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for what the government calls it; but the merchant and tradesment will not, because they put a value upon their commodities accord. ingly. If the government makes twenty shillings three and twenty, the merchant will have three and twenty shillings, for twenty shillings worth of commodities: so that he must value it according as it bears with the intrinsick value; for in proportion to that, he buys and sells throughout the world, however kings and governments give names to their several coins. So we see it in France and Holland, where they reckon their cash by livres or crowns, and in Holland, by gilders, and pounds Flemish; yet still the merchant rules himself by the standard in England, which is thought the best in Europe.

Seventhly, Raising money from travellers and passengers, over bridges, and through cities, as they do much in Holland, seems ar unequal tax, and subject to great frauds. I take it to be unequal, because generally it is the poorest and most industrious that are liable to it, and perhaps, it often reaches those that are travelling to find out charity, or labour for a living. Now, to exact from them before they have purchased it, is a severity equal to that of making brick, without straw or stubble.

It is liable to great frauds, since it is impossible to have a check; so that the gatherers are under great temptations, and the collectors, being men of mean quality, are apter to be seduced.

Those taxes seem most beneficial to the government, which pass through few and most solvent hands. And, as it is secure for the state, so it is most easy for the people; and, the better that impositions are collected, the more are the people disburdened from new levies.

I shall now come to shew what are thought in other kingdoms most advisable, and they are these :

First, That of excise, which is most used in the United Provinces, which we should here think intolerable, to be laid on every bit which we eat; but there it is found useful, and time has made it natural to the people; so in Venice and other parts. The great Duke of Florence does the same, by raising most of his revenue upon con. sumptions in his own dominions, which indeed seems, of all taxes, the most equal; for that no man by it can be said to be oppressed, he being his own assessor, and pays but what he pleases, according to his expence. But laying it, as they do in the United Provinces, upon the food of the poor, might be thought a grievance. If that, and one defect more, could be remedied, there could be nothing said against this tax; and that is, the rich miser, who starves his miserable body, goes most free; therefore, as to him, I have before given my opinion, how he might be reached.

Where this excise is most used, importations and exportations are most eased, by which means, trade is greatly improved, and at the same time, the levies to the king or state much augmented; for that the expence of those merchants and seamen that repair thither, though they sell nothing, but come to see a market, is considerable.

Secondly, In other countries, Jews are particularly taxed, and for which there seems good reason, for that no tax hardly reaches them, but, like the misers before spoken of, they are indeed beyond them, for that excise toucheth not them. They neither eat nor drink with christians; a few eggs or herbs are most of their food; live sordidly, and spend little: Have no lands or rents to be reached by any tax; nor is their trade profitable to a kingdom, or advantageous to the revenue, dealing most in bills of exchange, jewels, and concealable commodities, that pay no duty.

These men should be reached by a particular tax, and so made profitable to a kingdom.

Thirdly, in some places, the government maintains play-houses and matters of sport and recreation, paying the actors salaries, and taking the profit into their own treasures. And in other parts, as in Holland, the publick have one that takes part of what is given by spectators; so that they make a gain out of that waste money, for no better can I term it. If a calculation was made of all the money spent in England, by such diversions, it might be thought, a round sum might be raised to the king. Does it not seem an omis. sion, that a play-house, which receives twenty-thousand pounds a year, should pay nothing to the publick; when a coffee house, that receives not one-thousand per annum, pays twenty pounds! And so it is in musick-houses, bear-gardens, and plays in fairs, &c.

Fourthly, In some parts of the world, as Italy, France, and Spain, a tax of labour upon malefactors condemns such, as we here punish with death, to the gallies and mines, which is a punishment of greater terror and longer example than death, and, at the same time, of profit to the kingdom. I have often thought upon this particular, and spent hours in debate with myself, and therefore shall beg your patience, if I trouble you with a tedious harangue of but part of my conceptions.

