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windows; whereas small farms tend to multiply a hardy and frugal race, useful for every purpose. In the next place, it is a discouragement to manufa&ures, by taxing the houses in which they are carried on. Manufacturers, in order to relieve themselves as much as possible from the tax, make a side of their house but one window; and there are instances, where in three stories there are but three windows. But what chiefly raises my averfion to that tax, is that it burdens the poor more than the rich : a house in a paulury village that affords not five pounds of yearly rent, may have a greater number of windows than one in London rented at fifty. The plate-tax is not indeed hurtful to manufactures and commerce : but it is hurtful to the common interest; because plate converted into money may be the means of saving the nation at a crisis, and therefore ought to be encouraged, instead of being loaded with a tax. On pictures imported into Britain, a duty is laid in proportion to the size. Was there no intelligent person at hand, to inform our legislature, that the only means to rouse a genius for painting, is to give our youth ready access to good pictures ? Till these

be be multiplied in Britain, we never shall have the reputation of producing a good painter. So far indeed it is lucky, that the moft valuable pi&tures are not loaded with a greater duty than the most paultry. Fish, both salt and fresh, brought to Paris, pay a duty of 48 per cent. by an arbitrary estimation of the value. This tax is an irreparable injury to France, by difcouraging the multiplication of seamen. It is beneficial indeed in one view, as it tends to check the growing population of that great city.

Without waiting to rummage the Bria tish taxes for instances of the fourth kind, I shall present my reader with a foreign instance. In the Austrian Netherlands, there are inexhaustible mines of coal, the exportation of which would make a considerable article of commerce, were it not absolutely barred by an exorbitant duty. This absurd duty is a great injury to proprietors of coal, without yielding a farthing to the revenue. The Dutch, many years ago, offered to confine themselves to that country for coal, on condition of being relieved from the duty; which would have brought down the price below that of British coal. Is it not wonderful, that

the the proposal was rejected ? But ministers seldom regard what is beneficial to the nation, unless it produce an immediate benefit to their sovereign or to themselves. The coal-mines in the Austrian Netherlands being thus shut up, and the art of working them loft, the British enjoy the monopoly of exporting coal to Holland. And it is likely to be a very beneficial monopoly. The Dutch turf is wearing out. The woods are cut down every where near the sea ; and the expence of carrying wood for fewel from a distance, turns greater and greater every day. · The duty on coal water-born is an instance of the fifth kind. A great obstruction it is to many useful manufactures that require coal ; and indeed to manufactures in general, by increasing the expence of coal, an essential article in a cold country. Nay, one would imagine, that it has been intended to check population ; as poor wretches benummed with cold, have little of the carnal appetite. It has not even the merit of adding much to the public revenue; for, laying aside London, it produces but a mere trifle. But the peculiarity of this tax, which entitles it to a conspicuous place in the fifth clafs, is, that it is not less

detrimental to the public revenue, than to individuals. No sedentary art nor oco cupation, can succeed in a cold climate without plenty of fewel. One may at the first glance distinguish the coal-countries from the rest of England, by the industry of the inhabitants, and by plenty of manufacturing towns and villages. Where there is scarcity of fewel, some hours are lost every morning ; because people cannot work till the place be sufficiently warmed, which is especially the case in manufactures that require a soft and delicate finger. Now, in many parts of Britain that might be provided with coal by water, the labouring poor are deprived of that comfort by the tax. Had cheap firing encouraged these people to prosecute arts and manufactures, it is more than probable, that at this day they would be contributing to the public revenue by other duties, much greater sums than are drawn from them by the duty on coal. At the same time, if coal must pay a duty, why not at the pit, where it is cheapest ? Is it not an egregious blunder, to lay a great duty on those who pay a high price for coal, and no duty on those who have it cheap? If there must be a


coal-duty, let water-born coal at any rate be exempted; not only because even without duty it comes dear to the consumer, but also for the encouragement of feamen. For the honour of Britain this duty ought to be expunged from our statute-book, never again to show its face. Great reason indeed there is for continuing the duty on coal consumed in London ; because every artifice should be practised, to prevent the increase of a capital, that is already too large for this or for any other kingdom. Towns are unhealthy in proportion to their size ; and a great town, like London, is a greater enemy to population than war or famine,

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Taxes for advancing Industry and Commerce. o f all sciences, that of politics is the

U most intricate ; and its progress toward maturity is flow in proportion. In the present section, taxes on exportation of native commodities take the lead ; and VOL. II 3 F


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