« ПретходнаНастави »
Saxon Liberty.--National Debt.
419 gyrics, and contended that we ought to then from their shoulders to those beneath. be free, because the Saxons were so, in If the history of the progress of rentwhat treafuries of knowledge a satisfac- rolls, revenues, and luxuries, is consulttory account of these wonderful. institu- ed, this will be illustrated most fully. tions was to be found? This informa- This statement necessarily gives rise to tion, I concluded, no one could be so able fome important inquiries.--What right to furnish as himself; and I was not a could
any fet of ministers have (or could little mortified at finding all my inquiries even the whole body of community have) evaded or repelled by general reflections, to contract what is called a national that "6
cannot have knowledge 'debt? Can this, or any other country without labouring for it;" that “ the (meaning thereby the population of such best way to underítand any subject, was country), be said, in reason and equity, to read every thing that came to hand,” to owe one fingle shilling to any set of per&c. observations which, however just in fons claiming to be public creditors ? If I themselves, I have since found reason to burthen my estate with debts, it is right conclude, were artfully intended to get that my heir should pay them, because, rid of a subject which that celebrated po- if I leave him my debts, I leave him prolitician well knew would not stand the perty wherewith to discharge them; and test of persevering inquiry. The fact is, he is no further responsible than my efthat, with respect to our Saxon ancestors, fects will go ; and if he does not choose but little authentic information has been to be subject to the trouble and inconvehanded down. Even that little, however, niencies of the transaction, he may, by is enough to convince every impartial refusing to accept the estate, avoid the reasoner, that the cause of equal justice incumbrance of the mortgage. But the would be the very reverse of being pro- mass of the people (by whom it is evimoted by an adoption of their political dent the interest of what are called public system. It was a system of ufurpation, debts are eventually paid) inherit neither violence, and oppression. And, indeed, estate nor property from their ancestors; how should it have been otherwise? The why, then, should their industry be burSaxons, like all the German nations, de- thened with their debts? My conclusion rived their plan of government from that is, that the property is responsible, not fountain head of feodal tyranny, so finely the people (for the proprietors have been described by Tacitus in his " Manners of parties to the bargain, and the estates the Germans ;” and, notwithstanding all have descended with the mortgages upon that has been fo frequently reiterated in them). The fund-holder has therefore a praise of the institutions of those favages, right to foreclose the mortgage, because they were, in reality, nothing but a crude thereby he enforces payment from his hash of tyranny and licentiousness; the real creditor : but he has no right to releading principle in the composition of ceive the interest, as he now does, because which
was, that the many were made for it is levied in taxes upon those who owe the few. In the words of Mr. E.“ the him nothing. lords, indeed, were free; but, for that very Circulating Medium.-It is truly aftoreason, there was no public liberty." nishing, that, after so much has een said
National Debt. - Your correspondent upon this subject, it should be so little GOURNAI (p. 258) observes, that a con- understood, and that men of penetration fiderable part of the taxes levied in any and reflection should still continue to concountry must necessarily be derived from found together the property of a country, the labour, that is to say, be ultimately and the medium by means of which that levied upon the laborious poor of that property is transferred from hand to hand, country. I believe he might have gone will it never be understood that money, much further, and have proved, that, at whether paper, or gold and silver, is so least, till the taxation becomes so excel- far from being the whole, that it is no five, that either the poor can be pinched part of the wealth of a nation that it is, no closer, without being pinched to death, in reality, nothing but the counters or or that the very circulation of the pro- figns by which that wealth is designated, duce of labour is to a contiderable degree as by figures and cyphers on a llate; and restrained ; the laborious poor pay call the that, as a small number of the latter are taxes of a nation, for they produce all; fufficient, by means of repeated use, to and all that is paid in taxes is a part of caft up and settle the largest account; fo produce; while, on the other hand, all a small quantity of the former, by means but the labourer have means (till the ar of the arithmetic of circulation, is caparival of these crises) of shifting the bur- ble, also, of paying the most enormous
