Page images

Population, which is the foundation ployed in useful pursuits read your of the greatness of a country, if carried Magazine, I think I cannot promulgate to too high a point, may occasion its this idea so well by any other channel. decline, but a decline can never be If the idea is a good one, some of your brought on by that cause, so long as readers will no doubt appreciate it, and labour can be found to employ, and if none of them do, I shall think there food to nourish the inhabitants.

is some defect in it that I do not see. As a vast number of persons em

London, Aug. 11. W. PLAYFAIR.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]


For the Monthly Magazine. of grief. There were many fabulous FURTHER PARTICULARS of HANNAH stories about her, but my aunt (the

LIGHTFOOT, the FAIR QUAKER. mother of H. Lightfoot) could never
ANNAH LIGHTFOOT, when trace any to be true.”

residing with her father and The above is a copy of a cousin of mother, was frequently seen by the H. Lightfoot's letter to me, on inquiry king when he drove by in going to and of particulars of this mysterious affair, from the Parliament House. She and who is now living and more likely eloped in 1754, and was married to to know the particulars than any one Isaac Axford, at Keith's Chapel, which else. The general belief of her friends my father discovered about

three weeks was, that she was taken into keeping after, and none of our family have seen by Prince George directly after her her since, though her mother had a marriage to Axford, but never lived letter or two from her-but at last died with him.

I have lately seen a half-pay cavalry They sacrificed the end to the means, officer, from India, who knew a gentle- and seemed to consider it the same man of the name of Dalton, who mar. thing, provided the volume of wealth ried a daughter of this H. Lightfoot, were augmented, whether it rolled by the king, but who is dead, leaving down one magnificent river, or were several accomplished daughters, who the product of a thousand streams, cirwith the father are coming to England; culating through different channels of these daughters are secluded from so- society. Hence their precepts were ciety like nuns, but no pains spared in directed solely to obtain the largest protheir education; probably on the ar- duce with the least expence of producrival of this gentleman' more light tive agency. For this purpose labour will be thrown upon the subject than was not only to be subdivided to the utnow exists. The person who wrote the most limit, but to be economized by above letter is distantly related to me, every possible contrivance—capital to and my mother (deceased some years) take whatever direction was the most was related to H. Lightfoot, and well profitable—and industry to be left withknew her. I never heard her say more out the least controul or interference than I have described already, 'except from authority. Man was considered a that she was short of stature, and very being purely selfish, who, by being sufpretty.

AN INQUIRER. fered to pursue his own interest, would Herts.

best promote the interest of the com

munity. For the Monthly Magazine. What changes such a system might THE POLITICAL ECONOMIST, induce-how far it was compatible with No. I.

the interest of morality, individual liConsisting of Observations and Stric. berty, or national independence—wa3

tures on Modern Systems of Political never contemplated by its authors. Economy.

They viewed their subject only on one

side; it was a mere theory, professing ADAM SMITH.

indeed to be simple and practical, but THE late Dr. Colquhoun, of statis- in reality founded on false views of instance of that class of economists First, Man is more a creature of his who attach an almost exclusive impor- passions than of his reason; and instead tance to the mere augmentation of na- of pursuing calculations of interest, he tional wealth. The Doctor never ap- is frequently guided by habit, pride, or peared in such high glee, as when turn- a love of ease. ing into pounds, shillings and pence, Secondly, Capital and industry, the value of our steam-engines, high- though they may sometimes be more ways, public buildings, docks, canals, advantageously employed in other chanagricultural implements and other items nels, they cannot be moved about with which make up the aggregate stock and the facility of a fluid. A loss is always capital of the community. But though sustained, in the first instance, by a these unquestionably are very impor. change of employment, and such is the tant, especially as sources of public fluctuation in the demand for particurevenue and external power, we know, lar products, from variatious in public from experience, that the possession of taste and other causes, that it is not them is compatible with a very high impossible a second transfer may bedegree of internal misery, and that a come necessary before the gain derived nation may abound in ships, commerce from the first has compensated for the and manufactures, while the mass of loss it occasioned. In this case society the population is in a very lamentable would be impoverished rather than enstate of indigence and degradation... So riched by the original change of occufar then, at least, the science of political pation. economy is defective, when its inquiries Thirdly, Though labour may be are directed solely to the acquisition economized, seeing there is a certain of wealth, and not to the more impor- number of people to maintain in every tant object of rendering that wealth state, it may happen that what is inconducive to public happiness.

