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CONDUCTED BY WILLIAM AND ROBERT CHAMBERS, EDITORS OF CHAMBERS'S INFORMATION FOR
THE PEOPLE, CHAMBERS'S EDUCATIONAL COURSE,' &c.
No. 251. New Series.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 21, 1848.
men eminent for their talents, respectable for their GREAT MEN.
aims and acquirements. For anything we can tell, the It is universally remarked that now-a-days there are discoveries to be made by these men and their sucno great men-no great statesmen, authors, artists, cessors may be as grand as those of Newton, as useful dramatic writers, orators, theologians, or philosophers. as those of Watt. Great as has been our advance, we Everywhere we see but a lifeless mediocrity-clever- are to all appearance only on the threshold of knowness, and sometimes brilliancy of acquirements—but no ledge. All things seem to prognosticate that in a great depth, scarcely any towering genius, little courage century bence we shall be looked back to as pigmies in or ability to soar to commanding heights. Where is the arts—'gatherers of pebbles on the shore. The disthere now any great scholar; where a Shakspeare, coveries, the inventions, the researches of the passing Milton, Scott; where a John Kemble; where a Newton; hour are all calculated to convince us that there yet where anybody in the superlative? The days even of remains a field of inquiry, which appears the more Bonapartes are gone! Ample scope is there for usur- boundless as we advance. But, setting aside any such pation; but we look in vain for a Usurper! The Hour hypothesis, and taking matters only as they are, we is come; but where is the Man?
would be inclined to speak of the present age as relaThis is exactly one of those subjects which admits of tively anything but contemptible either in arts or being treated pro and con. Much may be said on both learning. That the individuals who excel do not rise sides, without any decided preponderance one way or into a distinguished pre-eminence, is accounted for by another. In the first place, it will not escape observa- the fact-a fact become proverbial—that the world tion that the alleged scarcity of great men is very does not know its great men,' at least not till it has lost much caused by a general advance throughout society. them. As no man is great to his valet-de-chambre, For one great writer in a period of literary darkness, so no man is thought much of who may be seen any we have now a hundred writers of ordinary, though day walking in the public thoroughfares. It is only no mean capacity, all actively exercising their pens. when he is dead and buried, and no longer takes For one artist of inapproachable excellence, we have a part in commonplace concerns, that his merits thousands who can at least please us with their pro- are understood and appreciated. Washington, in the ductions. We have, to be sure, no Newton; but look at midst of his mighty struggles, was aggrieved by a the multiplicity of minds turned to philosophic pur- thousand detractions. Priestley, whom we are now suits, each poring on the face of Nature, and occasionally in the habit of looking back to as a great man, was disclosing new and interesting features. If no man very far from being considered great while he lived. towers over his fellows, it may be because all have to chased from his home by a fanatical mob, and coldly climb higher than the great men of former times did, sympathised with by men of learning, he died an exile in order to be conspicuous. Where discovery has been from the country which was unworthy of him. It pushed to its limits, we cannot reasonably expect to would be telling a twenty-times told tale to go over the have any more discoverers. There are mariners of as histories of great authors' from Homer downwards, ardent temperament as Columbus, and as willing to who were treated not in the handsomest manner while encounter dangers, but in what direction can these they were living and pouring forth their deathless longing geniuses go in quest of a new continent ? In effusions. Unfortunately for men who in some way maritime discovery, as in many other fields, the work distinguish themselves in literature, arts, philosophy, is pretty nearly done. America, the solar system, the or statesmanship, they are usually judged of while in principle of gravitation, the laws of chemical affinity, life not exclusively in reference to their services or the balloon, the steam-engine, and a thousand other labours, but to a large extent in subordination to prothings, can be discovered only once. If physical science fessional and other jealousies, or in connection with sechas not actually got to the end of its tether, all within tarian and party views. In Great Britain, a native has the circuit of the tether has been gleaned so marvelmuch less chance of gaining celebrity for his discoveries lously bare, that in these latter days we are left compa- in science, or his excellence in art, than a foreigner. ratively little to pick up. Lucky fellows those New- Had Liebig been a professor in a London instead of a tons, Keplers, Columbuses, and Watts !
