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led away into attacks on each other, and the people shall be opened; they shall grow clamour for exclusive advantages, whereas weary of suffering in hopeless silence. And they are fellows in affliction, and have one other rulers shall arise who will revert to common interest.
the maxims of common sense confirmed by And, one party shall put their faith in experience. corn laws, unmindful that the corn laws And they will act on the principle that it utterly failed to procure a remunerating is the duty of Government to regulate and price.
uphold public credit, instead of courting its And, another shall cry out lustily for destruction, by subjecting its operations at cheap bread, not recollecting that it is not all times to an absurd, impracticable and so much the price of bread, as the facility of ruinous test,-something like placing a Py. obtaining that price, that concerns them; ramid on its apex, by way of giving it a inasmuch as it would be far better for a secure foundation. working man, that bread should be two And, they will decide that it is preferable shillings the loaf when he had six of those to have the people, content, occupied and shillings in his pocket, than that it should thriving under the old system, to starvation, be sold at sixpence, if he could not com- idleness and outrage under the new fangled mand more than three such pence.
Philosophy. And, the hardy cultivators of the soil And, upon this, the " sound and wholehaving been declared a superfluity and a some” shall be made even as a bye word, a nuisance in their native land, and that it is jest and a mockery. just and proper that human stock should be A plenteous harvest shall be permitted to permitted to multiply only in such propor- resume its rank among the blessings of Di. tion as would afford a sufficient supply of vine Providence; a numerous family shall labour for the wants of monied men, it shall once more gladden the parents' hearts. be sagely proposed to send off a great part The Nation shall rejoice in its renovated of the distressed population to perish in strength, and there shall be no mourning distant wildernesses, or to swell the ranks except among the money jobbers and Philoof an already formidable rival.
sophers, who shall howl and gnash their And, at length, the Philosophers shall be teeth, bitterly bewailing their lost occupagraciously pleased to admit the existence of tion, and the overthrow of their “ sound distress; but at the same time they shall general principles.” announce that the worst is over, and that
So be it.
λ. the glorious and salutary result of their wonderful wisdom is about to appear :-nevertheless, Bankruptcy, want, destruction
agriculture. of property, a rapid deterioration of national character, and decrease of national resources
Speed the Plough.” shall continue to attend a system founded Review of the Report of the Agricultural on the worst principles and vilest passions,
Committee, appointed by the House of -on (a) materialism, inhumanity, selfish
Commons, in 1833. ness, and avarice.
And, during all this time, Loan Mongers The Committee sat from the 3rd of May and Money Changers and old Clothesmen to the second of August, three days a week, shall shout louder than ever in praise of and four hours a day. They examined fiftystern good faith, and refined notions of one witnesses. Honour !
These witnesses, according to the Report, Then, shall be felt the applicableness of were “with very few exceptions immediately the saying of a great King, that “ If he had connected with the cultivation of the soil; to punish a province, he would deliver it up few of them not practically experienced in to the rule of Political Philosophers." the detail of the matters to which they have But after some time longer, the eyes of deposed; and it is impossible not to remark
a rare concurrence both of statement and (a) To any one who takes the trouble to investi. opinion on the part of witnesses brought gate closely the doctrines of the modern political from the most distant quarters. It is due Economists, it will be evident how deeply they to them to state," (the Report continues), are tinged with materialism of the darkest and most desolating kind. They consider human beings
“ that they generally gave the fullest inforas mere machines for utility and protit; without mation in the most open manner; and the reference to an immortal soul, or to those feelings frankness of the exposition of their views is of generosity, of kindness and of compassion, no less remarkable than the ability with which, emanating from the Supreme Being, elevate the human mind, and as it were, connect this ex. which they made and supported their stateistence with another and a better state. They ments." affect to trample on the best impulses of our Whatever therefore our opinion of the nature, and appear to have taken on themselves to Report may prove to be, the witnesses are, correct what they presumptuously consider the bluuders of Providence!
