« PreviousContinue »
N. B. This letter for the beneit of the earious is to be sold by Christopher Dixon, printer, at the post-odice, Dubla. Printed alone, for the conveniency of sending them to the country.
To the Publisher of the Dublin Weekly Journal.
SIR,—WE had some time ago in your Weekly Journal two letters about the coals for the use of this city: the inserting this third letter, as relates to the former, will be a satisfaction to your correspondents and oblige every one that is a well-wisher to his country.
We are, your constant readers, and subscribe,
A. B. C. D., &c. A third letter, in answer to a worthy member of parliament, and in behalf of many thousand poor inhabitants of this city, concerning the extravagant rates of coals, &c.
Dublin, October 23, 1729.
SIR,-YOUR friends being abroad, I read, as you desired, the whole budget of papers you sent about the coals.
Proposals, animadversions, with queries, and other remarks, with some ridiculous advertisements in habit and dress more suitable to coal-porters than gentlemen of liberal arts and education. I do not know whose hand the glove fits—but it is not worth the taking up. It seems to be somebody full of scorbutic humor, and who wants Dr. Hinton's receipt.
Upon your request, I inquired into this affair of coal; and to strengthen and preserve the poor, weak, disordered habit and constitution of body, that this city labors under, with a complication of distempers, requires some remedies, without jarring at one another.
One great disorder and complaint about coals (which the drapier most justly observes) is, that there was a considerable sum of money advanced for the encouragement of Irish coals, for laying in, namely, a sufficient stock of our own coals to lower the extravagant rates of the Whitehaven coal.
When the city was starving all the last winter for want of coals, there was not one barrel of this Irish coal to be had at any rate, and for want of that stock the Whitehaven colliers imposed upon us what rates they pleased.
He also tried the nature and quality of the several sorts of coals, and sent for one hundred of Kilkenny coal, which cost a shilling, and weighed one quarter of an hundred of that coal, one quarter of
the Whitehaven, and a quarter of an hundred of the Irish coal, and so ordered, for an experiment or trial, three several fires to be made. The latter consumed away very swift in a blaze, lasted between two and three hours (from the time that the fire was full lighted), leaving little or no cinders, but all ashes.
The Whitehaven coal lasted between four and five hours, and left a small heap of cinders; and find it to abound with slates, a very slaty coal, that flies and crackles in the fire. The Kilkenny fire held good and clear above nine hours, with an exceeding great heat; afterwards the fire-maker washed the cinders thereof, a great quantity, and made as good a fire as before, and so continued the same. It is the most beneficial coal ever yet heard of in these kingdoms; a coal that has no waste in it, and one ton thereof will outlast two of the Whitehaven. In the Irish history, province of Leinster, county of Kilkenny, this coal is particularly mentioned. It supplies great part of Leinster and Munster; there is a very large description of the qualities and goodness of this coal for many uses too tedious here to insert, and far exceeding any other coal for the common use and lasting fire.
Whatever new discoveries there are of more coal-mines, (as I am informed of one in the county of Meath,) the more the better; and let all the encouragement that can be given for finding out the same.
We ought first to begin with the coals we have found to be so good, that we have so near at hand, lying in our own province; so far preferable, that no other coal as yet found here can sink the established credit of the Whitehaven, for lasting, except the Kilkenny coal.
And I can find no manner of objection but what is all fully answered in the DRAPIER'S postscript and letter which you received in May last.
There is one of these gentlemen (mentioned in your letter) has frankly confessed, that the Kilkenny coals are preferable for kitchen. uses; and if what are commonly called Kilkenny coals could be brought up in quantities sufficient to supply this city, yet they would not answer all uses, so in consequence other sorts of coals will be sought after.
But I think the coals for kitchen use, as he calls it, is the chief and most use in the city; and pray if it be a better coal for the kitchen, (which is the greatest article in firing,) is it not good enough for the parlor?
If he wants an extraordinary swift fire for my lady's dressing-room, he may get faggots, and abundance of tallies when he wants faggots.
I have often wondered why the same sort of tea in the county of Kilkenny has a sweeter flavor and drinks better there than the Dublin; and I find the cause proceeds frequently from the smoke of the coals here, notwithstanding all the care that can be taken, leaves some tincture in the water and spoils the taste of the tea.
By the two different fires you will find a great difference in your tea. Some will have it to be the difference in the water; but I assure you upon trial you will find it to be in the fire and and smoke. There is a great deal in the quality and nature of the coal, those fiery particles that set the water in a ferment; the more easily discerned before it is infused and sweetened.
It is not upon account of recommending this dear-bought East India commodity, nor the modish custom of drinking tea; nor on the other hand, am I for disobliging the fair sex in so small a trifle as tea-equipage and china-ware; but rather to prevent the many disappointments they met with in their entertainments occasioned by the base stinking smoky coals used here.
