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النشر الإلكتروني

The real riches and ftrength of a nation, he observes, confifts rather in the quantum of the industry of its inhabitants, than either in their number, or the quantity of money they poffefs. If fo, it ought to be the ftudy of those who wish to promote its internal felicity to take every poffible method for promoting the general induftry of the people; and this, he observes, can only be effectually done by fecuring to every individual a certainty of being able to benefit himself, in the first infance, by every vigorous exertion he can make. by flaves, can ever be done at fo little expence as by freemen.-NoNo labour, carried on thing that is performed by hirelings, can ever be performed fo cheap as by men who are working for their own behoof."

This maxim, we doubt not, will be controverted by many, as the heart of man is naturally fond of domination, and therefore is not difpofed to adopt without extreme caution, any maxim that seems to require a relaxation of authority in thofe who are accustomed to command. feem, with this idea, our Author takes uncommon pains to Impreffed, as it would convince men of property of the truth of it, in its utmost extent; and to fhew that their own profperity is fo neceffarily connected with that of the people under them, that they cannot poffibly hurt thofe dependents without as effectually hurting themselves, and that no propofed improvement can operate to their own emolument, unless those who are to carry it into execution are to be effectual fharers in it.

There is no axiom, fays he, in geometry more indisputable, than that the power, the influence, the very existence of the men of landed property, depends upon the well-being, the riches, the activity of thofe in the lower fpheres of life. A man who is poor, can never pay a rent: a man who is dependent upon the will of another for his fubfiftence, can never be actuated by that energetic fpirit which alone can flimulate to arduous undertakings.-If, therefore, you hope to thrive yourselves, ftrive to make your inferiors rich; and if you hope to make them rich, first make them independent. Thefe O ye nobles, and great men of the earth, are the only means of enduring lasting felicity to yourfelves, and riches and independence to your families. Let this, therefore, be the object for which you trive; nor reft fatisfied till you have finally attained it.-Your all -your independence is at stake; and ye-who know the difference that is betwixt the nervelefs abafement of that dependent thing which crawls upon the duft, and licks the courtier's feet, and the celeftial energy of that mind, which, animated with a confcioufnefs of independence, looks down on low ambition and the pride of kings' can best compute the value of this bleffing-If, then, ye find your own minds warmed with that animating fire; if ye perceive, that by this means one man is more highly elevated above another, than that debased thing excels the beats that graze the fields; does not your heart glow with rapt'rous gratitude to Heaven for having put it in thy power thus as it were to form a fecond intellectual crea

tion! which hath thus enabled thee to blow into the torpid mind the vivifying breath, and to fofter it with friendly care, till it gathers accumulating ftrength, and then burfts forth in great and daring actions like thine own?

All effential improvements must ever be carried on by the. lower ranks of people;-but a dependent mind will never attempt to make any improvement, nor be brought to adopt one, however plainly it may be pointed out. Let your attention, therefore, be turned chiefly towards thofe in the lowest ranks in fociety; -free them not only from dependence on yourself, but protect them alfo from the rod of others.-Cherish them in thy bofom with lenient tenderness,--they will foon abundantly requite you for all your pains. Instead of that stupid torpor that now renders them infenfible even of kindness, their minds will be taught to glow with the warmeft effufions of grateful esteem, (for gratitude is only to be met with in cultivated minds). Inftead of that liftlefs apathy, arising from a total fuppreffion of hope and defire, which makes them at present alike neglectful of good offices, and regardlefs of the bad; their minds, enlivened by hope and tender defires, will become feelingly alive and active, fo as to be fenfible of those delicate fimuli that actuate the cultivated mind, and from the influence of which alone proceed those glorious actions that fo confpicuously elevate man above all the other creatures of God.

Shakespeare, with that energetic propriety fo eminently peculiar to, himself, reprefents the great Lord Talbot as calling himself only the fhadow of that mighty Talbot who made France tremble through all her regions, and pointing to his foldiers fay,

Thefe are his fubftance, finews, arms, and ftrength,
With which he yoketh your rebellious necks;
Rafeth your cities, and fubverts your towns,
And in a moment makes them defolate.

But if a general, without his army, may, with any degree of juf tice, be called a fhadow without a fubftance, with ftill greater propriety may the inferior orders of the people upon the eftate of a gen-, tleman of landed property be called his fubftance, finews, arms, and Strength; for without these he becomes a mere ideal phantom,—a name without a substance.-His large poffeffions, and high-founding titles, would, in that cafe, only ferve to hold them up a little above the croud, to make him a more confpicuous object of derision and of public fcorn.-Without money,-without influence, he becomes the abject tool of those who feed and clothe him: and, instead of defending the ftate by the vigour of his arm, or aiding it by the wisdom of his counfels, he fucks out the blood of the industrious poor, and thus drains his country of her vital energy and firength :'.

