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pair, whereas they were wont to have
fourteen-pence; and it is a common thing, when
manufacture is cheap, for the rich tradesman
to buy and throw by, saying:—'Hang it,
it is hard if it won't pay interest: it will
fetch money one time, or other.' I know a
weaver, at this time, hath five thousand
pieces of ribbon by him, and still employs
his work-folk, although it is with a pretence
to keep them." Therefore, industry
begetteth plenty, and thus the five spokes of
the wheel go roundplenty, laziness, scarcity,
dearness, industryplenty, laziness, scarcity,
dearness, industryeach producing the
others in determinate order. John Houghton
had a notion that the king could keep
the spokes dearness, industry, and plenty
uppermost, by encouraging fashion, granting
bounties on exportation, and increasing
consumption by various artificial means.

Others of Houghton's economical views
have grown very much out of fashion. He
defended prodigality; he defended good
living; he defended high duties. The startling
dogma that, "Those who are guilty of
prodigality, pride, vanity, and luxuries, do
cause more wealth to the kingdom than loss
to their own estates," he defends, by saying
that whatever the prodigal spends, it is in
matters either native or foreign. "If native,
there can be no prejudice to the whole;
because, it being but one, and he a member of
that one, he gives it to himself; for I think
it is universally granted, that whatever any
country spends of its own, if it be capable
of a supply, will never hurt it; nay, to
consume a great deal will be a conveniency, if
not an advantage, by finding employment for
a great many idle people. If foreign, that
will also be a great advantage, as well as a
security to the nation." John Houghton was,
however, too honest to allow his economics
to blind his morality. He condemned the
prodigality which touched the conduct and
character of the spendthrift as a man,
however much he disputed it to be a national
evil in its economical results.

Many of his observations on men and
things were very shrewd, and in advance of
his age. It appears that the trade between
England and Scotland during the reign of
William and Mary was very small; and
Houghton commented on the fact in a
peculiar way. Only sixty-six vessels of all
kinds came to London from Scotland in the
year sixteen hundred and ninety-four.
"How!" he exclaims; "what no more from
so near an ally? Two hundred and twelve
from little Holland, about sixty-six from
great Scotland. It's like sisters; we envy
one another's prosperity, and wish well to
anybody rather than to each other. Sixty-
six! Methinks it sounds like the mark of
the beast; and beasts we arehomo homini
lupus." Houghton adverts to a triple league,
at that time maintained between England
and some of the continental powers; and
thus expresses an opinion which has a whole
budget of wisdom wrapped up in it; "I have
a long while thought that a triple league and
right understanding between, and improvement
of, England, Scotland, and Ireland,
would be better for us than any league
Christendom can afford beside. But public
and private interests do seldom gradiate."
From other remarks made by him, it seems
evident that Scotchmen and Scotch productions
were in that day much discountenanced
in England. "If it be good for us to have
Hull (commerce), would it not also be good
to have Scotland, by a prudent management,
laid to us? When does a great
market prejudice any place? I have heard
that twenty thousand Scots yearly go abroad
to seek their fortunes; would it not be well
for us to have them come hither, whereby
our country and plantations may be better
supplied? Some will say they are poor,
and will eat up our fat; but what reason
is there to think they will e'er carry it to
their own country?"

In another of his essays he lays down
the proposition that, "It is better for England
to have Ireland rich and populous, than poor
and thin;" and after arguing in defence of that
maxim, he winds up by saying, "Let us every
all, as much as may be, encourage Ireland, till
it grows so rich, that, by being twisted into a
cord with England and Scotland, it may be
too strong for all foreign powers, either to
break or weakenwhich is the hearty wish
of John Houghton."

That this remarkable gentleman,
naturalist, apothecary, statist, fellow of a learned
society, editor, and grocer, was thoroughly
in earnest in the wish above expressed,
there can be no sort of doubt; and as
little can we distrust him when he says,
"That knowledge may cover the earth as
the water covers the sea, is the hearty
prayer of the world's well-wisher, John
Houghton."

We have purposely refrained from all
mention of the advertisements which John
Houghton was instrumental in giving to the
world, in order that they may form a dainty
dish to be served up on a future occasion.

   Now ready, in Twenty-eight pages, stitched,
                 PRICE FOURPENCE,

                           THE
       HOUSEHOLD WORDS ALMANAC,
             FOR THE YEAR 1857.

Household Words Office, No. 16, Wellington Street
North, Strand. Sold by all Booksellers, and at all
Railway Stations.

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