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The price of land, the intereft of money, the wages of labour, the rates of all forts of products, and the amount of taxes, muft be calculated with fome degree of precifion, in order to annalyze this combination. I have for many years attempted to gain information on this curious point, concerning various countries, If a man in England buys land rented at 12s. an acre, at thirty years purchase, and cultivates it himself, making five rents, he will make not more than from 4 to 5 per cent. and at most 6, speaking of general culture, and not estimating fingular spots or circumftances, and including the capital invested in both land and ftock. I learn, from the correfpondence of the best farmer, and the greatest character the new world has produced, certain circumstances, which enable me to affert, with confidence, that money invested on the fame principles, in the middle ftates of North America, will yield confiderably more than double the return in England, and in many inftances the treble of it. To compare France with these two cafes, is very difficult:-had the National Affembly done for the agriculture of the kingdom what France had a right to expect from FREEDOM, the account would have been advantageous. For buying at 30 years purchase, stocking the the fame as in England, and reckoning products 6 per cent. lower in price (about the fact), the total capital would have paid from 5 to 6 per cent.; landtax reckoned, at 3s. in the pound, which is the proportion of the total tax to the rental of the kingdom*. It is true, that the course of exchange would make an enormous difference, for when exchange is at 15, this ratio per cent. inflead of 5 becomes 11, if the capital is remitted from Britain: but as that immense lofs (50 per cent.) on the exchange of France, arises from the political state of the kingdom, the fame circumftances which caufe it, would be estimated at fo much hazard and danger. But bring to account the operations of the National Affembly, relating to the non-inclosure of commons; the land-tax, variable with improvements, (an article fufficient to stifle the thoughts of fuch a thing); the export of corn at an end; the tranfport every where impeded; and your granaries burnt and plundered at the pleasure of the populace, if they do not like the price; and, above all, the prohibition of the export of all materials of manufactures, as wool, &c. and it is fufficiently clear, that America offers a vastly more

* But this land-tax is variable, and therefore impoffible to eftimate accurately; if you remain no better farmer than your French neighbours, it is so much; but if you improve, you are raised, and they are junk; all that has, and can be said against tythes, bears with equal force against fuch a tax. And though this impofition cannot go by the present law beyond 4s. in the pound, it would be very easy to fhew, by a plain calculation, that 4s. in the pound, rifing with improvement, is a tax impoffible to be borne by one who improves; and confequently, that it is a direct tax on improvement; and it is a tax in the very worst form, fince the power to lay and inforce it, is not in the government of the kingdom, but. in the municipal government of the parish. Your neighbour, with whom you may be on ill terms, has the power to tax you; no fuch private heart-burnings and tyranny are found in excises. 4 C 2


eligible field for the investment of capital in land than France does; a proof that the measures of the National Affembly have been ill-judged, ill-advised, and unpolitical: I had ferious thoughts of fettling in that kingdom, in order to farm there; but the two measures adopted, of a variable land-tax, and a prohibition of the export of wool, damped my hopes, ardent as they were, that I might have breathed that fine climate, free from the extortions of a government, ftupid in this refpect as that of England. It is, however, plain enough, that America is the only country that affords an adequate profit, and in which a man, who calculates with intelligence and precifion, can think of investing his capital. How different would this have been, had the National Affembly conducted themselves on principles directly contrary; had they avoided all land taxes *; had they preferved the free corn-trade, a trade of import more than of export; had they been filent upon inclosures; and done nothing in relation to raw materials, the profit of inveftments would have been higher in France than in America, or any country in the world, and immenfe capitals would have flowed into the kingdom from every part of Europe: fcarcity and famine would not have been heard of, and the national wealth would have been equal to all the exigencies of the period.

