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their song than the cuckow; though, far from and properly vested in the hands of trustees; the softness of that harbinger of summer and then he would indicate the parcels to be sold, plenty, their voice is as harsh and as ominous and the time and conditions of sale ; after this, as that of the raven.

he would admit the public creditor, if he Who but the most desperate adventurers chose it, to subscribe his stock into this new in philosophy and finance could at all have fund ; or he might receive proposals for an thought of destroying the settled revenue of the assignat from those who would advance money state, the sole security for the public credit, to purchase this species of security. in the hope of rebuilding it with the materials This would be to proceed like men of busiof confiscated property? If, however, an ex- ness, methodically and rationally; and on cessive zeal for the state should have led a the only principles of public and private credit pious and venerable prelate (by anticipation a that have an existence. The dealer would father of the church*) to piilage his own then know exactly what he purchased; and order, and, for the good of the church and the only doubt which could hang upon his people, to take upon himself the place of mind would be, the dread of the resumption of grand financier of confiscation, and comptroller the spoil, which one day might be made (pergeneral of sacrilege, he and his coadjutors haps with an addition of punishment) from the were, in my opinion, bound to shew, by their sacrilegious gripe of those execrable wretches subsequent conduct, that they knew something who could become purchasers at the auction of of the office they assumed. When they had their innocent fellow-citizens. resolved to appropriate to the Fix, a certain An open and exact statement of the clear portion of the landed property of their con- value of the property, and of the time, the cir. quered country, it was their business to render cumstances, and the place of sale, were all their bank a real fund of credit; as far as necessary, to efface as much as possible the such a bank was capable of becoming so. stigma that has hitherto been branded on every

To establish a current circulating credit kind of Land-bank. It became necessary upon any Land-bank, under

any circumstances on another principle, that is, on account of a whatsoever, has hitherto proved difficult at pledge of faith previously given on that subject, the very least. The attempt has coinmonly that their future fidelity in a slippery concern ended in bankruptcy. But when the assem- might be established ły their adherence to bly were led, through a contempt of moral, to

their first engagement. When they had a defiance of economical principles, it might finally determined on a state resource from at least have been expected, that nothing church booty, they came, on the 14th of April would be omitted on their part to lessen this 1790, to a solemn resolution on the subject; difficulty, to prevent any aggravation of this and pledged themselves to their country, that bankruptcy. It might be expected, that to in the statement of the public charges for each render

Land-bank tolerable, every means year, there should be brought to account a sum would be adopted that could display openness sufficient for defraying the expenses of the and candour in the statement of the security; R. C. A. religion, the support of the ministers every thing which could aid the recovery of at the altars, the relief of the poor, the penthe demand. To take things in their most sions to the ecclesiastics, secular as well as favourable point of view, your condition was regular, of the one and of the other sex, in that of a man of a large landed estate, which order that the estates and goods which are at the he wished to dispose of for the discharge of a disposal of the nation may be disengaged of all debt, and the supply of certain services. Not charges, and employed by the representatives, or being able instantly to sell, you wished to the legislative body, to the great and most pressing mortgage. What would a man of fair inten- exigencies of the state.” They further engaged, tions, and a commonly clear understanding, do on the same day, that the sum necessary for in such circumstances ? Ought he not first to the year 1791 should be forthwith determined. ascertain the gross value of the estate ; the In this resolution they admit it their duty to charges of its management and disposition; shew distinctly the expense of the above obthe encumbrances perpetual and temporary of jects, which, by other resolutions, they had a'l kinds that effect it; then, striking a net before engaged should be first in the order of surplus, to calculate the just value of the secu- provision. They admit that they ought to rity'? When that surplus (the only security shew the estate clear and disengaged of ah to the creditor) had been clearly ascertained, charges, and that they should shew it immo.

your

diately. Have they done this immediately, o. * La Bruyere of Bossuet.

