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mittee has issued a pamphlet setting out the 'Important Questions arising under the Finance Act, which will have to be decided by the referees or the Courts.' These are no fewer than fifteen in number, and the list is increasing. Many of the disputed points are vital, yet the Commissioners seem in no hurry to get any of them settled authoritatively, but are trying to get valuations accepted by ignorant or careless owners, while the Courts have not yet had the opportunity of deciding these points. The valuations, nevertheless, once accepted, are final, however bad they may be. The Government has refused to allow them to be re-opened, and no wonder, for it is hardly likely that any but a small minority of the valuations alleged to have been already 'made' would bear the light of day before any impartial tribunal.
While this article was in the press a debate took place in the House of Commons, on the 20th of June, upon the motion of Mr. Royds for a reduction in the estimate for expenses of the Land Valuation Office. The closely reasoned speeches of Mr. Royds and of Mr. Pretyman, in support, were in marked contrast to the flabby and evasive defence of the Chancellor and Mr. Masterman. The Chancellor was forced to concede an inquiry by experts into the working of the valuation. This will be an invaluable committee, if it is not packed beforehand by the Government, and if the scope of its inquiry is not purposely narrowed.
Three years have now elapsed since the commencement of the Finance Act. All, and more than all, the adverse criticism passed upon it has been justified, while nothing whatever can be said in its favour.
Are not these considerations conclusive that all that part of the Act which is concerned with the new land taxes based on the so-called valuation ought to be completely repealed at the earliest possible moment, even if there were not the additional reason that the net financial contribution of these taxes to the State revenue appears likely to be always a minus quantity?
It is a pity the Liberal-Radical party does not itself repeal its failure, for the sake of its own reputation, if not that of the British Parliament; but this can hardly be hoped for. However, it is difficult to conceive any Unionist Chancellor of the Exchequer continuing to flog a dead horse like the Finance Act. He could get no honest revenue by it, and could earn nothing but odium and obloquy from his own party, not to mention the numerous Liberals and Radicals who are equally disgusted with the 'People's Budget.'
SOME FOREIGNERS IN SHAKESPEARE'S
Of those who are interested in the England of the past probably a greater number are attracted by Elizabetha'n times than by any other one period, and one of the points of view from which information may be gained is the visitors' point of view. Superficial and partial and uncomprehending as it is bound to be to a greater or less extent, there is a certain unusual perspective about it which brings out truths which would otherwise be dimmer, and every now and then with their help a fact or two comes to light to contribute to the sum total of research.
Now if anyone was wanting to inquire into this point of view as applied to this period, it is fairly certain that ninety-nine librarians in a hundred could direct him to no source but W. B. Rye's England as Seen by Foreigners in the Days of Elizabeth and James 1., 1865. Mr. Rye was a British Museum official with plenty of friends, but his work can be supplemented with several accounts that escaped his notice, besides those that have been printed since, and the contemporary correspondence, of which no one can say that he has come to the end of it. With two of the more interesting visitors, Princess Cecily of Sweden and Jakob Sobieski, afterwards Marshal of the Polish Diet, I have dealt in my Touring in 1600. I therefore omit them now; beginning with Nathan Chytraeus. The latter's name was, indeed, known to Rye as the editor of a collection of inscriptions, some of which he had copied in England in 1586. But he also left an itinerary of his journeys in Latin verses, a few score of which describe his visit to London and Oxford. Unfortunately, these are one more example of the general rule that when an educated man of the sixteenth century had nothing to say he said it in Latin verse. It is worth while noting, however, his complaints about the extortionate dues exacted at the two ports which did practically all the cross-Channel business on the English coast : Rye, where he landed, and Dover, whence he departed. He gives no clue to the exact sum, except in saying that at Dover he' was swindled out of gold.' That the dues were heavy to an unprotected foreigner is very probable, but at Dover he was very likely having property confiscated without knowing it. A few years earlier, at the beginning of Queen Mary's reign, a Frenchman named Perlin found that a pedestrian might take no more than ten crowns, a horseman twenty, out of England, a French crown being equal to about 6s. English then, when money was worth, say, seven or eight times its present value. Two Germans, who came over in 1599 and 1618 (or soon after) respectively, give the limit as 101. Now a foreigner who was careless about money matters might well avoid knowing these regulations, as did Erasmus, till too late. Yet it was entirely his own fault if he lost by them. It was the custom throughout Europe. While at Lyons, one of the chief travellers' centres, the limit went as high as 100 crowns (say, 1801. at present rates), at Rome, according to an edict of 1592, no more than five gold crowns (say 81.) were allowed to any one person departing, and from Spain no gold was permitted to go at all; indeed, Spanish towns frequently enforced this rule against each other. And so elsewhere according to circumstances. Moreover, remitting through merchants on paper could easily be arranged at an average cost of 10 per cent. ; goods could be bought, taken across, and then realised; those who accompanied an ambassador, the most usual course for tourists then, were exempt from search, and finally, a clause of exemption up to some higher sum could be inserted in the passport by means of influence.
Money matters do not enter into the narrative of the next on the list, the Italian philosopher, Giordano Bruno. In fact, he never set about writing any narrative at all, but part of his experiences came into print in this way.
