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of an unbounded plain, and sooner, I believe, than that which serves only to promote the temporary in. of any limited portion of space, whatever its dimen- terest and miserable ambition of a minister. sions may be. There is a calm delight, a dolce You ascended the throne with a declared (and, I riposo, in viewing the smooth-shaven verdure of a doubt not, a sincere) resolution of giving universal bowling green as long as it is near. You must learn satisfaction to your subjects. You found then pleased from repetition that those properties are inseparable with the novelty of a young prince, whose countenance from the idea of a flat surface, and that fat and promised even more than his words, and loyal to you tiresome are synonymous. The works of nature, not only from principle but passion. It was not a which command admiration at once, and never lose cold profession of allegiance to the first magistrate, it, are compounded of grand inequalities.'
but a partial, animated attachment to a farourite
prince, the native of their country. They did not [Junius's Celebrated Letter to the King.)
wait to examine your conduct, nor to be determined To the Printor of the Public Advertiser.—19th December 1769. future blessings of your reign, and paid you in ad
by experience, but gave you a generous credit for the Sir,When the complaints of a brave and power- vance the dearest tribute of their affections. Such, ful people are observed to increase in proportion to sir, was once the disposition of a people who now surthe wrongs they have suffered ; when, instead of sink- round your throne with reproaches and complaints. ing into submission, they are roused to resistance, the Do justice to yourself. Banish from your mind those time will soon arrive at which every inferior considera- unworthy opinions with which some interested pertion must yield to the security of the sovereign, and sons have laboured to possess you. Distrust the men to the general safety of the state. There is a moment who tell you that the English are naturally light and of difficulty and danger, at which flattery and false inconstant; that they complain without a cause. hood can no longer deceive, and simplicity itself can Withdraw your confidence equally from all parties; no longer be misled. Let us suppose it arrived. Let from ministers, favourites, and relations; and let there us suppose a gracious well-intentioned prince made be one moment in your life in which you have consensible at last of the great duty he owes to his people, sulted your own understanding. and of his own disgraceful situation; that he looks When you affectedly renounced the name of Eng. round him for assistance, and asks for no advice but lishman, believe me, sir, you were persuaded to pay how to gratify the wishes and secure the happiness a very ill-judged compliment to one part of your subof his subjects. In these circumstances, it may be jects at the expense of another. While the vatires of matter of curious speculation to consider, if an honest Scotland are not in actual rebellion, they are unman were permitted to approach a king, in what terms doubtedly entitled to protection ; nor do I mean to he would address himself to his sovereign. Let it be condemn the policy of giving some encouragement to imagined, no matter how improbable, that the first pre- the novelty of their affection for the house of Hanover. judice against his character is removed; that the cere- I am ready to hope for everything from their new-born monious difficulties of an audience are surmounted; zeal, and from the future steadiness of their allegiance. that he feels himself animated by the purest and most But hitherto they have no claim to your favour. To honourable affection to his king and country; and that honour them with a determined predilection and conthe great person whom he addresses has spirit enough fidence, in exclusion of your English subjects—who to bid him speak freely, and understanding enough to placed your family, and in spite of treachery and relisten to him with attention. Unacquainted with the bellion, have supported it, upon the throne--is a misvain impertinence of forms, he would deliver his sen- take too gross for even the unsuspecting generosity of timents with dignity and firmness, but not without youth. In this error we see a capital violation of the respect :
most obvious rules of policy and prudence. We trace Sir-It is the misfortune of your life, and origi- | it, however, to an original bias in your education, and nally the cause of every reproach and distress which are ready to allow for your inexperience. bas attended your government, that you should never To the same early influence we attribute it, that have been acquainted with the language of truth till you have descended to take a share not only in the you heard it in the complaints of your people. It is narrow views and interests of particular persons, but not, however, too late to correct the error of your edu- in the fatal malignity of their passions. At your cation. We are still inclined to make an indulgent accession to the throne the whole system of gorernallowance for the pernicious lessons you received in ment was altered ; not from wisdom or deliberation, your youth, and to form the most sanguine hopes from but because it had been adopted by