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Party divisions, whether on the whole operat- a continual fire has been kept upon them; someing for good or evil, are things inseparable from times from the unwieldy column of quartos and free government. This is a truth which, I believe, octavos; sometimes from the light squadrons of admits little dispute, having been established by occasional pamphlets and flying sheets. the uniform experience of all ages. The part a month has brought on its periodical calumny. The good citizen ought to take in these divisions has abuse has taken every shape which the ability of been a matter of much deeper controversy. the writers could give it; plain invective, clumsy But God forbid that any controversy relating to raillery, misrepresented anecdote.* No method of our essential morals should admit of no decision. vilifying the measures, the abilities, the intentions, It appears to me, that this question, like most of or the persons which compose that body, has been the others which regard our duties in life, is to omitted. be determined by our station in it. Private men On their part nothing was opposed but patience may be wholly neutral, and entirely innocent; and character. It was a matter of the most serious but they who are legally invested with publick and indignant affliction to persons who thought trust, or stand on the high ground of rank and themselves in conscience bound to oppose a midignity, which is trust implied, can hardly in any nistry dangerous from its very constitution, as well case remain indifferent, without the certainty as its measures, to find themselves, whenever they of sinking into insignificance ; and thereby in faced their adversaries, continually attacked on the effect deserting that post in which, with the fullest rear by a set of men who pretended to be actuated authority, and for the wisest purposes, the laws by motives similar to theirs. They saw that the and institutions of their country have fixed them. plan long pursued, with but too fatal a success, was However, if it be the office of those who are thus to break the strength of this kingdom by frittercircumstanced, to take a decided part, it is no less ing down the bodies which compose it, by fomenttheir duty that it should be a sober one. It ought ing bitter and sanguinary animosities, and by
a to be circumscribed by the same laws of decorum, dissolving every tie of social affection and publick and balanced by the same temper, which bound trust. These virtuous men, such I am warranted and regulate all the virtues. In a word, we ought by publick opinion to call them, were resolved to act in party with all the moderation which does rather to endure every thing, than co-operate in not absolutely enervate that vigour, and quench that design. A diversity of opinion upon almost that fervency of spirit, without which the best every principle of politicks had indeed drawn a wishes for the publick good must evaporate in strong line of separation between them and some empty speculation.
others. However, they were desirous not to exIt is probably from some such motives that the tend the misfortune by unnecessary bitterness; friends of a very respectable party in this kingdom they wished to prevent a difference of opinion on have been hitherto silent. For these two years the commonwealth from festering into rancorous past, from one and the same quarter of politicks, and incurable hostility. Accordingly they en
• History of the Minority. History of the Repeal or the Register, &c. &c. Stamp-act. Considerations on Trade and Finance. Political
deavoured that all past controversies should be that it is frequently far from being easy to comforgotten; and that enough for the day should prehend his meaning. It is happy for the publick be the evil thereof. There is however a limit at that it is never difficult to fathom his design. The which forbearance ceases to be a virtue. Men apparent intention of this author is to draw the may tolerate injuries whilst they are only personal most aggravated, hideous, and deformed picture to themselves. But it is not the first of virtues of the state of this country, which his querulous to bear with moderation the indignities that are eloquence, aided by the arbitrary dominion he offered to our country. A piece has at length assumes over fact, is capable of exhibiting. Had appeared, from the quarter of all the former he attributed our misfortunes to their true cause, attacks, which upon every publick consideration the injudicious tampering of bold, improvident, demands an answer. Whilst persons more equal and visionary ministers at one period, or to their to this business may be engaged in affairs of supine negligence and traitorous dissensions at angreater moment, I hope I shall be excused, if, in other, the complaint had been just, and might have a few hours of a time not very important, and been useful. But far the greater and much the from such materials as I have by me, (more than worst part of the state which he exhibits, is owing, enough however for this purpose,) I undertake according to his representation, not to accidental to set the facts and arguments of this wonderful and extrinsick mischiefs attendant on the nation, performance in a proper light. I will endeavour but to its radical weakness and constitutional disto state what this piece is; the purpose for which tempers. All this however is not without purpose. I take it to have been written; and the effects The author is in hopes, that, when we are fallen (supposing it should have any effect at all) it must into a fanatical terrour for the national salvation, necessarily produce.
