But if held over our heads as a minatory measure, to take place within a certain period, what can the event be but to cripple and ultimately destroy the present system, on which a direct attack is found at present inexpedient? Can the bankers continue to conduct their profession on the same secure footing, with an abrogation of it in prospect? Must it not cease to be what it has hitherto been—a business carried on both for their own profit, and for the accommodation of the country? Instead of employing their capital in the usual channels, must they not in self-defence employ it in forming others? Will not the substantial and wealthy withdraw their funds from that species of commerce? And may not the place of these be supplied by men of daring adventure, without corresponding capital, who will take a chance of wealth or ruin in the chances of the game?
If it is the absolute and irrevocable determination that the bill is to be extended to us, the sooner the great penalty is inflicted the better; for in politics and commerce, as in all the other affairs of life, absolute and certain evil is better than uncertainty and protracted suspense.
[Transcriber’s note: I have added the pamphlet headings, since the original page numbers are not helpful.]
I. LETTER TO A DISSENTER.
The exclusion—of James from the succession.
The Quakers.—A hit, of course, at Penn.
Piqueer, ‘do outpost duty,’ ‘raid.’
Lords of the Articles.—A well-known body in the older Scottish Constitution, through whom only legislation could be originated, and who thus almost nullified the powers of Parliament.
Squeaziness = ‘squeamishness,’ ‘queasiness.’
It is impossible.—Another form of ‘No bishop no king.’
The new converts.—After the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes.
T.W. is, of course, a mere fancy signature. It might stand for ‘True Wellwisher’ or anything. The wiseacres took it as =’W.T.,’ William Temple.
II. THE SHORTEST WAY WITH THE DISSENTERS.
Neither, for ‘too,’ is colloquial but rather picturesque. Cf. the famous ‘And yet but yaw neither’ in Hamlet.
III. THE DRAPIER’S LETTERS.
I have not thought it desirable to reproduce the abundance of italics with which the original is furnished. They no doubt appealed to the vulgar, as where poor Mr. Wood is described as ’a mean ordinary man, a hard-ware dealer.’ But the vigour of the onslaught is wholly independent of them.
Written—by Swift himself.
Bere, or ‘bear,’ also ‘bigg,’ a kind of barley largely cultivated in Ireland, Scotland, and Northern England. It has six rows in the ear, and will grow in much poorer ground and a much damper and rougher climate than the two-rowed variety. It is also, I believe, still thought to give the best whisky, if not the best beer, when malted.