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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 13/From William Fownes to Jonathan Swift - 2



THERE are a sort of gentlemen, who, after great labour and cost, have at last found out, that two dishes of meat will not cost half so much as five or six, and yet answer the end of filling the bellies of as many as usually fed upon the five or six.

I have considered that a like sort of reduction in other articles, may have the like proportion of good effect: as for instance, when any one bespeaks a pair of shoes, a pair of stockings, or a pair of gloves, they should bespeak a pair and a half of each, and make use of these turn about: I am very confident they will answer the end of two pair; by which good management a quarter part of the expense in those articles may be saved. Perhaps it may be objected, that this is a spoiling of trade: to which I answer, that when the makers of those sorts of ware shall reduce their rates a quarter part (instead of enhancing them, as has been done in some late years unreasonably) and now ought to be reduced according to the rates of wool and leather;

Then it may be reasonable to bespeak two pair instead of a pair and a half.

Another objection may be started as to gloves, with a query, Which of the hands shall be obliged with two gloves? To this I answer, That generally the left hand is used but seldom, and not exposed as the other to many offices; one of which in particular is the handing of ladies. For these reasons, two gloves ought to be granted to the right hand.

There are many other frugal improvements, which, as soon as I have discoursed Thomas Turner the quaker, who is now upon finding out the longitude, and farther improving the latitude, I shall be able to demonstrate what sort of meat, and the joints, will best answer this frugal scheme, as likewise in clothing, and other parts of good economy; and they shall be communicated to you by, sir, your most humble servant,


  1. Endorsed, "A humourous project."