Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

frr each, W»d oecasion complaintsjthat trading is dead; these may also suppose that it is owing to scarcity of money, while in fact, it is not so much from the fewness of buyers, as from the excessive number of sellers, that the mischief arises; and, if every shopkeeping farmerandmechanic would return to the use of hi*. plough and working tools, there would remain . of widows, and other women, shopkeepers sufficient for the business, which might then afford them a comfortable maintenance.

Whoever has travelled through the various parts of Europe, and observed how small is the proportion of people in affluence or easy circumstances there, compared with those in poverty and misery ; the few rich and naughty landlords, the multitude of poor, abject, rack.rented, lythe paying tenants, and half.paid and half.starved lagged labourers; and view here the happy mediocrity that so generally prevails throughout these states, where the cultivator works for himself, ar.d supports his family in decent plenty; will, methinks, see abundaat reason to bless Divine Providence for the . evident and great difference in our favour, and be convinced that no nation known to us enjoys a greater share of human felicity.

It is true, that in some of the states there are parties. and discords ; but let us look back, and ask if we were .ever without them? Such will exist wherever there is liberty ; and perhaps they help to preserve it. By the collision of different sentiments, sparks of truth are struck out, and political light is obtained. The different iuctions, which at present divide us, aim all at the public good ; the differences are only about the various modes of promoting it. Things, actions, measures, and objects of all kinds, present themselves to the minds of men in such a variety of lights, that it is not possibls we should all think alike at the same time on every subject, when hardly the same man retains at all times the same ideas of it. Parties are therefore the common lot of humanity i and ours are by no means more rataW .

chiexous»or lefcstbcncficial than those of other countries, nMion:;, and agestjenjoy ing in the same degree the great blessii.gs of poliiical liberty.

..Same indeed <U!ioiig us are not so much grieved for tlje: present.rfaee of our affairs, as apprehensive for the future;* thesjiowih of luxury alarms them, and they think we.are f*rh that alone in the high road to ruin. They observe,. tl.afrmo revenue is sufficient without cecouomy, and tWart&tft most plentiful income of a whole people from the natural pioductions of their country may 'be dissipatiett iiV vain and needless expences, and povertf.be'ihtruduced in ihe place of affluence.—This maybe possible. It however rarely happens: for there sevmsto be m every nation a greater proportion of industry and frugality, which tend to enrich, than of idleness and prodigality, which occasion poverty ; so that upon the whole there is a continual accumulation..—r- • Reflect what Spain. Gaul, Germany, and Britain were in the time of the Romans inhabited by people Hule richer that our savages, and consider the wealth they' at present possess, in numerous well built cities, improved farms, rich moveables, magazines stocked with valuable" mamifactui.es, to.say of nothing of plate, jewels, and coined money; ar*l all this, notwithstanding > their bad, wasteful, plundering governments, and their bad destructive wars; and yet luxury and extravagant living has never suft'eied much restraint in those countries. •'Mien consider the great propoition of industrious frugal farmers inhabiting the interior parts of these American stales, and of whom the body of our nation consists, and judge whether it is possible that the luxury of our sea ports can be sufficient to ruin such a country.— If ihe importation of foreign luxuries could ruin a people, we should probably have been ruined long ago i lor ihe British nation claimed a right, and prac-t tiseel it, of importing among us not only the superflui-' ties of their own production, but those of every nation■ under i euven; we bought and consumed them, and yet" we iiouiished and grew rich. At present our rode.

[graphic]

pendent governments may do what we could not then do, discourage by heavy duties, or prevent by heavy prohibitions, such importations, and thereby gro.v richer -*if, indeed, which may admit of dispute, the desire of adovnfog ourselves with .fine clothes, possessing fine furniture, with elegant house's, Sec. is not, by strongly inciting to labour and industry, the occasion of producing a greater value than is consumed in the gralkication of that desire.

,. The agriculture and fisheries of the United States are the great seurces of our increasing wealth. He that •puts a seed into the earth, is recommenced, perhaps by receiving forty out of it; and he who draws a fish ouf of the waters, draws up a piece of silver.

