Infomotions, Inc.The querist. Containing, several queries, proposed to the consideration of the public. Edited with an introd. by J.M. Hone. / Berkeley, George, 1685-1753




Author: Berkeley, George, 1685-1753
Title: The querist. Containing, several queries, proposed to the consideration of the public. Edited with an introd. by J.M. Hone.
Publisher: Dublin Talbot Press [n.d.]
Tag(s): great britain economic policy; whether; bank; national bank
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THE QUERIST 



THE QUERIST 

CONTAINING SEVERAL QUERIES 

PROPOSED TO THE 

CONSIDERATION OF THE 

PUBLIC 

Edited with an Introduction by 
J. M. HONE 



I the Lord, have brought down the high tree, have exalted the low 
tree, have driei up the green tree, and have made the dry tree to 
flourish." BZEK. xvii. 24. 



THE TALBOT PRESS LIMITED 
DUBLIN & CORK 



PRINTED IN IRELAND 

AT THB 
PRESS OF THE PUBLISHERS 



HC 



INTRODUCTION 

THE original edition of the QUERIST, which may be 
seen in the collections of the Royal Irish Academy, is 
very scarce. It consists of three parts, published 
anonymously with a Dublin imprint in 1735 and the 
two following years. An anonymous English edition, 
also in three parts, and now equally rare, was issued 
almost simultaneously. Three other editions were 
published in Berkeley s lifetime. The book reappeared 
in 1/50, in London, with the author s name on the 
title page, and with his Word to the Wise appended. 
There was a similar Glasgow edition in 1751. In 
1752, the year before his death, Berkeley included his 
tract on Irish economics in a collection of various 
pamphlets, entitled Miscellany. 

All these editions differed from the originals, owing 
to the omission in them of a great deal that had 
appeared in the first three tracts, and the inclusion of 
a few new Queries. The omissions made were chiefly 
of queries relating to the sketch of a national bank, 
which subject, said Berkeley when first putting his 
name to the Querist, " might again be taken in hand 
when the public should seem disposed to make use of 
such an expedient." The Querist with the same 
omissions was again published in London in 1829, 
with notes by the editor showing " how many of the 
same questions still remained to be answered concerning 
Ireland." In 1847 John Mitchel issued a small selection 
of the more characteristic queries for the Irish Con 
federation. The Querist was again brought before the 

1 These London issues were discovered a few years ago by 
Mr. E. H. Meyerstein. (Times Literary Supplement , May 26, 
1926.) 



6 INTRODUCTION 

public when Berkeley s complete works were edited in 
the later part of the nineteenth century and at the 
beginning of the twentieth by Fraser (Oxford 
University Press), and by Sampson (Bonn Library) : 
in the latter edition a complete reprint of the first 
three parts was given in an Appendix. In the present 
edition various reasons have compelled the omission 
of a number of queries; but the work is given, as 
Berkeley first produced it, in three parts, and it 
includes queries which were excluded from the second 
edition and others which he added to it. 

In a subsequent leaflet The Irish Patriot or Queries 
Upon Queries, Berkeley returned to the question of a 
National Bank. The MS. of this leaflet was only 
discovered two or three years ago. It was then printed 
in the Times Literary Supplement (March 13, 1930), 
and also in the Appendix to the latest biography. 1 This 
MS. is now in the possession of the National Library, 
Dublin. No date will be found upon it, but internal 
evidence suggests that it was written very near the 
close of the philosopher s life. Berkeley died in 1753. 
The MS. passed into the possession of Bishop Percy 
of the Reliques (Bishop of Dromore, in 1782), and was 
later the property of a Dublin collector of eighteenth 
century curiosities. It was not known to have contained 
unpublished matter, owing to an error on the part of 
Bishop Percy, who wrote a pencil note at the bottom 
of the fourth page describing the contents as being 
the queries which Berkeley had omitted from the 
second edition of the Querist. 

The Querist provides entertainment and instruction 
of a remarkably varied nature. There is the delightful 
originality of the literary art with which the thought 
is conveyed, the skill with which Berkeley, by the 
substitution of the interrogative form for the 
categorical, fixes the terms of the controversy and 
subtly reveals his own temper and intentions. There 
are the ideas themselves, significant not only as a 

1 Bishop Berkeley. By Hone and Rossi. (Faber & Faber.) 



INTRODUCTION 7 

study, which retains pertinence after the passage of 
two centuries of the contradictions of Irish life, 
but significant also as a contribution towards the 
solution of particular problems which vex political 
economists in our own day. There is the value 
of a historical document. The Querist is inform 
ative of the points of view of early eighteenth century 
Ireland as well as of the facts. Its author drew upon 
a wide experience of the world. Berkeley had travelled 
in Europe as a young man, and in later life had been 
resident in America : wherever he went he was evidently 
an eager collector of statistics, and a close student of 
economic and social conditions. He can enforce his 
points for the possibilities of Irish improvements by 
comparing the trade of the whole of Ireland with that 
of the single city of Lyons, he can draw other appro 
priate instances from the conditions of the Swiss 
cantons, from Law s financial adventures, from the 
early history of banking in the American Colonies. 
The chief fascination of the Querist for some readers 
may consist in the easy access it provides to out-of-the- 
way details, relative to the condition of the world in 
the first thirty years of the eighteenth century, such 
as are not to be found in ordinary histories. 



The years which Berkeley had spent out of Ireland, 
prior to his appointment to the Bishopric of Cloyne, 
were occupied chiefly although during them he held 
the office of Protestant Dean of Derry with the 
famous Bermudan plan for converting the American 
Indians. His operations to this end had been conducted 
chiefly from London and Rhode Island. Derry had 
seen him but little, and the Querist was his first 
publication on an Irish subject. The first number 
appeared after he had been only one year established 
at Cloyne. But Berkeley had at an earlier date given 
many hints of a patriotic interest in the affairs of his 



8 INTRODUCTION 

country. Two of his closest friends, Sir John Percival, 
a great Irish landowner (afterwards first Earl of 
Egmont) and Tom Prior, the statistician, who was one 
of the founders of the Royal Dublin Society, were 
active workers in Irish causes. Percival had been the 
patron of Berkeley s early philosophical endeavours; 
but the correspondence in which the two men engaged 
while Berkeley was still a fellow of Trinity College, 
had a larger reference to current events in Ireland, than 
to the theory (for which Berkeley is chiefly celebrated) 
of the non-existence of matter. When the Querist 
was written, Prior and another worthy of the Dublin 
Society, Samuel Madden, busied themselves with the 
issue of the Irish edition, and Percival saw to the 
London publication. 

Percival s views in regard to native productions were 
as strong as those of any popular leader of our time. 
In 1722 Berkeley wrote to say that he was engaged 
in advising on the building of Speaker Connolly s 
country house in Kildare, whereupon Percival replied 
urging that all the wood, the stone stairs, and the 
furniture must be Irish even the shells for the adorn 
ment of the buffet should be picked up on Irish 
strands. This was two years after Swift had entered 
upon Irish polemics with the famous pamphlet on the 
Universal Use of Irish Manufactures, where it was 
urged that the Irish people should burn everything 
from England except coal. Berkeley, as we shall see. 
never revealed himself as a fighting patriot in this 
sense. Two years later Swift published the first of 
the Drapier s Letters, in which, taking as a pretext 
Walpole s action in giving an English financial adven 
turer a power over Irish coinage, he asserted the right 
of the Irish people to be " as free as their brethren in 
England." Another letter from Berkeley to Percival 

S .ves us some idea of the excitement which the great 
ean s intervention in Irish agitation had engendered 
in Dublin. " Yesterday Wood s effigy was carried in 
procession by the mob through most of the streets of 
this town in order to be hanged or burnt, but it is 



INTRODUCTION 9 

given out that the Lord Mayor hath reprieved him 
till Wednesday .... It is hardly possible to conceive 
the indignation which all ranks of men show on this 
occasion." 

Indignation was not in Berkeley s line. The Querist 
purported to be the work of a sage, not of a " party " 
man. Eraser, the first editor of Berkeley s complete 
works, remarks .that the thoughts proposed in the 
three pamphlets " are of more than transitory interest, 
and more large and generous than those of Swift 
.... the statesman may here find maxims which 
legislation has not yet outgrown." The late Lord 
Balfour, in his Introduction to the Bohn edition of 
Berkeley s works, drew a similar contrast between the 
two men, both world-famous, who during the first 
thirty years of the eighteenth century engaged upon 
the same Irish theme. It is a rather too facile contrast, 
and Lord Balfour, moved by his distaste for contem 
porary Irish agitation, was evidently unjust when he 
argued that Swift, because he sought to stir up feeling 
against England, and was incited to Irish action by 
oersonal enmities, did not feel the Irish miseries and 
seek to relieve them. One has the impression, however, 
as one reads the Querist that Berkeley himself wished 
to establish such a contrast. Swift is not mentioned 
by name in Berkeley s work; but many of the entries 
in the Querist imply a criticism of the temper in which 
Berkeley s great predecessor approached the question 
of " Irish improvements." Berkeley is too obviously 
anxious to disclaim the character of a political patriot, 
and to discourage the local sense of grievance ! It was 
Swift s final complaint, before he lapsed into despair 
about Ireland, that he had failed to raise the Irish 
people out of their slavish complacency towards English 
encroachments on their natural liberties. Berkeley, 
on the contrary, seems in many of the passages of 
the Querist to deplore a too strong nationalistic bias 
on the part of the Irish Protestants. He reminds the 
gentry, with a doubtful historical accuracy, that they 
are of completely English descent and mentality, and 



10 INTRODUCTION 

that they should, therefore, incline to do what 
conveniences the mother-country, in all circumstances 
whatever. 

The main grievance of the Irish Protestants, so 
fiercely exploited by Swift, was the disability from 
which the Irish woollen trade suffered as the result of 
the hostile commercial legislation of William Ill s 
Parliament. Berkeley, therefore, exhorts his country 
men in numerous queries not to hanker after the woollen 
trade, but to " put themselves on some other method 
that will not arouse English jealousy." He wants to 
be taken primarily for an impartial philanthropist. 
lt Might it not be regarded," he wrote when first put 
ting his name to the tracts, " as a proper employment 
for a clergyman to feed the hungry, and to clothe 
the naked, by promoting an honest industry." This 
was his answer to possible censure for meddling out of 
his Christian profession. In the attempt to maintain 
this character of the philanthropist " above the battle," 
and to have Irish affairs discussed from the point of 
view of the moralist rather than from that of the 
politician he is sometimes led into inconsequences. 
Thus after arguing on the grounds of race and 
nationality that the Irish Protestant "colony" and 
the English people have the same interests and should 
love " one another, he proceeds to urge that 
differences of race and nationality need not keep the 
" colony " and the " bulk of the Irish natives " apart; 
and that a scheme for the welfare of the (Irish) nation 
must take in the whole inhabitants. He criticised the 
Penal Law, favoured the opening of Trinity College 
to members of all denominations, proposed to win over 
the Catholics by " argument " rather than by perse 
cution and thus won the title of the " first eminent 
Protestant after the unhappy contest of the Revolution 
who avowed his love for all his countrymen." 

The respective attitudes of Berkeley and Swift 
towards the "bulk of the natives" and the related 
Catholic question differed in many ways. Berkeley 
has been praised by Lord Balfour and others for his 



INTRODUCTION 1 1 

much greater generosity in this respect. The " Irish 
Nation " of which Swift speaks, seems to be (at first 
sight at least) a Protestant minority of landlords, 
Anglican clergy, industrialists and weavers. Like 
Berkeley he lays stress upon the English affinities of 
the Protestants, but with an opposite end in view, 
that of making English conduct in attacking the 
foundations of Irish prosperity appear all the more 
scandalous. The thing, as Mr. W. D. Taylor points 
out in his recent book on Swift was a blind. 1 Swift, 
like his predecessor Molyneux, speaks as if the inde 
pendent kingdom of Ireland consisted only of English 
settlers and their descendants. Yet he must have had 
the older races in mind when he used such sentences 
as these: " A people long used to hardships, lose by 
degree the very notions of liberty, they look upon 
themselves as creatures at mercy .... Hence proceeds 
that poverty and lowness of spirit, to which a kingdom 
may be subject as a particular person . . . . J> 

On the other hand, Berkeley when he speaks of " our 
people " and "this nation" openly includes in the 
terms the whole population of the country without 
distinction of race and religion. He was ready to 
argue that prevalent fears of Papal influence did not 
justify the economic and political oppression of the 
Catholics, and also to prove that want of industry 
was not a necessary condition of Catholic Societies. 
But in his endeavour to encourage the use of Irish 
products among the Protestant landlords (it is to them 
that the Querist is addressed) he did not hesitate to 
provoke a religious prejudice, as when he asked : 
Whether our ladies might not as well endow monas 
teries as wear the lace of Belgian convents ?" Similarly, 
in making suggestions to enable the Catholics to possess 

1 Taylor, Jonathan Swift (Peter Davies). Mr. Taylor 
observes of Molyneux, that this advocate of the independence 
of " English " Ireland gave himself away by stating that 
only one in a thousand of the population were native Irish, 
which he must have known to be untrue. In other words, 
" he presents the people living in Ireland as united in their 
demand for independence." 



