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IN CLOTHES AND
OF HOUSES, ETC. UTTERLY REJECTING AND RENOUNCING EVERY THING WEARABLE THAT COMES FROM ENGLAND.
WRITTEN IN THE YEAR 1720.
IT is the peculiar felicity and prudence of the
people in this kingdom, that whatever commodities or productions lie under the greatest discouragements from England, thofe are what they are sure to be most industrious in cultivating and spreading. Agriculture, which has been the principal care of all wise nations, and for the encouragement whereof there are so many statute laws in England, we countenance so well, that the landlords are every where, by penal clauses, absolutely prohibiting their tenants
This proposal was answered, and our author severely censured, in a pamphlet published directly after it, entitled, "A Defence of English Commodities."
from ploughing*; not satisfied to confine them within certain limitations, as is the practice of the English one effect of which is already seen in the prodigious dearness of corn, and the importation of it from London, as the cheaper market. And because people are the riches of a country, and that our neighbours have done, and are doing, all that in them lies to make our wool a drug to us, and a monopoly to them; therefore the politick gentlemen of Ireland have depopulated vast tracts of the best land, for the feeding of sheep.
I could fill a volume as large as the history of the wise men of Gotham, with a catalogue only of some wonderful laws and customs, we have observed within thirty years past. It is true indeed, our beneficial traffick of wool with France, has been our only support for several years, furnishing us with all the little money we have to pay our rents, and go to market. But our merchants assure me, this trade has received a great damp by the present fluctuating condition of the coin in France; that most of their wine is paid for in species, without carrying thither any commodity from hence.
However, since we are so universally bent upon enlarging our flocks, it may be worth inquiring, what we shall do with our wool, in case Barnstable
* It was the practice of Irish farmers to wear out their ground with ploughing, neither manuring nor letting it lie fallow, and when their leases were near expired, they ploughed even the meadows, and made fuch havock, that the landlords by their zeal to prevent it were betrayed into this pernicious measure.
+ A sea port in Devonshire, at that time the principal market in England for Irish wool.