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LOUVAIN Is a large and irregularly-built town of the Netherlands, situated on the river Dyle. It was formerly the capital of the Duchy of Brabant, and the place where the Dukes of Brabant were crowned. Some maintain that it was founded by Julius Caesar, or by one Lupus who lived long before him, and it is certain that it was known as far back as the year 885, when Godefroy, Duke of the Normans, having devastated a great part of the surrounding country, encamped on the Dyle, in the plain of Louvain, where his troops built huts for the reception of their plunder. In the ninth century, the Emperor Arnulphus built a castle here, to protect the country from the insults of the Normans j and, according to Lipsius, this was the commencement of the town of Louvain, which was surrounded by walls in 1165, and afterwards enlarged, principally in the reign of Wenceslas, Duke of Brabant.
The castle was for a long period the usual residence of the Dukes of Brabant. Henry the First was assassinated there in 1038, and Thierry, Count of Holland, was confined as a prisoner there in 1200. The Emperor, Charles the Fifth, together with his sisters, was also brought up here, about the beginning of the sixteenth century.
Louvain is situated about fifteen miles from Brussels, and the same distance from Mechlin, on the high road from Brussels to Liege. It is of a circular form, and is nearly seven miles in circumference, but a considerable portion of the space within the enclosure of the old walls, which are now 'decayed, is occupied by gardens.
The chief trade of the place is in beer, which is so famous, that it is said upwards of 150,000 casks are sold annually. There are three kinds; the strongest called Peterman, the exportation of which was formerly forbidden; the Caniak, which is the common table-beer of the upper classes in the town j and that, particularly, called the Beer of Louvain, which is exported to every part of the Netherlands. There are also establishments for making vinegar, refining sugar, and dyeing.
Louvain was formerly the largest, the richest, and the most mercantile town in the Netherlands. Its principal trade, consisting in the manufacture of cloths, was so flourishing, that, at the commencement of the fourteenth century, under John the Third, Duke of Brabant, it contained more than 4000 master-clothiers, and more than 150,000 workmen. The weavers were so numerous, that according to tradition, when they left off work, notice was given of it by a large bell, that the children might be kept within doors, to prevent their being thrown down by the crowd. In 1382 the trades'-people revolted against Wenceslas, the Duke of Brabant, and threw the magistrates out of the windows of the Town-hall; they afterwards took up arms against their prince, but, being defeated, implored pardon. The most guilty were punished, and the weavers, the first authors of the revolt, were exiled. Most of them retired to England, where, they introduced the manufacture of cloth. This was a blow which Louvain never recovered, and the population now does not exceed 25,000.
Amongst the public buildings which lay claim to notice, the most conspicuous is the Town-hall, which occupies one side of the market-place. This may justly be pronounced one of the finest Gothic buildings in the Netherlands. The first stone was laid in 1-1-10, and the building completed in ten years. During the last century many embellishments were added to the interior, and the exterior is now being restored with great care.
On the opposite side of the Market-place stands the Collegiate Church of St. Peter, the appearance of which is much injured by the number of small houses which are built against its walls. It was erected about the year 1040 by Lambert, Duke of Brabant, but was twice burnt in the fourteenth century. It was then completely repaired, and ornamented with a spire of great beauty, 533 feet in height, together with two side-towers, each of which was 430 feet high. This splendid portion of the church was, however, destroyed by a tempest in 1604. In the middle of the choir is the tomb of Henry the. Fourth, Duke of Brabant, who died in 1235; and, behind it, in a chapel, is that of Margaret of Louvain, assassinated in 1225. There are also several other churches.
The University of Louvain, formerly the most eminent on the continent, was founded in 1426 by John the Fourth, Duke of Brabant, with the approbation of Pope Martin the Fifth. The first professors were sent from Paris and Cologne; and the University received many privileges from succeeding popes, and from the Sovereigns of the country. It possessed altogether thirty-seven colleges, and flourished till the Netherlands fell into the hands of the French, who suppressed it, and converted the building into an hospital for invalids. By an edict, however, of William the First, dated February 19, 1817, it was ordered that the University should be re-established; an intention which was carried into effect in October of the same year. There are seventeen professors, and about four hundred students, who enjoy the advantages of a library, containing 40,000 volumes, a cabinet of natural history, and a botanic garden. The building in which the University is now held, is a large and plain edifice, in the modern style, erected towards the close of the last century.