German university, he would scarcely have been listened True in one sense; but let us not be led away by a to with the patience and respect he has been. We prevalent tendency to exaggerate the glories of past should not only have been too fainiliar with his name times and despise the present. After making certain and person, but have been jealous of his reputation. It allowances as to the absence of such commanding intel- is a totally different thing when we have to investigate lects as that of Shakspeare-a man not for a day, but the pretensions of a man who lives a thousand miles off. all time'-it may be fairly questioned if there ever was He is then, as respects our own affairs, as good as dead, any period of the world's history which so abounded in and is not likely to trouble us. One can make nothing by condemning him, while it is quite safe to praise him: having his pictures refused admittance to an exhibition we can in his case afford to be magnanimously im- in the Louvre, did he fly into a passion, and go and partial. No man receives such numerous and cordial kill himself as an ill-used man? No. Without mutter. testimonials of his high claims to consideration, as he ing a word of complaint, he exhibited his productions who is going to quit the scene of his labours. Ene- elsewhere, and lived to be at the head of the French mies hasten to swear to him an everlasting friendship. besides artists. We repeat an advice formerly offered
school of painting-a lesson worth taking by others Rivals weep bitter tears that they are to lose so great
- NEVER COMPLAIN : the world flies from ill-used men. a luminary from their system. The wailings on such Go on, true soul! faint not in doing the work before occasions are ever put to good interest. We all know thee; but do it quietly, and leave the rest to Him how to be generous when the generosity places any who overshadows us with the wings of his Providence! object of desire the more surely within our reach. Remember that the small oppressions of coteries are
But more than this : all have small prejudices to but transient, and act with slight effect on the truly cherish, and it is not usual to speak with respect of a great-great in sentiment as well as intellect. We are person who in anyway deranges the complacency of each of us on trial, and if conscious of rectitude, need foregone conclusions. The outer world, in a state of not fear the verdict of the tribunal.
W.C. happy innocence, imagines that the learned, so called, are worshippers at the shrine of Truth. Alas! how few are there who are not followers of idols. Each has
THE SILVER MINE. his cherished fancy, which he feels bound to combat A YOUNG cavalier was riding down a street in the city for in all circumstances; and wo to the man who auda- of Mexico leading towards the Alameda, when his own ciously brings distrust on his opinions! While motives name, pronounced in piteous accents, arrested his atso ungracious, independently of considerations of a tention, and caused him to rein in his steed. sterner and less creditable nature, are permitted to Oh, Don Vicente, noble caballero, have pity on me, influence the judgment, can we be surprised that so por el amor de Dios ; for charity, good senor, save a poor few living men attain the distinction which we ordi- Indian, who is innocent as a child unbaptised.' narily call "great ?'
The person who uttered this appeal was evidently, If in the present age there be any peculiar impedi- from his looks, his garb, and his speech, one of that ment to the rise of great men, it may be said to consist unfortunate race who, originally lords of the Mexican in a widely-diffused taste for and habit of criticism, soil, have been for centuries in reality, if not in name, the occasional unjudging severity of which has unfor- the serfs of their Spanish conquerors. The cavalier tunately the effect of repressing talent unsupported by could even distinguish by his pronunciation that he ambition. If there be no great statesmen, have the was an Indian of the Tarascan tribe, who differ in lanpublic generally laboured to raise men into power in guage, as well as in some traits of character, from the whom they can place unqualified confidence? Perhaps Aztecs, or proper Mexicans. His situation sufficiently the critics are more faulty than the criticised. In the accounted for the vehemence of his intreaty, since he United States, as we are informed, the more enlightened was then in the clutches of two sturdy alguaziles
, or portion of the community, from a regard for their own constables, who grasped him by the shoulders, and hurfeelings, take no part in politics, and studiously keep ried him forward with the least possible regard to his out of place. And in our own country, it is pretty personal comfort. They stopped, however, when Don obvious that on similar grounds the best men'syste- Vicente turned his horse and rode towards them, say. matically refuse to come forward as candidates of office. ing, "What is the matter, alguaziles? Who is this An upright man, with no selfish purpose in view, does man, and what has he done? not choose to expose himself to obloquy, or to have To this question, put by a cavalier whose rich dress his services paid in public ingratitude. Thus a people and high bearing bespoke his claims to attention, one may lose something by being too quick - sighted in of the alguaziles replied with gruff civility that the detecting errors. A charitable consideration of human sanguinary ruffian had just stabbed a white man, a infirmities has more than Christian duty to recommend water-carrier, in an adjoining street, and they were it: it is the soundest policy.
