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the pursuits of bodies of merchants, manufacturers, and speculators in American funds. If this dispute with America should become a subject of public discussion, I beseech you to mark well, who those are, who plead for the surrender of our rights; and, take my word for it you will find nearly if not quite all of them to be concerned in American trade, American funds, or American lands, of which latter there are men in Eugland who have immense tracts. Gentlemen, I could point out . to you persons, who, having gorged them. selves with public money in England, that is to say, with the fruit of the people's labour, have deposited it in the American funds; aud, doubtless, from the base motive of having a last resource, in case their gorgings here, should, at last, bring down vengeance upon their heads. Such men have, generally, a brother, or a son, or an agent of some sort, in America to superintend their property there; and, if a time of pressing danger were to arrive here, they would instantly sail, off with every thing they could carry with them. These mea well know, that the first act of war, on the part of America, would be to sequestrate their properly; and, they have seen, that, between sequestration and confiscation the space is not very wide. Men thus situated are not few in number, nor are they weak in point of political influence; and the Americans, knowing this, rely upon thein for support here, and for the compelling of the government to sacrifice onr rights to their interests. Proceeding upon this reliance, the American government will, at first, talk stoutly; and, as it will cost them nothing, they may, perhaps, go so far as to pass an act of sequestration; but, if we remain firm, they will yield, and yield they must, for a war for only six months against us they cannot maintain. They already, even at the name of war, tremble for their ships and their harbours and their towns. Small though Britain is in size, it is, when in good hands, great in power. Being masters of the sea, there is no land that can injure or insult us with impunity. And, if the Edinburgh Reviewers, headed by Mr. Whitbread, should ask me what we get by this, my answer is, that I know nothing in this world which is worth so much to me as my share in the renown of my country. In a future letter I shall lay before you some striking instances of the injuries which we have received floom the American States. In the mean while I remon. . Your faithful friend, Botley, Sept. 3, aid obo dies,t servant, 1807.
with the continent.
Doxt IN Ion of THE SEAs. Sir ;—With regard to the line of policy to be now pursued by this country, yau are in the right. We have nothing more to do We have tried a sufficient number of experiments for its defence
already, and the result ought to teach us to
despair of its salvation, Our only object
should now be to preserve the dominion of
nation; and, besides, our claim is sanctioned by the first of all laws—its necessity to our own preservation. When we give up the dominion of the seas, the right of search, and other subordinate claims necessary to its preservation, we may give up the dominion of Britain, and admit Buonaparte for our The dominion of the seasis our last stay and hope, and ought to be persevered in without regard of the result, because thers can nothing worse happen to us than to lose it. Better to us, then, to fall in the attempt to support this right, than by concedIn the former case we have a chance of preservation, in the latter none. If there is any thing, therefere, excellent in the English constitution, if there is any secu. rity for property and the natural rights of mankind in this country, which other nations do not enjoy ; if the power of Napo: leon is to be dreaded; if spoliation and des: potism are evils; and if the slavery of the mind is hateful to Britons—let us risk every thing to maintain the dominion of the seas, or only yield it when France yields the domit nion of the land. BRITAN NICUs.-, St on, 30th August, 1807.
Dom INION OF THE SEAs. 81R -Though you have hitherto paid lit. tle attention to my letters, I am resolved not to be repulsed by a cold reception, for I have such an esteem for your talents and so high a sense of the value of your opinions contained in your last number as to the right of Britain to the loominion of the Seas, that I will not refrain from endeavouring to im" press upon my countrymen some reflections supplementary to yours, to convince them if possible, of the dangers of peace till the superiority of the English flag is acknow...}. by the proud conqueror of Europe, and consequently by the rest of the world. I will ... to explode more forcibly than you have done, the chimerical nonsense of the equal rights of nations; for you
| have proved that nations have no rights, but
the right of the strongest—and that having already obtained that right by the spirit and
