Abbildungen der Seite

wholesale,” I assure you, when I mentioned the word “artificer" in my former communication, I was not as you charge me to have been, “driving at that title": I meant only, to shew, the general and extensive construction which the term was capable of admitting—I will now state a further authority or, two on the right of expatriation, and in doing so, I think I shall escape the charge of referring to revolutionary times, even from your “learned" correspondent, Candidus. Cicero saith, that the citizens of Rome might, at their pleasure, leave their freedom of citizens to become citizens of another city. In Spain it is free for any man to remove elsewhere and to be enrolled into another city: and we, too, have held out and invited foreigners to become subjects, from which by reciprocity, we should allow our subjects to become foreigners. Richard proposed unto strangers all the immunities granted unto citizens, so that they had dwelt ten years in the city. In Venice, fourteen years residence entitled a man to the privileges of a citizen, without having any other interest in the state except in certain mean offices. In Ferrara, ten years residence was required —Vattel, book 1. chap. 19. sec. 218, says, “ The natural or “ original domieil is that given us by “ birth, where our father had his ; and we “are considered as retaining it till we have “ abandoned it in order to chuse another. “The domicil acquired (adscilitium) is that “ where we settle by our own choice"— And again, in sec. 220, “ Many distinc“tions will be necessary, in order to give “ a complete solution to the celebrated question, whether a man may quit his country or the society of which he is a “ member.” I am afraid, Sir, if I enter so fully into this writer's observations and Wicquefort's remarks as I might deem expedient, that I should encroach upon your limits; I will, therefore, be as brief as possible. Vattel says, children have a natural attachment to the society in which they are born. They ought then to love it; but every man born free, the son of a citizen, arrived at years of discretion, may examine, if it be convenient for him to join in the society for which he was destined by his birth. If he finds that it will be of no adYantagetohim to remain in it, he is at liberty to *aveit, preserving the sentiments of gratitude he owes it: every man has a right to quit his ountry, in order to settle in any other, when by that step he does not expose the welfare * his country. A good citizen will never re. solve to do it without necessity or without

[ocr errors]

***) strong reasons: and, Mr. Cobbett, if

yourefer to sec. 225, page 08, book I, chap 19, you will find that it would not be a novel thing if this country should stipulate in treaties respecting the right of expatriation. The days of vassalage are gone by; those days in which a prince considered his subjects in the rank of his property and riches; he calculated their number as his flocks, and as Vattel adds, to the disgrace of human nature, this strange abuse is not yet every where destroyed : but, Mr. Cobbett, although I adduce authorities tending to prove the right of expatriation, yet if I could possibly conceive the least injury would arise in consequence of a promulgation of that doctrine as Candidus thinks such might be the case, I would not have canvassed the subject, and having written upon it I would have ceased ; but no inconvenience can arise; I am an advocate for liberty of action, but not for licentiousness. Let us obey the laws, but let them not be annbiguous; for we not only frequently puzzle and confound our clients but ourselves.—Wicquefort, chap. xi, page 75, even goes further than I have attempted in the doctrine of expatriation ; he not only asserts and proves the right of expatriation, but even that a prince may send, as his ambassador, a subject of that country to which the embassy is sent. In page 77, he adverts to the case of John Webster, in the year 1644, an English. merchant, living at Amsterdam, who assisted the king with his money; his reference. to this case, and his observations thereon, fully bear me out in my fortner remarks. “ In England,” says he, “the subjects have “ a stronger, and more particular obligation “ to their sovereign than elsewhere, by vir“tue of the right which they call allegiance. “But that does not hinder the English “ from retiring out of the kingdom without “ the king's permission, and when they have settled themselves elsewhere, neither. the king's authority, nor the laws of the kingdom, have any further power of them.”—Now, Mr Cobbett, after these celebrated authorities, tending to the right of expatriation, I do repeat the observation, that it is absolutely necessary a declaratory law be passed, or a stipulation in treaties, in general, be adopted, either permitting or disallowing expatriation. If it be deemed impolitic to allow a man to be a subject to day, to-morrow a citizen of America, and on the third day to 1.eceive him back again and suffer him to be enrolled anong us as a subject ; let it be boldly declared, or legislated, that a British subject once departing from his natural allegiance, will never be permitted to reassume the character of a Bri

