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tion of these duties, whose enormity gives rise to smuggling, she has fixed them upon objects which leave no room for fraud, aggrieve not the poorer classes of the nation, and which admit of an easy and little expensive collection. The smuggling of tea is already destroyed by changing the duties which this leaf paid, for a new tax upon windows ; * and the excellence of this operation being actually out of doubt, the same thing will be done in relpect to other taxes. Now, from the moment that there will be nothing to sell to English smugglers, they will no longer bring us the articles which cannot go out of England but by contraband, and attended with very great risques, or at least it will only be by rendering them much dearer, as they are deprived of the advantage of returns.
These events, more interesting in our rivalship, than the extension of the British dominions, should withdraw us from our languor. It is not by beating and killing from time to time a few thousands of English and Frenchmen, that we shall hinder a competition disadvantageous to us. Men are foon replaced, especially in England, where a free conftitution calls them from every quarter ; and these wars serve only to cherish foolish antipathies, pro
* The tax upon windows has been a good deal joked upon in London, and upon the continent. Mr. Pitt left the wits to amuse themselves, and continued his operation. Its' advantages are now demonstrated. It is to be wished, that fick Governments would adopt obe commutative taxes, which would comfort them. G 2
ävjects of vengeance or invasion, which, when ex
ecuted, render those who conquer still more miserable.
It is in the avocations of peace, in the industry it favors, in the views it permits to be realized, that we shall find, joined to public happiness, all that the interest of our rivality requires. It is in the bòsom of peace that we shall be able to improve our cloths, encrease our wool and our sheep; there are an hundred means of doing these things; I will
onfine myself to one of them; it has hitherto been treated very lightly, it is, however, at the same time of the highest consequence. I speak of the destruction of wolves.
The absolute destruction of wolves in the British Isles is, without doubt, the first cause of the great quantity of wool found there. A beginning is necessary to every thing, and when a poor rustic could have two or three sheep wandering in the country, without fear of their being lost, or being obliged to watch them, it is clear that the multiplication of these animals must be very rapid; it will be slow on the continent, where dogs and shepherds are necessary, and consequently great flocks will be requisite.*
* The destruētion of wolves, by rendering dogs and shephersts useless, has given to the flocks a tranquillity necessary to their increase; which tranquillity they cannot have with dogs, which incefTantly harrass them. Nature has but one law for every thing that has life ; nothing is well witkout liberty. No fecundity where this is wanting.
But it has perhaps been too easily believed upon the continent that it was impossible to destroy wolves. I will say one word only upon the subject; if people in France would consider that the death of one wolf is more important to the prosperity of the public than the Opera of Paris; and if in consequence government would apply to the killing of French wolves, the same fund which it employs to make Automatons sing and jump upon the Itage, there would soon be no more wolves in France, and sheep might propagate
without dogs or shepherds, as in England.
It is even probable that two years expences of the Opera, would be sufficient for that great and useful end, and that a recompense of five hundred crowns, well assured, * and punctually paid to him who
I say solidly assured, andpuntually paid ; for want of these conditions, the most considerable recompenses by ediet or declaration will not cause one step to be taken, because no one likes to be deceived.. The following is a fact, which will prove the necessity of paying recompenses faithfully. Administration, by a humane, wife and poli. tical law, grants a third of the value of ship-wrecked merchandizes to him, who finding them, shall carry them to the registry of the admiralty. There were at first some credulous persons who, hoping for payment, restored fcrupulously that which hazard had given them the possession of. But afterwards it was perceived that these recompenses were badly paid, after a long time and with great difficulty. The consequence was, that which was so found was kept ? afterwards half of it was sold, or even two thirds, for ready money, indiscriminately. The idea is natural, and no one can be blamed for acting accordingly. The peasant or failor, who thus meets with any thing, is sure of finding a purchaser, who will give at
hould kill a wolf upon French ground, would for
It is, without doubt, of little consequence to lose
least a third of its value in ready money. He will tiot, therefore,
I will ask pardon of the Gentlemen of the Louveterie||--It well known they have good brevets for destroying wolves. But have these killings by brevet ever been seriously calculated upon ? What would become of the Louvererie if there were no wolves ? I appeal to those who have been wi:nesses to the valiant expeditions against these animals. Who does not, on seeing them, call to mind the fable of the peasant and bis seigneur? I know also there are recompenses proposed for every head of a wolf. But could one believe, that this premium of government was the source of abuses? There is a little district, the Sub delegate of which puts one day into his accounts the price of ten thousand wolves heads. The quantity appeared a little extraordinary to the Minister. The affair was examined, the fubaltern rogue was deprived of his office-This was again the fable of the ass punished, for having cropped in a meadow the breadth of his tongue.--He who prompted him to act, uppunished.
| The Master of the French King's wolf-hounds, and his a focia #es.
of the greatest consequence that a poor farmer should have a few sheep without being obliged to watch them! How shall we calculate? We know that night impositions upon the people produce more than great ones upon the rich. When shall we know that there are more sheep in France ? when every poor rustic will have it in his power to have a few of them; except when there shall be great proprietors only, and numerous flocks.
Let us be well convinced of this truth, that we shall never be able to enter into competition with the English with respect to cloths and woollen suffs in general, until like them, we shall have encreased our flocks ;* for if we are industrious, they are equally so, and have, moreover, raw materials cheap and in abundance.
The encrease of sheep depends still upon the means which must be created in France, upon the encrease of pasturage, upon the improvement of those which exist, and upon a reform of the management of commons; (for Iam far from thinking they ought to be destroyed, especially for the purpose of enriching great landed proprietors) upon the continual hurdling of sheep in the open air, or at least
upon the salubrity of sheep folds, made higher and more airy; upon the reform of the pernicious
Who does not recollect how much the frightful scarcity for several years, of hay and other provender, diminished the number of cattle in France? What a Tength of time will be necessary to repair this loss, and what a prospect for the manufadurer of cloths.