your predecessor. the natural benevolence of your disposition. We are A little personal motive of pique and resentment was far from thinking you capable of a direct deliberate sufficient to remove the ablest servants of the crown; purpose to invade those original rights of your sub- but it is not in this country, sir, that such men can jects on which all their civil and political liberties be dishonoured by the frowns of a king. They were depend. Had it been possible for us to entertain a dismissed, but could not be disgraced. suspicion so dishonourable to your character, we should Without entering into a minuter discussion of the long since have adopted a style of remonstrance very merits of the peace, we may observe, in the imprudent distant from the humility of complaint. The doc- hurry with which the first orertures from France were trine inculcated by our laws, that the king can do accepted, in the conduct of the negotiation, and no wrong,' is admitted without reluctance. We
sepa- terms of the treaty, the strongest marks of that precirate the amiable good-natured prince from the folly pitate spirit of concession with which a certain part and treachery of his servants, and the private virtues of your subjects bave been at all times rendy to purof the man from the vices of his government. Were chase a peace with the natural enemies of this country. it not for this just distinction, I know not whether on your part we are satisfied that ererything was your majesty's condition, or that of the English na- honourable and sincere ; and if England was sold to tion, would deserve most to be lamented. I would France, we doubt not that your majesty was equally prepare your mind for a favourable reception of truth, betrayed. The conditions of the peace were matter by removing every painful offensive idea of personal of grief and surprise to your subjects, but not the reproach. Your subjects, sir, wish for nothing but immediate cause of their present discontent. that, as they are reasonable and affectionate enough to Hitherto, sir, you had been sacrificed to the prejuseparate your person from your government, so you, in dices and passions of others. With what firmness your turn, would distinguish between the conduct will you bear the mention of your own! which becomes the permanent dignity of a king, and A man not very honourably distinguished in the world commences a formal attack upon your favourite; and your majesty need not doubt that the catastrophe considering nothing but how he might best expose his will do no dishonour to the conduct of the piece. person and principles to detestation, and the national The circumstances to which you are reduced will character of his countrymen to contempt. The natives not admit of a compromise with the English nation. of that country, sir, are as much distinguished by a Undecisive qualifying measures will disgrace your peculiar character, as by your majesty's favour. Like government still more than open violence; and withanother chosen people, they have been conducted into out satisfying the people, will excite their contempt. the land of plenty, where they find themselves effec- They have too much understanding and spirit to tually marked and divided from mankind. There is accept of an indirect satisfaction for a direct injury, hardly a period at which the most irregular character Nothing less than a repeal as formal as the resolution* may not be redeemed; the mistakes of one sex find itself, can heal the wound which has been given to a retreat in patriotism; those of the other in devo- the constitution; nor will anything less be accepted. tion. Mr Wilkes brought with him into politics the I can readily believe that there is an influence suffisame liberal sentiments by which his private conduct cient to recall that pernicious vote. The House of had been directed ; and seemed to think, that as there Commons undoubtedly consider their duty to the are few excesses in which an English gentleman may crown as paramount to all other obligations. To us not be permitted to indulge, the same latitude was they are indebted for only an accidental existence, allowed him in the choice of his political principles, and have justly transferred their gratitude from their and in the spirit of maintaining them. I mean to parents to their benefactors ; from those who gave state, not entirely to defend, his conduct. In the them birth to the minister from whose benevolence eartiestness of his zeal, he suffered some unwarrant- they derive the comforts and pleasures of their poliable insinuations to escape him. He said more than tical life; who has taken the tenderest care of their moderate men would justify, but not enough to entitle infancy, and relieves their necessities without offendhim to the honour of your majesty's personal resent- ing their delicacy. But if it were possible for their ment. The rays of royal indignation collected upon integrity to be degraded to a condition so vile and him, served only to illumine, and could not consume. abject, that, compared with it, the present estimation Animated by the favour of the people on one side, they stand in is a state of honour and respect, conand heated by persecution on the other, his views sider, sir, in what manner you will afterwards proceed. and sentiments changed with his situation. Hardly Can you conceive that the