Amongst the illustrious professors of the University of Louvain was the celebrated critic Lipsius, the counsellor of Charles the Fifth, who was born at Overisk, near Brussels. It is said that, on one occasion, the Archduke Albert and the Infanta Isabella attended his lessons. The house in which he resided at Louvain is still shown; it is situated in one of the principal streets, and consists but of one story.
Louvain boasted, for a long time, of having never been captured. In 1542 it was unsuccessfully attempted by Martin Rossen, a Dutch general; and, in 1572, William, Prince of Orange, was obliged to relinquish the siege of it in consequence of the vigorous resistance made by the townsmen and students. In 1635 the Dutch and French laid siege to the town, but were compelled to raise the siege in a short time, on account of the famine which destroyed their army. In 1710 the French, commanded by Du Moulin, entered the town by surprise, but were soon driven back by the townsmen, to whom the Emperor, Charles the Sixth, presented a golden key, as a testimony to their brave conduct. Louvain was, however, taken by the French under Dumourier in 1792, retaken by the Austrians in 1793, and again captured by the French in 1794.
ON WILLS. No. III. Wills Of Personal Property. § 3. On the Forms to be observed in making Wilts. Having in our last paper considered who may make Wills, and pointed out the difference between bequests by a man of his own property, and appointments tjy Will of property over which he has a power, Y,»c come now t0 inquire, what forms are necessj^ ^o he observed in making Wills.'
The answer to this is very short; "None." No forms are necessary to be observed in making Wills of personal property, of which alone we are at present treating. Any writing which can be shown to express the intentions of the deceased, will be allowed to take effect aa his Will; however drawn up, whether on paper or on parchment, whether in his own hand-writing, or in that of some other person, although it be neither signed, nor sealed, nor attested by any witness. Wills written on scraps of paper, and on the covers of books, have been held good.
It is not even requisite that a Will should be in writing at all. If a dying man merely tells his intentions by word of mouth, to those about his bed, the law regards that declaration as his Will. But this want of strictness being found to open a door to perjury, a statute was passed in Queen Anne's reign, enacting, that no verbal or unwritten Will should be good, where the property bequeathed was above 30/. in value, unless it was made during the last illness of the deceased, in the presence of three witnesses, and either in his own dwelling-house, or on a journey: nor unless the Will so spoken be written down within six days after it was made, or be proved by the oaths of the witnesses within six months after that period. Owing to this statute, verbal Wills are now very uncommon; and it can seldom happen, (except in the case of a soldier or sailor in battle, in whose favour the law makes an exception,) that a dying man, able to make a verbal Will, would not, also, be able to dictate a written one.
To return, therefore, to written Wills; it is not because any writing may take effect as a Will, that a prudent man would be careless about the mode of making it. All that the court requires, indeed, is, to be satisfied that the paper really expresses the wishes of the deceased; but the more loosely and carelessly that paper has been drawn up, the more difficult it will be to satisfy the court on that point. A man has, frequently, relations who are interested in overturning his Will; and the more regularly the Will is made, the less easy will it be for them to effect their purpose.
Proof, then, that the Will is genuine, being the great thing wanted, the best way of furnishing that proof is, for the testator to sign his Will in the presence of witnesses, who can afterwards come forward, if necessary, to swear to the fact. And, in order that their testimony may be free from suspicion, it is better to choose indifferent persons for witnesses, than those who take any benefit under the Will. In Wills of real property, indeed, this precaution is rendered positively necessary, by a statute which declares all devises in favour of an attesting witness void: but in Wills of personal property, it is matter of prudence only, as the statute has been determined not to apply to them.
Another reason for signing your Will in the presence of witnesses, is, that the powers to appoint by Will, of which we have spoken in our last paper, usually require the appointment to be made by a Will so signed. And though a paper may take effect as a common Will, without any form whatever, it will not be good as a Will made under a power, unless all the forms required by that power have been complied with. By signing a will, therefore, as a matter of course, in the presence of witnesses, a testator may, sometimes, without thinking of it, render it a good execution of a power, which he had totally forgotten.
