Political Pamphlets eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 227 pages of information about Political Pamphlets.
and probably tedious comparison and elucidation, to make it intelligible.  No such drawback attaches to the almost more famous Drapier’s Letters, of which I give the first and second.  They were written at the very zenith of their author’s marvellous powers, and at the time when his saeva indignatio was heated seven times hotter than usual by the conviction that his last hope of English promotion was gone.  Their circumstances are simple and well known.  Wood had received a patent to coin copper money for Ireland to the amount of L108,000.  Most commentators seem to think that he would have done this honestly enough; to me the simple fact that on the revocation of his patent a pension of L3000 a year was given to him in compensation is proof enough of the contrary.  It is impossible to imagine any honest profit on a transaction of such a nature to such an amount which could rise to the capital value of such a pension.  That Swift was instigated to take up his pen against the transaction by private griefs against the Ministry is extremely probable; that the thing was not a job less so.  As before, I must refer to biographers for the details of the matter; the text is what interests us here.  I shall only remind the reader that Swift was fifty-seven when the ‘Drapier’ wrote, that Gulliver appeared about three years later, and that Swift himself expired—­lunatic and miserable beyond utterance—­on the 19th October 1745, twenty-one years after all Dublin and half England had rung with the boldness and the triumph of the ’Drapier.’_)

I

TO THE TRADESMEN, SHOP-KEEPERS, FARMERS, AND COMMON-PEOPLE IN GENERAL, OF THE KINGDOM OF IRELAND; CONCERNING THE BRASS HALF-PENCE COINED BY MR. WOOD.

Brethren, Friends, Countrymen, and Fellow Subjects—­What I intend now to say to you, is, next to your duty to God, and the care of your salvation, of the greatest concern to yourselves, and your children; your bread and clothing, and every common necessary of life entirely depend upon it.  Therefore I do most earnestly exhort you as men, as Christians, as parents, and as lovers of your country, to read this paper with the utmost attention, or get it read to you by others; which that you may do at the less expence, I have ordered the printer to sell it at the lowest rate.

It is a great fault among you, that when a person writes with no other intention than to do you good you will not be at the pains to read his advices:  one copy of this paper may serve a dozen of you, which will be less than a farthing a-piece.  It is your folly that you have no common or general interest in your view, not even the wisest among you, neither do you know or enquire, or care who are your friends or who are your enemies.

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Political Pamphlets from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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