« PreviousContinue »
Sadler would do well to find him out, and consult him on his forthcoming work.
But notwithstanding the low duty on the coal used in manufactories, the greatest export of it that has taken place in any one year, was only 60,315 chaldrons. This shows, that the apprehensions entertained of its being extensively exported, are in a great degree visionary. However, it would, we think, be good policy to impose an equal duty of 58. or 6s. a-chaldron on all coals exported; as, by this means, a check would be given to the export of that which may be used in the arts, at the same time that a vast additional facility would be given to the export of that which is used for domestic purposes only. Were a measure of this sort adopted, it may be fairly inferred, that the revenue from exported coal would be at least doubled or trebled.
It has, indeed, been sometimes said, that the exportation of coal ought to be prohibited altogether; that the coal-fields of Great Britain are but of limited extent; that the supply of the home consumption will ultimately exhaust them; and that nothing should be done to accelerate, but every thing that is possible to avert, an event that will most probably be destructive to our superiority in the arts. But nothing can be more futile than these apprehensions. Although the foreign coal trade were absolutely free, our readers may be assured, that the national debt will be every shilling paid off many centuries before posterity begins to feel any serious falling off in the supply of coal.
A very intelligent gentleman, Mr Hugh Taylor, coal-owner and coal-agent for the Duke of Northumberland, laid the following interesting estimates before the Committee of the House of Lords.
An Estimate of the Extent and Produce of the Durham and
NORTHUMBERLAND COAL FIELDS.
Square Miles. From South Shields southward to Castle Eden, twenty
one miles; thence westward to West Auckland, thirty-
breadth of nine miles,
Estimating the workable coal strata at an average
thickness of twelve feet, the contract of one
square miles, - - - Deduct one-third part for loss by small coal, inter
ceptions by dikes, and other interruptions,
This remainder is adequate to supply the present vend from Newcastle, Sunderland, Hartley, Blyth, and Stockton, of 3,500,000 tons, for a period of 1727 years.
It will be understood that this estimate of the quantity of coal in Durham and Northumberland can only be an approximation, especially as the south-eastern coal district of Durham is yet almost wholly unexplored ; but the attempt is made in the hope of satisfying your Lordships that no apprehension need be entertained of this valuable mineral being exhausted for many future generations,
There is also a considerable extent of coal-field in the northern and south-western districts of Northumberland; but the foregoing comprizes that which is continuous, and most suitable and available for exportation.
Analogous Estimate of the Consumption of Codl in Great Britain.
The annual vend of coals carried coastwise from Dur
ham and Northumberland is, Home consumption, say one-fifth,
Which quantity supplies about 5,000,000 persons ;
and supposing the whole population of Great
not be too high,
to produce which requires at least four times the
Consumed in Great Britain,
Total tons, exclusive of foreign exportation,
We regret that we are not able to lay before our readers any satisfactory information with respect to the coal trade at Whitehaven, and along the western shores of the island. But when we take into account the vast extent of the coal fields in Cumberland, Lancashire, Staffordshire, &c. there is not the shadow of a ground for anticipating any deficiency of this valuable article for many centuries.
Mr Buddle gives the following estimate of the number of persons engaged in the different departments of the coal trade on the Tyne and Wear, in the conveyance of coal to London, and in the London coal trade.
I hold a paper in my hand stating the number of people employed in the coal trade in each department. I would beg to observe, the returns from the Tyne are official documents; from the Wear I have no returns, but it is by an approximate calculation. The number of persons employed under ground on the Tyne are,-men, 4,937, boys, 3,554, together, 8,491 ; above ground, men, 2,745, boys, 718, making 3,463; making the total employed in the mines above and belowground 11,954, which in round numbers I call 12,000, because I am pretty sure there were some omissions in the returns. On the river Wear, I conceive there are 9,000 employed ; making 21,000 employed in digging the coal and delivering it to the ships on the two rivers. From the best calculations I have been able to make, it would appear, that, averaging the coasting vessels that carry coals at the size of 220 London chaldrons each vessel, there would be 1,400 vessels employed, which would require 15,000 seamen and boys. I have made a summary. There are seamen, 15,000; pitmen and above-ground people employed at the collieries, 21,000; keelmen, coal-boatmen, casters, and
trimmers, 2000; making the total number employed in what I call the Northern Coal Trade 38,000. In London, whippers, lightermen, and so forth, 5,000 ; factors, agents, &c. on the Coal Exchange, 2,500 ; 7,500 in all, in London. Making the grand total in the north country and London departments of the trade, 45,500. This does not, of course, include the persons employed at the outports in discharging the ships there.