I have enquired first into the law of God, then into that of other kingdoms, and find that we differ from both in our punishment for felonies. The law of Moses, which is more severe than ours in many things (as that of adultery, and disobedience to parents, the latter of which is by our law not so penal as a broken head) yet, in felonies, not so extreme as we are ; so far from making it death, as not to inflict a corporal punishment. The restoring of four-fold was directed by the great judge of heaven and earth; and, if the thief had nothing to make satisfaction with, he was to be sold. But our laws and customs differ much, when we punish the kingdom for the fault of an evil member. It will not be denied, but that the treasure of men is of more value than that of money,

Now, to take away the life of a man is, in its proportion, equal to à man's cutting off a limb, because it is sore. A thief is a diseased member, better to be cured, than destroyed. It will be thought an extravagant fancy, yet to me it seems a real truth, that a thief is less mischievous to a body politick, than a miser; for he only makes a wrong transferring of riches; the other, I mean the miser, keeps all buried, so that the community is wronged by him, and only particular persons by the other; and, as the taking away the life of a mata

for what the government calls it; but the merchant and tradesment will not, because they put a value upon their commodities accord. ingly. If the government makes twenty shillings three and twenty, the merchant will have three and twenty shillings, for twenty shillings worth of commodities: so that he must value it according as it bears with the intrinsick value; for in proportion to that, he buys and sells throughout the world, however kings and governments give names to their several coins. So we see it in France and Holland, where they reckon their cash by livres or crowns, and in Holland, by gilders, and pounds Flemishi; yet still the merchant rules himself by the standard in England, which is thought the best in Europe.

Seventhly, Raising money from travellers and passengers, over bridges, and through cities, as they do much in Holland, seems an unequal tax, and subject to great frauds. I take it to be unequal, because generally it is the poorest and most industrious that are liable to it, and perhaps, it often reaches those that are travelling to find out charity, or labour for a living. Now, to exact from them before they have purchased it, is a severity equal to that of making brick, without straw or stubble.

It is liable to great frauds, since it is impossible to have a check; so that the gatherers are under great temptations, and the collectors, being men of mean quality, are apter to be seduced.

Those taxes seem most beneficial to the government, which pass through few and most solvent hands. And, as it is secure for the state, so it is most casy for the people; and, the better that impositions are collected, the more are the people disburdened from new levies.

I shall now come to shew what are thought in other kingdoms most advisable, and they are these :

First, That of excise, which is most used in the United Provinces, which we should here think intolerable, to be laid on every bit which we eat; but there it is found useful, and time has made it natural to the people; so in Venice and other parts. The great Duke of Florence does the same, by raising most of his revenue upon con. sumptions in his own dominions, which indeed seems, of all taxes, the most equal; for that no man by it can be said to be oppressed, he being his own assessor, and pays but what he pleases, according to his expence. But laying it, as they do in the United Provinces, upon the food of the poor, might be thought a grievance. If that, and one defect more, could be remedied, there could be nothing said against this tax; and that is, the rich miser, who starves his miserable body, goes most free; therefore, as to him, I have before given my opinion, how he might be reached.

Where this excise is most used, importations and exportations are most eased, by which means, trade is greatly improved, and at the same time, the levies to the king or state much augmented; for that the expence of those merchants and seamen that repair thither, though they sell nothing, but come to see a market, is considerable.

Secondly, In other countries, Jews are particularly taxed, and for which there seems good reason, for that po tax hardly reaches them,

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Most clandestine marriages that have happened, have proceeded from the breach of these canons: For, were they punctually ob. served, and all marriages solemnised only in the parish church, or chapel,' where one of the parties dwells,' and no where else, no clan. destine design, this way, could be carried so closely, but that the friends must know of it: At least, a stop must be put thereto, when it comes to the minister. For, when a minister celebrates a marriage that is clandestine, he doth it either out of ignorance, or ill design. As to the ignorance of the minister, in this particular (and many clandestine marriages proceed only from their being imposed on this way) the method, prescribed by the canon, must be a very effectual way; because, when all are married in their own parishes, the mi. nisters cannot be supposed to be ignorant, whether they have con. sent of friends, or no, (unless, perchance, in some of the larger parishes in London, where other care may be taken, by requiring the friends of both parties to be actually present) and, therefore, though a license should be fraudulently obtained, yet, if directed to him, it can be of no effect; because all licenses go with a proviso of nullity, in case of fraud ; and, therefore, to him that knows the fraud (as it

