230. Qu. What would be the consequence if our gentry affected to distinguish themselves by fine houses rather than fine clothes?
231. Qu. Whether any people in Europe are so meanly provided with houses and furniture, in proportion to their incomes, as the men of estates in Ireland?
232. Qu. Whether building would not peculiarly encourage all other arts in this kingdom?
233. Qu. Whether smiths, masons, bricklayers, plasterers, carpenters, joiners, tilers, plumbers, and glaziers would not all find employment if the humour of building prevailed?
234. Qu. Whether the ornaments and furniture of a good house do not employ a number of all sorts of artificers, in iron, wood, marble, brass, pewter, copper, wool, flax, and divers other materials?
235. Qu. Whether in buildings and gardens a great number of day-labourers do not find employment?
236. Qu. Whether by these means much of that sustenance and wealth of this nation which now goes to foreigners would not be kept at home, and nourish and circulate among our own people?
237. Qu. Whether, as industry produced good living, the number of hands and mouths would not be increased; and in proportion thereunto, whether there would not be every day more occasion for agriculture? And whether this article alone would not employ a world of people?
238. Qu. Whether such management would not equally provide for the magnificence of the rich, and the necessities of the poor?
239. Qu. Whether an expense in building and improvements doth not remain at home, pass to the heir, and adorn the public? And whether any of those things can be said of claret?
240. Qu. Whether fools do not make fashions, and wise men follow them?
241. Qu. Whether, for one who hurts his fortune by improvements, twenty do not ruin themselves by foreign luxury?
242. Qu. Whether in proportion as Ireland was improved and beautified by fine seats, the number of absentees would not decrease?
243. Qu. Whether he who employs men in buildings and manufactures doth not put life in the country, and whether the neighbourhood round him be not observed to thrive?
244. Qu. Whether money circulated on the landlord's own lands, and among his own tenants, doth not return into his own pocket?
245. Qu. Whether every squire that made his domain swarm with busy hands, like a bee-hive or ant-hill, would not serve his own interest, as well as that of his country?
246. Qu. Whether a gentleman who hath seen a little of the world, and observed how men live elsewhere, can contentedly sit down in a cold, damp, sordid habitation, in the midst of a bleak country, inhabited by thieves and beggars?
247. Qu. Whether, on the other hand, a handsome seat amidst well-improved lands, fair villages, and a thriving neighbourhood may not invite a man to dwell on his own estate, and quit the life of an insignificant saunterer about town for that of a useful country-gentleman?
248. Qu. Whether it would not be of use and ornament if the towns throughout this kingdom were provided with decent churches, townhouses, workhouses, market-places, and paved streets, with some order taken for cleanliness?
249. Qu. Whether, if each of these towns were addicted to some peculiar manufacture, we should not find that the employing many hands together on the same work was the way to perfect our workmen? And whether all these things might not soon be provided by a domestic industry, if money were not wanting?
250. Qu. Whether money could ever be wanting to the demands of industry, if we had a national bank?
251. Qu. Whether when a motion was made once upon a time to establish a private bank in this kingdom by public authority, divers gentlemen did not shew themselves forward to embark in that design?
252. Qu. Whether it may not now be hoped, that our patriots will be as forward to examine and consider the proposal of a public bank calculated only for the public good?
253. Qu. Whether any people upon earth shew a more early zeal for the service of their country, greater eagerness to bear a part in the legislature, or a more general parturiency with respect to politics and public counsels?
254. Qu. Whether, nevertheless, a light and ludicrous vein be not the reigning humour; but whether there was ever greater cause to be serious?
Qu. 168, for Indulg'd, read ill judg'd.
Whether the fable of Hercules and the carter ever suited any nation like this nation of Ireland?
2. Qu. Whether it be not a new spectacle under the sun, to behold, in such a climate and such a soil, and under such a gentle government, so many roads untrodden, fields untilled, houses desolate, and hands unemployed?
3. Qu. Whether there is any country in Christendom, either kingdom or republic, depending or independent, free or enslaved, which may not afford us a useful lesson?
4. Qu. Whether the frugal Swisses have any other commodities but their butter and cheese and a few cattle, for exportation; whether, nevertheless, the single canton of Berne hath not in her public treasury two millions sterling?
5. Qu. Whether that small town of Berne, with its scanty barren territory, in a mountainous corner, without sea-ports, without manufactures, without mines, be not rich by mere dint of frugality?
6. Qu. Whether the Swisses in general have not sumptuary laws, prohibiting the use of gold, jewels, silver, silk, and lace in their apparel, and indulging the women only to wear silk on festivals, weddings, and public solemnities?
7. Qu. Whether there be not two ways of growing rich, sparing and getting? But whether the lazy spendthrift must not be doubly poor?
8. Qu. Whether money circulating be not the life of industry; and whether the want thereof doth not render a State gouty and inactive?
9. Qu. But whether, if we had a national bank, and our present cash (small as it is) were put into the most convenient shape, men should hear any public complaints for want of money?
10. Qu. Whether all circulation be not alike a circulation of credit, whatsoever medium (metal or paper) is employed, and whether gold be any more than credit for so much power?
11. Qu. Whether the wealth of the richest nations in Christendom doth not consist in paper vastly more than in gold and silver?
12. Qu. Whether Lord Clarendon doth not aver of his own knowledge, that the Prince of Orange, with the best credit, and the assistance of the richest men in Amsterdam, was above ten days endeavouring to raise L20,000 in specie, without being able to raise half the sum in all that time? (See Clarendon's History, BK. XII)
13. Qu. Whether the whole city of Amsterdam would not have been troubled to have brought together twenty thousand pounds in one room?
14. Qu. Whether it be not absolutely necessary that there must be a bank and must be a trust? And, if so, whether it be not the most safe and prudent course to have a national bank and trust the legislature?
15. Qu. Whether objections against trust in general avail, when it is allowed there must be a trust, and the only question is where to place this trust, whether in the legislature or in private hands?
16. Qu. Whether it can be expected that private persons should have more regard to the public than the public itself?
17. Qu. Whether, if there be hazards from mismanagement, those may not be provided against in the framing of a pubic bank; but whether any provision can be made against the mismanagement of private banks that are under no check, control, or inspection?
18. Qu. Whatever may be said for the sake of objecting, yet, whether it be not false in fact, that men would prefer a private security to a public security?
