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a whole year's revenue to the king, and this is what the French call Francfief.
There is another duty all over the kingdom, called Barrage, which is paid by the waggoners and carriers, and this was employed for the repairing of bridges and highways. Now the king hath appropriated it all to his own use, under the promise, that be bimself would take care of the pavements, bridges, &c. But, he has kept his word herein, as religiously, as he hath the treaty of Nimeguen.
Every house in Paris was assessed at a certain sum for the poor, and the scavengers, as they are here in London; but the king hath obliged the proprietors of each house, to redeem that tax, by paying a certain sum into his coffers, and he hath taken upon hin the care of keeping the poor, and of cleansing the streets; but, how be hath performed what he had promised, we may learn from publick intelligences, wherein, we are told, that all the inhabitants of Paris have been now lately assessed, upon the account of the poor.
Besides the duties of the custom-house, there is a kind of tax upon tobacco, I say, a kind of tax: because it is rather, in reality, an engrossing of the trade of that commodity. There are a company of people, that pay to the king a sum of money yearly, to have the privilege of selling tobacco, and that at their own word. This sum amounts to about sixty thousand pounds sterling.
All people who let lodgings furnished in Paris, and all the innkeepers, upon high ways, have been taxed within these three months.
Though the counsellors in parliament be very numerous, yet the French king hath lately, I mean, since the beginning of this war, increased their number an eighth in each parliament, who have paid ready money for their places, each of them an hundred thousand livres, that is, seven thousand six hundred ninety-two pounds, six shillings, and one penny half penny sterling; and, over and above this sum, they pay the annual duty, as well as others; and each of then have been taxed, since that time, twelve-thousand livres, or nine hundred seventy-six pounds eighteen shillings sterling.
The French king hath erected en Titre d'office the mayors of all the cities of the kingdom; and, because this place is bereditary, and those in possession of them are free from quartering of soldiers, and other publick charges, besides the honour, they have been sold very dear. I will give but an instance: the mayor of Caen in Normandy, wbich is not one of the most considerable cities in France, has paid about four thousand pounds sterling.
Those, who sell any brandy by retail in their shops, or in the streets, at a half-penny a glass (as they use in most parts of France) have been erected also, since this war, en Titre d'office, and have paid twenty-three pounds, one shilling, and sixpence,
A very poor sort of people, called Criers of old shoes, hats, and rags, have also been erected en Titre d'office, and each of them has paid seven pounds, thirteen shillings, and sixpence.
The barbers, who were peruke-makers, were erected en Titre d'office in 1672, and then they paid one hundred fifty-three pounds eighteen shillings; and, soon after, they were forced to pay a like sum; and, since this war, they have been taxed a-new, each of them at thirty-eight pounds, seven shillings, and sixpence.
I will not, however, say, that in all the cities of France they have paid so much : for I would have this be understood of Paris only; for, in the other cities, they have paid proportionable to their trade. Another observation, I must make, is, that the very country-village barbers have been forced 10 take letters of license from the king; and, I suppose, no-body will think that they are granted gratis, when they are so forced upon them.
The French king begun by the peruke makers to tax tradesmen ; for, in a little while after, all the other tradesmen and artificers throughout the kingdom were assessed likewise. To be particular in this point would require a volume, and so I must content myself, for brevity's sake, with one example, which shall be of the weavers of Paris, the most miserable trade-men in France, who were assessed at seven pounds, thirteen shillings, and sixpence.
All officers of justice, as judges, attornies, registers, bailiffs, notaries, &c. have also been taxed, every one of them, according to the fees of their several respective places.
The packers bave been also erected en Titre d’office, but I cannot yet tell what they paid.
Every month produces some new found out offices; and, about a year ago, the porters were erected en Titre d'office, under the title of Bouteurs a port, that is, with the privileges of unloading the boats laden with wine, and some other commodities. They paid each of them about eight hundred pounds sterling, and they are allowed about five pence per ton. This will look somewhat romantick, at least, very surprising ; but it must be considered, that, these places being hereditary, and of a great revenue, a man can make no better use of his money, than in purchasing of them.
