The Querist, by George Berkeley

Part I

Query 1.

Whether there ever was, is, or will be, an industrious nation poor, or an idle rich?

2. Qu. Whether a people can be called poor, where the common sort are well fed, clothed, and lodged?

3. Qu. Whether the drift and aim of every wise State should not be, to encourage industry in its members? And whether those who employ neither heads nor hands for the common benefit deserve not to be expelled like drones out of a well-governed State?

4. Qu. Whether the four elements, and man’s labour therein, be not the true source of wealth?

5. Qu. Whether money be not only so far useful, as it stirreth up industry, enabling men mutually to participate the fruits of each other’s labour?

6. Qu. Whether any other means, equally conducing to excite and circulate the industry of mankind, may not be as useful as money.

7. Qu. Whether the real end and aim of men be not power? And whether he who could have everything else at his wish or will would value money?

8. Qu. Whether the public aim in every well-govern’d State be not that each member, according to his just pretensions and industry, should have power?

9. Qu. Whether power be not referred to action; and whether action doth not follow appetite or will?

10. Qu. Whether fashion doth not create appetites; and whether the prevailing will of a nation is not the fashion?

11. Qu. Whether the current of industry and commerce be not determined by this prevailing will?

12. Qu. Whether it be not owing to custom that the fashions are agreeable?

13. Qu. Whether it may not concern the wisdom of the legislature to interpose in the making of fashions; and not leave an affair of so great influence to the management of women and fops, tailors and vintners?

14. Qu. Whether reasonable fashions are a greater restraint on freedom than those which are unreasonable?

15. Qu. Whether a general good taste in a people would not greatly conduce to their thriving? And whether an uneducated gentry be not the greatest of national evils?

16. Qu. Whether customs and fashions do not supply the place of reason in the vulgar of all ranks? Whether, therefore, it doth not very much import that they should be wisely framed?

17. Qu. Whether the imitating those neighbours in our fashions, to whom we bear no likeness in our circumstances, be not one cause of distress to this nation?

18. Qu. Whether frugal fashions in the upper rank, and comfortable living in the lower, be not the means to multiply inhabitants?

19. Qu. Whether the bulk of our Irish natives are not kept from thriving, by that cynical content in dirt and beggary which they possess to a degree beyond any other people in Christendom?

20. Qu. Whether the creating of wants be not the likeliest way to produce industry in a people? And whether, if our peasants were accustomed to eat beef and wear shoes, they would not be more industrious?

21. Qu. Whether other things being given, as climate, soil, etc., the wealth be not proportioned to the industry, and this to the circulation of credit, be the credit circulated or transferred by what marks or tokens soever?

22. Qu. Whether, therefore, less money swiftly circulating, be not, in effect, equivalent to more money slowly circulating? Or, whether, if the circulation be reciprocally as the quantity of coin, the nation can be a loser?

23. Qu. Whether money is to be considered as having an intrinsic value, or as being a commodity, a standard, a measure, or a pledge, as is variously suggested by writers? And whether the true idea of money, as such, be not altogether that of a ticket or counter?

24. Qu. Whether the value or price of things be not a compounded proportion, directly as the demand, and reciprocally as the plenty?

25. Qu. Whether the terms crown, livre, pound sterling, etc., are not to be considered as exponents or denominations of such proportion? And whether gold, silver, and paper are not tickets or counters for reckoning, recording, and transferring thereof?

26. Qu. Whether the denominations being retained, although the bullion were gone, things might not nevertheless be rated, bought, and sold, industry promoted, and a circulation of commerce maintained?

27. Qu. Whether an equal raising of all sorts of gold, silver, and copper coin can have any effect in bringing money into the kingdom? And whether altering the proportions between the kingdom several sorts can have any other effect but multiplying one kind and lessening another, without any increase of the sum total?

28. Qu. Whether arbitrary changing the denomination of coin be not a public cheat?

29. Qu. Whether, nevertheless, the damage would be very considerable, if by degrees our money were brought back to the English value there to rest for ever?

30. Qu. Whether the English crown did not formerly pass with us for six shillings? And what inconvenience ensued to the public upon its reduction to the present value, and whether what hath been may not be?

31. Qu. What makes a wealthy people? Whether mines of gold and silver are capable of doing this? And whether the negroes, amidst the gold sands of Afric, are not poor and destitute?

32. Qu. Whether there be any vertue in gold or silver, other than as they set people at work, or create industry?

33. Qu. Whether it be not the opinion or will of the people, exciting them to industry, that truly enricheth a nation? And whether this doth not principally depend on the means for counting, transferring, and preserving power, that is, property of all kinds?

34. Qu. Whether if there was no silver or gold in the kingdom, our trade might not, nevertheless, supply bills of exchange, sufficient to answer the demands of absentees in England or elsewhere?

35. Qu. Whether current bank notes may not be deemed money? And whether they are not actually the greater part of the money of this kingdom?

36. Qu. Provided the wheels move, whether it is not the same thing, as to the effect of the machine, be this done by the force of wind, or water, or animals?

37. Qu. Whether power to command the industry of others be not real wealth? And whether money be not in truth tickets or tokens for conveying and recording such power, and whether it be of great consequence what materials the tickets are made of?

38. Qu. Whether trade, either foreign or domestic, be in truth any more than this commerce of industry?

39. Qu. Whether to promote, transfer, and secure this commerce, and this property in human labour, or, in other words, this power, be not the sole means of enriching a people, and how far this may be done independently of gold and silver?

40. Qu. Whether it were not wrong to suppose land itself to be wealth? And whether the industry of the people is not first to be consider’d, as that which constitutes wealth, which makes even land and silver to be wealth, neither of which would have, any value but as means and motives to industry?

41. Qu. Whether in the wastes of America a man might not possess twenty miles square of land, and yet want his dinner, or a coat to his back?

