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From the French of Monfieur DE PINTO. 

Tranflated, with Annotations, by the Rev. S. BAGGS» M. A« 



Printed for J. RIDLEY, in St. James's Street. 






• • • 


• •• - • 
I • • 

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i> » : . 

( i ] 



IF the mere diligence of a Tranilator has no claim to repu- 
tation^ it muft be confefTed^ that in general we are modefl 
enough to be contented with another kind of reward. Tranf- 
lation undoubtedly holds the loweft office in- the republic 
of letters^ unlefs the compilation of an index fhould be 
reckoned among the labors of the mind. There is nothing 
enterprifing in the genius of a tranilator. He trades upon 
the property of others» without hazarding his own capital» 
confequently has no extraordinary lofs of credit to fear» or 
profit to expea. He is no more than the faâor of a foreign 
merchant ; and» after having taken abundance of pains to dif- 
pofe of commodities that do not belong to him» mufi: be 
fatisfied with the honor of having aâed faithfully to his 
employer^ and a trifling commiffion. But fince the humility 
of the office excludes all pretentions to fame» it is to be 
hoped that it will» in the fame proportion» exempt us from 
cenfure. If we have no good works of our own to plead, 
on the other hand we have no original fin to anfwer for. 
After this humiliating acknowledgement» it feems neceflary 
for the Tranflator of the work now offered to the public» 
to affign fome reafons for imdertaking an employment which 
he profeiTes to undervalue. 

a The 

î . 


[ ii ] 

*rhe great propofition maintained by the Author of the fol- 
lowing Eflays, that the national debt has been the chief fource 
of the prefent wealth and power of Great Britain, though 
not, as he apprehends, entirely new in this country, had novelty 
enough however to attra6t my attention. The book had been 
favorably received upon the continent, and I underftood that 
the author was a man of charadler and reputation in Holland. 
I was curious to fee in what manner, and with what degree 
of accuracy, fuch a fubjeifl coyld Jbe treated by a foreigner. 
Though no great adept in the myftery of finance, I was 
fatisfied that, with regard at leaft to the debts and refources 
of England, I muft know more of the matter than he did. 
This opinion will not appear very prefumptuous to any man 
who has had an , opportunity of converfing with foreigners, 
cfpecially the French, upon the internal ftate of our affairs, 
and who knows hbw ignorant they are in general of a 
lubjeCt^ on which they neverthelefs are at all times ready to 
decide. This, however, I found was not the cafe with the 
work before me. The author appeared to be a man of 
abilities, who had taken confiderable pains to be informed. 
His principal objedt feems to have been to fupport the credit 
of the Englifli funds againft the prejudices, the ignorance, 
and the malignity, of the iFrench. At the fame time, though 
he takes part with England upon this queftion, it is evidently 
not from partial or interefted motives, but from a thorough 
convidion of the truth of his dodlrine. In other iriftances 
he is . the friend of France. In all inftances he is the 
friend of mankind, 'f his favorable charadler is not meant 
to include the idea of infallible. The lyftem he fupports 
may be true in the main, though not logically demonftrated; 
or it may be utterly falfe, though ingenioufly defended. At 
any rate, confidering the quantity of foreign property vefted 




[ iii ] 

in our fuiwls, and how much it behoves us to fupport the 
reputation of parliamentary faith, and national fecurity, in the 
C)re6 of foreigners, a work of this nature cannot be indifferent 
to the public. Every argument^ that tends to maintain the 
juft fuperiority of our credit over that of other European 
nations, particularly of France, dcferves to be encouraged ; 
and this is a fubjed, on which a foreigner wiU be oaor^ readily 
believed abroad than an Englifliman. With refpeâ; to tl^e 
Englifli rwder, I will not venture to promife him 
information in matters of fa<îl| but his mind will probably 
be. led to a new train of thought upon a queftion of infinite 
national importance, and which hitherto feems hardly ever 
to have been conûdered but in one point of view. The decla- 
mations againfl the pernicious efïeâs of the national debt 
have not been confined to the difcour&s .of the vulgar, or 
to the wifdom of the news-papers. Some of the ableft men 
in the kingdom have treated the fubjeâ with as much popular 
violence and paflion, as if it would not bear an argument, 
or as if truth and reafon were unquoftionably on their fide, 
and nothing but ignorance and madnefs on the other. Even 
Mr. Hume, from whofc genius we might have expefted a 
clear inveiligation and folution of a deep political problem, 
has done no more than what an ingenious man, with a tolera- 
ble command of language, but no intimate or comprehen- 
five knowledge of the fubjed, might have done. He con- 
flantly takes prejudices for principles, and builds good 
arguments upon falie or doubtful data. He does not penetrate, 
with the eye of a mafter, into the fubftance of the queftion. 
He does not even attempt to reconcile the phenomena with 
the reafoning ; nor does he tell us by what deviation of faâ: 
from argument we are at this moment a nation* This is 

a 2 the 

I iv ] 

the common defeâ of almoft all our writers upon the national 
debt ; and if Mr. Hume be diftinguifhed from the reft, it is 
not by any marks of that deep intuitive perception, with which 
he pofTeiTes himifelf of almoft every other fubjeél. 

In order to fupport a doâxine, very different from that which 
has hitherto prevailed among us, it is not neceffary to affirm, 
that all the principles aiTumed by thofe writers are falfe, 
or that all their arguments are abfurd. In human ipe-> 
culations the fources of truth and falfehood lie fo near each 
other, that the ftreams foon meet, and are too often confounded 
together beyond the poffibility of fcparation. The majority 
of mankind drink deep of the mixture, without enquiry or 
refledion. The philofopher endeavours to carry his enquiries 
upward, to afcend the great ftream, until he reaches the point 
of conflux, at which truth and falfehood meet and are 

The dodrine maintained in the following Eflay on Credit and 
Circulation may, in its turn, be liable to the objedion of being 
puftied too far ; but it is a dodrine that carries confblation and 
encouragement along with it. Truth is ufually found to mediate 
between the extremes. The objed of the Tranflator is, to 
contribute fomething to a colledion of materials, out of which 
a wifer and a more methodical head may hereafter form fome 
rational fyftem of finance. There is no branch of knowledge 
more neceffary, nor, I believe, lefs cultivated in this country* 
The fpeculative part of fuch a fyftem, inftcad of running into 
vehement declamations againft evils either real or imaginary, 
fhould, above all things, endeavour to account for fads and 
appearances, which are manifeftly inconfiftent with the reafon- 
ing of former financiers, and which diredly give the lye to their 
determinate and uniform predidions. Until this be done, the 


I V } 

mind maj be alarmed with difficulties^ or puzzled with argu- 
ment; but it never can be fatisfied. The praâical part of the 
iyflem &ould propofe nothing but what the projeftor hinifelf, 
if he were in the minifter's place, would» bona fide, carry into 
execution. The circumftances of the nation will not admit of 
hazardous experiments ; and a good citizen fhould remember^ 
that, whea he propofes a plaufible fcheme for the public fervice, 
unleis^it be, at the fame time, and all circumflances confidered^ 
a praâicable one, he does an eflential mifchief to fociety. He firft 
of all aggravates the evil, in order to attribute the greater merit 
to the remedy ; he exafperates the mind& of the ignorant, wht 
think their cafe deiperate, and are ready to fwallow any thing ; 
and he alienates the aâèâions of the people from government, 
who are fuppofed to hav.e remedies within their reach, which 
they negleâ to make ufe of. AH this has more than once been 
done by very honeft and well-meaning perfons« In England a 
good and wife man will be v^ery cautious of appealing with argu#- 
menttothe paffions of the people. The Englifh are a moody, 
reftlefs, gloomy people ; and, whether right or wrong, they all 
argue. Whenever they are taught to think that their eflential 
interefts ate in queftion, it requires but a moderate portion of 
party eloquence to roufe them into frenzy, or to fink them into 
defpair. Their conftitutional impatience mingles with their 
opinions.. They fee every political objcâ iathe worft point of 
view, and feel a fir ange gratification in the melancholy pa^ 
triotifm of deploring the ruin of their country. To the indul- 
gence of this difpofition no objeA could be better accommo^ 
dated, than the enormity of the national debt, and the horrible 
train of evils that are fuppofed. to attend it. This is a ftanding 
difh, on which an Englifhman may feaft his imagination, when 
he has no particular diftrefs or injury to çonfole him. In the 



C vi ] 

following Eflay he will fee his favorite grievance very much 
reduced, both in fize and quality. But will he thank the Author, 
or the Tranflator, for the pains they have taken to undeceive 
him ? At the fame time \^e do not prefume to fay that the 
magnitude of the debt furniflies no ground whatfoever for appre- 
henfion -, but we affirm, that the dangerous quality of it has 
been extravagantly ov^r-rated, and that it is accompanied with 
circlimftances of benefit, for whicih no adequate allowance has 
been made. Ever fince this fwelling ftream began to flow, a 
bhîfôrm fafhion has defcended with it of annexing no ideas to 
fudi an objedl, but tholfe of torrçnt and defolation. The people 
of this country, %vîth the inftance before their eyes, have hardly 
ever'confidcred that there is à forï of inundation, that carries riches 
and fertility, as Well as terror, along with it. But we are not 
^raid to encounter any kind ctf fpeculation, let it be ever lb 
uniVerfally adopted, that ftands in perpetual oppofition to ex- 
perience. We think it Will âp^ar, upon a difpaflSonate enqtiiry^ 
not only that We ftiould not have been fo powerful a nation, but 
that we (hould not have been fo rich as we aïe, if we had not 
run in debt ; and that otfr objeâ: fhould be, not to pay off the 
debt, but to reduce and keep it within fuch bounds, as may leave 
us an ample margin of credit for future exigences. In fpile of 
all declamations, the hiftorical faft is not to be refilled. The 
wealth and power of the Englifli nation have grown with its 
debt ; and without being bound to prove that they Hand in the 
ftria relation of caufe and effed, it is fufficient to filence moil 
of our opponents, that the two accidents have gone hand in 
hand together, and in general preferved their oi'iginal proportion 
to each other. It cannot be denied, that the rate of intereft is 
lower by one half at leaft, if not five eighths, than it was before 
any public debtexifted, and that the value of land has rifen fince 



f vil ] 

that period in neariy the fame proportion. A man muft be 
blinded not to fee, and merely obftinate not to admit, that the 
general incl-eafe of the national (lock, in every article of property 
and improvement, has kept pace with the increafe of the debt ; 
and what is ftill more extraordinary, though not lefs true, that 
when we owed above a hundred piillions fterling, we were able 
to borrow fums, which not only could not have been borrowed^ 
but which could not have been found, at the time when wc 
owed nothing. To thofe who will not be perfuaded of the 
truth of a principle fupported by fuch a. concurrence of unquef- 
fionable fads, the argument muft be offered in another fhape. 
Admitting the debt to be a national evil of any fuppofed iriag- 
nîtude, let it not be exaggerated beyond the poffibility of relief. 
If it be a burthen, let us flatter ourfelves that we ftill have 
ftrength enough left to lighten or remove it^ The contrary 

opinion leads directly to înaâivity and defpondence. No man 


iets heartily about a tafk, which he thinks he ihall never be 
able to accomplifh. If» inftead of indulging in the peevifh 
pleafure of complaining, or in the childifh imbecillity of mag* 
nifying the objeft of our fears, the nation could be brought to 
a more chearful temper on this fubjed, the minifter would be 
quickened and encouraged by it to meet this formidable debt in 
front, and to attack it fairly by fome vigorous and fpirited ope- 
ration. On their own principles, they ought not only to applaud 
him when his fchemes fucceed, but endeavour to animate and 
confole him when they fail. Surrounded, as they fuppofe him 
to be, with dangers and terrors of every fort, they ought to meet 
him after a defeat, and return him their thanks for not defpairing 
of the republic. 

But in this, as in every other deliberation that touches the 
lafety of the commonwealth, it is effentially neceflary to diftin- 







guifli with caution between vigor and violence, and not to 
conceive our fituation to be fo far hopelefs, as to admit of none 
but defperate remedies. A ftrong man fhows his ftrcngth in 
actions that require but a moderate exertion pf it. The weak 
man, on the contrary, betrays his feeblenefs by the violence 
of his efforts, and by the fame means ufually haftens the 
ruin of a broken of enervated conftitution. 

When we fpeak of violent meafures applied to the reduâioa 
of the debtj we are far from meaning any fuch as carry the idea 
of force, or breach of fpecific contraâ with the public creditor^ 
We are equally convinced, that a Britifh parliament will never 
entertain a thought of that kind, and that the nation would never 
adopt it. The caution is direâed merely againft what are com- 
monly called Strokes in Finance, intended to operate fuddenly to 
a great extent. The meafures, that really deferve that name^ 
are flow and gradual, but fure in their operation, and conftantly 
încreafing in their power. They arc alfo fafe in this refped:, 
that they do not fuddenly alter the ftate and diipofition of any 
confiderable mafs of property at once, or throw it out of the 
ordinary channels of circulation. In the courfe of the following 
work, the reader will meet with hints leading to meafures of 
this nature, which may be adopted, or improved, by men better 
flcilled in the finances of England than either the author or 
the tranflator. 

Whatever may be the merit of the tranflation now fubmitted 
to the public, or however defedfive or incomplete the original 
may appear to readers thoroughly verfed in the fubjed, the 
Author himfelf has a powerful claim upon the Englifh reader, 
and fhould be received among us with every poflible mark of 
perfonal CQnfideration and refpeft. The fervices which Monfieur 
de Pirfto has rendered to the Englifh nation cannot eafily be 



I « J 

rated. He has fupported the credit of the funds^ and aûerted 
the power and refoarces of this country, againft two of the 
moft dangerdos enemies that genius and argument can pcffihiy 
contend with — the malignity of the French, and tlic ignorance 
of jthe reft of Europe. He has done it with a zeal, fpirit, 
ability, and fuccefs, that entitle him to our utmoft gratitude 
and favor. Such advocates, in defence of our national credit, are 
more wanted, and more nfeful, upon the continent, than people 
in this country are commonly aware of. They help to difluadc 
fome from withdrawing their property out of the funds ; they 
incite others to veft it in them 5 and they contribute to eftablilfh 
a favorable opinion, in the councils of other powers, of the 
extent and fuperiority of our reiburces, as neceiTary perhaps to 
fecure us from infult or attack, as the moft formidable or 
menacing apparatus of war. The increafe of foreign property 
in the funds is an objeâ^ which interefts the nation in propor«* 
tion to the fum total of the debt. The actual quantity of this 
commodity far exceeds our home confumption 3 and it will bo 
impoffible to keep it at any tolerable price, without the affiftance 
of a foreign market. I am not moved by the objeftion of the 
annuity carried out of the nation, becau& J am convinced that^ 
if we are thrifty, we may gain more by the ufe tha^ we loie by 
the intereft. Would to God that the whole debt could be 
immediately purchafed by, and transferred to, foreigners I What 
Wronger guaranty could we pofllbly invent for prei<prving our 
independence as a nationi and for the fecurity of the prefent 
eftabli(hnMnt ? The writer, whoie labors in any ihape con«* 
tribute to increafe the intereft, which foreignçrs take in the 
prosperity of this Mttic^ whether with their inclination or 
^ainft it;, (kpuld be<x>nfidered as a: public benefaâor. Hia. 
sieal dcferves t^ be hoaortd and encouraged j-^-Jhs work» doferv* 

b to 

to be read. Thefe are not however the only obligations, for 
which we are indebted to Monfieur de Pinto. 

A miftake in that article of the preliminaries of the laft 
treaty with France, which relates to the pofTcflions of the two* 
Eaft-India companies, was fortunately obferved by Monfieur 
dc Pinto, and cotnmunicated to the late Duke of Bedford. This 
anecdote is highly honorable to the Duke's memory. He faw, 
and acknowledged the importance of Monfieur de Pinto's obfer- 
vation, and, with a fpirit infinitely more honorable to him than 
any diligence that might have prevented the miftake, he infifted 
peremptorily upon its being correâed in the definitive treaty. 
The French miniftcr fhrugged his fliouldcrs, refifted, cavilled, 
rcmonftrated, complained^ grimaced, and fubmittcd. Monfieur 
de Pinto's fervices un this important occafidn were reconmiénded* 
by the Duke, and rewarded by the Company. They gave him 
five hundred pounds a year, which he now enjoys, and which, 
it is to be prefumed, their gratitude and juftice will always 
continue to him* * 

With refpeft to the Notes, after reviewing them deliberately 
in print, I feel an honeft inclination to confefs, that they appear 
to me to be written with much greater freedom than judgment* 

* * « 

They are exempt however from the principal error ofcom* 
mcntatoi-s, who are apt to run into extravagant and indifcrimi* 
iiate praifes of their original. With refpeét to the length of the 
Notes, a man muft have dealt in the myftery of comincnt and 
annotation, to know how difficult it is to exercife it with 

• # > • # 

brevity, and how ipuch more difficult it is to refrain from 
printing what has once been written. Wc authors have a falfc 
parental tendernefs about os, which induces us to expofe our 

oflFspring, when perhaps it would be more to our credit, and a 

f ' • 

fiHich greater aâ; of metcy, to (Iranglc them in their birth. I 
V am 

[ XI ] 

am thoroughly fcnfible that the little I have ventured of my 
own has no chance of being well received, but under the 
aufpices of the text. 

I had at firft fome thoughts of foliciting the Minifter's leave 
to offer the whole work to his protedion. An effay upon 
finance feemed to fall within bis department, though I had no 
cxpe6tation of his honoring it with a perufal. A minifter is 
too much employed in reading men to find leifure for reading 
books. Yet the fanâion of his name might have recommended 
it to others. On farther confideration however, that idea W2s 
given up. Befides that I had no fuffident intereft or intro-^ 
duâion to obtain fuch a favor» I was unwilling that my own 
speculations, fuch as they are, fhould be cramped or qua** 
lified by the temporary interefts or engagements of govern^ 
ment, or accommodated to the immediate views of men in 
office. My ideas of ferving the public go beyond the opening 
of a l)udget, or the fervice of a year. Perhaps I could not give 

the reader a more fatisfaâory aifurance» that they will never be 





C *«î 1 



THE firft ptrt of this Eflay was writteti in France 
in the year 1761. I thought it neceflaiy therefore b 
enter into â detail of various particular» refpeâing the Eng« 
liih funds^ widi which the French were unacquainted. Several 
peribns took copies of it at Paris. Some Englifli noblemen^ 
whom I iaw there after the peace» did me the fame honor. 
It ieem$ probable, that this Bflay will one day or other be 
printed $ and I ihould have reafoa to apprdiend its appearing 
in a yery imperfed iftate. As it was not drawn up with a 
view to publication, the proofs, by which many new pro* 
pofittons were fiipported, WMe not carried to that extent, 
nor to that degree of illuftration» which the fubjeâ feemed 
to require. I have even obferved lately in fome Englifh 
papers, that my ideas began to be leceived in England ; and, 
conûdering the number of manufcript copies that have been 
taken within thefe three years, I am not furprifed at it. Some 
well-informed EngUflupMn told me at Paris, that my fyilem^ 
ip far as it concerns the national debt, was entirely new. 

^A pamphlet hat lately been publiOied, in which, upon 
flay onm prtficipU», it ia a&rted, that the oppofition, which 


* • * ■ _ 

♦ An KflSyontheCaofthtitîonof Eflgjand, pnUiflied inâ^ejrear 1765.— Tlic 
author fays, that the ver; obftraftions and dificuhiet, which King William loet 
^Wsk in oDtainlflg fttppU)a from parliameoc, were the mouu of raifing the nation to 

a degrtt 




< . 


Kîng William met with in obtaining fupplies from parliament, 
has been the caufe of the opulence of the kingdom. The 
contradictions he received from the nation oblieed him to 
introduce the Dutch fyftem of Idans into England, and the 
kingdom has been enriched by it. In this ftroke I difco- 
vcrcd.the -adoption of my own prio^ly* iOn;»euding the 
J>ampfi1et," Tfaw that'fhe author had' not" proved *~hisVyft'cni 
by the fame kind of arguments I have donc^ In the year 

i ' . ' •* » 

_•>*> A«iaJai Oat' Y ' i ' m ap • ■« 

• * 

/^a degree of glcyy yçtnpwn.Jofçriçcn^ra^ Hfc cxpUlm^thu alÇertjonty^fervifig, 
•*■ that before thç tcign of King William no method ^as kno^n of railing money 
** for the exîgencke pi die year, except that of levying equiw^lerflt ts^e» or Impo-' 
** XiUon^; which» when great, as mu/l neceffarily hsppcji in tiqiCf of w^r, wore 
*** 'knuch'^feltand complained of1)y the people in general, 'without any* part of them 
**.MfT&.gtinersJ)y tbepu,Wic lofsj, /pi,thatj /aItti.ou|b ^_ fofctgit.'ww vf^'q^n 
'' made a pretence^ by former kings and minifters ui order' to obtaiiva fum .of 
♦* money, there Was nothing in roality tljey ttwredreadca. But now --a îtietbod: 
*^ was happily devifed of abundantly fupplying the cro^n without burtheniof tl^e 
*• people, by means of voluntary contributions of fhofc who were eager to contri- 
hp^apy fums ofinoincyf ip confidcnitiDn of fcvfen <ir right iferj^cm. Mâdte:iii^ 
^ood people of England were kept cafy, by having no more taxes impofed on 
*' fhem than were bately fnfficient to pay the annna! întcreft of Aè Aims fo 
\^ advanced. . , . 

** Asthismethod was tried at firft ^^ith caution, both by thofe who borrowed 
f^ and thofe who lent the money, the good effeâs of it wereilittle.felt during the 
** reignof King Williârp,wholivedtothc laft in afaâioûsand totteringftatei buf 
from the firft tlifcovcry of this'fcheme ofatnidi'patron W may date'thit great 
change inthc;coi^tuti€yki,; which has brought GrfatrBrit^iinr to that height ^i 
** power, to which it is /fnce arrived. From that moment t^e^abilityof England 
^^forcarVylngon fbreigii war be^û to mantfei): itfelf^ firli in unprofitable fquab^ 
'' bles about what is called the Balance of Europe j but afterwards in ufeful con- 
** quells on hti'oÀrn account irt all quarters of the globe, from that moment the 
^' conftitution of England began tc^beaduated by ^(pifit fomewbat fiinilar to thai 
*' which aâuated the conftitution of ancient Rome, where a foreign war never 
^^ • failed to ftop the moutfasi of theifeditbus, «nd'Coput an. end to ^omeftic broils: 
•* War in England became advantageous to almoft every rank of men. The poor 
** ivlflied for it, as the greater demand for laborers increafed ikhe price of laboW 
^\ The rich ^iflied for it, as the greater the deifiand for money, the greater the 
** advantage to thofe who were poiftflcd of it ; while thofe in the adminiilration of 
<^ ^governonent war; eafily perJtiaded.into a4tteafliré,<whidi. wkh fucktfmverikl 
^X approbation, puts fuch unlimited power into their hands. With the debt of the 
•< nation fo grew in proportion its credit." 

. There is nuich. tnub in tbefea^uments ; yet^ JLp the 4eduâioii of cooftqutnces» 
a lively imagination may be miued. by them. In'my Treatife on the National 
pebt, the fame arguments are emploj^ed^ hut jrith greater moderation| ; J 

[ XT ] 

1761 my Eflay on this fubjeft. was read by every bocfy at ^ 
Paris. Some obfcure paflages were pointed out to me, which 
eafily jefcape a writer, who, full of bis fubjeâ, fuppofes every 
thing as clear and intelligible to. the reader as to himfelf* 
Thefe I have endeavoured to correâ ; and I flatter myfelf, 
that the principles, on which my fyftem is founded, are now 
proved to demonftration; The conclufions refulting from them 
are not barren truths, nor merely of fpeculation. They are 
equally interefling to the public, and to the principal powers 
of Europe* : 

I may vrâture to : afErm, that during my ftay at Paris, I 
removed a prejudice which many people had conceived againft 
the credit of England;; 'They imagined, that the\Englifh; 
notwithftanding their; fucceiTes, iiad no refourcc left^: and 
flattered themfelves they fhbuld every minute ice a national 
bankruptcy, which would overturn the kingdom; M proved 
that this was all a déluiion. . - I .) • . - ! . ' .i ,; 

The Englifh in general are little acquainted with the^ 
immenfe refources of France. The French are totally igno- 
rant of thofe of England, The two» nations are formed t* 
efl^eeni each oSthet, and to live in peaces yet, unfortunately, 
they quarrel about fbppofed intdrdfts, • which at die bottoni 
'perhaps are mifunderilood. 

Jealoufy of commerce, and competition for power, create 
enmity between nations as well as between individuals. They 
•run thie' fame career, ' and^^ afpiring ait the fame ohjt&, i^are 
enemies becaufe they are rivals. If princes^ could be per- 
fuaded, that the real intereils of commercial powers do not 
clafh (as Ifliall endeavour ta (how hereafter) peaee and the 
'Uaf^iaeis of n^iïkijul might poffibly be ôflablifhed on a 
durable foiindaiion. 

• The 


[ xvî ]» 

The reader fliould be a^ppriféd, that thU Sy/leih of Credit 
aitd Circulation will reiqtsire reading deliberately» tnd oftener 
than once. The fufoject is of an afoftraél nature. In ' the 
firft reading, fome things, eiTentially necëfTary to make the 
lyfte» intelligible, will always efcape. Ih the prdgpefs, and 
at the end of a difcourfe, we often find proofs which con-^ 
^m and explain the firft aâertions; and iÇometinies it is 
ifnpoffible to cbnlprehendi the truth of the laft pixbpofitions^ 
if the firft are not thoroughly underftood. ■> 

It has been frequently obferved, that to liften well is thon 
âifficult thacf to fpeak well } at leaft it is certain, that there 
are many who ipeak feniifoly, for one who Kftem with attend 
(ion. We l&ear with diftraûion and prejudice, add in genera 
ftre n^oro emplo]red in framing a reply, dian in conGdcring 
what haa been faid. The cafe is the fame with the gene* 
^lity of readers* . Inattention in reading is oftentimes un-- 
avoidable ; but it may eafily be repaired by a fécond or third 
f)erufàl, partîculariy of the effi»tiàl articles* Thefe are (hbrt, 
aod contain truths of importance. Impatience and vivacity 
«re apt to prgudice the reader a^inft a new propofition* 
A croud of objections prefent Ihemfelves to his mind. He 
lofes the phlqgm and cold blood that are necdfary to follow 
an author, and to examine the folutions he proposa. People 
\vi€x to find the malerids of a book comprehended within 
a page. 

Th^y, who are not interefted in the fubjed, have no bufi- 
jkt& to read an efiay not written for their ufe» They» who 
take ^ real inter eft in it, will read it oftener than once ; and» 
I hope, with attention. Rouffeau ibraewhere fays, that he 
has not the art of being cle^r to p^lfc who will not hb 
atttntive. If that painter of our ideas, hoidn iUch a Imh 



[ XVÎi J 

guage^ how much gireatçr is the indulgence due to a writer 
whp pretends to nothing but to deliver fome important truths 
in a new form ! With regard to %le» I have {attended only to 
things» not to words. 

Inveterate prejudices were to be removed. I frequently ap- 
pear to difpute truths, which in faâ I admit» but which/ from 
being improperly applied» have led to dangerous miftakes. I 
often feçm to repeat what others have faid» when in effeâ the 
difierence between us is material. Truth» in the abflradt» is 
indivisible» fimple» and unalterable. No one truth is greater 
than anodier. But it is not fo eafy to diftinguifh the infinite 
relations» which different truths bear to each other. This J 
believe is the principal fource of our miftakes» every mau 
thinking that the truth he £bt out with continues to fupport him. 

Repetitions will» I hof>e» be forgiven. They aire fomefime; 
neceflary» and always ufeful. They revive and illuftrate fun- 
damental truths. They are not fo much repetitions» as con-« 
clufîons» of which the reader fhould from time to time be 
reminded^ Some ideas muft be cut into facets to be thoroughly 
underftood. If in fome places I aflun^e a figurative ftyle» it ig 
at leaft without aflFcâtatîon. Every opportunity fliould be taken 
to adorn a fubjeA naturally dry and barren of ornament» pro* 
vided the figures are not too far fetched. When the foil if 
unfruitful» we are glad to xnctt with flowers. 

Some remarks» which would have naade the text too difiyfed, 
and perplexed the tranfitions» are mentioned in notes. 

The means» pointed out in the Second Part» for confblidatin^ 
the finking fimd in England» and creating another auxiliary an4 
permanent finking fimd» applicable to the difcharge of debt 
both in peace and war» are only loofe ideas. They £how the 
pofiibility» advantage» andnecefiity» of fome fuch meafures. If 

c approved 



XVlll J 




approved of by the Englifli nation/ it belongs to themfelves fo 
apply them in whatever form may be moft confiftent with their 
conftitution. It is not that I dread the ridicule ufually thrown 
upon projeétors. The prejudice againfl thçm is unjuil, and 
flill more ridiculous. It often happens that a projeâ is the 
fafety of the ft ate. We are not to defpife phyficians, becaufe 
there are a multitude of quacks. Voltairp fays thatj when 
Columbus firft imagined the exiftence of the new world, he was 
told that the thing was impoilible^ and was treated like i» 
vifionary. When he had aâually made the difcovery, he was 
told that his new world had been difcovercd long before. The 
contempt, into which projects are fallen, may hinder many 
people from ^propofing good ones. But I am no projeAor. i 
point out methods known and praâiied elfewhere. I only ihow 
the materials, with which others may ereÛ a folid building j 


fungar vice cotis, acutum 

** Reddere quae ferrum valet, exfors ipfa fccandi/* 

I flatter my felf that my refutation of the Marquis dc Mira- 
teau'S Theory of Taxationi and of the JB;7i8:« of England, will 
be found to comprehend the elements of a complete iyftem of 
finance: Men of deeper and more methodical underftanding 
are called upon to unfold all the principles that belong to it, and 
to place them in a clearer light, and better order. The Theory 
of Taxation contains many excellent remarks. I intreat the 
author to forgive the liberty I have taken in criticrfing his fyftem. 
I admire his underftanding. I love and reipeâ his fentiments, 
becaufe they are thofe of an bonefi man. But his fyftem of 
taxation appears to me to defeat the end he aims at. I once 
enjoyed the pleafure of his convcrfation at my Lord Hertford's, 



[ xix J 

the Englifh ambafikdor at Paris^ and was delighted with it. A ^ 
long illnefs prevented me from cultivating his acquaintance as I 
intended, and profiting by it while I ftaid at Paris. I believe 
him too much a philofophër to be offended at my not being en- 
tirely of his opinion. I make the fame apology to the author of 
the Bilan of England. In fome places I refute Mr. Hume, who, vV 
far from taking it amifs, has favored me with many marks of 
friendfhip and affection, and I feel a pride in acknowledging my 
gratitude to him. We both aim at the fame objeâ. Our com- 
mon view is to ferve the public. This is not a trial of under- 
ftanding. I (hould have loft my own, if I thought myfelf qualified 
to enter the lifts with thofe gentlemen upon any other queftions. 
They have every advantage over me, except that I haye had an 
opportunity, both from particular ftudy and perfonal experience, 
to examine this fubjeâ in every poflible ftiape. If I had pofleiTed 
their general fuperiority of knowledge and elegance of ftyle, this 
Treatifc might have been improved to a degree of perfeâion^ 
which it wants at prefent, but which it may one day acquire in 
the hands of fome man of greater abilities. I have nothing 
more to fay on my own account. The work itfelf muft fay 
the reft. 












' • 

* «> 


( I 1 


O N 




Stie great Advantages of the National Delt, to a certain Amount. 
How the Commerce or Gaming in the Stocks contributes to the 
Credit and Circulation of the Public Funds i and what Advàn^ 
tages England bas derived from thence. 

THE national debt of England^ and the funds that com- 
pofe it^ known under the name of Annuities»^ have for 
fome time attraâed the attention of princes^ and the fpeculation 
of individuals. Many perfons» in France and elfewhere^ rely- 

B ing 

* The annuities in England are of a different nature from thofe in France» 
diougb under the fame denomination*. Thofe of France are extinguifhed in a 
fewyeartbya reimburfement of partofthe principal» which every vear accompanies 
thepayment ofthe intereft ; whereas» in thofe of England, notning is provided 
for but the intereft: the reimburfement of the debt depends upco the pleafure of 
government : the principal can never be demanded. On the other hand» the 
intereft can never be reduced without offering to repay the principal. For this 
reafon, in the late loans, the lenders, at the beginning of the war, demanded of 
government an intereft of three and a half per cent, for a certain number of years : 
that is, that government ihould not offer to repay the principal before a ftipulated 

term \ 

f * J 

îng on their correfpondents, have engaged in the traffic of 
the ftocks, without being thoroughly acquainted with the 
nature or objeiît of it, I have been often confulted^ and have 

\ . fee» 

•^ ► ■ - 

term ; at the end of which thofe annuities fhould ftand reduced to three per cent, 
and government be at liberty to difcfiarge them. It is proper to obferve that all 
the annuities, created before the laft war, were reduced, in the year 1750, to 
three per cent, an offer being made to pay off thofe who refufed to confent to the 
reduâion ; and that there are no annuities at three and a half and four per cent, but 
the loans (nade fince the ^ear 1755» and thefe oiily fof a certain number pf years* 
Let us admE'Ç the effcu^ of credit. The lenders make it part of their barg^ia not 
to be paid off for a long time ; they infift upon having time to enjoy an intereft of 
three and a half and four per cent, which they think might be redeemed by the 
flate, and confequently be reduced in time of peace.^ It muft alfo be obfefved 
that, although annuities are not aSidns^ the whole commerce, carried on in the 
funds, paffes under the general name of Stockjobbing, or Jm eCASiions. (l-)"^ 

(i.) On this note of the author it is to be obfenred, that in Queen Anne's time 
various duties were granted by diflêrentaâs of parliament, for eftablifhing funds 
to pay off the principal and intereft of particular loans within a given number of 
year». Since the produce of all thefe iêparate funds was umtedby the Aggregate 
Aâ, (hey became mutual fiscuriiîeB for each othec; and die furplus upon the 
whole, aftorpayingth^annuitiescharged upon each diftiiiâ fund, is carried tofhe 
finking fund, which, being benefited by all Aurplufes^ ftandsa&a cqllatecal fecujrity 
for all deficiencies. But although it has been found convenient to depart from the 
old mode of aifigning feparate fecurities for feparate loans, and applying the fur- 
plus of each fund t» the difcfaarge of ike principal, it i» aqiially the biioiKor's d^ty 
to take care that the tsfSL or fund, afViroprinAod t^ pay ^p iiH^reft of every new loan, 
Ihall produce a furplus in fome degree i^ropoitioned to, the majb of n^w d^t. con* 
traded, and which may be carried to the improvement of the finking fund. As 
long as this principle is, or can be, firmly adhered to In praâice, public credit 
wiU^ fupport itfelf, notwithfbnding the increafed mafs of the debt; becaufe the 
creditor \y.U1 fee that the ncceffi,ty of borrowing does no^ exceed the mçaas of 
repaying $ at leaft, that the two objaâbs are equally in tbe coAtomplation of parlia- 
ment. On the contrary, the fureft way to deftroy puMic credit is to depart from 
this principle J that i$, to aJ35gn fu.nijs wJiofe produce falls (hort of tKe charge ^ey. 
are intended to fupport ; in confequeace of whkh the finking fund ept imlif' 
receives no improvement, but is obliged to make good a deficiency. Tkts fund is 
given as a fecuxi ty to the prefsnf creditor. A new creditor has no right to be bene- 




I 3 ] 
Icen with aftônîflimcnt, that people of the beft underftanding 
were the moft at a loft to comprehend the detail of a traffic, 
which in Holland atod Ettgland is perfeftly underftood by heads 
the moft deftitute of fagacity. It has been obfcrved that, in 
the execution of a fubaltem poft, men,' born for great em- 
ployment, are frequently inferior to the moft ordinary capaci- 

B 2 ' ties. 

fitedbyit, unlefs the fund, created with the loan» produces a furplus that fhall 
liear the (âme proportion to the new debt, which the prefenï finking fund does to 
Ike prdent debt. Credit depends upon opinion ; and what is fe likely to lower 
|he general opinion of the good faith or means of government, as to fee that taxes 
da not produce what ^hey are given for ? and that conftqueotly a fecurity» Which 
was fuppofed to be confined to a certain quantum of debt, is^ in effeâ:, from year 
to year extended, to make good new engagements i * The former creditor in the 
feft inftance fufiers-an injuftice, of which govenmtent in its torn will foon feel thé 

. The ftate of public credit is much altered fmce the year 1733, when the pnbrfio 
creditor dreaded nothing morç than to be obliged to receive his money froni'th^ 
inking fund. At that period, the moneyed men and public companies were 
iinder a kind of fubjctKon to government. 

* But the avthor h miftAkto^in fuppofing, that the bargain made by the lender, 
infomtôf thelatelosms attlffèeandahatf and four per cent, nât to be paid ofF 
within a certaine nmnbçr of yciars, w^ an adrntra^le eifièâ of credit.' It was the \ ^- 

increafe of intereft that induced the creditor to infifl upon this unreafonable condi* 
tioti; and it was in fomemeafure the failure of credit, ariAngfrom the enormous 
expences of the war, that obliged government to comply with it. The authoï 
does not fecm aware^ that there are various degrees of public credit between 
that (late, at whicl^ government fecitfkies are at or atx^ve.psg-, and the impoffibility 
of borrowing on any terms whatfoever. A man who can borrow a hundred pounds 
at three per cent, has undoubtedly a better credit than he who cannot borrow under 
four, although they equally contract a debt oF one hundred pounds. ' 

Befides the increafe of intereft from three to three and a half and four percent: 
government was obliged to give confiderable douceurs to the fubfcribers to every 
new loan in the courfe of the laft war. By thefe means the nominal rate of intereft 
t^ras kept dbWn } but, if the value of thefe douceurs were computed, it would 
appear, perhaps, that government in m^ny cafes gave an advantage to the lender^ 
equal to five or fix per cent, upon the money horxovfcd.^^TranJIator. 

r 4 •] 

tics. Befides this, there are things which can never be welt 
underftood in theory. Praâice alone gives us a thorough 
inOght into affairs. To know all the windings of the fera« 
glio, one muft be educated within-fide of it. Yet, if I can 
engage the reader's attention, I hope to ipeak plainly enough to 
make myfelf undcrftood. I myfclf have been furprifed at the 
detail which this objeâ requires, and how abftraâed it feems even 
to fome who have been accuflomed to fludics infinitely more fo. 
A robuft flomach» acduftomed to digefl a folid food, is often 
cloyed with a light nourifhment that feems to *be of the eafieft 
digeftion. Another difficulty arifes from the terms appropriated 
to this traffic : fome of them are unknown ; others muft be 
taken in an acceptation diâFerent from the vulgar fenfe ; and 
this circumftance requires particular attention. The draught of 
this piâure has engaged me in a differtation upon credit anc) 
circulation, more important than the traffic of the flocks. It 
will flatter me, if they, who fearch for information upon fo 
important a fubjeft, fhould find it in this paper ; and if my idea$ 
of circulation and credit in general fhould be of any fervice to 
the public. I may be deceived ; but it is not my intention to 
miilead. With refpeft to fafts, I cannot be miflaken, becaufe 
I advance none which are not certain, and almofl of public 

Striâly fpeaking, there is nothing, but the metals (i.) gold, 
filver, and copper, reduced to money, that is really, and by 
general agreement, the common meafure and univerfal medium 
of exchange. Money is the key and inflrument by which all 


(2.) Silver is not only the common meafure of commerce, but alfo a depofit» 
The fanâion of government might make other things, fuch as paper, parchment, 
or leather» a common meafure } but it could never make them an adequate^ 





t 5 ] 

our wants arefupplied. The real circulation of money, in the 
daily and domeftic expence, which we call Bufînefs» is prodi-» 
gious. The fame crown piece may have circulated through fifty 
different hands in the fpace of twenty-four hours, and repre- 
fen ted fifty different things in the courfe of its circulation. If 
the fifty perfons were to meet at night, they would find, that 
they had expended and paid fifty crowns, though^f* in faâ there 
had exifled but one piece of money. Let it only be obferved» 
that there is not in the whole univerfe half the mpney which the 
expences of the fingle city of Paris amount to in one year, rec-» 
koning aU the expences incurred and paid in money from the.firft 
day of January to the laft day of December; in all the order» 

t Take Ibe following ex^simpk :— Paul, on Monday moraiog, pap a aown to 
bis baker ; the baker buys a crown's worth of fagots ; the feller pays a crqwi| 
#bich he owed at the tavern ; the tavern-keeper gives it to his wife, who buys i 
fm i the fan-maker pays for fomething elfe with the fame crown i and it is poffiUq 
that at night it may return to Paul, who wins it at Quinze, and fo on.(3.}r— A 
per/on of rank, who is well iafontied, has fumiflied me with a tzBt^ by wbicb 
tliis principle is praâically confirmed. During the fi^e of Tournay, in the year 
1745 and fome time before it, all communication bemg cut off, they were iii 
great diftreTs about paying the garrifon, for want of fpecie. At laft it vnH 
refolved to borrow 7000 florins from the futtlers, which was all they had. Àt the 
end of die week thefe 7000 florins had returned to the futtlers, from whom the fame 
fum was borrowed a uxond time : this operation was repeated for feven weekst^ 
until the furrender of the place i fo that the fame 70Q0 florins performed the office 
of 49,o©o.— jfiitisr. 

(3.} This example proves nothing in favour of circulation. The operation 
would have been more fimple, and equally cffeâual, if the futtlers, inflead of 
lending the fame fum every week fucceffively, had given a continued credit to the 
garrifon for every article they were fupplied with during the feven weeks flege : but 
in this cafe the accounts between the pay-mafter and the army could not have been 
regularly kept ; the garrifon could not have been regularly paid j and, what ia 
more material, the foldier would have been deprived of the apparent liberty of laying 
out his money with the futtler, or not, as he thought proper. So powerful is the 
ttkSt of habit, that all our ideas of value refer to the figns of it. In tranfaâions 
of pit>perty, the mind is not thoroughly flitisfted, without the real or dippofed 
intdrvendon of money; even where it prolongs the operation without altering 
the ultimate cflFcâ»— Tr^ij^^r. 






t 6 ] 

of the ftâte, from the king*s houfehold to the beggar, who 
confumes a pennyworth of bread every day. 

This minute circulation is îmmenfe, from the multiplicity 
of fimultaneous operations repeated in all quarters, and at every 
minute. But thefe is another circulation in grofs, fupported 
by credit and paper fecurity, which reprefents money, as 
money reprefents things. The. example of the crown piece 
fliows, that a private mefchaht, (4.) whofe credit is good, ihde- 
penderttly bf the refpite allowed him for the payment of his^ 
purchafes, may cii^late bis own paper, avail himfelf of that of 
Others, and multiply the fprlngs of his commerce in proportion 
to the facility of circulation. There are oftcntrmes ten endorfe-' 
tnents upon the fame bill of exchange, which reprefents the 
fame value to ten different j^erlbns. Theie are important 
truths : though fufficiently known, they, do not deferve to be 
called trivial. There is another fuhjeû léfs urtderftdod, and,, 
perhaps, never thoroughly exanfiified : I mean the analyfis of the 
|Jublic filnds> and of the (lock of trading companies, 10. that 
political view in which they ought to be confidered by à 
itatefman. I mean to enquire how far circulation and nume^* 
rary (5.) wealth is augtnented by the funds^i and to weigh the 
arguments for and againft creating them, with refpett to the 

' ^ intercft 

(4.) It is faid that Sir Samuel Fludyer, who was faélor to mod of thegreat 
clothiers, ufed to fend them their balance in his own notes inftead of money, 
^hich circulated in Gloiicôftérlhire, and the parts adjacent, for two, three, or 
four years, without returning to hini to be liquidated in bank bills or fpecie.— 

(5.) By the yirord ttumirtuy this. author soyeans the£âitious va)Iu« of flocks^ 
efFeâs, and property of every kind, fuppofed to be reduced into fpecle. As long 
as this reduâion is performed partially and fucceillvely, tbç numerary hat a real 
value equivalent ta^çie. 4^^ttem^t to realife tfoe ^wbolc at Mce ymùà redticd 
its value to nothing.— Tr<7«^<!ï/^r. ^ r . :•..;? 

[ ? ] 

ij)tfr^.<>f ttie Ai^ei th^t U* whether > debts «i-e. t>£ any fbmcM} 
to the ft^^^; ami aft^rwafd^ to congder the ule'and abnfe made 


of them )B that trafHct which we call Stockjobbing* 

I know therç have been grçat mçn,. who have fpokcn vaguely 
upoç the fubje€t, aod^ I mfiy veâtvire to fay^ withput under^ 
landing the men ts of the queftion. My Lord Botingbrpke^ 
and the Prefident de Montefquieu» have confidered annuitants^ 
whom fh^ fuppofed to live in idlcnefs upon the fonds» at the 
e^pence of the iniduilrious part o/ the people» as fo many hurti* 
Cul meuibera to th« ^e» which» already oyerv^helmed by liità 
^ility of running into debt, ii weakened and enervated by fiip» 
porting its. creditors. 

Whatever truth there may be in fuch reflexions, I fhall 
demonftrate that great advantages have refulted from . the crema- 
tion of loans> and even froui the traffic or g^me carried 00 m 
ike fudds» when cmCe the nature of it is underftoqd, and tb< 
whole fubjeft, combined with all its confcquences, fhall be 
thoroughly difculTed. The loofe and imperfed ideas, which 

fpme perfons have conceived pn this point;, have given rife tp, % 
i^uraber of works» ia whieh tbe amtbors have nàiftak^n the 
nature, circulation, and credit of the Englifh funds, and have done 
a difTervice to France, by leading her into an error upon a moft 
important article. People have been too ready to believe 
they ardently wifhed might be tr^e. When once we kt jwil: 
upon a falfe principle, the whole fyftem is a^ff^âed by it. 

Who h there that might not be fcduced at finding it advanced 
as a certain faft, it\ a * book much eftçemed and very well 
writtw, that the Bapk of England unites within itfelf,, as in 
a fingle pointi aU the pq^blic credit of the nation and all the 


• Remarks upon the Advantages and Difadvantages of Great Britain and 



[ 8 ] 
private credit of individuals ? The (6.) Bank of England has 
dothing to do with the national debt : it is a bank of circulation, 
which bears no other relation to government, than a rich indi* 
vidual bears to the ftate. A Mount of Piety, a Lombard well 
tftablifhed, might perhaps, in time and under a good direc«* 
ticH), do very near as much in'France as the Bank does in 

Government is fo far from confidering the Bank, that, at 
the beginning of the laft war, they did entirely without its 
affiftance« Exchequer bills performed the office of the Bank. 
The terms, in which the author exaggerates the alarm and diftre/s 
of the Bank in the year 1745^ are no better founded. 


(6.) It is true, that immediately the Bank of England has 00 other connexion 
with the national debt> than that which a great creditor has with his debtor ; and 
yet it may be'queftionedy whether the failure of the Bank would not bealmoft as 
fatal in its confequences as a general bankruptcy ; or whether either of thofe events 
would not neceflkrily produce the other : if it were poiSble to feparate, and indif- 
penfably neceflary to choofe between them, the great queftion would not turn upon 
the quantity of fiâitious property, that would be annihilated in either cafe, or on 
the number of individuals ruined ; but whether it would be fafer to annihilate the 
a£Hve, ortheinaâive, mafs of property. It is the credit of the Bank, that in a 
great meafure gives circulation to the funds. But thefe are dangerous or ufelefs 
/peculations : awife man will not fuppofe a cafe, againft which no human wifdom 
can provide a remedy. That the Bank unites within itfelf the whole credit of 
individuals, is not fo unwarrantable a propofition as the author feems to appre- 
hend: he is not, perhaps, acquainted with the detail of expedients by which mer- 
cantile credit has for a long time been fupported in this country. The profits of 
the Bank, by difcounting private notes, muft be immenfe. A merchant or tradef- 
man, whofe notes they refufe, is not very far from bankruptcy : their honor and 
joftice in the application of this formidable power has never been quefiioned. 
Whenever they have thought it neceflary to lay any general check upon difcount- 
ing, it has always been attended with a proportionate fiagnation of trade and 
private crediU'^Tranfiatêr. 

* ^ 


t 9 ] 

(7*) It is a common miftaken notion thati when ftock^ fall» it 
IS owing to want of credit. It is abfurd and ridiculous to fay ^ 
that credit fails, while government can borrow feveral millions 

fterling ; 

(7.) Thefc ideas of the author, with refpeâ to public credit, do not appear to 
imeftriâly correâ. The ftate of credit is not to be meafared by the Turns tbatv^ 
may be borrowed, but by the terms on which they may be borrowed. A great 
ikation can hardly be reduced to fuch a ftate of difcredit, as not to be able to r^'fe 
money by offering exorbitant advantages. In this cafe the lender proportions his 
terms to the apparent weaknefs of the fecurity or diftrefs of the borrower. When 
Trance was already overwhelmed with debt^ and every poffible refource of finance 
Teemed to be exhaufted, Lewis XIV. ftill found means toraife eight millions of 
livres in fpecie, for which he was obliged to charge his. revenue with a debt of 
thirty-two millions. Between borrowing qn fuch terms, and not being able to 
borrow at all, the difference is not very confiderable. A new loan in England ^ 
naturally tends to lower the value or price of the old funds, for two reafons» 
Firft, the general increafe of the mafs leffens thé general value of the com« 
modity. . Secondly, the advantageous terms offered by government drawirinto 
the new fubfcription that money, which would have been invefted in the old f^nds» 
The author'^ fuppofition, that the proprietors of the old funds would find their 
account in felling out, in order to purchafe into the new fubfcription, does not 
operate, I believe, fo generally as he apprehends. The terms of every new 
fubfcription are regulated by the current price of the three per cents. If, for 
example, the three per cents, are at feventy-five; government muft give four per 
cent, to be upon a par with the old ftocks. But a mere equality wilVnot tempt 
any man to alter the fituation of his property. A confiderable douceur muft be 
added, not only fufficient to indemnify the lender againflr a fall in the price of his 
ftock, which he propofes to fell, but to reward him for the rifque he runs of not 
being able to difpofe of his (hare in the new fubfcription to advantage. Now this 
is all matter of fpeculation, in which either the advantage is not clear and certain, 
confequently not likely to tempt the holder of the three per cents, to fell at a low 
price; or, if it be clear and certain, it will of courfe draw all the money in the 
market immediately into the new fubfcription. Admitting it then to be advan- " 
tageous to the holder of the three per cent. ^ annuities to fell out, and fubfcribe to 
the new loan, where is he to find a purchafer ? The moneyed man knows his 
intereft too well to^ place himfelf in a fituation which th« other thinks it adviieaUe 

Ç tl 

I lo ] ^ 

fterling ; hvA it is natural enoogk that ftockf UiQidd I^U at a 
time when v«y confiderable fuoia are dbmanded for new lo^m 
and whea it appears that» from the contiauaDce of th$ ym> <Hf 
fvne operation muft be repeated for feveral years. As money 
becomes fcarce^ it bet;omes more valvablçj, and rUes in price» 
like any other c(Hiimodity> in proportion to the demand. Thj( 
ftale» haying occafion for monej, is obliged tb gi^re a gieatttr 
intereft. This» for a moment» finks the old ftoeks» beca«ift 
every man find$ bis account in felling out» in order to inveft hid 
capital in tho new k>9i^ or fabicriptipl;^ which, offers hjni a 
higher rate of intereft* Other accidents make moMjs (itw^fi ^ 
a time» and fink the flbeks» without its being anyway a fign of 
si dçfçâ; of credit. Wl^en credit really fails, it is impoffible to 

luuu»mr Urg4 6m^ w>^ ^T ^^^ ^ ^ ^Î^^Pj tKç ^p^^ we 

ft^Viitk ^ hi^ofk the çoi^t^fj^ vifJt^wM, AibO;rjJ)Ç to thç new. loan, and 
JMfflk Us mom^^ once in th«t f/wd whkb. pffof^. bio» the gre^teft adyanuge» 
IFo fy» thu^l^ niûUt;' l^.^nif gtud t>y the bw prlqç.of tbjs tbr^ j^r centa. to^veft bis 
9lOP€y.Ml.thA»oViT tod% b a l^d argument ; I:f<îC4Rfe, if tbofi^ ftpcks a^re. very low» 
-é^ l^là^Mtiymy^eptiïi^ifX^ by cbanj?!!^ tb^B fituajion of hispropçrlj^ 
confeqwrtly injUi nçt C^ Mpncf onçc vqftei ia lhç {^nd§s is co^/ide^d in Tome 
«Ma&ne 94>9f^lMd u|^ till thç çnd.qf th^ wu:» . Cor, tbia rçs^foo people, wbo under- 
ft»d.»M*iog *e «^ ef tjK^f mMCy* WI}I<^ U. *9 tbp RHrch^fe of navy and 
VH^H^UaiI 1mU% («^ph^miiftbçfKÛdiofiatpar/romtiqiçto.tiine^ and afe therefore 
fiiMpfiV atfi any jgteaf difcqi^u) or iq Ifidia bQO^s, By t)ii8. means they, bave thc|r 
tm^n/l^ ready tatal^eadyai^^ of tba i^,ççffitiçs of grov;ejrn^ent, Upon tbe wbolç, 
if iççp^^ v^, <|^cfti€MiaU^ wbfthe.r tbe chief or an^.confiderable part d the 
HfW.r^Ççrip^n if 41^*119^, tlfÇf^c q( the pld appuitiçs. A^lvp^ and intellj^nt 
«l^n^ coiiftaptly ajttending ^pqn tbe fpot» may pçrhaps. find tbe>r advantage in 
Iftjilil^ old ilpck to mal^e good thçir fu))fcri{>tiQn8. Qeajing; îq lar^ fums» and 
«ateulajtii^ e|r«y iipiAUte Rro§t^. fi^ch as thaj of paying by inftallments». the rife of 
lQttery.t|cI^t9ai 419"* they, may, undoub^dly t^^n their pra£tice to account. But 
«dyÀncage^ of. this fojrt» I conceive» b^mA nççei&rily bç confinj^d. tp thç adeptfj 
urbo cannot be very numerous.^^Tr^^f^^r. 

r u J 

offer, the left we find.- England WMnwcr in ^is Êtnatiott 
in the laftt or the ^eceittng war« Aâ intereft of half per cent* 
mèreorlers» mad^ all the differences Credit, that » the power 
of findittg funds, howevef éxorhitanti to fuf^rt jthe expence of 
the campaign, never wàvôfed a érameni, Neither in the yêaf 
1^44, nor in «he \ûû war. (8<) 

• The Bank^ pniftie other ha!¥d, had fdrmoily Che precacitidii to^ 
gi^e little premiums to moneyed men, whOi ûpm preffing occa<- 
âons, undertook to furnifli fpecle f o be ciirttlatttd by the Bank in 
other quarters. The Bank then was always iure of findmg fonda 
to pay the bills whkh p<»tif ed in upon if ; and, even ^Btpp^ng 
the Bank to have gone to the bottom, whichas impoffible, (9.) 

{t.y It is true ^it the faiffa df p^Itttient to tlie puldtc creditor bak tieftt yéH 
httti violated itt tBd minuteft inftaitce, and that gorettimtnt has borrotieed ftima 
tbat exceeded tbe thoft fanguirie ideas of the refourcejf o( the iiation. Eut it h liot 
to true that the credit of the nation has never been (baketi, nor thtC aii ïntereft of 
lÊtAf p0t 4oAt, mort or led ndade aH the d Uftwirc e» We few^ ften «lir fana» at 
forty per cent, difcount. The neceffities -of goyerflttltfit te tfaiê'tOvfltry; aè i^tl 
as every othêr^ have obliged the minifter to» febaiit to whatever conditions the 
oion^d.jnea though! proper to impofir* When thefe eonditions were the moft^ 
favorable to government, the douceurs amounted ta as snicb as the increafe of 
intereftr If in faâ the. refources of England ha^ never been exh^Mifted, it may. 
yet be prudent to remember ihat,^ at tbe end ^ the feOon, 1765, vjaotft t«re yeurs^ 
after the laft peace, Mr. Grenvilltf was obl^ed te kave an unfunded debt of fou^ 
mtUi<Ni0 1 a coi^der^>te part of which was^a charge upon die finkhij^ f<ind«-^ 

(9.) IThe authoi^» idea,- Drat it is impëltm M Oië ESOè t^gt^iàmt bâttoM, 
H tmtttf ^ùfkrtêkfé, Re adîîiilsV Aat thé BadkT is^ tib fààf^xSUn ¥ rïcK iiidividual^ 
m thef àin^. !Md# à cérfot^îbni or â prî vàpfe bi^kéf , nii^ be rMned by t^fs^f 
thé ûtrUè rnéMs, viiic hf e^tlehding Cbelr àfeâ^lBeyàH^Ûftif HféiAti^. TUb firft 
ÛaM Cft ft^idOif b#?iigé âH Hkéii dd'fef u^ tb^ ii^6««e; âàd wbecNer i^^ 
refttfe paymem^ or dehy it By iAcit$ andcc^iftrtvàftee»^ ti&f at^ et^iiany fcti^krupts^i* 
their' ndit is ûdt paitf ditî déteahd. The Aheôôt fhé^ daidiifi '^^45 i^ tiot cajpaM» 


[ 12 3 

it has no concern wkh the national debt» which i$ tOot 
demandable» and never can be reckiihedy-as aH France, and 
many writers upon this fubjeâ> haVe very ftlfely conceived. As 
long as the intereilis paid» there is no other demand. As to the 
foft» Bank.ftoek is very diâferent fifom Bank bills, India and 
South Sea flock are again of a different nature ; although theie 
three corporations tthe if ame appropriated in England (lo.) to 
fuch eftablifliments) have all a credit upon government of many 
millions fttrling in anniiitied, the capital of which nfakes part 
<if the nafiotfal debt, and never can be demanded.(ii.) The 
J pretended bankruptcy of 'England has therefore always been 

* / , imaginary: 

of exaggeration. Their notes were at.'difcount ; they were obliged to pay in filv«r ; 
dièircIéUcs induftrioufly mademifiakes in counting», in oidcr to gain time»- Yet all 
fthefo expedient» vfoyld Jiiaye figoificd notl)ir\g| if a nuaber of privante perfons had^ 
not agreed to take their notes in payment. This fpirited patriotic aiTociatioA 
iaved the Bank.-r-Trtfif^/^r. 

( 10. ) TheTe companies are Intorferated by charter and aâ of parliament^ therefore 
called Corporations.— 7?tf»/8iï/^. 

' (ii } 'î'he principal debt is not demandable; that is, ffrrâfly fpeaking, it is 
in the breaft of parliament to pay off the public creditor at fttch periods, and Tn 
fuch proportions, af theytiiink proper^ either at par» or on terms vcduntarity 
agreed to by the creditor. Still however the faith of parliament^ ts engaged to. 
apply the finking fund as hx as poffiUe to the diminution of the debt* The 
creditor has a right to confider that fund as the fource, out of which the principal 
h to be gradually difcbargèd» To dhf^rt it to other purpofes, i» in no final! degree 
a breach of parliamentary fatth, excepting in thofe cafes of neceffity,- in which 
eztraoârdinary.fervice» may tequire extraprdinary fupplies. The author's idea, that 
the ftate is bound by no obligation to its creditors, but ftnr the punâual payaient 
of the intereft^ or» in other words, that the debt is only a perpetual annuity, will 
never be adopted by a wife pr honeft minifter, ' At the origi^ial formation of the 
finking fund, it was declared by the legiflature to be appropriated to the difcbarge 
pf debts contraâcd^before December, 17 165 and the proof that it has been always 
eonfidered a^ a fecurity for the principal debt is, that whencvçir it b^ ^b^n tnifap« 
jiplied, flocks have conibntly fallen.— 7r<»»^/^r. 

C 13 ] 
hjo^îoAtfi htr ééMf ftever becoming dike, and having no / 
cfiticil period to dread» are as if they did not exift. The 
intereft m^ be a burtkeo to the ftate» but never can be the 
diftrefs of a particular point of time* 

Befides» there is annexed to each loan a folid, feparatc» and 
ctiftinâ Neurit/ for paying the intereft^. for which the whole 
nation in a body is. refponfible and guarantee, every thing being 
dcoie with the fancSdon of parliamenL All the diâferenc orders 
of the ûate are ifttcrefted in the funds» which conftitute one put^ 
of dieir property» and give value to the other^ The nobility» 
who have a large portion of die land» have alfb a Ihare in th0 
annuities* The proprietors of land have a great concern in the 
annuitties^ ^ Tradeûnen» merchants» and even mechanics» are all 
of them annuitants» . It is mere declamation to repœ&nt the 
proprietors of the public funds * ** as men who carry theiff 
^' fortunes in their pocket-books; as drones that devour the 
*• honey radde by the bees ; a racé of. men» enemies to the 
^^ plough» and to the landed inteieft i snd» in ihort^, a public 
«* peft in every Hate» where they live in fordid avarice» and labor 
^* night and day to accumulate money» to fwell their accoimks» 
^< and to increafe the burthen of the ilat€/'«f 


* A quotation from the Bilan general de L'Angleterre. 

f Whtn the amtbor of the Bilan treats thefe pretended book-keepers as had 
citizens, he forgets the text of the Gofpel which fays, that. Whin your ireafureis^ 
there will your heart be alfo. A treafure of more than a hundred millions attaches- 
many hearts to a country, andfo much the more as all this money would vaoiih 
into fmoke, if tfae ûate were overturned* This cannot happen to landed pro* 
perty ; the foil cannot be annihilated. An intereft in the public funds is there-^ 
fore more likely to maintain a fort of patriotifni, than to extinguîfli it; it attachet 
even ftrangers to a country where they have a great ftake. How much more 
ftrongly muft it attach the natives, whofe private intereft is fo intimately conneâed 
with eke puUic caufe ! This clafs of people then muft of neceftity be very 
Bumeroys» very rich, and powerful ; and no way refembles the piâure drawn of it 
^yûi^wià^éii^BiUm^^Âutbor. , 



This whole piaureis not only loaded, but entirely :falfe and 
chimerical. If there exifted fuch a race of men, diilinâ from 
the reft of the nation,^ and able to fupply the ftate, year- after ^ 
year, with twelve millions fterling at four per cent, firft^ 
and afterwards for a little more, (12.) they would be ihB;iled 
to refpeffc rather than infult. But in faâ it is the wholes 
Englifli nation in a body, fupported by their credit with, '^^*Uv 
foreigners, and by a few dealers in the ftocks, who contribute 
not a litde to maintain the circulation and credit of this immenfe 
volume of annuities, I ûiall explain this point in the fequeL 
At prdieat I mean only to confider the annuities, of England as 
a mafs of the largeft vx)lume^ in which there has been the 
gteateft traffic» and which has lately been the fubjedt of great 
fpeculation, as it affeâs the intereil of individuals as well as of 
nations. I ihall begin by explaining, more particularly, what 
thefe annuities are. 

^Almoft all the national debt of England, as I have already 
obferved, conûfls of annuities arifing from different loans made 


(12.) There was no year of the late war, in whioh any confiderable Aim, much 
lefs twelve millions, could be borrowed at four per cent, or a little more. In the 
great loans negotiated in the latter years of the war, government was obliged to 
allow an advantage to the fubfcribers, equal in many cafes to five and fix per cent, 
and perhaps more ; that is, computing the value of the life annuities, long 
annuities, profits on lottery tickets, paying by inftallments, and other douceurs. 
As long as fuch enormous fums were to be raifed, it was impoi&ble for government to 
make a thrifty bargain. Perhaps it would have been better oeconomy to have raifed 
the rate of întereft at once to fix per cent, upon annuities redeemable by parliament, 
than to have had recourfe to long or life annuities in any (hape.—- Trtf»^/*r. 

