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and the naval power of England. Other political improvements were hinted in both houtes of parliament ; to which the minister always listened with attention and refpect. Among these, encourage. mert co the fineries on the coaft ot Scotland holds the very first place. It was, by means of their fifferies, that the Seven: United Pravitees obtained a raok among the nations : and the fisheries are, at this daí, almoft the only remaining nerve of the republic. In the cities and towns the Dutch mama tacturers are converted into fhop keepers ; and the shop-keepers aim at general trade, particularly that with India. The old manners have deserted the United Provinces! by land, but are ftill found, in their original fimplicity and vigour, among thote numerous bands of men who are engaged in their tifhers * ies. Here we still find their antient partimony and labour. The ocean is, as it were, the 'ekate of the Dutch, which they have cultivated, ands
-may continue to all eternity to cultivate without lacking a fubject for induftry and improvement. Other nations participate largely in the carrying trade." The Dutch, in the proteifion of the carriers of Europe, begin to want employment; but, as fishermen, they will never want it. The fisheries, which gave ftrength, may also give stability to the Dutch republic. If it is not here, it is no where formidable. If the genius of Holland is ever again to raife: his head among the nations, he must spring, as at firit, from the ocean,
The example of Holland is a powerful incentive to the Britifler giflature to apply with zeal to the improvement of what nature has so liberally beftowed, and which tempes the hand of cultivation. It is: the fea that forms the great inheritance of Scotland, as well as of: the United Provinces. The experience of succeffive years has proved how little. the climate and foil of the northern fhores and iflands of Scotland are adapted to the growth of grain. A miferable famine. has punished the poor inhabitants of Caithness, Shetland and Ork Dey for their neglect of thofe treasures, which heave their friths'and. crowd upon their Thores. The legislature was obliged to fend money to them, to keep them from starving. But, if such fums could's be afforded annually for that purpose, out of the public money, or raised by a fimple volition in his Majesty's breast ; yet still it were: better, that the hardy sons of the north thould be taught and even compelled to work out their falvation by labour rather than to receive! it as a gift from the hand of charity. When the Redeemer of the World was called upon by legal authority to pay tribute, although he could bave converted the stones of the earth into gold or filver by the word of his mouth, he yet chose to make use, on that occafion, of natural means. Go”, said he to Peter, to the sea, and “ cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when “ thou haft opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money ; that
ţake, and give unto them for me and thee." In imitation of this example the British legislature, instead of remitting money from time to tune to the Scotch iflanders, should say to them, “Go to " the fea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; " and when thou haft opened his mouth thou shalt find a piece of money.' It has long been the argument of indolence; that, as the Dutch
can live on hard fare, and work for less hire than the Englith, all competition with them in the fisheries, even on our owo coaits, would be vain. But the common fare of a Dutchman, compared with that. of a Shetlander, or in general with that of an inhabitant of the fishing coats of Scotland, is luxury. The Scotchman can live upon less, work for as little, and endure as great fatigue as the hardiest Hollander. The hardiness and parsimony of North Britain, with the rich capitals and coinmercial enterprize of England, and the advantage of an extensive sea-coatt warming with filhes of different. kinds, and abounding with deep, safe and commodious harbours, under the management of a wife legislature, migbe doubtless produce the most inestimable benefits to the British government and nation.
In order to promote the fifheries, it was judged necessary that an inquiry Nould be set on foot into the causes by which they have hiæ, therto been obstructed, and the means by which these may be removed. A committee of the House of Commons met, by regular adjournments, for this purpose. And a patriotic member has devoted the recess of parliament to inquiries into that important fubject. It appeared that the advantages which tempt the enterprize of the filhermen on the northern coasts of this island are immense ; that besides all kinds of fifl in common use, there is a species in those parts which, as if provided by Providence against the inhospitality of the climate, and the iterility of the soil, is fitted to yield full and falutary suiten, ance without the mixture of any thing farinaceous.
It appeared further that those advantages were overborn and rendered of no-effect by the obstinate remains of feudality which make the tenant little better than the slave of his laird : the latter prescribes his talk, takes his rent in kind, and scarcely leaves to the pining fishermen what may fuffice for the preservation of life. Every landlord on the sea coast is, in reality, the only fifherman on his own estate !: If proper tracts were allotted to companies, with capitals and the comanand of expert fishermen, independent of the land-holder on the payment of quit-rents, a new spring might be given to excite. that fpecies of industry which nature requires and invites. Perhaps colonies of Dañes or Dutch might be invited, by proper encouragement, to settle in thofe parts. It is example, which governs the world! A few examples would operate on the filheries more powerfully than the most liberal bounties.
