for arming ships of war, and cannot in time of needTurgot had been one of the first to foretell and to desire the independence of the colonies, as the means of regenerating the world; his virtues made him worthy to have been the fellow laborer of Washington; but as a minister of France, with the superior sagacity of integrity in its combination with genius, he looked at passing events through the clear light, free from refraction or distortion. The public mind in France applied itself to improving the condition of the common people; Chastellux, in his work on public felicity, which was just
assemble a due number of sailors, nor count on the ability and experience of its naval officers. Her finances are not involved, but they could not suffice for years of extraordinary efforts. As for us, the king knows the situation of his finances; he knows that in spite of economies and ameliorations already made since the beginning of his reign, the expenditure exceeds the receipts by twenty millions; the deficit can be made good only by an increase of taxes, a partial bankruptcy, or frugality. The king from the first has rejected the method of bankruptcy, and that of an increase of taxes in time of peace; but frugality is possible, and requires nothing but a firm will. While the king found his finances involved, he found his army and navy in a state of weakness that was scarcely to have been imagined, For a necessary war resources could be found; but war ought to be shunned as the greatest of misfortunes, since it would render impossible, perhaps for ever, a reform, absolutely necessary to the prosperity of the state and the solace of the people.
Chap. LXI.} 1776. Apr.
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