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ment, to revive the industry of those very nations who have been the loudest in their outcries against its progress. If they obtained their wishes for the destruction of English prosperity, this would have no other effect than to reduce those nations themselves, who now ascribe their present depression to its influence, to a state of complete ruin.

The same liberal principles concerning trade, which were advanced by Mr. Hume, were soon after adopted, and very zealously enforced, by Dean Tucker, in various judicious performances; and, particularly, in a small work entitled Four Tracts on Political and Commercial Subjects, published in the year 1774. Much about the same time they attracted still more general attention, at least among practical men, in consequence of the sanction which they received from the pen of Dr. Franklin, a writer unrivalled in his own peculiar and characteristical style of composition, but unqualified, it is probable, by the habits of his early education, for that systematical arrangement of principles which we remark in the writings of Mr. Smith; while, however, he is eminently fitted to seize the valuable results of the speculations of others, and to present them in a strong light to the common sense of mankind. I shall only quote one passage from this writer, which I select merely from its more immediate connexion with the doctrines which I have been just stating.-" Perhaps, in general, it would be better if government meddled no farther with trade than to protect it, and let it take its course. Most of the statutes, or acts, edicts, arrêts, and placarts of parliaments, princes, and states, for regulating, directing, or restraining of trade, have, we think, been either political blunders, or jobs obtained by artful men for private advantage, under pretence of public good. When Colbert assembled some wise old merchants of France, and desired their advice and opinion how he could best serve and promote commerce, their answer after consultation was, in three words only, Laissez nous faire, 'Let us alone.' It is said by a very solid writer of the same nation, that he is well advanced in the science of politics who knows the full force of that maxim, Pas trop gouverner, 'Not to



govern too much ;'-which, perhaps, would be of more use when applied to trade, than in any other public concern. It were therefore to be wished that commerce was as free between all the nations of the world, as it is between the several counties of England; so would all, by mutual communication, obtain more enjoyments. These counties do not ruin one another by trade, neither would the nations. No nation was ever ruined by trade, even seemingly the most disadvantageous.'


It would require more time than we can now afford to bestow, to trace historically the origin and progress of those liberal and enlightened ideas which abound in Mr. Smith's writings. I shall content myself, therefore, with remarking, that although it was by some French writers that they were first presented to the world in a systematical manner, yet the earliest hints of them seem to have been suggested in this country. I shall, perhaps, have an opportunity of producing some additional proofs of this statement afterwards. In the meantime, I shall only quote some remarks from a pamphlet on Money, published in the year 1734, [by Jacob Vanderlint:]— "All nations have some commodities peculiar to them, which, therefore, are undoubtedly designed to be the foundation of commerce between the several nations, and produce a great deal of maritime employment for mankind, which probably, without such peculiarities, could not be; and in this respect, I suppose, we are distinguished, as well as other nations; and I have before taken notice, that if one nation be by nature more distinguished in this respect than another, as they will, by that means, gain more money than such other nations, so the prices of all their commodities and labour will be higher in such proportion, and consequently, they will not be richer or more. powerful for having more money than their neighbours.

"But, if we import any kind of goods cheaper than we can now raise them, which otherwise might be as well raised at home, in this case, undoubtedly, we ought to attempt to raise such commodities, and thereby furnish so many new branches of employment and trade for our own people, and remove the * [Principles of Trade, sect. 38; Works, by Sparks, Vol. II. p. 401.]

inconvenience of receiving any goods from abroad, which we can anywise raise on as good terms ourselves; and, as this should be done to prevent every nation from finding their account with us by any such commodities whatsoever, so this would more effectually shut out all such foreign goods than any law can do.

"And as this is all the prohibitions and restraints whereby any foreign trade should be obstructed, so, if this method were observed, our gentry would find themselves the richer, notwithstanding their consumption of such other foreign goods as, being the peculiarities of other nations, we may be obliged to import. For if, when we have thus raised all we can at home, the goods we import after this is done cheaper than we can raise such goods ourselves, (which they must be, otherwise we shall not import them,) it is plain the consumption of any such goods cannot occasion so great an expense as they would, if we could shut them out by an act of parliament, in order to raise them ourselves.

