Page:A tour through the northern counties of England, and the borders of Scotland - Volume I.djvu/25

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the trade of the place having been in a state of gentle decline for some time past, owing to the inconvenience of its rivers, and the oppressive nature of its port-dues. Capital, however, will always command a certain quantity of commerce; and the riches of Bristol (larger in proportion to the size of the place than those of any other town in the kingdom) wafts into its ports, in spite of these disadvantages, a share of the West-India trade. More than a moiety of this traffic has indeed been enticed away from hence to Liverpool, by the superior convenience of the river and docks there; but if Bristol have relinquished to her rival the palm of honourable commerce, she has thrown into her arms at the same time a trade that tarnished her own mercantile character as long as she continued the favourite of commerce, (the African slave-trade) and thus revenged herself amply for her loss, by blasting the honour of the spoiler. Under a decreasing population she still contains seventy thousand inhabitants; is ornamented with nineteen churches, as many dissenting chapels; and exhibits a numerous catalogue of manufactories, amongst which are twenty glass-houses; several copper and iron foundries; two large speculations for fabricating floor-cloth; a patent shot manufactory; lead-