Other lights are around us, above and below,

And we heed not their rays; but the soft, witching glow
That lurks on thy cheek, and distils from thine eyes,
Is sweeter by far than the lights of the skies.

Then a toast to the light of the eyes that outshine
The bright orbs of the Heav'ns, and the gems of the mine,
And a health to her, who, though caress'd and belov❜d,
Is with gentleness, kindness, and modesty cloth'd.

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Our life is two-fold.-BYRON.

OUR existence is three-fold: the impressions of the present are assimilated with our mental and moral natures; while memory and hope conjoining, extend the province of man to little less than infinite.

In our rapid and resistless speed on the wing of time do we bear along with us these captive impressions; or does the mind leave the subjects of its conquest in the occupation of their respective places, and expanding as it proceeds, add each new acquisition to its former dominion? Be this as it may, the impressions of the present are incorporated with those of the past; and are not the less permanent because the objects that made them may have perished from the earth. And thus this mental dominion of man is peopled with the images of forms which have ceased to exist in the material world. Nay more, the thoughts and affections which pertained to the beings of the past are also impressed upon our mental and moral natures; and thus rescued from oblivion, survive the corporeal existence of those from whom they emanated.

But still these images of the material world-as also those of thought and affection-adhere to time and place, and retain all their former relations to the past. Has the form of one whose love constituted our highest delight faded from our vision, and its substance returned thither whence it came; and do we desire to refresh our hearts at the pure fountain from which in times past we drank deep draughts of pleasure-we return to the time, the place, and the circumstances which called forth some unwonted demonstration of affection; and then, although long since dried up, the living fountain is again opened; and as the gentle showers of heaven descending on the withered plant, causeth it to rejoice—so do the consecrated impressions made by beings which have ceased to exist, revive our sympathies; and wrapped in the pleasures of the past, we escape for a season from the evils of the present.

Then, truly, the past is ours: and we are permitted even in our present state of existence to draw both pleasure and instruction from beings whose material forms have been dissolved into their original elements.

The future, also, that illimitable space where dwell our hopes-that Eden of desire—that better land, abounding in every good that fancy can devise, is ours. Had we not free ingress into this boundless region, whither could we escape from present ills? Or who would toil, did Hope promise no reward beyond the present hour? Did not the anticipations of the future mingle with our present enjoyments, they would no longer afford delight and hope failing, life itself would


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In the last number of the Western Journal, we endeavored to show that although the whole civilized world recognize money as the representative of all other commodities, yet this recognition has reference only to its functions as an agent of exchange, and that its specific value is the subject of agreement between the parties to every transaction. We also noticed the constant tendency of money to accumulate at the great commercial emporiums, and the advantages which this accumulation give to those who reside at or near those places; and having made a practical application of these principles to the economy of the country, we now propose to examine the subject of credit as an agent of exchange.

No topic is, perhaps, more familiar to the people of this country than that of credit; yet, when we attempt to trace out its effects, and consider the subject with regard to all its bearings upon the condition of a people, we perceive at each step as we proceed, that it becomes more intricate and difficult of apprehension. Credit may be regarded as absolutely essential to the existence of society; for, without trust or confidence between individuals, no social compact could have been formed in the beginning, nor could society exist even at the present day. If an individual is employed to labor for but one day, he must either credit the employer until the labor is performed, or the employer must pay in advance, and credit the laborer until he executes his work. Hence, credit is the result of necessity, and must have preceded all laws designed to enforce the rights of the creditor; and in cases not induced by necessity, the inference arises that it was originally based upon the moral character of the individual. The introduction of money as an agent of exchange, did not, nor could it obviate the necessity of credit, for both are necessary to the advancement of civilization. The same functions, although differing in power, are common to both. The credit of an individual must necessarily be limited and local, and he who holds the obligation of another can turn it to but little account where the debtor is VOL I, NO. VII.- -34

