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perfon may infinuate himfelf into the favour of the public, rent a ftore and turn vendue mafter; the five per cent. commiffion on all goods he dif poses of is fure and fafe profit, and in time he may make some money, get credit, and turn merchant; indeed any huckfter or grog-fhop keeper with care, industry, and a little roguery, will make money faft, and may commence a merchant; a young man who is fent out fupercargo, if he conducts himself very prudently, may gain the good will of his friends, and they may fet him up in business; I knew many fupercargoes who were intrufted with confiderable properties forgot themselves and lived more extravagant than men of fortune; had their merchandize fold at vendue at the laft at less than firft cost; and by bad management and diffipation ruined themfelves and friends.
From what I have faid, you will very naturally conclude, that though they are styled merchants in the West Indies, they are only factors; and here I must observe, that I have often wondered how European merchants can poffibly give such large and long credits to thofe factors, confidering the precariousnefs of life, the uncertainty of payments, the distance of place, and the difficulties and rifques they fo frequently run, even at the laft, of getting paid at all, by adopting either mild, litegative, or coercive methods.
"Look round, and fee what others do,
As foon as a man gets poffeffion of fome property, though it may be all on credit, or at best three fourths of it, he is ftimulated by cruel pride and haughty ambition to fignalize himself in some public character, untill he is elevated, ftep after step, as I fhall now mention; the first honour conferred upon him is that of a justice of the peace; next he infinuates himself into the favour of the few freeholders of the parish wherein his involved or mortgaged property lies, and gets chofen a representative of the affembly: I have known the most illiterate, rude, aukward tradefmen, fuch as carpenters, bricklayers, mill-wrights, tinkers, taylors, fhavers or barbers, legislators in the West Indies.
The next manovre is to get himself chofen one of the council or affiftant judges; in order to accomplish which, he artfully infinuates himself into the favour of the commander in chief, or the prefident, by giving a few good dinners, &c. &c.
When a man is appointed a juftice of the peace he should have four volumes of Burns Justice by him; and if he be of a fiery arbitrary nature, he should endeavour to curb and moderate his paffions, to fteer clear of prejudice, and to look upon all men to be as good as himself; and never to be fo weak or filly to think that all the law is contained in Burns Juftice, leaft he brings himself into trouble: Burns Juftice is only an index to part of the laws a little learning is a dangerous thing." I know a ma
gistrate who was put to vaft expence at common law for fending a poor man to goal for killing his cat; it appeared that the cat had frequently stole the poor man's poultry, and one day he fhot the nine lived animal as it ran out of his fowl-houfe; so that magistrates should be exceeding cautious in their commitments, and of every kind of encroachment on the liberty of the subject, leaft they pay dear for it.
When a man gets into the affembly, or becomes one of the council, he should study the laws of the island, and the profperity of the people in general, and learn by speaking to himself in private, to argue with fome degree of logic and graceful oratory; not to follow the precepts. of his caliloo, or pedling little minded brethren, when they meet in affembly, chattering of canes. and corn pieces, of grafs penns and cattle, or of beef and butter, rotten cheese, herrings, &c. &c. fuch converfation may fuit cowfkin heroes or clerks, but it is highly improper in the kings
Any man, though ignorant of the law, may be appointed chief or affiftant judge, which I think is very improper, for none but old experienced barristers fhould fill fuch places. Should you be elevated to a tribunal of juftice, fay little, look grave and attentive, and you may pafs for a man of fenfe, but I would advise you, however, to pay particular attention to the evidences, to let common fenfe direct you, and not to be baffled
baffled by the quirks or chicanery of lawyers; and leaft your memory may prove false to forget the obligation you entered into, to write down and get by wrote, or to pafte it over the place you fit when adminiftering juftice, an oath, as follows:
You do fwear, that you will, according to
This may prevent you from cenfure before God and man; for every fubject, the meaneft as well as the greateft, has an equal right to juftice. Justice should not be bought or fold, nor fhould it be delayed from any man, for "every man has a natural unalienable right to look upon himself equal to any man whatfoever." It is not eftates or titles that makes one man better than another; men only excell in fouls and fentiments. When judges or magiftrates fhew favour or affection, hatred or malice, to any particular individual (even to the poor tar, who has been barbarously treated on his voyage by the
remorseless Guinea captain) who applies to them for justice, it is a violation of the law, and a strong proof of the depravity of the human heart.
How odious must men appear who are chofen out from among the reft to distribute justice, when they are capable of corruption ?—and I am forry to be obliged to say that there are too many of this kind, not only in Jamaica, but all over the West Indies.
"When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when the wicked beareth rule, the people murmur."
From all I have now faid, you may be affured, that if you do not behave yourself courteously, humble, and fubmiffive, and keep your tongue as it were with a bit and bridle, and your mind close to yourself, you never will be a great man: Shakespeare fays most pointedly,
But it is a common proof,
"That lowlinefs is young ambition's ladder,
Those who are born in the country are called Creoles, the men in general, fave only those who drink ftrong liquors to excefs, are of a fickly, pale, yellowish complexion, meagre, weak, and emaciated