♦ I fay almoft^ becaufe, in the national debt, there are ftill fome fragments of 
life annuities, tallies, and other annuities, upon the plan of thofe in France, 
which were created in the reign of King William and Qî^ecn Anne. But as all 
this amounts only to a fmali fum, and forms a very inconfiderable part of the 
national debt, it defcrves no particular attention, and feldom enters into the traffic 
of the ftocks. As thefe old debts are gradually extinguiibed, the intereft goes 10 
the increafc of the finking fund,— if «//i^. 



s - 

T ts ] 

to gcerefimiaie* Wc hanfexn timt ddor^sbiis ittoi ckhKmdaUe ^ 
ihdi govemoient hts find net tetoi , J^r ^^clotsi^ng it ^ that a 
ibîki and pefmatMiit fknd is engaged ter pxy the interafi vvridKniiB 
jAteituption^ ihe owment it becomes due ^ and that everj thing 
is dot» with the fanâioa of pailiaiseiit ^ 6> that the vrhok» 
nation may be iaid to have concurred in crealiDg ibcfe aamikies^ , 
and to hive hbéoàie gftaraiyttfe and fecHriQr fer the intetéft. 
Wè^mnft not fopgef, lam the fta» it^at libec^ taéîlehai^ itt 
debts whenever it Ainks proper, 13 .) except tbe loft loam^iihidi 
cannot be redeemed'^ ù>me years. N0 emhcnraflhaciit tfami 
can everarxfeftrai'beiAg obliged f^ pay or reim^r^iaeaccrtaia 
period, as* many foreigtteM hav«'firiftljt aeactirad^ 

The fôrapufoas 'and' ètjvioibtjle. «oaâiieis> witb indikii die 
înteréfb ittss conftaiytfy' been piM, aAd âuf idea we bava lanncal 
of parliatTventary* ^ftilh,. have-enabfed fhe cMdit of Bagland; to 
negotiate loans which have aftoniffied- BaMpea. The ûnkisig 
funcb co a t iibu te s greatly ta the- Itippor^ of eredh ^ bitt c»dit 

alone coofd never Have worked tHe-mivatflej if it wwcr notiw a 

i? -' 


(13.) That IS at par, or on terms vôltmtgrify àtceptetf by the pr o p r i é té s Tlie 
conditkm-, wfafeh^ fer the UMè* of tto pWMIc' ftoild, . if paBBiAt^ be oMM» i» 
ftUiliufK, ubL tb«t(th«7;fliaD;>f imb^maMe at-dMipbtt6iKr of. p^rliaiimit,. gvft^9 
fignal advantage^ tatbe<telttor>ûyer the-creditofc. If theie be a plenty of money, 
(^Uan^nt can eithec pay jou oaF, or reduce, your intereft^ ad. libitum ^ wtiereas, 
though money be ever (o fcarce^ when confequentfy the credfcor mighr employ it 
to iniuliteîy greater adtabtagetUan^itr tHe^ftfAd^, he-eanm* e^tii iabi^ capita);. la 
cofffideriog'th» kure^Mrmdftaaibprcâttt ihtttrfl tbc^fimiM^ ît is nolnHiHijhtM; 
the irtaxtR tUt y be ar cm evorbe^c^uc^A below thcee^ ptr ccmt. . nor, perbapç, for 
the* public good,, u bxclf an operation very defireable, unlets the ' nation were 
immediately relieved from a proportionate quantity of taxes, oi* unlefs we could be 
afTured that parliament would religioufly apply the favings to the difeltarge of 
public dtbt; othertrifei as^D^Aôr IWcé obftrvéé, nsd^tâtons o£ intereft only 
fiitk\tb>9fîi^nÈfMtfimwÊtf fcBL fOffifiog jdi&)ciie^i9i^eâ»^irti^jfrQBi badmwagÇ'»» 
aacaitv wà facilitate the means of running into dAU''^i'rûn/latcn 

/ fprîng and poWcr ti factiky and contribdtiôn» by which credit 
is fupplied. It is t^e power: of fâculty^^thisi f{H:ing^^ I 

mean to explain. The explanaticm, if i atnfnot miAaken» 'will 
throvr a new light upon the fubjed, and correâ: a number of 
confufed notions» which peof)le of the beft underâaliding ilave 
formed upon this importanit pdnt. i . ) 

It is not foreigners only who ar è ii»tc%«atiited with tlfc nature 
of the national debt of England; the natives themfelves miùskp 
the matter. Many EngUflimen» as well as fbreigoi^s, coniider 
the debt as a counterpoife to all their fucc^ffiw. Supported by 
the authority of Lord Bolingbroke, Sir Robeit Walpde, Sir 
John Barnard, .and other gresft men, they look upon th^ national 
/debt as an unwieldy burthen, that opprefl^s the kingdom and 
enervates the power of ^e ftate. Thdi: apprebenfîons» I 
believe, are founded upon the, foUowiog principles*-— *T|)e mor^ 
a gpvernment is iadebted» the more the natiofi muft be loaded 
with taxes to fatisfy the inlereft only ; this of itfelf is a great 
inconvenience^ The fécond, refvfltiug from the firft, is, that 
increafe of taxes raifes the price of labour, and injures manu* 
Maures. The third is the tribute paid ^ to foreigners who have 
property in the funds. The fourth, which has been much an4 
long infifted on^ is the fpirit of idlen^s, gaming, and ilock<^ 
jobbing, introduced into the nation by the traffic carried on in 
the funds. Thefe four objeélîons feem, at firft fight, to juftify 
every declamation againft the nation^ debt s yçt I think I caif 
demonflrate, from fpeculation and experience, th^at what has 
been faid upon this fubjeâ is more fpecious than folid ; and that 
people have talked, without entering thoroughly into the 

I {hall firfl prove, that the national debt has increafed the 
X numerary wealth, of the nation ; that it is neceflary to thç 



[ 17 1 
fappoft of circulatîoà)^ by which it was produced, and of the 
cxcentriç CMiunçrce ivhich Europe, aad pa^ tîçul^ly of that 
which Eaglami carrios on in die other qnartçrs of the world ; in 
ihort, that it is highly ufeful, up to a certain pc^nt } that 
taxes, in a great meafure, return into the hand that pays them^ 
and, inftead of injuring, are faroraUe to iodiiftry; th»t the 
advanttfes arifitig from Aockjobbing are far fuperior to the 
iniichief it occafionê ; that, without the game carried on in th^ 
fiocks, England would jnot haye had the means of makinig the 
efforts ihc has done i and that this laft article has never been well 
underftoad by thofe wha have treated of itt They have feen the 
effeâs, and have always been ignorant c£ the caufea. Theib I 
mean to explain. England is in the fituattcm of a man who 
finds himfelf extremely wdl, breathes fredy, and enjoys ^ 
mod: ruddy bedth i but who iS not fufiiciently veijfed in aaatonsy 
to know the pirkiciploa^ of the health he enjoys* If he be field, 
that poffîbfy fome lurking diforder may be concealed unde^* 
Aïs florid i^>pearanQe, he at once takes the alami, perpleice» 
hiniHf with appfdier^ioasj and is a ptey to «neafinefe» 

Let us come to the faél. I affirm that the national debt 
has enriched the nation, and I prove it thus* On every jicw V 
hMm the goveoimcatof England mortgages a^ portion v& taxes to 
pay the interell, and creates a new artificial capital, w!hich did 
nettfxrift'hcifbre, w4m4i Is^ecomcs permanent, fixed and iblid; and 
by mea&a of 'credk circulâtes to the advanta^ of thepubHc, .itt^il 
it were hi eSêâ fo much real treafure, that had enriched the 
kîngAiîwi. Let tis lake for an exattrple the twdtve mifliom 
borrowed in the year 1760, and fee what became of them. Is 
it noj truça. ^that the greateft pa^t rof that money wasijpent within 
«he nttiooc } iNothingirat the fiibfidiesr aod ^fart esf the iwes^ 
ea j wn Jwd m Cwwany, can be «onfiderecB aslttâ-* I % a fiff^i 

D for. 


t 18 ] 

for, even in a war upon the continent, the nation profits by 
furnifhing a variety of articles, as well as by the individuals whtf 
are employed there. When they water Germany, they onîy 
fertilife a foil, of which their commerce reaps the benefit. The 
riches of Germany always turn to the account of trading nations. 
But I content myfelf with obferving, that it is indifputabk 
that a great part of the above loan was employed and circulated 
within the nation. England then will have preferved a confi- 
derable (hare of thefè twelve millions, difperfed and abibrbed in 
the nation it felf; at the fame time that the numerary riches of 
her creditors, who are chiefly £ngli(h, are augmented by twelve 
millions, which did not exift before.^ 

If another ftill nK)re fenfible proof be required, that the 
numerary ofabout a hundred and thirty millions fterling, which 
the Engliih nation poiTefFes in annuities, and other faâitious 
funds, would, in a great meafure, not haf e exifted, without the 
creation of thefe funds, one need only imagine in what would 
this numerary wealth have confifled, if the funds had never 
been in being ? (14.) Could it have been in money ? Exclufive 


* It is evident then, that in thejear 176 1, there muft have beeen many people in 
England, vi^ho bad enriched themfelves by the expaidit|tre made by eoverntneot 
of the twelve millions borrowed in 1760, and who in return were able to lend 
tnoneyto the fame government by whom thev were enriched; and this is aâually 
the cafe. They lend back the fiune money tney received, and the creditors of the 
preceding year acquire a new fund of credit, under the proteâion of which they 
procure frelh fupplies of money, (either from foreigners or their own countrymen) 
which they again engage in the new fubfcriptions. This proves, Firit, the 
augmentation of the numerary wealth by loans. Secondly, that the new loans 
are almofl always made with the fame money. Thirdly, that the old loans favor 
the new ones ; and. Fourthly, that they have enriched the nztion.^^Jutbûr. 

(14.) In anfwer to this queftionit may fafely be a£Eirmed, that the money lent 
to government for the fupport of wars deftruâive of agriculture, commerce, and 
population, might have been in a great meafure abforbed in the cultivation of 

unmcofc traâs of waftc lmd9 both in Great-3ntpda and Ifclandj ia the tficwe^ 


I ' 

[ 19 J 
of plate, there is not io much fpede in Earope. Could It h^e 
been in land ^ The limits of Great-Britairv are not to be 
extended. Land has already rifen greatly in value» and» without 
an încreafe of population, will not admit of ferther improvement. 
Could it have been in (hips and commerce ? Thcfe two objeft* 
alfo have their limits, relative to the number of inhabitants^ 
You camiot amafs commodities beyond your confumption ; and 
tpomany merchants are frequently a prejudice to commerce. 
When once there is as much money employed as the demands of 
frade call for, the reft is ufelefs. It is not in the nature of 
^ngs that the conimerce of a nation fhould enlarge continually, 
and introduce greater and greater fums in a perpetual progrefiion. 
Where then would thefe millions have exifted, which conftitute 
fd great a part of the wealth of the nation ? If at all, they muft 
have exifted in foreign countries, which would be dangerous, 
etren if it were poflible. But no man will maintain fuch a 
propofition ; efpecially iince it is demonftrated, that the fpecie, 
which produced thefe funds, remained partly in the kingdom, 
and have fucceffivcly been employed in every loan. 

D2 If 

ragement of ioduftrious foreigners to fettle among us, and in the improvement of 

our c<domcs ad infinitum. Light taxes would have encouraged population, 

becaufe they do not load the means of fubfiftence. The price of labor would 

^ave been reduced s manufaâures found an eafy vent abroad ; or, if the foteign 

^ kiarket failed, the demands of the colonies would have employed all the induftry of 

le nation. Population and confumption would have increafed rapidly together» 

lonfidering the cdonies atconlblidated with the motfier country, and their mutual 

'"«râitages improved as far as they might be, the Britilh empire might fubfift alone, 

«maintain its greatnefs, without any dependence on foreign trade. This is the 

^ ^ of political perfeâion, to which, as the author himfelf acknowledges, every 

" J i'? kingdom (hould afpire. Inftead of being employed to thefe falutary purpofet , 

the hundred and thirty millions lent to the ftate have fupported a confiant war 

Ttgtiaft population, and prevented the exiftencc of miUions of ufeful ftibjeâs»— 


[ 20 ] 

If ît were poffible to add thefe hundred millions (to wbicfa: 
nothing but the loans have given an exiftence) to thé current 
coin^ the flate would fuâèr a real repletion of ipecit, by whicb 
itfi (Economy would be overturned. For this money, if it 
were poffible for it to cxift, would be (battered over the nation^ 
not colleâed in the Exchequer; it would then entirely k^ ks: 
(Quality of a fign ; commodities would rife to treble their pre&nt 
price» and all commercial proportion be deftroyed: But Atr 
fuppofition is abfurd« The principles I lay down rcfolve tbc^ 

The enormous ibm, of which thé national debt is compoébd^ 
never exifbd at once,. This mafs of wealth has been imrceffively^ 
pr<Kluced with the fame fpecie» by the magic of credit and 
circvdatioQ» which faves the inconvenience of having fo large 
a &mi in fpecie. The quantity that really iexiils is fufficicnt td 
give an intrinfic value to every portion of the public funds is tt$ 
turn, without exceeding the Limits of an eafy and ufeful drcu-* 
lation. The public funds have literally a magnetic virttye with 

refped to money* 

* When the proprietors of the old funds undertook to furniih 
new loans to government, they proceeded thus. They not only 
found money within the nation by felling their confolidate d \ 
annuities fomething per cent, lower, but they mortgaged diofè ' 
annuities to foreigners, and fo were enabled to avail themfelve^ 
of much larger funas, by draughts, than could have been borrowçâ'^ 
upon private credit. By thefe meana they for a timeiwept awaW 
almoft all the money belonging to foreigners, tmtil circukti'»''' V 
had time to recover its level, and the new loans could be div\^^ . 
into a greater number of hands. This is the Solution of_;Vd^ 
great problem, or phaenomenon, in fii^uice, Ths world has 
been aftoniflied at feeing eight or twetve milUoiia bonowci kit 



[ 21 ] 

feveral years fucceffîvcly^ It could net poffibly have been ' doBt, 
but hy thecoanteûanccaud afliftance of the ancient fund€^ under 
the aufpices of credit and circulation. 

Specie communicates its quality to the funds by means of the 
revenue they produce, hut is .not iiitcreafed. The numerary 
wealth is augmented by the funds, acquiring a confiilency, and, 
' if I may be permitted to ufc the term, a fixatim^ of which 
money is incapable. ' It rolls, is diffipated, and pafles fto&i one< 
hand to another. It is the Proteus of wealth, or rather wealth 
is the Proteus of money. But when once a fund is created, the 
numerary remains, and the contributire faculty kiereofet as well 
as circulation, and without too great an Increafe of fpecie. 
Current toin is the univerfel medium of essence. It is only 
when it communicates its quality to a fised ilock, that the 
numerary augments and is preferred. This augmentation ar ifts 
from the credit created by mortgaging a portion of the public 
revenue. A fight tax is drawn from the nation, into whofc 
hands it returns again ^ with a general benefit \o the whol^ 
The reader is requefted to coniider this principle attentively. It 
contains a truth demonftrated, pdpable, and inconfe(table, 
though at firft fight not eafily conceived. It is equally evidcm, 
and of the fame nature with ihc principle already eflablidied, 
that the feme piece of money may in one day pafs through twenty 
different hands, and ' reprefent twenty times fuccefEvely its 
numerary value as a fign. AH my reafoning turns upon thefc 

* two principles. The important truths, which I nKiintain in 
oppofition to received prejudices, are derived from them. 

^ To make the former principle ilill more apparent by another 
exampki. let us eoafider Europe çolleiîtively. It will appear 
I that the real money expended by the powers at war mufi: remain, 
ifor certainly it is not annihilated; and that the fums they borrow 




[ w ] 

upon credit are an addition of numcrary wealth, which did not 
exift before. This addition, created by credit, acquires, by 
means of credit and opinion, a value both real , and artificiajl, 
ibtrinfic as well m of convention;. (15.) that it circulates as long 
a^ credit fubfifts, apd performs by parts the office of real ipeciç, 
, however chimerical or impoilible it may be to retlife the 
whole. May not this be the reafon, why the ruin and deva- 
iUtion of war is fometimes fo fbon repaired ? 

Take one example more. It is certain that there are a 
hundred lords in France and England, ,whofe united property 
exceeds, in numerary value, the current coin of the kingdom. 
It neverthelefs obtains its value by circulation, atul the fortune 
of every individual, taken feparately, is real and folid, although 
the whole together, that is, die equivalent for it in money, does 
not appear to exifl. Succeffive loans then are always made with 
the fame identical fpecie, which, through the medium of thefe 
^loans, communicates its own value to the new funds or paper 
created by credit, and returning into general circulation in« 
creaies , the power of lending again. 

All the millions paid to the king of France, are poured back 
into the gulph of the nation. The ocean, from whence they 
fprung, receives them in return, although there may be fome 
bafons in the cafcade, which, not being in their proper place, 
may prevent a more ufeful diftribution. Biit if they were to 
Aagnate at their fource, a beneficial circulation would be^loil; to 
the public» / 


(15.) There can be no intrinfic v^we in a fptcies of property, whidi depends 
merely on opinion to determine whether it be wonb a hundred pounds» ocifq^ 
ér nçfàAng.-'^rattJhioré 

t 23 3 

* The man ^/viio cultivates the foU, is he who really fuffers by 
taxes. (i6t) Statute labor,* impofed upon the peafant, deftroyt 
one fourcc of the opulence of France 1 for it is this part of the 
nation that in fad nourifhes the reft, that gives value to the foil, 
and incrcafes the numerary wealth. Population is the real 
riches of the ftate. The other ordei^s arc indemnified for the 
taxes they pay^ Luxury reftores what luxury takes away, for 

• vice 

' (i^.O Foreigners are much plfended at the light tax which they are obliged to 
pay upon our tiirnfiUce roads, not confidering how natural and juft it'is, that the 
perfon who ufes t'^^^ad Ihould be at the éxpence of repairing' it* In France thé 
cafe is exaâty reverfed» - The wretched peafant, who feMom potktk^ either waggon 
or borfe, is compelled' to keep the. rqads in' repair, yfhiio the traveller pays nothing, 
I fïzy^ feea w^ole families of peafants, with their wives and childreq, employed in 
ihis. flaviib work, at many miles diftance from their habitations. Thefe poor people, 
for want of other cattle, are often obliged to harnefs their cows in the carte 
that convey the ftone or gravel td the road. The fight is fbocking to humanttyti 
Afïer all this oppreffion of the poor, and notwithftanding the beauty of many of * 
their high roads between the principal cities, which is all that foreign travellers are 
likely toobfcrve, there arc few of the more civilifed parts of Europe, where the 
communication between the provLpces is fo impraticable as in France. The want 
of crofs roads is a material check to agriculture. The great roads improve the 
lands within a moderate diftance, but the major part of the kingdom receive no 
benefit from them. A French writer, who feems thoroughly infprmed of everyt 
thing relative to the internal oeconomy of the kingdom, affirms that the rich corn 
provinces have no means to convey fupplies into thofe parts where they are wanted, 
but on the backs of mules, becaufe the roads or lanes will not admit of carriages ; 
that canals, for internal communication, have been equally negleâed ; and that if 
cofts lefs, in fome quarters of the kingdom, to bring corn from England or Africa» 
than to convey it ten leagues by land carriage in France. The, fame writer ob&rvei 
that, if the millions, expended in forming the canal of Languedoc, had been lai^ 
out in (mailer camds of communication 4n the interior of the kingdom, they woulJ 
have been lefs fphndVlj perhaps, but much more ufefuUy, employod* One end of 
this immenfe work was perilbing while tbey i^ere finiihing the otlier.«->Sr^/y{^^« 

♦ Corvées* 




r H 1 

vice Is tribotâiy from its'bârttii. It is a hothafe ivhkh it ùTres 
to virtue. 

If we conûder the .truth of thefe principles» with the nature» 
eflence» and efieâc^ loans nutde and applied with judgment» it 
will be found that» inAead. of impoyeriihing» they really einrich 
the ftate *, that they doubfe the numerary wealth» and of oovfrfi) 
the power of kicreaâng them. Taxes» for the moA. p«rti 
retorn into the hand that gives them. It is always the rich» or 
thofe who fpend money» that pay the taxes in the laid refort» as 
VkW from their own expences» as by enabling others. They pay 
£> Hmch the dearar for the &rvice md labor of tH^widuftrious in 
the inferior ranks» who freqn^Iy make ttfxeà a pi3CtfiiiGe foe 
greater demands. This circulation necefiarily turns to the ad« 
vanta^ of induftry» which always finds itfelf indemnified for the 
pretended burthen laid upon it. The truth of this aflertion 
may be demonftrated thus. ^ The feuf miltions fterling^ 


* Wlien taxes are not fo violent as to wither tbe hand that pays them, the 
momentary colleâion of them in the Exchequer, ahd fubfeguart diftribution»» 
ftroQgh Àe various ehanneb of anauities» ig ww ms , and other «xpences, form a 
MV property» which 4ld n»li txifli btfore^ TUs created ftopcxXf ffvoi birth ta a 
new circulation^ in favor and for the benefit of thofe who paid the taxes. A 
tax, before it is raifed, is divided and difperfed over fo many milKons of fubjeAs, 
Ibat its exiftence is hardly perceivable. The portion paidF by each wdtviibitl 
would, probably remain in bis^ootket, or in bis cbeft, and the produce of fa much 
toduftry be loft ; little or nothyig would come into circulation. If, for example, 
a tax of A penny each were lafd upon the million of perfons, who inhabit Paris» 
fer afingte dtji obHgilig the-rioh fapayfor the^poor^ it hreextzbi that the <:ol- 
kâioa of fuch ^ Aim would fcarcc be perceived by aayindi vidual ; yei if «this fom, 
were given to one indufirious man» it would make his fortune, and enable him 
ft> give an affifiance to circulation, induftry, and confiimption, far beyond i4w 
<KmiMisioa tbcrfc ai>dcles would ^foave fdt by the k£i of .die ^peiMi^ taken £)parately 
ft'om ib-many individuals. In another iniunce, if twenty or thirty drqps of water 
were to fall upon the whole furface of the earth, fo infenfible a fupply would foon 
be dried' up. Without fertilifing tbe foil, or relieving any mznhxhimi whereas^ 
if tWft twenty or thirty drops wieie oeoeMBd iato^ foflsiel» the <éM3i^ «Hgbc 
fonn a fikream capable of the moft vivifying operations. There, muft be a focus 
so colleâ a number of beings, which feparately have no power, but grow z&ive 

* The prinmpîe however muft alwys befoftenedin the cafe of the laborir. 

[25 1 

annually raifed by taxes to pay the intereft of the funds belonging 
to the Englifli, produce at leaft fifteen or twenty millions in 
circulation^ which are laid out for the benefit of induftry. That 
this is true, may eaiily be conceived from the example of the 
crown piece, which may change hands twenty times a day, and 
perform the fame daily operation three hundred and fixty-five 
times a year; and therefore, in the account of that part of the 
four millions which comes into confiant circulation, large 
allowance is made for that part which may be fuppofed not to 
circulate. The revenues, expended by the rich, undoubtedly 
enable the inferior ranks to engage in other lefs coniiderable 
expences with the fame money. To fupprefs one million 
of revenue, would therefore deflroy a circulation of feveral 
millions, and diminifh the contributive power of the inferior 
ranks, by at leafl twenty millions in the courfe of the year. 
I take a year for the general computation, aldipugh the ex- 
ample, already quoted and proved, might poffibly exifl within 
the compafs of a day/ perhaps in lefs. Upon this footing, the 
argument is unanfwerable, and beyond the reach of all pbjedion. 
They, who do not thoroughly comprehend the principle, will 
be unable to follow me through the fyflem. 

In confidering the fécond inconvenience, we fhall be led to 
refleiftions which reduce the firfl to nothing, and ftrengthen my 
fyflem. I affirm, that an advance in the price of labor, and of 
commodities of the firfl neceffity, is not owing to taxes, but to 
other caufes. This advantage, ttnd even taxes themfelves, are à 
neceffary confequence of having a heap of people cplleéled in the 

E great 

as they unite. This example, I belkve, will not appear indifferent, erpeclalty to 
thofe whofe ta£t is fine enough for the contemplation of objeâs of this nature; — 
It completely anfwers a fubtle objeâion which might be made to my firft propofitioo» 
and helps us to comprehend by what fteps a tax may refleâ a benefit upon the public, 
by encouraging induftry, as joon as the Turns it produces come to aconfiftcocy m 
thç centre of coUcftion to which they belong— ^«*7;^n 

i 26 ] 

great cities by commerce, luxury, and opulence. The true 
caufe of it lies in the nature of that immenfe commerce prodticed 
by the difcovery of America. The gold imported from that 
country neceflarily continues the pretended inconveuience. R 
would be ftill greater if it did not find a remedy in the augmen* 
tation of the numcrary wealth, and in the circulation of the 
national debt. EfiFeâs, attributed to other caufes, have in fajâ: 
arifen, on one fide, from the debafement of the metals in their 
iqiality of figns ; on the other, from the im/nenfc tribute Of 
commodities which America demands from Europe, The 
mines of Peru have produced two effeifts, which at firfl: fight 
appear contradictory. Gold and filver becoming very abundant^ 
and lowering of courfe in their quality of figns,' have given 
birth to a multitude of new wauts^ and to a moll exten|ive 
commerce. But to fupf^y the new demands^ which the 
lowering of the value of money had itfelf created^ it was 
necefiary that the quantity of it Aiould be prodigioufly increa&d. 
Money then, in its turn, had XKrcafion to be reprefented by new 
figns, in order to quicken its own circulation; and the 
advantages, arifing from the niuhiplicity of figns, are fuperior 
to the inconveniences produced by a diminution in the value of 
the metals. 

I affirm, that the pofitive refources, <»* metallic wealth of the 
Englifh nation, would be infufficient to anfwer the demands 
gradually produced by the difcovery o£ America^ and that the 
Englifli government could never have borrowed fuch iminen£e 
fums, if it had not been for the circulation arifing from the 
creation of thefe very funds. Credit is protefted by credit. 
Circulation favors circulation ; paper and public funds fupport 
new paper and new funds^ by fupplying difiorent loàflfi fuccef» 
fively with the fame fpecie, through the medium of circulation, 




I ^7 1 

and the traffic la the flocks. As the ûumerary weftlth multiplies, 
contiaually» the national debt gives nourishment to commercet 
a^d becomes the fupport aqd remedy of that luxuryy^t-o which j 
in fome inftances^ it gives birth. It h^s enriched the nationf» and 
enabled her to pay her taxes. Frooxthefe principles it follows» 
that former debts h^ve enabled the nation to contradt new ones. 
The e^eâ: of power becomes the ca^fe of, it;. It is the debaib* 
meat of gpld and filver^ in their quality of iigns» that haa 
trel)led the nominal price of commodities. When we fay tha$ 
every thing is dearer, we mean that money is lefs valuable ; 
and it loibs its value, becaufe there is more of it. It may be 
iaid that a man, who has a|i income of three thoufand crowns, 
is not richer now than his ancestor was formerly with a thou* 
fimdi but there are twenty people in Europe» who have three 
thouiand crowns a year« for one who» two hundred and fifty 
years ago, had a choufand. 

The increafe of fpecie was the caufe of the firft advance in the 
price of labor, and of commodities of the firft neceflity. On the 
other hand, gold and filver, though prodigioully augmeated» 
and become fo much more common in Europe, have never** 
theleis flood in need of being represented by new âgns, in 
order to anfwer the multitude of aew demands» which the firil: 
abundance of fpecie gave birth to. Snob, in aU proii^biirty» is i 
the true origin af hanks,. ^âipœ, paper irr^dit, and public fuads» 1 
and of the £M:iltty Mth which they have hceu creatcd.^iy.i i 
Tiicy all f€»vie tp apçownt the nutncrary wealth, and to ûx 

E;t and 

{17.} Tkey^ wha iirft ^^oomm^tià^ «tbe ffyâem of l^»\s U Ei^land, ha^^ 
prohably, no other view but to fupply the icnmediate neceffitles of government, 
without burthening the people. In other countries, money has been borrowed by 
government with a poKttca! dcSgn^^fcjtiring the -attacKiment of wcakby indi- 
viduaU to the ftatc. The Abbé ftagifal iàys, that the V^nctfama veerc the lîift 
wTio borrowed money of their fubjcfts on this principle.—- 2rtf;j(Z{i/^r. 

C ^« ] 

and collect the riches of individuals, which, in a great tneafure, 
would not exift, if it were not for the creation of the funds that 
cômpofe the national debt, bank flock, and other public 
fecurities. I fay, they fix and colledt the riches of individuals. 
In efFed, money in fpecie is diffipated and loft; but having 
communicated its own quality to the figns that reprcfent it, it 
goes away to perforni its .office elfewhere, and, fupportcd by 
credit, ftill preferves that communicative quality, of which fo 
many experiments have been made in England, without any 
proportionate increafe in the quantity of coin, notwithftanding 
the prodigious increafe of wealth, or of the figns that reprefent it. 
To comprehend the connexion of thefe feveral truths, we 
muft go back a little, and confider with attention the revolutions, 
which have gradually taken place in Europe, fince the compafs 
enlarged our univèrfe by the difcovery of America* The quan- 
tity of gold and filver increafed fo rapidly from that period, that, 
it ifoon lowered their value as figns. Induftry found employment 
on all fides. The external luxury of America indemnified 
the trading nations of Europe for their own internal luxury 
now carried to excefs, and raifed the price of labor in two 
ways; firft, by lovsFcring the value of money, and afterwards 
by the quantity of manufaÔures exported to America. This 
external commerce has at the fame time obviated the fatal eâèét 
of the advance upon the price of things. It were to be wiflied, 
that we had an equal compenfation in point of morals, which 
fince that period have loft more than they have acquired. It ds 
faid that there is lefs fimplicity, lefs truth, in each particular 
ibciety, though fociety in general beimproved.(i8.) Is it pofiible 


( i8. ) Thie word imptwid is equivocal. We have exchanged one fet of manners 

liNT aoQther, The poliib waftcs the fuhftaoçél Yhe lame refinement that quicken 




[ 29 ] 

that political Virtue fhould grew from the extcnfion of moral 
vice? Be that as it may, the difcovery of the new world has 
certainly caufed a notorious revolution, both phyfical and moral, 
in the old one. New diforders, new remedies, and new 
interefts, have given, as it were, a new form to the paflions. 
A tafte for commerce, colonies, marine, navigation, and frefh 
difcoveries> is become the univerfal fyftem. The cultivation of 
arts and fciences is connefted with a taftie for commerce, and 
has added a new varnifli to the politenefs of Europe. The eafe, 
with which a fortune may be acquired, has eftabliflied a kind of 
liberty and equality, that brings the different ranks nearer 
together, and baniflies that flavery and debafement, in which a 
general poverty, compared with the wealth of a very few indi- 
viduals, feemed to plunge the people. This perhaps is the 
greateft benefit derived to Europe from the difcovery of America, 
The fortuné of the Medicis was exclufive and immenfe. From a 
private ftation, they became fovereigns, and enflaved their country. 
The fubjefts of Charles V. and Philip II. on the contrary, drew 
the means of freedom from the refources of commerce. The 
world feemed to enlarge under the power of the Spanifh 
monarchy, and in many rcfpedts altered its form. A general 
opulence introduced by the gold and filver of the new world, 
the multitude of hands employed to fupply the new wants and 


our fenfations, enervate the power of fndulgmg them. It is not poiSble that either 
the mind or bod/ can be at the fame moment delicate to feel, and vigorous to 
enjoy. Every fbte has its compenfations. Xn the midft of our refinements, we 
triumph without reafon over the uncultivated fimplicity of our anceftors. They 
felt perhaps as fenflble a gratification in their^^^^zr^i^ ftruggles for public liberty, 
as any of their enlightened pofterity can derive from perfonal enjoyment. No two 
minds refer to the fame fbndard of pleafure. The prodigal who fquanders thet 
cftate^ has little or no advantage over the miier who coUeâed it.^^Tranfiaiûr^ 

[ 30 ] 

luxury of Amerîca, have created new means of fubfiftence.*^ 
When the political machines, like the elements of commerce, 
grew more extenfive, vafl: and, complicated, they required 
fprings ftronger and more numerous. It became neceflary to 
multiply the circulation of paper, by which the numerary 
wealth was increafed. This was done as it were by inftinû, but 
with fear and trembling. We fcarce knew what we were ddtng, 
or for what reafon. Gold and filver having loft three fourths of 
their value, a greî^t quantity was recjuired to reprefent (o many 
things, and to keep the fame machines going which money Ixad 
fet in motion. Means of all forts were to be trebled. Without 
an augmentation of the iigns of value, which form an artificial 
wealth, neither commerce nor luxury could have fubfiftcd^ 
It is the difcovery of America, which, by an extraordinary 
increafe in the mafs of gold and filver, has extended commerce, 
luxury, navigation, and manufaâurcsL. There required a greater 
rapidity pf circulation s and by a fingular paradox, as money 
multiplied and grew common^ it required fo many more ùgn$ 
to reprefent it. Public funds, paper and f^ks, became 
necefiary, fometimes to abforb an excefs of j^cie, and forne* 
times, like a ipunge, to be prefied and give it back agaia. Tlxy 
. fix, increafe, and coUeâ the numerary in one quarter^, wJale the 
Specie itfelf circulates in another. The nation is rc;diy richer, 
becaufe it appears fo, and furniflies government with greater 
fupplies upon critical and decifive occafions; without precluding, 
however, the ufe of proper expedients to relieve ^4 dûftrdis 
that muft refidt from too great a fwell of the natioiud édbt. 


♦ The fluttiber <tf perfoits, in ffftuent or eafy circtrmftaticfes, is confidertibly 
increafbd in iùntopc Ancc tbe dik^vtry of America. T^nre are «iiM% tnoafts «^ 
gaining a livelihood. I do not ^t prefent enquire whether the 4)ecefitouSg ùi». 
pbor, and the îndîgertl, may not be more fo than in former times. Abftraâedjy, it 
may be in feme flrape inore-éffficult to tjbtam the ^bare nect'flkries of life. Want, 
• ftrongly contraftod with overgrown wealth, is more fcnfibly felt.— ^w/i&^r. 







It has been already proved, that every loan increafes the 
Tiiimcrary wealth. Different loans are always advanced with 
the fame money ; the numerary is iloubled by the creation of an 
artificial property, and the ftate is enriched. The Engliih 
gSovernmcnt, by gradually giving up four millions fterling a year 
to their own fubjed« and to foreigners, in return for eflential 
ajQTiftance, has enriched the kingdom with more than a hundred 
millions fterling; whereas not a tenth part of this numerary 
would have exiftcd, without the creation of the funds. The 
taices, drawn from the public to pay the intcreft, and afligncd 
cf mortgaged for this purpoie, are poured^ back again with 
ûlliry. It may well be feid, that the right hand pa)rs the left. 
it is exactly as if government remitted to the nation a part of 
the taxes levied upon the nation. Inequality in the diftribution 
does not leflen the profit in the total.* This inequality is ftill 
cforreâed by the nKMiey which the proprietors of the funds 
fpend themfelvcs, and enable others to Ipend. A great part of 
their revenue is employed in favor of induftry. Thus every I 
. account is balanced, the numerary phantom of artificial riches/ 
continues to fubfift, produces its effeét, fupports the proprietors^ , 
and is beneficial to others. The mafs of reprefentative figns 
fopplies the place of a real, folid property. Every individual 
may upon occafion convert it into Ipecie, although it would 
be (19.) impraticable for them all to jdo it at once ; a caie that 


* The pcoprietors of tbe Freach, OiKcb, and Eoglifli funds, are, I confefs, 
boconiQ joint ufufru^uarm of the fefrUorial revenue of etoh country, and, in foioe 
meafure, joint owners of tbe Coil. But, fo far from being an evil, I confider it as 
a.benefit which lightens the bucthenfome port of taxation*— 'uiu/i^r. * 

(19O That the artificial property veiled in the funds cannot at once be realifed» 

or converted into fpecie, U no argument againfi; tbe national debt's conftituting 

part of the numerary weakhcf tbe nation. An hundred millions in lands, goods, 

and houiesj hotvyithllanding their intrinfic value, are no more convertible into 




t 32 ] 

never exifts. The fame might be faid of lands, houfes, and all 
kinds of chattels^ which have by no means fo ready and quick a 
circulation as the public funds. 

** Among commercial nations," fays Montefquieu, ** that, 
** which pofleffes the moft money, is not the richeft and the 
*« ftrongeft ; but that which has the moft money circulating in 
property and real commodities, by means of reprefentativc 
figns:" Real money being reprefentcd by fomething elfe, its 
numerary quantity incrcafes,. This furplus, favored by cir- 
culation, occafions a kind of overflow, but is foon eolleâed 
again by the magnetic virtue of commerce and credit, and 
returns into the fame hands, with an increafe of power to repeat 
a like operation every year» The diftributive faculty does not 
wear out, but, inftead of being enervated, acquires ftrength by 
exertion. It is probable then, and indeed I am thoroughly 
convinced, that, without the circulation of the old debt, the 
Englifh government could never have borrowed fuch large fums 
as they did in the laft war. , The more thefe principles are 
confidered, the more the truth of them will be felt.* 


fpecie than a hundred millions in thé ftocks. At firft fight it (hould feem that the 
failure of public credit muft immediately raife the value of other more folid 
fecurities^ Yet fa£ls unqueftionably prove the contrary. In thofe countries where 
there is no iiâitious property, or where the circulation of it is checked for want of 
credit, the value of land is always low in proportion ; and fo vice verHu— i 

* From all this reafoning with refpeâ to America, and the revolutions occa- 
fioned by the difcovery of that country, it may be concluded, that the high price 
of labor is a neceflary confequence of riches, luxury, commerce, opulence, and 
the great con fumption produced by an increafe of demands, and of population, in 
an mduftrious nation. In this refpeâ, the population of Europe and America 
is the fame. T^xes contribute to ratfe the price of labor ; but, as they alfo are a 
confequence of wealth, eafe, and liberty, the mifchief they do is overbalanced by 
other advantages. The number of the rich being augmented by the creation of 
faâitious funds, gives birth to a new property, and redoubles the means of 




f 33 I 
(20.) Let us proceed to the third and greateft incenveniencq 
of the debt. It is certain^ that the powers who borrow become ^ 
tributary to the foreigner who lends. Yet this inconvenience^ 


entouraeing induftry, arts» manufa^res» agriculture, and commerce. The 
four millions fterlioe raifed by taxes, and which on one fide are a clog toinduftry, 
produce twenty roilnons in circulation, which, as t have already Ibown, are all 
employed in favor of induftry;— iA/i&^, - 

(20.) Thé extraâiôn of our fpecie to pay the intereft due to foreigners has 
always been confidered as a fevere drain to the nation, and one of the greateft 
mifchiefs attending the national debt. The arguments or declamations on this 
topic are endlefs ; yet it may be doubted, whether they have ever been candidly 
compared with the faâi The moft plauftble fpeculations muft fubmit to experience. 
An internal principle of decay, conftantly operating, can never be reconciled to a 
continued appearance of health and vigor. In arguments of this nature, -fome 
little faâ, miftaken or omitted in the premifefs, makes a wide difference in the 
conclufion i and then the longer we argue, the farther are we at laft from hitting 
the mark. Minifters, and others, who have had all the means of informatioh 
before them, have found it impoffible to afcertain, with exaânefs, the quantity 
'of ftockpoflefledby foreigners^ The author, ii> another place, affirms from his 
own obfervation, that it cannot much exceed one feventh of the debt ; againft 
which it is but fair to fet the fums which Britiih fubjeâs have in foreign funds, 


particularly in thofe of France, which pay a higher intereft. If the general fuppo^ 
fition be true, that the foreign ptopefty amounts to one fixth of the whole debt, or 
about twenty-two millions, a certain annual drain of fix hundred and fixty 
thoufand pounds, added to the great fums fpentby our travellers on the continent, 
.or fent oyer to purchafe foreign finery, muft inevitably exhauft all our refoarces, 
carry all the fpecie out of the kingdom, and keep the courfe of exchange conftantly 
againft us. * Or, admitting that this lofs might be made good by the general profits 
of our trade, ftill the nation co^ld never have thriven and flourilhed as it has 
done, if the whole or greater part of its earnings were conftantly drained away as 
faft as they came in. There muft be fome fallacy in an argument which evidently 
proves too much for the fadt. Upon the ftri£teft enquiry that it has been poffibte 
for me to make into this matter, I have found reafon to believe, that, fetting afide 
fome extraordinary occafions, the greateft part of the intereft due to foreigners 
'has not been remitted to them as faft as it became due, but has been reinvefted in 
* the funds ; and that this is ftill the cafe. The greater part by far of thofe 

F foreigners* 



[ .34 ] 
anal «s it is, is nothâng in. q^mp4f îAm . with Mie a47«ntage& of 
•vrlriçh w« have b^ea fpeakiog. £ivçry thing has itf i^icoa^v^ 
jiknce. Thil qùû. however (inferi<>r in itfelf to the a4vaotS)gS8 


'Ibreignere, vvho vefl Aoif money in our fuiub» are not people who maui t# fuMft 

' 1^)011 the intereft of It. Thty kavç a portion of thfeir propcrtf to accumulate herc^ 

cither as a reiource for old age, or as a (èci|i^ for tb^ir cbiMroA» wbil^ they ^iiv- 

ihlvçs cçntim»; m thai OCCMjpation in wliîch they acquired their moocy. Xbc 

juft Qpinicm, which ovcry foreigner, who knows any thing of the matter, conceives 

cif parliamentary faith, and the certainty that no violent meafures will ever be 

attempted agaluft the public credltors^^ naturally draws a)l their idle money into 

tl^is cowtry i^ wi that ^y l^ve a conûdcrable part of the intereft to accumulate^ 

fçoms fsMther probable from this fa<%> that» in peaceable times^ immediately aftçr 

f V<ff7 dlvidçfid (deduftixij; the val.ue of the dividend itfelf) ftocks are conft^tfy 

^fcrvedtcriffu Thç moa^thus rei(ivefted returns into circulation, andj^ giving 

^irth or çnçovragemçnt to new induftry, creates a new revenue, which not only 

payi thf focçigu aonuitant, but leaves a ^profit of fuperlucratioo within the 

kingdo^iu After aU, ^nMtting Uk antmity p^d to Ibrei^^nert to be ever fucb a 

tH^r^çA to the nation» it does not feem that difcharging the principal would mend 

j^ nf^iUer. AU the difference would then be, whether we ^ould exhauft the 

;4l9y|mi ^f ita caft^ at once, or by diigreesij in other words, whetha" we (hould take 

vitbi^ grtat capital q^t of commerce and circulation, or continue to pay moderate 

ifltçfeft fçK a fum, the improvement of which, with good management, may 

produci^ double what wq pay for the ule of it« Inftç^d of general declamations 

^againjl paj^Bg a great annuity to foreign ftates» the only rational fn^uiry feems ^o 

he, whether we gain more by the ufe, than we lofe by the intereft* 

It is ia«d, that tjbe debt due to foreigners leaves the nation at their mercy^ 
and that, upon any critical occaiIon> they can fyilc the ftocks at pleafiune, and 
diftrefs govtnuaent. This confideration Would be very important, if it were 
pofKble for a foreign court to oblige t^ir fubjeâs to call in all their funded 
Iproperty at once* The prefent king of France has attempted it in vain, by iftiiing 
tBomé^tQfy edj^s in which he reproaches his fubjeâs with ^ant of aSedion to 
their countiy* But this it but a fecond-band policy. Individ iials in all countries 
coflfult their own intereft firft ; and fo for have they been from oMnpIying with the 
political view» of ^e ftate^ they belong to, that it has been obferved that, in 
time of war aasd apprehcafiexH diey have always been ipoft ready to fend theif 


[ 35 1 

It produces) tsiUll fartbOT eactpraated by thoTe derivod from the 
ibretgnfr^ ivbo furaiaies eft demand the fums wanted, part of 
which are frequently fpent îa the kingdom. But the points 
that moil deferves to be confidered» is that» without this 
for«îgii fupplemeptj, by which ^the mçafure of power is filled 
upi which keeps the game alive» and of courfe promotes cir- 
culation» England could not have found fuch extenfive refources. 
The want of this fupplcment might perhaps have checked and 
çnfeeb^d all. her operations. I ihall explain this point in my 
anfwer to the fourth objeâion» touching the fpirit of jobbing 
^nd traffic in fhe ftockf. The fame felution ^ applies to both 

I have already obferved» that the proprietors of the funds are 
commonly looked upon as mere boolc-keepers^ who live m 
idleottft M the oxpetice of the ioduftrious.* This is a falib 
notion; for the national debt k ib Yoluminous» that it is 
; Fa difperfèd 

tûûtitj to Eagland* If tjtyij were ta attempt to fell out sjl» of the grçateft part 
•f t)iefar property ^ Duce, tfaejr muft lofe immenfely upon their capita. We 
ibottU of €ùuf(^ fff^f tbeoi off at a great diuulranta^e to themiclyea^ and the 
nation would, clearly. ^ân. the differtmce between the high price^ at which the j 
bou|^t» and the low onc^ ?t whtd» they would be obliged to felL Money bor* 
«owed of foreigners «I tipaeof war^ bpfidet anfwering the great political purpoic 
of XUpply, preveon our drawifii^ an equal fum out of trade, or diverting thç 
application of it fsùm beoeficiil improv^ementau To extend our traide, or improve 
oar eftaies». with oCbttr people'^ money, is good eecpoomy in itfelf, and implies 
credit.— rrtfij;^/'. 

* It is poiMe ibati at the end ^f the laft oeniuiyy ^ote 4he credit of Zp^hnà 
had arrined at tfaia pr^igions elfi|vatipn, the high intereft of money in the funds 
might have diverted fome individuals from commerce and labor, and confined them 
to the indolent fhte of Idle ànnuitatltâ. tt saually happened fo; but fmee the 
fuitds have yififlded cîAf oiXkOâerafee iofemft, . it JMgorJdie ca(%, ^ It i$ alfo true, 
Aàt àhb /acili^ pf yeftiAtg.oipney in the funds, of buyina for time, of giving 
pcemiums, and of winning large fums in a Ihoit time, nas been thé ruin of 
niaity individilats; This ^e has ovenurned^the fbttunes of feveral, 4mt it haa 
eftabliihed as tmhf others, iod people mt^t cfmdly rum Ifaamfelves io any other 




[ â6 ] 

difpcrfed all over the nation. Every order of ^ the (late bas 

^^ ■ ' », 

à fhare in it. There (21.) is no dîftînâ: body of men to do 
that bufinefs, which in another country is called finance. So 
far is this intereft from making them bad fubje^s, that it 
attaches them to their country. Every man is bound by an equal 


« - 

(21.) When the bufinefs of advancing money to government is monopolifed by 
a particular fet of men» as it is in France by the farmers general, circulation 
cannot be fo quick and eafy as in thofe countries where every man, who has 
money, is admitted to fubfcribe to public loans, without preference or diftinâioii. 
On the other hand, government cannot negotiate with a monopoly on fuch 
favorable terms, as they might with the public at large. The fyftem, on which 
the fiiiances of France are conduâed, leave the king, as well as his fubjeâs, at the 
Î inercy of a fet of men, who ought to be no more than the colleâors of the reveitue. 
I In behalf of this fyftem it is faid, chat, in the moment of neceiSty and diftrefs, 
[ the ill-gotten riches of the financiers area certain refource; to govçrnment^ and 
\ ^at, in every arbitrary ftate, it is good policy to fuffer and encourage one particulac 
} order of men to enrich themfelves by plundering the people. Having rendered them- 
\ felves Univerfally odious, it is a fatisfaâion to the nation to fee them plundered in 
their turn \ and when the fovereign extorts from them^ by main force, what they had 
extorted by fraud and injuftice from their fellow fubjefls, he has the ccedit of doing 
an aâ of jufiice to his people. This is one of the wife maxims gf ftate fuppofed 
, to have been recommended to Lewis XIV. by Mr. de Louvois. The fame 
\ upright minifter, in another place, recommends the employing a multiplicity of 
I officers and colleâors in every branch of the revenue. He obferves that the 
I dexterity of thefe perfons, in multiplying and perpetuating law-fuits, and. obtaining 
\ decifions in favor of the contraâors, are of fingular ufe to mortify the nobility^ 
Vnd to reduce the people into that ftate of annihilation, which is fo neceflary to 
kleep them quiet. ^< Les officiers, qui favent adroitement multiplier les procès, les 
<4 perpétuer, ou les juger au profit des traitans, font d'un grand fecours à entretenir 
**?le peuple dans Tetat d'aneantîflcment, ou il faut qu'il foit pour demeurer 
•| paifible, et à- mortifier la noblefle par mille voies indireôes." Whether thefc 
]|e the words of Louvois or not, it is certain that they conuin the great funda- 
mental principle of French government. By adhering to it with a laudabk 
|leadine(s, Lewis XIV. reduced both his people and himfelf to the moft depIo« 
*Wc beggary, and was very near overturning the monarchj^.— 2r<w»^/^r, 


I 37 1 

obligation to fdpport and favor credit. As for ftockjobbers, 
they are certainly the levers that move the machine. (22.) 
Circulation could not be carried on v^ithout them, nor could 


(22.) The author's principle, that ftockjobbing has facilitated the négociation 
of large loans, may, in a great meafure, be well founded. But his earneftnefs to 
prove it fo, hurries him into the aflertion of propofitions too falfe and dangerous to 
pafs unnoticed, and which in effeâ he foon retraâs. He obferves, in another 
place, that a man ruined is a fruitful plant withered up, whofe numerary wealth 
ceafes to exift. Nothing is lefs likely to be true in argument, or certainly more 
falfe in faâ, than that the ruin of any number of individuals, who lofe their 
fortunes in 'Change alley, or by any other fpecies of gaming, is the making or 
eftablifhment of an equal number of other fortunes. Great fums, eafily gained,, 
are fquandered in an extravagance which not only brings diftrefs along with it, but 
di fables the mind from returning to habits of œconomy and aâive induftry. Thç 
inftances of perfons, prudent and refolute enough to retire with their winnings, ar^ 
fo very few, that, if they deferve to be confidered at all, it is only as exceptions^ 
by which a general rule is confirmed. In the mean time the enormous expence of 
the game itfelf, and the total difregard of money, which naturally arifes from a 
quick fuccelEon of great profits and great lofles, and from a continual circulation 
of large fums, operates uniformly and without intermiffion, and in the end is the 
ruin of all parties. It is alfo very material to obferve that, if gaming produced no 
other effeâ but that property fhould fuddenly Change hands, the elevation of one 
man is no compenfation to focfety for the ruin of another. They are both, 
perhaps, equally mifcblevous in their eflTeû. It is ncî merely a transfer of pro- 
perty, indifferent to all but the parties themfelves ; nor is it merely a change of 
place, to which the minds of men are eafily accommodated. Both parties are apt to 
be corrupted by the novelty of their fituation. On one fide we fee folly, infolence, 
vanity, extravagance, and a pernicious example ; on the other, a total lofs' of 
fpirit, pride, honor, and independence. If this fudden transfer of wealth, 
inftead of being confined to a few individuals, were to become univerfal, the 
ftate could not fubfift a moment. It is true, that a merchant may be ruined in 
any other kind of traffic s but the circumftances of the two cafes are no way 
parallel. In the ordinary courfe of a fuccefsful trade, a great fortune is flowly 
acquired. In a lofing trade the approach to ruin is gradual. By care and manage- 
ment it may be flopped at different ftagcs 5 by firenuous refolution it may be 



C 38 î 

govci'nmcnt have borrowed fuch large fums, without the traffic 

in the flock's. The univcrfal turn (83.) for gaming, which 

ftockjobbcrs have introduced, greatly facilitates the borrowing 

of money. In Holland» the Eaft India company have aâions 

in fome chambers or departmentSt where there is no traffic, or I 

where there is nothing done. The adions in that department arc 

of the fame nature with thofe of the chamber of Amfterdam, 

yet bear a much lower price. The fame thing happens to à 

flock called the Million bank, in London. The fa(ft is 

ùnqueftîonablé.' (24.) Whenever a new loan is in agitation in 

England» | 

rf covered at the laft In the meaK time a branch of commerce, by which an indivi-^ 
éual it ruined, may flirnifli employment for thoufands 3 and misfortunes in trade are 
hot, like lodes' at play, a difgrace to the man who fuflTers them. They excite the 
compatfon, and nevet fall to engage the affiftance, of ibclety. As for thofe 


cxtenfire enterprife$» and unlimited fpeculations, by vAààx a fortune may be loft 
or acquired in a moment, they are not founded on true commencial principles, btit 
belong to the chapter of Gaming. A merchant, fuined by fuch fchemcs, deferve) 
as little mercy as a gamefter.-— îr^w/fo/^r. 

(23.) With refpeâ to ftockjobbing, it is very true, that thofe particular fun^» 
the three per Cents, confolidated for example, in which moft gaming is tarried oo# 
always bear the beft price, notwithftanding the mtfs is gftater, «od é» teurity 
and intereft no better, .than in the other three per cents. The diibaMe between » 

the price of the confols and India annuities is generally fi:ofn,thrce to fimr per cent* 
and India bonds, when tbey bear only three per cent, are iirequently above par« 
Ceteris paribus, the marketable quality of a commodity increafes its value. By tb4 
Million bank, the author means the million raifed in 1726, by lottery at three 
pgr cent, and which has. not been united with tha cmfolidatcd three per cents.*^ 

(24.} It J8 cer^tn that every contrivance that iwoHttaxm the di%ioficioii, fide, 
transfer, n>ortgaging, &c. of ftock, ox any other property, improvetf the circn* 
lation of that property, and thereby adds a new value to it. The author's^ idea, 
that moneyed men purchafe ftock in order to lend, or fell it for time 10 the bit>kers, 
ijBtms planfible and ingoaîoiio i but I dodtt whether itbe fouikUd in Mt* It is 



r 39 ] 

Eqgla&di tjie brokers, or detkra in the ftocksj draw forth 
aU the money hoarded by individual!, and make it circulate for 
the fervice of government. Firft, the facility of felling ilock 
for timej and of giving and taking premiums upon the fame 
ftock, induces many people to employ their money» who would 
not do it without iuch advantages. Secondly» there is a great 
number of moneyed men, both in England and Holland, who 
are unwilling to run the rifques of a war» and dierefore will not 
veil: their money definitively in the new funds. Their mediod 
is then to lay out ten» fifteen, or twenty thouikod pouflds 
ilerling in annuities» which they &11, for a dated time^ to the 
dealers in the Aocki. By tbde mpeans they receive good 
intereft for their money» w^out being fubjeâ to variations in 
the price of the principal^ which go to the account of the jobber; 
and the oegociatioa is cpntinued £qc ye»», to the funcunt of 
milUoaSe AfliAed by Ûas praâioe, the BngUâi govemaMnt has 
borrowed fums, which» witiiout die trafic in the ftocks» and 


the ingenious contrivances of ilockjobbers» could never hgve 
been raiied» By fiich mam^ement the Engliih government has 
not only fwept up the money of thofe who were inclined to veft 
their moci^ in the Aodu» but alio of thofe who had no iucji 
inclination This» 1 believe» is a fecret which government 
itfelf was not acquainted vrith. 

The benefit then» derived by government from the dealers in 
the docks» is unqiudtionahly inunenfe. If after that I ihonld 
be /sdk^ what I thought of the employment» I âK)uld frankly 
confefs» that I would diûuade my children» friends» and relations» 
from meddling with ÎU It is a dangerous trade» and has of late 


ufuidly ih% gtmefter, or fpeculatift, wbo pledges hia ftock to the banker, or 
iDoncyed man, and of courfe on difadvants^eous terms» as prudence always hyi 
folly under contribution«— >7rj^/^r. 


[40 ] 

^ « • 

been grofly perverted. It requires a man of great knowledge in 

• * 

the bufinefs, and who makes it his only occupation. When 
people engage in it, as it often happens, to repair a broken ' 
fortune, or to make one rapidly, they find it a more dangerous 
game than any other. Many, a man, who is fuppofed to be 
ruined by ftockjobbing, had recourfe to * it only when he was - 
already, from other caufes, in the road to ruin, and, in many- 
cafes, might have avoided it, if^ inftead of employing a method 
fo full of danger and feduâion, he had at once cut the mifchief 
to the quick, by a prudent œconomy, by lowering His eftablifli- 
ment, by overcoming the vain opinion of the world, and fetting 
himfelf above, it. This point would furniih materials for a long 
train of reafoning, and a feparate treatife. 

The traffic in the flocks divides into various branches, and 
fbrms a very complicated fubjeâ. It may be carried on with 
prudence, and with a certain profit, where a man only means 
to make the moft of his property without any of the rifques of 
play. If fpeculations in the funds do not exceed the abilities 
of the perfon who fpeculates, and if he does not fufifer himfelf to 
be governed by his broker, there is lefa hazard in this game 
than any other. I have touched this matter lightly in a ieparate 
Eflay on Stockjobbing. (25.) 

If, without the traffic in the flocks, the power of the Englifh 
to raife money had only amounted to two thirds of what the 
fervices demanded, thofe two thirds would probably have been 


(25 ) This efiuy, relating chiefly to the praâice in Holland, is not tranflated. 
No good purpofe can be anfwered by explaining a fcieoce, which it is no honeft 
nan's intereft to ftudy^ and whith no man can be mafter of, without engaging in 
the praâice. To fpeculate with fafety, the author makes it a condition that yoi» 
(hall not be governed by your broken The condition alone amounts to an 

[ 41 3 
thrown àwày. Hie advantages they gained Would not have 
taken place, and their lofles would have been as great as their 
fucceffes have been. When a power is wanted equal to ten, 
and we poflefs but five, the proportion is not as two to one, 
but very often as ten to nothing. We lofe all that we employ, 
beeaufe feeble efforts arc hot only ineffectual, but dangerous, and 
turn againft the party that ufes them. Slownefs in one degree is 
the caufe of it m a greater, and feeblenefs produces feeblcnefs. 
If the Englifh had fent a fîeet and army, weaker by one third 
than it was, to conquer the Havanna, the expedition would 
have mifcarried. Not only the whole expence would have been 
loft, but that lofs would have occafioned many others. Inftead 
of the titafure, and other advantages produced by their fuccefs, 
every circumftancc would have been inverted. I do not, there-» 
fore, exaggerate in what I fay of the inequality in the proportion* 
In politics, the effedt of doing all that is wanted, compared with 
doing two thirds of it, inftead of being as three to two, is fbme- 
times as all to nothing. The whole fuccefs depends upon fome 
little fupplement df power, to which if ftockjobbing and 
foreigners contribute, or if they are neceffary to obtain it, they 
cannot be too much confidered and encouraged. Now it is 
demonftrated, that, if it were not for the circulation which this 
ganûng excites among fordgners and in the kingdom, moneyed 
'men would ncrer venture to engage fo deeply in a new loan, of 
would not find fuj^ies, with that aftonifhing and reqoifite 
celerity, at the moment they arc demanded. It is the ready 
market that encourages to enterpriie, and favors circulât ioi^^^ 
That produced by gaming is prodi^ous. It is inconceivable 
how much it facilitates the means of difpofing of funded property 
at every Inftant, and for very confiderable &m». To this facility, 
which individuals Imd in dîfpofîng of their propertyr England is 

G indebted 


[ 42 3 

indebted in part foi the eafe with which fucb enormous loans 
have been made, and for the fignal fucceffcs that have attended 
them. The benefit therefore is far fupcrior to the inconvenience 
refulting from ftocfcjobbers and foreign creditors. Both one and 
the other have been eflentially ufefùl to England, and con- 
tributed not a little to the fuccefs of her military operations^ 
This was the point to be proved. 

It appears then, that the national debt, far ïrom being zn 
oppreffive burthen, has enriched the kingdom, and encouraged 
commerce; and that the mifchief of taxes and impofls is in 
part fallacious* We have feen the true caufes of advance in the 
price of labor, and commodities of the firft ncccffity. It has 
t)een fliown how much ftockjobbing, and the concern which 
foreigners have in the funds, contribute to credit and circulation.! 
Particular inconveniencies, which I readily admit, can never 
balance fuch fignal advantages. 

. Thefe principles, however, arc not to bé carried too far. It 
is poffible to accumulate the natipnal debt to a point that would 
greatly diftrefs the kingdom. There is a maximum of two forts 
, to be equally avoided. One is the amount of t^ejintficeftproyided 
j^f focJ>y, taxes. . The other concerns the mafs of pa per in circu- 
^kti9n. I believe we are at à greater diftance from the firft thaa 
the fécond. It will appear in the courfe of this work, that all 
the refources of England, with refpedl to taxation, are not yet 
exhaufted; whereas it has been believed, that reprefcntative 
figns in paper could not circulate beyond a certain proportion with 
the current fpecie. Speculative calculators have limited this 
proportion to three to one. (26.). But uniform experience in 


(26.) This rouft be an arbitrary fuppofition, taken at random, without faâa 
«r data. In England all the fpeculations and propbcdf t on this Aibjeâ have beta 






l 43 J 

England ha$ proved to a demonftration thât ît may be carried 

/much farther. Still, however, it demands a limitation. One 

f inconvenience occafioncd by the]enormous mafs of paper * is, 

; that the price of (locks is more fenfibly affeûed now, than 

' G 1 formerly, 

conftantly confuted by éxperîeitcc. The higheft computations carry our fpecie 
but z little beyond thirty millions. Others reduce it to eighteen or twenty* 
Taking it at a medium of twenty-five millions, the debt alone, compared with 
the fpecie^ is abpve five to one. If to the mafs of the public debt we add the 
quantity of paper iflued by the Bank, the flock of trading companies, notes o^ 
bankers and private traders, India bonds, exchequer bills, &t. perhaps it would 
be reafon&ble to fuppofe (for certainty is not to be had) that paper in this country 
is' to fpecie In the proportion of ten to one at the leaft. In the year 17 19, Mr» 
I«aw\s new Bank and Weft-India Company had iflued paper, or created aâions, 
within a very ihort fpace, to the amount of above fix thoufand one hundred and 
thirty-eight millions of livres, when the whole fpecie in the kingdom did not 
exceed twelve hundred mitltons. This, perhaps, confidering. the nature of the 
French government, and the rapidity of the operation, is one of the moft 
extraordinary fa£ts in the whole hiftory of finance. A very ingenious French 
writer obferves upon it, ^^ That fo great adifproportion might perhaps have been 
*< fupported in a free country, if it had been gradually introduced. The people^ 
<^ accuftomed t^ cônifidei' the nation as a permanent body, accept of national 
^^ fecurify the more reacKly, fftnn not knowing the exaâ extent of the refources» 
<^ at the fame time that they conceive a favorable opinion, ufually founded lipon 
«« experience, of the juftice of the nation. Under this prejudice, credit is often 
<* carried beyond all the refources, and all the fecurities. England is a proof of 
<< it. It is not the fame in abfolute monarchies, efpecially in thofe which have 
'* often violated their engagements» If, during a moment of delirium, an 
^ unlimited confidence fbould happen to be repofed in government, that confi- 
^* dence.'always endsjn ,tb^ folly that gave it birth. Their infolvency then ftrikes 
** every eye. The good faith of the monarch, the funds, the fecurity, every 
•* thing appears to be imaginary. • The creditor, recovered from his firft delufion, 
•* demands his money with an impatience proportioned to his anxiety. The truth 
«* of this obfiprvation is confirmed by the Hiftory of Law's Syftem.*'—iï^tf/r^ PhUo'» 
fipbiquê des Btablijhnens dens Us fndes^ ii. 52. — Traftflaior. 

* Under the jiame of Paper the author here includes ftock^ and every kind ^ 


t M ] 

formerly, at the Icaft apprchenfioh of political eventflu ' Thcfe 
convulfions are greater than they ufed to he, and at all times 
injurious to the public. It h no failure of credit ;(27.) but 
the mafs being fo great, and in fo many hands» there are a. 
greater number of fellers, ivho fpeculate upon the fame event. 
This is one of the chief inconveniencieB of the volume of the 
national debt. In circulation there is a maximum of power, 
which cannot be exceeded. The public funds are a realifed 
alchemy ; but vre jnuft not pierce the crucible. Every thing 
has its bounds ; every thing requires limitation^ What the 
limits of the national debt Oiould be, is more than I can iay. 
Perhaps we already touch the border ; (28.) perhaps we are (till 


(27.) Though it doet not amount to bfttikruptey, it is ctnûàij in dqret a 
failure of credit. A nierttuuit, whofe notes paft curmnf at par, has a better 
credh, and can extend hit optratione much farther^ than he' whofe fecuritiet are^t 
ten or fifteen percent, difcount. The cafe is die faaaa with a natioB. Tlw true 
maximum of power la circulation is, when paper exaât]r «eprcfeata fpecie ; tfaatist 
vïhen ttie public àr private fecukûty for a hundred pounds may eafily be exchanged for 
a hundred pounds in fpecie, or pafs inftead of it, fubjeA to no other daduâîon but 
that of the legal intereft to the difcounler. This majdmufli may be, and ia, every 
day exceeded^ that is, both public and private credit are ftretcbcd beyond iti ii%. 
conlequence of which, paper ceafes to reprefent fpecie exaâly, and loAa a portion 
of its value* Increafe the caufe, or ftretcb your credit ftill tetbcr aad fiuther 
beyond the maximum, and the effeâ will attend it in the iame pvoportjoo, «ntil at 
laft your paper will be wortfi nothing. — TrànfiàUr* 

(28.) There cannot be a clearer proof that we are very near the maximum of' 
public credit, than that every little event or rumour hai a fenfiUe tXkêt upon Ae 
flocks. While there was a power of credit in one fcate confiderably more than 
fnfficient to raife the weight of debt in the other, the tricks of interefled men» or 
the apprehenfion of political events, made little or^no impreffion. The beam was 
immoveable. Even at the higheft pitch of the rebeUicM», ftecks were not bdow 
par. But the enormous addition of debt, incurred in tile laft war, has baon^ 
credit and debt fo nearly to aa apnpmfe» that the weight of a gnûo» the bicalh of 





t 45 li 
at à diftaace from it. Yet we vfi(h to aiccrtain this maxinnitn, 
this point, which x^annot be pafTed without danger. It is> I 
thinks • a difficult problem* The following principles may 
however kad to the iolution of it. 

A variety of principles raufl be combined with exadtnefs^ and 
the refultof them confidered, I fpeak of England only. The 
àpplkation may afterwards be made to other powers* (2g.) We 
fhould firft compare the mafs of gold and filver, with which 
America annually enriches Europe, with the quantity funk in 
Afia, If» by an aiigmea^tion of fpecie> the balance inclines in 
favor of Europe, we are fo much the farther from the maximum. 
The progrefs of commerce forms the fécond combination i 


aB infant, inclines the bifance. A dextrous tninifter may keep it even for a time. 
A wife Mid bcmeft miniftlv wUl never reft till he has given a clear» unqueftionaUé 
preponderance to the fcale of credit^ which can no way be efTcéled but by 
lightening the debt. That the weight of the debt is the only or^ principal caufe of 
its deprefied ftate, is plain from this faâ* In the year 1751» that is, pnly three 
years after the peace of Aix la Chapelle, when we owed only feventy-fivé millions^ 
the tkreerper oents. «ere at a hundred and one ; where^ now» after a peace of tlçyen 
years, their conftant fifttlar price has been twelve» tUrHren» or fourteen per cent 
under par. It was Sir John Barnard^s opinion» that the price of ftocks did not depend 
upon thewhole oiafsî k^t upon the %uantity brought to market combined with the 
demand* It does tiot appeaiT that the two prc^ofitions conuadiâ each other. They 
are both unqueftionably.true» and have a mutual relation as caufe and effed* The 
quantity brought to market depends upon the ili^bole mais. If the latter ,be 
doubled» the marketable or circulating quantity will alfo be doubled ^ and unleft 
the demand rifes in the fame proportion (which cannot reafonably be pfefumed) 
there muft be a glut in the market» confequently the price of the commodity muft 
fall. In thefe matters» men of great abilitte» are apt to wander into r^nemeiits^ 
asifconunon (ênfe were not the foundation of all right reafoning. — TranJltUot. 

(29O The author ieems to have inverted the natural order of thefe three combi<« 
nations» The firft ftate Of improvement depends on population and agriculture* 
Ttae progfefi sA comimsce fionss die fecond* The aiigmeirtatio» of fpccie», et 
balance of trade, b aie laft oljeét cif the Hutc.^Tran/bt^. 


[ 46 ] 

particularly that with Ameiica» in the confuxnptioii of Europeaa 
manufaéluces and. commodities. The more the Englifli improve 
this branch, the lefs their debt will be a burthen to them. The 
third eflential article is population and agriculture which form 
the natural ftrength of every ftate. We all know what phyfical* 


* Phyfk:al caufes proceed from the Englifb climate, ^rather cold than temperate} 
which makes the women more fruitful, and continue longer fo, than in warmer 
countries ; and alfo from the foil, which produces the mod fubftantial nouriihment, 
and makes the men motç tohuft. We need only obferve the horfcs and cattle 
of that country ; the agility of an Engliib horfe, the fubftance of Irifli cattle, and 
the conftruâion of the human body. A native of Scotland, Ireland, or England, 
without having the colofTal figure of a German, is handfomely proportioned. The 
confideration of moral caufes might lead me into a long difllertation. The moft 
apparent are .thçfe which refult,from the eftablilhed religion and political con- 
ftitution of the country. There is a great difproportion, with reeard to tbe-number 
of unmarried perfons, in proteftant and catholic countries, Monfieur de Mon- 
tefquieu calls convents, the guhhs in which future generations are buried. Some 
modern writer conltders all monies as a lazy voracious body, that conftantly con^ 
fumes, without ever producing. The military order, another body that devQurt 
its own members, is not carried to excefs in England. Toleration has repaired 
the wade of population, which the new world has occafioned in the old one. To all 
thefe mofal caufes it may be added, that the worfliip paid to women, or the idolatry 
of the fex, not being carried fo far among the Englifl), as it is in a neighbouring 
powerfulnation, that amiable half of the fpecies fulfills more exaâly the purpo^ 
for which it was intended by nature* The women are not afraid of having a 
multitude of children at the expence of their beauty. They do not turn againft 
propagation the attraâion given to encourage it. The men, not thinking their 
children degraded by CQmmerce| do not look upon a numerous family as a diftrefs. 
Exceffive luxury may make theni depart from manners fo favorable to propagation. 
The laborer and peafant are at their eafe. Not being opprefl^d, they multiply, and 
ftipply the ftate with hu{bandmen, mechanics, mariners», and workmen.. Every 
nation might enjoy the fame advantage. Cojonifation and celibacy, which 
formerly were ufeful and neceffary to the political fyftem, are become mischievous. 
Too great a heap of poor, neccffitous, uncleanly people, crouded together, was 
dangerous among our anceftors. It brought on revolutions, tumults, hiiur- 
reâions, epidemics, and peftilence. Men, fays a modern writer, are not made 
to be piled up on an ant-hill, but to be difperfed over the earth, which it is theii: 
bufmèfs to cultivate. Thus, in fpite of the celibacy of fo many monk^ and nuns; 
population was dill too great before the difcovery of Anœrica. Cruiades, at that 
time, did what colonies do at prefent. Add to this, the civil wars of France, 
under the Valois J thofe of York and Lancafter, in England, under the White 
and Red Rofes^ and the wars between nation and nation, particularly thofe of 
Italy, that vaft charnel-houfe ao^ grave of Europe \ and it will appear that 
Europe was better peopled formerly, than it is at prefent. If we confider the mafs, 
or rather the volume, of the human fpecies at any given time, and compare it with 

«he prefent, we iball be aftoniihed at the breach made in i^ by America, by 




r 47 1 

and moral advantages the Englifli enjoy» to encourage population. 
The refult of thefe combinations determines whether England 
be ftill able to fupport an augmentation of the public revenue 
by taxation, without overwhelming the nation, or going 
beyond its intctnfic power, fo that the harmony of credit and 
circulation may fubfift. . This equilibrium is not fo ftriftly 
cxaâ, but that it may bear a conûderable weight before it gives 
way. Not with ftanding all the declamations in France and 
England on the fubjeâ of taxes, they pay much heavier in 
Holland. Not to reckon other articles, even bread, (30.) though 


numerous armies, by luxury and colonies. It will be objefleJ, that we no longer 
fee thole fwarms of Goths and Vandals, that ifliied From the north to overflow fo 
many countries; yet that they are not in the cafe of having waAed by peopling 
America. I anfwer, that thefe people fettled at once in the countries which they 
had conquered and laidvraftc; that polygamy was permitted among them, and 
that the north has always been, and is ftill, the magazine of other nations. Neither 
the Engliih, nor the Dutch, could poflibly havelupported their marine, without 
a recruit (tf failors from the north. Even at this dayperhaps the northern 
coHntries are proportionably better peopled than any other. I believe affo that, 
reafons, drawn from nature and the ftudy of phyfic, might be afllgned forthedecreafe 
of the human fpecies, or at leaft for the progrefs of depopulation. 
it will be found to proceed in part from America, and from the nui 
kept up fmce the end of the laft century. A new difeare attaci 
of exilleflCe, and operates upon pofterity. The immoderate and dail 
liquids enfeebles the fex, creates vapours, which wafte the conftitutl 
than infirmities, corrupt the blood, and produce children already t 
morbific leaven. Tbe excclTes of the children arc added to thole of 
Thcufe offtrong dillilled liquors, which the Arabs firft invented, 
Introduced into Europe when they over-ran Spain, has greatly 
human fpecies. Thefe fugared poifons deprive us of ftrengih ar 
deftroy the moft robufl conditutions. They ravage the world mm 
fire and fword. I believe that a confiderable part <rf the human fpecic 
and that, if care be not taken, there will be thé fame decrepiludc 
that there is in tbe individual. — jtvlhor. 

