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tell us that it has usurped the province of the sun, and lowered the price of grain throughout the world.'
We do not apprehend any great danger, that a majority will be found in congress mad enough to legislate against the laws of nature and the constitutions of society, and to entail upon this country the evils under which England is now groaning. Yet we have seen, in our day, strange and contradictory systems of national policy pursued, and havė learned to wonder at nothing. We will venture, however, to pronounce with confidence, that if any measures should be adopted by our government, the effect of which would be to give our own citizens the monopoly of the home market, they would in the end prostrate every manufacturing establishment in the country.
Let us examine for a moment what our condition would be, should an act of congress be passed excluding importations—admitting the practicability of enforcing its rigid execution.
A late writer a has made a distinction between public and private monopolies, pronouncing the latter to be unjust and oppressive, and the former to be advantageous to the nation. We think this gentleman has come to a wrong practical conclusion, in consequence of not attending sufficiently to the meaning of the terms he makes use of. He says, “it has never been pretended that “ private monopolies were not beneficial to those who enjoyed " them: on the contrary, this constitutes the principle objection “ to them; for in proportion as they are beneficial to the mono“polists, in the same proportion they are prejudicial to the rest of “ the community :so public monopolies, as a general rule, are “ beneficial to the nation that enjoys them.” It cannot be questioned, that were it possible for this country to secure a monopoly, in the same sense that we may confer it on one of our citizens, it will be highly to our interest. If we had the sole privilege of supplying Europe with grain, or any other commodity, to the exclusion of their own people, we would undoubtedly make money by it, because we might charge any price we pleased; and if this is what Mr. Raymond means by a public monopoly, it would be highly valuable if it could be obtained. The difficulty however is, that we should have to pay for the advantage, by granting some other privilege in return. Could it be gratuitously procured, its benefit doubtless would be all on the side of those who held the exclusive privilege, and all the injury would be suffered by those who employed them. But when Mr. Raymond afterwards says, that so long as the restriction applies only to foreigners, the monoply is public; and enumerates, as instances of this description, the restrictions of foreign importations, he does
a Thoughts on Political Economy, by Daniel Raymond.'
not appear to be aware that he extends the meaning of the term public monopoly, to cases where the advantages of his theory can never be realized.
The restricting of importations gives our manufacturers a monopoly in furnishing the articles required for the home market, but for every advantage which results to them, the consumer must suffer a loss. The exclusive privilege of supplying the domestic consumption cannot produce to the community those profitable effects, which would result from a similar privilege of supplying the foreign demand. Here the corresponding injury, which balances the advantage of the monopolist, is felt by our own citizens, who are prohibited from purchasing at a cheaper rate; and though foreigners may, perhaps, have no right to complain at finding our ports closed to their commodities, still we may, with justice, remonstrate against a measure which doubles the price of every thing we buy. A little more attention would have shown this writer, that giving one class of our citizens the exclusive privilege of supplying the rest, is a domestic monopoly, and must produce consequences widely different from those which would result from the nation's possessing a monopoly of supplying a foreign market. Those who are compelled to purchase from the monopolists must be injured for the benefit of those that supply them. If those who suffer are foreigners, it may be nothing to us; but it is obviously impolitic to compel the consumers of this country to pay high prices for what they purchase, for the purpose of supporting any separate class of citizens.
It is also a mistaken opinion that monopolists are benefited in the same degree that those whom they supply are injured. The natural tendency of monopolies is to accumulate large profits, and thus to take from the pittance of the labourer to increase the hoard of the affluent. A measure which would have the effect of compelling every poor man in this city to pay twenty cents a day to one of our wealthy merchants, could not be considered as really benefiting him in the same degree that it would injure the hundreds whom
it would deprive of their necessary food. The spirit of monopoly is equally hostile to the interest of our citizens, and the genius of our government.
It is difficult to perceive how the advantages which were held out to farmers, from the proposed restrictions, are to be realized. As the number of mouths to be fed must continue to be the same, the price of agricultural productions could only be raised by diminishing the supply; that is, by part of the population being removed from the farms to workshops. This reduction of the number of cultivators must be so great as to diminish the supplies from agriculture, or no effect could be produced on the market. This, in effect, will be to pursue the policy of the Dutch in
Batavia—the destroying half the crop, or, which amounts to the same thing, leaving half the land uncultivated. As this demand for labour increases, so will the expense of raising the wheat, and, with both, the price to be paid for manufactures. The revenue, which can no longer be obtained from foreign commerce, must be raised by land taxes and excise; the first impair the value of the farm, and the second increases the expense of living on it :-The support of government, the interest, and, gradually, the principal of our national debt, and a suitable naval and military force, must be paid for. If an excise of 25 per cent. is laid on domestic commodities, manufacturers would hardly thank congress for this mode of encouraging them; and farmers would be as unwilling to take the burden, directly on their own shoulders, in the shape of a land tax. From the operation of these causes, the same impatience of suffering inconvenience, that now prompts many of our citizens to demand from government a cure for their difficulties, will, in a short time, sicken them of their remedy. The great body of consumers will find the only method of relieving themselves from heavy taxes and high prices, will be to employ those unhappy beings who are starving in foreign workshops. With that ready expedient before them, they will not be long in resorting to it; our ports will again be opened, and manufacturers will meet with the same fate they did in 1816.
