[From Manx Soc vol 3 - part 1 Letter of James 7th Earl]


1.– The Earl's design to encourage trade in the Isle. 2.– The great advantage of it, 3–and its proper situation for it. 4.– at A finer country than he expectecl to find it; wherein he was deceived, and by whom. 5.–knavish servants, one mark of them 6.–His observations on the countenances of those who came to bid him welcome.

THIS Isle will never flourish until some trading be. And, though you may invite strangers or natives to be merchants, yet never anything will be done to purpose till yourself do lead; and therefore get some sum of money; as, God willing, I shall. For I rather will sell land in England than miss so excellent a design.

I. There is no doubt but hereby you may grow rich yourself, and others under you. Your people may be set a work, that in short time you will have no beggars. Where one soul is now, will be many; every house almost will become a town; every town as a city; the Island full of ships, &c. The country is so seated, as I cannot conceive but all this is very feasible.

3. When I go on the mount you call Baroull, and, but turning me round, can see England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales, I think shame so fruitlessly to see so many kingdoms at once (which no place, I think, in any nation, that we know, under heaven can afford such a prospect), and to have so little profit by them.

4. But I have considered hereof, and find, as I think, the reason The country is indeed better than I was told; for which I blame myself, that I formerly inquired so little of it. For, indeed, he who seeks not to know his own, is unworthy of what he hath. But I well remember who told me it was so little worth; even those who had thriven by it.

5. A master whose servants prosper under him is commended. But when they thrive unknown to him, and he thrives not also with them, the wisdom of one and the honesty of the other will be suspected.

6. At my first arrival in this country, I observed much the countenance of them who did bid me welcome; and the eyes are often glass-windows through which you may see the heart; and though I will not presently censure by the look, I will not neither neglect some judgment thereof. So it is, that your eyes must be ever open to see others' eyes, their countenances, and actions; your ears must listen to all is said, even what is whispered. For to this end God gave you two eyes and two ears. So, also, you have but one tongue, to the end you speak not much; for, speaking much, you are sure to say something vain. Also, you will be troublesome to your companions. And I never knew a pratler without repentance.

7. I perceived easily many different humours. Some, truly glad of my coming; others, as much troubled, and yet, it may be, shew[ing] more signs of joy [than the first]. And usually it falls out so; for when men suddenly will make believe to be what they are not, they will overact their parts. As, among the rest, I marked one that would laugh and fleere, and say so very much, how blessed this Island was now that I tread upon it; and many like fustian words to that purpose. I made him believe that I believed him. But I remember though his saying, that when you see one go by his usual path, look to him.


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