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produced, and the persons, to whom the making of it was referred, declared, that it was impossible for them to say what time, during the nert session of parliament, they should be able to produce it. Never mind The motion has had an exc-llent effect it has shown us the feeling of the Honourable House. It has furnished us with one proof more, and a most convincing proof too, of the nature of that feeling. These proofs, frequently repeated, are what we want. If any thing can do us good, these proofs, well packed upon one another, will do it. The plunderers have not accused Lord Cochrane of treasonalse designs yet; but, they, in the superabundance of their charity, suspect him to be mad only. If a man be not a coward in the field, or a plunderer at home, or a partizan of one or the other, the miscreant writers are sure to represent him as a traitor or a madman. And, it is after this, that they expect us to love and cherish them In a future letter I purpose to give you an account of some curious contracts. In the meanwhile, I remain, - Gentlemen, Your faithful friend, - and obedient Servant, WM. Cobb ETT,
SUMMARY OF POLITICS.
PRocer DINGS IN PA R LIAMENT (continued from page 181).--There are three subjects, which came before parliament, during the last session, upon which I think it may be useful to offer a few remarks: I Poor Laws; II. Election IWrits; III. IRIs H INsur Rection BILL. Mr. Whitbread had two or more bills prepared for altering and adding to the Poor Laws. There are only two of his intended provisions that it is my intention to notice, namely, the giving to each parishioner a number of votes in the vestry proportioned to the amount of the rates paid by him ; and, the taring of the several parishes for the purpose of providing schools jor the children of the poor. I object to the whole of his plan, as calculated to do no good whatever, while it might, in many cases, tend to evil, by causing it to be believed, that the misery of the poor and the increase of paupers had their rise in causes other than those of taxation and the idleness of the innumerable swarms who live upon the taxes. From the accounts, laid before the Honourable House, it appears, that the increase in the number of paupers has kept
amount of the taxes Yet, it never appears to have occurred to Mr. Whitbread, that the taxes were the cause of pauperism, notwithstanding the history of all countries might have aided in producing in his mind a conviction of this truth. In the American States there were no paupers previous to taxation ; but, they are now found in tolerable abundance ; and, we have heard of the soup-shops and other quackery of that sort, even in Philadelphia, where my poor rates amounted to a considerable sum annually. In New Brunswick, when I was there, there were no taxes, and there were no paupers. Am I told, that there would have been paupers, if there had been a law to relieve them? My answer is, that there is no such law in Ireland; but, that country, heavily taxed, has a population of one fourth paupers, while in England the paupers amount to about one seventh of the population.—— But, supposing him to have overlooked what was pointed out by experience, reason alone might have convincet him that taxation nust produce paupers; and, if he himself had wanted the faculty of reasoning, a correspondent of mine has, long ago, reasoned the matter ready to his land. I object to the whole of his project, therefore, as totally inadequate to the purposes professed to be in view ; but, as the project has been rejected, I shall, for the present, content myself with a remark or two upon the two intended provisions above-mentioned, and which, to me, are particularly objectionable. The first would have changed the mode of voting at vestries. Every parishioner, who pays poorrates, has now a right to vote, in these parochial assemblies, and the decision, upon all occasions, is by the majority of votes. Mr. Whitbread would have given to each parishioner a number of votes in proportion to the amount of his rates. So that a man of large property would have had ten or a dozen votes, while some of the parishioners would have had but one vote; and, in some parishes, a decided majority of the votes would have been in one single person. “Very true." will he say, “ but, who should have the “ votes but those who pay the rates, and who “ are, of course, the persons solely interest“ ed?" If we were speaking of the conceros
of a trading company, I should have no ob."
