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Title: A Dialogue Between Dean Swift and Tho. Prior, Esq. - In the Isles of St. Patrick's Church, Dublin, On that - Memorable Day, October 9th, 1753
Author: Anonymous
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Dialogue Between Dean Swift and Tho. Prior, Esq. - In the Isles of St. Patrick's Church, Dublin, On that - Memorable Day, October 9th, 1753" ***




Dean _Swift_ and _Tho. Prior_, Esq;


Isles of St. _Patrick's_ Church, _Dublin_,

On that memorable Day, _October_ 9th, 1753.

_By a Friend to the Peace and Prosperity of_ IRELAND.

                      _Quæ Gratia Curram
    Armorumque fuit vivis, quæ Cura nitentes
    Pascere Equos, eadem sequitur Tellure repostos._

                                     VIRG. ÆN. VI.


Printed for G. and A. EWING, at the _Angel_ and _Bible_
in _Dame-Street_, 1753.

Transcribers Note. Inconsistent spelling has been retained as in the
original text.


_Page_ 7. _Line_ 19. _for_ Phrases _read_ Praises.

_P._ 11. _L._ 18. _for_ attack _read_ attack'd.

_P._ 14._ L._ 25. _for_ they _r._ the Ladies.

_P._ 17. _L._ 22. _for_ emnently _r._ eminently.

_P._ 18. _L._ 25. _for_ Henepius _r._ Henepin's.

_P._ 26. _L._ 26. _for_ their _r._ the.

_P._ 27. _L._ 13. _for_ brag _r._ boast.

_P._ 33. _L._ 25. _for_ runing _r._ running.

_P._ 34. _L._ 5. _for_ St. Foil _r._ St. Foin.

_P._ 36. _L._ 28. _for_ say _r._ see.

_P._ 42. _L._ 25. _for_ adæquate _r._ inadequate.

_P._ 63. _L._ 11. _for_ Teas _r._ Tea.

_P._ 71. _L._ 15. _after_ horrid _r._ and.

_P._ 72. _L._ 3. _for_ we. _r._ they.

_P._ 75. _L. the last_, _for_ 'tis employ'd in, _r._ that accompany it.

_P._ 85. _L._ 10. _after_ Virtue _add_, or Learning.

_P._ 88. _L._ 10. _after_ Wall _add_, of.

_P._ 88. _L._ 31. _for_ that _r._ than.




Dean _Swift_ and _Tho. Prior_, Esq;

In the Isles of St. _Patrick's_ Church,
_Dublin, Oct. 9, 1753_.

PRIOR. Mr. Dean, I am sorry to see you up, if any of your private
Affairs disturb you. I came to call at your Grave, and have a little
Discourse with you; but unless 'tis the Publick has rouz'd you, I am
troubled to find you walking as well as my self.

SWIFT. 'Tis my Country keeps me walking! why who can lie still? I don't
believe there are many Ghosts now, that have any share of Understanding,
or any regard for _Ireland_, that are to be found in their Graves at
Midnight. For my part I can no more keep in my Den than if it were the
Day of Judgment. I have been earth'd now eight Years last _October_,
and I think on my Conscience (and you know _Tom_ the Conscience of one
dead Man is worth ten of those that are living) I have had very few
good Days Sleep since I got there. Ah _Tom_! poor _Ireland_! poor
_Ireland_! it plagued my Heart while I was trifling away Life there;
but my Curse on it, I never thought it would have broke my Rest thus
when I was dead. I have tumbled and toss'd from one Side to the other
(and by the by, they make these cursed Coffins so narrow 'tis a Plague
to be in them) first one Thing would come into my Head, and then
another, and often wrought me so, that I have many a time been forced
to walk a whole Moon to rest me and get the better Nap when I lay down.
Prithee how have you done?

PRIOR. Why, very little better; only as I have not been so long shut up
in my Dormitory as you, the Confinement is less irksome. But I was not
affected the same way with you, for I sometimes slept for Months
together like a Dormouse; but when _Ireland_ once gets into my Head and
its present melancholy Circumstances, it works my Thoughts upwards and
downwards from the Great Ones to their Slaves, like a poor Patient with
_Ward_'s Drop and Pill.

SWIFT. That has often been my Case _Tom_. When I get into that Train of
thinking, and consider the present Situation of our Country, it makes
me as uneasy in my Coffin as a Rat shut up in a Trap. I remember an old
She[1] Fool, that was fonder of scribling than reigning, used to say,
that the Dead have that melancholy Advantage over the Living of first
forgetting them; but 'tis as false as ten thousand other Truths, that
your Philosophers and Politicians above Ground keep such a babling with
over our Heads. For my part I never had that Pleasure, for since my
first Nap under my Gravestone, which did not last three Weeks, I have
been as much perplex'd about _Ireland_, as if I was still living at the
Deanry, writing for Posterity, and thinking for my poor Country. What
makes you sigh so _Tom_? Why you draw your Breath as hard as a
broken-winded Racer; some Qualm I suppose about this neglected Island.

      [1] Queen _Christina_ of _Sweden_.

PRIOR. That was the Case indeed. But tho' I am chiefly grieved at the
ill Circumstances of _I----d_, my next trouble is, that the World seems
resolved they shall never mend; and, I think so, by their treating all
true Patriots in the most unhandsome Manner. This is as mad a Measure,
as imprisoning the Physicians in an epidemical Sickness would be. Yet
such Men, who only could heal our Distempers, are treated almost as
common Poisoners, and watch'd as if they were Incendiaries and the
Enemies of Society. It was too much our own Case when we were among
Men, and tho' I scorn to lament the indifferent Treatment Dean _Swift_
and _Tom Prior_ received from those who should have respected and
honoured them; yet I cannot help being concerned for the hard Usage all
true Patriots generally meet with in _I----d_. Their Writings, tho'
ever so disinterested are treated as so many mercenary Productions of
the Press; their Zeal and their Motives are ever suspected, as false
and personated, and most Governments look on such Authors at best, as
so many out-lying Deer, and give all the World leave to hunt them and
run them down. I am sure, as to my Particular, I may justly say, I
found it so; for, as I well knew, that writing with a Design to please
or serve others, ends, generally, either in Neglect or Censure; so, I
would not have engaged in such a dangerous Undertaking, if I could have
quieted my Heart, that was ever tempting me to despise the Danger for
the Hopes of doing good by my Pen.

SWIFT. I wish Tom the Tribe of Authors had ever writ from such a Turn
of Mind, and then I fancy the World had not been so much over-run with

PRIOR. I can answer for my self that I had only the Service of my
Fellow Citizens in view. Let those whose miserable Aim is writing well,
be ashamed if they are criticiz'd, or ridiculed, but he who sincerely
strives to serve Millions, must have a Scorn for Malice or Satyr, if he
thinks he can feed or cloath half a Nation by scribling. I profess I
writ whatever I publish'd, barely for the Joy I had in doing some
Service to my Country, and with so little a view to Reputation, that I
would have done it, if there had been no such thing as Fame in the
World; and surely, there is almost as little of that phantastick
Pleasure to be had here as in the _Isle of Man_, or the _Orcades_. Nay,
Dean, I'll go further, I would have done it for the gratifying the
pleasing Instinct that lead me to it, if there had not been a great
Lord and Parent of Good to approve and reward it. Hence it was that I
troubled the World with a deal of Tracts on publick Subjects; and, I
thank Heaven, my Heart is as little asham'd of it, now I am dead, as I
was proud of it when I was living, which is what few Authors can say
when they are coffin'd. I saw writing absolutely necessary to the
well-being of the most neglected Nation under Heaven. I heard, I saw, I
felt the Displeasure of some great Men for several Things I wrote,
which crost their Views, or even disagreed with their Opinions or
Desires. I saw few either willing to appear Medlers or Busy-Bodies this
Way; or visibly to hurt their worldly Interests, or to seem fond of
either Ridicule or Reputation by bustling about it; and, as I was quite
indifferent to those Fears, I hop'd what I did, and the Motives I went
on, might be pardonable if not approveable; and whatever was the Event,
I as sincerely despised any Abuse I met with, as I did any Credit, that
a few solitary thinking Men might allow me for it.

SWIFT. Why, really _Tom_, as there is no lying in this World, that we
are now launch'd into, I must own there is a great deal of Truth in all
you have said; and tho' I often writ for the Sake of Applause, yet
writing with such a View is a poor Motive, and the best and noblest,
and I had almost said, the only justifiable one, is to do Good in an
evil World. I don't see any Thing very desireable in the greatest
Talents, or in the largest Affluence of Fortune, unless they are in
some Measure employed in the Publick Service, and if they be, it truly
dignifies them; nay, that single View is enough to sanctify the poorest
Scribling, and to make the meanest scraping and saving of Avarice, pass
for the Marks of a worthy Spirit. But tho' Patriots are generally so
ill used, by the ungrateful World; you certainly came much better off
than I did, for where you met with one Reviler, I met with one hundred.
The Pamphlets wrote against me, wou'd have form'd a Library, or rather
a Dormitory, where they might have slept in undisturb'd Repose; instead
of furnishing Grocers and Pastry Cooks for Years together, to make some
expiation for beggaring Printers and Booksellers. I have had Thousands
written against me, with Virulence and Scandal.

PRIOR. And what a wounding Grief must that be, to your generous Mind,
to have so much Malice returned, where so much Gratitude was due;
surely it gave you infinite Pain to be so lash'd and stigmatised, by a
Rabble, of the most invenom'd and imbitter'd Scriblers upon Earth?

SWIFT. Why, dear _Tom_, I cou'd laugh a Month at you for this. Why,
they made no more Impression on my Spirit, with their scurrilous
Pamphlets, than they wou'd have done, on my Statue, had they thrown
them at it. I ever consider'd, that Abuse from such Scriblers, who
write for a Livelihood, can no more be thought an Affront, than a
Barber's taking you by the Nose; 'tis his Trade, and the Wretch would
starve if you stopt him. What harm did all their Ribaldry do me? I
neither eat, nor drunk, nor slept the worse for it. I don't suppose,
that the scape Goat, which the _Jews_ loaded with Curses, and drove
into the Wilderness, either died by their Maledictions, or grew a whit
the leaner for them; nor was I ever the worse for all I met with. Why
_Tom_, one had as good be a sensitive Plant, as to start and fly back,
at every Touch, or every Appearance of being Touch'd, as some weak Men

PRIOR. We may Reason thus, but Nature generally over masters our

SWIFT. Yes, when they are of opposite Sides, but in this point they
must agree. Consider, what a wretched Thing would Merit be, whose chief
support is a justly deserved good Character, if it depended for its
real Fame, on the Writings (if we must call them Writings) of envious
Scriblers, or the Tongues, of Slanderers, who wou'd both of them fain
get a Scrap of Reputation, by vilifying exalted Names. No, _Tom_, there
is something in true Merit, so independent of Applause and Censure, and
so superior to the going out, or coming into Vogue, that it frequently
takes the Injuries of such Reptiles as a kind of Homage; like the
Abuses offered by the common Soldiers, to Conquerors when they Ride in
Triumph, and which they valued as little as the senseless Phrases and
Shouts of the multitude. 'Tis time enough for true Merit and Goodness
to expect Justice from Men; when it receives the Euge of the
Omnipotent; for then only will Malice be out of Countenance, Envy
silent, and then only will Truth (the Language of Eternity) prevail!

PRIOR. Well, very well, Mr. _Dean_. But I am much mistaken, if you was
not heartily Sick of your Patriotism, when you was so often branded and
asperst by such Crowds of Pamphlets and Scriblers.

SWIFT. Dr. _Tom_, they never gave me a moment's Pain, for the Truth is,
I was too proud to be affronted, and had too high a Spirit to be
humbled, by such Insults, or else indeed I had met with Opportunities
enough to make me pass my Time very uneasily. But in the next place
those who Writ against me, were mere toothless Animals, or at least a
Sort of _Irish_ Vipers, that tho' they lov'd to Bite, yet they wanted
the pungent Venom which gives the Torment. Many of their Tracts were
the poorest Productions that ever disgraced the Press; without Style,
or Wit, or Sense, or Argument. I remember one of them, where both I,
and the Subject he writ on, were equally ill-treated, begun like a
_Hebrew_ Book at the wrong End, with an Apology for the Author's
inability to handle such weighty Points as they deserved; and indeed
_Tom_, that single Confession was the only Thing that look'd like Truth
or Modesty in the whole Performance. How could I be affronted by such
miserable Efforts of Malice? and above all, if the natural elevation of
my Mind, had not enabled me to look down on them with Disdain, the
Dignity and usefulness of my Life, help'd me to smile on them as
impotent and harmless. I was so far from being mortified by their base
revilings, that I think, I wrote the better for them, and with higher
Spirit, as a well mettled Horse moves the brisker for being lashed.
Besides, as I often wrote for the service of the World; and the
Interests of Mankind, I always appeared with every Advantage, that
Candour, Honesty, and Courage, cou'd give me against Injustice,
Oppression, and Tyrany. I wrote for Truth and Reason, for Liberty, and
the Rights of my Country and Fellow-Subjects; and it gave me Joy, to
see the Minions of a Court, and the Slaves of Power, stare at the
dextrous boldness of my Pen, as I fancy a Cuckold does at a Deer, when
he sees it cast its Horns.

PRIOR. Why dear _Dean_, I will not oppose you too obstinately; but I am
sure, you will not deny, that you were sufficiently mortified, with
other Things, if you were not with the Sarcasms of your Rival Writers.

SWIFT. What other Things pray?

PRIOR. Why your not being perferr'd, nor advanc'd in the Church.

SWIFT. I renounce it! I deny it! I lost nothing by not being preferred,
but an enlarged Power of doing Good; and the Day is coming (much sooner
than the Feeders on the Earth imagine) when I shall be allowed as
fully, for the Good I would have done, as for that which I was able to
accomplish. The Publick indeed lost many, and perhaps considerable
Advantages, and I some hearty Prayers, by that Disappointment; at the
same Time, I ever look'd on the Gain of Preferment with the noblest
Scorn: I hardly look'd with more on those that disgraced it, your
A----s, and your B----s, your C----s, and your D----s. The truth is, I
saw in this same scurvy World, so many bad Men pass for good; so many
Fools for wise; so many Ignorants for Learned; and so many Knaves for
honest, and rewarded accordingly, that I was rather provok'd, than
mortified. However, I never fretted, but rather diverted my Spleen,
with the World's fine Mistakes; and I enjoyed in _Petto_, that just
delight of a truely honest Mind, of either pitying, or contemning every
worthless Animal, whose Advancement made him look down on me, with
Insolence or Scorn.

PRIOR. That was a peculiar felicity of Temper.

SWIFT. It was so, and I enjoy'd it fully. If sometimes, I was weak
enough to be angry at such Events, I took care, that my Ill-humour,
shou'd be as useful to the Publick, as my good cou'd have been. I ever
despised undeserved Grandeur, and misapplied Power, and therefore few
People in high Posts, or even Kings or Queens, or Ministers, cou'd ever
brag much of my Condescension, in speaking a good Word for them to
Posterity, or endeavouring to blind the Eyes of the present Times, by
Printing either lies or Truths in their Favour. 'Tis true, I almost as
seldom gave them any Proofs of my Spite; partly out of neglect, and a
despair of doing any good by it; but chiefly, as I rather chose
quarrelling with my Equals, whom I cou'd safely treat as ill as they
used me; for after all _Tom_, tho' a Man hates Lyons and Tygers, there
is no great Wit or Wisdom in throwing Stones at them, and provoking the
lordly Monsters, to try the strength of their Mouths, or their Fangs on

PRIOR. I entirely agree with you there, Dean, but it is certain, if you
was not mortified, you was enraged at the ill Usage your Patriotism
drew on you from the Men in Power. This therefore, must have disturbed
your mind remarkably, and as I was observing at first had never given
you any uneasiness, had you been less zealous in your Country's

SWIFT. I shall chuse to say little to that; tho' probably had they used
me more generously, both they and I had been better pleased. I know my
Foes said, if I had not hated the Ministry so much, I had not lov'd
_Ireland_ so well, nor fought her Battles so stoutly against a stupid
World, and a juncto of Copper-Coiners, Oppressors and Tax-Gatherers.
But indeed, _Tom_, I scorn'd to write from such mean-interested Views
and partial Ends; but I wrote because I lov'd Honour, Truth and
Liberty, more than fifty _Irelands_. Nay, upon my Word, if I had liv'd
three Winters in _Lapland_, and found it as much opprest, I would have
made War with my Pen on the _Danes_, with the same Spirit, and attack
them for so basely distressing the Slaves that croucht to them, and
durst not on pain of Ruin howl under their Rods. I thank Heaven, I got
the better of the redoubted Sir _Robert_, in that important Affair; and
if I had liv'd a little longer, and my Organs had not declined too
fast, I would have kept all the great Bashaws of _Europe_ in my
Dependance as _Aretine_ did.

PRIOR. Why, Dr. Dean, I was complaining of the hard Fate and ill Usage
true Patriots meet with in the World, from its Neglects, if not from
its Oppressions; and you stop my Mouth with Declamations of their Worth
and their Influence, and make them the most formidable People in it.
Don't you consider how easily they are crusht by Power.

SWIFT. No! But I consider how easily they can crush Power, I mean
abused Power, when they attack Oppression and plead for Liberty, and an
injured People. If I was to be restored to Life again (which Heaven
forbid) and was in the Prime of my Parts and Spirits, I could overturn
bad Ministers as easily with my Pen, as _Mahomet_ in his Alcoran says,
the Archangel _Gabriel_ did Mountains with the Feather of his Wing. An
Author whose Writings are bottom'd on Truth, and influenced by no
Motives but the sincere Love of his Country can do Wonders. As he Acts
right he fears nothing; and if he be Opprest, his Sufferings do but
exalt his Character and encrease his Strength as well as his Courage. I
ever found this true by Experience, I never had more Spirit, more
Resolution, than when I was most eminently injured; nor did I ever
exert my self in a more distinguished Manner than when the Interests of
two Kingdoms were both at Work, and labouring by the help of a Villain
in Scarlet Robes, to String me up as a Trumpeter of Rebellion. God
forgive the Enemies of sincere Patriots, who make use of all their Arts
and their Power to crush and oppress them; but tho' I pray for them, I
must own _Tom_, if Beggars, were to be chusers, I had rather they
should be forgiven after they had been severely punish'd for their
misdeeds, for otherwise, when Oppressors gall Men or Nations too long,
Providence bears half blame.

PRIOR. I shall submit to all you advance _Dean_, provided you quit this
Subject, (which I unluckily started) and go to another, which I came to
talk about, and is of more Importance; I mean our poor Country, and its
present State and Circumstances; when I died, I thought I had left it
in a very improving way, and on the mending hand, by my Writings and my
constant Labours in its Service, and had I liv'd a little longer, I
wou'd have wrote some Tracts, that wou'd have prevented some
Distresses, which I hear, are likely to fall heavy on her.

SWIFT. Dreams! Whims! and Delusions! If you had wrote your self as
blind as _Milton_ did, what Service cou'd you do a Nation that never
thinks. You might as well expect to cure the Deaf by talking to them;
Idiots by reasoning with them; or to rouse the Dead as the _Romans_ did
by bawling and weeping for their miserable Condition. If they had been
retrievable by any Writings, I may justly say, they had been retrieved
by mine.

    _----Si Pergama dextra,
    Defendi possent, etiam hâc defensa fuissent._

But all such hopes are vain. Preach to Fishes and talk to Wolves like
St. _Anthony_ and St. _Francis_, and try what Change it will make in
them, and be assur'd, just so much and no more, would your Arguments
and Eloquence do, with our heedless Countrymen. I told them of their
Danger, and every impending Ruin in Print, Winter after Winter, as
regularly as Men wish People a good Year, every first of _January_; for
let me tell you _Tom_, repetitions of this Sort, are as necessary in a
Nation, that will not readily mind good Advice, as crying Fire! Fire!
in a City in Flames, where all are drunk or asleep, and must either
rouse and bestir themselves, or Perish. I cannot help boasting a little
on this Subject, I have a Title to it; these Hands were almost as
useful to the People of _I----d_, as _Moses_'s were to the _Jews_: When
I lifted them up, all went well; when I dropt them, all went wrong.
However, I must own, that as to the bulk of the Nation, tho' I tried
them, and studied them, for half a Century, I ever found that they
wou'd not be at the pain of thinking, for half an hour, to secure their
ease and happiness for half a Year. But, pray _Tom_, before you speak
of the Distresses that menace _I----d_, let me hear what Grounds you
have to say, She was, in a tolerable improving way, and on the mending
hand (as you call'd it) when you died. I have heard indeed, from the
Ghosts of some half-starved Silk-Weavers, and some Manufacturers of
_Irish_ Woollen Goods, that died of Hunger and Poverty, that _I----d_
was vastly improv'd, as to Elegance of Taste, in her Gentry, as to
eating and drinking: That they understood Musick, infinitely better
than their Ancestors; that they drest vastly more agreeably than their
stupid Grandmothers, and shew'd more good Sense in the nice choice of
their Suits, and the Fancy and richness of their Cloaths, as well as
the modest way of imitating naked _Eve_, in wearing them, than the last
Age did. I was assured also, that they danced inconceivably finer than
ever; that their Races, and their Subscriptions for them, quite surpast
all Imagination; and that they gam'd deeper, and lost their Guineas
with more ease and politeness, even to Strangers and Sharpers, than
their Fathers did their Shillings to one another. As to any other
Improvements, and particularly as to Learning, Virtue, or Piety, (which
probably were over-look'd in the Account) they poor famish'd Devils,
cou'd tell me nothing of them.

PRIOR. You are very merry _Dean_ with the madness of our Countrymen,
but I fear by and by, I shall hear another Story, and be as melancholy
with their Miseries. However, as you desire it, I shall give you a fair
Account what these Improvements were, which made me think our poor
Country was in a tolerable Way. And in the first Place, I shall mention
our numerous and extended Turnpikes, which have been carried on with
incredible Application and surprizing Expence in all Parts, and I had
almost said, brought to every Town, of the least Name, or Consequence
in the Kingdom. Of what infinite Advantage this must prove to the Ease
and Convenience of all Travellers, to the facilitating and promoting
our inland Commerce, and the general Service of Trade, I need not tell

SWIFT. Ah, _Tom_, I know very well, if _I----d_ had almost as many high
Ways in it as the Ocean, what Advantages it would produce to us. This
was one of the great Arts of the ancient _Romans_, who had prodigious
Roads running thro' every Province, in a strait Line to the Capital of
the Empire. But Alas! We copy them in our boasted Causeways, as we do
in our Standing Armies, without having any real Business for either of
them. I will for some Time, at least, drop the delicate Subject of our
Troops; but as to the other Point, I must say, I think it is a Curse
upon us, that we can't even copy a good Example (for bad Ones we do
more adroitly) but we do it in a tricky dirty Manner, and with as many
Deviations as we can. Why, dost thou not know, _Tom_, what base filthy
Jobs, Knaves, and Mean-foul'd Wretches have made, and do still make of
these magnified Turnpikes. I was once fix'd to write a Book of all the
Cheats, and all the Reptiles, of what Quality or Station soever
concern'd in them, but I found it would be so voluminous, that I left
the Care of it to Posterity, as one of the largest Branches of _Irish_
History, and Wisdom. But to dwell as little on such melancholy
Disgraces of our Country, as I can, I will chuse only to hint to you,
that fine Roads, without Travellers, and Stage-Coaches, without
Passengers, are useless Things, that must soon be dropt; and without
Manufactures, and proper Employment to set us at Work, can neither be
for Use or Pleasure. Indeed, if we had Trade, and the Roads were fairly
finish'd, they might help it; but in the mean Time, methinks we are in
his Case, who built the Mill, without knowing whence to bring Water to
it, or where to procure Grist for it. Nay, to make bad worse, after so
many Acts for Turnpikes, you cannot but know, _Tom_, that we want one
general Act to make them all passable. I am loth to be too severe on
them, and those who make Pence by spoiling them; and therefore I will
only say, passable for Footmen at least; for as to Carriages, if they
are allowed to be driven on some of these Roads, they will be the utter
Ruin of each other. But as I am quite sick of this, prithee _Tom_, let
us go to some other Improvements of _Ireland_.

