The Naked Truth appeared anonymously on or about August 27, 1755. It was advertised that day in the Public Advertiser.1 It must have been completed during that month, for it cites an article that had appeared in that paper on July 30, 1755. The second edition, which appeared soon after September 6, 1755,2 incorporated a number of corrections and additions, including a second dedication and an appendix concerning General Braddock’s defeat at Great Meadows on July 9, 1755.
The evidence that Oglethorpe wrote The Naked Truth seems persuasive. Apparently no other author has ever been suggested; and a copy of the first edition in the British Library bears the signature, or ascription “Oglethorpe.” 3 It appears in a hand similar to that in two letters that Oglethorpe wrote to his friend Marshal Keith in late 1755 and the spring of 1756.4 The circumstances of publication reinforce the attribution. In the second edition, The Naked Truth is designated number 1 of a new periodical, like the short-lived Sailor’s Advocate; and the author promised, “I . . . shall, from Time to Time, publish such Things as I shall think fit for your service” (pp. vii-viii). On October 3, 1755, the Public Advertiser announced, “Soon will be published, Naked Truth, No. 2” (p. 4). The “third edition” (perhaps a new impression, but more likely merely a new issue) was advertised there a few days later, on October 6. However, although the first three “editions” were widely advertised, the fourth and fifth were not advertised at all, and number 2 never appeared. Such a pattern fits in with the activities of Oglethorpe at the time. In the summer and early fall of 1755 he had ample time for writing, as he had lately been deprived of virtually all his former activities. In September, however, he petitioned the king for the reactivation and command of his disbanded Georgia regiment; and when in October he found that his bête noire, the Duke of Cumberland, had passed him over for any command at all, he had no leisure for writing. He was preparing to leave England as soon as he could, for he feared that in his resentment he might become involved in a duel with one of Cumberland’s hangers-on.5
The internal evidence seems to confirm the ascription. The views seem Oglethorpe’s, and the classical parallels follow his frequent practice. He had used the mathematics of finance before, notably in A New and Accurate Account, and he was to do so later, in his Corsican letters. The author’s praise of Admiral Edward Vernon (1684–1757) and General Thomas Wentworth (1693–1747) is especially suggestive. Vernon was a longtime friend of Oglethorpe, and he may have suggested the title by his attack on the Ministry in A Specimen of Naked Truth from a British Sailor (1746). Wentworth had presided at Oglethorpe’s second court-martial. Oglethorpe’s Irish heritage, through his mother, and his American experiences may have led him to address the pamphlet to “THE PEOPLE OF Great Britain, Ireland, and America.” When the author cites the ability of the Spanish in 1718 to supply the invading army of De Lede on Sicily in spite of the British fleet offshore, he may well have been remembering his own brief service in Italy and Sicily at the outset of that campaign.6 And his futile effort to capture St. Augustine is conjured up when the author laments how the Spaniards “could withdraw into inaccessible Places, and leave you to lose your Troops and Fleets.”
In The Naked Truth Oglethorpe developed with considerable detail his contention that war with France would afflict all except some moneylenders and a few fortunate officers. Not only would the families of the soldiers and sailors suffer greatly, but the increased taxes and interest would entail hardships upon the poor, the middle class, and the country gentry. Like William Pitt,7 Oglethorpe developed the adverse effects that war would have upon Britain’s economy, which was already suffering from an unfavorable balance of trade. With its different tax system, Oglethorpe reasoned, France could finance a war with much greater ease and prospects of success. Like Pitt again, Oglethorpe was also concerned for the devastating effect of war upon England’s sinking fund.
The Naked Truth was of course neither the first nor the last opposition to a declaration of war against France and against subsidizing foreign nations such as Prussia and Russia for the protection of Hanover—whither King George II had retired for his usual summer vacation. In the Gentleman’s Magazine and the newspapers for the past year, many among the merchant group, especially, had opposed a war with France, and particularly an expedition into the Ohio country. However, as both Oglethorpe and Pitt may have realized, they were attempting to oppose a military policy that had become virtually inevitable; for when the news reached England of Colonel George Washington’s defeat at Fort Necessity, on July 4, 1754, the Duke of Cumberland rapidly consolidated his influence to assure a military, rather than a diplomatic solution to the Anglo-French disputes.8 Indeed so powerful was Cumberland at the time that Oglethorpe’s anonymity in The Naked Truth may have had a special cause. He usually withheld his name, but here even the publisher adopted a pseudonym, “A. Price.”9 The unusual ironic style of the pamphlet seems appropriate for a thwarted general who perhaps realized that he was opposing Cumberland in a hopeless cause.
Since there were only two actual editions, I have based my text upon the first, but have incorporated the additions, corrections, and substantive changes that Oglethorpe made in his second edition, specifying these in the notes. The Naked Truth, incidentally, is apparently the only pamphlet of Oglethorpe to be translated.10 A French version by Edmé Jacques Genet appeared in “London” (Paris?) in 1755 as La Vérité Révélée.
—Ridentem dicere Verum Quis Vetat—
Printed for A. PRICE, in Fleet-Street.
[Price Six Pence.]
Great Britain, Ireland, and America.
THO’ not one in one Thousand of you will read, or even hear of this Dedication, yet you have the most right to the following Pages. The Matter they treat of may affect you and your Children for many Generations.
They are writ to give you what Light my Experience furnishes, before you form your Judgment on a Matter entirely in your own Powers; that is, to chuse whether you will be silent, or will cry aloud.
This is a Thing entirely dependent on yourselves, every free-born English Man, and Woman too, has a Right to cry and hollow as loud as they please.
The Voice of the People is the Voice of God,11 was the Doctrine of the Whigs in King Charles the Second’s Reign, and I have not heard it denied yet publickly. Certainly every reasonable Man must allow, that Governments were formed and submitted to for the Good of the People; Salus Populi suprema Lex esto.12
The People have, in different Countries, parted with more or less of their natural Freedom, to obtain the Benefits that arise from the Protection and Convenience that the Conjunction of Numbers give; Numbers cannot live together without Order, which must be maintained by Individuals submitting their Differences to the Judgment of others.
Wars cannot be carried on without submitting to the Orders of the Commander; nor Money raised for paying Armies and Fleets, without submitting to Taxes. All these Submissions are so far departing from natural Liberty. Those Nations who have parted with fewest of their natural Rights, or, in other Terms, have preserved most Privileges, are the happiest; nay, they are the most powerful, in Proportion to the Extent of their Dominions; as the People of Europe, and of them the Republicks and limited Monarchies, are much more powerful, in Proportion to their Extent of Land, than the absolute Governments of Asia.