"From hence, therefore, it must appear, that it is impossible anybody should be poorer for using any foreign goods at cheaper rates than we can raise them ourselves, after we have done all we possibly can to raise such goods as cheap as we import them, and find we cannot do it; nay, this very circumstance makes all such goods come under the character of the peculiarities of those countries which are able to raise any such goods cheaper than we can do, for they will necessarily operate as such."*

The same author, in another part of his work, states a maxim of Erasmus Philips, which he calls a glorious one; that "a trading nation should be an open warehouse, where the merchant may buy what he pleases, and sell what he can. Whatever is brought to you, if you don't want it you won't purchase it, and if you do want it, the largeness of the impost won't keep it. from you."+

In this quotation, an argument for a free commerce all over

[Money Answers all Things, &c., pp. 97-99.-See below, Vol. X. p. 89.]

+ [Ibid. p. 45.]

the globe, is founded on the same principles on which Mr. Smith has demonstrated the beneficial effects of the division of labour among the members of the same community. The happiness of the whole race would, in fact, be promoted by the former arrangement in a manner exactly analogous to that by which the comforts of a particular nation are advanced by the latter. A general division of labour would thus take place among the different tribes of men, prompting each to cultivate to the utmost whatever productions the nature of its situation pointed out as the most profitable. The consequence would be, an augmentation, on the whole, of the productive powers of human industry, and a proportional enlargement of the means of individual enjoyment.

Though, however, these liberal and enlightened ideas concerning trade had long ago occurred to various writers of eminence, both in this country and on the Continent of Europe, it is only of late years, and particularly since the publication of the Wealth of Nations, that they have obtained a complete triumph, in the judgment of all candid and well-informed men, over the selfish but deep-rooted prejudices of the ancient system.

Attempts, indeed, are still occasionally made to mislead the multitude on various particular questions connected with the general principles of freedom, but by not one writer of respectable talents and character, who has appeared since the time of Mr. Smith. On the contrary, all over Europe, the uniformity of opinion on this fundamental doctrine of Political Economy becomes every day more and more prevalent, even among those who differ most widely on other branches of the science. In England, in particular, the most honourable testimony to the soundness of Mr. Smith's speculative principles, has been repeatedly borne by the leaders of the two great parties which have so long divided the nation, and they have not been altogether without some practical influence on the measures of our government. In what light the same system is now viewed by those politicians abroad, who are the most friendly to the interests of this country, may be collected from the work of

Mr. Gentz, On the State of Europe before and after the French Revolution, an author certainly entitled to a high rank among the speculative statesmen of the present day, and who has drawn on himself no small share of odium from his countrymen for his supposed partiality to the public measures of Great Britain since the fall of the French monarchy.

"Le véritable intérêt de l'Europe prise en masse demande toujours le plus grand développement possible des forces et des facultés de chacune des nations qui en font partie. Si la Russie et le Portugal emploient des capitaux et des ouvriers Anglais pour vivifier leurs fabriques intérieures, une circonstance si peu naturelle suppose un vice quelconque dans le système de leur industrie ou même une organisation entièrement défectueuse si ces défauts pouvaient disparaître, non seulement les nations qui y sont immédiatement intéressées y trouveraient leur avantage, mais encore en vertue de l'enchaînement général qui lie toutes les forces productives de l'Europe entr'elles, cet avantage réjaillirait sur toutes les autres nations.

"Mais tant que cette amélioration radicale n'aura pas lieu, il est évidemment et incontestablement avantageux, non seulement pour les pays qui ont besoin de travail et de capitaux. étrangers, mais même pour le système général de l'industrie Européenne, que les forces et les moyens de l'Angleterre suppléent à ce que manque ailleurs. Le mal ne serait-il pas infiniment plus grave, si ces champs de l'activité humaine, que cultivent et fécondent aujourdhui le travail et les capitaux Anglais, demeuraient entièrement sans culture? Ce ma là serait absolu, celui-ci n'est que relatif; celui-ci n'est un mal qu'en tant qu'il en suppose d'autres plus réels; à tout autre égard il est un bien.”*

In another passage of the same book, he avails himself of the same doctrine, in replying to the systematical and accredited attempts which have been made of late years, by various French writers, to hold up to the general indignation of the world the commercial and maritime greatness of this country.

"Il est de l'intérêt bien entendu de l'Europe que toutes les * [De l'Etat de l'Europe, &c., Partie III. chap. iv. p. 338, seq., orig. edit.]

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