Page:Montesquieu - The spirit of laws.djvu/360

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3oS THE SPIRIT

BOOK thence, coniidcring the injuftice and violence of

Chap 14, c ^ e government, they are under an abfolute necef-

& is. fity of regulating themfelves by the rate of what

even the pooreft and moft wretched are able to

pay.

The natural tax of moderate governments, is the duty laid on merchandizes. As this is really d by the container, though advanced by the mer chant, it is a loan which the merchant has already made to the confumer. Hence the merchant muft be confidered on the one fide, as the general tor of the (late, and on the other as the credi tor of every individual. He advances to the (late, duty which the confumer will fome time or other und, and he has paid for the confumer the du ty which he has paid for the merchandize. It is therefore obvious that in proportion to the mode ration of the government, to the prevalence of the fpirit of liberty, and to the fecurity of private for tunes, the more a merchant has it in his power to advance money to the (late, and to pay confi- rable duties for individual?. In England a mer- nds really to the government fifty or fixty ."ling for every tun ot wine he imports. iere is the merchant that would dare do any fuch thing in a country like Turky ? And were he lo prefumptuous, how could he do it with a dubious pr mattered fortune ?

CHAP. XV.

Abitfs of Liberty.

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��* O thefe great advantages of liberty it is py. ing that liberty itieif has been abufed.

Becaufe

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