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labour) were to come from? I said, that, this would, indeed, be to " set the seasons "at defiance; to take a bond of fate." "Yes," says Mr. Wakefield," and that "is precisely what I wish to do." But, Sir, do take the pains to think a little further upon this matter; and, then, I am strongly disposed to think, that you will not again assert, that such a theory " is reducible to practice." In the first place, you will allow, I suppose, that, if a nation export half as much corn as it raises, that nation must receive some articles of real value and utility in return. Well, then, if it cease, from whatever cause, to export its corn, there must be a cessation in the receipt of those articles, whence, it is evident, that very great distress must arise; and, observe, that, as this receipt would be entirely dependent upon the seasons, there could be very little comfort or solidity in any business supported by such a traffic. Besides, though it does not appear to have occurred to you, that the importation of corn might happen to be stopped by other causes than those of a scarcity at home, yet, you have only to open your eyes to perceive, that, if we had, previons to last year, been a nation exporting half as much as we consumed, we should, at this hour, have been so glutted with corn as to cause much of the land, now in cultivation, to lie fallow. How would you have found out a remedy for this? You must, then, actually have thrown the corn into the sea; for, as to distilling it, there would, from such an operation, have been liquor enough for the people to swim in; and, if you let it rot, it would turn to manure, and that would only add to the evil by producing more corn. This was a case that you do not seem to have foresecu, and yet you might, if you had but looked to America, which, at this moment presents you an example of the practice of that delightful theory, which has, it seems, taken possession of your mind. America fears no scarcity of corn, but she feels a real scarcity of shirts and coats and stockings and blankets and sugar and coffee and of many other things, almost as necessary as corn, even to the support of life. Do you not hear the wailings of the Americans, at the end of a two-month's embargo? What would be their situation at the end of a year? One third part of the produce of the land being annually exported (for that, I should think, was much about the propor-enough food for one single meal, out of the tion), a stoppage of the export necessarily throws a great number of persons out of em ployment; and, in such a state of things, this is attended with peculiar disadvantage; for, it is easy for manufacturers or artizans
to turn their hands to agriculture, but it i next to impossible for agriculturists to turn their hands to arts and manufactures. Hence the distress, described in the letter of Mr. Pickering, now felt in America; and hence the commotions, the confiscations, and the pillage, which, if the embargo long continue, will inevitably ensue. And yet, there. is plenty of corn, Mr. Wakefield; and yet America has realized to your hand that de-* lightful theory, of which you seem so enamoured.By this time, Sir, I think you must begin to doubt of the facility of setting the seasons at defiance, and taking a bond of fate.". A ration may be so situated as to be able to set the seasons at defiance with respect to corn; but, clothing is as necessary to life as food is; and, with respect to both, the seasons are not to be set at defiance by any nation that is not the absolute mistress of all other nations. America is sure to have more corn than is necessary for her consumption; and, as this granary arises from a stoppage of export, that stoppage. may be made when she pleases, but it may, also be made when she does not please; it is dependent upon the will of other nations, a to its duration as well as its commencement, and, it does really appear to me, that this sort of dependence is the most dangerous that can possibly exist, with the sole exception of a total dependence upon an import of corn. For these reasons I stand by my opinion before expressed, that, the only granary, safely to be relied on, is in the bosom of the earth, and in that intuitive wisdom, which teaches the seller to be tardy in the supply, an the consumer to be spating in the consumption. As for England, I am no more afraid of her experiencing a scarcity of corn than I am of her experiencing a scar-, city of rain. There may be, and will be, occasionally, short crops and high prices; but, the evil is not of long duration, and it only, tends to quicken our industry, to teach us frugality, and to remind us of that dependence, which we partake in common with all other living creatures. Far be it from me, to hold out the idea, that a distillation from sugar instead of corn will prevent, or at all tend to prevent, a scarcity of corn in England and Scotland. It would be a shame indeed for me to pretend to entertain such a botion, when I know, that, for this king-. dom, 300,000 quarters of barley scarcely is
1,095 meals which we eat in a year. It is truly a drop in the bucket: it is, considered
a preventive of scarcity, nothing. I have let fall no word, that would lead the reader to suppose, that it was my opinion
