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dered that this diminution will, or will not, be such as is desired for the reformation of the people. If it be sufficient, the manufacture is at an end, and all the reasons against a higher duty are of equal force against this : but if it is not sufficient, we have, at least, omitted part of our duty, and have neglected the health and virtue of the people.

I cannot, my lords, yet discover why a reprieve is desired for this manufacture. Why the present year is not equally propitious to the reformation of mankind, as any will be that may succeed it. It is true we are at war with two nations, and perhaps with more; but war may be better prosecuted without money than without men. And we but little consult the military glory of our country, if we raise supplies for paying our armies, by the destruction of those armies that we are contriving to pay.

We have heard the necessity of reforming the nation by degrees, urged as an argument for imposing first a lighter duty, and afterwards a heavier. This complaisance for wickedness, my lords, is not so defensible as that it should be battered by arguments in form, and therefore I shall only relate a reply made by Webb, the noted walker, upon a parallel occasion,

This man, who must be remembered by many of your lordships, was remarkable for vigour, both of mind and body, and lived wholly upon water for his drink, and chiefly upon vegetables for his other sustenance. He was one day recommending his regimen to one of his friends who loved wine, and who perhaps might somewhat contribute to the prosperity of this spirituous manufacture, and urged him, with great earnestness, to quit a course of luxury, by which his health and his intellects would equally be destroyed. The gentleman appeared convinced, and told him, " that he would conform to his counsel, and thought he could not change his course of life at once, but would leave off strong liquors by degrees. degrees !” says the other with indignation. “ If you

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the duty of either house, to deliberate, without regard 302 LORD CHESTERFIELD'S SPEECH should unhappily fall into the fire, would you caution your servants not to pull you out but by degrees ?"

This answer, my lords, is applicable to the present case. The nation is sunk into the lowest state of cor. ruption; the people are not only vitious, but insolent beyond example. They not only break the laws, but defy them; and yet some of your lordships are for reforming them by degrees.

I am not so easily persuaded, my lords, that our ministers really intend to supply the defects that may hereafter be discovered in this bill. It will doubtless produce money, perhaps much more than they appear to expect from it. I doubt not but the licensed retailers will be more than fifty thousand, and the quantity retailed must increase with the number of retailers

. As the bill will, therefore, answer all the ends intend. ed by it, I do not expect to see it altered; for I have never observed ministers desirous of amending their own errours, unless they are such as have caused a deficiency in the revenue.

Besides, my lords, it is not certain that, when this fund is mortgaged to the publick creditors, they can prevail upon the commons to change the security. They may continue the bill in force, for the reasons

, whatever they are, for which they have passed it; and the good intentions of our ministers, however sincere, may be defeated, and drunkenness, legal drunkenness, established in the nation.

This, my lords, is very reasonable; and therefore we ought to exert ourselves for the safety of the nation

, while the power is yet in our own hands; and, with out regard to the opinion or proceedings of the other house, show that we are yet the chief guardians of the people.

The ready compliance of the commons, with the measures proposed in this bill, has been mentioned here, with a view, I suppose, of influencing us; surely by those who had forgotten our independence

, or resigned their own. It is not only the right

, but to the determinations of the other : for how should the

but

nation receive any benefit from the distinct powers that compose the legislature, unless the determinations are without influence upon eaclı other? If either the example or authority of the commons can divert us from following our own convictions, we are no longer part of the legislature; we have given up our honours, and our privileges; and what then is our concurrence but slavery, or our suffrage but an echo?

The only argument, therefore, that now remains, is the expediency of gratifying those, by whose ready subscription the exigencies our new statesmen have brought upon us have been supported, and of continu. ing the security by which they have been encouraged to such liberal contributions.

Publick credit, my lords, is indeed of very great importance; but publick credit can never be long supported without publick virtue; nor indeed, if the government could mortgage the morals and health of the people, would it be just and rational to confirm the bargain. If the ministry can raise money only by the destruction of their fellow subjects, they ought to abandon those schemes for which the money is neces. sary; for what calamity can be equal to unbounded wickedness?

