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INCREDIBLE as it may appear, this Work has occupied the attention of the Compiler upwards of twenty-seven years, and he has spent on it, one way or another, more than ten thousand pounds.
When he first became the propounder of the British Commercial Laws, they were in the highest degree numerous and complex. They have since been twice consolidated and revised; the second time in the last Session. By the new Acts all the former Customs Laws are repealed, and, of course, all books grounded on them rendered totally
The Compiler, still anxious to keep pace with the times, has prepared a Digest of the whole matter.
Important as such Acts are, still more so at this juncture may be deemed the East India Company's Charter, the expiration of which forms a new and eventful Era. To render this Era advantageous to the public at large, few things, it is obvious, can more conduce than a full and clear exposition, not merely of the regulations under which the Trade with the East Indies and China may in future be conducted; but also of every other particular tending to throw light on the subject. With this view, some very valuable papers are given from the Tables compiled by Mr. PORTER, of the office of the Privy Council for Trade.
Secondary only to this may, perhaps, be considered the state of our Commerce with America. The new Tariff of the United States is also given.
Besides all these matters, the Work contains every species of authentic information touching the Trade of every other portion of the Globe, whether derived from Acts of Parliament, Proclamations, Orders in Council and of Public Boards, Parliamentary Documents, Adjudged Cases, or Foreign Tariffs and Fiscal Regulations; together with all new matters in Science and Art, and whatever is valuable in Books of Voyages and Travels, from March 22nd 1831, to April 5th, 1834.
In this plan, however, it has not been deemed necessary to include the Laws relative to Smuggling, Quarantine, Registry, and a few other matters, not likely to require frequent reference.
Aware of the futility of Professions, the Compiler will only add that every source of information has been diligently explored, and no stone left unturned to render the Work correct and useful, and consequently to deserve National Support.
Clifton, April 5th, 1834.
TO SPRING RICE, Esquire, M. P., one of the Secretaries of the Treasury, the Compiler begs to return his best acknowledgments for Mr. RICE's very polite attention in sending the Compiler a copy of the voluminous "Report on Manufactures, Commerce, and Shipping;" dated August, 1833. Two accounts of great interest, are given from it in pages xxiv and xxv.
TO THE LORDS COMMISSIONERS OF HIS MAJESTY'S TREASURY.
Belle Vue, Clifton, Dec. 2, 1828.
My Lords, With much deference, I beg leave to lay before you the enclosed prospectus of a new edition of "THE MERCHANT, SHIP OWNER, AND SHIP MASTER'S IMPORT AND EXPORT GUIDE," and to solicit the honour of your lordships' patronage.
You will see, my lords, that the work has been one of intense application for a series of twenty-two years; and, that the information contained in it cannot be acquired from any other publication whatever.
I need not point out to your lordships the close connection there is with the subject of my book and the causes of public wealth; nor need I crave encouragement for industry, because I am quite sure you will extend to me, as well as to others, due countenance and support.
Allow me, however, my lords, to remark that, under your auspices, I should have no doubt of rendering my book useful to the nation, beneficial to the revenue, and creditable to the patrons. I have the honour to be, &c.
TO CHARLES POPE, ESQ., BELLE VUE, CLIFTON.
Treasury Chambers, Dec. 19, 1828. Sir,-Having laid before the Lords Commissioners of His Majesty's Treasury your letter, dated the 2nd instant, enclosing prospectus of a new edition of "THE MERCHANT, SHIP OWNER, AND SHIP MASTER'S IMPORT AND EXPORT GUIDE," I have it in command to acquaint you, that my lords will subscribe to your work, and desire to be furnished with twelve copies thereof.
I am, sir, &c.
In the way that I shall now propound, the entire body and substance of the law shall remain, only discharged of idle and unprofitable or hurtful matter; and illustrated by order and other helps, towards the better understanding of it, and judgment thereupon.— Lord Bacon.
It is intolerable that the proclamations and orders in council were not formed into a book and bound; it is not to be supposed we can keep every Gazette.-Lord Chief Justice Ellenborough.
It were greatly to be wished, that men of eminence and distinction, whose birth and fortune procure them an admission into the British senate, would employ a little more of their time in the cultivation of the science of commerce, so worthy of their greatest regard and attention.-Dean Tucker.