we shall then be ready to throw ourselves,-in a This piece is called The present State of the sort of precipitate trust, some strange disposition of Nation. It may be considered as a sort of digest the mind jumbled up of presumption and despair,of the avowed maxims of a certain political school, into the hands of the most pretending and forward the effects of whose doctrines and practices this undertaker. One such undertaker at least he has country will feel long and severely. It is made up in readiness for our ce. But let me assure of a farrago of almost every topick which has been this generous person, that however he may sucagitated on national affairs in parliamentary de- ceed in exciting our fears for the publick danger, bate, or private conversation, for these last seven he will find it hard indeed to engage us to place years. The oldest controversies are hauled out of any confidence in the system he proposes the dust with which time and neglect had covered security. them. Arguments ten times repeated, a thousand His undertaking is great. The purpose of this times answered before, are here repeated again. pamphlet, at which it aims directly or obliquely Publick accounts formerly printed and re-printed in every page, is to persuade the publick of three revolve once more, and find their old station in or four of the most difficult points in the worldthis sober meridian. All the common-place la- that all the advantages of the late war were on the mentations
upon the decay of trade, the increase part of the Bourbon alliance; that the peace of of taxes, and the high price of labour and pro- | Paris perfectly consulted the dignity and interest visions, are here retailed again and again in the of this country; and that the American Stampsame tone with which they have drawled through act was a master-piece of policy and finance; that columns of Gazetteers and Advertisers for a century the only good minister this nation has enjoyed together. Paradoxes which affront common sense, since his Majesty's accession, is the Earl of Bute; and uninteresting barren truths which generate no and the only good managers of revenue we have conclusion, are thrown in to augment unwieldy seen, are Lord Despenser and Mr. George Grenbulk, without adding any thing to weight. Be- ville; and, under the description of men of virtue cause two accusations are better than one, con- and ability, he holds them out to us as the only tradictions are set staring one another in the face, persons fit to put our affairs in order. Let not the without even an attempt to reconcile them. And, reader mistake me: he does not actually name to give the whole a sort of portentous air of these persons ; but, having highly applauded their labour and information, the table of the house of conduct in all its parts, and heavily censured commons is swept into this grand reservoir of every other set of men in the kingdom, he then politicks.
recommends us to his men of virtue and ability. As to the composition, it bears a striking and Such is the author's scheme. Whether it will whimsical resemblance to a funeral sermon, not answer his purpose I know not. But surely that only in the pathetick prayer with which it con- purpose ought to be a wonderfully good one, to cludes, but in the style and tenour of the whole warrant the methods he has taken to compass it. performance. It is piteously doleful, nodding If the facts and reasonings in this piece are admitevery now and then towards dulness; well stored ted, it is all over with us. The continuance of our with pious frauds, and, like most discourses of tranquillity depends upon the compassion of our the sort, much better calculated for the private rivals. Unable to secure to ourselves the advanadvantage of the preacher than the edification of tages of peace, we are at the same time utterly the hearers.
unfit for war. It is impossible, if this state of The author has indeed so involved his subject, things be credited abroad, that we can have any
alliance; all nations will fly from so dangerous a preceding it.—The conquest of the Havannah connexion, lest, instead of being partakers of our “had, indeed, stopped the remittance of specie strength, they should only become sharers in our “ from Mexico to Spain ; but it had not enabled ruin. If it is believed at home, all that firmness England to seize it: on the contrary, our merof mind and dignified national courage, which “ chants suffered by the detention of the galleons, used to be the great support of this isle against as their correspondents in Spain were disabled the powers of the world, must melt away, and fail from paying them for their goods sent to within us.
