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retain our corn, and feed ourselves upon that which was sown and raised to feed other nations. It is perhaps impossible for human wisdom to go further, than to contrive a law of which the good is certain and uniform, and the evil, though possible in itself, yet always subject to certain and effectual restraints.

This is the true state of the bounty upon corn: it certainly and necessarily increases our crops, and can never lessen them but by our own permission.

That, notwithstanding the bounty, there have been from time to time years of scarcity, cannot be denied. But who can regulate the seasons? In the dearest years we owe to the bounty that they have not been dearer. We must always suppose part of our ground sown for our own consumption, and part in hope of a foreign sale. The time sometimes comes, when the product of all this land is scarcely sufficient; but if the whole be too little, how great would have been the deficiency, if we had sown only that part which was designed for ourselves?

"But perhaps, if exportation were less encouraged, the superfluous stores of plentiful years might be laid up by the farmer against years of scarcity."

This may be justly answered by affirming, that, if exportation were discouraged, we should have no years of plenty. Cheapness is produced by the possibility of dearness. Our farmers at present plough and sow with the hope that some country will always be in want, and that they shall grow rich by supplying. Indefinite hopes are always carried by the frailty of human nature beyond reason. While therefore exportation is encouraged, as much corn will be raised as the farmer can hope to sell, and therefore generally more than can be sold at the price of which he dreamed, when he ploughed and sowed.

the good of the bounty is certain, and evil avoidable; that by the hope of exportation corn will be increased, and that this increase may be kept at home.

What would be caused by prohibiting exportation, will be caused in a less degree by structing it, and in some degree by every deduction of encouragement; as we lessen hope, we shall lessen labour; as we lessen labour, we shall lessen plenty.

It must always be steadily remembered, that

Plenty can only be produced by encouraging agriculture; and agriculture can be encouraged only by making it gainful. No influence can dispose the farmer to sow what he cannot sell; and if he is not to have the chance of scarcity in his favour, he will take care that there never shall be plenty.

The truth of these principles our ancestors discovered by reason, and the French have now found it by experience. In this regulation we have the honour of being masters to those who, in commercial policy, have been long accounted the masters of the world. Their prejudices, their emulation, and their vanity, have at last submitted to learn of us how to ensure the bounties of nature; and it forms a strange vicissitude of opinions, that should incline us to repeal the law which our rivals are adopting.

It may be speciously enough proposed, that the bounty should be discontinued sooner. Of this every man will have his own opinion; which, as no general principles can reach it, will always seem to him more reasonable than that of another. This is a question of which the state is always changing with time and place, and which it is therefore very difficult to state or to discuss.

It may however be considered, that the change of old establishments is always an evil; and that therefore, where the good of the change is not certain and constant, it is better to preserve that reverence and that confidence which is produced by consistency of conduct and permanency of laws.

That, since the bounty was so fixed, the price of money has been much diminished: so that the bounty does not operate so far as when it was first fixed, but the price at which it ceases, though nominally the same, has, in effect and in reality, gradually diminished.

The greatest part of our corn is well known to be raised by those who pay rent for the ground which they employ, and of whom few can bear to delay the sale of one year's produce to another. It is therefore vain to hope that large stocks of It is difficult to discover any reason why that grain will ever remain in private hands; he that bounty, which has produced so much good, and has not sold the corn of last year, will with diffi- has hitherto produced no harm, should be withdence and reluctance till his field again: the drawn or abated. It is possible, that, if it were accumulation of a few years would end in a vaca-reduced lower, it would still be the motive of tion of agriculture, and the husbandman would agriculture, and the cause of plenty; but why apply himself to some more profitable calling. we should desert experience for conjecture, and If the exportation of corn were totally prohibit-exchange a known for a possible good, will not ed, the quantity possible to be consumed among easily be discovered. If by a balance of probaus would be quickly known, and being known bilities, in which a grain of dust may turn the would rarely be exceeded; for why should corn scale-or by a curious scheme of calculation, in be gathered which cannot be sold? we should which, if one postulate in a thousand be errotherefore have little superfluity in the most neous, the deduction which promises plenty may favourable seasons; for the farmer, like the end in famine ;-if, by a specious mode of uncerrest of mankind, acts in hope of success, and the tain ratiocination, the critical point at which the harvest seldom outgoes the expectation of the bounty should stop, might seem to be discovered; spring. But for droughts or blights, we should I shall still continue to believe that it is more never be provided; any intemperature of seasons safe to trust what we have already tried; and would reduce us to distress, which we now only cannot but think bread a product of too much read of in our histories; what is now scarcity, importance to be made the sport of subtilty would then be famine. and the topic of hypothetical disputation.

