335 CONSIDERATIONS ABOUT MAINTAINING THE POOR.

WE have been amused, for at least thirty years past, with numberless schemes in writing and discourse, both in and out of parliament, for maintaining the poor, and setting them to work, especially in this city; most of which were idle, indigested, or visionary, and all of them ineffectual, as it hath plainly appeared by the consequences. Many of those projectors were so stupid, that they drew a parallel from Holland and England, to be settled in Ireland; that is to say, from two countries with full freedom and encouragement for trade, to a third where all kind of trade is cramped, and the most beneficial parts are entirely taken away. But the perpetual infelicity of false and foolish reasoning, as well as proceeding and acting upon it, seems to be fatal to this country. For