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“unprofitable.” What merchants ? As no treaty | power, I have great reason to believe it is very ever was more maturely considered, so the opinion much from the heart. It must be owned too that of the Russia merchants in London was all along after he has drawn such a picture, such a shocking taken; and all the instructions sent over were in picture, of the state of this country, he has great exact conformity to that opinion. Our minister faith in thinking the means he prays
for sufficient there made no step without having previously to relieve us : after the character lie has given of consulted our merchants resident in Petersburgh, its inhabitants of all ranks and classes, he has who, before the signing of the treaty, gave the great charity in caring much about them; and most full and unanimous testimony in its favour. indeed no less hope, in being of opinion, that In their address to our minister at that court, such a detestable nation can ever become the among other things they say, “ It may afford some care of Providence. He has not even found five " additional satisfaction to your excellency, to good men in our devoted city. “ receive a publick acknowledgment of the entire "He talks indeed of men of virtue and ability. " and unreserved approbation of every article in But where are his men of virtue and ability to be “this treaty, from us who are so immediately and found ? Are they in the present administration ?
so nearly concerned in its consequences.” This Never were a set of people more blackened by this was signed by the consul-general, and every Bri- author. Are they among the party of those (no tish merchant in Petersburgh.
small body) who adhere to the system of 1766 ? The approbation of those immediately concern- These, it is the great purpose of this book to ed in the consequences is nothing to this author. calumniate. Are they the persons who acted He and his friends have so much tenderness for with his great friend, since the change in 1762, people's interests, and understand them so much to his removal in 1765 ? Scarcely any of these better than they do themselves, that, whilst these are now out of employment; and we are in pospoliticians are contending for the best of possible session of his desideratum. Yet I think he hardly terms, the claimants are obliged to go
means to select, even some of the highest of them, terms at all.
as examples fit for the reformation of a corrupt One of the first and justest complaints against world. the administration of the author's friends, was He observes, that the virtue of the most exemthe want of vigour in their foreign negociations. plary prince that ever swayed a sceptre Their immediate successors endeavoured to correct never warm or illuminate the body of his people, that errour, along with others; and there was “ if foul mirrors are placed so near him as to scarcely a foreign court, in which the new spirit “ refract and dissipate the rays at their first that had arisen was not sensibly felt, acknowledg- “emanation.” Without observing upon the proed, and sometimes complained of. On their com- priety of this metaphor, or asking how mirrors ing into administration, they found the demolition come to have lost their old quality of reflecting, of Dunkirk entirely at a stand : instead of demoli- and to have acquired that of refracting and tion, they found construction ; for the French were dissipating rays, and how far their foulness will then at work on the repair of the jettees. On account for this change; the remark itself is the remonstrances of General Conway, some parts common and true: no less true, and equally surof these jettees were immediately destroyed. The prising from him, is that which immediately Duke of Richmond personally surveyed the place, precedes it ; +" it is in vain to endeavour to check and obtained a fuller knowledge of its true state " the progress of irreligion and licentiousness, by and condition than any of our ministers had done; punishing such crimes in one individual, if others and, in consequence, had larger offers from the “ equally culpable are rewarded with the honours Duke of Choiseul than had ever been received. “ and emoluments of the state.” I am not in But, as these were short of our just expectations the secret of the author's manner of writing; but under the treaty, he rejected them. Our then it appears to me, that he must intend these ministers, knowing that,' in their administration, reflections as a satire upon the administration the people's minds were set at ease upon all the of his happy years. Were ever the honours and essential points of public and private liberty, and emoluments of the state more lavishly squandered that no project of theirs could endanger the con- upon persons scandalous in their lives than during cord of the empire, were under no restraint from that period ? In these scandalous lives, was there pursuing every just demand upon foreign na- any thing more scandalous than the mode of
punishing one culpable individual? In that indiThe author, towards the end of this work, falls vidual, is any thing more culpable than his having into reflections upon the state of publick morals in been seduced by the example of some of those this country: he draws use from this doctrine, by very persons by whom he was thus persecuted ? recommending his friend to the king and the pub- The author is so eager to attack others, that he lick, as another Duke of Sully; and he concludes provides but indifferently for his own defence. I the whole performance with a very devout prayer. believe, without going beyond the page I have The prayers of politicians may sometimes be now before me, he is very sensible, that I have
and as this prayer is in substance, that the sufficient matter of further, and, if possible, of author, or his friends, may be soon brought into heavier, charge against his friends, upon his own
. P. 46.
