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past. The money employed in the rail-road would have remained idle, but for the project to which it has been applied. The shareholder gains eight or ten per cent. for his money, which places so much the more in his hands to employ in some new source of emolument. The traveller gains time and saves money in like manner with the speculatist to lay out elsewhere, and the ironmaster and mechanic reap a profit also in their branches. It is evident (it is almost too common to remark it here again,) that the more time is saved, and profit made, the more profit will again be made of both. The bulk of the national wealth will be constantly receiving fresh accessions or rather reiterated circulations, to be applied to fresh labours of industry-money and time making more money and time. Now this could not happen in any thing like an equal degree, if the cash of the capitalist lay idle, and if he, without employing others, and pushing things on en masse, contented himself with a low and uniform rate of interest. Let us say what we may on the subject, the establishment of any new branch of trade, or the setting on of a manufactory, partakes in no small degree of the character of a speculation; indeed, commerce itself can be deemed little else. By increasing the national activity, we increase the aggregate wealth, and it cannot be denied that joint-stock companies are so far beneficial. But they must be confined to great things to be so. Mining, roads, railways, canals, bridges, and in short, works that kings and governments formerly undertook, seem to be their legitimate objects. They must not grasp at or interfere with what the means of individuals, separately, can easily master: in that case they will be pernicious.
The activity of the bulk of the people, the bustle and occupation of all in every corner of the land, may not be an object in a country that is contented to stand still in prosperity, or to increase by imperceptible degrees, careless whether a rival or a neighbour overtakė it in its career; but for this country, every energy.-every muscle of the public frame must be kept in exertion, until a preponderating access of wealth and power be acquired, sufficient to make the overtaking us a hopeless task. We must do this before we rest upon our oars. It is essential to the preservation of our high character among nations, which we must not merely maintain, but continue to raise higher. The joint-stock company mania raised the spirits, and set in accelerated motion the life-blood of the commercial body; and when it becomes sobered down, it will be productive, (in the schemes which survive and were properly planned,) of additional profit to the nation. As to the gambling part of the affair, unhappily it is no novelty; the funds foreign and domestic have been, and will, in bargains for account, continue as heretofore a regular play at hazard. Adventurers in them clamour loud enough at rivals, and, as in the case of De Berenger, when an attempt is made to hit them with their own weapons, will barefacedly bring men into courts of law upon charges of which they themselves have a hundred times before been guilty. Besides, in the present case, this adventuring excess arises out of the abuse of joint-stock companies, and not from the character of the things themselves. A “merchant's venture” is an old phrase, and the chance of profit and loss is connected with the larger part of all mercantile transactions. When a capitalist ventures his idle capital therefore in a bona fide joint-stock speculation, he calculates that he may lose as well as gain; and naturally imagining that as such undertakings, if conducted with integrity and honour, could not be carried on without data of probable success to proceed upon, he feels that he runs as little risk (always supposing the honourable nature of the concern in which he ventures, and excepting bubbles and cheats) as he would in a speculation of merchandise to pass across the seas.
In respect to joint-stock companies in foreign nation's, and the employment of capital out of the control of our own government, a great deal more may be said than I can afford space for here. Much must depend upon the political aspect such countries hold. Those which are independent and free in government, that have every thing to fear and nothing to hope in a contest with Great Britain, and are bound to her in a certain degree by a sympathy in their free institutions, while they regard her as a support or rallying point for nations that have rent asunder the chains of despotism, are undoubtedly the most honourable in character, and the safest with which to be concerned. In France, the most enlightened and powerful of the European states, the interference of a capricious government, directly or indirectly, in works of magni
. tude paralyzes every thing. Utterly ignorant of the true principle of trade and manufacturing prosperity, every person who proposes a new undertaking and ventures his capital in it, may be ruined by the intermeddling of authorities in one way or another; for though the property be safe, if the channel to a market be shut up, or fanciful rules prescribed for the manufacturer cramping him on every side, the principal of such an adventure must be for ever in jeopardy, and the profit precarious. Add to this the chance of war, which may be protracted for a series of years, and no return ever more arise. In the other European governments, the caprice of the tyrant is the law, and property is at best in such cases only held by sufferance. Where property is held sacred, and right and law paramount, which only happens under popular governments, commerce is tenfold more flourishing than it ever can be under despotisms; there, and there alone, can safe adventures be made. * Europe is not therefore so safe, and the states of this quarter of the globe, approaching so near to ourselves in power, and being so formidable to us in influence over their neighbours, it is not so politic to add to their means of offence, by risking property, of which the will of one man may at any time bereave us. In Ame
Tyre and Carthage in ancient times, and even Greece, as well as Venice and the Italian states in modern, show this--to say nothing of Holland, England, and America.
