« السابقةمتابعة »
the art of poetry will be best learned from Bossu | from it, than it is the defect of his sight that he and Bohours in French, together with Dryden's misses his way when he shuts his eyes. Against Essays and Prefaces, the critical Papers of Ad- this cause of error there is no provision to be dison, Spence on Pope's Odyssey, and Trapp's made, otherwise than by inculcating the value Prælectiones Poetica; but a more accurate and of truth, and the necessity of conquering the philosophical account is expected from a com- passions. But logic may likewise fail to promentary upon Aristotle's Art of Poetry, with duce its effects upon common occasions, for which the literature of this nation will be in a want of being frequently and familiarly applied, short time augmented. till its precepts may direct the mind imperceptiVI. With regard to the practice of drawing, bly, as the fingers of a musician are regulated by it is not necessary to give any directions, the his knowledge of the tune. This readiness of use of the treatise being only to teach the proper recollection is only to be procured by frequent method of imitating the figures which are an impression; and therefore it will be proper, nexed. It will be proper to incite the scholars when logic has been once learned, the teacher to industry, by showing in other books the use take frequent occasion, in the most easy and of the art, and informing them how much it familiar conversation, to observe when its rules assists the apprehension, and relieves the me- are preserved, and when they are broken; and mory; and if they are obliged sometimes to write that afterwards he read no authors without exactdescriptions of engines, utensils, or any complexing of his pupil an account of every remarkable pieces of workmanship, they will more fully exemplification, or breach of the laws of reaapprehend the necessity of an expedient which so happily supplies the defects of language, and enables the eye to conceive what cannot be conveyed to the mind any other way. When they have read this treatise, and practised upon these figures, their theory may be improved by the Jesuit's Perspective, and their manual operations by other figures which may be easily procured.
When this system has been digested, if it be thought necessary to proceed farther in the study of method, it will be proper to recommend Crousaz, Watts, Le Clerc, Wolfius, and Locke's Essay on Human Understanding; and if there be imagined any necessity of adding the peripatetic logic, which has been perhaps condemned without a candid trial, it will be convenient to proceed to Sanderson, Wallis, Crackanthorp, and Aristotle.
VIII. To excite a curiosity after the works of God, is the chief design of the small specimen of natural history inserted in this collection; which, however, may be sufficient to put the mind in motion, and in some measure to direct its steps; but its effects may easily be improved by a philosophic master, who will every day find a thousand opportunities of turning the attention of his scholars to the contemplation of the objects that surround them, of laying open the wonderful art with which every part of the universe is formed, and the providence which governs the vegetable and animal creation. He may lay before them the Religious Philosopher, Ray, Derham's Physico-Theology, together with the Spectacle de la Nature; and in time recommend to their perRondoletius and Aldrovandus.
IX. But how much soever the reason may be strengthened by logic, or the conceptions of the mind enlarged by the study of nature, it is necessary the man be not suffered to dwell upon them so long as to neglect the study of himself, the knowledge of his own station in the ranks of being, and his various relations to the innumerable multitudes which surround him, and with which his Maker has ordained him to be united for the reception and communication of happiness. To consider these aright is of the greatest importance, since from these arise duties which he cannot neglect. Ethics, or morality,
VII. Logic, or the art of arranging and connecting ideas, of forming and examining arguments, is universally allowed to be an attainment in the utmost degree worthy the ambition of that being whose highest honour is to be endued with reason; but it is doubted whether that ambition has yet been gratified, and whether the powers of ratiocination have been much improved by any systems of art, or methodical institutions. The logic which for so many ages kept possession of the schools, has at last been condemned as a mere art of wrangling, of very little use in the pursuit of truth; and later writers have contented themselves with giving an account of the operations of the mind, marking the various stages of her progress, and giving some general rules for the regulation of her conduct. The method of these writers is here followed; but without a servile adherence to any, and with endeavours to make improve-usal ments upon all. This work, however laborious, has yet been fruitless, if there be truth in an observation very frequently made, that logicians out of the school do not reason better than men unassisted by those lights which their science is supposed to bestow. It is not to be doubted but that logicians may be sometimes overborne by their passions, or blinded by their prejudices: and that a man may reason ill, as he may act ill, not because he does not know what is right, but because he does not regard it; yet it is no more the fault of his art that it does not direct him when his attention is withdrawn
therefore, is one of the studies which ought to begin with the first glimpse of reason, and only end with life itself. Other acquisitions are merely temporary benefits, except as they contribute to illustrate the knowledge, and confirm the practice, of morality and piety, which extend their influence beyond the grave, and increase our happiness through endless duration.
