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THOUGHTS ON VARIOUS SUBJECTS OF POLITICAL ECONOMY.
Insere, Daphni, piros ; carpent tua poma nepotes. Virg. • Be ay setting in a tree when ye have naething else to do, it will be growing, Jock, when ye're sleeping."
Heart of Mid-Lothian.
is it if we slay our brother and conAn improvement in the manufac- ceal his blood?" ture of bank-notes would lessen the Improvements in the manufacture evil of forgery in three ways: of metallic, or of paper currency,
First, It would increase the diffi- lessen the danger of forgery, as imculty. A bank-note executed in the provements in the manufacture of best manner possible, by an artist of ships lessen the danger of shipwreck. first-rate ability, could not be iini- And as no improvement in shiptated but by an artist of equal abi- building can altogether prevent shiplity, and such artists are rare. wreck, so no improvement in the
Second, It would lessen the temp- other manufacture can altogether tation. A very superior artist can prevent forgery. It is as impossible acquire more profit and honour by to make a bank-note that cannot be an useful and legal exercise of his forged, as to make a ship that cannot talents, and is therefore less tempted be sunk. Forgery proceeds either to misapply them.
from the pressure of necessity, or Third, it would increase the power from the misapplication of talent ; of repairing the evil of forgery. The and both these temptations may be forger might be subjected to a long diminished by legislation. Whatever confinement, while, in other respects, promotes or facilitates intellectual inhe might be treated with some de- tercourse, increases the supply of gree of kindness *, supplied with the useful or innocent employment for means of employing his talents use the faculties of the mind, as comfully, and persuaded to repair, by his merce increases the supply of empunishment, the injury produced by ployment for the industry of the his crime. It is evident, that his hands. The former tends to prevent power to repair the evil would be the misapplication of ingenuity and proportioned to his natural abilities; invention, as the latter the misand his will to repair it might be application of industry. Shipwreck produced by the application of pro- proceeds from the violence of eleper means. The effects of moral ments, over which man has no coninfluences on the soul are as certain trol. We have more power, therefore, as the effects of food and medicine over forgery than over shipwreck ; on the body.
but it does not yet appear that we This would take away the necessity, shall ever be completely successful and, consequently, the right, of pu- against either. nishing forgery with death. The right of Government to punish crimes II. On Manufactories. is inversely proportional to its power
Manufactories will cease to be proof preventing or repairing them; ductive of vice and misery, as soon and in proportion as Political Eco as there is sufficient moral and relia nomy increases the power of preven- gious feeling in the consumers* to tion and remedy, it diminishes the enforce such regulations as the folright of punishment. “What profit lowing:
* “ Abimelech took sheep, and oxen, and men servants, and women servants, and gave them unto Abraham, and restored him Sarah his wife. And Abimelech said, Behold, my land is before thee, dwell where it pleaseth thee. And unto Sarah he said, Behold, I have given thy brother a thousand pieces of silver; behold, he is to thee a covering of the eyes unto all that are with thee, and with all other. Thus she was reproved.”—Genesis, xx. 14, 15, 16.
+ Daniel, ch. xi. 33, 34, 35.
First, That every workman, in a wages will encourage mechanical talarge manufactory, be not only al- lent, as high prices encourage prolowed, but compelled to learn another ductive industry *. And it is evident, trade, in order that he may be inde- that if high wages lower, mechanical pendent of the manufactory, and at invention must raise the profits of liberty to leave it whenever he is stock; that the operation of the latter dissatisfied, either with the work or cause must be, in all respects, oppothe wages. Till this liberty is given, site to that of the former ; and that the manufacturing system is just a the capitalist will gain more by the modification of slavery. The vices of one than he will lose by the other. the workmen are just the vices of The rise of wages will raise the slaves.