people of this country will serious at first, he is now an enthusiast. The coldest long submit to be governed by so flexible a House of boilies warm with opposition ; the hardest sparkle in Commons? It is not in the nature of human society collision. There is a holy mistaken zeal in politics that any form of government in such circumstances as well as religion. By persuading others, we convince can long be preserved. In ours, the general contempt ourselves; the passions are engaged, and create a of the people is as fatal as their detestation. Such, maternal affection in the mind, which forces us to I am persuaded, would be the necessary effect of any love the cause for which we suffer. Is this a conten- base concession made by the present House of Comtion worthy of a king! Are you not sensible how mons; and, as a qualifying measure would not be much the meanness of the cause gives an air of ridi- accepted, it remains for you to decide whether you cule to the serious difficulties into which you have will, at any hazard, support a set of men who have been betrayed? The destruction of one man has been reduced you to this unhappy dilemma, or whether now for many years the sole object of your govern- you will gratify the united wishes of the whole people ment; and if there can be anything still more dis- of England by dissolving the parliament. graceful, we have seen for such an object the utmost Taking it for granted, as I do very sincerely, that influence of the executive power, and every ministerial you have personally no design against the constituartifice, exerted without success. Nor can you ever tion, nor any view inconsistent with the good of your succeed, unless he should be imprudent enough to subjects, I think you cannot hesitate long upon the furfeit the protection of those laws to which you owe choice which it equally concerns your interest and your crown; or unless your ministers should persuade your honour to adopt. On one side, you hazard the you to make it a question of force alone, and try the affections of all your English subjects; you relinquish #bole strength of government in opposition to the every hope of repose to yourself, and you endanger people. The lessons he has received from experience the establishment of your family for ever. All this will probably guard him from such excess of folly; you venture for no object whatever, or for such an and in your majesty's virtues we find an unquestion-object as it would be an affront to you to name. Men able assurance that no illegal violence will be at- of sense will examine your conduct with suspicion ; tempted.
while those who are incapable of comprehending to Far from suspecting you of so horrible a design, we what degree they are injured, afflict you with clamours would attribute the continued violation of the laws, equally insolent and unmeaning. Supposing it posand even this last enormous attack upon the vital sible that no fatal struggle should ensue, you deterprinciples of the constitution, to an ill-advised un- mine at once to be unhappy, without the hope of a worthy personal resentment. From one false step compensation either from interest or ambition. If you have been betrayed into another; and as the an English king be hated or despised, he must be un. cause was unworthy of you, your ministers were deter- happy; and this, perhaps, is the only political truth mined that the prudence of the execution should which he ought to be convinced of without expericorrespond with the wisdom and dignity of the design. ment. But if the English people should no longer They have reduced you to the necessity of choosing confine their resentment to a submissive representaout of a variety of difficulties; to a situation so un- tion of their wrongs; if, following the glorious ex. happy, that you can neither do wrong without ruin, ample of their ancestors, they should no longer appeal nor right without affliction. These worthy servants to the creature of the constitution, but to that high have undoubtedly given you many singular proofs Being who gave them the rights of humanity, whose of their abilities. Not contented with making Mr gifts it were sacrilege to surrender, let me ask you, Wilkes a man of importance, they have judiciously sir, upon what part of your subjects would you rely transferred the question from the rights and interests for assistance ? of one man, to the most important rights and interests The people of Ireland have been uniformly plunof the people; and forced your subjects, from wishing well to the cause of an individual, to unite with him
* Of the House of Commons, on the subject of the Middlesex in their own. Let them proceed as they have begun, election.
dered and oppressed. In return, they give you every house of Stuart; and find an earnest of future loyalty day fresh marks of their resentment. They despise in former rebellions. Appearances are, bowever, in the miserable governor you have sent them, because their favour; so strongly, indeed, that one would think he is the creature of Lord Bute; nor is it from any they had forgotten that you are their lawful king, and natural confusion in their ideas that they are so ready had mistaken you for a pretender to the crown. Let to confound the original of a king with the disgrace- it be admitted, then, that the Scotch are as sincere in ful representation of him.