PRIOR. Why, the next I shall mention is one, which you cannot easily
talk me out of, and that is, our prodigious Number of Converts; which,
considering the Prejudices of a bigotted People, (envassaled to _Rome_,
and Superstition) exceeds all Belief. It is a Matter of the highest
Consequence to our Welfare, that we have so astonishing a Crowd of all
Ranks, Fortunes, and Circumstances that have come over to our Church,
who were formerly our inveterate Enemies, and are now perfectly united
to us, both in our religious and political Interests: This is not only
a great discomfort, and weakening to the Popish Party, but a
considerable Encouragement and Strength, to all who wish well to the
Protestant Religion in _Ireland_. As the Papists are now quite
depriv'd, of all Men of Fortune, Family or Character, that were capable
of heading their Attempts, or forming their Schemes of any Sort; I have
ever look'd on this Affair of our numerous Converts, as likely to
contribute emnently to the Peace and Prosperity of this Island. By this
means, those spiritual Factions, which have often produced such fatal
Effects here, by Rebellions and national Massacres, will be utterly
extinguished, and both Conformists, Dissenters and Papists, will in a
little Time, live in as much Harmony and Good-Humour together; as if
our Statesmen had learn'd the Art of Father _Boubours_'s Friend, who he
tells us, had taught a Dog, a Cat, and a Mouse, to eat quietly

SWIFT. The Dissenters live in Harmony and good Humour! What, _Tom_,
cannot even the Grave open your Eyes; as to those Favourites of yours,
the Dissenters, after all the Pranks they have been playing of late, as
if they had a mind to make good, all I ever writ against them: But keep
your old kind Opinion of them, _Tom_, to your self, for I shall not
dispute on it now, because a few Years, and a few Facts, will shew you
fully what they drive at, and so to that great Explainer Time, I leave
them, unless you start the Subject hereafter. As to our Converts which
are our present Topick, I shall only say, when you consider how they
manage, whose Interests they espouse, and who they herd with, you will
not be too ready to vouch for their Sincerity, or build on their
Friendship, especially when their Conversion is brought about, by
worldly Interests, and securing their Estates. They remember, I fancy
the Advice of _Alexander_ the Great to the _Athenians_, who refused to
own him for a God:

    [2]_Videte Athenienses ne dum Coelum custodiatis, Terram amittatis_,

and therefore they take Care, not to sacrifice their Lands and
Tenements, to Opinions that are equally inconsistent and inconvenient.
As for the Story of Father _Boubours_'s Friend, I shall only answer it,
with one of Father Henepius, who was a very honest Missionary, and had
made some Converts among the _Indian_ Savages. In the small Number of
those he had brought over, he met with an old Woman, whom he had taken
so much pains in instructing, that at last he had thoroughly convinc'd
her; and having admitted his new Christian to Baptism, he made her a
present (and a very agreeable one to the Savages) of a Pound of
Tobacco: In a few Weeks, (after behaving very well) this old Woman
comes to Father _Henepin_, and tells him her Tobacco was gone, and begs
of all Love, he wou'd give her another Pound, and she wou'd then
consent to be Christned anew. I will make no Application, _Tom_, but if
any of your _Irish_ Conversions, seem to bear some Resemblance with
this, as to their Motives and Conduct, I think you need not boast much
of any Advantages, to be deriv'd from them.

      [2] _Look to it_ Athenians, _lest whilst you guard Heaven too
      closely you should lose your Lands._

PRIOR. I look on our Converts in a very different Light; Numbers of
them are unquestionably sincere; and if any of them may be justly
suspected, I am sure their Children, and Grand-Children; will be
actually as good Protestants, as any in _England_, where a few
Generations ago, all were bigotted Slaves to _Rome_ and Popery. Upon
this Footing it is, that I will also reckon up to you, our Charter
working Schools, as another great Improvement in _I----d_, and which
gave me great Hopes of our drawing prodigious Advantages from them. The
_Janizaries_, who are Sons of Christians taken Captives in their
Infancy, are not a greater Strength to the _Turks_, or a greater
weakening to their Enemies, than these Children, will be to our Church
and Kingdom. This is the Surest, and safest Method of striking at the
Root of the Popish Party, in our divided Country; and will secretly and
without Noise or Violence, or the Terror of Penal Laws, sap and
undermine their great Support their Numbers, and that old partition
Wall of the _Irish_ Tribes, and the _English_ Families, and make us in
Time but one People. There are few Counties in the Kingdom, that have
not one, or more, Charter Schools establish'd in them; and as the
Children, I am told, are computed to near fifteen Hundred, and will
probably in a few Years, amount to double that Number, I cannot but
hope to see great Effects from this happy Institution.

SWIFT. Why truly, _Tom_, in three or four Centuries, something may be
done; but Schools and Children are as slow a way of working, as sowing
Acorns, in order to raise Forests, for building Fleets and Cities.
Besides, the Funds allowed this noble Design, are so small, as if they
were subscrib'd by Papists, in order to cramp it, and lessen its
Efficacy; whereas the Contributions ought to be as extended as its
Views, and suited to the removal of our great national Defect, our
religious Differences. Neither ought such an important Scheme, to be
left depending on Fits of good Humour, and the Yearnings of Charity,
which are influenced so much by the Variations of popular Opinion, and
Changes of Weather, and Times, and Seasons. Withall I must tell you,
_Tom_, that the whole Body of the Popish Clergy, have been so violent
in opposing it, by denying the Communion and Absolution, to all their
Members, that send Children to such Schools, and cursing it and them,
with Bell, Book, and Candle, in all their Congregations, that I
apprehend it will be yet harder, to get Children to fill the Schools,
than even a Fund to maintain them there.

PRIOR. It must be owned the popish Clergy have done their utmost, to
discredit and overturn this Design. This however, is a stronger Proof
of the exceeding Usefulness of it, than of their Prudence in thwarting
it so violently, as they confessedly have done. However, as this is a
Scheme which his Majesty has so generously, and so warmly espoused, I
am the more inclined to believe, that from his Royal Protection, it
will probably operate more expeditiously, than you imagine: And if
these wise Priests will consider, that if they go on to undermine these
Plans of their Governors, it may force them to blow up at once, their
whole Church Government, and oblige all Priests, on pain of High
Treason, to take out all their Titles from the King, or Protestant
Bishops only, it may make them more cautious and moderate in their
mighty Zeal. A Priest in _Ireland_, shou'd be as quiet, and as passive,
as a Protestant Minister in _France_; and if once they are so, we shall
soon find our Charter Schools more crowded than their Mass Houses, and
their Parents, as manageable as their Children.

SWIFT. I am afraid their fixt Opposition to our Government may produce
some wholesome Statutes to curb their ill-judg'd Zeal; but if they
behave with Decency, and a due Submission to the Laws and the
Government, I shou'd be sorry to see any Severities thought necessary.

PRIOR. So shou'd I, and probably their own Prudence and Moderation may
prevent it; and to that we may leave it. In short, dear _Dean_, 'tis as
easy removing this Evil, as drawing a loose Tooth, if it gives us no
Pain, there it may stay 'till it rots; if it does Pain us, and severely
too, out it must go, and let those who give the Pain look to it. But I
will drop this Subject, and go on to another considerable Improvement,
that has of late Years been carried on with particular Emulation and
Success, and that is, the surprising Improvement in the Breed of both
our black Cattle, and our Horses. The first of these, we have taken
uncommon Care about, by Importing great Numbers of the finest Bulls and
Heifers, from _England_. It is true, the fatal Disease, that infected
most of the horned Beasts for some Years past in _Great Britain_,
forc'd us to suspend our Importations of them for some Time; but
nevertheless, I will be bold to say, there are but few breeding
Counties, on the other Side of the Water, which produce Cattle that
excell those, which are bred by a vast many of our Gentlemen, either as
to Beauty, Size, Leather, or Milk.

As to our Horses, it is confest by the best Judges, that by bringing
over the noblest Stallions, and the highest bred Mares, we may boast of
having raised the Character of both our Racers and Hunters to a
surprizing Degree. We send over great Numbers every Year abroad and I
am assured, that in the _French_ King's Stables, they make as great a
Figure, and are as much esteemed, as those of any Country in _Europe_,
if we except _Great Britain_. Our Nobility and Gentry, are so
passionately fond of keeping fine Studs, and the highest priced Cattle
For Blood and Performance, that if they go on, as they have hitherto
done, to lay out such large Sums in indulging this Humour, we may in
Time expect to pay Part of the dreadful Importation of _French_ Claret,
by our _Irish_ Horses.

SWIFT. I wonder you don't brag of our Importing Jack-Asses, and
breeding Mules here, among your other mighty Nothings you boast of so
magnificently. For my part, _Tom_, I see no great Advantage to the
Service of _Ireland_, that a few private Gentlemen have improv'd the
Breed of the horned Cattle. You may as well argue, that some of our
_Irish_ Senators marrying a few celebrated Toasts for their Beauty,
wou'd improve the natural homeliness of the Commonality.

Indeed the Improvement made in the Breed of our _Irish_ Horses, I
believe will grow very general, and have more enlarged Consequences,
among our People, as Racing favours some of their darling Passions,
their Indolence and Idleness, Gaming and Drinking, and the helping our
Fox-Hunters off, with their Time and their Fortunes, which I ever
thought, two of the greatest Burdens to our _Irish_ Gentlemen in the
World. If they wou'd turn themselves, to breed Cattle to mount our
Troops, or draw our Carriages, they might indeed save us 5000_l._ a
Year, and do something truly beneficial to our Country; but, _Tom_,
they have Souls above the little Views of being useful, and managing
their Expences, and keeping our Cash in the Kingdom, are low Arts and
Tricks, fitter for the mean Notions of a Merchant or a Mechanick, than
Men of Fortune and Family, that are as proud and as thoughtless as so
many noble _Spaniards_.

PRIOR. Well, _Dean_, in spite of all your Objections, I think I have
nam'd several considerable Improvements, in our poor Country, which
gave me Reason to say, she was on the mending Hand; and I have not
nam'd all, for the very encrease of our Numbers of late Years, is a
vast Addition to our Strength, Credit, and Figure, as a Nation. I think
the Dealers in Political Arithmetick, compute that every Nation,
unwasted by Famines, Wars, or Plagues, doubles the Quantity of its
People in 250 Years; but I have seen Computations, that between our
early Marriages, the Breedyness of our People, the Importations of our
Neighbours, the Mildness of our Climate, and the Fertility of our Soil,
evidently prove, that we have frequently doubled the Amount of our
Inhabitants in half that Time. The Truth is, the matter of Fact is so
incontestable, that I need not recollect all the Proofs, on which they
ground their Assertion; but I shall only observe to you, _Dean_, that
this is a very singular Advantage, since it is certain, that we out
breed the _Jews_, and in spite of our Wars and Massacres, we seem to
multiply like the _Polypus_, by being cut to Pieces.

SWIFT. Stuff and Nonsense! To tell me of our Numbers, when they only
serve to multiply our Wretchedness and Miseries: Does this prove us on
the mending Hand, as you term it? Why you talk like a Physician, that
wanted more Fees for doing nothing! 'Tis hard, _Tom_, you cannot be in
the Right sometimes, and speak Truth now and then. Did ever Man before
you boast of having Crowds of Beggars? And what are we else? For I
verily think, tho' Sir _William Petty_ says, Nature never design'd
above one in 500 to beg by forcing them on the Charity of others,
(thro' some Lameness, Crookedness, or other accidental Debility, that
incapacitates them to Labour) that in _Ireland_ one in seventy are
Beggars, (at least for the Summer Season,) and sixty of the Remainder
incapable of relieving them, thro' their own Distresses. All the
Advantages we have thro' the encrease of our Inhabitants, is, that for
want of being employ'd, they furnish us with Thieves, Pilferers and
Sharpers, private Wenches, and common Whores, Cheats and Robbers,
Pickpockets, Gamesters, Tinkers and Vagabonds. We get also by this
blessed means some Foundlings for our Hospitals, and Brats for our
Charter Schools, Shoe-boys, and News Criers, and when they're grown up,
Recruits for the holy Convents and Nunneries, and the wise and reverend
Body of the Popish Priests. We have also the Advantage of able bodied
Volunteers, for the Armies of our dear Allies the _French_; Shoals of
Transports, that escape from the Gallows, to the Plantations abroad,
and a superfetation of Felons, to give a little Business to our Judges,
Justices, and Hangmen at home, and to keep up an Appearance of our
being govern'd like other Nations. How many Thousands do we see, take
their flight abroad every Year, like Birds of Passage, to search for
Food and Subsistance in other Countries? How many Thousands never
return again to us, no more than Prisoners to their Confinement, when
they've broke loose from their hard Fare, and their Fetters. I do not
exaggerate in the least; our Numbers, till we can give them Business at
home, are as much a Curse and a Burthen as too large a Garrison in a
besieged Town that wants Provisions: If, as political Writers agree,
the true Interests of any Country consists in the Prosperity not of
some, but of all the People in it, then I am sure _Ireland_, with her
boasted Numbers, is in a bad way; as all her poor Popish Natives, or in
other Words, three-fourths of her swarming Inhabitants, have neither
Houses, Cloaths, Work, Food, or Fire. This is a dismal self-evident
Truth, that demands the serious Consideration of every Irishman, that
can think, or can learn to think. At the same Time, our Nobility and
Gentry set their Lands excessively high, get their Rents paid to a
Penny, have as little fear of Wars or Taxes as of Famines, and live as
well (rambling, and squandering their Fortunes all over the World) as
any People whatever, without one uneasy Thought, as to the
Circumstances of those Crowds of their Countrymen that are starving
here. The Truth is, few Men are sick of other People's Ailments; and as
these honest Gentlemen find themselves quite at Ease, they can't think
others are in Misery. It puts me in mind, _Tom_, of the famous _La
Bruyere_'s Account of a great Statesman in _France_, who sign'd an
Arret, that wou'd have starv'd some Millions of People; however, says
he, in his sarcastical way, he is to be excused, for how cou'd he, with
his Stomach full of Meat, and his Head fuming with Wine, have any
notion of a whole Province perishing with Hunger? In other Countries,
where some Care is taken to employ their Hands, and secure them
Necessaries of Life, within the reach of their Labour, their Numbers
are their Strength and their Happiness; but here where nobody thinks
for us, and we are too sottish or desperate to think for ourselves; our
Numbers only increase our Misfortunes, like Lice on a diseased and
famish'd Beggar. Our common _Irish_ are cloathed with Rags, that wou'd
disgrace a Dunghill in _Holland_; they live five Months in the Year
without Food, unless you will call Potatoes and Salt by that Name; nay,
they live without Houses, unless Holes twice as big, and twice as
dirty, as an _English_ Hogsty, deserve that Title, which they Build
too, just for a Year, as Birds build their Nests, and then away to
another Place in the Spring. And to brag of our Numbers, in such
deplorable Circumstances, is just as rational, as for a Miller to brag
of having Thousands of Rats in his Mill, tho' they are starving and
thieving, and ready to eat up one another, for a little more Room and

PRIOR. Dear _Dean_, you are too severe, and have too imbitter'd a way
of Speeching, on all Things relating to _Ireland_. I reckon the
encrease of our Hands the greater Blessing, as the advancement of our
Linen Business is likely in some Years, to find Employment for Crowds
of our People; and consequently to give them all the Conveniences, as
well as the Necessaries of Life, in a reasonable Plenty: The prodigious
Progress which this useful Manufacture, had made among us, was also
another Reason for my saying, I left _Ireland_ on the Recovery, when I
was call'd Home: It generally encreases about 20,000 _l._ per Ann. on
an Average; and begins to spread so very fast in _Leinster_,
_Connaught_ and _Munster_, that in a little Time we may hope to see
many Thousands of Families, which are now famishing, easy in their
Circumstances, and useful to their Country. We begin to be convinced,
that our chief view herein must be to increase the Number of Acres
sowed with Flax-Seed, and the Spinners who Manufacture it; for if these
were doubled (and with Care and Time they will be doubled) they wou'd
soon enrich us, and employ many Hands, that are now a Burthen to us.
'Tis certain there is not by the fairest Computation, over the
fifteenth Part of our People employ'd at present in this Business; and
it ought to be our great Care, to have as many busied this way, in the
other three Provinces, as there are in _Ulster_. Twenty Thousand Acres
of Flax will furnish us with Materials enough, to keep an eighth part
of our People employ'd; and as we neither want Ground enough to supply
us with sufficient Quantities of excellent Flax, nor Hands to work it
up, if we wou'd use them; there is little doubt, but by proper Laws, if
we can get them, and well judg'd Premiums, if we are allowed them, we
shall soon see this blessed Affair establish'd. There is no danger of
growing too large a Quantity of Flax, or of manufacturing too large a
Stock of Linen; the demand for them is so considerable already, and
will encrease every Day, with our Skill and Industry in the
Manufacture; and if we enlarge the Sallaries of our Lappers, and
thereby secure the Credit of their Seals, it is probable, we shall
outwork, and under sell all our Rivals.

SWIFT. A very fine and a very plausible Account of Things; but do you
know, _Tom_, of no Objection against this promising Calculation of
yours? Are there no Fears to ballance these growing Hopes, and mighty

PRIOR. None that I know of, Mr. _Dean_. I have exaggerated nothing, but
candidly represented the true State of this Manufacture; nay I ought to
have added to it, the flourishing State of our Cambricks in _Ulster_,
and particularly at _Dundalk_; where we have as happy an Example set us
in the North, as a certain Baronet, and Friend of mine, has given us in
the South; what our Nobility and Gentry can do to help us, when they
Employ an enlarged Fortune, and an improv'd Understanding, in advancing
our Manufactures, and labouring to enrich and enliven our Country. I
might justly have brought in also, the reasonable Hopes we have, that
our Hempen Manufactures, may in a few Years, be so assisted, as to
enable us to give Wings to the Navy of _Great Britain_, and Shirts to
her Seamen; to her great saving, and our equal Gain and Honour. By this
means, the rich Lands in _Munster_ and _Connaught_, may be as happily
employ'd, as the less fertile Fields, in the North; and have no Reason
to Envy the superior Industry and Wealth of their Neighbours: And then
our Women, (who used to be the most useless Members of our Country,
before they distinguish'd themselves in our Linen Business,) wou'd have
a new Opportunity given them, to shew themselves the best, and the most
industrious Creatures in it.

SWIFT. I think, _Tom_, we may spare our Compliments to the Women, now
we are dead, who paid so little Regard to them while we were living.
But to pass by that, I must tell you, I have let you go on a long
while, without contradicting you on this favourite Article, which I
always think on with satisfaction, as it is the staple Commodity of
this Island, and the chief Support of our Poor. But you shou'd act the
Part of one of those faithful Lappers you were talking of, and put the
worst part of their Cloth Manufacture outmost, and then Matters wou'd
wear a very different Aspect. Do you consider what a dangerous Rival
_Scotland_ has been, and is likely more and more every Day to prove, to
this miserable Country; and with how much ease she may exert her
Jealousy against us, to the cramping, or possibly, to the blasting all
our Hopes. Do you reflect, how she may reduce you to the precarious
Dependance of sending over every Sessions a Linen Bill; and to hold the
very Subsistance of our Manufactures, or in other Words, the Life of
_Ireland_, by her sole Will and Pleasure.

PRIOR. I have often heard this Objection started, but never thought
there was Danger enough in it to deserve an Answer, because I am
convinced, it is equally false and absurd. _Great Britain_ knows and
feels, that the improving these Manufactures here, is of vast Service
to her, as it weakens her Enemies, and strengthens her Friends; and
that all she pays us with one Hand, is quickly repaid by us into the
other. _Scotland_ also knows, that there is a vast demand for all the
Linens she and _Ireland_ can work up; and that _England_ alone consumes
above the Value of a Million, imported by Foreigners, more than she and
_Ireland_ can supply her with: She knows therefore, that there is no
Cause for Rivalship, and if there was, she wou'd exert herself to
discourage the Manufactures of Foreigners, before she wou'd attempt to
ruin a Sister Nation, so closely united to her in the great Cause of
Religion and Liberty, and all the weighty Interests that tie Nations
together. This is so evedent, so sacred a Truth, that I am so far from
being jealous of Opposition and Rivalship from that Quarter, that I am
confident of all that Assistance and Encouragement to our Linens, which
has been so often promised from _Great Britain_, and made good to us,
by the repeated Orders of our Kings; and not only by the Speeches of
our Lords Lieutenants, but by the most useful Laws from the Throne.
Nay, I doubt not, if by any evil Arts of our Enemies, any distress or
obstruction, should hereafter be procured to our Manufacturers; we
shou'd find on a candid Complaint of our Injury, an immediate Redress
from that honest Spirit, which ever regulates the _English_ Councils,
and makes them detest tricky Politicks, as much as open Oppression, and
has ever inspired them with a noble Zeal, to assist and protect the
righteous Cause of Truth, Industry and Liberty.

SWIFT. It may be so! very likely--but possibly, _Tom_, her aid might
come too late for our Misery; and we might cry out, like the poor
_Roman_ Knight _Lancia_, who bawl'd out for help, when the Pile he was
laid on, was all in Flames, and his Friends could do him no Service.
Besides, _Tom_, not to mention that your rising Manufacture fell last
Year 132,000 _l._ Have you not heard how your last Linen Bill, was so
miserably mutilated, that it was forc'd to be dropt; and that the
Nation was fobb'd off with a senseless Tale of a sleepy heedless Clerk;
which if you have not heard, I can give you a full Account of.

PRIOR. There is no Occasion, for I am quite convinced there was no such
Design. Do you think it possible, that Men of high Characters for
Honour and Candour, Justice and Integrity, cou'd sport in so infamous a
Manner with the Fate of Nations, and the very Bread and Being of a
free, a brave, and a loyal People? Can you suppose, such a Personage as
was then watching over our Welfare, wou'd from an universal Reputation,
for every great and good Quality, turn in an instant to a barbarous
_Caligula_, and Wish to cut off a whole Kingdom at a Blow? Absurd and
impossible! 'Tis not only reflecting on our Governors, basely and
falsely; but in some Measure on the best of Princes too; since it is
impossible we cou'd be subtily and insidiously betray'd by the one,
without being secretly doom'd to Ruin by the other. Now this, Mr.
_Dean_, is a Conduct so utterly opposite to his royal Nature and
Character, who now gives Glory to the _British_ Throne; that I am
persuaded, he is incapable of acting so to his most perfidious Enemies,
and much less to the most zealous and faithful Subjects in the World.

SWIFT. Well, well, _Tom_, 'tis no Time for us to be quarrelling about
Reports and Stories. But now you have done with whitening the
Sepulchres of _Ireland_, give me leave to shew you honestly, and
without Flattery, the Dirt and Stench, the Corruption and Rottenness
that lurks within. Now,

    _Audi alteram Partam._

I will shew You----

PRIOR. Hear me out first, for I am so far from having done, that I have
not yet even touch'd on all the Advantages that our Country has
received, from the _Dublin_ Society's Premiums; which was one of my
chief Reasons, for having consider'd _Ireland_ as upon the Recovery,
when I went under-ground like a Tortoise, to be raised again when the
Summer comes, after a long Sleep. I need not be very particular on so
known and confest a Fact, as the extraordinary Improvements they have
made amongst us, in a vast Variety of Articles. We are told _Solomon_'s
Writings were so extensive, that he wrote from the Cedar of _Lebanon_,
to the Hyssop that groweth from the Wall; and really their Labours have
taken in every Material, every Manufacture, and every Improvement of
either of them, that had any claim to their Attention or Encouragement.
We may say of their Funds, as _Laertes_ does in _Hamlet_, 'as for my
Means, I'll husband them so well, they shall go far with little;' and
it is certain there never was so much done, with so poor an Income, to
remedy all our natural Indisposition, to Labour, and Thought, and
Industry; to rouse up Thousands who were asleep, and set Numbers on
contriving and working, who were dreaming and idling before; and to
stop our People from runing abroad, by Wages and Business, and an hope
of living to purpose at Home. They gave Premiums, to heighten the
Manufacture and Dying of our Woollen Cloths; of our Silks, and our
Velvets; of our Blankets; of our Worsteds; of our Cottons; of our
Coffoys; Buffs, Lutherines and, Fustians; of our Stockings, and our
Carpets, with surprising Success: In our Husbandry they did Wonders
also; as to Wheat and Barley; as to Liming, Marling, and Sanding of
Land; as to planting of Hops, draining of Bogs; as to raising
Liquorish, Saffron and Madder; and as to sowing of Turneps, Clover, St.
Foil, Trefoil, and all Kinds of Grass Seeds. They improv'd by a well
judged Emulation and proper Rewards, Numbers of our Husbandry Utensils:
They set the Nation at Work, in Planting amazing Quantities of Timber
Trees, Willows and Osiers for Hop Poles; in raising great Numbers of
Orchards, and improving our making of Cyder, home made Wines, and
Metheglins; as also in Brewing our Ale and Beer, and giving us Vinegar
from our own Fruits, equal to the best in _France_. They raised the
Manufactures of our finest Hats, to a surprising Degree; and they did
the same by our Window Glass, and made so great a Progress in our Paper
Business, and building of Mills for carrying it on, as if they had got
the Mines of _Peru_, or the Industry of _China_, to assist them in
their Undertakings.

SWIFT. Well, dear _Tom_, I suppose you have done now. I have finish'd a
Sermon, on a better Subject twice as soon, and yet tir'd my People, God
help them, before I had half done.