conveying him to the acordada, or city jail, to await So much for the general influences which tend to his trial. The 'sanguinary ruffian,' who, by the way, repress the growth of 'great men. Let it, however, was a small, simple-looking man, the very personificaagain be remembered, that in very many instances the tion of pacific meekness, earnestly protested his innocheck on greatness is independent of external circum- cence of the crime. He declared that he had merely stances. No individual can expect to travel on the path stopped from curiosity to witness the progress of a game to fame without getting rubs by the way. The more of monte, which was going on in the street; there were prominent a man becomes, the more is he exposed to many other bystanders, some of whom were betting on challenge ; and it would be well for him not to mistake the fortunes of the principal gamesters. At length, he the cavillings of the envious, or the morbid grumblings said, a quarrel had arisen, though about what he did of the habitually discontented, for the expression of a not exactly know. Then knives were drawn, and prehealthful and general opinion. The satisfied say no sently a man fell dead, stabbed to the heart. Some of thing : it is only the brawler and busy-body who make the people ran away, and among them a carbonero, or themselves heard. Besides—and here, perhaps, is the coal-porter, a large, strong, black-bearded man, who, he pith of the whole matter—do the great in skill and in- believed, was the real culprit
. As for himself, he waited tellect always conduct themselves in a way to disarm to see what would be done with the dead man; and jealousy and secure approbation? How frequently men when the police came up, to his amazement two of of talent, yielding themselves up to the petty impulses three of those present, and whom he had seen talking of a restless temperament, are observed to destroy the with the carbonero, had pointed him out as the guilty reputation which admirers are willing to accord, and to person ; and that was all he knew about it. which even enemies could not properly, for any length • But, hombres,' said the cavalier to the officers, this of time, present a feasible opposition. In such cases Indian carries no knife. How could he have stabbed the would-be-great man is less judged of by his talents the man?' than his failings. Great in science, literature, or art, * Oh sir,' replied the oldest alguazil, that is the he is perhaps infirm in temper, sensual in indul- very proof of his guilt. The murdered man 985 gence, weak in resolution, imperfect in his moral sense. stabbed with his own knife, drawn out of his belt The world may be captious, neglectful; much grievous before he had any warning of the intention. It is a wrong may sometimes be a consequence of unworthy piece of true Indian craft and villany.' jealousies; but, on the whole, a man's chief enemy is • Do not believe it, noble Don Vicente,' exclaimed himself. When Horace Vernet suffered the indignity of the Indian. Why should I murder a man whom I
never saw before? I, a poor labourer from Zitacuaro, that the carriage of the Conde de Loyzaga had passed who came to the city yesterday for the first time in three or four times up and down the Alameda ; that the
eyes of Donna Catalina had been seen in it as bright as * Zitacuaro, did you say ?' asked the young man, look- ever, but roving about very uneasily ; while the pretty ing earnestly at the Indian. 'It seems to me that I face to which they belonged wore a very unusual exhave seen your face before ? How does it happen that pression of gravity and displeasure ; all of which facts you know my name?'
they related for his especial gratification. Don Vicente, Oh, Don Vicente,' replied the Indian, 'I have seen however, did not consider the information in the least you many times, when you have ridden by the village satisfactory, until it suddenly occurred to him that the where I live to the hacienda of Loyzaga.'
incident which had detained him would form an excellent The young cavalier blushed at this reply, and then reason for a visit on the following morning, in order to answered with a smile— It is very possible ; and for request Donna Catalina's advice on the subject, and to the sake of that recollection, I will not quit you until solicit her interest with her father on behalf of the I have made further inquiry into this strange matter. Indian ; for the Count of Loyzaga was known to have My worthy friends,' he said to the alguaziles,' as your great influence with the viceroy, the Marquis of Mentime is valuable, and the proverb says that justice must doza, who then governed Mexico. Congratulating himhave the wherewithal to subsist, you will not refuse me self on this bright idea, Don Vicente felt able to retort the favour of dividing this doubloon between you. And the raillery of his friends in a corresponding tone, and now, oblige me by returning with your prisoner to the took his way homeward in joyous spirits. spot where the murder took place.'
