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and the prologue spoken at the commencement, by George IV., and the epilogue delivered at the conclusion, by the Lords Commissioners, are well worthy of such a performance. If deceit be the triumph of political genius; if meanness be the spirit of economy; and treachery, the masterstroke of policy, the members of the English Government are every way great. They are the whigs of the holy alliance. They interpose a sham opposition, in order to blind and deceive the world, whilst the holy tories invade nation after nation, in order to reduce every civil government to a level with their own narrow ideas of human policy. This system of interferance and usurpation will continue, if the people of Europe do not adopt some new plan of defence, till invasion becomes part and parcel of the laws of nations. The despots have already made it lawful, according to their code, for Austria to invade Italy; to hold that beautiful country in military subjection, and France has been permitted to act the same part in Spain. Who doubts that Russia will follow the example, by invading and retaining Turkey, as soon as the Greeks and Turks shall have so exbausted themselves as to become an easy prey ?
No nation will be permitted to enjoy any thing like rational freedom, until some plan be adopted, which shall induce the people to defend their country, and their country's liberties, with the same spirit and determination, as an individual would defend his own private property, if it were attacked by a thief. And the only plan, known at present, which would produce that glorious effect, is that of AGRARIAN EQUALITY.
In other words, let every individual bave an equal interest, or profit in that land which gave him birth!, and from
"What are they to have who are born upon the water? The fishes ? Besides, the land gives birth to other animals as well as to man, who have the same claim for sustenance; which clearly proves, that there is no right of possession but in the right of power or conquest. Again, is the female to have as much profit as the male? the new born infant as the aged sire who has toiled to improve it? If not, by what right do you exclude? If $o, at what age does the right of possession commence? The truth is, that by the rule of right, there is no right of profit or possession in the matter, beyond that policy which human law establishes. If the present law be wrong, and I think it wrong, all, we can do is to re-conquer that which we have lost, or what is right and better. And this conquest, neighbour Devenport, must be obtained by something more than a war of words. The aristocrats will tell you,' that their possessions are worth fighting for with deadly weapons. Call upon them for their title deeds, and like the Earl Warren, whose case you have quoted, they will show you their swords.
which is extracted the sustenance of every thing that has life. All the lands which are reduced to private property, are so many usurpations; those who hold lands to the exclusion of others, would, if they could, usurp, enclose, and exclude us from the air we breathe, nay, this has been done as far as it was practicable, in the shape of window tax!
We have now had a sufficient number of revolutions, and counter-revolutions, to convince, I should hope, every reflecting man, that there is something still wanting to give permanency to auy great national reform. We need pot make much inquiry into the cause of revolutions; they are the effects of an over-wrought despotism, of a heavier burden than the people can bear. So peaceably inclined are men in general, that that country must be in a dreadful state wherever a revolution takes place: to such a people it is a matter of life or death. The true and only cause of counterrevolutions, is the want of the obove mentioned plan being put into full practise. It is clear to me, that there is no other scheme sufficiently strong, to enable the people effectually to conquer their tyrants, and to retain the advantages which are sought for in revolutions. And yet, it is on this very point, Mr. Carlile, that you and I disagree. You believe, that every thing that is necessary to be known to render a country as happy and as prosperous as possible, is to be found in Paine's works. For many years I believed the same; but I am now, more than ever convinced, that there remains another step to ascend in political science, ere we can reach that prosperity and bappiness which Mr. Paine, inore than any other man, laboured to promote. If I have attempted to prove that Paine did not go far enough in political reform; how far, how very far have you not out-run him in theological speculations. Paine only denied the di
? I really do not know that I believe any thing of the kind. I grant, that Mr. Paine, from his situation, ability and disposition, did more individual good, as a political writer, than perhaps will ever fall to the lot of another man; but I have never made his writitings my Bible or Divine Revelation, not to be departed from even if absurd. I admire all in Mr. Paine that is admirable, and I find more of that quality in him than in the history of any other man recorded. I have no idol; but am free to fellow that line of conduct and those opinions which shall promise the greatest amount of public good. I have no political creed in common with Mr. Paine, unless it be the one of electing all public officers by universal suffrage. If it be the taste of the nation, upon this scale of election, to have every thing as it now exists, I shall not murmur; though I would go on to point out the evils connected with such a system, and advise changes, attributing that taste to a want of knowledge upon the subject.
vinity of Christ; but you deny an almighty power, and have proclaimed through an hundred publications the non-existence of that God whom Paine left omnipotent, omniscient, and omnifick. This is a convincing proof, that you think be did not go far enough in religious reform. I will, therefore, endeavour further to prove, that every thing short of an absolute equality in land, is a denial of those rights which nature or nature's god intended that man should enjoy 3.
I do not know that I should have written on this subject again, had it not been for what dropped from you from time to time in the Republican, and the fall of Spain! That event has convinced me, that whatever revolutions take place, no new order of things will stand for any length of time without a more equal distribution of landed interest: I told you so in my letter in the Republican io 1822. I then said, “ I feel assured, if such a Republic, as you seem satisfied with, was to be established in this country; that is, to let the present landbolders hold on, as they do at present; I say, such a, Republic would not stand seven years. Some General Monk would bring back a King.” Now do we not see this prediction fulfilled by the fall of Spain? The Spanish government was completely Republican 4, and yet, with all its efforts to preserve life, it could only spin out a three years existence! If I were asked the cause of its fall, I should 3 Neither “ Nature” nor“ Nature's God” intended any thing about the
It ranks among the class of absurdities, to be ever saying that an almighty power intends that which is never brought about. The contradiction in the assertion is a proof of its nonsence.