PRIOR. I see you don't relish the Transports of my Zeal on this
Subject, which gives me such high Delight; so I shall mention but
cursorily many Articles that remain, and shall pass by a Crowd in
Silence, that well deserv'd my dwelling on them: What I shall begin the
remaining part of my Catalogue with, is their exerting themselves with
such Assiduity and Success; in Teaching young Lads to Draw and Design
skilfully; in setting up Competitions for the best Delf, Roan and
Crockery Ware, for Erecting the best Glass Bottle-Houses, for raising
of Mulberry Trees, for making of Salt, for working the best Bone-Lace,
and the best Imitation of it by the Needle: For the Encouragement of
the best Needle-Works in Silk and Worsted; for the Advancement of those
lovely Arts Painting, Architecture and Sculpture; for encouraging
Tapestry, and enlarging our Fisheries: For improving the Tanning and
Currying of our Leather, for the Discovery of Mines and raising of
Ores, and for those who should annually Produce the best Invention in
useful Arts and Husbandry. In a Word, by turning themselves every way,
and applying their little Fund in different Years, to different Uses
and Subjects, they seem'd not only to Influence, but even to animate
the Whole of our Country; to fire our Hearts, to enlighten our Minds,
and stir and strengthen our Hands; and by giving a new Turn to our
Thoughts and Motions, to prepare us for yet greater Scenes of Industry,
when larger Helps cou'd be got to excite us to it. They have shewn us
the vast Effects of a well directed Emulation, and what a few hundred
annual Pounds, have already done, and can produce hereafter, by the
honest Oeconomy and prudential Directions, of a zealous and judicious
Body of Citizens, who Study the Good of their Country. They have also
shewn us another undisputed Truth, _viz._ That if their Fund was
enlarg'd, the Good they wou'd do wou'd be proportionably encreased with
it, and that little Wonders might be wrought in _Ireland_, by
enlivening the Arts, by Feeding the Hungry, by giving Feet and Hands to
the Lame and Lazy, Eyes to the Blind or dim-sighted, and raising the
Dead and the Drousy, to Life and Activity.

SWIFT. Go on, dear _Tom_, go on, with your Raptures and Enthusiastical
Reveries; but pray allow me to ask you one plain Question, what (if all
you affirm be true) cou'd possibly hinder, this necessary, and indeed
this important Enlargement of their Fund.

PRIOR. Why really, Mr. _Dean_, I cannot answer your Enquiry, without
throwing one of the heaviest Imputations on a Nation, which I wou'd
have Died to serve effectually, and which I spent my Life in labouring
to serve, in too narrow and stinted a Manner. It must be confest, too
few of our Nobility or Gentry, shew'd that Generosity of Soul to
encrease the annual Income of the Society, by their Contributions, as
might have been expected, from the Numbers of worthy Men among us, who
do us real Honour. It is certain his Majesty set the Nation a noble
Example, by Assigning them a Charter, and allowing them an handsome
annual Revenue out of his Treasury; and what shou'd hinder Crowds of
our worthiest Noblemen and Gentlemen, of large Fortunes and Minds
proportioned to them, to Subscribe Ten or Twenty Pounds a Year, to so
noble and so successful a Scheme, is hard and perhaps painful to say: I
am the more amaz'd at it, as they cou'd not but say, it wou'd have
raised _Ireland_ from Idleness to Industry, from Ignorance to
Knowledge; from Contempt and Disregard, to Honour and Credit; and wou'd
not have left us in fifty Years, an Idler or a Beggar, (which are but
synonimous Terms) in the whole Kingdom. A Dish or two sav'd from their
Tables, or a Bottle or two from their Revellings, an Horse or two left
out of their Stables, nay even a lac'd Coat, or a lac'd Livery sunk: a
Night of Gaming, a trifling Frolick, a Jaunt of Pleasure deducted from
their usual Expences; or what is still better, a Winter or two spent in
doing Good on their own Estates, wou'd more than answer all: It is
certain, that it is absolutely incumbent on every Gentleman, I will not
say that loves _Ireland_, but that loves himself and his Family, to do
his best to assist so happy a Scheme, so distinguish'd a Society, with
his Purse, his Head and his Hands, if he knows how to use any of them.
Nay, they shou'd extend the same Methods, and the same Premiums, to
their several Provinces, Counties and Cities, for the particular Arts
and Manufactures, that are likeliest to thrive there: And if they
diffused them to their own Estates, Manors and Tenants, it wou'd in
Time with Patience and Management, produce vast Effects, and a strange
Revolution in our Circumstances, Customs and Manners. These are
Thoughts worthy of Men, of Christians, of Free-born _Britons_, and
rational Creatures! worthy to be planted and nursed in every honest
Breast, and to be spread as universally, as the Air we breathe, and the
Bounds of Nature and the World. He that has them, and feeds and
cultivates them in his Soul, and brings them into common Life and
Action in his Country, has a better Claim to the Love of his Maker, or
Fellow-Citizens, than if he had founded Empires, or discover'd new

SWIFT. Very well, _Tom_--but pray will Mankind agree to these fine
Doctrines, or will they not rather despise or ridicule them, as a
little on the Romantick.

PRIOR. If the Lazy, the Vicious, and the Selfish laugh at such Notions,
and look on such Plans of Things, as Dreams and Visions; the Active,
the Virtuous, and the Disinterested, know their real Worth, and wish
and labour, to have them spread as widely and as forcibly among Men, as
Vices corrupt; and Plagues destroy. I and some others did our best, to
propagate such ways of thinking and acting here; but I fear we might to
as much Purpose, have admonish'd the modern _Italians_, to imitate the
Courage, Zeal and publick Spirit of the antient _Romans_, for I did not
find, that we made many Converts to our Opinions. However, Charity
makes me think, that what chiefly hinders our Gentlemen from acting
right, and making such Thoughts the great Rules of their Conduct; is
the dread of being Singular, and the unmanly fear of envious Tempers.
They apprehend being traduced or sneer'd at, by the common Herd of
Mankind for their insolent Zeal, and their daring to set up to serve
others, and improve their Countrymen, and therefore they decline it. It
is odd how any good, not to say any great Mind, can be overaw'd by so
mean a Modesty, by so poor a Terror, as the Censure or Malice of those
he labours to serve, and yet Hundreds (I speak from long Experience)
are influenced by it. What makes me wonder the more at such Conduct,
is, that I am persuaded Malice here below, is not only design'd by the
great Author of Good, as a Trial of our Virtue, to see if it is real
and constant to the Touch, as the Goldsmith does his Metal by passing
it thro' the Fire, but I cou'd even think Malice, is also a sort of
Reward to Virtue.

SWIFT. Bless us all, _Tom!_ Malice a Reward to Virtue! that is
something new indeed, _Tom_.

PRIOR. It may be absurd also, but I am sometimes inclined to think it
so, because it generally encreases and exalts our Worth, and also as it
frequently serves to make it appear with the greater Dignity and Glory,
when the Malice of Envyers is vanquish'd or silenced. Besides we often
see it a direct Spur to noble Actions, and find it stimulates our
Ardour to new advances; and when our Souls are firm enough, to smile at
and even wish well to our Detractors, it swells the Heart with a nobler
Joy, and an higher Delight, than even Virtue in any other Situation can
give. But however that may be, I am sure it is the chief Reward of
Virtue in this World, and this Age. But to dismiss that Point, I must
observe that it has often amaz'd me, to see how few Gentlemen I cou'd
persuade to exert themselves, by proper Donations or Subscriptions, to
assist a Society that is so eminently useful to their Country.

SWIFT. I think you have accounted for it pretty well already, I will
only add this plain Truth, that Men love their Money better than their
Health, or their dear Bodies, to say nothing of their Souls. For this
Reason it is, that they don't Care for giving it to Schemes of Notions,
and airy Views of Industry, and Improving of Nations; but they keep it
for solid Substantial Things, their Racing and Gaming, their Hawks and
their Hounds, their Cloaths and their Coaches, their Houses and their
Equipages, their Kitchens and Cellars, their Amours and Amusements.
They are so far from giving their Money to such Projects and Views,
that they will not even give their Thoughts or their Time to them, lest
they shou'd be mislead, into the Plague of reading, and thinking, and
reasoning; of contriving the best Methods, of punishing the Idle,
reclaiming the Vicious, or employing the Poor. Such troublesome
Methods, may prove the overthrow of Electioneering and Borough-buying,
and their embosom'd Thirst for the poorest Power, the meanest Places,
and the basest Gain; and in a Word it wou'd be the Destruction, of all
those dirty Jobbs, that enrich private Rogues and beggar Nations. How,
dear _Tom_, cou'd you expect such dissipated Minds, such a listless
pleasurable Gentry, wou'd ever contribute a Thought, or a Shilling to
improve _Ireland_, who won't improve one Thousand Acres, to help their
Children and feed their Families? Who will not even take the Trouble,
or be at the Expence, to lay out Nurseries for adorning their Estates,
or plant out Groves and Woods, to make their Residence pleasant to
them; nay, who will not even Build good Mansion Houses, or comfortable
Offices for themselves or their Posterity? Wou'd such unthinking
unactive Mortals, subscribe to Societies, or lighten their Purses to
establish Premiums, who tho' they cou'd make themselves and their
Fortunes easy, by a little Management, tho' they cou'd starve their
Diseases by Temperance, and be an Honour to their Country, by a little
Virtue and Dignity of Behaviour, will not think them worth their
Attention. One shou'd never expect, mighty Efforts of Goodness or
Greatness of Mind, from any Men, or even dream of moderate ones from
_Irishmen_; or at least whoever does, shou'd remember what the
_Italian_ says, 'He who lives on Hope dies of Hunger.' As there are few
among us, _Tom_, who have exalted Minds, enlarg'd Understandings, or
uncorrupted Hearts, join'd with a noble Contempt, for whatever can
happen to us here, it is pretty evident, why their Subscriptions were
so few and so mean; for without these transcendent Qualities, 'tis hard
to conceive how Men can truly love their Country, and be real sincere
Patriots. Numbers have Generosity enough, to relieve a distrest Family,
to join for a Ridotto, to set up a Musick Meeting, or an Assembly, or
Subscribe for a Week's Races; but they wou'd as soon contribute to the
Building of Churches, or endowing Colleges for the Advancement of
Learning, as to promote the Trade, the Tillage, the Manufactures, the
Welfare of _Ireland_, by taxing their Pocket, or substracting from
their Pleasures. There is however one Excuse, which I must plead for
them, notwithstanding all I have said, and that is the too general
Despair, of doing any Service to their Country; by such Subscriptions,
the Remedy is so disproportioned to the Disease. 'Tis, they think, like
Sir _Joseph Jekills_, leaving 30,000 _l._ by his Will, to help to pay
off the National Debt, of eighty Millions.

PRIOR. That was a poor Excuse indeed; for a considerable Number of
generous Subscriptions, wou'd greatly relieve the Wants and Distresses
of _Ireland_.

SWIFT. No more than a few Showers of Rain, wou'd quench the
Conflagration, if the _Pyrenees_ with all their Forests were on Fire,
as we Read they once were. All the _Dublin_ Society did, was to shew
what we wanted, and to set an Example, of what might be done, to help
our dreadful Ailments: But you might as well expect to work Miracles,
and to feed Thousands, like our Saviour, with a few Loaves, as to
retrieve a Nation, by throwing a few Widow's Mites into the Treasury.
It is true, Nations, with their many Hands, make light Work; but where
can the Power be found, to animate and employ Millions, but in the
Omnipotence of him who made them, or the force and weight of Monarchs,
(the Representatives of Heaven) who Rule and Govern them. All you and
your Society cou'd do, was to shew you understood the miserable
Condition of _Ireland_, and to manifest your sincere desire to assist
with some Care and Judgment in the Cure; but you cou'd as well remove
Mountains by your Faith, as the Ills we groaned under, by so adequate a
Remedy, as your impoverish'd stinted Fund.

PRIOR. Why you will make me lose all Patience, Mr. _Dean_! Do you think
because I have laid aside Flesh and Blood, that I can bear any Thing?
Did not I lay before you, a long delightful Account, of almost infinite
Services which the Society did _Ireland_, in improving old
Manufactures, or introducing new Ones; in advancing our Husbandry, in
encouraging every Art and every Branch of Industry? As I am now a truly
rational thinking Creature, I wou'd not willingly lose my Temper, but I
solemnly declare, that the Rules the Society prescrib'd, and the
Labours they set on Foot, the Fields which they sow'd or they planted,
the Houses they got Built, the Rivers they bank'd in, the Bogs which
they drain'd, the Marshes they laid dry, and the Lands they gain'd from
the Ocean, have alter'd the very Nature and Face of the Country, and
chang'd even the Air and the Climate for the better!

SWIFT. Stuff, Nonsense, Madness! One wou'd think you were alive still,
_Tom_, by your furious flourishing on Nothing, or Trifles next to
nothing. The Nature and Face of the Country alter'd, and even the Air
and the Climate chang'd for the better! Have you a Mind to talk my
Reason away, or make a Jest of my zeal for Truth? This is the old way
of prating and vaunting in _Ireland_, that used to make me, and every
Friend to it sick of such unmeaning Declamations. We are such Fools as
ever to be bragging of our Soil and our Linens, our Wealth and our
Plenty, our Weather and our Climate, as if we strove to bring over a
greater Crowd of _English_ Refugees hither.

PRIOR. Refugees! dear _Dean_, how can you indulge such an Acrimony of
Speech? That is not only an invidious, but a sarcastical and barbarous

SWIFT. Not a whit. I speak only of such as come over to us, for their
Love to Religion, for the hope of Liberty of Conscience, whatever they
believe, or Preferments in the Church, whatever they Practice, or to
avoid Persecution from Men arm'd with Power and the Laws, the
Rapaciousness of Creditors, and the Insolence of Sheriffs and Bailiffs,
and to live at peace here, with quiet Minds and easy Circumstances.
This is a true Notion of a Refugee, and I think such People come over
fast enough without such ostentatious Proclamations to give them new
Encouragements: My Conduct always took a different Turn, and if I had
liv'd a little longer, I had wrote a Treatise to prove _Ireland_, the
most inhospitable and barbarous of all habitable Islands, and the very
Piss-pot of the Western World. I even made it a Rule to rail at it all
I could, to frighten such People from coming hither, lest hearing there
was Corn in the Land, shou'd invite them over to eat it up, while we
were kept Starving. You pretend to take Offence at my Expressions, but
I see plainly, what vext you was, because forsooth I reflected with
some Spleen, on your little huckstering Society, with its two-penny
Rewards and three-penny Premiums, for going any silly Errands you sent
People on; and so in mere Contradiction you make them reform our Heaven
and our Earth, and mend our very Climate and the Face of Nature. For my
part as to the Face of Nature and the Country, I know no great
Alterations, but the shaving her Beard close, and cutting down all her
Woods, so that we now pay 40,000 _l._ per Annum for imported Timber.
When I was an Inhabitant of this lower World, I remember I lov'd the
Country well enough in the Summer Season; but I cou'd not bear to spend
much Time in it, as I never cou'd Walk or ride in a single Field; that
did not put me in a Passion, either to see it as wild as ever Nature
left it after the Mud of the Deluge; or at least not so much improv'd
as it might be, if the Owner had common Sense or common Industry. What
ever enrag'd me most was, that tho' such Fellows I knew by Experience,
wou'd venture their Limbs or their Necks for a Guinea, yet they had not
the Skill to make Five Pounds more of their Ground than they got by it,
tho' a little Labour and Art wou'd have done the Thing. When I look'd
on my Airings on the wild Wastes of rich Lands unbuilt and untill'd, I
sigh'd for the want of Houses and Tenements, of Welders and Plows; and
when after ten Miles riding, I found some lame Attempts after such
Things, I was still more vex'd to see our Cabbins, and what we call'd
our Corn Grounds, no more resembling the Buildings and Tillage of
_England_, than an Ape does a Man. I really don't expect that _Ireland_
will ever be properly improv'd, till the _Millennium_ makes the whole
Earth a Paradise; and then after a long Struggle between Heaven and
Nature, we may chance to come in for a share; tho' at present Heaven is
so little minded here, as to Churches or Chapels, or national Piety,
that I don't wonder to see the Land running into a Desart every Hour,
fill'd with Beasts and a few Savages.

PRIOR. I see, _Dean_, you have not forgot your old way of thinking and
speaking. It is well there is no Pen and Ink, or Printing allow'd under
Ground; or else we shou'd have old work below Stairs----

    _Sub Terris tonnuisse putes----_

As the witty Classick expresses it.

SWIFT. If there was, I wou'd raise a little Earthquake yet in this
Kingdom. But I have not forgot, _Tom_, nor I cannot yet forgive your
strange Rant of improving the very Climate in _Ireland_. If it was, I
wou'd not curse it, as _Harry_ the Eighth's Fool did the fine Weather,
for taking all the good Company abroad from him, but I shou'd rail at
it and you for another Cause; for fear of bringing us better Company
than I desire in _Ireland_. I must confess honestly, that our Winter
begins very late, and hardly appears till about the End of _December_,
and is gone before the beginning of _February_. But then it must be
own'd, that we have but very little Spring, unless it be of Grass and
Weeds; and that our Autumn lasts but very few Weeks, without any
Harvest to gather in, but a little pittance of Corn and some half made
Hay; and as for our Summers (as we call them) they come as it were by
Chance, now and then one, when _Spain_ and _Italy_ have done with them.
Nay, even then, we only get them, as Servants do their surfeited
Masters broken Meals; half hot, half cold, in little Scraps and Morsels
that do us no Good. In short, _Tom_, a Summer in _Ireland_ when it
wanders thither, is of as little Service as fair Weather in
_Greenland_, where nothing is the better for it, but vast Swamps and
Savannahs and a wild waste of Plains and Mountains, a few rational
Brutes that dwell in Caves and Holes of the Rocks, and a parcel of
Hares and Deers, which they live tollerably on, while they have Light
enough to hunt them. And to talk of mending our Climate, where nothing
but a general Conflagration can dry the Land, or purge the Dampness of
our unelastick Air, is as absurd as the Philosophers Sun-dial in the
Grave. Ah, _Tom_, I was always a very Atmospherical Creature; and often
have the Rains of _Ireland_ sunk my Spirits, and made me envy those
happy Climates, where the Natives toast in the Sunshine, till they
almost grow tir'd of it, and rejoice for Rain and bad Weather, like so
many Hackney Coachmen.

But as I hope you have done with all your mighty Reasons, for thinking
_Ireland_ on the mending hand, I expect you will indulge me now, while
I give you mine, why I think her in a very dangerous declining

PRIOR. With all my Heart, provided you will allow me the Priviledge of
a free Conference, and bear with my opposing, whatever I think is wrong
in your Assertions, and let me canvass your Opinions where I want
Information or Proofs. I came to call on you, in order to Talk over all
that I thought dangerous or distressful, in our present Circumstances
and our future Prospects; and to consider what hope we can strike out
of Relief or Comfort, for this neglected People and Country; and I
promise before hand, I shall not contradict you in any Thing, where you
do not force me to it, by an over-bearing Zeal, or a querulous Temper.

SWIFT. A fair Preliminary, to which I readily Subscribe. Now the first
Reason, _Tom_, why I have uneasy fears for our Country, and for my
having little Expectation of mending her Circumstances is, the utter
absence of all Industry and Frugality among us. There is no other
Remedy for a thoughtless Nation, which gets little or nothing from
others, but saving all it can; and being frugal in proportion to its
Indolence and Poverty. This is a self-evident Truth, and yet our
Nobility and Gentry spend in Vanity and Luxury, treble as much as Men
of twice their Fortune in _England_, tho' they do not half the Good
among their Tenants, and neither spend half the Time or Money with
them, or take half the pains to improve them, while they every Year
encrease their Rents, and our Beggars: 'Tis dismal to make the poor
Tenant give the full Tale of Brick, tho' we give them no Straw, and
that we starve them, by sending our Money abroad for foreign
Commodities, to feed our Extravagance, and gratify our Madness for
importing Fopperies; tho' we hurt our Families for the present, and
ruin our Poor for ever, who dare not set up Manufactures they know will
not be worn. Surely in a Kingdom where no body looks to his own
Affairs, as they are connected with the Publick, 'tis Time the Publick
shou'd look to every Bodies. What a melancholy Prospect is it, to see
fine Cloaths, fine Equipages, fine Race Horses, fine Laces, fine
Dishes, deep Play and deep Drinking, the Glory and delight of our
People of Fashion; and Ease, and Sloth, and Sleep, and Potatoes, the
chief Joy of our Lifeless neglected Natives. Is not such a Nation like
a Ship set on Fire on one end, and sinking by a thousand Shot-holes and
Leaks, at the other? If we were a little frugal, we might the better
bear the Loss we undergo by our Idleness and Inactivity; but when our
Gentlemen sacrifice so much to their Pleasures, and our Ladies to their
Finery, both which they wisely seek for from foreign Productions, we
must be undone unless we prevent our Destruction, by resolving to Work
and be busy. There is no Alternative----, one of these two Things we
must do; we must either be less Mad for the Manufactures and Products
of other Nations, or we must enlarge our Industry, and make Reprisals
thereby on our Neighbours, in order to keep our People alive and easy
while they are Living. Possibly I may have said this before, _Tom_, and
probably I shall say it again, for a full Heart and a troubled Mind, is
apt to deal in Repetitions, when they grow almost desperate, and see
little hope of a Change for the better.

PRIOR. Dear _Dean_, I own I shou'd be glad to contradict you, as to
these dismal Representations of Things; but I have learn'd since I left
a false World, to love Truth, tho' it be ever so strong against us, or
puts us and our Actions in ever so bad a Light. It is too certain
Industry and Frugality are the two great Sources of Prosperity in all
Nations; and it is a mortifying Reflection to consider what a miserable
Share we have in either of them here. 'Tis as certain if we be Frugal
and Industrious, we must be easy and happy, as that we must be wretched
and miserable, if we continue our Love to Expence and our hatred to
Labour. Nay Frugality and Wealth, which is the Consequence of it, will
not do, unless we are diligent Workers too; for _Spain_ is a Proof, and
so is _Portugal_, that even Hoards of Money will not enrich a Nation,
unless their Gold is used to promote Industry among the meaner Sort,
and to raise their Thoughts above Sleep, and Rags, and Dirt, and

SWIFT. Very true, _Tom_, and indeed one wou'd hope unless Heaven has
irrecoverably doom'd us to Destruction, there are sufficient Remains of
common Sense and Honesty left among our Countrymen, to new form our
Manners in these Regards, and improve their ways of Thinking and
Acting. In such Case, they may in two or three Centuries learn to
believe, Frugality and Industry, Arts and Manufactures worth
encouraging, and their Luxury and Debauchery, and an utter Absence of
all Regard to the Publick, worth Reforming. It is a shocking Truth to
say all this wou'd be done, if Men wou'd but own themselves oblig'd,
and wou'd therefore resolve to behave, like reasonable Creatures: And
yet this is a Point as hard to bring about, as if we were arguing with
_Hottentots_, and persuading _Tartars_ to forbear publick Plunders, and
to have some regard to Right and Wrong, and the real Happiness and
Misery of themselves and their Posterity.

PRIOR. I agree with you entirely, Mr. _Dean_, and indeed if we cou'd
cure our national Ailments by Writing and Speaking, as People who
profess removing Disorders, by Words and Charms, what you and I and
some others have Publish'd, might have done the Work: But alas!
pressing Industry and Frugality on many of our People, who have been
train'd up to Sloth and Squandering, is but of equal Efficacy with
preaching up Temperance to Sots, or Cleanliness to Negroes, when their
Habits and Vices are all against you. The Church of _Rome_ has plac'd
_Purgatory_ in the North-West of _Ireland_, which was then one of the
remotest wildest Parts of the Earth; and tho' I have reason to believe,
they now Wish, they had removed it something more out of View, yet I am
sure there is no Part of the Globe, so fit a _Purgatory_ for Sloth as
_Ireland_, or where People so generally pay St. _Paul_'s Penalty for
not Working, by not Eating.

SWIFT. If due Care was taken, this natural Supineness of our lower
People, might be soon turn'd into Activity and Vivacity, by letting
them see and feel the Sweets of Labour, and convincing them by Fact and
Experience, that when once the Poor are made industrious, they turn all
they Touch to Gold, like _Midas_'s Fingers of famous Memory. As to our
sleepy Countrymen, I cannot but say that it is a Pity, where Men are
commanded to give one Day of the Week, to doing nothing but Acts of
Piety, they don't regard the other Part of the Law, and labour the
other Six. This at least shou'd be the Magistrate's, and the human
Legislator's Business; but really there is no Law made, nor Care taken
about it, but every Body overlooks this plain neglected Truth, that Men
ought to be as accountable to the Magistrate, for their Time as their
Actions, and as punishable for wasting it. But our _Irish_ seem
actually to have mistaken the divine Commandment, and it is well their
Priests did not leave it out of the Decalogue, as they did the Second.
They manage, as if they thought God had bid them be idle six Days of
the Week, and Work but one, and very moderately on that one. I have
often met in Authors, and think the Assertion true, that the very
Genius of the Popish Religion indisposes Men to Labour; as we see by
their numerous Holidays, Feasts and Fasts: All which are direct Enemies
to Toil and Handy-craft, and make the returns to Work disagreeable. It
is undoubted that the Protestants out Trade and out Work the Papists;
they have (as all observe) fewer Beggars, they have fewer Drains from
their Industry, by those who sleep away their Lives in Colleges and
Nunneries; they maintain a much smaller Number of secular Priests, and
even to those, they do not prohibit Marriage, and to say no more at
present, those lazy Drones the Friars of so many different Orders, are
Cankers and Consumptions quite unknown to their Constitution. In most
Protestant Countries, more than ordinary Attention, for good political
Reasons, has been given to this great Point. In _Holland_ all are
employ'd, even the lettred World deal in Traffick and are Merchants;
nay the Deaf, the Lame, the Blind, the Dumb, and the very Dead Work.

PRIOR. The Dead Work! That is a Flight extraordinary sure, Mr. _Dean_,
and I must call on you to retract that Mistake.

