Benefits and Improvements
1. CHAP. I. Of Country Affairs in General.
BEFORE I come to speak particularly of Matters relating to a Country Life, it will not be improper to glance a little upon this Subject as it offers it self to our General Prospect, which indeed is both [Page 2] pleasant and profitable. And First for its Pleasure, what can be more suitable to a serious and well dispos'd Mind, than to contemplate the Improvements of Nature by the various Methods and Arts of Culture: The same spot of Ground, which some Time since was nothing but Heath and Desart, and under the Original Curse of Thorns and Bryers, after a little Labour and Expence, seems restor'd to its Primitive Beauty in the State of Paradise. Curious Groves and Walks, fruitful Fields of Corn and Wine, with Flowry Meadows, and sweet Pastures, well stor'd with all sorts of Cattle for Food and Use, together with all the Advantages and Delights of Water Currents and Rivolets; as also with infinite Variety of Fruitbearing Trees, of beautiful Flowers, of sweet and fragrant Herbs, &c. are the familiar and easie Productions of Industry and Ingenuity; all which, as they afford extream Delight to our Senses, so must it needs be a ravishing Pleasure for the Contemplative to consider. What an Infinite Variety of Vegetables, so beautiful and grateful to all our Senses, and so sovereign and useful for Health, may be produc'd out of a little portion of Earth well cultivated, and all this from little Seeds or Grains of small worth in appearance: So that this kind of Employment may most properly be call'd a Recreation, not only from the Refreshment it gives to the Mind, but from the Restauration of Nature, which may be lookt upon as a New Creation of things; when from [Page 3] Nothing, or from something next to Nothing, we become the Instruments of producing, or of restoring them in such Perfection.
And altho the Practice of Husbandry be a Business of some Toil and Care, of some Hazard and Expence, yet there is this in it to make all these things easie, viz. When a Man shall consider the gradual Advancements of growing Nature, so that every Day represents Things under New Colours and Beauties. 'Tis pleasant to see a Field of Corn shooting out of the Earth, which Pleasure is soon lost in a new and succeeding pleasure of seeing the whole Surface of the Ground, upon the approach, perhaps of Winter, cover'd with the Blades of Green Corn, fresh and verdant as the Virgin Spring. This Pleasure likewise, is again succeeded with others, arising still from the New Appearances of Nature, which must needs be a growing Delight, forasmuch as every Day leads us to a nearer Prospect of Harvest, which is the Crown of all our Labours.
The like Content may be reap'd from all the other Employments of the Country, whether they relate to Planting, or to the Ordering of Pasturage. The Meadow which to Day is Green, two or three Days hence appears in another Livery, even that of Flowers, one Week White, anon Yellow, as soon Purple, or perhaps, in divers Colours at once, as if Nature had borrow'd its Beauties from Art and Fancy. Fruitbearing Trees, for some time, are cover'd with spotless and sweetsmelling [Page 4] Blossoms, such as Perfume the Air, and ravish our Senses with surprising Delights: These Dropping off, the Fruit it self begins to appear in its Infancy, which every day grows more Fair till it arrive to Maturity; and then serves further to gratifie our Senses in yielding us Food of Delicacy; but more eminently, by affording us those excellent Liquors, by which the heart of Man's made glad, and his Body sustain'd and nourish'd.
Indeed, were we to take up always with any one Entertainment of Nature, we should soon surfeit with it, as we see it happens daily to us in other Cases, where the constant Fruition of one Thing ceases to affect us: But where there is such an infinite Variety of Things (such as are the Productions of the Earth) tendered to us successively, and in their several Seasons, this cannot but sweeten the Mind with wonderful Content: So that as the Toils and Labours are still returning, in like manner are the sweet fruits of them also: And even Toil and Labour it self, has this Pleasure in it, that it quickens Appetite, and contributes to Health and Strength of Body, where 'tis not in Excess, and accompanied with Disorders. And when a Man attentively considers the Annual Progress of Nature through all its Stages and Alterations, it cannot but mind him of his own continual Changes, still leading him forwards towards his End, which is, or ought to be a thing of more consequence to him than all the other Pleasures which he may justly hope to [Page 5] reap from the several Blessings and Seasons of the Year.
Hence it was, that the Bravest Men in the First Ages of the World, betook themselves generally to Husbandry, which (however simple and rude, as it appear'd) was found very advantageous and delightful; insomuch that the Poets of Ancient and Modern Times, when they would describe the true Felicity of Man, and give their Fancies the largest Flights of Freedom and Gayety, borrow all these Descriptions from the Pastoral Life; and even they, who give us Characters of Great Generals and Princes in Heroick Strains, still represent 'em by Metaphors of this Nature: Hence it was that they were called, Shepherds of the People, and the Scepter or Ensign of their Office was a Rod, or Staff, not a Sword. And truly, if we consider the matter with a little Attention, we may readily observe that Men, and other Animals of the Herd, or such as associate together, are to be govern'd much by the same Measures. King David, who rul'd his People certainly by good Maxims, and was the best and happiest of any of that Nation, receiv'd doubtless, much Instruction from his Pastoral Methods, of which we have many Instances through the whole Tenour of his Psalms; but to proceed.
The Great Esteem which the Ancients had for Husbandry is further legible from hence, That they ascrib'd Divine Honours to those who were the Inventers and Promoters of it, such [Page 6] as Bacchus, Ceres, Pan, Diana, &c. Invocating them as the Tutelar Deities over these Affairs: Nor was there a God or Goddess to which they did not Consecrate some Tree or Plant, thereby obliging them (as they thought) to attend more particularly to the Preservation of them. But above all, the Egyptians being the greatest Corn-Masters in the World, to recognize the Benefits they receiv'd from Apis or Serapis, a great Prince, who preserv'd them from Famine (which Apis is, by many, conjectur'd to have been the Patriarch Joseph) ever worshipp'd him as their Supreme Deity, under the Symbol or Representation of an Ox or Calf, in consideration, that 'twas to the Labour of that Creature we chiefly owe our Sustenance and Life.
And after the Gods; Those Men were ever held in greatest Honour and Veneration, who procur'd Peace and Plenty to the World, either by distributing their Liberality, or by protecting their Subjects from Foreign Enemies, thereby leaving them at Ease to follow their Country Employments; and such an one was Augustus, under whose Reign the Temple of Janus was shut, who likewise much delighted himself in Rural Avocations, and in the Conversation of Mecoenas, the great Patron of Husbandry and Learned Men. The Figure of the World, encompassed with Olive-Branches, with the Inscription of Pax Orbis Terrarum, was justly inscrib'd by the Senate upon his Coins, for the Peace and [Page 7] Plenty under the Influence of his Government. The Forms of Plenty, the Bushels and Measures of Corn in the Ears, with the Inscriptions of Annona or Congiarium, were the fullest Demonstrations of a Prince's Greatness, and of the Peoples Gratitude: all which Testimonials, or Pompous Attributes, were still measur'd, I say, from the Fruits of the Earth; so that the Romans never thought themselves happier than under the Reigns of such Emperors, who favour'd them this way: So that the Titles which are given to Adrian (under whose Reign the Roman Empire seem'd to be arriv'd to its fullest Beauty and Growth) were not dawbing Flatteries, but just acknowledgments of their Obligations to him, when in their Medals they Figur'd that Emperor with his Hand raising a pensive Woman from the Ground, having a Crown on her Head, and a Globe in her Lap, with the Inscription of Restitutori Orbis Terrarum, thereby signifying, that he rais'd the World from the Earth, as I may say, with some Pardon for the Solecism. The like Benefits were acknowledg'd by several Provinces in particular, as appears by his Coins; for so it was, that this prudent Prince made it his business, more than any before or after him, to visit the several Regions of the Empire, setting them in good Order, and leaving Marks of his Bounty through all the Stages of his Progress. The other many Noble Inscriptions which we meet with every where in Roman Monuments, [Page 8] such as, Ob Cives Servator; Salus Generis Humani; Libertas Restituta Pacator Orbis, &c. were the Fruitful Issues of Peace and Plenty, as Plenty was ever the Offspring of the well cultivated Earth.
What Estimation the Jews had for a Country Life is very clear from Sacred Writings; Most or all of the Patriarchs or Princes of the East, of whom we read, were Herdsmen and Followers of Husbandry. Job had a large Stock of Cattle under his Care, and Absolom, David's Son and Darling, made a Feast for his Sheepshearers.
As for Prophane Story; At such Time as Rome was a Commonwealth, at which Time likewise it most flourished with brave and vertuous Men; 'Twas no rare thing for Plowmen to lead forth their Armies; Such an one was Atilius, who was Tilling his Ground with a Yoke of Oxen, and sowing it himself, when the Senate sent for him to be their General; those Hands of his holding the Reins of a Triumphant Carr, which but a little before, held the Plough, to which he gladly return'd again, having prosperously finish'd what he undertook. No less Famous was Quintius Cincinnatus, who had the Dictatorship Conferr'd upon him as he was Plowing his Four Acres of Land near the Vatican, bareheaded, or cover'd rather with Swett and Dust: Four Acres of Glebe, one would think but a small Pittance for a Roman General or Emperour; [Page 9] so consistent then was Greatness of Vertue with the narrow Limits of Fortune.
And even at such Time as Rome seem'd to be en bon point, at the highest pitch of Luxury, we read of Terentius Varro, a Senator, who was the most Learned Man amongst all the Romans, and a Great Commander in the Civil Wars betwixt Caesar and Pompey, and of some Figure likewise during the Triumvirate, that he valu'd himself much from his Breed of Mares, and from his Flock of Sheep, which was Seven Hundred, as he himself tells us in the Book he has Published de Re Rustica, wherein he condescends to many Particulars relating to Husbandry and Good Houswisry, as also to the breeding and ordering of Fowl and Cattle. In the Second of which Books, being Dedicated to his Friend Niger Turranus, a Roman Nobleman, he tells us, how this Friend of his was wont to Trudge it a Foot, from Market to Market, to buy Beasts.
To be short, There cannot be a greater Testimony for the Honour of the Plough, than the Behaviour of Romulus, the First Founder of Rome, and, as I may say, of that Vast Empire, as laying its Foundation in those solid Maxims by which it grew to such a prodigious Greatness in after Ages: Amongst which Fundamental Institutions, this was one (if not the greatest) viz. to Erect a College of Priests, under the Title of Sacerdotes Arrorum: Their Number was Twelve, of which he himself was one, condescending to be called the [Page 10] Twelfth Brother of that Fraternity, being solemnly Installed thereunto by Laurentia Acca, his FosterMother, who platting a Garland of the Ears of Corn, bound it on his Head with her White Fillet, which was lookt upon at that time to be the most Sacred Badge of Priesthood, and was the First Crown that we read of amongst the Romans: And in so great Honour was it held in after Ages, that nothing but Death could put a Period to it, and was ever enjoyed, even in Times of Exile and Captivity.
No Wonder then, if even Kings themselves delighted to write of Husbandry, such as Hiero, Philometor, Archelaus and Attalus. Amongst Militant Persons, Xenophon was eminent this way; but much more famous was Mago, the Carthaginian, and Brother of Hanibal; which Works of his were held in that Esteem, as to be Translated into divers Languages, an Epitome whereof, made Greek, was sent to Dejotarus, as a Jewel of Inestimable Value; and particularly, it was lookt upon by the Romans, to be so precious, that amongst all the African Monuments of Learning, this alone was thought worthy of the Romans Care, and to be preserv'd, upon the Subversion of Carthage, being Translated likewise into the Roman Language, by the Care and Directions of M. Cato. Amongst Philosophers, whose Works are Extant, Aristotle, Pliny and Terentius Varro signaliz'd themselves upon this Subject, as did also Theocritus, Hesiod [Page 11] and Virgil, amongst the Ancient Poets, with infinite other Writers of modern Date.
And such an Influence truly had the Art and Practise of Husbandry upon the Minds of Men, that the most eminent of them in all Ages, whether for Military or Civil Employments, did ever betake themselves, in some degree or other, to this Course of Life. Hence it was that every Roman of old had his Villa where to bestow himself in time of Vacancy from Business, as they have at this Day in Italy, and elsewhere, belike thinking themselves then most happy, when they take up with the Entertainments of their Vineyards.
As to the Profits arising from a Country Life, it is superfluous to enlarge on that which is so obvious to all the World: And first, in respect of the General or Commonwealth. This is that great Vein by which the Blood is distributed through all Parts of the Body, or rather the very Blood it self, since it is disfus'd over the Whole, nor can any Part or Member subsist without it: It is the Foundation of Traffick and Commerce, forasmuch as all the Manufactures and Commodities which we export or receive from Foreign Parts, are but the Productions of the Earth at the first or second hand. Corn, Wine, Oil, Fruits, Cloth, Linen or Woollen, Silks, &c. are all of them the Offspring of the Earth, cultivated by Art and Industry.
