« ZurückWeiter »
he continued, till one dark night, a very“ toil of these our unfortunate neighheavy stone, coming from behind a " bours. Gentlemen, I am of opinion hedge, fell upon the nape of his neck," that it is unlawful to compel a man and was only an inch or two too low" to act the part of a beast of burden, as to finish his assistant career.' Near the condition of receiving parish reNORTHIAM, which is, I think, in Sussex,“ lief; and I know that it is disgraceful there were a great number of men to us, to our village, and to our counmade to carry gravel in baskets, to a “ try; that it is painful to me, and, I great distance. One of these men, in " hope, it is painful to you. Therefore, order to ease his shoulders, put, by the “ Gentlemen, I propose to you to join consent of the carter, his load up into an in endeavours to obtain a meeting cmpty waggon, that was going the “ of the vestry of the parish, in order same way, and the “ usefuil overseer “ that measures may be taken for putmade him replace it
“ ting an end to this disgrace. A reshoulder ! The bell put upon the “quisition, in the following words, lies “ leader” in another part of Sussex, was at my house for the signature of such of the same stamp. Now, it is this “ gentlemen as may choose to sign it: wanton cruclty ; this base insolence; “ To the Vicar and Churchwardens of these, even more than the hunger; “the Parish of St. Mary Abbott's, Kenthese, more than all the bodily suffer sington. We, whose names are ing, have tended to produce the vio- “ “ hereunto subscribed, request that lences mentioned above, and to produce you will cause a restry of the parish that acrimony and that bitterness, so « « to be called, for the purpose of inably described by the Earl of RADNOK, quiring why it is that men who apand to prevent which, he, as far as his " « ply for parish relief are, as a condiinfluence has gone, has always taken " • tion of receiving it, compelled to be care. The men see, that to shut them" used as beasts of burden.' If you up in pounds, to put bells on them, to “join me, Gentlemen, in this applicamake them carry a big stone about, 10 “ tion, we shall, I trust, vindicate the make them carry gravel in baskets, to “ character of our parish. At any rate, make them draw like horses ; they see I am resolved that no part of the disthat this is done out of spite; that it is to grace, belonging to the transaction, punish them for being in want; and this “ shall remain on the head of, Gentlehas, as I always said it would, roused “ men, your most obedient and most them at last.
( humble servant, On Friday last, I saw that the Select
“ WM. COBBETT." Vestry at Kensington, or their over Kensington, Feb. 27, 1830. seer, were making the poor men, who applied for relief, draw gravel to and on Nobody has been to sign the requisithe turnpike road. Upon seeing this, tion; but I understand that something I sent round the village the following better has been done. I am informed that, notification : “ To the RATE-PAYERS on Monday morning, two or three gen. " or KENSINGTON. Gentlemen : I see tlemen went to the parish-officers, and " that the men who are on the poor- took them to the place where the men " book, in our parish, are used as beasts were employed in dragging the cart. “ of burden. I pay my rates for their They asked them whether they would
relief, and not to enable any body to rather wheel wheel-barrows than draw
treat them in this manner. This mark the cart. To which the men an" of national degradation, of which, as swered, “ Yes, certainly"; for that they " exliibited in the country parts, I have were abused so by other men, who “ been complaining for years, is at called then convicts and slaves, so that “ last come to my own door, and exhi- they could not bear it. The gentlemen “ bited, side by side, with the most in- then told the parish-officers that they " solent luxury, derived from those taxes must let them have wheel-barrows. A “ which are in part wrung from the gentleman, on whose word I can rely,
saw them, on the Thursday, and heard " which we have the audacity to call men taunting them for their submission; “ “ the dark ages.'” telling them they ought to have the An English gentleman told me, that WHIP behind them. Those taunts the late Pope, opening the Italian transwere just, as every one must allow. lation of my book, and pointing to this
I like the Bishop's idea of giving to paragraph, said, "Can that be true ?" every poor man a piece of land. When Another, a French gentleman, told me, a farmer was planting a field with long- that the very same paragraph was pod beans, near Winchester, another pointed out to him by the general of the told him that he hoped that he would Dominicans, at Madrid. The book is in have plenty of bits of bacon to hang all the languages of Europe; and our up round the field, as soon as the beans disgrace has long been known to all should be fit to eat; for that beans nations; and those_nations know, too, were not good without bacon; and to a that there is one Englishman, at any certainty all the beans would go into rate, who has laboured to prevent that the pots of the neighbourhood. So disgrace. Ah, my Lords, I have forewith these pieces of land: where are seen every thing ; I have made prothe seed, the tools, the barns, to come vision for every thing ; I have taken from? Admirable system, which, for care that events shall record the correctforty years, has been moulding six farms ness of my opinions, and the depth of into one, and has been boasting of those my penetration ; I have taken care, that enclosures which have stripped the la- you shall not be saved without the world bourers of even the goose pasture; and seeing that you are saved by the means which now (glorious system !) pro- pointed out by me. poses to give the labourers little pieces Now, as to the progress of land!
