Imágenes de página

were running about for shelter. The ground England in 1703, by Mr. Thoresby : or lastly heaved and swelled like a rolling sea, and those in New England in 1663, and 1670, by several houses still standing, were shuffled Dr. Mather. and moved some yards out of their places. A whole street is said to be twice as broad now Public Men. From the Pennsylvania Gaas before; and in many places the earth would crack, and open, and shut, quick and

zette, No. 95, September 3, 1730. fast. Of which openings, two or three hun The following is a dialogue between Socradred might be seen at a time: in some where- tes, the great Athenian philosopher, and one of, the people were swallowed up; others, the Glaucon a private man of mean abilities, but closing earth caught by the middle, and press- ambitious of being chosen a senator, and of goed to death; in others, the heads only ap- verning the republic; wherein Socrates, in a peared. The larger openings swallowed up pleasant manner, convinces him of his incahouses ; and out of some would issue whole pacity for public affairs, by making him senrivers of waters, spouted up a great height in-sible of his ignorance of the interests of his to the air, and threatening a deluge to that country, in their several branches, and entirepart the earthquake spared. The whole was ly dissuades them from any attempt of that attended with stenches and offensive smells, nature. There is also added, at the end, part the noise of falling mountains at a distance, of another dialogue, the same Socrates had &c. and the sky in a minute's time, was turn- with one Charmidas, a worthy man, but tos ed dull and reddish, like a glowing oven. modest, wherein he endeavours to persuade Yet, as great a sufferer as Port Royal was, him to put himself forward and undertake more houses were left standing therein, than public business, as being very capable of it. on the whole island beside. Scarce a plant- The whole is taken from Xenophon's Memoing house, or sugar work was left standing in rable Things of Socrates, lib. 3. als Jamaica. A great part of them were A certain man, whose name was Glaucon, swallowed up, houses, people, trees, and all the son of Ariston, had so fixt it in his mind at one gap: in lieu of which afterwards, ap- to govern the republic, that he frequently peared great pools of water, which when dri- presented himself before the people to disven up, left nothing but sand, without any course of the affairs of state, though all the mark that ever tree or plant had been there- world laughed at him for it; 'nor was it in on. Above twelve miles from the sea, the the power of his relations or friends to disearth gaped and spouted out, with a prodigi- suade him from that design. But Socrates ous force, vast quantities of water into the had a kindness for him, on account of Plato air: yet the greatest violences were among his brother, and he only it was who made him the mountains and rocks : and it is a general change his resolution; he met him, and acopinion, that the nearer the mountains, the costed him in so winning a manner, that he greater the shake; and that the cause there first obliged him to hearken to his discourse. of lay there. Most of the rivers were stop- He began with him thus: You have a mind ped up for twenty-four hours, by the falling then to govern the republic ? I have so, anof the mountains, till swelling up, they found swered Glaucon. You cannot, replied Socrathemselves new tracts and channels, tearing tes, have a more noble design; for if you can up in their passage trees, &c. After the accomplish it so as to become absolute, you great shake, those people who escaped, got will be able to serve your friends, you will on board ships in the harbour, where many raise your family, you will extend the bounds continued above two months; the shakes all of your country, you will be known, not only that time being so violent, and coming so in Athens, but through all Greece, and perthick, sometimes two or three in an hour ac-haps your renown will fly even to the barbacompanied with frightful noises like a ruffling rous nations, as did that of Themistocles. In wind, or a hollow rumbling thunder, with short, wherever you come, you will have the brimstone blasts, that they durst not come respect and admiration of all the world. These ashore. The consequences of the earthquake words soothed Glaucon, and won him to give was a general sickness, from the noisome va- ear to Socrates, who went on in this manner. pours belched forth, which swept away above But it is certain, that if you desire to be ho

noured, you must be useful to the state. Cer. After the detail of these horrible convul- tainly, said Glaucon. And in the name of all sions, the reader will have but little curiosity the gods, replied Socrates, tell me, what is left, for the less considerable phenomena of the first service that you intend to render the the earthquake at Lima, in 1687, described state ? Glaucon was considering what to anby Fa. Alvarez de Toledo, wherein above swer, when Socrates continued. 5000 persons were destroyed; this being of design to make the fortune of one of your the vibratory kind, so that the bells in the friends, you would endeavour to make him church rung of themselves: or that at Bata- rich, and thus perhaps you will make it your via in 1699, by Witzen: that in the north of business to enrich the republic? I would, an

3000 persons.

