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keeping as it were the command of the feafons in their own hands. His remark upon our people's neglect, founded upon general obfervation, is judicious and persuasive:
'One fuccessful attempt of this nature would have more force of perfuafion to recommend it, than all the arguments a writer can make ufe of; operations of this fort appear unfortunately enveloped with horrid difficulties to all thofe (and they are the greater part of mankind,) who chufe to take nature as they find her, and are fo accuftomed to follow a beaten tract, that they tremble to leave it, for almost any confideration; the rifque feems great, the advantage uncertain; it requires perhaps a mind particularly framed, to weigh impartially the whole bufinefs of any projected improvement, and penetrate at once into the practicability of effecting it; to compare the expence of accomplishing it, with the benefit it is defigned to procure; and laftly, when refolved, to perfevere with unabated fleadinefs. Such minds fet out with a disposition to conquer difficulties, not to create them; are prepared to encounter any that may happen to start up, and are therefore generally fuccessful.'
When he looks towards this country for affiftance, he adverts to the wisdom of Cromwell, who eftablished a committee in the houfe of commons for colony affairs; but with fubmiffion to our Author, the board of trade is a wifer inftitution; it is a perpetual committee, always exifting, and better informed of the ftate of the islands, than a fhifting, unfteady, set of people can poffibly be. If the committee of correfpondence in Jamaica would explain their wants, to the affociated body of Weft-India merchants in London, they would be the most effential agents to forward and enforce a requeft to the lords of trade; and if any matter should be agitated in parliament against the intereft of Jamaica, fo many of thofe merchants having a feat in the houfe of commons, and being mafters of every fubject that may affect their trade, would be infinitely preferable to any felect committee difinterefted in, or perhaps prejudiced againft, the iflands from a political pique, arifing from the pride and petulancy of fome opulent, independent planter.
Our Author ftrongly commends the French policy, which fo wifely contrives not only to multiply fettlements in their colonies, but by inviting commerce from every fource, to enrich them. Befide, they fortify and fecure their country by these additional barriers, and the confequent increase of people: and all this, without the affiftance of, or encouragement from, nature. He speaks with aftonishment of the progrefs the French have made at Cape Nichola Mole in Hifpaniola, a fpot barren and unpromifing, and with nothing but fituation to give fpirit to the undertaking. After prefenting us with the Code Noir, and an edict for the better government of flaves, he obferves:
If the principles and genius of the French government are at all confpicuous in the preceding example, which has been given of their civil and political ordinances refpecting their negroe flaves, and flave
owners; they are ftill more fo, in the other departments of their colony-fyftem. Thefe manifeft a degree of forecast, prudence, and vigour, that are not fo obfervable in any movement of our own tor, pid machine. There is a fpirit in the French monarchy, which pervades every part of their empire; it has felect objects perpetually in view, which are fteadily and confiftently purfued; in their fyftem the ftate is at once the fentient and the executive principle. It is in fhort, all foul; motion correfponds with will; action treads on the heels of contrivance; and fovereign power, ufefully handled and directed, hurries on, in full career, to attain its end. With us, the liberty to which every corporate fociety, and every individual member of those focieties, lays claim, of independent thinking and acting, excludes almoft a poffibility of concurrent exertion, to any one finite and determinate point.'
He then gives us an account of the trade to Cape Nichola.—' The number of veffels cleared in the year 1772, from the custom-house, amounted to between two and three hundred fail, confifting chiefly of brigs and fnows, with fome few fhips, all from different ports of North America. Adding to thefe, the other foreign veffels, the French coafters, and European traders, the whole amount is not much short of four hundred fail. Most of the veffels bound to Jamaica from North America call in here, and few of them but are complaifant enough to pay another vifit on their return..
The veffels which load or unload here, for the greater part, lie close to the town, with their stern anchors on the beach, which fhews how conveniently this place is adapted, in every point, to invite trade, and expedite mercantile tranfactions.
