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SIR.—The Minister having given the contents of his budget for our digestion, allow me, through the medium of your paper, to enter my protest against a tax that falls peculiarly heavy on a very respectable body of his Majesty's most loyal subjeets, called old Bachelors. That the tax in question is oppressive, as a legislative act, my history will sufficiently prove; for , with every disposition to connubial happiness, I have hitherto completely failed in my attempts; and I doubt not that numbers, besides myself, stand in the same predicament.—To begin with my history: you must know that I first addressed myself to a most prudent young lady, with whom I interchanged vows of eternal constancy; and was near being made the happiest of men, when an uncle died, from whom I had great expectations, leaving me only a small legacy. This circumstance, and the advances of a rich fox-hunting squire, wrought so much to my disadvantage, that I was dismissed by her friends, and at their suggestion, she very dutifully yielded to the son of the chace.— Time, that best soother of human woe, soon performs a cure; and I next figured away with a lady in the fashionable world.—Like the owl, I sunk down to repose at the approach of the sun, and arose at his departure. Every thing seemed to be in a most favourable train, when imprudently, settling some future plans of domestic economy, I was dismissed with the epithet of a mean, avaricious wretch.-My next adventure was with a young lady, who, with a moderate fortune, and a handsome person, had secured to herself, at least, a score of humble admirers, when I fortunately stepped in, and she very condescendingly reduced the number to half a dozen, besides myself. I believe I should have carried the prize, had not a tall man of blood, ye!ept captain, have come in be
tween; and on my excusing myself from
standing to be honourably shot through
the head, he very civilly took me by the —nose:–this so enraged me, although one of the mildest of men, that I cudgelled him, both to his and to my own perfect satisfaction. For this affront on a gentleman, and a man of honour, I was dismissed as a low bred, unfashionable fellow, greatly deficient in the Ton.— Not yet intimidated, I next waited upon a demure looking creature, who lamented the depravity of the age from morning to night. Here I am suited, thought I, no fear of red-coats;–when, as I was one night going to hear her rail against the forwardness of the little misses in their teens, I entered upon her too suddenly, and found her demonstrating the attraction and adhesiou of ladies, to her footman.-I next became enamoured of the accomplished daughter of a rich old farmer; who, feeling his own great deficiency in all human learning, was resolved to make his daughter a prodigy. She could read a page of Walter Scott without lisping more than a dozen mistakes; she could recite a passage in a play with all the grace of the amateur of fashion; she could thump a Sonata on the Piano with most discordant fascination; and she could draw without any fear of punishment from the breach of the second commandment. These rare accomplishments won my heart; when anticipating my union with the accomplished phenomenon, she cruelly deserted me for the irresistible attractions of a strolling player.—Dissatisfied with poems and plays, pianos and paint, I next bowed down to a learned lady, who could harangue in Latin with all the eloquence of a college professor; who could spout Greek with parsonic purity; who could write a criticism on a plain passage in a Greek or Latin author, until it became unintelligible; who could umriddle all the dark meanings of Aristotle; and who could prove, to a demonstration, that the ancients were sages, and the moderns, blockheads.-Well versed in the philosophy of the schools, both ancient and modern. Insensible to externals, even to "stoicism; for so far had she carried her apathy, that she had actually written a treatise against the passions, and was one night reading to me the chapter against anger, when the maid servant comung-in to prespare supper, unfortunately overturied the inkstand upon some critical nate
on a Greek author, and thus spoiled the labours of a whole fortnight. This was föo much for the mild follower of Zeno.— The inkstand was expelled at the head of the terrified Abigail, with philosophic rage; and on my innocently requesting her to conclude the chapter on anger, she gave a practical illustration of her system. by furiously dispatching the treatise full in my face.— Perfectly satisfied with lady philosophers, I next offered myself to a devotee; trusting that christianity would teach a milder' behaviour. Here I was dragged to the conventicle, every Lord's-day, three times at least; bésides attending conferences, night meetings, &c. on the week day; and if I had not indulged a little mistined scepticism, I might have been united to the most devout lady in Christendoni : but happening to doubt of Serpent-logicians, and Ass-orators, I was dismissed as an infidel whom, for the glory of God; it would be well to roast into the faitli.