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person may insinuate himself into the favour of the public, rent a store and turn vendue mafler; the five per cent, commission on all goods he disposes of is sure and safe profit, and in time he may make some money, get credit, and turn merchant; indeed any huckster or grog-shop keeper with care, industry, and a little roguery, will make money fast, and may commence a merchant; a young man who is sent out supercargo, if he conducts himself very prudenrJy, may gain the good will of his friends, and they may set him up in business; I knew many supercargoes who were intrusted with.considerable properties forgot themselves and lived more extravagant than men of fortune; had their merchandize fold at vendue at the last at less than first cost; and by bad management and dissipation ruined themselves and friends.
From what I have laid, you will very naturally conclude, that though they are styled merchants in the West Indies, they are only factors; and here I mult observe, that I have often wondered how European merchants can possibly give such large and long credits to those fasiors, considering the precariousnefs of life, the uncertainty of payments, the distance of place, and the difficulties and risques they so frequently run, even at the kst, of getting paid at all, by adopting either mild, litegative, or coercive methods.
"Look round, and fee what others do,
As soon as a man gets possession of some property, though it may be all on credit, or at best: three fourths of it, he is stimulated by cruel pride and haughty ambition to signalize himself in some public character, untill he is elevated, step after step, as I shall now mention; the first honour conferred upon him is that of a justice of the peace; next he insinuates himself into the favour of the few freeholders of the parish wherein his involved or mortgaged property lies, and gets chosen a representative of the assembly: I have known the most illiterate, rude, aukward tradesmen, such as carpenters, bricklayers, mill-wrights, tinkers, taylors, sliavers or barbers, legislators in the West Indies.
The next manœvre is to get himself chosen one of the council or assistant judges; in order to accomplish which, he artsully insinuates himself into the favour of the commander in chief, or the president, by giving a few good dinners, &c. &c.
When a man is appointed a justice of the peace he should have four volumes of Burns Justice by him; and if he be of a fiery arbitrarynature, he should endeavour to curb and moderate his passions, to steer clear of prejudice, and to look upon all men 'o be as good as himself; and never to be so weak or silly to think that all the law is contained in Burns Justice, least he brings himself into trouble: Burns Justice is only an index to part of the laws—" a little learning is a dangerous thing." I know a magistrate gistrate who was put to vast 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 shot the nine lived animal as it ran out of his fowl-house; so that magistrates should be exceeding cautious in their commitments, and of every kind of encroachment on the liberty of the subject, least they pay dear for it.
When a man gets into the assembly, or becomes one of the council, he should study the laws of the istand, and the prosperity of the people in general, and learn by speaking to himself in private, to argue with some degree of logic and gracesul oratory; not to follow the precepts of his caliloo, or pedling little minded brethren, when they meet in assembly, chattering of canes and corn pieces, of grass penns and cattle, or of beef and butter, rotten cheese, herrings, &c. &c. such converfation may suit cowlkin heroes or clerks, but it is highly improper in the kings house.
Any man, though ignorant of the law, may be appointed chief or assistant judge, which I think is very improper, for none but old experienced barristers should fill such places. Should you be elevated to a tribunal of justice, fay little, look grave and attentive, and you may pass for a man of fense; but I would advise you, however, to pay particular attention to the evidences, to let common sense direct you, and not to be
baffled baffled by the quirks or chicanery of lawyers; and least your memory may prove false to forget the obligation you entered into, to write down and get by wrote, or to paste it over the place you fit when administering justice, an oath, as follows:
You do swear, that you will, according to the best of your skill, conscience, and judgment, do equal right, law and justice, to his Majesty and all his subjects and people, both rich and poor, without favour or affection, hatred or malice, or having regard to any person whatsoever that hath any matter, cause or any thing at any time depending before you.
So help you GOD.
This may prevent you from censure before God and man; for every subject, the meanest as well as the greatest, has an equal right to justice. Justice should not be bought or sold, nor should it be delayed from any man, for *« every man has a natural unalienable right to look upon himself equal to any man whatsoever." It is not estates or titles that makes one man better than another; men only excell in fouls and sentiments. When judges or magistrates shew 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 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 chosen out from among the rest to distribute justice, when they are capable of corruption ?—and I am sorry to be obliged to fay 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 assured, that if you do not behave yourself courteously, humble, and submissive, 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 lowliness is young ambition's ladder,
Those who are born in the country are called Creoles, the men in general, fave only those who drink strong liquors to excess, are of a sickly, pale, yellowish complexion, meagre, weak, and