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stance. The skipper of a shallop, enrykr dd between Cape May and Philadelphia, had done us some small service,for which he refused to be paid. My wife understanding that he had a daughter, sent her a present of a new fashioned cap. Three years after, this skipper being at my house with an old farmer of Cape May, his passenger, he mentioned the cap, and how much his daughter had been pleased with it M But (said he) it proved a dear cap to ou congregatnn."—" How so?"—" When my daughter appeared with it at meeting, it was so much admired, that all the girls resolved to get such caps from Philadelphia; and my wife and I computed that the whole could not have cost less than a hundred pounds."—" True (said the fanner) but you do not tell all the story. I think the cap was nevertheless an advantage to us; for it was the first thing that put our girls upon knitting worsted mittens for sale at Philadelphia, that they might have wherewithal to buy caps and ribbons there; and you know that that industry has continued, and is likely to continue and increase to a much greater value, and answer better purposes."—Upon the whole, I was more reconciled to this little piece of luxury, since not only the girlswere made happier by having fine caps, but the Philadelphians by the supply of warm nuttens.
In our commercial towns upon the seacoast, fortunes will occasionally be made. Some of those who grow rich will be prudent, live within bounds, and preserve what they have gained for their posterity; others, fond of showing their wealth, will be extravagant, and ruin themselves. Laws cannot prevent this; and perhaps it is not always an evil to the pub K. A shilling spent idly by a fool, may be picked up by a wiser person, who knows better what to do with it. It is therefore not lost. A vain, silly fellow ouilds a fine house, furnishes it richly, lives in it expensively, and in a few years ruins himself; but the masons, carpenters, smiths, and other honest tradesmen, have been by his employ assisted in maintaining and raising their families; the farmer has been paid for his labour, and encouraged, and the estate is now in better hands. In some cases, indeed, ceriam modes of luxury may be a public evil, in the same manner as it is a private one. If there be a nation, for instance, that exports its beef and linen, to pay for the importation of claret and porter, while a great part of its people live upon potatoes, and wear no shirts; wherein does it differ from the sot,who lets his family starve, and sells his clothes to buy drink? Our American commerce is, I confess, a little in this way. We sell our victuals to the islands for rum and sugar; the substantial necessaries of life for superfluities. But we have plenty, and live well never tiieles;; though by being soberer, we might be richer.
The vast quantity of forest land we have yet to clear, an.I put in order for cultivation, will for a long time keep the body of our nation laborious and frugal. Forming an opinion of our people, and their manners, by what is seen among the mhabitants ot the sea-ports, is judging from an improper sample. The people of the trading towns may be rich and luxurious, while the country possesses all the virtues that tend to promote happiness and public prosperity. Those towns are not much regarded by the country; they are hardly considered as an essential part of the States; and the experience of the last war has shown: that their being in the possession of the enemy did not necessarily draw on the subjection of the country; which bravely continued to maintain its freedom and independence notwithstanding.
It has been computed by some political arithmetician, that if every man and woman would work four hours each day on something useful, that labour would produce sufficient to procure all the necessaries and comforts of life; want and misery would btanished out of the world, and the rest of the twenty our hours might be leisure and pleasure.
What occasions then so much want and misery t It is the employment of men and women in works that produce neither the necessaries nor conveniences of life; who, with those who do nothing, consume necessaries raised by the laborious. To explain this:
The first elements of wealth are obtained by labour from the earth and waters. I have land, and rait*, com. With this, if I feed a family that does nothing, mi corn will be consumed, and at the end of the year I shall be no richer than I was at the beginning. But if, while I feed them, I employ them, some in spinning, others in making bricks, &c. for building, the value of my corn will be arrested and remain with me, and at the end of the year we may be all better clothed and better lodged. And if, instead of employing a man I feed in making bricks, I employ him in fiddling for me, the corn he eats is gone, and no part of his manufacture remains to augment the wealth and convenience of the family; I shall, therefore, be the poorer for this fiddling man, unless the rest of my family work more, or eat less, to make up the deficiency he occasions.
