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digenous or foreign growth or manufacture, of any of the produce of a farm, or of any raw produce used in our manufactures. · Trifling and daily occurrences of this nature will still be under the regulation of courts of requests, and as far as the jurisdiction of magistrates extends.
We are far from taking credit to ourselves, of which we should be undeserving, were we to claim originality in introducing this measure; it is to Mr. Playfair that we are indebted for the idea in a more confined sense, and also for some of our remarks upon it, in a work accompanying his ingenious tables on this subject.
Under such a regulation can the rich suffer? No, only the necessity of putting a little more order into the management of their affairs; what they had eaten must be paid for, or they would have no more to eat. Would the poor feel much distress from it? No; those who trust them a few days, as good neighbours, will not require the protection of law. How is it between seller and buyer ? It certainly narrows the market ;' that is, it makes fewer engaged in raising prices on the consumer: but all business would be done on solid principles, and abundant trouble saved to all parties, as transactions would generally be completed at the time of delivery, or while in memory, as far as respects the articles in question, which form a material part of our intercourse with each other
Having endeavoured to establish a rule, and reasoned a little on its advantages, we must next consider the evasions which may be practised in opposition to our theory; and we really think they can hardly be numerous, or very available. The temptations would be greatest, where the intercourse takes place between the cities and the provinces; but which, by means of bankers or agents, would be generally very easily removed. Some inconvenience, however, will occasionally arise among a certain class of traders, who have not this resource, and where the waggoner or coaster are only known between the parties; and were these cases more numerous, they chiefly occur as to manufactured goods and luxuries, on which long credits are still allowed to be extended and have legal protection ; and where this is not the case, remittances to a certain extent for the most part are, or ought to be, in every tradesman's power worthy of credit. However, to remedy as much as possible the inconvenience in this respect, it might not be imprudent to afford the protection of the laws to an extension of credit in distant transactions.
1 Which a certain Scotch peer will complain of: in short, nothing but a system of loans, from Government duwn to the pauper, can widen the markets to his taste. He happily stands alone in this opinion; and having already one leg in the grave, the other will hardly advance another step to save his country. Such ideas are of a piece with his profound ideas on the sinking fund, hitherto considered as “ a new way to pay old debts,” but according to him “the devil to pay:"
It is easy to see, that a dealer who gives no credit with his corn, his bread, his meat, or his cotton for manufacture, may lend money to an equal amount to pay for them, and thereby give the same accommodation to his customers, and thus evade the want of protection from the law in so doing ; but it leaves him open to proofs, which may make it appear a manoeuvre between the parties, by which they may incur a certain expense on both sides, and where redress would be ineffectual. We possibly open a door to many artifices not to be foreseen, at least by a common observer; but it may be safely left to ministers, who are no novices in matters of detail, to provide the remedies.
As to the first purchasers of raw materials being put to inconvenience by the necessity of paying too soon for the articles they work up, if it produces only less speculation to their injury, they will reap, in this respect, an important advantage from it: they have country banks generally at their elbow, whose business it is to furnish accommodation on easy terms; and when we sit our.. selves down to consider, how small a proportion the price of the raw materials bears to manufactured goods, in iron, in cotton, or even in wool or in silk, with those who have capitals at their disposal to pay for work weekly, can the credit which they obtain with the raw material afford the slightest argument, except in very few extraordinary cases of real necessity, and here it is better on all accounts that the transaction should not take place ? for where means are so cramped, trade is seldom successful.
This digression, in a work more properly confined to the four ordinary departments of the public service, it is hoped we shall be pardoned for introducing in the form of this third chapter.
Our design has been, we hope not fruitlessly, to tender our feeble services in opposing the three tried enemies of peace and plenty, the corn-bill, the middle-dealers, and excessive taxation. The first by recommending its repeal; the second by no coercive measure, but simply withdrawing our protection from unproductive labors; the third by suitable bounties.
Hence we flatter ourselves it will be seen, that we advocate the more than fashionable cause of non-interference in its utmost latitude: but, to enjoy all the advantages of it in common with our neighbours, it is necessary to remove or remedy the obstructions peculiar to our own case, which are, the weight of burdens, less felt by our neighbours, and that noble and generous confidence, as far as it is mischievous, which the sons of liberty and glory inspire in each other.
THE RIGHT HON. WILLIAM PITT,
ON HIS APOSTASY
FROM THE CAUSE
OF PARLIAMENTARY REFORM.
TO WHICH IS SUBJOINED
CONTAINING IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS ON THAT SUBJECT.
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Lucan, PharsALIA, LIB. 1. 1. 269–71.
FOUNDED ON PROPERTY, AND SUBVERSIVE OF OLIGARCHY
PUBLICATIONS on fugitive topics, though from their nature sometimes less dubiously useful to mankind than more permanent works, are so little a source of reputation, that their Authors have commonly thought it prudent to withhold their names. If an Author be obscure, such publications will not exalt him—if he be eminent, they may be supposed to derogate from the gravity of more serious occupations, or from the dignity of a more solid fame.
These common reasons may be sufficient for anonymous publication, especially in a case like the present, which consists either of argument, which a name can neither strengthen nor impair ; or of facts, which are so acknowledged as to need no testimony for their support.