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Rose, George, 932, 1227.
Vansittart, Mr. Nicholas, 1270.
England, 1, 2, 4, 8, 17, 92, 460, 400,
COBBETT’S WEEKLY POLITICAL REGISTER.
LONDON, SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 19. 1820.
This was the state of our great
grandfathers and great grandINDUSTRIOUS CLASSES,
mothers who little thought of On the Causes of the present Power- what was to befall théti descend: ty and Misery.
ants! The very name of EngLondon, gth Feb. 1820. land was pronounced throughout
the world with respect. , That BeLoveD COUNTRYXEN AND COUNTRY WOMEN.
very name was thought to mean
high-spirit, impartial justice, freeThe picture, which our country dom and happiness. What does it exhibits, at this moment, while it
mean now ? It means that which I . sinks our own hearts within us, have not the power to describe, fills the whole civilized world
nor the heart to describe, if I had with woder and amazement. This
power. England, now concountry has been famed, in all tains the most miserable, people, ages, not only for its freedom and that ever trợd the earth. It is the for the security its laws gave to seat of greater human suffering : person and property; but for the of more pain of body and of mind, happiness of its people; for the than was ever before heard of in comfort they enjoyed; for the the world. In countries, which neatness and goodness of their have been deemed the most dress; the good quality and the wretched, there never has existed abundance of their household fur- wretchedness equal to that, which niture, bedding and utensils; and is now exhibited in this once for the excellence and plenty of flourishing, free and happy coun, their food. So that a LORD CHAN. try. CELLOR, who, four hundred years In this country the law proago, wrote a book on our laws, vides, that no human being shall observes in that book, that, owing suffer from want of food, lodging, to these good laws and the securi- or raiment. Our forefathers, when ty and freedom they gave, 'the they gave security to property ; English · people possessed, in when they made laws to give to abundance, “all things that con. the rich the safé, enjoyinent of duce to make life easy and happy.” | their wealth, did not forget, that
B Printed by H. HAY, 11, Nescaule Sirree, Strand; and published by WM. CORBETT, jum,
there must always be some poor, 1“ If you beg you shall be pu- . and that God wished, that the nished.” And, as we well know, poor, should not perish for want, punishment is frequently inflicted they being entitled to an exist for begging. ence as well as the rich. There. But, what do we see before our fore, the law said, and it still says, eyes at this moment? We see, that to make a sure and certain all over the kingdom, misery exprovision for the poar, is required isting to such an extent, that the by : the:: first principles of civil poor-laws are found insufficient, society. He who is rich to-day and that a system of general begmay be poor to-morrow; and he gary is introduced, under the is not to starve because he is be- name of subscriptions, voluntary come unfortunate.
contributions, soup shops, and Upon this principle of common the like, and, in the Metropolis, humanity and of natural justice where our eyes are dazzled with the Poor Laws were founded; the splendour of those who live and those laws give to every one on the taxes, we see that a soci. a right, a legal as well as an ety has been formed for raising equitable right, to be maintained money to provide a receptacle for out of the real property of the the houseless poor during the country, if, from whatever cause, night; that is to say, to give a unable to obtain a maintenance few hours shelter to wretched be. through his or her own exertions. ings, who must otherwise lie To receive parish-relief is no down and die in the very streets! ! favour! it is no gift that the re- To-day we read of a poor man ex. lieved person receives; it is what piring on his removal from one the law insures him; and what he country-parish to another. To. cannot be refused without a breach morrow we read of a poor woman, of the law, and without an out. driven back from the door of one rageous act of injustice and op- poor-house in London, carried pression.
back to expire in another poorSuch being the law; that is, the house, before the morning: The law having taken care, that relief next day we read of a man found shall always be at hand for the dead in the street, and nearly a destitute, the law has forbidden skeleton. While we daily see begging. It has pointed out to men harnessed and drawing carts every destitute person the place loaded with gravel to repair the whero he can obtain legal and high-ways ! effectual relief, and, therefore, Is this England! Can this be it has said : "you shall not beg. England ! and can these wretched
5) FEBRUARY 19, 1820.