This reasoning may be carried further. A Will ot real property is not valid, unless it is signed by the testator in the presence of three witnesses, who must
themselves also sign the Will in the testator's presence, in token of their having witnessed his signature. Now, if you are not certain, whether the property you are disposing of is real or personal property, you will make your Will good at all events by signing it in the above manner.
Although, therefore, there is, as we have before said, no occasion for any form at all, yet, where it can be conveniently done, we recommend every one to sign his Will, and to declare it to be his Will, in the presence of three persons not taking any benefit under it; and then to make the three in his presence, put their names to a memorandum at the foot of the Will, declaring that the Will was signed and published by the testator in their presence, and that they have subscribed their names in his presence, as attesting witnesses thereto.
Where the Will consists of several sheets, it is usual for the testator to sign his name in the witnesses' presence to each sheet, but for the witnesses to subscribe theirs to the last only.
§ 4. On the Revocation of Wills.
A Will is never final or irrevocable until death, however strong the language used may be; it is always open to the testator, up to the last moment of his life, to make a new Will, and to revoke the former one.
The simplest way of revoking a Will, is to burn or otherwise destroy it. You are then without any Will, and would of course die intestate, as the term is, if you were to die before you made another. But a Will is also revoked by merely making a new one of later date: and if the first was never destroyed, and both should be found among your papers after your death, the second Will would be the valid one.
A Will is also sometimes revoked by a change of condition. If, after a man has made his Will, he marries, and has a child born, that Will becomes void, without his doing any act to revoke it. For the law supposes it impossible, that it could have been his dying wish to leave his property in the manner proposed, under such different circumstances. Marriage alone will not have that effect, because the wife may be otherwise provided for.
§5. On Codicils. As a Will may be wholly revoked by a new Will, so it may be revoked in part by a Codicil. A Codicil is a supplement or addition to a Will. If you have left out something in your will which you wish to insert; or if you have put something into your Will which you wish to strike out or alter, you may save yourself the trouble of making a new Will by making a Codicil.
All the remarks made in the third section on the forms to be observed in making Wills, will equally apply to Codicils, and it is needless therefore to repeat them. It is not necessary that a Codicil should be fastened to the Will, or in any way attached to it; but it is proper that it should be described as a Codicil to the Will of such a date, lest doubts might arise whether it was not a new Will, entirely revoking the former one.
A man may make as many Codicils as he pleases, and they and the Will will all be held good, as far as they can be reconciled with each other. But it is not a prudent thing to multiply Codicils, as they make the testator's intentions very difficult to be understood, and often cause great confusion. It is always safer to make a new Will on every change of intention, than to try to patch up the old one by
means of Codicils. W.
[To be continued.]
THE ISLAND OF MADAGASCAR.
II. Early History—French Colonies—Origin Of The Slave Trade—Count Benyowsky—Kino RaDama—Introduction Of Christianity—Anecdote Of The King.
The history of Madagascar, previous to its discovery, is in a great measure confined to the period since the Arabs conquered the island, which was about 350 years since. Before that event letters were unknown, and the traditionary accounts were obscure and vague; and the historical records since, are confined, as far as has yet been made known, to a few leading events uninteresting to the reader. The discovery, however, of the island by the Portuguese, at the beginning of the sixteenth century, led to an attempt at its occupation by that people, who built a fort in the province of Anossi, in a beautiful district; but the establishment Was viewed with jealousy by the natives, and some acts of aggression increasing their aversion, they attacked and massacred all the settlers.
About a century after, the French, in their route to the East, saw the value of Madagascar, and in 1642, a patent was granted by Cardinal Richelieu to Captain Klvauit, to form a company, with the exclusive right to trade to Madagascar and the neighbouring islands. Accordingly, Pronis and Fouquemberg were appointed governors, and sent out with a handful of men to take possession. They were favourably received by the natives, and established themselves at the port of St. Lucia, in Anossi, at the southern part of the island; but on account of its unhealthiness they left it, and removed to a peninsula, to which they gave the name of Fort Dauphin, having built a fort on an eminence, commanding a fine bay and roadstead, and elevated 150 feet above the level of the sea. A town was subsequently built near it, and a considerable quantity of land enclosed, which produced all the necessaries of life in abundance.
