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“ other fleet soon arriving, and probably “some of these taking another trip this sea“ son—this very necessary article of fuel “-advances gradually in price: the best coals “ are t3. 3s. 6d. in the Pool; add to this * 12s, the charges of lighterage, cartage, “ and delivery to the housekeepers, and the “ cost will be upwards of two shillings per “ bushel at the first hand, and best price. * Some Me ANs will surely be taken to reduce , “this heavy price!" OR A cle, 21st Nov. What “ means" the philosopher pointed towards one cannot say ; but, it is clear that he thought a triumph over the coal-merchants would quickly succeed the triumph over the brewers; not recollecting, that the Thames was close at hand, whereas the coalmines were at a very great distance. It is likely that the clerks of the Treasury found, out this circumstance; for the philosopher of the Oracle did not repeat his demand respecting coals, and none of the others attempted to meddle with the subject; yet, except as to the inability in the one case, and ability in the other, of lowering the quality of the goods, there is no reason at all why the coalmerchants should not have been vanquished as well as the brewers. The brewers are, however, in truth, not vanquished at all. They saw that a clamour was rising against them, and they gave way: but, is there any one weak enough to believe, that they will not lower the quality of their porter 2 Is there folly so complete as to induce any one to imagine, that the brewers will carry on a trade that they lose money by ? That they will (being kept to the same price), make as strong porter when malt is 90 shillings a quarter as they did when it was “under 50 shillings " But, we are reminded of the great profits which they derived when the price of malt was so low, We are told, that they have had two aniazingly profitable years; and hence we are to conclude that they can now afford to carry on their business without any profit ; or, even to a loss. Is this agreeable to reason 2 Is it agreeable to the practice of any trade Has not a directly contrary principle been acted upon by the - Parliament in raising the premium upon the exportation of corn the moment it became, to use the language of Mr. Pitt “too cheap “to yield the grower a fair profit 2". Why were not the years of high prices of barley and wheat taken into consideration in that case? In that case we not only allowed the farmers to sell as dear as they could ; but we very unwisely raised taxes to pay them for selling dearer than they could sell at home ! No, no ; the brewers, be assured, made their porter stronger and stronger in propor
tion as the malt grew cheap; else they would have met with a rivalship in other brewers; and, it is equally certain, that they will now reduce the quality of their porter, having been deterred from augmenting its price. Just such a cry, and with the same sort of success, was, in the year 1794, set up by the philosophers of Philadelphia against a proposed rise in the price of milk; whereupon the milk man who supplied me, observed: “if they will not let me raise my price, the “ pump must raise my pail." It did so too. After the clamour of a month or so was over, we were very glad to pay an advanced price; and, as the philosophers had, by that time, raised the price of their newspapers, no further complaint was ever heard upon the subject. So must it now be with regard to porter. The nominal price may continue the same; but the real price will be raised by the diminution of strength in the liquor; until, if the folly should continue for any length of time, there will be two sorts of porter (under different names perhaps), and every body will soon drink the dearest, because it will be the best, and, in reality, the cheapest. Nevertheless the evils attending these doctrines of the philosophers may be very great. They have obtained no vic. tory over the brewers; but they think they have ; and so think many of their readers; a delusion that would be amusing enough, were it not much to be feared, that it will encourage both the philosophers and the peo: ple to endeavour to force down the price 0 commodities of which the quality cannot be lowered; the manufacturer or vender of which cannot preserve himself from ruin merely by the turning of a water cock. Thus, in the instance of coals, the writing; of the philosophers have produced no effect. lf they could cause the present stock of coals to be sold cheaper than the venders propose to sell them, the consequence would be, that those venders would cause no more coals to be brought to London; for they cannot angment the quantity of their coals, as the brewers can and will the quantity of their porter, by an additional draught upon father Thames. So also with respect to BREAD. Much have the ministerial philosophers writ: ten ; but they have produced no effect upon the baker; because, if he does not raise his price he must starve himself, rather than which he will leave off baking; and, the reasoning applies equally well to the flour man, the miller, the corn-dealer, and to farmer. Obvious as one would think all this must be to every man of com: mou sense, the philosophers have not forborne to push their principles forwardio"
