A LETTER From a GENTLEMAN in IRELAND To his BROTHER in ENGLAND, Relating to the Concerns of IRELAND in matter of TRADE.


Roger L'Estrange.

LONDON, Printed and are to be sold by Langley Curtiss, in Goat-Court upon Ludgate-hill. 1677.

Honoured Brother,

I Have lately received yours, wherein you give me account of the Fall of your Rents, the Cheapness of your Wools, the decay of your Manufacture in England; and you ascribe the cause of it principally to Ireland; which is a double Melancholly to me, that you, first, who are the Head of our Family, should find your self so straitned▪ [...]hat you cannot support its Dignity with the same ease and plenty that you did for­merly: but that I, then, who have for you all the af­fection and tenderness of so dear a Relation, should be engaged in a Country and Interest opposite▪ as it seems to yours, and accessory to your ruine, there is nothing worse could happen to me, then that it were real. And yet, did I find my self here in a more happy condition, I could better relish your complaints, and my opportunity of serving you, would extinguish in me all other sense of your misfortunes. I should take an innocent pride out of a younger Brothers fortunes to supply the Elder. For as in Timber, the sap de­scends in Winter, so it is but natural and reasonable, that in hard times the Branches should pinch to succour the Root of the Family. But alas, the case with us is far otherwise, so destitute of affording you help, that we can scarce find our selves a subsistance: but so absurd is our calamity, that we labour under abun­dance of want in a most plentiful Country. And what aggravates it the more, is, that you in England concur to it; not by accident only, but upon judgement and deliberation: as if you had entertained a maxime of destroying us for your own preservation, and pul­ling off that Twig which at one time or other might save you from sinking. Your Head akes, your Heart [Page 4] trembles, your Liver ulcerates; yet all your Diseases and Distempers must be attributed to Ireland, which lyes and swells, you think, like the Spleen upon the side of England. Whereas, if you could cut it off, you would fin [...] your selves by the loss of such a Receptacle much impaired, but no advantage either in your Health or good Humour. It is you in England only, that have been the cause both of your own and our suf­ferings, and have a mind, I doubt, to continue so. But, that I may not spend your time in Recriminations (which is the solace of the Desperate) I shall strive to convince you of it by Reason (which is the Remedy of the Curable.) And therefore I shall discourse it with you with that freedom which the necessity of the Case requires, and which is most suitable to the intimacy of our Fraternal Relation; the best Emblem of that Cor­respondence which were to be wished between the two Nations for their Mutual Happiness.