19. Qu. Whether a national bank ought to be considered as a new experiment; and whether it be not a motive to try this scheme that it hath been already tried with success in other countries?
20. Qu. If power followeth money, whether this can be anywhere more properly and securely placed, than in the same hands wherein the supreme power is already placed?
21. Qu. Whether there be more danger of abuse in a private than in a public management?
22. Qu. Whether the proper usual remedy for abuses of private banks be not to bring them before Parliament, and subject them to the inspection of a committee; and whether it be not more prudent to prevent than to redress an evil?
23. Qu. Supposing there had been hitherto no such thing as a bank, and the question were now first proposed, whether it would be safer to circulate unlimited bills in a private credit, or bills to a limited value on the public credit of the community, what would men think?
24. Qu. Whether experience and example be not the plainest proof; and whether any instance can be assigned where a national bank hath not been attended with great advantage to the public?
25. Qu. Whether the evils apprehended from a national bank are not much more to be apprehended from private banks; but whether men by custom are not familiarized and reconciled to common dangers, which are therefore thought less than they really are?
26. Qu. Whether it would not be very hard to suppose all sense, honesty, and public spirit were in the keeping of only a few private men, and the public was not fit to be trusted?
27. Qu. Whether it be not ridiculous to suppose a legislature should be afraid to trust itself?
28. Qu. But, whether a private interest be not generally supported and pursued with more zeal than a public?
29. Qu. Whether the maxim, 'What is everybody's business is nobody's,' prevails in any country under the sun more than in Ireland?
30. Qu. Whether, nevertheless, the community of danger, which lulls private men asleep, ought not to awaken the public?
31. Qu. Whether there be not less security where there are more temptations and fewer checks?
32. Qu. If a man is to risk his fortune, whether it be more prudent to risk it on the credit of private men, or in that of the great assembly of the nation?
33. Qu. Where is it most reasonable to expect wise and punctual dealing, whether in a secret impenetrable recess, where credit depends on secrecy, or in a public management regulated and inspected by Parliament?
34. Qu. Whether a supine security be not catching, and whether numbers running the same risk, as they lessen the caution, may not increase the danger?
35. Qu. What real objection lies against a national bank erected by the legislature, and in the management of public deputies, appointed and inspected by the legislature?
36. Qu. What have we to fear from such a bank, which may not be as well feared without it?
37. Qu. How, why, by what means, or for what end, should it become an instrument of oppression?
38. Qu. Whether we can possibly be on a more precarious foot than we are already? Whether it be not in the power of any particular person at once to disappear and convey himself into foreign parts? or whether there can be any security in an estate of land when the demands upon it are unknown?
39. Qu. Whether the establishing of a national bank, if we suppose a concurrence of the government, be not very practicable?
40. Qu. But, whether though a scheme be never so evidently practicable and useful to the pubic, yet, if conceived to interfere with a private interest, it be not forthwith in danger of appearing doubtful, difficult, and impracticable?
41. Qu. Whether the legislative body hath not already sufficient power to hurt, if they may be supposed capable of it, and whether a bank would give them any new power?
42. Qu. What should tempt the pubic to defraud itself?
43. Qu. Whether, if the legislature destroyed the public, it would not be felo de se; and whether it be reasonable to suppose it bent on its own destruction?
44. Qu. Whether the objection to a pubic national bank, from want of secrecy, be not in truth an argument for it?
45. Qu. Whether the secrecy of private banks be not the very thing that renders them so hazardous? and whether, without that, there could have been of late so many sufferers?
46. Qu. Whether when all objections are answered it be still incumbent to answer surmises?
47. Qu. Whether it were just to insinuate that gentlemen would be against any proposal they could not turn into a job?
48. Qu. Suppose the legislature passed their word for any private banker, and regularly visited his books, would not money lodged in his bank be therefore reckoned more secure?
49. Qu. In a country where the legislative body is not fit to be trusted, what security can there be for trusting any one else?
50. Qu. If it be not ridiculous to question whether the pubic can find cash to circulate bills of a limited value when private bankers are supposed to find enough to circulate them to an unlimited value?
51. Qu. Whether the united stock of a nation be not the best security? And whether anything but the ruin of the State can produce a national bankruptcy?
52. Qu. Whether the total sum of the public treasure, power, and wisdom, all co-operating, be not most likely to establish a bank of credit, sufficient to answer the ends, relieve the wants, and satisfy the scruples of all people?
53. Qu. Whether those hazards that in a greater degree attend private banks can be admitted as objections against a public one?
54. Qu. Whether that which is an objection to everything be an objection to anything; and whether the possibility of an abuse be not of that kind?
55. Qu. Whether, in fact, all things are not more or less abused, and yet notwithstanding such abuse, whether many things are not upon the whole expedient and useful?
56. Qu. Whether those things that are subject to the most general inspection are not the least subject to abuse?
57. Qu. Whether, for private ends, it may not be sometimes expedient to object novelty to things that have been often tried, difficulty to the plainest things, and hazard to the safest?
58. Qu. Whether some men will not be apt to argue as if the question was between money and credit, and not (as in fact it is) which ought to be preferred, private credit or public credit?
59. Qu. Whether they will not prudently overlook the evils felt, or to be feared, on one side?
60. Qu. Whether, therefore, those that would make an impartial judgment ought not to be on their guard, keeping both prospects always in view, balancing the inconveniencies on each side and considering neither absolutely?
61. Qu. Whether wilful mistakes, examples without a likeness, and general addresses to the passions are not often more successful than arguments?
62. Qu. Whether there be not an art to puzzle plain cases as well as to explain obscure ones?
63. Qu. Whether private men are not often an over-match for the public; want of weight being made up for by activity?
64. Qu. If we suppose neither sense nor honesty in our leaders or representatives, whether we are not already undone, and so have nothing further to fear?
65. Qu. Suppose a power in the government to hurt the pubic by means of a national bank, yet what should give them the will to do this? Or supposing a will to do mischief, yet how could a national bank, modelled and administered by Parliament, put it in their power?
66. Qu. Whether even a wicked will entrusted with power can be supposed to abuse it for no end?
67. Qu. Whether it be not much more probable that those who maketh such objections do not believe them?
68. Qu. Whether it be not vain to object that our fellow-subjects of Great Britain would malign or obstruct our industry when it is exerted in a way which cannot interfere with their own?