* To have avoided land-taxes, might very eafily have been made a most popular measure, in a kingdom fo divided into little properties as France is. No tax is fo heavy upon a small proprietor; and the economistes might have foreseen what has happened, that fuch little democratic owners would not pay the tax; but taxes on confumption, laid as in England, and not in the infamous methods of the old government of France, would have been paid by them in a light proportion, without knowing it; but the economistes, to be confiftent with their old pernicious doctrines, took every step to make all, except land-taxes, unpopular; and the people were ignorant enough to be deceived into the opinion, that it was better to pay a tax on the bread put into their children's mouths---and, what is worse, on the land which ought, but does not produce that bread, than to pay an excife on tobacco and falt; better to pay a tax which is demanded equally, whether they have or have not the money to pay it, than a duty which, mingled with the price of a luxury, is paid in the easiest mode, and at the most convenient moment. In the writings of the economistes, you hear of a free corn trade, and free export of every thing, being the recompence for a land-tax; but see their actions in power---they impose the burthen, and forget the recompenfe!

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IN the last moment which the preparation for publication allows me to use, the intelligence is arrived of a declaration of war on the part of France against the House of Auftria ;-the gentlemen in whofe company I hear it, all announce destruction to France;-they will be beat ;-they want difcipline ;—they have no fubordination;-and this idea I find general. So cautiously as I have avoided prophetic prefumption through the preceding pages, I shall scarcely affume it fo late in my labours ;-but thus much I may venture,-that the expectation of destruction to France has many difficulties to encounter. Give all you please to power of field evolution, depending on the utmost strictness of difcipline -you must admit that it bears only on the queftion of battles. But guarded as France is, by the moft important frontier fortreffes the world knows, why hazard battles? Undifciplined troops behind walls and within works, are known on experience to be effective: and where are the refources to be found that shall attack those strong holds 700 miles from home? I was at Lifle, Metz, and Strasbourg; and if the military intelligence I had was accurate, it would demand 100,000 men, completely provided with every thing for a fiege, three months to take either of those towns, fuppofing them well provided and well defended. We know, on pofitive experience, what the Austrians and Pruffians led by fome of the greatest men that have existed, were able to do in fieges, when undertaken. at their own doors;-what will they effect against places ten times as ftrong and 700 miles from home? It is a matter of calculation-of pounds and fhillings;-not of difcipline and obedience.

But many depend on the deranged ftate of the French finances; that derangement flows abfolutely from a vain attempt at preferving public credit :-the National Affembly will fee its futility; mifery; ruin; the NATION must be preferved what on comparison is public credit?

The divifions, factions, and internal disturbances, offer to others the hope of a civil war. It ought to be a vain hope. During peace, fuch difficulties fill the papers, and are dwelt upon, till men are apt to think them terrible; in war they are TREASON, and the gallows fweeps from the world, and the columns of a gazette the actors and the recital.


Oil and vinegar-fire and water-Pruffians and Austrians are united to carry war amongst 26 millions of men, arranged behind 100 of the strongest fortresses in the world.—If we are deceived, and Frenchmen are not fond of freedom, but will fight for defpotifm-fomething may be done; for then France falls by the power of France: but if united but tolerably, the attack will be full of difficulties in a country where every man, woman, and child is an enemy, that fights for freedom.

But, suppose this idea erroneous-suppose an impreffion made-and that the German banners were flying at Paris.-Where is the fecurity of the rest of Europe? Is the divifion of Poland forgotten? Is an unforeseen union of two or three great powers to protrude through Europe a predominancy dangerous to all? Gentlemen, who indulge their wishes for a counter-revolution in France, do not, perhaps, wish to see the Pruffian colours at the Tower, nor the Austrian at Amsterdam. Yet fuccefs to the cause might plant them there. Should real danger arise to France, which I hold to be problematical, it is the business, and direct intereft of her neighbours, to fupport her.

The revolution, and anti-revolution parties of England, have exhausted themfelves on the French question; but there can be none, if that people should be in danger :-WE hold at prefent the balance of the world; and have but to speak, and it is fecure.

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