And because what is freshest in memory, doth most affect the Understanding, I shall date this Argument no further back then the Kings blessed Restauration: that Caroline period, from which, as a second Creation of our lesser world, it were proper to reckon a New Stile; and, were it of the same labour, to have reformed both the Times and the Calendar. That seasonable return had filled all minds with so general a satisfaction, that it seemed no man had cause, or leisure, or inclination to wish worse to others, or themselves better. And as the rest, so we in Ireland (happy because contented) lived in a condition tolerable to our selves, and ser­viceable to England. For without busie prospects of greater advantage, we gave our selves in a manner wholly to that harmless and primitive course of breed­ing Cattel; which we transported to you, and sold at [Page 5] easie rates in your Markets: wherein we had but that single, you a manifold profit; both in the Gross, by stocking your Grounds therewith to feed them; and in the Retail, by those several Commodities that arise in the Slaughter; the Tallow, the Victual, the Hides, and the Fleeces, all which turned to account of the re­spective Trades therein concerned. And, which is yet more weighty to consider, we did not hereby drain away your Money to hoard it up, or brood upon it in Ireland: but very simply and honestly, as soon as we had received it with one hand, we laid it out again with the other, with you for your Manufactures, or for the Foreign Commodities of which you were our Mer­chants; or else it went to furnish such of our Nobility as resided in your Court for their Expences. And it re­quires much subtilty to invent what more you could have desired of us, and how either in Commerce we could be more subservient, or in Policy we could be more dependent upon you, then by this means we were rendred, without attempting or dreaming on our side of any further intercourse: all the benefit of Ireland redounding to you, while to us there remained no more but a bare livelihood. And yet after some years that things had continued on in this tenour, all on a sudden, and, if we were rightly informed, not without some repugnance at first in His Majesty, the Importation of our Irish Cattel is by Act of Parliament prohibited. And (to clench it the faster, and to set (if I may so say) a Spell upon His Majesties Power and Prudence, lest he might upon occasion redress it for the future) it is in a Magical and severe term of Law declared to be a publick Nusance. What could be the reason, it is not for me to conjecture, much less to determine. But [Page 6] whatsoever less and invisible Spring might, as is usual in other great affairs, animate this motion, it cannot be otherwise in so numerous and prudent an Assembly, so involved in the Interest of their Country, and sensible of their own, but it must have been represented under the most specious, colourable, and necessary Arguments; That by this Importation, your own breed of Cattel decayed, your Markets were glutted, and your Rents starved. Wherein give me leave to say, that it hap­pened to you as with men who having run themselves out, do set up late for Frugality; they entertain them­selves with every Project that first presents it self, and what is next, does always seem most reasonable. For admitting that some of your Counties might be preju­diced by the Importation of our Cattel, yet whatso­ever profit accrued to others by it, did, upon the mu­tual necessities of all, circle into the common Stock of your Nation. And it seems to me, that whatsoever private Obligation a Parliament-man hath to the place where he is elected; yet, when once he comes to sit, his Trust and his Mind is inlarged, and he does no more consider himself as the Polititian of a Shire, or the Pa­triot of a Borough, but as a Representer of the Univer­sality. Whereas otherwise, if any County, one or more, chance to be more fertile then other in Members of Par­liament, and they Act by such narrow Measures; the Decision would be by Multitude, not by Reason; Arith­metick would be Logick, and the greater Herd, as among Cattel, would carry it. You best know how that matter went who are one of them; and however your opinion stand in other things as to us in Ireland; yet I need not Divine your thoughts on this Question, serving as you do for—, and so the Bias of your Interest [Page 7] there corroborating the general rectitude of your Judg­ment. And if the business were now to tell Counties, I have been lately assured by some from England, that those Counties that find themselves not benefited, and those that are really aggrieved by this Act, do by this time upon Experiment and second thoughts, make up the greatest party. For, if we account like Merchants by Profit and Loss, all the Profit that can be made by this Act, returns only to such Counties which are proper for Breeding, or the deeper Feeding of Cattel of your own growth; whereby they do but raise the price upon their Neighbours, and Monopolize the rest of your Nation. These other in the mean time have their Grounds thrown up into their own hands, which used to be stock'd with our lesser Cattel, that served them, as small Money does poor People, for Change at the Market. And your whole Nation hath hereby lost in great measure the Vent of their Home and Foreign Commo­dities to Ireland, and wholly the increasing Product to you of our Cattel in specie. But as to the Political point, you did herein, as much as in you then was, cut off all that stronger, as more Natural dependance of that King­dom upon yours, and necessitate your selves to govern it rather by the force of Authority, then by the influ­ential benignity of Interest. It were too tragical to de­scribe to you the surprize and astonishment with which the first News of that Act seized and affected us. Our condition did contrarily resemble his in the Fable, who saw every thing turn'd into Gold that he should have fed upon, but we could only feed upon that, which be­fore we converted into Money. It may best be com­pared and conceived by the decrying of Coin, where­by he that was one day Master, as he imagined, of [Page 8] great Wealth, finds the next morning nothing but an unvaluable lump, wherein to contemplate his Poverty. What was to be done in this exigent? when we were reduced to the perfect state of Boccaneers, to kill Cows and surfeit our selves on the Carkasses, that we might sell the Hides to the next charitable Foreigner that chanced to visit us.