at any time? Have they ever furnished a ren VOL. 1.-36

Сс

roll of the immovable estates, or given in an rapine the high road to-riches. I subjoin with inventory of the moveable effects which they pleasure, in a note, the able and spirited confiscate to their assignats? In what manner observations of M. de Calonne on this sub they can fulfil their engagements of holding outject.* to public service “ an estate disengaged or all In order to persuade the world of the bote charges," without authenticating the value of tomless resource of ecclesiastical confiscaison, the estate, or the quantum of the charges, I the assembly have proceeded to other confisca leave it to their English admirers to explain. tions of estates in offices, which could not be Instantly upon this assurance, and previously done with any common colour without being to any one step towards making it good, they compensated out of this grand confiscation of issue, on the credit of so handsome a declara- landed property. They have thrown upon this tion, sixteen millions sterling of their paper. fund, which was to shew a surplus, disenThis was manly. Who, after this masterly gaged of all charges, a new charge; namely, stroke, can doubt of their abilities in finance ? the compensation to the whole body of the dis-But then, before any other emission of these banded judicature; and of all suppressed of financial indulgencies, they took care at least to fices and estates; a charge which I canno: make good their original promise!-If such ascertain, but which unquestionably amounts estimate, either of the value of the estate or to many French millions. Another of the the amount of the incumbrances, has been new charges, is an annuity of four hundred made, it has escaped me. I never heard of it. and eighty thousand pounds sterling, to be

At length they have spoken out, and they paid (if they choose to keep faith) by daily have made a full discovery of their abominable payments, for the interest of the first assignats. fraud, in holding out the church lands as secu- Have they ever given themselves the trouble rity for any debts or any service whatsoever. to state fairly the expense of the management They rob only to enable them to cheat ; but of the church lands in the hands of the munici. in a very short time they defeat the ends both palities, to whose care, skill, and diligence, of the robbery and the fraud, by making out and that of their legion of unknown under accounts for other purposes, which blow up agents, they have chosen to commit the charge their whole apparatus of force and of deception. of the forfeited estates, and the consequence I am obliged to M. de Calonne for his reference to the document which proves this extra- *"Ce n'est point a l'assemblee entiere que ordinary fact: it had by some means escaped je m'adresse ici; je ne parle qu'a ceux qui le. me. Indeed it was not necessary to make out

garent, en lui cachant sous des gazes seduisant.

es le but ou ils l'entrainent. C'est a eux que my assertion as to the breach of faith on the

je dis : votre objet, vous n'en disconviendrez declaration of the 14th of April 1790. By a re- pas, c'est d'oter tout espoir au clerge, et de con. port of their committee it now appears, that

sommer sa ruine ; c'est-la, en ne vous soup the charge of keeping up the reduced ecclesia

çonnant d'aucune combinaison de cupidise,

d'aucun regard le jeu des effets publics, c'est-la astical establishments, and other expenses at- ce qu'on doit croire que vous avez en vue dans tendant on religion, and maintaining the re- la terrible operation que vous proposez; c'est ligious of both sexes, retained or pensioned,

ce qui doit en etre le fruit. Mais le peuple qui and the other concomitant expenses of the

vous y interessez, quel avantage peut-il y trou.

ver? En vous servant sans cesse de lui, que same nature, which they have brought upon faites-vous pour lui? Rien, absolument rien ; themselves by this convulsion in property, et, au contraire, vous faites ce qui de conduit exceeds the income of the estates acquired by qu'a l'accabler de pouvelles charges. Veas it in the enormous sum of two millions sterling millions, dont l'acceptation pouvoit devenir un

avez rejete, a son prejudice, une offre de 400 annually; besides a debt of seven millions and

moyen de soulagement en sa fareur ; et a cete upwards. These are the calculating powers ressource, aussi profitable que legitime, youe of imposture! This is the finance of philoso

avez substitue une injustice ruineuse, qui, de

votre propre aveu, charge le tresor public, et phy! This is the result of all the delusions held

parconsequent le peuple, d'un surcroit de de. out to engage a miserable people in rebellion, pense annuelle de 50 millions au moins, et d'un murder, and sacrilege, and to make them remboursement de 150 millions. prompt and zealous instruments in the ruin of

“Malheureux peuple! voila ce que vous van

en dernier resultail expropriation d'Eglise, et iheir country! Never did a state, in any case, la durele des decrets taxateurs du traitement enrich itself by the confiscations of the citizens. des ministres d'une religion bienfaisante; de This new experiment has succeeded like all formais ils seront a votre charge : leurs charice the rest. Every honest mind, every true lover

soulageoient les pauvres; et vous allez etre

find of liberty and humanity, must rejoice

imposes pour subvenir a leur entretien !

