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Was it peace,

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cumstance to be noticed. The belly was fine dry harvest and a most abundant стор. satisfied; and “

peace and plenty be. After this last war commenced the bread came the standing sentiment.

continued to fall in price, as you will perIn

my inquiry into the truth of this sen- ceive by the statement. Yet, the favourite timent, I resorted to the actual weekly ac- idea, the sweet alliteration of " peace

and counts of the price of the quartern louf, as plenty” continued to vibrateon the ear; recorded in the Gentleman's Magazine ; and the vulgar, the stupid notion became and the result of which inquiry I publish- rooted in the minds, even of men of talents ed, in detail, in an article in the REGIS- and general knowledge, who did not give TER, which article I wrote, as it oddly themselves the trouble to inquire, or the enough happens, at Southampton, the first time to reflect. But, indeed, why need we day that I ever saw that town, the 18th of recur to former times of war and peace ? August, 1904.

The following is The wheat was at a lower price last Deabridged statement of that result. It will cember than it is now. It fell to the lowest give you a view of the average price of the price that it has yet been at before there was quartern loaf, in the several periods of any prospect of a peace. peare and of war for a space of time ex- then, that made it cheap? Is it not to set ceeding half a century. The price is stated common sense at defiance to hold such a in pence, farthings, and fractions of a far-notion ? Experience, which is said to thing. The years are stated inclusively. make fools wise, seems to plead in vain

when the belly is concerned. At the time

d. From 1750 Peace.......... 51 1

when the wheat began to grow cheap, the To 1756

war existed, and upon a more extended From 1757

scale than ever. We

got no wheat from War.............54 To 1762

America, none from France, very little

from the Baltic; and yet it became at half From 1763 Peace...........7 the price that it was the year

before. Still, To 1775

in the face of all this; with these facts so From 1776 2 War............ 63

fresh before our eyes, we affect to believe To 1782

that it is peace which makes wheat cheap; From 1783 ? Peace.......... 776

and there are men, to whom the public lock To 1792 s

up, who talk about the. “ social connection From 1793

“ between peace and plenty.” To 1801 War............. 11

Coming now to the other mode of meetend of Sept.

ing this vulgar prejudice, let me ask any of you,

what are your reasons, leaving expeFrom 1801

rience out of the question, for believing end of Dec.

Peace.........101 that peace and plenty are, or ought to be, To 1603

inseparable associates ? Do you think end of April

that the people of the country will become From 1803

less numerous in time of peace, and so the end of April

demand become less? Do you think, that, War............9 T. 1804

continuing the same in number, their

appea end of July

tites will become more moderate? Do Now, as my source of information is you think that the soldiers and sailors will open to every gentleman in the country, eat a less quantity on their return home you will hardly suppose me to be stating than was sent to them to eat abroad? Do here that which is not true; and if it be you think that the sun will shine stronger, true, where is the foundation of your fine and that the dews and rains will be more » idea of "

peace and plenty?” We see here propitious ? Whad, then ; what, in the only one instance out of four in which the name of common sense, do


think? And loaf was dearer in war than in peace; and why were you led to hope that corn would that instance will surprize no one, who become cheaper with peace? Do you think recollects, as I do, that the harvest of 1800 that more will be imported And, if so,

I was so wet, that the wheat grew in the ear why? During the far greater part of the

1. over one half of the kingdom, the preced- war, we have had all the corn from America ing crop having been very poor indeed; that the Americans thought it worth their and that the peace, luckily for the Minis- while to send us. We have always had all ter, came in the same month with a very the corn that France could spare us. Be


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tween England and the Baltic the inter- “must effectually and permanently destroy course has been very seldom obstructed. “

every hope of returning cheapness. Why, then, should more be imported now than before, when, into the bargain, the

5thly.. That as the word "aggregate' corn here is become cheaper than it was

comprehends all sorts of wheat, how inbefore? -The Portsmouth Resolutions “ ferior soever in quality; and also wheat. state :- “ That, at the present moment, the

