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Feb. 22. this village, where the death of Aimar has made me master of all he pofsefsed, and where Theresa and I shall finish our days in the midst of peace, happinefs, and you, my children." Peter's children had crept close to him, during the narrative; and, though finished, they still were in the attitude of people who listen; the tears trickled down their cheeks. “Be happy,” said the good old man to them, "heaven has at last rewarded me with your love." With that he embraced them all round; Louisa kissed him twice; and all the happy family withdrew for the night.
THE Communication by Alexander Simple is received, and shall have a place as soon as pofsible.
The gentleman who has taken the trouble of transcribing some chapters from Humphry Clinker, has engaged in a very fruitlefs labour; as no extract from a work so universally known would be proper for the Bee.
The Editor does not recollect to have seen the epistle signed Capricornus. He is at great pains to notice all the pieces he receives, as soon after they come to hand as pofsible, and he believes very few have escaped his notice.
The letter communicated by Entkusius, is not in the happiest strain of humour ;nothing in that strain which is not excellent, hould be published.
The performance communicated by a good fellow, has been frequently printed; and its excellence is not such as to entitle it to a republication
in the Bee.
The performance by A. M. M. is received, and fhall be duly attended to. Benedict's very excellent fable was duly received; it was an omifsion not to have sooner mentioned it, which arose from a circumstance entirely accidental.
The verses by Voltaire, translated by J. D*****, were scarcely worth the trouble.
The Editor is much obliged to A. B. for the very beautiful unpublished song, by Thomson. His directions fhall be duly followed.
The translation of the French lines by W. S. is indeed far from being literal; so far from it, that the leading idea is entirely lost.
The veces by J. B. would require to be better polished before they be laid before the public. It is recommended to the writer to keep them by him for some time and revise them.
The sonnet oy Paleologus is received, and under consideration.
The very obliging letter of Theologus is received. It will give the Editor much pleasure, if his withes fhall be accomplished; but that depends
The competition piece O. Cives, &c. came just in time, and no more; as also that by Moschezabel.
LITERARY WEEKLY INTELLIGENCER,
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 29. 1792.
ON THE POLITICAL PROGRESS OF BRITAIN.
Angustis opibus: mallem tolerare. Sabinos,
To the Editor of the Bee.
BEG leave to continue my miscellaneous remarks on the political progrefs of Britain.
It is now eighty-seven years since * we surprised Gibraltar. We have retained this barren, useless rock, under the idea of protecting our trade in the Mediterranean; but that trade was at least as flourishing in the last century as it is now; and this unquestionable fact proves the futility of such reasoning. Besides, the memorable progrefs of admiral Blake, on the coast of Barbary, evinces, that while we pofsefs a superior navy, manned as it is by a race of veterans, beyond all praise, we can always command a free navigation in every harbour of the globe. The VOL. Vii.
fortrefs, for a long period past, has cost us five hundred thousand pounds a-year, besides the extraordinary advances in time of war, and the sums which the garrison, by sober industry, might have earned at home in time of peace. For the sake of moderation, let us compute that Gibraltar, during the whole space of our pofsefsion, has required upon an average only two hundred thousand pounds per annum ; on multiplying this sum by eighty-seven, we are presented with an amount of seventeen million and four hundred thousand pounds sterling. Could the premises be disputed, the total expence would exceed credibility; for at the rate of five per cent. of compound interest, a sum doubles itself in fourteen years; and, consequently, in the course of eighty-four years, two hundred thousand pounds will increase to twelve millions and eight hundred thousand. This, however, concerns only one year of our conquest. The reader may prosecute, and contemplate the sequel of the calculation. All the current cafh in Europe would come far fhort of discharging such a reckoning. Britain may be supposed at this time to contain about fifteen hundred thousand families, besides those who are supported upon charity. Now, dividing five hundred thousand pounds equally among them, it amounts to a share of six fhillings and eightpence per family. The money ought to be raised under a distinct title, such as the Gibraltar additional Shilling of land tax, the Gibraltar malt tax, the Gibraltar excise on tobacco, the Gibraltar game licence, the Gibraltar borse licence, the Gibraltar attorney licence, or the Gibraltar stamp duty on legacies. In that case the nation would instantly consider what they were
307 about, and cast off such a preposterous burden. The payment of 6s. 8 d. is frequently the smallest part of the grievance. By the expence of excisemen, of prosecutions, and of penalties, 5 s. of revenue often cost a British freeman at least as many pounds sterling *.
Before the acquisition of Gibraltar, England, in the whole course of her history, had only three wars with Spain. The first in 1588, was produced by the piracies of Drake and others, and by the afsistance which Elizabeth afforded to the Dutch revolters. The second war was likewise unprovoked, on the part of Spain. Cromwell found it necefsary to vent the turbulence of his subjects in a foreign quarrel, and Jamaica was invaded and seized without even a pretence of justice. On this conquest chiefly has England founded that hopeful branch of her commerce, the slave trade, while the climate has annually extirpated, by thousands, the vagrants from Europe. The third Spanish war had an origin worthy
*I fhall mention an example which occurs while I am now writing, An old woman had been in the practice of supplying her neighbours with halfpennyworths of snuff. She was ordered, under a penalty of fifty pounds, to take out a licence, and she did so. Had he been able to buy from the manufacturer four pounds of snuff at a time, the businefs might have rested there; but as this was beyond her power, it was required by the terriers of taxation, that the fhould make oath, once a-year, to the quantity fhe sold. Her memory failed, and fhe is now, with a crowd of other victim, in an excise court, which will very pofsibly bring her to beggary. This is like a drop in the ocean of excise. The very sound of the word announces utter destruction; for it is derived from a latin verb, which signifies to cut up by the roots.
our excellent constitution" may be in theory, I neither know In practice, it is altogether A
CONSPIRACY OF THE RICH
AGAINST THE POOR.
of its predecessors. The king of Spain, by his will, transferred his dominions to a prince of the house of Bourbon. His subjects consented or submitted to the choice, and England, with a degree of insolence unmatched in history, interfered in favour of an Austrian candidate. The contest ended with her acquisition of Minorca, and Gibraltar; an injury to Spain of the most offensive nature. Since that period the nation has always been forward to contend with us; and five wars *, begun and terminated in the short space of sixty-five years, afsure us of their indelible indignation. Nor can we be surprised at their animosity; for what would an Englishman say or feel, were Plymouth and Dover fortified by a French garrison. Happily for the species, our countrymen at Gibraltar have been but seldom attacked. Hence, in a time of war, they have commonly inflicted and suffered far lefs mischief than must have been committed on both sides in a piratical expedition to the coast of Peru, in desolating the plains of Hindostan, in burning the shipping at St Maloes, or in storming the pestilential ramparts of the Havannah †..
In 1708, we captured Minorca, and it is unnecefsary to expatiate on the monstrous expences which it must have cost us during half a century, till it was in 1756 surrendered to the French. On this event the whole English nation seemed to have run out of their senses. Yet to the lofs of this fortrefs, we
* Viz. in 1718, in 1727, in 1739, in 1762 and in 1779.
The major of a British regiment who served at that siege, had in his company, on his arrival at Cuba, an hundred and nine healthy men.. Of these, as he himself told me, five only returned to Europe..