I see in the public newspapers of different States frequent complaints of hard times, deudness of trade, scarcity of money, &c. &c. It is not my intention to allert or maintain that these complaints are entirely without foundation. There can be no country or nation exilting, in which there will not be some people so circumstanced as to find it hard to gain a livelihood ; people who are not in the way of any profitable irade, and with whom money is scarce, becaule they have nothing to give in exchange for it ; and it is always in the power of a small number to make a great cla

But let us take a cool view of the general state of our affairs, and perhaps the prospect will appear less gloo

than has been imagined. The great business of the continent is agriculture. For one artilan; or merchant, I suppose, we have at least one hundred farmers, and by far the greatelt part cultivators of their own fertile lands, from whence many of them draw not only food neceffary for their subsistence, but the materials of their clothing, so as to need very few foreign supplies; while they have a surplus of productions to dispose of, whereby wealth is gradually accuinulated. Such has been the goodness of Divine Providence to these regions, and so favourable the climate, that, since the three or four years of hardship in the first settlement of our fathers here, a famine or {carcity Jas never been heard of amongit us ; on the contrary, though fome years may have been more, and others less plentiful, there has always been provision enough for ourselves, and a quantity to Ipare for exportation. And although the crops of last year were generally good, never was the farmer better paid for the part he can spare commerce, as the published price currents abundantly testify. The lands he pofTefTes are also continually rising in value with the increase of population; and, on the whole, he is enabled to give such good wages to those who work for him, that all who are acquainted with the old world must agree, that in no part of it are the labouring poor lo generally well fed, well clothed, well lodged, and well paid, as in the United States of America.

If we enter the cities, we find that, since the revolution, the owners of houses and lots of ground have had their interet ya!?y augmented in value; rents have risen to an aitu

nishing height, and thence encouragement to increase building, which gives employment to an abundance of workmen as does also the increased luxury and splendour of living of the inhabitants thus made richer. These workmen all demand and obtain much higher wages than


part of the world could afford them and are paid in ready money. This rank of people therefore do not, or ought not, to complain of hard times; and they make a very considerable

part of the city inhabitants. At the distance I live from our American fisheries, I cannot speak of them with any degree of certainty, but I have not heard that the labour of the valuable race of men employed in them is worse paid, or that they ineet with less success, lhan before the revolution. The whale-men indeed have been deprived of one market for their oil; but another, I hear, is opening for them, which it is hoped may be equally advantageous ; and the demand is constantly increasing for their fper maceti candles, which there bear a much higher price than formerly.

There remain the merchants and shop-keepers. Of these, though they make but a small part of the whole nation, the number is considerable, too great indeed for the bulinels they are employed in; for the consumption of goods in every country has its limits; the faculties of the people, that is, their ability to buy and pay, is equal ouly to a certain quantity of merchandize. If merchants calculate amiss on this proportion, and import too much, they will of course find the sale dull for the overplus, and some of them will say that trade languishes. They should, and doubtless will, grow wiser by experience, and import less. If too many artificers in town, and farmers from the country, flattering themselves with the idea of leading eafier lives, turn shop-keepers, the whole natural quantity of that business, divided among them all, may afford too small a fhare for each, and occasion complaints that trading is dead; these may also suppose that it is owing to scarcity of money, while in fact, it is not so much from the fewness of buyers, as from the exceffive number of sellers, that the mischief arises ; and, if every shop-keeping farmer and mechanic would return to the use of his plough and working tools, there would remain of widows, and other women, thopo

keepers sufficient for the business, which might then afford them a comfortable maintenance.

Whoever has travelled through the various parts of Europe, and observed how small is the proportion of people in affluence or easy circumstances there, compared with those in poverty and misery; the few rich and haughty landlords, the multitude of poor, abject, rack-rented, tythe-paying tenants, and half-paid and half-farved ragged labourers ; and views here the happy mediocrity that so generally prevails throughout thefe states, where the cultivator works for himself, and supports his family in decent plenty; will, methinks, see abundant reason to bless Divine Providence for the evident and great difference in our favour, and be convinced that no nation known to us enjoys a greater share of human felicity.

