Charles VIII., during a reign of fourteen years, continued to waste the public money. His disastrous expedition for the conquest of the kingdom of Naples forced him to borrow at the rate of forty-two per cent. A short time previous to his death he acknowledged his errors, but continued to spend money, without consideration or restraint, in all kinds of extravagances, but especially in buildings. During his reign the annual expenditure almost invariably doubled the revenue. In 1492 it reached 7,300,000 francs, about 244,000,000 francs of present money. The deficit was made up each year by a general tax, "which was paid neither by the nobles nor the Church, but was obtained entirely from the people" (letters from the ambassadors of Venice).
The receiver of Taxes.--Fac-simile of a Woodcut in Damhoudere's "Praxis Rerum Civilium."