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Full text of "Englishmen's eyes open'd, or, All made to see, who are not resolv'd to be blind: being the excise controversy set in a new light, completely discuss'd upon the just principles of reasoning, and brought to a fair and demonstrative conclusion: between a landholder and a merchant."

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EngliflimenV Eyes opened; 

o R, 

All made to SEE, who are not re- 
folv'd to be BLIND. 

{Price One Shilling 

Englifllmen^f Eyes open'd; 

O R, 

All made to SEE, who are not re- 
folv'd to be BLIND: 


Excife Controverfy 

Set in a new Light ; completely dif- 
cufs'd upon the juft Principles of 
REASONING, and brought toafair 
and demonftrative Conclufion: 


Landholder ? and a Merchant. 

May TRADE and L IB E RTT flourijh in 
Great Britain, and their true Advo- 
cates be held in Efieem by the People ! 



Printed for J. WILFORD behind the Chapter- 
Houfe in St- Paul's Church-Tard. 1734. 

EnglifhmenV Eyes opened: 

o R, 

All made to fee, who are not refolv'd 
to be blind. 

Mer chant. 'WT^^ RAY Sir John, how do the 
■ /M Country Gentlemen in your 
Neighbourhood relifh the 
M Excife-Sche?ne? It has bit- 

terly enrag'd all Ranks and 
Degrees of Traders at London, and left fuch 
a Sting at the Tail of it, as I conceive will 
not eafily be pluck' d out. 

Landholder. Truly Sir, that Project takes a 
quite different Turn with us Country Gentlemen. 
Indeed when the Scheme was firft reprefented 
to us, and delineated in all the horrid Colours 
that a frighted Imagination could fugged, and 
London vomited out her Squibs of Terror among 
us, we began to ftand aghaft, and in fome Degree 
fell in with the common Cry. We have fince 
recover'd ourfelves ; we difclaim our Conduct ; 
we think ourfelves impos'd upon, find we have 
difcarded the proper Means of our own Relief, 
and have been acting fubfervient to the Interefts 
of fome few Men, no Well-wilhers to us, nor 
the common Intereft of the Nation in general. 
Mer. How ! Can you, Sir John, entertain 
a favourable Opinion of fo execrable a Scheme? 

A Calcu- 

( q 

calculated to enflave the Trading Part of the 
Nation, and deftructive ot the Liberties of the 
whole Kingdom? Landed Men mould always 
have the Intereft of Trade at Heart ; becaufe 
as Trade flourifhes their Eltates advance, The 
srreat Hardships and Inconveniencies of Excifes 
to the Trading Part of the Nation are fo glaring 
and unqueftionable, that I am not a little fur- 
priz'd to hear a Gentleman of your diftinguifhM 
Abilities, Impartiality, and difinterefted Views 
utter a ftngle Sentence in Vindication of fuch 
a Project. 

Landb. That there is a mutual Dependence 
and Conne&ion of Interefts betwixt trade and 
Land mud be allow'd, and that the one cannot 
advance or decline, but the other mud be pro- 
fortionably affected. However, the Confequence 
that has been drawn from thence, is partial, 
unfair, and ungenerous. Muft Landed Men be 
confider'd only confequentially and fubordinately 
to the Traders ? Muft there be no publick Ait 
which primarily and originally regards the Eafe 
of the Freeholders ? If our great Fund is Land, 
as Mr. Lock infinuates, muft it have no Weight 
and Influence in the Determinations of a Senate? 
Sure our Conduct does not merit fuch Beha- 
viour and Treatment. s Tis true our Interefts 
cannot be diametrically oppofite to thofe of the 
mercantile World in general, but yet they are 
diitinct and feparate. Nay, the Seeds of our 
Deftruclion have been imported by many Tra- 
ders, out of their great Affection for us I fup- 
pofe. Merchants, fays Mr. Lock, may grow rich 
by a Trade that makes the Kingdom poor. 
[ am apt to think, Sir, few of them extend 
their Views of Profit and Lofs beyond their 


( 3 ) 

own Connting-Houfes. Muft Chance then 
and Accident determine our Fate, while whole 
Species of Merchants, falfly fo calPd (for thai 
Appellation is due only to the honeft ufeful 
Importers and Exporters) are licentioufly revel- 
ling in unlawful Gains ? With what Contempt 
and Indignation have I feen fome fmugling In- 
fects fvvell upon this Occafion into Creatures 
of Importance, and publickly "Vaunt themlelves 
the Fountains of Riches, and Barriers of Liberty, 
while they have been making life of all the 
little tricking Arts in their Power to dry up 
the one, and pull down the other? 

I have been fhock'd, Sir, to hear the well- 
meaning Freeholder told, with an infblent Air, 
in a publick Coffee-Houfe, that he did not un - 
derftand his own Interefl, when he has dcclar'd 
that he has feverely felt the Effects of a four, 
milling Land-Tax, and mould heartily rejoice 
to fee the whole remov'd. 

The bed Conviction that Traders can give us 
that they have any Regard for our Intereft i?, 
by chearfully fubmitting to fome little Incon- 
veniencies to unfaddle us ; which, by that very 
Scheme you are pleas'd to decry, was purpos'd 
to be done by diverting clandestine and difho- 
nourable Gains into more proper Channels. 
Inconveniencies, Sir, attend all Methods of col- 
lecting Taxes ; at leaft thofe who would pay 
nothing to the general Support of the State, 
will ever urge thofe fpecious Pretences. The 
grand Queftion with me is, whether, in Regard 
to the Benefit of the whole Community, thefe 
Inconveniencies, tho" they have been fo highly 
magnified and exaggerated, ought in right Rea- 
son and good Policy to have any Weight in 
A 2 Conv 


Companion with the national Advantages that 
would arife from earing the Landholders, who 
have fo long bore the heavy Burthen, and paid 
upwards of threefcore Millions for the Prefer- 
vation of the general Liberties. I confefs in- 
genuoufly to you, Sir, I am convinced by Rea- 
fon and Demonftration, that there never was a 
Scheme offer'd to a Britijh Senate, that had 
more apparent and inconteftable Advantages 
attending it, and fewer Inconveniencies when 
put in Competition therewith. 

Mer. For fuch an Afiertion to come from you, 
Sir John, who have been fo many Years en- 
gag'd in Trade yourfelf, is fomething extraor- 
dinary. I doubt not but you found your Judg- 
ment upon a rational and fevere Examination. 
To go thro' with a Subject of fo extenfive a 
Nature at prefent may be difagreeable to us 
both. To Morrow in the Evening, if you are 
difengag'd, it will be a peculiar Pleafure to me 
to reafon the Point with you ; for I begin to 
be diffident of my own Opinion, when a Gen- 
tleman of your cool Way of Thinking, exempt 
from every Tincture of Prejudice or Partiality, 
differs from me. 

Landh. The Defign having occafion'd much 
Scribbling and Clamor, I was excited, from 
meer Curiofity, to examine into the Merits of 
it. As I have no Turn to ferve by it, I am 
not tenacious of adhering to' the Refult of my 
own Enquiry : I am ever fufceptible of Con- 
viction, Sir, always leaving my Underftanding 
free, open, and unbiafs'd for the Reception of 
all Species of Truths. I fhall be glad to fee 
you to Morrow, and then we will deliberately 
and with good Humour diffect this Excife~ 
Monjier. The 


The Subje& being reium'd at the appointed 
Time, Sir John thus opened. 

Landb. The Platform and Groundwork of 
the Excife -Scheme was laid upon thefe two Prin- 
ciples •, the Eafe of the Landed- Inter eft at home, 
and the diftrefs'd Britijh Planters abroad : Both 
which were fchem'd to be effectuated without 
the laying of any new Tax, by the Converfion 
only of the two fimple Duties upon Wine and 
Tobacco? from a Cuftomhoufe to an Excife-fVay 
of Collection. 

You'll pleafe to remark, Sir, that no new 
Duty was ever intended ; the Commodities were 
only to have the fame Duty continued upon 
them. So that the Money to eafe the Land 
and the Planters was to be wifely and juftly 
drawn out of the Coffers of fuch Traders, who 
do not act upon a Level with the reft of their 
Brethren, but, by impioufly evading the Pay- 
ment cf Cuftomhoufe Duties? are enabled to ruin 
their fellow Traders in the fame Branches of 
Commerce, opprefs the aggrieved Planters? and 
rivet the Tax for ever upon the Landholders. 

In Difputes of this Kind, Sir, if we would 
judge honeftly, the Eafe and Intereft of any 
particular Set of Men, is not to be confulted 
meerly and fimply without Regard to the whole 
Mafs of the People. The general Good of the 
Community is the only true Touchftone where- 
by we can make a juft Judgment of the Project. 
The more national Emoluments accompany any 
Defign of this Sort, the more deep Wifdom and 
Policy, as well as Honour and Honefty do the 
Schemifts difplay. Tho' one or two particular 
Points may be the Bafis of the Scheme, yet if 
yarious -other definable Ends are the infeparable 


( 6 ) 

Concomitants thereof, with Reafon may they 
be urg'd in Support of it. 

Nor mould we too precipitately, as many 
are wont, conclude we fee fome lurking Mif- 
chief a hatching under every new and fpecious 
Project, merely from the Confideration of fome 
vifible Advantage to the Propofed, exdufive of 
any to the Propofers. Not t ! iat I will be fo 
fanguine as to fay the latter had no Intereft 
in the Succefs of it, fince I have great Reafon 
to think, it would have fix'd them fo firm 
in the Hearts and Affections' of the former, and 
fo ftrongly attach'd them to their Caufe, as 
would have quite blafted the bloffoming Hopes 
of fome fnarling Anti-Projectors •, and put the 
finifhing Stroke to all their chimerical Caftle- 
Building ; and thus the Life of one Scheme 
would have been the Death of another. 

It is in the political, as it is in the natural 
Body. The Court, which may be properly e- 
fleem'd the Stomach of the Nation, employs 
itfelf differently, according to the different Cir- 
cumflances and Temperament of the Body. It 
is not aiways well-digefted, concocted Food will 
preferve the Mafs of Blood pure and untainted. 
Recourfe muft be had fometimes to ftrong con- 
vulfive Purges to revive and exhilarate its dying 
Flame. It would ill perform its Miniftration, 
mould it always confult its own prefent Eafe 
and Benefit, and refufe to fubmit to fome few 
Gripings and UneafinefTes, which will at length 
terminate in its own private Good, as well as the 
Happinefs of the whole Body in general. The 
Miniftry, it may be prefum'd, faw the Cloud 
of Oppofition gathering •, but it was never ima- 
gin'd it would have dirrus'd itfelf fo extenfively, 

an d 

( 7 ) 

and envelop'd the Senfes of any but the incon- 
fiderate Mob. 

By earing the Land, the Price of all the com- 
mon Neceffaries and Conveniencies of Life be- 
come cheaper •, Beef, Mutton, Bread, Butter, 
Flax, and Wool, &c. would all in Time feel 
the good Effects of it. While a Land-Tax is 
continued, the Rents of the Tenants will be kept 
up ; when taken Oa, Landlords may afford to 
eafe their Tenants, and they of courfe will eafe 
the Poor in the Price of the Production of their 
Lands. The Poor, when they can live cheaper, 
will work cheaper ; and our Manufactures will 
confequently be exported cheaper. s Tis a ge- 
neral Complaint among all the Exporters of our 
Woolen Manufacture, that we are underfold at 
moft of the foreign Markets of Europe in this 
Staple Commodity of our own Country, 

It has been in a great Meafure owing to the 
Dearnefs of our Woolen Manufacture, that both 
Holland and France have thought it worth their 
Care to fet up Looms of their own, to our great, 
if not irreparable Detriment ; and France has 
fo far fucceeded, that fhe feems to have no 
farther Occafion for our Cloths at all. 

And Holland has found out this Secret of 

Trade, to buy up our raw Cloths, and dye and 

nap them fo much cheaper than we, that they 

are able to underfel us in Goods of our own 

- Produce. 

Nor is it impoflible that Spain herfelf may, 

tin fome Time, fet up a Woolen Manufacture 

oi her own ; fo that if we are cut out of this 

Trade from Holland, France and Spain, in all 

probability, they, inftead of England', may , in 

:me, fuppiy Denmark, Norway, Sweden* 


( 8 ) 

Rujfia, and Germany , &c. with what they want. 
It therefore highly behoves a wile Government 
to think of Ways and Means to fink the do- 
meftick Expence of our home-bred Commodities. 
There is no other Way of effecting this but by 
eafing the Land, the Source of our native Pro- 
ductions ; for fince that Tax has been laid, all 
the common NecefTaries of Life, and the Ingre- 
dients which go to the Compofition of our Ma- 
nufactures, have been rais'd almoft one Fifth in 
their Value, and the Price of Labour has en- 
creas'd in Proportion. Our Manufactures there- 
fore muft inevitably be almoft one Fifth dearer 
than before we had any- fuch Tax. 

That a little Trouble to Traders in the Vend- 
ing of foreign Commodities, by fubmitting to 
a more fevere Infpedtion of Officers, to compel 
all to pay their juft Duty, is deftructive of 
Trade, I apprehend to be a mere Farce. The 
true Caufe of the Decay of Trade, is the Clogs 
upon its firft Springs : Let us work up our 
Manufactures cheaper, by the firft Hands, than 
other Countries, and we mall never want Mer- 
chants and other intermediate Traders to export 
them, who will never have Occafion to repine 
at the Minutenefs of their Profit. Let us cleanfe 
the Fountain-Head, and the whole Current will 
foon purify itfelf -, but 'till that be done, we 
may in vain complain of Diforders in the ex- 
panded Channels. There is no Way, Sir, to 
eafe our own Manufactures, but by eafing the 
Land, the original Spring of them. Thus do 
Traders, while they are for perpetuating the 
Land-Tax, unavoidably injure their own Trade, 
and the beft Part of it too, and then cry out 
that thofe who would eafe the Land have a Defign 
to prejudice Trade, Who 


Whoever knows any thing of 'Trade cannot 
be ignorant how highly beneficial our Plantation- 
Trade is to this I/land. Their Produce procures 
us the Balance with thofe Countries, which 
otherwife would receive the Balance of us ; con- 
fequently if our Plantations Decay, the general 
Balance of Trade would annually go againft 
us •, and thus would the Nation be daily drain'd 
inftead of being enrich'd, as it is at pre- 
fent. The Planters have complain'd to Parlia- 
ment for Redrefs ; they think themfelves ag- 
griev'd ; their mortgag'd Eftates is an indis- 
putable Conviction that their Complaints are not 
groundlefs. Should we be deaf to their Plaints, 
we know not what Temptations they may have 
to forfake our Br itijh Plantations, and to take up 
their Refidence in the French \ and then we rifque 
out Tobacco-Trade as we have already done our 
Sugar. We can't have too vigilant an Eye on 
France, who' has made fuch great Encroachments 
fince our firft Settlements there, and watches 
an Opportunity to diveft us of our Properties 
in that Part of the World. The Excife- Scheme 
in its Confequences therefore was moll wifely and 
politically contriv'd for the general Benefit of 
our Trade. 'Tis true, it was not calculated for 
the particular Intereft of the Tobacco- Faclors or 
Wine -Coopers, but, as all Parliamentary Schemes 
fhould be, for the publick Good. 

Mer. Were thefe the real Motives to this 
Scheme, your Arguments might be plaufible 
enough, though not of Weight lufficient to efta- 
blifh the Defign, as I mall mew hereafter, if 
there be Occafion for it ; but it is to be fear'-J 
that this Project was fet on Foot to augment the 
Pow#r of the Crown, by multiplying Excife- 
B ' Officers, 

( io) 

Officers, who fiave an unbounded Liberty to 
harafs and annoy Traders, and by that Means 
in Time to enflave the whole Nation. For it 
is in the 'Power of thefe Men to tamper with Vo- 
ters, fo as to obftruct the Freedom of Elections, 
and thereby to deftroy that Authority and law- 
ful Refpedt for Parliaments, indifpenfably ne- 
cefTary to be preferv'd for the Safeguard of our 
Liberties. The Benefit of Trade, like the Be- 
nefit of the Land, is a delicious Bait to allure us 
to Slavery, and therefore we mould always dif- 
truft the Views of Minijlers of State. One Ex- 
clfe is introductory to another ; and if once a 
general Excife prevails, farewell Liberty, and 
every Incentive to TrafRck. 