ed by the substitution of machinery, In this way unfortunately, has the sub- may be counterbalanced by having to ject been usually treated by the most maintain an unemployed population. eminent economists from Adam Smith This is on the supposition, that the downwards. They taught how nations workmen thrown out of employment might become rich rather than happy, cannot find a resource in other branches


[ocr errors]

of industry; or that the increased facture, it might flow entirely to the cheapness of commodities produced by latter, and the whole country become machinery does not so far augment the a congregation of workshops and countconsumption as to create new employ- ing-houses—its surface—its corn-fields ment equal to the old it has superseded. and pastures turned into bleaching

Fourthly, The advantage of an ex. grounds, or striped out into canals and treme division of labour, which tends highways; while the people themselves to perfect each branch of industry, is depended for their daily bread on suppartly compensated by the intellectual plies from France, Poland or Odessa. degradation produced by the human On either supposition society would be mind being confined to one simple oc- any thing rather than improved; its cupation. To have never done any thing, moral no less than physical landscape as M. Say remarks, but make the eigh- would be impaired. Nevertheless it teenth part of a pin, is a sorry account night have augmented its wealth — for a fellow-creature to give of his ex- might possess a larger nett revenueistence.

be able to pay a greater amount in taxes Fifthly, The kind of employment is to maintain a more numerous standof importance with a view to the moral ing army—a more powerful navy-or and physical character of a people. For more expensive ecclesiastical establishexample, no one would wish to see the ment—but these would be very inadeentire population, though it were the quate equivalents for the loss the counmost profitable, employed in the manu. munity had sustained by the extinction facture of woollens, linens, and hard- of the intermediate gradations of soware, to the exclusion of rural pur- ciety; dividing it into two great classes, suits.

the rich and the poor, and establishing Lastly, Every country is liable to a chain of monopoly and dependence have its relations of peace interrupt- more oppresssive than the feudal sysed, consequently it were extreme im- tem. policy in a nation aspiring to indepen- Such, howerer, might be the condence, to depend on a neighbouring sequences of following the doctrines of state, with whom it may be at war, for Smith. The wealth which he seemed the means of subsistence.

to consider as the exclusive object of These are a summary of the most im, national policy, is obviously only a portant reasons which may be urged mean of public no more than indivi-. against the unqualified adoption of the dual happiness : it may exist in great theory of The Wealth of Nations.abundance, yet from a vicious applica

But to illustrate more clearly the tion be an injury rather than a benefit. tendency of Smith's system, it is only A nation is only advantageously rich, necessary to advert to the circumstances when its wealth is so distributed as not in which a nation may be placed by only to augment the number but the following out his principles. Supposing intensity of the enjoyments of the then the employment of capital and mass of the population. industry were abandoned entirely to in- Hence appears the necessity of watchdividual cupidity, what would be the ing over the employment of capital and result?-how would society be consti. industry, so as to render them most tuted ? It would evidently undergo great conducive to the general welfare. They changes; manual labour would proba- will undoubtedly flow into the most bly for the most part, be performed by profitable channels, as it is termed, but machinery ; a few rich capitalists would it is this tendency to accumulate in carry on the great business of agricul- particular directions, so as to induce ture and manufacture; the working an unnatural state of society,


may classes and smaller tradesmen, would sometimes render it expedient to regueither disappear altogether, or their late their movements. condition be entirely altered; the for- The policy of thus occasionally intermer perhaps metamorphosed into pau- fering with public Industry, has given pers and menials—the latter into clerks, rise to a new class of economists, whose collectors, overseers, and superinten- doctrines bear the relation to the prindents. The middle ranks, which con- ciples of the Wealth of Nations, as stitute the chief excellence of modern that great work bore to the Agricultusociety, would be supplanted by an ral System of the French writers. In aristocracy of wealth.

