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THE arguments upon the subject of the rule which is to establish some permanent authority to which this country may always appeal in her future commercial transactions with belligerent colonies, will soon be revived, and the old controversies of the year 1806-7, will again be agitated with as much warmth and animation as ever. The interests of Great-Britain have evidently driven her into many contradictions and inconsistencies as to the settlement of this rule, and various doctrines have been laid down and deserted by her, whenever she has considered it ne cessary to her safety, or the aggrandizement of her power, until it has terminated in the unqualified assertion, that the neutral shall enjoy nó commerce in time of war, from which he was debarred in time of peace; on the ground that traffick conducted on more liberal principles would essentially be interfering in the war, or injure one belligerent by assisting the other. We think the fallacy of this doctrine is well exposed in the arguments which follow.
The general principle upon which Great-Britain declares against the legality of this trade, is that it tends to enrich the enemy, and that it was not carried on by the neutral in peace. Now, if this be a sufficient ground of condemnation, it must follow that that every trade is illegal into which a neutral enters with a belligerent for the first time during war; and that it is absolutely unlawful to throw any part of the traffick formerly carried on by the belligerent into neutral hands. In opposition to this maxim, however, it will be easy to shew, that upon the breaking out of a war, neutrals have always been permitted to take up many branches of trade that were formerly in the hands of the belligerents, and that their right to carry them on has never been disputed, upon the ground of the security or profit derived therefrom to the enemy.
There are a variety of branches of trade in which this must occur invariably in every war between two maritime and commercial nations. In the first place there is the trade between the two belligerents themselves. Vol. I.
This, of course, in its direct original state, is altogether destroyed and suspended by the war ; but if the nations have a mutual and permanent demand for the products of each other's territory, the traffick will in. fallibly go on as formerly; and the only difference will be, that the trade which was formerly conducted by the ships and sailors of the bel. ligerents, will now fall wholly into the hands of neutrals. This is in all respects a new trade to the neutral, and an addition to his former trade, arising entirely out of the war. It is productive likewise of profit and emolument to the belligerent, and ought therefore to be condemned as unlawful, according to the doctrine of the writer now under consideration. But this is by no means the only new trade into which neutrals are uniformly admitted without challenge in the course of a maritime war: A very considerable part of the general trade of the belligerents passes naturally into their hands. In time of peace a maritime nation carries a great part of its exports to the foreign purchaser, and brings home in its own vessels a great part of its imports. As soon as it engages in war, however it ceases to be profitable for it to do this; the rates of wages and insurance, are necessarily raised; and even where it maintains the superiority at sea, the risk and the expence of transportation become considerably greater than when the same commodities are embarked in neutral bottoms. Accordingly it inevitably happens, that the neutral purchaser finds it for his advantage to come for those goods which the belligerent used formerly to send out to him in her own ships; and the belligerent finds it more convenient that her imports should be brought into her ports by vessels not liable to capture. In this way, a large part of the hostile commerce is naturally transferred to the hands of neutrals, and that for the very purpose of avoiding the risk of capture by an enemy. It was never pretended, however, we believe upon any side, to condemn this new trade as unlawful. Even in our own ports, it is probable there are now more than double the number of neutral veffels that found business there in time of peace; and in those of France and Spain the number is increased tenfold. They there deliver the produce of their own and other foreign countries, and take on board the commodities of the hostile territory, to distribute in all those markets to which they were formerly carried in a great measure by the ships of the enemy which they have superseded. Yet this new war trade between the neutral and the enemy, we do not so much as pretend to find fault with, or to denounce as beyond the rights of neutrality.
The new neutral trade with the colonies, we conceive, however, is not to be distinguished from this new neutral trade with the home ports of the enemy; and the admitted legality of the one is pretty conclusive, therefore, in favour of the legality of the other also. Neutrals were not, perhaps, excluded from the former, during peace, by any positive lawsor prohibitions; but they were excluded, in point of fact, as effectual
ly, by the disadvantages of their situation, and the natural predilection of the belligerent for his own traders. It is equally certain and undeniable, therefore, as in the case of the colonies, that it was a new trade which they acquired in consequence of the war, and that it is destined to revert to the belligerent as soon as peace shall have removed those disadvantages which now give the preference to the neutral. Now, as these are the very circumstances which are pleaded upon as grounds for excluding neutrals from the colony trade, it is obvious that the plea is effectually answered by referrence to this unchallenged new trade with the mother country. It is to no purpose to say, that the innovation here is only in degree, and that the colonial trade is new in kind to the neutral. This is a distinction altogether irrelevant to the matter in dispute. It is a fact as palpable as the transference of her colonial trade, that the whole home trade of France is now gone into the hands of neutrals. By this arrangement she is benefitted, and her enemies disappointed in their hopes of captures and their views of impoverishment, as effectually at least as by the change in her colonial system. If the one be recognized as legal, it does not appear upon what grounds it is possible to impeach the other as contrary to the law of nations.
