« 上一頁繼續 »
sponsibility of a ministerial office to come forward with a statement so delusive on a question so important? And is it compatible with the responsibility of the representatives of the people to let such a statement go forth to the world uncontradicted? And can the press assume to itself the direction of publie opinion, while it joins in disseminating such a delusion?
The difference in the value of the exports falls chiefly on the laborers, in diminished wages; a question which merchants in general think they have nothing to do with: but it has been shown, that whatever may be the disregard of merchants to the condition of the laborers, they are ultimately involved in the same consequences; and, from that very circumstance, those who have speculated on expansion of operation, must come off minus in their accounts. The panic may partially subside, but the delirious disorder that produced it will remain unabated; and while that is the case, there can be no stability or security of property. It was intended to il lustrate the results, in detail, on the physical, social, and moral condition of the people, but that must be reserved for the Second Part of the Exposition. In the mean time, it may be proper here to state, that notwithstanding the depreciation effected on our external commerce, by the principles already explained producing a corresponding depreciation on manufactures for internal consumption, the people have increased four millions in number since 1790-2, and all that are able to work in laboring families are put to productive occupation with increased intensity of application; and although the monied aristocracy have increased in number and luxurious living, yet there is but about the same quantity of foreign and domestic subsisting comforts divided among the fourteen millions, as among the ten millions; thus a laboring family, consisting of seven persons, with all hands fully occupied, have no more subsisting comforts to divide among them than five had. Either they had too many in 1791-2, or they have now too few. The latter is the case; and the pressure of want occasions difficulties and discontent in families, and stimulates young persons to endeavor to obtain subsistence by other means than labor, and leads to the enlargement of our prisons, &c. The following results must strike the most stupid, and those that are most indifferent to the condition of the people. The quantity of malt consumed, on the annual average of the five years, ending 1823, was less than in 1791-2, and even less than on the annual average of the first fifty years of the last century, when the population was not half its present number.
If the foregoing facts are not sufficient to produce conviction of the degraded condition of the people, it must result from wilful blindness. Nature forbids that a wise and virtuous people can be made out of a starving one. A third portion of the people are subdued to the parish by the pressure of want, and as many more struggle with labor and privation. The social affections, the only cement of society, are almost annihilated. Rulers, instead of adapting measures to circumstances, administer the dangerous physic of experimental instead of wholesome legislation to the body politic. They turn an obdurate ear to the importunities of half a mil lion of people, not to sacrifice them to unequal competition with monopolists, who are allowed to tax them 500 per cent. on foreign comforts. Injustice so flagrant is incompatible with the wellbeing of the people, and the stability of the state. Controvert these statements who can.
The English are the most hard-working creatures on earth; but are so innocent of all knowlege of the principles that influence their condition, and so carried away with fine speeches, that they will believe any thing that is said by those that are paid for making them.
Thus when an Englishman is told that even one per cent. when put out to compound interest will soon clear any amount of debt that may be contracted in his name, he is enthusiastic in applauding the magic power of a sinking fund, he is so astonished and delighted at the rapidity of increase by accumulation, that he will not deign to reflect that there can be no accumulation of money, without being first subtracted from the produce of his labor.
When a Committee of the House of Commons, by a species of logic peculiar to that learned assembly, reports that an excess of exports over imports makes a balance in favor of Great Britain, he cannot be made to conceive how it can be, that giving two for one can be a loss to the country.
When a minister of the crown, famed for the profundity of his knowlege of that learned science, political economy, comes down to Parliament, and says, "The exports of cotton manufactures alone amount to twenty-seven millions of pounds," it is believed, although the Parliamentary returns show that they do not amount to seventeen millions.
While such principles of legislation are in full operation, and the people so credulous, there can be no remedy! Merchants must become bankrupts, laborers become paupers, the middle classes sink into the lower ranks, and all the powers on earth combined cannot prevent it. If the people would but open their eyes and reflect a little more; if only ten righteous men could be found, and made to see that a vessel can never be filled with water that has an orifice at the bottom larger than that at the top, and by analogy that if we export fifty-one and divide only twenty
one, it must be at the expense of somebody. If they can be made to see that it is the duty of rulers to prevent such a waste, and urge that duty on them with the firmness of Britons, such as was displayed when they obtained Magna Charta. If such a number cannot be found in Parliament now, the people will soon have an opportunity of sending them, if they can be found in the country, that are qualified. So potent is truth, when it is once understood, and faithfully urged, that if only ten true Britons can be found, nothing can prevent Great Britain, with her means, from being what has been her former boast, The envy and the admiration of the world!!! VITY TO SIJAI AUT
FROM various causes, an opinion seems to have gone abroad, that the jurisdiction of the Court of Chancery is productive of great mischief to the public, and that the abolition, or at least a great alteration of it would be a general benefit. This opinion has arisen principally from three causes; first, from the rules of practice which prevail in that Court, many of which are highly inconvenient, and produce great expense and delay; secondly, from the faults of the judges who preside in it; and thirdly, from the gross misrepresentation of the nature of that Court made by public speakers, and by pamphlets addressed to the public. It is obvious that the two first of these causes are perfectly unconnected with the jurisdiction of the Court; by which I mean the power of entertaining suits and administering relief on certain given subjects. It is, for example, very unwise to allow a defendant so much time, as he now has by the rules of the Court, before he is compelled to put in his answer; but it is obvious that this affords an argument against the utility of the general jurisdiction of the Court: yet ignorant persons, who deal out their censures against the general character of Chancery, make no distinction between practice and jurisdiction, and charge the crimes of the former as a reason why the latter should be abolished. I am extremely sorry that the objectionable parts of the practice should have continued so long; let us hope that they will soon be effectually removed; so that the public may then enjoy the full benefit arising from the jurisdiction of the Court. The faults of the judges in it, whether those of erroneous decisions or of delay, or from whatever other cause, ought not for a moment to injure the character of that tribunal: the principles of the Court remain exactly the same. But there are persons who have told the public either in speeches made in parliament, or in pamphlets, or periodical works, that the jurisdiction of the Court of Chancery is most mischievous to the public, that