Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

Williams's father and mother again accuse her of extravagance, and tell her that she will ruin their son ; yet, on her afturing them, that Mr. Williams had never discharged a debt con. tracted by her, they invite them to spend a month with them in the summer. Mrs. Williams cannot prevail on her husband to accept of the invitation : he commences an intrigue with a young lady in the neighbourhood, who is thrown into a consumption by his behaviour, and her own remorse. Soon after this infamous transaction, Mr. William's little boy dies : his wife is brought to bed of a daughter, who lives only a few hours. During her dangerous illness, Mrs. Williams wonders the hears nothing of his father and mother : he tells her, that they will never see her any more. As his income depends upon his father's will and pleasure, he thinks it better they should be angry with ber than bim. After a great deal of ill treatment which she receives from him in various shapes, they go to France ; from thence they proceed to Aix. Before they leave England, he wanted very much to have her sign articles of separation, but Mr. Smith prevents such a procedure: that gentleman promises to be a father to Mrs. Williams, and the parts from him with great concern. At Aix Mr. Williams meets with Sir Charles, who goes to England and marries Sophia. Having lost her only friend, Mrs. Bertram (Williams having deserted her in France) the determines to come to England ; but both her sister and Mr. Smith advise her against such a step, assuring her that the abuse and persecutions to which the would be exposed from her husband's family would prove extremely disagreeable to her. They endeavour to prevail on her to stay, at least till Mr. Williams's infamous conduct is more generally known. While she is abroad she receives many kind letters from her uncle Boldly, who insists upon joining with Mr. Smith in settling a penfion upon her during her husband's life. Her filter, at the same time, laments that her nearly-expected lying in hinders her from making her a visit. Mrs. Williams then takes a cottage not far from Avignon, and lived in a retired manner for two years. The countess of Vitu, with whom she had been acquainted at Paris and Lyons, finds her out in her retreat, and takes her to Pa. sis with her. There she firft commences a friendfip with Mademoiselle D'Angeville. From Paris Mrs. Williams goes to Spa, and into Flanders. In Flanders Sir Charles and her filter meet her : from ihence they proceed to Paris. At Paris they leave her with her friend Adelaide. While she is in Flanders she receives the news of her husband's death, which happened in Italy: surrounded with bastards by different women; and being a heretick, he was first plundered and then flung

• into

Smith, her unc, he is a famous pre

into a ditch near the town in a common deal box. The death of her uncle Boldly, who survived her aunt, and had generously left her a large legacy, involves her in a law-suit; but it is decided in her favour. On her return to England, this legacy reconciles her father and mother to her ; though the former never discovers the affection which he once had felt for her. Soon afterwards the marquis D'Aise comes to England, and Mrs. Williams is married to him, with the entire conSent of all her friends. The consent of those friends, however, is not thoroughly to be accounted for, as the marquis is a catholic, and joe does not appear to have changed her religion. Mr. Smith declares he will go with them to France, and end his days there : but before he sets out, he makes his will, and leaves the marchioness ten thousand pounds, which, at her husband's particular request, is settled on her. Thus has ne, at last a fair prospect of being happy, after having severely suffered for her disobedience.

The story is told in a very agreeable manner : there is ease, and even elegance, in the language ; and the piece abounds with fine sentiments, strikingly expressed.

X An Esay on the East-India Trade, and its Importance to this .: Kingdom ; with a comparative View of the Dutch, French, and · English East-India Companies ; and the Privileges and Support

rbat have been granted to cacb, by its respective State ; also the Rights of the East-India Company to the Revenues they are poflefed

of in India, impartially considered. 8vo. Pr. 'Is. Payne. . THE matter contained in this Essay is by no means new, but

it is seasonable and Important. Our senfible writer exhibits a Mort historical view of the principal transactions of the three great European companies trading to the East; and, from some accurate observations upon the conduct of each, deduces the sources of frequent bankruptcy of the French, and the flourishing situation of the English and Dutch companies.

. On a comparative view, says he, of the Dutch and French East-India companies, it may be observed, that the constant success of the one, and the repeated failure of the other, have proceeded chiefly from the nature of their respective governments.

- The States-general, who saw clearly the great national benefits to be derived from an East-India trade, and that it would not possibly be carried on to fo distant a part of the world by separate adventurers, either to the advantage of themselves or the public, obliged, in some measure, the several parties who had first attempted it to unite into one body, to whom they

granted

granted the most ample powers that could be deemed neceftary. Every territorial, or other acquisition of the company in India, was considered by that wise body as a national one. Their property at home, or abroad, was held as sacred as any man's private property. The full yearly profits arising from their trade or revenue in India, were fairly divided among the proprietors, even when they amounted so high as 75 per cent. ." As the powers and protection afforded to the company were the acts of the state, they were always steady and conftant. The proprietors were under no apprehension of not having them continued, as long as the trade should be found beneficial to the public, of which there could be no doubt.

• There was no need of the favour or mediation of a mini. fter, nor apprehension of being obliged to pay an exorbitant fine on any renewal of their charter ; and as the state never interfered with the concerns of the company, but for their ge. neral advantage, the management of their affairs was left to those who were appointed by themselves to preside over them.