42. Qu. Whether a fertile land, and the industry of its inhabitants, would not prove inexhaustible funds of real wealth, be the counters for conveying and recording thereof what you will, paper, gold, or silver?

43. Qu. Whether a single hint be sufficient to overcome a prejudice? And whether even obvious truths will not sometimes bear repeating?

44. Qu. Whether, if human labour be the true source of wealth, it doth not follow that idleness should of all things be discouraged in a wise State?

45. Qu. Whether even gold or silver, if they should lessen the industry of its inhabitants, would not be ruinous to a country? And whether Spain be not an instance of this?

46. Qu. Whether the opinion of men, and their industry consequent thereupon, be not the true wealth of Holland and not the silver supposed to be deposited in the bank at Amsterdam?

47. Qu. Whether there is in truth any such treasure lying dead? And whether it be of great consequence to the public that it should be real rather than notional?

48. Qu. Whether in order to understand the true nature of wealth and commerce, it would not be right to consider a ship’s crew cast upon a desert island, and by degrees forming themselves to business and civil life, while industry begot credit, and credit moved to industry?

49. Qu. Whether such men would not all set themselves to work? Whether they would not subsist by the mutual participation of each other’s industry? Whether, when one man had in his way procured more than he could consume, he would not exchange his superfluities to supply his wants? Whether this must not produce credit? Whether, to facilitate these conveyances, to record and circulate this credit, they would not soon agree on certain tallies, tokens, tickets, or counters?

50. Qu. Whether reflection in the better sort might not soon remedy our evils? And whether our real defect be not a wrong way of thinking?

51. Qu. Whether it would not be an unhappy turn in our gentlemen, if they should take more thought to create an interest to themselves in this or that county, or borough, than to promote the real interest of their country?

52. Qu. Whether it be not a bull to call that making an interest, whereby a man spendeth much and gaineth nothing?

53. Qu. Whether if a man builds a house he doth not in the first place provide a plan which governs his work? And shall the pubic act without an end, a view, a plan?

54. Qu. Whether by how much the less particular folk think for themselves, the public be not so much the more obliged to think for them?

55. Qu. Whether cunning be not one thing and good sense another? and whether a cunning tradesman doth not stand in his own light?

56. Qu. Whether small gains be not the way to great profit? And if our tradesmen are beggars, whether they may not thank themselves for it?

57. Qu. Whether some way might not be found for making criminals useful in public works, instead of sending them either to America, or to the other world?

58. Qu. Whether we may not, as well as other nations, contrive employment for them? And whether servitude, chains, and hard labour, for a term of years, would not be a more discouraging as well as a more adequate punishment for felons than even death itself?

59. Qu. Whether there are not such things in Holland as bettering houses for bringing young gentlemen to order? And whether such an institution would be useless among us?

60. Qu. Whether it be true that the poor in Holland have no resource but their own labour, and yet there are no beggars in their streets?

61. Qu. Whether he whose luxury consumeth foreign products, and whose industry produceth nothing domestic to exchange for them, is not so far forth injurious to his country?

62. Qu. Whether, consequently, the fine gentlemen, whose employment is only to dress, drink, and play, be not a pubic nuisance?

63. Qu. Whether necessity is not to be hearkened to before convenience, and convenience before luxury?

64. Qu. Whether to provide plentifully for the poor be not feeding the root, the substance whereof will shoot upwards into the branches, and cause the top to flourish?

65. Qu. Whether there be any instance of a State wherein the people, living neatly and plentifully, did not aspire to wealth?

66. Qu. Whether nastiness and beggary do not, on the contrary, extinguish all such ambition, making men listless, hopeless, and slothful?

67. Qu. Whether a country inhabited by people well fed, clothed and lodged would not become every day more populous? And whether a numerous stock of people in such circumstances would? and how far the product of not constitute a flourishing nation; our own country may suffice for the compassing of this end?

68. Qu. Whether a people who had provided themselves with the necessaries of life in good plenty would not soon extend their industry to new arts and new branches of commerce?

69. Qu. Whether those same manufactures which England imports from other countries may not be admitted from Ireland? And, if so, whether lace, carpets, and tapestry, three considerable articles of English importation, might not find encouragement in Ireland? And whether an academy for design might not greatly conduce to the perfecting those manufactures among us?

70. Qu. Whether France and Flanders could have drawn so much money from England for figured silks, lace, and tapestry, if they had not had academies for designing?

71. Qu. Whether, when a room was once prepared, and models in plaster of Paris, the annual expense of such an academy need stand the pubic in above two hundred pounds a year?

72. Qu. Whether our linen-manufacture would not find the benefit of this institution? And whether there be anything that makes us fall short of the Dutch in damasks, diapers, and printed linen, but our ignorance in design?

73. Qu. Whether those specimens of our own manufacture, hung up in a certain public place, do not sufficiently declare such our ignorance? and whether for the honour of the nation they ought not to be removed?

74. Qu. Whether those who may slight this affair as notional have sufficiently considered the extensive use of the art of design, and its influence in most trades and manufactures, wherein the forms of things are often more regarded than the materials?

75. Qu. Whether there be any art sooner learned than that of making carpets? And whether our women, with little time and pains, may not make more beautiful carpets than those imported from Turkey? And whether this branch of the woollen manufacture be not open to us?

76. Qu. Whether human industry can produce, from such cheap materials, a manufacture of so great value by any other art as by those of sculpture and painting?

77. Qu. Whether pictures and statues are not in fact so much treasure? And whether Rome and Florence would not be poor towns without them?

78. Qu. Whether they do not bring ready money as well as jewels? Whether in Italy debts are not paid, and children portioned with them, as with gold and silver?

79. Qu. Whether it would not be more prudent, to strike out and exert ourselves in permitted branches of trade, than to fold our hands, and repine that we are not allowed the woollen?

80. Qu. Whether it be true that two millions are yearly expended by England in foreign lace and linen?

81. Qu. Whether immense sums are not drawn yearly into the Northern countries, for supplying the British navy with hempen manufactures?