66. Qu. Whether it is to be supposed they should take delight in the dirt and nakedness and famine of our people, or envy them shoes for their feet and beef for their belies?
70. Qu. What possible handle or inclination could our having a national bank give other people to distress us?
71. Qu. Whether it be not ridiculous to conceive that a project for cloathing and feeding our natives should give any umbrage to England?
72. Qu. Whether such unworthy surmises are not the pure effect of spleen?
73. Qu. Whether London is not to be considered as the metropolis of Ireland? And whether our wealth (such as it is) doth not circulate through London and throughout all England, as freely as that of any part of his Majesty's dominions?
74. Qu. Whether therefore it be not evidently the interest of the people of England to encourage rather than to oppose a national bank in this kingdom, as well as every other means for advancing our wealth which shall not impair their own?
75. Qu. Whether it is not our interest to be useful to them rather than rival them; and whether in that case we may not be sure of their good offices?
76. Qu. Whether we can propose to thrive so long as we entertain a wrongheaded distrust of England?
77. Qu. Whether, as a national bank would increase our industry, and that our wealth, England may not be a proportionable gainer; and whether we should not consider the gains of our mother-country as some accession to our own?
78. Qu. Whether the Protestant colony in this kingdom can ever forget what they owe to England?
79. Qu. Whether there ever was in any part of the world a country in such wretched circumstances, and which, at the same time, could be so easily remedied, and nevertheless the remedy not applied?
80. Qu. What must become of a people that can neither see the plainest things nor do the easiest?
81. Qu. Be the money lodged in the bank what it will, yet whether an Act to make good deficiencies would not remove all scruples?
82. Qu. If it be objected that a national bank must lower interest, and therefore hurt the monied man, whether the same objection would not hold as strong against multiplying our gold and silver?
83. Qu. But whether a bank that utters bills, with the sole view of promoting the public weal, may not so proportion their quantity as to avoid several inconveniencies which might attend private banks?
84. Qu. Whether there be any difficulty in comprehending that the whole wealth of the nation is in truth the stock of a national bank? And whether any more than the right comprehension of this be necessary to make all men easy with regard to its credit?
85. Qu. Whether any Thing be more reasonable than that the pubic, which makes the whole profit of the bank, should engage to make good its credit?
86. Qu. Whether the prejudices about gold and silver are not strong, but whether they are not still prejudices?
87. Qu. Whether paper doth not by its stamp and signature acquire a local value, and become as precious and as scarce as gold? And whether it be not much fitter to circulate large sums, and therefore preferable to gold?
88. Qu. Whether, in order to make men see and feel, it be not often necessary to inculcate the same thing, and place it in different lights?
89. Qu. Whether it doth not much import to have a right conception of money? And whether its true and just idea be not that of a ticket, entitling to power, and fitted to record and transfer such power?
90. Qu. Whether the managers and officers of a national bank ought to be considered otherwise than as the cashiers and clerks of private banks? Whether they are not in effect as little trusted, have as little power, are as much limited by rules, and as liable to inspection?
91. Qu. Whether the mistaking this point may not create some prejudice against a national bank, as if it depended on the credit, or wisdom, or honesty, of private men, rather than on the pubic, which is really the sole proprietor and director thereof, and as such obliged to support it?
92. Qu. Though the bank of Amsterdam doth very rarely, if at all, pay out money, yet whether every man possess'd of specie be not ready to convert it into paper, and act as cashier to the bank? And whether, from the same motive, every monied man throughout this kingdom would not be cashier to our national bank?
93. Qu. Whether a national bank would not be the great means and motive for employing our poor in manufactures?
94. Qu. Whether money, though lent out only to the rich, would not soon circulate among the poor? And whether any man borrows but with an intent to circulate?
95. Qu. Whether both government and people would not in the event be gainers by a national bank? And whether anything but wrong conceptions of its nature can make those that wish well to either averse from it?
96. Qu. Whether it may not be right to think, and to have it thought, that England and Ireland, prince and people, have one and the same interest?
97. Qu. Whether, if we had more means to set on foot such manufactures and such commerce as consists with the interest of England, there would not of course be less sheep-walk, and less wool exported to foreign countries? And whether a national bank would not supply such means?
98. Qu. Whether we may not obtain that as friends which it is in vain to hope for as rivals?
99. Qu. Whether in every instance by which we prejudice England, we do not in a greater degree prejudice ourselves? See Part II. qu. 153 and 154.
100. Qu. Whether in the rude original of society the first step was not the exchanging of commodities; the next a substituting of metals by weight as the common medium of circulation; after this the making use of coin; lastly, a further refinement by the use of paper with proper marks and signatures? And whether this, as it is the last, so it be not the greatest improvement?
101. Qu. Whether we are not in fact the only people who may be said to starve in the midst of plenty?
102. Qu. Whether business in general doth not languish among us? Whether our land is not untilled? Whether its inhabitants are not upon the wing?
103. Qu. Whether there can be a worse sign than that people should quit their country for a livelihood? Though men often leave their country for health, or pleasure, or riches, yet to leave it merely for a livelihood, whether this be not exceeding bad, and sheweth some peculiar mismanagement?
104. Qu. Whether our circumstances do not call aloud for some present remedy? And whether that remedy be not in our power?
105. Qu. Whether, in order to redress our evils, artificial helps are not most wanted in a land where industry is most against the natural grain of the people?
106. Qu. Whether, of all the helps to industry that ever were invented, there be any more secure, more easy, and more effectual than a national bank?
107. Qu. Whether medicines do not recommend themselves by experience, even though their reasons be obscure? But whether reason and fact are not equally clear in favour of this political medicine?
108. Qu. Whether, although the prepossessions about gold and silver have taken deep root, yet the example of our Colonies in America doth not make it as plain as day-light that they are not so necessary to the wealth of a nation as the vulgar of all ranks imagine?
109. Qu. Whether it be not evident that we may maintain a much greater inward and outward commerce, and be five times richer than we are, nay, and our bills abroad be of far greater credit, though we had not one ounce of gold or silver in the whole island?
110. Qu. Whether wrongheaded maxims, customs, and fashions are not sufficient to destroy any people which hath so few resources as the inhabitants of Ireland.