422 Zimmermann.--- Amsterdam House of Correction. that one every other was included. When ment as a sequestration from fociety durhappiness is fled, what remains but that ing a limited term of years. The buildlite which will foon cease to be a burden? ing is fituated in a part of the suburbs to Such, fir, are the reflections I have fre- the north east of the city. The exterior quently had occafion to make; and these has nothing remarkable, neither with have now arisen from reading, in an ac- respect to form or extent. It is detached count of the literary writings of the cele- from the street by a spacious court, brated Zimmermann, an extract from an which contains the keeper's lodge, togeEllay on Solitude, exhibited, no doubt, ther with apartments for the different for the purpofe of producing a very dif- fervants belonging to the establishment. ferent effect. Speaking of a beloved Over the gate, which opens from this daughter, who died within two years court into the prison, are placed two after his removal to Hanover, the Doctor ftatues, as large as life, representing two says, “ Diffident of her own powers, the men in the act of sawing a piece of loglistened to the precepts of a fond parent.- wood. She had been the fubmissive victim of ill The inner court is in the form of a health from her earliest infancy; her ap- square, round which are arranged the petite was almost gone when we left Swit- apartments of the prisoners, together zerland, a refidence which the quitted with the necessary warehouses. One part with her usual fweetness of temper, and of the ground story is divided into differwithout discovering the fmalleit regret, ent chambers; the other serves as a depot although a young man, as handsome in for the logwood, and the implements emhis perion as he was amiable in the qua- ployed in its preparation. lities of his mind, the objc&t of her firit, The keeper, whose countenance, con. of her only affection, a few weeks after- trary to the general custom of persons of wards put an end to his existence in de his profession, was strongly indicative of fpair." It is unnecessary fo say in what urbanity and gentleness, introduced M. light this struck me.
THOUIN into an apartment where two That Zimmermann was a man of fine prisoners were at work in sawing a large feeling and poignant sensibility, and that log of Campeachy wood. The law is he tenderly loved his daughter, cannot be composed of four blades, joined together, doubted; but it is known to all Europe, with very strong, large and sharp teeth, that he was also vain and ambitious; and which make a sciffure in the word of except, Mr. Editor, some of your cor- nearly two inches in breadth. respondents, whose information may ration is repeated, till the pieces become enable them, will take the trouble to in too small to undergo the law, when they ftruét me better, I shall continue to be are ground in mills peculiarly constructed lieve that this beloved daugliter and ami- for this purpose. able young man, were facrificed to the This employ!nent requires an extraorvanity and ambition of Zimmermann. dinary exertion of itrength, and is, at firtt, May 8th, 1797.
a severe penance even to robust perfons :
but habit, address, and practice, foon To the Editor of the Monthly Mogazine. render it easy; and the prisoners, in a SIR,
Ahort time, become competent to furnish, VEEING in
your last half-yearly Sup- without painful exertion, their weekly plement, a description of the Marine contingent of 200lb. weight of fawed School at Amsterdam, extracted from the pieces. After completing this talk, they MS. journal of the travels of M. even find time to fabricate a variety of THOUIN, into Belgium and Holland, I little articles in wood and straw, which am induced to hope that the following they fell to those who visit the prison, or ? account of the house of correction at dispose of, by means of agents, in the Amsterdam, drawn from the same fource, will prove equally acceptable to your M. THOUIN next inspected three readers.
apartments of different dimensions, which The Amsterdam house of correction is, opened into the inner court. from the employment of the prisoners con was inhabited by four, the fecond by fix, fined in it, called the Raphuys (Rasping- and the third by ten prisoners. The House), and is destined to the reception furniture of the rooms confifted in ham. of such malefactors, chiefly thieves, mocks, with a matrals, a blanket, aná a whose crimes do not amount to a capital coverlid to each, tables, chairs, and tools, offence. Their punishment cannot so glass, &c. earthen vessels, and various properly be denominated folitary confine other articles, of convenience. Every
Amsterdam House of Correction.