Being thus to begin the world again, and constrain­ed to look out for a new way to sustain Nature, we took councel of necessity. Our Commodities out of which we could subsist, were either our Corn, our greater Cattel, or our Sheep. For the Irish Corn, it could serve us only to Market with among our selves; being by reason of the Climate, not so large, firm and dry a Grain, that it should be proper for Transportation: And consequently we Plowed no more then might serve us yearly from hand to mouth for our own spend­ing. For our Cattel, we continued the breeding of them, and imployed part of our grounds to feed them: Finding, for the proportion, more Advantage by Victu­alling it out to Foreigners, then what we had former­ly by their Whole-sale in England. But that Vent was nothing equal to what those Tracts of Land, that lay idle before us would have furnished: And there­fore we betook our selves more generally to the Gra­zing of Sheep, in which you know, how numerous Flocks, and wide Pastures are managed by one Shep­herd. So that this course did best suit with our Purse, that could not answer any more expensive profit; and with our Dispositions, that are not made for Laborious improvements; and with your Jealousie, who interpret our industry as Theft, and that we defraud you as oft as we make the least attempt to work out an honest [Page 7] Living. So that the Wool now was the onely thing that we had to rest upon: And you were provided with sufficient Act of Parliament to be the onely Mart for it: It being made Felony to Transport it in­to forain parts; and Confiscation to Import it to you, otherwise than crude and unmanufactur'd. And yet, having thus again patched up a slender Subsistence and method of being, we had re-composed our selves, en­joying Poverty and Ease, and leading an Arcadian-life, solaced among the Sheep with our Pastorals. We had left muttering any more at your Act against Irish-Cat­tle, and onely smiled, as in a Triumph, not of Malice, but of Reason, to see that you were now the persons agrie­ved; and if not yet convinced of the cause, yet labou­ring under the effects of it. For, whereas some Co [...] ­ties onely could complain of our Cattle, the cheap [...]s of Wools was become a general incommodity to your whole Nation. For, I believe, as you were ready e­nough to imagine, that by importing upon you all the Wools of this Kingdom, yours were partly choaked; ha­ving more of your own upon your hands already, than, in the present state of Trade thorough the World, your own Manufactors could work, or your [...]chants vend beyond Sea. Although, we paying the King's and Lieutenant's Duty, which is at least Two shillings for every Stone, beside the fraught of the Ships that bring it over, and the other charges of Factorage and Market, are competently guarded from the danger of under­selling you. For, by this means it is easie to compute, that in respect to your Wools, ours are sold at that which Merchants call Fifty per Cent. disadvantage. Yet, as the Trade of our Cattle injured you before, so now our Wools grow toward a Nuisance: what was lawful for [Page 10] us and profitable to you, you prohibited; what you constrain us to, you accuse: you are neither well full nor fasting; I know not what you would have, unless you could furnish us with a breed of Sheep that bore no fleeces. Is it not the same, that those fleeces bear no price? But though those Gentlemen among you whose Rents depend much upon that product, do doubtless finde their Estates by the late cheapness of Wool much reduced; yet I shall, ere I close this Letter, shew you that our Irish-wool is the least accessory to it. And however, your Kingdom doth so abound with native Commodities (which, were you not so in love with the forain, would multiply to you in Treasure and Bullion) that you might well, or much better than we, dispence with the common calamity upon that Trade, who have so many more to trust to: Whereas this is in a manner the onely one that is left us, and that too fails us. For it is not to be presum'd that, while your own Wool sells not, you will out of good nature prefer ours at a Mar­ket: Nor that you are so new-fangled, as much stran­gers as you make us, that you will enquire out for la Lained' Irlande, and make it your mode to wear it. But it remain [...] a [...]eer Drug, although you are those that will be the Ingrossers. In this condition, miserable to our selves, and yet subject to your envy, what can be propounded for our relief, or toward your satisfaction? Shall we steal our Wool beyond Sea? which yet were but to steal our own goods; that you will say would be a greater prejudice to you. Shall we manufacture it at home? That, although a double benefit to us, would seem to you a double inconvenience. And yet there is no third way left, unless, like your Spiders, to weave out our own Bowels.