on the best testimony, viz., the hearers of it, entitled to our fullest confidence. It no quarrel is to be had, although the last was fortunate that the leaning on the part seems to require some observation. With of the Committee was, to call before them the authorities quoted we entirely concur, practical men, rather than men who hold and were more wanting, we think we could speculative opinions on the condition of bring them from apparently the most confarmers, and the state of farming: we say tradictory sources. We will content ourfortunate, because we are so far of the old selves with a few. “Trade, indeed-meaning school as to think (we venture the opinion foreign trade-(says perhaps the greatest with great deference) that the man who has statesman England ever produced, the great from his egg-shell been busied all day long Lord Chatham) increases the wealth and in growing corn, seeds, and turnips, and rear. glory of a country; but its real strength ing and feeding cattle, sheep, and swine, is on and stamina are to be looked for among the the whole a better judge of the possibilities cultivators of the land : in their simplicity or impossibilities of making a profit by his of life is found the simpleness of virtue, the occupation—is a better judge we repeat, than integrity and courage of freedom. These a gentleman, who occasionally grows mig- genuine sons of the earth are invincible; and nionette, and mustard and cress in an they surround and hem in the mercantile oblong box out of a garret window in the bodies, even if these bodies, which supposi metropolis.
tion I totally disclaim, could be supposed Of the latter kind there were not perhaps disaffected to the cause of liberty." more than two or three. The great majority Before certain new lights" had broken of the witnesses summoned before the Com- in upon us, the Edinburgh Review, even, mittee appear to have been what they should witheld not its tribute to the importance of have been ; farmers and yeomen who had our agriculture as a national concern. "The become eminent in their respective neigh- commerce and manufactures of this island bourhoods. They were men who from the (it said in one of its early numbers) conceal, single occupation of farming had raised in some measure its agricultural grandeur : themselves to be valuers of land, of crops, of which, we may not perhaps, obtain a full of stock, &c. in the districts around them. view, unless this splendid superstructure Now, farmers cannot arrive at an eminence of present prosperity, mouldering away, of this kind without being at the same time from the fragility of the materials, or shatskilful in all the details of agriculture, and tered by external violence, shall expose the who, combining with good judgment a cha- strength and extent of the base on which it racter for integrity and general intelligence, is rested.” (vol. 5, 204.) A change having thus obtain the confidence of their neigh- come over “the spirit of their dream ;" this bours. It was therefore that they were fit opinion we presume is now to go for nomen to depose to the state of agriculture. thing; and yet it was written in the heyday
The vast extent of the subject, and the of the war, with wheat more than double its varied nature of the enquiry prevented the present price; nevertheless, with wheat at this Committee from attempting to give even high price, such was the “splendid prosperity" "a summary of the evidence.” For the of commerce and manufactures, that it was facts, then, we are referred to the evidence thought by the liberal minded of that day to itself; and it is our intention hereafter to conceal the grandeur of our agriculture, present our readers with copious extracts which was their real, solid, substantial supfrom it.
port, their imperishable base. Reverting to the Report; it proceeds, The old light having died away, or flick" Your Committee remember that the Agri- ering in the socket, seems to be replaced by culture of the kingdom is the first of all its this new “ignis fatuus:" (whether a spark concerns, the foundation of all its prosperity from the flames of Hell, or a flash lighted at in every other matter by which that pros- the pure lamp of Truth, the sequel will shew). perity is produced; and they cannot forget For the birth and parentage of this will o' what Mr. Burke has so truly stated, “that the Wisp, we think it best to refer to the it is a perilous thing to try experiments on explanation given by old Matthew Bramble the farmer; on the farmer whose capital is of the call received by his servant Humphrey far more feeble than commonly is imagined, Clinker. Our readers will remember that whose trade is a very poor one, for it is Humphrey came one day to his master, and subject to great risks and losses ; the capi- besought hiš permission to go and preach in tal such as it is, is turned but once in the some neighbouring chapel, affirming at the year; in some branches it requires even same time that he had had a new light three years before the money is repaid;" broken in upon him, which impelled him to and "although it is in the power of the Le- hold forth : "Humphrey Clinker,” (says old gislature to do much evil, yet it can do little Matthew) I am resolved to have no lights positive good by frequent interference with in my house but what pay the king's taxes: Agricultural Industry.”