R. C. 4 How could it be Republican, with such a King and such a Priesthood ? It is very difficult to express systems correctly by single words. P'ope was perfectly correct, as far as he went, when he said:
“ For forms of government let fools contest,
That which is best administered is best.” So say I; but I conclude that the best administrations of government will never be found with a hereditary king, a hereditary aristocracy, and a hereditary priesthood. Were it possible, always to have the wisest and best man in the country for an absolute monarch, that, in my judgment, would produce the best administration of government. This can only be done by frequent election; and even then the best may not be always chosen. There are difficulties and evils in all systeins: our rule of right procedure is to seek and to support that which has the least. I should have observed, in behalf of, and as a matter of justice to, Mr. Paine, that he was not so much of a theorist, as of a practical man, in rooting up existing evils, prejudices, and ignorances. Where you fairly eradicate an evil; it is not likely, scarcely possible, that a greater evil will be allowed to take its place.
answer, because, Spain, even in her Republican state, was not, to the great bulk of the people, worth defending. The state paupers and city beggars will be gainers by the restoration.
In your address to the Haytians, No. 30, Vol. VI., you say, “ It is a bad principle in a nation to alineate its lands and mines to individuals, as individual property.” And again, “ the land with all its natural productions, may, and ought to be a common property.” Here we are united, our sentiments are the same; but no sooner do you come within the embrace of nature and throw yourself on her bosom, than you spring up with a sudden start, and exclaim, “ of all the projects that were ever broached, that of an equality of property is the most impracticable5" Why, Sir, many things seem impracticable, and impossible too, until they are attenipted. It seems to me impossible, under the present order of things, to maintain an equal balance of power in Europe, and yet, what seas of human blood bave not been spilt, and mines of wealth expended to obtain that still distapt object? The discovery of the origin of matter and motion seems to me quite impossible 6; and yet, what time is not spent, and what volumes are not written on that mysterious subject?
I contend that an equality of property in land is practicable. I never knew any body that advocated an equalization of all sorts of property, except Tom Preston the shoe-maker. The Old Times says, that Tom includes all kinds of property in his system; but every body knows, that this Knight of
5 There is no contradiction in my observations. The land and its natural products are wholly distinct from that capital which we call property, an accumulation of the produce of industry. I have plainly and consistently advocated the raising of a revenue for the purposes of Government from the land, in the shape of tax or rent. All a people can fairly desire is, to be an untaxed people; and if those those who hold the land pay a tax for its use to those who do not hold, “ agrarian equality" is fully accomplished. To me, Allen Davenport, seems to crave to be a little aristocrat, to have a rent roll. In a former letter, I made it plain, that if he and each individual had such a rent roll, it would not benefit them; for if received as a tax, or rent upon the land, it must be paid away in the shape of some other tax. That system of Government which shall leave a free trade and an untaxed people, appears to me to be the highest good in politics. I am inclined to be very deep as a Reformer, thoroughly radical; but not to be silly.
R. C. Yes, if there be no origin to be discovered. It would be like a journey to find the ends and corners of the earth, because the Bible, being the word of God and some priests, has taught such geographical errors..
None but madmen, spiritualists, talk about the origin of matter and motion.
the Awl is sometimes under the influence of the moon; and some times affected by a much warmer planet: in either case Tom may be allowed to rave? I know that an equality of all sorts of property is both impracticable and impossible; but why will they withbold from man those common privileges, and necessary benefits which are so readily granted to the beast? If a man has a mare, and the mare has, a colt, the owner of the mare does not pinch out of the mare's allowance a maintainance for the colt; neither does he impose more labour on the animal for that purpose, as is the case with a man and his children. If you think this is not a fair comparison, I will ascend a little higher; I will refer you to the plantations, where there are none but slares; for there you will find, that whether men, women, or children, they all receive a proportionate equality in the means of subsistence. The slave-masters, brutes as some of them are, would never think of dividing that among three or four, which was only necessary
The same equalizing principle is recognized in the economy of every royal family in Europe. If an unmarried king, is in the possession of a million a year; there is something wrong from the state, as an outfit; an extra annual allowance granted when he takes a wife. The moment a royal child is born, a principality, a dukedom, or a bishoprick, is conferred on the infant, from wbich is drawn a revenue for its maintainance. Should the royal couple have a hundred children; every child would be provided for by the state, independent of the revenues of the King and Queen. It has been said, that royal parents ought to maintain and portion their own children, the same as private gentlemen : and so they do in this artificial state ; but the present system is that which nature points out. It matters not bow great the revenue of the unmarried king is, wbether it be a million, or two millions a year, it is supposed by those who grant it, that it is no more than his comforts and
? I do not like this attack upon Thomas Preston; for I doubt its truth. Though the tri-coloured uniform of a General of Cavalry must be now moth eaten from the want of service, I am of opinion, that Tom is a right well meaning fellow, and can make a speech about ancient Greece and Rome as well, and as much to the purpose, as any of those talking things which constitute our Right Honourable and Honourable Houses of Legislature. It was certaiņly patriotic, and noble, and brave, in Thomas Preston, who with that natural impediment to be a foot soldier, a lame leg or foot, condescended to be content with the post of a General of Cavalry, and with Carlton House, or the Mansion House, as a residence, instead of being a Protector, a Consul, or a tri-coloured' Emperor. There are not frequent, instances of such patriotism and disinterestedness: so let us cherish and emulate them,