(30.) A tax on bread would be highly abfurd in England, where it >s thought 
good policy to give a bounty on the exportation of corn. Tliis would be checking 
the confumption at home while weencourage it abroad, and make good tbe com- 
plaint already urged, that we feed the foreign tpanufaflurer at an eafy rate, while 
we ftarve our own. Nor would the produce of the tax be fo great as the author 
imagines. Duties cm confumption arc in general moftoppreffîrC to thefubjeiîï, and 


f 48. ] 

of the firft ncccffity jmd moft univerfal confumption, paye an 
exorbitant duty ; yet it has not much difcompofed the fprings of 
commercé and manufaâures. I would never advife any other 
power to hâve recourfe to fuch an expedient. I mean only to 
ihow, that the maximum, which we fometimes appear to touch, 
may ftiil be confidered as in a very diflant point of view ; fince 
England, with this tax alone, upon the. fame footing with 
Holland, might borrow many millions fterling ; that is, there 


the moft ezpenfive in the colleâion. Sir Mathevir Decker affirms, that the excifes 
onfiilt^ foafS leather, candles, &c. almoft treble themiel vesta the poopk for wh«t 
they raife to government. If bread were to be taxed in the baker's ihop, the 
coniequence would be, that every private houfekeeper would bake his own bread i 
and to controll this liberty, by fending excife officers every day into private hoaies, 
would be fuch an intolerable opprtffion as no augmentation of revenue could com*' 
peniate for. The policy of Hollaod is, no mote than that of France, a^ exampiq 
for Enj^d. The legtflatioaef every country muft correj^mui with the pjevat&ig 
ij^irit or temper of the people. With refpeâ to taxation, a Dutchman confiders 
nothing but the quantum of the tax. An £nglij(hman confiders not only the 
burthen, but the mode of impofing i(. In England theprevaiiing paffim is liberty, 
well or in underftood. The argument, that England is not arrived at the 
n&axknum of its reftmreeS| beeaufe fome few artidea of general aeceffity are ftill left) 
untaxed» is not conclufive. Tbeie nnift be a period «f taxation oa dio 
whole, beyond which the people cannot pay. Pufiiing it beyond this poiht, 
if conftantly attended with diminution of revenue. The inagaifyiag power 
defeats itfelf, and the objeâ is loft in eonfufion and oblcurityr If the taxes, 
which the fubjeâ already pays, be upon the whole as much as he can fupport, 
and he (hould nevertheleft be compelled to pay a new tax upon fome of the necef* 
ûuries of life, the confequence would be» that he nmft either quit the country (of 
which almoft every province in France is an example) or he muft retrench his 
expences in the confumption of other lefs neceflkry articles. In one cafe the ftate 
lofes its fubjeâ, who carries fo much induftry and confumption away with him i 
in the other, government incurs the expeace of CQlleaioQ^ and |^aiiis nqthix^ by 
the tsoi*'^Trati/faUrf 

r 49 ] 

would be a fond to pay the intereft. It ia al£3 certain^ that part 
of the annuities^ or intereft of the funds, is annually rc-invefted 
in the fame funds. It follows then, contrary to the common 
opinion, that the. augmentation of the abfolute mafs of debt is 
a fupport, (31.) rather than a prejudice, to the relative price.* 
No man now hoards his money in a cheft, as in former times. 
All the money circulates. The mifer is as ufcful to the ftate, as 
the man of expence. It is only the prodigal, or rather an excefs 
of luxury, that does mifchief. The advantage it produces is 
momentary. It is exadtly cutting the tree at the root. The 
mifer, no lefs thaA the œconomift, in fowing for pofterity, 
circulates his fortune, and fupports public credit, paper, and 
the ftocks. The excefs of fpecie, beyond what is neceflary for 
daily expence, trade and commerce, flows back upon the funds ; 
and this fupply is perpetuated by a circulation of the fame 
ipecie^ whioh -returns periodically, with an increafe received 
from the treafures of the new world. For this reafon (32.) it 


* • * * * 

(31.) Admitting that a part of theannmty is aeniially re-iitvefted in the fiock^^ 
and that tkts contributes to keep up tbe priée of the capital, itdoeanot follow that 
^ia advantage incceafeaby tbe augmentation of the maâ of debt. The (avings.out 
of the annuity» . now paid tothe public creditor, are no greater in propoition to t]^ 
preftnt debt, than they were when the debt was bujc half what it i;». On th(; 
çoAtraiy,^» Ittxvqr^ and expense have increafed rapidly through all ranl^s of people^ 
itietobc:pre(iimed,.thatanMichfmall^ part of theannui^, in proportion to the 
prefent amount of it» is faved and re*invefted jn ihe ftocks, than w^. twenty of 
thirty years ago»— Trvw/fc/^. . 

* Exceffive luxury diminiihes this advantage every day.— *ilM^i^. • . r 

(32.) The increafe of debt has a natural and inevitable tendency to raife'the 
rate of intereft, inftead of reducing it. Thé quantity of the commodity finks the 
Talue of it; aftd as the national rate of intereft follows the ordinary price of the 
three per ccnts.^ as thcfe fink, intereft rifés.- 'No man, for example, will lend bk 
anoney at four per centt on private fecurity, if he can buy one hundred pounds 

H ilock 

••.;••■•::.••;•.:•.:::: :. : ::.;:;/.:. 
:V:::.:\-....-.:': : ::.:•• ■ 

•• ; ; •• 

;.• I ••• ! . 


• • • ••• • • • • •• •• 

I 50 I 

h to be prefamed, that the rate of inierefk will be lowered both 
in England jmd Holland; ^rnd as fo moderate an interefl: will 
not generally agree with the luxury of individuals, people will 
endeavour to difpofef elfcwherc of the overplus of American 
treafare,. fairings upon then- annuities, and profits in trade. 
France might have availed herfelf of thi^ difpolitipn, if ûie had* 
taken ever fo little care to fuppof t her credit in the operations of 
her finances. (3 3.) 

I think it hc^ever eflential to England (and to ^very other 
ftate) to profit by peace, and to make a good ufe of their finking 
fund, by difcharging; one third of the ij^itiQnal . debt, and 
i^Ueving the nation from a part of the taxes* A finking iWnd. 
imireafes as faft as it is appKed^ and, with the addition of the 
growing rntereft multiplied for fome years, conftitutes a great 
power for the dilcbarge of debt. But equity requires that there 
ihould be a period^ : at which thofe taxes fhould ceafe, which 


fiock in the three per centsu for feventy^five pounds. The miniftcr, who by a 
zeatoiM, oéconomical admmiftFaktion of the finances, and a judicious exertioa of 
the refouFces of the nation, fhaH bring the debt fairty to par, will by that operation- 
rdluce the rate of interell) zné thvow an immenfe capital into trad^, or landed 
toprt>vement, which \b now drawn out of }t« He will te the patrtn of commerce^' 
agriculture, and population. In fpite of the prejudiceii of party, k cannot be 
denied, that neither zeal, nor ability, are wanting at the head of this department. 
But to t^Tj through, with fuccefe, a great meafure of finance, mpiires a general 
concurrence and fupport.— 7ri2;i/3iiir^. 

(33.) A higher rate of intereft has tempted many people in Holland and Eng- 
land to truft their money in the French funds, where they haYe fince been obliged 
to fubmit to an arbitrary reduâton both of intereft. and principal. They are 
defervedly puniibed for their folly. In ad arbitrary government there can be no 
Iblid fecurity to the public creditor ; and the high terms they oiFer, being in faâ a 
fign of the weaknefs of the fecurity, inftead of tempting, ought to deter. In (bme 
countries the eameftneis of an invitation is a warning to the gueft againft tb^ 
4ang^ of acccptmg it.*^TranJlator. 

V •• • • " 

• ••••••- », 

* • • • *v 

• • • -• w 

r 51 I 

were only râiiM to pay the intereft of loans that are difcharged^ 
I do not know whether this point has ever been much attended 
to iti England 5 yet it deferves the attention of every power 
that is in debt to its own fubjeds. The finking fund of 
England, being compofed of the furpluses of taxes mortgaged to 
pay the intereft of different loans, muft be applied to general 
reduâîons, and cannot relieve the nation from the tax imme- 
diately relative to each loan. Yet when once the difcharge of 
the debt is accpmplifhed, it is both juft and neopflary to take off 
the tax created to anfwer the loan. It would be unjuft to 
continue it. 

(34:) I affirm then that, admitting the hard neceflîty pf 
fometimes engaging in war, it is indifpenfably necèflary to lighten^ 
as much as poffible, the debts of -the ftate in time of peace ; 
though too extenfive a difcharge of debt would be ufelefe and 
dangerous, efpecially when credit is built upon a folidfounn 
dation. t35^*)The unfliaken ftability of public credit in England, 
proves the truth of thefe principles. They have the adual 
evidence of three War^, fupported, fince the beginning of the 
prefent century, with glpry and vigor. It is not the iplendof 
of a day, that glitters' and is extinguifhed in the fame inftant* 
The ftate of public Credit has always been progreffive. Like fire^ 



(34") Since war returns periodically upon almoft evçry nation in Europe, wc 
ought to coniider peace in the fâmfe light with a leafe renewable every feven, four- 
teen, or t;^en!ty-«oiie *yeaj-s, 'but fubjeflL to 4 finç. During the continuance of the 
kafe ive ought to lay up a fum fufficîent to pay the fine upon the renewal. The 
only différence i^, that difcbarging debt is a much more beneficial operation than 

hoarding money.— 7rj«^tf/^r. 

• .. if. . , \ > - 

(3S-). The; credit of EpgJ^d, wiywcatiiYriiy..m^h UwitofFrwccum^ truly 
çno^gh; be û^d ^àh^VPiSpod wft^^ .]^jt.i4; ji8.iU*>mtt«h to afficm, that the 
credit of ^hUrCOpntryyhas i^otif^n ^ter^^Hy ftCçAç^ by ^f r ; ^K^fac^. After i 
pe^çe of ten years the funds have hern ftationary at twelve per cent, below par.-^ 

if not fed, it dimmifhes. In countries wealthyj and full o£ 
refources, fuch as France and England, every thing may con- 
tribute to entertain and fupport it. On the other hand^ ^ 
trifles fupport, fo a trifle may overturn. Little matters are not 
to be negleâed. The contempt of them may be of the greateft 
confequence. The moft inconfiderable caufe may produce the 
moft confiderable events. Dealers, jobbers, and gamefters, may 
contribute to the fuccefs of thofe great operations of finance, by 
which the fate of nations is frequently determined. It is not 
the lading that finks the veflcl, but perhaps a little defedt in the 
equilibrium, fome trifling excefs in the difpofition of- the 
weight. A great veflel can no more be built without nails, than 
without beams. We do not always know what kind of nails 
are moft wanted. We defpife or negleft, and do not even 
fufped that they are necefiary. . 

Experience, a combination of faâs, in a word, the aâîon^ 

-•,... • 

performed by the Englifli, fince the beginning of the prefcnt 
century, and the means they employed, unite in proving, beyond 
diipute, the truth of thefe fpeculative ideas. The obfervationSj 
made upon this nation by the author of the Bilan f ztt at beft 

% i - • 

no more than paradoxes, which require a folution. His con- 
clufions are contradicted by faâs. The fpeculation and conjec«- 
tures of theory can never overturn manifeft fadts and vifible 
praftice. I fhould alfo obferve, that this author and others^ 
who have followed Englifli writers, are very ill founded in 
appealing to their authority. (36,) The opponents of govern- 

(36.) The, French read pur party writings with avidity, and adopt with rature 
every idea that tends to lower the dignity, credit» and refources, of this kingdom^ 
In the year 1762 there was not a man in France who did not firmly believe, as 
well as moft devoutly wiOi, that we were upon the verge of bankruptcy. It muft 
ke confe^, that in the courfe of the laft war they met with fome unpleafant 



r 53 ï 

tneot in England are more violent and partial than in any 
other nation. Their partiality hurries them into the moft 
ridiculous excefles. Their authority therefore» with refpeâ: to 
the ftrength and revenue of the kingdom, is very equivocal. 
I agree, that there are defeds in the fydem of adminiflration. 
Every thing that glitters is not gold. Their advantages perhaps 
are not fo confiderahle as they appear to be ; but, to reprefent 
England in the prefent moment as a declining, enfeebled (late, 
and upon the verge of ruin, h a paradox palpably abfurd, and 
not to be fupported. 

There is one eOTential point which I ought not to omit. In 
order to favor the circulation of the funds, to maintain their 
value, (37.) and of courfe to reduce the rate of intereft, which 
is the objeâ of finance and the fign of a flourifhing credit, one 
thing is abfblutely and indifpenfably necefTary. We have already 
explained the advantage which England derives from the traffic 
carried on in the funds; It could never fubfiil, but for the facility 
of mortgaging funded property. This operation feems to be for- 
bidden in France by an extenfion of the law, which forbids lend* 
ing upon pledges. This law therefore, the fpirit of which never 
could extend to the funds, ihould be explained and confined. I 
(do not now enquire whether a Mount of Piety, or a Lombard, 
might not be of great ufe to France, and the moft efrc<^ual 
means of preventing that ihameful ufury, by which fo many indi- 

Difiogtnbos, or MiuUceptiens^ if fucb a word may be admitted. Doâor Brown had 
perfuaded them that the martial charaâer and fpirit of tbia nation had totally 
degenerated, and Mr. Maaduit had proved that we were undone. In the midft of 
tisefe charitable perfuafions, they found tbemfelvcsi beaten in every quarter of the 
globe.— 7r<w5^^. 

(37.) The rate of intereft can never be reduced as long as the three per cents^ 
continue below ^zsti^TranJht^% 

viduals are undone* It is fufficient to remark, that the 
inconvenienoks, apprehended by the leg^flàture, hare no relation 
to the mortgaging of funded property. Neither domeftic 
robberies, nor the diforder which the facility of lending upon 
pledges may occafion in families, have any reference to this cafe. 
Large Turns arc lent m Holland, at a moderate intereft, by .men 
of the ftridteft honor, and by the richeft magiftrates, on the 
fecurity of the funds ; and the lenders thereby contribtrtc ta 
keep up the price» a§ much as if they themfelves were buyers.- 
We all know, that when a man is forced to fdl property of any 
kind at a moment's warning, the buyer takes bis advantage and 
lowers the price j whereas the facility of pledging waves the 
neceffity of felling. The owners of ftock have time to turn 
themfelves, and arc feldom, if ever, obliged to fell at a (Kort 
notice ; by which the price of flocks is frequently ^nk for a 
trifling, inconfiderable objed.* On the other hand, «here are 
many people who would be willing to buy large quantities of flocfc 
upon fpeculation ; but whofe money not being come in, or not 
being able to employ it in this way, they give up all thoughts 


♦ The expeJient of pledging funded property, which formerly favored circu- 
lation, has of late been fatally abuied in England. The cafe is thif . Many 
perfocLS, who had lent money upon ftoclc, began immediately to fetl on fpeculation 
foriiine, at a high price, upon their own account. Then, with the afiiftance of 
falfe news, of which there is an inexhauftible manufiAure in London, they alarme^ 
the public, and fold for ready mdney a part of the ftock, 'which had been pledged 
to them, at five and even ten per cent, under the market price. A fmall fum, fold 
for ready money, commands the market. As the alarm gained ground, they 
continued this game, until they èompelled the perfohs, upon whofe fteck they hafl 
lent money, to fell againft their will at xhe loweft price. This lus been done for 
a year and a half paft, both in India and Bank ftock, to the ruin of public credit, 
as well as private fortunes. A (hameful deftruÔive proceeding. There arewayi 
to prevent thefe fnifchievous intrigues, without checking circidstioa. It is aa 
objeâ that defervts the attention of government ; and the court x>î Kixi^^ B^Acb^ 
I hear, has lately condemned fuch proceedings, upon a complaint made, in 1 
particular cafe. Butthisig'netfuffiti^nt toiprevent-them fertbeftiture. Without 
diftreffing circulation, more effeétual means ftiould be employer), ^d .fluli b^ 
pointed out in proper time and phce.^^Auibn'^ 

of dealing In the French furtds ; whereas; in thofe of Holland 
and England, twenty thoufand livres in ready money are 
fufEciei>t to purchafe a hundred thoufand livres in ftock, becaufe 
it can always be pledged at a moderate intereft; fo that, inftead 
of paying ufoiioas iaterefl:, the flack itfclf produces a revenue 
ariiing! from the furplus of twenty per cent, which the borrower 
had beyond what he borrowed. Some people pledge their flock 
for a time, having occafion for their money elfe where (38.) j 
others merely and fimply to receive a great interefl from the 
iwpl\36, felling their flock to deliver at a ftated time, and run- 
ning no rifque. Thefe three numerous clafTes of men draw a 
^oasitity of money into the funds, which would not come ia 
without them. Thus the pledging of flock prevents a large 
quantity of it from appearing in the market. A great inconve- 
iiiehce is obviated, or a ûgnzl benefit obtained. The mimber of 
"buyers increafes prodigioufly, and the number of fellers dimi« 
jnijÉhies. From hence we may conceive the utility of the 
operation. For the public good, for the good of commerce, 
credit, and circulation, the laws in France, touching loans upon 
pledges, cannot be too much foftened* 


doubtful and obfcure. Pledging of âock h the confequence of di^rer^, or want d 
tnofiey ^-ând tfodkan&or, «r momyed txmi,:wkb tonds^ mufr make his owtitcn»^ 
.of co%irieL not mueh (o the advanuge of tilt borrower. With rcCpeâ to th^ 
gcaergl price of ilocks,. the mortgage or the faU of a largç quantity ha» exa^y the 
fame cfFcâ upon the market. A mortg^age is in faâ a temporary falç, or aliena- 
tion of fo much revenue, and generally on worfe terms to the borrower than if Ht 
was to fell his property Outright, Pawn-brokers of all denoainations take eare 
to exaâ an exidrbkant intercA for their money. At the fame time, tt 1$ not to be 
^epied that they anfwer foaae purposes of convenience, and that property of every 
kind fliould be as little fettered as poffible. The facility, of banging it intocircu^ 
lation is a real addition to its value.— TV^r^/^r» 1 

t S6 1 

Let us fay a word of the Dutch funds. It is to be obfcrvcd, 
in the firft place, that in France all the funds are confounded 
under the name of Taper. It is common to fay. Paper rifes or 
falls in England. The expreffion is improper. The funds in 
England arc not in paper, any more than the aâions in Holland. 
For this reafon, no man can lofe his aâions in Holland, nor his 
funded property in England, as people in France lofe their 
aâions in the funds, or India company. Yet in Holland one 
may lofe the obligations, or contraâs for which the ftatc is 
fecurity. Thefc are in paper, fome payable to the bearer^ 
but the greateft number to the laft owner, with certain 
deeds annexed to prove the title. There arc fome obliga^ 
tions fecured by the generality, that is, the Seven United 
Provinces, bearing an intereft of three per cent. Particular 
provinces have borrowed money at a higher intereft; but, 
excepting Holland, they have no great credit. The province 
of Holland is accountable for the greateft number of obligations^ 
to the amount of many hundred millions of florins. Yet this 
paper, though it bears but two and a half per cent, intereft, 
is at par, and above it. Many circumftances concur to fupport 
this enormous credit. The firft is, that the great riches of the 
Dutch are in money. It is the country, next to England, where 
there is the quickeft circulation both in fpecie and paper. They 
have more than the moft exteniive commerce can employ. The 
ipices, with which they alone furnifti all Europe, America, 
and Africa, maintain and give a periodical increafe to this 
abundant circulation. No other nation has lent fo much as the 
Dutch to England, France, Saxony, and other powers. 

The fécond reafon why the paper called Obligation is fb much 
fought after, is that there is a law in Holland, by which the 
guardians or adminiftrators of the effeâs of minors, are obliged 


I S7 ] 

to lay out the whole produce in oiKgaiions, for which the ftate 
is fecurity. There is in Amfterdam, and other cities of Holland,. 
a chamber called the Chamber of Orphan^. The principal ma-, 
giftrates are at the head of it« When any perfon dies without 
a will, they take the dlreâion of the fuccefHon, and vefl all the 
produce in obligations. There is much good and much evil in. 
this praâice. But it is always a leaven that contributes to 
fupport the value and credit of that paper^ There are alfo fomc , 
Hollanders of the old ftock, who have no faith in funds, which 
they do not fee, and who will have all their property in their 
chefts, in paper fecurcd by the ftate, which they honeftly think, 
13 the moil folid fecurity in the univerfe. Brokers and notaries 
l)ave a fort of brokerage upon fettling the titles in the different 
transfers; but this operation is too complicated to admit of a 

. Ti;ie aâions of the Eaft and Weft India companies in Holland, 
and all the royal funds and other aâions in England, are 
transferable, in the refpeâive offices, under the name and to the 
accoimt of the purchafer, fo that he has no paper given him to 
keep. The books of the office are evidence of the pro« 
pcrty. A foreigner trufts nothing to his correfpondent. (39.). 
There are even pri^nted lifts in England, in which the nanies of 
the proprietors of Bank, India, and South-Sea ftock, are, 
marked, with one.ftar if they have a capital of five hundred; 
pounds with two for a thoufand, and three for fifteen hundred^ 

I but 

(39.) A Ibrtigner in tbe fif ft Inftance trufts every thing to his correfpondent ; 
having no evidence that fuch a quantity of ftock has been purchafed oin his. 
accoufit, and ftands in bis name, except the aflurance of the perfon be employs to 
aft for him. This however being once done, his property is fecure. His agent, ^ 
i^ correQ)QQdent, can neither transfer the ftock, nor receive tbe intereft upon it^ 
v^ithout a particular power ; and if any fraud ft>ould be committed, the Bank^ or 
company to which the ftock belongs, are anfwerable to the proprietor,— 7r4}/»/^ar« 

t 5« î 

but nor fkrthen 1h» we know is a fptir ta ftMe peofltf !•* b» 
conccriied in Adc funck^ which m Engiatfd are eallcd Cer po»^ 
fationSi. 5ncb cohtrirancea fep^ately ^rppear of r» ttiMMifti 
yet, takeit together» contfrbute more than we are aware o# t^ 
promote circulation» andof cotirfe to thegreatmâané^kAdor 
d£ the-flate. What contributes to it much ntioreia rile exaâael» 
with which the intereft» and eten Kfe aImuities»(40^) are paie 
on the day they became due» The ^ay whiell ptùfk are 
cbrpofed to in France; under pretence of bemg paid ky alphabet* 
tied order» has given great difguft toforeigneév^ to the prejudice 
of French credit. This metboii is not praélîfed in^ Lônëenv ané 
f do not know that it is aHblutely neeeflkry in PraMe» i (m n^* 
rettibn why a thing» (b eafil^i done upMi the bania^f the-ThadMH 
Aottld not be aooe upon the bfliks^ of tft« Seiiie^ ii^ fMûXkt 
circumftances. It is known beyond a doubt» that the fundi» av» 
proved a^ the appointed^ time as fefupvtaaÉy «^ i» Londaa» 
The delay ib prejudicial to cfedit can only arila from the' deika^ 
who are employed* to pay the money* f 41 ►) 

The author of idle B^an is miftakeo m Aip^x>&ig» that the 
EngGih £aft-In^ céntipany^ or asy other^ ftnd» -anntfrify 
twenty miHkms of French livre» in fpecie toltidi* ia. tinM of 
peaee. In^the year 1762 the EngliA coeopany ^Acnd %ecie ta 
Ib£a. They may have fent tome durmg the war f&ejr main*- 
tttifled upon the coaft of CoromandeU a&d m Bengali yet fttU I 


(40.) The life annmties noir fubfiftiag are very kiconCdterable* The long 
aaauitifli ape^ paid wkb a» nk«lclreHoâlto6^ and traotferitd vfkk m macli cafe, a» 
any ocber fiadc.<«-^nfi^/tr« 

(41O A fhort pangraph is here omitteif by the amhor^âdefite. The firftfttt of kf 
t^atet to the Butch fiuiis ; and, if it could he made inteIRgiblè, wouldbe ufeleft^ 
to the Bhglifli reader. What he fays of the comm<m untf of fbtiog tte price a( 
Itocki in England is a nààsllx.^Tran/atèn 

I Ï9 1 
«Jaimot perfiiade Myfelf diat it Amounted to ib large « fomw 
iTfais muft be eieaggerftted by at leîaSt half. It will be founds 
dsat in tMie^^f petcc^ the company^ oaç year wicfa aoodier, 
idoea notftod s^ve ax oiillioos pf livres * îa buUioa to India. 
Ml unit bas^lbeen ùid upon this fubjeétj from the time of ibe 
^^RiOttUMis to^6 4aj» proves too mucb. I mucjb ^ueAion whether 
the iMlia tnde was the rmn of ^ RomaM> as the author of 
^àn/t MilimfQppoks. Monfiebr de MoivCef<|uieUf In his excelleQt 
«reatife upon the cimfes of the gteatnels 4uad Recline of that 
people^ mentioM this ckcuioftance but very Ughtly^ and only 
ias a& accctfary to ptherp of greater impoctaoce. it is /officient to 
.jobferve^ firft, «b^t^ evçn Mconding to MoAtefi|^u^ the Romona 
jHà-not eKtraâ ibch <)uaiit»toes of gcAd wà fiivçr irom their 
'jmiies, OS we do from America. W^ch ua the& metala are 
cemmodi^ ^ wdl as |^; Tip pMierve tiiçir ^ue as iign» 
thegp nkift t be e^^KiMed M .eomnaodity^ 8eoowl%r^ the Romans 
;faad no -éftablifhaMnts In India, where iQi$}i¥idttaA$ make immenie 
fortunes, and return with them to Europe* Thirdly, the 
rRomaosikQacdad^bcftrdBaoiiey^ £3«tiy ithifig^ wi^ iimm 绫tri- 
buted to ohotfk drculation, of which ^^ had not the Imalkft 
idea. They knew nothing çf bills of esfch^ange, nor annuities, 
nor govprnmeDt-papçr bpftring intoreft. AH bufin.efs was trapf- 
aâed with fpMip. *7a»W itPtucond wilih diâ»cu}«y Into the Jb^^d 
«hat^pakl^bein I and -thMellKe, ^ with a«Hiltiftude of re£>9rc6s, 
they had none when they were moil wanted. Loans upon 
critical occatfionswcre unknown, and would have been impraâi*- 
cable. The ^ar|;)arians ranfomed^ or plundered, the ei;npire« 
They Md no jeaf^pediwits of credit to rcfiiit imfprcfec/i ^ccidc^^s* 
Tktfb «Mt ^ «aioM lof itheir dacttiiei Jàsd wf^ fyAem Is 

It fup^ported 

* f jC-24S>833 : 6 ; 8 ftcrllng. 

[ 60 ] 

iupported by them. I do not deny that the India trade may 

be a commerce of mere luxury to certain powers } but it has been 

. demonftratedy that it is a fource of riches to England», and the 

.brighteft jewel in the crown. (4a.) The ruinous exportation of 

fpecie muft, in the iirft place, be reduced to half the fum 

ilated by the author of the Bilah ; the Englidi company, recovers 

from foreigners infinitely more than he admits ; and there is a 

: third circumftance, which he does not attend to^ a^d which 

: makes good a part of the lofs the nation may fuffer by the export 

of money to India I I mean the immenfe fortunes acquired by 

iindividuals> and by all the perfons employed by the company in 

that country,(43.) Thefe Aûatic fpunges^ per ^ pt nefas, 

bring home, periodically a part of the treafures of India» without 

which^ Âûa» from the time of the Romans to o^tjs, .muft have 

,exhaufted not only all the n^oney of Europe and Africa» but even 

of America. .The truth of this propofition requires no o&er 

evidence, but to \k exprefled. If the author's aflertion were 

^^ true, 

(42.) The author, from the canchifion of the Itte petce, ha^ enteiti^ned (he 
'higheft ideas of the flouriihing ftate of our Eaft-India tonipanf , àfld the moft 
fanguinc expeâations of the rifing value of their ftock. Since he wrote^is EiTay 
he has feen India ftock fall above a hundred and forty per cent, upon the )^pital^ 
and the dividend reduced as low as it was before the company made their great 
- territorial acquifitions* His hopes hare been dtftppointed, bécauiè the calculatifpns 
«of a good man feldom make fuficicut aHowasce for the folly and knavery V 
jnankind.— -Trtf^^^r. \ 


(4S«) The company's feivants are feldom able to colleâ and remit the whole of \ 
their fortunes to England. Great fums have undoubtedly been brought home by 
individuals, butftill greater perhaps have been left behind. Their impatience to 

'return makes them leave their affairs in diforder. Their agents take but little 
care of the main article of remittance ; fo that, after a few years of diffpation in 

^thi^ country, with great expence and little enjoyment, many gentlemen find 
themfelvet obliged to go back again to coUeâ or iccorer the remainder of their 

[ ài i 

trtfe, the money of aîl 'the univerfe muft already be in Afia* 
His fyftem leads to an abfurdity ; and every fyftem that does fa 
is falfe^ -The Dutclv Eaft-Indîa company enriches the ftate^ 
while it îœpoverîfhes the proprietors ; a paradox that cannot be 
accounted for but upon the principle which I have juft explained. 
The prodigious and rapid fortunes, acquired by individuals ia 
India^ repair the breaches which a commerce, ruinous in itfelf 
from the money it exports, may occafion in the ftatc, and even 
in Europe. We ihould be happier perhaps if it were poflible to 
do without tea, and other exotic drugs of India, as well as 
without muflins, and all the ufelefs articles of an exceflive and 
dangerous luxury. But this luxury being once eftablifhed, it 
would be ftill more deftruâive to purchafe the materials of it 
from foreigners. I believe that Europe, fbbneror later, will 
recover part of the money, which, after wreftihg it with fo 
much difficulty from America by the hands of Africans, wc 
have wafted upon Afia. Before this great event takes place, I 
affirm, that the individuals eftablifhed in India have at all times 
gleaned a part of the trcafure fent thither by the merchants of 
Europe. It is alfb true, that the multipli&ity of India compa-* 
nies in Europe has produced various Inconveniences. The firft 
is, that a greater quantity of fpecie is exported than is neceffary to 
maintain its value here as a fign, which yet^ without the export 
to Afia, would be too much reduced, (44.) The fécond is, that 


(44.) The quantity of ipecie or bullion exported to India has been a confiant 
topic, of déclamation againft the Eaft-India trade. Perhaps it bas never been 
fairly confidered tbat^ if a conilderable proportion of filver were net annually funk 
in Afia, it would in a little time be impoffible for Europe to procure a fupply of It 
from A^merica. We quarrel with the majrket that infaâ creates thefupply. The 
quantity of fUver continually acrumulatAng in Europe would lefien its value as^ 
vfigntofuch a degree, that, within a very fiiort period^ the produce of the mines 


f 6a } 

« competkkxi in the purchafe of India ttuutttfa^biret, an3 otltoef 
^atic commodities, raiies the • price it^ Afiaj 4iaC i$^ there is 
more money wanted to buy the £àm^ quanti:^ of goods. On tb0 
other iaand» the fame competition fubfiiUag in tbe fales m Europe^ 
lowers thç price of what cods do 4eâr at the ibuntaia Jiead. For 
tliis reafon the companies xxo longer make the ia^ie jpro6t thiey 
liid fomxedy; whereas the perfbas they empioy jiwç the 
cream of the tfadj:>- amliUoceied better tbao-««er,. 

(45.) The author of nJic Bikm pneteofU tbat th^ EjAgUâi bu/ 
mooe than they fell, and bive done fo £»: a «coAâdemble biinef» 


wottM ^ot pay the expence of vroriciQg them. The price of Suropean gooSs would 
be ahimys ptpporttoned to tbe irhole qoaolttf of lifoer m Europe \ that », m^M 
ralue ofiilver fell, the price of every tbiag faleable Would rife. Put as the- pio« 
duc&of the mines, Inftead of increaGng ui that proportion, rather diminilhes.eyeiy 
day, it would happen that the fame bale of European good$, which In one year 
might fell m America for a hundred ourtces of filver, 'in the next perhaps could not 
be afforded under a hundred and fifty, and h on till the advance of price upon the 
American amounted to an abfolute impoffibility of purchafing» At this "jperiod he 
would of courte ^ive up tbe .woiking of the mines, and endeavour to manufaâure i» 
himfelf. The ftroke would immediately revert upon thfs arts, manvfaâures^ zxA 
general induftry of Europe. In this progreffion'the figns of wealth become the 
fottfce of poverty. We fhould have fo much filver that our own colonies could 
notafford tP purchafe the produce of our induftry. The fountain of^val weakh 
would be choaked up. To recover it again, we muft open the ohannet, and 
fuflS^ the ftream to flow into another couutty, contented with its fertUifing paflTag^ 
through our own. A fpeculation of this kind does not Want the experience of 
faâs to fupport it. The conclufion it leads to is as clear and certain as mathe* 
matical demonftration.— 7r^^â/tfr« 

(45O The author of tbe £/iSm, or Balance of England, |)ublifiied in J762, 
&ems to be a man of fome ability, and no fmall application to die iludy-of our 
political and party writings. Thefe qualities, added totiietage ofiyftemand 
ftotitical .«liihvotic, lias joade many an ingenious mm argue himftlf «nd his 
ilGuiers out of tfieir fcofes«^ Tbe wrtt^ above montioned Collates, dowato m 

^ ^ 4fvae% 

r 63? J 

I^ uns were tru^ the nailàxM would sot be m a condltioft to fsLCC 
fo extcnfirc a cmnnteKe^ which yet ts liipportsd with admirable 
facility^ The exptditiûu with wfasofe thej» equip» the number 

Imftf oiÊ€ 2ammïlok c£ (fum^lffûie dAtenftmr fonigacrsy tnd by the incresfe 
of our imports beyooé owi exports $ and kaadttg. it warmly at heart to fatisfy htsr 
touRtrym^n» that Enghmd i» in the higfe rote to^deftmâion, has laid a tcaïn of 
hypothetical argmaents, fortified and mtrstiched in figmcs, by ^i^eh hehas. proved 
to^his own coAtsat» liM we btve fcr w kng^. tine poft bougfat more dia» we kaYef 
ibid ; that the balance of trade is s^fiaftoti tbatottroafil isc^goiiey. or gei»g very 
ftft) tftiMirt, that Smg^9uà bqsrttiaednattMfe 

Decfattttlioaa of this kônt, borreiwed fordsrdHsft part from out: party wnters. 
Of Loftdonr aMrs-papest«. aAer 24nil of peifiexHig ktic^ sEifd ft91 more perplexing 
w^iùumÛCp ufiiaikf cad^ io- cwsclotenr jaajsileQif Inconfiflenc with- appearances^ 
Tiiifdi of folfawitig:fiaiPiiivitsn dwouglr rtrÂi of fophttrf,. Igi which tbe^learefr 
idea>of fifotb and ^dfidiood may be ooafondedy the be& way i# to^attack then» 
direâly lipe» tftehr faiâs;. Whenever, tiief dq;iaft Sam general reafoniog» and 
ttnwarily haancd a plain ptfricular aAsition», thc^ aeajr be faid to march out ol 
their intrenfthmeaes^ and to es&ice an eadlefs war of . argument to ^ùuftt deoifivo 
iiKie. of the ^tiimt^ affirms^ that^ fi»m tliie S4th of March, i^aéi, . to 
the jifLDecemfact» 1738» we. had paideflSoaly three hondred thou&od poands.of 
tt» nactional ddit» Unluckily foe him^ tboâiâ ftaad^ tbos :. 

PrintipaK lotereft. 

I^ablic debt daeon Jiff December» t7i$ • • • jCs^t^^fOiS j; ç ^,iyt,Soo 19 t 
Ditto - • - • onsiftDccoDber» 17^8 • «^ • 46^6619^6^ o 5 i>9629053 o 8 

7*S^y»^4* «50 909*747 «8 Ç 

fe Uiat ill Ae periad^ iA* whick br fays wo bad paid oiF but difee hundred tboufand 

pounds» it iqfpears that tbf prineipal debe was reduced above fçiren^ naiUions and o 


half^ aadtheaimial tnteae ft g faovcmiie huadfedthoufimd pouodfi»notwithftanding 
a^ confideraUe mira^pUcatiôn of the finlSing;fuQd* 

He affirmsyt* ia direâ eoatfadtAiosi to the ceiftain knowledge of every maiiiji 
England, that the value of laniê and rate of rents have been gradually lowering 
finee the Revotution ; aad tius teo, notwithftandixlg a greater cultivadm, con* 
^iiiibte iaipmyctiiciiu in the ant oC Sammng^ and an lacreaiô ugôa the whole of 

t 64 J 

ot their veiTels, the rapidity of their voyages, and the opulence 
of their cargoes, contradiâ every thing he advances, from partial 
or ill-informed Englîûi writers* I ilill think I fee a man of a 


the territorial revenue. *' Les propriétaires n'en ont pas moins vu diminuer peu à 
V peu le prix de leurs baux ; cela ne pouvoit pas être autrement." 

Hc repeatedly afSrms, that vee ate forced to borrow money to pay the intereft of 
debt already contraded abroad. *^ II refie toujours pour certain que depuis le com- 
** mencement de 175T, ce n*eft qu'en empruntant que l'Angleterre a pu payer les* 
** intérêts des fommes qa'elledoit au dehors."* 

There may be fome latent, mjrfteriou^ meaning in thefe words, which I am not 
able to dive into. In their plain and obvious fenfe, they contain a manifeft falfehood. 
Tke funda, appropriated to pay the intereft of the national debt, hâve nbtonlf 
been fufficient to anfwer that purpofo, but have left a confiant annual furplus»- 
which has been applied frdm year to year, either to the current Icrvice, or to the* 
difcëarge of debt, to the amount of many millions. On fuch wild fuppditions as 
thefe, the autltor treats the EngUfh nation with an indecency and intemperance of 
language, which in efFeél reverts upon himfelf. Mad, blind, and ignorant, 
mfenjéey ignorante^ ^ aviugUy arc the mildeft epifhets be beftows upon a little 
country, which, however, by mere dint of fuperior policy, courage, and credit, 
bas repeatedly brought the enervated coloflus of France to the ground. The 
credit of this country may, in point of prudence, have been ftretched too far« 
But even the enormous extent of the debt itfelf is a proof of the high opinion 
entdtalned by individuals, both at home and abroad, not only of the good faith, 
but of the refources, of the nation. 

§He pretends to fpealc moderately and within compafs, when he fays that z 
third of the whole debt belongs to foreigners, and that the extraâion of fpecie to 
pay the intereft, amounts to one million four hundred thoufand pounds a year. 
On this I (hall only obferve, that no man in England ever conceived •that the" 
foreign property in the funds exceeded one lixth of the debt ; and that many 
judicious perfons, who are moft likely to be well informed on this fubjeâ, reduce 
it to a feventh, and even to an eighth* In England, fuch mean diflxonorable en- 
deavours to ruin our credit would be received with contempt. In F.rance they are 
readily accepted for proof, and help to keep up the fpirita of the people. 

The following inftance will fliew that his abftraâ • knowledge fs much upon a^ 

footing ivith his faâs. He (iy^it ^^^U ^ af«ei»tbe peacebf Aix la CbiH^^^"^!^ 

* balance 
♦Pagei99. ^-' § Page 104. /* $ Pî%c 187* 

r 65 ] 

robuil: conftitQtion, \7h0m they endeavour to perfuade that 
be is fick* 

The author founds his aflertions upon the courfe of ex- 
change» which feems to be to the diÊidvantage of the EnglUh 


^ balance of tracie be!ag conftantljr againft us» and great fums being fent out to 
^ pay that balance as well as the intereft due to fofetgners, fpede became (b fcarc^ 
^ that in the years 1753 and 1754^ it was a difficult matter to make a banker pay 
' a hundred pounds in the legal gold of the country ; as for iilver» there was 
^ fcarce any left. People were obliged to fubmit to be paid either in bank bills^ 

* which are refufable by law» or in Portuguefe moidores» which are e<iuallf 

* refufable» and which are genendly under weight/—*^* Mais après la paix» n'y 
^^ ayant plus d^emprunts» ce rempliflage ruineux avoit ceffé ; & TAnglctcrre étant 
^^ obligée de payer aux dehors la balance qui alloit contre elle» les eipeces devii^ 
^^ rent (i rares» qu'en 1753 & 1754 on avoit de la peine à recevoir chez un 
^^ banquier de Londres le payement de cent livres fterling en os legal du pays-: 
*' quant aux monnoyes d'argent, il n'y en avoit prefque plus. On étoit donc 
*^ contraint de recevoir en payement» ou de» billets de banque qui font refufables 
^^ par la loi, ou des moiedors de Portugal qui font également refufables» qui font 
^^ rarement de poids» & qui paflfent» lorfqu'ils le font» pour environ trois quarts 
•* pour cent plus qu'ils ne valent/' . j 

One would think it impoffible even for a Frenchman to colleâ fuch a quan* 
tity of falfehood and nonfenfe into fo fmall a compafs. In the fii^ft place» it 
was but in the year 1750, that the uncommon plenty of money had enabled 
government to reduce the intereft of fifty eight millions fteriing, ârom four to three 
and a half, and afterwards to three per cent* A man who will deny that a 
reduâion of intereft» where no fort of violence is offered to the public creditor, 
is an infallible fign of the plenty of money, may difpute his own exiftence; but 
who will arguie with him 7 Secondly, to fay that people were obliged to accept of 
a fort of payment» which by law they might have refufed» is a contradiâion us 
terms, i hirdly, the immenfe quantity of Portuguefc gold at that time inxircula- 
tion, proves that the balance of trade, particularly that of Portugal» was confiderably 
in our favor. The profits of thit trade have declined rapidly within thefe fifteen 
years, and the confequence is» that we fee nojnore of their gold in circulation. 
Fourthly, be afTçâs to confider it as a g^reat hardfhip, that a draught upon a banker 
ihould be paid in bank notes» as if it did not depend upon the choice of the party 

K ' himfclf, 

[ ^ ] 

triâe/^ (46*) But,, to make the txchaoge an<oxaâ barometer of 
the balance of trade between nations, all their commodities 

■ * * muft 

tifOifeU^ to take fiotei, or fpccie, as lie thooght proper} or ts if be fiiigi|t riot 
carry jits note to the Bank, and have it immediately changed into guineas. 
Bankers paid in Portugal coin, becaufe they bad great quantitiei of it poured 
in opon them by their ciiftomers» and not becaufe there was any (carcity of 
guineas. Fifthly,^ a fix-and-tbirty, oc a moidore, is as liable to be fweaced as n 
piinea ; but h is certain that in the ftate, in which they ilTue from the mint in 
iPortogid, they, are worth moie than what they pa& kxt in tale \ and it- is notorious 
«diat ûich lof thofe pieces, ts baVe not hetn filed or (wcated, have been conftantly 
bought tip by the Jews and others, at a premium, and either melted down or 
exported. Sixthly, with refpeâ to the Scarcity of filver, the author fhould have 
Icnown that, where there is a plenty of one of the precious metala in a nation,; a 
ftarcity of the cdier can only be accidental and temporary* In generaj, the prioe 
of filver in Europe omft alwsqre be higher than that of gold» in proportion to their 
refp^ive value^ becaufe there is a peater profit upon the exportation of filver to 
the Eaft Indies. I ought to mafce^ an apology to the Engliih reader, for taking 
any notice of the wild, extravagant fonçies of this ilUinformed, paifionate writer, 
Thefis few remarks however may help to undeceive foreigners, who in general 
JnoF nothing of our a6Fairst nnd are ready to believe any thing. It is the policy 
of the French to endeavour to undermine our credit abroad, and this undoubtedly 
. is an obgeâ that defervet our tttention,. We are indebted to Mr. de Pinto for 
the £eal and fucceis with which be has counteraâed their endeavours. As for the 
French themfelves, their fituatitm entitles them to indulgence. The lofing 
gameflermaybe allowed to conible hioifelfwith calumny and inveâive, in the 
midft of leal humiliatiot» and dilhonor. Yet, when they afièâ to undervalue the 
ftrengtb, credit, and reCburces of this country, their arguments, in efFed, return 
agatnft themfelves. If we are really in that degraded ftate, to which without 
doubt they would gladly reduce us, to what a deplorable condition muft the great 
empire of France be reduced, when <he fubmits to receive the law from a kingdom 
lefe by one third in extent and population, overwhelmed with debt, enervated by 
luxury, and exhaufted by extravagance l^^Tranflator. 

* Since the peace the courfe of exchange fhows, upon die author's own prin- 
ciples, that the balance of trade is in favor of the Engliih.— «^«/^^r. 

(46.) Excepting always the cafe of extraordinary events, which have an 

immediate and violent influence on public credk^. it is certain that fl» courie of 
» exchange 

{ ^ 3 

muft be bartered one againft the other» âad», after thiaoperatioa» 
the dîâference muft be remitted to the winning party* But this 
is a chimera» and can only be executed in theory. There area 
multitude (^ temporary circumftances and events» th,at refuier 
the exchange an equivocal fign. The ftrongeft proof that it is 
fo» would be thefalfchood of the author's own conclufions» evc^ 
where hîS obfervations might be fuppofed to have beea verified. 
Every man» who has the.flightcft political knowledge of Europe» 
muft perceive how much he is miftaken. Metaphyfics» fup- 
ported by calculation» «re the mod: plaufîble and the moft 
fallacious. ' We lofe our underftanding by having too much of 
it» and, by knowing too many things» at laft know nothing. 
Commerce ia a game» aod it Is vain to play wijth p^ple who 
have nothing to lofe. To win aho^s^ with exclufion of 
«very body elfe» is impoffible. Univcrfal commerce is there^- 
fore a mere chimera. Every induftrious nation» fituated 
conveniently for trade» has a proportionate ihare of. it. 
Their opulcscc is no more durable than a gamcfler't lock, 
unlefs the riches of the foil» and the political adminiftration, 
contribute to encourage induftry» and to fupport the national 
commerce. In the natural order of things» the advantage may 
lie on the fide of France. But» as it is the nature of filvcr and 
gold to circulate» riches» which give birth to luxury» fre- 

K 2 quently 

e^cchange is a true barometer to fliow where the balance of trade, and all occaftonal 
money Concerns included in the general account j lies. Mr. Poftlethwaite juftly obferves» 
that miftakes in this matter have arifen from confidering the courfe of exchange as 
the charaéleriftic of the balance of trade only. During the late war, the courfe of 
exchange was generally to the difadvantagc of England, owing to the îmmçnfe 
remittances made to Germany to pay fubfidies, and to maintain the Britifh army 
in that country. A fimilar caufc muft have affc£led the exchange between Great 
Britain and our own colonies. In thcfe extraordinary cafes the courfe of 
exchange proves nothing with retpeft to the balance d tt^^^^TranJhnr. 

[ 68 i 

qucntiy turn to the account of indigent nations, and always to 
the account of trading nations. This fon of Opulence is the 
father of Poverty. Excefs of wealth may one day make the 
fources of it negleded in England, and pervert the ufe of it. 
The kingdom may fall, but the prefcnt does not appear to be 
the moment of its decline. 

* The fcarcity of fpccie on the Royal Exchange, mentioned by 
the author of the Bilarif frequently proceeds from temporary 


* There are great abufes in England with refpeâ to the coin. The profit 
to be made by it carries almoft all the coin to the crucible ; but this might be 
thefuUeâof a feparate treat! fe. The greateft incoovenience feems to arife from 
the diiproportion between the coined money and the intrinfic value of the metal. 
This difproportion, according to Mr. Karffeboom, proceeds froui a conftant and 
fcrupulous attachment to the proportion fixed by the aâ of the 43d of Elizs^- 
beth.(47.) Locke, as great a man as he was, feems to have miftaken this point, 
and has been refuted by Lowndes. Sir John Barnard, and Mr, Sehirtv» have 
treated the queftion at large. It feems eflential to corre£t the old eftabliflied pro* 
portion, whicb gives a profit often per cent, by melting the filver coin, ahd is the 
fource of the fcarcity ; a fallacious fcarcity, that no way dimlniflies the riches of 
the kingdom. It is true, that the abufe is a charge to government, and cofts them 
^reat'fums. It might be remedied by meant, which would prevent the apparent 
Scarcity, and keep up an abundance of fpecie in conftant circulation. The fmaller 
-coins might alfo be multiplied, after the example of Portugal ; but everv thing 
depends upon the proportion*. Since the time of Charles the Bold, aAd Mary of 
Burgundy, filver has funk from thirty to forty percent, in its relative value to gold. 
It bas been thought, by perfons of great knowledge, that prohibitions againil 
exporting gold and filver are ufelefs; and that, with money as with corn^ fcarcity 
is the natural efFeft of fuch prohibitions.— -^«/^^r. 

(47* ) Coinage is a fubjcâ which the tranflator by no means pretcnds^to undcr^ 
ftand. He believes it however to be true in general, that the corruption of the 
coin in England does not arife from any defe<Sl or difproportion in the ftandard 
between gold and filver. If it did, the evil would be without remedy. The 
price of bullion rifes or falls every day, according to the quantity imported, or 
the demand in the market. Now it is impoffible for the mint to follow the 
fluiSuations of the price of bullion. The ftandard cannot be altered every day, 
and, if it could, the expence of recoinage would be infupportable. The evil we 
complain of, with refpe£t to filver coin, is inherent in the nature of the thing, 
apd not capable of a direâ remedy. A general recoinage, inftcad of anfwering 
the end propofed, would oiily be putting the public to a great expence, and 


I 69 J 

ticcidents, which arc foon correâcd. As the coin is heavier, 
and of better allay, it is exported by all forts of qieans. The 
Englifh introduce a great quantity of Spanifh dollars, and 
export them again with a fmall drawback. This has an in- 
fluence upon the courfe of exchange. But, as an individual, 
immenfely rich, may find himfelf fhort of money, (his Current 
cafh being exhaufted, perhaps in lucrative undertakings) the 
iàme thing may happen to a trading nation. The diftrefs does 
not laft long. A remedy is foon applied by bills of exchange, 
fupported by real property ; and it commonly happens that a 
fcarcity is fucceeded by a great abundance of fpecie. This has 
been conftantly obfervocL Let us hear what Monfieur de M6n« 
tefquicu fays upon the fubjedt» 

"In the country of commerce, the mcmey that difappeared 
'^ fuddenly, returns, becauie the ftates that received itoweit. 
^* The fcarcity or abundance, which varies the courfe of 
** exchange, is not a real, but a relative fcarcity or abundance. 
\* When France, for example, has more need of a fund in Hol- 

*^« land, 

making a prefent to the crucible of the difference between the real and nominal 
value of' the coin. The indireâ remedy is flow, but infallible. Encourage 
trade, promote induftry and ceconomy. The balance of trade will then be 
univerfally in our favor, and, inftea^ of feeing our coin melted do>)srn, we (hall 
fee plenty of filver carried to the mint. If, on the contrary, the balance of trade be 
conftantly againft us, our filver will infallibly go, and for its intrinfic value only, 
let it bear what ftamp it will. 

With reJpeft to bafe coin already in the market, the only complete and 
efièâual remedy is, to cry down all bad or light money at once, whenever the 
price of bullion will permit government to fubftitute good money in the place of 
bad. Nothing could be more violently exaggerated than the inconveniencies 
attending the late aâ relative to the gold coin in this kingdom ; yet we fee by 
experience that a few months were fufficient to get the better of them all. General 
abufes are not to be remedied without particular inconveniencies; but thefe are 
only temporary, and foon give way to general remedies.— Tra^^/^r, 

*^ land^ thaa the Dutch have of a fund in France, money i% 
<♦ then cayed cheap in France and fcarce in Holland, and vice 
** verfâ." He fays, that ** money is one, merchandife more,. 
«^ which Europe receives by way of barter from America, and 
*' exports to India. Confidering the metals as merchandife, a 
** great quantity of gold and filvcr is advantageous. It is not. 
** fo, confidering theni as figns, becaufe a plenty of them lowers 
•* their quality of figns, which is in a great meafure founded 
<* upon their fcarcity. *'—•** The exchange,*' he obferves in 
another place, ^V^^^^^i^g given men a fingular facility in con-. 
<*• veying money from one country to another, money is no 
*^ iboner fcarce in one place, but it flows in, on all quarters, from. 
<* the places where it was plentiful» The fixing the rata 
<^ depends upon a compound ratio of the total of things com- 
f^ pared with the total of figns, and varies as the accidents of 
^ commerce incline the balance one way or the other.'* 

According to Montefquieu, all moveables, fuch as money,' 
notes, bills of exchange, aâions in public companies^ (hips, 
&c. arc merchandifes that belong to the whole world; the 
nation that pofiTefies the greateft fhare of thefe moveables is the 
richeil. That great man knew the principle, but did not 
perceive the confequences. When he fpeaks of public funds, he 
miftakes the nature of them. The objedi was beneath him, and 
efcaped his attention. He fays in another place, *' As money is 
" the fign of a thing, and reprefents it, fo every thing is the 
^^ fign of money, and reprefents it ; and the flate proipers, in 
^^ proportion as, on one fide, money is a true reprefentative of 
** things, and as things in return are true reprefentatives of 
** money ; that is, when, according to their relative value, a 
«' man may have the one as foon as he has the ot}xer/' This 


[ 71 J 

is ptcciTefy the ^ aie c£ the public 4ebU» of ^hich he fpeak$ 
fo diâerently in many parts of his works. 

If the whole produce of commerce was contained in the 
amount of the territorial revenue^ as the author of the Bilan 
fuppofes,* what would become of Holland, whofe territorial 
revenue is ^mofV all exhaufted in fupporting the territory ? 
. It cofts the ftate more to keep the dykes and high roads in 
repair» than the revenue of the lapds amounts to. Yet the 
produce of commerce and confumption is immenfe, notwith- 
ilanding the parcimonious fpirit of the mechanic, who, improves 
upon French fobriety, without the fame good effect, for labor 
is dearer there than in France. Holland is another proof that an 
excluiive advantage in commerce is a chimera. Her profits arife 
from the opulence of her neighbours, who would fuifer in their 
turn, if any unhappy revolution were to smnihilate the republic. 
It is the bridge of communication, the commoB mart, the fup- 
port of which is effential to the trade of other powers. Whoever 
is in poiTeflion of adtions, obligations fecured by the (late, annui- 
ties, or other flock in England, converts them into money at one 
per cent, more or lefs, according to the market-price at Amfler- 
dam or London. It is a great advantage to the Englifh, that 
their flocks are current on the exchange of both countries. It is 
to be wifhed, that the fame commerce were eflablifhed in favor 
of the French funds. Perhaps it might not be impradicablc^l* 

I have wandered a little from my fubjeit to corredl fome 
miflakes, into which the ingenious author of the. Bilan has been 
led by Englifh writers and others, whom I do not rcfpe<ft 


* A refutation of this principle wiH be found in the third part t)f this work.— - 

t W hen this Tseatifc was writttfA, the French fuAde were more current than 
at fXt(ttiX.^^uthûr. 

[ 72 ] 

the left, although they are deceived. No man need blufli at 
miftaking a road, in which Monfieur de Montefquieu has fo 
often ftumbled. Thefe excurfions do not appear quite foreign 
from my fubjedl, to which I now return* The feveral con- 
clufions of my fyftem unite in this corollary, 

I think I have proved on one fide, that the gold and filver 
with which Europe has been overflown fince the difcovery of 
America, and on. the other, that the augmentation of com- 
merce, by which the new world is fupplied with fo many 
commodities and manufaâures of the old one, have occafioned 
a revolution in the political, moral, and civil fyftem of Europe ; 
that thefe metals again require new reprcfentativcs in their 
quality of fign^, becaufe the abundance of them has multiplied 
the things they reprefent ; that nothing contributes to fupport 
circulation more than the national debt of England ; that it has 
increafed the numerary, and co-operated in the fixation of 
riches; that, without the creation of thefe funds, the three 
commercial powers would have lefs numerary wealth, and could 
not circulate money enough to anfwer the triple demand of 
commerce, finance, and luxury ; that taxes return in part into 
the hand that pays them, and circulate with benefit to the 
public; that of courfe they are not fo mifchievous as it is 
pretended ; that the debts of the ftate are very ufeful, up to a 
certain point; that they have their limits, beyond which they 
might become equally dangerous ; that a finking fund is eflTential 
to credit, and neceflTary to the ftate ; that in time of peace there 
cannot be too much care taken to difcharge a part of the debt, 
but that it might be dangerous to pay it oflf entirely. (I think 
that a proportionate mafs of paper fliould always be kept in 
circulation, on terms the leaft burthenfome to the ftate), . That 
the greateft operations depend upon credit* To be ufeful, it 




[ 73 ] 
muft flouriih extremely; if not, it draws no more than the 
bucket of the Danaides. (Experience ftiows that the traffic in 
the flocks contributes greatly to fupport the credit and circula- 
tion of the public funds^ and that without this traffic England 
never could have negotiated thofe confiderable loans, to which 
Iheowes her aftoni/hiog fuccefles). Thftt# to arrive at the fame 
point, we ought, as much as poffible, to model our conduâ 
upon theirs; conforming however, in the execution, to the 
relpedive principles of government* I have fhown that, if it 
were not for the India trade, money would have funk ftill lower 
in its quality of ûgn ; that a great part of it is recovered by 
individuals, who acquire riches in India^ and bring diem back 
to Europe ; that the obfervations of the author of the Bilan upon 
the courfe of exchange are not foUd ; that the exchange is a 
&lk barometer, a deceitful compafs, unle& attention be paid to 
til the circiirofttAces obferved by Monfieor de Monteiqeiea ; 
and that, in a word, the national debt has enriched the king- 
dom, increafed its numerary wealth, encouraged circulation, 
commerce, and induûry, and procured the moft iaaportaqt 
fucceifes in war; that nothing btrt its being carripd tx> excels can 
annihilate all thefe advantages ; and that fuch excefs may be 
prevented by means of the unking fund, the refources of which 


fhall be more particularly explaioed in the Second Part. 




The following Nate omitted in its proper Place, the Reader 

is . defired to refer to Page 8, Lirie 4. 


A Lomhardxti France fignifies generally a Ufurer, and particularly a Pawnbroker* 
The French gave this name to the Venetian and Genoefe merchants, who 
formerly came to trade in France, and whofe commerce chiefly turned upon the 
exchange of money* — A Ad^nt of Piety is only a PUwnbroker*s,Shop authoriffed 
by. the date* There are many of them in Italy, Some are inftituted to receive 
money only for the ufe of the government» for which.they paya moderate intereft, 
Thefeare the refources of little beggarly ftates. To fuppofe that, on any 
eftabliihment whatfoever, they coiikl anfwer the fame purpole in France that the 
Bank does in England^ is outt>f all reafon. ^ Quid eib aliud, quam mufcam 

; clephanto confisrre?'' A mount of piety was. attempted in France in 1626, and 
aboli&ed in the year following. The charitable corporation, in 1731, was 
formed upon principles apparently the moft benevolent. The event of it how- 
ever was fuch as will probably difcdurage fuch enterprifes for the future. The 
imm^^en embezzled the capital to the amount of feveral hundred thoufan^. 

. pouadsy and the propneton were ruined«*-7r< 


i : 


[ 7S i 


New Means ofincreajing the Sinking Fund of England, and 

paying off' Part ^^ the National Debt. 

,t * 

SINCE there has been a general improvement in knowledge, 
fince all the world has taken a fhare in commerce, and fince 
the principles of finance are no longer myfterious, nor confined 
to the adept, every thing may be reduced to calculation. Credit, 
whkh was formerly no more than a creature of the mind, (i.) 
an idol worfhipped through habit, has obtained a real exiftence, 
may be acquired by fyftem, loft by accident, and recovered by 
principle. But there are prejudices in all our opinions. They 
are the alloy of reafon, and muft be refpeûed or deftroyed. 

England, with fewer apparent refources than France, pof- 
fefles a more fplcndid credit. (2.) The form of government 

L 2 contributes 

(i.) Credit hi more than a creature of the mind, and has always bad a real 
exiftence, though, like any other refource, it may be deftroyed by an injudicious 
exertion. Like the precious metal, whofe place it fupplies, credit may be 
extended ad infinitum ; but as they both lofe in folidity what they gain in furface, 
a breath of air is Aifficient to blow the golden leaf away. — Tranjlator. 

(2.) Peihaps it might be more truly affirmed, that England, having a more 
brilliant credit, has therefore more refources than France. The quarrels of nations 
are not decided by the whole mafs of their r^pedtive ftrength, but by that portion 
ofit which their refpe£livecircumftances, in point of conftitution, adminiftration, 
and credit, will permit each of them to bring into. actual ufe and circulation. 
Refource implies exertion. The only ideal power is that which cannot be exerted. 

* . 

The paper In circulation is real wealth. The fpecie in the chefl; has no exiflence 
to the ttiXt.'-^Tran/lator. 

( 7M 

contributes to it. Yet, if France had purfued the fame princi- 
ples in the operations of her finances, the prejudice againft her 
would have been parUy removed,. At the beginning of the war 
in 1755 the French funds wore a better appearance than the 
Englifh. Far from finking or giving way, the whole mafs of 
paper fupported itfelf furprifingly. The bare creation of a 
taking fund bad given a confiflcncc as well a& . a colouring to 
paper, and fuhdvied the oM prejudices» by wbick credit had 
been deftroyed. But the plan was not fufficiently confidered ;: 
the principles were not fufficiently combined j accidents wera 
aot forefeen. 1 am perfuadcd» that credit would have fupported 
Uielf IçmgjBr, iijt when the finking fund was createdj care bad 
been taken to appriie the public, that the difcharge of debt waa 
to be fiifpended in time of war, with an afiii ranee that this fond 
iQiould then iibrve as a collateral £bcurity for paying the interefl i. 
the exaâneiâ^ aLQ4 punctuality of which ihould be inviolable» aa^ 
it 19 in England, Evcsy thing ibould have been done with 
the concurrence, and under the fanûion» of the parliament*. 
From a want of theiè formalities and precautioiis, they were 
Hopped bjF rivulets when they had rivers to pafs; lo England 
the uie of the finking fuiid was more extenfive. This machine 
of wax yielded to the imprefiion of government,, and was 
applied to the current expences^ of the war. The funds, by 
which the interefl of the debt was. fecured, proceeded without 
interruption; they were folid, fuffipient, and inviolable; no 
part of the principal could be demanded. In the midfi: of a. 
liofm, government glided upon a fmooth river, while in France 
they were carried, away by a torrent. The French finking fund 
difappeared like a phantom, and credit was annihilated at the 
moment it was mofl: wanted. This could not have happened if 
t &>lid^ inviolable fecurity had been afligned for the feparate 


r n I 

idMreft of cack Idan by t partkplar tax crtatéeTj as \n EngHncff^ 
at the time the loan was made. In France the interefl upon all^^ 
thaloans is coofouoded, aitd charged upon the ^SàeSf Gaieffes,{i.) 


(^} €aMks ûgrtifj the Aitifs on fait, hrid within the kingdom of' France. 
Thr whole intfinal commecc» of ùk ii in the handa of the king, who fitcs the 
price» and difeâs the falc and diAribution, by mtansr of bis faroiera, and undcir 
the jurifdiâion of office» created exprefsly for this branch of the revoiioe. The 
whole kingdom Is not equally fubjeâ ta what they call the Grofb Gabelle. 
Befides the exemption which particular perfons are ftill allowed in virtue of their 
offices, fcvcral provificta of Old FrafK:e> and in general all the frontier provinces, 
conquered or coded 1^ H)f cjrewf in thecoti»(e pf ibt )aft century, are diftinguiihed 
by the name of Pais de Franc-Sale* In tbefe countries, the duty on fait i% 
lighter, the king taking it on the footing on wbk:h he found it eftabliflied at the 
time of the acquifitiom- But as the other taxe»^ are heavier, the inhabitants lofe 
at much on ont fide as they gam on the^ofher. 

, Nothing can be conceived mere iniquitous and oppreffive than the Grofle 
Gabelle, as well with refpeâ to the quantum of the tax, as the mode of levying it. 
Sah, which ought to be one of the cheapeft articles of confumptton, is, by various 
tricks and contrivances^ made fo dear to the confemer, that, notwithftanding its 
univerfid ufe and neceflSty, the government is obliged to force the fale of it by 
compulfory regulations... In confequence of bad management, the produce to the 
king bears no proportion to the enormous expence of coUcâion. As the duty is 
not equal in all parts of the kingdom, the king is obliged to maintain an army of 
cuftom-officers to prevent the tranfportatioh of it from one provinde to another; 
and as it is alfo exceffively heavy, the peafant and the poor in general do not 
confume the tenth part of what they would do, if thecommodity were cheap. In 
the year 1707, Marfiial Vauban fays, that the dearnefs of fait had created a kind 
of famine in the kingdon^ fenfibly felt by the lower rank of people, who, for want 
of fait, were deprived of the means of pickling, particularly pork, fo eflcntijl 
to their fubfiftencc. With the fcvercft occonomy, they had not enough for daily 
uft. The differeiKe of price in the different provinces fends a multituA of 
fmugglers to the gallies. In thoie parts where every individual is compelled to 
take a certain quantity of fait (which among the poor is ufually more than they can 
affvjrd to pay for) they are not allowed to make ufe of what they fave in one year, 
to ferve them for the next. This cruel and abfurd regulation expofes the people 
te.aU ibrts of vexations on ihe part of the king's officers^ who ranfack every corner 


C 7» .] 