If you

swered Glaucon. Socrates replied : would be well to do so, said Glaucon. It comes innot the way to enrich the republic be to in- to my mind, too, continued Socrates, that you crease its revenue? It is very likely it would, have never been at the mines of silver, to exsaid Glaucon. Tell me then in what consists amine why they bring not in so much now as the revenue of the state, and to how much it they did formerly. You say true, I have nemay amount? I presume you have particular- ver been there. Indeed they say the place is ly studied this matter, to the end that if any very unhealthy, and that may excuse you. thing should be lost on one hand, you might You rally me now, said Glaucon. Socrates know where to make it good on another, and added; but I believe you have at least observthat if a fund should fail on a sudden, you ed how much corn our lands produce, how might immediately be able to settle another long it will serve to supply our city, and how in its place ? I protest, answered Glaucon, I much more we shall want for the whole year; have never thought of this. Tell me at least to the end you may not be surprised with a the expenses of the republic, for no doubt you scarcity of bread, but may give timely orders intend to retrench the superfluous? I never for the necessary provisions. There is a deal thought of this neither, said Glaucon. You to do, said Glaucon, if we must take care of were best then to put off to another time your all these things. There is so, replied Socradesign of enriching the republic, which you tes, and it is even impossible to manage our can never be able to do, while you are igno- own families well, unless we know all that is rant both of its expenses and revenue. There wanting, and take care to provide it. As you is another way to enrich a state, said Glau- see, therefore, that our city is composed of con, of which you take no notice, and that is above ten thousand families, and it being a difby the ruin of its enemies. You are in the ficult task to watch over them all at once, why right, answered Socrates : but to this end, it did you not first try to retrieve your uncle's is necessary to be stronger than they, other- affairs which are running to decay, and after wise we shall run the hazard of losing what having given that proof of your industry, you we have: he therefore who talks of under- might have taken a greater trust upon you ? taking a war, ought to know the strength on But now, when you find yourself incapable both sides, to the end that if his party be the of aiding a private man, how can you think stronger, he may boldly advise for war, and of behaving yourself so as to be useful to a that if it be the weaker, he may dissuade the whole people ? ought a' man who has not people from engaging themselves in so dan- strength enough to carry a hundred pound gerous an enterprise. All this is true. Tell weight, undertake to carry a heavier burden? I. me then, continued Socrates, how strong our would have done good service to my uncle, forces are by sea and land, and how strong said Glaucon, if he would have taken my ado: are our enemies? Indeed, said Glaucon, i vice. How ! replied Socrates, have you not cannot tell you on a sudden. If you have a hitherto been able to govern the mind of your list of them in writing, pray show it me, I uncle, and do you now believe yourself able should be glad to hear it read. I have it not to govern the minds of all the Athenians, and yet. I see then, said Socrates, that we shall not his among the rest? Take heed, my dear Glauengage in war so soon : for the greatness of con, take heed lest too great a desire of power the undertaking will hinder you from mature- should render you despised; consider how danly weighing all the consequences of it in the gerous it is to speak and entertain ourselves beginning of your government. But, continu- concerning things we do not understand: what ed he, you have thought of the defence of the a figure do those forward and rash people make country, you know what garrisons are neces in the world, who do so; and judge yourself, sary, and what are not; you know what num- whether they acquire more esteem than blame, ber of troops is sufficient in one, and not suf- whether they are more admired than contemnficient in another : you will cause the neces- ed. Think, on the contrary, with how much sary garrisons to be reinforced, and will dis- honour a man is regarded, who understands band those that are useless? I should be of perfectly what he says, and what he does, and opinion said Glaucon, to leave none of them then you will confess that renown and ap on foot, because they ruin a country, on pre- plause have always been the recompence of tence of defending it. But, Socrates objected true merit, and shame the reward of ignoif all the garrisons are taken away, there rance and temerity. If therefore you would would be nothing to hinder the first comer be honoured, endeavour to be a man of true from carrying off what he pleased : but how merit; and if you enter upon

the government come you to know that the garrisons behave of the republic, with a mind more sagacious themselves so ill ? Have you been upon the than usual, I shall not wonder if you

succeed place, have you seen them? Not at all; but I in all

your designs. suspect it to be so.

