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trade, and bad run the Funds up Wisdom" resorted to two schemes, to a hundred, or more, for three issuing great parcels of Exchequer
The country-banks Bills to be lent, to prop up staghad begun their pretty works; gering merchants; and, issuing there were vast quantities of paper five pound notes from the Bank afloat of one sort or another. All of England! Thus "the Wiswas "PROSPERITY." Cicero dom” set the thing agog again, was cried up to the third heaven; and all was prosperity, loyalty, he, who had RAISED THE great and glorious rule-Britannia, NATION from such a state of and God-save-great-George-ourdepression to such a state of en-King; and, if any man dared to vied“ PROSPERITY;" but, say the contrary, or, to abstain Cicero, like you, Mr. Robinson, from saying that, he was sure to modestly ascribed all the “ merit" suffer for it, in some way or other. to the "Wisdom of Parr-r-rr-li-a. But, though men were to be kept ment;" in whose behalf, he, like down in this way, GOLD was you, claimed the “gratitude" of not; it openly resisted; it would a " happy people,” only asking circulate no longer with the pafor himself (besides his salaries per-money; the Bank drew in and sinecures) that his name inight again; but it was now too late: it be inscribed on the solid pillar, produced another terrible crashwhich that “Wisdom” had raised, ing: but, it came too late: the ** sacred to public credit." seditious GOLD kept going away:
Just at this moment of general the Bank Directors reported its disjoy, the bubble bursted! The Bank affected conduct to the “Heavenfound its gold going away to born :" and, one cold February France and elsewhere. War was morning, just after the KING had coming too; but, the bubble must congratulated the Parr-r-rr-li-abare bursted without the war. (ment on the safe and solid state of The Bank drew in; and there our resources; just after Burke was, in spite of “the Wisdom," a had written a pamphlet to show, tremendous crack : not like this that we ought not to make peace, present one; but tremendous for because the French could not get that time, when the workings of on with assignats, not convertible " the Wisdom” had hardly begun into gold, and because WE had to be in full swing of effect. In not a scrap of paper - morey, this unexpected emergency, “the which any man might not in
stantly exchange for gold; just dom.". This was a stunning blow after this, one cold February morn- for the grand Operator, who had ing, not a great while after, Lord bespoken a place for his name, on MORNINGTON (now WELLESLEY," the column to be raised sacred sen.) had been, in a speech of to Public-CREDIT.” Away was five bours long, proving to the Parr- gone the “column,” and the r-rr-li-a-ment, that the French Operator stood gaping and staring financial system was tyrannical like a stuck pig. However, he and base, and coming to contrast applied to “the Wisdom of Parrit with ours, bad concluded in r-rr-li-a-ment,” and he talked these words: “ HERE we see more of that than ever, “ nothing of arbitrary finance; Wisdom determined, that there none of the bold frauds of bank- should be little bits of
in rupt power ; none of the wild stead of gold ; but, this was to “ struggles of despotism in dis- be only for six weeks, just to give « tress; no debasing of the sub- the Bank time to get in gold, or,
stance of the coin; HERE we rather, for the “false alarm to “ behold revenue flowing freely subside.” At the end of the six “and copiously from the opulence weeks, the tether was lengthened " of a contented people;” one to the end of the Session; then to cold February morning, just after the commencement of next SesPirt had told “ the Wisdom,” that sion; then for a year; then for the French assignats were reduced the war, and till six months after to almost nothing in value; one the peace, come when it might! such morning, while many presses Huzza for “ the Wisdom”! Out were at work, in London, forging went the paper-money, up went those assignats to be sent to the prices, and “ PROSPERITY" Continent; just at that time, on was greater than ever! Peace one cold February morning, in came in 1801. The six months the year 1797, the GOLD, when would soon expire! Gold must about to desert in a body, found a come then. The Bank began to placard sticking on the Bank, po- draw in ; smashing again, though sitively impounding it, until “the another year was granted to Wisdom of Parr-r-rr-li-a-ment” | paper-money; then another, and could be consulted on the subject that was to be the last; but, be
This was the devil, to be sure! fore that expired, war came again; This was a choaker for " the Wis- and then Addington, coolly observing, that, “as a war measure, Paper-against-Gold, proved, that " he never heard any one object this could not be done without " to the restriction,” brought in a total ruin to the land and to trade. Bill to continue the restriction to The Wisdom” refused to pass six months after the next peace; such law, not, however for my and, “ the Wisdom” assented to it reasons, but, because it was 31unanimously.
necessary to pass it, seeing that the Now for about six years all was paper-money was as good as gold. “PROSPERITY"again; prices This was put, by the great high, jobbing plenty ; but, the Bexley, into the form of a “ksguinea was got to be worth 28s. SOLUTION," in these words : in paper - money! This was "That the Promissory Notes of awkward for “a solid system of the Bank of England have finance." This was not half the “ HITHERTO been, and NOW real depreciation of the paper.