How weak are the Turks, Persians and Moguls, who rule over such immense Regions, where the People have no kind of Privileges. The Venetian Republick hath resisted the whole Strength of the Turkish Empire, and maintained itself against them for many Ages. The Switzs are the freest People in Europe, and their Country, though small and barren, has, without mercenary Armies, maintained their independent Sovereignty against the great and aspiring Houses of Austria and Bourbon, and are respected by all Europe.
Holland grew populous by Liberty, and if their Extent of Country was to be compared with France or Spain, their Wealth and Power surpasses all Comparison. Indeed they have of late declined; but that hath been proportionably to the Privileges of the People’s being lessened by the Encroachments of the Oligarchy, or Rulers, who would have ruined them, and sold them to France, had they not been rescued by the Spirit of the People, who, rising, chose a Stadtholder.
Freedom of the People is therefore the Preservation of the Power and Wealth of States. Amongst other Privileges the Freedom of Writing and Speaking is of the highest Consequence, as the using that Liberty may support or destroy a Nation.
The Voice of the People always was regarded with high Reverence by wise Princes, especially by those of this Nation. It is of serious Consequence, that the People of this Realm should be well instructed. I join with Mr. TRENCHARD, where he says, “The People are never mistaken, but when they are bribed or deceived.”13 Now, to prevent you, the People, from being deceived, and thereby misled into a general Clamour, is the End of these Papers. All I wish is, that you would hear, read, and be well informed, before you enter into a general Cry; and that you will believe me to be, with the highest Veneration, and sincerest Affection,
Your devoted, humble Servant.
Second DEDICATION to the PEOPLE.
THE Reception you gave to the first Impression of this Pamphlet, obliges me, in Gratitude, to give it you corrected, with Additions. On the Naked Truth’s appearing, the Clamour ceased. This proved it was not the Voice of the People, but a Cry work’d up by Art, which is as different from the Voice of the People, as the Yelping of Curs, on the throwing a Bone amongst them, is from the Roaring of the Lion, which maketh the Forest tremble.14 This is the Cry of the People, who roar not but on high Occasions, when they feel real Grievances; for Millions must feel before they will join in one Voice. Then the Roar is dreadful, and not to be withstood. The Lion roared when the Parliament and People felt the Oppression of the Army, under the Command of Lambert, Harrison, &c. He roared so loud, that it frighted them and their Army into Holes and Corners.15 He roared again when King James pinched the People in their Liberties and Religion, and he roared so loud, that he frighted King, Queen and Priests out of the Realm.
The Lion might roar if he was really hurt, if the Christian Protestant Religion and Liberty of Conscience were subverting.
Or if the Multitude was pressed by Taxes and Wants, so as not to be able to subsist.
Or if they saw a Mercenary Military Power grow so fast as to threaten Destruction to the Civil Magistrate and Constitution.
Or if they saw a Ministry betraying the King and People to France.
Or if, under the specious Name of Subsidies, they were betraying his Majesty, and making the Kingdom tributary to a powerful foreign Potentate, and putting the Power of the Seas into their Hands.
Or if they should so break through the Parliamentary Faith, which hath appropriated the Funds to paying the Principal and Interest of the Publick Debt, and by applying appropriated Money to Subsidies should neglect paying the National Creditors.
These or such like National Grievances might raise the Voice of the People; but it will not be raised by those Deceivers who would use it as a Means to enrich themselves, by engaging the People in a ruinous and expensive War.
It was to prevent you, the People, from being deceived, that I ventured to print. I find you were not deceived, but that those who strove to deceive you called the Noise they made your Voice. As you have already favoured me, I hope the Continuance, and shall, from Time to Time, publish such Things as I shall think for your Service, and am, with the highest Veneration and sincerest Affection,
Your most Obliged and Devoted Humble Servant.
—Ridentem dicere Verum Quis Vetat—16
NAKED TRUTH is always disagreeable to weak Minds. As they compose the Bulk of Mankind, she is most hateful to the Multitude. To tell the Truth to the People, is almost as dangerous as to tell it to a Tyrant.
Phocian and Socrates were poisoned by the People of Athens for telling them Naked Truth.17 The virtuous Lacedemonians hated Disguise, and loved Simplicity and Nakedness so much, that their Laws obliged the Virgins to dance almost naked:18 Yet even these Spartans stoned Lycurgus, and beat out one of his Eyes, for telling them Naked Truth.19 If this was the Consequence in better Ages, you, Reader, must think me mad, who, in the Dregs of Time, venture to publish Naked Truth to Britain.
To love one’s Country, and to be virtuous in a bad Age, hath often been called Madness. Nat. Lee, the Poet, say’d, “To differ from the People was the Definition of Madness; and therefore that himself and the few Wits were locked up in Bethlehem, by the infinitely more numerous Blockheads at large.”20
Democritus the Philosopher was the first who discovered to the Greeks, that the Earth was a Globe, by the Shadow it cast in an Eclipse on the Moon. The Magistrates of his City sent, in pure Love and Sincerity of Heart, to Hippocrates the Physician, to come and cure the Philosopher Democritus of Madness. When he came, they told to Hippocrates the fatal Symptoms, that he said the World was round, and that our Feet pointed at the Feet of other Men on the other Side of the Earth; therefore either they or we must stand on our Heads. But they urged, to prove him still more lunatick, that he despised Money, and refused publick Employments. Hippocrates shook his Head, got out of Town in a Hurry, and sent a Horse-load of Hellebore to the the Magistrates, but none to Democritus.21
Sohn and Brutus, I mean the first, was called mad, and desired to be thought so.22 The hireling Wits that flattered Tyrants gave the same or worse Appellations to the second Brutus. But Cowley says of him,
The Heroick Exaltations of the Good
Are so far from understood,
We count them Vice. Alas! our Sight’s so ill,
That Things which swiftest move seem to stand still.
We look not upon Virtue in her Height,
On her supreme Idea, brave and bright,
In the original Light;
But as her Beams reflected pass
Thro’ our own Nature, or ill Custom’s Glass:
And ’tis no Wonder so,
If with dejected Eye
In standing Pools we seek the Sky,
That Stars so high above may seem to us below.23
Let the World think what they please, if the Printer will venture Printing, I’ll furnish Copy, and will tell my Country Naked Truth, tho’ it may be against the present enthusiastick Ardor, that bears down all before it.