This great science, therefore, must be inculcated with care and assiduity, such as its importance ought to incite in reasonable minds: and for the prosecution of this design, fit opportunities are always at hand. As the importance of logic is to be shown by detecting false arguments, the excellence of morality is to be displayed by proving the deformity, the reproach, and the misery of all deviations from it. Yet it is to be remembered, that the laws of mere morality are no coercive power; and, however they may by conviction of their fitness please the reasoner in the shade, when the passions stagnate without impulse, and the appetites are secluded from their objects, they will be of little force against the ardour of desire, or the vehemence of rage, amidst the pleasures and tumults of the world. To counteract the power of temptations, hope must be excited by the prospect of rewards, and fear by the expectation of punishment; and virtue may owe her panegyrics to morality, but must derive her authority from religion.
general success, if its principles were better considered; and to excite that attention is our chief design. To the perusal of this book may succeed that of Mun upon foreign Trade, Sir Josiah Child, Locke upon Coin, Davenant's Treatises, the British Merchant, Dictionnaire de Commerce, and, for an abstract or compendium, Gee, and an improvement that may hereafter be made upon his plan.
XI. The principles of laws and government come next to be considered; by which men are taught to whom obedience is due, for what it is paid, and in what degree it may be justly required. This knowledge, by peculiar necessity, constitutes a part of the education of an Englishman, who professes to obey his prince according to the law, and who is himself a secondary legislator, as he gives his consent, by his representative, to all the laws by which he is bound, and has a right to petition the great council of the nation, whenever he thinks they are deliberating upon an act detrimental to the interest of the community. This is therefore a subject to which the thoughts of a young man ought to be directed; and that he may obtain such knowledge as may qualify him to act and judge as one of a free people, let him be directed to add to this introduction, Fortescue's Treatises, N. Bacon's Historical Discourse on the Laws and Government of England, Temple's Introduction, Locke on Government, Zouch's Elementa Juris Civilis, Plato Redivivus, Gurdon's History of Parliaments, and Hooker's Ecclesiastical Polity.
XII. Having thus supplied the young student with knowledge, it remains now that he learns its application; and that thus qualified to act his part, he be at last taught to choose it. For this purpose a section is added upon human life and manners; in which he is cautioned against the danger of indulging his passions, of vitiating his habits, and depraving his sentiments. He is instructed in these points by three fables, two of which were of the highest authority in the ancient Pagan world. But at this he is not to rest; for if he expects to be wise and happy, he must diligently study the SCRIPTURES of GOD.
When therefore the obligations of morality are taught, let the sanctions of Christianity never be forgotten; by which it will be shown, that they give strength and lustre to each other; religion will appear to be the voice of reason, and morality the will of God. Under this article must be recommended Tully's Offices, Grotius, Puffendorf, Cumberland's Laws of Nature, and the excellent Mr. Addison's Moral and Religious Essays.