• When we reflect that less than ten years ago, it had neither house, nor inhabitant, it appears next to incredible, that in fo fhort a time, this defert fhould be filled with people, the harbour crowded with shipping, and its whole afpect changed, from poverty and defolation, to a well established, fecure, and opulent emporium, advancing ftill by hafty ftrides to a fuperiority and grandeur beyond the oldeit and most boasted feats of trade in any of the British islands. We may envy, but I fear we never fhall equal, this wonderful pattern of French policy in founding, induftry and ability in accomplishing, fo truly noble a fabric: unconcerned fpectators of it as we are at prefent, we must expect that the very next war in which we engage against France, will make us most thoroughly fenfible of its vaft importance.'
As that quarter of the world is now the great object of national attention, we will fee what our Author further fays concerning this trade, fo beneficial to the French colonies; fo deftructive to ours!
Jamaica takes lumber, flour, and certain other articles from North America, and to a certain annual value; North America takes molaffes, fugar, and rum from Jamaica, but in an inferior value. If each country took an equal value of products, for their mutual confumption, Jamaica would export no call to North America; but Jamaica takes three to one more in value; the therefore pays one third in her products, and two thirds in cash and bills of exchange. I have
fuppofed the annual balance with North America to be about 63,000 1 If only a third of this is paid in money, and the rest in bills, it is enough to strip the island of all its circulating cafh in about three years, unless a fupply can be brought in to replace the drain, by our trade with the South American colonies. The misfortune has been, that the improved ftate of the ifland, in other refpects, by enlarging the demand for North American fupplies, has yearly increafed the balance against it, while the other trade, which fhould have replaced this draught, has been gradually declining, and less productive. If the islanders could furnish themselves from Great Britain, even if the articles came fomewhat enhanced in price, it would be more for their advantage, because Britain takes their produce in payment, whereas the North American fupercargoes must be wheedled to confent to receive produce for their commodities; and even then, will take only fuch fugars as they are fuffered to pick and cull out for their fuperior grain and completion; the reft they leave in the planter's hands, to be fent to the British market; a circumftance that in time may hurt the credit of Jamaica fugars at home. Nor is the inconvenience and diftrefs they bring on the island, by this mode of exacting their balance, lefs pernicious to its welfare, than the ufes to which they afterwards apply this money; for it is well known that very little of it is carried to circulate among the northern colonies, or remitted to the mother country, but is dropped by the way amongst the French and Dutch, to purchase of them the very fame commodities which Jamaica produces. It is notorious, that many of these traders employ their time, whilft they lie at Jamaica, in fit. ting up casks; and, as they are provided with affidavit men, they take falle clearances, out of the custom-house there, for large quantities of Jamaica produce, fugar, molaffes, rum, coffee, indigo, &c. without having, in fact, a grain on board, and repair to Cape Nichola Mole at Hifpaniola, which is now become their capital rendezvous; here they buy of the French the very articles they refused at Jamaica, and are afterwards fo protected by their clearances, either from capture by the king's fhips at fea, or feizure by the landofficers at their return to North America, that they find it a very gainful trade; for by this means they can import the French produce without paying alien duties, and depreciate all the British WeftIndia goods of the like fort, brought to the fame market.
This trade is now got to fuch an alarming height, that more North American veffels are feen, in the courfe of the year, at the Mole, than the whole number of shipping that reforts to Kingston harbour amounts to. I have heard of no less than 400 fail within the year, which either load or call in upon fpeculation. And so beneficial has this illicit traffic proved to the French, that the Mole, which is furrounded by a rocky barren country, deftitute of every natural advantage, is now become a populous and thriving place of trade; contains 400 well-built houfes; and the harbour which is extremely capacious and fecure, is ftrengthening by fuch fortifications, carried on at the expence of the French government, as threaten to render it extremely troublefome to the Jamaica fleets in time of war.
Some of the North American commodities are allowed to be neceflary to the island, and not to be had elsewhere; all due care
fhould therefore be taken to have fuch fupplies continued; but when the main scope of their trade leads to impoverish Jamaica, and to enrich our most formidable rivals, by furnishing them with money for commodities of the fame kind as that ifland produces, which weakens our colony, and ftrengthens theirs, fo as to make them more powerful when at war with us; furely this fhould roufe the attention of legiflature, to prevent, by every means, the ruinous effects, which fuch a drain muft certainly lead to, if too long permitted.'