12 INTRODUCTION 

themselves of land, he drew attention to the possible 
political dangers which might attend the entry of 
Catholics with their French sympathies, into the 
business of the seaport towns. Obviously in reading 
the Querist, allowance must be made for Berkeley s 
tactful anxiety of which he also gave evidence when 
setting out his startling doctrine of the non-existence 
of matter to adopt as much as he could of his 
opponents ways of thinking, to suit himself to their 
capacities and characters. 

As a moral reformer he is outspoken enough. The 
class which he is addressing does not escape lightly. 
Probably he exaggerated the extravagance, idleness 
and dissipations of the landlords of his time. He 
has nothing to say of the better side of " ascendancy " 
life; and one would not guess from the pages of the 
Querist that a public spirit such as had recently been 
signified by the formation of the Dublin Society was 
already in being. But it is the way of the moralist to 
lay stress on the blacker side of things. Similarly with 
the long string of questions regarding the Irish poor 
" Kept from thriving by that cynical content in a 
dirt, and beggary to a degree beyond any other nation 
in Christendom" The last query on this list, mild 
reminder that it " might not be altogether their fault, 11 
he even omitted from the second edition ! What he 
is unwilling to recognise, or unwilling at least to say, 
is that the calamities and depressions of Ireland may 
have reference to some external cause, and must wait 
for their lifting upon political and social changes. 
Had not others said enough on this head, blaming, 
as the case might be, the Penal Laws or the Pope for 
the depressions of the Catholic population and English 
commercial legislation for the Protestant lack of public 
spirit ? 

The contrast with Swift is again striking, for Swift 
denounced not only English, but local injustice, finding 

1 He also distrusted the trader on economic grounds. 
" Consult not with a merchant concerning exchange," was 
one of his maxims. 



INTRODUCTION 13 

in the poor cottager, as he once said, a spirit and 
quality wonderful in view of their " millions of 
oppressions"; indeed at the end of his life the one 
object that stood out before Swift in burning distinc 
tion and haunted him, was the misery of the Irish 
poor. 

Surely Lord Balfpur was over critical in discerning, 
as an instance of Irish perversity, the fact that Swift, 
not Berkeley became the national hero, and especially 
if we are to consider Berkeley s attitude to Ireland 
after Lord Balfour s manner, as merely that of an 
impartial philanthropist. Berkeley was indeed much 
more than that. In the very balance of the sentence, 
in the choice of words of the Querist, there are often 
passion and emotion, not certainly of a political sort, 
but still less merely philanthropical : Berkeley in his 
remote Cloyne is deeply touched by the sad poetry of 
Ireland, and conveys a Celtic melancholy even into 
economics .... the roads untrodden, the fields idle, 
the houses desolate. " Whether business in general 
doth not languish among us? Whether our land is 
not untilled? Whether its inhabitants are not upon 
the wing?" (Part III., 102). The reader of the Querist 
does not forget that he is in the presence of one of 
the greatest masters of the English language. " The 
liquid light of Erin," as a friend of mine once put it, 
is in all his argument. 

Nor is it true that the author of the Querist received 
no attention from his own countrymen. The tracts 
must have been widely purchased on their first appear 
ance; Berkeley mentions in a letter of 1746, that no 
copy could be had in any book-shop in Dublin: he 
wanted to present a copy to the Viceroy, Lord 
Chesterfield, who was so friendly to Ireland. The 
Querist had not the success of Berkeley s later work, 
5*m, a medico-philosophical treatise which, because it 
proposed the easy remedy of a little tar mixed with 
water for all the ills of the flesh, found its way into 
every Irish country house, even when there was nothing 
else in the library except a Bible and the Journal of 



14 INTRODUCTION 

the Irish House of Commons. By the end of the i8th 
century Berkeley had been forgotten by the country 
gentlemen ; the author of Stris is ascribed by Sir Jonah 
Barrington to " some Bishop. * In the igth century, 
however, thinkers of the popular party like Davis, 
Mitchel and Griffith rediscovered Berkeley as the author 
of a system by which Ireland might be liberated from 
the economic dominion of her neighbour. 



It is a paradox of Berkeley that he combines a mild 
and benevolent Unionism, " what is for the good of 
one must be for the good of all," with a theory of 
Irish economic well-being which is wholly agreeable 
to modern nationalist sentiment. John Mitchel, Irish 
rebel of 1848, while complaining of some of the 
" slavish " queries, declared that the good Protestant 
Bishop had in him the root of a truly " Irish political 
economy"; and Arthur Griffith, the founder of Sinn 
Fein, almost found in the Querist a breviary. Did 
not Berkeley bv exhorting his countrymen to self- 
reliance and industry, by opposing the consolidation 
of pasturage in Ireland, and bv setting out proposals 
for a National bank based on land and labour, show 
the way to the liberation of the nation from English 
capitalism? Mr. de Valera does not cite the Querist, 
and yet how much of his thoueht about Ireland and of 
that of his party, is an echo from eighteenth century 
Clovne ! What country, Berkeley asked, was so well 
Qualified as Ireland for satisfying itself with a purely 
domestic trade? In what country should it be easier 
to nourish and clothe the inhabitants from within, 
and provide all reasonable conveniences, and even 
comforts of life? Was it not a sure si^n and effect 
of a country s thriving to see it well tilled and full 
of inhabitants divided into " small farms under many" 
rather than into " lar?e farms under few " ? But was 
there " any other nation, possessed of so much good 



INTRODUCTION 15 

land, and so many able hands to work it which yet 
was beholden for bread to foreign countries ?" 

Ireland in Berkeley s time was being largely turned 
j into a sheep-run. The weavers were denied the right 
| of exporting their finished goods to England, or to 
any other country, but Ireland could still do a large 
trade with Yorkshire in the raw wool, and could 
smuggle her textiles to France. Berkeley denounced 
the sheep runs and the whole " abominable race of 
graziers," in much the same way as the Meath cattle 
ranches are being denounced in our day. It would be 
the wisdom of the State, he thought, to " wrestle with 
the hereditary disposition of the Tartars " and intro 
duce tillage " with a high hand." 

Berkeley s difference from Swift and the Nationalists 
was that he did not want to " annoy " England. He 
exhorted his countrymen to do without imports by 
refraining from foreign luxury. Swift had said, 
" burn everything that comes from England except 
her coal"; Swift, a political leader, wanted to unite 
Irishmen in a common grievance against England. He 
was right from his point of view, since the quickest 
way to unite a people is to show them an enemy : the 
process of antagonism. With Berkeley, on the other 
hand, the complement of voluntary protectionism was 
voluntary restraint on exports. For he justly realised 
that so long as his countrymen regarded the support 
of native manufactures in the light of a retaliatory 
policy, a means to an end (the recovery of a foreign 
market) the doctrine of economic autonomy would not 
receive consideration on its own merits. Besides it 
was perilous to anger a more powerful neighbour. 
Swift could consider this peril only in a satiric way: 
the Irish interest was due to disoblige England, and 
he proposed that Ireland should sell her children to 
the English as food, a commerce that would not excite 
jealousy. 

Berkeley liked to drive a thought to its extreme 
consequence; and the thought of the Querist, if it 
had been or could have been put \nte effect, would 



16 INTRODUCTION 

have produced a more radical separation between 
English and Irish life than the course of action pro 
posed by Swift. It is, indeed, interesting to see how 
Berkeley, protesting, as it were, against the practical 
hardness of Swift s schemes leaps over reality, accept 
ing the philosophical dreams of More and Plato as 
legitimate possibilities of the future. Following up his 
query, " Whether fashion does not create appetites," 
he makes regionalism rather than a mere nationalist 
protectionism the essential feature of his economic 
plan. He was ready to reduce his unit from the small 
nation to the village, and chose to wear ill clothes and 
a coarse wig rather than to make his purchases from 
a distance. To understand the true nature of commerce, 
wealth, etc., " would it not be right to consider a 
ship s crew cast upon a desert island?" Place a " wall 
of brass " round Ireland, and new local values would 
be discovered, and internal trade promoted. The 
curious thing is that, although on this side of Berkeley s 
thought there were almost communistic implications, 
yet he has been hailed as a forerunner of Adam Smith 
and the liberal, cosmopolitan economists of the igth 
century. Did he not hold that the private and public 
good must coincide? He castigates the idle rich, and 
is ready to revive mediaeval sumptuary laws against 
luxury ; but in the Spartan society which he advocates, 
a " delightful swarm of busy people," no provision 
is made for the control of the industrious rich, and 
it is not wholly pleasing to come on the query (Part 
II., 217) in which a discovery made in Dutch work 
houses that " a child four years old may earn its 
own livelihood," is noted as a sign of progressive 
civilisation ! 

Berkeley had an interest in economics for their own 
sake, or as a problem : the Querist has a place in 
the general history of the science, universal as well 
as local significance. Swift s Drapier s Letters 
are simply ex parte statements arising out of the 
particular controversy of Wood s half -pence, a fascinat 
ing revelation of polemical skill, but without any 



INTRODUCTION I? 

suggestion of deep doctrine. Berkeley is not less 
characterised in the Querist than in his more famous 
metaphysical writings by the taste for speculative 
thought, and by that affection for problems which 
was notably absent from Swift s composition. For 
Swift, the " whole doctrine " is always " short and 
plain there are no new truths, for a Plato or for 
a ploughman, and there is nothing that cannot be 
demonstrated by immediate efficacious arguments. 
Such principles of economics as he had came direct 
from his early patron, Sir William Temple, a 
doctrinaire of the mercantilist school, which the Querist 
refutes. 

" The first cause of a country s thriving," according 
to Swift, was a fruitfulness of soil which would be 
sufficient to produce exportation to other countries as 
well as provide the necessaries and conveniences of life 
at home. In view, therefore, of the English opposition 
to the Irish Export trade, it seemed to him that there 
was nothing to be done but admit poverty and " reduce 
our expenses to our income " by renouncing all foreign 
dress and luxury : Berkeley wanted not only to re 
nounce " foreign dress and luxury," but to confute 
the Dean s gloomy prognosis by a criticism of the 
assumptions of mercantilism. Until the Querist 
appeared no one had suggested that Ireland should 
renounce what was left of her export trade a proposal 
which must have seemed to Swift (he was still living, 
but the Querist was not in his library) tantamount to 
advocating a further contraction of the national 
" income." The logic surely was on Berkeley s side. 
How was (and is) gold defended against the charge 
of being a senseless luxury and extravagance? If 
money be only a ticket or counter, then the only 
defence of gold is that it maintains our credit abroad, 
without which our imports will fall off the very thing 
which the nationalist economists desire ! Berkeley 
was evidently addressing Swift as well as the public 
in general when he urged that before all, when discus- 
(D 985} 9 



1 8 INTRODUCTION 

sing economics, one must form an idea of the nature 
and use of money. 

The promotion of banking had assumed importance 
already in Swift s time, owing to the chronic dearth 
of gold, silver and copper from which Ireland was 
suffering. An Act of 1709 first made bankers notes 
transferable; but there were many failures, as the 
private banks were always borrowing short and lending 
long. In 1720, after one of these failures, a plan was 
presented by the Irish Parliament and approved by 
the king, to raise a fund of 500,000 for the purpose 
of loaning money to merchants at a fair rate of interest. 
The project was opposed and defeated on the 
nationalist ground that if the Bank should touch the 
trade of England, its charter would be repealed, 
and the last state of Ireland would be worse than the 
first. In his pamphlet, The Swearers Bank, Swift 
employed all his power of a satirist to defeat the 
scheme. His experience as a Tory in England of the 
growing power of money and trade, resulting, as he 
thought, from the ascendancy of the new Whig gang, 
drove him to extremities of sarcasm. So he proposed 
an even better sort of bank for Ireland than that 
which was before Parliament : one which would be 
based on the national consumption of oaths and which 
would pay even higher dividends than the South Sea 
Company. This satirical approach to serious subjects 
grieved Berkeley, who had indeed explained in an 
Introduction to the English edition of the Querist the 
difference between his method and that of Swift and 
the imitators of Swift. Clever satirists lost sight of 
the proper end, the improvement of Ireland, and, 
therefore, did not rouse the goodwill of earnest and 
active men. They exasperated instead of reconciling. 