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

tish subject; and reinstated in his natural privileges and immunities, but that by such new election he forfeits all claim to the privileges of a British subject. America will not then decoy our fellow subjects, as their acceptance of American citizenship will, for ever, incapacitate them from returning again among us; and British subjects will then clearly know the predicament they voluntarily place themselves in-I am not an advocate for dereliction of allegiance, unless from compulsion, either on the part of this country or any other; and condemn, as strong as you can disapprove of the introduction of foreigners here, but I contend for consistency. So long, therefore, as this country admits into its bosom, into its very vitals, foreigners of all nations, the very refuse and outcast of society to all the immunities of subjects, it should consistently permit its own subjects to expatriate. S. V. Oct. 13, 1807.

(Being the 2d Letter of M. H.),

SiR ; In your last Register, after approving of my description of the internal situation of Ireland, you proceed to object to my recommending the introduction of manufactures into that country, as a means of bettering its condition. You say, “if my “ correspondent would wish to subdue the spirit of the people, I know of no better way than to shut thousands of them up in a large house, and making them work for one man who rings them to their labour and meals by a bell." Before I received the Register in which the above observation appeared, I had forwarded a letter to you, in which I endeavoured to prove that manufactnres and commerce had been carried to excess in England; but, I am nevertheless, inslined to think that manufactures are a blessing, and not a curse, to any country, that is to say, when properly regulated, and kept within due bounds, so that they should not draw too many hands or too much capitál

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

from agriculture; or, in other words, prey , P

vent the sufficient supply of food. I am, however, upon all subjects open to conviction, and should you disler from me, I should therefore, thank you for your arguments to prove that I am wrong. It has been accidentally my lot to have resided in several parts of both Fngland and Ireland, and I have taken some pains to inspect manufacturies. I mention these circumstances only to shew that I have some little advantage over those who merely read, and inquire, in making comparisons between places, whether in Eagland or Ireland, where there are manu

[ocr errors]

factures, and other places where there are none, and in comparing the condition of the labourers in different districts. I shall now proceed to observe, that those industrious labourers and their families (for I have nothing to do with the idle) who live upon the Down, or uninclosed districts, live harder (if I may so express myself,) than the journeymen manufacturers and their families, cr any working people that I know of, either in England or Ireland. I shall here observe also, that in the North of Ireland, where the linen manufacture is carried on, that the lower classes were (before the French revohution) more contented and happy than the same classes in the South. I have travelled through the nanufacturing counties in this kingdom, and I must say that I have seen great comfort enjoyed by the industrious, whether they were employed in the iron, cotton, woollen, glass, or any other manufacture; and if you will have the goodness to reflect, you will think this not to be im: probable, as most of our manufactures follow the veins of coal, fuel therefore is absolutely to be had for little or nothing. The men, women, and children are all employed, and most of them furnish some money to pur. chase provision and other necessaries; I imagine, therefore, that many persons have been induced to think manufacturers poor and wretched, from their black and shabby appearances, and from the dirty look of the outsides of the cottages in all coal countries. But, Mr. Cobbett, you conclude that the introduction of manufactures into Ireland would subdue the spirit of the people. I cannot imagine that this would be the case. for, is the spirit of the people more subdued in Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham or Belfast, than in York, Winchester, Canterbury, or a hundred other towns where there are no manufactures 2 I have no method of proving that a manufacturer's bell may not call his apprentices to severe labour and scanty meals; but, if this is the case, the legislature could, and surely ought, to put a stop to such injustice. A journeyman is of course free to quit a manufacture if ill treated. I cannot therefore suppose, you can wish to onnihilate manufactures, but only to effect some reformation; for, I apprehend that it would be impossible that you should desire, that the making of steam engines should be put a stop to, and that all those wonderful inventions for the saving of labour should cease to be made use of. To break the spirit of the people of Ireland is by no means my olject, but quite the reverse. By recommending the introduction of useful manufactures, I wish to encourage the people to collect to