" that has been injured by blights, smut, “ alteration is more particularly objectionmildew, heat in the mow, or by damages "able. Under the pressure of Taxation,

on shipboard or otherwise; and also Irish “ necessarily occasioned by a long and ex

" wheat, which is altogether of an inferior “pensive War, now happily about to be quality, and which never bears the price “ terminated, the Country has becn in

“of English wheat within from eight to duced to look forward to the return of

“ fifteen shillings per quarter; the consepeace as the means of alleviating their quence must certainly be, that when Sa "burthens; the disappointment of so rea

shillings per quarter is the average of the sonable an expectation, which must be

aggregate quantity, thus including all experienced in the increased price of the

sorts of wlieat, the actual average of good necessaries of life, is an evil that cannot

and uninjured wheat, such as is brought " therefore be contemplated without alarm.” to the English market, will be from ten What a jumble is here! What a strange

"to fifteen shillings per quarter above that confusion of ideas! They have here thrusted

price, before relief can be obtained from together two things só wholly different, any foreign market. That, thus, when that one is at a loss to discover between “ this plan shall be felt in its operations, them the smallest connection. Aye, in the actual importation price in England

“ deed, it is reasonable enough to expect to

will be above 100 shillings per quarter : pay less taxes ; but what has that to do

" which sum is about 50 shillings per tvith the price of wheat ? Or, if these

quarter higher than the price at which sons of Neptune, tvho have really fat

importation was allowed at three-pence tened upon the

per quarter duty under the Act of Parliawar, meant that the bread ought to be cheaper in consequence

“ment called Governor Pownal's Act; a

66 law that had for its basis the benefit both of the tax being taken from the land, they

t6 of the landed interest and of the consuonght, in common conscience, to have waited to see the tax taken off the land

so that the absolute difference first. If these gentlemen do really feel between the importation prices will

“ any alarm at the prospect of seeing bread

“ exceed the entire price of wheat at the continue to be dear, their best

- time when that Act passed. way

would have been to petition to have the taxes “ 6thly. - That a graduated scale for imtaken from the land and the horses; for, “posing aduty on this most necessary article, they may be well assured, that, whoever “ must have a tendency to check, and even eats bread must pay, in the price of the ahsolutely to prevent importation, in

, loaf, the amount of those taxes.

“ times of dearth and distress, wlien it I will now insert the rest of


Resolu- " should seem that every encouragement tions, promising, that it is only on the 7th " and facility should be afforded to the imand 8th that it will be nécessary for me to porters, in the laudable exercise of a offer you any observations, the rest relating branch of commerce, which at the best, to the detail of a measure, which, I hope, “is always subject to innumerable risks. will not be adopted, and which detail, if we " That these risks will be so increased by really understood it, could be of no use “ the effects of the graduated scale, that it except to some one in the situation of a “can scarcely be expected that any prudent Custom-House-Officer.

man will venture to send orders abroad “ 4thly. That the allowing at all times " for wheat; because, 4., at the end of

“ as “ of the unrestrained exportation of wheat every three months, new returns will re"and floor, and the probibiting of the im- "gulate the duty on importation, and as

portation thereof, at the low duty, until “ various delays may cause cargoes to be “ the average price of the aggregate

« four or even six months on their voyage, " quantity sold in England and Ireland " a declension of price at home in the mean “ reaches the exorbitant rate of 86 shillings" time may actually subject the importer to

per quarter, must necessarily be attended a duty of 24s. per quarter, while he has “ mith most rievous consequences, and also to bear other losses, that in such




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cases must arise from the late arrival of classes, who have borne the burden and prese.

sure of the times? Has not every land. 7thly. That since, for so many years, holder in the country borne his share ? “the middling and lower classes of his Have not his land, bis house, his windows,