In the original Querist much space was devoted to 
a demonstration that a national bank need be neither 
a dangerous nor an impossible thing. In the sketch of 



INTRODUCTION IQ 

the bank set forth by Berkeley, it was to be a 
source of public credit, supported by funds and secured 
by Parliament. The Bank of England was not his 
model : the rich were not to be paid for lending their 
money. The necessary stocks or funds were to be 
raised by taxation; 1 and consequently there would be 
no manipulation and jobbing in shares, such as, in 
Berkeley s view, brought about the failure of the no 
torious endeavours of men like Law. Though he realised 
that money is not the cause of wealth, Berkeley set great 
store on increased circulation, and his sympathies were 
(precautions taken that money should not become an 
object of speculation) with the inflationists of his time, 
as is shown by the interesting queries in Part III (145, 
et seq.}, where the question of a remedy for the short 
age of coin, whether by a raising or lowering of prices, 
is examined. Berkeley has been praised by the classic 
economists for seeing that money was not wealth, but 
a token, ticket or counter. He really went a good 
deal further than that, implying often that money 
was not the token of existing wealth, but of wealth 
in the future. In respect of some of his observations, 
or hints, on gold, he has been accused of inconsistency. 
Seeing, however, that he was opposed to the theory 
of representative money, of gold as security, he was 
entitled to deny that the discovery of a gold mine 
would enrich the State, and at the same time, to 
demonstrate that gold and notes may, for currency 
purposes, perform exactly the same functions. Money 
with Berkeley (Part I., query 35) "conveys" and 
"records" the "power to command industry." To 
understand its true nature, it is desirable to consider 
the case of a ship s crew cast upon a desert island 
(Part I., query 46) : " Whether a fertile land and the 
industry of its inhabitants would not prove inexhaus 
tible funds of real wealth, be the tokens for conveying 

1 He suggested taxation of wine and foreign linen as a 
means for raising the fund, in a letter published through 
Prior in the Dublin Journal a week after the appearance of 
the third part of the Querist* 



20 INTRODUCTION 

and recording thereof what you will.* (Part I., query 
40.) All circulation is a circulation of credit, and 
gold like notes is no more than a credit for so much 
power. 1 

Lastly, mention should be made of Berkeley s MS., 
recently discovered, The Irish Patriot or Queries on 
Queries. It shows that the plans for improvements in 
the Querist, especially the national banking project, 
met with a good deal of criticism. The leaflet it is 
no more than that is written in a vein of satire, 
suggested, it is possible, by the rise in 1750 or there 
abouts of a new patriot party in the Irish Protestant 
Parliament under Boyle and Malone. This party 
opposed an alleged royal prerogative, and insisted that 
Parliament had the right to say how the national 
revenues should be spent. Boyle and Malone attacked 
the time-honoured system known as " influence " by 
which Government kept the Parliament men in a state 
of docile subjection. Berkeley in far-off Cloyne 
considered the patriotic rally of which Dublin was 
now the scene with sceptical dismay (as his Maxims 
on Patriotism show), and in fact Malone and Boyle 
succumbed to bribery a few years later. He feared 
that attention would be diverted from his own pro 
gramme of a non-political reform of Irish society; 
nor had anything been done about that Philosopher s 
Stone of State, the national bank. This had been 
criticised, it seems, on the ground that a Government 
institution of the sort, would increase Government s 

l Lord Balfour forgetting that Berkeley s idea was the 
self-sufficient State, and assuming that he was reaching 
towards the classic political economy of the nineteenth cen 
tury, " saw incoherence here (Introduction to the Bohn 
edition). Nothing can be more explicit than Berkeley s proof 
that, for currency purposes, notes and gold may perform 
exactly the same function, yet so great is Berkeley s hatred of 
the doctrine that money is a source of wealth, that though 
anxious to increase the amount of the circulation he is un 
willing to increase the amount of gold and seems to hold that 
though notes may be a substitute for coin, qoin is not a substi 
tute for nqtes," 



INTRODUCTION 21 

powers of exercising influence, Berkeley now gives an 
ironical assent to the premises on which he supposes 
his critics to proceed. The following are a few of the 
entries in this curious little production, perhaps the 
last of the philosopher s life: " Whether riches, or 
even the appearance of riches, be not often dangerous 
to the liberties of a people?" Whether it be 
said that a national bank would produce industry, 
manufacture wealth? But whether it be considered 
that all these seeming benefits may be snares to 
liberty?" "Whether a man who is versed in the 
doctrine of opposition can conceive it possible for the 
Government and people to unite in one view of the 
public interest ? " Whether there be not two ways 
of preserving a freedom and independence, either by 
being above oppression or below it?" "Whether the 
whole and sole duty of an Irish patriot be not to 
nourish opposition and always to suspect the worst." 



THE QUERIST 

(The First Edition, in Three Parts, of 1735, 1736 and 1737, 
as printed by R. Reilly, of Cork Hill Parts I. and II., for 
G. Risk, G. Ewing, and W. Smith, booksellers, in Dames 
Street, and Part III. for Jos. Leathley, bookseller, in Dames 
Street). 

Queries which Berkeley added in subsequent editions are 
marked with an (a). The numbers of those which he omitted 
in these editions are given in black type. 

" Consult not with a merchant concerning Exchange. "- 
ECCLUS. c. xxxvii. 

PART I 

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

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

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

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

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

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

23 



24 THE QUERIST 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

14. Whether reasonable fashions are a greater 
restraint on freedom than those which are unreason 
able? 

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

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

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



THE QUERIST 25 

1 8. Whether frugal fashions in the upper ranks, 
and comfortable living in the lower, be not the means 
to multiply inhabitants? 



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

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

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

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

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

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

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



26 THE QUERIST 

27. Whether an equal raising of ail sorts of gold, 
silver, and copper coins can have any effect in bring 
ing money into the kingdom ? And, whether altering 
the proportion between the several sorts can have 
any other effect but multiplying one kind and lessen 
ing another without any increase of the sum total ? 

28. Whether arbitrary changing the denomina 
tions of coins be not a public cheat ? 

2B* Whether, nevertheless, the damage would be 
very considerable, if by degrees our money were 
brought back to the English value there to rest fcr 
ever? 

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

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

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

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

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

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



THE QUERIST 27 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



28 THE QUERIST 

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

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

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

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

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

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

51. Whether it would be an unhappy turn in 
our gentlemen, if they should take no more thought 
to create an interest to themselves in this or that 
county, or borough, than to promote the real interests 
of their country? 



THE QUERIST 2Q 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5Q. Whether there are not such things in Holland 
as bettering houses for bringing young gentlemen to 
order? And whether such an institution would be 
useless among us? 

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

61. Whether he whose luxury consumeth foreign 
produce, and whose industry produceth nothing 



3O THE QUERIST 

domestic to exchange for them, is not so far forth 
injurious to his country? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



THE QUERIST 31 

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

designing? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



32 THE QUERIST 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



THE QUERIST 33 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(D965) C 



34 THE QUERIST 

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

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

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

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

101. Whether anything can be more ridiculous 
than for the North of Ireland to be jealous of a linen 
manufacture in the South? 

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

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

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

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



THE QUERIST 35 

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

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

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

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

no. Whether those who drink foreign liquors, 
and deck themselves and their families with foreign 
ornaments, are not so far forth to be reckoned 
absentees? 

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

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

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

(1) A passage from W. D. Taylor s Jonathan Swift may be 
appropriately cited here : " Had Irish ladies refused to buy 
silks and muslins, and if they had drunk an infusion of sage 
instead of tea, and had used ^"20,000 of Irish linens instead 
of ,20,000 of Belgian . . . Ireland would have been little 
better off ... the total import of these luxuries did not exceed 

; 1 00, 000. 

" It would have been more to the purpose to have flown 
into a rage at the luxuries of the men," 



36 THE QUERIST 

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

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

1 1 6. Whether the exigencies of nature are not to 
be answered by industry on our own soil? And how 
far the conveniences and comforts of life may be pro 
cured, by a domestic commerce between the several 
parts of this kingdom? 

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

1 1 8. Suppose the bulk of our inhabitants had 
shoes to their feet, clothes to their backs, and beef in 
their bellies, might not such a state be eligible for the 
public; even though the squires were condemned to 
drink ale and cider? 

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

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

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

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

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



THE QUERIST 37 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



38 THE QUERIST 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



THE QUERIST 39 

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

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

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

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

145. Whether it be true that we import corn to 
the value of two hundred thousand pounds in some 
years 1 ? 

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

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

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

1 Things are now better in respect of this particular, and 
some others, than they were when the Querist was first 
published. AUTHOR. 



40 THE QUERIST 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1 56. Whether claret be not often drunk rather for 
vanity than for health, or pleasure? 

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

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

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



THE QUERIST 41 

1 60. What reason have our neighbours in England 
for discouraging French wines which may not hold 
with respect to us also? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

a 170. Whether great plenty and variety of excel 
lent wines are not to be had on the coasts of Italy 
and Sicily? And whether those countries would not 
take our commodities of linen, leather, butter, etc., 
in exchange for them? 



42 THE QUERIST 

a 171. Particularly, whether the Vinum Mamer- 
tinum, which grows on the mountains about 
Messina, a red generous wine, highly esteemed (if 
we may credit Pliny) by the ancient Romans, would 
not come cheap, and please the palates of our 
Islanders? 1 

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

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

174. Whether national wants ought not to be the 
rule of trade? And whether the most pressing wants 
of the majority ought not to be first considered? 

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

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

177. What foreign imports may be necessary for 
clothing and feeding the families of persons ! iot 
worth above one hundred pounds a year? And how 
many wealthier there are in the kingdom, and what 
proportion they bear to the other inhabitants? 

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

179. Whether the quantities of beef , butter, wool, 
and leather, exported from this island, can be 

1 In these last queries, as Lord Balfour pointed out, Berkeley 
seems suddenly to revert to the mercantilist view of bullion. 



THE QUERIST 43 

: reckoned the superfluities of a country, where there 
are so many natives naked and famished ? 

1 80. Whether it would not be wise so to order our 
f trade as to export manufactures rather than pro 
visions, and of those such as employ most hands? 

181. Whether she would not be a very vile matron, 
and justly thought either mad or foolish, that should 

I give away the necessaries of life from her naked and 

I famished children, in exchange for pearls to stick in 

her hair, and sweetmeats to please her own palate? 

182. Whether a nation might not be considered 
as a family? 

a 1 83. Whether the remark made by a Venetian 
ambassador to Cardinal Richelieu " That France 
needed nothing to be rich and easy, but to know how 
to spend what she dissipates," may not be of use 
also to other people? 

a 1 84. Whether hungry cattle will not leap over 
bounds? And whether most men are not hungry in 
a country where expensive fashions obtain? 

a 1 85. Whether there should not be published 
yearly schedules of our trade, containing an account 
of the imports and exports of the foregoing year? 

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

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

188. Whether our peers and gentlemen are born 
legislators ? Or, whether that faculty be acquired by 
study and reflexion? 

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



44 THE QUERIST 

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

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

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

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

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

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

196. Where this College should be situated? 

a 197. Whether, in imitation of the Jesuits at 
Paris, who admit Protestants to study in their 
colleges, it may not be right for us also to admit 
Roman Catholics into our College, without obliging 
them to attend chapel duties, or catechisms, or 
divinity lectures? And whether this might not keep 
money in the kingdom, and prevent the prejudices of 
a foreign education? 



THE QUERIST 45 

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

199. Whether the collected wisdom of ages and 
nations be not found in books? 

a 200. Whether Themistocles his art of making a 
little city, or a little people, become a great one be 
i learned anywhere so well as in the writings of the 
j ancients? 

a 20 1. Whether a wise State hath any interest 
nearer heart than the education of youth? 

a 202. Whether the mind, like soil, doth not by 
disuse grow stiff; and whether reasoning and study- 
be not like stirring and dividing the gleb? 

a 203. Whether an early habit of reflexion, 
although obtained by speculative sciences, may not 
have its use in practical affairs? 

a 204. Whether even those parts of academical 
learning which are quite forgotten may not have 
improved and enriched the soil; like those vegetables 
which are raised, not for themselves, but ploughed 
in for a dressing of land ? 

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

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

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



46 THE QUERIST 

208. Whether in the cantons of Switzerland all 
under thirty years of age are not excluded from their 
great councils? 

a 209. Whether Homer s compendium of educa 
tion, 

" To be both a speaker of words and a doer 
of deeds." Iliad ix. 

would not be a good rule for modern educators of 
youth? And whether half the learning and study of 
these kingdoms is not useless, for want of a proper 
delivery and punctuation being taught in our schools 
and colleges? 

a2io. Whether in any order a good building can 
be made of bad material? Or whether any form of 
government can make a happy state out of bad 
individuals ? 

a. 21 1. What was it that Solomon compared to a 
jewel of gold in a swine s snout? 

a 21 2. Whether the public is more concerned in 
anything than in the procreation of able citizens ? 

a 213. Whether to the multiplying of human kind, 
it would not much conduce, if marriages were made 
with good-liking? 

a 214. Whether, if women had no portions, we 
should then see so many unhappy and unfruitful 
marriages? 

a 21 5. Whether the laws be not, according to 
Aristotle, a mind without appetite or passion? And 
consequently without respect of persons? 

a 216. Suppose a rich man s son marries a poor 
man s daughter, suppose also that a poor man s 
daughter is deluded and debauched by the son of a 
rich man; which is most to be pitied? 

a 217. Whether the punishment should be placed 
on the seduced or the seducer? 



THE QUERIST 47 

a2i8. Whether a promise made before God and 
man in the most solemn manner ought to be violated? 

a 2 19. Whether it was Plato s opinion that, " for 
I the good of the community, rich should marry with 
i rich " ? De Leg. Lib. iv. 

a 220. Whether, as seed equally scattered pro- 
duceth a goodly harvest, even so an equal distribution 
of wealth doth not cause a nation to flourish? 

a 22 1. Whence is it that Barbs and Arabs are so 
good horses? And whether in those countries they 
are not exactly nice in admitting none but males of a 
good kind to their mares ? 

a 222. What effects would the same care produce 
in families? 

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

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

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

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

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

228. Whether the banks of Venice and Amsterdam 
are not m the hands of the public ? 



48 THE QUERIST 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

237. Whether such an accident would not particu 
larly affect the bankers? And therefore whether a 
national bank would not be a security even to private 
bankers? 