The advantage of the bounty is evident and ob-irrefragable. Since the bounty was given, multitudes eat wheat who did not eat it before, and yet the price of wheat has abated. What more is to be hoped from any change of practice? An alteration cannot make our condition better, and is therefore very likely to make it worse.






Ir is generally agreed by the writers of all parties, that few crimes are equal, in their degree of guilt, to that of calumniating a good and gentle, or defending a wicked and oppressive adminis


It is therefore with the utmost satisfaction of mind, that I reflect how often I have employed my pen in vindication of the present ministry, and their dependents and adherents, how often I have detected the specious fallacies of the advocates for independence, how often I have softened the obstinacy of patriotism, and how often triumphed over the clamour of opposition.

I have, indeed, observed but one set of men, upon whom all my arguments have been thrown away; which neither flattery can draw to compliance, nor threats reduce to submission; and who have, notwithstanding all expedients that either invention or experience could suggest, continued to exert their abilities in a vigorous and constant opposition of all our measures.

The unaccountable behaviour of these men, the enthusiastic resolution with which, after a hundred successive defeats, they still renewed their attacks: the spirit with which they continued to repeat their arguments in the senate, though they found a majority determined to condemn them; and the inflexibility with which they rejected all offers of places and preferments, at last excited my curiosity so far, that I applied myself to inquire with great diligence into the real motives of their conduct, and to discover what principle it was that had force to inspire such unextinguishable zeal, and to animate such unwearied efforts.

For this reason I attempted to cultivate a nearer acquaintance with some of the chiefs of that party, and imagined that it would be necessary for some time to dissemble my sentiments, that I might learn theirs.

Dissimulation to a true politician is not difficult, and therefore I readily assumed the character of a proselyte; but found, that their principle of action was no other, than that which

they make no scruple of avowing in the most public manner, notwithstanding the contempt and ridicule to which it every day exposes them, and the loss of those honours and profits from which it excludes them.

This wild passion, or principle, is a kind of fanaticism by which they distinguish those of their own party, and which they look upon as a certain indication of a great mind. We have no name for it at court; but among themselves they term it by a kind of cant-phrase, a regard for posterity.

This passion seems to predominate in all their conduct, to regulate every action of their lives, and sentiment of their minds; I have heard L and P, when they have made a vigorous opposition, or blasted the blossom of some ministerial scheme, cry out, in the height of their exultations, This will deserve the thanks of posterity! And when their adversaries, as it much more frequently falls out, have out-numbered and overthrown them, they will say with an air of revenge, and a kind of gloomy triumph, Posterity will curse you for this.

It is common among men under the influence of any kind of frenzy, to believe that all the world has the same odd notions that disorder their own imaginations. Did these unhappy men, these deluded patriots, know how little we are concerned about posterity, they would never attempt to fright us with their curses, or tempt us to a neglect of our own interest by a prospect of their gratitude.

But so strong is their infatuation, that they seem to have forgotten even the primary law of self-preservation; for they sacrifice without scruple every flattering hope, every darling enjoyment, and every satisfaction of life, to this ruling passion, and appear in every step to consult not so much their own advantage, as that of posterity.

Strange delusion! that can confine all their thoughts to a race of men whom they neither know, nor can know; from whom nothing is to

depend upon the veracity of others, as every man depends in common life, and have no other skill to boast than that of selecting judiciously, and arranging properly.

on his own experience. He must therefore often | and that an anvil is forged. But as it is to most traders of more use to know when their goods are well wrought, than by what means, care has been taken to name the places where every manufacture has been carried furthest, and the marks by which its excellency may be ascertained.