X. Thus far the work is composed for the use of scholars, merely as they are men. But it was thought necessary to introduce something that might be particularly adapted to that country for which it is designed; and therefore a discourse has been added upon trade and commerce, of which it becomes every man of this nation to understand at least the general principles, as it is impossible that any should be high or low enough not to be in some degree affected by their declension or prosperity. It is therefore necessary that it should be universally known among us, what changes of property are advantageous, or when the balance of trade is on our side; what are the products or manufactures of other countries; and how far one nation may in any species of traffic obtain or preserve, superiority over another. The theory of trade is yet but little understood, and therefore the practice is often without real advantage to the public; but it might be carried on with more
Such is the book now proposed, a the first initiation into the knowledge of things, which has been thought by many to be too long delayed in the present forms of education. Whether the complaints be not often ill-grounded, may perhaps be disputed; but it is at least reasonable to believe, that greater proficiency might sometimes be made; that real knowledge might be more early communicated; and that children might be allowed, without injury to health, to spend many of those hours upon useful employments, which are generally lost in idleness and play; therefore the public will surely encourage an experiment, by which, if it fails, no
body is hurt; and if it succeeds, all the future | education. If any part of the following perages of the world may find advantage; which formance shall upon trial be found capable of may eradicate or prevent vice, by turning to a amendment: if any thing can be added or albetter use those moments in which it is learned tered, so as to render the attainment of knowor indulged and in some sense lengthen life, ledge more easy; the Editor will be extremely by teaching posterity to enjoy those years which obliged to any gentleman, particularly those have hitherto been lost. The success, and even who are engaged in the business of teaching, for the trial of this experiment, will depend upon such hints or observations as may tend towards those to whom the care of our youth is commit- the improvement, and will spare neither expense ted; and a due sense of the importance of their nor trouble in making the best use of their intrust will easily prevail upon them to encourage formation. a work which pursues the design of improving
No expectation is more fallacious than that which authors form of the reception which their labours will find among mankind. Scarcely any man publishes a book, whatever it be, without believing that he has caught the moment when the public attention is vacant to his call, and the world is disposed in a particular manner to learn the art which he undertakes to teach.
The writers of this volume are not so far exempt from epidemical prejudices, but that they likewise please themselves with imagining, that they have reserved their labours to a propitious conjuncture, and that this is the proper time for the publication of a Dictionary of Commerce.
The predictions of an author are very far from infallibility; but in justification of some degree of confidence it may be properly observed, that there was never from the earliest ages a time in which trade so much engaged the attention of mankind, or commercial gain was sought with such general emulation. Nations which have hitherto cultivated no art but that of war, nor conceived any means of increasing riches but by plunder, are awakened to more inoffensive industry. Those whom the possession of subterraneous treasures have long disposed to accommodate themselves by foreign industry, are at last convinced, that idleness never will
• A new Dictionary of Trade and Commerce, compiled from the Information of the most eminent Merchants, and from the Works of the best Writers on commercial Subjects in all Languages, by Mr. Rolt. Folio, 1757.
be rich. The merchant is now invited to every port, manufactures are established in all cities, and princes who just can view the sea from some single corner of their dominions, are enlarging harbours, erecting mercantile companies, and preparing to traffic in the remotest countries.
Nor is the form of this work less popular than the subject. It has lately been the practice of the learned to range knowledge by the alphabet, and publish dictionaries of every kind of literature. This practice has perhaps been carried too far by the force of fashion. Sciences, in themselves systematical and coherent, are not very properly broken into such fortuitous distributions. A dictionary of arithmetic or geometry can serve only to confound; but commerce, considered in its whole extent, seems to refuse any other method of arrangement, as it comprises innumerable particulars unconnected with each other, among which there is no reason why any should be first or last, better than is furnished by the letters that compose their
We cannot indeed boast ourselves the inventors of a scheme so commodious and comprehensive. The French, among innumerable projects for the promotion of traffic, have taken care to supply their merchants with a Dictionnaire de Commerce, collected with great industry and exactness, but too large for common use, and adapted to their own trade. This book, as well as others, has been carefully consulted, that our merchants may not be ignorant of any thing known by their enemies or rivals.