that the nation would derive any degree of security against scarcity from the adoption of the proposed measure; but, I know, that to the West Indians, the advantage would be very great, and they have a just claim to a share of the market, to which they are compelled to bring their produce; and, on the other hand, in proportion as the measure would be inefficacious as a preventive of scarcity, it would be little injurious to the farmer. All the farmers together supply us with 1,095 meals of victuals in a year, and, surely, they need not be alarmed, that the West Indians are about to be allowed to supply us with one single breakfast, and that, too, only at the rate of about 4d a head! Men talk about millions very glibly; but, the longer I live the more firm does my conviction become, that there are few minds, comparatively speaking, capable of fully embracing the idea, else we should not hear them talk of a granary to feed millions of people. Stop the distilleries, what have you? A breakfast at 4d a head; and this, supposing the doctrine to be sound, is the mighty resource the distilleries afford us! Three hundred thousand quarters of corn make a huge heap of sacks; but, after all, I repeat, that it is but one breakfast for twelve millions of people. And this is to spread ruin amongst the farmers! This is the cause of all this alarm and petitioning and speechmaking and these endless non-describeable fooleries!Here I put an end to what 1 have to say upon this subject, which was of the greatest importance as relative to the West India planters, and also as it became connected with the agitation of facts and principles relating to national subsistence. If either or both of the gentlemen, upon whose letters I have been commenting, think it necessary to publish any thing by way of explanation of what they have already advanced, I shall gladly insert it; but, as to any thing further, I am sure it will not be expected. I have no desire to have the last word; and, unless upon the debate which may take place in parliament, I shall certainly not write, at this time, any thing more upon the subject.Just as I was about to send off the above, I received a letter from a gentleman in Essex, who expresses his regret and surprize at seeing me take that side of this question which I have taken. "You
know," says he, "full well, how much favour has always been shewn to the monied and commercial interest, at the expence of that interest, which you have always look"ed up to as the salvation of the country."
I am very sorry to differ in opinion from this most respectable person, and I assure
him, that his frankly telling me of what he considers as my errors, or my faults, so far from requiring an apology, merits and receives my thanks. But, in the present case, I really cannot see that I am siding with a monied or commercial interest. The sugarcane planter is only an agriculturalist of another description; and, I wish not to encourage him at the "expence" of any one. All my partialities are on the side of the landowners and land-tillers of England. If I had thought that their interests were likely to receive injury from the proposed measure, I will not assert, that my mind would have been free from an undue bias; but, after having given to the subject all the attention I am capable of, I am convinced that this will not, and cannot, be the case. It sometimes bap pens, that one is prepossessed by conversation upon a subject. One gets committed upon certain points, either by hasty declaration, or by tacit admission. To this subject my mind came like a sheet of blank paper; for, until I had begun writing my article, which appeared in the Register of the 23rd of April, I had never spoken nor heard a word relating to the propriety or impropriety of the intended bill; and, until I bad finished it and sent it to the press, I had spoken with no person except Mr. Wakefield; and it was not likely that I should imbibe from him any impression in favour of the bill. Indeed, until the morning of the day, on which that article was written, I had never even read Mr. Wakefield's letter against the bill, which letter appeared in print on the Saturday preceding; and, it was not until I saw the article in the Morning Chronicle, that I thought of looking particularly into the let ter. That article appeared to me to contain such wild doctrine, that I was tempted to notice it; when I came to look at the debate, in the House of Commons, there appeared to be a necessity for doing it without loss of time. After my article was written, I saw, for the first time, an account of meetings in the counties, to prepare petitions against the proposed bill; and, as it was then too late to make an addition to what I had said, in the Register, I wrote my letter to the Hamp shire freeholders, and immediately sent it off for insertion in the Salisbury Journal and in several other newspapers. So little was I in the knowledge of what had passed, that, until after this letter was written, I did not know that Mr. Young had been examined before the committee. Never, therefore, was any man's conduct more free from undue bias than mine was upon this occasion. I saw what I regarded as a popular delusion likely to prevail, and I did all in my power to
prevent it. The reader will easily suppose, that there must be a few persons, at least, with whom I might have some influence as far as opinion goes; but, to only one person have I written a word upon the matter; to no one have I spoken; and my wish now is, that, if I am in error, the opinions of my opponents may prevail in the approaching discussion and decision; but, then, it is also my wish, that clamour may be completely set at defiance.