We need not, he proceeds, go to diftant nations in fearch of an example of thefe important truths; nor need we afcend to the fabulous æra of antiquity for facts to illuftrate thefe affertions. Spain is at this moment little better than the ghost of a mighty empire, reduced to the very borders of perdition by this emaciating difeafe. Her life is not yet entirely gone; but that existence is only known by thofe feeble emotions that denote her speedy departure.-Exhausted to a shadow, the little meagre blood fhe has left, fcarce creeps along her veins;


and the is fo entirely covered by thofe leeches (a nobility and gentry divested of landed revenue), who have been fuffered to feize upon her, that there is no room left to adminitter a remedy for her. It is thefe vermin alone that are alive and active, who greedily feize to themselves every drop of blood as it is flowly generated, fo as effectually to prevent it from contributing towards the increase of her real ftrength and vigour.

About two hundred years ago, Spain contained a numerous and active peafantry, who, by their vigorous induftry, lived happy in the enjoyment of their own property; and, being themfelves in affluence, fupported by their labour, with becoming dignity, a reputable body of independent nobility and gentry, whofe many brilliant actions at that time afford the most striking contraft to their prefent abafement. But by a fortuitous concurrence of unlucky circumstances, the national induftry received a check; which having been difregarded at the time as infignificant on account of the dazzling objects that then attracted the attention of all ranks of perfons in that country, the people gradually became poor, and were not able to afford the wonted returns to their fuperiors.-The nobles and gentry became of courfe more ftraitened in their circumstances than formerly, and by cenfequence more avaritious. The poor, inftead of being feafonably relieved and fupported, were more and more oppreffed, till thofe who had any remains of fpirit were forced to emigrate to other regions; and the few that remained, funk at last into their prefent ftate of abject debility.-The grandees thus finding it impoffible to draw a fufficient revenue from their eftates, flocked to court, in hopes of obtaining those posts, or penfions, or lucrative monopolies, which the mifguided court (a court neceffarily misguided by the counfel of thofe who hoped to share in the spoils of their country) distributed with the most destructive liberality.

It is from this inattention to the people, and the pitiful fyftem of felfish policy that has been adopted in confequence of it, that that mighty nation, which fent her victorious arms around the globe,whofe princes, intoxicated with power, and continued fuccefs, formed the ridiculous plan of universal monarchy, and made all the nations of Europe tremble for their tottering freedom,—is now dwindled into fuch total infignificance, as to be hardly in a condition to defend her own dominions against the poorest nation of Europe; and even with difficulty bears up against the African corfairs.-It is in confequence of this deftructive policy, that we have lately feen the monarch of this once univerfally triumphant nation, obliged to defcend to the humiliating meanness of difavowing his own orders, to avoid the dreaded indignation of the King of Britain +.-It is in confequence of this pitiful policy, that their nobles, inftead of being actuated by that generous delirium which led to the most intrepid and difinterested

The word people admits of two meanings in modern languages, which occafions a fort of ambiguity. Sometimes it denotes the whole community, and is equivalent to the Latin populus; fometimes only the lower ranks, plebs. It is in the laft fenfe it is here used; and in general this is the meaning of it when printed in Italics;

+ This refers to the affair of Faulkland's land.


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actions, are now become the abject tools and humble fycophants of court, the legal robbers of the state, and the moft merciless oppreffors of the poor.-And it is owing to the fame fyftem of fhort-fighted policy, that her gentry, formerly rich in the abundant revenue they enjoyed, and active in their feveral ftations, are dwindled into the miferable pantaloon, the mere ghost of departed dignity, which in liftless inactivity dreams away its time in a folitary aping of mock royalty, and fubfifts upon the unfubftantial revenue of abundant rentrolls long ago annihilated, which once were drawn from thofe now uncultivated fields over which he claims the undifputed fuperiority.

Look upon this picture, all ye furrounding nations, and learn from her fad example to know upon what your own true felicity depends.

'Difcite juftitiam, moniti, et non temnere· plebes.

Thefe lower orders of the people are the bees that collect the honey upon which the whole hive must be fubfifted. If they are numerous, ftrong, and active, and if they have proper materials within their reach on which that activity may be exerted, abundance will be felt in every corner, and all ranks of citizens will be enabled to move in their feveral fpheres with dignity and decorum.