Landh. 'Tis true, Sir, the Benefit of Trade 
may fometimes be made a Min\{\cna.l Decoy -Duck 
to delude Traders into their Schemes ; and fo 
may groundlefs Clamours of the Ruin of Trade 
be a more ufeful Piece of factious and antimini- 
flerial Quackery to irritate the Multitude againft. 
the nobleft Defigns. What Reafon there can be to 
doubt whether the general Advantage of Trade 
was not an eflential, -though not the only Motive 
to this Scheme, is what I cannot conceive. 
Though Trade, Sir, was only fecondarily, inci- 
dentally, and collaterally confidered, and the 
grand Defign was the Eafe of the landed Inter eft ^ 
I hope it would be no Objection. In Times of 
War, the Land muft bear the expenfive Burthen 
in Protection of Trade : The lealt therefore that 
can be done, in Times of Peace, is to difbur- 
then it. A wife and judicious Miniftry will 
labour to fhift the Taxes, fo as equitably to pro- 
portion 'em amongu: all Gaffes of the Commu- 
nity, that each might, at feafonable Conjunc- 

( « ) 

tures, when the beft able, give reciprocal Eafe 
to the other. To the everlafting Honour of the 
prdent Administration, the Land-Tax has been 
reduced lower than ever fince firft impos'd •, and 
we ilill hope that the fame Minijlry, who have 
done fuch great Things for us, will, in time, ab- 
folutely eafe us, though the Popularity of the 
Defign will adminifcer perpetual Fuel to male- 
content Fire. 

I think I may with equal Reafon itifift, that 
your Argument about the Augmentation of 
Power to the Crown, from an Encreafe of Of- 
ficers, is a meer Pretence. For what Power to 
the Crown can about two or three Excifemen 
in a County add, which is the Extent of the 
Encreafe propos'd ? To anfwer this great En- 
creafe, there would have been a counterpart Di- 
minution -, at leaft equal, if not fuperior to the 
pretended Augmentation. Had the Scheme fuc- 
ceeded, fome of the Cujjtom-Houfe Officers would 
of courfe have been difcharged, or metamor- 
phoffd into Excife-ones ; and the Crown been 
ilrip'd of all the Receivers of the Land-Tax 
over the Kingdom : Men of Fortune, Repute, 
and great Influence in their refpective Counties 
and Boroughs ; which united Powers would have 
considerably turn'd the Scale in Prejudice to the 

And to fuppofe Men of their Rank and Cha- 
racter mould receive Inftructions to be particu- 
larly troublefome to fuch Traders, who may not 
fee Wifdom in the Conduct: of a Court, fmells 
two much of Romance to be credited. F'or 
how can a Man, without being ripe to fwallow 
any idle AiTertion, imagine Men, who are not 
peculiarly exempt from fuch Vices as tend to the 
B 2 Difcovery 

( «*■} 

Difcovery of Secrets, fhould be entrufted with 
any fuch Inftructions ? As they are daily turn'd 
out of their Offices for the leaft Trifle, and there- 
by become enraged with the Government ; 
ihould we not have heard of fome Stories of 
this Sort ? Throughout this warm Difpute, the 
active and ingenious Malecontents have not been 
able to produce one fingle Inftance of this Na- 
ture. With the utmoft Confidence therefore, may 
any one affirm that there is not the lead Pro- 
bability, that any Excifeman ever received In- 
ductions, directly or indirectly, from the Commif- 
fioners to tamper with any voting Trader what- 
foever. No Man, I think, but an Enthufiaft can 
imagine that Officers out of meer Wantonnefs, 
Spleen, and Ill-nature fhould be more trouble- 
ibme, 6r open to themfdves more Scenes of Tur- 
moil and Fatigue, than what the Nature of their 
Office makes abfolutely and legally neceffary. 
Much Art and Declamation indeed have been 
exercifed, to infufe a molt horrid and frightful 
Idea of harmlefs Excifemen, into the Minds of 
the Scum and Dregs of the People ; nor is it to 
be doubted but fuch florid Rhodomontades have 
had their defired Effect upon narrow and jejune 
Minds. This Fate indeed they mare, in common 
with the Clergy and others, upon certain Occafions : 
But give me leave to lay, Sir, this Way of 
Talking only ferves to .give Men of Senfe an ill 
Opinion ,of the Carafe. To convince them, you 
fhould mew fomething in Nature, that prompts 
thefe Men to be lefs human than others *, or the 
Prefumption will be they are not fo. They are 
all equally reproached in their Duty, though for- 
tuitoufly derived from the general Body of the 
People, and become deftin'd to their different 


( 13 ) 

Profefiions by the fame Providence that thofe 
Men are, who thus exclaim againft them. How 
it mould fall out that they at all times are more 
degenerate than the reft of Mankind, will be ad- 
mitted by none but fuch who are credulous enough 
to believe, that Man is form'd from fenfelefs A- 
toms, by the continued Operations of blind 
Chance and Fortune. 

By the great Degree of Power, faid to arife to 
the Crown from a few Excife?nen being fcatter'd 
over the Nation, and the Havock they have been 
pompoufly defcrib'd to make, fome giddy-head- 
ed and fuperficial Creatures imagine that the 
Dealers in Tobacco and Wine are a very confider- 
able Body of the Kingdom ; when, if a Calcu- 
lation was made, it is very much to be question- 
ed whether they are above one five thoufandth 
Part thereof: And it is equally to be doubted 
whether one Third of that Number have Votes ; 
or if they have, whether one half of them are 
not vifited by Officers already. To fuppofe, 
therefore, that the intended Augmentation 
could affect the Liberties of the whole Na- 
tion, when fo [mall a Part only could poffibly 
have been concerned, is what can never enter in^ 
to the Thoughts of a clear-headed Man ; efpe- 
cially when the Crown, in confequence, thereof, 
would have been oblig'd to have given up a 
greater Power for a lefs, as was before remark'd. 

However, left Etiglijhmen fhould be jealous of 
their Liberties upon this Account, or that fome 
imperious and arrogant Fellows among them (as 
is not impofiiblej mould prefume to have the 
leaft Degree of Power or Influence over Traders 
in the Choice of their Reprefentatives, the Laws 
of the Land have made full Provifion for pre- 

( H) 

venting any fuch Attempts. For- in the Act 
Anno 5 (^ 6 G»/*V/. &* Maria ^ it is laid, "That 
" if any Excifcmau fhall by Word, Melfage, 
cc or Writing,, or any other IVfanncr whatfo- 
" ever, endeavour to perfuade any Elector to 
" give, or diftuade any Elector from giving his 
« Vote for the Choice of any Perfon to be a 
" Representative in Parliament, fhall forfeit the 
" Sum of one hundred Pounds, one Moiety to 
" the Poor of the Parifh where fuch Offences 
" mall be committed, to be recovered by any 
" Perfon that fhall fue for the fame in the 
" Courts of Common Law. And every Of- 
" ficer, convict on any fuch Suit of. the faid 
tc Offerice, mall thereby become diiabled and 
" incapable of ever bearing or executing any 
" Office or Place of Truft whatfoever under 
*' their Majefties, their Heirs or SucceJJbrs." 

Befides, Sjr; has not this very Parliament at 
prefent exifting, that has been fo licentioufiy 
charg'd with Corruption, made the ftrongeft Act 
that ever was made to prevent Corruption at 
Elections from. all Quarters, as well againft the 
Crown as for it ? Ah Act that has met with the 
higheft Encomium from tjiofe very Gentlemen, 
Wi;o have treated the Parliament that mace it 
with urfparaHe'JM Scurrility ! A certain Writer, 
I remember, jays, " T.o the immortal Honour 
" of a Britijh Parliament, an Act is now palled, 
" whicn, it is to be hoped, will prove fully ef- 
c; ficaciOus to this great End [the Prevention of 
"' Corruption at Elections.] The Penalties, at 
'- leaff, are lo fevere, and the Provilion fo wifely 
<k made, as well as clearly exprefs'd, that I 
lil think it ifhpoffibTe for ail the Inventions of 
<" thhf arid lll-deflgningMeni totally, to elude 
"• tnem. " Can 

( *5 ) 

Can any Man then, with the leaft Glimmering 
of Reafon, furmife that Excife-Ojjicers can have 
any Influence at Elections, when nothing is more 
vifible than that they are never of Considera- 
tion enough to fway any one ? But if they were, 
and fhould attempt to influence any Vtter, it is 
in the Power of any Man to profecute and ruin 
them; the Offence being to be try'd before a. 
Jury, who are very far from being prejudic'd. 
in Favour of a poor Excifcman. 

Mer. Sir, you have made no Manner of Re- 
ply to what I urg'd, of one Excife tending to 
a general Excife, and the Swarms of Officers 
that: would over-run the Nation, was that to 
take Place. If the People do not make Head 
againft fuch Attempts at their firft Breaking 
out, 'twill be impoffible to flop their Career 
when they have got too great Footing. 

Landh. You'll pleafe to remember, Sir, that 
we are always to keep Sight of the grand and 
fundamental Motive to this Attempt ; the 
Eafe of the Land. From what I before ob- 
ferv'd it appears that a Land-Tax, which af- 
feds all the common NecefTaries of Life of 
our own Production, is an actual general Ex* 
cife, in the ftrict Senfe of the Words. What 
is meant by a general Excife is a new Tax 
upon all fuch common Conveniences of Life, 
as the Poor and laborious Part of the Nation 
cannot fubfift without. A particular Excife 
upon foreign Superfluities and Luxuries, without 
the lead Addition of any new Tax, with a View 
to take off a general Excife from the common 
Necejfaries, is fo far from having a Tendency 
to what the Judicious underftand by a general 
Excife, that, on the contrary, no Step could 


( 16 ) 

pofllbly be taken more effectually to free us 
From a general Excife : Nor is it in the Power 
of any Miniirry to indicate their Deteftation 
and Abhorrence of any fuch Project more than 
by bravely and refolutely encountering fuch an 
headftrong Oppofuion, that a Tax upon Land 
might not be eterniz'd. 

It may be urg'd with much more Reafon, 
that the laying of one Shilling in the Pound 
upon Land has a Tendency to the laying on 
of twenty. Nay, Sir, as you are a Dijfcnter, 
I may as well fay that granting you any fmall 
Privilege to deviatefrom the Church of England, 
and to worfhip in your own Way, has a Ten- 
dency to the total DeftrucTion of the Eftablifli'd 
Religion of the State •■> than which Nothing is 
more ridiculous. In fhort, Sir, I might with 
equal Reafon infift that a Man mull neither eat 
or drink, becaufe it has a Tendency to Glut- 
tony or Drunkennefs ; or that a Man mud not 
be fo prudent as yearly to lay by a fingle Penny, 
becaufe it has a Tendency to Avarice. In a 
Nation like ours, where the Crown has no Farms 
or Freeholds to fupply the publick Exigencies 
of the State, fome Sort of Taxes are as ef- 
fentially necefiary to the Prefervation of the 
Body politick, as Eating and Drinking to the 
Support of the natural Body : And fuch a 
Converfion only of the Duties paid already, to, 
be collected under the Mode of an Excife, in 
fuch a Manner that the Smuggler can't efcape 
Paving, and thereby raifing a Sum fufficient to 
difburthen the Land, and to redrefs the Grievan- 
ces our Plantations labour under, is the only 
Excife we contend for ; and nothing further 
was propos'd by the Scheme. 


( i7 ) 


The infallible Way, Sir, for England to en- 
creafe in Riches and Power, is ro embrace 
every Opportunity to render our native Ma- 
nufactures cheaper both abroad and at home, 
and foreign Superfluities dearer to the Con- 
fumer •, that the Price, as well as Quality, 
of our Commodities may tempt other Nations 
to confume 'em. Was not this ' Maxim mod 
fteddily adher'd to, our own Inhabitants would be 
confuming the Produce of other Nations, whilfl 
we were unable to export our own. Thus 
would every one, who confum'd any Thing of 
foreign Production, give away fo much of the 
Riches of the Nation. To prevent this, no- 
thing can be more conducive than an Excife 
upon all foreign Superfluities ; becaufe it muft 
either eafe our own native Produce from the 
Burthen of the publick Revenue, or in will pre- 
vent the Confumption of foreign Commodities, 
and the Produce of our own Country would 
be confum'd in their ftead. Every Thing of 
foreign Growth confum'd here, without paying 
the Duty, is an Advantage to the Proprietors of 
the Lands of thofe Countries, and a Detriment 
to our own Land-Owners, when a Tax upon them 
is purpos'd to be taken off, only by a juft Col- 
lection of the Duty upon foreign, Commodities. 
Who then, that is a true Friend to his Country, 
can oppofe fuch a brave Defign ? A Defigrn 
for which future Ages will have its Oppofers 
in Derifion, and its Advocates in the higheft 
Admiration ! 

Foreign Nations are fo very active and vigilant, 
that nothing of our Production fhall efcape pay- 
ing the Duty they impofe thereupon, 'that, were 
we not to be fteer'd by the fame political Rud- 

C der„ 


( 18 ) 

der, our Englijh Merchants would acquire more 
by importing of foreign Commodities, which 
would be cheaper, into our Country, than they 
would by exporting our own Commodities into 
other Countries, where the higher Duties would 
render the Confumption fmall, and the Mer- 
chant's Profit lefs. Thus would Traders, inftead 
of being an Advantage to the Nation, drain all 
the Wealth out of it, difcourage our People 
from Working, by leaving their Manufactures 
on their Hands, and render them idle,* 1 poor, 
and effeminate by an Inundation of foreign Su- 
perfluities. This, Sir, I only remark, en paffant, 
to Ihew that an Excife upon all foreign Luxuries 
mu'ft be of manifeft and undoubted Advantage 
to the Nation ; not that I would inflnuate any 
fuch Thing was ever intended by the Miniftry 
to be put in Execution ; but this is to remove 
your Prejudice againft Excifes upon Superfluities 
of foreign Growth and Manufacture. 

Mer. The great Inconveniencies of Excife- 
Officers, by ranlacking Traders Shops and Ware- 
houfes, at all Times, and at all Hours in the 
Night ; the extraordinary Trouble of fending 
for Permits ; the expofing a Man's Stock to 
thofe Inquifitors when they pleafe, are very great 
Hardfhips upon Traders, and what they cannot 
bear the Thoughts of fubmitting to. A Trader, 
under thefe Reftraints, cannot be faid to enjoy 
that Liberty every Englifhman by his Birth is 
entitled to. 

Landh. In the Senfe that the Word Liberty 
in this Controverfy has been ufed, every Law 
whatfoever againft Felons or Houfe- breakers is 
a Reifcraint upon Liberty. The late Scheme, 
Sir ? was defign'd, 'tis true, as a lawful Reftraint 


( 19 ) 

upon Smugglings Cheating and Perjury -, not upon 
Honefty and upright Trading. By the Scbeme^Ex- 
cifemen would have had the Power of entring Shops, 
JVareboufes, and Cellars no otherwife than as the 
Cuftomers and Servants of thefe Traders hourly 
have. They would have had no Power to 
enter them but in the Day-Time, when they 
are open to every Body ; not to enter any pri- 
vate Room, or Houfe, or other Place, not en- 
ter'd as a publick Shop or fVarehoufe of Dealers 
in thofe Commodities, not even a private Room 
in the fame Houfe wherein a publick Shop is 
kept, unlefs they obtain'd a fpecial Warrant 
for that Purpofe from fome Juftice or Juftices 
of- the Peace, and then, if by Night, but in the 
Prefence of a Conftable. 

In this Cafe, the Juftices of the Peace have a 
difcretionary Power of judging what Circum- 
ftances are a fufficient Ground for Sufpicion, 
that any of their Neighbours have conceal'd 
Contraband Goods, or ufed any Arts to defraud 
the Publick. They have likewife the Power 
of disbelieving what an Excifeman fhall fwear 
in order to obtain fuch Warrant, and may re- 
fute fuch Warrant in any Cafe whatfoever at 
their own Pleafure. So that thefe Men could 
give no more Uneafinefs to Traders, upon 
any private Pique, or perfonal Refentment, 
than any other Man may do to his Neigh- 
bour by a Warrant to fearch for flolen 
Goods. The ftrong and clear Teftimony that 
Officers mult give of the Truth of their Sug- 
gestions, to obtain fuch Warrants, would always 
deter 'em from applying for them, but when 
Goods really were conceal'd, which had not paid 
the lawful Duty : And in fuch a Cafe, no Man, 

C 2 I 

( 20 ) 

I prefume, will fay, Houfes ought not to be 

Hence it appears that Officers, as fuch, would 
have had no Power whatfoever to enter any pri- 
vate Hov.fe, Rcvm, or any other Place befides com- 
mon Steps, &c. previously regifter'd as fuch, and 
thefe in the Day-Time only. The Power of en- 
tering private Houfes is veiled in thzjujlicesof the 
Peace, who always have exercis'd the fame 
Power of granting Warrants to fearch Houfes, 
on innumerable other Accounts, before this Bill 
was propos'd. This Clamour therefore of entring 
Houfes in the Night is meer Bugbear or Spright, 
wherewith to terrify the weak and credulous. 

