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against the adoption than this, their assertions | a right to; but that right is founded on
too independent-that the servant would vote or on his being willing to perform it.
LABOURERS OF ENGLAND,
Kensington, 24th January, 1831.
There was a time when, in every country in the world, there were no laws, and no such thing as property. The people used the earth and all its produce as they pleased; that is to say, each man took whatever he wanted, if his strength or cunning would allow him to do it. No one acknowledged the superiority of any other might gave right strength and wisdom were superior to weakness and folly: and there was no other superiority or inferiority acknowledged amongst men. This was called living under the law of nature. When God put it into the hearts of men to change this state of things, and to You have always been dear to me, make rules and laws for the observance of whose greatest pride it is that I was the whole, they agreed that the whole of born and bred amongst you; who has, the community or body of people in his travels about the world, never should enforce these laws, against any seen any people so industrious, so sin- one or more that broke them. cere, so virtuous, parents so tender, chil-great law of all was this; that, in dren so affectionate, servants so wil-future, every man should keep to himlingly obedient, friends so steady and so true Your character and your conduct have always made you dear to me; no time, no distance, has weakened my regard for, or my anxiety for, your welfare; from across the seas I addressed you; through the walls of a prison you heard my voice; my heart has always been gladdened by your happiness, and saddened by your calamities; but, if you have always been dear to me, you are doubly dear to me now, when your afflictions are so great and so various, and when I am cheered with the hope of seeing you once more the happy people that our grandfathers and grandmothers
In this important crisis, pray hear me patiently, while I speak to you of your duties as well as of your rights: for, in demanding the latter, you ought not to forget the former; duties and rights go together; and he who refuses to perform the first, tacitly abandons his right to the last. Good food, raiment, and all the necessaries of life, the labourer has
self; should call his own; should be able to apply to his own use solely; that which he had got by his labour. For instance, John Stiles, when living under the law of nature, might take a piece of land, and cultivate it, and have a crop of wheat growing on it; but, when fit for the sickle Tom Nokes, a great deal stronger man than Stiles, might come and cut the wheat and carry it away and let Stiles have none of it. It is not likely that men would be so villanously unjust as this, or that the rest of the people would be so base as to stand by. and to see Stiles thus bereft of his wheat, and have nothing left to exist upon, perhaps, but a few wheel-barrows full of damned potatoes; this is not likely; but it might happen, and sometimes did happen, perhaps, and therefore all the people agreed to enter into a society, to make rules that should give Stiles an exclusive right to his crop, and that should punish such a fellow as Nokes as a robber, if he came to take the crop away.
Here, my friends, you see the origin out of the hearts of the very best and of property, which word means a most virtuous of all mankind, the agrithing which belongs to a person's cultural labourers of this land, so faself, and a thing that nobody else has voured by God Almighty, and for so any right to. But, observe, Stiles many ages the freest and happiest had no property in the crop till he country in the world! But, my friends, created it by his labour; and that, men did not enter into civil society for therefore, labour, and labour only, is the purpose of bringing upon themthe sole foundation of any property selves duties only: they had another whatsoever. Man's first duty, then, is object; namely, that of creating and to labour in some way or other in order enjoying rights. Just, indeed, as we
to raise his means of living. If his have seen in the case of John Stiles, Father, for instance, have laboured be- who had his crop of wheat taken away fore him, and has given or left him the by the stronger man Nokes, who left fruit of his labour, he has as good a him nothing but a few wheel-barrows right to that as if it were the fruit of full of accursed potatoes, and all their his own labour; a man's next duty is, natural consequences, poverty of blood, to refrain from taking by force or by leprosy, scrofula, pottle-belly, and fraud the property of another man; swelled heels! Now, whenever civil for, to protect men in the enjoyment of society produces such a state of things, their property was the great end in when a laborious man like John Stiles forming civil society. Perhaps it would is treated in the same way that Nokes not be difficult to prove, that men who treated him, that civil society has not are compelled to work for their bread, answered its purpose. Labour, as we are, provided they earn a sufficiency of have seen, was the foundation of all food and of raiment and other neces- property, and must always be the saries of life, as happy and even happier foundation of property. The labourer, than those who are not compelled to therefore, has a property in his labour; work for their bread; but at any rate, and, as St. James says in his Epistle, such is the nature of things, such is the and as Moses and Jesus Christ order of the world, that there always himself say, to rob the labourer of have been and always must be some his hire, that is to say, to take from very rich and some very poor, and great him or to withhold from him the due multitudes not rich; but in a just state reward of his labour, is the greatest of things, there never will be great crime that man can commit against multitudes steeped in poverty. The God.
