Gazette of the United-States. (New-York [N.Y.]) 1789-1793, June 10, 1789, Page 68, Image 4

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{Continued from our /<?//.]
Camillus, to spare himfelf reproach and envy,
Dictator as he was, wrote to the senate, " that
by the favor oi the Gods, his own exertions, and
the patience of the soldiers, Veii would loon be
in his hands, and therefore he desired their di
rections what to do with the spoils." The senate
were of two opinions: Licinius was forgiving
notice to all the citizens that they might go anil
(hare in the plunder ; Appius Claudius would
have it all brought into the public treasury, or
appropriated to the payment of the soldiers,
which would ease the people of taxes. Licinius
replied, that if the money should be brought to
the treasury, it would be the cause of eternal
complaints, murmurs, and seditions. The latter
advice prevailed, and the plunder was indifirimi
nate, for the city of Veii, after a ten years siege,
in wliich many commanders had been employed,
i\as at last taken by Camillus by stratagem ; and
the opulence of it appeared lb great, that the
dictator was terrified at his own good fortune, and
that of his country. He prayed the gods, if it
mufl: be qualified with any disgrace, that it might
tall upon him, not the commonwealth. This pie
ty and patriotifm,'however,did not always govern
Camillus : His triumph betrayed an extravagance
of "canity more than bordering on profanenefs ;
he_ had the arrogance and presumption to liarnefs
four white horses in his chariot, a colour peculiar
to Jupiter and the Sun, an ambitibn more than
Roman, more than human. Here the people
were very angry w:th Camillus for having too
little reverence for religion : The next moment
they were still more incensed against hiin for hav
ing too much, for he reminded them of a vow
he had made to consecrate a tenth part of the
spoils to Apollo. The people, in short, did not
love Camillus ; and the senate adored him be
caule he opposed the multitude on all occasions,
without any relerve, and appeared the most ar
dent and aftjve in refilling their caprices. It
wasealier to conquer enemies than to please citi
zens*- This mighty aristocratic grew so unpopu
tT' t^lat ° ne - t * le tr^unes accused him before
the people oi applying part of the spoils of Veii
V > .' 1 l?. own u^"e > a,; d finding, upon cohfulting
, ""iends, that he had no chance of acquittal,
lie went into voluntary banishment at Ardea :
but he prayed to the gods to make his ungrate
ful country regret his absence. He was tried in
his absence, and condemned in a fine.—Had
Nedham s constitution existed at Rome, would
Camillus have iakenVeii, or been made dictator,
or employed at all ? Certainly not. Characters
much more plausible would have run him down,or
have obliged him to imitate all their indulgencies.
In all rhefe examples of Cincinnatus, Curius,
r abius, and Camillus, &c. our author quotes exam
ples of virtues which grew up onlyin a few arifto
cratical families, were cultivated by the emula
tion between the two orders in the State, and by
tneir struggles to check and balance each other,
to prove the excellence of a Hate where there is
but one order, no emulation and no balance. This
is like the condudl of a poet, who should enume
rate the cheerful rays and refulgent glories of the
iun in a description of the beauties of midnight.
Whether succession is, or is not, the grand pre
servative again!): corruption, the United SLates
of America have adopted this author's idea in this
Reason, so far as to make the governor and
ienate, as well as the house of representatives,
annually elective. They have therefore a clear
aim bis congratulations. They are that liap
py nation : 1 hey ought to rejoice in the wisdom
and justice of their trustees ; far certain limits
and bounds are fixed to the powers in beinjx, by
adeclaredfucceJhon of thefupreme authority an
nually in the hands of the people.
It is still, however, problematical, whether
this Aiccelnon will be the grand preservative a
gainlt corruption, or the grand inlet to it. The
elections of governors andfenators are so guarded
that there is room to hope ; but, if we recolletfL
t, e experience of past ages and other nations,
there are grounds to fear. The experiment is
made, ar.d will have fair play. If corruption
breaks in, a remedy must be provided; and
what that remedy must be is well enough known
to every man who thinks.
Our authors examples are taken from the Ro
mans, after the abolition of monarchy, while the
government was an aristocracy, in the hands of
a senate, balanced only by the tribunes. It is most
certainly true, that a (landing authority in the
hands of one, the few, or the many, has an im
petuous propensity to corruption ; ' and it is to
controul this tendency that three orders equal and
inuependent of each other, are contended for in
the legislature. While power was in the hands
of a senate, according to our author, the people
were even in danger of losing their liberty. It
would be nearer the truth to fay, that the peo
* Exccllentibus ingeniis citing defuerit ars qus civem recant
<{uani qua hoftem fuperent. Liv. ii. 43.