De l'Etat de la France, p. si. See also p that injustice is not always good policy, nor 92, and the following pages.

of which had been so ably pointed out by the What must have been the state into which the bishop of Nancy?

assembly has brought your affairs, that ihe But it is unnecessary to dwell on these ob- relief afforded by so vast a supply has been vious heads of incumbrance. Have they made hardly perceptible? This paper also felt an out any clear state of the grand incumbrance almost immediate depreciation of five per cent. of all, I mean the whole of the general and which in a little time came to about seven. municipal establishments of all sorts, and com- The effect of these assignats on the receipt pared it with the regular income by revenue ? of the revenue is remarkable. Mr. Necker Every deficiency in these becomes a charge found that the collectors of the revenue, who on the confiscated estate, before the creditor received in coin, paid the treasury in assignats. can plant his cabbages on an acre of church The collectors made seven per cent. by thus property. There is no other prop than this receiving in money, and accounting in depreconfiscation to keep the whole state from tum- ciated paper. It was not very difficult to forebling to the ground. In this situation they see, that this must be inevitable. It was, have purposely covered all that they ought in- however, not the less embarrassing. Mr. dustriously to have cleared, with a thick fog; Necker was obliged (I believe, for a considerand then, blindfold themselves, like bulls that able part, in the market of London) to buy shut their eyes when they push, they drive, by gold and silver for the mint, which amounted the point of the bayonets, their slaves, blind. to about twelve thousand pounds above the folded indeed no worse than their lords, to take value of the commodity gained. That ministheir fictions for currencies, and to swallow ter was of opinion, that whatever their secret down paper pills by thirty-four millions ster- nutritive virtue might be, the state could not ling at a dose. Then they proudly lay in their live upon assignats alone; that some real silclaim to a future credit, on failure of all their ver was necessary, particularly for the satispast engagements, and at a time when (if in faction of those who, having iron in their such a matter any thing can be clear) it is hands, were not likely to distinguish themclear that the surplus estates will never answer selves for patience, when they should perceive even the first of their mortgages, I mean that that whilst an increase of pay was held out to of the four hundred millions (or sixteen mil them in real money, it was again to be fraudulions sterling) of assignats. In all this proce- lently drawn back by depreciated paper. The dure I can discern neither the solid sense of minister, in this very natural distress, applied plain dealing, nor the subtle dexterity of inge- to the assembly, that they should order the colnious fraud. The objection within the assem- lectors to pay in specie what in specie they bly to pulling up the flood-gates for this inun- had received. It could not escape him, that dation of fraud, are unanswered; but they are if the treasury paid three per cent. for the use thoroughly refuted by an hundred thousand of a currency, which should be returned seven financiers in the street. These are the num- per cent. worse than the minister issued it, bers by which the metaphysic arithmeticians such a dealing could not very greatly tend 10 compute. These are the grand calculations on enrich the public. The assembly took no which a philosophical public credit is founded notice of his recommendation. They were in in France. They cannot raise supplies; but this dilemma-If they continued to receive the they can raise mobs. Let them rejoice in the assignats, cash must become an alien to their applauses of the club at Dundee, for their wis- treasury: if the treasury should refuse those dom and patriotism in having thus applied the paper amulets, or should discountenance them plunder of the citizens to the service of the in any degree, they must destroy the credit of

I hear of no address upon this subject their sole resource. They seem then to have from the directors of the bank of England; made their option; and to have given some though their approbation would be of a little sort of credit to their paper by taking it themmore weight in the scale of credit than that of selves; at the same time in their speeches :ho club at Dundee. But, to do justice to the they made a sort of swaggering declaration, club, I believe the gentlemen who compose it something, I rather think, above legislative to be wiser than they appear; that they will competence; that is, that there is no difference be less liberal of their money than of their in value between metallic money and their addresses ; and that they would not give a dog's assignats. This was a good stout proof article ear of their most rumpled and ragged Scotch of faith, pronounced under an anathema, by paper for twenty of your fairest assignats. the venerable fathers of this philosophic sy.

