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tion, as if their own hands and hearts were pure and unsullied ? The Americans offend us grievously, · when, contrary to our laws, they smuggle goods into their own country: and yet they had no hand in making those laws. I do not however pretend from thence to justify them : but I think the offence much greater in those who either directly or indirectly have been concerned in making the very laws they break : and when I hear them exclaimiing against the Americans; and for every little infringement of the acts of trade, or obstruction given by a petty mob to an officer of our customs in that country, calling for vengeance against the whole people as REBELS and traitors, I cannot help thinking there are still those in the world who can see a mote in their brother's eye, while they do not discern a beam in their own; and that the old saying is as true now as ever it was, one man may better steal a horse than another look over the hedge.
OBSERVATIONS ON WAR. By the original law of nations, war and extirpation were the punishment of injury. Humanizing by degrees, it admitted slavery instead of death : a farther step was the exchange of prisoners instead of slavery: another, to respect more the property of private persons under conquest, and be content with acquired dominion. Why should not this law of nations go on improving ? Ages have intervened between its several steps : but as knowledge of late increases rapidly, why should not those steps be quickeved? Why should it pot be agreed to, as the
future law of nations, that in any war hereafter the following description of men should be undisturbed, have the protection of both sides, and be permitted to follow their employments in security ?' viz.
1. Cultivators of the earth, because they labour for the subsistence of mankind.
2. Fishermen, for the same reason.
3. Merchants and traders in unarmed ships, who accommodate different nations by communicating and exchanging the necessaries and conveniences of life.
4. Artists and mechanics, inhabiting and working in open towns.
It is hardly necessary to add, that the hospitals of enemies should be molested—they ought to be assisted. It is for the interest of humanity in general, that the occasions of war, and the inducements to it, should be diminished. If rapine be abolished, one of the encouragements to war is taken away; and peace therefore more likely to continue and be lasting.
The practice of robbing merchants on the high seas—a remnant of the ancient piracy—though it may be accidentally beneficial to particular persons, is far from being profitable to all engaged in it, or to the nation tl:at authorises it. In the begivning of a war, some rich ships are surprised and taken. This encourages the first adventurers to fit out more armed vessels, and many others to do the same. But the enemy at the same time become more careful, arm their merchant ships better, and render them not so easy to be taken : they go also more under the protection of convoys. Thus, while the privateers to take them are multiplied, the vessels subject to be taken, and the chances of profit, are diminished; so that many cruises are made wherein the expenses overgo the gains; and, as is the case in other lotteries, though particular persons have got prizes, the mass of adventurers are losers, the whole expense of fitting out all the privateers du. ring a war being much greater than the whole amount of goods taken.
Then, there is the national loss of all the labour of so many men during the time they have been em. ployed in robbing, who besides spend what they get in riot, drunkenness, and debauchery, lose their habits of industry, are rarely fit for any sober business after a peace, and serve only to increase the number of highwaymen and housebreakers. Even the un. dertakers, who have been fortunate, are by sudden wealth led into expensive living, the habit of which continues when the means of supporting it cease, and finally ruins them : a just punishment for their having wantonly and unfeelingly ruined many honest, innocent traders and their families, whose substance was employed in serving the common interest of mankind.
ON THE IMPRESS OF SEAMEN.
Notes copied from Dr. Franklin's writing in pencil, in the margin of Judge Foster's celebrated argument in favour of the impressing of seamen (published in the folio edition of his works.) Judge Foster, p. 158. “ Every man.”—The conclusion here, from the whole to a part, does not seem to be good logic. If the alphabet should say, Let us
all fight for the defence of the whole, that is equal, and may therefore be just. But if they should say, Let A B C and D go out and fight for us, while we stay at home and sleep in whole skins, that is not equal, and therefore cannot be just.
16. “ Employ.”—If you please. The word signi. fies engaging a man to work for me, by offering him such wages as are sufficient to induce him to prefer my service. This is very different from compelling him to work on such terms as I think proper.
Ib. “This service and employment, &c.”—These are false facts. His employments and service are not the same.-Under the merchant he goes in an unarmed vessel, not obliged to fight, but to transport merchandize; in the king's service he is obliged to fight, and to hazard all the dangers of battle. Sickness on board of king's ships is also more com. mon and more mortal. The merchant's service too he can quit at the end of the voyage, not the king's. Also, the merchant's wages are much higher.
Ib. “ I am very sensible, &c." Here are two things put in comparison that are not comparable ; viz, injury to seamen, and inconvenience to trade. luconvenience 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 him 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 vot consistent with common sense? If the maxim had been, that private mischiefs, which prevent a na.
tional 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 service.
Page 174. “1 hardly admit, &c.” (Paragraph 5). --When this author speaks of impressing, page 158, he diminishes the horror of the practice as much as possible, by presenting to the mind one sailor 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 shillings 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 industrious part of society and their poor families of 250,0001. per month, or three millions a year, and at the same time oblige them to hazard their lives in fighting for the defeuce 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