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If all notes were known to be secured by a deposit of consols, with a margin of consols taken at a low value, the fear of our being flooded with paper issued by insolvents, and representing nothing, might be mitigated. This might be extended to the country districts, and to Scotland and Ireland; and the currency of the three kingdoms would then be uniform, would be protected from panic feeling, and would be reasonably and justly relied on by the public.
The whole of our banking system is to be explored, it is said, before the impending committee, with an acuter attention, if possible, than ever before; and though we cannot expect a great deal of new light, we may perhaps hope to have some. We should especially hope that we shall not have on any future occasion the class of theorists who have beset us lately, and who maintain that the Government relaxation of the Act of 1844 is a debasement of the currency, and yet do not dare distinctly to impugn its propriety; with such speculators there ought to be no argumentative quarter. A debasement of the currency is a measure which can never be right under any imaginable conjuncture of events; it is a violation of a fundamental maxim of morality. We can imagine many reasonings under many circumstances for a suspension of cash payments; unfortunate events may prevent our paying our debts for a time, and it may be necessary to postpone all creditors, to avoid an unequal preference of some few. But we can imagine no circumstances in which it would be right to compel people to accept little shillings instead of large shillings. No words can be too mean for the subterfuge of professing to pay our debts, when we are really giving less than we contracted to repay. Those whose theory logically compels them to take this view of the Government relaxation, ought to have opposed it with a far greater decision and explicitness. As a matter of fact, we apprehend, however, that the practical good sense of the most accomplished of such persons really makes them feel that if they had been in the position of responsibility, they would have acted as her Majesty's Government have done; and accordingly, whatever a rigid logic may advance, their essential judgment is in its favour.
Notwithstanding the arguments of some eminent orators, the whole subject is not yet exhausted. There is no exhausting subjects on which experience daily accumulates, and of which the details daily change. We have only been able to touch on a few points in comparison of the many which are important, and yet we must have wearied our readers. We can only hope that other writers will be both more exhaustive and more agreeable.
BOOKS OF THE QUARTER SUITABLE FOR READING
The Epistles of St. John. A Series of Lectures on Christian Ethics. By F. D. Maurice, M.A. Macmillan and Co.
[This is, we think, Mr. Maurice's most effective and instructive work. He is peculiarly fitted by the constitution of his mind to throw light upon St. John's writings.]
The Indian Crisis. Five Sermons by F. D. Maurice, M.A. Macmillan. [A fine series of sermons, on the spirit in which all Englishmen should interpret the Indian calamity.]
The Philosophy of Evangelicism. Bell and Daldy.
[A very able and thoughtful essay on something far wider than what is technically called Evangelicism. The style is, perhaps, a little too studied for the subject. To the writer's criticism on our last Number we may perhaps take some other opportunity to reply.]
[This is a really able but hard essay, which shows much affinity with the Calvinistic metaphysics of the understanding.]
Sermons preached on various Occasions. By John Henry Newman, D.D., of the Oratory. Burns and Lambert.
[A volume of sermons, preached chiefly to the students of the Roman Catholic University of Dublin. It has Dr. Newman's general characteristics, -wide intellectual grasp, and every grace that style can give to very unsatisfactory moral premises; but there is less substance in the volume than in most others of the same author.]
The Orthodox Doctrine of the Apostolic Eastern Church; or, a Compendium of Christian Theology. Whittaker and Co.
The World of Mind by Isaac Taylor.
[Reviewed in Article VII.]
Jackson and Walford.
Essays, Scientific, Political, and Speculative. By Herbert Spencer. Longman, Brown, and Co.
[This is a republication of Mr. Spencer's thoughtful and able essays in the various quarterlies.]
Thorndale; or, the Conflict of Opinions. By William Smith. 1 vol. W. M. Blackwood and Sons.
Economy of the Labouring Classes. By William Lucas Sargant. 1 vol. Simpkin and Marshall.
[A valuable book, reproducing a great part of M. Le Play's great French work on the same subject, but with very considerable additions and good comments.]
The History of the Factory Movement by Alfred. 2 vols. Simpkin and Marshall.
A Layman's Contribution to the Knowledge and Practice of Religion in Common Life. By William Ellis. 1 vol. Smith, Elder, and Co. [A very useful book on elementary political economy. The title gives a false conception of the scope of the work. "Religion
in Common Life" ought primarily to touch motives rather than external actions.]
The Sepoy Revolt; its Causes and its Consequences. By Henry Mead. John Murray.
Curiosities of Natural History. By Francis F. Buckland, M.A. 1 vol. Richard Bentley.
Omphalos: an Attempt to untie the Geological Knot. By P. H. Gosse, F.R.S. John Van Voorst.
The Rambles of a Naturalist on the Coasts of France, Spain, and Sicily. By A. D. Quatrefages. 2 vols. Longman, Brown, and Co.