And I must further remark, as to the Kilkenny fire, that notwithstanding all the variety, French, English, and all sorts of cooks in Dublin, their entertainments in Kilkenny are more palatable, pleasing to the taste, their meat relishes, and much better dressed there than here, and sometimes by the same hand, so that it is altogether owing to their sweet clear and lasting good fire.
I have heard the master cooks own all this to be a matter of fact, and so often recruiting and mending the fire, condemn the sea-coal for dressing meat on account of the smoke. So plain a demonstration may be very easily tried for our own satisfaction.
The Ballycastle or Irish coal, (so called for distinction from the Kilkenny,) a small quantity thereof mixed with the Kilkenny coal, has been tried, and makes a brisk clear and ready fire, and answers both purposes; and therefore due encouragement ought to be given to both.
In every half barrel of coals you have the one-half of it slack, and that slack of little use. In the Kilkenny, you have all coal and no slack. But I am told by those who have tried it, and it is very natural, that the slack, wet, and thrown upon the Kilkenny fire by suppression, causes a much greater heat than before, and very useful to both.
The methods proposed for bringing the Kilkenny coal by water are much cheaper than by land-carriage, and in both they have the advantage of any other colliery.
The method is by importing the same yourselves, which may be had at very easy freight.
The coals, great quantities dug up, and the conveniences for bringing them are all fixed ready for embarkation; ships and seamen here in your own port are lying idle, for want of freight; and this short trip is a voyage so easy, and secure with harbors, in wintertime, that the seafaring men would very willingly embrace any offer to bring the coals in here.
Besides, consider the great difference in freighting your own ships, bringing yourselves your own provision to supply your own market.
The Kilkenny coals that have been here imported, I was 80 curious to inquire, and I find they have been sold on Aston's Quay here in Dublin at 10d., 11d., and 12d. an cwt., the highest price. then given.
And upon your own importation, the price of all sorts of coals and other firing will be much lessened here, without any imposition or exaction from the master and owners, from engrossers, forestallers, or any other interested persons whatsoever. It will be a singular great service and relief to your city; and save you half in the charge of your firing, and another much greater article in saving the money within yourselves.
But where there is such a jargon and disagreement, no harmony nor concord among one another, in such a confusion even our neighbors make a spoil of us, and we become a ridicule to other nations. The Whitehaven colliers are continually exhausting your treasure.
The calf has nothing to lick but chalk,
The butcher's continually bleeding it,
I shall briefly conclude this answer with what I particularly took notice of in the public, the true notion and knowledge our neighbors have of this coal in the London prints: St. James's Evening Post, August 18, 1729.
"That several persons have undertaken to bring Kilkenny (coal) to Dublin by water, for public consumption there, which will in some measure lessen the sums carried out of that kingdom for coals if it proves successful.”
The rest I refer to your own judgment, and every reader to his own interest; it is plain matter of fact, and just proofs.
All these schemes may be commendable, and where there is no self-interest but public good, may be brought to perfection, and a
benefit to have both the Kilkenny and Irish coals brought up here for your relief; but the latter will be a work of time.
At present we are in want of a stock, in great want of coals, as we were last year, and no prices regulated.
I am in great hopes the ladies, for the reasons aforementioned, will join in verdict, give their negative to the Whitehaven coals as formerly, NO WOODS, nor no Whitehaven.
I am, in duty and good manners, bound to give you an answer to this letter, and submit the same to your consideration.
I am, sir, your most humble, &c.
OF WHAT WAS SAID BY
THE DEAN OF ST. PATRICK'S
TO THE LORD MAYOR AND SOME OF THE ALDERMEN OF DUBLIN, WHEN HIS LORDSHIP CAME TO PRESENT THE SAID DEAN WITH HIS FREEDOM IN A GOLD BOX, ABOUT THE YEAR 1736.
WHEN his lordship had said a few words, and presented the instrument, the dean gently put it back and desired first to be heard. He said, "He was much obliged to his lordship and the city for the honor they were going to do him, and which, as he was informed, they had long intended him. That it was true, this honor was mingled with a little mortification by the delay which attended it, but which, however, he did not impute to his lordship or the city; and that the mortification was the less, because he would willingly hope the delay was founded on a mistake; - for which opinion he would tell his reason."
He said, "It was well known that some time ago a person1 with a title was pleased in two great assemblies to rattle bitterly somebody without a name, under the injurious appellations of a Tory, a jacobite, an enemy to king George, and a libeller of the government; which character," the dean said, "many people thought was applied to him. But he was unwilling to be of that opinion, because the person who had delivered those abusive words had for several
The person here intimated, Joshua lord Allen (whom Swift elsewhere satiriz under the nane of Traulus), was born in 1685.