Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

IS.

fome respect or degree: and, notwithstanding his zeal for the dignity of parliament, he candidly concludes with the old adage :

Salus populi Juprema lex efto. Art. 15.

The Crisis; or, a full Defence of the Colonies ;-in which it is incontestibly proved that the British Constitution has been fagrantly violated in the late Stamp-att, and rendered indisputably evident, that the Mother-country cannot lay an arbitrary Tax upon the Americans, without destroying the Efence of her own Liberties. 8vo. Griffin. To prove that the British constitution has been flagrantiy violated in the Stamp act,' this Writer, among other arguments, inhits, in oppofition to fome advocates for that act, that our colonies are not at all virtually represented in the Britifti parliament; and it must be owned he does not reason ill on this subject. But there is a degree of virulence in his man. ner, and fuch an appearance of a disposition to cavil at every thing which has been urged on the other side of the question, that we are afraid what he has to offer in defence of the Colonists, will be littie regarded by the candid and dispaffionate Reader. Art. 16. A Letter to the Gentlemen of the Committee of London Mer

chants, trading to North-America : thewing in what manner the trade and Manufactures of Britain may be affected by some late Reftriptions on the American Commerce, and by the for the Stamp-Duty, &c. &c. 8vo. 6 d. Richardson and Urquhart.

This Writer also denies the virtual representation, and offers several arguments in favor of the Colonies, in common with their other advocates. He has likewise fome reflections tending to thew how far the freedom and liberty of Britain herself may possibly be concerned in the preservation of the rights of the provinces; and in what manner those rights appear to be abridged by thac ftatuce. He is a temperate, decent reasoner ; but has struck out nothing that seems likely to diftinguish his performance, in the croud of publications that have appeared in this great national controversy. Art. 17. The Adventure of a Bale of Goods from America, in con

sequence of the Stamp Aa. 8vo. 6d. Almon. A frange attempt at humour. What the Author would be at, is best known to himself; and, no doubt, will ever remain ro. Art. 18. Considerations relative to the North American Colonies.

8vo.

I S. Kent, Among the several advocates for the Colonies, who have distinguished themselves by their abilities for an adequate discussion of the important fubjects which have barely been agitated, in the dispute between the Mother-country and her Children, few are more entitled to the respectful attention of the public, than the present very senfible and judicious con. siderer. He enters, with great coolness, and masterly penetration, into the natural connexion and motual interest by which this country, as a Parent ftare, is united to its Colonies ; traces the rise and progress of our fettlements, to their present respectable situation, and thews the na

M 3

tural

.

T

tural dependence they have, and mut still wish to have, on Us, in whom their hopes of protection center; and to whom they chearfully bring all the produce of their labour and commerce they can spare, to exchange for our manufactures ; an exchange which gives bread to thousands, fiches to many; and adds vaft trength to the state. If, says our Author, we consider them in this point of view, and in such a point they have ever been considered, by all who knew any thing of America, till the present unhappy period, it admits not of a doubt, what kind of regard is due to the Americans, or what manner of treatment it is the intereft of Britain to exercise towards them.?

The ingenious writer goes on to Thew the inestimable value of our Colonies, not only as they are the source of our riches, but also as being the foundation of very great additional consequence to this country, ia the eyes of our neighbours. · The maritime powers, says he, well know this i they see, they feel our growing influence ; and that if we encourage and protect our Colonies, as we have done, the enemies of Britain have every thing to dread, its friends have every thing to hope from the wise management of the power we possess : how easily are fleets or armies reçruited for an American or West Indian expedition, from two millions of people just upon the spot with what expedition and secrecy can an armament be fitted out, of great strength, from an American Port, to annoy the West. India fettlements of those who may ever think it their interest to quarrel with us? But this power may be deemed to be yet in irs i fancy: its growth indeed is rapid, and wisdom is requisite to guide its ficacy to proper ends: this power is, however, British, and will choose to be íubiervient to the interest of the parent, if the connection is maintained as it ought to be.

* But, he proceeds, thould this happy connection be ever shaken, or weakened by any means ; should the luft of dominion at home, or should avarice banish the reisen

brance, that the Americans are sons, and conceive à cleign touive and fetier a free people, all these glorious prof. pecón vanish as a dream if they prove refractory, and submit unwillingly to restraints, which ihey think subv. rave of their liberties, and should we aim by force, to bring them to our terms, is not the house indeed di.' vided against itself, the kingdom split ? and instead of posfelling a force çapable of supporting ourselves and confederates, againft all human opposition, and of awing into good behaviour those who envy our happiness and good fortune; we leilen our influence in proportion to the exertion of our strength, and waste our force in cutting the veins that supply vitality and vigour, and tearing off those sinews on which depend the exertions of our power.'

