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government to the boroughs, by compelling the magistrates to account yearly in the court of exchequer, according to the foregoing regulations : no more is neceffary, but to fignify publicly that they are resolved to put these regulations in execution.
How beneficial that step would be to this country in general, and to the royal boroughs in particular, will appear
from considering, first, the unhappy consequences that result from fuffering magiItrates to dispose of the town's revenues, without any check or control; and next, the good effects that must result from a regular and careful management, under inspection of the King's judges.
The unhappy consequences of leaving inagiftrates without any check or control, are too visible to be disguised. The revenues of a royal borough are seldom laid out for the good of the town, but in making friends to the party who are in poffefsion of the magistracy; and in rioting and drunkenness, for which every pretext is laid hold of, particularly that of hospitality to ftrangers. Such mismanagement tends to idleness, and corruption of manners; which accordingly are remarkable in most royal boroughs. Nor is the contagion confined within the town: it commonly spreads all around.
Another consequence no less fatal of leaving magistrates to act without control, is a strong desire in every licentious burgefs, of stepping into the magistracy, for his own fake, and for that of his friends. Hence the factions and animosities that prevail in almost all the royal boroughs; which are violently and indecently pursued, without the least regard to the good of the community.
The greatest evil of all, respects the choice of their representatives in parlia
A habit of riot and intemperance, makes them fit subjects to be corrupted by every adventurer who is willing to lay out money for purchasing a feat in parliament. Hence the infamous practice of bribery at elections, which tends not only to corrupt the whole mass of the people, but, which is still more dreadful, tends to fill the House of Commons with men of dissolute manners, void of probity and honour.
But turning from scenes fo dismal, let
us view the beautiful effects that result from an administration regularly carried on, as directed by the statutes above mentioned. The revenues of the royal boroughs are supposed to be above L:40,000 yearly. And were this fum, or the half of it, prudently expended, for promoting arts and industry among the numerous inhabitants of royal boroughs; the benefit, in a country so narrow and poor as Scotland, would be immense: it would tend to population, it would greatly increate industry, manufactures, and commerce, beside augmenting the public revenue. In the next place, as there would be no temptation for designing men to convert the burden of magisracy into a benefit, faction and discord would vanish; and there would be no less folicitude to fhun the burden, than at present is seen to obtain it. None would submit to the burden but the truly patriotic, men who would chearfully beitow their time, and perhaps their money, upon the public; and whose ambition it would be to acquire a character, by promoting industry, temperance, and honesty, among their fellow-citizens.
And And when the government of the royal boroug's comes to be in so good hands, bribery, which of our constitution, will be banished of course. And considering the constitutional dependence of the royal boroughs upon the king's judges, we may have reasonable assurance, that few representatives will be chosen, but who are friends to their country and to their fovereign.
Plan for improving and preserving in order
the Highways in Scotland.
P R E F A CE,
Highways have in Scotland become a ca
pital object of police, by the increase of inland commerce, upon which bad roads are. a heavy tax. Happily for our country, no person is ignorant of this truth; and we see with pleasure the fruits of their conviction in various attempts, public and private, to establish this valuable branch of police upon the best footing. As this is no easy task, it may reasonably be hoped, that men interefied will seriously apply themselves to it, and will freely produce such hints as occur to them. In the latter view the following plan is offered to the public : and if, from the various proposals that have been or shall be publifved, an effective plan can be framed, fuch as completely to answer its purpose, it