Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

good suis hence.

factures, inaported and used in a nation, do, the expulsion of the Moors, or to the making by the same reasoning, increase the people of new settlements. of the nation, that furnishes them, and dimi 22. There is, in short, no bound to the pronish the people of the nation, that uses them. lific nature of plants or animals, but what is Laws, therefore, that prevent such importa- made by their crowding and interfering with tions, and on the contrary, promote the ex- each other's means of subsistence. Was the portation of manufactures to be consumed in face of the earth vacant of other plants, it foreign countries, may be called (with respect might be gradually sowed and overspread with to the people that make them) generative one kind only, as for instance, with fennel; and Laws, as, by increasing subsistence, they en were it empty of other inhabitants, it might, in courage marriage. Such laws, likewise, a few ages, be replenished from one nation strengthen a country doubly, by increasing only, as for instance, with Englishmen. Thus its own people, and diminishing its neighbours. there are supposed to be now upwards of one

17. Some European nations prudently re- million of English souls in North America Tuse to consume the manufactures of East In- (though it is thought scarce 80,000 have been dia :--they should likewise forbid them to their brought over sea) and yet perhaps there is not colonies; for the gain to the merchant is not one the fewer in Britain, but rather many more, to be compared with the loss, by this means, on account of the employment the colonies of people to the nation.

afford to manufactures at home. This million 18. Home luxury in the great, increases doubling, suppose but once in twenty-five the nation's manufactures employed by it, who years, will, in another century, be more than are many, and only tends to diminish the fa- the people of England, and the greatest nummilies that indulge in it, who are few. The ber of Englishmen will be on this side the greater the common fashionable expense of water. What an accession of power to the any rank of people, the more cautious they are British empire by sea as well as land ! What of marriage. Therefore luxury should never increase of trade and navigation! What numbe suffered to become common.

bers of ships and seamen ! We have been here 19. The great increase of offspring in par- but little more than a hundred years, and yet ticular families is not always owing to greater the force of our privateers in the late war, fecundity of nature, but sometimes to examples united, was greater, both in men and guns, of industry in the heads, and industrious edu- than that of the whole British navy in queen cation, by which the children are enabled to Elizabeth's time. How important an affair provide better for themselves, and their marry- then to Britain is the present treaty* for seting early is encouraged from the prospect of tling the bounds between her colonies and

the French ! and how careful should she be to 20. If be a sect, therefore, in our na secure room enough, since on the room detion, that regards frugality and industry as pends so much the increase of her people ! religious duties, and educate their children 23. In fine, a nation well regulated is like therein, more than others commonly do, such a polypus,f take away a limb, its place is soon sect must consequently increase more by na- supplied ; cut it in two, and each deficient tural generation than any other sect in Britain. part shall speedily grow out of the part re

21. The importation of foreigners into a maining. Î'hus, if you have room and subcountry, that has as many inhabitants as the sistence enough, as you may say, by dividing, present employments and provisions for sub- make ten polypuses out of one, you may, of sistence will bear, will be in the end no in-one, make ten nations, equally populous and crease of people, unless the new-comers have powerful; or, rather, increase a nation tenmore industry and frugality than the natives, fold in numbers and strength. and then they will provide more subsistence, and increase in the country; but they will gradually eat the natives out. —Nor is it ne

R. Jackson, of London, to Dr. Franklin. cessary to bring in foreigners to fill up any occasional vacaney in a country; for such va- Remarks on some of the foregoing Obserrations. cancy (if the laws are good, $ 14, 16) will soon be filled by natural generation. Who can

Dear Sir, It is now near three years now find the vacancy made in Sweden, France,

since I received your excellent Observations or other warlike nations, by the plague of he on the Increase of Mankind, gc. in which roism 40 years ago; in France, by the expul- you have with so much sagacity and accuracy sion of the Protestants ; in England, by the shown in what manner, and by what causes, settlement of her colonies; or in Guinea, by a best promoted ; and have so well supported

that principal means of political grandeur is hundred years exportation of slaves, that has blackened half America ? The thinness of the

those just inferences you have occasionally inhabitants in Spain is owing to national pride,

