Page images
PDF
EPUB

2

The descendants and successors of sity of public war. As soon as the such royal and noble robbers, were several

governments shall prefer“ the naturally induced to extol the san- wisdom that is from above,” to the

guinary exploits of their fathers, by diabolical wisdom which descended & which they obtained wealth and from robbers and pirates, they may power.

Thus the delusive influence safely commence the work of beating has been transmitted from father to their swords into ploughshares. And son, and from age to age.

blessed will be those rulers who shall When rulers, such as we have lead the way to such a reformation. described, professed the Christian Let Christians then of every name religion, from motives of policy rather unite in one grand and benevolent than love to its precepts; they of effort, to persuade and enable the course retained their passion for mi- rulers of nations to abandon the policy litary fame, and made their religion of ancient robbers,—and to adopt, as a cloak for their crimes. The laws the rule of their conduct towards each of war were originally the laws of other, the just and benign precepts barbarians-made according to their of the Prince of peace. own hearts. These laws, with some modifications and improvements, are now the laws of war among nations Mons. Colbert's Advice to Louis xiv. called civilized; but they are still a

[From the Tatler.] “ barbarous code," and far more worthy to be denominated the laws

WHERESOEVER in reading or conof robbers and pirates, than the laws versation, I observe any thing that is of Christian nations. For they justify curious and uncommon, useful or endeeds as horrible and unrighteous as tertaining,

I resolve to give it to the any pirate or murderer can desire to public. The greatest part of this ng perpetrate

very paper is an extract from a French may also remark, as a melan- manuscript

, which was lent me by my choly fact, that

good friend Mr. Charwell.* the numerous

He tells among descendants and successors of those

me he has had it about these twenty barbarian Chiefs who acquired crowns, years in his possession : and he seems there have been but few who were

to me to have taken from it very many worthy of the name of Christians, or

of the maxims he has pursued in who appear to have been governed

the new settlement, I have heretofore by

purer motives or better principles spoken of upon his lands. He has than those by which their ancestors given me full liberty to make what acquired dominion. Hence, the rights,

use of it I shall think fit: either to the property, and the lives of subjects, publish it entire, or to retail it out by and the principles of humanity, re pennyworths. I have determined to ligion and justice, have all been made retail it, and for that end I have subordinate to the glory of the military the words livre, sous, and many others

translated divers passages, rendering profession, and wantonly sacrificed to the Juggernaut, martial glory!-an

of known signification in France, into Idol which is at once the boast

their equivalent sense, that I may

the and the reproach of every Christian better be understood by my English country!

The book contains several

readers. On such grounds we may rationally memoirs concerning monsieur Colaccount for the frequent appeals tò bert

, who had the honour to be secrearms for the inhuman character of tary of state to his most christian the laws of war, and for the baneful majesty, and superintendant or chief popularity of the military profession. director of the arts and manufactures On the same grounds, also, we may * Edward Colston, Esq.of Bristol, M.P. account for all the supposed neces for that city.

We

answer:

of his kingdom. The passage for jects were but too happy, that they to-day is as follows:

were not reduced to eat grass : as “ It happened that the king was if starving his people, were the only one day expressing his wonder to way to free himself from their sethis minister, that the United Provinces ditions. But people will not starve should give him so much trouble, that in France, as long as bread is to so great a monarch as he was should be had in any other country. How not be able to reduce so small a state, much more worthy of a prince was with half the power of his whole that saying of your grandfather of dominions.' To which monsieur Col- glorious memory,* that he hoped to bert is said to have made the following see that day, when every housekeeper

in his dominions should be able to “Sir, I presume upon your in- allow his family a capon for their dulgence to speak what I have thought Sunday's supper? I lay down this apon this subject, with that freedom therefore as my first principle, that which becomes a faithful servant, and your taxes upon your subjects must one who has nothing more at heart leave them sufficient for their subthan your majesty's glory, and the sistence, at least as comfortable a prosperity of your whole people. — subsistence as they will find among Your territories are vastly greater your neighbours. than the United Netherlands ; but, "Upon this principle I shall be sir, it is not land that fights against able to make some comparison beland, but the strength and riches of tween the revenues of your majesty, our nation, against the strength and and those of the States-general. Your riches of another. I should have said territories are nearly thirty times as only riches, since it is money that great, your people more than four feeds and clothes the soldier, fur- times as many, yet your revenues are nishes the magazine, provides the not thirty, no, nor four times as great, train of artillery, and answers the nor. indeed as great again, as those charge of all other military prepara- of the United Netherlands. tions. Now the riches of a prince,