[ocr errors]

towns: by opening a free trade between England and Ireland, I to h to enrich both countries, to make both ceantries friendly to. wards each other, and strong to resist the enemies of the British empire. I want by these measures to return that capital which England dr..ins from Irelani' by numerous channels. I want to ion-ov- the agriculture of Ireland, which co e done but by encreasing the capil of that country. I want to better the condition of the land/ords, the middlemen, the farmers, and the labourers. I want that the landiords should be able to farm their lands, which they annot now do as theychuse, to enable them to plant fences and trees, and male any sort of improvement upon their estates without being pillaged by the labourers. I want to employ the middlemen in trade, instead of encouraging them to become stakes for the rent of land which other nmen farm I want that farmers should have markets nearer home, and that they also should not be pilInged, that they should have a power of making fences without the sear of their being •nt up-and carried away for fuel by the labourers, that they should be able to grow turnips instead of potatoes if it suits them, without the dread of their being stolen. In short, I want that all sorts of property should be respected in Ireland as much as in England. I wish to place the lower classes in such a situation that it would be their interest not to commit theft. I want not, as was the practice of a Mr. Parkinson when in Ireland, to put a stop to petty thefts by giving those people who committed them good horse-whippings. Instead of subduing the spirit of the Irish labourers, I am desirous of releasing them from their present dependance, and of making them altogether free men. This I would do as soon as possible by dispossessing them of their lands, and paying them amply for their labour in money; they would then have a power of saying, as the same class do in England, if ill treated by the farmers, “pay me my wages and I will get work elsewhere.” The far. mers would then have it in their power (which they have not at present) to get rid of the idle and to employ the industrious. But, you have indeed, wonderfully mistaken the characters of Irish labourers, if you imagine they have any spirit to subdue. It is true, if you take them from home, they make as brave and good soldiers and sailors as any in the world; let them even come to Engländ, where they of course receive money for labour, and can work for whom they please, and they soon adopt the English character, *nd to use a vulgar phrase, will not be put

upon; but leave them fastened to their potatoe gardens, and they are the most pusilanimous, mean spirited wretches that ever inhabited the earth. Now, Sir, that they should be so is altogether natural, and it only proves that people may be either brave or cowardly just as they are 1*anaged. For the Irish labourer when at home is in perpetual dread of being punished for thefts which he is driven by necessity to commit, he is also in dread of being turned out of his land, which is to him an estate. In Ireland, therefore, he will flatter his superior without ceasing, kneel down to him, and either in a written petition or in words, supplicate his protection or forgiveness; and, as Mr. Parkinson says, (an extract from whose book I read in the Monthly Review, for July, 1807) suf. fers himself to be horse-whipped. But in England the very same man would not receive a blow from any one without returning it. After this, Mr. Cobbett, I presume you will think that there is no danger of breaking the spirit of the people of ireland by taking off the restrictions upon her trade with this country, and by encouraging manufactures to a certain extent. I shall now mention, that some years since a free trade was considered to be the only thing necessary to Ireland; if at the time I allude to, it was wanted, it his been still more required since the Union, as the drain of capital has increased. Now, Sir, there is nothing to replace the capital which England draws from Ireland, but the profits of the provision trade and the linen trade. I conclude then, that if this continues, the more Ireland increases in population, and that population chiefly supported by the culture of potatoes, the more must Ireland increase in poverty. The true interest of Ireland, a free trade with England, has been completely forgotten since the Catholic claims have been discussed, which if admitted would scarcely benefit one man in five thousand. What a faint shade of difference then must there be between the situation of a Protestant and a Catholic. Buonaparté, however, takes care

that the Catholics should think otherwise,

by telling them that they are persecuted : but is not this the most ready way to obtain himself another kingdom * Would he be so great a fool to le; slip so fair an opportunity of distracting and dividing us, that he may conquer us But, it would be well worth while for the Catholic to reflect whether he does not enjoy every privilege that other dissenters enjoy Whether a Protestant would not be treated as harshly if he disturbed the peace of the country as he would; and, finally, whether it would not be more to the

interest of Ireland to be completely incorporated with England, than governed by a king of Buonaparté's appointing—I am, Sir, &c. M. H. Sept. 12, 1807. IRELAND's INTERNAL situation. (Bring the 3d Letter of M. H.)