4mdjhe great Farms, which the pçoplc confider as a ica.wttfa(Nit 
a fhore* 

After thefe fads» (hall it be faid that the operation of a 
finking fund muft be fufpended in time of war^ as contradiâory 
to, and incompatible with^ the new loans which the ibrvice 
may require ? 1 am far from thinki<ng- fo* The principle may 
be foftencd, and greater advantages drawn from it. In France, 
it was only the form that was defedive, and this defedt prevailed 
through all the operations of her fiqances. In France I have 
often iniided upon the utility of a permanent finking fund, both 
in peace and war. The principles I went upon were not 
entirely rejefted. Some ufe was made of them ; but they were 
neither carried to their extent, nor, in fome inilances, ilriâly 
adhered to. I am of opinion, that all appearances might have been. 


their houfes, in hopes of dircovering fait not declared^ and where they find none, 
#ften bring it themfelves, and pretend to have found it fecreted, in order lo vex 
and opprefs thofe againft whom they have any private pique. The fel d'impoft» or 
annual quantity, which every mafter of a family is compelled to buy at the king's 
magazine, is computed at the rate of one minot, or four bufhels, for fourteen 
perfons, including infants. This fait can only be employed in the daily ufes 
of the family. They, are forbid to ufe it in any of the confxderable articles of 

In the provinces, where the people are Jiot' compelled to take a liipited quantity, 
they ufe as little as pofllble themfelves, and give none to their cattle^ for want of 
which they are weak, fpiritlefs, and unhealthy ; and tKj duty of courfe is incon- 
* fidera.ble. It would be endlefs to enumerate the particular abufes, with which the 
whole plan of th£ Gabelles is attended. Fraud againfl the king, and oppreffion 
to th^fubjeft, are the natural confequence of every arbitrary fyftem of taxation, 
where no proportion is obferved between the quantum of the tax and the nature 
of the commodity, nor any regard had to the condition and means of that rank 
of jthe people, on whom the chief weight of it muft fall. Tyranny in general 
defeats its own purpofe. The people are oppreflcd, and the revenue fuffers. 

Jid^s are one of the king's general farms, conlilling principally of the duties 
levied on vf inc. '^Tranjlator» 

C 7^ ) 

fâ¥ed, ahd a!n cqiXal quantity of debt extingcifiied, hy reducing^ 
the intcreft of the redeemable anauities, or paying off tholb 
who might riot fabmit to the reduftion. 

In the year 1750, the Englifli government, fupported by peace, 
by an abundance of money, by credit, and a good adminif-- 
trationi was able ta reduce all the four per cent» annuities, of 
which there was an immenfe quantity, * to three, offering at 
the fame time to pay off thofe who (bould refafe their confent 
to this arrangement. Government ev^n punifheà thofe perfony 
who refufed, or heûtated, by .declaring that they, who did not 
come in within a fhort limited time, fhould be immediately 
paid off; whereas the. firbfcribers (hould enjoy an interefl of 
three and a h«df per cent, for feven years longer. By thefe 
means few people dtffired to be paid off.. The opportunity wa^ 
favorable, meafures were well taken, and there, were fomo 
millions in referve; The Bank^ India, and South-Sea com-^ 
panics, had been* apprifed of the fcheme, and gained over by 
government, together with fome nioneyed men, who had 
nothing better to do with their money. So that an operation, 
which in theory feemed difficult, if hot impoffible, was* com- 
pleted with eafe^ and wonderful fuccefs. In ibme cafes it is 
cafier to execute than to conceive. It is certain that, with five 
millions only, when credit is well managed, thé intereft of fifty 
may be reduced, yet without compelling any body, paying off 
fome fevy, and offering to pay off the reft. Every thing depends 
upon the opportunity, and method of ufing, it. France was 
upon the point of being able to fbife a like opportunity ; «but 
having negleâed to make ufe of it, they have fince been obliged 
to have recourfe to lefs plaufible and lefs honorable expedients* 
The example I refer to, is a diftinguifhed fad known by the 


•• ♦ jC-57»703»475 : 6 : 4i 

[ to ] 

whole world, and might have hcen followed vidi advaot^^ 
But the moment is pad, ami cannot be recalled^ 

Let us turn to England^ where the fire of Vefta has never 
been extinguifhed. The public faiths with regard to the credit 
ipf the funds» has never been violated» or fuffa*ed the leatt 
diminution. I have fhown by what means crodit has been foi 
long fupported» and proved that the national debt has enriched the 
nation by increaiing its numeraty. I have unfolded the pria*- 
^iples of circulation, together with the utility and the neccflity 
of the funds ; acknowledging at the fame time# that there was 
a maximum which muft be avoided» and diat» if wars were 
to fucceed each other» without a confiderable difcharge of debt 
in the intervals of peace» the machine might give way, and 
draw the ruin of the kingdom along with it» For this re>« 
fon» I affirm» that England ftands in need of an atudliary, per-* 
maaent» finking fand, to operate in time of war, as well as 
peace. Great advantages would refok from it» both to the 
|Hiblic and to government. Let us fuppofo for a moment» that^ 
after fome years of peace» the mafs of the national debt fhould 
be din^inifhcd by feveral millions ; that wfa^ it was reduced» 
for example» to feven^ or eighty miUkms «nly» which is very 
praticable» a war fhould commence ; and that govemnofent» 
during the war» (hould continue to pay off (4.) annually a 


(4O With great fubmiffion to the author» his idea of paying ofF a million and a 
half at par, even in time of p)eace» when ftocks are only eleven or twelve per cent, 
under it, 16 out 4>r an reafbn» and wouM be confidated at little Aoit of madnefs hi 
this country. It wmdd be makmg a prefent of ekven er twelve poand» to evei^ 
proprietor of a hundred» who might have (He good fortune to be firft paid ofit If 
is not necefTary to fuggeft in what manner that advantage might be diftributed« 
The purfuing fuch a plan in time of war would be ftifl more waRefuI and unrea- 
ibntbie« To pay o^ a debt at three per cent* with one hand, while government 


[ 8i ] 

milUoa and ^ half at par; is it not evident that this^ would 
fupport the current intereft^ and prevent its rifing ? An oper*- 
tion of this kind would give elafticity to circulation. The 


18 obliged to borrow money at four or five per cent, with the other, leads direâf jr 
ad abfurdvin. You pay off a creditor whom you are not obliged to pay off; you dQ 
it at a time when yoo want money moft ; the fame money is lent you again at a 
higher intereft than it ftood at before, and you muft lay a new tax upon the people 
to pay the intereft of the new loan. This, I prefume, will not bear aR 

When a perfon of great abilities propofes any thing that feems to carry an infur- 
mountableobje£tionupon theface of it, inferior men ought to fufpeâ their own 
want of apprehenfion, and confefs that they are' more likely to mifunderftand, 
than he to miftake. A very able Engliih writer afErms, that when money is 
wanted for the public fervice, the di^erence, between borrowing a million and 
taking it out of the finking fund, is infinitely in favor of the former. Upon this 
I obferve, firft, that the laying a new tax on the people is an objeâion to his 
fcheme, to which he does not give a fatisfaâory anfwer ; yet, without a new tax, 
he cannot avail himfelf of the compound intereft of the debt he difcharges; and 
how new taxes are to be raifed in this country to any confiderable amount, is a 
queftion much more cafily anfwered by projeftors in the clofet, than by minifters 
în the cabinet. Secondly, his fuppofitidn, that when you pay off a million of the 
four per cents, at par, ydu can itnmediately borrow an equal fum at the fame 
intereft, feems totally gratuitous and unwarrantable. As at prefent there are no 
four per cents, redeemable, let us apply his propofition to the three per cents. 
Withrefpeft to the argument it is the fame thing. The medium price in time of 
war may fairly be taken at feventy-five pounds. The queftion then is, whether 
paying off a million at par will raife the price of ftocks twenty-five per cent. If 
not, it is felf-evident, that government cannot borrow a million at three per cent, 
forthe current fervice. If the medium price of a debt of a hundred and thirty 
millions be feventy-five per cent, the proportionate price of a hundred and 
twenty-nine millions would be only £'JS ^^ ^ »V B"^ ^^ fpeak largely, 

- • 

let us fuppofe, that ftocks would rife to eighty, which furely is an allowance 
beyond all probability. The refult of the operation would then be, that govern- 
ment to-day pays off a million at three per cent, arid borrows it again to-morrow 
at three and three quarters, without reckoning the value of the douceur that muft 

M ' be 

t -^2 3 

fprings of credit would . prefervç fhw .«Aivity^. atod ÛÈt .ncew 
Joans be raifed with Co nuich tk^ greater Cfif% and upoa lc& 
bpfthenfome Ui^s. The regd^ is requeued to confido: tint» 


be giv^n to ^he {ubfcrlber to tpmpt him to .prefer the new fuhTcrlptlon to the 
blj funds. 

Ac the fame time I do not mean to deny the ufç and be > \efi t of a .permanent 
finking fund to operate in war as well as peace, with this fuppofition always, that 
the utmoft advantage is taken of the low price of ftocks, and that taxes be not b 
multiplied as to defeat themfclves. The fiate then makes a compound intcreft of 
thp fum it applies to the difcharge of debt» wheresw it pays only a fimple iniereft 
for the fum it borrows ; and it is to be prefumed» that the people would chearfully 
fubmit to fome increafeof taxes, provided they (aw the produce of the finking fund 
prudently as well as ftriâly applied to the difcharge of debt. 

It is highly to the honor of the Noble Lord now at the head of the treafury, 
that the idea of difcounting the public debt was firft adopted in his admimftration^ 
The Cgnal (îiccefs of the firll attempt^in 177 1» will undeubtedly encotsrage him 10 
perfcvere in the fame fyfteni, whenever the ûtuation of public affairs will admit of 
it. Speculative or fanciful objeâions are not to be rc^rdcd, when the public is 
manlfeftly benefited, and the creditor, who is the party immediately cqncerned, 
is not only fatisfied with the terms offered hioi, but ea^er to fub&ribe to them. 
A fcheme of this nature has a double edge. It either raifes the pri e of ftock», or 
gives the piiblic the advantage of difcharging its debts at a ^ow price, The^very 
decline of pul^lic credit increafes the power of reftoriog it. 

To this plan there feems to be but one poffible improvement. If, after an 
impartial confideration, it fiiould be thought worthy of trial, the immenfe importance 
of the objeâ will, it is to be hoped, unite all parties in promoting its fuccefs. To 
thwart or embarrafs a plan evidently calculated to ferve the public, without the 
poflibility of aofweriiigany miniAerial purpofe, would difgrace a patriotic oppo- 
fition. Every public-fpirited meafure (hould have the privilege of holy ground, 
on which, amidft the war of parties, it ihould be deemed facrilege to commit 
hoftilities» The general idea of making the utmoft advaotige of tl^e low price of 
the funds, in iiavor of the public, i$ obvious enough, and has often occurred to 
others, though no plan of this kind b^s yet been ferioufly aueo^pted. It ii pro-. 
pofed, that the legiflatureflionld, from year to year, intruft a commiliee of t^ 

houfe of commons with a power of purcbafing ftock for the ufe of tbApuUic at ide 


[ h ] 

fiûcc the produce of the finking fund Î8 not fufficîent to an^cr 
the extraerdinaiy fervices in time of war> and fince it cannot 
prcFent xvrar loans, it is much better to apply it to its true 


markot price, at fueb tioies, and in fucb proportions, as they (hould think 
proper, to the amount of the available furplus of the finking fund. There might 
be difficulties in the ekecuHon, as there are in every new enterprife ; but they 
would not be infurmoontabk. In theory I (ee no fdid objeâion. The choice of 
the committee ought to be determined by one at.leaft out of three qualifications, 
higji lafftdj griat fr^pirty^ and ftrfinat cbara^er. It is eflential to the execution 
of (ueh a (cheme, that ni|. ftep be taken without the concurrence of government, 
reprefimted by fomo of its principal minifters. The private property of the com- 
mittef would be a fecucity againft fraud and mifmanagement \ at the fame time 
that the perfonal reputation of the nsanagers would give credit to the fcheme, and 
engage the confidence of the public* Inhere are but tWo grounds on which it 
might be oppofed with any appearance of argument, and tbefe feem rather topics 
of dedamatioa than of folid ob^âiop* It will be faid, that it is dilgracefol to a 
great nation to buy up it» own debts in ûst market set a lower rate than that at 
which they were copUaâed, It will alfo be fiaid, that the committee will have it 
in their power to raife or fink the ftocks at pleafure, and by that means to buy and 
fell for their private adtantage. To the fir|l I anfwer, that there is no difgrace 
where there is np ipjufticc; and that, where no violence is offered to the creditor, 
he cannot be faid, to fuffertnjuft ice. Volenti non fit injuria. It is in his option to 
fell or not, ^% hç thinks proper^ If be ftlls, it muft be totally indifferent to him 
whether gprernm^tror a private perfpn be the purchafirr. Far from being injured 
by govemmfofs a^U^ ift cpoipetttion with other purcbafers, the value of his pro- 
perty would inefit^y be improved by it. Tiie objeâion on the fcore of national 
dignity miift ^\ t)UQ<tii|fiebeth6ught particularly frivolous, after the fuccefs of the 
plan fortheyf^iT 1771*. In that inftance government paid off a debt of a hundred 
with nimtyi and, though the mode be a little different, the effeâ is the fame. 
The map ^bp v(4iintarily fells his flock to government at eighty-eight, is as 
n^uch a fubicriber to this feheaae as he who fubfcribcd it in at ninety was a fub* 
icribtr to tb^ocber % nof can there be a doubt that, if all the three per cents, were 
. at oac^ paid off at eighty-eight, the prefent body of proprietors would receive a 
greater f^m than tfacir ftoek originally coft them; In fhort, the circumftances of 
theMtipn ar^ Aicb 9$ juftify any meafures tending to Icffen the incumbrance of the 

, M 2 pubKc 

'[ -84 ■] 

objcft, by which tlie price of the old funds îs forcibly kept up, 
tlic intereft of money of courfe kept under* and a much greater 
affiftanc'i given to the new loans, than if,^ by applying the, 


public debt, except violence to the creditor» or breach of parliamentary faith. 
U^noroftty at thi3 feafon to the public creditor would but ill agree with the debtor's 
fituation ; and, after all, who is the public creditor ? A perfon, or number of 
pprfons, who, when money ha& been wanted, have taken every poflible advantage: 
of the diftrcfs or ncccflities of government, To^the fécond objeâion I anfwer, that 
no great operation whatfoever can be executed without placing a confidence fome- 
where. This confidence would be annual, and fubjcôto a parliamentary revifion* 
But it is unfair and unwarrantabk to fiippofe, that ten or twelve gentlemen, of 
the firft confequence in the kingdom, of different parties, views, and connexions, 
would enter into a combination (for without it they could do nothing) to avait 
themfelves of a fluâuation in the price of (locks; and, if rhey did, the fluâuations 
would not be great or quick enough to enable them to do much mifchief. It may 
be added thatf* a( tbdr only bufineft would be to buy, they could only raife and 
neycriUik.the ouu'ket price of the commodity ; and it would be eafy to reftrain them 
from invefting large ûims at once. Oft the other hand, the pofitive advantages of 
the fcheme would be numerous and important* 

The committee would buy up ftock on better terms than could be obtained by a 
f^bfcription, becaufe ihey wou^d buy at the current price, and always prefer that 
ftock that happened to he lowed in the market. Together with the principal they 
would purchafe the growing intereft, which might go in aid of their fund, and be 
reinvefied in the purchafe of capital ftock ; and very fmall fums might be invefted 
with the fame proportionate advantage as great ones; fometimes perhaps with 
greater advantages. . The continued expeâation of the committee's inveftment 
would keep up the price of ftocks, as it would take place by degrees ; and no man 
could pofitively know when their whole fund was exhaufted. In this refpeâ the 
efpeu of a fubfcription is momentary. 

, But of all the advantages attending fuch a fcheme, the moft material is, that it 
is to be carried through without the affiftance of a lottery. The conftant ufe of 
this expedient in time of peace is like the daily ufe of wine to young men. In otie 
inftance we anticipate the refources of war anddiftrefs; in the other, we anticipate 
the comforts of decrepitude and old age. In both we raife a momentary fupply of 
falfe fpirits, at the cxpence of health and conftitution. Without entering minutely 


[ 8s ] 

fiûÊîag fund to the current fcfvice, a million left fliould be 
bwro.wcd. .This is a reflection» not to fay a truth, which I 
fubmit to rhe judgment of thofe who are acquainted with the 
magic of circulaticin and credit. Thej?' will be able to unfold 
the infinite advantages, that might refait from it to the Englifh 
nation. Perhaps it may be no more than a chimera of theory. 
Let us try whether it might not be realifed in praftice. 

. To proceed methodically, let us, once again, confider the 
' national debt and finking fund analytically. Let us weigh the 
two ob)e<5ts, , aod reduce them to their exaâ dimenfions. It has 
been {hown that, properly fpeaking, it is only the intereft that 
can be a burthen to government. The principal is not de- 
mandablç. With refpedt to government, it may almofi: be faid 
not to exifl:, though it has ferved and enriched the public. Yet, 
if this principle were abufed, taws would be perpetuated, and 
multiply ; the weight of the funds would break the fprings of 

circulation $ 

into the numberlefs objeâions againft lotteries, it may be fufficient to obferve in 
general, that fi nee every fpecies of gaming is dcftruélive of induftry, that game 
muftbemoftfo that offers the greateft temptation to the lower rank, who, for the 
benefit of the ftate, as well as their own, fliould conftantly be employed* At any 
other game a great profit is not expeâed from fuccefs. In a lottery, the man who 
buys but the fixteench of a ticlcet, fixes his eye upon the great prize, and experts to 
make his fortune. The lottery offices, by accomikiodating their fchemes to every 
man's circumftances, lay all the laboring rank of people under a grievous contri- 
bution, and extort a tax even from wretches who pay nothing to the ftate. Great 
minifters cannot know or conceive to what extent tbefeabufes are carried, nor how 
much they tend to corrupt the nfiorals of the people. But great minifters fliould 
know at leaft, that lofs of induftry in the fubjeâ is lofs of revenue to the ftate. 
Even an intermiffion of a year or two might have this good eSeâ, that a lottery 
would appear with fo much the more novelty, and be filled by thofe who have 
money tnough to purchafe entire tickets. Other abiiibs might bccorre^ed by the 

i: ^6 J 

circulation ; credit might fail, stnd the whole edifice fall to the 
ground. I affirm that this period is ftill very diftant. If it 
were near at hand, the mifchief perhaps would admit of no 
remedy. - Confidering the debt as it ftands» it is evident that, 
notwithfbmding the immenfe increafe of capital debt (ince the 
death of Queen Anne, the burthen immediately falling on the 
public has not increafed in the fame proportion. The nation 
has continued to borrow fums, the intereft of which (he would 
have been unable to difcharge, if means had not been taken^ 
confifteutJy with juftice and good faith, to reduce the rate of 
intereft ; and, although the finking fund (compofed of the 
furpluses of taxes appropriated to pay the ititereft, and aflifted 
by voluntary reductions of intereft, to which^ the creditors con* 
fented rather than be paid off) has not produced all the effect 
that ;might have been expedled from fo wife and neceflary an 
inftitution, yet it is certain that confiderable Turns have been 
paid off, and that public credit has been fupported by the 
expcétation of a conftant annual reimburfement. A finking 
fund increafes in proportion as it is employed. The ^rogreflîve 
accumulation of annual intereft faved by every difcharge of 
debt, and united to the growing capita), in a few years pro* 
duces a prodigious fund, let the commencement of it, or favings 
upon the firft payments, have been ever fo inconfiderable. The 
geometrical progreffipn of fuch a fund*i$ immenfe, and aftonilhes 
the imagination. It is a fhallow ftream that becomes a river as 
it flows. It is true however that, to avail thcmfèlves of this 
progreffion, the Englifh have been obliged to continue the taxes, 
appropriated to pay the intereft of old loans, after the principal 
was difcharged. I {hall fpeak hereafter of the meana of IcjiTeoing 
this inconvenience» 


I H 3 

Ti^e fiaking fund was much more conEdcrable thaii it is, 
and' amounted to above .three millions ilierUng. But it has beea 
charged with eight hundred thoufand pounds a year to iup- 
port the civil lift, (5.) and to make good the deficiencies of all 
the appropriated taxes, as well as to fecilre the intereft and 
principal of the unfuj^ded debt; which is but juft. I leave it toj 
the Englifli to calculate to what firm the clear applicable pro- 
duce of their finking fund, as it ilands at pre&nt, may amount^ 
It is certain that if, after the firft year, it were every year 
fucceflivel^ augn^&te^ witli the intereft of the debt paid off, 
conformably to the mature oi its inftitiixion, we ibould fee a 
prodigiovis inoreafe of its power at the, end of a do^en years. IC 
at^ that time (I ipçak always hypothetically; the difcharge of 
the old debt was continued in proportion to the povvçr of the 
fund, the price of ftocks could never fallf becaufe the quantity, 
being diminiftied, and confined to fewer hands, every. creditor 
would have a chance of feeing foon paid at par. New loaiis 
might then with cafe be negotiated on moderate terms, and with 
a trifling douceur to the fubfcriber. But an operation of this 
kind, in the prefent enfeebled ftate of the finking fund, woul4 
be too tedious. The uncertain continiiance of peace, the 
clamour of oppofitioni and the enormous mafs of the debt, con- 
ftantly reprefented as a bugbear, make an iniprcflion too ftrong 
to agree with fo flow a remiedy. Some operation like ;hat of the 


^5.) As tb« feveral duties, appropriated to the Tupport of the civil lift, are now 
carried iota, and made part of, the aggregate fuiid, it is but }uft that this fund 
frould firft make good the charge of the civil liftj before the furplus or any part of 
it is carried to the finking fund. As the above duties produce more than the 
limited fum of eight hundred thoufand pounds, which his prefent Majefty v^as 
pleafed to accept for the fupport of his civil government^ the diârfence is a con* 
iidcrable improvement to the finking fund. --^Trsn/latcr. 


r 8? ] 

jrctr 1750 is wanted, brilliant in appearance, and rapid in its 
effeâ:, by which all the phantoms, that undermine public 
credlr,^ and fpread uneaûnefs among the people, might at once 
be put to flight. 

The following, for inflance, is an operation, by which I con- 
ceive twelve millions and a half of the mafs of the national 
debt might be cancelled, that is, they might be converted into 
a fund fo conftituted as to difcharge itfelf, by applying 527,500!. 
a year out of the finking^fund for a certain number of years, 
part of which fum would be gradually recovered every year. 
The method I propofe, would be to open a fubfcription for 
creating life annuities (6.) at feven and a half per cent, and 


(6.) Before we enter ii)to the general queftion of the benefit or difiidvantage of 
converting a part of the capital debt into life annuities, it may be. proper to take 
notice of the defeâs and inacciiracjr of the avtbor'a febeme, as they appear upoM 
the face of it. He propofea that the four per cents, or three per cents, fitali be 
received at par; and thai fubfcriptiont in money iball be received indifcriminateljc 
with fiock. in the firft place il is dear, that no money would be fubfcribed ', nor 
indeed does he reckon jupon it. But it is equally certain» that none of the re- 
deemable four per cents, would have been fubfcribed. If a proprietor of a four per 
cent, annuity intended to changée, it into a life annuity of feven and a < half, be 
would of courfe fell it, and buy dock at three percent and fubfcribe the latter, 
pocketing the difference between the market price of the two ftocks. The calcu- 
lation therefore requLes an amendment. As no (lock, but the three per cents, 
would be fubfcribed, the finking fund mutt contribute a larger fum than the 
author fuppofes to pay the life annuities. The intereft of twelve millions and a 
half at three per cent, is only 375,oooL confequently the fum taken in the firfl: 
year out of the finking fund would be 562,500!. This however is only an error 
of calculation eafily reâified. Another much more material objeâion is, that, by 
receiving the three per cents, at par, when in the market they could only be fold 
at cighty-fevcn or eighty-eight, the author makes a prefent of twelve or thirteen per 
cent, to every fubfcriber, in addition to the life annuity. It is not neceflary to 
remark how extravagant and unthrifty a bargain this would be for the public. 



C 89 ] 

to receive at par, either the four per cents, redeemable in 1761;* 
or any of the three per cents* or money » without diftînâion» 
As the three per cents, are ftill at ten per cent, difcount^f* a 


The firft great advantage, which the author propofes by converting a portion of 
the debt into life annuities, virould be the taking fuch a quantity of ftock at once 
out of the market, which of courfe would rai(e the value of the remainder. He 
conceives that, if the average price of the three per, cents, be eighty-feven, whea 
the whole debt is one hundred and thirty millions, an operation that paid off, or 
relieved the market of fixteen millions nine hundred thoufand pounds (which is 
thirteen per cent, upon the whole debt) ought to raife the pricf of ftocks to par; 
and this is an advantage which he thinks cannot be purchafed too dear. The 
fécond advantage he expeâs from life annuities, is the increafe of confumpdon and 
expence, which ultimately turns to the improvement of the revenue. A man 
whofe annuity is raifed from three pounds to feven and a half, contributes, by his 
expence, more than double what he did, to the taxes upon every article of con« 
fumptton ; and the ftate by this means recovers a confiderable part of the additional 
annuity. Perhaps alfo it may deferve the attention of a mere financier, that iri* 
creafing the means of luxury tends to (horten the lives of the annuitants, whofe 
annuities fall in fo much the fooner, and improve the finking fund. Upon this 
principle, the value of an apoplexy might be computed, and a general indigeftion 
be confidered as one of the refources of the ftate. The probable mortality among 
the annuitants has been ferioufly reckoned upon, in France, as a good argument 
in favor of granting life annuides. The third advantage to be'expeâed from them 
is, that whatever portion of the finking fund is fet apart for this fervice, ceafes to 
be inthedifpofition of parliament, and confequently is not liable to be mifappiied. 

On the other fide of the queftion, the objeâions to life annuides are 
>)umerOus and important. Firft, they. are a check fo induftry, and an en- 
couragement to idlenefs, by enabling the annuitant to live upon his income. 
In England, the clafs of people who do nothing is fufficiently ftocked. 
Secondly, they are a check to marriage and population, becaufe they ex« 
hauft all the refources of the individual in fccuring an affluent fubfiftence for 

N himfelf, 

♦ This was written in 1763, when the redeemable four per cents, had not been 
redeemed. The fcheme however may be applied to any other ftock upon^fimilar 
terms* — Author. • • * 

t In the year 1763, they were about ninety.— ^«//;tfr. 

[ 90 ] 
life arinnîfy at fevcn and a half per cent, is more advantageotri. 
The confidence rcpofed in government, and in the go9d faith of 
parliament ; that extended luxury, which invites aloMft every 
man to increafe his income; the great mafs of the annuities i 
the wLfh that poiTefies many fathers of families to fecure fame 


kitnfel/, smd leave M provifion for pofterity. ThirdJy^ tbej are cxptiifivio ami 
injudicious, merely aa a œeaûire of finance, becaufe none bat the beft Ityes 
vrould be given in. An aged or infirm perfon can make moise than /even aad a» 
half per cent, by fmking bis capital. Doâot Pnce hae demonflcMed that^ if tbc 
ftoie annual futn, Wbtcli mitft be fet apart for payt)i^ the ad<Ktiôbal amiuity^ tvtre 
applied as far as it w^d g»| together with the Aiviifgt of înléreft^ to ^y dP 
principal debt ai par^ it would difebargr mo» than double the quantity of debt 
that would be extinguiflied by the falliog-in of the life anmiitiei iti a given periods 
This objeâion is fatal, and makes it tmneceflary to infift on any others» 

With reipeâ to the appraiprlatioa of a large portion of the finking fiind^ In order 
. to t^o it, as miek aa poffible» out of Ae di^ofition of parUameat ; it ié to be 
^ervfd tbfil^ by eairyîng ov diftruft iif parliament to aft extreme^ the nattoii may 
be deprif ed of ft great rdovme upon ihe aK>roaeh of tone critical^eÉier^noy,. wheit 
money at any rate miift be had» to lave the (late. Taxed and Jknuled as we ut^ 
the minifter has by no means a plendful choice of rel<mrees before htm ; and fup^ 
po&ng the finking fund as ftriâly appropriated to the difi:har|^ o£ principal» as the 
other funds are to pay the iatereft of debt» it concerns the public aedkor very nearly». 
to coofider in what way parliament is to raift ati extraordinary fiipply in fuck a 
inoment of diftrels» as mi^ tfaoeatea the fafety of the common wealth* Jn one oA 
there would be a temporary mifiipplieation of a fund intended to reduce the csipital 
debt I in die other there would be no rçmedy, but applying part of the intereftio 
the cocreM fervice. The eieâion then propofed to the public creditor is», whether 
he would have the payment of his principal debt deferred» or run a very maniflA 
hazard of a reduAIon of intereft. Befides this» if we look back to faftsf we are 
not warranted to fufpeâ» that parliament will not continue to apply the finking 
fund» in fome tolerable degree, to the payment of debt. They have done much 
more than- the author pretends to do with his life annuities» though it muft be 
oonfeflTed» that there have been confiderable mifapplicadons of the finking fund» 
and that with fttter nunagement a much greater portion of debt tti%ht have biea 

[ 91 J 


little life annuity to their children, ts a refource in <rafe of 
need ; all theie motives united would« I am perfuaded, in a 
little time have the effed of converting twelve millions . and A 
half of annuities into life annuities, with the lofs of the prin* 
cipal^ and greatly diminidi the phantom of the nationtd debfe» 
The intereft of the twelve millions and a half thus difcharged» 
viz. of three millions and a half at four per cent, and nine 
millions at three per cent, would increafe the finking fund in 
the fum of >r.4io>ooo a year, and with the help of ^.527,500 
taken from the finking fund,, would pay the life annuities 
without a new; tax. The finking fund would dill ren^ain 
ftrong enough to nuikeXome farther annual reduâioa of debt« 
It would every year acquire new flrrcngth by the growing 
intereft of debt fo reduced, and by the life annuities gradually 
falling in by the death of the annuitants. The furplus of 
intereil diiperfed through the public would in part return into 
the old funds, where the annuitants vefi: their favings» As th<i 
mafs of ilock diminishes, the price rifes. \ Credit acquires new. 
ftrength, and the formidable body of the old debt being, reduced, 
the circulation of it would be fo much the lefs liable to b$ 

" T4ii$ operation, I fhould thinks might be repeated With 
fucceis a )^arx)r two after the firft converfion of principal debt 
into liœ annuity, and the moft obftinate unbelievers be con-r 
yinced,|that it is poflible to overcome the coloflus of the njational 
debtt adk to reduce it to a fize which it would be imprudent 
and dangerous ta lefien ; for I have demonflrated, that it is 
abfolutely necefiary to maintain a confiderable circulation of 
thefe factitious riches, which were created and are fupported by 
credif, and which credit itfelf flands in fo ouich need of. 

N 2 By 

[ '92 3 

By this fcheme it is poflible to cxtinguifli twenty-five million)? 
of principal debt, converting them into annuities, which gra- 
dually difcharge themfelves, and applying only a part of the 
finking fund. The root of this fund would ftill be preferved, 
with a new produce from year to year, and foon recover its 
original condition by the falling-in of the life annuities. It is 
alfo to be obferved, that as foon as the mafs of life annuities ii 
annihilated, the fum of ^(^.527,500 is reftored to the finking 
fund. The recovery of this fum would begin to be fek 
even in the firft few years, confidering the multitude of 
annuitants, and the great mafs of the fubfcription. Yet there i$ 
no fear df the whole fubfcription's being too great to fucceed, 
aï well fbr the reafons already ftated, as bccaufc in the firft 
îûflance ît' is but ttn per cent.' upon the national debt. This is 
certainly very far from being a tenth part of the fortune of in- 
dividuals, and every mtn it glad to ky out a ùmM portion of 
his property in a life annuity. The feme operation might pro- 
bably be repeated twice or thrice after the firft attempt had" 
fucceeded. The eagemefs, with which people in France vefted 
their money in life annuities tn tickliih ciarcumftances^ confirms 
me in my conjeftureS. 

When thefe operations have taken place, ibme meafures 
(hould be fallen upon to xncreafe the finking fund, and to divide 
it| appropriating one part ^to a perpetual and permanent ex- 
tinâion of debt, not to be interrupted in time of war ; the 
other, incorporated with the favings on the life annuitiéf as they 
fell in, not to be applied, nor to fubfift beyond the difcharge of 
a certain number of millions ; when thefe are paid off, the nation 
to be relieved from a proportionate quantity of taxes. There 
would then be fome periods at which taxes would be taken eiSf ; 
an efiential point never thought of in England, It belongs to 


[.« ] 

llie. profound genius of the Engliih, to quicken thcfc principles, 
and bring them into pmâice. 

Nothing in my opinion could be more effectual, nor lefs bur- 
thenfome, towards çreatÎBg. an auxiliary and permanent fink* 
i^g fund, than a tax upon collateral fucceflions. (7.) It may be 
objefted that, as this would be taxing the funds, there would 
be a violation of public faith» The objection I think is not well 
founded ; this collat^al tax> in the firil place, has been univer- 
iglly adopted ever fince the time of the Romans. It is the 
mildeil, and the leaft unjuft. When oncç iippofed with the 
concurrence and confent of the nation, under the fanion of 
parlitOQicnt, there is. nothing to befaid agaipflit. it ffio^ld bé 
ibftened in degrée> and not take place at all with rdfpeâ to 
ibretgners who have xBOMy . in th&fui^ds^ for this would be aa 

; injuftice^ 

X7. ) Good ufe mighe b^ Budr of diis jdet of a tax. upon coHateraf facccffions. 
At the fame time I am by no means (atjsfied with the arçiimenfs, by which the 
author fupports his propofal. Fkft, its bcjing antverfalty adopted as a tax fince 
the time of ihe Romans^ proves nothing with refpe^l to the right whîch a iiatlbn 
has to depart from its engagements to its creditors. Secondly^ the mildneTir of th^ 
tax depends upon the quantum, and does not of idtlf juftiiy the prinqple» Thirdly^ 
the nation, as debtor, is party againft its creditors. The confent of the nation 
therefore, reprcfentcd or exprelfed by parliament, would hot juftify a violation of 
fpecific agreements with the public creditor. If it would, the national debt might 
foon be reduced to nothing^ Fourthly, an exemption in ftivor of foreigners, befides 
the difficulty, not to fay the impoffibifityof dîftinguîfliing foreign property, would 
be highly unreafonable and unjuit. Natives and fortifners Upd tl^eir .money to 
government exaéUy upon the fame focurity, and under the fame engagements. On 
what principle of juftice therefore fhall the property of the one be exempt from a 
burthen which is impofed upon the other? So unfair a diftin^^ion Would be 
received with indrgnatlon, and éould notfail of defeating the meafure. 

If a tax of this nature fhoûU hereafter be adopted, it muft not be confined to the 
fmnis^ hut moft be extended generally to all peribnal property, and even to real 
^at€s« When collateral fucce^ohs of ruery kind are made the objeâ of a genera} 
tax, there will be no reafon to exempt the f\xnds.'^TranJIafor. 


r 94 ] 

înjuftîcc, and credit might ho aÉFeftcd by it. A tax upoii: 
collateral fucceffions, applied ftriftly to étic uJb of the iinking^^ 
fund» would coniiderably diminifh the colçfTus of the debt. It 
might be continued no longer than till the debt (hould be 
reduced to feventy millions ilerling ; or it might be continued 
for ever, and the refpcâive taxes, raifcd to pay the interell of 
loans, might be abolifhed as fafl as the feveral loans were paid 
oif. A meafure of this kind would gratify the nation^ relieve 
the lower orders of the ftate, and favor manufaâores. We. 
(hould then have a pleaûng profpeâ before us«* 

I know there is ilill a more iimplc method to create a new. 
finking fund, or to give a confidorable increafe to thç old one ; 
I mean by ah equal laxid tax. It is admitted in England that» 
if the land tat were ppoa a juft and equal footing, it woold. 
produce double what it does. But is there patriotifm enough to 
fttboiit to a new aljcfloient ? I queftion it* Yet ncceflity, fear» 


* There it a tâK more oqaitsble than any oAer, which England might tinke* 
ufe of with fignal advantlgie %» the kingdom, I mean a tax upon fçrvantSt on the 
lame footing as in Holhnd. That exc^ve luxury, which multiplies the number 
of mcj lazy, ufi^eft ftncant»^ h Mijurioiis to the whole hedy of iSttc ftate. It' 
fKQM aa infolent irmy» that earcîee o» a perpcstu«l war wkh virtue and gpod. 
manners. Servants are the inftruments and encouragers office, libertinifm, and 
debauchery, a heap of ufelefs hands taken ^from the plough, from minufaâures,' 
army, and marine. They, who thrcMigh pride, «{ktitation, and ?anîey, ere 
d^termlnod to' fted a$ul tàadm thefi^daièrtors of their poft, ought to make good the 
lofe to the ftatc by fome fort of equivalent. I would have thofe, who keep only^ 
two or three fervants, which may be decent and neccffary, pay only ten feillings* 
3 head* They who ktep^foiir iboèld pay one povcid a bead ; two pîoimdss a head'' 
fjpr five« four pounds a head for fix, and fo on, doubling the tax upon every 
fervant beyond the number allowed. Great advantages would arife from the 
inftitution of fuch a tax. People of rank and fortune would contribute largely to 
tfie revenue. Immenfe funs Would Be received from the banes of Plutus, pride;' 
and vanity. This is. drawing taxes from their true fource. The lower ranks of^ 
men would make ibme ufeful refieâions, and recover from the folly of multiplying 
their domeftic enemh^s. They would reftore a number of fubjeéts to the itate^ 
vihom nrreffity^ would fsftpre to the ufdul employment» of ans or agrku)tui:e.* 
This tax 4iould aUa be lAviolably coaCeaated to the incfeaie of the fmlung .f^uid/ 

r 9f 1 

vmâfolicf, tKoyhikytM iftftuence upon hearts tfie leafl: patriotic. 
To fupport the ftrength or my.aâertiofxa k is iuâîcient to have 
(hown, that refources are not wanting, and that with a wife 
adminiftratioh^ a well-con ûdered fyflem, and a careful œconomy^ 
(the nfioft important, thoogh in England the moft negleâcd 
article 6f all) this national debt, which k the fabjeâ of fo much 
t^lamor, is in its own nature very diâèrent from what it has 
been rcprcfented, and capable, in point of quantity^ of a con*- 
fiderablè diminution ; that it depends upon the Englifh nation^ 
not only to obviate thc^ bad coniequenœs of their debt, bat to 
render it ftill more ufefu! to credit aiid dfcttlation^ by pcevendng 
an exceffive aecunmhtion^ which m time might be fatal. 

The ftrong remontrances made by ihs French patliamentf on 
the fubjeâ of taxes durifng the war, though fiUed with iiiblime 
refleâiions worthy of thofe venerable bodies^ contributed nota littld 
to the tHmlnution of public credit^ and to the low price to which 
all the royal funds were redticed» This cottld not âdl ^greatly 
cmbarraffing every nMafisre of inanee^ aad perpkxmg: the 
miniftry in their military eperations. The writing» «f peribns> 
who oppose government in England, out the fubjeâ of the 
national debt, have contributed to fink thé price of ftock$ 
ten per cent, below par, and laid a conftant check on every 
operation of finance» Yet thefe writings arc of a nature widely 
dififerent from the remonHrances of the parliaments. The 
authors are, Ibr the moft part, apoftles without miffion^ and 
for one paper wsitten in good earneft to inform the nation, and 
charitably to warn it againft real danger, there are ten that 
proceed from mere ill humor. The fi>rmer are excufeable at 
leaft, if not praifeworthy. The others have no pleafure, but 
in difcoyering the jirctended weakncfs of their country. They 


[ 9^ ] 
0iâké no fcrupic of proftituting that country which is their 
common mother, without any ufe, and merely for their 

Anti-minifterial writers have clamored loudly againft the 
mifapplication of the finking fund, and at government's having 
lately departed, in fome inftances, from the invariable rule of 
appropriating feparate funds for the intereft of new loans> and 
having charged the intereft of the unfunded debt againft the 
unking fund. The reproach is not without foundation ; but as 
the inftances are of no great importance, the confequences of 
them have been inaliciouûy exaggerated. The arrears of the 
war amounted to a confiderable fum« The laft loan, in 1761, 
diough not fufficient to clear them off, met with fo much con- 
tradiâîon in the article of the cyder tax, and the oppofition was 
fo. powerful, that the miniftry thought that, in time of peace, 
the (inking fund might gradually difcharge the unfunded debt, as 
it has done in effc(3: from year tç year.* 

An objeâion has a}fo been raifed againft making the finking 
fund anfwerablfe for the civil lift, and for all deficiencies in the 
given produce of the ^other fmidsj but, according to theprefent 
fyftem* I do not think ^ tl^e objeâion founded ; efpecially as, 
on the other band, fome beneficial articles bave been incorpo* 


* It has be?n a thoufand times repeated, and many people believe, that England, 
fince the peace, has conftantly contraâed new debts to pay the intereft of the old 
ones. Nothing can be more falfe. Government has almoft every year negotiated 
a loan at three per cent, with the affiftance of a lottery, in order to convert the 
navy bills (which made part of the unfunded debt) and other four per cent, 
annuities into three per cents. Exclufive of this converfion» government has every 
year redeemed and extinguiflxed fome portion of the above debt ^ fo that, from the 
conclufion of the peace of Fontainbleau to the year 1770 incluiive, about eleven 
millions of capital debt have been aâually paid olF, without reckoning reduâions 
of intereft. In the prefent yç|r, 1770, government has paid off a million and a half 
at three and a half per cent, arrowed in 1756, and a hundred thoufand pounds of 
navy debt, not to reckon a quantity of the four per cents, reduced to three.^ 

[ 9:5 } 

rjUffiwith the iukutg: fuodji by vuhicb» in a Httk dmcj it m^ 
tt^ât tû be aug(afiote4« 

. Yet the clamors of the oppofition appear to deferve fom^ 
att($aticMi.. No pofilble method fhould be negle<^e4 to ni^e the 
fioking fund mov^ effeâuaU and to give it çoofiftence, Thq 
cabana I have podated out feem to, me Dot to b^ oegUétçd. 
I \nûA upon the nec^ffîty of çreatmg afii au^Ui^y permaneo^ 
fiind of redemption» that may operate eqmUy m pe^Ç and war. 

A permanent fund of redemption, ooftftantjy impçoying;by 
the intereft of the ^ebt it difcharges» a tax upon collateral 
fucQcfliçus^. a ta* }tf9ti the transfer çf f«i»ded property, (8*> 

(8;) As the public debt is at prefent circtmiftanced, the Idea 6f a tax upon the 
transfer of ftock is wholly ^^bimcrical. by iui|t:aathtt6Îty'of tfio^ 
kjjiflature would be a direâ violacioA of the faith of parliament to the public 
creditor, and ferve as a precedent for other operations of the fame nature. Yet it 
muft be confeflbd that the author's fcheme U ingenious, and by no means im^ 
praâicable in the cafe oF any^ future loan.* People, who inv# their money in tlw 
ftocks, feldom think of felling out in a Oiort .timov The diflbfenco betVfoa ^lii^ 
ninety-nine inftead of a hundred, at a éiftant period, woiiM make vpfy l)lt}# 
difference in the- prefent ralue of one hundred pounds flock, on which the pur- 
chafer receives thojcomplete intereft of a hundred pounds^ as long as he continuée 
to heU die ftoek. The ttk& Of fuch a con^itioit^ aiii>exc4 to tbç tran^ &r of iftoek, 
would be flow aod mfffiitble, with tetjftA to the diminution of the os^Ul debt ;• 
but, as the operation would be confiant» the ^ebt would be gradually lowering every 
day, and inttsM be éifcfaafgçd. Small aneans fio^ftantly op^r^iag ai^e çpugeqîali 
to our political conftitution. Violent or rapid nieafarcs belong to arbitrary go9ttn*- 
mentf , and in all governmcfits are a figp of diftréfs. In the prefent deprelTed ftate 
of our funds, the minifter has but very (iew expedients within hi3 naaoh« If, by 
exerting all the means within his. power, the price of the three pat cents, could be 
rai(ed a little above p^r, meafiM'CB might then be fallen upon^ to çngage the 
proprietors, to Aibferibe in th^ir ftock, fubjeâ to the condition of l^eiog transferred 
toevpy future purchafer fuixe^fively at one per cent. lefs thaii what it ^opd at m 
tbenam^ ef'thfi lafl prpprietor, and the inter^ft to dicçrcafe in thç fame proporçign, 

O ^d 


r 98 î 

• ftnd periods fijted for lightening the burthen of taxes^ are effeftwl 
methods to fupport public credit. The fyftem I propofed in 
France was not purfued. The reducaion of intereft (konlé bave 
been made without a direél diminution of the capital^ anë 
apparently with the fpee confent of the proprietors. This, after 
the peace, was praticable, if a right plan had been purfued. 
When once the original coatraâs were vibkted, rfiere was n» 
remedy. Yet I confefs the tax upon transfers, attempted in 
France, might have been of fervice, if precautions had been 
taken not to check circulation. In their prefeat form, they are 
too heavy, and produce lefs than a more moderate tax would do^ 
becaufe the transfers are lefs frequent than they would be. No 
man regards one per cent, more or lefs ; but five pec cent ia an 
cbjeâ, and fetters all dealings in the ftocks^^ 


aod the dtduâion upon both principal 2ni intereft to eommence from the next 
enfuing day of paying the dividends. This would be a ftroke of finance fuperior 
to any thing that has ever been attempted oc thought of in this country. Infte;id 
of trufting entirely to the ^eal and «ecoaonny of future niinifters,^ we (hould at once 
put the debt into a courfe of difcharging itfelf, and annex a perifhable quality to 
an evil» which» in its prefcnt ftate» feenos to be immortal.— -Tr^ar^^. 

' * I cannot fupprefs an idea that occurs to me, with refpeâ to the tax upon the 
^ansfer of funded property. I know with, how much repugnance it was received 
in France, and I forefee what would be the coniequence in England, if this 
firing (hould ever be touched. Yet I intreat every judicious Engliûîman to lend a 
little of bis attention to the follo^wingTefleâions. ouppofe the financier, who firft 
introduced the fyftem of loans upon annuities, had conceived the following fcheme;, 
I a(k whether any perfon wouldhave obj^âed to it, and whether credit and circula- 
tion would not have been fupported with flill greater eafe than they have been. 
Suppofe government^ in the nrft inftance, had demanded only ninety^nine pounda 
(rov^ the fubfcriber» yet agreed to pay intereft upon a hundreo» on condition that, 
when he fold that ftock, he ihould only be allowed to transfer ninety-nine, and the 
purchafer to receive intereft upon ninety-nine, but fubjefl to the fame condition of 
transferring only ninety-eight, and fo on. Nobody would have regarded the 
paltry defalcation of one per cent« but confidered it as efteotial to the nature of 
the fund, and the beft method of fecuring the credit of it. An inftitution of this 
fort would annex a redemption to the eftence of the fund, whicb> ia the courfe of 
frequent iransfers^ would infeniibiy be reduced ' to nothing. The national debt 


[ 99 J 
, The quantivm of the ta:i^ tipon collateral fucceffion^ might be 
proportioned to the degrees of relation in faq^ilies^ as they are 
more or lels removed. There are powerful reafons» why 
^foreigners ihould not he fubjeâ: to it. The fame reafoa$ do 
Aot hold with refpeâ to the tax upon transfers. 

The French government would have done right in exempting 
éhc.tontmes from the dixième». or tenth penny; becaufe \à£c 
annuities and tontines have always been conûdered as an in- 
violable fecurity; lo much fo, that when credit gave way, 
and money was not to be had upon any terms, every body fuh- 
fcribcd to the life annuities and tontines, and funk their capital 
almoft at as low a rate of inteceft, as they might have received 
from the other funds already in the niarket, on which a conii* 
derable profit might have been expeâed at the peace, and 

O z has 

Irould^ever bave reached its prefent cxcefEve volume. Our ahxietr for pofterity 
would be removed, and every auxiliary analagous meafure^ direâed to the fame 
objeâ, would be To much the more e'afy and efFeâuaL This, I apprehend, is a 
ptatn, palpable truths within every man^9 comprebenfion. But it will be faid» 
What fignifies regretting what is paft ? Will it cure the prefent evil î I leave the 
anfwer to the reader. The importance and utility of the meafure are fufficiently 
obvious. A time may come, when neceffity may obli^ the nation to facrificre a 
fmall part to the prefervation of the whole. Sooner or later it muft be done. The 
mode of doing it is the point to be confidered. In the mean time it is certain that 
if, during ten years of peace, a light tax upon the fate or transfer of all the real 
and funded property of the kingdom were employed in paying oiF the national 
debt, it might be reduced to a point, below which it could not be lowered without 
imprudence. Government would then be at its eafe to fecure peace abroad, 
diminiih taxes tii general, and takeoff thbfe which might be moft burthenfome to 
the nation. If this method fhould ever be adopted, whether from neceifity or 
patriotifm, I muft add this warning toit, that with refpeâ to the flocks, it is in 
my opinion effentia), that the one per cent, fhould never be received in money as 
à tax entitling the holder to transfer a hundred pounds of flock. That money 
might be applied to other purpofes, and the remedy would be empirical. At every 
fucceffive transfer, the purchafbr mufl receive a capital of one per cent, lefs than the 
bift holder. This is more eflential than people may be aware of. If it were 
pofEble for the nation to relifh fuch a meafure, together with a tax upon collateral 
iiiccefiions, and the converflon of a portion of the principal debt into life annuities, 
I would anfwer that, under a prudent adminiftration, peace might be firmly 
cfhiblifbed, and that, in lefs than ten years, things would be in a condition to 
adont of a fenfible diminution of izxes.^ Author.'' 

{ 100 1 

iias in cffcft bewi made. A prejudice -of tfns ibrt ihouM fiavc 
been refpcâcd and encouraged, a^ a refimrcc agaînft an fextra- 
ordinary emergency. The cxiftence of -a ftatc is not momentary. 

' Some care fhonld have been taken of pofterity- It is not 
merely removing a iymptom. We (hould go back to the Iburcfe 
of the diforder, and endeavour to prefcrve the vital principles of 
exiftencc. Empiricifni in politics is as dangerous, as in 

" medicine* 


' In the French edîâs of the year 1763 it was infinuated,^ 
that the plan of dîfchargîng the debts of the ftate was fo ferions^, 
that it was propofed to^xtcnd it to the life annuities and tontines. 
The intention vtsls exceHent,* but it produced a. contrary effcft.. 
Life annuities arc not of a redeemable nature; (9.)' To redeem: 
them is, in the firft place,, againft the intercft of the ftate ; and, 
fecondly^t againft the intention and intereft of the proprietors. 
Thi$ i$ Içff a fktf adox than it may feem.^ RadAtmiiif Uf« 
annuities is againft the intcreft of the ftate, becaufe the burthen 
/>f itfelf diminifhca ovcrv year. The fatet are ineîcorable 
£nahciers. It was obferved to me by a mm of chwuôer,. that 
Hfe annuities make the pot boil at Paris. The increaied income 
f>£ individual» circulates^ to the advantage of the cevenuc 


(9.) Life annuities are a^ much of a redeemable nature- as any other^. provided 
they are r^d^emed with theconfent of the pnoprttftorB.. With this condition the 
repurchafe of Aich annuities is not liable to any of the obje(Sions ^ted by the 
author» The projeâ of the French government wa& to the higbeft decree uhj,uft 
and impolitic^ becaufe they meant toyârr# the proprietors, to give up their annuities 
for the original purchafe-moncy ; by which they would have made it impoflible to 
raife money hereafter by the fale^ of annuities» let the dlftrelk of the ever fa 
urgent. In &â> it waa a mere gafconade oa the part of tbr FkbcIi miniftry» by 
which they alarmed the annuitants, and injured: the credit of government,, to no 
purppfe. Their intention w^ to give the public a gi!eat opÎAion of their reiburçes» 
by intimating that they had money in hand, which in reality they had nu,^^ 

{ lOI ] 

■ • • • I - > ■ 

'Befides^ 'whctt -this ^ing îs totichcdv the ibte gives up the only 
«fource It hzs ieft in* the ittidft o£ failing credit and diftrefs . To 
Tedeem Ûtc îîfc aRnuitie^ is alla contrary to the intereft and 
intentioA oF the proprietors,, who purchafed thènt with the 
i&crifice of their capitad,. They funk their money upon thefe 
tinnnities in iheheat of the war^ when they might have made 
double the intereft of it that they could in time of pcace,^ befides 
-the great chance of the value of therr ftock rifing at the -end of 
^he war ; whereas they have na opportunity of making the 
iame advantage^ in cafe they fliotiîd be paid oflf. They 
4unk their capital with no other view, but to have an in- 
violable revenue,, whtdbi thrèir fituation required,, on which 
-fome have regulated Aetr c r p en ces» aild many their cxiftence* 
Other* prudently intended t^ fccure fome Kttle refourcc ta their 
chîldrcïi againfl a moment of diftrdfe^ To redeem thefe annur- 
*ies would overturn the prtnciple Jon wbixSi tîicy were created. 
it wotfld ndake a prodigious* dtecation to inditHuals in the means 
of theif fubfiftenccx ^nd the public would feel the had eflfed of 
it. I know what hat been- laid to the difadvantage of Kfe 
dUDUitiesr. There is fon>ething fpecious in the argument^ that 
they are prejudicial to poftcrity.* Every thing has its inconve- 


• Tb«y, ^Ro ferie tfteîr capHaF wpoh the aBove motnres, confulf their owft 
^tw(t^ as- well a»:(hii£of tboir fiioceflbrsw Tbefuceda of the pbn depends upoa 
the luck; of the annuitant. It. osfi never be faid,. that thefe people facriftce the 
property of theîr pofterity to their owne'afe^ This, like any other way of laying 
<Mit one'» nièney, is^'a que(lHmdff|)ècalati6R andèonrenience. As for unmarried 
perfons, orli^tinos» kwcHil^^ the fa^oe tbing.. Th03f imoiiU equally waOe 
their fortunes^ without referving. the Cime refouçcç. In this matter the propofitions 
of theory and fpecuJation are contradicted hy praflicc. The remonflrances of the 
]iarliamcn« agatnft life aiifiuitie»àre a mafter-piccc of ek>c)uenec and» patrotrfm; 
Ye^, for one fsanii]^ ruiacd by the lof^* of its capital, there are ten. that are fup* 
ported by life annuities. The benefit at leaft, which the nation in general derives 
(roTù them, is far fuperior to the mifchief they have done to individuals. The 
gtcjit mais^f them confiftsof pcrfons who lay o»c their fncmty far the intereft of 
their famiUes,^ and of their. poOmty^ The i;epi;obace cUb$, foiitfily çoademnoti 
by the parliament, forms buta fmall ponionof the whole. — Jumr. 

itiencîes. Good cannot exift without erîL But the world» 
fuch as it i9, the ftyle of the age we live in, our luxury, habits» 
and cufloras, make all thefe evils inevitable^- Let us become 
Spartans» let us remove to Lacedaemon, let us new-model our 
manners, and adopt thofe of ancient Greece ; I (hall then admit 
the reality of principles contradiiSory to thofe I now éftablifh* 
But, to return to the Englifh* 

For the prefent it is fufficient to obicrve, that, if in England 
the neceflities of the Aate ihould be ever fo preffing, yet, before 
à national bankruptcy, with which the public is unreafonably 
threatened, could take place, recourfe would certainly be had 
to the expedients I have pointed out, viz** An application of the 
prefent finking fund, a new aire0xnent of the land-tax, a tax 
upon collateral fucceâions, a light tax upon transfers, a capir 
tation,(io.) a fmall doty upon articles of confumption, upon 
offices and employments, and an operation of finance, by which» 
with the afiiflance of the unking fund, a portion of capital debt 
might be converted into life annuities. None of thefe refources 
have yet been touched, but all of them will probably be 

^ exhaufbd 

(lo.) A capitation or poll-tax is not the rcfourcc of a rich or a free country. 
In all countries it is a check to circulation, and a fure fign of a languifbiqg, 
exhaufled conftitution. Things are in a bad way when every tax on general 
confumption is run to the dregs, and when the ftate can only be fupported by the 
real, exifting riches of a few of its fubjeâs. The diftribution of a poll-tax muft 
be arbitrary and unequal, without a previous inquifition into every man's perfonal 
fortune, which would be infupportable to the people, and raife an umverfal odium 
againft government ; at the fame time that fuch an inquifition could never bo 
carried to any tolerable certainty cr exaânels. On the other hand, a. light tiix 
laid indifcriminatcly, without difiinâion of fortune, would notanfwcr in point of 
produce, and be liable to the fatal objeâion of taxing the poor as high as the rich. 
In England a poll-tax has conftantly been held in deteftation by the fubjed, 
without anfwering the purpofe or expedbtion of government.— 3r<wf^<j/^, 


T 103 ] 


cxhaufted before the kmgdom is reduced to that fituatioir which 
was progAofticated at the death of king William^ when it owed 
no mdre than twenty millions fterling. Diogenes» to prove 
the reality of motion againft the fophiftry of Zeno» got up and 
walked. We need only follow the hiftory of fa£ks, to refute 
by experience every thing that has beeti faid concerning the 
national debt, fince the beginning of the prefcnt century. My 
fyftem is proved by a concurrence of unqueftiohable faâs, which 
fhow how much we have been milled and alarmed by phantoms 
of our own creating; If this Treatife on Circulation had been 
written feventy years ago, the theory of it would have been 
every year confirmed by praâûcal evidence. The principles, on 

which it refts, are demohftrated by experiment concurring with 


^culatioh. ' . 

Of all the writers, who have bten deceived with regard to 
the national debt, none furprifed me pore than the celebrated 
Mr. Hume. I had the honor of knowing him at Paris, ana 
•bfèrvéd with infinite plèafùre, that his difpofition was fuperior 
to hist un<forftandtng. It is to truth that he is indebted for this 
elogmm.* This great toan, before the laflr peace, had written 
' in Effay on Public Credit, which I had not feen when Idrewup 
the firfl: part of my Effay on Circulation. It was mentioned to 
me afterwards, and I was concerned to find that my own Treatife 
itemed exaâly a refiitàtioii of his. . He read it fbme time after at 
Paris, together with the Letter in which I have endeavoured to 
prove that the jealoufy of commerce is ill underftood, and that the 

• • • • 

true interefts of princes are not at variance ç and he was pleafed 
to expTCÙ his approbation of the two efiays in terms which I 

' • • 

' cannot 

♦ EfTential fervice^, which I have fince received from him inLondon, entitle 
)î!m to my warmed gratiftude. — Juthor^, 

I 104 ] 

cannot venture to^rcpegt • That fublimc genius had alfo touched-, 
the fubjc<a of the jealoufy jof commerce^ ^ |f he had unf elided 
thoi principles of his fyftem more at Ufge>, I ihould havç fup-> 
prefTed nay letter. The hope that he will do it one 4^y or 
other, and the approbation with which be honored ^at little 
treatife, determined me to publiih it, I flatter myfelf, that 
Mr. Hume will alfo correct £bme of his ide&s on circulation, and 
public credit. He may be right in a certain fenfe, when he 
foretells, that either the nation muft deftroy public credit, or 
public credit will deftroy the iiation. Jt ipuft undoubtedly 
happen fb, if precautions were not taken. I believe I have 
made him eafy upon that point ; 3^t I cannot refrain from fag*^ 
gefting to him^ with all thefahmifi^n due to h\^ uiiderft^dipgi^ 
that he advances another propoûtion, the confeqtieQceç. oC 
which might be as dangerous, as the principles on. which it refts 
appear to me to be quefUonable. Mr» Hume fays, that, if a fpungc^ 
were applied to the national debt, thoufands wou}d be facrificcd 
to the fafety of millions. Without enquiring whether honor i$„ 
in any caf(^ to be facri£ced to ^dvaçt^e, J a^m ^ly, that 
the millions would for a long tia^ feel the facrificq of the thou^ 

fands« Mr. Hume did not ; confider^ tha| if thro^ piUliops 

, ' • . - -, 

fterling, paid in annuities within the kingdom, were fupprefTed^ 
the fuppreffion of thofe three millions wo^ld ftop a circulation 
that reprejfents perhaps thirty millV^AS ifi expence ; that tv^ 
order of the ftate, even to the beggar^^ would feel the efieâ:^ of 
it ; and that the fource of taxation would be dried upt Confider 
the example of the circulation of a fingle crown piece, ftated in 
the Firft Part of this Work. If fuch an event (hould wer take 
place, people would kneel at the fight of a guinea. We have 
feen an inftance of this diftrefs in France, where things wçre 
never carried to that extremity; yet the French funds neve* 


[ 1^5 1 

had an cafy circulation. The conftitutions of the two kingdomt 
are very different. The refources of France are infinite ; yet^ 
upon the fall of Law's fyftem, the defolation was almoft uni^er-^^ 
fal, although the fpunge was very far from extending to the 
whole national debt. In that cafe commerce would be at a ftand ; 
a public bankruptcy would draw along with it the • bankruptcy 
of a great part of the merchants, whofe means and credit would 
be annihilated ; induftry, for a time, would ceafe to exift, or be 
compelled to quit the country ; agriculture would feeLthe con- 
fequences. The fire would extend far and near, and the 
confufion become Univerfal. The ftate, the government, would 
be without refources^ So dangerous a convulfion would bring 
us to that fatal period, at which the breath of an infant might 
overturn the ftate. We might then fay, with Montefquieii, 
that there would be nothing left of the pifture of the ftate except 
the frame, liable to be broken by the leaft external effort. 

I am perfuaded that, when Mr. Hume wrote the above eflay, 
he had not yet made an exaâ and commercial analyfis of circu-- 
lation, of the nature of the funds, and of the eflfefts of annuities. 
He had been ftruck with fome truths difadvantagcous to paper 
and credit, and which iiad interrupted the fight of others, 
calculated to correct the inconveniences attending it. Thus it 
often happens, that truth leads to error, and error to truth. 
To arrive at truth, we muft feparate delufions, and fift falfehood 
to the bottom. Mr. Hume obfcrved, that multiplying the 
reprefentative iigns lowered the value of fpecic. But he did not 
confidcr the'neceffity of having fuch figns to rèprefent the 
multitude of things, which the' abuhdance of gold and filver 
has in fooie meafure rendered -néceffacy. \ Let us itfw model bur 
majnners ; let us go twenty centuries b^ck i let us reduce human 
lis^tufe to its primitive condition ^ let us banifli thofe fa<5titious 

P w^nts 

r io6 ] 

wants which ^ve have changed into neceffities; let asl» phSo^ 
fophcrs, and with Diogenes rejeft the earthen refieU and drink 
cut of the hollow of the hand ; let us be poor and virtnous, and 
Mr. Hume's principles may then be applied. But fincc there ii 
no likelihood of fuch an alteration for fbme centuries^ we ms^ 
as well purfue our courfe, and endeavour to corrcâ abufes. Let 
us imitate 8olon> who gave tibe Aliieniaxrs the bdl laws the^ 
were capable of receiving. We muft often live with our enemies^ 
tind compound with our infirmities « Imperfeâion is our inhe^ 
ritance^ and little inconveniences muft be preferred to great 
ones. Though we may be aâfured that death will come» let ua 
mot kill ourfelves for fear of dying. Every ftate, let its political 
conftitution be ever fo well deviied, . carries within itfelf the 
j^rinciple of its difiblûtion. If Rome and Sparta pêrified^ i»hat 
fiaU can hope ta endure far tvir f Wo muft not attempt to 
govern a corrupted people by the iame lav^ which fuit à 
virtuous people. The expreflton is fevcre i hut the principle 
of that auftere philofophet may be applied to the queftion 
before us. England» in all appearance» will fuffer the fate olF 
other ftates that have gone before her. But let us not encroach 
> upon providence^ The period ibems jP6t at n great diftance. 

<« Tu ne qu^eris fcire neh$, qtiem mthi» quern tibi^ 
<* Finem Dii dederint.** 

They» who haye undertalcen to apologtfe for luxury» have 
>vun into another extreme. Their view of that multiplied circu^ 
lation» which encourages induftry and con^merce» has not been 
complete. Tbey did hot eonfider» that circulation is maintained 
hj a daily expMce» permanent^ iblM> and coaftantly kept up ; 


[ ï^7- li 

^flie^sfts <eico«ffive Uisturf, by cUibrdering the various fpf ings oa 
which the fortunes of individuals are balanced^ and irxhauiliisg 
their refourcM» is injurious to induftry and circulation. The 
numerarywealthofa great number of individuals is annihilated 
hf a forceâ luisury» and is . iK)t difperied through the pubHc# as 
halth "been ifeUely imagined^ This la* the. great point of the 
qaei()iioa,t t do not ooademn that expenjce, or relative luxury, 
whkh id propoMioned 4o the means and rank of the indlvidwtl i 
but that which confounds all rank^» ii^ch renders fo many 
perfons the viâims of ^piiùkm HI underftood, makos tbeQi gJitter 
fer 41 moment^ thei» banifhes them to abicurity, Srov^ whi(^ 
they never ^emei^» This is dae luxury which I affirm i% 

Exceffive luxury in England has glisen birth to anptlv r vice» 
to which the enormous . increafe of the debt .may truly be 
afcribed, Thechuraâex of the nation is to cariy «v^ery thing to 
excefs^ virtue^ vice^ every quaâi^ is puâied to aa extremen 
The Englifh have no œcongmy in their expences in time of war* 
They do that with more^ which might be done with lefs» No 
man^ I prefume^ will venture to 4eny» that they might liaEve 
done as much with pne third lefs expence* The immenfe and 
rapid fortunes, made by their contractors in Germany, exceed 
all that we have heard of by the financiers in France. Plunder, 
wafle, and rapine, as we are told> were carried to the higheft 
pitch ; and how could it be othcrwife, when the ai^nual expence 
amounted to near three tiqies as much as in the war of 1744 ? 
The annual loans were then from three millions to three and a 
half 5 in the laft years of the late war they were carried to 
twelve. The eflforts, I confefs, were more vigorous, and the 
fuccefles more brilliant ; but by no means in that proportion. 

Pa A 

[ io8r ] 

A prudent œcoDomy is the moft eâential method of all to recoTCir 
the finances,* 

The frugality and manners of the Swifs have made the canton 
of Berne very rich, in fpite of a barren foil, and a territory with- 
out fea-ports, mines, or manufaâures. A Venetian ambaffador 
once : obferved to cardinal Richelieu, that France, in order to 
be rich and eafy, wanted nothing but to know how to fpend the 
money fhe loft in wafle and diffipation. The ob&rvatioa might 
equally be applied to England. 

The Englifti are naturally prodigal. They readily give into 
extremes, and know nothing of moderation. The legtilature 
will find it fo much the more difiicult to fet bounds to avarice,. 
and to re-eftablifh an oeconomy fo ncceflary to the well-being of, 
their affairs. Sooner or later they will be, compelled to have 
f ecourfe to the means i point out to increafe their prefent finking- 
fund, and to create another «^of an auxiliary and permanent 
HaHire y to eflablifli a more tsconomical adminiftration, and ta 
adopt a pacific fyftcm for the future. 

m ^^ Optimum, et in privgti$ familîîs, et in repuUicâi ye^igal diico cSq. 
<* parfimoni^m.'' — Çtaro, 



I m ] 


Of Finance's f Ta^r, and Agriculture^ conjidered frincipally wfh 
reJ^eS to France. 'Refutation of the Principle, which reduces 
edtry thing to the territorial Produce. 

MONSIEUR de Mirabeau, in his Theory of Taxation, 
affirms, that it would be the philofopher's flone to the 
!ftate, to make the machine of finance move in regular tracks, 
not only without exaâion, without rigor, or expence, but from 
afpirit of emulation. He thinks he has difcovered the fecret, 

'but I fear he is deceived. His heart has milled his underftanding. 