After speaking in general terms of the powerful efforts made by our North American brethren, in defence of the common interest, both in peace and war, he makes this juft reflection. • Under Providence, it solely depends upon ourselves, whether this power shall increase or diminish ; whether it shall be for us, or against us. Wise and gentle methods will ever strengthen this union, will encourage population, cultivațion, commerce, whilit the produce of all centers in Britain. Harth and ungracious means will as necessarily weaken the union, will make them desirous of forgetting that they are of English defcent, will lessen their duty and allegiance, and teach them to think bardly of a couotry, to which they indeed owe their original, but which they find disposed to dilinherit them, and to deny them the privileges of their birthright.

Such

of

Such means will infallibly kindle jealoufies, spread difcontent and disaffec. tion, and put a stop to industry, and to every virtuous aim or emulation,

• People under such circumstances, impatiently look forward to that independency, which their situation favours; and this the more eagerly, in proportion to the prejudices they have early imbibed against a government they think oppressive; they grudge to contribute to the support of a state that threatens to abridge their liberties; discontent prompts them to enquire by what means they can moft fafely give vent to their re. : venge. They make a virtue of their necessities, grow frugal, either make a kift without, or supply by their own industry, many articles of commerce, the product of the Mother Country; trade then begins to languish at home : the merchants will firit feel the effects of this decay, the manufacturers suffer next, but without knowing the cause. The landed interest then finds itself embarrased; yet how few are able to trace up the cause of this general distress? the remotest parts of this kingdom already feel, and will yet feel more dreadfully, the fatal effects fo such an unhappy conduct.

• Far from charging the Authors of these unhappy effects, with a de. fign of apprefing the Americans, I am only recounting the effe&s ensuing from their conduct. That the Americans think themselves oppressed, or defigned to be oppressed, is most certain : witness the universal oppofi. tion to the late intended regulations on that continent.

. Let us view what must happen amongft them on this occasion : children and youth are disposed early to imbibe the language and sentiments of their parents: they remember, during their lives, and are often ruled by, the pasionate di&tates of their fore-fathers. What a prospect this for Britain ? one illadvised, unnecessary act, has imbittered the minds of almost all the inhabitants of America. The youth will receive the tincture, and it is needless to expatiate on the effects. An age will not expunge the unhappy impressions.

-Servabit odarem

Tefta diu. He, who by wrong measures, and imprudent coun.els, alienates the affections of the people from their sovereign, is the greatelt enemy to: the happinefs of the king, and the prosperity of his subjects: and the more universal the difaffection, and the more remote the subject from becter information, the greater is the detriment. It is laying a fure foundation for independancy in the Colonies; and involving both them and the parent in discontent and ruin,

• Thousands of manufacturers are already turned out of employ; mul. titudes soon must follow. The landed interest muft then support them, or they must perish. Thus in hopes to fave a few pence in the pound, at the expence of America, have we saddled ourselves with an additional Poor's rate of ten times the amount, and ruined our commerce, till wiser measurers bring it back to its former channel.

• Should any ambitious neighbouring power embrace the present juncture to revenge their paft disgraces, can we be sure that the Americans will immediately forget their animofities against us, and join with their former zeal in our affittance ? to act against us they never will, till oppression, grievous oppression, convinces chem, that they are no longer deemed the offspring of Britain, and have no longer to expect the inheritance of their ancestors, British freedom, and a British King for their loverciglie' He now proceeds to consider the nature.of the adminiftration ogo

vernment

M 4

ber

vernment in our American settlements ; the general tenor of their char. ters; and the measure of their subordination to parliamentary jurisdiction. This, in course, brings him to the Stamp act; which he totally condemns, with the authority of one who appears to be well acquainted with the propriery and natural tendency of that act, if fuffered to operate as intended, by those who schemed and promoted it. He then comes to refle&t on the grand question which muft

, in consequence, arise from the premises, What can be done under such circumftances ? « To reverse these fatal acts and regulations, may seem to encourage a licentious rabble to oppose every act of power, however conducive to the publick good, if it Squared not with popular opinion. To persevere in a refolution, to fubject such untractable spirits, even by force, if it was neceffary, would be next to distraction. Our wife neighbours already see this, and rise in their demands, increase in their obftinate refusal to our claims, in proportion to the prospect of this disunion. A dangerous precedent on one hand, as some may think to reverse without trial, an act of the supreme legislature : on the other a ruinous civil discord. These are among the unfortunate legacies to the present adminiftration.'

