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vided by eight hundred, is above four millions loss each year: and this is so much the more palpable, that these two millions and a half of people, being added to those that were already in the kingdom, would have increased in value, and have augmented the riches of the kingdom, and of the community: for, the more populous a country is, the more valuable it is, as is also every individual in the kingdom.
The Popish clergy possesses one half of the estates, real and personal, in the kingdom of France, which half, about thirty years ago, we have computed at 200,000,000 per annum : then it is to be noted, that these estates are in main mort; that is to say, lie dead, because they can neither engage nor alienate them, nor employ them in trade; so that they are less advantageous to the country than if they were in the hands of men fit for commerce, bandicrafts, husbandry, or manufactures, or that these estates passed by inheritance from father to son; so that, by necessary consequence, their being in the hands of the clergy is very much against the benefit of the kingdom. Hence also it follows, that the ecclesiastics may well increase their own riches at the expense of the people, whose estates they are able to acquire; whereas, the people can never make any advantage of them. They are, moreover, as so many usurers, and make profit from the industry and labour of the people, by lending them money at a great interest, which is very pernicious to a State. They are, in this respect, abundantly worse than the Jews, who ordinarily are very covetous, spend little, and are great usurers ; nor are there any land-estates to be purchased from them, because they ordinarily have none. Yet they are abundantly more profitable to a state than the Popish clergy, because divers of them traffic by sea, employ vessels, mariners, and other people of business ; and do, moreover, maintain and bring up families.
For our better understanding how prejudicial it is to a State to have a great part of their fand or stock in mainmort, we must consider that, if all the riches of a State were so, it could not subsist, as the world is at present managed. Trades, arts, manufactures, sciences, industry, &c. must necessarily fail; all hopes of advancing ourselves, or of acquiring estates by labour and industry, or of distinguishing ourselves from others, would vanish. Such a nation would be incapable of making war, or defending itself; for a neighbouring nation, whose fonds should not be in mainmort, must immediately become master of that nation whose funds were so ; for, by dividing the property amongst their soldiers, they would encourage their soldiers to take arms against the other nation, and to despoil them of all. Indeed, one very inconsiderable nation might, by this method, easily conquer the
whole world, if the wealth of all other nations besides itself were in mainmort.
In such a case, there would be no such thing as the getting of riches, nor would there be any need of money; for people would only barter one commodity against another with their neighbours for a few days, and in very small quantities, for the use only of a few persons. Credit must either be totally abolished, or extend only. to a small part of each one's revenue, and only for a few days or weeks; and there would likewise be a necessity of assurance, that he who borrowed was not already indebted to another in some part of his revenue. Who, then, would take upon him the trouble of administering justice, if there were no estate to be. acquired by his labour? or who is he that would be physician or divine, or serve the public in any station, for nothing?
Suppose that, in such a country, I have an estate in land, which I cannot engage, and I have a desire to take up my abode in a neighbouring nation, where estates are not so disposed in mainmort, and that I have occasion for 2, 10, or £20,000 in money, for something that may be advantageous to the State, or my own family, as carrying on a trade, opening a shop, &c.; who will lend me that money, if I cannot mortgage my estate? Or, suppose I have money to lend, to whom shall I lend it? where are my sureties, seeing no person can alienate his estate ? Whereas, when a man may mortgage bis estate for ready money, all these funds enter into commerce every industrious and diligent person employs himself, in hopes that, some time or other, he may get some share of it; and thus all is id motion, and circulates as it ought to do in a body politic ; without which, it would not be able to make use of its members, but labour under a civil or political palsy. The soldier hopes to purchase some estate, one time or other ; mensofy ingenuity and parts, if poor, entertain the like hopes, and therefore set themselves to business ; a good mechanic or mariner does the like; and so of the rest, for which there would be no room:ifestates were analienable: for, in this case, prodigality, liberality, covetousness, industry, or idleness, could neither profit nor burb us, if there were no riches, and, by consequence, no honours, to be acquired amongst men.
Hence, then, it is clear that the kingdom of France is deprived of the use of one half of its members, because one half of its substance is in mainmort; for the more of a country's wealth that there is so, the less they have of activity, motion, commerce, or credit, one among another, or with strangers. Hence it comes to påss, that Popish countries, which have a great part of their wealth in mainmort, cannot drive any considerable trade, even though their mischievous religion should not have unpeopled them, as it infallibly does, unless they have abundance more of ready circulating money than other nations, which have more cre
dit and hopes for trade, because they have more funds proper to be engaged in the same.
It must be considered that, in a great State or country, let it be what it will, and let them drive what trade they please, the real estates are abundantly more valuable for the capital fund than personal estates, though the latter do very nearly afford as much revenue. But, if all these real estates were in mainmort and could not be alienated, the personal estate would be abundantly more valuable ; because any man who is possessed of sueh might therewith purchase an estate in a neighbouring country which should not be in mainmort, and which he might dispose of at pleasure.
It is also certain that, how much land estale soever any person may have, if his estate were in mainmort, he could not be said to be worth so much as the real value of his landi; because a man cannot be accounted rich, but in proportion to that jeștate which he has power to dispose of. It is true that, in a plentiful year, he would be able to maintain abundance of people; but then, all of them would run the risk of being starved in a year of dearth and scarcity, because, not being able to alienate bis estate, he would not have credit to buy provisions : and, besides, those people that serve bim must needs be slaves, for none else would serve him, but in hopes of gaining, something: and what is it they could gain, when there is no stock to be acquired, nor any money; and, if there were, they would be of no use to them.
