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great personages alluded to, have avowed the doctrine here imputed to them, is not for us to determine. We can icarce believe that they have been so wicked and fu weak. We would rather hope that this Writer has been mistaken, or misinformed : for furely had they promulged fach principles, had they openly argued in fivour of a dispensing power, they bad not been Icft to the chattisement of this Writer: but their wird's would have been taken down, and they would have been called upon to justify them in the face of a higher tribunal.
This Writer, however, taking it for granted fuch a dodrine has been advanced, very thortly difcuses the general question, whether the crown is inveiled by the conititucion with a power of dispensing with the law of the land; and having endeavoured to thew that such a power has, in the inliance in queijon, been exercised by the crown, he proceeds to prove that the necessity which is urged to excuse it, was a neceffity of the miniiter's own creating Having discussed thele points, he fums up the whole in the following fhort recapitulation :
The ministers more agreeably employed in the lavish diitribution of lionours, places, pensions, grants and compensations, suffered not the cry of the poor to reach their intoxicated prosperity. They slighted and neglected the advertisements of a calamity in which not policy alone, bus humanity itself was interested. When the orpresion of the poor found its way at lait to their consideration, they applied the remedy of the firit proclamation, which could operate no otherwise than it did now, and had done formerly, to increase that oppression of the poor, whilst in the fame Gazette they deprived the king of the advice of his parliament upon this emergency, by a long prorogation to the uth of November. Having thus put it out of their power to give to the people any conftitutional redress, they found themselves obliged, in the face of the bill of rights, to dispense with and suspend an act of pa:liament by royal authority, laying an embargo upon thips, which however, for fear it should be in some degree effectual to its purpose when the law was violated, instead of following the mode of acts of parliament, confined itfelf to wheat alone, and wheat flour; which blunder, I have a right to say, cannot but have considerably increased the searcity. Parliament however nicets at last; the eyes of the kingdom are upon that meeting ; they take this arbitrary act under ilieir confideration; and what! instead of acknowledging the illegality, and appiying to parliament for indemnity upon the circunstances, the high arbitrary doctrine of a dispensing power in the crown, under the specious pretence of ftare necessity, is again propagated in open day-light. The great principle upon which the revolution ttands is again brought into question, and the free conftitution of this country flaken to its very foundations.' Art. 32. 712 Couses af the Dearness of Provisions asigned; with
efficłucl Methods for reducing the prices of them. Humbly sub-
We hare picady intimatel, in a preceding article, the importance of the corn-trade; and what a delicate task it is to regulate the concerns of it. The high price of provisions is a fact so notorious, that every one, howercr fiiua:ed, must' in fome measure be affected by it. The remedy, at the grie ance le ringrediebie, is a general concern; and every one who attempts to discover the cause of this national and growing 3
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evil, deserves ive!l of his country; and is entitled to our cardid and grateful attention to what he offers. It is not incumbent on us, as Re. yiewers of literary productions, to discuss this subject orielves, farther than general observations on the validity of what is urged on to imper. tant a point, may unavoidably lead us. Thus much, however, may be remarked; that if, in a subject of lo complicated a nature, the real cause of the evil may be so remote froin common view, as not to be ge. nenerally adverted to; yet inquiries that may not reach the primary cause, may nevertheless serve to the detection and reformation of many grievances of a subordinate nature: and thus fu far from being useless, may answer very effential purposes.
This gentleman afligns four causes for the dearness of provisions, which have often been urged on this subject. These are,—the unequal divisions of farms ;--the bounty on the exportation of crn;--the scarcity of catile ;-and lastly, the burden of the taxes failing chifly on the poor.
The bad consequences of monopolizing farms, are too evident, to admit of being controverted; unless any one wil undertake to prove, that the present commercial system can be confitent with a return to the old feudal constitution: and that it is better for the bulk of the people to become needy dependents, retained in the frvice of a fe:v arbitrary sapacious landholders ; than in the capacity of independent farmers, to till small portions of land for their own immediate emolument.-Not to dwell on the tyrannic advantages which large farmers obtain over sınall farmers; we must allow, with our Author, that'small farms are better and more advantageously managed, than great ones. It is not to be supposed that a man who occupies five hundred acres, can inspect and manage every part, as well as a person who has not one hundred. Larger extents of land, will ever be subject to greater trefpafies, damages and waste. Large quantities cannot be manured so well as smaller : the product consequently must be proportionably less."
