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* L'atrocite des loix en empeche {'execution.

"Lorsque la peine est sans mesure, on est sou vend Oblige de lui preferer l'impunite.

"La cause de tous les relachemens vient de l'impunite des crimes, et non de la moderation tie* pemes."

It is said by those who know Europe generally, that there are more thefts committed and punished annually in England, than in all the other nations put together. If this be so, there must be a cause or causes for such a depravity in our common people. May not one be the deficiency ofjustice and morali-'ty in our national government, manifested in out oppressive conduct to subjects, and unjust wars on cur neighbours? View the long-persisted in, unjust, monopolizing treatment of Ireland, at length acknowledged! View the plundering government exercised by our merchants in the Indies; the confiscating war made upon the American colonies; and, to say nothing of those upon France and Spain, view the late warupon Holland, which was seen by impartial Europe in no other light than that of a war of rapine and pillage; the hopes of an immense and easy prey being its only apparent, and probably its true and real, motive and encouragement. Justice is as strictly due oetween neighbour nations, as between neighbour citizens. A highwayman is as much a robber when he plunders in a gang, as when single; and a nation that makes an unjust war is only a great gang. After employing your people in robbing the Dutch, is it strange, that, being put out of that employ by peace, they still continue robbing, and rob ene another? Pirateric, as the French call it, or pri. Tateering, is the universal bent of the English nation, at home and abroad, wherever settled. No less than seven (hundred privateers were, it is said, commis. gione J in the last war! These were fitted out by merchants, to prey upon other merchants, who had never done them any injury. Is there probably any of . aose privateering merchants of London, who were so ready to rob the merchants of Amsterdam, thai * ild not as readily plunder another London mei» chant, of the next street, if he could do it with the tame impunity? The avidity, the alieni appetens is the same; it is the fear alone of the gallows that makes the difference. How then can a nation, which among the honestest of its people, has so many thieves by inclination, and whose government encouraged and commissioned no less than seven hundred gangs of robbers; how can such a nation have the face to condemn the crime in individuals, and) fiang up twenty of them in a morning! It naturally puts one in mind of a Newgate anecdote. One of the prisoners complained, that in the night somebody had taken his buckles out of his shoes. "What the devil!" says another, "have we then thieves amongst us.' It must not be suffered. Let us search out the rogue, and pump him to death."

There is, however, one late instance of an English merchant who will not profit by such ill-gotten gain. He was, it seems, part-owner of a ship, which the other owners thought fit to employ as a letter of marque, which took a number of French prizes. The booty being shared, he has now an agent here inquiring, by an advertisement in the Gazette, for those who have suffered the loss, in order to make them, as far as in him lies, restitution. This conscientious man is a quaker. The Scotch presbyterians were formerly as tender; for there is still extant an ordinance of the town-council of Edinburgh, made soon after the Reformation, " forbidding the purchase of prize goods, under pain of losing the freedom of the burgh for ever, with other punishment at the will of the magistrate; the practice of making prizes being contrary to good conscience, and the rule of treating Christian brethren as we woull te treated; and such goods are not to be sold if *ny godly man within this burgh" The race of these godly men in Scotland are probably extinct, or their principles abandoned, since, as far as that na-. t'on had a hand in promoting the war against the colonies, prizes and confiscations are believed to have been a considerable motive.

* It has been for some time a generallv-received 4V>nt.iui, mat a nulitary :n,*u it, uoi to mquire wiMStuut » war be just or unjust; he is to execute his orders. All princes, who are disposed to become tyrants, must probably approve of this opinion, and be willing to establish it; but is it not a dangerous one' since, on that principle, if the tyrant commands his army to attack and destroy not only an unoffending neighbour nation, but even his own subjects, the army is bound to obey. A negro slave, in our colonies, being commanded by his master to rob or murder a neighbour or do any other immoral act, may refuse; and the magistrate will protect him in his refusal. The slavery then of a soldier is worse than that of a negro! A conscientious officer, if not restrained by, tne apprehension of its being imputed to another cause, may indeed resign, rather than be employed in an unjust war; but the private men are slaves for life; and they are, perhaps, incapable of judging for themselves. We can only lament their fate, and still more that of a sailor, who is often dragged by force from his honest occupation, and compelled to imbrue his hands in perhaps innocent blood. But, methinks, it well behoves merchants (men more enlightened by their education, and perfectly free from any such force or obligation) to consider well of the justice of a war, before they voluntarily engage a gang of ruffians to attack their fellow-merchants of a neighbouring nation, to plunder them of their property, and perhaps ruin them and their families, if they yield it; or to wound, mainland murder them, if they endeavour to defend it. Yet these things are done by Christian merchants, whether a war be just or unjust; and it can hardly be just on both sides. They are done by English and American merchants, who, nevertheless, complain of private theft, and hang by dozens the thieves they have taught by their own example.