Fouquemberg shortly returned to France, and Pronis by his imprudent and cruel conduct, rendered himself hateful to both the French and the natives; and about the year 1647 he was suspended, and Flacourt appointed to succeed him. He arrived there in September, 1648, and was well received by the native chiefs. It is to him that we are indebted for the greater part of our information respecting these people; he published his memoirs on his return to France in 1655, which, considering the period in which they were written, are highly scientific and descriptive.
Flacourt employed force in lieu of conciliation for the reduction of Madagascar. The native chiefs resented it, and, upon Flacourt s return to France, conspired against the colony, and in 1655 burnt the fort, and cut off the garrison.
Flacourt set out on his return to Madagascar, about 1659, but, being lost at sea, Chamargou was appointed to succeed him. On his arrival, finding the fort destroyed, he set about rebuilding it; and, as soon as he had established himself, he began to explore the country. At this period a Frenchman, named La Case, had obtained great influence among the chiefs, and having thereby excited the jealousy of Chamargou, was exceedingly ill treated by liim; in consequence of which he joined himself to a chief with some of his associates, and soon after married Dian Norg, the beautiful daughter of Dian Rassitate, the Chief of Amboule. He, however, although persecuted by Chamargou, never opposed the French interests, but exerted himself to conciliate the chiefs towards them; but Chamargou acted in so despotic a manner as to raise all the chiefs against him, and he was continually embroiled in wars with the natives. Tliis result was much heightened by the conduct of the Jesuits who were attached to the colony, and who attempted to convert the chiefs by their old weapons, the thunders of the church and the sword; and Father Stephen and six monks, having tried their efficacy upon Dian Monangue, with more than usual rashness and arrogance, were massacred upon the spot, and the French were from that day denounced. La Case saved them from destruction during his life, and Chamargou was soon after superseded by the Marquis de Mondevirgue, who, however, proceeded to the east, leaving Caron to govern Madagascar in his absence. That person remained but a short time, and was succeeded by La Fage, who also yielded up his authority to La Haye in 1670, who was appointed by the French Government, which had then taken the island under its own management.
La Haye, not a whit wiser or more moderate than his uredecessors, set about reducing the provinces by fire and
sword, but succeeded so ill, that he left the island in disgust and retired to Surat. Soon after his departure, La Case died, and thus the only remaining tie of the natives to the French interest was broken;—watching an opportunity, they attacked thorn unawares, and destroyed all but a few, who escaped to a ship lying in the roads. Thus was Madagascar again free from the influence of foreigners.
From this period the intercourse with Madagascar was casual. The pirates, however, as has been mentioned, had an establishment on the Isle St. Mary, where they carried on a successful system of plunder against the East India merchants. At the same time Aey conciliated the natives by the valuable trade they brought, and the alliances they formed with them; and however hostile the European powers might have been to their proceedings, (which, in fact, ended in the destruction of their settlement at St. Mary,) they, in the end, found means to conciliate even these, and to render themselves as important to their countrymen as to the natives. This was effected by the introduction of the Slave Trade.
It would appear that the French had intimated to the pirates, that if they could persuade the natives to sell their prisoners of war, it would be considered as an atonement for past transgressions. Accordingly, the pirates left no stone unturned to effect that object, and at length succeeded. Two of the provinces engaged in a war, and one party being in want of ammunition, the pirates offered to barter a quantity for the prisoners, and the offer was too tempting: to be refused. The poor creatures were instantly sent on board a vessel lying off the coast, and as reprisals were instantly made, and the pirates bought of both parties, they soon had plenty of slaves. From this time, the slave-trade has formed almost the only trade of Madagascar. The pirates themselves found the immediate benefit of the dreadful innovation, and rose into consequence with their countrymen, who sought their alliance and protection as agents in the traffic, while the natives were continually excited to make war upon each other, by the hope of obtaining, by the sale of their prisoners, those articles of commerce with which the pirates supplied them.
