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THE QUARTERLY REVIEW, AND THE AMERICAN MINES.*

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as Sir Walter remarks, when speaking of another speculation—a sensation is produced in the market-and all for about L.500 in actual coin. We remember once being well acquainted with the mess of a Highland regiment, the members whereof possessed genealogies far larger than their purses and in order to accommodate both, when compelled to play against one another before strangers, they entered into a regulation that a pound betted meant sixpence-and accordingly a man might lose a dozen points; and as they played long whist, that is a good deal of losing for an eveningnominally for L.12, but really for six shillings. The latter was sufficient inroad, we own, on his purse, whenever it occurred, but it did not sink him into the utter ruin which would

have attended the payment of the former plum-like-looking sum.

So in the Stock Exchange: whereof, if we please, we could tell some queerish stories. But it pleaseth us not. Why should we tell you, my gentle reader, what ought to be learned by your own experience, if you have any business in money-dabbling-and if you have not, where is the use of enlightening the dark lantern of your intellectual faculty with what concerns you not? If you want information, go, as Southey says"Go thou and seek the house of stock; We to the moorlands after cock." Our words may be taken for it, that the people of England may be let alone to do what they please with their money. Few are there about the mountain of Cornhill who can be addressed in the language used by the Hibernian orator when he mistook a jackass for a bull.+ It gives our hearts very few pangs to think of the devastation which will fall on the pockets of the unwary youths who are deluded between the hours of four and half past four every evening, under the shadow of Gresham's Grasshopper. If a row comes, then let him die; let him be kicked out of the ring, bleeding and battered. What, in the name of Plutus, brought him there? Gogo-my lad-you're broken, are you? beggared? ruined? undone ? Sir, there are a great many ways open to you, to obtain an honest livelihood. Join Mr Shiel's countrymen, and mend the ways, under the hard, but not stony, eye of London Macadam. Write articles-burn houses-murder men, women, and children, sparing not even the infant at the breast; slaughter Scarlett; reduce Lady Lauderdale to ashes; traduce Lord Charles Somerset for being the son of Duke Neddy Seymour; send immense ships through uncut canals; spread horror through the land, at a penny a-line, for the diurnal press. Go as waiter to a tavern, or tutor to a young gentle

* An Inquiry into the Plans, Progress, and Policy of the American Mining Companies. London: John Murray!! Albemarle Street!!! 1825. pp. 88.

+ Viz. "Soft is your horn." An Irishman, in his cups, thought he saw a bull, but on taking him by the horn Paddy found it was a jackass's ears. "Soft is your horn, honey," cried he.-Jon. Bee. in voce, p. 162.

The Quarterly Review, and the American Mines.

1825.

man literarily disposed; in fact, sir, the world is wide. But we ask you again, what, in the name of Alecto, and Megæra, and Tisiphone, ever brought you to the Exchange? People may take our word for it, we repeat, that there are few to whom this question will need to be addressed.

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ly because they have been sanctioned by
the classical cover of the Quarterly, but
because in these remarks, we think, that
all that has been alleged, and all that is
being alleged, against the American mi-
ning companies, may be found condensed,
with the addition of a little more preju-
dice, and a great deal more ignorance.

"They are, indeed, very happy specimens
which, it would appear, consists of detail-
of the glorious art of random writing, an art
ing false statements in a flippant style,
acuteness, from premises of your own
and drawing deductions, with singular
creation.

However, the cry was raised, and among those who joined in the lament, chimed in the Quarterly. In its last Number, it shed salt salt tears for the innocent and unsuspicious Jews and Gentiles who were buying shares in the American mines. Our hearts were beginning to bleed for these tender and simple-minded individuals, when this pamphlet was stuck into our fist, and on perusing it we felt somewhat reassured that those helpless and uncognoscent beings would not be entirely swindled out of their money by the gold-finders of America.

"We make no observation on the sen-
timents which the Reviewer expresses,

either with regard to our financial ar-
rangements, with what he scientifically
terms Mexico and the other states of South
America, or upon the political situation
of those governments. After the conduct
of the present administration, it is no
longer necessary to prove to the British
nation, that these governments exist, and
we are satisfied, that the British nation
will feel very little anxiety about the pay-
ments of their dividends, if they are con-
scious that these governments do exist.
Nor shall we trouble ourselves to prove,
that Bolivar and Canterac are anything
more than two straws,' which the Re-
We will answer, from
viewer somewhat shrewdly insinuates
the news which has lately arrived from
may be the case.
Peru, that the Liberator does not care
one straw about the hero of the Madrid

Gazette, the guardian of the standard of

Castile'!

