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to furnish a perpetual supply ; wholly extinguishing, for a very obvious reason, all right of venison in those parts.
The forests rights which extend over the lands and possessions of others, being of no profit to the crown, and a grievance, as far as it goes, to the subject; these I propose to extinguish without charge to the proprietors. The several commons are to be allotted and compensated for, upon ideas which I shall hereafter explain. They are nearly the same with the principles upon which you have acted in private enclosures. I shall never quit precedents where I find them applicable. For those regulations and compensations, and for every other part of the detail, you will be so indulgent as to give me credit for the present.
The revenue to be obtained from the sale of the forest lands and rights will not be so considerable, I believe, as many people have imagined; and I conceive it would be unwise to screw it up to the utmost, or even to suffer bidders to enhance, according to their eagerness, the purchase of objects, wherein the expense of that purchase may weaken the capital to be employed in their cultivation. This, I am well aware, might give room for partiality in the disposal. In my opinion it would be the lesser evil of the two. But I really conceive, that a rule of fair preference might be established, which would take away all sort of unjust and corrupt partiality. The principal revenue, which I propose to draw from these uncultivated wastes, is to spring from the improvement and population of the kingdom; which never can happen without producing an improvement more advantageous to the revenues of the crown, than the rents of the best landed estates which it can hold. I believe, Sir, it will hardly be necessary for me to add, that in this sale I naturally except all the houses, gardens, and parks, belonging to the crown, and such one forest, as shall be chosen by his Majesty, as best accommodated to his pleasures.
By means of this part of the reform, will fall the expensive office of surveyor-general, with all the influence that attends it. By this will fall two chief justices in Eyre, with all their train of dependents. You need be under no apprehension, Sir, that your office is to be touched in its emoluments; they are yours by law; and they are but a moderate part of the compensation which is given to you for the ability with which you execute an office of quite another sort of importance; it is far from overpaying your diligence; or more than sufficient for sustaining the high rank you stand in, as the first gentleman of England. As to the duties of your chief justiceship, they are very different from those for which you have received the office. Your dignity is too high for a jurisdiction over wild beasts; and your learning and talents too valuable to be wasted as chief justice of a desert. I cannot reconcile it to myself that you, Sir, should be stuck up as a useless piece of antiquity. · I have now disposed of the unprofitable landed estates of the crown, and thrown them into the mass of private property; by which they will come, through the course of circulation, and through the political secretions of the state, into our better understood and better ordered revenues.
I come next to the great supreme body of the civil government itself. I approach it with that awe and reverence with which a young physician approaches to the cure of the disorders of his parent. Disorders, Sir, and infirmities, there are—such disorders, that all attempts towards method, prudence, and frugality, will be perfectly vain, whilst a system of confusion remains, which is not only alien, but adverse to all economy; a system, which is not only prodigal in its very essence, but causes everything else which belongs to it to be prodigally conducted.
It is impossible, Sir, for any person to be an economist, where no order in payments is established; it is impossible for a man to be an economist, who is not able to take a comparative view of his means, and of his expenses, for the year which lies before him ; it is impossible for a man to be an economist, under whom various officers in their several departments may spend,-even just what they please, -and often with an emulation of expense, as contributing to the importance, if not profit, of their several departments. Thus much is certain ; that neither the present, nor any other first lord of the treasury, has been ever able to take a survey, or to make even a tolerable guess, of the expenses of government for any one year; so as to enable him with the least degree of certainty, or even probability, to bring his affairs within compass. Whatever scheme may be formed upon
them must be made on a calculation of chances. As things are circumstanced, the first lord of the treasury cannot make an estimate. I am sure I serve the king, and I am sure I assist administration, by putting economy at least in their power. We must class services ; we must (as far as their nature admits) appropriate funds; or everything, however reformed, will fall again into the old confusion.
Coming upon this ground of the civil list, the first thing in dignity and charge that attracts our notice, is the royal household. This establishment, in my opinion, is exceedingly abusive in its coustitution. It is formed upon manners and customs that have long since expired. In the first place it is formed, in many respects, upon feudal principles. In the feudal times, it was not uncommon, even among subjects, for the lowest offices to be held by considerable persons; persons as unfit by their incapacity, as improper from their rank, to occupy such employments. They were held by patent, sometimes for life, and sometimes by inheritance. If my memory does not deceive me, a person of no slight consideration held the office of patent hereditary cook to an Earl of Warwick— The Earl of Warwick's soups, I fear, were not the better for the dignity of his kitchen. I think it was an Earl of Gloucester, who officiated as steward of the household to the Archbishops of Canterbury Instances of the same kind may in some degree be found in the Northumberland house-book, and other family records. There was some reason in ancient necessities for these ancient customs. Protection was wanted ; and the domestic tie, though not the highest, was the closest.
