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JOURNAL OF BANKING, CURRENCY, AND FINANCE.
Average dividends of Boston banks...
215 216 218 219 223
226 227 227 228 229 230 230 231 23:
233 233 234 236 238 230 240 240
RAILROAD, CANAL, AND STEAMBOAT STATISTICS.
941 242 249 250 251 252 252
JOURNAL OF MINING AND MANUFACTURES.
253 254 255 257 258 260
262 263 264 264 265 265 265 266 266 266
TIE BOOK TRADE. Notices of 44 new Books, or new Editions....
Art. I.-INFLUENCE OF COMMERCE UPON LAW.
AGRICULTURE-COMMERCE--THE LATTER EXPANDING, GUIDING, AND GUARDING LAW-THE BARLY LAWS-THE ROMAN SYSTEM-TUK ENGLISH AND AMERICAN SYSTEM EVINCING THE INFLUENCE OF COMXERCE,
TILLAGE of the earth is the first of arts. Ordained by the Deity, it is essential to natural and social existence, and forms the basis of civilization and wealth. The artisan, merchant, and mariner, are fed mainly by the farmer; who, in affording support to life, contributes to the first principle and desire of our nature. Hence, primary encouragement and encomium are demanded by this pursuit. The ancients with propriety venerated the plow; and offered gratulations to the successful husbandman. If culture of the earth were neglected, where could moral and intellectual culture be sustained ? or, without rural districts to produce superabundant sustenance, whence would cities derive nutriment ?
The man who stands upon his own soil, who feels that by the laws of the land in which he lives--by the laws of civilized nations—he is the rightful and exclusive owner of the land which he tills, is by the constitution of our nature under a wholesome influence not easily imbibed from any other source.* The necessary labor performed in this pursuit contributes to invigorate health, and to enhance human zest and enjoyment. The domain the farmer improves, and the trees planted by his own hand—inciting his beart by expectation-seem to him as friends; and, in proportion to the toil and care bestowed, is the ardency of his attachment. Continued communion, too, with the many operations of nature, inspires generous sentiments in the human breast. Thus agriculture, the primary employment of
. E. Everett,
mankind and the seminary of steadiness and virtue, is, at once, the foundation of a nation's glory and the bulwark of its liberty. It is the supply and defense of other pursuits : the substantial timber of wealth and dominion. Out of it arise the unpolished materials and raw productions for many a science, and the elementary interests of enlightened government.
Yet this pursuit accomplishes its end by easy and sure methods, and usually requires exertions of ordinary powers without exposure to hazard or danger. Its estimation is diminished in the presence of many pursuits more precarious and unstable: those pursuits which, often requiring less rustic and more refined acquirements, demand talents more versatile with greater exposure to vicissitudes and ventures.
The sphere of the husbandman is limited ; showing less elegance and skill than rustic and rugged utility. Supplying demands of nature, it is in a great degree a stranger to cultured taste and finish, as well as to many refinements and luxuries. Yet, bound by many ties to a single locality, the agricultor in general is patriotic and loyal. He possesses habits rather monotonous than migratory; with opinions and manners but little inclined to change. Clearing and cultivating the soil, methods perhaps of hunting and fishing, the care and rearing of stock, with the plainer domestic arts and engagements, secure his attention. Digging of wells, regulation of roads, erection of bridges, habitations, barns and mills, together with edifices for education and divine worship, are calls upon his toil. Here, resort is had to mechanic arts affording implements and utensils necessary in these labors, with those needed in the plainest domestic manufactures. Articles needful for comfort are mainly fabricated by the females of the household. Diligent attention, with patient industry, keeps at bay the enemies of contentment. Games and sports of society are athletic and valiant; and efforts at endurance and hardihood are feats most praiseworthy and pleasing.
The seasons rotate with their influences and productions, while little ob scurity attends the Creator's unfoldings. The farmer, observing the progress of nature, fences and fertilizes his fields, and maintains productive his inclosures. He delves and plows with a mind to tillage, and develops the strength of the steed and ox in the toil of his domain. He is diligent to know of his flocks and herds, and to attain food and clothing for his household. Meditating upon the beauties and bounties of nature, his mind is oftener quieted to repose than quickened into action. To the hazard of conflagration he is but little exposed. Perils attending agitated waves of the Ocean seldom awaken his concern. Afar from speculative adventures and risks of precarious circumstances, he is seldom annoyed by fluctuations of trade or fanciful turns of fashion. When the harvest arrives, he hills his barns and cribs; and bis toil is rewarded in the abundance of his increase. Revulsions and panics, with sudden and overwhelming reverses in trade, find him as unconcerned as do city tumults awakened by gusts of human passion. The simple grandeur of his rural state is exempt from all complexity of business relations, and he lives free from that manifold collision of interests encompassing denizens of cities.
What arts soever are gained different from the least mature and refined, the most rustic and simple, come from er branches of society than the ag. ricultural. Without barter or Commerce, total possessions would be indigenous productions; while society would continue with few conveniences and comforts. Locked up within a single domain, uninitiated in remote and foreign observation, and destitute of distant exchanges and examples, a
simple and monotonous existence would be perpetual. Is it not Commerce that emblazons characteristics of those who appear on the ocean, that theater of enterprise and highway of nations ! Does not Commerce prompt the erection of extensive granaries, suggest internal improvements and facilitate transportation and travel ? 'Is it not Commerce that enables the agriculturist to study traditions and scan the customs and manners of other nations ! Ideas upon tilth-producing soils, merits of domestic animals, with useful merchandise and novel and marvelous objects, come floating to the farmer on the tide of Commerce.