■The works of this virtuous citizen, this amiable philofophcr, 
are replete with genius, fublime ideas, and views equally new 
and profound. True patriotifm, humanity, and the friend of 
mankind, appear in every part of them. Yet, in his Theory of 
^Taxation, I think he has deluded himfelf with an impraticable 
lyftem. He firft of all thought he faw devouring monfters, and 
ruin near and inevitable, where at the worft there were only 
^conveniences, and grievous abufes. The principles he fcts 
out with are fometimes true. In the application to praélice, 
and deduâ:ion of confequences, I think he lofes his way. Other 
principles, which he lays down as axioms, arc contradicted by 
experience. Nobody will difpute with him, for inftance, that 
iigriculture is the organical adtion of a ftate, whofe riches belong 
«o the foil; or that reftraints upon agriculture debilitate the 


powers of the ftate, and retard that adion which gîres life, to 

its profpcrity. It will be admitted that the colleôîon of taxes 

in France is too complicated, too expenfivc and fevere, and by 

that mdàiîfe too heavy, àliA in fome articles opjireffive,. ft fhoald 

certainly be reduced to greater fimplicity in the mode ; it fhould 

be alleviated, and foftened in degree; and abufes fhould be I 

corre(îled« But to rcprefent FraRce as on the bcink ofrvàfippf 

to conceive that the taxes, in their prefent fUte» iar exceed the 

fphere of the contributive fac«lty> is an exaggeration, wliich 

experience does, and will long, contradict. 

The refult of the Theory of Taxatioa amoui^te tliis« Ficàp 
that a ilate like France, whofe riches belong to the foil^ kaï no 
real revenue but its territorial produce. Secondly, th^ taxes 
ihould be laid at the fource.of produâion* Thirdly^ that thera 
ihould be an entire exemption in faver of labor and induftry^ 
that ail the prefent taxes and duties ihould be aboUfhed, and the 
very name of finance and farm be profcribed. Fourthly^, that a 
general capitation tax jQiould be eftablifhed^ which» hy iup« 
preflihg the expence of colleâioQ> may prodiice more, and coâ: 
lefs. This expence, according to him, ab£»rbs a third of the 
taxês> and is the caufe of general deftrudtion. Fifthly, that this 
office (hould be intrufted to the municipal magiftrates. Sixthly, 
the author affirms, that the real revenue of France does not at 
prefent amount to any thing near the taxes that are levied, and 
that loans are ruinous. 

This fyflem is alnwft the fame with that of the author of the 
Bilan with refpedt to England. I ihall therefore confine myfelf 
to one general argument on the fubjeâ, and examine in a 
fummary way ibme of Monfieur de Mirabeau-s detached 
maxims, in order to confirm the principles I have already laid 


• [ «II - J 

«low»» and <br«w a. ngm Vi^ht ufion the pr^oçd^g fvt^ qf this 

The Tbeor/ of Taxation dwells mucli upon tfcc higt price of 

-articles gf cqniUinptiQn. We h^ve jjrea^y obfbrvf d, that the 
quantity of the metals fegs lowered <he yî^^uc qf money in ita 
equality gf figa, A wa» HQW, with a jnuqh |reatï?r numera^ 
weakhi is not richer in proportion than he was a century agot 
But it is in vain to fay that the mark of £lver is nominally 
worth double whjit it waç in the time of Jlarry IV. ^nd that 

I^ewis XV, with a greater immerary^ i* aot &> rich ^ his pre^ 
deceilbrs.(i\) Th^e «vft be fyg^ Cattacy ia th^ aâÎH^ai ^ 


(^/) Ineritfiiig A# mtUNMHP^ weatdi^ an4 nâibg the nominal vahte of the coin^ 
«misMdi|bwit:tWnsf> ilAkbiA 4»«plfiM Umi Aiuhor tmm» to bob^iimuI. Tha 
^ fil iom W infiliitog tidl^t tiM qiwltStj of ffMie «inlhoiit altrri^ig A^ 
Ù9f^i% or )>y muUipljwg Ibr (sgAa ilM n^proftnt it* iodl wikkhf a^ loogaa 
«fl^it If r»i9PQXlfi4 M6v£r «)l thft pui^offip.of 4iccip. Tb9 ibçond» in aa arbUnaiif 
government, may be done ad infinitum ; that b, yau may «ma gn^fatmce gf .fllv«r 

inta<ea piçce^^ or tweoty^ vn&SMi of fiv^ wd caR çicl) j^jiçcç 9^ (biljiiig^ but 

neither the ]p|ig fjpr ij^tion will be one p^py ^ç rjçhçr by it. §»pppfe, for 
example, the whole fperift of the kingdom confifted of a million of guineas. If 
the notes of a bank, or company, or government fecurities, can be circulated at 

pv to the amguQt of mother i^iUiQo, ïhç wm^wry w^h pf the ii^ti^ îf 
aâwilly dQublçdf But if^ inft^ of tbU of^r^tjpfi^ it (bpuU he.l^Qvght A^vjfe- 

able to recoin the million of guineas into two miliÎQp pf plç(^9, ^i UtiW to call 
each piece a guinea, the effeâ would not be the fame. The numerary wealth of 
the nation wovJd not be d^ul^l^d» but rffBiun f^aâly ^ it was. {n fpite of the 
nominal value, the new money would in effeâ be rpduc^ to its ^trinfic value, 
that is,' the new guinea would not purcbafe more than half the old ope, I/peak 
ofa ftate that bau intercourfe with other nations. An infulated ftatç, that h^d no 
foreign conneâipos wbatfbever, might agree upon arbitrary fi^s of we^^h afiong 
Ithcmftlvça} r^i^out any regard to intrinfic value. On the above pripciples, 
admitting the nqrninal revenue of Lewis XV. to double that of Harry JV^ it does 
Slot necefiarily IbHow» that the real wealth of tbc ifnpcr fk^nM Airpaf^ tl^at pf the 
iaiter. By 

[ "2 ] 

crery thing îs not doubled. The foldier'S pay ftands as it did 
in the time of Harry IV. and bread, as well as many other 
important articles, are nearly at the fame rate they were then. 
Befidcs, as Voltaire obferved, it cofts no more at prcfent' to be 
wejl and agreeably lodged, than it did under ^ Harry IV. A 
houfe may be adorned with beautiful glaflfes of 'modern manu- 
^ fadlurc^ 

By the following calculation it appears, that, the reveaue of the prefent king 
£alls far (hort of that of his immediate predeceflbr, as it flood in the year 1683 > 
from* v^hich period ttie royal revenues, though improved by new taxes, and 
nominally increafmg, have constantly declined in real value. ' 

In 1683, Lewis the XI Vtb's fixed revenue amounted to 1 16,873,476 livres. 
. In 1754» Lewis the XVtb's fixed revenue amoiptod to 2OO>oo0»ooo ditto. 

But if a computation be mad^ of the intriiific value of the Ikre at tbofe iKfferent 
periods» it will appear that Lewis XIV* had a much greater revenue than his 
fttccefibr, without reckoning the increafe in the pride of things. la 1683, twenty- 
eight livres were equal to the mark offilver» In 1754» the mark of filver waf 
worth 49 livres, 16 fols. Now 

116,873,476 livres, at 28 to the mark,are worth 4,i74;o52 5 marks of filvcr, ^ 
200,000,000 livres, at 49,16 to ditto, *— 4,116,466 ditto. 

Difference in favor of Lewis XIV, 57j586 i 

N. B, The^fum of two hundred millions feems to be taken as a round fum for the 
prefent king's revenue. The following particular ftate, given by Monfîcur 
de Mirabeau, raifes it higher. 


Taxes not/armeJ. 

Land Tax 

Winter Quarters — 
Particular Duties 
Capitations — ...^ 
Free Gifts 

Capitation of the Pays d*Etats 











[ "3 I 

hâmot at «mtrcft krarsr ptic^thsnit coliU ^¥ft h^n-formffly 
vath thfi HtdiS' glaac» impDiteâ-ifpm.l^eiiieet) CNtfr fJD^ O^K^twy 

topurcfadh 43£ foro^verstk Bdid«» this» it. cftmegt be- c^çd* 
thfit tbfl JMunbee of. p«o^i rich, and a«; tbfic.ejiif^ i$^ much 
fr^atM thaitiaLtl»- tiaie oi Marry liVI. a<v tkn^. ibP: i^KQBie of 
amij pftrToasas dwU^d ao4 tf«hl«4t. vrhich e^MU)^ fa^,Qf iqcrea-s 
fi9g «liQ^ revcatic of the j^cwce io tbe fiw»e pmp9ctif)ii.. 

I|:j9al(Q^ t» b« oh6«v)^i . ^at if. th«- firftiwapH^v h^kg; ^9 
^M^utgeei:,. are al^tfldtotit 9S i^-.&tSt^ h^M ef^ amaitr'^ ip€0me> 
the f!0wef. of ;eQÔ(»tm<M«\âffiAttC[ fr<WHL thç; ot||ec half t^yt BOt 

•Dly bçï ct«iMl}Uw hufc^Awkuf^ ^hat ^^fi^nl^b^^ilx he had*»!/ 
hajlf hm^ i9CQ9tf)< Let- mm. efEfJUW' «|ilctf bjyi ?«; eifain^ A 
ma^ ix(lb9{li8(anmi«^ii^Of]9çi is. iî%, thMfan^i «mwM» is. tmiêf 
af rich,, Uk. pcii^ .o( nvHBWPSify» a* 09«-:W^.ha6 osjyt twen,t)c^fiv« 
iho^ÇafiA. ^th thi^r fi^rn^ e^a^ii^yieailirf , but b»^ p<>wer ojf 
%«i^jr agd-GQiilriWioA i»,ift a «»wh/ Wgh« pf<)pojp^ofti a%, w«5 
-mth r«f|ie^ to artistf»-. ofc fwsjfc ai t» vwriw «f; chanty», an4 
^cpcnces qf omacMfftt .««di vaaityj wh«re«9 hA^ vihft^haS) ^only 

Brought over X03}€9i950^ 
G^iural and parttadpr fajrms^ C^r- 
Oeneral Farms ■ • ■ 110,000,000 

Farms of Poifl^ — — — , ■ 500,000» 

. Karms of Lorraint ■■■ ■■> ■■■' 3»334>oo© 

Ifleitt Pcoduqe of JDulif f^ bfi. Leat^ — ~* i.,-rpf ib»i6â,ûûa 

Caûial ItcvcfiuG ■ - » ■ » ■ ■ ■ " ■ n m ■ . 1,000^009 



2 1 9,091, 502 

lyiucb» rccIcLonUig the crown of, tliree liyrcs at Z3. 5^* |, .lu^unts t^^ 
/. 8^976,665 : 14 ; I J ftcrliug,— 2rtf»/8ii/*r» 

[ "4 1 

firft wants annexed to his ftation, fuppofing bim to figure îit 
the world, and to maintain a certain rank or cftablifhment. He 
has but little left to gratify his fancy. If, therefore^ ' Lewis XV. 
be not quite twice as rich, nor twice as powerful, as Harry IV. 
yet, fince the numerary of his revenue is doubled, and fince he 
has a greater number of wealthy fubjedls, he muft at all events be 
cènfîderably fuperior both in wealth and power. As-for thofe 
fifcal abufes, imputed to the prefent age, they have prevailed at 
all times, and, with a weak adminiftration, enervated, in fome 
degree, the contributive faculty of the fubjeÔ. It is a fever 
incident to great ftates. The feeds of fuch diforders are as inevi- 
table as thofe which undermine the human conflitution. Yet 
the remedy fhould be fought, and where fpecifics cannot be 
found, palliatives may be applied. But I afErm boldly, on a 
train of reafoning confirmed by expérience, that the proje<S, 
which has fo long feduced the world, of reducing all taxes to a 
(ingle one, by way of capitation, and of aboli(hing all other 
taxes whatfoever with the expences of coUedion, is a chimera 
in fucb countries as France, England, and Holland. The 
attempt was made in Holland in the year 1749, and the fallacy 
was foon perceived. It was found to be utterly impoflible to 
levy thofe fums upon the public, which the Hate had occafion 
for, by any other means but duties upon articles of confumptîon^- 
where the tax is confounded with the price. This method is the 
lead felt, and the only one feafible. The inconveniences 
refulting from it, how great foever they may appear, arc far 
from being fo dangerous as they are reprefentcd. I have ihown 
the truth of this pofition iii the Firft Fart of this Eflay, and in 
the fequel fhall offer frefh proofs in fupport of it. 

Holland itfelf conftitutes a demonftration, that Monfieur de 

< • • • w 

Mirabcau's principles arc not well founded. If taxes were not to 


I "5 ] 

1>e colleded^ but- immediately at the fbarce of the fubjeâ's 
revenue^ as Monfieur de Mirabeau fuppofes^ and . if nothing 
were to be exaâcdbat a portion of the territorial produce» Hol- 
land long ago mufl have ceafed to exiil. Her aliiûentai^ 
produâions are but few ; fhe has fcarce any arable land» vine- 
yards» or woods. On this fide all her refourées conûfl in a few 
meadows; yet the republic pays troops» maintains a marine» 
and has often figured on a level with the firft powers of Europe* 
Taxes'of jevery kind are heavier than in France or England ; yet 
the ftate is not ruined by them, but fubfifts with opulence. If 
thejealoufy of her commerce had not excited fuch a number, of 
competitors» the ftate would fcarce have felt the efifcâ of the 
exorbitant taxes levied upon the fubjeâ:. Bread» an objeâ of 
the firft neceffity» pays a duty d^at nearly doubles the price. 
Every article of confumption pays more than in France. Capital 
flock of all kinds» fuch as houfes» aâions» contraéts» lands» ate 
• ftill more loaded. Yet Holland fioUrifhes» and the machine of 
finance preierves its coariè. It is the magic of credit.and circu- 
lation that produces thefe falutary cfféâs. This credit and 
circulation acre not therefore ib mifchievous in praâice : as MoA- 
fieur de Mirabeau fufpeâs. We muft yield to the evidence of 
a conftaht» uniform» decifive expérience. The opulence, of the 
rich man» through the mediuni of circulation^ fupplies the poor 
snan and the beggar wherewithal, to pay a tax to the ftate» in 
the confumption of the edibles on which. he fubfifts. The 
«beggar obtains the mere phyfical neceHaries of life more eafily at 
'Paris, London» or Amflerdam, than at Montauban» York» or 
Ovcryffel. Circulation and credit are two fprings» the play of 
which is not thoroughly underflood. All the gold and filver of 
Europe and America» that is wafted in Indo/lan» does not enrich 
the inhabitants of that country» The Indians are poor ; their 
; ' Q^ 2 princes 

prlndes ambfstreaâinBS aad ÛOf clttcalMton» vfhitii hat nô ^odft 
to fupport iiA» Taxée iipm «coiifiimplîkm i»>t ^dnly maJw «lie 
beggar» but iQtren niitnak, tieneficial to the rCTémioi andoooiie* 
vqiiently to. the flafie. . They^ whodbare been ib^ue^ b^ dbe 
idea of a 'tingle itax, and xsf ft:^preâing the variom ramtôcâtâoas 
of taxation» idonotknow diat^ in the rkbeflaxui moft opi^eiit 
:&ae6^ the number ofperfims'wiio paâe&ia real fortune (I hMan» 
of thoie who would be fufa^kofi: to la. capitation^ taad vrho, kx 
HoUand» at% oalted the Capitalifts) is ^vny iicnall in cdm^ifoii 
ivith /the other iidialntants; '^h^enoas the intmfaer of th0& vAi^p 
witdioot any cred IfbttiHie^ Hue tit ^didreafe» aAd^at a hightr 
eotpeaœ than «KStimidn sboufekeepeia^ /is Arery •coofiderabk* It is 
their înduÂny» employ mente^ and ^^acimis talents» that oonftitvte 
thm rdburces* 'They itre not ridi^ yùt they ItVe -as es^^fiv^ly 
• as if they, mmre fa« They owsiot' poilibly 'be tajoed -in that lûgh 
.pfopomion, vAiick Kvould he ntct£bry te fomx 4n eiquiydcQit -for 
thpe :fopp«(fiûn ef all . other takes. It has beâi ^wmd imff^dablt. 
'I;^>eak iinom iàA. . This ipointiias beao tlftoroughly examined 4iy 
<i»D ûhk&^ financiers ^iaHbllatnd» Wdhen rthe taoc is charged 4i^en 
-edibksythe^ciœalaiiiiagiZKïney iiietttrnsiin fiart into «thie public 
:creafui^> f œm Kvbicli it iifiied. ^It muitiplicfi as k 'cuns, -andr0Îc-« 
^Ulitiiig fuoceffî«ely tlutn^ «wefity iHffiment Jiandst enables 
eadh-^ them to G<mtinue>tfaencpBeaûe>of the preceding year» and 
'sAways with die ian» Ipeoie. A .great man» ^bo tfpends a 
•hundred thotifand florins 4a -year, at .once returns twenty 
theufittid fO^beipUblic'tieafury on tbeixad zof his ^rft expenoe ; 
ikit this isno^ngKX^mpared to the xesveofaeration ^ «xpences» 
vrhichitbeikiferior tanks^ and ithefe again fdbdivided kino ^1 
lovMr orâ^s :^f Aen» ^e» by hie ma^aificence» enâblod lo 
engagaeîinj 4bthat» (at'theiendxyfthe yakr, xtisipoffible that the 

Whdehuiidrdd thouiattd Serins Uxay /iiave^çsifleâ nràth fben^^ 


tlmoug^/the p«l>lK:-JM^e^ry, and iiiued oi^t again to fupply the 
varipus channels of circulation. , lu ipite-of all that baa been 'faticl 
to the contrjuy, t]»e annuitants amtri|}ate greatly to maintain 
this hapf[)r circulation. Taxes ^re^ in reality» no more than a 
momentary reverfiofii of certain portions of property» whkh 
individuals fuffer to pafs aapually through the treafucy» for their 
c^wn fre£bifvation> and which r'elumrwhoUy» or in pant» into the 
hand that pays them.. There is a perpetual circle of retributioa 
4xQm tb^ £3verc^ to the 4ub^> and .&om the fuhjea to the 
jQ^rweâgn. AU the deçlamatifonç» th9^ Conjtradi<^ this definition» 
^pqove too mutch» laild jlead^to (the^bTurd» 

We :are "fyt ever told» th4( l^r^^[Hi^ 2»à £nghpd ittre ti^Bdone^ 
tbovigh ^Qcperience ihowa w thiitithç two kingdon^s ^are ftill in ft 
âouriûûng condition. TJbere lare enormous abufes» I coflfeis; 
yet even the^ abuies prove the v%q^ <^ ^th^ ^iiAttu.tioB. The 
iiibftance ikves the form. Theyv^l ^ever'he>cprceâedhy the 
means.of an univerfal * tax» muchi^f&by aJandt^K to bepaid Hi 
loud I anaUier chimera in ^ojiir S^opç^ coQ^bitwtions. $i^h 
modes of taxation might aofwer iua a 4»o^douA goverpinent. 
Among^a pe^>le^olkâfcçdintp^im^ ferritery» a tithe vi ki^d of 
the productions of the earth» with the aiIiAaiHie'0f'ii'fn>a}l<:api« 
tation^ ntMghthe :iuâiaient to «M^wwrall pu^>ore$. ^j9< fmce 
the powers of Ewrope ,h^vc tlwight it ijecfffwy i^ihfkirm- 
.quiUjLtyat home» and ^curi^r . ahr^ad» tio r;i9jatQt«tin 4rir^les ^md 
fleets in time of.fiea»» fuoh ia )plan 'Wo^d ^ iBi&ffo^fi. 
Pefidcs, there is !no^ftftte^^ow 4i» &uf»pQ» ;CXçêpit:Ppl«id^ ik^t 
confifts merely, :of iaflmer*. fC^mmercp» -the Ùimms Iwwry, 
paper fccurityt/tbç ^pwhlic fundi, varions -manufâiSurêe «nirf- 
tj^lied^in ftVQiy4?fWic*b*:f«<5ifti(>ustichcSi how fioj^îlttlèihéfeiftfs 
;çf pro{)erty. In the general fyftem» the fecret of adminiftration 
confifts in combining thgfe different objei^s, without fuflFering 


t ii8 i 

* * 

them to interfere wïÛï ^ach other. To proferibc, to 
or decry them, would be overturning tfce edifice. But, as the 
fyftem itfelf is, in fome degree, a new fcience,* we have yet 
got no farther than the elements of it, and are ftill groping 
our way. From hence have ari(en the miflakes of fo many 
ingenious people, who have difcourfcd upon the public fands^ 
credit, and circulation, applying obfolete principles to the 
prefent ftate of taxation, finance, population, and agriculture. 
Some great genius wiH, one day or other, difcover the true 
|>roportion of the new fyftem of policy, by analyfing the fprings 

• • • 

that give it motion, and explaining die imemal play of thp 

wheels: In the mean time it will happen, as Monfieur de 

•Mirabeau obferves, that, while we endeavour to accelerate the 

motionr of the wheel, the impreilion will be too heavy upon 

fome parts, and diicompofe the reft, by which the progrefs of 

the machine will foilietimes be topped. In the prefent ftate of 

things, the moft important objeék of all political (cience is the 

mode Qf colleâing the revenue; for on this point, undoubtedly, 

-the whole eflfeek of it depends, as well as the harmony of the 

ftate. The queftion is to find out rules clear,, exadj, and certain; 

-Jboc opus, bk labor efi. * 

There is one great inconvenience, attending an univerfal tax 

• l^ capitation, which, if in itfelf it were a pra£ticable meafure, 

would ftill make it a dangerous one. Such a tax would take too 

great a quantity of money out of circulation at once, and make 

fpecie extremely icarce at every period of colleâion ; which can 

never happen, as lo^g as it paftes through the multiplied 

channels of confumption. The intervals l)etween receipt and 

diftribution are kept in equilibrium ; and this is fb true, that 


* It was only towards the end of the laft century that loans began to be 
reduced to fyftem.— -ifivl^r* 

[ "9 3 
iftHoU^» where thfr plenty of money has made it a kind of 
oieffchanjdife^ fpecie became extremely £barce» from an accident 
of the above nature, in the year 1747. To anfwer the demands of 
the war, a method had been thought of to raife a large fum of 
money, without borrowing. All the fubjeds of the republic 
were induced to contribute, (2.) by way of free gift, the fiftieth 
peony of their whole property at four periods. The amount 
xnuft of courfe be confiderable. . To prevent the inconvenience 
above mentioned, the treafury were obliged to make out receipts, 
which they diilributed among a number of private perfons for 
the refpeôire periods of paying in the fiftieth penny, in order 
to- prevent that flagnation, or flop of circulation, which muft 
have happened, if fo large a fum had been depofited in the 
treafury at one payment. This paper facilitated circulation, and 
brought forth fpecie, which would not have appeared without it. 
To amafs at once,, for any given time, let it be ever fo (hort, 
a great quantity of money in the public treafury, muft necefTarily 
choak circulation, and produce the heaviefl: inconveniences. 


(2.) This operation required an explanation, with which the author has 
favored me. The fiftieth penny was to be paid at four periods. The treafury, or 
rather the ftate, waa pfefled for money. It was apprehended, that, private per- 
fons would keep their money locked up, in order to have it ready to make good 
their refpeâive payments, which would have checked circulation. To prevent 
this inconvenience, and at the fame time to obtain an immediate fupply of money, 
they iflaed receipts bearing intereft, upon which private perfons advanced money. 
Thefe receipts were afterwards paid in at the treafury, on account of the tax, as 
the fefpeâive periods came round. By thefe means the ftate obtained an imme- 
diate fupply, circulation was promoted, the payment of the tax was facilitated, 
and the reprefentative figns of the current fpecie were augmented for â time. 

The produce of the above tax did not anfwer the expeâations of government. 
Few people gave in an exaât ftate of their property ; fo that, inftead of two per 
cent, fcarce one half per cent, was aâually paid, and government wa$ obliged to 
have recourfe to a lottery and other expedients.— Tf^wy/tf/^n 

This can never happcB in thr modp of ^yiog i^r tei& 
funiption, where the €olkA4oii is^ infimfible, fucc^w^ 
gradual, and thereby gives litnt for the m^yncf «ck sâtoe oot^ o€ 
the public treafury, and circulate again thprougb-tkfrx public. 
A hundred ohfervatians, coftfirnfied by exparicacet pra9^ ihe 
truth of what I advance. 

Nothing is* more changeable thafv the fortuae i>f indki^uats^ 
Borne are enriched while otbere arc inipoveriâieé^ A capica«i#ft^ 
or univerfal tax, muft be rediiicd every year ; aad ia^ tile firft 
inftance it muft be a he^vy tax that is an eqwmloi^ £»r all tbei^eiVe. 
The machine wouM be fof ever <nj;t of order. What an- embdr- 
raffment ! The impoffibility of the projeft ftrikes^in^eviery vîf w-. 
A capitation can never beany thing btit a ftipplememaL meaTuM j: 
it never can produce a tenth part of the tax upon confiimption.. 
The trtmoft ufe that could- be made at it would be to- redeem Ûï& 
taxes which interrupt and retard the fabor of the ploogh. I» 
this fingle view it might petiraps be praâicabfe and- beneficiaL 
As for the reft, experience muft be oitr guide. It is certain^ 
that formerly the farmers general in France amaâed fortunes 
with an indecent fjipi^ity, 5 but t|ûs ^ib^ip. iSjUpvR gj:eat|y dio^i* 
niéhed» We no longer fee^riiat jopobnt q4iafaatine,(3.) ncr thoû^ 
axmies of one part of the nation employed to rain^ the other» 
Among the number of financieTS„ there are true patriots^ men 
of fenfe^ and virtuous citizens* Their occupation i$ odious^ but 
it appears to be nece^cy* Their fubalte^ns fonaaticM^ commit 
aâs of atrocious violence. But abales of this kind exiâr in armiea 
commanded by the heft gefferals. Many of thtfe fiiumciers and 
their adherents, when they do not ruin themfelves by an ex- 
ceffive, infulting luxury, ^^ wi(hp«t: doubts highly icy:vicc»i»ie 


(3.) The farmers general are forty in number, with a ftandUig^army uadcr tKem 
of clerkf^ taxgatherers^ exçifemen, &c. — tranjlat$r. 


[ >2I J 

«othe-ftate. They art enabled tq afiift circulation and credit» 
and in fpite of dl that can be tuid by people who do not under-* 
ftand the principles of finance^ ^ is the combination of thofci 
two agents that fupports the machine. In Holland, the farms 
fubfift, although the farmers are aboliflied. CoUe^ors have 
been fubftituted in. their room. The change of name was 
intended td (atisfy the people, who never can be fatisfied. The 
wifdom and patriotifm of the ftadtholder, fupported by the zeal 
of thd magi(h'atesy have improved the finances, and correâed 
in part the abufes they were fubjeâ to, yet without aboKfhing 
the fkrms* The fame thing ought to have been done in France, 
W'here the abufes^^e more confiderable, and perhaps more difficult 
to Gorred, from the complication of laws and privileges in every 
province, and their diftance from the centre of admimflration. 
I have endeavoured to mike myfelf mailer of the management of 
the farms in France. ;It appears to me that misfortunes are 
of^n imputed to the farmers general, which it is not^ their 
power to remedy, and which are always exaggerated. Yet, for 
Ae welfare of the kingdom, h were to be wiftied, that proper 
meafures might be taken to remedy thefe inconveniences, which 
are not the lefs dreadful becaufe they appear unavoidable. 
Heavy taxes^ are coUeAed in England upon a more fimple and 
lefs expenfive plan. Their method perhaps may be affifled by 
the conftitution and local circumftanccs of the country. Whether 
or no it be praticable in France, or whether it be poffible 
to inftittate that regifkr which all the world talks of, and 
nobody underftands, is a queftton yet undetermined. 

Monfieur ^ Mirabeau affirms, that the magiftrates and 
municipal officers are the natural colletftors of the tribute, which 
ïhe fubjeôs, in their relpefltive jurifdiâîons, owe to their 
fovereign% The idea is feducing, arid |)erhaps the mcnftirc may 

R be 

i 122 ] 

be right. Yet I do not know tvhether h would* not mfeet Witfc 
infurmountable difficulties in prswftice, and whether, after a 
certain interval, the facae J^ngs would not be faid of them, 
that are faid of the perfons riow employed in the coUeâion of 
the revenue. It is not generally admitted ti^at the provinces of 
France^ which remain en pays d'Etat,, have any advantage over 
,the reft. I am not fujSîcieatly acquainted with the fa<ît to pro- 
jDounce upon that mode of colledlion*^ The minifler ua- 
doubtedly perceives the eiFedt of it, and probably knows what 
to truft to. He will adopt it, if it be fuch^ as it is reprefented. 
The fucceflion of fteps and hierarchical jurifdiétîons, which 
Monfieur de Mirabeau would fain profcribe, ileem in fode degree 
indifpenfable ia every mode of colle^ion^ . The increafe of 
cxpence, arifing from them, ,wiU be a ftumbling-block in every 
fyftem* As for the reft, I confefe; that ia the Theory of 
Taxation there are fome fublime ideas, which I admire and 
xefpeâ. AU that the author fays upon the fubjeâ: of fait and 
tobacco feems to deferve the attention of the French tainiftry^i 
It has often been obferved, before Monfieur de Mirabeau, that 
the produce of duties is in proportion, to their lightnefs. A 
]?[Kxlerate duty ihould naturally put a (lop to contraband, and 
fave the wafteful expences of management. The over burthen 
of thefe expences falls upon Ûïi^ {ale of the commodity, and 
lefTens the confumption. Thefe truths appear inconteftable; yet 
in Holland we have often feen^ that the diminution of duties at 
the cuftom-houfe has not taken eiFedl, nor prevented contraband; 
European nations, though Chriftians, do not always follow the 
gofpel; they do hot always give unto Ca&Cir the things that 
are Cafar's. Every tax, every duty, every cuftom, is paid with 
reluâance* We (hould endeavour to prevent this abule j for the 

principles above mentioned appear to me effentiaL The fame 


r "3 ] 

tbing cannot, in my opinion, .be faid of his other principles* 
Stijch. is the neceffity, he fuppofes, of conftituting^ a public 
ti;éafure. «I ihall hereafter prove it to be a hurtful, dan- 
gerous, and . ufelefs meafure. I have the fame notion of his 
p^ojçiîï of abolifliing every impofition upon barren property, on 
flocks, houfes, fubfifbence, employments, deeds, and luxury. 
I^ is a patriotic enthufiafm, founded upon metaphyfical 
ideas, vtrhich never can be applied to the aâual conilitution 
of things. , His declamation againft.the public funds, credit, 
a^id circulation, is of the fame nature, and has been already 
refuted.,] Another obicrvationxxcurs to me. The fovereigns of 
^>ain asd Pqrtpgal, with all their treafurcs of Peru, Mexico, 
and the Brazils, never conceived the* idea of creating thefe 
public funds, to which the value of fpecie might be com- 
i]^unicated) which n^ight coUeâ and give fixation to money, 
while it circuited elfewhere, and call it in again, in cafe of 
need, by the magic of circulation, and the credit imparted to 
thofe funds. Who knows whether this may not be precifely 
. the reafon why thofe kingdoms . have not been enriched by their 
mines ? There was no prop to fupport the building, while tht^y 
\vcsc working upon the repairs. Spain and Portugal, depopulated 
by moral çaufes, might, I. believe, in ibme degree, have recovered 
tjieir population and agriculture, if the numerary riches of conven- 
tion had xejdiied the momentary paflage of the gold and filver of 
their mines. Fâ(5litiqus property would have produced induflry, 
andfupplied a fjund for improving the foil, with all thofe natural 
prpdu^ons, which, in fo fortunate a climate, are ripened by the 
fun. Commerce, opulence, and circulation, might perhaps have 
invited a number of new inhabitants of the religion of the 
c^o^ntry, fince the. want of a toleration does not admit others to 
feîtlç thçf e. Even this odious difficulty might have been fur-i 
• ,', R 2 mounted^ 


[ 1*4 ] 

mounted by intereftj ' wherta$> »t prefcnt^ the inhabitant^ 
notwith (landing^ they pay fcvyfir taxas» arc poorer than thofo of 
Franrce or Englai>d* I da not ihite this codjeauee a» the ^aly 
caufe of the dirpK>portian between the oâiul condition ^f S{>aia 
and Portugal 9 and the fovircca of oket^ic wealth» which botii 
of them poiTeis. I mean oaly to n>ark the advaotage produced 
by drculatioflt in countries, where die metal& are not fo pkniâful; 
Tht mifcrable ftate of the Spaniacds in Peru and MeKic[o is a. 
ftill ftronger proof that gold and filver arc nothing of thcmfelvcs^ 
but fo far as they readily pa6 im exchange for articles of necefSty 
and convenience. Monfieur de la Condamine tiTufés vts^ that 
the people» who fhowed him the mines of Peru> were wretthca 
without flioes to their feet. 

Spain and Portugal are not in that cônditjom If» added to. 
the fertility of the foil» and happinef^ of the clinsate»^ the twa 
kingdoms, were as well peopled as they ought to be» the pro- 
dudtions of nature and induilry» independent 6f their mines» 
would make them the mbft fdentiful coontrïes in the world.. 
The exchange of their commodities might e?en create a com«^ 
mercial balance in their favor beyond the produce of their mines.. 
But as this neither is» nor for a long time can be» lS>e cafo» wc 
muft for the prefent confidw the metals as a merchandifo of their 
own growth^ and the extraâion thereof» to a certain degree» as^ 
neceflary andufefuL I am even inclined to think» that if all 
the advanhiges of agriculture» commerce» and manufactures», 
exifted with adivity in Spain and Portugal ; and if at the fame 
time they were to continue in polleffion of the gold 2nâ filver of; 
Peru» Mexico», and the Brazils ; the metals then» by reafon oT 
their abundance» mighr almdH always perform their office in^ 
perfon» without faâitious figns^ or the circulation of paper 
credit. I an nevertheleis perfuaded» that luck a repletion 'of 


t us Î 

f^dt would prodtKQ iiicooventcoces eventoally fâts^ to tfacir 
iaanaer9> aad fveii t» the coi^ix^rce and ptioÇptnty . c£ tine twcr 
national and that proyideiu^e has not uodefigoedly g|i?en them the 
cuâody, or rather tb« diftiibution, of the treafuces of Amprica. 

If Portugal had prc&nred the Moluccits and Ct^ylon^ which ic 
wa» in poiTei&o» ^f before; the «nini^ of SrâeU were di&overed^ 
the harmony of the comoieroe of Europe muft have beat» 
d^cytâ. B^t if Holland had kept the Brasila^ that hzrmonf 
would ftiU hiave bean iQauit^iocd* Hollande as we hav^ fre^ 
quently ob&r^edt has aolhing to give, in exchange. loduârj^ 
commerce^ aiid fpice trade» çpniUtDte all her opulence and an 
^pported by thoic faâitîpua fiinds^ to which credit gives circu^ 
lation» and which enlarge the contributive faculty of the people 
to pay the taxea impoicd upon »dheni» Taxes idlow opulence 
and eafe. Competition in the matket». and a gf cater confump^ 
tion» of courib raife the price of pronfionsr Yet «axes are. not 
to be multiplied without urgent, tmcc&ty, and every prudent 
meafure of police (bovàd be omplojied to prevent tho elBOPbitant 
price of provifione* But> to return to noiy fubjeâ.. 

Mjiny attempts have been made to calculate the pr(^)Ortion 
t^at ought to be prcfbrved between ^cde and . paper. It hat 
been a h^ng time Axed at the rate of ûwcc to one ; that is» that 
there may fafely be three times as much papett in oif^culatioç as^ 
ijnoney. Yet experience haa. evidently fhown, that the quantity 
of paper may be conûderably enlarged^ and yet iupport itielf 
without difficulty. To call this a difjproportion is c^eatiog 
monftecs on purpoie to âght with them« It is contradicting 
experience» eipeci^lly aa^the fame pixtended difproportion \^11 
be found tofubfiil between money and riches of every fort» fuch 
as land» hoûfes^ fhips» jewels, &c. Yet we are . not to con- 
&>und bank notes,, oc bills of ocedit reprefcnting money, with 


[ ii6 J 

that paper whîch conftitutes the public fund$> and bears intereft; 
although, income refpeds, there is a great analogy between 
them. A much greater quantity of ftock may be created than of 
bank notes. The public funds do not ezadly reprcfent fpecie, 
though the creation of them augments the nuraerary wealth. 
They form a folid property, as much as land or houfes, and 
yield a revenue without repairs or cultivation. The greatefl: 
advantage attending them is, that they make money, and that 
which reprefents it, circuUte with more rapidity. Taken by 
parts, they may, in a certain fenfe, be confidered as fb much 
ready money, the office of which they frequently perform. A 
hundred thoufand pounds in annuities may be converted inta 
ipecie in 'Change Alley within four and twenty hours, with 
Scarce any altei'atian in theprice, and millions may be fold for 
time. Thefe are faâsnot to be difputed. Of all kinds of pro- 
pcrty^ this is the only one that partakes, as it were, of the 
quality of money, at the fame time that> by the eâence of its 
nature, it is a folid property. The obfervation is important, 
and I believe. has not been made before. . I 0iall add but one 
refteâion more ; that gold and iilver coin has an arbitrary value 
of convention, and that there is no phyfical reafon wJiy it fhould' 
reprefent all commodities, as well as the articles of firft neceffity^ 
in preference to paper, by which itfclf is reprefented. The 
Indians make the fame ufe of (hells ; and all the plaufible objec- 
tions to the creation of artificial iigns in paper may be applied 
equally to the metals, which we can neither eat nor drink. Bat 
as in the prcfent fyftem a barter of commodities is impraticable, 
fome general medium of exchange is wanted to be the meafurc 
of every thing ; and this quality no more belongs to metal than 
it dges to flocks and paper, when the circulation of them is 


firpportcd by credit and good faith, and by the iatereft thejr 

Monfieur de Mirabeau's principles arc much the £ime with 
thofc of the author of the Bi/an, to reduce every thing to the 
territorial produce. Yet I think the fallacy of them appears 
even from his own ftatements of the territorial revenue of France 
compared virith experience. His fyftem is open to objections, 
becaufe it is contraditfled by.fafts. How^ would if have been 
poflible for France to have exceeded her ftrength in the article of 
taxation during fo long a period^ without haying, been expofed 
to fome more fatal, and as it were more palpable, political con.- 
i^ulûons ? I fhall hereafter make it appear, that the diibrders ia 
France have not fo much proceeded from taxes,, as from the long 
wars, and the want of credit in borrowing money. I have 
already proved,^ that credit and circulation are the only means to 
çorreét and foften the feverity of taxes, and (hall fupport my 
opinion by farther evidence. Obfervation, enquiries, and cal- 
culations of the territorial revenue, may be of fcrvice,^ if they 
are properly applied without exaggeration, and if they do not 
lead to bonfequences inconfiftent with known faâs, or to mea^ 
fiires either impoilible in praâice, or whofe fuppofed efFeâ is not 
j^uftified by experience. Yet, as it is poflible that,, without 
Galileo and Kepler, Newton might never have analyfed the rays 
of light, or thoroughly difcuflcd the principles of gravitation, it 
is to be hoped> that the works of fpeculative politicians will in 
like manner aflift others in explaining the true principles, on 
which the finances fhould be adminiftered for the welfare and 
bappinefs of mankind. 

We arc children ftill. Our children perhaps may be menv 
I cannot comprehend how Monfiçur de Mirabeau can lay the 
whole burthen of taxation upon the territorial produce, after 


I 1*8 ] 

having fo cleaiiy demonftratcd^ that the vexations heaped upon 
the hu(bandman deflroy thofe riches which» without fuch 
vexations, would be annually renewed ; that large traâs of 
land lie fallow and deierted ; that decay of population of courie 
diminifhes confumption, vrhich he ought to conlider as the 
fource of the fovereign's revenue; that fpoliation wither» up 
the ibil ; that the arbitrary land tax, repairs^ of the roadfi» tod 
other vexations, ought to be abolifhed. Yet he fubftitutes the 
fame burthen under another denomination, and gives no relief 
to that part of the nation. He feems to me to contradiâ him* 
felf, when he propofes to lay the whole tax at the Iburce of 
produâion ; yet this is his favorite principle. Perhaps it may be 
my own fault § but I confefs my ignorance $ I do not underftand 
his iyftem ; it appears to me to involve a contradiction. He 
advances another principle, which, in the abftrad^, feems nearer 
to truth, and more important; that no province, or city, or 
perfon, fhall pretend, by virtue of any privilege ^r immunity» 
to be exempted from a general contribution. This is juft. But 
to confine it to a capitation, ùt perfonal tax, proportioned to the 
rent of houfes or lodgings, would be infufficient to anfwer the 
fervice, even if it were poffible for the tax to be ftriftly colleâcd. 
A capitation can be no more than a fupplementary mcafure. He 
profcribes the only taxes that can ever anfwef the demands of 
government, viz. thofe upon edibles, luxury, and objéâs of 
conftant ufe. The reader will find frefli proofs of this aiTertion 
in the fequeL All thefe jfehemes have been already attempted in 
Holland, in the year 1748, with a view to fubftitute one general 
tax in the room of all the duties upon confumption. Specula* 
tions of this kind embarrafs the finances. They amufe the 
people with hopes, and make them pay with more reluctance 
the taices on which their own welfare and prefcrvaticn depend. 



r 129 I 

The firflî priridpTe laid down in thç^ Theory of TCax at ion ^ and in: 
the Bilan of England^ is, that Z: cultivating ftate has no revenue 
but the produce of the earth, and that the v^hole is colledted 
within the territorial revenue. This might be true, if there 
. were any ftate in 'Europe that confined itfelf merely to the' 
cultivation of the foil. The ftate of France, as well as of 
England, is compofed of farmers, ftiepherds, fiflicrmen, hunters, 
merchants, manufaélurers, artifts, and foldiers. Why then* 
fhouW we reduce the various produce of all the branches to the 
annual return of territorial revenue ? Is it not reprefenting 
the coloffus of France under the figure of a fkeleton ? The 
principle, that the territorial produce is to be confidered as the 
only fource of revenue, has feduced many people; yet it is ' 
abfblutely falfe,. a^ well as the confequence drawn from it, that 
taxes fliould be laid at the fource of production ; a maxim de- ' 
ftruiftivc to cultivation, and that counteradts the author's 
purpofe. To prove, with ftill ftronger evidence, that it does 
fa, let us draw ït fliort analytical pidture of all the kinds of 
property, of which a ftate is compofed. We (hall then difcover' 
from what fources an exaét accoimt of the finances' of a kingdom 
is to be collefted, and' fee at once upon what articles taxes may^ 
be impofed with the leaft degree of inconvenience, and in what 
clafs each ftate 'û to be reckoned. 

Landed prpperty is the firft. This is ihcapabfe of being 
deftroyed ; but its value, more or lefs, depends upon cultivation, 
and without labor it makes no return. Its produdions are 
neither voluntary, nor gratuitous. They require not only care, 
but expcnce ; and before they nourifh, they employ. But the 
annual fruits of the earth are cônfumed, and at the end of the 
year ceafe to exift 5 or, if confumption fails, they putrify, and' 
are loft* The ftate can only be enriched by the internal con- 

S fumption^ 

fumption,, and by. the futplns çaçportcd to foroîgnçrsc Jn tbis^i^ft^ 
cjafs I reckgn arabk laads, woods,, and viopyard?. 

Th^ fécond kind of property^ which Monficur àfi. Mirabeau 
has almoft forgotten, and yet is very confiderablc^ conûûs of 
cattle, and the fields where thpy are fed. Cattle retura mora 
to the earth than they take from it* Some give milk twice a. 
-day, which fupplies us with cheefe. The ox not only coa-^ 
tributes his labor to our fervice, but even his fieih and his &xa. 
Xh^ fheep forniihes the firft elements^ of the mod ufeful nuaa-^ 
faâiu'e^» Wool is a; fourcG? of riches to England apd Spain* 

The fiJÛberies are a third kii»d ©f property^ The feiçon-* 

tributes to nourifli the inhabitants of the earth, as. much as the. 

^arth itfelf, with dill lefs expencc. The great fiflieries form m 

actiole of cojnfiderable importance in compurcej yet omitted iof 

. the Theory of Taxation* 

Houfes are the fourth* The rent, or the occupation, is lb 
n)uch real revenue. The obje<ft itfelf is perifhable, but ncçciEty 
and luxury keep it in conftant repair* The labprer» the 
mech^ic, aixd the arttft, are employed. 

The fifth kind of property confifts of fbips, wares, ro^ga?- 
^incja, and in fliort of that innumerabler detail of commercial 
articles,^ which furnifh fubiiftcnce to a prodigious multitude 
of people, and produce immenfe fums every year, at the fame ^ 
time that the ofixces performed by money are multiplied by 
circulation* The revenue of this branch is, of far diiFcrent 
inoportance from that of the territorial produce, to which w» 
are told, that every thing fhould be reduced. 

The fixth kind confift^ of notes, public funds, aôions, royal, 
fecuritica bearing intereft, the fruits or intereft of which are ncit. 
dqftroyed by confiiraptLon, like thofe of the earth, but ai;e 
pernwnQnt and unpeci(hahle> and ©iwlti^ly in, every hand they 



t I3Ï 1 
pafs tlirough, ytt, tinder tbeaurpiccs of credit and cîrculatîofiy 
preferve their fertility. This (with fubmiffian to thofc who ate 
unacquainted with the true principles of finance) is the reafon 
why a ttumerary, exceeding &11 the money in Europe, is an- 
wiaDy expenddd in Parii and London, and why the ftate can 
levy fo many taxes without ruin to the nation ; a parado*, 
't^ch fpeculatlve finahfciers are unable to comprehend, bccaufc 
ttey have no true idea of circulation and credit. Thefe are the 
powers that create and multiply, that give life and adivity, that 
produce and reproduce* They fufter notliing to ftop or ftag^ 
nate, but remove all obfhuétions^ and circulate the blood 
throng every vein. 

The feventh kind of property cortfifts of places of iionor, 
tffic<» and employ tfteht s . From this fource ti number df 
perfons are fupplied with the means of expence, from which 
Others srgain derive their fubfiftencc. Induftry and circulation 
are encouraged, and the public revenue improved, eVen by fhoife 
who live at aie expence of it. 

The eighth kind confifts of magazines of all forts, fixture^ 
jewelry> trinkets, diamonds, gold and filvcr plate, curiofities,. 
piâures, and books > all which augment the numerary, and; 
notwîthftanding their flow circulation, contribute to fupport 
credit, and to prop the building. 

The ninth confifts of manufacture^^ pfîncîpàîTy thofe for 
exportation, by w^hich foreigners are laid under contribution, 
and thefubjeft enridhed. Thofe of Lyohs> and of her places in 
France, far from deftroying agriculture, encourage it. But this 
migfit be the fubjeo of another diflettation, and would lead me 
too far. In the Elogium of Sully, one of the mafter-pieces of 
Monfieur Thomas, there is an argument upon this point, which 
appears to me too bold» 

S Z ' Tha 

i 132 3 

The tenth is a fupernupierary to France, I mean the 
multitude of foreigners, whom curiofity attradls to Paris, 
^nd pleafure detains there. Their expence is a real nume- 
jary, which not only augments that of the kingdom, but 
^t the fame <ime increafes the materials and circulatioa 
of fpecie. Combined with the expences of thofc, through 
whom their money circulates, it improves the fovcreign's 
revenue, which, though never ftationary in his hands, always 
^xifts within t|ie nation. The exorbitant price of furnifhed 
lodgings at Paris and upoa the road, and the hire of carriages 
/or the ufe of foreigners, is a kind of territorial, produce, 
created by foreigners, without the charges of exportation. . 

The eleventh kind of property, confifting of mines of coal, 
tin, and iron> where there are any, has cfcapcd Monfieur de 

Such is the true pidure of the riches of a country^ widely 
different from that impoverifhed ftate prefented to us in 
the Theory of Taxation. In this pidlure the apparent con- 
tradictions between the objeds and the produce of taxes, 
as well as between the faculties of the fubje<ft and the de- 
mands of the ftate, are reconciled. The gradation of taxes, 
according to this faithful reprefentation, fhould proceed in the 
inverfe ratio to that of Monfieur de Mirabeau's fyftem. The 
fources of produdion, the earth and its firft harveft, fliould be 
loaded leaft of all. The progrefs of taxes fhould follow the 
detail of confumption, and multiply upon every article of 
luxury. The mode of coUeftion is another object, the abufcs 
of which I am not qualified to difcufs. But taxes return for the 
moft part into the hand that pays them; and this, Iprefume, is 
the line of diredion upon which the whole myftery of finance 
depends. In time it ' may be carried to perfcdlion. For the 
prefent it is fufficient to obferve, that by the affiftancc of circu- 


[ 133 ] 
latîon the revenues of* France amount to at leaft ten times tbc 
fum ftated in the Theory of Taxation ; and that it is abfurd to 
fiiy, that a man, whofe income is but four hundred millions, 
pays fix. If, as it is faid, the colledtion cofts near a third of 
the produce, it is certainly a fhameful depredation ; but quaere, 
whether Monfieur de Mirabeau be not again miftaken in his 
aflertion. The principles I adhere to are founded upon faéls, 
and on the uniform experience of England, France, and Hol- 
land* They do not therefore involve fuch contradidions as 
appear upon the face of fpecuktive writings, which flatter the 
people without giving them any real confolation qr affiflance, 
and promife them a relief not' to be realifed in praâice, and 
which they never can receive. It is the univerfal remedy, * or 
philofophcr*s ftone, perpetually fought after, and never to be 
xiifcovered. A nation that would fubmit to pay heavy taxes 
without reluctance, and that, as the author fuppofes, would 
pay them from a fpirit of emulation,* and where the application 
of the revenue fhould be conftantly directed to the public good, 
without any part of it being diverted, would be a nation of 
angels, or rather of gods, and fuch a one as never will exift upon 
this mafs of earth. My own fyftem is reducible to this con* 
clufion. î^ That the pretended principle, of confining the 
whole contributive faculty of taxes entirely to the territorial 
produce, is fallacious; for, though the landed revenue forms 
an important article, it is fl:ill the fmalleft portion of the facul- 
ties of the fubjeét.* 2**. That to lay taxes at the fource of 

- production 

• While this work was în the prefs, I met with a new treatîfc, entitled 
« Dialoj^ues on the Corn Trade." The remarks it contains are excellent, 
ufeful, brilliant, profound, and inftruâive. In this book the cultivation and 
exportation of corn ire placed in their true point of view, without cnthufiafiri, 
Notwithftanding the familiar ftyle of dialogue, every article is treated analytically. 
I found in it fome of my own ideas. In other inftances, where my idea^ were loofe 


I 134 ] 

produétiôn would injure agriculture, which ought to bfc prt^ 
teded and cntour aged àt its fource by every privikgc and recom^ 
f)ence imaginable, 3^. That nothing but articles of confumptiott 
•and luxury can produce a revenue proportioned to tfce neceflitics 
of the ftate ; and that it is proved by praétîtc and experience,. ' 
that circulation iii a great meàfur.e repairs the inconveniences 
tliat rtwiy be occafioned by taxes. 4*». That idie mode of col- 
ledion ihould be the leaft expenfive or burthenfome to the 
nation, takwg particular cafe not to oppreft the farmer ; but this 
l« a di^uit point. Let me add, 5°. That the =ftate of tx^ 
potts at tl» cuftom-hôufe k the thermometer of a floutifhin^ 
<x;)ftimerce> in a farming iand manufa^uring nation j that duties 
>!ipott eScpotts àîould be moderate; and that exportation, in fom© 
cafes> (hould be encouraged by bounties. 

lAiportatioln is ef a different nature. It rs a tribute paid to 
foreigners. In France and Engknd it may be loaded without 
inconvenience, except the firft elements of manufâârures, which 
ought to be free. It is not the fame with a power entirely 
commercial, fuch as Holland, that buys in order to fell, and 
lo which the carrying trade is eflentially neceflary. The con- 
ilitution of Holland is Angular and peculiar, and the country 
muft be governed by rules that are an exception to all others. 
ït is a phenomenon in politics. Hiilory gives us no model of 
fuch a conftitution. The thermometer of import and export at 
the cuflom-houfe in Holland, is fometimes in an inverfe ratio 


and confufed, I found myfelf correâed. Speaking of taxes, he fajrs, *' That, 
<^ fincetbe great Colbert, the nature of taxation is underftood. A diftinâion is 
** made between duties for the purpofe of revenue, and duties for the purpofe oC 
*^ encouragement. The virtue and efFeâ of the book of rates are underftood. 
<* Some dutief, it is well known, are no more than political fluices, that direâ 
«^ the levels of the difierent canals of commerce ; that they muft be laid upon the 
*^ importation of foreign manufaâures, to encourage our own$ and upon the 
«^ exportation of raw materials, in order to promote the internal manufactures of 
•• the country.''— vf«/iJpr. 




[ 135 ] 
tp what it ia in' other countries* In this place it may be proper 
to infert ^ fine obfecvation,. which I lately met with in an 
Englifli author. It is fuppofed that the bounty, granted by 
government upon the exportation of corn, is an expence to the 
ilatCji or that the revenue fufitrs a diminution of £. 150,000 
which the bounty amounts to. But this, fays the author, is a 
miftake 5 for the cuftom-houfe recovers diat fum with intereft, 
by that increafe in the duties on imports,^ which arifes from a 
large exportation of corn. A confiderable part of thi« export is 
exchanged for articles of luxury,, which the nation is fond of, 
and which pay heavy duties aft the cuflom'^houfe. So that the' 
encouragement given to agriculture turns to the profit of the 
cuftoms. There is another obfervation equally, curious, that 
the price of corn has not rifen in England, ûnce the inffîtution 
of the bounty,, nor even &> far back as fince the time of Ed- 
ward IIL making allowance for the different value of the mark 
of filver at the dififercnt periods. I have fhown that France 
might follow thta example, and encourage agriculture^ yet^ 
without any diminution of the opulence of England. 

Monfieur de MonCefquicu obferves, that a tax upon ptrfon^ is 
the moft natural to flavery,. and a tax upon, merchandifes the 
moft natural to liberty, becaufeitdoes not refer fo dîreôly to 
the perfbn. A capitation can never fupply the place of every 
other tax, on account of the fmall number of perfons on whom 
it would, falU ÎIV proportion to. the multitude whoj through 
the medium of confumption, infenfibly fwell the revenue; ar 
the fame tin>e that the very money they pay is fumiihetfin the 
laft refoit by the wealthy^ on whom alone it is meant that the 
weightpf tbi^capitatkmiibould'falU Natural confumption, and* 
even that of luxury^, by means of a^ circulation multiplied* 


[ 136 I 
through various channels, can alone fupply fuch confîderabîc*" 
fuxns, without cxhaufting the fources, op flapping thé current* 

of circulation. 

From what I have (aid it follows, 6^ Tliat the treafury re- 
ftores to the public the money it receives, increalmg the con- 
tributive faculty by the annuities and penfions it pays. The 
retribution, however, is not always exadtly equal^, with refpedlr 
to individuals, but muft be taken in grofs, 7*. That the pub- 
lic funds increafe riches> commerce,, induftry, confumption*^ 
and the contributive faculty. They are neceffary in tbcmfelves,, 
end differ widely from the. idea hitherto conceived of themv 
8''. That neverthelefs the public debt fliould be redeemed^ 
to a certain point, in order to^ diminish taxes, which always 
appear to be an evil, conftantly magnified by opinion ; otherwife, 
if they were multiplied too far, fome great difficulties would 
arife in the courffe of thofe fatal wars, which recur too often. 
9^. That the true and cxa6t diftribution of all the branches^ 
of finance ia a fcience,. alL the principles of which* are not yet 

10^. That good order is not deftroyed by exading a con- 
tribution to the public ftock, from all thofe who poflefs no 
capital, but live upon, the retribution yielded to their labor.. 
They receive it from the rich,, from people in eafy circumftances, 
and even from the ftate- Their labor becomes a little dearer, 
but the inconvenience âill falk upon tho£e who,/it is meant^ 
fliould bear this portion upon the plaa of a finglc tax. The 
cfFedt is the fame. You only endeavour to alter the form, and 
the form you wifh to fiibftitute can never be adhered to in prac- 

# ■ * 

tice. It is the multitude of little flreams that conflitute the 
river. It is the number of fubdivifions of clafies that alone can 


[ 'ni 3 

fupply heavy taxes* The additioû of the duty (4.) is con- 
founded with the price of the conjmodity, and in tStôc is paid 
by the thing» not by the perfon. This is order itfelf» not the 
confuûon of order. 

' '* Power," fays Monâeur de Mirabeau, *^ cannot be exerted 
<* beyond the natural ftrength. Efforts that exceed our 
*f ftrength produce weaknefs." This is true; but the prin- 
ciples thenifelves ill they are applied^ France, £ng« 
land, and Holland naore particularly, . fubûft ftill, and have 
fubfifted for a conûderable time^ upon the very iyftem now fb 
much decried. In fpite of the dreanas of naelancholy, they 
fubfift and âouriih. Y^t thi^,. J. muil repeat, is noreaibn why 
we ihould not labort with confiant attention, zeal, and ardor, 
to relieve the people^ by eyery poffiblc method, and to profcribe 
for ever the deteflaUe maxim,, current in France in the lad 
century, that vexation and oppreffion nuide the peopfe lyork, 
and that eafe m^de thçm indolent and lazy. Nothing but the 
civil wars, which were but lately ended» could have didated fb 
barbarous a maxim« 

IV. That manufaâories jObould be confidered as one of the 
principal arteries of the public revenue. The exemption granted 
to raw materi^s increafes the return they make to the treaAiry. 

T 12% To 

(4.) One of the beft arguments in favor of liuties upon imports at tbe cuffom- 
hottfe is, that they are the leaft feit by the people. ^^ If prudently managed, the 
<< people hardly confider that they pay them at aU ; for the merchant is eafy, 
^* being fenfible he does not pay them for himfelf ; and the confumer, who really 
*^ pays them, confounds them with the price of the commodity, in the fame 
^^ manner as Tacîtus obferves, That the emperor Nero gained tho reputation of 
<< abolifliiag the tax on^ tbe^ fUe of laves, though he only transferred it from the 
^< buyer to the feUer ; fo that it was, as he exprefles it, nmi/Jum magis J^Htê 
*< quam vt\ quia cum vinditor pntdtrijubentur^ in partm prttii emptor iius atcnfa* 
f* ktt."* Blackftone, j. ^o^.^TranJkter. 

f ^33 J 

I2^ To deny# as- Mdsificur de Mirabeau éocs^ the realîtv 
of that fucccflive cnjoyjaaciit, which credit and circulation 
procure to every inxlividual with thé £ime ipecie^ and to treat 
this truth as a plauâble fallacious hypothefis, is as milch as to' 
affirm» that diere is nothing intrinfîcàlly valuable but bread 
and water» and that every thing elfe is a fuperflmty of mere 

convention and: opinion. At this rate one nifgfat affirm» that 

. ' 

the landlord of a thoufand acrfts in fiO: pbâefie» but tw6 feet 
when he flands ap» and ûx when be liiefr down» becaufe this ia 
all the fpace he occupies* The fophiftry is the fame. Gold 
and iilveiv is âgns» have no real ântrinfic. advantage over the 
objeâs» which multiply ;fpede tUrongh the medium of' circula*- 
tion» and repreientit through the mediiim of credit. 

I y^ The capital, in every country» h iht central fbcus^ of 
confumption and luxory* Some benefits arife from it. The 
CQuntry round the c^tal ia improved. Still howeverit is ùàd 
to produce a mimbec of mischiefs* if the population: of the 
metitopolis bears no proportion to the reft of the kingdom» the 
provinces may languifh» the limbs of the political body may 
decay. The reader will fee my opinion of the matter in the 
Fourth Chapter. An admmiftration» that ihould cor red' the 
bad eiFedts of this difproportion, and give life to the provinces^ 
would render an cffential fervicc to the ftate. 

14?. The accumulated expence» which the iprings of cir- 
culation enable every individual to fupport» is the fomce of taxa« 
tiom Iff as Monfieur de Mirabeau affirms» the total amounts 
to fix hundred and twenty-five millions that circulate through 
the flate, this is, the block out of which taxes are cut» He . 
fays» he has proved in another place» that the mats of coined(5.) 


(5.) Monfieur de Mirabeau writes pecuU^ which conveys no ienfe in this paflage^ ^ 
It it fuppofed he meant pecum^ coined money.— Tron^/^. 



C »39 Î 

TDfMSf iu a ftftte ougbl never to be hi^ier than the level of 
die total rev^iie> aâd that thk is a truth long fince admitted by 
every man, who undeiftands the fabjéâ* Every tiding elfe» iays 
he» is only circulation. I am not fufficiently acquainted with 
this great principle» which» after all» may be a falfe one. Bat it 
h^ t^n prpv^d that the total revenue (^xmuderahly ewieeds the 
tttritorial. produce J that the return of circulation» from which 
he colleâs his Aate of expence» is infinitely greater than the mafi 
of ipecie. Its exiftence. in the public treafury is tranfitory and 
fucceffive» but not the lef$ real* The fpede does not ilagnate^ exchequer»^ bufc.rolurns into eiicufaitioi^ and diflipates all 
^gloomy con^uences dreâted4>y the imagination. 

I5\ From what has been iaid» I would not have it un^- 
dcxftood. that I any way deny the importance of agriculture^ or 
the neceifity of prote^ling it^ What I affirm i^ that, to mtJu 
it the only objeâ» the. )uniiiîe]:i&l inftrument» the general agents 
is à mere whim» (6.)' or madnefs» an ideal i>dng» an abftraaioft 

T2 of 


(6.) The encounigeiiMRit -of mamifaâures^ has long Race ceafed to be a favo* 
lite^* or rather » fi^ionable theme^ among thôCt French political' writers» wha 
luu^ the good of their «Kuitry «k^ veheAiently at heart. Within thefe few yean 
it has been difcoyered in- j^iance^ that Ûiéir Hègleâ; of agriculture» and their 
attention to manufaâuresy have been tl^e.rui|i of the.natiom The upright and 
ingenious Monfieur 4e Mirabeau was one of thefirft, who (bundçd the alarm to his 
countrymen, and warned them of the danger of providing for the luxuries at the 
coqpenocof.tlie.xificeiBtfiesjaf life.( Evory igiMrantpamphlatetf up the 

argument where Moofidur d<:Mirabe2^aleft it» and carries it to an extreme that is 
only not ridiculous in a Ffenchman, Surprifed at the extraordinary eiForts made 
and fupported by the Engli(b nation, and ftruck with the fingularity of our giving 
â bounty upon the exportation of corn, they conceive that our only or principal 
réfout-oé depends uptai^côlture ; and that» in order to acquire and maintaiii a 
fttperiority^over us, proportioned to their greater extent of territory and number of 
ii^iabitants» they have nothing to do but to deftroy their looms» and fend all 



C »4Q I 

of the mind, produced by patriotiun* ill ujiderftooit AftddBge-^ 
«crating into enthufiafm. It tends' to d^ftroy the tmcprincif^ 
of finance ; and though janance a»y be an evil^ it 19 a$ aepeflary 

• . . ta 

France to the plough. Someof thefe writers have carried their fancies fo far, as 
to aflèrt, that it has long been the • deliberate infidious poKcy of Etiglaiidf to 
withdraw the attention of France from thecultivation of thefoîl, by fbti^ingaod 
encouraging her tp take the lead of us in the fofter artsrof eUgance atid refineiMiil;^ 
that, in order to make ourfelves mafters of the great article of firft neceffity^ ^e 
have diverted their induftry from its natural channel; that, inftead of the manly 
labors of thefteld, we have farnifhed them with a delicate and f^dentary employ « 
ment in- the ihade, and thtftby no^only enervifted the vigor, 'bP the nation, 'but 
obliged our enemies to depend upon our£direa for fubfi^iice. To this curioiit 
plan of policy they never (ail to attribute all our military fuc(^flès a^ainft ttvem. 
The bounty on the exportation of corn accounts for viâories and triumphs in every 
cornerof the world. We have artfully cut ofF the territorial refburces of a fuperior 
jMctriy, and conquered the gtam by lifting htm from the eardi. Such are the 
chkiicinit ivfi^ which na^ipnal vaadty endeavours to rcompènOite fu Rational -di04 
graces. It maybe affirmed, withgjneater app^urance ;0f trotl^ t)ls^ 9<^pf tbfl[ 
mind nor body of a Frenchman are qualified for the vigorous but patient labors of 
the plough. Nature diftributes her bounty in different proportions among her 
children. Our neighbour» have received from bef a quick, lively, prèf$mi)ng 
IjpiriF, that qualifies them to fucceefiin thelightçf art9 of fiE>ppeiîy or éuscy. T^^e 
iêdentary manufajfhircî» the eo^bdlifliiBeot of dreA» the refitHap^ts of tafte wUM 
out the fplid materials of iuxury, fill ujf the circle of their. induftry« -> r 

" Vobis pîâa croco & fulgent! murice yeftis, 
** Defidiae cordij juvat indutgere chorsis." 

Their occupations require the agility of the finger». mtlMr than .dit vigoi of the 
arm j or, if they expofe themfelvea to the fun, it is only to tend the.vine» thatthey 
may fupply thepleafuresof a richer and a wifer nation.— •Tr^if^/ar. 

* ^* Les Anglois, en recevant nos manufadures, nous ouvrirent euxmeom une 
<^ porte à la ruine de la culture dç nos terres. Le piège etoit bien tendu } il etoit 
« difficile de refifter à Tapp^; notre miaitterQ s'y lajQk fufpr^re."— 4«/wV 
éU la France^ i. 23. 

f » 

à la -•'f.j* • 

4^1 • 

r HI ] 

to tfce ftate, as eating* is to the body. By eating too niuch> we 
contraâ cfudities and indigeftioné. 

i6\ A continued peace, urrited with a pfiidtnt œconomy 
iti the coUeâion and application of the revenue, is the only way 
to relieve the people. Peace removes all impediments, creates 
plenty, encourages population, incrcafes confumption, extends 
commerce, and quickens, cultivation 1 while thefe, in their 
turn', augnient the revenue. Taxfts might then be leflcned, 
without diminifhing the public revenue, at the fame time that 
the demands of the ftate would decreafe. 
* 17**. A' capitation can never be any thing,* in prâflicer but 
il fuppkmentary meafufé« 

" 1 8°. 'The fpecious principle of the Theory of Taxation, 
*' That idlenefs is the lofs, and labor the profit of the. ftate," 
is an axiom without meaning ; pompous words, that promiic 
much, and iigmfy nothing; An idle man^ whoie expence it 
decent, who pays taxes^ who gives wages,' whofe money cir* 
culates, who caufes a ufeful confumption, and fupplies others 
with- thé means of doing the famo, is not a burthen to the ftate. 

♦ • 

It is mere fophiftfy under the maflc of à fentcncë. Labor is 
ufeful and necefiary,' l)ut it is not* always a profit to the ftate, 
nnleft it be à kind of labor that bears fome analogy to the 
public welfare* The golden mine to the ftate is'honeft induftry, 
not mere labor. Many a man labors to his own ruin, as well 
as to that of the ftate. • So true it is' that fpecious fentericcs, 
when thoroughly examined,' are frequently no more thàh 
founding expreffions. We may reckon in the fame clafs 
another apothegm of Menfieur de Mirabeau, '? That aH labor 
«« is receipt, arid thataU idlenefs Is expence,- to the exchequer." 
Fine Words wimoUt J*€aKty. 

