Abbildungen der Seite

written on that subject, had pretended to calculate the first cost of a bushel of wheat, would he have pretended to state it to a penny ?” To this triumphant question the an: swer is most easy and complete; indeed, I am almost ashamed to expose the fallacy of the inquiry, which is so gross, that mone but ..a natural fool can possibly fail to detect it. To compute the average cost of raising a bushel of wheat is a matter of difficulty, because the labour, rent, machinery, charges of superintendance, and probably other items which do not at this moment occur to me, are applied to the production of it indiscriminately, with the production of a variety of other commodities of different qualities, and value, and disposed of in different manners; but a sugar estate produces nothing but sugar and rum: all the expenses therefore, incident to the culture of such an estate are employed in the production of those two articles; and as these expenses always very considerably exceed the value of the rum sold, this excess, furnishes indisputable evidence of the cost of raising the whole sugar produced on that estate, and the sum of this excess divided by the number of cwts. of sugar, will exhibit as indisputable a representation of the cost of each cwt. So in England, if

we should suppose a farm to produce no

thing but wheat, it is manifest that not only the president of the board of agriculture, but every common farmer who can write and perform a rule of three sum, could tell

with great exactness the average cost of pro- |

[blocks in formation]

call Mediord falsify every thing of which he writes, that though from what I have already stated, the expences attending the culture of wheat are not so easily distinguishable as those of sugar, yet I will venture to guess (and he must be a sorry guesser whose conjecture shall not be nearer the truth, than one of Mr. Mascall Medford's loose assertions) that among the hundreds of volumes written upon agriculture, about which he speaks so fluently, (and I will answer for him so ignorantly) there shall not he found one out of five treating practically on raising wheat, which shall not contain calcu

lations, exhibiting that very cost which he |

so peremptorily asserts is incapable of being calculated. Seasons and situations will cause differences in the cost of producing wheat, as well as sugar. He therefore, who wished for an extensive average, should exhibit the results of different seasons and different situations. - Mr. Wedderburn has done this. He has exhibited the results upon eight estates, in difierent situations (being as 1 understand his evidence the whole number with which he is connected), during six successive years, not one of which as it appears was marked by any circumstances which could render the culture of sugar more costly than ordinary. I am not at all afraid to submit to the candour of any one of your readers (not being an American) to determine whether these data, are or are not sufficient grounds for the deduction of the average stated.—With these facts before his eyes, and without a shadow of evidence in disproof of them, (indeed it is manifestly impossible to disprove them, but by shewing Mr. Wedderburn has exhibited forged documents), Mr. Mascall has yet the effrontery to state, that 20s. 10d. is the price “at which sugar might be sold in the West Indies with a reasonable profit, after having paid exorbitant prices for slaves, as well as of all sorts of materials imported from Europe."—This is an absurdity of the same kind, (though much higher in degree) as it would be to tell an English gentleman who farmed his own estate, that if he could every year sell his produce for what the cultivation of his farm had cost him, without including any othing for rent, he would have reasonable profit: The design of this impartial adviser in this misrepresentation, is to steel the hearts of Englishmen, against the distresses of their countrymen; and as he had before attempted to excite animosities between the planters and the merchants, so he now strives to provoke the enmity of the nation against both, that his other country, America, may profit by our dissentions.—Such is the to ain oil which flows in copious streams through every part of this American fabric, and, I must say, that the foul article in which Mr. Mascall so largely deals, seems to have an affinity marvelously animating to his brain. Like Curl in the Dunciad,

“ Aided by bloor's sympathetic groove .

go Wig'rous he rises, from th' effluvia strong

“ Imbibes new life, and scours and stinks

- “ along "

But as the odour is somewhat too powerful for most English nerves, I will make but a small addition to the samples which I have already drawn off; and having hitherto illustrated the veracity, I will now briefly bear

testimony to the political wisdom, of this enlightened and disinterested counsellor of the statesmen in the new and in the old world. In case of a war with America, he says, p. G2, “It is by privateering that America will do the greatest injury to Great Britain. From the number of ships which she will have really to fit out, I conceive it will be almost impossible to carry on any trade to the West Indies, but such as would be attended with ruin to all parties. In the American war, West India premiums got up from 5 guineas to 23 guineas in the summer, and the under writers were ruined. At present, I do not suppose if a war breaks out, that 40 guineas would pay from Jamaica.” The gentleman's logic seems to be this: “ Because, in the American war, when France had a navy— when Spain had a navy—when Holland had a navy—and when America also had a considerable number of privateers—when all these acted against England, and when the two first mentioned parts of this force were sufficient to make the grand fleet of England retire before them in the British Channel itself, and even to threaten the arsenal and citadel of Plymouth, and at the same time to

