The Querist, by George Berkeley

Part II

Query 1.

Whether there be any country in Christendom more capable of improvement than Ireland?

2. Qu. Whether we are not as far before other nations with respect to natural advantages, as we are behind them with respect to arts and industry?

3. Qu. Whether we do not live in a most fertile soil and temperate climate, and yet whether our people in general do not feel great want and misery?

4. Qu. Whether my countrymen are not readier at finding excuses than remedies?

5. Qu. Whether it can be reasonably hoped, that our state will mend, so long as property is insecure among us?

6. Qu. Whether in that case the wisest government, or the best laws can avail. us?

7. Qu. Whether a few mishaps to particular persons may not throw this nation into the utmost confusion?

8. Qu. Whether the public is not even on the brink of being undone by private accidents?

9. Qu. Whether the wealth and prosperity of our country do not hang by a hair, the probity of one banker, the caution of another, and the lives of all?

10. Qu. Whether we have not been sufficiently admonished of this by some late events?

11. Qu. Whether therefore it be not high time to open our eyes?

12. Qu. Whether a national bank would not at once secure our properties, put an end to usury, facilitate commerce, supply the want of coin, and produce ready payments in all parts of the kingdom?

13. Qu. Whether the use or nature of money, which all men so eagerly pursue, be yet sufficiently understood or considered by all?

14. Qu. Whether mankind are not governed by Citation rather than by reason?

15. Qu. Whether there be not a measure or limit, within which gold and silver are useful, and beyond which they may be hurtful?

16. Qu. Whether that measure be not the circulating of industry?

17. Qu. Whether a discovery of the richest gold mine that ever was, in the heart of this kingdom, would be a real advantage to us?

18. Qu. Whether it would not tempt foreigners to prey upon us?

19. Qu. Whether it would not render us a lazy, proud, and dastardly people?

20. Qu. Whether every man who had money enough would not be a gentleman? And whether a nation of gentlemen would not be a wretched nation?

21. Qu. Whether all things would not bear a high price? And whether men would not increase their fortunes without being the better for it?

22. Qu. Whether the same evils would be apprehended from paper-money under an honest and thrifty regulation?

23. Qu. Whether, therefore, a national bank would not be more beneficial than even a mine of gold?

24. Qu. Whether private ends are not prosecuted with more attention and vigour than the public? And yet, whether all private ends are not included in the pubic?

25. Qu. Whether banking be not absolutely necessary to the pubic weal?

26. Qu. Whether even our private banks, though attended with such hazards as we all know them to be, are not of singular use in defect of a national bank?

27. Qu. Whether without them what little business and industry there is would not stagnate? But whether it be not a mighty privilege for a private person to be able to create a hundred pounds with a dash of his pen?

28. Qu. Whether the mystery of banking did not derive its original from the Italians? Whether this acute people were not, upon a time, bankers over all Europe? Whether that business was not practised by some of their noblest families who made immense profits by it, and whether to that the house of Medici did not originally owe its greatness?

29. Qu. Whether the wise state of Venice was not the first that conceived the advantage of a national bank?

30. Qu. Whether at Venice all payments of bills of exchange and merchants’ contracts are not made in the national or pubic bank, the greatest affairs being transacted only by writing the names of the parties, one as debtor the other as creditor in the bank-book?

31. Qu. Whether nevertheless it was not found expedient to provide a chest of ready cash for answering all demands that should happen to be made on account of payments in detail?

32. Qu. Whether this offer of ready cash, instead of transfers in the bank, hath not been found to augment rather than diminish the stock thereof?

33. Qu. Whether at Venice, the difference in the value of bank money above other money be not fixed at twenty per cent?

34. Qu. Whether the bank of Venice be not shut up four times in the year twenty days each time?

35. Qu. Whether by means of this bank the public be not mistress of a million and a half sterling?

36. Qu. Whether the great exactness and integrity with which this bank is managed be not the chief support of that republic?

37. Qu. Whether we may not hope for as much skill and honesty in a Protestant Irish Parliament as in a Popish Senate of Venice?

38. Qu. Whether the bank of Amsterdam was not begun about one hundred and thirty years ago, and whether at this day its stock be not conceived to amount to three thousand tons of gold, or thirty millions sterling?