I know it is as dangerous to write against popular Prejudices as against Tyrants; and yet it is cruel to flatter the People, nay it is worse, it is being in some Measure Felo de se: For if we let the frantick Zeal, and false Magnanimity of the People proceed,24 and do not undeceive them, we must bear our Share in the publick Taxes, and perhaps universal Ruin that it may draw on.
Perhaps it may be less harsh, and therefore have more Effect, to speak of the past, than at once to rush on, in stripping naked the present Folly. Oil makes a Razor cut, and Example may, like Oil, smooth whilst it sets the Edge. Example is the Tutor of the Wise, as Experience is to Fools: We have both Example and woful Experience in our own Days, of giving Way to popular Clamour and national Prejudice. Let us call back a few Years, and see with what Ardor the Merchants cried out for a Spanish War; a few Ships were plundered; a Captain lost his Ears,25 publick Clamour was raised, no Satisfaction would go down; even Men of Sense supported the Clamour, because it supported the Party: They were not ashamed to hear, nay to repeat, We can crush Spain, let loose your Navy; let loose your People to just Revenge; you will humble Spain in a Year; you will take all her Ships, nay her America. Even wise Men were not ashamed to say, they could starve the vast Continent of Spain, by prohibiting our People from furnishing Provisions, and trading with them. Nothing was so ridiculous that did not go down; the Price of our Corn lowered for want of that Market, and it hath never rise since,26 because the Spaniards gave Encouragement to their own Tillage, and fell into a Trade, by which the Hamburgers and Dutch supplied them from Poland and Barbary with Wheat, France with Fish from Newfoundland, and the Vallies of their own Mountains with double the Number of Cattle they used to do. This last was occasioned by the Encouragements which your Prohibition of selling Irish Beef to them forced them to give. The Laziness and Oppression of the Government had discouraged Agriculture; but you awaked them; they encouraged it; and you, by prohibiting a Trade to give them a present Distress, gave it a new Turn, and have lost it for ever.27
Our sanguine Hopes of Conquest were as much baulked as our starving them into Submission; we sent a noble Fleet, covered the Seas with our Ships, and the Islands with our Soldiers, but what Return! We buried twenty thousand Men without a Battle, without the Sword of a Foe; there was hardly a Man killed, except a few Hundreds at St. Lazarus. Did we take one Province, or one Town, except Porto-Bello? Did we keep even that or any one spot? This cannot be laid to the Charge of the Officers or Men; the Admiral was as brave a Man, and as good an Officer, as England ever bred; he was distinguished in Queen Anne’s Wars, an Age of Heroes. To the Merit of a brave and experienced Officer, he added the uncorruptable Integrity of Cato, and the Plainness and Roughness of his Manners were, perhaps, Virtues too high for an Age of Fribbles. The Officers of the Land Forces were as valuable as the Age has produced, and Lord Cathcart had distinguished himself also in Queen Anne’s Wars; General Wentworth was a Man of excellent Sense, Temper, and Courage,28 and shewed it afterwards on several Occasions; General Guise was a brave and exact Officer,29 the Sailors and Soldiers were good; Whence then came the Disappointment? From the War’s being improper, and drove on by popular Prejudices. By believing those popular Clamours, or not daring to oppose them, the Government was forced to carry on the War in Sun-burnt Climates, where the Enemy could withdraw himself into inaccessible Places, and leave you to lose your Troops and Fleets, by opposing to you the Sun and Air only.
Some Prizes you took at Sea of great Value, but did not the Expence out of the Publick Stock load the Poor with Taxes? And did there come as much back to the Captains and Captors as the Publick spent? If there did, this was but giving the People’s Money to Officers and Sailors; but it was worse, a Squadron cost one Million perhaps fitting out;30 the Prizes taken might be two hundred thousand Pounds; the Taxed lost a Million, the Captors got two hundred thousand Pounds, the Publick loses eight hundred thousand Pounds.
We sent a Squadron to conquer Peru, one Ship of it got round the World, and took a glorious Prize; but that was owing to the Perseverance of the Commander;31 for out of five, only one could perform the Voyage. Were we to write in the Stile of the Antients, he perhaps was preserved by the Genius of England, to renew her antient Discipline, and gain those Victories at Sea that obtained a Peace. When after many unsuccessful Battles at Land, Bergen and Maestritch taken, and no Place remaining able to prevent the entire Conquest of Holland, our Successes at Sea saved Europe from Chains, by forcing France to give up her Conquests. We said, that England did not get a Foot of Ground. — But what then, Did England get by that Spanish War, to which it was pushed by Clamour? Why it got TWO WARS, that, and the French, which followed it; for had we not engaged in the Spanish War, and thereby forced Spain into the Arms of France, the latter would not have ventured to attack the House of Austria, or to have made a dependant Bavarian Emperor. Spain would have been jealous of France, and would have assisted us and the House of Austria, had she not, by our Rashness, been forced to seek Defence from France against our Fleets.
We also got more by those two Wars; we got rid of a wise Statesman, and a prudent experienced Ministry. Besides getting rid of this pacifick Ministry, England got a Number of PATRIOT ORATORS,32 and they got Places.
Aut si non aliam venturi fata Neroni,
Invenire viam scelera ipsa Nefasque,
Hac Mercede placent—— 33 LUC.
We got the spending of eighty Millions; the Nation got forty Millions in Debt; and Contractors, Stockjobbers, Jews and Brokers got Plumbs; Emperors Kings; and Electors got Subsidies; and at last England got a Peace.
These Things we did get, and most of them stick by us; and we had like to have got the Pope, the Pretender, the Devil and all; but these, thank Heaven, we did not get; but no Thanks to the clamorous hot-headed Multitude, that drove wiser Heads into those Measures, which brought us to fight with inferior Numbers, Pro Aris & Focis;34 every serious Man must shudder to think what Dangers Providence delivered us from; how often his Majesty and the Royal Family were exposed, how often the Nation was on the Edge of Destruction, and rescued by a Scene of Wonders! And, indeed it was all wonderful, that England, assisted by no Ally but whom she paid, could hold out a War; yet are there Numbers, that want to embark us in a new War.
To be sure it is the Interest of the Disaffected, if there are any such, to engage us in a War; they have no other Chance for their desperate Cause; besides, out of Revenge for the Treatment the French gave to their Master,35 they would naturally do all the Mischief they can, and that is nothing but Growling, so doubt not the Disaffected will all growl for a War; and yet in this, as in all other their Hopes, they will be disappointed; for France will never assist them; she has disobliged their Master too much ever to forgive or trust him.