moreover, I am of opinion that the superAgainst these sentiments in the abstract, natural light you speak of, proceeds from no other place than from a chunk in your upper out of no disrespect or disparagement of the story." Now old Matthew's solution of other productive classes; but rather, after new lights, that they are the offspring of a shewing the opinion of some of the highest cracked or crazy brain is really the most intellects of our kind as to what constituted liberal construction we can put upon the the real stability of our prosperity and hapwords, motives, and actions of the inhabitants piness; to expose to public view, not merely of the new political planetary system which the attacks of interested and designing men sheds such a flood of light upon us at the on this most precious breastwork of the present day, as to dazzle and bewilder us. citadel of our national wealth, but to ex
How different was the universal conviction pose-alas, that to us and to our time the when prices were really remunerating to all, painful duty should devolve-the creaking and when a well oiled rail road, as it were, timbers, the shattered walls, the threatened existed for the interchange of produce. ruin of this venerable pile. In those days Mr. Horne Tooke, no large Mr. Pitt was right : "it was a certain proof landed proprietor, but an ultra radical of of the nation being in a prosperous condition his day, stated it as his opinion in the that agriculture was flourishing and rapidly House of Commons, “ that if the price of improving." And shall we be deemed wrong wheat could be doubled, (it was then 70s. when we as confidently affirm, that a certain per quarter), it would have the same, and proof (even if no other existed) of the equally beneficial effect, as the paying off nation being in an unprosperous condition, half the national debt; and it would be also is that agriculture languishes, and is rapidly attended with the further advantage of en- on the decline. couraging the English farmer to raise such a Is not the conviction of this great truth sufficiency of corn in our own country as intuitive in the minds of all, not led astray would prevent the necessity of our depend. by the mazes of an ingenious though false ing for bread upon foreign nations.” philosophy? Are formal arguments required
If other testimony be required, we have to prove that the agriculture of this country the names of the three greatest statesmen is the first step in the process of its accuof the present century. Napoleon, Mr. Pitt, mulating wealth? For the mode in which and Mr. Fox. Napoleon declared, that “the manufacturers and shopkeepers branch off prosperity of agriculture is the basis of the from the great parent stem of agriculture, prosperity of a Nation." Under this im- we refer to our first Number. pression, and the circumstances in which he Let us look back as far as history will found the country situated at the period of carry us. Take any state and examine its his gaining the ascendancy in it, it appeared infancy :-an almost unpeopled soil; the desirable to him to place France in such a scanty few, rude in manners, knowledge state as would put it out of the power of and wants ; hunters and fishers, and babies her enemies to limit the quantity of bread in husbandry. “ The antiquity of this art which Frenchmen should eat: (a scheme (says Cowley in his Essay on Agriculture) attempted by the English about the time of is certainly not to be contested by any other. the convention.) He, consequently, prohi- The three first men in the world were a bited the importation of foreign corn, which gardener, a ploughman, and a grazier ; and inspired the French farmers with such confi- if any man object that the second was a dence, that they improved the soil of France murderer, I desire he would consider; that until its produce has become fully equal to as soon as he was so, he quitted our prothe sustenance of all its inhabitants, though fession !". they have considerably increased since this In the primary stages of barbarism, the regulation was made. About thirty years manufacturing, as a separate interest, is and ago, Mr. Pitt observed in the House of must always have been as a cypher to the Commons, “ that one certain proof of the whole community. Manufactures, comnation being in a prosperous condition was, monly so called, produce the conveniences that agriculture was flourishing, and rapidly and luxuries, rather than the necessaries of improving.” And Mr. Fox, in his panegyric life. The necessaries, as the word itself on the late Duke of Bedford, goes on to say, implies, are the first object with all. Men “I am not qualified to speak of some parti- must eat and drink, or die. We thus find culars which do the highest honour to his that the conveniences of clothes, &c., (if memory: but some who know how much they exist at all) are at first of the rudest the welfare of the country depends upon and most uncouth description ; certainly agricultural improvement, and how he, not produced by artists, or what we should more than any other man, has been instru- call manufacturers; but each man was his mental in promoting it, could shew that in own manufacturer. this respect he conferred the most solid ob- That limited number of conveniences then ligations on bis country.”