In another place, (p. 53,) Mr Buddle states, that · Colliers are always paid by the piece,' and consequently their wages, although at the same rate per chaldron, vary according to the quantity of work they have to do; and it is difficult to form an average, they vary so very considerably; they have varied from 14s. a-week to in some instances 40s. The colliers can earn up to 5s, or even more per day; but there is no employment for them; they have seldom been earning more than half that sum during the last year, (1828); 2s. 6d. is the certain wages that they are hired to receive from their employers, whether they are employed or not; that is a tax on the coal-owner, during the suspension of his colliery from any accident, for he pays them their wages whether they are employed or not.—The men have the option of finding work elsewhere; but if they cannot do so, they may call upon their master to pay them 14s. a-week; it was 155. a-week till last year.
Sea-borne coal imported into any port of Ireland is charged with a duty of ls. 7 d. a-ton, or 2s. 5d. a-chaldron. But in order to provide a fund for improvements, that which is imported into the port of Dublin is charged with an additional duty of Ild. a. ton! The duties on sea-borne coals imported into Wales are nearly the same as those on importation into Ireland. Scotland is fortunately exempted from this odious impost.
ART. IX.-1. The Omnipresence of the Deity, a Poem. By Ro.
BERT MONTGOMERY. Eleventh Edition. London. 1830. 2. Satan, a Poem. By ROBERT MONTGOMERY. Second Edition. London. 1830.
The wise men of antiquity loved to convey instruction under
1 the covering of apologue; and, though this practice of theirs is generally thought childish, we shall make no apology for adopting it on the present occasion. A generation which has bought eleven editions of a poem by Mr Robert Montgomery, may well condescend to listen to a fable of Pilpay.
VOL. LI. NO. CI.
“A pious Brahmin, it is written, made a vow that on a certain day he would sacrifice a sheep, and on the appointed morning he went forth to buy one. There lived in his neighbourhood three rogues who knew of his vow, and laid a scheme for profiting by it. The first met him and said, “Oh, Brahmin, wilt • thou buy a sheep? I have one fit for sacrifice.' — It is for that • very purpose,' said the holy man, that I came forth this day.' Then the impostor opened a bag, and brought out of it an unclean beast, an ugly dog, lame and blind. Thereon the Brahmin cried out, Wretch, who touchest things impure, and utter
est things untrue, callest thou that cur a sheep ?'- Truly,' answered the other, it is a sheep of the finest fleece, and of the
sweetest flesh. Ob, Brahmin, it will be an offering most ac. ceptable to the gods.'—* Friend,' said the Brahmin, either othou or I must be blind.'
Just then one of the accomplices came up. • Praised be the 6 gods, said this second rogue, that I have been saved the • trouble of going to the market for a sheep! This is such a
sheep as I wanted. For how much wilt thou sell it ?' When the Brahmin heard this, his mind waved to and fro, like one swinging in the air at a holy festival. • Sir,' said he to the new comer, • take heed what thou dost; this is no sheep, but an uns clean cur.'-- Oh, Brahmin,' said the new comer, 'thou art drunk or mad !
At this time the third confederate drew near. Let us ask this man,' said the Brahmin,' what the creature is, and I will
stand by what he shall say. To this the others agreed; and the Brahmin called out, . Oh, stranger, what dost thou call this beast ?'— Surely, oh, Brahmin,' said the knave, it is a fine
sheep.' Then the Brahmin said, “Surely the gods have taken • away my senses,'—and he asked pardon of him who carried the dog, and bought it for a measure of rice and a pot of ghee, and offered it up to the gods, who, being wroth at this unclean sacrifice, smote him with a sore disease in all his joints.
Thus, or nearly thus, if we remember rightly, runs the story of the Sanscrit Æsop. The moral, like the moral of every fable that is worth the telling, lies on the surface. The writer evidently means to caution us against the practices of puffers,--a class of people who have more than once talked the public into the most absurd errors, but who surely never played a more curious, or a more difficult, trick, than when they passed Mr Robert Montgomery off upon the world as a great poet.
In an age, in which there are so few readers that a writer cannot subsist on the sum arising from the sale of his works, no man who has not an independent fortune can deyote himself to