Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

to work with a tilt-hammer, nor any furnace for making steel, shall be erected or continued in the said island of Great Britain; and the lord lieutenant of every county in the said island is hereby commanded, on information of any such erection within his county, to order, and by force to cause the same to be abated and destroyed, as he shall answer the neglect thereof to us at his peril. But we are nevertheless graciously pleased to permit the inhabitants of the said island to transport their iron into Prussia, there to be manufactured, and, to them returned, they paying our Prussian subjects for the workmanship, with all the costs of commission, freight and risk, coming and returning; anything herein contained to the contrary notwithstanding. “We do not, however, think fit to extend this our indulgence to the article of wool; but, meaning to encourage, not only the manufacturing of woollen cloth, but also the raising of wool, in our ancient dominions, and to prevent both, as much as may be, in our said island, we do hereby absolutely forbid the transportation of wool from thence even to the mother-country, Prussia; and that those islanders may be further and more effectually restrained in making any advantage of their own wool, in the way of manufacture, we command that none shall be carried out of one county into another; nor shall any worsted, bay, or woollen yarn, cloth, says, bays, kerseys, serges, frizes, druggets, cloth-serges, shalloons, or any other drapery stuffs or woollen manufactures whatsoever, made up or mixed with wool in any of the said counties, be carried into any other county, or be water-borne even across the smallest river or creek, on penalty of forfeiture of the same, together with the boats, carriages, horses, &c., that shall be employed in removing them: – Nevertheless, our loving subjects there are hereby permitted (if they think proper) to use all their wool as manure, for the improvement of their lands. “And whereas the art and mystery of making hats hath arrived at great perfection in Prussia, and the making of hats by our remoter subjects ought to be as much as possible restrained; and forasmuch as the islanders before-mentioned, being in possession of wool, beaver, and other furs, have presumptuously conceived they had a right to make some advantage thereof, by manufacturing the same into hats, to the prejudice of our domestic manufacture: we do, therefore, hereby strictly command and ordain, that no hats or felts whatsoever, dyed or undyed, finished or unfinished, shall be loaden or put into or upon any vessel, cart, carriage or horse, to be transported or conveyed out of one county in the said island into another county, or to any other place whatsoever, by any person or persons whatsoever, on pain of forfeiting the same, with a penalty of five hundred pounds sterling for every offence: Nor shall any hat-maker in any of the said counties employ more than two apprentices, on penalty of five pounds sterling per month; we intending hereby, that such hatmakers, being so restrained, both in the production and sale of their commodity, may find no advantage in continuing their business: But, lest the said islanders should suffer inconveniency by the want of hats, we are further graciously pleased to permit them to send their beaver furs to Prussia, and we also permit hats made thereof to be exported from Prussia to Britain; the people thus favored to pay all costs and charges of manufacturing, interest, commission to our merchants, insurance and freight going and returning, as in the case of iron.

“And lastly, being willing further to favor our said colonies in Britain, we do hereby also ordain and command, that all the thieves, highway and street robbers, house-breakers, forgerers, murderers, s—d—tes, and villains of every denomination, who have forfeited their lives to the law in Prussia, but whom we, in our great clemency, do not think fit here to hang, shall be emptied out of our jails into the said island of Great Britain, for the better peopling of that country.

“We flatter ourselves that these our royal regulations and commands will be thought just and reasonable by our much favored colonists in England; the said regulations being copied from their statutes of 10 & 11 Will. III. c. 10; 5 Geo. II. c. 22; 23 Geo. II. c. 29; 4 Geo. I. c. 11, and from other equitable laws made by their Parliaments, or from instructions given oby their princes, or from resolutions of both Houses, entered into for the good government of their own colonies in Ireland and America.

“And all persons in the said island are hereby cautioned not to oppose in any wise the execution of this our edict, or any part thereof, such opposition being high treason; of which all who are suspected shall be transported in fetters from Britain to Prussia, there to be tried and executed according to the Prussian law.

“Such is our pleasure.

“Given at Potsdam, this twenty-fifth day of the month of
August, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-three, and
in the thirty-third year of our reign.
“By the king, in his council.
“RECHTMAESSIG, Sec.”

Some take this edict to be merely one of the king's jeur d'esprit others suppose it serious, and that he means a quarrel with England: but all here think the assertion it concludes with, “that these regulations are copied from the acts of the English Parliament respecting their colonies,” a very injurious one; it being impossible to believe that a people distinguished for their love of liberty,+a nation so wise, so liberal in its sentiments, so just and equitable towards its neighbors, – should, from mean and injudicious views of petty immediate profit, treat its own children in a manner so arbitrary and tyrannical

RULES FOR REDUCING A GREAT EMPIRE TO A SMALL
ONE; PRESENTED TO A LATE MINISTER WHEN
HE ENTERED UPON HIS ADMINISTRATION.”

