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To the Reverend Father VINCENZO SPINELLO, at Rome.
AM much pleased with your approving of what I have faid on the influence of money, in republican and mix'd governments; and not a little flatter'd with your request of seeing my reafons for what I have afferted in relation to monarchic ftates being able to bear a greater degree of riches, than thofe which I have already mention'd.
IN ftates where any part of the legislative or governing power is elective, the people, after they are once become venal, can pay no regard but to money; this purchases their felf-love, in oppofition to the love of their country: the heart of man in money loving kingdoms, is not proof against the seduction of self-interest
and it inevitably happens that the public benefit, grown old and, infirm, is ftrangled by the hands of private advantage in full vigour.
Too many people of great riches, in a free nation, create an equality which is detrimental to the whole; nobility is but little worth, where a man of the meanest birth, and basest education, can make part of the legislative power: in this kingdom, a taylor with three hundred a year, may be a member of parliament and cut out laws as he did garments; and if he has ten thousand a year, he may make his quietus with a borough; tho' not with a bare bodkin, as Hamlet fays, yet with a large fum of money, and be prefer'd to the descendant of a Howard.
HENCE you may fee, that money, banishing all other excellencies, becomes the fole envied object; it gives power and fuperiority, and happily supplies to the ignorant what they want in worth and understanding. A noble.
man, tho' he makes part of the legislature, is more on a level with a commoner in this kingIdom, than in any other upon earth.
FOR this reafon it happens that the inhabitants, poftponing every other confideration, lay their whole ftrefs on getting rich, and neglect making themselves wife, as a matter less demanding attention.
Is it then abfurd to restrain this rage of money, and fubduing every human qualification of fuperior excellence to that pernicious power, especially in this conftitution, where the increas ing defire of it has already been almost the ruin of the kingdom?
IN a monarchic ftate, all honors proceeding from the crown, the power of riches is much. inferior to what it is in a mixt or republican; tho' money is not without influence, in fuch nations it has much lefs than in others, and tho' it may poffibly purchase the ruling power of a minifter, it cannot long preserve and protect him in that place, without acquitting him-. felf with addrefs,
WHEREAS a minister of England, once elected by faction, or intereft, may be sustain❜d by
his venal friends, in oppofition to the king and the peoples rights and inclinations ;he that can rule the parliament, rules both, and is at cafe.
A MONARCH always places honors above wealth; there is in that ftate fome fubordination. A nobleman of France is what no citizen can be, and fomething which every citizen must respect, and pay regard to; no ri, ches can make the latter a companion for the first, but by condefcenfion: Whereas in England a peer of the realm, and an importer of wine, if the latter be rich, are so near upon a level in company and privilege, if the nterchant be in parliament, that befides their titles shere is fcarce any difference worth fix-pence.
THE church and army are inferior to commerce in the prefent mode of thinking, thus fubordination is due only to money, and two men of any profeffion are equally esteemed, who are equally rich, from him whofe art is of fervice to his country, and has spent his life in ftudy, to him who behind the counter fulls hobnails by the hundred.
IN a monarchic ftate, the men of fuperior qualifications will at laft fucceed, because it is the monarch's intereft to have them near his perfon. The king of Pruffia would fetch a general from the wilds of Siberia, who excelled all other men; and purchase a negro from the middle of Africa, who could improve his nation's commerce and welfare; he would beftow immenfe fums to draw Homer from the fhades, to converfe with Solon, Numa, and Lycurgus, and at laft find perhaps, included in himself, the science of them all,
WHEREAS, there have been minifters in this island, who would have transported fuch men, were they to be found in England, to the countries from whence the Pruffian king would draw them, and spread the reign of ignorance, as wide as they did their own.
Ir is the intereft of a monarch, to be directed by the wifest heads of a nation; and of a minifter in a mixt government, to have the weakest in his troop, over which he may govern.