82. Qu. Whether there be anything more profitable than. hemp? And whether there should not be great premiums for encouraging our hempen trade? What advantages may not Great Britain make of a country where land and labour are so cheap?

83. Qu. Whether Ireland alone might not raise hemp sufficient for the British navy? And whether it would not be vain to expect this from the British Colonies in America, where hands are so scarce, and labour so excessively dear?

84. Qu. Whether, if our own people want will or capacity for such an attempt, it might not be worth while for some undertaking spirits in England to make settlements, and raise hemp in the counties of Clare and Limerick, than which, perhaps, there is not fitter land in the world for that purpose? And whether both nations would not find their advantage therein?

85. Qu. Whether if all the idle hands in this kingdom were employed on hemp and flax, we might not find sufficient vent for these manufactures?

86. Qu. How far it may be in our own power to better our affairs, without interfering with our neighbours?

87. Qu. Whether the prohibition of our woollen trade ought not naturally to put us on other methods which give no jealousy?

88. Qu. Whether paper be not a valuable article of commerce? And whether it be not true that one single bookseller in London yearly expended above four thousand pounds in that foreign commodity?

89. Qu. How it comes to pass that the Venetians and Genoese, who wear so much less linen, and so much worse than we do, should yet make very good paper, and in great quantity, while we make very little?

90. Qu. How long it will be before my countrymen find out that it is worth while to spend a penny in order to get a groat?

91. Qu. If all the land were tilled that is fit for tillage, and all that sowed with hemp and flax that is fit for raising them, whether we should have much sheep-walk beyond what was sufficient to supply the necessities of the kingdom?

92. Qu. Whether other countries have not flourished without the woollen trade?

93. Qu. Whether it be not a sure sign or effect of a country’s inhabitants? And, thriving, to see it well cultivated and full of; if so, whether a great quantity of sheep-walk be not ruinous to a country, rendering it waste and thinly inhabited?

94. Qu. Whether the employing so much of our land under sheep be not in fact an Irish blunder?

95. Qu. Whether our hankering after our woollen trade be not the true and only reason which hath created a jealousy in England towards Ireland? And whether anything can hurt us more than such jealousy?

96. Qu. Whether it be not the true interest of both nations to become one people? And whether either be sufficiently apprised of this?

97. Qu. Whether the upper part of this people are not truly English, by blood, language, religion, manners, inclination, and interest?

98. Qu. Whether we are not as much Englishmen as the children of old Romans, born in Britain, were still Romans?

99. Qu. Whether it be not our true interest not to interfere with them; and, in every other case, whether it be not their true interest to befriend us?

100. Qu. Whether a mint in Ireland might not be of great convenience to the kingdom; and whether it could be attended with any possible inconvenience to Great Britain? And whether there were not mints in Naples and Sicily, when those kingdoms were provinces to Spain or the house of Austria?

101. Qu. Whether anything can be more ridiculous than for the north of Ireland to be jealous of a linen manufacturer in the south?

102. Qu. Whether the county of Tipperary be not much better land than the county of Armagh; and yet whether the latter is not much better improved and inhabited than the former?

103. Qu. Whether every landlord in the kingdom doth not know the cause of this? And yet how few are the better for such their knowledge?

104. Qu. Whether large farms under few hands, or small ones under many, are likely to be made most of? And whether flax and tillage do not naturally multiply hands, and divide land into small holdings, and well-improved?

105. Qu. Whether, as our exports are lessened, we ought not to lessen our imports? And whether these will not be lessened as our demands, and these as our wants, and these as our customs or fashions? Of how great consequence therefore are fashions to the public?

106. Qu. Whether it would not be more reasonable to mend our state than to complain of it; and how far this may be in our own power?

107. Qu. What the nation gains by those who live in Ireland upon the produce of foreign Countries?

108. Qu. How far the vanity of our ladies in dressing, and of our gentlemen in drinking, contributes to the general misery of the people?

109. Qu. Whether nations, as wise and opulent as ours, have not made sumptuary laws; and what hinders us from doing the same?

110. Qu. Whether those who drink foreign liquors, and deck themselves and their families with foreign ornaments, are not so far forth to be reckoned absentees?

111. Qu. Whether, as our trade is limited, we ought not to limit our expenses; and whether this be not the natural and obvious remedy?

112. Qu. Whether the dirt, and famine, and nakedness of the bulk of our people might not be remedied, even although we had no foreign trade? And whether this should not be our first care; and whether, if this were once provided for, the conveniences of the rich would not soon follow?

113. Qu. Whether comfortable living doth not produce wants, and wants industry, and industry wealth?

114. Qu. Whether there is not a great difference between Holland and Ireland? And whether foreign commerce, without which the one could not subsist, be so necessary for the other?

115. Qu. Might we not put a hand to the plough, or the spade, although we had no foreign commerce?

116. Qu. Whether the exigencies of nature are not to be answered by industry on our own soil? And how far the conveniences and comforts of life may be procured by a domestic commerce between the several parts of this kingdom?

117. Qu. Whether the women may not sew, spin, weave, embroider sufficiently for the embellishment of their persons, and even enough to raise envy in each other, without being beholden to foreign countries?

118. Qu. Suppose the bulk of our inhabitants had shoes to their feet, clothes to their backs, and beef in their bellies, might not such a state be eligible for the public, even though the squires were condemned to drink ale and cider?

119. Qu. Whether, if drunkenness be a necessary evil, men may not as well drink the growth of their own country?

120. Qu. Whether a nation within itself might not have real wealth, sufficient to give its inhabitants power and distinction, without the help of gold and silver?

121. Qu. Whether, if the arts of sculpture and painting were encouraged among us, we might not furnish our houses in a much nobler manner with our own manufactures?

