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the most critical period, that perhaps any nation ever brought to a successful conclusion.

Important Fact. The following statement proves the great superiority of silver over gold, (being subject to the least variation) as a permanent standard of value.

O

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1. Lowest prices of silver and gold since 1792-3. 1793. 28th June. Dollars, 4s. 10d. per oz.

5$. 10}d. per oz. standard. Bar Gold, 31. 178: 6d. per oz.

standard. 2. Highest prices for the same period. 1813. 6th August. Portugal Gold,

1118. per ozigo

to standard. Dollars, 7s. O}d. per oz. 78. 3d. per oz. standard. Bar Silver, 75. 1d. per oz.

standard. 21st Oct. Doubloons, 111s. per oz, 116s. 6d. per oz. standard. Advance on dollars, from the lowest to the highest price, 44.8 per cent.; if calculated on standard silver, about 1 per cent. more.

Advance on standard gold, calculating on the price of doubloons at 111s. per oz., 50.64 per cent.

Hence the difference in favor of silver over gold, as an invariable standard, is 6.56 per cent. ; a fact which ought to put that questiob for ever at rest. Ormly Lodge, Ham Common,

10th July, 1816.

}

A

DISSERTATION

ON THE

THEORY AND PRACTICE

OF

BENEVOLENCE,

BEING A PRACTICAL IMPROVEMENT OF THE SECOND EDI. TION OF THE COMPLAINTS OF THE POOR PEOPLE OF

ENGLAND, BY THE SAME AUTHOR.

BY GEORGE DYER, A. B.

NEW EDITION
WITH CONSIDERABLE ADDITIONS.

“ But 'tis not that Compassion should bestow
“ An unavailing tear on want or woe:
“ Lo! fairer order rises from thy plan,
Befriending virtue, and adorning man."

TO BENEVOLENCE.--BOWLES'S POEMS.

LONDON:

PREFACE..

It may be proper to acquaint the reader, that the following pages were designed as a sequel to the Second Edition of the COMPLAINTS OF THE POOR PEOPLE OF ENGLAND, printed in 1793. In those essays, or more properly speaking, statements of facts, the author, designedly, left some cases of distress umnoticed, which were entitled to particular attention. These will be found in the second and third chapters of the Second Part of this pamphlet; and little more was intended, on the present occasion, than to state those cases. The work professes, in the Title-page, to be a Dissertation, though the Second Part will be found to exbibit few characters of that species of writing. It, however, unfolds the secret wishes of the author; it exhibits an accurate representation of what he intended; and may be used by the benevolent reader as a Rerum tristium Commentariolus, A little Register Book of Distresses.

DISSERTATION, &c.

PART I.

CHAP. I.

BENEVOLENCE IS INDEPENDENT IN ITS CHARACTER.

Goodness is defined by Dr. Samuel Johnson to be, desirable qualities, either moral or physical.

In this dissertation, the term stands for the most desirable of all moral qualities, kindness, a gentle and humane propensity, which inclines to sympathy, and which, by considerations of one common interest, as well as one common duty, impels those who possess it to be interested in the happiness of others. A good man is the well-wisher, and, to the utmost of his power, the benefactor of his species: one, to whom the unfortunate may look with confidence, whom they may consider as their friend.To avoid, therefore, too frequent a use of the same word, goodness and benevolence will be often, in the following pages, made to express the same disposition.

Man is not only, morally considered, an imperfect being, but frail, considered physically. The imbecility of his nature compels him to look beyond himself for protection; his social propensities require a junction of hearts in his gratifications and enjoyments. Hence connexions are formed between man and man, and friendships cemented between persons of similar pursuits and correspondent inclinations.

Age is most pleased, when in sweet converse join'd
With hoary age; so youth delights in youth,
And female softness harmonizes best
With kindred tenderness; th’infirm, th' opprest
Bear to th' opprest, th’ infirm, a sympathy of woe."!

NORTHMORE.

These alliances, (so I call this conjunction of minds and interests,) are formed to resist our common infirunities, to procure reciprocal attentions. And so insinuating; sơ sensible has been this weakness, and the fears connected with it so forcible and strong, that men, not content with the assistance of frail beings, like themselves, advanced a step higher to ask support. Hence, among Jews and Gentiles, the idea of guardian angels; hence the custom among Catholics, of holding intercourse with departed spirits, of obtaining the regards of martyrs, and of appropriating to themselves their merits; these still retaining, as was supposed, the sympathies of humanity, though beyond its infirmities, were conceived capable of rendering important services to man.

« Once like ourselves they trembled, wept, and pray'd." 2

Hence the custom of meeting around their sepulchres, and even the relic of a saint was a shelter from the storm.

This was the superstition of dark ages. Benevolence, so far as human can operate, (and of divine I am not speaking) is the hope and guide of more enlightened periods. The theory of this amiable quality may, perhaps, lead to the practice.

BENEVOLENCE IS INDEPENDENT in its character. - It being intended to consider this disposition as it resides in the human breast, it is scarcely necessary to observe, that the term independent cannot here be understood in the sense applied to a Supreme Being, a first Cause; described in the schools as a necessary, self-existent, independent Being: nor can it express any superiority of mind, or separation of interests, authorising a being to say, can stand alone-bound by no ties; exposed to no wants; affected by no calamities. Nor must it be interpreted, so as to exclude certain preferences in our regards and attentions, connected with the closer ties of life; preferences that, to a certain extent, and under certain limitations, may be strictly just, and are often

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