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The ground I
shall put it upon is, that two millions sterling a year will support
a sufficient army, and all the expenses of war and government, without
having recourse to the inconvenient method of continually calling men
from their employments, which, of all others, is the most expensive and
the least substantial. I consider the revenues created by taxes as the
first and principal thing, and fines only as secondary and accidental
things. It was not the intention of the militia law to apply the fines
to anything else but the support of the militia, neither do they produce
any revenue to the state, yet these fines amount to more than all the
taxes: for taking the muster-roll to be sixty thousand men, the fine
on forty thousand who may not attend, will be sixty thousand pounds
sterling, and those who muster, will give up a portion of time equal
to half that sum, and if the eight classes should be called within the
year, and one third turn out, the fine on the remaining forty thousand
would amount to seventy-two millions of dollars, besides the fifteen
shillings on every hundred pounds of property, and the charge of seven
and a half per cent. for collecting, in certain instances which, on
the whole, would be upwards of two hundred and fifty thousand pounds
sterling.

Now if those very fines disable the country from raising a sufficient
revenue without producing an equivalent advantage, would it not be for
the ease and interest of all parties to increase the revenue, in the
manner I have proposed, or any better, if a better can be devised, and
cease the operation of the fines? I would still keep the militia as an
organized body of men, and should there be a real necessity to call them
forth, pay them out of the proper revenues of the state, and increase
the taxes a third or fourth per cent. on those who do not attend. My
limits will not allow me to go further into this matter, which I shall
therefore close with this remark; that fines are, of all modes of
revenue, the most unsuited to the minds of a free country. When a
man pays a tax, he knows that the public necessity requires it, and
therefore feels a pride in discharging his duty; but a fine seems
an atonement for neglect of duty, and of consequence is paid with
discredit, and frequently levied with severity.

I have now only one subject more to speak of, with which I shall
conclude, which is, the resolve of Congress of the 18th of March last,
for taking up and funding the present currency at forty for one, and
issuing new money in its stead.

Every one knows that I am not the flatterer of Congress, but in this
instance they are right; and if that measure is supported, the currency
will acquire a value, which, without it, it will not. But this is not
all: it will give relief to the finances until such time as they can be
properly arranged, and save the country from being immediately doubled
taxed under the present mode. In short, support that measure, and it
will support you.

I have now waded through a tedious course of difficult business, and
over an untrodden path. The subject, on every point in which it could be
viewed, was entangled with perplexities, and enveloped in obscurity, yet
such are the resources of America, that she wants nothing but system to
secure success.

COMMON SENSE.

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 4, 1780.




THE CRISIS X. ON THE KING OF ENGLAND'S SPEECH.


OF all the innocent passions which actuate the human mind there is none
more universally prevalent than curiosity. It reaches all mankind, and
in matters which concern us, or concern us not, it alike provokes in us
a desire to know them.

Although the situation of America, superior to every effort to enslave
her, and daily rising to importance and opulence, has placed her above
the region of anxiety, it has still left her within the circle of
curiosity; and her fancy to see the speech of a man who had proudly
threatened to bring her to his feet, was visibly marked with that
tranquil confidence which cared nothing about its contents. It was
inquired after with a smile, read with a laugh, and dismissed with
disdain.

But, as justice is due, even to an enemy, it is right to say, that the
speech is as well managed as the embarrassed condition of their affairs
could well admit of; and though hardly a line of it is true, except the
mournful story of Cornwallis, it may serve to amuse the deluded commons
and people of England, for whom it was calculated.

"The war," says the speech, "is still unhappily prolonged by that
restless ambition which first excited our enemies to commence it, and
which still continues to disappoint my earnest wishes and diligent
exertions to restore the public tranquillity."