122. Qu. Whether we have not, or may not have, all the necessary materials for building at home?

123. Qu. Whether tiles and plaster may not supply the place of Norway fir for flooring and wainscot?

124. Qu. Whether plaster be not warmer, as well as more secure, than deal? And whether a modern fashionable house, lined with fir, daubed over with oil and paint, be not like a fire-ship, ready to be lighted up by all accidents?

125. Qu. Whether larger houses, better built and furnished, a greater train of servants, the difference with regard to equipage and table between finer and coarser, more and less elegant, may not be sufficient to feed a reasonable share of vanity, or support all proper distinctions? And whether all these may not be procured by domestic industry out of the four elements, without ransacking the four quarters of the globe?

126. Qu. Whether anything is a nobler ornament, in the eye of the world, than an Italian palace, that is, stone and mortar skilfully put together, and adorned with sculpture and painting; and whether this may not be compassed without foreign trade?

127. Qu. Whether an expense in gardens and plantations would not be an elegant distinction for the rich, a domestic magnificence employing many hands within, and drawing nothing from abroad?

128. Qu. Whether the apology which is made for foreign luxury in England, to wit, that they could not carry on their trade without imports as well as exports, will hold in Ireland?

129. Qu. Whether one may not be allowed to conceive and suppose a society or nation of human creatures, clad in woollen cloths and stuffs, eating good bread, beef and mutton, poultry and fish, in great plenty, drinking ale, mead, and cider, inhabiting decent houses built of brick and marble, taking their pleasure in fair parks and gardens, depending on no foreign imports either for food or raiment? And whether such people ought much to be pitied?

130. Qu. Whether Ireland be not as well qualified for such a state as any nation under the sun?

131. Qu. Whether in such a state the inhabitants may not contrive to pass the twenty-four hours with tolerable ease and cheerfulness? And whether any people upon earth can do more?

132. Qu. Whether they may not eat, drink, play, dress, visit, sleep in good beds, sit by good fires, build, plant, raise a name, make estates, and spend them?

133. Qu. Whether, upon the whole, a domestic trade may not suffice in such a country as Ireland, to nourish and clothe its inhabitants, and provide them with the reasonable conveniences and even comforts of life?

134. Qu. Whether a general habit of living well would not produce numbers and industry’ and whether, considering the tendency of human kind, the consequence thereof would not be foreign trade and riches, how unnecessary soever?

135. Qu. Whether, nevertheless, it be a crime to inquire how far we may do without foreign trade, and what would follow on such a supposition?

136. Qu. Whether the number and welfare of the subjects be not the true strength of the crown?

137. Qu. Whether in all public institutions there should not be an end proposed, which is to be the rule and limit of the means? Whether this end should not be the well-being of the whole? And whether, in order to this, the first step should not be to clothe and feed our people?

138. Qu. Whether there be upon earth any Christian or civilized people so beggarly, wretched, and destitute as the common Irish?

139. Qu. Whether, nevertheless, there is any other people whose wants may be more easily supplied from home?

140. Qu. Whether, if there was a wall of brass a thousand cubits high round this kingdom, our natives might not nevertheless live cleanly and comfortably, till the land, and reap the fruits of it?

141. Qu. What should hinder us from exerting ourselves, using our hands and brains, doing something or other, man, woman, and child, like the other inhabitants of God’s earth?

142. Qu. Be the restraining our trade well or ill advised in our neighbours, with respect to their own interest, yet whether it be not plainly ours to accommodate ourselves to it?

143. Qu. Whether it be not vain to think of persuading other people to see their interest, while we continue blind to our own?

144. Qu. Whether there be any other nation possess’d of so much good land, and so many able hands to work it, which yet is beholden for bread to foreign countries?

145. Qu. Whether it be true that we import corn to the value of two hundred thousand pounds in some years?

146. Qu. Whether we are not undone by fashions made for other people? And whether it be not madness in a poor nation to imitate a rich one?

147. Qu. Whether a woman of fashion ought not to be declared a public enemy?

148. Qu. Whether it be not certain that from the single town of Cork were exported, in one year, no less than one hundred and seven thousand one hundred and sixty-one barrels of beef; seven thousand three hundred and seventy-nine barrels of pork; thirteen thousand four hundred and sixty-one casks, and eighty-five thousand seven hundred and twenty-seven firkins of butter? And what hands were employed in this manufacture?

149. Qu. Whether a foreigner could imagine that one half of the people were starving, in a country which sent out such plenty of provisions?

150. Qu. Whether an Irish lady, set out with French silks and Flanders lace, may not be said to consume more beef and butter than a hundred of our labouring peasants?

151. Qu. Whether nine-tenths of our foreign trade be not carried on singly to support the article of vanity?

152. Qu. Whether it can be hoped that private persons will not indulge this folly, unless restrained by the public?

153. Qu. How vanity is maintained in other countries? Whether in Hungary, for instance, a proud nobility are not subsisted with small imports from abroad?

154. Qu. Whether there be a prouder people upon earth than the noble Venetians, although they all wear plain black clothes?

155. Qu. Whether a people are to be pitied that will not sacrifice their little particular vanities to the public. good? And yet, whether each part would not except their own foible from this public sacrifice, the squire his bottle, the lady her lace?

156. Qu. Whether claret be not often drank rather for vanity than for health, or pleasure?

157. Qu. Whether it be true that men of nice palates have been imposed on, by elder wine for French claret, and by mead for palm sack?

158. Qu. Do not Englishmen abroad purchase beer and cider at ten times the price of wine?

159. Qu. How many gentlemen are there in England of a thousand pounds per annum who never drink wine in their own houses? Whether the same may be said of any in Ireland who have even? one hundred pounds per annum.

160. Qu. What reasons have our neighbours in England for discouraging French wines which may not hold with respect to us also?

161. Qu. How much of the necessary sustenance of our people is yearly exported for brandy?

162. Qu. Whether, if people must poison themselves, they had not better do it with their own growth?

163. Qu. If we imported neither claret from France, nor fir from Norway, what the nation would save by it?

164. Qu. When the root yieldeth insufficient nourishment, whether men do not top the tree to make the lower branches thrive?