order of the world demands that some The rights of the labourer are, first, to shall think, while others work; that have food, raiment, fuel lodging, medisome shall make and execute the laws cal and spiritual comfort, in return for to which all are to yield obedience. his labour, and all these, too, in quantity Poverty, therefore, even in its extreme and quality sufficient for the preservastate, gives no man a right to view his rich neighbour with an evil eye, much less to do him mischief on account of his riches. If the laws be impartial in themselves, and be executed with impartiality, every man's conscience will tell him, that it is his bounden duty to yield them a cheerful obedience, and further, to yield respect and honour to those who are charged with the execution of the laws.
tion of his life, health, and vigour. Next, if he be unable to work, unable to earn a sufficiency for his family, or unable to obtain work so as to obtain that sufficiency; in either of these cases, he and his family have a right to have a sufficiency supplied out of the superfluities of those to whom the law of civil society has secured more than they want. This claim of the poor man is, as Judge Blackstone states, founded in Such are the great duties of all men the very first principle of civil society; in civil society; and God forbid that for it cannot be believed that men can these principles should ever be rooted have assented to enter civil society for
ány purpose other than that of the benefit of the whole; it cannot be believed that a million of men, for instance, entered into civil society in order that a couple of thousand should have all the meat and all the bread and all the good clothing, and that all the rest should live upon potatoes and go covered with miserable rags. No man upon earth, unless he be one who lives upon the labour of others, will pretend to believe that men entered into civil society, in order that those who did no work, that led idle lives, that created nothing, should have bread and flour and beer and clothing and all sorts of good things, a hundred times more than they wanted; while those that laboured and made all these things, were compelled to live upon a miserable watery root, or die with starvation.
Kensington, 24th January, 1831. IN No. IV. of this work, I addressed you on the subject of FLEMING'S (Willis) speech, made against me, at a dinner at Botley, where one of the keen Such are the duties and such the rights WARNERS was in the chair at one end of labouring men. Our forefathers, who of the table. They EXULTED at the well understood those duties and those circumstances that drove me from Botrights, cheerfully performed the one ley. In a few weeks afterwards we read and amply enjoyed the other. They of an attack on the homestead of Willis had an abundance of meat, of bread, (Fleming); and now, in the weekly paper and of all the fruits of the earth; they ("THE BALLOT ") of yesterday, we read were clothed throughout in good wool- the following:-"A most alarming fire len and linen; they had great store of" broke out last night at the seat of household goods and of every-thing to " J. Fleming, Esq. (one of the memmake life easy and pleasant; and when" bers for this county), at Stoneham old age or widowhood, or the orphan Park, four miles from this place, state, or accident, or any circumstance" which threatened destruction to the producing indigence, befel them, the "mansion, but by the wind changpriest of the parish maintained them" ing, this disastrous fire was
out of the tithes, administering to their "fined to the two wings which were wants as the law enjoined," with his " completely gutted. No lives were lost, "own hands in charity, humility, and " and the property, we believe, was in"mercy." And this, observe, was a "sured. It has been ascertained beyond RIGHT which they enjoyed, and that," doubt, that the fire originated in the too, a right as perfect as that of any apartments appropriated to the serman to his house or his land. When" vants, therefore it is not to be consiour country was bereft, by means which "dered as the work of an incendiary, I have not now the room to describe," but the pure result of accident." of that species of protection for the What! the two wings take fire by accipoor, the poor-law was passed to supply dent at one and the same time! This the place of that protection; to paro- paragraph is, apparently, taken from chial relief, therefore, the aged, the widow, the orphan, the infirm, amongst the labouring people, have just the same right as their forefathers had to that which was administered to them in so just and kind and Christian-like a
the paper of the very villain, at Southampton, who published the attack on me by WILLIS and the GRASPALLS and their crew. They have, seemingly, something else to do now than to utter slan ders on me. It will be curious to hear what they will have to say, when FlemThat the ministers and the Parlia-ing gives the GRASPALLS the next guttle
and guzzle. In the meanwhile I have the pleasure to tell you, that I sleep as soundly as you do.
