Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAPTER II. - The Origins of Contemporary France: The Modern Regime, vol. I
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CHAPTER II. - Hippolyte Taine, The Origins of Contemporary France: The Modern Regime, vol. I 
The Origins of Contemporary France: The Modern Regime, vol. 1, trans. John Durand (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1890).
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I. What people craved previous to the Revolution.—Lack of distributive justice.—Wrongs committed in the allotment of social sacrifices and benefits.—Under the Ancient Régime.—During the Revolution.—Napoleon’s personal and public motives in the application of distributive justice.—The circumstances favorable to him.—His principle of apportionment.—He exacts proportion in what he grants.—II. The apportionment of charges.—New fiscal principle and new fiscal machinery.—III. Direct real and personal taxation.—In what respect the new machinery is superior to the old.—Full and quick returns.—Relief to taxpayers.—Greater relief to the poor workman and small farmer.—IV. Other direct taxes.—Tax on business licenses.—Tax on real-estate transactions.—The earnings of manual labor almost exempt from direct taxation.—Compensation on another side.—Indirect taxation.—In what respect the new machinery is superior to the old.—Summary effect of the new fiscal régime.—Increased receipts of the public treasury.—Lighter burdens of the taxpayer.—Change in the condition of the small taxpayer.—V. Military service.—Under the Ancient Régime.—The militia and regular troops.—Number of soldiers.—Quality of the recruits.—Advantages of the institution.—Results of the new system.—The obligation universal.—Comparison between the burdens of citizens and subjects.—The Conscription under Napoleon.—He lightens and then increases its burdensomeness.—What it became after him.—The law of 1818.
The other group, long before 1789, comprises the cravings which survive the Revolution, because the Revolution has not satisfied these, and first, the most tenacious, the most profound, the most inveterate, the most frustrated of all, namely the craving for distributive justice.—In political society, as in every other society, there are burdens and benefits to be allotted, and when the apportionment of these is equitable, it takes place according to a very simple, self-evident principle: it is necessary that for each individual the burdens should be proportionate to the benefits and the benefits to the burdens, so that, for each one, the final expense and the final receipt may exactly compensate each other, the larger or smaller quota of expense being always equal to the larger or smaller quota of benefit. Now, in France, this proportion had been wanting for many centuries; it had even given way to the inverse proportion. If, towards the middle of the eighteenth century, two sum-totals of the budget, material and moral, had been calculated, assets on one side and liabilities on the other, on the one hand the sum of the apportionments exacted by the State, taxes in ready money, enforced labor, military service, civil subordination, every species of obedience and subjection, in short, every sacrifice of leisure, comfort and self-love; on the other hand the sum of dividends distributed by the State of whatever kind or shape, security for persons and property, use and convenience of roads, delegations of public authority and liens on the public treasury, dignities, ranks, grades, honors, lucrative salaries, sinecures, pensions, and the like, that is to say, every gratification belonging to leisure, comfort, or self-love—one might have calculated that the more a man contributed to the receipts the less would his dividend be, and the greater his dividend the less would he furnish to the general contribution. Consequently, every social or local group consisted of two other groups: a majority which suffered for the benefit of the minority, and a minority which benefited at the expense of the majority, to such an extent that the privations of the greatest number defrayed the luxury of the small number, this being the case in all compartments as on every story, owing to the multitude, enormity and diversity of honorific or useful privileges, owing to the legal prerogatives and effective preferences by which the court nobles benefited at the expense of the provincial nobility, the noblesse at the expense of plebeians, prelates and beneficiaries at the expense of poorly-paid curés and vicars, the two highest orders of the clergy at the expense of the third, the bourgeoisie at the expense of the people, the towns at the expense of the rural districts, this or that town or province at the expense of the rest, the artisan member of a corporation at the expense of the free workman, and, in general, the strong, more or less well-to-do, in league and protected, at the expense of the weak, more or less needy, isolated and unprotected (indéfendus).1
One hundred years before the Revolution a few clairvoyant, open-hearted and generous spirits had already been aroused by this scandalous disproportion;2 finally, everybody is shocked by it, for, in each local or social group, nearly everybody is a sufferer, not alone the rustic, the peasant, the artisan, and the plebeian, not alone the citizen, the curé and the bourgeois “notable,” but again the gentleman, the grand seignior, the prelate and the King himself,3 each denouncing the privileges of all others that affect his interests, each striving to diminish another’s share in the public cake and to keep his own, all concurring in citing natural right and in claiming or accepting as a principle liberty and equality, but all concurring in misconception and solely unanimous in destroying and in allowing destruction,4 to such an extent that, at last, the attack being universal and no defence anywhere, social order itself perishes, entirely owing to the abuses of it.
On the reappearance of the same abuses, the lack of distributive justice in revolutionary France became still more apparent than in monarchical France. Through a sudden transposition, the preferred of the former régime had become the disgraced, while the disgraced of the former régime had become the preferred; unjust favor and unjust disfavor still subsisted, but with a change of object. Before 1789, the nation was subject to an oligarchy of nobles and notables; after 1789, it became subject to an oligarchy of Jacobins big or little. Before the Revolution, there were in France three or four hundred thousand privileged individuals, recognizable by their red heels or silver shoe-buckles; after the Revolution, there were three or four hundred thousand of the privileged, recognizable by their red caps or their carmagnoles. Most privileged of all, the three or four thousand verified nobles, presented at court and of racial antiquity, who, by virtue of their parchments, rode in the royal carriages, were succeeded by three or four thousand Jacobins of a fresh sprout, no less verified and accepted, who, by virtue of their civic patent, sat in the club of the rue Saint-Honoré; and the latter coterie was still more dominant, more exclusive, more partial than the former one.—Consequently, before the Revolution, the burden of taxation was light for the rich or the well-to-do, crushing for the peasants or the common people; after the Revolution, on the contrary, the peasants, the common people, paid no more taxes,1 while from the rich and the well-to-do the government took all, not alone their income but their capital.—On the other hand, after having fed the court of Versailles, the public treasury had to feed the rabble of Paris, still more voracious; and, from 1793 to 1796, the maintenance of this rabble cost it twenty-five times as much as, from 1783 to 1786, the maintenance of the court.1 Finally, at Paris as at Versailles, the subordinates who lived on the favored spot, close to the central manger, seized on all they could get and ate much more than their allowance. Under the ancient régime, “the ladies of honor, every time they travel from one royal country-house to another, gain eighty per cent. on the cost of the journey,” while the queen’s first chambermaid gains, over and above her wages, thirty-eight thousand francs a year out of the sales of half-burnt candles.2 Under the new régime, in the distribution of food, “the matadors of the quarter,” the patriots of the revolutionary committees, deduct their portions in advance, and a very ample portion, to the prejudice of the hungry who await their turn, one taking seven rations and another twenty.3 Thus did the iniquity subsist; in suppressing it, they had simply made matters worse; and had they wished to build permanently, now was the time to stop it entirely; for, in every social edifice such a defect puts things out of the perpendicular. Whether the plumb-line deflects right or left is of little consequence; sooner or later the building falls in, and thus had the French edifice already fallen twice, the first time in 1789, through imminent bankruptcy and hatred of the ancient régime, and the second time in 1799, through real bankruptcy and hatred of the Revolution.
An architect like the French Consul is on his guard against a financial, social and moral danger of this sort. He is aware that, in a well-organized society, there must be neither surcharge nor discharge, no favors, no exemptions and no exclusions. Moreover, “l’État c’est lui;”4 thus is the public interest confounded with his personal interest, and, in the management of this double interest, his hands are free. Proprietor and first inhabitant of France in the fashion of its former kings, he is not tied down and incommoded as they were by immemorial precedents, by the concessions they have sanctioned or the rights they have acquired. At the public table over which he presides and which is his table, he does not, like Louis XV. or Louis XVI., encounter messmates already installed there, the heirs or purchasers of the seats they occupy,1 extending in long rows from one end of the room to the other, each in his place according to rank, in an arm-chair, or common chair, or on a footstool, all being the legitimate and recognized owners of their seats, all of them the King’s messmates and all authorized by law, tradition and custom to eat a free dinner or pay for it at less than cost, to find fault with the dishes passed around, to reach out for those not near by, to help themselves to what they want and to carry off the dessert in their pockets. At the new table there are no places secured beforehand. It is Napoleon himself who arranges the table, and on sitting down, he is the master who has invited whomsoever he pleases, who assigns to each his portion, who regulates meals as he thinks best for his own and the common interest, and who introduces into the entire service order, watchfulness and economy. Instead of a prodigal and negligent grand-seignior, here at last is a modern administrator who orders supplies, distributes portions and limits consumption, a contractor who feels his responsibility, a man of business able to calculate. Henceforth, each is to pay for his portion, estimated according to his ration, and each is to enjoy his ration according to his quota.—Judge of this by one example. There must be no more parasites in his house, at the centre of abuses and sinecures. From the grooms and scullions of his palace up to its grand officials, even to the chamberlains and ladies of honor, all his domestics, with or without titles, work and perform their daily tasks in person, administrative or decorative, day or night, at the appointed time, for exact compensation, without pickings or stealings and without waste. His train and his parades, as pompous as under the old monarchy, admit of the same ordinary and extraordinary expenses—stables, chapel, food, hunts, journeys, private theatricals, renewals of plate and furniture, and the maintenance of twelve palaces or châteaux. While, under Louis XV., it was estimated that “coffee with one roll for each lady of honor cost the King 2,000 livres a year,” and under Louis XVI., “the grand broth night and day” which Madame Royale, aged two years, sometimes drank and which figured in the annual accounts at five thousand two hundred and one livres,1 under Napoleon “in the pantries, in the kitchens, the smallest dish, a mere plate of soup, a glass of sugared water, would not have been served without the authorization or check of grand-marshal Duroc. Every abuse is watched; the gains of each are calculated aud regulated beforehand.”2 Consequently, this or that journey to Fontainebleau which had cost Louis XVI. nearly two million livres, cost Napoleon, with the same series of fêtes, only one hundred and fifty thousand francs, while the total expense of his civil household, instead of amounting to twenty-five million livres, remains under three million francs.3 The pomp is thus equal, but the expense is ten times less; the new master is able to derive a tenfold return from persons and money, because he squeezes the full value out of every man he employs and every crown he spends. Nobody has surpassed him in the art of turning money and men to account, and he is as shrewd, as careful, as sharp in procuring them as he is in profiting by them.