The Political Economy of Art. By John Ruskin, M.A. 1 vol. Smith, Elder, and Co.
Remarks on Secular and Domestic Architecture, Present and Future. By G. Gilbert Scott, A.R.A. Murray.
[A good book, combining theory with practical suggestions in a somewhat desultory manner.]
The State Policy of Modern Europe, from the Beginning of the Sixteenth Century to the Present Time. 2 vols. Longman, Brown, and Co.
[A useful and instructive work.]
Essays on the Early Period of the French Revolution. Contributed to the Quarterly Review by the late Right Hon. John Wilson Croker. John Murray.
The Eighteen Christian Centuries. By the Rev. J. White. 1 vol. Blackwood.
[A slight compendium of the history of eighteen centuries,-well written, but making little pretension to going below the surface.]
A Year of Revolution. From a Journal kept in Paris in the year 1848. By the Marquis of Normanby, K.G. 2 vols. Longman, Brown, and Co.
[Pleasant and often new information as to Lamartine's relation to the Revolution, and other connected subjects, is contained in this book. It is full of agreeable anecdote and gossip, but the style is awkward and sometimes confused.]
British Rule in India. By Harriet Martineau. 1 vol. Smith, Elder, and Co.
[A good compendium of a great subject.]
A Hundred Years Ago: an Historical Sketch: 1755 to 1756. By James Hutton. Longman and Co.
The Boscobel Tracts; relating to the Escape of Charles the Second
after the Battle of Worcester, and his subsequent Adventures. Edited by J. Hughes, Esq. A.M. W. Blackwood and Sons.
[A useful republication.]
History of Modern Rome, from the taking of Constantinople (1453) to the restoration (1850) of Pope Pius IX. Longman, Brown, and Co.
The Israel of the Alps: a complete History of the Vaudois of Piedmont and their Colonies. By Alexis Muston. 2 vols. Blackie. Montaigne the Essayist: a Biography. By Bayle St. John. 2 vols. Chapman and Hall.
[Mr. Bayle St. John has devoted much time and care to this book. It is written with genuine interest, and contains passages of much power and finish. It will be widely read.]
Memoirs of the Duke of St. Simon; or, the Court of France during the last part of the Reign of Louis XIV. and the Regency of the Duke of Orleans. Abridged from the French. By Bayle St. John. Vols. 3 and 4. Chapman and Hall.
[This book, as is well known, is full of graphic material. The translator has not always adapted himself to English taste in selecting for his abridgment.]
Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa, during Sixteen Years' Residence in the Interior of Africa. By David Livingstone, LL.D. J. Murray.
[The unworked materials of a most valuable book. We cannot expect the most dauntless of modern travellers to be also the most skilful of literary writers.]
Captivity of Russian Princesses in the Caucasus. Translated from the Russian. By H. S. Edwards. Smith, Elder, and Co.
[A very interesting, minute, and finished picture of a long residence in Shamyl's house.]
Tiger Shooting in India. By Lieut. William Rice, 25th Bombay N.I. Smith, Elder, and Co.
[These hunting adventures of an Indian officer form one of the most entertaining books of light reading that have appeared this quarter. A genuine love of sport, a thorough knowledge of the character and habits of the tiger, and a remarkably good style, raise the work above most of its class. It is beautifully illustrated with chromolithographic plates from sketches by the author.]
Letters from Cannes and Nice. By Margaret Maria Brewster. Thomas Constable.
Oriental and Western Siberia: a Narrative of Seven Years' Explorations and Adventures in Siberia. By Thomas Witlam Atkinson. 1 vol. Hurst and Blackett.
Northern Travels, Summer and Winter Pictures of Sweden and Norway. By Bayard Taylor. 1 vol. Sampson Low.
Reminiscences of Pilgrimage to the Holy Places of Palestine. By Henry G. J. Clements, M.A. J. H. Parker and Son.
Recreations of Christopher North. Vol. 2. W. Blackwood and Sons. Modern English Literature, its Blemishes and Defects. By Henry H. Breen, Esq., F.S.A. Longman, Brown, and Co.
[There is some ability and some hypercriticism in this book.]
The Fairy Family: a Series of Ballads and Metrical Tales. Longmans. [Elegantly written, and accompanied by a beautiful frontispiece.] The Thousand and One Days. Edited by Miss Pardoe. William Lay. [A delightful book for children, with really new Arabian tales of the old sort.]
Riverston. By G. M. Craik. 3 vols. Smith, Elder, and Co.
[An excellent translation of a very clever German novel.]
The Year Nine: a Tale of the Tyrol. By the Author of "Mary Powell." Hall, Virtue, and Co.
The Exiles of Italy: a Tale. By C. G. H. 1 vol. Hamilton and Adams.
Hassan; or, the Child of the Pyramid: an Egyptian Tale. By the Hon. C. A. Murray, C.B. 2 vols. J. W. Parker.
[Clever of its kind.]