[6 and miserable and degraded ob. sent and past, and of the more jects be Englishmen! Yes : this horrid sufferings, which we now is England; with grief, shame, but reasonably anticipate. To and indignation we must confess man, therefore, must we look for it; but, still we must confess that an account for these evils, into the such is now once free and happy cause of which let us, without any England! That same country that want of charity, but, at the same was, until of late years, famed time, without fear and without throughout the world for all that self-deception, freely inquire. was great, good, and amiable and My good, honest, kifid' and enviable.
industrious country-people, you This change never can have ta- have long been deceived by artful ken place without a cause. There and intriguing and interested men, must have been something, and who have a press at their comsomething done by man too, to, mand, and who, out of taxes raisproduce this change, this disgrace
ed from your labour, have perful, this distressing, this horrible
you, that your suffer change. God has not afflicted the country with pestilence or withings arise from nothing that man famine; nor has the land been in. can cause or can cure. But, have vaded and ravaged by an enemy. only a little patience with me, Providence has of late, been more and, I think, that I am able to than ordinarily benevolent to us. convince you, that your sufferThree successive hardests of un- ings and your degradation bave common abundance have blessed, arisen from the weight of taxes or would have blessed, - these imposed on you, and from no Islands. Peace has been undis- other cause wheiteder. tarbed. War appears not to have
When you consider, that your been even thought possible. The
salt, pepper, soap, candles, sugar, sounds of warlike glory have, even yet, hardly ceased to vibrate on
tea, beer, shoes, and all other our ears. And yet, in the midst things are taxed, you must see, of profound peace and abundant that you pay taxes yourselves; harvests the nation seems to be and, when you consider, that the convulsed with the last struggles taxes paid by your richer neighof gnawing hunger.
bours disable them from paying It is man, therefore, and not a you so much in wages as they benevolent Creator, who has been would otherwise pay you, you the cause of our sufferings, pre
must perceive, that taxes are dis.
advantageous to you. In short, it load of taxes. Others bend unis a fact, that no man can deny, der it. Others come down to that the poverty and misery of the poverty. And a great part of people have gone on increasing these are pressed to the very precisely in the same degree that earth, some ending their days in the taxes have gone on increas- poor-houses, and others perish. ing.
ing from actual want. The farThe tax on salt is fifteen shil-mers are daily falling into ruin; lings a bushel. Its cost at the the little farmers fall first; the sea-side, where a kind Providence big ones become little, and the throws it abundantly on our little ones become paupers, unless shores, is one shilling. Owing to they escape from the country, the delays and embarassments while they have money enough to arising from the tax, the price carry them away. Thousands of comes, at last, to twenty shillings! men of some property are, at this Thus, a bushel of salt, which is moment, preparing to quit the about as much as a middling fa- country. The poor cannot go ; s mily uses in a year (in all sorts of so that things, without a great ways), costs to that family eigh- change, will be worse and worse teen "shillings, at least, in tax !—for all that remain, except for Now, if an industrious man's fa- those who live upon the taxes. mily had the 18s. in pocket, in
And how are these taxes disstead of paying them in tax, posed of? We are told by imwould not that family be the bet-pudent men, who live on these ter for the change? If, instead taxes, that we, the payers of the of paying 6d. for a pot of beer, taxes, are become too learned ; (if beer a man must have) he had that we have been brought too to pay 2d. would not he be 4d. near to the government; that is the richer? And, if the taxes to say, that we have got a peep be were light instead of heavy, hind the curtain. It is well known, would not your wages and profits that a great deal has been said enable you to live better and dress
about educating the poor. At one
time, even the poverty was asbetter than you now do ?
cribed to a want of education They, who have good health,
amongst the labouring classes. good luck and small families, They were so ignorant! and that make a shift to go along with this was the cause of their misery.