To this end, in the assignment of public burdens and of public offices, he applies the maxims of the new system of rights, while his practice conforms to his theory; social order, which, according to the philosophers, is the only just one in itself, happens, singularly, to square with his advantage for the time being; he adds equity because equity is profitable to him.—And first, in the matter of public burdens, there shall be no more exemptions. To relieve any category of taxpayers or of conscripts from taxation or from military service would annually impoverish the treasury by so many millions of crowns, and diminish the army by so many thousands of soldiers. Napoleon is not the man to deprive himself gratuitously of either a soldier or a franc; above all things, he wants his army complete and his treasury full; to supply their deficits he seizes whatever he can lay his hands on, both taxable material as well as recruitable material. But all material is limited; if he took too little on the one hand he would be obliged to take too much on the other; it is impossible to relieve these without oppressing those, and oppression, especially in the matter of taxation, is what, in 1789, excited the universal jacquerie, perverted the Revolution, and broke France to pieces.—At present, in the matter of taxation, distributive justice lays down a universal and fixed law; whatever the property may be, large or small, and of whatever kind or form, whether lands, buildings, indebtedness, ready money, profits, incomes or salaries, it is the State which, through its laws, tribunals, police, gendarmes and army, preserves it from ever-ready aggression within and without; the State guarantees, procures and ensures the enjoyment of it; consequently, property of every species owes the State its premium of assurance, so many centimes on the franc. The quality, the fortune, the age or the sex of the owner is of little importance; each franc assured, no matter in whose hands, must pay the same number of centimes, not one too much, not one too little.—Such is the new principle. To announce it is easy enough; all that is necessary is to combine speculative ideas, and any Academy can do that. The National Assembly of 1789 had proclaimed it with the rattling of drums, but merely as a right and with no practical effect. Napoleon turns it into a reality, and henceforth the ideal rule is applied as strictly as is possible with human material, thanks to two pieces of fiscal machinery of a new type, superior of their kind, and which, compared with those of the ancient régime, or with those of the Revolution, are masterpieces.
The collection of a direct tax is a surgical operation performed on the taxpayer, one which removes a piece of his substance; he suffers on account of this and submits to it only because he is obliged to. If the operation is performed on him by other hands he submits to it voluntarily or not; but, if he has to do it himself, spontaneously and with his own hands, it is not to be thought of. On the other hand, the collection of a direct tax according to the prescriptions of distributive justice, is a subjection of each taxpayer to an amputation proportionate to his bulk or, at least, to his surface; this requires delicate calculation and is not to be entrusted to the patients themselves, for, not only are they surgical novices and poor calculators, but, again, they are interested in calculating falsely. They have been ordered to assess their group with a certain total weight of human substance, and to apportion to each individual in their group the lighter or heavier portion he must provide; consequently, each very soon comprehends that, the more that is cut from the others, the less will be required of him: now, as each is more sensitive to his own suffering, although moderate, than to another’s suffering, even excessive, each, therefore, be his neighbor little or big, is inclined, in order to unjustly diminish his own sacrifice by an ounce, to add a pound unjustly to that of his neighbor.—Up to this time, in the construction of the fiscal machine, nobody knew or had been disposed to take into account such natural and powerful sentiments; through negligence or through optimism, the taxpayer had been introduced into the mechanism in the quality of first agent; before 1789, in the quality of a responsible and constrained agent; after 1789, in the quality of a voluntary and philanthropic agent. Hence, before 1789, the machine had proved mischievous, and after 1789, impotent; before 1789, its working had been almost fatal,1 and after 1789 its returns scarcely amounted to anything.2 Finally, there are independent, special and competent operators, enlightened by local reporters, but withdrawn from local influences, all of them appointed, paid and supported by the central government, forced to act impartially by the appeal of the taxpayer to the council of the prefecture, forced to keep correct accounts by the final auditing of a special court (cour des comptes), interested, through the security they have given as well as by commissions, in the integral recovery of unpaid arrears and in the prompt returns of collected taxes, all, assessors, auditors, directors, inspectors and collectors, being good accountants watched by good accountants, kept to their duties by fear, made aware that embezzlements, lucrative under the Directory,3 are punished under the Consulate,4 soon led to considering necessity a virtue, to priding themselves inwardly on compulsory rectitude, to imagining they had a conscience and hence to acquiring one, in short, to voluntarily imposing on themselves probity and exactitude through amour-propre and honorable scruples.—For the first time in ten years lists of taxes are prepared and their collection begun at the beginning of the year.1 Previous to 1789, the taxpayer was always in arrears, while the treasury received only three-fifths of that which was due in the current year;2 after 1800, direct taxes are nearly always fully returned before the end of the current year, and half a century later, the taxpayers, instead of being in arrears, are often in advance.3 To do this work required, before 1789, about two hundred thousand collectors, besides the administrative corps,4 occupied one half of their time for two successive years in running from door to door, miserable and detested, ruined by their ruinous office, fleecers and the fleeced, and always escorted by bailiffs and constables; since 1800, from five thousand to six thousand collectors, and other fiscal agents, honorable and respected, have only to do their office-work at home and make regular rounds on given days, in order to collect more than double the amount without any vexation and using very little constraint; before 1780, direct taxation brought in about one hundred and seventy millions;5 after the year xi, it brought in three hundred and sixty millions.6 By the same measure, an extraordinary counter-measure, the taxable party, especially the peasant-proprietor, the small indéfendu farmer, the privileged the wrong way, the drudge of the monarchy, is relieved of three-fourths of his immemorial burden.1 At first, through the abolition of tithes and of feudal privileges, he gets back one-quarter of his net income, the quarter which he paid to the seignior and to the clergy; next, through the application of direct taxation to all lands and to all persons, his quota is reduced one-half. Before 1789, he paid over, on one hundred francs net income, fourteen to the seignior, fourteen to the clergy, fifty-three to the State, and kept only eighteen or nineteen for himself; after 1800, he pays nothing out of one hundred francs of income to the seignior or to the clergy; he pays but little to the State, only twenty-one francs to the commune and department, and keeps seventy-nine francs in his pocket.2
If each franc insured pays so many centimes insurance premium, each franc of manual gain and of salary should pay as many centimes as each franc of industrial or commercial gain, also as each franc of personal or land revenue; that is to say, more than one-fifth of a franc, or twenty-one centimes.—At this rate, the workman who lives on his own labor, the day-laborer, the journeyman who earns one franc fifteen centimes per diem and who works three hundred days of the year, ought to pay out of his three hundred and forty-five francs wages sixty-nine francs to the public treasury. At this rate, the ordinary peasant or cultivator of his own field, owner of a cottage and a small tract of ground which he might rent at one hundred francs a year, should pay into the public treasury, out of his land income and from manual labor, eighty-nine francs.1 The deduction, accordingly, on such small earnings would be enormous; for this gain, earned from day to day, is just enough to live on, and very poorly, for a man and his family; were it cut down one-fifth he and his family would be obliged to fast; he would be nothing but a serf or half-serf, made the most of by the exchequer, his seignior and proprietor; for the exchequer, as formerly the proprietary seigniors, would appropriate to itself sixty days of labor out of the three hundred. Such was the condition of many millions of men, the great majority of Frenchmen, under the ancient régime. Indeed, the five direct taxes, the taille, its accessories, the road-tax, the capitatim and the vingtièmes, were a tax on the taxpayer, not only according to the net revenue of his property, if he had any, but again and especially “of his faculties” and presumed resources whatever these might be, comprising his manual earnings or daily wages.—Consequently, “a poor laborer owning nothing,”1 who earned nineteen sous a day, or two hundred and seventy livres a year,2 was taxed eighteen or twenty livres. Out of three hundred days’ work there were twenty or twenty-two which belonged beforehand to the public treasury. Consequently, the taxable man of the rural districts, owner of a few roods of ground which he might let for one hundred livres and which he cultivated himself, was taxed fifty-three livres; thus out of three hundred days of labor, fifty-nine belonged in advance to the exchequer.—Three-fifths3 of the French people were in this situation, and the inevitable consequences of such a fiscal system have been seen—the excess of extortions and of suffering, the spoliation, privations and deep-seated resentment of the humble and the poor. Every government is bound to care for these, if not on the score of humanity, at least through prudential considerations, and this one more than any other, since it is founded on the will of the greatest number, on the repeated votes of majorities counted by heads.
