From Involuntary Idleness, Servile
Dependence, Penury, And Useless Labour, He Has Passed To Toils Of A
Very Different Nature, Rewarded By Ample Subsistence.
- This is an
British America is divided into many provinces, forming a large
association, scattered along a coast 1500 miles extent and about 200
wide. This society I would fain examine, at least such as it appears
in the middle provinces; if it does not afford that variety of
tinges and gradations which may be observed in Europe, we have
colours peculiar to ourselves. For instance, it is natural to
conceive that those who live near the sea, must be very different
from those who live in the woods; the intermediate space will afford
a separate and distinct class.
Men are like plants; the goodness and flavour of the fruit proceeds
from the peculiar soil and exposition in which they grow. We are
nothing but what we derive from the air we breathe, the climate we
inhabit, the government we obey, the system of religion we profess,
and the nature of our employment. Here you will find but few crimes;
these have acquired as yet no root among us. I wish I was able to
trace all my ideas; if my ignorance prevents me from describing them
properly, I hope I shall be able to delineate a few of the outlines,
which are all I propose.
Those who live near the sea, feed more on fish than on flesh, and
often encounter that boisterous element. This renders them more bold
and enterprising; this leads them to neglect the confined
occupations of the land.
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