238. Whether we may not easily avoid the incon 
veniences attending the paper-money of New 



THE QUERIST 49 

England, which were incurred by their issuing too 
great a quantity of notes, by their having no silver 
in bank to exchange for notes, by their not insisting 
upon repayment of the loans at the time prefixed, and 
i especially by their want of manufactures to answer 
their imports from Europe? 

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

240. Whether a bank in private hands might not 
even overturn a government? and whether this was 
not the case of the Bank of St. George in Genoa? 

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

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

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

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

(D 965) p 



50 THE QUERIST 

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

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

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

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

249. Whether, having considered the conveniences 
of banking and paper-credit in some countries, and 
the inconveniences thereof in others, we may not 
contrive to adopt the former, and avoid the latter? 

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

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



THE QUERIST 51 

252. Whether the bank proposed to be estab 
lished in Ireland, under the notion of a national bank, 
by the voluntary subscription of three hundred 
thousand pounds, to pay off the national debt, the 
interest of which sum to be paid the subscribers, be 
not in reality a private bank, subject to certain terms 
of redemption, as those of England and Scotland, 
which are national only in name, being in the hands 
of particular persons, and making dividends on the 
money paid in by the subscribers ? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



52 THE QUERIST 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



THE QUERIST 53 

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

277. Whether the public can become bankrupt so 
long as the notes are issued on good security? 

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

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

a 280. Whether the credit of the public funds be 
not a mine of gold to England? And whether any 
step that should lessen this credit ought not to be 
dreaded? 

a 28 1. Whether such credit be not the principal 
advantage that England hath over France? I may 
add, over every other country in Europe. 

a 282. Whether by this the public is not become 
possessed of the wealth of foreigners as well as 
natives? And whether England be not in some sort 
the treasury of Christendom ? 

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

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

285. Whether such bank would not be secure? 
Whether the profits accruing to the public would not 



54 THE QUERIST 

be very considerable ? And whether industry in 
private persons would not be supplied, and a general 
circulation encouraged ? 

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

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

288. Whether, beside the bank company, there 
are not in England many private wealthy bankers, 
and whether they were more before the erecting of 
that company? 

a 289. Whether foreign demands may not be 
answered by our exports without drawing cash out 
of the kingdom ? 



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

292. Whether we have not paper money circulat 
ing among us already; whether, therefore, we might 
not as well have that which is secured by the public, 
and whereof the public reaps the benefit?" 

293. Whether there are not two general ways of 
circulating money, to wit, play and traffic? and 
whether stockjobbing is not to be ranked under the 
former ? 

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



THE QUERIST 55 

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

296. Whether in New England all trade and busi 
ness are not as much at a stand, upon a scarcity of 
paper-money, as with us from the want of specie? 

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

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

299. Whether money, lying dead in the Bank of 
Amsterdam, would not be as useless as in the mine? 

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

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

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

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



56 THE QUERIST 

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

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

306. Whether an argument from the abuse of 
things, against the abuse of them, be conclusive? 

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

308. Whether interest be not apt to bias judg 
ment? and whether traders only are to be consulted 
about trade, or bankers about money? 

309. Whether the subject of free-thinking in 
religion be not exhausted? And whether it be not 
high time for our free thinkers to turn their thoughts 
to the improvement of their country? 

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

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

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

313. Whether, therefore, the circulating paper, in 
the late ruinous schemes of France or England, was 
the true evil, and not rather the circulating thereof 



THE QUERIST 57 

without industry? And whether the Bank of 
Amsterdam, where industry had been for so many 
years subsisted and circulated by transfers on paper, 
doth not clearly decide this point ? 

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

315. Whether these people do not exercise all arts 
and trades, build ships and navigate them to all parts 
of the world, purchase lands, tin and reap the fruits 

i of them, buy and sell, educate and provide for their 
j children? Whether they do not even indulge them 
selves in foreign vanities? 

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

317. Whether a view of the ruinous effects of 
j absurd schemes and credit mismanaged, so as to 
1 produce gaming and madness instead of industry, 
1 can be any just objection against a national bank 

calculated purely to promote industry? 

318. Whether a scheme for the welfare of this 
nation should not take in the whole inhabitants? And 
whether it be not a vain attempt, to project the 

| flourishing of our Protestant gentry, exclusive of the 
bulk of the natives ? 

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



58 THE QUERIST 

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

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

332. Whether every plea of conscience is to be 
regarded? Whether, for instance, the German 
Anabaptists, levellers or fifth monarchy men would 
be tolerated on that pretence? 

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

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

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

a 342. Whether a squire possessed of land to the 
value of a thousand pounds per annum, or a merchant 
worth twenty thousand pounds in cash, would have 
most power to do good or evil upon any emergency? 



THE QUERIST 59 

i And whether the suffering- Roman Catholics to pur- 
! chase forfeited lands would not be good policy, as 
i tending to unite their interest with that of the 
i government ? 

a 343. Whether the sea-ports of Galway, Limerick, 
Cork, and Waterford are not to be looked on as keys 
of this kingdom? And whether the merchants are 

| not possessed of these keys; and who are the most 

j numerous merchants in those cities? 

a 344. Whether a merchant cannot more speedily 

raise a sum, more easily conceal or transfer his 

effects, and engage in any desperate design with 

j more safety, than a landed man, whose estate is a 

pledge for his behaviour ? 

a 345. Whether a wealthy merchant bears not great 
sway among the populace of a trading city? And 
whether power be not ultimately lodged in the 
people ? 

346. Whether, as others have supposed an 
Atlantis or Utopia, we also may not suppose a 
Hyperborean island inhabited by reasonable crea 
tures? 

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

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

349. Whether, he who only nsks, asserts? and 
whether any man can fairly confute the querist? 

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



PART II 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

60 



THE QUERIST 6l 

12. Whether a national bank would not at once 
secure our properties, put an end to usury, facilitate 
commerce, supply the want of coin, and produce 

i ready payments in all parts of the kingdom ? 

13. Whether the use or nature of money, which 
all men so eagerly pursue, be yet sufficiently under- 

| stood or considered by all? 

a 14. What doth Aristotle mean by saying 

" Coined money seems to be a mere sham." 

De Repub. Lib. ix. 9. 

15. Whether mankind are not governed by imita 
tion rather than by reason ? 

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

17. Whether that measure be not the circulating 
of industry? 

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

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

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

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

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

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



62 THE QUERIST 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

41. Whether the Bank of Amsterdam was not 
begun about one hundred and thirty years ago, and 
whether at this dav its stock be not conceived to 
amount to three tnousand tons of gold, or thirty 
million sterling? 

42. Whether it be not true, that the Bank of 
Amsterdam never makes payments in cash? 



THE QUERIST 63 

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

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

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

46. Whether this bank be not shut up twice in the 

year for ten or fifteen days, during which time the 
accounts are balanced? 

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

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

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

56. Whether anything less than the utter sub 
version of those republics can break the banks of 
Venice and Amsterdam ? 

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

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



64 THE QUERIST 

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

60. Whether any besides the citizens are admitted 
to have compte en bane at Hamburgh? 

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

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

63. Whether the effects lodged in the bank at 
Hamburgh are liable to be seized for debt or 
forfeiture ? 

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

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

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

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

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



THE QUERIST 65 

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

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

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

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

75. Whether the proprietors were not to hold 
general assemblies twice a year, for the regulating 
their affairs? 

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

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

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

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

80. Whether in the beginning of the year 1719 the 
French King did not convert the general bank of 
France into a Banque Royale, having himself pur- 

. (D 965) B 



66 THE QUERIST 

chased the stock of the company and taken it into 
his own hands, and appointed the Duke of Orleans 
chief manager thereof? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



THE QUERIST 67 

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

90. Whether the untimely, repeated, and bound 
less fabrication of bills did not precipitate the ruin 
of this bank? 

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

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

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

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

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

96. W 7 hether the chests and books of the Banque 
were not subjected to the joint inspection of a coun 
sellor of state, and the Prevot des Marchands, 
assisted by two Echevins, a judge, and a consul, who 
had power to visit when they would and without 
warning ? 



68 THE QUERIST 

97. Whether in less than two years the actions or 
shares of the Indian Company (first established for 
Mississippi, and afterwards increased by the addition 
of other companies and further privileges) did not 
rise to near 2,000 per cent? and whether this must 
be ascribed to real advantages of trade, or to mere 
frenzy ? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

104. Whether notes to the value of about ninety 
millions were not sunk by being paid off in specie, 



THE QUERIST 69 

with the cash of the Compagnie des Indes with that 
of the bank, and that of the Hotels des Monnoyes? 
Whether five hundred and thirty millions were not 
converted into annuities at the royal treasury? 
Whether several hundred millions more in bank bills 
were not extinguished and replaced by annuities 
on the City of Paris on taxes throughout the 
provinces, etc., etc. 

105. Whether, after all 9ther shifts, the last and 
grand resource for exhausting that ocean, was not 
the erecting of a compte en bane in several towns 
of France? 

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

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

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

109. Whether the success of those public banks 
in Venice, Amsterdam and Hamburgh, would not 
naturally produce in other states an inclination to 
the same methods? 

no. Whether it be possible for a national bank 
to subsist and maintain its credit under a French 
Government ? 

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

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



70 THE QUERIST 

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

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

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

1 1 6. Whether the simple getting of money, or 
passing it from hand to hand without industry, be 
an object worthy of a wise government? 

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

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

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

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

121. Whether the ignis fatuus of fancy doth not 
kindle immoderate desires, and lead men into end 
less pursuits and wild labyrinths ? 



THE QUERIST 71 

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

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

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

125. Whether money, more than is expedient for 
those purposes, be not on the whole hurtful rather 
than beneficial to a state? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



72 THE QUERIST 

133. Whether a compte en bane or current bank 
bills would best answer our occasions? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



THE QUERIST 73 

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

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

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

146. Whether tenants or debtors could have 
| cause to complain of our monies being reduced to 

the English value if it were withal multiplied in the 
same, or in a greater proportion? and whether this 
would not be the consequence of a national bank? 

147. If there be an open sure way to thrive, with 
out hazard to ourselves or prejudice to our neigh 
bours, what should hinder us from putting it in 
practice? 

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

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

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

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



74 THE QUERIST 

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

153. Whether, if <( the crown of the wise be their 
riches, " we are not the foolishest people in 
Christendom ? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

1 60. What seaports or foreign trade have the j 
Swisses? and yet how warm are those people, and ; 
how well provided ! 



THE QUERIST 75 

161. Whether there may not be found a people 
!who so contrive as to be impoverished by their trace? 
And whether we are not that people? 

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

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

164. Whether there be not an art or skill in 
governing human pride, so as to render it subservient 

| to the public aim? 

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

1 66. What right an eldest son hath to the worst 
education ? 

167. Whether men s counsels are not the result 
of their knowledge and their principles? 

168. Whether an assembly of freethinkers, petit 
! maitres, and smart fellows, would not make an 

admirable Senate? 

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

170. Whether the public be more interested to 
protect the property acquired by mere birth than that 
which is the immediate fruit of learning and virtue? 

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



76 THE QUERIST 

a 172. Whether there be a more wretched, and at ; 
the same time a more unpitied case, than for men to j 
make precedents for their own undoing? 

a 173. Whether to determine about the rights and j 
properties of men by other rules than the law be not j 
dangerous ? 

a 1 74. Whether those men who move the corner- | 
stones of a constitution may not pull an old house on I 
their own heads? 

a 175. Whether there be not two general methods j 
whereby men become sharers in the national stock j 
of wealth or power, industry and inheritance? And j 
whether it would be wise in a civil society to lessen j 
that share which is allotted to merit and industry? 

a 176. Whether all ways of spending a fortune be i 
of equal benefit to the public, and what sort of men ! 
are aptest to run into an improper expense? 

a 177. If the revenues allotted for the encourage- I 
ment of religion and learning were made hereditary j 
in the hands of a dozen lay lords and as many over 
grown commoners, whether the public would be much 
the better for it? 

a 1 78. Whether the Church s patrimony belongs j 
to one tribe alone; and whether every man s son, i 
brother, or himself, may not, if he please, be | 
qualified to share therein? 

a 179. What is there in the clergy to create a 
jealousy in the public? Or what would the public 
lose by it, if every squire in the land wore a black l 
coat, said his prayers, and was obliged to reside? 

a 1 80. Whether there be anything perfect under 
the sun? And whether it be not with the world as 
with a particular state, and with a state or body : 
politic as with the human body, which lives and moves i 
under various indispositions, perfect health being 
seldom or never to be found? 



THE QUERIST 77 

ai8i. Whether, nevertheless, men should not in 
all things aim at perfection? And, therefore, whether 
any wise and good man would be against applying 
iremedies? But whether it is not natural to wish for 
ja benevolent physician? 

182. Whether the public happiness be not pro 
posed by the legislature, and whether such happiness 
loth not contain that of the individuals ? 

183. Whether, therefore, a legislator should be 
pontent with a vulgar share of knowledge? Whether 
tie should not be a person of reflexion and thought, 
who hath made it his study to understand the true 
liature and interest of mankind, how to guide men s 
humours and passions, how to incite their active 
Bowers, how to make their several talents co-operate 
|:o the mutual benefit of each other, and the general 

ood of the whole? 