price of produce, by increasing the Second, That when a crime is demand for it, and mechanical inbrought home to one workman, a vention will lessen the cost of propenalty be inflicted on all,-a consi- duction. The excess of the price derable fine; advanced, indeed, by the above the cost will be raised in two master, but finally paid by a tax on ways; and it is this excess that furthe workmen. It is evident that the nishes the master's profit. There labourers who are liable to this pe- may be some counteracting, power, nalty ought to have power to expel but I have not yet discovered it. any associate for whose conduct they are not willing to be responsible. As the labourer ois master of another III. On the Mitigation of Slavery trade, the punishment of expulsion
in the West Indies. will not be excessive ; and if the ex Edinburgh Review, No. LXIV. pulsion is unjust, it will not prevent p. 489.—“M.de Fellenberg has somehis admission into another manufac- times mentioned, in conversation, the tory, provided the workmen are will particular circumstances which final. ing to receive him.
ly determined him to the course he Third, That every master of a has pursued. In the year 1798, or manufactory be required to publish 1799, he happened to be at Paris, as a complete and minute account of his one of the Commission sent by the management, in order that the em- Provisional Government established ployment of children may be, as in Switzerland, after the French in. much as possible, prevented, by sub- vasion ; and in that capacity he had stituting mechanical agency. Per an official conversation with the Di. haps a tax should be laid on these rector Rewbel, at his country-house children, in order to make their la near Paris, in the course of which bour as costly as that of adults. If he laid before him, in glowing cotheir labour is really necessary, it lours, a picture of the miserable state will continue in spite of the tax; to which his country was reduced, and if it is not necessary, it ought and which might soon lead to a Vennot to continue.
dean war, destructive to both parBy such regulations, slavery, dis- ties. The Director appeared, for content, and gross immorality, will some time, to listen with profound be removed ; and the character of attention, and M. de Fellenberg asthe labourers will naturally rise to cribed his silence to conviction of the the level attained in Mr Owen's es- truths he urged, and something like tablishment
a feeling of compunction, when, all These regulations will lessen the at once, the worthy republican, number, and improve the character throwing open a window, called of manufacturers. By lessening the aloud to one of his servants, Jaques, supply, they will raise the price of apportez moi Finette !'” A little manufacturing industry; and high spaniel was brought accordingly.
Mechanical agency is a cheap substitute for productive labour, as potatoes are a cheap substitute for bread ; and the dearness of labour would increase the demand for mechanical agency, and, consequently, for mechanical invention, as the dearness of bread increases the demand for potatoes. Mechanical invention is just the art of economising labour ; and it is evident, that when the demand for any commodity rises much above the supply, a more economical consumption will naturally follow.
After this rebuff, he gave up the idea soon feel the necessity and obligation of serving his country as a politician, of truth. The character of the negro made the best of his way home, and seems to me to resemble that of the determined to set about the slow dog. I have heard anecdotes of the work of elementary reformation, by gratitude and fidelity of West-India a better mode of education, and to slaves, quite similar to the anecdotes persevere in it for the rest of his life. of dogs with which every one is faNow, it seems to me, that the aboli- miliar. I have also been informed, tionists are placed in the same situa-. that the jealousy of their master's tion, and that they would be as suc- favour is as strong in the negro as cessful as M. de Fellenberg, if they in the dog. It is evident that such would pursue the same course. Let men may be strongly influenced by them retire altogether from the their animal affections, however deParliament, and from the view of fective in intellect or in moral perthe public ;- let them purchase the ception. properties which the planters are de The principle by which slavery sirous to sell, and let them under- might be mitigated, and gradually take, on their own estates, and with abolished, is illustrated in the fable their own slaves, the slow work of of Apollo feeding the flocks of Admeelementary reformation and gra- tus, in the second book of Telemadual emancipation *;- let them pur. chus; nothing can exceed the beauty, sue the course exemplified by Mr the tenderness, or the truth, of this Steele in Barbadoes, by Mr Édge. exquisite passage I: It is too long to worth in Ireland, M. de Fellenberg be quoted. It begins thus : “ Il me in Switzerland, Mr Owen in Lanark, disoit souvent que je devois prendre &c. They would probably obtain courage,” &c.If the abolitionists the co-operation and instructions of have any influence with the Governsome humane and intelligent plant- ment, it is their duty to exert it in ers, by arguments like those which favour of the slaves ; but if (as I Pauladdresses to Philemon, “Where- suspect to be the case) they have no fore, though I might be much bold such influence, or if they find, upon in Christ to enjoin thee that which trial, that their influence is ineffectual is convenient, yet, for love's sake, I or delusive, let them purchase some rather beseech thee," &c. They of the land and negroes that the would find as much latent virtue planters are desirous to sell, and imiamong the whites of the West In- tate, on their own estates, the examdies, as Dr Chalmers found among ple of Mr Steele. the radicals of Glasgow.
