Page images

diffipated in vain and needless expenceś, and poverty be introduced in the place of affluence.—This may be possible. It however rarely happens : for there seems to be in every nation a greater proportion of industry and frugality, which tend to enrich, than of idleness and prodigality, which occasion poverty; fo that upon the whole there is a continual accumulation. Reflect what Spain, Gaul, Germany, and Britain were in the time of the Romans, inhabited by people little richer than our savages, and consider the wealth they at present poffess, in numera ous well-built cities, improved farms, rich moveables, inagazines stocked with valuable manufactures, to say nothing of plate, jewels, and coined money; and all this, notwithstanding their bad, wasteful, plundering governments, and their mad destructive wars; and yet luxury and extravagant living has never suffered much restraint in those countries. Then


consider the great proportion of industrious frugal farmers inhabiting the interior parts of these American states, and of whom the body of our nation consists, and judge whether it is possible that the luxury of our sea-ports can be sufficient to ruin such a country.--If the importation of foreign luxuries could ruin a people, we should probably have been ruined long ago; for the British nation claimed a right, and practised it, of importing among us not only the superflu'ities of their own production, but those of every nation under heaven; we bought and consumed them, and yet we fourished and grew rich. At present our independent governments may do what we could not then do, discourage by heavy duties, or prevent by heavy prohibitions, such importations, and thereby grow richer ;--if, indeed, which may admit of dispute, the desire of adorn, ing ourselves with fine clothes, pofsefling



fine furniture, with elegant houses, &c. is not, by strongly inciting to labour and industry, the occasion of producing a greater value than is consumed in the gratification of that desire.

The agriculture and fisheries of the United States are the great sources of our increasing wealth. He that puts a feed into the earth is recompensed, perhaps, by receiving forty out of it; and he who draws a fill out of our water, draws up a piece of silver.

Let us (and there is no doubt but we shall) be attentive to these, and then the power of rivals, with all their restraining and prohibiting acts, cannot much hurt us. We are sons of the earth and feas, and, like Antæus in the fable, if in wrestling with a Hercules we now and then receive a fall, the touch of our parents will communicate to us fresh strength and vigour to renew the contest.




MANY persons in Europe having, directly or by letters, expressed to the writer of this, who is well acquainted with North-America, their desire of transporting and establishing themselves in that country; but who appear to him to have formed, through ignorance, mila taken ideas and expectations of what is to be obtained there ; he thinks it may be useful, and prevent inconvenient, expensive, and fruitless removals and voyages of improper persons, if he gives some clearer and truer notions of that part of the world than appear to have hitherto prevailed.

He finds it is imagined by numbers, that the inhabitants of North-America VOL. I.



are rich, capable of rewarding, and dir posed to reward, all sorts of ingenuity; that they are at the same time ignorant of all the sciences, and consequently that

strangers, pofseffing talents in the belles· lettres, fine arts, &c. must be highly

esteemed, and so well paid as to become easily rich themselves ; that there are also abundance of profitable offices to be disposed of, which the natives are not qualified to fill; and that having few persons of family among them, strangers of birth must be greatly respected, and of course easily obtain the best of those offices, which will make all their fortunes : that the governments too, to encourage emigrations from Europe, not only pay the expence of personaltransportation, but give lands gratis to strangers, with negroes to work for them, utensils of hulbandry, and stocks of cattle. These are all wild imaginations; and those who go to America with expectations founded


« PreviousContinue »