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lies to get their children instructed; for the artisans are so desirous of apprentices, that many of them will even give money to the parents, to have boys from ten to fifteen years of age, bound apprentices to thein till the age of twentyone; and muy poor parents have, by that ineans, on their arrival in the co:mtry, raised money enough to buy land sufficient to establish themselves, and to subsist the rest of the family by agricultura. These contracts for apprentices are made before a magistrate, who regulates the agreenient according to reason and justice; and hai ing in view the forination of a future useful citizen, obliges the master to engage by a written indenture, not only that, during the time of sei vice stipulated, the apprentice shall be duly provided with meat, driuk, apparel, washing, and lorlging, and at its expiration with a complete new suit of clothes, but also, that he shall be taught to read, write, and cast accounts; and that he shall be well instructed in the art or profession of his master, or some other, by which he may afterwards gain a livelihood, and be able in his tum to raise a family. A copy of this indenture is gi en to the apprentice or his friends, and the magistrate keeps a r. cord of it, to which recourse may be had, in case of failure by the master in any point of performance. Tais desire a:nong the masters to have more hands einployed in working for them, induces them to pay the passage of young persons of hoth sexes, who, on their arrival, agrze to serve them one, two, three, or four years; those who have already learned a trad”, agreeing for a shorter term, in proportion to their skill, and the consequent immediate value of their service; and those who have none, agreeing for a longer term, in consideration of being taught an art treir poverty would not perinit them to acquire in their own country.
The almost general mediocrity of fortune that prevails in America, obliging its people to follow some business for subsistence, those vices that arise usually fro:n idleness are in a great measure prevented. In:lustry an: constant e:nplnyment are great preservatives of the morals and virtue of a nation. Hence bad examples to youth are more rare in Alnerica, which must be a co:nfortable consideration to pa
To this may be truly added, that serious religion, under its various denominations, is not only toleraterl but respected and practised. Atheism is unknown there; and
infidelity rare and secret; so that persons may live to a great age in that country without having their piety shocked by meeting with either an atheist or an infidel. And the Divinc Being seems to have inanifestect his approbation of the mutual forbearance and kindness with which the different sects treat each other, by the remarkable prosperity with which He has been pleased to favor the whole country.
THOUGHTS ON COMMERCIAL SUBJECTS. OF EMBARGOES UPON CORN, AND OF THE POOR.
In inland high countries, reinute from the sea, and whose rivers are small, 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 granaries are not provided and kept well stored. Anciently, 100, before nave igation was so general, ships so plenty, and commercial transictions so well established, even maritime countries might be occasionally distressed by bad crops. But such is now the facility of communication between those co.mtries, that an unrestrained commerce can scarce ever fail of procuring a sufficiency for any of them.
If indeed any goire ernment is so imprudent as to lay its hands on inpoited corn, fyrbid its exportation, or compel its sale at limited prices, there the people may suffer some famine from merchants avoiding their ports. But wherever commerce is known to be always free, and the merchant absolute master of his commodity, as in Hollanch, there will always be a reasonable supply.
When an exportation of corn takes place, occasioned by a higher price in some foreign countries, it is conimon to · raise a clamor, on the supposition that we shall thereby priduce a domestic famine. Then follows' a prohibition founded on the imaginary distresses of the poor. to be sur., if in distress, should be relieved: but if the farmer could have a high price for his cora from the foreign demand, must he by a prohibition of exportation be coinpelled to take a low price, not of the poor only, but of every one that eats bread, even the richest? The duty of relieve
ing the poor is incumbent on the rich; but by this operation the whole burden of it is laid on the farıner, who is to relieve the rich at the same time. Of the poor, too, those who are maintained by the parishes have no right to clajin this sacrifice of the farmer; as while they have their alowance, it makes no difference to them wbether bread be cheap or clear. Those working poor, who now inind business only five or four days in the week, if bread should be so dear as to oblige them to work the whole sir required by the commansiment, do not seem to be aggrieved, so as to have a rig'it to public redress. There wi.) then remain, comparati vel;', only a few funilies in erery district, who, from sickness or a great number of children, will be so distressed by a high price of com as to need relief; and these should be taken care of by particular benefictions, without restraining the farmer's profit.