I conceive, that deserving slaves, The greatest obstacle to the miti. emancipated, and educated in this gation of slavery is the law which re. country, would be the best missionjects the evidence of negroes against aries for christianizing the African white men in a court of justice. Per- slaves. But“ if any man will do the haps a benevolent planter might pro- work, he shall know of the doctrine." cure that the evidence of his slaves, Let the enterprise be undertaken or of a certain number of them, should with sincerity and ardour, and the be received, by undertaking to pay a necessary means will occur spontapenalty for every judicial falsehood neously. Arma dabunt ipsi. The of which they might be convicted. very touch of difficulty will summon If the master paid the penalty of up the power by which it may be falsehood, the grateful slavet would subdued.
• Luke, ch. viii. 38, 39, 40. There are many passages in the Scriptures which throw much light on the science of political economy. I do not think that either the religious or the political writers of this age are sufficiently aware of this.
+ Grateful, because honoured. “Notre ame est haute, et tout ce qui a un air de respect pour sa dignité la penetre et l'enchante ; aussi notre orgueil ne fut-il jumais ingrat."-Marwaux.
Some of Fenelon's images appear too beautiful to be natural; but I conceive that they are jus: an instinctive presentiment, in men of genius and virtue, of what human nature wai hereafter become. We are but in the infancy of our moral being.
IV. On Insolvency. thereby check the spirit of commer. It seems to me that every insolvent
cial adventure which appears to have
become excessive. The world has debtor ought to have the benefit of a trial by jury, before he is cast into become more enterprising in comprison, or deprived of his property. had become more enterprising in war.
merce, for the same reason that it The jury will ascertain whether his The same active principle has been insolvency has proceeded from crime, transferred from war to trade, and from imprudence, from a rise in the has changed the tactics of the one, value of currency, or from any other inevitable misfortune. If from crime, We cannot account for these changes,
as it had changed those of the other. let him be punished. If from imprudence, let him be made to enter diffusion, and anticipate some of their
but we can trace their progress and into certain engagements; and, if he violates these engagements, let him consequences. be punished. If from a change in the value of currency, the jury may
V. Commercial Interests. recommend that the nominal amount If the corn-laws were abolished, of the debt be reduced; and, though and the national debt reduced, the this recommendation will not bind price of British manufactures would the creditor, it will always be weigh- fall, and their exportation increase*. ty, and often effectual. If from in How are other countries to pay for evitable misfortune, the jury may these exports? In money or in goods ? find out soine remedy appropriate to If in money, the relative supply of the particular evil, or such light may money must increase in this country, be thrown on the causes and progress —its relative value must fall,--the of the evil, as may suggest some me- price of all commodities must rise, — thod of subsequently preventing it. exportation will be checked ; and we In all cases, a trial by jury may do shall lose, by the excess of exports, good ; in no case can it do evil. all the advantages which we shall
A naval commander is brought to have reaped by the abolition of the trial if the ship with which he is corn-laws, and the reduction of the entrusted has been wrecked ; the in- public debt. terests of the public are thus secured, If they pay in commodities, their and the merits or demerits of these industry must be exerted in producommanders investigated and ascer cing these commodities, their wealth tained. The interests of creditors must increase, their political insti. might be secured, and the characters tutions must be improved, the prinof debtors investigated, in the same ciples of disorder must be exhausted way. It appears to me, that, in pro- by habitual and successful industry, portion as the legal securities for and the principles of intellectual, payment of debt are diminished, the moral, and political improvement, at moral securities will become stronger; liberty to produce their natural efthat the demand for mercantile pru fects. Every improvement will be dence, and mercantile integrity, will transferred to these countries as soon increase; that imprudence or dis as it is exemplified in Britain. honesty in trade will become as in city that is set on a hill cannot be famous and as rare as cowardice in hid.” war; and that those evils will be pre. It is evident, therefore, that the vented by good morals, which have commercial interests of this country been rather increased than diminish are bound up in the same system ed by laws.