To this end, it establishes two divisions of direct taxation: one, the real-estate tax, which has no bearing on the taxpayer without any property; and the other, the personal tax, which does affect him, but lightly: calculated on the rate of rent, it is insignificant on an attic, furnished lodging, hut or any other hovel belonging to a laborer or peasant; again, when very poor or indigent, if the octroi is burdensome, the exchequer sooner or later relieves them; add to this the poll-tax which takes from them one and a half francs up to four and a half francs per annum, also a very small tax on doors and windows, say sixty centimes per annum in the villages on a tenement with only one door and one window, and, in the towns, from sixty to seventy-five centimes per annum for one room above the second story with but one window.1 In this way, the old tax which was crushing becomes light: instead of paying eighteen or twenty livres for his taille, capitatim and the rest, the journeyman or the artisan with no property pays no more than six or seven francs;2 instead of paying fifty-three livres for his vingtièmes for his poll, real and industrial tax, his capitatim and the rest, the small cultivator and owner pays no more than twenty-one francs. Through this reduction of their fiscal charges (corvée) and through the augmentation of their day wages, poor people, or those badly off, who depended on the hard and steady labor of their hands, the plowmen, masons, carpenters, weavers, blacksmiths, wheelwrights and porters, every hired man and mechanic, in short, all the laborious and tough hands, again became almost free; these formerly owed, out of their three hundred working days, from twenty to fifty-nine to the exchequer; they now owe only from six to nineteen, and thus gain from fourteen to forty free days during which, instead of working for the exchequer, they work for themselves.—The reader may estimate the value to a small household of such an alleviation of the burden of discomfort and care.
This is in favor of the poor, in other words, it is an infraction of the principle of distributive justice: through the almost complete exemption of those who have no property the burden of direct taxation falls almost entirely on those who own property. If they are manufacturers, or in commerce, they support still another burden, that of the license tax, which is a supplementary impost proportioned to their probable gains.1 Finally, to all these annual and extra taxes, levied on the probable or certain income derived from invested or floating capital, the exchequer adds an eventual tax on capital itself, consisting of the mutation tax, assessed on property every time it changes hands through gift, inheritance or by contract, obtaining its title under free donation or by sale, and which tax, aggravated by the timbre,2 is enormous3 since, in most cases, it takes five, seven, nine, and up to ten and one-half per cent on the capital transmitted, that is to say, in the case of real-estate, two, three and even four years’ income from it. Thus, in the first shearing of the sheep the exchequer cuts deep, as deep as possible; but it has sheared only the sheep whose fleece is more or less ample; its scissors have scarcely touched the others, much more numerous, whose wool, short, thin and scant, is maintained only by day-wages, the petty gains of manual labor.—Compensation is to come when the exchequer, resuming its scissors, shears the second time: it is the indirect tax which, although properly levied and properly collected, is, in its nature, more burdensome for the poor than for the rich and well-off.
Through this tax, and owing to the previous operation of its customs-duties, tolls, octrois or monopolies, the State collects a certain percentage on the price of various kinds of merchandise sold. In this way it participates in trade and commerce and itself becomes a merchant. It knows, therefore, like all able merchants, that, to obtain large profits, it must sell large quantities, that it must have a very large body of customers, that the largest body is that which ensures to it and embraces all its subjects, in short, that its customers must consist not only of the rich, who number merely tens of thousands, not only the well-to-do, who number merely hundreds of thousands, but likewise the poor and the half-poor, who number millions and tens of millions. Hence, in the merchandise by the sale of which it is to profit, it takes care to include staple articles which everybody needs, for example, salt, sugar, tobacco and beverages in universal and popular use. This accomplished, let us follow out the consequences, and look in at the shops over the whole surface of the territory, in the towns or in the villages, where these articles are disposed of. Daily and all day long, consumers abound; their large coppers and small change constantly rattle on the counter; and out of every large copper and every small piece of silver the national treasury gets so many centimes: that is its share, and it is very sure of it, for it is already in hand, having received it in advance. At the end of the year, these countless centimes fill its cash-box with millions, as many and more millions than it gathers through direct taxation.
And this second crop causes less trouble than the first one; for the taxpayer who is subject to it has less trouble and likewise the State which collects it.—In the first place, the taxpayer suffers less. In relation to the exchequer, he is no longer a mere debtor, obliged to pay over a particular sum at a particular date; his payments are optional; neither the date nor the sum are fixed; he pays on buying and in proportion to what he buys, that is to say, when he pleases and as little as he wants. He is free to choose his time, to wait until his purse is not so empty; there is nothing to hinder him from thinking before he enters the shop, from counting his coppers and small change, from giving the preference to more urgent expenditure, from reducing his consumption. If he is not a frequenter of the cabaret, his quota, in the hundreds of millions of francs obtained from beverages, is almost nothing; if he does not smoke or snuff, his quota, in the hundreds of millions derived from the tax on tobacco, is nothing at all; because he is economical, prudent, a good provider for his family and capable of self-sacrifice for those belonging to him, he escapes the shearing of the exchequer. Moreover, when he does come under the scissors, these hardly graze his skin; so long as tariff regulations and monopolies levy nothing on articles which are physically indispensable to him, as on bread in France, indirect taxation does not touch his flesh; in general, fiscal or protective duties, especially those which increase the price of tobacco, coffee, sugar, and beverages, do not affect his daily life, but merely deprive him of some of its pleasures and comforts. And, on the other hand, in the collection of these duties, the exchequer may not show its hand; if it does its business properly, the anterior and partial operation is lost sight of in the total operation which completes and covers this up; it screens itself behind the merchant. The shears are invisible to the buyer who presents himself to be sheared; in any event, he has no distinct sensation of them. Now, with the man of the people, the common run of sheep, it is the positive, actual, animal sensation which makes him vociferate, which provokes the violent capers, the rashness, the contagious scare and the general scampering. If he escapes this dangerous sensation he remains tranquil; at the utmost, he grumbles at the hard times; the high prices from which he suffers are not imputed to the government; he does not know how to reckon, check off and consider for himself the surplus price which the fiscal impost extorts from him. Even at the present day, one might tell a peasant in vain that the State takes fifteen out of the forty sous which he pays for a pound of coffee, and five centimes out of every two sous, the cost of a pound of salt; for him, this is simply a barren notion, a vague calculation at random; the impression on his mind would be very different if, standing before the grocer who weighs out his coffee and salt, he saw with his own eyes, right before him, the clerk of the customs and of the salt-tax actually taking the fifteen sous and the five centimes off the counter.
Such are the proper indirect taxes: in order that they may be proper, that is to say, tolerable and tolerated, three conditions, as we see, are requisite. In the first place, the taxpayer, in his own interest, must be free to buy or not to buy the merchandise taxed. Next, in the interest of the taxpayer and of the exchequer, the merchandise must not be so taxed as to be rendered too dear. After that, in the interest of the exchequer, its interference must not be perceptible. Owing to these precautions, indirect taxes can be levied, even on the smaller taxpayers, without either fleecing or irritating them. It is for lack of these precautions before 1789, when people were fleeced in such a bungling manner,1 that, in 1789, they first rebelled against indirect taxation,2 against the meal-tax, the salt-tax, the tax on liquors, the internal tariffs, and the town octrois, against fiscal officers, bureaux and registries, by murdering, pillaging, and burning, beginning in the month of March in Provence and after the 13th of July in Paris, and then throughout France, with such a universal, determined and persistent hostility that the National Assembly, after having vainly attempted to restore the suspended tax-levies and enforce the law on the populace, ended in subjecting the law to the populace and in decreeing the suppression of indirect taxation entirely.1
Such, in the matter of taxation, is the work of the Revolution. Of the two sources which, through their regular afflux, fill the public Treasury, and of which the ancient régime took possession and managed badly, violently, through loose and bungling measures, it has nearly dried up the first one, direct taxation, and completely exhausted the second one, indirect taxation. At present, as the empty Treasury must be filled, the latter must be taken in hand the same as the former, its waters newly gathered in and gently conducted without loss; and the new government sets about this, not like the old one, in a rude, conventional manner, but as an engineer and calculator who knows the ground, its inclination and other obstacles, in short, who comprehends human sensibility and the popular imagination.2 And first there is to be no more farming-out (of the revenues): the State no longer sells its duties on salt or on beverages to a company of speculators, mere contractors, who care for nothing but their temporary lease and annual incomes, solely concerned with coming dividends, bleeding the taxpayer like so many leeches and invited to suck him freely, interested in multiplying affidavits by the fines they get, and creating infractions, authorized by a needy government which, supporting itself on their advances, places the public force at their disposal and surrenders the people to their exactions. Henceforth, the exchequer collects for itself and for its own account; it is the same as a proprietor who, instead of hiring out, improves his property and becomes his own farmer; therefore, it considers the future in its own interest; it limits the receipts of the current year so as not to compromise the receipts of coming years; it avoids ruining the present taxpayer who is also the future taxpayer; it does not indulge in gratuitous chicanery, in expensive lawsuits, in warrants of execution and imprisonment; it is averse to converting a profitable laborer into a mendicant who brings in nothing, or into a prisoner for debt who costs it something. Through this course, the relief is immense; ten years previous to the Revolution,1 it was estimated that, in principal and in accessories, especially in costs of collection and in fines, indirect taxation cost the nation twice as much the king derived from it, that it paid three hundred and seventy-one millions to enable him to receive one hundred and eighty-four millions, that the salt-tax alone took out of the pockets of the taxpayer one hundred millions for forty-five millions deposited in his coffers. Under the new régime, fines became rarer; seizures, executions and sales of personal property still rarer, while the costs of collection, reduced by increasing consumption, are not to exceed one-twentieth instead of one-fifth of the receipts.2 —In the second place, the consumer becomes free again, in law as in fact, not to purchase taxed goods. He is no longer constrained, as formerly, in the provinces subject to high salt-tax, to accept, consume, and pay for duty-salt, seven pounds per head at thirteen sous the pound. Provincial, town or seignorial taxes on the commodity which he cannot do without, on bread, no longer exist; there is no meal-tax, or duty on flour, as in Provence,3 no duties on the sale or of grinding wheat, no impediments to the circulation or commerce of grain. Again, on the other hand, other commodities, besides bread and those which a tax reaches, fall now within range of small means through the lowering of fiscal charges, in the suppression of internal duties, and the abolition of multitudinous tolls. Salt, instead of costing thirteen sous and over, no longer costs more than two sous the pound. A cask of Bordeaux wine no longer pays two hundred livres before it is retailed by the tavern-keeper at Rennes.1 Except in Paris, and even at Paris, so long as the extravagance of municipal expenditure does not increase the octroi, the total tax on wine, cider and beer does not add, even at retail, more than eighteen per cent to their selling price,2 while, throughout France, the vine-grower, or the wine-maker, who gathers in and manufactures his own wine, drinks this and even his brandy, without paying one cent of tax under this heading.3 —Consequently, consumption increases, and, as there are no longer any exempt or half-exempt provinces, no more free salt (franc salé),4 no more privileges arising from birth, condition, profession or residence, the Treasury, with fewer duties, collected or gained as much as before the Revolution: in 1809 and 1810, twenty millions on tobacco, fifty-four millions on salt, one hundred millions on liquors, and then, as the taxpayer became richer and spent more, still larger and larger sums: in 1884, three hundred and five millions on tobacco: in 1885, four hundred and twenty-nine millions on liquors,5 without counting another one hundred millions again raised on liquors through town octrois.