19'. I 

I9^ I mnA agam repeat thdt» o^ thiûgi^ ^^ now coQ« 
Aitjutcdj; circulation and credit muA bç rckooed in thç jSm:0( 
tank amoog the mean? of proiperity* 

20\ T^e eter^ial oppo^tiop^ to whicH tKc moft M?kec$0jiir)( 
taxes are expofedj n\ake them at once more burthçnfome^ 4n4 
kffi beneficial* 

21". Of all the kind^ of property in a kiQgjdonaj majui-^ 
faâure^i. fuffer the moft by taxes. If the: price dhbor^ or 
of raw material^j be ever fo little raifçdy it bj^QPfPS: inipofr 
fible to export in compétition with foreigners. Yet tbece are 
cafes^ in^ which a culjtivatipg ^ nation^ wi|h a great extent of 
territory» may fiourifh» and become as ppwjfirful aa its ççndi|)^oi| 
ajli^ts» by the m^re indc^ry^of an intern^ comniprqe, ^th« 
out any^ confiderable intercoi^rfe with foreigners. ^ 

a2% Indqpend^tr of taxes» wherever there is qu)ft wqaltbf 
there ev^ry thipg will be t)bie deareft. Froqs^ hopyc I cqfijeâqre^ 
tha|: France is not fo wealthy as Englai^d, The gentry ii>.£n^and» 
I believe» are much richer, than in If ranee i. whc^qas the higher 
nobility» inclfiding theprincef of the blood» are richerjn^rapçe^ 
The m^dle tank in; England und9ubtfid}y has thp ady^^ga 
The peffant». the. laborer; and mçchanîc» are qiucl^. more a^ 
their eafe* Riches ip general are much more equally ^^fpctkd 
through the Engliih than through the French people; yet» in 
particular inftances» tl^ere may always be exceptions; A iiqglç 
branch of inanufaâure nxay declipe^ Two hundred Wi^rk^^enj 
diftfei&d and out of emplçyment, make as much clamor with 
their diftrefs» as if the whole world, were perifhing with hungei% 
The echo is re|)eated on all fides; thç ençmies of government 
join the chcuras ; and they» w^o Uften to their clamprs» think 
every thing is loft. To judge truly» we ihould extend our vi$^ 
to t^e whole mafs« 

23\ ^* Political 


[ 143 ] 

ag** " Polkîcal ceconomy,*' fays Monficur dc Mirabeaw^ 
^ ^cobfifts in makin|; the people pay as much as poffible» yet 
f* think they pay as little/* > This can only be efieôed by taxing 
«tides of confumption^ where the tax is confounded with the 

â4^ ** To ruin the farmer/* fays he, ** îsdeftrudîon to the 
« alimentary police* The rights of the plough-fhare ûiould be 
^f as facred as thofe of the church, and never touched without 
^ réfpeâ:.** Sedt^ m$dus in rebus. 

25^ Certainly nothing can be more deftfuftive than the 
devaftati^ which artfes from the opprefQon of the farmer, and 
per(ècutibn in matfe^ of reli^oh. The ravages of war ate 
tranfitory, and' the loil by degrees recotefs from its own ruins. 
The value of it may be annihilated by the rapine of finance, 
adid I believe it has ibmetimes happened (b in Finance 1 but the 
vtrifdom of government is employed in corredling this abufe. 

26^ Another^ of Mônfieùr de Mirabeau^s great maxuns is; 
'' That it is better td fell the ralv materials, than to abate any 
•^ thing of the firft price, in favor of manùfaâures, which, 
'^ with refpeâ: tb profit, have no other objeA but the price of 
** the labor; a profit which, in faS, is only a return of thd 
** money it cofts/' This obfeiVation tieferves to be confidered. » 

27**. He lays, that an unlimited power of impofing taxes' 
would deftroy all the rights of property, and, after ruining the( 
nation; lay fetters upon itfelf. The fubjeft cannot pay beyond 
his fttengtfa. An arbitrary tax could notf fail of defeating its^ 
ownpurpofe. There muft be a proportion between^ the tax, on 
one fide, and the nature of the thing on which it falls/ and the 
pèrfôhs who* pay it (^vhether for luxury t)r neceffity) on the 
cilher. The" prodwCe of the earrth undoubtedly arifcs from i 
coriibination of two agents, the labor of man, and the bounty 



[ 144 ) 

of oature* To feparatft them» fkys Monfieur dfi lAinhc»^,, if 
the gr«at objeâ of finance. He thinks that» by his japtetbt^d» Jie 
can diflinguiih between the (heaf that belongs to cuUiVfttionv 
and that which belongs to revenue. .But his mctaphyfiçs iik 
finance can never be reduced to praâice. 
' 2 8% Jie (kyi^ that w^ i$ the moil fevere a^d fatal accident 
to ^ i^ate. The revenue pf the natioa. diminifhos, >¥hile its' 
çxpehCQS inCreafç.. The grpa^teft coutribptwn is dcijaaftdçd when' 
there is the leaft ability to pay it. To avoid war aa .much as^ 
poffible» is the only reaiedy. The; expedient» pointed out by 
theauthor^ of prov^diog a public tre^ure agjaioft unforeieea 
accidents» . WQuld^Increafe the evil, becaufe a conû^Çi'^ble quao^ 
tity of fpede locked up would pbftniâ; circulation, the cSeO: of. 
^hich is proportioned not to the fumi but to ix% current aâ;ivity« 
The trçafuxQ ipuft eithec be very conûderablc or ufelefs» If it 
were iufficieot to fupport a .war for two years only, it would do 
the nation incomparably greater n^ifchief, than l^e. evil we endea- 
vour to avoid.^ Hiftory proves that thereîgnofdiâîpatioii, which 
ufually fucceeds the reign of œcouoq^y, does infinite prejudice to* 
the ftate« Moniiffur de Mirabeau^ives no fatisfaâory anfwer to« 
thefe obje(^Qn$« He pretepds. tha( the fortunes made,, and 
depredations committed, by the farmers general, are incon*^. 
veniences without any mixture of benefit. It is not fo; thefe 
pretended fortunes circulate through the public. 

29''. The indirect channels and flrainers,, through whicE 
taxes are drawn, fhould be made as fimple as pofiible,^ in order 
to reduce the expence of coUeâion, But pulling down the 
houfe is not the way to flrengthen the foundation.. 

30"". It is not credit that has. ruined the finances of France^ z» 
Monûeur de Mirabeau pretends» On die contrary, it was the 
failure of credit in time of need, that did the mifchief, and 


[ 145 1 


ptobaMy wasf the chief caufe of the late difafters. If credit had 
been fupported as h might have been. Prance would have been 
lefe in debt. At the beginning of the year 171 5# the king was 
obliged to negotiate thlrty-two millions in bills, in order to raife 
eight in fpecie.* (7.) If faith had been kept to the public 
creditor as inviolably in France, as it has been in England, 
half the prefent debt might have been avoided ; the rate of 
intereft would have been lefs than half what it is, and the ftate 
have gained infinitdy more than it has done by thofe violent 
operations, which have annihilated credit. Expenfive operations^ 
of finance, together with exorbitant intereft, ariiing from nothing 
but want of credit, faavecanfed debts to be contraéted without 
value received. On one fide, the funds to fitpport the war 
were borrowed at a higher intereft ; on the other, failure of credit 
raifed the price of every article purchafed for the fervice. In 
this view the inconvenience is double ; not to reckon lofs oS 
time, which follows want of credit, and makes every operation 
înef&âiîaL To fend tbti Supplies at the exaâ: moment, or at 
the moment afterwards, determines the fucce& of a campaign* 
Superior credit undoubtedly was the principal caufe of the other 
advantages, which England had over France in the lall war, 

U becaulc 


♦ Voltaire, Age of lewis XIV. c\t. 28. 

f 7.) It feems hardly credible, and yet it is unqueftîonably true, that Lewis XIV, 
a little before his death, in order to raife eight millions iô fpecie, for which he 
bad a preffing occafton, was obliged to make ufe of the credit of a private perfon 
and his .partners, to cii^ulate refcriptions, or affignments upon the revenue, to 
the jonount of thirty-two millions, chiefly among foreigners 3 fo that, for everjr 
hundred he received^ he incorred a debt of four hundred. No wonder that, at this 
rate, he left a deh^ of above one hundred and eighty-four millions fterling. The 
firft advice given to the regent was to make a general bankruptcy. Money at that 
time was fo fcarce, that the beft bills could not be difcountcd at lefs than twenty, 
twcnty.fivc, or thirty per ccnU-^TranJIator. 

[ 146 î 

becaufe it enabled the nation to exert and avail itfelf of the reft* 
The fad has been confirmed by other proofs in the firft Chapter. 
It depended only \ipon France herfelf to have re-eftabliflied her 
credit, if peace, fo neceflary to Europe, could have been firmly 

It may be laid down as certain, that the cftablîÛiment of 
public funds depends upon the following regulations and cir- 
cumftances. i*'. That the loans be national ; that is, that the 
body of the nation iliall be anfwerable for them, as in England ; 
and although the French parliament is far from having the fame 
weight in the conftitution with that of England, yet the par- 
liamentary creation of funds, and the fecurity of that auguft 
body, would contribute not a little to fupport the credit of 
them* 2*. That funds to pay the intereft ûiould be fecured» 
without the pofSbility of interruption ; and that every loan 
fliould have its feparatc fecurity. 3*. That the finking 
fund be faithfully applied to the difcharge of debt, and that 
its operation be uniform and uninterrupted. 4''. That, in order 
to gain the confidence of the public, every mcafure of finance 
be laid open, and all appearance of myftcry baniflicd. 5^. That 
with the fame view an afTurance be given to the nation, and to 
foreigners, with refpedt to future operations, that their intereft 
ihall never be reduced under any pretence whatfoever, without 
oflfering to repay the principal ; and that the principal (hall, at 
no time hereafter, be fubjeit to any tax or defalcation, as it has 
happened heretofore ; that in this refpeft the example of the 
Englifh (hall be followed, and that a loan of a hundred fliall be 
always paid off at par, notwithftanding any fpecious arguments 
to the contrary -, that this ciTential article fhall no longer depend 
tupon the minifter's way of thinking. When the fecurity offered 


t 147 ] 
by government is intimately united with that of the parlianierit, 
the public confidence may then be recovered. 
. . Credit and confidence being reftored upon this folid founda- 
tion, the French government will gain infinitely more by 
following thé fame plan inviolably, than they have hitherto 
gained by operations of a different nature. The rate of intereft 
will be lowered, and when nioriey is wanted, it will be raifcd 
.without difiiculty upon moderate terms* I fpeak of the future j 
but what I fay is founded upon experience, not upon theory or 
fpeculation. It is the, hiftory of credit, ftated with fimplicity, 
zeal, and honeft intentions. There are other meafures, by 
which, it is poffible to difcharge a confiderable portion of debt, 
and to recover crediffor a time; but it .will fail when the occa^ 
fion is moft critical and important. I believe that France might 
have had fome advantages over England, that would in part have 
compenfated for the difference of the two conftitutions, and 
given her a credit and cîrculî^tion almoft as extenfive as that of 
the Engli/h, if proper meafures had been ferioufly taken, and 
the peace had lafled long enough to have carried them into 
execution. But after all the confufion that has happened, this 
is not the bufiftefs of a day. 

3I^ I have already (hown, that exceffive luxury is as ruinous 
to a nation, as an expence, proportioned to the wealth of indi- 
viduals and their rank in life, is beneficial to it. A man 
ruined is a fruitful plant withered up, with refpeâ: to the 
public ; his numerary wealth dees not exift within the nation, 
as many people think, who do not underfland the laws of circu- 
lation, and the nature of faditious property. Exceffive luxury 
feems to encourage induftry for a moment, and abandons it for 
ever* At the fame time it corrupts the manners, enervates the 
ûrepgth, apdhas always been one of the principal caufcs of the 
lir^in of a ftate. It would be an important fecrct in legiflation to 

U 2 find 


•[ m8 T 
find the middle term, at which cxceSàré luxttry might be 
flopped^ yet without oiadisg âiœptuary lawa to reftrain thdt 
decent expaace, tv^hich. ia allowmi to every fubjeô» in prdportioo 
to his rank and ifortooe* 

The foltowing quotation from the Spirit oi the Laws ma^ aiA^ 
he -confideccid as a general role. ^* Taxes^ may be iacreaieâ iMit 

proportion to the Hbcrty of the fabjeâ« As flavery gains 

ground, they muft of nefeflity be reduced. The rule ft 
^ taken firom nature» and never varies. It epefates in eviery 
^^ country» frtHii England and HoUaml» through the varioua 
^^ degradations of liberty» imtil it ei^da in Turkey^ Switzerland 
^^ ieema to be an exception. T)ieSwifrpay oOl t^xee. But 
^^ there is a particular reafbn for it, whkh confirms the mle^ 
*^ In thsfe barien mountains provi^ons are Co dear» and th^ 
<^ conatry fo popnilotts» that a Swifs pays four times as much to 
*' natifrc» as a Turk does to the ftftltan."* If this principlç b« 
ta evident as the author affirms» tl^e confluences to b« 
4mwn from it would confirm my fyftem of faxatien. 

If it were poflibte for England» by means of a continued- 
peace^ by the ^plication of the finking fund» and an increafc 
of Commerce» to difcharge almoft all the national debt» it ought 
not to bedonCé It wtmld be highly prejudicial to the kingdom 
AOt to preferve fisrty millions at lead of theie fi<^tious trea- 
aires. The ufe and neceffity of it has been already proved. If 
once the debt were reduced to this fum» parliament ihould 
relieve the nation from whatever taxes appeared the moft butt, 
tiïenfome» and employ the refidue of the finking fund in the 
encouragement of manufaâures» the fettlement of colonie$> and 
in other ufeful enterprifes. A total difcharge of the debt would 
he abfolutely againft the intereft of the nation. I ihall be <^ 
the fane opinion with refpeâ to France» whenever the govprn^ 

• ttxent^' 

f »49 ] 
incflt Ihàll ^ba*e fucceedcd in giving currency to the royal 
fecurities^ aftrf in reftorinrg the faith zxïd credit of thofc fecuritica 
at a lower rate of intereft,. This nright eafilj happen in a few 
years, if, in their future operations of finance, they would 
fofiow die fyftem I propofe. The French miniftry are too well 
informed ftot to know the intrinfic contributive powers of the 
kingdom, and ^a humane to exaét more than its ftrength can 

There feenis to be an eafy way, as ftr as the nature of the 
thing will admit, to form a pidurc or barometer of thefc 
powers, ' by eitecuting the plan laid down* by Lewis XIV. in the 
year i^çSi fût the information of the duke of Burgundy^ 
' ♦ ^^ Ut ordered each of the intendants to draw up a partf-» 
•• ctilar defcriptîon t)f his province,. By this meang an exaft 
^ accomit of the kingdom might have been obtained, and tf 
^* juft enumcratioa of the inhabitants» It was a ufeful work; 
^ though ail the intendants had not the capacity and attention of 
•* Monficur de Lamoîgnan de Bavîlle- Had what the king^ 
** direâed *becn as well executed, in regard to every province, 
•* as^ it was by this magiftrate in his^ account of Languedoc^ 
^ thé coUeâioa would have been one of the moft valuable 
•* monuments of the age. Some of them arc well done ; but 
** the plan was împerfeâ, becaufe all the intendants were not 
^ confined to the fame rules. It were to be wifhed, that each 
•* of them had given, in columns^ the number of inhabitants 
•* in each eleôion ; the nobles, citizens, laborers,, artifans, 
** and mechanics; the cattle of every kind; the good> the 
^ indiflfereht, and the bad lands ; all the clergy, regular and 
^ fecuhr ; their revenues, thofe of the rownis^, and thofe of the 
•*• communities. \ 

** All 

# Age of Lewis XIV. ch. 27^ 

[ MO ] 

*< AU thefc heads, in moft oF their accounts, are confounded; 
«* the feveral articles are not fufficiently examined, nor ftated with 
«/ exacflnefs, and it is often neceflary to fearch with great care and 
«« pains to find what is wanted ; though a minifter ought tohave 
'« thefe things fo difpofed, as to be able inftantly to difcover the 
*' ftrength, the neccflities, and the refources, of his country. 
«« The defign was excellent, and would have bcçn of the greateft 
** fcrvice, had it been executed with judgment and uniformity/* - 
, I agree with Mr. Voltaire in thinking that fuch a plan, well 
executed, would be of confiderable affiftance. But we arc not to 
flatter ourfelves, that it would be poffible to afcertain the for- 
tunes of wealthy individuals refident in cities. The fortune of 
the merchant, and of the citizen, fhould always be a myfl^ry 
.with refpedt to the public. ♦The regifter which has been fb 
much talked of -can never be complete, and in its nature mufl: 
be fubjeiit to a variety of reftriiftions* 

As we have travelled through the whole region of finance, it 
may be proper to fay a word of the clergy. I cannot do better 
than infert what Mr. Voltaire has faid upon the fubjtd, 

•f* *' It is matter of aftonifhment to all Europe, as well as to 
*' France, that the clergy fhould pay fo little, feeing they arc 
<* fuppofed to pofTefs a third of the revenue of the whole 
** kingdom. Were this the cafe, it is pafl difpute that they 
** ought to bear likewife a third of the public charge, which, 
«* one year with another, would come to near thirty millions, 
«» independent of the duties on perifhable commodities, which 
** they pay in common with the refl of the fubjeds. But error 
** and prejudice prevail in almoft every thing. The church is 
*^ fuppofed to p^flefs a third of the whole annual revenue of the 
*^ kingdom; jufl as we fay at random that Paris contains a 

*' million 

* Cadaftrc, 9f . f Age of Lewis XI V. ch, 31. 

r 151 ] 

** million of inhabitants. Were we but to take the trouble of 
•* computing thé revenues of the bifhopricks^ it would appear, 
*^ by the leafes granted about fifty years ago, that their whole 
^f annual amount at that time was not fuppofed to exceed four 
** millions, and the commendatory abbies were rated at four 
** million five hundred thoufand livres* It is true, the declared 
*' eftimate of the leafes was about a third below the real value ^ 
^* and if to this we add the increafe of the landed revenue iince, 
^^ the total fum of the rents of all the confiftorial benefices will 
*' make about fixtcen millions ; but we ought to remember,. 
<^ that a confiderable part of this fum goes yearly to Rome, 
*< and is fo much abfolutely loft to the nation. It muft be 
<< allowed a great inftance of liberality in the king towards the^ 
^* holy fee, to fuflfer it to plunder the ftate of more than four 
** hundred thoufand marks of filver in the fpace of a century y 
*' which, in time, could not fail to impoverifh the kingdom» 
** did not commerce abundantly repair the lofs. 

'^ To thefe benefices, which pay annates to Rome^ we muft 
** join the curacies,, convents, collegiate churches, and all the, 
*' other ecclefiaftical eftablifliments in the kingdom. If we 
<* compute them at fifty millions, yearly upon the whole, I 
^' believe we fhall come pretty near the truth. 

** Thofe, who have examined this matter with the utmoft 
^* feverity and attention, have not been able to extend the 
<* revenues of the whole Gallican church, fecujar and regular, 
" beyond eighty million of livres. The fum is far from being 
** exorbitant, when we confider it as deftined to fupport ninety 
^* thoufand monks and nuns, and about an hundred and fixty 
" thoufand ecclefiaftics, which was the number in 1700. And 
'* of thefe ninety' thoufand monks one third is maintained by 
** alms and mafTes, There are many conventual monks, who do 
^^ not coft their monaftery two hundred livres a year i there are 





[ 151 I 

^ regular abbott/whofe incwne exceeds two hundred thoufand 
*< livres. It k this enormous difproportion that occafions fo many 
*' complaints and murmurs. We are concerned for a country 
^ curate, whofe laborious difcharge of the diHîc6 of his profeffion 
*' entitles him only to a fcanty income of three, four, or five 
^* hundred livres, while a lazy monk, not the lefs lazy for being 
*^ made an abbot, enjoys an immenfe fortune, and exaâs 
^* pompous titles from thofe under his jurifdiâion. Thefe 
*' abufes are much more glaring in Flanders, in Spain, and 
<^ efpecially in - the catholic circles of Germany, where we 
*« fometimes meet with monks who are princes. 

** Abufc^, by degrees, pafs into laws in almoft all countries. 
^ Were a number of the wifcft men to affemble with dèfign to 
^ compofe a body of lawç, what ftate would be fuffered to 
** fubfift exaâiy in its prefent form ?" 

' The fketch I have laid before the reader will, I hope, con- 
vince him that the abufes, which in every country attend the 
colleôion of taxes, are frequently exaggerated, and that the 
means of correding them are not what the public may conceive. 
In the Fourth Chapter I fhall again infift upon the multitude of 
elaflcs which form the.pîcîlure of the ftate, and upon the frequent 
wars which have depopulated Europe. It is in vain to take re- 
ftoratives, rf the convalefcent continues to bleed every day. His 
health and vigor will never be recovered by jellies or cordials. 
This is exadly the cafe of Europe with refpedl to population. 
Modern writers upon population, commerce and taxes, lament 
the evil, and prefcribe analeptics ; but they forget the regimen, 
without which no medicine Can fucceed. The regimen is peace. 
A truth fo' important cannot be too clearly illuftrated, nor 
repeated too often. 


[ «53 ] 

P A R T IV. 

New Confiderations upon the fame SukjeSls^ 

IT has long beeivafErmed» that the king4om of FrancCt though 
enlarged by the ^cquiiition of Frapçhe Comtç» Alface^ Lor* 
raine and French FUnders, h^s not niiore inhahitftnt3 than before 
thofe acquittions were made. We are alfq told that the unequal 
diitributioii of taxes, the coofufion Qccaiipne4 by the Aides and 
Gabelles» the arbitrary land tax> and repair of the high loads» 
are the true and only çaufes of the depopulation of France i and 
that» in confequence oï taxes and oppreffion^ large traâs of 
land, frona which a cçmfiderablQ rçtura was c^lc^ed before the 
reign of Lewis XIV. fre adually uaciillivated. The general 
cry of the natipn cannot be eotirely without foundation. Reafoa» 
conunon fenjfe, ai^d experience, tell us, that, when the hvifn 
bandman is opprefîedi and the cuUiyation of the foil coAs fo 
much that thie produce is hardly f^ifix^ient to maintain him, J^e 
is compelled to ab^don it* Jt is a general complaint, that all 
the duties impoTed upçq. the t.ranJ[portation of commodities from 
one provimpe to anothpfj. a^ wdi as upon exportation at tb» 
çuûom^houfe, ^^ .fj> mwf fettera laid upon fak and QOOrf 
(lunption, and nwft ^imiuUh the revfiûue by the yeiy ii»eftA« 
employed to improve it. 

.Withûiit. doubt tt$fç is a greadtdeal of truth in thf&jocHnr 
plaisrts* JIw yexftficms th«y refer to muft haare cootf ifeufôd il 

pap^ «a <h* wèftf of fo tamh land; fciit I caoftot peffijftdf 

X myfclf 


£ 154 ] 
myfclf that th^y were the principal caufe of it. It mufl: rather 
be attributed to a fuddcn failure of confumption, arifing from a 
violent and continued depopulation. This depopulatioa has 
proceeded , chjefly from .the long wars which Lewis XIV. 
carried on with armies much more numerous than ever were 
kept up by any of his predecellbrs. Since that period, a fingle 
campaign deftrdys more il^en than three campaigns in the time 
of Harry IV. The marine, navigation, and the colonies, 
jM'event the progrefs of population. The revocation of the 
cdiû of Nantz, want of toleration, the multitude of religious 
^ both fexes, and exceflive luxury, have done the reft. Wars 
and colonies have alfo depopulated England, but not in the 
ûmc proportion, i"*, Becaufe the refugees have in fome mea-^ 
iiire repai^red the breach, 2^* Becaufe there are fewer unmarried 
pcrfons. 3% Becaufe their armies, befides being lefs numerous/ 
have been compofed of foreigners. In fpite of thefe advantages* 
depopulation begins to be felt in England. Projeds to prevent^ 
it fignify nothing. The great mifchief is not to be repaired 
but by time and a continued peace, without which every other 
expedient will be found infufficient, ufelefs, or imprafticable. 

France and England nre as rich in land and money as they can 
be. Their wealth and power can receive no addition, but by 
collcding their ftrength towards the centre of the ftate. Con- 
fumption increafes circulation. A greater circulation creates 
new property, arid gives life to all the riches of the ftate. A 
million of fubj efts more, fettled in Great Britain, would add 
more to the revenue of the nation, and of the exchequer, and to 
the power of the fovereign, than all the produce of Canada and 
the colonies. France could maintain three or four millions more 
inhabitants. The circulation, produced by this increafè of 
confumption, would be more profitable to ^ the fovereign than 


[ 155 J 

the poffeflion of Mexico and Peru, The circulation of ipecic 
quickens rapidly as it pafles through the inferior ranks* It 
is the great confumption of the multitude that enlarges the 
revenue. That part of the people in France has been dimi-*- 
nifhed by wars, and want of toleration. Taxes have height- 
ened the mifchief, and made it more fcnfibly felt ; but they 
were not the caufe of it. The wars of Lewis XIV. and the 
revocation of the cdidt of Nantz, have coft more men than 
all the wars of the two preceding centuries. The depopulation 
of Germany will be felt in France "knd England, as well with 
refpe^ to commerce, as to manufa6lures. Thefe are loffcs which 
a whole century cannot repair. Monfieur Voltaire has obferved 
upon this fubje<a, '' That Sir William Petty had proved, that for 
*^ a nation to increafe one twentieth in a hundred years required 
•* the moft favorable circumftances. His calculation fhow* 
'^ thé folly of writers who people the earth with a ftroke of 
*^ their pen, and in a century or two cover the globe with inha-^ 
^ bitants. If it be afked. Why there is a third more people in 
*^ England now, than in the time of Queen Elizabeth ? the 
*' anfwer is exaftly, Bccaufe England has been in the moft 
"*' favorable circumftances ; becaufe multitudes of Germans, 
** Flcmifh, and French, have eftablifhed themfelves in the 
" country ; becaufe it is computed, that fixty thoufand monks, 
^ ten thoufand nuns, and ten thoufand fecular priefts, have been 
*^ rcftored to propagation, and to the ftate ; and becaufe popu- 
^* lation has been encouraged by plenty. The reverfe of what 
** we obferve in the pope's territory and Portugal has happened 
'^ in England. Govern your farm-yard ill, and you will have 
•' ne poultry. Govern it well, and you will have poultry in 
<* abundance.** 

X 2 Population 

[ ^S<5 1 

PopâktKMi «k «ot the ^ork of a day^ It may be cncopir^tgcnf 
iTi time ^ peace ; -but contiauad wars, in tl>e modcra flyl^ «4U 
4efeat every meagre that the wifeâ: acknimAradon caa |)aâU)lf 
,0aèfAoy for this important purpo(e« 

{ have lately iben a very Scarce and curious hook, «caHed 
^ JPet^ of France under the prefent Rcigriy printed at Bcttâèk 
in tj\2. ft was written aboit the end of the isUl centiuy^ 
and printed «t RxKien in i^8*^ Tliis work is 4^ttri^i<ed 
«e Bok G\iiUebcrt, aUoroey^gemeral ia «be ^rliaaient of 
Roaen* It contains the iubûaoce of Monûeurde Miraheaa't 
Theory xvf Taxation^ the retnooilranoes niade by the |)arlMH 
Mdâti^ aud all the viûonary projeâs of ikuncet with wbech 
F?ai>ce dias been over-run/ qpon the fub^ed of taxe% 
4«tie8, cuftoms» agriculture, &c. I ihall begin my remark* 
^Mfnoit it with one preliminary obiervation. Thoogh: wirhton 
4>efbre t^ofe calamities» which attended the latter part of Lew«i 
the XlVth's reign^ it rçpreiènts the kingdom: as then 4ipoa the 
¥er|;e of deftruâiom Seventy years have iioce elipfed» and im 
the coarie of that tiose there has been « period^ under the admi^ 
liiftration of Cardinal Fkury, at wliich commerce was carried 
to its greatefl extent, and every thing flourlihed ia the kkig^ 
dom* Of three wars, whkh have happened within the lail 
feventy years, the fécond was ruinous, tbo^i^h accoaa^panied 
with briHiant fuccefles j the third was very unfortcinatev And 
yet I am convinced that France, after all her diiafters, is Jiot in 
a worfe condition than in the year 1 69S, when <be book ^VR 
firft publifhed i though (letting aiide the co0|ueils) the ib^ of 
the kingdom may perhaps be worfe thank was in the yeaf 1^0. 



m The titleofche Rouen edition is^ DetMildf Framt^ or BffafêntbêCa^^ tlm 
Diminution of the Property of the Kingdom^ and the Means of correifing it* There 
was another edition much enlarged in 1707, and a third in 17089 under the 
title of Political Tejlamnt of Marflial Vauban^ without naming where it was 
printed»— ^«/i^^r» 

C >5? î 

fWt ofliwabu(ês> pardjcttladf the «liitrtry land^ax^ ha?e been 
^i^errefteât though k it imt katdyuat tfac jmlniftry hftv« bcea 
iedo^ifiy «eo»^}^ m going to the Jbottom of tho^ ve^catîons» 
'>v(4iic(i Aof> the ptogi^ of agrkidtnre tod i)Oininerce.. /The 
HMftAires^ thc^ ftK now taking wiU^ I MieM^ tn tinne^ jprednce 
i}6éââerii^ adimi^tvges ; but I affirm «h^ vrithput a lafti^i; pt^Q( 
40 eiicd«#age {>opulaci(m9 vrhtch of idblf mcmufes iC<m^iiiftio% 
^ènd éf <MU'€e mvCft quicken ckoaliilîan^ aU the «opecKeftl» <h^ 
rati aâo|)t ivill d^gi^e m momeittary irohuring; <o thif iuuiacew 
Tiye4eûtuAîv« «Pj^fkiii) ùti \iliich var has hâtA oaerîrtd oe b^th 
^"feaanfl laiK[> ifince^tfae^çad «f aie iaft xrenâtry, i$ ih^ ^rtip 
fnitriordial fooros ^^e^opûlstion. TÂit ibj& t>f cooâioapCkis)^ 
'that forllows it, lefieQg (he rdadve jremnne of the ^bverdgii, .aA4 
^e ftrength of <fie mition» If it urare miA for Due faAAtiotw «k^ 
Cèktion ereafteë 4^ }mds> the ravages ^wàr» add reUgjiou» 
*f^fecut^, M^hieh hwt dme Xot owch mtâdbtef . t9 popiitetiaA 
and -agncHltiiire, wodd bare been &AI motb {dRBkAy MU Ltt 
trs eoiiâder 4^î6 -Mypotftant qnébim a^atin, ipod tucB «t ia >e¥ary 
peffihle fhajpe. W^e caoivait ^exarame it irifh iOQ much attoatioo. 
. We vie ^vith each ether in poaifing the Duikfi of SttUj^j abd 
God forbid I fhould undervalue the dtftifi^^utibied inherit, of th^ 
gi^eat trmi^ Yet j(t omR|^ to be conâddred, that hi^ uptight in* 
tentfoni '\fi3re afliftad hy <:hxumftaEBoeB> ^ w^ch the n^ttifteis 
wW fucc^eded him hiod «nut the advantag^^ 

{^'ranQe» jfaft f dieved from the hocrora t)f a civU ivar> was in 
the fituaiâôn of 4k fdbdk and vigorous ycimg <fti&an, who^ after a 
violent fit of fickntdfe, tfoapes ifrom the jaws «if dea^ with ne^ 
flretigth, and «healâiier ca»ftftQti«a». The «ki^gdiiffia ha4 not 
been impo^^riiAked, Ixcaufe theisriurs hzd been catiâed en chiefly 
within thd ^^oontry^ m étimedtately upem the froatiers» and 
wiâi Ikiadl anaies, âpa», i&xttdcr .toiîq^tnopt thib h»gM, had 


r '58 1 

fpent money enough in France to enrich the kirigdom* iThe 
Huguenots had drawn large quantities of plate out of the 
churches and monafteries, which was coined and circulated. 
The feeds of opulence exifted every where. To unfold and 
bring them forward, required nothing but peace and a prudent 
adminiftration. Sully correded the abufes which oppofed this 
falutary work, and gave life to every branch of adminiftration. 
The wants \yere inconfiderable, the refources were copious, and 
he availed himfelf of them all. The fplendor of his adniinif- 
tration glitters to this day, and will never be eclipfed in the eyes 
qf pofterity. . But it would be unjuft to expe6l that his fuc- 
•ceflbrs, under circumftances. of greater difficulty, (hould make 
an equal progirefs in the iaxne time. France was like a beautiful 
^oman ill drefTed, who wanted nothing but a better habit to 
appear with diftinâion. Harry IV. had none of that pomp 
which now is thought eflential to the luftre of the crown, 
Vcrfailles, Marli, Bellevue, which have fwallowed up Co much 
money, were not then in exiftence. The wants of government 
are multiplied fince that time. When ficknefs and frequent 
bleeding have weakened the conftitution, it is with difficulty 
the convalefcent recovers. 

It is alfo to be obferved that, according to the Detail of France, 
Cardinal Richelieu, who foon fucceeded Sully, made an equal pro- 
grefs in improving the finances; the king*s revenue having doubled! 
under the Cardinal's adminiftration. He was far frompofleffing 
the merit of Sully, but the nerve of the ftate was ftill in its vigor. 
Su/fy had /hown what it was capable of performing. We fliould 
apply to him what Montefquiéu f^iys of Richelieu, ^^ He drew 
** the principles of the monarchy out of chaos, taught France the 
*' fecret of her ftrength, and Spain the fecret of her weakncfs.'* 
In fpite of abufes of adminiftration, the progrefs of improvement 


{ 159 I 

ai>peared more and more, until the work was completed hy Colbert. 
This was the period of the higheft prçfperity to France. From 
that time, the kingdom infcnfibly loft its ftrength by abufing it, 
in the midft, and even in confequence, of the nioft brilliant 
(ucGefles. They were purchafed with the lofs of fo many men, 
th%t the fovereign, though conftantly enlarging his dominion, and 
extendjing his frontiers, did not increafe the number of his fubjeds, 


Land loft its value more and more, for want of cultivation and 
co'nfumption» In thefe circumftances every tax upon land had z, 
fatal eiFea i and if commerce and the circiilation of government 
fecuritics had not, in fome meafure, repaired the mifchief, the 
kingdom would really have been reduced to that deplorable con- 
dition in which it has been defcribed» The picture, now too much 
loaded, would then have been true. The fad is, that France has 
not increased, her power in proportion to her conquefts ; that the 
opprefllpn of the hu^andman, and the difficulties impofed upon 
commerce^ both foreign and domeftic^ augment the evil ; that 
failure of credit, in borrowing money, has made the matter 
worfe^ that the circulation, which ftill fubfifts, in fome degree 
repairs the mifchief ; that thefe abufcs may and ought to be 
correâed ; but that, without a continued peace, no remedy can 
be eiïeûual« 

. I find, in the Detail of France, the fame principle which I 
tiave already refuted ; that all revenue is reduced to the territorial 
produce. This work, however contains many excellent obferva- 
tions, though disfigured by exaggeration, or improperly applied. 
The author itt% every objeft with a microfcopic eye, and by 
conftantly niixing error with truth, dcftroys the utility of his 
w.ork« It may be true, that the mode of levying a tax (whe- 
ther land lajCf wine duty, orcuftoms) may be more grievous 
ihao the tax itfelf i and thefe oppreffions may be copfidered as 


r l6a J 

one rcafon why large trafts of land, which formerly made A 
great return, are now left uncultivated. The confequ^icet 
extend to confumption and commerce, and even to population. 

The author pretends that, in the year 1696, France had 
already lofl half her wealth, and that the natioQal revenue was 
lefs by five hundred naillions than it was forty years before. Ho 
obferves that, from the death of Charles VIL in 1461 to tho 
year 1660, the revenues of the kingdom had gradually doubled 
every thirty years; whereas it would appear that, fince the 
year 1660, the king's revenue had only increafed about a 
third, (even including the conquefts, all which pay a complete 
tithe to government) and that the national revenue had not qaite 
increafed in the proportion of one half. He affirms, that anj^ 
diminution in the revenue of land always occafions a diminution 
in the revenue of induftry^ The caufe of die ruin of confump* 
tion, fays he, is the only point we need enquire into. Two 
things eflentialïy contribute to it ; the tmcertainty of the land' 
ta)c, and the duties paid not only upon exportation at the cu(lom«» 
houfe, but upon conveyance from one province to another 
within the kingdom. Internal confumption dtminiâies, exporta^ 
tion is impoftible, and the produce of the earth perîâiee on the 
fpot where it grew. They, who by . their employaient are 
exempt from land tax, fling the whole burthen upon the mer- 
chant and mechanic, who have no fund but their induftry. 
The author proves, by arguments equally ibiid and ingenietiSi^ 
that the loft reverts even upon the pcrfoi» who arc exemptttd# 
He does not blame the taxes fo much 2ts the mode of coHeâing 
them. He lays it down as a principle, that confamp^on and 
revenue are the fame, confequently that any check to ooniump^ 
tion is k)fs of revenue. The prmciple i« true ; but his applica* 
tion of it is delEeflive, beemie £e eenfiders nothing but the ibiU 


In Tiîs eyes nothing elfe has an exiftence. ^Bating a few e*ag- 
geration'Sy all that he fays is literally true \vith refpeâ Co 
cultivation^ the produce of which might however be reduced 
to one half^ without the whole kingdom*» declining in the iame 
proportion. He is deceived in thinking, that àbufes are the 
only caufe of depopulation. Long wars are the principal occafion 
of it. I believe hé exaggerates in faying, that a duty, which 
only produces a hundred thoufand livres to the king, deflroys a 
confumptibh equal to two millions upon the price or the quan- 
tity. - This, in faâ, meahs a diminution of two millions in 
revenue. ** Air the provinces (fays he) lofé for want of a 
*' commercial intercourfc with each other, and confumptioa 
*' becomes îm'praâicable/^ This abufe undoubtedly was of a 
moft grleVous nature; his tvhole argument upon the fubjeâ is 
clear arid (atisfaâory. - 

' Some of his principles are not fo evident. He fàyî, for 
indarice, thaH it is beyond contradidion, that a diminution in the 
revenue 6f land has diminifhcd the revenue of induftry. Thç 
principle is hot uriiverfally true. In Holland and Switzerland 
the barrénnèfs of the foil has improved the induftry and reve- 
nue of the inhabitants; I màké thig obfervation, by the bye, 
to fhow the fallacy of general rules. The author faw that, 


from a concurrence of various circumftances, the province of 
Normandy and the eledion of Mantes were fallen to decay ; 
and that taxes, provincial duties, and other exactions, were the 
principal caufe of it. He was ftruck with feveral abftraa 
truths refpeâing circulation, confumption^ the conneâion of 
interefls, arid focial harmony of all the orders of the flate. He 
compared the hiftory of the preceding century with that of his- 
own; and all theie ideas, feparately true in themfelves, mixed 
iridi die Mai of patrioti{m> and fermented in his mind. The 

Y volume 


/ ' 

volume bf evtry objc<3: fwcUed in hîs view beyond its folid 
Aibftance. He «xa^geraces every things and with the fareft 
principles and deepeft knowledge mifleads the underfttnding. 
His idea of the general ftate o£ the kingdom was colleâed from 
what he faw in Normandy, and the eleâion of Mantes. He 
ùysy that the difficulty of communication between one pro** 
vincer and another has fank the value of their refpeâive produce, 
at the fame time that duties upon exportation have annihilated 
commerce, aod impoveriihed the kingdonx All this may, in 
fome degree, be true ; but to pretend ^t it has diminished the 
revenue of the kingdom one half, that it has . oecaûoned an 
annual lo&o£^fbeen hundred milEoAS, befides deftroying millions 
^f fut^eâs, and that all this may be recovered in fiMir^^md- 
twenty hôiif s> and with a few days labor, is to the laft degre* 
extravagant* Writers, who have followed him in treadng the 
fame fiibjeâ:, have ^tened his exaggeraticns, which time had 
tùhfàtéd I ytt ttill th^ almoft all ^o too £ar, not beiitg, aUe td 
renounce their firft falfe principle, teal every tbing is nmpri^ 
AenJed in the territùrial frodkce ; nor confideidng, that incceffivc 
w«ir8 huMe been the chief caufe of lispopulatiion, and chxt con<^ 
fumption jof conrie diminilhed for want of consumers* Yet 
there ate a number df fine and u&fui remirks in thi^* wi^rk, 
provided we confine them to their true value; The author had 
a tolerably clear idea <$f circulation ; yet even this he carria too 
far» He fays, iov iiiftanee, that a hundred crowns, taken from 
the laborer fof the cxpcnct! of colk6Hon, create a loft of five or 
da thoufand livres to the body of the Aate. He repeatedl/ 
aâertSi that in his time the revenues of France had funk above 
fifteen hmidréd millions in the fpace of forty years ; whepâas thé* 
încreafe of revenue t» the fovcreign, which oôcaÛoned «haelofs^^ 
was not more than a^ hundred millions. All this proves to<i^ 


r i63 3 

miiclu IfiA izâ there be fuch qntntities of land in Frincf 
entirely defitrted becaufctfae produeedoe&not aiifwer the expence 
of cultt?àtion> I believe that means might be £Qund to cultivate 
it on the king's accoom. I am furpn&d, that nobody baa yet 
ierioii% tfaooght of carrying fuch a prc^eâ into executien.« It 
would appear pet^ps.tDL he the omft^benefictsd and prtâicab)? 
fcheme that has yet:lnseii imagined. . The (^ration of a Uvr 
jnilltona empV^^ed by the king in reinAatîng h\» own fub)e4l3^ 
who arc reduced to mifery, aûd in fcoiriflg a portjpe ^f property 
to foreigners^ would âiortjy be UHu AiHAed by pegçf 9a4 
comoieœe» it would &>ùn reilorc populations conjIUmption» . |ia4 
circulation» revive the jparalytk hrao$:hes of the ilate» ^nd "in % 
£0W years confidepably increafe the revenue of the fovereigp» ytt 
Icâen the burthen of taxes. Such a ^an of agiicultuje p^ighf: 
be execmicd in Eu^bnd Avitb Aill greater e^.^nd fi^peditAoft* 
In France there are moce ol^cles to be removed* The n?bbtÂi 
of dd radaa wonid at £ril. i^etard . the conftfuaio)^ of a new 
buildiiïg. âU diâkuliies of coas^mitaieajûoiii betweei> tfa^ 
provinces^ all checks upon exportatipn>.£bouid be previoufly 
removed. The oppreffioiis heaped lupoa ûtt ^rmer Q^ou^cçs^ 
The privikgCjB^ as well as the pdrcperty\gran/teA to foreignçra^ 
iltouM be firmly fecttred« :A plan of this aature mfty be reckoned 
among the number of politkal vifions, Yct,^«ne cf my readers 
may be fcnfibie: of the value of it, eipetially when they pbferve 
the ûiccefis it has ali^eaidy had in the fbUowing exao^^de. Frer- 
derick William of Pruiiia formed the projeâ, and had the good 
fortune to carry it into executions Jiis couAtry was a vaft deiert. 
With an expeoce of only twelve millions k£ florins he cleared 
the land» built vilbges^ and filled them with iiihabiiafits. He 
brought wbofe iamiiii^ fnocn Suabia and.Fraoconià. He invited 
emigriuits from Satezbourg^ and inj^lied theqi with the. means 

Y a of 

[ 164 1 

of fettling, and whh implements of labor. He farmed a. new 
ftate, which gave him a new power* Europe has felt the 
weight of it, without profiting by the example. Such an 
inijtance is worth more than a hundred treatifes upon agriculture 
and finance. The Englifh have done the fame, in many parts of 
America, that Frederick William did in Europe, with Angular 
advantages to the nation. The premature population of the 
colonies has not much weakened Great Britain, becaufe the 
Engliâi have had accidents in their favor. The muhitude of 
refugees who fettled in England after the revocation of the ediâ 
of Nantz, as well as of emigrants from Germany and elfewhere» 
enabled them to people their colonies without depopulating the 
another country. Yet if, on die Pruflian plan, they had begun 
by improving the whole of their foil in Europe, and encouraged 
population as far as the extent of their territory and commercial 
advantages might admit, I believe their power would have been 
fixed upon a more folid foundation. The fab^uent fettlement 
of colonies would have proceeded with fo much the more rapidity, 
as the kingdom would then have men to fpare, and wanted a 
"vent for the furplus of its fubjeâs. England and France may 
yet be in this fituation^ if the divine fyftem of peace fhotild pre- 
vail through the principal courts of Europe. In the mean time 
it is abfurd to deny, that the English derive effential advantages 
from their colonies. The apprehcnfion, that the American 
colonies may one day become independent of the mother coun- 
try, is, for the prefent, a mere chimera. That event at leaft 
can only be looked forward to in a very diftant pcrfpeftive. 
Exclufive of the example of the Spaniards, who have long been 
the fubjeâ of thefe gratuitous prediâioos, it is certain that the 
Englifli colonies can never enter into alliances dangerous to the 
mother country, as vvell from the coaneâion. of their intereft 


with Great Britain^ as from the fpirit of jcaloufy and rîvalfhip^ 
which prevails among themfelvcs. None of thefe countries 
feparately can ever arrive at independence, and to unite them is 
impoffible. With a moderate degree of confiftcncy in the 
adminiftration at home. Great Britain will long preferve hejr 
authority over thefe vaft eftablifliments. In theory they may 
perplex the politician, but the management of them in faâ will 
eaûly be compaiTed by a prudent government. From this di- 
grefEpn, which I thought material, I now return to the attorney 
general of Rouen. 

His account of the finances of France is extreçiely curious. 
He fays that, after the death of Francis L Catharine of Medicis, 
who loved pomp and luxury, fent for Italians to adminifter the 
king's revenues, and that the fcience of finance and raifing 
money by loans , was taught by thofe people. They were ba- 
niihed by Sulfy, recalled by Mary qfMediw^ fct afidc by Ricie/jifUp 
and after his de^th appeared upon the ftage again. The parallels 
drawn by the author between different periods preceding the 
reign of the financiers, and particularly fome hiftorical re- 
marks upon the time of Francis I. are plaufible and (educing. 
He attributes every thing to a fingle caufe, as Defcartes ex- 
plains all difficulties with the help of fubtle matter. Yet he 
condefcends to admit that Francis L had not quite fuch nume- 
rous armies as are maintained at prefent. Is it not ridiculous and 
extravagant to compare the neceffities of the ftate and the luftre 
of the crown, in the reign of that monarch, with the prefent 
condition of the kingdom ? (i.) 


( I.) During the reign of Lewis XIV. the fplendor, which Airrounded the throne 
^d perfon of the monarch, fupported the pride and courage of the people for 
a long jtimç after ih^ real foundation of national pride and courage was removed.- 


[ i66 ] 

' Nothing can bç more judkious, nor profoûnA, than his 
remarks upon the exportation of corn. He proves that, the 
more corn is carried out of France, the lefa reafon there will 
ever be to apprehend any extreme (carcity ; and that the very 
^w price of corn is a fign of îndigeftion in the ftatc, art- 
Cng from too great an abundance, and prejtidicial to every 
Tdiîk of life. It is a worm that gnaws, and gradually under*- 
mines the ftate. What he fays on this article is deep in 
îtfelf, and has been confirmed by the experience of France 
and England. The fubject now engages the whde attention 
of the Fcench miniftry, and I bdievîe xvouM have done 
fo long ago, if trutli had been represented with lefs heat, and 
not jpufhed to an absurdity i as, for inftanc6, where he fays that 
abufeS in thëfe bfanches^ in the firft inftance, occafioned a real 
lofs to the kingdom of five hundred millions, and that the lofs 
éovv îs treble what it was at firft. Exaggerations of this nature 
have fpoiled a piâure in itfelf true and alFeéking. The fame 
dcfeâ prevails through all the writings that have been copied 


The French foldier, wha had never feen a Louis d'or, felt a noble compenfatioft 
jfor "his poverty, in the fpirit of faying^ / have the honor to le a Prenchmaru Since 
that thne, the ftate of France has fufïered a woeful reéuâion. The pride of na- 
tional faperîoritj is gone, and the French monarch does not know what be has Ioft« 
No man now fays^ / have the honor to be a FrencJ)man* The cbaraâer of the 
people is altered, not fo much by private diftrefs, though univerfal, as by the 
mortifying fenfe of Rational degradation. The French are aâually the graveft 
people in Europe ; and, what is not always applicable to their deportment, they 
have good reafon for being to. Yet their ingenuity finds a faîvo for their vanityi 
When diftrefs has driven a Frenchman to lay down his coach, and walk the 
ftreets in a frock, he calls it a philofophical imitation of Englifh ilmplicity ^ and» 
when yoti fee defpair painted in his countenance, be tells you, with a politenefs 
Tery expreffive of condefcenfion, that Engliih gravity is becomings and chat a 
wife^^mn may profit by the example of his inferiors* B«t this is a wrttdied larce^ 
which no degree of vanity can long fupport* He finks under his fituation^ and in 
every inftance yields the precedence to the Engliih*— oTr^^^/ar* 

[ i67 ] 
Upon this work. An empirical way of reprefcnting the difordcr 
has probably retarded the application of a remedy. They affign 
only one caufe for an evil, that fprings from a complication of 
diforders. The chief of thefe are frequent wars, and the new 
method of conducting them. By this kind of empiricifrti, in- 
ilead of healing the wound, they only encourage the patient to 
expofe himfelf to the fame dangers i they inflame the diforder, 
and make the cure of it impoffible. The true cure confifts in a 
regimen, without which no other remedy can operate; and that 
regimen is peace. 

Violent exaggerations being always contradiéted by experience^ 
even truth itfelf at laft is fufpc<fted, and paffes for fpeculation. 
If a Spanifli or Portugucfc Jew, fettled at Conftantinople or 
Amfterdam, ihould affirm, that the unjuft expulfion of the 
people of his religion out of Spain had done great nufchief to 
that kingdom as well as to Portugal, he certainly would have 
rcafon on his fide. The Jews in Spain and Portugal were a very 
innocent fet of people, quiet iubjctSts, and ufeful citisiens to the 
ilate. They were very numerous, and kept induftry and com- 
merce alive. Many of them were men of learning, and much 
refpeéted. They had even been admitted to a fhare in the 
adminiftration. Alphonfus the Fifth of Portugfil tr^iftcd Abar^ 
band with the moft important empl^^mient, and was Served by 
him with zeal, honor, and ability. Our Jew might add, with 
ftrid truth, that the expulfion of thefe people dootributed to 
depopulate Spain and Portugal. He might even obferve, that 
particular cities were ruined by it. All this is very poi&ble j 
but if his enthuiiafm carried him fo far beyond the line of truth 
as to affirm, that the violence oflfered to the Jews was the filiglc 
and only caufe of the depopulation of Spain, the afleMiofi would 
be too abfurd to be fupported. This is exaftly the way of rea-* 

( foning 

[ i68 ] 

fonîhg of the attorney-general of Rouen^ He judged of the 
whole kingdom of France from what he faw in a particular pro- 
vince, where the effeâ of fifcal abufbs might perhaps have beea 
more fenfibly obferved. His enthufiafm has carried him as far 
beyond the truth as our honeft Ifraelite's realbning about Spain^ 
The prodigious devaftation of that kingdom arifes from the 
baniihment of the Jews, the difcovery of America, the expul- 
iion of the Moors, the multitude of religious orders, and the 
frequent wars carried on by Charles V. and his fucccfTors. To 
reduce all thefecaufes to one, is falfe and ridiculous.. A refugee 
might truly affirm, that the maflacre of St. Bartholomew, and 
thé révocation of the cdi(i of Nantes,^ have been very prejudicial 
to population, conMnerce, and induftry, in France. The fa(St 
is unqueflionable ; but it would be equally falfe and ridiculous 
to pretend, that thefe events alone occafioned the decline of the 
kingdom. The vexations heaped upon the farmer may have 
contributed to it in fome meafure, though not fa much as the 
revocation of the ediâ of Nantes, nor any thing like fo much 
as the author pretends. Exceffive luxury does its part, and 
monaftic orders contribute not a little. But it i» the continued 
fucceffîon of bloody wars that has been the immediate, effîciear 
caufe of the depopulation of France. Spain,, from a number of 
peculiar circumftances, is flill more depopulated. A variety of 
€aufes may concur in producing the fame effedl. A man, who 
obferves only one of them, is dazzled by the fingle objeét before 
him. With one general folution he accounts for every appear- 
ance, and leads himfelf infenûbly to the mofi: abfurd con- 

A judiciojjs reader, who corrcâs the errors of exaggeration, 
will find in this work a number of curious, ufeful, and folid 
obfervations. It is a pity that an author, who fets out with true 




f X69 1 

prificîples^ and the moil fublimc ideas^ /hould be led aftray hy 
enthufiafm. I am inclined to thinks that fucceeding writers 
upon tbe famefubjed have Paid nothing material, ihat may not 
be found in bis treatife.. It is true^ that> in the difcnffion of 
exadly the fame queftions, it is hardly poffible that the ideas of 
different -authors fhould not fometimes eoncw» Of all the' 
v^^ritings I have fecn> no one comes {o near as this to my own 
ideas of circulation • In truth, he is the only author who feems 
to mo to have had a clear conception of the fubjeft. All the 
ether writers, I have feen, wander from the mark* Yet it is 
poffible there may be many excellent performances, which have 
not éome to my knowledge,. I have always confined myfelf to 
^n attentive obfervation of faéts,. and to my own meditations. 
After I had committed my firfl ideas to writing, I looked for 
farther inftruftion from books. My labors, I hope, will not be 
wholly unprofitabfe. The welfare of mankind is my objed. I 
have no vie w. to intereft or r-eputation. My career is almoft 
ended, and the world has loft its charms. All I wifh, is to 
leave it with tranquillity. But to return to my fubjed. 

The moft exaft juftice in the diftfibution of taxes in the 

interior of the kingdom, and the care to be taken not to cftabliih 

*cxpenfive offices of colleôion for the fake of a trifling revenue,. 

are objedts of fuch importance, that I perfuade myfelf fome 

remedy mull nave been thought of in all the time fince abufes 

in thefc matters have been complained of. We have feen a 

v^retch, 'who had tiothing but his hands to fupport himfelf and 

his family, reduced to fuch mifery as to be obliged to fell even 

the tools with which he earned his fcrbfiftence. The author of 

the £)ef ail of France z&Ttnt, ihat it was matter of public noto- 

' rièty/ that thefe abufes occafioned the annual lofs of three hun- 

' droâ tkoniànd ftmls^/that periflied in mifery, particularly infants; 

* Z that 

[ 170 3 

that there was riot fubfiftence for half the child rch of the poor 
at that age. The mother extenuated with labor and want of 
nourifhmenty the infant periihing at the bread for want of milk^ 
and even thofe of a more advanced age^ having nothing to live 
on but bread and wateri without bedding, clothes, or medicine 
in cafe of ficknefs, were all involved in the fame wrctchednefs» 
and funk under it. If, in (lead of three hundred thoufand, only 
twenty thoufand fouls were annually loft, what glory would it 
be to a fovereign, what plcafure, what happincfs, to be able to 
relieve fo many complicated diftrcffes ! — To be the father^ t!ie 
tutelar god of the unfortunate, and toreftorc them to happineisj 
this is the only real charm that can alleviate the burthen of a 
crown. I (hould think as I do, if all the expence were to be 
loft to the fovereign, without any return to his revenue; hut the 
happinefs of his people; how much more fof when his own 
intereft equally invites him to it! The fame operation, that 
relieved the fubjcft, would give wealth and power to the 

The author, feniible of theeffed: of circulation» judicioufly 
obferves that a crown» taken frpm a man of fortune» is never 
(he ihould Have (Aà/eldom) any more than a crown, as well with 
refpeâ to the individual, as to the body of the ftate ; whereas^ 
if taken from the indigent laborer, or little trâdefman, it anni^ 
hilates at one ftroke a confumption equal to a hundred crowns in 
the courfc of a year. Among that clafs of people, every thing 
perhaps turns upon the fingle crown. This little fum, conftantly 
reviving from one hand to another, conftitutes all their circula-- 
tion. If all his calculations were as exaâ as this, he would not 
have computed the annual lofs of the ftate at fifteen hundred 
millions. Notwithftanding all the correâions added to it, the 
fum is too extravagant. If the tenth part of the money» fycut 


[ 171 I 

)>y Sovereign pçînccs.ia deftroying mankÎQd, (oat of which 
z hundre^y or two hundred individuals^ may perhaps make 
their fort^nes) , were applied» for ten years together, in pro- 
mptii^ the happincfs of their own fubjedls, and of foreign 
iettlerSy who inight be willing to employ their ilrength and 
ioduiUy in -the improvement of the fbi]> population would 
ieoiiblytrecoverj the e^rth would be cultivated, and manufaâures 
encour^gfïd. The king's revenue^ even with a diminution of 
taxe$> could not fail of improving cpn£derably from the pro* 
4igioii$ irbcrea^e of conjjjmption, and the quickening of circu- 
lât jioA; through eypry order of the ftate« 

A& loog as the Aate of Europe bears any refemblance to its 
fabulous origpui^ depopula^tiq^ v^ill continue to be felt. In vain 
niay- Cadtnus fow t\ke. dragc^i's tee.thj if ihe children of the 
earth are to rife in arms, and employ them in deflroying one 
another* Princes». as well as individuals, look, for happinefs 
and advapcoiaaent at a diAance, when perhaps they might find 
both one and the other at home. Real power is only to be 
acquir<e4 by liviag in peace with our neighbours, and pre£brving 
order and tranquillity among ourfelves. 

^ A new work has lately appeared, called the Rurû/ Pbilofopber^ 
in which there arie £>me very fine obfervations, though clouded 
by the epitbufiafcB of agriculture* The. author's whole argument 
turtis upon the fame fali^ principle, which I have already refuted 
in thç other Treafife* . Every thing is confined to the territorial 
produce. This is, his motto> and the burthen of his fong. In 
\àfi opiniez all the red is fallacy and ruin. Annuitants are 
nothing but devouring wolves. He does them the honor of 
l^acftBg them in the rank of beggars. Maaufaâures are per- 
^icf0us« TAfyàtf is a chioiera. In ihort, it is a mere enthu- 
,ûafpi|,borrQwinf enchanting colors from calculation. Theie ar"- 
bitrary calculations, on fubjedts no way fufceptible of them» 

Z 2 are 

[ 17^ } 

are enough to make reafon itfelf run inftd« Wh^n Menfieur et 
Mirabeau, for iniiance, in fapportiûg hn fyAtni, • finds hknfelf 
embarraâied by faCts» and by the experience of fuch a nation as 
lïolland, he tells us that that country, whcJbJbme people caS 
a natioTtf is only an open faâory, where money tranfaftions are 
carried on upon 43ion>€ntary credit. This is a ftrange way of 
treating a. people, who formerly defended their liberty againft 
the £rft power iji Europe ; who were poworful enough to conquer 
«Imoft all the Spanilh poiTeflions in the£aft Indies as well as thi 
Brazils^ and upon i^ho& resolutions the fate of Europe has 
frequently depended. Without the affîfVance of loans and 
£â.itious xidim, neither England nor the republic tould have 
carried on i> extenûve a commerce as they have done, nor 
iiippjorted fuch enormous expences abroad. Fads and expe- 
4)erieace are for etor at variance with Monfieur de Mirabeau'à 
general roles. In this new treatife he affirms thatv if the 
:3iational debt were carried to fuch an extreme, that the ftate of 
the annuitant (hould be cholen in preference to any other, we 
^might then hid adieu to ail expence; annuités, commerce, 
Jands, every thing would be alienated, every thing would be 
/overthrown, and fall to ruin. Yet it is to be obfcrwd, that land 
in England is better cultivated, and Jias rifen confiderably in value, 
.^nce the national debt has jncreafed the number of annuitants, or 
rather of thofe who have part of their property in annuities, 
and who for the moft part are either men of rank who improve 
their cftates, or capital uMrchants, or wealthy tradefmen. The 
.author pretends to provse, upon evidence offaâ, that annuities 
are .to the profit of him who receives them, and to the detriment 
of him who pays them. 

. ^* lijVhat.cceditablefamily is there that does not confider tta^ 
.*^ the firft ob}eâ, in matter of bufineis, to paycffevery mortgage 


{ m 3 


<< neiklfcnce; aiid do wç' • ne< hear hii» a^rpn, ever ûi^etbis 
*< ïuihappy çuftôifi bas pwY^ilçd,- tfcai^ >f ,^e:/»t his ea^^ he 

"S nvi^ Ji^vp « ]f^^fi^^ % :tlp|(fcçd, cjf H»? -f «yRP«?tf pi^wi «ut at- 

.** intefcftf Tfee jifptîf çh«« ^s, tîîat çw/çry^m^, thiijk» it hi» 
*^ intereft to lonàyhv^ i^ ni^n to tx>n:ow ; th$it aisaïutics 94^e to 
<^ the frofit of hiin who reccivasi and to the prejudice of him 
*f :whQ pays ; and that monçy Itnt at intereA is ruinous to the 
^* b<M:rç^fir« «Wh^tjsver is incoaûâ^ent wîth the intereft of a 
'! fiagle iivaiiiljr» in^ft be equally iocon&ftent with the intereft 
*^ of jJl the famiiliçs jUi a ftate^ The ftate itfelf is only one 
*f great family» fanned by the unioa of fe^erah The feparate 
*^ ruiaof each is tbti aggregate ruin of the nation. The univerib. 
*^ is oneimm^f^ ftate, <:omp9f^d of great families under the litie, 
'' of nations^. The fame cajufes» diat.dcftroy a^nation^r operate 
*.< equally to.the ruin of the world» and pf mankind/' 

This is an admirable fermon» but unluckily it miûês the mark. 
The principle, is not nniTer&Uy true» and the application is 
defeâiye* Money lent at intereft/ fo far from^ injuring the 
borrower» ii of fervick tp thenMrchaftt» and promotes trade. In 
HoUanë, England» and all commierdal countries» many of the 
wealthieft merchants borrow money at three or four per cent, 
and by employing it io tf^dt xobkfi double and triple the profit 
by it« This advahtâige» . which ïmérchants 6rft nfiet with in Hol- 
land» has €ontribatedr!hota little to fistcilitate commerce» and to 
the glory and* wttlfere of itbe (late. ^Monûeur de Mirabeau has 
jko true idea of thefe matters. Thf. ii^r^ of drawing upon a 
correfpondenti. .tkeTÎoteood paid jbimiipr^the cn^ney^ he a(^nces» 
ace^bttaoy tpiuis inie^l^. itifi^^ «p^he adv^agp of the 


V.' .\ 

f »74 J 

borrower. When the father of a familj veft^ ali his: property' In 
annuities, (whieh feldom happens) he then, and only then> may 
be faid to give op all thoughts of bufmefs, and to ai«i at aoc)i{Ag 
but an independent fubfiftence. In that cafe it may be his 
intereft to pay off every debt that incumbers his family. We 
jfee then how much the principle muft be qualified, to make it 
true with refpeâ to individuals. < The application of it to the' 
ilate is abfolutely falfe. That which ruina an individual, does' 
riot always ruin the ftate. The money a man lays out for his 
fhbfiftcnce, or in articles of luxury, does not return again into 
his family; whereas the internal expences of a monarch, or of 
the flate; return into the nation, encourage and improve it» 
The nation in a body pays thcfe expences, or rather lends \ht 
money for its own advantage. With the afliftance of ^ loans a 
war. may be fupportcd by moderate taxes, in comparifon- with 
what the nation would otherwife be obliged to pay, at the lame 
time that the numerary wealth and circulation increafe with the 
debt, as we have already demonflrated« If other obftacles did* 
not lie in the way, we (hould find that both population and 
agriculture would be promoted by that quick and eafy nation 
which loans imprefs upon the fprings of a prudent adminiftration» 
Loans jodicioufly made, and wifely* applied, under favor of 
peace, conftitute the only meani of recovering population» and 
rmproving the foil. 

It is not true that, in the revealed law,- God fcvbida all intereft 
on money borrowed, as u(Urious« That paââge ié the Holy 
Scriptures has never been underftood, and has given occafion to 
many atrocious calumnies agaioft the Jews, which, inftead of 
affeélîng that people, are fo many blafphemics againft the word 
of Go4. In the Hebrew language there ^ arc two cxpreffîons.i 
neffeg^ which fignifies Intereft j and t^rik^ which fignifica Ufury* 


r ^7s ] 

Hew oit^ has Vphaire affirmetl^ that» ia the tnaledi^on» 
pr(HK))snccd by Mofes againft the J^ws^ he threatens theip^ 
that they (hall borrow on ufury» aad not be able to lend on the 
fame terms ? The charge is falfe and fcandalous. In the chap-p 
ter of Benediâipns». the text fays» TJbou Jhalt knd tû dhfrs 
nations^ and thou /halt not borrow. In the chapter of Curfes^ the 
text fays, ^bou Jhalt borrow of divers nations^ and thou Jhalt not 
lend*, without one word of ufury or intereft. I could not avoid 
taking notice of fo grofs a n^iftake. It is truc^ however, that 
among the Jews the rich are forbidden from taking interej^ of 
the fK>or ; but l^ies do^ not qctend the prohibition to people 
of fortune among one aaother,, The Jewifh government wa» 
theocratical» depending n>erely on the cultivation of the foil^ 
which was diftributed among the people with an exaâ equality» 
The legiflature appointed a jubilee for the abolition of debts^ 
and for the reftoration of every, family to the lands they had 
alienated; fc^ut infolvent debtors paid for this advantage with 
the lofs of their liberty» until the period of reftitution arrivodé 
Their political eonftitution is no way applicable to Europe. In 
the fame fpirit Mofes permits the Jews to take intereft of 
Grangers $ but it is abfurd to fay, that ufury was ever com^ 
manded. Lanochry taj}^. ^tffig comes from n^g, and cant 
only fignify Legal Xntereil, which they were permitted to take 
from ftrangcrs. Tarbit fignifies Augmentation, or Ufury, which. 
God nerver commaoikd his people to exaû.: A reproach of this 
kind is blafphemy in the mouth of a Chriftian, and folly in the 
mind of a philofopher . But ta return • 

An equal diftribution of property was much in the ^irit of 

the Greek and. Roman legiflation. We know v^hat^ agitation 

^i^zip produced by the agrarian law among the Roqians. \jx. our 

«:Oi^icujtions this chimerical fyftem is given up. The pumber 

: ' • * of 

r «7^ J 

ùf mrw dafles created by indufWy» cofmnercet ood ifeaiidattce^ 
hâve eftablifhed' a fort of diftzibution unknown to >tlM mockMs^ 
Through the medium of national, loans, û\9 poâefior^ of tfai^ 
new property become co-ufufruduaries of ûkc foiU with iignal 
advantage to* the £bte. From the whole of tfaii tnatife it 
appears that they xntdtîply the numerary^ quicbcn oitociiktion^ 
and encourage commerce, manufaâures, agriculture^ fç^enue;, 
and population» * * : * 

Gold and filver are ufelels in a défèrt ; whereas theiè ûyetalsy 
or whatever reprefents* them^ in a populous country, iurronnéed 
1>y polifhed nations, fupply every want, and quiekoa eVerj 
reiburce, by mcanisr of a general convention. The wifii man' had 
xeafon to fay, *• Money anfwers to every thing.? To denjr 
thefe propofitlons-, is an àbuiè of tr udi, and of the underftanding; 
^nd confounds theûmpleft ideas. . A]l men cannot- be proprie-* 
tors of land. To profbribe the 'other ctaCes is an insupportable 
abfurdity. The anathema, i pronounced againft thetn by the 


Rural Pbihjbpber^ is equally unjuft and ridîculôtts. The num*- 
ber of mere annuitants is very inconfiderable. Their pretended 
idleness is not fupported hj the labor of others. They,, on thV 
contrary, fuf^rfc that labor by their expence, - But thcfc idle 
annuitants, who have neither lamf, ntyr offièe^ nor employment 
civil or military, are very rare; * Intereft on money is ufeful and 
neceflary. Ufury is dangerous and deftniôive. To confound 
the two objeds, is to- forbid the ufc of fire^ becaufe it bums- 
tho&r who go too clofe to it. •. i 

The Rural Philofopber • is very fevcre upon manufactures. It 
is true the manufaâurer, the artift, the merchant, and the 
banker^ can more eafily remove into another country. Theîr 
propetty is not fo intimately attached to the ftate, or rather fo 
the foil, "Their wealth,*^ fays he, ** is difperfed and unknown» 

" And 


C ^7r I 

f ^ b«ngi knMfad, p»ei a» ^ «» ilwi icnmo^ ynwfr." Tbi^ 

fole. hovmweii n«t v6«icirftlI]F lr«K» |t mn chi|)| M4 w^^ 

thsir «i^Miltry- wUHfififc 4i^ct:^ In the «ovitiô of t f^r> tni 
«ébfaii{h themielYfs «l^hecc* In thfi ^«OM maRofer a Igndbrâ 
cniy i«Ii liw ciflai«» md.pim:)i«& foad ift asothçr «ooatrf ; 1>ttt 
it is «faTiird toi i«|)pf!fr thtt all «be. iMfiBltâtairpfv (if J^ that 
all dia mndwiti «f A^cTdUes m Çonrd^qx, ftr that ail the 
baaJbOft of PmUi,: can fadiwrnfafgui e)kviuM»i6c tfasi» tudc^ 
aae aft r f; amlAbtltti^. 