39. Qu. Whether besides coined money, there be not also great quantities of ingots or bars of gold and silver lodged in this bank?

40. Qu. Whether all payments of contracts for goods in gross, and letters of exchange, must not be made by transfers in the bank-books, provided the sum exceed three hundred florins?

41. Qu. Whether it be not true, that the bank of Amsterdam never makes payments in cash?

42. Qu. Whether, nevertheless, it be not also true, that no man who hath credit in the bank can want money from particular persons, who are willing to become creditors in his stead?

43. Qu. Whether any man thinks himself the poorer, because his money is in the bank?

44. Qu. Whether the creditors of the bank of Amsterdam are not at liberty to withdraw their money when they please, and whether this liberty doth not make them less desirous to use it?

45. Qu. Whether this bank be not shut up twice in the year for ten or fifteen days, during which time the accounts are balanced?

46. Qu. Whether it be not owing to this bank that the city of Amsterdam, without the least confusion, hazard, or trouble, maintains and every day promotes so general and quick a circulation of industry?

47. Qu. Whether it be not the greatest help and spur to commerce that property can be so readily conveyed and so well secured by a compte en banc, that is, by only writing one man’s name for another’s in the bank-book?

48. Qu. Whether, at the beginning of the last century, those who had lent money to the public during the war with Spain were not satisfied by the sole expedient of placing their names in a compte en banc, with liberty to transfer their claims?

49. Qu. Whether the example of those easy transfers in the compte en banc, thus casually erected, did not tempt other men to become creditors to the public, in order to profit by the same secure and expeditious method of keeping and transferring their wealth?

50. Qu. Whether this compte en banc hath not proved better than a mine of gold to Amsterdam?

51. Qu. Whether that city may not be said to owe her greatness to the unpromising accident of her having been in debt more than she was able to Pay?

52. Qu. Whether it be known that any State from such small beginnings, in so short a time, ever grew to so great wealth and power as the province of Holland hath done; and whether the bank of Amsterdam hath not been the real cause of such extraordinary growth?

53. Qu. Whether we are by nature a more stupid people than the Dutch? And yet whether these things are sufficiently considered by our patriots?

54. Qu. Whether anything less than the utter subversion of those Republics can break the banks of Venice and Amsterdam?

55. Qu. Whether at Hamburgh the citizens have not the management of the bank, without the meddling or inspection of the Senate?

56. Qu. Whether the directors be not four principal burghers chosen by plurality of voices, whose business is to see the rules observed, and furnish the cashiers with money?

57. Qu. Whether the book-keepers are not obliged to balance their accounts every week, and exhibit them to the controllers or directors?

58. Qu. Whether any besides the citizens are admitted to have compte en banc at Hamburgh?

59. Qu. Whether there be not a certain limit, under which no sum can be entered into the bank?

60. Qu. Whether each particular person doth not pay a fee in order to be admitted to a compte en banc at Hamburgh and Amsterdam?

61. Qu. Whether the effects lodged in the bank of Hamburgh are liable to be seized for debt or forfeiture?

62. Qu. Whether this bank doth not lend money upon pawns at low interest and only for half a year, after which term, in default of payment, the pawns are punctually sold by auction?

63. Qu. Whether the book-keepers of the bank of Hamburgh are not obliged upon oath never to reveal what sums of money are paid in or out of the bank, or what effects any particular person has therein?

64. Qu. Whether, therefore, it be possible to know the state or stock of this bank; and yet whether it be not of the greatest reputation and most established credit throughout the North?

65. Qu. Whether the success of those public banks in Venice, Amsterdam and Hamburg would not naturally produce in other States an inclination to the same methods?

66. Qu. Whether an absolute monarchy be so apt to gain credit, and whether the vivacity of some humours could so well suit with the slow steps and discreet management which a bank requires?

67. Qu. Whether the bank called the general bank of France, contrived by Mr Law, and established by letters patent in May, 1716, was not in truth a particular and not a national bank, being in the hands of a particular company privileged and protected by the Government?

68. Qu. Whether the Government did not order that the notes of this bank should pass on a par with ready money in all payments of the revenue?