scarce possible but every minister must in his own parish) it can be no license at all, but he will be as much liable to the penalty of the law, if he marries with a license in this case, as if he had no license at all. And as to a minister's being party to the ill design of a clandestine marriage, you shall scarce ever find this to happen, when people are married by their own minister. For, the penalty being suspension per triennium, none that have benefices which are worth any thing, and are sensible of the fraud (as all mi. nisters must be in the parishes where they live) will expose themselves to be deprived of them so long, for the sake of a marriage fee. But, most an end, they are not ministers of parishes, but indigent curates, or unpreferred chaplains, that wilfully engage themselves in this matter; who, having nothing to lose, on this account, are out of the reach of the penalty; and, therefore, if there are but one or two such in a county, usually the whole trade of clandestine marriages goes to them; and, therefore, the best way to prevent such marriages, will be, to confine all, according to the canon, to be married at home in their own parishes, by the minister of the place that hath an in. terest there, wherein to suffer, if he doth amiss. Because, if this be done, the minister can neither be imposed on by a fraudulent li. cense, where the persons are so well known unto him (as those of his own parish must be), nor will he dare to marry without one. It may, I confess, be possible, that a minister, to gratify some gen. tleman of his parish, who, he thinks, is able to protect him from tbe penalty, or else make him amends for what he suffers by it, may be prevailed with to celebrate a clandestine marriage for his sake, and thereby put an obligation upon him, and all his family and friends, on account of the advantage usually gotten to the man by such stolen matches. But, in the parish where the woman lives, it will be quite otherwise. For, it being, for the most part, the man that steals the woman, and not the woman the man, there, instead of obliging, ho weakens the kingdom, so does it injure the person robbed; for that, if the thief were not able to pay, then might he be sold, and kept at work in mines, or other penal labour, both for satisfaction to the per. son injured, and corporal punishment to the offender. And it may be thought to be of more terror, to have a spectacle for many years labouring with a shaved head in chains, than an execution of half an hour, that is oftentimes soon forgotten.

I have named but these four heads, for all the foreign use in taxes, because I do not remember, amongst the numerous ways they have, any other practicable and profitable in these kingdoms. The two latter of these we do not use; but I presume, if they were taken into the consideration of better heads than mine, they might find a way to make something out of them ; forasmuch as I am able to judge, a great revenue might be made to accrue to the kingdom, out of the vermin of the nation, leud persons of both sexes, which now pass as if tolerated in their enormities; and only one sett of them, that the law seems severe against, punishing them with death ; which by so much appears to be the worse, by how much we suppose nothing too rigo. rous for offences against ourselves, and nothing too little or indula gent for crimes committed against God. I am,

Sir,
Your most humble servant.

THE

CASE OF CLANDESTINE MARRIAGES STATED,

WHEREIN ARE SHEWN

THE CAUSES FROM WHENCE THIS CORRUPTION ARISETA,

And the true Methods, whereby it may be remedied.

IN A LETTER TO A PERSON OF HONOUR.

[From a quarto edition, printed at London, in the year 1691.)

By the sixty-second canon of King James the First, as well as by the constitutions of John Stratford, Archbishop of Canterbury, in the reign of King Edward the Third, it is ordained, "That, no persons shall be married, but in the parishes where one of the parties dwells.' And in the hundred and second canon, it is further provided, That

when a license is granted, the person, that grants it, shall take good caution and security :' As for other things in the canon mentioned, so lastly for this, That they shall celebrate the marriage publickly, in the parish church, or chapel, where one of them dwelleth, and in no other place; and that between the hours of eight and twelve in the morning.'

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