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the resistance to it among the people seems to have risen to an alarming height. The President has issued a proclamation, stating, that information has been received of the insurrection and combination of certain persons on lake Cham, plain and the country adjacent to it, against the authority of the laws of the United States, and to obstruct their execution--and commanding all the civil and military authorities to assist in suppressing such insurrection. This, doubt. less, refers to some attempts to carry on by force a trade with the British provinces in that quarter.
The proceedings in parliament during the month have engaged a small share of the public attention. The bill for augmenting the vational defence by establishing a local militia, has encountered much opposition in its progress through the two houses, and has undergone various modifications. It has not yet passed.
MONTHLY COMMERCIAL REPORT.
The first homeward-bourd fleet from the Leeward Islands left Tortola on the 3d of May, and arrived nearly ten days ago. It was numerous, and has brought a considerable add tion to our stock of West India produce, although it appears that the crops will not be large in several of the islands. Among others this applies to Trinidad and Jamaica, which are the two islands most abundant in new land. Moderate, however, as is the crop in our own colonies, the whole in portation, ivcluding the Danish islands, cannot fall far sliort of 300,000 hogsheads. Our consumption was formerly not much above half this quantity, but since the great fall in the cost of sugar, it has increased to nearly 200,000 hogsheads. Were the continental market open, there would be no difficulty in disposing of the remainder; but in our present exclusion from it, we must devise the means of consuming it amongst ourselves. Two measures are about to be adopted by parliament with this view--first, the Distillery Bill, the merits of which we have already canvassed at length, and next, the lowering of the duties on coffee, so as to introduce coffee into common use on terms as low, or rather lower than tea. Coffee being more pungent than tea, will require more sugar; but this is only a collateral object-- the principal motive for the measure · was, to take off the discouragement from coffee, and to promote its sale, even at the hazard of tea, because the one is the produce of our own colonies, whereas the other is of foreign growth. In the culture of coffee, employment is given to British manufactures and British subjects: the planter, after earning a competency from his laborious struggle, comes home and settles amongst us ; he has all along a stake in our national concerns, and he bears a share (and not a small one) of the public burdens. None of these advantages exist in the
case of tea; it is not even purchased with our manufactures, at least not to any considerable extent, for it drains us of our hard cash. The law of political 'economy is to burden no commodity wlatever for the sake of encouraging an. other. The nearer governments approach to the principles of this most libe ral and most important science, the more they will promote the pnblic happiness. So long as coffee was a product of foreign colonies, the nation approved of restrictions on its consumption; but now that it has become British, the case is widely different. This change was owing to the troubles of St. Domingo, which stopping the growth of coffee in that island, left the market of Europe unsupplied, and which at the same time drove the French plauters to Jamaica as a tranquil retreat for the pursuit of their avocation. Here they occupied the uncultivated lands, obtained loans from the English merchants, shewed the English planter the method of raising coffee, and in fifteen years inereased the culture of that plant ten fold. The Committee of the House of Commons appointed to consider of West
India affairs, have been very assiduous. They have made a third report, in which they go a step farther than either the shipping interest or Ministers will go with them. The case they state is as follows: The planter buys many articles from America which this country cannot furnish him, as flour, lumber, and fish. For these he is not permitted to pay in sugar, being obliged to ship to Great Britain every cask that he makes. Rum he may offer, but of this the Americans will take only a limited quantity, perhaps not for one-third of the stores. What then remains for him to do? He must part with his hard dollars, or be must get in debt at home by drawing bills. No sooner does the American receive these dollars or bills, but he proceeds to an enemy's island, where he buys sugar and coffee at a cheap rate, ships them to Europe, and beats the British planter out of the continental market. Pernicious, however, as these consequences are, it is very doubtful whether permission will be granted to the planter to exchange his sugar for stores. The old prejudice, that it is for our advantage to make all sugar come to this country in the first instance, still contimnes. We have great difficulty in persuading ourselves that we shall not be great losers by letting any part of it out of our hands. The shipping interest in particular will exclaim against it as the worst policy, although it would not deprive them of one-tenth of the West India trade. The public will naturally expect that the merchants at home, who sell sugar by commission, would also oppose it; but this is not the case. These merchants are deeply involved with the planters; they consider that the proposed measure would benefit the planters; and they very properly think it good policy to wave a small commission when the capitals of their debtors are at stake. Parliament not having time to take up this matter in the present session, we may expect to see it keenly agitated through the press during the recess.
