H́nh ảnh trang
PDF
ePub

91 off. The animal still, however, continued to swim after them till they arrived at the ship; and several fhots were fired at it, which also took effect; but, on reaching the ship, it immediately ascended the deck; and the crew having fled into the fhrowds, it was pursuing them thither, when a fhot from one of them laid it dead on the deck.

When its young is attacked, it becomes uncommonly furious in their defence, and if they fhould be wounded, it seems to suffer more for the pain they feel than its own. The following is a well authenticated fact.

While a frigate that was some years ago on a voyage for discoveries towards the North Pole, was locked in the ice, early one morning the man at the mast head gave notice, that three bears were making their way very fast over the frozen ocean, and were directing their course towards the fhip. They had been invited by the scent of some blubber of a sea-horse the crew had killed some days before, which had been set on fire, and was burning on the ice at the time of their approach. They proved to be a fhe bear and two cubs; but the cubs were nearly as large as the dam. They ran eagerly to the fire, and drew out from the flames, part of the flefh of the sea-horse that remained unconsumed, and eat it voraciously. The crew, from the ship threw great lumps of the seahorse which they had still left, upon the ice, which the old bear fetched away singly, laid every lump before her cubs as fhe brought it, and dividing it, gave each a fhare, reserving but a short portion for herself. As she was fetching away the last piece, they levelled their muskets at the cubs, and fhot them both dead,

[ocr errors]

Jan. 18, and, in her retreat, they wounded the dam, but not mortally. It would have drawn tears of pity from any but unfeeling minds, to have marked the affectionate concern exprefsed by this poor beast in the dying moments of her expiring young. Though fhe was sorely wounded herself, and could but just crawl to the place where they lay, the carried the lumps of flesh The had fetched away, as she had done others before; tore it in pieces, and laid it down before them. When she saw they refused to eat it, she laid her paws first upon one, and then upon the other, and endeavoured to raise them up; all this while it was pitiful to hear her moan. When the found fhe could not stir them, fhe went off, and when she had got at some distance, she looked back and moaned; that not availing to entice them, the returned, and, smelling round them, began to lick their wounds. She went off a second time, as before, and having crawled a few paces, looked again behind her, and for some time stood moaning. But still her cubs not rising to follow her, she returned to them again, and with signs of inexpressible tendernefs, went round one, and round the other, pawing them and moaning. Finding at last they were cold and lifelefs, fhe raised her head towards the fhip, and growled a curse upon the murderers, which they returned with a volley of musket-balls. She fell between her cubs,

and died licking their wounds.

I am afraid, Sir, of tiring you with a long paper. The subject is by no means exhausted, and if you will give me permifsion I fhall send a continuation of this paper, in hopes that it may induce some of your better-informed correspondents to elucidate some

of the plainest points of natural history, for the sake of others equally ill-informed, and equally desirous of receiving instruction as

A Young Observer.

ON THE BALANCE OF TRADE, AND EXCHANGES.

For the Editor of the Bee.

MUCH has been said, and many books have been written on the balance of trade, very little to the purpose. Authors, in general, have had recourse to custom-house books, to obtain the amount of imports, and exports between particular countries, from the value of which they have pleased themselves by stricking the balance of trade. Nothing surely can be more fallacious than this mode of judging. All the articles that are smuggled on either side, never make an appearance there. If duties are paid, the quantity of goods appearing, will be considerably diminished. If these duties are rated by the value of the goods, that value will be stated much below the truth. If no duties are paid, the entries will be much greater than the reality. Hence, nothing is more common than to see two nations making out a state of the same account, so as to represent the balance as greatly each in their own favour; yet though this absurdity be apparent, the practice, from habit, has been persisted in.

To ascertain the balance of trade between two nations, so many particulars require to be adverted to, which elude the observation of the most attentive observer, as to render the attempt fruitless. If it could

be done with perfect accuracy at all, it would be done by means of the course of exchange between the two countries. But though this be, without doubt, the only possible mode of approximating to the solution of this problem; yet, unless the two nations, with regard to which this attempt were made, fhould be excluded from all commercial intercourse with every other nation, it cannot be absolutely accurate; because, by means of a circuitous exchange with other nations, the effect of an extraordinary balance may be much moderated on particular occasions. As many of your readers probably are not fully acquainted with the nature of exchanges; and, as I observe, you mean to give annually a list of the state of exchange between Britain and the principal commercial nations in Europe, I fhall/ hope that a fhort explanation of the nature of exchanges, and the manner in which these become an index of the balance of trade, will prove acceptable to them in general. This I fhall briefly give in the following pages.

By the term balance of trade is meant the proportion in value, that the quantity of goods exported from a country bears to that imported into it, from another country.

It is only in consequence of one article being considered as of equal value in all countries, that the idea of an inequality in the balance of trade can exist; for without that there would be no standard by which the value of the exports and imports of a nation could be estimated. This article is universally gold and silver. I call them one article, because they preserve nearly an equal proportion in value to one another, under the

denomination of money; if they did not, one of them only must come to be this universal standard.

Without the use of bilis of exchange, there could not exist a balance of trade, even although the esta blishment of money, as above mentioned, fhould have taken place; because, there must, when goods are exported from a country, be goods imported to the same amount to repay them. It being to be observed that money must be considered, with regard to importation and exportation, entirely in the same light as any other commodity; for it matters not to a nation whether the property it pofsefses consist in this, or any other article of equal utility.

The rate of exchange is the only medium by which the state of the balance of trade can be ascertained, and it is infallible, unlefs as above specified.

The rate of exchange is the price at which bills drawn by one nation on another sell; for instance, if a bill be drawn in London on Paris for 1 ecu, and is sold in London for is 9d Sterling, the rate of exchange is is 9d per ecu.

It is by comparing this rate of exchange with the quantity of gold and silver contained in the respective monies of the two nations, that the state of the balance of trade can be ascertained; for example, if a French ecu contain as much silver as in Britain could be coined into two shillings and four-pence Sterling; and that ecu is, by the rate of exchange, sold for only one fhilling and nine-pence; the value of the exports from Britain to France exceed that of the imports to Britain from France, as much in proportion as two

« TrướcTiếp tục »