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forth in a Return subsequently ordered by the ing that the port of departure should be Committee, whereby it appears that the number changed from Weymouth to Southampton : of registered letters to be dealt with in the trav- but the Post-Office hesitated to accept the elling-office, during its whole journey from London to Preston, averages as high as sir each offer, on the ground that the change of port trip! It is curious that a Return, fraught with would inflict a serious inconvenience on the evidence so convincing on a point so important, foreign correspondence of the kingdom. Mr. should have been so little cared for that, though Hill was directed to investigate the case, and certainly laid on the table of the Committee, it he distinctly proved, that the change of port was omitted in the printed Report.
would, on the whole, benefit the foreign cor“ And such being the facts of the case, Colo
The nel Maberly gravely anticipates an increase of respondence rather than otherwise. registered letters so enormous and so vast that mails on land are no less the subject of costhe does not believe that three travelling post- | 1y blundering. On the Birmingharn and Glouoffices could do the duty.' Thus assuming an cester line, two special trains are hired at increase of, at the very least, a thousand-fold; an annual cost of 10,5001. per annum, whereas which would give a net revenue from this source one would suffice, and 50001. a year be saved. alone of two millions per annum.” We have an amusing instance of Post-Office
“Another measure, to which I will call the at
tention of the Committee, was one for regulating fears on this subject :
the space occupied in railway trains by the “ Groundless, however, as the alarm of an Post-Office, for conveyance of the mails and the overwhelming number of registered letters may guards. When I went to the Treasury, the reseem to the uninitiated, it is by no means with ports from the Post-Office gave no information out a parallel in Post-Office proceedings. Thus, which could enable the Treasury to form a judg. for instance, while I was at the Treasury, addi- ment as to whether this very large item of expense tional allowances to two postmasters (at Swin- was adjusted with due regard to economy; I ford and Ballaghaderin in Ireland) were pro- therefore prepared a form to be followed on posed, on the ground that the money-order busi- every such occasion, which provided for giving ness had become so heavy that each postmaster the necessary particulars. Having investigated was obliged to engage a clerk to attend to that the returns so framed as they came in, I soon duiy alone. The accounts in the Post-Office found in a majority of instances that the space would of course have supplied a check to this in the carriages set apart for the mails was unstatement; but it came to the treasury vouched, necessarily great; in one instance, a day-mail first by the surveyor of the district, second by between York and Normanton, 'though the the Dublin office, and third by the London office. maximum weight of the mail-bags was only 30 lbs. The Treasury, at my suggestion, however, call-|(about equal to that of a passenger's luygage), ed for information as to the actual number of the Post-Office occupied the space inside the money-orders paid and issued by each office in carriage of sixteen passengers, at a cost of 1s. a given time; and, after the lapse of a year, the 4d. per mile, whereas under proper arrangements information was supplied, when it appeared that the expense would probably have been about the average number of money-orders paid and 2d. a mile, the charge by the ordinary trains issued, when taken together, was in one office being usually in direct proportion to the space only two, and in the other only three, per day. occupied. In consequence of this very startling I advised the rejection of the proposed allowan- discovery, the Post-Office was directed to report ces; but this question, with many others of a upon the state of all the railway lines in this resimilar character, remained undecided when my spect, with a view to preparing some very strinduties were interrupted ?—Evid., p. 92. gent regulations for putting a stop to the waste
of public money which was then going on, and From what has already been exhibited in which may be proceeding at this moment for this
paper, no one can be surprised to find aught I know to the contrary; the report hownumerous examples exposed to the Commit- to an end. In the absence of the required infor
ever was not received when my services came tee, manifesting great extravagance in the mation, it is impossible to offer more than a management of the Post-Office. Thus Mr. rude estimate of the loss resulting from this misHill recommended certain changes in the management; but, forming the best judgment I conveyance of the Dublin mail, tending to a can on the facts which came before me, I cansaving of about 50,0001. per annum, whilst not put it at a less sum than 10,0001. a year."* they would have accelerated the conveyance between London and Dublin, but he was not
We shall conclude this branch of the sublistened to. Again, with the packets to the ject with one instance, which it is peculiarly Channel Islands :-in 1841, the cost of two
the business of this Review to notice. packets carrying the mails was about 70001. « The next and last case under this head per annum, and a third was to be appointed, (Economy] is the new postal treaty with France, which would increase the expense to 90001. per annum. Certain persons in Jersey offered
* Large as this amount is, it will scarcely appear
excessive, when it is considered that the waste of to contract for the conveyance of the mail money thus going on in tbis single case was at the thrice a week, for 30001. per annum, stipulat-rate of aboui 5001. per annum.
which, however excellent in its general objects gentleman declined to exercise.
