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åfter all, eloquence is but a barren talent, without the knowledge of those useful arts that are the true sources of national felicity; and happy would it be for the nation, if its representatives were prepared, by academical instruction, to deal fome. what less in words, and much more in things.
For M. AY, 1783.
POLITICA L. Art. 20. The Nature and Extent of Supreme Power, in a Lete
ter to the Rev. David Williams. By M. Dawes, Esq. 8vo. 1 $. Stockdale. 1783.
R. David Williams withes, it seems, to restore the government
to the ancieni Saxon model; and looks upon the Folk mote as the very balis of true polisical liberty. Mr. Dawes conliders his fenci. ments on this subject as wild and impracticable; incompatible with the condition of mankind, and self-deficient even in theory.' He expresses a strong averlion to republicanism; and hints that Mr. Williame's predilection for this false Species of liberty may be attributed to some remains of Prefbyterian prejudices, imbibed originally from education, and confirmed by the intercourse he hach had with people of fimilar habits and opioions. It is remarkable (says he) that mott of ihose writers on government and political liberty who have been bred in Presbyterian principles, all think Rearly alike on those fubjects. They contend, that political liberty confills in the will of the popular part of the community, which they consider as fupreme." Mr. Daweş, to lhew the absurdity of Mr. Williams's scheme of liberty, considers its effe&, on the fuppofition that it hath actually taken place. ! What confusion (says he would there be, were ten adjoining inhabitants to choose by ballot an actual representative, who, with pine representatives of adjoining ty things, were to choose an actual representative of a hundred, until the choice of the district united in one, who is to represent it in parliament? According to this scheme [Mr. Williams's) ten in habitants would choose one, who with nine more to be chosen for che hundred, would choose one for for that hundred ; and supposing a county to contain a thousand hundreds, a chousand men (at the rate of one for each hundred) would choose ewo for a county. If, therefore, parliaments were to be annual, as you propose, the whole year would probably, be taken up in elegions, and political liberty would be the phantattic employ ment of tythings, huodreds, and counties to their inevitable dirora der and injury. Tolead of the people's being able to make their delegates express their judgments, they would have gone to express, and all with them would be riot indeed!'
The maia object of Mr. D.'s pamphlet is to illuftrate this poßtionthat the supreme power real, is in the people, who derive it from God;' she supreme power personal, is in one person, or more, in whom it refts to the end of government; and as it is imposible that Rev, May, 1783.
legislation and government can be conduced but by representation, each and both are as much the supreme power roal, as if the people had never conferied it on any part of themlelves.' If we comprehend Mr. Dawes (which is a point we will never absolutely bargain for), his meaning is-that though the people are primarily the source of power, yet when they have transferred that power which they poffefs in the aggregate, to an individual, or to a set of representatives, they are with respect to government mere passive machines, or rather nonentities. What they have given, they cannot recal. They cannot be the governors and the governed. They have delegated their original rights, and put them in another's poffeffion; and he may do with them what he pleases. He is not accountable to them; nor can they erect a tribunal to which they can arraign bim.
Mr. Dawes some time lince assured us, to our great satisfaction, that his miffion was at an end.' We are very sorry to find him worse than his word! Art. 21. Faits, or a comparative View of the Population and
Reprefentation of England and Wales. 46o. 7s. 6 d. Rivington. 1783.
When an author, at his outlet, impreffes strongly on his readers the unalterable nature of numbers, and the infallibility of arithmetic, we are nacorally led to expect fome elaborate calculations on the fub. je&t he professes to consider; and he ought to explain to as the data from which he forms his calculations. But when a writer on political arithmetic assumes numbers, in a remarkable instance, far beJow those of our lowest calculator, Dr. Price, whose data have beca much disputed ; a suspicion is juftiy excited whether bis assumptions and tables merit all the credit so juftly due to numbers in an abftra& view. The present writer finds in the county of Middlesex, including the cities of London and Westminster, no more than 392,275 iababicants; nearly 100,000 fewer than he beltows on the county of York. This is but a hally loose production. Art. 22. A Letter to the Liverymen of London, tending to
prove, that an Equality in the Right of Election is founded on the Same Principle as a more equal Representation ; and that the Firtt will be the necessary Consequence of the Latter. 8vo. 6d. Debrett. 1783
This letter-writer argues plaufibly enough, that if twenty members were affigned as the representative portion of the city of London, an equalizing mode of dividing the city, for the purposes of election, to prevent tumults, most and would be adopted ; under which a liveryman could vote buc for one. He therefore perfuades the worthy liverymen to remain satisfied with their present andue share of the privileges of election ; under which a liveryman, depending on a precarious employment for subfiftence, enjoys a voice for four representatives, while a freeholder of 3 or 4c00l. a year, vores but for two! Art. 23. An Attempt to balance the Income and Expenditure of
tbe Siate : wish fome Reflections on the Nucure and Tendency of the lase political Struggles for Power. By John Earl of Stair. 8vo.
