2. The churchwardens of every parish might refuse the removal of persons and families into their parish but upon their having entered into this office.
3. All persons should be publicly desired to forbear giving anything to beggars, and all common beggars suppressed after a certain time; for this would effectually suppress beggary at last.
And, to oblige the parishes to do this on behalf of such a project, the governor of the house should secure the parish against all charges coming upon them from any person who did subscribe and pay the quarterage, and that would most certainly oblige any parish to endeavour that all the labouring meaner people in the parish should enter their names; for in time it would most certainly take all the poor in the parish off of their hands.
I know that by law no parish can refuse to relieve any person or family fallen into distress; and therefore to send them word they must expect no relief, would seem a vain threatening. But thus far the parish may do: they shall be esteemed as persons who deserve no relief, and shall be used accordingly; for who indeed would ever pity that man in his distress who at the expense of two pots of beer a month might have prevented it, and would not spare it?
As to my calculations, on which I do not depend either, I say this: if they are probable, and that in five years' time a subscription of a hundred thousand persons would have 87,537 pounds 19s. 6d. in cash, all charges paid, I desire any one but to reflect what will not such a sum do. For instance, were it laid out in the Million Lottery tickets, which are now sold at 6 pounds each, and bring in 1 pound per annum for fifteen years, every 1,000 pounds so laid out pays back in time 2,500 pounds, and that time would be as fast as it would be wanted, and therefore be as good as money; or if laid out in improving rents, as ground-rents with buildings to devolve in time, there is no question but a revenue would be raised in time to maintain one-third part of the number of subscribers, if they should come to claim charity.
And I desire any man to consider the present state of this kingdom, and tell me, if all the people of England, old and young, rich and poor, were to pay into one common bank 4s. per annum a head, and that 4s. duly and honestly managed, whether the overplus paid by those who die off, and by those who never come to want, would not in all probability maintain all that should be poor, and for ever banish beggary and poverty out of the kingdom.
Wagering, as now practised by politics and contracts, is become a branch of assurances; it was before more properly a part of gaming, and as it deserved, had but a very low esteem; but shifting sides, and the war providing proper subjects, as the contingencies of sieges, battles, treaties, and campaigns, it increased to an extraordinary reputation, and offices were erected on purpose which managed it to a strange degree and with great advantage, especially to the office-keepers; so that, as has been computed, there was not less gaged on one side and other, upon the second siege of Limerick, than two hundred thousand pounds.
How it is managed, and by what trick and artifice it became a trade, and how insensibly men were drawn into it, an easy account may be given.
I believe novelty was the first wheel that set it on work, and I need make no reflection upon the power of that charm: it was wholly a new thing, at least upon the Exchange of London; and the first occasion that gave it a room among public discourse, was some persons forming wagers on the return and success of King James, for which the Government took occasion to use them as they deserved.
I have heard a bookseller in King James's time say, "That if he would have a book sell, he would have it burnt by the hand of the common hangman;" the man, no doubt, valued his profit above his reputation; but people are so addicted to prosecute a thing that seems forbid, that this very practice seemed to be encouraged by its being contraband.