That the burden of the taxes fall upon the poor, is sufficiently known, and the initance of the duty on malt liquors fold in publichouses, which is saved by families who can brew their own drink, is fufficiently in point : and if the produce of the duty on salt, should be as our Author Itales it, that alone were a sufficient reason to take it off; which is much strengthened by its use in agriculture, if the price would permit it to be applied to that purpose. But when he talks seriously of translating the duties from the neceliaries of life, to articles of luxury, he does not furely consider our present circumitances; what a security the established mode of taxation is, for raising the required fupplies; and what a frail dependance under so beavy a debt, could be placed on the produce of impofts which would have a direct teadency to dimiwith the income from them!
The propriety of giving a bounty for the exportation of corn bas been of late much controverted; but if it is generally admitted, as it is by our Author, that it might have a good effect when farming was buc ill understood; and that it was probably the means of exciting the farmer's industry to cry experiments and make improvements in agricula ture; and to cultivate greater quantities of corn : this is certainly allowing a great deal in favour of a measure which is nevertheless at the same time ftigmatized with being the first great cause of the ex cefüve dearness of provisions.' liz
• By draining the kingdom, fays our Author, of this most effentiai production of the earth, the price of corn is greatly enhanced to our own people, and rendered much cheaper to foreigners. And if foreigners are furnished, by the means of a bounty, with bread, and a variety of liquors, upon cheaper terms than we are, the price of labour among them will be proportionably diminished, and their manufactures fabricated cheaper than ours, in that proportion.'
In deciding upon this point, the exportation of corn with the bounty, hould nocebe confounded with the exportation of it to a better market without the bounty. The bounty, as has been hinted, was calculated for the encouragement of agriculture ; which end it appears to have anfwered, by sending away the excess above the home consumption. That it cannot iend to drain the kingdom is evident, because it furnishes its own corrective; by ceasing, when corn rises above a limited price. Farther, if corn continues to be exported afterward, without the bounty; as it must in this case be carried to a better market, foreigners cannot at that time be furnished cheaper than our own inhabitants. Again, though the bounty, by encouraging the exportation, tends to keep the price of corn from falling below the indemnification of the raiser for his labour ; yet that it has not operated to enhance the price, to the prejudice of trade, appears from Bp. Fleetwood's tables; which shew us that, notwithstanding the alteration in the value of money, and notivithstanding the accumulation of taxes; the medium price of corn has been lower fince the granting the bounty, than it was for an equal number of years before. This then fhews, that by multiplying the commodity it has operated for the public advantage ; leaving no one any room to complain, unless it should be the farmer. But if, as our Author alledges, it is well known that some of them keep their coaches, have their side-boards of plate, polt-chaises, and drink wine and punch inttead of malt-liquor;' if this is the case with substantial farmers, it does not appear that such have any right to complain, but rather that if farms were more equally divided, every one might regale his family with malt-liquor, and that not of the worst kind.
Our Author adds in a note, that he has heard the argument against the bounty thus farther orged, “ the fom received for exported corn, communibus annis, amounts to two millions derling, the bounty tó a quarter of a million; i. e. considering the affair in a mercantile view, we pay an interest of 251. per cent. on our return. No trade, at least no European trade can support this. The sums in this calculation may pro:bably be mistaken; but the reasoning seems clear and good.” Without controvering the calculation, the reasoning cannot be allowed quite so clear, unless the bounty was paid to foreigners; and so became a drawback upon our returns for the corn sent abroad: but while the bounty is only paid with one hand to be received by the other, the nation cerainly is a gainer, even if che exporter reaped no farther profit than the :bounty paid him.
The iniquitous practice of forestalling markets, and engrossing com• Irodities, ought by all means to be detected and punished: but these offences can only be of local detriment; since it is hardly plausible, thar stuch artifices can affect a whole kingdom in articles of general confumptici).
If it is true as has been reported, that great quantities of pafture-land have been ploughed up, to turn into corn-land, it will not only corroborate. what is said above ; but in some measure account for the scarcity of, cattle. But when our Author alledges our eating more animal food than, our ancestors, as one cause of the dearness of meat; the great advancement and extension of gardening, beyond what was practiced in the preceding century, seems to argue rather the contrary : though confidering how much cheaper cattle are bred in Ireland, he appears perfecily right as to the expediency of opening our ports for the importaticn of cattle from thence.