111. Qu. Whether it would not be a horrible thing to see our matrons make dress and play their chief concern?
112. Qu. Whether our ladies might not as well endow monasteries as wear Flanders lace? And whether it be not true that Popish nuns are maintained by Protestant contributions?
113. Qu. Whether England, which hath a free trade, whatever she remits for foreign luxury with one hand, doth not with the other receive much more from abroad? Whether, nevertheless, this nation would not be a gainer, if our women would content themselves with the same moderation in point of expense as the English ladies?
114. Qu. But whether it be not a notorious truth that our Irish ladies are on a foot, as to dress, with those of five times their fortune in England?
115. Qu. Whether it be not even certain that the matrons of this forlorn country send out a greater proportion of its wealth, for fine apparel, than any other females on the whole surface of this terraqueous globe?
116. Qu. Whether the expense, great as it is, be the greatest evil; but whether this folly may not produce many other follies, an entire derangement of domestic life, absurd manners, neglect of duties, bad mothers, a general corruption in both sexes?
117. Qu. Whether therefore a tax on all gold and silver in apparel, on all foreign laces and silks, may not raise a fund for the bank, and at the same time have other salutary effects on the public?
118. Qu. But, if gentlemen had rather tax themselves in another way, whether an additional tax of ten shillings the hogshead on wines may not supply a sufficient fund for the national bank, all defects to be made good by Parliament?
119. Qu. Whether upon the whole it may not be right to appoint a national bank?
120. Qu. Whether the stock and security of such bank would not be, in truth, the national stock, or the total sum of the wealth of this kingdom?
121. Qu. Whether, nevertheless, there should not be a particular fund for present use in answering bills and circulating credit?
122. Qu. Whether for this end any fund may not suffice, provided an Act be passed for making good deficiencies?
123. Qu. Whether the sole proprietor of such bank should not be the public, and the sole director the legislature?
124. Qu. Whether the managers, officers, and cashiers should not be servants of the pubic, acting by orders and limited by rules of the legislature?
125. Qu. Whether there should not be a standing number of inspectors, one-third men in great office, the rest members of both houses, half whereof to go out, and half to come in every session?
126. Qu. Whether those inspectors should not, all in a body, visit twice a year, and three as often as they pleased?
127. Qu. Whether the general bank should not be in Dublin, and subordinate banks or compters one in each province of Munster, Ulster, and Connaught?
128. Qu. Whether there should not be such provisions of stamps, signatures, checks, strong boxes, and all other measures for securing the bank notes and cash, as are usual in other banks?
129. Qu. Whether these ten or a dozen last queries may not easily be converted into heads of a bill?
130. Qu. Whether any one concerns himself about the security or funds of the banks of Venice or Amsterdam? And whether in a little time the case would not be the same as to our bank?
131. Qu. Whether the first beginning of expedients do not always meet with prejudices? And whether even the prejudices of a people ought not to be respected?
132. Qu. Whether a national bank be not the true philosopher's stone in a State?
133. Qu. Whether it be not the most obvious remedy for all the inconveniencies we labour under with regard to our coin?
134. Qu. Whether it be not agreed on all hands that our coin is on very bad foot, and calls for some present remedy?
135. Qu. Whether the want of silver hath not introduced a sort of traffic for change, which is purchased at no inconsiderable discount to the great obstruction of our domestic commerce?
136. Qu. Whether, though it be evident silver is wanted, it be yet so evident which is the best way of providing for this want? Whether by lowering the gold, or raising the silver, or partly one, partly the other?
137. Qu. Whether a partial raising of one species be not, in truth, wanting a premium to our bankers for importing such species? And what that species is which deserves most to be encouraged?
138. Qu. Whether it be not just, that all gold should be alike rated according to its weight and fineness?
139. Qu. Whether this may be best done, by lowering some certain species of gold, or by raising others, or by joining both methods together?
140. Qu. Whether all regulations of coin should not be made with a view to encourage industry, and a circulation of commerce, throughout the kingdom?
141. Qu. Whether the North and the South have not, in truth, one and the same interest in this matter?
142. Qu. Whether to oil the wheels of commerce be not a common benefit? And whether this be not done by avoiding fractions and multiplying small silver?
143. Qu. But, whether a pubic benefit ought to be obtained by unjust methods, and therefore, whether any reduction of coin should be thought of which may hurt the properties of private men?
144. Qu. Whether those parts of the kingdom where commerce doth most abound would not be the greatest gainers by having our coin placed on a right foot?
145. Qu. Whether, in case a reduction of coin be thought expedient, the uttering of bank bills at the same time may not prevent the inconveniencies of such a reduction?
146. Qu. But, whether any pubic expediency could countervail a real pressure on those who are least able to bear it, tenants and debtors?
147. Qu. Whether, nevertheless, the political body, as well as the natural, must not sometimes be worse in order to be better?
148. Qu. Whether, all things considered, a general raising the value of gold and silver be not so far from bringing greater quantities thereof into the kingdom that it would produce a direct contrary effect, inasmuch as less, in that case, would serve, and therefore less be wanted? And whether men do not import a commodity in proportion to the demand or want of it?
149. Qu. Whether the lowering of our gold would not create a fever in the State? And whether a fever be not sometimes a cure, but whether it be not the last cure a man would choose?
150. Qu. What if our other gold were raised to a par with Portugal gold, and the value of silver in general raised with regard to that of gold?
151. Qu. Whether the pubic ends may or may not be better answered by such augmentation, than by a reduction of our coin?
152. Qu. Provided silver is multiplied, be it by raising or diminishing the value of our coin, whether the great end is not answered?
153. Qu. Whether raising the value of a particular species will not tend to multiply such species, and to lessen others in proportion thereunto? And whether a much less quantity of cash in silver would not, in reality, enrich the nation more than a much greater in gold?
154. Qu. Whether, if a reduction be thought necessary, the obvious means to prevent all hardships and injustice be not a national bank?
155. Qu. Upon supposition that the cash of this kingdom was five hundred thousand pounds, and by lowering the various species each one-fifth of its value the whole sum was reduced to four hundred thousand pounds, whether the difficulty of getting money, and consequently of paying rents, would not be increased in the proportion of five to four?