69. Qu. Whether this bank was not obliged to issue only such notes as were payable at sight?

70. Qu. Whether it was not made a capital crime to forge the notes of this bank?

71. Qu. Whether this bank was not restrained from trading either by sea or land, and from taking up money upon interest?

72. Qu. Whether the original stock thereof was not six millions of livres, divided into actions of a thousand crowns each?

73. Qu. Whether the proprietors were not to hold general assemblies twice in the year, for the regulating of their affairs?

74. Qu. Whether the accompts of this bank were not balanced twice every year?

75. Qu. Whether there were not two chests belonging to this bank, the one called the general chest containing their specie, their bills and their copper plates for the printing of those bills, under the custody of three locks, whereof the keys were kept by the director, the inspector and treasurer. also another called, the ordinary chest, containing part of the stock not exceeding two hundred thousand crowns, under the key of the treasurer?

76. Qu. Whether out of this last mentioned sum, each particular cashier was not to be intrusted with a share not exceeding the value of twenty thousand crowns at a time, and that under good security?

77. Qu. Whether the Regent did not reserve to himself the power of calling this bank to account, so often as he should think good, and of appointing the inspector?

78. Qu. Whether in the beginning of the year 1719 the French King did not convert the general bank of France into a Banque Royale, having himself purchased the stock of the company and taken it into his own hands, and appointed the Duke of Orleans chief manager thereof?

79. Qu. Whether from that time, all matters relating to the bank were not transacted in the name, and by the sole authority, of the king?

80. Qu. Whether his Majesty did not undertake to receive and keep the cash of all particular persons, subjects, or foreigners, in his said Royale Banque, without being paid for that trouble? And whether it was not declared, that such cash should not be liable to seizure on any pretext, not even on the king’s own account?

81. Qu. Whether the treasurer alone did not sign all the bills, receive all the stock paid into the bank, and keep account of all the ingoings and out-goings?

82. Qu. Whether there were not three registers for the enregistering of the bills kept in the Banque Royale, one by the inspector, another by the controller, and a third by the treasurer?

83. Qu. Whether there was not also a fourth register, containing the profits of the bank, which was visited, at least once a week, by the inspector and controller?

84. Qu. Whether, beside the general bureau or compter in the city of Paris, there were not also appointed five more in the towns of Lyons, Tours, Rochelle, Orleans, and Amiens, each whereof was provided with two chests, one of specie for discharging bills at sight, and another of bank bills to be issued as there should be demand?

85. Qu. Whether, in the above mentioned towns, it was not prohibited to make payments in silver, exceeding the sum of six hundred livres?

86. Qu. Whether all creditors were not empowered to demand payment in bank bills instead of specie?

87. Qu. Whether, in a short compass of time, this bank did not undergo many new changes and regulations by several successive acts of council?

88. Qu. Whether the untimely, repeated, and boundless fabrication of bills did not precipitate the ruin of this bank?

89. Qu. Whether it be not true, that before the end of July, 1719, they had fabricated four hundred millions of livres in bank-notes, to which they added the sum of one hundred and twenty millions more on the twelfth of September following, also the same sum of one hundred and twenty millions on the twenty-fourth of 3 October, and again on the twenty-ninth of December, in the same year, the farther sum of three hundred and sixty millions, making the whole, from an original stock of six millions, mount, within the compass of one year, to a thousand millions of livres?

90. Qu. Whether on the twenty-eighth of February, 1720, the king did not make an union of the bank with the united company of the East and West Indies, which from that time had the administration and profits of the Banque Royale?

91. Qu. Whether the king did not still profess himself responsible for the value of the bank bills, and whether the company were not responsible to his Majesty for their management?

92. Qu. Whether sixteen hundred millions of livres, lent to his majesty by the company, was not a sufficient pledge to indemnify the king?

93. Qu. Whether the new directors were not prohibited to make any more bills without an act of council?

94. Qu. Whether the chests and books of the Banque were not subjected to the joint inspection of a Counsellor of State, and the Prevot des Marchands, assisted by two Echevins, a judge, and a consul, who had power to visit when they would and without warning?