Since the beginning of this war, the French king has created some officers for funerals, called Criers. When any persons die, these officers are appointed to take care of their funerals, which they make at what expence they please, for nobody can oppose them, under a very great penalty. They are allowed for their trouble a certain sum of money; and, besides, they enjoy some privileges and immunities, as, from quartering of soldiers, and other parish-charges.
There is a world of other duties, taxes, and offices, which it would be too tedious to relate, and, in a manner, impossible. But, I hope, what I have said is sufficient to convince any man of brains and sense, that is not of a resolved and obstinate inflexibility, that this French king bath carried his tyranny, as well as his prerogative, to a degree unknown unto all former ages. I will therefore leave this subject, after this short remark, that, in the new conquests, people are no better treated, than in France. The brewers in Mons have been lately erected en Titre d' Office, and bave been forced to pay a hundred crowns a-piece; a man cannot be admitted into
holy orders without paying four crowns, nor contract matrimony without a licence, which costs ten shillings.
I had almost forgot mentioning one thing, which is even more intolerable, than the heaviest tax I have yet spoke of, I mean, the raising, or lessening the current coin; and, to explain my meaning, I must observe to you, that when the French king is at a pinch for money, then he raises his coin as high as he pleaseth: and afterwards he lesseneth it when he hath no such need. Thus louis d'ors are risen, at this time, from eleven to fourteen livres, and his crowns in proportion; so that, whenever this war shall be at an end, people will lose four shillings and sixpence in every louis d'or, and sooner too, if this war continues. For the king, by his royal edict, will, as he hath already done seve, al mes, set a lower value upon the same pieces, and command them all to be brought into the mint, by a certain stated time, under severe penalties, to be new stamped, and then afterwards he will raise the price as high as be pleases ; by which means he will get a vast profit himself, to the depression and rujn of his people. One instance will serve to clear up this: The louis d'ors, which are current now at fourteen livres, will be valued but at twelve, and they must be carried to the mint, where the king will pay them in, at that price, with his new stamped coin : and, some time after, those very louis d'ors, with the new royal stamp shall be worth fourteen and fifteen livres, or whatever other higher value the king is pleased to put them at.
I must not forget neither the five millions of livres, that the city of Paris is now, al this day obliged to pay to the king, as we may see in our Gazette. This forced payment, which amounts near to four hundred thousanol pounds sterling. is a little hard, considering the other taxes, which that city is charged withak,
ARTICLE VII. Of the French King's yearly Revenue, and how it is
NOTWITHSTANDING all the taxes I have already mentioned, and the many others, which I have here omitted, yet the French king's yearly revenue amounts not to so great a sum, as one would be easily tempted, at first, to imagine. I have ben often told, that it came to above an hundred and fifty millions of livres; but, after a narrow inquiry into it, I found, that, at the death of Monsieur Colbert, it came only to an hundred thirty-three millions, two hundred thousand livres, or ten millions, two hundred fortysix thousand, one hundred and fifty-three pounds, sixteen shillings, and sixpence of our English money. Now, when we consider, that, since this war, the French king hath raised his taxes higher than ever they were, and created many offices and employments, we shall be apt to think, that his revenues must needs be so much the more increased; but yet, if, at the same time, we do but reflect upon the lamentable decay of his trade in that kingdom, we shall find, upon a serious examination, that the increasing of his taxes can hardly make amends for the loss of his customs, and, con. sequently, that his revenue is much about what it was at the time I
But, perhaps, somebody will say, how can the French king keep such great armies in pay, if his yearly revenue be no more? The answer to this objection is very easy to any one, who knows, that twenty-thousand horse stand this nation in more, than an hundred thousand cost the French king. Our single troopers have near two shillings and sixpence a day, and the French have hardly five pence; our foot foot-soldiers have eight-pence, or, at least, sixpence in the field, and the French have only six farthings and the ammunition-bread.