423 thing in these apartments was diftin. the magiftracy, who, from this report, guished by neatness and propriety, and abridge or prolong the term of confine notwithstanding the number of inhabit. ment, according to the degree of indulg.ants allotted to each, was fully adequate ence which each prisoner appears to to the dimensions of the rooms; the fenses merit. Cafes frequently happen where were not offended with any disagreeable a malefactor, condemned to an imprison, scent, and the air was in every respect as ment of eight years, by his good behapure and wholesome as the surrounding viour procures' his enlargement at the atmosphere.
expiration of four ; and so, in proportion, In an obscure part of the building are for a shorter term. But great attention a number of cells, in which, formerly, is paid to discriminate between actual those prisoners who revolted against the reform and hypocritical artifice. proper subordination of the place, or ill The reward of good behaviour is not, treated their comrades, were confined for however, confined to, or withheld till, the a few days. But the keeper allured M. period of actual liberation. Their restorTHOUIN, that these cells had not been ation to fociety is preceded by a progrefmade use of for upwards of 10 years. five amelioration of their lot. Their They are dark, gloomy dungeons, with work is gradually rendered less laborious, only a small aperture for the admisfion of they are accommodated with sepalight and air. The suppression of this rate apartments, and employed in the .barbarous and coercive punishment does services of domestic economy. The honour to the humanity of government. keeper even entrusts them with commifa
The store-rooms are filled with various fions beyond the precincts of the prison, kinds of wood for the purposes of dying; and scarce a single instance has occurred as the Haematoxylum Campechianum, the of their abusing this indulgence. By Morus Tinctoria, the Caefalpinia Sappan, this prudent management,; a considerable &c. They are all exotics, with the ex- saving is effected in the expence of the *ception of the Evonymus Europæus. The establishment, at the same time that it warehouses were not of sufficient extent tends to wear away prejudice, and to ini. to contain the quantity of wood, which tiate the prisoners by gradual advances was deposited in piles in different parts of into the reciprocal duties of social life. the court.
M. THOUIN made particular inquiries The prisoners, amounting to 76 in whether it was customary for persons number, were uniformly habited in coarse after their discharge, to be contined a woollens; wear very good stockings, second and third time, as is but too often large leather shoes, white shirts, and caps the case in many countries, for a repetior hats. They are, by the rules of the tion of their offence. He was informed, house, obliged to frequent ablutions, that such inftarces very rarely occur ; which greatly contribute to the preserva- but the cale is not without precedent, as ition of their health. There was only one he obferved in the person of a young Jew, fick perfon amongst them: and, what is who was then in the Rasphuys for the not a little remarkable, almost all the pri- third time. The case of this man is soners had formerly lived in large com fomewhat extraordinary. During the mercial towns ; very few villagers were pericd of his detention, he always conamongst them. They had all been sen- forms, with the most scrupulous observ. tenced to imprisonment for theft;, but it ance, to the rules of the place, and gives depends upon themselves, by reformation general satisfaction by his exemplary and good behaviour, to shorten the term conduct. But such, as he himself avowa of their confinement, which many of themed to our traveller, is his constitutional frequently do.