events : nothing effectual will be done, But, as to the shame of the thing ; during the present session of Parliament. as to the disgrace in the eyes of ihe The farmers will, however, be obliged world, the Duke of Richmond may be to give a little more employment; the assured that that is a thing past pray- hay-time and the harvest will give the ing for. That was settled by the His- labourers something; and the warm tory of the PROTESTANT REFORMATION; weather will make their sufferings less. and in the single paragraph, 459, in the They will go on in a grumbling sort of following words :
state until November or December ; " Go, and read this to the poor souls, and the war with the “ useful" class of “who are now eating sea-weed in Ire- men will re-commence ; and by this " land; who are detected in robbing day twelvemonth, if the taxes be not " the pig-troughs in Yorkshire ; who greatly reduced, one-half of the farmers u are eating horse-flesh and grains (draff) will become chargeable to the parish. “in Lancashire and Cheshire ; who are They must now see that there is no hope “ harnessed like horses and drawing for them : and they will make all their “gravel in Hampshire and Sussex ; preparations for winding up with the “ who have 3d. a day allowed them by next harvest. Those who can get off “ the magistrates in Norfolk : who are, with any thing, will get off. The la“ all over England, worse fed than the bourers cannot get away, if they would ; “ felons in the gaols. Go, and tell them, and they must, and will, eat; and, they “ when they raise their hands from the will have more to eat, too, than they « pig-trough, or from the grains-tub, have been for years accustomed to “ and, with their dirty tongues, cry have. This is according to the usual “No Popery'; go, read to the degrad- course of things. For a long while men “ ed and deluded wretches, this account submit: they are brought, by degrees, “ of the state of their Catholic fore- to greater and greater suffering, till the “ fathers, who lived under what is im- suffering be so great, that life, in such “pudently called 'popish superstition a state becomes not worth preserving; " and tyranny,' and in those times, and when they arrive at that point,
they must be destroyed, or their suffer. sticking upon a post, near a publicing must be wholly removed; for they house, somewhere between Whitely and never will be contented with mere miti- Chiddingfold, a hand-bill in somewhat gation. The spell of submission being these words : “ To be sold, very cheap, once broken, they bound back to the “d brace of Churchwardens, a couple state from which they have been de " of Overseers, and sundry Farmers. graded. How regularly their degrada-"Inquire of the poor of the parish." tion may be traced in the statute book! Better be a dog than a farmer next win. 4. The Root and Green Crop Act; ter. However, they will pay nothing :
making that a crime, with sum- they will get off, or get on the poor
mary punishment, which was be- book; and tradesmen will do the same · fore only a trespass.
Get off if you can, my readers; and in 2. Gilbert's Poor-house and Badge my next Register, I will tell you how, Act.
or rather I will enforce the reasons 3. The Poachers-transportation Act. given in my Emigrant's Guide, I hear, 4. Ellenborough's Act; making it with great pleasure, of one young farmer,
death to cut, or niaim, or aim who has sold off in time, and who is at, a gamekeeper, though he be preparing to depart with his wife and the assailant.
children. Shocking and shameful to 5. The Select Vestry Act; throwing think of; but a man is not to condenin
the parish power all into the his wife and children to the pour-house, hands of the rich.
if he can save them from it. 6. Assistant Overseer Act; taking
The following article from a country away the power of the parish paper, is worthy of notice :-“ Nukle overseers, and, in fact, of the “ EMPLOYMENT for a NOBLEMAN,—We magistrates also, as far as fa
“ have sincere pleasure in being able to vourable to the poor.