[Page 11] And here it may not be amiss to inform you, something better than I perceive you are at present, concerning the state of our Manufac [...]re in Ireland: not so much because it is in it self grown so considerable that it de­serves mention, ( [...] of all Virtues, Industry is the last of which you will have cause to accuse us) as by rea­son it hath of late made a great noise with you, as things usually do that are most empty. About ten or twelve years ago (before your Act against the Irish Cattle) some Western Cloathiers finding, so early, and upon o­ther reasons than are now suborned, that Trade decay­ing, and many of them reduced to extream Poverty, re­moved themselves and their Families over into Ireland; invited by the cheapness there of Wool and of Liveli­hood. These erected then a Manufactory (great in respect to Ireland) at Dublin, which hath been carried on ever since, and increases dayly. There came also over, much about the same time, Sixty Families from Holland, setting up another at Lymerick; which by oc­casion of the succeeding Wars decayed. But after these, more of the English Cloathiers came and fixed a­bout Corke and Kinsale, where they continue, and are grown not inconsiderable. Some French have since re­sorted to Waterford, to make Druggets there, and other Commodities of their fashion. And about a year or two ago, some Merchants of London raised another Ma­nufacture at Clonmel, managing it by their Agents. Some small Attempts of the like nature may be met with here and there in the Countries, but not worth sp [...] ­king of. These are the Crimes of which we are gu [...]y before any Law to prohibit us: it were more allowable to plant Poyson than Manufacture with [...] and we lie it seems under such an Obloquy and Clamo [...] [...] which [Page 12] as far as I can judge by your Letter, you also listen to) that, as to import our Cattle to you is a Nuisance, and to export our Wools is Felon [...]; so, by gradation, to e­rect here a Manufacture ought to be no less than Trea­son. And yet there is more Cry than Wool in all this matter: For I dare, and do assure you, that, modestly speaking, the whole quantity of what we work up in Ireland, amounts not to the half of what any one Cloa­thing-County in England. Of what Importance Ma­nufacture is to us, appears more than sufficiently by this jealousie of it that you have conceived, and by that Life which so small but active a Particle insinuates into this poor and idle Body of a Nation. If it were Promoted as carefully as it is Discouraged, it would make his Ma­jesty's Revenue here rise with more Ease to the Subject, and proportionably increase it for the future. It would replenish the Country with People, raise the price of our Lands, and wear off the Barbarity of the common Irish, when once they were inured to Labour: For In­dustry is the first step to Civility, and the securest pledge to Government; those that will take pains for their own living, being the least inclined to invade anothers Propriety. If those that are the Heads of such Under­takings reside with you in England, all the Product they should make here, would return over to you into the common Stock of your Nation: If they do not, but reside with us, we indeed receive the Advantages above­mentioned; but to you there is no other difference, than that you are Rich on this side of the water.

