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be used by those who till the soil. An intercourse more certain and more lucrative than foreign trade. But until that period arrives, every proposition respecting the western country should be examined with great sobriety.
Here the question may be asked, if it is in no case advisable to purchase American lands; and, as this subject may hereafter occupy much of public attention, some moments bestowed on it may not be misapplied. Unquestionably the lands of America present a valuable object to those who are in a condition to avail themselves of the advantage, provided they acquire the needful information, and aet prudently. The reason is obvious. Not much more than a century has elapsed, since the land of America was worth little or nothing. At first it was worth less than nothing, for the original settlers were obliged to bring with them, not only cloathes and tools, but food, and must nevertheless have perished, if the original stock of necessaries had not been frequently replenished, by supplies from their native country. Land was then given away, and few would accept the gift, coupled with the condition of settlement. As population increased, it hecame of more value ; and, as settlements extended, the value advanced slowly at first, then with acceleratel velocity, so that, in the last ten years, it has been greater than in the preceding twenty. Several causes combine to produce this effect; as, first, a general rise in the price of all commodities ; or, what is equivalent, a general decrease in the value of money, owing to an increase of the quantity. This, however, is not so great as many have imagined ; for the price of wheat throughout Europe, during the eighteenth century, has been, on an average, about one pevny sterling a pound, and nearly as dear in the last period of twenty years as in the first. The expence of living arises in some degree from taxes imposed on consumption, and and partly from the higher style of modern housekeeping. Admitting, however, the existence and the operation of this general canse, a resort must be had to others more efficient. For the better understanding of these, let it be observed, that, from the progress of commerce and the useful arts, the price of land had in isq970
creased in some parts of Europe, while it declined in others, without any considerable change in the state of population; and that in general where population has increased, the value of lands has also increased. Thus we have three distinct causes : commerce, manufactures, and population. These are permanent. Those which are fortuitous should not be noticed. Now these permanent causes have been more developed in America than in any other country. The population has doubled every twenty years ; the progress of manufactures is as rapid at least; and that of commerce is equal to both. The increase of American manufacforty years ago hardly an axe or a sithe
was made on the western side of the Atlantic. Carriages of pleasure, household furniture, and even butter, cheese, and salted provisions were imported. Much is exported of the articles last mentioned ; and even the manufacture of superfine cloth, now in its infancy, bids fair to become extensive, the wool of America being little inferior to that of Spain. The wide range of our commerce is generally known; but one circumstance, which bears on the present object, must not be omitted. That commerce, which twenty years ago, was wholly supported by English credit, rests now principally on American capital, which is more than sufficient for the trade that will remain at a general peace. To apply these facts with mathematical precision, would gratify only inquisitive minds, fond of nice calculation, and would convert this hasty sketch from loose hints to abstruse speculation. It is sufficient, on the present occasion, to say, that by these causes, the value of land has been raised, and from the continuance of these causes, must continue to rise. Peace must operate to the same end; first, by lessening the demand of money to support commerce, and of course leaving more for the purchase and improve ment of land; secondly, by a fall in the price of labour, because produce being the result of a combination between land and labour, the share of land inereases in proportion as that of labour is diminished; and, thirdly, by the diminution
of freight and assurance, which, facilitating the interchange of articles, foreign
and domestic, gives greater intrinsic value to both. Judicious speculations in land have yielded more in the last ten years than in the preceding twenty, or the antecedent forty. Hence it is reasonable to believe, that they will continue to be advantageous: but the question occurs, where and how are they to be made ? bisa
TO BE RESUMED.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE POCKET MAGAZINE. SIR, In calling the attention of your readers to a few observations on the subject of the present communication, I beg leave to state, that they were occasioned by reading a short, but elegant Essay, which appeared in your Magazine for January last, signed s. Skinner. And, in doing so, I am actuated by a wish to remove the impression which Mr. S's. paper seems to have a tendency to make: namely, that it is in the power of any unprincipled individnal, if he possess superior abilities, to impose upon the public mind, by his specious reasoning, and the force of his splendid elocution.
Now, although we have numerous instances on re, cord, in which powerful oratorical abilities have been turned to improper purposes, yet I think we must allow that certain circumstances have generally assisted in their operation; and that, when unaided by the na.
ture of the times, they have most frequently proved ineffectual.
Mr. S. in a forcible and well-turned sentence, enquires, “Who can peruse the pages of ancient or modero history, and not be convinced of the lamentable truth, that the all-powerful armıs of eloquence have
been too often wielded by those who, like the magicisans or giants of romance, have been indued with
strength only to destroy?" However I may agree with the sentiment herciu expressed, under certain limitations, I must be permitted to say, that I hope and firmly believe, that the rectitude of the human under
standing will, in most instances, oppose a formidable resistance to any attempts which may be made to divert the energies of mankind into an improper channel. Men are mostly very wary in trusting their wel. fare to the guidance of persons whom they have not first proved to be their friends; and, notwithstanding what has been said of the proneness of our race to be lieve whatever is confidently asserted, it will be found. that though they readily give a speaker credit for the superiority of his eloquence, it requires a very different effort of the mind to induce them to resign their concerns to his management. Speaking and acting they know to be two very different things; and though they may suffer themselves to be amused for a time by pleasing declamation, and even advised in an entertaining manner, they generally go away determined to decide and act for themselves.
As this is by no means a matter of mere speculation. but involves considerations of the greatest moment, it may not be entirely useless to enquire how far the character of a public speaker will prevail in aiding or retarding the object he has in view. I think Mi.s. will not deny the superior force of precept and example, when united, to their respective influence, when divided. It has even become proverbial surely then it cannot be an immaterial circumstance whether the conduct of the speaker be in conformity with his professions? We are not so easily to be deluded by fine words: before they can prove efficient in regulating our proceedings, we must be persuaded by the manners of those who make use of them, that they are the result of conviction : and ere we submit to be directed by others, take the liberty of judging for ourselves. She
90 DO I am, Sir, your obedient servant, those *Cambridge, Feb.' 4, 1821. W. GILMOUR. Saite universiun e
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