" record the munificent acts of a young 7. The Apple-felony Act; making
“nobleman, Lord Ongley, who has that which was only, about forty
lately cheered the homes and persons years ago, a mere trespass, a
of the poor of the village of Warden, felony.
“ Beds, near which his lordship resideş. 8. The new Trespass Act; authorizing
“ The cottages of the village have all the seizure of a poor man at
"been repaired at his lordship's exonce, and sending him to jail
pense, both internally and externally; and to hard labour, for only
"clothing of every description has been walking across a field, or getting
liberally distributed under his lori over a hedge.
"ship's directions; and the gardens of
“the cottagers laid out in a style of THEN CAME
nealness, which, added to the natural First, the treadmill.
advantages of the scenery, renders it Last, the work-like beasts of burden.
one of the prettiest villages in Bed This has been the progress.
The “ fordshire. Improvements are still go. result, which is fast coming, will be “ing on; and a great part of his lordperfectly natural, and it is inevitable." ship's time, most of which is spent at It is now said that the “poor" are his mansion, is occupied in amelioratgetting saucy. To be sure they will." ing the condition of the poor," ---NorthThey laugle at the farmers; they enjoy ampton Mercury. their fall; they grin and show their Now, all this may be true, and I butter teeth at it. What a horrid state hope it is; and it may have been of things! How completely the infernal written by the “ WE” of the Northsystein of taxing and funding has ruined amplon Mercury; but, if all this be so, this nation ! For, if this be not ruin, it would have been better that the facts nothing is, or can be. A few days ago, had been kept out of print. Lord a gentleman, who had been in the lower Ongley is a young man, it seems; I part of Surrey, told me, that he saw, am an old one, and I can assure him
that, however laudable his acts and mo- I would be acled upon in the villages of tives, this is not the way to manage the Kent, or Sussex, or Surrey, or in any of labouring people. They do not like to the villages of the counties near Lonbe superintended; they do not like to don, on the north side of the Thames; be surveiliés; they like to manage their if one could know on what day the cottages and their gardens in their own “ useful class of men" would begin to way; they do not like to live upon sell the dead bodies of the poor for the gifts; they like to call the things their use of the rich, one might tell, within a OUR ; and to have a good living and few hours, when the end would be. The good clothing by right, and not by whole concern is, at this moment, a compassion. And I can assure Lord magazine of gunpowder, with trains Ongley, that the caressing and coaxing lying in every direction: there only system never yet succeeded with this wants, I imagine, just a touch from the by far the shrewdest part, of mankind, bright match of Mr. Warburton. These who, like soldiers and sailors, suspect are the tender things : the living belly you of some hidden motive, the mo- and the dead body; things that men do ment you become uncommonly kind. not reason about. If I were a fundIn short, they ascribe it to a desire dealer, I would give a trifle to know to gain something from them, or, when the honourable votary of science to your fear of ihem; and, in this means to renew his bill. last case, a vast addition is made to So much for the treatment of the your danger. The true way is, to give poor; and, in my next, something for them fair wages; to act, in all cases, the farmers, and the tradesmen. This justly by them; to exact due obedience middle class is now doomed to utter and respect from them; to say little to ruin : their sole choice lies between rethem; and, in the management of their treat and pauperisin. What! when we own affairs, to let them alone. This is see ten out of eighteen rate-payers in wbat they like too; and this every man of one parish, when distrained upon for them would say, if the question were their rates, throw themselves on the paput to him.
