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grow out of the part remaining. Thus, if you have room and subsistence enough, as you may, by dividing, make ten polypuses out of one, you may of one make ten nations, equally populous and powerful; or rather, increase a nation tenfold in numbers and strength. * * *
PLAN FOR BENEFITING DISTANT UNPROVIDED COUNTRIES.
August So, 1771
The country called in the maps New Zealand has been discovered by the Endeavour, to be two islands, together as large as Great Britain: these islands, named Acpy-nomawe'e and Tory, poenuammoo, are inhabited by a brave and generous race, who are destitute of corn, fowls, and all quadrupeds, except dogs.
These circumstances being mentioned lately in a company of men of liberal sentiments, it was observed, that it seemed incumbent on such a country as this, to communicate to all others the conveniences of life which we enjoy.
Dr. Franklin, whose life has ever been directed to promote the true interest of society, said " he would with all his heart subscribe to a voyage intended to communicate in general those benefits which we enjoy to countries destitute of them in the remote parts of the globe." This proposition being warmly adopted by the rest of the company, Mr. Dalrymple, then present, was induced to offer to undertake the command on such an expedition.
On mature reflection, this scheme appears the more honourable to the national character of any which can be conceived, as it is grounded on the noblest principle of benevolence. Good intentions are often frustrated by letting them remain indigested: on this consideration Mr. Dalrymple was induced to put the outlines on paper, which are now published, that by an early communication, there may be a better opportunity of collecting all the hints which can conduce to execute effectually the benevolent purpose of the expedition, in case it should meet with general approbation.
On this scheme being shown to Dr. Franklin, he communicated his sentiments, by way of introduction, to the following effect:
"Britain is said to have produced originally nothing but sloes. What vast advantages have been communicated to her by the fruits, seeds, roots, herbage, animals, and arts of other countries! We are by their means become a wealthy and a mighty nation, abounding in all good things. Does not some duty hence arise from us towards other countries, still remaining in our former state?
"Britain is now the first maritime power in the world. Her ships are innumerable, capable by their form, size, and strength, of sailing all seas. Our seamen are equally bold, skilful, and hardy; dexterous in exploring the remotest regions, and ready to engage in voyages to unknown countries, though attended with the greatest dangers. The inhabitants of those countries, our fellow men, have canoes only; not knowing iron, they cannot build ships; they have little astronomy, and no knowledge of the compass to guide them; they cannot therefore come to us, or obtain any of our advantages. From these circumstances, does not some duty seem to arise from us to them? Docs not Providence, by these distinguishing favours, seem to call on us to do something ourselves for the common interest of humanity?
"Those who think it their duty to ask bread and other blessings daily from Heaven, would they not think it equally a duty to communicate of those blessings when they have received them, and show their gratitnde to their great Benefactor by the only means in their power—promoting the happiness of his other children?
"Ceres is said to have made a journey through many countries to teach the use of corn, and the art of raising it. For this single benefit the grateful nations deified her. How much more may Englishmen deserve such honour, by communicating the knowledge and use, not of corn only, but of all the other enjoyments earth can produce, and which they are now in possession of! Communiter bona profundere, Deum est. , '-,
"Many voyages have been undertaken with views of profit or of plunder, or to gratify resentment; to procure some advantage to ourselves, or do some mischief to others: but a voyage is now proposed, to visit a distant people on the other side the globe; not to cheat them, not to rob them, not to seize their lands, or enslave their persons—but merely to do them good, and make them, as far as in our power lies, to live as comfortably as ourselves.
"It seems a landable wish, that all the nations of the earth were connected by a knowledge of each other, and a mutual exchange of benefits; but a commercial nation particularly should wish for a general civilization of mankind, since trade is always carried 011 to much greater extent with people who have the arts and conveniences of life, than it can be with naked savages. We may therefore hope, in this undertaking, to be of some service to our country, as well as to those poor people, who, however distant from us, are in truth related to us, and whose interests do, in some degree, concern every one who can say Homo tum, &c."
Scheme of a voyage, by subscription, to convey the conveniences of life, as fowls, hogs, goats, cattle, corn, iron, &c. to those remote regions which are destitute of them, and to bring from thence such productions as can be cultivated in this kingdom to the advantage of society, in a ship under the command of Alexander Dalrymple.
Catt or bark, from the coal trade, of 350 £ tons, estimated at about ... 2000 Extra expenses, stores, boats, &c. - 3000
To be manned with 60 men at
41. per man per month
2880 per annum.
Wages and pro- > ~ for three _ mQ visions >
Cargo Inclnded, supposed ... 15000
The expenses of this expedition are calculated for three years: but the greatest part of the amount of wages will not be wanted till the ship returns, and a great part of the expense of provisions will be saved by what is obtained in the course of the voyage, by barter, or otherwise, though it is proper to make provision against contingencies.
CONCERNING THE PROVISION MADE IN CHINA AGAINST FAMINE.
I Have somewhere read, that in China an account is yearly taken of the number of people, and the quantities of provision produced. This account is transmitted to the emperor, whose ministers can thence foresee a scarcity likely to happen in any province, and from what province it can best be supplied in good time. To facilitate the collecting of this account, and prevent the necessity of entering houses, and spending time in asking and answering questions, each house is furnished with a little board, to be hung without the door during a certain time each year; on which board are marked certain words, against which the inhabitant is to mark number and quantity, somewhat in this manner: