« السابقةمتابعة »
The real riches and strength of a nation, he observes, confists rather in the quantum of the industry of its inhabitants, than either in their number, or the quantity of money they possess. If so, it ought to be the ftudy of those who wish to promote its internal felicity to take every posible method for promoting the general industry of the people ; and this, he observes, can only be effectually done by securing to every individual a certainty of being able to benefit himself, in the first infance, by every vigorous exertion he can make. No labour, carried on by paves, can ever be done at so little expence as by freemen.-Nothing that is performed by birelings, 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 disposed to adopt without extreme caution, any maxim that seems to require a relaxation of authority in thofe who are accustomed to command. Impressed, as it would seem, with this idea, our Author takes uncommon pains to convince men of property of the truth of it, in its utmost extent; and to thew that their own prosperity is fo necessarily connected with that of the people under them, that they cannot possibly hurt those dependents without as effectually hurting themselves, and that no proposed improvement can operate to their own emolument, unless those who are to carry it into execution are to be effectual sharers in it.
• There is no axiom, says 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 those in the lower spheres of life. A man who is poor, can never pay a rent: a man who is dependent upon the will of ano. ther for his subsistence, can never be aciuated by that energetic spirit which alone can ftimulate to arduous undertakings.- If, therefore, you hope to thrive yourselves, strive to make your inferiors rich ; and if you hope to make them rich, firit make them independent. These
ye nobles, and greac men of the earth, are the only means of en. faring lasting felicity to yourselves, and riches and independence to your families. --Let this, therefore, be the object for which you ftrive ; nor rest satisfied till you have finally attained it.-Your all --your independence is at itake; and ye-who know the difference that is betwixt she nerveless abasement of that dependent thing which crawls upon the dust, and licks the courtier's feet, and the celestial energy of that mind, which, animated with a consciousness of inde. pendence, looks down on " low ambition and the pride of kings”, can best compute the value of this blessing-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 ching excels the beatis chat 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 second intellectual creation! which hath thus enabled thee to blow into the torpid mind the vivifying breath, and to foster it with friendly, care, till it ga. thers accumulating strength, and then bursts forth in great and daring actions like thine own?
All essential improvements must ever be carried on by the lower ranks of people ;-but a dependent mind will never at.. tempt 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 those in the lowest ranks in society ;
- free them not only from dependence on yourself, but protect them also from the rod of others.--Cherish them in thy bosom with lenient tenderness,--they will soon abundantly requite you for all your pains. Instead of that stupid torpor that now renders them insengible even of kindness, their minds will be taught to glow with the warmest effusions of grateful e teem, (for gratitude is only to be met with ia calcivated minds). Instead of that lifless apathy, ariâng from a total fuppresion of hope and defire, which makes them at present alike negle&ful of good offices, and regardless of the bad ;-their minds, enlivened by hope and tender desires, will become feelingly alive and ađive, so as to be sensible of those delicate simuli that actuate the cula tivated mind, and from the influence of which alone proceed those glorious actions that so conspicuoully elevate man above all the other creatures of God.
* Shakespeare, with that energetic propriety so eminently peculiar to. himself, represents 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 soldiers say,
These are his substance, finews, arms, and strength,
And in a moment makes them defolate. But if a general, without his army, may, with any degree of jufe tice, be called a thadow without a substance, with ftill greater propriety may the inferior orders of the people upon the eftate of a gen-, ileman of landed property be called his substance, finews, arms, and Arength; for without these he becomes a mere ideal phantom, without a substance.-His large possessions, and high-sounding titles, would, in that case, only serve to hold them up a little above the cicud, to make him a more conspicuous object of derision and of, public scorn.-Without money,--without influence, he becomes the abje&t, tool of those who feed and clothe him: and, instead of defending the state by the vigour of his arm, or aiding it by the wisdom of his counsels, he sucks out the blood of the induftrious poor, and thus drains his country of her vital energy and firength :'
• We need not, he proceeds, go to disant nations in search of an exam. ple of these important truths; nor need we ascend to the fabulous æra of antiquity for facts to illustrate these assertions. Spain is at this moment little better than the ghost of a mighty empire, reduced to the very borders of perdition by this emaciating disease. Her life is not yet entirely gone ; but that existence is only known by those feeble emotions that denote her speedy departure. — Exhausted to a shadow, the little meagre blood the has left, foarce creeps along her veins;
and she is so entirely covered by those leeches (a nobility and gentry divelted of landed revenue), who have been suffered to seize upon her, that there is no room left to administer a remedy for her. 'It is these vermin alone that are alive and active, who greedily seize to themselves every drop of blood as it is slowly generated, so as effec. tually to prevent it from contributing towards the increase of her real trength and vigour.
• About two hundred years ago, Spain contained a numerous and active peasantry, who, by their vigorous induftry, lived happy in the enjoyment of their own property; and, being themselves in a fluence, supported by their labour, with becoming dignity, a reputable body of independent nobility and gentry, whose many brilliant actions at that time afford the most striking contrast to their present abasement. But by a fortuitous concurrence of unlucky circumstances, the national industry received a check; which having been difregarded at the time as insignificant on account of the dazzling objects that then attracted the attention of all ranks of persons in that country, the people * gradually became poor, and were not able to afford the wonted returns to their superiors. The nobles and gentry became of course more straitened in their circumitances than formerly, ar.d by cen sequence more avaritious. The poor, instead of being feasonably relieved and fupported, were more and more oppressed, till those who had any remains of spirit were forced to emigrate to other regions; and the few that remained, funk at last into their prefent ftate of abje&t debility.--The grandees thus finding it imposible to draw a fufficient revenue from their eilates, flocked to court, in hopes of obtaining those posts, or pensions, or lucrative monopolies, which the misguided court (a court necessarily misguided by the coun. fel of those who hoped to share in the spoils of their country) diftri. buted with the most deftrucive liberality.