Here I could very well put an end to this discourse, but that I think myself obliged to remove one objection more, wbich, I know, some people will be apt to make against me, viz. That, if the French pay yearly but ten millions, and England five, we lie under harder circumstances, than they do, since France is twice as big as England, at least.
This, I confess, seems, at first, to be a very specious and considerable objection; but, in answering of it, I would desire my reader to make, with me, these following remarks: First, it is a truth beyond contradiction, that the taxes laid in England, how heavy soever they may seem to be, are but for one year, and these, too, laid on as by our own consent; but those in France have been made perpetual, by the grand imposer on his subjects estates, and liberties, for above these twenty years. This is a very notable difference. Secondly, it must be observed, that all taxes iv France, except the taille, are let to farm, whereby it is manifest, that they must produce more than what the king receives: for, as a farm, in any country, must not only produce enough to make the farmer able to pay his landlord his rent, but also to repay his expences, and maintain bimself and his family: even just so it is, in relation to the taxes that are laid on the French, but with a far more comfortable difference to the farmers of the French king's revenues, I mean, to those who have the least finger in them: for they, in a short time, become so vastly rich, that the greatest lords in France, as the Marshal de Lorges, and several others, have thought themselves happy in marrying their daughters.
These farmers advance money to the king, and then they repay themselves out of the people's pockets, and God knoweth with what vexations and tyrannical oppressions, for they are impowered to do whatever they please. Those, who have computed, as near as possible they could, how many men are employed in the levying the king's revenues, do assure us, that they are above eighty thousand who are kept at the people's charges, the keeping of whom is dearer by far, than the barely maintaining of an hundred thousand soldiers: but a man must have seen this to believe it.
Now, whosoever will consider these things, will, no doubt, agree with me, that the French nation groans under a very slavish
and worse than Egyptian bondage, and that they pay a great deal more, than what appears in the books of the royal treasury. I was, one day, discoursing in France upon this point with a very learned man, and one that very well understood this business; and he told me, that, upon a very modest computation, he had found, that the kingdom of France paid yearly above two hundred thousand millions, upon account of the king's taxes, that is, above fifteen millions, three hundred eighty-four thousand, six hundred fifteen pounds, seven shillings, and six-pence sterling. Tho' I will not absolutely rely on my friend's account, yet this small treatise, I hope, will be enough to convince any unprejudiced person, that it is not altogether improbable.
I will only now desire my readers to peruse this little book with care, and then to consider how much they are obliged to those, who are indefatigable in their labour and industry to bring this nation under the dreadful tyranny of France.
ENCOURAGEMENT FOR SEAMEN AND MARINERS.
IN TWO PARTS.
Being a proposed Method for the more speedy and effectual furnishing their
Majesty's Royal Navy with able Seamen and Mariners: And for saving those immense Sums of Money, yearly expended in attended the Sea Press. In order to prevent those many Mischiefs and Abuses daily committed, by disorderly Press-Masters, both at Sea and Land, to the great Prejudice of their Majesties, and Injury of the subject. By George Everett, Shipwright. London, Printed in the Year 1695. Quarto. Containing twenty-four Pages.
To the Right Honourable the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and
Commons of England, assembled in Parliament.
most humbly offer these following proposals, for the encouraging of seamen, in order to furnish their Majesties Royal Navy on all occasions: Wherein is briefly set forth the great hardships and sufferings of those employed in the sea-service, together with proper remedies to prevent the same; whereby their Majesties, and the publick, may save those immense sums of money yearly expended on such occasions; the seamen be happy and easy in such service; the merchants enjoy a free trade, without interruption; the whole nation be happy under the present influence of a war, many grievances attending thereon be redressed, vice punished, virtue promoted, our enemies terrified, and ourselves encouraged, by the blessing of the Almighty, to prosecute this so great and glorious undertaking, and thereby regain our former honour of being master of the British seas, to the glory of their Majesties,