jection to this reasoning, though I should
advise no one to take a small share even in
such concerns. But, we are here speaking of an establishment where something else' besides the mere interest of the persons paying rates is to be considered. There *
here the interests of two parties to be taken
an exact pace with the increase in the real care ol, namely, those of the persons poo - ! y pe
rates and those of the poor; and, in order to insure the best chance of a proper feeling prevailing upon all occasions, you must give to every parishioner, from the Esquire to the shoemaker and the little farmer, a right of voting. Many of those who pay rates are but a step or two from pauperism themselves; and, they are the most likely persons to consider duly the important duty of doing, in case of relief, what they would be done unto. “But,” Mr. Whitbread will say, “ is “ it right for these persons to give away the “ money of others.” It is not the money of others, any more than the amount of tithes is the farmer's money. The maintenance of the poor is a charge upon the land, a charge duly considered in every purchase and in every lease. Besides, as the law now stands, though every parishioner has a vote in vestry, must it not be evident, to every man who reflects, that the man of large property and superior understanding will have weight in proportion 2 That he wiil, in fact, have many votes 2 of he play the tyrant, even little men will rise against him, and it is right they should have the power of so doing; but, while he conducts himself with moderation and humanity, while he behaves as he ought to do to those who are beneath him in point of property, there is no fear but he will have quite a sufinciency of weight at every vestry. The votes of the inferior persons in the parish are, in reality, dormant, unless in cases where some innovation, or some act of tyranny, is attempted. They are, like the sting of the bee, weapons merely of defence. If this proposition of Mr. Whitbread were adopted, why not upon the very same principle, change the mode of voting for memlens of a county 2 Why not give to the fleeholders of tea thousand pounds a year five thousand votes each 9 Mr. Whitbread is, or rather, was, a parliamentary reformer; and this would be a reform with a vengeance There needs nothing more, I think, to show, that Mr. Whitbread must have considered the subject very superficially.——The other intended provision, which was framed into a bill of itself, and which bill, after passing the Honourable House, was thrown out by the Lords, is, in my opinion, full as objec tionable. I like not the ground, upon which it stood, namely, that the poverty of the people arises from their vices. This is first assumed, and then it is asserted, that education, as Mr. Whitbread calls it, would preven those vices. It is very convenient fo those, who, from whatever o, are desi rous of supporting the taxing system, to take it for granted, that the cause of the incre s ing wretchedness of the people lies with the
people themselves. Government is continually represented as the guide, the guardian, the nursing parent of the people ; and, therefore, it is maintained. that its powers ou.ht to be great as they are. But, it is truly curious, that when the people, when these guided and guarded and nursed children, become hit-starved and ragged and filthy, the fault is laid solely upon the children, and not upon the guide, guardian, and nurse. I do not say, that poverty and misery do not sometimes, and even very frequently, arise from vice. They are, indeed, the natural and just punishments of vice, in the lower as well as the higher orders of society. “The drunkard and glutton shall come to “ poverty,” is a judgment which applies to all ranks of men. Dishonesty, hypocrisy, l: ziness and insolence are followed by a loss of confidence and regard; these by a loss of employment and of profit; and these by poverty and misery. But, we have, in England and Wales, 1,200,000 parish paupers; and, that all these have become paupers from their vices is utterly incredible. These paupers are nearly, if not quite, three times as mumerous as they were when Pitt, to whom we are to raise a monument, became minister; so that, at any rate, if increase of vice, and not increase of taxation be the cause, the people, under Pitt's sway, have become three times as vicious as they before were. The cruel malt and hop tax has, indeed, driven them from their homes to the public-house, where - some increase of vice may have been engendered; but, one would have thought, that, though this terrible tax is a great gain to the brewers, the man, who was shocked at the increase of vice, would have proposed to remove the cause, or would have held his -tongue. An increase of vice is not, however, the great cause of the increase of the number of paupers. The great cause, is, the system of taxation, which creates such a number of idle persons, which draws from labour so large a part of its fruits, which has an inevitable tendency to reduce the number of proprietors, and which, as inevitably, increases the number of paupers; for, when men see not the least chance of obtaining property, it soon becomes a matter of indifference with them, whether the means of their subsistence come to them in ‘he share of wages or of parish relief.But, supposing, for argument's sake, that the poverty and misery of the people have arisen from their vices; and, carrying our complaisance still further, supposing, that, some how or other, the people nave, since Pitt became moniser, become, all of a sudden, cuised with a vicious prope::ity avov
