Lesson II.—FROM THE SAME.
ASET of industrious and frugal people were assembled in a country (Holland) by nature subject to many inconveniencies, the removing of which necessarily employed abundance of hands. Their situation upon the continent, the power of their former masters, and the ambition of their neighbours, obliged them to keep great bodies of troops. These two articles, added to the numbers of the community, without either enriching the state by their labour exported, or producing food for themselves or countrymen.
The scheme of a commonwealth was calculated, to draw together the industrious; but it has been still more useful in subsisting them; the republi∣can form of government being there greatly sub∣divided, vests authority sufficient in every part of Page 104it, to make suitable provision for their own sub∣sistence; and the tie which unites them, regards only matters of public concern. Had the whole been governed by one sovereign, or by one coun∣cil, this important matter never could have been effectuated.
It would be impossible for the most able minis∣ter that ever lived, to provide nourishment for a country so extensive as France, or even as En∣gland, supposing those as fully peopled as Holland is: even though it should be admitted, that a suf∣ficient quantity of food might be found in other countries for their subsistence. The enterprize would be too great, abuses would multiply; the consequence would be, that the inhabitants would die for want. But in Holland the case is different; every little town takes care of its own inhabi∣tants; and this care being the object of applica∣tion and profit to so many persons, is accomplish∣ed with success.