SWIFT. Not at all; for tho' that Truth is a little incomprehensible in
_Ireland_, where we have no such Incitements, in _Holland_ the Statues
and Monuments of their useful and industrious Citizens, and the
Epitaphs and Praises on them, prompt and inflame the living to emulate
them, and push on their Virtue to excell, in every Art, and open every
Road to Profit and to Glory. When I was throwing away (like other
People) my Thoughts and my Time above Ground, I used often to think on
these Matters; and I fear to as little Purpose as we talk of them now.
However I must say, _Tom_, that tho' if our rich People would think and
grow Managers, and our Poor wou'd Work, and keep their Hands and their
Children busy, nine tenths of our Evils wou'd be remov'd, yet I am
convinc'd, neither of these important Points will be minded, till we
are forc'd to get better Notions of Things, by seeing the Nation ruin'd
by the want of them, as often as a Boy at School is whipt for playing
the Truant, before he will mend.

PRIOR. Ruin is as terrible a Remedy, as a deadly Sickness is a
Reformer; and I had rather hope that sumptuary Laws against Dress,
Racing, Gaming, _&c._ if we were Wise enough to make them, and
amendable enough to mind them when made, wou'd do our Business much
better. 'Tis a Misfortune for _Ireland_, that our Spendthrifts so often
run out their Lives and their Estates together, and so their Examples
are lost on us; for I ever thought it a Pity, they shou'd not live
forty or fifty Years in beggary, their own Lives are such a Torment to
them, and they become thereby such fine Scare-crows, to our young
unthinking Squanderers, when they see them all the while, standing as
it were in a kind of Pillory. Nothing keeps the _Dutch_ so frugal as
their Loads of high Taxes, for some good Author, (and I think 'tis your
old Friend Sir _William Temple_) tells us, one cannot have a Dish of
well dressed Fish at a Tavern in _Holland_, without paying near thirty
Gabels for it. We want some Remedy for our Extravagancies of all Kinds
greatly, but this is so shocking a one, that one wou'd hope the very
fear of it might cure us, as some Men have renounc'd their
Intemperance, by their dread of the Gout and the Doctor. Without some
such helps, our fine Gentlemen seem not inclined to learn or consider,
that we shou'd save immense Sums to our Country, if we eat Corn of our
own sowing, drunk home-made Wines of our own Brewing, fed on Fish of
our own catching, burn'd Coals of our own raising, and wore no Cloaths
that were not of our own manufacturing. If they were once convinced of
this, good Effects wou'd follow, and we shou'd soon acknowledge that it
is barely owing to our own Extravagance, Thoughtlesness, Sleepiness,
Drunkenness and Vanity, that we don't, with one Voice, condemn and
renounce such evident Errors, in our national Conduct, and fix on their

SWIFT. This _Tom_, is merely dreaming of a publick Cure for an
epidemical Distemper, as _Curtius_ says _Ptolomy_ did; but we shou'd
not only get our Gentlemen, to think for the Nation and themselves; for
we want severe Laws to cure the Laziness and Indolence of our lower
People. As Idleness is the great Source of Theft, picking and filching,
the natural Punishment of at least all smaller Criminals, seems to be
hard Labour for Life, or Years. We see in _France_ and _Spain_ they man
their Gallies this way, and in _Sweden_ and _Denmark_ they employ them
in their publick Works, and chiefly about their Shipping and their
Docks. No Punishment cou'd be more terrifying to an _Irishman_, who we
generally think is averse to Labour; none cou'd be more useful to our
distressed Land, where we lose more People by doing Nothing, than are
destroy'd by the Wars and Conquests, the Voyages and Traffick of other
Kingdoms. On this Account we shou'd take Care, that Idlers, Beggars and
vagabond Strollers, shou'd be treated with the Sharpest Rigour, as they
do not only deny to assist their Country by their honest Endeavours,
but live like Drones on the Spoil of the Industrious. It shou'd be a
Maxim in every well governed State, but especially in _Ireland_, that
Idleness shou'd be as severely punish'd as petty Larceny; and to beg
with an Ability to Work, shou'd be regarded and treated as a Kind of
training up Youth for Stealing, (when they have learn'd the proper Cant
and Tricks of their Apprenticeship) and consequently to relieve a
Vagabond, shou'd be as faulty and as corrigible as receiving stolen
Goods. The proper Place for the Relief of sturdy Beggars, is a good
County Work-house, where the Labours of such Vagabonds (and indeed of
all Criminals till they are Tried and Discharg'd) shou'd go to the
Maintainance of such Poor, who are utterly incapable of Work, and whose
Parishes can't support them.

PRIOR. I am quite in your way of Thinking on this Subject, Mr. _Dean_,
I remember Doctor _Basire_ in his Life of Bishop _Cosin_, tells us that
in several Years Travels in _Turky_ and _Holland_, he never once met a
Man who ask'd him an Alms; so that here we see the Wisdom of the State
may have the same Effect with the Laws of God among the _Jews_, which
prohibited any Beggar to be a Burthen, or a Disgrace to their Tribes.
Charity to Vagabonds is Cruelty to the State, which is interested as
the Civil Law, and our own Statutes speak, that every Member of the
Community, should use his Labour and his Substance, to the best
Advantage. Every Stroller or Vagabond is a Loss to the Kingdom, and is
little better than a licenc'd Plunderer of our People, and every such
Person, is really a living Instance of Neglect or Ignorance in those,
who shou'd give us by Law a proper Power and Place, to force him to
earn his Bread by his Hands. Whoever has Health and wants Food, shou'd
be oblig'd to Work one way or other, for if Idleness was always
punish'd by our Statutes with severe Labour, as surely as Felony is by
Death, it would then like Thieving be confin'd to the Night, and we
shou'd be at least good Day Labourers. The Strength of the political
Body, depends as much on its Members being properly exercised, as that
of the natural, and on the Neglect of it, infinite Disorders follow.
But alas, _Dean_, this is not enough attended to in _Ireland_, or we
shou'd have Work-Houses in every County, but we have the peculiar
Misfortune of having this dreadful Mixture in our Circumstances; that
we have all the Vices, Extravagancies, and Luxury of a rich Nation,
with all the Wants, the Distresses and Despair of a poor one. If once
our Gentry and Nobility wou'd set us fair Examples of Frugality and
Activity, we shou'd soon reform, but alas! great Estates, as we use
them, seem design'd for little else but the Triflers of the World, and
the wretched Fashions, Fopperies and Fooleries, they are generally
thrown away on. However it is certain, Providence appointed them for
nobler Purposes, and it were to be wish'd the present Stewards of them
(for they are evidently nothing more) wou'd seriously consider this,
that they may be able to give the Bestower a better Account of them.

SWIFT. I was saying so every Day, for the last fifty Years of my
Slavery among Men, and all to no Purpose! But there is another Matter
that makes me fear for the Welfare of _Ireland_, and that is the want
of proper Manufactures being set up there. I see _Tom_, you are ready
to bawl out to me, the _Irish_ Cambricks, the _Irish_ Linens, but alas!
even as to them I am sorry to say, they wou'd do _Great Britain_ and
_Ireland_ twice the Service, if they were doubly encouraged, and not
left to creep to those Provinces, where they might go with a brisker
Progress, if the Funds of the Trustees were enlarg'd, or their Premiums
more happily applied. But I leave that, _Tom_, to Time and the
Legislature, for the Manufactures which I lament the want of, are those
which enrich _France_, _Germany_ and _Holland_; such as those of Brass,
Tin, Copper, Lead and Iron Work, in all their amazing Species; those of
Glass, Tapestry, Hats, Silk, Leather, Paper, Pins, Needles, Lace,
Earthen-Ware, and Numbers of others, of which our own Island can
largely supply the Materials, if we wou'd make use of them. Whether it
proceeds from our Ignorance or our Poverty, our before mentioned
Laziness, or want of Capacity I cannot say; but Arts and Manufactures
seem to be discourag'd so remarkably, in this unthinking and unthought
of Island, as if we wou'd fain obtain the Name, of _Omnium bonarum
Artium noverca_, formerly as I remember given to _Scythia_. Even those
few Attempts we make to deserve well in some of them, are brow-beaten
or neglected by our People of Fashion. This is a Complaint I must often
make, and can never be too often repeated in their Ears, as without
their Help no Workmen, how industrious soever, can thrive. 'Tis
miserable that our polite People, will not be content to Ruin their own
Families by their extravagant Finery, but their Country too, and all
who dare endeavour to exert a little Industry in home Manufactures.
Surely the Wearers of all Foreign Goods, and especially the Fair Sex,
do not believe, or do not consider, that they deliberately starve their
own poor Countrymen and their Families, by making them Work in vain.
They shou'd in Pity, in Generosity, in Justice reflect, that since we
are not allowed to Export our Silk and Woollen Goods abroad, the least
that every Friend to _Ireland_ can do, is to encourage them so far, as
to wear them at Home, tho' they do not quite come up to those that are
Imported to us. Tho' we are terribly impoverish'd by this fondness for
Goods which other Nations send us, it is still some Comfort, that there
is no Law to force us to it as yet, and that the whole of this dreadful
Ruin, is grounded on our own Humours, which a little thinking, some
Charity, and a general Poverty, may remove in Time. I know no reason,
why a Thousand beautiful Faces I have seen in _Ireland_, shou'd desire
to look lovelier than Nature, and the Produce of their native Kingdom
can make them: And for our Gentlemen (if they are Gentlemen) they
shou'd take a Pride in wearing nothing but what is wrought in _Irish_
Looms, and make it a Case of Conscience, like Archbishop _King_, Bishop
_Berkeley_, and Crowds of Patriots I cou'd Name, to be cloathed by our
own People. The _Dutch_ I am told, have lately issued a Placart,
forbidding all their Subjects (excepting Day-Labourers who are too poor
to trangress it) to wear any Silk or Woollen Goods not Fabricated in
their Provinces. The greatest Personages are restrain'd herein by
severe Penalties, and tho' we cannot make such a Law, (nor perhaps
shou'd not desire it in Respect to one Country at least) yet certainly
we shou'd form general Resolutions, and try to Establish an universal
Custom (which is equal to any Law) of Feeding and Encouraging our own
Workmen and Tradesmen.

PRIOR. Laws, Mr. _Dean_, are not so much wanting, as the Will to favour
our own Goods, and our own People; and surely as you observe, all who
please, may determine in their several Families, to use the Produce of
our _Irish_ Looms; and in the mean Time I cannot but make this sad
Reflection, that if Industry and Labour be the great Standard of Value
in most Things, what (under such Discouragements) can our unemploy'd
Country be worth, which except our Linens, sends abroad all the
Materials for Labour to others, and lies abed like a _Spaniard_,
burning Day-Light, and proud of doing Nothing.

SWIFT. I remember to have Read, when I used to lose Time upon Men and
Books, that among the _Turks_, every Man of them learns some Trade or
other. This Fashion they probably borrow'd from the _Jews_, who made it
a Maxim, that he who does not give his Son a Trade, teaches him to be a
Thief: And yet till our Protestants Taught the _Irish_ better Manners,
a Trade was as seldom learn'd as a Psalter. It is true of late Years
this Folly has been pretty much subdued, and Numbers of our Natives
have distinguish'd themselves, by their Skill in different Arts and
Handicrafts, but till this Humour wears off, of slighting whatever is
wrought at Home, it were better they had learn'd to Fast than to Work.
We keep Crowds of our Artificers naked who well-deserve to be cloathed;
many are as ill hutted as so many _Greenlanders_ or _Russian_ Peasants,
who ought to be well housed, if any one thought them worth taking Care
of and Encouraging. But what is still more unhappy, Thousands of them
are forced for fear of Jails and Beggary, to run from us to wiser
Countries, where they and their Arts are well receiv'd and favour'd by
our Enemies or Rivals, whose Industry and Exports they Encrease, and
thereby help to Starve the Friends they have forsaken. One wou'd expect
common Charity to them and ourselves, and common Sense in conducting
our general Interests, wou'd not only have remov'd this main Obstacle
to the Prosperity of _Ireland_, but wou'd also put us on setting up all
Kinds of new Manufactures, which we still want; let it cost us ever so
much for setling them here, and Nursing them till they get Strength, to
shift for themselves. It is certain the Publick can hardly pay too dear
for such improveable Purchases, for unquestionably where the Advantages
are so considerable, saving in such Cases is meanness and madness.

PRIOR. You are ever Tolling the passing Bell of _Ireland_, and yet my
fears that there is too much Reason for all you advance, keep me from
opposing you; when you censure the Stupidity of our Management, in
regard of every Measure that can hurt us or serve us. I spent half my
Life in exclaiming in the same Manner, and I might as well have spoke
to the Inhabitants of these Tombstones. There is one Particular, which
with Grief I must add to all your Complaints, and it is a very
discouraging one as to any Hopes of our Recovery, namely, that this
Island is made up of two of the most unhappy Mixtures a Kingdom can
consist of, a Multitude of Gentlemen and Beggars. The first have not
Time from their Pleasures, and their own petty Interests, to think of
serving us, and the others cannot either serve themselves or us,
without Wages, Food or Raiment, which they cannot get, unless we allow
them to Purchase them by their Labours. In short, Mr. _Dean_, while our
Ladies scorn to wear any Thing that is _Irish_, and our Gentlemen pride
themselves who shall Drink most _French_ Wine; they both Teach their
Inferiors the same dreadful Folly, and make them join to enrich their
Enemies, Beggar their own Workmen, exalt _France_, and sink _Ireland_,
and drive every Creature that has Genius or Industry out of it, to
Places as we observed before, where they can hope to get the
Necessaries of Life by their Industry.

SWIFT. Your mentioning _French_ Wine, _Tom_, puts me in Mind of another
terrible Remora, to the Prosperity of this unfortunate unthinking
Country. I have often thought if _Ireland_ had never been allowed to
import Foreign Wines, and we had learn'd to Content ourselves, with
drinking our own Ale, Beer, Mead and Cyder, and used no other
Spirituous Liquors, we shou'd have been the richest, and the honestest,
the healthiest, and the happiest Nation under Heaven. It is a
melancholy Thought, that poor as we are, and wretched as the
Circumstances of most of our Gentry are allowed to be, as to Debts and
Incumbrances; yet we actually Drink more _French_ Wine, then all
_England_ together, that is so much richer and abler. The Case is, few
People drink _French_ Wine in _England_, but those who have very large
Estates; Numbers who have a Thousand _per Annum_, seldom tasting it;
but with us, every Creature, that has tolerable Cloaths upon his Back,
and a Guinea in his Pocket, drinks little else, tho' he has scarce the
Conveniences of Life for his Family. There are such Multitudes that
can't relish Life or their Food without it, that one wou'd wonder how
they can all be provided with it. This Difficulty indeed was soon
remov'd; for I hear such Crowds now Trade in it, that it is to be
fear'd, if their Customers this Year do not make haste to take it off
their Hands, it grows so foul, they must Drink it themselves, or they
must sell it at last for Vinegar.

PRIOR. I have heard from some Ghosts, who died of the last Vintage,
that (to the Infamy of the Year 1753, be it remembered) 8000 Ton of
Wine was imported into this Kingdom from _France_; to the dreadful
Drain of our ready Cash, the encrease of the general Poverty of our
People, and the Misery of all who Labour and cannot Eat. Allow me to
observe here, Mr. _Dean_, that the _Chinese_ seem to know us well, who
send us not only their Teas, but also Cups to Drink it out of; and I
have often wondered that the _French_, don't send us Bottles and
Glasses with their Wines, as we have not Industry enough to make them;
tho' the very Bottles for 8000 Ton are computed to cost us 67000 _l._
It is dreadful to look over such Scenes of Destruction, and much more
so to know they are remediless, while our People thus court _France_ to
undo them, by sending for such vast Quantities of her Claret, at the
same Time I hear it is pleaded in behalf of the Importers, that they
never were guilty of such a Fault before.

SWIFT. A pretty Defence truly, and yet as this was the Excuse of
_Balaam_'s Ass to his Master, one wou'd think none but an Ass wou'd
plead it, and I will venture to say, they had better Change it for a
solemn Vow, never to be guilty of such a Folly again. However if they
did take such a Resolution, I wou'd not advise them to enter into
Bonds, for the Performance of that Engagement; for I fear they wou'd
forfeit them, tho' the Nation was to be Bankrupt by it, as in all
probability, if we continue to tun down such Quantities of this
destructive Liquor, it must soon be. For my part, when I think of this
national Madness, in drinking Oceans of _French_ Wine, I know not how
to account for such prodigious Extravagance, in such ruinous
Circumstances. We seem to live the faster, for being in a deep Decay,
as Clocks have a quicker Motion, the nearer they are to being run down.
'Tis an hard Case, that evident right reason can't Influence a Nation,
and that there is a Necessity for a Majority of right Reasoners, to
make thinking Creatures (as we are commonly called) act as their
Interest and Happiness demand. When once that fortunate Majority is
gain'd, between wise Laws and good Customs, People take up general
Maxims and Manners, that direct their Conduct, and form both their
private and publick Behaviour, so as to conduce to the good of the
Whole, and the well Being of each Individual. But alas! _Tom_, in
_Ireland_, we neither think, or act for ourselves or the Publick, nor
seem to have any System of Rules, for managing our Estates or our
Country; but we live in an extempore Method, and as Time serves, and
Accidents happen, we Conduct ourselves. When we are famish'd we think
of Bread, when frozen to Death, of Coals and Fire, and when we grow
uneasy with the Thoughts of all our Mismanagements, Madness and
Follies, a large Dose of Wine (a Hair of the very same Dog) relieves
all our Griefs over Night, and we rise as Wise and as Provident as ever
in the Morning. As to the Kingdom itself, we make such haste to get it
undone, as if we fear'd it wou'd not be ruin'd Time enough; and yet we
may plead in Excuse, that particular Gentlemen manage no better for
themselves, or their Families. It is certain he is reckon'd no bad
Manager, among his neighbouring 'Squires, who can cleverly stave off
his Creditors, and keep up his Port of living undisturb'd, till he can
sell (I mean settle) his Son, and clear off his Incumbrances with the
Wife's Fortune.

PRIOR. A very true, and as sad an Account of Things; and what inhances
our Misery is, that _France_ thrives by thus draining our vital Blood
from us, as the Physicians in old _Rome_, made their decay'd Patients
sustain themselves, by sucking the streaming Veins of their poor
Slaves. If we paid a moderate Price for our Liquor, it were something,
but the _French_ raise their Demands, in proportion to our Calls for
it; and our generous Importers, never endeavour to beat them down, as
they find they get the greater Gain, the dearer they buy it; and our
Gentlemen take up the same prudent way of Thinking, and never believe
themselves so generous, as when they drink Wines, that their poorer
Neighbours cannot Purchase. The present Fulness of the Treasury, vastly
beyond all former Years, shews how far our Madness is risen; for this
Folly of drinking away both our Estates and our Reason, has seized like
an epidemical Plague, on all Ranks of Men among us. Even those of the
poorer Sort, from a noble Emulation of copying their betters, drink as
much Wine as they can; and where their Purses or their Credit will not
reach so high, they must have foreign Liquors, tho' they be only Mum or
Cyder, Porter or Perry, and seem resolved to shew they are as little
afraid of a Jail, as greater Persons.

SWIFT. In other Nations the Nobility and Gentry, think for the
Commonalty, and govern their Manners by the Laws they make, and the
becoming Examples they set them. But in this poor ill-starr'd Island,
they corrupt them by their false Splendour, by their foreign Luxury, by
despising Virtue, Religion and Temperance, and as fast as they can
drinking themselves out of the World, and sinking their Fortunes, in
both which they are faithfully copied, by their Inferiors. I have often
thought while I was among them, that if our Gentlemen were oblig'd by
Law, to give in Accounts to the Publick of their annual Expences, as
Children do to their Parents, in order to have them regulated; what
miserable Oeconomists they wou'd appear to be, both for their own and
their Country's Interests. The Article of Drinking is grown so immense,
and at the same Time so general, that if some Fence is not provided for
it soon, this Nation will be more in Danger from this Land-Flood, than
the _Dutch_ are from being overwhelm'd by the Ocean. What imbitters
these Reflections the more is, that tho' all our Exports are the very
Necessaries of Life, which we send off to Feed and Cloath other
Nations, yet all our Imports, are the meer Superfluities of Luxury and
Vanity, that keep our Natives naked and starv'd, and ruin the Healths
of those of the better Sort. I say ruin the Healths, for I believe, if
you and I, _Tom_, were to draw up a List of all our Acquaintances, who
have died Martyrs to Wine and good Fellowship, it wou'd look like a
_London_ Plague-Bill in 1666. _Pharaoh_ and his Army wou'd appear but
as an Handful to those I cou'd reckon up, within these last fifty
Years, that have perish'd in this red Sea of Claret; and what Crowds
are there, now creeping by this way alone, into Stone and Gout,
Rheumatisms, Palsies and Dropsies; after having by their Love of the
Bottle, exchang'd their Youth and their Strength, not for a short and a
merry Life, but a short and a miserable one.

PRIOR. It is a terrible Thing to consider, if half the Money paid for
_French_ Wine, was laid out in Building and Planting here, what a
Garden they wou'd make of this whole Island; and instead of this, they
make the Bottle the Business of their Lives, and sacrifice to this
noble Passion, I will not say their Country, (for that no body minds)
but their Healths and their Fortunes as readily as their Reason. It is
odd to me, Mr. _Dean_, if we must use foreign Wines, why we do not make
those of _Portugal_, _Spain_, _Italy_ and _Sicily_, cheap by low
Duties, and the _French_ twice as dear by high ones; for by this means,
we cou'd get Drunk with the Loss of less Time, and Health, and Money.
If even such a Tax was laid on it, as would make its Consumption less
general, and hinder the poorer part of our People, from being ruin'd by
the dreadful Affectation, of drinking like the Men of Figure and
Fashion, it wou'd be an excellent Method; and above all if the
additional Taxes, were appropriated to extend the Linen Manufacture
thro' the Southern Provinces. This wou'd soon enrich us, and impoverish
at the same Time, the great Enemy to the repose of _Europe_; for 'tis
by her Wines and our Money chiefly, that _France_ has been enabled, to
soar towards Universal Monarchy, and if this Feather was pluck'd from
her, she wou'd soon shorten her Flights, and droop her Wings.

SWIFT. You think extravagantly and wildly! You cheat yourself like most
Projectors, with your own Dreams, and your Expectations are suited only
to Citizens, who live and act, _Tanquam in Republica Platonis_. Can you
be so absurd as to hope, that Men in these Days, and in Manners like
ours, shou'd listen to Reason; and think our own Beer, Ale, Cyder, Mead
and home Wines, fittest and best for themselves, their Friends and
their Families? Can you imagine that this Age of Intemperance and
Luxury, will think a while of these important Truths, instead of
pleasing their Palates, and driving off that heavy Load, their Time,
with the Roar of Jollity and Riot? Is it to be expected that good
Fellows and Pot Companions, will be influenced by a Regard for the
Welfare of _Ireland_, when they will not value their own Healths, nor
avoid all the Distempers we lately reckon'd up, as well as all the
nervous Disorders, that spring from the fatal Tartar, which Claret by
sad Experience is found to abound with? I was weak enough, to read
Physick Books in my old Age, and I remember _Galen_ told me, that in
all Wine there is something Indigestible in its self, and ruinous to
true complete Concoction; but our best modern Physicians do also
assert, that the Tartar in _French_ Wine, is the Fountain of a Crowd of
Plagues and Pains, to our wretched Bodies. We read this in a Number of
Authors, and have the Tradition handed down, from the Records of the
Dead and the Living, who have suffered by neglecting such good Advice;
but where are the _Recabites_ that will listen to such Councils, in
these drinking Days.

PRIOR. But as destructive as Wine is to us, we must not forget the
dreadful Effects, Spirituous Liquors have on our Country and our
Bodies. They are really a sort of Liquid Flames, which corrode the
Coats of the Stomach, thicken the Juices, and enflame the Blood, and in
a Word, absolutely subvert the whole Animal Oeconomy. The frequent use
of them, has had as bad Effects on our poor Natives, as Gin in _Great
Britain_; and besides driving many Wretches into Thefts, Quarrels,
Murders and Robberies, it kills as many of the Poor, (when Drunk to
excess) as Wine does of the Rich. Even our own renowned _Whisky_, tho'
it has banish'd the Brandies of _France_, yet is almost as pernicious
to our Healths and our Morals; tho' we have this poor Comfort, since
Spirituous Liquors we must have, that it is better to pay our _Irish_
Farmers, for destroying us, (if we must be destroy'd) than the _French_
Vignarons about _Bourdeaux_.

SWIFT. I allow indeed our _Irish_ Spirits, are preferable to those made
in _France_; but after all, the chief good Quality of them is, that the
King gets a prodigious encrease of his Revenue, by our Stills. It were
to be wish'd, that this Part of his Majesty's Duties, that is founded
on the Intemperance of his People, was supplied by some other Tax; for
it is dreadful to consider, how much the Crown is interested, that the
Subject shou'd neither be frugal or sober. The Duty on our Spirits is
the best paid Money in the World, unless we except what we pay for our
Wine; for I think the only Debts we pay well, are to the Merchant who
Poisons us, and the Sharpers who bubble us at Play. If I were alive, I
wou'd write a Book against the dreadful Intemperance of this Age and
this Country; tho' I doubt if it wou'd do us much Service; for there is
a Time, when the noblest Medicines are of no Use in a Distemper, and I
fear our political Diseases are now so desperate, that to die as easily
as we can, and to put it off as long as we can, is all our poor Country
can hope for. I will therefore leave this, and go to another great
Obstacle to the welfare of _Ireland_, and that is the want of Tillage
amongst us.