184. Whether it doth not follow that above all 
hings a gentleman s care should be to keep his own 
acuities sound and entire? 

185. Whether the natural phlegm of this island 
iceds any additional stupefier? 

1 86. Whether all spirituous liquors are not in 
ruth opiates? 

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

188. Whether there be really among us any 
>ersons so silly, as to encourage drinking in their 
hildren ? 

189 B Whence it is, that our ladies are more alive, 
,nd bear age so much better than our gentlemen? 

190. Whether all men have not faculties of mind 
r body which may be employed for the public 
enefrt ? 



78 THE QUERIST 

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

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

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

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

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



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

201. Whether we should not cast about, by all 
manner of means, to excite industry, and to remove j 
whatever hinders it? And whether everyone should i 
not lend a helping hand? 

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

203. Whether idleness be the mother or daughter 
of spleen? 

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



THE QUERIST 79 

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

j commerce? 

206. Whether the natural inducements to sloth 
are not greater in the Mogul s country than in Ire 
land, and yet whether, in that suffocating and dis- 

! piriting climate, the Banyans are not all, men, 
women, and children, constantly employed? 

207. Whether it be not true that the Great 
Mogul s subjects might undersell us even in our own 

j markets, and clothe our people with their stuffs and 
| calicoes, if they were imported duty free? 

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

| f actures ? 

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

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

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

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

213. Whether we are apprised of all the uses 
that may be made of political arithmetic? 

214. Whether it would be a srreat hardship if 
every parish were obliged to find work for their poor? 



80 THE QUERIST 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

224. W 7 hether the tax on chairs or hackney 
coaches be not paid, rather by the country gentle 
men, than the citizens of Dublin? 

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



THE QUERIST 8 1 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

235. What the word servant signifies in the New 
Testament ? 

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

(D965) F 



82 THE QUERIST 

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

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

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

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

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

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

243. Wliether the industry of the lower part of our 
people doth not much depend on the expense of the 
upper? 

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

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

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

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



THE QUERIST 83 

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

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

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

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

252. Whether such management would not equally 
j provide for the magnificence of the rich, and the 

necessities of the poor? 

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

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

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

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

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



84 THE QUERIST 

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

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

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

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

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

263. W 7 hether, if each of these towns were 
addicted to some peculiar manufacture, we should not 
find that the employing many hands together on the 
same work was the way to perfect our workmen? 
And whether all these things might not soon be pro 
vided by a domestic industry, if money were not 
wanting ? 

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

265. Whether when a motion was once upon a 
time to establish a private bank in this kingdom by 
public authority, divers gentlemen did not show them 
selves forward to embark in that design? 



THE QUERIST 85 

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

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

268i Whether, nevertheless, a light and ludicrous 
vein be not the reigning humour, but whether there 
was ever greater cause to be serious? 



PART III 

1. Whether the fable of Hercules and the carter 
ever suited any nation like this nation of Ireland? 

2. Whether it be not a new spectacle under the 
sun, to behold, in such a climate and such a soil, and 
under such a gentle government, so many roads 
untrodden, fields untilled, houses desolate, and hands 
unemployed ? 

3. Whether there is any country in Christendom, 
either kingdom or republic, depending or independent, 
free or enslaved, which may not afford us a useful 
lesson? 

4. Whether the frugal Swisses have any other 
commodities but their butter and cheese and a few 
cattle for exportation; whether, nevertheless, the 
single canton of Berne hath not in her public treasury 
two millions sterling ? 

5. Whether that small town of Berne, with its 
scanty barren territory, in a mountainous corner, 
without seaports, without manufactures, without 
mines, be not rich by mere dint of frugality? 

6. Whether the Swisses in general have not 
sumptuary laws, prohibiting the use of gold, jewels, 
silver, silk, and lace in their apparel, and indulging 
the women only to wear silk on festivals, weddings, 
and public solemnities? 

7. Whether there be not two ways of growing rich, 
sparing and getting? But whether the lazy spend 
thrift must not be doubly poor? 

86 



THE QUERIST 87 

8. Whether money circulating be not the life of 
industry; and whether the want thereof doth not 
render a state gouty and inactive? 

g. But whether, if we had a national bank, and 
our present cash (small as it is) were put into the 
most convenient shape, men should hear any public 
complaints for want of money? 

10. Whether all circulation be not like a circula 
tion of credit, whatsoever medium (metal or paper) 
is employed, and whether gold be any more than 
credit for so much power ? 

11. Whether the wealth of the richest nations in 
Christendom doth not consist in paper vastly more 
than in gold and silver? 

12. Whether Lord Clarendon doth not aver of his 
own knowledge, that the Prince of Orange, with the 
best credit, and the assistance of the richest men in 
Amsterdam, was above ten days endeavouring to 
raise 2o,ooo/. in specie, without being able to raise 
half the sum in all that time? (See Clarendon s 
History, Bk. xii.) 

13. Whether the whole city of Amsterdam would 
not have been troubled to have brought together 
twenty thousand pounds in one room? 

14. Whether it be not absolutely necessary that 
there must be a bank and must be a trust? And, if 
so, whether it be not the most safe and prudent 
course to have a national bank and trust the legis 
lature? 

15. Whether objections against trust in general 
avail, when it is allowed there must be a trust, and 
the only question is where to place this trust, whether 
in the legislature or in private hands? 

16. Whether it can be expected that private 
persons should have more regard to the public than 
the public itself? 



88 THE QUERIST 

17. Whether, if there be hazards from mismanage 
ment, those may not be provided against in the fram 
ing of a public bank; but whether any provision can 
be made against the mismanagement of private banks 
that are under no check, control, or inspection? 

18. Whatever may be said for the sake of object 
ing, yet, whether it be not false in fact, that men 
would prefer a private security to a public security? 

19. Whether a national bank ought to be con 
sidered as a new experiment; and whether it be not a 
motive to try this scheme that it hath been already 
tried with success in other countries ? 

20. If power followeth money, whether this can 
be anywhere more properly and securely placed, than 
in the same hands wherein the supreme power is 
already placed? 

21. Whether there be more danger of abuse in a 
private than in a public management? 

22. Whether the proper usual remedy for abuses 
of private banks be not to bring them before Parlia 
ment, and subject them to the inspection of a 
committee; and whether it be not more prudent to 
prevent than to redress an evil? 

23. Supposing there had been hitherto no such 
thing as a bank, and the question were now first 
proposed, whether it would be safer to circulate 
unlimited bills in a private credit, or bills to a limited 
value on the public credit of the community, what 
would men think? 

24. Whether experience and example be not the 
plainest proof; and whether an instance can be 
assigned where a national bank hath not been 
attended with great advantage to the public? 

25. Whether the evils apprehended from a 
national bank are not much more to be apprehended 



THE QUERIST 89 

from private banks; but whether men by custom are 
not familiarised and reconciled to common dangers, 
which are therefore thought less than they really are? 

26. Whether it would not be very hard to suppose 
all sense, honesty and public spirit were in the keep 
ing of only a few private men, but the public were 
not to be trusted? 

27. Whether it be not ridiculous to suppose a 
legislature should be afraid to trust itself? 

28. But, whether a private interest be not 
generally supported and pursued with more zeal than 
a public? 

29. Whether the maxim, " What is everybody s 
business is nobody s," prevails in any country under 
the sun more than in Ireland ? 

30. Whether, nevertheless, the community of 
danger, which lulls private men asleep, ought not to 
awaken the public? 

31. Whether there be not less security where there 
are more temptations and fewer checks ? 

32. If a man is to risk his fortune, whether it be 
more prudent to risk it on the credit of private men, 
or in that of the great assembly of the nation ? 

33. Whether is it most reasonable to expect 
wise and punctual dealing, whether in a secret, 
impenetrable recess, where credit depends on 
secrecy, or in a public management regulated and 
inspected by Parliament? 

34. Whether a supine security be not catching, 
and whether numbers running the same risk, as they 
lessen the caution, may not increase the danger? 

35. What real objection lies against a national 
bank erected by the legislature, and in the manage 
ment of public deputies, appointed and inspected by 
the legislature? 



go THE QUERIST 

36. What have we to fear from such a bank, 
which may not be as well feared without it? 

37. How, why, by what means, or for what end, 
should it become an instrument of oppression? 

38. Whether we can possibly be on a more pre 
carious foot than we are already? Whether it be not 
in the power of any particular person at once to dis 
appear and convey himself into foreign parts? or 
whether there can be any security in an estate of 
land when the demands upon it are unknown? 

39. Whether the establishing of a national bank, 
if we suppose a concurrence of the government, be 
not very practicable ? 

40. But, whether though a scheme be never so 
evidently practicable and useful to the public, yet, if 
conceived to interfere with a private interest, it be 
not forthwith in danger of appearing doubtful, 
difficult, and impracticable? 

41. Whether the legislative body hath not already 
sufficient power to hurt, if they may be supposed 
capable of it, and whether a bank would give them 
any new power? 

42. What should tempt the public to defraud 
itself? 

43. Whether, if the legislature destroyed the 
public, it would not be felo de se\ and whether it be 
reasonable to suppose it bent on its own destruction? 

44. Whether the objection to a public national 
bank, from want of secrecy, be not in truth an argu 
ment for it? 

45. Whether the secrecy of private banks be not 
the very thing that renders them so hazardous? and 
whether, without that, there could have been of late 
so many sufferers? 



THE QUERIST QI 

46. Whether when all objections are answered it 
be still incumbent to answer surmises? 

47. Whether it were just to insinuate that gentle 
men would be against any proposal they could not 
turn into a job? 

48. Suppose the legislature passed their word for 
any private banker, and regularly visited his books, 
would not money lodged in his bank be therefore 
reckoned more secure? 

49. In a country where the legislative body is not 
fit to be trusted, what security can there be for trust- 

l ing anyone else? 

50. If it be not ridiculous to question whether the 
public can find cash to circulate bills of a limited value 
when private bankers are supposed to find enough to 
circulate them to an unlimited value? 

51. Whether the united stock of a nation be not 
the best security? And whether anything but the 
ruin of the state can produce a national bankruptcy? 

52. Whether the total sum of the public treasury, 
power and wisdom, all co-operating, be not most 
likely to establish a bank of credit, sufficient to 
answer the ends, relieve the wants, and satisfy the 
scruples of all people? 

53. Whether those hazards that in a greater 
degree attend private banks can be admitted as 
objections against a public one? 

54. Whether that which is an objection to every 
thing be an objection to anything; and whether the 
possibility of an abuse be not of that kind? 

55. Whether, in fact, all things are not more or 
less abused, and yet notwithstanding such abuse, 
whether many things are not upon the whole 
expedient and useful? 



Q2 THE QUERIST 

56. Whether those things that are subject to the 
most general inspection are not the less subject to 
abuse? 

57. Whether, for private ends, it may not be 
sometimes expedient to object novelty to things that 
have been often tried, difficulty to the plainest things, 
and hazard to the safest? 

58. Whether some men will not be apt to argue 
as if the question was between money and credit, 
and not (as in fact it is) which ought to be preferred, 
private credit or public credit? 

59. Whether they will not prudently overlook the 
evils felt, or to be feared, on one side? 

60. Whether, therefore, those that would make 
an impartial judgment ought not to be on their guard, 
keeping both prospects always in view, balancing the 
inconveniences on each side and considering neither 
absolutely? 

61. Whether wilful mistakes, examples without a 
likeness, and general addresses to the passions are 
not often more successful than arguments? 

62. Whether there be not an art to puzzle plain 
cases as well as to explain obscure ones? 

63. Whether private men are not often an over 
match for the public; want of weight being made up 
for by activity? 

64. If we suppose neither sense nor honesty in 
our leaders or representatives, whether we are not 
already undone, and so have nothing further to fear? 

65. Suppose a power in the government to hurt 
the public by means of a national bank, yet what 
should give them the will to do this? Or supposing 
a will to do mischief, yet how could a national bank, 
modelled and administered by Parliament, put it in 
their power? 



THE QUERIST 93 

66. Whether even a wicked will entrusted with 
power can be supposed to abuse it for no end? 

67. Whether it be not much more probable that 
those who make such objections do not believe 
them? 

68. Whether it be not vain to object that our 
fellow-subjects of Great Britain would malign and 
obstruct our industry when it is exerted in a way 
which cannot interfere with their own ? 

69. Whether it is to be supposed they should take 
delight in the dirt and nakedness and famine of our 
people, or envy them shoes for their feet and beef for 
their bellies? 

70. What possible handle or inclination could our 
having a national bank give other people to distress 
us? 

71. Whether it be not ridiculous to conceive that 
a project for clothing and feeding our natives should 
give any umbrage to England ? 

72. Whether such unworthy surmises are not the 
pure effect of spleen? 

73. Whether London is not to be considered the 
metropolis of Ireland ? And whether our wealth (such 
as it is) doth not circulate through London and 
throughout all England, as freely as that of any part 
of His Majesty s dominions? 

74. Whether, therefore, it be not evidently the 
interest of the people of England to encourage rather 
than to oppose a national bank in this kingdom, as 
well as every other means for advancing our wealth 
which shall not impair their own? 

