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considerable influence in repressing the engagements of most of the American houses. Their agents in America drew upon them more heavily than ever; and they seem to have gone on, throughout 1836, entering into fresh engagements, as if the trade had been on the firmest footing. We subjoin a statement, which we believe to be accurate, of the amount of the outstanding acceptances of the three great houses which have stopped payment, on the 1st of January of the following years:

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This extraordinary increase is the more unaccountable, as there had been a heavy fall in the prices of most articles in the autumn of 1836, both in America and here. And as there can be no doubt that the parties were most anxious to narrow their engagements, this shows better than any thing else the vicious nature of the system on which they had been proceeding, and its tendency to plunge them still deeper into difficulties.


Notwithstanding the damage done to their credit, the houses continued to go on for some time longer; till at length, in the latter end of February or the beginning of March last, the firms, whose engagements are particularized above, found it impossible, without extraordinary aid, to continue their payments. amount of their engagements, when they found themselves in this position, did not differ very materially from what it had been in January; and we believe we may estimate the engagements of the other houses at about as much, making in all a sum of eleven or twelve millions sterling. And had these three houses been allowed suddenly to go down, one at least, if not more, of the other houses must have followed, and a most violent and indeed unparalleled shock have been given to the manufactures and commerce of the country. Under these circumstances the Bank of England did come forward; and though the precedent be in some respects objectionable, still, as we endeavoured to show in our last Number, the case was so peculiar, and the consequences of the stoppage of the houses at the period in question would have been so ruinous, that the Bank is entitled to the public thanks for having stepped forward, and held them up till they got their engagements very greatly reduced.

The packets that sailed from this country for the United States in March, while it was uncertain whether the Bank would attempt to bolster up the embarrassed houses, necessarily carried out a good many returned bills, and a very gloomy account of the state of things here. This unfavourable intelligence increased the previously existing embarrassments and want of confidence in America, to such an extent, that panic took the place of suspicion. The American banks are, if possible, still more rotten and worthless than those of England; and a run upon them having commenced in New Orleans, extended over the whole Union, and in a short time compelled every one of them to suspend payments.

The question, whether the Bank of England should have farther continued that assistance to the American houses, which she rendered them in the first instance, depends entirely on their supposed solvency, and can be judged of only by those familiar with all the intricacies of their widely extended negotiations. The turn that affairs took in America seems to have led the Bank to doubt their solvency; and she therefore left them to their fate, though, as already stated, in consequence of her previous assistance, their engagements were so much reduced that their stoppage has produced comparatively little injury.

Much difference of opinion is entertained as to the circumstances under which the account between this country and America will now be adjusted. But the opinion in all the best informed quarters seems to be, that the Americans will make every possible effort to pay off their debts; so that the loss our merchants will sustain will not be nearly so great as might be imagined. Though we hear of failures by hundreds, and even thousands, among the internal dealers and shopkeepers, in various parts of the United States; yet, with only two or three exceptions, there have not been any important failures among the importers of foreign produce. After so violent a storm as has swept over the United States, the strongest houses will require time to gather their resources; and the stoppage of the houses here will, as far as they are concerned, give the necessary time to their debtors; while, we believe, most of the others are now in a state to afford this indispensable indulgence.

It is not possible, perhaps, to form any accurate estimate of the total sum owing by the merchants of the United States to those of this country. We have heard it variously estimated, by well-informed parties, at from ten to eight millions sterling; but since that estimate was formed a large amount of bonds of the Bank of the United States and other banks have been received, which has proportionally lowered the amount of the mercantile

debt. But supposing the latter amounted, at the period of the crisis, to eight millions sterling, it is easy to see that if the Americans have the wish (of which there seems to be no doubt) to extinguish this debt, they certainly have the means. Instead of importing this year, to the amount of 190 millions of dollars, as they did last year, importation has almost ceased; and there is no ground for supposing that it will this year amount to the fifth part of the above sum, or to 38 millions of dollars. But while importation has been thus diminished, exportation is carried on with the greatest vigour. In 1836, the value of the cotton exports from America amounted to 71,284,825 dollars. It is certain that the quantity exported this year will be considerably greater, though, owing to the heavy fall in its price, its value will be decidedly less, perhaps not more than 50 millions of dollars. But taking it at that sum, and the exports of tobacco, rice, flour, the produce of fisheries, &c., at 25 millions-being 10 millions less than their amount last year-we have a total export of 75 millions to be set against an import of 38 millions, leaving a surplus of 37 million dollars, or about L.7,400, 000 sterling to go to the extinction of debt. And if we add to this the quantity of private and state stocks, bonds, &c., that are sure to be sent for sale here, it will be seen that there is nothing whatever to prevent the Americans to square accounts with us.