165. Qu. Whether, if our ladies drank sage or balm tea out of Irish ware, it would be an insupportable national calamity?

166. Qu. Whether it be really true that such wine is best as most encourages drinking, i.e., that must be given in the largest dose to produce its effect? And whether this holds with regard to any other medicine?

167. Qu. Whether that trade should not be accounted most pernicious wherein the balance is most against us? And whether this be not the trade with France?

168. Qu. Whether it be not even madness to encourage trade with a nation that takes nothing of our manufacture?

169. Qu. Whether Ireland can hope to thrive if the major part of her patriots shall be found in the French interest?

170. Qu. Why, if a bribe by the palate or the purse be in effect the same thing, they should not be alike infamous?

171. Qu. Whether the vanity and luxury of a few ought to stand in competition with the interest of a nation?

172. Qu. Whether national wants ought not to be the rule of trade? And whether the most pressing wants of. the majority ought not to be first consider’d?

173. Qu. Whether it is possible the country should be well improved, while our beef is exported, and our labourers live upon potatoes?

174. Qu. If it be resolved that we cannot do without foreign trade, whether, at least, it may not be worth while to consider what branches thereof deserve to be entertained, and how far we may be able to carry it on under our present limitations?

175. Qu. What foreign imports may be necessary for clothing and feeding the families of persons not worth above one hundred pounds a year? And how many wealthier there are in the kingdom, and what proportion they bear to the other inhabitants?

176. Qu. Whether trade be not then on a right foot, when foreign commodities are imported in exchange only for domestic superfluities?

177. Qu. Whether the quantities of beef, butter, wool, and leather, exported from this island, can be reckoned the superfluities of a country, where there are so many natives naked and famished?

178. Qu. Whether it would not be wise so to order our trade as to export manufactures rather than provisions, and of those such as employ most hands?

179. Qu. Whether she would not be a very vile matron, and justly thought either mad or foolish, that should give away the necessaries of life from her naked and famished children, in exchange for pearls to stick in her hair, and sweetmeats to please her own palate?

180. Qu. Whether a nation might not be consider’d as a family?

181. Qu. Whether other methods may not be found for supplying the funds, besides the custom on things imported?

182. Qu. Whether any art or manufacture be so difficult as the making of good laws?

183. Qu. Whether our peers and gentlemen are born legislators? Or, whether that faculty be acquired by study and reflection?

184. Qu. Whether to comprehend the real interest of a people, and the means to procure it, doth not imply some fund of knowledge, historical, moral, and political, with a faculty of reason improved by learning?

185. Qu. Whether every enemy to learning be not a Goth? And whether every such Goth among us be not an enemy to the country?

186. Qu. Whether, therefore, it would not be an omen of ill presage, a dreadful phenomenon in the land, if our great men should take it in their heads to deride learning and education?

187. Qu. Whether, on the contrary, it should not seem worth while to erect a mart of literature in this kingdom, under wiser regulations and better discipline than in any other part of Europe? And whether this would not be an infallible means of drawing men and money into the kingdom?

188. Qu. Whether the governed be not too numerous for the governing part of our college? And whether it might not be expedient to convert thirty natives-places into twenty fellowships?

189. Qu. Whether, if we had two colleges, there might not spring a useful emulation between them? And whether it might not be contrived so to divide the fellows, scholars, and revenues between both, as that no member should be a loser thereby?

190. Qu. Whether ten thousand pounds well laid out might not build a decent college, fit to contain two hundred persons; and whether the purchase money of the chambers would not go a good way towards defraying the expense?

191. Qu. Where this college should be situated?

192. Qu. Whether it is possible a State should not thrive, whereof the lower part were industrious, and the upper wise?

193. Qu. Whether the collected wisdom of ages and nations be not found in books, improved and applied by study?

194. Qu. Whether it was not an Irish professor who first opened the public schools at Oxford? Whether this island hath not been anciently famous for learning? And whether at this day it hath any better chance for being considerable?

195. Qu. Whether we may not with better grace sit down and complain, when we have done all that lies in our power to help ourselves?

196. Qu. Whether the gentleman of estate hath a right to be idle; and whether he ought not to be the great promoter and director of industry among his tenants and neighbours?

197. Qu. Whether the real foundation for wealth must not be laid in the numbers, the frugality, and the industry of the people? And whether all attempts to enrich a nation by other means, as raising the coin, stock-jobbing, and such arts are not vain?

198. Qu. Whether a door ought not to be shut against all other methods of growing rich, save only by industry and. merit? And whether wealth got otherwise would not be ruinous to the public?

199. Qu. Whether the abuse of banks and paper-money is a just objection against the use thereof? And whether such abuse might not easily be prevented?

200. Qu. Whether national banks are not found useful in Venice, Holland, and Hamburg? And whether it is not possible to contrive one that may be useful also in Ireland?

201. Qu. Whether any nation ever was in greater want of such an expedient than Ireland?

202. Qu. Whether the banks of Venice and Amsterdam are not in the hands of the public?

203. Qu. Whether it may not be worth while to inform ourselves in the nature of those banks? And what reason can be assigned why Ireland should not reap the benefit of such public banks as well as other countries?

204. Qu. Whether a bank of national credit, supported by public funds and secured by Parliament, be a chimera or impossible thing? And if not, what would follow from the supposal of such a bank?

205. Qu. Whether the currency of a credit so well secured would not be of great advantage to our trade and manufactures?

206. Qu. Whether the notes of such public bank would not have a more general circulation than those of private banks, as being less subject to frauds and hazards?

207. Qu. Whether it be not agreed that paper hath in many respects the advantage above coin, as being of more dispatch in payments, more easily transferred, preserved, and recovered when lost?

208. Qu. Whether, besides these advantages, there be not an evident necessity for circulating credit by paper, from the defect of coin in this kingdom?