: Thp kadlfwd woiaLi be the firft to &%r, il ihe meKfaam^ 
tlta. mechaoic» this aaoott^t» due aebHitj^ aad evaa ^ 
eiaUl «f lusurjT» oUd n(stgi«fta Tciud Kaltn to tfas aiparfluoua 
!fa»d\fa^ of tbe eaftl^ bjr <^ûck;«ûog damlation ao^ =000* 
fumpda». 1» «kcicle thb qmAioo, or to &att h ^ latiooal 
ttaa», i 0ko\Aià be ^td that tfaefe prafound, etpmal c^Icnlatoiss» 
vrhst protend to uaâct&mà the art of agricidtun: £> donroogidyf 
would omJ» « iimf^» eauaâ* and uaexaggerated .caleylaticm of 
tfao ïifiaàMr of {keopb neceSiy to ailtiiiate and impraire'all tfaa 
ù^ of France f ibatis» at much «fit aa û fnited to the pro^ 
dii£biçAi»f jcorn» jDir fititp be laid «^ in Hinie|tardd« The .wooda 
aoe oecfiflary for ^ocious uTes,. and jacovp^r jhut a &w: hands. The 
improvement iif Jthe headbs at Bourdeaiuc is- not^o bo reckoned^ 
while fuch quantities of good hojd. ji^emain unicaltivated. It will 
notedly be i^iaved hojvrfew haods are neeci&ry tç make a 
rich, foil pixxl^ce fufficient Aouriihnient £ajr z. great nuonher of 
coofomeis. -TiiB,ieai)di is ib. fertile, ^uid. native ià ib bountiftU» 

that multitudes^ may fubfift upon the hhoc of t few. Not!iîâ|: 
but commerce, mutual ititercbiiiffe, and- free, exportation, <:afi 
give a Tcnal value to all die fuperfluous produce; Eriery 
«ftraiftt upon Ae vent of it is injurious to the body of the 
ftate, and checks poputatidA in other branches. As the£e ciafleat 
fo iëverely pro/cfibed by Monfieur de Mirabeau, multi^y in 
the (late, internal confumptton will increafe, and fôreign trade 
and exportation become fo much the lefs neceffary. A6 manu»^ 
faiftures Aourifh, the freedom of commerce will improve; An^ 
Buitants, bankers, merchants, and other citizens; will circulate 
So much the more money, and employ fo many more hands ia 
mercantilei occupations, which we are told. are. fo unfruitM 
a foil* Population will improve, and agriculture be much 
more encouraged, by the confumption oFthe manufaâurer, than: 
population can be encouraged by: agriculture^ Bat to return to 
the calculation. It will be fouuYdthat^ ifwars^ . colonies, and 
iome pacticulaj? moral caufes had* not depopulated Europe,: the 
lands in general would have beep better cultivated, and their 
value improved ; and that this confuimption and vahie would 
proceed from the multitude of u&ful and induflrious citizens, 
whofe expence and circulation fetevi^ry^ thing in motion. £ng^ 
land in proportion is much better peopled than France, and 
the foil more improved. Vet their exportation of corn is im- 
menfe. The /;9/^r;i/a/ confumption and population of the kingdom 
might therefore be much greatec than they are. But this popu- 
lation, which of courfe would increafe the clafs of farmers, 
could not exift without a proportionate increafe in all thofe 
claaes, againft which the enthuiiaftic apoftles of agriculture have 
pronounced their anathema. I fhould willingly concur with 
them in opinion^ if th^y were contented with extolling the 


Immeiïfe utUify of .th^ favorite objeâ» without excluding others 
equally tifefUl, and eveiv ijeceffiliy to the iniprovement of ,agri« 
culture itfelf. Aft ablQ : calculator might ikmonftrate that^ if 
other nations did not cavil with the Dutch ^bout thofe branches 
of induftry which have fallen to their lot, and which in truth 
are their coily. inheritance^ Amfter^lam, Middleb&rgh^ Port, 
^nd Rotterdam^ might contain <k)Uble their prefent number of 
Inhabitants, with a coniidorable addition to the general opufence 
of th^ republic. Population, which in Holland is much greater 
in proportion than in any part of Europe» would continue to 
increaie, with prpdigious a4yantage to thofe nations that culti<» 
vate their foiL This fingle refleélion qualifies all exaggerations» 
and reduces the queftion to thoie terms of policy, and reafon, 
which I am endeavouring to eftablifli« . , 

Let us not deceive ourfelves. The harmony of a ftate arifes 
frppii^the i^greement of its various parts. They borrow a mutual 
afliftance ftpjn each other. Time, that confumes everything, 
will correét a number of miftakes. The new world, which 
now inthe philofophcr's' eycfcems ufe}efs, hurtful, and even 
dangerçus to the old one, ftiall one day or other become neceflary, 
when the population of Europe (hall be carried to its high«ft 
point of improvement. We know that in China the legiflature 
are obliged to check population ; the example of China and 
Holland proves the truth of what I advance. If all the arable 
land in Europe were laid out in the produélion of corn, a great 
part of it, I am convinced, would perifh for want of confumers. 
To create a confumption equal to fo extenfive a cultivation, we 
muft multiply the population of great cities, towns and villages. 
There neither fliould, nor can be, more than one Paris in France, 
nor one London iii England ; but there might be, as in Chin^ 

A a 2 fifty 

t »«* I 

SAy <rik« 'mort popotoiUfi -than LyoM,. tliUltAfli 'RotMte, «ittMfi 

is. This i& the Way to tiiOkAi^yomtt &£ tfa« ptsmeis^ mûi^ 
value Vf land.;, ii^hich në(>taÉ:cafk%eacooropli2Aed.4>ttt;by a'Cen^ 
ttnutfd'peftcév, 4héby temo^g^tàfk mwraL obAadlts théxiasikt- 
k'dHficitlt ibr ^ ftirjnej: 't6. rubfiftk.«ad cdunteiMft>pft{>tikti0iii. 
A fi'eeexpbi^fation ctf -tfee ^rocbiee «€ f he ear& is tffieatiaL. f he 
tèûis 'the ^l^ofk^f time, atié <^à ^ootf "«dlbiliiflfratibAit.'tihéttr 
%hicK comhièeree,. <maAùlbât>res^ •cirottlalioTH., aAd ptiblîc^oredit 
»â their rcfpeâi+c parts^ ifMl «H concur in -protnotviyg^ Che Sunt: 
purpofe.. But -every iM'aoeh. haa its limite and r^atiye proper ti<D% 
to the HtSt. While thlSy^prcferw tlû» proper tiôn». they -«iffiA^ 
wlien'tiieydcpArt'fiota it, fhôy deftroy one.^nothcr.. 

The inhabitants of cities, %s Mottfièw de IVf^tmtf^inéti^ 
judge of Acoptilenee «f a-'kingdoBi by the glittering latcury • o£ 
thbfc ivîio ^e the rftin éf it. They deceive thftttfehvs Ufii^ 
dMbeedly. ftt tfte'&tne time i!re*ai« îlo^toJa<%a^of^tile^fttê^f 
Hiw^hblc ydrtgdom from the decay of -a -fingle ^prbvinoc, * ïlic 
taetrojpéHs^ we «k told» tnth nil its^ barren opufonce^. i^ odly tt. 
ntgâziîie» like aneient Rome^ in which the fpoils-of the:pro^ 
vinces arcCoUe^ed; but ^ the différence is veiymateriaL. 'Pttisx 
:uid London are inhabited by mdtidtious^ ôlafle&^f men, who. 
promote agriculture,, commerce, and confumption. The extent. 
<)f the two cities exceeds their due proportion-to the ftate, wbiehi 
is di^pulated by other caufes^ For this reafon, Paris appea»,, 
in Ae philofopher's eye, a mais o£ fevecal cities tranfplante<^, 
^d which might be more advantageoufly fifuated dfewhere.. 
This tranfplantation^ fays Monfieur de Mirabeau,, can only have 
•been effeâéd by a fort of chymical extraôlon, confidering the 
4ofs of all the'aliraefttaryjuke& imbibed by the channels through 


«4liiirifti«0f ''pkhf défère éiof notait, ^the <r«pk«t *n>e fuif lb»,. 

«af ki^ pfeeftri«tts, • a04<trftnfitoiy, <»wkig to a •cencofi^èiiee ^ 
Mfidus^fftéte^ '^idi -prevent jâie ^t;ppoi4ifiiBâite ^opttlefion <jf 
'thekÎDgdom> and the cultivation eflbeioM» 6ut laffiftaa-tbftt 
fwnéeoA^tbû'mmt'popxjiùuSi ^lanâ^bediBr ciilfimted> -and 

ÛÊ^t^ if a éue^ lEnmony dnd^ propoptton -wei^e prefer vcfd în ^hé 
D^er fâr(6>^ ^ greatnâf^ -of the ctpitelv and Rittkilude af iM 
ettizen9^ wotfld 4>e an enéourageioient to agneiiltiire^ whsohmuft. 
:ftaRd mihifit ^«rrnc not f^r the mtn>be« of eon^ers^in .$k«; 
d^ierent ddlfest^ -citizens» Sucb^ in fhort» id-my opinion tipofin 
#M6 important queftion. 

A • nutttber of cxamplcs^ ncjrgTi t*Be quoted^. But Miey woultf leads 
«neiftto*a detail of "thcproporttons and balwceto be preforvedân. 
e^ryclafe; When* one da(^inv^es anot^r^ dieprejudice fhey 
&fi%ir iftt^eetpfûeali». Wht firft ^vant^gc may ftiein fpecious». 'bcit 
^e Ibfs of haitnony and proportion makes it Manûfoiy and 
deftftiaive. The naany paffages in hffîory> ^hich (how the 
pclitieal inconvenrenee of too copions a population^ would lead 
Its too fan The eternal htw& of providence have ittpkn ted the 
feed of generation and perpetiHty in eViery fttbaance^ buttfa^ 
feem aHb to have fet bo«nda-to their multiplicatfon- The worJcs 
of nature fubfift by devouring -one another;. Every tiling <n its 
turn is pafture and a grave.. Final oaafes ate placed/ beyond oiw 
reach. The quantity of aeofns loft or eonfunifed: is prodigioiis^é 
Very few produce oaks. E^cry- things has its ufc. Oiit of ^ 
thoufand melon*feeds fcarce one perpetuates the^lanti. The 
attradion, which the Amtfeor of nature has annexed to » the adt 
tfjat perpetuates -our being, ia oftentn a dreamoff^eftûifç, - than 


an effort to immortalîfe the fpecies. If nature^ in ibnM inftanctSt 
appears too prodigal, it is becaufe we are unacquainted with the 
immutable laws by which her oeconomy: is diredled. America 
perhaps, after depopulating Europe, may ferve hereafter to relieve 
^s from too abundant a population. 

To make it apparent that there is a maximuoi in agriculture 
and population, the reader is requeued to employ his imagination 
upon the following remarks. Suppofe, in the firft place, that 
all Europe were as well peopled as it might be* By computation 
it would contain four or five times as many inhabitants, as it has 
at prefent. In that cafe, it would "be indifpenfably neceflary to 
cultivate every foot of land, in order to maintain fuch a multi- 
tude of people ; and let it be admitted that, by a fuperior fyflem 
of legiflation and government, the feveral claiTes fhould be 
diflributed in due gradations ; and, in a word, that an exaâr 
proportion and harmony fhould be preferved among all the 
parts of fo many different ftates. When purope had once 
arrived at this period of agriculture and population, what would 
be the confequtnce? Muft the farther progrefs of population 
be ftopt ? By what means could it be done ? We flrould be 
compelled to fend colonies to America and elfewhere. Even 
this refource would not be fuificient. The fatal afîîftance of war 
would be called in, to fupply the office of peflilence and famine. 
They too in their turii would foon be feverely felt. The very 
population we fuppofe would introduce them. The annual 
produce of the earth would be annually confumed by the' 
refpeâive inhabitants of every country. Now it is certain that, 
after a few years, the harveft fails in all countries. All of them 
then mufl fuccefîively perifli by famine ; becaufe every country 
would want the whole of its own produce for the internal con- 


, I 

t 183 ] 

fùmptioQ of its inhabitants^ and could fpare nothing for tht 
fupply of its neigh-boursa. 

Some naturaliils pretend, that our terreftrid globe is only fur- 
rounded by a y^tativc cruft^ gradually exhaufted by cultivation^ 
until at laft it becomes dry and unfruitful. They tell us that 
the deiferts of Arabia were once a fertile country^ and the earlieft 
habitation of mankind.. Without fifting the queflion too mi- 
nutely, - we all know that the earth recovers its youth, and 
preferves its fertility^ by repofe. We know with what eager 
impatient vegetation a new foil rewards the firfl labors of the 
-plough* To< promote the order, harmony, and prefervatipn of 
the whole, there mufl be an alternate fucceffion of cultivation 
andcepofe; a ilore of proviiions mufl bereferved; feme lands 
muft. be fallows fome countries muft be uninhabited; it pro- 
hftbty does not enter into the defign of Proyidencer that the earth 
âïoiild be eqiiatly peopled and cultivated a1) orot. Such a ftate 
of ptrfeâion and opulence,' if it could cxift for a moment, 
would introduce the fevercft calamities^ We know not what 
our fupreme good coniifts in. ^ Apparent imperfeâionsxontribute 
to the genera^ fccurity^ We only fee part of the pidure, and 
are dazzled by falfe lights. Perfeâion cannot belong to the 
fingle part before us, but muft refult from the whole. 

Exceffive population has conftantly given birth to war, which> 
torning^againil its parent, diminifhes and deftroys it. 

To. multiply men,. faysMonfieur dc Mirabeau, without mul- 
tiplying fubfiftence, is devoting them to the mifery of famine; 
The phenomenon is rare, and can never happen, but through 
ibmedcfedt in adminiftration and police. On the other hand> 
to multiply fubûftence without inultiplying confumers, is a 
luinous chimera, that never can hold above a year. The phy^ 



C 184 ] 

ileal limits of popolation in any cavaxtey aro not mnâMf 
confined by the produce of it^ own teratocy^ vàoa trade and 
navigation prorpef, and are aflifted by credit, cicculatton, and 
â<flitijus wealtk« Let Holland be the maoofkt^ It is father 
true that cultivation is inviolably confined by thé internal OKb- 
fumption^ or precarioas foreign exportatEoa* When popubtiom 
exceeds wealthy the defeâ is inherent in the faûdy of the ibie. 
The vrhde political nmchine is out ££ ordo*. Wbeatrer thb 
happeps^ evtry part tvill demand our atteotiai at die Jkme 
fnpn»nt« The renaedy tarnH b« genmdt and eqistUy ap{died to 
«very defeéL We mmft cfatn^ es Lend Baton oliferves opom 
Miothtr iul^eâ:» endeavour to isnitate the great oprrstiona oE 
nature^ siot dwfis of art# which arc always flow» ibeUe» and 
imperfeâ« The ftatuacy forms his fiatue fncceffîvdy bf parlai 
|bfla«tî^dM viTorluag ttpoA the bead# iniiecimes «poa the limbas 
but it Is osr bo&nefô to épllow the cûndxiâ of œtf use in wfaat^ 
•ever die pioduoes j rudimenia pattium ûmmMmJtmd park tt ffÊ^ 
ih^. She at onoe lays Ac plan of the whole being, and 
furilHhes all (he |iarts together. Vegetables and ammala sncreafir 
in fi^» «bd imprave im their ftrength ; hot tfccy are the fame 
lrt»m the moftneBt they begin to exilL There mnft he one 
coercive power to confine the lèverai carders of ûx Aate» as the 
k^^ftoneofthe arch- holds the building together. In a great 
kingdom, to preferre the harmony of U& ilate» the good order 
at>d prod^perity of the nation» agricultupCy cosuneroe, ananufac- 
tures, circulation» |)ublic credit» internal police» ^ancc^ smli# 
târy eftabli/hmeot» colonies» navigation» marine» imd naodecate 
Itmui^» ^uld :pf0cced together in a reciprocal pic^ortion* 

Exteitf of firontier alone does not CQnâatute the jiower tof a 
ftate.; but it is a ooofiderable adnmtage» :aa it offers a fub^iAcaoc 


[ i85 J 

^ to a greater number of fubjedls. Yet number alone, with a 

^ , mere phyfical fubfiftence, is not enough. They mull fubfift 

^^i with eafe ; and, to make a great number fubfift with eafe, they 

Iw muft be divided into clafles. To confine them to the fingle 

^ occupation of agriculture, is impoflible. If the population of 

M France were complete^ the external vent or exportation of corn 

to would be of little or no ufe» A$ things are circumftanced, ex- 

li portation muft be confidered as a fupplemcntary confumption, in 

le favor of agriculture, or as a remedy for the want of population. 

t This vehicle of commerce fupports agriculture, and increases 

I the number of fubj efts. But the increafe of population is hot 

f the true fecret of government ; it confifls in maintaining thct 

I harmony of parts, and the equilibrium of the whole* 



» . 





THOSE times, in which mankind are robbed of their inheritance, tbofeagesof 
Wbarifm, in whkh every thing perifbes, are always introduced by war, and 
attended by famine and depopulation. Mankind, who have no power but in 
numbern no ftrength but in fociety^ no happinefsbut in peace, are mad enough 
to take up arms againft one another,, and to employ them in their mutual 
deftruâion. Excited by infatiable avarice, or blinded by ambition dill more 
infatiable, they bid adieu to all fentiments of humanity, turn their ftrength 

againft each other, endeavour to deftroy, and fatally fucceed in their defign. X 

At laft, when the days of blood and carnage are over, when the vain cloud of 
glory is difperied, they contemplate their own work with forrow ; they fee the 
earth depopulated, arts overwhelmed, nations difperfed, the human race 
enfeebled, their own happineis deftroyed, and their real power reduced t# 
nothing,— 5«^». 


I «89 î 





YOU abfoîutcïy itiM upon it, that I ihall treat,' ïcrîoufly and 
in writings tfec propoûtron which I advanced the other 
day at your houfc. Permit inc then to remind you of the cor- 
reâive I added to it. I faid, that the proof required a head 
better furnifhed than mine. The lights I poffefe are not fuffi- 
cîently extenfive ; my knowledge is too fuperficial to demonftrate 
fo complicated a truth, which yet I feel myfeif, though unable 
to make it evident to others. Such is this propofition. ** The 
** eflential interefts of commercial powers, rivds and neigh- 
** hours, would not clafh, at leaft in the degree that is believed, 
" if private intcrefts did not frequently intervene." 

Private intereft ufually aâumes the mafque of public good. I 
believe it poffibleto reconcile the feparate interefts of every nation 
with the common and reciprocal advantage of them all. From 
that moment the fyftem of the Abbe de St. Pierre would ceafe 
to be conûdeted as the dream of an honeïl man. The happiftefd 
of aftate confiflb in the number of its fubjeârs, the facility of 
their fubûftence, and in the power of the prince. This jiower 
is at it$ higheft point, when it procures to its fubjeâs every 


r ^90 ] 

advantage that the territory will admit of, when every clafe or 
gradation of inhabitants e;ijoys its refpedive condition, and all 
the clafies find themfelves ranged in a political proportion. If 
the nature of the foil or climate refufes any thing to convenience 
or opinion, it is the bufinefs of commerce and induftry to obtain 
a fupply of that deficiency from foreigners, to whom in return 
we fliould endeavour to difpofe of our own fuperfluity, whether 
it be of that produce which the nature of the ibil fumifhes for 
the fupport of the inhabitants, or of the produce of their 
induftry. This, I believe, is the cleared idea of the origin, 
utility, and neceflity of commerce. 

At firft it was the neceflity of receiving from our neighbours 
whatever fell fhort at home in the fupply of our real wants ; after- 
wards, in the fupply of our fenfuality; and laftly, in that of 
our luxury. If on our fide there be a fuperfluity which our 
neighbours want, we only make an exchange. But as the mea- 
fure cannot at all times be equals the furplus conftitutes the 
balance of trade, which the more indigent of the two parties, 
on clofing their account, pays in money to the other, which, at 
that moment, happens to be the richer. Since wants are reci- 
procal, and fince the winning parties can have no profit but at 
the expence of fome one who pays the furplus, or balance, in 
money, it follows, that they cannot deflxoy the lofing^ party 
without exhaufting the fource of their own happincfs:. What 
would one fay of a man who (hould cut the udder of a cow in 
order to draw more milk from it? All profeflions, in every^ 
country, labor for each other, and lend each other a mutual fup- 
port. When they fupply the wants of their neighbours, they 
are in fad fecuring their own exiftence. One profeflion ddlroyed 
would alter the.harmony of fociety, or the well-being of almoft 
all. No man buys a commodity, or any part of the produce of 


C 191 ] 

hÎ8 neighbour's înduftry, but under a tacit condition, that the 
ieller Ifhall do as much by the buyer» either immediately himfelf^ 
or by the interpolation of feveral hands who are concerned in the 
circulation ; and money is the pledge for the performance of the 
condition. If the intereft, or utility, be not in fome fenfe 
reciprocal, the advantage is fallacious ; like a meteor that difap- 
pears and alarms at the moment that it glitters. But the fame 
thing, which happens among the different profeffions in the fame 
cotintry, would alfo happen among neighbouring commercial 

Commerce is a game, and with beggars it is impoffible to 
win. If we were to win conftantly, in every article, and from 
every body we played with, we muft agree to return the chief 
part of our winnings, in order to begin the game again. Such 
a devouring commerce would deftroy itfelf. Our neighbours, 
reduced to mifery, would not have wherewithal to pay for our 
commodities, or our induftry. This principle fhows that a 
univerfal commerce, and all exclulive or exceflive advantages, arc 
as abfurd as they are unjuft. If a political harmony conûils in a 
proportionate though unequal diftribution of various advantages, 
the greateft advantage of each party would be to poflefs that 
which fuited itfelf the heft, without injuring others ; and I am 
perfuaded that fome of thofe fpecious advantages, which we moft 
afFedt, would, if taken out of the hands of a neighbour, whom 
vfc are jealous of without reafon, be in efFed: prejudicial to us. 
It often happens that the profits, derived to us indiredly, are 
reafonable enough, and perhaps greater, and lefs embarraffing, 
than if we had a direâ: poffeffion of the obje<fl ourfelves. 
. It is clear, that the prefervation and happinefs of the whole 
conftitute the prefervation and happinefs of every part. This 
principle is inconteftable. There ' is another equally true, that 


a particular commercial advantage, almoft ufelefs to one naKon^ 
is ncceflary and eflential to the prcfervatSon of Another. The 
poiTeffion of the Molucca Iflands would be as n&lei^ to For-- 
tugal, fince her difcovery of the mines of Brazil, as h is ncceffary 
to the republic of Holland, Portugal already poflefTes too much 
metal. There would be a repletion of it, if the cultivation and 
other advantages of the kingdom were in a ftatc of aftivity. 
Gold may be confidered there as a merchandife, the exportation 
of which is ufeful; whereas Holland, deftitute of territoriai^ 
wealth, and from the high price of labor incapable of a com- 
petition in manufactures, would foon be undone, if it were not 
for fome important article^ that reftores the equilibrium of 
money, and creates a balance in her favor, which all the odicr 
ftates profit by, as will appear hereafter. 

From thefe two principles I would venture to draw a third. 
That it is frequently the intcreft of all the commercial powers^ 
that fbme particular advantage ihould belong to fome one 
particular power, in preference to any other; and that, far 
from being ajuft caufe of jealoufy to other powers, it is on 
the contrary their intereft to prefervc it." A fourth principle, 
which alfo to me appears evident, though it be little obferved, 
is. That we feldom poflefs any branch of commerce in all it» 
parts. We are compelled to have récourfc to our neighbours, and 
as it were to divide the cake. The party, that fecms to be in 
pofleflion, frequently has thefmalleft il>are# Another principle, 
of which I am perfuaded, is. That Europe being a family, or 
body compofed of various members, it is impoffible to deftroy 
one of them without damage to the reft ; and that Holland is the 
power, to which this principle moft manifeftly applies • In the 
fequel I ht)pe to prove it clearly. 


[ Ï93 ] 

I muft premife» that I confider Europe as it is now conftitutcd» 
snd mankind according to their prefent manners^ which I do 
not mean to critîcifç. Otherwife it would be ncceflary to enter, 
into a philofophical enquiry» whether commerce» the a£tual 
whim of the age» be e0ential to human happinefs ; to what 
degree luxury is ufeful» at what point it becomes mifchievous» 
and how far it has been abufed. The prefent queftien is only 
to catch the fpirit of the age we live in» and endeavour to com* 
bine» in the moft juft proportion poflible, the feveral branches 
of reciprocal wants b^ween different nations» in order to pro- 
cure the importation of foreign produâions» and the exportation 
of our own. It is certain that» if any ftate could fucceed in 
pbtainiog» what all parties ifeem topurfuQ» the means of fup- 
plying itfelf with a fubûftence entirely national» it might from 
that moment exift as an infulated ftate» No longer making a 
part of the whole» commerce would be of no ufe to it. But 
fuch a ftate» though not repugnant to natijre» from which we 
have too far departed^ is incompatible with our manners. Hunt« 
ing» fiftiing» and agriculture» originally futnifhed the univerfal 
fubûftence. Fadtitious multiplied wants have given birth to 
commerce and manufa<flures» the children of induftry and 
plcafure. But we labor to no purpofe. There is fuch a 
concatenation in the interefts of commerce» that no one party 
can carry it on alone. .We muft neceflarily have recourfe 
Xo our neighbours, who . divide the profit with us. 

Let us come to a particular example. England has lately 
made the acquifition of Canada. I believe it is a miftake to 
fuppofe that this part of the world is entirely loft to the com- 
merce of France. There are a number of things» without which, 
I conceive» the commerce of Canada muft decline» and which 
theEnglifh are obliged to receive from France. The wines for 

C c the 

E 194 1 


the ufe of the colony^ and the bran41es, of which the iavaget» 
unfortunately for thetn^ make fo great a confumption» muft be 
fumiihed by France. I fhall here ohCetVÉ, by the by> that 
however great the opulence of England^ or of any other com^ 
merciai power» may be^ that part of it, which refultt from 
cozmnerce and credit, is alwa3rs more precarious than tfaat^ 
which ari&s from the nature of the foil, it is more cafual, shkI 
depeods upon a ^rain of. lucky accidepts, which contrary acci- 
dents may deflroy. 

The bafc may lofe its proportion to die seft of the building* 
The kerne] perhaps, if I may fo exprefs myklf, might in time 
te infufficient to nourifh the rind. In many cafes we muft 
haye recourfe to oar neighbours, and âiare with them. The 
£nglifk can never make their foil produce wine. To procure, 
this pleafupe for themfelves, and to fiippfy their colonies, they 
will alw^s enrich France. 

TheEnglilh will probably never catch the tafte of this nation 
for invienting faûiions, nor overcome the inclination of others t<r 
adopt them. FreAcfa manu6â«res will always be pveferced^ 
horn caprice, fancy, fafhion, and becaufe they are always the 
cheapeft. Labor in France is not fo dear as in England, and 
might be ftiU cheaper, if, by means of a continued peace, it 
were poffible to re-eaiabliih the finances, to encourage popu^ 
lation, and IdOen the weight of taxes. The immenfe tribute, 
which the ttd of Europe pay to France in return for trifles, 
will inereafe in proportion to the moderate price of manufac- 
tures. At pfefent it is iu^cient to fhow that France already 
derives a real profit from the Engliâi colonies in general, and 
y^^ even from thofe which feem to be entirely loft to her in point 

of commerce. The Englilfh will undoubtedly for the future 
import from Fraûee more wines^ brandy, ^It, vil»:gar> oil of 



I 195 ] 

Provence,* Knens, tliresd, fitks, ri&barids^ and éten fugar and 
mdtgo; than they did before; bceatifè Canada cahnot fuBM 
without thefé articleîs^^ Add tor this the faVing 6f men, (far 
more valuable than' any commodities) which it coflE France to 
fippoxS. Ais ctdbny, and it wilt ajipcat that^ although England 
may have gained' greatly, France has ùoi loft the whole. 

Thfe Hland 6f Grenada, and tlte GrehàdîlTâs, muft In tunc 
imafae a rich return to En]s^ând. Butv befides thé treafùres whicli 
It coft to conqi^r them' during the waf, the Englith have pur« 
chafed them a fécond tithe at ûie peace, haVing paid large fiims 
to' France for the plantations and îniproveméiitis already riiadë 
Aère* The Ffent& iiihtibîtants; dn cpiittîng the îïïahd, fold the 
foil t0 the Englîfli for doublé What the fame plantations were 
worHi before the laft wah This drcumftahce furely fhould 
cu^e us 6f tl^ rage of éohqtiéft. France had gained' a real and 
iblid ihcreafe of its niumerary wealth returned into the kingdom^ 
while the profits of the Éiiglîfli were yet in expcdation. Thefé 
iûands at prcfent initkt a great return to England; Let it be 
obfcrved that, When f fay'thefe poflcffiorife have cTort the Englifh 
large furos, it is becatofeT think that thé polTéflîons yielded to 
them by the peace (hould be confidered as the only equivalent' 
for the eijtpences of die war, and for the lofs of famanymen. On 
one fide then we muft reckon Canada, Florida, the Grcnadillas, 
and Senegal ; on the other, the whole expcnce of the war, and 
lofe of men ; then make the computation. I queftiori whether' 
the Englifh' government will, for a long tinie, receive an increafe 
of revenue proportioned to the load of intef eft due on the new 
loans; or v^hether the nation in' general will foon receive a. 
compenfation more than'fufficient to balancé the new burthen 
of taxes, and the intereft paid to foreigners concerned in the 
public fundt« InaxrabftraA vkw,^he kingdom muft be a Ipier^^ 

C c 2 if 


[ H6 1 

if a part, cm: rather the "o^hole of its taxes, did not return tigtàa 
into the hands of the nation^ and if its numerary wealth were 
not augmented by the increafe of the national debt, as I har^e 
demonftrated elfewhere. Without this compenfalion, and the 
iecunty of their former fettlements, the advantage of Engknd 
in the laft peace would have been very inconfiderable. 

£ut without attempting a complete folution of this problem, 
let us continue to enquire into the interefts of nations as ihty 
adtually ftand. France uudotd^edly draws a profit from the com^ 
merce of Canada, and the other Englifh colonies, owing to tho ^ 
connexion of interefts inseparable in a commercial fyftem* The 
^nore thefe colonies flourifh, the greater will be their demand for 
French commodities, now become nece0ary to them. On the 
other hand, the more France ihall flourifh, and the more plen-' 
tiful her harv^s are, at fo much the cheaper rate will ihe be 
able to afford her commodities ; and the happinefs of France 
will revert upon England. The eâential interefts of commercial 
powers, rivals and neighbours^ far from clafhing, are a reci- 
procal fupport to each other. As France increafes in opulence, 
ihe win draw from Great Britain a grec^r quaocity of coals, 
leather, corn, lead, tin, allum, tallow, cheçfe, rice, tobacco, 
fait beef, foap, &c. Here then we fee a reoiprocal reverberation 
of mutual intereft, which places the fyftem I profefs in the 
faireft point of view ; a fyftem, the moft ufeful to mankind, if 
it could be demonftrated; the moft fortunate, if it could be 
purfued. The benefit of ODe party conftituting the benefit of 
the other, it becomes their mutual intereft to lend afliftance to 
each other. Every monopoly, excrcifed againft our neighbours, 
lays a new burthen upon, and injures the quality of, thofe pro- 
duirions which muft be oflfcred to us in return for our own. It 
is the faying of a fage, that a mifguided covetouftxefs defeats its 




t 197 ] 

éwn piirpofc. Let tis proceed to another article. The fiûiery^ 
for example, is phyûcally, and e?eii tnorally neceflary to France. 
A Frenchman h a fifb^cater^ not only from pleafure^ but a prin-^ 
ciple of religion. A fupply of fifh is efiential to a people, who 
are frequently obliged to abftain from fleâi*'meat. This nutritive 
art is at the fame time a nurfery for ieamen. It is their occupa* 
tion in time of peace. . But to carry on a ûûicry, in order to 
focm feamen for war/ is a fangoinaiy motive that tends to the ' 
deftruâion of the ipedes. To carry it on for the fuftenance of 
our people, is a motive of prefervation. I take it for granted 
then, that, . ta maintain that harmony of niutual interefts, which 
I have in view^ France muft preferve an extenfive cod fi(hery« 
She can no more do without it, than Holland can without the 
herring fifhery, which is almoft as eflential to the republic as 
the fpice trade. Her prefervation depends upon it, and upon 
her prefervation depends that of alraqft all the commerce of 

Holland is a very rich country, almoft the whole of whofe 
riches, being artificial, factitious, and of convention, exifl only 
by conmieroa, by the âfheries, by credit, and circulation. The 
ready money in Holland ferves as a prop to an infinity of ima« 
ginary riches in veflbls, commodities, paper, and public funds ; 
and the commercial powers of Eiu-ope are fo clofely corincdcd 
with the Dutch, that the latter are, as it were, jheir failors, 
their partners, and, if I may be allowed to fay it, their bankers. 
The artificial curf»cncy of Holland gives value to the artificial 
currency of France and England ; and if, by any misfortune, the 
city of Amfterdam (hould happen to decline, which muft be 
the cafe as foon as her commerce, fifheries, and credit fail her, * 
from that moment the whole currency of France and England 
muft fink pcodigioufly. In the year 1763, the fall of one or 


I »9» J 

two commercial boufcs in Ho^kild produced loiTes in all f{nnè 
t^s. The cotmiieFce of EiiMTOf ^ fcemtd for l»e fhafcen« . The 
ËngMâi ilock» f<U taiv per fÂnU The cootidfioh^ occafiooed by 
this little accident in all pkces of t^ade^ iBows qs what would 
he the cojirfequenee of a more general fail we. It k not the 
faoae with the itpublic of Holland^ as with other Aates. It may 
he indtfferiei^t^ fi^'inAance, to. £utx>{te» wbetfc|er Silefia belong 
to the houfe of Auftda» or to the greiat Prince who hai^ been 
able to prefer vfi his ^rious coaqueft ;. aitbotighi the munber of 
me;i lofl in the wair» occafiooed by this: province^ be not a 
matter of iadia^irbnce to Europe* Commerce fbelst it . Decreaftf 
of inhabitants is decreafc of ÊoiifiimptioiK Whereat, if the 
fcpublic of Holland Alvere conlquered^ it wonld no longer be the 
fame ftate. The fdil is next to nothing* Thb riches of Holland 
would dtfappear* Amilerdam, Rotterdam» Middleburgh, would 
no longer be a bc'idge of communication, the mart of Europe^ 
the magazines of the univerfe. Their paper, which gives value 
to that of every other ftate, would be annihilated^ and choak up 
circulation. Millions of currency would diâolve in an inflant« 
Half the merchants of Europe, would be ruined^* Sovereigns 
would be afieâëd, and half a century would not be fufficient to 
repair the mifchief. Some. great revolution muft en Axe. I may 
venture then to affirm, as a principle: not to be dlfputed, that 
almoft all the powers of Europe are intimately concerned in the 
prefervation of the rqmblic. Holland is undoubtedly a mafter* 
piece of induftry and labor. Her exiftence is nevertheleft very 
precarious. It is only to the internal wifdom of her govetn^ 
ment, and to the moderation of her neighbours, that fhe owesf 
her prefervation* I fay, their moderation ; for I fuppofe them 
unhappily not fufficiently convinced of my great principle^ thaé 
the opulence of Holland communicates itfelf to her neighbour^i 




[ 199 1 

^nd that thç prejudice thiey muft ûiffer from her d^flruâîon, or 
.^clinpj would be înanjenfe. The caufes, which produced the 
gfeatpefs of tbç republic, no longer cxift. The competition in 
commerce, now more extenfive ; Hamburgh, now become the 
Aaple of the north ; and other circumftances, have not only 
flopped the farther progrcfs of the republic, but havç already 
occafioned her decline. Oeiconomy, the fource of her power, de- 
generates into a Ittxury incompatible with her conftitution. The 
cxclufive fpice trade; and the herring fiflicry, are the only advan- 
tages fhe'has left for her prefervatlon, and to fupport her in that 
comnaerce, in which fhe meefs with competition. Theie are the 
two hinges; on whidEi the remainder of the machine ftill turns. 
The profits of the carrying trade, fa neceflary to thefe republicans^ 
diminiih every day. Holland was once enabled, by her commerce 
of oeconomy, to purchafe in one country, and fell in another, 
frequently upon cheaper terms, than if thofe Countries had traded 
diredly with each other. ' A great kingdom may do without this 
trade. {i.)Nolo eundem populum imperatorem et portitorem ejfe 
terrarum. I do not like, fays Tully, that the fame people flijiU 
be at once thé lords and carriers of the world. 


(x.) This par^ '•'n have no relation to the powers of Europe, unleft fome 
one of them (hould arrive at univerfal empire. But nothing could be more jufl 
than Cicero's application of it to the Roman people. He thought it both dif- 
hbnorable and impolitic, that, in a great empire, compofed of various nations, the 
governing people fliould employ themfelves in any thing but governing \ that, if 
they engaged in commerce, they fhould at leaft abftain from the inferior bnmchet 
of it ; that they ihoutd leave all articles of petty profit to the nations under their 
fubjeâSon, and that the mailer's employment Ihould be, as much as poiSble, diftin* 
guiihed from that of the fervant. Bcfides the apprehenfion of degrading the fuperior 

power in point of dignity and reputation, be was too wife a man not to fee, and 

» .... 

too good a man not to feel, the confequence of fuiFering the governing people to be 
rivals to their fubjefts. We ourfelves have feeh it in an Inftante perhaps of at 



" [ ico ] 

The more Holland and her commerce fiourilh^ the greater 
win be her importation, from France, of wines of all fort», 
brandies, vinegar, fait, oil of Provence, fugars, indigo> coffee; 


great magnitude and importance, as any politicar or commercfal abufe, that could 
poffibly have exifted in the Roman empire. The moment our greateft trading 
company became fovereigns in India, botii fuiHce and policy required, that the 
perfons, to whom the executive and iegillative authority of their gpvernmtnt in that 
country was committed, (houkl ceafo to be merofaants. Their engaging in the 
internal trade oC the country amounted, ia eflfeâ, to a prohibition againft the 
natives. There can be no competition between^ the fovereign and* the fûbje£l:'. 
Freedom and equality of privileges, at leaft to all^ the^ Aibjeâs of the fame ftate^ 
are the foundation of commerce. - Every exelufive privilege, every favorable di- 
ftinâion, whether granted to individuals or to commanities, counteraâ the firft 
prmciples o£ commerce, create monopolies, and, infiead of being beneficial to 
trade, fn general defeat the purpofe they were intended to promote. But when 
the moft extravagant exemptions are aiRimed by authority, and' maintained by- 
violence V when tbejbfereign, onhls immediate reprefentadves,. appear in a»charaâer 
incompatible with their political duties j when they engage as metchants in a* 
traffic, which their power as legiflatore enables them to monopolife^ where could fa 
unnatural, faantt^commercial a fyftem be expeâed to end, but where it has done, 
ki the ruin of trade- and induftry, the depopulation of the country, and finally in 
the definition or manifeA hazard of the geverning power ? Private plunder and- 
lapine could have gone no farther than to the corruption of individuals, and to 
the annual embezzlement of the. public revenue. But for the governing power to 
engage upon their own terms^ and with the advantage of their fituation, in the 
inland trade of the country, could not fail to dcftroy all freedom of trade, and at 
once cut off the fource of all future revenue^ Mere peculation and mifmanage- 
neht may be recovered by care and œconomy. But trade, once loft or diverted, is 
not eafify brouglit back to its former channel ; but induftry^ once checked, is not 
eafily revived; nor is it eafy to repeoplea great country, of which a government 
equally abfurd andoppreffive, if indeed it defecves the name of government,, has 
made a defert. You cannot recall the merchanr whom you have banifhed ; much 
left can you recover the confidence of a timid,, helplcfs people, whom your tyranny 
has driven to defpair. This at leaft muft be the work of time, and the confe- 
quence of a new fyftem of meafures* Thoib meafures muft be conduâed by men. 





[ 201 ] 

all forts of drapery, mercery, hardware, plate glafs, clock work, 
watches, filk and cotton ftuflFs, laces, and tapeflry. All Europe, 
has an interefl in maintaining the republic in its prefent ftate, 


aâing under another and higher authority than that of the company; by men whofc 
great appointments leave them equally without temptatiQn to trefpafs, or without 
excuTe if they depart from their duty; by men, in Ih^rt, whofe continuance in 
office does not depend upon the pleafure of a company, which hitherto has neither 
known how to reward merit, or puni(h demerit, among their own fervants. The 
.train of faâs, to which thefe obfervations refer, are, by this time, tolerably well 
underftood in England* Yet among ' the proceedings of the company's fervants 
at Bengal, there is oiielaâ, to which they have a more immediate reference, and 
which deferves to be recorded and inflftcd on, not only for its great fingularity, but 
as a proof bow dangerous it is to truft the mercantile fpirit with the powers of 
fovereignty. At the (ame time, when we fee a rich and powerful body of men, 
unexpeâedly involved in difficulties that approach to ruin, it may be a moral leflbn 
to remember, that fraud and injuilice were the fource of them. From the period, 
at which Meerjaffier was raifed to the dignity of nabob, the company's fervants 
began to entertain new ideas of the extent of their privileges. Under colof of the 
original firmaun, granted to the company by the Mogol, and to which they gave 
their own arbitrary interpretation, they claimed, and for fome years exercifed, a 
right of carrying on the inland trade of the country, free from any duties what*- 
foever. But the exemption, which they demanded for themfelves, would have 
been of little benefit to them, if they had fufFered it to be extended to the natives 
of the country. Not contented with paying no duties themfelves, they infified 
that no relief (hould be given to the country merchants ; and when Coffim Ally 
Kawn, the nominal fovereign of the country, feeing his revenues reduced to 
nothing, his own merchants excluded from a traffic which naturally belonged to 
them, his officers infulted, and his fubjeâs univerfally oppreffi^d, had determined 
to lay thj& trade open by abolifliing alj duties whatfoever in his dominions, it was 
refolved by a great majority of the council at Fort William, that this juft and necef- 
fary aâ of fovereignty was a breach of the company's privileges, ipd that the nabob 
ihould he poGtively required to recall it. If we (hudder at the maflfacre of a fmall 
number of our owi? countrymen, is it poffible to refleâ without indignation upon 
the conduâ of a (et of men, whofe avarice, folly, and injuftice, were not only the 
ttufe of that ihocking event, but of the murder of tboufands, and of the ruin of 

D d millions? 

. ^ 

[ 202 j' 

and (hould concur in fecuring.tohcr the poffeffîoiv of the twa 
branches above mentioned. Of all Europe, Holland is the 
ftatc, whofe value and produce moil exceed the produce and 


nillions ? In this country we have already feverely felt the efFeâ of a. fudden glut 
of wealth» acqiured without induftry, and unnaturally forced withoi;^ digeftion 
into the mafs of circulation. But pf evils of thi? kind we (hall probably bayq na 
reafon to complain hereafter. Inanition is the natural remedy of replojtioiH Tliet. 
firft ftep to a reformation of abufes in India isitoconEne tbe^qi^rcbwt^ ^ ^ludia» 
poffiblc» to that trade which is properly his bu(lne;fs. That the iame perfons» 
who a^ ai merchants upon the fpot, fhould enjoy any fliare in the (bvereign or 
executive power, is almoft as evident a contradiâion to. natural juftice> as that 
the party ihould be judge. 

TltQ re^âions, contained in A Fîiw of tit Et^HJb Govfrnrntni in S^galf vpoa 
the impoffibiiity of Introducing our laws into that country, are drawn up with 
equal ftrengtb of argument, and elegance of compofition. Yet, I think, the author 
has concluded too bailily, at leaft without premifes fufficicnt to (atisfy a reader 
otberwife uninformed, that a new arrangemei^t will fion revive the induftry of the 
inhabitants, bring the wafte lands into oui tivation, reft^ne the manufaâttres and 
iitfcrnal trade of the country, and improve the revenue. ^^ Bengal may reach a 
*' height of profperity heretofore unknown in India« The wounds^ which <hia 
^\ country has fuftaihed, are great ; and the checks, which induftry has here 
<< received, might, in a more northern climate, almoft ftarve a peopk. But in 
^ Bengal, where the demands of nature are few, where manufactures, from 
**• various caufes, have been preferved amidft fucceffive revolutions, thefe lodes 
<^ will be quickly retrieved." It is much to be feared, that all thefe good 
purpofes will not be fo eafily accomplilhed, as the author apprehends. If in 
Bengal the wants of nature are few, how does it happen, that they are fo ill 
fupplied, that provinces are fometiines depopulated by famine ? Should it be faid, 
that thefe calamitous accounts have been grofsly exaggerated on one fide, to ferve 
an interefted purpofe, there may be reafon to fufpeâ, that they are palliated with 
fome intention on the other. It may be doubted whether the promife of a better' 
government for the future will recall the inhabitant, whom the experience of the 
worft. government poiUble has driven away, and who has either periibed in mifery» 
or found a fettlement elfewhere. It may be queftioned whether trade, though 
invited by every advantage of cUnute and fttuation, will £> eafily rtvert to a 
cbannd it bat once deferted j and when we confider with what cruelty the manu« 



[ «03 ] 

valae of her territory, of which however flie makes q greater 
advantage than nature feems to permît. It is a fort of political 
creation. France and England are lUll very far from having all 
their foil in improvement, as well as from that degree of popu- 
lation, of which the two kingdoms are capable. Until we 
arrive at that point, an excentric commerce, and diftant co- 
lonies, are lefs neceffary. A palpable truth, though little 
known, or little obiei^ed in pr%6tice. 

I return to Holland, which I confider as the rudder of the 
commercial veflel of Europe. She furniflies the fails too. It is 
flie that blows the gale of faftitious credit, and facilitates the 
motion of a very heavy machine. Her dcftruâion would pro- 
duce a aniverfal palfy, and (he wants the fupport and affiftance 
of her neighbours. It is ah old oak, whofe leaves ftill appear 
green, but whofe root begins to decay, and that threatens 
to cruih its neighbpurs by its fall. (2.) It is not fo much a 
dangerous rival, as a ufeftil afibciate. A country of little 



faâurers have been treated, and how long their country has been the feat of war. 
plunder, s^nd oppreffion, we may reafonably doubt the poffibtUty of manufaâures 
having been preferved in any degree of elegance or perfeâion. General maxims^ 
founded upon the invariable experience of other nations, certainly make againft 
the author, and exceptions to fuch maxims require a clear explanation. Some of 
the letters from the feleâ committee acknowledge the almoft total lofs of the 
foreign trade, without any profpeâ of recovering it. The annual balance of that 
trade, in favor of Bengal, amounted, not many years Ago, to more than a million 
fterling, but was reduced to nothing in the year 1767. A melancholy proof of 
the decay of manufaâures, which formtrly found their way to the remoteji farts of 
Indoftan^ when fpecie flowed in by a thoufand channels^ which are at prefent loft or 
ohftruâîedi and that the feleâ committee and Mr. Verelft himfelf bad too much 
reafon to defcribe Bengal, as a Jinking country"^ declining and exhau/led country^ 
Vide page 59 and 87 of the Appendix^— Tr^ij^/^. 

(a.) Thefe metaphors are coo much (»roaded, and not ftriâly correâ. In ftyle 
perhaps there is nothing more ii^udicious than a curious endeavour to adorn a 

D d a fubjea. 


[ 2C4 J 

extent, that has no arable land, no woods, no vineyards, no 
mines, whofe foil is ungrateful, barren and expenfive, fhould 
not be the objedt of jealoufy. To envy her commerce, and her 
fiflieries, i^ a fignal injuftice, to which the apologue of the 
prophet to David may well be applied. This injuftice muft 
appear the greater, as it is contrary to the intereft of thofe wha 
ore guilty of it, confidering the confumption of their commo- 
/ dities and manufactures in Holland. The artificial currency of 
V ' Holland fqpports that of France and England, and vice versa. 
Thefe three powers, by their reciprocal harmony, partake of 
the commerce of Spain, that mother from whom they derive 
their nouriflin\ent, and who perhaps feels the efFeâ: of nourifh- 
ing three fuch children* France derives a confiderable advan- 
tage from the riches of Holland, in the large confumption of 
her wines, and in the utterance of her manufaâures of all forts,. 
France unqueftionably gains more by the opulence of Holland^ 
than ûie would have done if Lewis XIV. had fucceeded in de*^ 
ftroying the republic. England alfo has her advantage, fince 
/he fells to the Dutch more than fhe buys of them* Thejr 
fupply her with money in time of war* Holland fcrved a^ a 
bridge of communication in the laft war, and with no lefs 
benefit to France than to England. Holland» it is true, has 


fuljeâ, in itfelf not fufccptible of ornament, or only of fuch as are grave and rich, 
not fianciful. Books, like men, fhould be drefled in cbaraâer. A ferious writer^ 
upon a ferious^ fubjed, may be heated by the motion of his own thoughts, and 
* fometimes alter his pace; but it is only from flow to quick, from grave to animated,, 
from progrefs to expedition. A thoughtful nhnd, intent upon its objeâ, is often 
rapid, never nimble. Between the beft Englifli and French writers 1 think I 
perceive this confiant diftinâion of ftyte, that whereas the Engliihman proceeds 
without meafuring his fteps, and heat» himielf without intending it, the French- 
man, on the contrary, minces his motions when he means to be genteel, or cut^ 
capers to keep him&lf ^^tm^-^TranJlator. 


f i^5 I 

profited by it. But ought this to be a fubjed of jealoufy ? It 
is an accidental tribute, which her fituation makes neceflary to 
her. Without fuch cafual profits, and without her fpices, the 
commerce of the republic muft long fince have been annihilated. 
A fall of the fortune of Holland would revert, with fenfible 
mifchief, upon the commerce of France and England. Hitherto 
the competitors of the Dutch have frequently benefited themfelves 
at their expcncc, becaufe the Dutch had traded with fcarce any 
competition, and by a concurrence of various accidents had for 
fome time enjoyed an almoft universal and exclufive commerce. 
But thofe times are paft. To cavil with them upon the little 
they have left, cannot but be prejudicial to Europe in general, 
and in particular to the cavillers ihemfelves. It appears then 
clearly from all that has been faid, that all the powers are in- 
tcrefted in preferving Holland in her prefent ftate* (3.) But this 


(3.) Though wc ihould agree with the author m his mafn propofitjon, that 
Holland, in her prefent ftate, is not an objeâ of jealoufy, and that it is the ^ne*^ 
ral intereft of Europe to fupport the republic ^ hJs way of proving it does not feem 
quite conclufive, nor confiftent with (bme of his own principles. If Holland be 
in reality fo deûitute,.a3 he reprefents her, of all internal reiburces, ic follows, 
that whatever wealth fhe acquires muft^fome way or other, be at the-expence of hec 
neigtibours. If commerce be a game, and there be no winning with beggars, 
upon what terms is an opulent nation to trade with a people, who have neither 
commodities to exchange for purs, nor ipecie to pay for what they purchafe? 
Such a people may not now be the ol^eâ of jealoufy, but their operations Ihould 
at all times be ob(erved with fufpicion ;. and though at prefent there be but little 
appearance of their being able to renew thofe fcenes of fraud and violence, to 
which, much more than to their induftry, they are indebted for the eftablilhroenC 
of the mod lucrative branches of their trade, the charader which produced thofe 
Icehes, if it Ihould not appear to be greatly improved, deferves a conftant attention. 
The ofFenilve part of it IbouM (et other trading nations upon their guard. The 
prudent part of it may ferve them lor an example. Their policy in purchafing raw 


[ ^^^ 3 

\llfrt)C impoflitlc/if flie be thwarted in thdfe objcâs which 
are cffential to her prefervation. The commerce of the republic 
is more precarious than that of any other power. We have feen 


materials from their , neighbours, in order to employ their own manufiaâurers, is 
ccruinly not to be condemned. Yet the feâ, upon the face of it, fuppofes them 
to exift by a trade of contraband. Their neighbours are themfelves manufafturers, 
and the lawsof every manufaâuring nation concur in prohibitiiig the exportattoa 
of raw materials* The fpice trade is their own^ and they po&fs it without x 

With refpeâ to their fiflierieSy the fea is undouI>tedIy open to their indgftry. 
Whatever they draw from that fource, is an addkion of wealth to the common 
ilock of Europe* But whether the liberty of fifhing in the open Teas implies a 
right of (ifliing immediately upon the coafts of their neighbours^ is a queftion of 
greater policical than commercial importaace» It is no lefs than whether the 
immediate coafti of a maritime ftate make part of its territorial domain* If they 
do not, we have no property in our creeks^ ba} s, rivers, or any other waters, 
that communicate with the fea« A neutral power has no right to prohibit aâs of 
faoftility between nei^bouring powers at war with each other, though they fliould 
lie committed within a few yards of the ihore, or even in their harbours* If they 
do» the ftranger who without licence avails himfelf of the produce of the fea upon 
that coaft, invades his neighbour's territorial right. The next fiep is to reap the 
faarveft upon the fhore» Rights of property» among nations as well as among 
individuals^ are poiitive, and, for the peace of fociety, muft be ftriâly preferved. 
Ill former times, the Dutch never prefumecl to begin their iiihery upon the Englifh 
cloaft, without firft obuining leave from the governors of Scarborough caftle. 
The man, who takes what belongs to his neighbour, though for an innocent or 
ufeful purpofe, eftabliihes a dangerous precedent againft himfelf. Pretences for in- 
Juftice are but too eafily invented. But fuppoCng the right to be in theory as 
doubtful and obfcure, ^ts, the learning of a Selden and a Grotius can make it, there 
is no doubt whatfoever, ths^t the exercife of itmuft always be invidious, and natu- 
rally tend to create jealoufy and ill blood between nations, that otherwife might live 
in amity, and purfue their feparate interefts without interfering with each other. 

Through all this author's writings there is an apparent biafs in favor of Holland» 
which, fuppoCng him to be a native of that country, does him no diflionor. fiuC 
U is not neceflal-y that the tranllator, or the reader, ihould ioiplicitly adopt every^ 


[ 207 ] 

a petfeâ pidure of it in thofe well digefted remonftrances, wftkh 
were prefented by fomc able, merchants ta the late ftadtholder, of 
glorious memory, a- little before his death. They went back 
to the original caufes, which, in former times, fo prodigioufly 
favored a commerce eflential to the conftitution of the flate, 
marking out, and dilUnguilhing at the fame time, thofe caufes 
of its decline which are inevitable, from thofe which might 
iUll admit of a remedy. The following, as well as I can 
recoUeâ, are the. topics» on which this important memorial 

They fet forth the total change of fyftem in the commerce of 
"Europe, and examined into the caufes, which formerly con- 
curred in fixing it, with fo much adtraotage, in the republic. 
in tracing thefe original caufes, they diftinguiDied, firll the 
phyfical, fecondly the moral, and laflly the accidental caufes, 
which had concurred with the others. The phyfical caufes, 
for inftance, confift in the advantageous fituation of the country. 
The republic, placed between the northern and fouthern ibaa, 
ftands as a centre to Europe, and of courfe lies conveniently 
for traders of all nations, to make it an univerfal ftaple. Here 
they aflembled from every quarter to exchange their merchan- 
difes, fupplying the necefiities of fome with the fuperfiuity of 
others to their mutual advantage. 


opinion of the author ; nor does it IifTcn the merit of an ingenious writer, that all 
his opinrons are not to be adopted, The bed book it 
contains the greateft quantity of dircift information ; but 
or compels the render to think for himfelf. Wealth an 
«nhappy privilege of fubfifttng upon the genittt,'or ir 
cultivation una improvement of our faculties were rega 
kind of in(lrui5lJon, which leaves fomething for ourfelve 
«IS with the raw materials of thinking, and fets the un t! 

jnind italf has a commercial intereJl, anJ, if not capable of the firft invention, tit 
' feme (legrec appropriates wbatcverit improves. — Tranjlater, 

r 2os ] 

"^Tie barrcnncfs of the foil contributed to their fuccefs, by 
compelling the inhabitants to exert their induftry to provide 
themfelves with the neceflaries of life. It made them more 
induOxious^ more laborious, and obliged them to feek for that 
fupply in other countries, which failed them in their own. The 
fituation of the republic puts it in her reach to avail herfelf of 
the filhery in the neighbouring feas, where the abundance of 
fifli has not only enabled her to provide for her own fûbfiftence, 
but to fupply foreigners. In the produce of her fifliery flie 
finds a compenfation for that dearth of provifions^ which attends 
a barren foil, and a very limited territory. 

Among the moral caufes we may reckon liberty of confcience, 
as one of the means which have contributed moft to people the 
Seven Provinces, by inviting a multitude of foreigners to refide 
there. The proteftion, granted to foreigners againft the yio-« 
lence of perfecutioBj has been another fource of opulence. 
The Dutch have profited by the pcrfecutions in other countries* 
Strangers, who found an afylum here, brought with them not 
only their property and their money, but their induftry ; intro- 
ducing various fabrics» manufaâures, trades, arts, and fciences; 
and this too, in fpite of the difficulty they met with, in finding 
themfelves unprovided with all the elements or firft materials of 
manufaâures, which the country itfelf does not produce, and 
which they are obliged to import from alwroad at a confiderablc 
expence. ' 

The conftitution of their government, and the civil liberty 
refulting from it, has contributed not a little to the profperity of 
their commerce. The adminiftration of juftice has always been 
unblemiihed, without refpeft of perfons. It were to be wifhed, 
that we had equal reafon to be fatisfied with the fpeedy difpatch 
of proceedings^ fince this point has a great influence upon com* 

mercc» N 

[ 209 ] 

merce. Among the moral and political caofes of their former 
fuccefs in commerce^ we may recl^on their wife policy and cir- 
cumfpeâion in avoiding war, aaid preferving |)eace» without 
looking for chinierical advantages in ruinous wars. Such are 
the political maxims which have conftituted the glory of the 
republic, which have infpired foreigners with that confidence 
they have always repofcd in her government, and which of 
courfe have invited a multitude of ufeful citizens, who have 
increafed her commerce and her riches. 


Among the accidental and external caufes, which have con«^ 
tributed to the fuccefs of her commerce, the following may be 

At the time when the republic put in pradice the wife 
maxims, which aie had adopted for proteâing her trade, that 
of her neighbours was almoft entirely negleâed« We need only 
read the hiftory of thofe times to fee how much the perfecution, 
on the fcore of religion, in Spain, Flanders, and other king*- 
doms, have contributed to advance the commerce of the 
republic. The civil wars in France and Germany, and after- 
wards in England, have contributed not a little to the eftablifh-» 
ment of her manufauures* In the very heat of the war^ which 
Holland maintained againft Spain and Portugal, a period in 
other refpedts ruinous to commerce, thofe two powers negleâed 
their marine, while that of the republic grew formidable, and 
was at once in a condition to prote<^ her own commerce, and 
to deflroy that of her enemies* Such are the principal caufes 
which have eftabliûied and encouraged the commerce of the 
republic. Before we fpeak of its actual flate^ it may be proper 
to enquire wliich of thefe caufes ftill fubfift, and which have 
difappeared; the fureft way to difcover the means of promoting 
commerce in its diiFerent branches. 

E c . As 



C 2ÏO ] 

As ta natural and pfiyfîcal caufcs, it is certain tBat tfaitogff anr 
nearly înr the fame fituation^ except perhaps fome little alteratiba 
in the mouths of rivers, where fand majr have collided, and 
made the paflage of veflels^ more difficult. As to the (?a, the- 
Dutch had once the fole poflcffion of the fifliery. At prcfcnt 
they fharc it with their neighbours^ From thence a:rifes the 
diminution of their herring, cod, and whafe fifliery; A« to 
accidental cauies, and any changes among the powers wBich 
furround the republic, it cannot be denied that revolutions Bave, 
happened, fatal to her commerce, which had thriven by the. 
perfecutions in: other countries,, by the contempt her neighbours, 
entertained for commerce, their negligence in the pradice, and 
their ignorance of the theory. AH tfiefé circumffances arc 
evidently altered. The powers of Europe . have adopted the 
maximsr of the repuWic. With the advantages of foil and 
territorrd production, they vie with each other m proteding 
trade, manufadfurcs, fabrics, and fifhery. This cannot but have 
a fatal influence upon the commerce of fo fmalT a ftate. She feels 
too fenfibly the progrefs of her neighbours. Our Dutch mer- 
chants complain, that formerly they fupplied the north and eaft 
country with the produdions, fruits, and commodities^ of 
France, Spain-, Portugal, and Italy, and thcfc m return with 
the produdions of the former ; whereas, at prefent, the expence 
of freight and other charges are managed without them. It fs 
but a very few years fince Amfterdam was a general magaainc^ 
of indigo among the reft; and other drugs ufed in dyeing. 
Hardly any trace» of it renaain at prefent, Germany has begua 
for fome years to import direftly what merchandifes fhc wants 
from France, Spain, Portugal, and Italy, introducing them by- 
way of Altena and Hamburglw - 


The merchants ohfcrvcd that, by the laft accounts of the 
exportation of fugar, coffee, and indigo, from the ift of June, 

1750, to the 31(1 of May, 175 1, and by a comparifon of the 
fame articles exported from Nantz to Amilerdam and Ham- 
burgh, from the ift of Oârobcr, 1750, to the ift of Auguft, 

175 1, it appears that not above a fourth of thofe articles were 
fliipped for Holland, atid that the remaining three fourths were 
ihippsd direftly for Hamburgh- A little before this period, the 
proportion was in the inverfe ratio. 

Where are now, fay the merchants, thofe ladings which we 
formerly ufed to fee of hemp, flax, and other merchandifes of 
the Baltic, for Spain, France, and Portugal? We need only 
confult the regifters of the Sound, to fee that all thefe nations 
import thofe merchandifes . without our afliftance. We no 
longer fee any Dutch houfes in Spain. It is aftonifliing how 
little the republic is concerned in the galloons» and how low 
her Levant trade is fallen. The great number of preflfes for 
printing cotton, houfes for refining of fugars, and other fabrics 
eftablifhed within a fhort time paft at Hamburgh and Bremen» 
and very lately in Flanders and Brabant, are fo many proofs of 
a decay in the commerce of the republic* Formerly fhe alone 
carried on the trade of all Europe. Strangers paid hpr without 
enquiry whatever fhe demanded, their ignorance in matter of 
commerce not permitting them to think of reducing their 
expences by means of a direâ navigation. But fince the laft 
century, the fyftem of Europe is wholly changed. Foreign nations 
obferved, that it was by commerce only that the republic had 
arrived at that degree of power. This confideration, added to 
that of the taxes they paid in Holland, fuggefted to them the 
idea not only of applying themfelv^ to commerce, but of doing 
entirely without the Dufch^ by conveying the fuperfluity of their 

E e 2 own 

own produâloB^ diVedly to the places wheratbe* coniumjMioii- 
was greatefl» and^ on the other hand, by repairing^ to the fountain^ 
head for what they wanted thcmfelvea*. 

Such are, in general, the chief caufes of the greatnçfs^ and: 
decay of the commerce of Holland. Exceflive taxes, cuftom^ 
faoufe duties, and other impoûtioas, with which the necefiities^ 
of the public have loaded commerce,, operate as acceifary caufes^, 
have haflened, and continue to haficn its decline. On this fide 
the merchants afErmed that the remedy muft he fought ; or at. 
leaft that the dutieii muft4>e diminifhed, to Hop the progrefs o£ 
the decay. A deep enquiry into this, matter would lead us toOt 
far, and does not concern tlie reft of Europe*. I ihall only, 
tepeat that they obiêrved*. that an^increaiê of the duties of impor*- 
tution at the cuftom-houfe i& fallaçiouts ^ and they proved it thus*. 
After the fevere winter of û\t year 1740, all the produce of the 
earth being deftcoyed,. the mortality which happened among the: 
cattle occafioned a confidesable ipcreafe in the revenues of the cuf^- 
tom-houfe, on account of the gœat introdudion of foreign com- 
modities and foreign cattle,, to anfwtr the internal confumption.. 
Weftiould be grofsly deceived, if we attributed this kind of increafe- 
to any augmentation <]if commerce. The Engliihgive a drawback^ 
or reftitution of the duties of importation upon commodities and 
merchandifes of paffage,, in order to favor the exportation and 
iale in foreign countries ; the fign of a flpurifhing commerce* 
Tthere is this difference between Holland and other commercial 
countries, that, having unfortunately fcarce any thing of her own 
growth, her commerce,, as far as it concerns navigation, confias 
folely in the exchange of foreign commodities introduced for 
the fingle pufpofe of fending them abroad y an operation which 
(hould be favored and encouraged in the republic by every method, 
imaginable. If exï:efiive luxury bad not.altered the manners of the 




[ ^^3 J 
ilfeîs country would be the only one proper fbr a general 
feif. The œcononfiy of the inhabitants, (4.) and the low intereft 
of money, enable the Dutch to benefit both themfdv^s and their 
BcighbourSf by aâing as carriers foe thepi in certain articles of 
trade, particularly in the herring fifliery, which they alone know 
how to manage with the neceflary oeconomy and cleanlinefs^ 


f4.) IThere ir not periiapt ceconomj enough in the genius of the Englifii to 
qualify them for fucceeding in any branch of trade, or in any other eneerprife, ia. 
which they muft, ah initio, be contented to take a great deal of pains^ without 
the hopes of more than a moderate profit. Perhaps the form and magnitude of 
their commerce, place them above the necefSty of little traffic,, which pailès under 
Ûkt name of Bédling. A kingdom, tbatrhas a great ftock of its own, and that can 
preferve itiâf without a great naral power, may certainly do^ without fte carrying 
trade; that is,, its pooplemaybe better.empioyed. It is ailfe true,., in a^mere com-^ 
mercial view to profit, that, fince every advance upon the freight is in effeâ an 
advance in the price of all imports and exports, it is both the merchant's and the 
confumer's intereft to employ thofe carriers whoferve them upon the moft mode- 
rate terms. But, befiçies that there is a wide dilFektnce hetween n6t carrying for 
others, and employing others to carry for' us, a. great maritime powbr-muft attend^ 
to the Incrcafe and maintenance of a Jarge body of feamen^ We may be hufband*r 
men and manufadlurers ; but if vfC do not trade in oar own fhips, and navigate 
them with our own feamen, we muft renounce that naval fuperiority, which, if 
it were not eflentially nccelfiiry to our fecurity, (hould be ftill maintained for 
oftentatton. A real, or fancied national pne-eminenco cannot be purchafed too 
dear. It exalts the fpirit of the people, and qualifies them for great aâions* It 
is in view to this object, arid to the fecurity of the dependence of the colonies oh 
the mother country, that the navigation a<Sl may.befaid to be founded in principles 
of political wifdom. The commercial intereft, fingly confidered, of a nation that 
has an extenfive territory to cultivate, and a great natural produce to difpofe of»^ 
does not, in theErft inftance at leaft,, depend upon ibip-buildtng,« or feamen. It 
mther confifts in inviting as many foreigners as poffible,, whether buyer» or fellers^. 
to traffic with you in your own harbourSi Your buying fheir goods at a low price, 
and your felling your own at a high one, depends upon the number» of fellers and 
buyers who frequent the market. The difcouragements and refiraints, laid upon 
fareignersy arife from the jealous fpirit of mercantile competition^ and no waj; 
hd^ng to the liberal genius of commerce^.-^-Tr^r^f^ar». 