SCOTLAND. As we are thus led to Scotland, we shall briefly describe the aspect of affairs in that kingdom for the year under review; and this the rather that we may do so in continuation of the subject of improve.. ments begun or intended.
A few virtuous citizens, joined by some zealous republicans among the gentry, have met, by regular adjournments, for the purpose of concerting the means of obtaining an equal representation in parliament. Their publications are plausible and animated : their scheme of forming an union of wills, by pouring light and conviction on the underitaning, was worthy of an enlightened and thoughtful
people. No attempts towards riots ! No wish to excite infurrection! They aim at moving the energy of the paffions through the judgment. But the great body of the Scotch nation are very in. different, and rather averse to political innovation ; neither are they much moved by the projected fisheries. Scotland, compared with England, is yet in a torpid state. Yer there is no period in the hiftory of Scotland fince the union, when so many circumstances concurred to itimulate the genius and industry of that nation, as at present. The antient dress of the highlanders. was rettored. The forfeited estates were given. back to the natural heirs. Large sums of money, were voted for the construction of the most useful and magnificent works. The clergy were encouraged by a decision of the House of Peers to claim an augmentation of stipend ; and a committee, as has been already observed, was appointed by the House of Commons for the improvement of the fisheries. The military genius of Scotland, was proved and exercised in the late war, and thence an alacrity and ardour nourished in many breasts, which may be transferred from war to the arts of peace. The officers who have returned from America, from Asia, and from different stations in England, will carry home with them many observations, which they may turn to ada vantage.com their own eftates, or farms" rented from their relations and friends. And on the whole, if a new face of affairs does not arise in the northern parts of Great Britain, in consequence of the present favourable juncture; the remains of Navery, with its wretched companion povertys may reign in that remote corner for a thousand years,
TAXES. The popularity of the young minister was put to a severe test, when it became his duty to impose on the public the heaviest taxes. Here we have an opportunity of contemplating the patriotism and the honour of English gentlemen. There was not a single member in either house who did not acknowledge the necessity of raising fup, plies. Concerning the taxes to be imposed, there was not the same unanimity. The commutation tax, or an additional duty on windows, instead of the duties taken off of tea, was a simplification of the mode of collection, and a sure and productive fund of additional revenue. It was opposed, nevertheless, on the ground of its being a facrifice of a certain for an uncertain income; of its resembling in its nature the gehelles or falt-tax of France; and of reducing people to the necessity of excluding the salubrious comforts of light and air. Time has furnished a more folid objection to this tax than any of these. The duty on windows has been prodigiously augmented; and the price of teas not greatly diminished. The price of tease however, muft needs be reduced in time. It is impossible for any combination long to resist the influx of tea at a lowered price; the vigorous exertions of government for the deftruction of smuggling vessels, and the generous poliey of Captain Preston and other gentlemen who have opened warehouses for the sale of that article on terms that make a reasonable allowance for the reduction of the duty-On this« subject we may further observe, that in this period of extended commerce, most nations are interested even in the internal regulations of each other. The settling of the taxes in England encourages one of the principal exports of China,
IRELAND. The affairs of Ireland, which had tor fome time threatened infure rection and rebellion, in the course of 3784 began to assume a peace able afpect, and to settle, if not into pertect order, yet into a modee ration and coolness, with regard to the objects of association, which promise to terminate in an indiference, which hall fully re-eitablish the authority of regular government. The Irish parliament with. Itood the demands and elamones and menacing parade of military affociation, with a firmness worthy of their rank, and their political avisdom. They even dared to curb the licentiousness of the press. It was in this manner, though on leis juftifiable grounds, that the long parliament of England, having defeated the royal power, proceeded also, by infringing the liberty of the press, to fubvert tho rights and claimes of the people. Although these two cafes, in respect of right or wrong, are indeed different, yet they both illustrate the progrcfs of power and ambition. In both cafes, the conduct of the paffions was the fame. On this fubject it may also be recollected, that the parliament in the reign of Charles I. having begun their encroachments on the executive power, voted their own power and privileges perpetual. It was in tho fame manner, that the late Houfe of Commons in England, having attempted to feize the executive government of India, endeavoured, by a repetition of remonstrances, to intimidate the crown from diffolving the parliament. There is nothing more amusing or inftructive in history, or in reviewing the actual Hate of the world, than to trace the uniform progress and tranfitions of the human pafsions, as they appear in the conduct, not of an individual, the minute peculiarity of whose circumstances it is not often poffible to trace, but in that of great bodies of men, where the torrent of pafsion repels, and carries along with it the brooks which here and there fall into its channel. The firmness of the Irish parliament, the intrepidity of the viceroy the Duke of Rutland, the plainness, the openness, the jovialty of his mamers, and his indifference to the boastings of the volunteers : these qualities, brought opportunely into exertion, were the best adapted that could be imagined for the government of Ireland in its prefent situation. The volunteers, and in general the Irish nation, fhewed themfelves the more intractablo the more they were tampered with. The viceroy fets them at defiance, merely by taking no notice of them. A pragmatieal and refining spirit would only have blown up the coals, and have perpe tuated and increased the flame of discord.
