Слике страница

toom, and at Kaiseriych, in the interior, which being done, the fruits of their most valuable reports on the nature, extent of the produce, and demands of this country, are seen in the very extensive and valuable trade which now exists.

It may be added here that Mr. Brant, and each of his vice-consuls, are themselves engaged in Commerce.

In view of the increased relations of the United States with Turkey, and its probable future intercourse with Persia, it appears that the government at home could not evince a greater interest in the Commerce of our citizens than by establishing a commercial-consular agent at Trebizond. It can scarcely be expected that any commercial house in New York or Boston, patriotic as our merchants have always shown themselves to be, should send an agent to that place, pro bono publico, as such an agent would certainly be; and this seems to be especially the duty of a government, which derives its chief support from the Commerce of the nation. Such a public agent, if a commercial man, (and none other should receive the appointment) would be able to explore the field thus open to the manufacturing and the mechanical industry of the people of the United States; and it would not be, it is hoped, an indiscretion to add the suggestion that he be allowed by Congress a salary of $1,000 or $1,500 a year, until the advantages, or the inutility, of the agency could be ascertained. The coffee, sugar, and rum of America supplies the greater part of the vast provinces of Turkey in Europe and Asia; the cotton manufactories of New England are becoming the honest rivals of those of Old England; and it is not unreasonable to hope that they may again soon resume their place in the country where their name has been fraudulently or by stratagem assumed by English manufacturers, who forge the American stamps on their own cotton goods, so as to profit by the reputation which they had made for themselves.

In connection with the foregoing, occasion is here taken to mention the injustice shown to the common wools (and there are none others) of Turkey by the tariff now existing in the United States. "Free Trade” certainly, as a maximum, does not consist in commercial rules by which agriculture is to be benefited versus Commerce, and vice versa. The farmer does not " plow the earth” to the disadvantage of the sailor, who plows the main ” for a livelihood, and the interference of a government in behalf of either is an injurious partiality. Left to their own resources, an honest rivalry should regulate these two forms of public industry. Nor, indeed, it would seem, should manufactures be injured by the partiality felt for agriculture. This theory the writer would extend to all countries and to all climates.

Turkey produces an immense quantity of common coarse wool, which seldom costs more than eight cents per pound. No better quality of wool is raised in any part of Turkey, except the wool, or hair, of the white goats of Angora. It can, therefore, never become a rival to the wools raised in the United States, (if, indeed, so ungenerous an apprehension is entertained,) and should not be considered as such; and yet, in this light, Turkey wools are taxed by the present tariff, with but little advantage to the American grower, and greatly to the disadvantage of the manufacturer, while the French, English, and German cloths are introduced at a rate of duty unequal to the prohibition put upon the raw material.

In England, " things are managed better;" the manufacturer has no obstacles thrown in his way of making cloths to compete with those imported, if this, indeed, is practicable, and for the supply of foreign markets. And

with the cheap water-power to propel the looms of thrifty New England, what nation in the world is better qualified for the economical manufacture of cloth, if permitted by the tariff? With a duty of 1 per cent on all common wools, they are freely introduced into England, where they are manufactured into cloths for the people of the United States, cheaper than they can now make them for themselves, notwithstanding the facilities given them so bounteously by nature. This, under a better and more liberal tariff, would be different, and not only could the manufacturer soon make cloths for the people of the United States as cheap as they now can purchase them from the English importer, but export them to Turkey and elsewhere in return for the raw material; and this, too, without any wrong done to the American wool grown at home.

As by the liberal nature of the “Free Trade” system of the Ottoman government, all American goods and merchandise are admitted into Turkey on an ad valorem duty of 5 per cent, the excessive duty on the raw staple of the trade with the Cnited States is considered an injustice and want of reciprocity. The native merchants of Constantinople have made an appeal to the Sultan's government, requesting it to use its influence with the government of the United States, to make a change in its tariff in their favor, and the subject may be soon laid before Congress, with what result yet rests to be learned.

J. P. B. CONSTANTINOPLE, April, 1852.


“There's a divinity that shapes our ends
Rough-hew them how we will."

In the rise and fall of nations we behold the comprehensive and perpetual tendency of Divine purpose and power. His guiding cloud, somber or effulgent, is appointed to teach individuals and communities when to advance and when to pause. The most superficial survey of history is sufficient to teach us that Providence exercises an unceasing superintendence over human affairs, and that the consequences of both public acts and private intentions are subjected to permanent laws, the immediate sequences of which may not be clearly seen, but the ultimate result of which can never be wrong.

Two grand principles were recognized and proclaimed by the better minds of pagan antiquity, namely, the immortal might of man's aspirations, and his eternal progressiveness under the beneficent care of Providence.

