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Froissart, to whom the appeared amiable, by dint of reading romances, was desirous of beginning his own, and making her his heroine. He made his declaration by a ballad, which without doubt was thought pretty; but it did not hinder the lady from marrying another a fhort time afterwards. It was to alleviate this pafsion he made his second journey to England. The reception he met with, the pleasures that were procured him, not being able to triumph over his love, he came back to Valenciennes to his mistrefs; but Hymen was not more favourable to him than Cupid. He was not more happy than before, and neither Froifsart nor his mistrefs could be cured, one of his passion, the other of her cruelty.
Froifsart was naturally inclined to love, as the character of all his poetry fhews. He is said to have succeeded particularly in pastorals; but in the manuscripts before us, we have not seen one that would not have tired the reader, from the numberless allusions to the affairs of the day, by the irregularity, and above all by the obscurity of the stile. It appears that in the early ages of our literature, it was not extraordinary for priests, and even monks, to discufs in their writings very different subjects from divine love. In these times, before and after Froifsart, people of fashion were so ignorant, that the laity were, as by agreement, called rustics. With regard to science there was that distinction made, which ancient Rome made through policy, who called all the world barbarians, that were not citizens of Rome. Now, as love was the common subject to
write on, the laity writing nothing, it fell to the lot of the clergy; therefore, it was very common for poems of gallantry and sermons to come from the same author.
The love of pleasure, and his taste for travelling, which he did in an expensive manner, were causes of great difsipation to Froissart; but what seems astonishing, they did not hurt or prevent his studies; for he was scarce twenty years old when he began his chronicles. It is to be presumed that his desire of instruction, was one cause of his frequent travels.
In 1395 having returned to England, he was introduced into the chamber of king Richard, who received him with marks of the greatest pleasure. He remained in England three months, and left it with a present of one hundred nobles, in a goblet of silver, gilt, weighing two marks, which the king gave him.
This is the last remarkable circumstance of his life; the year of his death is unknown. It appears only that he was upwards of sixty when he died. He is said to be buried in the chapel of St. Anne, in the collegiate church of Chimay.
The following are no unfavourable specimens of his poetry:
Reviens amy; trop longue est ta demeure *
Elle me fait avoir peine et douleur,
Mon esprit te demande a toute heure :
Reviens amy; trop longue est ta demeure.
Car il n'est nul, fors† toi qui me sequeure ‡.
† Fors, bors.
Reviens amy; trop longue est ta demeure;
Amoms, amoms, que voulez de moi faire ?
Lequel vaut mieux, parler, pricr, ou taire ?
ON BANKING COMPANIES.
For the Bee.
I BEG leave to mention, that I think, if the attention of the Bee were now and then turned to the subject of our paper currency in Scotland, it might be of singular use at this critical period. I call it critical, because the unlimited right of setting up private banks, their multiplicity in consequence of this right, the obscure characters, and doubtful credit of some of the bankers, afford a favourable opportunity for the directors of chartered banks, to offer themselves as doctors to this political malady. Amputation will, you may believe, be their prescription, and thus leave the patient, who only had a sore limb, without any limb at all. Of all the evils that could befal Scotland, that of reverting again under the power of the chartered banks, would be the worst. In truth bankers, like bakers, are not of great
use unless they reside near the seats of commerce. Edinburgh might as well pretend to issue loaves for all Scotland as bank notes. What benefit would an
Aberdeen's merchant derive from the Edinburgh banks, if he wanted a bill, that had a fhort time to run, discounted on the spur of his businefs? Or how could an Angus farmer, procure credit for a few months, for the purchase of cattle to eat his grafs, or of lime to improve it? The very expence of postages, in correspondence with Edinburgh, would consume half his profits, besides the chance of him and his sureties being unknown, at such a distance. It is true these banks have lately branched; but is it not the rivalship of other banks which has forced them to this expensive and dangerous expedient ? Supprefs the other banks, and they will soon fhrink back into their own offices in Edinburgh. Besides, why should the whole profits, which are immense, of the circulation of paper in Scotland, centre in Edinburgh? Is not a diffusion of the profits of trade, one of the sources of the prosperity of a country? Let us regulate, therefore, but not supprefs; and let our regulations have solely in view, the security of the ignorant holder of the circulating paper. Let the names of the partners be engraved on the notes. This single regulation corrects every evil. The back of the notes is now blank, and would hold the names of the most numerous company. Not one fhilling has yet been lost to the country by the multiplicity of the banks; nor without fraud, can there be much danger of lofs. For notes are issued for value in securities, and these securities alone,
would indemnify the public, supposing the partners of the bank not to be worth a sixpence. The bank of Ayr, with all its folly and all its fraud, hurt the unwary proprietors; but all its notes in the hands of the public, were paid. This was a blind adventurous bank, when the subject of banking was less understood than now. In the course of all our observation, the towns of Scotland, in which banks have been established, have advanced rapidly in manufactures and commerce, and the country round them in agriculture; for the trade of our private banks is not confined merely to ifsuing loans of their paper; they facilitate commercial intercourse, and furnish the country with bills of exchange, on any place in Great Britain or Europe. Till last year, all remittances from the Highlands were made from Inverness, to which, value behoved to be sent from the remotest corners; now you may negociate a bill in Stornaway, Thurso, and Tain, as easily as at the Exchange of Edinburgh: Is this no advantage? Crédit can be converted into temporary loans of caih, here, as well as at Edinburgh; and why should it not? What title has any one part of a free country to advantages, from which other parts of it are de barred? I can see a reason why commercial asy fhould wish to confine those advantages to places which earliest got pofsefsion of them; but none why a wise legislature fhould lend its powers, to gratury the jealousy and avarice of selfifh individuals.
The greatest danger with which the country is threatened, will, in future, arise from tempting offers, VOL. vii.