Gazette of the United-States. (New-York [N.Y.]) 1789-1793, September 19, 1789, Page 184, Image 4

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    The RIGHT CONSTITUTION of a COMMON
WEALTH EXAMINED,
(IN CONTINUATION.)
LET us now coiifider what would have been
the face of yEmilius, if Rome had been governed
at tliis time by Nedham's succession of the peo
ple's representatives, unchecked by a senate. It
is plain lie mult have given into the common
practice offlattering, caressing, soothing, bribing,
and cajoling the people, omeverhave been coil
ful, never commanded armies, never triumphed.
An example more deftructiveof our author's fyf
tein can scarcely be fbund, and yet he has the
inadvertence at least to adduce it in support of
his Right Conllitution of a Commonwealth. It
has been necessary to quote these anecdotes at
some length, that we may not be deceived by a
specious lliovv, which is destitute of substance,
truth, and fact, to support it-
But how come all these examples lo be patri
cians and senators, and not one inltance to be
found of a plebeian commander who did nut
make a different use of his power ?
1 here is a strange confulion or perversion in
what follows : " Rome never thrived until it was
" fettled in a freedom of the people." Rome
never was fettled in a freedom of the people ;
meaning in a free Hate, according to our author's
definition of it, a fucceflion of the supreme au
thority in the people's representatives. Such an
idea never-existed in the Roman commonwealth,
not even when or before the people made Caesar
perpetual dictator. Rome never greatly pros
pered until the people obtained a finall mixture of
authority, a (light check upon the senate, by their
tribunes. This therefore, is proof in favor of
the mixture, and against the system of our
author.
" Freedom was best preserved, and interest
" best advanced, when all places of honor and
" trust were exposed to men of merit, without
" diftin«tion." True, but this never happened
till the mixture took place.
" This happiness could never beobtained, until
" the people were inflated in a capacity of pre
" fering whom they thought worthy, by a free
" dom of electing men fucceflively into their fa
" preme offices and aileinblies." What is meant
here by supreme offices ? There were none in
Rome but the dictators, and they were appointed
by the senate, at least until Marius annihilated
the senate, by making the tribes omnipotent.
Consuls could not be called supreme officersin any
sense. What is meant by supreme aHemblies ?
There were none but the senate. The Roman
people never had the power of electing a repre
sentative aflembly.—" So long as this custom con
" tinucd, and merit took place, the people made
" ihifttokeepandincreafe their liberties." This
custom never took place, and, strictly speaking,
the Roman people never enjoyed liberty. The
senate was sovereign till the people set up a per
petual dictator.
" When this custom lay neglected, and the
" stream of preferment began to run along with
" the favor anclpleafure of particular powerful
" men, then vice and compliance making way
" for advancement, the people could keep their
" liberties no longer ; but both their liberties
" and theinfelves were made the price of every
" man's ambition and luxury." But when was
this ! Precisely when the people began, and in
proportion as they approached to, an equality of
power with the s enate, and to that state of things
which our author contends for ; so that the whole
force of his reasoning and examples, when they
come to bs analyzed, conclude against him.
The eighth reason, why the people in their as
semblies are the best keepers of their liberty, is,
" because it is they only that are concerned in
" the point of liberty."—lt is agreed that the
people in their aflemblies, tempered by another
coequal aflembly, and an executive coequal with
either, are the best keepers of their liberties. But
it is denied that in one aflembly, collective or re
presentative, they are the best keepers : it may
be reasonably questioned, whether they are not
the worst ; because they are as sure to throw away
their liberties, as a monarch or a senate untem
peredare to take them ; with this additional evil,
that they throw away their morals at the fame
time ; whereas monarclis and senates femetimes
by severity preserve them in some degree. In a
simple democracy, the firft citizen, and the better
fort of citizens, are part of the people, and are
equally " concerned" with any others " in the
" point of liberty." But is it clear that in other
forms of government " the main interest and
" concernment, both of kings and grandees, lies
" either in keeping the people in utter ignorance
" what liberty is, or eli'e in allowing and pleasing
" them only with the name and shadow of liberty
" instead of the substance ?" It is very true that
knowlege is very apt to make people uneasy
wnder an arbitrary and oppressive government :
but a simple monarch or a sovereign senate, which
is not arbitrary and oppressive rho absolute, if
such cases can exist, would be interested to pro
mote the knowlege of the nation. It must,
however, be admitted, that simple governments
will rarely if ever favor the dispersion or know
lege among the middle and lower ranks of peo
ple. But this is equally true of simple demo
cracy : the people themselves, if uncontrouled,
will never long tolerate a freedom of inquiry,
debate, or writing ; their idols mull not be reflec
ted 011, nor their ichemes and actions fc?miied,
upon pain of popular vengeance, which isnotlefs
terrible than that of despots or lovereign iena
tors.
An ESSAY on FREE TRADE and FINANCES.
Written by a citizcn of Philadelphia in 1783.