Talking one day to Fulke Greville about his belief that the earth moved, it was agreed that on Wednesday week he should come to midday dinner at Fulke Greville's house, and afterwards discuss the question with learned men invited for the purpose. They were to be really learned and intelligent men, not such as Bruno had hitherto met in England, whose methods of reasoning seemed to bim to savour rather of the ploughman. Taking this into account, it was all the more unfortunate that he arrived as late as he did, and all the more necessary, therefore, for everybody to know why he was too late. For this reason the second dialogue in his Ash Wednesday Supper ('La Cena de la Ceneri') consists not of Copernican reasoning, but of an account of a foreigner trying to find his way by night in London in 1584.
He prefaced the meeting in a characteristic way, omitting to keep the appointment because he had beard nothing further about it. He went to see some Italian friends and returned after sunset. At his door he found Florio and one 'Maestro Guin' awaiting bim, to implore him to be quick and come, many gentlemen were awaiting his arrival, high-born and learned ; so rare a company that it even included one whose name was identical with that of the philosopher-errant-Brown. Well, said Bruno, let us start, and pray God be with us this dark evening through so long a journey; and the streets so unsafe.
All the way was a straight road, but to save time they went down to the river to go by boat. After waiting as long a time at the wharf by Lord Buckhurst's as would have sufficed to walk to their destination and attended to one or two other things as well, crying the while 'oars' (" id est, gondolieri "), two boatmen answered, and very, very slowly neared the bank, and after many questions and answers as to where, why, how, and how many, hove to at the steps, one looking like Charon; the other, his son, being only about sixty-five. Thereupon
Gemuit sub pondere cymba
Sutilis, et multam accepit limosa paludem. Bruno said he now believed the tale of the Walls of Thebes being musical, so responsive were these timbers to the music of the waves; whereat they laughed, not without danger, for every least movement made itself heard throughout the boat and the sides gave wherever they were touched. To pass the time Florio sang (in memory of his love affairs) Il dove senza me dolce mia vita, and Bruno contributed Il saracin dolente. And much time there was to pass; for in spite of worms and age having reduced the boats to such a state that they ought to have moved like cork, they seemed, in fact, to be leaden ones rowed by broken arms, instead of with the long strong pull that a philosopher-errant has a right to expect of those who have the privilege of rowing him.
A third of the way through the boatmen turned to the shore. Why? Because they had reached their station. And from that decision they would not budge. After paying and thanking them, 'the customary thing in London when one receives illtreatment from the lower classes,' Bruno led the way up to the highway, or rather, thought the muddy track he spied was the way, but before he had finished saying 'follow me' his legs were so deep in mud that he could not get them out by himself. Yet they persisted, helping each other, until they reached a spot which combined the characteristics of a ford of mud and a blind alley. Their eyes were no use; it was pitch dark; they could no more see the way to return than a way to proceed; they just held their heads with their hands and splashed about up to their knees in the river of mud, that was slowly wending its way down the Thames. Their thoughts turned to the blind man in the tragedy :
Dov'il fatal destin mi guida cieco,
But by God's grace, since, as Aristotle says, 'non datur infinitum in actu,' they at length arrived at a spot which was no worse than boggy, with a path beside it which the bog had not quite engulfed, dry enough to unfetter their feet, though uneven enough to imperil heads and legs. Along this they succeeded in reaching the highway-twenty paces from the door they had started from! They decided to try again, this time by road, and this time successfully, without further hindrance than a punch on Bruno's shoulder from one of six jolly Englishmen whom they met with, to which Bruno replied with · Tanchi [i.e. thank ye], maester,' because the blow had not fallen on the top of his head or anywhere else more sensitive.
The narrative being put in the form of a dialogue permits the more easily of a digression being inserted on the characteristics of Londoners. From this we learn that the upper classes could be, and generally were, charming, but the middle and lower were the worst in Europe ; and this is the usual view taken by foreigners, except the mathematician Cardano, who was here in Edward the Fourth's reign, and saw some good even in the London mob. Artisans and shopkeepers, says Bruno, on catching sight of a foreigner, make faces at you, grin, laugh, hoot, call out 'dog, * traitor,' 'foreigner,' the last word being in the highest degree insulting, qualifying anyone for the reception of any outrage from anybody. The use of force in reprisals provokes the appearance of an army that seems to spring up out of the ground, but in reality rushes out of the shops, flourishing a forest of sticks, poles, halberds, partisans, and rusty pitchforks, which, given them for better purposes, are always held ready for such occasions. And when you are thinking to depart in peace at last, to rest at home, or be rendered presentable again by the barber, the crowd turn themselves into so many officers of justice if they can make any pretence of one of their number having been touched. Carriers of water or beer knock into you with the vessels they carry, if you are not careful to move aside as they come, and they are men who could damage a house if they butted into that. Serving-men disarm you with a friendly greeting, and then deliver a brutal blow; others will hide behind a booth, and come out charging upon you like an angry bull from the side or from behind. One Alessandro Citoline got a broken arm that way, at which the people roared with laughter, and the magistrate saw nothing reprehensible in it.
Eleven years later we come upon Hans Jakob Breuning von Buchenbach, better known as a traveller in the East. He had been in England seventeen years earlier, he says; but this time a Teport had to be written for Duke Frederick of Württemberg, who had sent him to negotiate for the Order of the Garter. The Duke
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