—At length, the exchequer, with extreme prudence, keeps out of sight and succeeds in almost saving the taxpayer from contact with, or the presence of, its agents. There is an end to a domestic inquisition. The exciseman no longer pounces in on the housewife to taste the pickle, to find out whether the ham has been cured with bogus salt, to certify that all the dutiable salt has been used in “the pot and the salt-cellar.” The wine-inspector no longer comes suddenly on the wine-grower, or even on the consumer, to gauge his casks, to demand an account of what he drinks, to make an affidavit in case of deficit or over-consumption, to impose a fine should a bottle have been given to a sick person or to a poor one. The fifty thousand customs officers or clerks of the ferme, the twenty-three thousand soldiers without a uniform who, posted in the interior along a line of twelve hundred leagues, guarded the heavily taxed salt districts against the provinces which were less taxed, redeemed or free; the innumerable employés at the barriers, forming a confused and complicated band around each province, town, district or canton, levying on twenty or thirty different sorts of merchandise; forty-five principal duties, general, provincial, or municipal, and nearly sixteen hundred tolls, in short, the entire body of officials of the old system of indirect taxation has almost wholly disappeared. Save at the entrance of towns, and for the octroi, the eye no longer encounters an official clerk; the carters who, from Roussillon or Languedoc, transport a cask of wine to Paris, are no longer subject to his levies, vexations and convenience in twenty different places, nor to impute to him the dozen or fifteen days’ useless extension of their trip due to his predecessor, and during which they had to wait in his office until he wrote a receipt or a permit; there is scarcely any one now but the inn-keeper who sees his green uniform on his premises; after the abolition of the house-inventory, nearly two millions of proprietors and wine métayers are forever free of his visits;1 thenceforth, for consumers especially the people, he is absent and seems a nullity. In effect, he has been transferred one or two hundred leagues off, to the salt-establishments in the interior and on the coasts, and on the frontier. There only is the system at fault, nakedly exposing its vice,—a war against exchanges, the proscription of international commerce, prohibition pushed to extreme, the continental blockade, an inquisition of twenty-thousand customs officials, the hostility of one hundred thousand defrauders, the brutal destruction of seized goods, an augmentation in price of one hundred per cent on cottons and four hundred per cent on sugar, a dearth of colonial articles, privation to the consumer, the ruin of the manufacturer and trader, and accumulated failures one on top of the other in 1811 in all the large towns from Hamburg to Rome.1 This vice, however, belongs to the militant policy and personal character of the master; the error that vitiates the external side of his fiscal system does not reach the internal side. After him, under pacific reigns, it is gradually modified; prohibition gives way to protection and then changes from excessive protection to limited protection. Inside, along with secondary improvements and partial amendments, the course marked out by the Consulate and the Empire is to be obtained; this course, in all its main lines, is clearly traced, straight, and yet adapted to all things, by the plurality, establishment, distribution, rate of taxation and returns of the various direct and indirect taxes, nearly in conformity with the new principles of political economy, as well as in conformity with the ancient maxims of distributive justice, carefully directed between the two important interests that have to be cared for, between the interest of the taxpayer and the interest of the State which collects taxes.
Consider, in effect, what both gain.—In 1789, the State had a revenue of only four hundred and seventy-five millions; afterwards, during the Revolution, it scarcely collected any of its revenues; it lived on the capital it stole, like a genuine brigand, or on the debts it contracted, like a dishonest and insolvent bankrupt. Under the Consulate and during the first years of the Empire, its revenue amounts to seven hundred and fifty or eight hundred millions, its subjects being no longer robbed of their capital, while it no longer runs in debt.—In 1789, the ordinary taxpayer paid a direct tax to his three former or late sovereigns, namely, to the King, the clergy and the seigniors, more than three-quarters of his net income. After 1800, he pays to the State less than one-quarter, the one sovereign alone who replaces the other three. We have seen how relief came to the old taxable subject, to the rustic, to the small proprietor, to the man without any property, who lived on the labor of his own hands; the lightening of the direct tax restored to him from fourteen to forty free days, during which, instead of working for the exchequer, he worked for himself. If married, and the father of two children over seven years of age, the alleviation of one direct tax alone, that of the salt-tax, again restores to him twelve days more, in all from one to two complete months each year during which he is no longer, as formerly, a man doing statute-work, but the free proprietor, the absolute master of his time and of his own hands.—At the same time, through the re-casting of other taxes and owing to the increasing price of labor, his physical privations decrease. He is no longer reduced to consuming only the refuse of his crop, the wheat of poor quality, the damaged rye, the badly-bolted flour mixed with bran, nor to drink water poured over the lees of his grapes, nor to sell his pigs before Christmas because the salt he needs is too dear.1 He salts his pork and eats it, and likewise butcher’s meat; he enjoys his boiled beef and broth on Sunday; he drinks wine; his bread is more nutritious, not so black and healthier; he no longer lacks it and has no fear of lacking it. Formerly, he entertained a lugubrious phantom, the fatal image of famine which haunted him day and night for centuries, an almost periodical famine under the monarchy, a chronic famine and then severe and excruciating during the Revolution, a famine which, under the republic, had in three years destroyed over a million of lives.2 The immemorial spectre recedes and vanishes; after two accidental and local recurrences, in 1812 and 1817, it never again appears in France.3
One tax remains, and the last, that by which the State takes, no longer money, but the person himself, the entire man, soul and body, and for the best years of his life, namely military service. It is the Revolution which has rendered this so burdensome; formerly, it was light, for, in principle, it was voluntary. The militia, alone, was raised by force, and, in general, among the country people; the peasants furnished men for it by casting lots.1 But it was simply a supplement to the active army, a territorial and provincial reserve, a distinct, sedentary body of reinforcements and of inferior rank which, except in case of war, never marched; it turned out but nine days of the year, and, after 1778, never turned out again. In 1789, it comprised in all seventy-five thousand two hundred and sixty men, and for eleven years their names, inscribed on the registers, alone constituted their presence in the ranks.2 There were no other conscripts under the monarchy; in this matter, its exactions were not great, ten times less than those of the Republic and of the Empire, since both the Republic and the Empire, using the same constraint, were to levy more than ten times the number of drafted men or conscripts.3
Alongside of this militia body, the entire army properly so called, the “regular” troops were, under, the ancient régime, all recruited by free enlistment, not only the twenty-five foreign regiments, Swiss, Irish, Germans, and Liégeois, but again the hundred and forty-five French regiments, one hundred and seventy-seven thousand men.1 The enlistment, indeed, was not free enough; frequently, through the manœuvres of the recruiting-agent, it was tainted with inveigling and surprises, and sometimes with fraud or violence; but, owing to the remonstrances due to the prevailing philanthropic spirit, these abuses had diminished; the law of 1788 had suppressed the most serious of them and, even with its abuses, the institution had two great advantages.—The army, in the first place, served as an issue: through it the social body purged itself of its bad humors, of its overheated or vitiated blood. At this date, although the profession of soldier was one of the lowest and least esteemed, a barren career, without promotion and almost without escape, a recruit was obtainable for about one hundred francs bounty and a “tip”; add to this two or three days and nights of revel in the grog-shop, which indicates the kind and quality of the recruits; in fact, very few could be obtained except among men more or less disqualified for civil and domestic life, incapable of spontaneous discipline and of steady labor, adventurers and outcasts, half-savage or half-blackguard, some of them sons of respectable parents thrown into the army in an angry fit, and others again, regular vagabonds picked up in beggars’ haunts, mostly stray workmen and loafers, in short, “the most debauched, the most hot-brained, the most turbulent people in an ardent, turbulent and somewhat debauched community.”1 In this way, the anti-social class was utilized for the public good. Let the reader imagine an ill-kept domain overrun by a lot of stray curs that might prove dangerous: they are enticed and caught; a collar, with a chain attached to it, is put on their necks and they become good watch-dogs. In the second place, this institution preserved to the subject the first and most precious of all liberties, the full possession and the unrestricted management of one’s own person, the complete mastery of body and being; this was assured to him, guaranteed to him against the encroachments of the State; better guaranteed than by the wisest constitution, for the institution was a recognized custom accepted by every body; in other words, a tacit, immemorial convention,2 between the subject and the State, proclaiming that, if the State had a right to draw on purses it had no right to draft persons: in reality and in fact, the King, in his principal function, was merely a contractor like any other; he undertook natural defence and public security the same as others undertook cleaning the streets or the maintenance of a dike; it was his business to hire military workmen as they hired their civil workmen, by mutual agreement, at an understood price and at current market rates. Accordingly, the sub-contractors with whom he treated, the colonel and captains of each regiment, were subject as he was to the law of supply and demand; he allowed them so much for each recruit,3 to replace those dropped out, and they agreed to keep their companies full. They were obliged to procure men at their own risk and at their own expense, while the recruiting-agent whom they despatched with a bag of money among the taverns, enlisted artillerymen, horsemen or foot-soldiers, after bargaining with them, the same as one would hire men to sweep or pave the streets and to clean the sewers.