“ America. The loss of the trade to old Spain In such a state of things can it be amiss if I aim was a further bar to an influx of specie ; and at holding out some comfort to the nation; another “ the attempt upon Portugal had not only deprived sort of comfort, indeed, than that which this writer us of an import of bullion from thence, but the provides for it; a comfort, not from its physician, payment of our troops employed in its defence but from its constitution; if I attempt to shew was a fresh drain opened for the diminution of that all the arguments upon which he founds the our circulating specie.- The high premiums decay of that constitution, and the necessity of that given for new loans had sunk the price of the physician, are vain and frivolous ? I will follow “old stock near a third of its original value; so the author closely in his own long career, through “ that the purchasers had an obligation from the
the finances, our trade, and “ state to repay them with an addition of 33 per our foreign politicks: not for the sake of the par- “ cent. to their capital. Every new loan required ticular measures which he discusses; that can be new taxes to be imposed ; new taxes must add of no use; they are all decided ; their good is all “ to the price of our manufactures and lessen enjoyed, or their evil incurred : but for the sake “their consumption among foreigners. The deof the principles of war, peace, trade, and finances. cay of our trade must necessarily occasion a These principles are of infinite moment. They “ decrease of the public revenue ; and a deficiency must come again and again under consideration; “ of our funds must either be made up by fresh and it imports the publick, of all things, that those taxes, which would only add to the calamity; of its ministers be enlarged, and just, and well or our national credit must be destroyed, by confirmed, upon all these subjects. What notions “ shewing the publick creditors the inability of this author entertains we shall see presently; no- “ the nation to repay them their principal money. tions in my opinion very irrational, and extremely " -Bounties had already been given for recruits dangerous; and which, if they should crawl from “ which exceeded the year's wages of the plowman pamphlets into counsels, and be realized from pri- “ and reaper ; and as these were exhausted, and vate speculation into national measures, cannot “husbandry stood still for want of hands, the fail of hastening and completing our ruin. “ manufacturers were next to be tempted to quit
This author, after having paid his compliment “ the anvil and the loom by higher offers.to the shewy appearances of the late war in our “ France, bankrupt France, had no such cafavour, is in the utmost haste to tell you
that these “ lamities impending over her; her distresses appearances were fallacious, that they were no were great, but they were immediate and temmore than an imposition.—I fear I must trouble porary ; her want of credit preserved her from the reader with a pretty long quotation, in order a great increase of debt, and the loss of her to set before him the more clearly this author's
“ ultramarine dominions lessened her expences. peculiar way of conceiving and reasoning : “ Her colonies had, indeed, put themselves into
“ Happily (the K.) was then advised by minis- " the hands of the English ; but the property of “ ters, who did not suffer themselves to be daz-“ her subjects had been preserved by capitula“ zled by the glare of brilliant appearances; but “ tions, and a way opened for making her those
knowing them to be fallacious, they wisely re- “ remittances, which the war had before sus“ solved to profit of their splendour before our “ pended, with as much security as in the time “ enemies should also discover the imposition.- of peace.- Her armies in Germany had been “ The increase in the exports was found to have “ hitherto prevented from seizing upon Hanover ; “ been occasioned chiefly by the demands of our “ but they continued to encamp on the same
own fleets and armies, and, instead of bringing ground on which the first battle was fought; " wealth to the nation, was to be paid for by op- “ and, as it must ever happen from the policy of
pressive taxes upon the people of England. “ that government, the last troops she sent into “ While the British seamen were consuming on “ the field were always found to be the best, and “ board our men of war and privateers, foreign “ her frequent losses only served to fill her regi“ships and foreign seamen were employed in the “ ments with better soldiers. The conquest of
transportation of our merchandize; and the “ Hanover became therefore every campaign more
carrying trade, so great a source of wealth and probable. It is not to be noted, tha the “ marine, was entirely engrossed by the neutral “ French troops received subsistence only for the “ nations. The number of British ships annually “ last three years of the war; and that, although “ arriving in our ports was reduced 1756 sail, con- large arrears were due to them at its conclusion, “ taining 92,559 tons, on a medium of the six “ the charge was the less during its continuance." years war, compared with the six years of peace If any one be willing to see to how much greater
• P. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.
