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and from appearing in this most respectable work, calculated to mislead the publick judgment.

The national debt differs in principle from all private debts in this respect, that when a private debt is contracted there is a stated time at which the creditor may demand the return of the full and exact amount of his advances, with the interest agreed upon to compensate his forbearance till that time. Government was never subject to any similar obligations. The publick debt originated in the granting of annuities for short terms of years, and in short anticipations of the revenue. Annuities for longer periods were soon after adopted, and it was soon found most beneficial to the state, because it was deemed preferable by the money lenders, that the annuities should be perpetual, subject however to redemption, upon certain high terms agreed upon. The value of an annuity redeemable at the pleasure of any debtor must depend not opily upon the current rate of interest at the time of the original purchase, but upon the sum at which it is to be redeemable. Whatever is the stipulated sum to be paid for its redemption, will form parts of the basis of the calculation on which the original contract proceeds. If that sun be so low as to preclude the creditor from all the advantages, and to subject him to all the disadvantages of the fluctuations in the value of money, he will exact a higher annuity, and impose harder terms upon the debtor. At present government practically avails itself of every favourable fluctuation in the value of money. The price of redemption at par is a maximum, but all its purchases for the sinking fund havę hitherto been the redemption of its annuities, at a price very far below that maximum. If government grants an annuity wheq the sale of interest is high, it would be most unjust that it should have the power of redemption, for the same price, when tlię rate of interest, from the greater prosperity of the country, shall have been greatly abated. “The experienced and able finan ciers of modern times," have judged more wisely than our author on this subject, and consult the best interests of the publick, and of the creditors of the publick, in fixing very high the price at which its annuities are redeemable ; that high price is considered and paid for in the settlement of each loan, and the debt is, notwithstanding, to be repurchased (which is equivalent to redemption) at the current and inferior prices of the market. The justice of this theory is apparent every day in the difference between the value of the five per cent. and that of the three per cent. stocks. A loan might always be funded on more advantageous terms in the latter than in the former stock.

In the reign of his present majesty, previous to the American war, 10,739,7931. were paid off during twelve years of peace.

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During that war a new debt was created of 121,269,992). '. At
its termination the price of the 3 per cents. fell to 52 and to 54,
but in 1786 they rose to 76, and in March, 1792, at the com.
mencement of the French revolution war, they were as high as
96 per cent. This great advance of the prices of the stocks is
attributed to the establishinent of the permanent sinking fund by
Mr. Pitt, but is rather a proof of the great energies of the
country called into activity under his wise, administration, for
during that peace the debt was decreased only 4,751,261).
which seems an inadequate cause to occasion so great an in.
.crease in the price of the stocks.
The increase of the debt during the French revolution war,

During the short peace which followed 40,207,8061.
During the next war

341,784,87 11. Making the national debt on 1st. Feb. 1813. . 943,195,95 11.

But of this the sinking find had purchased 236,801,742).



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Leaving the actual debt .£700,394,299.
In the year 1814, 64,755,7001. were raised by loans, and
26,161,361l. of stock was added to the sinking fund.

These splendid statements raise the mind of our author to an
enthusiastie admiration of the funding system, by which he
states, that

War may be maintained, and taxes prove an advantage to the state; the demand for labour be increased, and produce an aug. mentation of wages; the value of money be increased to persons possessing capitals, and trade, commerce and manufactures acquire an impetus not found to exist, to the same extent, during a period of peace. Loans are also to bring money from foreign countries, which is to afford a clear gain to the nation of five and a half per cent. and to render it unnecessary to exhaust the capital at home, by which its productive labour might be diminished. By loans, the surplus capital of the country is to be retained, without enriching foreign countries, the circulation of property to be promoted, and a stimulus given to productive labour, by which alone property is augmented." He deems it demonstrable, “ that every new loan creates a new artificial capital, with all the properties of a capital, which did not before exist, producing revenue to the state, and profit to the individuals, as real treasure applied in promoting objects of industry.”

Our author here soars into a region beyond the reach of our fecbler powers; we do not mistrust the government, or the people of England; we persuade ourselves that the one will never deem the country enriched by the augmentation of its debts, nor the other consider that its prosperity can be measured


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by the excess of its taxation. We extract these passages not to refute them, for whom can such illusiops: mislead ?--but to shew how much the most enliglitened mind may deviate in the pursuit of a favorite hypothesis.

Our author is obviously just in his observation, that the cancelling of the national debt, if it were possible, would be without benefit to the nation, considered as a great indivişible corporation. The national property would be the same as before, nothing would be saved but the expences of management, and the trifling portion of the dividends payable to foreigners, and this little gain would be obtained at the expence of honour and good faith, which in times of necessity have been a treasure competent to answer our greatest necessities. With respect to the policy of paying it off our author entertains great doubt. He observes,

“ That it may be paid off is admitted. The experience of the operation of the sinking fund proves this beyond all doubt; but from what has been already.stated, great doubts may be entertained of the policy of the measure, and whether in its practical effects it would not ultimately produce the same poverty and distress which existed before any public debts were contracted.'!

We lately bad occasion to deliver our sentiments at large on this subject, in our review of Mr. Boyd's pamphlet. We persuade ourselves, that the publick are the most judicious managers of their own estate, and that when the national debt shall be reduced very far below its present excess, it will not then be deemed expedient to raise a large productive capital publick, yielding to them great profit, in order to annihilate a a debt, the interest of which will hardly operate as a bur then.