95. Qu. Whether in less than two years the actions or shares of the Indian Company (first established for Mississippi, and afterwards increased by the addition of other compares and further? and whether this privileges) did not rise to near 2000 per cent must be ascribed to real advantages of trade, or to mere frenzy?

96. Qu. Whether, from first to last, there were not fabricated bank bills, of one kind or other, to the value of more than two thousand and six hundred millions of livres, or one hundred and thirty millions sterling?

97. Qu. Whether the credit of the bank did not decline from its union with the Indian Company?

98. Qu. Whether, notwithstanding all the above-mentioned extraordinary measures, the bank bills did not still pass at par with gold and silver to May, 1720, when the French king thought fit, by a new act of council, to make a reduction of their value, which proved a fatal blow, the effects whereof, though soon retracted, no subsequent skill or management could ever repair?

99. Qu. Whether, what no reason, reflexion, or foresight could do, this simple matter of fact (the most powerful argument with the multitude) did not do at once, to wit, open the eyes of the people?

100. Qu. Whether the dealers in that sort of ware had ever troubled their heads with the nature of credit, or the true use and end of banks, but only considered their bills and actions as things, to which the general demand gave a price?

101. Qu. Whether the Government was not in great perplexity to contrive expedients for the getting rid of those bank bills, which had been lately multiplied with such an unlimited passion?

102. Qu. Whether notes to the value of about ninety millions were not sunk by being paid off in specie, with the cash of the Compagnie des Indes, with that of the bank, and that of the Hotels des Monnoyes? Whether five hundred and thirty millions were not converted into annuities at the royal treasury? Whether several hundred millions more in bank bills were not extinguished and replaced by annuities on the City of Paris, on taxes throughout the provinces, &c., &c?

103. Qu. Whether, after all other shifts, the last and grand resource for exhausting that ocean, was not the erecting of a compte en banc in several towns of France?

104. Qu. Whether, when the imagination of a people is thoroughly wrought upon and heated by their own example, and the arts of designing men, this doth not produce a sort of enthusiasm which takes place of reason, and is the most dangerous distemper in a State?

105. Qu. Whether this epidemical madness should not be always before the eyes of a legislature, in the framing of a national bank?

106. Qu. Whether, therefore, it may not be fatal to engraft trade on a national bank, or to propose dividends on the stock thereof?

107. Qu. Whether it be possible for a national bank to subsist and maintain its credit under a French government?

108. Qu. Whether it may not be as useful a lesson to consider the bad management of some as the good management of others?

109. Qu. Whether the rapid and surprising success of the schemes of those who directed the French bank did not turn their brains?

110. Qu. Whether the best institutions may not be made subservient to bad ends?

111. Qu. Whether, as the aim of industry is power, and the aim of a bank is to circulate and secure this power to each individual, it doth not follow that absolute power in one hand is inconsistent with a lasting and a flourishing bank?

112. Qu. Whether our natural appetites, as well as powers, are not limited to their respective ends and uses? But whether artificial appetites may not be infinite?

113. Qu. Whether the simple getting of money, or passing it from hand to hand without industry, be an object worthy of a wise government?

114. Qu. Whether, if money be considered as an end, the appetite thereof be not infinite? But whether the ends of money itself be not bounded?

115. Qu. Whether the mistaking of the means for the end was not a fundamental error in the French councils?

116. Qu. Whether the total sum of all other powers, be it of enjoyment or action, which belong to man, or to all mankind together, is not in truth a very narrow and limited quantity? But whether fancy is not boundless?

117. Qu. Whether this capricious tyrant, which usurps the place of reason, doth not most cruelly torment and delude those poor men, the usurers, stockjobbers, and projectors, of content to themselves from heaping up riches, that is, from gathering counters, from multiplying figures, from enlarging denominations, without knowing what they would be at, and without having a proper regard to the use or end or nature of things?

118. Qu. Whether the ignis fatuus of fancy doth not kindle immoderate desires, and lead men into endless pursuits and wild labyrinths?

119. Qu. Whether counters be not referred to other things, which, so long as they keep pace and proportion with the counters, it must be owned the counters are useful; but whether beyond that to value or covet counters be not direct folly?

120. Qu. Whether the public aim ought not to be, that men’s industry should supply their present wants, and the overplus be converted into a stock of power?

