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for them to discount bills as formerly; and this circumstance again made a greater demand upon them than usual for money upon cafh accounts of individuals, which subjected the bankers to additional inconvenience.

Just at that critical time, the Bank of England, seemingly with a wanton capriciousnefs which deserves the severest reprehension, instead of giving that support to country bankers and wealthy companies, which the circumstances here stated rendered so obviously necessary, refused to discount bills, without discrimination of any sort. The consequences were obvious and inevitable. Even those who had very large capitals, from being deprived of their usual resources, were unable to answer, on the moment, the demands that came upon them; and were obliged to stop. These stoppages necefsarily affected those immediately connected with them; and these another, and another; so that, like a house of cards, one falling brought a whole heap of ruins about it *.

be a very proper clause in Mr Pitt's bill to require every banker applying for relief, previously to make oath that he has no money vested in the funds; and to make it highly penal if it should be discovered he ever had sa. Perhaps no banking company ought to be permitted to exercise this business without a licence; at obtaining which, such oath ought to be administered, and such penalties imposed. Nothing can be more destructive than for bankers, who are entrusted with the money of others, to be dabbling in such a deep and hazardous game as the buying and selling stocks; and the public ought to have some good security that they will not do so. I have no doubt but the want of such security, has induced many a person to withdraw their money from the bankers at present; and thus to encrease the evil.

* Some may perhaps imagine that the Bank of England would experience an inconvenience of the same kind here specified, and would not therefore have it in their power to grant the accommodation wanted. But it is well known, that the course of businefs is so dif



In this situation, the minister, with infinite justice and propriety, steps forward to save the country. What the Bank of England ought to have done, he now finds himself obliged to do, or to suffer the country to be hurried needlessly into a state of universal ruin. As far as his plan is yet known, he seems to intend to give a loan to such banking houses, or other considerable bodies of men, who can produce undeniable evidence of the sufficiency of their funds to answer all demands upon them, of such sums as it shall be deemed safe and prudent to grant to each respectively. These notes to be issued in the form of exchequer bills, bearing interest from the day they are if sued; for the payment of which interest, as long as they fhall continue in circulation, together with the principal, the parties to whom they are granted will no doubt be required to give sufficient security. Thus will government, without costing the nation a single fhilling, turn back into its usual channel, that circulation which has met with such a cruel and ill judged temporary obstruction *.

Nothing can be so ruinous to a manufacturing and commercial country as an interruption to the general current of circulation and credit, where that credit is not attempted to be stretched beyond the real funds of the parties concerned. Indeed it is this credit chiefly which has given to the manufactures and trade of this country that decided advantage they pofsefs above those of all rival nations; for it is well known that it is neither the superior cheapness, nor excellence of British manufactures which gives them the decided advantage they pofsefs above

ferent between that bank and others, that the very circumstance which diminished the resources of the one at the time would tend to augment those of the other. This is no place for explaining this peculiarity.

* The Bank of England, even in this case, will be obliged to concur in circulating these exchequer bills, otherwise they would soon be

others in foreign markets, but the long credits our mer-
chants can afford to give. And what is it that enables our
merchants to give these long credits, but the practice of dis-
counting bills, which enables every one to have the full
command of his funds at whatever time he may chance to
have occasion for them. Nothing therefore can be so de-
structive to a country so circumstanced, as a causeless
interruption to this circulation on which its existence so
materially depends: and the present incident, which shows
that it is in the power of one body of men, whenever they
please, to throw the country into this state of distress,
proves that in this particular branch of our commercial
arrangements, sufficient care has not been taken to curb
that spirit which the excefs of power so naturally engen-
ders. Hitherto the Bank of England, like the corpora-
tions of old, during the infancy of political societies, has
been of great utility to the public; but is there not dan-
ger, that, like them too, the
powers conferred upon it may
in time become subversive of the interests of that very
society for whose welfare it was instituted, and which,
for a long time, it has so materially promoted? Let the
minister, therefore, and the public, now reflect, whether it
is not time to think of establishing some kind of counterpoise
to this enormous body, which, like the serpent that sprung
from Aaron's rod, seems at present to possess the
power of
swallowing up all others of the same kind, whenever it
fhall please to do so. Man is a fallible creature, and
power when unchecked is ever in danger of degenerating
into despotism. Monopolies in a trading country are al-
ways pernicious. But where is there such a monopoly as


greatly depreciated; but it is not to be supposed, powerful as they are, they will dare to refuse this. It would be kicking against the pricks indeed, should they decline it; and would soon bring the matter to an issue between them and the country.

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the Bank of England, ought it not to have a rival? It would be presumption in me to pretend to say in what manner this rival fhould be created; but it requires no superior talents to say that such a rival would be the most effectual check that ever could be given to operations similar to those which have so needlessly thrown this country into its present very distressing embarrassments.


To the Editor of the Bee.

IF Dr A. thinks the inclosed trifle will tend to forward inquiries on the subject treated of, by inducing gentlemen going abroad to send home specimens of sand to their correspondent here, he will probably be able to spare a corner for it in the Bee. After the conchologist has satisfied himself as to the thells found in the sand, a clemical analysis might be tried for ascertaining if any metallic substances are mixed with it; by which means

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* It is justly reckoned a crime of a very deep dye to impeach the credit of any individual; because that may, almost in any case, occasion a run upon that person which may naturally produce a stoppage and consequent derangement of affairs. But is it not obvious that by the practice pursued on this occasion by the Bank of England, the credit of almost all the principal trading and manufacturing houses in Britain have been impeached, and a general run produced upon them; and stoppage, with all its dismal consequences, has necefsarily followed? A public banking company ought to be considered as a servant of the public, which, like an innkeeper, is bound to accommodate all persons without distinction, who apply for it, and have evidently the means in their power of discharging their scores. They ought indeed to have a right of discriminating and of demanding a reasonable security where ever danger is apprehended; but on no occasion ought they to be allowed, I should think, capriciously to adopt a measure of such vast importance in its consequences, and without discrimination to effect a general stop in the circulation of the wealth of the nation.

some curious discoveries might be made, were specimens procured from various quarters of the world.

April 1793.

Minute and rare shells in sand.

The first discovery of minute fhells in sand, origi nates with Mr Boys of Sandwich, in the county of Kent and ninety of them are engraved, and a description of them published by George Walker in Feverfham.

His method of examining them was thus: He placed small portions of the sand under Dr Withering's botanical miscroscope, in order to separate the fhells from the sand, and afterwards proceeded to enlarge every single fhell with greater magnifiers, in order to take his drawings of them with mere precision. To facilitate the more easy discovery of these minute objects, after the sand is perfectly dry put an handful of it on an open fheet of paper, and gently shake it from side to side; by which means the minute fhells being lighter than the sand are separated from and lie above it, and are thereby much more expeditiously procured, than by any other method. The objects for inspection fhould be placed in a situation free from sudden blasts of air, to prevent their being blown away; a careless breathing or cough being frequently the cause of their being lost. Most sand contains a greater or lefs variety of minute fhells; and the inquirer should not be discouraged although some parcels of sand are found to contain none, or at least only the most common kinds.

The sand examined by Mr Boys was that of Sandwich in Kent, and from thence to Feverfham and Sheppy Island, and a number of fhells heretofore unknown added to the British Conchology, equal to nearly one half of all the engraved English series-a sufficient inducement to

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