Page images

to state, that the Bank are desired to furnish only Three Millions for a limited time, and on unquestionable security —that their advances to Government, including this sum, will be far less than the amount at which they have generally stood for a long series of years, both in War and Peace that the sufficiency of their Funds is unquestion. able—that they can spare the money without inconveni. ence, and employ it thus with advantage to themselves that their Notes are every where received at par-that the issue will not increase their paper beyond what the circu. lation of the Country naturally calls for—and that it will, as far as it goes, supply Government with money at a cheaper rate of interest, and with less difficulty, than the same sum could otherwise be procured. All this may be true. It is true too, that the issue of Assignats in France had no limit in the amount, and rested on no solid Security—it actually was carried to the amount of above Three Hundred Millions--it was issued at a discount that reduced it successively to a half, a fourth, a tenth, a buna dredth of its nominal value, and increased in the same proportion the Public Expence.—Their circulation, while they had any, was maintained only by Force, and led to nothing but national bankruptcy and individual ruin.---All this the Jacobin Writers and Orators know as well as we do; but, for all this, they will not abandon their fimile. By repeating the assertion often enough, they expect at last, though they cannot talk themselves into believing it, to talk the world (as they have done in many other instances) into admitting it.

The same sort of battery has been opened against other parts of the Plan of Finance now under consideration; and we may expect a brisker fire, in proportion as they see the extent to which the Plan is likely to contribute to the support of Public Credit, and to strengthen our exertions against the Enemy. thing to which it is intended to be applied ? Was it the 'word Requisition, which we detested in the rigours and and exac: ons practised in France ? In its simple signification, there is little to quarrel with. If it were not for the odium which it has recently incurred by the abuse of it, these Gentlemen might repeat it as often as they please. The power of requiring the Subjects of every state to contribute, in a due proportion, a part of their Personal Exertions, or of their property, for the Public Defence, is in itself what no Government need attempt to disclaim; for without it no Government could exist. But the occasion on which this Power is exerted, the extent to which it is carried, the object to which it is applied, and the manner in which it is enforced ; these are what constitute the difference between the arbitrary and wanton exactions of Despotism, for the purposes of Ambition, and the just but necessary demand of a prudent and vigourous Government for the National Safety and Defence. This simple distinction is the only answer which we need oppose to the false cry which is so impudently attempted to be imposed on the Public. If the effort we are called upon to make, comes within the latter description, we shall not be deterred from it because the enormities practised in France are a striking instance of the former.'

That we are unavoidably driven to the continuance of the War in our own defence, because the Enemy will neither discuss our Terms of Peace, nor propose any themselves, is notorious and undisputed. The necessity of unusual exertion at such a.crisis is not denied.—The general wealth of the Country, and its power to sustain a great effort, are universally admitted. . It is at the same time generally felt, that the greatest inconvenience to be apprehended from the continued expence of War, is the too great accumulation of our Capital, and the farther depreciation which might be apprehended in the Funds; and on this idea the hopes and projects of the Enemy are known, and avowed principally to rest.

Under these circumstances, it is proposed to reduce the Loan within safe and moderate limits, by raising a large part of the Supplies within the year, from a Contribution diffused over as large a proportion as possible of the Property of the Country.

A Plan is also suggested for redeeming, by the same means, a large proportion of whatever is borrowed, so rapidly as to prevent the State from feeling any permanent incumbrances upon it. The Tax for this purpose, is proposed to be levied on a scale which will be distributed in a proportion apparently fair over all the principal classes of society. It exempts altogether the poorer order, and it admits of reduction and abatement in favour of any descriptions included in it, on which it might bear with peculiar hardship. Such a plan has in it, at first view, enough to recommend it to the Friends of the Country, and the Enemies of France; enough, of course, to excite the utmost alarm among the Writers and Statesmen to




whom we have referred. The spirit and zeal of the Nation appears so high, that there is little doubt of their being inclined chearfully to adopt so prudent and vigourous a measure. Should this happen, the chief hopes of our Foreign Enemy, and of their Partizans at home, will at once be frustrated. The prophecies of Bankruptcy and Ruin are at an end. The Determination and Resources of the Country will be proved beyond dispute, and its Credit established for ages, on a firmer basis than ever. This prospect is too much for any good Jacobin to bear ! But what is to be done? After racking their invention, and exhausting their talents for Misrepresentation, they have found nothing in the Plan on which they can fix rational objection. They cannot deny the necessity of this measure, or of some other as effectual. They cannot dispute its efficacy or practicability; and they are far from offering any thing to be substituted in its place. The few cavils they have attempted to raise, have been silenced by the bare statement of the outline of the Plan in Parliament. -In this desperate situation, nothing is left but to try the stratagem (hopeless as it may seem) which we have before described. To this their efforts are now directed they cannot attack the substance of the measure; but they can give it a bad name. Accordingly, the Jacobin Press now echoes the opprobrious cpithets of “ Jacobin," French,and “ Revolutionary.” The measure is to be spoken of only by the term “ Requisition;" and if they can fix this word upon it, they hope the bare mention of it will excite all the horror which (in spite of all their efforts to the contrary) deservedly attended it, in the way in which it was applied in France. But can they really Alatter themselves that the bare sound of the word will be sufficient for the purpose, without any examination of the

[ocr errors]

What is now attempted to be called Requisition in England, is a Call on a Willing and Loyal People to sacrifice a moderate proportion of their Income in Defence of their whole Property, and in support of their ancient Religion, Laws, and Liberties. In France, this name was applied to a System of Universal Plunder and Confiscation, which dissipated the whole Capital Wealth of the Country, in support of a new and intolerable Ty.


EXAMINER. 91 ranny at home, and of unbounded Ambition abroad. If we bear this distinction in mind, we shall only have to thank these new Enemies of French Principles, for reminding us against what it is that we are called upon to contend against the real and genuine spirit of Jacobinism, ai d all the consequences which result from it against the principles and the practice of ROBESPIERRE, which the present Rulers of France are more than ever attempting to revive and to extend over the rest of Europe. We shall judge for ourselves, whether the temporary sacrifice required from us, is too great for the objects we have at stake. We shall not be more on our guard against the open attacks of our Enemy, than against the detected artifices of their Tools and Emissaries, who would persuade us to relinquish our best and most effectual means of resistence. They will as little succeed in this new attempt to promote the cause of Jacobinism, under the pretence of censuring and attacking it, as they have done hitherto in the Projects so long pursued, and now suddenly exploded, of recommending it to our applause and imitation.


The curiosity, and even anxiety, which several of our Readers have

expressed respecting the final Declaration expected from the Party,
upon the subject of the events of the 18th Fructidor, have induced
us to lay before them an Authentic Copy of a part of a future Morn-
ing Chronicle, which a Correspondent of ours has had the good for- .
tune to anticipate.

The celebration of this great Epoch of the French Revolution had excited a general enthusiasın. The Din


« PreviousContinue »