121. Qu. Whether the better this power is secured, and the more easily it is transferred, industry be not so much the more encouraged?

122. Qu. Whether money, more than is expedient for those purposes, be not upon the whole hurtful rather than beneficial to a State?

123. Qu. Whether there should not be a constant care to keep the bills at par?

124. Qu. Whether, therefore, bank bills should at any time be multiplied but as trade and business were also multiplied?

125. Qu. Whether it was not madness in France to mint bills and actions, merely to humour the people and rob them of their cash?

126. Qu. Whether we may not profit by their mistakes, and as some things are to be avoided, whether there may not be others worthy of imitation in the conduct of our neighbours?

127. Qu. Whether the way be not clear and open and easy, and whether anything but the will is wanting to our legislature?

128. Qu. Whether jobs and tricks are not detested on all hands, but whether it be not the joint interest of prince and people to promote industry?

129. Qu. Whether, all things considered, a national bank be not the most practicable, sure, and speedy method to mend our affairs, and cause industry to flourish among us?

130. Qu. Whether a compte en banc or current bank bills would best answer our occasions?

131. Qu. Whether a public compte en banc, where effects are received, and accounts kept with particular persons, be not an excellent expedient for a great city?

132. Qu. What effect a general compte en banc would have in the metropolis of this kingdom with one in each province subordinate thereunto?

133. Qu. Whether it may not be proper for a great kingdom to unite both expedients, to wit, bank notes and a compte en banc?

134. Qu. Whether, nevertheless, it would be advisable to begin with both at once, or rather to proceed first with the bills, and afterwards, as business multiplied, and money or effects flowed in, to open the compte en banc?

135. Qu. Whether, for greater security, double books of compte en banc should not be kept in different places and hands?

136. Qu. Whether it would not be right to build the compters and public treasuries, where books and bank notes are kept, without wood, all arched and floored with brick or stone, having chests also and cabinets of iron?

137. Qu. Whether divers registers of the bank notes should not be kept in different hands?

138. Qu. Whether there should not be great discretion in the uttering of bank notes, and whether the attempting to do things per saltum be not often the way to undo them?

139. Qu. Whether the main art be not by slow degrees and cautious measures to reconcile the bank to the public, to wind it insensibly into the affections of men, and interweave it with the constitution?

140. Qu. Whether the promoting of industry should not be always in view, as the true and sole end, the rule and measure, of a national bank? And whether all deviations from that object should not be carefully avoided?

141. Qu. Whether a national bank may not prevent the drawing of specie out of the country (where it circulates in small payments), to be shut up in the chests of particular persons?

142. Qu. Whether it may not be useful, for supplying manufactures and trade with stock, for regulating exchange, for quickening commerce, for putting spirit into the people?

143. Qu. Whether tenants or debtors could have cause to complain of our monies being reduced to the English value if it were withal multiplied in the same, or in a greater proportion? and whether this would not be the consequence of a nation al bank?

144. Qu. If there be an open sure way to thrive, without hazard to ourselves or prejudice to our neighbours, what should hinder us from putting it in practice?

145. Qu. Whether in so numerous a Senate, as that of this kingdom, it may not be easie to find men of pure hands and clear heads fit to contrive and model a public bank?

146. Qu. Whether a view of the precipice be not sufficient, or whether we must tumble headlong before we are roused?

147. Qu. Whether in this drooping and dispirited country, men are quite awake?

148. Qu. Whether we are sufficiently sensible of the peculiar security there is in having a bank that consists of land and paper, one of which cannot be exported, and the other is in no danger of being exported?

149. Qu. Whether it be not delightful to complain? And whether there be not many who had rather utter their complaints than redress their evils?

150. Qu. Whether, if ‘the crown of the wise be their riches’ (Prov., xiv.24), we are not the foolishest people in Christendom?

151. Qu. Whether we have not all the while great civil as well as natural advantages?

152. Qu. Whether there be any people who have more leisure to cultivate the arts of peace, and study the public weal?

153. Qu. Whether other nations who enjoy any share of freedom, and have great objects in view, be not unavoidably embarrassed and distracted by factions? But whether we do not divide upon trifles, and whether our parties are not a burlesque upon politics?