* The treaty of Utrecht, in 1751. and idleness, and other causes, rather than to

1 A water insect, well known to naturalists.

[ocr errors]

1

drawn, concerning the general state of our the ultimate end of political society; and poAmerican colonies, and the views and con- litical welfare, or the strength, splendour, and duct of some of the inhabitants of Great Bri- opulence of the state, have been always adtain.

mitted, both by political writers, and the vaYou have abundantly proved, that natural luable part of mankind in general, to conduce fecundity is hardly to be considered, because to this end, and are therefore desirable. the vis generandi, as far as we know, is un The causes, that advance or obstruct any limited, and because experience shows, that one of these three objects, are external or inthe numbers of nations is altogether governed ternal. The latter may be divided into pby. by collateral causes, and among these none of sical, civil, and personal, under which last so much force as the quantity of subsistence, head I comprehend the moral and mechanical whether arising from climate, soil, improve- habits of mankind. The physical causes are ment of tillage, trade, fisheries, secure pro- principally climate, soil, and number of perperty, conquest of new countries, or other sons; the civil, are government and laws; fayourable circumstances.

and political welfare is always in a ratio comAs I perfectly concurred with you in posed of the force of these particular causes ; your sentiments on these heads, I have been a multitude of external causes, and all these very desirous of building somewhat on the internal ones, not only control and qualify, foundation you have there laid; and was in- but are constantly acting on, and thereby induced, by your hints in the twenty-first sec-sensibly, as well as sensibly, altering one antion, to trouble you with some thoughts on the other, both for the better and the worse, and influence manners have always had, and are this not excepting the climate itself. always likely to have, on the numbers of a The powerful efficacy of manners in inpeople, and their political prosperity in ge- creasing a people is manifest from the instance neral.

you mention, the quakers; among them inThe end of every individual is its own pri- dustry and frugality multiply and extend the vate good. The rules it observes in the pur- use of the necessaries of life; to manners of suit of this good are a system of propositions, a like kind are owing the populousness of almost every one founded in authority, that Holland, Swisserland, China, Japan, and most is, derive their weight from the credit given parts of Hindustan, &c. in every one of which, to one or more persons, and not from de- the force of extent of territory and fertility of monstration.

soil is multiplied, or their want compensated And this, in the most important as well as by industry and frugality. the other affairs of life, is the case even of Neither nature nor art have , contributed the wisest and philosophical part of the hu- much to the production of subsistence in man species; and that it should be so is the Swisserland, yet we see frugality preserves less strange, when we consider, that it is per- and even increases families, that live on their haps impossible to prove, that being, or life fortunes, and which, in England, we call the itself, has any other yalue than what is set on gentry; and the observation we cannot but it by authority

make in the southern part of this kingdom, A confirmation of this may be derived from that those families, including all superior ones, the observation, that, in every country in the are gradually becoming extinct, affords the universe, happiness is sought upon a different clearest proof, that luxury (that is, a greater plan; and, even in the same country, we see expense of subsistence than in prudence a man it placed by different ages, professions, and ought to consume) is as destructive as a disranks of men, in the attainment of enjoy- proportionable want of it; but in Scotland, ments utterly unlike.

as in Swisserland, the gentry, though one These propositions, as well as others with another they have not one fourth of the framed upon them, become habitual by de- income, increase in number. grees, and, as they govern the determination And here I cannot help remarking, by the of the will, I call them moral habits. bye, how well founded your distinction is be

There are another set of habits, that have tween the increase of mankind in old and new the direction of the members of the body, that settled countries in general, and more parI call therefore mechanical habits. These ticularly in the case of families of condition. compose what we commonly call the arts, In America, where the expenses are more which are more or less liberal or mechani- confined to necessaries, and those necessaries cal, as they more or less partake of assist- are cheap, it is common to see above one hunance from the operations of the mind. dred persons descended from one living old

The cumulus of the moral habits of each man." In England, it frequently happens, individual is the manners of that individual: where a man has seven, eight, or more chilthe cumulus of the manners of individuals dren, there has not been a descendant in the makes up the manners of a nation.

next generation, occasioned by the difficulties The happiness of individuals is evidently the number of children has brought on the

family, in a luxurious dear country, and which, and this, though there is no considerable difhave prevented their marrying.

