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will fall off in nearly the same degree, except the pedlar's tax; for that will increase, as it arises from licenses, which enable people to avail themselves of the privilege of sleeping under hedges. The tradespeople feel the effect of the want of money even more than the farmers. The innkeepers feel it in a very striking way. Where 20 farmers used to dine at market at the expense of 10 or 15 shillings a head, 5 do not now dine, and they not at more than 3 shillings a-head. Wine was their drink; they cracked their bottle while they sang “ God save the King,” and cursed the Jacobins. Now they rise no higher than a glass of grog; and that made, perhaps, of smuggled brandy. The market-day was, in all parts of the country, a day of gayety and of bustle in the towns. The shops were filled with customers. The villages and farm-houses sent in their money. Now, they have no money to send in. All is poverty. Nobody can either make purchases, or pay debts.
I have not time, at present, to lengthen this letter. In my next I shall enclose
you the Petition, spoken of in my last, from Gripeum and others. Their case is really distressing; they urge their claims with great force ; but I am convinced, that you will not be able to save them, though the goodness of your intentions cannot be doubted. They have all set their cavalry horses to plough and cart; they would, if they could, turn their swords into ploughshares. But, to bring down the dress and pretensions of their wives and daughters, that is the difficult matter; that is the effort, under which the greater part of them will sink, and pretty nearly as much unpitied by their neighbours as the prosecuted Jacobins were unpitied by them.
The observations made by me, in my last Letter but one, as to the justice and necessity of reducing the pay of the Royal Family, Soldiers, Judges, Sailors, Placemen, Police-Justices, &c. &c. have, I assure you, Sir, made a great impression. People, who used to call me a Jacobin, say that that proposition is perfectly fair. You will hear of it, I think, through other channels, before it be long. This will be a bustling winter with you; and I give you joy of it, with all my heart. But, whether the Landlords stir, or not, I shall be equally amused. I shall observe their movements with a watchful eye. I think I shall be tempted to go up once more and look at their faces, to see what an empty stare they will give each other ; how amazed they will seem to be that their estates have slipped through their fingers ; how insipid the Waterloo Story will seem to their ears; how dull of apprehension they will be on the subject of the Waterloo Column ; how little they will seem to care about the stripping of the Louvre and the Museums. I think I see them now, turning their ears from all these topics, as a cat, which has been whipped for pigeonkilling, turns her head from a dead pigeon flung down before her. I will certainly ride up to see them.
In the meanwhile, hoping that you will hold them to their former professions of readiness to spend their "lust shilling" in tbe cause, I remain, Sir, your most obedient,
And most humble servant,
CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER.
(Political Register, December, 1815.)
Enclosing a Letter to the People of America, on the Present State of
the Mother Country. SIR,
We have been so often told from high authority, that our Government, laws, and the whole of our political and civil state, are objects of envy with all other nations, that there is nothing to wonder at in the fact of our believing the assertion to be true. And really, as things are at present, I do not know but the French have reason to envy us. As to the Germans, they always had reason to envy all the world, the Negroes not excepted; and the Dutch, and the Danes, and the Swedes are, perhaps, now in a situation little better. But, there is one country, Sir, which, if the people there envy us our lot, they must be of a very envious disposition indeed. At any rate, whether the Americans be disposed to envy us, or not, it is but right, that they should know what our situation now really is. They have seen us in war : they ought now to see us in peace. They ought now to be shown, in a very clear manner, what are the consequences of a twenty years war against Jacobinical principles ; what are the consequences of borrowing hundreds of millions of pounds; what are the consequences of the triumph of royalty and aristocracy over democracy. They now see England triumphant in Europe. They see France at her feet. But, they ought to know how she herself feels. This they will never know through the corrupt channels of the London daily press; no, nor through any other channel than this. The cowed-down English press is bold only in uttering falsehoods, and those falsehoods are chiefly calculated to dupe the people at home, and to deceive foreign nations. While the hurly-burly of war was going on; while men's minds, in all countries, were agitated with alternate fear and hope, the voice of truth could seldom obtain a hearing, even in the few cases in which truth was permitted to utter a word. But now, things have changed. The passions of men have cooled. The hurly-burly no longer swallows up their attention. They either read not at all, or they read that only which has in it something that the mind can dwell on. Truth (as far as she dares go) and reason, and knowledge, have now their fair chance. This, therefore, is the season for those to labour, who wish well to the cause of truth.
