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manufactures, and making them flourish. It is the competition of purchasers that gives the highest price.
But we may ask, if we ought to grant to the merchants the fame liberty in the commerce of grain? The thing fuffers no difficulty in the interior commerce. It is proper that the neceffaries of life fhould circulate freely in the provinces of a state; by this means the confumption of the products is most affured, the fubfiftence diftributed proportionally to the wants, and are more easily found. The poor, the farmers, the manufacturers, and the inhabitants of the cities, will equally find their advantage-and eafe become general among all the orders. Refpecting the exterior commerce of grain, it has been much agitated of late, and determined that it fhould be favoured. After all the explanations which excellent citizens have given upon that question, we must avow that the reafons for it appear to be victorious.
Nothing throws more languor upon the arts and manufactures, than the interdicting the exportation of manufactures. Many would drop entirely. None would remain but fuch as are merely neceffary for the inhabitants. There being no emulation among them, nor a fpur which can make them excel other people, and gain a preference, they would work the worse, and dearer, than if they were permitted to manufacture for ftrangers. It is the fame with the culture of the earth. It is the immenfe manufacture of corn which increafes, contracts itself or extends; profpers or languishes, by reafon of the number of certain and ready markets which offer themfelves to the cultivator. It feems therefore that it is the intereft of agriculture, to authorize individuals to make magazines of corn, to fill and fell them, either at home or abroad, as it may happen.
Nevertheless, the fear of exhaufting a ftate of a commodity fo neceffary to life-or rendering it too dear, may occafion the limiting the exportation of corn, when at certain markets of a country the price rifes above a certain point: but this value must be fixed by an irrevocable law; for if it depends on the caprice of government, or the infinuations that are made to it, it will publish without neceffity, edicts which arbitrarily refrain this exterior commerce of corn; and no perfon then will dare to form magazines of corn in years of abundance, when they may be made to refell with lofs at a low price. The permiffion of exportation being at once regulated, upon a medium known to every one, and which never varies, individuals would always venture in years of abundance to make provifion of grain, because they would be fure of trading with advantage. By means of this arrangement labour would never be too dear. The poor, the manufacturer, and the artizan would live commodiously. It would fucceed better in putting an end to the famines, because the cultivator feeing a quick fale of his products, labours always with ardour to render his lands fertile; the magazines which individuals form in good years, fupply the defects of bad ones. When the price of products is low, the proprietors of grains like better to fell them in the country than elsewhere, as they will not then anfwer the expences and rifque of exportation. Thus, without having any want of public magazines, which coft the prince much, and which in certain ftates are often fubject to great inconveniences, they provide
against famines. But it is not the fame, if the exterior commerce of corn is burthened too much, or the faving of individuals. Very far from rendering by thofe means the price of labour lefs dear, or facilitating the fubfiftence of the poor, they expose themselves to produce an effect wholly oppofite. For the low price to which products fall difguft the cultivator, from which, tillage muft decline by little and little, A part of the corn-lands are converted to other ufes, or abandoned; the farmer thinks only of leaving his lands fallow. Not cultivating his corn-fields further than precifely neceffary for the confumption of the inhabitants; and when people dare not form magazines, it happens that an unfortunate year brings on an extreme fcarcity; and the neceffity of having recourse to frangers for that with which the nation is fupported.
All we have faid here, is confirmed by what we have seen in France. Formerly the exportation of corn was permitted, and the fed England, who dared not to export any; but at prefent, fince England has encouraged the corn-trade by bounties, the has furnifhed immenfe quantities to France, who has had many provinces rained in their agriculture, by interdicting this commerce. It is only by returning to the ancient, freedom, as fhe has of late determined to do, that the can re-establish her culture in its firft luftre.
But perhaps it may be faid, that inftead of exporting grains; would it not be better to convert them to the nourishment of a nuž merous people Without doubt. if we could all at once precure this numerous people, it would be preferable. We want exportation in order to have markets. But men do not engender with fo much facility; they must have time. We have feen in the Second Parts that, for retaining them in the country, and engaging them to la bour in the propagation of the fpecies, they must first be placed in a fate of ease. This eafe can never have place among the proprietors of land, unless they have a reasonable price, and confequently, a ready market; then only, the inhabitants being in a commodious fate will people the country; and when the time comes that you have a great people, exportation will ceafe without prohibitions; the confumption of the country must first be served. For who would export grains while they could fell them advantageously at home?