“ In what one article are you able or state, are just so much as they can to raise twice as much from your levy upon their subjects, still leaving subjects as the states can do from them sufficient for their subsistence. theirs ? Can you take twice as much If this shall not be left, they will from the rents of the lands and houses ? desert to other countries for better What are the yearly rents of your usage; and I am sorry to say it, whole kingdom ? and how much of that too many of your majesty's these will your majesty be able to subjects are already among your take without ruining the landed inneighbours, in the condition of foot- terest! You have, sir, above a hunmen and valets for their daily bread; dred millions of acres, and not above many of your artisans too are fled thirteen millions of subjects-eight from the severity of your collectors, acres to every subject; how inconthey are at this time improving the ma- siderable must be the value of land, nufactures of your enemies. °France where so many acres are to provide has lost the benefit of their hands for for a single person! where a single ever, and your majesty all hopes person is the whole market for the of

any future excises by their con- product of so much land! And what sumption. For the extraordinary sums sort of customers are your subjects to of one year, you have parted with an these lands? what clothes is it that inheritance. I am never able, with they wear ? what provisions do they out the utmost indignation, to think consume ! Black bread, onions, and of that minister, who had the confidence to tell your father, his sub

* Henry IV.

[ocr errors][merged small]

other roots, are the usual diet of the is yet of less value ; but nothing can generality of your people; their be more ruinous than the cottages in common drink the pure element; the villages. Six shillings for the they are dressed in canvass and lodgings of every one of your thirteen wooden shoes, I mean such of them millions of subjects, ať a medium, as are not barefoot, and half naked. must needs be the full yearly value How very mean must be the eight of all the houses. So that at four acres which will

afford no better shillings for every acre, and six subsistence to a single person! Yet shillings for the lodging of every so many of your people live in this subject, the rents of

your

whole kingdespicable manner, that four pounds dom will be less than twenty millions, will be easily believed to exceed the and yet a great deal more than they annual expences

of
every one of them

were ever yet found to be, by the most at a medium. And how little of this exact survey that has been taken. expence will be coming to the land “ The next question then is, how owner for his rent? or, which is the much of these rents your majesty will same thing, for the mere product think fit to take to your own use? of his land? Of every thing that is Six of the twenty millions are in the consumed, the greatest part of the hands of the clergy; and little enough value is the price of labour that is for the support of three hundred thoubestowed upon it; and it is not a very sand ecclesiastics, with all their nesmall part of their price that is paid cessary attendants ; it is no more than to your majesty in your excises. Of twenty pounds a year

for

every one the four pounds expence of every of the masters. These, sir, are your subject, it can hardly be thought that best guards; they keep your subjects more than four and twenty shillings loyal in the midst of all their misery. are paid for the mere product of the Your majesty will not think it your land. Then if there are eight acres interest to take any thing from the to every subject, and every subject church. From that which remains in for his consumption pays no more the hands of your lay subjects, will than four and twenty shillings to the you be able to take more than five land, three shillings at a medium millions to your own use ? This is must be the full yearly value of every more than seven shillings in the pound; acre in your kingdom. Your lands, and then, after necessary reparations, separated from the buildings, cannot together with losses by the failing of be valued higher.

tenants, how very little will be left " And what then shall be thought to the owners! These are gentlemen the yearly value of the houses, or, who have never been bred either to which is the same thing, of the lodg- trade or manufactures, they have no ings of

your thirteen millions of sub- other way of living than by their rents ; jects? What numbers of these are and when these shall be taken from begging their bread throughout your them, they must fly to your armies, kingdom? If your majesty were to as to an hospital, for their daily walk incognito through the very streets bread. of your capital, and would give a “Now, sir, your majesty will give farthing to every beggar that asks me leave to examine what are the you alms in a walk of one hour, you rents of the United Netherlands, and would have nothing left of a pistole. how great a part of these their goHow miserable must be the lodgings vernors may take to themselves, of these wretches ! even those that without oppression of the owners. will not ask you charity, are huddled There are in those provinces three together, four or five families in a millions of acres, and as many milhouse. Such is the lodging in your lions of subjects, a subject for every capital. That of your other towns acre. Why should not then the single

acre there be as valuable as the eight shoes, that are every where worn acres in France, since it is to provide throughout the country! how great for as many mouths ? Or if great part a part of the price of their water, or of the provisions of the people are their black bread and onions, the fetched in by their trade from the general diet of your people! If your sea or foreign countries, they will end majesty were to receive the whole at last in the improvement of their price of those things, your exchequer lands. I have often heard, and am would hardly run over. Yet so much ready to believe, that thirty shillings, the greatest part of your subjects live one with another, is less than the in this despicable manner, that the yearly value of every acre in those annual expence of every one at a provinces.

medium, can be no more than I have 66 And how much less than this will mentioned. One would almost think be the yearly value of lodging, for that they starve themselves to defraud every one of their subjects? There your majesty of your revenues. It are no beggars in their streets, scarce is impossible to conceive that more a single one in a whole province. than an eighth part can be excised Their families in great towns are from the expences of your subjects, lodged in palaces, in comparison with who live so very poorly, and then, for those of Paris. Even the houses in thirteen millions of people, your whole their villages are more costly than revenue by excises will amount to no in many

of
your

cities. If such is the more than six millions and a half. value of their three millions of acres, “ And how much less than this and of lodging for as many millions sum will the States be able to levy of subjects, the yearly rents of lands by the same tax upon their subjects ? and houses are nine millions in those There are no beggars in that country. provinces.

