[i] A Letter from a LADY in Town to her Friend in the Country, Concerning the BANK
Or, The LIST of the SUBSCRIBERS farther Explain'd.

Dublin, Dec. 1. 1721.


I Came to Town Three Days before the BANK-Books were Open'd, and resolving to loose no Time, I sent for your Friend, and told him of your Resolutions to Subscribe 2000 l. that I had Directions from you to apply to him, and a Commission to Transact for you.

At first he look'd very grave and reserv'd, saying, He doubted I was come too late, for that so many Persons of Interest and Distinction of Both Sexes had appply'd, that he was afraid that the Books would be full before they were open'd; however, he said, He would use all his Interest, and rather than you should be disappointed, he would assign one half of his own Subscription to you: At the same time letting me understand, That it was in Effect a Gift of so much Money, with some Innuendo's as if he expected a Præmium.

He then run our in high Raptures upon the BANK, and upon the great Advantages it would be both to the Subscribers and to the Kingdom, he extolled the Conduct of the Managers who had procured this BANK from the GOVERNMENT without any Consideration, for which Former Projectors had offer'd no less than FIFTY THOUSAND POUNDS. He affirmed that the Subscribers could make no less than 25 l. per Cent. for their whole Subscriptions, of which only one Twenty'th part was to be Deposited, and then desir'd me to Compute the Value of the Present he had made.

I ask'd him whether he were sure this BANK would succeed? He told me there was not the least Doubt of it, that the Necessity of Affairs requir'd it, whereof the Managers were so confident, that they had actually brought over the IRONCHESTS to secure the Money; that the NOBILITY, GENTRY and TRADERS of the Kingdom, were upon Mature Deliberation, unanimously of Opinion, That a BANK was necessary, &c. That he had particularly discours'd with Three Eminent. Persons of great Honour, Experience and Sagacity, distinguished for the Love of their Country, and their profound Knowledge in the general Interests of Kingdoms; and far above any Paltry Self-Interest: The First of which with great Strength of Argument asserted, That we must have a BANK, and will have a BANK. The Second, That the South-Sea had occasion'd such a Dearth of Money in the Kingdom, that Paper-Money was as necessary now, as Brais-Money was in the Time of King JAMES, and make us better able to pay our TAXES and our PENSIONS. And the Third with great Volubility of Tongue, and uncommon Eloquence, affirmed, That if People would not confide and believe in such a Set of DIRECTORS and GOVERNORS, as were intended to be Chosen, Neither would they believe in MOSES or the PROPHETS.

He then began to Enlarge upon the great Advantages this BANK would be, to the Publick, That it would Improve Trade, Navigation, Manufactories, and the Cultivation of our Land; enable us to Govern Foreign Markets, and make-other Nations Factors for us, who were NOW only Factors for them. He then proceeded to a Jargon which I did not comprehend, of Imports, Exports, Building Ships, Erecting Ware-Houses, Draining Bogs, Opening Rivers, Finding Coals, Building Towers, Raising Land, Sinking Interest, &c. And when he was out of Breath, presented me with a Paper call'd, REASONS for a BANK, Written, as ?? ?????'d, with Force of Reason, Conciseness and Perspicuity of Style, Elegancy in Phrase, Propriety in Diction, and with Masterly Stroaks in Political Calculations; and believing he had now fully convinced me, he advis'd me by all Means, That the Money I was to Deposite should be GUINEAS, presuming the Crowds would be so great, that the Clerks would dispatch me sooner.

We parted, I prepar'd my GOLD and the BOND, waited impatiently all the next Day when the BOOKS were opened, and being informed that vast Crowds of COACHES were attending in Dirty-Lane, and receiving no Message from our Friend, Concluded the BOOKS were filled, as he had alledged, but still expected to come in upon half his Subscription; and accordingly I received Notice to prepare against next Morning.

During this Time I accidentally heard that SOME of the Nobility and Gentry were violently bent against this Project, and among the rest, a certain LORD to whom I have the Honour to be Related, and well known. I waited on him, and gave him the whole History of my Proceedings in this Affair, desired his Advice and Opinion. I had no sooner ended my Story, than he fell into an immoderate Fit of Laughter, and the first Words he was able to speak distinctly were, That he laughed with greater Pleasure to himself, and as he hop'd less Pain to me, because I had neither paid in my Money, nor given Bonds. He begg'd of me to be in no Pain about the Cluster of COACHES in Dirty-Lane, for he suspected that the greatest Part of Gentlemens Coaches which made that Appearance, were either Lent or Hired to make a Figure, and he presum'd I would be of the same Opinion when I saw a LIST of the Subscribers; and I do affirm (says he) that to my certain Knowledge, the Managers and their UNDER STRAPPERS are running about the Town all this Time Persuading, Pressing, and perhaps Bribing, Men, Women and Children, to fill their Books.

He told me he had seen the Books that very Day; that there was not half the Capital Subscrib'd, and it was a Doubt, and Matter of great Speculation; whether all the Subscribers had paid in the Twenty'th Part, and given all the BONDS and JUDGMENTS for the Remainder. He confessed there were some Persons of Honour, Estates and good Distinction amongst the Subscribers, but these were in some Alliance with the Managers, and chief Promoters of the BANK: And generally Speaking, the Rest consisted of Press'd Men, and French Voluntiers.

He allowed the (Since chosen) intended Governor to be a Person of great Integrity and Honourable Intensions, and gave the greatest Credit to the Projectors, but was sorry he was drawn in, upon any Considerations, or by any Perswasions, into a Project to which the Nation was so utterly averse.

I was exceedingly surprized, and entreated him to let me know to what Reasons so great a Majority could oppose this SCHEME? His answer was, that he could Assign a great Number. But the Principal which prevailed with him, were these that follow.

First, Because he could not conceive that any Sufficient Security had been offer'd, or could be given by the BANK, for the Properties of the Subscribers, and ?ransferrers, and their Heirs.

Secondly That no Security could Possibly be given that the Presumptive Power, which must be lodged in this BANK if it Succeeds, may not be exerted to the Destruction of the Liberties of the People, and then the next Ev'l to that of being Dragooned, is that, of being Dragoona?de. Thirdly