When therefore we are Thus Socrates put a stop to the disorderly certain of it, said Socrates, and can speak up- ambition of this man: but on an occasion quite on better grounds than simple conjectures, we contrary, he in the following manner exhortwill propose this advice to the senate. It may led Charmidas to take an employment. He

was a man of sense, and more deserving than advantageous on this account, that, being on most others in the same post; but as he was the sea-coast in a smuggling country, one of a modest disposition, he constantly declined had frequent opportunities of buying many of and made great difficulties of engaging him- the expensive articles used in a family (such self in public business. Socrates therefore as tea, coffee, chocolate, brandy, wines, camaddressed himself to him in this manner. If brics, Brussels laces, French silks, and all you knew any man that could gain the prizes kinds of India goods, 20), 30, and in some arin the public games, and by that means render ticles 50 per cent. cheaper, than they could himself illustrious, and acquire glory to his be had in the more interior parts, of traders country, what would you say of him if he re- that paid duty. The other honest gentleman fused to offer himself to the contest? I would allowed this to be an advantage, but insisted, say, answered Charmidas, that he was a mean that the seller, in the advanced price he despirited effeminate fellow. And if a man manded on that account, rated the advantage were capable of governing a republic, of in- much above its value. And neither of them creasing its power by his advice, and of rais- seemed to think dealing with smugglers a ing himself by this means to a high degree practice, that an honest man (provided he got of honour, would you not brand him likewise his goods cheap) had the least reason to be with meanness of soul, if he would not pre- ashamed of. sent himself to be employed? Perhaps I might, At a time when the load of our public debt, said Charmidas; but why do you ask me this and the heavy expense of maintaining our question ; Socrates replied; because you are fleets and armies to be ready for our defence capable of managing the affairs of the repub- on occasion, makes it necessary, not only to lic, and nevertheless you avoid doing so, continue old taxes, but often to look out for though in quality of a citizen you are obliged new ones, perhaps it may not be unuseful to to take care of the commonwealth. Be no state this matter in a light that few seem to longer then thus negligent in this matter, con- have considered it in. sider your abilities and your duty with more The people of Great Britain, under the attention, and let not slip the occasions of happy constitution of this country, have a serving the republic, and of rendering it, if privilege few other countries enjoy, that of possible, more flourishing than it is. This choosing the third branch of the legislature, will be a blessing, whose influence will de- which branch has alone the power of regulatscend not only on the other citizens, but on ing their taxes. Now whenever the governyour best friends and yourself.

ment finds it necessary for the common benefit, advantage, and safety of the nation, for

the security of our liberties, property, religion, On Smuggling, and its various species:- tain sums shall be yearly raised by taxes,

and every thing that is dear to us, that cerPublished in the London Chronicle, No- duties, &c. and paid'into the public treasury, vember 24, 1767.

thence to be dispensed by government for SIR,—There are many people that would those purposes; ought not every honest man be thought, and even think themselves, honest freely and willingly to pay his just propormen, who fail nevertheless in particular tion of this necessary expense ? Can he possipoints of honesty; deviating from that cha- bly preserve a right to that character, if, by racter sometimes by the prevalence of mode fraud, stratagem, or contrivance, he avoids or custom, and sometimes through mere in that payment in whole or in part. attention; so that their honesty is partial only, What should we think of a companion, and not general or universal. Thus one, who, having supped with his friends at a tawho would scorn to overreach you in a bar- vern, and partaken equally of the joys of the gain, shall make no scruple of tricking you a evening with the rest of us, would nevertheless little now and then at cards: another, that contrive by some artifice to shift his share of plays with the utmost fairness, shall with the reckoning upon others, in order to go off great freedom cheat you in the sale of a horse. scot-free? If a man who practised this, would, But there is no kind of dishonesty, into which when detected, be deemed and called a otherwise good people more easily and fre- scoundrel, what ought he to be called, who quently fall, than that of defrauding govern- can enjoy all the inestimable benefits of pubment of its revenues by smuggling when they lic society, and yet by smuggling, or dealing have an opportunity, or encouraging smugglers with smugglers, contrive to evade paying his by buying their goods.