Majesty's subjects have borne the burthen his horses, his carriages, his dogs, his ser"unit pressure of the times, in a manner vants, his malt, bis wine, his spirits, his “ that reflects the highest honour on their sugar, his soap, his candles, his salt, bis "good sense, and just value of the blessings every thing, been taxed heavily? How, " of good government and social order, then, has he escaped the burden and pres

they have a right to expect that, in the sure? By the middling and lower classes present state of things, the opulent land- Mr. RowCLIFFE must mean the TradesFolders of this kingdom should be prepa

men and the Labourers; for, he manifestly “ red to make some sacrifices; that, in con- has no feeling for those who have been farsequence of the excessively high price of mers : And how has the


been concorn, hay, and butcher's meat, since the fined to those two classes ? Tradesmen commencement of the war, the landhold- have raised their prices ; labourers wages

ers of the United Kingdom, on the expi- hare nearly been doubled ; servants wages * ration of leases held under them, have have undergone the same change: And " from time to time raised their rents from who has been paying this advance, but

one to two hundred per cent. and in many those who have employed those tradesmen instances still higher, while rectors and and those labourers ? How, then, have

lay-rectors liave also, with better reason, these classes suffered more than any other s raised their tythes i like proportion ; so class? The common labourer, at Botley, " that these classes have thus been in a did, until last Autumn, receive, upon

great measure, if not wholly, indemnified an average, about 2s. 8d. a day. He against the taxes and consequences of the now receives but 2s. even in the month war: while gentlemen, (not being land- of June; and his average pay for this

holders,) men of slender fortunes, annui- year will not exceed 1s. 6d., for the crowds $ tants, tradesmen, and the poor at large, of labourers, who are out of work, it is “ could have no indemnity nor relief what- quite surprising to see. A year and a half ever ;

but were obliged to bear the heavy ago we were glad to employ any creature burthen of the government and parochial that we could find. We have now to pick taxes, both for themselves and for those and choose. It is surprising what an im" exonerated as aforesaid.

prover of manners this low price of corn 8thly.-- That a Petition, grounded on is! In 1812, I gave twelve shillings an " these Resolutions, be presented to the acre for hoeing, which I can now have “ House of Commons, praying that they done for six shillings, being in no sort “' will by no means sanction a plan that of fear of giving offence, if I find fault “ must inevitably fix the rent of land at a with the cxecution of the work. Many "permanently extravagant rate, confirm men employed in that year, earned, " the load of parochial burdens for the main before harvest, from six to eight shiltenance of the distressed poor, render the lings day,

None of them will earn, most necessary, article of subsistence per

this summer, at the same sort of work, " petually dear, bar the bounties of Provi- above three shillings. Farmers will judge dence from the majority of his Majesty's of the state of our labourers, in 1812,

subjects, and hopelessly discover the plea- when I tell them, that some men asked mé 44 sing association of peace with plenty and a guinea an acre for hoeing out turnips,

cheapness, that has so long been a source drilled in two feet ridges. I can now have

of consolation in the midst of extensive ca- the same work performed by men for about " . lamity."

three shillings an acre. I did not give Before people make assertions, they the guinea, to be sure; I had the work should take some pains to ascertain the done by women, who worked by the day. truth of them. Almost the whole of these, But I notice it as an instance of our situawhich

you have here made, are wholly un- tion at that time. My harvest-men had true! and, it must be allowed, that Mr. eight pounds for the twenty-eight days of RowCLIFFE, who has put his name to them, the harvest month, including four Sundays, is, in some measure, answerable for the They reaped and mowed, some of them, falsehood.- What does he mean by assert- with pipes in their mouths, as the Hanoing, that it is the middling and lower verjaar, in America, used to march ta