The Stock-jobbers, Usurers and Jews, certainly will cry out for the Honour of England, for they wish us grinning Honour,36 that the Interest of Money may rise; but they too may be disappointed; for if a War should grow too heavy, how shall Interest be paid, and the Principal they have in the present Funds will fall in Proportion to the rising of Interest; so they will lose more on the Principal of their tied-up Money, than they can get by the rise of Interest on their floating Cash.
Ladies will be glad of a War; their Lovers may get Commissions, and so they may get rid of old ones, and have new; they may be glad of higher Interest, but they will be mistaken; for they will lose by the selling of their Capital; suppose the Government should be by Clamour drove into a War, and should be obliged to borrow at above 3 per Cent. whatever they borrow at above, so much lower must the Capital of the present Funds fall; thus, if a Lady has a 1000 l. in the 3 per Cents, and the Government should borrow at 3½ (which it is hoped they may not be forced to do) that Instant the 3 per Cents fall proportionably, and she cannot sell out at a Price so as to put out her Money in the new Funds; instead of her 1000 l. she may perhaps not be offered 900 l. Pounds for her Stock; but if the Government should be still harder pushed (which God forbid) and be forced to borrow at 4 per Cent, her Stock of 1000 l. in the 3 per Cents will be worth but 750 l. so she will have a worse Capital, and gain nothing by the rising of the Interest of Money.37
The Officers must cry out for War, lest they should be believed Men that feared Action. Yet Hannibal, and, before him, Phocian, very pretty Fellows, as Capt. Bluff says, in those Days, when they found their Nation overmatched, advised Peace; but Capt. Bluff says, Hannibal would be nothing at all in our Days.38 As for the Sons of War and Glory, perhaps a War with France at this Juncture, single-handed, may not be for their Glory nor Advantage. By the present Scheme of the Orators there is to be no War on the Continent; that is to say, there is to be a War and no War. But this is the Orators War, as the last was the Merchants War, therefore the Orators can best tell how it is to be carried on; if then they know their own Child, which it is a wise Father that does, this War is not to be a Land War, and Soldiers are not Seamen; so Soldiers can have no Share in the War, unless they be amphibious Soldiers; your amphibious irrational Animals are Otters and Beavers; and your amphibious rational Animals are Marines; therefore no Land Soldier can wish for a War in this Circumstance, but who wishes to be a Marine; now no Dragoon wishes to be a Marine;39 therefore no Dragoon can wish for a War. This Syllogism is to shew my Logick.
As for Sailors and Marines, they are in the right to talk for a War, that they may eat. Prizes are rare good Things. But why Parsons cry out for War, who are to pay more Taxes, and consequently eat worse, is worth discussing; they who are Men of Peace, and as Protestants are not for superstitious Fasting, why should they cry for War? It surely is not that People admire what they know least; Is it that they do so because their Patrons do so; and that the Way to Preferment is, Jurare in Verbo Majestri?40 Or is it, that they love to read News and hear of bloody Battles? Surely it is not the Interest of the Church, nor of the spiritual Members of it, to have War. War not only lessens their Income, by encreasing the Land-Tax and other Taxes, but lessens Surplice Fees, Dues of Weddings, Christenings, and Burials; for the Thousands that fell in Flanders and the West-Indies saved their Burial Fees.
But seriously, Clergymen of all Denominations, whether Church or Dissenters, should stem these strange Clamours of the People for War. They have Learning, and from all History know, that rash Wars, undertaken against stronger Nations, have been the Ruin of the Freedom of States, as unavoidable defensive Wars have been their Honour and Preservation; that the Clamours of the People should never be employed to spur on Princes; they are always apt enough for War, from the Hopes of Power and Glory. The Cry of the People should be for Peace, particularly if the Strength of the Enemy is vastly superior. The best of Books says, if a King comes with 20,000 against one who has 10,000, he sendeth to make Peace, whilst yet in the Way.41
It is hurting a Prince or Ministry greatly to urge them by popular Clamour to War. A magnanimous Prince hearing such Clamours is unwilling to stem them, lest his Glory should suffer as sloathful, which Reproach a generous Prince abhors more than Death; and a wise Minister must give Way to the joint cry of the People and urged-on Courage of the Prince, tho’ he knows the Danger, and would rather give the Advice of Phoebus to the daring Youth;
Parce puer stimulis & fortius utere loris.42
Orators have a Right by Prescription to clamour for War. Demosthenes did so, and by the Torrent of his Eloquence drove the Thebans and Athenians quite mad, so that those two Cities declared War against Alexander the Great; Thebes was taken, sacked, burnt, and the Inhabitants kill’d or sold for Slaves; and Athens lost her Liberty:43 The great Cicero helped to ruin his Country by such Behaviour; he encreased the popular Cry, when Pompey was in Greece, and husbanding with the utmost Care the Army committed to his Charge, for in that Army he knew the whole Safety of Rome lay; he, like Fabius, wisely declined fighting with Caesar, but the general Cry was for Fighting; Pompey despised Common Fame, and stood firm to his Judgment and the Welfare of Rome; but when Cicero joined the popular Cry Pompey yielded, and marched to the fatal Pharsalia.
The Nobles, it is said, join the Cry: They can have no sinister Motive: But they are more tender of Honour, therefore are sensible of the least Touch. But Plebeians of humbler Minds should strive to temper their heroick Heat; it is the Plebeians must give and pay most of the Taxes. Plectuntur Achivi,44 War makes great Armies, and many Provisions for the younger Branches of great Families; and notwithstanding the Marriage Act, there are not quite Heiresses enough for all the younger Brothers of noble Families, some are left Food for Powder.45
The Merchant, Manufacturer, Ship-builder, and infinite Numbers employed in fitting out Shipping, may cry for War. Great is the Diana of the Ephesians,46 say the Shrine-makers. Perhaps they would be less violent, would they but consider what a desperate Reckoning was paid for their short Harvest at the Beginning of the last War; and how miserably Trade suffer’d in the End, for the quick Demand the first fitting out of great Fleets occasioned.
The News-writers certainly must be for War; next to political Sedition and private Scandal, it is the best Mart for their Wares; but they will not be so much advantaged as they expect; for if more Papers are vended, new ones will be set up.
By its appearing to so many Bodies, to such Multitudes of People,47 that a War is for their private Interest, they join in a common Cry, and a War becomes a popular Clamour; yet almost every one will be hurt by the very Thing they cry out for; but this they do not know,48 for want of giving themselves Time to consider.