principle. But it is because the advantage is too and all misapplication in the expenditure of pubgreat, that I decline making use of it. I wish the lick money. author had not thought that all methods are lawful I admit that, in this flourishing state of things, in party. Above all he ought to have taken care there are appearances enough to excite uneasiness not to wound his enemies through the sides of his and apprehension. I admit there is a cankerworm country. This he has done, by making that mon in the rose; strous and overcharged picture of the distresses of
medio de fonte leporum our situation. No wonder that he, who finds this
Surgit amari aliquid, quod in ipsis floribus angat. country in the same condition with that of France at the time of Henry the Fourth, could also find There is nothing else than a spirit of discona resemblance between his political friend and nexion, of distrust, and of treachery among publick the Duke of Sully. As to those personal resem
It is no accidental evil; nor has its effect blances, people will often judge of them from been trusted to the usual frailty of nature; the their affections: they may imagine in these clouds distemper has been inoculated. The author is whatsoever figures they please; but what is the sensible of it, and we lament it together. This conformation of that eye which can discover a re- distemper is alone sufficient to take away consemblance of this country and these times to those siderably from the benefits of our constitution and with which the author compares them ? France, a situation, and perhaps to render their continuance country just recovered out of twenty-five years of precarious. If these evil dispositions should spread the most cruel and desolating civil war that perhaps much farther they must end in our destruction ; was ever known. The kingdom, under the veil for nothing can save a people destitute of publick of momentary quiet, full of the most atrocious and private faith. However, the author, for the political, operating upon the most furious fanatical, present state of things, has extended the charge by factions. Some pretenders even to the crown; and much too widely; as men are but too apt to take those who did not pretend to the whole, aimed at the measure of all mankind from their own parthe partition of the monarchy. There were almost ticular acquaintance. Barren as this age may be in as many competitors as provinces; and all abetted the growth of honour and virtue, the country does by the greatest, the most ambitious, and most not want, at this moment, as strong, and those enterprising power in Europe. No place safe not a few, examples as were ever known, of an from treason; no, not the bosoms on which the unshaken adherence to principle, and attachment most amiable prince that ever lived reposed his to connexion, against every allurement of interest. head; not his mistresses ; not even his queen. As Those examples are not furnished by the great to the finances, they had scarce an existence, but alone; nor by those, whose activity in publick as a matter of plunder to the managers, and of affairs may render it suspected that they make grants to insatiable and ungrateful courtiers. such a character one of the rounds in their ladder
How can our author have the heart to describe of ambition ; but by men more quiet, and more in this as any sort of parallel to our situation ? To be the shade, on whom an unmixed sense of honour sure, an April shower has some resemblance to a alone could operate. Such examples indeed are water-spout; for they are both wet: and there is not furnished in great abundance amongst those some likeness between a summer evening's breeze who are the subjects of the author's panegyrick. and an hurricane ; they are both wind: but who He must look for them in another camp. He, who can compare our disturbances, our situation, or our complains of the ill effects of a divided and hefinances, to those of France in the time of Henry ? | terogeneous administration, is not justifiable in Great Britain is indeed at this time wearied, but labouring to render odious in the eyes of the not broken, with the efforts of a victorious foreign publick those men, whose principles, whose maxims war; not sufficiently relieved by an inadequate of policy, and whose personal character, can alone peace, but somewhat benefited by that peace, and administer a remedy to this capital evil of the age; infinitely by the consequences of that war. The neither is he consistent with himself, in constantly powers of Europe awed by our victories, and lying extolling those whom he knows to be the authors in ruins upon every side of us. Burthened indeed of the very mischief of which he complains, and we are with debt, but abounding with resources.
which the whole nation feels so deeply. We have a trade, not perhaps equal to our wishes, The persons who are the objects of his dislike but more than ever we possessed. In effect, no and complaint are many of them of the first pretender to the crown; nor nutriment for such families, and weightiest properties, in the kingdom; desperate and destructive factions as have formerly but infinitely more distinguished for their untainted shaken this kingdom.