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battle. They took the thing very coolly. does Mr. RowCLIFFE suppose, that other I can now have more work done for three labourers are not to feel the effect of any pounds. If my neighbours gave less fall of the price of the products of their in money, they made it up in drink and labour? But, the truth is, that Mr. food. What, then, has the labourer gain- RowCLIFFE, does not refleet at all upon the ed by the low price of corn, and how is he subject. He takes up

the matter upon the to gain by it? How did he bear the bur- vulgar cry; and he puts forth notions which dens of 1812? The fall in the price of are perfectly absurd. With regard to corn has been a great injury to him. His tradesmen, too, does he suppose, that those cloaths have not fallen in price? his salt, who own, and those who till the land, will his sugar,

his candles, his soap will not pay them at the same rate at which they fall, nor will his heavily taxed beer fall in paid them when wheat was 401. a load? price. So that his lot is greatly worsted, Will the man, who receives 151. instead of and he is every where praying for the re- 401. have so much work done by smiths, turn of the prices of 1812. It is not only carpenters, wheelwrights, bricklayers, colthe farmer's labourer who feels this, but lar-makers, saddlers, tinmen, plumbers and every labouring man, in whatever way he glaziers, as he had done before? He will may be employed. The labourers of brick- not, because he cannot. layers, in gardens, in 'nurseries, in woods, will be, because it must be, that the workon roads and canals : and it must be so; manship in all those trades must fall in for, not being wanted in the fields, they price, and that too, in proportion to the must seek work elsewhere, and thus they price of corn ; -and it will be still worse must reduce the price of labour in other than it was before for tradesmen, because, departments. The lower class, therefore, not only must their prices come down, in have felt nothing of the burden of the proportion to the price of carn, but the times. Their very manners have changed extent of their employment must be dimiwith the change in the price of corn. They nished; and, as in the case of the labourers, are, all of a sudden, become humble as beg- many of them will have no work to do; or, gars. They surround our doors with cap which is the same upon the whole, they will in hand to obtain work. We were the be frequently out of work. Mr. Row. beggars before ; but, not now having the CLIFFE should propose a law to compel the same motive to solicit their services, and owners and cultivators of the land to pay to put up with their misbehaviour, we re- tradesmen and labourers as high prices now sume the tone and authority of masters; as they paid them in 1812, and to employ yet Mr. RowCLIFFE asserts, that this is them in the same numbers. Then his conone of the classes who have borne the bur- duct would, at any rate, have the merit of dens and pressure of the times, and that consistency; but, at present, he exhibits to the hour is now come, when they had a right the world a sad and barbarous jumble of to expect, that the masters would make nonsense. some sacrifices! Mr. RoIVCLIFFE seems It is asserted that the landowners and to think, that the landholder and the farmer farmers (for they must go together) have (for they go together), ought to pay the indemnified themselves against the taxes Tabourer the same wages when wheat is and consequences of the war ; that gentle15l. a load, as when it is 40l. a load. Does men (not landowners), nren of slender for, Mr. RowCLIFFE happen to know any ma- tunès, annuitants, tradesmen, and the poor nufacturer, who acts thus ? Let him con- at large, have been obliged to bear, not sult that venerable old placeman, Mr. only their own share of the Government Rose, or his son, GEORGE HENRY Rose, and parochial taxes, but have also borne who has the reversion of a 3,0001. a year the share of the landowners and farmers. sinecure, whether the manufacturing la- I will not call it impudence to make an asbourers are not paid in proportion to the sertion like this. "I will call it folly; inprice of, and demand for, the products of comprehensible emptiness, to assert, that their laboùr? Those gentlemen will tell the poor at large have paid the Governhim, that the stocking-weavers' wages ment and parochial tares; and I should were, some time ago, lowered to one half not at all wonder, after this, to hear Mr. their former amount; that they rioted on RowcLIFFE boldly assert, that the poor-rates that account; that many of them were have been collected, in part, from the

pauthat laws were passed to punish them, pers, and even at the door of the poorin certain cases, with death. Why, then, houses. Is it possible that this Mayor of


Southampton should be ignorant, that the before at 41.; and because, the cultivation poor-rates are assessed upon the real pro- of the land, like all other pursuits of gain, perty of the country. Is it possible for is, and must be, subject to the unerring hiin to be ignorant, that it is the land, and and unchangeable laws of competition. thie l.17;d only, which is callcd upon to main- For, if his wheat continued to sell at as tain the poor? Houses, in towns, indeed, high a price after the tax was removed bear their proportion, and why should they as it did before, his pursuit would becoine not? Why should not tradesmen pay their so profitable, that capital and talent and poor as well as the farmers their poor? | industry would crowd into it from all diBut, it is notorious, that- a considerable rections; and thus would competition re