Those who far that exportation may so far drain the country of corn, as to starve ourselves, fear what never did nor never can happen. They may as well, when they view the tide ebbing towards the sea, fear that all the water will leave the riser. The price of corn, like water, will find its own lev.l. The more we export, the dea:er it becomes at home; the more is received abroad, the cheaper it becomes ther?; and as soon as these prices are equal, the exportation stops of cours?. As the seasons vary in different countries, the calamity of a bad harvest is never universal. If, then, all ports were always open, and all commerce free, every maritime country would generally eat bread at the medium price, or average of all the harvests, which would probably be more equal than we can make it by our artificial regulations, and therefore a more steady encouragement to agriculture. The nation would all have bread at this middle price; and that nation, which at any tinie inhumanly refuses to reliere the distresses of another nation, deserves no compassion when in distress itself.
OF TUE EFFECT OF DEARNESS OF PROVISIONS UPON
WORKING, AND UPON MANUFACTURES. The common people do not work for pleasure generally, but from necessity. Cheapness of provisions makes them more idle; less work is then done, it is then more in demand proportionally, and of course the price rio
ses. Dearness of provisions obliges the manufacturer to work more days and more hours; thus more work is done than equals the usual deinard; of course it becomes cheap er, and the manufactures in cousequence.
OF AN OPEN TRADE. Perhaps, in general, it would be better if government meldled no farther with trade than to protect it, and let it take its course. Most of the statutes or acts, edicts, arrets, and placarts of parliaments, princes, and states, for regulating, directing, or restraining of trade, have, we think, been either political blunders, or jobs obtained by artful men for private advantage, under prelence of public good. When Colbert asseinbled some of the wise old merchants of France, and desired their advice and opinion how he could best serve and promote coinmerce; their answer, after consultation, was in three words only, Laissez nous fuire, "Let us alone.?-It is said, by a very solid writer of the sime nation, that he is well advanced in the science of politics, who knows the full force of that inaxim, Pas trop goureiner, '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 wishe:1, that commerce were as free between all the nations of the world as it is between the several counties of England; so would all, by mutual coinmunications, obtain more enjoyinents. Those counties do not ruin each other by trade, neither would the nations. No nation was ever ruined by trade, even, seemingly the most disadvantageous.
Wherever desirable superfluities are i:nported, industry is excited, and thereby plenty is produced. Were only necessaries permitted to be purchased, men would work no more than was necessary for that purpose.
OF PROHIBITIONS WITH RESPECT TO THE EXPORT.
ATION OF GOLD AND SILVER. Could Spain and Portugal have succeeded in executing their foolish laws for hedging in the cuckov, 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 valuc than so inuch lead or iron. Their plenty would have lessened their value.
We see the folly of these edicts; but are not our own prohibitory and restrictive laws, that are professedly made with intention to bring a balance in our ia vor fioin our trade with for: eign nations to be paid in mo.sey, and laus to prevent the neCossity of exposting that woney, which if they could be thoroughly ex. cutcil, would make money as plenity and of as lintie value; I say, are not such laus akin to those Spanish cdicts; follies of the same family?
OF THE RETURNS FOR FOREIGN ARTICLES. In fact, the produce of other countries can hardly be obtamed, unless by fraud anii rapine, without giving the produce of our land or our industry in exchange for them. If we have mines of gold and silver, gold and sil: er may then be called the produce of our land; if we have not, we can only fairly obtain those metals by giving for them the produce of our lant or industry. When we have them, they are then only that'produce or industry in another shape; u hich we may give if the trade requires it and our other produce will not suit in exchange for the produce of some other country that funish es what we have more occasion for, or more desire. When we have, to an inconvenient degree, parted with our gold and silver, our industry is stimulated afresh to procure morc; that by its means we may contrive to procure the same ad vantages.
OF RESTRAINTS UPON COMMERCE IN TIME OF WAR.
When princes make war by prohibiting commerce, each may hurt himself as much as bis enemy. 'Traders, who by their business are promoting the common good of mankind, as well as farmers and fishermen, who labor for the subsis. tence of all, should never be interrupted or imolested in their business, but enjoy the protection of all in the time of war, as well as in time of peace.
This policy, those we are pleased to call barbarians have in a great measure adopted : for the trading subjects of any power with whom the Emperor of Morocco may be at war, are not liable to capture, when within sight of his laud, going or coming; and have otherwise free liberty to trade and reside in his dominions.
As a maritime power, we presume it is not thought right that Great Britain should grant such freedom except