SIR ; Before I addre's you upon other subjects, I shall beg to offer you my mite of praise for the advice you have given in the 306th page of the 12th vol. of your Register. Your advice is truly worthy of the man who withstood the rage of an exasperated mob, rather than seem to rejoice at a peace, he was convinced was humiliating to his country.—In my last letter, I urged the Roman Catholics to reflect, whether they did not enjoy equal privileges with other dissenters, and whether it would not be of more advantage to Ireland to be completely incorporated with England, rather than have a king of Buonapatté's appointing. I do not mean to insinuate that the Roman Catholics would join the French if a landing could be effected by them, for I do not hold the same opinions that Mentor seems to entertain; he grounds his arguments upon what happened during the late rebellion, and before that pestilential and rebellious disease, caught by listening to the savage yell of equality, was cured. I shall now proceed to observe, that the French revolution unsettled the minds of the lower classes in most countries, but where the people were in any degree oppressed, the cry of liberty and equality was most grateful. In my former letters I have endeavoured to shew, that by the mistaken policy of England, Ireland has been kept poor. No country was therefore, more open to be disturbed and conquered, by the French throwing out the bloody lure of equality than Ireland. Many ambitious men, Protestants, Roman Catholics, and Atheists, some of whom, no doula were, and still are, in the pay of France; thought, and I suppose, still think, to obtain power. These people previous to the rebellion, began by every possible art to poison the minds of the Irish, and for fear those they contrived to seduce should fly from their cause, they bound them by oaths, in this manner they chained together the weak, the enthusiastic, the ignorant, and the thoughtless, in short, great part of the population of Ireland. After this operation was coupleted, by a system of terror they forced many unwilling wretches to attack houses, seize wpon arms, and even to commit murder; and, finally, to assemble in large boties for the purpose of open rebellion. Now, Sir, the French party we have heard of, in all probability were the organizers of

the late rebellion, and I cannot help thinking, that having found liberty and equality not quite so palatable as heretofore, they have changed their ground, and are endeavouring to stir up strife between those who think differently with respect to religion; this of course they do in order that Ireland should offer an easy conquest to Buonaparté, who doubtless has promised his friends an ample reward for their services. If this circumstance could be pointed out to all classes of the Irish, surely, the Protestants and Roman Catholics would unite in preserving peace, and would not be again duped into shedding each others blood, to promote the selfish and ambitious views of Buonaparté and his friends the Atheists; but, on the contrary, would join in soliciting England for solid advantages for all, instead of empty honours for a few. The boon which the Christians will, I doubt not, shortly lay claim to is, that England should enrich and strengthen the empire, by taking off all restrictions upon trade between the two islands, and that those taxes now levied by port duties, should in future be levied in direct taxes, to the extent that Ireland truly may appear to have abilities to pay : England having a power to increase those taxes in proportion to the increase of capital in Ireland, till they are fairly equal to the taxes raised in England upon an equal extent of country. —I shall now proceed to take notice of a proposition, which a correspondent of yours (Mentor) thinks is incontrovertible, that “ if Ireland is conquered by Buonaparté, England will also be conquered by him." This I completely deny, for if England was put to the test she would surely prove herself at least as brave as the French at the early periods of the revolution; and were example necessary to give courage to Britons, they would recollect the for ever glorious conduct of the people of Buonaparté's native island —In consequence of such opinions as Mentor's being frequently advanced, we are obliged to endure the insulting threats and vauntings of the enemy. My opinion is, that Great Britain is capable of defending herself singly against the whole urorld. Give the people but arms, and an increased supply of the necessaries of life by cultivating the waste lands, and they may laugh at invasion. I flatter myself that my opinion will gain ground instead of Mentor's; at the same time that I consider it my duty, and the duty of every Englishman, to claim for Ireland those benefits which I have endeavoured to point out in my letters to you. As I take it for granted that England will shortly think it her interest to act with justice, and at the

same time with firmness towards Ireland, I shall proceed to make some observations which my former letters seem to render necessary; but first, I shall again repeat some things which I am anxious to impress on the minds of the English and Irish landlords.

