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nianutacture may be compensated by the ad- | reason to rejoice in our own exemption from the vancement of another; a defeat may be repaired extremity of this wide-extended calamity; and by victory; a rupture with one nation may be if it be necessary to inquire why we suffer scarbalanced by an alliance with another. These city, it may be fit to consider likewise, why ire are partial and slight misfortunes, which leave suffer yet less scarcity than our neighbours. us still in the possession of our chief comforts. That the bounty upon corn has produced They may lop some of our superfluous pleasures, plenty, is apparent, and repress some of our exorbitant hopes; but Because ever since the grant of the bounty, we may still retain the essential part of civil and agriculture has increased : scarce a session has of private happiness,--the security of law, and passed without a law for enclosing commons and the tranquillity of content. They are small ob- waste grounds: structions of the stream, which raise a foam and Much land has been subjected to tillage, noise where they happen to be found, but at a which lay uncultivated with little profit : little distance are neither seen nor felt, and suf- Yet, though the quantity of land has been fer the main current to pass forward in its natu- thus increased, the rent, which is the price of ral course.
land, has generally increased at the same time. But scarcity is an evil that extends at once to That more land is appropriated to tillage, is a the whole community; that neither leaves quiet proof that more corn is raised; and that the to the poor, nor safety to the rich: that in its ap- rents have not fallen, proves that no more is proaches distresses all the subordinate ranks of raised than can readily be sold. inankind, and in its extremity must subvert go- But it is urged, that exportation, though it invernment, drive the populace upon their rulers, creases our produce, diminishes our plenty: that and end in bloodshed and massacre. Those the merchant has more encouragement for ex. who want the supports of life will seize them portation than the farmer for agriculture. wherever they can be found. If in any place This is a paradox which all the principles of there are more than can be fed, some must be commerce, and all the experience of policy, conexpelled, or some must be destroyed.
cur to confute. Whatever is done for gain will of this dreadful scene there is no immediate be done more, as more gain is to be obtained. danger ; but there is already evil sufficient to Let the effects of the bounty be minutely condeserve and require all our diligence, and all our sidered. wisdom. The miseries of the poor are such as The state of every country with respect to cannot easily be borne: such as have already corn is varied by the chances of the year. incited them in many parts of the kingdom to an Those to whom we sell our corn, must have open defiance of government, and produced one every year either more corn than they want, or of the greatest of political evils—the necessity less than they want. We likewise are naturally of ruling by immediate force.
subject to the same varieties. Cæsar declared after the battle of Munda, When they have corn equal to their wants, or that he had often fought for victory, but that he more, the bounty has no effect; for they will not had that day fought for life. We have often buy what they do not want, unless our exuberdeliberated how we should prosper; we are now ance be such as tempts them to store it for anoto inquire how we shall subsist.
ther year. This case must suppose that our The present scarcity is imputed by some to produce is redundant and useless to ourselves ; the bounty for exporting corn, which is consi- and therefore the profit of exportation produces dered as having a necessary and perpetual ten- no inconvenience. dency to pour the grain of this country into other When they want corn, they must buy of us, nations.
and buy at a higher price; in this case, if we This position involves two questions: whether have corn more than enough for ourselves, we the present scarcity has been caused by the are again benefited by supplying them. bounty, and whether the bounty is likely to pro- But they may want when we have no superduce scarcity in future times.