' »
pie had ho liberty,or a very imperfed: and uncer
tain liberty ; none at all before the inttitution of
the tribunes, and but an imperfect lhare after
wards ; becaufethe tribunes were an unequal bal
ance to the fenate,and lb on the other fide were the
consuls. " Sometimes in danger from kingly
afpirers." But whose fault was that ? The senate
had a futlicient abhorrence of fach conspiracies :
It was the people who encouraged the ambition
of particular peifons to aspire, and who became
their partizans. Melius would have been made
a King by the people, if they had not been check
ed by the senate ; and so would Manlins : To be
convinced of tliis, it isneceflary only to recollect
the ttory.—Spurius Melius, a rich citizen of the
Equettrian order, in the year before Clirilt 437,
and of Rome the 31 jth, a time offcarcity and fa
mine, aspired to the consulship. He bought a
large quantity of corn in Etruria, and distribu
ted It among the people. Becoming by his libe
rality the darling of the populace, they attend
ed his train, wherever he went, and promiled
him the cons ulfhip. Sensible, however, that the
lenators, with the wliole yuintian family at
their head, would oppose him, he mult use force ;
and as ambition is insatiable, and cannot be con
tented with what is attainable, he conceived that
to obtain the sovereignty would cost him no more
trouble than the consulship. The election came
on, and as he had not concerted all his measures,
1 • Quintius Capitolinus and Agrippa Menonius
Lanatus were cholen by the influence of the se
nate. L. Minutious was continued prasfetftus an
nona?, or superintendent of provisions : His of
fice obliged him to do in public the fame that
Melius affe<fled to do in private ; so that the fame
land of people frequented the houl'es of both,
f - rom them he learned the tranfa<ftions at Melius's
and informed the senate, that arms were carried
J.ito his houle, where he held aflemblies, made
harrangues, and was taking nieafure to make
himfelf King ; and that the tribunes, corrupted
by money, had divided among them the mea
i 111 es neccilary to secure the fuocefs of the enter-
P n ?tl .Quintals Capitolinus proposed a dictator,
and Oumtius Cincinnatus (for the Quintian f a !
mily were omnipotent) was appointed. The
earnest entreaties and warm remonstrances of
the whole senate prevailed on him to accept the
tiutt, after having long refuled it, not from any
reluctance to public fercice, but on account of
his great age, which made him believe himfelf
incapable of it. Imploring the gods not to fuf
fer his age to be a detriment to the public, he
consented to be nominated, and immediately ap
gointed Ahala matter of the horse, appeared
Suddenly in the forum with his lienors, rods, and
axes ascended the tribunal with all the ensigns
of the sovereign authority, and sent his matter
of horse tbfumnum Melius before liiin. Melius
endeavoured in his firft surprize to escape : A
Mcl,us complained that he
was tobefacrificed to the intrigues of the senate
for the good he had done the people. The peo
ple grew tumultuous : his partisans encouraged
each other, and tooxliini by force from the lie
tor. Melius threw himfelf into the crowd : Ser
fworH T h im, run him through with his
lwoid, and returned, covered with his blood, to
r* an ,, a rT t0 , the di<ftaCor of wl «t he had
You ha^ e d " ne wel V laid Cincinnatus ;
continue to defend your country with the fame
courage as you have now delivered it—Madte vir
tute etto liberata republica.'-
he P eo P le being in great commotion,the ditfa-
Iv ki!], V m 1/ and P ronou " ces Melius jutt
y lied. With all our admiration for the 1110
v" " ,odeft y» the simplicity and subli
mity of h ls character, it mutt be confeflfcd that
J'" 6 " ln the harrangue of Cincinnatus more of
the anttocratical jealousy of Kings and oligarchies
and even more of contempt of the
Of a foul devoted to equal liberty, or pofleflbd of
underftandingto comprehend it : It is the speech
of a simple arittpcratic, pofltfled of a great foul
ir,? "PT m Whlch ' such was arittocratical
jealouly of monarchy and oligarchy, Brutus had
pumfhedhis son ; Collatinus Tarquinius, in mere
hatred of his name, had been obliged to S
cate the confuifhip and banish himfelf; Spurius
Caffius had been put to death for intending to be
King ; and the decemvirs had been punished with
coimfcation, exile, and death,for their oligarchy
In such a city of ariftocratics Melius had etneeiv
r:! J'r-° Pe ° f beU 'S a , Kin S- "Kt quis homo ?"