(Continued from No. XL.)
TO escape the ruinous effwfts of this mode of
supply, I think every exertion fliould be made
to obtain our supplies at home ; it is certainly
very plain our country is not exhaufled, it is full
of every kind of supply which we need, and
nothing further can be neceflary, than to find
tliofe avenues from the sources of wealth in the
hands of individuals, which lead into the public
treasury, tliofe ways and proportions that are
moftjufl, inoft equal, and moil easy to the peo
ple. This is the firft great art of finance, that
of economy in expenditures, is the next. Any
body may receive money and pay it out; borrow
money and draw bills ; but to raise and manage
the internal revenue, so as to make the wealth
of the country balance the public expenditures,
is not so easy a talk, but yet I think noc so hard
as to be impracticable ; unless this can be done,
the greatefl conceivable abilities mull labor in
vain, for it is naturally impoflible that any ellate
which can not pay its expenditures, fliould con
tinue long without embarraflinent and diminu
tion, the load of debtmuft continually increase,
and the interell will make a continual addition
to that debt, and render the eflate more and
more unable every year to clear itfelf ; bur if
the estate can pay its expenditures, it is the
heighth of n\adnefsnot to do it. If revenues can
be l'pared fufficient to discharge the interefl of
the debt, so as to flop its increase, the estate may
be saved, and a future increase of revenue may
in time wipe off the principal ; but 110 hope is
left, if interefl upon interefl may continue to
accumulate. And as the interefl of every indi
vidual is infeperably conneCled with the public
credit or state of the finances, it follows that
this affair becomes a matter of the utmofl concern
and very important moment to every person in
the community, and therefore ought to be at
tended to as a matter of the liigliefl national
concern ; and no burden ought to be accounted
too heavy, which is fufficient to remedy so great
a mifchief. It may be objected to all this,°that
the duties I propose are so extremely high, that
firft, They will hurt our trade : And Tecond, Can
have no chance of obtaining a general consent. To
the firft I answer—As far as this tax tends to les
sen the importation of hurtful luxuries and use
less consumptions, it is the very object I have in
view ; and it is so very light on all other arti
cles, that the burden will be almofl insensible.
But as to the second objection—it is in vain to
trifle with a matter of such weight and importance,
or weary our people with small plans and remi
dies utterly inadequate to the purpose. In
weighty matters, weak half allured attempts will
appear to every one to be labor loft, and a ridi
culous disproportion of the means to the end ;
it is better in itfelf, as well as more likely to
succeed with the people, to take flrong hold,
and, with a bold firm aflurance, propose some
thing, which when done, will be an adequate
and effectual remedy.—Our national debt, inclu
ding the supplies for theprefent year, I am told,
by the Financier's estimate delivered to Congress,
amounts to about thirty-five millions of dollars'
the annual interefl of which will be some what
above two millions of dollars, which, I think,
may be railed by thetax I propose ; tho it is im
poflible to tell with much precision, what the
proceeds of a tax will be which has not been tri
ed, it is very plain that the proceeds will be large,
and so calculated as to be almofl wholly a clear
f'a\ ing, not to fay a benefit to the country ; and
if there should be deficiencies, a small additional
tax may be laid in the usual way to supply them.
Our annual expenditures, on the peace eftabliffi
ment, may, I think, be reduced to a quarter or
third of a million dollars, and perhaps, if our
national debt was liquidated as it ought to be,
a great saving might be made both of principal
and interefl ; but the detail of tliefe matters is in
every ones power who hasleifure and proper doc
cuinents to make the calculations Without de
fending to minutiae, I only mean to examine the
great principles of resource and mode of supply
which is within our power, and give my reasons
as clear a.-» I can tor adopting a practical trial
Such a practice would doubtless discover many
things which noforefight can reach, and experi
ence only can elucidate.- it is anuntrodden path
which 1 recommend, and tho it can not be per
fectly known yet it seems to have such an appear
ance of advantage as deserves a trial. The ex
pence and difficulty of collection will be no o-reat!
er on the high tax I propose, than it wouldTje on
a trifling one, which would produce less than a
tenth part of thefupply which this would e
niih, and therefore, if it ihould be j u dp- e d
dent to make the trial, I think it most nlf/"'
1>«:,o wk* it up on such , Urgt M.
it fufficiently productive, to become an I t
worthy of strong effort and persevering dilligeu f
in order to give it full effect. s^ce,
( To be continued.)
