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ed with the old world must agree, that in no part of it are the labouring poor so generally well fed, well iodged, and well paid, as in the United Stated of America.
It" we enter the cities, we find that since the Revolution, the owners of houses and lots of ground have had their interest vastly augmented in value; rents have risen to an astonishing height, and thence encouragement to increase building, which gives employment to an abundance of workmen, as does also the increased luxury and splendour of living of th mhabitants thus made richer. These workmen all demand and obtain much higher wages than any other part of the world would afford them,and are paid in readymoney. This rank of people therefore do not, or ought not, to complain of hard times; and they make a very considerable part of the city inhabitants.
Atthe distance I live from our American fisheries, I cannot speak of them with any degree of certainty; but I have not heard that the labour of the valuable race of men employed in them is worse paid, or that they met with less success, than before the Revolution. The wha!e-men indeed have been deprived of one market for their oil, but another, I hear, is opening for them, which it is hoped may be equally advantageous; and the demand is constantly increasing for their spermaceti candles, which therefore bear amuch higher price than formerly.
There remain the merchants and shopkeepers. Of these, though they make but a small part of the whole nation, the number is considerable, too great indeed for the business they are employed in; for the consumption of goods in every country has its limits; the faculties of the people, that is, their ability to buy and pay, are equal to a certain quantity of merchandise. If merchants calculate amiss on this proportion, and import too much, they will of course find the sale dull for the overplus, and some of them will say that trade languishes. They should, and doubtless will, grow wiser by experience, and import less.
If too many artificers in town, and farmers from the country, flattering themselves with the idea of leading easier lives, turn shopkeepers, the whole natural quantity of that business divided among them all may afford too small a share for each, and occasion complaints that trading is dead: these may also suppose that it is owing to scarcity of money, while, in fact, it is not so much from the fewnsss ol bu3'ers, as from the excessive number of sellers, that the mischief arises; and, if every shopkeeping farmer and mechanic would return to the use of his plough and working tools, there would remain of widows and other^omen, shop-keepers sufficient for the business, which might then afford them a comfortable maintenance.
Whoever has travelled through the various parts of Europe, and observed how small is the proportion of people in affluence or easy circumstances there, compared with those in poverty and misery; the few rich and haughty landlords, the multitude of poor, abject rack-rented, tythe-paying tenants, and half-paid and half-starved ragged labourers; and views here the happy mediocrity that so generally prevails throughout these States, where the cultivator works for himself, and supports his family in decent plenty; will methinks, see abundant reason to bless Divine Providence for the evident and great difference in our favour, and be convinced that no nation known to us enjoys a greater share of human felicity.
It is true, that in some of the States there are parties and discords; but let us look back, and ask if we were ever without them? Such will exist wherever there is liberty; and perhaps they help to preserve it. By the collision of different sentiments, sparks of truth are struck out, and political light is obtained. The different factions, which at present divide us Aim all at the public good; the differences are only about the various modes of promoting it. Things, actions, measures, and objects of all kinds, present themselves to the minds of men in such a variety of lights, that it is not possible we should all think alike at the same time on every subject, when hardly the same man retains at all times thesame ideas ofit. Parties are therefore the common lot of humanity; and ours are by no means more mischievousor less benefiot
al than than thoscof other countries, nations, and ages,enjoying in the same degree the great blessings oi political liberty.
Some indeed among us are not so much grieved for the present state of our affairs, as apprehensive for the future. The growth of luxury alarms them, and they think we are from that alone in the high road to ruin. They observe, that no revenue is sufficient without economy, and that the most plentiful injcome of a whole people from the natural production! } of their country may be dissipated in vain and needfless expenses; and poverty be introduced in the place of affluence.—This may be possible. It how. ever, rarely happens; for there seems to be in every nation a greater proportion of industry and frugality, which tend to enrich, than of idleness and prodigality, which occasion poverty; so that upon the whole there is a continual accumulation. Reflect what Spain, Gaul, Germany, and Britain were in the time oi die Romans, inhabited by people little richer than our savages, and consider the wealth that they at present possess, in numerous well-built cities, improved farms, rich moveables, magazines stocked with valuable manufactories, to say nothing of plate, jewels, and coined money; and all this, notwithstanding their bad, wasteful, plundering governments, and their mad destructive wars; and yet luxury and extravagant livinghas never suffered much restraint in those countries. Then consider the great projHirtion (f of industrious frugal farmers inhabiting the interior partsof these American States, and of whom the body of our nation consists, and judge whether it it '' possible that the luxury of our seaports can be sufficient to ruin such a country.—If the importation of foreign luxuries could ruin a people, we should probably have been ruined long ago; for the British nation claimed a right, and practised it, of importing among us not only the superfluities of their own production, but those of every nation under heaven; we bought and consumed them, and yet we flourished and grew rich. At present our independent govern mcuts may do what we could not then do, discourage by heavy duties, or prevent by heavy piohibitionsi iuch importations, and thereby grow richer;—if, indeed, which may admit of dispute, the desire of adorning ourselves with fine clothes, possessing fine furniture, with elegant houses, itc. is not, by strongly inciting to labour and industry, the occasion of producing a greater value than is contn ued in the gratification of that desire.
The agriculture and fisheries of the United States are the great sources of our increasing wealth. He that puts a seed into the earth is recompense,I, perhaps, by receiving forty out of it, and he who draws a fish out of our water draws up a piece of silver. ,
Let us (and there is no doubt but we shall) be at •tentive to these, and then the power of rivals, with all their restraining au-I prohibiting acts, cannot much hurt us. We are sons of the earth and seas, and, like Antaeus in the fable, if in wrestling with a Hercules, we now and then receive a fall, the touch of our parents will communicate to us fresh strength >»d vigour to renew the cuntes
INFORMATION TO THOSE WHO WOULD
*' ' Many persons in Europe have directly, or by letters, expressed to the writer of this, who is well acquainted with North America, their desire of transporting and establishing themselves in that country, but who appear to have formed, through ignorance, mistaken ideas and expectations of what is to be obtained there; he thinks it may be useful, aml preven' inconvenient, expensive, and fruitless removals and voyages of improper persons, if he gives some clearer notions of that part of the world than appear to have hitherto prevailed.
He finds it is imagined by numbers, that the inhabitants of North America are rich, capable of rewarding, and disposed to reward, all sorts of ingenuity; that they are at the same time ignorant of all the sciences, and consequently that strangers, possessing talents in the belles-leuret, tine arts, &.c. must be highly esteemed, and so wellpaid as to become easilyrich themselves; that there are also abundance of pro
,rfitable offices to be disposed of which the natives are not qualified to fill; and that having few persons of family among them, strangers of birth must be greatJt respected, and of course easily obtain the best of •hose offices, which will make all their fortunes i that the governments too, to encourage emigrations torn Euiope, not only pay the expense of personal transportation, but give lands gratis to strangers, with negroes to work for them, utensils of husbandry, and stocks of cattle. These are all wild imaginations i and those who go America with expectations found. »a upon them, will surely find themselves disan. pointed.'
Tde truth is, that though there are in that counlrf