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after and pay for what he has bought.
for what he has bought. In this promise he is punctual, and this is repeated for eight or ten times, till his face is well known, and he has got at last the character of a good customer : by this means he gets credit for something considerable, and then never pays for it.
In all this, the young man who is the unhappy subject of our present reflections was very expert; and could face, fineer, and bring custom to a shop with any man in England: none of his companions could exceed him in this ; and his very companions at last said, that The.would be hanged.
As he grew old he grew never the better : he loved ortolans and green peas as before ; he drank gravy-soup when he could get it, and always thought his oysters tasted best when he got them for nothing, or which was just the same, when he bought them upon tick : thus the old man kept up the vices of the youth, and what he wanted in power he made up by inclination; so that all the world thought, that old The.-would be hanged.
And now, reader, I have brought him to his last scene; a scene where, perhaps, my duty should have obliged me to assist.
You expect, perhaps, his dying words, and the tender farewell he took of his wife and children; you expect an account of his coffin and white gloves, his pious ejaculations, and the papers he left behind him. In this I cannot indulge your curiosity; for, oh! the mysteries of Fate, The.—was drowned !
« Reader,» as Hervey saith, «pause and ponder ; and ponder and pause; who knows what thy own end may be ! »
I TAKE the liberty to communicate to the public a few loose thoughts upon a subject, which, though often handled, has not yet in my opinion been fully discussed: I mean national concord, or unanimity, which in this kingdom has been generally considered as a bare possibility, that existed nowhere but in speculation. Such a union is perhaps neither to be expected nor wished for in a country, whose liberty depends rather upon the genius of the people, than upon any precautions which they have taken in a constitutional way for the guard and preservation of this inestimable blessing.
There is a very honest gentleman, with whom I have been acquainted these thirty years, during which there has not been one speech uttered against the ministry in parliament, nor struggle at an election for a burgess to serve in the House of Commons, nor a pamphlet published in opposition to any measure of the administration, nor even a private censure passed in his hearing upon the misconduct of any person concerned in public affairs, but he is immediately alarmed, and loudly exclaims against such factious doings, in order to set the people by the ears together at such a delicate juncture. « At any other time (says he) such opposition might not be improper, and I don't question the facts that are alleged; but at this crisis, sir, to inflame the nation!--the man deserves to be punished as a traitor to his country.» In a word, according to this gentleman's opinion, the nation has been in a violent crisis at any time these thirty years; and were it possible for him to live another century, he would never find any period, at which a man might with safety impugn the infallibility of a minister.
The case is no more than this: my honest friend has invested his whole fortune in the stocks, on Government security, and trembles at every whiff of popular discontent. Were every British subject of the same tame and timid disposition Magna Charta (to use the coarse phrase of Oliver Cromwell) would be no more regarded by an ambitious prince than Magna F-ta, and the liberties of England expire without a groan. Opposition, when restrained within due bounds, is the salubrious gale that ventilates the opinions of the people, which might otherwise stagnate into the most abject submission. It may be said to purify the atmosphere of politics ; to dispel the gross vapours raised by the influence of ministerial artifice and corruption, until the constitution, like a mighty rock, stands full disclosed to the view of every individual who dwells within the shade of its protection. Even when this gale blows with augmented violence, it generally tends to the advantage of the commonwealth : it awakes the apprehension, and consequently arouses all the faculties of the pilot at the helm, who redoubles his vigilance and caution, exerts his utmost skill, and, becoming acquainted with the nature of the navigation, in a little time learns to suit his canvass to the roughness of the sea and the trim of the vessel. Without these intervening storms of opposition to exercise his faculties, he would become enervate, negligent, and presumptuous; and in the wantonness of his power, trusting to some deceitful calm, perhaps hazard a step that would wreck the constitution. Yet there is a measure in all things. A moderate frost will fertilize the glebe with nitrous particles, and destroy the eggs of pernicious insects that prey upon the infancy of the year: but if this frost increases in severity and duration, it will chill the seeds, and even freeze up the roots of vegetables; it will check the bloom, nip the buds, and blast all the promise of the spring. The vernal breeze that drives the fogs before it, that brushes the cobwebs from the boughs, that fans the air and fosters vegetation, if augmented to a tempest, will strip the leaves, overthrow the tree, and desolate the garden. The auspicious gale before which the trim vessel ploughs the bosom of the sea, while the mariners are kept alert in duty and in spirits, if converted to a hurricane, overwhelms the crew with terror and confusion. The sails are rent, the cordage cracked, the masts give way; the master eyes the havock with mute despair, and the vessel founders in the storm. Opposition, when confined within its proper channels, sweeps away those beds of soil and banks of sand which corruptive power had gathered; but when it overflows its banks, and deluges the plain, its course is marked by ruin and devastation.
The opposition necessary in a free state, like that of Great Britain, is not at all incompatible with that national concord which ought to unite the people on all emergencies, in which the general safety is at stake. It is the jealousy of patriotism, not the rancour of party ; the warmth of candour, not the virulence of hate ; a transient dispute among friends, not an implacable feud that admits of no reconciliation. The history of all ages teems with the fatal effects of internal discord: and were history and tradition annihilated, common sense would plainly point out the mischiefs that must arise from want of harmony and national union. Every school-boy can have recourse to the fable of the rods, which, when united in a bundle, no strength could bend; but when separated into single twigs, a child could break with ease.
I HAVE spent the greater part of my life in making observations on men and things, and in projecting schemes for the advantage of my country; and though my labours met with an ungrateful return, I will still persist in my endeavours for its service, like that venerable, unshaken, and neglected patriot, Mr Jacob Henriquez, who, though of the Hebrew nation, hath exhibited a shining example of Christian fortitude and perseverance.' And here my conscience urges me to confess, that the hint upon which the following proposals are built, was taken from an advertisement of the said patriot Henriquez, in which he gave the public
understand, that Heaven had indulged him with «seven blessed daughters.» Blessed they are, no doubt, on account of their own and their father's virtues ; but more blessed may they be, if the scheme I offer should be adopted by the legislature.
The proportion which the number of females born in these kingdoms bears to the male children, is, I think, supposed to be as thirteen to fourteen: but as women are not so subject as the other sex to accidents and intemperance, in numbering adults we shall find the balance on the female side. If, in calculating the numbers of the people, we take in the multitudes that emigrate to the plantations, whence they never return; those that die at
"A man well known at this period (1762), as well as during many preceding years, for the numerous schemes he was daily offering to various ministers for the purpose of raising money by loans, paying off the national encumbrances, etc. etc., none of which, however, were ever known to have received the smallest notice.