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was heard of him until the Monday following,
when it was ascertained that he had been
taken ill on the road, and had made his way
to Greenwich Hospital. We found him there
in bed very much troubled with the gout.
He told us, in explanation of his unfortunate
mistake, that he commissioned his friend
Bland, in 1801, to place his "little money"
in some secure hand, while he was at sea;
and he understood that Bland had
deposited it with Mr. Scovell. This, he is now
convinced, could not have been the case. He
is inclined to believe that his agent in the
matter invested it in one of the many banks
which failed in 1815; and that when he
returned to London in that year, he, in
consequence, only got a shilling for every pound
of his savings. It is certain that Mr. Scovell
never had anything to do with the lost
money, and never was a bankrupt.

Bergh's whole narrative is so romantic, that
we took care, in printing it, to preserve every
test of its truth. Of these tests, the easiest
and best are names and dates. In retaining
them, we guardedly furnished the reader
with the same means for verifying the
probability of the autobiography, that had been
supplied to ourselves. We cannot express
too strongly our regret that the name of Mr.
Scovellwhich is well known, and widely
respected in the commercial worldshould,
in consequence of our necessary precautions,
have been connected in these pages with any
wholly unfounded statement. Mr. Scovell
never did stop payment, and has conducted
an extensive business as a wharfinger for
a great many years, without failure or
compromise of any kind.


WE present a few facts about salt to our
readers, with the object of enlisting their
sympathies in behalf of some fifty millions of
our fellow-subjects in India, who are at
present suffering from "Salt Laws," of so
odious and oppressive a nature as only to be
worthy of the old Spanish Inquisition. Let
us see:—

Salt, in India, is a Government monopoly.
It is partially imported, and partially
manufactured in Government factories. These
factories are situated in dreary marshes; the
workers obtaining certain equivocal privileges,
on condition of following their occupation in
these pestiferous regions, where hundreds of
these wretched people fall, annually, victims
to the plague or the floods.

The salt consumed in India must be
purchased through the Government, at a duty of
upwards of two pounds per ton, making the
price to the consumer about eight pence per
pound. In England, salt may be purchased
by retail, three pounds, or wholesale, five
pounds for one penny; while in India, upwards
of thirty millions of persons, whose average
incomes do not amount to above three
shillings per week, are compelled to expend
one-fourth of that pittance in salt for
themselves and families.

It may naturally be inferred, that, with
such a heavy duty upon this important
necessary of life, that underhand measures
are adopted by the poor natives of supplying
themselves. We shall see, however, by the
following severe regulations, that the experiment
is too hazardous to be often attempted.
Throughout the whole country there are
numerous "salt chokies," or police stations,
the superintendents of which are invested
with powers of startling and extraordinary

When information is lodged with such
superintendent, that salt is stored in any
place without a "ruwana" or permit, he
proceeds to collect particulars of the description
of the article, the quantity stated to be
stored, and the name of the owner of the
store. If the quantity stated to be stored
exceeds seventy pounds, he proceeds with a body
of police to make the seizure. If the door
is not opened to him at once, he is invested
with full power to break it open; and if the
police officers exhibit the least backwardness
in assisting, or show any sympathy with the
unfortunate owner, they are liable to be
heavily fined. The owner of the salt, with
all persons found upon the premises, are
immediately apprehended, and are liable to six
months' imprisonment for the first offence,
twelve for the second, and eighteen months
for the third; so that if a poor Indian was to
see a shower of salt in his garden (there are
showers of salt sometimes), and to attempt to
take advantage of it without paying duty, he
would become liable to this heavy punishment.
The superintendent of police is also
empowered to detain and search trading
vessels, and if salt be found on board without
a permit, the whole of the crew may be
apprehended and tried for the offence. Any
person erecting a distilling apparatus in his
own house, merely to distil enough sea-water
for the use of his household, is liable to
such a fine as may ruin him. In this case,
direct proof is not required, but inferred
from circumstances at the discretion of the

If a person wishes to erect a factory upon
his own estate, he must first give notice to the
collector of revenue of all particulars relative
thereto, failing which, the collector may order
all the works to be destroyed. Having given
notice, officers are immediately quartered
upon the premises, who have access to all
parts thereof, for fear the Company should
be defrauded of the smallest amount of duty.
When duty is paid upon any portion, the
collector, upon giving a receipt, specifies the
name and residence of the person to whom it
is to be delivered, to whom it must be delivered
within a stated period, or become liable to
fresh duty. To wind up, and make assurance
doubly sure, the police may seize and detain