fluity. When our markets rise, the bounty It is an uncontroverted principle, that sublata ceases; and therefore produces no evil. They causâ tollitur effectus : if therefore the effect con cannot buy our corn but at a higher rate than tinues when the supposed cause has ceased, it is sold at home. If their necessities, as now that effect must be imputed to some other has happened, force them to give a higher price, agency:
that event is no longer to be charged upon the The bounty has ceased, and the exportation bounty. We may then stop our corn'in our would still continue, if exportation were per- ports, and pour it back upon our own markets. mitted. The true reason of the scarcity is the It is in all cases to be considered, what events failure of the harvest; and the cause of expor- are physical and certain, and what are political tation is the like failure in other countries, and arbitrary, where they grow less, and where they are The first effect of the bounty is the increase of therefore always nearer to the danger of want. agriculture, and by consequence the promotion
This want is such, that in countries where of plenty. This is an effeci physically good, and money is at a much higher value than with us, morally certain. While men are desirous to be the inhabitants are yet desirous to buy our corn rich, where there is profit there will be diligence. at a price to which our own markets have not If much corn can be sold, much will be raised. risen,
The second effect of the bounty is the diminu. If we consider the state of those countries, tion by exportation of that product which it which being accustomed to buy our corn cheaper occasioned." But this clitical and arbia than ourselves, when it was cheap, are now re-trary; we have it
hands: we duced to the necessity of buying it dearer than can prescribe i: ourselves, when it is dear, we shall yet have tity" Whenev:
retain our corn, and feed ourselves upon that the gord of the bounty is certain, and evil avoida. which was sown and raised to feed oiher nations. ble; that by the hope of exportation corn will be
It is perhaps impossible for human wisdom to increased, and that this increase may be kept at go further, than to contrive a law of which the home. good is certain and uniform, and the evil, though Plenty can only be produced by encouraging possible in itself, yet always subject to certain agriculture; and agriculture can be encouraged and effectual restraints.
only by making it gainful. No influence can This is the true state of the bounty upon corn: dispose the farmer to sow what he cannot sell ; it certainly and necessarily increases our crops, and if he is not 10 have the chance of scarcity in and can never lessen them but by our own per- his favour, he will take care that there nerer mission.
shall be plenty. That, notwithstanding the bounty, there have The truth of these principles our ancestors been from time to time years of scarcity, cannot discovered by reason, and the French have now be denied. But who can regulate the seasons ? found it by experience. In this regulation we In the dearest years we owe to the bounty that have the honour of being masters to those who, they have not been dearer. We must always in commercial policy, have been long accounted suppose part of our ground sown for our own the masters of the world. Their prejudices, consumption, and part in hope of a forcign ele. their emulation, and their vanity, have at last The time sometimes comes, when the product of submitted to learn of us how to ensure the all this land is scarcely sufficient; but if the bounties of nature; and it forms a strange vicis. whole be too little, how great would have been situde of opinions, that should incline us to repeal the deficiency, if we had sown only that part the law which our rivals are adopting. which was designed for ourselves ?
It may be speciously enough proposed, that “But perhaps, if exportation were less en the bounty should be discontinued sooner. Of couraged, the superfluous stores of plentiful this every man will have his own opinion; years might be laid up by the farmer against which, as no general principles can reach it, will years of scarcity.”
always seem to him more reasonable than that of This may be justly answered by affirming, another. This is a question of which the state that, if exportation were discouraged, we should is always changing with time and place, and have no years of plenty. Cheapness is produced which it is therefore very difficult to state or 10 by the possibility of dearness. Our farmers at discuss. present plough and sow with the hope that some It may however be considered, that the charge country will always be in want, and that they of old establishments is always an evil; and that shall grow rich by supplying. Indefinite hopes therefore, where the good of the change is not are always carried by the frailty of human nature certain and constant, it is better to preserve that beyond reason. While therefore exportation is reverence and that confidence which is preluced encouraged, as much corn will be raised as the by consistency of conduct and permancity of farmer can hope to sell, and therefore generally laws. more than can be sold at the price of which he That, since the bounty was so fixed, the price dreamed, when he ploughed and sowed. of money has been much diminished: so that
The greatest part of our corn is well known the bounty does not operate so far as when it to be raised by those who pay rent for the ground was first fixed, but the price at which it ceases, which thay employ, and of whom few can bear though nominally the same, has, in effect and in to delay the sale of one year's produce to another. reality, gradually diminished.
