Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

lived two hundred years, with all the aids of genius and of wealth to boot, and endeavoured to turn nature inside out before he would help her, his work would yet be in embryo at his death ; nor could his successors through a like period make any thing of it. Such schemes may do very well while novelty holds them together; when that charm is gone, they soon follow.

Philanthropists wonder that their generous kind endeavours take so little root in the minds and habits of the poor to whom they propose them; but it is well to look particularly to this fiat that is stamped on the circumstance of man, that youth is the time to begin improvement : from that startingpost man may hope to improve through life; but if that period be neglected, his circumstance as to mind and principle presents a dreary waste; the ground not having been cultivated in time, has been taken possession of by the noxious weed, the annoying thorn, and the poisonous herb in melancholy succession. DIVINE power may release him from the trammels, human power hardly can.

But by once cutting off the succession of evil example, a foundation might be laid which ages would not sweep entirely away. For instance, if such of the poor destitute children as wished it, or who from neglect or absence of proper care were likely to become a bane to society and to themselves, were taken to our colonies in the Eastern Ocean, or Canada, brought up in right principles and good habits, and when marriageable portioned off out of their own earnings and rewards, the cost would be little compared to the benefit; indeed, their work would be so available to their successors, that unless their numbers were doubled annually by increased emigration, they might, by their consignments of corn and other raw produce, pay for a good proportion of their raiment and metals, these being nearly the only commodities we should have to supply them with : whereas this class is almost a dead weight for support in this country, and latterly have been training up to be a millstone round the neck of the nation, as they advance to manhood in years, and to the service of the devil, in habits and

gross vices,

desires. Oh, that our governors would look more at these things ! How easily might millions be rendered comparatively happy and virtuous! Oh, that good remedies were applied! for poverty and crime are increasing among our working classes.

Colonization from ten to sixteen years of age, with good management every way, would cut off the inheritance by example, from parents to children, of

and which, having gone on through nearly all the ages of the world, call loudly for the connexion to be once severed; and then by judicious and steady, yet mild authority, a colony might be reared, exceeding by very much in sincerity, chastity, sobriety, and good will towards each other, any large local mass of people that we have any knowledge of by history, experience, or otherwise; these might raise perhaps double the quantity of food they required, and possibly even in addition thereto, erect houses for an influx of young colonists approaching towards the annual doubling of the colony: this, in a few years, would be evidently felt by the millions now competing

many

with each other for a livelihood, and would require from this country, besides the means of transit, little beyond clothing, and metallic articles chiefly for building, agricultural, and culinary purposes; and when the country was tired of those supplies, without returns, as some would say, but with great returns, as might truly be said, it would only be to stay this mode of emigration; and our infant colony, no longer fully employed in providing for new settlers, would chiefly cease building, and turning more exclusively to agricultural pursuits, would, by an increased ratio of increasing production, and a diminished ratio of increasing consumption, begin to pay us for the clothing, and whatever else we sent them, and would possibly pay us in full if we ceased altogether from increasing their numbers. Yet did such a colony thrive, even half as much as is here anticipated, its value, every way, would be too evident to admit of doubts as to the continuance of sending colonists to fill up the vacancies which age and marriage made among them.

It seems to be forgotten, in the system away those

of colonization, that if

you

send who have had all their children, neither the colony is more numerous, nor the mothercountry less so fifty years after; and if you send them away very young, many die from the circumstance of their age, as may be seen either by the bills of mortality, or the lists which life-insurance offices exhibit; but take them from ten to sixteen, and without one shilling expense, all their progeny, to the hundredth generation, (if they don't emigrate from thence,) are planted; besides which, it is material to consider, how slight soever it may seem compared with that fact of progeny, that from such an age they are likely to live nearly twice as long as their parents, who have already run through from twenty to fifty years more of their lives than their children have.

Now, were it resolved to establish such a colony, it might be preceded by some builders, who, continuing their operations through a series of years, would still provide for the fresh accession of colonists; and they, in return, would soon raise enough food for

« ZurückWeiter »