The French, however, had not wholly lost sight of Madagascar as a colony, for in the year 1745, their East India Company again determined to form a settlement at Isle St. Mary. M. Gosse was appointed Governor, and took possession of it in the name of the Company. The fever, however, cut off a large number of the colonists; and a native woman seizing this opportunity, charged Gosse with having violated the tomb of her deceased husband, Tamsimalo, (a powerful and beloved chief,) for the sake of the riches it contained. True or false, this charge incensed the natives to that degree, that on Christmas eve, 1754, when the French were at their devotions, they fell upon and massacred the whole of them. Ample revenge was taken upon the natives by the French from the Isle of France, which again reverted upon the latter, by the supplies being withheld, on which they depended for a subsistence. A truce, therefore, and subsequently peace, was established, and trade resumed its former independent footing.
The next attempt we hear of, to establish a colony, was by M. Maudave, in 1768; but it failed, on account of its being founded on too liberal a principle to deserve the support of the French Government. After his return to Europe, the celebrated Count Benyowsky, a Polish nobleman, was invited by the French minister, M. De Boynes, to superintend the establishment of a colony at Madagascar. The count's memoirs, which were published in two quarto volumes, are full of interest, and give an extended detail of his proceedings on the island. The jealousy, however, of the planters at the Mauritius frustrated all his measures, and determined him, at length, to render himself independent of the French government, and establish himself as king, or suzerain, on the island.
His settlement was at the Bay of Antongel, towards the north-east point of the coast, and a fort and town was built, and various works constructed for a colony on a large scale. Benyowsky was a bold and enterprising man, and possessed the art of gaining the confidence and good-will of the natives, who worked with cheerfulness for him; and a singular circumstance forwarded his views. An old negress, who was a native, but had been carried a slave to the Mauritius, and brought thence by Benyowsky, declared him to be a descendant of the ancient Ampansacabes; and having himself confirmed the report, the native chiefs rallied round him in great numbers with their adherents, and he found himself at the head of a large army. Had he continued on the island, there is little doubt that he would have fully established himself; but he returned to Europe, for the purpose of obtaining the alliance and support of the British Government, and on his return to Madagascar, was attacked by a party of French from the Mauritius, and shot, and the settlement destroyed, on the 17th of May, 1786.
This was the last attempt at colonizing Madagascar, and nothing of moment transpired until the year 1810; when the occupation of the Mauritius by the English, who had succeeded in taking it from the French, gave a new turn to affairs.
At this period, Radama was the sovereign of a great part of Madagascar, and as soon as the English were settled at Mauritius, he entered into a strict alliance with them. The grand object which this swarthy monarch had in view, was the civilization of his subjects, and with an extraordinary degree of perseverance in that object, he united as sound a judgment respecting the means. The British Government were quite as anxious to stop the progress of the slave-trade, which was still carried on by the French at Madagascar; and on the 11th of October, 1820, a treaty was signed, by virtue of which Radama agreed to abolish the slave-trade throughout his dominions, on condition that twenty of his subjects should be educated at the expense of Great Britain. This was agreed to by Mr. Hastie, the British Envoy, and the slave-trade has since ceased at Madagascar.
Previous to this event missionaries had been sent from England, under the auspices of the London Missionary Society, and accompanied by artisans, for the purpose of instructing the natives in the principles of Christianity, and in the civil arts of life. Countenanced and supported by Radama, these men have established schools in various parts of the country, and have found ample encouragement in the eagerness and talent displayed by their pupils, the native children. Many of these, having finished their education, have become in their turn teachers of others, so that the system of education is rapidly gaining ground in every part of the island. Radama has been dead some years, but notwithstanding the political convulsion that followed his decease, the missionaries have still found protection from the existing government, and the nation is progressively advancing towards civilization. The progress of Christian principles is slow, it is true, but
evidences are not wanting, that they have taken root, and that the prejudices of the chiefs, as well as of many of the people, are giving way. Much, however, is not expected until the rising generation, educated under the care of the missionaries, have engaged in active life to exert that influence which education naturally imparts. In the mean time, European customs are rapidly gaining ground, and the civil arts of life, for which the natives were previously prepared by a partial division of labour, are established on the firm basis of national and individual advantage.
