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Suppofe one of thofe members were afked, Whether the fervice of his country, or voting always with the court, is beft; if he were as honeft a knave as the Marshal, what could he answer, but, "That certainly voting for the country's good was preferable to flavery under a minifter; elfe the minifter had no occafion to give him a place or penfion to boot, to engage him to quit his country's fervice for the minifter's." And is not this giving up the point?—The Emperor, and bloody Mary gave public penfions to the members of parliament,-With what view? To engage them to vote for the good of their country? No. To establish Popery; to vote the Queen's marriage with a Papift, Philip II. of Spain; which that venal parliament did accordingly; thereby manifeftly fhewing how foundly Philip and Mary judged of the effect of bribing parliament. What difference does it make to me as a fubject, whether I am voted into flavery for gold fent from the continent to bribe parliament, or for gold drawn out of the Exchequer of England.'
Thus argues this Author,-not in any courtly ftrain, but with freedom and honefty; though he may fometimes appear rough and angry. His ftyle is not elegant, nor always accurate; the Reader will obferve some negligencies in the above extracts he acknowledges, in the preface, that to have used much care in polishing the ftyle, he should have deemed rather impertinent in a work of this kind: yet the fmall blemishes we hint at might, we fuppofe, eafily have been avoided, they are among the inaccuracies quas humana parum cavit natura, about which he profeffes himfelf rather auxious, meaning by them
a lefs advantageous difpofition of the matter, a feeming repetition of the fame thoughts and the like;' but the others may be numbered in the fame clafs; however, notwithstanding them, (though not beneath his correction) his meaning is very intelligible; and his fentiments are juft, pertinent, and ftriking.
In the fifth chapter of the first book are fome very free and fpirited obfervations on the enormous emoluments annexed to our great offices of the ftate, as being pregnant with every evil. He would have kings, and minifters, and officers of state to remember, that, whatever dignity or majefty they may suppose neceffarily connected with their ftations, they are in fact only the fervants of the Public, and are entitled to honour and external advantages according to the endeavours they use to fecure and advance the public intereft and happinefs. When magiftrates, fupreme or fubordinate, manifeft that they have this at heart, they will hardly fail of obtaining the respect, affecfion, and cheerful fupport of the fubject. But fhould it ever appear that government is a meer ftate trick, a fyftem of cunning, evafion, and deceit, directly tending to opprefs and enthe people, in order to maintain the fplendor, extrava
gance, and luxury of a few; in fuch circumftances can it be wonderful if those who are at the helm fhould fink even into contempt and hatred ?
If, fays this Writer, the nobility were to ferve their country in the great offices of the ftate gratis, the heroism would be nothing more than is fhewn by private trustees, arbitrators, church-wardens, overfeers of the poor, and other parish officers. Are those poor low-bred creatures, whom our polite courtiers call the fcum of the earth, more difinterefted than the nobility of the land!If the nobility and gentry declined ferving their country in the great offices of the ftate, without fordid hire, let the honeft bourgeoisie be employed.-Why should not our kings, when a court place falls vacant, publish, that they want a fecretary of state, or a lord chamberlain, or a lord Reward; places which any man of common fenfe and honesty can fill; the public business being all a mere routine? And why fhould they not order all perfons defirous of the vacant employment to fend in their propofals fealed (as when there is a fleet to victual, or a public work to be done) and accept him who offers to ferve his country on the most reasonable terms? Let the perfon chofen bring in his bill of expences. There is no reason why the Public fhould not repay what is fairly laid out for the public benefit. If it be thought proper to give a statesman, who has fhewn himself able and honeft, five hundred guineas for a ring, as was given the great Admiral Drake for fervices of greater danger and more importance than thofe of fifty state-secretaries, I have no objection. But that half our nobility should be on the parish, I mean on the public, I own I fee no manner of reason; nor that a fet of places, which might be filled at the expence of a few hundreds a year, must coft the nation many hundred thoufands, while we are finking in a bottomlefs fea of debt.-Afk the courtiers, what produces the prefent clamours, and all clamours against government, which is always immaculate? They will answer, The defire of places and preferments. Which may be partly true. But why then do they not reduce the incomes of the places as low as in Holland? Why do they not abolish all that are ufelefs? They do the very contrary. They are continually increafing the number, if not the value of them. They are conftantly heaping on fewel, and then they fwear and blafpheme, because the fire continues to rage.-Inftead of the challenge *, whofe ox, or whofe afs, has the king (or the minifter) taken; we may ask the crew, whofe farthing candle, or whofe draught of small beer, have they not taxed? A poor hard-working man, who has a wife and fix children to maintain, can neither enjoy
2 Sam. xii. 3.
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the glorious light of heaven, nor the glimmering of a tallow taper, without paying the window-tax and the candle tax. He rifes early and fits up late; he fills up the whole day with fevere labour; he goes to his flock-bed with half a belly-full of bread and cheefe, that his wife and little ftarvelings may have t the more. In the mean while the exactors of these taxes are revelling at Mrs. Cornelly's masquerade, at the expence of more money for one evening's amufement, than the wretched hardworking man (who is obliged to find the money for them to fquander) can earn by half a year's fevere labour."
This chapter is concluded with reflections on the court lift, attended with fome degree of raillery and humour. The following paragraph may appear, like many others in this volume, fevere; how far it may be juft, let truth and fact determine:
The pretence, that a king ought to have a number of attendants about him, to keep up his ftate, and ftrike the people with an awe of government, wants no answer. Was ever the parade of government kept up at a higher expence than in our times? Was ever government more despised by the fubjects, than ours is now? Compare our times with thofe of Queen Elizabeth, who refufed fupplies, when offered her, faying, the money was as well in the people's pockets as in her's, till she came to want it.'