Minute details are given in the following chapter of the cir. cumstances of all the foreign dependencies of the empire. They abound in useful matter, and will amply repay the attention of the reader.

We cannot sufficiently commend the labour and the juegment of our author, conspicuous in this important publication, which pourtrays the present magnificence and the future hopes of the most powerful and prosperous community, that has ever grown into greatness by the wisdom, the industry, the justice, and the piety of many generations,

The magnificent fabric which our successive fathers have thus gradually and laboriously raised, it is for us to deliver unimpaired into the hands of our children, a duty which can ouly be performed by a steady perseverance in those high principles, by which the foundations of our national greatness have beeu 80 firmly cemented and established.

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Art. V. A Circumstantial Narrative of the Campaign in

Russia. By Eugene Labaume,

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(Concluded from P. 278.) MR. LABAUME, however, marched on with his corps, and the last struggle of the desperate courage of the Russians were not able to impede the progress of Napoleon. He entered Mog cow on the 14th of September, but he found a desolate place. Some wretches who had escaped from prison, and some miserable prostitutes were the only creatures who interrupted his solitude. Liberty, says our author, was granted them, with the hope that the crimes which they might commit would be attributed to the French..

“On the 15th of September our corps left the village where it had encamped at an early hour, and marched to Moscow. As we approached the city, we saw that it had no walls, and that a simple parapet of earth was the only work which constituted the outer enclosure. Nothing indicated that the town was inhabited ; and the road by which we arrived was so deserted that we saw neither Russian nor even French soldiers. No cry, no noise was heard in the midst of this awful solitude. We pursued our march, a prey to the atmost anxiety, and that anxiety was redoubled when we perceived a thick smoke, which arose in the form of a column from the centre of the town. It was at first believed that the Rus. sians had, as usual, set fire to some magazines in their retreat; but when we recollected the recital of the inhabitant of Moscow, we feared that his prediction was about to be fulfilled.Eager to know the cause of this conflagration, we in vain endeavoured to find some one who might satisfy our irrepressible curiosity, and the impossibility of satisfying it, increased our impatience, and auge mented our alarm." P.190.

« Although Moscow had been entered by some of our troops the preceding day, so extensive and so deserted was the town, that Ho soldier had yet penerated into the quarter which we were to occupy. The most intrepid minds were affected by this loneliness. The streets were so long, that our cavalry could not recognize each other from the opposite extremities. The different parties advanced with caution, and then suddenly fled from each other, though they were 'all enlisted under the same banners. In proportion as a new quarter was occupied, reconnoitring parties were sent forward to kamine the palaces and the churches. In the former were found only old men and children, or Russian of ficers who had been wounded in the preceding engagements : in die latter, the altars were decorated as if for a festival; a thousand


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lighted tapers, burning in honour of the patron saint of the country, attested that the pious Moscovités had not ceased to in. voke him till the moment of their departure. This solemn and religious spectacle rendered the people whom we had conquered, powerful and respectable in our estimation, and filled us with that consternation which is the offspring of injustice. We advanced with fearful steps through this awful solitude, often stopping and looking tremblingly behind us ; then, struck with sudden terror, we eagerly listened to every sound; for the imagination, frightened at the very magnitude of our conquest, made us apprehensive of treachery in every place. At the least noise we fancied that we heard the clashing of arms, and the cries of the wounded.

• When we approached the centre of the town, and especially in the neighbourhood of the Bazar *, we began to see some inhabltants assembled around the Kremlin. These unhappy beings, deceived by an absurd tradition, had believed thať this citadek was impregnable, and had attempted to defend it for an instant against our advanced guard, commanded by the King of Naples ;-but the valour of our troops instantly dispersed them. Dismayed by their defeat, they contemplated, with tears, those lofty towers which they had hitherto regarded as the palladium of their city. Proceeding further'on, we saw a crowd of soldiers who exposed to public sale a vast quantity of articles which they had pillaged; for it was only at the grand magazines of provisions that the imperial guards had placed sentinels. Continuing our progress, the number of soldiers multiplied; they were returning in troops, car. rying on their backs pieces of cloth, loaves of sugar, and whole bales of merchandise. We knew not how to account for this strange disorder, until some fusileers of the guards informed us that the smoke which we had seen on entering the town, proceeded from a vast building full of goods, called the Exchange, and to which the Russians had set fire on their retreat. « Yesterday,' said these soldiers, we entered the city about twelve o'clock, and early this morning the fire began to appear. We immediately endeavoured to extinguish it believing that it had been occasioned by the imprudence of our bivouacks : but we soon desisted when we learned that the governor had ordered the city. to be destroyed, and had carried away all the engines, by which alone we could arrest the progress of the flames. He boped by tliis dévastation to destroy the discipline of our army, and to ruin the merchants who had so strongly opposed the abandonment of Moscow to

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* A great square enclosed within the Kitaye-Gorod. It is surrounded by galleries built of brick, which contain an infinite number of little shops.'

† Many of our pioneers, and other soldiers strenuously endea voured to subdue the conflagration, by breaking off the communi.. cation between the houses ; but the flames bursting out on every side, defeated their generous intention.".

" A natural

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