with the political interests of othe If this proposal tends to lessen the countries ; and that nothing can obe security of the lender, it must in- struct the progress of liberty in Eucrease the difficulty of borrowing, and rope, without obstructing the proraise the rate of interest ; and it will gress of commerce in Britain. The
It is evident, that a reduction of the debt, coupled with an abolition of the corno laws, would not be injurious either to the fundholder or to the landholder ; the price of agricultural and manufactured produce would fall, and the cheapness of commodities would repair the evils produced by the reduction of incomes.--Sec Thoughts on Reducing the Debt, in No. 94 of the Farmer's Magazine.
question is not, whether Carthage power as well as the truth of their arshall be destroyed or preserved ? but, gument, is the most powerful weapon whether Rome shall be destroyed, in of attack which Nature has given order that Carthage may be destroy- for overthrowing all the high places ed also ? There are perhaps some of wickedness. It excites in bad difficulties in the commencement of men a feeling of inferiority and de. this new policy ; but nothing can gradation which the pride of human exceed the magnificence of the pro- nature cannot endure, -an apprehenspect that lies beyond them. The sion of infamy, more intolerable than very extent of the view, and gran the actual suffering. Dolendi modus, deur of the objects, will excite an in timendi non item. There is another telligence and an energy by which advantage in this way of attacking the greatest difficulties will be over. abuses. It cannot injure the inno
Great objects must excite cent, or those who are at peace with great minds, and little 'minds will their own consciences, and who, to follow then.
the best of their ability, identify their
private interests with the interests of VI.
other men. General principles are
naturally opposed to arbitrary power ; I have just read a “ Report of a and none have cause to dread the debate in council at Barbadoes, on former, who are not interested in the dispatch of my Lord Bathurst to maintaining the latter. his excellency Sir Henry Warde;" It seems to me, that the debts of and I think it impossible to read the West-India planters might be the very able speech of Mr Hamden reduced with the consent of their cre. without suspecting that the aboli ditors, as the rents of British farmers tionists have calumniated the plant
have been reduced with the consent ers. I do not suspect them of inten of their landlords. But I am not tional falsehood, or even of malice ; sufficiently acquainted with the facts but I think that they abuse the of this subject. moral strength of their cause, and I am not sure that a white man that they are in danger of destroy should be punished with death, on ing the effect of their virtuous indig the evidence of slaves. He may be nation, by too prompt and heedless sent home to this country, and con. an exercise of it. These men do fined in a Panopticon. The punishnot know the real strength of the ment ought to be proportioned to the cause which they advocate. They are strength of the evidence, as well as not aware, that a clear, unreserved, to the magnitude of the crime. This uncompromising exposition of gene- principle would admit of a more ral principles, by men who know the general application.
A. B. C.
Song on the 420 Regiment.
THEY come the glorious band !
But few their numbers be ;
Far-far beyond the sea !
Whose toils and pains are o'er; For them alone should tears be shed
Who live but to deplore For hearts of hope bereft
(The love of woman flown) For youth and beauty early left
To pine and die alone.
Youth's laurels bloom in tears
Its memory, breathed in sighs,
And with fond friendship dies.
Its voice who cannot hear
Nor soothes the “ dull, cold" ear ?
For they are past all pain ;