just share of the expense, as settled by his I fell into these reflections the other day, own representatives in parliament; and on hearing two gentlemen of reputation dis- wrongfully throw it upon his honester and coursing about a small estate, which one of perhaps much poorer neighbours ? He will them was inclined to sell, and the other to perhaps be ready to tell me, that he does not buy; when the seller, in recommending the wrong his neighbours; he scorns the imputaplace, remarked, that its situation was very |tion, he only cheats the king a little, who is

very able to bear it. This, however, is a mis-, complice in the crime, and assist in the pertake. The public treasure is the treasure petration. of the nation, to be applied to national pur There are those who by these practices poses. And when a duty is laid for a par- take a great deal in a year out of the public ticular public and necessary purpose, if, purse, and put the money into their own prithrough smuggling, that duty falls short of vate pockets. If, passing through a room raising the sum required, and other duties where public treasure is deposited, a man must therefore be laid to make up the defi- takes the opportunity of clandestinely pocketciency, all the additional sum laid by the new ing and carrying off a guinea, is he not truly duties and paid by other people, though it and properly a thief? And if another evades should amount to no more than a half-penny paying into the treasury a guinea he ought or a farthing per head, is so much actually to pay in, and applies it to his own use, when picked out of the pockets of those other peo- he knows it belongs to the public as much as ple by the smugglers and their abettors and that which has been paid in, what difference encouragers. Are they then any better or is there in the nature of the crime, or the other than pickpokets ? and what mean, low, baseness of committing it? rascally pickpockets must those be, that can Some laws make the receiving of stolen pick pockets for halfpence and for farthings? goods equally penal with stealing, and upon

I would not however be supposed to allow this principle, that if there were no receivers, in what I have just said, that cheating the king there would be few thieves. Our proverb too is a less offence against honesty than cheating says truly, that the receiver is as bad as the the public. The king and the public in this thief. By the same reasoning, as there would case are different names for the same thing; be few smugglers, if there were none who but if we consider the king distinctly it will knowingly encouraged them by buying their not lessen the crime: it is no justification of goods, we may say, that the encouragers of a robbery, that the person robbed was rich smuggling are as bad as the smugglers; and and able to bear it. The king has as much that, as smugglers are a kind of thieves, both right to justice as the meanest of his subjects; equally deserve the punishments of thievery. and as he is truly the common father of his In this view of wronging the revenue, what people, those that rob him fall under the must we think of those who can evade payScripture wo, pronounced against the son that ing for their wheels* and their plate, in defirobbeth his father, and saith it is no sin. ance of law and justice, and yet declaim

Mean as this practice is, do we not daily against corruption and peculation, as if their see people of character and fortune engaged own hands and hearts were pure and unsulin it for trifling advantages to themselves ? - lied? The Americans offend us grievously, Is any lady ashamed to request of a gentle- when, contrary to our laws, they smuggle man of her acquaintance, that when he re- goods into their own country: and yet they turns from abroad he would smuggle her home had no hand in making those laws. I do not a piece of silk or lace from France or Flan- however pretend from thence to justify them. ders ? Is any gentleman ashamed to under- But I think the offence much greater in those take and execute the commission ?-Not in who either directly or indirectly have been the least. They will talk of it freely, even concerned in making the very laws they before others whose pockets they are thus break. And when I hear them exclaiming contriving to pick by this piece of knavery. against the Americans, and for every little in

Among other branches of the revenue, that fringment of the acts of trade, or obstruction of the post-office is, by a late law, appropriated given by a petty mob to an officer of our custo the discharge of our public debt, to defray toms in that country, calling for vengeance the expenses of the state. None but mem- against the whole people as REBELS and traibers of parliament, and a few public officers tors, I cannot help thinking there are still have now a right to avoid, by a frank, the those in the world who can see a mote in payment of postage. When any letter, not their brother's eye, while they do not discern written by them or on their business, is frank- a beam in their own ; and that the old saying ed by any of them, it is a hurt to the revenue, is as true now as ever it was, one man may an injury which they must now take the better steal a horse, than another look over pains to conceal by writing the whole super- the hedge. scription themselves. And yet such is our insensibility to justice in this particular, that nothing is more common than to see, even in Plan for improving the Condition of the Free a reputable company, a very honest gentle

Blacks. man or lady declare his or her intention to cheat the nation of three pence by a frank, and

The business relative to free blacks shall without blushing apply to one of the very le- be transacted by a committee of twenty-four gislators themselves, with a modest request, that he would be pleased to become an ac- and on plate.