their present professions, as if you were in reality not The distance of the colonies would make it impos- an Englishman, but a Briton of the north ; you would sible for them to take an active concern in your not be the first prince of their native country against affairs, even if they were as well affected to your go- whom they have rebelled, nor the first whom they vernment as they once pretended to be to your person. have basely betrayed. Have you forgotten, sir, or has They were ready enough to distinguish between you your favourite concealed from you, that part of our and your ministers. They complained of an act of history when the unhappy Charles (and he, too, had the legislature, but traced the origin of it no higher private virtues) fled from the open avowed indig. than to the servants of the crown ; they pleased nation of his English subjects, and surrendered himthemselves with the hope that their sovereign, if not self at discretion to the good faith of his own country. favourable to their cause, at least was impartial. men? Without looking for support in their affections The decisive personal part you took against them has as subjects, he applied only to their honour as gentleeffectually banished that first distinction from their men for protection. They received him, as they would minds.* They consider you as united with your ser- your majesty, with bows, and smiles, and falsehood ; vants against America; and know how to distinguish and kept him till they had settled their bargain with the sovereign and a venal parliament on one side, the English parliament; then basely sold their native from the real sentiments of the English people on the king to the vengeance of his enemies. This, sir, other. Looking forward to independence, they might was not the act of a few traitors, but the deliberate possibly receive you for their king; but if ever you treachery of a Scotch parliament, representing the retire to America, be assured they will give you such nation, A wise prince might draw from it two a covenant to digest, as the presbytery of Scotland lessons of equal utility to himself: on one side he would have been ashamed to offer to Charles II. They might learn to dread the undisguised resentment of left their native land in search of freedom, and found a generous people who dare openly assert their rights, it in a desert. Divided as they are into a thousand and who in a just cause are ready to meet their soreforms of polity and religion, there is one point in reign in the field; on the other side he would be which they all agree; they equally detest the pa- taught to apprehend something far more formidable geantry of a king, and the supercilious hypocrisy of a a fawning treachery, against which no prudence can bishop.
guard, no courage can defend. The insidious smile It is not, then, from the alienated affections of Ire- upon the cheek would warn him of the canker in the land or America that you can reasonably look for heart. assistance: still less from the people of England, who From the uses to which one part of the army has are actually contending for their rights, and in this been too frequently applied, you have some reason to great question are parties against you. You are not, expect that there are no services they would refuse. however, destitute of every appearance of support; Here, too, we trace the partiality of your understandyou have all the Jacobites, non-jurors, Roman Catho- ing. You take the sense of the army from the conlics, and Tories of this country; and all Scotland, duct of the Guards, with the same justice with which without exception. Considering from what family you collect the sense of the people from the represenyou are descended, the choice of your friends has been tations of the ministry. Your marching regiments
, singularly directed; and truly, sir, if you had not lost sir, will not make the Guards their example either as the Whig interest of England, I should admire your soldiers or subjects. They feel and resent, as they dexterity in turning the hearts of your enemies. Is ought to do, that invariable undistinguishing favour it possible for you to place any confidence in men with which the Guards are treated; while those gal. who, before they are faithful to you, must renounce lant troops, by whom every hazardous, every laborious every opinion, and betray every principle, both in service is performed, are left to perish in garrisons church and state, which they inherit from their an- abroad, or pine in quarters at home, neglected and cestors
, and are confirmed in by their education; forgotten. If they had no sense of the great original whose numbers are so inconsiderable, that they have duty they owe their country, their resentment would long since been obliged to give up the principles and operate like patriotism, and leave your cause to be language which distinguish them as a party, and to defended by those on whom you have lavished the refight under the banners of their enemies? Their zeal wards and honours of their profession. The prætorian begins with hypocrisy, and must conclude in treachery. bands, enervated and debauched as they were, had At first they deceive; at last they betray.