despite of all calculation, good philosopher ;
for I of self told you so long ago as the second week in August, that corn would be high priced this winter, and that we were, in my epinion, entering upon the first of two years of high price.* Yes, you “fondly" hoped and expected; but why did you ? Fondly enough, indeed; but whose fault was that 2 Why were you so foolish Why were you not seeking after useful knowledge, instead of racking your brain for phrases to make up a description of the triumph of Lord Melville over the French flotilla, and of the wisdom of Mr. Pitt and Lord Harrowby, who, “with “ eager expectation, viewed the glorious a“ chievement from the battlements of Wal“mer Castle " If, instead of extolling this their expectation, which was to the full as fond as your own, you had been listening to the voice of truth and reason, you would not then have sold yourself and your masters to laughter, nor would yon now be daily exposing your mischievous ignorance.] “Yes“terday the prices of fine wheats and flour “experienced a rise of full 4s. per quarter, “ or sack; but the supply was so small, and “ the real bargains so narrowed, in hopes of “ the prices being lower, that it will make very little odds in the average, which we “ have reason to hope will be lower.—Coals “continue the same, or with little variation. * If any thing, the best coals are dearer.— “In no article is the public more imposed “ upon than in that of butcher's meat; it is “ a well known fact, that cattle of the best “quality have been sold at Smithfield for “ many market days past, at such a price, that the Cutting Butchers could afford to sell any joint at 7d per pound, and that with a good profit; whereas any thing
above legs and shins, however inferior, .
“ but at no pork shop can it be obtained at “ less than from 10d. to 1s. per pound, “ which is a heavy advance.” This philolosopher seems to be tolerably well skilled in the art of slaughtering; and, indeed, I am persuaded the public will think with me, that no small portion of his life must have been spent in a butcher's shop. It has been remarked, that apostates generally become the most furious persecutors of the body from which they have apostatized (a maxim which has, of late years, been strikingly verified in the conduct of a well-known antiroman catholic pamphleteer); and, it may, perhaps, be the same with renegade butchers. But, whether this philosopher, this oracular gentleman, did formerly inhabit the shambies or not, no man of sense and reason will approve of his representing the butchers as sheats, as men imposing upon the public, merely because they sell their property for as much as it will fetch in open market; that is to say, for exactly as much as it is worth at the hour when they sell it, and for not a single mite more. If he himself thinks he pays more for his meat than the meat is worth, why does he not slaughter again for himself? Because it would then cost him much more than he is now obliged to give for it. And this is the reason why all men prefer dealing with the butchers. In the early part of 1801, some of the wise men in the city of London formed the resolution of lowering the price of butcher's meat. They applied some of their public buildings to this laudable purpose. The butchers kept on their steady course; they still sold as dear as ever; and those of their customers, who ran after their new-fangled rivals, were soon glad to return. There was always a something that rendered the butcher still the best man to purchase of. The project proved abortive. It is now, amongst the butchers, just what the catamaran project is annongst sailors, and what Mr. Pitt's volunteering is amongst all military men who dare speak their sentiments; that is to say, a standing subject of ridicule and contempt.—The second article above spoken of, dated the 24th of November, is rather more scurrilous than the former. “ The rogues in grain are “ not the only set at whom the people have “ cause to murmur ; it is a known fact, that “ cattle of the best quality have been sold “ at Smithfield, for many market-days past, “ at such a price that the Cutting Butchers “ could afford to sell any joint at 7d. per lb. “ and that with a good profit; whereas none but the most inferior parts can be had under from 8d. to 11 d. In pork, likewise, “ the profit they charge is taoruous; sides
