Abbildungen der Seite


ing, and fawning, to its members. Such sure of the Hottentot intellect. The persons in corporate bodies are called descending series will therefore be, good sort of men; and from this class

3 for the intellect of the first set. accordingly the vacancy is filled.

.' 25 In due

2} for - ditto of - second set - 50 time other vacancies happen, and they

ey 2 nearly for ditto of third set - 75 are filled in like manner by tools and 1

ditto of fourth set - 100 sycophants of the existing corporation;

ditto of , fifth set - 125 till, at length, by the strides of mortality, if . ditto of . sixth set - 130 the whole have been renewed.

1 . dicto of . seventh set 175 Now, I would ask any reader, what 11 - ditto of . eighth set . 200 proportion of intellect he thinks has sure which, in 200 years, ascertains the intelvived the first-named corporation ? Be- lect of any close corporation to be only fore the whole were dead, the new race one-fourth of the difference between the of tools would have acqoired a nominal Hottentot intellect and that of the first ascendancy, and those chosen after that body corporate; or it appears to be only ascendancy began to preponderate, one-fourth of the Hottentot intellect would, necessarily, be the tools of the above the Hottentot intellect. first race of tools. Hence, in the first With reference to the mass of society, renewal, a double degeneration would this ratio will be correct only with regard have taken place in regard to half the to bodies in which no intellectual test is corporate body; and a single degenera. required before admission; but in such, tion in regard to the other half, even if in relation to the first set, the ratio will the whole of the first corporation died be universal. The most learned body, before any of the new members.' after two hundred years, will possess bus

Taking the lowest standard of human one-fourth of the intellectual energy of its intelligence, say among the Hottentots, first set of members, and be only of one. or Samojedes, at 1; we may take the fourth of the consequence and utility to standard of good uncultivated intellect society that it would have possessed, had at 2; the educated intellect of po- its vacancies been filled up by external, lished society'at 3; and the superior in- instead of internal, election." tellect of polished society, at 4. It is This then is a mathematical, though at not unreasonable perhaps to say, that the same time a very melancholy, truth. the intelligence of Newton, Locke, Gar- It demonstrates and reduces to the un, rick, Priestley, Johnson, Burke, Hors- erring evidence of figures, the measure ley, Paine, and Porteus, was four times of an evil felt and deplored by every greater than the Hotteotot intellect, and one. It is not the creature of chimeras a third greater than the average of civi- like the calculations of Messre. Malthus lized man. I assume then, that the in- and Colquhoun, but is founded on a telligence of a close corporation, in their self-evident proposition, and it comes origin, may be taken at the average of 3; home to every man's business and bosom. and that a generation of its members inay It teaches a great practical irutn, that be considered as 95 years.

close corporations and societies, kept up It is not easy to render moral consider- by close election or restrictive ballot, are ‘ations the object of a nominal calculus, constituted on a principle incompatible but it is evident, that the successive ine with their own glory, with the wise tellect of close corporations must be objects of every institution, and with measured by a diminishing series; and the welfare of those who are subject to the principle being established, I am their influence. not anxious to raise the ratio too high. It teaches us, that the true principle of "As matter of conviction, founded on my regeneration is from without; that, like own observation, I should consider every the blood itself, all bodies politic require succeeding generation fell short full one- to be regenerated by new supplies and new half of that which went before it. But con- energies; and that without renovation ceding something to accidental causes, they lose their vigour and elasticity. I conclude I shall be considered by no The principle applies equally to all-selfone as taking the rate of reduction as too constituted societies, clubs, commercial rapid, when I estimate it at a fourth on companies and committees, as it does to each renewal. Of course, at the lowest, corporations created by charter. Those they cannot well sink to the Hottentot who are truly wise, will enact new conlevel, the progression will consequenty lie stitutions for societies which they desire in a gradation between 3, the average of to see flourish and perpetuated; and the the first set of members, and 1, the mea. people of England should petition the

' government government to throw open all close poli. be without energy or motive; and, as a tical corporations as useless to the state, necessary consequence of such a state generally disgraceful to those who belong of things, will contract, in that respect, to them, and pernicious to those whom the inertness of indifference, obstructing they govern.

