...O MONEY, Money! What an influence hast thou on all the affairs of the quarreling, huffing part of this world, as well as upon the most plodding part of it! Without thee parliaments may meet, and councils sit, and kings contrive,but it will all be to no purpose, their councils and conclusions can never be put in execution! Thou raisest armies, fightest battles, fittest out fleets, takest town, kingdoms, and carriest on the great affairs of the war; All power, all policy is supported by thee, even vice and virtue act by thy assistance, by thee all the great things in the World are done, thou makest heroes, and crown'st the actions of the mighty; By thee, in one sense kings reign, armies conquer, princes grow great, and nations flourish.
Mighty Neuter! Thou great jack-a-both sides of the world, how hast thou brought all things into bondage to thy tyranny? How art thou the mighty word of this war, the great wheel in the vast machine of politick motion, the vehicle of providence, the great medium of conveyance, in which all the physick of the secret dispensation in human Affairs is administered, and by the quantity of which it operates to blessing or cursing? Well art thou called the God of this world; for in thy presence and absence consists all the heaven or hell of human affairs; for thee, what will not mankind do, what hazards will they run, what villanies perform? For thee, kings tyrannize, subjects are oppressed, nations ruined, fathers murdered, children abandoned, friends betrayed. Thou art the charm that unlocks the cabinet, unscrews nature; for thee, the traitor fawns, the parasite flatters, the profligate swears, and the hypocrite prays; for thee, the virgin prostitutes, the honourable degenerates, the wise man turns fool, the honest man a knave, the friend turns traitor, the brother turns a stranger, Christians turn Heathens, and Mankind devils.
Thou art the test of beauty, the judge of ornament, the guide of the fancy, the index of temper, and the pole star of the affections; Thou makest homely things fair, old things young, crooked things straight; thou hast the great remedy of love, thou can'st give the blind an eye, the lame a leg, the froward a temper, and the scandalous a character; Thou makest knaves honest, whores chaste, and bullies justices of the peace; Thou creepest into all our towns, cities, corporations, court houses, ay, and churches too; Thou makest the differences there between the great and the small, the high and the low, and to thy charge it is justly laid, why sots lead, blockheads preach, knaves govern, and elected fools make aldermen and mayors.
In the Armies, Thou workest wonders too; there thou makest the coward fight, and the brave run away: thou givest victory, and leadest triumphs; all the caps and feathers stand upon thy head, and thou hast the passing of all commissions; Thou makest marshalls of france, governors of provinces, and lieutenant-generals; Thou makest bullies admirals, sodomites captains of men of war, cowards commodores, and brutes leaders of men. For thee, the poor soldier strives to have his brains beat out, the Officers court thee through all the paths of death and horror; for thee the generals shift hands, serve any body, nobody, and everybody; Thou makest Christians fight for the Turks, thou hirest servants to the Devil, nay to the very Czar of muscovy.
For thee, the kings of the earth raise war, and the potsherds dash against one another. Thou art ambition, for pride is really nothing but covetousness; 'tis for thee the mighty sell their rest, their peace, and their souls in quest of crowns and conquests. They talk sometimes of other trifles, such as liberty, religion, and i know not what; but 'tis all for thee, i never knew but two exceptions in our histories, viz, Gustavus Adolphus, and King William; Thou art the mighty Center of human Action, the great Rudder the world steers by, the vast hinge the globe turns on — 0 Money, Money, who can form thy character!
And yet thou necessary evil, thou has some panegyric due to thee also, and they that rail most at thee, seek thy favour; Thou assistest the injured to shake off their chains, the invaded to defend themselves, and the oppressed to regain their liberty, and thou art equally necessary to one, as to the other. In thy excesses and the excursions of men about thee, consists all thy scandal; Thou encouragest virtue, rewardest honesty, and art the reward given to man for his labour, under the sun; without thy help, tyrants would never be dethroned, nor ambition restrained, nor any of the capital diseases of the world cured.
And how art thou to be obtained? How must we court thy favour? Truly, just as the rest of the world does, where thou art, we must seek thee; where thou art legally provided, thou shouldest be legally demanded; but where fraudulently, oppressively, or violently amassed, by the same violence thou art to be lawfully seized upon; such are pirates of nature, and ought to be plundered for the public good, and if their power cannot be subdued, you may doubtless use the best means you can to remove out of their possession, the prisoner money.
And this brings me down to the times; money is now the business, raising money is the affair, ways and means is the word; the answer is ready, where money is legally obtained, it must be legally obtained again; subjects honestly labouring, honestly possessing, ought to be left quietly, enjoying what they are masters of; and this is the foundation of what we call law, liberty, and property, and the like modern words very much in use; this is the end of parliaments, constitutions, government and obedience; and this is the true foundation of order in the world, and long may it be our privilege to maintain it.