In the Uuited States of America, there is a faction, or a body of men to whom I wish to give no ill name, nor ascribe any bad motive, who are continually holding up the English Government as worthy of imitation. These men do not, perhaps think much about the matter; but, they have taken their side; and, be it Pitt, Addington, Perceval, Castlereagh, no matter who, they are for the English Government. The triumphs over
France, though procured in the way that we have seen, are ascribed to the wisdom of this Government. What the conduct of this Government really has been abroad and at home, including Ireland; to express this plainly, and without any disguise or shuffle ; to describe all the real motives of this Government, all the characters of the principal actors; to speak of all these in print as two of us speak of them to each other by the fire-side. This ! oh! dear Sir! this, this, is the thing to be done ! To be able to do this ; to have a fair prospect of doing this ; to expect confidently to see the day, when, upon this all-interesting subject, TRUTH will step fearlessly forth and challenge the champions of corruption, is ample repayment for twenty imprisonments and twenty fines.
in the meanwhile, however, let us put, or endeavour to put, these Americans right as to the consequences of the late war upon us; for, unless they are informed of these consequences, they may imagine that to create a debt of a thousand millions sterling for the purpose of carrying on a war of 22 years is a desirable thing And, it is the more necessary to give them this information, as, from reading our periodical works, most of which are as cowardly and corrupt as need be, they will naturally suppose that prosperity and happiness reign in every house in this kingdom.
Therefore, Sir, you will greatly oblige me, if you will have the goodness to send the enclosed letter, under your frank, to some one of your Agents, or Consuls, in order that it may be published in the United States, where I am certain it will produce a very salutary effect.
To The PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, On the Present Internal Situation of England, as far as regards
It is natural for everybody to wish to hear of their relations, and, there. fore, I presume, that it will not be disagreeable to you to hear of the Mother Country, who, though you have had some pretty serious quarrels with her, has such an affection for you, at the bottom, that I verily believe, that she would, even now, forget all the past, if you were to express the smallest desire to throw yourselves into her maternal arms. rate, indifferent as you may feel towards England in the light of a relation or parent, you must wish to know how she is, as a nation, at the end of 22 years of war, and under a Debt of about a thousand millions sterling
You have seen her, by one means or another, succeed in the subjuga. tion of France. You have seen all Europe acting at her nod. The little check she received in her short war against you, Europe has almost forgotten already. And, if she could now go on with prosperity in peace, her example would stand on high, and call for the imitation of all the nations of the earth; that is to say, the example of a nation, that, in order to succeed in war, mortgages every inch of land, erery stick and stone, in her dominions.
For many years the partisans of war have been triumphing in what they called the falsified predictions of their opponents, who foretold bankruptcy and utter confusion from the enormous amount of the Debt. The former held up the increasing new enclosures of land; the increase of new roads, canals and bridges; and the increasing high-living of the
rich, together with that of all the signs of wealth : these they held up to us as so many proofs of the benefits of war, debt, and taxation. And, indeed, after the stoppage of cash payments at the Bank of England in 1797, which produced very little injury at first, and, in the end, great benefit to the war and paper system, the opponents of that system had very little to say. There then became no bounds to the means of the Government, which, from that moment, obtained an effectual hold on the whole of the money's worth things in the whole country.
But, still this could not go on for ever. It was clear, that, sooner or later, these issues of paper-money must, if continued without interruption, produce what all such issues, in all countries, have, at last, produced ; namely, the total blowing up of the whole system, and, perhaps, of the Government along with it. Yet, to attempt to lessen the quantity of paper-money, it was easy to foresee, would be attended with effects nearly as serious. Effects, indeed, of the same sort, though differing so widely in their immediate cause.
An attempt of this description has now been made. But, before I speak to you of this attempt, and of its consequences, which have plunged this whole country into financial confusion, let me ber your attention to a passage in my work, now republished, and entitled, PAPER AGAINST GOLD.”