75- Whether it is not our interest to be useful to 
them rather than rival them; and whether in that case 
we may not be sure of their good offices? 



94 THE QUERIST 

76. Whether we can propose to thrive so long as 
we entertain a wrong-headed distrust of England? 

77. Whether, as a national bank would increase 
our industry, and that our wealth, England may not 
be a proportionable gainer; and whether we should 
not consider the gains of our mother-country as some 
accession to our own? 

78. Whether the Protestant colony in this king 
dom can ever forget what they owe to England? 

79. Whether there ever was in any part of the 
world a country in such wretched circumstances, and 
which, at the same time, could be so easily remedied, 
and nevertheless the remedy not applied? 

80. What must become of a people that can 
neither see the plainest things nor do the easiest? 

81. Be the money lodged in the bank what it will, 
yet whether an Act to make good deficiencies would 
not remove all scruples? 

82. If it be objected that a national bank must 
lower interest, and therefore hurt the monied man, 
whether the same objection would not hold as strong 
against multiplying our gold and silver? 

83,. But whether a bank that utters bills, with the 
sole view of promoting the public weal, may not so 
proportion their quantity as to avoid several incon 
veniences which might attend private banks ? 

84. Whether there be any difficulty in compre 
hending that the whole wealth of the nation is in 
truth the stock of a national bank? And whether 
any more than the right comprehension of this be 
necessary to make all men easy with regard to its 
credit? 

85. Whether anything be more reasonable than 
that the public, which makes the whole profit of the 
hank, should engage to make good its credit? 



THE QUERIST 95 

86. Whether the prejudices about gold and silver 
are not strong, but whether they are not still 
prejudices? 

87. Whether paper doth not by its stamp and 
signature acquire a local value, and become as pre 
cious and as scarce as gold? And whether it be not 
much fitter to circulate large sums, and therefore 

I preferable to gold? 

88. W T hether, in order to make men see and feel, 
it be not often necessary to inculcate the same thing, 
and place it in different lights ? 

89. Whether it doth not much import to have a 
right conception of money? And whether its true 
and just idea be not that of a ticket, entitling to 
power, and fitted to record and transfer such power? 

90. Whether the managers and officers of a 
national bank ought to be considered otherwise than 
as the cashiers and clerks of private banks? Whether 
:hey are not in effect as little trusted, have as little 
Dower, are as much limited by rules, and as liable to 
nspection? 

91. Whether the mistaking this point may not 
create some prejudice against a national bank, as if 
t depended on the credit, or wisdom, or honesty, of 

private men, rather than on the public, which is the 
sole proprietor and director thereof, and as such 
obliged to suport it? 



93- Though the Bank of Amsterdam doth very 
arely, if at all, pay out money, yet whether every 
man possessed of specie be not ready to convert it 
nto paper, and act as cashier to the bank? And 
whether, from the same motive, every monied man 
:hroughout this kingdom would not be cashier to pur 
lational bank? 



96 THE QUERIST 

94. Whether a national bank would not be the 
great means and motive for employing our poor in 
manufactures? 

95. Whether money, though lent out only to thej 
rich, would not soon circulate among the poor? And 
whether any man borrows but with an intent to) 
circulate? 

96. Whether both government and people would- 
not in the event be gainers by a national bank? And\ 
whether anything but wrong conceptions of its nature 
can make those that wish well to either averse] 
from it? 

97. Whether it may not be right to think, and to 
have it thought, that England and Ireland, prince and, 
people, have one and the same interest? 

98. Whether, if we had more means to set on foot 
such manufactures and such commerce as consists i 
with the interest of England, there would not, of 
course, be less sheep-walks and less wool exported 
to foreign countries? And whether a national bank 
would not supply such means? 

99. Whether we may not obtain that as friends! 
which it is in vain to hope for as rivals ? 

100. Whether in every instance by which we pre 
judice England, we do not in a greater degree] 
prejudice ourselves? 

101. Whether in the rude original of societies thei 
first step was not the exchanging of commodities;; 
the next a substituting of metals by weight as th< 
common medium of circulation; after this the making 
use of coin; lastly, a further refinement by the use of 
paper with proper marks and signatures? Andi 
whether this, as it is the last, so it be not the greatest 
improvement ? 

1 02. Whether we are not in fact the only people] 
who may be said to starve in the midst of plenty ? 



THE QUERIST 97 

103. Whether business in general doth not 
languish among us? Whether our land is not 
untilled? Whether its inhabitants are not upon the 
wing? 

104. Whether there can be a worse sign than that 
people should quit their country for a livelihood? 
Though men often leave their country for health, or 
pleasure, or riches, yet to leave it merely for a liveli 
hood, whether this be not exceeding bad, and sheweth 
some peculiar mismanagement? 

105. Whether our circumstances do not call aloud 
for some present remedy? And whether that remedy 
be not in our power? 

1 06. Whether, in order to redress our evils, 
artificial helps are not most wanted in a land where 
industry is most against the natural grain of the 
people ? 

107. Whether, of all the helps to industry that 
ever were invented, there be any more secure, more 
easy, and more effectual than a national bank? 

108. Whether medicines do not recommend them 
selves by experience, even though their reasons be 
obscure? But whether reason and fact are not 
equally clear in favour of this political medicine? 

109. Whether, although the prepossessions about 
gold and silver have taken deep root, yet the example 
of our Colonies in America doth not make it as plain 
as daylight that they are not so necessary to the 
wealth of a nation as the vulgar of all ranks imagine? 

no. Whether it be not evident that we may 
maintain a much greater inward and outward com 
merce, and be five times richer than we are, nay, 
and our bills abroad be of far greater credit, though 
we had not one ounce of gold or silver in the whole 
island? 

(D965) G 



Q8 THE QUERIST 

in. Whether wrong-headed maxims, customs, 
and fashions are not sufficient to destroy any people 
which hath so few resources as the inhabitants of 
Ireland ? 

112. Whether it would not be a horrible thing to 
see our matrons make dress and play their chief 
concern? 

113. Whether our ladies might not as well endow 
monasteries as wear Flanders lace? And whether it 
be not true that Popish nuns are maintained by Pro 
testant contributions? 

114. Whether England, which hath a free trade, 
whatever she remits for foreign luxury with one hand, 
doth not with the other receive much more from 
abroad? Whether, nevertheless, this nation would 
not be a gainer, if our women would content them 
selves with the same moderation in point of expense 
as the English ladies? 

115. But whether it be not a notorious truth that 
our Irish ladies are on a foot, as to dress, with those 
of five times their fortune in England? 

1 1 6. Whether it be not even certain that the 
matrons of this forlorn country send out a greater 
proportion of its wealth, for fine apparel, than any 
other females on the whole surface of this terra 
queous globe? 

117. W T hether the expense, great as it is, be the 
greatest evil; but whether this folly may not produce 
many other follies, an entire derangement of domestic 
life, absurd manners, neglect of duties, bad mothers, 
a general corruption in both sexes? 

118. Whether, therefore, a tax on all gold and 
silver in apparel, on all foreign laces and silks, may 
not raise a fund for the bank, and at the same lime 
have other salutary effects on the public? 



THE QUERIST 99 

119. But, if gentlemen had rather tax themselves 
in another way, whether an additional tax of ten 
shillings the hogshead on wines may not supply a 
sufficient fund for the national bank, all defects to be 
made good by Parliament? 

120. Whether upon the whole it may not be right 
to appoint a national bank? 

121. Whether the stock and security of such bank 
would not be, in truth, the national stock, or the total 
sum of the wealth of this kingdom? 

122. Whether, nevertheless, there should not be 
a particular fund for present use in answering bills 
and circulating credit? 

123. Whether for this end any fund may not 
suffice, provided an Act be passed for making good 
deficiencies? 

124. Whether the sole proprietor of such bank 
should not be the public, and the sole director the 
legislature? 

125. Whether the managers, officers, and cashiers 
should not be servants of the public, acting by orders 
and limited by rules of the legislature ? 

126. Whether there should not be a standing 
number of inspectors, one-third men in great office, 
the rest members of both houses, half whereof to go 
out, and half to come in every session? 

127. Whether those inspectors should not, all in 
a body, visit twice a year, and three as often as they 
pleased? 

128. Whether the general bank should not be in 
Dublin, and subordinate banks or compters one in 
each province of Munster, Ulster, and Connaught? 

129. Whether there should not be such provisions 
of stamps, signatures, checks, strong boxes and all 



100 THE QUERIST 

other measures for securing the bank notes and cash, 
as are usual in other banks? 

130. Whether these ten or a dozen last queries 
may not easily be converted into heads of a bill? 

131. Whether anyone concerns himself about the 
security or funds of the bank of Venice or 
Amsterdam? And whether in a little time the case 
would not be the same as to our bank? 

132. Whether the first beginning of expedients do 
not always meet with prejudices ? And whether even 
the prejudices of a people ought not be respected? 

133. Whether a national bank be not the true 
philosopher s stone in a state? 

134. Whether it be not the most obvious remedy 
for all the inconveniences we labour under with 
regard to our coin? 

135. Whether it be not agreed on all hands that 
our coin is on a very bad foot, and calls for some 
present remedy? 

136. Whether the want of silver hath not intro 
duced a sort of traffic for change, which is purchased 
at no inconsiderable discount to the great obstruction 
of our domestic commerce? 

137. Whether, though it be evident silver is 
wanted, it be yet so evident which is the best way of 
providing for this want? Whether by lowering the 
gold, or raising the silver, or partly one, partly the 
other ? 

138. Whether a partial raising of one species be 
not, in truth, granting a premium to our bankers for 
importing such species? And what that species is 
which deserves most to be encouraged? 

139. Whether it be not just that all gold should be 
alike rated according to its weight and fineness? 



THE QUERIST IOI 

140. Whether this may be best done by lowering 
some certain species of gold, or by raising others, 
or by joining both methods together? 

141. Whether all regulations of coin should not 
be made with a view to encourage industry, and a 
circulation of commerce, throughout the kingdom? 

142. Whether the North and South have not, in 
truth, one and the same interest in this matter? 

143. Whether to oil the wheels of commerce be 
not a common benefit ? And whether this be not done 
by avoiding fractions and multiplying small silver? 

144. But, whether a public benefit ought to be 
obtained by unjust methods, and therefore, whether 
any reduction of coin should be thought of which may 
hurt the properties of private men? 

145. Whether those parts of the kingdom where 
commerce doth most abound would not be the 
greatest gainers by having our coin placed on a right 
foot? 

146. Whether, in case a reduction of coin be 
thought expedient, the uttering of bank bills at the 
same time may not prevent the inconveniences of 
such a reduction ? 

147. But, whether any public expediency could 
countervail a real pressure on those who are least 
able to bear it, tenants and debtors? 

148. Whether, nevertheless, the political body, 
as well as the natural, must not sometimes be worse 
in order to be better? 

149. Whether, all things considered, a general 
raising the value of gold and silver be not so far from 
bringing greater quantities thereof into the kingdom 
that it would produce a direct contrary effect, inas 
much as less, in that case, would serve, and therefore 
less be wanted? And whether men do not import a 
commodity in proportion to the demand or want of it ? 



102 THE QUERIST 

150. Whether the lowering of our gold would not 
create a fever in the state? And whether a fever be 
not sometimes a cure, but whether it be not the last 
cure a man would choose? 

151. What, if our other gold were raised to a par 
with Portugal gold, and the value of silver in general 
raised with regard to that of gold? 

152. Whether the public ends may or may not be 
better answered by such augumentation, than by a 
reduction of our coin? 

153. Provided silver is multiplied, be it by raising 
or diminishing the value of our coin, whether the 
great end is not answered? 

154- Whether raising the value of a particular 
species will not tend to multiply such species, and to 
lessen in proportion thereunto ? And whether a much 
less quantity of cash in silver would not, in reality, 
enrich the nation more than a much greater in gold? 

155.. Whether, if a reduction be thought neces 
sary, the obvious means to prevent all hardship and 
injustice be not a national bank? 

156. Upon supposition that the cash of this king 
dom was five hundred thousand pounds, and by 
lowering the various species each one-fifth of its value 
the whole sum was reduced to four hundred thousand 
pounds, whether the difficulty of getting money, and 
consequently of paying rents, would not be increased 
in the proportion of five to four? 

157. Whether such difficulty would not be a great 
and unmerited distress on all the tenants in the 
nation? But if at the same time with the aforesaid 
reduction there were uttered one hundred thousand 
pounds additional to the former current stock, 
whether such difficulty or inconvenience would then 
be felt? 



THE QUERIST 103 

158. Whether, caeteris paribus, it be not true that 
the prices of things increase as the quantity of money 
increaseth, and are diminished as that is diminished? 
And whether, by the quantity of money is not to be 
understood the amount of the denominations, all con 
tracts being nominal for pounds, shillings and pence, 
and not for weights of gold and silver? 

159. Whether in any foreign market, twopence 
advance in a kilderkin of corn could greatly affect 
our trade? 

160. Whether in regard of the far greater changes 
and fluctuations of price from the differences of 
seasons and other accidents, that small rise should 
seem considerable? 

161. Whether our exports do not consist of such 
necessaries as other countries cannot well be 
without ? 

162. Whether upon the circulation of a national 
bank more land would not be tilled, more hands 
employed, and consequently more commodities 
exported? 

