« PreviousContinue »
XIV. If the parliaments of your provinces should dare to claim rights, or complain of your administration, order them to be harassed with repeated dissolutions. If the same men are continually retorned by new elections, adjourn their meetings to some country village, where they cannot be accommodated, and there keep them during pleasure; for this, you know, is your prerogative, and an excellent one it is, as you may manage it, to promote discontents among the people, diminish their respect, and increase their disaffection.
XV. Convert the brave honest officers of your navy into pimping tide-waiters and colony officers of the customs. Let those, who in time of war fought gallantly in defence of the commerce of their countrymen, in peace be tanght to prey upon it. Let them learn to be corrupted by great and real smugglers; but to show their diligence) scour with armed boats every bay, harbour, river, creek, cove or nook, throughout the coast of your colonies; stop and detain every coaster, every wood-boat, every fisherman, tumble their cargoes and even their bal. last inside out, and upside down; and if a pennyworth of pios is found un-entered, let the whole be seized and confiscated. Thus shall the trade of your colonists suffer more from their friends in time of peace, than it did from their enemies in war. Then let these boats' crews land npon every farm in their way, rob their orchards, steal their pigs and poultry, and insult the inhabitants. If the injured and exasperated farmers, unable to procure other justice, should attack the aggressors, drub them, and burn their boats, you are to call this high treason and rebellion, order fleets and armies into their coun. try, and threaten to carry all the offenders three thousand miles to be hanged, drawn, and quartered. - 0! this will work admirably!
XVI. If you are told of discontents in your colonies, never believe that they are general, or that you have given occasion for them; therefore do not think of apply. ing, any remedy, or of changing any offensive measure. Redress no grievance, lest they should be encouraged to demand the redress of some other grievance. Grant no request, that is just and reasonable, lest they should make another, that is unreasonable. Take all your informations of the state of the colonies from your governors and of. ficers in enmity with them. Encourage and reward these leasing-makers, secrete their lying accusations, lest they should be confu ied, but act upon them as the clearest evidence; and believe nothing you hear from the friends of the people. Suppose all their complaints to be invented and promoted by a few factious demagogues, whom if you could catch and hang, all would be quiet. Catch and hang a few of them accordingly, and the blood of the martyrs shall work miracles in favour of your purpose.
XVII. If you see rival nations rejoicing at the prospect of your disunion with your provinces, and endeavouring
to promote it, if they translate, publish and appland all the complaints of your discontented colonists, at the same time privately stimulating you to severer measures, let not that alarm or offend you. Why should 'it? since you all mean the same thing?
XVIII, If any colony should at their own charge erect a fortress, to secure their port against the fleets of a foreign enemy, get your governor to betray that fortress into your hands. Never think of paying what it cost the country, for that would look, at least, like some regard for justice; but turn it into a citadel, to awe the inhabitants and curb their commerce. If they should have lodged in such fortress the very arms they bought and used to aid you in your conquests, seize them all; it will provoke like ingratitude added to robbery, One admirable effect of these operations will be, to discourage every other colony froin erecting such defences, and so their and your enemies may more easily invade them, to the great disgrace of your government, and of course the furtherance of your project.
XIX. Send armies into their country, under pretence of protecting the inhabitants; but, instead of garrisoning the forts on their frontiers with those troops, to prevent incursions, demolish those forts, and order the troops into the heart of the country, that the savages may be encouraged to attack the frontiers, and that the troops may be protected by the inhabitants: this will seem to proceed from your ill-will or your ignorance, and contribute farther to produce and strengthen an opinion among them, that you are no longer fit to govern them.
XX. Lastly, invest the general of your army in the provinces with great and unconstitutional powers, and free him from the controul of even your own civil gover. nors. Let him have troops enow under his command, with all the fortresses in his possession, and who knows but (like some provincial generals in the Roman empire, and encouraged by the universal discontent you have produced) he may take it into his head to set up for himself? If he should, and you have carefully practised these few excellent rules of mine, take my word for it, all the provinces will immediately join him — and you will that day (if you have not done it sooner) get rid of the trouble of governing them, and all the plagues attending their commerce and connection from thence forth and for ever.
A PRUSSIAN EDICT, ASSUMING CLAIMS
Dantzick, Sept. 5, 1773 *). We have long wondered here at the supiness of the English nation, under the Prussian impositions upon its trade entering our port. We did not, till lately, know the claims, ancient and modern, that hang over that nation, and therefore could not suspect that it might submit to those impositions from a sense of duty, or from principles of equity. The following edict, just made public, may, if serious, throw some light upon this matter:
«Frederick, by the grace of God, king of Prussia, etc. etc. etc. to all present and to come, health. The peace now enjoyed throughout our dominions, having afforded us leisure to apply ourselves to the regulation of commerce, the improvement of our finances, and at the same time the easing our domestic subjects in their taxes: for these causes, and other good considerations us thereunto moving, we hereby make known, that, after having deliberated these affairs in our council, present our dear brothers and other great officers of the state, members of the same; we,
certain knowledge, and authority royal, have made and issued this present edict, viz.