Against this practice and this principle comes the theory of the Contrat-Social. It declares that the people are sovereign. Now, in this divided Europe, where a conflict between rival States is always imminent, sovereigns are military men; they are such by birth, education, and profession, and by necessity; the title carries along with it and involves the function. Consequently, the subject, in assuming their rights, imposes upon himself their duties; in his quota (of responsibility) he, in his turn, is sovereign; but, in his turn and in his person, he is a soldier.1 Henceforth, if he is born an elector, he is born a conscript; he has contracted an obligation of a new species and of infinite reach; the State, which formerly had a claim only on his possessions, now has one on his entire body; never does a creditor let his claims rest and the State always finds reasons or pretexts to enforce its claims. Under the threats or trials of invasion the people, at first, had consented to pay this one; they regarded it as accidental and temporary. After victory and when peace came, its government continues to enforce the claim; it becomes settled and permanent. After the treaties of Luneville and Amiens, Napoleon maintains it in France; after the treaties of Paris and Vienna, the Prussian government is to maintain it in Prussia. One war after another and the institution becomes worse and worse; like a contagion, it has spread from State to State; at the present time, it has overspread the whole of continental Europe and here it reigns along with its natural companion which always precedes or follows it, its twin-brother, universal suffrage, each more or less conspicuously “trotted out” and dragging the other along, more or less incomplete and disguised, both being the blind and formidable leaders or regulators of future history: one thrusting a ballot into the hands of every adult, and the other putting a soldier’s knapsack on every adult’s back: with what promises of massacre and bankruptcy for the twentieth century, with what exasperation of international rancor and distrust, with what waste of human labor, through what perversion of productive discoveries, through what perfection of destructive appliances, through what a recoil to the lower and most unwholesome forms of old militant societies, through what retrograde steps towards brutal and selfish instincts, towards the sentiments, habits and morality of the antique city and of the barbarous tribe—we know and more beside. It is sufficient for us to place the two military systems face to face, that of former times and that of to-day: formerly, in Europe, a few soldiers, some hundreds of thousands; to-day, in Europe, eighteen millions of actual or eventual soldiers, all the adults, even the married, even fathers of families summoned or subject to call for twenty-five years of their life, that is to say, as long as they continue able-bodied men; formerly, for the heaviest part of the service in France, no lives are confiscated by decree, only those bought by contract, and lives suited to this business and elsewhere idle or mischievous; about one hundred and fifty thousand lives of inferior quality, of mediocre value, which the State could expend with less regret than others, and the sacrifice of which is not a serious injury to society or to civilization. To-day, for the same service in France, four millions of lives are taken by authority, and, if they attempt to escape, taken by force; all of them, from the twentieth year onward, employed in the same manual and murderous pursuit, including the least suited to the purpose and the best adapted to other purposes, including the most inventive and the most fecund, the most delicate and the most cultivated, those remarkable for superior talent who are of almost infinite social value, and whose forced collapse, or precocious end, is a calamity for the human species.
Such is the terminal fruit of the new régime; military duty is here the counterpart, and as it were, the ransom of political right; the modern citizen may balance one with the other like two weights in the scale. On the one side, he may place his prerogative as sovereign, that is to say, in point of fact, the faculty every four years of giving one vote among ten thousand for the election or non-election of one deputy among six hundred and fifty; on the other side, he may place his positive, active service, three, four or five years of barrack life and of passive obedience, and then twenty-eight days more, then a thirteen-days’ summons in honor of the flag, and, for twenty years, at each rumor of war, anxiously waiting for the word of command which obliges him to shoulder his gun and slay with his own hand, or be slain. He will probably end by discovering that the two sides of the scales do not balance and that a right so hollow is poor compensation for so heavy a burden.
Of course, in 1789, he foresaw nothing like that; he was optimistic, pacific, liberal, humanitarian; he knew nothing of Europe nor of history, nothing of the past nor of the present; when the Constituent Assembly constituted him a sovereign, he let things go on; he did not know what he engaged to do, he had no idea of having allowed such a heavy claim against him. But, in signing the social contract, he made himself responsible; in 1793, the note came due and the Convention collected it;1 and then comes Napoleon who put things in order. Henceforth, every male, able-bodied adult must pay the debt of blood; no more exemptions in the way of military service:1 all young men who had reached the required age drew lots in the conscription and set out in turn according to the order fixed by their drafted number.2 But Napoleon is an intelligent creditor; he knows that this debt is “most frightful and most detestable for families,” that his debtors are real, living men and therefore different in kind, that the head of the State should keep these differences in mind, that is to say their condition, their education, their sensibility and their vocation; that, not only in their private interest, but again in the interest of the public, not merely through prudence but also through equity, all should not be indistinguishably restricted to the same mechanical pursuit, to the same manual labor, to the same prolonged and indefinite servitude of soul and body. Already, under the Directory, the law had exempted young married men and widowers or divorced persons who were fathers;1 Napoleon also exempts the conscript who has a brother in the active army, the only son of a widow, the eldest of three orphans, the son of a father seventy-one years old dependent on his labor, all of whom are family supports.2 He joins with these all young men who enlist in one of his civil militias, in his ecclesiastical militia or in his university militia, pupils of the École Normale, ignorantin brothers, seminarians for the priesthood, on condition that they shall engage to do service in their vocation and do it effectively, some for ten years, others for life, subject to a discipline more rigid, or nearly as rigid, as military discipline.3 Finally, he sanctions or institutes volunteer substitutes, through private agreement between a conscript and the able-bodied, certified volunteer substitute for whom the conscript is responsible.4 If such a bargain is made between them it is done freely, knowing what they are about, and because each man finds the exchange to his advantage; the State has no right to deprive either of them uselessly of this advantage, and oppose an exchange by which it does not suffer. So far from suffering it often gains by it. For, what it needs is not this or that man, Peter or Paul, but a man as capable as Peter or Paul of firing a gun, of marching long distances, of resisting inclemencies, and such are the substitutes it accepts. They must all be5 “of sound health and robust constitution,” and sufficiently tall; as a matter of fact, being poorer than those replaced, they are more accustomed to privation and fatigue; most of them, having reached maturity, are worth more for the service than youths who have been recruited by anticipation and too young; some are old soldiers: and in this case the substitute is worth twice as much as the new conscript who has never donned the knapsack or bivouacked in the open air. Consequently, those who are allowed to obtain substitutes are “the drafted and conscripts of all classes, . . . unable to endure the fatigues of war, and those who shall be recognized of greater use to the State by continuing their labors and studies than in forming a part of the army. . . ”1
Napoleon had too much sense to be led by the blind existences of democratic formulæ; his eyes, which penetrated beyond mere words, at once perceived that the condition of a simple soldier, between a young man well brought up and a peasant or day-laborer, is unequal, that a tolerable bed, sufficient clothing, good shoes, certainty of daily bread, a piece of meat regularly, are novelties for the latter but not for the former, and, consequently, enjoyments; that the promiscuity and odor of the barrack chamber, the corporal’s cursing and swearing and rude orders, the mess-dish and camp-bread, physical hardships all day and every other day, are for the former, but not for the latter, novelties and, consequently, sufferings; from which it follows that, if literal equality is applied, positive inequality is established, and that by virtue even of the new creed, it is necessary, in the name of true equality as in the name of true liberty, to allow the former, who would suffer most, to treat fairly and squarely with the latter, who will suffer less. And all the more because, by this arrangement, the civil staff preserves for itself its future recruits; it is from nineteen to twenty-six that the future chiefs and under-chiefs of the great work of peaceful and fruitful labor, the savants, artists or scholars, the jurisconsults, engineers or physicians, the enterprising men of commerce or of industry, receive and undertake for themselves a special and superior education, discover or acquire their leading ideas, and elaborate their originality or their competency; if talent is to be deprived of these productive years their growth is arrested in full vegetation, and civil capacities, not less precious for the State than military capacities, are rendered abortive.1 —Towards 1804,2 owing to substitution, one conscript out of five in the rural districts, one conscript out of seven in the towns, and, on the average, one conscript out of ten in France, escapes this forced abortive condition; in 1806, the price of a substitute varies from eighteen hundred to four thousand francs,3 and as capital is scarce, and ready money still more so, a sum like this is sufficiently large. Accordingly, it is the rich or well-to-do class, in other words the more or less cultivated class, which buys off its sons: reliance may be placed on their giving them more or less complete culture. In this way, it prevents the State from mowing down all its sprouting wheat and preserves a nursery of subjects among which society is to find its future élite.—Thus attenuated, the military law is still rigid enough: nevertheless it remains endurable; it is only towards 18074 that it becomes monstrous and grows worse and worse from year to year until it becomes the sepulchre of all French youth, even to taking the adolescent under age as food for powder, and men already exempt or free by purchase. But, as before these excesses, it may still be maintained with certain modifications; it suffices almost to retouch it, to establish exemptions and the privilege of substitution as rights, which were once simply favors,1 reduce the annual contingent, limit the term of service, guarantee their lasting freedom to those liberated, and thus secure in 1818 a recruiting law satisfactory and efficacious which, for more than half a century, will attain its ends without being too detrimental or too odious, and which, among so many laws of the same sort, all mischievous, is perhaps the least pernicious.