propensity to thieving, that no sooner is The keeper, whose humanity towards the term of his imprisonment elapsed, the unfortunate persons committed to his than he returns with redoubled ardcur to care, entitles him rather to the title of his lawless courses. It is not so much their protector than their gaoler (and for the sake of plunder, as to gratify his M. Thouin informs us, that the pri- irresistible impulse, that he follows this foners generally called him by no other vicious life ; and M. THOUIN adds, name than father), affifts them with his that he recounted his different exploits counsels and friendly admonitions. He with as much exultation and triumph, as regitters, every week, in a bock appro- a veteran displays when rehearsing his priated to this purpoie, both the instances warlike atchievements. of good and bad behaviour, which is Another falutary regulation in this inannually submitted to the examination of ftitution, from which the best conse. MONTHLY MAG. No, XXXII,
Circulating Medium.-Waste Lands. debts, provided the party is but in pof- for waste land? Would it not be a defession of property to command luch cir- sirable thing that an act should be passed, culation. Inattention to this subject pro- that upon all wastes, the cultivation of duced one of the fundamental errors in which ihould not at least be commenced by Paine's work upon finance--a pamphlet a time specified, any persons (under certhat
may be regarded as a phenomenon in tain regulations for prevention of tumult the hemisphere of discussion, inasmuch as and contention) should be permitted to it arrives at a conclufion which is truth it. take poffeffion of a specific quantity (four felf, by premises, almost every one of or five acres for example) for a given which are palpably erroneous. Having number of years, or for life, npon concalculated the quantity of bullion sup- dition of building a cottage, and bringing posed to be in the bank, he supposes this the ground into immediate cultivation; to be the sum total of the dividend it can the waite ground in the parish or district, make to its creditors, not considering that to be let out again in the same small if it had no other property than the mo lots at moderate rents, and the produce ney in its coffers, banking must always to forin a fund for the education of the have been a lofing game; and that if it children of husbandmen, cottagers, &c.? has such other property, this must bring This last idea was suggested to iny. back into those coffers to-morrow, &c. mind by a circumstance of which I was part, at least, of the money it pays out witness during a late visit to Hereford. to-day. Similar is the error of your cor- Walking on the castle-hill with an inharespondent CARACTACUS (p. 266). “If bitant of that city, he directed my atten. the national debt is to be discharged, tion to one of the neighbouring hills, now through what circulating medium hall in a state of high cultivation even to the we discharge it? Not by the paper, large summit, informing me at the same time, as it is, now in circulation, much less that when the estate first came into porby the specie ; nor, indeed, by both session of the present proprietor, the whole united.” “And why not? In this very hill was a perfect wilderness; and that passage, where he talks so much about the means he had adopted to bring it in. circulation, the writer forgets that any to its present state, was to build several such process as circulation exists. The small cottages at convenient distances, question, in reality, ftands thus: Is all and let them out to labouring mens on the property of the nation equivalent in leases of twelve or fourteen years, at very value to the amount of the national debt! moderate rents, together with as much If so, and the proprietors are disposed to surrounding land as the cottager would pay it, the debt may be as easily, though undertake to cultivate. By this means a not quite so quickly, discharged, by a circu- benefit has been conferred upon several lating medium of 5ool. as of 500,000,000; poor families and upon the public; and a for the medium must, of necessity, return considerable reverfionary property has been to the proprietors as often as they want in a manner created to the proprietor and it, till the commodities themselves are his family. Among the Welsh mounexhausted. The difficulty of discharging tains many little patches are to be met the national debt, then, arises from a very with, that have all the appearance of hav. different reason than the want of a medium ing been brought into cultivation in a of exchange.
way not much diffimilar:: and even at Waste Lands.
Your correspondent this instant, through the branches of my Agricola (p. 269) says, “ There is no orchard, I perceive the smoke rising from land, either in Scotland or England, a little cottage on the brow of one of which has its surface at all covered with those rude eminences that over-hang the herbage, that ought not to afford at least Wye, in happy illustration of my subject. fixpence an acre, in the year, to the land. The venerable labourer, whose evening's lord.” I submit the following questions' mess is now preparing on that spot, polto his consideration :-Can there be, in fesses about ten or twelve acres around his common justice or common sense, any humble shed, including his garden and such thing as property in land, but that his orchard, which he holds under three which arises from the improvement of different lords of manors, for the term of labour and cultivation ? Is it expedient his wife's life, at the moderate rent of either for individuals or the community seven shillings a year to each. There he at large, that one man who will not cul- keeps his cow, and his four or five sheep; tivate should preclude another who would! and did keep, till very lately, his little On what pretence, then, should any land- rugged Welt poney, on which he rode lord exact even fixpence a year per acre to his work of a morning, &c. But the
On Parental Tyranny.
