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i tenir votre Majesté dans ce même lustre qui lui attire les re
gards du monde entier, puisque plus vous serez grand, plus Dieu tirera de gloire des hommages que vous lui rendez! Il aura, Sire, dans votre personne royale, aussi bien
dans la personne de David, un roi selon son cæur, fidele à sa loi, ! zelé pour sa loi, protecteur et vengeur de sa loi.' (Tom. XII. p. 244.). It is only fair to mention, that however Bourdaloue may have been occasionally seduced into such absurd time-serving conduct, by the influence of the courtly atmosphere he moved in, his independence, generally speaking, was exemplary. Not only did he, in the most plain and unwelcome language, denounce the vices of the age to those who chiefly practised them—“frap
pant' (as Mad. de Sevigné said) comme un sourd, disant des verités à bride abattue-parlant à tort et à travers, contre l'adultere-sauve qui peut-allant toujours son chemin.' Not only did he openly, and in the King's presence, rebuke men for the yery conduct notoriously pursued by the King himself; but, in private, he risked the Monarch's displeasure, by being instant with him, in season and out of season, upon the most delicate points of his life and conversation. Bossuet, it is true, when transported with the heat of controversy, which in him raged uncontrolled, had attacked too loudly the mild and amiable Fenelon in the King's presence, and was asked by Louis, what he would have said, if he had taken Fenelon's part ?—was carried on by the same hot fit to give his Majesty an admirable answer - I should have roared ten times as loud.' But this was inferior to Bourdaloue's calm and witty rebuke, when the King, bragging that he had sent Mad. de Montespan to Clagny, said, Mon Pere, vous devez être content de moi - Elle ' est à Clagny.'-' Qui, Sire; mais Dieu serait plus satisfait, . si Clagny etait à soixante-dix lieues de Versailles.'
It must not be forgotten, in comparing together these two great preachers, that Bourdaloue was the first in point of time, and therefore had effected the reformation of the eloquence of the French pulpit, before Massillon began his career. Bossuet, indeed, had begun a few years before him; but his discourses are confessedly inferior, and are besides extremely imperfect, and, except his panegyrics, rather the heads from which he spoke, than complete sermons. Hence, Voltaire calls Bourdaloue the first model of good preachers in Europe, by which he plainly means the first in point of time, and not of excellence; for it is certain, that he greatly preferred Massillon to all others.
We should now proceed to the great English models; but the subject is too extensive, and too interesting, to be handled in the close of this paper, and demands á separate discussion. The importance of Pulpit Eloquence is great; and the improvements of which it is susceptible may be pointed out, without the slightest disposition to undervalue either the eminent examples of its excellences which the present day affords, or the just and lofty reputation which the orators of former times have left behind them ;-unless, indeed, any one should hold, that, in this line of exertion alone, men ought to stand still, and make no advances to keep pace with the progress of the age.
ART. VI. Remarks upon the Wine and Brandy Trade. pp. 24.
tion for improving the fiscal policy of the country, there is none that deserves more unqualified praise than the reduction of the duties on spirits distilled in Scotland and Ireland, from 5s. 6d. to 25. a gallon. The effects of this measure are, of themselves, sufficient to put to rest all doubts about the superior productiveness of moderate duties. It appears from the accounts laid before the House of Commons, that the total number of gallons of spirits, of the manufacture of the United Kingdom, that paid the duties of Excise in Ireland in the year ending 10th of October 1823, being the last year of the high duties, amounted to 2,118,651. In 1824, the first year of the low duties, the consumption had increased in a nearly quadruple proportion, or to 8,158,046 gallons; and in 1825, it had increased to 9,208,618, producing at the low rate of duty, nearly 400,0001. a year more revenue than had been produced by the high duty! The effects in Scotland have been equally beneficial.
But the diminution, or rather suppression of illicit distillation, was, no doubt, the principal advantage that was expected, and has resulted from this wise and salutary measure. The extent to which smuggling had been carried in Ireland, the crimes and atrocities to which it had led, and its influence in generating a contempt for the enactments of the Legislature, and in diffusing predatory and ferocious habits among the peasantry, were distinctly and fully pointed out in the Reports of the Revenue Commissioners. And as every thing that force, and the multiplication of oaths, penalties, and confiscations could do to suppress this illegal traffic had been tried, without effect, it was plain that it could only be put down by taking away the overpowering temptation to smuggle, or, in other words, by reducing the duties. The result has not belied the anticipations of those who advocated the measure on this ground. Smuggling, except in some remote districts of the country, where it is still practised to an inconsiderable extent, may be said to have entirely ceased. And thus, while the reduction of the duties has produced an additional revenue to the public, it has dried up one of the most prolific sources of outrage; and has powerfully contributed to produce the tranquillity, such as it is, that now prevails in the land of paupers and potatoes.
We confess, however, that it seems very difficult to reconcile the liberality and good sense displayed by ministers on this occasion, with their conduct in keeping up the present oppressively high duties on foreign spirits. Having seen the advantage of moderate duties in one case, why should they not be equally anxious to introduce them in others? We do not wish them to act upon any speculative or doubtful principle; but we wish them to act consistently, and to give effect to principles which experience, as well as theory, has shown rest upon an unassailable foundation.