PRIOR. That is indeed, Mr. _Dean_, a terrible Evil, and like most of
our Evils, chiefly owing to ourselves. We do not want this additional
Hardship to many others, that what we earn by our Labours in good
Years, goes all from us in a scarce one, and leaves us either without
Food or without Money.

SWIFT. Surely if repeated Sufferings make us patient, we might expect
that our frequent Misfortunes, might make us Wise; and yet Famines are
not able to oblige us to Plow, nor our Legislature to force us to it,
by salutary Laws. One wou'd believe there were neither Thinkers or
Reasoners, (unpoison'd by French Wine) left in _Ireland_. Are we to be
a Nation of Beasts, and a few Savages to watch them, and only some
Landlords and Butchers to divide the Spoil, and share the Plunder of a
Nation, wasted of its Villages and People, as _William Rufus_, serv'd
part of _Kent_, to feed his Deer? Good God! what a Scandal are we
growing, to all the Kingdoms of the Earth, that set up for a regulated
Government, or a sensible equal Polity? Surely, _Tom_, Men with common
Sense, and common Industry, might make something else of this fertile
Country, than a wild solitary Extent of Pastures; and that Men and
civilized Creatures, might thrive here as well as Beasts and
Barbarians; and that we need not let this poor Region, look like the
one ey'd _Polyphemus_'s Island, spoil'd of its Inhabitants, and
occupied only by his Sheep and his Cattle? We all know, Grazing makes
Countries wild and horrid, their People slothful and uncultivated as
the Soil; but one might bear any Fault but starving; and yet every
three or four Years, Men here are near famishing for want of Bread, and
ready to eat up each other, like Lord _Al----ms'_ Dogs in the Kennel.
It is hard to say, what sort of People we are, for it is strange that
the universal Instinct, that governs all the lower Ranks of Animals, or
that the great Law of Self-preservation, does not influence our
Countrymen so far, as to provide their own Bread. Not to Insult us with
wiser Nations, I wou'd at least expect, that we shou'd shew ourselves,
as provident as the Republick of Ants, and keep something to preserve
Life and Soul together, when Want and Winter come. We seem to be quite
uninfluenced by Hopes or Fears, the two great ruling Passions of the
Soul; and as merry and improvident, as so many Grass-hoppers. In other
Countries if Sheep eat up Men, the Men have their Revenge and eat up
Sheep; but in _Ireland_, wretched, thoughtless _Ireland_, Sheep eat up
more Men than all the Wolves on the Earth, without our poor Natives,
being able to devour one of them, but now and then, when we Steal them,
just to keep Life and Soul together.

PRIOR. The very Earth seems to cry out against us, Mr. _Dean_, for our
want of labouring it, as it is ready to reward the Industrious, with
fertile Crops, and large Returns. He who will work up its natural
Strength sufficiently, need never want Food or Raiment, or a good warm
Cabbin, to encourage him to go on, and by honest Care and Toils, in
Time enrich himself and his Country. We observ'd before, that the Women
who were once the idlest part of our People, are now the most
Industrious; and if the Men will improve as fast at the Plow, as they
have done at the Wheel, we shou'd soon see a vast Change in our
Circumstances. Our pinch'd miserable way of Living, wou'd be turn'd to
Plenty and Neatness, Warmth and Health; and the Plow wou'd enliven the
Wheel and the Reel, and keep every Child, and every Sex in Motion. All
this we may hope from good and wise Governors; of such force is
Thinking for the Body, when the Body in return, will Work to make
itself and the Mind easy. If our Rulers and Legislators, wou'd once
heartily set about contriving, to get us Bread out of our own Fields,
and oblige us by Laws to till the Ground sufficiently, we might soon
see our People and their Children, as busy as so many _Japonese_
Villagers, when the Earth is loaded with their Harvests. However, I
fear neither of these Things will be done, till we are forc'd to it, by
seeing Twenty-Thousand poor Mortals starv'd once more, and twice as
many driven out of our Country; just as we see People seldom build
Bridges over the River, till they find Numbers of Travellers, have been
drown'd in Fording it.

SWIFT. A Foreigner wou'd think it as absurd, to hear that our Natives
want Food, while we Export such amazing Quantities of Provisions; as
that the Commonalty round _Newcastle_, wanted Firing, tho' they furnish
_London_ with their Coals. He wou'd ask, why we don't Tax such a mad
Exportation, and by laying Twelve-pence per Barrel, on all salted Beef
and Pork, raise a Fund for Premiums, to the greatest Number of Acres
plow'd in each County; that at least we may have Bread for our Natives,
who dare not hope for Flesh to eat with it. 'Tis a sad and a
reproachful Prospect to us, to observe the _Chinese_ levelling
Mountains, banking in Rivers, and draining Morasses, to improve and
Dung them for the Plow; and to see in _Ireland_, as fertile Plains as
any in the Earth, lying untill'd, and feeding Sheep and Bullocks,
instead of Men, of Industrious social thinking Creatures! The Plow is
the Cause that _China_ swarms with large Cities and Villages, and 'tis
from the want of Tillage, that I remember to have seen in _Munster_,
the wretched Tenants, as ill-housed as so many _Hottentots_; which
proceeds from the same Defect, the Country there is so little Populous.
Great Towns, and fair Villages, are not only the Strength and Ornament
of any Country, but good Dwellings do naturally encrease Children, as a
Barn does Mice, and from the same Reason too. Besides Buildings like
those in _China_, always bring Crowds of Artificers together, as they
are sure of Business and Employment from them; and thence also the
Country too, must become thicker Planted and better Peopled; but in
_Ireland_, all these Blessings are as hopeless, and as rare as Virtue,
Wisdom or Industry. Without Tillage properly follow'd and encourag'd,
'tis impossible our Numbers will ever encrease sufficiently; nay they
must necessarily decline every Day; nor shall we be able to feed
tolerably, those Remnants of our Countrymen, whom our Flocks of Sheep,
and Herds of Bullocks, don't drive to _France_ and _America_, those
great Drains of wretched _Ireland_. But what is fully as bad is, that
without Tillage, we shall be perpetually drawing off what little Money
we have, and Bread will be so dear, that 'tis impossible but other
Nations who feed cheaper, must undersell us in our Manufactures.
Besides how can there be any depending on stated Prices for our Goods,
while Bread is constantly so fluctuating in its Value, as it is in
_Ireland_; since the Wages of the Workmen, will ever depend on the
Price he pays for his Food? This is by the bye, a Circumstance, which
must for ever shut out the Linen Business from Munster, and all the
grazing Counties; it being absolutely impossible for it to subsist,
without Tillage and Hands, which ever go together. It cannot be the
Profit, that endears Grazing to the Southern Provinces; since many
excellent Authors, and particularly Mr. _Dobbs_, have clearly
demonstrated the vast Difference, betwixt Tillage and Grazing, as to
the real Gain by each; and it is clear we lose one Year with another,
200,000_l._ to our Country, by this impolitick Turn to Stocks. This is
enough in Conscience, one wou'd imagine for this unthinking Kingdom;
but we must add to this Loss also, the Multitudes, we force Abroad or
starve at Home, and the real Gain we shou'd make by their Arts and
Labour, and the encrease of Houses, Marriages, Children, Health, Wealth
and Plenty, which they naturally bring with them. If our wise Graziers
wou'd once consider these Things, and that our Northern Colonies in
_America_, are supplying those in the South with Beef, and threatning
to beat us by Degrees out of that Trade, they will perceive how
necessary it is, to have a Law for Tillage, and that without it, we may
say with the _Ægyptians_, 'We be all dead Men.' This I am sure of, and
I will only add that 'tis in vain to make Laws, for encouraging our
Linen, or to expect to keep Money enough in our Kingdom, to pay our
Rents, or circulate Trade, when such prodigious Sums, go out annually
for Grain, by which, and the vast Importation of _French_ Wine, we are
now actually on the very Brink of Bankruptcy and Ruin.

SWIFT. I know no better way to convince any one, of the superior
Advantages, arising from Tillage, compar'd to those by Grazing, then to
make him consider the Circumstances of the People in _Ulster_, and
those in the other Provinces. In the first, all are laborious, all are
well Cloath'd, well Fed, well Housed and Taught; in the last, all Lazy,
Naked, Starv'd, Lodg'd in dirty Hutts, and almost Illiterate. The
superior Advantages which the North so eminently enjoys, proceed not so
much from the different Genius's, of the two opposite Religions, which
prevail there, and in the South, (tho' that is something) but from
Tillage and Labour, and all the Arts 'tis employ'd in, being fixt in
_Ulster_. This shews the Care we shou'd take, to encourage Tillage in
this half starv'd Island, and the wisest Nations have ever thought they
cou'd not take too much about it. _Aulus Gellius_ tells us, that the
wise _Romans_ kept Inspectors, over the Agriculture of their People,
who took due Care, that every one manag'd their Grounds, in the most
skilful and useful Manner, and to instruct the Ignorant and punish the
Refractory. At this Day, _Pere du Halde_ assures us, that the _Chinese_
do in the most rigid Manner, oblige every one to sow their Grounds or
forfeit them; and they appoint judicious Surveyors, who every Year,
make Returns to the Magistrates, of the several Plow-Lands, and their
different Fertility. This may convince us, what these two wise Nations
thought, of the Benefit of Agriculture; and if any Thing cou'd make us
renounce our destructive Passion for Grazing, one might tell them, that
'tis recommended by him that made the Earth, in many Passages of holy
Writ; and if you remember, _Moses_ also Assigns it, as one Reason for
God's creating _Adam_, That Man was wanted to Till the Ground. When I
was talking of the _Roman_ and _Chinese_ Inspectors of their Tillage, I
shou'd have mention'd that the _Jews_ had such also; for we find the
Names of those who in _David_'s Time, were Superintendants of such
Matters, recorded in the [3]_Chronicles_. Possibly in these blessed
Times for Acting and Thinking freely, we shou'd not relish such
Dictators to the Plow, nor any penal Laws to enforce our Tillage; but
certain I am, that without some Laws that will execute themselves, (how
averse soever we may be to them) we shall still continue in the utmost
Danger of Beggary and Famine. We may very well submit, even to such
compulsatory Laws in this Kingdom, since every one may read in our
Histories, that _England_ was often oblig'd, to force her Subjects to
return to the Plow, when the lazy Method of pasturing Cattle, had
distrest that Kingdom; and 'tis chiefly to the Statutes made by the two
last _Henries_ and _Edward_ the VIth, that she owes the Blessing, of
her being now the Granary of _Europe_, and of her enjoying the
Advantages of having improv'd her Agriculture, beyond all other
Nations. It is to be hop'd, if our late Act to encrease our Tillage,
was properly amended, and form'd so as to make the Recovery of the
Penalties more easy, it wou'd have very happy Effects here; as
Agriculture is the Source of Plenty, and the nursing Mother of Arts and
Manufactures. We observ'd before, that to see Beggars in any well
regulated State, is a reproach to its Laws and Government; but to see a
Nation of Beggars, is too scandalous to have it exemplified in any
Kingdom but _Ireland_; and yet without an effectual Law for Tillage,
that must unquestionably be our Misfortune for a while, and in some
Years our Ruin. I am at a Loss how to account for this universal
Conspiracy to destroy ourselves, which is the more alarming, as our own
Plots against our own Happiness generally succeed. Have we made a Vow
of Poverty, like the Capuchin Friars, or have we entred into a
Confederacy to enrich every Country but our own? For if not, whence
comes it, that above all other Nations we have the finest Ports,
without Ships or Trade, the greatest Number of able Hands, without any
care of Employing them, and that we are blest with so many Millions, of
rich arable Acres without Plowing them, and such Numbers of Men of Rank
and Fortune, without proper Zeal or Spirit, to remedy these Evils which
we groan under? But there are two Instances of our Folly as to Tillage,
that I cannot pass by. The first is, that we chuse the North, for the
main Store-House of the Kingdom, where we have not only the barrenest
Lands, but the worst Seasons, and where the Wet and Bleakness of the
Country, produce tardy Harvests, fierce Winds and heavy Rains; and
where the Ground is not near so fit for the Production of Wheat, as the
rich Plains of our other Provinces, that lye nearer to the Sun. The
other Instance of our Folly, is our rejecting in the Year 1710, the
Bill transmitted from _England_, that allowed a large Premium for our
exported Corn, which wou'd have been the greatest Encouragement to our
Tillage, and consequently the greatest Blessing to this unfortunate
Kingdom. I will not reckon up the Millions it wou'd have sav'd us, that
have since gone out for Bread; nor those it wou'd have gain'd us, by
the encrease of our Manufactures, and the keeping busy at Home, all the
Hands we have been depriv'd of by subsequent Famines; but I will say
this, that as our Zeal for his Majesty's Succession, our dread of the
Pretender, and our Jealousy of the Duke of _Ormond_'s popular Arts,
made us then throw out that Act; so it is to be hop'd, that the King
will in the Generosity of his Soul, restore us that desireable Bill
which we lost for him.

      [3] _1 Chronicles, 27. ch. v. 25 and 26._

PRIOR. I heartily wish it, Mr. _Dean_, and tho' we had then a Lord
Lieutenant highly regarded by the Ministry, favour'd by the Queen, and
greatly belov'd in _Ireland_, yet it is as true, that we have one at
present, who is not inferior to him in those Advantages, and vastly
superior to him in others; and who certainly has as sincere a desire to
serve us, as ever possest a _Boulter_, a _Berkeley_ or a _Swift_, for I
will not presume to join my Name with such Patriots. I hope we shall
find it so by Experience, but whenever he does procure us that
Blessing, if he wou'd complete our Obligations to him, and endear
himself for ever to _Ireland_, he must add to it, the establishing
Granaries in _Dublin_, _Cork_, and such Parts of the Kingdom, where
they will be the most useful to those great Ends, the keeping Bread at
a fix'd Price, as well as our Manufactures, and the Wages of those who
Work them, whose Labour must ever depend on their Food. Without these,
we must live dependent on Accidents, Winds and Seasons, and the Mercy
of Corn-Factors; and as both the old _Jews_ and the old _Romans_, had
such Store-Houses, and the wisest Governments in _Europe_, made use of
them with the exactest Providence, and to the greatest Advantage under
proper Regulations; surely we shall not be depriv'd of such Blessings
long. They are the great security to the Welder, that his Grain shall
bear a fair encouraging Price, and at the same Time a Restraint on the
rapacious Avarice of the Farmer, and the Corn-Chandler abroad and at
Home; and as by being furnish'd in cheap Years, and all Exportations
stopt till they're fill'd, they wou'd keep a fair Balance on the Price
of Bread, he who desires to be bless'd by the Poor and the Industrious
here, will not fail to add this Favour to all that we hope to receive
from him.

SWIFT. I don't like praying to Saints that must pray to others. Our
best Way is to address his Majesty for whatever we stand in need of;
tho' after all, what can we hope _England_ will do for us, who sees our
Wants, knows what has occasioned them, and what would relieve them, and
yet takes not the least Step to serve us. This single Circumstance
looks with an ill-omen'd Aspect on the Affairs of _Ireland_, and is
another main Reason, which I must offer to you, why I think our Days of
Prosperity are as far off as the great _Platonick_ Year.

PRIOR. I have often thought, Mr. _Dean_, our Clamours against _England_
very ill grounded, tho' many, who know they are false or foolish, are
apt, for no good Ends, to encourage them. 'Tis to _England_ that we owe
that we are yet a Nation, that we are Freemen and Protestants, and
enjoy our civil and religious Rights, by the same Zeal and Efforts
which secured their own. They have left large Branches of Trade and
Manufactures open to us; and even our Linen and our Fisheries, our
Tillage and our Collieries, our Salt-works, and our Mines, (not to
mention many others) would employ most of the idle Hands in the
Kingdom, if we would once set vigorously about them. Can we be so
unreasonable as to expect she will distress her own Natives, to
encourage those in _Ireland_, as if they had not Sense to consider,
that their Charity, as well as ours, should ever begin at home? It can
never be denied, that they have done largely for us, if we would do
something to help ourselves, with proper Industry, and an eager Zeal to
serve our Country. They do not hinder us to save 300000 _l._ _per
Annum_, by using our own Woollen and Silken Manufactures, our own Salt,
our own Sugar, our own Grain, Hops and Coals, Ale, Cyder, Bark and
Cheese, our own Iron and Iron-ware, Paper and Glass; and if we will not
work them up, nor use them when wrought, are they to be blamed, or we?
Would you have them make a Law to prohibit the Importation of such
Things to _Ireland_, and force us to use our Hands for our own Wants,
whether we will or no?

SWIFT. I wish they would; it would be of infinite Service to this poor
Country, which they impoverish by the wasteful Consumption of _English_
Goods, that devour our Money, and deaden our Industry. That we owe many
Blessings to _England_, I never doubted, even when I was alive, and as
far as was in her Power, disgraced and maltreated by her, and much less
shall I dispute it now. However, I can reckon up a large Catalogue of
Complaints and Distresses, which _Ireland_ can very justly charge her

PRIOR. Allowing all this to be true, as, to my Sorrow, I see you have
some Grounds for your Assertion; are they to be reviled or envy'd for
sending us their Goods, if we are so mad as to call for them? Would you
have them hinder your buying their Commodities? Or, to go a little
further, would we be hinder'd if they did? If we cut our own Throats,
in our own wise Judgments, would you have them make a Law to gibbet us
for it after we are dead? I allow you many of our Murmurings are just;
but for the Love of Truth and Goodness, let us lament our Case with
some Sense, and begin at the right End with railing at ourselves. I do
not deny, that we are much impoverish'd by their Importations, nay,
that by them we are in some Sense of the Word, Beggars; But, dear
_Dean_, who ever hated Beggars more than you did, that had Health and
Hands, and could work and help themselves, and would not. If our People
will neither set up Manufactures, nor encourage them when set up, if
they will not promote Agriculture by large Premiums through the
Kingdom, but had rather beg Bread from their industrious Neighbours; if
they will neither build Granaries, or set up Fisheries or Collieries:
If Gentlemen will neither live at home, nor build and improve their
Estates, to tempt their Sons to live there; if they see Societies set
up for the Service of _Ireland_, and won't spare Shillings a-piece from
their Diversions, to increase their Force and Power to help us, are the
_English_ to be blamed, or ourselves, if they leave it to our Choice
either to mend our Follies, or to suffer by them.

SWIFT. The Truth is (though I am loth to confess it) I fear we are too
lazy, because we are not extraordinarily encouraged, either here or by
_England_; and probably they want to see us more alert, before they
help us further; and in the mean time, between our Gentlemen who go
abroad for Pleasure, and our Poor for Bread, we are like a Ship that is
run a-ground, and the Hands which should have saved her gone off.
People that are unfortunate love to have some one to lay the Blame on;
and so we rail at _England_, as I remember Mrs. _Halley_ (the Wife of
the famous Astronomer) did at the Stars, who used to wring her Hands,
and bawl out, My Curse, and God's Curse upon them for Stars, for they
have ruined me and my Family; whereas, like _Job_'s Wife, she ought to
have cursed her Husband for his star-gazing Folly. At the same Time I
never did, nor ever will forgive _England_ for not helping us more than
she does: We are a Mint in her Hands, but through her Negligence or
Diffidence it is an unwrought one, though the Ore is vastly rich and

PRIOR. I must agree with you there, and yet I am convinced, that the
Fear of making their own People jealous, the Weight of their Debts,
their violent Parties, and their decayed Trade, prevent their doing all
they would for us or themselves; the Charity, the unbounded Charity,
_England_ extended to us at the Revolution, her Encouragement to our
Linens, our Woollen Yarn, and our Cambricks, and to name no more, her
Benefactions to our Charter-Schools, are Evidences of her Love to us
which can never be forgotten. But beside all this, if _England_ has a
Zeal for her own Welfare, she must have a good Will for ours; for she
knows and feels every Improvement made in _Ireland_, that does not
directly clash with her Interest, is pouring Treasure into her own Lap,
as regularly as what the River gets is returned to the Ocean. 'Tis
evident, if we are better cloath'd, peopled, fed, and housed here; if
our Wealth be encreased, or our Inhabitants or Country improved, we
shall of Course take off more of her Goods, and spend more of our Money
in _London_, which is to all Intents and Purposes, as much our
Metropolis as _England_'s. We already, by the mending of our
Circumstances in some Respects, and the raising our Rents, do actually
spend thrice as much there as our Grandfathers did; and it is as plain
a Truth, that our Grandchildren will hereafter redouble what we carry
there now. Can there be a Doubt then, that _England_ must consult our
Welfare, as long as she attends to her own? Though we live in different
Islands, we are in effect but one People, and generally Children of the
same Family; all we want to make us happy together is, that the elder
Brother should carry to us with Affection and Regard and we to him with
Respect and Deference, without Jealousies or Quarrels for Trifles or
Things that cannot be helped, we never interfering with them, nor they
oppressing or cramping us.

SWIFT. You are a very civil Magistrate, as _St. John_ says, and have
adjusted Things very amicably; but there is another Reason for
_England_'s protecting us, which I cannot pass by, and that is because
any bold Step of the Crown in future Ages to absolute Power, will
probably begin here. 'Tis therefore to be hoped, our Brethren in
_Great-Britain_, who (whatever may become of them) are not born Slaves
like some People I won't name, will watch us like a Beacon, whenever
bad or weak Men set this poor Island on Fire, either to plunder or to
frighten it, or for any other noble political Scheme. I must own,
_Tom_, while I was playing the Fool in the World, like my Neighbours, I
used to rail at _England_ severely, and I had my Reasons for it; but
though I am altered much as to that Point, there are several Things
that I still think her blameable in, and particularly for the small
Number of _Irishmen_ that are preferred in Church and State. The Want
of all proper Encouragement here, for every Man's exerting his
Abilities as far as they can go, has terrible Effects on the very
Genius and Character of our Nation. It actually keeps our Schools
unfill'd, and thins our College to a surprising Degree; and makes our
People look on the little Virtue we have yet kept among us, as useless
and impertinent in a Country, where they are out of Fashion, and where
Alliance, and Blood, and Family-Interest, make our Constitution in
Church and State, (and especially the Church) rather hereditary than
elective. This is a great national Grievance, so as to make it a Sort
of Misfortune to be born here; nor do I see any Hopes of a Remedy,
unless we get a Bill of Naturalization past on the other Side of the
Water for all _Irishmen_, as well as for the _Jews_. At present there
is as little Encouragement for Knowledge, or the learned Arts in
_Ireland_, as in the _Isle of Man_, or rather less; for though their
Preferments and Posts are fewer, they are only bestowed on Natives. By
this Means it will come to pass in Time, that our Parts must be as
slight as our Encouragements, and poor as our Country; for here, as in
the dead Level of the Ocean, there is no Rising but by Storms and
Tempests, and the Miseries and Ruins they occasion; and therefore half
our Gentry owe their Estates to the Wars and Rebellions of Madmen and
Bigots. But as to Eminence in Learning, or distinguish'd Abilities,
they are quite overlook'd; or at least the Handful, that _Ireland_ has
seen preferred of her Natives by them, is miserably small. In other
Nations some, nay, Crowds, are advanced by their Knowledge and Talents,
but here they are discountenanced and brow-beaten; some are enriched by
Trade, but here all we have is contrived to ruin us: Some make large
Fortunes by their Skill in the Laws, but with us, where Plaintiffs or
Defendants are one or other of them Beggars, the Proverb will tell you
what is got by the Suit. I must add to all these Complaints, that even
Avarice cannot bring a Man in _Ireland_ a moderate Acquisition of
Wealth; for here all Men do so universally outlive their Circumstances,
that Saving is grown as scandalous as Thieving, and a Man is hooted out
of the World more frequently for the one, than he is hanged for the

PRIOR. It is easier, Mr. _Dean_, to exclaim on this Head, than to shew
the Justice of the Complaint; for whoever will carefully look over the
Lists of those who have been preferred in Church and State for some
Years, will find there has been greater Attention than ever paid to
this Matter. But lest you should dispute this Fact, I will only hint,
that there are Grounds to say, this Complaint will not be so common a
Topick of Discourse with _Irishmen_, as we knew it in our Time; and
probably as Learning and Knowledge may therefore make greater Advances
among us than ever, we shall find _Irishmen_ hereafter as much
distinguished by their Preferments as their Merit. But however that may
be, it will be as great Madness for us to malign or revile _England_ on
such Disgusts and Slights, as for a younger Son to quarrel with his
Father, to whom he owes his being what he is, and who may in Time
vastly enlarge his Portion and his Happiness, if he behaves with Duty
and Love. This I will be bold to say, that we are possess'd of as many
civil Advantages, under our Connections with _England_, as we enjoy
from our natural ones, and our Situation in this Climate, this Sun, and
this World of Life and Matter, where we derive so many Blessings from
the Bounty of the Creator.