To conclude; the Author of this performance does not seem to have urged any thing beyond the common arguments usually produced on. the subject of the dearness of provisions; the merits of which we should. not have entered into fo particularly, were it not that several pamphlets being before us of the same nature, it may prevent much repetition. As to the pleas against the bounty for exporting corn, though the legislature has thought fit to continue it for a series of years, yet we see that there are sealons wherein it is found expedient to prohibii the same commodity from being sent abroad. Art. 33. Political Spiculations ; or an Attempt to discover the Causes
of the Dearness of Provisions, and high Price of Labour in England. With some Hints for remedying these Evils. 8vo. Almon.
This writer deduces the objects of his speculation from the aggregate influence of a number of causes, which are, 1. The enormous size of the metropolis. 2. Monopoly, or foreftalling: 3. Sample markets for grain. 4. Large farms. 5. Ploughing with horses instead of oxen. 6. Poit chaises, and flying Itages. 7. Exportation, and distillery of grain. 8. Taxes on necessaries. 9. Tythes, 10. Public funds, increase of money, and rapid fortunes. 11. Decrease of industry among women. 12. The want of a better plan for the militia. 13. The want of proper laws respecting the poor, vagrants, diforderly persons, and felons.
It is apparent from this enumeration of the heads, concerning which the author proposes to treat, that they must include a wide compass of reasoning; in which, so far as we have seen, he starts fome good hints, and makes many pertinent observations ; if his affumptions at gross computations may not sometimes betray him into wrong conclusions. "When we had read his 8th section, wherein he treats of the Taxes on necesaries ; and where he thews in the instance of tallow candles, how much more the consumer is charged by the trader, than the net duty laid on the commodity; we were furprized to find ourselves at the end of the pamphlet, with an abrupt. End of the firA part. Now as there was no previous intimation given, that the present pamphlet did not contain the whole of our author's speculations ; when we perceived that he had so flily drawn his readers in for the purchase of another, or perhaps other parts, it was in postible to avoid thinking of the tallow-chantier. Art. 34. Reflections on the present high Price of Provisions ; and
the Complaints and Disturbances arising therefrom. Svo. Kearsley.
A sensible dispassionate expoftulation with the public, on the continual outcries raised againit forestallers, regrators, &c. by a person who complains of having suffered both in property and reputation, in consequence of the clamours and riots raised on these accounts.
• How contradictory te reason is it, pleads our author, to suppose a scarcity can be brought about by wicked men ? yet such a notion is not too extravagant to be imbibed by an infinite number of people. It is in vain to talk of reason, or to urge the impoflibility of it by any human means. Every extraordinary event is attributed to some cause or other. The common people have generally preposteffed opinions, and a readiness to give an implicit credit to wonders: they resolve all difficulties in the manner they have been taught; no matter whether right or wrong. When their neighbour's cattle happen to die of the murrain or the rot, they often impute the calamity to witchcraft ; because they know no better; and are as strongly attached to many prejudices of their forefathers, as if these prejudices were the most positive truths.
Although the belief of enchantment does not so much prevail in this country as formerly, yet it is observable the repeal of the act against witchcraft could not be accomplished till the reign of George ji. Some recent instances of the common people's zeal against witchcraft, seem to shew, that the repeal of that act, has not removed the prejudices of many ignorant and obstinate bigots among all ranks of people.
• The difficulty which occurred to our forefathers in discovering the artifices of the engrosers and foreitallers, is perhaps the reason that in the king's commiiton for the appointment of justices of the peace, inchantments, forceries, arts magic, forestallings, regratings, and engrollings, are ranged together, as offences of a fimilar nature ; because they were committed by wicked persons in a manner both amazing and unknown.'
This writer makes many shrewd remarks on the inconsistency, observable in many of our statutes relating to articles of trade, and on the causes upon which the rise of commodities depend; for which our readers must have recourse to the pamphlet. But he is more particularly offended at Sir J. F—'s charge to the grand jury, concerning foreftallers; which he humourou ly contrasts with some remarks on witches and enchanters, quoted from that Solomon of his age King James !: adding, 'It is to be hoped that the zeal ftirred up againt Sir J. F-'s monster, after the first surprize is over, will be more according to knowledge.'
We should not, indeed, be frightened mcerly by hard names, nor carry our resentment farther than facts warrant us; and our anonymous appellant certainly merits some pity on his own representation. : To be treated as a contraband trader, and calumniated, as an enemy to his country, by some whom he would wilh to be his friends; are things which fenfibly affect him ; especially when his only crime is to carry on a fair trade, as he believes his to be, in his proper and constant calling, viz. buying by wholesale in the country, an article of common consumption, for the supply of the city of London.'