1st. That their having permitted their tenants to cultivate a cattle crop (potatoes) as food for man has been injurious to their country. 2d. That giving land to labourers for the purpose of raising food for themselves and their families, (and thereby making thern farmers of the worst sort) has done much mischief to Ireland; and, consequently, if pursued would be equally hurtful to England. 3d. That the great encouragement given to the growing potatoes in England within these few years, has introduced the Irish system of cultivating potatoes and grain without stock; and in some instances, the Irish plan of letting land to labourers has been adopted. Now, Sir, in England, Irish farming has not been so long introduced that it would be very difficult to prevent its being discontinued; the culture of potatoes ought to be entirely stopped, or at least farmers might be prohibited from sending any roots to market, and therefore, obliged to feed stock on potatoes at home, should they chuse to cultivate them in preference of other roots. But, as I presume that the quantity of food, alone. has been rather increased of late years, by growing roots to feed man, and, as I indeed, know that the lower classes though they were at first against being fed upon potatoes, now not only have submitted to the alteration in their diet, but depend much upon considerable quantities being sent to market, it would, therefore, be dangerous even in England to check the culture of potatoes for the supply of food for the poorer manufacturers in towns too suddenly; but it may be found necessary to wait till other food is produced by the cultivation of part of the waste lands. In Ireland, Sir, I do not doubt that nearly three parts out of four of the population are fed upon potatoes; it would, therefore, be the greatest absurdity to suppose, that the pre

sent plan of agriculture could be immediate

ly altered; but, on the contrary, it is abso

lutely necessary not to overturn the wretched

system with violence. I shall therefore,

take the liberty humbly to recommend it to

Irish landlords, to begin first by prohibiting

their tenants from letting land to labourers,

or, in other words, from making them little

farmers. To prevent the farmers also, from

cultivating potatoes with the spade, farmers

nuight grow a sufficient quantity for their

own use, and for the supply of their labour

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

ers, by making use of the plough in every process necessary for bringing these roots to perfection, and getting them out of the ground ; an equal quantity of potatoes could be produced upon a less quantity of ground, and with considerably less labour, by using the plough instead of the spade. The farmer could agree with his labourers to give them a certain quantity or weight of potatoes, for a certain number of days work; and when they could afford it, and markets for butchers meat, and shops for the sale of bread, bacon, cheese, and other necessaries were established in Ireland more generally, they could pay them in money. Now, whether there shall or shall not, be markets and shops generally established in Ireland, depends on the will of England, for it is impossible that there can be a demand for butchers meat till people collect in towns to employ themselves in manufacturing the raw materials, which could be produced upon the lands of Ireland; and it would be uselcss for them to think of collecting together for the purpose of manufacturing, unless they could be certain of a sale for the articles they made up at first, nearly for ready money, which they could obtain no where else but in England to any extent. I shall now observe, that the next object should be to apply to England for money to work coal mines, and in truth, England should not consider any money disbursed for such a purpose as a gift, but as a debt long due to Ireland. If, however, this should be refused, a company could be formed, in which it is to be hoped some English capitalists would join. Men who understood mining might be obtained from England, and likewise steam engines for the use of the pits. After coals were raised and become somewhat cheap, planting trees and fences might be ventured upon, the growing artificial grasses, and the gradual introduction of the practice of giving roots to sheep and cattle, should be encouraged ; the settling people in towns should be promoted by granting building ieases upon fair terms; every possible encouragement should be given to the manufacture of the wool of the country, and all those other raw materials, which lands under good management would produce. When coals were raised in considerable quantities, it would of course be an advantage to establish iron manufactures, and ther, manufactures common in England would without doubt follow ; the only thing then to be thought of would be not to em: loy more people in manufacture than could ce easily fed without taking from the other ecessaries of life; the encouragement of

« ZurückWeiter »