We need not here fay more than that the exportation of corn is not proper in ftates, where they cannot fuftain at proper markets the competition of strangers. If the foil of a country is good and fertile, there will be no impoffibility of fuftaining this competition, any more than if the culture was not fufficiently animated. If this was the cafe, and it arose from a want of a market, how should the farmer fell his crops, when they were very abundant? What if he has before his eyes the profpect of a prompt fale? He redoubles his labour-and in spite of the fmallness of the price, he fears not abundant crops; because on a great number of meafures they procure a multitude of fmall gains, of which the amount furpaffes what is drawn from moderate crops, when the measure of grain fells dear, Thus, for placing a nation in a ftate of entering into a competition with ftrangers, and at the fame time, gain upon them, we must encourage exportation by bounties. It is by this method that the Eng.
lish have turned the tables on France; for in 1621, when exportation had place among them, the Chevalier Colepepper complained, that the French carried to England fuch prodigious quantities of grain at fo low a price, that the English could not fuftain the competition with them in their own markets.
Thus all concurs with the cleareft evidence, that the exterior commerce of corn is advantageous to a nation, and ought not to be reftrained by burthenfome laws. We cannot doubt but that this commerce gives more activity to the labourers of the canton of Berne, which being well cultivated in every part, might give much more corn than is neceffary for the confumption of the inhabitants. Nothing difcourages the farmers of the Pays de Vaud, fo much as the want of a market. In years of abundance they fee with fadness, the fecundity of their land. What a reflection therefore, not to find an eflux to other parts of Switzerland, that have not enough for main, taining themselves. It would infallibly happen to us as to the Englifh. The courage and ardour which would thence infpire all our labourers, would place our agriculture upon fo flourishing a footing, that we should hereafter enter into competition with those who had hitherto fupplied us. But for determining individuals to undertake this commerce, and to make magazines of corn, we must facilitate the means of preferving it without the rifque of feeing it fpoiled. Nothing is more proper to conduct us to this end than the establishment of stoves, by the aid of which we can deftroy the feed of all the infects, and free the grain from the prejudicial humidity which makes it ferment and corrupt. There are required therefore in the different diftricts of the country, the most abounding in corn, the public conftruction of ftoves, where individuals may, for a flight contribution, dry their corn.
The liberty of commerce in the manufactures of a country, in grain, wine, cattle, and objects of traffic, fuppofes that the government does not burthen them with monopolies, and exclufive privileges. Thefe granted for exercifing certain branches of commerce, occafion an infinite lofs to the nation. Those who obtain them would make immenfe profits, by felling their merchandise too dear. They render fubfiftence by this means too difficult to the poor, and cut off the refources for employing them. They have no regard to the true interefts of the nation, because they all want to enrich themselves, before they tranfmit their privileges to others. Thefe privileges which are as easily taken away as granted, prevent a nation from making the most of any one branch of commerce, or of ever rendering her the masters of it. There are likewife great inconveniences in the privileges granted to companies, compofed of a great number of perfons. The avarice which makes their common character, is mifchievous to the welfare and extenfion of commerce. Sometimes, for raising the price of merchandife, they will not take enough for the foreign fupply, and from thence bring on their own ruin, and that of the national commerce; because they then cannot enter into competition with other nations. It is not proper to establish thefe forts of companies, except when affairs are totally above the ability of individuals. Under a propitious government, one part of the ftate
ftate is never favoured to the prejudice of the other. It is in her power to distribute advantages equally to all, so that every one may have a fhare.
There are flates where it is very eafy for monopoly to introduce itself; it is where commerce is carried on by the prince, or by those who have a fhare in the government. For who can prevent ordonnances being iffued in favour of appropriating and engroffing all the advantages of trade? In fome ftates they have taken wife measures for preventing this abufe. At Venice the nobles are not permitted to exercife commerce. At Rome the fenators were excluded from having at sea a veffel, that held more than forty muids.'