What additional Trouble Merchants would 
receive is a M.yftery to me; for they would 
land their Goods as, they now do, at- the Cuftom- 
houfe ; and, as they vend by the Grofs only, 
the Trouble of procuring Permits would be 
very inednfiderab'le : They coft nothing ; Offices 
for that Purpofe would be near their Ware- 

As to the intermediate Dealers, I am at an 
equal Lofs to conceive their Grievances in this 
Refpecr. There is no more Trouble and Em- 
baraffiTient in an Officer's vi filing the Shops of 
Retailers falmoft all of whom fdl various other 
Commodities already excifed) than there is 
in having two or three more Cultomers extra- 
ordinary : And I never heard Traders complain 
of any Fatigue in that, or being cblig'd to 
keep more Servants upon that Account. As 
Profit attends Cuftomers, fo it does the In- 
flection of Officers. Fair Dealers would be 
made an ample Recompense for their Incon- 
veniences, because, as it keeps others upon an 

. Equali- 

( 21 ) 

Equality with them, they muft inevitably en- 
creafe their Trade. A Defign to prevent Smug- 
glers, Hawkers i and Robbers of the national 
Revenue, when I was in Trade, was accounted 
laudable, and would have met with univerfal 
Approbation from the Body of Traders \ but 
at this Time of Day, I know not what to think 
of the Trading World. 

Mer. That an Excife would help the fair 
Trader, is fo ftale an Argument at London that 
no Body regards it. 'Tis a meer Jeft, a Court 
Pretence only •, and if you confider that all 
Merchants and Traders in Tobacco and Wine 
unanimoufly oppos'd the Scheme, you will not 
think your Argument of any Weight, or that 
Men would be fo weak as to oppofe their own 

Landh. Truly, Sir, this is an Argument that 
moil of all furprifes me. There is nothing 
more undeniable in Nature than this ; that if 
the Smuggler pays no Duty, he will underfel 
the fair Dealer who does ; and fo much the 
more where the Duties are high, as on Wine 
and Tobacco. How much foever the Smuggler 
ft lis, by having it cheaper, fo much the fair 
Trader lofes the Vending of. This is fo obvious 
and felf-evident,that the late univerfal Oppofition, 
you mention, in no ways deftroys the Conclu- 
fivenefs of my Argument; but the natural and 
juft Inference is, That all are Smugglers, and 
there are no fair Traders, or, That fair Traders 
are all bewitch'd and infatuated. To illuftrate 
this, let us imagine, inftead of converting thefe 
Duties to an Excife- Way of Collection, it had 
been proposed to double the Cuftomhoufe Du- 
ties; no fair Trader in his Senfes could have 


( 2 2 

prefer' d the latter, becaufe the Profit or Smug- 
j g would then have been fo extraordinary, 
would have enabled the Smuggler fo greatly 
to underfel the fair Trader, that it would be 
i npoffibde for him to fubfift. So that you your- 
f( if, by urging this popular Oppofition, prove 
no more by it than a univerfal Depravity and 
Corruption among the whole Body of Mer- 
chants and Traders, and, in efi eel, that they are 
better than a Band ot Smugglers or 

Mer. Pardon me, Sir, The Merchants are a 
Body of Men worthy the higheft Regard of 
the Government, the Fountains of all the Wealth 
m the Natron, and are, for the Generality, Men 
of the gfeateft Honour and Reputation. I re- 
member the Time, Sir John, when you would 
nor have beftow'd fueh Epithets on Merchants, 
as Smugglers and publick Robbers. Your old 
Friend ] ifon treated fehem in a different 

Manner, beftow'd great Eulogiums upon them, 
as well in private Converfation as in his pub- 
lick Cooipofitions. 

Landh. Yosir Warmth, Sir, li3S betray'd you 
into feme iVl'ftake -, you mifunderftand me. I 
did not call the Merchants and Traders, Smug- 
r. There are undoubtedly (and indeed I 
have heard many worthy Gentlemen among 
iorne clandestine and dif- 
honourabie Dealers, who inciter themfelves un- 
der that worthy Denomination ; and I very 
carefully diftinguifh'd between them and ho- 
r\ow;-\Az fair Traders -, and fhew'd the apparent 
Advantages that mull neceflariiy accrue to the 
latter, had the Scheme fucceeded. But you, to 
obviate my Concl.ufion, confound my Diflincfion, 



and make all Traders alike. If then it be 
certain that there are clandeftfrre Traders 
amongft the Body of Merchants and Traders, 
and all are alike without Diftin&ion, all moft 
of Confequence be clarideftihe Dealers. This 
is a juft Inference from your Logick, not 
mine. Thus you urge Arguments tnat tend 
to prove all Merchants and Trader;, Smugglers, 
and then complain that 1 cail them fo. This 
Strain runs thro* fome common News-Papers, 
and Pamphlets that don't enter into the Me- 
rits of the Difpute ■, but I could not have 
imagin'd they were fo contagious, as to taint a 
Gentleman of your Underftanding. Tho' the Ex- 
cife has been drefs'd out as a very hideous Mon- 
fter, yet, like a good and righteous Magiftrate, 
it is only a Terror to Evil-Doers. 

The violent Oppofition of fome Merchants, 
and warm-headed difarrected Senators, is not an 
infallible Chara&eriftick that the Scheme was 
bad. The fhort Queftioh, Sir, is, whether fo- 
reign Commodities ought to be tax'd, or not ; 
if they ought, then the Tax fhould be collected 
in fuch a Manner as that all fhould pay, and 
none efcape. We already pay a Duty on Wine 
and Tobacco ; and if, on a Companion between 
the Quantity paying, and the Quantity confum'd, 
it appears, that not above one Half pays, no 
one will fay the other Half ought not to pay. 
What Method then can be taken to oblige 
them? If thefe Oppofers would be fo juft as to 
offer to the World a Scheme more effectually 
calculated to anfwer that End, and eafe the 
Land, with lefs Inconveniency to the Subject, 
and lefs liable to Objection, why do they not 
propofe it to the Publick ? if they are able and 


'( 24 ) 

not willing, they difplay their Patriotifm ; if 
they cannot propofe a better .in its (lead, to 
anfwer fuch a Concatenation of wife Purpofes, 
we may conclude it is becaufe they are not able. 

Mer. It muft be confefs'd, Sir, that the fe- 
veral Ends you mention are very defireable, 
and what every good Man muft rejoice to fee 
brought about. But that Excifes are the beft 
Mediums to thefe Ends, is what I cannot yet 
bring my Understanding to bend to. The Laws 
of Excife are very arbitrary and tyrannical ; 
the Deprivation of Tryals by Juries, contrary to 
Magna Cbarta, and the Conflitution, and the known 
Rights of Englijhmen, is what in Time might 
be attended with very fatal Confequences. The 
Commijjioners are Profecutors, Evidence, Judges 
and Executioners ; have an unlimited Power of 
determining the Property of the Subject accord- 
ing to their own Will ; which is giving up too 
much Power to the Crown, and may in Time 
deftroy our Liberties. 

Landh. This, Sir, has been fet forth as a very 
formidable Objection, and therefore I don't mar- 
vel that it mould be infilled upon with fo much 
Warmth and Acrimony. Magna Cbarta and 
Excife, the Antiquity of the former and Etymo- 
logy of the latter, are brought as Proofs that 
the one mould not be admitted, nor the other 
in one Tittle deviated from. This Way of 
Talking is admirably well fuited to work upon 
a Mob, but can never be relifh'd by fuch who 
feparate and diftinguifh what others afficluoufly 
labour to perplex and confound. 

Magna Cbarta is but an Act of Parliament, 
and indeed a very valuable one, but is no more 
the Conllitution than any other Act. The pre- 


(.25 ) 

fent Conftitution is framed and erected upon all 
thcfe Acts which have parTed fince Magna Chart a, 
as well as upon fome Part of that. Was it a 
furRcient Reafon for the Excife- Bill's not palling, 
if it was in fome Degree contrary to MagnU 
Charta, it would alio follow, that the whole 
Conltitution, as at prefent eftabli'Vd, muft be 
unhing'd, becaufe many of thofe Acts of Par- 
liament, whereon it is now founded, are in Op- 
pofition to Magna Charta: But to come clofer 
to your Objection. 

AH Schemes for railing the publick Revenue 
may juftly be denominated better or worfe, as 
they are more or lets practicable in collecting 
the Money propofed by Parliament- If a Scheme 
be propos'd, where the Community is liable to 
fuch Expences in recovering their Rights from 
Individual.", that the one Part is expended to col- 
lect and obtain the other, fuch a Scheme is ra- 
ther a Burthen and Vexation to the Subject, in 
their individual as well as collective Capacity, 
and no Benefit whatfoever. 

Juries muft be allow'd an ineftimable Bleffing, 
when confider'd (as fignified and intended by 
Magna Charta) a Security againft any Encroach- 
ments of the Crown -, yet they are liable to 
many juft Objections and great Inconveniencies, 
if there mould be no other Way to determine 
Difputes m the Collection ■ of the publick Re- 
venue. Where the Claim is made by Virtue of 
any Prerogative inherent in the Crown, Juries 
could not be difpens'd with, without endanger- 
ing our Liberties. For when the Conteft is be- 
tween the King and Subject, and the Extent of 
his Prerogative is in IfTue, it equally affects 
every Subject ; and therefore Tryals by Juries 

D in 


in fuch a Cafe conftitute the People Judges of 
their own Caufe •, which is a moff invaluable 
Barrier to our Liberties, and upon no Account 
whatfoever fhould be fufFered to be broke in 

When a Controverfy lies between Subject and 
Subject either, Juries then muft be judg'd impar- 
tial ; and as they are fuppos'd to live in 
'viceneto, they are prefum'd to be acquainted 
with the Characters of the contending Parties, 
their Witnefies and Circumftances, and thereby 
the better capacitated to determine where Cre- 
dit ought to be given, when any Contrail arifes 
in their Evidence. 

But it will be difficult for Gentlemen to fhew 
that the fame Advantages are to be expected 
from a Jury ex vieeneto, when the Conteft is not 
between the Prince and the People, or Subjecl: 
and Subjecl:, but between the Subjecl: and the 
whole Republick. When the Conteft lies be- 
tween a Subject and the whole Community, 
Juries cannot be fuppos'd to have any Know- 
ledge but of one Party ; viz. the individual 
Subject under Profecution : And knowing him 
only, will naturally be under a ftrong Bias to 
favour their Acquaintance. A fmall Experience 
in human Nature will thoroughly convince us, 
that no Men are equally anxious for the Pub- 
lick in general, as they are for their Friends, 
and thole they have fome perfonal Knowledge 
of : Juries therefore cannot be fuppos'd fo im- 
partial and unprejudiced, in judging between their 
Friends or Acquaintance, and the Publick, as 
between one Friend or Acquaintance, and ano- 
ther. In ronfirmation of this, it is obfervable 
that in all thofe particular Places of the King 


( 2 7 ) 

dom, where the Practice of {defrauding the Pub- 
lick prevails, and is become cuftomary and fafhi- 
onable, the whole Neighbourhood in general 
is prejudic'd in Favour of thofe Practices, and 
judge 'em inoffenfive without the leaft Re- 
morfe •, and therefore Juries being viceneto, 
renders them more liable to Sufpicion of Pre- 
judice and Partiality. Where Deer-ftealing and 
Running of Brandy are daily practis'd, the whole 
Neighbourhood look on them as harmlefs and 
molten five as Vapfts do pious Frauds ; and the 
Laws to reftrain and obftruct them, as fo many 
ievere Encroachments on their Liberties. 

Had the Excife-Bill pafs'd, the Subject could 
not poflibly have received any Injury from the 
Crown, though they had been depriv'd of Try- 
als by Juries •, becaufe every Motive to Injury 
and Oppreffion was abfolutely taken away. 
For that Part of the Duty upon Wine and To- 
bacco, which is appropriated to his Majeftfs 
Civil Lift -Revenue, for the Support of his Royal 
Houfhold, was, by the Scheme, to have been 
collected at the Cuftomhoufe, under thofe Laws 
as it always has been. So that the Whole, 
fchem'd to have been raifed by this Mutation, 
would have went into the publick Treafure of 
the Nation, and not one fingle Penny into the 
' private Coffers of his Majefty, as has been dif- 
honourably and invidioufly infmuated. 

All Contefts therefore arifing from the Ex- 
cife, and friable by their Laws, would not have 
been between the Crown and Subjefl, bin; be- 
tween the Publick and every Delinquent. What 
Interelt then, Sir, can it be to the Crown, whe- 
ther any Conteft between Subject and Subject, 
^or between one Subject and the whole Body, be 
D 2 decided 

( 2 8 ) 

decided by a Jury or not ? Let the Event turn 
out as it will, the Crown cannot pofiibly be 
any ways intereftcd in it. 

To furmife that iheCommiJ[ioqers, when it is 
abfokitely out of their Power to recommend 
themfe'ves to a Prince or a prime Minijler^ 
fhould, meeriy from a Spirit of publick Op- 
prefficn, tyrannize over the fair Trader, is fuch 
a wild and romantick Suggeihon, that cannot 
enter the Heart of any Man, but fuch who 
take all Men's Souls to be as corrupt, bafe, 
and vitiated as their own. 

But further; a Jury can only determine Facts. 
Now all exciieable Commodities are legally feiz- 
able, when they are catch'd without the proper 
Certificate, a Permit. The Negative therefore 
in this IiTue is felf-evident and incontestable \ 
for a Jury cannot find that a Trader has a 
Permit, when the fame cannot be produced •, or 
that he had regiiter'd' his Houfe as a Trader, 
when the Registry -Books manifeft the Reverfe. 
Was every Con reft of this Sort arifmg in the 
Excife to be deter min'd by Juries and Forms 
of Law, there muft be all the neceiTary and ex- 
penfive Pleadings previous to fuch Tryal •, and 
as the Decision would chiefly hinge upon fome 
finglq Fact in Queition, which in its Nature is 
apparent a Jury cannot find a Verdict of the 
'i ruth of a Fact upon their Oaths, contrary to 
common Senfe, and the Evidence before them. 
Tn:y cai t find a Man has a Permit when 
. he n a Jury hns found fuch 

a Fact, by •' . the Judge muft 

gjve Judgmer,:, according to the Letter of the 
Law, for all Forfeitures and Penalties ineurr'd 
fuch cittermin'd Fact, without any Power 


( 29 ) 

.of Mitigation whatfoever : So that every Mif- 
take or Inadvertency might prove as fatal to 
an innocent and honourable 'Trader in Weftminfter- 
Hall, as a corrupt defigning Fraud in a Smuggler. 
In fhort, Sir, they who infift upon the great Ne- 
ceffity of a Jury to try Fads fo , felf-evidenr, 
or are weak, or wicked enough to lay this De- 
privation of Tryals by Juries is contrary to 
Magna Cbarta, may with equal Reafon affirm 
that Euclid's Elements are contrary to Magna 
Cbarta, becaufe they are arbitrarily determined 
by Demonfi ration only, and not by a Jury : 
Nor, according to thefe Men, can any Law 
whatfoever be enacted without, in fome Mea- 
fure, infringing upon Magna Cbarta. 

The Comjnijp. oners of Excife, Sir, confider'd 
in their juft Pofition and Attitude, between the 
Publick and every private Offender againft the 
Publick, will rather appear as Mitigators and 
Mediators of the Law, than as Judges or Pro- 
fecutors, as has been infamoully aifei ted by Men 
who will dare to fay any Thing. For, by the 
Letter of the Law, there are few Things chal- 
leng'd before them, but what are feizable : But 
when any Circumitances arife upon Evidence, 
in the leaft Appearance fubftantial ; as that the 
Goods have become feizable by Accident, Over- 
fight, or Inadvertency, they are redeliver'd to the 
Proprietor, and all Fines, Forfeitures and Pe- 
nalties remitted : Which is fuch an Eafe to the 
Trader, that Courts of Law, where Juries are 
a'low'd, cannot give. 

