« הקודםהמשך »
« of their characters, and the ruin of their fortunes, “ are preferred to the senate, in a country where they
are strangers, before the very lords of the soil ; are they not to be rewarded for their zeal to your majesty's service, and qualified to live in
your metropolis, as becomes the lustre of their « stations?
“Sir, If I have given great numbers of the most “ profitable employments, among my own relations “ and nearest allies, it was not out of any partiality; “ but because I know them best, and can best depend
upon them. I have been at the pains to mould and “ cultivate their opinions. Abler heads might pro“bably have been found; but they would not be “equally under my direction. A huntsman who has “ the absolute command of his dogs, will hunt more “effectually, than with a better pack, to whose man“ ner and cry he is a stranger.
“Sir, Upon the whole, I will appeal to all those “ who best knew your royal father, whether that « blessed monarch had ever one anxious thought for “the publick, or disappointment, or uneasiness, or “ want of money for all his occasions, during the « time of my administration ? And how happy the
people confessed themselves to be, under such a “ king, I leave to their own numerous addresses ; “ which all politicians will allow, to be the most in“ fallible proof, how any nation stands affected to o their sovereign.”
Lelop-Aw, having ended his speech, and struck his forehead thrice against the table, as the custom is in Japan, sat down with great complacency of mind, and much applause of his adherents, as might
be observed by their countenances and their whispers. But the emperor's behaviour was remarkable ; for, during the whole harangue, he appeared equally attentive and uneasy. After a short pause, his majesty commanded that some other counsellor should deliver his thoughts, either to confirm or object against what had been spoken by Lelop-Aw.
MR. M-CULLA'S PROJECT
AND A NEW ONE PROPOSED,
IN A LETTER TO DR. DELANY.
WRITTEN IN 1729.
SIR, You desire to know my opinion concerning Mr. M‘Culla's project, of circulating notes, stamped on copper, that shall pass for the value of halfpence and pence. I have some knowledge of the man ; and, about a month ago, he brought me his book, with a couple of his halfpenny notes ; but I was then out of order, and he could not be admitted. Since that time, I called at his house, where I discoursed the whole affair with him as thoroughly as I could. I am altogether a stranger to his character. He talked to me in the usual style, with a great profession of zeal for the publick good; which is the common cant of all projectors in their bills, from a first minister of state down
to a corncutter. But I stopped him short, as I would have done a better man; because it is too gross a practice to pass at any time, and especially in this age, where we all know one another so well. Yet, whoever proposes any scheme, which may prove to be a publick benefit, I shall not quarrel, if it prove likewise very beneficial to himself. It is certain, that, next to the want of silver, our greatest distress in point of coin is the want of small change, which may be some poor relief for the defect of the former, since the crown will not please to take that work upon them here, as they do in England. One thing in M‘Culla's book is certainly right, that no law hinders me from giving a payable note upon leather, wood, copper, brass, iron, or any other material (except gold or silver) as well as upon paper. The question is, whether I can sue him on a copper bond, where there is neither hand nor seal, nor witnesses to prove it. To supply this, he has proposed, that the materials upon which this note is written, shall be in some degree of value equal to the debt. But that is one principal matter to be inquired into. His scheme is this:
He gives you a piece of copper for a halfpenny or penny, stamped with a promissory note to pay you twenty pence for every pound of copper notes, whenever you shall return them. Eight and forty of these halfpenny pieces are to weigh a pound; and he sells you that pound, coined and stamped, for two shillings : by which he clearly gains a little more than 16 per cent, that is to say, two pence in every shilling.
This will certainly arise to a great sum, if he should circulate as large a quantity of his notes as the kingdom, under the great dearth of silver, may very pro
bably bably require : enough indeed to make any Irish tradesman's fortune; which, however, I should not repine at in the least, if we could be sure of his fair dealing. It was obvious for me to raise the common objection, why Mr. M‘Culla would not give security to pay the whole sum to any man who returned him his copper notes, as my lord Dartmouth and colonel Moor were, by their patents, obliged to do. To which he gave me some answers plausible enough. First, “ He.conceived his coins were much nearer to “ the intrinsick value, than any of those coined by pa“ tents, the bulk and goodness of the metal equalling - the best English halfpence made by the crown: “ That he apprehended the ill will of envious and de
signing people : who, if they found him to have a
great vent for his notes, since he wanted the pro“ tection of a patent, might make a run upon him, « which he could not be able to support : And lastly, “ that, his copper (as is already said) being equal in “ value and bulk to the English halfpence, he did not “ apprehend they should ever be returned, unless a “ combination, proceeding from spite and envy, might “ be formed against him.”
But there are some points in his proposal which I cannot well answer for; nor do I know whether he will be able to do it himself. The first is, whether the copper he gives us will be as good as what the crown provided for the English halfpence and farthings; and, secondly, whether he will always continue to give us as good; and thirdly, when he will think fit to stop his hand, and give us no more? for I should be as sorry to be at the mercy of Mr. M'Culla, as of Mr. Wood. There is another difficulty of the last importance.