still strength enough to awe the Roman populace; As to the Scotch, I must suppose your heart and but when the distant legions took the alarm, they understanding so biased from your earliest infancy marched to Rome and gave away the empire. in their favour, that nothing less than your own mis- On this side, then, whichever way you turn your fortunes can undeceive you. You will not accept of eyes, you see nothing but perplexity and distress the uniform experience of your ancestors; and when You may determine to support the very ministry who once a man is determined to believe, the very ab-have reduced your affairs to this deplorable situation ; surdity of the doctrine confirms him in his faith. A you may shelter yourself under the forins of a parbigoted understanding can draw a proof of attachment liament, and set your people at defiance ; but be to the house of Hanover from a notorious zeal for the assured, sir, that such a resolution would be as im
prudent as it would be odious. If it did not imme* In the king's speech of 8th November 1789, it was declared diately shake your establishment, it would rob you of that the spirit of faction had broken out afresh in some of your peace of mind for ever. the colonies, and in one of them proceeded to acts of violence
On the other, how different is the prospect! how and resistance to the execution of the laws ; that Boston was easy, how safe and honourable is the path before you! in a state of disobedience to all law and government, and had The English nation declare they are grossly injured proceeded to measures subversive of the constitution, and at- by their representatives, and solicit your majesty to tended with circumstances that manifested a disposition to exert your lawful prerogative, and give them an opthrow off their dependence on Great Britain.'
portunity of recalling a trust which they find has been scandalously abused. You are not to be told that But before you subdue their hearts, you must gain a the power of the House of Commons is not original; noble victory over your own. Discard those little but delegated to them for the welfare of the people, personal resentments which have too long directed from whom they received it. A question of right your public conduct. Pardon this man* the remainder arises between the constituent and the representative of his punishment; and if resentment still prevails, body. By what authority shall it be decided? Will make it (what it should have been long since) an act your majesty interfere in a question in which you not of mercy but of contempt. He will soon fall have properly no immediate concern? It would be a back into his natural station-a silent senator, and step equally odious and unnecessary. Shall the lords hardly supporting the weekly eloquence of a newsbe called upon to determine the rights and privileges paper. The gentle breath of peace would leave him of the commons ? They cannot do it without a tla- on the surface, neglected and unremoved; it is only grant breach of the constitution. Or will you refer it the tempest that lifts him from his place. to the judges! They have often told your ancestors Without consulting your minister, call together that the law of parliament is above them. What your whole council. Let it appear to the public that party, then, remains, but to leave it to the people to you can determine and act for yourself. Come fordetermine for themselves? They alone are injured ; ward to your people; lay aside the wretched formaliand since there is no superior power to which the ties of a king, and speak to your subjects with the cause can be referred, they alone ought to determine. spirit of a man, and in the language of a gentleman.
I do not mean to perplex you with a tedious argu- Tell them you have been fatally deceived: the acment upon a subject already so discussed, that inspi- knowledgment will be no disgrace, but rather an ration could hardly throw a new light upon it. There honour, to your understanding. Tell them you are are, however, two points of view in which it particu- determined to remove every cause of complaint larly imports your majesty to consider the late pro- against your government; that you will give your ceedings of the House of Commons. By depriving a confidence to no man that does not possess the confisubject of his birthright, they have attributed to their dence of your subjects; and leave it to themselves to own vote an authority equal to an act of the whole determine, by their conduct at a future election, legislature; and though, perhaps, not with the same whether or not it be in reality the general sense of motives, have strictly followed the example of the the nation, that their rights have been arbitrarily inLong Parliament, which first declared the regal office vaded by the present House of Commons, and the conuseless, and soon after, with as little ceremony, dis-stitution betrayed. They will then do justice to their solved the House of Lords. The same pretended power representatives and to themselves. which robs an English subject of his birthright, may These sentiments, sir, and the style they are conrob an English king of his crown. In another view, veyed in, may be offensive, perhaps, because they are the resolution of the House of Commons, apparently new to you. Accustomed to the language of courtiers, not so dangerous to your majesty, is still more alarm- you measure their affections by the vehemence of their ing to your people. Not contented with divesting one expressions; and when they only praise you indirectly, man of his right, they have arbitrarily conveyed that you admire their sincerity. But this is not a time to right to another. They have set aside a return as trifle with your fortune. They deceive you, sir, who illegal, without daring to censure those officers who tell you that you have many friends whose affections were particularly apprised of Mr Wilkes's incapacity are founded upon a principle of personal attachment. (not only by the declaration of the house, but ex- The first foundation of friendship is not the power of pressly by the writ directed to them), and who never-conferring benefits, but the equality with which they theless returned him as duly elected. They have re- are received, and may be returned. The fortune which jected the majority of votes, the only criterion by which made you a king, forbade you to have a friend ; it is our laws judge of the sense of the people; they have a law of nature, which cannot be violated with imputransferred the right of election from the collective nity. The mistaken prince who looks for friendship to the representative body; and by these acts, taken will find a favourite, and in that favourite the ruin separately or together, they have essentially altered of his affairs. the original constitution of the House of Commons.
