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*** A translation of the travels of the Marquis de Chasellux, .by an Englishman,' hath appeared, and if we may judge by a glance of the eye, over the great number of notes that are added, the work hash received much improvement by the tranilator: but of this we shall know more, when we have perused the whole of this North American Journal.
II. Nouvelles Vues fur l’Administration des Finances : i. e. New Considerations on the Administration of the Finances, and on Jestening the Weight of Taxation. By M. Hocquart de Couvron. 8vo. Printed at the Hague, 1785. Sold by Payne, &c. London,
The Author of these confiderations proposes, in lieu of all customs, duties, &c. at present laid on merchandice, and goods of all sorts, a general tax on the retail of every article of convenience and luxury, of one tenth of the price of the goods. He exciudes, as improper objects of taxation, every article neceffary for the support of life; and such as are che produce of agriculture or industry. He would have the retailer to be the collector of this tax, and to be accountable for it to government, at stated times, yearly or half yearly. M. de Coubron estimates the annual produce of this tax at 800 millions of livres, making the whole return of the retail traders in France to be 8000 millions. Although he thews the justness of this cal. culation, and the propriety of the plan, yet it is subject to so many objections, and is in itself so vague, that great difficulties mult neceflarily occur in the execution of it, allowing it to be even more productive than the Author supposes it. The first difficulty would be to determine what are the conveniences and luxuries of life, and what are the necessaries. M. de Coubron would tax only conveniences and luxuries, but not the produce of agriculture and industry; but how can they be separated ? are not the luxuries of life, or the greatest part of them, either the produce of rural or mechanic industry? Wine, and filk, two of the most considerable articles of luxury in France, are the produce of both these kinds of induftry: but there would be no end of examples. The great and general objection to the tax here recommended, is, that it is a tax only on the luxuries of life, and not on the necessaries; for when luxuries and conveniences are taxed, the people may take it into their heads not to indulge themselves in these luxuries; and, consequently, the produce of the tax will be uncertain, and perhaps considerably deficient; on the contrary, the neceilaries of life are sure, and certain in their consumprion, and for that reason will always afford a certain produce, independent on the whim or inclination of the consumer.
Belide this new scheme of taxation our Author has added some observations on the gabels, on the balance of commerce, on A a 2
loans, on interest, and other political and commercial subjects of which M. Necker has amply treated : M. de Coubron, however, does not appear so thoroughly acquainted with the subject as M, Necker, on whose writings he passes some ftri&tures. There are however several things in this performance which are curious and well worth the consideration of statesmen and financiers, especially what the writer offers on the interest of money, and the proportion which it ought to bear to the value of landed property.
For A PRI L, 1787. COMMERCIAL TREATY with FRANCE. Art. 11. Danger at our Doors, An Address to the Freemen of London,
and of every corporate Town in the Kingdom, on the unconftitu. tional and injurious Tendency of the Fifth Article of the Com. mercial Treaty. By a Liveryman of London. 8vo. 1S. French. T HIS liveryman of London compares the present treaty with
that formed at Utrecht, in order to prove that in the Utrecht treaty there was a saving clause for the protection of corporation rights, which are now thrown open to French traders, though shut against our own countrymen. If we reply, that the same privileges that are granted to Frenchmen here, are allowed to Englishmen in France ; he rejoins, • but let us remember, that an Englishman would starve in France, upon what would feast a Frenchman in England.' If there be any thing beyond a vulgar jest in this assertion, it includes a reproach on our countrymen that unfits them for any commendable exertions, or competition whatever : for if Frenchmen and Scotsmen surpass us in industry and frugality, the more of each that pour in upon us the better, whatever becomes of those whom they supplant by these laudable qualities.
But our livery man goes on : • Is such a confideration fit for an Englishman? Where should an Englishman so properly procure sub. sistence, as in his native country? Were the multitude of aliens who now swarm through this kingdom to depart, no Englithman need visit a foreign clime for maintenance. Their present numbers may convince us how much they covet the participation of our trade, and what we are to expect when the communication is laid open, and Frenchmen are privileged to elbow us out of our feats of business, and laugh at us for our folly. If, however, our domestic trade be of that consequence that is represented by intelligent writers, the more foreigners we can naturalize among us, the more our home con 'umption will be enlarged; and while we increase in popula. rion, can it be an object of consideration where the individuals were born? What would this liveryman say, if he were reproached with being of Dutch or Danish extraction ? But the argument is too ridi. culous to combat.
