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second of the above-mentioned pamphlets) propose, that we should pay, not the nominal capital of the debt, but only the sums actually advanced to government, with an equitable allowance for the higher rate of interest, which would, in that case, have been paid; or, in other words, they propose to augment our present burdens by increasing the annual charge of the debt, and to gain a distant future advantage, by annulling the terms of the contract between the nation and the public creditor, and by substituting, in its stead, such an agreement as shall to them seem meet. The wisdom and morality of this scheme are in admirable unison, "quales decet esse sorores."
We cannot condescend to enter into a minute discussion of the absurdities and villany of such schemes of fraud: nor is it worth while. Far from being carried into effect, they will never be even listened to in Parliament. Whatever may be the temporary delusion of a few country gentlemen overwhelmed with mortgages, our great aristocratical interests, whether Whig or Tory, will support ministers in the maintenance of the public faith, and England will have another instance to add to the many already recorded in her history of the inestimable benefit accruing to a country from the compact political influence of opulent nobles. They have been called the ornamented Corinthian capital of society. The metaphor does not do them justice. They are, in fact, the key-stone of the political arch. They will not tolerate, that the fame of England should be tarnished, and that, too, in circumstances which hold out no motive or excuse for a public breach of faith.
To those who are willing to sacrifice public honour to their own imagined interests, we would suggest, that crimes, to accomplish their purpose, must go on in a long train, and that it would be well for them to consider, how the policy they recommend may probably terminate. If legislators, hurried by the importunity, or awed by the influence of one class, violate the legal rights of any part of the community, they must make more than one step in the career of injustice. The road will become rough and more thorny, as they proceed; and the final result will bring the heaviest destruction upon those, whose engrossing selfishness and mole-eyed ignorance first urged a deviation from the clear path of integrity.
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