In mixed Governments, where the Oligarchy or Rulers have the executive Power, but limited by the People in their general Meetings, it happens often, that the Rulers are for War, and privately stir up Clamours for that Purpose, because they have the Disposal of the Monies and Preferments which are increased by War. Thus the Roman Senate push’d the People to War, till they wasted the Strength of the Plebeians; so that they destroyed all Equality, bought the Lands which the Weight of the Services in War forced them to sell, and oppress’d them to the highest Degree; so that the Conquests of Rome increased the Misery of the Plebeians to such an Excess, that they tried the Gracci and Marius,49 and at last made themselves Slaves to Caesar, that since they could not be free from the Senators, they might at least make their senatorial Tyrants equally Slaves with themselves.
In mixt Monarchies, the Crown often made use of the Ardor of the Brave, and the Necessities of the unquiet Part of the People, to raise a Clamour for War, which encreases the Power of the Crown. As all Taxes and Offices are in the Disposition of the executive Part of the Government, the Kings in the Gothick Constitutions cannot raise Taxes, but when raised, they increase his Power amongst other Things, by the Number of Officers in the Collection and Distribution in his Nomination;50 so that frequent Wars add so much Power to the Crown, as must in the End make it absolute. This Henry VIIth was so well acquainted with, that he pretended Wars with France, to make his Advantage of the good-natur’d Courage of the People of England; they granted Subsidies, he raised Troops, and then gave up the very disputed Points for Peace. But his End was obtained, the Nobility were made Dependant by expensive Preparations for Campains, the People were tamed by Taxes, and his Power encreased by the Number of Tax-gatherers, and by the Sums saved, and not expended. This Policy of Wars, true or false, have been made use of in France, Spain, and all the Gothick or Germanick Kingdoms, to raise the Crown, and depress the People, till this Policy has drove Liberty out of most Parts of Europe. In Turky a Clamour for War is not the Engine of the State,51 but of the one Part of the Court or Ministry against the other. Thus Cara Mustifa, or Black Mustifa, got the Ulama or Law to join the Janissaries or Army, and the Levants or Naval-Soldiers all in one Cry for War,52 whereby he got the Command of the greatest Army, and thereby the most Wealth that a Grand Vizier could acquire. At first he was hated by the Mufti and Captain Bashaw; but the Artifice was this, by which he gained his Point; at the first the Sultan disliked a War, and the Mufti, or Head of the Law, was utterly against it, so was the Testedar, or Treasurer; but Mustifa (without appearing himself in it)53 engaged the Captain Bashaw, or Lord High Admiral, who was tied by Affinity to the Mufti, to come into the Clamour for a War. He was made to believe it should be carried on by Sea only, and so debase the Vizier, and aggrandize his naval Power. The Mufti came in for the Sake of Affinity, the War began. The Vizier turn’d it all by Land, attacked the Germans, and besieged Vienna; the Mufti and the Captain Bashaw, highly nettled, turns the Cry against Cara Mustifa,54 who lost the Battle of Vienna, and then his Head.
Dionysius rais’d by his Artifice a Clamour for a War;55 and said, that the Senators were pacifick, and gave up the Honour of the City. The Syracusans, hurried into it, named him General against the Carthaginians; he soon made a Peace with them, and became Tyrant of Syracuse. Agathocles followed the same Steps, with the same Success,56 and, like the other, began by abusing the Senators and praising the Army. This was so known a Trick in Greece, that it gave Rise to the Fable where the Wolf gravely advises the Shepherd to turn out the pacifick fawning Dogs of the Senate, and to give the keeping of the Sheep to the warlike Wolves.57
It is surprising, that there ever should be a popular Cry for a War, when there is not a Man in England but must lose by it, except some few Officers, Paymasters, and Contractors, by Sea and Land.
The labouring People, who are the Numbers and Support of every Realm, are the first and most pinched by War; the strongest and ablest are pressed into the Sea, or persuaded into the Land Service; and the old Parents, Wives and young Children, dependant on their Labours, left a Charge to Parishes, and if not relieved must starve. The Seamen press’d, the Merchant Ships now lye loaded by the Walls,58 unless they by Favour can get a Protection; and the Power of granting such Favour augments the Power of the Crown, more than our Ancestors would have thought convenient when they disputed the Ship-money.59 All Ships cannot have Protections; for if all had, no Men would be left to be press’d, therefore great Numbers must lye by the Walls,60 whilst the Markets they were design’d for are supplied by neutral Nations; and thus the Channel of Trade is turn’d, and the Merchant hurt, whose Wares rot on Board, which should answer his Bill of Exchange, and enable him to pay his Tradesmen; the Tradesmen and Manufacturer are hurt, by the Merchants being disabled from buying and paying, and the whole Trade of the Kingdom grows dull and heavy. The Poorest suffer first, and by Continuance the Rich grow poor.
But the greatest Sufferers by War are the Country Gentlemen of Estates, and the Owners or Proprietors of the Stocks and Funds.
The Country Gentleman, besides paying an increas’d Land-tax from two to four Shillings in the Pound, must pay more for all foreign Commodities, for Tea, Sugar, Wine, Silks, Hollands, &c. rises proportionally to the Risk of Navigation, and English Commodities sell worse, for Corn, Cloth, &c. must be sold cheaper to the exporting Merchants, to enable them,61 in a foreign neutral Port, to sell at equal Prices with the neutral Ship that pays no Insurance; therefore the English Commodity must be sold so cheap, as to enable them to sell at an equal Price with the Foreigner, and this must fall on the prime Cost paid to the English Grower or Manufacturer. The Country Gentleman cannot get by preferring his Sons in the Army, it is great Lords, or Members of Parliament, may perhaps do so; he can scarce get an Ensign’s Commission without buying; that is to say, he must give three or four hundred Pounds for an Ensign’s Commission, which brings in about fifty Pounds a Year; and the Son must pay about fifteen or twenty Pounds for Regimentals, besides Equipage, and must live at an Expence far above his Pay; therefore he pays for the Liberty of keeping his Son in the Service. It is urged there is Advancement; there is so, but all Advancements require higher Expences, proportionable to the Pay; so that no Officer can lay up that lives handsomely, and Equipages and other Accidents forces most (tho’ prudent Men) into Debt. A Son in the Army is more Expence to his Father, than if he kept him in his own House, and much more than if he bred him to the Law, Physick, Divinity, or Merchandize; and yet the Benefit Tickets in those Professions are better, and the Way to them easier and less expensive. The Lord Chancellors, Archbishops, Doctors, and Merchants, as Radcliffe, Sloane, Heathcote, Delmy, Crasteen, &c.62 left greater Estates than any General, except the Duke of Marlborough, ever did; and he made not his by his Pay, so much as by his Wife’s and his own Frugality; and by having the Secret, turn’d his Money in the Funds; for he must win who sees the Bottom of the Cards.