Early in this year the assembly issued paper nod. Credat who will certainly not Judæue to the

of sixteen millions sterling: Apella.

state.

A noble indignation rises in the minds of It is as little worth remarking any farther your popular leaders, on hearing the magic upon all their drawing and re-drawing, on lanthorn in their shew of finance compared to their circulation for putting off the evil day, the fraudulent exhibitions of Mr. Law. They on the play between the treasury and the cannot bear to hear the sands of his Missis- Caisse d'Escompte, and on all these old ex. sippi compared with the rock of the church, ploded contrivances of mercantile fraud, now on which they build their system. Pray let exalted into policy of state. The revenue them suppress this glorious spirit, until they will not be trifled with. The prattling about shew to the world what piece of solid ground the rights of men will not be accepted in paythere is for their assignats, which they have ment for a biscuit or a pound of gun-powder. not pre-occupied by other charges. They do Here then the metaphysicians descend from injustice to that great, mother fraud, to com- their airy speculations, and faithfully follow pare it with their degenerate imitation. It is examples. What examples? The examples not true that Law built solely on a speculation of bankrupts. But defeated, baffled, disgraced, concerning the Mississippi. He added the when their breath, their strength, their invenEast India trade; he added the African trade; tions, their fancies desert them, their confihe added the farms of all the farmed revenue dence still maintains its ground. In the raniof France. All these together unquestionably fest failure of their abilities, they take credit could not support the structure which the public for their benevolence. When the revenue enthusiasm, not he, chose to build upon these disappears in their hands, they have the prebases. But these wers, however, in compa- sumption, in some of their late proceedings, rison, generous delusions. They supposed, to value themselves on the relief given to the and they aimed at an increase of the com- people. They did not relieve the people. If merce (France. They opened to it the ihey entertained such intentions, why did they whole range of the two hemispheres. They order the obnoxious taxes to be paid? The did not think of feeding France from its own people relieved themselves in spite of the assubstance. A grand imagination found in sembly. this flight of commerce something to captivate. But waving all discussion on the parties It was wherewithal to dazzle the eye of an who may claim the merit of this fallacious eagle. It was not made to entice the smell of relief, has thero been, ir effect, any relief to a mole, nuzzling and burying himself in his the people in any form? Mr. Bailly, one of mother earth, as yours is. Men were not the grand agents of paper circulation, lets you then quite shrunk from their natural dimen- into the nature of this relief. His speech to sions by a degrading and sordid philosophy, the national assembly contained a high and and fited for low and vulgar deceptions, laboured panegyric on the inhabitants of Paris Above all remember, that in imposing on the for the constancy and unbroken resolution with imagination, the then managers of the system which they have borne their distress and mimade a compliment to the freedom of men. sery. A fine picture of public felicity! What! In their fraud there was no mixture of force. great courage and unconquerable firmness of This was reserved to our time, to quench the mind to enduro benefits, and sustain redress! little glimmerings of reason which might One would think from the speech of this break in upon the solid darkness of this en- learned lord mayor, that the Parisians, for lightened age.

this twelvemonth past, had been suffering the On recollection, I have said nothing of a straits of some dreadful blockade ; that Henry scheme of finance which may be urged in the Fourth had been stopping up the avenues favour of the abilities of these gentlemen, and to their supply, and Sully thundering with his which has been introduced with great pomp, ordnance at the gates of Paris ; when in though not yet finally adopted in the national reality they are besieged by no other enemies assembly. it comes with something solid in than their own madness and folly, their own aid of the credit of the paper circulation ; and credulity and perverseness. But Mr. Bailly much has been said of its utility and its ele- will sooner thaw the eternal ice of his atangance. I mean the project for coining into tic regions, than restore the central heat to money the bells of the suppressed churches. Paris, whilst it remains "smitten with the This is their alchymy. There are some fol cold, dry, petrific mace" of a false and unfoellies which baffle argument; which go beyond ing philosophy. Some time after this speech, ridicule ; and which excite no feeling in us that is, on the thirteenth of last August, the but disgust; and therefore I say no more same magistrate, giving an account of his upon it.