honour public and private, and their zealous but As to our finances, the author trifles with us. sober attachment to the constitution of their counWhen Sully came to those of France, in what try, than they can be by any birth, or any station. order was any part of the financial system? or what If they are the friends of any one great man system was there at all? There is no man in office rather than another, it is not that they make his who must not be sensible that ours is, without the aggrandizement the end of their union; or because act of any parading minister, the most regular and they know him to be the most active in caballing orderly system perhaps that was ever known; the for his connexions the largest and speediest emobest secured against all frauds in the collection, luments. It is because they know him, by personal experience, to have wise and enlarged ideas of ability; and if they choose a vote for that purpose, the publick good, and an invincible constancy in perhaps it would not be quite impossible for them adhering to it; because they are convinced, by the to procure it. But, if the disease be this distrust whole tenour of his actions, that he will never and disconnexion, it is easy to know who are negociate away their honour or his own: and sound, and who are tainted; who are fit to restore that, in or out of power, change of situation will us to health, who to continue and to spread the make no alteration in his conduct. This will give contagion. The present ministry being made up to such a person in such a body, an authority and of draughts from all parties in the kingdom, if respect that no minister ever enjoyed among his they should profess any adherence to the convenal dependents, in the highest plenitude of his nexions they have left, they must convict thempower; such as servility never can give, such as selves of the blackest treachery. They therefore ambition never can receive or relish.
choose rather to renounce the principle itself, and This body will often be reproached by their to brand it with the name of pride and faction. adversaries, for want of ability in their political This test with certainty discriminates the opinions transactions; they will be ridiculed for missing of men. The other is a description vague and many favourable conjunctures, and not profiting of unsatisfactory. several brilliant opportunities of fortune; but they As to the unfortunate gentlemen who may at must be contented to endure that reproach; for any time compose that system, which, under the they cannot acquire the reputation of that kind of plausible title of an administration, subsists but for ability without losing all the other reputation they the establishment of weakness and confusion ; they possess.
fall into different classes, with different merits. I They will be charged too with a dangerous spirit think the situation of some people in that state may of exclusion and proscription, for being unwilling deserve a certain degree of compassion; at the same to mix in schemes of administration, which have time that they furnish an example, which, it is to no bond of union, or principle of confidence. be hoped, by being a severe one, will have its efThat charge too they must suffer with patience. fect, at least, on the growing generation ; if an If the reason of the thing had not spoken loudly original seduction, on plausible but hollow preenough, the miserable examples of the several tences, into loss of honour, friendship, consistency, administrations constructed upon the idea of syste- security, and repose, can furnish it. It is possible matick discord would be enough to frighten them to draw, even from the very prosperity of ambition, from such monstrous and ruinous conjunctions. examples of terrour, and motives to compassion. It is however false, that the idea of an united ad- I believe the instances are exceedingly rare of ministration carries with it that of a proscription men immediately passing over a clear, marked line of any other party. It does indeed imply the ne- of virtue into declared vice and corruption. There cessity of having the great strong holds of govern- are a sort of middle tints and shades between the ment in well-united hands, in order to secure the two extremes; there is something uncertain on predominance of right and uniform principles; of the confines of the two empires which they first having the capital offices of deliberation and exe- pass through, and which renders the change easy cution of those who can deliberate with mutual and imperceptible. There are even a sort of confidence, and who will execute what is resolved splendid impositions so well contrived, that, at the with firmness and fidelity. If this system cannot very time the path of rectitude is quitted for ever, be rigorously adhered to in practice, (and what men seem to be advancing into some higher and system can be so ?) it ought to be the constant nobler road of publick conduct. Not that such aim of good men to approach as nearly to it as impositions are strong enough in themselves; but possible. No system of that kind can be formed, a powerful interest, often concealed from those which will not leave room fully sufficient for heal- whom it affects, works at the bottom, and secures ing coalitions: but no coalition, which, under the the operation. Men are thus debauched away specious name of independency, carries in its from those legitimate connexions, which they had bosom the unreconciled principles of the original formed on a judgment, early perhaps but sufdiscord of parties, ever was, or will be, an heal- ficiently mature, and wholly unbiassed. They do ing coalition. Nor will the mind of our Sovereign not quit them upon any ground of complaint, for ever know repose, his kingdom settlement, or his grounds of just complaint may exist, but upon the business order, efficiency, or grace with his people, flattering and most dangerous of all principles, until things are established upon the basis of some that of mending what is well. Gradually they set of men, who are trusted by the publick, and are habituated to other company; and a change who can trust one another.
