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Here are two things put in comparison that are not comparable : viz. injury to seamen, and inconvenience to trade. Inconvenience to the whole trade of a nation will not justify injustice to a single seaman. If the trade would suffer without his service, it is able and ought to be willing to offer hiin such wages as may induce him to afford his service voluntarily.
Page 159. “ Private mischief must be “ borne with patience, for preventing a “ national calamity.”-Where is this maxim in law and good policy to be found ? And how can that be a maxim which is not confiftent with common sense ? If the maxim had been, that pri.. vate mischiefs, which prevent a national calamity, ought to be generously compensated by the nation, one might understand it: but that such private mischiefs are only to be borne with patience, is absurd !
Ib. “The expedient, &c. And, &c." (Paragraphs 2 and 3).-Twenty ineffectual or inconvenient schemes will not justify one that is unjust.
16. Upon the foot of, &c.”— Your reasoning, indeed, like a lie, stands but upon one foot; truth upon two.
Page 160. “ Full wages.”—Probably the same they had in the merchant's fervice.
Page 174. “I hardly admit, &c.” (Paragraph 5). When this author speaks of impreffing, page 158, he di. minishes the horror of the practice as much as possible, by presenting to the mind one failor only suffering a “hardship" (as he tenderly calls it) in some
particular cases” only; and he places against this private mischief the inconvenience to the trade of the kingdom. -But if, as he supposes is often the case, the sailor who is pressed, and obliged to serve for the defence of trade, at the rate of twenty-five shillings a month, could get three pounds fifteen Chillings in the merchant's service, you take from him fifty shillings a month; and if you have a 100,000 in your service, you rob this honest induftrious part of society and their poor families of 250,000l. per month, or three millions a year, and at the same time oblige them to hazard their lives in fighting for the defence of your trade; to the defence of which all ought indeed to contribute (and sailors among the rest) in proportion to their profits by it : but this three millions is more than their share, if they did not pay with their persons; but when you force that, methinks
should excuse the other. But it may be said, to give the king's seamen merchant's wages would cost the nation too much, and call for more taxes.
The question then will amount to this: whether it be just in a community, that the richer part should compel the poorer to fight in defence of them and their properties, for such wages as they think fit to allow, and punish them if they refuse? Our author tells us that it is "legal.” I have not law enough to dispute his authorities, but I cannot persuade myself that it is equitable. I will, however, own for the present, that it may be law. ful when necessary; but then I contend that it may be used so as to produce the same good effects—the public security, without doing so much intolerable injustice as attends the impressing common feamen. In order to be better understood I would premise two things : First, that voluntary seamen may be had for the service, if they were sufficiently paid. The proof is, that to serve in the fame ship, and incur the same dangers,
you have no occasion to impress captains, lieutenants, second lieutenants, midshipmen, pursers, nor many other officers. Why, but that the profits of their places, or the emoluments expected, are sufficient inducements ? The bu. finess then is, to find money, by impressing, sufficient to make the sailors all volunteers, as well as their officers; and this without any frelh burthen upon trade.—The second of my premises is, , that twenty-five shillings a month, with his share of the falt beef, pork, and peaspudding, being found fufficient for the subsistence of a hard-working seaman, it will certainly be so for a sedentary scholar or gentleman. I would then propose to form a treasury, out of which encouragements to seamen should be paid. To fill this treasury, I would impress a number of civil officers who at present have great salaries, oblige them to serve in VOL, I.