Whoever wrote it is an ugly customer. He gives his one-twos into the bread-basket of the Quarterly in a manner most Ticklerian. If not Timothy himself, he must have studied under that great master. We recognize the touches of that able hand-of that bloody and relentless old butcher -that Djezzar Pacha of Southside. He artfully does not say a word about his intention till the sixty-ninth page. The most inveterate Quarterly-man might read the first five dozen and eight pages without suspecting that he was to be knocked off his pins in the very next. We can perceive the leap which the unhappy individual who perpetrated the review on rail-roads, &c. must have given when he met it. have been like the kind of feeling which he would have experienced, if, after bowing most politely to a civil and well-dressed gentleman, he discovered that the object of the stranger's morning call was to arrest him at the suit of a tailor. We must let the pamphlet-man speak for himself.

It must

"We make no remarks either upon the elegance of the Reviewer's style, or the accuracy of his geography; the profundity of his political views, or the novelty of his political economy."

""

There is a kick in the kidneys! It Reviewer calling Mexico a South Amecertainly is awful, to hear a Quarterly rican state. Barrow ought to take him in hands without delay. Let us go on,

however.

"But we feel it an absolute duty to make a few observations on the remarks contained in this article, on the pretended mining Associations.'

6

"

"The Quarterly Review has this moment been put into our hands. It contains an article on the Rail-Roads, which is prefaced by some pages on speculations of foreign growth, consisting chiefly of loans of money to, and pretended associations for working the mines of, the various new governments of South America Colombian, Mexican, Brazilian, Chilian, and Peruvian.'

"We do not notice the remarks on the speculations of foreign growth,' mereVOL. XVII.

"The Reviewer commences with the usual complaint of the facility with which names of notoriety are obtained, for the These original direction of a new company, containing, as he facetiously terms it, a considerable sprinkling of M. P.'s.' proprietors,' it seems, 'have a due regard for their own particular interests; if the shares (of which they are the largest 4 H holders) bear a premium, (which those of

the most unpromising speculation are almost sure to do, on their first appearance in the market,) they sell out, and, their object thus obtained, start upon some fresh game; if the concern lingers on, and fresh deposits are required, the unfortunate holders, unable to pay, or fearful of larger demands, are compelled to sell; the price of the shares then falls, and on further calls being made, the luckless purchasers get out as well as they cán, by selling at a considerable loss; the next holder does the same; and thus they go on progressively in their descent, till they reach their proper level at zero, or nothing, when the bubble finally bursts, and the whole scheme explodes in empty air, like the infamous Poyais fraud, or King Ferdinand's repudiated bonds.'

"Very shocking indeed! but, unfortu nately, not true. If the Reviewer can point out to us a single company in which this farce has been acted, we will, most willingly, join our feeble efforts in assisting the exposure of the conspiracy, and ensuring the punishment of the conspirators. As for the infamous Poyais fraud,' this is not the first time that that poor scapegoat of a loan has been brought forward, according to the principles of the philosophy of induction, to warn good simple people from trusting what the Reviewer terms Mexico, and other states of South America, revolutionary governments, the honesty and permanency of which remain to be proved.'

·

"We make no remark on the Spanish Bonds. If money is not to be lent on the credit of an ancient and hitherto honourable nation, we know not by what terms security is to be defined. The obstinacy of the monarch, and the poverty of the kingdom, may combine at present to uphold, by a shallow subterfuge, their dishonourable conduct; but that ultimately these engagements must be fulfilled, we have no more doubt, than that there will be a day when fair Castile and Arragon' shall acknowledge a milder sway, and be governed by a wiser system.

"

"The Spanish loan was not introduced by a considerable sprinkling of M. P.'s,' who experienced the benefits of being original proprietors, but by wealthy merchants, who staked much of their fortune on the security it offered, and, by the event, were considerable losers.

lieve, that the directors of the American Mining Companies are the most considerable holders of the shares of the respective companies whose affairs they manage, and possess many shares, which they have purchased at considerable premiums.

"We are not ever desirous of meeting the assertions of anonymous writers by a counter-statement as bold and apparently as groundless; but, on the present occasion, we will state, that after much diligent inquiry, we have every reason to be

"But,' says the Quarterly Reviewer, the frenzy of speculation appears to rage highest among the mines of South America, from whose bowels the 'aurum irrepertum' which the Spaniards have left, because the Spaniards had ceased to find it profitable, is to be dug out by means of English capital, English men, and English machinery.' To prove this frenzy of speculation in South American mines, the Reviewer, as usual, quotes a North American one, and triumphantly demands 'to what will not men persuade themselves, when we find that a single share of a certain mine named the Real del Monte, on which L.70 had been advanced, rose to a premium of L. 1400 a share, or L. 2000 per cent?"

