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than to provide against such a possibility, by giving to others, in such a case, the right of supplying the demand, reserving to the proprietor a certain portion of the profits ? No other argument can be used which is not equally or more applicable against every kind of hereditary reward.
The injustice of the existing law will appear more striking if we call to mind the instances in which books have acquired no marketable value till the author's right in them had expired. Without going back to the Paradise Lost, it will be sufficient to mention Collins, now not undeservedly one of our most popular poets, whose poems find their way into every selection, and are printed in every possible form. So long was it before the public discovered the beauty of his odes, that after the greater part of the first impression had lain for years in the publisher's warehouse, Collins indemnified him for the loss which he had sustained in publishing them, and burnt the remaining copies. In France, whenever a play of Corneille or Molière is performed, the representatives of those authors have a claim on the theatre. A fair portion of the profits of every edition should be secured, in like manner, to the author and his representatives in perpetuity. If this were done, men who devote themselves to great literary undertakings, and are contented with the anticipation of posthumous fame, would not have to reproach themselves that they are sacrificing the welfare of their children to a profitless and thankless pursuit.
The French government has imposed a tax of a centième per sheet upon all books in which the copy-right belonging to the author or his heirs has expired. How properly, if the laws upon this subject were rendered equitable, might a fund for the encouragement of literature be raised in this manner from the works of those great and standard writers who have left no representatives? We have, it is true, a literary fund for the relief of distressed authors, the members of which dole out their alms in sums of five, ten, and twenty pounds, (never, we believe, exceeding the latter sum,) dine together in public once a year, write verses in praise of their own benevolence, and recite them themselves. Nothing can be more evident, than that such liberality is as useless to literature as it is pitiful in itself. The wretched author who applies to these literary overseers, receives about as much from the bounty of the Ge
prayers and praises are daily offered to the Most High, the absurd and impious epitaph upon the tablet raised to one of the miserable retailers of his impurities? We have too much charity 10 proceed with the quotation. Returning then to the point, iu illustration of which tvis menorable passage has been adduced, it is evident that, if this writer, or any person intected with the same deplorable superstition, were sole proprie. tor of Shakespeare's works, he would deem himself guilty of soul-murder if he spared any means of suppressing them.
neral Committee as the law would have entitled him to, in the course of twelve months, if he had applied to the parish to support him and his family as paupers. The Literary Fund provides no present employment for the hungry and willing labourer, and holds out no hope for the future; a first donation operates against a second claim; a second or third becomes a bar to any farther bounty, and the learned mendicant who leans upon the broken reed is abandoned by it in prison, or turned over to the parish or the hospital at last.
There is neither the grace nor the virtue of charity in distributions of this kind, and were the money, which is annually thus expended, disbursed in well-directed alms, a far greater sum of good would be obtained. He who, from his own means, relieves a case of individual distress, does good at the same time to his own heart; and that which is wisely and bountifully given blesses him that takes as well as him that gives. But in this joint-stock-patronagecompany, a donation is paid and received like a poor-rate, --save only that there is rather more humiliation on the part of the receiver, who, in this case, solicits, as a charity, what, in the other, he would bave claimed as a right.
The way to relieve the distresses of literary men is not by this bounty upon mendicity--not by a miserable pittance which rescues a poor wretch once, perhaps, from the spunging-house, but cannot ultimately save him from the jail. The way to relieve them honourably and effectually, is by furnishing them with employment, and thus rendering them useful; and the government, which should establish an academy for this purpose, among others, would confer greater benefit upon literature than it has ever received from the most boasted benefactors. There will always be men who will pursue the severest researches with all the ardour of passion; and these men, from the very ardour with which they devote themselves to such pursuits, neglect the things of this world. There will always be enough of vational work in which such men may be employed. We are yet without a dictionary of our language worthy to be mentioned with those which the Italian, French, and Spanish academies have produced. . All the intellectual remains of our Celtic and Gothic ancestors should be carefully edited in collected bodies-- Irish, Welsh, Gaelic, and Saxon. The writings of great men which remain inedited, because, from their nature, the publication can never answer a bookseller's purpose, should be given to the world of letters by a national academy, under whose sanction & sufficient sale would be insured to preveni loss. Labours of national utility like these will employ as many as inclination shall lead to this calling for generations, and an annual aid from government, wbich would scarcely be perceived in the year's expenditure, would
YOL, VII. NO. Xy.
prevent the recurrence of those real calamities which fill many of Mr. D’Israeli's pages, and which, when their work of ruin upon the individual has been consummated, remain a lasting opprobriun to the country.
ART. VII. The History of the European Commerce with India.