It is therefore vain to hope that large stocks of It is difficult io discover any reason why that grain will ever remain in private hands; he that bounty, which has produced so much good, and has not sold the corn of last year, will with diffi- has hitherto produced no harm, should be withdence and reluctance till his field again: the drawn or abated. It is possible, that, if it were accumulation of a few years would end in a vaca. reduced lower, it would still be the motive of tion of agriculture, and the husbandman would agriculture, and the cause of plenty ; but why apply himself to some more profitable calling. we should desert experience for conjecture, and
If ihe exportation of corn were totally prohibit exchange a known for a possible good, will not ed, the quantity possible to be consumed among easily be discovered. If by a balance of probaus would be quickly known, and being known bilities, in which a grain of dust may turn the would rarely be exceeded; for why should corn scale-or by a curious scheme of calculation, in be gathered which cannot be sold ? we should which, if one postulate in a thousand be ernstherefore have little superfluity in the most neons, the deduc:ion which promises plen!y may favourable seasons; for the farmer, like the end in famine ;-if, by a specious mode of uncer. rest of mankind, acts in hope of success, and the tain ratiocination, the critical point at which ihe harvest seldom outgoes the expectation of the bounty should stop, might seem to be discovered; spring. But for droughts or blights, we should I shall still continue to believe that it is more never be provided; any intemperature of seasons safe to trust what we have alrcady tried; and would reduce us to distress, which we now only cannot but think bread a product of ico muri read of in our histories ; what is now scarcity, importance to be made the sport of subulty would then be famine.
and the topic of hypothetical disputation. What would be caused by prohibiting expor- The advantage of the bounty is evident and tation, will be caused in a less degree by ob- irrefragable. Since the bounty was given, mal structing it, and in some degree by every deduc- titudes eat wheat who did not eat it before, and tion of encouragement; as we lessen hope, we yet the price of wheat has abated. What more shall lessen labour; as we lessen labour, we is to be hoped from any change of practice? Ar shall lessen plenty.
alteration cannot make our condition belter, ang It must always be steadily remembered, that Iis therefore very likely to make it worse.
LICENSERS OF THE STAGE,
TROM THE MALICIOUS AND SCANDALOUS ASPERSIONS OF MR. BROOKE, AUTHOR OF GUSTAVUS TASA,
WITH A PROPOSAL FOR MAKING THE OFFICE OF LICENSER MORE EXTENSIVE AND EFFECTUAL. BY AN IMPARTIAL HAND.
It is generally agreed by the writers of all par-, they make no scruple of avowing in the most ties, that few crimes are equal, in their degree of public manner, notwithstanding the contempt guilt, to that of calumniating a good and gentle, and ridicule to which it every day exposes them, or defending a wicked and oppressive adminis- and the loss of those honours and profits from tration.
which it excludes them. It is therefore with the utmost satisfaction of This wild passion, or principle, is a kind of mind, that I reflect how often I have employed fanaticism by which they distinguish those of my pen in vindication of the present ministry, their own party, and which they look upon as a and their dependents and adherents, how often certain indication of a great mind. We have I have detected the specious fallacies of the ad- no name for it at court; but among themselves vocates for independence, how often I have soft- they term it by a kind of canl-phrase, a regard for ened the obstinacy of patriotism, and how often posterity. triumphed over the clamour of opposition. This passion seems to predominate in all their
I have, indeed, observed but one set of men, conduci, to regulate every action of their lives, upon whom all my arguments have been thrown and sentiment of their minds; I have heard away; which neither flattery can draw to com- - and P—, when they have made a vigopliance, nor threats reduce to submission; and rous opposition, or blasted the blossom of some who have, notwithstanding all expedients that ministerial scheme, cry out, in the height of either invention or experience could suggest, their exultations, This will deserve the thanks of continued to exert their abilities in a vigorous posterity! And when their adversaries, as it and constant opposition of all our measures. much more frequently falls out, have out-num
The unaccountable behaviour of these men, bered and overthrown them, they will say with the enthusiastic resolution with which, after a an air of revenge, and a kind of gloomy triumph, hundred successive defeats, they still renewed Posterity will curse you for this. their attacks : the spirit with which they conti- It is common among men under the influence nued to repeat their arguments in the senate, of any kind of frenzy, to believe that all the though they found a majority determined to con- world has the same odd notions that disorder demn them; and the inflexibility with which their own imaginations. Did these unhappy they rejected all offers of places and prefer: men, these deluded patriots, know how litile we ments, ac last excited my curiosity so far, that I are concerned about posterity, they would never applied myself to inquire with great diligence attempt to fright us with their curses, or tempt into the real motives of their conduct, and to us to a neglect of our own interest by a prospect discover what principle it was that had force to of their gratitude. inspire such unextinguishable zeal, and to ani- But so strong is their infatuation, that they maie such unwearied efforts.
