Imagini ale paginilor

You know that credit is given, because capital must be employed: that men calculate the chances of insolvency; and that they either withhold the credit or make the debtor pay the risque in the price. The counting-house has no alliance with the jail. Holland understands trade as well as we, and there was not, when Mr. Howard visited Holland, more than one prisoner for debt in the great city of Rotterdam. Although Lord Beauchamp's act has already preserved liberty to thousands; and though it is not three years since the last act of grace passed, yet by Mr. Howard's last account, there were near three thousand again in jail.


Speech at Bristol, p, 21-25.


THE Confinement of any debtor in the sloth and darkness of a prison, is a loss to the nation, and no gain to the creditor; for, of the multitude who are pining in those cells of misery, a very small part is suspected of any fraudulent act by which they retain what belongs to others. The rest are imprisoned by the wantonness of pride, the malignity of revenge, or the acrimony of disappointed expectation.


Idler, vol. i. p. 121.

THOSE Who made the laws of imprisonment for debt, have apparently supposed, that every deficiency of payment is the crime of the debtor. But the truth is, that the creditor always shares the

the act, and often more than shares the guilt, of improper trust.

Ib. p. 124.

HE whose debtor has perished in prison, though he may acquit himself of deliberate murder, must at least have his mind clouded with discontent, when he considers how much another has soffered from him; when he thinks of the wife bewailing her husband, or the children begging the bread which their father would have earned.

Ib. p. 217.


[ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


SO unreasonable is the ambition of princes, that [his majesty] seemed to think of nothing less than reducing the whole empire of Blefuscu* into a province, and governing it by a viceroy. I endeavoured to divert him from this design by many arguments drawn from the topics of policy as well as justice and I plainly protested, that I would never be an instrument of bringing a free and brave people into slavery.


This bold declaration of mine was so opposite to the schemes and politics of his imperial majesty, that he could never forgive me; he mentioned it in a very artful manner at council, where I was told that some of the wisest appeared at least by their silence to be of my opinion; but others, who were my secret enemies, could not forbear some expressions, which by a side-wind reflected on me. And from this time began an intrigue between his majesty, and a junto of ministers maliciously bent against me, which broke out in less than two months, and had like to have ended in my utter ruin. Of so little weight are



* France.

the greatest services to princes, when put into the balance with a refusal to gratify their passions. It may be proper to inform the reader of [this] intrigue.

When I was just preparing to pay my attendance on the emperor of Blefuscu, a considerable person at court (to whom I had been very serviceable at a time when he lay under the highest displeasure of his imperial majesty) came to my house' very privately at night in a close chair, and, without sending his name, desired admittance. After the common salutations were over, observing his lordship's countenance full of concern, and enquiring into the reason, he desired I would hear him with patience in a matter that highly concerned my life and honour.

You are to know, said he, that several committees of council have been lately called in the most private manner on your account; and that it is but two days since his majesty came to a full resolution.

You are very sensible that Skyris Bolgolam (galbet, or high-admiral) hath been your mortal enemy almost ever since your arrival: his original reasons I know not; but his hatred is increased since your great success against Blefuscu, by which his glory, as admiral, is much obscured. This lord, in conjunction with Flimnap the high treasurer, Lintoc the general, Lalcon the chamberlain, and Balmuff the grand justiciary, have prepared articles of impeachment against you for treason and other capital crimes.


This preface made me so impatient, being conscious of my own merits and innocence, that I was going to interrupt; when he entreated me to be silent, and thus proceeded.

Out of gratitude for the favours you have done ine, I procared information of the whole proceedings, and a copy of the articles; wherein I venture my head for your service.


[ocr errors]

Art. 1. Whereas by a statute made in the reign of his imperial majesty Calin Deffar Plune, it is enacted, that whosoever shall make water within the precints of the royal palace, shall be liable to the pains and penalties of high treason: notwithstanding the said Quimbus Flestrin, in open breach of the said law, under colour of extinguishing the fire kindled in the apartment of his majesty's most dear imperial consort, did maliciously, traiterously, and devilishly, by ******, put out the said fire in the said apartment, lying and being within the precincts of the said royal palace, against the statute in that case provided, &c. against the duty, &c.

Art. 2. That the said Quimbus Flestrin having brought the imperial fleet of Blefuscu into the royal port, and being afterwards commanded by his imperial majesty to seize all the other ships of the said empire of Blefuscu, and reduce that empire to a province to be governed by a viceroy from hence, and to



[ocr errors]
« ÎnapoiContinuă »