156. Qu. Whether such difficulty would not be a great and unmerited distress on all the tenants in the nation? But if at the same time with the aforesaid reduction there were uttered one hundred thousand pounds additional to the former current stock, whether such difficulty or inconvenience would then be felt?
157. Qu. Whether, ceteris paribus, it be not true that the prices of things increase as the quantity of money increaseth, and are diminished as that is diminished? And whether, by the quantity of money is not to be understood the amount of the denominations, all contracts being nominal for pounds, shillings, and pence, and not for weights of gold or silver?
158. Qu. Whether in any foreign market, twopence advance in a kilderkin of corn could greatly affect our trade?
159. Qu. Whether in regard of the far greater changes and fluctuations of prices from the difference of seasons and other accidents, that small rise should seem considerable?
160. Qu. Whether our exports do not consist of such necessaries as other countries cannot well be without?
161. Qu. Whether upon the circulation of a national bank more land would not be tilled, more hands employed, and consequently more commodities exported?
162. Qu. Whether, setting aside the assistance of a national bank, it will be easy to reduce or lower our coin without some hardship (at least for the present) on a great number of particular persons?
163. Qu. Whether, nevertheless, the scheme of a national bank doth not entirely stand clear of this question; and whether such bank may not completely subsist and answer its ends, although there should be no alteration at all made in the value of our coin?
164. Qu. Whether, if the ill state of our coin be not redressed, that scheme would not be still more necessary, inasmuch as a national bank, by putting new life and vigour into our commerce, may prevent our feeling the ill effects of the want of such redress?
165. Qu. Whether men united by interest are not often divided by opinion; and whether such difference in opinion be not an effect of misapprehension?
166. Qu. Whether two things are not manifest, first, that some alteration in the value of our coin is highly expedient, secondly, that whatever alteration is made, the tenderest care should be had of the properties of the people, and even a regard paid to their prejudices?
167. Qu. Whether our taking the coin of another nation for more than it is worth be not, in reality and in event, a cheat upon ourselves?
168. Qu. Whether a particular coin over-rated will not be sure to flow in upon us from other countries beside that where it is coined?
169. Qu. Whether, in case the wisdom of the nation shall think fit to alter our coin, without erecting a national bank, the rule for lessening or avoiding present inconvenience should not be so to order matters, by raising the silver and depressing the gold, as that the total sum of coined cash within the kingdom shall, in denomination, remain the same, or amount to the same nominal value, after the change that it did before?
170. Qu. Whether all inconvenience ought not to be lessened as much as may be; but after, whether it would be prudent, for the sake of a small inconvenience, to obstruct a much greater good? And whether it may not sometimes happen that an inconvenience which in fancy and general discourse seems great shall, when accurately inspected and cast up, appear inconsiderable?
171. Qu. Whether in public councils the sum of things, here and there, present and future, ought not to be regarded?
172. Qu. Whether silver and small money be not that which circulates the quickest, and passeth through all hands, on the road, in the market, at the shop?
173. Qu. Whether, all things considered, it would not be better for a kingdom that its cash consisted of half a million in small silver, than of five times that sum in gold?
174. Qu. Whether there be not every day five hundred lesser payments made for one that requires gold?
175. Qu. Whether Spain, where gold bears the highest value, be not the laziest, and China, where it bears the lowest, be not the most industrious country in the known world?
176. Qu. Money being a ticket which entitles to power and records the title, whether such power avails otherwise than as it is exerted into act?
177. Qu. Whether it be not evidently the interest of every State, that its money should rather circulate than stagnate?
178. Qu. Whether the principal use of cash be not its ready passing from hand to hand, to answer common occasions of the common people, and whether common occasions of all sorts of people are not small ones?
179. Qu. Whether business at fairs and markets is not often at a stand and often hindered, even though the seller hath his commodities at hand and the purchaser his gold, yet for want of change?
180. Qu. Whether beside that value of money which is rated by weight, there be not also another value consisting in its aptness to circulate?
181. Qu. As wealth is really power, and coin a ticket conveying power, whether those tickets which are the fittest for that use ought not to be preferred?
182. Qu. Whether those tickets which singly transfer small shares of power, and, being multiplied, large shares, are not fitter for common use than those which singly transfer large shares?
183. Qu. Whether the public is not more benefited by a shilling that circulates than a pound that lies dead?
184. Qu. Whether sixpence twice paid be not as good as a shilling once paid?
185. Qu. Whether the same shilling circulating in a village may not supply one man with bread, another with stockings, a third with a knife, a fourth with paper, a fifth with nails, and so answer many wants which must otherwise have remained unsatisfied?
186. Qu. Whether facilitating and quickening the circulation of power to supply wants be not the promoting of wealth and industry among the lower people? And whether upon this the wealth of the great doth not depend?
187. Qu. Whether, without the proper means of circulation, it be not vain to hope for thriving manufacturers and a busy people?
188. Qu. Whether four pounds in small cash may not circulate and enliven an Irish market, which many four-pound pieces would permit to stagnate?
189. Qu. Whether a man that could move nothing less than a hundred-pound weight would not be much at a loss to supply his wants; and whether it would not be better for him to be less strong and more active?
190. Qu. Whether the natural body can be in a state of health and vigour without a due circulation of the extremities, even? And whether the political body, any in the fingers and toes more than the natural, can thrive without a proportionable circulation through the minutest and most inconsiderable parts thereof?
191. Qu. If we had a mint for coining only shillings, sixpences, and copper-money, whether the nation would not soon feel the good effects thereof?
192. Qu. Whether the greater waste by wearing of small coins would not be abundantly overbalanced by their usefulness?
193. Qu. Whether it be not the industry of common people that feeds the State, and whether it be possible to keep this industry alive without small money?
194. Qu. Whether the want of this be not a great bar to our employing the people in these manufactures which are open to us, and do not interfere with Great Britain?
195. Qu. Whether therefore such want doth not drive men into the lazy way of employing land under sheep-walk?
196. Qu. Whether the running of wool from Ireland can so effectually be prevented as by encouraging other business and manufactures among our people?
197. Qu. Whatever commodities Great Britain importeth which we might supply, whether it be not her real interest to import them from us rather than from any other people?
198. Qu. Whether the apprehension of many among us (who for that very reason stick to their wool), that England may hereafter prohibit, limit, or discourage our linen trade, when it hath been once, with great pains and expense, thoroughly introduced and settled in this land, be not altogether groundless and unjust?