seem to have forgotten even the primary law of For this reason I attempted to cultivate a self-preservation; for they sacrifice without nearer acquaintance with some of the chiefs of scruple every flattering hope, every darling en that party, and imagined that it would be neces-joyment, and every satisfaction of life, to this sary for some time to dissemble my sentiments, ruling passion, and appear in every step to con that I might learn theirs.
sult not so much their own advantage, as that of Dissimulation to a true politician is not diffi- posterity. culi, and therefore I readily assumed the charac- Strange delusion! that can confine all their ter of a proselyte; but found, that their prin- I thoughts to a race of men whom they nenler ciple of action was no other, than that which know, nor can know; from whom nothing is 10
be feared, nor any thing expected; who cannot We may therefore easily conceive that Mr. even bribe a special jury, nor have so much as a Brooke thought himself entitled to be iinporiu. single riband to bestow.'
nate for a license, because, in his own opinion, This fondness for posterity is a kind of mid he deserved one, and to complain thus louuly at ness which ai Kome was once almost epidemi- the repulse he met with. cal, and infected even the women and the chil- His complaints will have, I hope, but little dren. It reigned there till the entire destruction weight with the public; since the opinions of of Carthage; after which it began to be less the sect in which he is enlisted are exposed, general, and in a few years afterwards a remedy and shown to be evidently and demonstrably was discovered, by which it was almost entirely opposite to that system of subordination and extinguished.
dependence, to which we are indebted for the In England it never prevailed in any such present tranquillity of the nation, and that cheer. degree ; some few of the ancient Barons seem fulness and readiness with which the two houses indeed to have been disordered by it; but the concur in all our designs. contagion has been for the most part timely I shall, however, to silence him entirely, or at checked, and our ladies have been generally free. least to show those of our party that he ought
But there has been in every age a set of men to be silent, consider singly every instance of much admired and reverenced, who have affected hardship and oppression which he has dared to to be always talking of posterity, and have laid publish in the papers, and to publish in such a out their lives upon the composition of poems, manner, that I hope no man will condemn me for the sake of being applauded by this imagi- for want of candour in becoming an advocate nary generation.
for the ministry, if I can consider his advertise. The present poets I reckon among the most ments as nothing less than an appeal to his country. inexorable enemies of our most excellent minis- Let me be forgiven if I cannot speak with try, and much doubt whether any method will temper of such insolence as this; is a man withcffect the cure of a distemper, which in this out titie, pension, or place, to suspect the imparclass of men may be termed not an accidental tiality or the judgment of those who are indisease, but a defect in their original frame and trusted with the administration of public affairs ? constilution.