It is true, that in some of the states there are parties and discords; but let us look back, and ask if we were ever without them ? Such will exist wherever there is liberty : and perhaps they help to preserve it. By the collision of different sentiments, sparks of truth are struck out, and political light is obtained. The different factions, which at present divide us, aim all at the public good : the differences are only about the various modes of promoting it. Things, actions, measures, and objects of all kinds, prefent themselves to the minds of men in such a variety of lights, that it is not poffible we should all think alike at the fame time on every subject, when hardly the same man retains at all times the same ideas of it. Parties are therefore the common lot of humanity; and ours are by no means more mischievous or less beneficial than those of other countries, nations, and ages, enjoying in the same degree the great blessing of political liberty.

Some indeed among us are not so much grieved for the present state of our affairs, as apprehensive for the future. The growth of luxury alarms them, and they think we are from that alone in the high road to ruin. They observe, that no revenue is sufficient without ceconomy, and that the most plentiful income of a whole people from the natural productions of their country may be diffipated in vain and needless expences, and poverty be introduced in the place of affluence.---This may be poffible. It howeves rarely haz.

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pensai for there seems to be in every nation a greater pro-
portion of industry and frugality, which tend to enrich,
Ihan of idleness and prodigality, which occasion poverty ;
so that upon the whole there is a continual accumulation.
Reflect that Spain, Gaul, Germany, and Britain were in the
time of the Romans, inhabited by people little richer than
our savages, and consider the wealth they at present poffefs,
in numerous-well built cities, improved farms, rich movea-
bles, magazines stocked with valuable manufactures,
nothing of plate, jewels, and coined money; and all this,
not withstanding their bad, wafteful, plundering govern-
ments, and their mad destructive wars, and yet luxury and
extravagant living has never suffered much restraint in those
countries. Then consider the great proportion of industri-
ous frugal farmers inhabiting the interior parts of these
American States, and of whom the body of our nation con-
fifts, and judge whether it is posible that the luxury of
our sea-ports can be fufficient to ruin such a country. If
the importation of foreigin luxuries could ruin a people,
we should probably have been ruined long ago; for the
British nation claimed a right, and practised it, of import-
ing among us not only the superfluities of their own pro-
duction, but those of every nation under heaven ; we bought
and consumed them, and yet we flourished and grew rich.
At present our independent governments may do what we
could not then do, discourage by heavy duties, or prevent
by heavy prohibitions, such importations, and thereby grow
sicher; if, indeed, which may admit of dispute, the de-
fire of adorning ourselves with fine clothes, poffefsing fine
furniture, with elegant houses, &c. is not, by strongly in-
citing to labour and industry, the occasion of producing a
greater value than is consumed in the gratification of that

The agriculture and fifheries of the United States are the
great sources of our increasing wealth.' He that puts a seed
into the earth is recompensed, perhaps by receiving forty
out of it; and he who draws a fish out of our water,
draws up a piece of silver.
Let us

• (and there is no doubt but we shall) be attentive to these, and then the power of rivals, with all sheir reftraining and prohibiting acts, cannot much hurt us. We are sons of the earth and seas, and, like Antzus in the fable,

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if in wrestling with a Hercules we now and then receive a fall, the touch of our parents will communicate to us fresh strength and vigour to renew the conteft.

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Many persons in Europe having, directly, or by let,

ters, expressed to the writer of this, who is well acquainted with North America their desire of transporting and esta. blishing themselves in that country ; but who appear to him to have formed, through ignorance, miltaken ideas and expectations of what is to be obtained there ; he thinks it may be useful, and prevent inconvenient, expensive, and fruitless removals and voyages of improper persons, if he gives some clearer and truer notions of that part of the world, than have hitherto prevailed.

He finds it imagined by numbers, that the inhabitants of North America are rich, capable of rewarding, and dise posed to reward, all sorts of ingenuity; that they are at the {ame time ignorant of all the sciencies and consequently that ftrengers, possessing talents in the belles-letters, fine arts, &c. muft be highly esteemed, and so well paid as to become easily rich themselves ; that there are also abundance of profita ble offices to be dispofed of, which the natives are not qualified to fill; and that having few persons of family among them, strangers of birth muft be greatly respected, and of course easily obtain the best of those offices, which will make all their fortunes; that the governments too, to en. courage emigrations from Europe, not only pay the

expence of their personal transportation, but give lands gratis to strangers, with negroes to work for them, utensils of hule bandry, and stocks of cattle. These are all wild imaginations ; and those who go to America with expectations founded upon them, will surely find themselves disappointed.

The ruth is, that though there are in that country few penple so miserable as the poor of Europe there are also few that in Europe would be called rich ; it is rather a general Happy mediocrity that prevails. There are few great pro

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