« PreviousContinue »
they will soon cease to receive any rent at all from their estates.
Yet, descendant of "John with the bright sword," this is what you propose! This is what you have the impudence and insolence to put into print. I have been,
11. That, thus situated, you come forward with a scheme for their deliverance; that twenty-three years, called "á this scheme is, not a scheme rogue," because I proposed a for paying the debts off, but "just" and "equitable," clearing for wiping them off; and that, off of the national debt. Of late too, while the debtors keep years, I was thus called, because on receiving in full all their proposed to the county of Kent rents, tithes, pensions, sine- to pray for a just reduction of the debt. Because I proposed the cures, grants, and so forth! same in the county of Surrey, a 12. That, it is a fact rot to be sinecure Lord almost called me a denied, that the pensions, rogue. Because I proposed an sinécures, grants and other equitable adjustment in Norfolk, emoluments, received, for Daddy COKE and Lord SUFFIELD many years, by the Land- ran about, cackling against me in owners and their families, holes and corners and barns, like were PAID TO THEM hens going to lay. Yet, what did OUT OF THE LOANS; I propose; how modest was my that it would, therefore, be proposition, when compared with most monstrous iniquity, to yours! I never proposed to rededuct a farthing from the duce the interest of the debt, in interest of those who lent the amount of even one single the money, until those who farthing, until reductions had taken pocketed the lent money had place every where else. I never been compelled to refund as proposed to take one farthing of far as possible; and that it interest from the Fundholder, until would be an act of tyranny the whole crowd of generals and the most barefaced that the admirals and the enormous deadworld ever heard of, to deduct weight had been strictly inquired from the interest of the Fund-into; until the army had been reholder, while the pensioners duced to next to nothing; until and sinecurists and placemen every sinecure had been com and army and navy and par-pletely abolished; until the crown sons and bishops retained lands had been disposed of; until and enjoyed all that they now the grants of those lands had been possess; that no people upon resumed, as far as equity would earth ever yet did quietly sanction; until the whole of the submit to an act of tyranny pensions, not merited by welllike this, and that, if the known public services, had been people of England submitted abolished; until those who had to it, they would deserve to received money in pensions, sines be whipped and beaten, as cures, grants, while loans were the most unfeeling of mankind going on, had refunded, if possible, whip and beat mules and every farthing of that money: un til all this had been done, untik
the Church had yielded up a very for beer, which, if there were no considerable part of its property taxes, we might have for threeand income; and particularly halfpence. We give six shillings until it had paid back the one for a parcel of tea, that would, if million and six hundred thousand, there were no taxes, cost us, perwhich had been given to it out of haps, half-a-crown. Now, then, the loans until all these things we want to pay less taxes; but, had taken place, not a single the interest of the debt is so great, farthing, according to my propo- that it must have great parcels of sition, was to be taken from the taxes. Therefore, say you, Come, Fundholder. good people all, and join the landlords, in reducing the interest of the debt. Come, my good folks, come and join the landlords, those merciful people that let you have bread so cheap; come and join them in reducing the interest of the national debt!
Such is not the nature of your proposition. You mean to deduct from the interest of the debt; you mean to take a large part of their property away from the middle class of the community, and you mean to leave the Aristocracy and the Church in possession of all Softly, "Sir James Graham, that they have; in possession, not of Netherby;" softly, son of only of their own original estates, "John with the bright sword"; not only of the estates which they softly, say the people of England. have bought with the fruit of their The debt does cost taxes, to be sinecures and pensions; but, you sure; but, is there any thing pecumean still to leave them in pos- liar in the nature of those taxes session of the sinecures and pen-which the debt requires? Are sions themselves! Nothing but taxes less heavy, less galling, do aristocratic impudence and inso- they impoverish or provoke us lence, and ignorance, into the bar-more, when they go to a widow or gain, and all possessed in the her children when they have mohighest possible degree, could ney in the funds, than when they have emboldened a man to put go to pay the sinecure-salary of such a proposition into print. CANNING or the pension of his mother and his sister? Are they less provoking to us, when we pay them to a troop of orphans, than when we pay them to a troop of the dead-weight fellows, many of whom are Hanoverians? Look at that old man there: does it irritate me more to pay him a hundred a-year in dividends, than it does to pay that parson there a hundred pounds a-year in tithes, while, at the same time, I am compelled to pay taxes, in order that he may receive half-pay as a military or naval officer!