And as the Husbandman is most necessary to the Publick in Times of Peace, so is he as [Page 12] useful in Times of War, since all the Stores and Magazines, by which Garrisons and Armies in the Field are sustain'd, are deriv'd from his Labour and Providence. The Description therefore which the Poet gave of old Italy, that it was Potens Armis atque Ubere Gleba, was well concerted; for Italy, as it was one of the most fruitful, so it was the most martial and victorious Country under Heaven, giving Laws to all other Nations; so that were it under the Command of one Prince, it might possibly pretend to be once more the Mistress of the World, as it was heretofore, when the Boundaries of its Empire were the Ocean, which it exceeded to in Greatness of Extent: Nor could it be possible for Flanders, with the other neighbouring Countries, to sustain such vast Armies, and to have been the Seat of War and Desolation for so many Ages together, with such immense Losses and Calamities, were they not enabled thereunto by the invincible Industry of its Inhabitants, and by the Fertility of the Soil.
In the next place, if we regard the particular Interest of private Persons, no less obvious is it, that nothing can more advance it than Husbandry: The great Estates and Fortunes which many Men arrive to this way, being a certain Proof of this Truth. If some miscarry, 'tis no wonder, whether it be through their own ill course of Life, Ignorance or Negligence, or perhaps from some sinister Accidents, from which no State or Condition can [Page 13] be exempted: But in the General, 'tis certain, that, considering the vast Numbers of Men who make Profession of Husbandry, none make a surer Fortune than those who follow it; there being ten Bankrupt Tradesmen or Merchants for one Husbandman, Consideration being had, I say, to the Farms, which far exceed the Shops in Number.
And as to our native Country in particular, it enjoys certainly many Advantages above any Country whatsoever: For in foreign Kingdoms so it happens, that one Province abounds only with Corn, another is in Reputation for Wine, a third is eminent for Herbage, a fourth for Boscage; in which Case Men must be beholden to remoter Parts for Necessaries, which is a Business of great Expence, Trouble, and Delay; for Instance, Picardy and Normandy are great Corn-Countries, but have little Wood, Wine, or Pasturage, all which Necessaries, being from far, are very chargeable. Holland is famous for Butter and Cheese, but it must be oblig'd to foreign Countries for almost all its other Commodities; whereas with us in England, there is rarely a Farm of Fifty Pounds per Annum, but has Meadow and Pasture-Ground belonging to it, together with some Wood or Coppice, as likewise with Arable Land for Corn, with Sheep-Pasture, as also with Trees for building for the Occasions of Husbandry, for Fire, and in many Places for Fruit and rich Liquor, being yet farther bless'd with fresh and wholsome Water almost [Page 14] in every Ground, or with some little Rivolet or Brook running near it; so that a Man enjoys all things almost within himself, of which he can stand in need, without any Dependence upon others, or of being in danger of want by any Difficulties in the Conveyance; tho' I must confess, that in some respects foreign Countries have an Advantage over us, not only from the Sun and Temper of the Soil, (which generally requires less Manurement than with us,) but also from the Woods, which in hotter Countries are much more easie, being generally dry, smooth, and fit for Teams or Carriages at all Seasons; or else they have artificial Canals, as in the Low-Countries, which indeed is a thing very considerable to a Farmer who keeps the Market; so that little Profit may be expected from a Farm, be the Ground never so good, which lies not near to a good Market-Town, or which wants the Conveniencies of good Roads, or of a Navigable River.
The Italian Saying, of Buona Terra, Cativa Gente, hath been by some applied to our Country, with respect, doubtless, to the Peasantry of this Nation; for as for the ancient Gentry, probably there is not a more frank, a more generous, and a more openhearted sort of Men any where to be found, those especially who have not been infected with the Principles of Calvin, who (to give them some part of their due) are generally a [Page 15] Brood of formal, censorious, and supercelious Hypocrites! Some of our true English Gentry may want that flattering and complemental Gayety, so natural to our Neighbours, following the true English Genius, which is plain, hospitable, and debonair, without much Ceremony and Dissimulation; tho withal they are presumptuous many times, and resentive of Injuries, which really is much more commendable than modish Hypocrisie accompanied with Cringes and Grimace.
But as for our Common People, many of them must be confess'd to be very rough and savage in their Dispositions, being of levelling Principles, and refractory to Government, insolent and tumultuous: What Gentleman soever then shall have the Misfortune to fall into the Neighbourhood of such Boors, let him never think to win them by Civilities; it will be much more easie for him to teach a Hog to play upon the Bagpipes, than to soften such Brutes by Courtesie; for they will presently interpret a Man's Gentleness to be the Effect of a timorous and easie Nature, which will presently make them bold and saucy. The best way therefore will be to bridle them, and to make them feel the Spur too, when they begin to play their Tricks, and kick. The Saying of an English Gentleman was much to the purpose, That Three things ought always to be kept under, our Mastiff-Dog, a Stone-Horse, and a Clown: And really I think a [Page 16] But as for our Common People, many of them must be confess'd to be very rough and savage in their Dispositions, being of levelling Principles, and refractory to Government, insolent and tumultuous: What Gentleman soever then shall have the Misfortune to fall into the Neighbourhood of such Boors, let him never think to win them by Civilities; it will be much more easie for him to teach a Hog to play upon the Bagpipes, than to soften such Brutes by Courtesie; for they will presently interpret a Man's Gentleness to be the Effect of a timorous and easie Nature, which will presently make them bold and saucy. The best way therefore will be to bridle them, and to make them feel the Spur too, when they begin to play their Tricks, and kick. The Saying of an English Gentleman was much to the purpose, That Three things ought always to be kept under, our Mastiff-Dog, a Stone-Horse, and a Clown: And really I think a [Page 16] snarling, crossgrain'd Clown to be the most unlucky Beast of the three. Such Men then are to be look'd upon as trashy Weeds or Nettles, growing usually upon Dunghills, which if touch'd gently will sting, but being squeez'd hard will never hurt us.
There is this Thing more to be recommended to every Gentleman who affects a Country Life, viz. Not to embarras himself with too much Business; for the Affairs of the Country consist much in Labour and Drudgery; so that he who has a great deal to manage, if he trust to Servants will certainly be cheated or neglected by them; or if he hurries about it himself, he will be in a perpetual Toil, tho' of never so great Strength of Body; and to lose all the Pleasure of his Life in endless Pains and Vexations, and having many hot Irons in the Fire to be work'd upon at once, some of them will cool and miscarry upon his hands. 'Twas very well observ'd by the ingenious Bocalin, when all the Kingdoms and States presented themselves before Lorenzo Medici, to be weigh'd by his Balance, and when it came to the turn of the Spanish Monarchy to be put into the Scale, it still prov'd lighter and lighter by the Addition of new Provinces; so that Spain, under Philip the Second, being infinitely augmented by the Access of Sicily, Naples, Milan, the Low-Countrys, Burgundy, &c. was less weighty, and considerable than before. The Reason was, because all the Spanish Treasure was exhausted to maintain such remote and foreign [Page 17] Dependencies, and serv'd but to feed the Avarice of Viceroys and Governours; so that the main Body grew consumptive and feeble by having its Nourishment diverted for the use of such disproportionable and foreign Members, with their excrementitious Superfluities. The same thing happens then inevitably in a private Gentleman's Estate, when it is too great for a single Person to manage; so that there is no way for him, having sufficient to employ himself about, but to farm out the Overplus to others. A numerous Herd of Servants, (tho' they are necessary Helps to one who has a great deal under hand, and serve to fill up the Measures and Figure of a Family, yet) do in reality impoverish the House they belong to, being like Wenns, and the like Excrescencies, which, tho' they seem to be a Part of the Body, and to add to the Bulk, do in Truth suck the best Juice to themselves, whilst the genuine Parts languish and decay.
He likewise who affects a Country Life ought to be a Person of subdu'd Passions; for where there is a continual Hope, there will be the same, or possibly a greater degree of Fear likewise; and the various Accidents to which our Labours and the Fruits of the Earth are hourly expos'd, cannot but leave a Man frequently under the Impression of these Passions. The Seed which the Husbandman intends to cast into the Earth may be good, and the Soil duly prepar'd, and yet the unseasonableness of the Weather, at the time of sowing, [Page 18] may fill him with Distrust, and frustrate his Hope. The like Frustration also may happen afterwards from extreme Frosts and Winds, from immoderate Rains and excessive Drouth: And when he is upon the Point of reaping the Fruit of his Labour, all may be lost by the Intemperance of the Weather. Or suppose we farther, that he hath converted all the Fruits of his Labour into Money, this likewise is subject to many Dangers; or if he be so fortunate to lay it out for the Procurement of other Blessings, these may become a Snare to him, and he may surfeit himself by Plenty, and be cut off in the midst of his Enjoyments. How many Mischiefs are there to which Fruitbearing Trees are obnoxious! And when all thereunto relating shall fall out according to our Desires, how easie is it for a Man to be ruin'd by too much delight in drinking of the juicy Blessing, falling either into a Disease, or into Habits of Intemperance, to the final Consumption of his Estate, Parts and Credit: So that the true way for a Man to be happy amidst his Travels and Labours, is not to be overanxious about such Comforts, but to be moderate in the Fruition of them; and by this means he will secure himself from Disappointments, and have his Appetite alwas quick to relish what is grateful, by being temperate and abstemious. And thus may a Man rejoice innocently in all his Labours, and be prepar'd for a more perfect Fruition of what is solid and unalterable, by his [Page 19] constant dependance upon Providence, and by making God's Blessings to be the daily subject of his Thoughts.
If there were a Kalendar, or Diary, kept of Weather, viz. what Rains or Winds, what severities of Heat and Cold; what Plenty or Dearth, what Vicissitudes or Accidents happen every Year, it would be a most profitable Work doubtless; and of far more use than all the Prognostications of cautious Astrologers; for it happens very frequently, that upon the same Concurrence of Causes and Circumstances, we meet with the same Effects. This Method was observ'd ever by the best Artists in Husbandry. And amongst the Ancients, as we may read in Virgil, they had a constant regard to the Heavens, as to all the Seasons and Productions of Nature.
And as there ought to be a Diary or Register for Seasons, so likewise for the Productions which come from Foreign Parts; and to this End and Purpose, 'twould be a Diversion well worthy the Ingenuity of many Young Gentlemen who travel, to be curious in observing what Fruits every Soil does yield, as also the Nature and Complexion of the Soil, the Temper of the Climate, the Rules of their Husbandry, the Tackle and Instruments they make use of, as also their Methods of Manurement, with what Returns they make of their Labours. As for Curiosities of Plants, Fruit-Trees, Flowers, and other Rarities of the Gardens, brought over from Foreign Countries, [Page 20] we have certainly as great a Collection as any Nation under Heaven, there being none to be found which is so universally stor'd with all Provisions of this kind as is England, and possibly some parts of the Low Countries; which Benefit we have from the great Trade we drive in all Parts of the World; so that, whatsoever is rare, is brought over, and naturaliz'd amongst us, being made free of our Soil.
The like Improvements might be made, certainly, in matters relating to Husbandry and Planting, which would be of equal Pleasure with the Entertainments of a Garden, and of infinite more Profit, beyond all Dispute; especially if we make choice of such Experiments and Observations as are already made by many excellent Persons of this latter Age, in which, this sort of Natural History seems to have obtain'd its utmost Perfection; Out of all which Writings of our Modern Times, a most excellent System or Body of Husbandry might be compiled, than which nothing could be more reputable to the Undertaker, nor more beneficial to the whole Kingdom: Not that I think it Expedient that all Foreign Growths should be encourag'd, for this in many cases, may be detrimental, as I shall shew hereafter, especially when the Introduction of some things, shall discredit and discourage the Growth of others: only then 'twill be beneficial to the Publick, when 'tis of such Productions as are imported on us from abroad; for by this means we shall never be at any straits in time of War, for what we want, and our Disbursements [Page 21] will be less in the course and methods of Traffick. I shall instance only in Three Things, of which
The First is, The Planting of Hemp and Flax. 'Tis known to all, what Profit is made of the latter in Lombardy and some Parts of France; the Growth of Flax being esteem'd equal to that of the richest Wines in Italy, as being cultivated in the same rich Soil, such as that in the State of Milan, Parma, Modena, &c. than which there cannot be a better upon Earth: And when I consider, that the Flax Trade, and the Thread and Cloth made of it being a sedentary kind of Employment, clean and fit for Ladies, no doubt many nice Fingers which refuse to handle greasie Wooll, might easily be invited hereunto: And that this was the most honourable Vocation in which the Noblest Matrons and Virgins of Ancient Times were employed, is abundantly evident from Ancient Records, the Invention thereof being of Divine Extraction, and ascrib'd to Minerva; the like Esteem it has ever preserv'd to its self through all after Ages, insomuch that all Virgins, even of Royal Degree and Birth, were, and are still, stiled Spinsters; because this was the Business they were to profess and practice: No wonder then if amongst the Familiars of the Nuptial Waggon amongst the Romans, the Wheel and Distaff was ever the chiefest, and most conspicuous: And truly, could the Profession of Spinning be separated from the Maiden State of the greatest Princesses, the Salique [Page 22] Law would meet with an unlucky Rub, or perhaps a Baffle, when it bars the Distaff from Succession to the Crown, by telling us that it cannot fall en quenoville.
