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this inflection, monf. le Monnier calculates, from fome obfervations, to exceed twenty-four feconds. Other afronomers have reckoned it, by different methods, to be about three feconds. This variation is fuppofed to be owing to the refraction of the rays from a lunar atmosphere.

M. Coles obferved an eclipfe of the fourth fatellite of Jupi ter, at China, in very favourable circumftances. From thence he calculates the inclination of its orbit to be 2° 36′ 24′′. He differs but 24" from the calculations of mefirs. Wargentin and Maraldi.

M. de Fouchy, in the following Memoir, defcribes a new quadrant, which is neither dearer or of more difficult conveyance than the common quadrant; at the fame time it ferves as an azimuthal inftrument. If this new inftrument, of which there is a plate, can be eafily made and used, as feems probable from the defcription, it will be highly advantageous.

There are alfo in the Memoirs, Obfervations on the Eclipfes of the fun, on the 23d of April, and 17th of October, 1781, by M. Monnier; on the laft of these are other obfervations by meffrs. Jeaurat and Pingré. The paths of the two comets of 1781, are alfo defcribed, and traced on an Atlas, by M. Meffier. But thefe Memoirs cannot be with advantage enlarged on.

The laft Memoir is on the Pofition of Trebizonde. D'Anville, and every other geographer, had been confiftent in fixing the longitude of this place; but in the Atlas, engraved for Raynal's Philofophical Hiftory, it is placed 5 or 6 degrees farther to the east. This was done on the authority of a Memoir, published in the Memoirs of the Academy 1699, by M. Gouye, from the Obfervations of father Beze. M. Buache examines the effect of this variety on the Cafpian fea. The northern part must be stationary, for the latitude of Guriew, at the mouth of the Jaik, is fixed by aftronomical obfervations, and this change will place it in an oblique pofition, and make its length five times greater than its breadth. These two circumftances, are inconfiftent with the account of every intelligent traveller, and the change in the fituation of other places renders the alteration, on fimilar accounts, equally objectionable. Befides, in the Memoir referred to, the refult of the calculations are enly given; fo that we cannot decide on their value, or be secure from mistake. On the other hand, in page 6 of the Atlas, we find several strong reasons for the pofition they have determined on, though not fufficient to counterballance the arguments of M. Buache; and, in the following page, we find the authors with difficulty reconciling the pofitions of Conftantinople and Smyrna, to the new place of Trebizonde, confiftently with the obfervations of de Chazelles, and father Feuillée. On the whole, we think the Memoir before us deserves attention; and we have been more particular in our account of it, as we begin to find the authority of Raynal's maps quoted in England with a respect which they do not always deferve. In

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general,

general, they are fufficiently accurate; but, in more than one inftance, they deferve reprehenfion.

The lives, or more properly the eulogiums in this volume, are thofe of the learned, but the timid and indecifive Bertin, who was chiefly known and celebrated as an anatomist; le marquis de Courtanvaux, a learned academician, who had no particular predilection for any science, but a competent knowledge of all; monf. le compte de Maurepas, a minister at the ages of fourteen and of eighty; and the fagacious Tronchin, the friend and physician of Voltaire, Bonnet, Trembley, and Rouffeau. Thefe Lives are written with spirit and with elegance; but with too much complaifance, and too little difcrimination.

MONTHLY CATALOGUE.

POLITICA L.

The Principle of the Commutation- Act established by Facts. By Francis Baring, Efq. 8vo. IS. Sewell.

AMONG the many frivolous publications on political fubjects, we fometimes find them treated of by men of real knowledge. The information, of which the public is then in poffeffion, more than compenfates for the wrong judgments that muft neceffarily refult either from unfairness or ignorance. The general effect of the measure which is the fubject of this pamphlet, is fufficiently felt and understood; yet it will be allowed, that Mr. Baring, from profeffional habits of calculation, and his station in the India company, is particularly qualified to write on the commutation-tax, with. which he feems to have been acquainted, when it only existed in defign. In confequence of his having been early prepoffeffed in favour of it, and from its fuccefs, he rejoices as an author, and a good citizen.

The author of these sheets, he fays, writes neither from party views, nor upon party principles. The only connexion be ever had with the treafury arofe from his being employed in a very confiderable fimplification of the public expenditure, in the bufinefs of fupplying the whole of the army victualling contracts, during the time that the marquis of Lanfdown prefided at that board. The execution of that great and important work, together with his fituation in the city, naturally led to his being confidentially confulted refpecting other affairs, of a commercial nature, which were either depending, or in contemplation. The tea-propofition (which was prefented to his lordship by Mr. Richardfon, of the East-India

houfe),

houfe), and many other plans were then in agitation; and more or less progrefs was made in them, as time and other circumftances would permit. The propofition refpecting the duties upon tea was alfo communicated to feveral principal perfons belonging to the excife and cuftoms, and to others who were competent to judge of its merits; and was generally approved ; Under thefe circumftances, the author's moft fanguine wishes were early embarked in the fuccefs of this measure; and it affords him the greatest fatisfaction to declare, that he feels himfelf infinitely gratified by the event.'