“ ARE, held TO BE EQUI. The bushel of wheat, on an average
“ VALENT to the legal coin of of years, was the standard to mea-" the Realm, in ALL pecuniary sure that by. However the “ Op- "transactions, to which such coin position,” as they are hypocriti- " is legally applicable.” cally called, who had said not a Now, guineas were openly sold word about this when they them- for 28s. That was both a pecuselves were in place, three years niary and a legal transaction; for before, took it into their heads, in they were bought and sold by all 1810, to make a worrying about sorts of persons! How, then, could this; and, at last, obtained a com- the notes be equivalent, that is to mittee (called the BULLION Con- say, of equal value, to the coin ! MITTER), to inquire into the cause However thus “ The Wisdom * of this depreciation, and to find resolved. But though “ The Wisout a remedy. This Committee, dom" did not agree to Lawyer with one HORNER, a Scotch Law- HORNER's proposition, the Bank yer, at the head of it, reported, had its fears, that the Committee that the remedy was, to compel might be listened to; and, there the Bank to pay in gold, in two fore, it drew in its paper-money to years from that time! This Com- a great extent; and immediately mittee was only a branch of “the a smashing began that was quite Wisdom," to be sure ; bu as is terrific before it was over. People the sack, so is the sample. I, in began to make two prices; they
began to push Country-bankers/ unless the system be totally abofor gold in exchange for their lished, and that, too, before it be notes ; and Lord King had de- long. manded gold in payment of rent.
This “PROSPERITY” and Little Perceval ruled at this time; its parent, paper-money, went on and, under his gentle auspices, till
, in 1814, peace came, with its three bills were brought in, and six months again, for resuming passed by “the Wisdom," the cash-payments. That suspension, first, to punish people for buying which the Wisdom "had, at first, or selling coin for more than its declared to be intended to last only nominal value; the second to for six weeks, bad now lasted make Bank of England notes le- eighteen years; but, now, when gal tenders in payment of country war, when foreign expenditure, bank-notes; the third, to compel when all“ false alarms,” when landlords to take, as coin, Bank all pretences had fled, the Bank of England notes in payment of would, surely, pay again in gold! Tent.
I said it could not: it did not : the Thus, then, the thing was made law was renewed for a year, just pretty complete; out went the to give time to make preparations, paper-money at a famous rate, aster“ so glorious" a war, and and up went wheat to twenty shil- glory being so very costly a comlings a bushel. Brave times ! modity. But though the Bank Never was there in the world be did not pay, it did not know that fore, such '" PROSPERITY”! it might not soon be compelled to Not quite equal to your “PROS-pay. Therefore, it drevo in apace. PERITY," Mr. Robinson; but Down went prices; smash, smash, surprisingly great it certainly was. smash, went the merchants, the There had now been FOUR bankers, and the farmers; and the CRASHES ; that of 1793; that poor squires themselves, in spite of 1797; that of 1802; that of of Corn Bills for their relief, be1810; four rolls, or swags, of the gan to look as tame and to speak system; but, these were nothing, in a voice as humble, as a saucy in point of destructiveness, to what chap, who has been nine months that system bad in reserve; while married to his match. the destruction, that it has since On went the fall of prices and produced, is not to be named along the smashing of all sorts to 1816, with that which is yet to come, nearly the whole inclusive; when,
all of a sudden, out went the acted, after long reports, and long paper again, up went prices, and discussions, that the Bank should, the “ PROSPERITY” of 1818 after due time for preparation, came in double dose, and, indeed, really pay in gold on the 1st of too much to bear; for it really, May, 1823; that it should confor a short time, opened the ports tinue to pay in gold for ever after for foreign corn! But, alas ! no- that period ; that, AFTER THAT thing sublunary is certain, and PERIOD, IT SHOULD ISSUE particularly if it be liable to the NO NOTES UNDER FIVE influence of paper-money. How- POUNDS. " The Wisdom of ever, this swag might have lasted Parr-s-rr-li-a-ment "enacted this, a little longer, if “the Wisdom" though I had a hundred times itself bad not resolved to put an end warned it, that it could not enforce to it by the passing of PEEL'S such a measure, without almost BILL. This was the blow! This exterminating the people. I had was the harpoon, with which, a hundred times, and more, proved, rankling in it, the system of paper that such a measure, unaccommoney bas, from early in 1819 to panied with a very great reduce the present hour, been darting tion of the interest of the debt, and plunging about, and, at every and with other measures, that plunge, has been overwhelming would make such reduction just, and drowning hundreds of thou would produce a state of things sands of unfortunate creatures, full of all sorts of horrors. Yet, who have been hurried down in a "the Wisdom," listening to Rimoment, without ever having per- cardo, Baring, Tierney, and ceived their danger.
others, passed ibis measure WITH The Bank had now, in 1819, VOICE UNANIMOUS, and, been protected five years during moreover, the Speaker boasted profound peace ; and, as all was of it, in his speech to the Regent, now." PROSPERITY,” the the now King! 1, and I alone, “Wisdom of Parr-r-sr-li-a-ment" prophesied the result. resolved to make this “ PROS- The bill had hardly passed ; PERITY” PERPETUAL, by the larpoon had scarcely begun placing it, as that coxcomb, “THE to tickle the ribs of the system, Oracle,” called it, “ on a ME-when, at one twist of her body and TALLIC BASIS.” Oh! the egre- i with one slap of her tail, she sent gious ass! It was now, then, en down a good third part of the fel