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number of observers scattered at tific research on a large scale. Milifavourable intervals over the world, tary men naturally become accustomed with governmental resources at their to act in combination ; to be accurate command. They are almost driven in taking observations, and transmitinto the work of collecting data, and ting an account of them when taken ; must be tempted into observation, and to maintain regard to a common very many of them, unless they are centre of operations. This predisposmore incurious than their neighbours. ing influence of military habituations They are, besides, men who have is so well recognised that, for some been, every one of them, drilled in the time past, most of the directors of our practical operations of science, and various colonial observatories have must perforce understand the use of been chosen from among military med. instruments, and have more or less It was by military observers that one dexterity in scientific manipulations. of the most difficult operations of prac
It may be said that this valuable tical astronomy, in our time, was carbody of men has been, for a long course ried out-viz. the drawing of the faof years, occupying this vantage- mous North American boundary-line. ground, and that no great discoveries This service was performed in a manhave crowned their efforts. Even this ner to elicit the especial praise of the must be said, with the exception of Astronomer-Royal, who, moreover, for the field of magnetism, in which they his part, has distinctly declared that have produced unquestionable effect. these are the kind of persons that he But at all events, who shall say how desires to have as coadjutors, when much valuable information has been combined operations are to be proselost for want of just such a depository cuted. of results as we have in the Royal On recent occasions, when it has Artillery Institution ? Who shall say become necessary to make choice of how many a youth of promise, having assistants for such purposes, the meset his foot in the right track, having thod has been followed of sending hit out some true line of investigation, officers to the Astronomer-Royal, in has been untimely brought to a stand- order that with him they might go still by the sense of individual insuffi- through a preliminary course of inciency, and the want of extraneous struction. One result of the vital. aid ? A man may stand a good deal ising of the Royal Artillery Institution of banter and indifference from imme. is expected to be, that the regiment diate associates, when he knows that, may become a depôt whence at any beyond that circle, he shall find assist- time any requisite number of such asance and appreciation ; but few will sistants may be drawn at the moment. have the resolution to persevere in a The idea (as enunciated by no less an troublesome course, under circum- authority than the pontifex maximus stances of complete isolation. Now, of modern astronomers) is, that, inseeing that the institution is calculated stead of sending to the Astronomerto afford, in an eminent degree, the Royal, the Master-General may for support necessary to prevent the ward a requisition to Woolwich, and swamping of zeal, and the assistance at once get what he wants. The rerequisite to the rendering of zeal giment wonld thus be in the position, effectual, we may expect to reap the not only of doing good service in the benefit of whatever talent there may field, but of aiding the best interests be in the regiment, and of whatever of civilisation and social progress. virtue in their favourable disposition of Such being the character of the circumstances. This is no slight ad- men, such the proofs they have already vantage, when we consider the num. given of adaptability, and such the ber and the class of men in question. expectations concerning them in high Among them we may take it for quarters, it would be a pity pot to granted that talent of all kinds will supply them with ample “ verge and be found, and occasionally genius of scope enough." In this respect the the highest order.