is this vicions propensity to be removed by sending the children to a parish-school Let Mr. Whitbread search the records of Botany Bay, of the Hulks, of Newgate, of the County Jails, and he will find, I believe, that for one person incapable of reading and writing, he will there find recorded the names of fifty capable of reading and writing. But, the vice has increased of late years, That is distinctly asserted. Indeed that assertion is a necessary part of the ground-work of the proposition. Well, then, has a want of what Mr. Whitbread calls education increased of late years 2 Have schools become less numerous : Have books, pamphlets, reviews, magazines, newspapers, reading-rooms, circulating libraries, methodist and other meetings, declined in number 2 Mr. Whitbread well knows, that they have increased tenfold. How, then, can he expect to eradicate vice, and thereby reduce the number of paupers, by adding about twelve thousand to the number of schools already existing 2 It is the lot of man, and most wisely has it so been ordained, that be shall live by the sweat of his brow. In one way or another every man must labour, or he must suffer for the failure in health or in estate. Some are to labour. with the mind, others with the limbs ; and, to so, pose what is, by Mr. Whitbread, called education, necessary to those who labour with their limbs, is, in my opinion, as aosu d as it would be, to suppose that the being able to mow and to reap are necessary to a rhinister of state or an astronoumer The word 'gn, once is as much abused by some pers is as the word learning; but, those who regard the latter as consisting solely in the acquirement of a knowledge of the meaning of words in vario is languages, which knowledge is to be derived only from books, will naturally regard the former as consisting solely of a wait.of the capacity to derive any knowledge at all from books. If the farmer understands well how to conduct the business of his farm, and if, from observation of the seasons and the soil, he knows how to di aw from the latter as much profit as therefrom can be drawn; if the labouter be expert at ploughing, sowing. reaping, mowing, making of rocks and of fences, louding the wagon, threshing and winnowing the corn, and bestowing upon the castle the various necessary cares; if this be the case, though neither of time in can write or read, I call neither an ignorant man. The education of these men is a finished one, though neither may ever have looked into a book; as:d, I believe, Mr. Whitbread would be greatiy puzzled to sug
gest even the most trifling probable benefit that either could derive from an acquaintance with the use of letters. “But, “ men, thus naturally gifted and disposed, “ might have risen in life, if they had “ been taught reading and writing.” It is very likely, that they might have been, by such means, removed from the fields to the city; but, without allowing that that remove would have raised them in life, and positively denying that it would have added to their happiness, I think I may anticipate that Mr. Whitbread will concede, that all men.
cannot be so removed; and, then, let it be
observed, that his system of education is intended for general effect. Would I, then, advise every parent to prevent his children from learning to read and write 2 No.: but, I would leave each parent to his own taste and his own means co-operating with the disposition and capacity of the child. The general taste of parents, and their naturally high opinion of their children's capacities, are quite sufficient to furnish the schools, without the aid of another act of parliament and another cursed tax. It is natural to the fondness of parents, it is laudable emulation in them, to endeavour to raise their children in the consideration of the world; and, as no great degree of eminence is to be attained without the use of letters, it is laudable in them to make use thereof, when they can. But, some people must remain to labour; all men cannot attain to eminence in the world; and, therefore, that which is laudable in individuals, is, to say the best of it, foolish upon a national scale. It is contended, that learning to read and write would nend the morals of the people, I have before observed, that the assumed increase of vice has taken place while schools and news-papers have been increas. ing ten-fold. By the help of Mr. Wilberforce, indeed, the word religious was to have been placed, in the bill, before educa. tion ; and great care was to be taken to give the parson of the parish sufficient authority in the superintending of the school, without, however, nicking any provision to insure even a tolerable chance of there being a parson in the parish, except, perhaps, for 3 couple of hours of a Sunday. But, though Mr. Wilberforce would easily believe, that, with the help of a little new-light, the sholars would have no difficulty in solving those knotty points, arising from the text of the Scriptures, about which so many doctors have been quarrelling for so many cen: turies, oach doctor condenining the other. doctor to flames eternal, and that, tuo, not ignorantly, but in good decent Latin, and Greek; yet, it does not appear to have occurred to him, that, when they had learnt to read the Bible, they might possibly read something else, and that Grub-street and the novel shops might furnish them with ideas exceedingly well calculated to add to, instead of diminishing, the fearful stock of vice assumed to be already existing. Is it, however, seriously urged; is there a man who will soberly assert, that the people of England, in any considerable number, can
