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nameless) that bought the contents of two noble libraries for forty shillings price: a shame it is to be spoken! This stuff hath he occupied instead of grey paper, by the space of more than these ten years, and yet he hath store enough for as many years to come: a prodigious example is this, and to be abhorred by all men which loved their nation as they should do. Yea, what may bring our realm to more shame and rebuke, than to have it noised abroad that we are despisers of learning? I shall judge this to be true, and utter it with heaviness, that neither the Britons under the Romans and Saxons, nor yet the English people under the Danes and Normans, had ever such damage of their learned monuments as we have seen in our time. Our posterity may well curse this wicked fact of our age; this unreasonable spoil of England's most noble antiquities."

THE ABBOT OF READING.

"King Henry VIII., as he was hunting in Windsor Forest, either casually lost, or (more probably) wilfully losing himself, struck down about dinner-time to the Abbey of Reading, where, disguising himself (much for delight, more for discovery, to see, unseen), he was invited to the abbot's table, and passed for one of the king's guard; a place to which the proportion of his person might properly entitle him. A sirloin of beef was set before him (so knighted, saith tradition, by this king Henry); on which the king laid on lustily, not disgracing one of that place, for whom he was mistaken. Well fare thy heart, quoth the abbot; and here in a cup of sack, I remember the health of his grace your master. I would give an hundred pounds, on the condition I could feed so heartily on beef, as you do. Alas! my weak and queasy stomach will hardly digest the wing of a small rabbit or chicken. The king pleasantly pledged him, and heartily thanked him for his good cheer; after dinner departed, as undiscovered as he came thither. Some weeks after the abbot was sent for a pursuivant, brought up to London, clapt in the Tower, kept close prisoner, fed for a short time on bread and water; yet not so empty his body of food as his mind was filled with fears, creating many suspicions to himself when and how he had incurred the king's displeasure. At last a sirloin of beef was set before him, on which the abbot fed as the farmer of his grange, and verified the proverb, that two hungry meals make the third a glutton. In springs King Henry out of a private

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lobby, where he had placed himself, the invisible spectator of the abbot's behaviour. My lord,' quoth the king, 'presently deposit your hundred pounds in gold, or else no going hence all the days of your life. I have been your physician, to cure you of your queasy stomach; and here, as I deserve, I demand my fee for the same.' The abbot down with his dust, and glad he had escaped so, returned to Reading; as somewhat lighter in his purse, so much more merrier in heart, than when he came thence."(Fuller's Church History.)

AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS.

Whatever we may have read of the "pride, pomp, and circumstance" of the barons and esquires of the feudal times in England, there were causes in operation in the fifteenth century which rendered the possessors of large estates not altogether the most enviable members of the community. During an earlier period, when a great landowner was surrounded with a vast body of retainers, and his castle was encompassed with tillers of the soil, who duly poured into his granaries and stalls the means of supplying food to a craving household, his supplemental luxuries of clothing and of furniture were sometimes obtained by barter with the people of the towns, not unfrequently won by the strong hand, and in all cases preserved with the most careful economy from generation to generation. But as manufactures increased, so there grew up with them a largely increasing body of dealers, who made a profit by conducting the exchanges with the two classes of producers; but this state of things was concurrent with another, in which tenants paid their landlord rent in money, instead of pouring into his stores the somewhat irregular portions of beef and corn which the lord was wont to demand. It thus came to pass that the great landowner grew to be as dependent as the merchant and the artisan upon a supply of money for the due provision of his wants. The private records of the 15th century abundantly show that there was constant difficulty, even in the most flourishing families, to obtain a proper supply of the medium of exchange; and thus the landed aristocracy were not seldom subjected to the most painful of shifts and compromises, to be enabled to carry on the daily support of their wasteful retainers with decency, if not with ostentation. We open The Plumpton Correspondence of the year 1469, and there we find the steward of Sir

William Plumpton, Seneschal and Master Forester of the Honour and Forest, and Constable of the Castle of Knaresborough, writing unto his worshipful master, "I am not in store at this time of money for to get your harvest with; ... letting you wit also I have been in the Peak, and there I cannot get no money of Harry Fulgiam, nor of John of Tor, nor no other that owes you;

letting you wit that I was on St. Lawrence day at Melton with forty of your sheep to sell, and could sell none of them,

but if [unless] I would have selled twenty of the best of them for thirteen pence a-piece, and therefore I selled none;-letting you wit that I sent unto you with William Plumpton and with William Marley 61., and also 25s. which was borrowed of Bryan Smith, which I must pay again, and therefore I am not purveyed of money for to get your harvest with." The suffering landlords of modern times may find some consolation in looking back upon the embarrassments of their forefathers.