199. Qu. Whether it is possible for this country, which hath neither mines of gold nor a free trade, to support for any time the sending out of specie?
200. Qu. Whether in fact our payments are not made by bills? And whether our foreign credit doth not depend on our domestic industry, and our bills on that credit?
201. Qu. Whether, in order to mend it, we ought not first to know the peculiar wretchedness of our state? And whether there be any knowing of this but by comparison?
202. Qu. Whether there are not single market towns in England that turn more money in buying and selling than whole counties (perhaps provinces) with us?
203. Qu. Whether the small town of Birmingham alone doth not, upon an average, circulate every week, one way or other, to the value of fifty thousand pounds? But whether the same crown may not be often paid?
204. Qu. Whether there be any woollen manufacture in Birmingham?
205. Qu. Whether bad management may not be worse than slavery? And whether any part of Christendom be in a more languishing condition than this kingdom?
206. Qu. Whether any kingdom in Europe be so good a customer at Bordeaux as Ireland?
207. Qu. Whether the police and economy of France be not governed by wise councils? And whether any one from this country, who sees their towns, and manufactures, and commerce, will not wonder what our senators have been doing?
208. Qu. What variety and number of excellent manufactures are to be met with throughout the whole kingdom of France?
209. Qu. Whether there are not everywhere some or other mills for many uses, forges and furnaces for iron-work, looms for tapestry, glass-houses, and so forth?
210. Qu. What quantities of paper, stockings, hats; what manufactures of wool, silk, linen, hemp, leather, wax, earthenware, brass, lead, tin, &c?
211. Qu. Whether the manufactures and commerce of the single town of Lyons do not amount to a greater value than all the manufactures and all the trade of this kingdom taken together?
212. Qu. Whether it be not true, that within the compass of one year there flowed from the South Sea, when that commerce was open, into the single town of St. Malo's, a sum in gold and silver equal to four times the whole specie of this kingdom? And whether that same part of France doth not at present draw from Cadiz, upwards of two hundred thousand pounds per annum?
213. Qu. Whether, in the anniversary fair at the small town of Beaucaire upon the Rhone, there be not as much money laid out as the current cash of this kingdom amounts to?
214. Qu. Whether it be true that the Dutch make ten millions of livres, every return of the flota and galleons, by their sales at the Indies and at Cadiz?
215. Qu. Whether it be true that England makes at least one hundred thousand pounds per annum by the single article of hats sold in Spain?
216. Qu. Whether the very shreds shorn from woollen cloth, which are thrown away in Ireland, do not make a beautiful tapestry in France?
217. Qu. Whether the toys of Thiers do not employ five thousand families?
218. Qu. Whether there be not a small town Or two in France which supply all Spain with cards?
219. Qu. Whether there be not French towns subsisted merely by making pins?
220. Qu. Whether the coarse fingers of those very women, those same peasants who one part of the year till the ground and dress the vineyards, are not another employed in making the finest French point?
221. Qu. Whether there is not a great number of idle fingers among the wives and daughters of our peasants?
222. Qu. Whether, about twenty-five years ago, they did not first attempt to make porcelain in France; and whether, in a few years, they did not make it so well, as to rival that which comes from China?
223. Qu. Whether the French do not raise a trade from saffron, dyeing drugs, and the like products, which may do with us as well as with them?
224. Qu. Whether we may not have materials of our own growth to supply all manufactures, as well as France, except silk, and whether the bulk of what silk even France manufactures be not imported?
225. Qu. Whether it be possible for this country to grow rich, so long as what is made by domestic industry is spent in foreign luxury?
226. Qu. Whether part of the profits of the bank should not be employed in erecting manufactures of several kinds, which are not likely to be set on foot and carried on to perfection without great stock, public encouragement, general regulations, and the concurrence of many hands?
227. Qu. Whether our natural Irish are not partly Spaniards and partly Tartars, and whether they do not bear signatures of their descent from both these nations, which is also confirmed by all their histories?
228. Qu. Whether the Tartar progeny is not numerous in this land? And whether there is an idler occupation under the sun than to attend flocks and herds of cattle?
229. Qu. Whether the wisdom of the State should not wrestle with this hereditary disposition of our Tartars, and with a high hand introduce agriculture?
230. Qu. Whether it were not to be wished that our people shewed their descent from Spain, rather by their honour and honesty than their pride, and if so, whether they might not easily insinuate themselves into a larger share of the Spanish trade?
231. Qu. Whether once upon a time France did not, by her linen alone, draw yearly from Spain about eight millions of livres?
232. Qu. Whether the French have not suffered in their linen trade with Spain, by not making their cloth of due breadth; and whether any other people have suffered, and are still likely to suffer, through the same prevarication?
233. Qu. Whether the Spaniards are not rich and lazy, and whether they have not a particular inclination and favour for the inhabitants of this island? But whether a punctual people do not love punctual dealers?
234. Qu. Whether about fourteen years ago we had not come into a considerable share of the linen trade with Spain, and what put a stop to this?
235. Qu. Whether we may not, with common industry and common honesty, undersell any nation in Europe?
236. Qu. Whether, if the linen manufacture were carried on in the other provinces as well as in the North, the merchants of Cork, Limerick, and Galway would not soon find the way to Spain?
237. Qu. Whether the woollen manufacture of England is not divided into several parts or branches, appropriated to particular places, where they are only or principally manufactured; fine cloths in Somersetshire, coarse in Yorkshire, long ells at Exeter, saies at Sudbury, crapes at Norwich, linseys at Kendal, blankets at Witney, and so forth?
238. Qu. Whether the united skill, industry, and emulation of many together on the same work be not the way to advance it? And whether it had been otherwise possible for England to have carried on her woollen manufacture to so great perfection?
239. Qu. Whether it would not on many accounts be right if we observed the same course with respect to our linen manufacture; and that diapers were made in one town or district, damasks in another, sheeting in a third, fine wearing linen in a fourth, coarse in a fifth, in another cambrics, in another thread and stockings, in others stamped linen, or striped linen, or tickings, or dyed linen, of which last kinds there is so great a consumption among the seafaring men of all nations?
240. Qu. Whether it may not be worth while to inform ourselves of the different sorts of linen which are in request among different people?