Stockdale. The Earl of Stair estimates our peace establishment at 16,371,3461. which he believes will be but Icamily sufficient; and that therefore
either by niew taxes, or by a better regula:ion of those already imposed, an increase of above four millions mult be procured to pay the public creditors; the obtaining of which he considers among the barest of all bare possibilities. *For the rest, we refer to bis Lord hip’s pamphlet. Art. 24. Hints addressed to the Public. Caleulated to dispel the
gloomy Ideas which have been lately entertained of the State of our Finances. By John Sinclair, Esq. 8vo.
Mr. Sinclair, alluding, among others, to the noble writer above mentioned, observes that it has been of la:e too common for even respectable individuals to amuse themselves, and to terrify the Public, with exaggerated accounts of the dangerous lare of the national finances. The more our difficulties increased, che greater pleasure they seemed to take in publishing our situation to our enemies; in damping the exercions of those, by whose judgment and abilities alone, we could be extricated from the difficulties in which we were involved ; and in proving to what fatal lengths even valuable chasacters may be led, in support of a favourite hypothefisi'-' But fortunately, numerous taxes and debts, however enormous, are not sufe ficient of themselves to render a nation miserable ; and there is ftill reason to imagine, that, as we now ridicule the ill-founded desponda ency of our ancestors, who imagined that fifty or a hundred millions would reduce them to a liate of bankruptcy; so our posterity will laugh at the folly, the ignorance, or the want of political kill and judgment in the itatesmen and politicians of these times, who preYume to assert, that we have totally exhausted our sesources; and that the period is at last arrived, when the nation must either destroy ber debts, or her debis will destroy the nation.
He then by a detail of the income and expenditure of the nation, which want of room prevents our entering into, brings the account to a balance or surplus of income, of above two millions; in opposia tion to the alarming deficiency which results from the calculations of the Earl of Stair!
Mr. Sinclair dilinguishes the income of the face into four differene branches : First, into the old taxes, which were consolidared by 3 Geo. I. c. 7. and the surplufses of which compose the original Sinking Fund. Secondly, into the taxes which were added to the Sinking Fund before the commencement of the present war. Thirda ly, into the taxes which have been laid on in the course of the war. And fourthly, into the land and malt taxes, which are only annually granted. He adds, there cannot be a becter sign of the flourishing itate of our national finances, than when the oli taxes annually produce a considerable addition to the public revenue. According to his table, the surplusses of the old taxes have nearly doubled withia the latt cbiriy-one years; and bad ir not been for the American war, would have been ftill more. From other tables, the rest of the taxes, exclusive of the two laft, which are more stationary, exhibit a like appearance of progreflive augmentation ; even those recent taxes, of whose deficiences we have heard so mucb, have, according to the fole lowing table, been productive beyond conception :
Anno | Aino Anno 1773 1779
1.80 1781 1782
95:25,845 92,921| 96,933)
126,29269,9551117,8 511 8.728) The excise in Scotland, which in 1775 is said to have produced but Ço,889 l. is fated for the year 1782, at 211,672 1.
• I hope, adds Mr. Sinclair, in conclusion, it will appear fufficiente Jy evider:, from the preceding short hints, that the finances of this country are not in so desperate a fate as they are commonly repre. fenred; and our situation will be fill more prosperous, if wife and judicious plans are entered into, for discharging the most burtheafome of our incumbrances; which a clear Sinking Fund of two millions, joined to the gradual accessions, from the falling in of the temporary annuities, will enable us to effect. He also intimates bis having formed fome fpeculations for the liquidation of our public debts, which we are happy to hear; it being of more importance to reduce our incumbrances, than to few how eagly we may bear them fome time longer.
