The country mans case uncased or, The plain-dealers prayer for a registry.

by Andrew Yarranton (1678)

AND is the Bill Committed, Heaven be prais'd,
So let all true and loyal English say;
This to the highest pitch their hopes have rais'd,
Of being happy in an honest way:
Thanks to our worthy Patriots, Be their Name
Ever Recorded in the Book of Fame.

Nor can they be forgot, our Children shall
Proclaim them bless'd, when they look back and see
How bad Men brought their Fathers into thrall;
Plunging them headlong into misery.—
When Egypts Locust made them Egypts Slaves,
Betraying all their Fortunes unto Knaves.

Then 'twas in vain for them to Plow or Sow,
To rise up early, or to lie down late,
When none his dear-bought Penny-worth did know,
But like an Almanack that's out of Date
Their Purchase prov'd; a Prior Morgage shall
Eject the Cullied Buyer out of all.

This was the fate most commonly of those
That trusted to Conveyance, Oath, or Deed;
For by the Law the Fox no Title knows,
Nor did the way of Banking better speed,
To them who did with Paper-Credit meet;
Their Bags were made their Moneys Winding-sheet.

Such was the madness of that madder Age,
Men stood amazed, knew not what to do,
If by Complaint they thought their grief t' asswage,
'Twas but increas'd, and often laught at too;
Nor did their loss and misery stop here,
They'r Jail'd at last for buying Wit so dear.

This made the Money-monger hide his Gold,
For want of Credit, that might Currant run,
Lest he might share in others fate, when old;
Therefore resolves it shall not see the Sun.
This quickly brought Consumption to all Trade
And many a thousand Bankerupt was made.

Whence Beggery ensu'd in every place,
To every Parish did a Charge become,
And others desperate, devoid of Grace,
Anticipate their Life, the Gallows some:
Nor could you step without your Doors but see
Objects of pity, Souls in misery.

Hither we have digressed from the way
We first were in, to let you understand
How we by folly have been led astray,
Or madness rather throughout the Land:
What doth remain, is, e're it be too late,
To find a Mean, which may amend our fate.

This in the judgment of all sober Men,
Will be this long desired Registry,
Upon whose Fund none can be cheated when
They trade, or trust on that Security:
Which if it pass as it is now committed,
The Just are double blest, the Knaves outwitted.

To tell the Nature of this Project here,
Is but to hold a Candle to the Sun;
Since 'tis to admiratic a done elsewhere,
By such an Author never yet out-done;
Whose publick Spirit, for his Country's good,
The Jaws of Death and Envy hath withstood.

Yet for to gratifie those honest minds
Who never saw that Book, 'tis fit from hence
Some satisfaction they in part do find;
Both of its Use, and of its Consequence:
The want of which, hath been the Traders bane,
So being had will set them right again.

First in abundance 'twill increase all Trade;
The Rich, the Poor, will all be gainers by it;
Witness our Neighbours who have tryal made,
There's not a Man that can, or will deny it:
For he that doth the Town of Taunton know,
Is well convinced that in Fact 'tis so.—

Their Mannor-Lands under a Registry,
Not only hath advanc'd them, but hath made
Plenty of Money, which their wants supply,
The very Life and Sinews of all Trade,
By which their Poor are by their Labours fed,
Not one that's fit to work that asketh Bread.

If this be so, as so in truth it is,—
What's the Obstruction 'tis not so elsewhere?
Is it because Men love to do amiss,
Or does old Custome plead a Habit there?
Neither's of force to keep them down, would rise,
But rather Ignorance hath shut their Eyes.

Then be perswaded, try for once Conclusion,
Dare to be honest, 'tis best Policy;
All other Projects have but wrought Confusion,
Affix your Lands but in a Registry:
This honest Credit answer will your End,
Sooner, and cheaper than the Scriblers Friend.

This brings out all the Money un-imployed,
Which now in Corners hoarded up doth ly;
The Borrower shall never be denyed,
If he have ought within the Registry:
For none will keep his Money in his Chest
When 'twill be safer here, with Interest.

The very Servants will their Wages bring,
Which they most dearly earn, but can't augment;
And 'midst their greatest drudgery will sing,
When they have Lodg'd it to their hearts content.
Both John and Joan will lay up all they may,
Where't may be doubled 'gainst a Rainy-day.

Nor is that all, when once abroad 'tis talk'd,
That Margery and Nell have here a Stock;
They then will pass for House-wives, Money'd Folk,
And Sweet-hearts will apace unto them flock;
Whence they may pick and chuse, and Husbands take,
Will love them dearly for their Moneys sake.

But above all, from hence will flow a Bank
Of Lumber-Credit, will the Trades-man raise;
Whose Art and Study's only for a Rank
Of Egypts Taskers, they do wear the Bayes
Of all his Labours, and the Artist's gains
Are only Bread and Water for his pains.

This they pretend, because they bear a stock,
Which the poor Trades-man can by no means do,
Nor never shall he by your bit and knock,
When all his profit doth redound to you.
But here's a Salve that cure will this Sore,
He shall have Money on't to pay his Score.

The honest Farmer also here will find
Relief and Credit when the Market's dull,
His Landlord may be needy, or unkind,
His Rent is wanting, though his Barns are full.
Money he hath not, sell to loss he's loth,
Ingage it here, and so 'twill answer both.

This will prevent the Law-less Massie Bill,
Pretending Law, though in a Tyrants hand,
And keep us quiet sore against their will,
Who swarm like Flesh-Flies all about the Land:
A sort of Vermin haunting every Village,
That do their Food from Country People pillage.

The Widow also, and the Fatherless,
Whose Fortune's often left i'th hands of trust,
By his default are oft made Penny-less;
And then poor Souls they all a-begging must.
Thus e're the good Man's cold within his Grave,
His Children's ruin'd by this Trustee Knave.

The Registry will hinder this abuse
Done to poor Infants when their Friends are gone,
If but incerted here unto their use,
'Twill be secured unto every one.
Hark, and be wise, ye tender Fathers all,
Prevent the Cheats may on your Children fall.

Here could I add above an hundred more
That would be happy by this honest Deed;
For every one I named there's a score
Would find relief and comfort at their need:
Defending thousands from the Prisons ill,
And with cheap Bread the hungry Bellies fill.

Therefore in brief acquit your selves like those
True English-men who Vertue did imbrance,
No longer be a Prey unto your Foes,
But let them know you'r of that Noble Race
That scorn such Actions might dishonour bring
Unto themselves, their Country, or their King.

Now to conclude, let all of loyal mind
Humbly beseech the King and Parliament,
That of their goodness they would be so kind
To pass this Act our Ruines may prevent,
Grant England may a Registry but have,
None need to fear the double-dealing Knave.

LONDON, Printed in the Year, 1678. And are to be sold by John Oliver in the Old-Baily, over against the George near Ludgate.