Let us (and there is no doubt but we shall) be attentive to these, and then the power of rivals with all their restraining and prohibiting acts, Cannot much hurt us.. We are sons of the earth and the seas, and like Antxusin the fable, if in wrestling with a Hercules we now and then receive a fall, the touch of our parent3 will communicate to us fresh strength and vigor to renew the contest.

Tnformation to those .who would wish to remove to America.

Manv persons in Europe having directly, or by letters, expressed to the writer of this, who is well acquainted with North America, their desire of transporling and establishing themselves in that country; but who appear to him to have formed, through ignorance, mistaken ideas and expectations of what is to be obtained there; he thinks it may be useful, and prevent inconvenient, expensive, and fruitless removals and voyages of improper persons,.if he gives some clearer ai:d truer notions of that part of; the/ world, than have hitherto prevailed.

He finds it imagined by numbers, that the inhabitants of North America are rich, capable of rewarding^ and disposed to reward, all sorts of ingenuity; that they are at the same time ignorant of all the sciences, and consequently that strangers, possessing talents in the belles.lettres, fine arts, U.c. must be highly esteemed, and so well paid as to become easily rich themselves; that there are also abundance of profitable offices to be disposed of, which the natives are not qualified to fill; ar.drthat, having few persons of family among them, strangers of birth must be greatly respected, and of course easily obtain the best of those . offices, which will make all their fortunes; governments too, to encourage emigrations from Europe, not enly pay the expence of their personal transportation, but give lands gratis to strangers, with negroes to work for them, utensils of husbandry, and stocks of cattle. These are all wild imaginations; and those who.go to America with expectations founded upon them, will surely find themselves disappointed.

The truth is, that though there are in that country few people so miserable as the poor of Europe, there arc also few that in Europe would be called rich: it is rather a general happy mediocrity that prevails. There are few great proprietors of the soil, and few tenants; most people cultivate their own lards, or follow some handicraft or merchandize; very few rich enough to Jive idly upon their rents or incomes, or to pay the high prices given in Europe for painting, statuas, architecture, and the other works of art that are more curious than useful. Hence the natural geniuses that have. arisen in America, with such talents, have uniformly quitted that country for.Europe, where they can be more suitably rewarded. It is true that letters and mathematical knowledge are in esteem there, but they are at the same time more common than is apprehended; there being already existing nine colleges, or universities,. viz. four in New-England, and one in each of the provinces of New-York} New-Jersey, Peunsylvapia, ftfa'ryland, and Virginia, all furnished with learned professors; besides a number of smaller academies: these educate marry of their youth in the languages, and those sciences that qualify men for the professions of divinity, law, or physic. Strangers indeed are by no means excluded from exercising those professions; and the quick increase of inhabitants every where gives them a chance of employ, which they have in common with the natives. Of civil offices, or employments, there are few; no superfluous ones as in Europe; and ft is a rule established in some of the states, that ne office should be so profitable as to make it desirable,. The 3(5th article of the constitution of Pennsylvania runs expressly in these words: "'As every freeman, to" preserve his independence, (if he has not a sufficient estate,) ought to have some profession, calling, trade, er farm, whereby he may honestly subsist, there can Be no necessity for, nor use in, establishing offices of profit; the usual effects of which are dependence and servility, unbecoming freemen, in the possessors and expectants ;. faction, contention, corruption, and disorder among the people. Wherefore, whenever an office, through increase of fees or otherwise, becomes so profitable as to occasion many to apply for it, the profits ought to be lessened by the legislature."

These ideas prevailing more or less in all the United States, it cannot be worth any man's while, who haaa means of living, at home, to expatriate himself ia hopes of obtaining a profitable civil office in America; and as to military offices, they are at an end with the war, the armies being disbanded.' Much less is it adviseable for a person to go thither, who has no other quality to recommend him but his birth. In Europe,. it has indeed its value; but it is aeommodity that cannot be carried to a. worse market than in America, 'where people do not enquire concerning a stranger, What is he f but What can he do? If he has any useful art, he is welcome; and if he exercises it, and behaves' w*l!,,he wilibe respected by all that know him; but.*^

« ZurückWeiter »