The king's household has not only several strong traces of this feudality, but it is formed also upon the principles of a body corporate; it has its own magistrates, courts, and by-laws.
This might be necessary in the ancient times, in order to have a government within itself, capable of regulating the vast and often unruly multitude which composed and attended it. This was the origin of the ancient court called the Green Clothcomposed of the marshal, treasurer, and other great officers of the household, with certain clerks. The rich subjects of the kingdom who had formerly the same establishments (only on a reduced scale) have since altered their economy; and turned the course of their expense from the maintenance
of vast establishments within their walls, to the employment of a great variety of independent trades abroad. Their influence is lessened; but a mode of accommodation, and a style of splendour, suited to the manners of the times, has been increased. Royalty itself has insensibly followed ; and the royal household has been carried away by the resistless tide of manners: but with this very material difference ; private men have got rid of the establishments along with the reasons of them; whereas the royal household has lost all that was stately and venerable in the antique manners, without retrenching anything of the cumbrous charge of a Gothic establishment. It is shrunk into the polished littleness of modern elegance and personal accommodation ; it has evaporated from the gross concrete into an essence and rectified spirit of expense, where you have tuns of ancient pomp in a vial of modern luxury.
But when the reason of old establishments is gone, it is absurd to preserve nothing but the burthen of them. This is superstitiously to embalm a carcass not worth an ounce of the gums that are used to preserve it. It is to burn precious oils in the tomb; it is to offer meat and drink to the dead, not so much an honour to the deceased, as a disgrace to the survivors. Our palaces are vast inhospitable halls. There the bleak winds, there “Boreas, and Eurus, and Caurus, and Argestes loud,” howling through the vacant lobbies, and clattering the doors of deserted guard-rooms, appal the imagination, and conjure up the grim spectres of departed tyrants—the Saxon, the Norman, and the Dane; the stern Edwards and fierce Henries-who stalk from desolation to desolation, through the dreary vacuity and melancholy succession of chill and comfortless chambers. When this tumult subsides, a dead and still more frightful silence would reign in this desert, if every now and then the tacking of hammers did not announce, that those constant attendants upon all courts in all ages, Jobs, were still alive; for whose sake alone it is, that any trace of ancient grandeur is suffered to remain. These palaces are a true emblem of some governments; the inhabitants are decayed, but the governors and magistrates still flourish. They put me in mind of Old Sarum, where the representatives, more in number than the constituents, only serve to inform us, that this was once a place of trade, and sounding with “the busy hum of men,” though now you can only trace the streets by the colour of the corn; and its sole manufacture is in members of parliament.
These old establishments were formed also on a third principle, still more adverse to the living economy of the age. They were formed, Sir, on the principle of purveyance, and receipt in kind. In former days, when the household was vast, and the supply scanty and precarious, the royal purveyors, sallying forth from under the Gothic portcullis, to purchase provision with power and prerogative instead of money, brought home the plunder of a hundred markets, and all that could be seized from a flying and hiding country, and deposited their spoil in a hundred caverns, with each its keeper. There every commodity, received in its rawest condition, went through all the process which fitted it for use. This inconvenient receipt produced an economy suited only to itself. It multiplied offices beyond all measure; buttery, pantry, and all that rabble of places, which, though profitable to the holders, and expensive to the state, are almost too mean to mention.
All this might be, and I believe was, necessary at first; for it is remarkable, that purveyance, after its regulation had been the subject of a long line of statutes, (not fewer, I think, than twenty-six) was wholly taken away by the twelfth of Charles the Second; yet in the next year of the same reign, it was found necessary to revive it by a special act of parliament, for the sake of the king's journies. This, Sir, is curious; and what would hardly be expected in so reduced a court as that of Charles the Second, and in so improve ed a country as England might then be thought. But so it was. In our time, one well-filled and well-covered stage-coach requires more accommodation than a royal progress, and every district, at an hour's warning, can supply an army.
I do not say, Sir, that all these establishments, whose principle is gone, have been systematically kept up for influence solely: neglect had its share. But this I am sure of, that a consideration of influence has hindered any one from attempting to pull them down. For the purposes of influence, fund for those purposes only, are retained half at least of the household establiuluinents. No revenue, no, not a royal revenue, can exist under the accumulated charge of ancient