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so would all, by mutual communications, obtain more enjoyments. Those countries do not ruin each other by trade, neither could the nations. tion was ever ruined by trade, even seemingly, the most disadvantageous.
Wherever desirable superfluities are imported in dustry is excited, and thereby plenty is produced. Were only necessaaies permitted to be purchased, men would work no more than was necessary for that purpose.
Of the Prohibition with respect to the Exportation of Gold and Silver.
Could Spain and Portugal have succeeded in executing their foolish laws for hedging in the cuckoo, as Locke calls it, and have kept at home all their gold and silver, those metals would by this time have been of little more value than so much lead or iron. Their plenty would have lessened their value. We see the folly of these edicts: but are not our own prohibitory and restrictive laws, that are professedly made with intention to bring a balance in our favour from our trade with foreign nations to be paid in money, and laws to prevent the necessity of export ing that money, which if they could be thoroughly executed, would make money as plenty, and of as little value; I say, are not such laws a-kin to those Spanish edicts; follies of the same family.
Of the Returns for Foreign Articles.
In fact, the produce of other countries can hardly be obtained, unless by fraud and rapine, without giv. ing the produce of our land or our industry in exchange for them. If we have mines of gold and silver, gold and silver may then be called the produce of our land; if we have nut we can only fairly ob tain those metals by giving for them the produce of our land or industry. When we have them, they are then only that produce or industry in another shape: which we may give, if the trade requires it, and our
other produce will not suit, in exchange for the produce of some other country that furnishes what we have more occasion for, or more desire When we have, to an inconvenient degree, parted with our gold and silver, our industry is stimulated afresh to procure more; that by its means we may contrive to procure the same advantage.
Of Restraints upon Commerce in Time of War.
When princes make war by prohibiting commerce each may hurt himself as much as his enemy.Traders, who by their business are promoting the common good of mankind, as well as farmers and fishermen, who labour for the subsistence of all, should never be interrupted or molested in their business, but enjoy the protection of all in the time of war, as well as in the time of peace.
This policy, those we are pleased to call barbarians, have, in a great measure, adopted: for the trading subjects of any power, with whom the Emperor of Morrocco may be at war, are not liable to capture, when within sight of his land, going or com ing; and have otherwise free liberty to trade and
reside in his dominions.
As a maritime power, we presume it is not thought right that Great Britain should grant such freedom, except partially, as in the case of war with France, when tobacco is allowed to be sent thither under the sanction of passports.
Exchange in Trade may be gainful to ear?
In transactions of trade it is not to be supposed that, like gaming, what one party gains the other must necessarily lose. The gain to each may be equal. If A has more corn than he can consume, but wants cattle; and B has more cattle, but wants corn, exchange is gain to each hereby the common stock of comforts in life is increased.
Of Paper Credit.
It is impossible for government to circumscribe of fix the extent of paper credit, which must of course fluctuate. Government may as well pretend to lay down rules for the operations, or the confidence of every individual in the course of his trade. Any seeming temporary evil arising must naturally work
its own cure.
HUMOROUS ACCOUNT OF A CUSTOM AMONG THE AMERICANS, ENTITLED WHITE-WASHING.
Attributed to the Pen of Dr. Franklin.
ALTHOUGH the following article has not yet ap peared in any collection of the works of this great philosopher, we are inclined to receive the general opinion, (from the plainness of the style, and the humour which characterizes it,) to be the peformance of Dr. Franklin.
My wish is to give you some account of the pebple of these new States, but I am far from being qualified for the purpose, having as yet seen little more than the cities of New York and Philadelphia. I have discovered but few additional singularities among them. Their customs and manners are nearly the same with those of England, which they have long been used to copy. For, previous to the Revolution. the Americans were from their infancy taught to look up to the English as patterns of perfection in all things. I have observed, however, one custom, which, for aught I know, is peculiar to this country; an aecount of it will serve to fill up the remainder of this sheet, and may afford you some amusement.
When a young couple are about to enter into the matrimonial state, a never-failing article in the marriage treaty is, that the lady shall have and enjoy the free and unmolested exercise of the rights of white-washing, with all its ceremonials, privileges and appurtenances. A young woman would forego the most advantageous connexion, and even disappoint the warmest wish of her heart, rather than resign the invaluable right. You would wonder what this privilege of white-washing is: I will endeavour to give you some idea of the ceremony, as I have seen it performed.
There is no season of the year in which the lady may not claim her privilege, if she pleases; but the
latter end of May is most generally fixed upon for the purpose. The attentive husband may judge by certain prognostics when the storm is nigh at hand. When the lady is unusually fretful, finds fault with the servants, is discontented with the children, and complains much of the filthiness of every thing about ber, these are signs which ought not to be neglected; vet they are not decisive, as they sometimes come on and go off again without producing any farther effect. But if, when the husband rises in the morning, he should observe in the yard a wheel-barrow with a quantity of lime in it, or should see certain buckets with lime dissolved in water, there is then no time to be lost; he immediately locks up the apartment or closet where his papers or his private property is kept, and putting the key in his pocket, betakes himself to flight: for a husband, however beloved, becomes a perfect nuisance during this seeson of female rage, his authority is superseded, his commission is suspended, and the very scullion, who cleans the brasses in the kitchen, becomes of more consideration and importance than him. He has nothing for it but to abdicate, and run from an evi! which he can neither prevent nor mollify.
The husband gone, the ceremony begins. The walls are in a few minutes stripped of their furniture; paintings, prints, looking-glasses, lie in a huddled heap about the streets; the curtains are torn from the testers, the beds crammed into the windows; chairs and tables, bedsteads and cradles, crowd the yard; and the garden fence bends beneath the weight of carpets, blankets, cloth cloaks, old coats, and ragged breeches. Here may be seen the lumber of the kit chen, forming a dark and confused mass: for the fore-ground of the picture, gridirons and frying pans, rusty shovels and broken tongs, spits and pots, and the fractured remains of rush-bottomed chairs. There a closet has disgorged its bowels, cracked tumblers, broken wine-glasses, phials of forgotten physic, papers of unknown powders, seeds and dried herbs, handfuls of old corks, tops of tea-pots, and stoppers of departed decanters; from the rag-hole in the garret to the rat-hole in the cellar, no place