The Adventures of My Cousin Smooth eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 320 pages of information about The Adventures of My Cousin Smooth.
the interests of the State.  The very presence of ‘Yankee goods’ was ominous of evil; and as it was desirable the good people should be kept well up to their Toryism, many were the means resorted to for forcing the exclusive consumption of British produce.  Tea from the United States was prohibited for the benefit of the East India Company—­powder must be British!  Tobacco paid imperial and colonial duties approximating to a prohibition; and the consumer of the weed was considered quite an extravagant aristocrat, who either had dealings with smugglers, or was wasting his fortune in the ways of the devil.  In a word, imperial and colonial duties dried up the energies of the people, and gave new life to a contraband trade that was fast destroying the best interests of the State.  The result was, that the best smuggler was the most desperate fellow; but it generally happened that the man who said most against ‘Yankee goods’ was sure to be deepest implicated in contraband trade.

“To be a scientific smuggler in those days it was necessary to be a justice of the peace:  and if the office were coupled with that of church warden so much the better.  About this time there was, in the Bay of Fundy, an old coaster of the name of Hornblower, who knew every creek, cove, inlet and headland, together with all the best points for smuggling, from the St. Croix River to Windsor Bay on the one side, and from Windsor Bay to Barrington on the other.  Skipper Hornblower, as he was then called, had the go-ahead in him, and commanded the schooner Dash, owned by one Squire Burgle, who carried on a strictly legitimate trade with the Yankees over the line, though he always gave out that he hated them as a people, nor would ever sell a pennyworth of their notions which he denounced as worthless.  Hornblower was a brusque old salt, but had a right good heart in him, and, not liking the way trade was restricted by imperial and colonial exactions, thought it no harm to work to windward of the collectors now and then, and accommodate his friends in a free-trade sort of way.  Tea, ‘in them times,’ cost six colonial shillings and a day’s journey per pound, and a gallon of molasses about the same.  The good old women in more remote parts of the province, must have their tea, and molasses was an indispensable luxury, for they were indeed poor.  But they were compelled to buy of the established merchant, who was a sort of prince in his way, and dictated his terms to the people, whom he always kept in poverty while he got rich.  Molasses, tea, tobacco, and rum (New England white-eye, labelled Jamaica!) constituted his stock in trade.  To length of credit he added corresponding prices, never forgetting to take good security.  His medium price for tick was only forty per cent. addition, which he considered extremely liberal.

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The Adventures of My Cousin Smooth from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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