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did on the opening of this session. We have had some leading successes.

But those who rate them at the highest (higher a great deal indeed than I dare to do) are of opinion, that, upon the ground of such advantages, we cannot at this time hope to make any treaty of peace, which would not be ruinous and completely disgraceful. In such an anxious state of things, if dawnings of success serve to animate our diligence, they are good ; if they tend to increase our presumption, they are worse than defeats. The state of our affairs shall then be as promising as any one may choose to conceive it: it is, however, but promising. We must recollect, that, with but half of our natural strength, we are at war against confederated powers, who have singly threatened us with ruin; we must recollect, that, whilst we are left naked on one side, our other flank is uncovered by any alliance; that, whilst we are weighing and balancing our successes against our losses, we are accumulating debt to the amount of at least fourteen millions in the year. That loss is certain.

I have no wish to deny, that our successes are as brilliant as any one chooses to make them; our resources too may, for me, be as unfathomable as they are represented. Indeed, they are just whatever the people possess, and will submit to pay. Taxing is an easy business. Any projector can contrive new impositions; any bungler can add to

the

the old. But is it altogether wise to have no other bounds to your impositions, than the patience of those who are to bear them ? All I claim

upon the subject of your resources is this, that they are not likely to be increased by wasting them.--I think I shall be permitted to assume, that a system of frugality will not lessen your riches, whatever they may be ;-I believe it will not be hotly disputed, that those resources which lie heavy on the subject, ought not to be objects of preference; that they ought not to be the very first choice, to an honest representative of the people.

This is all, Sir, that I shall say upon our circumstances and our resources: I mean to say a little more on the operations of the enemy, because this matter seems to me very natural in our present deliberation. When I look to the other side of the water, I cannot help recollecting what Pyrrhus said on reconnoitring the Roman camp, “ These « barbarians have nothing barbarous in their dis“ cipline.” When I look, as I have pretty carefully looked, into the proceedings of the French king, I am sorry to say it, I see nothing of the character and genius of arbitrary finance; none of the bold frauds of bankrupt power; none of the wild struggles, and plunges, of despotism in distress ;-no lopping off from the capital of debt; -no suspension of interest ;-—no robbery under the name of loan ;-no raising the value, no debasing the substance of the coin. I see neither Louis the Fourteenth nor Louis the Fifteenth. On the contrary, I behold with astonishment, rising before me, by the very hands of arbitrary power, and in the very midst of war and confusion, a regular, methodical system of publick credit: I behold a fabrick laid on the natural and solid foundations of trust and confidence among men; and rising, by fair gradations, order over order, according to the just rules of symmetry and art. What a reverse of things! Principle, method, regularity, economy, frugality, justice to individuals, and care of the people, are the resources with which France makes war upon Great Britain. God avert the omen! But if we should see any genius in war and politicks arise in France to second what is done in the bureau !>I turn my eyes

from the consequences. The noble lord in the blue riband, last year, treated all this with contempt. He never could conceive it possible that the French minister of finance could go through that year with a loan of but seventeen hundred thousand pounds; and that he should be able to fund that loan without any tax. The second

The second year, however, opens the very same scene. A small loan, a loan of no more than two millions five hundred thousand pounds, is to carry our enemies through the service of this year also. No tax is raised to fund that debt; no tax is raised for the current services. I am credibly informed that there is no anticipation whatsoever. * Compensations are correctly made. Old debts continue to be sunk as in the time of profound peace. Even payments, which their treasury had been authorized to suspend during the time of war, are not suspended.

year

9

A general reform, executed through every department of the revenue, creates an annual income of more than half a million, whilst it facilitates and simplifies all the functions of administration. The king's householdat the remotest avenues to which all reformation has been hitherto stopped, that household, which has been the strong hold of prodigality, the virgin fortress which was never before attacked-has been not only not defended, but it has, even in the forms, been surrendered by the king to the economy of his minister. No capitulation; no reserve. Economy has entered in triumph into the publick splendour of the monarch, into his private amusements, into the appointments of his nearest and highest relations. Economy and publick spirit have made a beneficent and an honest spoil ; they have plundered

from

* This term comprehends various retributions made to persons whose offices are taken away, or who, in any

other way, suffer by the new arrangements that are made.

from extravagance and luxury, for the use of substantial service, a revenue of near four hundred thousand pounds. The reform of the finances, joined to this reform of the court, gives to the publick nine hundred thousand pounds a year and upwards.

The minister who does these things is a great man-But the king who desires that they should be done is a far greater. We must do justice to our enemics-These are the acts of a patriot king. I am not in dread of the vast armies of France : I am not in dread of the gallant spirit of its brave and numerous nobility: I am not alarmed even at the great navy which has been so miraculously created. All these things Louis the Fourteenth had before. With all these things, the French monarchy has more than once fallen prostrate at the feet of the publick faith of Great Britain. It was the want of publick credit which disabled France from recovering after her defeats, or recovering even from her victories and triumphs. It was a prodigal court, it was an ill-ordered revenue, that sapped the foundations of all her great

Credit cannot exist under the arm of necessity. Necessity strikes at credit, I allow, with a heavier and quicker blow. under an arbitrary monarchy, than under a limited and balanced government: but still necessity and credit are natural enemies, and cannot be long reconciled in R

any

ness.

VOL. III.

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