Commerce is at present divided into commerce by land and by-sea; inland or domestic, and foreign; and by whole-sale and retail. With respect to domestic commerce, we may observe, that it is under the King's supreme protection, as it belongs to his prerogative to establish public- markets and fairs; to regulate weights and measures; and to issue money, which is the universal medium of commerce, authority, and currency.
The greater part of the commerce of this country is carried on by collective companies, some of which are incorporate d under charters, with an exclusive privilege ; a practice which is, perhaps, justly due to the company that first introduces a peculiar branch of commerce ; but, when such exclusive right is continued for a kind of perpetuity, we venture to pronounce it to be highly detrimental to the welfare of the nation, as well as to the interests of trade in general.
The history of commerce, being less connected with the object of this work then its influence on the moral and physical prosperity of 2 people, we shall add only a few aphorisms, which appear to us. fully established, by the evidence of ancient history, as well as from the nature and complexion of some recent events-: l.That, though commerce doubtless tends to improve the intellectual faculties of man, and renders him more skilful in the various ornamental arts, but especially those of war and luxury, yet at the same time it creates a tbirstof power and riches, which by no means contribute to his moral perfection; 2. That opulence, acquired by the rapid succession of fortunate events in commercial speculation, does not stimu-late the mind to humane and virtuous actions,in so beneficial a manner as the slow and honest acquisitions of the artist and husbandman. 3. That large fortunes arising from commercial channels, constitute a rich, but not a wealthy nation ; because those individuals who have amassed property, by bold enter-prizes, are more prone to apply their money to the support of political and financial schemes, while the industrious cultivator of the soil, or manufacturer, will be disposed to promote the more useful and per-v/anent objects of national pride, namely, those of rural and domestic economy.