An essay upon projects defoe
be like music to one that has no ear. If the town be taken, I win 5,000 pounds and lose 2,500 pounds. For instance, were it laid out in the Million Lottery tickets, which are now sold at 6 pounds each, and bring in 1 pound per annum for fifteen years, every 1,000 pounds so laid out pays back in time 2,500 pounds, and that time would. It is visible by experience, not one town in ten is besieged but it is taken. The trade increased, and first on the Exchange and then in coffee- houses it got life, till the brokers, those vermin of trade, got hold of it, and then particular offices were set apart for it, and an incredible resort thither was to be seen. Per annum a head, and that. Quarterly shall receive 12d. Friendly societies are very extensive, and, as I have hinted, might be carried on to many particulars. Nor is it a hard matter to assign probable causes of the perfection in this modern art. In the chapter of academies I have ventured to reprove the vicious custom of swearing. The churchwardens of every parish might refuse the removal of persons and families into their parish but upon their having entered into this office. I mean the Friendly Society for Widows, of which you have been pleased to be a governor.
And yet your having a capacity to judge of these things no way brings you under the despicable title of a projector, any more than knowing the practices and subtleties of wicked men makes a man guilty of their crimes. To these assessors should all the old rates, parish books, poor rates, and highway rates, also be delivered; and upon due inquiry to be made into the manner of living, and reputed wealth of the people, the stock or personal estate of every man should. Here they should find Sir J C perhaps taxed to the king at 5,000 stock, perhaps not so much, whose cash no man can guess at; and multitudes of instances I could give by name without wrong to the gentlemen. I have endeavoured everywhere in this book to be as concise as possible, except where calculations obliged me to be particular; and having avoided impertinence in the book, I would avoid it too, in the preface, and therefore shall break off with subscribing myself, Sir. I know that by law no parish can refuse to relieve any person or family fallen into distress; and therefore to send them word they must expect no relief, would seem a vain threatening. What is said of friendly societies, I think no man will dispute with me, since one has met with so much success already in the practice.
And, to oblige the parishes to do this on behalf of such a project, the governor of the house should secure the parish against all charges coming upon them from any person who did subscribe and pay the quarterage, and that would most certainly oblige. Defoe s Essay on Projects was the first volume he published, and no great writer ever published a first. Upon one subject, indeed, the education of women, we have only just now caught him.
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