Vicente Aldama was the descendant of a fortunate The officers did not hesitate to obey a command so companion of Cortes, who had transmitted to his posagreeably enforced, and immediately led the way back terity large possessions in various parts of the new land to the place in question. A number of men of the which he had helped to conquer. The father of Vicente lower classes were still collected about it, pursuing their had been reckoned among the wealthiest proprietors of various occupations and amusements of gambling, gos- New Spain, at a time when the gentry of that country sipping, or chaffering, as calmly as though nothing of comprised the richest individuals in the world. But in importance had taken place among them. Some sensa- one fatal night he lost, at the gambling festival of San tion, however, was created by the return of the algua- Augustin, six of his seven great estates; and the next ziles with the Indian, followed by Don Vicente, especially morning he was found dead in his room, with a pistol when the latter rode into the midst of the crowd, and in his hand, and a bullet through his brain-a selfinquired for the witnesses to the fight and the homicide. immolated victim to the evil divinity that has tempted It soon appeared that though almost all had been spec- so many to their ruin. This dreadful catastrophe had tators of the quarrel, very few had actually seen the at least one good effect, as it gave to his son, then a man killed. Of those who had before been loudest in youth of fifteen, a salutary horror of the gaming table, asserting the guilt of the Indian, the greater number which he never afterwards approached. The income now held their tongues, or disavowed any positive know- of his remaining hacienda was sufficient to enable him ledge of the fact. Two only, both of whom were car- to live in handsome style both in the capital and at boneros, stood out stoutly for the truth of their former his country-house, between which, like most Mexican testimony; and although Vicente had little doubt that proprietors, he divided his time pretty equally. Now the accusation was a villanous plot, concocted to screen it happened that the estate of Don Vicente was situated the real criminal by the sacrifice of a despised and at the easy visiting distance—as it is there consideredfriendless Indian, yet as he had no means of proving of about six leagues from the seat of the wealthy Conde the innocence of the latter, he was obliged to allow the de Loyzaga ; and as the count had been a friend of his alguaziles to convey him to the prison. He promised father, the young man was accustomed occasionally to the poor fellow, however, that he should not be for- ride over for the purpose of paying his respects to his gotten; and with this assurance Paquo Tormes-for noble neighbour. As he grew older, and better able to such, it appeared, was his name-suffered himself to appreciate the lessons of wisdom and experience which be led quietly away without another word of remon- flowed from the lips of the count, it was very natural, strance.
in the opinion of the latter, that the visits of the youth Don Vicente was much annoyed to find that, while should become more and more frequent. The rest of he was engaged in this act of benevolence, the time had the family, however, including Donna Catalina, the slipped by during which he should have been upon the nobleman's bright-eyed daughter, ascribed these conti. Alameda. Any one, indeed, could have seen at a glance nual reappearances of Don Vicente to a very different that the handsome young cavalier was equipped for an cause of attraction. And even the count himselfappearance on that rendezvous of the Mexican beau conceited old fool as he was-began to have his suspimonde. His wide-brimmed gold - laced hat, his emocions. broidered jacket, trimmed with costly fur, his Guada- This state of affairs will account for the anxiety and lagara boots of stamped leather, his enormous silver trepidation with which Don Vicente, on the day after spurs, of more than a pound weight each, his superb the occurrence of the incident just related, presented manga, or riding-mantle, thrown over the front of his himself at the stately town mansion of the count. The silver - plated saddle, the anquera, or housings, of young lady, who was alone, received him with a cloud stamped leather, fringed with silver, which nearly on her brow; but the shade of displeasure instantly covered his horse, were all in the highest style of the passed away when her lover related the accident which native fashion. It was now with some mortification had detained him from the Alameda on the previous that he beheld several of his acquaintances returning day. Donna Catalina's interest in poor Paquo proved from their accustomed ride, and was greeted by them to be greater than he had anticipated. She thought with inquiries as to the cause of his non-appearance. she recollected the name, as belonging to one of the It is but fair to say, however, that his vexation had numerous labourers who were occasionally employed on little or nothing to do with disappointed vanity, but her father's estate in the season of harvest; and with originated in a feeling of a gentler nature. A particu- her sex's natural sensibility in the cause of the injured, lar carriage was expected to be seen that day on the she offered instantly to employ all her resources in Alameda, containing at least one pair of the brightest his behalf. eyes in Mexico ; and it was before this vehicle that Don 'I do not think that we should apply to my father Vicente Aldama had intended to make his handsome at once,' she said, “ until we have tried other means. He razeador, or prancing steed, display its most graceful has an aversion to asking favours of the viceroy : they aracoles, in the hope, or, sooth to say, the assurance, of cost too much, you know,' she added with a smile. ttracting an approving glance from the said sparkling But an idea has just struck me respecting the evidence rbs. His friends, indeed, did not fail to inform him which, you say, is wanting. You men, Don Vicente, always imagine that you have a monopoly of sense and that his own nobility was not of very ancient date, his ingenuity in such matters; but we will try for once grandfather having been a poor woodcutter, who had what woman's wit can do. Go, my friend, to your had the good luck to discover a silver mine, with the lawyer, and ask his advice, while I make some inqui- produce of which he bought his title and estates ? ries in my own way. Do not be mortified if I succeed Neither of these courses seemed to be exactly feasible; where you are both at fault.'