But to him who considers the extent of our subject, limited only by the bounds of nature and of art, the task of selection and method will appear sufficient to overburden industry and distract attention. Many branches of commerce are subdivided into smaller and smaller parts, till at last they become so minute as not easily to be noted by observation. Many interests are so woven among each other as not to be disentangled without long inquiry; many arts are industriously kept secret, and many practices necessary to be known, are carried on in parts too remote for intelligence.

But the knowledge of trade is of so much importance to a maritime nation, that no labour can be thought great by which information may be obtained; and therefore we hope the reader will not have reason to complain, that, of what he might justly expect to find, any thing is omitted.

By the places of trade are understood all ports, cities, or towns, where staples are established, manufactures are wrought, or any commodities are bought and sold advantageously. This part of our work includes an enumeration of almost all the remarkable places in the world, with such an account of their situation, customs, and products, as the merchant would require, who being to begin a new trade in any foreign country, was yet ignorant of the commodities of the place and the manners of the inhabitants.

But the chief attention of the merchant, and consequently of the author who writes for merchants, ought to be employed upon the means of trade, which include all the knowledge and practice necessary to the skilful and successful conduct of commerce.

The first of the means of trade is proper eduTo give a detail or analysis of our work is cation, which may confer a competent skill in very difficult; a volume intended to contain numbers; to be afterwards completed in the whatever is requisite to be known by every counting-house, by observation of the manner of trader, necessarily becomes so miscellaneous and stating accounts, and regulating books, which is unconnected as not to be easily reducible to one of the few arts which having been studied heads; yet, since we pretend in some measure in proportion to its importance, is carried as far to treat of traffic as a science, and to make that as use can require. The counting-house of an regular and systematical which has hitherto been accomplished merchant is a school of method, to a great degree fortuitous and conjectural, and where the great science may be learned of ranghas often succeeded by chance rather than by ing particulars under generals, of bringing the conduct, it will be proper to show that a distri- different parts of a transaction together, and of bution of parts has been attempted, which, showing at one view a long series of dealing and though rude and inadequate, will at least pre-exchange. Let no man venture into large busiserve some order, and enable the mind to take a ness while he is ignorant of the method of regumethodical and successive view of this design. lating books; never let him imagine that any degree of natural abilities will enable him to supply this deficiency, or preserve multiplicity of affairs from inextricable confusion.

In the dictionary which we here offer to the public, we propose to exhibit the materials, the places, and the means of traffic.

The materials or subjects of traffic are whatever is bought and sold, and include therefore every production of nature.

In giving an account of the commodities of nature, whether those which are to be used in their original state, as drugs and spices, or those which become useful when they receive a new form from human art, as flax, cotton, and metals, we shall show the places of their production, the manner in which they grow, the art of cultivating or collecting them, their discriminations and varieties, by which the best sorts are known from the worst, and genuine from fictitious, the arts by which they are counterfeited, the casualties by which they are impaired, and the practice by which the damage is palliated or concealed. We shall likewise show their virtues and uses, and trace them through all the changes which they undergo.

The history of manufactures is likewise delivered. Of every artificial commodity, the manner in which it is made is in some measure described, though it must be remembered, that manual operations are scarce to be conveyed by any words to him that has not seen them. Some general notions may however be afforded: it is easy to comprehend, that plates of iron are formed by the pressure of rollers, and bars by the strokes of a hammer; that a cannon is cast,

This is the study, without which all other studies will be of little avail; but this alone is not sufficient. It will be necessary to learn many other things, which however may be easily included in the preparatory institutions, such as an exact knowledge of the weights and measures of different countries, and some skill in geography and navigation, with which this book may perhaps sufficiently supply him.

In navigation, considered as part of the skill of a merchant, is included not so much the art of steering a ship, as the knowledge of the seacoast, and of the different parts to which his cargoes are sent; the customs to be paid; the passes, permissions, or certificates to be procured; the hazards of every voyage, and the true rate of insurances. To this must be added, an acquaintance with the policies and arts of other nations, as well those to whom the commodities are sold, as of those who carry goods of the same kind to the same market; and who are therefore to be watched as rivals endeavouring to take advantage of every error, miscarriage, or debate.