Alluding to the British taxes on carriage wheels,

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

B. F.

persons, annually elected by ballot, at the cert. Affairs of great importance shall be remeeting of this society, in the month called ferred to the whole committee. April; and in order to perform the different The expense incurred by the prosecution services with expedition, regularity, and of this plan, shall be defrayed by a fund, to be energy, this committee shall resolve itself in- formed by donations, or subscriptions, for these to the following sub-committees, viz: particular purposes, and to be kept separate

I. A committee of inspection shall super- from the other funds of this society. intend the morals, general conduct, and ordi The committee shall make a report of their nary situation of the free negroes, and afford proceedings, and of the state of their stock, to them advice and instruction, protection from the society, at their quarterly meetings, in the wrongs, and other friendly offices.

months called April and October. II. A committee of guardians, who shal? Philadelphia, 26th October, 1789. place out children and young people with suitable persons, that they may (during a mo- Remarks concerning the Savages of North derate time of apprenticeship, or servitude)

America.* learn some trade or other business of subsistence. The committee may effect this partly

SAVAGES we call them, because their by a persuasive influence on parents and the manners differ from ours, which we think the persons concerned; and partly by co-operating perfection of civility; they think the same with the laws, which are, or may be enacted of theirs. for this, and similar purposes : in forming con

Perhaps, if we could examine the manners tracts on these occasions, the committee shall of different nations with impartiality, we secure to the society, as far as may be practi- should find no people so rude, as to be withcable, the right of guardianship over the per- out any rules of politeness; nor any so po sons so bound.

lite, as not to have some remains of rudeness. III. A committee of education, who shall

The Indian men, when young, are hunters superintend the school-instruction of the chil- and warriors; when old, counsellors; for all dren and youth of the free blacks; they may their government is by the council or advice either influence them to attend regularly the of the sages; there is no force, there are no schools already established in this city, or prisons, no officers to compel obedience, or form others with this view; they shall, in inflict punishment. Hence they generally either case, provide, that the pupils may re- study. oratory, the best speaker having the ceive such learning as is necessary for their most influence. The Indian women till the future situation in life; and especially a deep ground, dress the food, nurse and bring up impression of the most important, and gene- the children, and preserve and hand down to rally acknowledged moral and religious princi- posterity the memory of public transactions. ples. They shall also procure and preserve a These employments of men and women are regular record of the marriages, births, and accounted natural and honourable. Having manumissions of all free blacks.

few artificial wants, they have abundance of IV. A committee of employ, who shall en- leisure for improvement by conversation. deavour to procure constant employment for Our laborious manner of life, compared with those free negroes who are able to work : as

theirs, they esteem slavish and base; and the want of this would occasion poverty, idle the learning on which we value ourselves ness, and many vicious habits. This commit- they regard as frivolous and useless. An intee will, by sedulous inquiry, be enabled to stance of this occurred at the treaty of Lanfind common labour for a great number; they caster, in Pennsylvania, anno 1744, between will also provide, that such, as indicate proper

the government of Virginia and the Six Natalents, may learn various trades, which may tions. After the principal business was set. be done by prevailing upon them to bind them- tled, the commissioners from Virginia acselves for such a term of years, as shall com- quainted the Indians by a speech, that there pensate their masters for the expense and was at Williamsburg a college, with a fund, trouble of instruction and maintenance. The for educating Indian youth; and that if the committee may attempt the institution of some chiefs of the Six Nations would send down useful and simple manufactures, which require half a dozen of their sons to that college, the but little skill, and also may assist, in com- government would take care that they should mencing business, such as appear to be quali- be well provided for, and instructed in all the fied for it.

learning of the white people. It is one of Whenever the committee of inspection shall the Indian rules of politeness, not to answer find persons of any particular description re- a public proposition the same day that it is quiring attention, they shall immediately di- made; they think it would be treating it as Tect them to the committee, of whose care they a light matter, and that they show it respect are the proper objects. In matters of a mixed nature, the commit- ed in separate pamphlets in England, in the year 1784

* This paper and the two nest in order were publish tees shall confer, and, if necessary, act in con- and afterwards in 1787.

« AnteriorContinuar »