discipline of our navy, and enjoyed it from time immemorial, we surrender the only bulwark of our safety, if we suffer it to be disputed or infringed. You are right. Mr. bett, your opinions nroperly examined, explained, and extended, go far to refute those chimerical notions, of equality which have produced so much mischief in the world, which have armed the weak against the strong, and given more power to those who had too much before. It is only by the calm effects of reason that the condition of mankind can ever be improved : reason is the strength of the unarined, and cannon is the strength of kings; it is reasonable and desirable that the lowest of mankind should enjoy the cornierts of life, but they can shew no right to them independent of what they can gain by their own exertion. ‘Let me now return from this digression to the rights of nations : and, surely, a more un favourable opportunity could never have been chosen for prating about these rights, than the present, when one mighty despot,
has subjugated the whole of the continent
and is aiming a deadly blow at the independence of Britain ; this is the time, forsooth, when we are to give up the superiority of the
seas, for the sake of a mere metaphysical
Principle, a visionary nonentity, which newer had nor ever will have any actual existence while men continue to be formed with passions and appetites for power, such as they have ever been, and while one man or one nation is evereagerly waiting to lay hold of that which is abandoned by another. Power in all men, and bodies of men is sanctioned by time, and remains their right till it can be taken from them by a superior force. Such is the right we now claim to the empire of the seas; let other nations, if they please, attempt to take it from us; and if they are successful we must submit, but never letus part with a tittle of it, if we regard our safety, or our commerce; we have got it; we must keep it if we wish to continue a nation—To all this it may be answered, that all arbitrary power is unjust ; and so it is, according to those theoretical notions of justice which the reason of man is capable of forming ; but as the reason of man and his conduct are ever at variance, it will otten be found, that even those who are most strongly impressed with the sense of equal rights and equal justice, will be forced to act contrary to their opinion of right, in order to protect themselves from the injustice of others. Could all men be brought to act on principles of justice, it would be a very fine ibing, and then we should have neither wars nor fightings; but as that is not very proba
ble, we must all do the most in our power to protect ourselves, and the least to injure others. Nations neither are nor ever can be the subjects of law like individuals, while the rulers of nations are actuated by ambition, and all those dangerous passions, which disturb and torment the world; equal laws are the result of a general compact, but there can be rio general compact among nations, which will not be perpetually liable to be violated. Let us, therefore, persevere in the present contest, till we see it possible to give it up with safety: let us avoid as much as possible to bully other nations, but let us never submit to be bullied ourselves, lest in time we be subdued by a power that is stronger.—l remain, &c.—W. Burpox. PLAN Fok stopg|Rsept.NG THE NEGessiTY of The Pook's RATE. Sir;-As the Poor's Rate has become an alarming as well as an heavy burthen, and is naturally felt the heavier from the necessary. increase of government taxes, the following expedient, it is presumed, will not only lessen the burthen immediately, but evedutally annihilate the necessity of raising any Rate for relieving the Poor; at the same time that it will increase the income of one of the existing government taxes to a very large amount, so as to equal the whole of the money now raised by the Poor's Rate; and this is to be done without taking an additional shilling, generally speaking, from the pockets of his Majesty's subjects;–without changing the present system or the operation of any poor law now in force;—without putting the execution of them into other hands, but leaving the present statutes and the effects of them as they now stand.—All this is to be effected by simply diverting what is alreadyavoluntary, into a compulsory tax; by rendering the effect of it certain, whereas. it now depends on the credit of speculating individuals; by rendering that which is ai this time a mere gambling benefit to private men, a grand, permanent and solid advantage to the whole kingdom. PLAN.—That every parish should insure. itself from loss and damage by fire; and that the money arising therefrom be, partly in the first instance, and eventually the whole of it, applied to the relief of the poor. This is the great leading feature.—It cannot be. doubted that the Plan would be palatable from the large number of individuals who voluntarily insure on the credit of the various offices; and that in proportion to the mone they now pay for such insurance, so muc less would they pay towards the poor rate. That it would be effectual there can be no.
doubt, from its being the most profitable, speculation for monied men; and that in immediate effect it would almost answer the whole of the intended purpose, may be gathered from a calculation on two parishes, one in London and the other in the Country. The rental of the parish in London is: £4,500 per ann. and to, place the houses at the lowest value, estimate them at 20. years purchase ; this will bring them to £90,000 value, at 2s. 6d. in the pound, the sum now paid, twe yearly income . . willamount to ....... . . . . .... 81.12 10 o
