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aegligent moment, they incur the displeasure disposed to virtue; and the people at large of those upon whom they have rendered their want neither generosity nor spirit. No small very being dependent. Then perierunt tempora part of that very luxury, which is so much the longi servitii; they are cast off with scorn; they subject of the author's declamation, but which, are turned out, emptied of all natural charac- in most parts of life, by being well balanced ter, of all intrinsic worth, of all essential dig- and diffused, is only decency and convenience, nity, and deprived of every consolation of friend- has perhaps as many, or more, good than evil ship. Having rendered all retreat to old consequences attending it. It certainly excites principles ridiculous, and to old regards imprac- industry, nourishes emulation, and inspires ticable, not being able to counterfeit pleasure, some sense of personal value into all ranks of ar to discharge discontent, nothing being sin- people. What we want is to establish more cere, or right, or balanced in their minds, it is fully an opinion of uniformity, and consistency more than a chance, that, in the delirium of of character, in the leading men of the state ; the last stage of their distempered power, they such as will restore some confidence to profesmake an insane political testament, by which sion and appearance, such as will fix subordithey throw all their remaining weight and con- nation upon esteem. Without this, all schemes sequence into the scale of their declared ene- are begun at the wrong end. All who join in mies, and the avowed authors of their destruc- them are liable to their consequences. All men tion. Thus they finish their course. Had it who, under whatever pretext, take a part in the been possible that the whole, or even a great formation or the support of systems constructed part of these effects on their minds, I say in such a manner as must, in their nature, disnothing of the effect upon their fortunes, could able them from the execution of their duty, have have appeared to them in their first departure made themselves guilty of all the present disfrom the right line, it is certain they would traction, and of the future ruin, which they may have rejected every temptation with horrour. bring upon their country. The principle of these remarks, like every good It is a serious affair, this studied disunion principle in morality, is trite; but its frequent in government. In cases where union is most application is not the less necessary.
consulted in the constitution of a ministry, and As to others, who are plain practical men, where persons are best disposed to promote it, they have been guiltless at all times of all pub- differences, from the various ideas of men, will lic pretence. Neither the author nor any one arise; and, from their passions, will often ferelse, has reason to be angry with them. They ment into violent heats, so as greatly to disorder belonged to his friend for their interest; for all public business. What must be the consetheir interest they quitted him; and when it is quence, when the very distemper is made the their interest, he may depend upon it, they will basis of the constitution; and the original weakreturn to their former connection. Such people ness of human nature is still further enfeebled subsist at all times, and, though the nuisance by art and contrivance ? It must subvert governof all, are at no time a worthy subject of dis- ment from the very foundation. It turns our cussion. It is false virtue and plausible errour public councils into the most mischievous that do the mischief.
cabals; where the consideration is, not how If men come to government with right dis- the nation's business shall be carried on, but positions, they have not that unfavourable how those who ought to carry it on shall cirsubject which this author represents to work cumvent each other. In such a state of things, upon. Our circumstances are indeed critical; no order, uniformity, dignity, or effect, can but then they are the critical circumstances of appear in our proceedings either at home or a strong and mighty nation. If corruption and abroad. Nor will it make much difference, meanness are greatly spread, they are not whether some of the constituent parts of such spread universally. Many public men are an administration are men of virtue or ability, hitherto examples of public spirit and integrity. or not; supposing it possible that such men, Whole parties, as far as large bodies can be with their eyes open, should choose to make a miform, have preserved character. However part in such a body. they may be deceived in some particulars, I The effects of all human contrivances are in know of no set of men among us, which does the hand of Providence. I do not like to annot contain persons, on whom the nation, in a swer, as our author so readily does, for the difficult exigence, may well value itself. Pri- event of any speculation. But sure the naturo vate life, which is the nursery of the common- of our disorders, if any thing, must indicate the wealth, is yet in general pure, and on the whole proper remedy. Men who act steadily on the principles I have stated may in all events be be prolific, and draw oliers to an initation. very serviceable to their country; in one case, Vera gloria radices agit, atque etiam propagatur by furnishing (if their Sovereign should be so I do not think myself of consequence enough advised) an administration formed upon ideas to imitate my author, in troubling the world very different from those which have for some with the prayers or wishes I may form for the time been unfortunately fashionable. But, if public: full as little am I disposed to imitate this should not be the case, they may be still his professions ; those professions are long serviceable; for the example of a large body of since worn out in the political service. If the men, steadily sacrificing ambition to principle, work will not speak for the author, his own can never be without use. It will certainly declarations deserve but little credit.