The Advantage to the Kingdom arising from the Linnen Manufactures, would be very great, especially if young Children were inur'd hereunto from their Childhood, for by that means their Fingers being then young and pliable, would get such an Habit of working, as Age it self could hardly wear away. A Scheme of this Nature I have met with in a Book published by Captain Yarrington of Worcestershire, a very knowing Projector, from the Observations he made of the vast Advantages they found in Holland by these and such like Arts well worthy our Imitation; such Children being there bred up in Working-Houses or Colledges, under the Guard of honest, vigilant and experienced Mistresses or Overseers.
Another thing of which it might be wish'd there were a Tryal made, is that of the Silk Manufacture, by planting of Mulberries, which doubtless might be made to prosper in this our Island. This likewise would be a very suitable Employment or Recreation rather, for the more delicate of the other Sex, who are so much taken with the Gawderies of Butterflies: From whence also they may learn this Moral Lecture, That as the greatest Ornaments and Lustre of their Bodies are the Spoils of Worms, [Page 23] so the greatest Food for Worms will be upon the Spoils of their Bodies.
The Third Thing which I would recommend to be encourag'd, is the Planting of Wallnut-Trees, not for the Benefit of the Fruit to eat, which is inconsiderable; but for the Profit which might be made of the Oil, which tho of little Use with us, would be very well worth the Exportation; it being amongst the poorer sort beyond-Sea, some part of their Food, and most serviceable to the Great Ones too, in the Use they make of it, to be Fuel for their Lamps, especially in their Churches, and almost in all Private Houses. There is no Tree whatsoever growing in our English Soil, whose Timber is so useful for Curious Furniture; so that every Limb or Branch of a Wallnut-Tree which will but carry Three Inches Square, is serviceable and of value: Nor do I find that these Trees are of any Difficulty to be rais'd as to the choice of Ground, nor subject to so much hazard as Oaks, and other Trees, upon Extremities of Weather. All that can discourage the Tryal of them is, the long Time we must wait for the Maturity of them, which exceeds the common limits of an Age; but since there is no more Care about them when they once begin to grow, than about other common Trees which grow wild and natural, it seems too great an Argument of a mean Spirit in a Man, to measure all his Undertakings by the returns of Profit which he may expect in his own Lifetime, without regard to [Page 24] the future Advantages which his Heirs and After-Ages may reap from his Industry. Tho in what I am now speaking of, there is a great Pleasure and Satisfaction in seeing the gradual Advances of Nature, and considerable Profit to be expected too, by the Fruits they yield, which will be still greater the longer they grow.
'Tis much to be wish'd likewise, That the State would afford some Encouragement to Husbandry, more than what we find at present, by exempting it, or at least by easing it, as to the Publick Burthens, especially for some Years, upon any New Undertaking, which shall be judg'd profitable to the Publick: For by this Means Men would venture upon Projection. 'Tis very well observ'd by a most Ingenious and Learned Gentleman, in his Remarks upon one of the greatest, most Ancient, and most polish'd Governments upon Earth, when he tells us, ‘[That Agriculture is encouraged by so many special Priviledges from the Crown, and the Common Laws and Customs of the Country, that whatever Wars happen, the Tillers of the Ground are untouch'd, as if they were Sacred, like the Priests in other Places, so as no Country in the World was ever known to be so well cultivated, as the whole Kingdom of China.]’ Whereas with us, and other neighbouring Countries, 'tis the poor Husbandman who must support in a manner, the whole Expence of a War, and [Page 25] undergo greater Burthens and Drudgery than the Beasts which Till the Ground.
In fine, What I have written upon this Subject, is not grounded upon the Reports and Methods of other Authors, but upon my own Observations, towards which I have had some small Advantage by my long continuance in a Private and Country Life, which Observations I shall adventure to deliver more particularly in the following Chapters.
2. CHAP. XII. Of Inns and Alehouses.
I Shall begin with Inns and Alehouses: These, at first, were allow'd for the Relief of Travellers, for the Accommodation of such as resort to Markets, and for the Conveniency of Country-People meeting with one another, to discourse of their Private Bargains and Business. But however 'twas in Days of Yore, certain 'tis at present that there are few of these Houses, especially the lesser TiplingHouses, which answer these Ends; and rarely shall we meet with any which is not prostituted rather to Drunkenness and Debauchery: For to such Places as these it is, that the lewd and improvident Labourer frequently resorts, upon Pretence of comforting his weary Body with a Cup of good Liquor, there spending the Profits of a Week's Labour with a nasty Quean, whilst his Wife and Children are ready to perish with Famine. To prevent which Calamity, they betake themselves to begging and stealing, and at length (especially in their declining Days) they fall an Escheat to the Parish, or perhaps to the Gallows; having spent wastfully in such wicked Places what [Page 164] should have maintain'd them in Old Age, and in the Time of Sickness.
To such Places as these it is to which the sturdy, wandring Vagabonds, and pilfering Merchants, of both Sexes, resort, uttering their stol'n Wares, and discovering the State and Circumstances of Houses they begg'd at, for the farther Instruction of Highwaymen and Brurglayers. In these Places 'tis where the innocent Traveller is betray'd by the wicked Intimations of Hosts and Servants, especially in lone-Inns upon the Road, and by such means falls a Prey to Robbers who have their greatest Shelter and Security in such Country Inns: And therefore it highly concerns the Magistrates or Justices of a County, to have a watchful Eye over all such Places, and rarely to License any Inn or Alehouse, but in or near a Market-Town or Village, where the Frequency of Inhabitants may give Security to Travellers, beyond the Bond and Faith of a perfidious Host, or their mercenary Sureties.
Farther yet: 'Tis in these sweet Places of Refreshment and Good-fellowship, where young Men of Fortune sometimes, and Men of Years likewise, and under a declining State, sweetly solace themselves together till they are profoundly drunk; and whilst the Reckoning multiplies, like the Lights in the Drunkards Eyes, the officious Attendants watch their Minutes for plundering of Pockets: But if the Gentleman hath no ready Cash, but might be drunk upon Tick, he shall not want for burning [Page 165] Account when he comes to even his Scores; and then there must be a Hair of the Tails, which will at length be strong enough to draw on the Dog, and make him fasten again. And thus it fares with Sots, till by neglecting their Business, and wasting their Estates, they fall under the Snares of a griping Mortgage: And we may observe, in many of these Places, especially in the more celebrated Tipling-Houses, that as there are a sort of sly Knaves ready to make a Prey of Goodnatur'd Culleys, so there is likewise some one or more little Engines of the Law, who, as Retainers to the House, are always at hand to hamper any Gentleman in a Statutable Instrument as soon as he shall fall within the Noose of a Drunken Wager or Bargain.
In these Places 'tis where a Congress of Sots, or (in the softer Phrase) of Goodfellows, being drain'd together, that such Persons having little Business of their own to spend their Time on, fall to debating the Concerns of others; so that many times a heavy Doom is pass'd upon the Lives and Actions of honest Men at the dreadful Bar of an All-definitive Alehouse, whilst mine Host or Hostess holds (if not the Balance, at least the) Measure of Justice, I mean the Glass, which besure shall never be wanting in its due Place and Order, and in a plenary Distribution: And after they have canvas'd the Matter a little, interluding the Farce with many impertinent and obscene Healths, they very lovingly fall [Page 166] together by the Ears, tho' more there are who fall together to the Ground by the more forcible Blows of the All-knock-down Ale: Here it is where all Respect and Friendship is reduc'd to the Test of a never-failing Bottle; and as for those who have not the Honour to be remembred in these Offerings, they must for ever lie in Silence, as a Company of morose and irreputable Reprobates.
Farther: In these Places 'tis where the Divans, or (as I may say) the States-Provincial of a County, are held with great Solemnity. In these petty Conventions 'tis where all Matters, relating to their Office, are with great Judgment and Silence agitated and determin'd amidst the smoaking of Pipes, the cluttering of Pots, and all the noise and ordure of a narrow Room infested with Drinking and a Throng; and well it is, before the Assembly be broken up, if some one or other of them do not become a Subject of Humane Frailty, even then whilst he is upon his Duty of correcting such Disorders. 'Twould be much more suitable to the Gravity of a Court of Justice, were it kept in some Town-House or Market-House, since few Market-Towns are unprovided with such Publick Rooms. It would add much to the Grace of the Business, if the Magistrate should sit aloft, and conspicuous upon the Bench (as it's becoming in a Place of Judicature,) and not be oblig'd (as may be seen sometimes) to hold a Glass in one hand, whilst he signs a Warrant with the other; tho' [Page 167] much more Eminent was he, who to shew the stediness of his Hand, writ and sign'd a Warrant upon the heaving Belly of a boggy Hostess.
In fine: In these Places 'tis where Consultations are held frequently about Matters relating to the Publick, as the Elections of Representatives to sit in Parliament, and the like. Here it is, that Affairs of this Nature are debated and concerted; here the Respective Parties rendezvous and strengthen their Interest by profuse Entertainments, and Extravagance of Drinking; so that 'tis not Merit, but Ale frequently which recommends the Person: That Ale, I say, which at other Times deprives Men of their Speech, here makes Voices, where 'tis not the emptiest but the fullest Vessels which make the greatest sound; and altho' Money be the chiefest Instrument in the Matter, yet are they not always the richest Men who succeed herein; insomuch that it happens sometimes, that a Gentleman, to secure himself from a Process, or in hopes to better his Condition, per Vias & Modos, does, in striving to be Burghess of a little Burrough, expend more than all the Elections are worth, and is ruin'd, possibly, by it, seeking afterwards, to be shelter'd from Arrests, under the Shadow of being a Retainer to some Member of Parliament, having fiil'd in his Grand Design of being one himself.
Nor are there wanting Examples of such too, who, tho' they do succeed, are so Fortune-shaken [Page 168] by the vast Expence they were at to procure it, that they might be rather look'd upon as coming into that Place for Sanctuary, than into a Senate-House, there fencing against the Laws and the Proceedings of Justice, for Payment of their Debts, whilst they pretend to be Patrons of the Laws, and to prescribe Justice to others. The many Exorbitances and Scandals then attending some Elections, can proceed from no other Source but the great Liberty of a sort of indigent, ignorant, and mercenary Wretches, to give their Voices; so that let a Man but cram their Mouths with three or four popular Words, as Liberty, Property, Popery, &c. and their Bellies with Beef and Ale, these yelping Hell-hounds shall yawn and bawl, from the New to the Full of the Moon, and damn themselves into the Bargain; many times swearing themselves to be Freeholders, when they are meer Cottagers, and receive Alms from the Parish; so that this sort of Men, how light and empty soever they are of themselves, are weighty enough many times to turn the Scale of an Election. No Wonder then if Parliamentary Proceedings have not been attended with such frequent Blessings as might reasonably have been hop'd for, when such unqualified Creatures, animated by such Artifices of Debauchery, have so great a Stroke in designing many times the Persons to sit in such Assemblies.
To remedy which Disorders, there cannot be a better Expedient than for the Parliament [Page 169] it self to reform it self, and particularly by depriving such lewd Miscreants of their incroaching Liberty, in giving their Voices; reducing the Forty Shillings per Annum to the true Standard and Value it was at when such Qualifications were admitted of, Forty Shillings then being as much as Forty Pounds nowadays; it being ever held the best way to interpret a Law, not by the Letter, but by the Reason and Intention of the Legislatour: For it cannot be imagin'd that a poor Fellow, of Forty or Fifty Shillings Income, or thereabouts, who must be suppos'd to make up his Livelihood by Labour and Drudgery, should have any mighty Understanding of the Interest of King and Country, or be above the Snares of Corruption, which seizes easily upon the Ignorant and Indigent.
