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reason, that all manner of things are grown, gradatim in Paris, to such an excessive price; for there is a general excise upon all things that come into that city, even to the very ashes, and old lees of wine; and the duty, laid upon them, was lett at twelve-hundred twentythree pounds, one shilling, and sixpence
And this duty of entry is not particular only to Paris ; for it is imposed upon most parts of France, with this only difference, that the duties are not exacted so high, every where. One example of this, I hope, will be sufficient:
At Caen, in Normandy, a place well known to our Englishmen, they pay, for every pound of butter, a half-penny.'
For a load of fire-wood, ten-pence.
For a horse-load of wood, as they use in that country, two-pence half-penny.
For a horse-load of fish, three shillings and five-pence.
ARTICLE V. Of the King's Demesn and Customs. I have but very little to say upon these heads, for I do not look on them to be an effect of arbitrary power. All crowns in the world must have a sufficient revenue, either in lauds, or customs, to support them; and so has the crown of France. But, as the French kings have, within this last century, very much enlarged their primitive power, it is no wonder, if they have increased, likewise, their ancient patrimony. The duty joined to the demesn, which I take to be tyrannical, is that called Lods & ventes; that is, a certain sum of money, which people are forced to pay, whenever they sell their estates, or any part of them. Indeed, this duty is not in all places alike; in the country, where the customary law of Paris is received, the buyer is obliged to pay the king the twelfth-penny: that is to say, out of twelve thousand pounds, one thousand; but, at Troyes in Champaign, they pay three shillings and four-pence, out of every pound; and that duty is paid, the one half by the buyer, and the other half by the seller. This is very hard.
This tax, for truly it deserves no better a name, is not of the creati. on of this French king; but, about twelve years ago, he created another very like it; for he ordered, that all people should pay the same duty, whenever they bartered their lands, as if they had sold them for ready money. This was harder yet than the other; and never were the French king's subjects so much harrassed and plagued upon account of any tax, as they have been of this; for they have been forced to pay the arrears thereof, if I may so call it, having been called to give an account for these twenty years last past.
The traites foraines, or customs, are a duty laid upon all commodities, that are exported from France, or imported into it. But this,
in itself, is not very surprising; since some such duty as this is generally over all the world, and is, no doubt, the slightest of all taxes; yet the French king has raised it to such a vast degree, that it is become absolutely tyrannical and slavish. I will give you but one instance, viz. upon sugar, which pays three-pence per pound. An. other observation, I shall make upon these customs, is, that the following provinces, to wit, Britanny, Poictou, Xaintonge, Guienne, Languedock, Provence, Dauphine, Lorrain, and the new conquests, being looked upon all of them as foreign states, there is another custom upon all conimodities that are exported or imported into these provinces, which is so severe and rigorous, as if they were exported into Holland. Why these provinces should be accounted foreign states, I could never hear any other reason given, but that formerly they were subjected to some particular princes, and not to the crown of France; but pray, was not Normandy ruled by her own dukes, as well as Aquitain?
ARTICLE VI. Of several Tares, and Creations of Offices. THE offices of counsellors in parliament, in France, are not disposed of like those in England; for these are given gratis, but the others are sold by the French king. There is also another considerable difference between them, viz. that the place of a judge, here, is, quam diu bene se gesserit; whereas the employments of counsellors in parliament in France are hereditary: but this must be observed, that, to keep those places to their families, they are obliged to pay every year a duty, which is called paulette, from one Paulet, who was the first that contrived this tax. This duty amounts to fifty pounds per annum for each counsellor ; and, besides all this, they are forced likewise to make a loan, or rather, a gift to the king, every five years, wbich is nine times as much as the annual duty; and, should they fail performing these conditions, they presently lose their right of inheritance. Whenever a counsellor dies, or, by any resignation, his son comes into his place, he must pay another dyty, which amounts to the eighth part of the price of the place, whatever it be; so that if the place be valued at fifty thousand crowns, he must pay above six thousand. There is an office appointed, for the receiving of this money, and for the sale of vacant places, called Le bureau des parties casuelles.
