imputed to it, likewise, the declension of agriculture
it being imposed not only upon manufactures
but upon the rude produce of the land
In the kingdom of Naples, there is a similar 
tax of three per cent. upon the value of 
all contracts, and consequently upon that of 
all contracts of sale. It is both lighter than 
the Spanish tax, and the greater part of 
towns and parishes are allowed to pay a composition 
in lieu of it. They levy this composition 
in what manner they please, generally 
in a way that gives no interruption to the 
interior commerce of the place. The Neapolitan 
tax, therefore, is not near so ruinous 
as the Spanish one. 
The uniform system of taxation, which, 
with a few exceptions of no great consequence
takes place in all the different parts of the 
united kingdom of Great Britain, leaves the 
interior commerce of the country, the inland 
and coasting trade, almost entirely free. The 
inland trade is almost perfectly free; and the 
greater part of goods may be carried from one 
end of the kingdom to the other, without requiring 
any permit or let-pass, without being 
subject to question, visit or examination, from 
the revenue officers. There are a few exceptions
but they are such as can give no interruption 
to any important branch of inland 
commerce of the country. Goods carried 
coastwise, indeed, require certificates or coast-cockets
If you except coals, however, the 
rest are almost all duty-free. This freedom of 
interior commerce, the effect of the uniformity 
of the system of taxation, is perhaps one of the 
principal causes of the prosperity of Great 
Britain; every great country being necessarily 
the best and most extensive market for the 
greater part of the productions of its own industry
If the same freedom in consequence 
of the same uniformity, could be extended to 
Ireland and the plantations, both the grandeur 
of the state, and the prosperity of every part 
of the empire, would probably be still greater 
than at present. 
In France, the different revenue laws which 
take place in the different provinces, require
multitude of revenue officers to surround, not 
only the frontiers of the kingdom, but those 
of almost each particular province, in order 
either to prevent the importation of certain 
goods, or to subject it to the payment of certain 
duties, to the no small interruption of 
the interior commerce of the country. Some 
provinces are allowed to compound for the 
gabelle, or salt tax; others are exempted from 
it altogether. Some provinces are exempted 
from the exclusive sale of tobacco, which the 
farmers-general enjoy through the greater part 
of the kingdom. The aides, which correspond 
to the excise in England, are very different in 
different provinces. Some provinces are exempted 
from them, and pay a composition or 
equivalent. In those in which they take place
and are in farm, there are many local duties 
which do not extend beyond a particular town 
or district. The traites, which correspond to 
our customs, divide the kingdom into three 
great parts; first, the provinces subject to the 
tariff of 1664, which are called the provinces of 
the five great farms, and under which are comprehended 
Picardy, Normandy, and the greater 
part of the interior provinces of the kingdom
secondly, the provinces subject to the 
tariff of 1667, which are called the provinces 
reckoned foreign, and under which are comprehended 
the greater part of the frontier provinces
and, thirdly, those provinces which 
are said to be treated as foreign, or which, 
because they are allowed a free commerce with 
foreign countries, are, in their commerce with 
the other provinces of France, subjected to 
the same duties as other foreign countries
These are Alsace, the three bishoprics of Mentz, 
Toul, and Verdun, and the three cities of 
Dunkirk, Bayonne, and Marseilles. Both in 
the provinces of the five great farms (called 
so on account of an ancient division of the 
duties of customs into five great branches, 
each of which was originally the subject of a 
particular farm, though they are now all 
united into one), and in those which are 
said to be reckoned foreign, there are many 
local duties which do not extend beyond a 
particular town or district. There are some 
such even in the provinces which are said to 
be treated as foreign, particularly in the city 
of Marseilles. It is unnecessary to observe 
how much both the restraints upon the interior 
commerce of the country, and the number of 
the revenue officers, must be multiplied, in 
order to guard the frontiers of those different 
provinces and districts which are subject to 
such different systems of taxation
Over and above the general restraints arising 
from this complicated system of revenue 
laws, the commerce of wine (after corn, perhaps, 
the most important production of France
is, in the greater part of the provinces, subject 
to particular restraints arising from the 
favour which has been shown to the vineyards 
of particular provinces and districts above those 
of others. The provinces most famous for 
their wines, it will be found, I believe, are 
those in which the trade in that article is subject 
to the fewest restraints of this kind. The 
extensive market which such provinces enjoy
encourages good management both in the 
cultivation of their vineyards, and in the subsequent 
preparation of their wines
Such various and complicated revenue laws 
are not peculiar to France. The little duchy 
of Milan is divided into six provinces, in each 
of which there is a different system of taxation
with regard to several different sorts of 
consumable goods. The still smaller territories 
of the duke of Parma are divided into 
three or four, each of which has, in the same 
manner, a system of its own. Under such 
absurd management, nothing but the great