Oh! "Sir James Graham, of
What is the pretence that any man can find for lowering the interest of the debt? Why does any man think of such a thing? Oh! it is because the debt is so burdensome; it is because it is a "mill-stone" round the neck of the nation. But, this is figurative language. It is what is called fine talk. Let us have it plainer. We want, then, to reduce the interest of the national debt, because this interest is now so great as to make us pay more than one-half of our income and our earnings, in taxes. We pay sixpence a-pot
Netherby," are you vain enough | ter to him, published in the summer of 1818, a remarkable peculiarity belonging to this subject is this: that it is perfectly well understood by the working classes, while it was not, at the time when
to suppose, that we are such sots, that we are such infatuated creatures, that we are such despicable wretches, that we are so eaten up with, or over-awed by, the names of Lord and of Parson, as to was writing, at all understood think nothing of taxes given to by those who had the making of the latter, while we feel so se- the laws. You seem to have verely taxes which we give to per- been totally unaware of this. You sons in our own rank of life seem, with the presumption and Oh! Son of the "bright sword"; insolence habitual to the generason-in-law of "the seventh Earl lity of your order, to look upon of Galloway, K.T." Oh! thou the people as being ignorant as reader of Virgil! Doest thou brutes. I will engage, that out think, that I, WILLIAM COBBETT, of every five hundred weavers for instance, am such a despicable and spinners in the North, includsimpleton as to be eager to dock ing Scotland, four hundred and off the money that I pay every ninety-nine understand this subyear to my neighbours, my ac- ject better than you; that they quaintances, and, in some cases, understand all the causes, and all my PERSONAL FRIENDS, the effects, better than you; that who are Fundholders; that I am they have more accurate opinions, eager, above all things, to deduct with regard to the consequences from them, what I have to pay yet to come; that they know a them annually; and that I have great deal better than you, not no desire whatsoever to deduct only what is likely to happen, but what I pay to the Lord Charleses, what will be best for the country, the Lady Wilhelminas, the Bishops in the times that are coming. and the Parsons? Doest thou really think this, Sir James? Doest thou think that I do not even yet feel the Aristocratical and Clerical foot heavy enough upon my neck; doest thou think that I relish the weight of that foot! Faith thou knowest better, and I will prove that thou knowest better, before I have done!
Do you imagine, then, that you can persuade such people to join the Land-owners in a scheme which would crush three hundred thousand families in the middle class of life, which would take not one farthing of the income of the aristocracy and the church; which would leave these two latter, infi! nitely more powerful, relatively Oh! no, Sir James, we all considered, than they now are; understand this matter too well to and which would render their be imposed upon by any schem- arrogance intolerable? There are ers like you; and the circum- few men, amongst even the workstance of your having put forwarding classes, who do not see this the proposition, shews clearly matter in its true light; and though that you are totally ignorant of it is extremely desirable to get rid the general way of thinking of of the debt altogether, there is no people upon this subject. As I man, who has any regard for the observed to TIERNEY, in my let liberties of the country, who would
not run the risk of a civil war this, you are a pretty fellow fo rather than give his assent to a write about paper-money; and if robbery that must end in putting the you do know it, what do people under a military tyranny by the above stupid sentence? that would keep all the rest of the community in absolute subjection to the aristocracy and the clergy.
You have discovered, that PITT foretold, in 1797, that, if the country were once overcharged with paper-money, a diminution of that paper-money would be ruinous to the country. You call this a "sound prediction" of PITT. You omit, you mean creature, you poor wretched old aristocrat, you omit to observe that PAINE not only foretold this years before; but that he also foretold that the Bank would stop payment.