[blocks in formation]

tain could spare for the protection of her West Indian fleets, was so inadequate, that the insurance of such fleets could not be ef. fected for a less premium than 23 guineas per cent.—therefore in 1807, when (according to his own account, aud before the transactions at Zealand had added 40 sail of Danes to the British navy) Great Britain has 1026 vessels of war, and not an hostile squadron dares shew itself on any ocean of the globe; therefore, the force which she can spare for the protection of her West India fleets will be so much more inadequate, and the risk of capture so much greater, than in the American war, that the premium of insurance must necessarily rise to 40 guineas per cent.” This is terrible enough; but this is by no means the worst. Jamaica and all the other West Indian islands are to be taken. To facilitate these objects, I suppose all British fleets are to be directed care. fully to absent themselves from the West Indian seas. Upon consideration, however, Mr. Medford thinks it possible, that the American troops whom he has dispatched to take Jamaica may be unsuccessful: but, then, he has in reserve for Great Britain a supplementary calamity, equally destructive. The negroes are to revolt. Why, he does not tell us. However, if we may be allowed to form a conjecture from his general

[ocr errors]

plan of argumentation, we may suppose his reasoning to be of this sort : “As the Negroes of Jamaica, before they had any definite evidence of the military strength of that island, remained in quiet and contented submission to their masters, therefore, it follows of course, that as soon as these Negroes discover that this same force is sufficiently strong to repel the whole power of America, they will immediately rise up in arms against it.” Nay, even this is not all. Canada too is to be taken, though Mr Medford thinks “ it would not be an advantage to America -though they (the Americans, I suppose) have barrenland enough—though like Scotchmen they always go to the South—though the Canadians do not love the Americansand though not liking to speak positively without having solid grounds,” (you may well stare, Mr. Cobbett, but these are actually the words) Mr. Mascall “finds upon inquiry, that the forces of Massachusets, Vermont, and New Hampshire could not march from Vermont to Quebec, quite so fast assron London to Liverpool, because the road is not quite so good of "--So much at present for the wicked trash and nonsense of this interested scribbler. I am sorry to soil the pages of your Register with so much of his filth ; but as his most unexampled hardihood of groundless assertion might mislead readers on a great national subject, it nuay be useful to shew, as I have done, that he is perfectly destitute of every claim to the lowest degree of confidence, respect, or attention.—Now, therefore, commending Mr. Mascall Medford to your wholesome correction, and the report of the West Indian committee of the House of Commons toyour developement and illustration, I could in particular wish you to direct your attention to that most important fact, (and because most important and decisive against Mr. Mascall, wholly unnoticed by that honest and impartial adviser), stated in the Report p. 6, that “ nearly the whole French mercantile ma

rine has been sold to neutrals, under the sticommonly treated merely as a commercial question, and indeed it is a commercial question of very high moment, but, I apprebend that it has no remote bearing upon naval greatness and every thing belonging to it. At the same time that we maintain our just rights and ancient practices, respecting this (falsely called neutral) trade, and inflict that, which I am persuaded would be felt by Buonaparté, as the severest wound we could inflict on him, by blockading the French and Spanish West Indian colonies, we have the means of conferring a mutual benefit on America and ourselves, by laying open to her the trade with our own West Indian possessions. You are, I am sure, perfectly aware of all the extensive benefits that would result from this measure. I shall, therefore, leave the detail of them to you, and here close this long letter, subscribing myself, A Subject of ENGLAND, AND No Citizen of AMERICA.

pulation of each vessel being returned into French ports, in order to be navigated as French ships, within twelve months after peace; and with the enjoyment during war of the same privileges in the ports of France, as if they were actually French; for instance to import sugar at a duty of 4 shillings Per cwt. less, than the duty imposed on sugar imported in neutral vessels.” See also the evidence of Mr. Wilson of this, from per; sonal knowledge, p. 56. The question of permitting this (falsely called neutral) in: tercourse between the French colonies and France, and her dependencies in Europe, *

expatri.Ation. Sir ;—Notwithstanding the unfavourable description which I have received, from the cool and dispassionate pen of that profound commentator on the dusty pages of Bracton and Fleta, S.V. who from a disposition for “ manly and liberal animadversion " has designated me as “abortively vomited from the fissures of alma mater,” I shall venture once more to make an appearance in the pages of your valuable Register. S.V., who has attributed to me the crime of personal scurrility, has evinced himself, beyond all doubt, to be a particeps criminis ; but I will satisfy you, Mr. Cobbett, that personality is solely the possession of your erudite correspondent. S. V. has chosen to say, that when I used the words, “ that the “ most uncivilized wretch, or the most li“ centious libertine, could not promulgate “ a doctrine more repugnant to integrity, “gratitude, and humanity," that they were personally directed to him. Now, if S. V. will take the trouble of perusing again the passage immediately succeeding, he will find, most indisputably, that they could not have been so intended. The passage immediately following is this: “Were there no “ other memorial characteristic of a Frenchman's disposition, this alone would inde. “ libly stamp the truth of Voltaire's de“ scription of his countrymen, that in their “exterior they are monkeys, and in their “ hearts tigers.” Could I, let me ask, be fairly construed to have intended anything by those words personal to S. V. ; or were they not clearly and explicitly addressed to the Frenchman Pecquet The charge of

