What I have said may serve as an answer to the desire made me by the Corporation of Weavers, that I would offer my notions to the public. As to anything further, let them apply themselves to the Parliament in their next Session. Let them prevail in the House of Commons to grant one very reasonable request: And I shall think there is still some spirit left in the Nation, when I read a vote to this purpose: “Resolved, nemine contradicente, That this House will, for the future, wear no clothes but such as are made of Irish growth, or of Irish manufacture, nor will permit their wives or children to wear any other; and that they will to the utmost endeavour to prevail with their friends, relations, dependants and tenants to follow their example.” And if at the same time they could banish tea and coffee, and china-ware, out of their families, and force their wives to chat their scandal over an infusion of sage, or other wholesome domestic vegetables, we might possibly be able to subsist, and pay our absentees, pensioners, generals, civil officers, appeals, colliers, temporary travellers, students, schoolboys, splenetic visitors of Bath, Tunbridge, and Epsom, with all other smaller drains, by sending our crude unwrought goods to England, and receiving from thence and all other countries nothing but what is fully manufactured, and keep a few potatoes and oatmeal for our own subsistence.
I have been for a dozen years past wisely prognosticating the present condition of this Kingdom, which any human creature of common sense could foretell with as little sagacity as myself. My meaning is that a consumptive body must needs die, which hath spent all its spirits and received no nourishment. Yet I am often tempted to pity when I hear the poor farmer and cottager lamenting the hardness of the times, and imputing them either to one or two ill seasons, which better climates than ours are more exposed to, or to the scarcity of silver which to a Nation of Liberty would be only a slight and temporary inconveniency, to be removed at a month’s warning.
OCCASIONED BY READING A PAPER ENTITLED, “THE
CASE OF THE WOOLLEN MANUFACTURES
OF DUBLIN,” ETC.
The paper called “The Case of the Woollen Manufactures,” &c. is very well drawn up. The reasonings of the authors are just, the facts true, and the consequences natural. But his censure of those seven vile citizens, who import such a quantity of silk stuffs and woollen cloth from England, is an hundred times gentler than enemies to their country deserve; because I think no punishment in this world can be great enough for them, without immediate repentance and amendment. But, after all, the writer of that paper hath very lightly touched one point of the greatest importance, and very poorly answered the main objection, that the clothiers are defective both in the quality and quantity of their goods.