As to the merit of the tranflation, it is nearly equivalent with that of the generality of works of this kind. This, we acknowledge, is but faint commendation; as we have often, with concern, remarked the defects of our English translations, which are too frequently undertaken by perfons not only unqualified for doing compleat juftice to the originals, but who are even, in fome measure, ftrangers to the ftructure and elegance of the language into which they prefume to render those Authors who are unfortunate enough to fall into their hands.
ART. II. An Argument in the Cafe of James Somerfett, a Negro, lately determined by the Court of King's Bench: Wherein it is attempted to demonftrate the prefent Unlawfulness of domeftic Slavery in England. To which is prefixed, a State of the Cafe. By Mr. Hargrave, one of the Counfel for the Negro. 8vo. 2 s. Otridge. 1772. N this tract we meet with confiderable learning, and with much precision of thought and expreffion. It appears not, however, in our opinion, to exhibit a very masterly view of its fubject; and it will be allowed, that the Author talks of LIBERTY with too ftoical an indifference. We feel not in his argument that fire, and that enthusiasm, with which every Englishman ought to be animated, when he would vindicate the natural and inherent rights of mankind. No fubject could perhaps have afforded a finer field for eloquence than the cafe in queftion; yet we believe it impoffible that it could have been canvaffed in a colder train. No German lawyer could have crept through the fubject with a more difgufting languor, or a more infupportable heaviness.
It also appears to us that the Author has omitted, in his hiftorical detail, a very capital circumftance in regard to flavery. We allude to the influence of manners in varying the condition of flaves; a pofition, of which it may be proper that we offer a fhort illuftration.
The ancient Germans had the power of life and death over their flaves; but this power was very rarely exercifed by them. The objects of this low condition they treated with the utmost lenity. Verberare fervum, fays Tacitus of them, ac vinculis .
opere coercere, rarum. In England, during the Anglo-Saxon period, the villains were protected by law, and yet their mafters behaved to them with infolence and inhumanity and in the Norman times legal precautions had become more numerous; yet the condition of the flave was ftill more wretched and fevere. Our Author feems to know, and in fome measure to refer to these facts; but they are not to be accounted for by any principles advanced by him.
To give a folution of them, it is requifite to attend to the manners that prevailed in the different periods referred to. In Germany, commerce was not cultivated, and no extenfive notions of property had obtained. The weak attached themfelves to the ftrong; the booty they acquired by their valour furnished chiefly their fubfiftence; and while they were not divided into particular employments, nor made money or private advantage the object of their purfuits, they were animated with high fentiments of pride and greatnefs. Though they held, therefore, their flaves in the greateft contempt, yet it appeared to them difhonourable to treat them with inhumanity.
In England, the Saxons had improved confiderably on the manners to which they had been accustomed in the country they had quitted. This is particularly obvious on an examination of their laws. They became acquainted with the advantages attending property, and with a nice fubordination and diftinction of ranks. They had become base enough, in confequence, to feek the augmentation of their wealth from the hard labour to which they fubjected their flaves; and they difplayed their power by their oppreffions. The advancement of the Duke of Normandy to the crown of England increased civilization, and added to the mifery of the villain. The magnanimity which is felt by the individual in a rude age, is feldom experienced by the polifhed citizen. The progrefs of the arts and of civi-, lity, is ever accompanied with felfishness and corruption.
In regard to the orders or ranks of men which compofe a community, it will conftantly be found that their conduct towards each other will, in general, be directed by the spirit of the times in which they live; and that their nature and characteristic peculiarities will be eafier found in the books of the hiftorian, than in those of the lawyer. It is therefore to be prefumed that, if our Author had turned his attention to our hiftorical monuments, and to the writings of our antiquaries, he might have confiderably enlarged his views, and attained a more liberal method of inveftigating his fubject.
To thefe ftrictures we fhall fubjoin the following general re marks concerning flavery, as they may amufe our Readers, and will, at the fame time, give them no unfavourable idea of the merit of the treatife before us.