Commercial Sheep

Or, If I had to read this, so do you

Bad writing in economics has a long history:

Mr. Pennant, in his British Zoology, chap. I. div. I. sect. iii. under the article Sheep, makes the following observations:

It does not appear, (says that agreeable writer) that the breed of this animal (sheep) was cultivated for the sake of the wool among the Britons; the inhabitants of the inland parts of this island either went intirely naked, or were only cloathed with skins.

On the coins or money of the Britons are seen impressed the figures of the horse, the bull and the hog, the marks of the tributes exacted from them by the conquerors (Camden.) The Rev. Mr. Pogge was so kind as to inform me, that he has seen on the coins of Cunobelin that of a sheep. Since that is the case, it is probable that our ancestors were possessed of the animal, but made no farther use of it than to strip off the skin and wrap themselves in it, and with the wool inmost, obtain a comfortable protection against the cold of the winter season.

~Tench Coxe, Remarks on Lord Sheffield’s Observations on the Commerce of the American States; by an American (London, 1784), p.19-20

Update: also this little tidbit, a few pages later:

In England, it is well known they spend half their money in drink. (p.26)

* Made a tiny bit more tolerable by the fact that the original uses a long s, which I always hear it as a lisp while reading.

Image cite: Wiccked, “Sheepish,” Flickr, CC License