But, my lords, there is no necessity for a choice, which may cost us or our ministers so much regret : for the same subscriptions may be procured by an offer of the same advantages to a fund of any other kind; and the sinking fund will easily supply any deficiency that might be suspected in another scheme.

To confess the truth, I should feel very little pain from an account that the nation was for some time determined to be less liberal of their contributions; and that money was withheld, till it was known in what expeditions it was to be employed, to what princes subsidies were to be paid, and what advanta. ges were to be purchased by it for our country. I should rejoice, my lords, to hear that the lottery, by which the deficiencies of this duty are to be supplied, was not filled; and that the people were grown, at last, wise enough to discern the fraud, and to prefer

in

support of the war, and shoeboys might contribute to the defence of the house of Austria by raffling for

Having now, my lords, examined, with the utmost candour, all the reasons which have been offered in 304 LORD CHESTERFIELD'S SPEECH honest commerce, by which all may be gainers, to a game by which the greatest number must certainly be losers.

The lotteries, my lords, which former ministers have proposed, have always been censured by those that saw their nature and their tendency; they have been considered as legal cheats, by which the ignorant and the rash are defrauded, and the subtle and avaricious often enriched; they have been allowed to divert the people from trade, and to alienate them from useful industry. A man who is uneasy his circumstances, and idle in his disposition, ca. lects the remains of his fortune, and buys tickets in a lottery ; retires from business; indulges himself in laziness; and waits, in some obscure place, the event of his adventure. Another, instead of employing his stock in trade, rents a garret, and makes it his business, by false intelligence and chimerical alarms

, to raise and sink the price of tickets alternately, takes advantage of the lies which he has himself invented.

Such, my lords, is the traffick that is produced by this scheme of getting money; nor were these in conveniencies unknown to the present ministers in the time of their predecessors, whom they never ceased to pursue with the loudest clamours, whenever the exigencies of the government reduced them to 2 lottery.

If I, my lords, might presume to recommend to our ministers the most probable method of raisinga large sum, for the payment

of the troops of the electorate, I should, instead of the tax and lottery now proposed, advise them to establish a certain number of licensed wheelbarrows, on which the laudable trade of thimble and button might be carried on for the apples. defence of the bill, I cannot conceal the result of my

and

inquiry. The arguments have had so little effect upon my understanding, that, as every man judges of others by himself, I cannot believe that they have any influence even upon those that offer them; and therefore I am convinced that this bill must be the result of considerations which have been hitherto concealed, and is intended to promote designs which are never to be discovered by the authors before their ex. ecution.

With regard to these motives and designs, however artfully concealed, every lord in this house is at liberty to offer his conjectures.

When I consider, my lords, the tendency of this bill, I find it calculated only for the propagation of diseases, the suppression of industry, and the destruction of mankind. I find it the most fatal engine that ever was pointed at a people; an engine by which those who are not killed will be disabled, and those who preserve their limbs will be deprived of their senses.

This bill, therefore, appears to be designed only to thin the ranks of mankind, and to disburthen the world of the multitudes that inhabit it, and is perhaps the strongest proof of political sagacity that our new ministers have yet exhibited. They well know, my lords, that they are universally detested, and that, whenever a Briton is destroyed, they are freed from an enemy; they have therefore opened the floodgates of gin upon the nation, that, when it is less numerous, it may be more easily governed.

Other ministers, my lords, who had not attained to so great a knowledge in the art of making war upon their country, when they found their enemies clamorous and bold, used to awe them with prosecutions and penalties, or destroy them like burglers with prisons and with gibbets. But every age, my lords, produces some improvement; and every nation, how: ever degenerate, gives birth, at some happy period of time, to men of great and enterprising genius. It is our fortune to be witnesses of a new discovery in politicks; we may congratulate ourselves upon being cotemporaries with those men, who have showed that

VOL. I.

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