possibly be ignorant of their moral dates? "
Go to the top of any hill in the kingdom, and see how thickly the spires are scattered; consider how easy and bow constant is the communication between all ranks of men; how scrupulous men are as to all matters relating to property; how frequent and how regular, and, generally speaking, how inPartial, the administration of justice. Do this, Mr. Whitbread, and then say, if you can, that the people of England are ignorant, or can possibly be ignorant, of their moral duties; and that they want reading to teach them those duties. “ But, the political effects of this education " Mr. Whitbread did not, that I know of, promise any benefit of this sort from his plan; but, the editor of the Morning Chronicle and others have affected to see a prospect of great advantage in “enlightening” the peoPlein this way. I, however, can see none. For, what would the teaching of the people to read do 2 Enable them to read newspapers, those vehicles of falsehood, and of bad principles. That the press, left to itself, would enlighten men I allow ; that discusson, if free, would end in favour of truth I know well. Rut, of the news-papers, and other periodical publicatio, is, and all books, or printed works, treating of politics, five sittiis, at least, are, by one means or another, bought. The writers are, in fact, hired; and hired, too, to deceive the peoPle; to spread falsehood instead of truth, darkness instead of light. Truth is a libel; and, what is the worst of it, fine and imPrisonment is constantly dreaded on the one ide, and perfect impunity as constantly reled on, on the other side. What information, what light are the people to receive from such a press Do the people benefit from their reading of politics in France 2 Did they profit from it at Berlin Do they Profit from it in Russia or in Austria or in Holland? Yet there are news-papers in abundance there ; and full as flee, too, in fict, as the far greater part, as nine-tenths even, of our news papers. Of public men and measures, if you disapprove, you must
speak very cautiously; but, if you please to prisise them, no matter how bold, how exaggerated, how false your statements. There is no gainsaying this: that where to publish what is true may subject a nuan to fine and imprisonment and pillory, the press must be an injury to political freedom. Some truths, and valuable truths, get abroad through the means of the press; but these are influitely out numbered by the falsehoods; and, if the people were left without any press at all, matters would be much better, because they would then judge and act from what they saw and what they felt, and not from what they read. The operations of the press have, every one must allow, increased greatly in their extent within the last twenty-three years. Has political freedom gained much during that time * Have men been more secure in their persons and their property than they formerly were * It is my decided opinion, and, I think, that most men of reflection will concur with me, that, without the aid of the press, Pitt never would have been able to do half what he did during his terrible administration. If I am reminded of the Electors of #estminster, I say, that their light has not been derived from the press, but from being upon the spot; from hearing and seeing and receiving conviction of, what the press disguises from other men ; and, it is notorious, that, during the last election, they acted in direct opposition to the exhortations of nine parts out of ten of the press. It is not, therefore, because they read more than other electors read, that they have acted virtuously and courageously, but because their knowledge of the truth led them to despise what they read. There was one argument of experience, brought forward in support of this project, which, by way of conclusion, I must take a little notice of, the erample of the people of Scotland. The Scotch are never backward in putting forward their claims of any sort,
and many just claims they have ; but, I am