To which is subjoined, a Review of the Arguments for and against the Trade with India, and the Munagement of it by a Chartered Company. With an Appendix of authentic Accounts. By David Macpherson, Author of the Annals of Commerce,
&c. London; Longman and Co. 1812. OUR UR dominion in the East is at present so extensive, and our
commerce with the independent countries of Asia so valuable, that it is become more than ever essential to decide
policy which shall appear best adapted to the preservation of our distant territories, and to the farther improvement of our commercial advantages. That the actual extent of both is owing to the exertions of a great company, invested by the legislature with an exclusive privilege is notorious; and it cannot be denied that the uniform success of their measures bears evidence to the general wisdom and energy of their councils : but it is contended that their monopoly has been at all times injurious to the interests of the community at large; that it was originally granted to them only as a temporary concession, and at a period when the true principles of trade were very ill understood ; that though renewed and contirmed ' to them in every subsequent charter, it has, at each renewal, excited very general dissatisfaction in the mercantile world; and that if the notorious absurdity of discouraging competition and confining the profits of any trade to one privileged body was at all defensible, whilst the best mode of conducting such a trade was matter of experiment, there can be no excuse for the same restrictions when that mode has been fully ascertained, and when the diffusion of wealth is no less extensive than the diffusiou of knowledge. On the other hand, the advocates for an adherence to the established system are not less sanguine in its defence; alleging the experience of other European nations as well as our own, and confidently appealing to the many decisions of Parliament in its favour; decisions which, being formed on a fair and public investigation of the arguments on both sides, cannot have been invariably adverse to equity and common sense. The question now, once more, awaits the determination of the legislature.
For the purpose of forming an opinion of the merits of such a Bontroversy, it is necessary to acquire a competent knowledge of
the facts, which may have been more or less distorted in the contradictory allegations of the opposite parties, before we proceed to à discussion of the inferences deduced from them. But to obtain this preliminary knowledge was, before the publication of the present work, an enterprize of no inconsiderable labour. The Abbé Raynal, it is true, had published about the year 1774, bis · Philosophical and Political History,' containing a short and masterly account of the commercial relations of India with the principal naa tions of Europe; but, besides that the documents from which he composed this compendium were often inaccurate, his information reaches no farther than 1778; so that the history of the last thirty years, a period the most instructive and important that has occurred in the whole annals of our trade, was still wanting: and Mr. Macpherson has undertaken to supply the deficiency. The task, we think, could not have fallen into better hands.
Of the plan and execution of the present volume, it would not be in our power to give a more concise or accurate description than that which is contained in the following extracts from the author's preface.
· Though the India' trade of the ancients was so very different from that of the moderns, that it may seem scarcely necessary to connect them, I have thought that a very brief sketch of it, prior to the famous voyage of Gama, would be a proper introduction to the work, and ren. der it somewhat more complete within itself.
. Some may perhaps think, that the history of the commerce of our own country with India is all that can be interesting to a British reader, and that the history of the India trade of the European continental nations is superfluous. But, as the great use of history is to teach by example, the knowledge of the past being the only guide we can have in forining a judgment concerning the future, it is of great importance to know the events, which have promoted the prosperity, or brought on the decline, of the India trade of all the nations of Europe, who have en tered into it.
· The India trade of Portugal, conducted, without any knowledge of the principles of commerce, for the sole account of the sovereign, in subservience to a sanguinary system of conquest, rapine, and persecution, and liable to be deranged by the caprices of a rapid succession of ignorant, arbitrary, and avaricious Viceroys, is particularly worthy of attention, as holding out a most important lesson to every nation connected with India, and most especially to this nation, whose India company, by means infinitely more just and honourable, have acquired a much more compact, and, we may hope, more permanent, empire, than the Portugueze possessed in the most splendid period of their domination.
· The history of the India trade of France and some other countries shows the fatal consequence of commercial companies depending for their pecuniary resources on the bounty or favour of government, and
especially of an absolute government, and being subject to the interference and direction of such a government.
• The East-India Company of this country have risen, from a very small beginning, through innumerable hardships and distresses at home and in India, to a height of opulence and power, which has made them the admiration and envy of the nations. In tracing their progress I have endeavoured to lay before the reader every important event, which has obstructed or promoted their prosperity: and, as the facts I have narrated rest upon the unquestionable authority of original records and official documents, I trust they may be confidently referred to by every enlightened politician and merchant, who may wish to appreciate the political and commercial importance of the greatest commercial company that ever existed in any age or country.'-Pref. pp. ii, iii.
In order to make the reader acquainted with the claims and the proposals of the opponents of the company, and of the arguments which have been adduced for and against the justice and policy of conducting the trade under the management of a joint-stock company, invested with a modified exclusive privilege, I have endeavoured to lay before him a fair abridged review, or abstract, of what has been said on both sides of this important controversy, which forms a proper sequel to the historical narrative. I foresee that the advocates for open trade will accuse me of partiality to the company. But I can very sincerely declare, that, if any such partiality exists, it has been produced in my mind by a strict attention to facts, and a careful examination of the arguments on both sides, which have led to a conviction, contrary to the opinion I entertained many years ago, that an abolition, or even a diminution, of the commercial or political privileges of the East-India Company would deprive this empire of a great part, perhaps the whole, of the valuable trade, carried on by them with such distinguished preeminence over the East-India trade of all other nations, and would go far to destroy that mutual dependence of the several branches of the legislature, which is esteemed the great perfection of the British constitution.'- p.iv.
The accounts contained in the Appendix comprehend a thesaurus of unquestionable information, which ought to be the foundation of all arguments concerning the India trade, and they are presented in a very compendious form, for the use of those who desire to think for themselves.
• The map, which accompanies this work, has been constructed under my own immediate direction, and contains every oriental country and place mentioned in it, except some small forts on the island of: Bombay, and two or three places, of which the position is now unknown.
• Though the work, which I now presume to lay before the public, is compressed into one moderate-sized volume, I have employed, in obtaining and digesting the materials of it, all the time I could spare from other avocations during a considerable number of years, or rather, in some degree, during the greatest part of my life-time; as commercial history has occupied a good deal of my attention, ever since I have