This, Sir, is the well known Conduct of thofe 
Gentlemen, whofe Characters have, notwithstand- 
ing, been fo infamoufly tradue'd : Nay, fuch 
favourable Conceffions have they been known 


( 3° ) 

to make to the Trader, that when Goods have 
been regularly feiz'd and lawfully condemn'd ; 
yet if afterwards there was room to fufpect any 
Partiality in the Evidence, the Commijjioners 
have upon all fuch Occafions advis'd the Trader 
to petition ; thereupon granted a Re-hearing, 
and revers'd their former Judgment. 

Nor can we have any reafonable Apprehen- 
flons of their ever Acting otherwife ; fince the 
■ Crown would have been totally difinterefted in 
committing any Opprefiion or Hardfhip upon 
the Trading Subject. The Crown would have 
been meerly mimfierial in the Collection of this 
Part of the Revenue, and acted by Virtue of its 
executive Power only. Whether there be more 
or Ids arifing from the Excife, it cannot affect 
the Prerogative \ fo that all this Clamor and 
iham Zeal for Liberty, is palpably defign'd to 
mifguide and difaffect the People. Throughout 
this Controverfy, Ge?itlemen purpofely con- 
found and unite Ideas, that Reafon points out 
to be clearly feparated and diftinguifh'd. Thus 
have they renrefented Magna Charta and the 
vjhele Cor.ftiiution, as one and the fame Thing ; 
the Prerogative, or Power inherent in the Perfon 
of the King independent of the Legijlature, and 
the executive Power, or that Power entrufted 
in the King by the Legijlature, as fynonymous •, 
the publick Revenue of the Kingdom, as the 
private Income and Riches of the King himfelf ; 
than all which nothing can be more wicked, 
thus to imDofe upon the weak Underftandings 
of the Commonalty, who, they know, cannot 
eafily make thefe proper Diftinctions. 

What I am not a little furpriz'd at, is, that 
Traders,, of a fudden, mould grow fo fond of 


( 3* ) 

Wejlminfter-llall Procefies. In the CourCe of 
my Experience, Sir, I never heard of a Trader, 
unlefs a very litigious one indeed, that p refer' d 
their Determinations to thofe of the CommiJJio- 
ners of Excife ; and therefore we may fufpedt 
thefe Gentlemen are either not in earned, or 
don't underftand what they talk about. A Sum- 
mary Way will moft expedite Trade, and is 
confonant with their own fpontaneous Practices 
of having Recourfe to Arbitration rather than 
Law ; and as every Motive to Partiality was 
taken away from the CommiJJioners, they may 
be juftly confider'd in that Light. 

Had this Deprivation of Juries beenjudg'd 
areal Hardfhip to Traders, when cooly and 
difpaffionately difcufs'd by Parliament, and not 
made a* warm Party- Affair of, it is not to be 
doubted but Juries would have been granted. 
Hut, if Traders had their Option, we mould 
foon fee whether they would not rather vifit 
the CommiJJioners than Weft minjier -Hail ; rather 
have the Privilege of pleading their own Caufe, 
and giving a Narrative of their own Evidence, 
in a concife and unexpenfive Manner, than to 
be oblig'd to tedious Attendancies, and feeing 
Council, Attorney and Solicitor. 

If the CommiJJioners of the Excife are fuch 
Oppreffors as we have been told they are, I 
think thofe Traders, who at prefent are under 
the Excife-Laws, have no (mall Reafon to be 
angry with the Oppofers of this Scheme ; be- 
caufe it propos'd the Juftices of the Courts of 
Kings- Bench, and Common-Pleas, and Barons of 
the Coif of the Court of Exchequer as Checks 
upon them : All Appeals being Jrom the Com- 
miffioncrs to the Judges ; and to be carried on 


( 32) 

in the Tame plain, eafy and unexpenfive Way 
as'is daily done before the Commiffioners. Does 
fuch a Propofition as this look like a Defign 
upon our Liberties? What can be more con- 
defcending to the Humour of Traders ? What 
indicate more Tendernefs and Regard to the 
Eafe of the Subject, than to change the Laws, 
that have been fo many Years eftablifh'd, and 
never 'till now judg'd oppreffive, in Compliance 
to a Spirit that has been rais'd meerly by Art 
and Mif-reprefentation ? 

This propofed Alteration, indeed, has been fet 
forth in a very low Light, and as no extra- 
ordinary Grant ; but, I cannot but think dif- 
ferently of it •, and fo mull all Traders too, un- 
lefs the fcurrilous Invectives that have been call 
upon the Commiffioners are groundlefs. 

Judges of the Common-Law, who are plac'd 
in the mod confpicuous Point of Light, and 
whofe Determinations are facredly recorded a- 
midfl the pureft Syftem of Reafoning and Juftice, 
that human Nature is capable of, can hardly 
be fuppos'd to forfeit their Honour and Repu- 
tation upon account of a paultry Seizure; which, 
as I have before fhewn, is a Conteft between 
the Pubiick and Individuals, and therefore can 
admit of no Incitement to Injultice. 

'Tis true they are put in by the Crown, but 
it is for Life ; and can it be fuggefted, that, 
three of thofe Sages mould be Confederates in 
Opprefiion ; Men diftinguifh'd in all Ages for 
their great Wifdom and Integrity, and among 
whom there is generally an Emulation to excel 
in Wifdom and Uprightnefs ? 

Mer. You pafs by, Sir, unanfwer'd the grand 
Objection, viz. that Officers who have a Share 


f 33 ) 

of the Forfeiture are allow'd to be Evidence 
again ft the Subject, and are therefore under a 
very ftrong Temptation to be partial in their 
Evidence in Prejudice to the Trader : Which is 
vifibly repugnant to the Conftitution, and all 
known Rules of Law and Equity. 

Lanclh. You do well, Sir, to remind me-, 
that Particular had flip'd my Notice. Thefe 
Objectors make no Difference between Offences 
committed by one Individual againft another, 
and Oifences committed by Individuals agiinft 
die whole Community ; whereas nothing is more 
diftinct, nor requires more different Methods 
in their Dccifion. 

It is true, in determining Contefts between 
Individuals, no Perfon is allow'd to be a Wit- 
nefs who has an Intereft in the Event; but 
why ? Becaufe perfonal Intereft is judg'd an 
Excitement fufRcient to profecute Offences com- 
mitted againft themfelves. Difinterefted Perfons 
upon fuch Occafions are always ready to give 
their Teftimony •, but Offences of a publick Na- 
ture are attended with a Lukewarmnefs and In- 
differency. Experience puts it beyond difpute 
that Men never have it fo much at Heart to de- 
tect, profecute,or bear witnefs againft publick Of- 
fenders, as againft the perfonal Injurers of them- 
felves, Friends, Relations or Neighbours. Now, 
as it is of the higheft Moment and Concern to So- 
ciety, that Offences of a publick Nature fhould 
becxemplarily punifh'd, there muft of Neceflity 
be fome political Means ufed to encourage Men 
to publick Profecutions. Upon this Confidera- 
tion it is that the Legislature, and the greateft 
Sages in the Laws, have alway wifely admitted 
Men to be good Witneffes, who had an Ad- 
E vantage 

( 34 ) 

vantage in convicting the Offender ; even in 
Cafes where the Offence is capital. Not only 
the Laws of Great Britain admit of this, but 
thofe of all civiliz'd and well-policy'd States 
abound with Inftances of this Sort. 

This Privilege however is not only allow'd 
to Excife-Officers ; but every common Subject, 
who has no Place under the Government, has 
equal Right to give Information •, and upon 
Conviction of the Offender is entitl'd by Law 
to the Reward. If your Objection, Sir, be an 
Argument againft paffing the late Excife-Bill, 
then, by Parity of Reafon, all Laws for de- 
tecting Highway-Men and Robbers ought to be 
repeal'd, and none fhould be puniih'd for Of- 
fences committed againft the Publick, 'till we 
can find fuch God-mortals among us, as to put 
them fe Ives to the Expence and Trouble of pro- 
fecuting publick Offenders, meerly and only 
from a pure Spirit of Patriotifm and publick 
Good. The Reluctancy in Men to bring pub- 
lick Offenders to Juftice, appears in jnothing 
more confpicuous and unqueftionable, than by 
the Law that is made to prevent the Compound- 
ing of Felony. The admitting Evidence, there- 
fore, who have an Intereft in the Event, is an 
Exigency of all States, and Exeifemen are as 
much Neceflitudvies Reipublic<z, as any other 
Friends to Society. 

Mer. You feem to have thought clofely about 
the Subject, Sir John, indeed ; but there are 
divers other Objections, which with me are of 
no inconfiderable Weight ; and may put you 
pretty much upon the Stretch to get over. Trade, 
Sir, you are fenfible, cannot be fupported but 
by a mutual Confidence among the Trading 


( 35 ) 

World, his in the Power of Excifemen often- 
times to deftroy a Man's Credit, by reprefent- 
ing of his Circumftances, by prying into the Se- 
crets of Trades, fetting them up without hav- 
ing duly been brought up to 'em, and by giv- 
ing Information of the State and Currency of 
a Man's Bufinefs : So that Traders may be in- 
fenfibly ruin'd, and remain totally ignorant of 
the Caufes of their Misfortune. 

Landh. This Objection has been warmly band- 
ed about, as well by the antiminifierial Mer- 
cenaries, as by fome prating Demagogues ; but, 
with all the Reafon I am Matter of, I could never 
difcern that Strength in it, that fome have pre- 
tended to difcover. 

From the Reafons I urg'd before, why Officers 
cannot be worfe than other Men, may be in- 
ferr'd they are no better. But the great Impro- 
bability, or rather Impofllbility, of their ever 
doing Injury to Traders by any fuch Meafures, 
will render this Objection very frivolous. For 
Officers have no Power to learn the Myftcries 
pf their Trades •, the Time they have to dif- 
patch their Bufinefs, will nor allow 'em to make 
Enquiry or Obfervation fufhcient for any fuch 
Purpofe. The utmoft they can pofTibly learn 
is, whether a Trader be a confiderable, a fmall, 
or a trifling Dealer; and this is no more than 
what any one may know, if they have Curi- 
ofity to be inquifitive into others Affairs. The 
Trader is only to enter what he fells for pub- 
lick Infpection, not what Credit he gives or 
takes, or the honed Secrets and Myfteries in 
manufacturing his Commodities. 

Let it be admitted, as I imagine it will fcarce 

be controverted, that in all the Shops furvey'd 

E 2 by 

( 36 ) 

by a fingle Excifeman, there are an hundred Ser- 
vants, either with Clerks and Book-Keepers, or 
f Xenial, alway refident in their Mailer's Bufinefs, 
and more privy to their Secrets than it ispoffible 
ior, Excifemen to be by tranfient Surveys: Thefe 
Servants alfo are generally pretty converfant with* 
one another, change their Places, compare Notes, 
and communicate their Knowlege of their Maf- 
ter's Secrets thro* an hundred of them. Now, 
if we admit a Common Officer to collect as much 
Knowledge of the Privacies of the feveral Trad- 
ers they furvey, as the whole hundred Sevants, 
("which, by the way, is not very poffible), of 
what Detriment to Traders can the additional 
Knowledge of a poor Officer be, "when their 
Myfteries are knowable by fo many be fides? 
What may be known to fo many can never be 
a Secret long ; and therefore this Rumour of 
the Difcovery of Traders Secrets is meer Gri- 
mace, and only to be laugh'd at by Men of 
Senfe, who fee thro' fuch Cobv/eb Traih. 

Should it be faid, that there is not fo much 
Danger of a Servant's betraying his M after, as 
there is of an Excifcman, becaufe the Servant is 
liable to an immediate Difcharge, upon the fir ft 
Detection of his Infidelity, I anfwer •, that every 
M after has the fame Power of difchargirg an 
Of.cer as well as a common Servant, provided 
he can prove that he has prejudic'cl him m his 
Trade-, and that before the Cofnmtfji oners, by 
reprefenting the Cafe with fuch Circumftances 
or Truth, as may give full Conviction or the 
Charge againit him. And I may deiy the Pub- 
lick to produce even one Iriftance where any 
Complaint of that Sort was ever made, with 
/ leaft Colour of Truth to fupport it, and 


( 37 ) • 

that the Officer was not immediately dif- 

The next Part of your Argument, Sir, I think 
very trivial indeed ; but as many have not been 
afham'd to' urge it, I fee no Reafon why I mould 
fcruple to aniwer it. It is this •, That Officers 
have fometimes prefum'd to fet up a Bufmefs 
they furvey, without being regularly bred to it. 
It is not impoffible but, at fome Time or other, 
fome of thefe poor Slaves may have had the 
Ambition to fet up a Publick Houfe, or a 
Chandler's Shop, as thoufands of Footmen have 
done ; but I never heard that their deep Know- 
ledge by Inflection, ever made them fo wife 
as to venture upon a Tallow-Chandler, Brewer, 
or Diftiller, &c. A thouland Objeciions of this 
Sort will fcarce weigh clown, in the Scale of 
juit Argument, a thoufandth Part of one of the 
publick Advantages that would accompany the 
pefign, was it put in Execution. Sometimes 
thefe poor Fellows are painted in the black' ft 
Colours \ as ignorant, indolent and imperious 
Creatures, unfit for any Thing but Excijemrp : 
At other Times they are the moil penetrating, 
fagacious, diligent and well-behav'd Enquirers 
into the great Myiteries of Mankind! 

For an Exciseman to know the Circumfcances. 
of a Merchant, any otherwife than the Publick 
does by his Exports and Imports, is very im- 
probable -, nor can it enter into my Head liow Re- 
tailers can furfer in this Refpect. Country Shop- 
Keepers deal in thirty or forty different Commo- 
dities, and perhaps half-a-dozen of 'em only ex- 
cited ones ; how a Knowledge of one fifth or 
fixth Part of their Bufmefs fhould enable an Officer 
to fpread the Whole of a Trader's Circumflances, 


( 3« ) 

or make any Report thereof that would be cre- 
dited, is to me an inexplicable Paradox. 

However, Sir, fuppofing all the Secrets, and 
all the Circumftances of Traders in general 
were laid fairly and nakedly open to the World, 
it might prove a national Biefiing, for ought 
I know. This, I prefume to affirm, would be 
one happy Confequence •, that Bankrupts, and 
Cheats would not be fo numerous : Traders 
would be more upon their Guard, live fui table 
to their Fortune and Condition, and drive to 
fupport their Credit by Honour and Honefty, 
not by Craft and Knavery. 

But,, Sir, if you will permit me to appeal to that 
infallible Touchltone, Experience, the Objection 
will appear to be of no Weight at all. For fo 
far have Excifes prov'd from being any real Pre- 
judice to Traders, that as many confiderable 
Eftates have been acquir'd by the Sale of ex~ 
cifed Commodities, as by any that are not .fo. 
To fupport me in this Affertion, I need only 
mention the reputable Names of Braver, Dif- 
tiller, Leather 'feller, Soap-boiler, Druggiji, &c. 
which are univerfally efteem'd fome of the mod 
profitable Trades in the Nation ; and therefore 
the Excife is very far from making Beggars of 
thofe who are under its Laws. 

Mer. The Objections I have hitherto made, 
Sir, are of little Weight in comparifon with 
what I have to offer. There is a Pamphlet lately 
publihYd, Sir, entitled, a Letter from a Member 
of Parliament, giving Reafons for his oppofing the 
Excife- Scheme, Jhewing that had the late Attempt 
fucceeded, it had been deflrnclive of Parliaments, 
and fatal to the Conjlitntion. As but a few Days 
are pafs'd fince I read it, the Subftance is freih 


( 39 ) 

in my Memory. The grand Argument by 
which he has prov'd his AiTertion, feems to me 
the moil cogent that has ever yet been urg'd 
againft the Bill : It runs thus, viz. cw That 
'* this Scheme would have fettled all the Re- 
il venue arifing from it in Perpetuity upon the 
" Crown, which would deftroy that mutual 
" Dependency between Princes and Parlia- 
" ments." For thus the Author argues ; " His 
" Majefty is necefiary to us for the End of 
" Government, Protection. We are necefiary 
"to him for the Means, Money. Now, 
" whatever tends to weaken or deftroy this 
<c mutual Neceffity, muft of Courfe deftroy 
" that Harmony, by taking away the funda- 
" mental Caufe of it. That this would have 
<c been the Cafe, had the late Attempt fuc- 
" ceeded, will be evident, if you confkier that 
*\ thofe Duties were to have been given in Per- 
" fetuity inftead of a Land-Tax granted an- 
" nuatty, and appropriated to the current Ser- 
*' vice of the Year as the Wifdom of Parlia- 
" ment judg'd neceifary." 

