Mentioned in a following Index,
and made upon the
Bills of Mortality.
[rendered into HTML format by Ed Stephan 25 Jan 96]
Contentus paucis Lectoribus --
Printed by Tho: Roycroft, for John Martin, James Allestry,
and Tho: Dicas, at the Sign of the Bell in St. Paul's
Moreover, to present your Lordship with tedious Narrations, were but to speak my own Ignorance of the Value, which his Majesty, and the Publick have of your Lordship's Time. And in brief, to offer any thing like what is already in other Books, were but to derogate from your Lordship's learning, which the World knows to be universal, and unacquainted with few usefull things contained in any of them.
Now having (I know not by what accident) engaged my thoughts upon the Bills of Mortality, and so far succeeded therein, as to have reduced several great confused Volumes into a few perspicuous Tables, and abridged
such Observations as naturally flowed from them, into a few succinct Paragraphs, without any long Series of multiloquious Deductions, I have presumed to sacrifice these my small, but first publish'd, Labours unto your Lordship, as unto whose benigne acceptance of some other of my Papers, even the Birth of these is due; hoping (if I masy without vanity say it) they may be of as much use to Persons in your Lordship's place, as they are of little or none to me, which is no more then the fairest Diamonds are to the Journey-man Jeweller that works them, or the poor Labourer that first dig'd them from the Earth. For with all humble submission to your Lordship, I conceive, That it doth not ill-become a Peer of the Parliament, or Member of his Majestie's Council, to consider how few starve of the many that beg: That the irreligious Proposals of some, to multiply People by Polygamy, is withall irrational, and fruitless: That the troublesome seclusions in the Plague-time is not a remedy to be purchased at vast inconveniences: That the greatest Plagues of the City are equally, and quickly repaired from the country: That the wasting of Males by Wars, and Colonies do not prejudice the due proportion between them and Females: That the Opinions of Plagues accompanying the Entrance of Kings is false, and seditious: That London, the Metropolis of England, is perhaps a Head too big for the Body, and possibly too strong: That this Head grows three times as fast as the Body unto which it belongs, that is, It doubles its People in a third part of the time: That our Parishes are now grown madly disproportionable: That our Temples are not sutable to our Religion: That the Trade, and very City of London removes Westward: That the walled City is but a one fifth of the whole Pyle:
That the old Streets are unfit for the present frequencie of Coaches: That the passage of Ludgate is a throat too straight for the Body: That the fighting men about London, are able to make three as great Armies as can be of use in this Island: That the number of Heads is such, as hath certainly much deceived some of our Senatours in their appointments of Pole-money, &c. Now, although your Lordship's most excellent Discourses have well informed me, That your Lordship is no stranger to all these Positions; yet because I knew not that your Lordship had ever deduced them from the Bills of Mortality; I hoped it might not be ungratefull to your Lordship, to see unto how much profit that one Talent might be improved, besides the many curiosities concerning the waxing, and waning of Diseases, the relation between Healthfull, and fruitfull Seasons, the difference between the City and Country Air, &c. All which, being new, to the best of my knowledge, and the whole Pamphlet, not two hours reading, I did make bold to trouble your Lordship with a perusal of it, and by this humble Dedication of it, let your Lordship and the world see the Wisdom of our City, in appointing, and keeping these Accompts, and with how much affection and success I am
Your Lordship's most obedient, and
To the Honourable,
To the Honourable,
His Majesty being not onely by antient Right supremely concerned in matters of Government, and Trade, but also by happy accident Prince of Philosophers, and of Physico-Mathematical Learning, not called so by Flatterers, and Parasites, but really so, as well by his own personal Abili
lities, as affection concerning those matters, upon which Accompt I should have humbly dedicated both sorts of my Observations unto His most Sacred Majesty; but to be short, I knew neither my Work, nor my Person fit to bear His Name, nor to deserve His Patronage. Nevertheless, as I have presumed to present this Pamphlet, so far as it relates to Government, and Trade, to one of His Majestie's Peers, and eminent Ministers of State: so I do desire your leave, to present the same unto You also, as it relates to Natural History, and as it depends upon the Mathematiques of my shop-Arithmetique. For You are not onely his Majesties Privie Council for Philosophie, but also His Great Council.You are the three Estates, viz. the Mathematical, Mechanical, and Physical. You are his Parliament of Nature, and it is no less disparagement to the meanest of your number, to say there may be Commoners as well as Peers in Philosophie amongst you. For my own part I count it happiness enough to my self, that there is such a Council of Nature, as your Society is, in being; and I do with as much earnestness enquire after your Expeditions against the Impediments of Science, as to know what Armies, and Navies the several Princes of the world are setting forth. I concern my self as much to know who are Curatours of this or the other Experiments, as to know who are Mareschals of France, or Chancellour of Sweden. I am as well pleased to hear you are satisfied in a luciferous Experiment, as that a breach hath been made in the Enemy's works: and your ingenious arguings immediately from sense, and fact, are as pleasant to me as the noise of victorious Guns, and Trumpets.
Moreover, as I contend for the Decent Rights, and ceremonies of the Church, so I also contend against the envious Schismaticks of your Society (who think you do nothing,
unless you presently transumte Mettals, make Butter and Cheese without Milk; and (as their own Ballad hath it, make Leather without Hides) by asserting the usefulness of even all your preparatory, and luciferous experiements being not the Ceremonies, but the substance, and principles of usefull Arts. For, I finde in Trade the want of an universal measure, and have heard Musicians wrangle about the just, and univform keeping of time in their Consorts, and therefore cannot with patience hear, that your Labours about Vibrations, eminently conducing to both, should be slight, nor your Pendula, called Sing-swangs with scorn. Nor can I better endure that your Exercitations about Air should be termed fit employment onely for Airie Fancies, and not adquate Tasks for the most solid, and piercing heads: This is my Opinion concerning you, and although I am none of your number, nor have the least ambition to be so, otherwise then to become able for your service, and worthy of your Trust: yet I am covetous to have the right of being represented by you: To which end I desire, that this little Exhibition of mine, may be looked upon as a Free-holder's Vote for the choosing of Knights and Burgesses to sit in the Parliament of Nature, meaning thereby, that as the parliament owns a Free-holder, though he hath but fourty shillings a year to be one of them; so in the same manner and degree, I also desire to be owned as one of you, and that no longer, then I continue a faithfull Friend, and Servant of your Designs and Persons,