this kind, against itself, to certain goods of a 
foreign nation, because it expected, that in 
the whole commerce between them, it would 
annually sell more than it would buy, and 
that a balance in gold and silver would be annually 
returned to it. It is upon this principle 
that the treaty of commerce between 
England and Portugal, concluded in 1703 by 
Mr Methuen, has been so much commended. 
The following is a literal translation of that 
treaty, which consists of three articles only. 
ART. I. 
His sacred royal majesty of Portugal promises, 
both in his own name and that of his 
successors, to admit for ever hereafter, into 
Portugal, the woollen cloths, and the rest of 
the woollen manufactures of the British, as 
was accustomed, till they were prohibited by 
the law; nevertheless upon this condition
That is to say, that her sacred royal majesty 
of Great Britain shall, in her own name, and 
that of her successors, be obliged, for ever 
hereafter, to admit the wines of the growth of 
Portugal into Britain; so that at no time
whether there shall be peace or war between 
the kingdoms of Britain and France, 
any thing more shall be demanded for these 
wines by the name of custom or duty, or by 
whatsoever other title, directly or indirectly, 
whether they shall be imported into Great 
Britain in pipes or hogsheads, or other casks
than what shall be demanded for the like 
quantity or measure of French wine, deducting 
or abating a third part of the custom or 
duty. But if, at any time, this deduction or 
abatement of customs, which is to be made as 
aforesaid, shall in any manner be attempted 
and prejudiced, it shall be just and lawful for 
his sacred royal majesty of Portugal, again to 
prohibit the woollen cloths, and the rest of 
the British woollen manufactures
The most excellent lords the plenipotentiaries 
promise and take upon themselves, that 
their above named masters shall ratify this 
treaty; and within the space of two months 
the ratification shall be exchanged
By this treaty, the crown of Portugal becomes 
bound to admit the English woollens 
upon the same footing as before the prohibition
that is, not to raise the duties which 
had been paid before that time. But it does 
not become bound to admit them upon any 
better terms than those of any other nation
of France or Holland, for example. The 
crown of Great Britain, on the contrary, becomes 
bound to admit the wines of Portugal
upon paying only two-thirds of the duty which 
is paid for those of France, the wines most 
likely to come into competition with them. 
So far this treaty, therefore, is evidently advantageous 
to Portugal, and disadvantageous 
to Great Britain
It has been celebrated, however, as a masterpiece 
of the commercial policy of England
Portugal receives annually from the Brazils 
a greater quantity of gold than can be employed 
in its domestic commerce, whether in 
the shape of coin or of plate. The surplus is 
too valuable to be allowed to lie idle and 
locked up in coffers; and as it can find no 
advantageous market at home, it must, notwithstanding 
any prohibition, be sent abroad, 
and exchanged for something for which there 
is a more advantageous market at home. A 
large share of it comes annually to England
in return either for English goods, or for 
those of other European nations that receive 
their returns through England. Mr Barretti 
was informed, that the weekly packet-boat 
from Lisbon brings, one week with another, 
more than L.50,000 in gold to England. The 
sum had probably been exaggerated. It 
would amount to more than L.2,600,000 a-year
which is more than the Brazils are supposed 
to afford
Our merchants were, some years ago, out 
of humour with the crown of Portugal. Some 
privileges which had been granted them, not 
by treaty, but by the free grace of that 
crown, at the solicitation, indeed, it is probable
and in return for much greater favours, 
defence and protection from the crown of 
Great Britain, had been either infringed or 
revoked. The people, therefore, usually most 
interested in celebrating the Portugal trade
were then rather disposed to represent it as 
less advantageous than it had commonly been 
imagined. The far greater part, almost the 
whole, they pretended, of this annual importation 
of gold, was not on account of Great 
Britain, but of other European nations; the 
fruits and wines of Portugal annually imported 
into Great Britain nearly compensating 
the value of the British goods sent thither. 
Let us suppose, however, that the whole 
was on account of Great Britain, and that it 
amounted to a still greater sum than Mr Barretti 
seems to imagine; this trade would not, 
upon that account, be more advantageous than 
any other, in which, for the same value sent 
out, we received an equal value of consumable 
goods in return
It is but a very small part of this importation 
which, it can be supposed, is employed 
as an annual addition, either to the plate or 
to the coin of the kingdom. The rest must 
all be sent abroad, and exchanged for consumable