• The several edies that had been published for the establishment of a French East-India company, and the extensive privileges granted to them, though necessary to their being, could never be sufficient to secure their duration, in a kingdom where so much depends on the favour of a single person, who, as he grants, may likewise take away ; where the obtaining or continuance of that favour depends chiefly on a minister, whose interest, it must ever be to prefer the advantages of the revenue, to any commercial; where those who are to be intrusted with the management of the affairs of a trading company, must be appointed or approved by the minister, under the heavy penalty of losing his favour and protection : I say, in a kingdom where a commercial company lies under any of these disadvantages, there must always be a doubt of its success; where all of them occur, it is almost impoflible it should succeed.

• That the constant interfering of ministers was one great cause of the failure of the French company, may fairly be inferred from the fuccess of the private traders at St. Malo's, who, although they had paid a large sum for the hire of the few privileges that were let to remain with the company, made a very considerable profit by the trade in a few years; because, being at a considerable distance from the court, and free from minifterial restraint, they were at liberty to conduct their affairs in whatever manner appeared most advantageous to them. felves,"

The author very sensibly explains the benefits resulting to this nation from the India trade, in the following words. • At the time the East India company was established, the rents of all the lands and houses of England were estimated, on the most exact calculation, at six millions per annum, at which time, the current value of the lands was twelve years purchase; consequently the value of the whole cannot be estimated at more than 72 millions. At the same time the stock of England, including silver and gold coin, bullion, wrought plate, mines, jewels, furniture, stock in trade, and cattle, was computed at 17 millions.

rents

• The present yearly rents of lands and houses, at a moderate estimation, may be deemed 25 millions, which, at twentyfive years purchase, amounts to 625 millions, and the stock, at the lowest valuation, may be estimated at 262 millions ; lo that on a moderate computation, the nation must have gained 887 millions since that time, by its trade and commerce, as it has neither gold nor filver mines, by which it could have ina creased its wealth.

• It is a difficult matter to estimate, with any degree of precision, what part of this increased wealth should be placed to the account of the East India trade. The national profit it has produced, when uninterrupted, including what it has brought in, in return for India commodities exported from hence to other countries, and what it has saved the nation, with respect to its own consumption, by keeping that money at home, which must bave been sent out for the purpose, has been estimated at 1,200,000l. per annum, be ore the establilla. ment of the new company.,

• Since both companies have been united, the trade has been increased very coni:scrably; and the profits may, very reasonably, be computed at two millions per annum. So that, taking the profits before the companies were united at one mil. lion per annum, on average, and since that time at two millions, the whole profirs will have amounted to 220 millions.

• But when it is considered, that the wealth introduced by this trade has been employed in establishing and advancing reveral valuable branches of our manufactures; that these manufactures have, in consequence, become considerable articles of our exportation ; that the money brought into the kingdoin, on this account, has,, by enriching and increasing the number of our manufadurers, been the principal cause of the i{fcreased rent and value of lands; that the considerable fortunes that have been acquired in India, or by that trade, have been chiefly employed in the purchase and improvement of lands and houses ; it seems inore reasonable to estiinate the national profits that have arisen immediately, and in consequence of inat trade, at one half of the increased value of the lands, and stock of the kingdom; which would then amount to 399 mil

6 The affairs

lions.

• The increase also of our maritime power, which should be considered as a matter of still greater importance to this nation than the increase of its wealth, may, in a great measure, be attributed to this trade. It may be obferved from general his. tory, that whatever nation, from the days of Solomon to the present time, has been in possession of any considerable Thare of the East India trade, has also arrived to a proportionate de. gree of maritime power; and that the maritime power of such nation has constantly declined, or sunk, in proportion to the decay or loss of this tradę. - He then proceeds to recite the steps by which the English coinpany came into poffeffion of their present considerable revenues in India ; the necessity of the measures they pursued; the legality of their territorial poffeffions; the affiftance they yielded to the common cause in the course of the last war; and con. cludes with these very just reflections, to which we think our readers will easily affent.

• It must be allowed to be somewhat too late at present, to offer arguments against any part of an agreement, which has been confirmed by parliament; but it is to be hoped, it is not too late to apply to the justice and equity of the legislature, for a renewal of the charter of the company ; which may be deemed fome kind of compensation for so great a sum as two millions, they have agreed to pay ; and for which they have not received even the Thadow of an equivalent ; more especially, as the ge. neral benefits of this trade are so very manifest, and the impractibility of its being carried on to public advantage, but by a company, has sufficiently been evinced from the experience of this, and other kingdoms.

• A renewal of their charter will be the fureft means of recuring their present acquisitions to this country, and promot. ing its trade to that. And a reversal, or at least an enlargement of the restrictive clause, by which their dividends have been so narrowly limited, seems requisite to incite them to endeavour the establishment of new settlements, and the ex. tension of their trade and commerce ; which, under the present restriālion, common prudence mult absolutely prevent them froin attempting.

"The French East India trade has been repeatedly ruined, by some of the greatest of their minifters interfering too much in it ; for, though a minister who guides the helm of a state, may naturally conclude himself capable of conducting any other business in it; yet there ever has been found something too delicate, or perhaps too free, in the nature of trade and commerce, to bear the restraint or controul of any ininister. • Were it ever unfortunately to happen, that our East-India

« ZurückWeiter »