regiment and the country have good There is something in the very reason to be satisfied. The effort is spirit of military organisation which yet in its early stage, and doubtless is favourable to the purposes of scien- some things have not been done that
will be seen to anon. There is, we of lectures are given, that are calcnbelieve, at this moment, a lack of the lated to prove of the greatest utility. larger and more costly astronomical In short, it confers o: Woolwich very instruments. This is inevitable. But much of the benefits of a university. in general respects the institution is This completes the account of wbat well supplied. The laboratory depart. is dono for the officers ; but a good ment is especially excellent, probably deal more might be said of the advannot short of first-rate. A museum tages enjoyed by the men. The regidoes not grow up in a day; the know- mental schools, though primarily inledge of which fact must console all tended for the children, are open to parties concerned, under present cir- the men, who are at liberty to avail cumstances of empty shelves. Cer- themselves of the instruction therein tainly no museum in the country is afforded. This they do in large numlikely to be more abundantly enriched, bers; and the consequence is, that a since none other retains so large and superior intellectual tone is manifestly widely-scattered a staff of collectors. prevalent among them. We live in It is expected to be particularly valu- days when national schools are excelable in the departments of geology lent, but probably no one of them is and mineralogy
better than that of the Woolwich garBesides this material museum, it is rison. It may be asserted that no intended to maintain here another, men of the like social grade are better and probably not less valuable collec- educated than the gunners. As for the tion-a museum of facts. It is hoped non-commissioned otiicers, they really that no observations worth recording, are a very superior class of persons, made in any part of the world, by any as is proved by the character of the member of the regiment, will hence- situations which they occupy pretty forth be allowed to lapse into oblivion. generally on retiring from the regiment. All being here recorded, results may There is an especial school in the be compared, connections traced, and Royal Repository for the non-comlaws brought to light. How many missioned officers. The education valuable facts have been apprehended afforded to them, besides subjects in vain, because let slip bef the ap- purely technical, comprises the rudiprehending of certain other facts, on ments of mathematics, and military comparison wherewith their practical and geometrical drawing. The pumuse has depended! Now, this is what bers are limited, the general avenever need happen again. To this rage being about seventeen; and for association a man may forward his ex- this reason the selection is made with perimental knowledge, io full assur- regard to good conduct, and token of ance that the most will be made of it. ability. The men have pride in the In all probability some one will be distinction, and are zealous in applifound to follow up the thread of inves- cation; and altogether the school tigation. At all events, it will not be works well. In point of practice, it lost, but be guarded in the archives has been found very advantageous to of the institution till the moment ar- give the men an intelligent insiglit rives for aptly utilising it. The officer into the applications of mechanical in any part of the world, however re. science to their own technical requiremote from present assistance, will be ments. There is also an admirable able to feel that he has a place of re- and well-regulated non-commissioned ference, where he will be sure to find officers' library. sympathy and skill to help him to It will of course take some few make the most of his knowledge. The years before the effect of later iminstitution is also made useful in re- provements can be made manifest; spect of general education. Classes meanwhile they are working for are organised for the study of lan- good, and tending to thie elevating of guages, and for the fine arts; and series the entire body.
THE INFLUENCE OF GOLD UPON THE COMMERCIAL AND SOCIAL
CONDITION OF THE WORLD.
PART II. We intimated, in Part I. of this ever, carry our researches as to this inquiry,* our intention of endeavour- question, especially as regards the ing to ascertain the rate of increase quantity of the precious metals emin the stocks of the precious metals ployed for domestic and ornamental subsequently to the first discovery of purposes, beyond the civilised comMexico and Peru, and the effect pro. munities of Europe. But the stocks duced upon the growth of Russia, cannot have been large upon the and upon the general commerce of the value of which the comparatively world, by the discovery and increased small amounts, furnished to the world yield of the mines of Siberia and the on the first discovery of Mexico and Ural mountains. Before proceeding, Peru, exercised so striking an influhowever, to this difficult portion of ence as that which we have already our subject, it would be most desir- shown to have resulted. We discard able if we could arrive at something therefore, as utterly untenable, the approaching to a correct estimate of extravagant