163. Whether, setting aside the assistance of a 
national bank, it will be easy to reduce or lower our 
coin without some hardship (at least for the present) 
on a great number of particular persons? 

164. Whether, nevertheless, the scheme of a 
national bank doth not entirely stand clear of this 
question; and whether such bank may not completely 
subsist and answer its ends, although there should 
be no alteration at all made in the value of our coin? 

165. Whether, if the ill state of our coin be not 
redressed, that scheme would not be still more 
necessary, inasmuch as a national bank, by putting 
new life and vigour into our commerce, may prevent 
our feeling the ill-effects of the want of such redress? 



104 THE QUERIST 

166. Whether men united by interest are not often 
divided by opinion; and whether such difference of 
opinion be not an effect of misapprehension? 

167. Whether two things are not manifest, first, 
that some alteration in the value of our coin is highly 
expedient; secondly, that whatever alteration is 
made, the tenderest care should be had of the pro 
perties of the people, and even a regard paid to their 
prejudices? 

168. Whether our taking the coin of another 
nation for more than it is worth be not, in reality and 
in event, a cheat upon ourselves? 

169. Whether a particular coin over-rated will not 
be sure to flow in upon us from other countries beside 
that where it is coined? 

170. Whether, in case the wisdom of the nation 
shall think fit to alter our coin, without erecting a 
national bank, the rule for lessening or avoiding pre 
sent inconvenience should not be so to order matters, 
by raising the silver and depressing the gold, as that 
the total sum of coined cash within the kingdom shall, 
in denomination, remain the same, or amount to the 
same nominal value, after the change as it did before ? 

171. Whether all inconvenience ought not to be 
lessened as much as may be; but after, whether it 
would be prudent, for the sake of a small inconveni 
ence, to obstruct a much greater good ? And whether 
it may not sometimes happen that an inconvenience 
which in fancy and general discourse seems great 
shall, when accurately inspected and cast up, appear 
inconsiderable? 

172. Whether in public councils the sum of things, 
here and there, present and future, ought not to be 
regarded ? 

173. Whether silver and small money be not that 
which circulates the quickest, and passeth through 
all hands, on the road, in the market, at the shop? 



THE QUERIST 105 

174. Whether, all things considered, it would not 
be better for a kingdom that its cash consisted of 
half a million in small silver than of five times that 
sum in gold? 

175. Whether there be not every day five hundred 
lesser payments made for one that requires gold? 

176. Whether Spain, where gold bears the highest 
value, be not the laziest, and China, where it bears 
the lowest, be not the most industrious country in the 
known world? 

177. Money being a ticket which entitles to power 
and records the title, whether such power avails 
otherwise than as it is exerted into act? 

178. Whether it be not evidently the interest of 
every state, that its money should rather circulate 
than stagnate? 

179. Whether the principal use of cash be not its 
ready passing from hand to hand, to answer common 
occasions of the common people, and whether 
common occasions of all sorts of people are not small 
ones? 

1 80. Whether business at fairs and markets is not 
often at a stand and often hindered, even though the 
seller hath his commodities at hand, and the pur 
chaser his gold, for want of change? 

181. Whether beside that value of money which 
is rated by weight, there be not also another value 
consisting in its aptness to circulate? 

182. As wealth is really power, and coin a ticket 
conveying power, whether those tickets which are the 
fittest for that use ought not to be preferred? 

183. Whether those tickets which singly transfer 
small shares of power, and, being multiplied, large 
shares, are not fitter for common use than those 
which singly transfer large shares? 



106 THE QUERIST 

184. Whether the public is not more benefited by 
a shilling that circulates than a pound that lies dead ? 

185. Whether sixpence twice paid be not as good 
as a shilling once paid? 

1 86. Whether the same shilling circulating in a 
village may not supply one man with bread, another 
with stockings, a third with a knife, a fourth with 
paper, a fifth with nails, and so answer many wants 
which must otherwise have remained unsatisfied? 

187. Whether facilitating and quickening the 
circulation of power to supply wants be not the pro 
moting of wealth and industry among the lower 
people? And whether upon this the wealth of the 
great doth not depend? 

1 88. Whether, without the proper means of circu 
lation, it be not vain to hope for thriving manufac 
tures and a busy people? 

189. Whether four pounds in small cash may not 
circulate and enliven an Irish market, which many 
four-pound pieces would permit to stagnate? 

190. Whether a man that could move nothing less 
than a hundred-pound weight would not be much at 
a loss to supply his wants; and whether it would not 
be better for him to be less strong and more active? 

191. Whether the natural body can be in a state 
of health and vigour without a due circulation of the 
extremities, even in the fingers and toes? And 
whether the political body, any more than the natural, 
can thrive without a proportionable circulation 
through the minutest and most inconsiderable parts 
thereof? 

192. If we had a mint for coining only shillings, 
sixpences, and copper-money, whether the nation 
would not soon feel the good effects thereof? 

193. Whether the greater waste by wearing of 
small coins would not be abundantly overbalanced by 
their usefulness? 



THE QUERIST 

194. Whether it be not the industry of common 
people that feeds the state, and whether it be pos 
sible to keep this industry alive without small money ? 

195. Whether the want of this be not a great bar 
to our employing the people in these manufactures 
which are open to us, and do not interfere with Great 
Britain? 

196. Whether, therefore, such want doth not 
drive men into the lazy way of employing land under 
sheep-walk ? 

197. Whether the running of wool from Ireland 
can so effectually be prevented as by encouraging 
other business and manufactures among our people? 

198. Whatever commodities Great Britain im- 
porteth which we might supply, whether it be not her 
real interest to import them from us rather than from 
any other people? 

199. Whether the apprehension of many among 
us (who for that very reason stick to their wool), 
that England may hereafter prohibit, limit, or dis 
courage our linen trade, when it hath been once, with 
great pains and expense, thoroughly introduced and 
settled in this land, be not altogether groundless and 
unjust? 

200. Whether it is possible for this country, which 
hath neither mines of gold nor a free trade, to sup 
port for any time the sending out of specie? 

20 1. Whether in fact our payments are not made 
by bills? And whether our foreign credit doth not 
depend on our domestic industry, and our bills on 
that credit? 

202. Whether, in order to mend it, we ought not 
first to know the peculiar wretchedness of our state? 
And whether there be any knowing of this but by 
comparison ? 



108 THE QUERIST 

203. Whether there are not single market towns 
in England that turn more money in buying and sell 
ing than whole counties (perhaps provinces) with us? 

204. Whether the small town of Birmingham alone 
doth not, upon an average, circulate every week, one 
way or other, to the value of fifty thousand pounds? 
But whether the same crown may not be often paid? 

205. Whether there be any woollen manufacture 
in Birmingham? 

206. Whether bad management may not be worse 
than slavery ? And whether any part of Christendom 
be in a more languishing condition than this 
kingdom ? 

207. Whether any kingdom in Europe be so good 
a customer at Bourdeaux as Ireland? 

208. Whether the police and economy of France 
be not governed by wise councils ? And whether any 
one from this country, who sees their towns, and 
manufactures, and commerce, will not wonder what 
our senators have been doing ? 

209. What variety and number of excellent manu 
factures are to be met with throughout the whole 
kingdom of France? 

210. Whether there are not everywhere some or 
other mills for many uses, forges and furnaces for 
iron-work, looms for tapestry, glass-houses, and so 
forth? 

211. What quantities of paper, stockings, hats; 
what manufactures of wool, silk, linen, hemp, leather, 
wax, earthenware, brass, lead, tin, etc. ? 

212. Whether the manufactures and commerce of 
the single town of Lyons do not amount to a greater 
value than all the manufactures and all the trade of 
this kingdom taken together? 

213. Whether it be not true, that within the com 
pass of one year there flowed from the South Sea, 



THE QUERIST ICX) 

when that commerce was open, into the single town 
of St. Male s, a sum of gold and silver equal to four 
times the whole specie of this kingdom ? And whether 
that same part of France doth not at present draw 
from Cadiz upwards of two hundred thousand pounds 
per annum? 

214. Whether, in the anniversary fair at the small 
town of Beaucair upon the Rhone, there be not as 
much money laid out as the current cash of this king 
dom amounts to? 

215. Whether it be true that the Dutch make ten 
millions of livres, every return of the flota and 
galleons, by their sales at the Indies and Cadiz? 

216. Whether it be true that England makes at 
least one hundred thousand pounds per annum by 
the single article of hats sold in Spain? 

217. Whether the very shreds shorn from woollen 
cloth, which are thrown away in Ireland, do not make 
a beautiful tapestry in France? 

218. Whether the toys of Thiers do not employ 
five thousand families? 

219. Whether there be not a small town or two in 
France which supply all Spain with cards ? 

220. Whether there be not French towns sub 
sisted merely by making pins? 

221. Whether the coarse fingers of those very 
women, those same peasants who one part of the 
year till the ground and dress the vineyards, are not 
another employed in making the finest French point? 

222. Whether there is not a great number of idle 
fingers among the wives and daughters of our 
peasants? 

223. Whether, about twenty-five years ago, they 
dl u n ^ ftr - St attem P t to make porcelain in France; and 
whether, in a few years, they did not make it so well, 
as to rival that which comes from China? 



1 10 THE QUERIST 

224. Whether the French do not raise a trade from 
saffron, dying drugs, and the like products, which 
may do with us as well as with them ? 

225. Whether we may not have materials of our 
own growth to supply all manufactures, as well as 
France, except silk, and whether the bulk of what 
silk even France manufactures be not imported? 

226. Whether it be possible for this country to 
grow rich, so long as what is made by domestic 
industry is spent in foreign luxury ? 

227. Whether part of the profits of the bank 
should not be employed in erecting manufactures of 
several kinds, which are not likely to be set on foot 
and carried on to perfection without great stock, 
public encouragement, general regulations, and the 
concurrence of many hands ? 

228. Whether our natural Irish are not partly 
Spaniards and partly Tartars; and whether they do 
not bear signatures of their descent from both these 
nations, which is also confirmed by all their histories? 

229. Whether the Tartar progeny is not numerous 
in this land? And whether there is an idler occupa 
tion under the sun than to attend flocks and herds of 
cattle? 

230. Whether the wisdom of the state should not 
wrestle with this hereditary disposition of our 
Tartars, and with a high hand introduce agriculture? 1 

231. Whether it were not to be wished that our 
people showed their descent from Spain, rather by 

1" Boulter, Swift, Berkeley, Dobbs, Madden, Prior and 
Skelton all agreed in representing the excessive amount of 
pasture as a leading cause both of the misery and idleness 
of the people." Lecky op. cit. Vol. i. 223. A Catholic writer, 
Viscount Taafe, attributed pasturage to the exclusion of the 
Catholics from durable and profitable tenures. 



THE QUERIST III 

their honour and honesty than their pride, and if so, 
whether they might not easily insinuate themselves 
into a larger share of the Spanish trade? 

232. Whether once upon a time France did not, 
by her linen alone, draw yearly from Spain about 
eight millions of livres? 

233. Whether the French have not suffered in 
their linen trade with Spain, by not making their cloth 
of due breadth; and whether any other people have 
suffered, and are still likely to suffer, through the 
same prevarication ? z 

234. Whether the Spaniards are not rich and lazy, 
and whether they have not a particular inclination 
and favour for the inhabitants of this island? But 
whether a punctual people do not love punctual 
dealers ? 

235. Whether about fourteen years ago we had 
not come into a considerable share of the linen trade 
with Spain, and what put a stop to this? 



237. Whether, if the linen manufacture were 
carried on in the other provinces as well as in the 
North, the merchants of Cork, Limerick and Galway 
would not soon find the way to Spain? 

238. Whether the woollen manufacture of England 
is not divided into several parts or branches, appro 
priated to particular places, where they are only or 
principally manufactured? fine cloths in Somerset 
shire, coarse in Yorkshire, long ells at Exeter, saies 
(serges) at Sudbury, crapes at Norwich, linseys at 
Kendal, blankets at Witney, and so forth? 



2 In a note Berkeley says that " things ?TS being mended 
with us in this respect." 



112 THE QUERIST 

239. Whether the united skill, industry, and 
emulation of many together on the same work be not 
the way to advance it? And whether it had been 
otherwise possible for England to have carried on her 
woollen manufacture to so great a perfection? 

240. Whether it would not on many accounts be 
right if we observed the same course with respect to 
our linen manufacture; and that diapers were made 
in one town or district, damasks in another, sheeting 
in a third, fine wearing linen in a fourth, coarse in a 
fifth, in another cambrics, in another thread and 
stockings, in others stamped linen, or striped linen, 
or tickings, or dyed linens, of which last kind there 
is so great a consumption among the seafaring men 
of all nations? 

241. Whether it may not be worth while to inform 
ourselves of the different sorts of linen which are in 
request among different people? 

242. Whether we do not yearly consume of French 
wines about a thousand tuns more than either 
Sweden or Denmark, and yet whether those nations 
pay ready money as we do? 

243^ Whether they are not the Swiss that make 
hay and gather in the harvest throughout Alsatia ? 

244. Whether it be not a custom for some thou 
sands of Frenchmen to go about the beginning of 
March into Spain, and having tilled the lands and 
gathered the harvest of Spain, to return home with 
money in their pockets about the end of November? 