* of prime young pork can be bought in “ the market, at from 3s 8d. to 4s. per stone “ of Slb. but at few shops can it be bought “ under 10d. or 1 id. per lb." Thus, every one, who deals in the necessaries of life, is represerted as a just object of the indigna. tion of the people. Fron indignation to resentment, and from resentment to vengeance, the progress is very natural, and not more natural than rapid. What a scandalous thing it is, that the ministers do not silence these mischief-batching babblers | As to their power so to do no one that knows any thing of the London newspaper press can entertain the slightest doubt; and therefore, there is really some reason to believe, that their clerks purpostly permit these attacks upon the inoffensive dealers in provisions, in order to turn the attention of the suffering people from that share of the real cause, which is to be found in the meisures of government and in the paper-monry system of the minister. As before observed, the ministerial philosophors, with whose lucubrations have just surfited the reader, saw the quartern loaf rise from 8d.) to 1s. 2d. without uttering so much as a murmur. Put, the reason of their silence so far, was this; they thought, with their nsual sagacity, that the rise would be temporary; and they were afraid to make a clainour against the high price, lest their clamours should come to the support of the predictions of those who opposed the corn-iill, which the minister had passed at the close of the last sesion of Parliament. The rise in the price of porter touched them closer in a personal sense; and, besides, in their muddled heads, the chain of effects from the corn-bill to the price of porter was not so conspicuous; though it is very hard to conceive why it should not, seeing that out of barley comes porter rather more directly than bread comes out of wheat, and seeing also, that the corn-bill was passed upon the petition of the “barley growers" and not of the wheat growers." Upon this bill, upon the reports whereon it was passed, upon the speeches of Mr. Pitt and Mr. Western, as well as upon the principle and policy of the bill, I shall her after have occasion to remark; and, I trust I shall be able to shew, that the man who could urge the passing of such a bill, must either be actuated by some motive other than the one professed, or must be destitute of the powers of solid reflection, or must never have reflected upon the subject. For the present, I shall confine myself
* See the Reports of the Committee of the House of Commons, printed 14th of May, aud 14th of June, 1804.
to little more than a repetition of what I have said upon former occasions; and that is, that the sudden rise in the price of bread. (and other articles of course) proceeds, 1. from a deficient harvest; 2 from the effect of the corn-bill ; 3. from the effect of papermoney in times of dearth. That the voluuteer system has contributed to the deficiency of the harvest there can be no doubt. During. the fourteen months, beginning in July, 1803, and ending in September 1804, there were, perhaps, 100,000 agriculturists engaged part of their time in the volunteer service I do not think this is too large an estinate. Nay, I believe, I shall be thought under the mark. Now, when the reader is informed, and I am ready at any time to establish the position, that there are not 500,000 active labouring agriculturists in England and Wales, I am persuaded, that he will not hesitate to agree with me, that the occasional diversion of the labour of 100 OOO of the best labourers must have considerably substracted from those means by which alone crops of corn are produced. Recollect. too, that the space of time, since the volunteer system began to operate, embraces two seedtimes and two harvests; and, it may be recollected, that I cautioned Mr. Yorke against the enforcing of the original Defence Bill during seed time particularly. Some smooth little Downing-street clerk will say: “Here's “ Cobbett pretends that the farmers have “ sowed less corn on account of the volun“ teer system l’ No; I pretend no such thing; but, that they have reaped less, on that account, t very farmer in the kingdom is ready to declare ; and, indeed, have we not, in the memorable instance of farmer Morison and the Scotch Lord Advocate, quite a sufficient proof of the feelings which the volunteer system excited amongst those whose men were thereby laken from their labour? In the whole kingdom you could not, perhaps, find a farmer who could say, that he has sowed a field less, on account of the volunteer system ; but, in every country-parish in the kingdom, you will find farmers ready to show, that their land has been, on account of that system, worse tilled; that their cattle, their folds, their yards, and their fences have been worse attended to; . that their crops have been worse gatheredin ; and, of course, that their farms have produced less food than they would have done, had the volunteer-system not existed. In deferring my observations upon the cffects of the corn-bill and of the papermoney, I should here conclude this article; but, I cannot, at a time when ignorance, with open throat and lungs of Stentor, is
railing against those who are employed in growing corn and making it into bread; I cannot, at such a time, refrain from directing the attention of my readers to those persons who have contributed towards the perpetuating of this pernicious ignorance; and, amongst these, the Rev. Rob ERT NAREs, Archdeacon of Stafford, Canon residentiary of Litchfield, Librarian at the British Museum, and Editor of the British
Critic, seems to merit particular notice.
