Изображения страниц

Here are two things put in comparison that are not comparable: viz. injury to feamen, and inconvenience to trade. Inconvenience to the whole trade of a nation will not justify injuftice to a fingle feaman. If the trade would fuffer without his fervice, it is able and ought to be willing to offer him fuch wages as may induce him to afford his fervice voluntarily.

Page 159. "Private mifchief must be "borne with patience, for preventing a "national calamity."-Where is this maxim in law and good policy to be found? And how can that be a maxim which is not confiftent with common fenfe? If the maxim had been, that private mischiefs, which prevent a national calamity, ought to be generously compenfated by the nation, one might underftand it but that fuch private mifchiefs are only to be borne with patience, is abfurd!


Ib. " "The expedient, &c. And, &c." (Paragraphs 2 and 3).-Twenty ineffectual or inconvenient fchemes will not justify one that is unjust.


"Upon the foot of, &c."-Your reasoning, indeed, like a lie, ftands but upon one foot; truth upon two.

Page 160." Full wages."-Probably the fame they had in the merchant's fervice.

Page 174. "I hardly admit, &c." (Paragraph 5).When this author fpeaks of impreffing, page 158, he diminifhes the horror of the practice as much as poffible, by prefenting to the mind one failor only fuffering a "hardShip" (as he tenderly calls it) in fome

particular cafes" only; and he places against this private mischief the inconvenience to the trade of the kingdom. -But if, as he fuppofes is often the cafe, the failor who is preffed, and ob


liged to ferve for the defence of trade, at the rate of twenty-five fhillings a month, could get three pounds fifteen hillings in the merchant's fervice, you take from him fifty fhillings a month; and if you have a 100,000 in your service, you rob this honest induftrious part of fociety and their poor families of 250,000l. per month, or three millions a year, and at the fame time oblige them to hazard their lives in fighting for the defence of your trade; to the defence of which all ought indeed to contribute (and failors among the reft) in proportion to their profits by it: but this three millions is more than their fhare, if they did not pay with their perfons; but when you force that, methinks you fhould excufe the other.

But it may be faid, to give the king's feamen merchant's wages would coft the nation too much, and call for more taxes.


The question then will amount to this: whether it be juft in a community, that the richer part fhould compel the poorer to fight in defence of them and their properties, for fuch wages as they think fit to allow, and punish them if they refufe? Our author tells us that it is "legal." I have not law enough to difpute his authorities, but I cannot perfuade myself that it is equitable. I will, however, own for the present, that it may be lawful when neceffary; but then I contend that it may be used fo as to produce the fame good effects-the public fecurity, without doing fo much intolerable injuftice as attends the impreffing common feamen.-In order to be better underflood I would premife two things: First, that voluntary feamen may be had for the service, if they were fufficiently paid. The proof is, that to ferve in the fame ship, and incur the fame dangers,


you have no occafion to imprefs captains, lieutenants, fecond lieutenants, midshipmen, purfers, nor many other officers. Why, but that the profits of their places, or the emoluments expected, are fufficient inducements? The bufinefs then is, to find money, by impreff ing, fufficient to make the failors all volunteers, as well as their officers; and this without any fresh burthen upon trade. The fecond of my premifes is,

that twenty-five fhillings a month, with his share of the falt beef, pork, and peaspudding, being found fufficient for the fubfiftence of a hard-working feaman, it will certainly be fo for a fedentary scholar or gentleman. I would then propofe to form a treafury, out of which encouragements to feamen fhould be paid. To fill this treafury, I would imprefs a number of civil officers who at present have great falaries, oblige them to ferve in VOL. I.




« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »