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POLITICS FOR THE POOR.
FLEET-STREET, AND MÁY BE HAD OF ALL BOOKSELLERS.
For the Month of July, 1830.
Bristol, 25th June, 1830. 1. The object of this publication is, to explain to the people of this kingdom what it is that, in spite of all the industry and frugality that they can practise, keeps them poor. The causes of the poverty of the sluggard, the glutton, the drunkard, and the squanderer, need no explanation; poverty is the natural effect of these vices; it is the punishment which God himself has said shall be the reward of these offences against his laws. But this nation is now in such a state, that no industry, no care, no ingenuity, no prudence, no foresight, no frugality, can give a man security against poverty. This was the happiest country in the world ; it was the country of roast beef; it was distinguished above all other nations for the good food, good raiment, and good morals, of its people; and it is now as much distinguished for the contrary of all of them.
2. It is, therefore, to explain to the suffering people at
LONDON: Published by the Author, 11, Bolt-court, Fleet-street ;
and sold by all Booksellers.
large, the causes of this lamentable change, that this little cheap work is intended ; and the reasons why it has the title of Two-penny Trash, and why it is to be published only monthly, are as follows: from 1801 to 1817, I published the Weekly Political Register, at the price, first of ten- pence, then of a shilling ; but just before the commencement of the last-mentioned year, 1, in order to give my writings a wide spread, laid aside the stamp, and sold the Register for two-pence; and instead of selling about two or three thousand a week, the sale rose to sixty or seventy thousand. The effect was prodigious; the people were every-where upon the stir in the cause of parliamento ary reform; petitions came to the Parliament early in 1817, from a million and a half of men.
3. The answers to these petitions were, laws to enable the ministers to take, at their pleasure, any man that they might suspect of treasonable intentions; to put him into any jail and any dungeon that they might choose; to keep him there for any time that they might choose; to deprive him of the use of pen, ink, and paper; to keep him from the sight of parents, wife, children, and friends; and all this on their own mère will, and at their sole pleasure, without regular commitment, without confronting him with his accuser, without letting him know who was his accuser, and without stating even to himself, what was his offence!
4. The principal ministers at this time were, LIVERPOOL (Jenkinson), First Lord of the Treasury; ELDON (John Scott), Lord Chancellor; SIDMOUTH (Addington), Secretary of State for the Home Department; CASTLEREAGH (Stewart), for the Foreign Department; ELLENBOROUGH (Law), Chief Justice of the King's Bench. SEDMOUTH, when he brought in this horrible bill, rested the necessity of it on the fact, that the cheap publications were exciting the people to sedition; that they were read, not only in every
town and house, but in every hamlet, every cottage, and
every hovel; and that therefore this power-of-imprisonment law was necessary to the safety of the state. When LORD HOLLAND observed, that if the authors of the cheap publications put forth any-thing of a treasonable or seditious nature, or any-thing hostile to good morals, there were already laws to punish them, that it was the business of the law officers to enforce these laws, and that there was no need for this new and violent outrage on the constitution of our fathers for putting into the hands of the ministers this absolute and terrible power over the bodies of all the people: when LORD HOLLAND made these observations, SiDMOUTH answered, that all the cheap publications had been laid before the law officers, but that, so crafty were the writers become, that the law officers had been able to find nothing to prosecute with any chance of success!
5. Upon this ground this tremendous law was passed, the great defenders of it in the House of Commons being, Cas tlereagh, Canning, William Lamb, William Elliott, and some others, whose names I do not now recollect. The WHIGs, as they were called, made a feeble, and, indeed, a mere sham opposition to it, while BURDETT, who had by a circular letter, signed with his own name, urged the people, all over the country, to come resolutely forward in the cause of reform, sat in the House, and said not one single word in their defence !
6 I, whose cheap publications had produced the terrific effect, must have been blind indeed, not to see that a dunigeon: or silence, was my doom. I chose neither; and, therefore, I took my body, and the bodies of my family, across the Atlantic ; and thence, to the cruel disappointment and mortification of ADDINGTON, Scott, Law, and Co., I sent to London a Two-PENNY REGISTER, to be published once a week, and it was published once a week, as