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" One great cause of error, is our taking for granted
that habits are right because they have b:en long ef
NOTHING exhibits the infi:-tnst\es of human
nature in a more striking) anil at the fame time,
in a more melancholy view, than that one half of
lifeis spent in lamenting the misfortunes, and cor
recting the miltakes of the other. The truth of
tills oblervation, derives a Hill greater force, when
applied to communities. From whatever cause it
happens, it is an evident fait, that legillators in
molt countries and ages, have been so perplexed by
the operation of palt laws,that they either forget,
or have not leisure to make regulations, that lhall
have a better influence in future. By this means,
they are often compelled, to act, like a man em
barrafled with debt : He looks only for immedi
ate lelief, and lays the foundation of far greater
trouble, than that from which he has been e
scaping. It may be well to enquire how tlii3 hap
pens ? The solution of the queltion is not difficult,
it ha* been themisfortune of molt legislators, that
they have framed their measures more according
to their own caprices and abl trait notions of go
vernment, than according to the real circumllsan
ces of the people, who are to obey those laws.
National prejudice isapt to be miltakch for nation*
alinterell. It is commonly fnppofed that laws
and regulations that are illy adapted to the opini
ons, the prejudices and the cultoms of a people,
cxpofe their authors to contempt; and encreafe
rather thart' remove the disorders, for which they
are calculated* The rule of government it is laid,
should never counteract the general opinion of
the nation. Tliefe maxims, though generally
true, should be practised upon with some precauti
on, and adopted under some reftriitions. The
secret plots of a cabal and the noisy clamours of a
faction, are different things from the voice r ' a
whole people. These should not be comprehend
ed in the idea of popular sentiment. The gener
al opinion of the community may often be proper,
at the time it is eltab'lifhed ; but a change of cir
cumstances happens more easily thati a removal of
prejudices. This cause conlluutes one of the molt
arduous tasks of legislation.
As there lhould be a resemblance between na
tional character and national laws, it is apt to be
inferred that in loose diforclerly times, the laws
mult wear a similar complexion. But the princi
ple should not be carried too far. It only incul
cates the impropriety of too fuddently attempting
a public' reformation f.om disorders. The work
mult be progressive and conciliating ; not sudden
and overbearing. Laws of too severe an aspect
will irritate rather than reform. If these remarks
are just and they really appear to ine so, it is re
quilite that the prevailing spirit and manners of a
country should be examined before it can be pro
npunced with certainty, what will be the moltfa
lutary and fuccefsful methods of governing it.
When this knowledge is ascertained, it ffiould be
applied not only with prudence, but with honesty.
It may be raflinefs for men to oppose with violence
the current opinions of the day ; but certainly ii
they believe them erroneous, it is dishonest not to
attempt by suitable means to correct such errors.
It is an unfortunate fact, that men in public of
fice are too apt to find their account in cherishing
popular caprice. There lies a suspicion against
the underltanding or integrity of that adminiltra
tion which cannot carry into effect such measures
as the public welfare requires, without fomenting
a temper ofdifaffectioA, or instigating acts of dif
obedience. " A free and jealous people should
be treated like a coy, capricious girl. If she $oes
not at firlt consent.her humor mnlt be watched ; and
if she is courted with a delicate kind of treatment,
her obltinacy will in time subside."
In my next, the subject shall be illuflrated, by
remarks that are more obvious and definite.
From the FEDERAL GAZETTE.
IN the dillribution of offices in republican go
vernments the followingci rcumftances should be
I. Qualification for the office, In knowledge,
integrity and industry.
3. An irreproachable private character.
3. Former fervicesto the fists or country.
4. Family connection. A wife and children are
the belt securities a man can give for his good be
haviour. If a man will not trult a woman with
his happiness, a State should not trust that man
with its liberty or property. Besides a single mrm
by a very little labor may always maintain himfclf.
y. Regard should be had to a man's conduct in
his former line of bitflnefs ; a lazy, careless or dis
honest lawyer, doctor, merchant or mechanic,
Will certainly make a bad public officer.
6. A proper degree of respect should be paid to
a man who has been unfortunate impru
dence) in business. Bankruptcy m America, and
Europe are' different things. Paper money, tender
laws, and funding systems have ruined some of
the belt men in our country ; and had these evils
continued much longer, they would not have left
a man tt> rule over us, or to execute an office, who
had not been the fubjedc of the bankrupt law, or
of the atft o r insolvency,
7. In the tlifttibution of offices, rulers Should
look out for the nioft suitable men to fill them :
Mcdeft men will not apply for them, and impru
dent men do notdeferve them. Perhaps an order
from the President of the United States thijt the
personal applicant for an office should never have
one, might prevent much trouble, idleness and
scurrility. It would moreover favethe feelings of
the fupreine magistrate of the Union, who cannot
serve every body, and therefore must often give
From the PENNSYLVANIA PACK ET.