245. Whether of late years our Irish labourers do 
not carry on the same business in England, to the 
great discontent of many there? But whether we 
have not much more reason than the people of 
England to be displeased at this commerce? 

246. Whether, notwithstanding the cash, sup 
posed to be brought into it, any nation is, in truth, a 
gainer by such traffic? 



THE QUERIST 113 

247. Whether the industry of our people employed 
in foreign lands, while our own are left uncultivated, 
be not a great loss to the country? 

248. Whether it would not be much better for us, 
if, instead of sending our men abroad, we could draw 
men from the neighbouring countries to cultivate our 
own? 

249. Whether, nevertheless, we are not apt to 
think the money imported by our labourers to be so 
much clear gains to this country; but whether a little 

j reflexion and a little political arithmetic may not shew 
I us our mistake? 

250. Whether our prejudices about gold and silver 
are not very apt to infect or misguide our judgments 

i and reasonings about the public weal? 

251. Whether it be not a good rule whereby to 
| judge of the trade of any city, and its usefulness, to 
I observe whether there is a circulation through the 

extremities, and whether the people round about are 
j busy and warm? 

252. Whether we had not, some years since, a 
I manufacture of hats at Athlone, and of earthenware 
I at Arklow, and what became of those manufactures? 

253. Why we do not make tiles of our own, for 
flooring and roofing, rather than bring them from 
Holland? 

254. What manufactures are there in France and 
Venice of gilt-leather, how cheap and how splendid 
a furniture? 

255. Whether we may not, for the same use, 
| manufacture divers things at home of more beauty 
| and variety than wainscot, which is imported at such 
I expense from Norway? 

256. Whether the use and the fashion will not 
! soon make a manufacture? 

(D965) H 



114 THE QUERIST 

257. Whether, if our gentry used to drink mead 
and cider, we should not soon have those liquors in 
the utmost perfection and plenty? 

258. Whether it be not wonderful that with such 
pastures, and so many black cattle, we do not find 
ourselves in cheese? 

259. Whether great profits may not be made by 
fisheries; but whether those of our Irish who live by 
that business do not contrive to be drunk and unem 
ployed one-half of the year? 

260. W T hether it be not folly to think an inward 
commerce cannot enrich a state, because it doth not 
increase its quantity of gold and silver ? And whether 
it is possible a country should not thrive, while wants 
are supplied, and business goes on? 

261. Whether plenty of all the necessaries and 
comforts of life be not real wealth? 

262. Whether Lyons, by the advantage of her 
midland situation and the rivers Rhone and Saone, 
be not a great magazine or mart for inward com 
merce? And whether she doth not maintain a 
constant trade with most parts of France; with 
Provence for oils and dried fruits, for wines and cloth 
with Languedoc, for stuffs with Champaign, for linen 
with Picardy, Normandy, and Bretagne, for corn with 
Burgundy ? 

263. Whether she doth not receive and utter all 
those commodities, and raise a profit from the distri 
bution thereof, as well as of her own manufactures, 
throughout the kingdom of France? 

264. Whether the charge of making good roads 
and navigable rivers across the country would not be 
really repaid by an inward commerce? 

265. Whether, as our trade and manufactures 
increased, magazines should not be established in 



THE QUERIST 115 

proper places, fitted by their situation, near great 
roads and navigable rivers, lakes, or canals, for the 
ready reception and distribution of all sorts of com 
modities from and to the several parts of the 
kingdom; and whether the town of Athlone, for 
instance, may not be fitly situated for such a 
magazine, or centre of domestic commerce? 

266. Whether an inward trade would not cause 
industry to flourish, and multiply the circulation of 
our coin, and whether this may not do as well as 
multiplying the coin itself? 

267. Whether the benefits of a domestic commerce 
are sufficiently understood and attended to; and 
whether the cause thereof be not the prejudiced and 
narrow way of thinking about gold and silver? 

268. Whether there be any other more easy and 
unenvied method of increasing the wealth of a people? 

269. Whether we of this island are not from our 
peculiar circumstances determined to this very 
commerce above any other, from the number of 
necessaries and good things that we possess within 
ourselves, from the extent and variety of our soil, 
from the navigable rivers and good roads which we 
have or may have, at a less expense than any people 
in Europe, from our great plenty of materials for 
manufactures, and particularly from the restraints we 
lie under with regard to our foreign trade? 

270. Whether commissioners of trade or other 
proper persons should not be appointed to draw up 
plans of our commerce, both foreign and domestic, 
and lay them at the beginning of every session before 
the Parliament? 

271. Whether registers of industry should not be 
kept and the public from time to time acquainted 
what new manufactures are introduced, what 
increase or decrease of old ones ? 



Il6 THE QUERIST 

272. Whether annual inventories should not be 
published of the fairs throughout the kingdom, in 
order to judge of the growth of its commerce? 

273. Whether there be not every year more cash 
circulated at the card-tables of Dublin than at all the 
fairs of Ireland? 

274. Whether the wealth of a country will not bear 
proportion to the skill and industry of its inhabitants ? 

275. Whether foreign imports that tend to pro 
mote industry should not be encouraged, and such as 
have a tendency to promote luxury should not be 
discouraged? 

276. Whether the annual balance of trade between 
Italy and Lyons be not about four millions in favour 
of the former, and yet, whether Lyons be not a gainer 
by this trade? 

277. Whether the general rule, of determining the 
profit of a commerce by its balance, doth not, like 
other general rules, admit of exceptions? 

278. Whether it would not be a monstrous folly 
to import nothing but gold and silver, supposing we 
might do it, from every foreign part to which we 
trade? And yet, whether some men may not think 
this foolish circumstance a very happy one? 

279. But whether we do not all see the ridicule of 
the Mogul s subjects, who take from us nothing but 
our silver, and bury it underground, in order to make 
sure thereof against the resurrection? 

280. Whether he must not be a wrongheaded 
patriot or politician, whose ultimate view was draw 
ing money into a country, and keeping it there? 

281. Whether it be not evident that not gold but 
industry causeth a country to flourish? 



THE QUERIST 1 1/ 

282. Whether it would not be a silly project in any 
nation to hope to grow rich by prohibiting the 
exportation of gold and silver? 

283. Whether there can be a greater mistake in 
politics than to measure the wealth of the nation by 
its gold and silver? 

284. Whether gold and silver be not a drug, where 
they do not promote industry ? Whether they be not 
even the bane and undoing of an idle people? 

285. Whether gold will not cause either industry 
or vice to flourish? And whether a country, where it 
flowed in without labour, must not be wretched and 
dissolute like an island inhabited by Buccaneers? 

286. Whether arts and virtue are not likely to 
thrive, where money is made a means to industry? 
But whether money without this would be a blessing 
to any people? 

287. Whether, therefore, Mississippi, South Sea, 
and such like schemes were not calculated for public 
ruin? 

288. Whether keeping cash at home, or sending 
it abroad, just as it most serves to promote industry, 
be not the real interest of every nation? 

289. Whether commodities of all kinds do not 
naturally flow where there is the greatest demand? 
Whether the greatest demand for a thing be not 
where it is of most use? Whether money, like other 
things, hath not its proper use? Whether this use be 
not to circulate? Whether, therefore, there must not, 
of course, be money where there is a circulation ot 
industry: [and where there is no industry, whether 
there will be a demand for money?] 1 



1 The portion in brackets was omi^ed in the second edition. 



Il8 THE QUERIST 

290. Whether all such princes and statesmen are 
not greatly deceived who imagine that gold arid 
silver, anyway got, will enrich a country? 

291. Whether it is not a great point to know what 
we would be at? And whether whole states, as well 
as private persons, do not often fluctuate for want 
of this knowledge? 

292. Whether gold may not be compared to 
Sejanus s horse, if we consider its passage through 
the world, and the fate of those nations which have 
been successively possessed thereof? 

293. Whether the effect is not to be considered 
more than the kind for quantity of money? 

294. Whether means are not so far useful as they 
answer the ends? And whether, in different circum 
stances, the same ends are not obtained by different 
means? 

295. If we are a poor nation, abounding with very 
poor people, will it not follow that a far greater pro 
portion of our stock should be in the smallest and 
lowest species than would suit with England? 

296. Whether, therefore, it would not be highly 
expedient, if our money were coined of peculiar 
values, best suited to the circumstances and uses of 
our own country: and whether any other people could 
take umbrage at our consulting our own convenience 
in an affair entirely domestic and that lies within 
ourselves ? 

297. Whether every man doth not know, and hath 
not long known, that the want of a mint causeth 
many other wants in this kingdom? 

298. What harm did England sustain about three 
centuries ago, when silver was coined in this 
kingdom ? 



THE QUERIST Iig 

299. What harm was it to Spain that her pro 
vinces of Naples and Sicily had all along mints of 
their own? 

300. Whether those who have the interests of this 
kingdom at heart and are concerned in the councils 
thereof ought not to make the most humble and 
earnest representations to his Majesty that he may 
vouchsafe to grant us that favour, the want of which 
is ruinous to our domestic industry, and the having 
of which would interfere with no interest of our 
fellow-subjects? 

301. Whether it may not be presumed that our not 
having a privilege, which every other kingdom in the 
world enjoys, be not owing to our own want of 
diligence and unanimity in soliciting for it? 

302. Whether his most gracious Majesty hath 
ever been addressed on this head in a proper manner? 
and had the case fairly stated for his royal considera 
tion, and if not, whether we may not blame ourselves ? 

303. If his Majesty would be pleased to grant us 
a mint, whether the consequences thereof may not 
prove of valuable consideration to the Crown. * 

304. Whether it be not the interest of England 
that we should cultivate a domestic commerce among 
ourselves? And whether it could give them any pos 
sible jealousy, if our small sum of cash was contrived 
to go a little farther, if there was a little more life in 
our markets, a little more buying and selling in our 
shops, a little better provision for the backs and 
bellies of so many forlorn wretches throughout the 
towns and villages of this island? 



1 No note of interrogation is put here. One does not 
question his Majesty. 



120 THE QUERIST 

305. Whether Great Britain ought not to promote 
the prosperity of her Colonies, by all methods con 
sistent with her own? And whether the Colonies 
themselves ought to wish or aim at it by others? 

306. Whether the remotest parts from the metro 
polis, and the lowest of the people, are not to be 
regarded as the extremities and capillaries of the 
political body? 

307. Whether, although the capillary vessels are 
small, yet obstructions in them do not produce great 
chronical diseases? 

308. Whether faculties are not enlarged and 
improved by exercise? 

309. Whether the sum of the faculties put into 
act, or, in other words, the united action of a whole 
people, doth not constitute the momentum of a state? 

310. Whether such momentum be not the real 
stock or wealth of a state; and whether its credit be 
not proportional thereunto? 

311. Whether in every wise state the faculties of 
the mind are not most considered? 

312. Whether every kind of employment or busi 
ness, as it implies more skill and exercise of the 
higher powers, be not more valued? 

313. Whether the momentum of a state doth not 
imply the whole exertion of its faculties, intellectual 
and corporeal; and whether the latter without the 
former could act in concert? 

314. Whether the divided force of men, acting 
singly, would not be a rope of sand? 

315. Whether the particular motions of the 
members of a state, in opposite directions, will not 



THE QUERIST 121 

destroy each other, and lessen the momentum of the 
whole; but whether they must not conspire to produce 
a great effect? 

316. Whether the ready means to put spirit into 
this state, to fortify and increase its momentum, 
would not be a national bank, and plenty of small 
cash? 

317. Whether private endeavours without assist 
ance from the public are likely to advance our 
manufactures and commerce to any great degree? 
But whether, as bills uttered from a national bank 
upon private mortgages would facilitate the purchases 
and projects of private men, even so the same bills 
uttered on the same public security alone may not 
answer public ends in promoting new works and 
manufactures throughout the kingdom? 

318. Whether that which employs and exerts the 
force of a community deserves not to be well con 
sidered and well understood? 

319. Whether the immediate mover, the blood and 
spirits, be not money, paper or metal ; and whether 
the soul and will of the community, which is the prime 
mover that governs and directs the whole, be not the 
legislature? 

320. Supposing the inhabitants of a country quite 
sunk in sloth, or even fast asleep, whether, upon the 
gradual awakening and exertion, first of the sensitive 
and locomotive faculties, next of reason and reflec 
tion, then of justice and piety, the momentum of such 
country or state would not, in proportion thereunto, 
become still more and more considerable? 

321. Whether that which in the growth is last / 
attained, and is the finishing perfection of a people, 
be not the first thing lost in their declension? 



122 THE QUERIST 

322. Whether force be not of great consequence, 
as it is exerted; and whether great force without 
wisdom may not be a nuisance? 

323. Whether the force of a child, applied with 
art, may not produce greater effects than that of a 
giant? And whether a small stock in the hands of a 
wise state may not go farther, and produce more 
considerable effects, than immense sums in the hands 
of a foolish one? 

324. Whether as many as wish well to their 
country ought not to aim at increasing its momentum? 

325. Whose fault is it if poor Ireland still continues 
poor? 



END OF The Querist. 



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UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO LIBRARY 



HC Berkeley, George, Bp. of Cloyne 

254 The querist 

.5 




Colophon

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