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remained unknown. They had custom-duties as well as ourselves ; but their only ohject was to increase the revenues of the state, and not as with modern nations, by prohibiting this or that article to give a particular direction to the course of industry. You will find no prohibition to export raw produce, no encouragement of manufactures at the cost of the agricultural classes. In this sense then there was a complete freedom of industry, of commerce, and of intercourse. And this was not the result of accident, but was founded upon principle. At the same time, where every thing was determined according to circumstances, not according to th:ory, persons may find individual exceptions, perhaps discover particular cases in which the state may for a time have assumed to itself a monopoly. But yet what a wide difference is there between this and our mercavtile and compulsory system.” I am ready to acknowledge that there is a great deal of truth in these remarks; but the other side of the question must also be considered. According to the principles of the ancients, which were not merely scientific, but were recognised by the whole of the people, and deeply rooted in the nature of the Greeks, the state embraced and governed all dealings between man and man. Not in Crete and Lacedæmon alone, two states completely closed up and from their position unsusceptible of free trade, but generally throughout the whole of Greece, and even under the free and republican government of Athens, the poorest as well as the richest citizen was convinced that the state had the right of claiming the whole property of every individual: any restriction in the transfer of this property, regulated according to circumstances, was looked upon as just; nor could it properly be considered an infringement of justice, before the security of persons and property was held to be the sole object of government; a light under which it never was viewed by any of the ancients. On the contrary, all intercourse and commerce were considered as be ing under the direction of the community, inasmuch as they originally owed their existence to the establishment of a regular political union : and upon the same basis was founded the right of the state to regulate trade, or even to participate in the profits of it. Any person who dissented from these principles was not a member of the state, and would by the bare avowal be considered as detaching himself from it. It was upon the same principle that the national monopolies were founded, which do not appear to have been unfrequent in Greece, although of short duration; their productiveness had been tried in the cases of private individuals who had obtained them by engrossing particular articles.” pp. 71-73.
There is much good sense in these observations of Mr. Boeckh, and the lines printed in italics, especially, are as profound as they are just. lle proceeds to adduce a variety of instances which go to shew how far the government felt itself authorized, upon any. notion of State-necessity or of mere expediency, to interfere with the rights and interests of individuals. Among others, he cites the law just now referred to, disannulling or avoiding contracts of fænus nauticum (bottomry and respondentia) if the return-cargo were not shipped for Athens. We have already spoken to that case, and we will add, with regard to most of the others, that they are political, not commercial or economical measures. Some of them, for example, proceed upon the principle of contraband of war. Such as the prohibiting the exportation, to the Peloponnesus, of timber, lar, wax, rigging, and leather-bottles, articles which were particularly important, as nur author remarks, for the building and equipment of fleets. We think this quite plain from the very text which he cites, * and even if the prohibition were not confined to a case of actual or proclaimed hostilities, what was the whole existence of Athens hut war in fact, or "in procinct"-especially in her relations with Lacedæmon and its dependencies? Others of the restrictions mentioned were intended to operate in the way of non intercourse, as coercive measures, such as the famous decree of Pericles against the people of Megara, upon which Dicæopolis comments, with such effect, in the Acharnensest of the comic poet just referred to. The policy of the corn-laws has already been the subject of remark, and there were cases in which certain branches of cominerce were prohibited or restrained upon grounds of morality or religion. So, it is true that inland traffic and the daily business of the markets were laid under many restrictions with a view to police, which, according to the same high-prerogative notions of the ancients, in matters of government, meddled with things of the kind, if with nothing else. The ideal commonwealths of the philosophers, in which scarcely any thing is left unregulated, sufficiently attest their opinions, at least as to the right of a body politic to control the pursuits of its members. There is a remarkable passage in Plato de Legibus,|| which seems to have escaped Mr. Boeckh, but which furnishes an illustration exceedingly apposite in every view of this subject. In this second commonwealth (as it is called) the philosopher distinctly declares that there shall be no duties either on imports or exports-yet, he immediately adds that the importation of frankincense and other costly perfumes fetched from distant countries for the sacrifices, and purple and foreign dyes, and the inaterials of arts that minister to luxury, shall be altogether prohibited, as also, the exportation of things that are necessary at home (corn, we suppose, for instance.) So the trade in arms and the implements and munitions of war, was to be committed to the special care and discretion of certain military officers of high rank. He then goes on to lay down rules for the government of the retailers in the markets, which would be not a little irksome and offensive in a real commonwealth.
*Aristoph. Ran. 360-363. We have Brunck's edition whicb is without the Scholia. The line immediately following those cited by Boeckh, is as follows:
ή χρήματα σας σών αντιπάλων ναυσιν παρέχειν τινα πειει. V. 364.