IT appears by the publications of this day, that
the firit objedt that has engaged the attention of
the Representatives in Congress, is the revenue
lyftem, and the collection of duties by impost.
The arrangement of the financial affairs of the
Union involves interest of so conspicuous a charac
ter, that it naturally claims the pre-eminence ;
for on the SucceSsful ifliie of this business depends
the cftablifliment of public credit, and all the train
of benefits, of a public and private nature, that al
ways accompany it.
The intention of this paper is to point out the
similarity of situation in which we are placed, to
that of the British in the reign of William.
The re-coinage of the fnver had occasioned a
great Scarcity of specie—the opposition made by
those who were averse to the revolution generated
political feuds, which were attended with a gene
ral want of confidence in the government ; the
public securities, that had been emitted to those
who had lent money, rendered feivices or furmrti
ed Supplies, had depreciated, insomuch that the
tallies, exchequer bills, &c. had fallen from 40 to
60 per cent, diScount, and all loans to government
were procured 011 exorbitant premiums. In this
alarming crisis, the eloquence and abilites of Mr.
Montague (than Chancellor of the Exchequer) Sav
ed the nation.
lie had acomputation made of the exadt amount
of all the obligations due by government, for
which he procured Specific funds, to be appropri
ated by Parliament for the payment of.the annual
interelt; the surplus, if any, to be formed into a
fund for the extinction of the capital. This grant,
" to Supply deficiencies, and raiSe the public cre
dit," was unanimoujly entered into,by the Commons.
See 8 and 9 William 111. chapt. 20, Section the firft,
which was the principal foundation of the public
credit of Great Britain, and which is worthy the
molt Serious consideration of every member of the
House of Representatives.
See Parliamentary Debates, vol. 3, page 70.
The Tendency of Such was to restore
public credit, and eflablifh it on the molt permanent
and reSpedable footing : Since that period, it ne
ver has begn violated by Great Britain in a single
instance. Indeed, the benefits that were derived
from its Support were the foundation of all her
greatness ; it occasioned immenSe Sums ot money
to flow into that favored country, from all quarters,
which by its continual encreafe and abundance So
lefl'ened its value, that the ministry were enabled
to reduce the interest of the public debts (with
the consent of the creditors) from 6 to y per cent,
in the year 171 7 ; from sto 4 per cent, in the year
1 727 ; from 4 to 3 per cent, in the year 1 750 to
1757 ; by which reductions an annual Saving was
made of £. 1,266,971 sterling.
But belides this advantage, the plenty of money
animated and supported every branch of indultry,
and rendered the taxes a very easy burthen for
the people to bear ; the funded debt, from the fa
cility of its transfer, became a representative of
all alienable property, and thereby aided and en
creaSed the circulating medium. \
From the day that Such a System is adopted and
purSued, we may date the commencement of the
rifmg Splendor of this country.. Every palliative
or plan that may fallfhort of this System, will only
tend to the poltponement of this glorious period.
AGRIC O L A.
ExtraCl from the proceedings of the association of Bap
tist Churches, met at Portsmouth-common, in Eng
land, May ij, 1788.
1" AGREED, as an association, thus publicly to
express our deepest abhorrence of the Slave Trade,
and to recommend itearneftly to tlieminifters and
members of our churches, to unite in promoting to
the utmost of their power every Scheme, that is or
may be propoSed, to procure the Abolition oS a
traffic So unjust, inhuman, and disgraceful ; and
the continuance of which tends to counteract and
destroy the operations of the benevolent principles
-md Spirit of our common chriftianity.
" Agreed, that the above Refolutionbe transmit
ted to Granville Sharp, ESq. Chairman of the Com
mittee formed in London for the abolition of the
Slave Trade, together with Five-Guineas asafmall
donation Srom our little fund, for the purposes of
the Said committee, and as a public expression of
our hearty approbation of the generous cause in
which they are engaged."
P L A - N
GAZETTE of the UNITED STATES,
A NATIONAL PAPER.
To be publfhed at the seat of the federal
lomprife, as fully as pofjible \ the following ObjeCis, viz. ' '
I. "PEARLY and authenttck Accounts of the PROCEEDING
JL ot LAWS, ACTS, and RESOLUTION
communicated so as to form an HISTORY ojthe TRANSACTION
oj the FEDERAL LEGISLATURE, under the NEW CONSTITUTION
11. Impartial SKETCHts of the Debates of Cojicitiss
111. ESSAYS upon the great fubjedls of Government inenxnl
and the Federal L'egiflature in particular; also upon the
local Rights of the American citizens, as foupdt d upon tht \
deral or State Constitutions; also upon every other
may appear suitable for newspaper difcuQion.