rica, the northern states have free institutions, and no one would impuga the security of property under their laws; and this is (as far as it yet can be) the case with the southern. These new southern republics have every thing to hope from us, and could gain nothing by a contest. A long series of years must elapse before they can become formidable as enemies; while as friends and allies the interest of both countries is simultaneous. We would see England the heart of free nations; they deriving support in time of infancy from her protecting power, and linking their future destinies with hers. We rejoice to observe her late approximation to friendship and alliance with such, and her standing aloof from the besotted and criminal objects which the vices and tyranny of the arbitrary governments of Europe are ever leading them into. The past interference of England in these unprincipled quarrels impeded the march of her power, and kept her down until ihe late fortunate change in the cabinet emancipated her from the old and slavish policy, and taught the advocates for the old system, that while she might be friendly with every state, she possessed strength and spirit enough to act in "her own orbit,” and to enter into friendly connexion with nations whose governments assimilated more in freedom to her own. What has been the result but continued prosperity? What would be the result of returning to the late policy, but impoverishment and discontent? Free states are those, then, in which, if it be advisable to adventure at all, property is more secure, and likely to accumulate in a rapid ratio. It is probable that the employment of the immense superfluous capital of England, which is not needed at home, will give her a strong hold in those countries where it acts to any great extent. Thus some of the companies in America have taken her mines to share half the profits: these mines, if abandoned in consequence of a contest with Great Britain, would again fill with water, overpower the unscientific native managers, and be idle, impoverishing the natives equally as much as their late revolution did, and throwing thousands out of employ. Here then is a link of interest, binding directly and indirectly a state to Great Britain; while the latter, in exports to her advantage, and an influx of the produce of the industry of the members of her community abroad, no matter in what shape, whether in goods or gold, must feel a reciprocal tie to peace on her part.
Freedom in trade is the true source of its prosperity, as liberty is of the prosperity of a nation and her advance in knowledge. Let it be free in every shape-a chartered libertine, like the air. If but one-fourth of the joint-stock speculations are effected, they will be sources of new branches of industry and wealth, and the bubbles and fraudulent schemes of the unprincipled will be soon forgotten. We must not confound them together. There are some seriously carrying into effect with the best prospects; and as far as the foresight of the experienced can go, and the opinions of men duly qualified to judge have weight, they are as likely to
succeed as similar undertakings, and have a chance of giving returns, in all events, above those of Waterloo-bridge. In considering the present question, as is often the case, joint-stock companies have been censured too indiscriminately; the want of precedent to judge of them sadly astounded the grey beards. A deliberate examination of the subject, the dismissal of prejudice, and the separation of fraudulent bubbles from the sound and reasonable class of adventures, is the only way to form a correct judgment respecting them. Even now it appears that while the fraudulent schemes are dissipating or fallen in the market, those of real value keep firm. The passion for such speculations is subsiding. Those who have suffered have only themselves to blame for their credulity in not making, as they might have done, due examination into the plans in the support of which they are sufferers; while those who scrutinized them as they should have done, and made precautionary calculations, cannot have exposed themselves to very great loss; and even then the community may reap considerable benefit. Our monied inen, ere they hazard their superfluous cash, have never been before told in our day, that even their lynx eyes require to be sharpened in pursuit of their own interests; and this class composes nine-tenths of the gainers and losers by the joint-stock mania.