AN ancient sage valued himself upon this, – that though he could not fiddle, he knew how to make a great city of a little one. The science that I, a modern simpleton, am about to communicate, is the very reverse. I address myself to all ministers who have the management of extensive dominions, which, from their very greatness, are become troublesome to govern — because the multiplicity of their affairs leaves no time for fiddling. I. In the first place, gentlemen, you are to consider that a great empire, like a great cake, is most easily diminished at the edges. Turn your attention, therefore, first to your remotest so ; that, as you get rid of them, the next may follow in Order. II. That the possibility of this separation may always exist, take special care the provinces are never incorporated with the mother-country; that they do not enjoy the same common rights, the same privileges in commerce, and that they are governed by severer laws, all of your enacting, without allowing them any share in the choice of the legislators. By carefully making and preserving such distinctions, you will (to keep to my simile of the cake) act like a wise gingerbread-baker, who, to facilitate a division, cuts his dough half through in those places where, when baked, he would have it broken to pieces.

* See page 55.

III. Those remote provinces have perhaps been acquired, purchased or conquered, at the sole expense of the settlers or their ancestors, without the aid of the mother-country. If this should happen to increase her strength, by their growing numbers, ready to join in her wars; her commerce, by their growing demand for her manufactures; or her naval power, by greater employment for her ships and seamen, they may probably suppose some merit in this, and that it entitles them to some favor. You are therefore to forget it all, or resent it, as if they had done you injury. If they happen to be zealous whigs, friends of liberty, nurtured in revolution principles, remember all that to their prejudice, and contrive to punish it; for such principles, after a revolution is thoroughly established, are of no more use; they are even odious and abominable. IV. However peaceably your colonies have submitted to your government, shown their affection to your interests, and patiently borne their grievances, you are to suppose them always inclined to revolt, and treat them accordingly. Quarter troops among them, who by their insolence may provoke the rising of mobs, and by their bullets and bayonets suppress them. By this means, like the husband who uses his wife ill from suspicion, you may in time convert your suspicions into realities. W. Remote provinces must have governors and judges to represent the royal person, and execute everywhere the delegated parts of his office and authority. You, ministers, know that much of the strength of government depends on the opinion of the people, and much of that opinion on the choice of rulers placed immediately over them. If you send them wise and good men for governors, who study the interest of the colonists, and advance their prosperity, they will think their king wise and good, and that he wishes the welfare of his subjects. If you send them learned and upright men for judges, they will think him a lover of justice. This may attach your provinces more to his government. You. are therefore to be careful who you recommend for those offices. If you can find prodigals who have ruined their fortunes, broken gamesters, or stock-jobbers, these may do well as governors; for they will probably be rapacious, and provoke the people by their extortions. Wrangling proctors and pettifogging lawyers too are not amiss, for they will be forever disputing and quarrelling with their little Parliaments. If withal they should be ignorant, wrong-headed and insolent, so much the better. Attorneys, clerks and Newgate solicitors, will do for chief justices, especially if they hold their places during your pleasure: — and all will contribute to impress those ideas of your government that are proper for a people you would wish to renounce it. VI. To confirm these impressions, and strike them deeper, whenever the injured come to the capital with complaints of maladministration, oppression or injustice, punish such suitors with long delay, enormous expense, and a final judgment in favor of the oppressor. This will have an admirable effect every way. The trouble of future complaints will be prevented, and governors and judges will be encouraged to further acts of oppression and injustice, and thence the people may become more disaffected,’ and at length desperate. VII. When such governors have crammed their coffers, and made themselves so odious to the people that they can no longer remain among them with safety to their persons, recall and reward them with pensions. You may make them baronets too, if that respectable order should not think fit to resent it. All will contribute to encourage new governors in the same practice, and make the supreme government detestable. VIII. If, when you are engaged in war, your colonies should vie in liberal aids of men and money against the common enemy, upon your simple requisition, and give far beyond their abilities, reflect that a penny taken from them by your power is more honorable to you than a pound presented by their benevolence; despise therefore their voluntary grants, and resolve to harass them with novel taxes. They will probably complain to your Parliament, that they are taxed by a body in which they have no representative, and that this is contrary to common right. They will petition for redress. Let the Parliament flout their claims, reject their petitions, refuse even to suffer the reading of them, and treat the petitioners with the utmost contempt. Nothing can have a better effect in producing the alienation proposed; for though many can forgive injuries, none ever forgave contempt. IX. In laying these taxes, never regard the heavy burdens those remote people already undergo, in defending their own frontiers, supporting their own provincial government, making new roads, building bridges, churches, and other public edifices, which in old countries have been done to your hands, by your ancestors, but which occasion constant calls and demands on the purses of a new people. Forget the restraint you lay on their trade for your own benefit, and the advantage a monopoly of this trade gives your exacting merchants. Think nothing of the wealth those merchants and your manufacturers acquire by the colony commerce, their increased ability thereby to pay taxes at home,

« ZurückWeiter »