lengths the author carries these ideas, he will re- to it, his politicks will not suffer him to walk on cur to the book. This is sufficient for a specimen this ground. Talking at our ease and of other of his manner of thinking. I believe one reflection countries, we may bear to be diverted with such uniformly obtrudes itself upon every reader of speculations; but in England we shall never be these paragraphs. For what purpose in any cause taught to look upon the annihilation of our trade, shall we hereafter contend with France ? Can we the ruin of our credit, the defeat of our armies, ever fatter ourselves that we shall wage a more and the loss of our ultramarine dominions, (whatsuccessful war ? If, on our part, in a war the most ever the author
think of them,) to be the high prosperous we ever carried on, by sea and by land, road to prosperity and greatness. and in every part of the globe, attended with the The reader does not, I hope, imagine that I unparalleled circumstance of an immense increase mean seriously to set about the refutation of these of trade and augmentation of revenue; if a con- uningenious paradoxes and reveries without imatinued series of disappointments, disgraces, and gination. I state them only that we may discern a defeats, followed by publick bankruptcy, on the little in the questions of war and peace, the most part of France ; if all these still leave her a gainer weighty of all questions, what is the wisdom of on the whole balance, will it not be downright those men who are held out to us as the only hope phrensy in us ever to look her in the face again, of an expiring nation. The present ministry is inor to contend with her any, even the most essential, deed of a strange character; at once indolent and points, since victory and defeat, though by differ- distracted. But if a ministerial system should be ent ways, equally conduct us to our ruin? Sub- formed, actuated by such maxims as are avowed jection to France without a struggle will indeed be in this piece, the vices of the present ministry would Iess for our honour, but on every principle of our become their virtues; their indolence would be author it must be more for our advantage. Ac- the greatest of all publick benefits, and a distraction cording to his representation of things, the ques- that entirely defeated every one of their schemes tion is only concerning the most easy fall. France would be our only security from destruction. had not discovered, our statesman tells us, at the To have stated these reasonings is enough, I end of that war, the triumphs of defeat, and the presume, to do their business. But they are acresources which are derived from bankruptcy. For companied with facts and records, which may my poor part, I do not wonder at their blindness. seem of a little more weight. I trust, however, But the English ministers saw further. Our author that the facts of this author will be as far from has at length let foreigners also into the secret, bearing the touchstone, as his arguments. On a and made them altogether as wise as ourselves. little enquiry, they will be found as great an imIt is their own fault if (vulgato imperii arcano) position as the successes they are meant to deprethey are imposed upon any longer. They now ciate; for they are all either false or fallaciously are apprized of the sentiments which the great applied ; or not in the least to the purpose
for candidate for the government of this great empire which they are produced. entertains; and they will act accordingly. They First the author, in order to support his favourite are taught our weakness and their own advan- paradox, that our possession of the French colotages.
nies was of no detriment to France, has thought He tells the world, * that if France carries on proper to inform us, that I they put themselves the war against us in Germany, every loss she sus- * into the hands of the English.” He uses the tains contributes to the achievement of her con- same assertion, in nearly the same words, in anquest. If her armies are three years unpaid, she other place ; $ “ her colonies had put themselves is the less exhausted by expence. If her credit is “ into our hands.” Now, in justice not only to destroyed, she is the less oppressed with debt. If fact and common sense, but to the incomparable her troops are cut to pieces, they will by her po- valour and perseverance of our military and naval licy (and a wonderful policy it is) be improved, forces thus unhandsomely traduced, I must tell and will be supplied with much better men. If this author, that the French colonies did not“ put the war is carried on in the colonies, he tells them “ themselves into the hands of the English.” They that the loss of her ultramarine dominions lessens were compelled to submit; they were subdued by her expences, t and ensures her remittances : dint of English valour. Will the five years' war Per damna, per cædes, ab ipso
carried on in Canada, in which fell one of the prinDucit opes animumque ferro.
cipal hopes of this nation, and all the battles lost If so, what is it we can do to hurt her ?-- it will be and gained during that anxious period, convince all an imposition, all fallacious. Why the result this author of his mistake? Let him inquire of Sir must be
Jeffery Amherst, under whose conduct that war Occidit, occidit
was carried on; of Sir Charles Saunders, whose Spes omnis, et fortuna nostri
steadiness and presence of mind saved our fleet, Nominis.
and were so eminently serviceable in the whole The only way which the author's principles leave course of the siege of Quebec; of General Monckfor our escape, is to reverse our condition into ton, who was shot through the body there, whether that of France, and to take her losing cards into France“ put her colonies into the hands of the our hands. But though his principles drive him “ English.” • P. 9, 10. † P. 9.
