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advance and prompt payment; hence publick credit is saken; and hence great numbers find their profit in prolonging the war.
It is odd, that among a free trading people, as we call ourselves, there should fo many be found to close in with those counsels, who have been ever averse from all overtures towards a peace: but yet there is no great mystery in the matter. Let
any man observe the equipages in this town, he shall find the greater number of those, who make a figure, to be a species of men quite different from any, that were ever known before the revolution; confisting either of generals and colonels, or of those, whose whole fortunes lie in funds and stocks; so that power, which according to the old maxim was used to follow land, is now gone over to money ; and the country gentleman is in the condition of a young heir, out of whose estate a fcrivener receives half the rents for interest, and hath a mortgage on the whole; and is therefore always ready to feed his vices and extravagancies, while there is anything left. So that if the war continue some years longer, a landed man will be little better
than a farmer of a rack-rent to the army and to the publick funds.
It may perhaps be worth enquiring, from what beginnings and by what steps we have been brought into this desperate condition : and in search of this we must run up as high as the revolution.
Most of the nobility and gentry, who invited over the prince of Orange, or attended him in his expedition, were true lovers of their country and its constitution in church and state; and were brought to yield to those breaches in the succession of the crown, out of a regard to the necessity of the kingdom and the safety of the people, which did, and could only, make them lawful; but without intention of drawing such a practice into precedent, or making it a standing measure by which to proceed in all times to come ; and therefore we find their counsels ever tended to keep things, as much as possible, in the old course. But soon after, and under(nig sett of men, who had nothing to lose, and had neither borne the burthen nor heat of the day, found means to whisper in the king's ear, that the principles of loyalty in
the church of England were wholly inconfiftent with the revolution. Hence began the early practice of caressing the Diffenters, reviling the universities, as maintainers of arbitrary power, and reproaching the clergy with the doctrines of divine right, pasive obedience, and non-resistance. At the same time, in order to fasten wealthy people to the new government, they proposed those pernicious expedients of borrowing money by vast premiums, and at exorbitant interest: a practice as old as Eumenes, one of Alexander's captains, who, setting up for himself after the death of his master, persuaded his principal officers to lend him great sums, after which they were forced to follow him for their own security
This introduced a number of new dextrous men into business and credit. It was argued, that the war could not last above two or three campaigns; and that it was easier for the subjects to raise a fund for paying interest, than to tax them annually to the full expence of the war. Several persons, who had small or incumbered estates, fold them, and turned their mo
ney into those funds, to great advantage : merchants, as well as other monied men, finding trade was dangerous, pursued the fame method. But the war continuing, and growing more expensive, taxes were increased, and funds multiplied every year, till they have arrived at the monstrous height we now behold them; and that, which was at first a corruption, is at last grown necessary, and what every good fubject must now fall in with, although he
may be allowed to wish it might foon have an end; because it is with a kingdom as with a private fortune, where every new incumbrance adds a double weight. By this means the wealth of a nation, that used to be reckoned by the value of land, is now computed by the rise and fall of stocks: and although the foundation of credit be still the same, and upon a bottom that can never be shaken, and although all interest be duly paid by the publick; yet, through the contrivance and cunning of stock-jobbers, there hath been brought in fuch a complication of knavery and cozenage, such a mystery of iniquity, and such an unintelligible jargon of terms
to involve it in, as were never known in any other age or country in the world. I have heard it affirmed by persons skilled in these calculations, that if the funds appropriated to the payment of interest and annuities were added to the yearly taxes, and the four-fhilling aid strictly exacted in all counties of the kingdom, it would very near, if not fully, supply the occasions of the war; at least such a part as, in the opinion of very able persons, had been at that time prudent not to exceed. For I make it a question, Whether any wise prince or state in the continuance of a war, which was not purely defensive, or immediately at his own door, did ever propose that his expence should perpetually exceed what he was able to impose annually upon his subjects? Neither if the war last many years longer, do I see how the next generation will be able to begin another ; which in the course of human affairs, and according to the various interests and ambition of princes, may be as necessary for them, as it hath been for us. And if our fathers had left us as deeply involved, as we are likely to leave our