Further, if real estates were in mainmort, and unalienable, there would be no room for industry, and, by consequence, not the tenth part of the personal estates that there are at present. For, as I have already said, money would be useless; navigation, ships, merchandise, and all-moveables, superfluous; the arts would decay; no man would work but for his own use, or that of his family, and pressing occasions ; persons of dignity and honour, if there were any such, could not make any figure or pomp, to distinguish them ofrom others; and, in a word, the whole face of the universe would be changed, or rather turned upside down.
', ;78 jcdt i Djs In England, a man may buy con farm a house and land with his money, without being abliged to any body; because such things are always to be had, either for a longer or shorter time, when there is a flourishing trade amongst men, for which there could be no place if all those estates were in mainmort. :
I have valued the revenues of all the estates, real and personal, of France, and the fruits of the people's industry, altogether at 1,000,000,000 of livres per annum; and the whole stock therein, comprehending the people at: 20,000,000,000, at twenty years' purchase: and likewise in England, I have valued the same stock and product at 550,000,000 livres per apnum, and the whole
stock therein, comprehending the people, at 11:000,000,000, at twenty years' purchase. But, if all those estates were in mainmort, they would not be worth the tenth, nay, not the twentieth, part so much, nor, indeed, worth any thing but the present enjoyment of the people, who would be very few in number, as I have already said, and like so many savages, having neither commerce, arts, nanufactures, sciences, nor money, las has been often said; for no many would work but for himself and his family, and that too but from hands to mouth. These, and many more, are the inconveniences that would follow upon having all estates in mainmort.
!!! 9 digital But, perhaps, some opinionative persons may say, that, to carry on the trade of a nation, it is enough that half of the wealth of a country is not in mainmort; which is just as much as if they should say, that it is as well to have half the body paralytic, and deprived of the use of half of its members, as not to be so at all, because al man may still live in that condition. But who does not perceive that this is a distempered and a languishing condition; and that, in such a case, a man cannot do half the business that he might do if he were in perfect health.
It cannot be reasonably denied that, the more vigorous a body is, the better it does its work; so that, the more credit there is in a nation, the more are all its effects in motion : the more arts, industry, agriculture, and commerce, flourish there ; and the country becomes more populous in proportion. What a mighty disorder, then, does it occasion, that all these monks and priests, (who are the subjects of a foreign prince,* seeing they have taken the oaths to him, and who is moreover, of necessity, the hereditary enemy of the State,) should be thus, with all their wealth, sequestered from the State, in respect of all those things wherein they might be useful to ityvizio in regard of imposts, and the charges of the State, and tradejas also in regard of propagation, and obedience to their sovereign, as other subjects : that they, I say, should be no otherwise united to a State, but so as to ruin it, and enrich themselves and his Holiness by its spoils.
Let us suppose the estates that are in mainmort among the ecclesiastics possessed by merchants or tradesmen, the commerce would have been much greater im France; and, by consequence, the kingdom would have been more rich and potent.
Let us suppose that they had been in the hands of the generals of armies, colonels, and other military officers, who, like the Turkish Timariots, should entertaineupon those estates so many thousands of married men'ąs night cultivate them ; what an incredible ease would that give to the poor people, who would thereby be relieved from the burden of maintaining so many troops : what an increase of people, and what riches, would not
• The Pope.
that produce ? Or let us suppose that these estates were in possession of people of quality, or others, who either had served, or might serve, the King in his camp, though not in the manner of Timariots, they would spend their estates in the service of the King, by doing him honour at Court; or generously in fine buildings, sculptures, paintings, engravings, or other magnificent curiosities and ornamente, which would embellish and set off the provinces and towns, make arts flourish, employ a vast number of people, and cause money to circulate incessantly from one hand to another. Or, suppose they were possessed by laics of all raoks indifferently, as the other half of the estates of the kingdom are at present, and that, as to other things, the government should remain on the same footing as it is at present, (which, however, is not much to be desired.) the King, in that case, would mightily increase his revenue; the officers of justice, of the police or discipline of cities, and those of the treasury, as also those of the imposts,' and all their train, would get twice as much riches as they do, except their pumber should be augmented in proportion; in which case, the king would be enriched by the sale of a great number of places. It is true the people would always continue miserable if they were as much taxed in proportion; but the King's revenues would be doubled.
Nay, the very nawe of the mainmort imports that these estates, in such hands, are unprofitable to society.
I have enlarged a little upon this article, beyond what I intended, because it is of the 'highest concern in politics, and I have met with several men of parts, who did not rightly apprehend the mischief of having so much wealth in mainmort.
10 bulev Viison
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Olow jods alsvisa relates to the great quantity of plate which they have in their churches and convents, and in the
these places they call their trea'suries,--as St. Denis near Paris, Notre Dame de Liesse, aud Des Ardillieres : and other places of that nature. This one superstitious and foolish custom must needs have robbed the public commerce of divers millions, Suppose that, in the whole, it had 'not exceeded twenty million so that would have at least amounted
to several millions per annum amongst the people. However, I will not take upon me to determine how far this loss extends, because I do not know what quantity of plate they have ; for the Popish clergy never tell the truth in these cases, and very seldom in any others.
ARTICLE VII. relates to the constant practice of their clergy in hoarding up money, which is of more importance than the preceding article