Is hic, when the law is not strictly observed in Mr. Brooke, a name I mention with all the regard to him, to think himself aggrieved, to tell detestation suitable to my character, could not his sentiments in print, assert his claim to better forbear discovering this depravity of his mind usage, and fly for redress to another tribunal? in his very prologue, which is tilled with senti. If such practices be permitted, I will not venments so wild, and so much unheard of among ture to foretell the effects of them; the ministry those who frequent levees and courts, that I may soon be convinced, that such sufferers will much doubt, whether the zealous licenser pro- find compassion, and that it is safer not to bear ceeded any further in his examination of his hard upon them, than to allow them to complain. performance.
The power of licensing in general being firmly He might easily perceive that a man, established by an Act of Parliament, our poet
Who bade his moral beam through every age, has not attempted to call in question, but conwas too much a bigot to exploded notions, to tents himself with censuring the manner in compose a play which he could license without which it has been executed; so that I am not manifest hazard of his office, a hazard which no now engaged to assert the licenser's authority, man would incur untainted with the love of pos- but to defend Iris conduct. terity.
The poet seems to think himself aggrieved, We cannot therefore wonder that an author, because the licenser kept his tragedy in his hands wholly possessed by this passion, should vent one and twenty days, whereas the law allows his resentment for thie licenser's just refusal, in him to detain it only fourteen. virulent advertisements, insolent complaints,
Where will the insolence of the malecontents and scurrilous assertions of his rights and privi-end? Or how are such unreasonable expeclaleges, and proceed in detiance of authority to tions possibly to be satisfied ? Was it erot solicit a subscription.
known that å man exalted into a high station, This temper, which I have been describing, is dismissed a suppliant in the time limited by law? almost complicated with ideas of the high pre-Ought not Mr. Brooke to think himself happy rogatives of human nature, of' a sacred unalien- that his play was not detained longer ? It'he able birthright, which no man has conferred had been kept a year in suspense, what redress upon us, and which neither kings can take, nor could he have obtained ? Let the poets reinem senates give away; which we may justly assort ber, when they appear before the licenser, or his whenever and by whomsoever it is attacked, and deputy, that they stand at the tribunal fruia which, if ever it should happen to be lost, we which there is no appeal permitted, and where may take the first opportunity to recover it. nothing will so well become them as reverence
The natural consequence of these chimeras is and submission. contempt of authority, and an irreverence for Mr. Brooke mentions in his preface his know. uny superiority but what is founded upon merit; ledge of the laws of his own country: had he and their notions of merit are very peculiar, for extended his inquiries to the civil law, he could it is among them no great proof of merit to be have found a full justification of the licenses's wealthy and powerful, to wear a garter or a star, conduct, Boni judicis est ampliare suam min to command a regiment or a senate, to have the ritatem. eur of the minister or of the king, or to possess
If then it be the business of a good judge to any of those virtues and excellences, which enlarge his authority, was it not in the licenser among us entitle a man to little less than wor- the utmost clemency and forbearance, to exiend ship and prostration.
fourteen days only to twenty-one,
| suppose this great man's inclination to per-| tion, we told them the next year that it was form at least this duty of a good judge, is not necessary, because all the nations round us were questioned by any, either of his friends or ene- at peace. mics. I may therefore venture to hope, that he This reason finding no better reception than will extend his power by proper degrees, and the other, we had recourse to our apprehensions that I shall live to see a malecontent writer ear- of an invasion from the Pretender, of an insurnestly soliciting for the copy of a play, which he rection in favour of gin, and of a general disaffechad delivered to the licenser twenty years be- tion among the people. fore.