Mr. Hill and effects, is, in consequence of important appealed to Mr. Goulburn, who thus answererrors in the details, operating very unfavorably ed :on our portion of the revenue derived from the united postage, French and English, on letters “I have given my best attention to all that you between the two countries. Our scale of post- have stated, but I still retain the opinion which age, as the Committee will bear in mind, ascends I have before expressed, that it would not be exby half-ounces up to one ounce, and then by pedient to retain your services for a longer
The French scale, on the other hand, period than that to which they are at present limascends by quarter-ounces. Several important ited. I can assure you that, in coming to this results flow from this distinction, as every letter, conclusion, it is very far from my intention to imin regard to a portion of its postage, is under ply that there has been on your part any neglect the quarter-ounce scale; the great majority of of the duties confided to you, or any deficiency of letters will be just within the quarter-ounce : zeal or ability in the discharge of them, I readsuch letters, therefore, though liable to a French ily acknowledge also the honorable motives rate of 20d. per ounce, and à British rate of only which originally prompted and which have now 10d. per ounce, would be charged 10d. each, induced you to repeat your offer of gratuitous viz. 5d. British and 5d. French, the whole being service. But I am influenced solely by the concollected sometimes by the one Post Office, sideration that it is not advisable to give a charsometimes by the other. Under the old system acter of permanence to an appointment which, each Government would retain its own 5d., and originally created for a temporary purpose, has hand over the second 5d. to the other Govern-now, as it appears to me, fulfilled its object. The ment. The English Post Office, however, in penny postage has been above two years estaborder to relieve itself of the trouble of account- lished, and the principle of it is now thoroughly ing for the letters numeratim, proposed a clause understood.” by which each Government would have accounted to the other for the whole mail at once,
Mr. Hill then tried Sir Robert Peel, who according to its weight in bulk. I pointed out gave a similar answer. The following most to the Treasury how unfairly towards our own unusual statement was made in the Treasury Government the proposed stipulation would minute containing his disniissal :— The Lords operate, and the proposal of the Post-Office was of the Treasury " consider it due to him, on the treaty, that it was subsequently revived, the termination of his engagement with this with a slight modification, which no doubt was Government, to express to him the approbathought would obviate the evil, but which only tion with which they have regarded his zealslightly mitigates it. Under the treaty, we are ous exertions in the execution of the duties to pay in respect of a mail, the postage of which which have been intrusted to him, and how is collected in England, 20d. an ounce to the materially the efficiency of the Post Ofice French for their share of the postage; whereas on a mail, the postage of which is to be collected and intelligence evinced by him in the con
arrangements has been promoted by the care ounce. Applying this rule to the great major- sideration of the various important questions ity, which, as before said, are just under the which have been referred to him.” quarter-ounce, the ultimate effect is, that of our Sir Thomas Wilde said :5d., when the postage is collected in France, the French hand over to us only 3d., retaining 2d.
If Mr. Hill had been continued in his apof our 5d., in addition to their own 5d. ; whereas, pointment, he would have been in precisely the when we collect the postage, we hand over to same situation which he had occupied for ihree the French the whole of their 5d., retaining our years, and no consequences could be anticipated own 5d. without
from the retention of his services other than
those which had resulted from his previous emUnder the item of salaries, Mr. Hill esti- forded, during his three years' services, of judg
ployment. Ample opportunity had been afmates that there might be an annual saving ing what inconvenience might be expected to of 78,0001. ; and reckoning the total of all result from the continuance of his appointment. these measures of economy, it would add It was only proposed that Mr. Hill's services about 200,0001. per annum to the net reve- should be retained, until he had an opportunity nue, without requiring any increase of let- of bringing into operation those portions of his ters whatever,
plan which had not been carried into effect, or, On the disgraceful dismissal of Mr. Hill wardness, that the public might have some
at least, till they should be in such a state of forfrom office we feel bound to say a few words. security that a trial of their efficiency would Mr. Hill was at first engaged for two years at ultimately be made. So far from Mr. Hill's the Treasury. At the expiration of the second appointment having produced any inconvenyear, the Whigs were about to leave office, and ience to the public service, the Lords of the the engagement was renewed for a year by Treasury were pleased to report, in the minute Mr. Baring, and for this short period only, efficiency of the Post Office arrangements had
which he (Sir T. Wilde) had read, that the because he did not desire to deprive his suc- been materially promoted by the care and intelcessor of the power of renewing; which that ligence evinced by him in the consideration of the various important questions which had been conduct of the Post-Office towards Mr. Dockreferred to him."