Touching the first, Sophocles, in Antigone, expressed as follows the deep sense native to every emulative soul :—“Many things are wonderful, and nothing more wonderful than man: he can pass beyond the foaming sea, scudding through the waves as they roll around him; he wears away the wearied and inexhaustible earth, the highest of the goddesses, by means of the plow, which yearly turns it up by the strength of horses; and he catches also the tribe of any birds, casting lines around them, and all kinds of fierce beasts, and the race dwelling under the sea, with meshy well-woven Dets; and by his artifice he entraps the wild beasts traversing the deserts, VOL. XXVII.-NO. I.


and leads the shaggy-maned horse by the yoke round his neck, and the untamed bull of the mountains; and he learns oratory and perception quick as the wind, and civil polity, and is able to extricate himself from every difficulty, to escape being exposed to the air and keen driving showers of the barren and homeless hills; he comes upon nothing of the future without being able to extricate himself: from deatb alone he can effect no escape.

Again, it is clear that a belief in an especial protection from on high bas ever been deemed indispensible to ennoble human motives, and furnish adequate support in time of danger. Cicero says the immortal gods provide not only for the general necessities of men, but also for those of each man in particular, extending their protection not only to whole continenta and cities, but also to each of their inhabitants ; so that such men as Curius, Fabricius, Metellus, Cato, Scipio, and Lælius, never rose to their great merit without divine aid. Hence it was, he continues, that all the poets, and especially Homer, have assigned certain divinities to their heroes, in order to accompany them, and assist them in all their adventures, as in the case of Ulysses, Diomedes, Agamemnon, and Achilles. And that disposition to regard men as the instruments of a supernatural power to fulfi divine decrees, is well represented in the dying words of Patroclus to Hector: “Rejoice now, Hector, for Jove has given you victory." The ancients did not think that it derogated from the glory of a hero to ascribe his triumphs to an over-ruling power. Sylla imputed all his success to fortune; thinking, says Plutarch, that such an opinion added an air of greatness and even of divinity to his actions. Zenophon records the argument of Socrates in combating Aristodemus, who held an opinion like modern sceptics, that the Deity was above condescending to take any interest in the concerns of men. Sophocles, in a magnificent passage of the Electra, paints the impotent prosperity of the wicked. And with what force and majesty does the genius of Demosthenes proclaim like truth to his desponding countrymen! * Truly, 0 Athenians, I should regard Philip as a most formidable and overwhelming advesary, if I believed him acting justly; but it is not possible, O Athenians, that a power should be permanent which is marked with injustice, and perjury, and falsehood.

Diodorus affirmed that piety towards heaven is essential to the magnanimity of a nation; and Plato said, with equal justice, that the spirit of reverence is a better inheritance than gold. Plotimus taught that God should be praised in the things we understand, and admired in those which we understand not; while Socrates, catching some rays of still brighter inspiration from afar, felt that “a mortal nature could never rise to such greatness as to despise the force of animals of superior power, to pass over the sea, to build cities, to found states, to observe the heavens, to behold the circles of the stars, and the courses of the sun and the moon, their times of rising and setting, their eclipses, and return of the equinoxes, and the solstices, and the pleiades, the winter and summer, the winds and the showers, and the destructive path of the lightning, and to immortalize the events of the world by monuments, unless there were indeed a divine spirit in the soul from which it possessed such knowledge; that, therefore, man passes not to death but to immortality; and that instead of experiencing a loss, he will become capable of pure enjoyment, independent of a mortal body, unalloyed and void of every uneasiness ; and when once delivered from this prison, he will arrive where all things are without labor, without

groans, without old age, where there is constant peace and calm, a state of contemplation and loving wisdom, in which one was not to address a multitude, but truth itself, which flows round on all sides."

Thus we see that the nations of old were conscious of immortality, and of an overruling Providence. But we have a more sure word of testimony unto which we will do well to take heed, until the day dawn and the daystar arise. We are the creatures of a moment, but the heirs of eternity. Neither ourselves, our acts, nor our God are accidents. No race or nation, art or science, discovery or invention, but is divinely subordinated, in its right time and place to the accomplishment of its particular mission. There is much meaning in Baxter's axiom : "Man proposeth, but God disposeth." Let us apply this thought to human pursuits in general, and to Commerce in particular.

Why did not Jebovah plant the Jewish institutes on the steppes of Asia, and unfold the diviner splendors of Christianity in the central solitudes of America ? The omnipotent and omniscient God is the last to waste his strength or misemploy his wisdom in acts which are incompatible with the highest good of the greatest number of his creatures. The order of his government, and the disbursement of his resources, are especially designed to teach us the grace of common sense, so that, while we devoutly implore heavenly assistance, we may discreetly husband its earthly use.