«Whereas it is well known to all the world, that the first German settlements made in the island of Britain, were by colonies of people, subjects to our renowned ducal ancestors, and drawn from their dominions under the conduct of Hengist, Horsa, Hella, Uffa, Cerdicus, Ida, and others; and that the said colonies have flourished under the protection of our august house, for ages past, have never been emancipated therefrom, and yet have hitherto yielded little profit to the same: and whereas we ourself have in the last war fought for, and defended the said colonies, against the power of France, and thereby enabled them to make conquests from the said power in America, for which we have not yet received adequate compensation: and whereas it is just and expedient that a revenue should be raised from the said colonies in Britain towards our indemnification; and that those who are descendants of our ancient subjects, and thence still owe us due obedience, should contribute to the replenishing of our royal coffers: (as they must have done, had their ancestors remained in the territories now to us appertain. sing) we do therefore hereby ordain and command, that, sh
of yoThis intelligence extraordinary, first appeared in the Public Advertiser.
from and after the date of these presents, there shall be levied and paid to our officers of the customs, on all goods, wares, and merchandizes, and on all grain and other pro. duce of the earth, exported from the said island of Bri. tain, and on all goods of whatever kind imported into the same, a duty of four and a half per cent ad valorem, for the use of us and our successors. And that the said duty way more effectually be collected, we do hereby ordain, that all ships or vessels bound from Great Britain to any other part of the world. or from any other part of the world to Great Britain, shall in their respective voyages touch at our part of Koningsberg, there to be unladen, searched, and charged with the said duties. ,
« And whereas there hath been from time to time discovered in the said island of Great Britain, by our colonists there, many mines or beds of iron-stone; and sundry subjects of our ancient dominion, skilful in converting the said stone into metal, have in time past transported themselves thither, carrying with them and communicating that art; and the inhabitants of the said island, presuming that they had a natural right to make the best use they could of the natural productions of their country, for their own benefit, have not only built furnaces for smelting the said stone into iron, but have erected platingforges, slitting-mills, and steel-furnaces, for the more convenient manufacturing of the same, thereby endangering a diminution of the said manufacture in our ancient do. minion: we do therefore hereby farther ordain, that, from and after the date hereof, no mill or other engine for slitting or rolling of iron, or any plating-forge to work with a tilt-hammer, or any furnace for making steel, shall be erected or continued in the said island of Great Britain: and the lord lieutenant of every county in the said island is hereby commanded, on information of any such erection within his county to order, and by force to cause the same to be abated and destroyed, as he shall answer the neglect' thereof to us at his peril. But we are never. theless graciously pleased to permit the inhabitants of the said island to transport their iron into Prussia, there to be manufactured, and to them returned, they paying our Prussian subjects for the workmanship, with all the costs of commission, freight, and risk, coming and returning; any thing herein contained to the contrary nothwithstanding.»
- We do not, however, think fit to extend this our indulgence to the article of wool; but meaning to encourage not only the manufacturing of woollen cloth, but also the raising of wool in our ancient dominions, and to prevent both, as much as may be, in our said island, we do here. by absolutely forbid the transportation of wool from thence even to the mother.conntry, Prussia: and that those islanders may be farther and more effectually restrained in making any advantage of their own wool, in the way of manufacture, we command, that none shall be carried
out of one country into another; nor shall any worsted, bay, or woollen-yarn, cloth, says, bays, kerseys, serges, frizes, druggets, cloth-serges, shalloons, or any other drapery stuffs or woollen manufactures whatsoever, made up or mixed with wool in any of the said counties, be carried into any other county, or be water - borne even accross the smallest river or creek, on penalty of forfeiture of the same, together with the boats, carriages, horses etc. that shall be employed in removing them. Nevertheless, our loving subjects there are hereby per. mitted (if they think proper) to use all their wool as manure, for the improvement of their lands.
“ And whereas the art and mystery of making hats hath arrived at great perfection in Prussia, and the making of hats by our remoter subjects ought to be as much as possible restrained: and forasmuch as the islanders before mentioned, being in possession of wool, beaver, and other furs, have presumptuously conceived they had a right to make some advantage thereof, by manufacturing the same into hats, to the prejudice of our domestic manufacture: we do therefore hereby strictly command and ordain, that no hats or felts whatsoever, dyed or undyed, finished or unfinished, shall be loaden or put into or upon any vessel, cart, carriage, or horse, to be transported or conveyed out of one county in the said island into another county, or to any other place whatsoever, by any person or persons whatsoever, on pain of forfeiting the same, with a penalty of five hundred pounds sterling for every offence." Nor shall any hat-maker in any of the said counties employ more than two apprentices, on penalty of five pounds sterling, per month: we intending hereby that such hat-makers, being so restrained, both in the production and sale of their commodity, may find no advantage in continuing their business. But, lest the said islanders should suffer inconveniency by the want o hats, we are farther graciously pleased to permit them to send their beaver furs to Prussia, and we also permit hats made thereof to be exported from Prussia to Britain: the people thus favoured to pay all costs and charges of manufacturing, interest, commission to our merchants, insurance and freight going and returning, as in the case of iron...
“And lastly, being willing farther to favour our said colonies in Britain, we do hereby also ordain and command, that all the thieves, highway and street robbers, housebreakers, forgers, murderers, and villains of every denomination, who have forfeited their lives to the law in Prussia, but whom we, in our great clemency, do not think fit to hang, shall be emptied out of our gaols into the said island of Great Britain, for the better peopling of that country.»
"We flatter ourselves, that these our royal regulations and commands will be thought just and reasonable by our much-favoured colonists in England; the said regula.