was imposed. Stamp duties had long been among the fiscal resources of Holland and France, and had existed here during part of the reign of Charles the Second, but had been suffered to expire. They were now revived; and they have ever since formed an important part of the revenue of the State. The hackney coaches of the capital were taxed, and were placed under the government of commissioners, in spite of the resistance of the wives of the coachmen, who assembled round Westminster Hall and mobbed the members. But, notwithstanding all these expedients, there was still a large deficiency; and it was again necessary to borrow. A new duty on salt and some other imposts of less importance were set apart to form a fund for a loan. On the security of this fund a million was to be raised by a lottery, but a lottery which had scarcely any thing but the name in common with the lotteries of a later period. The sum to be contributed was divided into a hundred thousand shares of ten pounds each. The interest on each share was to be twenty shillings annually, or, in other words, ten per cent., during sixteen years. But ten per cent. for sixteen years was not a bait which was likely to attract lenders. An additional lure was therefore held out to capitalists. On one fortieth of the shares much higher interest was to be paid than on the other thirty-nine fortieths. Which of the shares should be prizes was to be determined by lot. The arrangements for the drawing of the tickets were made by an adventurer of the name of Neale, who, after squandering away two fortunes, had been glad to become groom porter at the palace. His duties were to call the odds when the Court played at hazard, to provide cards and dice, and to decide any dispute which might arise on the bowling green or at the gaming table. He was eminently skilled in the business of this not very exalted post, and had made such sums by raffles that he was able to engage in very costly speculations, and was then
Page:History of England (Macaulay) Vol 4.djvu/543
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