always different from, and generally less 
advantageous, than that in which is would 
have run of its own accord. 
Thirdly, the hope of evading such taxes by 
smuggling, gives frequent occasion to forfeitures 
and other penalties, which entirely 
ruin the smuggler; a person who, though no 
doubt highly blameable for violating the laws 
of his country, is frequently incapable of violating 
those of natural justice, and would 
have been, in every respect, an excellent citizen
had not the laws of his country made 
that a crime which nature never meant to be 
so. In those corrupted governments, where 
there is at least a general suspicion of much 
unnecessary expense, and great misapplication 
of the public revenue, the laws which 
guard it are little respected. Not many people 
are scrupulous about smuggling, when, 
without perjury, they can find an easy and 
safe opportunity of doing so. To pretend to 
have any scruple about buying smuggled 
goods, though a manifest encouragement to 
the violation of the revenue laws, and to the 
perjury which almost always attends it, would, 
in most countries, be regarded as one of those 
pedantic pieces of hypocrisy which, instead of 
gaining credit with anybody, serve only to 
expose the person who affects to practise them 
to the suspicion of being a greater knave 
than most of his neighbours. By this indulgence 
of the public, the smuggler is often 
encouraged to continue a trade, which he is 
thus taught to consider as in some measure 
innocent; and when the severity of the revenue 
laws is ready to fall upon him, he is 
frequently disposed to defend with violence, 
what he has been accustomed to regard as his 
just property. From being at first, perhaps, 
rather imprudent than criminal, he at last too 
often becomes one of the hardiest and most 
determined violators of the laws of society. 
By the ruin of the smuggler, his capital, 
which had before been employed in maintaining 
productive labour, is absorbed either 
in the revenue of the state, or in that of the 
revenue officer; and is employed in maintaining 
unproductive, to the diminution of the 
general capital of the society, and of the useful 
industry which it might otherwise have 
Fourthly, such taxes, by subjecting at least 
the dealers in the taxed commodities, to the 
frequent visits and odious examination of the 
tax-gatherers, expose them sometimes, no 
doubt, to some degree of oppression, and always 
to much trouble and vexation; and 
though vexation, as has already been said, is 
not strictly speaking expense, it is certainly 
equivalent to the expense at which every man 
would be willing to redeem himself from it. 
The laws of excise, though more effectual for 
the purpose for which they were instituted
are, in this respect, more vexatious than those 
of the customs. When a merchant has imparted 
goods subject to certain duties of customs
when he has paid those duties, and 
lodged the goods in his warehouse; he is not, 
in most cases, liable to any further trouble or 
vexation from the custom-house officer. It is 
otherwise with goods subject to duties of excise. 
The dealers have no respite from the 
continual visits and examination of the excise 
officers. The duties of excise are, upon this 
account, more unpopular than those of the 
customs; and so are the officers who levy 
them. Those officers, it is pretended, though 
in general, perhaps, they do their duty fully 
as well as those of the customs; yet, as that 
duty obliges them to be frequently very troublesome 
to some of their neighbours, commonly 
contract a certain hardness of character
which the others frequently have not. 
This observation, however, may very probably 
be the mere suggestion of fraudulent dealers
whose smuggling is either prevented or 
detected by their diligence
The inconveniencies, however, which are, 
perhaps, in some degree inseparable from 
taxes upon consumable commodities, fall as 
light upon the people of Great Britain as upon 
those of any other country of which the 
government is nearly as expensive. Our 
state is not perfect, and might be mended; 
but it is as good, or better, than that of most 
of our neighbours
In consequence of the notion, that duties 
upon consumable goods were taxes upon 
the profits of merchants, those duties have, in 
some countries, been repeated upon every successive 
sale of the goods. If the profits of 
the merchant-importer or merchant-manufacturer 
were taxed, equality seemed to require 
that those of all the middle buyers, who intervened 
between either of them and the consumer
should likewise be taxed. The famous 
alcavala of Spain seems to have been established 
upon this principle. It was at first a tax 
of ten per cent, afterwards of fourteen per 
cent. and it is at present only six per cent
upon the sale of every sort of property, whether 
moveable or immoveable; and it is repeated 
every time the property is sold.[75] The levying 
of this tax requires a multitude of revenue 
officers, sufficient to guard the transportation 
of goods, not only from one province to 
another, but from one shop to another. It 
subjects, not only the dealers in some sorts of 
goods, but those in all sorts, every farmer, 
every manufacturer, every merchant and shopkeeper
to the continual visit and examination 
of the tax-gatherers. Through the greater 
part of the country in which a tax of this kind 
is established, nothing can be produced for 
distant sale. The produce of every part of the 
country must be proportioned to the consumption 
of the neighbourhood. It is to the alcavala
accordingly, that Ustaritz imputes the ruin 
of the manufactures of Spain. He might have