This person, from whose pen any one, acquainted merely with his titles and functions, would naturally expect nothing calculated to foster ignorance such as that of which I have been endeavouring to show the dangerous tendency; this person, to whom, from his situation in society, one could have wished to look as a teacher of the ignorant, has, in a sermon entitled, “A go #. for Plenty, and a lioarning “ against Avoice,” discovered a degree of perverseness, or of prejudice and ignorance, rarely to be met with, even assorgst the very lowest, most illiterate, and unreflecting part of the people. He accises the farmers of crue?y and avarice; renews the senseless cry of monoholy; suggests the pro
franaries; and proposes the inflicting of
Heavy penalties upon those fariners and others, in whose possession corn, beyond a certain quantity, to be fixed by law, should be found. “ This style of reasoning,” say the Elinburgh Reviewers, “is pardonable enough “ in those who argue from the belly, rather “ than the brains; but, in a well-fed and “ well-educated clergyman, who has never “ been disturbed, by hunger, from the free * exercise of cultivated talents, it ruerits “ the severest reprehension." To say the truth, these Reviewers, who are clear another sort of men than Mr. Nares and his brethren of the British Critic, have reprehended him pretty severely. They have, in a very short compass, satisfactorily proved, that political economy and theological metaphysics are subjects to the discursing of which his noddle is by no means adapted. But, must it not be deeply mortifying to every one who feels for the honour of the Church of England, to see nonsense such as that above described coming from the pen of an Archdeacon and a Residentiary Canon . As to his Neviewership he does not there appear in his proper name and rank; and, though one might wish not to sce a Librarian of the British Museum exhibiting such infallible proofs of a want of the powers of thinking; yet, viewing him merely in these situations, the mortification is trifling compared to that
which we experience when we consider him as a dignitary of the Church; for theb, the question that forces itself forward in the mind of every man, is: “what must that “Church be, of which such is the know“ ledge and such are the talents of the dig“ nitaries?" The “cruelty" and “a varice". of the farmers “ Ercisemen" to visit barns and granaries And these are the notions, that emanate from the mind of a “ well“ educated" man, are they If this be the case, God preserve those whom I love from, , being “ well-educated 1" If such be the produce of Mr. Nares's twenty years of study, under the tuition of half a score of masters, it would have been much better to let his mind lie fallow, its sterility not expost d by abortive attempts at cultivation, or, at least, not rendered iidiculous by the ostentatious display of Latin and Greek, which, from the lips of a barren head, drop like human language from the beak of a parrot. MIN 1ste RIAL IN Rig U Es.--(Continued from p. 831.) In general I am not desirous to pursue a dispute very far with the writers of the Minister. To have the last word is,
at best, but a childish wish ; but, upon a
subject like this, the effect of repetition should be risked rather than suffer any misapprehension or doubt to remain in the mind of the public. Seeing that the suinisterial intrigues have failed, it was my intention to say very little more about them at present; and, though the following article from the Morning Post of the 28th ultimo might warrant a conianentary of some length, I shall do little more than lay it before my. readers, leaving them to draw the inference, to which it so evidently leads. “ Entertain“ing nothing but c to contempt for the “ virt'ent and scorriso’s observations, which “ envious malignity is so fretfully anxious to “ point against us, we again repeat, and we “shall always be forward to repeat our “ wishes, that the late happy and auspicious “ reconciliation had been followed up by all “ the beneficial consequences that were ge“ nerally espected should have flowed from “ it. “ wishes, the realizing of which would have. “so materially tended to unite the hearts, “ increase the confidence, and consolidate “ the strength of the eampire. As no ma“lignity of misrepresentation can deter us “ from the expression of these wishes, nei
“ ther shall any pitulance of provocation be
“ tray us into any rash and precipitate dis“ closure of the causes that have principally. “ contributed to the frustration of the public “ hopes. In any thing we have bither to re“ marked upon this delicate subject, we never adverted, even in the reuo'est mat