[New Monthly Magazine.
SELECTED FOR THE MUSEUM.
An Essay on Apparitions, in which their Appearance is ac
counted for by Causes wholly independent of Preternatural Agency. By John Alderson, M. D. &c. of Hull. 8vo. pp.
53. Longman and Co. Sketches of the Philosophy of Apparitions; or, an Attempt to
trace such Ilusions to their physical Causes. By Samuel Hibbert, M. D. F.R.S E. &c. &c. 12mo. pp. 460. 10s. 6d. Boards. Edinburgh, Oliver and Boyd; London, Whittaker. 1824.
It no longer admits of question that apparitions have so far a real existence, that the mind of an individual who is convinced of their presence is as vividly impressed as it can be hy the common objects of sense. Without doubting, therefore, the reality of the impression, and the truth of the conviction, which have so often given solemn evidence of apparitions being seen, heard, and even felt, it has of late become the study of the philosopher to account for apparitions on natural principles, independent of all superhuman interference; and in this inquiry we owe great and lasting obligations to Dr. Alderson, Dr. Ferriar, and Dr. Hibbert. We place the name of Dr. Alderson first in this enumeration, because we think that he has fully established his claim to priority in suggesting a rational explanation of occurrences, which were previously regarded as either miraculous or altogether incredible.
We may perhaps conclude that spectral illusions arise chiefly, if not wholly, from three different sources. 1st, From deceptions of the senses; as where an object dimly seen, or indistinctly heard, is converted, under impressions of superstitious dread or powerful mental emotion, into some strange or awful form or sound. 2dly, From disorder of the bodily frame, more particularly of the digestive functions, and of the nervous system; with little or no deviation from health in the intellectual power. 3dly, From mental derangement; where, though alterations may have taken place in the corporeal instruments of thought, the bodily health is to all appearance perfectly sound.-In illustration of the first of these sources of apparitions, where the judgment forms an erroneous conclusion respecting the impression on the organs of sense, we would quote the case so well told by Dr. Ferriar; in which the light of the moon, falling on a wall, presented to a person awaking from a frightful dream the image of a shrouded corpse. Perhaps we may also, without impropriety, class under the sarne head the remarkable illusion of Lord Herbert of Cherbury. Being in much doubt whether he should publish his deistical work De Veritate, or suppress it for a time, the noble author says,
“One fair day, in the summer, my casement being open towards the south, I took my book, De Veritate, in my band, and, kneeling on my knees, devoutly said these words:
“O thou eternal God, author of the light which now shines upon me, and giver of all inward illuminations, I do beseech thee, of thy infinite goodness, to pardon a greater request than a sinner ought to make: I am not satisfied enough whether i shall publish this book De Veritate; if it be for thy glory, I beseech thee give me some sign from heaven; if not, I shall suppress it.
“I had no sooner spoken these words, but a loud, though yet gentle noise came from the heavens, (for it was like nothing on earth,) which did so comfort and cheer me, that I took my petition as granted, and that I had the sign demanded, whereupon also I resolved to print my book.
“This, how strange soever it may seem, I protest before the eternal God is true; neither am I any way superstitiously deceived herein, since I did not only clearly hear the noise, but in the serenest sky that ever I saw, being without all cloud, did to my thinking see the place from whence it came."
It is probable that, at the time stated, some sound actually reached his ear, which, under the solemn impressions of the moment, seemed to be of unearthly tone, and to have issued from that part of the serene sky on which his eye was steadfastly fixed. Dr. Hib. bert judiciously contrasts this singularly interesting story with the parallel of Colonel Gardiner's conversion.
“ The inference," he observes," which was drawn from Colonel Gardiner's story, is completely neutralized by this counterpart to it; by the fact, that, while one special sign warns a sinner of the awful consequence of slighting the gospel, another encourages a deist to publish a work, the design of which is to completely overturn the Christian religion. Such are the contradictions which a superstitious belief in apparitions must ever involve."
Of the second class of apparitions, or those arising from disorders of the bodily frame, we have very many instances on record. The