All that can be objected reasonably (for none, I hope do officiously maligne us) is, that you are however the nearest Neighbours to your selves, and whatever be­comes of us, sink or swim, you must provide that you [Page 13] suffer not by us, either in exhausting your People, whereof you are already not too numerous; or by di­minishing your Trade, which is already much decayed. As to the danger of depopulating you, which is the first, it is a thing you can onely presuppose and imagine, but which we, were it a thing to be wished, could ne­ver hope for. God forbid (if it be lawful to make so unnecessary and vain a request) that any accident or extremity should cause you to exchange Middlesex for Lemster, and prefer Dublin before London, to be the Imperial Seat and Chamber of the Monarchy. It is in­deed, as the profit of an Husbandman, to have his Land full stock'd with Cattle; so of a Prince, to have his Dominions mann'd with a proportionable complement of People. And one of our Country-men interessed in both Nations, hath therefore well calculated how much the Publick misses or gains in the person of every In­dividual. The Bodies of Men are not onely estimable while living, but when dead: And, were it not to play the Coqueten in Trade, I could demonstrate what prejudice the Nation receives by the burying of every English-man beyond Sea; and how far the Smith, the Iron-monger, the Joyner, and the Curate, with several other Trades, are thereby damnified, and our Neigh­bours advantaged. And I could then dispute, that an Act against Oaken Coffins were no less necessary at home for preserving your Timber, than that for Flan­nel-shrowds was for the incouragement of your Woollen Manufacture. But if this of the Dead seems ridicu­lous to you, pardon me if I say, that were we not of the two the more melancholy Nation, neither could we refrain from smiling at this your frugality of the Living. For, how can we think you serious in so spe­culative [Page 14] and remote a Consideration, that, as to us, it is rather a Case put, than what can ever be presumed to fall out in practice. For, while herein you represent the Weaver, who overshooting his Shuttle into the Wall, although a Batchelor, wet his cheeks and his Ma­nufacture to think, how if his onely son had received that blow, his Majesty had lost a Subject, and himself the stay of his Family; you nevertheless at the same time, and while at Peace, transport yearly many thou­sands of English to be kill'd in the Wars, and are become the Magazine of men to your Neighbours. You do not onely send out yearly swarms of men to your old Colo­nies, but, wanting, it seems, Hives for your multitude, you do every day increase your new Buildings at home, and abroad design new Plantations. And even your Merchants, incorporated with others, whose greater quality may suppose them to be States-men in that particular; yet, instead of bringing over more Gold from Guiny, do, as I am told, so inhanse their sole Trade of Negroes, that your Planters, not able to go to the price, are forced to load their Ships continually with English Servants. And, if there were this penury of people with you, it is probable that you would finde out Employment for so many idle persons that, as I obser­ved when I came last over, notwithstanding those con­stant draughts beyond Sea, do both Natives and For­rainers pester you still at home, and so incumber your Streets and your High-ways, that a man of business can scarce pass without justling. Therefore it is time for you to quit this Notion, which you so many ways slight in effect, and contradict in practise, and in our case is so singular: unless you will affix your inhabitants like Trees to the Soil, and lay as severe an Injunction [Page 15] against your English mens going abroad, as that where­with you have impounded our Cattle at home in Ire­land.

That which may afford more appearance of reality is, that our Woollen Manufactures interrupt the Vent of yours. But I have already shewn you how slender a quantity is wrought up with us; so small a pittance, that it cannot affect even your Norwich, much less your whole Kingdom: nor is there yet any Law (I hope will not) to interdict us what, if real, were so necessary. The Dutch, the French, any Forrainer have Liberty, and make use of it, to work with us; and shall either the Irish or English of both Countries be rather debarr'd, whether Rich from planting Manufacture, or whether Poor from labouring it in Ireland? I know not that ever it en­tred into your minds to forbid your English the pur­chasing of Land among us: and what reason is there greater to hinder them from imploying their Money with us upon any other occasion to private and publick advan­tage? But what do I instance in Land, a thing the most improbable; and to which, as it stands with us, the En­glish can at present have no temptation? when, beside the novelty, weakness, and mutability of Titles, every thing from which the profit might result, is rendred so incommodious to us, and unpracticable, that as the Tenant hath onely his Labour for his Pains, so the Pur­chaser, instead of Rent, can only have his Land for his Money. Therefore I submit it to you to chuse any more particular and proper instance (if such there be) where English mens Estates lie under such a perpetual Tuition, and others may administer to him that is yet living. But this Clamour hath so little of a publick spirit in it, that it savours rather of that envy which is among little Ar­tificers, [Page 16] or meaner Merchants that trade or factor in the same Commodity: For there is indeed no man but doth in some sort prejudice another; no Trade but is to the detriment of another Trade in some measure: yet these are all reconciled in the publick Convenience or Neces­sity; otherwise every County, every Company, every Member would stand in anothers way, and there should be no end of Divisibility. But, if you were in earnest, methinks it would better require your good Husbandry and Inspection to rectifie those, whether Trades or Per­sons, that suck out your very blood, transvasating for­rain Juyces into your Veins; and that, while they ex­port your Treasure and Bullion, prey upon your Vitals. And to discover such others, who, under the quality of English Merchants, are, as is said, but Factors for Aliens, and dayly spirit away the Wealth and Strength of your Nation beyond Sea. But however you judge and dis­pose of your Domestick Affairs, suffer not your selves, in regard of us, to be imposed on by false suggestions a­gainst your own and our Interest.

