Page images
PDF
EPUB

cording to M. Bauche, between William's Sound and Mount St. Elias. The Russians and Captain Cook have not observed it, because it is very narrow. But it is to be wished, that this important dis overy should be verified, which has been overlooked for two centuries, in spite of the attempts which have been made on these coasts. M. Baiche calls this passage the Straits of Ferrer.

POSITIONS TO BE EXAMINED.

1. All food, or subsistence from mankind, arises from the earth or waters.

2. Necessaries of life that are not foods, and all other conveniences, have their value estimated by the proportion of food consuired while we are employed in procuring them.

3. A small people with a large territory, may suho sist on the productions of nature, with no other la. bour than that of gathering the vegetables and catching the animals.

4. A large people with a small territory, find these insufficient; and, to subsist, must labour the earth, to make it produce greater quantities of vegetable food, suitable to the nourishment of men, and of the animals they intend to cat.

5. From this Jabour arises a great increase of vegetable and animal food, and of materials for clothing; as fax, wool, silks, &c. The superfluity of these 19 wealth. With this wealth we pay for the labour em ployed in building our houses, cities, &c. which are therefore only subsistence thus metamorphosed.

6. Manufactures are only another shape into which so much provisisons and subsistence are turned, as were in value equal to the manufacture pro. duced. This appears from hence, that the inanufac. wrer does nor, in fact, obtain from the employer. lur ais labour, more than a mere subsistence, inclus

1

ing raiment, fuel, and shelter; all which derive thon value from the provisions consumed in procuring them.

7. The produce of the earth, thus converted into manufactures, may be more easily carried into distant markets, than before such conversion.

3. Fair commerce is where equal values are ex. changed for equal, the expense of transport included Thus, if it costs A in England, as much lat charge to raise a bushel of wheat, as it cc. France to produce four gallons of wine, then gallons of wine the fair exchange for a bu wheat, A and B meeting at half distance wi commodities to make the exchange. The adı of this fair commerce is, that each party increases the number of his enjoyments, having, instead of wheat alone, or wine alone, the usc of both wheat and wine.

9. Where the labour and expense of producing both commodities are known to both parties, bargains will generally be fair and equal. Where they are known to one party only, bargains will often be un. equal, knowledge taking its advantage of ignorance.

10. Thus he that carries a thousand bushels of wheat abroad to sell, may not probably obtain so greai a profit thereon, as if he had first turned the wheat into manufactures, by subsisting therewith the workinen while producing those inanufactures, since there are many expediting and facilitating inethods of working, not generally known, and strangers to the manufactures, though they know pretty well the expense of raising wheat, are unac. quainted with those short methods of working; and hence, being apk :o suppose more labo’ır employe) n the manufacture than there really is, are more easily imposed on in their value, and induced to allow more for them than they are honestly worth.

11. Thus the advantage of having manufactures in a country does not consist, as is commonly supposed, in their highly advar.cing the value of rough inatcrials, of wnich they are formed; since, though sixpennyworth of fax may be worth twenty shılmys

when worked into lace, yet lue very cause of its being, worth twenly shillings is that, besides the dax, it has cost nineteen shillings and sixpence in subsistence to the manufrrturer. But the advantage of inanufactures, in that, under their shape, provisions may be more easily carried to a foreign inarket; and by their means our traders may more easily cheat strangers. Few, where it is not made, are judges of the value of lace. The importer may demand forty, and perhaps get thirty shillings for chat which cost hiin but twenty.

12. Finally, there seems to be but three ways for : a nation to acquire wealth. The first is hy war, as the Romans did, in plundering their conquered neighbours; this is robbery. The second by commerce, which is generally cheating. The third by agriculture, the only honest way, wherein a man receives a real iscrease of the seed thrown into the ground in a k nd of continued miracle, wrought hy the hand of Ind w his favour, as a reward for his ROCVI 'ufo rad his virtuous industry.

B. FRANKLIN.

PRELIMINARY ADDRESS TO THE PENNSYLVANIA AL

MANAG, ENTITULED, POOR RICHARD'S Ale

MANAC, FOR THE YEAR 1758."

WRITTEN BY DR. FRANKLIN.

I have heard, that nothing gives an author so great pleasure as to find his works respectfully quoted by Other learned authors. This pleasure I have seldom en. joyed.; for though I have been, if I may say it without vanity, an eminent author (of Almanacs) annually now a ful quarter of a century, my brother authors in the same way (for what reason I know not) have ever been very sparing in their applauses; and no other author has taken the least notice of me: so that, did not my writings produce me some solid pudding, the great deficiency of praise would have quite discouraged nie.

I concluded, at length, that the people were the best judges of my merit, for they buy my works; and, besides, in my rambles, where I am not personally known, I have frequently heard one or other of my adages repeated, with “as poor Richard says," at the end on't. This gave me some satisfaction, as it showed not only that my instructions were regaril. ed, but discovered likewise some respect for my au. thority; and I own, that to encourage the practice of remembering and repeating those wise sentences, 1 have sometimes quoted myself with great gravity.

Judge then how much I have been gratified by an incident which I am going to relate to you. I stopi ped my horse lately where a great number of people were collected at an auction of merchants' goods The hour of sale not being come, they were convers ing on the badness of the times; and one of the company called to a plain, clean, old man, with whito locks, “ Pray, father Abraham, what think ye of the urnes? Won't these heavy taxes quite ruin tho

[ocr errors]

country? How shall we be ever able to pay them? What would you advise us to?" Father Abraham stood up, and replied," If you'd have my advice, l'll give it to you in short; .for a word to the wise is enough; and many words wont fill a bushel,' as poor Richard says." They joined in desiring him to speak nis mind; and, gathering round him, he proceeded as follows:

" Friends (says he) and neighhours, the taxes aro indeed very heavy; and if those laid on by the go vernment were the only ones we had to pay, we might:nore easily discharge them; but we have man ny others, and much more grierous to some of us We are taxed twice as much by our idleness, three times as much by our pride, and four times as much by our folly; and from these taxes the commissioners cannot ease or deliver us, by allowing an abatement. However, let us hearken to good advice, and something may be done for us; • God helps them that help themselves,' as poor Richard says in his Almanac.

“ It would be thought a hard government that should tax its people one-lenth part of their time, to be employed in its service; but idleness taxes many of us much more, if we reckon an'that is spent in absolute sloth, or doing of nothing, with that which is spent in idle employments, or amusements that amount to nothing Sloth, by bringing on diseases, absolutely shortens life. Sloth, like rusi, consumes faster than labour wears, while the key often used is always bright,' as poor Richard says. But dost thou love life? then do not squander time, for that's the stuff life is made of,' as poor Richard says. How much more than is necessary do we spend in sleep!

forgetting, that the sleeping fox catches no poultry, and that there will be sleeping enough in the grave,' as poor Richard says. If time be of all things the most precious, wasting time must be (as poor Rich ard savs) the greatest prodigality;' since, as he else. where tells us, · Lost time is never found again; and what we call time enough, always proves little enough.' Let us then up and be doing, and doing to spe purpose : so by diligence shall we do more will

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »