arguments which have been a then named, was so inconsiderable, as thousand times illustrated with every to make it a matter of perfect indiffer- degree of evidence and authority by ence to the Bank, whether they were ingenious and scientific men. But paid in specie or not. It was also it is quite safe to aver, with Mr Grenknown before the meeting of Parlia- fell, that the speculations in the funds ment had thrown any light on the are now solely caused by the unreviews of administration, that the a- strained issues of the Bank. And mount of Bank of England paper in who can justly blame the Directors circulation was very great. It was of that institution ? Profit is fairly known, too, that, encouraged by this and avowedly their aim. They are plentiful issue, the country banks had furnished, by a special act of the Lebeen very liberal in their discounts;- gislature, with the most tempting fathat the body of private artificial cir- cilities, because the restraint of that culating medium was probably as common prudence which makes every great at it had ever been during the other contractor of an obligation look most flourishing years of the restric- before him, is taken off them,-and tion ;-and that, in consequence, mi- they are protected from the immenisters would, when discussion on this diate consequences of a stagnation in delicate point should become inevita- their trade, and a rigid construction ble, propose a farther enlargement of of their current obligations,-by a lethe term granted to prepare for the galized impunity. To say that, while resumption of cash payments. It is the restriction lasts, they shall ever of great importance to attend to these know or care for knowing a wholeapparently isolated facts.
some limit to circulation, is weak and The actual press of money, unfortu- credulous and absurd. Very few bonately for the country, remaining un- dies of men have ever been so wise employed in the hands of large capital- as to prefer a contingent and ultimate ists in London, first caused a rise in the safety to a present profit. No body Funds last summer. Urged by an un- of men, when profit was actually the extinguishable principle of human na- immediate and open question, have ture,-men would rather take the ever preferred general to particular chance of placing their money, where, interests. Let the return of the Bank from a sudden reverse, it might pro- to cash payments come when it may, bably be locked up for a season,—with it must be accompanied with an the certainty of receiving five or ra enormous decrease of their profits, ther more than five per cent.-than and necessarily, with considerable dekeep it disengaged for the chance of rangement to their private and comsuch commercial investments, as a pany concerns. They cannot return state of profits, by no means inviting, gradually, unless the Chancellor of seemed to promise,—with the certain- the Exchequer were bringing on, from ty that, in the interval, it should pro- session to session, gradual reductions duce no increase, In this originated of the dividends on 3, 4, and 5 per the first actual rise in the funds. Mo- cents. It would then be found that ney was plenty. That was undeniable. these dividends, and the funds to But the plenty was a dead glut arising meet them, had attained equal relative from causes always to be deprecated in a values. It would then, and it will commercial country:--a preternatural not till then, be found whether an declension in the effectual demand for efficient currency made up of, or excapital :-a low rate of the profits of changeable into, the precious metals stock. Following as a consequence which are the measure of exchange, on the first demonstration of a steady the standard of value, and an object rise in the funds, it would happen of commerce, with all civilized na that all those who had real property tions,-can coexist with a nominal to offer in pledge, could not fail of and real amount of taxation, equal to obtaining discounts at the Bank of that now levied in Great Britain. England. More money was thus With regard to the practical effects thrown into the market,--and more of this unrestrained circulation, they speculators introduced into Capel- cannot be more forcibly illustrated, Court. The funds advanced ; and it than when taken in conjunction with was found convenient to quote their the operation of our usury laws. A se as a proof of national prosperity. man is willing to lend a certain sum
of money for a certain period of years. in worthless projects. Candour, conBank circulation is low. He foresees fidence, and fair dealing, are replaced that, whenever this circulation shall by something else. Private and pubspread wider, he will, of necessity, lic niorality are deeply affected. Prube subjected to receive in pay- dence, economy, and forbearance, are ment, a sum of money consider- no longer prized as virtues. Caution ably less in effective value than and deliberate forecast are not held to what he lends. He wishes, right- be attributes of mercantile skill. A ly, to obtain such a premium, in the reckless gambling habit is substituted meantime, as may be, in some degree, for them. A propensity to litigiousness, a previous insurance against a very and a spirit of chicanery, usurp the probable lose. The lender is willing place of regular industry and fairto meet this expence. But, it is ei- dealing. Transactions between capi. ther doubled to him by the disin- talists, and the industrious and entergenuous precautions which the usury prising, cease to be conducted with laws necessarily impose,—or his cir- openness and ingenuity. Bargains, cumstances do not permit of the sa- formerly the most onerous, are smugcrifice. An irreparable injury is here gled, or entered into, commonly, with inflicted on both parties. The free and a secret determination on one side to secure enjoyment of property is grieve hold the other in fear of penal conseously curtailed to the first individual. quences, to cheat in defiance,-or to From the other, a natural and most ope- profit, unfairly, by contingencies not rative spur to industry is taken away. anticipated. Property is, in effect, Look at the reverse of this case. The rendered insecure; and those minute Bank circulation is high. The price of divisions of capital, so desirous in a gold has risen, and notes are at a dis- . commercial nation, when they occur count. A person wishesto borrow asum without breaking down the accumuof money, and procures the loan at 5 lated masses which permanently set per cent. or, more probably at 7 or 9. and keep productive labour in motion, Circumstances change. The Bank are greatly narrowed. decreases its issues. Notes and bul. It is, perhaps, very superfluous to lion are at par. The unfortunate add, that it is not the amount of cire debtor, when he is called on to refund culating medium which can give any his loan, pays in paper of the effective alarm. All that is wanted to quiet value of a pound in gold, that advance the most timorous, is a circulation rewhich was made when 20s. in paper ferable to one standard. All that can were as 17s. or 18s. in gold, -and be done to maintain that standard, is which, in effect, was worth no more to let the relative value of silver and to him for the purpose which led him gold remain as it now is, and to reto borrow! See how the usury laws, real, instantly, a law which protects a and an unrestrained circulation of mercantile body from being liable in Bank paper, protect the unwary or its solemn and public engagements. necessitous borrower! It is clear that, The amount of specie current might in both these instances, an irreparable be greatly enlarged by an increased injury is inflicted on individuals. The output from the mines, and by the diffusiveevil, however, is general: And temporary payment of commercial reits effects are much more widely reach- mittances in bullion. If the exchangeing, and have actually a more power- able value of gold should not be ful and pernicious influence on the greater elsewhere, it will become frame and aspect of society, than is comparatively profitable for the mere commonly believed or attended to. chant to coin his bullion. He would It is clear, that, by the joint operation infallibly prefer circulating his bars at of these two laws, small capitalists, of home, in the shape of specie, to keepthe industrious classes, who would ing them locked up in his wareturn money to the most productive house, or sending them to a maruse, are precluded from getting it at ket, when their price could not rea marketable rate. But this is not all. turn the capital, of which, to him, The money does, at last, fall into they are the equivalent product ;-the the hands of desperate prodigals, expence and risk of transmission, and who dissipate it in contemptible ex- the ordinary profits of stock. Then travagancies ; or upstart speculators, money would become relatively plenwith a little property, but with more tier. Prices and wages of labour cupidity and rashness, who expend it would rise simultaneously. No cine