LOCAL MILITIA.- This is about the twentieth scheme for raising such a force within the kingdom as shall be able to defend it in case of invasion; whether it will succeed better than any of the former time will very soon enable us to judge. As to the number of the men to be raised, that point is not yet fixed, and, perhaps, it will be left to the option of the ministers. The outline of the plan is this: a certain number of men, to be ballotted from the militia lists, are to be assembled a certain number of days in every year, in order to be drilled, and to be held in readiness to march in case of invasion. They are to be placed under the command of officers appointed by the king; while assembled, or called out, they are to be made subject to all the provisions of the mutiny act; and, of course, may be flogged in pursuance of the judgment of officers appointed by the king. This would be no more than what is done in case of the present militia; but, this new scheme allows of no substitutes. All those who are balloted for this militia are either to pay a fine, or to serve in person; and, every man who pays the fine is obliged to swear, that he does not derive the means of so doing from any other source than that of his own private purse. The words of the clause are these: "That every person liable to the payment of any fine under this act, " for not appearing to be enrolled in the Lo"cal Militia, who shall refuse to declare "upon oath, that he hath not, directly or indirectly, by any policy, premium, or "promise of any premium, or by any engagement insured himself against such fine, or any part thereof; and, that no person " or persons, hath, or have, direetly, or "indirectly, undertaken, or engaged, or "promised, in any way, to indemnity him. "therefrom, or from any part thereof, or "to repay to him, or to any person or per"sons in his behalf, or for his use, benefit,
or advantage, the said fine, or any part "thereof; shall, in every such case, forfeit "the amount of such fine, and be compel"led personally to serve in the said Local Militia for the full term of――years.”— Upon this bill SIR FRANCIS BURDETT is,
by the newspapers, reported to have spoken as follows: " He said, that there was a time "when the army was nudisciplined, and the
nation savage--when social order was " trampled under foot-when liberty was "another name for licentiousness; at such "a time alone, could a measure like the
present be offered to the nation without "insult! But now, the moment when civi"lization was at its acme-when England "boasted her generosity and her spirit, he "could not describe the indignant sensation "which he felt at beholding the minister of "the day dare to stigmatize the representa"tives of the people by offering such a measure for their adoption, it required audacity to propose what folly only could imagine efficient, that the reluctant conscripts of our "oppressed population should be marshalled "under the scourge of tyranny, and pre"sented to the nation as her defence. "What! did the noble Lord suppose that "the people would endure, or the army "bend beneath, the sanguinary, remorse"less, and ferocious despotism, which even "slaves would turn upon? Did he suppose "that the lash of tyranny-the insults, "the contumely, and scorn of over-weening powerthe "foedum signum servitutis," would be suffered by a free people with impunity! He was far from wishing to indulge in declamation; for "be thought, that, at a moment like the present, when our very existence was at "stake, all hands and hearts should form a
nor could he consider it creditable, how, ever characteristic. The features of th "offspring intuitively bespeak the parent,
as with the appearance of the fasces musi "be associated the idea of the lictor. Atro"cious measures must be expected in age "from him whose youth had been familiar"ized to executions; and when the author "of this bill had wrung the heart-strings " of his own country, little delicacy could "be expected from him for the dignified "feelings of another. That infatuation,
however, was amazing, which disdained "to benefit by the lesson of experience; " and he thought the fate of such levies as "this bill proposed to raise, ought to have "arted as a sufficient admonition. We had
seen the power of France
pass over them on the continent; we had scen her ruler "by such means, receive the homage of humiliated Europe, and still we perse"vered! What folly, what wonderful infatuation! Sir, if we wish for the pre"servation of our country, let us raise our physical force in her defence, let us animate an armed population in her support, courageous from their cause, and disciplined by their va"lour. It is time for us to think of provid
ing some effectual domestic force against
