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would diffuse life and vigour through every corner of the island.
To execute such a plan, would, I acknowledge, require great penetration and much perseverance. I shall suggest what occurs at present. The first step must be, to mark proper spots for the nine towns, the most advantageous for trade, or for manufactures. If
of these spots be occupied already with small towns, so
fo much the better. The next step is a capitation-tax on the inhabitants of London ; the sum levied to be appropriated for encouraging the new towns. One encouragement would have a good effect; which is, a premium to every man who builds in any of these towns, more or less, in proportion to the size of the house. This tax would banish from London, every manufacture but of the most lucrative kind. When by this means, the inhabitants of London are reduced to a number not much above 100,000, the near prospect of being relieved froin the tax, will make householders active to banish all above that number : and to prevent a renewal of the tax, a greater number will never again be permitted. It would require much political skill to proportion the sums to be levied and distributed, so as to have their
proper effect, without overburdening the capital on the one hand, or giving too great encouragement for building on the other, which might tempt people to build for the premium merely, without any further view. Much will depend on an advantageous situation : houses built there will always find inhabitants.
The two great cities of London and Westminster are extremely ill fitted for local union. The latter, the seat of government and of the noblesse, infects the former with luxury and with love of show. The former, the seat of commerce, infects the latter with love of gain. The mixture of these opposite passions, is productive of every groveling vice.
Origin and Progress of American Nations,
HAving no authentic materials for a na
tural history of all the Americans, the following observations are confined to a few tribes, the best known; and to the kingdoms of Peru and Mexico, as - they were at the date of the Spanish conquest.
As there has not been discovered any pasage by land to America from the old world, no problein has more embarrassed the learned, than to account for the origin of American nations : there are as many different opinions as there are writers, Many attempts have been made for discovering a passage by land ; but hitherto in vain. Kamskarka, it is true, is divided from America by a narrow strait, full of islands: and M. Buffon, to render the passage still more easy than by these iGands, conjectures, that thereabout there may formerly have been a land-paffage, swallowed up in later times by the ocean,
There is indeed great appearance of truth in this conjecture; as all the quadrupeds of the north of Asia seem to have made their way to America ; the bear, for example, the roe, the deer, the rain-deer, the beaver, the wolf, the fox, the hare, the rat, the mole. He admits, that in America there is not to be seen a lion, a tiger, a panther, or any other Asiatic quadruped of a hot climate : not, says he, for want of a land-paffage ; but because the cold climate of Tartary, in which such animals cannot fubfift, is an effectual bar against them *
But to give fatisfaction upon this subject, more is required than a passage from Kamskarka to America, whether by land or fea. An inquiry much more decisive is totally overlooked, relative to the people on the two fides of the strait; particularly, whecher they have the same language.
* Our author, with fingular candor, admits it as a strong objection to his theory, that there are no rain-deer in Asia. But it is doing no more but justice to so fair a reasoner, to observe, that according to the lacest accounts, there are plenty of raindeer in the country of Kamikatka, which of all is the nearest to America.
Now by late accounts from Russia we are informed, that there is no affinity between the Kamskatkan tongue, and that of the Americans on the opposite side of the strait. Whence we may assuredly conclude, that the latter are not a colony of the former.
But further. There are several cogent arguments to evince, that the Americans are not descended from any people in the north of Asia or in the north of Europe. Were they descended from either, Labrador, or the adjacent countries, must have been first peopled. And as favages are remarkably fond of their natal soil, they would have continued there, till compelled by over-population to spread wider for food. But the fact is directly contrary. When America was discovered by the Spaniards, Mexico and Peru were fully peopled ; and the other parts less and less, in proportion to their distance from these central countries. Fabry reports, that one may travel one or two hundred leagues north-west from the Missisippi, without seeing a human face, or any veftige of a house. And some French officers fay, that they travelled more than a hundred leagues from the delicious country