wra and Mr. Palmer. Palmer's plan, which Mr. Baring, who made the original agree
raised the revenue in thirty years from 150,
0002. ment with Mr. Hill, said :
per annum to 1,500,0001., was called
“visionary and absurd," and was pronounced “ The right honorable gentleman (Mr. Goul- a total failure within a year or two after its burn) referred to the Treasury minute under introduction, even as Mr. Hill's has been dewhich Mr. Hill was appointed, and seemed to rely upon the words penny postage,' which he cried. Mr. Hill gives us a summary of Postfound in that minute. Now it was well known Office conduct since the restoration, which at the time of the adoption of the plan, that it our readers will do well to bear in mind :involved not merely the reduction of the rate of postage, but other most extensive alterations.
“It is a curious fact that, from the institution That was only a part of the general plan, and, tant improvement has had its origin in that estab
of the Post-Office to the present time, no imporafter its adoption, it was well known that there still remained considerable additional labor to
lishment. The establishment of a General-post be got through. He thought the right honora- never seems to have suggested to the office itself ble gentleman placed too much stress on the
the propriety of a Town-post
, even in London ; circumstance that he (Mr. Baring) only en- that was left to a private individual of the name gaged Mr. Rowland Hill for a year. In doing
of Dockwra, who, shortly before the restoration, this
, however, he had never anticipated that established a penny-post in London as a specuthal gentleman's services would not be required the establishment of the cross-posts by Mr. Allen
The next improvement was for more than a year; but as he knew that he was going out of office within a short time, he (the Allworthy of Fielding's “Tom Jones”) about did not think that it would be courteous to his the middle of the last century. All persons consuccessor to appoint for a longer period than versant with the various published collections of that. He had, however, been all along of opin- ience which was sustained for want of cross
letters before that date will know the inconvenion that the services of Mr. Hill at the Treasury would be required for a much longer period commodation was left, as before, for a private in
posts; yet the suggestion of this important acthan one year. He also thought it was only dividual. Then come the improvements of Mr. common justice to say, that at the period when it was determined to carry out this plan he had Palmer; I say improvements in the plural, for
distinnot the slightest personal knowledge of Mr. it is most unjust to the memory of the Rowland Hill
. As for the intelligence and in- guished person to limit his merit to the suggesdustry of that gentleman, of course he had suffi- tion of substituting mail-coaches for horse and cient evidence of this in the evidence which he foot-posts. This, no doubt, was the most strikhad repeatedly given before Committees of the ing feature of his plan, and it has therefore been House of Commons and by his pamphlet. He mistaken for the plan itself; but he suggested, must say that, on becoming acquainted with
and was fortunate enough to accomplish, an alMr. Hill, he found him to possess other qualities
most total revolution in Post-Office arrange
ments. which he did not expect to find in him. He
The utter hopelessness of improvehad expected that a person who had been long
ments originating in the Post-Office has been engaged in the preparation of an extensive sys- ernments which have been in office for the last
practically acknowledged by the different Govtem of this kind would not carry out the change fifteen years. For nearly the whole of that time with that coolness and judgment that was requi- Commissions have been in action, who, after risite, and he had expected that he should have great difficulties to contend with in inducing gid and extensive inquiries, in the course of which Mr. Hill to adopt any alteration in his plan that a vast mass of facts has been elicited, have from might appear requisite. He found quite the
time to time proposed many improvements of contrary of this, and that Mr. Hill, with the great value, some of which their influence, backgreatest readiness, adopted any suggestions to effect; others, without any satisfactory rea
ed by the government, has been able to carry inthat were made to him ; so that, instead of difficulties, he found every facility in carrying the son, have met with rejection and neglect. But plan into effect."
as Lord Lowther justly stated in 1835, 'He knew
from experience that a Commission was ineffiSuch were the opinions expressed in Par- Post Office department.
cient to grapple with so strong a body as the
When he had the honliament by men of character and experience. or to belong to a Commission of that nature, It now only remains to see what are the fu- the Post-Office almost set them at defiance ; and ture prospects of the Penny Postage. That it was found by the Commission to be a matter it will ever be completed by the Post-Office, of the greatest difficulty to extract from the Postmero motu, it were idle to believe.