known, were the produce of time spared These testimonies from eminent authori- from the hunting or agricultural labours of ties we have quoted, our readers will believe the day; and until experience had instilled
the first dawning of the benefit of a division sevenths of the population of Great Britain of labour, (i. e. that, in order to save time, and Ireland are immediately interested in one man should confine bis labour to one the welfare and prosperity of the home branch, and another man should confine market. himself to another branch of work) a dis- Truly then might Mr. Burke affirm, that tinct race of manufacturers was a thing “it is a perilous thing to try experiments unknown. The original source of demand on the Farmer;" but whether it could be for manufactures was from the first cultiva- as truly inferred by the Agricultural Comtors of the land; the original manufacturers mittee, that it is as perilous to remedy the were such of the first cultivators as remained experiment as it is to make it, we reserve over and above the labourers required for for a future number. tilling the soil. The two interests have grown up and depended on each other ever since ; for the surplus manufactures, beyond
TAXATION, NO. III. the wants of him who produced them, were It is assumed to be necessary for the consumed by the agriculturists; and the Finance Minister of Great Britain to absurplus produce of the earth, over and above stract annually from 25,000,000 mouths, the cultivator's own consumption, were pur- £50,000,000 sterling. Three different modes chased by the manufacturers. These inte- present themselves, adapted to the purpose rests have not only been original, but grow- of levying the sum of money required. ing sources of wealth to each other. The First. By a graduated direct tax upon characters of their prosperity are indelibly property or income. pictured on the same canvas. So long as Second. By taxing the luxuries of life. the supplies of each are nicely balanced to Third. By taxing articles of general contheir respective markets of demand, cheer- sumption. fulness is spread around; the equality of the As to the first, no person would be insane scales is the Utopia of commerce.
enough to attempt raising £50,000,000 a But there seems to be a preponderating year on the property of the country; the tendency towards a production of manufac- attempt even could only be made through tures greater than the powers of the original revolution; and if partially successful it consumers, the owners and cultivators of would be an entire confiscation of property. the soil are equal to purchase. Then arises It is the prevailing system in Turkey and the necessity of finding other markets; or other despotic countries, to impose a sort of of stimulating the means of the consumers graduated property-tax; there, it is proverat home. The desire for a larger than the bial, that labour losing its certain reward, no home market gave rise to the foreign or certain employment exists for it except in a Export trade; this was a legitimate opening state of slavery. As an exclusive source of for the discharge of surplus commodities; finance therefore, the first mentioned is totally but profitable only so long as its conse- impracticable; not less so, however, is the sequences were innocuous to the interest of cond, for an endeavour to raise £50,000,000 the home market, whose demand has been per annum on the luxuries of life would be in this country at least, always far more found immediately and altogether to be incertain and extensive for our manufactures operative? than has ever yet been found in the whole Even as it is, luxuries are too highly taxed ; world beside.
and many people in consequence proceed to And why is the home market the surest the Continent, because they can enjoy the and largest ? Not merely because of the ac- pleasures of life at a cheaper rate than in cumulated wealth of this country as a whole; England. While foreigners accustomed to but because, also, we have no American, their wine &c., daily, are absolutely prohibiPrussian, or French commercial legislation ted from sojourning among us. It is clearly to contend against. We are confident, on therefore a sound principle in finance that the average of years, that our own laws the taxation on luxuries (more especially intend the best for us. We cannot say as those of domestic production) requires the much always of the laws of other nations. most nice and delicate discrimination of all It is the best policy therefore to place our others : so that a country be not taxed main reliance on a market over which we out of the taste for them, and thus lose a possess the controul, rather than on one legitimate and profitable source of revenue, liable to all the caprices of a foreign popu- and a profitable occupation for its labour. lation, -upon all the dire uncertainties of We arrive now at the third source of re
venue, namely, taration on articles of general These arguments, drawn from general consumption, which is evidently the least obreasoning, for agriculture being the essen- jectionable mode of taxation ; and, if aided tial foundation of all our prosperity, is sub- in a fair proportion by the two preceding stantiated by indisputable data, taken from sources, we may consider it the soundest the last census, and which proves that six system of finance. In order, however, to
render this system practically efficient, the view of shewing the amount paid by the burthen should not fall too heavy on either three classes into which society is usually property_luxuries or articles of general use divided*. -a judicious distribution indicates the tact of a financier. With some exceptions, our present system is founded on the precepts reference, and the data on which this incidence is
• Round numbers are used for greater facility of laid down; as demonstrated by the follow- founded will be subsequently explained. ing table, which has been prepared with a
Rich. Middle. Working
Rich. Middle. Worklog.