and poor Vicente could only make his bow (which he Although Vicente was somewhat puzzled by this did with excessive stiffness) to the proud and selfish speech, he felt that he could do no better than trust to old noble, and take his way homeward in a state of Donna Catalina's quick intelligence, of which he had mind approaching to desperation. had many previous proofs, and he took his leave, very On reaching his house, he was surprised to find Paquo well contented with the position of his own affairs, as waiting in the entrance-hall, accompanied by another well as those of poor Paquo. Donna Catalina imme- Indian, whose white hair and wrinkled face gave evi. diately ordered her carriage, and drove at once to the dence of extreme age. Even in his present dejection, spot where the murder had taken place. Her 'woman's Vicente experienced a momentary pleasure at the sight wit' had suggested to her that, in the case of a dis- of one whom he had befriended, and in whom Donna turbance in the streets, the female inhabitants of the Catalina had taken an interest. This feeling of pleaneighbouring houses would be very likely drawn to sure was all the reward which he either expected or the upper windows or balconies, from whence they desired for his charitable exertions. would have a good view of whatever took place below. * Well, Paquo,' he said, I am glad to see you here A very few inquiries sufficed to prove the correctness once more, and your father with you, to testify your of her supposition. In the third house which she gratitude. But you must not forget that the Lady entered, she found that the mistress—the wife of a re- Catalina is the person to whom you are most inspectable tradesman-with her two grown-up daughters debted.' and their maid-servant, had all witnessed the quarrel • This is not my father,' said the Indian, scratching from its commencement to the end. They were certain his head, as though in some perplexity. 'He is—he is that the murderer was not an Indian, but a tall, strong -my itzchingambaramaxtegni.'* man, with a thick black beard, and dressed like a car- What is all that ?' asked Vicente laughing. You bonero. A messenger, despatched without delay to forget, Paquo, that I do not understand Tarascan.' Don Vicente, informed him of this satisfactory dis- . It means,' replied the Indian, rubbing his brow covery; and the strength of his affection may be judged in deep meditation ; oh yes ! it means that he is the from the fact, that he was more pleased than mortified brother-in-law of my wife's grandfather. He lives at by this proof of his mistress's superior acuteness. With Trinandu, near Esparza, in the mountains of the Sierra the aid of his lawyer, he at once took the necessary Madre.' steps for procuring the liberation of the prisoner. The • Vaya, Paquo,' said Don Vicente gaily ; ' you must regular forms of Spanish law required a few days' be a very worthy man, if your relatives come from so delay before this could be effected; but at length the great a distance to show their interest in you.' Indian was released, and, as Vicente soon learned, im- Yes,' replied Paquo with great simplicity; "and my mediately left the city, without stopping to thank either uncle is a very good man too, but he does not speak of the benefactors to whose exertions he owed his Castilian. He has brought something to show you, escape. Vicente, however, was too well accustomed to senor.' the peculiar character and manners of the Indians to Paquo then addressed a few words in Tarascan to the be much surprised at this omission. He felt assured old Indian, who advanced and laid at Vicente's feet a that Paquo would almost as soon have faced a loaded bundle carefully tied up in a blue cotton cloth. When cannon as have entered the mansion of a wealthy pro- opened, it was found to be filled with lumps of a gray prietor, or a great noble, for the purpose of making a mineral substance. Vicente took up one of them, and formal speech to the master or mistress of it.