personal abuse, therefore, I am apprehensive must be borne upon the legal colossal shoulders of S. V., who will exclusively enjoy all the merit and demerit attendant upon it. With respect to any prejudice in favour of S. V., his latter did certainly not produce that effect. At a period when the momentous state of this country calls for extraordinary energy for its safety, and when every exertion must prove unavailing, unless her sailors, from affection, or some other powerful stimulus, are united in her defence, I confess I did not entertain any thing like predilection for the man, who could assiduously travel over the musty pages of almost obsolete authors, to drag to light some equivocal passage, which accompanied by a strained and distorted interpretation, might appear to legalize a defection, which if acted upon, must inevitably leave the country a weak and defenceless prey to her enemies. Could I, Sir, believe such a man to be an Englishman, divested of every interest but what was reconcileable with his country's welfare? Could I, though I should have played the hypocrite in mildness and urbanity as masterly as S. V. ; could I have complimented him, without blushing for my own depravity ? No, Mr. Cobbett, opposuit natura! No man, Sir, unbiassed by self-interest, ever yet took such extraordinary pains as S. V., to discover latent doctrines in mouldy folios, which when published meet with no admiration, but, on the contrary, produce sorrow and regret. If S. V. denies the truth of what I assert, let him consult the effect which his letter had on yourself and correspondents. What was the result of the doctrine on your mind, Mr. Cobbett, whom even the paid hireling has never yet charged with intentional error 2 What was its effect upon your correspondents 2 If I am not much mistaken, the absurdity of the doctrine was noticed both by Wroc and R. R. However unpleasant then it may be to S. V., I must in candour inform him, to use his own expression, that I remain in “duliety,” how far it is true, that he is neither interested in the funded or landed property of America, notwithstanding he should accompany the assertion with the heart-breaking intelligence, “of how “ few and meagre have been the briefs, “ whose superscription of a fee have been “ visited by the initials S. V."—Let us consider what the proposition is which S. V. would persuade us a love of justice alone prompts him to spend so many hours to establish:—that if the amor patriae should be insufficient to bind the affections of the subject against the lures held out by her enemies, no duty, no moral, no legal tie of fidelity exists; that the bands of allegiance are loosed; and that the disaffected may expatriate at pleasure. I say such a proposi tion, if it emanated from the mind spontaneously, indicates a heart unvisited by any of the milder virtues. It stamps the author as a man with whom friendship would be as a "rope of sand, which every wind would weaken. " If S. V. insist that all this is mere prejudice, let us consider the doctrine first with regard to reason, and next with respect to the law. If expatriation be allowed at all at the will of the subject, it

must be allowed without any exception, be

cause S. V. only argues for its existence on the gronnd of the absence of written authority : the proposition then goes to this extent, that when a subject gets intelligence of an intended invasion of his country, he may at that moment withdraw his allegiance from thence, and give it to the enemy who meditates his country's destruction. 1 insist, that such a proposition and reason are at variance ; that it raises considerable indignation in an honest mind, and conveys no favourable sentiments for the author of it. S. V. may answer, that the King by proclanation can prevent the inconvenience. Admit that ; but does that admission lessen ought of the unreasonableness or iniquity of the doctrine. But how can a proclamation remove all the inconvenience and mischief? The disaffected part of the subjects may have emigrated before the proclamation becomes notorious. Ah! says S. V. but commonsense will tell us, that upon the first alarm which government has of a war, it will be exedient then to issue the proclamation. What is always expedient to be done in a case that frequently occurs, evidences the necessity of a law ; for it argues a very shallow and improvident understanding, to provide by temporary expedients for that which an established rule of law would regulate with more certainty. The reason of the thing, therefore, strongly inculcates the opinion, that the law must have been considered as providing against voluntary alienage. I will now consider the question as affected by law The indefatigable perseverance of S. V. must have discovered to him before this, that there is a “ler scripta,’ and a ‘fer non scripta,' a written, and a common law; and, I am acquainted with no better authority to establish the fact, that the common law restricts a British subject from withdrawing his allegiance, thān ‘Lord Coke. If S. V. Gan inform me of a better, I shall be thankful for