The Furniture may be calculated about the same .................... 112 o 'o
And the Stock.......... . . . . . . . . . . 112.10 or
- '#33; 10 o
N. B. This sum does nbt;include hazardous and doubly hazardous, so that it might be rated higher.”
This will appear a tolerable easy calculation, because, where traders do not live the furniture becomes so much the more valuable, as fully to compensate the difference. And this sum exceeding the expetiditure of the present poor rate in that parish by about one eighth; would; very soon annihilate there the necessity of a poor's rate.—In cal. culating the country parish it seemed at first glance, necessary to estimate the rents and value in a different way, by putting houses. with and without land in different classes, charging the land with only so many years rental; for the corn, hay, farming utensils, live and dead stock, &c. f ; but on making the estimate by the same rule of 20 years purchase on the rental, and finding the farmer would pay a much smaller proportion than he now pays, it appearing too that many more paupers are thrown upon the poor rate from farmers' houses, who hire their servants by the year than from private families;–and on consulting persons well skilled in agricultural and parochial concerns; there can be no necessity of changing the mode of calculation.—The rental of the country parish is £26,000 per centum, aid will afford £1850. The poor's rate of this parish amounts on an average to somewhat more.— But although it be impossible to see at one view how this proposition would bear upon every parish, still there is one certain conclusion; that where the ratio of il:surance should, after forming a stock to answer the exigencies of loss by fire, exceed the sum necessary for a poor rate, then the ratio might be lowered, and where it should not reach it, valeat quantum vulere potest, ei
|tion of the payment on Insurance be at first
applied in aid of the Poor Rate, and the rest vested in the Bank, in the name of Parish Trustees, until such a sufficient stock
be funded as would on a fair calculation an
swer all contingent losses by individuals,
and in the expenditure of the whole stock,
by conflagration, the parish to begin de nová. —The rate should be collected by the overseers as it now is, and the money applied in the same manner, as far as it would reach.— A proper surveyor should be appointed for every parish by a vestry, in Easter week, romoveable as other parish officers are ; he
should value houses, stock, furniture, and
whatever else the legislature should determine insurable; he should be paid a certain poundage; his return should be compulsory unless where the party insured should think his return too small for stock, &c. in that case the party might enlarge it at his option; reserving appeals, for persons thinking them; selves aggrieved, to the quarter sessions, as under the present poor laws.-In case of accident by fire, the sufferer should be enti: tled to receive according to his rate in the same manner as by insurance offices; and
where any person has ensured beyond the
estimate of the surveyor, the oath of the party to his loss, should be considered final as to the claim for remuneration, except where fraud can be proved or such other cases of exception now made by the offices.—By
law, engines are now kept in every parish: ,
and fire ladders; some proper person should be annually chosen as the engineer, with a small salary, who should be fineable in a summary investigation by the magistrates, on proof that the engine, hose, &c. are not in compleat repair, and ready on any alarm; and certain other persons appointed as occasional assistants or firemen, to receive pay, only in cases of assisting the engineer to try the engine, or being called out to attend
fires, &c.—Other regulations would suggest.
themselves under a discussion of the plan if it were to be adopted. . . . ; Objections—It may be urged against. this Plan, that it is an uncertain one, ino much as by one extensive conflagration no than the immediate stock in hand might be
swallowed up at once, and the whole parish thereby impoverished. To this it may be answered, that such a circumstance is unlikely; that the funded stock might be made sufficiently large to answer uncommon calamities, and that where the extent should be very excessive the suffering parish after contributing their fund, should be entitled to call upon the adjacent parishes of the hundred, or ward, or town, as it may be, to contribute in proportion, and make up the whole loss; this would be acting in the spirit of the present poor laws, where an overburthened parish may call upon an adjacent one not so burthened, for assistance.—Beside in the two parishes calculated from, the loss by fire in the last half century, to go no further, has not exceeded £300.--And it should be recollected, that monied men consider the speculation of fire insurance to be so valuable, that no shares are ever to be publicly bought in any office; and new offices are daily encreasing. An objection may be made to a surveyor viewing houses, furniture, stock, &c. as a sort of inquisition; but it is submitted to already under the voluntary tax, every office employing surveyors for that purpose, and each man will have the option of paying what insurance above the surveyor's valuation he pleases. Those who now have an almost exclusive claim to receive this money either under charter or otherwise, would doubtless raise an objection to this plan ; but, where such incalculable benefit would accrue to the whole public, surely such objection would be trifling; the gains already acquired must be sufficient compensation for all money advanced; and, indeed, no money is ever advanced, it is all npon credit; * and such offices might still insure lives, shipping, freight, &c.—As to other Objections, there can surely be none, at least none obvious enough to appear, or strong enough to be resistless. - Aoyantages.—The public, generally speaking, now pay two rates, one for the poor, the other for insurance; these would eventually merge into one, and in the present, one would go so far in aid of the other, that every man of common sense must see that all he now pays for insurance, he would save in appropriating it to the poor. Government, would, by the adoption of this plan increase the 2s. per centum tax cn insurance, over the whole 20 years value of all property in the kingdom; a tax now a voluntary one, and most cheerfully paid;
* The case of the new office now applying to parliament excepted, where they dePosit one million in the Bank.
and one wherein every man, almost, would rather over than under rate his property.— In forming a parochial stock by funding, it would throw large sums of money into the market,” and, of course, not only keep up the present price of stock, but not being a fluctuating and transferable prorty would, by leaving less to be sold, eep it up for ever t. The local advantages of this plan are of great estimation. Every man in cases of fire would himself be interested in assisting to save the property of his neighbour, remembering the more he saved, the less he should be called upon to pay, to make up the loss of another.—To have an engine always ready and firemen at band, is too obvious an advantage to be insisted upon t. And as the mischief arising from fires would be lessened, so would the frequency of them; because an incendiary would more easily be discovered among his interested neighbours, character better known, the value of property more visible and better ascertained; and so easily estimated that the speculation of the ideal insurer would not be worth the hazard of detection and punishment—There is still another and a most equitable advantage. The owners of houses who now pay nothing to the exigencies of the parish out of which they derive their income, and on whose credit to a tenant of £ 10 per annum,whether solventf or not, the law establishes a claim for relie; on the parish where such house shall stand such owners of houses would contribute to ease the burthens of that very parish their estates are now contributing to load; and this without injury or loss to the owner, as it must be presumed the owners usually in
* If it be a good reason for chartering an office that one million of its property is lodged in the Rank; how strong is the same argument for this mode.
