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The labouring people are only poor, because they are
Nothing can be so base and so wicked as the political canting lan.
TO THE KING'S MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY.
One of the most humble of your Majesty's subjects, who has passed nearly his whole life, from the age of eleven years, either in labouring himself, or in superintending the labour of others, ventures to approach his Sovereign on a matter of paramount importance to that numerous class with which he is by birth and education connected. The habitual attention which your Majesty's Royal Progenitors have paid to the interests of the Poor ;--the amelioration which has been effected in their condition under the benign influence of the House of Brunswick ;—the numerous Legislative enactments which that august House has sanctioned, providing for the necessities of the working classes, recognising their rights and protecting their interests, especially point to your Majesty as the natural guardian of that order of Society, which requires the countenance of Supreme Authority at all times, and never more than at present.
A new light, said to be the light of Philosophy, has, to some of your Majesty's subjects, opened new views of their duty towards their necessitous brethren. On those views, strongly urged by persons in high station, the legal right of the Poor to Relief has been abrogated, and a new measure established on other principles. A measure most ominous in its aspect; not so much from the character of its provisions, as from the partial and exaggerated statements on which it was founded ; the dangerous doctrines propounded in its progress, and the principles on which it was said to have been based. The original enactments providing for the Relief of the Poor were denounced as sources of hideous evils: the Poor, themselves, were represented as lost to all natural affection; as deluging the land with crime, wallowing in idleness, and threatening, at no distant time, the destruction of all property. A measure introduced with so much of exaggeration and assumption, so much of distorted fact and false principle, is not likely to obtain the acquiescence of that great majority of the people, who, by various calamities, are liable to become subject to its provisions ; or the cordial co-operation of that influential body, from whom alone it could receive effective support.
To fix the attention of authority on some of those exaggerated statements, with a hope that the evils inflicted under their influence may be mitigated, is the object of this humble Address. For this object, the sanction of your Majesty's name is supplicated, with an earnest belief, that when the merciful consideration of the Sovereign is dutifully invoked for
the most suffering portion of his subjects, some attention might be deigned which would not otherwise be conceded to the efforts of an obscure individual. Thus your Majesty is approached, in your Constitutional character, as the fountain of mercy, under a deep conviction, that as that mercy cannot be capriciously exercised, so neither should it be idly invoked. With this conviction, the following remarks are most humbly submitted
In ordinary times, important measures proposed by authority to Legislative Assemblies, receive, in their progress, that scrupulous attention which invests them with a moral influence, more powerful than mere legal sanction. But this is not the case in such times of excitement and confusion, as those were, in which the Bill for amending the Poor Laws was laid before the British Parliament. All measures which were then brought forward, by the Oracle of the day, were hurried through their stages with an impatient clamor, which peevishly resented all attempts at improving measures, as premeditated attacks on the man. Such factious subserviency is, perhaps, a necessary consequence of the loose materials with which popular