For the deadness of your Manufactures, as well as ours, proceeds not from their interfering with one ano­ther, but from much differing causes, wherein it may befit you, first to consider (for I will not, to the dis-re­putation of so many worthy Merchants, affirm what is re­ported at this distance) whether several of those Com­panies that are intrusted and impower'd with the sole Trade of your home-bred Commodities in remote Re­gions, do not for their more excessive advantage, for­bear to buy up that quantity which so great a part of the world as lies stretch'd out in their Patents, but un­visited in their Traffick, would take off, at a more mo­derate profit. And whether they do not, for what [Page 17] Quantity they do utter, methodize their buying so artificially, to such times, conditions, and restrictive regulations, practising upon the Manufactors necessi­ty, that the poor men lie at the Merchants mercy, and their goods lie so long upon their hands, till they are forced to receive any rate from the single Chap­man's discretion. For, whether it be so or no in this particular, there is that general malignity in Commerce, that the rich Buyer does set the Dice always upon the necessitous Seller: as in the most plentiful years of Corn, the Ingrosser never thinks the Market low enough. But a more evident and certain reason of yours and our consuming for want of Consumption, is the Wars, with which formerly and of later years, Europe has ge­nerally been infested. So that in most parts thereof, which were usually supplied from you, the people have been much impoverished, and thereby necessitated to be their own Clothiers first, and from thence enabled, In­dustry increasing, some of them to furnish their Neigh­bours. And to this several of your own Subjects have concurred, who either not finding themselves well and easie at home, or inticed over by greater profit, have in­structed Forainers in the whole mystery of Cloathing, till they now have made [...] Staple Commodity, and out-do yours for perfection, and, what between their finer and courser Manufactures, can both over and un­der-sell you at any Market; where you too, that were the sole Merchants, do often condescend to be their Chapmen. Thus by the reciprocation of humane af­fairs, that Trade which the Wars, upon the Forainers refuge with you, first introduced, is upon occasion of the Wars revolved back again, and the Drapery restored to them in great measure, even by means of your own [...].

[Page 18] But the grand spring of this whole matter lies in France. That King is a most vigilant and potent Prince, strong in Arms, in Councel, in Treasure, and in People, and who measures Justice by his Interest. And accor­dingly, ever since he manifested himself, and assumed the whole direction of his own affairs, he hath made war to all Europe: with his Sword, against his Enemies; but against his Friends, (and Enemies also) by Traffique; which is indeed, as the more just, so the most effectual way of destroying them. But, among all, none hath on this latter account more suffered than the Subjects of England. For, beside the Wines, which we purchase at most excessive rates, and for the most part with pure Money, (although, if it pleased the King and Parlia­ment, there might more generous Wines and upon bet­ter terms be imported from Italy and the Mediterranean) and beside those Trinkets, of which we are so fond, and to the making of which the French Genius was formerly most adapted: He hath, now for many years, applied his people to the more solid Trades of Cloath, Silk, and Stuffs, indeed of all things valuable; embra­cing in effect, or in projection, the universal Monarchy of Commerce. Never did any Prince, except our own, addict himself so wholly to the encouragement of Trade and Navigation. Therefore he hath not onely promoted the building of Merchants-ships, to carry in and out; but provided himself also of a formidable Navy, fit to justifie whatsoever he shall think reason to attempt. He hath both trained up his own Subjects to Sea, which before they nauseated, and allured over great numbers of your best Mariners into his service. To this, he hath either wholly prohibited▪ or which is tan­tamount, laid so excessive Impositions upon all [...] [Page 19] Manufactures, and other Merchandizes which were vendible there, that they are in a manner totally exclu­ded, and you have no Commodity to exchange with, but whatever you have of his (and have it you will whatsoever it cost you) must be bought with the Pen­ny. Insomuch, that I have seen here a particular, drawn up as 'tis said in your Parliament, wherein they compu­ted, beside the Lucrum cessans, that your Nation sustains a clear loss of Eleven hundred thousand pounds yearly by the French Trade. And what would any private man's Estate with such Husbandry come to in a short period? [...]eby the French, that were before, at best, but the [...]llainers of Europe, are now become, or pretend to be, the Cape-merchants; and their King gives, not onely the Mode, but the Garment to all Christendome, and the World puts it self into his Livery at their own Ex­pences. Well may you in England complain of the death rather than deadness of your Manufacture, when from this cause it receives such an obstruction, even to suffocation, when you are not onely deprived of that general and gainful vent that you had formerly in France it self, but in all other places where you traffique you meet the French now at every turn; and the Forrain Post brings News from all parts that they are before you, and have under-sold you in the same Commodities.