Office any information necessary for the eluciLord Lowther spoke truly, before he was
dation of the inquiry.'” Postmaster-General, when he said that there What then is to be done? The Post-Office had been no alterations in the Post-Office ex- is as obstinately set against all improvement cept what had actually been forced upon it now as it was before Mr. Hill's plan was beby the public. The treatment of Mr. Hill gun. But the friends of cheap and efficient and his plan is the mere repetition of the postage need not despair,--one more vigorous effort will succeed; but it must be to re- Postscript to the Article on the “ Penny form the root of the evil,—to remodel the
Postage." constitution of the Post-Office, and give effect Since our article on this subject was to the good counsel of Lord Lowther, uttered printed, two circumstances have occurred in the days of his wisdom. Being asked his which will tend to realize a reform in the opinion on this point in 1836, Lord Lowther constitution of the Post-Office. said,
An association of the chief merchants of
the city of London, including the Barings, “I think the present system has proved that Mastermans, Pattisons, Prescotts, Lyalls, it is not at all adapted to the active circumstances of the times, and I should feel disposed to Larpents, Ricardos, etc., has been formed to new-model and re-construct the Post-Office de- make a public acknowledgment of Mr. partment altogether. I think one sees, in the Rowland Hill's merits. At the first mention present state of the Post-Office, that it remains of the proposal, conservative and whig banded just what it was ever since the improvement itun- together, and before any public announcederwent in 1797, and 1798; there has hardly been ment was made more than a thousand pounds any alteration since in its details except what has
were subscribed. Branch associations are actually been forced upon it by the public."
in formation throughout the country, and
probably such a sum will be raised as will This remark remains perfectly applicable enable Mr. Hill to enter the House of Comto the year 1843 :
inons as the people's advocate for accomplish
ing the entire scheme of Penny Postage. A “ The duties of the Post-Office (the noble Lord triumphant atonement would this be to Mr continued) are becoming now so great notwith- Hill for his dismissal from office, and a worstanding its inconvenient and almost prohibitory arrangements, and so general, and from the thy reward to a great public benefactor.
Such a demonstration of public gratitude, present state of the world, and our constant communication with the East and with America, 1 too, would remind the Government in a salushould look to England as being in a great de- tary way of its neglect of duty in this matter. gree the Post-Office of the world if facilities were Concurrent with this event is the death of offered; and however capable or industrious one the Earl of Lonsdale, which is likely to lead man might be, I should conceive he could hardly to Lord Lowther's resignation of the office of be qualified to look into the number of details
Postmaster-General. This then is the time that that office would embrace in all its ramifications. I should think the better way would be for a deputation of merchants to wait on to have a Board, as in France (there it is called Sir Robert Peel and urge upon him the adopa Council), with a head and two assistants, one tion of a Commission. The difficulties attendlo superintend the home department of the Post- ing such a step will be diminished by Lord office, and the other the foreign department and Lowther's retirement. Even if it be necessary colonies; and the head would have a general to appoint a new Postmaster-General, the apview over the arrangements of the whole office.”
pointment may be conferred temporarily,
subject to its conversion into a board of ComUntil, therefore, the present constitution of missioners. If this appeal be made to the the Post-Office is changed, - until the real Premier, he is too wise not to interpret cormanagement is enlarged and made directly rectly the signs of public feeling, and to take responsible, and not screened behind a min-J a course which will not only save him from isterial Postmaster-General,—there will be the difficulties his submission to Lord Lowno chance for the completion of the Penny ther drew him into, but confer honor and Postage plan. To accomplish this we would popularity on his administration, whilst it suggest that the London Mercantile Com- would benefit the revenue and gratify the mittee on Postage seek interviews from time public. to time with the Premier, urging the substitution a Board for the present system of management,—that Mr. Warburton, or Mr.
British Guiana.–From a prospectus published Wallace bring forward a resolution to the at the Royal Gazette office, Demarara, and forwardsame effect, year after year, until the object ed to us, we learn that a society for the promotion is effected, -that Mr. Hill himself enter par
of agriculture and commerce in that ignorant cololiament, if possible, and plead his own cause, established in Georgetown, with library, museum,
ny is now being formed. Public rooms are to be —and that the favorers of cheap postage aid and models; and premiums and grants of money all these efforts by constant petitions, the are to be awarded for the advancement of every prayer of which should be, that the Govern- | branch of agriculture, manufactures, and trade. So ment should follow the advice of the Duke of excellent an institution cannot fail to produce great Wellington, “ to adopt Mr. Hill's plan, ex- its members to carry it on with liberality and
benefits, and the wealth of the colony will enable actly as it was proposed."