Were the Rabble then of such beggarly Mercenaries repress'd, the Elected Persons themselves would receive great Benefit in being exempted from such unsupportable Charge as usually accompanies a popular Election; the Country likewise electing, would not be forc'd to neglect their Domestick Business, by a long Attendance: For Mens Qualifications would be better weigh'd and examin'd, and the Elections themselves being without so much Noise and Tumult, without Delay, and without so many daring Perjuries, Debaucheries and Scandals, we might have all the Reason in the World to hope for a Blessing upon such National Assemblies; for from a free and legal [Page 170] Parliament orderly and soberly Elected of such Persons as are in Credit, for Prudence, Temperance, Courage and Justice, and with all Men of Estates, Honour and Integrity, we might expect such mature and steady Deliberation, as would be the greatest Repose and Security of this Kingdom.
And yet so much frequented, or rather celebrated, as are many of the Inferiour Inns and Ale-Houses, there are few who betake themselves, to this scandalous Course of Life, but such as are Bankrupts, or of little Fame and Honesty. The Laws of our Kingdom 'tis true, have made very good Provisions against the Abuses and Disorders of such Places; but when they who are entrusted with the Execution of them shall be remiss and partial, we shall stand in need I fear of a further Execution.
The superfluous number of such petty Inns and Ale-Houses seems to proceed from these two Causes; The first is from the application which is made frequently on the behalf of some broken, halfstarv'd Merchant, or idle Fellow, who rather than beg, or steal and be hang'd, or at the best become chargeable to the Parish, hopes to get a Subsistence by the little Cheatings and degenerate Shifts of Ale-selling. The other Course is much of the same Figure, it being commonly no other than the sordid Interest of some mean-spirited, Justices, who to maintain a superfluous or indigent member of his Family, or Acquaintance, is tempted easily to licence Alehouses for the sake of Fees, [Page 171] and he himself perhaps, forc'd to patch up his Broken-Fortunes by humbly making of Mault, which will certainly be vended in such little retaling Houses, and at such Rates belike, as his Worship shall be pleased to trust it at; and then, to give Reputation to the House, as likewise to the Ale, the good Gentleman must wink at Faults, and go himself now and then in Person, and brush it away briskly with half a Dozen good Fellows of the Neighbourhood; where to countenance this high Calling, they shall talk pleasantly, as, how that the consumption of the Manufacture is for the advantage of His Majesties Revenues; for the Circulation of Money, and for quickening the Market, and such like merry Nonsense; at which perhaps, a sly Excise-Man sitting by shall wink a Nod, and by putting in a word or two, help forwards with the Argument: And thus they pass away the time Jollily, licking the Froth of a rank, overgrown, and fulsome Hostess, till his Worship is Magistratically Drunk, which cannot but afford great Joy and Triumph to the valiant Conqueror, as well as matter of Pity and Derision to the sober Spectator.
Upon these Considerations or Inconsiderations rather 'tis, that the number of superfluous Tippling-Houses is conniv'd at. But I would gladly know of such wet Politicians, when the Chimney-Tax was on foot, if any one of them would have suffer'd himself to be gull'd, and have built more Chimneys than would have serv'd his Occasions, for the noble [Page 172] or royal End rather of increasing His Majesties Revenues? Nay rather, Would not every prudent Man have retrench'd his superfluous number of Chimneys, that he might have had something else to have kept him warm, besides his smoaky Tunnels, and much more smoaky Imaginations of fantastick Allegiance? Much greater Madness would it have been then to have built more Alehouses, only to increase such Duties; and yet such Sots are easily Piped on to destroy their Estates, and the best Houses they have, I mean their Bodies, to advance the Custom of so rich a Manufacture. His Majesty doubtless, must needs have a great Obligation to such Loyal Sots, when to speak seriously, in a Case so empty and ridiculous, the Interest of a King or Kingdom does not consist in a large Exchequer, but in the Good Management of the Publick Money, and in the Wealth, Industry and Affections of his Subjects, such as are able and willing to support the Necessities of a Government, which can never certainly be found in those who are abandon'd to an idle and sottish Life. And as for those who plead the advantages which some men may make by buying the Estates of wastful Spendthrifts, they do but in other Terms tell us, that 'tis expedient for the Commonwealth that some should be train'd up to be Fools, that there may be a way for Knaves to make their Fortunes; and we may as well say; that 'twould be good Policy to Countenance and Encourage Knaves too, that Lawyers [Page 173] might have Business to be employ'd about, and to get Money.
Forreigners doubtless, those I mean, of such Countries to which our English Youth resort upon the score of Breeding and Improvement, when they see how much these Kinds of Houses are by all sorts of People celebrated and frequented, and how our Gentlemen usually at their familiar Rencounters, entertain one another with an Heroick Narrative of what hapned at such or such a drunken Engagement, as Men would do were they to report the furiest Events of some desperate and bloody Battle relating with all the Punctualities of Circumstance, how many withdrew; who they were who bravely stood to it, and who fell finally in the fight and Combat; I say, when Gentlemen of other Nations shall hear a distinct Relation of such Generous and Martial Deeds, they cannot but smile, and entertain an odd Opinion and Contempt of our English Morals. Cabanels or Taverns being esteem'd in other Countries, as places of Infamy fit only for Porters and such trivial Chapmen, but never as suitable and fit Houses for Civil Gentlemen to Rendevouz in. And indeed, if there be any Cause assignable, why the Process and Martial Genius of our Nation is so degenerated from what it was in former Ages, it can be no other then that against which I am now declaring. We cannot boast of any great Generals, at least they have not the Honour to be employed as such: And, for our common [Page 174] Soldiers, tho they be naturally strong and surly, yet are they not the best for Service, it being impossible for Men who are in a manner habituated to Intemperance and Disorders of Life, to be ever able to endure hardship, Thirst and Hunger, Heat and Cold, and to be subject to Discipline and Command, and yet in these Two Points, viz. Sufferance and Obedience it is, that the Perfection of a good common Soldier does consist. And as for our Courage, so much as we boast our own Valour, and decry our Enemies over a Glass of Wine or a Pot of Ale, 'tis not so when we come to Action: Our Wild-Fire or sputtring Crack being quickly spent with little Execution, and our Men wash away upon the Fatigues and hardships of a Campaigne.
From the same Cause likewise 'tis; that the Turkish Valour is so much debas'd from what it was heretofore. Their Prophet or Lawgiver Mahomet amongst other Politick Institutions, utterly forbad his Followers the use of Wine; which Command of his they rigorously observ'd for divers Ages, during which Time they were very prosperous and successful to a Prodigy. But falling from their Primitive Discipline, and suffering themselves to be corrupted by the Examples of their Neighbours, as to this Point of Abstinence, they at this Day do like the Greeks, that live amongst them, drinking in Private to the heighth of a Debauch: By which means their Spirits being often troubled and enrag'd, they become uncapable [Page 175] of Discipline and Fatigue, and their Strength of Body and Health being likewise wasted, they soon abandon the hardships of War; and this I take to be one of the greatest Reasons, why they have been so unsuccessful in this latter Age.
And really, if we look further backward upon former Ages, we shall find that none of the Ancient Roman Hero's or Generals, except M. Antonius, were stigmatiz'd with Intemperance in Drinking, and with Debauchery: And amongst our later Worthies or Generals, I cannot readily call to mind any one of these Sons of Bacchus, who were any way eminent for Conduct; but that the bravest Generals, such as the Duke of Alva, Alexander, Farness, Count T lly, with others were very remarkable for Abstinence and Severity of Discipline. The Office indeed of a great Soldier is a Thing of Vigilance; like a Lyon he must be most watchful when he seems to devour; he must wait upon every Critical Minute, and be perpetually upon his Guard. The seasons of Rest to others, and the silence of the Night are fittest for Deliberation, and for Execution many Times: He must conceal his Thoughts by a studied reservedness, or by Suffering his Tongue to run Counter to his Intentions, and by a thousand seign'd strategems amuse his Enemy, and delude the Vigilance of Spies, till a favourable overture shall occur, which possibly may not be above once or twice in a Campaigne, and such too as may not be [Page 176] but of a Momentary Duration. He must Support the Courage of his Soldiers, and teach them to endure Watchfulness, Hunger, and all manner of hardships by his own Example, with infinite other Acts and Habits of Sincerity, Temperance and Prudence: None of which can ever consist with one who Frolicks in a Debauch, and has his Brains intoxicated with Drink, which renders him Talkative, Huffish, and uncapable of Considering, and his Body also uncapable of Action and Hardships; and where such Intemperance becomes habitual, it renders the Person subject to it Crazy, and fitter for an Hospital than a Camp.
Ale-Houses and Taverns are not the only Places, in which Men practise this Exercise of Debauchery. In an Ale-House 'tis true; they Act as in a Theatre open to the Eyes of all; and the Circumstances of such Places being generally stinking and nasty, are alone sufficient to render the frequenting of them most abominable and infamous: Whereas they who fuddle in their own Private Houses, seeming to Act behind the Curtain, are altogether as unexcusable as the former; the very Quintescence or Poyson rather of the Sin consisting in the abuse or superfluous waste of those Blessings, which might serve for the Relief of such as are ready to perish with Cold and Hunger. As for Drunkenness, or that Giddiness of Brain which attends Excess with all the Concomitant Ordures, they are indeed but some part of the [Page 177] Punishment due thereunto, it seeming good to the All-wise God to annex Pain to Intemperance in all Cases almost whatsoever. When I have seen a Man of Fortune, as they call him, rouling in his Coach, and making a Visit to his several Posts and Preferments, and meeting the Caresses and Complements of his Acquaintance, in all Places where he comes; when I have considered in what Ease and Luxury he lives, rising perhaps about Nine or Ten a Clock, and it may be is at the pains to take a little breathing-Walk to whet his Appetite for a Feast; when I see him stuff his Carcass with fat Venison, and Claret, till the very Seams of it are ready to burst, and after Dinner dozing and smoaking his Pipe with great Grace and Gravity: When I have seen all this, I say, I have been upon the point of envying such a Man's Happiness; when, lo! upon a sudden, Oh! I feel a Pain in my Foot, an intolerable and unexpected Pain! Good Man! all must needs be mightily concern'd for him, and the Town and Country must ring of this great and sudden Disaster. The House is alarm'd, the Doctor, or Apothecary, with other Dependants and Retainers to the Family, are sent for in posthast; and after a critical Examination of the Matter by the whole Consult, without stirring from the Place, they give in their Verdict, that it is the Gout: And now perhaps my Grandee begins a little to reflect upon his former Life, and would gladly change States of Body with him who lives on [Page 178] mouldy Bread and Cheese all the Week, and whose Drink perhaps is from the next Brook, or but one degree beyond Water.
The like Observations might be made upon other Extravagancies, such as Whoring, with all that Train of fatal Disasters which follow all Excess of our Passions, whether of Desire, Envy, Revenge, Anger, &c. all which are inseparably accompanied with such a Degree of Pain or Punishment, as far exceeds the imaginary Pleasures of any Intemperance, and is infinitely more lasting; so that Quo quis peccat Eodem punitur, is a Motto which ought to be engraven upon every Man's Heart, being universally true in all manner of Disorders whatsoever.
The like Observations might be made upon other Extravagancies, such as Whoring, with all that Train of fatal Disasters which follow all Excess of our Passions, whether of Desire, Envy, Revenge, Anger, &c. all which are inseparably accompanied with such a Degree of Pain or Punishment, as far exceeds the imaginary Pleasures of any Intemperance, and is infinitely more lasting; so that Quo quis peccat Eodem punitur, is a Motto which ought to be engraven upon every Man's Heart, being universally true in all manner of Disorders whatsoever. [Page 179] But whilst some Countries indulge themselves in this Infernal or Stygian Recreation, we have Examples of Sobriety in others; so that the French, so extravagant as they are in some things, in this Particular, may justly reproach us for not following their Mode, as they do for following them in others; there being very few Gentlemen amongst them to be found who drink betwixt Meals, and even at their Meat they drink their Wine above half mix'd with Water, more or less, according to every Man's private Palate, and sometimes Water discolour'd only with a little Rosie-Tincture of Wine: And yet we do not find but that these Men have almost as much Mettle and Bravery in them as any Brandy-Hero whatsoever. Each Country has its National Vices as well as Vertues, whilst he who would acquire the Character of a Gallant Man, ought so to follow their Examples, as to propose what is good and commendable in them for his Imitation and Practise, declining their ill Customs as Things which bring Disesteem and Misery in the end.