The chief of the means of trade is money, of which our late refinements in traffic have made the knowledge extremely difficult. The merchant must not only inform himself of the various denominations and value of foreign coins, together with their method of counting and re

ducing; such as the milleries of Portugal, and | facturer. Much of the prosperity of a trading the livres of France; but he must learn what is nation depends upon duties properly apportioned; of more difficult attainment; the discount of so that what is necessary may continue cheap, exchanges, the nature of current paper, the prin- and what is of use only to luxury may in some ciples upon which the several banks of Europe measure atone to the public for the mischief done are established, the real value of funds, the true to individuals. Duties may often be so regucredit of trading companies, with all the sources lated as to become useful even to those that pay of profit, and possibilities of loss. them; and they may be likewise so unequally imposed as to discourage honesty, and depress industry, and give temptation to fraud and unlawful practices.

To teach all this is the design of the Com

All this he must learn merely as a private dealer, attentive only to his own advantage; but as every man ought to consider himself as part of the community to which he belongs, and while he prosecutes his own interest to promote like-mercial Dictionary; which though immediately wise that of his country, it is necessary for the and primarily written for the merchants, will be trader to look abroad upon mankind, and study of use to every man of business or curiosity. many questions which are perhaps more pro- There is no man who is not in some degree a perly political than mercantile. merchant, who has not something to buy and something to sell, and who does not therefore want such instructions as may teach him the true value of possessions or commodities.

He ought therefore to consider very accurately the balance of trade, or the proportion between things exported and imported; to examine what kinds of commerce are unlawful, either as being expressly prohibited, because detrimental to the manufactures or other interests of his country, as the exportation of silver to the East Indies, and the introduction of French commodities; or unlawful in itself, as the traffic for negroes. He ought to be able to state with accuracy, the benefits and mischiefs of monopolies, and exclusive companies; to inquire into the arts which have been practised by them to make them necessary, or by their opponents to make them odious. He should inform himself what trades are declining, and what are improveable; when the advantage is on our side, and when on that of our rivals.

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The descriptions of the productions of the earth and water, which this volume will contain, may be equally pleasing and useful to the speculatist with any other natural history; and the accounts of various manufactures will constitute no contemptible body of experimental philosophy. The descriptions of ports and cities may instruct the geographer as well as if they were found in books appropriated only to his own science; and the doctrines of funds, insurances, currency, monopolies, exchanges, and duties, is so necessary to the politician, that without it he can be of no use either in the council or the senate, nor can speak or think justly either on war or trade.

We therefore hope that we shall not repent the labour of compiling this work; nor flatter ourselves unreasonably, in predicting a favourable reception to a book which no condition of life can render useless, which may contribute to the advantage of all that make or receive laws, of all that buy or sell, of all that wish to keep or improve their possessions, of all that desire to be rich, and all that desire to be wise.


THE following relation is so curious and entertaining, and the dissertations that accompany it so judicious and instructive, that the translator is confident his attempt stands in need of no apology, whatever censures may fall on the performance.

The Portuguese traveller, contrary to the general vein of his countrymen, has amused his reader with no romantic absurdities or incre

For an account of this book, see the Life of Dr. Johnson, by Mr. Murphy.

dible fictions: whatever he relates, whether true or not, is at least probable; and he who tells nothing exceeding the bounds of probability, has a right to demand that they should believe him who cannot contradict him."

He appears by his modest and unaffected narration, to have described things as he saw them, to have copied nature from the life, and to have consulted his senses, not his imagination. He meets with no basilisks that destroy with their eyes; his crocodiles devour their prey without tears; and his cataracts fall from

the rock without deafening the neighbouring | from the temper of his religion; but in the inhabitants. others has left proofs, that learning and honesty are often too weak to oppose prejudice. He has made no scruple of preferring the testimony of father Du Bernat to the writings of all the Portuguese jesuits, to whom he allows great zeal, but little learning, without giving any other reason than that his favourite was a Frenchman. This is writing only to Frenchmen and to papists: a protestant would be desirous to know, why he must imagine that father Du Bernat had a cooler head or more knowledge, and why one man whose account is singular, is not more likely to be mistaken than many agreeing in the same account.

