And let me in the next place apply myself particularly to you who are the poor sort of tradesmen: perhaps you may think you will not be so great losers as the rich if these half-pence should pass, because you seldom see any silver, and your customers come to your shops or stalls with nothing but brass, which you likewise find hard to be got; but you may take my word, whenever this money gains footing among you, you will be utterly undone; if you carry these half-pence to a shop for tobacco or brandy, or any other thing you want, the shop-keeper will advance his goods accordingly, or else he must break and leave the key under the door. Do you think I will sell you a yard of tenpenny stuff for twenty of Mr. Wood’s half-pence? No, not under two hundred at least, neither will I be at the trouble of counting, but weigh them in a lump. I will tell you one thing further, that if Mr. Wood’s project should take it will ruin even our beggars: for when I give a beggar an half-penny, it will quench his thirst, or go a good way to fill his belly; but the twelfth part of a half-penny will do him no more service than if I should give him three pins out of my sleeve.
In short those half-pence are like the accursed thing, which, as the Scripture tells us, the children of Israel were forbidden to touch; they will run about like the plague and destroy every one who lays his hands upon them. I have heard scholars talk of a man who told a king that he had invented a way to torment people by putting them into a bull of brass with fire under it, but the prince put the projector first into his own brazen bull to make the experiment; this very much resembles the project of Mr. Wood; and the like of this may possibly be Mr. Wood’s fate, that the brass he contrived to torment this kingdom with, may prove his own torment, and his destruction at last.
N.B.—The author of this paper is inform’d by persons who have made it their business to be exact in their observations on the true value of these half-pence, that any person may expect to get a quart of twopenny ale for thirty-six of them.
I desire all persons may keep this paper carefully by them to refresh their memories whenever they shall have further notice of Mr. Wood’s half-pence or any other the like imposture.
A LETTER TO MR. HARDING THE PRINTER, UPON OCCASION OF A PARAGRAPH IN HIS NEWS-PAPER OF AUGUST 1, 1724, RELATING TO MR. WOOD’S HALF-PENCE.
In your news-letter of the first instant there is a paragraph dated from London, July 25th, relating to Wood’s half-pence; whereby it is plain, what I foretold in my letter to the shop-keepers, etc., that this vile fellow would never be at rest, and that the danger of our ruin approaches nearer, and therefore the kingdom requires new and fresh warning; however I take that paragraph to be, in a great measure, an imposition upon the public, at least I hope so,