ays Cincinnatus ; and who was Melius ? *' quan
;; quam nullam nobilitatem,nnllos honoresSa
merita cuiquam ad dominationem pandere
fed tamen Clandios, Caffios, confulati
" bus' ftlend Vlra f -I- AliS lna j° rU!,l que honori
bus fplendore famiharum inftnlifTb animos
quo nefas fuerit*." Melius, therefore, was not'
anceltoro, and the lplendor o( their famifie./'—ls their J
maiden aunt Eleanor, of fevnty years of age, in any family "hr
brain is more replete with the haughty ideas of blood [h 3
of the magnanimous Cincinnatus appears P R
~c d in , vaft contempt I The equcftrian order is no honn
nobility; that too is held in sovereign disdain ' Beneficed °°J
charity, „. a most cxaltcd
a traitor but a monster; his cllate nn.ft be con "''
cated, his lioufe pulled down, and theip ot V""
ed yLcjuiiiielium, as a monument of the cr'" '*
and the punifhment,(Liv.lib.iv. c . 13,14, K ,T\
and his corn distributed to the populdce
cheap in order them. This whole !},'
ry u a demonlh ation of the oppreilion of th 6
people under the ariftocraty , of the extreme
jealousy ot that ardtocracy of Kings, of an oli
garchy, and , of popular power; of the constant
lecrct of the people to I'd up a Kin- tj
defend them againlt the nobles, aid of thei
readinefs to fall in with the views of any rich man
whoflatteredthsm, and set him up as a monarch
hut it is a.ii.<rrt unfortunate ililtance for Ned'.iaji)
It was not the people who defended the renub'
he agamft the designs of Melius, but thefenate
defended it against both Melius and the people'
Had Rome been then goverened by « IVjarcha
mont Nedham 's right Constitution of a Common
wealth, Melius would infallibly "have b*e~i
made a King, and have transmitted his crown to
his heirs. Ihe necelfity of an independent fe
nate,as a check upon the people, is molt apparent
m this mftance. if the people had been un
checked, or it they had only had the right of
choofingan house ot representatives unchecked,
they would in either cafe have crowned Melius.
ariftocratet were griping the people 'to death by the mod crurl
revenues, aid the Bioftford.d and ava.icious ufurv, was no ™
fIL fT consulships, decetnviratej, honors, ar ,d the
n d :,° flml !' h " h " profound adm.ration Ind
such ' »h y C !' C ! m /" CC ot th,s "ppears in this fpecch, and
was the rcal of the man : And whoever celebrate
or commemorates Ctncmnitus as a patron of libertv
not Jus character, or underAands not t|e nature "
(To*be continued.)
particularly jhcluing what supplies of public reve
nue may be drawn from Merchandise, without in
jurmg our trade or burdening our people,
[by a Citizen of Philadelphia in, 1783.]
(Continuedfrom No. XV.)
VII When any country finds that any arti
cles are growing into use, and their confumptio,
liicreahng io far as to become hurtful to the pros
perity of the people, or to corrupt their moral*
or (Economy, tis the interest a,id good policy of fuck
country 16 check and diminijh the use and ionfvLtb
on 0} such articles, down to fucli degrees as lliall
conlift with the greatest happi'iefs and puritv of
their people. 1 J
VIII. This is done the most effectually and un
exceptionably, by taxingfuch articles, and thereby
raijing them Jo high, as shall be neceflary to reduce
their confumpDon, as far as is needful for the ge
neral good. The force of this observation has been
felt by all nations, and sumptuary laws have been
tried in all shapes, to prevent or reduce fuchhurt
confumptions; but none can doit lb effectually
as raising the price ofthem : This touches the feelings
ot every purchaser, and connects the use of fucli
articles with the pain of the purchaser, who can
not ailord them, so closely and so constantly, as
, t0 °P erate h y way of diminution or
If ofTuchconfumption; and as tofuch richcr
pt o ,ga people, as can or will go to the price of
such articles they are the very persons which I
t 111 v 1 te most able and suitable to pay taxes to
the State. I think it would not be difficult to
enumerate a great number of such articles of lux
ury, pride, or mere ornament, which are grow
ing into such exceflive use among us, as to become
angerous to the wealth, economy, morals, and
health of our people, viz. diftillcd spirits of all
orts, tlpeoally whilkey and country rum; all
imported wines ; silks of all forts, cambricks,
aw n, laces, &c. See. fuperfine cloaths and velvets;
jc At , or all kinds, &c. to which micrht be added
a very large catalogue of articles, thoueh notfo
capita y t angerous as these, yet such as would
admit a check in their consumption, without any
amage tot he States, such as sugar, tea, coffee, cocoa,
me mens ; all cloaths and fluffs generally used
>y the richer class of people, &c. all which may
be judiciously taxed at ten, twenty, fifty, or one
hundred per cent, on their firft importation ; and
to these might be added, afmall duty of perhaps
live per cent.on all other importedgoods whatever.
1 wo things are here to be confidefed and pro
vt ' * * . at this mode of taxation would be
more beneficial to the community,than any other!
,2 . i hat this mode is practicable, if these
two things are fairly and clearly proved, I think
t leie can be no room left for doubt, whether
tnis kind of taxation ought to be immediately
adopted, and put in practice.
I will offermy reafdnsin favor of tl r '";'opo*
litions as fully, clearly, andtrul-
hope they may be judged wort> , £ ecl yorw.
attention. I will endeavor in tt. n ° r ' n
point out the benefits arising fro* 8 arifi »g fro:
taxatlon - (To be continue 7° be
p ub]^ e r b 77oTr f n^N^ = °> No
'lrear thc Ufr'go-Marktt, Nsw-Yor" York '"