Landb. The Pamphlet you mention, Sir, was 
fent me down laft Week : Which I muft allow 
to be drawn up in a very artful and elaborate 
Manner. The Argument you have pitch'd upon, 
indeed, is the chief in the Performance •, and 
becaufe its Authors are very fond of it, have 
retail'd in again in the Craft fman. But if this, 
Sir, be all they have left to fay for themfelves, 
I hope foon to undeceive you. 

As the Law ftands at prefent, all Wine and 
Tobacco ought to pay fully flich certain Duties, 
as by Ad of Parliament are legally impos'd 
upon them. The whole Sum which mould arife as 

( 4° ) 

a Duty upon every Pound of Tobacco, and every 
Pint of Wine imported into, and confumed in 
this Kingdom, is already charged, granted, ap- 
propriated and limited in as full a Manner 
as by the intended Bill was propofed : By 
which there was to have been no new Charge 
laid, or any Thing granted, appropriated or 
perpetuated, but what was actually fo before ; 
and has been for many Years. Your Author's 
Insinuation therefore of the intended Excife be- 
ing a perpetual Fund, in Oppofition to the 
Cujloms not being fo, is an Inftance of the 
greateif. Difingenuity ■, and (hews to what con- 
temptible Shifts thefe Gentlemen are reduc'd, to 
keep up the Spirit they are fo indefatigable to 

If it be faid, they oppofe the Perpetuity of the 
Cufloms to the annual Duration of the Land- Tax 
to be taken off, yet the Confequence they draw 
of the Danger to Parliaments is remote from 
the Point ; becaufd whether the Land-Tax be 
continued or difcontinued, thofe Duties wi'l ne- 
verthelefs remain an appropriated Fund for the 
Support of the State. For our Anceftors have 
very wifely judg'd not to make the Land-Tax 
a perpetual Fund, as thefe Gentlemen contend 
for, but only have appropriated Taxes upon 
foreign Luxuries and Superfluities. 

Thefe Gentlemen therefore, Sir, are now re- 
duced to this plain Qjeftion •, whether the Pre- 
vention of Frauds in the Collection cf thefe 
Duties, in order to eafe the Land, can have 
any fuch Effect as to defcroy that mutual De- 
pendency necefiary to be preferv'd between 
Princes and Parliaments, and thereby to render 
their Meetings lefs frequent ? If they fay it can -, 


(;M ) 

then it will follow, from their own Way of 
Reafoning, that the more Frauds that are com- 
mitted in the Collection of any Branch of the 
Revenue, the greater Prefervation will it be to 
the Conftitution % becaufe it is certain that it 
will be neceffary for the Parliament to meet 
the oftner to raife Money to fupply thefe frau- 
dulent Deficiencies* Nay, fo far may this ad- 
mirable Argument of theirs be carried, that 
thole who were guilty of Burglary, and actually 
robbed the Exchequer, or ihall ever hereafter 
rob it, are the moil eminent Patriots, and con- 
tribute by fuch Robberies to the Prefervation of 
the Conftitution: For thereby it is certain that lefs 
will come into the Exchequer, Princes will have 
lefs to mifapply, and there will be more frequent 
Occafions for the calling of Parliaments, to lay 
new Taxes to makeup for thefe Loffes occafion'd 
by Smuggling and Robbery. Thus, Sir, have thefe 
penetrating Politicians made a moft notable Dif- 
covery; which they may regifler in their politi- 
cal Canon ; viz. That Robbers of the publick 
Revenue, and Plunderers of the Exchequer are 
fome of the great efl Benefactors to the State. 

From that Author's Way cf Arguing, one 
would be apt to imagine the Sum, purpos'd to 
be rais'd by the Excife-Scheme, was immenfly 
great, that, as he fays, it would put a Stop 
to the Affembling of Parliaments to raife more. 
The utmoft that the Surplus has ever been 
fuppos'd to arife to, is but 500,000 /. a Year, 
juit a Sufficiency to eafe the Land ; which is 
not above one eleventh Part of the whole na- 
tional Revenue •, and yet, according to their 
new Way of Reafoning, the Meeting of Par- 
liaments would not have been neceffary to raife 

F the 

' ( 42 ) 

the other Part. Tho' fome Part of the other 
ten Elevenths may be afcertain'd to the Publick, 
yet if the Parliament always takes Care- of a 
confiderable annual Referve in their own Breaft, 
there can be no Danger of the Deftruction of 
that mutual Neceffity and Harmony between 
Princes and Parliaments, becaufe the fundamen- 
tal Cauie thereof will ftill fubfift. 

When thefe Gentlemen think to fhew, that 
the Scheme might have prejudic'd the Confti- 
tution, they magnify the Sum it would have 
rais'd to an enormous Size •, even to fo great a 
Degree, that it would have render'd Parliaments 
unneceflary, and been deftrucYrve of their very 
Being : But when they are in a Strain for ex- 
ploding the Scheme, and (hewing its Ineffici- 
ency to anfwer the End propos'd ; (viz. the 
Eaie of the Land), then they fink the Sum to 
a very diminutive Degree : So that thefe two con- 
tradictory Arguments deftroy the Force of each 
other. By the firft they tacitly acknowledge 
the Extenfivenefs of the Frauds at the Cufio?ns, 
becaufe the Prevention of 'em would have pro- 
duc'd fo confiderable a Surplus ; by the latter 
they reprefent the Surplus to be fo minute and 
inconfiderable, that it is impoffible it mould 
have any fuch Effect upon Parliaments : By 
their pretended anticonftitution Argument, they 
confers the Necefiity of a Scheme to prevent 
the Frauds ; by the other, the Impoffibility of 
fuch a Scheme being of any Prejudice to the 
Conftitution. How natural you fee, Sir, is it 
for Truth to break out, tho' ever fo much dif* 
guis'd and invelop'd with Error ! 

But I have not, yet, done with this Ar- 
gument of theirs ; for it may very dextroufly 


(43 ) 

be applied, by thefe firft-rate Politicians, a* 
well againft the Encreafe of our Trade, as a- 
gainft the Excife-BilL For if his Majejly, by 
any wife Scheme, Treaty, or Negotiation mould 
augment our Commerce in general, and thereby 
our Exports and Imports to double what they 
are at prefent, it is certain, in Confequence 
thereof, the Cuftojns would be double what they 
are at prefent: But was there any Truth in 
what your favorite Writer urges, (from the 
Danger of encreafing the Duties,) fuch wife 
Conduct in his Majeity, would be equally dan- 
gerous to our Liberties, with the Excife-Bill ; 
becaufe, it is certain, the more Money was rais'd 
from thofe Fountains of the publick Revenue, 
the lefs would be necefTary to be rais'd from 
the Land, Soap and Candles, &c. But your 
Author, Sir, cannot relifh taking off Taxes 
upon the common Nece Maries of Life, if the 
fame Sums are to be rais'd uponforeign Super- 
fluities ; no : That is a Doctrine that favours 
too much of arbitrary Power, and the Deftrutlion 
of Parliaments. But who will believe him ? He 
had better fpeak what he thinks, viz. That 
fuch a Scheme would only draw the Affections 
of the People too much to its Propofers ; and 
therefore it is, fuch Gentlemen fo violently op- 
pofe it. Whoever Reads the Bill will find, that 
Part of the Cuftoms intended to have been con- 
verted into an In- land Duty, was to have been 
granted to the Crown, only during the Life of his 
Majefty and appropriated to the Ufes of the Pub- 
lick, as by other Acts, and that Bill, were duly 
appropriated. And therefore all that Author's 
Reflections on what future wicked Princes pofii - 
bly may do, are very low, and for wan: of 
F 2 fomething 

('44 ) 

fomcthinp; better to fay •, fince the Parliament 
on the Dcmile of every Prince have it in their 
Power to grant thefe Taxes annually, if the 
Qualifications of tiie SuccciTor do not recom- 
mend him to the Confidence of Parliament for 
fo great a 'Fruit. 

If then thefc Duties are not perpetuated to his 
Ma jelly's Succefibr,' but to his Majejly only for 
Life i how the Danger of Mifapplication of 
publick Money by wicked Princes, fee forth 
by that Wr. : ter in fiich hideous Colours, is re- 
concilable with the Encomiums beilow'd on 
his Majefty in other Parts of his Book, I am 
at a Lojs to comprehend. In fhort, Sir, the 
natural Confequence of that Writer's Suggeftion, 
is limply this ; that thofe large Sums of Money, 
which at prefent run into the Hands of national 
Robbers and Smugglers, are more likely to be 
applied to the Good of the Publick, than if 
the fame Sums had been legally depofited into 
the Exchequer, and under his Majeiiy's Royal 
Care, 5 till the fame had been duly appropriated 
by Parliament; to the Eafe of the Landed 
Jnterejl, as intended, An admirable C pli- 
ment on his Majefty, truly ! Bleftow'd on him 
without doubt to encreafe tl £iions of his 

People tpWaxds him. Thefq <SV;- .. n have 
hitherto chofe to v racier of his 

efty thro' tl ' his j\itntftfy\ but 

; 'V of the Mail:. 

jVur. That has another Argu- 

: is new 'too ; it is, that tho* 
the . // his been reprefented as laying 

no new. D ::y, yet it is as great a Fallacy as 
ever 'd to a Houfe of Commons. " For 

«* «o tiQw i Lands, fays he, it charges 

'* t:\c.y 

( 45 ) 

cc every Hogfhead of Wine with fuch a Cuftom 
" upon Importation -, which once paid, I may 
* c mix, adulterate and compound my Wines as 
" I pleafe, without defrauding the Revenue •, 
" fince having paid all the Law requires, the 
" Revenue has no farther Demand upon me ; 
" it is to all Intents my own, and the Puhlick 
** has no more to do with it, tho' I make* 
" ufe of it as an Ingredient in twenty Hogf- 
" heads of Liquor, which I felf by the Name 
'.' of Wine. It is true, I defraud the Publick, 
" that is my Cuftomer, if I fell ihern for PVine, 
" what is not both as pleaiaqt and wholfome 
" as Wine \ and io does a Cyder- Mercba;;;, who 
" mixes Turnip- Juice with his Cyder ; fo does 
" a Goldjmiih, who mixes his Gold, or Silver 
" with too much Alloy, &V. This, he fays too, 
. " gives a Sanction to fuch Mixtures, by taxing 
" them towards the Revenue •, which befides 
." the Immorality oi" ir, would be as certainly 
" anew Tax, as taxing a whole Manufacture, 
tc inftead of one Material ufed in compounding 
" it; which Wine only is fuppos'd to be." 

Landh. It is obfcrvable, Sir, as I have made 
appear in divers Inftances, thefe Objectors con- 
found the jufteft Diftin&ions, on purpofe to mif- 
lead and perplex their Readers ; and now they 
play the common fophiifical Cheat upou us, by 
making abfurd Diftin£tions without a Difference. 
If, fay they, iC a Vintner pays all the Law 
" requires, he does not rob the Publick :" But 
theft? Men will not confider that tho* the Vintner 
has paid fuch a Duty as the Law requires, yc r. 
if he does not fell Wine, but 'any Quantity of 
Mixture amongft it (we will fuppole one Half) 
he Itill defrauds the Publick ; lince it will not 


(46 ) 

be deny'd, that every Man who drinks a Pint 
of Wine, and a Pint of poifonous Liquors with 
it, thinking them a Bottle of Wine, would drink 
no lefs if his Bottle had been all Wine : From 
whence it follows, that the Vintner mud buy 
double the Quantity of real Wine, and the 
Merchant import proportionably. •, and confe- 
quenrly double the Profit would come to the 
general Revenue, to the Eafe of other Taxes : 
But by felling one Half for Wine, which is not 
fo, the Vintner deprives the Publick of one Half 
of the Revenue, the Cuflomer of one Half of he buys, and the Merchant of one Half of 
his Importation ; which is fufficient to fhew, that 
the Wine-Scheme would have been an Advan- 
tage to all, and a Fountain of Eafe to other 
Taxes ; and therefore what may be fuppos'd to 
be loft in the general Balance, by encreafing our 
Importation from Portugal, would be amply 
made up to us, could we Once lower the do- 
meftick Expence of our Woolen Goods, fo as 
to iiriderfel thofe Nations, which are fo much 
ftrivlng to rival us in that invaluable Branch of 
our Britifh Commerce. 

This Argument, indeed, is founded upon the 
Suppofi tibia', that as great a Quantity of real 
Wine would be confum'd, as there is now of 
their poifonous Compounds. But thefe Gentlemen, 
I imagine, will deny this, and fay, that the Vintner 
will raife his Price, he not being able to get fo 
much by the Sale of neat, as adulterated Wines ; 
and' therefore the Confumption would be di- 
ininifn'd. Let this for Argument fake be grant- 
ed ; and let us fuppofe with them, that they 
will raife their Wine Six-Pence, nay, one Shil- 
ling in the Bottle j yet it mud be obferv'd, 


( 47 ) 

that the Encreafe or Decreafe of the Price of 
what is confum'd, would only affect the Con- 
fumption in the Proportion „as the Rife or Fall 
of the Price happens to be ; fo that if we fup- 
pofe it raifed in Price one Shilling per Bottle, 
one Third lefs only would be confum'd, and 
the confumed two Thirds, being all Wine, would 
be one fixth Part more than the whole Quantity 
now confum'd, one Half whereof only being 
fuppos'd Wine. If the Price was rais'd only Six- 
Pence in the Bottle, as would be more proba- 
ble, then one Fifth lefs only would be confum'd, 
and the confum'd four Fifths, being all Wine* 
would be three Tenths more than the whole 
Quantity at pfefent confum'd. This Reafoning, 
which is mathematically true, will hold good, 
let the Quantity adulterated be more or lefs. 
But how would obliging the Vintner to pay Duty 
for every Bottle he fells as a Bottle of Wine> 
give any Sanction to his Adulteration, as that 
Author afferts ? Does it take away the Power 
of any Law in Force againft him for fuch Practi- 
ces ? There is at prefent an In-land Duty on Can- 
dles ; and if a fallow -Chandler ufes falfe Weights, 
and fells three Quarters of a Pound for a Pound, 
would it be any Exemption from Punimment, 
or could he elude the Laws againft fuch Trick- 
flers, by pleading he had paid Duty for a Pound, 
when he had actually defrauded the Buyer of a 
Quarter-Part of what he contracted for ? 

The pitiful Sophiftry of thofe Writers, Sir, 
is ftill farther remarkable in that PafTage you 
allude to. « The Term Pttblick, fay they 
" (fpeaking of Robbing thePublickJ in one Senfe 
" fignifies the Revenue ; in another Place the 
" Cuftomers of the Vintner only ; and a High- 

" way man 

( 4 8 ) 

" way man or Pickpocket may as well be faid 
" to rob the Revenue as a Vintner, who fells 
" compound Liquors." Behold thefe Advocates 
for Sophiftication ! By the Revenue, Sir, is al-. 
ways underftood, by Men who have no Intent 
to deceive, the whole publick- Treafure, levy'd 
for the Support of the State ; and by the Term 
Publick is plainly meant the whole Community, 
or collective Body of the People •, but if the 
Publick be confin'd, as that Author would have 
it, only to fignify the Cuftomers of the Vintner, 
then indeed every Vintner has a Republick to 
himfelf, and by cheating them, he only cheats 
his own Republick, and not the general Com- 
munity. Wonderful Reafoning truly ! A High- 
wayman, a Pickpocket, or Trickfter by falfe 
Weights, may as well be faid not to rob the 
Publick, but only thofe Perfons who fall in their 
Way, as a Vintner may, who only defrauds 
his Cuftomers. From this impofitious Diftin6tion 
of your admir'd Writer, it will appear, that, ex- 
clufive of the Revenue, no Man can do an Act 
agalnft the Publick, but where all the Indivi- 
duals are immediately injur'd. If fuch Reafon- 
ing holds g;ood, then all our Laws and Profe- 
cutions againft Highwaymen, which have been 
founded on a Suppofition, that he who robs one 
Man, robs and injures the whole Community, 
are fallacious in the very firft Principles ; all the 
celebrated Lawgivers of Greece and Rome are, 
by thefe Gentlemen, Blockheads ; and all fuf- 
fering Highwaymen have been put to Death un- 
juttly. In fhort, Sir, this Argument of theirs, 
if it proves any Thing, proves, that no Man 
merits the Gallows, but fuch Authors who in- 
jure the Bulk of the Nation, by wantonly fport- 
ing with their Weaknefa and Credulity. Mer. 

f 49 ) 

Mer. As to the Point of Brewing and 'Adul- 
teration of Wines, I confefs I am not fharp-fighted 
enough to fee how the Scheme would have put 
a Stop to thefe Practices, For if Malt-Spirits, 
Cyder, Perry, &c. are the Particulars where- 
with this Sophiftication is carried on, the Wine- 
Coopers and Vintners, whilft the Duty upon 
Wines continues fo much higher than upon thofe 
adulterating Ingredients, will dill have ftrong 
Motives, notwithftanding all the Rigour and 
Severity of an Excife-Infpeffion, to Brewing, 
and Adulteration, &c. becaufe thofe Mixtures, 
when they are made to pay the Duty of Wine, 
miy certainly be afforded cheaper than neat 
Wines can be imported. 