We shall be always ready to repeat o “ner, to the views of any minister, to the “intrigues of any party : but if it be true, “ as has been so pertinaciously asserted, that nothing of a political nature ever attended or followed that wished-for reconciliation, “ with what consistency can it be supposed “ by those who deny the fact, that no overtures have been accepted. Could that have been accepted which was never offered and if any overtures have been of a political tendency, it follows even in the avowal of our adversaries, that, so far at least, steps bad been taken towards entering upon a negotiation for some political arrangement. But we shall with-hold any “further remark for the present on this “ matter, for reasons which have already im“ posed upon us the silence of prudence and “ respect.” . One cannot help admiring that prudence and circumspection, which induce this gentleman to seal up his lips after he has divulged his secret ; as also that respect, which makes him refrain from connecting the royal reconciliation with party arrangements, after he has, for several days successively so connected them —The Register is, as far as 1 have observed, the only print, in which the “sublime expectations” of the Morning Post have been commented on ; and, is it true, that the comment was * virulent and scurrilous,” and that it indicated “malignity," and more especially “ envious malignity " But, this is the common-place whine of a defeated disputant. The gentleman will not suffer himself, it seems, to be provoked into “any rash and “ precipitate disclosure of the causes that “ have principally contributed to the frustra“tion of the public bopes." The hopes of the public, properly so called, the hopes of the people of England, have not been frustrated : they have, on the contrary been confirmed and strengthened by the conduct of the Prince and his real friends. The hopes of those who exist only by the effect of those causes which have produced their co intry's decline, and which, if not removed, must produce its fall; the hopes of such persons may have been frustrated, and, indeed, they have been frustrated. But, after all, the frustration has, then actually taken place, it seems, though we were so positively assured, that the “political ar* rangements consequent upon the royal “ reconciliation" would infallibly go into effect ——What! did I ever say, that “ nothing of a political nature ever attended “ or followed the reconciliation ?” Did I ever say this 2 This Morning Post gentleman said that much of a political nature did immediately follow ; and, as I naturally sup, osed him to have been informed on the
part of the Treasury clerks, I only took the liberty of denying, that either of the royal parties, or that any of the Oppositica, had entertained any political views in connexion with the reconciliation. Was it, therefore, at all inconsistent for me to say, at the same time, that no overtures, made on the part of the minister, had been accepted “ Could that have been accept. “ ed., which was never offered:" Why put this question to me 2 I have not said that nothing was offered. You said that much was offered : you congratulated the public upon the government (alias the ministry) being about to receive “the “ powerful aid of Lord Moira, Mr Sheridan, “ and Mr. Erskine, in the great council of “ the nation." I denied this ; but, did I ever deny that Mr. Pitt had made overtures to those gentlemen Did I ever deny, that “ steps had been taken towards entering “ upon a negociation for some political “ arrangement " I never thought of ma; king any such denial : on the contrary, I did then, and do now, firmly believe the fact. Three weeks ago, the Morning Post told us, that Lord Moira was come up from Scotland, and that Lord Harrowby was gent down to Bath : a few days back it told us, that Lord Moira was gone down to Scotland, and that Lord Harrowby was come ap from Bath, and that he went immediately to a dinner with Mr. Pitt and Lord Melville. No sign of ill health; I take it! Whether the intelligence were correct, or otherwise, I do not pretend to determine; but, if it was, the ministerial writer will, perhaps, favour us with the reason of these sympa" thetic movements, at the time when Prodence will release him from that restrain! which now with-holds from us a develops. ment of “ the causes that have principally “ contributed to the frustration" of the ministerial hopes. Till then, we mos wait with respectful patience.——In the mean-time, however, though several other topics press upon me, and demand room, I cannot refrain from inserting another of ticle, upon this subject, from the ministeril paper, called the Courier. This article is not only demi-official, but it bears ever, mark of Treasury origin. For this reason, as well as for the purpose of shewing who miserable shifts the ministry are driven to I shall insert the article entire, begging to reader to peruse it with very great atto" tion. For the sake of brevity in the co". ment 1 will number the separate parlo"
the text. 1. “It is curious to her. “ those who have expressed the sinces. “joy at a recent event, charged “making attempts to give it the colour.”