The decimes, or tenths of the clergy, is a tax, which all the clergymen of the kingdom pay to the king out of their livings. This tax, at first, was granted the kings of France, upon pretence of a war against the infidels; and, if I am not mistaken, it began in 1189. It was very inconsiderable at first, as appears by its very name, and granted only for a certain time; but succeeding kings have found out a way to raise it, and not only so, but to make it perpetual. This present king especially, the most ingenious and exquisite prince in the world, for increasing his revenues, has raised it, as he hath done other taxes, according to his own pleasure; and from the tenth he has brought it up now to the
fourth part; so that, if a curate hath a living but of a hundred pounds per annum, he must pay every year to the king twentyfive pounds of it, besides what he is.obliged to contribute towards the free gift, that the clergy make every five years to the king. If the clergy, who are favourites, be so much oppressed, what must be the condition of the laity?
The paper and parchment marked was imposed in the year 1672. And they are so called from a flower de luce, wherewith they are stamped; all indentures, bonds, agreements, leases; in a word, all manner of writings, except private letters, and bills of exchange, must be written upon this paper or parchment only, otherwise they are void'in law. The paper is divided into sheets, half sheets, and quarters of a sheet. The whole sheet is sold for three-pence, the half for three balf-pence, and the quarter for : bree farthings. The parchment is dearer, for you must give twentypence for a skin. Now whosoever considers the great extent of France, must needs agree, that this niust bring in a mighty sum
At much about the same time, that this paper-tax was imposed, there was another tax found out, called Controlle. Now to rightly understand, what this is, I must observe to you, that, whereas lawsuits generally begin, here in England, by arrests, they begin in France by a simmons, to appear before the judges. This summons must be controlled, that is, viewed and signed by an officer, called comptroller, whose fre is five pence.
All the silver and gold plate that is made, throughout the kingdom, must be also stamped with the king's mark, and the goldsmith pays for that three shillings and four-pence, for every mark, that is, for every eight ounces. This duty was yearly set to farm for twenty-five thousand pounds.
Pewter must be also stamped with the king's mark, which costs one penny per pound.
The stockings coming from foreign countries are also marked, and the king hath, for bis mark, two-pence per pair.
So are also all hats, and the duty upon them is ten-pence a piece.
Iron, steel, copper, and leather must be also marked; but, indeed, I cannot positively say now, what the duty is.
Every hackney-horse, in the kingdom, pays yearly to the king two crowns.
The new tax upon chocolate, tea, and coffee, was let yearly at thirty thousand seven hundred and sixty-nine pounds, four shillings and sixpence.
In many provinces of France, as in Normandy, &c. the pigeonhouses are assessed in ten years; some of them pay twenty-five crowns, others, more or less according to the bigness of them.
The French nobility and geutry being obliged, or, at least, used to spend more than their yearly revenue, it often happens, that they contract so many debts, as makes them forced to sell tbeir estates. Now, if their noble manors are sold to any merchant, or other, under the quality of a nobleman, they must pay, every twentieth year,
a whole year's revenue to the king, and this is what the French call Francfief.
There is another duty all over the kingdom, called Barrage, which is paid by the waggoners and carriers, and this was employed for the repairing of bridges and highways. Now the king hath appropriated it all to his own use, under the promise, that he himself would take care of the pavements, bridges, &c. But, he has kept his word herein, as religiously, as he hath the treaty of Nimeguen.
Every house in Paris was assessed at a certain sum for the poor, and the scavengers, as they are liere in London; but the king hath obliged the proprietors of each house, to redeem that tax, by paying a certain sum into his coffers, and he bath taken upon him the care of keeping the poor, and of cleansing the streets; but, how he hath performed what he bad promised, we may learn froin publickintelligences, wherein, we are told, that all the inhabitants of Paris have been now lately assessed, upon the account of the poor.
Besides the duties of the custom-house, there is a kind of tax upon tobacco, I say, a kind of tax: because it is rather, in reality, an engrossing of the trade of that commodity. There are a company of people, ibat pay to the king a sum of money yearly, to have the privilege of -ellin; tobacco, and that at their own word. This sum amounts to about sixty thousand pounds sterling.