+ Suppose the sum funded for each parish gradually as a stock, should reach no. higher than a 5th part of the estimated value of the property in that parish, then there would be an untransferable property in the Bank at a given time of a 5th of the value. of the property in the kingdom 20 times told.
f In one of the parishes, calculated from, about 10 miles from town, on an alarm of . fire, the parish engine was useless, no fire ladder at hand; no fireman; no engineer; . no expences whatever incurred by any one of the offices; and a large population kept. in alarm till assistance could be procured from London; the insurance, now volunta
| rily paid; being upwards of £1200per annum.
sure, and their payment of insurance would . “duce more than one million annually;"
merely be transferred.—Besides, the tenant would, in such case, be benefited in proportion to his landlord's amount of insurance, as according to the present calculation owners would contribute one third of the rate.
corruption—A TR1 FLE.
MR. Cobb ETT, Accidentally taking up the Edinburgh Review, I found my attention strongly attracted by a critique on your political journal. The reviewer is a man of no mean ability, a zealous adherent of the late administration, and one of those about to taste of their bounty at the moment they fell a victim to the intrigues of their “ no “ popery” antagonists. I recollect one of your opinions to be that “ the Wrangling “Factions,” “inns,” and “ outs," equally hate you; and my curiosity was excited to see how this champion of the Whigs (that is the name the reviewer's patrons prefer to be designated by) would deal with you and your essays. I collected from the intro
duction of this gentleman's comments, that
upon your first arrival in this country from America and commencing your political career among us, your opinion of Pitt and his system was different from that you now profess: from whence a laboured charge of inconsistency is set up against you. Upon this most unimportant topic 1 presume you are capable of defending yourself, if you think it deserves a serious discussion; for uny part, I considered it as “ mere doubling to “mislead the hounds”; and my sole anxiety being to learn if the abuses you denounce do really, and to what extent, exist; or, whether they are to be referred to no more
creditable source than a factious spirit wilful
ly misrepresenting, or at least, viewing ob. jects through a false medium, I hurried on to that part of the reviewer's task in which he sets about denying, or by explanation to do away the effects of your assertions. You complain of Sinecure Places and Pensions: he does not dispute their existence, but alledges, “ they are mere trifles,” that “a “strict reform in this respect could not pro
and remarks, “ it is mere faction to say that “ either this or the sums lost by peculation “ can make any sensible difference in the “ national burthens." This, to be sure, is clearing the ground in good style. The assertions, if not quite satisfactory, are at least intelligible, and may be fairly taken as a distinct exposition of Whig ideas of reformation. Still, as this enlightened politician assured me, that “ even as a source of “ influence it was too inconsiderable to de“serve any distinguished notice,” I began to flatter myself the loss of the money might be the whole mischief; though upon this point I was rather sceptical, having from long habit and some consideration of the subject, felt a strong inclination to consider a sinecure placeman as bearing a close similitude to the blow-fly that pollutes far more than he consumes. But while my opinion was thus vibrating between hope and fear, the comfort I had received from the sanction of the reviewer's sentiments was at once swept away when, by referring to page 305 of i. same book, I found that places and pensions not only might, but in the opinion of this mirror of consistency, actually had produced all the bad effects my apprehension attributed to them. I quote his very words, “ how melancholy to reflect that “ there would be still some chance of say‘ ing England from the general wreck of ‘ empires, but that it may not be saved be“ cause one politician may lose ozooo a * Year by it, and another sé3000, a third a place in reversion, and a fourth a pension “ for his aunt! Alas, these are the power“ful causes which have always set the destiny of great kingdoms, and may level Old England with all its boasted freedom “ and boasted wisdom to the dust,” and I
agree with the reviewer if these and some “ mere trifles" he alludes to are not remedied, “ that (to use his own words) it does
“ appear quite impossible that so mean and “so foolish a people can escape that destruc“tion which is ready to burst upon-them." The Edinburgh Editor after making a very nice distinction between the comparative
merit of him who accepts and him who, of
fers a bribe, and rather unjustly, as I think, holding the tempter less culpable than the
tempted, consents to consign both the ope
and the other to what he is pleased to term “ your just indignation," but by no means can be brought to admit that a rosten borough (which he defines a borough which
government has not bought, but which, I.
define to be" a borough it may buy when: “ ever it thinks fit to expend the nation's