However, we are past rish; when we see this, are we to deem the time for even folly's self to try the a man any thing much better than a wheedling system. It is now a question beast, if he do not flee while he can? ), of food or no food; and empty bellies years ago, said, that, if the system went are not to be wheedled. The DIS- on, the labourers would take possession COVERY, made in the House of Lords of the land. I hear a PEER now say about the “ beasts of burden," will only this, in his place in Parliament: I wish cause laughter amongst the reading that his conviction may not have arrived part of the community. It will hardly too late. At any rate, the farmers must reach the ears of the labourers ; if it fall, if they do not relreat ; if they do were to reach those ears, it might cause not decamp: Let them not rely upon a burst at once!
the landlords: they have relied on them There is no possibility of ascertaining long enough. Those of them that mean how this thiny will end ; but that the well, have no power. In short, the labouring people will take away all middle class must be mowed down, if rent, appears to be inevitable, if this they remain, and if the system remain. system be not wholly changed. But as Best to leave the boroughmongers and to the immediate cause of the end, and the paupers to settle all disputes. The as to the manner of its operating, no-latter appear to be the only real match body can even guess. There is one for the former ; and, to a certainty, they contingency, indeed, which, if it were to would beat thein in the end. arrive, might make it less difficult to be positive as to time, at any rate, and that is, the contingency of passing the
SEAT IN PARLIAMENT. DEAD-BODY BILL ; because, if one By way of preface to the following could know on what particular day it letter, I have to observe, that I have,
I believe, not known the author of it all dispute, the most likely man to permore than about a year ; that he is a form this great good, is it egotism in silk-manufacturer; and, that he is a me to tender my services? When I man whose acquaintance any one might offered myself to the King, as prime be greatly proud of, the letter itself minister, it was by no means in the way will sufficiently show. I have only fur- of joke: I was perfectly serious : I bether to add here, that I shall see Sir lieved myself more able than any other Thomas Beevor on Monday or Tues- man to fill the office to the advantage of day, and take his opinion on the sub- the country; and though I was, I may say, ject. My opinion is, that this system certain, that my offer would be rejected, must be taken to pieces, or, that it will or rather treated, if ever heard of, as go to pieces, or be knocked to pieces: matter for sport, I did my duty in makand who is likely to be able to contri- ing the offer. The King chose another bute so greatly towards the safely taking man ; and, under that man, the sufferto pieces as I am? Away with the vulgar ing is dreadful, as I said it would be ; nonsense about egotism ! Does the and, as it would not have been if my learned and experienced Lord Chief offer had been accepted. And what ! Justice think it egotism, when he takes are millions and millions of men to sufit for granted, that compared with his fer; is ruin to fall upon hundreds of opinion those of the united bar are of thousands of virtuous families ; is starylittle value in deciding on men's con-ation to exist in a land of plenty; are tested claims? In my case, events have all the bands of society to be bursted proved that I have greater knowledge asunder; are convulsion and anarchy than all the other politicians in the coun- to menace a great kingdom every hour; try put together; and, with this proof be. and while the confusion of Babel perfore his eyes, is there a man to be found vades the discussions relative to the to impute egotism to me? No one ac- causes and the remedies, is the nation cuses the king of egotism because he, not to hear the voice and have the aid in divers instances, calls hinself our of that man who has always been right superior and ruler ; yet, well known as to all these matters ? Verily, if this as his superiority is, is it better be, after all that has passed, it will be known than mine is, over all other strange indeed. However, as long as men, as far as relates to a know. I have health and strength, I will leave ledge of the great matters, on the man- undone nothing that I am able to do ; ner of managing which the fate of this and if I had no other motive, it would country now turns ? In 1818 I be- be sufficient for me that my exertions sought the Parliament not to return to might gratify the wishes of the excellent cash payments without an equitable author of the following letter. adjustment; and they themselves, after scorning my advice then, now confess
“ Derby, 27th Feb., 1830. that this very measure might have been
6 Dear Sir, It gives me great adopted then, and that it would have“ pleasure to learn from your Register prevented the present mischief, and the " to-day, that you have it in contemfuture dongers. In 1826, I told the “ plation to obtain a seat in the present Parliament, that if they passed the Small-“ Parliament. As one of those who, on note Bill without a great reduction of your late tour to the North, urged taxes, they would plunge the country upon you the desirableness of accominto sufferings absolutely insupportable; “ plishing this object, it is unnecesand they now, though they then despised sary that I should now re-state my my warning, confess that the sufferings " reasons for wishing it : they are, in are insupportable. These facts being “ fact, comprised in the observations notorious to the whole nation, can it be," with which the announcement of your egotism in me to think and to say, that I “intention is accompanied. am the most likely man to discover and “ Since the opening of the session, apply a remedy?' And, being, beyond " my desire to see you in the House of