after closely examining it, exclaimed in some surprise Of a very similar kind were the sensations of Vicente · Why, hombre, this is silver ore of the very richest himself, a few days afterwards, when he approached the quality! From whence do you bring it? Is your uncle residence of the Count of Loyzaga, with the intention a miner?' of making a solemn proposal-not to Donna Catalina, “No, senor,' replied the Indian ; 'but this is the case: of whose sentiments he had before pretty well assured Many years before I was born, when my uncle here was himself, but to her father, who, he had reason to fear, a young man, he was travelling over the Sierra Madre. might not be found so propitious. The result proved The night came on very cold, so he made a great fire, that his presentiment was only too well founded. The and lay down to sleep beside it; and in the morning, old noble drew himself up with a degree of hauteur and when he awoke, he saw in the ashes something shining. pomposity unusual even in him, and expressed his He looked and found that it was silver ; and he knew wonder that a young man, whom he had always treated that he had discovered a very rich mine.
So be as a friend, should have imposed upon him so unplea- covered it up with earth and stones, and he came away sant a duty as that of declining his alliance. He had a and told his own family, and no one else; and since great regard for Don Vicente, both for his father's sake then, we have kept secret till this day. Now we and his own merits, but really—not to speak of the have brought the ore to you, senor, to show that the difference of rank, which yet ought to be considered— story is true ; and if you will go with my uncle and me, the disparity of fortune put such an alliance quite out we will point out the spot.' And here Paquo stopped of the question. Besides, he added with great stateli- short. ness, he had already nearly concluded a treaty for the • You wish me to work the mine, I suppose,' said marriage of his daughter with the son of the Marquis Vicente,' and share the proceeds with you? of San Gregorio, which connection he considered most Paquo did not at first precisely understand this queseligible in every point of view. It would always give tion; but when he was made to comprehend is, he him pleasure to see Don Vicente Aldama, either in shook his head, and said gravely, · What could we poor town or at his country seat, on the footing of a valued Indians do with a silver mine? But perhaps you will acquaintance; but really his young friend must him- give us somethivg to buy tobacco with, and some new self see that his present proposals were very ill-consi. clothes ?' dered and altogether inadmissible.
• What will I not do for you, my, good Paquo' said What reply could Vicente make to such a speech? Vicente with emotion, “ if your story proves true?' Could he deny his own comparative poverty, or the The young man's voice trembled with excitement; immense wealth of the Marquis of San Gregorio, whose son, by the way, he knew to be a pleasant compound * The relater does not vouch for the literal correctness of this of sot, gambler, and fool ? Could he remind the count | word; it is possible that a few syllables may hare been onnitted.
for the visions which now unfolded themselves before At the time of the union between England and Scothis mental sight almost dizzied and confused him by land, the former was not an over-populated country; but their brightness. He wrote a hasty note to Catalina, still her supply of indigenous labour appeared to be quite imploring her to defer her consent to any marriage great enough in proportion to her working capital. which her father night propose for only a single month; The intrusion of our countrymen, therefore, who naby which time he had the strongest hopes of a most favourable change in his position. Then taking with turally flocked to the richer field, was reckoned an him two or three armed attendants (for the roads of insufferable hardship, and every means was adopted Mexico in those days were no safer than at present), for compelling them to stay at home. This, as it turned and an experienced miner, he set out on horseback for out, was exceedingly fortunate for the beggarly Scots;' the Sierra Madre, distant about forty leagues from the for a strong monarchical government controlling, and capital. A Mexican Indian can rarely be induced to finally annihilating the feudal influences, left them, for mount a horse; and in this instance Paquo and his the first time since their existence as a nation, suffivenerable relative preceded the party on foot, at the usual regular trot in which the natives make their ciently at peace to enable them to develop the resources journeys. Notwithstanding the great age of the elder of their own neglected wastes ; and the result was, that Indian, he kept ahead of the horses all the way, without in process of time the jealousies and animosities of the appearing in the least fatigued on their arrival at the northerns and southerns died away, and the two counmountains. The silver vein was found exactly as he tries became one in mutual interest and mutual rehad represented it, cropping out' at the surface of the
spect. ground; and the miner declared that there could hardly be a doubt of the abundance of the mineral wealth far better adapted than Scotland was then for the sup