[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors]

from withdrawing his alleg

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

that no written law prohibited a st:bject

giance. If Lord Coke was famil ar with that fact, does S.Y. mean to brand with infanny his character, by stating that he asserted that which he knew to be false: if not, it amounts to this; that Lord Coke, when he uttered the dictum which I have quoted, knew that he was stating no written law. But if he did not state what he knew to be incorrect, he must have believed that he was stating what was war. ranted by the comuion jaw; and the result is, that to doubt whether Lord Coke was cerrect or not, we must believe that which would strain the credulity of the most credu: lous; namely, that S. V. can inform us with more accuracy the common law in Lord

Coke's time, than that great luminary him:

self. Really, Mr. Cobbett, if modesty, and that humility which ever attend conscious merit, could win briefs, S. V. could have it. tic occasion to contend for the liberty of eX patriating himself at pleasure. S. V. is a great stickler for consistency : he says, so long as we permit foreigners in this county, we shonld consistently permit our own subjects to expatriate. Now, S. V. should remember, that when we make laws, it is for our own benefit, and not for the advantage of other nations; that if those other nations think it expedient to prohibit expatriation they can do so; but, so long as our enemies invite our subjects to apostacy, I cannot do cover that either consistency, or policy, calls upon this country to adopt a different course with their subjects. Indeed, I am unable to discover in the observations and argumero of S. V. any other motive than that of weakening the defence of this country, by an altempt to render her as easy a prey as poss. ble to her enemies. His first plan is to go! rid of our own subjects; and, secondly. " admit no foreigners; by which means he would persuadeus, that we should evince." surrounding powers an incontestible proof of our wisdom, and should offer to our advers". ries an impenetrable bulwark of strength. I trust, however, Mr. Cobbett, that ope, rience has taught us better, than to ful, at the first decoy, into a snare of this natu"T I am, &c.—CANdibus—Lincoln' lo,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

Yefriends to truth, ye statesmen, who survey.
The rich man's joys increase, the poor's decay,
Tis yours to judge, how wide the limits stand
Between a splendid and a happy land.
Proud swells the tide with loads of freighted ore,
And shouting folly hails them from her shore;
hoards, e'en beyond the miser's wish, abound,
and rich men flock from all the world around.
Yet count our gains. This wealth is but a name,
That leaves our useful products still the same.
Not so the loss. The man of wealth and pride
Takes up a space that many poor supplied;

[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]


SPENce on CoMM ERce. A pamphlet has been published by a Mr. William Spence, entitled, “ Britain Independent “ of Commerce,” the object of which pamphlet, is, to prove, from an investigation into the true causes of the wealth of nations, that our riches, , prosperity, and power are derived from resources inherent in ourselves, and would not be affect&d, even though our commerce were annihilated. — This is certainly a very jmportant subject, and, as I find the leisure, I shall notice every part of the pamphlet. At present I shall content myself with noticing what this writer says in support of his opinion as to the real source of national wealth ; first ad

verting, however, to the motives, which

induced him to undertake the work, which motives, the reader will perceive, were of the most disinterested and benevolent kind. —Mr. Spence, after describing how much alarm is experienced, by the nation at large, at the idea of our being ruined by the loss of our commerce says: “ The author of “ these pages has long been satisfied, that “ the importance of our commerce, has been greatly overrated; he has long indeed been convinced, that the wealth we derive from it is nothing; that the utility of by far the greater part of it, is to be resolved into its power of procuting for us certain luxuries, which we could do very well without, and in exchange for which we give much more Yaluable necessaries; and consequently, that our riches, our greatness, and our happiness, are independent of it. These ‘convictions, however singular and unconformable to the public voice, have been sources of great mental gratification to him. Whilst his fellow countrymen have heard the news of the shutting up of a

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

“ by such a touchstone, their truth, or “ their error, may be made apparent; wish“ ing, if the former, that the diffusion of just ideas, on an important subject, may, “ lead his countrymen to more maniy views “ of their independence; and if the latter, “ that his own erroneous notions may be “ rectified, and that no longer buoyed up, by the delusions of indifference, he may “ sympathize with the hopes and fears of “ his fellow men.” Nothing, surely, can be more worthy of praise than such a motive as this. Mr. Spence, though he no where throws out even a hint, that the taxes are too heavy, and does, indeed, seem to think, that the labouring part of the nation are no more useful than the French valets and Italian singers, appears, from the above extract, to be a very compassionate gentleman ; and, therefore, it will certainly give him great satisfaction to hear, that the public, properly so called, are not in so much anxiety as he supposes with respect to colonies and commerce; and that, though “ ninety nine out of every hundred persons” whom he has met with, look upon our greatness as dependent upon our commerce, more than one half of the persons, that 1 theet with, are of a contrary opinion; and 2 A

[ocr errors]
« ZurückWeiter »