Amongst the Abuses of Inns or Alehouses, it is too well known what all Men suffer from their cheating Measures: Their Quart-Pots or Flagons, their Juggs, their Muggs, their Jacks, their Carmikins, their Beakers, their Tum lers, their Glass-Bottles, their Tankards, and above all, their Silver-Tankards, tho' all of them be pretty little Curiosities, yet are they most gross Cheats, not containing above a true Pint and [Page 180] a half; so that in Four Shillings expended this way, One is pure Cousenage. Much better were it, if their Measures (after the Custom of other well polic'd Countries) were mark'd and seal'd, and reduc'd to a Standard all England over, as our Weights are over all the World: Whereas in a paltry Ale-house a small, slender-wasted Flagon, with a broad empty bottom, and with sides, back, and belly crush'd almost together, and capp'd half way with Froth, goes down very glibly with my bonny Customer at two or three Gulps; and when Good-fellows are upon the Quill of Drinking, the Strength and Capacity of the Man is much esteem'd by the Number of Flagons; whereas the silly Sot, perhaps, never drank half that quantity, for which he sets so high a Value upon himself, and pays so dearly.
The like Cheats we meet with daily from the trashy Ingredients of sophisticated Liquors, which many times does advance them double or treble in the Price, when really they are much beneath the Plain Drinks for Health and Goodness; nor are we to forget the hard Names with which many Liquors are baptiz'd; which puts me in mind of what I have sometime heard of a Two-Pot Knave, who being out of Reputation for Drink, or (to speak in the Language of a Tapster) being at the lowest Stoop, and on the very Dreggs and Lees of his Profession, was advis'd to make Daucus-Ale, which he christned Blan-Carote. This [Page 181] dainty new Name, by the help of some pleasant Waggs of his Acquaintance, was cry'd up for a curious Outlandish, Low-Country Drink; and this was sufficient to give it Credit, bringing such Custom to my honest Draw-Causor, that in a short time after, he became very rich, and was at the least a Squire's Fellow, and, for ought I know, something better. But such Cheats as these are rather to be wink'd at than punish'd; for I know no Law which can oblige a Magistrate to put Brains into the Heads of Fools; and to put them all into Bedlam who fall under this Character, would be very troublesome: Let them rest merry therefore, for their own and for others Diversion, till they fall irrecoverably into the Hands of the Catchpole.
In summ, 'Tis the Business of a Resolute and Sober Magistrate to Reform Notorious Disorders, by Punishing the Offenders, and by Suppressing such Houses as are useless; permitting only in greater Towns some Publick Inns to serve the Occasions of Travellers, and of the Market; and upon the Occasions likewise of Fairs, to allow Private Houses a Liberty to sell Drink: For by this means, Inns will become well accommodated, and not as now, being (by reason of their great Numbers) ready to eat, or rather to drink, one another. In greater Towns and Cities, a greater Number or Proportion is to be allow'd. If Gentlemen likewise, and especially Justices of the Peace, would withdraw themselves [Page 182] from these scandalous Places, unless oblig'd thereunto by Urgent or Publick Occasions, Sobriety would by degrees get ground, and others also be invited to follow their Good Examples: And as for Inns up and down the Country Roads, 'twere well if they gave good creditable Security and Caution to the Bench, for their honest Demeanour, better than what is usually taken in these Cases; and if a more watchful Eye were kept over them, from time to time; so that by these and other Prudent Methods, the Business of the Country would thrive and prosper, whilst they who are appointed to follow it are reduc'd to the Rules of Temperance and Frugality.
3. CHAP. XIV. Of the POOR.
THE Poor, if they be not a considerable, yet are they a Numerous Party in a Commonwealth, and in this sense therefore, worthy of our consideration. But before I [Page 215] treat of them with regard to our English Meridian, I shall take a little larger Compass, and make some Remarks upon them as they stood at the beginning, or in the First Ages of the World.
In the First Ages then, as I have hinted in the precedent Chapter, it was a usual thing for the poorer sort of People (who abounded with Children, as living generally a temperate and frugal life) to pawn themselves and Children to Usurers upon the Loan of Money, or other Necessaries for their Support and Livelihood. The Oppressions of these Usurers many times drew such poor People to commit Disorders, which made Plato of old to observe, That there were Two Extreams equally destructive to a Commonwealth, viz. Riches and Poverty: For where Men are very Rich and Great, especially under a Commonwealth, they are apt to fall presently into Factions: This was the Case of Rome under the Triumvirates of Caesar, Pompey and Crastus; and soon after, of Augustus, M. Antonius, and Lepidus: And of later times we find the like in Florence, when it was a Commonwealth, till at length all submitted to the Power of the Medici, who by the help of Leo the 10th, who was of that Family, got the Sovereignty over all the rest. And on the other hand, where a Republick is overstockt with Poor, such Poor being numerous are always ready to be seditious, and have sometimes made the Government to shake, when they have reflected a while upon [Page 216] the unequal Distributions of Fortune, and upon the wretched Estate they live in, compar'd with that of other Men.
Upon this Consideration 'twas, that the most celebrated Lawgivers of Greece asserted an equal Distribution of Goods, or at least of Lands, to be the best Expedient for the Conservation of a Commonwealth in Peace and Tranquility, and amongst the Modern, Sir Thomas More likewise was of this Opinion in his Utopia, being the Model he form'd of a Commonwealth. And yet notwithstanding such Projects of Wise Men, we do not find that they ever brought them to any great Maturity: For when the Thebans and Phocians planted a Colony, and sent their Embassadors to Plato, entreating him to prescribe them some good Laws for the Establishment of their New Commonwealth, he miscarried in his Design: For they of the Colony, refused to submit to such a levelling or equal Partition of Goods as was contriv'd by his direction. Lycurgus is said to have effected this in the alotment he made of Lands, tho with some peril of his Life. Solon likewise was of the same Judgment, but could never bring his Project about: For when Agis King of the Lacedemonians was attempting to make an equal Distribution of Lands, he was seiz'd by the Ephori, and put to Death in Prison.
And here I cannot but admire a little at the Mistakes of so many wise Men: For upon such a levelling of Possessions these fatal inconveniencies [Page 217] must of necessity follow, as 1st, That no man will think of being industrious, when the fruits of his Labour must go to maintain the idle and profuse; nor can a Commonwealth subsist without Justice; nor is there any place for Justice, where all Bargains are disannull'd and banished; nor any Faith and Credit to be given to the most solemn Obligations, whether of Promises or Contracts. 2dly, such a levelling of Lands will make a horrid confusion and distraction in matters of Inheritance: For 'tis reported of Lycurgus, the great Oracle of his Age, and Patron of levelling, that in his own lifetime he saw above Twenty Heirs to one Estate, and likewise as many Estates or Inheritances to fall to one from the want of Heirs in the other Branches of the Family: So that do whatever he could, an inequality of Fortune was the unavoidable consequence of a Civil Constitution.
However, it must be granted too, that in the first Planting of a Colony, such Agrarian Laws may be allowed of, by which all Men may have an equal share in the Dividend; yet so as still to allow a Prerogative to Primogeniture, and the liberty of after-Contracts, without which a City or Commonwealth cannot subsist, and which will inevitably reduce Men under an equality of Fortune: Tho 'twould be still much better, and more just, upon the settling of a Colony, to proceed not by an Arithmetical Proportion, that is, by an equal division of Lands amongst the Coloni; [Page 218] but by a Geometrical Proportion, which with regard to Persons Merits and Circumstances, allows some to have a greater share than others, and this is called Distributive Justice: For to deprive the poorer sort from having a share in the Dividend, is the way to throw down a New-form'd Government before it is upon the Hinges; as it happened anciently at Thurium, where when the Great Ones had monopoliz'd to themselves all the Lands belonging to that Territory, leaving the poor Debtors under the Burthen and Exaction of their Creditors; such oppressed Debtors conspir'd and expell'd their Lordships from their Lands and City: Whereas the prudent Romans having such Tumultuous Innovations always before their Eyes, were forc'd oftentimes to shew great Indulgence towards the Common People, easing the Debtors from the Rigour and Exaction of their Creditors, by a defalcation sometimes of a fourth, and sometimes of a Third Part of their Original or Principal Debts.
In the Reign of Trajan, (at which time the Roman Empire was at its fullest Growth) a poor Man was defin'd by the Laws, to be such an one whose Total Substance was under the value of Fifty Aurei, or Nobles: From whence we gather, that there was a kind of distinction with them betwixt Pauperes and Mendecos: Those of the former Denomination, or the Poor, were of a large Comprehension, as containing within their number, such as were low and decay'd in Fortune, as [Page 219] well as those who sought their Livelihood by begging in the High-Ways, and creeping from Door to Door: The latter sort were purely Beggars, and were to be lookt upon therefore as in the lowest Rank of Humane Fortune: With Analogy to this it is, that the state of a Freeman with us is accounted to be one whose Patrimony amounts to Forty Shillings of yearly Rent, and for those who have less, they are to be registred amongst the Poor, and to be exempted from Tribute and Duty, as being in reality Poor, tho not all alike.
Another Question likewise there is, which I shall briefly touch upon, as having some affinity with the Subject upon which I am now discoursing, and it is this, viz. Whether one who is born nobly (or in the Ancient Stile, of an ingenious and Genteel Family) does forfeit the Priviledges of his Birth and Ancestors, and become ignoble by being poor? They who hold the Affirmative, build upon this Foundation, to wit, That in Ancient Times the Emperors and (in imitation of them) other Princes were wont to reward the Services of their Vassals or Subjects, by bestowing Lands upon them, and upon their Heirs and Successors for ever, as a peculiar Mark of their good Esteem and Grace. These Lands so distributed were called Feuda, or Fee-Farms, as being under some small Obligation of Chief-Rent or Duty to the Prince of whose Bounty they were held, and who in all Ages and Countrys was ever esteem'd to be the Fountain of Honour: Now if such [Page 220] Priviledges of Bloud be annext to the Feudal Possession, as Testimonials of the Princes Favour, the Fee once lost or sold, the Vassal has nothing to shew in evidence for his Honour which he deriv'd by his Ancestors from the Bounty of the Prince or Emperour. And upon this account it is, that the Titles of Counts and Barons are annext so frequently in Germany and elsewhere, to certain Castles and Mannors: So that whosoever does purchase such a Castle, does ipso facto become a Count or Baron. Something like to those Feudal Rewards we read amongst the Turks, who farm out or lett to their Officers and Soldiers of Horse the Lands of Countrys conquer'd, distributing such Lands into Portions, much resembling our Farms, all which are held of the Grand Seignior at Pleasure, or for Life; which Timariots are oblig'd hereby to attend upon that Emperor in his Wars.
Notwithstanding this, 'Tis much more evident, That the Feudal Possessions or Lands heretofore bestow'd by the Christian Emperors upon their Soldiers and Attendants, were not conferr'd upon them as Marks of Dignity and Honour, but by way of Stipend, thereby binding them to follow such Princes in their Expeditions, as it is at this day practis'd by the Turks, I say, in reference to their Timariot Horse: From whence it follows, That as Men were not enobled by such Fee-Farms, so neither were they degraded from the Range in which they were born by the want of them: [Page 221] It being utterly repugnant to Reason, and contrary to the Opinion of all wise and learned Men, That a Person should be more or less honourable and praiseworthy, from the number of his Acres or Baggs, which are the scatterings of blind and undiscerning Fortune, and which fall indifferently upon the Good and Bad, and many times are not in the power of the best Men to acquire or preserve; Nay rather, such Blessings are frequently contemn'd by them: But in case a Gentleman be reduc'd to Poverty by his own Prodigal Courses, or by his infamous and idle life, there is no reason he should have a place amongst those of his own Birth and Quality; since hereby his Blood and Honour may as well be stain'd, as by his making profession of any servile Handicraft: For all Mechanick Arts have been ever accounted to be servile and base, forasmuch as the Professors of them, like Horses and Beasts of Drudgery, acquire their Livelihood by the Sweat and Labour of their Bodies.
No less base or ignoble are they accounted in the Civil Law, who follow any nasty or sordid Trade, as Butchers, Tanners, Chandlers, Hatters, Curriers, Cordwainers, Coblers, &c. And above all, They have been ever lookt upon as vile to the utmost degree, who gain their Livelyhood by irreputable and scandalous Professions; such as Hangmen, Pimps, Travellers with Raree-Shews, Tumblers, Players, Rope-Dancers, Common Fidlers, Vintners, [Page 222] Alehouse-keepers, and the like; so that if a Gentleman once makes a practice of these Arts, tho he acquire never so great Riches by them, he is utterly degraded from his Post of Honour.