estimates of Montesquieu the stocks existing at the period in and others, who set down the amount question ; and, in the attempt to do of the precious metals in every form, this, we are met by most conflicting existing before the year 1500, at statements, the general characteristic three thousand five hundred millions; of which is their gross exaggeration. and of the coined gold and silver at The bulk of them, in fact, appear to nine hundred millions; and prefer be mere guesses ; the authors of the more reliable and reasonable which have left entirely out of view authority of Mr Jacob and more the quantities consumed by appli- recent writers. cation to the arts, and the ordinary Mr Jacob supposes, and gives us wear and tear resulting from use tolerably satisfactory reasons for the as coined money. Well-informed conclusions at which he arrives, that writers doubt whether the quantity the amount of coined money existing of gold and silver in the world at the at the death of the Roman Emperor period of the first discovery of Ame- Augustus, in the year 14, was about rica, was as great as it had been at £358,000,000. From this he dedacts the breaking up of the Western Em- 10 per cent annually for wear, which pire; and not without reason, if the would bring down the amount to law of prices laid down by Mr Tooke, £87,033,099 in the year 482, the and political economists generally, period of the breaking up of the be correct. The command of the Western Empire. No credit is given precious metals, as the money of com- here for any accession to the stock merce, over commodities had been from mining operations. The quanlittle diminished ; and although a tity derived from new sources was, larger amount of the existing stock however, very limited. After the had been called into circulation to irruption of the Saracens into Europe, meet the wants of the trading com- mining was for a considerable period munities, the fact of the limited interrupted—the wear and tear, meanquantity employed as plate and for while, going on at a rapid rate. Keepornamental purposes, in the houses of ing, however, to the previous estimate the nobility and gentry, is sufficient of 10 per cent per annum, Mr Jacob to account for the increase of gold and (vol. ii
. p. 237) gives us the quantity silver coin in use, without supposing existing in 518 at £78,229,700, which in that any new sources of supply had 806 had been reduced to £33,674,256. been opened out. We cannot, how. About this period mining operations
* Blackwood's Magazine, November, p. 588.
were resumed in Macedonia, in Hun- as it had previously been, so small an gary, and in the Bohemian dominions amount comparatively being in active of Austria. The deposits in the Hartz circulation, owing to the unsettled mountains were opened, and rich state of society. Still it was nearly, deposits were found in Saxony. The if not quite, sufficient to absorb the search for the precious metals in annual yield from mining operations. France was stimulated by the Emperor Taking the whole facts into consideraCharlemagne, with some degree of tion, Mr Jacob adopts the hypothetisuccess; and mines were also opened cal assumption that, “at the period in Lorraine. The mines formerly when the mines of Hungary and -existing in Spain are also said to Germany were opened, or, as regards have been reopened, and worked with the former, recommenced their workconsiderable success by the Moors ings, the whole quantity of coined during their domination over a por- money amounted to not more than tion of that conntry, and up to their about thirty-three or thirty-four milfinal expulsion, which was nearly con- lions sterling;" and estimates that, temporary with the discovery of the up to the discovery of America, that Western World. The northern nations amount had merely been sustained of Europe—the Danes and Norwe- the yield of the mines of Europe, and gians-possessed, about the period of importations from Asia and Africa, the middle ages, considerable stores barely sufficing to cover the ordinary of the precious metals, which they consumption and waste. used principally for domestic purposes, We have, then, the following results for ornamenting their arms, ships of with respect to the important queswar, &c. It is probable that the wear tion of the stock of the coined metals and tear of gold and silver during up to the period when they began to the period from 800 to the discovery be so rapidly augmented from Mexico of America was not so considerable and Peru :Estimated stock in 1492,
discovery of America and the conquest of
capture of Mexico to the discovery of Potosi,
£50,158,000 An addition of 50 per cent had thus as an addition to the small stock of been made to the stock of the precious gold and silver in circulation in the metals in these fifty-three years, be- old countries. The subsequent coercion yond what was required to balance of the inhabitants by their Spanish the ordinary consumption; and we masters to labour in the old, or to have already seen the effect which open out new mines, very considerably this seventeen millions produced upon increased the previous yield; but we prices, affording a very strong corro- have shown that, up to the period of boration of the correctness of Mr the conquest of Peru, it amounted Jacob's estimate of the pre-existing only to the inconsiderable sum of stock.