ference in the prices of our markets. Land of That this is more owing to luxury than equal goodness lets for double the rent of mere want, appears from what I have said other land lying in the same country, and of Scotland, and more plainly from parts of there are many years purchase difference beEngland remote from London, in most of tween different counties, where rents are which the necessaries of life are nearly as equally well paid and secure. dear, in some dearer than London, yet the Thus manners operate upon the number of people of all ranks marry and breed up chil- inhabitants, but of their silent effects upon a dren.

civil constitution, history, and even our own Again; among the lower ranks of life, none experience, yields us abundance of proofs, produce so few children as servants. This is, though they are not uncommonly attributed in some measure, to be attributed to their to external causes: their support of a governsituation, which hinders marriage, but is also ment against external force is so great, that to be attributed to their luxury and corruption it is a common maxim among the advocates of manners, which are greater than among of liberty, that no free government was ever any other set of people in England, and is the dissolved, or overcome, before the manners of consequence of a nearer view of the lives and its subjects were corrupted. persons of a superior rank, than any inferior The superiority of Greece over Persia was rank, without a proper education, ought to singly owing to their difference of manners; have.

and that, though all natural advantages were quantity of subsistence in England has on the side of the latter, to which I might add unquestionably become greater for several the civil ones; for though the greatest of all ages; and yet if the inhabitants are more civil advantages, liberty, was on the side of numerous, they certainly are not so in pro- Greece, yet that added no political strength portion to our improvement of the means of to her, other than as it operated on her mansupport. I am apt to think there are few ners, and, when they were corrupted, the reparts of this kingdom, that have not been at storation of their liberty by the Romans, oversome former time more populous than at pre- turned the remains of their power. sent. I have several cogent reasons for think Whether the manners of ancient Rome ing so of a great part of the counties I am were at any period calculated to promote the most intimately acquainted with ; but as they happiness of individuals, it is not my designa were probably not all most populous at the to examine; but that their manners, and the same time, and as some of our towns are visi- effects of those manners on their government bly and vastly grown in bulk, I dare not sup- and public conduct, founded, enlarged, and pose, as judicious men have done, that Eng- supported, and afterwards overthrew their emland is less peopled than heretofore. pire, is beyond all doubt. One of the effects

The growth of our towns is the effect of of their conquest furnishes us with a strong a change of manners, and improvement of arts, proof, how prevalent manners are even becommon to all Europe; and though it is not yond the quantity of subsistence; for, when imagined, that it has lessened the country the custom of bestowing on the citizens of growth of necessaries, it has evidently, by in- Rome corn enough to support themselves and troducing a greater consumption of them, (an families, was become established, and Egypt infallible consequence of a nation's dwelling and Sicily produced the grain that fed the in towns) counteracted the effects of our pro- inhabitants of Italy, this became less populous digious advances in the arts.

every day, and the jus trium liberorum was But however frugality may supply the but an expedient, that could not balance the place, or prodigality counteract the effects, of want of industry and frugality. the natural or acquired subsistence of a coun But corruption of manners did not only try, industry is, beyond doubt, a more effica-thin the inhabitants of the Roman empire, cious cause of plenty than any natural advan- but it rendered the remainder incapable of tage of extent or fertility. I have mentioned defence, long before its fall, perhaps before instances of frugality and industry united with the dissolution of the republic; so that withextent and fertility. In Spain and Asia Mi- out standing disciplined armies, composed of nor, we see frugality joined to extent and fer- men, whose moral habits principally, and metility, without industry; in Treland, we once chanical habits secondarily, made them difsaw the same; Scotland had then none of ferent from the body of the people, the Roma:) them but frugality. The change in these two empire had been a prey to the barbarians many countries is obvious to every one, and it is ages before it was. owing to industry not yet very widely diffus By the mechanical habits of the soldiery, I ed in either. The effects of industry and fru- mean their discipline, and the art of war; and gality in England are surprising ; both the that this is but a secondary quality, appears rent and the value of the inheritance of land from the inequality that has in all ages been depend on them greatly more than on nature, I between raw, though well disciplined armies, VOL. II. .:.3H