And yet in this degenerate Age, if a Man can but get Wealth, tho in never so vile a way, he is without more ado, esteem'd a Gentleman, especially amongst the poorer sort. A petty Shopkeeper, or Retailer shall cringe, sneak, flatter humbly, protest, swear and forswear, perhaps, to get a halfpenny, and when by the studied and repeated Methods of a vile Condescention, with other Shifts and Artifices peculiar to Tradesmen, he shall get an Estate, he is reckoned amongst the Topping-Men, and may arrive possibly to the Dignity of Knighthood. So likewise may we observe every where a great number of those whom they call shrew'd or Notable Men, that is, such as have a good long Reach in bargaining, trucking, and in managing other Mens Estates and Business, who at length come to be celebrated Usurers and Purchasers of Fair Estates themselves: These, I say, are accounted Capital Gentlemen, and ought doubtless, to be advanc'd to Civil Offices: So that if a Man can by a Trick of Legerdemain, Juggle an Estate out of the hands of an easie Gentleman, he deserves to be taken notice of under Characters of great Respect, it being usual with the Fox (as 'tis reported) by his stinking Tricks to poyson out the Badger from his Hold, [Page 223] which with much labour he had made, and then Earth himself in the others Habitation. I have heard of a Practitioner in the Law, who tho he were not very eminent in the knowledge of it, became exceeding rich by puzzling and entangling the Titles of his Clients, and then buying their Estates: And such truly is the Method of subtle, Time-serving Knaves; whilst many an honest, poor Gentleman lies under fatal Necessities, either from the Extravagances, Number and Education of, or Provisions for his Children, or by the Incumbrances upon his Estate, or by the heavy expence of a tedious, vexatious and disastrous Suit at Law, or perhaps he suffers purely for a good Conscience in his constant adherence to the Rights of his lawful but unfortunate Prince, as we have seen too many Examples of this Nature within our own Memory.
Let us come now to the Poor, who by the Laws of our Land are declared Poor, and for whom they have made so good Provision, especially in the Reign of Queen Elizabeth, and particularly that Act for the Relief of the Poor by a Parish Rate or Assessment, was a very charitable Design, preventing the indigent and needy from wandring about the World, expos'd to Misery and Famine; the many other provisionary Acts likewise, as of binding poor Children Apprentices, of setting up Workhouses, or Houses of Correction, of punishing Vagabonds, and the like, were supplementally [Page 224] made to promote the General Design of relieving the Necessities of Human Nature: But so it is, that notwithstanding all these provisions, the Necessities of the Poor are as great as ever, and the Parishes themselves, to which such Poor belong, are at a more than ordinary Charge for want of a true Care and prudent Management of a Work of this Importance. When any poor Persons, or pretending to be Poor, shall think of seeking Relief from a Parish, away they Post him to the next Justice of the Peace, who easily mov'd with their Importunities and Complaints, or the intercession possibly of Friends, too easily and frequently grants his Order to the Overseers of the Parish, for the Relief of such a pretended poor Person, without enquiring into Circumstances. 'Twere much more equitable, if the Justice, at such time as the Overseers bring their Books to them to be Signed, would take their measures from the Parishioners or Officers themselves, who certainly must be best acquainted with the Necessities and Course of Life of such as pretend to be in Want, and by this Means, many idle Bodies who have wasted their Fortunes, and are still fit for labour, would be made to work, towards the support of themselves and Families.
I hold it likewise very expedient, that in Corporations and Market Towns, No Mercers, Victualers, Bakers, cum aliis ejusdem furfuris, be suffered to execute this Charge: It being too well known, that such Chapmen [Page 225] make their own Markets and Advantage thereby, in obliging the Poor to take their Dues for the purpose in Bread or Ale, at their pinching Measures; whereas, did they distribute their Alms in Money, such poor Men or Women could manage, and lay it out with more Frugality and Profit for such things as they should most stand in need of; so that 6 d. or 8 d. will procure a Peck of Mault sometimes, and be a Provision many days, which when taken out in Ale will be consum'd easily at a sitting. So likewise may we observe of Mercers and such petty Merchants, that they will put of their worst Commodities, whether Linnen, Woollen, or other little Necessaries, and herewith furnish the Poor out of the Parish Stock, and at such Rates as they think fit: In which case the Poor People receive double Dammage, not only in being forced many times to be surcharg'd with that, which perhaps they have no great need of; but being ignorant likewise of the Quality and Value of such stale, halfrotten Ware, they dare not make their Terms with Men who have the Power of their Purse, but must submit themselves to the Conscience and Honesty of a Shopkeeper's Word, which, upon my word too, will many times ply and enlarge it self, not to the Necessity of the Buyer, but to the Interest of the Seller. The Persons who are the greatest Objects of Charity, are young Orphans, or the super-numerary Children of Poor People or Labourers [Page 226] as likewise expos'd Children, sick and maimd People, and such as are broken with Age, or such as are reduc'd to Want by the Accidents of Fortune, and perhaps, are asham'd to expose their Misery, as having liv'd sometimes possibly, in some Credit and Fashion.
There are another sort of Poor likewise, which ought truly to be provided for: I mean our lusty, sturdy, vagrant Beggars of both Sexes: These rambling from House to House are constant Retainers to all lousie Inns and Alehouses, and are the best Informers that Highwaymen and Burglares can rely upon, and many times pick a Pocket, break a House, steal a Horse, and cut a Throat with as much dexterity as the best Professors of these Arts. They colour their Rogueries under the Disguise of Tinkers, Crale-Carriers, Ragmen, Inkle or Starch-Sellers, Net-weavers, Travellers, &c. For whom our Laws, 'tis true, have made some small Provision, but for want of a just distribution, such pilfring Vagabonds are found to swarm every where. It would be much better, if an old Law of Valentinian the Emperour were reviv'd; by which, Every such Vagabond as was able to work, became Prize to the next Freeman which met him, and was enroll'd amongst his Servants or Slaves to Till his Ground during life, to the end he might not cheat others by his Impostures and pretended Beggary. Such a Law as this would be of more advantage to this Nation than any possibly now extant, [Page 227] there being no place left for Remisness, Affection or Partiality; for if one should suffer such an Errant-Merchant to go free, another would not fail to apprehend him, and where a Man's own Private Interest is a Law, it can never happen that such a Law should want its due Execution.
Under this Head likewise we may reduce those whom we commonly call Egyptians, or FortuneTellers. They are called Egyptians, I suppose from their dark, tawny Complexion, or from their pretended knowledge of the Heavens, and their Destinies. In Foreign Parts they are called Zingars, which Name sounds as tho it were of a Tartar Extraction. These People, like the Tartars, always professing a wandring Life: Tho by the Vulgar they are called Gypsies, a Gypso, from that sooty Wash or Paint with which they stain their Hands and Faces. These impudent Vagabonds have for a long time rambled over all parts of Christendome, and as for those of this Tribe in England, they are generally Broommakers, Sweep-Chimneys and the like, and chiefly such as inhabite the Borough of Southwark, who in the Summertime, for want of Employment, wander about the Country, having their King over them, who commonly is some Broken-Merchant, or well-experienced Pick-Pocket: But this kind of Vermin or Insects does not swarm so much nowadahs, as in former Ages.
To return therefore to such as are truly Poor, 'Tis certainly a very good work, and [Page 228] very acceptable to Almighty God, to relieve their Necessities; but 'tis without Dispute, a better Work to prevent Men from falling into Poverty; For Poverty in it self is a kind of Curse, and is attended with Misery: He who repairs a broken House deserves doubtless a good Reward, but he deserves better from the hands of the Lord thereof, who frames such a Building as shall never fall into decay. The Dutch in this particular are well worthy our Imitation, for by building Publick Workhouses, whether of Correction, or for the Education and Employment of Children, they make the corrupt and excrementitious parts of the Body Politick, as I may call them, to contribute to their own support, as well as to that of the Government. Little Children which are either poor or expos'd are committed to Publick Workhouses, as to Cloisters or Colledges, and their tender Fingers are taught to work before they can well use their Tongues, and being thus inur'd from their Infancy their Hands are much more ready and nimble, whilst Labour and Industry grows up and augments with their Nature: Even the Blind, the Lame, and the like, have Works to be employ'd about: For a blind Man may use his Arms in turning of Wheels or Grinding; and he that is lame in h s Legs may follow such Work as consists with si ting, as sewing, knitting, weaving, and the like; as he likewise who is maim'd in his Arms may be able to get his Living by the use of his [Page 229] Feet: And let not such impotent People lie bawling in the Open Streets, as they do continually in the Capital City of this Kingdom; many of which Beggars get more Money, and fare better than others by their honest Labour and Industry.
As for lesser Criminals, as Pick-Pockets, Petty-Larceny, Pimps, Common-Whores, Sheep-Stealers, Coney-Catchers, Hedge-breakers, and other the like Offenders, whose Crimes deserve not Death, 'twere very good they were condemn'd to Bridewel for a Year or two, or more, as the Nature and Circumstances of their Crimes do require: For by this means they would be made profitable to the Commonwealth, whereas Whipping or Frizzing them a little in the Fist, is a Punishment of no great Pain, and of a short continuance; and such cauteriz'd or Case-hardned Rogues as soon as out of Jayl are but the more confirm'd in their former Practices. Some few indeed are secur'd to Transportation: 'Tis pity but there were more of them made to travel the same Road; tho the best way , I say, would be to keep them to work in Houses of Correction, since we have not Galleys, as in other Countrys, wherein to bestow such useless Lumber.
And here I cannot but think our Laws a little too merciful likewise, in punishing Robbers on the Highway and Murderers: For what by the Intercession which is made commonly for the pardoning such Offenders, [Page 230] (which indeed is no defect of the Law) and what by the Contempt which a more obdurate Felon has of hanging, so it is; that such kind of Villains are always numerous. Breaking upon the Wheel has been found in other Countries to be the best Expedient to diminish the number of Malefactors. 'Tis true, this sort of Punishment carries the face of Cruelty in respect of him who suffers, where a Man's Bones are broken to pieces, and his Nerves and Sinews beaten to a Pulp, which must needs be very dolorous; and to continue so for twenty four hours or more perhaps, must needs be very grievous to him who suffers, and fearful to the Spectators. But after all, it must be granted too, that this sort of Punishment is a kind of Mercy to others of Mankind, when by seeing such tortur'd Wretches they are reclaim'd from their wicked Courses by these Examples of Horrour; whereas otherwise they would be in the like danger of coming to a Fatal [...]nd. Hence it is, that since Breaking on the Wheel has been practis'd in France, there has not been the Tenth Part of the Robberies committed, as before; whereas under the gentler Dispensation of Hanging, few are mov'd by the Complaints of the Malefactor, who ends his life in a compendious way, and probably in less pain than many who die a Natural Death. The End of Punishment is not Expiation; it may be satisfactory to the Law, there may be Confession likewise, and possibly Restitution; [Page 231] but 'tis the Mercy only of God through the Merits of Christ Jesus, which must assist the Guilty: The end therefore of Punishment is for prevention of the like Offences and Amendment, which in Capital Cases can never have place in the Offendor; it must be therefore in terrorem, in regard of others, ne & ipsi veniant in eundem locum tormentorum; that by their wicked actions they may not come into the same place of Torment; which End, if it cannot be obtain'd by one Method of Punishment, Religion and Justice do advise the Magistrate (who is to have regard to the generality of Men) to have recourse to one which is more severe, that others may be brought off from the like Precipice and Destruction, as we see they are most effectually by such rigorous Examples of Justice, or (to speak more truly) rather of Mercy. The Charities of Rome make a Noise in the World, and if they be not perform'd with sound of Trumpet, certain it is, that they are Pompous and full of Ostentation. Many of their Methods are most worthy our Imitation, tho in general it must be said too, that at first sight nothing less appears than Charity; such is the number of Nasty Beggars, of maimed and sick People, and of Idle Vagabonds. Where they lodge a Nights God only knows, and perhaps the Pope, but certain it is, that the Streets and Piazza's are full of them all the day; whether it be that the Report of the Roman Charities does draw Beggars from every [Page 232] Quarter, or that men trusting to such Relief do neglect an honest and laborious course of Life; or that the Genius of the Italians inclining them to Laziness, whilst the Gabels and Taxes they live under do reduce them to an humble State of Life; or that the Charities themselves be distributed in such a frugal and stinted manner, as shall only serve to keep Men Needy, and in a condition of craving Alms; whether, I say, upon any, or perhaps upon all these Considerations, it so happens, this is certain, that there are vast numbers of such halfstarv'd Wretches ready every where to perish. The like also may be observ'd all along the Country betwixt Rome and Naples, which naturally is one of the most fertile Spots in the whole World, and yet the poorest and most beggarly in its Inhabitants. And as for Rome, I believe his Holiness would be Author of as great a Charity as any that City can pretend to, if he would convert some Religious Houses into Houses of Correction, and there employ some of the many idle Merchants that place is infested with, in making some profitable Manufacture, which, as 'twould be of great advantage to the Apostolick Comera, or Treasury, and bring that City into some form of Trade, so would it be found most acceptable to God, to whom nothing is more odious than Idleness, the Nurse of all Vices, and nothing can be more acceptable to him, than to see men taught to live in an honest, laborious course of life, and so to be delivered from that Train of [Page 233] Vices and Calamities of Poverty which attend always Men of base Condition and Fortune, once abandon'd to Ease; and consequently nothing could be more beneficial to Men than to be translated from such Miseries into a State of Credit and Plenty.