"A certain mine, named the Real del Monte! we shall hear, we suppose, next of a certain mine named the Guanaxuato ! Is it possible that the Reviewer, who talks so boldly of the frenzy of speculation, and of modern speculators, who take not the trouble to inquire into what has been or what may be ;' is it possible that he can have mistaken a whole mining district for a single mine?

"The Real del Monte notice terminates with an elaborate peroration, to which is appended this note, a note to which we beg to call the reader's most particular attention:

"The Stock Exchange history of this wonderful mine is this. It belonged to a private gentleman of Mexico, who derived such wealth from it, that he made a present, during the last war, of two seventyfour gun ships to the King of Spain. We could another tale unfold,' respecting this golden bubble and its flappers at the west end of the town, 'where news from the mine' is regularly manufactured, from St James' Street down to Charing Cross, to catch the city gulls, who in return lay their daily baits for the gentlemen of the west.'

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to found their tales upon the data of the learned Baron. But why say we the data of the illustrious German? There

is another authority, supposed to be of as great weight, and which, being an English one, it is more probable the gentlemen of the Stock Exchange followed, when they related the history of this wonderful mine.'

"The following is an extract from a celebrated publication, which may throw some light upon this tale :

"Don Pedro Tereros, Count Regla, one of the richest men in Mexico, drew from the mines of Biscaina, between the years 1762 and 1774, a net profit of more than a million sterling. Besides the two ships of war, one of 120 guns, and the other of 74 guns, which he presented to the King of Spain, he lent to the government of Madrid five million francs, which he has never been repaid. The works erected on his mine cost him more than 400,000 pounds sterling, and he purchased estates of vast extent besides, and left money to his family, in amount only equalled by the bequests of Count Valenciana.'

"Here is a gorgeous account! why "the Stock Exchange history of this wonderful mine,' is mere prose to this! What are their two second rates to a net profit of more than a million sterling, to two ships of war, one of 120 guns, and five millions of francs to the Court of Madrid to boot, and four hundred thousand pounds sterling expended in his mines, and the purchase of vast estates and enormous pecuniary bequests besides ?"

The best jest is coming.

6

"We anticipate the questions of our readers-From what authority is this taken? from some contemporary writer? from some fond chronicler of the glories of the Regla family? Oh no! it is derived from a very different source. It is not put forth by republican governments, the permanency and honesty of which remain to be proved;' it is not promulgated by the agents of the pretended associations, to work the mines of Mexico and the other South American states.' This glowing account, this magnificent statement, may be found detailed as indubitable fact, in the Quarterly Review itself, for last April!!!"

This is bad management, Mr Coleridge-you ought to keep the nags in better order. This crossing and jostling never will do. Still our unre

lenting pamphleteer proceeds throwing in the whip-cord.

"Moreover, that Review quotes the report of Senor Alaman, the identical individual who now presides over the foreign direction of the United Mexican Mining Association, to show, that the present state of the Mexican mines arises only from the revolution of 1810, which, to borrow the words of Alaman, as quoted by the Reviewer, began in the districts in which the richest mines are situate, and their proprietors were the first victims.' The revolution broke out in 1810, and the report of the Minister Alaman, as quoted by the Quarterly Review of last April, states the product of Guanaxuato previously to 1810, to have been greater than all the mines of Peru together, amounting to upwards of 5,000,000 of dollars.'

"By the massacre of some,' says Alaman,' by the ruin of others, from the war and the excessive requisitions, by the scarcity of money, and the consequent want of utensils and necessaries to continue the works, the mines ceased, as it were, almost in a moment.'

"And yet these are the mines which, in the present Number of the Quarterly Review, are described as having been quitted by the Spaniards, because the Spaniards had ceased to find them profitable.'

"Alaman, as quoted by the Quarterly Review, proceeds The inundation of the mines has been the inevitable consequence of their abandonment during the war. The working of them cannot be resumed until the water has been discharged, and to effect that, the miners of Mexico, poor in the midst of riches, have neither the machinery required to accomplish it, nor the capitals to procure them.'

"Does this passage require any comment? To supply this capital have the Mining Associations been formed, and we shall see what may be the effect produced by this supply of capital, in the opinion of Alaman, the minister of fi

nance.