Our situation with respect to America is still doubtful. On the one hand there is reason to think that Bonaparte's late insolence will turn the current of national hatred more strongly against the French; on the other, we have a proof in the resolutions of Congress, adopted just before they ended their session, that they will on no account submit to our orders in council. They have declared that all who shall submit to them, shall be expatriated; that is, they shall lose their privileges as American citizens. This decree, however, is strictly defensive; the Americans will not lightly come to blows with us; our naval preponderance would extinguish their commerce; and the temperate and judicious measure of offering an apology for the affair of the Chesapeak, has greatly lessened their hostile spirit iowards us. Whatever may be the temper of Jefferson towards England, be must be aware, from the disposition both of the Senate and Representatives, that to make a war with us popular would ex. ceed the compass of his means; besides, the time approaches when he must re. sign his power to a successor, and the concluding measures of his administration must necessarily have a reference to the feelings of that successor as well as his
All these considerations are in favour of the prospect of peace. The experience of the evils of war, through the embargo, is also in favour of it. It has given the American people some idea of the situation in which they would be involved, before, as is too often the case, a step had been taken which could not be recalled.
The trade of Holland continues the sport of French tyranny. One day all export trade, whether to neutral or friendly states, is prohibited; another day this prohibition is relaxed in favour of certain commodities, the growth of the country; while, in the third place, this relaxation is clogged with such restrictions as to render it in a great measure useless. On another day a decree is issued, proh: biting all loans to foreign states. So arbitrary a measure excites considerable surprize, but its policy if not its justice is discovered when the French come forward and modestly ask to make a loan themselves. We record with pleasure that the Dutch treated this demand as it deserved, and positively refused any loan during the preseut oppressed state of their trade.
We have seen a return of British exports for the last quarter, compared with a similar quarter in 1805, 1806, and 1807. In the manufactures there is no great falling off, but a very considerable one in the export of our colonial próduce. The year 1806 was the most favourable of the three; and as Bona
parte's edicts had been promulgated by that time, the inference seems to be that our trade did not suffer materially till the time of our Orders in Council.
Stocks, after fluctuating considerably, left off at the end of last month at a high rate. These fluctuations were ascribed to different causes, but were generally considered the manæuvres of the parties who had not succeeded in getting the loan. Money continues plenty, owing to the difficulty of suitably vesting it in trade.
PRICE OF STOCKS. 3 per Cent, reduced
68 77 8 4 per Cent. Cons.
83; i i Bank Long Annuities
18 11-16 Imperial 3 per Cents. An.
The Average Prices of Navigable Canal Shares, Dock Stock, Fire Office Shares,
&c. in June 1808; at the Office of Mr. Scott, 28, New Bridge-street, London.
The Trent and Mersey, or Grand Trunk Navigation, 9801. to 10001. per share, with half-yearly dividend, paying 401. per share per ann.- Oxford Canal, 4501. to 4651, per share, the last half-yearly dividend was 111.- Grand Junction, 116). with half year's dividend of 21.-Ditto Bonds, 90l. for 1001.-Kennet and Avon, new shares, kl. 10s. per share prem.-Ashby, 221. per share.-Globe Insurance, 1161. per cent.-West India Dock Stock, 1551. to 1561. per cent. with halfyearly dividend of 5l. per cent.--London Dock, 1171. to 1191. to 116 l. per cent. ditto.
AGRICULTURAL REPORT FOR JUNE, 1808.
The wheats continue in a most prosperous state of growth, and, exclusive of some particularly cold unfertile soils, it is the general opinion that Britain never stood a fairer chance for an abundant crop of bread corn. To all appearance the blooming season will be favourable. The stock of wheat on hand also is very ample.