241. Qu. Whether we do not yearly consume of French wines about a thousand tuns more than either Sweden or Denmark, and yet whether those nations pay ready money as we do?
242. Qu. Whether they are not the Swiss that make hay and gather in the harvest throughout Alsatia?
243. Qu. Whether it be not a custom for some thousands of Frenchmen to go about the beginning of March into Spain, and having tilled the lands and gathered the harvest of Spain, to return home with money in their pockets about the end of November?
244. Qu. Whether of late years our Irish labourers do not carry on the same business in England to the great discontent of many there? But whether we have not much more reason than the people of England to be displeased at this commerce?
245. Qu. Whether, notwithstanding the cash supposed to be brought into it, any nation is, in truth, a gainer by such traffic?
246. Qu. Whether the industry of our people employed in foreign lands, while our own are left uncultivated, be not a great loss to the country?
247. Qu. Whether it would not be much better for us, if, instead of sending our men abroad, we could draw men from the neighbouring countries to cultivate our own?
248. Qu. Whether, nevertheless, we are not apt to think the money imported by our labourers to be so much clear gains to this country, but whether a little reflexion and a little political arithmetic may not shew us our mistake?
249. Qu. Whether our prejudices about gold and silver are not very apt to infect or misguide our judgments and reasonings about the public weal?
250. Qu. Whether it be not a good rule whereby to judge of the trade of any city, and its usefulness, to observe whether there is a circulation through the extremities, and whether the people round about are busy and warm?
251. Qu. Whether we had not, some years since, a manufacture of hats at Athlone, and of earthenware at Arklow, and what became of those manufactures?
252. Qu. Why we do not make tiles of our own, for flooring and roofing, rather than bring them from Holland?
253. Qu. What manufactures are there in France and Venice of gilt-leather, how cheap and how splendid a furniture?
254. Qu. Whether we may not, for the same use, manufacture divers things at home of more beauty and variety than wainscot, which is imported at such expense from Norway?
255. Qu. Whether the use and the fashion will not soon make a manufacture?
256. Qu. Whether, if our gentry used to drink mead and cider, we should not soon have those liquors in the utmost perfection and plenty?
257. Qu. Whether it be not wonderful that with such pastures, and so many black cattle, we do not find ourselves in cheese?
258. Qu. Whether great profits may not be made by fisheries; but whether those of our Irish who live by that business do not contrive to be drunk and unemployed one half of the year?
259. Qu. Whether it be not folly to think an inward commerce cannot enrich a State, because it doth not increase its quantity of gold and silver? And whether it is possible a country should? not thrive, while wants are supplied, and business goes on?
260. Qu. Whether plenty of all the necessaries and comforts of life be not real wealth?
261. Qu. Whether Lyons, by the advantage of her midland situation and the rivers Rhone and Saone, be not a great magazine or mart for inward commerce? And whether she doth not maintain a constant trade with most parts of France; with Provence for oils and dried fruits, for wines and cloth with Languedoc, for stuffs with Champagne, for linen with Picardy, Normandy, and Brittany, for corn with Burgundy?
262. Qu. Whether she doth not receive and utter all those commodities, and raise a profit from the distribution thereof, as well as of her own manufactures, throughout the kingdom of France?
263. Qu. Whether the charge of making good roads and navigable rivers across the country would not be really repaid by an inward commerce?
264. Qu. Whether, as our trade and manufactures increased, magazines should not be established in proper places, fitted by their situation, near great roads and navigable rivers, lakes, or canals, for the ready reception and distribution of all sorts of commodities from and to the several parts of the kingdom; and whether the town of Athlone, for instance, may not be fitly situated for such a magazine, or centre of domestic commerce?
265. Qu. Whether an inward trade would not cause industry to flourish, and multiply the circulation of our coin, and whether this may not do as well as multiplying the coin itself?
266. Qu. Whether the benefits of a domestic commerce are sufficiently understood and attended to; and whether the cause thereof be not the prejudiced and narrow way of thinking about gold and silver?
267. Qu. Whether there be any other more easy and unenvied method of increasing the wealth of a people?
268. Qu. Whether we of this island are not from our peculiar circumstances determined to this very commerce above any other, from the number of necessaries and good things that we possess within ourselves, from the extent and variety of our soil, from the navigable rivers and good roads which we have or may have, at a less expense than any people in Europe, from our great plenty of materials for manufactures, and particularly from the restraints we lie under with regard to our foreign trade?
269. Qu. Whether commissioners of trade or other proper persons should not be appointed to draw up plans of our commerce both foreign and domestic, and lay them at the beginning of every session before the Parliament?
270. Qu. Whether registers of industry should not be kept, and the pubic from time to time acquainted what new manufactures are introduced, what increase or decrease of old ones?
271. Qu. Whether annual inventories should not be published of the fairs throughout the kingdom, in order to judge of the growth of its commerce?
272. Qu. Whether there be not every year more cash circulated at the card tables of Dublin than at all the fairs of Ireland?
273. Qu. Whether the wealth of a country will not bear proportion to the skill and industry of its inhabitants?
274. Qu. Whether foreign imports that tend to promote industry should not be encouraged, and such as have a tendency to promote luxury should not be discouraged?
275. Qu. Whether the annual balance of trade between Italy and Lyons be not about four millions in favour of the former, and yet, whether Lyons be not a gainer by this trade?
276. Qu. Whether the general rule, of determining the profit of a commerce by its balance, doth not, like other general rules, admit of exceptions?
277. Qu. Whether it would not be a monstrous folly to import nothing but gold and silver, supposing we might do it, from every foreign part to which we trade? And yet, whether some men may not think this foolish circumstance a very happy one?
278. Qu. But whether we do not all see the ridicule of the Mogul's subjects, who take from us nothing but our silver, and bury it under ground, in order to make sure thereof against the resurrection?
279. Qu. Whether he must not be a wrongheaded patriot or politician, whose ultimate view was drawing money into a country, and keeping it there?
280. Qu. Whether it be not evident that not gold but industry causeth a country to flourish?
281. Qu. Whether it would not be a silly project in any nation to hope to grow rich by prohibiting the exportation of gold and silver?
282. Qu. Whether there can be a greater mistake in politics than to measure the wealth of the nation by its gold and silver?
283. Qu. Whether gold and silver be not a drug, where they do not promote industry? Whether they be not even the bane and undoing of an idle people?