As to the privileges of corporations, they appear to be reserved as plainly as words can express. For though the fifth article of this commercial treaty, granting a mutual freedom of trade in each coun: try, be materially the same as it was in the treaty of Utrecht; and though the following words in the latter treaty are left out in the one now concluded, namely, 'on this condition, however that they shall not sell the same by retail in thops, or any where else;' this omiffion, the ground of his apprehenfions, is supplied by words more conclu. five : • Neither are they to be burthened with any impofitions of duties on account of the said freedom of trade, or for any other cause whatsoever, except those which are to be paid for their ships and merchandizes conformably to the regulations of the present treaty, or those to whicb the subjects of the two contratting parties ball themselves be liable' Consequently, a Frenchman can no more open a retail shop in Cheapfide, than an Englithman who is not a member of the cor. poration of London.
IRELAND. Art, 12The present State of the Church of Ireland : containing a
Description of its precarious Situation ; and the consequent Danger to the Public. "Recommended to the serious Confideration of the Friends of the Protestant Interest. To which are subjoined fome Reflections on the Impracticability of a proper Commutation for Tithes; and a general Account of the Origin and Progress of the Iosurrections in Munster. By Richard Lord Bishop of Cloyne. Reprinted from the Dublin Edition. 8vo. 29. Cadell. 1787.
The occasion and objects of this representation, are thus explained in the Preface :
• My residence during five months in the centre of those tumults, which have been so disgraceful and injurious to one province in Ireland, and an extensive correspondence with the clergy, afforded me opportunities of knowing facts. It was my official duty to collect, and to communicate them : for such a proceeding alone could spread the neceffary alarm to the inhabitants of the more diftant parts of the kingdom, and even of the capital; who were taught to think those difturbances of little moment. There was likewise as great a necessity to take measures for vindicating the character of the national clergy, and afferring their legal and constitutional rights, as for securing their persons from further violence. A state of the church, laid before the public, without reserve of any kind, appeared to me the only sure method of removing prejudices; of defeating inalevolence; of frui. trating schemes for undermining the constitution ; and clearing away such obstructions, as the union of persons, actuated by those different motives, might create, to the good intentions of his Grace the Lord Lieutenant.'
The Bithop enters into a very sensible and candid inquiry concerning our ecclefiaftical constitution, which, he contends, is perfectly suitable to the liberality of our political syitem of government: and further thews, that, on a review of the several countries in Europe, one cannot fail to observe, that almost every legislature as adopted an ecclefiaftical polity, conformable to ihe genius of the civil nstitution. At the same time that he urges the necelity of fupA a 3
porting this polity, he confiders the Roman Catholics, and other Dissenters, as intitled to a full toleration and freedom of religion. But the Catholics are all zealous in making proselytes; and the Presbyterians of Ireland are Independents in a civil view, whose • principles do not, like those of the Roman Catholics, tend to set up, but merely to pull down an ecclesiastical establishment.' Hence results this conclusion, that of the three persuasions, the members of the established church alone can be cordial friends to the intire conftitution of this realm, with perfect consiliency of principle.'
• From this view of the general principles of the two great bodies of Diflenters, it is evident, that though they may acquiesce for a time, in establishments which they dilike, from love of quiet; yet whenevir a safe opportunity shall ofter, to give free scope, those principles will operate. The weight of the national church ought therefore to be preserved, in the balance of the State ; which balance must be as effectually destroyed, by whatever weakens the ecclefiafti. cal establishment, as by a positive addition of strength to either of the Diffenting communions. That this is the immediate tendency, if not the premeditated design, not only of the riotous proceedings in Munster, but of the principles disseminated by some of the public prints, shall be clearly proved in the following pages.'
