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These contracts for apprentices are niade before ! magistrate, whc regulates the agreement according to reason and justice; and, having in view the fornia non of a future useful citizen, obliges the mast:r 10 engage by a written indenture, not only that, durmg the tiine of service stipulateil, the apprentice shal' he duly provided with meat, drink, apparal, washing and lodging, and at its expiration with a complete new suit of clothes, but also, that be shall be taught to read, write, and cast accounts; and that he shall be wel instructed in the art or protession of his master, of some other, by which he may afterwards gain a livelihood, and be able in his curn to raise a family. A copy of this indent:re is given to the apprentice or his frierds, and the magistrate keeps a record of it, to which recourse may be lad, in case of failure by the master in any point of performance. This desire among the inasters to have more hands employ. ed in working for them, induces them to pay the passage of young persons of both sexes, who, on their ar rival, agree to serve them cne, two, three, or four years; those who have already learned a trade, agreeing for a shorter term, in proportion to their skill, and the conseqrenit immediate value of their service; and those who have none, agreeing for a longer term, in consideration of being taught an art their poverty would not permit them to acquire in their own country.
The almost general mediocrity of fortune that pre- / vails in America, obliging its people to follow some business for subsistence, those vices that arise usually from idleness, are in a great meastire prevented. Industry and constant employment are great preser. vatives of the morals and virtue of a nation. Hence bad examples to youth are more rare in America, which must be a comfortable consideration to pa. rents. To this may be truly added, that serious re. ligion, under iis various denominations, is not only tolerateu, but respected and practised Atheisin is unknown there ; and infideliiy rare and secret ; so that persuns may live to a great age in that country without having their piety shocked by meeting with
, either an athiest or an infidel. And the Divine po
ing seems to have manifested his approbatiou of the mutual forbe urance and kindness with which the different sects treat each other, by the remarkable prosperity with which he has been pleased to favour the whole country.
Of Embargoes upon Corn, and of the Poor.
In inland high countries, remote from the sea, and whose rivers are sipall, running from the country, and not to it, as is the case with Switzerland; great distress may arise from a course of bad harvests, if public graneries are not provided, and kept well stored. Anciently, too, before navigation was so general, ships so plenty, and commercial transactions so well established; even maratime countries might be occasionally distressed by bad crops. But such is now the facility of communication between those countries, than an unrestrained commerce can scarce ever fail of procuring a sufficiency for any of them. If indeed any government is so imprudent as to lay its hands on imported corn, forbid its exportation, or compel its sale at limited prices, there the people may suffer some famire from merchants avoiding their ports. But wherever commerce is known to be always free, and the merchant absolute master of his commodity, as in Holland, there will always be a reasonable supply.
When an exportation of corn takes place, occa. sioned by a higher price in some foreign countries, it
is common to raise a clamour, on the supposition that we sha'l thereby produce a domestic fainine. Ther follows a prohibition, founded on the imagin iry dis! tresses of the poor. The poor, to be sure, if in dis tress, should be relieved; but if the fariner could have a high price for bje corn from the foreign demand, must he by a prohibition of exportation be compelled to take a low price, not of the poor only, but of every one that eats bread, even the richest? The duty o relieving the poor is incumbent on the rich; but by fris operation the whole burder. is laid on the farmer vho is to relieve the rich at the sa:ne time. Or the 100, too, tnose who are inaintained by the parishes have no right to claim this sacrifice of the fariner: as while they have their allowance, it makes no differ ince 1. triem, whether bread be cheap or rear.Those vorking poor, who now mind business only five or four days in the week, if brtad should be so dear as tu oblige them to work the trhole sir required Ly the commandineni, do not seem to be aggrieved so as to have a right to pubìic redress. There will then remain, comparatively, only a few famili in every district, who fivin sickn Iss (or a gr at number of children, will be so distressed by a hiih price of corn, as need relief; and these should be tak n care of by particular beliefactions, without restraining the farmer's profit
Those who fear, that exportation may so rar drain the country of corn, as to starve ourselves, sear what never did, I or never can happen. They may s well, when they view the tire ebbing towards the sea, fear that all ine water will leave the river. The price of corn, like vater, will find its own level. The more we export, the dearer 1e becomes at home; the more is received abroad, thc cheaper it becomes there and as soon as these prices are equal, the exporta. tron stops of course. As the seasons vary in different countries, th 1 calamity of a bad harvest is never uni. versal. if, hen, all ports were always open, and all coinmerce free, every niaritinie country would geyerally eat bread at the medium price, or average of all tuve harvests; which would probably be more equal wan we can make it by our artificial regulations, and
therefore a more steady encouragement to agriculture. The nation would all have tread at this middle price; and that nation, which at any time inhumanly refuses to relieve the distresses of another nation, deserves no compassion when in distress itself.
of the Effect of Dearness of Provisions upon
Working, and upon Manufactures. The common people do not work for pleasure ge nerally, but fron necessity. Cheapress of provisions make them more idle; less work is then done, it is then more in demnand proportionally, and of course the price rises. Dearness of provisions obliges the manufacturer to work more days and more hours; thus more work is done than equals the usual demand: of course it becomes cheaper, and the manufactures in consequence.
of an Open' Trade.
Perhaps, in general, it would be better if government medilled no further with trade, than to protect it, and let it take its course. Most of the statutes or acts, eificts, arrets, and placarıs of parliaments, princes, and states, for regulating, directing, or 1cstraining of trade, have, wethink, been eittier political blunders, or jobs obtained by artful men for private advantages linder pretence of public good. When Coinert assembled some of the wise oid inerchants of France, and desired their advice and opinion how he could best serve and promote commerce; their an. swer, after consultationi, was in three words only Laissez nous faire ; “Let us alone."--It is said by a very solid writer of the saine nation, that he is well advanced in the science politics, who knows the full force of that maxim, pas trop gouverner, “not to govern too much ;" which, perhaps, would be of more use when applied to trade, than in any other public concern. It were therefore to be wished, that commerce were as free between all the nations of the world as it is between the several counties of Englanu
80 would all, by mutual communications, obtain more enjoyments. Those countries do not ruin each other by Irade, neither would the nations. No na. tion was ever ruined by trade, even, seemingly, the most disadvantageous.
Wherever desirable superfluities are imported industry is excited, and thereby plenty is produced. Were only necessaries permitted to be purchased, nen would work no more than was neceser ry for hat purpose.
Of the Prohibition with respect to the Exportation of
Gold und Silver.
Could Spain and Portugal have succeeded in ex. ecuting 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 edicis; but are hot our OWI prohibitory and restrictive laws, tliat are professedly made with intention to bring a balance in our favou 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, woul: make money as plenty, and of as little value; I say, are not such laws a-kin to those Spanish dicts; follies of the same family.
of the Returns for Foreign Arlicles. In fact, the produce of other countries can hardly e obtained, unless by fraud and rapine, without gir ing the produce of our land or our industry in ex change for them. If we have mines of gold and silver, gold and silver may then be called the produco of our land; if we have not we can only fairly ob. tain those metals by giving for them the produce ol our land or industry. When we have them, wey are then only that produce or industry in another shape; which we may give, is the trade requres it, and out