contingencies. France may not always re"main inferior to us on the ocean, and the "time may come when Britain must de"pend, for her safety and liberty, on the "valour, spirit, and discipline of her na
tives. Does the noble lord suppose that "coercive measures will provide for such an "event? If he does, vain is the supposition; "the salvation of the country depends on the "unanimity of the people, and that unani
mity can only be produced by "ciliation From that cause alone shall we "be able to date our existence and prosperity. But, alas let me not talk of our prosperity; every thing I see in this unhappy land, assures me of her downfall; each succeeding year produces a change of ministry, and each change of ministry a change of measures! "Thus, plans are proposed, decided on, " and rejected! The indecision of this
government, contrasted by the blind obstinacy of the next, and both outdone by "the nick-named vigour of the following! Distraction in our councils and impotence in our ministers, while military executioners are daring to fix the badge of servitude on "the people! Alas! how deplorably do I "feel at the sight of the journeymen politi"ciaus opposite; feeble is the hope of "England, if such is her dependence !--
Sir, such are my sentiments on this bill, "and on our present situation :-they are "the result of observation, and of the in"struction which I have gleaned from those
pure and venerable authors, which even "the new morality has not taught me to despise. He concluded by declaring, that "in every stage he should oppose the bill."
-This report (which I copy from Bell's Weekly Messenger) differs from that, which has been given in the Courier; in which latter paper, it is stated, that Sir Francis said, that he never would consent to a measure, that would make the English people a flogged nation. This phrase the hireling editor made the subject of a long and virulent invective against the person, from whom it proceeded.
a hanged nation, because men are hanged "who violate the law against treason." To what shall we ascribe the use of such miserable sophistry? To a want of capacity to discriminate, or to downright baseness of nature? To one or the other it must be ascribed; and let the editor of the Courier take his choice.- -When men commit the crime of treason, they are choosers of their crime. They are not, by the very nature of the situation in which they are placed by compulsion, daily and hourly exposed to the commission of the crime, for which they are punished. The reverse will be the case in the Local Militia. Suppose, for instance, a man to be addicted to drink to excess. That is a crime punished by flogging under the mutiny act; to flogging, then, will the Local Militia man be daily exposed, if he be addicted to drink; but, this crime is not his own act, as in the case of treason; it is made a crime in him by those who bave compelled him to become a Local Militia man. Again the law of treason operates generally; it reaches the prince as well as the labourer; but, the law of flogging reaches not the oflicers, reaches not those, who are to sit in judgment and who are invested with the power of execution. ---So much for the wretched sophistry, by which a hireling pen has attempted to defend this measure. - But, it is said, that Sir Francis's objection would equally well apply to the present militia and to the troops of the line. So it would, if his objection were to a scheme, winch would allow of substitution.' This scheme allows of none. A fine from a man's own purse is the only thing that can (supposing no false swearing to take place) save him from personal service; and, as it is evident that one half, or, perhaps, fourfifths, of the men ballotted will be unable to pay the fine out of their own purse, it follows, of course, that all these will (unless in the case excepted) yield personal service upon compulsion. Indeed, to obtain this object is the very essence of the scheme. Now, in the line, or in the present militia, the case is different. Into these the men choose to enter; for, though a man, may be ballotted into the latter; yet, if he does not choose to serve in person, there are means of avoiding it, and, if he will not use those means, he, at any rate, gives the preference to personal service, But this scheme reduces about four-fifths of the able men of the country to a choice between taking a false oath, and exposing their backs: to the lash,