So much misplaced industry has been used Average of net produce of duty or by the author of The State of the Nation, as hides, 8 years, ending 1767, £.189,216 well as by other writers, to infuse discontent Ditto 8 years, ending 1754,
168,200 into the people, on account of the late war, and of the effects of our national debt; that nothing
Average increase, £.21,016 ought to be omitted which may tend to disabuse the public upon these subjects. When I had This increase has not arisen from any addigone through the foregoing sheets, I recollected, tional duties. . None have been imposed on that, in pages 58, 59, 60, I only gave the com- these articles during the war. Notwithstand parative states of the duties collected by the ing the burthens of the war, and the late dearercise at large; together with the quantities ness of provisions, the consumption of all these of strong beer brewed in the two periods which articles has increased, and the revenue along are there compared. It might be still thought, with it. that some other articles of popular consump- There is another point in The State of the tion, of general convenience, and connected Nation, to which, I fear, I have not been so with our manufactures, might possibly have full in my answer as I ought to have been, and declined. I therefore now think it right to lay as I am well warranted to be. The author before the reader the state of the produce of has endeavoured to throw a suspicion, or somethree capital duties on such articles; duties thing more, on that salutary, and indeed neceswhich have frequently been made the subject sary measure of opening the ports in Jamaica. of popular complaint. The duty on candles; “ Orders were given,"* says he, “ in August, that on soap, paper, &c.; and that on hides. 1765, for the free admission of Spanish vessels
into all the colonies.” He then observes, that Average of net produce of duty on soap, &c. for eight years, ending
the exports to Jamaica fell £.40,904 short of
those of 1764; and that the exports of the suc1767,
£.264,902 Average of ditto for eight years,
ceeding year, 1766, fell short of those of 1765,
about eighty pounds; from whence he wisely ending 1754,
infers, that this decline of exports being since
the relaxation of the laws of trade, there is a Average increase, £.36,788
just ground of suspicion, that the colonies have Average of net produce of duty on
been supplied with foreign commodities instead candles for 8 years, ending 1767,
£.155,789 Average ditto for eight years, end
Here, as usual with him, the author builds ing 1754,
on a fact which is absolutely false ; and which, 136,716
being so, renders his whole hypothesis absurd Average increase, £.19,073
and impossible. He asserts, that the order fot
* His note, p. 22.
admitting Spanish vessels was given in Au- from the appearance of things in a single year, gust, 1765. That order was not signed at the I should from this increase of export infer the treasury board until the 15th day of the Novem- beneficial effects of that measure. In truth, it ber sollowing ; and therefore so far from affect- is not wanting. Nothing but the thickest igno ing the exports of the year 1965, that, suppo rance of the Jamaica trade could have made sing all possible diligence in the commissioners any one entertain a fancy, that the least ill a he customs in expediting that order, and effect on our commerce could foilow from this every advantage of vessels ready to sail, and opening of the ports. But, if the author argues the most favourable wird, it would hardly even the effect of regulations in the American trade arrive in Jamaica within the limits of that year. from the export of the year in which they are
This order could therefore by no possibility made, or even of the following; why did he bo a cause of the decrease of exports in 1765. not apply this rule to his own? He had the If it had any mischievous operation, it could same paper before him which I have now before not be before 1766. In that year, according to me. He must have seen that in his standard our author, the exports fell short of the prece- year, (the year 1764,) the principal year of his ding, just eighty pounds. He is welcome to new regulations, the export fell no less than that diminution; and to all the consequences £.128,450 short of that in 1763! Did the exhe can draw from it.
port trade revive by these regulations in 1765, But, as an auxiliary to account for this dread- during which year they continued in their full ful loss, he brings in the Free-port act, which force ? It fe! about £.40,000 still lower. Here he observes (for his convenience) to have been is a fall of £.168,000; to account for which, made in spring, 1766 ; but (for his convenience would have become the author much better than likewise) he forgets, that, by the express pro- piddling for an £.80 fall in the year 1766 (the vision of the act, the regulation was not to be only year in which the order he objects to could in force in Jamaica until the November fol- operate,) or in presuming a fall of exports from lowing. Miraculous must be the activity of a regulation which took place only in Novemthat contraband whose operation in America ber 1766 ; whose effects could not appear until could, before the end of that year, have re-acted the following year; and which, when they do upon England, and checked the exportation appear, utterly overthrow all his flimsy reasons from hence ! unless he chooses to suppose, that and affected suspicions upon the effect of openthe merchants, at whose solicitation this acting the ports. had been obtained, were so frighted at the ac- This author, in the same paragraph, says, complishment of their own most earnest and that " it was asserted by the American factors anxious desire, that, before any good or evil and agents, thai the commanders of our ships effect from it could happen, they immediately of war and tenders, having custom-house comput a stop to all further exportation.
missions, and the strict orders given in 1764 It is obvious that we must look for the true for a due execution of the laws of trade in the effect of that act at the time of its first possible colonies, had deterred the Spaniards from traoperation, that is, in the year 1767. On this ding with us ; that the sale of British manufacidea how stands the account?