COMMON SENSE. every change which may happen to disJanuary 1, 1811.

turb existing habits or confirmed pre.

judices. For, To the Editor of the Monthly Magazine. « There Misery sits and eats her lazy root, SIR,

There man is proud to dog his brother brute; ANHE utility of good roads and navi. In sloth the genius of the land decays,

1 gable canals bas long been demon- Lost in his own, reverts to furier days.” Strated by experience. Their encou. ragement will always appear the proper The progress of civilization is slow even object of legislative sanction and of under the best governments; for, unforpublic support. The advantages result, tunately for the interests of humanity, ing from an extended and connected there have appeared in all ages certain system of inland navigation are incal. individuals who are ready to oppose culable. By affording an easier and with the most ridiculous and unjustifiable cheaper conveyance to produce of every pretexts, every scheine for promoting the kind, to merchandize of erery descripe general good. These are persons whose tion, than can possibly be afforded by narrow and illiberal views of self-interest any other means, canals promote the in. will allow them to encourage no project terests of agriculture and commerce with which does not hold out to them some the greatest advantage: by facilitating obvious and exclusive advantage. His the intercourse between the various and tory exhibits a perpetual contest between remote parts of a country, they advance arbitrary, ignorant, and ambitious, men, the arts of civilization, they promote and the advocates of the public. To national unanimity, multiply the means the preponderance of the one of these of human existence, and, whilst thus dis. over the other may often be justly as. pensing benefit on every hand to every cribed the progress and decline of na. class of the community in every district tions. with which they are connected, they Property being a relative term decontribute by these means, in the most noting the quantum of individual in. essential manner, to national security. fluence or power, selfish and arbitrary The importance of inland navigation men regard with inveterate jealousy seems to have been understood by the every attempt to improve the property most flourishing nations of antiquity; of others. Confounding possession with and, in modern times, canals were formed right, a man of this description who hapo in various parts of the continent of Eu- pens to possess some advantage (no mat. rope before their appearance in this ter by what means he obtained posses. country. Though England has, during sion), and who delights in domineering many centuries past, maintained an ele- over others, will oppose with all his vated rank in the scale of nations, and means every thing which tends to lessen has long been celebrated as a great ma. his influence, by promoting the advanritime and commercial state, yet the tage or improving the circumstances of practice of inland navigation in this others. The truth of this remark is country was not reduced to a system confirmed by daily observation and daily until about the middle of the last cene experience, even in this country. In sotury; a circumstance which naturally liciting the patronage of such an indiexcites some degree of reflection or sure vidual to some plan for benefiting the prise.

public, it would be quite useless to apRude and uncultivated nations always proach him with any arguments to prove fear innovation; and, in nations go- its merit or to demonstrate its expeverned by despotism and oppression, or diency, unless he were at the same time laws by which foreign intercourse is pro- convinced that it would not benefit his hibited, and commercial enterprise dis- neighbour more than himself. To arcouraged, mercantile speculation will gue that such plan, if adopted, would want its proper object. In such a state, be highly beneficial to his neighbour, the public mind, instead of being an ac. and that it could not fail of being adtive productive principie, fertile in ex- vantageous to himself in a certain, but pedients and resources, must, as far as in a less, degree; to argue in this way to respects the amelioration of human life, such a man, would be high treason to his


feelings:-such a thing must be resisted on prosperously. The superior advane with all his might. Referring to the tages of inland navigation were however early part of the last century, an emic in this country, as yet, unknown, At nent writer has observed as follows: length, about 1755, the late Duke of “ Some of tbe counties in the neighbour Bridgewater conceived the idea of a bood of London petitioned the parlia. canal from his coal-ınines in Worsler ment against the extension of turnpike- to Manchester, and in a few years his roads into the remoter counties. Those scheme was carried into execution. This remoter counties, they pretended, would brings us to a new æra in the history of be able to sell their grass and corn this country. The spirit of honourable cheaper in the London-market than speculation which had long been on the themselves, and would thereby reduce alert, suddenly appeared in full activity. their rents and ruin their cultivation." In a few years, canals and public roads (See Rees's Cyclopædia,) It is difficult were forming in every part of the king, to pourtray the feelings which arise on dom. Under these favourable auspices, meeting with a fact like this upon re- the interests of agriculture and commerce cord, or to attempt to describe the cha- continued to advance with a progress racter of these petitioners without placing beyond former example. The last fifty. them at once in a low scale of human five years have produced a series of in, beings; but, with respect to the merit teresting events : to this kingdom they and absolute necessity of these proposed form a period of great trial: more than roads, it is not easy to conceive a better thirty years of this time, this country has argument in their support than that been engaged in prosecuting the most which visibly arises from what was so expensive and destructive wars, with a ridiculously stated, in this instance, as prodigious waste of blood and treasure. the grounds upon which they were op. The industry, fortitude, and exertions, of posed. From the circumstances of the the people, seemed to rise abnve all their case it becomes evident, that these pe- difficulties: Great Britain apparently titioners possessed the advantage of such increased in wealth and in power; ber roads as enabled them to carry their commerce rapidly advanced to a pitch of produce to inarket; that they possessed prosperity unequalled and unrivalled. this advantage exclusively to the pre. During this eventful period, besides the judice and injury of others; that, availing improving of public works, of harbours, themselves of this advantage, they had estuaries, navigable rivers, tideways, &c. unreasonably raised their rents and price and the forming of new works for public of produce, which they now said would accommodation, on the most extensive be reduced if the proposed roads were scale, upwards of one hundred navigable opened. It would be a bad compliment canals and rail-ways were completed in to the understanding of the reader to the United Kingdom, constituting an exeater into any thing like a grave argu. tensive and connecting system of three ment, to prove the ridiculousness of such thousand miles of inland navigation. . reasoning. The mind naturally turns The eagerness with which plans for from it ungratified.