both cases the difference is rather Or the change might be much more about the applicability of certain prinpernicious. Instead of capital being ciples than the truth of the principles divided betwixt agriculture and manu- themselves. Smith did not deny the


abstract truth of the discoveries of 2nd. What is the best method of Quesnai and Turgot, he only doubted preventing the impositions which are their practical utility; neither does practised on the overseers ? Sismondi, nor those who adopt his Ans. By sending all applicants for views, undervalue the principles of the relief at once to the workhouse: if Wealth of Nations,-they only ques- they are distressed, they will be sheltion their compatibility with an aug. tered, fed, and clothed'; if they are mentation of public felicity. They do impostors, the labour which they must not deny that the doctrines of Smith he forced to undergo, or be subject to may increase the riches of a country, punishment, will soon induce them to but they doubt whether riches so ac

shift their quarters. quired would be an advantage. Smith The third question, as to the success looked only to the total physical result of such a plan as that I here propose, of his system, not to its effect on the if it were to be adopted, I cannot aninternal organization of states.

His swer;

but I am quite willing and desirchief error lay in contemplating man ous to give my time and attention to only in his selfish, social capacity, not any experiment which may be attempte as an individual being of sentiment and ed, and with this view I have sent passion. Besides an abundance of the round to several parishes in London a physical means of enjoyment, morality, notice which follows, and with which liberty and independence are essential I respectfully take my leave; observto human welfare; and besides society ing previously, however, that neither providing for an augmentation of the Mr. Owen's plan, nor any other plan general wealth, it ought also to pio- for establishing families in cottages, vide for its equitable distribution, other. will ever relieve the parishes from the wise it may become a source of national burthen of those temporary calls for disease rather than of healthful vigour. relief, that are too frequent, trouble

some, and burthensome. To the Editor of the Monthly Magazine. Nothing, I humbly apprehend, can SIR,

do for the employment of such persons AGREE with Mr. Wright in attach- but forming an establishment that will

take applicants at all times, for a shorter in which the overseers of the poor per- or longer period, and that work or laform the duties of their office in the bour must be useful, and not consist present distressful times, but it is ne- of making holes and filling them up cessary to consider that these gentle again. With such families as could men have double duties to attend to, with advantage be established in cotthey have their duties to their neigh- tages, and permanently fixed, my plan bours and themselves, on the one hand, would by no means interfere, it being and their duties to the poor, on the merely intended for such as only want

these two interests are conti- temporary relief. nually opposing each other, and while

To the Churchwardens, Overseers, and the overseer has to overcome the ava

Inhabitants of the Parishes of London, rice and economy of the parish, he has

Westminster, and within the Bills of also to contend against the cunning Mortality. and the impositions which are well Thomas Reid, of No. 6, Norfolk-street, known to be practised by the paupers Strand, begs leave to submit to the consi. in most of the parishes of this king- deration of the above gentlemen a certain dom, as has been correctly noticed by method of diminishing the poors’ rate, and your correspondent; it must be ad- rendering the poor more comfortable. mitted, therefore, that his task is by no This plan consists in finding advantagemeans an easy one.

ous employment for the poor op a farm 1st. How can the poor be best em- near London, to be cultivated by the ployed in agricultural districts ? spade ; on which wheat and other grain,

Ans. By labour or spade husbandry, potatoes, garden stuffs will be raised; For this purpose land must be engaged, from which the poor will be supplied with and the poor must be superintended be sold in diminution of expences.

what is necessary, and the remainder to by those whose habits enable them to

The particulars of the plan may be seen direct their labour to the most useful results; they will then leave their work of any parish will be waited upon with it,

at No. 6, Norfolk-street, or the gentlemen house, not as now, with an accession of by appointment made; but the principle idle and depraved opinions and habits, is to employ beneficially all who are able but with the knowledge of the means to work, and the result will be a great of providing their bread honestly. diminution of expence to the parish.