36*

and veterans, and more from the irresistible Commerce perfects the arts, but more the force a single moral habit, religion, has con- mechanical than the liberal, and this for an ferred on troops, frequently neither disciplined obvious reason; it softens and enervates the nor experienced

manners. Steady virtue and unbending inThe military manners of the noblesse in tegrity are seldom to be found where a spirit France, compose the chief force of that king- of commerce pervades every thing; yet the dom, and the enterprising manners and rest- perfection of commerce is, that every thing less dispositions of the inhabitants of Canada, should have its price. We every day see its have enabled a handful of men to harass our progress, both to our benefit and detriment populous, and generally less martial colonies; here. Things, that boni mores forbid to be yet neither are of the value they seem at first set to sale, are become its objects, and there sight, because overbalanced by the defect they are few things indeed extra commercium. occasion of other habits, that would produce The legislative power itself has been in commore eligible political good : and military mercio, and church livings are seldom given manners in a people are not necessary in an without consideration, even by sincere Chrisage and country where such manners may be tians, and, for consideration, not seldom to occasionally formed and preserved among very unworthy persons. The rudeness of men enough to defend the state; and such a ancient military times, and the fury of more country is Great Britain, where, though the modern enthusiastic ones are worn off; even lower class of people are by no means of a the spirit of forensic contention is astonishingmilitary cast, yet they make better soldiers ly diminished, all marks of manners softening; than even the noblesse of France.

but luxury and corruption have taken their The inhabitants of this country, a few ages places, and seem the inseparable companions back, were to the populous and rich provinces of commerce and the arts. of France, what Canada is now to the British I cannot help observing, however, that this colonies. It is true, there was less dispro- is much more the case in extensive countries, portion between their natural strength; but I especially at their metropolis, than in other mean, that the riches of France were a real places. It is an old observation of politicians, weakness, opposed to the military manners and frequently made by historians, that small founded upon poverty and a rugged disposi- states always best preserve their manners.tion, than the character of the English; but Whether this happens from the greater room it must be remembered, that at this time the there is for attention in the legislature, or manners of a people were not distinct from from the less room there is for ambition and that of their soldiery, for the use of standing avarice, it is a strong argument, among others, armies has deprived a military people of the against an incorporating union of the colonies advantages they before had over others; and in America, or even a federal one, that may though it has been often said, that civil wars tend to the future reducing them under one give power, because they render all men sol- government. diers, I believe this has only been found true Their power, while disunited, is less, in internal wars following civil wars, and not their liberty, as well as manners, is more sein external ones; for now, in foreign wars, a cure; and, considering the little danger of small army, with ample means to support it, any conquest to be made upon them, I had is of greater force than one more numerous, rather they shou uffer something through with less. This last fact has often happened disunion, than see them under a general adbetween France and Germany.

ministration less equitable than that concertThe means of supporting armies, and con- ed at Albany. sequently the power of exerting external I take it, the inhabitants of Pennsylvania strength, are best found in the industry and are both frugal and industrious beyond those frugality of the body of a people living under of any province in America. If luxury should & government and laws, that encourage com- spread, it cannot be extirpated by laws. We merce : for commerce is at this day almost are told by Plutarch, that Plato used to say, the only stimulus, that forces every one to It was a hard thing to make laws for the contribute a share of labour for the public Cyrenians, a people abounding in plenty and benefit.

opulence, But such is the human frame, and the But from what I set out with, it is evident, world is so constituted, that it is a hard matter if I be not mistaken, that education only can to possess one's self of a benefit, without lay- stem the torrent, and, without checking either ing one's self open to a loss on some other true industry or frugality, prevent the sordid side; the improvements of manners of one frugality and laziness of the old Irish, and sort often deprave those of another : thus we many of the modern Scotch, (I mean the insee industry and frugality under the influence habitants of that country, those who leave it of commerce, which I call a commercial spirit, for another being generally industrious) or the tend to destroy, as well as support, the go industry, mixed with luxury, of this capital, vernment it flourishes under.

from getting ground, and, by rendering as

ess. but

cient manners familiar, produce a reconcilia- 1 of any which can be conceived, as it is groundtion between disinterestedness and commerce; ed on the noblest principle of benevolence. a thing we often see, but almost always in Good intentions are often frustrated by letmen of a liberal education.