Look round the world, and see the millions employed in doing nothing, or in something that amounts to nothing, when the necessaries and conveniences of life are in question. What is the bulk of commerce, for which we fight and destroy each other, but the toil of millions for superfluities, to the great hazard and loss of many lives, by the constant dangers of the sea? How much labour is spent in buildings, and fitting great ships, to go to China and Arabia for tea and coffee, to the West Indiesfor sugar, to America for tobacco? These things cannot be called the necessaries of life, for our ancestors lived very comfortably without them.
A question may be asked—Could all these peopla. now employed in raising, making, or carrying super-, fluilies, be subsisted by raising necessaries? I think they might. The world is large, and a great part of k is still uncultivated. Many hundred millions of cres hi Asia, Africa, and America, are still in a forest; and a great deal even in Europe. On a hundred acres of this forest, a man might become a substantial farmer; and a hundred thousand men employed in clearing each his hundred acres, would hardly brighten a spot large enough to be visible from the moon, unless with Herschel's telescope; so vast are the regions still in wood.
It is, however, some comfort to reflect that, upon the whole, the quantity of industry and prudent* among mankind exceedsthe quantity of idleness and folly. Hence the increase of good buildings, farms cultivated, and populous cities filled with wealth, all over Europe, which a few ages since were only to be found on the coast of the Mediterranean; and this notwithstanding the mad wars continually raging, by which are often destroyed, in one year, the works of many years peace. So that we may hopehe luxury of a few merchants on the coast will no de the ruin of America.
One reflection more, and I will end this long ram jbling letter. Almost all the parts of our bodies require some expense. The feet demand shoes; the legs, stockings; the rest of the body clothing; and the belly a good deal of victuals. Our eyes, though exceedingly useful, ask, when reasonable, only the cheap assistance of spectacles, which could not much impair our finances. But the eyes of other people are the eyes that ruin us. If all but myself were blind, I should want neither fine clothes, fine houses, nor fine furniture.
ON THE SLAVE TRADE.
Readmg in the newspapers the speech of Mr. Jackson in congress, against meddling with the affair of slavery, or attempting to mend the condition of slaves, it put me in mind of a similar speech, made about one hundred years since, by Sidi Mahornebrahim, a member of the divan of Algiers, which may be seen in Martin's account of his consulship, 1687. It was against granting the petition of the sect called Erika, or Purists, who prayed for the abolition of piracy and slavery, as being unjust—Mr. Jackson does not quote it: perhaps he has not seen it. If, therefore, some of its reasonings are to be found in his eloquent speech, it may not only show that men's interests operate, and are operated on, with surprising similarity, in all countries and cB mates,. whenever they are under similar circumstances. The African speech, as translated, is as i'otluws:
"Alia Bismillah,&c. God is great, and Mahomet is his prophet."
"Have these Erika considered the consequences of granting their petition? If we cease our cruises against the Christians, how shall we be furnished with the commodities their countries produce, and which are so necessary for us? If we forbear to make slaves of their people, who, in this hot climate, are to cultivate our lands? Who are to perform lite commrn labours of our city, and of our families? Must we not then be out own slaves? And is there not more compassion and more favour due to uj Mu3sulmen than to those Christian dogs?—We have now above fifty thousand slaves in and near Algiers. This number, if not kept up by fresh supplies, will soon diminish, and be gradually annihilated. If, then, we cease taking and plundering the infidels' ships, and making slaves of the seamen and passengers, our lands will become of no value, for want of cultivation; the rents of houses in the city will sink one half; and the revenues of government, arising from the share of prizes, must be totally destroyed.— And for what? To gratify the whim of a whimsical sect, who would have us not only forbear making more slaves, but even manumit those we have. But who is to indemnify their masters for the loss? Will the state do it? Is our treasury sufficient? Will the Erika doit: Can they do it? Or would they, to do what they think justice to the slaves, do a greater injustice to the ow tiers! And if we set our slaves free, what is to be done with them? Few of them will return to their native countries; they know too well the greater hardships they must there be subject to. They will not embrace our holy religion: they will not adopt our manners: our people will not pollute themselves by intermarrying with them. Must we maintain them as beggars in our streets; or suffer our properties to be the prey of their pillage? for men accustomed to slavery will not work for a livelihood