CONGRESS ov the UNITED STATES~~
Begun and held at the City of Ncw-York, on Wednefd™ r' ,
ot March, t)ne Thousand Seven Hundred a;ia Ei g kv_\f n ™
An ACT for eitablilhing the SALARIES us the
executive OFFICERSof GO VERNMENT
their ASSISTANTS and CLERKS.
c , f'' b "* Senate and Hafe cj ReprefmUtiuts tftkt V, -id
Statu ofAmcrua m Longrefi That there (ball be allc j
to the officer* hereafter mention,), the following
payable quarterly at the Treasury of Ihe United Stales ■ n «f
Secretary of the Treasury thr«* thousand five hundred
Secretary in the department of State, three thousand live hundred
dollars; to the Secretary in the departmeut of war, three thou,
(and dollars ; to the Comptroller of the Treasury, two thoulai.d
dollars ; to the Auflitor, fifteen hundred dollars; tonhe Treasurer
two thouf„i.d dollars; to the Rafter, twelve hundred and fiftJ
dollars; to the Governor of the Welter. Territory, for his I'alarv
as such, and for discharging the duties of Superintendent of U
dian affairs in the northern department, two thousand dollars
to the three Judges of the Werfem Territory, each c , g ht hundred
dollars; to the Afliftant ot the Secretary of the Treasury, fifteen
hundred dollars ■ to the Chief Ckrk. in the department of State
C'gln hundred dollars ; to the Chief Clerk in the department of
war, fix hundred dollars . To the Secretary of the Wetter.! Ter
ntory seven hundred and fifty dollars ; to the principal Cl-ik
ot the Comptroller, eight hundred dollars; to theprincipalClerk
ot the Audffor, iix hundred dollars; to the principal ClerS of,|»
rrcafurcr fix hundred dollars.
And be it further enafled, That the heads of the three depart
mcnts firft above mentioned, lhall appoint such Clerks therein
refpettively as thevfliafl find necefl'ary, and the salary of fjid
Clerks refpeflively lhall not exceed the rate offive hundred dollars
per an nuii).
FREDERICK AUGUSTUS MUHLENBERG,
Speaker of the House aj fieprefmtattm.
JOHN ADAMS, Ficc-PrtJuiuit of the I'mti Stiui,
and Prefiicnf of fa Smite.
approved, sirTiMßtk the nth, 1789.
GEORGE WASHINGTON, Prefdevt of the United Stilti.
THE NATIONAL MONITOR No. XX.
Be steady patriots to your public trust,
A ficklc L<giflature is unjust; ,
Perverse, capricious, positive and vain,
Should fcraplis govern, grumblers would complain.
MANKIND generally acknowlege the ma fit,
and importance of government s l>ut jew will recti
nize their individual duty to support and defend the
inflitution. As it originated in necefpty, so 'its exig
ence appears to be perpetuated more from that (auft
than from the rcafon and fitnefs of things. To ■ahut
else cat: be imputed the uniform conduCi ofthetivlliii}
world with refpeCl to this momentous concern. Mm
grow difgufled with old eflablijhments, and clavior
for new ones : They anticipate every bleffmg from
change : But under the wife J} inflitutions, the voict
of discontent and sedition is heard. They give Mr
fll ffrages for their bejl men, and immediately find
fat/It with the work of their own hands—the agents of
their own choice. This is not an exaggeration; expe
rience ha< teflified to its truth. To what Jhall we at
tribute this propensity, which militates so efentiall)
with human happiness ? It is owing to the serf utility
of human nature; a quality which requires all the
wisdom, fortitude and address which can result from
the bejl principles, and bejl experience, to counting
its baneful effeCis.
While the New Conf)itutiln was in its ratifying
progress, this querulous temper discovered itfelf; for
altho the whole continent was groaning under the
pressure of those evils which flowed from the inadequa
cy and weakness of the old confederation : Andtbt
the universal voice called for an alteration, yet as
soon as the deliberations of that enlightened bod) if
men, the chosen, confidential, tried patriots of America
who formed the Continental Convention, were known,
and the Constitution they hadformed, was propofii
to the people, the produCt of their labors was ajfailed,mif
conftruedand ridiculed; their motives were impeached;
their characters traduced; their abilities depreciated-,
and their whole conduCi in convention vilified. Which is
the charatter among the whole, that escaped the venom
of fiander, and the poisoned arrows of defamation ?
IVhile mankind continue what tbey are, a 'series of ftnultr
conduld may be expeCled.—There are manyperfons in
every society who hold opinions hojlile to all good govern
ment ; there are others who are offo captious anduneafj
a disposition, that itfeems as if they had fix or r. eternal
enmity to candor and peace : There are others, whoft
evil dispositions delight in disorder and coufufion.
These classes, united to a numerous body of difappo'tnted
expeClants, form the phalanx of opposition to " the
Powers that be." From such beings, the wises! and
best inflitution that ever existed, will meet with ajfaulti
—andfrom, attacking the form of the Government, the
transfer of their evil offices is to the adminifl ration of it-
It will therefore be of great consequence to the pedc?,
freedom and security of the Union, that particular at
tention' Jhould be paid to the sources, from whence
originate the insinuations, the flanders and clamfs
again ft public characters. This subjeCt Jhall fa P ur '
filed in a future number.
Published by JOHN FENNO, No. 9, Maiden'*
Lane, near the New-York.— pr.M'J