421 Wella colt died about a year ago, worn that moment every obligation ceases. . It out before his master; and the grey-headed is a common observation, that, while men ruddy-faced hind has discovered that he have made confession of every other vice can do without him. I shall just observe, and crime, none have ever acknowledged that this allotment is too large ; it is too that of ingratitude. What is the premuch for the spade, and not enough for a fumption of this? What is it that inplough; and the tenant lacks inducement spires gratitude in another ? Not that to bring even the half of it into proper certainly in which my own gratification cultivation, which is a loss to the com or interest is consulted. And is it not munity, and no advantage to him.. The the most pleasing interest of the parent to part, however, which he has cultivated, mark the opening beauties, and cherifa and the barrenness of the hill around, sug- the ribng virtues; to decorate the person, geft much better plans for the improve- and adorn the mind of the child ? So far ment of our wastes, than any that the the pleasures and interests of both are the board of agriculture, or our virtuous fame, and so far all goes well. But the house of commons is likely to attenpt. time arrives when the choice of a partner May 19, 1798.
** for life is to be made. In every country
there is some criterion by which the To the Editor of the Monthly Magazine. choice of a partner is determined: what SIR,
that criterion in this country is, none theme of every novelist, dramatist, the prejudices of other nations :-we are, and moralist, in every country, and in forsooth, philosophers; while, in fact, every age; and there is much reason to
we only pursue the same phantoms by a fear that the topic is inexhaustible. But diftin&t road. It often happens, that the thele instructors of mankind have too views and inclinations of the parent and long pursued one beaten track; and, in child coincide; but, from causes unne.. the present state of refinement, their cen- cessary to expatiate upon,
oftener fures, however juit, are generally misap- happens that they are oppoled. Here, plied. Parents are represented by them then, for the first time, inclination is to as harsh and forbidding, destitute of feel- be sacrificed. On the one sule, it is a faing and affection ; and there are such to crifice of vanity and ambition : on the be found; but it is not by parents of this other, of happiness. How unequal is the description that children are rendered comparison ! Yet the latter is that which most wretched. There exists in the hu- is generally made: the parent expects it; man mind a natural elasticity that will for the world-approves ! But to whom is not permit it to fink under oppression; it made? Not to the tyrannical and overand where one falls a victim to parental bearing parent ; luch are disobeyed, and tyranny, hundreds are immolated at the the disobedience and ingratitude of chilfarine of parental love. This may ap- dren is rung in our ears. No; it is pear paradoxical without being the less made to the parent of sense and sensibility, true. Early in life I was impressed with who tenderly loves, and is in return tenthe fact, and time and observation have derly beloved. The mi of the child only confirmed me in the opinion. With- shrinks from the idea of opposing the out entering into any metaphysical dif- wishes of such a parent; and the face is quisitions concerning the principle of be- clothed with smiles while the heart is a nevolence, it must be admitted, that of prey to anguish, till the secret figh and all the charities, none bear a closer affinity silent tear undermine the health; and to felf-love than parental affection. Every hope, and joy, and love, and life, are accomplishment, every acquirement, every buried in one common ruin, Nor does it thing commendable in the child, reflects follow that the parent is haunted by recredit on the parent; and what are com morse, even when hanging over the death. monly denominated the incessant cares, bed of a murdered child. For the consothe watchful tenderness, and the painful lation remains, that no care has been anxieties of the parent, are acts as purely wanting, no expence spared; or, should Selfith as that which gave being to the the dreadful thought intrude, it is quickly child. While there is not a more general discarded by the recollection that they topic of complaint than the ingratitude have ever been kind and indulgent,-in of children, it may be fairly disputed, every thing indulgent,—and fondly rewhether such a being as an ingrate ever cognised as such by the expiring object; existed. For when that is demanded only one sacrifice was ever required. which can only be voluntarily given, from -True, deluded parents, true; but in