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ners; which accordingly are remarkable in most royal boroughs. Nor is the contagion confined within the town : it commonly spreads all around. i-.

Another consequence no less fatal, of leaving magistrates to act without control, is a strong desire in every licentious burgess, of stepping into the magistracy, for his own fake, and for that of his friends. Hence the factions and animosities that prevail in almost all the royal boroughs ; which are violently and indecently pursued, .without the least regard to the good of the community.

The greatest evil of all, respects the choice of their representatives in parliament. A habit of riot and intemperance, makes them fit subjects to be corrupted by every adventurer who is willing to lay out money for purchasing a feat in parliament. Hence the infamous practice of bribery at elections, which tends not only to corrupt the whole mass of the people, but, which is still more dreadful, tends to fill the House of Commons with men of dissolute manners, void of probity and honour. But, turning from scenes so dismal, let

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us view the beautiful effects that result from an administration regularly carried on, as directed by the statutes above mentioned. The revenues of the royal boroughs are supposed to be above L. 40,000 yearly. And were this sum, or the half of it, prudently expended, for promoting arts and industry among the numerous inhabitants of royal boroughs ; the benefit, in a country so narrow and poor as Scotland, would be immense : it would tend to population, it would greatly increase industry, manufactures, and commerce, befide augmenting the public revenue. In the next place, as there would be no temptation for designing men to convert the burden of magistracy into a benefit, faction and discord would vanish ; and there would be no less solicitude to fhun the burden, than at present is seen to obtain it. None would submit to the burden but the truly patriotic, men who would chearfully bestow their time, and perhaps their money, upon the public ; and whose ambition it would be to acquire a character, by promoting industry, temperance, and honesty, among their fellow-citizens.

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And when the government of the royal boroughs comes to be in so good hands, bribery, which corrupts the very vitals of our conftitution, will be banished of course. And considering the proper and conftitutional dependence of the royal boroughs upon the king's judges, we may have reasonable assurance, that few representatives will be chosen, but who are friends to their country and to their sovereign.

Vol. IV.

30

SKETCH

s к Етон ІІ. . Plan for improving and preserving in order

the Highways in Scotland.

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Highways have in Scotland become a ca" pital object of police, by the increase of inland commerce, upon which bad roads are a heavy tax. Happily for our country, no person is ignorant of this truth; and we see with pleafure the fruits of their conviction in various attempts, public and private, to establish this valuable branch of police upon the best footing. As this is no easy task, it may reasonably be hoped, that men interested will seriously apply to it, and will freely produce such hints as occur to them. In the latter view, the following plan is offered to the public : and if, from the various proposals that have been or shall be published, an effective plan can be framed, such as completely to answer its purpose, it

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may safely be pronounced, that it will produce more benefit to this country, than has been produced by any other fingle improvement since the union of the two kingdoms.

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1. THE justices of peace, commissioners

1 of supply, the sheriff or stewart depute, and the first magistrate of royal boroughs, shall be commissioners for making and repairing highways, bridges, and ferries, in the several thires and stewartries. All the powers given by law to the justices of peace, and commissioners of supply, with respect to highways, bridges, and ferries, shall be transferred to them ; and any two shall be a quorum, excepe where a greater number is required by this act.

2. The sheriff or ftewart depute shall appoint the first day of meeting of the said commissioners, as soon as may conveniently be after the date of the act, by an inti mation at each parish-church upon a Sunday, at the close of the forenoon service. And the last Tuesday of March ihæll yearly thereafter be a day of meeting at the head borough of the shire or stewartry, in place of the first or third Tuesday of May

appointed

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