. tradesman, in a country town, does not pay duce his gains to their former standard. It more to the

poor than a little farmcr, who is manifest, then, that the tax falls upon rents land to the amount of 50!. a-year, the consumer of the wheat; and this is Mr. and who and whose family very frequently RowclIFFE's ilea; but he seems to think, work harder and live harder than the

that the

of the wheat never eats whom the laws and the justices compel any bread himsely. This would be a little them to feed : And yet Mr. RowCLIFFE too bard. The Jews (Ged's cliosen people) is not ashamed to give it under his hand, vere forbidelkn to mizzle the ox employed that those whose property has been in land, in tredding out the corn. Would Nr. and its produce, have bore no share in RowCLIFFE not suffer those who grow the supporting the poor! This is no particu- corn to fare as well as the beasts they lise lar hardship upon the landowner or farmer; in growing it? Re this as it may, the fait because what they pay in poor-rates must is, that the growers of corn do eat some of finally fall upon the consumer of the corn; it. They make a part of the consumers of and they can, in the end, lose by the poor their own crops; and, as in the case sup. only in proportion to what is consumed by posed, the grower would probably consume theinselves and families. But, surely, thcy in his family about eight quarters of his bear in that proporting. How, then, can wheat, he would, in fact, bear 81. of the åt he said, that they have been indemnified tax to his own share.--The notion of Mr. against taxes by high prices of land and RowcI.IFFE is, that the cultivator ought, corn? I will suppose a case, in order to some how or other, to pay the tax, and not make this matter clear to Mr. Row- charge it in the price of his wheat! Does CLIFTE, who, though, I dare say, a very this happen in other trades? The rum,

in worthy man and magistrate, certainly does Jamaica, is worth, perhaps, 25. 6d. a gallon. want leading-strings upon subjects of this Bat, by the time that it reaches the lips of

-The landowner, in fact, would those who drink it, it is worth 20s. or 30s. Jose all the taxes paid by himself and the a gallon. Would Mr. RowCLIFFE have .farmer, if they did not fall upon the con- the run-grower pay out of his own pocket

But, to get rid of all complexity all the charges of cooperagt, wharfage, here, we will suppose the case of a man freight, insurance, storeage, brokerage, and ruliivating his own land ; for he is both tax, amounting to from 17s. to 27s. a gałlandlord and tenant.- Now, suppose him lon, and then sell his rum at 29. od. á galto be relieved from the plague of those mul- lon to the nervous ladies, who give themtifarious papers

which tendered to him selves the comfortable coup-di-grace, by hy the tax-gatherer. Suppose him to know drinking hot grog before they go to bed? nothing about poor-ratcs. Suppose there I do not know what may be Mr. Row

to be no tax upon his leather, iron, hemp, CLIFFE's trade. Perhaps he is a tallowsalt, sugar, soap, candles, horses, dors, or chandler. Candles pay a pretty decent

, , , , any thing but his land; and, suppose that tax. I do not know what it is. Suppose land to be taxed at 31. an acre, which it to be 6d. a pound, and the price of the is probably less than he now pays in candles 1s. a pound; why does not Mr. one shape or another, directly and indi- RowcLIFTE sell his candles for 6d. a rectly. Suppose his farm to be a hundred pound? Why does HE “ indemniy him· acres. Suppose him to grow upon it 300 self against the tax?” And, if he does quarters of wheat (and nothing else) at 41." indemnify himself” against the tax on a quarter. His produce is worth 12001. a- his candles, why is not the grower of wheat year. Take off the tax, and his wheat will to indemnify himself against ile tax upon sell for 3). a quarter; because he can alford his commodity ? to raise it now at 3l, as well as he could By this time, my pood neighbongs, **


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