The people of England are loyal to the house of Versed as your majesty undoubtedly is in the English Hanover, not from a vain preference of one family to history, it cannot easily escape you how much it is another, but from a conviction that the establishment your interest, as well as your duty, to prevent one of of that family was necessary to the support of their the three estates from encroaching upon the province civil and religious liberties. This, sir, is a principle of the other two, or assuming the authority of them of allegiance equally solid and rational; fit for Eng. all. When once they have departed from the great lishmen to adopt, and well worthy of your majesty's constitutional line by which all their proceedings encouragement. We cannot long be deluded by noshould be directed, who will answer for their future minal distinctions. The name of Stuart of itself is moderation ? or what assurance will they give you, only contemptible: armed with the sovereign authothat when they have trampled upon their equals, they rity, their principles are formidable. The prince who will submit to a superior! Your majesty may learn imitates their conduct should be warned by their exhereafter how nearly the slave and the tyrant are ample ; and while he plumes himself upon the security allied.
of his title to the crown, should remember that as it Some of your council, more candid than the rest, was acquired by one revolution, it may be lost by admit the abandoned profligacy of the present House another. of Commons, but oppose their dissolution upon an opinion (I confess not very unwarrantable) that their successors would be equally at the disposal of the treasury. I cannot persuade myself that the
The Constitution of England, or an Account of nation will have profited so little by experience. But the English Government, by M. DE Lolme, was if that opinion were well-founded, you might then recommended by Junius as a performance deep, gratify our wishes at an easy rate,' and appease the solid, and ingenious.' The author was a native of present clamour against your government, without
* Mr Wilkes, who was then under confinement in tho offering any material injury to the favourite cause of king's bench, on a sentence of a fine of a thousand pounds, corruption.
and twenty-two months' imprisonment (from the 18th of June You have still an honourable part to act. The 1768), for the publication of the North Briton No. 45, and the affections of your subjects may still be recovered. Essay on Woman.
1 Geneva, who had studied the law. His work on the is productive of wealth, when employed in manu. English constitution was first published in Holland, factures and commerce, as well as when it is emin the French language. The English edition, en-ployed in the cultivation of land; he traced the larged and dedicated by the author to King George various means by which labour may be rendered III., appeared in 1775. De Lolme wrote several most effective; and gave a most admirable analysis slight political treatises, and expected to be patro- and exposition of the prodigious addition made to nised by the British government. In this he was its efficacy by its division among different indivi. disappointed; and his circumstances were so reduced, duals and countries, and by the employment of that he was glad to accept of relief from the Literary accumulated wealth or capital in industrious un. Fund. He left England, and died in Switzerland in dertakings. He also showed, in opposition to the 1807, aged sixty-two. The praise of Junius has not commonly received opinions of the merchants, polibeen confirmed by the present generation, for De ticians, and statesmen of his time, that wealth does Lolme's work has fallen into neglect. He evinces not consist in the abundance of gold and silver, but considerable acuteness in tracing and pointing out in the abundance of the various necessaries, conrei the distinguishing features of our constitution ; but niences, and enjoyments of human life; that it is in his work is scarcely entitled to the appellation of every case sound policy to leave individuals to pur“solid ;' his admiration is too excessive and undis- sue their own interest in their own way; that, in tinguishing to be always just. Of the ease and prosecuting branches of industry advantageous to : spirit with which this foreigner wrote our language, themselves, they necessarily prosecute such as are we give one specimen, a correct remark on the free at the same time advantageous to the public; and dom with which Englishmen complain of the acts of that every regulation intended to force industry into their government :- The agitation of the popular particular channels, or to determine the species of mind is not in England what it would be in other commercial intercourse to be carried on between states; it is not the symptom of a profound and different parts of the same country, or between disgeneral discontent, and the forerunner of violent tant and independent countries, is impolitic and commotions. Foreseen, regulated, even hoped for pernicious.