This leads the Author to a full inquiry into the nature of tithes as a stated provision for the national clergy, in opposition to the friends to innovation who aim at a reduction of their incomes. The right of the clergy to tithes has indeed been sufficiently agitated ; and could we enter again into so well known a subject, it would appear that it has never been argued in a more dispassionate manner, nor the difficulty of substituting a satisfactory equivalent for them been so fully tlated, as in the present performance. But lill nothing that has been said in behalf of tithes, can obviate an appearance of bear. ing hard upon industry. If any thing could, it would perhaps be the argument that they are a provision adapted to the variations of fer. nility, riting and falling according to the fate of crops, and the abi. lity of the farmer; and that if they were relinquished, it would not operate to the ease of the farmer, but for the emolument of his landlord.
But, however cogent the objections against tithes may be, the clergy of Ireland do not appear to be an enviable class of men with Jespect to this mode of maintenance, whatever may be said of their brethren in more favourable fituations: as will be evident from a coinparison between the two churches of England and Irciand.
That of England is completely retilen. That of Ireland is scarce half advanced to a settlement. The country in England is divided into parithes fo small, that every diflrict is accommodated with a church, and house for a resident minister. The country in Ireland is divided into parishes and unions fo exterlive, that it is the fically im pollible for the clergyman to perform his duty properly ; and few of those parishes are furnished with glebes, and itill fewer wi! houses, a defect which an impoverished clergy can never fupily. - The hisher ranks of the clergy in England are supported by the lands belorning to ancient Chapters, or other religious ettablishments. The eculesiastical dignities in Ireland depend on tithes.
In England, the legal rights of the clergy, including tithe of those articles which constitute the food of the poorest class, are not withheld by mobs, by associations against law, by arbicrary resolutions of one House of Parliament: In many parts of Ireland, particular kinds of riches are already given up by the clergy to the violence of the populace, to illegal combinations, to a want of confidence in the oaths of jurymen, and to the dread of displeasing the House of Commons. In many parts of Ulster, potatoes, the food of the poor, arę totally exempted (as above) from paying tithes; and flax, the material of their industry, is subject (very wisely and equitably to be sure!) to the payment of fixpence only, let the quantity be great or small. The landed gentlemen grudge not to the clergy the entire privilege of contributing to the relief, or employment of the poor. But ftill they do not forget entirely, that the clergy could spare somewhat even to them; for with the same diftributive justice chey fixed a rate (which they are pleased to style a modus) of 6d. for any quantity of hay, great or small : by this happy expedint completing that admirable plan for the depopulation of the kingdom, begun so hopefully by their representatives in the vote on Agiltment.-In England, tithe in kind is given without murmuring, for in England, property is considered as a thing sacred ; and the landed gentleman does not look with indifference on forcible invasions of it, though he allows his tenant a comfortable maintenance. In Ireland the clergyman is reviled, even in the great councils of the nation, as an extortioner, for asking half the value of bis tithe; and represented as an oppreffor of the poor, because he does not c ntribute more than half his tenth, to help the cottager to pay an exorbitant rent for the other nine parts; no credit being allowed to him, for giving up his tithe of all the grass-lands, and several other articles, from love of peace, not from ignorance of the legality of the demand.-The ascendency of the established church, and the Proteftant interest, is secure in England. Though there are Diflenters of many various denominations, yet their united number is trifling, compared to that of the members of the established church ; and they are almost all Proteftants. In Ireland, the Protestants are not one-fourth of the people; the members of the establishment, little more than an eighth. - The landed gentleman in England has no reason to apprehend the growth of Popery; nor, Tould it prevail, has he the same motives to dread it, as the landed gentleman in this kingdom.'
To these circumitances is to be added the very great obstacle to an intercourse between the clergy and the people, by the difference of their language; while a Catholic prieit is always at hand who is master of the Irish language.
The Bishop gives a circumstantial detail of the sufferings of the clergy under the outrageous combinations that have of late set all law and government at defiance: but the news-p-pers have so plentifully informed us of their excefles, that our Readers need only aslift their recollections with the above recited general itate of ecclefiaftical affairs, to conceive the arduous tark of clerical incumbents to fuihl their obligations in such irksome circumstances.
The principal obitructions which the national clergy of Ireland have to overcome, in order to a due di charge of treir dury, are reда 4