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Monf. de Mirabeau expresses his surprize, that the English Thould have passed fo rapidly from the most absurd incredu, lity, and the most inexplicable indifference on this subject, to an unexampled enthusiasm for the most ignorant pretenders.' It has indeed roused the indignation of many, and we have expressed our's in very strong terms, that Mr. Lunardi, for having ascended in a balloon badly made, and indifferently filled, which would scarcely have lifted him, if he had not discharged all his apparatus, and changed his gallery, should have received greater honours than Cook ever experienced.' Blanchard, the rival of Lunardi, in his popularity, has not, in our author's opinion, higher pretensions to the honours heaped on him. The count's complaisance attributes the contempt of the English philosophers to the indignation felt, on seeing a plan, which should have been improved by filence and attention, transformed into a fascinating and childish fpecó tacle.'-May we be allowed to add, that some part of their inattention arose from having foreseen difficulties, in their nature insurmountable, which would probably prevent the scheme from being applied to any useful purpose.
The duke's memoir contains a short history of the different aeroftatic globes, and the means of procuring the inflammable air designed to fill them. He explains too, the proposal of that very intelligent academician, mons. Meunier. His balloon contains a little one filled with common air ; so that, in the higher regions, when the inflammable air expands, it expels the atmospheric air, which adap:s the balloon to that state of the atmosphere into which it has arisen, and prevents the escape of the more precious fuid. The common air is to be again supplied, when necessary, with a pair of bellows in the gallery. We strongly suspect that this plan is, at present, theoretical : but the objections which we perceive to it are not insurmountable, and it is probable that the machine may, in this way, be rendered more permanent. Perhaps the power of dire&ting it is still wanting. The difficulties which we mentioned to this improvement, suggested themselves also to the duke, and he is at last reduced to the following expedient. As we know, says he, that at different heights, the currents of air move in different directions, and, as we can raise or lower the machine at pleasure, we must search for these currents which are favourable to our course. This is indeed a precarious plan; but, in reality, our power over the height of the machine will limit the experiment, as we do not find that it can be exerted but at the expence of the materials. It seems not to have occurred to Mons. Meunier, the author of the above improve
ent, that, fo foon as his common air is once
exhausted, it must be fupplied from that rarefied scratum iri which the balloon is, and consequently cannot contribute to sink it.. We muft then have recourse to, we fear, a weak expedient, the oar, or to the discharge of the ballait ; in either way, the expedition must be soon at an end. The uses of balloons, described by the duke, are nearly the same as those which we have formerly mentioned. The iteadiness of this machine cannot be sufficiently great, to take any good astronomical observation by its means; and we want not its alliitance to draw the plan of a country.
We fear that the greater part of this work is splendid but delufive, plausible but erroneous. Time, and time only, will draw of the veil, which different causes have spread over the political part of the subject : the philosophical will perhaps yield to the next fashion, which strongly engages the imagination.
Confiderations on the Order of Cincinnatus ; to which are added,
as well several original Papers relative to that Inftitution, as.
Count de Mirabeau. 8vo. 45. Jewed. Johnson.
ceding article, and our present bufiness is chiefly to ex. amine the translation ; for the additions are very inconfiderable :
: we have observed only two short notes which the translator claims as his own. From the comparison which we have been enabled to make, we cannot object to the fidelity of the translation; but we sometimes perceive an affeaed ornament, not warranted by the original. The language of the count, relating to the new order, is animated and indignant, though clear and precise: the translator frequently soars above him; and sometimes seems to be lost in the clouds into which he is raised. The most frequent fault, however, is want of neat. ness and fimplicity; but it does not very often occur.
In our former article we have given a little specimen of the author's desire to bring back the age of innocence and seclufion ; that each man may drink of his own wine under the tree which has produced it. With the destruction of commerce, public debts are also to be paid. In this manner he addresses the Americans ; and we shall select the following pa
ragraphs as a specimen of his observations, and of the tranfLator's execution.
• To speak without reserve. I cannot approve the arithmetical spirit which reigns throughout the chapter upon public debts. One reads of nothing but of millions, and of the means of increasing them ; of growing intereft ; of a produce, which in a few years doubles its capital, triples it, multiplies it to a degree which I had rather admit without investigation, than pore over the disgusting calculation Why this dazzling display of gold before the eyes of the fons of freedom, and the cultivators of a land favoured by heaven? What avail the means, whether real or imaginary, of becoming rich and corrupted, where the only object to be pursued, is to establish the reign of virtue and happiness? . Your debt, my friends, amounts to nine millions. Pay it quietly, gradually, without any extraordinary effort, by judicious contributions levied upon the land-owners ; deny yourselves, for a time, some of the comforts of life. That sacrin fice will be the price of your liberty: can it then be burthenfome to your brave and generous minds ? Let every public service be discharged by yourselves ; let the contribution diminih in proportion as the debt is difcharged ; and let the funds which the confederation will no longer stand in need of, be applied in the cultivation of your fruitful foil, which will pour into your hands those pure treasures, for which you will have only Providence to thank.
