Part 3: Revenue


  • In the beginnings of society, all public offices were performed by the magistrate without any reward.
    • He was fully satisfied with the eminence of his station.
    • This is the case among the Tartars, Arabs, and Hottentots even to this day.
  • Only voluntary presents are accepted.
    • This always has a bad effect.
    • But it cannot be prevented while one is willing to give and another willing to receive.
    • The governors of the Roman provinces got their revenues in this way.
  • When government becomes so complex as to take up the whole attention of the public magistrate, he must have some reward.
    • If this is not given to him by the public, he will find some more dangerous way to get it.
    • Few will be so generous as to exact nothing.
  • When applications are made, everyone must bring his present.
    • The man who pays best will be best heard.
  • When government is a little further advanced:
    • magazines must be provided
    • ships must be built
    • palaces and other public buildings must be built and maintained
  • Consequently, a public revenue levied.
    • At first, the Romans had [238] no revenue levied for carrying on war because the soldiers required no pay.
    • In savage nations, this is always the case.
    • The Athenians went to war at his own expense.
  • The same was the case with our feudal lords.
    • The burden of going to war was connected with the duty of the tenant or vassal.
    • Such a practice cannot last long.
    • Accordingly, we find that it ceased in Rome.
      • It was the great cause of that republic’s dissolution.
  • The governors of provinces made such grievous exactions from the people.
    • They alienated their affections.
    • They gave no assistance to defend the state when it needed it.

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