plate of private families, or of the treasure of 
the prince. The last French war cost Great 
Britain upwards of £90,000,000, including 
not only the £75,000,000 of new debt that 
was contracted, but the additional 2s. in the 
pound land-tax, and what was annually borrowed 
of the sinking fund. More than two-thirds 
of this expense were laid out in distant 
countries; in Germany, Portugal, America
in the ports of the Mediterranean, in the East 
and West Indies. The kings of England had 
no accumulated treasure. We never heard of 
any extraordinary quantity of plate being 
melted down. The circulating gold and silver 
of the country had not been supposed to exceed 
L.18,000,000. Since the late recoinage 
of the gold, however, it is believed to have 
been a good deal under-rated. Let us suppose
therefore, according to the most exaggerated 
computation which I remember to 
have either seen or heard of, that, gold and silver 
together, it amounted to L.30,000,000. 
Had the war been carried on by means of our 
money, the whole of it must, even according 
to this computation, have been sent out and 
returned again, at least twice in a period of 
between six and seven years. Should this be 
supposed, it would afford the most decisive argument
to demonstrate how unnecessary it is 
for government to watch over the preservation 
of money, since, upon this supposition, the 
whole money of the country must have gone 
from it, and returned to it again, two different 
times in so short a period, without any 
body's knowing any thing of the matter. The 
channel of circulation, however, never appeared 
more empty than usual during any part of 
this period. Few people wanted money who 
had wherewithal to pay for it. The profits of 
foreign trade, indeed, were greater than usual 
during the whole war, but especially towards 
the end of it. This occasioned, what it always 
occasions, a general over-trading in all 
the ports of Great Britain; and this again occasioned 
the usual complaint of the scarcity of 
money, which always follows over-trading
Many people wanted it, who had neither 
wherewithal to buy it, nor credit to borrow it; 
and because the debtors found it difficult to 
borrow, the creditors found it difficult to get 
payment. Gold and silver, however, were generally 
to be had for their value, by those who 
had that value to give for them. 
The enormous expense of the late war
therefore, must have been chiefly defrayed
not by the exportation of gold and silver, but 
by that of British commodities of some kind 
or other. When the government, or those 
who acted under them, contracted with a merchant 
for a remittance to some foreign country
he would naturally endeavour to pay his 
foreign correspondent, upon whom he granted 
a bill, by sending abroad rather commodities 
than gold and silver. If the commodities of 
Great Britain were not in demand in that 
country, he would endeavour to send them to 
some other country in which he could purchase 
a bill upon that country. The transportation 
of commodities, when properly suited 
to the market, is always attended with a 
considerable profit; whereas that of gold and 
silver is scarce ever attended with any. When 
those metals are sent abroad in order to purchase 
foreign commodities, the merchant's profit 
arises, not from the purchase, but from the 
sale of the returns. But when they are sent 
abroad merely to pay a debt, he gets no returns
and consequently no profit. He naturally
therefore, exerts his invention to find 
out a way of paying his foreign debts, rather 
by the exportation of commodities, than by 
that of gold and silver. The great quantity 
of British goods, exported during the course 
of the late war, without bringing back any returns
is accordingly remarked by the author 
of the Present State of the Nation
Besides the three sorts of gold and silver above 
mentioned, there is in all great commercial 
countries a good deal of bullion alternately 
imported and exported, for the purposes of 
foreign trade. This bullion, as it circulates 
among different commercial countries, in the 
same manner as the national coin circulates in 
every country, may be considered as the money 
of the great mercantile republic. The national 
coin receives its movement and direction 
from the commodities circulated within 
the precincts of each particular country; the 
money in the mercantile republic, from those 
circulated between different countries. Both 
are employed in facilitating exchanges, the 
one between different individuals of the same, 
the other between those of different nations. 
Part of this money of the great mercantile republic 
may have been, and probably was, employed 
in carrying on the late war. In time 
of a general war, it is natural to suppose that 
a movement and direction should be impressed 
upon it, different from what it usually follows 
in profound peace, that it should circulate 
more about the seat of the war, and be more 
employed in purchasing there, and in the 
neighbouring countries, the pay and provisions 
of the different armies. But whatever part of 
this money of the mercantile republic Great 
Britain may have annually employed in this 
manner, it must have been annually purchased, 
either with British commodities, or with something 
else that had been purchased with them; 
which still brings us back to commodities, to 
the annual produce of the land and labour of 
the country, as the ultimate resources which 
enabled us to carry on the war. It is natural, 
indeed, to suppose, that so great an annual expense 
must have been defrayed from a great 
annual produce. The expense of 1761, for 
example, amounted to more than £19,000,000. 
No accumulation could have supported so 
great an annual profusion. There is no annual 
produce, even of gold and silver, which