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* L'atrocité des loix en empéche l'exécution.
“ Lorsque la peine est sans mesure, on est souvend obligé de lui préférer l'impunité.
« La cause de tous les relâchemens vient de l'imp punité des crimes, et non de la moderation des peines.”
It is said by those who know Europe generally, that there are more thefts committed and punisheij annually in England, than in all the other nation put together. If this be so, there must be a cause o causes for such a depravity in our common people. May not one be the deficiency of justice and morali." ty in our national government, manifested in our oppressive conduct to subjects, and unjust wars on cur neighbours? View the long-persisted in, unjust, monopožizing treatment of Ireland, at length acknow. ledged! View the plundering government exercised by our merchants in the Indies; the confiscating war made upon the American colonies; and, to say nothing of those upon France and Spain, view the late war upon Holland, which was seen by impar. tial Europe in no other light than that of a war of rapine and pillage; the hopes of an immense and easy prey being its only apparent, and probably its true and real motive and encouragement. Justice is as strictly due between neighbour nations, as between neighbour citizens. A highwayman is as much a robber when he plunders in a gang, as when single ; and a nation that makes an unjust war is only a great gang. After employing your people in robbing the Dutch, is it strange, that, being put out of that em. ploy by peace, they still continue robbing, and rob one another? Piraterie, as the French call it, or pri. vateering, is the universal bent of the English nation at home and abroad, wherever settled. No less than seven hundred privateers were, it is said, commis sioned in the last war! These were fitted out hy mer. chants, to piey upon other merchants, who had never dono them any injury. Is there probably any of nose privateering merchants of London, who were so ready to rob the merchants of Amsterdam, thas #uld not as readily plunder another London med
chant, of the next street, if he could do it with the same impunity? The avidity, the alieni appeters is the saine; it is the fear alone of the gallows that makes the difference. How then can a nation, which among the honestest of its people, has so many thieves by incrination, and whose government eng couraged and comunissioned no less than seven hundred gangs of robbers; how can such a nation have the face to condemn the crime in individuals, and bang up twenty of thein in a morning! It naturally puts one in mind of a Newgate anecdote. One of th prisoners complained, that in the night somebody had taken his buckles out of his shoes." What the devil !" says another, " have we then thieves amongst us? It must not be suffered. Let us search out the roglie,
and pump him to death." T'here is, however, one late instance of an English merchant who will not profit by suci ill-gotten gain. He was, it seems, part-owner of a skip, which the other owners thought fit to employ as a letter of marque, which took a number of French prizes. The booty being sharerl, he has now an agent liere inquiring, by an advertisement in the Gazette, fos thuse wiin have suffered the loss, in order to make thein, as far as in hini lies, restitution. This conscientious man is a quaker. The Scotch presby. terians were formerly as tender; for there is still extant an ordinance of the town-council of Edin: burgh, made soon after the Reformation, “ forbidding the purchase of prize goods, under pain of losing the freedoin of the burgh for ever, with other punishments at the will of the magistrate; the practice of making prizes being contrary to good conscience, and he rule of treating Christian brethren as we wouli e treated; and such goods are not to be solu by any goully man within this brrgh." The race of diese godly inen in Scotland are probably extinct, 03 their principles abandoned, since, as far as that na. t'on had a hard in promoting the war against the colonies, prizes and confiscations are believed to have draen a considerable motive. · It has been for some time a generally-received Poilsisi, mai a nuntary inal iş QUL w mquire wudi
& war be just or unjust; he is to execute his orders All princes, who are disposed to become tyrants, must probably approve of this opinion, and be wilUng to establish it; but is it not a dangerous one since, on that principle, if the tyrant coinmands his army to attack and destruy not only an unoffending neighbour nation, but even his own subjects, the army is bound to obey. A negro slave, in our colonies, being coinmanded by his master to rob or murder a neighbour or do any other immoral act may refuse ; and the magistrate will protect him in his resusah The slavery then of a soliler is worse than that of a y negro! A conscientious officer, if nut restrained by. the apprehension of its being imputed to another cause, may indeed resign, rather than be employed in an u..just war; but the private men are slaves for life; and they are, perhaps, incapable of judging for themselves. We can only lament their fate, and still more that of a sailor, who is often dragged by force from his honest occupation, and compelled tr imbrue his hands in perhaps innocent blood. But, methinks, it well behoves merchants (rnen more enlightened by their education, and perfectly free from any such force or obligations to consider well of the justice of a was, before they voluntarily engage a gang of ruthans to attack their fellow-merchants of a neighbouring na. tion, to plunder them of their property, and perhaps ruin them and their families, if they yield it; or to wound, main, ar.d murder them, if they endeavour to defend it. Yet these things are done by Christian merchants, whether a war be just or unjust; and it can hardly be just on both sides. They are done by English and American merchants, who, nevertheless complain of private theft, and hang by dozens tho thieves they have taught by their own example.