This at once accounts for the enormous debt outstanding with England, and proves that if the colonies are much longer indulged in their prefent mode of proceedings, they must bankrupt this country, and enrich the French and Hollanders. We are further informed from undoubted authority, that these unnatural children during the laft war, when the enemy was laying waste their provinces, and they clinging to their mother country for protection; at that very hour of apprehenfion, under the facred banner of a flag of truce, did thefe very men furnish the enemy with provifions, arms, and ammunition, to protract the war, and lacerate the bowels of their country! and there is no kind of doubt but the French do, at this time, return them the compliment.
As the threatened feceffion of the Americans has founded an alarm throughout the British nation; we have prefumed to offer a correct outline of their reprehenfible deportment, in the inftances above mentioned; as we wifh the great national council may be fully and faithfully informed of the fubject. Human wisdom is the balance in which their conduct muft be weighed; it becomes neceffary then, that every member of each houfe of parliament fhould inveftigate the true ftate of American politics, that neither paffion, party, nor prejudice, may interfere to turn the fcale of juftice for or against thefe refractory people. They have ftrained the cord to the utmoft ftretch; whether to hold or break, awaits the important decifion.
Our Author's philofophical difquifitions are entertaining and inftructive, from his explaining feveral phenomena, not generally understood. Cultivation and commerce are his fondeft concern, and he endeavours to promote both, by fubje&ting his physical and natural enquiries to thofe interefting objects. On the whole, we cannot in juftice but recommend this Hiftory to a place in every library. The literary traveller will find information in it; the fenator inftruction;-and the ufeful knowledge it contains must be exceedingly beneficial to all those who have connexions with, or refide in, the ifland: for, view the Author in Jamaica, and you fee him there, the philofopher, the planter, the merchant, the phyfician, and the friend.
REV. Dec. 1774
ART. IV. The Works of George Lord Lyttelton, formerly printed feparately, and now first collected together; with fome other Pieces never before printed. Published by George Edward Ayscough, Efq. 4to. 1.5 s. Boards. Dodfley. 1774.
HERE are fome great names enrolled in the tablet of
T literary merit by the general fuffrages of the public, whose
reputation is fo decifively fixed and fo firmly established, that they can receive little additional luftre from encomium and panegyric, and are in no danger of fuffering from the attacks of criticifm or cenfure. Among thefe we apprehend we may be allowed to rank the noble Author, whofe Pofthumous Works are now under notice. While therefore we do not entertain a with to take away the fmalleft portion of that fame which his writings have fo juftly acquired; neither do we expect to be able, by our praifes, to add one flower to the wreath which encircles his brow. Nevertheless, we cannot deny ourselves the fatisfaction of expreffing the high idea we entertain of his merit; and must embrace the opportunity which this agreeable mifcelJany affords us, of placing Lord Lyttelton before the public view, under the feveral characters of the judicious critic, the entertaining traveller, the wife and upright ftatefman, and the good man.
The pieces formerly printed feparately, and collected in this publication, are; Obfervations on the Life of Cicero; Obfervations on the prefent State of Affairs, in a Letter to a Member of Parliament; Letters from a Perfian in England to his Friend at Ipahan; Obfervations on the Converfion and Apostleship of St. Paul; Dialogues of the Dead; Mifcellaneous Poems.
The pieces which were never before printed, are; Obfervations on the Roman Hiftory; four Dialogues of the Dead; four Speeches in Parliament; Letters to Sir Thomas Lyttelton; and an Account of a Journey into Wales, in two Letters to Mr. Bewer.
The principal defign of the Obfervations on the Roman Hiftory, is to trace out fome of the caufes of the deftruction of liberty in the Roman ftate. The firft alteration of the Roman republic under the fhort ufurpation of Sylla, his lordship obferves, was immediately accomplished by military force; Sylla continuing himself in the command of the army against the orders of the people, by the aid and ftrength of that army. But the way was long before prepared for this change, by frequent outrages of the tribunes and the people on the one hand, and on the other, by feveral acts of violence on the part of the fenate, particularly the murder of Tiberius Gracchus.-He next proves at large, that the dictatorship was an inftitution wholly inconfiftent with the true principles of liberty. The unlimited power annexed to this office, though originally granted for the