209. Qu. Whether the public may not as well save the interest which it now pays?

210. Qu. What would happen if two of our banks should break at once? And whether it be wise to neglect providing against an event which experience hath shewn us not to be impossible?

211. Qu. Whether such an accident would not particularly affect the bankers? And therefore whether a national bank would not be a security even to private bankers?

212. Qu. Whether we may not easily avoid the inconveniencies attending the paper-money of New England, which were incurred by their issuing too great a quantity of notes, by their having no silver in bank to exchange for notes, by their not insisting upon repayment of the loans at the time prefixed, and especially by their want of manufactures to answer their imports from Europe?

213. Qu. Whether a combination of bankers might not do wonders, and whether bankers know their own strength?

214. Qu. Whether a bank in private hands might not even overturn a government? and whether this was not the case of the Bank of St. George in Genoa? [Footnote: See the Vindication and Advancement of our national Constitution and Credit. Printed in London 1710.]

215. Qu. Whether we may not easily prevent the ill effects of such a bank as Mr Law proposed for Scotland, which was faulty in not limiting the quantum of bills, and permitting all persons to take out what bills they pleased, upon the mortgage of lands, whence by a glut of paper, the prices of things must rise? Whence also the fortunes of men must increase in denomination, though not in value; whence pride, idleness, and beggary?

216. Qu. Whether such banks as those of England and Scotland might not be attended with great inconveniences, as lodging too much power in the hands of private men, and giving handle for monopolies, stock-jobbing, and destructive schemes?

217. Qu. Whether the national bank, projected by an anonymous writer in the latter end of Queen Anne’s reign, might not on the other hand be attended with as great inconveniencies by lodging too much power in the Government?

218. Qu. Whether the bank projected by Murray, though it partake, in many useful particulars, with that of Amsterdam, yet, as it placeth too great power in the hands of a private society, might not be dangerous to the public?

219. Qu. Whether it be rightly remarked by some that, as banking brings no treasure into the kingdom like trade, private wealth must sink as the bank riseth? And whether whatever causeth industry to flourish and circulate may not be said to increase our treasure?

220. Qu. Whether the ruinous effects of Mississippi, South Sea, and such schemes were not owing to an abuse of paper money or credit, in making it a means for idleness and gaming, instead of a motive and help to industry?

221. Qu. Whether those effects could have happened had there been no stock-jobbing? And whether stock-jobbing could at first have been set on foot, without an imaginary foundation of some improvement to the stock by trade? Whether, therefore, when there are no such prospects, or cheats, or private schemes proposed, the same effects can be justly feared?

222. Qu. Whether by a national bank, be not properly understood a bank, not only established by public authority as the Bank of England, but a bank in the hands of the public, wherein there are no shares: whereof the public alone is proprietor, and reaps all the benefit?

223. Qu. Whether, having considered the conveniencies of banking and paper-credit in some countries, and the inconveniencies thereof in others, we may not contrive to adopt the former, and avoid the latter?

224. Qu. Whether great evils, to which other schemes are liable, may not be prevented, by excluding the managers of the bank from a share in the legislature?

225. Qu. Whether the rise of the bank of Amsterdam was not purely casual, for the security and dispatch of payments? And whether the good effects thereof, in supplying the place of coin, and promoting a ready circulation of industry and commerce may not be a lesson to us, to do that by design which others fell upon by chance?

226. Qu. Whether the bank proposed to be established in Ireland, under the notion of a national bank, by the voluntary subscription of three hundred thousand pounds, to pay off the national debt, the interest of which sum to be paid the subscribers, subject to certain terms of redemption, be not in reality a private bank, as those of England and Scotland, which are national only in name, being in the hands of particular persons, and making dividends on the money paid in by subscribers? [Footnote: See a Proposal for the Relief of Ireland, &c. Printed in Dublin A. D. 1734]

227. Qu. Whether plenty of small cash be not absolutely necessary for keeping up a circulation among the people; that is, whether copper be not more necessary than gold?

228. Qu. Whether it is not worth while to reflect on the expedients made use of by other nations, paper-money, bank-notes, public funds, and credit in all its shapes, to examine what hath been done and devised to add to our own animadversions, and upon the whole offer such hints as seem not unworthy the attention of the public?

229. Qu. Whether that, which increaseth the stock of a nation be not a means of increasing its trade? And whether that which increaseth the current credit of a nation may not be said to increase its stock?

230. Qu. Whether it may not be expedient to appoint certain funds or stock for a national bank, under direction of certain persons, one-third whereof to be named by the Government, and one-third by each House of Parliament?

231. Qu. Whether the directors should not be excluded from sitting in either House, and whether they should not be subject to the audit and visitation of a standing committee of both Houses?

232. Qu. Whether such committee of inspectors should not be changed every two years, one-half going out, and another coming in by ballot?

233. Qu. Whether the notes ought not to be issued in lots, to be let at interest on mortgaged lands, the whole number of lots to be divided among the four provinces, rateably to the number of hearths in each?

234. Qu. Whether it may not be expedient to appoint four counting-houses, one in each province, for converting notes into specie?

235. Qu. Whether a limit should not be fixed, which no person might exceed, in taking out notes?

236. Qu. Whether, the better to answer domestic circulation, it may not be right to issue notes as low as twenty shillings?

237. Qu. Whether all the bills should be issued at once, or rather by degrees, that so men may be gradually accustomed and reconciled to the bank?

238. Qu. Whether the keeping of the cash, and the direction of the bank, ought not to be in different hands, and both under public control?

239. Qu. Whether the same rule should not alway be observed, of lending out money or notes, only to half the value of the mortgaged land? and whether this value should not alway be rated at the same number of years’ purchase as at first?

240. Qu. Whether care should not be taken to prevent an undue rise of the value of land?

241. Qu. Whether the increase of industry and people will not of course raise the value of land? And whether this rise may not be sufficient?