AMERICA. In the course of the year 1784 the world was favoured with the kaws of the American congress, and also those of the different Ames rican provinces. Never was any state founded in such enlightened times, or on fuch enlarged principles. The collected wisdom of the old world; the examples of history; the improved maxims of politieks; the present state of the world; the nature and conduct of the palfions: all these have been consulted by the American legislators, and lent their aid to the formation of the most liberal Tyfein of goa Pernment that has yet been establifhed in any country. It is evident, that many of the Anyericau laws have been borrowed from thu,
fatútes of the famous association of small republics in Greeec, which förmed the Achæan league. It is with nations as with trading and Manufacturing corporations. The most autient are the narrowest in their principles. The most recent are the mott liberal, and embrace the widest intereits. Congress, have not yet been abie to extend and establish their authority over the different nates." Length of time is 25. neceffary to establish the authority of states as it is to bettow respectability on particular families. The states-general of the united provinces, on their emancipation from the. Auttrians, struggled for years before they were able to govem their particular itaves and towns. Their constant efforts prevailed at last. Hence it is reasonable to conelude that, unless fome sudden rupture intervene, the authority of congrefs will be established over the thirteen provinces of America. The animosity of the Americans against individuals.of Girat Britaia, this year began to fubfide. The common civilities of facial and commercial intercourse were revived. And an extreme want of moHey from one and of North America to the other led the Aarichnis to doubt conecrning the advantages of the 'svar, and to be convinced that, in order to carry on extensive commerce, a icapital, and credit are as necelsary, as raw materials.
CNTINENT OF EUROPE. The emperor of Germany gave early proofs of his ambition. Froir the moment he ascended the throne of his anceltors, he devoted his life to the purluit of glory; and manifested a refolution to promote the prosperity of his subjects, and to reclaim the territories that had been antiently veslcd in his family. Whatever might promote industry of every kind throughout his dominions, became The object of his attention. He shewed himself a determined foe to indolence and superstition, by seizing on niany convents : while from shefe sacred 1poits, and the returns of a growing commerce in plentiful and populous countries, he kept on foot one of the boit disciplined, and in every refpéct the finest ar inies in Europe. The revolution in America having embroiled his ncareft neighbours, the French and the Dutch, in a war with the English, the most powerful guarantees of the barrier treaty, this prince law and improved a juncture fo favourable to his ambition. The chain of forts which te paraced the Auitrian from the Seven United Provinces at his request was rémora ed. The barrier towns were dismantled. A road ivas opened into the heart of the United Provinces. The demand of a tree navigation of a river, flowing through dominions which had devolved to the emperor by the inost undisputed title of fucceffion, with a small terri. tory neceílary for the protection of that navigation, and which had alió been wrefted froni his ancestors, was jufl., This navigation would be an acquifitio:, not only to the emperor, but to the other princes and Itates of Germany, whole dominions must neccflatily tiel new incitements to industry, by a new influx of coinnveree. On w more enlarged scale, the opening of the Schelle would be, for the tame reasons, for the advantage of the world. The einpcror, atlured of the albistance, it is reasonable to prefume, of powerful allies, and, confiding in the good wishes of those dates on whom the olijat he had