How easy it is to abuse truth and language, when men, by habitual
wickedness, have learned to set justice at defiance. That the very man
who began the war, who with the most sullen insolence refused to answer,
and even to hear the humblest of all petitions, who has encouraged
his officers and his army in the most savage cruelties, and the most
scandalous plunderings, who has stirred up the Indians on one side, and
the negroes on the other, and invoked every aid of hell in his behalf,
should now, with an affected air of pity, turn the tables from himself,
and charge to another the wickedness that is his own, can only be
equalled by the baseness of the heart that spoke it.

To be nobly wrong is more manly than to be meanly right, is an
expression I once used on a former occasion, and it is equally
applicable now. We feel something like respect for consistency even in
error. We lament the virtue that is debauched into a vice, but the
vice that affects a virtue becomes the more detestable: and amongst the
various assumptions of character, which hypocrisy has taught, and men
have practised, there is none that raises a higher relish of disgust,
than to see disappointed inveteracy twisting itself, by the most visible
falsehoods, into an appearance of piety which it has no pretensions to.

"But I should not," continues the speech, "answer the trust committed
to the sovereign of a free people, nor make a suitable return to my
subjects for their constant, zealous, and affectionate attachment to my
person, family and government, if I consented to sacrifice, either to
my own desire of peace, or to their temporary ease and relief, those
essential rights and permanent interests, upon the maintenance and
preservation of which, the future strength and security of this country
must principally depend."

That the man whose ignorance and obstinacy first involved and still
continues the nation in the most hopeless and expensive of all wars,
should now meanly flatter them with the name of a free people, and make
a merit of his crime, under the disguise of their essential rights and
permanent interests, is something which disgraces even the character of
perverseness. Is he afraid they will send him to Hanover, or what does
he fear? Why is the sycophant thus added to the hypocrite, and the man
who pretends to govern, sunk into the humble and submissive memorialist?

What those essential rights and permanent interests are, on which the
future strength and security of England must principally depend, are not
so much as alluded to. They are words which impress nothing but the ear,
and are calculated only for the sound.

But if they have any reference to America, then do they amount to
the disgraceful confession, that England, who once assumed to be her
protectress, has now become her dependant. The British king and ministry
are constantly holding up the vast importance which America is of
to England, in order to allure the nation to carry on the war: now,
whatever ground there is for this idea, it ought to have operated as a
reason for not beginning it; and, therefore, they support their present
measures to their own disgrace, because the arguments which they now
use, are a direct reflection on their former policy.

"The favorable appearance of affairs," continues the speech, "in the
East Indies, and the safe arrival of the numerous commercial fleets of
my kingdom, must have given you satisfaction."

That things are not quite so bad every where as in America may be some
cause of consolation, but can be none for triumph. One broken leg
is better than two, but still it is not a source of joy: and let the
appearance of affairs in the East Indies be ever so favorable, they are
nevertheless worse than at first, without a prospect of their ever being
better. But the mournful story of Cornwallis was yet to be told, and it
was necessary to give it the softest introduction possible.

"But in the course of this year," continues the speech, "my assiduous
endeavors to guard the extensive dominions of my crown have not been
attended with success equal to the justice and uprightness of my
views."--What justice and uprightness there was in beginning a war with
America, the world will judge of, and the unequalled barbarity with
which it has been conducted, is not to be worn from the memory by the
cant of snivelling hypocrisy.

"And it is with great concern that I inform you that the events of war
have been very unfortunate to my arms in Virginia, having ended in the
loss of my forces in that province."--And our great concern is that they
are not all served in the same manner.

"No endeavors have been wanted on my part," says the speech, "to
extinguish that spirit of rebellion which our enemies have found means
to foment and maintain in the colonies; and to restore to my deluded
subjects in America that happy and prosperous condition which they
formerly derived from a due obedience to the laws."

The expression of deluded subjects is become so hacknied and
contemptible, and the more so when we see them making prisoners of whole
armies at a time, that the pride of not being laughed at would induce a
man of common sense to leave it off. But the most offensive falsehood
in the paragraph is the attributing the prosperity of America to a
wrong cause. It was the unremitted industry of the settlers and their
descendants, the hard labor and toil of persevering fortitude, that
were the true causes of the prosperity of America.



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