* It is from this inattention to the people, and the pitiful system of felfih policy that has been adopted in consequence of it, that that mighty nation, which sent her victorious arms around the globe, whose princes, intoxicated with power, and continued success, 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 insignificance, as to be hardly in a condition to defend her OWA dominions against the poorest nation of Europe; and even with difficulty bears up against the African corsairs. It is in consequence of this destructive policy, that we have lately seen the monarch of this once universally triumphant nation, obliged to descend to the humiliating meanness of disavowing his own orders, to avoid the dreaded indignation of the King of Britain t.-It is in consequence of this pitiful policy, that their nobles, instead of being actuated by that generous delirium which led to the most intrepid and disinterested
The word people admits of two meanings in modern languages,, which occasions a sort of ambiguity. Sometimes it denotes the whole community, and is equivalent to the Latin populus; sometimes only the lower ranks, plebs. It is in the last sense 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 Illand.
actions, adions, are now become the abject tools and humble sycophants of court,- the legal robbers of the state, and the most merciless opprerfors of the poor.–And it is owing to the fame fyftem of short-lighted policy, that her gentry, formerly rich in the abundant revenue they enjoyed, and active in their sevesal stations, are dwindled into the miserable pantaloon, the mere ghost of departed dignity, which in listless in activity dreams away its time in a solitary aping of mock royalıy, and subfifts upon the unsubstantial revenue of abundant rentrolls long ago annihilated, which once were drawn from those now uncultivated fields over which he claims the undisputed fuperiority.
• Look upon this picture, all ye surrounding nations, and learn from her fad example to know upon what your own true felicity. depends.
'Difcite juftitiam, moniti, et non temnere -plebes. These lower orders of the people are the bees that collect the honey upon which the whole hive must be sublifted. If they are numerous, strong, and active, and if they have proper materials within their reach on which that a&ivity may be exerted, abundance will be felt in every corner, and all ranks of citizens will be enabled to move in their several spheres with dignity and decorum.
Still more strongly to interest the Reader in favour of this most useful set of men, he proceeds to observe that the abject debasement to which this class of citizens have been exposed, has been often imputed to them as a crime, and has drawn down upon them much contumely and unmerited abuse; the folly and injustice of which he points out by the ensuing very natural account of the progress of the human mind from ignorance to knowledge :
• To the man whose mind is liberally enlarged, these obje&s excite sensations 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 philologist
, 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 Now, that he attains the power of exerting his mental faculties with intense vigour in any para iicular line. It was by a gradual ascent from the first self evident axioms of geometry, and by the help of a series of propositions, at first simple, 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 imilar, though less 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, first, to take care that these faculties be awakened.—To look for their fullest exertions without doing this, is nearly as ridiculous, as to expect that a blind man should distinguish colours, or a deaf man be transported with the cones of harmony.
• When a man can claim nothing as his property; so long as he is subjected to the power of another, who usech him as he thinks proper, that man enjoys only a mere animal existence. Humble and
dependent, like his brother spaniel, he licks the hand that strikes bim. Without hope, he has no fear but for those stripes that seem to threaten to destroy his animal existence. But once grant him some. thing that he can call his own; let him feel that the enjoyment of this peculium, however small, cannot be taken from him ; and that he needs not dread the rapacious hand of the most powerful member of the state,-he quickly feels himself emerge into a llate of mental'exe istence.-Hope begins to warm his bosom, which generates awakening solicitude, and tender desires.—To avoid the dreaded ills, and attain the hoped for bliss, he is induced to exert bis faculties with vigour. - These exertions often repeated, beget a habit of industry. - Industry naturally procures wealth.-Wealth obrains the necessaries that tend to invigorate the body and fortify the mind. It produces a spirit of independence; and a spirit of independence inspires generous sensations, that produce those noble exertions which proclaim man the lord of all the other creatures on this globe, and exalt hįm to a superior rank, allied to celestial intelligences.'
We have often regretted that legislators and magistrates seem to be more solicitous about punishing than preventing crimes ; our Author, on the contrary, is chiefy anxious to prevent vices; because, without this, punishment can only tend to increase misery without producing any beneficial effect :
The obftinacy, the perverleness, the insidious cunning, the malevolent wickedness of the lower ranks of people, furnith too often a thente for abuse, and are frequently employed as arguments for crushing and maltreating them. But these very passions, of which you perbaps with justice complain, are the natural and necessary effect: 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 self-defence to have recourse to the low and insidious arts of cunning and of fly evasion. Envy and malice arise from a sense of injury, which our own imbecility prevented us from chastising in a proper manner when it was felt; and all the other low and malevolent affections in like manner take their rise from conscious weakness in man. The more, therefore, he is oppressed, the more must these detestable vices abound. -If these, therefore, are offensive to you, remove the cause, and the effects will quickly cease.- Inftead of an abject Nave, make the man of whom you complain, an independent active being, and you remove the cause of all his former meanness :-you enable him to vindicate his own rights with open candour, infead of infidioas cunning ;-you elevate him above the necelity of having recourse to mean evasive subtleties, which he now looks down upon with that contempt they jahtly merit. But if you first depress him to such a pitch of abalement as makes these vices necesary, and then punish him for being possessed of what you have taken so much pains to implane into his mind,- what name is it poffible to invent that shall be bad enough to characterise such a species of cyranny ?
Yet how many millions of our fellow-creatures, endowed with fouls that could have glowed with the most celestial ardour, are at this moment groaning beneath the merciless rod of their brutal oppreffors, -and yet 9