Satisfied, too, of the beneficial effects of their connexion with England, the people are attached to her by ties of interest as well as friendship; and there is every reason to hope, that as soon as they become sufficiently enlightened to understand the principles of trade, and of political economy, in its simplest sense, Madagascar will form a valuable ally to Great Britain.
We have been favoured with a. letter from an officer of the Royal Engineers, who twice visited Madagascar, from which we extract the following interesting anecdote of King Radama.
The English have never had an establishment at Madagascar, hut, of late years they have had an agent residing on the Island. I will give you Radama's opinion of the English in his own words, which he expressed to us when dining on board His Majesty's ship Andromache, on the 26th of July, 1824. 'Commodore 1' said Radama, addressing us in the French language, 'in my early days, I obeyed my parents,—it was right for me to do so,—and I received the counsel of all whom they recommended to me as instructors. As I advanced in years and arrived at power, I found it necessary to deviate from the path which they had traced out to me, and also to teach my people what was of use to them. I endeavoured to imitate a civilized people. I took counsel of England; my efforts were crowned with success, and I look upon her now as assuming the character of my true parents. From my natural parents I enjoy these arms, the gift of nature. From England I receive the strength that sustains me in my present career. I thank you, Commodore Nourse, for having drank success to me and my country; and, in gratitude, let me mention, that the little district, or province of Ovah, till late but little known, situated nearly in the centre of the island, distant from ports and harbours, and not easy of access, was first sought out by Sir Robert Farquhar; he first displayed the rays of light (la lumiere) to us, and which have beamed so gloriously to our advantage. Commodore! I give the health and prosperity of ray friend and benefactor, Sir Robert Farquhar."
On the previous day, we had a state meeting on shore with Radama, when he expressed himself to the same effect as he did on board the Andromache, adding, that, by the attempts he had made to imitate civilized nations, and by the instruction and aid afforded him by England, ho was now master of many provinces; in fact, but few places in the island were without military parties, stationed for the purpose of exacting obedience to his laws, and that he should adhere most strictly to every engagement he had made with England. This Radama, the Great he may be styled, or, from his acts, worthy of the name he took upon himself, Radama Lahi Manzaka, or Radama King of Men, died in July, 1828, and the island, it is to be feared, has again returned into anarchy and confusion.
HISTORY OF NAVIGATION. COMMERCE, AND DISCOVERY.
Part I.—Introduction. Commerce Op Ancient Cities. Effects Of Civilization On Commerce. Money. Active And Passive Commercj.
To a savage unacquainted with the art of navigation, the ocean must appear an insurmountable barrier to the intercourse of those nations, between whose shores it rolls. As ho stands and surveys the mighty mass of waters, now sleeping calmly in the morning sun, and now lashed into fury by the madness of the tempest, if the wish ever enters his mind to know who lives on the other side of the great waters, he regards that wish as one, the attainment of which would require powers more than human. Little, indeed, does he imagine, as he crosses the river, or glides along the margin of the lake in his light canoe, that yonder wild waves are a part of that field where human genius has exhibited its noblest energies, and human skill achieved its proudest triumphs. Little, too, docs he imagine that that very ocean, which he regards as an awful barrier beyond which human power and prowess are destined never to advance, has by the skill and ingenuity of man, been made the means of facilitating that very intercourse which it seems designed to interrupt, and that it is now the scene of commercial operations, more important than any which the world ever before saw. Yet all this is true. The commercial operations and international intercourse of ancient times, and of those nations which were strangers to the art of navigation, sink almost into insignificance, compared with the results and operations of modern commerce. There is, it is true, in the mode of carrying on commerce by means of caravans, so celebrated in ancient times, much that is splendid and imposing. The long procession of camels loaded with the riches of the East, the magnificent display of varied luxury, the encampment by night with its accompaniments of song and eastern tale,—all these, viewed through the vista of departed ages, and adorned with all the splendour, which oriental fancy is wont to throw around the objects and the scenes on which it dwells, make upon the mind an impression far transcending the reality of the scenes to which they refer.