at my house, in the year 1800; we soon became opposed to each other in politics; but, though we had not spoken to each other for some years, he came to see me when I was in prison, and, upon leaving that prison, I found that though Messrs. Alderman WOOD and GooDBEHERE had greatly interested themselves for me, it was to him that I owed a great part of the indulgent treatment that I experienced, to which there belonged this additional merit, that he does not, even to this hour, know that I ever was apprised of his benevolent interference.
THE efforts of this noisy "City Cock to get into a fat birth for life, that of CITY CHAMBERLAIN, have been defeated in a most signal manner, the poll being 3405 for Sir James Shaw, and 1986 for him, when, on Wednesday Still, Sir, notwithstanding these connight, he gave up the contest. I am siderations, which by most men will be aware of the natural dislike of my considered sufficient to determine my readers to have their valuable time choice, in a case where, the office to be wasted on remarks on the conduct of obtained has no apparent connexion such a man; but, there are circum- with political principles or consestances, connected with this election, quences, if I had seen in his opponent which will, I hope, be my apology for a man unexceptionable in other respects, the remarks that I am about to offer. and of my own political principles, L On the 26th instant, I sent the follow-should have deemed it my duty to vote ing letter to the Editor of the Morning for that opponent; because the happiChronicle. ness and honour of our country ought, in my opinion, to be preferred before every good of a nature more confined.
To the Editor of the Morning Chronicle.
Kensington, 26th January, 1831.
But, Sir, do I see in Mr. Waithman SIR, I went, on Friday last, with the a man of my political principles? The intention of being the very first Livery. great principle is, and has been, in this man of London to vote for Sir James country, for years, the absolute necessity Shaw in preference to Mr. Alderman of a radical reform of the Parliament. Waithman. I was prevented from so To that principle Mr. Waithman is a doing by the speech of the Alderman, greater enemy than Sir James Shaw, in which, in point of length, exceeded that just that degree that open is less inof the time that I had to spare. To- jurious than disguised enmity. When day I have voted in accordance with Mr. Waithman was Sheriff, he refused my first intention; and, if you will be to call a meeting for reform in the so kind as to give me the room, I will state to you, and through you to my brother Liverymen, my reasons for giv ing this vote, which reasons are as follows:
county of Middlesex, though the requisition, most numerously and respectably sigued, was carried him by Major Cartwright. In the perilous year 1817, when thousands of petitions I have known Sir James Shaw rather were presented for reform, he got up more than thirty years; and I never have a meeting at the Freemasons' Tavern, known a man of more uprightness and to pray for a reform more moderate more benevolence, completely severed than the petitions prayed for; and his from all ostentation. I have known language upon that occasion was such everal of his acts, either of which as to encourage the Sidmouths and would add lustre to the brightest chaacter. I have never been what can be alled intimate with him; our acquainanceship arose from his visiting an American gentleman, a common friend,
Castlereaghs to pass the horrible laws by which they crushed the press and cramined the dungeons. If he, or his sons, had not places under the Whigs, in 1806, it was not for want of asking
for. And have we forgotten his "re-siding Magistrate, and Aris, the gaoler of
tiring from public life," with all the lugubrious solemnity with which a Nun takes the veil, carrying with him, bowever, into his retirement, a service of plate, instead of a crucifix? Have we forgotten this, and his throwing off the veil (perhaps it was a shawl), and coming out again with more front than ever, as soon as he had compounded for his sins? And have we forgotten his refusal to listen to the Butchers in the case of the grand contemplated job for slaughtering cattle by steam; and have we so soon forgotten the figure his name makes in the Appendix to the Parliamentary Report on that curious matter? And can we have forgotten his conduct with respect to the City Meeting for the purpose of applauding the French for their last glorious achievement? And, looking at these things, or at any one of a score others that I might mention, are men to be accused of "political apostacy," because they prefer the consistent, the sincere, the modest, the upright, the benevolent, though politically erroneous, Sir James Shaw to a man like this?