The prime cost of Brandy and Geneva may, we believe, be taken on an average at from 3s. to 4s. a gallon; but they are charged on being imported into this country, with the exorbitant duty of 19s. the wine gallon-being from 500 to 600 per cent. on their price! And as they are in very considerable demand amongst us, this most oppressive duty has naturally occasioned their clandestine importation in large quantities, the manufacture of counterfeits, and the reduction of the revenue. One is almost tempted to believe that this system had been originally framed for the purpose of diminishing the revenue, and serving as a bounty on smuggling; at all events, it is difficult to conceive for what other purpose it is still kept up. It appears from an account, printed by order of the House of Commons, (No. 251, Sess. 1825–6), that the excess of the number of gallons of brandy imported into Great Britain over those that were exported, or the number remaining for home consumption, in 1806, amounted to 1,521,653 gallons. The duty was at this period 14s. a gallon; so that the revenue must have amounted to 1,065, 1561. In 1807 the duty was raised to 16s. 6d., and the excess of imports over exports in 1808 was reduced to 1,256,345 gallons, yielding, at the increased rate of
• Excise Duty, 12. 7 d.; Customs Duty, Is. 41%d.
duty, only 1,036,4841., being nearly 30,0001. less than had been obtained by the lower rate of duty. But Mr Vansittart was not a person whose purposes could be shaken by such an experiment as this; and, in 1811, an additional 2s, was added to the duties, which raised them to 18s. 6d. Unluckily, however, for Mr Vansittart's calculations, this increase of duty was still less productive than the former: For, instead of yielding any increase of revenue, the exports in 1811 exceeded the imports, and in 1812 the excess of imports only amounted to 205,425 gallons, yielding, at 18s. 6d. a gallon, 190,0181. or about one sixth part of what it had yielded when the duty was at 14s.! But this felo de se system did not stop even here. In the teeth of all this experience, and of the most obvious suggestions of common sense, the duties were again increased in 1812, and were fixed in 1814 at the rate at which they have ever since continued, of 19s. * the wine gallon, or of 22s. 6d. † the Imperial gallon. This excess of duty has had the effect which every man of sense must have anticipated. The average annual excess of the imports over exports, during the three years ending with 1818, was only 795,092 gallons, and the revenue 755,3371., being a diminution of 726,561 gallons in the annual consumption, and of 309,8181. in the annual revenue, as compared with 1806! The same spirit of speculation and overtrading that infected other branches of commerce, in 1824 and 1825, infected the brandy trade; but notwithstanding this extraordinary stimulus, the total excess of imports over exports, during the three years ending the 5th January 1826, amounted to only 5,381,810 gallons; while the total excess of imports over exports, during the three years ending with the 5th Jauuary 1810, amounted to 6,100,441 gallons, being upwards of 700,000 gallons of excess in favour of the latter period.
It is obvious, however, that unless the duties had been carried to such an
as to defeat their own object, the consumption of, and consequently the revenue derived from brandy, would have been very greatly increased since the peace. The period when the duties were lowest, and when, as we have also seen, the consumption and revenue were greatest, was the very hottest period of the war. Commercial intercourse with France was then almost wholly interrupted; and the charges on account of freight, insurance, &c. were at least fire or six times greater than at present. It was, it is true, incomparably more difficult to smuggle during the war, than
18s. 10d. 3-16ths.
+ 22s. 7d. 6-16ths
it has been since; but this circumstance is of itself a conclusive reason, why the duties imposed during its continuance should liave been reduced at its close, instead of being increased. Had the duty been fixed at 8s. or 10s. a gallon, in 1816, instead of 19s., there cannot be a doubt, that the consumption would have been increased in a threefold proportion, that clandestine importation would have been almost entirely unknown, and that the revenue would have been greatly augmented.
The effects of the increase of the duties an Geneva, which have for many years past been identical with those on brandy, are equally striking. The annual average consumption of Geneva in Great Britain, during the ten years ending with 1805, amounted to 724,381 gallons; but, during the ten years ending with 1825, when the duties had been about doubled, the annual average consumption only amounted to 117,401 gallons ! -So much for the facts of one brief chapter of Mr Vansittart's financial administration.
But though the present exorbitant duties had been as effectual in producing an increase of revenue as they have been in lessening it, they would still be altogether indefensible. The stimulus they have given to illicit importation, has been so very great, that they have
gone far to render the whole south-east coast of England a prey to all the horrors of civil war.
Murderous contests are daily taking place on the coasts of Kent and Sussex, between the officers engaged in the preventive service, and the country people and smugglers; and the peasantry are, in consequence, gradually becoming more and more demoralised, and more ready to place themselves in opposition to the authority of government and the laws. The temptation to smuggle is so overpowering, that many individuals have been induced to embark large capitals in the contraband trade; and the high profits they make on a successful adventure, enable them to run any risk, and to give large bonuses to those by whom they are assisted in effecting the landing of the cargo.' When such incentives to violate the laws are thus suffered to exist, the immoderate penalties imposed on those who are detected in violating them, serve only to increase the evil. Officers are deterred from informing against poor creatures, when they know that they will be fined 1001. or sent on board one of his Majesty's tenders, for having what most gentlemen would wish to have-a keg of smuggled spirits in their possession! The excess of the penalties has thus been productive of a double mischief: for, while it paralyses the exertions of every class of officers,
* Parliamentary Paper, No. 248, Sess. 1825-6.