** Though correct in his fundamental by the constitution, this agitation animates all parts positions, Dr Smith has been shown to be guilty of of the state, and is to be considered only as the several errors. He does not always reason correctly beneficial vicissitude of the seasons. The govern- from the principles he lays down; and some of his ing power being dependent on the nation, is often distinctions (as that between the different classes of thwarted; but so long as it continues to deserve the society as productive and unproductive consumers) affection of the people, it can never be endangered. have been shown, by a more careful analysis and Like a vigorous tree, which stretches its branches observation, to be unfounded. But these defects do far and wide, the slightest breath can put it in mo- not touch the substantial merits of the work, 'which tion ; but it acquires and exerts at every moment a produced,' says Mackintosh,' an immediate, general
, new degree of force, and resists the winds by the and irrevocable change in some of the most impor• strength and elasticity of its fibres and the depth of tant parts of the legislation of all civilised states. its roots. In a word, whatever revolutions may at In a few years it began to alter laws and treaties, times happen among the persons who conduct the and has made its way, throughout the convulsions public affairs in England, they never occasion the of revolution and conquest, to a due ascendant orer shortest interruption of the power of the laws, or the minds of men, with far less than the average the smallest diminution of the security of indivi. obstructions of prejudice and clamour, which choke duals. A man who should have incurred the enmity the channels through which truth flows into prac: of the most powerful men in the state—what do I tice.' In this work, as in his · Moral Sentiments, say?-though he had, like another Vatinius, drawn Dr Smith is copious and happy in his illustrations upon himself the united detestation of all parties, The following account of the advantages of the might, under the protection of the laws, and by division of labour is very finely written : Observe keeping within the bounds required by them, con- the accommodation of the most common artificer tinue to set both his enemies and the whole nation or day-labourer in a civilised and thriving country, at defiance.'
and you will perceive that the number of people, of whose industry a part, though but a small part,
has been employed in procuring him this accomDr Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations, published coat, for example, which covers the day-labourer, as
modation, exceeds all computation. The woollen in 1776, laid the foundations of the science of coarse and rough as it may appear, is the produce political economy. Some of its leading principles of the joint labour of a great multitude of workhad been indicated by Hobbes and Locke; Hume in men. The shepherd, the sorter of the wool, the his essays had also stated some curious results re- wool-comber or carder, the dyer, the scribbler, the specting wealth and trade ; and several French spinner, the weaver, the fulier, the dresser, with writers had made considerable advances towards the many others, must 'all join their different arts in formation of a system. Smith, however, after a order to complete even this homely production. labour of ten years, produced a complete system of How many merchants and carriers, besides, must political economy; and the execution of his work have been employed in transporting the materials evinces such indefatigable research, so much saga- from some of those workmen to others, who often city, learning, and information, derived from arts live in a very distant part of the country? How and manufactures, no less than from books, that the much commerce and navigation in particular, how • Wealth of Nations' must always be regarded as one many ship-builders, sailors, sail-makers,
, of the greatest works in political philosophy which must have been employed in order to bring toge the world has produced. Its leading principles, as ther the different drugs made use of by the dyer
, enumerated by its best and latest commentator, Mr which often come from the remotest corners of the M'Culloch, may be thus summed up :-"He showed world? What a variety of labour, too, is necessary that the only source of the opulence of nations is in order to produce the tools of the meanest of those labour ; that the natural wish to augment our for- workmen! tunes and rise in the world is the cause of riches
To say nothing of such complicated being accumulated. He demonstrated that labour * M'Culloch's Principles of Political Economy, p.37.
DR ADAM SMITH.