We have said nothing in this statement of the probable exports from America of the bullion that many expect will be shipped by her. It is doubtful whether this will amount to much. There seems to be a strong probability that a regard for their own interest will induce all the strongest banks in the Union to resume specie payments with as little delay as possible; and if so, they will be anxious to accumulate all the specie they can possibly collect. It is clear, too, that in the present deranged state of the currency of the United States, very many private individuals will be anxious to obtain gold; so that we do not look for any large imports from that quarter for a considerable time to come. But it is not in anywise necessary to the extinction of her debt that the Americans should export a single ounce of bullion. They have otherwise ample means to effect the object; and we doubt not that they will show they are heirs to the honesty, as well as the industry and enterprise of their ancestors.

The measures necessary to be taken to place the trade on a solid foundation, may easily be inferred from the preceding statements as to the circumstances which have occasioned the present crisis. We need say nothing as to the vicious banking system that prevails, both here and in America. We have lately had occasion fully to state our opinions with respect to it; and all

additional experience demonstrates still more conclusively (if we would prevent the endless recurrence of the most appalling vicissitudes), the absolute necessity of entirely remodelling that system, and of confining the issue of notes to some single source. Till this be done, no commercial speculation can ever rest on any solid foundation, but must always partake more of the nature of a gambling speculation, than of a sober, industrious undertaking. At present, however, we shall not insist further upon this point; but shall content ourselves with observing, that whatever may be done with the banks, either here or in the United States, it is indispensable that the mercantile transactions between the two countries, should henceforth be conducted on a totally different system. The overtrading we have witnessed could not have taken place to any thing like the same extent, had the houses here, which gave the credits, abided by the original practice of always getting the invoices and bills of lading as a collateral security; and, therefore, if the old system is to be revived, the delivery of such invoices and bills should be rigidly enforced, and made in all cases a sine qua non of the credit being given. And to insure the observance of this rule, the Bank of England might declare, that she would not, under any circumstances, take the paper of any house, however opulent, that did not uniformly act on this principle. Perhaps, however, the preferable plan would be to establish an exchange with America, and for merchants here to draw upon her; the banks and monied institutions in that country giving credit for bills to be drawn upon them by this country on account of their respective customs, in the same way that shipments are made by order to various parts of the Continent.

But, however brought about, it is for the interest of all the opulent houses engaged in the trade, as well as for the interest of the Bank of England and the private bankers, to set their faces sternly against the continuance or revival of a system productive of the results we now witness. It is besides abundantly certain, that unless vigorous measures be taken in this view, the worst practices that lately prevailed will, at no distant period, resume their former activity; and, as the trade must necessarily, from the extraordinary increase of wealth and population in America, rapidly rise in magnitude and importance, it is clear, that unless it be placed on a comparatively solid foundation, the next revulsion will be still more destructive than the present.

ART. X.-The Bride of Messina; a Tragedy, from the German of F. V. Schiller. BY GEORGE IRVINE, Esq. 8vo. London: 1837.

VERY one is agreed that the best translation is that, in the

E perusal of which a foreign reader is enabled to forget the

translator, and to feel as if by some sudden charm he were placed in communication with the original. While the language must be so easy and idiomatic as never to suggest the idea of constraint, or of its foreign origin;-so fused into a new whole in the mind of the translator as to flow forth with the charm of a harmonious continuity; so natural and unobtrusive as to attract no attention to itself, but like a colourless and transparent element to be the mere medium of thought and feeling, and nothing more;-it must be made the instrument of rendering with accuracy every outline and tint of the original,—of transporting us into a circle of distant or foreign associations, and of placing us among scenes where 'other voices speak, and other sights surround.'

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But the question is, how is this perfection to be attained, or approached more nearly? By what system of translation is this union of the foreign and domestic to be effected, so as to communicate on the whole to the mere English reader the truest idea of the classic graces of antiquity, the glowing Orientalism of Spanish poetry, the sunny clearness of the Italian, or the pensive and brooding spirit of the German ?—or to render the succinct grandeur of Dante, the tender, devoted, and lyric tone of Tasso, the exuberant fancy and soaring enthusiasm of Calderon, all perceptible and distinguishable in the common vehicle of English?

All translation is of course a compromise. To be perfectly literal, and perfectly spirited, would be scarcely practicable in a prose translation; in one where the translator has to encounter the additional trammels of verse, and still more where an attempt is made to copy the rhythm and metrical cadence of the original, it is of course impossible. But when, to the difficulty of rendering mere words by their equivalents, and at the same time observing the rules of versification, is added that of conveying the full significance of the original, and rendering foreign associations palpable by representing them in some universal type intelligible to all,-every one must perceive not only that mere literal translation is impossible, but that the true spirit, pregnancy, and force of the original can only be given by a certain degree of deviation from the letter.

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