government at the bar of the same assembly. expresses himself as follows: “In the month endeavour, they must be taught their consolaof July 1789," (the period of everlasting com- tion in the final proportions of eternal justice. memoration,] " the finances of the city of of this consolation whoever deprives them, Paris were yet in good order; the expenditure deadens their industry, and strikes at the root was counterbalanced by the receipt, and she of all acquisition as of all conservation. He had at that time a million” (forty thousand that does this is the cruel oppressor, the merpounds sterling] “in bank. The expenses ciless enemy of the poor and wretched; at the which she has been constrained to incur, sub- same time that by his wicked speculations he sequent to the revolution, amount to 2,500,000 exposes the fruits of successful industry, and livres. From these expenses, and the great the accumulations of fortune, to the plunder of falling off in the produci of the free gists, not the negligent, the disappointed, and the unonly a momentary, but a total want of money prosperous. has taken place.” This is the Paris, upon Too many of the financiers by profession whose nourishment, in the course of the last are apl to see nothing in revenue but banks, year, such immense sums, drawn from the and circulations, and annuities on lives, and vitals of all France, have been expended. As tontines, and perpetual rents, and all the small long as Paris stands in the place of ancient wares of the shop In a settled order of the Rome, so long she will be maintained by the state, these things are not to be slighted, nor subject provinces. It is an evil inevitably is the skill in them to be held of trivial estiattendant on the dominion of sovereign demo- mation. They are good, but then only good, cratic republics. As it happened in Rome, it when they assume the effects of that settled may survive that republican domination which order, and are built upon it. But when men gave rise to it. In that case despotism itself think that these beggarly contrivances may must submit to the vices of popularity. Rome, supply a resource for the evils which result under her emperours, united the evils of both from breaking up the foundations of public systems; and this unnatural combination was order, and from causing or suffering the prinone great cause of her ruin.

ciples of property to be subverted, they will, To tell the people that they are relieved by in the ruin of their country, leave a melanthe dilapidation of their public estate, is a choly and lasting monument of the effect of cruel and insolent imposition. Statesmen, preposterous politics, and presumptuous, shortbefore they valued themselves on the relief sighted, narrow-minded wisdom. given to the people by the destruction of their The effects of the incapacity shewn by the revenue, ought first to have carefully attended popular leaders in all the great members of the to the solution of this problem:- Whether it commonwealth are to be covered with the be more advantageous to the people to pay “ all-atoning name" of liberty. In some considerably, and to gain in proportion; or to people I see great liberty indeed; in many, gain little or nothing, and to be disburthened if not in the most, an oppressive degrading of all contribution ? My mind is made up to servitude. But what is liberty without wise decide in favour of the first proposition. Ex. dom, and without virtue? It is the greatest of perience is with me, and, I believe, the best all possible evils ; for it is folly, vice, and madopinions also. To keep a balance between the ness, without twition or restraint. Those who power of acquisition on the part of the subject, know what virtuous liberty is, cannot bear to and the demands he is to answer on the part of see it disyraced by incapable heads, on acthe state, is a fundamental part of the skill of a count of their having high-sounding words in true politician. The means of acquisition are their mouths. Grand, swelling sentiments of prior in time and in arrangement. Good liberty, I am sure I do not despise. They order is the foundation of all good things. warm the heart; they enlarge and liberalize To be enabled to acquire, the people, without our minds; they animate our courage in a being servile, must be tractable and obedient. time of condict. Old as I am, I read the fine The magistrate must have his reverence, the raptures of Lucan and Corneille with pleasure. laws their authority. The body of the peo- Neither do I wholly condemn the little arts ple must not find the principles of natural and devices of popularity. They facilitate subordination by art rooted out of their the carrying of many points of moment; they minds. They must respect that property keep the people together ; they refresh the of which they cannot partake. They must mind in its exertions; and they diffuse occalabour to oblain whai by labour can be sional gaiety over the severe brow of moral obtained; and when they find, as they com- freedom. Every politician ought to sacrifice monln do, the success disproportioned to the to the graces; and to join compliance with

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