SWIFT. I wish, _Tom_, you would not stir that Bone of Contention, for
there is a great deal to be said on both Sides of the Question, which,
as I love to keep in good Humour, and be as quiet in my Grave as I can,
I do not care for wrangling about. But this I must say, as to your
Hints of our being Children of the same Family, that you had better let
them alone, for it stirs my Spleen too violently. I am sure, if we are
so, we fare like the rest of the younger Children in the World, who get
but a Pittance to starve on, while the elder Brother runs away with the
Bulk of the Fortune. I will not dwell on what we lose to her by
Absentees, but I know between our Wool, our Woollen and Worsted Yarn,
our Linens and Linen Yarn, our Copper, Lead, and Iron Ore, our Hides,
Skins, Tallow, all which are the Primums and Foundations of her great
Manufactures, she makes immense Gains by her Trade with our Country,
and the Ships she employs in it. I must also add, that we take from her
the largest Supplies of her Grain and her Manufactures of any Nation
upon Earth; and besides the Crowds of _English_ Gentlemen, that are
possess'd of Employments, Commissions, Pensions, and Preferments here,
she makes near two Millions by the Trade with _Ireland_; which I know
is more than she gains from the rest of the World. I am not peevish, or
at least so peevish, as I used to be, when I had vile Flesh and Blood
about me; but these are plain confest honest Truths, and if that
generous large thoughted Nation, will consider them calmly and
candidly; possibly she will make us other Returns, than cramping our
Trade, making us poor Petitioners, for leave to live by our Linen, and
binding us by Laws (a Thing which every _Briton_ shou'd start at) to
which we never gave our Consent.

PRIOR. I cannot enter on that Subject, without irritating you, and
therefore, Mr. _Dean_, I will drop it; but this I must say, that
_England_ had probably shewn us more Affection and Indulgence, if she
had not been kept in perpetual Alarms, by our endeavouring to Rival her
in her great Staple, the Woollen Trade. I have heard of some Women, who
to regain their Husband's Affections, strove to make them Jealous; but
I fancy that is no good Artifice, to make Nations love one another, and
I hope as our Linen Manufactures, and our Tillage encrease in the
South; we shall remove all uneasiness from that Quarter. It is certain
our Interests and _England_'s are inseparably united, and he must be a
very weak, or a very malicious Man, who wou'd endeavour to divide our
Inclinations, and set up a Wall Partition between us; by keeping up
artificial Jealousy on the one Side, and unnatural Aversion on the
other. It wou'd be absurd to think that because we have a broader Arm
of the Sea, between us and _England_ than the _Isle of Wight_, or
_Anglesea_; that therefore we ought to have, different Rules and Views
of Acting; whereas we shou'd consider ourselves as one People, join'd
in one System of Government, Religion, Laws and Liberties; and he that
divides us Ruins us.

SWIFT. What dost thou talk of dividing us? I hope that Word was not
aim'd at me. I am not for Divisions (nor let me whisper you in the Ear,
_Tom_) Unions either, till I see more Cause. But in the mean Time, I
say since _England_ makes so much by _Ireland_, she ought to help us to
get something for ourselves, if it was for no other Reason but to
double her Gain by us. But it is amazing how a Nation so sensible and
enterprizing as she is generally allow'd to be, can so long over look
the vast Advantages she might draw from us, if we were cultivated and
improv'd under her Direction. Can she be Ignorant how useful, so large
and so fertile a Country may be to her, where Hands and Food are so
easily had, and may be turn'd to every Manufacture she wants, as
effectually as the Motion of an Army by a skilful General. And if she
knows it, can she neglect it? Does she want to be told, where she may
most properly and providently give all the vast Sums she pays, for
Hempen and Linen Manufactures to our Neighbours round the _Baltick_?
Does she understand what Gain she wou'd make, if the Lands here were
raised by Trade and Manufactures, to a Million more than they now set
for, and how soon this may be done? Is she yet to learn, that by
encouraging the Woollen Business here, in such Articles only, as her
Rivals undersell her in, she wou'd effectually recover them out of
their Hands, by employing the _Irish_, who by paying no Taxes on their
Milk and Potatoes, can undersell the World? Is she Ignorant what she
might make, by compleatly working our Mines, by opening our Trade to
her Plantations effectually, and to Name no more by setting up extended
Fisheries here, (the Gain from which one wou'd be tempted to think, was
hinted by _Christ_'s bidding St. _Peter_, take Money out of the Fishes
Mouth) and thereby besides the Profit of what we vend, breeding
Thousands of Mariners to man her Navy. If these are certain Facts, I
hope you will allow me without Grumbling, to assert two plain Truths;
first that there never was a Nation so Affectionate, so Loyal as
_Ireland_; and secondly, That there never was a rebellious People so
much suspected, so long neglected, and so saintly, so coldly encourag'd
to serve her.

PRIOR. Tho' I cannot agree with you, Mr. _Dean_, in some of these
Particulars, yet I will avoid Wrangling with an old Friend; but I must
say you are too ready to lay blame upon _England_; when our own People
are more to be reproach'd than our Neighbours, who have more Affairs of
their own on their Hands, than they can get well manag'd. If we fairly
weigh Things, we will find our Countrymen faulty in many Regards; and
indeed I have such a Bead-roll of Accusations against them, that I know
not where I had best begin the Attack.

SWIFT. Hold! _Tom_, hold! Dead or Living, I wou'd never allow any Man
to attack _Ireland_, but myself; however when I am out of Breath, you
shall be permitted to assist me now, and then. I must ingeniously own,
I see so many Mistakes in their ways of Thinking and Acting, that the
more I consider them, the more I look on _Ireland_, as in a dangerous
Condition. The first Thing I shall touch at, is that terrible want of
publick Spirit, which we are notoriously defective in; tho' like the
Pulse in the human Body, where it is wanting, Death is nigh! all
Countries are greatly help'd by this noblest Passion of the human Mind:
But this Island must be absolutely lost, without its Assistance. We are
so Circumstanced in several Views, that nothing can keep us above
Water, and much less make us flourish, but the whole of our Gentry,
joining one and all, to rouse themselves and the Nation, by encouraging
every Art, every additional Method of employing us, that they can
settle here. And yet how few have I known, who exerted themselves this
way, or seem'd to know it was their Interest, or to think it their
Duty. I remember in some Accounts of _Portugal_, I have met a Relation
of the vast Good that is done there, by the famous merciful Society, as
they call it very deservedly. It is composed of the most distinguish'd
Persons in the Kingdom, who all contribute their Quota's to the
relieving in a private Manner, all deserving People, (and Tradesmen
especially) who are in want. The Steward who is annually Chosen, is
always one of the most Illustrious of the Nobility; and cannot avoid
spending 5000 _l._ in these Charities, to come off with Honour, and
keep up the Glory of his Trust. Now I will venture to affirm, tho' we
have vastly the Superiority over _Portugal_, as to the Numbers of
Noblemen and Gentlemen of great Fortunes in _Ireland_; yet it wou'd be
a vain Attempt to endeavour to establish such a generous Society here.
This makes me Tremble for a People so deserted and neglected as ours;
for unless the Rich, and the Great, and the Powerful, give largely to
the Encouragement of Arts and Industry, and set Examples of Virtue and
Goodness, and a Love of their Country before us, there can be little
hopes of this or any other Nation, being made completely easy or happy.
Men of larger Fortunes, shou'd shew they have larger Hearts than
others, or they ought like the old _Romans_ to suffer a voluntary
Degradation, and descend from their State and mix with the meanest
_Plebeians_. If they Act so as to do Honour to their Ancestors, and
give shining Proofs of Truth, Piety, Worth and Benevolence; Numbers
will Copy them with Joy; but without this, we may as well expect an
Army will be brave, where the Generals, Colonels and Captains are
Cowards, as that a Nation shall shew publick Spirit, or be Virtuous,
Religious and Charitable, where their Superiors have opposite
Characters. Let all who are eminent for Wealth or Birth, or Parts,
seriously lay this to Heart, and consider how much the Immorality and
Misery, or the Virtue and Prosperity of their Country, is chargeable to
them and their Conduct; and it will not fail of stirring up a generous
Emulation, who shall be most distinguish'd, in assisting the whole of
our People, in Thinking and Acting better, and more nobly than they
have hitherto done.

PRIOR. That too few have Acted thus, must be acknowledg'd; but some
there have been among them, who have done Honour to their Families, and
raised their own Characters, by the applauded Parts they have Acted,
for the Service of their Country.

SWIFT. At the same Time, _Tom_, one wou'd wonder such Examples shou'd
not be more frequent; for how dreadful how contemptible a Figure, in
the sight of God and Man, must he make, who with the Advantages of
Birth, and Fortune, and Power, seems to labour to be remembred, Living
and Dead, only for being given up to the basest and most brutal Vices,
or at best for his senseless Splendour, by living like an _Epicure_, or
acting the Gamester, or for his great Stables or well-cover'd Table,
his well-fill'd Cellar, or to heighten his Character still higher, his
Debts and his Drabs. Such Men ruin and corrupt the World, by their
Examples; they sneer at Virtue and Sobriety, they make a Jest of loving
or serving this poor Island, and Ridicule the very Name of a Patriot;
and while they withhold their Contribution, to every good Design, they
make Sport of lavishing their Fortunes in Folly, and ruining their
Constitution by Vice, and they even Laugh at Religion, and shew an
equal Contempt for their God and their Country. It is odd, that few can
be Stupid enough not to see, that every Man's private Interest and
Happiness, let him be ever so great, is involv'd in that of the
Publick; and yet few or none will Labour to serve the Publick, so far
as to think for or support its Interest, whenever they have an
Opportunity. I labour'd to rouse it up amongst us, for a Number of
Years, to no Purpose, and I am apprehensive, that our best Ground to
hope, to see this Spirit revive here, is that Posterity may hereafter
exert it effectually, when they see this Island ruin'd; by the little
Regard that is shewn for it now. However I must say (if any Thing in
_Ireland_ were worth complaining about) that it is a little hard, we
must be Ruin'd before we are reform'd, just as Shipwrecks set up
Light-houses, to secure future Sailors in their Voyages. This wou'd
enrage one, _Tom_, if a noble Scorn did not cool our Fury.

PRIOR. These Thoughts disturb the Breasts of the Dead, as well as the
Passions of the Living; for it is certain if our higher People shew'd a
true publick Spirit, it wou'd produce vast Effects amongst us; it wou'd
stir up Invention, Industry and Emulation, and in a Word awaken every
Genius, every useful Man in this Kingdom. We have had very
extraordinary Persons Born and Educated here, and we wou'd have them
still, if our Leaders wou'd make use of that plain Method, by proper
Premiums to raise Seed-Beds and Nurseries for them, and use our Youth
to think, and to excell. How easily might they call out every one's
best Qualities, to the properest Purposes, and encourage every Man, who
finds he has the Seeds of Virtue, the Power of Thinking and Acting for
himself or others, and a proper force of Mind, to try how far his
Abilities can go. If this can't be brought about, and if for want of
such a miserable Stock of common Sense and common Virtue in _Ireland_,
we are to be left to ourselves, and employ'd in doing nothing but
making a little Linen, I can only say, we are the most negligent and
neglected People under Heaven.

SWIFT. Ah _Tom! Tom!_ what must we think of our Physicians, where our
Diseases are so dangerous and are yet so manageable, and where the
Remedies are so easy and parable? Where nothing but slighting our
Disorders can make our Cure doubtful, and where they give over the
Patient barely for want of being feed? What must become of a Country,
where about 600,000 _l._ of its Rents are annually spent Abroad, by a
Crowd of Parricides, which we call Absentees; where as much more is
spent at home, in foreign Growths or Manufactures by _Irish_ Suicides,
and the rest is laid out in Dress and Equipage, in Gaming and Drinking,
and Horse-Racing, except a Pittance that is scrambled for, by our
Labourers and Workmen to buy Potatoes and Whisky, and once in a Month,
half a Peck of Meal for the Children of the Nation. What will become of
a Kingdom, whose Manufactures are the Scorn of its own Inhabitants; who
will not Drink of their own Liquors, write on their own Paper, or be
fed with their own Bread, as I observ'd before, and can't observe too
often: Nay, where the Poor by giving into these fine Fashions, seem as
well inclin'd to destroy us as the Rich? What must become of a Nation
of Beggars, and none to relieve them? What must become of a Country,
where the common People make as much Interest, to be put on the List of
the Parish Poor, and be authorized to Starve upon Charity; as their
Landlords, and 'Squires do to get a Place or a Sallary, to make amends
to them, for outrunning their Fortunes, and to appear like dignified
Beggars, who for ruining themselves and the Nation, are Nursed at the
publick Charge, as the _Athenians_ used to keep their true Patriots, in
the _Areopagus_ on Pension, when old and reduced in their Service.

PRIOR. Why indeed, Mr. _Dean_----

SWIFT. Indeed, _Tom_, I have not done, nor I won't be interrupted. I
say what will become of a Nation, where we are charg'd so immensely for
unbuilt or ill-built Barracks, for our Soldiers which we cannot use,
which we did not want; and where we won't lay out a necessary Expence
to build Houses of Correction, that wou'd force every Idler to Labour,
and tho' we know that Idleness is the Seed of Rebellion? What will
become of a Nation, where we spend immensely to ruin it, and grudge
laying out a few Shillings, or the smallest Tax to serve it, by
encouraging our People to Labour and be Industrious? Where we are grown
so heedless and unthinking, that our political Creed, must be as often
repeated in our Ears, as our Religious one, before we will take care to
understand, or shew we believe it by our Practice? Where we are so
notoriously Dull, or so artificially Insensible, that we must be told
our true Interest a thousand Times over, before we'll regard it, or
where those who know our true Interest best, will Sacrifice it either
to their Vanity, Ease, Pleasure or Ambition, or at least to their
giddy, senseless, Carelessness? What must become of a Kingdom, where we
are grown so resign'd, that we no more offer to complain of the
hardness of our Case, if two or three honest Gentlemen bid us hold our
Tongue, than a dying Man against the Will of Heaven? Where we either
seem to have lost the Sense of Groaning by the length of our Distemper,
or by knowing from long Experience, it will be in vain; or else that we
fear bawling, as in the House of Correction, will but increase the
Blows, both as to Number and Smart. Where People keep their Tongues in
their Pockets, as Highway-Men do their Pistols, never to be pull'd out
but in hopes of getting Money; and where so many, of our most eminent
Guardians and Representatives, command Men to be silent and quiet and
bear all, as the Executioner said to Don [4]_Carlos_, when he was
struggling to hinder his being Strangled, ''Tis for your good Don
_Carlos_! be quiet, 'tis for your Good!' Nay what will become of a
Nation, where whoever Attempts to help it, is either mark'd out for
Destruction, as I was by a certain Lord Chief Justice, or revil'd and

      [4] _The King of_ Spain_'s son put to Death privately by his

PRIOR. There _Dean_, you must give me leave to say, you certainly go
too far, to hate our Benefactors is not in human Nature.

SWIFT. Whether 'tis in human Nature I know not, but I am sure 'tis in
_Ireland_; for I found myself hated there sincerely by different
People, and for different Reasons. I was actually hated, by all who
cou'd help it, but would not or durst not, and by all who wou'd help it
themselves and knew not how, and abhorr'd to have it done by others. I
was hated by all who long'd to hurt it, but as they cou'd not, detested
those that hindered them, and by all who do not Care to have great
Examples set them, which they are not fond of following, and lastly by
all who neither love any Thing or any body but themselves, their
Interests or Pleasures, and who had as believe talk of serving Heaven
as their Country. Indeed the common People who come not under these
Distinctions, lov'd me well enough to Drink my Health, especially, when
I gave them the Liquor; and I doubt not wou'd have accompanied me to
the Gallows, with many a zealous Prayer, if I had been Hanged for
Writing for them. But at the same Time my Character was revil'd and
attack'd with a Number of scandalous Stories, and my Zeal and my
Patriotism exposed to Derision; and I was so far from having any Regard
shewn me by my Governors, that in a Country where Numbers get Pensions
for nothing, and Places for Services that were never done, I was not
once offer'd any additional Preferment to my Deanery, and I scorn'd or
rather detested not only to Ask, but even to Wish for it, as I vow'd to
you before. Most Nations indeed are but too apt to be thankless to
their Deliverers, but this above all others, and the _Comperit invidiam
supremo fine domari_, I found too often verified in myself and my
Interests; and my Character too frequently and too barbarously insulted
when Living; and now when I am laid in my Grave, they are grudging
their Half-Crowns, to raise me a Monument, that will not last as many
Months, as I writ Pages for them.

PRIOR. It is an Happiness, if the World proves ungrateful to the great
and excellent Persons, who serve and adorn the Age that is blest with
them, that they have a scorn for the Opinions of Men, or even their
Love or their Hatred, their Preferments, or Honours. It is but a poor
Sentiment of the illustrious _Xenophon_'s, 'That Praise is sweet to
those, who are Conscious they deserve it;' for on the contrary, I
believe most of those, who truly deserve Praise, have look'd on it as
the poorest and lowest Reward of well-doing. Great Minds who aim in
their best Actions at the Glory of their Maker, and the pleasing that
Author of all Good, by labouring to imitate him here below, have
superior Views, and do not only look down with a generous Disdain on
the Applause of others, as it is really trivial and mean, but also as
they know, they never receive it pure, but dash'd with the Malice of
Detractors, and the Spleen of those little Souls, who Envy them. As
they are Deaf to their Praise, so great Minds from their natural
Superiority, bear the Malice of their Enemies with equal Indifference,
and strive to Copy after him whom they serve, by smiling at, and
over-looking the base Ingratitude of those they have done Good to. I am
sensible, _Dean_, as even your Donations will survive both the World
and your own Name, you know from whom to expect your Wages, and when
they will be paid you; but really when one considers, what wretched
wicked, senseless, Mortals crowd this World, it wou'd make one, out of
Countenance to be actuated merely by a Love to themselves and
Descendants, without any Regard to him, who has commanded us to assist
and befriend them.

SWIFT. I agree with you entirely; I have observed and studied Mankind
too long, not to know the _animali Initus & in Cute_, and to look on
their Service as perfect Slavery. I have lov'd some odd Men in my Time,
but the whole Race in a Lump, are a dreadful Carnage of Sins and
Infirmities, Errors and Failings, Reason and Passion, that make a kind
of Twilight in the best Understandings, that is neither Day nor Night,
Knowledge or Ignorance, Vice or Virtue; but a kind of Olio of them all.
Even the highest Characters have their weak-sides, and the most
refin'd, their Defects and their Failures, with all the Infirmities
which Flesh is heir to, and this World where we dwell is apt to taint
Men with. Nay I must tell you in some Verses of mine, which never fell
into _Faulkner_'s Hands,

    _Prone to all Ill, the Flesh still warps the Soul,
    Hung like a Byass on the devious Bowl.
    This gives a worldly Cast to all we do,
    Tho' Patriots, Heroes, Saints,----we're Sinners too!
    Tho' some quite faultless in their Lives appear,
    Yet chain'd to this infectious Dungeon here,
    Men small of Earth, like Pris'ners of their Jail,
    And tainted from the Womb, the best are Frail!_

This is poor Poetry, _Tom_, but they are honest Thoughts, and such
(Death has taught me that Lesson) are worth all the Wit in the World.
But I shall quit this Subject, to return to another fear I have for the
Prosperity of _Ireland_, and that is the terrible and senseless
Factions, that divide our unfortunate Countrymen. The first great
Division among them, is their Disputes about spiritual Matters, as
Protestants and Papists. It is not the Danger to the State that alarms
me, for that is quite over; but the Indisposition to Unity and mutual
Affection; by which means the Kingdom is lessen'd in its force and
weight, while we seem to drag like a Man in a Palsy, one half of our
Body after the other, which ought to co-operate with it.

PRIOR. I must add to what you mention, Mr. _Dean_, that it is a
terrible Circumstance, to be surrounded by Catholick Neighbours, who
many of them think they wou'd do God good Service, if they extirpated
Heresy out of this Island; and therefore till we can get Priests with
better Principles, or remove such inhuman Prejudices, by giving their
People better Opinions, than that they ought to persecute a Protestant
with Fire and Sword; we shall ever be a feeble disunited Nation. We to
this Hour suffer under a loss of Blood and Spirits, from former Wars,
Rebellions and Massacres; but as it is probable they will every Day, be
less bigotted, and as their living and conversing so much with the
Protestants, and their going into their ways of Thinking and Living,
has taken off the Edge of their Animosity; one wou'd hope we shall be
in no Danger from such Accidents hereafter.

SWIFT. I wish and believe it, _Tom_, in Charity; yet still their
Religion, and their superstitious Pilgrimages, Nunneries, Holidays, (as
we discoursed already) make them lazy and indolent; and their yearly
Lents, and weekly Fasts, indispose if they do not disable their
labouring Poor to Work as much as their Wants require; the spiritual
Taxes which they pay their numerous Clergy, of all Denominations, who
in the Words of the Prophet, 'Eat up the Sins of the People, keep them
very low, and unable, as well as unwilling to join us in serving the
Nation; and their Language and Manners tho' improv'd, yet still
continue such a Difference between us and them, as must long keep us
disjointed, and therefore broken in our Strength as a Community. At
present we make a shift to live Civily together, but are so far from
being closely United, as by Care and Management we might be; that we
seem like some married Couples, to be rather yoak'd together by Law,
than tied by mutual Affection. But I shall pass over this great Source
of Dissention among us, as much as it hurts us, to take Notice of
another ill-omen'd Circumstance to our Welfare, and that is the
terrible Parties and Factions among Protestants, which also quite
enervate our Force as a Nation. I remember when I liv'd in _England_,
in the four last stormy Years of Queen _Ann_'s Reign, I made a few
Verses, (tho' I never Printed them for fear of Lord _Bollinbroke_) on
High and Low Church, which may be applied to _Ireland_ on this Occasion.

    _For as two Sawyers in a Pit,
    Toiling a massy Beam to Slit,
    A like their Skill and Prowess show,
    While one draws High and t'other Low.
    So_ WHIG _and_ TORY, BRITAIN _tear
    Asunder, and her Strength impair.
    While Factions all their Arts renew,
    To cut the Nation into Two._

This will ever weaken all Governments tho' never so strongly cemented
otherwise; but in _Ireland_ it must add Ruin to our natural

PRIOR. It is very true, and yet we cherish Factions as if we were to
thrive by them, tho' they prey on the Vitals of our Country, but I
believe there is no Nation in _Europe_, that acts so much against her
own Welfare as _Ireland_, or suffers more remarkably by it. The great
Maxim of its being madness to Trust Men's Promises and Engagements, but
that we are quite safe to Trust their real Interests, seldom holds true
in _Ireland_, for here you may trust Men's Words safely in most Things,
but they are scarce ever to be depended on, where you wou'd imagine the
Interest of the Kingdom secures them to you. It is strange to consider
the Violence also with which they Act against each other, for if some
hot People had their Will, they wou'd in their Contests hang up one
third of the Nation on ill Reports, and then on the least Turn of the
Tide, when they cool, they are as ready to String up all their beloved
Informers, as Slanderers; if that general Inclination People have to
listen to Malice, did not prevail on them to spare them.

SWIFT. One wou'd imagine where so much Passion is shewn, that they
wrangled for something very Important; but as it is observ'd, that none
are so litigious as the Poor, because they have but little to lose, so
our People keep up the heat of their Parties (which if it cools, like
that of a Glass-House all Work stops) by every Trifle, by every Word,
by every Doubt, that can give the least Colour for a Difference. In a
high Sea and a weak crazy Ship, one wou'd suppose there shou'd be no
Dispute in the Crew, but who shou'd stop the Leaks and ply the Pumps
fastest; but we mind every Thing but our safety, which we sacrifice to
our ardour for Noise and Wrangling, and prefer our Resentments to our
Lives. If our great Partisans of both Sides, disputed, who shou'd serve
their Country most essentially, or who shou'd promote the Tillage or
Manufactures of the Kingdom in the best Manner, it wou'd make us the
happiest of Nations. This wou'd be as noble a Contention of our
Demagogues, as that of the _Horatii_ and _Curiatii_, for the Grandeur
and Glory of _Rome_ and _Alba_, and wou'd end like that in
Reconcilement and Peace. If any Thing cou'd calm or unite us, the
single Reflection wou'd do it, that if the joint force and weight of
the Nation, was employ'd in pushing on its true Interests, (whenever
they came to be debated) nothing cou'd withstand or endanger them. But
we break our Strength, by crumbling into mean Divisions, petty
Interests and private Views; and while every one's Charity begins at
home, the Publick is beggar'd and no one relieves it. The general
Welfare is quite over-look'd, while low-minded Wretches are taking Care
of their particular Advantages; and I have ever observ'd that when
Places and Pensions and Preferments were settled, the real Business of
the Nation and its Parties, was thought to be as providentially
adjusted, as that of a Match between two Families, when the Portion and
Jointures, and Provisions for younger Children were agreed on. In
short, _Tom_, the Misery of our Case is, that the good of our Country,
like the Happiness of another Life, is oftner talk'd of for shew, than
pursued in reality.