forming canals are now embraced, after The more enlightened principles of past experience, is the best proof of their political economy soon became better merit, whether considered with respect and more generally understood. Ime to public advantage, or individual remu. provements continued to be made in the neration. They have invariably had the public roads, and new ones were every effect of reducing the price of the neceswhere formed. The apprehensions even saries of life. On the opening of a canal of these petitioning monopolists were in some districts, the price of coal has proved to be delusive: none of the inna- declined more than 60 per cent.; and ginary evils which had haunted their the carriage of produce and other freight minds appeared. Their rents and cul- has, in numerous instances, been reduced tivation continued to advance. The in a still greater proportion. country was greatly benefited, the cir. In the present age, the great public cumstances of the people were greatly benefit derived from inland navigation, improved. Wheel-carriages were every is unquestioned; yet, by introducing a where introduced, and the cruel system line of canal into a country which, from of pack-horse-carriage was gradually left time immemorial bas been subject to a off. The public roads were kept in bet- fixed and settled order of things, the por ter repair, the country increased in pulation of which will be so distributed, wealth and power, and every tbing went being the effect of time and experience,


as to be equally apportioned in every embark in any scheme that offers, part according to the actual productive. however visionary;" and, after thus de. ness of the soil, or, in other words, in scribing the liberal and public-spirited proportion to the local means of subadventurers of the day, these alarmists sistence; by introducing a line of canal endeavour to throw a stigma upon their into such a country partially, the natural designs. Paragraphs for this purpose equilibrium of circumstances which time have been industriously foisted into the and experience had previously fixed, will public prints in various ways, and it has be thereby destroyed; those districts im- been with regret observed, chat an article mediately adjacent to the canal will of this description appeared in that excel. become more benefited by it than others; lent and widely-circulated work, the the land in those districts connected Monthly Magazine, (see page 579 of the with the canal will rise in value; but this last volume.) The article here referred beneht will not reach, in an equal de to is, in fact, but an extract from others, gree, to those districts at a distance. or from the prototype of others which The'extension, therefore, of inland na- have appeared in various public papers. vigation into every part of a country, The authors, however, in their eagerness manifestly becomes an object of the to impose upon the public, have inade highest national importance. Every de- vertently drawn aside the veil which was partment, every district, every class, of to have concealed their designs. It the community, would thereby be in. begins thus: “A scheme has been profinitely benefited: industry would every jected for making a canal over the High where receive a new stimulus; the face Peak," (observe, over the High Peak :) of the country would be changed for the “to open a nearer and more expeditious better. By giving a maximum of ad- channel of conveyance between the me. vantage to every part, it would cause tropolis, Manchester, and Liverpool:" agriculture every where to nourish, and (the public will be glad to hear this, yet vast tracts of land, otherwise unproduce this is not its only object, but it would tive, would be cultivated. The ten- not suit their purposes to mention any dency of inland navigation is to produce other:) " in the course of which canal these effects.

there are four miles and a half of tunnel · Every real friend of his country will through limestone rocks:" (Reader, be hear with pleasure that plans are now not surprised; but the truth is, that nono actively on foot for the opening of new of the tunneling proposed will bave to navigable canals in various parts of the pass through an inch of limestone rock). country; and, it appears, that a consi- After noticing some disadvantage which, derable share of the public attention, in they say, the proposed line will expethis part of the country in particular, rience in lockage, when compared with is engaged in the design of a canal, which the existing line to London, (for it is still is proposed to pass through the county inconvenient for them to inform the of Derby, so rich in ores and valuable public that it embraces any other obminerals. Detraction, however, is busy. ject,) they proceed again in the like A set of individuals, acting from motives strain. “The adventurers seem not to which require no interpretation, endea have considered that there is already a vour to throw discredit upon these spe- canal coinmunication between the se. culations. Unlike their predecessors, veral places before-mentioned, and that, the petitioning monopolists before-men- in point of distance, it will be shorter tioned, these individuals employ the thaii cheirs."—What? how is this? Is the meanest artifices to accomplish their existing line the shorter? We were just purposes. Without the frankness of the now told that the projected one, that the foriner, but inheriting all their avarice, new line, was to be nearer and more exfolly, and ignorance, they endeavour tu peditious. They would do the public a conceal the whole under the mask of service by explaining this. But this is hypocrisy; a method peculiar to them- not all: they say, that if upon the proselves. They tell the public, that posed line the tolls are high, “then but schemes are on foot for forming new few goods will pass, since the existing canals, docks, bridges, &c. but that these canals take only a moderate toll, and schemes are “ visionary," and the public would of course take less rather than lose are warned of the consequences of em- the trade." What shifting! what arti. barking in them. The promoters of them fice! “A few grains of honesty" would are described as “men with their hands have saved them all this trouble. " Alas! full of money," and “who are ready to they bave them not!" What moderation