[ ^'4 3 
To the fitaatîoû.of the republic, to the rivers and (xmalâ wkic^ 
ti^terfeft the country, we may add the œconomy of her Inha- 
bitants. In this article theicieafaring people furpafs every mother 
nation I They ^quip a veflel with ei^teen ^men, for which 
other nations require twenty -fix or twenty eight. The fparing 
diet of their feamen, the conftruâion of their ve^els, and the 
k)ng jtime they make thpm, lad by a cleanlinefs which appears 
trifling ; -all thefe circomAances-umted, enable therDittch ta be the 
carriers of certain articles at a lower rate than any other ^nation. 
tt is unjuft to envy them fuch an advantage. The abundance of 
pioney ampng them, and the moderate ^profits , fatisfy the 
Dutch, are benefits. that.revçrt upon their neighbours. Jtis.not 
fair then to cavil with them continually, or to deprive >them 
from day to day of thofe feeble advantages of which they ftiH 
preferve fo incon^derable a (hare. But without entering into a 
piore mipufe 4^t9il, I flatter myfelf this pidure fhows^ that the 
commerce of Holland, upon its prefent footing, far from being 
an objeâ of jealoufy to her neighbours, oughts ron the contrary» 
to be confide^ed as necefTary to their own prefervation and 
^profperityj that any greater decay,of it muft be attended with 
ruin to the republic j and that her ruin would be the càufe of 
Irreparable mifchief to the reft of Europe, whofe commerce 
profpers by that circulation and confumption, which Holland 
maintains in a greater degree than any other natioa. It is alfo for 
^he common good, if I^do ^not deceive mj&lf^ «that Spain (hould 
have the pofleffion^ «or rather the cuftody, of the treafures of 
America. -France enjoys evqry thing that can render her king- 
dom rich and happy, with flrength enough to deter othei^ from 
attempting to moleft her. England has all the pofleflions 
neceflary, and every imaginable advantage to maintain the pro- 
Cperi^ of a commerce now at its apogeum, and rather liable to 


f *ï5 J 

4« blotted' dian nourished by toy farther augmentation. Theit 
it a meafure which cannot be exceeded; To paTs that point, is 
to oveiihoot the mark. When the confumptioa of anycom-> 
modit^ is arrived at' its higheft period of gradation» the quantity 
cannot be increafed without overftocking the trade» which ends 
in a decayi Nature- has prefcribed limits to the human Aature» 
on either fide of which (he makes^ dwarfs^ or giants; Co, with 
fegard to» the happieft conftitution of a ftate» there is a certain 
boundary»' to which it ought to reach^ and beyond winch it ought 
not to be extended. In every poHticsd body there is a maximum ^ 

of ftrength) not to be exceeded; Beyond that point» to aggran^ 
dife is to enervate. In fome eafes^ undoubtedly» a moiety isf 
worth nwre than the whole. The Midas df the fable may ber 
found in hiftoryj. * Every nation» I think» (hould be dîvidcd*^ 
into feveral claiTeSé In- each order of fociety» the number 
âiould- be proportioned to the rank$ that' is» the inferior ranks* 
fhould be the moft numerous ; otherwife the harmony of the 
ftàte is difcompofed. The proportion I fpcak of (hould re- 
fbmble the ftruéture of a pyramid» enlarging in extent as it 
approaches to its bafis. A body too -great for its conftitution 
deprcffes itfelf» and* links undbr itff own weight. Let us, for a 
moment» conceive a ftate» in which every body (hould be riche 
k could not fub(ift without calling in the fervicc of indigent 
foreigners. The fovereign power is the fummit of the building ; 
it (hould be (ingle ifa itfelf» and gradually fiipportcd by the 
inferior orders, of which the people are the foundation. Too^ 
much wealth» whether accumulated or difperfed» fuppofes us 
to wiftr for a pyramid, while we deftroy the eflcnce of 'it, 
or that a body may be fupported without feet. I do not in(ift 
upon the diiwder refulting from It in point of morality, which 
yet has a greater eflfcû than we are aware- of in every political 


fydem. A very rich nation may fubduç ftn»t^r lefs rich diAtt 
itfelf, but poor nations will always fubduc th^.snoft opulent. 

Let England therefore conûder (and in Enjgland there are 
many refpcdtable perfons of this opraion) that a grcateç comr 
pierce may become not only injurious to her, but fatal. The 
greedy branches exhaui): the trunk. It was faid to ÇrçB(m^ , 
*^ You liave gold in abundance ; but he who m^derfl^adci the 
** ufc of iron better than yoo4o, will plunder you of your 
^* gold.*'— -Too much wealth extinguishes induftry. Corruption 
of manners prevails through every rank« and all is loft. I 
indulge myfelf in the hope^ àizX the dee^ and fublime imagina* 
tion of the Englifh may brood ovçr dbeie principles, and quicken 
them into priuSkice. They will improve inlertility^ aiKi Jiumaa 
nature will profit by it. J fee the truth* though faintly. I 
feel it myfelf. But I want the power of expreffion to place U 
in the cleared point of npw, and to make it equally ieniible to 

The fame political progrefs may he applied to other powers^ 
It will appear that, if men would live like brothers, all parties 
would ^d their account in it. 

Jt cannot be ^ifpnted, that political ftrength conûfts in 
having a greater number of fubjeâs who fubfift with eafe ; who 
caufe an extenfive confumption, who turn the foil to advantage, 
and exert their induftry to fubfifl: as much as poffible without 
the afliftance of foreigners, whom yet they fupply with the 
produce of their foil, and the labor of their hands* The labor 
and induilry of many are infinitely more ufeful to the fovereign, 
than the accumulated riches of a few. There is then a maximum, 
for riches alfo. Even too great a population might do mif'-. 
chief. It might produce ûcknefs, epidemical difeafes, plague, 
famine, and revolt. Every excefs is dangerous. In politics it 




f ?^ 3 

tery often happens» that nothing is lefs true than what appears 
moft probable* An apparent profperity is frequently a mafk tQ 
the ruin of the ftate. A great misfortune fometimes brings 
great advantages along with it. Take the following inftance. 
The iofs of Minorca, which the Englifli fufFçred in the beginning 
of the war, feemcd to th rotten them with ftill greater difafters, 
and to be greatly to their difad vantage. Far otherwife. Befides 
thftt this extraordinary event roufed the nation, whofe errors are 
foon correAed by their fortunate conftitution, and where concord 
often ariies from difunion itfelf, as harmony in mufic refults 
from difcords. 

The lofs of Minorca made them ftill greater mariners than 
they were, by forcing them to defy all feafons in the Mediter- 
ranean s the Englifli fquadrons formerly loitered at Mahon, and 
the porters of the Mediterranean frequently left the key in the 
doon In the war of 1744, we have often feen the French and 
Spanifli fquadrons unite, and fail into or out of the Méditer-» 
ranean, while the Englifli were at Minorca. In the laft war, 
* atlivifion of Monfieur De la Clue's fquadron, intended to carry 
troops and ammunition to Cape Breton, was intercepted before 
Carthagena, in the middle of winter, by the Engliih fleet, 
which, in fo fevere a feafon, would probably have been at 
Mahon, if the Englifli had been in pofleiïïon of the ifland* 
Upon this fingle event perhaps may have depended almoft all 
their fubfequent fuccefles in America, It appears then, that 
misfortunes frequently give birth to fucceiTes, which in their 
turn bring about the greateft difafters ; an important leflbn, and 
too little confidered. 

F f . . The 

(5.) The aaion, to which the author refers, happened on the 28th of February, 
.1758. Cape Breton wa« taken in July following.— 3rj«/fe/<?r. 

Vhe fymptoms af opulence in a ftate are often equirocal.. 
An increafe» for inftance^ in the revemle of the caftoms, k m 
very defeâive barometer to determine ivhether cootmerce 
fiourifhes or not. Exportation is the only criterion. It aj^eart. 
that, from the year 1740, the revenue a( the cuftom-houfe». 
which they call die Admiralty in Holland^ had iocreafed con« 
liderably ; yet» that this augmentation wsts ruinous to the 
ûate, becaufe it arofe from a mortality among the horned cattle» 
large fupplies of which were introduced from Demnark,, an£^ 
paid for with money that never returned. In the fame msmner,, 
if England purchafes more foreign coounodities to fupply her 
colonies, the revenue of the cuftoms may increa(e, to the pre* 
judice of the Idngdom; unlefs the return from the colonic 
ftall introduce, in exchange, a fuperabundance of commodities,, 
which, being carried to a foreign nwrket, may make good ^thfe 
firft IcfCs, and convert it into a red profit. "Time wfll prove 
the advantage ; a good adminiftnttion- may procure ft. Mai^kets^ 
at which the growing manufadkures of a country may be dif|>ofe 
of, are a real advantage, becaufe they ncceffarily increafe the 
ttumber of tlianufaâurers, and con&quently population and 
confumpttcn. Manufactures ufuafly in^vite foreigners, who repwr 
the breach made by the colonics in the population ctf flic mother 
country. All thcfe principles muft be combined, to judge of the 
importance and utility of a new cofony^ 

If then it be almoft problematical,, whether great ^cquiïîtion^f. 
in confequence of great fuccefles in war, be hardly a compenû- 
tion for the evils it creates ^ fo much the more reaibn is éheie 
never to commence a war in the uncertainty of fuccefs. Ifwie^ 
reafoncd from our principles, this fliould henceforward be the 
j^ of peace ; fince^ it feems» ût is the geberal wtfh> that com* 


mercc fhould be protedtcd ^n the pîncîpal countries, of Europe, 
In France, England, Spain, Holland, Portugal, and all the 
north. It is ihç general intereft of theP^ powers to maintain 4 
profound peace, and to çompofc or b^niih thofe petty difputcs, 
among princes, which tend to involve thçir neighbours in a 
war. While the comn^ercial powers are united in eluding all 
occafions of war, it pfiay with eafc be avoided. One great 
difficulty prefents itfelf, I confefs ; the Englifh, for their own 
fecurity, to fupport their fplendor, and to indulge their tafte 
for expence, and thç generofity natural to the nation» think they 
ûiould maintain a fuperiority at fea. Their fituation, the con« 
ftitution'of their government, and that extenfive conunerce, 
which they feem to have more need of than any other power, 
appear to require it. But it ijs not yet time to enter into the 
detail of this important queflion. Let us ^rft fay a word of the 
India trade. 

The commerce to the Indies is fqppofed to be deftruâive, oa 
account of the money fent thither, if a confiderable part of the 
returns are not again difpofed of to foreigners. The great prin« 
ciple however, univerfally cited, ** That, if we are obliged to 
•* purchafe the commodities of India from foreigners for our 
*^ own confumption, it is rather our intereft to import then^ 
«* ourfelves,*' may be liable to fome exceptions ; for this reaibn« 
The money we carry into Afia is loft to Europe ; whereas the 
money we ipend among our neighbours increafes the general 
circulation, and we ourfelyes profit by it. The greater num- 
ber of rivals we fend into Âfîa, fo much the more do we advance 
the price of India goods, fo many more rifques do we run, and 
fo much the more do v/t reciprocally injure one another. 

This trade, at firft fo lucrative to one or two nations, is at 
length become of little importance, not to fay more, tP thç 

F f a others 


( 220 ] 

Others that have engaged in it. It is inconvenient, therefore^ 
that all the powers (hould meddle with it ; I mean, it is not for 
the general intereft of Europe. Upon this point I have hardly 
courage to deliver' my opinion ; I leave it to men of greater 
abilities and experience to unfold, and go to the bottonvof my 
own principles. This alone I believe I may aflert, that it is for 
the benefit of all Europe, that the Dutch in particular (hould 
preferve a confiderable fliare in the India trade, efpecially 
in the articles of fpice and cinnamon. If France or England 
pofleiTed the Moluccas, Ceylon, Peru, Mexico, and the Bra- 
zils, they would in a little time engrofs all the money iit 
Europe, and be made unhappy by the difproportion among the 
inferior clafles, fo produdive of dîflenfîon and cabal, and by 
the jealoufy of aM their neighbours, whofe poverty wouM'makc 
them formidable. In a great kingdom the gradations from 
opulence to poverty flieuld be numerous ; and at every ftep of 
the defcent, the number of individuals fliould be greatly 

' The republic of ' Holland is not an adliv?, dangerous power,, 
but paflive and vivifying. Amidft the marihes (he has drained,, 
flie has no refource but commerce, no fubfirtence but induftry. 
Peace is her element. The prefervation of her ftate is all her 
ambition. She is ferviceable to her neighbours, and can never 
give umbrage while they leave her unmolefted. Yet, if driven 
to defpair, fhe might ftill become formidable. Without the 
herring fifhery (by two thirds lefs at preient than it was before 
the wars with Cromwell and Charles II.) and without the India 
and carrjring trade, the republic could not long fubfift. It is 
the intereft of Europe to maintain her in pofleflion of thefè 
three objcdts, for the general good, and to fupport the adtual 
fyftem of Europe, the fyftem of commerce, credit, circulation, 


ptil^lîc funds, imaginary and artificial riches, tnanufaâure^r 
and luxury. Few people know that Holland» niaintained in a 
flourifliing ftatc, is one of the main arches of the building. If 
carer„ as appearances feem to threaten, the mines of Mexico and 
Peru fliould be exhaufted like thofe of Spain, this whole fyftcm 
muil fall to the ground. From that moment the India trade 
will become, in every fenfb, pernicious, and impoverifh Europe.^ 
All the currency of paper credit will vanifli ; the eftablifhnjents- 
and fortunes of individuals will be fuccefSvely and rapidly over- 
turned» There will be a revolution in the univerfal fyftem. 
But this event being yet at a diilance, it is certain, that the. 
Dutch, by means of an artificial circulation fupported by a due 
proportion of fpecie, and by means of their œconomy, may 
&pply their neighbours, from one to the other, with commo- 
dities cheaper than if they were diredtly to import them them- 
fblves. Na other nation has fucceeded in pickling herrings^ 
either fo well, or at fo low à rate. Their neighbours, I prefume, 
would gain more by furnifliing them with fait, than by engaging 
in the pickling trade themfelves. This fupports one of the 
principles I advanced in the beginning of my letter.. 

If the harmony of the political pidture of commercial Europe 
be attended ta, it will be found, that it is no way incompatible 
with the common. in tcrefl of all parties, that the mines of Peru 
ihould belong to Spain, thofe of Brazil to Portugal» the fpice 
trade and herring fifhcry to Holland ; the fugars, indigo, and 
other produce of St. Domingo, Martinique, and Guadeloupe,. 
as well as a fhare in the great fiiheries, to France ; and that 
Engird, at the fame time,, may and ought to preferve aa 
«niverial command over all the commence,. *of which North 
America, Jamaica,, and the Great Indies (except the Moluccas 
and Ceylon) are the bafis. If the principal fugar colonies 


{ 222 1 

1)é1angêd to the Engli(h# their commerce with Portogal mi^tf: 
fufict hy it. I bdiove thé Englifh» by their commerce» ehcoa^ 
rage "the {)tx>dlicf of the Brazils^ and are well rewarded for it by 
the tribute they draw from that Country. But it cannot be 
;denied> fhat it is the iatérâft of all Europe, that the principal 
fugar colonies ûiould belong to France, in order to fupply the 
confomption rf Germany^ and the trade of Holland. Firft; 
hecaufb FraaCe can furniih fugar at a lower rate, which Js aa 
imourdiate advantage to Germany, Holland, and the north 
xountt-y«. Secondly^ if England had all the other fugar colonies^ 
thofe of Brazil would be ufeleft to PortngiL That kingdMia 
would fufier by it ; and England, in the dioÛAUtion of her Por- 
tugal trade, would lofe a great part of the exceffive» but falla« 
^ious profits, which (he might gain on the other fide» to the 
prejudiceof all Europe. If I were better accjuainted with the 
detail of conmierce, I am perâiaded that other examples might 
l>e produced in fupport of thefe principles** England is imited 
with Portugal by mutual interefts ; their reciprocal commef^:e is 
fieceâary to the two nation^ ; one confumes the produce of the 
x>ther, without any ^eat difadvantage to other powers^ who 
enjoy other compenfationfi. 

Let it not be thought that I mean to introduce into politlci 
the optimifm of Leibnitz. I do not pretend to iay that all is 
6za<^y right 5 fome arrangements might certainly foe better than 
they are^ But I affirm, that all the conimercial powers may, 
in time of peace and on the pre&nt footing, fubfift in a ftate of 
prof^ity ; and if there be any branch of conmierce not exaûly 
in its place, or which we may think we have occaûon for, it is 
better to go without it, than, in order to obtain it» to engage in 
a war which ddftroys all the odier branches. It is botter to 


^ See the Note at the end of the Letter» 


r «J I 

iaaânte a ffight ^ijjbem^r than to nia û» coniUtutioa hf 
violent remedie&é 

A paûage ia the Hiftoq; of thr Age «f («çwia XIV^ Bf 
Vohaîre^ is wortb qooting» ^ In Chriftiaa monarcbîes^ the 
^ people have fcarce ever aay intereft in the wars earned on by 
^ their (bverei|^n$.. M^^cenary armies^ raifed by order of a 
^ tnimllerj aad commanded by a general, who blindly obey^ 
^ that minifter^ make lèverai ruinous campaigns^ while the 
^^ princes^ in whofe nanae* they fig^t, neither expeâ: nor intend 
^ to poflefs themfelves of the patrimony of each other. The 
^ nation that conquers, never gains^ any thing by the Spoils of 
^ the conquered par^, yet pays all the expence. In the 
^ ruccefs of their arnis they fuffer as ipuch as when they 
^ inifcariyj and .peace becomes aknoiS as neceflary after the 
♦* grcateft viâory, as when the eyneniy are in ppfleffian of their 
^ frcmtier towns.. Tihis is ^^nMii always true« The^xceptions-^ 
^ are rare*'* 

RouÛêau,. in iiis prq}c£i far a perpetual peace^^ confirons m^r 
principles y let -us liften ,tp this great writer. *^ If aM princes^ 
are not yet cured ofthe folly of making conquefts, it leems 
at leaft,. that the wifeft of them begin to perceive that they 
^ fometimes -coft more than they are worth. Without entering 
♦^ into diftiaâiofts that would- lead us too fer^ Xt oxay be faid in 
^ general, that a prince;, who to extend >his frontier lofes as 
^ many of his ancient fubjeâs as he gains of new one$>« we^kei)» 
** himfelf by increajfiog bio |;Teatnefsj becaufc, with a greater 
^ iertitoiy to defend, ^he has ,no greater nurobers^ to defend it.. 
•* :But it cannot be unknown that, in the w^ in which war is 
*^ conduâed at ,prefen^, the rleaft part ef the depoputatioa 
occaûoned by it, is that which happens immediately in ^ 
field* That loi^ is indeed the moft apparent and ibnfible;; 
^^ hut the lois^ whiich the who^ Aatie jfo^s at the ^e tiipc» 

«* is 




t 224 1 

-^^ is more grievous and more irreparable than tliat of the men 
^* who perifh j the lofs of thofe who are not born, the ihcreafe 
** of taxes, the interruption of commerce, the defertion from 
^* the country, and the abandoning of agriculture. Thrs is ah 
^^ evil not perceived at firft, but cruelly felt in its confequences. 
We then wonder at finding ourfelves^fo weak, with fuch ah, 
apparent addition of ftrength. What renders conquefts lefs 
** interefting is, that we now underftand by what means power 
^^ may bé doubled and trebled, not only without extending our 
-** territory, but, as the Emperor Adrian dijl very wifely, fome* 
" times by contradting it. We know that men alone conftitutè 
^^ the ftrength of kings. This propofition flo^\^ from what Ï 
•** have already fairf, that of two ftates, containing ^n equal 
** number of inhabitants, that which occupies the fmalleft ter- 
*^ ritory is in reality the ftronger. It is by good laws, by a 
^* wife police, ^and by great œconomical views, that a judicious 
*^ prince is fure of incrèafîng his ftrength, without committing 
"^^ any thing to chance. The ufeful ^ftablifhments, which he 
** forms in his own dominions, are the only real conquefts made 
** over his neighbours ; every fubjeâ he acquires is an enemy 
^' deftroyed.** 

The corollary refulting from thefe obfervations confirms my 
principles, and comes in aid of my fyftem. The devaftation of 
Bavaria, in 1743, afFedled the whole commerce of Europe. The 
ruin of fo many provinces in Germany, in the laft war, will be 
felt for a confiderable time. The powers concerned in the 
commerce with Pajand perceive a gradual diminution of their 
profits from year to year. That kingdom, having nothing but 
corn to give in exchange for the many commodities fhe wants, 
is impoveriflied; the fources of her commerce are exhaufted. 
Thefe ancient Salmatians will become fo much the more formi- 
dable. The poor nations of the north formerly plundered and 



conquered all Europe» imd the mafters of M^dco and Peru hare 
loft a coofiderahle part of their dominions. ^European nations 
would be lefs to blame, if» inftead of tearing one another to 
piecf s» they turiied their arms towards Africa. Thofe barba- 
rous ftates perpetually infult us ; to civilife fuch barbarians, and 
to re^vive in Africa the times of the Carthaginians» of Syphax» 
and MaflanifTa» might be attended with advantage. An objed» 
ftill more eafy and lefs unjuft» would be to turn our views to 
America» not for ads of hoftility» but for eftablifhments of 
commerce. In that quarter» the comnaercial powers have bufi- 
nefs jenough to employ them for fome ages. As we advance in 
tnaki^ the Americans fenfaal and voluptuous» by means of good 
treatment» ttiildueJTs» and humanity» their luxury will increafe» 
And the commerce of Europe flourifli in proportioh. They 
would be kept in a ftate of dependence, and perhaps» in another 
point of view, made miftrable by their improvement, fedt man 
muft have an objed to occupy his ambition. To civilife favàgès 
hy fubdoing them^ fecms to be a good miicd with evil; which 
of the two preponderate» ii a problem not eafily refolved. 
Roufleau» the poet^ tells us that inftind conduis the favage» 
while reafoQ leads us aftray. 

** La nature» en trcfors fertile» 

" Lui fait abondamqient trouver 
^* Tout ce qui lui peut être utik» 

** Soîgneufc de le confier. 
" Content du partage naodeftc 
*' ,Qu'il tient de la bont^ céloftôi 

*^ U vit fans trouble 6c Êms ennui i 
** Et fi fon climat lai r«fufe 
« Quelques biens dont Vl^qrope abufe^ 

*i Ce ne font pas des bi^ns pouj* lui. 
... . ; G g «*Couch4 


[ 226 ] 

• " ^* Couché dans un antrc ruflique, 

** Du nord il brave la rigueur^ 
** Et notre luxe Afîatîquc 

** N'a point énervé fa vigueur* ] 

' ** n ne regrette point la perte 

" De ces arts, dont la découverte 

** A lliomme a coûté tant de foins j * 

** Et qui, devenus nécefTaîres, 
** N* ont fait qu* augmenter nos mîferes, 
** En multipliant nos befoins/* 

We all have thefe verfes by heart, but the heart is not pene* 
trated with the truth of them. It is becaufe the faditious and 
artificial man is always at variance with man in his original and 
natural ilate. We are conftantly ftriving to exift out of our- 
felves, and feldom turn our thoughts inwards to reduce ourfelves 
to our true dimenfions. We depart from what we are, and lofe 
the knowledge of ourfelves for ever. What happens to an indi- 
vidual, happens to a nation. An European nation thinks that 
by increafing her wants, and by eftablifliing herfelf at the fame 
moment in Afia, Africa, and America, ihe multiplies her being, 
and extends her exiftence. From thence follow the contra- 
diâory conclufions of (peculation and experience, of theory and 
pradice. Every thing belonging to man is a contradiâion. 
The bifhop of Cloyne, after enumerating the prodigious quan- 
tity of beef, pork, butter, and cheefe, exported every year from 
Ireland, afks, how a ftranger can conceive that half the inha- 
bitants ihould die c^ hunger in fo plentiful a country. It is one 
of the contradidions incident to human nature, and not to be 
otherwife accounted for. The tin mines of Cornwall are rich ; 
the county itfelf is poor s becaufe the wealthy merchant, who 
works the mine, rendes in London^ not in the province. Our 
V incon^ 

f 227 J 

înconfiderate cagernefs to be happy prevents m from being {o. 
This is a truth» which holds equally with refpedt to individuals^ 
and with rcfpeét to nations. The powers of Europe would 
^moft always find thofe advantages m the prefervation of peace^ 
which they vainly feek for in war. 

In our own times we fee a contradîâion ilill more fatal. 
Almoft all the princes» who reign at prefent» are inclined to 
peace» from motives of wifdom and humanity ; yet, by fome 
unhappy fatality» have been often engaged in the moft deftruc- 
tive wars. It is to be wiihed» that they may not recur fo fre- 
quently hereafter. They who think» fays Voltaire, that kings 
and their minifto-s facrifice every thing to their ambition incef- 
lantly» and without meafure» are as much deceiyed as if they 
thought that kings and minifters facrificed every thing to the* 
happinefs of mankind. I do not know whether we may flatter 
ourfelves» that mankind» as they grow older» may one day or 
other grow wifer upon fome fubjeâs in which their happineis 
and well-being are concerned. The art of war» fo generally 
underftood» is carried to fuch a point» that almofl every country 
is now fecure from thofe fudden invafions by which kingdoms 
are overturned. The expcncpa of a campaign are become fb 
great» and the advantage to be drawn from fuccefs fo inconû- 
derabl^ owing to the refources which the enemy flill poffeffes, 
even after a defeat» that the mofl violent ambition is balanced 
by the counterpoife of avarice, or rather by the impoffibility of 
fupporting the «continual expences of a war. A monarch» 
cotemporary with us» and not inferior to Alexander or to Caefar, 
has» like them» been pbliged to exhauft all the refources of 
military art and labor to preferve a province, the conqueft of 
which, under favor of certain circumftances, was éafy to him 
at firft. Yet even this fuccefs is a phenomenon which a(loni(hes 

G g 2 Europe^ 

Europe. The cxpénccs, to which the Englifh owe their great 
fucccffes, cannot be mentioned too often. This balance of 
Europe, purchafcd with the blood of our anccftors» is now û> 
well eflablifhed, that we need not for ^ loiig time àffod a fbpe^ 
riority in any one power, fufficient to difturb the reft of Eurcpf • 
Commerce is become the apple of difcord ; yet, if wc rcfleâ:, 
&at peace is the element, and war the deftruâioa of trade^ it is 
to be hoped, that we {hall be more circumfpeâ in departing 
from the one to engage in the other. 

Reafbn and interefl concur with our increafing inability to 
fupport continued wars. In former times, war was fupported 
by annual taxes equal to the expence of it. This at preient is 
impoffible. One time or other it will be felt, that to aggrandiie 
a kingdom, or the territory of a kingdom, is not increafing the 
power of the prince, which confifts in a great number of fub-» 
jeÔs fubiifting at their eaie. Experience (hows what refources 
an enemy may difcover after the fcvereft lofies. It is only 
beginning again upon a new account. The famine in 170$, and 
the general ruin of France, fupplied' Lewis XIV. with a fatal 
refource, but an ufeful one for the nioment. As the country 
remained uncultivated, the poverty 6f the people facilitated the 
levy of recruits, fo that France brought armies into the field 
more numerous than her enemies, who were always fuccefsfuL 
She gained time, and was faved by accidents that séways happen 
when we have time to wait for them. But, affuredly, no 
' monarch would willingly expofe himfelf to fuch a crifis, though 
it be in the order of events. In our own times we have ieen 
more than one iketch of this pidture. In a word, it is poiBUe, 
that the general knowledge which every day enlightens the 
world, that humanity, experience, and wifdom, concurring with 
intereft and neceffity, may in time eftablifh a fdid and durable 



peace in Europe» and iecere the happinefs of mankind. In thi» 
point the wiô^es of every reafonabk and humane perfon ihould 
unite. Thetr wit» their intereft» and their knowledge» fhoul(ï 
all be exerted to infpire others with the fame fentiaoents» and to 
eftabliih the fame iyftem. 

There is ftill fomething to be faid in faror of die Engliih» 
whom» according to this fyftem» I may be accufed of depreffing 
too much. No» Sir» I am a citizen of the world ; not cold and 
indiâèrent» but zealous» and humane. I love all nations^ be- 
caufe in all nations there are men who deferve to be beloved» and 
they all belong to human kind. I behold every national enmity 
with horror» becaufe nothing is ib unjuft. I am pleading the 
caufe of hunKinity. I affirm» that the Engliih nation» hqw at 
the height of their glory» (if» by a wiie adminiftration» they 
make a proper ufe of it) have need of great precautions to guard 
their independence. It is not furprifing that they ihould be 
jealous of advantages» which we all agree are precarious. France» 
by her extent» the number of her inhabitants» the goodnefs of 
her foil» the frugality and induftry of her people» and by her 
fituation^ muft always be a powerful kingdom» even without an 
extenfive^ commerce, or without colonics. lîer vaft, coropaA 
dominion» and her double frontiers» are a fecurity againft a 
fudden invafion. But England» by her pbyfical pofition» having 
nothing to depend upon but her wooden walls» and the fu- 
periority of her commerce^ (hould endeavour to preserve a|i 
advantage» in point of marine» over a power which» in ev^ 
other article, carries it againft her. The Englifli are not alarmed 
without reafon j their fears are not quite imaginary ; and here 
lies the fatal point which alone can diftuib that fortunate har- 
mony and proportion» which I wifli to eftablifli for the happinefs 
cf Europe» of liuman nature» and of two natk)ns the moft 


powerful in the univerfe, and the moft defcrving of efteem. Ta 
find this juft combination, to unfold this ill-digcfted mais of 
propofitions, which I fet forth with confidence, even in their 
prefent fhapelefs flate, is a taik, in which every honeft man ig 
invited to affift. 

There are Englishmen who pretend to fay, that, if it had not 
been for the preparations made in France in 1751 and 175a, and 
for the augmentation of the French marine, war would not hava 
been declared, and that the diiFerences in Aiia and America 
would have been amicably adjufled ; that they had every reafon to 
dread their own deflruâion, if they had waited until the French 
marine. had arrived at a fiate of confiftency ; that their fecurity 
and prefervation obliged them to prevent it. I ihall not examine 
into the validity of this reafoning ; but no good citizen caa 
confider the confequences of it, without feeing how much it 
concerns humanity to obviate them for the future. France hag 
an equal right to maintain a refpeâable marine for the defence of 
her colonies* The poffefSon of them is precarious without it. 
France however feems to have no other occaiion for a marine 
but to preferve an important acceflbry } whereas it is eflential 
to thd cxidencet of J^nglttiid. bmce all the powers of Europe 
afpire to the advantages of commerce, I conjure them to confider 
how much the long peace, which fucceeded the war occafioned 
by the Spanifh fucceffioui was beneficial to them all, and how 
.prejudicial war has been to population, and to various branches 
of commerce, even in that nation, whofe aftoniihing fuccefifes 
have difcovered to her the fecret of her ftrength. If prodigious 
fuccefifes are icarce fufiicient to compenfate the mifchief done by 
war, why fhould we fo often run the rifque of if? Of the 
three fcourges to which nature has expofed us, war is the only 

one that providence has left in our own hands^ and it recurs the 


[ «3» 3 

<>ftenefL What would become of us> if we were at liberty to 
introduce peftilence and famine ? 

^* But/' fay the Englifli, *' if a neighbouring power, whofe 
'« coafts we cannot remove, which has double the number of 
'* inhabitants, thrice the extent, and greater refources than we 
f * have, fhould poffefs a marine fuperior or even equal to ours, 
^^'we fhould be expofed to the imminent danger of invaûon and 
f^ conqueft. It is not a commercial jealoufy, but a reafonable 
f^ apprehenfion of her fuperior ftrcngth, that makes us adlive.— 
^* France would have preferved her colonies, if fhe had not been 
5» afraid of lofing them/' How far France may carry her 
marine for the protedlion of her colonies, without alarming a 
heighbour always anxious for the fecurity of her coaft and of 
her commerce, is a queftion I am not qualified to decide i 

Non nojlrum inter vos tantas componere iites. 

But I am perfuaded that, if friendfhip and confidence could be 
eftabliihed upon the foundation of mutual intereil and convenience 
well underftood, and demonftrated in conformity to my prin- 
ciple». It wottW not be impoftible to find the point in queftion, 
yet without fixing any pofitive and determinate rule about it. 
It cannot be denied, that a formidable marine is necefiary to a 
great ifland, which has no other defence but her fleet againft an 
invafion ; that it is neceflary for the defence of colonies, and 
diilant poflcflions, and even to fucceed in the expenfive conquefl: 
of the diftant colonies of other powers, who have a weak or 
inferior marine. It is in this fenfe only, that they, who are 
mailers at fea, can now be faid to be mafters at land i and that 

^be trident is the fceptre of the moorld. 


f 23a Î 

Whoever examines this propoûtion fhoold attend to the reftric-^ 


tions annexed to it. 

Since each ftatc is diftinguiOied from every other by local 
iituation» extent^ climate^ foil» religion» external relations» and 
by the nature of its government^ it follows» that each ftate muft 
have à different political conftitution. The marine of the Athe^ 
stians» Carthaginians» and Romans» (abftraded from com<« 
merce» which was then in its infancy) and confidered only as 
conftituting the naval power of the ftatc, was of a different 
nature from ours. At that time the rival fleets always fought 
an engagement ; at prefent they frequently endeavour to avoid 
one. (6.) At Salamis» Plataea» and Aâium» the fea fcemed ta 
be boarded over, and immoveable under their galleys. They 
inevitably approached by means of their oars» rufhed together 
with a fliock» and deftroyed each other with fire and fword. 
Vidtory made the conqueror ifaafter both of fea and land. A 
battle or two at land had the fame effeâ. At prefent every 
fi-ontier is bordered with fortreffes. The conqueror is obliged 
to ftop^at every ftep he takes. Turenne, Condé» Marlborough, 
Villars» Eugene» and MarChal Saxe» have gained mnre vlAories 
than Alexander and Caefar; yet the conquefts of our modern 
heroes bear no proportion to thofe of the ancient. If the caufes 
of thefe' great and aftonifhing changes be thoroughly examined, 
diverfity of circumftances will fhow us the neceffity of departing 
from fome of our political maxims» that feem the moft funda* 
mental. When the means are no longer proportioned to the 


(6 J The author would be puzzled to name an inftance of a Bridal fleet» or any 
part of it» having avoided an engagement. Excepting in the undecided affair off 
Mahon» 1756» it does not appear that our admirals or captains ever regarded the 
fuperiority of the entmy.'^TrûnJIator. 

[ ?33 3 
cfFeét they ought to produce^ they flipuld be improved, cor- 
redted^ or abandoned. 

To judge how little a maritime force in Europe contributes 
to conq.uefts upon terra firma> let us obfervc the fuccefs of 
our great armaments in the laft age$» Setting afide the invin- 
cible armada of Philip IL let us conic nearer to pur own 
times. Have the powerful and numerous fleets of England^ 
France, and Holland, ever prodiaced an efFefl: proportione4 
to their ftrength, or to the enormous ^pence of equipping 
them ? Have not the Englifh, in the laft war, mifcarried on the 
coafts of France ? Was Lewis XIV. with a formidable marine^ 
even able to conquer Ireland, where king James had a party 
that favored his defigns ? Formerly the Saxons, Danes, an4 
Normans, with inferior forces, conquered England. If the 
time, foretold by the prophet, of ^ new heaven and a new earthy 
be not yet arrived, we muft agree that the forcn at leaft i? 
altered in every thing that regards tbc milijtvy. In jhis iftr 
ftance we have a new; worlds widely different from the ancient^ 
The invention of gunpovvder, the art of engineering, the ftudies 
of Vauban and Çoehorn, the fcience of marches brought to 

• ' ' ' * 

pcrfeâion by Turennef by Condé, and Mpntecuculj, have pro- 
longed and multiplied the refources of defence. Experiencç 
proves that the great aiàipns performed by Ruiter, Pu Quefne, 
and Blake, were fitter to excite admiration, than to procure any 
folid advantages. It is in the diftant conquefts of iflands and 
coloiyes that the Engliûi have diftinguilhed themfelves, an4 
^et with prodigious fuccefs.' General engagements at fea arc 
almoft entirely given up ; boarding is out of the queftion ; and J 
much doubt whether, in France at leaft, the advantages to be 
expeded from great naval arnwments are in any degree anfwer- 
able to the enormous cxpence of. them. I do not mean that 
the marine (hould be en tirely negleûed i I only wifli that the 

H h degree. 


. t 

degree, to which ît may be ufeful or neceiTary, as well as the 
tmie and means of forming it, were carefully confidered, I 
wifh that a comparîfon were made between real and imaginary 
lofles, between what is faved by the marine, and what it cofts ; 
that it fhould be calculated what naval force is neceflary to a 
power, which, in time of peace, maintains two hundred thou- 
fand men; whether the maintenance of a marine, equally 
formidable, may not fafely be difpenfed with, and whether thé 

* • 

înimenfe expcnces of this fervice might not be employed to 
greater advantage in other branches of adminiflration ; and that 
the effential diftindion between this nation, and thofe which 
are called maritime fowers^ fliould be thoroughly underftood, in? 
order that the apprehenfion of future danger may not expofe 
to immediate difafters. I know that I am attacking a received 
principle, an uni verfâl prejudice ; and yet I , wifli that, once for 
all, it inight be ferioufly enquired, whether the kingdom of 
France might hot find a fource of riches more folid, and lefs 
precarious, within her own bofom, in her foiji' in her entrails, 
arid in the labor and increafe of her inhabitants, than thofe 
which are fought after at a diftance, with fo much toil, danger^ 
and expence ; and whether too great a navijgation, as well as too 
many colonies upon diftant continents, be not contrary to the 
conftitution, and injurious to a country, in which there arc 
already fo many caufes of depopulation, fo much luxury, and fo 
many perfons in a ftate of celibacy. Every fort of commerce is 
not equally fit for every country. One branch of commerce 
may enrich individuals, and be prejudicial to the ftate; or it 
may fuit one nation^ and be dangerous for another. 

The moft brilliant branch of commerce frequently cofts more 
"blood and treafure to preferve it by a war, than it pays for by 
its returns during the'ceflation of arms. Peace, unhappily, is 
in general only thé interval in which open hoftilities fubfide, in 
' order 

I 235 1 

order to begin again with greater vigor. Every . age has its 
fyftem of politics, as well as .philofophy. , The new difcoveries 
in Afia and America fuccecded to the crufades ; then came the 
wars of religion ; and afterwards the pretended fyftem ofequi- 
librium, or balance of po.wer. For fome time paft, nothing 
has been thought of but commerce, navigation, and marine. 
The moft diftinguiflied fuccefles of Lewis XIV* happened before 
thé great marine was formed. It never can be eftablifhed but 
at the expence of the land forces ; fo true it is, that we cannot 
ferve two matters at a time. The progrefs which a colledion 
bf fifhermen'have made, by means of commerce and their India 
company, has dazzled Europe, and turned the eyes of every 
body towards trade'. But let it be confidered that circumftances 
are very different from what they were ; the fituation of this 
people in a country overflowed. by the fea, the neceflity of 
making fome advantage of an element which threatens them 
înceflfantly, the impoflibility of doing better, and their laborious 
œconomy, have enriched them in a commerce which was a long 
time exclufivc. But things, have greatly altered fince other 
nations have fhared in the profits ; the mafs of wealth has loft 
in depth what it has gained in furface. 

France, within her own bofom, has a lucrative and fuperior 
commerce, which nothing can affed, as long as the price of 
labor is lower than in any other nation. The tafte and frugality 
of her artifans is an inexhauftible fource for the conception of 
new manûfa<Slures, the contrivance of precious trifles, ftudied 
conveniences, and fafhions of every fort. All Europe is fond 
of French fafhions ; and Fafhion, that fickle daughter of Levity 
and Caprice, governs and exadls a tribute from all other nations, 
while fhe fubmits to the dominion of France. The vineyards 
are a real Peru to that country. The cod fifhcry is an important 

H h 2 objcfl:. 

[ ^36 ] 
objcft, not fo much as a nurfery for fcamen, as becaufe it is 
itfelf a nutritive art. But, in fuch a country as France, agri* 
culture and maiiufaaures flhould be the firft fpring in a wife 


One cannot pay too great an attention to a truth which I have 
heretofore fo often endeavoured to inculcate, viz. that one, and 
perhaps the principal caufe of the increafed greatnefs of the 
Englifh power, is the care tTiey have taken to forward the 
cultivation of their lands. Corn has been a new mine, to which 
government, in the firft inftance, facrificed fome fallacious 
duties. The bounty upon exportation has been the fupport of 
agriculture. By giving money to the farmer to export his corn, 
all the foil has been brought into improvement ; and this has 
fupported the power of the nation. If half the treafure, which 
à ftate is often obliged to lavifli upon her hiarine, or in a war 
that might be deferred, were employed upon this objeâ:, it 
would, in ten years, produce wherewithal to form and maintain 
a mariile upon folid principles. Upon the whole, I conclude 
that commercial powers would do infinitely better to leave the 
dcdfion of their differences, whenever differences unfortunately 
arife, to the event of a fort of lottery, than to the fate of arms. 
War, at all times dreadful, in general offers us nothing but a 
fatal alternative between humiliating misfortunes and expenfive 
fuccefles. It was no exaggeration to affirm, that air the vices of 
fcvery age, and every country, do not equal the evils produced 
by a iingle campaign ; and that war is a crime, which includes 
all other crimes. It is a definitive madnefs, which makes the 
earth the habitation of robbers, one vaft and horrible fepulchre. 
' The confcquences to be drawn from all thefe vague refleâions 
and principles might perhaps lead us to difcover the middle 
term, at which the marine of one nation may be confiderable 




f 237 ] 

enough to defend her commerce and her colonies, yet without 
giving umbrage to another. Prefcrvation and defence do not 
require fo powerful an effort. When once we banifh the idea 
of hoftile projects, great expence and labor may be (pared on 
both fides, yet without departing from their reciprocal pro- 
portion. An intimate alliance with the commercial powers, a 
fblemn and mutual guarantee of colonies^ pofTeffions, and com- 
mercial privileges, founded upon common intereft and the 
general good, might eftablifli confidence, and ereS a new fyftem, 
which would be the happinefs of mankind, and the glory of the 
age. Thefe powers aâing always in concert, and with good 
faith to each other, might contribute to appeafe, or prevent a 
rupture among the reft.. Twenty years peace would be fuScient 
to make every nation. happy». 

When the prefent pîânre of Europe ihall be well underftood, 
every power may find its prefcrvation and profperity therein, 
provided they do not thwart each other for imaginary interefts. 
Every commercial power has employment for at Icaft twenty 
years, to re-eftablifh and improve its internal adminiftration, 
and that commerce which lies, within the fphere of its ftrength>. 
Until all thefe objefts are accomplifhed>, and every pofilble 
advantage made of them, diftant objedts, which by their ex- 
tent go beyond the fphere of ftrength^ arc foreign and hurt- 
ful to commerce, and to the real intereft of nations ; this is a 
truth demonftrated by the event of aknoft all our wars. We 
ihould never engage in hoftilities, if attention were paid to fo 
many important objedts, which cannot be thought of but in a 
profound and continued peace. I fhall mark briefly what thefe 
objetts are, as a fhort recapitulation of the whole. 


It is only in peace that a good adminiftration can protcé): the 
provinces wafted to fupport the opulence of the capital. The 


E 238 } 

more the head enlarges, beyond it§ . proportion with the Jîmbs, 
fo much the more does the body politic reprefent the infancy 
Qf the natural body, and the feeblenefs of that age. 

Agriculture, manufactures,, and commerce, may reftore à 


proportion, now loft, between the head, and the limbs, They^ 
who reproach Colbert with having protedled manufactures top 
much, did not attend to the turn of the age. Since luxury i$ 
become a neceflary or unavoidable evil, every poffible advantage 
,muft be made of it. We muft w<igh and confider circum* 
ftances as they exift, without regarding poffible fuppofitions. It 
is agreed, that manufactures are of a tranfitory precarious nature, 
/and liable to be removed by any trifling event. For this reafon, 
rîti my political picture, I give them but the fccond rank after 
agriculture, which holds the firft in the œconomical order of the 
ftaté. It is not of a perifhable quality, fince it furnifhes the 
firft materials, and belongs to nature, and to the foil. But arts 
and trades follow clofe upon agriculture- .We may, if we 
pleafe, confider manufactures as the remedy of an evil; but the 
. evil e^cifts, and would be mortal without the remedy. External 
commerce with our neighbours fucceeds to manufactures 5 and 
next to this follows the eccentric or diftant commerce of colo- 
nies, which is only neceflary when a too great abundance of 
people, and a fuperfluity of productions, require an outlet,* and 
when they bring back a plentiful return, which may be exported 
to foreigners, and procure a new fource of fertility to the ftafe. 
All the unnecefl^ary wars, undertaken for this diftant objeCt, have 
been made at the expence of objeCts more important, more 
immediately urgent, more ufeful,~ neceflary, and eafy, and 
which nothing buta continued peace could bring to perfection. 
When France and England (hall have brought all their foil into 
'improvement, when all their provinces fliall have arrived at the 




[ 239 1 

hîghcft degree of population that their territory allows of, when 
a circulation and political proportion fhall be eftabliflied between 
the capital and the provinces, when the theory of taxation 
fhall have axed an exaâ equilibrium between the fervices and the 
means, when manufactures (hall have found every poffible 
internal and external channel of fupplying the nation, the 
foreigner, and the colonies which thefe two nations poffefs at 
prefent — when all thefe objejSts are accomplifhed, that will be 
the period, at which it may become a queftion — Whether new 
pretenfions can be advantageous to either of them ? But to 
arrive at this point, would require a peace of fifty years conti- 
nuance at lead. Nothing appears to me more evident than thefe 
principles. They reft upon proofs, which I defy any man to 
invalidate. Enough has been faid for thofe who are willing to 
underftand me ; too much perhaps for thofe who are determined 
never to adopt fuch a fyflem. It cannot however be condemned, 
fince every part of it breathes humanity and the public 

I have the honor to be 

Your's, &c* 

(7.) «< L'Angleterre eft unie avec le Portugal par des intérêts mutuels. Ce 
^* commerce réciproque eft néceflkire aux deux nations. L'une confonmie les 
<^ produits dfeKautre, et cela ne fait pas grand tort aux autres puiflànces, qui 

• ** jouiilènt d'autres compenfations."^ — ^Page 266. 

* England is united with Portugal by mutual interefts. Their reciprocal com. 

* merce is neceflary to the two nations. One con fumes the produce of th« 

* other, without any great difadvantage to other powers, who enjoy other 

* compenfations.-^Pa. 222. Tranjlathn. 

^ The union of Great Britain and Portugal is undoubtedly founded on their 
mutual intercft. It would probably have been ftri<Ster and more cordial than it 


[ ^40 ] 

bas been, if tbe interefts, oa whicb h.was frigmally HtnmJi^^ nnd trhtdi Imift 
im tbe fuppoft of rt as long as it bfts, bad been better underftood by both nations» 
or à little more refolutely maintained by one of them. Qixr affairs io Portugal 
could hardly have taken the unfavorable turn they have done of late years, if there 
had been either true wifdom in the councils of Portugal, or a greater 4egree of 
firmnefs in thofe of Great Britain. I am not fuiEcicntly acquainted with the 
prefimt Aite^f faâs,rto^ow whether this lac a fiibjeâ any longer interefting to 
the pubKc. If it be, it may receive fotne light from an opinion, that mediates 
between the merchant and the minifler. If merchants have been too apt to 
urge their complaints with violence and afperity, minifters have been equaHy 
ready to conchide that they complained without ireafon. So eafy a conclufion 
gtwe facility to bufinefs, and leflened the burthen of office. Tbe great miC^ 
take with jefpeâ to the union of England and Pprtq^gal, and which feems 
to have hitherto governed the argument, is, that jt is founded in an equal and 
reciprocal conceffion of commercial advantages. It is an undoubted Crutli, though 
n«t readily admitted by Portugal, that Great Britam and Ireland are the only 
nations, with wbicb Portugal can trade to ladytaotage. No other aatiotis take 
^S tl^eir wines and fruit, in the quantity that wp A>« But thh is z benefit arifing 
from the favorable . turn their tr^de has ta)cen, and, from the indulgence of this 
country, not from the form or fpirit of treaties. Compared, as a faâ, with thé 
true principle bf union between tte two nations, it itûîproves' and .enforces the 
national argument againft Portugal. The lefs we owe them in the fcale of com- 
mefce, fo much the more it will be found tbey ^m oiir debtors in the political 
balance. The principle they now contend for, that commercial equality is the 
bafis 6f the alliance, if oncç adMitted on our part, or not firmly denied, muft 
open an cndlefs field for negotiation with a court, one of whofe principal rcfources, 
to maintain its dignity, confifts in negotiation. I am far from meaning to lower 
the importance of a crown refpe£bUe inatfelf, and jaifed iy its aUia«ee^wi^h.Mlis 
country. Jput it .is time that foooe regard :(hould be |iaid to tr^tb^ as w^lLas to 
ceremony^ and that we (hould jno longer he diverted^ J>y (oxm^ frona the necf fliry 
fupport of cffential intcrefts. A Bcitifli miniftpr, who is apt pofieffcd <^f%hp, tfuc 
meaning and fpirit of our treaties with Portugal, who dpes .not confider^the fcope 
of thofe treaties in à general view, will find it difficult to anfwef the court of 
Portugal, when they juflify the breach of particular ftipulations in our favor, by 
allcdging fome general declarations of equality of privileges, which are to be found 
in a)4 the treaties ; and when they conclude from thence, that our claim is no 
farther valid than as wc, in our turn, admit theirs to beequaWo it. Upon the 
idea that commercial interefts only are the bafis of tbe «lUiance, their argument 


r Ht 1 

If 0iild be mumfWerabre. If nothing but an apparent equality of commercial privl*^ 
leges had been in contemplation, there could be no reafon why we fhould be MomÊj^ 
a judge confervator at Lifbon, or a right (hitherto not exercifcd) of employing oi^ 
own faâors in their American Tettlements, unlefs we allowed the Portuguefe the 
fame privileges in return. It is not to be conceived that Portugal would have Tub-' 
snitted to fuch conditions, without receiving an equivalent in fome fliape or other. 
The queftion then remains. Of what nature was the equivalent intended to be ? If 
equal compenfations of a commercial nature were intended, why were they not 
ffecifically ftipulated, or why have they never been formally demanded ? The 
11^ the court of Portugal make of their newly-aflTtimed principle is, to defend 
^leir invafion of cur privileges, not to afibrt any commercial claims of their 
opn* If it were better founded than it is, or if, by common confent, the 
conneâion between the two countries Were reduced to mere commercial in- 
tercourfe, widiout any particular claim ta preference or h\or on either fide, 
and without any tacit or fpecific terms of alliance or political engagements what- 
foever i I believe it would be found that this nation, as thiogs are now fituated, 
^ould be no lofer by the agreement We might then open the wine trade with 
Fiance on terms of infinitely greater advantage to this country than any that arlfes 
from the fale of our woollen goods in Portugal, which ^nly maintain their ground 
there from their fuperior quality and cheapnefs, not from any favor on the part of 
the Portuguefe government, who, contrary to an exprefs ftipulation, for which we 
give them an equiyaknt, have, till very lately, admitted French woollen goods, 
as readily as ours. We ihould not then be called upon, particularly and fingly, 
to bear the burthen of protèâing a nation, incapable of affifting us if we wanted 
her affiftance, and from which we receive no preference in point of trade, the only 
way in which it is poffible for them to offer us a compenfation. We fhould ceafe 
to think ourfelves bound by an obligation, after the condition of it was withdrawn. 
The original and only rational principle of union between the two nations, is, 
that great commercial advantages, yielded on one fide, Ihall be the compenfation 
for national proteéHon on the other. This may be a topic ungrateful and 
oScnfive to the ears of a Portuguefe minifter, therefore unfit to be urged in every 
petty difference or difcuffion that may occur between the two courts ; but it is 
abfolutely neceffary to be infifted upon and admitted, once for all, as the bafis of all 
negotiation between them, and the only foundation of their alliance. If the 
advantages we once enjoyed in Portugal are withdrawn, if the nature of the 
commerce be altered, or if it be the policy of the court of Portugal to lay their 
trade open to all the nations of Europe indifferently i it follows, that Portugal 
puts nothing in the fcale to balance the expence and hasard at which England 
(ponftantly engages in her defence, and diat whatever intçreft this country has in 

I i maintaining 

r «4* ] 

maintaining the independence of the crown of Portagal is only aaintersft comnioii 
^us with the other trading nations of Europe, who all trade to Portugal upon 
tV fame, if not better terms than we do. It Is not neceilkry to fupport fo plaia- 
and difpaffionate an argument» by a detail of grievances repeatedly fet forth by the' 
merchants, or by infixing uppii inftances of particular enmity, apparent in the' 
councils of Portugal, agati)ft the Britifli nation* A great part of it may ha?e^ 
arifea from perfonal ilUwiU, or want of wifilom, in the reigiKing minifter^ and 
perhaps may ceafe with his adminiftration* The reft is only a mean, ill-founded 
jealottfy, arifing from a totjgl ignorance of the true principles of commerce, and' 
which could not exift in a more enlightened court. They aro yet to learn, that it- 
is the induftry of the other European nations, which brings |he gold into Portugal; 
and that, if it were not for the manufaâurea of thofo nations, which produce Ak 
fplendid return from the Brazils, they themfelvei would Idlb even thetranfitory-^ 
benefit of its paflage thrpugh Portugal. But without defcending to engage in ill-- 
tempered and ufelefs altjprcations, without entertaining the moft diftant idea of 
hoftility againft Portugal, it i% but juft and reafonahle that the councils of Ên^and 
Ihould no Ipnger .be, governed by principles, whkh ceafe to be motives- of conduâ, 
when they ceafe to correfpood with the aâual ftate of faâs« If the fyftem of trade 
between the two countrica be totajly altered, and if diere be no likelihood of 
recovering the advantages we hav£ loft, it follows that a new fyftem of policy alfo 
ihouki be a^optçd for the future. The independence of the crown of Portugal is 
not now an obj^ pf p^rticsular. mcon^nt to Qceat Britain^ If it flioukl he attacked 
hereafter, it niay perhaps bp thought adviftble to ooatrihute fomethlng to its - 
defence. ]^t cpmipon feiife and foirnd poUoy require that oiir contribution 
Ihould be propprtîonçd to Ptur real iotereft in the ohjeâ, and that Holbod, Gtjw 
many, Denmark, Sipreden,imd France, fhould be called upon to take a fliare in 
the burthen. The con^Mfnça of adhering firmly to this fimpie and rational 
fyftem of copduâ would be» tl^t Portugal, in themPnuent of danger, would fuid 
herfelf deferted by every other itate, and have np refoujrce left, but in the fingle 
arm of Great Britain* We ihoi|ld th^ have, an opportunity of içfifting upoli 
feme reafonahle ec^uivalept fpr the expence. and hazard, ia which the defence of * 
her caufe might ipvply^ Uf, and, offhowinj a. court, which prefumes upon pur • 
forbearance^ that Oliver CromweU i^d Chgrlea II; have not left us a wife example 
tp no pprpofe. It is not nm^y years fuM;e fucb an opportunity prefented isfetf, and 
was unaccountably nfsgleâed i byt en long it cannot fail of occurring to ua 


Having ioH>utçd the oppfne^ of <w njef chants, and the ruin of our trade wi A 
P^^^^^i î<^ » g^eat inç^imb tC^;MtMl4tf wi0MLia the reigning mmû$h it may 

r 243 ï 

be nfeceflSiry to jaftify that opinion. It is not eafy to fay what idea the Portugucfc 
thcmfclves may entertain of the rate, and extent of his abHitics. They hate but few 
opportunities of cxpreffing their fentiments with freedom, and perhaps their âbftraé! 
information may not reach far enough to judge of the wifdom of political or com- 
Ipiercial meafares, but as they feel themfelves affefted by the confeqiiences. Their 
general deteftation of hid perfon and government concludes only againft that part 
of the human charaâer, on which he places the loweft value, not imbiediately 
againft his underftaiiding< In England it is the getieraf turn to Confider him as ^ 
minifter perfonatly and politically hoftile to the interefts of this country, but in 
other refpeâs aûive, fagacious, and intrepîd,f No ftian has yet been hardy enough 
to queftion bis abilities ; much lefs to pronounce upon evidence, that he is 
defeâive in every quality that conftitutes a clear, foHd, fuperior uilderftaading. 
To ftate this matter mipartially, inay be of importance to both nations. Though 
his own life cannot laft long, bis fyftem of commerce and politics nkay exift after 
him. His long influence over the côtincils of Portugal has given a biais to the 
ideas of that court, which his fucceflbrs may not have judgment or refolutioit 
enough to correâ. The opinion of hid great fuperiority, hnpreffed upon the mind 
of his royal mafter, and of a fubordinate council compofed of bis own pupils, may 
perpetuate the plan of his admiiiiftraticfn. If thi^ opinion can be ftafcen, or> 
removed ; if it can be made evident that he is, in no ibape, qualified to conduft 
the afikirs of a nation i it will not follow that he caA be difpoflfeflTed of the confidence 
of bis fovereign ; but it may produoe this happy étk&^ that his authority may not 
^tend beyond the period of his power, and that the fyftem of his pplicy may be 
foffered to periih with him. When we fee a miitifter for twenty years together 
invefted with unlimited power, meeting with nocontroul whatfeever, domeftic 
or external, profeffing to have the interefts of hie country at heart, and perpetually 
occupied in one projeâ or other, with infinite induftty and perlèverance, it (eems 
natural to a(k, fFhat good bas hi domf Are agriculture and manufaâtnres upon a 
better footin|^ in Portugal than when he firft aflumed the reins of government ? 
Ilas^he recovered commerce from a languiftâng ftate, and is he likely to leave it in 
» flour iibing condition? Has he ftciired the independence of the defenceleft 
crownx>f Portugal, by confirming ancient alliàiiees, or contraâing new ones? 
In (hort, are the people richer and happier than he found them ? The anfwer 
which every man, acquainted with the ftate of Portugal, make» to thefe queftions, 
is a direâ negative, and the conclufion againft his abilitidi is impoffif)le to be 
cvadedv They who infift warmly upon his a^eal however unfuccelsful, and urge 
the rcâitude of his intentions however unhappily, difappointed, forget they are 

lia deciding 

, / 

( «44 J 

deciding ftvereîy againft his underftancling^ It is not ia fiMtune, confl«nt)j to 
defeat a minifter, who pofiefTes abfolute powcr^ and uniformly employa it in die 
fupport of wife and judicious meafuies. His pretended zeal for the improremeat 
of agriculture, and increafe of population^ produced the exclufive wine company 
which monopolifes the chief produce of the foih The filk manufaâure at Lifbon, 
undertaken in the laff reign at a great expence, affifted by prohibitions, and fup- 
ported by all the influence of the court, has laoguiflied under his care, and it 
aâually in a ftate of decay. The other manufaâures may contribute a little to 
the (upplyofthelower >ranks in the internal confumption of the kingdom ^ but 
neither are d>ey objeâs of importance, nor do they owe any thing to his encou* 
ragement. The trade of Portugal was in as pro^rous a ftate» as that of any 
icpuntry can be, Which has not produce enough of its own to anfwer the demand of 
great and populous colonies. The colonies, it is true, were chiefly fupplied by 
the induftry of other nations» who only performed an office which the refowcesof 
the mother country were not equal to» But Portugal was the mart of trade, and 
^ntreofconununication. Inftead of vainly attempting to detain the gold in the 
country, fometimes by tricks and contrivances, fometimes by fraud and violence» 
the objeâ of Portugal fliould have been to encourage a large importation into the 
colonies^ by which her own navigation .muft of courfc be extended, and by making 
the mother country profit, as much as ppflible, by an immenfe and rapid circula- 
tion. Ail the commercial ideas of the minifter are founded upon one gênerai 
maxim, that trade, in order to be profperous, ihould not be free. Accordingly, 
he has heaped projeâ upon projefi,- and regulation upon regulation ; and deftroyed 
a healthy conftitution, by confining it to a fiekly regimen, and by loading it with 
prefcriptions. He has made it his ftudy to diftrefs foreign merchants, and to drive 
them out of the kingdom. He has put the vineyards and their produce, the only in-^ 
ternal fource of wealth to Portugal, under the check and controul of a monopoly; 
and be has confined a confiderable part of the Brazil trade to two exclufive compa- 
nies, the principle and fpirit of which b, to make the greateft profits upon the fmalleft 
outfit or venture. If the Pernambucco and Maranham companies had fucceeded^ 
it was his intention to have taken the fa^me care. of the Bahia and Rio trade. But 
the firft fubfcriptions were completed v^ith fo much difficulty, that it would have 
been in vain to attempt new ones. One would think that he meant to contraA 
the conunèrce of his country, and to ftifle induftry at its birth. The event has 
correfponded with the defign. In the year 1759» the fleet from Pernambucco 
confifted of forty-five ihips. In the year 1772, the trade to that fettlement em« 
pjoyed only eighteen,. To fupport the credit of the new ccmipanies^ he thought it 
*' , . advifiibk 

t H5 ] 

aidirifaMe * to fflîie an edi&, Whicb ordered ckat their aâîom Ihould be a le^ 
trader, and be accepted, at aa arbitrar/Valuation fixed by the dîreâor^» as fo much 
fpede; tbatis» in other words, th^t the nattires, who are conftantly the debtors» 
fliouM remote the burthen fsom thcmfelves, and impofe it upon their footign 
creditors. This» however, was an attempt too extravagant to be fupported. Such 
are the general plans, and fuch the temporary expédients, from which we are t« 
colleâ an opinion of the minifter's capacky; The faâs I refer to are notorious. 
In a country, where the true principles^ of trade are underftood^ it is unneceflkry 
to prove that, in theory^ no better confequencea were to be expeâed ftom a fyftem 
fo falfeand anti-commercial. The Portuguefemuft be taught by experience. 

To form a judgment of his political meafures, we (hould compare the defence-» 
l^sftateof Portugal with the general plan of ambition of the united houfe.of 
Bourbon, and the particular claima and enmity of the crown of Spain*. The inde* 
pendenceof Portug^ can only be maintained by cultivating the friendfliip of the 
other powers of Europe, particularly by confirming the ancient alliance with 
the oi^y nation tl^t ever has, or ever can engage eflfeâually in her defence* 
Tbefe are eflential objeds, not to be compared with any temporary advantages, 
and from which a wife minifter will not fufFer his iittention to be diverted. It is 
needlefs to fay how Ijtftle; they have been regarded in the politkal fyftem of. the Mar* 
quis of Pombal. Upon the whole, it muft he admitted, that the proofs ofhb 
minifterial abilities are of an extraordinary nature. His commercial experience 
and information have led him to divide the trade of his country into monopolies*. 
His policy haa taught him to provoke the natural enemies^ and to alienate the natu« 
»d allies» of the crown. His two fyftems cenefpond and co-operate with each 
other. In confequence of receiving all foreigners upon the fame footing in Portu* 
gal, and of laying all foreign trade under equal reftraint> it ceafes to be a great 
tiaturaLintereft to any one nation to maintain the independence of the kingdo(D* 
A union of inferior ftates, in favor of a court with whom they have no folid fouo-* 
dation of alliance» is not to be expeâed» nor wotdd it be effeâual. His country 
then, with a finall internal force, and deftitute of all alliance, is left expofed to 
tbeinvafionof a fuperior enemy, whofis claims are not obfolete, and who do not 
always wait for juft or decent pretences to aâ againft Portugal ; nor is there a 


^ In the foy»I ediflof t|ie sift of June, tjCS, it itviflèrted» that to refufe the aéUons of a 
trading corapany, as fo much ready money» it contrarf to the tmlTerfal practice of all the conv- 
mercial nations of Europe cpptjfa à pratica unwirfai do commercio de toda a Europa ; and tht 
mmifterwas ignorant enough toimagine» that the authority of government in Portugal would 
produce the fame eiFe6^ that credit doet in other countries. He was ignorant enough not to 
knowy that die mterpofition of arbitrary power in matters of trade and property deâroyt Jtl ' 
cftdit «nd confidence anosg men. The decree btf fiace been repealed. 

[ 246 ] 

itower in Europe, to which his Moft Faithful Majefljr can Ciy with truth, *« ïtî» 
•^ yowr intereft to proteâ tne." 

The laft queftiôn to be conOdered is. Whether he has made the Portuguefe i 
richer or a happter people than he found them ? If he has, it muft be confrffcd, 
that the means he makes ufe of would hardly have produced that effeft in any 
other country. If he has not, his maxim, that ftvtnigns ere not to be rtftratntd 
iy treaties from confubing the Internal vielfare of their fubjeas^ leaves him without the 
pçffibiHty of adefenccf If the ineafures, which he calls expedient, fail <rf fiiccefs, 
he is precluded from pleading any ohftruaions that might arife from the engage- 
ments of the crown with foreign nations. The conclufion reverts, with accumu- 
lated force, agaioft the wifdom and mildnefs of his adminiftration. Hitherto 
it has been only marked by the bbod of the principal nobility, and oni- 
vetfal oppreffion of the people. There can be no increafe of wealth in a coun- 
try where induflry is effedually difcouraged, and no man's property fecure. There 
can be no domeflic content or happineû among a people, one half of which are 
fptes upoa the other. Racks, gibbcta^ and dungeons, ai« Ae embkms and 
refoorces of hi* government. It i» hut the natural confequence of fuch a govern- 
ment, thatthc Pottug«e&, with many advantages of perfoaal eharaaer, and local 
fitoation, are the meaoeft and moft degraded people, »d the crown of Portugal 
the leaft refpeâed, of any in Eumpe. 

^ Sir Benjamin Keene, who knew the Marquis of Pombal early in life, empha- 
tically defcribes Bim as a cmutiêeà andpmixUd head. How far the intrepidity of his 
fpirit may defecve the opinion conceived of it, can only be determined by experi- 
ment. He may have penetration enough to fee into the genius of the people he 
treats with, and may proportion his owa. finnnefs to their apparent want of it. But 
tM» part of hi» charader has never been fairly put to the prod^, at leaft by Great 
Britain. If any farther prelUmption in favor of his abilities fhould be drawn from 
hi» having raifed himfelf toan abfolute dominion over his country, and maintained 
it i» long, it mv/ be weakened by confidoring, that the gavemment of Pbrtugal is 
defpotic, and that the talent» and intrigue» which ingratiate a fervent with his maffer 
are fometime» the leaft likely to qualify him for the government of a kingdom. 
H» is fagacious j but having feldom the good Jbrtune^ to reafcn upon right 
principles, his fagacity, in many important inftances, ferves only to miilead him. 


t Greater powus than Portugal have thought it no diminution of their fovereignty to fuhmit to 
fpecial refc-aints of thi. kind, for the ftke of other advantages. By the commereial t«atie. 
betwe«, France and Holland, each party i. exprefsly reftrained from granting new privikgea to 
th^ own fubjea*, to the prejudice of the other, " fan, qin fait permi» à Tua ou à L'au^de 
« concede^ ou de faire à leur, fujets de. immunité., benefice., don, grat^iu, ou autre, avantage» 
" par dellu. ceux de- l'autre, ou à leur prejudice." '