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may in some measure attribute our success, as it was called, in that war; for the charge of supporting: Minorca must have been felt as a dead weight upon our other operations. It was restored in 1763, and in 1781, it was a second time, and I hope for ever, separated from the British dominions. By the lofs of this fortrefs 'we save an incefsant and extravagant expence. With me it is an object of regret, that the brave Elliot and his garrison had not been forced to capitulate by the first bomb discharged against them.. The individuals, acting as they did, from the most generous and honourable principles, have acquired and deserved our warmest gratitude; and, as it may be expected that such events will hereafter become lefs frequent, their glory will descend with increasing lustre to the last generations of mankind. But their efforts were fatal to this country; for it is self-evident that we had much better have wanted this mock appendage of empire. The siege itself produced scenes of such stupenduous destruction that they cannot be perused without horror. Nine years of peace have since elapsed, and, in that time, including the vast expence of additional fortifications, it is probable that Gib. raltar has cost us at least five millions sterling; besides we have been again on the verge of a war with Spain, which has added a comfortable item to the debts of the nation. If the annual expence of Gibraltar, amounts to five hundred thousand pounds, this is about one thirty-second part of our public revenue. No. thing but the power of its disposal can obtain for at British minister a majority in the house of com

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mons. Three hundred and twenty members are about the usual number under his influence *; and therefore the patronage of Gibraltar may be conjectured to purchase ten votes in the market of St Stephen's chapel.

Though writers have presumed to specify the annual charge of Gibraltar, an exact estimate cannot pofsibly be obtained. The public accounts are presented to parliament in a state of inextricable confusion. Indeed their immense bulk would alone be sufficient to place them far beyond the reach of any human comprehension. A single circumstance may serve to fhow the way in which parliamentary businefs is commonly performed. A statute, was passed and printed some years ago, containing three succefsive references to the thirty-FIRST day of November.

For a foreign contest, our government is most wretchedly adapted. In the war of 1756 Frederick, that Shakespeare of kings, fought and conquered five different nations. In the course of his miraculous campaigns, he neither added a single impost, nor attempted to borrow a single fhilling. At the same time our boasted earl of Chatham was overwhelming this country with taxes, and contracting an annual debt of fifteen or twenty millions sterling. With a more destructive minister, no nation was ever cursed. Yet this man we prefer to Sir Robert Walpole,

* When the whole strength of each party is c lled forth, a minority are commonly within an hundred voices of a min`ster, which corresponds with tolerable accuracy to the computation in the text. In the regency question, Mr Pitt with the whole nation at his back, mustered only two hundered and sixty nine members. 1

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a statesman, whose maxin it was to keep us,
sible, at peace with all the world.

In 1662, Dunkirk, then pofsefsed by England, cost
an annual expence of a hundred and twenty thousand
pounds. At the same period the whole revenues
of the nation did not amount to eleven hundred thou-
sand pounds. The retention of the town must have
proved a hot bed of future wars with France.
Charles II. at this time sold it to Lewis XIV. for the
sum of four hundred thousand pounds.
This was, I
believe, the only wise, laudable, or even innocent ac-
tion of his reign. It had almost produced a rebel-
lion; and, as Mr Hume observes, "has not had the
"good fortune, to be justified by any party.”

Domestic improvement is, in all cases, more advantageous than military acquisition. Yet in the great outlines of their history, the English nation have incelsantly forsaken the former, to pursue the latter. James 1. though in private, and even in public life, universally despised, was one of the best sat on the British throne. sovereigns that ever Without a single quality which could recommend him to our esteem, he preserved the English nation, though much against their will, in peace, during his entire reign of twenty-two years. Hence both islands made rapid advances in wealth and prosperity. "Ne"ver," says Stowe, "was there any people, lefs con"siderate and less thankful than at this time, being "not willing to endure the memory of their present hap"pinefs." On the same principles of rapine, which dictated the retention of Dunkirk, James has been severely blamed for delivering back to the Dutch. three of their fortified towns, which had been put into

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the pofsefsion of Elizabeth. Mr Hume has, with much propriety, vindicated his conduct. Had it been pofsible that the life of such a prince, and the tranquillity of this country, could have been prolonged to the present day, it is beyond the power of British vanity to conceive the accumulated progrefs of British opulence. Both islands would, long before this time, have advanced to a state of cultivation, not inferior to that of China. The productions of the soil, and the number of inhabitants, might have exceeded, by tenfold, their present amount. Public roads, canals, bridges, and buildings of every description, must have multiplied far beyond what our most sanguine wishes are capable of conceiving. A fhort review of the destruction committed by foreign wars within the last hundred years of our history, can hardly fail to amuse and may perhaps instruct the reader. This will furnish materials for another letter from TIMOTHY THUNDERPROOF.

Laurencekirk Feb. 25. 1792.





La B

To the Editor of the Bee.

SIR, THE study of human nature, and the knowledge of what has happened to mankind in the various ages, climates, and nations of the world, leading to the im"provement of his nature by good government, are the elements of the first of arts, snd the first of sci


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All political institutions, till lately, have arisen from chance, necefsity, or imitation; and none have been formed, few even improved, on the radical principles of man's nature; because all legislators have either made laws on the spur of the occasion, or laid plans for the government of men, such as they ought to be, but such as they are not, and cannot be rendered, but in the lapse of ages.

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It is, therefore, the proper object of him who searches into antiquity, to contemplate the history of the world as a politician, to discover the propensities of social man, his natural habits, and consequent customs, which are too strong for laws alone to obviate, or to reform; and those errors in legislation, which have succefsively brought every nation to its fall, by gradations so uniformly marked in the page of history, that they invite the friends of humanity to attempt, by unfolding the causes, to point out the cure of political disease.

To perform this task would fill a volume; and I mean only to lay before your readers a few observations, tending to fhew, that a new æra of liberty and legislation has appeared, which promises to render mankind, in general, wiser and better, and consequently happier than they have been in past ages.

The general and individual wealth of nations, created by the improvement of agriculture, trade, and manufactures, and the almost universal difsemination of knowledge among the lower ranks of mankind, by education and the art of printing; the continual intercourse created by navigation and posts, and the multiplied organization of men into societies, for comVOL. vii,


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