But leaving these Foreign Objects, and to come to the Poor of our Country Parishes, upon whose Account I now write, 'twere best worthy the Consideration of the Justices and Parish-Officers, to ease the Husbandman in Years of great Plenty; for then it is that half the Money will buy the Poor as much Bread as they spent in other Years; and then likewise 'tis that the Husbandman, perhaps, cannot make half so much of his Grain as in Years of greater Scarcity, being forc'd to give greatest Wages in Times of greatest Plenty, as hath been observ'd before. Hence likewise it is, that as in Years of Plenty, so in Countries also of Plenty, there are most Beggars; for few will trouble themselves to eat their Bread in the Sweat of their Brows, which they may feed on with Ease and for Nothing. In these Years and Places therefore of Plenty 'tis that more than ordinary Care should be taken to set the Wanderer to work, and to lay up in store for the Impotent and Needy, and to restrain and punish all Merchants-errant, who under shew of carrying Crales or Packs at their Backs lie pilfering and sharking every where, to the great Annoyance of all honest Housekeepers.
Let this Point then be the Centre of all that can be said of the Poor, or of Works of Charity, viz. Publick Colleges or Work-Houses; and here let the scatter'd Currents of Charities meet, were there but Publick Spirits either to contribute to, or with a little Pains and Honesty to oversee such a Pious Design, Villany would soon be impracticable, the Number of the Poor diminished, and such as remain would be well provided for. The Parish Taxations likewise would be eas'd, the Manufactures of the Nation would be advanc'd, and Foreign Importations would be lessened. The Profits arising from the Labour of sturdy Vagabonds, of lazy, faithless Servants, and of lesser Criminals, would maintain the Orphans, and educate them in Methods of Industry; and if the Felons and other Rogues, with which the Goals are replenish'd, were oblig'd to Labour, during their Confinement, it would be a great Ease to the County, and to such Felons themselves too, by preserving them from being instructed in farther Rogueries, and from being idle, and talking only with their Fellow-Prisoners of former Pranks: So that once in a Goal, and a Rogue ever after.
Out of this Bank or Stock of the Work-House might Money be lent gratis, or without Usury, to poor Tradesmen or Husbandmen, to set them up with, or to relieve the Losses and Misfortuens of others, provided they should give good Security for the Capital; or if detain'd [Page 235] made for binding of Apprentices, for marrying poor Girls, and for the Repair of Hedges, Highways; and the like. If there were Colleges and Hospitals likewise for the Reception and Breeding up of expos'd Infants, as is practis'd in Rome and elsewhere, there to be train'd up to Labour and to Vertue, it would prevent many a Murder of such shiftless Innocents; nor should we see such a Number of little Brats carried at the Backs of Beggar-Women from Door to Door, which, when a little grown up, run begging about the World, till coming to Years of Ripeness, or rather of Rottenness, they ingender the like beggarly Spawn or Fry, and so on to the end of the World. Such a Provision for Bastards, as I am now speaking of, would not be an Encouragement for People to encrease their Number, since their Parents should be oblig'd to labour in such Publick Houses till the Children were able to get their own Livings. This would be a greater Punishment than that of binding one Parent only in a Pecuniary Caution to Indemnifie the Parish, which thing as yet is rarely executed; whereas Four or Five Years Labour in Publick Houses would be a great Ease and Security to the Parish; and the Disgrace, and Laborious Imployments of such Places would deter Men and Women more from their wicked Courses than any Amercement whatsoever.
And as for our Parish-Children, as we call them, such as Orphans, Bastards, and the like, they are commonly entrusted by the Overseers of the Poor to some idle Housewife, who does just keep them alive, and teach them perhaps a little to read, and to run a leasing and loitering in the Streets, and there learn Roguery, till the Eigth or Ninth Year of their Age; whereas, were they committed to such Publick Colleges or Houses, before spoken of, and being under the Care of honest, experienc'd, and industrious Overseers, they would soon be taught to earn their Bread, and be out of all Danger of being corrupted by Idleness and Ill Example.
I know a Gentleman who once design'd to bequeath his Estate to a Corporation in trust, and to be employ'd for the Erection of a Publick Workhouse, and afterwards for laying in a Fund or Stock for employing Whores and Rogues, the Profits whereof (some Consideration being had to the Governours and Overseers of such a Work) to be employ'd for the Uses above-mentioned, the Scheme whereof I shall not trouble my Reader. But so it was, that he was soon after inclin'd to revoke his Charitable Design, when he consider'd the Business, or rather the sacrilegious Disposition of some Bodies or Societies: There being too many deplorable Examples before our Eyes of those who within their own Doors are most sordid and Niggard-like, but do not scruple to spend such Charitable Stocks, or the Bread [Page 237] of poor Orphans, I may say truly the Blood of Jesus Christ, in making riotous Feasts and Entertainments, and in impertinent and scandalous drinking of Healths, or perhaps in private Purloinings. And that this is not a passionate Invective, but a serious, tho' deplolorable Truth, would be but too legible, were there an impartial Inspection made into some Chamber-Accounts: For the Redress whereof we do not find any due Care taken. Charities therefore of this kind, ought, upon mature Consideration, to be entrusted with such; for tho' there be some honest Men to Day who rule the Roast, to Morrow there may be those of another Kidney: So that upon all Publick Occasions and Expence, Charitable Uses generally must bear the Burthen.
The Mounts or Banks of Piety, such as they have in Rome, and elsewhere, are excellent Provisions: For out of these and suchlike Funds, young expos'd Children are bred up and provided for; Fortunes are given to dispose of them in the World, Moneys lent without Interest, and many other Publick Works carried on: But, as I said before, a competent Number of Bridewells, or Working-houses, would be of as great or greater Use, which yet they want. They send them indeed to the Galleys, but that is not a Method so advantageous.
And as for our selves here in England, the best Trustees for such Publick and Charitable Designs would be the Justices of Peace in a [Page 238] County, provided there were Choice of such as are of Integrity and of a Publick Spirit: For these generally being Gentlemen of some Fortune, would not so easily be tempted by sordid Ends; nor could they conveniently do it were they so dispos'd, their Concerns being independent on one another, and all things being expos'd to the View of the World in an Open Court: Were they therefore enabled by Act of Parliament to purchase Ground and build Workhouses in Corporations and Market-Towns, a Reservation being made in City-Charters for such a Liberty; and if there were Visitors or Judges appointed by the Government, every Three Years, to inspect the Miscarriages of such Justices, and to strengthen such Pious Designs with all due Provisions, as from time to time should become expedient, I doubt not but it would be the best Work that ever was undertaken, whether we consider the Glory of God, the Good and Wealth of the Nation in general, the Prevention of infinite Disorders, and the Relief of Thousands, who otherwise would perish, Soul and Body. And that upon a due Execution of such wholsome Provisions, 'tis no way to be doubted but such vast Numbers of well-inclin'd Persons would daily be invited to bestow bountifully in their Lifetime, and at their Deaths bequeath ample Legacies, to promote Works of so great Benefit and Piety.
But before I shall proceed farther in this Argument, I shall, with my Reader's Leave, make [Page 239] some Remarks which I have ever look'd upon to have a considerable Influence in Increasing the Number of our Poor, which, if not prudently remedied, will make way for farther Distempers, and the Danger still is greater; forasmuch as the Things I am now to speak of are not really Vices in themselves, but on the contrary are esteem'd generally as very considerable, and such by which Men seem to purchase a kind of Esteem and Honour amongst the Generality of Men: Of which
The First is our Extravagance and Luxury in Apparel. All Ages and Nations of the World have ever had Regard to this Particular, esteeming a fantastick and variable Dress to be the greatest Index of Levity in the Mind, and a very superfluous Expence. The Jews of old constantly kept to one kind of Habit, as did also the Greeks and Romans. The like also we may observe at this Day, and from Time Immemorial amongst all the vast Empires of the East, the Turkish Dominions, as also throughout all Africa, and the greatest Kingdoms of the North; in all which Places every Nation has kept constantly to its own Habit, being such as was most convenient for their Bodies, and most suitable to the Air and Climate in which they lived: And even in Europe, besides the Polanders and Muscovites who stick fast to their Ancient Fashions, the Spaniards, who are a very great People, are very regular in this Particular; so that their Sobriety herein must be look'd upon as a great [Page 240] Help to keep up the Gravity and Grandeur of a Nation which otherwise would fall into a lower degree of Poverty than that under which they now lie, should they indulge themselves in the Vanity of new Modes; such Expences being utterly inconsistent with Men abandon'd generally to Ease and Wantonness.
Nay, that Nation from whom we borrow all our foppish and fantastick Garbs, observe some sort of a Decorum in this Matter: For all their Students in the Law, their Advocates and Notaries, wear short Cloaks, with wide Breeches, and short-skirted Doublets, of black Cloth, with little Bands. Their Physicians likewise, and generally the Burghesses of better note, wear the like modest Habit. But with us in England, all from Prince Prettyman to Tom Thimble are Messires Alamode: So that in this Sense we may be truly said to overcome the French. It is a common Saying amongst our Fopling Gallants, That 'tis very ridiculous for a Man or Woman to be known by their Cloaths; and so say I too, being of the Opinion, That a Person is better known by Changeable and Partycolour'd Cloaths than by a plain, modest Dress; this being the Habit of sober Persons, which few are capable to understand, but the other is that which all gaze at, being the Livery of Changelings and Fools. The various Fancies and Fashions which Men and Women so highly value, is a thing certainly most vain and ridiculous; so [Page 241] that were a Nobleman to furnish his Gallery with Pictures, I think he could not hit upon a Fancy more to his Diversion than to have some quarter of it furnish'd with Paintings representing all the Fashions of both Sexes which have been worn by us within these Forty Years, that is to say; from the Downfal of Ruffs to the Uprising of Commodes; all which are so various and unlike, that were a grave, sober Turk to view them, he would conclude that they were the Modes of all Nations of the Earth, both past and present; and so great a Value as we our selves had once for them, we must now laugh at them as very Antick, and more Comical than all the Scarmouchio's and Harlequi's in the World, and by consequence we must condemn our selves as guilty of extreme Levity and Folly.
The true Use of Raiment is to cover our Nakedness, and to defend our Bodies from the Injuries of the Season: Now certain 'tis, that he who has but one or two Suits of Apparel, whole and clean, well fitted to his Body, is as well or better provided than he who has six or seven in his Wardrobe, where the frequent Change many times proves injurious to Health, and before he has half worn out one Suit, the rest must be laid aside and given to a Train of lubbarly Waiting-Men, upon the Assurance Mr. Taylor gives us, upon his honest Word, that 'tis out of Fashion; and then my Gallant must flutter abroad again, Top-and-top-Gallant, in his new Mode, with [Page 242] a dainty hard Name: By which means many Gentlemen, especially the younger Sons, or those of smaller Fortunes, who still are ambitious to appear abroad equipp'd like Gentlemen, forsooth, are reduc'd to the utmost Extremity; till, in sine, Master-Taylor, from taking Measure of my Spark's Body, comes at last perhaps to take the Measure of his Estate, or it may be provides him with a Tenement for Term of Life, which he cannot easily run out of.
Then for the Richness or Gaudery of Apparel, this ought to be taken notice of as much as the Vanity of supernumerous Habits. 'Tis pleasant to observe what Difference there is many times in the Air and Deportment of the same Per on dress'd in common Apparel, and at other Times when newrigg'd out. The Peacock, when he has his Train about him, how proudly do s he strut, and display his Glories in the Sun! but when he is stripp'd of his glittering Plumes, how meanly does he run, like a common Fowl, and seek to hide himself in the Hedges! 'Tis no new thing for People to pay Respect to the Man who wears the Gold Ring and Rich Apparel; and truly if they do it not, the Man will put them in mind of it himself: For he who Yesterday went trudging along the Streets like a Corn-cutter, to Day holds his Crest on high, and walks slow and slately, and with the Magistri l Mien of a Spaniard. He scarce vouchsafes a Look towards an humble Inferior, as he thinks, [Page 243] and if saluted, he returns the Civility by an Offer only to touch the Brim of his shining Castor, or perhaps with a Nod. Now, if we consider the Matter rightly, the true Ground upon which such a Grandee expects more Regards than formerly, is not from any self-consciousness of his own Merit, but purely upon the score of his Apparel; so that the honour (if any) is really due to the Sheep which bore the finest Wooll out of which his Cloth was made, or to the Insect or Worm which gave the Silk to make his glossy Ribbons; so that 'tis not the Man, but the Beast, all the while, which is the Object of our Admiration.
