Portrait of Anthony Ashley Cooper, Earl of Shaftesbury

The Earl of Shaftesbury relates the story of an unscrupulous glazier who gives the rowdy town youths a football so they will smash windows in the street and thus drum up business (1737)

Found in: Characteristicks of Men, Manners, Opinions, Times, vol. 3

The English philosopher Shaftesbury (1671-1713) likens the efforts of book publishers to make use of bitter intellectual disputes in order to sell more books, to that of unscrupulous glaziers who encourage town youths to break windows by giving them a football to play with in the street:

Sport and Liberty

So have I known a crafty Glazier, in time of Frost, procure a Football, to draw into the Street the emulous Chiefs of the robust Youth. The tumid Bladder bounds at every Kick, bursts the withstanding Casements, the Chassys, Lanterns, and all the brittle vitrious Ware. The Noise of Blows and Out-cries fills the whole Neighbourhood; and Ruins of Glass cover the stony Pavements; till the bloated battering Engine, subdu’d by force of Foot and Fist, and yielding up its Breath at many a fatal Cranny, becomes lank and harmless, sinks in its Flight, and can no longer uphold the Spirit of the contending Partys.