242. Qu. Whether land may not be apt to rise on the issuing too great plenty of notes?

243. Qu. Whether this may not be prevented by the gradual and slow issuing of notes, and by frequent sales of lands?

244. Qu. Whether interest doth not measure the true value of land; for instance, where money is at five per cent, whether land is not worth twenty years’ purchase?

245. Qu. Whether too small a proportion of money would not hurt the landed man, and too great a proportion the monied man? And whether the quantum of notes ought not to bear proportion to the pubic demand? And whether trial must not shew what this demand will be?

246. Qu. Whether the exceeding this measure might not produce divers bad effects, one whereof would be the loss of our silver?

247. Qu. Whether interest paid into the bank ought not to go on augmenting its stock?

248. Qu. Whether it would or would not be right to appoint that the said interest be paid in notes only?

249. Qu. Whether the notes of this national bank should not be received in all payments into the exchequer?

250. Qu. Whether on supposition that the specie should fail, the credit would not, nevertheless, still pass, being admitted in all payments of the public revenue?

251. Qu. Whether the pubic can become bankrupt so long as the notes are issued on good security?

252. Qu. Whether mismanagement, prodigal living, hazards by trade, which often affect private banks, are equally to be apprehended in a pubic one?

253. Qu. Whether as credit became current, and this raised the value of land, the security must not of course rise?

254. Qu. Whether, as our current domestic credit grew, industry would not grow likewise; and if industry, our manufactures; and if these, our foreign credit?

255. Qu. Whether by degrees, as business and people multiplied, more bills may not be issued, without augmenting the capital stock, provided still, that they are issued on good security; which further issuing of new bills, not to be without consent of Parliament?

256. Qu. Whether such bank would not be secure? Whether the profits accruing to the pubic would not be very considerable? And whether industry in private persons would not be supplied, and a general circulation encouraged?

257. Qu. Whether such bank should, or should not, be allowed to issue notes for money deposited therein? And, if not, whether the bankers would have cause to complain?

258. Qu. Whether, if the public thrives, all particular persons must not feel the benefit thereof, even the bankers themselves?

259. Qu. Whether, beside the Bank–Company, there are not in England many private wealthy bankers, and whether they were more before the erecting of that company?

260. Qu. Whether as industry increased, our manufactures would not flourish; and as these flourished, whether better returns would not be made from estates to their landlords, both within and without the kingdom?

261. Qu. Whether we have not paper-money circulating among, whether, therefore, we might not as well have that us already which is secured by the public, and whereof the pubic reaps the benefit?

262. Qu. Whether there are not two general ways of circulating money, to wit, play and traffic? and whether stock-jobbing is not to be ranked under the former?

263. Qu. Whether there are more than two things that might draw silver out of the bank, when its credit was once well established, to wit, foreign demands and small payments at home?

264. Qu. Whether, if our trade with France were checked, the former of these causes could be supposed to operate at all? and whether the latter could operate to any great degree?

265. Qu. Whether the sure way to supply people with tools and materials, and to set them at work, be not a free circulation of money, whether silver or paper?

266. Qu. Whether in New England all trade and business is not as much at a stand, upon a scarcity of paper-money, as with us from the want of specie?

267. Qu. Whether paper-money or notes may not be issued from the national bank, on the security of hemp, of linen, or other manufactures whereby the poor might be supported in their industry?

268. Qu. Whether it be certain that the quantity of silver in the bank of Amsterdam be greater now than at first; but whether it be not certain that there is a greater circulation of industry and extent of trade, more people, ships, houses, and commodities of all sorts, more power by sea and land?

269. Qu. Whether money, lying dead in the bank of Amsterdam, would not be as useless as in the mine?

270. Qu. Whether our visible security in land could be doubted? And whether there be anything like this in the bank of Amsterdam?

271. Qu. Whether it be just to apprehend danger from trusting a national bank with power to extend its credit, to circulate notes which it shall be felony to counterfeit, to receive goods on loans, to purchase lands, to sell also or alienate them, and to deal in bills of exchange; when these powers are no other than have been trusted for many years with the bank of England, although in truth but a private bank?

272. Qu. Whether the objection from monopolies and an overgrowth of power, which are made against private banks, can possibly hold against a national one?

273. Qu. Whether banks raised by private subscription would be as advantageous to the public as to the subscribers? and whether risks and frauds might not be more justly apprehended from them?

274. Qu. Whether the evil effects which of late years have attended paper-money and credit in Europe did not spring from subscriptions, shares, dividends, and stock-jobbing?

275. Qu. Whether the great evils attending paper-money in the British Plantations of America have not sprung from the overrating their lands, and issuing paper without discretion, and from the legislators breaking their own rules in favour of themselves, thus sacrificing the public to their private benefit? And whether a little sense and honesty might not easily prevent all such inconveniences?

276. Qu. Whether an argument from the abuse of things, against the use of them, be conclusive?

277. Qu. Whether he who is bred to a part be fitted to judge of the whole?

278. Qu. Whether interest be not apt to bias judgment? and whether traders only are to be consulted about trade, or bankers about money?

279. Qu. Whether the subject of Freethinking in religion be not exhausted? And whether it be not high time for our freethinkers to turn their thoughts to the improvement of their country?

280. Qu. Whether any man hath a right to judge, that will not be at the pains to distinguish?

281. Qu. Whether there be not a wide difference between the profits going to augment the national stock, and being divided among private sharers? And whether, in the former case, there can possibly be any gaming or stock-jobbing?

282. Qu. Whether it must not be ruinous for a nation to sit down to game, be it with silver or with paper?

283. Qu. Whether, therefore, the circulating paper, in the late ruinous schemes of France and England, was the true evil, and not rather the circulating thereof without industry? And whether the bank of Amsterdam, where industry had been for so many years subsisted and circulated by transfers on paper, doth not clearly decide this point?

284. Qu. Whether there are not to be seen in America fair towns, wherein the people are well lodged, fed, and clothed, without a beggar in their streets, although there be not one grain of gold or silver current among them?