It is high time, for the sake of humanity, that a stop were put to this enormity. The United States of America, though better situated than any Euroinpean nation to make profit by privateering (most »fthe trade of Europe with the West Indies, passing before their doors) are, as far as in them lies, endeavouring to abolish the practice, by offering, in all •wir uaatier wth other powers, an article,

Ing solemnly, that, m case of future war, no privateer fhall I)6 commissioned on either side; and that unarmed merchant-ships, on both sides, shall pursue their voyages unmolested.* This will be a nappy improvement of the law of nations. The humane and the just cannot but wish general success to the proposition.

With unchangeable esteem and affection,
I am, my dear friend,

Ever your's

* This offer having been accepted by the 'etc Kin; or Prussia, a treaty of amity and commerce was concluded between that monarch and the United States, containing the following humane and philanthropic article , in the formation of which Dr. Franklin, as one of the American plenipotentiaries, was principally concerned, vix.

ART. XXIII. If war should arise between the two contractmg f«rti>i, the merchants of either country, then residing in the other, shall be allowed to remain nine months to collect their debts and settle their affairs, and may depart freely, carrying off all their effects without molestation or hiudrance; and all women and children, scholars of every faculty, cultivators of the earth, artizans, manufacturers, and fit-hennan unarmed, and inhabiting unfortified towns, villages, and places, and, in general, all others whose occupations are for the common subsistence and benefit of mankind, shall be allowed to continue their respective employments, and shall not be molested in their persons, nor shall their bouses rr goods be burnt, or otherwise destroyed, nor their fields wasted by the armed force of the enemy mto whose power, by the events of war, they may happen to fall; tiut if any thing is necessary to be taken from them 'or the use of such armed force, the same shall be paid for at a reasonable price. And, •ll merchant and trading vessels employed m exchangmg the products cf different places, and thereby rendering the accessaries, conveniens ces, and comforts of human life more eesy to be obtained, and mora general, shall be allowed tc pass free and unmolested; and neither of the contractmg powers shall grant or issuo any eoramiuion to any arivate armed vessels, empowering them to take or destroy tuosi endmg vessels, or interrupt iuchcoauusrii.

REMARKS CONCERNING THE SAVAGES OF NORTH AMERICA. Savages we call them, because their manners differ from ours, which we think the perfection of civility; they think the same of theirs.

Perhaps if we could examine the manners ct Different nations with impartiality, we should find no people so rude as to be without any rules of po 'itc.iess; nor any so polite as not to have some re* wains of rudeness.

The Indian men, when young, are hunters and warriors; when old, counsellors; for all their government is by the council ao J advice of the sages: there is no force, there are no prisons, no officers, to compel obedience, or inflict punishment. Hence they generally study oratory; the best speaker having the most influence. The Indian women till the ground, dress the food, nurse and bring up the children, and preserve and hand down to posterity the memory of public transactions. These employments of men ana >vomen are accounted natural and honourable. Having few artificial wants, theyhave abundance of leisure for improvement in conversation. Our laborious manner of life, compared with theirs, they esteem slavish and base; and the learning on which we value ourselves, they regard as frivolous and useless. An instance of this occurred at the treaty of Lancaster, in Pennsylvania, anno 1744, between the government of Virginia and the Six Nations. After the principal business was settled, the commissioners from Virginia acquainted the Indians by a speech, that there was at Williamcburgh a college, with a fund, for educating Indian youth; and if the chiefs of the Six Nations would send down half a dozen of their sons to that college, the government would take care they should be well provided for, and instructed in all the learning of the white people. It is one of the Indian rules of politeness not to an•wer a public proposition the same day that it ii

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