“The Ancient Régime,” book ii., ch. 2, 3, 4, and book v.
La Bruyère is, I believe, the first of these precursors. Cf. his chapters on “The Great,” on “Personal Merit,” on “The Sovereign and the Republic,” and his chapter on “Man,” his passages on “The Peasants,” on “Provincial Notes,” etc. These appeals, later on, excite the applause given to the “Marriage of Figaro.” But, in the anticipatory indictment, they strike deeper; there is no gayety in them, the dominant sentiment being one of sadness, resignation, and bitterness.
“Discours prononcé par l’ordre du roi et en sa présence, le 22 février 1787,” by M. de Calonne, contrôleur-général, p. 22. “What remains then to fill this fearful void (in the finances)? Abuses. The abuses now demanding suppression for the public weal are the most considerable and the best protected, those that are the deepest rooted and which send out the most branches. They are the abuses which weigh most heavily on the working and producing classes, the abuses of financial privileges, the exceptions to the common law and to so many unjust exemptions which relieve only a portion of the taxpayers by aggravating the lot of the others; general inequality in the distribution of subsidies and the enormous disproportion which exists in the taxation of different provinces and among the offices filled by subjects of the same sovereign; severity and arbitrariness in the collection of the taille; bureaux of internal transportation, and obstacles that render different parts of the same kingdom strangers to each other; rights that discourage industry; those of which the collection requires excessive expenditure and innumerable collectors.”
De Ségur, “Mémoires,” iii., 591. In 1791, in his return from Russia, his brother says to him, speaking of the Revolution: “Everybody, at first, wanted it. . . . From the king down to the most insignificant man in the kingdom, everybody did something to help it along; one let it come on up to his shoe-buckle, another up to his garter, another to his waist, another to his breast, and some will not be content until their head is attacked!”
“The Revolution,” pp. 271-279. Stourm, “Les Finances de l’ancien régime et de la Révolution,” i., 171 to 177.—(Report by Ramel, January 31, 1796.) “One would scarcely believe it—the holders of real-estate now owe the public treasury over 13 milliards.”—(Report by Gaudin, Germinal, year x, on the assessment and collection of direct taxes.) “This state of things constituted a permanent, annual deficit of 200 millions.”
“The Ancient Régime,” p. 99, and “The Revolution,” p. 407. (About 1,200 millions per annum in bread for Paris, instead of 45 millions for the civil and military household of the King at Versailles.)
“The Ancient Régime,” p. 68.—Madame Campan, “Mémoires,” i., 291, 292.
“The Revolution,” ii., 151, and iii., 500.
“Mémorial,” (Napoleon’s own words.) “The day when, adopting the unity and concentration of power, which could alone save us, . . . the destinies of France depended solely on the character, measures and conscience of him who had been clothed with this accidental dictatorship—beginning with that day, public affairs, that is to say the State, was myself. . . . I was the keystone of an entirely new building, and how slight the foundation! Its destiny depended on each of my battles. Had I been defeated at Marengo you would have then had a complete 1814 and 1815.”
Beugnot, “Mémoires,” ii., 317. “To be dressed, taxed, and ordered to take up arms, like most folks, seemed a punishment as soon as one had found a privilege within reach,” such, for example, as the title of “déchireur de bateaux” (one who condemns unseaworthy craft and profits by it), or inspector of fresh butter (using his fingers in tasting it), or tide-waiter and inspector of salt fish. These titles raised a man above the common level, and there were over twenty thousand of them.
See “The Ancient Régime,” p. 129.
Madame de Rémusat, “Mémoires,” iii., 316, 317.
De Beausset, “Intérieur du palais de Napoléon” i., p. 9 et seq. For the year 1805 the total expense is 2,338,167 francs; for the year 1806 it reaches 2,770,861 francs, because funds were assigned “for the annual augmentation of plate, 1,000 silver plates and other objects.”—“Napoleon knew, every New Year’s day, what he expended (for his household) and nobody ever dared overpass the credits he allowed.”
“The Ancient Régime,” pp. 350-357.
“The Revolution,” pp. 276-281.—Stourm, ibid., 168-171. (Speech by Bénard-Lagrave to the Five Hundred, Pluviôse 11, year iv.) “It cannot be concealed that, for many years, people were willingly accustoming themselves to the non-payment of taxes.”
Stourm, ibid., ii., 365. (Speech of Ozanam to the Five Hundred, Pluviôse 14, year vii.) “Scandalous traffic. . . . Most of the (tax) collectors in the republic are heads and managers of banks.”—(Circular of the minister of the finances, Floréal 25 year vii.) “Stock-jobbing of the worst kind to which many collectors give themselves, up, using bonds and other public securities received in payment of taxes.”—(Report by Gros-Cassaud Florimond, Sep. 19, 1799.) “Among the corruptible and corrupting agents there are only too many public functionaries.”—Mollien, “Mémoires,” i., 222. (In 1800, he had just been appointed director of the sinking-fund.) “The commonplace compliment which was everywhere paid to me (and even by statesmen who affected the sternest morality) was as follows—you are very fortunate to have an office in which one may legitimately accumulate the largest fortune in France.”—Cf. Rocquain, “État de la France au 18 Brumaire.” (Reports by Lacuée, Fourcroy and Barbé-Marbois.)
Charlotte de Sohr, “Napoléon en Belgique et en Hollande,” 1811, vol. i., 243. (On a high functionary condemned for forgery and whom Napoleon kept in prison in spite of every solicitation.) “Never will I pardon those who squander the public funds. . . . Ah! parbleu! We should have the good old times of the contractors worse than ever if I did not show myself inexorable for odious crimes.”
Stourm, ibid., i., 177. (Report by Gaudin, Sep. 15, 1799.) “A few (tax) rolls for the year v, and one-third of those for the year vii, are behindhand.”—(Report by the same, Germinal 1, year x.) “Everything remained to do, on the advent of the consulate, for the assessment and collection of direct taxes; 35,000 rolls for the year vii still remained to be drawn up. With the help of the new office, the rolls for the year vii have been completed; those of the year viii were made out as promptly as could be expected, and those of the year ix have been prepared with a despatch which, for the first time since the revolution, enables the collections to be begun in the very year to which they belong.”
“Archives parlementaires,” viii., p. 11. (Report by Necker to the States-General, May 5, 1789.) “These two-fifths, although legitimately due to the king, are always in arrears. . . . (To-day) these arrears amount in full to about 80 millions.”
De Foville, “la France économique,” p. 354.
“The Ancient Régime,” p. 354.
Necker, “De l’administration des finances,” i., 164, and “Rapport aux états-généraux,” May 5th, 1789. (We arrive at these figures, 179 millions, by combining these documents, on both sides, with the observation that the 3d vingtième is suppressed in 1789.)
Charles Nicolas, “les Budgets de la France depuis le commencement du xixème siècle” (in tabular form).—De Foville, ibid., 356.—In the year ix, the sum-total of direct taxes is 308 millions; in the year xi, 360, and in the year xii, 376. The total income from real-estate in France towards 1800 is 1,500 millions.
It is only after 1816 that the total of each of the four direct taxes can be got at (land, individual, personal, doors and windows). In 1821, the land-tax amounts to 265 millions, and the three others together to 67 millions. Taking the sum of 1,580 millions, estimated by the government as the net revenue at this date in France, we find that, out of this revenue, 16.77 per cent. is deducted for land, and that, with the other three, it then abstracts from the same revenue 21 per cent.—On the contrary, before 1789, the five corresponding direct taxes, added to tithes and feudal privileges, abstracted 81.71 per cent. from the net income of the taxable party. (Cf. “The Ancient Régime,” pp. 346, 347, 351 et seq.)