The greatest and wisest Princes of the Earth, how vain and pompous soever they have been in setting out their Grandeur, ever affected a Modesty in Apparel, especially in their usual and ordinary Entertainments, leaving their Gold Laces, and glittering Colours to their Pages and Footmen.
In fine, The words of the Son of Sirach are most worthy our Remembrance, when he tells us (cap. 19. Eccles.) A mans Attire, excessive Laughter and Gate shew what he is.
Another thing which I shall take notice of as very destructive to our English Gentry, reducing many of them to Beggary and Misery, is their ill Education, which in truth, reflects more upon the Parents than upon the Children: For whilst the Heir sweeps away the Estate, the younger Brothers (upon the death [Page 244] of their Parents) being never setled in a Calling, nor inur'd to Labour, become wretchedly shiftless. 'Tis true, some there are who are apprentic'd out, and some few others there are who follow Divinity, or rather the Preferments of the Church, especially since the Tubpreachers have been remov'd: But still there remains a vast Number of them who have no other Calling but that of haunting Taverns, Playhouses, Gaming-houses, &c. or of following and bawling after a Pack of Dogs, or of sharking from House to House, which, after the modish Word, they call visiting of Friends.
The French Gentry, 'tis true, do not much affect to place their Children to Trades, or to make any Alliance with the Shop; but then they have other ways to dispose of their superfluous Suckers: For besides their Preferments of the Clergy, which far surpasses ours, and which are in a manner engross'd by the Nobility or Gentry, they have an infinite number of Monasteries likewise, wherein they bestow or barrel up the Overplus of their Families; which Monasteries are safe and reputable Places also for their less useful Members to retreat in, having been disgrac'd by Fortune, or such as otherways are burthensome, and dispos'd to live a contemplative and retir'd Life. But besides these they have other Places too wherein to bestow their Members, I mean their Garrisons and Armies; and truly, were it not for such Issues of War, a Country [Page 245] so luxuriant as France is, would soon fall into fatal Distempers by the Redundency of its own peccant Humour: So that the present Greatness of that Kingdom is not to be ascrib'd to the Temper and Dispositions of the People, (who generally are as light, extravagant, and unconstant as any Nation whatsoever,) but to the Maxims of their two great Cardinal Ministers, and above all to the vast Prospect and Genius of the present Monarch. And yet after all their Politick Methods of bestowing their Leisure-Gentlemen, there are vast Numbers of them swarming in all Towns; some of which live an easie, supine Life; others by Tennis, Gaming, Rooking, and Cullying, which some call living by their Wits; and twere very well if they were made also to live by their Hands, by serving an Apprenticeship in the Galleys, as many of them do effectually. However, I do not take the great Appearance these Men make in their Towns and Cities to be an Argument of their more exceeding Number: For should our English Gentry, like the French, quit the Country for the softer Life of the Town, I doubt not but that they would make as great a Shew to the full.
'Tis true, we of this Nation are at present falling into the like Methods with France: For as long as the War lasts, we are not likely to want Utterance for our Dreggs, nor truly of running into our former Excesses by our wastful Profusion of Money; so that we are or [Page 246] may be out of all danger of dying by a Plethory. And yet let the Sword take off as many as it pleases, there are a great many more who go the back way off the Stage by the Goal, the Pox, and the Gallows. The pilfering, stinging Wasps, the buzzing Flies, and the gawdy Butterflies, are all of them a dronish and lazy kind of Insects which are ingender'd of Corruption, by the Warmth of the Sun, and fly from Place to Place, corrupting and tainting all they feed upon, but withal they are but shortliv'd; and if there are any of the Brood I am now speaking of, who survive or escape a more compendious Destiny, they live but a preminary kind of Life amongst their Friends and Acquaintance, and at the best end their Days in an Hospital.
The Dutch (following the Biass of all Commonwealths) have little Esteem of Nobility. In this however they are most worthy our Imitation, in that they make little difference betwixt Noble and Ignoble, as to their Course of Life, thinking all oblig'd to make Profession of some Calling, by which they may be serviceable to the Publick and to themselves too. For some Members to lie always idle, whilst others labour perpetually for the Preservation of them and of the Body too, is a thing very monstrous in Nature, and will soon fill the Parts which want Motion with Indispositions and Tumours, and draw on a Dissolution of the Whole: Whereas the Industrious Man, by augmenting his private Patrimony in some by [Page 247] sort or other of a Calling, has the means of Living in his own Hands, and knows how to begin a new in the World when Fortune shall reduce him to any Extremity.
And altho' a Gentleman does not make some Mechanick Art to be his Profession, there is no Absurdity for him to make it his Recreation, as well to divert his Spirits sometimes, and keep him out of Idleness, as also to get his Livelihood by it in case he fall into Misfortune and Poverty: A thing generally practis'd by the Ottoman Princes, upon Pretence that they ought to live upon their own Bread which they get by such means. Nor is it one of the least Policies of the Jesuites to encourage their Missionaries hereunto, or at least to initiate such amongst them who are of a working Genius, making them to understand and practise some Handicrafts, the better possibly to disguise their Negotiations or Missions in Places where they are not allow'd of; as also to insinuate the better into all sorts of Company, and to be able to live of themselves whensoever they are put to their shifts: And by such means chiefly 'tis that such Missionaries have made so great a Progress in the Eastern Parts of the World, and elsewhere.
As every Family consists of several Members under the Government of one Head, as Parent or Master; so every Family, wish all its dependent Members, is but one larger Member of a greater Body, the Commonwealth. When therefore a Parent shall neglect to do his [Page 248] Duty in training up his Children in a regular Course of Life and Employment, the Commonwealth, which is the grand Parent of all Inferior and Subordinate Parents, and of all their Offspring, may and ought to take care of such Members of Families as are in danger of ruining themselves, and of being troublesome to he Publick; and this they ought to do, by placing them in some Calling or other, as shall seem best to the Magistrate. And 'tis pity but such Laws were enacted amongst us, enabling him to execute a Charge of such Importance, and grounded upon so much Reason. And in case Persons of loose Lives, whether Gentle or Ungentle, should be found Refractory and Pernicious, 'twere not the worst Method to cultivate them, as we do those Trees which are Cankereaten, from too much luxuriancy of the Soil, by pruning and lopping of their Superfluities, and then transplant them into a leaner Earth, and so make them capable of bearing Fruit. And truly our Western Plantations would very well agree with many unfruitful Plants, with which this Kingdom is overstock'd, we having but too many of both Sexes, who by too much fatness of the Ground are overrun with the Canker, but being remov'd into another Climate would encrease and fructifie.
The Countries which are poor, but not the Poor of a Country, produce the best Soldiers, as appears by the Switz, and Highlanders of Scotland, and generally in all the Northern [Page 249] People: For Poor, Vagabond Rogues are lazy, dull of Apprehension, Intractable, and uncapable of Discipline, and withal, destitute of Courage and Spirit, which is the Life and Soul of a Soldier; when, on the other hand, such as are born under a hungry Climate, in a sharp and cold Air, like our Breed of Horses, are best for Service: They have sufficient to keep them from Want, and therefore are not broken in their Strength; and yet are not weakened by Surfeit, and therefore fit for Labour, and in a Capacity of bettering their Condition by the Fortune of Arms: So that in an Invasive War this sort of Men are very useful; for there 'tis the Prey only which draws them to Action, whilst they that be Rich are not only debauch'd with Ease, but care not much to hazard what they have upon uncertain Events. And yet in a Defensive War the Rich are best: For those of scanty Fortunes have nothing to lose, and therefore they will not much concern themselves which way Matters go; whereas the Rich, having all at Stake, will push hard to defend their Interest, which if they cannot do by their own Persons, they are capable nevertheless of procuring others to fight for them, by means of their Money, as is at this Day evident in the Dutch, who are not very good at Conquest, or the Enlargement of their Boundaries, but are very resolute and obstinate in Defence of their own; so that in the Main or Summ of the Matter, Commonwealths are better at keeping, and [Page 250] Monarchies at enlarging their Territories; and certainly that Prince or Commonwealth is in the best Post and Circumstance for War which has Subjects of both these Capacities; I mean some which are inur'd to Hardship, and others which are Wealthy; and by this means a Prince has Money wherewith to furnish himself with Arms and Military Provisions, and Men to manage them upon all Emergencies.
And 'tis as certain too, that that People or Nation is in the best Condition of any which live under such a Prince or Government, as does not thirst after Conquest and widening of Empire, but contrives rather to preserve Subjects in Peace and Plenty: For 'tis the Peoples Purse which must bleed to carry on the Designs of an Ambitious Prince, in which if he miscarry, they who did contribute to the War, are utterly undone; and if he be successful, the People are never reimburs'd their Money, but are still miserable, by falling under one whose Appetite of Dominion is enlarg'd by Conquest, and by this means also has greater Strength to wrest future Supplies to carry on his windy Pretences, having a drawn Sword in his Hand, and being surrounded with Armies inur'd to Blood; so that they who first supported him in his popular Quarrels, and hugg'd themselves by claiming a Share in the good Fortunes which their own Money procur'd, will be found in the end to be in a vanquish'd and very miserable Condition, [Page 251] when they thought most of being happy. Whether the Bird be kill'd by a sudden and unavoidable Shot, or fall leisurely and smoothly into the Snares or Net of the Fowler, by listening to the sweet Modulation of his soft and fallacious Prize, is much the same to the poor Creature which becomes a Prey. Nay, rather of the two, 'tis better for Men to fall under the Hands of a Conqueror, who may challenge a just Title to their Service, than to step insensibly into Slavery by their own Sloth and Over-Credulity.
When the Inhabitants of Himera, a City of Sicily, consulted the Poet Stesichorus about choosing Phalaris for their General, he tells them this Fable: The Horse and the Stag feeding in a Meadow, they could not well agree together; whereupon the former, being distrustful of his own Strength, to wage War with a Creature of so much Activity and Majesty, flies to the Husbandman for succour, who told him he would undertake to deliver him from his Fears were he but arm'd and mounted. The Horse, overjoy'd at the Undertaking, suffers the armed Man to bridle and saddle him, and to get upon him; insomuch that by the help of the Man upon his Back, he made the Stag quit the Coast, and began to triumph as Victor. But, on the other hand, the Husbandman finding the Horse he had mounted to be a serviceable Beast, would not suffer him to return and wanton again in the rich Meadows; but inuring him to the Bridle and Saddle, continually rid him as often as he pleas'd, laying [Page 252] also heavy Burthens upon the Back of the poor Creature, from time to time, and at all times; insomuch that the Carrion, now spurr'd and gall'd, and almost jaded to Death by his Deliverer, wish'd a thousand times he had liv'd Neighbourlike with the Stag of which formerly he was so fondly fearful. This Story of Stesichorus made the Citizens reject the Help which the Tyrant Phalaris offer'd.
Men being uneasie under the present Government, and of seeking Relief by changing Masters, has caus'd great Revolutions in Kingdoms, and involv'd Subjects in perpetual Wars and Miseries, as is obvious from infinite Examples. I shall for the present content my self with one, and a very Remarkable one, in this our Kingdom. Richard II. was a Prince who suffer'd himself to be too much biassed by evil Councils, and thereby gave great Distast to most of his Subjects; amongst whom Henry of Bullingbrook, a subtile Prince, and near Allied to the Crown, was more eminently offended; insomuch that crossing the Seas with a small Force, being beforehand assur'd of the Affection and Assistance of the Nobility, Gentry, and Common People, who all flock'd to him upon his Landing, as did also the Army which was levied to oppose him, he easily surpriz'd the abandon'd King, pretending at first, and swearing solemnly upon the Sacrament, that he came not over to seek the Crown, but to set the King and his People to rights, and to preserve his Own.
The poor, easie, or rather uneasie King, finding himself forsaken by all, was forc'd to credit his Cousin's Protestations, till resigning up himself into his Hands he became his Prisoner, and to lengthen out his unfortunate Life a little, was contented to call a Parliament, and there resigning the Crown, was afterwards murdered. No sooner was Henry IV. saluted King, but the People began to repent of what they had done, finding all Henry's Pretences of Reforming Abuses and Redressing of Grievances to be meer Sham: So that great Plots and Conspiracies were laid to dismount their Rider; after which ensued a most Bloody and Lasting Civil War, which never ended till the House of York, to whom the Crown of Right belong'd, was seated in the Throne. The Calamities ensuing upon Richard's being depos'd, are elegantly express'd by Mr. Daniel (who was a Poet of more than ordinary Depth of Thought) when he brings in that unfortunate King by a Prosopopoeia, upbraiding England in this manner.