unknown; but he who holds money is in some sense the creditor of all mankind. From the fact that a very large portion of the business of every community is carried on through the agency of credit, we are apt to conclude that were credit to cease in the ordinary transaction of buying and selling, the number and amount of exchanges of property would be diminished to an extent equal to the whole amount of the credit transactions; but this result would not follow as a necessary consequence, for it must be borne in mind, that although a commodity may be exchanged for credit, yet this is but the inception of the transaction which is not complete until the credit is liquidated; therefore, in local transactions, it requires, in the end, as much money to effect any given number and amount of exchanges upon credit as would have been required, had no credit intervened. Hence, although the money value of property is occasionally affected by the increase or diminution of credit, yet if the average price for a series of years could be ascertained, we imagine that it would be found to have been but little affected by the amount of credit which had obtained. For, as the common transactions of buying and selling on credit do not directly increase the volume of useful commodities, the amount of money in the country bears the same relation to the amount of property after the exchange, as it did before. Excessive credit, founded upon a spirit of speculation, may raise the price of property for a time, but this advanced rate can not long continue; for the necessity of completing the transactions by liquidating the credits with money, brings the property again to its money value, and the necessity of forcing it upon the market, generally depresses it below the average standard, until the excessive credit is liquidated. Owing to the revulsions consequent upon a redundancy of credit, many conclude that credit is an evil, and opposing it as a system, advocate the policy of basing all transactions upon money. This we have shown to be impracticable, inasmuch as credit, to some extent, is essentially necessary to the existence of civilization. That many evils flow from a redundancy of credit cannot be denied; but we esteem it impossible to define the limits of credit upon any principle of political economy, or by legislative enactments, without doing violence to that free exercise of individual action which is so necessary to both individual and social prosperity. We can imagine but two ways of diminishing the evils of credit: the one by improving and elevating the moral condition of society, and the other by diversifying labor so as to bring the consumer and producer as near to each other as practicable.

If a community, occupying a territory of moderate extent, produced all or nearly all the commodities necessary for its own consumption, there would be little danger that credit would become so much expanded as to produce any material revulsion; but in proportion as the distance at which the exchanges are made is increased, the evils of credit increase also; for the necessity of sending the money out of the country to liquidate balances abroad, disturbs the relation between money and property at home. The former becomes dearer, and the

latter cheaper, and consequently, the difficulty of liquidating the internal debt is increased, and a revulsion ensues as an inevitable consequence. The individual who purchased an article of property on a credit at the price of one hundred dollars, must now sell it at fifty dollars, and if he happens to owe half the amount that his property was worth in money, a few months before, and he cannot obtain indulgence until the storm passes, he is ruined. Such consequences could scarcely happen in a community that is not indebted to distant countriesfor in such case, if a portion of the community contract debts beyond their ability to pay promptly, yet, as the quantity of money remains the same, there is still a probability of selling their property at the value which it bore when the debts were created; and unless the debtor had been guilty of great folly or extravagance, he would be able to extricate himself and escape from absolute ruin. Hence, we are persuaded that by diminishing our foreign commerce, and producing all the appliances of comfort at home, we shall escape most of the evils incident to an extensive and liberal credit system.

Commerce cannot be carried on extensively at a great distance without the use of credit in some form or other, unless we return to the primitive system of barter; for if, in all cases, money was sent from one country to another to be exchanged for other commodities, it would be kept constantly in transitu, and become an article of commerce merely, instead of a circulating medium. By the use of credit in its various forms, very little money enters into foreign commerce, except for the purpose of liquidating balances that arise from over-trading-from failure of crops, depression of prices, or other causes of like nature; but some one or other of these accidents occur with sufficient frequency to give rise to a rapid succession of revulsions. For, as soon as the country has recovered from the effects of one, and begins to prosper, it is again flooded with foreign commodities exceeding in amount the ordinary means of paying for them.

Under ordinary circumstances, very little money enters into the commerce between foreign countries. Nor are the exchanges made by the barter of specific articles, but principally through the agency of credit, based upon the commodities to be exchanged. A merchant in New York purchases goods in Liverpool on credit, the shipper of American produce draws a bill upon his factor in Liverpool, and the New York merchant purchases the bill and remits it to Liverpool to pay for his goods, and thus the money remains at home to perform its proper functions in the internal trade of the respective countries. This looks well in theory and is doubtless the only system upon which foreign commerce can be extensively carried on. But in practice it is subject to many contingencies that are calculated to disturb the relative value of money and property. If, for instance, a large portion of the exports of the United States should consist of wheat; and if, by reason of an unusually large crop in Great Britain and the north of Europe, the demand for wheat should cease, an exigency would arise requiring the shipment of money to pay the balances due for British manufactures. This raises the price

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