No. 500,000 8000000 14000000
500,000 8000000 14000000 Escise.
Customs. Malt £750400 €2000000 £9250000 Sugar and Molasses
1000000 2000000 Gin and Whiskey
2000000 313178 1250000 3600000 Tobacco and Snuff
1500000 Tes 509834 1700000 1300000 Wines
2000000 700000 25000 Soap
500000 1000000 330000 Paper 275000 400000 100000 Timber and Woods
300000 800000 230000 Glass 2100001 310000 50000 Coffee and Cocon
150000 400000 110000 Licenses 299000 400000 200000 Corn and Grain, &c.
40000 110000 160000 Bricks 133000 140000 60000 Rum
200000 600000 780000 Hops
50000 150000 100000
20000 80000 95000 Auctions
279 Starch 40000 36000 5000 Currants
100000 20000 16000 Sweets
8000 15000 300 Stone Bottles
4000 8000 400 Printed Goods 2000 2000 800 Nuts of all sorts
4000 12000 800 Eggs
5000 15000 1600 Total of Excise £2990412 7003000 8105700 Olls and Tallow
80000 150000 82200 Gums
3000 4000 600 Peppers
30000 70000 17500 Windows 500000
100000 Houses 500000 Silk, raw and waste
67900 Horses (riding)
100000 Ditto Raw
5040 5000 Hair-powder
400 Armorial Bearings
10000 Game Duties
9000 20000 1300 60000 Composition ditto 20000
10000 Skins, Hides, and Horns
80000 5000 4500 Property ditto
5000 Land Tax 200000
4800 Metals, viz., iron, &c.
Leather Gloves, Shoes, &e. 12000 20000 Total of Assessed Taxes £2542719 2434796
Linens and Yarn
500 371000 Furs, Flowers, and Feathers 30000 10000 Hair and Straw Chip, &c.
10000 20000 3500 Stamps.
Turpentine and Wax
20000 50000 5000 Corks and Bottles
1000 Deeds, &c. 350000 960000 90000 Coals Exported
10000 50000 Probates of Wills, &c. 500000 300000 4500 Per centage on Goods, &c.
10000 50000 Bills of Exchange
20000 80000 8000 Banker's Notes 10000 20000 1000 Hemp, Flax, and Pitch
10000 20000 2600 Composition for ditto 20000 67000 1000 Bristles
2500 Receipts 40000) 160000 10000 Books and Prints
500 Marine Insurances 100000 108000 2500 Bark for Tanners
4500 Licenses and Certificates 80000 128000 10000 Barilla and Ashes
6000 Newspapers 150000 300000 23000 Almonds
800 Advertisements 50000 100000 20000 Lemons and Oranges
20000 86000 300 Almanacks
29000 11000 300 Sundry other Articles Legacies
720000 500000 Fire Insurances 390000 400000
Total Customs £4069 400 6159200 7470179 Gold and Silver plato
200 Cards and Dice
10000 30000 6000 Stage Conches 60000 36000 500 Plantation Remittance
4000 8000 2900 Hackney ditto
3000 Post Horses
1500 16000 Race Horses
2500 Penalties, &c. 12000 900 Isle of Man Duties
500 Other Sources
7000 20000 3000 Total of Stamps £ 2880000 8621400 169700
£ 35500 105000 17900 Post-ofice.
50000 Land Revenue
170000 Do, bye and cross-roads
Rents and Fines
4000 8800 4800 Do. Twopenny Post
20000 60000 6700 Do. Foreign Office
Ditto of Crown Lands 750
30000 Do. West Indies, &e.
500 Passage-money, &c.
Total of Woods & Forests 62000 268000 29300 Total Post-office £762000 1409000
28000 52760 Miscellaneous
Grand Total £13342031 21015396 16215599 • These trifing and absurd duties, together with the tax on shepherd's dogs have bcen repcaled or modified as a boon to the people.