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VOL. 59.-No. 8.] LONDON, SATURDAY, AUG. 19, 1826. [Price 6d.
"The simpleton, PARSON SMYTHIES, told you, that the evil of low "prices would correct itself; for, that the Government would not be able "to collect the taxes, to pay the salaries, the pensions, the army, the "sinecures, and the interest of the Debt. This SMYTHIES, though a "PARSON, is a fool. The taxes can still be collected; and let this silly "SMYTHIES, and others, who are like him, hear, and let their teeth "chatter in their heads, while they do hear, that they may walk off to "the Poor-house, and that the revenue of the Government will thereby "be increased, rather than diminished."- Register, 25th January, 1823.
WORKING-PEOPLE OF BLACKBURN.
On the capacity of the Government to collect the Revenue, amidst the miseries of the Nation; and on the projects now on foot for robbing the people in the middle ranks of life, in order to keep up the luxury and the splendour of the Boroughmongers.
MY EXCELLENT FRIENDS,
Kensington, 16th August, 1826. |tical interest at this moment; and I address myself to you, upon the Ir appears to me to be neces- occasion, as a mark of my gratisary to inculcate, at this time, tude towards you, for the great correct notions upon the subjects kindness which you showed me, stated at the head of this Letter. on the 27th of June last, when The subjects are of extreme im- you received me on my return portance; they are of great prać- towards London from Preston.
Printed and Published by WILLIAM COBBETT, No. 183, Fleet-street. [ENTERED AT STATIONERS' HALL.]
The subjects here mentioned are of the MANCHESTER GUARDIAN; of great interest to us all; and I that white-livered looking fellow.. trust that the remarks which I am CUNLIFF, of the BOLTON EXabout to make upon these subjects, PRESS; that despicable hireling, will tend to excite hope in your who appears to be more fool than breasts, of seeing better days than knave, who conducts the PRESTON those which we now see, and that PILOT; that great full-pursed and we have seen for some years past. empty-skulled fellow, BAINES, of You must have perceived, that the LEEDS MERCURY; that most there is one description of persons, sublime ass (I forget his name),
who, while they do not like to who conducts the SHEFFIELD
pay taxes themselves, like ex- IRIS; that reptile of all reptiles tremely well to grind the working BOTT SMITH, of Liverpool, with classes to powder. These persons cousin John forming the tail of are extremely puzzled at this the maggot: hence it is that these time. They would fain hope to and their like, never forgetting be able to shift off the taxes from ANNA BRODIE, who is at the head themselves, and yet to keep the of the whole crew; hence it is, hellish boroughmonger system that they are always looking out afloat. One of the sources of de- for the "Quarter's Revenue”; that lusive hope is, that the amount of old battered humbug, by which the revenue, that is to say, the the people of England have been amount of the Government taxes, deceived and robbed for the last is a criterion whereby to judge of hundred and thirty years. ADDIthe prosperity of the nation. In SON, the author of that wishyother words, it is supposed that washy tittle-tattle stuff, the SPECthe nation is well off in proportion TATOR, was the first, or thereas its taxes are great. The taxes abouts, who began to cheat this are looked upon as the nation's nation by humbug stuff about income. And as individuals are "public credit" and "revenue.” well off in proportion to the amount of their income, so it is presumed that the nation must be well off, in proportion to the amount of its income. Hence the stupid creatures, such as that great conceited coxcomb, TAYLOR,
I beg you, my good friends, to have a little patience with me, while I expose this humbug. You want to know the truth; you do not want to be cajoled and cheated; you do not want to be humbugged: let the aristocrats and
the parsons humbug themselves, if they like: let us find out the truth, and when we have found it,. let us adhere to it.
The revenue means the aggregate or total amount of the money which the Government collects from the people in taxes. It makes up an account of these collections once in a quarter of a year; and it permits its clerks or somebody else, to publish this account; and, at the same time, to publish an account of the revenue in the corresponding quarter of the last year. For instance, April, May and June, make a quarter: so that, early in last month, an account of that quarter was pub- Strange infatuation! Infatualished, accompanied with an ac- tion which never could have existed count of the receipts, or revenue had it not been for the three hunfor the months of April, May and dred and fifty brutes of the Press; June, in 1825. This is called the that at once most infamous and "Quarter's Revenue," and if the most stupid Press; conducted, quarter of this year be equal to with few exceptions, by men that the quarter of last year, then the have long ago merited the gallows', newspaper brutes, above mention-if the gallows could be employed ed; and, in short, the whole of to punish that species of moral the three hundred newspaper baseness, which, in real turpitude, brutes all over the kingdom, with in real wickedness and hellishabout fifty more brutes that con-ness, far surpasses almost any duct Magazines and Reviews; felony.
this, they begin to bellow forth: "Ah! all is right, at last! All is "sound at bottom! The nation's resources are unimpaired." No matter what distress may be prevailing: there may be bankrupt→ cies and insolvencies twice as numerous as ever were known be fore; there may be beggary and ruin and pauperism two or three times as great as ever were known before; yet, if the "Quarter's Revenue" does but keep up, all is right; and the nation is in a state of PROSPERITY, though it be notorious that millions upon millions are suffering from hunger and nakedness.