284. Qu. Whether gold will not cause either industry or vice to flourish? And whether a country, where it flowed in without labour, must not be wretched and dissolute like an island inhabited by buccaneers?
285. Qu. Whether arts and vertue are not likely to thrive, where money is made a means to industry? But whether money without this would be a blessing to any people?
286. Qu. Whether therefore Mississippi, South Sea, and such like schemes were not calculated for pubic ruin?
287. Qu. Whether keeping cash at home, or sending it abroad, just as it most serves to promote industry, be not the real interest of every nation?
288. Qu. Whether commodities of all kinds do not naturally flow where there is the greatest demand? Whether the greatest demand for a thing be not where it is of most use? Whether money, like other things, hath not its proper use? Whether this use be not to circulate? Whether therefore there must not of course be money where there is a circulation of industry?
289. Qu. Whether all such princes and statesmen are not greatly deceived who imagine that gold and silver, any way got, will enrich a country?
290. Qu. Whether it is not a great point to know what we would be at? And whether whole States, as well as private persons, do not often fluctuate for want of this knowledge?
291. Qu. Whether gold may not be compared to Sejanus's horse, if we consider its passage through the world, and the fate of those nations which have been successively possess'd thereof?
292. Qu. Whether the effect is not to be considered more than the kind or quantity of money?
293. Qu. Whether means are not so far useful as they answer the end? And whether, in different circumstances, the same ends are not obtained by different means?
294. Qu. If we are a poor nation, abounding with very poor people, will it not follow that a far greater proportion of our stock should be in the smallest and lowest species than would suit with England?
295. Qu. Whether, therefore, it would not be highly expedient if our money were coined of peculiar values, best fitted to the circumstances and uses of our own country; and whether any other people could take umbrage at our consulting our own convenience, in an affair entirely domestic, and that lies within ourselves?
296. Qu. Whether every man doth not know, and hath not long known, that the want of a mint causeth many other wants in this kingdom?
297. Qu. What harm did England sustain about three centuries ago, when silver was coined in this kingdom?
298. Qu. What harm was it to Spain that her provinces of Naples and Sicily had all along mints of their own?
299. Qu. Whether those who have the interests of this kingdom at heart, and are concerned in the councils thereof, ought not to make the most humble and earnest representations to his Majesty, that he may vouchsafe to grant us that favour, the want of which is ruinous to our domestic industry, and the having of which would interfere with no interest of our fellow-subjects?
300. Qu. Whether it may not be presumed that our not having a privilege which every other kingdom in the world enjoys, be not owing to our want of diligence and unanimity in soliciting for it?
301. Qu. Whether his most gracious Majesty hath ever been addressed on this head in a proper manner, and had the case fairly stated for his royal consideration, and if not, whether we may not blame ourselves?
302. Qu. If his Majesty would be pleased to grant us a mint, whether the consequences thereof may not prove a valuable consideration to the crown?
303. Qu. Whether it be not the interest of England that we should cultivate a domestic commerce among ourselves? And whether it could give them any possible jealousy, if our small sum of cash was contrived to go a little further, if there was a little more life in our markets, a little more buying and selling in our shops, a little better provision for the backs and bellies of so many forlorn wretches throughout the towns and villages of this island?
304. Qu. Whether Great Britain ought not to promote the prosperity of her Colonies, by all methods consistent with her own? And whether the Colonies themselves ought to wish or aim at it by others?
305. Qu. Whether the remotest parts from the metropolis, and the lowest of the people, are not to be regarded as the extremities and capillaries of the political body?
306. Qu. Whether, although the capillary vessels are small, yet obstructions in them do not produce great chronical diseases?
307. Qu. Whether faculties are not enlarged and improved by exercise?
308. Qu. Whether the sum of the faculties put into act, or, in other words, the united action of a whole people, doth not constitute the momentum of a State?
309. Qu. Whether such momentum be not the real stock or wealth of a State; and whether its credit be not proportional thereunto?
310. Qu. Whether in every wise State the faculties of the mind are not most considered?
311. Qu. Whether every kind of employment or business, as it implies more skill and exercise of the higher powers, be not more valued?
312. Qu. Whether the momentum of a State doth not imply the whole exertion of its faculties, intellectual and corporeal; and whether the latter without the former could act in concert?
313. Qu. Whether the divided force of men, acting singly, would not be a rope of sand?
314. Qu. Whether the particular motions of the members of a State, in opposite directions, will not destroy each other, and lessen the momentum of the whole; but whether they must not conspire to produce a great effect?
315. Qu. Whether the ready means to put spirit into this State, to fortify and increase its momentum, would not be a national bank, and plenty of small cash?
316. Qu. Whether private endeavours without assistance from the public are likely to advance our manufactures and commerce to any great degree? But whether, as bills uttered from a national bank upon private mortgages would facilitate the purchases and projects of private men, even so the same bills uttered on the public security alone may not answer pubic ends in promoting new works and manufactures throughout the kingdom?
317. Qu. Whether that which employs and exerts the force of a community deserves not to be well considered and well understood?
318. Qu. Whether the immediate mover, the blood and spirits, be not money, paper, or metal; and whether the soul or will of the community, which is the prime mover that governs and directs the whole, be not the legislature?
319. Qu. Supposing the inhabitants of a country quite sunk in sloth, or even fast asleep, whether, upon the gradual awakening and exertion, first of the sensitive and locomotive faculties, next of reason and reflexion, then of justice and piety, the momentum of such country or State would not, in proportion thereunto, become still more and more considerable?
320. Qu. Whether that which in the growth is last attained, and is the finishing perfection of a people, be not the first thing lost in their declension?
321. Qu. Whether force be not of consequence, as it is exerted; and whether great force without great wisdom may not be a nuisance?
322. Qu. Whether the force of a child, applied with art, may not produce greater effects than that of a giant? And whether a small stock in the hands of a wise State may not go further, and produce more considerable effects, than immense sums in the hands of a foolish one?
323. Qu. Whether as many as wish well to their country ought not to aim at increasing its momentum?
324. Qu. Whose fault is it if poor Ireland still continues poor?
Page 4. Line 13 for Silklace, read Silk, Lace, p. 30 l. 7 r. 61 Prices. p. 32 l. 21 r. to be. p. 39, l. 8 r. as Mills.