(S.) No Limner for his Art is fam’d, Stone-cutters, Carvers are not nam’d: Page 19. Line 11.
IT is, without doubt, that among the Consequences of a National Honesty and Frugality, it would be one not to build any new Houses, or use new Materials as long as there were old ones enough to serve: By this three Parts in four of Masons, Carpenters, Bricklayers, &c. would want Employment; and the building Trade being once destroyed, what would become of Limning, Carving, and other Arts that are ministring to Luxury, and have been carefully forbid by those Lawgivers that preferred a good and honest, to a great and wealthy Society, and endeavoured to render their Subjects rather Virtuous than Rich. By a Law of Lycurgus, it was enacted, That the Cielings of the Spartan Houses should only be wrought by the Ax, and their Gates and Doors only smoothed by the Saw; and this, says Plutarch, was not without Mystery; for if Epaminondas could say with so good a Grace, inviting some of his Friends to his Table; Come, Gentlemen, be secure, Treason would never come to such a poor Dinner as this: Why might not this great Law-giver, in all Probability, have thought, that such ill favour’d Houses would never be capable of receiving Luxury and Superfluity?
It is reported, as the same Author tells us, that King Leotichidas, the first of that Name, was so little us’d to the sight of carv’d Work, that being entertained at Corinth in a stately Room, he was much surprized to see the Timber and Cieling so finely wrought, and asked his Host whether the Trees grew so in his Country.
The same want of Employment would reach innumerable Callings; and among the rest, that of the
Weaversthat join’d rich Silkwith Plate,
And all the Trades subordinate,
(as the Fable has it ) would be one of the first that should have reason to complain; for the Price of Land and Houses being, by the removal of the vast Numbers that had left the Hive, sunk very low on the one side, and every body abhorring all other ways of Gain, but such as were strictly honest on the other, it is not probable that many without Pride or Prodigality should be able to wear Cloth of Gold and Silver, or rich Brocades. The Consequence of which would be, that not only the Weaver, but likewise the Silver-spinner, the Flatter, the Wire-drawer, the Barman, and the Refiner, would in a little time be affected with this Frugality.