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family, will not, for his own fake, neglect that of his master. At any rate, is he not more to be depended on, than a fervant who continues fingle? What can be expected of idle and pampered bachelors, but debauchery and every fort of corruption? Nothing restrains them from abfolute profligacy, but the eye of the mafter; who for that reafon is their averfion not their love. If the poor-laws be named the folio of corruption, bachelor-fervants in London may well be confidered as a large appendix. And this attracts the eye to the poor-laws, which indeed make the chief difference between Paris and London, with respect to the prefent point. In Paris, certain funds are established for the poor, the yearly produce of which admits but a limited number. As that fund is always pre-occupied, the low people who are not on the lift, have little or no profpect of bread, but from their own induftry; and to the industrious, marriage is in a great measure neceffary. In London, a parish is taxed in proportion to the number of its poor; and every person who is pleased to be idle, is intitled to maintenance. Most things thrive by encou


ragement, and idlenefs above all. Certainty of maintenance, renders the low people in England idle and profligate; especially in London, where luxury prevails, and infects every.rank. So infolent are the London poor, that fcarce one of them will condefcend to eat brown bread. There are accordingly in London, a much greater number of idle and profligate wretches, than in Paris, or in any other town, in proportion to the number of inhabitants. Thefe wretches, in Doctor Swift's ftyle, never think of pofterity, because posterity never thinks of them: men who hunt after pleafure, and live from day to day, have no notion of fubmitting to the burden of a family. These causes produce a greater number of children in Paris than in London; tho' probably they differ not much in populoufness.

I fhall add but one other objection to a great city, which is not flight. An overgrown capital, far above a rival, has, by numbers and riches, a diftreffing influence in public affairs. The populace are ductile, and easily mifled by ambitious and defigning magiftrates. Nor are there wanting critical times, in which fuch magiftrates,

magiftrates, acquiring artificial influence, may have power to disturb the public peace. That an overgrown capital may prove dangerous to fovereignty, has more than once been experienced both in Paris and London.

It would give one the spleen, to hear the French and English zealously difputing about the extent of their capitals, as if the profperity of their country depended on that circumftance. To me it appears like one glorying in the king's-evil, or in any contagious diftemper. Much better employ'd would they be, in contriving means for leffening these cities. There is not a political measure, that would tend more to aggrandize the kingdom of France, or of Britain, than to fplit its capital into feveral great towns. My plan would be, to confine the inhabitants of London to 100,000, compofed of the King and his household, fupreme courts of justice, government-boards, prime nobility and gentry, with neceffary fhopkeepers, artifts, and other dependents. Let the rest of the inhabitants be diftributed into nine towns properly fituated, fome for internal commerce, fome for foreign.

Such a plan


would diffuse life and vigour through every corner of the island.

To execute fuch a plan, would, I acknowledge, require great penetration and much perseverance. I fhall fuggest what occurs at prefent. The first step must be, to mark proper fpots for the nine towns, the most advantageous for trade, or for manufactures. If any of these spots be occupied already with fmall towns, fo much the better. The next step is a capitation-tax on the inhabitants of London; the fum levied to be appropriated for enOne encoucouraging the new towns. ragement would have a good effect; which is, a premium to every man who builds in any of these towns, more or lefs, in proportion to the size of the house. This tax would banish from London, every manufacture but of the most lucrative kind. When by this means, the inhabitants of London are reduced to a number not much above 100,000, the near profpect of being relieved from the tax, will make householders active to banish all above that number: and to prevent a renewal of the tax, a greater number will never again be permitted. It would require much political


skill to proportion the fums to be levied and diftributed, fo as to have their proper effect, without overburdening the capital on the one hand, or giving too great encouragement for building on the other, which might tempt people to build for the premium merely, without any further view. Much will depend on an advantageous fituation: houfes built there will always find inhabitants.

The two great cities of London and Westminster are extremely ill fitted for local union. The latter, the feat of government and of the nobleffe, infects the former with luxury and with love of fhow. The former, the feat of commerce, infects the latter with love of gain. The mixture of these oppofite paffions, is productive of every groveling vice.




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