We will here notice a remark frequently made, that if any branch of business becomes unprofitable, the capital employed in it will be directed to new channels. It may as well be said that if a man has $10,000 in any description of stock, which suddenly depreciates one half in the amount of his dividends, he has only to take away his money and invest it in some other stock that pays better interest. Changes in the investment of capital should be gradual; even then, the loss is not prevented, but its effects are less sensibly felt, and more fairly distributed. All rapid changes in the course of national industry destroy capital. If commerce, from the operation of any causes whatever, becomes no longer worth pursuing, the merchant cannot remove his warehouses to situations adapted to manufactories, nor turn his ships into jennies and spindles; nor can he sell them, for none will be willing to purchase. So, when the employment of the manufacturer is stopped, his looms, his machinery, his extensive establishments, and his skill are rendered useless, and, consequently, worthless.
No prudent man would invest his fortune in any line of business, where the only security from ruin would be the continuance of a restrictive act of congress. Whatever argument might be urged in favour of its policy, the moment it was felt to
be oppressive it would be repealed; and those who had trusted their all upon its duration, would be beggared.
We trust we have expressed ourselves with sufficient precision to clear us of any imputation of being hostile to manufacturers. We are as free from prejudice or attachments in respect to them, as to merchants or farmers. In this country, above all others, industry should be free; and any law restraining its honest exercise would be an act of tyranny: our system of revenue lays already a heavy duty on foreign importations, and that is a sufficient legislative encouragement to our own manufacturers. The advantages which merchants derive from some of the navigation laws, may, perhaps, make it proper for them to sustain this burthen.
Our dispute is not, however, with the manufacturers, but with politicians; while the latter are demanding from congress the trial of a dangerous theoretical experiment, those of the former who understand their business, and pursue it with prudence, ask for no farther national encouragement. This is known to be the sentiment of the owners of the Waltham Factory; and we have heard the same language from a proprietor of an extensive establishment at Paterson. The following remarks merit serious attention.
.We are beginning a series of years, probably the happiest we have experienced since 1806. As the nations in the world are all now, more or less, engaged in commerce, we cannot expect so large a share of foreign trade as we had, when they were fighting the battles of ambitious men; but our coasting trade is increasing rapid. ly, and will permanently supply its loss. We shall probably, too, enjoy as large a foreign trade as any other nation.
Indeed, if we could but forget old dreams, we might believe ourselves at this moment in a happy condition ; we have a surplus of money, of food, and of clothes. Let us have a little patience, and we shall bave something better to do than to croak about the times.
If men would but pay more attention to these changes in the world, as natural as day and night, and trouble their brains less for discoveries of fanciful causes and new systems, we should all make better farmers, better merchants, better manufacturers and better legislators.
The author must not expect to escape from our hands without having some fault found with his book; it would be transgressing against the rules of our order : Some inaccuracies in expression have been suffered to remain, and are more conspicuous from the general correctness of the style. His great fault, however, is, that he has not availed himself sufficiently of “the craft and mystery of book-making;" he has given us, in about 260 pages, more sound information and good argument, than is often found in a volume of thrice its size: we apprehend some people have their VOL. II.
opinion of a work influenced a little by large type, broad margin, and a formal division into books, sections, and chapters.
We think this publication calculated to do more good than any work of the kind that has been written in this country for many years, and we trust the measures of congress will be in unison with the correct and liberal policy it advocates.
ART. VI.-On the Works of Miss Edgeworth ;-and Memoirs
of Richard Lovell Edgeworth, Esq. Few writers have acquired more extensive popularity than Miss Edgeworth. This lady may be said to be the first who possessed courage to strip romance of the artificial and sickly sentiments, the bright but false colours, with which it had been loaded by depraved taste. It was a bold attempt in a youthful author to publish a novel which was the transcript of real life, heightened only by her own talent and humour; in which there were no miraculous escapes, inexplicable mysteries, or moonlight adventures; and where the heroes were men of mortal mould, and the heroines women whom we might claim as fellow beings. This, however, Miss Edgeworth dared to attempt; and from that period we may date a general reformation in novels, and the taste of novel readers. To those sentimental writers, who sullied their pages with delusive views of life, and scenes of delirious passion, or feeble sensibility, she might truly have used the words of Prince Henry, “mark, how a plain tale shall put you down."
Miss Edgeworth's most distinguishing merits are close, accurate observation, and spirited delineation of character. The every day scenes of common life, touched by her animated pen, become vivid and interesting. That she possesses true humour and refined wit, we need only cite, in illustration, her scenes among the Irish peasantry, and the inimitable “ Lady Delacour." Another, and not the least of her merits, is the pure moralitythe ardent desire of proving useful—which breathes through all her works,--and the chastened and healthful tone of mind they not only evince, but communicate to the reader. Her dialogues charm by their wit and spirit-her descriptions of humble life, by their accuracy and humour. We had rather, with Lord Colambre, have been entertained by his Irish tenants, than have seasted with all the crowned heads that were congregated in London.
But like all reformers, Miss Edgeworth has gone too far.