IV. A SE RlteS of PARAGRAPHS, calculated to catchd,
11 li vlnc m ann ers as they rise," and to point the publlcj;
attention to Obiefts that have an important reference to imbi
facial, and publici happiness.
V. The Interests of the United States as connefled with their 'u
terary institutions—rcligioils and moral ObjeQs—l mpravcmcnti in
Science; Arts, EDUCATION and HUMANITY—their f, r:: -
Treaties-, Alliances, Connefiions, See.
VI. Every species of INTELLIGENCE, which may ajefife
.ommercia!; agricultural, manufacturing, or political INTERESTS"
he AMERICAN REPUBLICK.
VII. A CHAIN of DOMF.STICKOCCURRENCES, coMa!
through the Medium of an extensive Correspondence withthtrf
VIII. A SERIES of FOREIGN ARTICLES of INTELU
iGENCE, so connected, as to Jorm a general Idea rj putluk Mam
the eaflern Hemfpherc.
IX. The STATE of the NATIONAL FUNDS; also of tin IN
DIVIDUAL GOVERNMENTS—Courses of Exchange—p®
Curreiu, &c. /
THE Gazette of the L'nited States shall it prittci van,
ame Letter; and on the fame Paper as this publication.
Itfhall be published fiery WEDNESDAY and SATURDAY,
deln cred, as may be dircttcd) to every Subscriber in the city, on thpfc m.
The price to Subscribers (exclufiveofpoftage) will be THREE DOL
LARS tor. annum.
TheJirJlfemi-annual payment to tl made in three months/r<wiihf
pearance of theJirJl number.
WW be received in all the capital towns upon the Continent; effort*
City-Coffee-Houfe, and at No. 86, William-Street, until tin)
oj May,from which time at No. 9, Maiden-Lane, near the Ofwcjw
N. B. By a new Arrangement made in the Stages, Subscribers at a
distance will be duly furniftied with papers.
i'Ostscr 1 pt. A large impre(Jion of every number trill befnirt f/-
so that Subscribers may always be accommodated with comfkteSds-
To the P U B L I C K.
AT this important Crisis, the ideas that fill the
mind, are pregnant with Events of the greatd
magnitude—to llrengthen and complete the UM'
ON of the States—to extend and protest their
COMMERCE, under yet to be form
ed—to explore and arrange the NATIONS
FUND S—to restore and establish the PUBLICS
CREDIT—and ALL under the auspices ofanuii
tried Syftein of Government, will require the EN
ERGIES of the Patriots and Sages of ourCouiiny-
Hcnce the propriety of crtcreaftng theMerlitivisofKiW
ledge and Information.
AMERICA, from this period, begins i new En
in her national existence—"the world is au
before her' ' —The wisdom and folly—the mife';
ajid profpei ity of the EMPIRES, STATES, »
KINGDOMS, which have had their dayupont- :
great Theatre of Time, and are naw no morr,
fiiggeft the moil important Mementos —These,*® 1
the rapid series of Events, in which our ownCo®-
try has been so deeply interested, have taught
enlightened Citizens of the United States, tfc
FREEDOM and GOVERNMENT— LIBERTY®
LAWS, are inseparable.
This Conviction has led to the adoption of ttf
New Conftitittion ; for however various the Sec
tiinents, refpetfting the MERITS of this Svftem,
good men are agreed in the necessity that exilCi
ofan EFFICIENT FEDERAL GOVERNMENT-
A paper, therefore, eftablilhed upon NATION'
AL, INDEPENDENT, and IMPARTIAL PRISf 1 '
PLES—which shall take up the premised Arti c j ei '
upon a competent plan, it is presumed, will <
highly interesting, and meet with publick app ro
bation and patronage. , ,
The Editor of this Publication is determine
leave no avenue of Information unexplored 1
solicits the aflillance of Persons ofleifureand ab '
ties—which, united with his own assiduity, he 3 -
ters liimfelf will render the Gazette of the UM*
States not unworthy general
and is, with due refped:, the publick's humble
vant, 1 JOHN FEN NO.
Ntw-York, 178q. | '
TWO YOUNG SPRIGHTLY LADS -
A RE wanted, as APPRENTICES to the Buimc
of Printing. I
Publiihed by JOHN FENNO, No. 86, Wiii- I '' .