And to this Disease so mortal, and which it is beyond any private man to remedy, your selves do more par­ticularly contribute, by those vast quantities of Wool [...]hich, they tell us here, are daily, and now more than ever transported for France; (a thing that you always prohi­bit, but it seems you always tolerate) so that in effect Ca­l [...] is still no less your Staple than while it was formerly under the English Dominion. I will not excuse our selves [Page 20] in Ireland from the same Crime, although in less propor­tion: For wheresoever any Commodity is so [...]pent up, as with us, it will force it self a vent one way or other. But you have, as I hear, a Militia, that in defiance of all Authority, convoy their Caravans of Wool to the Shallop with such a strength, that your Officers dare not offend them: while whatsoever we do of that kind, is more modest; and wheresoe're it loses its way afterwards at Sea, it is first entred for England, and pays, as I told you before, both the King's Duty, and that to the Lord-Lieutenant, for License: So that, as we cannot Trade, so neither can we Steal with you on equal terms.

By this time I hope you are satisfied and convinced, that Ireland deserves not your Complaint, but your Pity: and that those things which some have a­scribed to us, are but the common Calamity of both Nations, occasioned by the Flux of Humane Affairs, and Accidents of the present Conjuncture thorow Eu­rope: and therefore that you will not only consult how to redress our common Grievances, but that you will al­so remedy those more particular Pressures that we suf­fer by or under you. For Ireland is indeed a Country scituate with great advantage for Commerce, and espe­cially toward the Western and Southern Navigation. The Ports are many, and of the most capable and commo­dious. The Soil is fertile, and where not, yet pregnant, in many places with Minerals, and elsewhere large and well grown Woods, fit to be shaped out into Navies; with such convenience for building, that I have often wondred how, in such scarcity of Timber, you have not sometimes thought of having one Chatham at least in Ireland.

[Page 21] Nature has indeed been kinde to us, were You so likewise. But you prohibit our Cattel, you restrain our Wool; our Manufacture is intolerable; you forbid our Trading with any Forreign Commodities in your own Plantations: what we buy there, we must enter in England; and before we land it, must make a second and more dangerous Voyage, to pay you double Cu­stoms. We are in all things, indeed, treated by you like, or worse than Aliens. In the mean time, we pay Quit-rents, Chimney-money, Excise, Customs; and have been as ready as you to Supply his Majestie upon occasions with Taxes extraordinary. Nor yet is the Revenue easier to us, by being collected by Farmers.

It would require an exquisite memory, to tell you of any late Act of State relating to Ireland, that hath not, one way or other, turn'd to our prejudice. And yet, though unhappie, we are Constant; nor hath it ever yet been in your power to disoblige our Affection, much less our Loyalty. But I can answer for my self: who is he that can enter a perpetual Guaranty for a whole Kingdom? The most Sacred Tyes will not hold, when worn out continually by ill usage. How inci­dent it is to a Woman to be Debauched, if she finde not the Contents of Marriage! especially if she be Idle, have entertained former correspondence with one that ap­pears more potent, and who promises to maintain her in an higher Equipage. If any of your Neighbours should be at leasure to apply both Force and Courtship to this Kingdom when it were in ill humour, it must be of an extraordinary Vertue to resist the Temptation: and should he gain its Good-will, he would make you pay afterwards what Alimony he pleased. You might then too late compute how necessary it had been to [Page 22] preserve and cherish it by all means possible: what da­mage, what diminution you receive both in your Ho­nour and Revenue. Another would know how to im­prove, and against your selves, those Advantages that you have slighted: and this Island which, partly by the Natural, but more by its Political Scituation, lies like a Mole sit to shield you from Forreign Winds, to repel the Neighbouring Seas from breaking in upon you, and to make England the most quiet Station of all Europe, (In­sula Portum efficit) would in a Strangers power serve him as a Bridge to land upon you more commodiously. For it is not so old as true a Saw, That He who will win England, must begin with Ireland.