All the spring crops have succeeded, excepting the peas, which have again failed on most cold lands. The beans do not run much to haulm, but are full of blossom. Oats and barley have a very healthy appearance, and, without being very bulky in the grass, are sufficiently so to produce great
crops. Turnips plant well, and look generally healthy. Same of potatoes. The crop of fruit promises great abundance, as does that of the hop, the duty of which is already laid at 150,0001.
The rains came most fortunately for the grass crops, and in the early districts and around the metropolis, much hay is already carted. The produce is very heavy, and hay will be a general good crop. Hemp looks very promising, but the breadth sown this year is by no means answerable to those ideas of its consequence, in the present state of the country, entertained and promulgated by our most patriotic landholders.
Rent of land has suffered no decline, although there seems great reluctance in the eastern and southern counties to comply with the terins demanded. But the marsh land in the vicinity of London has fallen of late nearly 30s. per acre.
Live stock, both fat and lean, have sold readily at high prices, which may, however, soon suffer some diminution, from the decreased consumption of the metropolis, consequent on the seasou.
Smithfield. Beef, 4s. to 5s. 6d. Mutton, 4s. to 5s. 4d.. Veal, 4$. to 75. Lamb, 5s. to 7s. Pork, 55. to 6s. 6d. Bacon, Es. 4d. Irish do. 5s. to 5s. 6d." Fat, 70s. Skins, 14s. to 20s.
FROM ANOTHER CORRESPONDENT. The crops of wheat, to every appearance, promise abundance; and the different of spring corn, both grain atnd pulse, are equally promising. The cold winds we have recently experienced have somewhat checked the growth of peas and beans, preventing them being brought to the London markets in that abundance there was lately every reason to expect. A little warmth will promote vegetation and create plenty. Tares and the clovers prove abundant crops, affording good keep. Immense numbers of wethers and early lambs have been sent in high-condition to Smithfield, as well as runts from the forward pastures. Much land has been already well tilled, manured, and sown with turnips, particularly the Swedish kind. The early sown come up well, and the plants at present are free from the fly.
The fallows for wheat have been well managed, the weather being favourable for making good tilths and destroying weeds. Pastures in general are flourishing, and feeding and dairy stock do well. The hay harvest is carried on with great spirit, wever a more favourable time, and the swaths are, almost without exception, every where large, heavy, and well grown.
Sheep shearing has commenced in most places, and the flocks in general in good condition, with fine healthy lambs, and the late great attention to the improveinents in breeding obvious.
Bnt little variation in the prices of lean 'stock since last report. Two-yearold cart colts still obtain great prices, and are much in request by the arable farmers.
ENGLAND AND WALES.
53 7 Barley
43 7 Oats
62 6 Peas
61 6 Oatmeal
49 10 Bigg
THE ATHENÆUM. .
No. 20. August 1st, 1808.
OBJECTIONS TO THE INSTRUCTION OF THE PEASANTRY
To the Editor of the Athenæum. Sir,
IN an early number of your esteemed miscellany some remarks were given on the state of the peasantry in Devonshire, whom the writer represented as being in a more depressed and humiliated condition than most of their class throughout the kingdom. I am sorry to find these remarks confirmed in a late agricultural survey of that county, from which it manifestly appears that the circumstances of the labouring poor in general are very deplorable. The writer of that survey seems neither deficient in a humane sympathy for their sufferings, nor inattentive to the means for their relief; but there is one particular connected with them respecting which he has given an opinion that I cannot but regard as equally erroneous and prejudicial, and I therefore request permission to make an appeal on the subject to the enlightened readers of the Athenæum.
After having, I imagine, with more courtliness than accuracy, ascribed the establishment of Sunday schools to the spontaneous benevolence of their Majesties, he proceeds to say, that from their first foundation " he looked with a sort of dread to their probable consequences.” This dread was inspired by the dangers of illuminating the minds of the peasantry, and thereby rendering them dissatisfied with h their
condition and desirous to meliorate it. To such an illumni. nation he imputes the roving disposition of the Irish peasantry, and their frequent emigrations to the American states; and he attributes the German emigrations to the same cause'. These poor people, it seems, were such adepts in reading and writing as to maintain correspondence with their emigrated friends, and to peruse Hattering accounts in books of the advantages to be procured beyond the Atlantic, which made them restless and discontented under their present VOL. IV.