EXPENDITURE OF WAR.

In the last three war-years, 1813, 1814, and 1815, the sums expended for the service of the army, navy, and ordnance of Great Britain amounted to 197,647,3157. This expenditure was so much national capital destroyed. A few contractors might indeed have been enriched by enormous profits at a period of great jobbing and corruption; but there is nothing now left to show for this outlay. The money was spent in victualling troops; in paying extravagant prices for provisions in foreign countries; in waste of the materiel of war; and, above all, in the waste of human life. We are not touching the question-whether the cause of this expenditure was, or was not, an unavoidable necessity. We only desire to show that it was in the very nature of the necessity that this destruction of the nation's capital should have taken place. Now, a sum nearly amounting to two hundred millions sounds to every one as representing a very large amount of property. But still the figures convey only a vague idea, unless we can fix in our minds some notion of what two hundred millions will purchase, of things essentially different from artillery, and powder, and "food for powder."

The war expenditure of the first of these years, 1813, was 71,316,4357.

There are forty-seven RAILWAYS completed in Great Britain up to the present time, and these have cost 70,680,8777. These, then, offer a very fair contrast with the war expenditure of one year, the year 1813. Against the mil of capital in hand of that war expenditure we have to set the actual property created by the railway expenditure. The lines laid down exceed two thousand miles. Those lines are covered with stations, workshops, dwelling-houses for officers, bridges, viaducts. They furnish profitable employment for thousands of men; they return a reasonable and in some cases a very high interest for the capital employed. They have brought the village and the town into close communication. They have imparted a new value to all commodities by lessening the cost and increasing the rapidity of transit. They have equalized prices throughout the land. They have rendered the interchange of labour more easy. They have made the country richer and its people more intelligent.

In the last two war-years of 1814, 1815, the amount expended upon the army, navy, and ordnance services was 126,330,8807. As was the case with the war expenditure of 1813, nothing of national property is left to represent this outlay, if we except a few sheer-hulks at Portsmouth, Plymouth, and Sheerness, and some old cannon in the arsenal of Woolwich.

According to the last population returns, there were built in England and Wales,

in the ten years from 1831 to 1841, half a million of new houses. Many of these were first and second class houses, a larger number third class, and a still larger number cottages. But we cannot estimate the average price of a house at less than 2501. This would give a total sum expended for the additional and improved houseaccommodation of the people, of one hundred and twenty-five millions. The houses are left to us. Look at the increase of comfort, the provision for an increasing population, the profitable labour employed in making the provision, and the permanent income which the house-builders receive, and doubt not that the hundred and twentyfive millions were well laid out. Look at the parallel war expenditure of 1814, 1815, and see if it has left any traces but debt.

Thus, then, for the cost of the army, navy, and ordnance in the last three years of war, we could have completed two thousand miles of railroads and built half a million of houses.

The war expenditure, as is well known, was supported partly by annual taxation, partly by loans, for which we are still taxed. The loans represented the accumulated capital not engaged in commercial and manufacturing industry, which was seeking investment in Government Stock. The money lent to the government in the last two war-years of 1814, 1815, beyond the amount of debt redeemed, was 54,805,4107. We have heard a great deal of the ruin that is to ensue from the vast amount of new railway enterprise. Without reference to the mere projects of 1845, which would appear upon the face of them to be carried far beyond the point of a safe investment of capital, it appears that the new railways in course of construction in Great Britain, and for which acts of parliament have been obtained, are estimated to cost 51,359,3257. These railways are in number 118, and they are to extend over 3543 miles. Thus, then, the capital seeking investment in new railways which have received the legislative sanction, is not equal to the capital lent to government to spend in the two years of peril and difficulty, 1814 and 1815. Let it not be forgotten that the people will have all the advantages of the railways without any tax-the shareholders alone will bear the risk. The war loans of 1814-15 cost the people to this day more than two millions in actual taxation; and what is there to show for this continued burthen? The railroads of 1845 will enrich the nation and cost the people nothing.