As the Country Gentleman and landed Men must lose by War, so must the Proprietors of the Funds and Stocks; for the Money they have is tied down at 3 per Cent. and if they sell, they must do it at such a Discount, as to lose more upon the Principal, than they get by advancing upon a new Loan; and should they sell out at Discount, and lend at a high Interest; on a Peace they will be paid off or reduced. Suppose a Man should sell at 90, to lend on new Loans at 4 per Cent, to the Government, as soon as a Peace comes he will be reduc’d to 3 per Cent, then the 110 l. which he sold out to lend 100, will bring in but 3 per Cent, so he will have lost 10 per Cent, by the Transaction.
It is said by some, that the Sinking Fund is engaged to be applied to pay the publick Debts now in being. If that should be punctually applied, and one Million yearly, or whatever it were, paid to the old Creditors, the Government might borrow easier of new Men; nay, the very Money paid off of the old Debt would be lent on the new. As soon as the Government borrows at 4 per Cent. the present Proprietors have lost the fourth Part of their Principal for every present Use. Are they to pay a Daughter’s Fortune, or Bill of Exchange? Instead of selling 1000 l. in the 3 per Cents to do it, they must sell above 1300, if Stock is fallen to 75, which is the Proportion between 3 and 4 per Cent. But if the Father hath agreed to pay 1000l. Fortune, and has only 1000 l. Stock in 3 per Cents, he can give but 750 l. which may perhaps break the Match.
Having mentioned only how far this Clamour for War may affect People in their private Interest (but this can have little Influence in this disinterested Patriot Age) therefore it is necessary I should shew how it will affect the Publick. If it were not for the publick Advantage, and the Honour of the Nation, not a Jew nor Broker would clamour for War. If not moved by their tender Sense of the Glory of the Nation, What Contractor would cry Down with the French? It is to be sure a pure disinterested Patriot Spirit, that makes them wish to furnish the Publick for nothing. Therefore let us consider, if this Clamour is for the Good or Honour of the Nation, and if so, we ought to join in the Clamour; but if it is ruinous to the Nation, then surely we are not obliged to join in a destructive Cry.
France in the last War kept 450,000 Men by Land and Sea; 20,000 of which were at Sea, and those may be reckoned to cost three Times as much as Landsmen; so that would make in the whole the Expence of 490,000 Men. England kept about 100,000 Men, of which about 45,000 at Sea, which esteemed as three to one, makes 190,000 Men; this indeed makes them above double our Number.
The Romans looked on Superiority of Numbers with Respect, so as to make it proverbial, that Hercules was not a Match for two;63 but that is not conclusive to Britain, every London Apprentice is stronger than Hercules, and therefore every Englishman can beat three Frenchmen;64 so that’s settled; Britain alone is above a Match for them, as to their Strength in Men.
With respect to Revenue, France in Peace raises about 300 Millions of Livres, which is not 15 Millions Sterling; in War she raises 18 or 19 Millions Sterling. England raises by the Malt Tax 750,000 l. and Land Tax in Peace, at 2 s. 1,000,000; in War at 4 s. makes 2 Millions; as for the other Taxes, they are appropriated either to the Civil List, or to pay the Interest of 80 Millions Debt, and the Surplus to sink the Capital of the Debt; the Surplus is called the Sinking Fund. Some think this Sinking Fund may in a War be applied to the yearly Charges of the War; but it is not probable the Parliament will alter the Appropriation; for it was on the Strength of that Appropriation, that the publick Creditors submitted to a Reduction, that thereby the Capital might be secure, tho’ the Interest was lessened. Now as the 3 per Cent, and 3 one-half per Cent. are considerably under Par, I suppose the Sinking Fund will be inviolably applied to pay off the old Debts, and then the present Creditors will have the Benefit of lending their Money out at high Interest, if the Government should be forced to give a high Interest, which I hope they will not.
I say, if the Government give a higher Interest than 3 per Cent. they will certainly apply the Sinking Fund to pay the old Debt as appropriated; because it is Justice to the old Creditors, and England has always acted with Justice and Punctuality to their Creditors, which is what has maintain’d their Credit; and the Parliament will certainly not do any Thing to damp Credit, when there is most Use for it; therefore I am persuaded they will be punctual in applying the Sinking Fund to pay the present Debt.
I said, I thought the Government would not be forced, I hoped, to give above 3 per Cent. I think so, because all those zealous Patriots that clamour for War, I suppose, will lend at 3 per Cent. out of their Zeal; and this is the more necessary, because all above the Land and Malt must be borrowed, or new Taxes must be laid. Now new Taxes may either be on Things not taxed before, or by augmenting those already taxed. As for Things not taxed, few are to be found, unless such as oppress the Subject, and impoverish him so, that he will not be able to spend in some other Branch already taxed what he now doth; so it will stop some other Stream, as much as it augments this new Branch of Revenue.
With respect to augmenting the present Duties or Excises, that would hardly answer; for by Experience it is found, the higher Duties are, the less they bring in; several Experiments have been made, and by lowering Duties, the Revenue hath been augmented. The War must probably be carried on by borrowing as many Millions a Year as is wanted, and giving an Interest. Therefore it is most necessary to keep up Credit, that the Lenders may be willing to accept a low Interest; and nothing can contribute more to keep up Credit,65 than to apply the Sinking Fund inviolably to paying off the Debt.
There is the more Reason to cherish Credit, since one great Source of Borrowing is stopped, I mean Lotteries. They used to be Resources that never fail’d; but unfortunately the last was made (by taking 10 per Cent.) a little too disadvantageous, and it is probable new Lotteries will not fill.
With respect therefore to Money; we are to begin a War with 80 Millions Debt, and 2,750,000 l. Sterling for Expences of the Year, with a Power of going further into Debt, against a Nation that raises about 15 Millions Sterling for the Year, and who cannot go into Debt, for no Body will trust them.
In short, we have more Ships, they have more Horse and Foot; and as for Money, we have already spoke fully.