too! It is not enough to tell the public try in such speculations as promise the that these schemes are “visionary," and fairest advantages, can it be expected to describe the adventurers as “ men that any surplus capital will remain in it. with their hands full of money, and A celebrated writer on this subject proseady to embark in any scheme that ceeds thus: “The capital that is acquired offers, however visionary;" that, in this to any country by commerce, or manuinstance, the existing line is shorter to factures, is all a very precarious and uni. London ihan the proposed one will be ; certain possession, till it has been sę. . that there will be four miles and a half cured and realised in the cultivation and of tunneling through “Jumestone rocks," improvement of its lands. A merchant (although they know well, that not an is not necessarily the citizen of any parinch of the tunneling will have to pass ticular country. It is in a great measure through limestone.) This is not suffi indifferent to him in what place be care cient; after baving done all they could ries on his trade, and a very trifling disin the way of misrepresentation, they gust will make him remove his capital; find it necessary to resort to the last act and, together with it, all the industry of despair! They must threaten too! which it supports, from one country to They must hold out the threat that ex- another. No vestige now remains of the isting canals will lower their tonnage! great wealth said to have been possessed What? Have they really begun to con- by the greater part of the Hanse Towns, template the possibility of being reduced except in the obscure histories of the to such an alternative? This, no doubt, thirteenth and fourteenth centuries." will make some impression upon the Surely no intelligence could be more public, After this, these insidious warners gratifying to the well-wisher of his counof the public cannot fail of being per-i try than to hear that capitalists are now fectly understood.

embarking in schemes for improving its To those who are able to appreciate resources. We see annual grants of the its resources, and the advantages of its public money, (the produce of the taxes) situation, few counties in the kingdom to make canals, roads, &c. in the Highwill appear so promising for the supply lands of Scotland, for the avowed purpose ing of a thoroughfare line of canal with of creating labour there, as a means of ample trade as the county of Derby. A keeping the people from emigrating. practicable, and even favourable, line has The present is the proper time and seabeen discovered ; and, by inspection of son for opening works of this kind, in the map, and the various navigable and every part of the kingdom. At the preother communications which it may ulti- sent extraordinary crisis, while commerce mately lead to, the advantages likely to is interrupted, and trade is reduced and result from it, will be evident to every embarrassed, thousands of labouring and one. It would benefit this part of the industrious people thrown out of employ, country infinitely, but its benefits would and thus bereft of the means of support also be felt in remote parts. Intersect. ing themselves, are sinking in almost ing an extensive mining district, and every part of the kingdom under the opening a direct and immediate commu. hcart-rending, necessity of parochial renication forty miles nearer than by the lief. It will cheer, it will gladden, the existing line between the inaritime, the heart of every good man to hear, that, to extensive agricultural and commercial save the labouring class from the evils Counties on the east and west, few canals which are collecting over them, indivi. have held out equal prospects of ultimate duals, with ample means, actuated by the remuneration.

most honourable sentiments, the love of • Are they the friends of their country their country, are now engaging in plans who oppose these plans for improving its for affording the industrious poor the resources? They seem not to have con- means of honourable subsistence, by sidered that mercantile capital is, in fact, opening canals, &c, in various parts of no national wealth, until it has been the kingdom; thus, realising to the coun. realised in improving the resources of the 'try, in the only possible way, and to the country; nor do they seem to have con- labouring class in a peculiar manner, the sidered the 'irreparable mischief which reward of their former industry. may follow, if their endeavours to throw Stockport, . Amicus PATRIÆ, impediments in the way of these schemes Jan. 23, 1811. succeed. If capitalists be prevented troin laying out their pioney in thus coun.

* Wealth of Nations,

« ZurückWeiter »