All people who let lodgings furnished in Paris, and all the innkeepers, upon high ways, have been taxed within these three months.
Though the counsellors in parliament be very numerous, yet the French king hath lately, I mean, since the beginning of this war, in. creast d their number an eighth in each parliament, who have paid ready money for their places, each of them an hundred thousand livres, that is, seven thousand six hundred ninety-two pounds, six shillings, and one penny half penny sterling; and, over and above this sum, they pay the annual duty, as well as others; and each of them have been taxed, since that time, twelve-thou-and livres, or nine hundred seveniy-six pounds eighteen shillings sterling.
The French king hath erected en Titre d'office the mayors o" all the cities of the kingdom ; and, because this place is hereditary, and those in possession of them are free from quartering of soldiers, and other publick charges, besides the honour, they have be n sold very dear. ` I will give but an instance: the mayor of Caen in Normandy, wbich is not one of the most considerable cities in France, bas paid abuut four thousand pounds sterling.
Those, who sell any brandy by retail in their shops, or in the streets, at a half-penny a glass (as they use in most parts of France) have been erected also, since this war, en Titre d'office, and have paid twenty-three pounds, one shilling, and sixpence.
A very poor sort of people, called Criers of old shoes, hats, and rags, have also been erected en Titre d'office, and each of them has paid seven pounds, thirteen shillings, and sixpence.
The barbers, who were peruke-makers, were erected en Titre d'office in 1672, and then they paid one hundred fifty-three pounds eighteen shillings; and," soon after, they were forced to
pay a like sum; and, since this war, they have been taxed a-new, each of them at thirty-eight pounds, seven shillings, and sixpence.
I will not, however, say, that in all the cities of France they have paid so much : for I would have this be understood of Paris only; for, in the other cities, they have paid proportionable to their trade. Another observation, I must make, is, that the very country-village barbers have been forced to take letters of license from the king; and, I suppose, no-body will think that they are granted gratis, when they are so forced upon them.
The French king begun by the peruke makers to tax tradesmen; for, in a little while after, all the other tradesmen and artificers throughout the kingdom were assessed likewise. To be particular in this point would require a volume, and so I must content my. self, for brevity's sake, with one example, which shall be of the weavers of Paris, the most miserable tradesmen in France, who were assessed at seven pounds, thirteen shillings, and sixpence.
All officers of justice, as judges, attornies, registers, bailiffs, notaries, &c. have also been taxed, every one of them, accord ing to the fees of their several respective places.
The packers have been also erected en Titre d'office, but I cannot yet tell what they paid.
Every month produces some new found out offices; and, about a year ago, the porters were erected en Titre d'office, under the title of Bouteurs a port, that is, with the privileges of unloading the boats laden with wine, and some other commodities. They paid each of them about eight hundred pounds sterling, and they are allowed about five pence per ton. This will look somewhat romantick, at least, very surprising ; but it must be considered, that, these places being hereditary, and of a great revenue, a man can make no better use of his money, than in purchasing of them.
Since the beginning of this war, the French king has created some officers for funerals, called Criers. When any persons die, these officers are appointed to take care of their funerals, which they make at what expence they please, for nobody can oppose them, under a very great penalty. They are allowed for their trouble a certain sum of money; and, besides, they enjoy some privileges and immunities, as, from quartering of soldiers, and other parish-charges.
There is a world of other duties, taxes, and offices, which it would be too tedious to relate, and, in a manner, impossible. But, I hope, what I have said is sufficient to convince any inan of brains and sense, that is not of a resolved and obstinate inflexibility, that this French king hath carried his tyranny, as well as his prerogative, to a degree unknown unto all former ages. I will therefore leave this subject, after this short remark, that, in the new conquests, people are no better treated, than in France. The brewers in Mons have been lately erected en Titre d' Office, and have been forced to pay a hundred crowns a-piece; a man cannot be admitted into