He gives an account of the quantity of tea ufually fold by, the company, before the act paffed, which, on an average, amounted to fix millions three hundred and fifty-eight thou fand one hundred and forty-four pounds annually. The fales of last year was fixteen millions one hundred and fifty-two thousand fix hundred and feventy: we cannot abridge calcu lations; fuffice it to fay, the public has gained, by lowering the duties, two millions fifty-five thoufand four hundred and fixty-two pounds. Thofe who want to fee the particulars, will be fully gratified by confulting the pamphlet. The author, next enters on the produce of the houfe-tax, &c. but for this, we must also refer to the pamphlet. He fays that ··{ p. i'

The fituation of the India company is fo completely reverfed by the commutation act, and fo entirely are they relieved from the difficulty which would have arifen from the circum ftance before mentioned, that, in order to guard against event the poffibility of a deficiency in the quantity neceffary to and fwer the increafed demand of the public, the company have been obliged to have recourfe to the continent and have ac tually purchased, of the tea which was in Europe previous to the year 1784, and of what arrived in that feafon, about 6,600 000; and the vigorous efforts which they are making in the prefent feafon, for the purpofe of importing à fufficient quantity directly from China, in order to preclude the neceflity in future of depending on their rivals for a fupply, will afford the means, in due time, of fecuring, both to the nation and to the company, the whole of thofe important advantages, which have already in part arifen from this measure, and which the public have a right to expect.'

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After fome other neceffary detail of calculation, he obferves, that the company have gained three hundred and eleven thou fand nine hundred and five pounds; a confiderable. part of which, it feems, arifes from the high prices at which fome forts of teas have been fold, and which the directors have ext erted their utmost endeavours to prevent. As it is fo much for the intereft of the fmuggler that the company's tea should: be fold dear, we may fairly prefume, that it was pushed. Vol. LXI. Feb. 1786.

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up at the fales by unfair practices. The public lofes immenfely by illicit trade in this article, no less a fum than one million feven hundred and thirty-four thousand nine hundred pounds having been paid to fmugglers, which is now turned into the channel of the fair trader.

To thofe who are skilled in political arithmetic, the advantages which must refult from fo large a balance being thrown into the lap of this country, by fo fimple an operation, are obvious. The wonderful effect which it has contributed to produce upon the foreign exchanges, by reducing the price of gold and filver, is matter of the utmoft importance and advantage to the Bank of England, as well as to the public. And al though the demand for our manufactures, &c. together with. the general profperity of the British empire, have alfo contributed thereto; yet that demand must fluctuate; whilst the balance which this kingdom will poffefs, arifing from the beneficial confequences refulting from the commutation-act, will be permanent and lafting; if the legislature fhall, on their part, adopt fuch meafures as are calculated to fecure and perpetuate the benefits fo obtained; and which it is most indubitably in their power to do.

The late rapid advance in the value of property is a fubject of aftonishment with many perfons; and, without afcertaining precifely the whole of the cause, there cannot be a doubt, but that two circumftances have, in a moft effential manner, contributed thereto; namely, the great influx of wealth, which has increafed the number of purchafers; and the confidence, which augments daily, in the public funds, from the profpect of the taxes becoming more productive, in confequence of the fuppreffion of fmuggling.

At the fame time, the great and unexpected fuccefs which has attended a fingle meafure, will naturally lead the true friends of the first commercial country in the world to wish to purfue the advantage fo happily obtained; and to adopt, as a general maxim, for the whole of our commercial fyftem, the fame principle, which has been attended, in its first application, with fuch great and falutary benefits to the trade, finances, public funds, and landed intereft of the kingdom at large.'

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The author goes on to mention other advantages, particu larly in the application of the furplus of the Bengal revenue, for the purchase of tea in China; and, by that means, ‘to leffen the exportation of bullion from home. He fays, that the increase of the tea-trade will require forty-five additional fhips, and employment for three thoufand four hundred and fifty men; which, abftracted from every other confideration, must make it an object of vaft national concern. He concludes by juflly obferving, to

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These

Thefe advantages, which have arisen from a fingle operation, are of fuch magnitude and importance, as to fatisfy every impartial perfon of the beneficial confequences which must refult from a general application of the fame liberal principle to the duties ftill fubfifting upon various branches of the manufactures and commerce of Great Britain.

From this fpecimen, the reader will no doubt think the whole pamphlet worthy of his perufal and attention.

A Short Address to the Public; containing fome Thoughts how the National Debt may be reduced, and all Home Taxes, including Land-Tax, abolifbed. By William, Lord Newhavens 8vo. 15 Debrett.

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The reduction of the national debt is a problem which has exercifed the ingenuity of many political writers; and, what is remarkable, on a fubject fo much agitated, not two of them correfpond entirely in the methods propofed for the purpose. Amidst the difcouragement arifing from this diverfity of opi nion, however, it is fome confolation to find, that each of thofe public-fpirited enquirers feems not to entertain any doubt with refpect to the practicability of the plan fuggested by himself. It always affords us particular pleafure, when, in our monthly progrefs, we meet with a nobleman employed in fo laudable a fpeculation. By this conduct, fuch an author hot only evinces a patriotic anxiety, highly becoming his elevated rank, but fets an example to thofe who have leifure and opportunity for profecuting researches of the fame kind..

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The commiffioners of the public accounts, in their Eleventh Report, having occafion to fpeak of the national debt, expreffed a defire that recourfe might be had to public benevolence, for difcharging this enormous incumbrance. Proceeding upon plan of a fimilar kind, lord Newhaven propofes, that all the fubjects of Great Britain fhould pay a certain annual rate out of their real and perfonal property; and that this fum fhould be faithfully applied to the liquidation of the public debt. Ac cording to the calculation which he inftitutes, the amount of the fum propofed to be thus levied would be to great as to dif charge the whole debt in a very few years. As a compenfation for this extraordinary advance of money, he farther propofes, that all internal taxes whatever fhould be abolished, after the firft payment of one per cent. was made at his majesty's exche quer. His lordship obferves that, according to this fcheme, no individual will pay

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as he now does for taxes 10 much on his rental or expenditure

xes of every kind, and be relieved from the perpetual irritation and difquietude of tax-gatherers of every denomination.

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To the plan above mentioned there naturally arifes this quef tion, if the home taxes are abolished, how are the army, navy, and the various departments of the civil government to be provided for? To this his lordship replies, that as he concludes

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