The knowledge of trade is of so much importance to a maritime nation, that no labour can be thought too great by which information may be obtained.-Dr. Johnson.
It is a lamentable truth, that while we have the means of conducting statistical inquiries with singular correctness. through the agency of our committees of parliament, the mass of information which is thus acquired, at an immense cost of time and money, is scarcely ever digested, systematised, and condensed, so as to be useful to the nation at large. London Magazine.
If there be one species of knowledge more essential to a merchant than another, it is that he should be acquainted with the various productions of the different commercial countries of the world, and of those which are in demand in them. And when ships are freighted, and commodities sent abroad by those who are destitute of this elementary instruction, the wonder is not that they should sometimes calculate wrong, but that they should ever calculate right.-Edinburgh Review.
FROM the summary view which we have taken of this Work, it appears to contain the most important information relative to the nature and management of Commercial Concerns, and to present an interesting display of Commercial Regulations: and, under the impression which it has made on our minds, we can have no hesitation in saying, that it appears entitled to a place in the house of every Merchant, Ship-owner, or other Person, in any respect connected with the Maritime Commerce and Manufactures of the United Kingdom. -Tradesman; or Commercial Magazine, April 1812.
The prodigious increase of British Trade, with the variety of articles now included in it, has rendered the Custom House Laws and Regulations a labyrinth not to be safely trod by every one, without assistance. There is some intricacy and more trouble, in passing goods through the London Custom House (for of that we speak, as having the better acquaintance with it); but the laws which direct and limit the operation and speculation of Merchants are a much greater source of embarrassment, notwithstanding the readiness of the Commissioners to put the most favourable construction on the conduct of Commercial men of repute.-Like other parts of our Law, they are a mass forming an irregular system; and whoever attempts to reduce them to order, by which their application to any given subject cannot but be facilitated, performs an acceptable service to the country.— Literary Panorama, August, 1812.
Mr. Pope appears to us to have performed his task well; and to have compiled a Volume which may be said to supply a good clue to the labyrinth of our Custom House.-Monthly Review, Sept. 1812.
Whoever remembers the discussion which took place on Mr. Pitt's memorable plan for the simplification of the Duties of Customs, and the eloquent panegyric which Mr. Burke, though at that time in opposition, pronounced on the ability, perseverance, and skill of the Minister, in digesting such a System, and in rendering it intelligible to the plainest understanding, needs no further information respecting the vast difficulty and labour attending the accomplishment of such a Scheme as that which Mr. Pope has perfected. Of the consequence of a plain, practical, and intelligible abridgment of those complicated Laws, in the execution of which so many thousands of the inhabitants of this Commercial Country are daily and hourly concerned, every man must be aware. It would be a matter of astonishment to us, that there is not one work which affords this desirable information, if we were not fully sensible of the extreme labour and great skill requisite for so arduous an undertaking. Mr. Pope has not been discouraged by this consideration, and he has performed his task with great perspicuity, diligence, and talent.—Antijacobin Review, May, 1813.
CHARACTER OF THE SECOND EDITION.
A most valuable feature of this edition is the table of Bounties and Drawbacks on British Goods Exported, and which in itself renders this Book of essential utility to the Merchant and Custom House Agent. We can only repeat our high approbation of the manner in which Mr. Pope has executed his task, and we are convinced that the Commercial World in general cannot fail to reap the most important benefits from his meritorious labours.-Tradesman; or Commercial Magazine, June, 1814.
These Adjudged Cases we deem particularly valuable, as they show the opinions and feelings of the highest Law Authorities, and therefore may safely be taken as a Directory, and allowed to influence private sentiment.
The whole is a Work of great labour, and no small difficulty. It presents, in as narrow a compass as possible, a mass of information that entitles it to a place in the Countinghouse, where it will be found useful as a Book of reference, on innumerable occasions.Literary Panorama, June, 1814.
Our opinion of the extreme utility of this mass of information, and of the merits of
the Compiler, was delivered on the appearance of the First Edition, in our number for May, 1813. The important additions to the present Volume, comprising the whole of the Statutes relating to the Revenue of Excise, East India Trade, Warehousing, Wrecks and Salvage, the several Trading Companies; Proclamations touching War and Peace; Reports of Adjudged Cases, &c. &c. add materially to its value, and reflect credit on the industry, perseverance, and talents of Mr. Pope.-Antijacobin Review, Sept. 1814.