I have now described the tendency of your project: I shall, by-and-by, come to a description of the MEANS which you propose to make use of; but, before I do that, I must notice a little of what you say, as to the causes of the present danger to the Landowners. You are quite ORIGINAL in this your discovery and definition of causes. You have You have discovered that the lesdiscovered, that, "it is a CURI- sening of the quantity of the paper"OUS FACT, that the opera- money causes prices to fall; that "tions of the Bank of England augmenting the quantity of it "commenced with the first crea- causes prices to rise; you have "tion of a paper currency, and discovered that the "lamented” "with the existence of a national Mr. RICARDO was in error, rela "debt." Now, are you a real fool, tive to the effect of PEEL's Bill; or do you only sham it? If I you have discovered that he, and were one of your four sons, I the rest of them, ought to have should begin to look pretty sharp taken wheat, and not gold, as the after you. Now, suppose I were standard. You have discovered to say, it is a curious fact that that Mr. PEEL did not foresee the George the Fourth began to squall effects of his own Bill. You have as soon as he was born; or, that discovered that there is a differhe began to be a husband as soon ence, when we are talking about as he was married; or, apter still, changing the value of money, that he began his operations of between a country which has a reigning from the time he got debt, and a country which has upon his throne. What the de- none. You have discovered that vil, I say, do you think the people France and America acted wisely, would say to me? Would they with regard to their debt; but that not, chucking up their chins, and our Government undertook that shrugging their shoulders, say, which no Government ever underAh! poor Cobbett! took before. You have discovered Why is it possible that you do that the prices have gone on popnot know that Bank of England ping up and down, according as and paper currency and national the Ministers have changed the debt were all ACTUALLY quantity and value of the money.. CREATED BY ONE AND You have discovered that the THE SAME ACT OF PAR- Small Note Bill, of 1822, was a LIAMENT! If you do not know part repeal of PEEL's Bill, but
that it gave the system only a re- You have discovered, that the de spite. You have discovered, and preciation during the war was cal this is another striking novelty in culated by some, at one fourth; but, your pamphlet, that gold can- by others, on the best grounds, at "not now sell at more than nearly one half. You have disco "3. 17s. 10 d. per ounce, be- vered, that though a great many "cause the Bank is compelled to taxes had been taken off after the give it at that price!" The devil Peace, the taxes, in fact, beit cannot! Do you say so, Sir came heavier after the Peace James! What a discovery is than before, on account of the here! It was well you quoted augmentation in the value of the Mr. TooKE on this occasion, and money. What an original man gave us the assertion in his own you are! How new all your words. Goramity!" as the ne- thoughts are! You have discogroes say, to be able to find out that vered that the salaries of the gold cannot exceed 31. 17s. 10d. Judges, and of other officers of an ounce, as long as the Bank is the Government, and that the pay compelled to give an ounce for of the soldiers were augmented, 37. 17s. 10d.! Besides these dis- during the war, upon the ground coveries, which are so astounding, that money had depreciated in you have discovered that the value; but that these salaries and paper-money increased vastly be- this pay have not been lowered tween 1822 and 1825; that this since money has risen in value! increase of paper caused prices Oh! what an original thinker you to rise; that, in spite of good are! You have discovered that crops, wheat rose in price; that, Mr. PEEL'S Bill had not got into at last, however, gold began to full force by nine months, when leave the country, the Bank drew the Small Note Bill was passed! in its paper, the bankers began to There's a discovery, in July 1826! break, six London banks stopped You have discovered that Mr. payment, credit was at an end, HANNING, late Sheriff of Somerand the currency, which had been setshire, told the Corn Bill Comincreasing for two years, now de-mittee that the labourers in that county used to eat bacon and cheese; but that now they have potatoes, and nothing but pota toes; which they carry even to the field to eat cold. Oh! ORIBesides these discoveries, how-GINAL man! You have discoever, you have discovered, that if vered, that Mr. PEEL'S Bill ought the Small Note Bill had not been not to have been passed, unaccom➡ passed in 1822, the landlords panied with an adjustment of would have been ground to pow-contracts. You have discovered der; that that Bill was passed that Mr. HUSKISSON has been avowedly, in order to obtain a re- greatly inconsistent, he having, spite for the landlords. You have in 1815, defended the Corn Bill, discovered, that this changing of and asserted that corn must be the value of money, unjustly gives dear, as long as the country had the property of one man to the other. to pay the existing taxes; and,
creased as much in a few weeks. These are wonderful discoveries, to be sent to us all the way from Netherby, in the month of July,