Ireland is now, so far as natural means are concerned, which it contained. Vicente took instant measures for claiming, or, as it is called in Mexico, denouncing the port of a large population. Setting aside the superior newly-discovered mine, by laying an information before capabilities of the soil for agricultural purposes, it posthe proper tribunal, and commencing the necessary sesses a dormant capital in mines and other resources, works for the extraction of the metal; this being all such as, if brought into activity, ought to raise the that is requisite in that country to give a complete people to a high pitch of prosperity. The Arigna iron property in any mine, without reference to the previous mines are supposed to be equal in value to any in Engownership of the land in which it is found. In less than a month the miner's predictions were limited extent; and are close to the water-high ways of
land; they are surrounded by coal-fields of almost unamply verified. By that time it was known all over Mexico that Vicente Aldama was working a' clavo,' or
Lough Allen and the Shannon. Elsewhere throughout deposit of ore, which had already produced him fifty the country are found, as well as iron, the ores of thousand dollars. The Conde de Loyzaga, therefore, copper, gold, silver, lead, manganese, antimony, cobalt, with a promptitude which did honour to his paternal zinc, nickel, chrome, and bismuth ; together with imsensibility, complied with his daughter's request, first mense beds of coal, and what has been found of as great to defer, and then to break off entirely, the treaty with importance for like purposes, bogs of turf, convertible the Marquis of San Gregorio. He still declared, how. into charcoal for smelting, and already used extensively ever, that he could not think of giving his daughters in generating steam. The lakes and rivers of Ireland declaration was the remote cause of an announcement facilitate in a very remarkable manner the means of which, before the close of the year, created some in inland transport; and their available water-force is terest, though not much surprise in the city-namely, estimated at half a million horse-power.* Such is that Vicente Aldama had just been created Count of the country in which the mill-power actually in use Esparza : a title for which, it was said, he had given amounts, including steam and water, only to 3650 half a million of dollars ; but probably to him, with a horse-power ; ' while all the rest,' as Mr Vereker obseemingly inexhaustible mine at his command, both the
serves, ' to the value of hundreds of thousands of money and the title appeared of equally trifling value, pounds, flows, like Pactolus, carrying its wealth into the compared with the greater treasure which they were
sea.' the means of procuring him.
Such is the country whose inhabitants flock over The traditional account from which the foregoing to England by thousands, to fling their labour into an parrative has been derived does not enlighten us with already overloaded market, to inundate our workhouses, respect to the subsequent history of the personages to harbour in our jails, and spread the gangrene of crime whom it relates. All that is certainly known is, that and mendicancy in the bosom of our population. the fortune of the Aldama family, or at least a large We have no design at present to inquire into the portion of it, has survived the revolution which has nature of the fatality which drives the unhappy Irish swept away their costly title, along with much other to our reluctant shores. The position of the country, rubbish equally expensive and worthless.
however, apart from its causes, has never been more
clearly stated than by Mr Nicholls, the poor-law comTHE IRISH INUNDATION.
missioner. • Ireland,' says he, 'is now suffering under Some notice was recently taken in this Journal of the a circle of evils, producing and reproducing one aninflux of Irish into England ;* but the Prison Inspec- other. Want of capital produces want of employtor's Report on the Northern Districts, which has made ment- want of employment, turbulence, want, and its appearance since then, forces the subject upon us misery-turbulence and misery, insecurity-insecurity anew. In a country like England, already overstocked prevents the introduction and accumulation of capital, with labour, a large addition every year to the supply, and so on; and until this circle is broken, the evils
beyond the natural movement of population, would be must continue, and probably augment.' In the mean1| in itself a prodigious evil ; but the addition in question time, the great majority of the natural capitalists—the
is attended by circumstances that render it absolutely landlords-sneak quietly out of the way, carrying with l' intolerable, and we feel that we should be neglecting our them the keys of the treasures we have enumerated,
daty if we failed to make use of the peculiar opportunities we enjoy of access to the public, in calling atten. * See Sir Robert Kane's Industrial Resources of Ireland,' and tion to the subject.
'Absenteeism Considered in its Economical and Social Effects;'
the latter being a shilling's worth of striking facts and sound * No. 249. Public Health Act.
reasoning, by the Hon. John P. Vereker.