The reader will here find no regions cursed with irremediable barrenness, or blessed with spontaneous fecundity; no perpetual gloom or unceasing sunshine; nor are the nations here described either devoid of all sense of humanity, or consummate in all private and social virtues: here are no Hottentots without religion, polity, or articulate language; no Chinese perfectly polite, and completely skilled in all sciences: he will discover what will always be discovered by a diligent and impartial inquirer, that wherever human nature is to be found, there is a mixture of vice and virtue, a contest of passion and reason; and that the Creator doth not appear partial in his distributions, but has balanced in most countries their particular inconveniences by particular favours.

In his account of the mission, where his veracity is most to be suspected, he neither exaggerates over-much the merits of the jesuits, if we consider the partial regard paid by the Portuguese to their countrymen, by the jesuits to their society, and by the papists to their church, nor aggravates the vices of the Abyssinians; Upon the whole, the controversy seems of no but if the reader will not be satisfied with a great importance to those who believe the Holy popish account of a popish mission, he may have Scriptures sufficient to teach the way of salrecourse to the History of the Church of Abys-vation; but, of whatever moment it may be sinia, written by Dr. Geddes, in which he will thought, there are no proofs sufficient to defind the actions and sufferings of the missiona-cide it. ries placed in a different light, though the same in which Mr. Le Grand, with all his zeal for the Roman church, appears to have seen them.

This learned dissertator, however valuable for his industry and erudition, is yet more to be esteemed for having dared so freely, in the midst of France, to declare his disapprobation of the patriarch Oviedo's sanguinary zeal, who was continually importuning the Portuguese to beat up their drums for missionaries who might preach the gospel with swords in their hands, and propagate by desolation and slaughter the true worship of the God of peace.

It is not easy to forbear reflecting with how little reason these men profess themselves the followers of Jesus, who left this great characteristic to his disciples, that they should be known by loving one another, by universal and unbounded charity and benevolence.

Let us suppose an inhabitant of some remote and superior region, yet unskilled in the ways of men, having read and considered the precepts of the gospel, and the example of our Saviour, to come down in search of the true church. If he would not inquire after it among the cruel, the insolent, and the oppressive; among those who are continually grasping at dominion over souls as well as bodies; among those who are employed in procuring to themselves impunity for the most enormous villanies, and studying methods of destroying their fellow-creatures, not for their crimes but their errors-if he would not expect to meet benevolence engaged in massacres, or to find merey in a court of inquisition, he would not look for the true church in the church of Rome.

If the Portuguese were biassed by any particular views, another bias equally powerful may have deflected the Frenchman from the truth; for they evidently write with contrary designs: the Portuguese, to make their mission seem more necessary, endeavoured to place in the strongest light the differences between the Abys sinian and Roman church; but the great Ludolfus, laying hold on the advantage, reduced these later writers to prove their conformity.

Mr. Le Grand has given in one dissertation an example of great moderation, in deviating

His discourses on indifferent subjects will divert as well as instruct; and if either in these, or in the relation of father Lobo, any argument shall appear unconvincing, or description obscure, they are defects incident to all mankind, which, however, are not too rashly to be imputed to the authors, being sometimes perhaps more justly chargeable on the translator.

In this translation (if it may be so called) great libertics have been taken, which, whether justifiable or not, shall be fairly confessed, and let the judicious part of mankind pardon or con

demn them.

In the first part the greatest freedom has been used, in reducing the narration into a narrow compass; so that it is by no means a translation, but an epitome, in which, whether every thing either useful or entertaining be comprised, the compiler is least qualified to determine.

In the account of Abyssinia, and the continuation, the authors have been followed with more exactness; and as few passages appeared either insignificant or tedious, few have been either shortened or omitted.

The dissertations are the only part in which an exact translation has been attempted; and even in those, abstracts are sometimes given instead of literal quotations, particularly in the first; and sometimes other parts have been contracted.

Several memorials and letters, which are printed at the end of the dissertations to secure the credit of the foregoing narrative, are entirely left out.

It is hoped that after this confession, whoever shall compare this attempt with the original, if he shall find no proofs of fraud or partiality, will candidly overlook any failure of judgment.

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