laid on in virtue of the judgment of a description of persons, who are themselves exempted from corporal punishment.Lord Castlereagh appears to have been very angry indeed, at this measure having been denominated a conscription. But, in what does it differ from a conscription, except in the case of the rich? Napoleon orders a certain number of young men to be ballotted, and to be made soldiers of at once.. Lord Castlereagh orders out ten young men from a parish, suppose, and he admits of a fine by way of exemption from personal service; but, he takes care that seven out of the ten shall not be able to pay the fine themselves, and that nobody else shall pay it for them. I will take a fine, says he, in lieu of service; but, you shall not have the means of getting the fine, without exposing yourselves to the chance of having your ears cropped off for perjury, Upon the rich, therefore, this measure, this brilliant scheme, is a tax; upon the poor it is a conscription; aud, it is unequal, it is partial, it is unjust; because it prohibits one description of persons from purchasing exemption from personal servitude, which it permits it in another description; and, it throws the pain and the burden of defence upon those who have nothing but their persons to defend.In its operation it will be attended with all sorts of hardships and vexations. The rich will fine. That will be a trifle; but it will be a most odious way of collecting a revenue. The poor will, to their last shilling, fine too. They well sell their goods, and the goods of many will be sold for one. Where this cannot be done, wages will be anticipated to the utmost penny. Ruinous debts will be contracted. Any thing to avoid a compulsory exposure to the lash. Many, however, must render personal service but, wherever the money can be raised, wherever an indemnity can be provided, Lord Castlereagh may be assured, that the eath will have very little weight; and, I am really surprized, that a person, who has had such extensive experience, should have placed much reliance upon a check of this sort. But, only think of the disgrace, the infamy, which is thus marked upon the front of the nation, by an act to prevent men from insuring themselves against the misfortune of becoming liable to assist in the defence of their country! Against fire, Against fire, against thunder and lightning, against foundering at sea, against death, we insure; and (oh, everlasting shame!) such is the situation of our country, that it now stands confessed in a bill before the parlia
ment, and is thus proclaimed to the world, that we, in like manner, insure against the probable misfortune of being called upon to defend our native land! What is the reason of this? Why does the government doubt of the people's readiness to defend the country? It is the people's country, and what is the reason that it is necessary to pass a law to compel them to defend it? Do they not love the country? And, if so, why do they not? It matters not, my lord, you may talk and scheme as long as you please; but, be you assured, that, if the hour of real danger comes, there is no power upon earth that can make the people defend that which they do not love; and, if they love the country,, they will defend it without any making. Let all the people be armed. Give them their neighbours and friends, their natural leaders, to instruct and direct them; make them feel that what they have to preserve is worth the hazard of their lives; and, I'll engage that you shall need neither fines nor conscriptions. Upon the continent of Europe, we have seen government after government fall before the arms of France, and yet there was no want of soldiers. The French were everywhere met by men forced into the service. We Heard of amazing armies, of immense magazines, of endless trains of artillery; but, in a moment all disappeared. The plunderer came, away fled the defenders, and down came the government. The people of Italy and Austria, Prussia, Holland, and Brunswick were not all fools to be sure They were able to beat the French ten times told; and why were they not willing? Yet, we are still forcing the people of England to defend their country.
We seem determined not to profit from the experience of the continent of Europe.- -I am for arming the whole of the people; for, as to any ill use that they may make of their arms, I answer in the words which I once heard used by Mr. Windham, the bu"siness is theirs, and, if they will not "defend the country in our way, they "must defend it in their own way." Indeed, it is as absurd to pass a law to make the people love, as to pass a law to make them defend their country. A law, or a code to induce them to defend it; to organize them for that purpose, may be wise and necessary; but a law to compel a whole people, under heavy pains and penalties, not excepting bodily punishment, to defend themselves, is something monstrously unnatural; and to make them, in an hour of real danger, risk their lives in defending others, and not themselves, is impossible-Hypocrisy Pere