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pass and repass the lighthouses by day, yet
are charged the same. A small vessel, for
instance, belonging to the Edinburgh and
Dundee Steam Company never passes by
night at all, and it was found that, in 1843,
the amount paid by that vessel for " lights"
which she never saw, or had occasion to
see, amounted to several hundred pounds
in forty-nine weeks. The rule for levying
the tax is also unfair; the dues are not
charged on the tonnage actually carried, but
on the whole tonnage the vessel could carry
if she were full. This falls particularly hard
upon small coasters, which, if they have a full
cargo to London, can afford it; but as they
can seldom obtain a full one in returning,
and half a cargo would not enable them to
defray the "light dues," they are generally
obliged to refuse anything short of a full
cargo, and return in ballast. Again, to show
the inequality of the taxation, let us observe
that a ship trading to the East Indies or to
China, carrying a large freight, occupies about
a year on the voyage out, and pays only a few
of the " lights " twice during that time; while
a coaster, which is constantly passing the
lighthouse on her voyage, by day as much as
by night, and carries but a comparatively
small freight, pays, each time she passes a
"light," a sum which in the aggregate
frequently amounts to as much as five or six per
cent, on the gross freight, and sixty per cent,
upon the net profits of the ship. " In the
years 1843 and 1844, the Trinity House
received," says Mr. William John Hall, " from
the coasting trade, one hundred and twenty-
six thousand, six hundred and seventy-three
pounds; while the over-sea British trade
of millionaires and others paid only ninety-
seven thousand, four hundred and fifty-four
pounds, and foreign ships only thirty-three
thousand, six hundred and forty-eight pounds."
It hence appears that the tax presses
unequally, and most onerously on the great
mass of commercial industry in the home

"In 1841," continues Mr, William John
Hall, "the Trinity Board received for
their 'lights,' the sum of one hundred and
forty-four thousand, nine hundred and fifty-
four pounds; and the commission on collection
was five thousand six hundred and sixty
pounds; leaving a net revenue of one hundred
and thirty-nine thousand, two hundred and
ninety-four pounds. To this surplus must be
added three thousand and eighty-five pounds
for buoyage and beaconage charges. After
deducting the expenses of maintenance of
' lights,' salaries, charges, &c., &c., there still
remained a surplus of thirty-eight thousand
three hundred and sixty-four pounds, to which
must be added rents of estates, dividends on
stock, and other things, bringing the amount
up to forty-seven thousand, two hundred and
twenty-five pounds. And the way in which
it is expended is stated to bepensions to
poor and aged seamen, twenty-nine thousand
and sixteen pounds"—(compare this sum with
the Pension List ostensibly devoted to literature,
science, and art!) — "charges of house
and office on Tower Hill, one thousand four
hundred and eighty-six pounds; salaries to
Elder Brethren, seven thousand pounds;
dinners, two thousand two hundred and
ninety-three pounds "—(ahem!)— " salaries,
allowances, postages, &c., &c., &c."

The foregoing statements are derived from
a printed " Letter to the Queen's Most Excellent
Majesty," signed "William John Hall,
Custom-House Quay. May 5th, 1847." It goes
into many estimates and details, the truth or
fallacy of which ought to be closely looked
into. Though many of the writer's arithmetical
calculations are confused by obvious
misprints of figures, most carelessly left
uncorrected, his arguments are worthy of great
attention. It is but justice to add, that
amidst all his charges of injustice, extravagance,
and jobbery, he still bears unequivocal
testimony to the " brilliancy and efficiency of
the Lights."


ONE fine morning, in the early spring, I
was standing on the " Marina " of the Island
of Capri, when the market barks were leaving
for Naples. The people were descending the
heights, laden with wine and oil, and other
produce of the country, for the market of the
capital, and what between the directions
given for the sale of these articles, and
commission for purchases in the great world,
there was a bustle and a shouting which gave
an uncommon appearance of activity to this
usually quiet spot. At the last moment a
new and painful variety was given to the
scene, for a crowd of men and women might
be seen coming down the rocky staircase of
Ani Capri, the latter carrying boxes on their
heads, and the other paraphernalia of those
who were about to enter on a long voyage,
whilst the men were lounging on before,
spiritless and silent. How bitterly the poor
women wept! I thought their very hearts
would break; and, though no tears dimmed
the eyes of their sterner companions, there
was an assumed indifference, and, at intervals,
an awkward attempt at gaiety, which but too
clearly indicated that there was grief in their
hearts. " What," said I to a fisherman, who
was standing near me, " is the meaning of all
this sorrow? " " Eccellenza," replied he,
"these men are about to leave for the Coral
Fishery; and those who accompany them are
their wives, or mothers, or ' spose '. Poveri
Giovani!—theirs is a hard lot, indeedfor the
next six or seven months they will have to
work like dogs, and live upon bread and
water. Before I would bring up a son of
mine to this trade, I would rather follow him
to Campo Santo! " The whole scene and the
answer of my mariner interested me so much

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