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We have, Sir, on our establishment, several offices which perform real service-We have also places that provide large rewards for no service at all. We have stations which are made for the public decorum ; made for preserving the grace and majesty of a great people~We have likewise expensive formalities, which tend rather to the disgrace than the ornament of the state and the court. This, Sir, is the real condition of our establishments. To fall with the same severity on objects so perfectly dissimilar, is the very reverse of a reformation. I mean are formation framed, as all serious things ought to be, in number, weight, and measure.
Our taxes, for the far greater portion, fly over the heads of the lowest classes. They escape too who, with better ability, voluntarily subject themselves to the harsh discipline of a rigid necessity. With us, labour and frugality, the parents of riches, are spared, and wisely too. The moment men cease to augment the common stock, the moment they no longer enrich it by their industry or their self-denial, their luxury and even their ease are obliged to pay contribution to the public; not because they are vicious principles, but because they are unproductive.
I am convinced that the method of teaching which approaches most nearly to the method of investigation is incomparably the best ; since, not content with serving up a few barren and lifeless truths, it leads to the stock on which they grew; it tends to set the reader himself in the track of invention, and to direct him into those paths in which the author has made his own discoveries, if he should be so happy as to have made any that are valuable.
The excesses of delicacy, repose, and satiety, are as unfavourable as the extremes of hardship, toil, and want, to the increase and multiplication of our kind. Indeed, the abuse of the bounties of nature, much more surely than any partial privation of them, tends to intercept that precious boon of a second and dearer life in our progeny, which was bestowed in the first great command to man from the All-gracious Giver of all, whose name be blessed, whether he gives or takes away. His hand, in every page of his book, has written the lesson of moderation. Our physical well-being, our moral worth, our social happiness, our political tranquillity, all depend on that controul of all our appetites and passions, which the ancients designed by the cardinal virtue of Temperance.
THE dresses, the scenes, the decorations of every kind, I am told, are in a new style of splendour and magnificence, whether to the advantage of our dramatic taste, upon the whole, I very much doubt. It is a shew, and a spectacle, not a play, that is exhibited. This is undoubtedly in the genuine manner of the
Augustan age, but in a manner, which was censured
-migravit ab aure voluptas
I must interrupt the passage, most fervently cate and abominate the sequel,
Mox trahitur manibus Regum fortuna retortis.
I hope, that no French fraternization, which the re"lations of peace and amity with systematized regicide, would assuredly, sooner or later, draw after them, even if it should overturu our happy constitution itself, could so change the hearts of Englishmen, as to make them delight in representations and processions, which have no other merit than that of degrading and insulting the name of royalty.
NOTHING, in my opinion, can contribute more effectually to lower any sovereign in the public estimation, and to turn his defeats into disgraces, than to threaten in a moment of impotence. The second manifesto of the Duke of Brunswick appeared therefore to the world to be extremely ill-timed.
OBJECTS like trade and manufacture, which the very attempt to confine would certainly destroy, frequently
change their place; and thereby, far from being lost, are often highly-improved. Thus some manufactures have decayed in the west and south, which have made new and more vigorous shoots when transplanted into the north.
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Beggary and bankruptcy are not the circumstances which invite to an intercourse with that or with any country; and I believe it will be found invariably true, that the superfluities of a rich nation furnish a better object of trade than the necessities of a poor
It is the interest of the commercial world that wealth should be found every where.
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Of all things, an indiscreet tampering with the trade of provisions is the most dangerous, and it is always worst in the time when men are most disposed to it: that is, in the time of scarcity. Because there is nothing on which the passions of men are so violent, and their judgment so weak, and on which there exists such a multitude of ill-founded popular prejudices.
The universal alarm of the whole trading body of England will never be laughed at by them as an illgrounded or a pretended panic. The universal desire of that body will always have great weight with them in every consideration connected with commerce ; neither ought the opinion of that body to be slighted (notwithstanding the contemptuous and indecent language of this author and his associates) in any consideration whatsoever of revenue. Nothing amongst us is more quickly or deeply affected by taxes of any kind than trade.
TRIENNIAL PARLIAMENTS, AND PLACE BILLS.
I CONFESS then, that I have no sort of reliance upon either a triennial parliament, or a place-bill. With regard to the former, perhaps it might rather serve to counteract, than to promote the ends that are proposed by it. To say nothing of the horrible disorders among the people attending frequent elections, I should be fearful of committing, every three years, the independent gentlemen of the country into a contest with the treasury. It is easy to see which of the contending parties would be ruined first. Whoever has taken a careful view of public proceedings, so as to endeavour to ground his speculations on his experience, must have observed how prodigiously greater the power of ministry is in the first and last session of a parliament, than it is in the intermediate period, when members sit a little firm on their seats. The persons of the greatest parliamentary experience, with whom I have conversed, did constantly, in canvassing the fate of questions, allow something to the court side, upon account of the elections depending or imminent. The evil complained of, if it exists in the present state of things, would hardly be removed by a triennial parliament : for, unless the influence of government in elections can be entirely taken away, the more frequently they return, the more they will harrass private independence; the more generally men will be compelled to fly to the settled systematic interest of governinent, and to the resources of a boundless civil list. Certainly something may be done, and ought to be done, towards lessening that influence in