Landb. The Ingredients, Sir, wherewith you 
fuppoie this Adulteration carried on, are already 
taxed \ fo that the Tax would be double to 
fuch Cheats who mifapplied them, but Jingle to 
Traders who apply'd them honeftly. Buc what 
you contend for is to invert the Cafe -, that ho- 
neft Men may pay a double Tax, and Rogues 
a fingle one -, which Policy, I think, none can 
approve, but they who live by Trick and Cheat, 
Pillage, and Plunder. Suppofing an Excife did 
not abfolutely (tho' it would in a great Mea- 
fure) put a Stop to thofe pernicious Practices, 
yet no Man lure can hefitate a Moment in de- 
termining which is moft for the publick Good ; 
a Tax upon Roguery, or a Tax upon the common 
Neceflaries of Life, and the Staple Commodities 
of our Country. To make fuch Objections as 
thefe, Sir, is only hanging upon the Skirts of 
the Controverfy •, nibbling at a few Inconve- 
niencies to Traders ; and to fuch only, who deferve 
no favourable Treatment from the Community. 
G 'Tis 

( 5° ) 

'Tis of little Significancy to difpute about the 
Scheme propos'd, 'till this fundamental Point be 
fettled j which is the moft eligible ; the Con- 
Uerfion of a Duty upon two foreign Superfluities 
from Cuftoms to Excifis, or the perpetuating 
the Land-Tax ? Had this Proportion been with 
Temper difcufs'd by a Parliamentary Inquifiti- 
on, I have Reafon to believe, that a Land-Tax 
would have appear' d rather prejudicial to Trade, 
and the other a general Benefit to it : Nay, had 
the Surpluses not been propofed to have been 
appropriated to the Eafe of the Landed- Intereji, 
but to the taking off any other Tax •, as 
that upon Soap and Candles, or the like ; the 
Defign would have merited the higheft Ap- 
plaufe. For the Eafe of the Planters, and keep- 
ing all Traders upon a Level, were of them- 
felves fufficient to recommend it. But inftead 
of entring into the Bottom of the grand and 
eflential Point, Menaces of an Infurre&ion were 
fulminated againft the Senate; intimidating 
Mobs, Infults, and Cavalcades were rais'd ; and 
every kind of Spright that tended to pervert 
and mifguide Men's Judgments. 

If Senates are to be thus treated, and the 
Freedom of Debate obftru&ed, the Throw of a 
Die may as well determine what is for the 
publick Good, and what not ; and fo, meer 
Chance and Accident, inftead of Senatorial Wif- 
dom, and Sterling Policy, are to give Laws to 
Old England. Thus, Sir, we find Men who 
blufter the moft about Liberty of Debate, and 
the Freedom of Parliaments, have done the moft 
to deftroy both -, and they who cry out fo loudly 
for the Liberty of the Prefs, and the Indepen- 
dency of Parliaments, would have none write or 


(5i ) 

fpeak but themfelves, and the Parliament de- 
pendent on the Humours of the Multitude. 

Mer. I mall not take upon me, Sir, to juftify 
the Conduct of any Men, but confine myfelf clofe- 
]y to the Merits of the Caufe *, and therefore I join 
Iffue with you, Sir, and recur to the effential 
Point, of Eafing the Land, and its neceflary Ef- 
fects, which you have fo much infifted on. At 
firft, I waved this, thinking, indeed, I fhouJd 
have been able to have filenc'd you, without 
entring upon this Branch of the Argument. 

Landed- Men are always for fhifting the Taxes 
upon Commodities, and they imagine themfelves 
very politick in fo doing, becaufe they give 
themfelves, feemingly, an immediate Eafe ; but 
they are only amus'd and deceiv'd. For tho* 
they do not pay the Tax feelingly, when it is 
upon Commodities j yet, they will find their 
Purfes at the Year's End as much emptied : 
Their Money, then indeed, goes from 'em by 
Dribblets, and imperceptibly, yet at long Run 
they pay the fame. 

Sir, Agreeable to this, argues that Great 
Man Mr. Lock, whofe Authority you have cited 
upon other Occafions, and therefore 'tis not to 
be queftion'd but you will pay as high a Re- 
gard to his Opinion upon this. u Taxes, fays 
" he, however contriv'd, and out of whofe 
" Hands foever immediately taken, do in a 
" Country where their great Fund is in Land, 
** for the moft Part terminate upon Land. 
tc Whatfoever the People is chiefly maintained 
" by, that the Government fupports itfelf on :" 
And in another Place he fays, «« A Tax laid 
" upon Land feems hard to the Landholder, 
«< becaufe it is fo much Money going vifibly 
G 2 " out 

' (52) 

li out of his Pocket ; and therefore as an Eafe 
<c to himfelf, the Landholder is always forward 
" to lay it upon Commodities : But if he will 
" throughly confider it, and examine the Ef- 
" feels, he will find he buys this feeming Eafe 
" at a very dear Rate, and tho' he pays not 
u this Tax immediately out of his own Purfe, 
ec yet there will be more wanting there, at the 
«' End of the Year, than that comes to, &c." 

Befides, Sir, I can't conceive how a Land-Tax 
has that Effect upon Trade, you have taken all 
along for granted •, and therefore I can't fee how 
Trade would be advantag'd by it, was it taken 
quite off. A Land-Tax, fo far from being any De- 
triment to Trade, appears to me a great Eafe to 
it, by keeping Taxes off from Commodities. 

Landb. 'Tis true 1 , Sir, throughout the whole 
Debate I have endeavoured to fhew how detri- 
mental a Land-Tax is to Trade ; and therefore 
how beneficial Taking it off mud neceffarily be. 
And fmce you feem not to be fatisfied with what 
I have already communicated to yon upon that 
Head, I mail take a different way to iiluftrate 
this Point. 

To prove that the Taking off a Land-Tax 
would have thdfe good Effects upon Trcde I 
have infilled on, by lowering the Prices of our 
Woden Mamijatlure, it is fufneient to mew that 
the laying on a Tax upon Land will raife them. 
To which End, let us fu'ppofe that the whole 
Revenue of the State was t6 be raifed from the 
Lands, (which indeed our modern Malecontents 
have frequently contended for,) it would a 
mount to about Eleven Shillings in the Pound. 
This Step would at ence (trip all the Freeholders 
of half their Eftr.tes. Now, if: we take a Sur- 


vey of all the" Freeholders in the Kingdom, we 
fhall find at leaft one half of them who can 
but barely fubfift upon the annual Rent of their 
Lands : So that the firft thing that fuch Land- 
holders would be neceffitated to do, would be 
immediately to enter upon'their own Eftates, and 
by their own Labour and Cultivation add to 
the original Rent the Profits that now fall to 
their Tenants. Such who would become Occu- 
piers of their own Lands we may fuppofe to be 
one Fourth Part of the Landholders ; which 
would neceffarily turn one Fourth of all the 
Tenants in England out of their Farms. And 
for the Refidue of the Lands to be Lett, there 
would be more Tenants than Farms ; who, be- 
ing bred to Husbandry and Agriculture, and in- 
capable of providing for their Families any o- 
ther Way, would bid one above the other for the 
Farms-, and thereby, as Mr. Lock fays, raife the 
Rents, as much as the Price of any Commodity is 
raifed in a Market where there are more Buyers 
than Sellers. This muft inevitably raife the 
Prices of all the Commodities produced by the 
Lands, to enable the Tenants to pay their extra- 
ordinary Rents •, and thofe, who held their own 
Lands, would of courfe raife their Produce to the 
Market Price. Thus the NecefTaries of Life being 
raifed by the great Land-Tax, the Labourers, and 
Artificers who fubfift upon thofe NecefTaries 
muft raife their Labour in Proportion. Hence, 
not only the Price of every Ingredient ufed in 
the Staple Commodity, Cloth, muft be enhanced, 
but the Labour of the firft Manufacturers, and 
every labouring intermediate Carrier and Dealer 
muft be likewife encreafed, till it comes to the 
Hands of the Merchant. Whether thefe Pro- 


portions I have pitched upon be juft or not, is 
immaterial: It is fufficient to my Purpofe that they 
mew what muft be the natural Effects of fuch 
a Land-Tax. And whatever Tax be laid upon 
Land, the Rents and Produce thereof will be 
in a continual Flux of Raifing, till the Landlord 
finds his Gains to be as great after the Deduction 
of that Tax, as before it was impofed. Expe- 
rience confirms the Truth of this Reafoning, and 
mews that the Land itfelf, and from thence all 
the Neceffaries of Life, as well as our home 
made Manufactures, have been raifed in their 
Price one Fifth Part fince the Land-Tax has been 

Mr. Lock indeed has been frequently cited in 
this Controverfy,to fhew that he was of Opinion, 
that a Land-Tax was preferable Taxes upon Com- 
modities ; and from his Authority fome have in- 
sinuated the Reafonablenefs of laying all Taxes 
upon Land at once j but this, Sir, is {training 
and perverting the Senfe of that great Man in 
order to epprefs the Landholders. " Taxes, fays 
<c he, however contrived, and out of whofe Hands 
" foever immediately taken, do, in a Country 
ec where the Great Fund is in Land, for the moft 
" part terminate upon Land." And I remember 
in another Part of that fame Piece of Reafoning, 
he fays, in Anfwer to Holland's being brought 
as an Inftance of laying the Expence of the 
State upon Trade, " Lay the Taxes, fays he, 
" where vou will, the Land every where in 
«' Proportion bears the greater Share. " Thefe 
PafTages, Sir, with many other T could produce, 
may fuflice to fhew, that the true Meaning of 
Mr. Lock, is, That if the Taxes on Commodi- 
ties are more than the Proportion of their Value 


( 55 ) 

bears to the Value of Land, fuch iuper-propor- 
tionable Charge will not ultimately reft on thofe 
Commodities, but continually fluctuate till it 
comes and fettles upon the Land, where there 
would be, in fuch a Cafe, the greateft Room 
to receive it. 

Mr. Lock can never mean that Landed Men, 
any more than Merchants, pay Taxes upon 
Commodities any otherwife than as Confumers 
of thofe Commodities. Whilft there is a Tax 
upon Commodities, and none upon Land, the 
Landed Man pays no Tax as a Landed Man ; 
how then can a Tax upon Commodities afreet 
his Land, as fuch, any more than a Land-Tax 
can affect the Capital of a Money 'd Man which 
he keeps in the Funds ? 

But Gentlemen have wrefted the Senfe of this 
great Author, and made him fpeak their Sen- 
timents, not his own ; they have labour'd to 
mew that he was an Oppreffor of the Landed- 
Men ; and would have all Taxes laid upon them, 
and not upon foreign Commodities ; than 
which Policy, nothing can be more fatal. In- 
deed was our Ifland fo circumftantiated, as to 
be independent of all foreign Trade, and con- 
fum'd no foreign Superfluities ; and were we to 
fubfift on the natural Produce and Labour of its 
Inhabitants only ; then, as the whole Mafs of 
Property refted and depended upon the Land, the 
Land alone muft fupport the State. 

• But when the Circumftances of England are 
chang'd •, when our foreign Trade is more ex- 
tenfive than ever yet was known in this I/land, 
and the whole Nation fo greatly encreas'd in 
Riches and People, and confequently the Ex- 
pence of the State proportionably augment- 
ed : 

'( 5H 

ed .- If in thefe Circ urn fiances, when England 
has fo prodigioufly encreafed in Foreign Trade, 
and the Land-ow r ner is itill to maintain the 
whole Expence of the State out of the natural 
Produce of his Land, the Land-owner's Inte- 
reft will become diametrically oppofite to that 
of the Nation ; becaufe as the Nation encreafed 
in Riches and Grandeur, the Land-owner mud 
be proportionably impoverished. Nor would 
the Effects of fuch Conduct terminate only in 
the diftrefs'd Landholders, but muft end in the 
Total Destruction ^ind Subverfion of fuch a Con- 
ftitution. For, if the whole Revenue of the 
Kingdom mould be levied upon the Land, in a 
State conftituted with fmall Territories, the 
State might become fo great by its Trade, that 
the whole Rents of all the Lands would be fwal- 
lowed up in the pubjick Expence. The Land 
would be reduced to the Value of Nothing ; and 
the Crown having a Right to feize every Man's 
Land for its Debts, would inevitably be- 
come the Proprietor of all the Lands in the 
Kingdom, and be again reinftated in the Capa- 
city of the Conqueror. Who, Sir, in fuch Cir- 
cumftancs, could reft his Goods, or Hand fecure 
on Englijh Ground, without Permiffion from the 
Crown ? Where then would be our Britifb Free- 
holders to elect a Parliament, when the Lands 
are annexed to the Crown ? No Friend to his 
Country can think of fuch a State without Trem- 
bling,and yet it is the natural Effects of their Po- 
liticks, who are for continuing a Land-Tax, and 
perfwading us that laying all Taxes in general 
upon the Land is the greateft Advantage to Trade. 
Mr. Lock fays, Sir, in the fame Treatife you 
have quoted, " That a Tax upon Wheat, or 

" any 

(57 ) 

" any native Commodity, would make it cheaper 
" to the firft Seller, as the Tax making it 
<c dearer to the Confumer, it will be more fpa- 
'* ringly confumed." But then it muft be con- 
sidered, that if our native Commodities were ex- 
cijed, and that Part which is exported to go free 
from that Tax, it would be an Encouragement 
to Exportation ; for that Tax leftens their Price, 
and makes them yield lefs to the firft Seller. 
Now, if the Merchant who exports, only pays 
to the firft Seller, he will confequently export 
the cheaper. On the other hand, if the laying 
a Tax on our Native Commodities makes them 
cheaper to the firft Seller, the taking that Tax 
off, and laying it upon Land muft make the 
Wool, Flax, &V. dearer to the firft Seller. So that 
this Reafoning of Mr. Lock, though he has been 
frequently cited as an Authority for laying the 
Burthen of the Revenue upon Land, exactly qua- 
drates with the whole Chain of my Argument 
in Oppofition to it. 

I agree with Mr. Lock, that where the Produce 
of the Land is charged, it would affect the Land, 
by caufing a leffer Confumption, and rendring 
the Price lefs to the Tenant ; and if, by a 
Sparingnefs in the Confumption, the Produce 
mould be render'd one Fourth cheaper, it would 
be equally the fame as if the Landlord pay'd it 
out of his Pocket, by a Land-fax- But then I 
muft infift that the Lofs, which terminates in the 
Landholder, by the Tax upon any Species of 
Commodities produc'd from the Land, termi- 
nates in that Land only which produc'd thofe 
Commodities ; and confequently the Lofs by a 
Duty on Portugal Wines , French Wines or 
Brandy, or any Foreign Production, muft ter- 

H minate 


ruinate in the Proprietors in Foreign Lands, not 
in the Briti/h Landholder, as Mr. Lock has been 
unjuftly made to fay. 

