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the child to his everlasting rest. If these frious women, could send up an ejaculation when the child expired, all was well, and no questions asked by the superiors. An ingenious friend of mine informs me that this has been so often the case, in some workhouses, that Venice treacle has acquired the appellation of the Lord have mercy upon me, in allusion to the nurses hackneyed expression of pretended grief when infants expire! Farewell!

I know not upon what observation Mr. Hanway founds his confidence in the governors of the foundling hospital, men of whom I have not any knowledge, but whom I entreat to consider a little the minds as well as bodies of the children. I am inclined to believe irreligion equally pernicious with gin and tea, and therefore think it not unscasonable to mention, that when a few months ago

I wandered through the hospital, I found not a child that seemed to have heard of his creed, or the commandments. To breed up children in this manner is to rescue them from an early grave, that they may find employinent for the gibbet ; from dying in innocence, that they may perish by their crimes.

Having considered the effects of tea upon the health of the drinker, which, I think, he has aggravated in the vehemence of his zeal, and which, after soliciting them by this watery luxury, year after year, I have not yet felt; he proceeds to examine how it may be shown to affect our interest ; and first calculates the national loss by the time spent in drinking tea. I have no desire to appear captious, and shall therefore readily admit, that tea is a liquor not proper for the lower classes of the people, as it upplies no strength to labour, or relief to disease, Wut

gratifies the taste without nourishing the body. It is a birren superfluity, to which those who can hardly procure what nature requires, cannot prudently habituate themselves. Its proper use is to amuse the idle, and relax the studious, and dilute the full meals of those who cannot use exercise, and will not use abstinence. That time is lost in this insipid entertainment, cannot be denied ; many trifle away at the tea table those moments which would be better spent ; but that any national detriment can be inferred from this waste of time, does not evidently appear, because I know not that any work remains undone for want of hands. Our manufactures seem to be limited, not by the possibility of work, but by the possibility of sale.

His next argument is more clear. He affirms, that one hundred and fifty thousand pounds in silver are paid to the Chinese annually, for three millions of pounds of tea, and that for two millions more brought clandestinely from the neighbouring coasts, we pay, at twenty pence a pound, one hundred sixty six thousand six hundred and sixty six pounds. The author justly conceives, that this computation will awaken us; for, says he, “ The loss of health, the loss of time, the injury of morals, are not very sensibly felt by some, who are alarmed when you talk of the loss of money." But he excuses the East India Company, as men not obliged to be political arithmeticians, or to inquire so much what the nation loses, as how themselves may grow rich. It is certain, that they who drink tea have no right to complain of those that import it ; but if Mr. Hanway's computation be just, the importation and the use of it ought at once to be stopped by a penal law.

The author allows one slight argument in favour of tea, which, in my opinion, maight be with far greater justice urged both against that and many other parts of our naval trade. “ The tea trade employs, he tells us, six ships, and five or six hundred seamen, sent annually to China. It likewise brings in a revenue of three hun. dred and sixty thousand pounds, which, as a tax on luxury, may be considered as of great utility to the state." The utility of this tax I cannot find ; a tax on luxury is no better than another tax, unless it hinders luxury, which cannot be said of the impost upon tea, while it is thus used by the great and the mean, the rich and the poor. The truth is, that by the loss of one hundred and fifty thousand pounds, we procure the means of shifting three hundred and sixty thousand at best, only from one hand to another ; but perhaps sometimes into hands by which it is not very honestly employed. Of the five or six hundred seamen sent to China, I am told that sometimes half, commonly a third part, perish in the voyage ; so that instead of setting this navigation against the inconveniences already alleged, we may add to them, the yearly loss of two hundred men in the prime of life ; and reckon, that the trade of China has destroyed ten thousand men since the beginning of this century.

If tea be thus pernicious, if it impoverishes our country, if it raises temptation, and gives opportunity to illicit commerce, which I have always looked on as one of the strongest evidences of the inefficacy of our law, the

weakness of our government, and the corruption of our people, let us at once resolve to prohibit it for ever.

“ If the question was, how to promote industry most advantageously, in lieu of our tea trade, supposing every branch of our commerce to be already fully supplied with men and money ? If a quarter the sum now spent in tea, were laid out annually in plantations, in making public gardens, in paving and widening streets, in making roads, in rendering rivers navigable, erecting palaces, building bridges, or neat and convenient houses where are now only huts ; draining lands, or rendering those which are now barren of some use ; should we not be gainers, and provide more for health, pleasure, and long life, compared with the consequences of the tea trade ?"

Our riches would be much better employed to these purposes ; but if this project does not please, let us first resolve to save our money, and we shall afterwards very casily find ways to spend it.

REPLY

TO

A PAPER IN THE GAZETTEER,

OF MAY 26, 1757.*

cess.

IT is observed in the sage Gil Blas, that an exasperated author is not easily pacified. I have, therefore, very little hope of making my peace with the writer of the Eight Days Journey ; indeed so little, that I have long deliberated whether I should not rather sit silently down under his displeasure, than aggravate my misfortune by a defence of which my heart forebodes the ill suc

Deliberation is often useless. I am afraid that I have at last made the wrong choice ; and that I might better have resigned my cause, without a struggle, to time and fortune, since I shall run the hazard of a new offence, by the necessity of asking him why he is angry.

Distress and terror often discover to us those faults with which we should never have reproached ourselves in a happy state. Yet, dejected as I am, when I review the transaction between ine and this writer, I cannot find that I have been deficient in reverence. When his book was first printed, he hints that I procured a sight

* From the Literary Magazine, Vol. II. page 253.

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