154. Qu. Whether it be not an advantage that we are not embroiled in foreign affairs, that we hold not the balance of Europe, that we are protected by other fleets and armies, that it is the true interest of a powerful people, from whom we are descended, to guard us on all sides?

155. Qu. Whether England doth not really love us and wish well to us, as bone of her bone, and flesh of her flesh? And whether it be not our part to cultivate this love and affection all manner of ways?

156. Qu. Whether, if we do not reap the benefits that may be made of our country and government, want of will in the lower people, or want of wit in the upper, be most in fault?

157. Qu. What sea-ports or foreign trade have the Swisses; and yet how warm are those people, and how well provided?

158. Qu. Whether there may not be found a people who so contrive as to be impoverished by their trade? And whether we are not that people?

159. Qu. Whether it would not be better for this island, if all our fine folk of both sexes were shipped off, to remain in foreign countries, rather than that they should spend their estates at home in foreign luxury, and spread the contagion thereof through their native land?

160. Qu. Whether our gentry understand or have a notion of magnificence, and whether for want thereof they do not affect very wretched distinctions?

161. Qu. Whether there be not an art or skill in governing human pride, so as to render it subservient to the pubic aim?

162. Qu. Whether the great and general aim of the public should not be to employ the people?

163. Qu. What right an eldest son hath to the worst education?

164. Qu. Whether men’s counsels are not the result of their knowledge and their principles?

165. Qu. Whether an assembly of freethinkers, petit maitres, and smart Fellows would not make an admirable Senate?

166. Qu. Whether there be not labour of the brains as well as of the hands, and whether the former is beneath a gentleman?

167. Qu. Whether the public be more interested to protect the property acquired by mere birth than that which is the Mediate fruit of learning and vertue?

168. Qu. Whether it would not be a poor and ill-judged project to attempt to promote the good of the community, by invading the rights of one part thereof, or of one particular order of men?

169. Qu. Whether the public happiness be not proposed by the legislature, and whether such happiness doth not contain that of the individuals?

170. Qu. Whether, therefore, a legislator should be content with a vulgar share of knowledge? Whether he should not be a person of reflexion and thought, who hath made it his study to understand the true nature and interest of mankind, how to guide men’s humours and passions, how to incite their active powers, how to make their several talents co-operate to the mutual benefit of each other, and the general good of the whole?

171. Qu. Whether it doth not follow that above all things a gentleman’s care should be to keep his own faculties sound and entire?

172. Qu. Whether the natural phlegm of this island needs any additional stupefier?

173. Qu. Whether all spirituous liquors are not in truth opiates?

174. Qu. Whether our men of business are not generally very grave by fifty?

175. Qu. Whether there be really among us any parents so silly, as to encourage drinking in their children?

176. Qu. Whence it is, that our ladies are more alive, and bear age so much better than our gentlemen?

177. Qu. Whether all men have not faculties of mind or body which may be employed for the public benefit?

178. Qu. Whether the main point be not to multiply and employ our people?

179. Qu. Whether hearty food and warm clothing would not enable and encourage the lower sort to labour?

180. Qu. Whether, in such a soil as ours, if there was industry, there could be want?

181. Qu. Whether the way to make men industrious be not to let them taste the fruits of their industry? And whether the labouring ox should be muzzled?

182. Qu. Whether our landlords are to be told that industry and numbers would raise the value of their lands, or that one acre about the Tholsel is worth ten thousand acres in Connaught?

183. Qu. Whether our old native Irish are not the most indolent and supine people in Christendom?

184. Qu. Whether they are yet civilized, and whether their habitations and furniture are not more sordid than those of the savage Americans?

185. Qu. Whether this be altogether their own fault?

186. Qu. Whether it be not a sad circumstance to live among lazy beggars? And whether, on the other hand, it would not be delightful to live in a country swarming, like China, with busy people?

187. Qu. Whether we should not cast about, by all manner of means, to excite industry, and to remove whatever hinders it? And whether every one should not lend a helping hand?

188. Qu. Whether vanity itself should not be engaged in this good work? And whether it is not to be wished that the finding of employment for themselves and others were a fashionable distinction among the ladies?