To render this Argument indifputable, I will 
purfue it a Step farther *, and in the very fame 
Path of Reafoning that Mr. Lock himfelf has 
ftruck out. Let us fuppofe a great Tract of 
Land, capable of bearing nothing but Wheat, 
and all the Wheat in England ; and a Tax was 
laid upon Wheat only, and all other Commodi- 
ties were free from a Tax : Was this the Cafe, 
according to Mr. Lock, every one would be- 
come fparing in the Ufe of Wheat ; there would 
be fewer Buyers, and yet the fame Number of 
Sellers, and the fame Quantity of Wheat to fell. 
The Price therefore to the Tenant muft be lefs, 
and thereupon he will pay his Landlord lefs 
Rent. Now, will not this fame way of Reafon- 
ing hold equally good, when apply'd to Foreign 
Commodities, and Foreign Land ? If it will, 
then let us fuppofe a certain Tract of Ground 
in France, produc'd all the Wine we confum'd 
in England, when that Commodity was import- 
ed Duty free -, and afterwards we impos'd a high 
Duty thereupon ; would not this leiTen its Con- 
fumption here ? For there would, agreeable to 
Mr. Lock, be fewer Buyers, and therefore the Te- 
nants of the Vineyard muft fell at fuch Prices 
as they are able. And as their Prices muft fall 
to a low Ebb with the firft Seller, fo confequent- 
ly muft the Rents of their Lands. From whence 
it moft plainly and evidently follows, that in 
any Tax upon Foreign Commodities, that Part 
which terminates upon Land, muft terminate upon 
the Land of Foreign Countries, and their Occupi- 
ers only ; and confenuently the Money railed 


(59 ) 

by 'Taxes upon Foreign Commodities is raifed out 
of other Countries, to fupply the publick Exi- 
gencies of our own. 

Should it be objected that our own Subjects 
will confume the lame Quantity of Foreign Su- 
perfluities when dear, as cheap, thro' their Va- 
nity or Luxurioufnefs ; I anfwer abfolutely, they 
will not ; and for the Truth of this, I would 
only refer to thofe Counties in England, where 
French Wine is notorioufly imported without 
paying the Duty. I think I may fafely fay, 
without any Hyperbole, that there is more French 
Wine confum'd in one of thofe Counties, than 
there is in any other ten over the Kingdom, 
of the fame Number of Inhabitants, where the 
Duty is legally and duly paid. But fuppofing 
Vanity and Affectation of Grandeur mould 
prompt Men to drink French Wine, as plenti- 
fully when dear, as cheap, and without a Tax ; 
yet thefe muft be money'd Men, and Men of 
large Fortunes, who are capable of doing fo ; 
and then the publick Expence would be rais'd 
from the wealthy Subjects in our own Country ; 
and the Land of our own Country, and the Ar- 
tificers and Manufacturers necefiarily be eafed ; 
and thereby enabled to export our own Manu- 
factures the cheaper: And no Man can repine 
at the Impofition of any Tax, when it is at his 
Option whether he will oblige himfelf to the 
Payment of it, or no. 

Thus, Sir, I think I have fully and impar- 
tially made it appear, that a Tax upon our own 
Land is very prejudicial to Trade, and therefote 
a Scheme to take it off, and lay it upon foreign 
Land, muft be a great Advantage to it. Wh, t 
then have Traders been doing of, by their Ru- 

H 2 mours 

( 6 ° ) 

mours and Invectives againfl the Ex cife- Scheme ; 
which was mod apparently calculated for their 
Benefit in general ; that they might not be 
underfold by Foreigners at all the Markets in 
Europe, in the prime Commodity of our Na- 
tion ? Tho' Wine-Coopers, Vintners, and Tobacco- 
Fatlors have decry'd the Defign, fare, the Mer- 
chants, Exporters of our Woolen Manufactory 
could not do fo : All the Clothiers, their Factors, 
all the Tenants, and Freeholders, and every one 
any ways concern'd in the Eafement of the Land, 
muft applaud it. The Wine Merchants alfo, if 
they know their own Intereft, muft commend 
the Defign, becauie it would turn the Wine- 
Trade into its proper and natural Channel ; their 
own Hands : It would wreft it from the Hands 
or Wine-Coopers, and Adulterators, who have 
engrofs'd that Trade to themfelves, underiel 
the honeft Importers, tyrannize over the Ma- 
jority 01 Vintners, whom by every Artifice they 
make dependent upon 'em, monopolize the whole 
Trade into their own Hands, and ferve the 
Vintners and the whole Nation with any Sort 
of fophifticated Mixtures, that will bring the 
mofl exorbitant Gains into their own Coffers. 

Mer. Another Point throughout this Con- 
troverfy, Sir, that you have all along taken for 
granted, is, that the Planters in Maryland and 
Virginia would be highly advantag'd by this 
Scheme ; that they thinking themfelves grievoufly 
oppref-'d by their Factors, voluntarily foliated 
the Mini/try to eafe them from their Tyranny. 
E'-t I cannot conceive, Sir, of what Beneiir. tins 
Scheme could poftibly be to the Planters ; nor 
can I think but it was a mimjlerial Artifice to 
draw them into -it. Whether the whole Duties 


( 6i ) 

be paid immediately, bonded, or paid by Piece- 
Meals, as the Goods are difpos'd of, what fig- 
nifies it to the Planter? If the Factor can make 
any little Advantages by the Allowance at the 
Cujtomhoufe for Prompt Payment, how can this 
prejudice the Planters ? Their Commiffions, Sir, 
are extremely fatigueing to a Fatlor ; they con- 
fift of innumerable Particulars, and therefore 
require feme Profit extraordinary to execute 

Landb. I find, Sir, you fuflfer nothing ma- 
terial to efcape your Notice, tho' it renders the 
Difpute pretty tedious. But fince you are not 
tired with objecting, I muft not be fo with 
anfwering. What moft furprizes me, is to hear 
an Objection of this Kind, from a Gentleman fo 
well vers'd in Trade as yourfelf. I would, to 
fet this Point in as clear a Light as I am able, 
compare it with your own Trade to Spain and 
Portugal in the Woolen Way. For as you ex- 
port our Manufactures to be fold in thofe King- 
doms by your Fatlor s there, to whom you allow 
Commiflion for fo doing ; fo do our Planters in 
America fend over to their Factors in England, 
Tobacco to be fold here, or exported to other 
Parts of Europe. Now, Sir, there is a Duty 
in Spain and Portugal upon our Woolen Goods ; 
of which, if your Factors clandeftinely avoid the 
Payment, would it not be of great Prejudice to 
the whole Body of Britijh Exporters ? Would 
not the Frequency of fuch Practices fink the 
Price of our Woolen Goods, by impowering one 
Factor to underfel another ? But the Planters in 
America are affected in a much greater Degree ; 
becaufe the Circumftances of the Trades differ. 
For whilft FacJors, by the Connivance and Cor- 

( 62 ) 

ruption of Cujlomhoufe-Officers, are capable of 
clandestinely evading the Duty of fo confiderable 
a Part of the Tobacco that is imported, they not 
only prejudice their Brethren the reputable Fatlor s, 
but molt grievoufly opprefs the Planter. For 
Experience puts it beyond Difpute, that a Fatlor 
who has a Quantity of any Commodity, which 
by Law ought to pay an high Duty, and yet 
pays none, will fell at any Rate, in order to be 
preferred to others, who do not take the fame 
Meafures ; and by the continued Frequency of 
fuch Bargains, every Body is at laft reduc'd to 
fuch a Price, as muft difgrace their Manage- 
ment with their Correfpondents ; whilft the frau- 
dulent Fatlor s can afford to allow thofe that 
confign to them fomething out of their Frauds, 
fo as to make their Accounts appear much bet- 
ter, and thereby raife a great Reputation abroad, 
for out-doing their Brethren, which ftill enables 
them to do the greater Mifchief. 

From the Method of Bonding, Factors are un- 
der a great Temptation to fell for Exportation 
the Tobaccos entrusted to their Care, without any 
Regard to the Price •, and merely to difcharge 
their Bonds •, by which means, not only the 
Balance of this profitable Branch of Trade is 
confiderably leffen'd, by clogging and over- 
loading the Markets in Foreign Countries, but 
the Commodity is depreciated to a very great 
Degree. Thus is it apparent how greatly the 
Planter is injur'd in the Sale, and even ibme- 
times brought in Debt, while the Fatlor re- 
ceives his full Commiiiions, even for the Duty 
bonded, and drawn-back by fuch hafty Expor- 
tation, which in this Cafe feems to be his prin- 
cioal View. 


( 63 ) 

Was the Tobacco excifed, Merchants, having 
no Temptation to do otherwife, would keep the 
Tobacco here, 'till it was wanted abroad ; the 
Buyers there would, in Regard to their own 
Intereft, not exceed the prelent Exigencies of 
the Market, and yet perhaps there would not 
be a Scarcity of Buyers in feveral Parts of Eu- 
rope, for the whole Quantity imported, above 
what may ferve the Home-Confumption. 

I nec?d not mention to you, Sir, who are fo 
well acquainted with Affairs of this Kind, how 
grievous and injurious to the Sureties bound 
with the Merchant to the Crown, this Practice 
is ; fince by this means they continue fubjecl: 
to the Debt, Jong after the Tobacco for the Du- 
ties of which they were bound, has been either . 
exported, or fold for Home-Confumption ; 
which has been the unfortunate Cafe of almoit 
all thofe who were Security for fuch Merchants as" 
died, or broke indebted to the Crown, many 
of whom have been undone thereby. 

The Method of difcharging old Bonds by 
new Importations, contrary to Law, and even 
contrary to the Oath taken by the Importer, is 
attended with other ill Confequences. By this 
means the Factor is enabled to get into his 
Hands a confiderable Sum of Money, to be 
employ 'd/ in Trade, at Intereft, or in any other 
Manner that he thinks proper, to the Hazard of 
the Revenue. And if he is a bold unfuccefsful 
Adventurer, the more Bondfmen are in Danger 
of being involved in his Misfortunes: This be- 
ing confidered, makes it no Wonder to fee bold 
Attempts for Frauds, either Inwards or Out- 
wards, to extricate themfelves out of fuch Dif- 
ficulties. And whilft thefe Temptations remain, 


( 6 4 ) 

Frauds will go on, and the Planters muft 

The cuftomary Allowance to the Factor is ge- 
nerally three per Cent. Two and a Half for Sale, 
and the other Half for infuring Debts ; and who- 
ever defires to be infur*d, muft fubmit to pay fo 
much upon the whole Duties, not only for the 
Tobacco fold for Home-Confumption, where there 
is a Hazard, but for that which is exported to 
Foreign Markets, where there is no Duty at all ; 
which is an intolerable Burthen to the Planters. 
But if Factors were difcharged from giving 
Bonds, they could have no Pretence to charge 
Commiffion upon the no?ninal Duty on exported 
Tobacco, which would eafe the Planters of many 
Thoufinds a Year, in this {ingle Article only. 
Had the Excife taken Place, all thefe Hardfhip.s 
would have been effectually prevented ; the Gre- 
vances of Planters would have been redrefs'd ; 
Bonding would have ceafed, and therefore all its 
fatal Confequences to Sureties, Faclors, and 
Planters ; Factors would have been upon an E- 
quality, and young Gentlemen of fmall Fortunes 
and fair Characters might partake of a Share of 
the Commiffion Bufinefs from our Plantations ; 
who would do it cheaper for the Planters than 
what it is at prefent, and acquire handfome For- 
tunes by it too. For as this Branch of Trade 
then would not require large Sums to be ad- 
vanced for Duties, nor require Bondfmen to 
the Crown, Which is very difficult to obtain ; 
fo nothing would be necefTary in a Faflor, but 
a good Underftanding, good Acquaintance, and 

Commiffion Bufinefs, Sir, you know has been 
always efteem'd the bed, becaufe the fecureft 


(65 ) 

Branch of Bufinefs. There is Money enough to 
be got by it, without the exorbitant Gains by 
Frauds, and Difcount for Prompt Payment of 
the Duties. Factors when they buy large Quan- 
tities of our Manufactures together for feveral 
Planters, they buy them at cheap Rates, but 
they take Care generally to charge the full 
Market Price -, which is another Fountain of 
Gain ; and may ferve as an Anfwer to the extra- 
ordinary Fatigue, you hinted at, they have in buy- 
ing fuch Variety of Particulars ; in which mere 
is little Trouble, when a Man has his Tradcfmen 
ready to furnifh him. 

The Article of ten per Cent, allow'd for 
Prompt Payment of thefe Duties, was intended 
by Parliament as an Advantage to the Planter ; 
but this is turn'd into the Fatlor\ Channel of 
Gain. Tho' the Fatlors account this the moft 
beneficial Perquifit to themfelves, yet it proves 
the Reverfe to the Planter, if he can afford to 
depofit Money in his Faclor\ Hands for that 
Purpofe. For one hundred Hogfheads of To- 
bacco he muft lodge eighteen hundred Pounds 
in his Factor's Hands , when this is done, ano- 
ther hundred Hogmeads is fent the nest Year ; 
but the former Confignment is either not fold, 
or no' Money received upon it, which makes 
it necefifary for the Planter to provide the fame 
Sum again : So that in the Courfe of very flow 
Payments (which, upon fuch an Oecafjon, is very 
much complain'd of by the Fatlor) a Planter muft 
keep three thoufand fix hundred Pounds employ- 
ed conftantly for the fake of the Difcount upon 
one hundred Hogfheads, which red ices then to 
a very fmall Intereft ; and that which the Fallor 
makes ten per Cent, of, the Planter does not 
I make 

( 66) 

make above three •, and for the fake of this fmall 
Intereft, he muft truft without Security, and 
has no Objection to make againft the Factor's 
charging him with the Lofs of the whole. 

This, Sir, I think, muft be allow'd, by every 
confcientious Man, to be a very great Hardfhip 
upon our Britijh Plantations ; and as the Plant- 
ers are fo ready to give up this intended Ad- 
vantage, it is an indifputable Proof that they 
never received any Benefit by it. The Quefti- 
on, Sir, that next naturally arifes, is, Whether 
it be more for the Publick Good that the 
Faffors mould be allow'd to extract fo many 
Thoufands a Year out of the Publick Revenue, 
or be oblig'd, inftead thereof, to trade with that 
Money, and thereby augment the Riches of the 
Nation, and not be fufFer'd to fqueeze their Gains 
out of the Vitals of their own Country ? And 
fure no Patriot can determine this Queftion in 
Favour of the FaStor. 

And here, Sir, I cannot but take Occafion to 
obferve to you, the Conduct of thofe Gentlemen 
who have fo hotly oppofed the Scheme. In the 
Courfe of their late Writings, they have frequent- 
ly recommended to the Miniftry Frugality of the 
publick Money •, and not long before this Con- 
troverfy was fet a Foot, I remember, they repre- 
iented, in a very pompous Manner, the great Ne- 
ceffity of the Government's encouraging our 
Colonies and Plantations in America ; and ihew'd 
how beneficial thofe Branches of Trade were to 
their Mother Country, from the Share they have 
in balancing the Trade with Foreign Nations ; 
from the great Number of Ships and Seamen which 
are employ'd in them, and the Confumption 
they occafion of the Manufactures of this Kingdom . 


( 6? ) 

No fooner was a Project thought of by the 
Miniftry to anfwer both thefe Ends at once ; 
'viz. the Saving of the publick Money, from the 
Prevention of Frauds, by retracing the ten 
per Cent, allow'd at the Cuiloms, and Redreffing 
the Grievances our Plantations labour under, 
but thefe very Men, who thought to raife their 
own Characters by fuch Prefcri prion, think ft ill 
to raife them by oppofing, at one Time, what 
they have ftrenuouily recommended at another. 
In fhort, Sir, the Factors appear to me to have 
a Defign upon monopolizing all the Lands in the 
Plantations to themielves. One Part is already 
mortgag'd •, and as the Faclors, by their unjufti- 
fiable Practices, daily bring the Planters indebted 
to them, and they make their Lands fubject to 
the Payment of their Book-Debts, they muft 
inevitably, in Time, get PorTcfJion of all our 
Colonies and Plantations ; and then they will 
engrofs that whole Trade to themfelves, and the 
poor Planters muft become white Engli/h Slaves 
to thofe very Men, whofe Eftates are owing 
to their Planting Labour, and Induftry. Thus, 
Sir, they who are indefatigable to make Slaves 
of others, cry out Liberty ! Liberty ! for them- 
felves, to cloak their own Defigns ; and they 
who are for making Freemen of Slaves, are faid 
to be Opprefibrs of People ! The Oppofers of 
this Scheme have often exprefs'd themielves 
againft Monopolies of all Kinds *, but in the pre- 
fent Cafe they are Advocates for them : They 
are Advocates for fuch who are for engroffing 
one whole Branch of Trade to themfelves ; and 
for the Continuance of thofe fraudulent Practi- 
ces, which will enable them to exclude all o- 
ther Englijb Merchants from Trading to our 
I 2 Plan- 

(68 ) 

Plantations. For Confirmation of this Charge 
againft them, they begin to talk of a Combina- 
tion to raife their Com million upon Khz Planters 
from three per Cent, to tour and a half, becaufe 
they know it is impofllble to employ any in 
the Trade, but thofe who are bred up to it, 
and have a well eftabliftVd Credit. Thus do 
they defign to tyrannize it, fince they have 
carried their Point ! And now, Sir, can any 
Gentleman, who will liften to the ftill Voice of 
Reafon, believe that the Sufferings of the Plan- 
ters are no: of themfelves,full fufficient to prompt 
them to fend over a Gentleman to the 
Parliament in their Behalf? Can any one be fo 
weak, as to imagine the Planters requir'd m%- 
nifierial Spurs and Artifices, to excite them to 
what muft fo manifeftly and glaringly tend to 
their general Intereft ? 