£52,000 per annum, and, in fact, for It has been a very common suppo- some time scarcely remunerated the sition that very large quantities of Spanish government for the cost of the precious metals were found by retaining the country. It did not the original conquerors of Mexico in become so remunerative until its the hands of the sovereign and nobles government was in the hands of the of that country; but inquiry shows successors of Columbus, who extended us that the amount has been exagge their explorations further into the rated. Undoubtedly it might be re- interior and along the coasts, exergarded as considerable in those days, cising a mach barder sway than that which the easy temper and mode- “The smelting was performed in small ration of the original discoverer portable furnaces, or cylindrical tubes of prompted. Vasco Nunez, the first clay, very broad, and pierced with a European who had gazed upon the great number of holes. In these the IsPacific from American soil, is said to dians placed layers of silver ore, galena, have drawn largely from the Caciques which entered the holes, quickened the
and charcoal, and the current of air, in the Isthmus of Darien, in exchange fire and gave it a great degree of is for beads, looking-glasses, and trinkets.
tensity. These furnaces were mored Doubtless the possession of a few from one elevation to another, according similar accumulations rewarded the to the degree of low or high wind. When scrutiny of his compatriots. Gene. it was found that the wind was too strong, rally speaking, however, in Mexico and consumed too much of the fuel, they the Spaniards found only the gold were removed to a lower situation. By and silver-bearing soil, the wealth of these means the natives obtained argentiwhich they had to exhume by the ferous masses, which were smelted again coerced labour of its population. The in their own cottages. This was permining carried on had been hitherto formed by a number of persons, ten or of the very rudest kind, involving
the twelve at a time, blowing a fire through minimum amount of labour. In fact, length, pierced with a small hole at the
copper tubes from one to two yards in it may be most properly termed extremity towards the fire, which thus washing, the precious metals being acted in the same manner as the modern found on the surface, amongst the blow-pipe. By such processes as these, sand and detritus of the rivers. though a very large portion of the silver There were evidences, indeed, of more must have remained in the seoriæ withregular operations in a few localities; out combining with the galena, yet such but the commercial transactions of a quantity could be obtained as would the new country being very limited, satisfy the demands of the fiscal oficess and gold and silver being chiefly
of the Inca. required for domestic and ornamental attributed the quantity of metallic trea
“ To this method of working may be purposes, labour had only been de
sure which Pizarro was enabled to extort voted very sparingly to their acquisi- from the Inca Atahuallpa as his ransoin, tion, and in a most desultory manner. which, according to Garcilasso de la
Mr Jacob informs us, however, that Vega, is stated at the enormous sum of " in the space of thirty or forty years eight hundred thousand pounds, or, acfrom the subjugation of Mexico, mines cording to Gomara, at the more probable were at work at Tasco, at Lultepeque, amount of one hundred and fifty thousand and Pachuca, which, if they yielded pounds. The plunder of Cuzco was also little treasure when compared with very large; and although the amount of the more modern products of Valen- it, as given by Henera, a writer long posciana and other rich districts, yet does not appear, inay be exaggerated
terior to the event, and whose authority brought into activity sufficient to
at four hundred thousand pounds, yet show what great application might there is evidence sufficient to prove that effect, and enough, combined with a the treasure found in that city was more similar process in Peru, to produce a than could have been collected if it had great influence on the transactions all arisen from the washings, and if the of the ancient continent as soon as Indians had not worked some of the it had reached the ports of Europe." mines."
Somewhat different was the state Pausing here, and looking back of things which was found existing in from this important point in history, Peru on its conquest by Pizarro. The we have clearly shown the extent of inhabitants of that country had, for a the increased power to carry out the considerable period previously, culti- ambitious and grasping designs of her vated mining as a pursuit, in a some- monarchs which ber new colonies had what rude and unscientific manner thrown into the possession of Spain. certainly, but with a fair amount of In little more than half a century, an success, of which, however, the Incas amount equal to half the stock of the received the principal benefit. Mr coined metals previously existing in Jacob* states that
the world passed through her hands, * Vol. ii. pp. 50-51.