These figures are capital, and measure the distance which separates the old from the new condition of the laboring and poor class, especially in the rural districts; hence the tenacious sentiments and judgments of the people with respect to the Ancient Régime, the Revolution and the Empire.—All local information converges in this sense. I have verified the above figures as well as I could: 1st, by the “Statistiques des préfets,” of the year ix and year xiii and afterwards (printed); 2d, by the reports of the councillors of state on mission during the year ix (published by Rocquain, and in manuscript in the Archives nationales); 3d, by the reports of the senators on their sénatoreries and by the prefects on their departments, in 1806, 1809, 1812, 1814 and 1815, and from 1818 to 1823 (in manuscript in the Archives nationales); 4th, by the observations of foreigners travelling in France from 1802 to 1815.—For example (“A Tour through several of the Middle and Western Departments of France,” 1802, p. 23): “There are no tithes, no church taxes, no taxation of the poor. . . . All the taxes together do not go beyond one-sixth of a man’s rent-roll, that is to say, three shillings and sixpence on the pound sterling.”—(“Travels in the South of France, 1807 and 1808,” by Lieutenant-Colonel Pinkney, citizen of the United States, p. 162.) At Tours a two-story house, with six or eight windows on the front, a stable, carriage-house, garden and orchard, rents at £20 sterling per annum, with the taxes which are from £1,10, to £2, for the state and about ten shillings for the commune.—(“Notes on a Journey through July, August and September, 1814,” by Morris Birkbeck, p. 28.) Near Cosne (Orléanais), an estate of 1,000 acres of tillable land and 500 acres of woods is rented for nine years, for about 9,000 francs a year, together with the taxes, about 1,600 francs more.—(Ibid., p. 91.) “Visited the Brie. Well cultivated on the old system, of wheat, oats and fallow. Average rent 16 francs the acre with taxes, which are about one-fifth of the rent.”—Roederer, iii., 474 (on the sénatorerie of Caen, Decem. 1, 1803): “The direct tax is here in very moderate proportion to the income, it being paid without much inconvenience.”—The travellers above quoted and many others are unanimous in stating the new prosperity of the peasant, the cultivation of the entire soil and the abundance and cheapness of provisions. (Morris Birkbeck, p. 11.) “Everybody assures me that the riches and comfort of the cultivators of the soil have been doubled since twenty-five years.” (Ibid., p. 43, at Tournon-surle-Rhône.) “I had no conception of a country so entirely cultivated as we have found from Dieppe to this place.”—(Ibid., p. 51, at Montpellier.) “From Dieppe to this place we have not seen among the laboring people one such famished, worn-out, wretched object as may be met in every parish of England, I had almost said on almost every farm. . . . A really rich country, and yet there are few rich individuals.”—Robert, “De l’Influence de la révolution sur la population, 1802,” p. 41. “Since the Revolution I have noticed in the little village of Sainte-Tulle that the consumption of meat has doubled; the peasants who formerly lived on sait pork and ate beef only at Easter and at Christmas, frequently enjoy á pot-à-feu during the week, and have given up rye-bread for wheat-bread.”
The sum of 1 fr. 15 for a day’s manual labor is an average, derived from the statistics furnished by the prefects of the year ix to the year xiii, especially for Charente, Deux-Sèvres, Meurthe, Moselle and Doubs.
“The Ancient Régime,” p. 353.
Arthur Young, ii., 259. (Average rate for a day’s work throughout France in 1789.)
About 15 millions out of 26 millions, in the opinion of Mallet-Dupan and other observers.—Towards the middle of the 18th century, in a population estimated at 20 millions, Voltaire reckons that “many inhabitants possess only the value of 10 crowns rental, that others have only 4 or 5, and that more than 6 millions of inhabitants have nothing.” (“L’homme aux quarante écus.”)—A little later, Chamfort (i., 178) adds: “It is an incontestable truth that, in France, 7 millions of men beg, and 12 millions of men are incapable of giving anything.”
Law of Floréal 3, year x, title ii, articles 13, 14, § 3 and 4.
Charles Nicolas, ibid.—In 1821, the personal and poll tax yields 46 millions; the tax on doors and windows, 21 millions: total, 67 millions. According to these sums we see that, if the recipient of 100 francs income from real-estate pays 16 fr. 77 real-estate tax, he pays only 4 fr. 01 for his three other direct taxes.—These figures, 6 to 7 francs, can nowadays be arrived at through direct observation.—To omit nothing, the assessment in kind, renewed in principle after 1802 on all parish and departmental roads, should be added; this tax, demanded by rural interests, laid by local authorities, adapted to the accommodation of the taxpayer, and at once accepted by the inhabitants, has nothing in common with the former corvée, save in appearance; in fact, it is as easy as the corvée was burdensome. (Stourm, i., 122.)
Charles Nicolas, “Les Budgets de la France depuis le commencement du xixe Siècle,” and de Foville, “La France économique,” p. 365, 373.—Returns of licenses in 1816, 40 millions; in 1820, 22 millions; in 1860, 80 millions; in 1887, 171 millions.
The mutation tax is that levied in France on all property transmitted by inheritance, or which changes hands through formal sale (other than in ordinary business transactions), as in the case of transfers of real-estate, effected through purchase or sale. Timbre designates stamp duties imposed on the various kinds of legal documents.—Tr.
Ibid. Returns of the mutation tax (registration and timbre). Registration in 1820, 127 millions; in 1860, 306 millions; in 1886, 518 millions.—Timbre, in 1820, 26 millions; in 1860, 56 millions; in 1886, 156 millions. Sum-total in 1886, 674 millions.—The rate of corresponding taxes under the ancient régime (contrôle, insinuation centième denier, formule) was very much lower; the principal one, or tax of centième denier, took only 1 per 100, and on the mutations of real-estate. This mutation tax is the only one rendered worse; it was immediately aggravated by the Constituant Assembly, and it is rendered all the more exorbitant on successions in which liabilities are not deducted from assets. (That is to say, the inheritor of an indebted estate in France must pay a mutation tax on its full value. He has the privilege, however, of renouncing the estate if he does not choose to accept it along with its indebtedness.)—The taxpayer’s resignation to this tax is explained by the exchequer collecting it at a unique moment, when proprietorship just comes into being or is just at the point of birth. In effect, if property changes hands under inheritance or through free donation it is probable that the new owner, suddenly enriched, will be only too glad to enter into possession of it, and not object to an impost which, although taking about a tenth, still leaves him only a little less wealthy. When property is transferred by contract or sale, neither of the contracting parties, probably, sees clearly which pays the fiscal tax; the seller may think that it is the buyer, and the buyer that it is the seller. Owing to this illusion both are less sensible of the shearing, each offering his own back in the belief that it is the back of the other.
See “The Ancient Régime,” pp. 358-362.
See “The Revolution,” vol. i., pp. 16, 38.
Decree of Oct. 31-Nov. 5, 1789, abolishing the boundary taxes between the provinces and suppressing all the collection offices in the kingdom.—Decree of 21-30 March 1790, abolishing the salt-tax. Decree of 1-17 March 1791, abolishing all taxes on liquors, and decree of 19-25 Feb. 1791, abolishing all octroi taxes.—Decree of 20-27 March 1791, in relation to freedom of growing, manufacturing and selling tobacco; customs-duties on the importation of leaf-tobacco alone are maintained, and give but an insignificant revenue, from 1,500,000 to 1,800,000 francs in the year v.
Gaudin, Duc de Gaëte, “Mémoires,” i., 215-217.—The advantages of indirect taxation are well explained by Gaudin. “The taxpayer pays only when he is willing and has the means. On the other hand, the duties imposed by the exchequer being confounded with the price of the article, the taxpayer, in paying, his debt, thinks only of satisfying a want or of procuring an enjoyment.”—Decrees of March 16 and 27, and May 4, 1806 (on salt), of February 25, 1804, April 24, 1806, Novem. 25, 1808 (on liquors), May 19, 1802, March 6, 1804, April 24, 1806, Decem. 29, 1810 (on tobacco).
Letrosne, “De l’administration des finances et de la réforme de l’impôt” (1779), pp. 148, 162.—Laboulaye, “De l’administration française sous Louis XVI.” (Revue des cours littéraires, 1864-1865, p. 677). “I believe that, under Louis XIII., they took at least five and, under Louis XIV, four to get two.”
Paul Leroy-Beaulieu, “Traité de la science des finances,” i., 261. (In 1875, these costs amount to 5.20 per cent.)—De Foville, ibid. (Cost of customs and salt-tax, in 1828, 16.2 per cent; in 1876, 10.2 per cent.—Cost of indirect taxation, in 1828, 14.90 per cent; in 1876, 3.7 per cent.)—De Calonné, “Collection des mémoires présentés à l’assemblée des notables,” 1787, p. 63.
See “The Ancient Régime,” p. 23, 370.—“The Revolution,” i., 10, 16, 17.
See “The Ancient Régime,” p. 361.
Leroy-Beaulieu, ibid., i., 643.
Decrees of November 25, 1808, and December 8, 1824.
Certain persons under the ancient régime enjoyed an exemption from the tax on salt.
Stourm, i., 360, 389.—De Foville, 382, 385, 398.
These figures are given by Gaudin.
Thiers, xiii., pp. 20 to 25.
Lafayette, “Mémoires.” (Letter of October 17, 1779, and notes made in Auvergne, August 1800.) “You know how many beggars there were, people dying of hunger in our country. We see no more of them. The peasants are richer, the land better tilled and the women better clad.”—“The Ancient Régime,” 340, 341, 342.—“The Revolution,” iii., p. 366, 402.
“The Ancient Régime,” p. 340.—“The Revolution,” iii., 212.
These two famines were due to inclement seasons and were aggravated, the last one by the consequences of invasion and the necessity of supporting 150,000 foreign troops, and the former by the course taken by Napoleon who applies the maximum afresh, with the same intermeddling, the same despotism and the same failure as under the Convention. (“Mémoires,” by M. X——, iii., 251-335.) “I do not exaggerate in stating that our operations in the purchase and transport (of grain) required a full quarter of the time, and often one-third, more than would have been required in commerce.”—Prolongation of the famine in Normandy. “Bands of famished beggars overran the country. . . . Riots and pillaging around Caen; several mills burnt. . . . Suppression of these by the imperial guard. In the executions which resulted from these even women were not spared.”—The two principal guarantees at the present day against this public danger are, first, easier circumstances, and next the multiplication of good roads and of railroads, the despatch and cheapness of transportation, and the superabundant crops of Russia and the United States.