Upon the whole, it seems to be a fair inference from all the data which we possess, that free-trade, as such, was the policy the systematic economical policy—of the Athenians, but that the power of government to interfere with all the concerns of the citizen, in the most absolute and arbitrary manner, was implicitly adınitted, and that this power was, in fact, often exercised to the great detriment of commerce. It might seem strange that a power so despotic and daugerous, was not only conceded to the boxiy politic, or which is the same thing, to the majority, real or constructive, of the body politic, or which is still the same thing, more accurately expressed, according to the experience of mankind, to the reigning Demagogue of the day, if we did not know that Demus had as high a notion of his prerogatives as any other monarch, and that it is but in our own times that the true theory of government—that which calls upon it for nothing but protection from force and fraud-has begun to be received even among educated people. Mr. Boeckh is right in saying that freedom of trade depends upon precisely the same principles as the security of private property and exemption from unnecessary, and therefore, oppressive and vexatious legislation. The tyrannical prerogative of the Ewinent Domain-the right of appropriating to the use of the public or otherwise disposing of, the substance of any individual member of the society, without his consent and without making full compensation for it is at the bottom of all these abuses. That right has been universally adınitted by publicists, and in cases of extreme necessity, no doubt, does exist, because the salus populi must be preferred to all personal considerations. But necessity is always an exception, and our constitutions in requiring government to make compensation, in every case, for any trespass which it may have been constrained to commit upon the property or the rights of individuals, have disavowed the most odious privilege of this despotism, and consecrated, in a solemn manner, a high canon of political justice. Yet is there much to be done to perfect the scheme of a free coinmonwealth, even in this favored land. We must disavow that other privilege, which the philosophers of antiquity conceded to the body-politic—we must declare all legislation which is not necessary, to be ipso facto oppressive and therefore unconstitutional. With regard especially to restrictions on commerce imposed with a view to foster domestic industry, they are, if there be any virtue in political economy the exercise of a power which no free government can be supposed to possess without a contradiction in terus--a power to levy a tax without an adequate object--to take away a greater amount of property from some classes in order to secure, without any benefit to the public, a smaller amount of property to others. It does appear to us to be the veriest solecism in politics to talk of such measures as consistent with any constitution written or unwritten, of which the object is the happiness of the governed, and not the gratification of a wanton and tyrannical lust of domination in the ruler. We express these sentiments with the greater emphasis at this interesting juncture, because, if we do not sadly mistake the indications of the times, they are destined soon to become the sentiments of the whole American people. We exult in a persuasion so honourable to the national character, so full of hope and promise for the future : nor do we rejoice the less, now that the whole country is beginning to ring from side to side, with the pæans of this anticipated triumph of reason and justice, because we have uniformly lent our humble aid to promote that first, great interest of civilized society, moderation in government.*
A considerable part of the first book is taken up, as we hinted at the beginning, in retailing the prices of particular commodities in Altica, (pp. 83–147) from a comparison of which with prices in our times, the author seems to have persuaded himself that he could draw some safe conclusion, as to the relative wealth of Attica. For obvious reasons, as the translator has well observed, this collection of details is more curious and interesting than useful, at least for this purpose. It appears, however, to be a fair inference from the data furnished here, that all commodities which come under the description of the necessaries and comforts of life were very cheap-but there were luxuries upon which taste or fashion had set an extravagant value, such, for instance, as Chian wine, and especially ointment-the dearest article, by far, in use at Athens, a cotyla of it costing from two to five minas. The price of slaves varied very widely, according to the talents, education, beauty, and other personal qualities of those unfortunate people, and-since by a barbarous and detestable law of nations, all prisoners of war
* The following passsage from Cicero's Republic which has just occurred to us, deserves to be brought to the view of the reader, in this connexion. It will be seen that Rome, exercised the right of protection as a right of conquest, and that the first of her statesmen and philosophers regarded it as a plain violation of justice :“ Nos vero justissimi homines, qui transalpinas gentes oleam et vitam serere non sinimus, quo pluris sint nostra olivela notraque vinte ; quod cum faciamus, prudenter facere dicimur, justè non dicimur, ut intelligatis discrepare ab æquitate sapientiam." Cic. de Repub. lib. 3. ở 9.
VOL. VIII.—No. 16.
fell, of course, into that condition in an age of perpetual war, the slave-market was always well supplied, and the range of choice presented to a purchaser in it, was as great as the distance between ignorance and brute nature, and the highest cultivation of taste and talent. Ordinary house-servants and slaves who did the meanest sort of labour, sold as low as two minas. The author quotes from Lucian a ludicrous valuation of the philosophers in which Socrates is estimated at two talents, a Peripatetic at twenty, Chrysippus at twelve, a Pythagorean at ten, Dion of Syracuse at two minas, and Pbilo the sceptie at a mina-he being destined for the mill. It inay be remarked here, that the wages of labour were exceedingly low, and that the gangs of slaves maintained by the wealthy, and employed in every branch of trade and manufacture, kept the poorer cirizens out of work, and thus, reducing them to a state of absolute dependance, made them the ready instruments and accomplices of unpricipled demagogues. The same efiect upon the labouring classes is noticed by Tacitus at Rome, and it was mainly to rennedy this very evil-which seems inseparable from the institution of domestic servitude, under certain circumstances that the Gracchi undertook their “reforms." The following extract shews forth some of the consequences which we should anticipate a priori from such a state of things :
“ The national wealth of the Athenians, exclusive of the public property and the mines, I have estimated in a succeeding part of this work according to a probable calculation, at from 30 to 40 thousand talents: if of this only 20,000 talents are reckoned as property paying interest, each of the 20,000 citizens would have had the interest of a talent, or according to the ordinary rate of interest, an annual income of 720 drachmas, if property had been equally divided, which the ancient phiJosophers and statesmen always considered as the greatest good fortune of a State; and with the addition of the produce of their labour, they might have been all able to live comfortably. But a considerable number of the citizens were poor ; while others were possessed of great riches, who from the lowness of prices and the high rate of interest were able not only to live luxuriously, but at the same time to accumulale additional wealth, as capital increased with extreme rapidity. This inequality destroyed the State and the morals of the inhabitants. The most natural consequence of it was the servility of the poor towards the rich, although they thought that they had the same preteutions as their superiors in wealth ; and the wealthy citizens practised the same canvassing for popular favour, as was the custom at Rome, with different degrees of utility, or rather of hurtfulness. A citizen might perhaps adopt beneficial means for obtaining his end, as Cimon for example, the first man of his age, who besides his great mental qualities, imitated Pisistratus in leaving his lands and gardens without any keepers, and thus the produce of his farms and his house became almost the