The first book conftitutes far the greater half of this volume. The fecond comprehends a fubject to which the public attention is often called: fo much has been and is written on the taxation of the colonies, that it is unneceffary for us to offer many extracts from what this Author delivers; but it may not be improper to tranfcribe a few paffages.
Some fhort-fighted defenders, it is faid, of the late oppreffive measures taken with our American brethren, have attempted to wheedle them into a perfuafion, that their being taxed by the British parliament, in which three millions have not one representative, is no greater hardship than what is suffered by the mother-country, in which, though representation, as I have fhewn in the former volume, is as far from adequate as can well be imagined; yet fix millions have 558 representatives, and in which every man, woman, and child, by living in one county or other, is reprefented by one or two members, who cannot tax them without taxing themselves, their children, their friends, dependants, tenants, &c. If the three millions of colonifts had 279 representatives in parliament (the half of 558) it might then be time to make comparisons between their cafe, and that of the mother country. Till then, or till they have some shadow of reprefentation, nothing can be more abfurd.--The firmness fhewn by the colonifts against what is to them pre
cifely the fame oppreffion as to us it would be to have taxes laid on us by an edict from the throne, has by very high authority, been pronounced fedition and rebellion: but with all due fubmiffion to authority (-truth and juftice are above all authority) when the illuftrious Hampden refifted the lawful fovereign's unlawful demand of only three fhillings and fourpence, because he had no voice in confenting to the laying on the fhip-tax, was he, too, guilty of fedition and rebellion? If he was, we are all rebels, but the jacobites; and our gracious king Geo. III. (whom God preferve) is an ufurper; for the revolution was brought about with the direct defign of preventing any man's property being seized without his confent, given either in perfon or by reprefentative, which makes it the fame to our colonists to be taxed by the parliament of Britain as by that of Paris-Magna Charta and the Bill of Rights prohibit the taxing of the mother country by prerogative, and without confent of those who are to be taxed. If the people of Britain are not to be taxed, but by parliament; because otherwise they might be taxed without their own confent; does it not directly follow, that the colonifts cannot, according to Magna Charta, and the Bill of Rights, be taxed by parliament fo long as they continue unreprefented; because otherwife they may be taxed without their own confent?--It was very fairly made out that the colonists were not, generally fpeaking, in circumftances to pay the ftamp duty. And to raise the price of juftice fo high, that the people fhall not be able to obtain it, is much the fame as flatly denying them juftice; while Magna Charta fays, Nulli negabimus, nulli vendemus juftitiam, &c.Even Governor Bernard (no friend to the colonists) owns their in"I can, fays he, readily recommend ability to bear taxes. that part of the petition, which prays relief against those acts which are made for the purpose of drawing a revenue from the colonies. For they are fo little able to bear drawing money from them, that they are unable at prefent to pay the charges of their support and protection +."-Before the taxing of the unrepresented colonies was thought of, the ministry ought to have reduced exorbitant falaries, abated, or abolished exceffive perquifites, annihilated useless places, ftopped iniquitous penfions, withheld electioneering expences, and bribes for votes in the house, reduced an odious and devouring army, and taxed vice, luxury, gaming, and public diverfions. This would have brought into the treasury ten times more than Grenville could ever expect from taxing, by force and authority, the unreprefented colonies.-Even a conquered city has time given it to raise the contribution laid upon it; and may raise it in its own
+ Governor Bernard to Lord Hillsborough, July 16, 1768.
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way. We have treated our colonies worse than conquered countries. Neither Wales nor Ireland are taxed unheard and unreprefented in the British parliament, as the colonies. Wales fends members to parliament, and Ireland has done fo. And as Ireland is not how reprefented in the British parliament, neither is it taxed in the British parliament.But are then the colonifts, it will be faid, to be complimented with immunity from all fhare of the public burden, while they enjoy their fhare of the public protection?The question was not, Whether the colonifts fhould contribute to the public expence. The Grenvillians knew, that when the requifitions had been made by government, the colonifts had anfwered their demands; particularly in the years 1756, 7, 8, 9, 1760, 61, and 62; they knew that the town of Bofton contributed for feveral years together twelve shillings in the pound. Our government, therefore, thought it but juff to reimburfe the colonies a part of their exceffive expences. But their fucceffors, contrary to the fenfe of all mankind, thought it better to obtain by force, than with a good will. Accordingly we find fo early as A. D. 1765, immediately after the first of the colonifts fhewed a little courage in refufing to fubmit to taxation without reprefentation, orders were given to Governor Bernard to employ the militia under General Gage in fuppreffing the fpirit of liberty.Where would have been the harm of making a fair and moderate propofal to the colonies? If they raised the money in obedience to our requifition, as formerly, all was well. But furely it was foon enough to propofe levying money on them by parliamentary taxation, when they refufed to give upon requifition.'
This is a fpecimen of our Author's manner of treating the fubject of colony-taxation. Thofe readers who may not agree with him in the whole, will yet allow that he poffeffes no small ftrength of argument. A commendable zeal for liberty and public welfare may be thought fometimes to excite in him too much warmth, but his caufe is noble, and his fentiments are liberal. If he means, as the reader may perhaps be led to conclude from fome part of the work, that all the restraints and limitations, under which the colonies are laid by the mother country, by whom they are fecured and affifted, are unreafonable, few we fuppofe will agree with him. It is wisdom in a writer to be cautious of faying too much, even where he reafons well, fince the overloaded carriage is likely to break down or be overturned.
We have taken fo much notice of the former books, that we have left but little room for our Author's account of the army,— a ftanding army, which a small degree of penetration will eafily perceive to be a very dangerous inftitution.