Page:Montesquieu - The spirit of laws.djvu/356
304 T H E S F I R I T
B K to colled, and Ib clearly fettled, as to leave no Chap, io, opportunity for the collectors to increaie or dimi- i n. nifh them. A portion of the fruits of the earth, a capitation, a ducy of fo much per cent, on mer chandizes, are the only taxes fuitable to that go vernment.
Merchants in defpotic countries ought to have a perfonal fateguard, to \vhich ail due refpecl fhould be paid. Without this they would ftand no chance in the difputes that might arile between them and the prince s officers.
��C II A P. XI.
Of fifcal r ts.
I Til rdpecl to final punifhments, there is one thing very particular, that contrary to the general cuftom, they are more fevere in Europe than in Afu. In Europe not only the merchandizes, but even ibmetimes the mips and carriages are confifcated -, which is never practifed in Afia. This is becaufe in Europe the merchant has judges, who are able to flicker him from op- prefTion ; in Afia the defpotic judges themfelves \vould be the greatelt oppreflbrs. \Vhat remedy could a merchant have agair.ft a bailiaw that was determined to confifcate his merchandizes ?
The prince therefore rdtrains his own pow er, finding himfelf under a neceiTity of acting with fome kind of lenity. In Turky they raife only a Tingle duty for the importation of goods, and afterwards the whole country is open to the ( ) Father merchant. Smuggling is not attended with confif- cation, or increafe of duty. In China ( ) they ne ver