In conclusion, the same aspect that Sicily has to Italy, that, in all Parallels, hath Ireland to England: and it concerns your utmost care that you govern it not after the Spanish manner, lest you prepare it to Revolt unto another Dominion. Therefore I would humbly advise you, Brother, in particular, no more to look upon us (which is the Common Errour) as a distinct, but as a conjunct Interest and People; and to do your part, what we are now rather in shew, to Consolidate us re­ally into your own Substance. You have told me, I re­member, formerly, how many miles of barren Hills the Citie of Genoua hath, at vast expence, taken into their Fortifications; with that Inscription at the Entrance: Ne munimenta Naturae Hostis verteret in Pericula. But what Method to use in particular, I am not capable to de­lineate; nor were I, yet neither am I proper to prescribe to your Parliamentary prudence. For even Physicians, when sick, distrust their own Skill, and submit to ano­ther's Counsel.

Whether you will think sit to reverse your Act a­gainst [Page 23] our Cattel, I know not; nor can I answer for the Effect that it would produce. But I have often observed how gladly Waters that have been diverted return and fall again into their former Chanel.

That you should make any Act to encourage Manu­facture with us, is what can scarce be expected; but I hope you will make none to discourage it. For, as it re­quires no Physician to tell, that to keep a man warm is good against a Cold; so I, though no Politician, dare say in general, that it concerns you to use us kindly, and to indulge us in all things that tend to Civilize, Culti­vate, and People this Nation; whereby you will or may have, within ten hours sail of you, a Plantation worth all those other that weaken you at so great a distance, while we should always be at hand, and within call, not more ready to defend our selves than you, upon the first insult of an Enemy. By how much you have used us to expect less, the less will oblige us. We will allow you easily to make, what we are, younger Brothers of us; onely use us as Brethren, not as Slaves. For it is an equal oppres­sion, to command men to make Brick without Straw, and where there is both Brick and Straw to counter­mand it. The most adequate President whereby I can represent to you both our Conditions, and what to do in our case, is that of Abraham and Lot in the 13th of Genesis. Abraham was, like you, very rich in Cattle, in Silver, and in Gold: but Lot had onely Flocks and Herds, and Tents. And, as they journyed, their sub­stance [...]as so great, that they could not dwell together: but there was a strife between the Herdsmen of Abraham's cattle and the Herdsmen of Lot's cattle; and the Canaa­nite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land. And Abraham said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, [Page 24] betwixt me and thee, and between my Herdsmen and thy Herdsmen, for we are Brethren. Is not the whole land before us? If thou wilt go to the left hand, I will go to the right; and if thou depart to the right hand, then will, I go to the left. And Lot lifted up his eyes and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, and Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan. Abraham dwelt in the land of Canaan. The Text is so plain, and applies it self so easily betwixt us, that it needs no Com­mentary. Onely Abraham here was the Elder Brother; but, being several ways the richer, seems therefore, out of a natural equity and condescention, to have left the choice to Lot, who was the Son of the Younger, and had nothing but his Flocks and Herds to trust to. Where­as we shall willingly submit to the Order of Nature and of our Government, desiring you to chuse for us. And so God direct you in all your Councils, to His Glory, the Honour of His Majestie, and to the Wealth and Welfare of both Nations: which is the constant Prayer of

Honoured Brother,
Your most humble Servant, and most affectionate Brother.

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