in their habitudes soon makes a way for a change This comes rather nearer to the mark than the in their opinions. Certain persons are no longer author's description of a proper administration, so very frightful, when they come to be known under the name of men of ability and virtue, which and to be serviceable. As to their old friends, the conveys no definite idea at all; nor does it apply transition is easy ; from friendship to civility; specifically to our grand national distemper. All from civility to enmity: few are the steps from parties pretend to these qualities. The present dereliction to persecution. ministry, no favourites of the author, will be ready People not very well grounded in the principles enough to declare themselves persons of virtue and of publick morality find a set of maxims in office
ready made for them, which they assume as na- being sincere or right, or balanced in their minds, turally and inevitably, as any of the insignia or it is more than a chance, that, in the delirium of instruments of the situation. À certain tone of the the last stage of their distempered power, they solid and practical is immediately acquired. Every make an insane political testament, by which they former profession of publick spirit is to be con
throw all their remaining weight and consequence sidered as a debauch of youth, or, at best, as a into the scale of their declared enemies, and the visionary scheme of unattainable perfection. The avowed authors of their destruction. Thus they very idea of consistency is exploded. The con
finish their course. Had it been possible that the venience of the business of the day is to furnish the whole, or even a great part, of these effects on principle for doing it. Then the whole ministerial their minds, I say nothing of the effect upon cant is quickly got by heart. The prevalence of their fortunes, could have appeared to them in faction is to be lamented. All opposition is to be their first departure from the right line, it is cerregarded as the effect of envy and disappointed tain they would have rejected every temptation ambition. All administrations are declared to be with horrour. The principle of these remarks, alike. The same necessity justifies all their mea- like every good principle in morality, is trite;
It is no longer a matter of discussion, who but its frequent application is not the less or what administration is; but that administration necessary. is to be supported, is a general maxim. Flattering As to others, who are plain practical men, they themselves that their power is become necessary have been guiltless at all times of all publiek preto the support of all order and government; tence. Neither the author nor any one else has every thing which tends to the support of that reason to be angry with them. They belonged to power is sanctified, and becomes a part of the his friend for their interest; for their interest they publick interest.
quitted him; and when it is their interest, he Growing every day more formed to affairs, and may depend upon it, they will return to their better knit in their limbs, when the occasion (now former connexion. Such people subsist at all the only rule) requires it, they become capable of times, and, though the nuisance of all, are at no sacrificing those very persons to whom they had time a worthy subject of discussion. It is before sacrificed their original friends. It is now false virtue and plausible errour that do the only in the ordinary course of business to alter an mischief. opinion or to betray a connexion. Frequently If men come to government with right disporelinquishing one set of men and adopting another, sitions, they have not that unfavourable subject they grow into a total indifference to human which this author represents to work upon. Our feeling, as they had before to moral obligation ; circumstances are indeed critical; but then they until at length no one original impression remains are the critical circumstances of a strong and upon their minds : every principle is obliterated; mighty nation. If corruption and meanness are every sentiment effaced.
greatly spread, they are not spread universally. In the mean time, that power, which all these Many publick men are hitherto examples of pubchanges aimed at securing, remains still as totter- lick spirit and integrity. Whole parties, as far as ing and as uncertain as ever. They are delivered large bodies can be uniform, have preserved chaup into the hands of those who feel neither respect racter. However they may be deceived in some for their persons, nor gratitude for their favours ; particulars, I know of no set of men amongst us, who are put about them in appearance to serve, which does not contain persons on whom the in reality to govern them; and, when the signal nation, in a difficult exigence, may well value is given, to abandon and destroy them in order to itself. Private life, which is the nursery of the set up some new dupe of ambition, who in his commonwealth, is yet in general pure, and on the turn is to be abandoned and destroyed. Thus whole disposed to virtue; and the people at large living in a state of continual uneasiness and fer- want neither generosity nor spirit. No small part ment, softened only by the miserable consolation of that very luxury, which is so much the subject of giving now and then preferments to those for of the author's declamation, but which, in most whom they have no value; they are unhappy in parts of life, by being well balanced and diffused, their situation, yet find it impossible to resign. is only decency and convenience, has perhaps as Until
, at length, soured in temper, and disappoint- many or more good than evil consequences ated by the very attainment of their ends, in some tending it. It certainly excites industry, nourangry, in some haughty, or some negligent mo- ishes emulation, and inspires some sense of personal ment, they incur the displeasure of those upon value into all ranks of people. What we want is whom they have rendered their very being de- to establish more fully an opinion of uniformity, pendent. Then perierunt tempora longi servitii ; and consistency of character, in the leading men they are cast off with scorn; they are turned out, of the state; such as will restore some confidence emptied of all natural character, of all intrinsick to profession and appearance, such as will fix subworth, of all essential dignity, and deprived of ordination upon esteem. Without this all schemes every consolation of friendship. Having rendered are begun at the wrong end. All who join in them all retreat to old principles ridiculous, and to old are liable to their consequences. All men who, regards impracticable, not being able to counter- under whatever pretext, take a part in the formafeit pleasure, or to discharge discontent, nothing tion or the support of systems constructed in such
a manner as must, in their nature, disable them eyes open, should choose to make a part in such from the execution of their duty, have made them- a body. selves guilty of all the present distraction, and of The effects of all human contrivances are in the the future ruin, which they may bring upon their hand of Providence. I do not like to answer, as country.