MEMOIRS AND CORRESPONDENCE OF MRS. | fore us is of a different character; and GRANT OF LAGGAN.
chiefly, or alone, interesting from what it
tells of the farther personal history of the From Tait's Magazine.
writer of the works of which we have spokAlthough Mrs. Grant of Laggan lived to en, and of a few distinguished literary perextreme old
and has been dead for a few sons, and other notabilities with whom she years, her name, we are persuaded, must came into contact, during her long resistill be familiar and welcome to Scottish dence in Edinburgh. There are in it no ears. Nor can she be altogether forgotten loyal and pious clansmen, rich in manners, in England, where her early letters made a and in ancestral, homely wisdom, though lively impression ; and certainly not in the poor in science and learning; no primitive United States of America.
At all events,
Dutch and English settlers living, on the her fresh, healthful, and delightful works banks of the Hudson and the Mohawk, the must be remembered, as they represent some- rural life in all its joys and ease, if not what thing which many of us would not willingly is now called elegance, or cottage-orné relet go; and that because they paint a condi- finement. Nearly the whole interest of the tion of society, a primitive state of manners, new series of letters devolves, therefore, which become the more fascinating in the upon the author; the anecdotes she relates retrospect, the farther that luxury and pseu- of distinguished literary characters; and her do-refinement bears us away from the home- opinions on the various topics which she inly, but pure and heartfelt social enjoyments cidentally touches in the course of a private
Distance may, no correspondence of above thirty years, and doubt, interpose its magic veil, softening as- consisting of four hundred selected letters. perities and external rudenesses; but the sub- The great blemish of this correspondence, stantial plenty, the leisure, and freedom of is that attributable, more or less, to the mind of these bygone times, with their sim- greater part of all female correspondence that plicity and ease of manners,—all, in brief, is not between the most intimate and confithat is comprehended in Wordsworth's em
dential friends-namely, a candied complexphatic
ion-a honeyed exuberance-a reflected Plain living and high thinking,"
egotism; and that, having often very little
to say, far too much is sometimes made of were solid and enduring social blessings. that little merely to fill the sheet. Very Nor is it wonderful, that, from the barren many letters of the entire series are either heights which every class of society, above congratulatory, complimentary, or of condothe lowest, has attained, if not in physical lence. There is a consequent want of the comfort, yet in external accommodation, ease and spontaneous impulse of the early many a longing, lingering look should be letters; for it is somehow felt that much is cast back upon the rude and simple times said, not to give utterance to the affectionate which are vividly and picturesquely reflected feelings and recollections of an overflowing in Mrs. Grant's pages. Her “Letters from and warm heart, but to perform a duty, and the Mountains" are the genuine picture of perhaps to make a figure as a letter-writer. a life spent in seclusion in the very heart of And though letters of duty and ceremony the Highlands; and a life, how full of ener- must, we suppose, be written, they excite litgy, affection, and healthful enjoyment! Iin- tle sympathy in those who do not share in agination and taste may, in her instance, the feeling or obligation which draws them have imparted a glow to the local coloring; forth. On the other hand, the entire series
some measure of these faculties were no does infinite credit to the writer's talents, mean constituents in the happiness of the good sound common sense, and admirable tact. common life lived and described-part of her Without losing her own identity, and without chartered possessions, but also, to some ex- forfeiting our respect, or condescending to tent, possessed by every Highlander. Mrs. flatter in any glaring way, she adapts herself Grant's representation of domestic and social with exquisite felicity to the varying tastes manners in the State of New York, in her and circumstances of her correspondents. own childhood and girlhood, or before the
-The best of the series, or those letters that revolutionary war, are equally faithful and we like the best, are the few addressed to her delightful as her delineations of the peaceful eldest son in India, and to her daughters; life of the Highland glens. — The book be- and those in which she fully commands our
Author of Letters from the Mountains," sympathies, while we see her struggling to " Memoirs of an American Lady," &c. &c. Edited form the virtues and raise the fortunes of her by her son, J. P. Grant, Esq. 3 vols. with Portrait. numerous family; or heart-stricken vith the Longmans.
successive bereavements with which it pleasJune, 1844. 11