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ITS ASSOCIATION WITH FORMS.
presses us with the small effort required for self-support, and the small effort required for movement. Were it otherwise, there would arise the incongruity that graceful form would either not be associated at all with graceful movement, or that the one would habitually occur in the absence of the other; both which alternatives being quite at variance with our experience, we are compelled to conclude that there exists the relationship indicated. Any one hesitating to admit this, will, I think, do so no longer on remembering that the animals which we consider graceful, are those so slight in build as not to be burdened by their own weight, and those noted for fleetness and agility; while those we class as ungraceful, are those which are alike cumbrous and have the faculty of locomotion but little developed. In the case of the greyhound, especially, we see that the particular modification of the canine type in which the economy of weight is the most conspicuous, and in which the facility of muscular motion has been brought by habit to the greatest perfection, is the one which we call most graceful.
How trees and inanimate objects should ever come to have this epithet applied to them, will seem less obvious. But the fact that we commonly, and perhaps unavoidably, regard all objects under a certain anthropomorphic aspect, will, I think, help us to understand it. The stiff branch of an oak tree standing out at right angles to the trunk, gives us a vague notion of great force expended to keep it in that position; and we call it ungraceful, under the same feeling that we call the holding out an arm at right angles to the body ungraceful. Conversely, the lax drooping boughs of a weeping-willow are vaguely associated with limbs in easy attitudes—attitudes requiring little effort to maintain them: and the term graceful, by which we describe these, we apply by metaphor to the willow.
I may as well here, in a few lines, venture the hypoth
esis, that this notion of Grace has its subjective basis in Sympathy. The same faculty which makes us shudder on seeing another in danger-which sometimes causes motion of our own limbs on seeing another struggle or fall, gives us a vague participation in all the muscular sensations which those around us are experiencing. When their ·motions are violent or awkward, we feel in a slight degree the disagreeable sensations which we should have were they our own. When they are easy, we sympathize with the pleasant sensations they imply in those exhibiting them.
STATE-TAMPERINGS WITH MONEY AND
MONG unmitigated rogues, mutual trust is impossi
ble. Among people of absolute integrity, mutual trust would be unlimited. These are truisms. Given a nation made up entirely of liars and thieves, and all trade among its members must be carried on either by barter or by a currency of intrinsic value: nothing in the shape of promises to pay can pass in place of actual payments; for, by the hypothesis, such promises being never fulfilled, will not be taken. On the other hand, given a nation of perfectly honest men-men as careful of others' rights as of their own—and nearly all trade among its members may be carried on by memoranda of debts and claims, eventually written off against each other in the books of bankers; seeing that as, by the hypothesis, no man will ever issue more memoranda of debts than his goods and his claims will liquidate, his paper will pass current for whatever it represents: coin will be needed only as a measure of value, and to facilitate those small transactions for which it is physically the most convenient. These we take to be self-evident trụths.
From them follows the corollary, that in a nation neither wholly honest nor wholly dishonest, there may, and eventually will be established a mixed currencya currency partly of intrinsic value, and partly of creditvalue. The ratio between the quantities of these two kinds of currency, will be determined by a combination of several causes.
Supposing that there is no legislative meddling to disturb the natural balance, it is clear from what has already been said, that, fundamentally, the proportion of coin to paper will depend on the average conscientiousness of the people. Daily experience must ever be teaching each citizen, which other citizens he can put confidence in, and which not. Daily experience must also ever be teaching him how far this confidence may be carried. From per: sonal experiment, and from current opinion which results from the experiments of others, every one must learn, more or less truly, what credit may safely be given. If all find that their neighbours are little to be trusted, but few promises-to-pay will circulate. And the circulation of promises-to-pay will be great, if all find that the fulfilment of trading engagements is tolerably certain. The degree of honesty characterizing a community, being the first regulator of a credit-currency; the second is the degree of prudence.
Other things equal, it is manifest that among a sanguine, speculative people, promissory payments will be taken more readily, and will therefore circulate more largely, than among a cautious people. Two men having exactly the same experiences of mercantile risks, will, under the same circumstances, respectively give credit and refuse it, if they are respectively rash and circumspect. And two nations thus contrasted in prudence, will be similarly contrasted in the relative quantities of notes and bills in circulation among them. Nay, they will be more
INFLUENCE OF MORAL CAUSES.
than similarly contrasted in this respect; seeing that the prevailing incautiousness, besides making each citizen unduły ready to give credit, will also produce in him an undue readiness to risk his own capital in speculations, and a consequent undue demand for credit from other citizens. There will be both an increased pressure for credit, and a diminished resistance; and therefore a more than proportionate excess of paper-currency. Of this national characteristic and its consequences, we have a conspicuous example in the United States.
To these comparatively permanent moral causes, on which the ordinary ratio of hypothetical to real money in a community depends, have to be added certain temporary moral and physical causes, which produce temporary variations in the ratio. The prudence of any people is liable to more or less fluctuation. In railway-manias and the like, we see that irrational expectations may spread through a whole nation, and lead its members to give and take credit almost recklessly. But the chief causes of temporary variation are those which directly affect the quantity of available capital. Wars, deficient harvests, or losses consequent on the misfortunes of other nations, will, by impoverishing the community, inevitably lead to an increase in the ratio of promissory payments to actual payments. For what must be done by the citizen disabled by such causes from meeting his engagements ?—the shopkeeper whose custom has greatly fallen off in consequence of the high price of bread; or the manufacturer whose goods lie in his warerooms unsaleable; or the merchant whose foreign correspondents fail him ? As the proceeds of his business do not suffice to liquidate the claims on him that are falling due, he is compelled either to find other means of liquidating them, or to stop pay. ment. Rather than stop payment, he will, of course, make temporary sacrifices
will give high terms to who