Perhaps this question of taxation is, after all, the point which will most strike the mind as the gauge of the difference between war and peace. In 1815, the last waryear, the amount paid into the Exchequer as the produce of taxation was seventytwo millions, and the excess of expenditure over income was twenty millions. In 1845, the thirtieth peace-year, the amount paid into the Exchequer as the produce of taxation was fifty-three millions; and the excess of income over expenditure was three millions and a half. We thus see that the war taxation, independent of the debt pushed off from the then existing tax-payers, exceeded the peace taxation by nearly 50 per cent. But if we consider the increase of population during these thirty years, we shall come to a much stronger illustration of the difference of expenditure. In 1815 the population of the United Kingdom may be taken at nineteen millions, which would give an amount of taxation for each individual of 37. 15s. 9d. per annum. In 1845 the population may be taken at twenty-nine millions, which would give an annual amount of taxation for each individual of 17. 16s. 6d. If twenty-nine millions of persons have each 17. 19s. 3d. less to pay in taxation, there is an aggregate fund remaining to them for the increase of their comforts-for consumption, or for accumulation-of 56,912,5007. They have a great balance in hand ready to expend upon

new enterprises, which are to create new profits. If the taxation of each individual had continued upon the scale of 1815, we should have had very few great public works. Certainly a million depositors would not have had twenty-five millions in savings' banks. We cannot doubt that with a peace of thirty years, and a consequently reduced taxation, the private capital of the country has very greatly increased. That the public capital has increased, we have only to look at our docks, harbours, canals, sewers, water-works, gas-works, railways, roads, bridges, churches, hospitals, prisons, and schools. In 1815 the annual value of real property in England and Wales, under the Property Tax returns, was fifty-two millions: in 1842 it was returned at eighty-four millions. The profits of trade in 1815, in England and Wales, were assessed at thirty-five millions; in 1842 they are estimated at sixty millions. This is the increase of peace.

These facts ought to make us all pause before we talk lightly of going to war. At the same time they ought to teach other nations, who talk more glibly of war than we do, that the sinews of war are not departed from us.

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Not for no cold did freeze,
Nor any cloud beguile

Th' eternal flowering spring,
Wherein liv'd every thing,

And whereon th' heavens perpe-
tually did smile;

Not for no ship had brought
From foreign shores or wars or
wares ill sought.

But only for that name,
That idle name of wind,
That idol of deceit, that empty
sound,

Call'd HONOUR, which became
The tyrant of the mind,
And so torments our nature without
ground,

Was not yet vainly found:
Nor yet sad griefs imparts,
Amidst the sweet delights
Of joyful amorous wights;

Nor were his hard laws known to
freeborn hearts;

But golden laws, like these,
Which

Nature wrote-THAT 's

LAWFUL WHICH DOTH PLEASE.
For is throughout used as because.

THE IRON AGE.
[For the close of 1845.]

OH glorious Iron Age!
Not for that earth now yields
Treasures more precious than Potosi's gold;
Not that the time-taught sage
With iron sceptre wields

A power more vast than Titan's sons of old;

Not for no storm can hold
The steam-ship on her way;
Nor adverse rivers' beds,
Nor mighty mountains' heads,

To earth's all-binding railroad proudly say
Here come not-he asserts his reign,

And clouds and thunder sweep the subject plain.

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Then amongst flowers and
springs,

Making delightful sport,

Sat lovers, without conflict, without flame;

And nymphs and shepherds sing,
Mixing in wanton sort
Whisperings with songs, then kisses
with the same,

Which from affection came.
The naked virgin then
Her roses fresh reveals,
Which now her veil conceals,

The tender apples in her bosom

seen:

And oft in rivers clear

The lovers with their loves consorting were.

HONOUR! thou first didst close The spring of all delight, Denying water to the amorous thirst:

Thou taught'st fair eyes to lose
The glory of their light,
Restrain'd from men, and on them-
selves revers'd:

Thou in a lawn didst first
Those golden hairs incase,
Late spread unto the wind:
Thou mad'st loose grace unkind,
Gav'st bridle to their words, art to
their pace:

Oh! HONOUR, it is thou

That mak'st that stealth which love doth free allow.

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