CHARACTER OF THE THIRD EDITION.
In our number for September, 1812, we took sufficient notice of the First Edition of this Work, and gave our testimony to the success with which Mr. Pope had laboured to afford a clue to the labyrynth of our Custom House Laws. The present Edition contains considerable additions, relating chiefly to the Excise, the India Trade, and the Regulations under which the Warehousing System has of late years received so considerable an extension; forming now a large and closely printed Volume, and comprising a great mass of materials in a more accessible form than any that we have seen on the subject.— Monthly Review, Nov. 1815.
In our opinion, Mr. Pope is deserving of great credit for his very laborious undertaking; it is a Work that we feel pleasure and confidence in recommending, not only to Officers in the Navy, but likewise to Merchants, and the Masters and Mates of Vessels in their employ; and also to the principal Officers attached to the Customs and Excise, in the Out-ports and abroad; each of whom ought to possess a copy of this extremely useful publication.-Naval Chronicle, March, 1817.
CHARACTER OF THE FOURTH EDITION.
Altogether, this is the completest manual of Mercantile Law which has ever issued from the British Press; and the variety, extent, and accuracy of the information it contains, claim for it a place on the desk of every Mercantile Man, as well as every Officer of the Customs and Excise, throughout the British dominions.-Literary Panorama, Oct. 1818.
CHARACTER OF THE EIGHTH EDITION.
The utility of Works of this kind is best exhibited negatively, by imagining the misery and mischief which may be consequent upon the want of them. No man can say, that unassisted, he can act prudently and promptly in Mercantile Transactions, if he is to ransack Libraries and consult Lawyers upon every multifarious occasion which occurs in the course of business. He may mistake or be cheated; and if he chooses to avoid either or both of these, he loses time which may be profitably employed. The only question then is this: Is the work so comprehensively and so accurately executed, as to answer the indispensable purposes of utility and safety? We use the latter term, because modern Acts of Parliament are so clumsily composed, that an appearance of intelligibility and grammar in a compression of them, may lead to a justifiable suspicion, that the almost incomprehensible meaning of the original is not faithfully preserved. (a) We own, therefore, that the neatness, precision, and judgment of Mr. Pope have alarmed us; but as the Work has passed through Eight Editions, and, of course, been put to most ample test, we have no right to doubt the accuracy of the chart which he has compiled to aid our Navigation through these Rocks and Quicksands.— Gentleman's Magazine, May, 1823.
CHARACTER OF THE ELEVENTH EDITION.
Mr. Pope's Work is peculiarly valuable, from its containing all the Commercial Treaties and Conventions, which are not to be met with in any other work. It is, indeed, a volume which no Merchant, Statesman, or Legislator ought to be without.-Literary Chronicle.
(a) It ought not, however, to be expected, says Dr. Johnson, that the Stones which form the Dome of a temple should be squared and polished like the Diamond of a Ring.—Ed.
CHARACTER OF THE ELEVENTH EDITION-continued.
We have looked into the Work, with no small degree of national pride, as a record of the triumph of British enterprise in every corner of the world; and we award to Mr. Pope the high meed of having "done the State some service."-Liverpool Kaleidoscope.
This is a Work de omnibus rebus et quibusdam aliis, and its title does injustice to its contents, by appealing for patronage exclusively to the Shipping Interest. It is, no doubt, founded on the laws by which our Commercial relations are regulated; and, as furnishing a synopsis of the duties, drawbacks, and bounties by which the trade of the United Kingdom is protected and encouraged, it must be eminently useful to that part of the trading community to which it is thus addressed. As a Book of Reference, however, its usefulness is by no means so circumscribed, but extends to all classes of society, engaged in Mercantile pursuits, as besides the renseignemens it contains relating to Shipping Affairs, it is a Commercial Dictionary, comprising an account of every article possessing the slightest claim to description; a Gazetteer, in which, under the names of the different sea-ports throughout the world, is found every important particular regarding the produce of the Country, its staple articles of Export and Import, its Moneys, Weights, Rate of Exchange, &c. In short, it is a Mercantile Magazine, stored with a great and multifarious mass of valuable information.-London Weekly Review.