Page images

the protection of both sides, and be permitted to follow their employments in security ? viz.

1. Cultivators of the earth, because they labour for the subsistence of man. kind.

2. Fishermen, for the same reason.

3. Merchants and traders in unarmed ships, who accommodate different nations by communicating and exchanging the necessaries and conveniences of life.

4. Artists and mechanics, inhabiting and working in open towns.

It is hardly necessary to add, that the hospitals of enemies fhould be unmolested--they ought to be affifted. It is for the interest of humanity in general, that the occasions of war, and the inducements to it, Ihould be diminished. If rapine be abolished, one of the encouragements to war is taken away; and peace therefore more likely to continue and be lasting.

The The practice of robbing merchants on the high seas—a remnant of the an. tient piracy—though it may be accidentally beneficial to particular persons, is far from being profitable to all engaged in it, or to the nation that authorises it. In the beginning of a war fome rich ships are surprized and taken. This encourages the first adventurers to fit out more armed vessels ; and many others to do the same. But the enemy at the same time become more careful ; arm their merchant fhips better, and render them not so easy to be taken : they go also more under the protection of convoys. Thus, while the privateers to take them are multiplied, the vessels subject to be taken, and the chances of profit, are diminished; so that many cruises are made wherein the expences . overgo the gains ; and, as is the case

in other lotteries, though particulars · have got prizes, the mass of adventurers


are losers, the whole expence of fitting out all the privateers during a war being much greater than the whole amount of goods taken.

Then there is the national lofs of all the labour of so many men during the time they have been employed in robbing; who besides spend what they get in riot, drunkenness, and debauchery ; lose their habits of industry ; are rarely fit for any sober business after a peace, and serve only to increase the number of highwaymen and housebreakers. Even the undertakers who have been fortunate, are, by sudden wealth, led into expenfive living, the habit of which continues when the means of supporting it cease, and finally ruins them : a just punilhment for their having wantonly and unfeelingly ruined many honest, inno. cent traders and their families, whose substance was employed in serving the common interest of mankind.




Notes copied from Dr. Franklin's writing in

pencil in the margin of Judge Foster's celebrated argument in favour of the IMPRESSING OF SEAMEN (published in the folio edition of his works).

JUDGE Foster, p. 158. “ Every“Man.”—The conclusion here from the whole to a part, does not feem to be good logic. If the alphabet should say, Let us all fight for the defence of the whole; that is equal, and may, therefore, be just. But if they should say, Let A B C and D go out and fight for us, while we stay at home and sleep in whole skins; that is not equal, and therefore cannot be just.



16. “ Employ.”- If you please. The word signifies engaging a man to work for me, by offering him such wages as are fufficient to induce him to prefer my fervice. This is very different from com. pelling him to work on such terms as I think proper.

Ib. " This service and employment, “ &c.”—These are false facts. His em. ployments and service are not the same. -Under the merchant he goes in an un. armed vessel, not obliged to fight, but to transport merchandize. In the king's service he is obliged to fight, and to hazard all the dangers of battle. Sickness on board of king's ships is also more common and more mortal. The merchant's service too he can quic at the end of the voyage ; not the king's. Also, the merchant's wages are much higher. Ib. “ I am very sensible, &c.”—


« PreviousContinue »