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1 importation of fuch goods, it has been generally
refuted on this principle, that if the country is tipe for the manufacture, it may be carried on by private persons to advantage ; and if not, it is a folly to think of furcing nature. - Great establishments of manufacture, require great numbers-of poor to do the work for small wages; those poor are to be found in Europe, but will not be found in America, till the lands are all taken up and cultiva. ted, and the excess of people who cannot get land want employment. The manufacture of filk, they say, is natural in France, as that of cloth in England, because each country produces in plenty the firft material: but if England will have a manu. facture of filk as well as that of cloth, and France
of cloth as well as that of filk, these unnatural 0. Īperations must be supported by mutual prohibiti
ons, or high duties on the importation of each other's goods,; by which means the workmen are enabled to tax the home consumer by greater prices, while the higher wages they receive ntakes them neither happier nor richer, fince they only drink more and work less. Therefore the governments of America do nothing to encourage fuch projects. The people, by this mea!is, are not imposed on, either by the merchant or mechanic: if the merchant demands too much profit on imported shoes, they buy of the Phoemaker ; and if he asks too high a price, they take them of the merchant; thus the two professions are checks on each other. The shoemaker, however, has, on the whole, a considerable profit upon his labour in America, beyond what he had in Europe, as he cani add to his price a sumn nearly equal to all the exul pences of freight and commitin, risque or insur
ance, &c. necessarily charged by the merchant
, And it is the fame with every other mechanic art. Hence it is, that artisans generally live better and more easily in America than in Europe; and fuch as are good economists make a comfortable provision for age, and for their children. Such may, therefore, remove with advantage to America.
In the old long-settled countries of Europe, all arts, trades, profellions, farms, &c. are so full, that it is difficult for a poor man who has children to place them where they may gain, or learn to gain, a decent livelihood. The artisans, who fear cre. ating future rivals in business, refuse to take apprentices, but upon conditions of money, maintenance, or the like, which the parents are unable to comply with. Hence the youth are dragged up in ignorance of every gainful art, and obliged to become soldiers, or servants, or thieves, for a subsistence. In America, the rapid increase of inhabitants takes away that fear of rivalihip, and artisans willingly receive apprentices from the hope of profit by their labour, during the remainder of the time ftipulated, after they shall be instructed. Hence it is easy for poor families to get their children instructed ; for the artisans are so desirous of apprentices, that many of them will even give money to the parents, to have boys from ten to fifteen years of age bound apprentices to them, till the age of twenty-ove; and many poor parents have, by chat means, on their arrival in the country, railed money enough to buy land fufficient to establish themselves, and to subsist the rest of their family by agriculture. Thefe contracts of apprentices are made before a mag firate, who regulates the Teement according to reason and juflice ; and ving in view the formation of a future useful
citizen, obliges the master to engage by a written inden: ure, not only that, during the time of service ftipulated, the apprentice shall be duly provided with nieat, drink, apparel, washing, and lodging, and at its expiration with a complete new suit of clothes, but also that he hall be taught to read, write, and cast accounts; and that he shall be well instructed in the art or profeflion of his master, or some other, by which he may afterwards gain a livelihood, and be able in his turn to raise a family. A copy of this indenture is given to the apprentice or his friends, and the magistrate keeps a record of it, to which recourfe may be had, in cafe of failure by the master in any point of performanice. This desire among the masters to have more hands employed in working for them, induces them to pay the passages of young persons, of both fexes, who, on their arrival, agree to serve them one, two, three, or four years: those who have already learned a trade, agreeing for a shorter term, in proportion to their skill, and the consequent immediate value of their service; and those who have 'none, agreeing for a longer termn, in confideration of being taught an art their poverty would not permit then to acquire in their own country.
The almost general mediocrity of fortune that prevails in America, obliging its people to follow fome business for fubsistence, those vices that rise usually from idleness, are in a great measure prevented. Industry and constant employ nent are great preservatives of the morals and virtue of a nation. Hence bad examples to youth are more rare in America, which must be a comfortable confidere ation to parents.
To this may be truly added, that serious religion, under its various denomina tions, is not only tolerated, but respected and
praca tised. Atheism is unknown there; infidelity rare and secret ; fo that persons may live to a great age in that country without having their piety shocked by meeting either with an aihiest or an infidel. And the Divine Being seems to have manifelted his approbation of the mutual forbearance and kindness with which the different fects treat eachy other, by i he remarkable prosperity with which he has been pleased to favour the whole country.
FINAL SPEECH OF DR. FRANKLIN IN THE LATE FEDERAL CONVENTION
MR. PRESIDENT, T CONFESS that I do not entirely approve of I this constitution, at present : but, Sir, I am not sure I shall never approve it; for having lived long, I have experienced many initances of being obliged by better information, or further confideration, to change opinions (ven on important subjects, which I once thought right, but found to be other, wife. It is, therefore, that the older I grow,
the more apt I am to doubt my own judgment, and to pay more respect to the judgment of others. Most men, indeed, as well as most sects of religion, think themselves in poffeffion of all truth, and that whenever others differ from them, it is so far error.
* Our reafons for afcribing this speech to Dr. Fruklin, are internal evidence, and its having appeare!, wir! liis nae, during his life time, uncontradicted, in au Autrica: pericolical publicatii.
Steel, a protestant, in a dedication, tells the pope, that the only difference between our two churches, in their opinions of the certainty of their doctrines, is, the Romiih church is infallible, and the church of England never in the wrong: But, though many private persons think almost as highly of their own infallibility as of that of their sect, few express it so naturally as a certain French lady, who, in a little dispute with her fifter, said, I don't know how it happens, fister, but I meet with nobody but myself that is always in the right. IL n'y a qu: mot qui a toujours raifon. In these fentiments, Sir, I agree to this conftitution, with all its faults, if they are such; because I think a general government necessary for us, and there is no form of government, but what may be a blessing, if well administered; and I believe farther, that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so
corrupted as to need despotic government, being - incapable of
I doubt too, whether any other convention we can obtain, may be able to make a better constitution. For when you alsemble a number of men, to have the advantage of their joint wisdom, you assemble with those men, all their prejudices, their passions, their errors of opinion, their local interests, and their selfish views. From such an affembly can a perfect production be expected ? It therefore astonishes me, Sir, to find this system approaching fo near to perfection as it does; and I think it will aftonith our enemies, who are waiting with confidence, to hear that our councils are confounded, like those of the builders of Babylon, and that our :