not amongst those who are ready to allow them a monopoly either of virtue or of talent; and, I deny that their lower classes afford any example worthy of the imitation of ours. I deny that they are more industrious, more moral, more virtuous in any respect, than the people of England are. I have seen colonies that have been settled by Englishmen, and some by Irishmen, where industry alone could have possibly succeeded ; but, I never yet saw a country settled and cleared by the salour of Scotchmen. The boastiiigs which have been heard about the wondrous improvements in Scotland are infinite ; but, will any man pretend to say, that the labourers of that country are more moral, more orderly, their habitations more cleanly, their struggles against poverty more unremiived, their labour and their industry greater, than are those of the English labourers ?" This notion about Scotch example seems to have come up amongst us with the juvenile ooconomists, whom the late ministérs drafted from the office of the F dinburgh Roview, which is a sort of depôt for specuisitors in politics, who go off, each in his turn, as he can make shift to write him self into place. The late ministers seem to have been enamoured with the whole corps, and Lord Henry Petty, in his wisdom, is said to have freighted a Berwick Smack with no small portion of it. Some of these cadet statesmen were put into parliament, where (poor iads') they were never heard of more. Others were made commissioners of divers descriptions. Others wrote pamphlets about the Slave Trade and the Finances and Tithes and Commerce and Agriculture and the Poor, in expectancy of those high offices, the anticipated possession of which, alas ! they must now excilange for the gauging-rule and bottle at the button hole. To this importation of speculators, to their assurance, and to the imbecility of their patrons, we owe, I suspect, all the fine novel projects of Mr. Whitbread and his friends, who seemed desirous of changing every thing bot the correptions, against which they had before so bitterly inveighed. Mr. Whitbread's preisa bular compliment to the Scotch, containing so gross an insult to us, had certai:ly its rise in the importunities of this upstart set, who, I was long ago informed, had wriggled themselves into such a degrée of infiltence over even Mr. Fox, as to obtain from him a pledge upon maders of great national importance; to them we certainly owe this almost metaphysical project about the poor, and parti. cularly the compliment to ocotland at the ex pence of our own character. Had the conpliment been true, I should, I hope have been amongst the last to find fault with it; but I do ny its truth : I assert it to be folse; and my assertions are full as good as the assertions of Mr. Whitbread. But, I wish the matter not to rest pon assertion. If you try a question by individual observation, there is no coming to a decision, because the assertion on one side is as good as that on the other. Let us appeal, in an instance or two, to acknowledged facts. In general the resources of count, ies, as ascert...ined by the amount of their taxes, compared with their population, is not a very certain way of colong at a criteriod whereby to judge of their industry, either positive or relative.
But, where there are two countries, under one and the same government, lying adjoining to each other, having both a due proportion of the offices and emolurrents of the state, then the amount of the taxes raised in each, coopared with their respective popolation, is a fair criterion whereby to jo'ge of their relative jndustry, ingenuity, and enterprize. If this be so, and, I think, it would puzzle the whole corps of cadet statesmen to overset it, let us refer to the criterion here mentioned. The taxes, raised annually in Scotland, anyount to something less than one-seventeenth of the taxes raised in Great Britain. The population of Scotland amounts to something less than one seventh of the population of Great Britain; so that each person in England (including Wales, observe), each of these lazy vicious English, pays to the state annually much more than double the sum that is paid by each of those industrious and moral Scotch, of whom our labourers, in their hard struggles against poverty and misery, are insultingly told to take an example. The Irish, with a population of four millions; that is to say, a population amounting to a third of Great Britain ; the poor abused, despised, wretched Irish, pay too serenteenths of the expences of our army and navy, besides paying the whole of the interest upon their own national debt, and wholly maintaining their own copensive government, civil. and militory. Let us not be put off with an assertion that the custom-house is chiefly
in England; for the other taxes as well as
customs bear the same proportion. Nor will any shullie about arren funds avail the cadets; for, we take not, observe, extent of conntry, or nature of soil, but population, and the amount of the population is always the measure of the means of subsistence. -The other instance, which I shall take is grounded upon facts equally undeniable. It will, I think, be admitted, that when the people of a country are, in tinies of tranquillity and under no extraordinary circumstanstances, given to emigrate, that people Cannot be very industriots, nor have, in any ve: ry high degree, the virtues, which we could wish to meet with in the lower orders of society Savages, who never labour if they can avoid it, are always wandering from place to place. Stordy beggars roam from town to town and from county to county. Change of place, change of profession, change of employers; “ any thing rather “ than work,” is the motto of every lazy man in the world. Out of Scotland there have been more persons emigrated to Ame.
rica, within the last ten years, than out of