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What returns of gratitude can we expect when we are no longer wanted? Has all that we have hitherto done for the imperial family been taken as a favour, or only received as the due of the augustissima


Will the house of Austria yield the least acre of land, the least article of strained, and even usurped prerogative, to resettle the minds of those princes in the alliance, who are alarmed at the consequences of this turn of affairs, occasioned by the emperor's death? We are assured it never will. Do we then imagine that those princes who dread the overgrown power of the Austrian, as much as that of the Bourbon family, will continue in our alliance, upon a system contrary to that which they engage with us upon? For instance: what can the duke of Savoy expect in such a case? Will he have any choice left him, but that of being a slave and a frontier to France; or a vassal, in the utmost extent of the word, to the imperial court? Will he not therefore, of the two evils, choose the least; by submitting to master who has no immediate claim upon him, and to whose family he is nearly allied; rather than to another, who has already revived several claims upon him, and threatens to revive more ?

Nor are the Dutch more inclined than the rest of Europe, that the empire and Spain should be united in king Charles, whatever they may now pretend, On the contrary, it is known to several persons, that upon the death of the late emperor Joseph, the States resolved that those two powers should not be joined in the same person; and this they deter, mined as a fundamental maxim by which they ins tended to proceed. So that Spain was first given up by them; and since they maintain no troops in that kingdom, it should seem that they understand the duke of Anjou to be lawful monarch,

Thirdly, those who are against any peace with

out Spain, if they be such as no way find their private account by the war, may perhaps change their sentiments, if they will reflect a little upon our present condition.

I had two reasons for not sooner publishing this discourse; the first was, because I would give way to others, who might argue very well upon the same subject from general topicks and reason, although they might be ignorant of several facts, which I had the opportunity to know. The second was, because I found it would be necessary, in the course of this argument, to say something of the state to which the war has reduced us; at the same time I knew, that such a discovery ought to be made as late as possible, and at another juncture would not only be very indiscreet, but might perhaps be dangerous.

It is the folly of too many to mistake the echo of a London coffeehouse, for the voice of the kingdom. The city coffeehouses have been for some years filled with people, whose fortunes depend upon the Bank, East-India, or some other stock. Every new fund to these, is like a new mortgage to a usurer, whose compassion for a young heir, is exactly the same with that of a stockjobber to the landed gentry. At the court end of the town, the like places of resort are frequented either by men out of place, and consequently enemies to the present ministry, or by officers of the army: no wonder then if the general cry, in all such meetings, be against any peace, either with Spain or without; which, in other words, is no more than this; that discontented men desire another change of ministry; that soldiers would be glad to keep their commissions; and that the creditors have money still, and would have the debtors borrow on at the old extorting rate, while they have any security to give.

Now to give the most ignorant reader some idea of our present circumstances, without troubling him or myself with computations in form; every body

knows that our land and malt tax amount annually to about two millions and a half. All other branches of the revenue are mortgaged to pay interest for what we have already borrowed. The yearly charge of the war is usually about six millions; to make up which sum, we are forced to take up, on the credit of new funds, about three millions and a half. This last year, the computed charge of the war came to above a million more than all the funds the parlia ment could contrive were sufficient to pay interest for; and so we have been forced to divide a deficiency of twelve hundred thousand pounds, among the several branches of our expense. This is a demonstration that if the war be to last another campaign, it will be impossible to find funds for supplying it, without mortgaging the malt tax, or by some other method equally desperate.

If the peace be made this winter, we are then to consider what circumstances we shall be in toward paying a debt of about fifty millions, which is a fourth part of the purchase of the whole island if it were to be sold.

Towards clearing ourselves of this monstrous incumbrance, some of these annuities will expire, or pay off the principal in thirty, forty, or a hundred years; the bulk of the debt must be lessened gradually by the best management we can, out of what will remain of the land and malt taxes, after paying guards and garrisons, and maintaining and suplying our fleet in the time of peace. I have not skill enough to compare what will be left, after these necessary charges, toward, annually clearing so vast a debt: but believe it must be very little; however, it is plain that both these taxes must be continued, as well for supporting the government, as because we have no other means for paying off the principal. And so likewise must all the other funds remain for paying the interest. How long a time this must require, how steady

an administration, and how undistubed a state of affairs both at home and abroad, let others determine.

However, some people think all this very reasonable; and that since the struggle has been for peace and safety, posterity, which is to partake of the benefit, ought to share in the expense: as if at the breaking out of this war, there had been such a con- . juncture of affairs, as never happened before, nor would ever happen again. It is wonderful that our ancestors, in all their wars, should never fall under such a necessity; that we meet no examples of it in Greece and Rome; that no other nation in Europe ever knew any thing like it, except Spain about a hundred and twenty years ago, when they drew it upon themselves by their own folly, and have suffered for it ever since; no doubt we shall teach pos terity wisdom, but they will be apt to think the purchase too dear, and I wish they may stand to the bargain we have made in their names.

It is easy to entail debts on succeeding ages, and to hope they will be able and willing to pay them; but how to ensure peace for any term of years, is difficult enough to apprehend. Will human nature ever cease to have the same passions; princes to entertain designs of interest or ambition; and occasions of quarrel to arise? May not we ouselves, by the variety of events and incidents which happen in the world, be under a necessity of recovering towns, out of the very hands of those, for whom we are now ruining our country to take them? Neither can it be said, that those states, with whom we may probably differ, will be in as bad a condition as ourselves; for by the circumstances of our situation, and the impositions of our allies, we are more exhausted than either they or the enemy; and by the nature of our government, the corruption of our manners, and the opposition of factions, we shall be more slow in recovering.

It will no doubt be a mighty comfort to our grandchildren, when they see a few rags hung up in Westminster-hall, which cost a hundred millions, whereof they are paying the arrears, to boast as beggars do, that their grandfathers were rich and great.

I have often reflected on that mistaken notion of credit, so boasted of by the advocates of the late ministry was not all that credit built upon funds raised by the landed men, whom they now so much hate and despise? is not the greatest part of those funds raised from the growth and product of land ? must not the whole debt be entirely paid, and our fleets and garrisons be maintained, by the land and malt tax after a peace? If they call it credit to run ten millions in debt without parliamentary security, by which the publick is defrauded of almost half; I must think fuch credit to be dangerous, illegal, and perhaps treasonable. Neither has any thing gone farther to ruin the nation than their boasted credit. For my own part, when I saw this false credit sink upon the change of the ministry, I was singular enough to conceive it a good omen. It seemed as if the young extravagant heir had got a new steward, and was resolved to look into his estate before things grew desperate, which made the usurers forbear feeding him with money, as they used to do.

Since the monied men are so fond of war, I should be glad they would furnish out one campaign at their own charge: it is not above six or seven millions; and I dare engage to make it out, that when they have done this, instead of contributing equal to the lânded men*, they will have their full principal and interest at six per cent remaining, of all the money they ever lent to the government,

Here the adjective is improperly used instead of the adverb it should be instead of contributing equally with the landed

men,' &c. S.



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