Mer. I confrfs, Sir John, you have hitherto 
given me the higheft Ttion in this Difpute, 

becaufe you have built all your Reafoning upon 
the general Benefit of Trade, and Traders ; a 
Fo:: . upon which, I never fufpected the 

Scheme was rationally defenfible. However, 
Sir, there is ftjli -one grand Objection behind, 
which,- if you can fairly and clearly get over, 
I muft ihgentioufly acknowledge, in Honour to 
that Great Perfon's Char hich a few Hours 

ago I v ily prep- againft, that no 

MiHtfter of State in the World was ever fj 
wickedly ii or any People fo generally 

illy impos'd upon as we have 
ion, Sir, is this, viz. That if 
the Frauds and-Abufes at the Cvfioms, are not 
confiderable enough to produce a Surplus fuffi- 
cient to eafe the Land; then, ftill all your Ar- 


( 69 ) 

guments drawn from that Suppofition are of no 
Weight in this Controverfy. And that they are 
not fo, appears to me very plain. For by the 
Report of the Committee (which, doubt] efs 
contains moft Frauds poflible to come to 
the Knowledge of) there are but few de- 
tected ; far from being fufficient to eafe the 
Land, as propos'd. And many of thofe Frauds, 
which have come to Light, are attefted by no 
better Witneffes than fuch as have been taken 
out of Prifon for that Purpofe, whofe Evi- 
dence does not give any great Sanction to the 

Landh. By the Account you are pleas'd to 
give of the Report of the Committee, I fuppofe 
you form you»* Judgment from the Craft/man's 
Reprefentation of it, not from the Report itfelf. 
I have read the Report, Sir, and with all poffible 
Attention ; and fo far am I from thinking that 
the Gentlemen of the Committee have difcover'd 
but few Frauds, that I am not a little furpriz'd 
thtfy were able to difcover fo many. And if I 
may be allow'd to judge of the Quantity con- 
ceal'd, by that which has been difcover'd, you 
will eafily believe, that the Surplujfes\ upon Wine y 
and 'Tobacco, would not have difappointed the 
Mini/fry, but have actually produc'd a Suffi- 
ciency to have eas'd the Land. \ 

According to the exacted Computation the 
Planters themfelves in Maryland and Virginia 
have been able to make, there is annually im- 
ported into Great Britain, between fixty and 
fcventy thoufand Hogfheads of Tobacco : I'll 
fuppofe fixty fix thoufand Hogfheads ; two 
Thirds of which, according to the nearefl Cal- 
culation of the belt Writers upon Trade, are 


( 70) 

re-exported to France, Germany, Holland, &c. 
So there would remain for Home- Confum prion 
twenty two thoufand Hogfheads ; the Duties 
whereof, reckon'd at fifteen Pound per Hogf- 
head (at which in moft Cafes they may be 
computed) will amount to 330,000/. Now, 
at prefent, there is not much above one Half of 
that Sum, which comes annually into the Ex- 
chequer ; fo that there is manifeftly loft to 
the publick Revenue, about 165,000/. by the 
Frauds at Importation, Exportation, and by 

This is upon Suppofition no Part of the 
44,000 Hogfheads, which are exported, was 
run or re-la?ided from Dunkirk, and the Ifles 
of Guemfey, Jerfey, and Man, into England, 
Scotland, and Ireland, as evidently appears to be 
done by the Report. But if to this, we add only 
one eighth Part of what is exported to be re- 
landed or run (as that, at leaft, from the Face of 
the Report may be very well juftifiedj then there 
is an additional Lois to the Revenue of 75,000/. 
which together make 240,000/. And as we 
fhould fave the whole Expence of Collecting the 
Land-Tax -, which reckon'd only at Six-Pence 
in the Pound, tho' there is Three- Pence more 
ailow'd upon extraordinary Occafions, there 
would be added 12,500/. more at leaft ; fo that 
the Total Encreafe that may be fuppos'd to be 
brought into the Exchequer, would be 252, 500/. 
This, tho' according to the lowed Calculation, 
is more by 50,000 /. than was purpos'd to be 
f rais'd by the Tobacco. 

Tho' the Expence of 150 Officers would 
come to between fix and feven thoufand Pounds, 
yet as there would be a proportionate Difcharge 


( 7* ) 

in the Cufloms, this Expence would be balanced 
by an equivalent Saving. 

As to the Frauds in the Wine-Trade, they 
are very extenfive indeed. For the CotnmiJJtoners 
of the Cu ft 07ns received Information upon Oath 
in the Year 1725, that there had been run only 
in the three Counties of Hamfjhire, Dorfeipire, 
and Devon/hire, from Ghriftmas 1723, to Chrlfi- 
mas 1725, no lefs than 4738 Hogfheads, and 
moftly French Wine. And akho' fuch prodigi- 
gious Frauds have been difcover'd, yet it is 
obfervable, that of the Quantity feized, and of 
the Running of which the Commijft oners have 
been informed,' no mere was condenm'd fince 
Chrijhnas 1723, than 2208 Hogfheads, which 
mews to Demonftration, how ineffectual the 
pre fen t Method of collecting the Duties upon 
this Commodity is, and what a Neceflky there is 
for altering it. And now, Sir, can you, or any 
Gentleman whatfoever, be of Opinion that the 
Scheme would not have anfwer'd the End pro- 
pos'd, when there is the greateft moral Cer- 
tainty (the on-ly Kind of Evidence the Subject 
' is capable of) that it would ? 

Tho' you have reprefehted the Frauds, as 
difcover'd by the Committee, fo trifling, yet, by a 
flight Calculation I made of them t'other Day, 
for my own private Satisfaction, they amount 
to above one Million and an Half Pounds- 
Weight of Tobacco -, the Duties of which come 
to between 80 and 90 thouiand Pounds ; and 
therefore the Duties upon what remains undil- 
cover'd, will not prove to be lo inconfiderable 
a Sum as has been infinuated. 

Amongft the meaner!, and moir. ignorant 
Clafs of Pilferers and fraudulent' Dealers j fuch 


( 72.) 

who have not the minuteft Forefight into the 
Courfe of human Tranfa£tions, or any Appre- 
henfions of the Sagacity and Penetration of others 
who overlook them, there are not difcover'd one 
tenth Part of the Frauds they carry on ; nay, 
perhaps I mould come nearer Truth, if I faid 
not one in an hundred ; and have to fup- 
port me in this Affertion, the concurrent Opi- 
nion of all who are well acquainted with the 
"World, and are ingenuous enough to declare 
their real Sentiments. And if we compare the 
Difability and Incapacity of thefe narrow- 
fighted Creatures , with the Cunning and Ex- 
perience of thofe Gentlemen, who have been found 
to be the prime Agents, and principal Con- 
ductors of thofe Frauds which have been dif- 
cover'd by the Committee ; no Man can doubt, 
but where one of thofe Men have been detected 
in their fraudulent Practices, there are at leaft, 
ten of the petty Clafs. If then, fo many 
Frauds may very reafonably be prefum'd to 
be committed by Perfons in low Life, it is 
a very natural Conclufion, that there are an 
hundred committed to one difcover'd amongft 
thefe Gentlemen, who are concern'd in the 
Frauds at the Cufiomhoufe \ and confequently 
we have the ftrongeft moral Demonftration 
that there are an hundred Times more Frauds 
have been carried on, than the Committee have 
been able to difcover: So that if we were 
to reduce the Pounds of Tobacco into Pounds 
Sterling, and even reckon from the Fraud given 
in Evidence by Thomas Parr Efq-, of Datchet, 
in the Year 1705, we mould find the annual 
Lofs to be pretty confident with my preced- 
ing Calculation. 

( 73 ) 

But this Conclusion cf the Extcnfiver.efi of 
the Frauds will ft ill appear more juft, if we 
confider the great Difadvantages the Committee 
laboured under in detefting them. The Mem- 
bers of that Committee, could not be lup- 
pos'd to be acquainted with the Nature of 
thofe Frauds* and therefore the chief Part of 
their Tim- was empfoy'd in examining into the 
various Species of Frauds* and not into the Quan- 
tity of them. Moreover, 

Every Fraud difcover'd at the Cujlomhcufe, 
brought an odious Imputation upon the Con- 
duct, Honour, and Vigilance of all concerned 
in the Collection of the Cujloms ; whim moil: 
certainly mud be a Motive to all the Cuftom- 
houfe People, rather to obilrucl all Kinds ot 
Evidence, and to fupprefs the Difcovery of every 
Fraud* than to be heartily and in good earneft 
inquifitive into them ; left the Sufpicion of their 
having been wanting in their Duty* fhould give 
their Superiours too ill an Opinion of their Con- 
duct, to continue them in their Places. 

If then the Committee could not, from the Na- 
ture of the Thing, be expected to receive that 
Information from tiie Officers of the Cuftoms ('the 
chief Perlons on whom they could depend for 
fuch Information,) from whom could they hope 
to receive any Affi (lance in their Enquiry ? Tne 
Body of Merchants* fair and unfair,- all united 
in their Oppofition to the Bill's Faffing ; and as 
the Reafofis for Pafling of ic, were grounded 
upon the Extenjivenefs of the Frauds commit- 
ted, we muft naturally be led to think, they 
ufed all poffible Means in their Power to ftifls 
and fupprefs every Fraud. 

K And 

( 74) 

And here, in Confirmation of the Greatnefs of 
the Frauds 1 1 might take notice of the large Gra- 
tuities Traders have made Officers, who are 
their Confederates, out of their unjuft Gains from 
the Revenue ; which they would not be able fure- 
]y to do, were not their Gains by fuch Frauds 
very confiderable. This notorious Confederacy 
between Traders and Officers, muft render it ex- 
tremely difficult for the Committee to make any 
thorough Examination. But the Difadvantages 
the Committee laboured under, we mall flill 
find to be much greater, if we reflect upon the 
Shortnefs of the Time they had to make the En- 
quiry in. For thefe Reafons, and under fuch 
Circumftances, it was impoffible for them to 
make many new Difcoveries of Fraud. 

And fince it was fo difficult in a Cafe of this 
Nature, to bring clear Evidence of many In- 
ftances of thefe Abufes, becaufe People, who 
combine together to carry on fraudulent Practi- 
ces, are under very ftrong Ties of Intereft not to 
difcover one another •, what could the Committee 
do in fuch Circumftances? 

Though two Perfons in Goals were admitted 
as Witneffes, yet their Evidence is fo well cor- 
roborated by others, that no one can poffibly 
doubt the Veracity of it •, and therefore to what 
End fuch an Objection is made, I am at a Lofs 
to difcover! 

When the Duties upon Coffee and 'Tea were con- 
verted into Excifes, it was never imagined the Frauds 
committed in thole Branches were fo extenfive, 
as afterwards they appear'd to be, from the great 
Annual Surplus they have ever fince produced. 
But when the Frauds in the Articles of Wine and 
Tobacco appear to be fo very confiderable, under 



the greateft Difadvantages of Examination, is 
there not the ftrongeft Prefumption ; founded up- 
on what has prov'd experimentally true, that the 
Surplujfes, arifing from thefe Commodities, would 
have raifed the Sum propofed ? 

Few Men, I believe, entertain fo dishonour- 
able and undue an Opinion of the Abilities of the 
Prime-Minijler of Great -Britain, as to think, had 
He not all defireable AfTurances ; nay the ftrong- 
eft Conviction, even fuch as was very near 
a-kin to Certainty and Demonftration itfelf, the 
Scheme would have anfwer'd his End, he would 
ever have propofed it ; efpecially at a Time when 
he was allured it would meet with the moft vi- 
rulent Oppofition. Were the Oppofers of it more 
certain, as they pretend to be, that it would have 
fail'd in its End, than its Propofers were that 
it would have fully anfwer'd it, they would never 
have ufed fuch low Arts of Mifreprefentation, to 
prejudice the People againft it. The Mifcar- 
riage of it now will redound to the eternal Ho- 
nour of a certain Gentleman \ but had it been in- 
effectual and mifcarried, when it had been put 
in Execution , how his Enemies would have 
triumph'd ! But its Oppofers, Sir, were too 
fenfible it would have anfwer'd the Defign pro- 
pofed, and therefore it would have put an End to 
their Projects for the Deftruction of the trueft 
Friend to Great-Britain, whofe Abilities and In- 
tegrity, hitherto, have only been more confpicu- 
oufly exalted by their violent Oppofition to all 
his Meafures. 

Amongft the various little Tricks ufed by the 
Enemies of the Adminiftration to decry this 
Scheme, there is one which calls for the higheft 
Indignation of every Englijhman \ and that is, 

K 2 their 

I 7<> 

their Attempt to fet the Landed and Trading In- 
terest ar Variance. But this Scheme, Sir, I have 
demonftrated to you to be for the mutual Intereft 
of both ; what tends to the Benefit of Trade, 
does to the Eafe of the Land •, and what to the 
Eafe of the Land, does to the Benefit of Trade, 
Here are both the great Intere'fts of the Nation 
reconciled ; than which, it is out of the Power 
of human Wifdom and Policy to do more for 
the general Advantage of the Nation. 

And how after, all, Sir, can you, or any Gen- 
tleman living, who will not naffer his Underftand- 
ing to be drow ned in popular Clamor, be of O- 
pinion that this Project was calculated to be of 
any Detriment to 'Trade or Liberty ? The Eafe 
of the Briiijh Freeholders, and the diftrefled 
Planters, by keeping all Traders upon an Equa- 
lity at Home, were the ftrong Incentives to carry 
the Defign fo far as it was carried •, Incentives 
powerful enough to infpife every true Patriot to 
Jay down his Life to accomplifh it. And can 
any Mali, any j u licious and confeientious Man, 
lay his Hand upon his Heart, and fay that 
thefe are rot the mofi; invaluable and ineffable 
Bleffings chat can be enjoy 'd by a Trading King- 
dom? Sure no fVIan can fo much violate his 
Reafo i aricl pon'fejence, as to fay that an Encreafe 
of one hundred and fifty Excife Officers 1 , about 
three to a County, can be of fo much danger 
to rive Starr, as to overbalance all the national 
Advantages 1 have proved would accompany 
the Qefign,? Ivlave 1 not fhewn, I was a going 
to fay the ImrofTibility oj'Officefs being able to 
have any Influence over Electors? This, at leaft, 
I have mace appear, that if they attempt any 
fuii Thin^, tne'} run the rifque of Ruin and De- 

flruclion ; 


ftruction ; and is it poffible for human Laws to 
do more? The Point of Juries I have fet in a 
clear, and a faithful Light, and fhew'd that his 
Majejty could not any ways be interefted in the 
Determination of Contefts between the Publick 
and Delinquents ; and that the Commijfioners 
could no ways recommend themfelves to a 
'Prince , or a Prime- Minifter , by haraffing 
the Trader. The Fallacy of one Excife tending 
to a general one, I have expofed in its true Co- 
lours, and fhew'd how abfurd it is to argue from 
Particulars to Generals. 

I have laid open the bare-fae'd Sophiftry of 
the anticonjlitution Argument, and the pretend- 
ed Danger or the Ceflation of Parliaments drawn 
from the Duration of the Excife. But Things 
that are temporary thefe Men mzkt perpetual ; what 
is particular they make general ; what is to pre- 
vent Roguery they conftrue to encourage it ; what 
is to eafe the Subject and promote Trade, they 
fay is to en (lave them, and deftroy it : And thus 
is England daily pefler'd with what tends to mif- 
guide the Bulk of the People, to create Di- 
visions and DifaiTeclion at Home, and bring up- 
on us Ridicule and Contempt from abroad, by 
liftening to jefuitical Fallacies of wicked and ill— 
defining Men.