--So anxfous was I to become a Benedict, that I next became the humble suppliant of lily own housemaid; a tall, stout, malogany faced damse!, whom I believe I should have taken for better or for worse: but indiscreetly' offending her on the much dreaded was hing day, the enraged Amazon, with politerous fist, so obsetired my perces iion, that I was ever after blind to her qualifications.—H, aving had sufficient experience of the modérns; as a last resource, I poured forth rhy passion to a rich old Spinster, when fwäs near leading to the altar, whem the grim tyrant déath intruded; and snatched iter away from the emainoured’swain: I'could willingly have engaged with some other antique; botto with the mouthful event before me, of the instability of life it the aged; I was fearfăl of two soon Being lăţifia widowed state. Grown grey is a lisé of fruitless importunity; I Had" reconcited myself to my fité, with ibrosopifical fortitude, when lo! the W. opened his Budget, and thus prevented me at intfulgebee so necessars to my declining years.--ff I-be thoright to have failed is proving the oppression of the tax; by my listóry, I shall appeal to cripture, trusting that every good christian will coincide with ny ar. guments. To search for names who have add 4 a.htstre to that of Hacheior, would be an endless' task: stiffice it to #y, that Jesus (orist, addits dh ciples,
were Bachelors; and if they were inrended as examples for our imitation, surely we ought to hesitate on so impor. 'ant a point. That great apostle of the gentiles, St. Paul, not only discountenanced matrimony by his practice, but expressly recommended a life of celibacy. as a virtue; and with such authority, all pariiamentary arguments vanish like * smoke. That the ladies should not coincide with the wholesome advice-giving, and woman-silencing apostle, is no ways extraordinary; but that Mr. Wansittart-. the zealous supporter of the Bible So, ciety, should, by the tax in questions set aside the authority of St. Paul, ie truly surprising. Notwithstanding the seeming proofs of his piety, unless he withdraw this most unchristian tax, we shall be led to judge, that he has allow- ed his gallantry to get the better of his christianity. Yours, &c.
- AN OLD BACHELoR. Lincolnshire, March, 12th. 1815.
Cor N Laws.
SIR.--I wish to argue the stohject on reasonable grounds, and as there is so much ooise about the Corn Dill, 1 trust. you e o give place to these few observations.-->efore the war, bread was 6d. the quoroeth loaf ; and play what makes it dear now : Have we not the same portion of land to grow coln on, as we had before the war ! Say, I will answer, a considerable deal more, by the immense inclosure of waste land which, I may say, has been taken from the poor, and given to the rich. They have deprived them of the land, and now they have the impudence to say, that they will not grow corn on it, unless you give them what price they choose to ask. Have we not equally as good farmers as we had before the war; and is not the land as productive? What then is the reason tiey cannot grow as mutli coin now, as they did before the war? It is because of the enorisotis load of tares with which we are oppressed. I considerałło the noisehow inăking by the supporters of the corn" bill, as not ght but a bitg-bear to frighten'. us—a fålse' alărhi-an invention to au-
Register of the 25th ult,
the shoulders of the mercantile people. Should this bill pass through the house of their “noble-mindednesses,” the burthen, with the head and all, will be too heavy for the shoulders. But supposing the landholder was formerly necessitated to raise his tenant's rent, to enable him to pay the Government demand of 10l. per cent. property-tax, the landholder was not even then the loser, as it all came out of the loaf. Now that that demand is over, let the landholder take off the 101. per cent. which he put on his tenant, and let Government reduce the most oppressive part of the farmer's taxes. This would be the most equitable way of encouraging the growth of corn, and giving us bread at a moderate price. If we musthave taxes, let us have them on any thing else but the loaf. By these means, and these only, we will be enabled to procúre a foreign market for our manufactures, without which there is no chance of reducing the price of bread, and of restoring England to its former prosperity. Although I like your reasoning in general, Mr. Cobbett, I wish to know how we are likely, (if passive obedience be the order of the day) to get redress in the event of their “noble minded“nesses” rejecting the voice of the people in their petition against the obnoxious corn bill. If the only constitutioual mode of petitioning should be rejected, and
the intimidating force of an army of soi
diers be resorted to, I should like you to point out the remedy, as I am at a loss
to imagine one. I am, &c. March 15, 1815. W. P. R.