PRIOR. Indeed _Dean_, I have very long regarded, our Contentions and
Parties in this Kingdom, in the same Light you do, and that instead of
ever keeping in View the great Interests of _Ireland_, Men bawl out
their Country! their Country! and mean nothing but themselves,
advancing their Leaders, and thereby securing proper Emoluments, for
every little Slave and Hireling that join with them. But what is most
surprizing is, that while People are so cool to the Publick Interests,
and to Things of the highest Importance; they are furious for Trifles,
and every Imagination, every Guess, every nothing will set their
Passions in a Flame.

SWIFT. I have often lamented that Circumstance, as to this poor Island.
In truth, _Tom_, our Divisions and Factions here, are frequently as
silly as those of two Gamesters, who tho' they play for nothing, will
Quarrel dreadfully about cutting and dealing the Cards, and winning the
Game. I am asham'd to say it, but the Contests and brawling of Children
at their Push-pin, are sometimes substantial Things, to the Jangles and
Feuds, I have known our Parties on some Occasions contend about, and
alas! all we get by it, is to give our Enemies Pleasure, and our
Friends Despair, while they see our wretched Country, quite forgot in
the Squabble, and nothing but Power and Places, private Gain and sordid
Interests attended to. But I will dwell no longer on this melancholy
Subject, which looks so ill for this poor Kingdom, and I will now go to
another Topick, in which the Conduct of our Countrymen is altogether as
blameable, and is as fatal a Proof of their Coldness to the publick
Interests; and that is their strange Neglect in finishing our Northren
Canal, and completing our Collieries in _Tyrone_.

PRIOR. I can never think of the scandalous Mismanagements in both those
Affairs, without Shame and Concern. They are a Disgrace to our Country,
either as to the Honesty or the Skillfulness of the Undertakers, as to
different Parts of the Works relating to the Canal, and also as to the
conducting the Design, and disbursing the Money employed on the

SWIFT. We are not only the slowest Thinkers of what will do us Good,
but we are the most slothful also, in bringing such Thoughts into
Execution. The _Newry_ Canal has been carried on, under the Sanction of
an Act of Parliament, and the Superintendance of the Navigation-board
above twenty Years: And tho' in _Holland_, such a Work wou'd have been
finish'd in half the Time, and by superior Skill, Oeconomy, and
Honesty, at half the Expence; yet, after laying out immense Sums, there
are still many Thousands wanting to make it a truly finish'd Affair. As
with much ado we found out, that our own Hills abounded with the
noblest Coal in the World, and that our Poverty forced us to consider,
that we paid on an Average about 60000 _l._ a Year for _Whitehaven_
Coal, the Nation at last undertook making the Canal from _Lough Neagh_,
to the Sea, in Hopes they wou'd turn that vast Drain of Money, when we
cou'd stop it, to better Purposes at home. Accordingly great Funds were
assigned it, and an infinite Number of Hands and Heads (or People that
wore Heads) employed on it for a long Space of Time; and yet after vast
Sputter, erring and re-erring, correcting and re-correcting, and
expending near 60000 _l._ the Work is far from being compleated; nor
can we yet say we are secure of our Canal or our Coal. Much has been
promis'd, and yet by Mismanagements or Misfortunes, and different
Obstacles, little has been done to answer the Expectations that were
raised; and tho' we were assured we shou'd in a few Years have at least
20000 Ton of Coals brought every Year to _Dublin_, to help our Poor, we
have not yet got 500.

PRIOR. I cannot account for the Disappointment, and it well deserves
the Nation's Enquiry. If, as I heard good Judges say, the Work could
have been finish'd in five Years Time, what have we lost, who for the
last fifteen Years, have paid such vast Sums to _Whitehaven_, that we
might have saved? And how much better had we managed, had we laid out
double what it has cost us at the first, and cut short both our Loss
and our Trouble?

SWIFT. Very true; but instead of this, they have, with true _Irish_
Policy, contrived to give large Sallaries to some Favourites to carry
on the Work, and thus, in Effect, brib'd them to delay the Undertaking
they were hired to finish. Thus these Plotters against themselves sink
this noble, generous Design, into a low, miserable Job, and instead of
assisting the Kingdom, they provide for five or six Families, that live
comfortably on protracting the Execution. If the Colliery Company,
whose Interest it is to finish the Canal, wou'd undertake the
completing it, and fix the Terms with the Navigation-Board, we shou'd
soon see the Matters well mended; but till that is done, we shall get
nothing but half-work for double Time, and treble Charges.

PRIOR. The Board will take Care of it; but though they shou'd exert
themselves ever so warmly, in finishing the Canal, we can never hope
for the Coal, unless the Nation makes a Waggon-Way of about 5000 Yards
to the River; and as this will cost as many thousand Pounds, we must
wait at least a Summer or two for that, in case the Parliament shou'd
generously add this small Sum to all their former Bounties. When I
consider, that this Kingdom loses so immensely every Year, that we want
our Canal and our Coals, it makes me uneasy to think, we are after so
many Years disputing about them, when we ought to be enjoying them; but
as the remaining Part of the Expence, to finish this noble Design, is
quite inconsiderable, compared to the Benefit we expect from it; and as
the Nation must not be trifled with any longer, I hope we shall see it
soon compleated. For some Years it has had the good Fortune, to be
conducted through many Obstacles, under the Direction of a Prelate[5],
to whose Skill and Zeal, whenever the Canal succeeds, _Ireland_ is
deeply indebted, and will be forever oblig'd on that Account, to
mention his Name with Honour. This is an encouraging Circumstance, and
this further Hope of its Success, is left us, that it is now in the
Hands of the natural Guardians of our Country, the Parliament; and as
they well know what a vast Influence cheap or dear Coals have on many
of our Manufactures, they will never let us be much longer deprived of
this Blessing, which we expect from their Zeal to relieve all the Wants
of _Ireland_.

      [5] _His Grace of Tuam._

SWIFT. They need not be told, (though however if I was alive I would
tell them of it) that if it cost us 20000 _l._ more, the Design well
deserves it; and if it took a much larger Sum, it wou'd be a cheap
Purchase of 60000 _l._ _per Annum_ saved to _Ireland_, which will be
unquestionably the Case in a few Years. After having been such
Spendthrifts so long, it looks like Impudence for us to talk of saving;
but as Sickness is sometimes the Cause of Health, so Misfortunes and
Misconduct may force us to be happy. It seems impossible, that either
our Canal, or our Collieries, can any longer be delayed or neglected,
and much less left in utter Danger of miscarrying, as I know it was for
some Time; but I must say, it is a Grief to every Friend of _Ireland_,
and a Satire on our Understandings, as well as our public Spirit, that
we were so long in discovering such a Leak, and afterwards so tedious
in stopping it up. If we were not a Nation as much made for Plunder, as
smaller Animals are for Prey, we should long since have remedied this
and many other Evils; but 'tis our peculiar Lot, to starve, like our
old Friend _Tantalus_, with the Meat at our Mouths, to want Bread with
the richest Fields in _Europe_ under our Feet, and to want Fire with
the noblest Mountains of Coals before our Eyes.

PRIOR. To see our Errors is one good Step to remove them; and if once
our Legislature sets vigorously about proper Methods and Remedies for
all our Distresses, there is Hope that their Zeal may make Things take
a happier Turn, for this poor Kingdom.

SWIFT. I wish I may see such a blessed Change in our Affairs, but
Seasons and Aspects are a little unpromising; and what discourages me
the more is, another dreadful Quality of our People, that of their
being so ready to desert and forsake their Country, which they leave as
sillily as Birds quit their Nests, upon every little Fright or
Disturbance, or just to gratify a wandering Humour, and to chuse a
Situation they like better. Our Noblemen and Gentlemen leave us for
Pleasure and Amusement, and our Poor for Bread and Wages, which we
cannot or will not provide them at home; and some run off for mere
Safety, as they see our Distresses, and fly from us by the same sort of
Instinct that Rats forsake a falling House. Thus a Family where the
Master first deserts the Children, and then the Servants follow his
Example, can hardly be reduced to a worse Condition than we are, by
this epidemical Madness of wandering to _England_. Though the great
Gain she makes by their residing there, will never allow her to drive
them back to us, yet one wou'd expect the very Contempt and Neglect
they meet with there, wou'd make them return to a Country, where they
wou'd be so much honour'd, and where they well know they are so much
wanted. At the same Time I make no doubt, if the old Statutes, which
punish'd all Absentees with the Forfeiture of their Lands here, were to
be revived, and they were thereby obliged, to improve the Industry,
Arts and Manufactures of our People, _England_ wou'd in Time receive
great Advantages by the Change. Mean while they, and all the Earth, see
the Destruction they bring on us, by their deserting us in so
ungenerous a Manner; and tho' the Cause and the Cure are so evident, it
avails us no more, than the Knowledge of his Distemper does the poor
Wretch that lies a dying. If they stay'd with us, and help'd us, we
shou'd soon recover our natural Strength of Constitution, and become
both an industrious and an important People; whereas now, we are almost
a Cypher in the active and commercial World, and a mere Appendix to
another Nation; while, like ill-coupled Hounds, by drawing different
Ways, we sometimes rather disturb than help one another. If I had Hopes
to get a Law pass'd, to burn every Clergyman who does not reside, to
hang every Gentleman, and behead every Nobleman, who desert their
Country for their Amusement, I wou'd even be content to return to the
World, and sollicit Votes for it; but without taking up the Burden of
Life again, I shou'd feel Joy in my Grave, to have their Estates
saddled with a constant Tax as a Fine for Absence. How lightly soever
Gentlemen regard this Desertion of their native Soil, it is certainly a
Crime no good or great Mind can be capable of: And the Officer who
quits his Quarters, or the Sailor who forsakes his Ship, do not better
deserve to be mulk'd in their Pay than they do.

PRIOR. I think it a little odd, Mr. _Dean_, that while we see our
Countrymen deserting us so generally, and lament it so loudly, we yet
take such Measures as if we thought they did not go away fast enough;
and therefore send off our Criminals, to labour, and breed, and enrich
_America_. Tho' this wretched Island is the most improvable, and the
least improved Part of the habitable Earth, we drive away from us our
Felons, though, if we kept them confin'd to hard Labour, the Kingdom
wou'd receive all the Profit of their Work, and by this Means a
converted Criminal, like a penitent Sinner, wou'd be of more Use, and a
better Man, than if he had never transgressed at all.

SWIFT. There may be some ill Consequences in that Method of punishing
Felons, as well as some good ones; for in a Complication of Disorders,
such as _Ireland_ labours under, what helps the one is pernicious to
the other. It is our peculiar Misery, that the Desertion of some of our
People does not hurt us more, than the Sleepiness, the Inactivity and
Heedlessness of those that stay behind. Many of our common _Irish_ know
as little of the Benefits of useful Labour, as the Savages in the _West
Indies_; and are more inclined to live by Theft and Rapine, than by
using their Hands and toiling their Bodies. Nay, Crowds of our
Gentlemen are as indolent (as we observed on another Occasion) as their
Slaves are lazy; and seem as unwilling to improve their Estates, as if
they thought their Tenures were as uncertain, and as subject to Change,
as ever their Ancestors found them. At present, there are few Kingdoms
in _Europe_, where the Titles to them are so indisputably settled as
they are in _Ireland_, and yet they improve more in _France_, where all
depends on the King's Will, than in _Ireland_, where the Property of
the Subject is so impregnably secured by the Laws. Of such Force is the
Genius of a Nation in regulating our Manners, and forming our Customs.
I assure you, dear _Tom_, I could name Crowds of our _Irish_ Gentlemen,
that wou'd double their Estates, if they would live on them, and ditch
them, and drain them, and build them, and plant them, with half the
Skill and Application of a rich sensible Farmer in _England_; nay, I
know some of them that are so situated, that they would quadruple their
Rents in some Years, if they wou'd build Towns, and set up Manufactures
on them with proper Care. There are few of them that have not before
their Eyes (if they wou'd open them) Instances of these Things in every
County, and yet are no more influenced by it, than if there was no more
Encouragement for Arts or Industry, thinking or working, in this
Island, than there is in _Borneo_ or _Madagascar_.

PRIOR. There are many Reasons to be assigned, for this great Mistake in
the Conduct of some of our _Irish_ Gentlemen, Mr. _Dean_, if we wanted
to examine into these Matters; but as to what you was saying, as to
their neglecting to live, and plant, and build on their Estates, I have
wondered, since we cannot hope to get a Law to force our Absentees
home, that we don't make one to oblige all Gentlemen, to build and keep
in Repair one Mansion-house on their Lands, of such and such
Dimensions, with proper Offices, suitable to their Incomes. If this
took in even Freeholders of 20 or 30 _l._ a Year, throughout the
Kingdom, it would have a great Effect, and encrease the Number of our
Inhabitants, in this deserted Country, as well as the King's Revenue,
by many thousand additional Hearths, and comfortable Places of
Residence. At the same Time, I cannot see one Objection to so useful a
Law, but that nobody would get by it but the Public, and that many
private Gentlemen and Absentees wou'd be forced to be useful to us and
their Families whether they wou'd or no, which wou'd probably be
thought a terrible Hardship by some People.

SWIFT. Why, _Tom_, I cannot but say, such a Law wou'd be of great Use
in so naked a Country as this, where one wou'd imagine many of us were
descended from the Ringleaders in the Building the Tower of _Babel_;
and that by their being then punished, for meddling too much in Stone
and Morter, we have contracted an Aversion to all Building ever since;
but whenever such a Law is to be pass'd, I could wish they wou'd add
another to it, that wou'd not only build our Country, but plant it
surprisingly too.

PRIOR. And pray what Law is it? For I am ready, like some good Patriots
(who get others to think for them) to vote for it, right or wrong; nay,
before I know what it is, since so good a Friend proposes it.

SWIFT. Why, my Act of Parliament is enough to frighten all good
Protestants, and is to impower every Landlord, notwithstanding
Settlements, to set Leases for ever, of ten or twenty Acres, even to
Papists, at the full reserved Rent, who wou'd build good Houses of
Stone and Lime, of such and such Dimensions, and inclose and plant an
Orchard and Garden of at least one Acre, and keep them in Repair, on
pain of voiding the Tenure. This wou'd, in a few Years, increase the
Number of our Houses and Orchards prodigiously; and the more as our
Natives are very fond of having Lands and Tenements in their own
Country, and are willing to give this Pledge of their Allegiance, which
so many of them, for Want of such Ties, sit too loose in. I am sensible
what an Outcry, many honest Gentlemen wou'd make to this Law; but I am
sure it wou'd improve our Country to an high Degree; nor do I see what
shou'd hinder us to allow Papists to purchase Lands, (and especially
the old forfeited Lands) to a limited Value, and without allowing them
a Vote, provided they built and inclosed them in proportion to the
Estate: But who can bear to throw away their Thoughts on a Nation, that
mind their own Dreams and Habits of Thinking more than the Reasonings
of others; who cannot be prevailed on to set up new Manufactures, at
the Instances and Exhortations of a Lord Lieutenant, nay, not at the
Advice, and, shall I add, even the Entreaties of that illustrious
Patriot and Friend to _Ireland_, my Lord _Ch----d_.

PRIOR. You mean the making Paper here, which that Nobleman, with a Zeal
equal to his Understanding, honoured me with so many Letters about; and
took so much Pains, with many useful Friends of our Country, to get
effectually established in _Ireland_.

SWIFT. I do; and I want to vent my Spleen, in abusing my Countrymen,
for the inconsiderable Progress which has been made in so excellent a
Design. Certainly, though we have made some Advances that Way, if we
had carried them on with the least Share of that Nobleman's Spirit, we
shou'd have brought it to much greater Perfection than we have done.
Even with what little Care and Encouragement we have bestowed on it, if
we continue to cultivate it, we may expect in some Years to improve it
so far, as to be able to export large Quantities, and see it swell and
increase, in proportion to the great Material for it, our Linen. But,
as if we were afraid too many Arts wou'd enrich us too fast, or take up
more Hands than we cou'd spare; we have given this useful Undertaking
so little Assistance, that it has by no means made the Advances we
cou'd have expected from it; and we have just left it, like a lovely
exotic Flower, to live or die at the Mercy of an unfavourable Season,
and a wintry Climate. This puts our Giddiness, in overlooking every
offered Advantage, and our Supineness as to all Attempts to improve our
Circumstances, in a very indifferent Light; we wear better Linen, and
more of it, than most of our neighbouring Kingdoms, (our Numbers and
Poverty fairly considered) nay, and we wear them to Rags too, and yet
we will not save those Rags for the Paper-mill; nor will we, when they
are turned into Paper, buy it, while we can purchase better and dearer
from _France_ and _Holland_. In short, we are a People, _Tom_,
miserable amidst a Crowd of Opportunities to be happy, for Want of a
little Activity and Management, a little Sobriety and Care; and one of
the most alleviating Circumstances of my Death was, my being delivered
from the Torment, of endeavouring to serve _Ireland_ to no Purpose.

PRIOR. Indeed, Mr. _Dean_, I cannot but allow there is too much Truth
in many of your Attacks and Abuses of our unfortunate Countrymen; and
yet I am tempted to return to my old Reveries, and to think,
notwithstanding all their Disadvantages, if I had lived ten Years
longer in _Ireland_, I shou'd have been able to have made vast
Alterations among them for the better.

SWIFT. No, _Tom_, not if you had lived longer than _Methuselah_.
Consider, Man, tho' there are Remedies for the Sick, and Helps for the
Dying, there are none for the Dead; and in that Light, I have been used
to consider _Ireland_ of a long Time. But prithee, _Tom_, let me know
the whole of your Scheme; What wou'd you have done?

PRIOR. Why, if you will hear me calmly, Mr. _Dean_, I will give you a
fair Account of what I wou'd have attempted at least, and to open all
my Heart to you, that was one of the main Subjects I called at your
Tomb to talk to you on, to see if we could get any of these Crawlers on
the Earth to attempt it, by oar artfully suggesting it to him. In
short, my Project was, by procuring greater and more numerous
Subscriptions, and by extending and enlarging the Plan of the _Dublin_
Society, to have promoted more than ever the general Good of the

SWIFT. You might as well Talk to most People, of the general Good of
_Japan_. I have told you already they have no Notions of such Things:
Their Thoughts, their Taste, their Passions have another Turn. Did you
expect to get more from those, who think too much is given already?
Why, Man, do you forget the Pains, the Application, the Time, and the
Expence, it cost an old Gentleman of our Acquaintance, to procure the
first Subscriptions? Recollect also, that after such plain, visible,
good Effects were seen by the whole Kingdom, what Numbers of those, who
seemed to subscribe with Zeal, withdrew their Subscriptions; and then
consider what Success you could have of obtaining larger and more
numerous Contributions.

PRIOR. I am but too sensible, there would be some Difficulty in it, Mr.
_Dean_; but, cold and dead as most Men are, to all great and generous
Attempts to serve us, I know by Experience, that there are yet left in
_Ireland_ a few chosen Spirits, who wou'd have concurr'd in such a
Design, and who had Hearts and Fortunes suited to the Task, and almost
equal to the Burthen. But happen what would, I am sure, I should have
got some reasonable additional Subsidies; and though possibly they
would have been too small to answer my Purpose; yet, still, I should at
least, have pav'd the Way for some happier Man who would have come
after me; and I should have the Comfort to think, that my too eager
Zeal to serve others, and disserve myself, could not give great
Offence; especially, as Men are not likely to meet Impertinences of
this Kind, every Day. This I am confident of, that the Use and
Advantage which that Society, (blessed be God) has been of to
_Ireland_, will secure a large adventitious Fund to her hereafter; and
tho' by the Arts of evil Men, it may be damped, or dropped for some
Years, there never will be wanting, worthy Spirits in the rising
Generation, who will remember how happily, that Society was set up and
supported, by a few active Gentlemen; and, that it may be restored
again, and an adequate Fund provided for it, by the same Resolution and
Zeal. But, after all, Mr. _Dean_, I make little Question (if I had
lived, to apply for larger Subscriptions) I should not have been
disappointed; and, if I had succeeded, _Ireland_ should have had Cause
to remember my good Fortune.

SWIFT. Alas! _Tom_, your Hopes were over-heated, I fear; though there
are many Squanderers, there are few Givers in _Ireland_ and even among
those few, the greater Part instead of giving their Benefactions while
they live, and can see them well applied; are laid in their Graves,
before their Donations are of use to the Living; for People only bestow
their Substance to others, as they do their old Cloathes to their
Servants, when they can use them no longer. This, makes me fear, _Tom_,
you would have got in few Contributions, among our own Countrymen.
Alas! _Tom_, we seem to keep our Repentance for the Time past, and our
Charity for the Future; but the poor present Time, is sacrificed to the
meanest Avarice, the falsest Pleasures, or, the lowest Ambition;
without any Care of the general Welfare of our Country, or one social
Wish for the Happiness of our People.

PRIOR. I allow all this would hold true, if the great and admirable
Effects of the Society's Præmiums, did not make it highly probable,
that I should have prevailed with several of our worthiest Countrymen,
to have assisted so great and so successful an Undertaking. When Men
see they have it in their Power, if they will join together, to deliver
their Country from all its calamitous Distresses; and to be themselves
the Sources of infinite Blessings to Millions yet unborn, their Hands
rebell against their Hearts, and even Misers learn to be bounteous. I
am not ignorant, how much Men are under the Influence of their lowest
and poorest Passions, yet still I am of Opinion, as Stingy as they
generally are, if they evidently saw, where they could do much Good by
their Benefactions, we should have more of them in the World than we

SWIFT. I doubt, _Tom_, you mistake that Matter egregiously, for nine
Tenths of our Donations, I fear, proceed more from our Vanity than our
Virtue. Numbers give, as our great Master tells us, to be seen of Men;
and for that Reason, probably, it is, that there are so few secret
Corbans offered up to Heaven, and not to the World; and if this be so,
'tis plain, that People give more for the Ostentation of having given,
than the good they hope to get done by it, and therefore you must have
met with few generous Subscribers.

PRIOR. I cannot approve of your Thoughts on this Point, nay, on the
contrary, I am confident most People give for the heavenly Joy of
giving, and the seeing much Good likely to be the Consequence of their
Bounty; and from the same Way of Thinking, where there is little Hope
of such Consequences, Men give more coldly and illiberally. I will also
add, that the perceiving, how unskilfully (and therefore
unsuccessfully) many bestow their Alms, is the Death of Charity, and
the great Obstacle to generous Donations in others. It grieves me to
say, that I have often observed, that too few give with Judgment.

    _Perdere multi sciunt, donare pauci._

And Numbers, through an ill concerted generosity, do not half the Good
they might do, if they appropriated their Gifts with proper Skill, and
knew the happy Art of giving. But giving largely to the _Dublin_
Society, has not one Objection against it, and answers every End the
human Soul can ask for, when it scatters the Dung of the Earth, to
enrich the World. You well know, _Dean_, to give even to an useful
Purpose, which ends with the Occasion that calls for it, falls short of
those Charities, which extends their Views to future Ages; and
therefore, to assist Societies, that are contriving for the Welfare of
Nations, is a nobler Donation, than relieving private Wants that die
away with the Person relieved. I will go yet further, Mr. _Dean_, since
I have touch'd on this Topick, and assert, that to give, where Virtue
and Industry are the Consequence of the Benefaction, you must allow is
of higher Use, than relieving Distresses, which have been occasioned by
Vice or Extravagance, and may probably end in them. Nay, to give under
such Conditions, as must inevitably draw in others, to join in your
Charity, and enlarge your Hopes of serving Mankind, is of the greatest
Use; as it brings in Crowds to co-operate with you, and vastly out-do
your Benefactions; and to give to a Plan of Charity, which is as likely
to encrease as a River, the farther it goes, is of yet greater Service,
than to give where their Subscription Ends like a Shower of Rain, in
watering the Earth for a Moment, and vanishes with the next Sun.
Lastly, to give to a few, and yet to make Numbers industrious and
laborious, in Hopes of receiving your Bounty, though they never obtain
it, is of yet more Weight and Importance; and this is plainly the Case
of all Præmiums, where they are faithfully distributed. Now, all these
Considerations accompany every Subscription to my enlarged Plan, and
thence I was apt to flatter myself I should be successful, if I had
liv'd to apply for them.