tures in the West Indies had been greatly les
sened, and the receipt of large sums of specie 1764, Exports to Jamaica, £.456,528 prevented.” 1765,
415,624 If the American factors and agents asserted 1766,
415,544 this, they had good ground for their assertion. 1767, (first year of the Free-port act) 467,681 They knew that the Spanish vessels had been
driven from our ports. The author does not This author, for the sake of a present momen- positively deny the fact. If he should, it will tary credit, will hazard any future and perma- be proved. When the factors connected this nent disgrace. At the time he wrote, the measure and its natural consequences, with an account of 1767 could not be made up. This actual fall in the exports to Jamaica, io no less was the very first year of the trial of the Free- an amount than £.128,450 in one year, and port act ; and we find that the sale of British with a further fall in the next, is their assertion commodities is so far from lessened by that act, very wonderful? The author himself is full as that the export of 1767 amounts to £.52,000 much alarmed by a fall of only £.40,000; for, more than that of either of the two preceding giving him the facts which he chooses to coin, years, and is £.11,000 above that of his stan- it is no more. The expulsion of the Spanish dard year 1764. If I could prevail on myself to vessels must certainly have been one cause, if argue in favour of a great commercial scheme not of the first declension of the exports, you of their continuance in their reduced state. moment he chooses it, he shall see the very Other causes had their operation, without same thing asserted by governors of provinces, doubt. In what degree each cause produced by commanders of men of war, and by officers its effect, it is hard to determine. But the fact of the customs; persons the most bound in of a fall of exports upon the restraining plan, and duty to prevent contraband, and the most inteof a rise upon the taking place of the enlarging rested in the seizures to be made in conseplan, is established beyond all contradiction. quence of strict regulation. I suppress them
This author says, that the facts relative to for the present; wishing that the author may the Spanish trade were asserted by American not drive me to a more full discussion of this factors and agents; insinuating, that the minis matter than it may be altogether prudent to try of 1766 had no better authority for their enter into. I wish he had not made any of plan of enlargement than such assertions. The these discussions necessary.
ON THE CAUSE OF THE PRESENT DISCONTENTS.
HOC voro occultum, intestinum, domesticum malum, non modo non existit, verum etiam opprimie
antiquam perspicere atque explorare putueris.-C10
It is an undertaking of some degree of deli- not primarily ruled by lawu; less by violence cacy to examine into the cause of public dis- Whatever original energy may be supposed orders. If a man happens not to succeed in either in force or regulation, the operation of such an inquiry, he will be thought weak and both is, in truth, merely instrumental. Nations visionary; if he touches the true grievance, are governed by the same methods, and on the inere is a danger that he may come near to same principles, by which an individual withpersons of weight and consequence, who will out authority is often able to govern those who rather be exasperated at the discovery of their are his cquals or his superiours; by a knowerrours,
than thankful for the occasion of cor- ledge of their temper, and by a judicious marecting them. If he should be obliged to blame nagement of it; I mean,—when public affairs the favourites of the people, he will be consi- are steadily and quietly conducted ; and when dered as the tool of power; if he censures those government is nothing but a continued scuffle in power, he will be looked on as an instrument between the magistrate and the multitude; in of faction. But in all exertions of duty some- which sometimes the one and sometimes the thing is to be hazarded. In cases of tumult other is uppermost; in which they alternately and disorder, our law has invested every man, yield and prevail, in a series of contemptible in some sort, with the authority of a magis- victories, and scandalous submissions. The trate. When the affairs of the nation are dis- temper of the people among whom he pretracted, private people are, by the spirit of that sides ought therefore to be the first study of a law, justified in stepping a little out of their statesman. And the knowledge of this temper ordinary sphere. They enjoy a privilege, of it is by no means impossible for him to attain, somewhat more dignity and effect, than that if he has not an interest in being ignorant of of idle lamentation over the calamities of their what it is his duty to learn. country. They may look into them narrowly; To complain of the age we live in, to murthey may reason upon them liberally; and if mur at the present possessors of power, to they should be so fortunate as to discover the lament the past, to conceive extravagant hopes true source of the mischief, and to suggest any of the future, are the common dispositions of probable method of removing it, though they the greatest part of mankind; indeed the may displease the rulers for the day, they are necessary effects of the ignorance and levity certainly of service to the cause of government. of the vulgar. Such complaints and humours Government is deeply interested in every thing have existed in all times ; yet as all times have which, even through the medium of some tem- not been alike, true political sagacity manifests porary uneasiness,
may tend finally to compose itself, in distinguishing that complaint which the minds of the subject, and to conciliate their only characterizes the general infirmity of huaffections. I have nothing to do here with the man nature, from those which are symptoms abstract value of the voice of the people. But of the particular distemperature of our own air as long as reputation, the most precious pose and season. session of every individual, and as long as Nobody, I believe, will consider it merely as opinion, the great support of the state, depend the language of spleen or disappointment, if I entirely upon that voice, it can never be con- say, that there is something particularly alarmsidered as a thing of little consequence either ing in the present conjuncture. There is hardly to individuals or to governments. Nations are a man, in or out of power, who holds any other