But as they continue still impenetrable, and "I waited,” says he, "often on the licenser, oblige us still to assign our annual reasons, we and with the utmost importunity entreated an shall spare no endeavour to procure such us may answer.” Let Mr. Brooke consider, whether be more satisfactory than any of the former. that importunity was not a sufficient reason for The reason we once gave for building barracks the disappointment. Let him reflect how much was for fear of the plague, and we intend next more decent it had been to have waited the lei- year to propose the augmentation of our troops sure of a great man, than to have pressed upon for fear of a famine. him with repeated petitions, and to have in- The committee, by which the act for licensing truder upon those precious moments which he the stage was drawn up, had too long known the has dedicated to the service of his country. inconvenience of giving reasons, and were too
Mr. Brooke was doubtless led into this impro-well acquainted with the characters of great men, per manner of acting, by an erroneous notion to lay the Lord Chamberlain, or his deputy, that the grant of a license was not an act of under any such torinenting obligation. favour, but of justice; a mistake into which he Yet lest Mr. Brooke should imagine that a could not have fallen, but from a supine inatten- license was refused him without just reasons, ! tion to the design of the statute, which was only shall condescend to treat him with more regard to bring poets into subjection and dependence, than he can reasonably expect, and point out not to encourage good writers, but io discou- such sentiments as not only justly exposed him rage all.
to that refusal, but would have provoked any There lies no obligation upon the licenser to ministry less merciful than the present to have grant his sanction to a play, however excellent; inflicted some heavier penalties upon him. nor can Mr. Brooke demand any reparation. His prologue is filled with such insinuations as whatever applause his performance may meet no friend of our excellent government can read with.
without indignation and abhorrence, and cannot Another grievance is, that the licenser as- but be owned to be a proper introduction to such signed no reason for his vefusal. This is a higher scenes, as seem designed to kindle in the audistrain of insolence than any of the former. Is it ence á flame of opposition, patriotism, public for a poei to demand a licenser's reason for his spirit, and indeperdency; thai spirit which we proceedings ? Is he not rather to acquiesce in have so long endeavoured to suppress, and which the decision of authority, and conclude that there cannot be revived without the entire subversion are reasons which he cannot comprehend ? of all our schemes.
Unhappy would it be for men in power, were The seditious poet, not content with making they always obliged to publish the motives of an open attack upon us, by declaring in plain their conduct. What is power but the liberty of terms, that he looks upon freedom as the only acting without being accountable? The advo- source of public happiness and national security, cates for the Licensing Act have alleged, that has endeavoured with subtlety, equal to his mathe Lord Chamberlain has always had authority lice, to make us suspicious of our firmest friends, to prohibit the representation of a play for just to infect our consultations with distrust, and to reasons. Why then did we call in all our force ruin us by disuniting us. to procure an act of parliament? Was it to en- This indeed will not be easily effected; a able him to do what he has always done? 10 union founded upon interest and cemented by confirm an authority which no man attempted to dependence is naturally lasting; but confederaimpair, or pretended to dispute ? No certainly: cies which owe their rise to virtue or mere con. our intention was to invest him with new privi. formity of sentiments, are quickly dissolved, leges, and to empower iniin to do that without since no individual has any thing either to hope reason, which wiih reason he could do before. or fear for himself, and public spirit is generally
We have found by long experience, that to lie too weak to combat with private passions. under a necessity of assigning reasons, is very The poet has, however, attempted to weaken troublesome, and that many an excellent design our combination by an artful and sly assertion, has miscarried by the loss of time spent unneces- which, if suffered to remain uncontutert, may sarily in examining reasons.
operate by degrees upon our minds in the day's Always to call for reasons, and alwavs to re- of leisure and retirement which are now apjest thein, shows a strange degree of perverse proaching, and perhaps fill us with such surmises ness ; yet such is the daily behaviour of our ad- as may at least very much embarrass our affairs. versaries, who have never yet been satisfied with The law by which the Swedes justified their any reasons that have been offered by us. opposition to the encroachments of the King of
They have made it their practice to demand Denmark, he not only calls once a year the reasons for which we maintain a
Great Nature's nw, the law within the breast, standing army,
One year we told them that it was necessary, but proceeds to tell us that it is because all the nations round us were involved -Stamp'd by Heaven upon the urletter'd mind. in war; this had no effect upon them, and there. By which he evidently intends to insinuate : före resolving to do our utmost for their swisfac- Imaxim which is, I hope, as fal.e as it is perni.