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The author allows one slight argument in favour of Tea, which, in my opinion, might be with far greater justice urged both against that and many other parts of our naval trade. “ The Tea-trade “employs (he tells us) six ships, and five or six “ hundred seamen, sent annually to China. It “ likewise brings in a revenue of three hundred “and sixty thousand pounds, which, as a tax on “ luxury, may be considered as of great utility to “the state.” The utility of this tax I cannot find; a tax on luxury is no better than another tax, unless it hinders luxury, which cannot be said of the impost upon Tea, while it is thus used by the great and the mean, the rich and the poor. The truth is, that by the loss of one hundred and fifty thousand pounds, we procure the means of shifting three hundred and sixty thousand at best, only from one hand to another; but perhaps sometimes into hands by which it is not very honestly employed. Of the five or six hundred seamen sent to China, I am told that sometimes half, commonly a third part, perish in the voyage; so that instead of setting this navigation against the inconveni. encies already alleged, we may add to them, the yearly loss of two hundred men in the prime of life; and reckon, that the trade of China has destroyed ten thousand men since the beginning of this century.

If Tea be thus pernicious, if it impoverishes our country, if it raises temptation, and gives opportunity to illicit commerce, which I have always looked on as one of the strongest evidences of the inefficacy of our law, the weakness of our govern


ment, and the corruption of our people, let us at once resolve to prohibit it for ever.

“ If the question was, how to promote industry “ most advantageously, in lieu of our Tea-trade, “ supposing every branch of our commerce to be “ already fully supplied with men and money? If

a quarter the sum. now spent in Tea, were laid out annually in plantations, in making publick gardens, in paving and widening streets, in

making roads, in rendering rivers navigable, “ erecting palaces, building bridges, or neat and “convenient houses where are now only huts ;

draining lands, or rendering those which are “now barren of some use; should we not be gain

ers, and provide more for health, pleasure, and “ long life, compared with the consequences of 6 the Tea-trade ?"

Our riches would be much better employed to these purposes; but if this project does not please, let us first resolve to save our money, and we shall afterwards very easily find ways to spend it.





of May 26, 1757*.

IT is observed in the sage Gil Blas, that an ex

asperated author is not easily pacified. I have, therefore, very little hope of making my peace with the writer of the Eight Days Journey: indeed so little, that I have long deliberated whether I should not rather sit silently down under his displeasure, than aggravate my misfortune by a defence of which my heart forebodes the ill success. Deliberation is often useless. I am afraid that I have at last made the wrong choice; and that I might better have resigned my cause, without a struggle, to time and fortune, since I shall run the hazard of a new offence, by the necessity of asking him, why he is angry,

Distress and terror often discover to us those faults with which we should never have reproached ourselves in a happy state. Yet, dejected as I am, when I review the transaction between me and this writer, I cannot find that I have been deficient in

When his book was first printed, he hints that I procured a sight of it before it was


* From the Literary Magazine, Vol. II, page 253.

published. How the sight of it was procured I do not now very exactly remember; but if my curiosity was greater than my prudence, if I laid rash hands on the fatal volume, I have surely suffered like him who burst the box from which evil rushed into the world.

I took it, however, and inspected it as the work of an author not higher than myself; and was confirmed in my opinion, when I found that these letters were not written to be printed. I concluded, however, that though not written to be printed, they were printed to be read, and inserted one of them in the collection of November last. Not many days after I received a note, informing me, that I ought to have waited for a more correct edition. This injunction was obeyed. The edition appeared, and I supposed myself at liberty to tell my thoughts upon it, as upon any other book, upon a royal manifesto, or an act of parliament. But see the fate of ignorant temerity! I now find, but find too late, that instead of a writer whose only power is in his pen, I have irritated an important member of an important corporation ; a man who, as he tells us in his letters, puts horses to his chariot.

It was allowed to the disputant of old to yield up the controversy with little resistance to the master of forty legions. Those who know how weakly naked truth can defend her advocates, would forgive me if I should pay the same respect to a Governor of the Foundlings. Yet the consciousness of my own rectitude of intention incites me to ask once again, how I have offended.

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. There are only three srbjects upon which my unlucky pen has happened to venture. Tea; the author of the Journal; and the Foundling Hospital.

Of Tea what have I said ? That I have drank it twenty years without hurt, and therefore believe it not to be poison : that if it dries the fibres, it cannot soften them; that if it constringes, it cannot relax. I have modestly doubted whether it has diminished the strength of our men, or the beauty of our women; and whether it much hinders the progress of our woollen or iron manufactures; but I allowed it to be a barren superfluity, neither medicinal nor nutritious, that neither supplied strength nor cheerfulness, neither relieved weariness, nor ex. hilarated sorrow: I inserted, without charge or sus. picion of falsehood, the sums exported to purchase it; and proposed a law to prohibit it for ever.

Of the author I unfortunately said, that his injunction was somewhat too magisterial. This I said before I knew that he was a Governor of the Foundlings; but he seems inclined to punish this failure of respect, as the czar of Muscovy made war upon Sweden, because he was not treated with sufficient honours when he passed through the country in disguise. Yet was not this irreverence without extenuation. Something was said of the merit of meaning well, and the Journalist was declared to be a man whose failings might well be pardoned for his virtues. This is the highest praise which human gratitude can confer upon human merit; praise that would have more than satisfied Titus or Augustus, but which I must own to be

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