As imagination travels back througn the long series of departed years, and pensively lingers around the ruins of proud Balbec or beautiful Palmyra, and we reflect that these magnificent capitals owed their splendour and their wealth to the kind of commerce of which we have been speaking, we arc ready to ask if the commerce of modern times, with all its boasted extent and improvement, can exhibit more of nobleness in plan, or vastness and magnificence in execution. But in fact, the commerce carried on by means of caravans was poor and scanty compared with that, of which the ocean is the scene, and navigation the handmaid. One single ship, pursuing its noiseless and unostentatious way across the deep, may bear a freight, the value of which a whole caravan with all its display would scarcely equal; and the cities long famed as the marts of this aneient commerce, splendid as they were in their day, would bear no comparison in extent of foreign intercourse or magnitude of operations at home, with the proud capitals which are, at once, the seats
and the monuments of commercial intercourse in modern times.
It is not till nations have become considerably advanced in civilization, and have acquired many of the habits which mark an improved state of society, that they begin to take any important part in commercial intercourse, or to cherish any correct views of the benefits to be derived from it. The ideas of commerce and even of property, generally entertained by savage nations, are very indistinct and inaccurate. It is evident that these ideas, being merely relative, are the result of intercourse between man and man, and would never arise without that intercourse. Many savage nations appear to be almost wholly destitute of ideas belonging to this class. Their wishes do not appear to extend beyond the supply of present wants. When Europeans first began to visit the continent of America, they found many tribes, on whose minds motives referring to property would exert no influence. Tell an individual belonging to one of these tribes that if he would work for you, you would pay him largely, and he would reply, "I am not hungry." Offer him one article of convenience, and he would reply, "I do not want it." Offer him another, and he would say, "I have enough now." One of the early adventurers to America, sorely vexed at their stupidity, said, "One knows not what inducements to set before them."
In such a state of society as this, commerce can hardly be said to exist; and even among the most intelligent of savage nations, it is restricted to the barter of the few trifling articles which their simple mode of life requires. But as the knowledge of the savage extends, ho awakes from that drowsy sluggishness, by which, when not engaged in war or the chase, he was before characterised, and begins to observe the means of improving his condition that are placed within his reach. By degrees his ideas of property acquire distinctness and definiteness. He now has new motives for effort. He no longer aims merely to supply his daily wants, but to add to the amount of his permanent possessions. Whatever his own ingenuity or industry can produce more than is needed for the supply of his own wants is exchanged for such commodities as he cannot, by his own unassisted labour, produce. Such, we may reasonably conclude, is the commencement of commercial intercourse. At length, as this intercourse becomes more extensive, the want of some universal circulating medium is felt. Such a medium ingenuity soon supplies. This, among some nations, is shells or other perishable substances, but generally the precious metals are used for this purpose. From scripture and other ancient records wc learn that money was first dealt out by weight. So Abraham weighed out to Ephron "four hundred shekels of silver, current money with the merchant." It is supposed that money was not coined among the Jews till the time of Judas Maccabeus, and we have no account of coin among the Greeks till about 330 B.C., nor among the Romans till the year 266 B.C.
In the infancy of commerce, the views entertained in regard to the value of money are often far from correct. Johnson relates that, in his journey to the Western Isles of Scotland, he found that the inhabitants regarded money as having an absolute and uniform value. Such is generally the light in which it is regarded by those whose commercial operations are principally confined to barter. Yet a little reflection will make it obvious that the value of money depends on the quantity of the necessaries or conveniences of life which it will purchase, and is, therefore, like that of all other things, relative and variable. The wanderer in the desert, who, when almost famished, found a bag which he supposed to contain dates, was sadly disappointed, when an inspection of its contents compelled him to exclaim, " Alas, they are only pearls!" To him the pearls were of no value, as he had no use for them himself, and could not exchange them for food, for the want of which he was perishing. If gold and silver could not be exchanged for articles far more necessary than themselves to the support and comfort of life, those metals, now so precious, would possess but very little value at all. The small bulk, and almost imperishable nature of the precious metals, have caused them to be almost universally adopted as the medium of exchange; and from the ability, which in consequence of this adoption they possess, of commanding any other commodity, results the greater part of their value. From the fact that value is merely .i relative term, we may see how commerce is a source of wealth, J.t takes the various productions of nature and