Of this work, as being, at this time of great interest, at least, in my opinion, I have ordered some hundreds of copies to be sent to Mr. John Morgan, of PHILADELPHIA, while the remainder of the edition are for sale by Mr. Bagshaw, of Brydges-street, Covent-garden, London. If this be deemed a Puff, it is, at any rate, without disguise. I wish this work, the greater part of which was written in the years 1810 and 1811, NOW to be read attentively through; now, when the people feel the pinch. In this work I have given the history of the rise and progress of our paper-money. I have embodied in it my principles on the subject of national debts, taxes, and bank-notes. I was abused and scofled at. I have now republished, in two Volumes, what I then wrote, together with some additions. And, if I have any reputation in England, or in America, as a political economist, by that work, as verified, or as falsified, by events, let that reputation be tried, and let it be fairly confirmed, or let it be blasted for ever. Whatever calumniators may affect to think of my motives, whatever degree of contempt, hatred, and envy they may have affected, and may still affect to entertain for my writings, it is notorious, that, for nearly twenty years, without any aid from any quarter whatever, with hosts of literary foes in both countries, with all the weight of power and even of the popular torrent against them in both countries, and loaded with all the odium which never fails to attach to that which assails all sorts of follies and vices, and never flatters anybody; it is notorious, that, in spite of all these disadvantages, and a hundred others that might be named, these writings have continued to have, for nearly twenty years, during which, more than twenty professed, and hired, and paid opponents have sunk into utter oblivion, great influence on the minds of men. Now, with all the value that I attach (and it far exceeds every other thing of value) to intellectual powers, I here renounce all pretensions to any, and will be content to pass for a driveller for the rest of my life, if events do not substantially confirm the doctrine of “PAPER AGAINST GOLD.”
As a necessary preliminary to a description of the present state of this country, you, in America, ought to be reminded, that “ Paper against Gold” was called forth by a Report, made to the House of Commons, in 1810, by a Committee, called the Bullion Committee. This Committee recommended, that the Bank of England, at the end of a certain period, should be compelled to pay in reul money. The House rejected this proposition, at last. The whole history of the proceedings is contained in my work; but this was the main point. I contended, that the Bank never could pay in gold, as long as the interest on the National Debt continued to be paid in full.
Now, observe, Peace being come; no pretext being left for not paying in gold; the law, which authorizes the Bank to refuse payment in gold being about to expire ; a renewal of it being necessary, unless gold payments can be made. This being the state of things, as to the Bank, an attempt appears to be making to acquire the ability of paying in gold. I contended, you will bear in mind, that this could not be done ; and now I will quote my own words, from the first Volume of " Puper against Gold,” pages 446, 447, and 448.
“ Need I say any more upon this subject? Is it not something monstrous to suppose, that it would be possible for the Bank Company to buy gold in quan“ tity sufficient to be able to pay their notes in it? Well,' say others, but the “ • Bank Company may lessen the quantity of its paper by narrowing its discounts.' “ To be sure they might; and the only consequence of that would be, that the “ taxes would not be paid, and, of course, that the soldiers, the judges, and all the “ other persons paid by the public, would have to go without pay. The discounts “ make a part of the system ; and, if it be put a stop to, that is neither more nor “ less than one of the ways of totally destroying the system. To lessen the quan. “tity of the paper is, therefore, impossible, without producing ruin amongst all persons in trade, and without disabling the country to pay the taxes, ai their present nominal amount.
* But, suppose all other difficulties were got over, did these gentlemen of the “ Bullion Committee erer reflect upon the consequences of raising the value of
money to what it was before the Bank Stoppage? SIR FRANCIS BURDETT, in “ his speech, during the Bullion Debate, told them of these consequences. He “observed, and very justly, that, if money were, by any means, to be restored to “the value it bore in the year 1796, the interest of the National Debt never “could be paid by the people; that interest, he observed, was now 35,000,000.
a year; and, if the value of money was brought back to the standard of 1796, “ this interest would instantly swell to 43,000,0001. of money at the present value. “ All the grants, pensions, fixed emoluments, pay of soldiers, judges, chancellors, " clerks, commissioners, and the rest would be raised, in point of real amount, “ in the same proportion; so that, it would be utterly impossible for taxes to “ such an amount to be raised. And, if it were possible, it would be frequently “ unjust ; for, observe, all the money (inaking nearly one-half of the National
Debt), that has been borrowed since the Bank Company stopped paying in
gold and silver; all the money borrowed since that time; all the loans made “in the name of the public since that time, all the money thus lent to the public,
as it is called, has been lent in depreciated paper ; and, that which has been so “lent this year has, if guineas are at 27 shillings, been lent in paper, 27 shillings
of which are worth no more than a guinea. And, are the people to be called
upon to pay interest upon this money in a currency of which 21 shillings are « vorth a guinea ? This would be so abominably unjust, that I wonder how any
man like Mr. Horner ever came to think of it. He expressly stated, that “the paper was now worth only 15s. 10d. in the pound; of course he must have “ known, that this was the sort of thing of which the loans, for some years past, “consisted ; and yet, he would have had a law passerl, the effect of which would “ have been to make the people pay interest for this money at the rate of twenty “shillings in the pound. This is what never could have been submitted to : not “ because the people would have resisted ; that is not what I mean; but it is “ what could not have been carried into effect, and for the same reason that the " man could not have two skins from the carcase of the same cat. If the quan.