The celestial guide which rose on the view of the wise men in the east, led them westward towards the sea, and has ever since been the pole-star of human progress. Civilization has always moved “o'er the western main," while Commerce has been its chief instrument aad perpetual channel. The grandest throne of power is water, not land. The banner nation of the world, whose ascendency is most pervading and complete, is the one in whose hand lies the scepter of the seas. All civilized people have ever lived where great rivers formed free arenues to thought, and the grandeur of oceans was at once the field and nutriment of national power. There is no wealth, material, mental, or moral, that is not identified with exchange. Without diversity, there can be no development; and out of the widest difference, the highest and most harmonious unity is a natural result. This is made legitimate by the law of God, instances of which appear at every advance of human progress.

All the active races of antiquity occupied the shores of the Mediterranean. Its maritime climate, blending oceanic softness with continental rigor, teemed with the densest and most diversified population. Cities studded its coasts ; fleets plowed its billows; mental and commercial wealth coursed along its mirror of all grandeur for ages, when as yet the pagan Olympus reflected in its depths, and the goddess of beauty emerging therefrom, were the only faith and hope those vast multitudes enjoyed. But a new era dawned with a splendor that eclipsed mythologic fables and Jewish traditions. At the eastern extremity of this central sea, at an equal distance from the three continents, and in the exact center of the known world, God raised the sublimest curtain of his purpose, and unfolded the glory of redemption. The promised land was first selected as the sanctuary of religious truth during the reign of polytheism, and as the theater for the preliminary wonders of salvation, in order to prepare its way from afar among men, and subordinate to its service the most intellectual and active influences of which history preserves a memorial, and mankind has enjoyed the fruits.

God and the whole destinies of nations are sometimes most manifestly on board a single ship, struggling with adverse elements far out on the deep. Take a well-known illustration. About thirty years after the ascension of Christ, a vessel from the east came into the harbor of Syracuse, and, after a delay of three days, proceeded towards the great western port of her destination. Suppose there had been at that time an enterprising commercial journal published at Puteoli. Suppose a news-boat were kept on the lookout, and a telegraph from Rhegium, the southern city of the peninsula, transmitted every arrival to the editor's chair. Word comes, is put on the exchange bulletin and published to the common eye: “Ship Castor and Pollux, from Alexandria, Captain Zebulon, is coming up, with a cargo of wheat consigned to Barter, Gain, and Co., of this city, and lot of prisoners under Colonel Julius, bound to the imperial dungeons of Rome.” Probably there might have been a little talk about the wheat in the Mark Lane of that day, but who reflected on the real import of that simple and common place dispatch ? Who had the profound sagacity to see concentrated in that single, transient craft, the wealth of Africa, genius of Asia, and power of Europe ? In that hold lay the sifted treasure of the primitive university and grapary of nations; every seed of which, to the end of the earth, is predestined to spring with a potency and productiveness that will shake like Lebanon, That citizen of Tarsus, the central city of the central continent, with fetters now corroding his flesh and eating like aspics to his soul, has absorbed into his magnificent nature the solidity of the north and the splendor of the south ; a sea of glass mingled with fire; all treasures that genius can create or industry acquire; with the superaddition of that infinite superiority which grace alone confers; and all this aggregate of mental and spiritual endowment he bears in bonds to the throne of the Cesars, that thence he may rend the chains of the world. Each separate link wet with his tears or tinged with his blood, like the iron that pierced his Lord, scattered in fragments by the outburst of latent divinity, shall give hope to the despairing everywhere, the highest freedom to both faculty and limb. European power has its fitting representative in the centurion, first cowering in the storm and finding safety in the wisdom and forbearance of the piety it persecutes, and then, perchance, exulting in the arbitrary might of martial force, by which another victim is added to the last of dominion and the pride of kings.

Christianity came to Rome at the auspicious hour, when all antecedent powers had been wrought into effective instrumentalities for the widest and most rapid diffusion of the gospel. With pickax and spade, her legions had been toiling for centuries to construct spacious roads, by means of which apostles might compass the ends of the earth. Whatever may be the selfish aim of man, his skill and power are predestined perpetually to construct improved supports to the weary wings of the heavenly dove, as she speeds from shore to shore with the tidings of love and peace. She was first pulled in at the window of the ark, because that craft admitted no other rest; but the ships Solomon laid under contribution to religious purposes were differently rigged, and the celestial emblem voyaged at mast-head. In modern times, Providence evermore simplifies natural elements, and recombines their potencies in almost supernatural energy, so as to send the sanctuary of all ennobling influence, “tramp, tramp, along the earth, splash, splash, across the sea;" and that dove, quickened and fortified by the contact, flies, as the lightning darts, from clime to clime.

Look at the seat of this society, its surrounding facilities, sublime duties, and cheering results. Old Johnny, the Britisher, had a pretty respectable

« ПретходнаНастави »