[ocr errors]


To the Editor of the Monthly Magazine. analogous to the dictates of our own SIR,

hearts. The religion of Zoroaster was IN N the VIIIth Chapter, Vol. I. of his abundantly provided with the former,

History, Mr. Gibbon has exhibited and possessed a sufficient portion of the a very fallacious view of the Religion latter." of the antient Persians, evidently with The testimony of Herodotus on this the design, in his insidious manner, of subject is remarkably strong and deciraising human reason to a level with sive. “ I speak,” says that historian, divine revelation. For this purpose he “ from my own personal knowledge, has offered a very loose and partial ver- when I say that the Persians observe the sion of a celebrated passage in Herodo- following manners and customs, &c." tus, which in the excellent translation Yet he is reproached by Mr. Gibbon, at of Beloe appears as follows:" The the distance of more than two thousand Persians have among them neither sta- years, with falsifying a plain matter of tues, temples, nor altars; the use of fact; for Herodotus must have known which they censure as impious, and as whether the Persians did, or did not, a gross violation of reason; probably, worship the celestial luminaries and the because in opposition to the Greeks, terrestrial elements, as deities. Their they do not believe that the Gods par: religion was evidently pantheism ; not take of our human nature. Their cus- making any just distinction between tom is to offer ou the summits of the nature and the author of nature. The highest mountains sacrifices to Jove, apology which Mr. G. in his zeal for distinguishing by that appellation all the Magianism, has made for this pantheisexpanse of the firmament. They also tic worship, is mere trifling.

What adore the sun, moon, earth, fire, water, the Persians of every age have denied, and the winds, which may be termed or admitted, might be tedious to intheir original 'deities, &c. &c. Herod. vestigate; but what Mr. G. has offered L. I. c 131.

in their behalf, is no more than the 6. The most careless observers," says most bigotted idolaters may say, and Mr. G. “ were struck with the philoso- have said, in vindication of their idophic simplicity of the Persian worship. latry: Was not Apis adored in Egypt * That people,' says Herodotus, reject as the sacred emblem of the deity? the use of temples, of altars, and sta- The worship of the sun and moon is tues, and smile at the folly of those na- probably the most antient of superstitions who imagine that the gods are tions; and an eminent personage, much sprung from, or bear any affinity with older than Herodotus, is represented, the human nature. The tops of the in the noble record remaining of him, highest mountains are the places chosen as saying, “ If I beheld the sun when for sacrifices. Hymns and prayers are it shined, or the moon walking in the principal worship. The supreme brightness, and yny heart has been seGod who fills the wide circle of Heaven, cretly enticed, or my mouth hath kissed is the object to whom they are address- my hand; this also were an iniquity : ed.' YES, at the same time, in the true -for I should have denied the God that spirit of a polytheist, Herodotus accuses

is above." It is indeed true that “ the them of adoring earth, water, fire, the heavens declare the glory of God; but winds and the sun and moon. But the would Mr. G. persuade us that there is Persians of every age have denied the no difference between the worship of the charge, and explained the equivocal Creator, and that of the works of his conduct which might appear to give a

hands? What could be his notion or colour to it. The elements, and more definition of idolatry. par icularly fire, light, and the sun, In this futile, though elaborate atwhich they called Mithras, were the tempt, to soften the feature of Magianobjects of their religious reverence; ism, Mr. G. assures us,

66 there are because they considered them as the some reinarkable instances in which purest symbols, the noblest produc- Zoroaster lays aside the prophet, astious, and the most powerful agents of sumes the legislator, and discovers a the divine power and nature. Every liberal concern for private and public mode of religion, to make a deep and happiness, seldom to be found among lasting impression on the human mind, the grovelling or visionary schemes of must exercise our obedience by enjoin- superstition." And he cites from the ing practices of devotion for which we Zendavesta, what he stiles 6 a wise and can assign no reason; and must acquire 'benevolent maxim, which compensates our esteein by inculcating moral duties for many an absurdity. 66 He who MONTHLY MAG, No. 359.



« PreviousContinue »