But antient Pistol says,
“What is Money? Dust;
Fit only to enthral the mounting Soul,
And knock down Courage to black Erebus.” 66
What signifies the Money, if they have more Money we can beat them; we will go and take their Money, it will increase our Strength; so that is settled. It appears plainly by a War, we shall regain all the Virtues of Cato, we shall acquire Poverty, which is the Nurse and Mother of all Virtue; we shall augment our Courage and Skill in War by Practice; our Patience I doubt not will be exerted also; and as for Chastity, that Virtue will certainly abound; for the Increase of Taxes, and Decline of Trade, will lessen Letchery, and Sine cerere & Baccho frigit Venus.67 As we shall abound with all Virtues, we shall be secure to carry on the War single-handed at Sea successfully. There is but this Accident against us. If they find themselves weaker at Sea, they may perhaps be Poltroons enough to stay in their Ports, and we can’t sail up to Paris without some new Inventions; but sure such a Thing may be obtained from some of our Projections. The Broad-wheel Philosopher doubtless can do such a Trifle as carry a Fleet over Land.68 But if this should fail, and yet, if they will not come out of their Ports they can’t hurt us. Perhaps they may join the Spaniards, and help them to attack Port Mahone, or Gibralter; for a Fleet of Men of War, some say, cannot in calm Weather hinder Troops landing on Islands in the Mediterranean, which was, they pretend to say, proved in Sicily in 1718, when Lord Torrington was not able to hinder Succours getting to the Marquis de Lede’s Army. They may perhaps try another Way to hurt us, and march into Westphalia. Why, if they should do so, we have nothing to do but to subsidise all Germany,69 the King of Prussia amongst the rest, if we can get him; besides Russia, Sardinia, and even Turkey, must not be forgot, least the Sultan should give a Diversion to Russia or Hungary. We are a rich People, this will be but a Trifle, at the worst it will be but borrowing 80 Millions more at 5 per Cent; and after a Peace, reducing all Debts to 1½, and then the same Fund that pays the Interest of 80 Millions at 3 per Cent, will pay that of 160 at 1½.
All this is great; if therefore the French should not be content to carry on the War by Sea only, and should make it general through Europe, we must subsidise;70 the Difficulty will be how to pay them; if we must send Specie from hence, the remitting those vast Sums must drain the Cash; and if the Money that circulates, 80 Millions of Paper, is lessened beyond a certain Degree, it will risk a Stagnation.
The Antient Pistol has shewn we can have Paper enough, which, whilst it is current, is Money; therefore we must strive to keep it so, and not by sending out the Specie make a Stagnation.
The Subsidies to Prussia and Russia, and the Empress Queen, must be balanced by Cash, since the Balance of Trade to those Countries is already against us; and whatsoever greater Demand they shall have on us, must be paid by sending Gold or Silver, since they do not want more of our Merchandize than they already have; for if they did, there would not be a Balance against us. The Subsidy must be equal to the Number of Troops with which they act against France; for if the War should be begun on our own Account, and not, for their own Cause, they will expect we should pay the Expence; and indeed there are none of them able to act against France at their own Expence. The King of Prussia can maintain his Troops in his own Country, and this with great Difficulty and Oeconomy; but it will cost double to act in the Field with the same Number of Troops, as it does to keep them in Time of Peace; therefore if he takes the Field with 100,000 Men, it cannot be reckoned less than a Million a Year. He was engaged last War on the French Side, but when he found it convenient he quitted them, and joined them again when he thought it for his Advantage. How can we then be certain of any Engagement from that Quarter. One is hardly sure of one’s Bargain, where the Auction is still open to the best Bidder.
Another small Difficulty in all Engagements with him is, whether they may not disoblige the Court of Vienna; and if ever Vienna and France should agree, what then would be the Case; could we and Prussia, and all the Protestants in Germany, stem such a Tide. This is a Measure Rome hath long laboured, and proposed many Expedients to bring about.
If Russia acts with 30,000 Men, we know what the Charge of that, and the Vienna Subsidies were last War; we know that we were forced to raise 6,000,000 over and above Land and Malt, &c. and encrease the Debt more than that Sum in one Year: Suppose we should be oblig’d to go on at that Rate with a new War, How many Years can we hold it? And what Acquisitions in America can be equal to it? Could we not purchase Quebec, and all the French Northern Colonies for a less Sum? And is it probable, that we shall be able to keep them, if we should be successful?
Since I wrote the above, I find the last Question answered by the most magnanimous Hurlothrumbo. He writ it, I suppose, aware of the Objection at White’s,71 viz. that a War at Sea with France could be no Bett; since we have a great deal to lose, and France nothing.
Now by the equitable Laws of Gaming, when Judgment is asked, if a Man cannot win he cannot lose, so it is no Bett. If we beat the French Fleet, ours cannot sail up to Paris; but if they beat ours Ware Cat; therefore it is plain it is no Bett. Now Hurlothrumbo, with great Sagacity, proves that the French do not throw a Levant,72 but that we may get as well as lose, therefore it is a Bett. To support this, the heroick Hurlothrumbo leads on our Armies to victory, more rapid than those of Caesar in Pontus. He beats the French out of North America; then he shews how by his Victory in driving the French out of Canada, and the Continent of America, we shall get Millions enough to pay the national Debt. There are, says he, more Indians a hundred Times about Canada and Missisippi, than about Hudson’s Bay. But the Company gets 20 Pound a Year by every Indian that trades with them. Now with great Moderation he only supposes the new acquired Indians will be worth but half as much, 10 Pound yearly each; so you need only take the Profit of the Hudson Bay Company, and multiply by 50, and the Produce will be the Millions promised.
Quebeck, Cape-Breton,73 and all the French Places in North America, subdued, Canada being a cold Country, where the Lakes and Rivers, five Times as wide as the Thames, are frozen in one Night, and the Snows continue all the Winter Months without one Thaw. Hurlothrumbo, in Tenderness to his victorious Army, marches them from these frozen Climates, and like a Deluge pours them down Southwards, to the burning Sands of Florida. He wafts them over the Gulf Stream to Cuba,74 conquers that Island, and Hispaniola and Porto Rico.
These Conquests atchieved, the Advantages of the War appear; besides the Millions arising from the Northern Indians, we shall not only have full Satisfaction for the Grievances from the Spaniards, but may oblige those proud Spaniards to pay us the Indulto they now allow to the King of Spain, for bringing home the Treasure.
