A short appendix to a late treatise concerning abatement of usury by the same author.

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A short appendix to a late treatise concerning abatement of usury by the same author.
Culpeper, Thomas, Sir, 1626-1697.
London :: Printed by Tho. Leach for Christopher Wilkinson ...,

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Subject terms
Usury -- England.
Interest -- England.
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"A short appendix to a late treatise concerning abatement of usury by the same author." In the digital collection Early English Books Online. https://name.umdl.umich.edu/A35411.0001.001. University of Michigan Library Digital Collections. Accessed June 16, 2024.


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A Short APPENDIX To a late TREATISE &c.

SInce the Publishing of my late Treatise concerning U∣sury, I have met with some Objections, commonly urged with great vehemency, which (though in them∣selves frivolous enough, yet that nothing may remain un∣answered) I shall briefly examine.

1. We are all charged with ingratitude to God, and murmuring at his Goodness, in sending us such cheap∣ness as we now enjoy; 2. The People of England in gene∣ral are taxed of incorrigible sloath: 3. The Gentry in particular are branded for dissoluteness: Betwixt these three, the Usurer endeavours to shift all blame from him∣self, by laying it upon other Shoulders.

For the first of these, viz. Our ingatitude to God, &c. Surely we cannot thankfully enough acknowledge Gods compassion towards us, in affording us cheapness at this

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season, it being the only hopeful sign we have left, that, he intends not, now, our destruction; For if, to the Cala∣mities of War, Pestilence, and Fire, His Justice had like∣wise added that of Extreme Dearth, how could we have supported it? Nevertheless it may concern us to enquire out the natural cause of our present cheapness; For, if up∣on serious scrutiny it appear, we cannot impute it to the greatness of our late Crops, but rather to the deadness of Forein Markets, being cloyed by others who had greater Crops than we, and there ore undersel us; We may have cause to apprehend▪ That our present cheapness is al∣most a certain presage of future dearth: For surely, that our Crops begin to fail, it is only because we cannot afford our Lands their ordinary improvements, Being discouraged both by unprofitable Vent, and the high rate of our stock, which likewise forces us to sell at any Price: Now the Progress of this decay will soon disable even our ordinary Tillage: And meeting with the disast∣ers incident to Husbandry, may unawares expose us to extreme scarcity, when money, perhaps, will be as scarce as Bread.

The Prices of Grain and Fodder, one year with ano∣ther, are certainly better now, then they were thirty or forty years since; yet our Titheries, (the Model of our yearly growth) generally decline in value; And whence can this come, but from the impoverishment of our Farms and Farmours? Who, it seems are not able to Ma∣nure their Land, nor yet forbear the Market; Since nei∣ther will answer Interest, with the inconveniencys atten∣ding it, which are such; That many Farmours already

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can scarce afford to kill the Moles and level the Mole-hills in our best Meadows.

For the second, viz. The incorigible sloath of our Peo∣ple, I should unwillingly grant, That Englishmen are not naturally more active and fit for labour than Holland∣ers; I suppose they have formerly given better proof of themselves in most occasions: But, alas, their encourage∣ments are not equal; The one sure, that he works for him∣self, the other almost as sure, that he works for his Cre∣ditor: The Labourer in the Netherlands by steady Em∣ployment, still hoping to grow rich, however forced to work and fare hard, because Provisions are always dear; In England (betwixt dispair of thriving, and easiness of subsisting) for the Present Wastful, Careless of the Fu∣ture.

For the third, viz. The dissoluteness of our Gentry: Methinks, it argues smal ingenuity in 〈…〉〈…〉 first to oppress, and then reproach G〈…〉〈…〉 doth: Let me therefore make their Apology.

Of Gentlemen, some have considerable Estates, others have little: For such as have little, it will not I doubt, be easy, now a days, to find any Employments, but Dero∣gatory in Peace, or Mercenary in War.

Object. But should they not betake themselves to one of the three faculties? Answ. 1. Their Friends, many of them are not able; 2. Themselves, some are not capable: 3. Our Professions, I fear are already full, even to over∣flowing:

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And if all must be Divines, Lawyers, or Physiti∣ans, where are the Patients, Clyants, and Cures?

Of such as have estates, some are free from Debt, others incumbred; for the latter, I dare boldly say, That in ma∣ny of their extravagancies, Frailty is only accessory, U∣sury is the Principal.

For the former, I would ask any sober man, How Gen∣tlemen, not naturally studious, (as many sure are not) shall spend their time: If they fall to Husbandry, they are by many upbraided with Rusticity, by more with im∣prudence, And perhaps both not altogether without cause; For why should Gentlemen usurp the Farmours Calling, or hope to thrive themselves, where Tenants cannot.

Object. But might they not turn Merchants? Answ. Alas! Therein is our cheifest Bane; Our trade is now most hazardous, and with all intricate; For our own Growth is certainly become a Drugg, and little to be gotten by the sale of it, being undersold by Three per cent; Even super∣fluity, though of better Vent, will oft-times scarce answer Charges, without stealing the Duties, which are conside∣rable in the Price: So as Gentlemen of estate being, in ef∣fect, excluded from all hope of profiting themselves by their Industry, (if they be not Bookish) sleep is, for ought I see, their cheapest Employment, and Company their manliest Diversion.

But were our Estates by low Interest rendred improva∣ble,

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to the Advantage both of our selves and the Common∣wealth, Truly, he deserved not Land, that wanted Conveni∣ent Businesse; Nor could he be excused from Lachesse, that found not out, at worst, a Comfortable Provision.

Again, were Trade, by abateing the Rate of its stock, made generally gainfull, it would likewise soon grow transparent, so as we needed not dispair, without long Ap∣prentiship to comprehend it; Since, in Holland, Women, Nay Children now trade securely and profitably; And then what should hinder; but that all might be either Principals or Factors?

Till Improving of Land be cheaper than Purchasing, In∣dustry more beneficial than Usury: Till Merchandising cease to be Mysterious, and become familiar to us. We must never look to flourish.

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