§ P. 6.
Though he has made no exception, yet I would | Besides, I find, in the account of bullion imbe liberal to him ; perhaps he means to confine ported and brought to the Bank, that during that himself to her colonies in the West Indies. But period in which the intercourse with the Havansurely it will fare as ill with him there as in North nah was open, we received at that one shop, America, whilst we remember that in our first at- in treasure, from that one place, 559,8101. ; in tempt at Martinico we were actually defeated; the year 1763, 389,4501. ; so that the import that it was three months before we reduced Gua- from these places in that year amounted to daloupe ; and that the conquest of the Havannah 1,395,3001. was achieved by the highest conduct, aided by On this state the reader will observe, that I circumstances of the greatest good fortune. He take the imports from, and not the exports to, knows the expence both of men and treasure at these conquests, as the measure of the advantages which we bought that place. However, if it had which we derived from them. I do so for reasons so pleased the peace-makers, it was no dear pur- which will be somewhat worthy the attention of chase ; for it was decisive of the fortune of the such readers as are fond of this species of enquiry. war and the terms of the treaty: the duke of Ni- I say therefore I choose the import article, as the vernois thought so; France, England, Europe, best, and indeed the only standard we can have, considered it in that light; all the world, except of the value of the West India trade. Our export the then friends of the then ministry, who wept entry does not comprehend the greatest trade we for our victories, and were in haste to get rid of carry on with any of the West India islands, the the burthen of our conquests. This author knows sale of negroes: nor does it give any idea of two that France did not put those colonies into the other advantages we draw from them; the remithands of England; but he well knows who did tances for money spent here, and the payment of put the most valuable of them into the hands of part of the balance of the North American trade. France.
It is therefore quite ridiculous, to strike a balance In the next place, our author* is pleased to merely on the face of an access of imports and exconsider the conquest of those colonies in no ports, in that commerce; though, in most foreign other light than as a convenience for the remit- branches, it is, on the whole, the best method. If tances to France, which he asserts that the war had we should take that standard, it would appear, that before suspended, but for which a way was open- the balance with our own islands is, annually, seed (by our conquest) as secure as in time of veral hundred thousand pounds against this counpeace. I charitably hope he knows nothing of try. Such is its aspect on the custom-house enthe subject. I referred him lately to our com- tries; but we know the direct contrary to be the manders, for the resistance of the French colonies; fact. We know that the West Indians are always I now wish he would apply to our custom-house indebted to our merchants, and that the value of entries, and our merchants, for the advantages every shilling of West India produce is English which we derived from them.
property. So that our import from them, and not In 1761, there was no entry of goods from any our export, ought always to be considered as their of the conquered places but Guadaloupe ; in that true value; and this corrective ought to be applied year it stood thus:
to all general balances of our trade, which are
f. formed on the ordinary principles. Imports from Guadaloupe, value, 482,179 If possible, this was more emphatically true of
the French West India islands, whilst they conIn 1762, when we had not yet deli
tinued in our hands. That none, or only a very vered up our conquests, the ac
contemptible part, of the value of this produce count was,
could be remitted to France, the author will see, Guadaloupe,
513,244 perhaps with unwillingness, but with the clearest Martinico,
288,425 conviction, if he considers, that in the year 1763,
after we had ceased to export to the isles of GuaTotal imports in 1762, value, £.801,699 daloupe and Martinico, and to the Havannah,
and after the colonies were free to send all their In 1763, after we had delivered up
produce to Old France and Spain, if they had any sovereignty of these islands, but
remittance to make; he will see, that we imported kept open a communication with
from those places, in that year, to the amount of them, the imports were,
£. 1,395,3001. So far was the whole annual proGuadaloupe,
412,303 duce of these islands from being adequate to the Martinico,
344,161 | payments of their annual call upon us, that this Havannah,
249,386 mighty additional importation was necessary,
though not quite sufficient, to discharge the debts Total imports in 1763, value, £.1,005,850 contracted in the few years we held them. The
property, therefore, of their whole produce was
Exports to ditto in ditto,
In this, which is the common way of stating the balance, it will appear upwards of two millions against us, which is ridi. culous.