ting them remain indigested; on this considerTo conclude: when we would form a peo- ation Mr. Dalrymple was induced to put the ple, soil and climate may be found at least outlines on paper, which are now published, sufficiently good ; inhabitants may be encou- that by an early communication there may be raged to settle, and even supported for a a better opportunity of collecting all the hints, while; a good government and laws may be which can conduce to execute effectually the framed, and even arts may be established, or benevolent purpose of the expedition, in case their produce imported: but many necessary it should meet with general approbation. moral' habits are hardly ever found among On this scheme being shown to Dr. Frankthose who voluntary offer themselves in times lin, he communicated his sentiments, by way of quiet at home, to people new colonies; be- of introduction, to the following effect: sides, that the moral, as well as mechanical “ Britain is said to have produced originally habits, adapted to a mother country, are fre- nothing but sloes. What vast advantages quently not so to the new settled one, and to have been communicated to her by the fruits, external events, many of which are always seeds, roots, herbage, animals, and arts of unforeseen. Hence it is we have seen such other countries ! We are by their means befruitless attempts to settle colonies, at an im- come a wealthy and a mighty nation, aboundmense public and private expense, by several ing in all good things. Does not some duty of the powers of Europe: and it is particular- hence arise from us towards other countries, ly observable, that none of the English colo still remaining in our former state ? nies became any way considerable, till the 'ne “ Britain is now the first maritime power cessary manners were born and grew up in in the world. Her ships are innumerable, the country, excepting those to which singu: capable by their form, size, and strength, of lar circumstances at home forced manners fit sailing on all seas. Our seamen are equally for the forming a new state.--I am, sir, &c. bold, skilful, and hardy ; dextrous in explor

R. J. ing the remotest regions, and ready to en

gage in voyages to unknown countries,

though attended with the greatest dangers. Plan, by Messieurs Franklin and Dalrym- The inhabitants of those countries, our fel

ple, for benefiting distant unprovided low men, have canoes only; not knowing Countries.*

iron, they cannot build ships ; they have little Aug. 29, 1771.

astronomy, and no knowlege of the compass The country called in the maps New Zea- to guide them; they cannot therefore come to land, has been discovered by the Endeavour, us, or obtain any of our advantages. From to be two islands, together as large as Great these circumstances, does not some duty seem Britain: these islands, named Acpy-nomawée, to arise from us to them? Does not Proviand Tovy-poennammoo, are inhabited by a dence, by these distinguishing favours, seem brave and generous race, who are destitute of to call on us, to do something ourselves for corn, fowls, and all quadrupeds, except dogs. the common interest of humanity!

These circumstances being mentioned “ Those who think it their duty, to ask lately in a company of men of liberal senti- bread and other blessings daily from heaven, ments, it was observed, that it seemed incum- would they not think it equally a duty, to bent on such a country as this, to communi- communicate of those blessings when they cate to all others the conveniences of life, have received them, and show their gratitude which we enjoy.

to their great Benefactor by the only means Dr. Franklin, whose life has ever been di- in their power, promoting the happiness of his rected to promote the true interest of society, other children? said, “ he would with all his heart subscribe “Ceres is said to have made a journey to a voyage intended to communicate in ge through many countries to teach the use of neral those benefits which we enjoy, to coun- corn, and the art of raising it.-For this sintries destitute of them in the remote parts of gle benefit the grateful nations deified her. the globe.” This proposition being warmly How much more may Englishmen deserve adopted by the rest of the company, Mr. Dal- such honour, by communicating the knowledge rymple, then present, was induced to offer to and use not of corn only, but of all the other undertake the command on such an expedi- enjoyments the earth can produce, and which tion.

they are now in possession of. Communiter On mature reflection, this scheme appears bona profundere, Deum est. the more honourable to the national character “Many voyages have been undertaken with

views of profit or of plunder, or to gratify re* These proposals were printed upon a sheet of pa sentment; to procure some advantage to ourper, and distributed. The parts written by Dr. Frank. lin and Mr. Dalrymple are easily distinguished.

selves, or do some mischief to others: but a*

« AnteriorContinuar »