SWIFT. Well, I shall drop any Dispute on that Point: But, pray, _Tom_,
be a little more minute in explaining your Views, and let me know if
you had many large additional Subscriptions, how would you have applied

PRIOR. Why, I cannot enter into a long Detail of every Particular, but
I would in General, have doubled the Præmiums of most of the Articles,
which the Society has yet promoted, and in some of the most important
Improvements and Manufactures, I would have trebled them. By this
Means, it is hardly credible, what a Progress we should make, in all
those Subjects of Husbandry and manual Arts in a few Years; and how we
should work up the Industry and Skill of our People, by every Incentive
that Profit or Glory could give them. I formerly reckoned up many
Articles which I may probably seem tedious in repeating now, but you
will make Allowances for my Fondness and Folly, as you know Mr. _Dean_;
a Lover would as soon be tired with dwelling on the Praises of his
Mistress, as I can be with naming the Things, or the Methods by which I
flattered myself I could have served poor _Ireland_. The reflecting on
them made my Life pleasant to me when upon Earth, and the Remembrance
of them, sweetens my Grave to me; and therefore, though you may think
them but Dreams, allow me the Pleasure of repeating them. I say, then,
with the highest Joy of Heart, that the enlarging and improving our
neglected Tillage, the encouraging and heightening our old decaying
Manufactures, and the setting up new ones should have been the great
Care of my Life, and the extending the Force and Use of the Society,
when thus advanced to its Manhood, beyond what the Weakness and
Inexperience of its infantine State could perform. I would have nursed
up Crowds of Orphan Arts, and as they grew up, and could shift for
themselves, I would have wean'd them, and brought a new Succession of
others in their Place, as far as the Narrowness of the Fund would allow
me. I would have brought over foreign Workmen of all Trades and
Professions; I would have set up Glass Manufactures of all Kinds near
our Collieries; I would have established our Earthen-Ware in the most
effectual Manner, and if possible (by bringing over Hands from
_Birmingham_) I would have improved our Hard-ware to such a Degree of
Perfection as to stop that terrible Drain of our Cash. I had also
designed to allow large Encouragements to bring over Foreigners for
improving our Silk and Thread Bone-lace for enlarging our Paper and
Sugar Business, which would be a Saving of many thousand Pounds every
Year to _Ireland_.

SWIFT. Here is a fine Bundle of Hopes for a Man in Despair to live
comfortably on! But pray now _Tom_, have you done reckoning up all your
mighty Projects to make _Ireland_ another _Utopia_? I am almost at the
End of my Patience, for to say Truth, _Tom_, the List of the Ships in
_Homer_'s Iliad is not more tedious.

PRIOR. Why, Mr. _Dean_, to teize you as little as I can, I will drop a
Number of others, and only touch cursorily on the Advancement of our
Silk Manufactures of every Kind, as well as our Tapestry. I would have
encouraged our Salt-works, and our Ship-building, and I would have set
on Foot a Society, to have set up and directed our Fisheries both in
the North and South Coasts of this Island. If I durst take in smaller
Matters, I would have set up an experimental Farm and Garden, and in
Time allowed a Salary for a Professor in Agriculture, which _Columella_
you know so much laments the Want of, and I would have given an yearly
Præmium of 100 _l._ for the best annual Invention in Arts and
Husbandry, as much for the best Book yearly in any of the Sciences, and
the same for the best _English_ Poem; as Nations are apt to judge of
each other's Genius and Talents (I will not say how justly) by the
Performances they produce this Way. Nay, Mr. _Dean_, I would have
advis'd a Præmium of at least 100 _l._ annually, to be given by the
Society for the best Picture, and also, as much for the best Piece of
Sculpture, or Statue; as these two Arts have ever been consider'd as
the chief Marks and Characteristics of a polite and sensible Nation,
and have always flourish'd where ever Arts or Learning have been
encouraged. I had Thoughts of stopping the vast drain of our People to
_America_, by hiring Ships which trade thither, to bring back every
_Irishman gratis_, who disliked the Country, and would rail at it when
he got Home. Nay, I had even Thoughts of printing a Collection in
Folio, of all the best _Irish_ Pamphlets, or at least, of all the best
Hints in them, relating to the Service of our Country. I would have
done my utmost to have gotten the best and noblest Members of the
Society (as great and good Men communicate Virtue to their Friends as
the Loadstone invigorates the Needle it touches) to have petitioned the
Parliament for sumptuary Laws, for Hospitals in every County Town, for
establishing a national Bank, for illuminating our Coasts, with
Light-houses as carefully as our Streets with Lamps; for applying to
his Majesty for a Mint for our Copper and Silver Coinage, and also for
hardening it to prevent its wearing; as well as for forming Canals for
assisting our inland Navigation, and for working up our Collieries, and
opening those hidden Treasures our Mines. I would have promoted by
judicious Præmiums.----

SWIFT. Hold! Stop! Where is the Man going? Are you sailing in Quest of
the North-West Passage to make a short Cut to Wealth and Trade of your
own imagining? You boddered me enough with many of these Articles
already, and do you expect I can be as little tired with them as you
are? Whenever you enter upon this Subject, you run on, Head foremost,
like a mad Hound on the Road, without minding what's before you; weak
Men, I find, tho' they cannot Think without Talking, can Talk without
Thinking. Was there ever such a Hodge-Podge of Reveries, mustered up by
a living Author, to say nothing of a dead one, that should have a
little more Sense? Why there is not in all _Bedlam_, a Man so absurdly
distracted by an Over-load of Projects. You are a sweet Politician
indeed, _Tom_, and just as fit to conquer Nations as to mend them. What
enthusiastical Delusions stuff thy Noddle? Will you never remember
_mundus vult vadere quo vult_ and be satisfied to leave the World to
him that made it, and Kingdoms to those he has appointed to govern
them? These high flown Whims of yours, are just as practicable, as
_Archimedes_ his moving the Earth out of its Place, and it provokes me
to hear such impossible Projects declaim'd on by such a Visionary, such
a Stockjobber in Politicks!

PRIOR. You try my Temper too far, I neither can nor will bear your
insolent contemptuous Way of conversing, or your opprobrious provoking
Language. If you attack my favourite Foible with such Acrimony, you
must expect I will not spare some of yours: As for your sneering at my
Politicks, I own I never was a Politician, nor did I ever set up for
one. I had too rational an Head, I thank Heaven, and too honest an
Heart, to allow me to make any great Progress that Way. And now, Mr.
_Dean_, I must tell you very frankly, I never saw or heard any eminent
Proofs of your extraordinary Skill as a Politician, except a vast Crowd
of Pamphlets; And what are they but the mere Cobwebs of Politicks, that
owe their Birth to the House being neglected, and are all swept away
when it is clean'd? You was a pretty good Patriot, but you had so much
of the Politician, the next to taking Care of others, you loved to take
Care of yourself, and all possible Care too. You kept a good Byass on
your Bowl to get near the Jack at long run and secure a Mitre; and tho'
when you were disappointed, you furiously attack'd the Ministry and
pleaded your Country's Cause with due Resentment; yet even then, your
Revenge when over-tired, slept like an Hare with its Eyes open, that
while you watch'd for the publick Good, you should not overlook your
own. Besides, let me tell you _Dean_, if you will be taunting, that if
the political Secrets of the latter End of the Queen's Reign were
detected, you would be found as rank a Jacobite as many Authors in
those Days represented you to the World.

SWIFT. I think you have borrowed some of their sort of Spite, for you
seem to be in a great Fury with little Reason for it. But I must tell
you, Sir, though those Authors were ever mistaken when they called me a
_Jacobite_, I never was in the wrong when I called them Fools. As for
your political Secrets, let me be allowed to set you right, for I
assure you there are no such Things in _England_. Men are such sievish
leaky Mortals there, that they can't conceal even their own Rogueries;
for political Secrets told to _Britons_, tho' under Vows of Secrecy,
are like Bonds for great Sums seal'd in private, but Judgment is soon
enter'd up in the public Offices; and all the World knows in a trice
what has pass'd. As for the kind Hints those Writers Honoured me with,
I assure you, Sir, I despised them as sincerely as your Anger now.
Their Talents were incapable of hurting any but themselves, and
therefore I forgave them, as the Law pardons Children and Ideots. It is
true, where their Spite appeared very invenom'd, I took other Measures;
for then, as the Statute speaks of Boys, _Malitia suplet ætatem_
(Malice supplies their Want of Age) and I pepper'd them off
notwithstanding their Folly, to frighten silly Scribblers from playing
with such edg'd Tools again. But after all, what were their Works
against me, but a mere hot Hash of cold Meat, of fifty half read
political Authors, and unknown common-place Party-Writers, mix'd up
with common Reports, and a few insipid lifeless Scraps of their own
tasteless Trash and factious Venom.

PRIOR. We that are dead and love Truth, know that most Books, and
especially Party Books are made like their Paper of old Scraps and Rags
pickt up here and there; but however, their Works in those Days pleased
the World, had an infinite number of Applauders, and made you
sufficiently jealous of the Talents of their Authors.

SWIFT. I jealous! I detest, I renounce the Thought! I was never jealous
of any Man but my self, lest I should fall short of that Glory, which I
knew I had gained, and feared I might lose again. I ever judg'd when a
Man has wrote a good Book, he should Stop as _Jupiter_ did when he
begot _Hercules_, left his next Production, should be found vastly
beneath the former; and therefore I was as suspicious of my scribling
Temper, as Physicians say an over-fed Glutton should be of his Finger's
Ends. But I scorn'd my Antagonists too much, to be jealous of them, or
even to be Angry with them; for tho' they abused me very Generally and
very Grosly, my chief Delight was, that they never reviled me so much
as when I was in my greatest Glory, as Dogs never are so apt to Bark at
the Moon, as when she is at the Full. Besides, let me tell you, testy
Sir, with the old Poet _Nomina mille, mille nocendi Artes_. 'Tis so
easy to be malicious, and at the same time so mean, that true Worth
never Triumphs so eminently over its Enemies, as when they expose their
Weakness and Envy by reviling it. It is true, many Scriblers busied
themselves with Criticising and Decrying my Works; but they were so far
from disturbing me, I made the best Use of them, by improving my
Productions; for Criticks to good Writers, are like their own Dust to
Diamonds, good for nothing but just to polish them, and them only. I
Jealous! No really, Sir, there was no Occasion for it; the very Wit of
my Writings kept all the laughing Part of Mankind on my Side, and I
never lived in any Times where reasoning was much regarded by the
common Herd of Readers or Talkers.

PRIOR. A pretty Confession for an Author, Truly! and yet since you have
stirred my Gall, I must tell you, that we may say of the brightest of
your Writings, what I said in one of my Exercises at School of Mr.

    _With all the Graces, all the Faults of Wit,
    You both adorn'd and blemisht all you writ._

I am sure you had often such a quick running hand way of thinking, that
you frequently left your meaning behind you. But I am not angry enough
to make any severe Remarks of my own, on the numerous Tracts you gave
the World; but there was one Objection every one agreed in, and that
was your banishing Divinity out of all your Compositions, and indeed
out of your Conversation; so that it should seem Mr. _Dean_, if I am
such a wretched Politician as you say, I may as fairly and more truly
tell you, that you have not shewn your self a very able Divine.

SWIFT. I smile at the Weakness of the Objection, but I am quite
delighted with the Malice of it. Let me tell you, Sir, I had something
else to do with my Divinity, than filling Pamphlets with it to make
madmen Merry, and wisemen Sick. There is a Decency, or shall I rather
say a Chastity in Writing or Thinking on such exalted Subjects, that
great Minds are apt to Cherish, which keeps them Cautious and
Diffident, where weak Men are as bold and as rash (to use an homely
Phrase) as a blind Mare in a Mire. I have known many silly Preachers,
and paperscull'd Writers in my Time, that were troubled with the
Divinity Squirt, and were forc'd to print, or to be tormented with the
Cholick, or foul themselves; and so they exposed their Nakedness to the
World, with all their Rhapsodies of dreaming Thoughts, borrowed Sense,
and hearsay Learning. I was none of those High Dutch Inkshiters as
somebody calls them; and instead of sending my Religion to the Press to
make other Men frantick, I kept mine at home to keep my self Sober. As
to the rest of your Objection, Sir, I must confess I did not talk much
of Divinity, nor did I love to hear others bring it into Conversation;
for it was always my Opinion, that tho' Divinity and Piety are at home
in the Church and the Closet, yet every where else they are used as
Strangers, and should be treated with the highest Respect and Ceremony.
The Practice Men have fallen into, of over-writing and over-talking
themselves on such Subjects, has done and is doing such harm in the
World, that I wonder it has not been hist out of it; but there are some
Persons so fond of haranguing, declaiming and setting out their Noise
to the Crowd, that if they wrote on Geometry or Algebra, they would
flourish and use Tropes and Figures to shew their Parts and their
Eloquence, and so in spite of all Advice and Experience, Divinity and
Religion must be bother'd out of their Senses by Praters and Scriblers
and half Thinkers.

But prithee _Tom_, let my Divinity alone. Why should you strive to vex
me by throwing Dirt at me now, tho' you know I was never disturbed by
such impotent Petulance, when I was above Ground; or else I had
Revilers enough to make me as Sick of _Ireland_, after all the Service
I had done it by my Pen, as ever King _William_ was of _England_, after
he had delivered it by his Sword. But let us put an End to this ugly
Brawl, which even the Passion and Impudence of the living might blush
at. It is a shame _Tom_, for old Friends to Quarrel for such miserable
Trifles, and for the dead to grow so angry at them; puts us in as bad a
Light, as the half-witted Fools that are still crawling on the Earth.
Prithee be calm and cool as the Grave ought to make you, and let us
agree to drop this fit of ill Humour, and I shall make you a Proposal
that I hope will give you the highest Pleasure. If you will lay aside
your Resentment for my abusing your Schemes, I will offer you one, that
if ever it comes to be embraced, will make _Ireland_ one of the
fortunate Islands.

PRIOR. Make me Master of that important Secret, and convince me of its
being probable and practicable, and my anger is over in an Instant,
like an Infant's. Dear _Dean_, you rejoyce my Heart with the very hint
you have dropt, and let me beg of you to communicate the whole to me.

SWIFT. Why my Scheme is entirely bottom'd on that happy one of your
Society's Premiums but so completely secur'd from my old Objection of
the narrowness and uncertainty of its Fund, as to make the force of the
Engine quite equal to the Work 'tis designed for. No one can have an
higher Opinion than I of the salutary Effects, which publick and
honorary Rewards have on the human Mind; and above all, when the
Society's Fund does not depend on Charities given by Scraps and casual
Helps quite inadequate to her extended Views, but on the publick Faith,
and the great Source of all our Supplies the national Bounty, and the
Zeal, the Generosity, the good Sense of our _Irish_ Representatives. It
is as shameful to see a Kingdom depending on private Contributions, as
a _Ballysarius_ begging of a common Soldier. The King thought so when
he extended his royal Munificence to us, and tho' he cannot help all,
or do all; he has shewn us he desires it, and would gladly spur us on
to Exert ourselves, and be more generally Active and Busy. This
illustrious Example makes me confident, that if in imitation of his
Majesty, the Parliament should resolve to assist us; it would be the
noblest and quickest Method of relieving all our Wants, and banishing
Indolence and Misery for ever from _Ireland_.

PRIOR. I embrace the lucky Thought, and hope if it be followed, it may
be for ever Propitious to this poor Kingdom. I remember he that first
introduced that obvious, but happy Scheme of Premiums; used often to
declare that the Method of Private Subscriptions was but a mere
transitory Shift to set up with, and give a Proof of what Effects they
would produce; but that Parliamentary Aids were the only adequate Funds
we could thrive by. I often used to tell him my Fears, that such
Assistances were not to be hoped for, and I own I have some Doubt, that
there are some Objections against such extraordinary Helps now.

SWIFT. I know them as well as you, _Tom_, but there are none take my
Word for it, but what are surmountable by the Spirit and Honour of an
_Irish_ Parliament. I dare pawn all that is dear to me among Men, that
if our Senators will Vote 4000 _l._ _per Ann._ to the Society, that is
1000 _l._ to each of the Provinces, to encourage Tillage, enliven every
Art and Manufacture, promote every Good, and remove every Evil among
us; we should before the End of this Century, be as much the Envy of
our Neighbouring Nations, as we are now their Contempt. As they would
inspect over the Distribution of all they gave, there can be no fear of
Misapplication, or the low Tricks of Jobbing; and as a Tax either on
Deals or Wines, on Paper or Stampt-paper, News-papers, or Almanacks; on
Plays, Musick-Meetings, Assemblies, on Lands sold, on Swords or Jewels
worn on our Crowds of useless Servants or thoughtless Travellers, would
most of them furnish us with sufficient Funds. I can see nothing to
prevent so blessed a Purpose. I remember an illustrious Friend of ours
used to say, it would be no bad Way, if in all future Parliaments,
every Member should be obliged to add to the present Oaths he takes,
one plain one, that he would do his utmost to promote the Manufactures
of this Country, the Industry of the People, and to secure Bread and
Fire at Home to the miserable Poor. But if the present Parliament
should give a Vote of Credit for 4000 _l._ a Year to the Society, it
would make such an Oath quite unnecessary, and they would enable them
by that single Measure to give all our Affairs a new Face, and put us
at once in the happiest Situation that Activity and Affluence could
procure us.

PRIOR. I have such a Confidence in the Concurrence of Men of all
Parties in so glorious a Design, that I begin to look already on this
Affair as certain and settled. There are such Crowds of sincere and
hearty Friends to their Country in that honourable Assembly, that I
fully persuade my self, they will never grudge so small a Sum to this
plain and evident Method of laying the Foundation on which the
Prosperity of _Ireland_ may stand for ever. We should then see
prodigious Changes for the better, and no more hear such complaining in
our Streets of no Trade, no Arts or Artists, or Encouragement for them
in _Ireland_. This depends on ourselves and the Spirit and Votes of our
own generous Commons, who will be bless'd by Posterity for thus making
their Zeal, the great Source of Wealth, Industry, Plenty and Peace
amongst us. Indeed, when I consider how shameful it wou'd be, if,
through any undue Influence we should want every Support in our Power
to give our People to enliven, enrich, or distinguish our Country; I
grow almost Confident of such a blessed Assistance. This is helping our
Families, our Dependants, our Tenants and Fellow-Citizens, the present
and future Generations. Every Acre the Society would by this means
improve (and they would improve Millions) would be so much additional
Wealth to the Kingdom; every Art they set up; every manual Trade they
encourage, will be a new strength to us, and will spread themselves as
fast thro' the Kingdom as our Rivers do their vital Juices thro' our

SWIFT. Well, _Tom_, I am glad our Disputes are at an End, that I have
pleased you at last, and made you entirely prefer my Methods of
assisting the Society to your own. It is certain, a Vote of Parliament
has often set up useful Manufactures here, and this will be but a
general one, for the setting up all. Nor is there any Cause to doubt of
this publick Bounty, for tho' private Men are penurious, Nations are
generous, and the publick Money is so easily raised, is paid by so
many, and hurts so few, that even a Parliament of Misers might be
Charitable. Every body is well disposed to bestow bounteously out of
his Neighbour's Purse, to good Purposes, tho' he may be close enough or
cautious enough, to save his own; and at the same Time, the Publick is
certainly the proper and natural Guardian of its own Wants and
Interests. In short, _Tom_, the Thing is so manifest and self-evident,
that I dare pronounce the Day is coming, when Votes to set on foot such
Undertakings, proposed by skilful Artists, and to encourage publick
Works, will be as common as Addresses to the King, and Congratulations
to our Lord Lieutenants. As we ought to give to _Ireland_, and to help
our poor Country as well as his Majesty; and as no Money given by any
People, can be productive, of so much and so general a Good to all, as
this 4000 _l._ _per Ann._; as it will be manag'd by such clean Hands,
and such clear Heads and faithful Hearts, as it will be directed by an
Industry that never slackens, and by a Society which by the King's
Goodness to us, can never die, I am sure we shall not be denied it.
This is really the truest and noblest Use of Riches, for to give and
relieve Thousands, is the best View on which we can either gather or
disperse them, and above all when the Charity begins at home, and helps
and makes happy our wanting Brethren. This Design must give the highest
Joy to the Parliament, which supports and enforces it, for it is
certainly a vast Pleasure to a Patriot any way to assist in alleviating
and assisting the Wants of his indigent Countrymen; but how much must
his Joy be encreas'd, and what must he feel, who bestows Knowledge,
Virtue and Industry, to Millions of his Fellow-Citizens? To give to
such noble Ends, seems to be transcending the Limits of Humanity, and
wou'd look like usurping on the Power of Heaven, if the Creator had not
transform'd it, to a Kind of Homage to himself.

PRIOR. Dear _Dean_, I forgive you any Trifle that offended me in our
Dialogue, and I thank you from my Soul for this happy Expedient to
serve our Country so evidently and effectually. If once our
Representatives will let us feel and know, that Industry in _Ireland_,
shall never be unrewarded, nor Arts neglected, we shall soon learn that
in so fertile a Country, no Man who has Hands and will use them, can
ever want either the Necessaries or Conveniences of Life. This Help
from our Parliament wou'd turn in a little Time our Desarts into
Gardens, our Famines into Plenty, our Herdsmen into Farmers, our
Beggars into Labourers, our Villages of starving Cottagers, into Towns
swarming with Artists, and our Beasts into Men; nay every Hill wou'd be
cultivated, every Valley ornamented, and our Lands as much improv'd as
our Roads.

SWIFT. What hindered our former Parliaments from taking such Measures,
I will not pretend to Guess, but why they in the Days of our Ancestors,
shou'd Vote such Funds to our Civil and Military Establishments, and
such Pittances, such Nothings, to the Ease, the Well-being, the
Happiness and Honour of the Nation, is hard to say, and parhaps, _Tom_,
if we were living in those Days not very safe. It is a Comfort our
People are in no such Danger now, under such a Senate and such a
Governor, nor shall we be any more in danger of Jobbing away our
Country for private Views, or sacrificing the general Welfare of a
whole People to the Pride or the Power, the Gain, Avarice or Ambition,
of half a Dozen over-grown Men. But there is one Thing, _Tom_, I must
mention, as almost as usefull to the Happiness of _Ireland_, as the
Parliament's Assistance, and that is that in every County, great City,
and large manufacturing Towns, Societies shou'd be form'd with
Subscriptions from all who compose them, for setting up Premiums for
such Improvements, in all the manual Arts, as they find they want most
to set forward. But as I think you mention'd this already, and seem as
zealous to see it promoted as I am, I shall not enlarge on it as fully
as it deserves. All I shall hint at is, that 50 _l._ or 60 _l._ or at
most 100 _l._ a Year thus applied, wou'd have amazing Effects thro' the
Nation, as it wou'd remove all those Wants, and set up those Arts,
which wou'd most affect their particular Circumstances, and which the
_Dublin_ Society, cou'd not so immediately attend to, in its general
View of assisting all. As soon as the most necessary Things were fully
provided for, such Societies wou'd go on to others, and thus in Time,
wou'd find their own Estates and Neighbourhoods, largely repaying by
their Improvements, the Care and the Expence of the Subscribers. The
maritime Counties, wou'd soon among other Things set up Fisheries, and
the Inland Counties, wou'd promote either Tillage or Mines, or usefull
Manufactures; and by this means, all the great Drains of our Health and
our Wealth, our Blood and our Spirits, wou'd be cut off, and our
natural Strength wou'd encrease with our Labour. Thus in Process of
Time, this Kingdom wou'd be the Happiest, instead of being the most
Distrest of all Lands, and wou'd be as Rich as she wants to be,
provided always, dear _Tom_, that like some good-natur'd thriving
Merchants I have known, we do not resolve to be bound for our elder
Brother's Debts.

PRIOR. I think such Societies in every County, or every considerable
County, wou'd be a nobel Addition to our Parliamentary Bounties; and I
trust in the Providence of him who governs the World, and the Goodness
of those whom he has appointed as his Substitutes over these Nations,
we shall not want these Blessings long. But we will if you please, Mr.
_Dean_, drop this Subject at the present; and now we have talk'd over
so many of these Particulars relating to the Welfare of _Ireland_, I
wou'd fain speak on other interesting Topicks, which also occasion'd my
paying this Visit to you. The first is to canvass over calmly and
candidly all the Arguments for or against a Union of this Kingdom, with
_Great Britain_. I am assured by all the Ghosts I have met with of
late, that this is a Design, which in due Time is surely to be brought
about one way or other. The second is the violent and ill-judg'd
Brigues and Feuds, between some of our most considerable People; who
tear our Country in Pieces, like _Cæsar_ and _Pompey_, because one
cannot bear an Equal, nor the other a Superior, in the Government. In
the 3d Place, I want to settle clearly, whether any of the Money that
was charged to the Account of our Barracks, was carried out of the
Kingdom by some strange Accident or other. When we have fully discussed
this, I wou'd in the last place talk to you, in as free a Manner, as
two such Friends to _Ireland_ shou'd do; how well our Senate has
formerly maintained, and is likely now to maintain its undoubted Right
of disposing of the Redundancies of the Treasury, and taking Care that
the People's Money, be laid out for the Service of themselves and the

SWIFT. I am quite pleased with your Proposal; but stay, I see they are
lighting up Candles for Morning Service. Ah, _Tom_, if the Prayers of
the Living were as Sincere and as Ardent as those of the Dead, what an
altered World wou'd this be? Here is the Curate and three old Women
coming to Church; what think you if for fear of frighting Fools, we
laid by these winding Sheets in my Tomb, and walk'd in _Fresco_, in the
Deanery-Garden, and enjoy'd this bright Morn.

PRIOR. With all my Heart. I have a Budget of Anecdotes, and a deal of
Law and Politicks, to entertain you with. Oh this poor Kingdom! this
unthinking People grieve my Soul!

SWIFT. Dear _Tom_, most Men scarce begin to Think, till they're
summoned to die, and that I fear must be the Case of _Ireland_, unless
the Parliament helps us. _Allons!_ to my old dear Garden----lead the
Way! without _sans_ Ceremony, as _Jodolet_ says in the play.


*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Dialogue Between Dean Swift and Tho. Prior, Esq. - In the Isles of St. Patrick's Church, Dublin, On that - Memorable Day, October 9th, 1753" ***

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