. It is, alas, next to impossible, for the most just and enlightened understandings, to keep entirely clear of the prejudices which surround them. It is from England that you are addressed ; it is from England that you are advised to establish a permanent credit, and to form a continental patrimony for the United States.'
The Book of Seven Chapters. Containing a New System of Na- .
tional Policy. With a Poftfcript on Parliamentary Elocution, and an Utopian Scheme for the Confideration of the Rev. Mr.
Wyvill. 8vo. 35. ferred. Baldwin. SUCH is the multiplicity of subjects in this little volume, that
it would be tedious to enumerate the particulars. The author therefore has treated them with proportionable brevity, and in general, likewise, with force of argument. In regard to political principles he is no less commendable than for the appa. rent zeal which he discovers in favour of the national intereits. He is every where an enemy to ministerial disingenuity, as well as corruption ; and though neither his opinions nor arguments
any title to novelty, they are, for the most part, not only well selected for the purpose of illustration, but are calculated for establishing juit ideas respecting objects of importance to the public.
We shall lay before our readers this author's sentiments on taxation, remarking only that the same principles, and even obfervations, have been frequently made by other writers.
? The proper objects of taxation in every state are avarice, pride, vanity, fashion, folly, caprice, pleasure, indulgence, superfluities, and fuperabundance. These, in a kingdom abounding with affluent individuals, afford an ample field for taxation; and, where extreme taxation is become unavoidable, until these fources are exhausted, the necessaries of life should remain untouched. The idea, that they are not productive, is false. I am very certain that under proper management they would prove more certainly efficient, and much less liable, to evasion, than taxes on necessaries. If this be doubted, let them be successively tried as superfluous taxes, and remain unappropriated until the product of each be determined : let them then, in fucceffion, supercede the tax on leather, on candles, on soap, and many other old taxes, which were imposed by ministers who in raising money lost fight of every confideration, except that of producing the sum required.'
« All taxes on raw materials, in a manufacturing country, are wonderfully absurd. Taxes on land or water carriage are no less preposterous. But one of the most oppressive taxes on manufacturing towns, is that which was designed for their relief, and from which government reaps no advantage. I mean the enormous assessment of two millions per annum for the maintenance of the poor; a tax on the industrious for the fupport of idleness ; a mistaken, misapplied charity, which renders every manufacturer a spendthrift. Depending for subsistence on the relief which he has a right to demand from the parish, he is careless of futurity, and never dreams of accu. mulating the smallest sum for himself or family, in case of fickness, decrepitude, or want of employment. The legislature hath fo effectually provided for his neceflities, that he thinks it useless to take any care of himself.
" To those who have bestowed but a cursory attention on this subject, it must appear very extraordinary, that in our most flourishing manufacturing towns, where the industrious poor are best paid, and most constantly employed, the rates for the support of indigence should be most oppressive. But the enigma is easily solved, when we consider, that the benevolence of the legislature hath made it unnecessary for the poor to provide against future distress.
• From the manufacturers of woollen cloth in the weit riding of Yorkshire, we learn, that, when corn is cheap, they frequently find a difficulty in executing their orders from abroad; for the spinners, 'vho make it a rule to earn no more money than is sufficient to supply their necessities, will labour four, five, or fix days in the week, according to the price of provisions.
The manufacturers at Norwich, Leeds, Hallifax, Sheffield, and Manchester, tell us, that their best hands constantly make Monday a holiday, and by those of Birmingham, I am assured, that the generality of their people seldom settle to work until Wednesday morning. Here then is a loss to the nation and to the workmen themselves, of one-third of what ought to be the entire produce of their labour. This loss to the nation amounts to a very large sum. But the loss to each individual workman is proportionably much greater ; for, to the loss of two days wages in every week, we must add the money spent in liquor during these two idle days, which may be fairly estimated at the earnings of one day, at the very leaft: so that there remains, for the support of himself and family, exactly one half of what he would earn if he could be satisfied with one day in seven for relaxation and amuse.
But this habitual dissipation is productive of a still greater injury to the community ; it impairs his strength, di. minishes his years of utility, and brings him prematurely on the parish, without a single farthing in store for the support of his wife and children.
. Let us now suppose that every labouring manufacturer, in full employment, were compelled by a general law to leave, in the hands of his employer, the wages of one day in every week, to be appropriated to the maintenance of disabled or superannuated workmen and their families. Let thefe fums be paid weekly to a receiver-general of every parish. Would there be any thing inequitable or unjust in such a law? Would it not, on the contrary, relieve many of the inhabitants of manufacturing towns from a very heavy and a very inequitable tax? Would it not, by easing these towns of enormous poor. rates, enable them to lower the prices of their goods ? and would it not finally prolong the lives of many useful individuals, and render them much more valuable members of society?'
The author of this small volume may be compared to an industrious bee, that collects the sweets of various flowers to Vol. LX. Aug. 1785.