It is high time, for the sake of humanity, that a stop were put to this enormity. The United States of America, though better situated than any Eurosopcan nation to make profit by privateering (most of the trade with Europe with the West Indies, pase. ing before their doors) are, as far as in them lies, en. deavouring to abolish the practice, by offering in all www weatjes with other powers, an article, engage
Ing solemnly, that, in case of future war, no privateer shall be commissioned on either side; and that unarned merchani-ships, on both sides, shall pursue their voyages unmolested.* This will be a happy improvement of the law of nations. The huniane and the just cannot but wish general success to the proposition. With unchangeable esteem and affection, I am, my dear friend,
This offer having been accepted by the late King of Prussia, . treaty of amity and commerce was concluded between that monarch and the United States, containing the following humane and philan. thropic article, in the formation of which Dr. Franklio, as cne of the American plenipotentiarien, was principally concerned, viz.
ART. XXIII. If war should arise between the two contracting parties, the merchants of either country, then residing in the other, shall be allowed to reinaid Dine montbs to collect their debts and settle their atlairs, and may depart freely, carrying of all their effects without molestation or hindrance; and all women and children scholars of every faculty, cultivators of the eartb, artizans, manufacCurers, and fisherman unarmed, and inhabiting unfortified towns, vil lages, and places, and, in general, all others whose occupations are for the common subsistence and benefit of mankind, shall be allowed to continue their respective employments, and shall not be molested in their persons, nor shall their houses cr goods be burot, or other. wise destroyed, por their fields wasted by the armed force of the enemy into whose power, by the events of war, they may happen to fall; but if any thing is necessary to be taken from them for the use of such armed force, the same shall be paid for at a reasonable price. And all merchant and trading vessels employed in exchanging the products of different places, and thereby rendering the necessaries, conveniesces, and comforts of human life more easy to be obtained, and more general, eboll be allowed to pass free and unmolested : and neither of the contracting powers shall grant or issue any commission to any private armed vessels, empowering them to take or destroy sual zading vessels, or interrup: such commeres.
REMARKS CONCERNING THE SAVAGES
OF NORTH AMERICA.
SAVAGES we call them because their manners differ from ours, which we think the perfection of civility; bey think the sanie of theirs.
Perhaps if we could examine the manners of different nations with impartiality, we should find no people so rude as to be without any rules of po lite sess; nor any so polite as nos to have some romains of rudeness.
The Indian men when young, are hunters and varriors; when old, counsellors; for all their gorernment is by the council and advice of the sages; there is no force, there are no prisons, no officers, to compel obedience, or inflict punishment. Hence they generally study oratory; the best speaker have ing the most influence. The Indian woinen till the ground, dress the food, nurse and bring up the chil. dren, and preserve and hand down to posterity the memory of public transactions. These employments of inen and women are accounted natural and honourable. Having few artificial wants, they, have abundance of leisure for improvement in conversac'
Our laborious manner of life, compared with theirs, they esteem slavish and base; and the learning on which we value ourselves, they regard as frivolous and useless. An instance of this occurred at the treaty of Lancaster, in Pennsylvania, anno 1744, between the government of Virginia and the Six Na. ions. After the principal business was settled, tho commissioners from Virginia acquainted the Indians by a speech, that there was at Williamsburgh a college, with a fund, for educating Indian youth ; and if the chiefs of the Six Nations would send down half a dozen of their sons to that college, the government would take care they should be well provided for, and instructed in all the learning of the white people. It is one of the Indian rules of politeness noi to an. swer a public proposition the same day that it is