The people of their great towns live “ Then how much of this may the at a vastly greater charge than yours. States take without ruining the land. And even those in their villages are owners, for the defence of their peo- better fed and clothed, than the people ple ? Their lands there, by the custom of your towns. At a medium, every of descending in equal shares to all one of their subjects live at twice the the children, are distributed into so cost of those of France. Trade and many hands, that few'or no persons manufactures are the things that furare subsisted by their rents; land- nish them with money for this expence: owners, as well as others, are chiefly Therefore if thrice as much shall be subsisted by trade and manufactures ; excised from the expence of the and they can therefore with as much Hollanders, yet still they will have ease part with half of their whole more left than the subjects of your rents, as your majesty's subjects can majesty, though you should take noa quarter. The States-general may thing at all from them. I must believe as well take four millions and a half therefore that it will be as easy to from their rents, as your majesty can levy thrice as much by excises upon five from those of your subjects. the Dutch subject as the French,

“ It remains now only to compare thirty shillings upon the former, as the excises of both countries. And easily as ten upon the latter, and what excises can your majesty hope consequently four millions and a half to receive by the consumption of the of pounds upon their three millions half-starved, and half-naked beggars of subjects ; so that in the whole, by in your streets? How great a partrents and excises, they will be able of the price of all that is eat, or to raise nine millions within the year. drunk, or consumed by those wretched If of this sum, for the maintenance creatures! how great a part of the of their clergy, which are not so price of canvas cloth and wooden numerous as in France, the charge

your own.”

1

um

n

hape of their civil list, and the preservation among his courtiers shall purchase

of their dikes, one million is to be the reversion of his crowns, with all deducted; yet still they will have the treasures of the Indies, and then

eight for their defence, a revenue the world must be e equal to two-thirds of your majesty's. · This was the substance of what

“ Your majesty will now no longer was then said by monsieur Colbert. wonder that you have not been able The king was not at all offended with to reduce these provinces with half this liberty of his minister. He knew the power of your whole dominions, the value of the man, and soon after yet half is as much as you will be ever made him the chief director of the able to employ against them; Spain trade and manufactures of his people.' and Germany will be always ready to espouse their quarrel, their forces will be sufficient to cut out work for

Progress of Public Sentiment. the other half; and I wish too you So recently as 1770, the African could be quiet on the side of Italy, Slave-trade was popular in Europe and England.

and America ; it was encouraged and " What then is the advice I would supported as a lucrative, laudable, presume to give to your majesty ? and necessary commerce. The few To disband the greatest part of your philanthropists who then opposed this forces, and save so many taxes to traffic were deemed fanatics. your people. Your very dominions Prior to 1780 considerable light make you too powerful to fear any was thrown on the subject, by the insult from your neighbours. To discussions which accompanied the turn your thoughts from war, and American Revolution. cultivate the arts of peace, the trade In 1783 the Federal Constitution and manufactures of your people; was formed. Its venerated framers, this shall make you the most powerful having fought seven years for liberty, prince, and at the same time your were ashamed explicitly to name the subjects the richest of all other sub- traffick in slaves as a thing to be jects. In the space of twenty years tolerated among a free people; and they will be able to give your majesty they had a presentiment that the time greater sums with ease, than you can

was at hand when such a commerce now draw from them with the greatest would be exploded, and abhorred as difficulty. You have abundant ma a crime. But so imperfect or so terials in your kingdom to employ limited was the light which then preyour people, and they do not want vailed, that an article, cautiously capacity to be employed. Peace and expressed but well understood, was trade shall carry out

heir labour to inserted in the Constitution, to strain all the parts of Europe, and bring Congress from making any law to back yearly treasures to your subjects. suppress the slave trade prior to 1808. There will be always fools enough As soon, however, as it was permitted to purchase the manufactures of by the Constitution, an act was passed France, though France should be prohibiting the further importation prohibited to purchase those of other of Slaves into the United States. countries.

In the mean time your But this law has often been evaded, majesty shall never want sufficient and too frequently violated with imsums to buy now and then an im- punity. portant fortress from one or other of Since the commencement of 1820, your indigent neighbours. But, above provisions have been made by Conall

, peace shall ingratiate your ma gress, more effectually to suppress jesty with the Spanish nation, during the Slave-trade ; and it is now dethe life of their crazy king; and after clared to be piracy, and punishable his death a few seasonable presents with death.

2 E

[ocr errors]

A

VOL. III.

« PreviousContinue »