J. Gebelin, “Histoire des milices provinciales” (1882), p. 87, 143, 157, 288.—Most of the texts and details may be found in this excellent work.—Many towns, Paris, Lyons, Reims, Rouen, Bordeaux, Tours, Agen, Sedan and the two generalities of Flanders and Hainault are examples of drawing by lot; they furnished their contingent by volunteers enlisted at their own expense; the merchants and artisans, or the community itself, paying the bounty for enlistment. Besides this there were many exemptions in the lower class. (Cf. “The Ancient Régime,” p. 390.)
J. Gebelin, ibid., 239, 279, 288. (Except the eight regiments of royal grenadiers in the militia who turned out for one month in the year.)
Example afforded by one department. (“Statistics of Ain,” by Rossi, prefect, 1808.) Number of soldiers on duty in the department, in 1789, 323; in 1801, 6,729; in 1806, 6,764.—“The department of Ain furnished nearly 30,000 men to the armies, conscripts and those under requisition.”—It is noticeable, consequently, that in the population of 1801, there is a sensible diminution of persons between twenty and thirty and, in the population of 1806, of those between twenty-five and thirty-five years of age. The number between twenty and thirty is as follows: in 1789, 39,828; in 1801, 35,648; in 1806, 34,083.
De Dammartin. “Evénemens qui se sont passés sous mes yeux pendant la révolution française,” v. ii. (State of the French army, Jan. 1, 1789.) Total on a peace footing, 177,890 men.—This is the nominal force; the real force under arms was 154,000; in March 1791, it had fallen to 115,000, through the multitude of desertions and the scarcity of enlistments. (Yung, “Dubois-Crancé et la Révolution,” i., 158. Speech by Dubois-Crancé.)
“The Ancient Régime,” p. 390, 391.—“The Revolution,” p. 328-330.—Albert Babeau, “le Recrutement militaire sous l’ancien régime.” (In “la Réforme sociale” of Sept. 1, 1888, p. 229, 238.)—An officer says, “only the rabble are enlisted because it is cheaper.”—Yung, ibid., i., 32. (Speech by M. de Liancourt in the tribune.) “The soldier is classed apart and is too little esteemed.”—Ibid., p. 39. (“Vices et abus de la constitution actuelle française,” memorial signed by officers in most of the regiments, Sept. 6, 1789.) “The majority of soldiers are derived from the offscourings of the large towns and are men without occupation.”
Gebelin, p. 270. Almost all the cahters of the third-estate in 1789 demand the abolition of drafting by lot, and nearly all of those of the three orders are for volunteer service, as opposed to obligatory service; most of these demand, for the army, a volunteer militia enlisted through a bounty; this bounty or security in money to be furnished by communities of inhabitants which, in fact, was already the case in several towns.
Albert Babeau, ibid., 238. “Colonels were allowed only 100 francs per man; this sum, however, being insufficient, the balance was assessed on the pay of the officers.”
This principle was at once adopted by the Jacobins. (Yung, ibid., 19, 22, 145. Speech by Dubois-Crancé at the session held Dec. 12, 1789.) “Every citizen will become a soldier of the Constitution.” No more casting lots nor substitution. “Each citizen must be a soldier and each soldier a citizen.”—The first application of the principle is a call for 300,000 men (Feb. 26, 1793), then through a levy on the masses which brings 500,000 men under the flag, nominally volunteers, but conscripts in reality. (Baron Poisson, “l’Armée et la Garde Nationale,” iii, 475.)
Baron Poisson, “l’Armée et la Garde nationale,” iii., 475. (Summing up.) “Popular tradition has converted the volunteer of the Republic into a conventional personage which history cannot accept. . . . 1st. The first contingent of volunteers demanded of the country consisted of 97,000 men (1791). 60,000 enthusiasts responded to the call, enlisted for a year and fulfilled their engagement; but for no consideration would they remain longer. 2d. Second call for volunteers in April 1792. Only mixed levies, partial, raised by money, most of them even without occupation, outcasts and unable to withstand the enemy. 3d. 300,000 men recruited, which measure partly fails; the recruit can always get off by furnishing a substitute. 4. Levy in mass of 500,000 men, called volunteers, but really conscripts.”
“Mémorial” (Speech by Napoleon before the Council of State). “I am inflexible on exemptions; they would be crimes; how relieve one’s conscience of having caused one man to die in the place of another?”—“The conscription was an unprivileged militia: it was an eminently national institution and already far advanced in our customs; only mothers were still afflicted by it, while the time was coming when a girl would not have a man who had not paid his debt to his country.”
Law of Fructidor 8, year xiii, article 10.—Pelet de La Lozère, 229. (Speech by Napoleon, Council of State, May 29, 1804.)—Pelet adds: “The duration of the service was not fixed. . . . As a fact in itself, the man was exiled from his fireside for the rest of his life, regarding it as a desolating, permanent exile. . . . Entire sacrifice of existence. . . . An annual crop of young men torn from their families and sent to death.”—Archives nationales, F7, 3014. (Reports of prefects, 1806.) After this date, and even from the beginning, there is extreme repugnance which is only overcome by severe means. . . . (Ardèche.) “If the state of the country were to be judged of by the results of the conscription one would have a poor idea of it.”—(Ariége.) “At Brussac, district of Foix, four or five individuals arm themselves with stones and knives to help a conscript escape, arrested by the gendarmes. . . . A garrison was ordered to this commune.”—At Massat, district of Saint-Girons, on a few brigades of gendarmes entering this commune to establish a garrison, in order to hasten the departure of refractory conscripts, they were stoned; a shot even was fired at this troop. . . . A garrison was placed in these hamlets as in the rest of the commune.—During the night of Frimaire 16-17 last, six strange men presented themselves before the prison of Saint-Girons and loudly demanded Gouazé, a deserter and condemned. On the jailor coming down they seized him and struck him down.”—(Haute-Loire.) “The flying column is under constant orders simultaneously against the refractory and disobedient among the classes of the years ix, x, xi, xii, and xiii, and against the laggards of that of year iv, of which 134 men yet remain to be supplied.”—(Bouches-du-Rhône.) “50 deserter sailors and 84 deserters or conscripts of different classes have been arrested.”—(Dordogne.) “Out of 1353 conscripts, 134 have failed to reach their destination; 124 refractory or deserters from the country and 41 others have been arrested; 81 conscripts have surrendered as a result of placing a garrison amongst them; 186 have not surrendered. Out of 892 conscripts of the year xiv on the march, 101 deserted on the road.”—(Gard.) “76 refractory or deserters arrested.”—(Landes.) “Out of 406 men who left, 51 deserted on the way,” etc.—This repugnance becomes more and more aggravated. (Cf. analogous reports of 1812 and 1813, F7, 3018 and 3019, in “Journal d’un bourgeois d’Évreux,” p. 150 to 214, and “Histoire de 1814,” by Henry Houssaye, p. 8 to 24.)
Law of Fructidor, year vi.
Law of Floréal 6, year xi, article 13.—Law of Fructidor 8, year xiii, article 18.
Decree of July 29, 1811 (on the exemption of pupils in the École Normale).—Decree of March 30, 1810, title ii., articles 2, 4, 5, 6 (on the police and system of the École Normale).—Decree on the organization of the University, titles 6 and 13, March 7, 1808.
Law of Ventôse 17, year viii, title iii., articles 1 and 13.—Law of Fructidor 8, year xiii, articles 50, 54, and 55.
Law of Fructidor 8, year xiii, article 51.
Law of Ventôse 17, year viii, title 3, article 1.
Thibaudeau, p. 108. (Speech of the First Consul before the Council of State.) “Art, science and the professions must be thought of. We are not Spartans. . . . As to substitution, it must be allowed. In a nation where fortunes are equal each individual should serve personally; but, with a people whose existence depends on the inequality of fortunes, the rich must be allowed the right of substitution; only we must take care that the substitutes be good, and that conscripts pay some of the money serving to defray the expense of a part of the equipment of the army of reserve.”
Pelet de La Lozère, 228.
Archives nationales, F7, 3014. (Reports of prefects, 1806.) Average price of a substitute: Basses Alpes, from 2,000 to 2,500 francs; Bouches-du-Rhône, from 1,800 to 3,000; Dordogne, 2,400; Gard, 3,000; Gers, 4,000; Haute-Garonne, from 2,000 to 3,000; Hérault, 4,000; Vaucluse, 2,500; Landes, 4,000.—Average rate of interest (Ardèche): “Money, which was from 1¼ to 1½ per cent, has declined; it is now at 3¼ per cent a month or 10 per cent per annum.”—(Basses Alpes): “The rate of money has varied in commerce from 1 to ¾ per cent per month.”—(Gard): “Interest is at 1 per cent a month in commerce; proprietors can readily borrow at 9 or 10 per cent per annum.”—(Hérault): “The interest on money is 1¼ per month.”—(Vaucluse): “Money is from ¾ to 1¼ per cent per month.”
Thiers, vii., p. 23 and 467. In November 1806, Napoleon orders the conscription of 1807; in March 1807, he orders the conscription of 1808, and so on, always from worse to worse.—Decrees of 1808 and 1813 against young men of family already bought off or exempted.—“Journal d’un Bourgeois d’Évreux,” 214. Desolate state of things in 1813, “general depression and discouragement.”—Miot de Mélito, iii., 304. (Report of Miot to the Emperor after a tour in the departments in 1815.) “Everywhere, almost, the women are your declared enemies.”
Law of Ventôse 17, year viii, title 3, articles 6, 7, 8, 9.—Exemption is granted as a favor only to the ignorantin brothers and to seminarians assigned to the priesthood.—Cf. the law of March 10, 1818, articles 15 and 18.