Figures are generally affirmed to be of a stubborn nature ; but they must have proved very flexible in the hands of one, of two writers, who, from the same data, can vary so considerably in their conclefions. Art. 25. A Propofal for the Liquidation of the National Debt;
the Abolition of lithes, and the Reform of the Church Revenue. 8vo. Is. Flexney.
Every proposal offered on lo important an object of attention as the national debt, deserves to be read, without being disgufted with the many visionary reveries that succeed each other; fince here and there one may be found, like that now before us, which has at leaft ingenuity for its recommendation. The present Author proposes, that all the land and ftock holders, all holders of mortgage, bond, and other debts, bearing interest in the nation, should take in their proportionable share of this debt, according to the income of their real estates and stock, which, from an estimate he has made, would encumber them to the amount of four years produce. In return for this sacrifice, they would receive an extinction of all taxes, those on fale and stamps excepted, which are reserved, and with the cuftoms are to defray our peace-establishment: so that the interest of this debt being paid by the respective holders of it to themselves, will operate to annihilate that monfler of the age, never more to rise in judgmen: against us !
Many are the advantages represented to arise from this mode of transferring the public debt to the creditors: among others, when war returns, we know how to procure money fufficient to answer all the purposes either of attack or defence, and may contider chere dormant taxes as a certain and inexhaustible resource in all pofible cases. This will keep the world in awe; for what nasion would be hardy
enough to give us offence, when they know we can fight them to the end of time, without encumbering ourselves in future with a shilling of debt.
The Author has fated and answered several objections to his plan, buc has overlooked the confusion that would arise from the suddea extinction of the taxes to which we are habituated. But were fuch a fcheme to be thought of, it is not probable that government, which, like a liquorith child, could not keep its fingers out of a fioking fund of plumb-cakes laid by for its own benefit, would carry it to an extent that would expose us to such difficulties, but would kindly leave us a part of our burdens, and accelerate the rest, to lefsen the inconveniences of being gutted by our favings,
There is comfort in having unthought-of, resources pointed out to free us from present difficulties, and anticipated calamities; which cherishes a hope, that some easy expedient may at length be matused to exiinguith the obligations due from the whole to a part, out of the common fock, But, arduous as the talk may be found of liquidating the public debts, all its difficulties are fill but mole hills, compared with the more daring idea of abolishing tithes, reforming clerical revenues, and reducing useless, expensive dignitaries in the church! Were the Author duly fen Gble of the clamour and disturbance such an unballowed accempt would excite, he would not talk so indiscreetly a boue grubbing up suckers, and lopping off useless limbs, but, conscious of his temerity, make a low reverence, and, like us, drop the pen ! Art. 26. Reflections on the Preliminary and Provisional Articles.
Robinion. 1783. A sober, dispassionate, vindication of the peace, and of the miniftry to whom the nation is indebted for it ;--GREATLY indebred, in this writer's opinion: and perhaps it will not be a very easy matter to prove him miltaken. Art. 27. Thoughts on Equal Representation. 8vo. 1S. Bla
mire, &c. From the unhappy train of political reformation pursued under King Charles I. she Author of this tract dreads the beginning of alterations in the constrution : for when once begun, he observes, no one can pretend to limit the extent to wbieh chey may be carried. In the civil war referred to,“ well meaning men were induced to take a part in the beginning, who wilhed, when they found what was likely to be the event, to draw back-but it was then too late ; those who had made ofe of their aslistance to aim at power, found themselves ftrong enough to act alone, and cpenly fcoffed at them for hav. ing been the tools and the inftruments of an ambition so fasal to their country; the conteft ended by the murder of the king, and the destruction of the conftitution." Ac lait, however, appeared the dawn of better rimes with the restoration of the royal family; many concurring causes tended to produce that great event; the immediate agent, indeed, by whom it was brought about was Monk but the fact is, the people could not be happy without their ancient government, and probably there never was any' revolution which
cook place with such an universal concurrence of all parties and def-criptions of men,"