Among the foremost aspects of Commerce is that of exchange, gift for gift. In daily intercourse, in the friendly circle, in the great life of the people, everywhere seeing thrift and prosperity, see we also trade. « Commerce," says Justice Story, " undoubtedly is traffic; but it is something more. It is intercourse.” Surplus agricultural and manufactural with scientific productions, are taken to foreign lands; and returning messengers bring innumerable commodities to increase varieties and quicken ingenuity of home. As ships' bottoms imperceptibly accumulate barnacles, so ideas enure to those engaged in trade. Exchanges and interviews in amplifying means of erudition, illuminate the understanding. Traffic appearing, the bugle sounds, awakening pursuits of science; and Commerce calls out and arrays the operatives of progress. Giving play to affluent energies, satlying out in search of gain and instruction, and emiting incitements to scrutiny, Commerce enlarges domains of discernment and skill. It elicits and confers on rough material real and fancied utility. It urges mechanic, manufactural, and artistic experiments to elaborate attention; and, in affording a broad capacity to education and science, makes special pursuits of many departments of knowledge.
Art thrives most
He catches all improvements in his flight,
Imparts what others have invented well,
And stirs his own to match them or excel.* Collisions of interests quicken human energies, and competition animates trade. Sciences, flourishing most in each other's vicinity, the commercia! metropolis presents them in their most improved pbases. Here intricate positions are prolific in their demands, and necessity is compelled to many ingenuities. Distinction of circumstances and diversities of condition multiply. Partnerships, corporations, and combinations appear. Varieties of avocations advance the public good; affording aptitudes, profoundness, and a lithe emulation to the community. In thus contributing to thrift and enlightenment, Commerce causes an influx of pursuits demanding the guidance of law.
Enactments attend traffic, and lead barter in proper channels. The past presents laws preventing artificers from leaving their country; and native laboring and manufacturing interests (encouraged to independence) bave been protected from the crippling power of free foreign competition. Commerce, not being discriminating in its importations, law has been invoked to distribute the useful and necessary, rather than the useless and evil. Vitiated and spurious commodities have been excluded by enactments, and
duties have been imposed on frivolous luxuries. Commerce thus guarded urges enterprises to diffuse advantageous plenty over the land. Years revolve, and innumerable products of other climes, facilities of comfort, ingen ious fabrics and sparkles of invention, are wafted on the wings of trade.
Extreme thirst for riches and love of competition may too adventurously run into speculations. These may drive commercial credit to an unnatural degree; causing excessive supplies to precede demands with consequent evils and miseries. Or, peradventure, the currency or other medium of action, may by ill legislation, prevent ease and regularity of commercial operations. Crises like these are deplorable; yet the history of Commerce is not a stranger to them. The fall of the improvident and prodigal with the imprudent and unfortunate, like the tower of old, is a warning to the surrounding multitude. Having scattered its effects, the crisis passes. Commerce, it may be, influences the passage of a “Bankrupt Law," and, thus disenthralled, pursues the tenor of her way.
Established on a substantial basis, enlivening Commerce vibrates with the pulsations of the nation. Eventually its voice is heard in every avenue of the land—its advantages are secured in every rural retreat—its influence is felt in every department of government. Commerces urges a crusade against uncouthness and all things unseemly; and lays open the radiant pathway of national grandeur. It encourages the neat, the elegant, and beautiful; taking to the highest point the contrivances and inventions that minister to the
graces and comforts of life. It caters to the taste fostered by Him who, reigning supreme, has attired his whole creation in countless forms of elegance and beauty; painting the flowers, giving the rose its fragrance, throwing out the arch of the rainbow, tipping the wing of the bird with gold, and filling the air with music. Scientific agriculture, gardening, horticulture, keep accompanying pace with opulent Commerce. Through the influence of Commerce, the temple of Solomon arose; and elegant architecture, painting, and statuary, with the loftiest decorations of national magnificence, owe their amplest conceptions to maturity in this pursuit. The globe is girdled by Commerce; by her the truths of nature are sought. Does she not navigate, discover, explore ? Does she not ransack continents, ascend in the air, and dive into the ocean? Does she not penetrate the earth, scale mountains, and traverse deserts? With her are found the myriad commodities of traffic, and the many pursuits of science. By her appear all that is fascinating and wonderful in nature, and all that is curious and beautiful in art: all that human kind has of wit or wisdom, of eloquence or genius, of ingenuity or science. Here we discover the field of nature, the departments of artifice and handiwork, the faculties of mind, explored by the operations of trade, and traced by the regulations of law.
Before Commerce becomes brisk or busy marts engage in enterprises, laws are few. But society in emerging from a simple, natural state, to an artificial and refined condition, brings with it innumerable developments, with corresponding enactments. In adding opulent scope to language, * Commerce throws out a potent influence
law. “There is no such witness to the degradation of the savage,” says Trench, “ as the brutal poverty of his language; nor is there anything that so effectually tends to keep him in the depths to which he has fallen." Traffic in its progress meets with terms to which the language was a stranger at its first moldings. Urging
* See vol. xxiv., Merchants' Magazine, pp. 174-80.