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advisable not to deviate from the precedent in that Act; but, remembering the possible wants of our establishment, to keep the new capital, if possible, redeemable in the same manner as it would be if it were to continue in the shape of Exchequer bills; and also, in the event of the capital, so much enlarged, appearing, at any future period, to be more than the business of the Bank and the public exigencies may then require, to have it, in such case, legally divisible, under the resolution of a General Court, among the several Proprietors, " in their private and personal capacities," according to their respective parts, shares, and interests therein. But this matter is fit for discussion only in the Court of Directors, whose "skill and understanding" entitle them to our implicit confidence, and with whose management, I am persuaded, we ought all to be abundantly satisfied; for it has exalted our establishment to the highest degree of credit, and given us to believe in its permanent prosperity.
I have the honour to be
A Proprietor of the Bank of England,
D. B. PAYNE.
Landon, Feb. 5, 1816.
ON THE 4TH DAY OF NOVEMBER, 1815,
CEREMONY OF LAYING THE FIRST STONE
FOR THE DIFFUSION OF
SCIENCE AND LITERATURE.
CHARLES BUTLER, ESQ.
BARRISTER AT LAW,
AND COUNSEL TO THE INSTITUTION.
THE RIGHT HONORABLE
ROBERT LORD CARRINGTON,
SIR ROBERT WIGRAM, BART.
SIR WILLIAM BLIZARD, KNIGHT,
GEORGE SMITH, Esq. M. P.
THE VICE PRESIDENTS;
TO THE MANAGERS,
TO ALL THE MEMBERS OF THE
SPOKEN BY THEIR DESIRE,
AT THE CEREMONY OF LAYING THE FIRST STONE OF THE
FOR THE DIFFUSION OF SCIENCE AND LITerature,
IS RESPECTFULLY INSCRIBED,
COUNSEL TO THE INSTITUTION.
It was the wish of the person, who spoke the Oration, at the ceremony of laying the first stone of the London Institution, for the diffusion of science and literature, to prefix to this publication of it, a succinct Historical Account of Commerce, from the Macedonian conquest, to the present time; and to shew the constant exchange of services, between commerce and literature, during this period. The present accomplishment of this design, being incompatible with his professional duties, he begs leave to supply it in a very limited degree, by the following Extracts, principally taken from his work entitled "A Succinct History of the Geographical and Political Revolutions of the Empire of Germany, or the Principal States, which composed the Empire of Charlemagne, from his Coronation in 800, to its Dissolution in 1806, with some account of the Genealogies of the Imperial House of Hapsburgh, and of the Six Secular Electors of Germany; and of Roman, German, French and English Nobility, "1 Vol. 8vo.
These Extracts may be found to give a short view of the commercial intercourse between Europe and Asia, from the death of Alexander the Great, till the taking of Constantinople by Mahomet II: 2dly, Of the Commercial History of Venice; 3dly, Genoa; 4thly, The Lombards; 5thly, Florence; 6thly, The Hanse-towns; and 7thly, The Netherlands.
I. The greatest commercial project, ever planned, was the design of Alexander the Great, to effect a regular mercantile intercourse between the eastern and western divisions of the then known parts of the world, and to fix its northern emporium near the confluence of the Jumna and the Ganges, and its southern, at Alexandria. After the death of that monarch, Seleucus made himself master of the Persian Empire, and Ptolemy, the son of Lagus, secured Egypt. Under each, the commerce with the east was so successfully pursued, that, even with China, a considerable trade was carried on, both by land and sea. The principal article of it was silk.
On land, this commerce was managed by caravans: some took a northern, others, a southern route. The former passed through the Great Desert, Kashgar, Samarcand, and the northern limits of Persia, into Syria, where they were met by the Merchants of Europe. The whole journey took up 243 days; but a great proportion of the commodity was purchased, on its passage, by the Merchants of Nisibis and Armenia. The southern route led the caravans, through the mountains of Thibet, to the Merchants of Europe, who met them in the Guzzerat.
The trade by sea was carried on in ships, which sailed from the Eastern ports of China, to Malacca and Achem, the Promontory of Sumatra; and, sometimes to Ceylon, the Taprobané of the Antients. There, they were met by the mercantile fleets, which sailed from the Persian Gulph and