DEFENCE OF THE FARM ERs.
Mr. Cop BETT–Amongst the various opinions which have lately appeared on tie subject of Corn Laws, scarcely any have been free from an admixture of illiberal abuse of the farmers of England, and some of your occrrespondents have salien into that vulgar error, for so in st be aflowed to consider it; and iny surprise is much encreased to find your otherwise seasible" correspondent, Aristides turned accuser of the farmiers in your Amongst some plausible" reasons for the high price of corn, he assigns the principle one to be the high; and luxuridii; living of the farmer, whose family he describes as having
back parlour and the piano; the men for having changed the smock-frock, and carters whip, for the military cut, superfine coat, lined with silk, his Wellington boots, his jemmy rattan, and bit of blood. Dumplins too are forsaken for dainties; and it is reckoned among the number of the farmer's high crimes and misdemeanours, that they feed no longer on ox cheek and beef legs. I request you my brother formers to note this. Yoti are to be clothed with the smock-frock, go in high shoes and hob nails, feed on the offal of your produce, send all your poultry, eggs, butter, cream, &c. to market, ti;at the appetite of those who have burthened you with excessive taxation may be pampered at a cheap rate, fare sumptuously every day, roll along the street n splendid equipages, and mock and deride the clownish awkwardness which, in their prejudiced eyes, is necessary to the selling of cheap corn. It may perhaps be thought illiberal to accuse Aristides of wilfully settting one class of the community against another. I must, therefore, inpute the false description he has given, to a complete ignorance of the mode and habits of life of so respectable a class of the coununity as the generality of British farmers. It is not unlikely he may have been entertained by the military for he has pourtrayed; and if such coaracters are to be found amongst farmers, Aristides should have been charitable enough to have acknowledged the real cause of their creation and existence, which he moist know to have arisen out of the late wicked, unjust, and unnecessary war. If he had on this subject reasoned with his accustomed acuteness, he must have known that none put on the military habit with more reluctance than the farmer; that he was induced to become a volunteer by the influence of government, thro' the medium of the magistrate and his landlord, by whom he was in many instances, threatened with notice to quit his farm if he did not comply with the military requisition. His family, too, were often invited to the festive board, to join the merry dance;aud if the female part imitated the dress and manners of their new associates, the colonel's and the squire's lady; if they were tempted to learn the martial air, and the jocund song on the piano, can this possibly be assigned by . any sound reason as the true cause , by
they cannot sell their corn cheap! Corn has not risen in price more than the oak tree, the deal board, or the tallow candle, and till it can be proved that the increased price of these articles is owing to the luxuriant living of the timber merchant, the carpenter, and the tallow chandler, the advance in the price of corn cannot be attributed to the extravagant living of the farmer. But, Sir, I deny the fact that the generality of the farmers, or their wives and daughters, are what Aristides has described them to be; or that their situation is improved by an increase of either their luxuries or comforts. More than a century ago that facetious poet Pryor described the situation of farmers (not as living on ox cheek or beef legs but) as living hospitably, and being surrounded with plenty:
Large oxen in the field were lowing,
How loud they laugh'd, how much they cat.