Such indeed is the extent of our undertaking, that it was necessary to solicit every information,
to consult the living and the dead. The great | tious, the arts by which they are counterfeited, the casualties by which they are impaired, and the practice by which the damage is palliated or concealed. We shall likewise show their virtues and uses, and trace them through all the changes which they undergo.
qualification of him that attempts a work thus general is diligence of inquiry. No man has opportunity or ability to acquaint himself with all the subjects of a commercial dictionary, so as to describe from his own knowledge, or assert on his own experience. He must therefore often depend upon the veracity of others, as every man depends in common life, and have no other skill to boast than that of selecting judiciously, and arranging properly.
But to him who considers the extent of our subject, limited only by the bounds of nature and of art, the task of selection and method will appear sufficient to overburden industry and distract attention. Many branches of commerce are subdivided into smaller and smaller parts, till at last they become so minute as not easily to be noted by observation. Many interests are so woven among each other as not to be disentangled without long inquiry; many arts are industriously kept secret, and many practices necessary to be known, are carried on in parts too remote for intelligence.
But the knowledge of trade is of so much importance to a maritime nation, that no labour can be thought great by which information may be obtained; and therefore we hope the reader will not have reason to complain, that, of what he might justly expect to find, any thing is omitted.
To give a detail or analysis of our work is very difficult; a volume intended to contain whatever is requisite to be known by every trader, necessarily becomes so miscellaneous and unconnected as not to be easily reducible to heads; yet, since we pretend in some measure to treat of traffic as a science, and to make that regular and systematical which has hitherto been to a great degree fortuitous and conjectural, and has often succeeded by chance rather than by conduct, it will be proper to show that a distribution of parts has been attempted, which, though rude and inadequate, will at least preserve some order, and enable the mind to take a methodical and successive view of this design.
In the dictionary which we here offer to the public, we propose to exhibit the materials, the places, and the means of traffic.
The materials or subjects of traffic are whatever is bought and sold, and include therefore every production of nature.
In giving an account of the commodities of nature, whether those which are to be used in their original state, as drugs and spices, or those which become useful when they receive a new form from human art, as flax, cotton, and metals, we shall show the places of their production, the manner in which they grow, the art of cultivating or collecting them, their discriminations and varieties, by which the best sorts are known from the worse, and genuine from ficti
The history of manufactures is likewise delivered. Of every artificial commodity the manner, in which it is made is in some measure described, though it must be remembered, that, manual operations are scarce to be conveyed by any words to him that has not seen them. Some general notions may however be afforded : it is easy to comprehend, that plates of iron are formed by the pressure of rollers, and bars by the strokes of a hammer; that a cannon is cast, and that an anvil is forged. But as it is to most traders of more use to know when their goods are well wrought, than by what means, care has been taken to name the places where every manufacture has been carried furthest, and the marks by which its excellency may be ascertained.
By the places of trade are understood all ports, cities, or towns, where staples are established, manufactures are wrought, or any commodities are bought and sold advantageously. This part of our work includes an enumeration of almost all the remarkable places in the world, with such an account of their situation, customs, and products, as the merchant would require, who being to begin a new trade in any foreign country, was yet ignorant of the commodities of the place and the manners of the inhabitants.
But the chief attention of the merchant, and consequently of the author who writes for merchants, ought to be employed upon the means of trade, which include all the knowledge and practice necessary to the skilful and successful conduct of commerce.
The first of the means of trade is proper edu.. cation, which may confer a competent skill in numbers; to be afterwards completed in the counting-house, by observation of the manner of stating accounts, and regulating books, which is one of the few arts which having been studied in proportion to its importance, is carried as far as use can require. The counting-house of an accomplished merchant is a school of method, where the great science may be learned of ranging particulars under generals, of bringing the different parts of a transaction together, and of showing at one view a long series of dealing and exchange. Let no man venture into large business while he is ignorant of the method of regulating books; never let him imagine that any degree of natural abilities will enable him to supply this deficiency, or preserve multiplicity of affairs from inextricable confusion.