"The continual wars and civil dissensions have so laid waste that beautiful country, that nothing is to be seen but poverty and devastation, where before fertility and opulence were displayed. The total ruin of many rich families, the emigration of others, and the continued sufferings of all, have paralysed industry, which cannot be revived, from the want

Biscaina is the finest vein of the Real del Monte. The most valuable of its mines are situate on his vein, as the Valenciana, Rayas, &c. of Guanaxuato, are situate on the veta madre.

of those capitals which have either been destroyed or exported. It is only by the importation and prudent application of new capitals, that Merican splendour and prosperity can be revived.'

"

"It may be thought unnecessary for us, after the foregoing pages, to analyse all the opinions, and to notice all the remarks, of the present Quarterly Reviewer. We know,' says the Reviewer, 'that the old Spaniards, who undertook to work these mines, were mostly ruined, so that it became a common saying, -"a silver mine brings misery, a gold one ruin.'

"

sides, easily accessible, which those of the Cordilleras are not.'

"Oh, most consistent Reviewer! but just now, who bewailed in more piteous accents, who denounced in direr terms, the modes by which the dozen names of notoriety' were obtained for the direc tion of these associations? who described with more conceited chuckling the considerable sprinkling of M. P.'s?' and now the names of certain individuals are ‘a sufficient guarantee against all imposition." Mr John Irving, Mr John Innes, Mr Hart Davis, and the mysterious &c. (ignotum pro magnifico) are, no doubt, most respectable personages; but what appears to prove that these names are not as shamefully prostituted, and as scandalously obtained, as the long list of eminent senators, merchants, and bankers, who form the boards of direction of all the other mining companies?

"The Reviewer, as if conscious of his inconsistency, endeavours to extricate himself by a parenthesis, a very awkward thing to have recourse to at any time- (most of the others have no names)' -what can this mean? Has he forgotten the dozen names of notoriety and the considerable sprinkling of M. P.'s?' Perhaps this discriminating Reviewer, this man emunctæ naris, is aware that the shares of the new Brazilian' are unapportioned, or is satisfied with the apportionment? Certainly the following sentence is very suspicious, it is scarcely a puff collateral, the mines of Brazil are besides easily accessible, which those of the Cordilleras are not.' But what signifies facility of access where mines may not exist? The produce of Brazil was chiefly obtained by stream works, and a company is already formed to farm them. But is the Reviewer aware that all the celebrated mines of Mexico, the most accessible in America, are situated on the Cordilleras?

"Whenever the Reviewer is about inditing a statement particularly incorrect, we observe that he always begins by 'we know.' As to the old Spaniards who were ruined, we appeal to the wealth of the Valencianas, the Reglas, the Apartados, the Rayas, and the whole of the Mexican nobility, the wealthiest in either hemisphere, to prove the falsity of this statement; and as to the common saying which is quoted, proh Jupiter! had the Reviewer ever lived in Cornwall, he would have been familiar with a million of these sage apothegms on all kinds of mines and minerals, and yet would have been surrounded by mines being worked in all directions.

"It must, in the nature of things, says the Reviewer, be years before any returns can be made.'

"Why must it? We have shown that the Valenciana mine, a very few months after it was taken by the Anglo-Mexican Association, weekly produced silver to the amount of 5000 pounds sterling, and that other mines are also very productive, and to judge from the report which we have noticed, a speedy dividend may be anticipated; ay, a speedy dividend from those very South American mines which, according to the Reviewer, 'there has never been any seriou intention of working,' mines which he describes as being within the bills of mortality, and the richest veins of which "crop out" in St James's and the Stock Exchange!'

"We have nearly done with the Quarterly Reviewer, but he tempts us for a moment longer. At the end of his vituperations appears the following note :'We consider, as an exception fro:n these remarks, the Company established under Mr John Irving, Mr John Innes, Mr Hart Davis, &c., for working the Brazilian mines, and other purposes; their names (most of the others have no names) are a sufficient guarantee against all imposition. The mines of Brazil are, be

"So much for the Quarterly Reviewer! Next time we meet him, his geograply and his style may perhaps be both improved, and as his researches respecting Mexico and the other states of South America are more extended, his views as to their present situation may become more correct, and his conclusions as to their future prospects less erroneous."

That will do, we rather imagine. It is a stomacher. See that the Reviewer is put to bed, and rubbed with a dry towel. Have him bled over the eyes, and watch him well during the night. Perhaps he may come to in a week's time, but he never will do any more

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