Many other authorities might be quoted within the compass of a farmer's reading, to prove their situation to have been that of plenty and comfort, and that they could entertain their friends with true hospitality; nay even jovially, without incurring the reproach of making corn dear. Who can enter a farm house in the present day, without seeing in the corner cupboard the punch bowl of his grand-father, which, when in his possession was often replenished to welcome the coming guest and cheer the weary traveller; but is now only an article of old china to be wiped of its dust, and set up as an ornament of ancient times. The tuntaired ale, which cheered the countenance, and made glad the heart of man, is now no more. It, alas ! is obliged to give way to a thinner liquor, more endangering the visitor with the gripes than the gout. Leaving, however, the description of the poets, and calling in aid personal recollection, I could state instances of farmer's keepingeomfortable carriages, principally employed for carrying their families to worship, giving them a jaunt to the market, or conveying them to a family party at christmas; but tho' I am now acquainted with a hundred times as many farmers as I was then,
this convenience is looked for in vain. It is replaced, in some instances, with the humblest buggy, but more frequently with the tared cart; and the appearance of the farmer now, when compared with his grand-father, is that of a pauper being passed home to his parish; he now rides to market or to worship, gingling and shaking and gnashing of teeth. But why are these comforts fled? It cannot be unknown to Aristides, that they are laid aside to answer the demands of the tar-gatherer, who threatens to swallow up all otr comforts, and deprive us of all our conveniences, to enrich those who are partakers and dividers of the spoil. I am told that farmers drink, and get drunk too. So does the parson, the lawyer, the senator, and the statesman. But are we, on that account, to accuse the whole of those classes with this nauseous vice, and charge them with all the mischief and calamity that awaits this once happy country? Such a mode of reasoning would be accounted illiberal and inconclusive. It must be equally so if the whole body of farmers are to be judged by the indiscretion of a few fops and sots. It should also be taken into eonsideration, Who have turned farmers? It must be allowed, before the character of the English farmer is truly appreciated, that all retired merchants, military gentlemen out of employ, disappointed and unsuccessful speculators, with the remnants of their broken fortunes, must be struck from the list; then I may safely aver that the farmers of England have not abated one jot or tittle in the habits. of industry, economy, or frugality, or increased in luxuries. It must likewise be granted, that farmers of enterprise, who have made large fortunes, cannot be considered a fair sample of the generality of farmers. If they have got too rich by turning the desert into a garden, tho’ they may in common with other successful classes of society, live luxuriantly, I cannot see how they have made corn dear by growing abundance where none grew before. It is a fact universally admitted, that where several farms have been laid together, cultivation has improved and the quantum of corn much increased; a sufficient proof that this cannot contribute to raise the price of corn. Having combated these false notions. tof your correspondent, and others of like
opinion, may I be allowed to state what
I conceive to be the real cause of creating a necessity for making corn dear. It
must be attributed by every considerate
mind to increased rents and overwhelm
ing taxation. ... All our political economists have ascribed the progressive rise in the various articles of is: to these causes;
but there is no occasion for quotations;
we can cast a sum in addition or subtraction: multiplication is brought to our recollection by a increase of evils; and the result of our little arithmetic may be
solved by a simple question in the rule of three : If an advance in 16nt and taxes has increased our expences fourfold,
what price must corn be at to enable us to hold our farms and retain our situations? The answer is obvious. It is also clear, that if a large abatement of rent cannot be obtained, a considerable diminution of taxation, and a total riddance of the tythe system, so monstrous, so oppressive and vexatious, there will be no alternative but emigration or a jail. It is equally evident, that there are not only one but many countries where, in mercy to mankind, tythes are abolished, rents one fourth of the rents of
England, taxes comparatively none; and
altho' it is our wish and our pleasure to raise corn in abundance, and sell it cheap to the good people of England, we cannot perform impossibilities. If we are taxed and teazed out and obliged to abandon Gur native soil, we must cross the channel in such numbers that it might puzzle * headed chancelior to raise his revenues from those who remain. The landlords also will find it difficult to obtain tenants for their farms. As to the
Corn Bill now proceeding in Parliament, .
that this excessive taxation is the rich | pasture on which corruption feeds, fattens
and grows insolent. Why then inflame the public mind against the farmer ? whvilot, to use afornier's expression, lay - -***... *2 of forest Rather
let the pen of Aristides be directed
Those vile slaves of corruption, what now will