A REPLY to the Popular Arguments used for Confirming the present East-India Company, by Grafting upon them, with a Word or two in behalf of the New Subscriptions.

FIRST the Friends of the present Company make a great Out cry, That the Wi­dows and Orphans will sustain great Loss by a Dissolution of th [...] present Company.

I answer, That considering the Number of those concerned, the Widows and Or­phans will be found to be very few, as appears by the Lis [...] of the Adventurers. But supposing it were true what they alledg, and that the Number were much greater, I would only ask the Adventurers, whether they think the Parliament obliged to establish them, whether they shall find it practicable and reasonable or no? But surely this they will not aver; if not, then their Argument will appear to have no weight, and none can have reason to complain, it being impossible to obviate, but that in such great Mutations and Alterations, some seeming Hardships will fall on some or others of such a Community.

SECONDLY, they say, That if they have an Act, they shall be able to carry on their Trade without the aid of an additional Subscription.

I hope they will not pretend to do it with 38000 l. which is the ballance of all their Estate in Europe, by their own Accounts given in to the Parliament. But I answer, That any Twelve Mer­chants of Experience and Reputation, with the help of an Act, can do the same as well as their worthy selves. For how is this to be effected? Why, by the credit of an Act, say they; and that truly, they cannot fail to take up what Money they please at Interest: So that this their Assertion, although very true, is yet rather a Jest than an Argument that they should have the Preference of so noble an Experiment, which any others of their Fellow-Subjects are as capable of improving to as good Purposes as they can themselves.

THIRDLY, they give out, That a Dissolution will be a great Hardship on them upon this consi­deration, that their Factors and Servants abroad, in such a Case, may be apter to imbezzle and wast their Effects, and so their Estate may come shorter home, than if they had the Countenance of the Govern­ment, and the Sanction of an Act.

To this I answer, first, That I have good Grounds to believe, that notwithstanding the plausi­ble Accounts given in to the Parliament by the Company, touching their Estate here and in India, that if our August Senate should think it worth their while to enter upon the Scrutiny of that Maze and Labyrinth of their perplext Accounts, and that it were possible by any human means to make a true Judgment upon them, they would appear as bold and fallacious an Imposition as ever was offered to that grave Assembly. But supposing their Estate to be what they suggest, yet still they may blame themselves, and none else, that they have embroil'd and embarrast their Affairs in such a manner, as to render it so difficult, even to the Wisdom of the Nation, to extricate and set them right again.

And now I have done with replying to their Arguments, I cannot but make some Reflections on their Folly; that these few Adventurers should be so fond, as to expect, that so extensive and advantageous a Trade should, by a Law, be confin'd to the narrow limits of them and their Suc­cessors, exclusive of all other their Fellow-Subjects, which Point the Managers give out among their Friends they hope to obtain. Methinks they should have patience till they can bring better Te­stimonials of their former Behaviour, or shew that they have been more meritorious in some instance or other in discharge of their Trusts, than hitherto it appears they have been, before they presume to make suit for so Royal a Donative, as would prove the richest was ever granted in England to so few Men, should they have the good fortune to gain so important a Point.

What I have to add is in behalf of the new Subscribers, and is this, That the Adventurers can depend upon a real Fund and Estate; whereas Grafting upon the old Company, although at never so low a value, will subject the new Adventurers to a possibility of being imposed on, till a term of Eighteen Months or Two Years give them a clearer satisfaction, upon what bottom they have em­barked their Estates; whereas, confirming the New Stock can be attended but with one Difficulty that I know of, and that not considerable, which is to determine What shall be that equita­ble and valuable Consideration to be made good to the old Company for their Forts, Customs, and other Pretensions in India.

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