both of hoarding and of concealing the hoard
Treasure-trove was then considered as an important 
branch of the revenue of the sovereign
All the treasure-trove of the kingdom 
would scarce, perhaps, in the present 
times, make an important branch of the revenue 
of a private gentleman of a good 
The same disposition, to save and to hoard
prevailed in the sovereign, as well as in the 
subjects. Among nations, to whom commerce 
and manufactures are little known, the 
sovereign, it has already been observed in the 
fourth book, is in a situation which naturally 
disposes him to the parsimony requisite for 
accumulation. In that situation, the expense
even of a sovereign, cannot be directed by 
that vanity which delights in the gaudy finery 
of a court. The ignorance of the times affords 
but few of the trinkets in which that 
finery consists. Standing armies are not 
then necessary; so that the expense, even of 
a sovereign, like that of any other great lord
can be employed in scarce any thing but 
bounty to his tenants, and hospitality to his 
retainers. But bounty and hospitality very 
seldom lead to extravagance; though vanity 
almost always does. All the ancient sovereigns 
of Europe, accordingly, it has already 
been observed, had treasures. Every Tartar 
chief, in the present times, is said to have 
In a commercial country, abounding with 
every sort of expensive luxury, the sovereign
in the same manner as almost all the great 
proprietors in his dominions, naturally spends 
a great part of his revenue in purchasing 
those luxuries. His own and the neighbouring 
countries supply him abundantly with all 
the costly trinkets which compose the splendid, 
but insignificant, pageantry of a court. 
For the sake of an inferior pageantry of the 
same kind, his nobles dismiss their retainers, 
make their tenants independent, and become 
gradually themselves as insignificant as the 
greater part of the wealthy burghers in his 
dominions. The same frivolous passions
which influence their conduct, influence his. 
How can it be supposed that he should be 
the only rich man in his dominions who is insensible 
to pleasures of this kind? If he does 
not, what he is very likely to do, spend upon 
those pleasures so great a part of his revenue 
as to debilitate very much the defensive power 
of the state, it cannot well be expected that 
he should not spend upon them all that part 
of it which is over and above what is necessary 
for supporting that defensive power
His ordinary expense becomes equal to his 
ordinary revenue, and it is well if it does not 
frequently exceed it. The amassing of treasure 
can no longer be expected; and when 
extraordinary exigencies require extraordinary 
expenses, he must necessarily call upon his 
subjects for an extraordinary aid. The present 
and the late king of Prussia are the only 
great princes of Europe, who, since the death 
of Henry IV. of France, in 1610, are supposed 
to have amassed any considerable treasure
The parsimony which leads to accumulation 
has become almost as rare in republican 
as in monarchical governments. The 
Italian republics, the United Provinces of the 
Netherlands, are all in debt. The canton of 
Berne is the single republic in Europe which 
has amassed any considerable treasure. The 
other Swiss republics have not. The taste for 
some sort of pageantry, for splendid buildings, 
at least, and other public ornaments, frequently 
prevails as much in the apparently sober 
senate-house of a little republic, as in the 
dissipated court of the greatest king
The want of parsimony, in time of peace, 
imposes the necessity of contracting debt in 
time of war. When war comes, there is no 
money in the treasury, but what is necessary 
for carrying on the ordinary expense of the 
peace establishment. In war, an establishment 
of three or four times that expense becomes 
necessary for the defence of the state
and consequently, a revenue three or four 
times greater than the peace revenue. Supposing 
that the sovereign should have, what 
he scarce ever has, the immediate means of 
augmenting his revenue in proportion to the 
augmentation of his expense; yet still the 
produce of the taxes, from which this increase 
of revenue must be drawn, will not begin to 
come into the treasury, till perhaps ten or 
twelve months after they are imposed. But 
the moment in which war begins, or rather 
the moment in which it appears likely to begin
the army must be augmented, the fleet 
must be fitted out, the garrisoned towns must 
be put into a posture of defence; that army
that fleet, those garrisoned towns, must be 
furnished with arms, ammunition, and provisions
An immediate and great expense 
must be incurred in that moment of immediate 
danger, which will not wait for the gradual 
and slow returns of the new taxes. In 
this exigency, government can have no other 
resource but in borrowing
The same commercial state of society which, 
by the operation of moral causes, brings government 
in this manner into the necessity of 
borrowing, produces in the subjects both an 
ability and an inclination to lend. If it commonly 
brings along with it the necessity of 
borrowing, it likewise brings with it the facility 
of doing so. 
A country abounding with merchants and 
manufacturers, necessarily abounds with a set 
of people through whose hands, not only their 
own capitals, but the capitals of all those who 
either lend them money, or trust them with 
goods, pass as frequently, or more frequently
than the revenue of a private man, who, 
without trade or business, lives upon his income,