Still more ftrongly to intereft the Reader in favour of this most useful set of men, he proceeds to obferve that the abject debasement to which this clafs of citizens have been expofed, has been often imputed to them as a crime, and has drawn down upon them much contumely and unmerited abufe; the folly and injuftice of which he points out by the enfuing very natural account of the progress of the human mind from ignorance to knowledge:

To the man whofe mind is liberally enlarged, thefe objects excite fenfations of a very different fort. He knows, that although man is an animal naturally endowed with powerful capabilities, to adopt the word of a celebrated modern philologift, yet these may lie for ever dormant, unless he is placed on a stage proper for calling them forth to action; and it is by gradual iteps, and flow, that he attains the power of exerting his mental faculties with intenfe vigour in any par ticular line. It was by a gradual afcent from the first felf evident axioms of geometry, and by the help of a series of propofitions, at firft fimple, and adapted to an ordinary capacity, that the immortal Newton himself attained that pre-eminence in mathematical knowledge for which he is so justly admired. And it is by fimilar, though lefs gigantic ftrides, that every mind which is bemired in ignorance, must be initiated in knowledge, and gradually trained to vigour and energy.-If, therefore, we wish to avail ourselves of the generous faculties of the mind, we ought, firfl, to take care that thefe faculties be awakened.-To look for their fulleft exertions without doing this, is nearly as ridiculous, as to expect that a blind man should diftinguish colours, or a deaf man be tranfported with the tones of harmony.

When a man can claim nothing as his property; fo long as he is fubjected to the power of another, who ufeth him as he thinks proper, that man enjoys only a mere animal existence. Humble and


dependent, like his brother-fpaniel, he licks the hand that frikes him. Without hope, he has no fear but for thofe ftripes that feem to threaten to destroy his animal existence. But once grant him fomething that he can call his own; let him feel that the enjoyment of this peculium, however fmall, cannot be taken from him; and that he needs not dread the rapacious hand of the moft powerful member of the ftate, he quickly feels himself emerge into a llate of mentalexiftence.-Hope begins to warm his bofom, which generates awakening folicitude, and tender defires.-To avoid the dreaded ills, and attain the hoped-for blifs, he is induced to exert his faculties with vigour. Thefe exertions often repeated, beget a habit of induftry. -Industry naturally procures wealth.-Wealth obtains the neceffaries that tend to invigorate the body and fortify the mind. It produces a fpirit of independence; and a fpirit of independence infpires generous fenfations, that produce those noble exertions which proclaim man the lord of all the other creatures on this globe, and exalt him to a fuperior rank, allied to celeftial intelligences'

We have often regretted that legiflators and magiftrates seem to be more folicitous about punishing than preventing crimes; our Author, on the contrary, is chiefly anxious to prevent vices; because, without this, punishment can only tend to increase mifery without producing any beneficial effect :

The obftinacy, the perveríenefs, the infidious cunning, the malevolent wickednefs of the lower ranks of people, furnish too often a theme for abufe, and are frequently employed as arguments for crufhing and maltreating them. But thefe very paffions, of which you perhaps with juftice complain, are the natural and neceffary effects of weakness and imbecility, and must be encreased by every exertion of tyrannical power.-One who feels that he is unable to cope with another in an open and manlike contention, is obliged in felf-defence to have recourfe to the low and infidious arts of cunning and of fly evafion. Envy and malice arife from a fenfe of injury, which our own imbecility prevented us from chastifing in a proper manner when it was felt; and all the other low and malevolent affections in like manner take their rife from confcious weakness in man. The more, therefore, he is oppreffed, the more muft these deteftable vices abound. -If thefe, therefore, are offenfive to you, remove the caufe, and the effects will quickly ceafe.-Inftead of an abject flave, make the man of whom you complain, an independent active being, and you remove the cause of all his former meannefs:-you enable him to vindicate his own rights with open candour, inftead of infidious cunning; you elevate him above the neceffity of having recourse to mean evafive fubtleties, which he now looks down upon with that contempt they justly merit. But if you first deprefs him to fuch a pitch of abatement as makes thefe vices neceffary, and then punish him for being poffeffed of what you have taken fo mach pains to im plant into his mind,-what name is it poffible to invent that fhall be bad enough to characterife fuch a fpecies of tyranny? Yet how many millions of our fellow-creatures, endowed with fouls that could have glowed with the most celeftial ardour, are at this moment groaning beneath the merciless rod of their brutal oppreffors, - and yet


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