I am, Sir,
Your most obedient
And most humble servant,
the Coldbath-fields prison; and which, finally of the great metropolitan county. Upon that and fortunately, established the independence occasion Mr. Alderman Waithman's exertions were not wanting ou one side, any more than Mr. Alderman Shaw's on the other. Both laboured, as they always have laboured, in their vocation, and both are fairly and equally entitled to the support of all those who maintain the same principles with themselves; but that Mr. Hume should withhold bis, support from Mr. Waithman, and give it to Mr. Alderman Shaw, is news indeed-it both grieves and surprises me. He cannot surely know the history of the times in which we lived previous to his entrance upon his public career, or have a notion of the dangers and difficulties and disadvantages Mr. Waithman exposed himself to, in maintaining a cause few men ventured to own, though now become fashionable; nor, on the other hand, of the obvious line of safe selfseekers of the day, then followed. Verily, and selfish policy his antagonist, with all the he hath had his reward; and if it de pended on the electors of Middlesex, I am satisfied Mr. Waithman would now, though late, reap his: I sincerely hope he may, not anxious on that also, for I think he deserves so much on his own account-although I am it as on account of the public, to which nothing is more prejudicial than the constant example of unrequited efforts in its behalf, acCompanied with mortifying neglect. glad to hear that Mr. Hobhouse presides at the meeting to-day; it must be pleasing to the electors of Westminster, so many of them being electors of Middlesex. Had I known in time, and that I could have been of any use, I would, notwithstanding my old enemy the gout has hold of me by the reel, have put myself into a coach and come up. It is troublesome to write, so I must end; have the goodness to give this letter to Mr. Waithman's Chairman, with 504. contribution towards his "I remain, dear Sir, "Yours very sincerely,
The letter arrived too late, I suppose, for insertion in the Chronicle of the 27th. At the close of the poll, on Wednesday, just after I came away, the speech-making began, and WAITHMAN "F. BURDETT.” again accused his opponents, and me The reader will laugh at these sly amongst the rest, of political apostacy, hints about Middlesex, particularly at and even of "rank conspiracy." One the idea of a poor good-for-nothing of his partizans, a Mr. DILLON, who, thing like this, thinking that he could it seems, came from a Committee inset people against Mr. HUME, who, be Westminister, produced a letter from it remembered, did NOT "stick his Burdett to the chairman of this com- knees in Canning's back!" This is a mittee, in the following words:
"Brighton, Jan. 25, 1831. "Dear Sir,—I am sorry I was not earlier aware that had any power of serving Mr Waithman in his election for the Chamberlainship of the city of London, or of macking, with propriety, my sense of the invariable conduct of Mr. Alderman Shaw, as a public man, and particularly of his conduct as Sheriff towards the electors of Middlesex, during the great contest with Mr. Mainwaring, the pre
pretty fellow to talk about consistency, and to rip up the anti-reforming principles of Sir James Shaw! This is a pretty fellow to "grieve" at Mr. Hume's supporting, for a civil office, a man who, 25 years ago, opposed him in politics! and HOBHOUSE, too! fed with pap purchased with public money, and married to a wife who had, all her