When he comes to speak of the subject of representation, he treats what has been alledged, with regard to the Americans being as much jepresented as copyholders, many large towns and populous communities in this kingdom are, with sovereign, and we think, with juft contempt : as a vain fophiftry, a flimsy deception, and an affront to the understanding of fenlible people! -nevertheless, he is not of the num

of those political schemers who would have the Colonies represented in A

the British parliament. He thinks this is a step which caght never to be taken; and that it is the mutual intereft of Great Britain and the Colonies, that no deputies from North-America ever should have a feat in the British senate,

*Can they, says he ever send any deputies who will at no time give up their own, or the British liberties, for a place or a pension ? the more diftant they are from their constituents, the more they are exposed to temptation. The lels property thefe deputies have, the less will be the purchase of their votes. Will Americans, who are able to serve their country, and of independent fortunes, be at all times willing to risque their lives across the occan in this service ? will the diftance admit them to consult their conftituents, during the sessions ? muft we have an auxiliary army of American pensioners, in conjunction with some other diftant members, not less purchaseable, to bear down the fons of freedom and indepen. dance in the British fenate, when perhaps the whole fortune of liberty is at stake? No. We see enough of the effects of venal poverty at home, without adding to its influence from our Colonies.'

He next takes notice of the pernicious doctrine maintained by those who advise us to exert what they call authority, and to inforce the acts that have spread such univerfal discontent through America; he traces the natural effects of this council; and shews chat at best fuch measures would prove but a wretched palliative for evils they could not possibly cure. He then proceeds to lament the general ignorance which prevaits in this country, with regard to the geography and history of our Colonies ; and the mistaken notions we are apt to entertain of their fituation and produce ; and of the condition, manner of life, traffic and connexions of their inhabitants. The account he gives of these several circumftances (and efpecially of the effential difference between the Welt Indians

and

and North Americans) is curious, and, we apprehend, may be safely de-
pénded on. In the conclusion, he briefly difcuffes the rhree ways that
are commonly proposed, by which to extricate ourselves from our pre-
sent perplexed fituation ; viz. 1. To enforce the Stamp act, 2. to suf-
pend, or, 3. to repeal it; and he is clearly of opinion, that it ought
to be repealed: there being, in his judgment, not the least room to ap-
prehend any ill consequence, but, on the contrary, much good, from
such a mark of kind and candid indulgence of our fellow subjects.-
On the whole, we earnefly recommend this excellent little tract, of which
out extracts can give but an imperfect idea, to the perasal of every Bri-
ton who is delirous of information, with regard to the real state of the
case, in this very interest ng dispute between the head and the members
of the British body-politic.
Art. 19. The Claim of the Colonies to an exemption from internal

taxes imposed by authority of Parliament, examined. In a Letter
from a Gentleman to his Friend in America.

8vo. Is. W. Johnston.

Controverts the Colonists claim to an exemption; and maintains the Parliament's right to a supreme and uncontrolable jurifdition, internally and externally, over the properties and persons of the subjects in the Có lonies. The Auchor has stated some material objections to the customary method of requifitions; and gives a particular account of the behaviour of the Colonies and their agents, with regard to their oppofing the Stamp bill, before the act was passed ; from which he would have us infer, that if a precedent was not obtained on this occasion, in favour of America, che failure thereof, must be charged on che improper procedure of the Americans themselves.The Author writes with judge ment and temper ;, and notwithstanding his disallowance of the claim of the Colonies to an exemption, &c. he concludes with exprefling his good opinion of the temper and moderation of parliament, and his confidence in the candor and perpecual regard which fome gentlemen bear to the Colonies; from whence he concludes, there is no rooin for apprehension, that advantage will be taken of the følward- ro ness of their legitimate offspring; but that their dealing towards them will be like that of parents to their truant children, not rigorously juft, but forbearing and affectionate. May fach a parental fpirit ever prevail in this nation, and may her children ever make dutiful and grateful returns to such indulgence and tenderness! Art. 20. A Letter from a Merchant in London to his Nephew it

North-America, relative to the present pofture of Affairs ix the Colonies. 8vo. Is. Walter.

On the same side of the question with the foregoing ; but written with less moderation. The author treats the Colonists very cavalierly ; talks in a pert assuming Itrain; and shews a disposition to cavil and sneer at the Americans chroughout his whole letter: which, however, is a smart and shrewd performance; and will scarcely fail to entertain those whom it may not happen to convince. Art. 21. An Application of fome General Political Rules to the pre

sent State of Great-Britain, Ireland, and America. In a Letter to the Rt. Hon. Earl Temple. 8vo.

8vo. Is. 6 d. Almon.

Thera

rol

« AnteriorContinuar »