These cases of the new home trade between neutrals and belligerents generated by the war, and depending upon it for its continuance, appear to us so exactly parallel to that of the colonial trade in question, that it is not necessary to pursue the investigation any further. It is well known, however, that nothing is more common than to relax special prohibitions in behalf of neutrals, upon the breaking out of a war; and that we ourselves, whose necessities in this way cannot be supposed very urgent, have frequently invited them to a share of our trade, by opening free ports abroad, and reducing duties which had been imposed to secure our monopoly at home. We never heard that the new trade, which was opened to the neutrals by these devices, was considered in any quarter as illegal, or that any attempt was ever made by our enemies to make prize of the vessels employed in it.
It thus appears that there is nothing in the analogy of the law of nations as fixed by the uniform practice of maritime countries, which can justify the condemnation of this war trade between the colonies of a belligerent, and the neutral nations in her neighbourhood. On the contrary it appears that, in cases, which, in point of principle, can scarcely be distinguished from that before us, the long established usage of nations has recognized the legality of such intercourse, and confirmed the free enjoyment of it as one of the most undisputed privilgeges of neutrality. A very slight consideration of the equitable principles on which the practice has been founded in those analagous and undisputed cases, will satisfy us that the conclusion may be extended with perfect confidence to that which is now in discussion.
The enemy is clearly benefitted by the admission of neutrals to the
home trade which he carried on himself in time of peace; his commerce is relieved from the pressure of our hostilities; he is made in a great measure independent of our naval superiority; we are disappointed in our hope of captures, and obstructed in our lawful endeavours to bring him to terms by cutting off the sources of his revenue. Why should we not be permitted therefore, to prevent this interference of the neutrals? why is it that we are obliged to walk quietly on the decks of our cruizers, and see thousands of Danes and Americans busily employed in a trade which fills the coffers of our enemy, and covering with their flag a commerce, which, but for this interference, would become the prey of our triumphant navy? The answer is short and obvious; and it is decisive, in our apprehension of the whole controversy. We are are restrained from annoying our enemy by interfering with his trade, from a regard to the neutrals for whose joint profit it is carried on, and whose interest in its continuance is more considerable, and more favoured in the eyes of the great confederation of nations, than our interest in its suppression. This is the ultimate and true reason why a belligerent is not permitted to interrupt that neutral trade with his enemy, by which his hostilities are rendered in some degree inefficient.The question comes, as we have already intimated it would do, to a balance of advantages and disadvantages; and the law of nations has decided in favour of the neutral in all the branches of the home trade. We are not aware that there are any circumstances by which the balance can be affected, or the decision varied, in the trade of the colonies.
THE poetry of Darwin for a long time attained a degree of celebrity far beyond its merits; and the same taste which ten years ago was so ready to extol and admire it, seems again revived, and Dr. Darwin's works are now frequently quoted, and his language and ingenuity ex. tolled. The Loves of the Triangles, which was written with the professed intention of exposing the absurdities of the Botanick Garden, or Loves of the Plants, renders the design and manner of the Doctor in that work, most eminently ridiculous. To those persons who are inclined to enjoy the scientifick part, which is attempted to be ridiculed, we must recommend the whole poem with notes, in the Anti-Jacobin, but we now take the liberty to extract a few passages in which the glowing style of Darwin in describing scientifick and classical events, is finely satirized. Persons who are in the least acquainted with his style, will acknowledge the resemblance at the first view. It is a caricature, but though the lines are marked very strongly, they do not deviate
from the character they are intended to pourtray. Take the following as a specimen.
LO! where the chimney's sooty tube ascends,
The eddying smoke, quick flame, and volant spark ;
Her much lov'd Smoke-Jack glimmers through the scene;
Point to one purpose-in one object end :
The spiral grooves in smooth meanders flow,
While slowly circumvolves the piece of Beef below:
So youthful HORNER roll'd the roguish eye,
Lifts the charm'd rod, and chaunts the Mystick Rite;
And feels new ear-rings deck her listening ears;
* Trochais-The Nymph of the Wheel, supposed to be in love with SMOKE-JACK.
↑ The conscious fire-The Sylphs and Genii of the different Elements have a variety of innocent occupations assigned them; those of FIRE are supposed to divert themselves with writing the name of KUNKEL in Phosphorus See ECONOMY of VEGETATION.
'Or mark with shining letters KUNKEL's name
In the slow Phosphor's self-consuming flame.'
Listening ears.-Listening, and therefore peculiarly suited to a pair of diamond ear-rings. See the description of NEBUCHADNEZAR, in his transformed state.
Nor Flattery's self can pierce his pendant ears.
In poetical diction, a person is said to breathe the BLUE air,' and to drink the HOARSE wave-not that the colour of the sky, or the noise of the water has any reference to drinking or breathing, but because the poet obtains the advantage of thus describing his subject under a double relation, in the same manner in which material objects present themselves to our different senses at the same time.