You see here, Reader, a Proof that supports the Clamour for a War; you see here what surprising Advantages will attend a War. Perhaps you may honour me with supposing, this flows from my luxuriant Fancy. But I would not be so unjust, as to rob the magnanimous Hurlothrumbo of his due Praise.—This Proposal is in sober Sadness printed in the Publick Advertiser of Wednesday, July 30, 1755.75
It is to be hoped, that those who cry loudest for War, do it out of Zeal for his Majesty, the Protestant Succession, and the Publick Good; if so, let them shew it by paying the proper Respect to his Majesty, waiting our Sovereign’s Will; and when he has declared it, co-operating with it; and till then not joining in any Cry, merely to perplex those at the Helm.
A Ship was bound from Newfoundland for London, with a great Number of Passengers on board, most good Sailors, returning from fishing, coming by the Goodwins for the River, It was hazy Weather, and blew a Storm; the Passengers run up and make a prodigious Noise and Clamour, all out of a good Zeal and anxious Eagerness to save the Ship; the Noise was so great, as it almost stunned the Pilot. When up runs the Captain, D— your Zeal, Gentlemen, — Do you know what you do, by disturbing the Pilot in such Weather. —Such as he wants he will call for—As for the rest, take my Chest of Liquors, go down, be drunk and be d—d; but don’t musse the Pilot, when one false Stroke at the Helm may send us all to the Bottom.
Whilst I was writing this I find Insurance rises, and is already got to 20 per Cent. on homeward bound West India Ships. Three per Cents are fallen to near 92. Wheat is about six Pounds a Load, and Woolen Goods and all English Manufactures lay dead on Hand; all foreign Goods, and Materials for Manufactures rise. These are the Effects of the Rumour of War. Privateers are fitting out in all the Ports of France and England. If they are permitted to act Trade will lose its Channel, and the industrious Trader indeed may buy and pay, but the Privateer will be the Customer, purchase with Powder and Bullet, undersell him that pays in Money, and spend the Produce in Wine and Women. It is said the Dutch have abandoned the barrier Towns, which looks as if they would maintain a Neutrality, and Profit of Trading without Insurance.
IT is with great Grief that I find the Conjectures in the first Edition of this have been but too fatally fulfilled. It was Clamour that precipitated Major General Braddock to his Ruin. The Projectors engaged the Press on their Side, then called the Noise they had paid for the Voice of the People.
Is not this a direct Copy of Mr. Wentworth’s Expedition,76 spoken of before? Have not those who by their Clamour pushed this Gentleman on to a desperate impracticable March much to answer for? The idle Words they threw about may be Sport to them, but might not the Shades of those who now lie unburied in the Woods on the Ohio say, Though it was Sport to you, it was Death to us? Let a News-writer, or Coffee-house Talker, only think that the Bodies of some Hundreds of his Countrymen, perhaps some of his Acquaintance, are now torn by Wolves, or eaten up by Bears, in the Wilds of America, because his Cry, in common with others, occasioned the sending them thither. But the Projectors, who have begg’d Millions of Acres in America, now lay the Blame on the brave Gentleman who was killed in striving to make their Project succeed. Nay, they are not ashamed to cry out, that his Courage was a Fault; that he should have staid when he knew the Woods were lined with Men. Can Creatures capable of reasoning thus, have any Remains of Modesty. It is insulting the Common Sense of their Hearers. Why these very Projectors, and the North American News-writers hired by them, insisted on the Government’s sending Troops from Europe, to dislodge the French from their Posts on the Ohio. For this very Purpose Major General Braddock was sent, with two Regiments, from Europe; it was his Duty to obey those Orders which the Projectors and the American Representations had obtained.
What did Major General Braddock do? He obey’d his Orders, with much Labour and Care marched through the greatest Part of the Wood, surmounted infinite Difficulties, and, finding a Piece of open Ground at the Meadows, intrenches there, and makes a Place of Arms to support his Communication; he advances the Indians into the Woods, to scower them as far as the first French Post. On the 4th of July his Indians are repulsed, their Chief taken and kindly treated by the French. Major General Braddock, to retrieve this, marches forward, with 1200 Men; and on the 9th his Advance-Guard is attacked and disordered; he supports them, strives to recover the Day, but receives his Death’s Wound in the Attempt, and his Party was totally routed. This is all the certain Account we yet have, and enough to prove, that the Misfortune was owing to Clamour. It was that which occasioned the American Force, which all together was but equal to one great Attempt, to be divided into three different Bodies, and thereby the Loss on the Ohio. It was not so extraordinary that they should be defeated where they were, as it was that they got so far, and that they should not have sooner been catched on their long March and routed; and, considering how many Difficulties they had to pass, after they were defeated, it is more surprising, that any should escape, than that many should be kill’d and taken.
Two Squadrons, under excellent Admirals and Commanders, sail, one to hinder the French from supporting their Attempts in America, but it can only intercept two French Men of War; the rest got safe, with their Troops, to the Place of Destination; we lose one Man of War in Hallifax, and the Squadron is sickly, by Infection from the Fever, occasioned by the Confinement of the press’d Men. The other Squadron knows that part of the French Fleet is in Cales, takes all Measures to engage them in their Return to Brest; but the French Squadron sails, takes an English Man of War, the Blandford, and carries her into Brest; the Squadrons have taken several Prizes; But is not paying Squadrons to make Prizes of Merchantmen breaking Windows with Guineas? Thus ended the Campaign, occasioned by Clamour, which proves, that Kingdoms cannot be blocked up by Fleets.
I shall conclude by warning my Readers of an Attempt to raise a popular Clamour. The Dutch Papers have, some Time since, thrown out Paragraphs, to try how we should relish a Muscovite Assistance; in one they say, we are to have a Muscovite Squadron to guard our Channel when our Fleets are sent to America; in another they say, we are to give to the Russians 60,000 l. yearly, and 500,000 l. when they shall march 75,000 Men for our Assistance. This is so extraordinary a Proposal, that I suppose it can only exist in a Dutchman or Russian’s Head; no Englishman, surely, could wish to see our Natives wasted in American Expeditions, and the Safety of the Nation trusted to the Fleet of an Empire who have already subdued half the World, and to be obliged to pay them 500,000 l. yearly, a Sum this Nation cannot pay in Specie out of the Realm: Would it not be a Temptation to them privately to encourage France to make a War, that they might be required to march? And if Masters of a Squadron in our Seas, Would they not be able to levy it on us if we did not pay? Was not such a kind of Treaty with the Saxons the Ruin of the Britons? The Proposal is so improbable, that I should not have mentioned it, had I not found it often repeated with a kind of Approbation in those News-Papers, from whence the former American Cry which hath proved so fatal began. I mention this that the Reader may be warned, and not join in a Cry for Russian Subsidies, before the Matter is considered by our Superiors.