+ ~ -
Please report pronunciation problems here. Select and sample other voices. Options Pause Play
Report an Error

To do them justice, they have been working
at it ever since. The task of finding out
a way of clearing of the National Debt by
means of the arithmetic laws applicable to
compound interest, have fascinated financial
enthusiasts, including Dr. Price and Mr.
Morgan, from the days of its imposition to
that on which we write these lines. The
latest is from a correspondent of our
own :—

"One pound sterling, per annum, kept at
compound interest," says our friend, " at the
rate of three per cent. per annum, would
give, in fifty-eight years, 157l. ; in sixty-four
years, 195l. ; in seventy-three years, 265l. ; in
eighty-five years, 394l.; in one hundred and
seven years, 790l. ; and in one hundred and
twenty-nine years, 1562l. The debt at present
stands at about 780 millions of pounds
sterling; consequently fifty-eight yearly
payments of five millions of pounds each, with the
interest accruing thereon, at the rate of three
per cent. per annum, would, at par, pay it off.
Sixty-four payments of four millions each;
seventy-three of three millions each; eightyfive
of two millions each; one hundred and
seven of one million each; or one hundred and
twenty-nine of half a million each; would
accomplish the same object, in the respective
number of years. Taking the interest, as
now paid, at twenty-eight millions a year,
the aggregate sums required to be paid by
the public, in taxes, to cover the charge would
be, respectively, viz:—



    64    73    85   107 and in 129 years
Add Annual
 1624 1792 2044 2380 2996   3612 millions
as above }   290   256  219   170   107    64½
Total 1914 2048 2263 2550 3103 3676½ millions
of pounds, sterling ; showing a difference
between the first and last periods of 1762½
millions ; and, if interest were taken into
account, the difference would amount to the
enormous sum of 98,263 millions.

"Leaving interest, however, out of the
calculation, and taking two millions as the sum to
be applied annually, for the purpose indicated,
it appears that the debt could be totally
extinguished in eighty-five years, at a cost
to the public of 2550 millions; or 170
millions more than the amount of the
interest, which under any circumstances, sort
of repudiation or national bankruptcy, must
be paid.

"I now mention the proposal made in
Parliament last session, that two millions a year
should be applied to the reduction of the debt;
to contrast the one plan with the other.
Two millions a year applied simply to the
reduction of the debt, would not accomplish its
extinction in less than 390 years, at a cost of
7125 millions (exclusive of interest, which I
have not been at the trouble of calculating,
but which would amount to an " appalling"
sum); and in eighty-five years it would only
bs reduced to the extent of 170 millions
(the saving in interest being about 60,000
pounds a year); thus leaving the country, at
the end of the period named, 610 millions in
debt, and still subject to the annual charge
of 22 millions for interest."


THE Englishman sips his coffee, enjoys
sugar in his tea, and spices in his pastry,
wondering why such things are not cheaper;
and picturing Indian planters as princes, in
white calico and straw hats, having little
else to do than to smoke hookahs, drink
braiidy-pawney, and pocket their gains. A
trip to some of the coffee, sugar, or cinnamon
estates in Ceylon, would at once dispel the
imaginary picture; none of the articles we
have mentioned grow indigenous and without
trouble, as a visit to the Kaderani Cinnamon
Gardens would show.

Before, however, we start for them, it may
be as well to mention that the aromatic spice
called cinnamon, is the inner bark of the
Laurus Cinnamomi, a beautiful tree, attaining
the size, and something the appearance of a
moderately large pear-tree. To produce fine
barksuch as is required for purposes of
commercethe tree must be felled, and the
root forced to grow in shoots, straight and
smooth. These being cut when eighteen
months or two years old, a fresh supply of
young sticks rapidly appear after the first
rains. A cinnamon plantation, therefore, is
in reality a garden, and not a forest.

The English Government possess five cinnamon
plantations in Ceylon, containing in the
aggregate about twelve thousand acres. These
have nearly all been sold to private individuals,
some of whom allow their estates to be very
much neglected; others keep them in a state
of high cultivation. It is to one of the latter
description, managed by the late Colombo
Firm, of Ackland, Boyd and Co., that I am
about to proceed. They were agents for and
part proprietors of, some three thousand acres
of cinnamon land, most of which lay at
Kaderani, near Negombo, a town, about thirty
miles distance from Colombo, on the sea-

The whole of the Ceylon coast is low and
sandy, and generally favourable for the growth
of cinnamon, which flourishes in a hot and
damp atmosphere, such as is there found. To
get to Negombo, the most pleasant and least
fatiguing mode is by a native covered canoe,
along the old Dutch canal, a small river
which the Dutch deepened, so as to admit of
loaded boats passing at all times. A passage
canoe is as light as the trunk of a mango-tree
can be made by adzing out the interior.
Stretched at full length on the matted deck, I
watched the two boatmen haul in their little
rush bag of tobaccos, jaggery, and hoppers (a
kind of "light cakes), and proceed to hoist the
enormous sail, held in its place by huge bamboos