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URCHASING and Poffeffion are Two
nice Points of humane Prudence, as well as curious Matters of common Law in Bargains and Contra&s. They ought to be well-weigh'd and look'd into, before we ingage in either, for the better Confirmation and Cultivating of Borh. The one, to be safely made, and the other, to be carefully manag’d. The Poffeffory Part of a wise Oeconomist, consists in the true Management of Goods, moveable and immoyeable, dead and living, or such as move of themfelves in Exercise ; appertaining to a Family, where the Right of Property is indisputable by Law, and unquestionable in the Poffeffor. Ariftotle places them, as previous Requisites, before the Art of Adminiftration; to the End that Cloaths, Viąuals, and other necessary Provisions may not he wanting in a House : for a Man cannot administer or manage what he has not firft in Being. These Houshold. Goods are all of Two kinds; either those that come from the Father to the Son by Rigbe of Succession and Inheritance, or those that are gotten by our own Acquirements of hard Labour and Induftry. It is the Father's great Duty to preserve the Patrimony of his predecessors, as by a lineal Descent from Ancestors to Heirs, intirely withopt any Waste or Impov'rishment; Mortgage, Incombrance, or Alienation : for the Benefit of his wife and Children; as a faithful Usufruåvary, or an accountable Guardian only of their future Good. The Head of a Family is also as much oblig'd in Conscience to increase either his personal or real Patrimony, to the
best Improvement, by Care, Travail and good Husbandry; without any Remisness of Duty, Negligence, Profuseness, Squandering, or Dilapiđations. There are Two Ways of lawfully acquiring all Goods ; either by Art or Nature. The Natural consists in Tillage, Pasturing, or feeding of Cattle; in Hunting, Fishing or Fowling : To which Diligence or Diversions must necessarily be adjoyn'd, the Vending of our In. crease, to make the best Market and Advantage of our Labours. The artificial Way of getting them, is by ingenious Works, Dealings, Handicrafts, Traffick or Merchandise, either in Buying or Selling for honest Gain, and publick as well as private Profit : Or otherwise a Man's Acquisitions are highly discommendable, and become selfish or blame-worthy, in A&ing only for his own mercenary Ends, without any farther Views of his Neighbour's. Benefit. An honest Trader ought to get nothing by Coženage or Fraud, by Exaction or Extortion. Ufury is the moft detestable Dealing. The Hebrews say it is a fatal Bite, that reaches the Bone and Marrow of a Man in Debt, and mortifies into the Bargain. · It is Trading both against divine and humane Laws. Griping U. Turers are little better than Blood-Suckers, LifeLeeches, or Man-Slayers, as well as MoneyChangers of Oppression in Families, and StockJobbers of Beggary in a Common-Wealth. At least they oppress the Poor next to Murder. Cato calls them worse than common Thieves, Robbers, or High-Way-Men. They are the Cano nibals of Mankind about Change. Alley. Consult Exod. Chap. XXII. Ver: 25. or Deut. Chap. XXIII. Ver. 19. and you will find that either this is not God's Word, or such Ofurers are not
his people. But good Husbandry, above all Things, except Learning, Morality and Religion, is the most commendable Study, fruitful Imployment, and pleasant Business; healthful in the Pra&tice, delightful in the Possession, and profitable in the Improvement of an Estate. In brief, it crowns all our Labours with a competent Livelihood and suitable Injoyments; as Hefiod, Virgil and Phocylides have all observd, abundantly more at large in their ingenious Georgick Writings, for our better Instruction. Agriculture and Gardening, as old as Adam, will always be allow'd to be one of the happiest Diversions of humane Being, Business or Society.
LO then! Our virtuous Housewife is so far from inconsiderately wasting, mismanaging, mifspending, consuming or lesening her Husband's well-gotten Estate ; that she continually increases his Substance by her diligent Care and pru. dent Conduct: as it plainly appears, not only by the Text, but by her discreet Transactions; firit in purchasing a Field for Corn, when she meets with one worth her Money, to inlarge her Possessions; and then by planting her Land well with useful Trees of the best Sort, adding fruitful Vineyards, with pleasant Gardens to adorn it, fit for Service as well as Diversion. And all this she, industriously effects out of the meer Product of her own profitable Labours or saving Managery. In fort, she is either perpetually improving her Portion and Patrimony, or buying a Better. For the constrantly looks out for some rich Purchase to be made, with what she has fav’d by her Frugality, as well as got by her ingenious HandyWorks. : But then the Wisdom of her Choice
in purchasing seems to be very remarkable, and her considerate Ele&ion grounded upon the furest Foundations.
I. SHE buys Land; that which is folid, and not "chimerical or Aerial Bubbles in City, Town or Country. She will neither build nor buy any groundless Castles in the Air. Terra firma is what she wants to purchase. She loves to lay-out her Money upon substantial Certainties, never subject to any cross Accidents, or the fickle Contingencies of Fortune. Her Thoughts are right, that Ground can neither break, nor run away, nor become Bankrupt by any common Calamity. It cannot well be irreparably lost for ever, but by an Earthquake, that inevitably swallows-up All. Land is recoverable, though it be sometimes overflow'd ; and often proves only the more fertile by the Inundation of a Nile. Nothing can indanger its total Submersion, like a sudden Deluge of the Sea ; and that does not happen once in an Age, about fome Iflands or maritime Places, for Want of sufficient Banks, Dikes, or the Ingenuity of Holland. For, although peradventure it may lie under Water for some Time, yet in all Probability, it will not be irretrievably drowod by good Care or Precaution. Who doubts but the neglected Breach in the Thames might be stop'd in Time by due Incouragement, and the loft Land then easily regain'd, by some ingenious pra&icable Scheme. Nothing can hurt Land, generally speaking, but Want of good Manuring and proper Tillage, or oppressive Mortgages Mortgages are her greatest Averfion. She knows they breed a Canker in a flourishing Estate 5 which either ruines the prefent Poffeffor, or wrongs the lawful Inheritor.
They are a Kind of a Gangrene in a Family: or blast all the Hopes and Fruits of it, eaten up with Caterpillars. But, of all Things, Te defires.,to, have no Dealings in Paper or Wood, in Tallies or Chalk-Scores, for Fear of the Spunge or a Bone-Fire. She delights neither in the grand or petty Lotteries of the Times, even in Hope of getting the great Benefit-Ticket. Insomuch that her Heart is intirely set upon Land, buying up the pleasanteft Country-fields, and acquiring a more valuabie real Estate. She does not understand the prodigious. Rise and lofty. Down-fall of Stocks at Discretion, by the Will and Pleasure of a few ingenious, fraudolent, fleecing Projectors. She confiders them all only as imaginary Riches in Fancy; without any material Transfer or Reality at the Bottom. However that be,, she likewise looks upon the Ground. Rents of London as well worth her Purchasing. They will last to the final Conflagration; obnoxious to no fuch Casualties as old rotten Houses are, either by fome surprizing, Fall, or by dreadful Fire, as that was of London. The best of Buildings may be foon burn'd down to the Groupd; but it can go no farther with all its terrible Force, and confuming Power. How many goodly Houses, with the fairelt Oụtsides, have of latę dropp'd upon People's Heads, and fuok into Heaps of Rube bil at one single Crack? It is true, the Friend
Insurance-Offices may help that deftructive Calamity a little, and rebuild those Fabricks with greater Splendour or better Security: but then that can never make the Purchase good or pru. dent, comparatively speaking, and feldom ans swers for the Money that bought and insur'd them boch for their Preservation. However,