189. Qu. Whether idleness be the mother or the daughter of spleen?

190. Qu. Whether it may not be worth while to publish the conversation of Ischomachus and his wife in Xenophon, for the use of our ladies?

191. Qu. Whether it is true that there have been, upon a time, one hundred millions of people employed in China, without the woollen trade, or any foreign commerce?

192. Qu. Whether the natural inducements to sloth are not greater in the Mogul’s country than in Ireland, and yet whether, in that suffocating and dispiriting climate, the Banyans are not all, men, women, and children, constantly employed?

193. Qu. Whether it be not true that the great Mogul’s subjects might undersell us even in our own markets, and clothe our people with their stuffs and calicoes, if they were imported duty free?

194. Qu. Whether there can be a greater reproach on the leading men and the patriots of a country, than that the people should want employment? And whether methods may not be found to employ even the lame and the blind, the dumb, the deaf, and the maimed, in some or other branch of our manufactures?

195. Qu. Whether much may not be expected from a biennial consultation of so many wise men about the public good?

196. Qu. Whether a tax upon dirt would not be one way of encouraging industry?

197. Qu. Whether it may not be right to appoint censors in every parish to observe and make returns of the idle hands?

198. Qu. Whether a register or history of the idleness and industry of a people would be an useless thing?

199. Qu. Whether we are apprized, of all the uses that may be made of political arithmetic?

200. Qu. Whether it would be a great hardship if every parish were obliged to find work for their poor?

201. Qu. Whether children especially should not be inured to labour betimes?

202. Qu. Whether there should not be erected, in each province, an hospital for orphans and foundlings, at the expense of old bachelors?

203. Qu. Whether it be true that in the Dutch workhouses things are so managed that a child four years old may earn its own livelihood?

204. Qu. What a folly is it to build fine houses, or establish lucrative posts and large incomes, under the notion of providing for the poor?

205. Qu. Whether the poor, grown up and in health, need any other provision but their own industry, under public inspection?

206. Qu. Whether the poor-tax in England hath lessened or increased the number of the poor?

207. Qu. Why the workhouse in Dublin, with so good an endowment, should yet be of so little use? and whether this may not be owing to that very endowment?

208. Qu. Whether that income might not, by this time, have gone through the whole kingdom, and erected a dozen workhouses in every county?

209. Qu. Whether workhouses should not be made at the least expense, with clay floors, and walls of rough stone, without plastering, ceiling, or glazing?

210. Qu. Whether the tax on chairs or hackney coaches be not paid, rather by the country gentlemen, than the citizens of Dublin?

211. Qu. Whether it be an impossible attempt to set our people at work, or whether industry be a habit which, like other habits, may by time and skill be introduced among any people?

212. Qu. Whether all manner of means should not be employed to possess the nation in general with an aversion and contempt for idleness and all idle folk?

213. Qu. Whether it would be a hardship on people destitute of all things, if the public furnished them with necessaries which they should be obliged to earn by their labour?

214. Qu. Whether other nations have not found great benefit from the use of slaves in repairing high roads, making rivers navigable, draining bogs, erecting public buildings, bridges, and manufactures?

215. Qu. Whether temporary servitude would not be the best cure for idleness and beggary?

216. Qu. Whether the public hath not a right to employ those who cannot or who will not find employment for themselves?

217. Qu. Whether all sturdy beggars should not be seized and made slaves to the public for a certain term of years?

218. Qu. Whether he who is chained in a jail or dungeon hath not, for the time, lost his liberty? And if so, whether temporary slavery be not already admitted among us?

219. Qu. Whether a state of servitude, wherein he should be well worked, fed, and clothed, would not be a preferment to such a fellow?

220. Qu. Whether criminals in the freest country may not forfeit their liberty, and repair the damage they have done the public by hard labour?

221. Qu. What the word ‘servant’ signifies in the New Testament?

222. Qu. Whether the view of criminals chained in pairs and kept at hard labour would not be very edifying to the multitude?

223. Qu. Whether the want of such an institution be not plainly seen in England, where the disbelief of a future state hardeneth rogues against the fear of death, and where, through the great growth of robbers and housebreakers, it becomes every day more necessary?