This is the study, without which all other studies will be of little avail; but this alone is not sufficient. It will be necessary to learn many
other things, which however may be easily included in the preparatory institutions, such as an exact knowledge of the weights and measures of different countries, and some skill in geography and navigation, with which this book may perhaps sufficiently supply him.
In navigation, considered as part of the skill of a merchant, is included not so much the art of steering a ship, as the knowledge of the seacoast, and of the different parts to which his cargoes are sent; the customs to be paid; the passes, permissions, or certificates to be procured; the hazards of every voyage, and the true rate of insurances. To this must be added, an acquaintance with the policies and arts of other nations, as well those to whom the commodities are sold, as of those who carry goods of the same kind to the same market; and who are therefore to be watched as rivals endeavouring to take advantage of every error, riage, or debate.
ponents to make them odious. He should in. form himself what trades are declining, and what are improveable; when the advantage is on our side, and when on that of our rivals.
The state of our colonies is always to be diligently surveyed, that no advantage may be lost which they can afford, and that every opportunity may be improved of increasing their wealth and power, or of making them useful to their mother country.
There is no knowledge of more frequent use than that of duties and imposts, whether customs paid at the ports, or excises levied on the manufacturer. Much of the prosperity of a trading nation depends upon duties properly apportioned; so that what is necessary may continue cheap, and what is of use only to luxury may in some measure atone to the public for the mischief done to individuals. Duties may often be so miscar-regulated as to become useful even to those that pay them; and they may be likewise so unequally imposed as to discourage honesty, and depress industry, and give temptation to fraud and unlawful practices.
To teach all this is the design of the Commercial Dictionary; which though immediately and primarily written for the merchants, will be of use to every man of business or curiosity. There is no man who is not in some degree a merchant, who has not something to buy and something to sell, and who does not therefore want such instructions as may teach him the true value of possessions or commodities.
The chief of the means of trade is money, of which our late refinements in traffic have made the knowledge extremely difficult. The merchant must not only inform himself of the various denominations and value of foreign coins, together with their method of counting and reducing; such as the milleries of Portugal, and the livres of France; but he must learn what is of more difficult attainment; the discount of exchanges, the nature of current paper, the principles upon which the several banks of Europe are established, the real value of funds, the true credit of trading companies, with all the sources of profit, and possibilities of loss.
All this he must learn merely as a private dealer, attentive only to his own advantage; but as every man ought to consider himself as part of the community to which he belongs, and while he prosecutes his own interest to promote likewise that of his country, it is necessary for the trader to look abroad upon mankind, and study many questions which are perhaps more properly political than mercantile.
The descriptions of the productions of the earth and water, which this volume will contain, may be equally pleasing and useful to the speculatist with any other natural history; and the accounts of various manufactures will constitute no contemptible body of experimental philosophy. The descriptions of ports and cities may instruct the geographer as well as if they were found in books appropriated only to his own science; and the doctrines of funds, insurances, currency, monopolies, exchanges, and duties, is He ought therefore to consider very accu- so necessary to the politician, that without it he rately the balance of trade, or the proportion can be of no use either in the council or the between things exported and imported; to ex-senate, nor can speak or think justly either on amine what kinds of commerce are unlawful, war or trade. either as being expressly prohibited, because detrimental to the manufactures or other interest of his country, as the exportation of silver to the East Indies, and the introduction of French commodities; or unlawful in itself, as the traffic for egroes. He ought to be able to state with accuracy, the benefits and mischiefs of monopolies, and exclusive companies; to enquire into the arts which have been practised by them to make them necessary, or by their op
We therefore hope that we shall not repent the labour of compiling this work; nor flatter ourselves unreasonably, in predicting a favourable reception to a book which no condition of life can render useless, which may contribute to the advantage of all that make or receive laws, of all that buy or sell, of all that wish to keep or improve their possessions, of all that desire to be rich, and all that desire to be wise.