his enormous bevy of brutes, the Now, my friends of BLACK moment they discover that the BURN, pray take a look at this quarter of this year is equal to matter: see how these newspaper the quarter of last year; the mo- brutes deceive themselves see ment the noisy brutes discover how they sophisticate the under
standings which God has given of his tail. An error, next of kin them, and how they bewilder their to this, is to take a false object of readers; how they make a sort of comparison, in order to explain half fools of the whole nation. It their meaning; and this is the case is not enough to know that they in the instance before us. The are wrong; that they deceive affairs of a nation are too vast and themselves; it is necessary, or, at too complicated for their minds. least, it is matter of curiosity, to They, therefore, in speaking of see how it is that they deceive such affairs, proceed upon the nothemselves. When the borough- tions which they, in common with mongers were in the height of their other men, entertain with regard exultation, after the passing of to the affairs of individuals; and Peel's Bill, I, in observing upon now please to mark what I say, as that insolent and stupid exultation, an individual is well off in proporsaid that it was a great satisfaction tion to the amount of his income; to perceive the manner in which that is to say, as an individual is those base tyrants had deceived better off this year than he was themselves. They thought that last year, if he get more rent this PEEL'S Bill would lower the price year than he got last; as this is of corn only about three shillings the case with an individual, it and sixpence in every five pounds, must also be the case with a nabecause, said they, that is the tion, which must be better off this proportionate difference between year than it was last year, if its the value of paper and of gold at revenue this year be greater than this moment. "Oh! ho!" said I, it was last! in my letter from Long Island, of Alas! my good friends of the 1st of August, 1819. "Oh! BLACKBURN, these brutes do not ho!" said I, "that is your hope, is perceive, that, in the case of the "it! Then I can tell you, Gen- individual, the rent is so much tle Boroughmongers, that your money that comes into his pocket; devil deceives you; and that, and that, in the case of the nalike all others that sell them-tion, or people, the revenue is "selves to the devil, you will, by so much that is taken out of and by, find yourselves cheated their pocket; and that, as the in"out of your souls, and see the dividual is better off on account -"devil laugh at you." of his increase of rent, so the nation must be worse off on account of its increase of revenue! This is as clear as day-light to any man of common sense; and if we were to adopt the contrary notion, we should be adopting this monstrous doctrine, that the more a people were taxed, the better that people would be off, which is monstrous beyond any thing that ever was heard of in the world.
Just so, my good friends of BLACKBURN, with regard to this famous humbug, the "Quarter's Revenue." And now, let us see how the newspaper brutes and the Boroughmongers deceive themselves, with regard to this affair. One of the commonest errors of shallow heads, that are muddy at the same time, is to take one thing for another; to suppose that they have got hold of the bull's horn, when they have actually got hold
But, though this notion would be so monstrous, it does not follow
that it would be so monstrous as ground is, there for supposing, to believe that the Government that the Revenue must fall off, as taxes would fall off, in proportion the Rents fall off?
to the falling off in the profits of Now, my opinion is, that rents trade and of farming. When may all cease to be paid; that every thing falls in price; when Merchants and Manufacturers cotton cloth, for instance, is sold may get no profits at all upon for sixpence a yard instead of their business; that Tradesmen two shillings; when wheat is sold and Shopkeepers may be made for four shillings a bushel in place so poor as to be hardly able to of ten; when the rent of a farm smell a bit of meat, once a month; falls from a hundred pounds a and that the Working People year to thirty; when this is the may be reduced to the lowest case, it seems, at first sight, im- possible state of misery; and possible that the Government can that, notwithstanding all this, the collect the same quantity of taxes. Government may be able to colThe thing has this appearance, at lect as much money in taxes durfirst sight; but, if we look closer ing the year, as it collected beinto the matter, we shall find, that fore this ruin and misery began; the Government may go on col- and that the Royal Family, the lecting taxes to the full amount Ministers, all the Officers and heretofore collected; that it may Soldiers, all the Officers and go on without any impediment in Sailors, all the Tax-gatherers, all the world, if it have but sufficient the Pensioners, Placemen, Sinephysical force to compel the curists, Grantees, Police people, people to pay direct taxes; and, Jailers, and all Tax-eaters of that, as to the indirect taxes, they every description, not forgetting would be likely to increase rather the Fundholders,the Dead Weight than diminish by the falling off of holders, all the paper-money peoprofits on farming and of trade. ple; that all these and their wives This is a capital consideration, and children and footmen and my good friends, of Blackburn; ladies' maids, and all the people for, if it be true that the Govern- dependant upon them, may be ment can continue to raise as living in the most riotous luxury, - much money in taxes, when the while the Weaver and the LaNation is starving, or, at any bourer are half-starved, while the rate, when Landlords and Mer- Master Manufacturer is a poor chants are ruined by thousands, depressed devil, with hardly a and when the Working People shoe to his foot, and while the are actually starving in rags by once haughty and insolent Arismillions; if the Government can tocratic Landlord, is compelled to continue to collect as much money creep into the Workhouse, or in taxes, in the midst of all this something very much like it. ruin and misery, as it collected
This I state distinctly as my
before the ruin and misery began, opinion. It is in direct contradicwhat ground is there for suppos- tion to the doctrines of the old ADAM
ing, that the Government will be Sinecure Placeman; brought to a stand still by the SMITH, whose book is the guide miseries of the people? What of all the Boroughmongers and