224. Qu. Whether it be not easier to prevent than to remedy, and whether we should not profit by the example of others?

225. Qu. Whether felons are not often spared, and therefore encouraged, by the compassion of those who should prosecute. them?

226. Qu. Whether many that would not take away the life of a thief may not nevertheless be willing to bring him to a more adequate punishment?

227. Qu. Whether there should not be a difference between the treatment of criminals and that of other slaves?

228. Qu. Whether the most indolent would be fond of idleness, if they regarded it as the sure road to hard labour?

229. Qu. Whether the industry of the lower part of our people doth not much depend on the expense of the upper?

230. Qu. What would be the consequence if our gentry affected to distinguish themselves by fine houses rather than fine clothes?

231. Qu. Whether any people in Europe are so meanly provided with houses and furniture, in proportion to their incomes, as the men of estates in Ireland?

232. Qu. Whether building would not peculiarly encourage all other arts in this kingdom?

233. Qu. Whether smiths, masons, bricklayers, plasterers, carpenters, joiners, tilers, plumbers, and glaziers would not all find employment if the humour of building prevailed?

234. Qu. Whether the ornaments and furniture of a good house do not employ a number of all sorts of artificers, in iron, wood, marble, brass, pewter, copper, wool, flax, and divers other materials?

235. Qu. Whether in buildings and gardens a great number of day-labourers do not find employment?

236. Qu. Whether by these means much of that sustenance and wealth of this nation which now goes to foreigners would not be kept at home, and nourish and circulate among our own people?

237. Qu. Whether, as industry produced good living, the number of hands and mouths would not be increased; and in proportion thereunto, whether there would not be every day more occasion for agriculture? And whether this article alone would not employ a world of people?

238. Qu. Whether such management would not equally provide for the magnificence of the rich, and the necessities of the poor?

239. Qu. Whether an expense in building and improvements doth not remain at home, pass to the heir, and adorn the public? And whether any of those things can be said of claret?

240. Qu. Whether fools do not make fashions, and wise men follow them?

241. Qu. Whether, for one who hurts his fortune by improvements, twenty do not ruin themselves by foreign luxury?

242. Qu. Whether in proportion as Ireland was improved and beautified by fine seats, the number of absentees would not decrease?

243. Qu. Whether he who employs men in buildings and manufactures doth not put life in the country, and whether the neighbourhood round him be not observed to thrive?

244. Qu. Whether money circulated on the landlord’s own lands, and among his own tenants, doth not return into his own pocket?

245. Qu. Whether every squire that made his domain swarm with busy hands, like a bee-hive or ant-hill, would not serve his own interest, as well as that of his country?

246. Qu. Whether a gentleman who hath seen a little of the world, and observed how men live elsewhere, can contentedly sit down in a cold, damp, sordid habitation, in the midst of a bleak country, inhabited by thieves and beggars?

247. Qu. Whether, on the other hand, a handsome seat amidst well-improved lands, fair villages, and a thriving neighbourhood may not invite a man to dwell on his own estate, and quit the life of an insignificant saunterer about town for that of a useful country-gentleman?

248. Qu. Whether it would not be of use and ornament if the towns throughout this kingdom were provided with decent churches, townhouses, workhouses, market-places, and paved streets, with some order taken for cleanliness?

249. Qu. Whether, if each of these towns were addicted to some peculiar manufacture, we should not find that the employing many hands together on the same work was the way to perfect our workmen? And whether all these things might not soon be provided by a domestic industry, if money were not wanting?

250. Qu. Whether money could ever be wanting to the demands of industry, if we had a national bank?

251. Qu. Whether when a motion was made once upon a time to establish a private bank in this kingdom by public authority, divers gentlemen did not shew themselves forward to embark in that design?

252. Qu. Whether it may not now be hoped, that our patriots will be as forward to examine and consider the proposal of a public bank calculated only for the public good?

253. Qu. Whether any people upon earth shew a more early zeal for the service of their country, greater eagerness to bear a part in the legislature, or a more general parturiency with respect to politics and public counsels?

254. Qu. Whether, nevertheless, a light and ludicrous vein be not the reigning humour; but whether there was ever greater cause to be serious?

Last updated Wednesday, March 12, 2014 at 13:31