285. Qu. Whether these people do not exercise all arts and trades, build ships and navigate them to all parts of the world, purchase lands, till and reap the fruits of them, buy and sell, educate and provide for their children? Whether they do not even indulge themselves in foreign vanities?

286. Qu. Whether, whatever inconveniences those people may have incurred from not observing either rules or bounds in their paper money, yet it be not certain that they are in a more flourishing condition, have larger and better built towns, more plenty, more industry, more arts and civility, and a more extensive commerce, than when they had gold and silver current among them?

287. Qu. Whether a view of the ruinous effects of absurd schemes and credit mismanaged, so as to produce gaming and madness instead of industry, can be any just objection against a national bank calculated purely to promote industry?

288. Qu. Whether a scheme for the welfare of this nation should not take in the whole inhabitants? And whether it be not a vain attempt, to project the flourishing of our Protestant gentry, exclusive of the bulk of the natives?

289. Qu. Whether, therefore, it doth not greatly concern the State, that our Irish natives should be converted, and the whole nation united in the same religion, the same allegiance, and the same interest? and how this may most probably be effected?

290. Qu. Whether an oath, testifying allegiance to the king, and disclaiming the pope’s authority in temporals, may not be justly required of the Roman Catholics? And whether, in common prudence or policy, any priest should be tolerated who refuseth to take it?

291. Qu. Whether there have not been Popish recusants? and, if so, whether it would be right to object against the foregoing oath, that all would take it, and none think themselves bound by it?

292. Qu. Whether those of the Church of Rome, in converting the Moors of Spain or the Protestants of France, have not set us an example which might justify a similar treatment of themselves, if the laws of Christianity allowed thereof?

293. Qu. Whether compelling men to a profession of faith is not the worst thing in Popery, and, consequently, whether to copy after the Church of Rome therein, were not to become Papists ourselves in the worst sense?

294. Qu. Whether, nevertheless, we may not imitate the Church of Rome, in certain places, where Jews are tolerated, by obliging our Irish Papists, at stated times, to hear Protestant sermons? and whether this would not make missionaries in the Irish tongue useful?

295. Qu. Whether the mere act of hearing, without making any profession of faith, or joining in any part of worship, be a religious act; and, consequently, whether their being obliged to hear, may not consist with the toleration of Roman Catholics?

296. Qu. Whether, if penal laws should be thought oppressive, we may not at least be allowed to give premiums? And whether it would be wrong, if the public encouraged Popish families to become hearers, by paying their hearth-money for them?

297. Qu. Whether in granting toleration, we ought not to distinguish between doctrines purely religious, and such as affect the State?

298. Qu. Whether the case be not very different in regard to a man who only eats fish on Fridays, says his prayers in Latin, or believes transubstantiation, and one who professeth in temporals a subjection to foreign powers, who holdeth himself absolved from all obedience to his natural prince and the laws of his country? who is even persuaded, it may be meritorious to destroy the powers that are?

299. Qu. Whether, therefore, a distinction should not be made between mere Papists and recusants? And whether the latter can expect the same protection from the Government as the former?

300. Qu. Whether our Papists in this kingdom can complain, if they are allowed to be as much Papists as the subjects of France or of the Empire?

301. Qu. Whether there is any such thing as a body of inhabitants, in any Roman Catholic country under the sun, that profess an absolute submission to the pope’s orders in matters of an indifferent nature, or that in such points do not think it their duty to obey the civil government?

302. Qu. Whether since the peace of Utrecht, mass was not celebrated and the sacraments administered in divers dioceses of Sicily, notwithstanding the Pope’s interdict?

303. Qu. Whether every plea of conscience is to be regarded? Whether, for instance, the German Anabaptists, Levellers, or Fifth Monarchy men would be tolerated on that pretence?

304. Qu. Whether Popish children bred in charity schools, when bound out in apprenticeship to Protestant masters, do generally continue Protestants?

305. Qu. Whether a Sum, which would go but a little way towards erecting hospitals for maintaining and educating the children of the native Irish, might not go far in binding them out apprentices to Protestant masters, for husbandry, useful trades, and the service of families?

306. Qu. Whether if the parents are overlooked, there can be any great hopes of success in converting the children?

307. Qu. Whether there be any instance, of a people’s being converted in a Christian sense, otherwise than by preaching to them and instructing them in their own language?

308. Qu. Whether catechists in the Irish tongue may not easily be procured and subsisted? And whether this would not be the most practicable means for converting the natives?

309. Qu. Whether it be not of great advantage to the Church of Rome, that she hath clergy suited to all ranks of men, in gradual subordination from cardinals down to mendicants?

310. Qu. Whether her numerous poor clergy are not very useful in missions, and of much influence with the people?

311. Qu. Whether, in defect of able missionaries, persons conversant in low life, and speaking the Irish tongue, if well instructed in the first principles of religion, and in the popish controversy, though for the rest on a level with the parish clerks, or the school-masters of charity-schools, may not be fit to mix with and bring over our poor illiterate natives to the Established Church? Whether it is not to be wished that some parts of our liturgy and homilies were publicly read in the Irish language? And whether, in these views, it may not be right to breed up some of the better sort of children in the charity-schools, and qualify them for missionaries, catechists, and readers?

312. Qu. Whether there be any nation of men governed by reason? And yet, if there was not, whether this would be a good argument against the use of reason in pubic affairs?

313. Qu. Whether, as others have supposed an Atlantis or Utopia, we also may not suppose an Hyperborean island inhabited by reasonable creatures?

314. Qu. Whether an indifferent person, who looks into all hands, may not be a better judge of the game than a party who sees only his own?

315. Qu. Whether one, whose end is to make his countrymen think, may not gain his end, even though they should not think as he doth?

316. Qu. Whether he, who only asks, asserts? and whether any man can fairly confute the querist?

317. Qu. Whether the interest of a part will not always be preferred to that of the whole?

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:52