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320

The Epistle

Moreover, to present your Lordship with tedious Nar-||rations, 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 Lordships learning, which the world knows to be universal, and unacquainted with few useful 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 succeed-||ed 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 benign acceptance of some other of my Papers[1] even the birth of these is due; hoping (if I may without vanity say it) they may be of as much use || to persons in your Lordships place, as they are of little or none to me, which is no more than the fairest Diamonds are to the Journeymen Jeweller that works them, or the poor Labourer that first digg'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 Majesties Council, to consider how few starve of the many that beg: That the irreligious Proposals of some, to multiply people || by Polygamy, is withal irrational, and fruitless: That the troublesome seclusions in the Plague-time are not a remedy to be purchased at vast inconveniences[2]: 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

  1. Wood says that Graunt also wrote "Observations on the advance of excise, and something about religion, but these two are not yet published. " Athenæ Oxon. i. 311.
  2. The contagion being in the air, p. 350.