I am tired with letters from many unreasonable, well-meaning people, who are daily pressing me to deliver my thoughts in this deplorable juncture, which, upon many others, I have so often done in vain. What will it import, that half a score people in a coffee-house may happen to read this paper, and even the majority of those few differ in every sentiment from me? If the farmer be not allowed to sow his corn; if half the little money among us be sent to pay rents to Irish absentees, and the rest for foreign luxury and dress for the women, what will our charitable dispositions avail, when there is nothing left to be given? When, contrary to all custom and example, all necessaries of life are so exorbitant; when money of all kinds was never known to be so scarce, so that gentlemen of no contemptible estates are forced to retrench in every article, (except what relates to their wives,) without being able to shew any bounty to the poor?
TO SEVERAL LETTERS SENT ME FROM
WRITTEN IN THE YEAR 1729.
I am very well pleased with the good opinion you express of me; and wish it were any way in my power to answer your expectations, for the service of my country. I have carefully read your several schemes and proposals, which you think should be offered to the Parliament. In answer, I will assure you, that, in another place, I have known very good proposals rejected with contempt by public assemblies, merely because they were offered from without doors; and yours, perhaps, might have the same fate, especially if handed into the public by me, who am not acquainted with three members, nor have the least interest with one. My printers have been twice prosecuted, to my great expense, on account of discourses I writ for the public service, without the least reflection on parties or persons; and the success I had in those of the Drapier, was not owing to my abilities, but to a lucky juncture, when the fuel was ready for the first hand that would be at the pains of kindling it. It is true, both those envenomed prosecutions were the workmanship of a judge, who is now gone to his own place. But, let that be as it will, I am determined, henceforth, never to be the instrument of leaving an innocent man at the mercy of that bench.
It is certain there are several particulars relating to this kingdom (I have mentioned a few of them in one of my Drapier’s letters,) which it were heartily to be wished that the Parliament would take under their consideration, such as will nowise interfere with England, otherwise than to its advantage.