our author so readily does, for the event of any It is a serious affair, this studied disunion in speculation. But surely the nature of our disorgovernment. In cases where union is most con- ders, if any thing, must indicate the proper resulted in the constitution of a ministry, and where medy. Men who act steadily on the principles I persons are best disposed to promote it, differ- have stated, may in all events be very serviceable ences, from the various ideas of men, will arise ; to their country; in one case, by furnishing (if and from their passions will often ferment into their Sovereign should be so advised) an adminisviolent heats, so as greatly to disorder all publick tration formed upon ideas very different from those business. What must be the consequence, when which have for some time been unfortunately the very distemper is made the basis of the con- fashionable. But, if this should not be the case, stitution; and the original weakness of human they may be still serviceable; for the example of nature is still further enfeebled by art and con- a large body of men, steadily sacrificing ambition trivance? It must subvert government from the to principle, can never be without use. It will very foundation. It turns our publick councils certainly be prolific, and draw others to an imiinto the most mischievous cabals; where the con- tation. Vera gloria radices agit, atque etiam sideration is, not how the nation's business shall propagatur. be carried on, but how those who ought to carry I do not think myself of consequence enough it on shall circumvent each other. In such a state to imitate my author, in troubling the world with of things, no order, uniformity, dignity, or effect, the prayers or wishes I may form for the publick: can appear in our proceedings either at home or full as little am I disposed to imitate his profesabroad. Nor will it make much difference, whe- sions; those professions are long since worn out ther some of the constituent parts of such an ad in the political service. If the work will not ministration are men of virtue or ability, or not ; speak for the author, his own declarations deserve supposing it possible that such men, with their but little credit.
So much misplaced industry has been used by Average of net produce of duty on the author of The State of the Nation, as well candles for 8 years, ending 1767 - 155,789 as by other writers, to infuse discontent into the Average of ditto for 8 years, ending people, on, account of the late war, and of the 1754
136,716 effects of our national debt; that nothing ought to be omitted which may tend to disabuse the
£. 19,073 publick upon these subjects. When I had gone through the foregoing sheets, I recollected, that, in pages 58, 59, 60, I only gave the comparative states Average net produce of duty on of the duties collected by the excise at large ; hides, 8 years, ending 1767 189,216 together with the quantities of strong beer brewed Ditto 8 years, ending 1754
168,200 in the two periods which are there compared. It might be still thought, that some other articles
£. 21,016 of popular consumption, of general convenience, and connected with our manufactures, might possibly have declined. I therefore now think it right This encrease has not arisen from any additional to lay before the reader the state of the produce duties. None have been imposed on these articles of three capital duties on such articles ; duties during the war. Notwithstanding the burthens which have frequently been made the subject of of the war, and the late dearness of provisions, popular complaint. The duty on candles; that the consumption of all these articles has encreased, on soap, paper, &c.; and that on hides.
and the revenue along with it.
£. There is another point in The State of the Average of net produce of duty on
Nation, to which, I fear, I have not been so full soap, &c. for 8 years, ending 1767 264,902 in my answers as I ought to have been, and as I Average of ditto for 8 years, ending
am well warranted to be. The author has endea1754
228,114 voured to throw a suspicion, or something more,
on that salutary, and indeed necessary, measure Average encrease £. 36,788 of opening the ports of Jamaica. “ Orders were
given,” says he, “ in August, 1765, for the free