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Ye who sit in ease, and
solace yourselves in plenty, and such there are in Turkey and Russia,
as well as in England, and who say to yourselves, _are we not well off_
have ye thought of these things? When ye do, ye will cease to speak and
feel for yourselves alone."

After this remission of four millions be made, and the poor-rates
and houses and window-light tax be abolished, and the commutation
tax changed, there will still remain nearly one million and a half
of surplus taxes; and as by an alliance between England, France and
America, armies and navies will, in a great measure, be rendered
unnecessary; and as men who have either been brought up in, or long
habited to, those lines of life, are still citizens of a nation in
common with the rest, and have a right to participate in all plans of
national benefit, it is stated in that work (_Rights of Man_, Part ii.)
to apply annually 507,000L. out of the surplus taxes to this purpose, in
the following manner:

[Illustration: table 053]

The limits to which it is proper to confine this letter, will not admit
of my entering into further particulars. I address it to Mr. Dundas
because he took the lead in the debate, and he wishes, I suppose, to
appear conspicuous; but the purport of it is to justify myself from the
charge which Mr. Adam has made.

This Gentleman, as has been observed in the beginning of this letter,
considers the writings of Harrington, More and Hume, as justifiable and
legal publications, because they reasoned by comparison, though in so
doing they shewed plans and systems of government, not only different
from, but preferable to, that of England; and he accuses me of
endeavouring to confuse, instead of producing a system in the room of
that which I had reasoned against; whereas, the fact is, that I have
not only reasoned by comparison of the representative system against
the hereditary system, but I have gone further; for I have produced
an instance of a government established entirely on the representative
system, under which greater happiness is enjoyed, much fewer taxes
required, and much higher credit is established, than under the system
of government in England. The funds in England have risen since the war
only from 54L. to 97L. and they have been down since the proclamation,
to 87L. whereas the funds in America rose in the mean time from 10L. to
120L.

His charge against me of "destroying every principle of subordination,"
is equally as groundless; which even a single paragraph from the work
will prove, and which I shall here quote:

"Formerly when divisions arose respecting Governments, recourse was had
to the sword, and a civil war ensued. That savage custom is exploded
by the new system, and _recourse is had to a national convention_.
Discussion, and the general will, arbitrates the question, and to
this private opinion yields with a good grace, and _order is preserved
uninterrupted_."

That two different charges should be brought at the same time, the one
by a Member of the Legislative, for _not_ doing a certain thing, and
the other by the Attorney General for _doing_ it, is a strange jumble of
contradictions. I have now justified myself, or the work rather, against
the first, by stating the case in this letter, and the justification of
the other will be undertaken in its proper place. But in any case the
work will go on.

I shall now conclude this letter with saying, that the only objection
I found against the plan and principles contained in the Second Part
of _Rights of Man_, when I had written the book, was, that they would
beneficially interest at least ninety-nine persons out of every hundred
throughout the nation, and therefore would not leave sufficient room for
men to act from the direct and disinterested principles of honour; but
the prosecution now commenced has fortunately removed that objection,
and the approvers and protectors of that work now feel the immediate
impulse of honour added to that of national interest.

I am, Mr. Dundas,

Not your obedient humble Servant,

But the contrary,

Thomas Paine.




VI. LETTERS TO ONSLOW CRANLEY,

Lord Lieutenant of the county of Surry; on the subject of the late
excellent proclamation:--or the chairman who shall preside at the
meeting to be held at Epsom, June 18.


FIRST LETTER.

London, June 17th, 1792.

SIR,

I have seen in the public newspapers the following advertisement, to
wit--

"To the Nobility, Gentry, Clergy, Freeholders, and other Inhabitants of
the county of Surry.

"At the requisition and desire of several of the freeholders of the
county, I am, in the absence of the Sheriff, to desire the favour of
your attendance, at a meeting to be held at Epsom, on Monday, the 18th
instant, at 12 o'clock at noon, to consider of an humble address to his
majesty, to express our grateful approbation of his majesty's paternal,
and well-timed attendance to the public welfare, in his late most
gracious Proclamation against the enemies of our happy Constitution.

"(Signed.) Onslow Cranley."


Taking it for granted, that the aforesaid advertisement, equally as
obscure as the proclamation to which it refers, has nevertheless some
meaning, and is intended to effect some purpose; and as a prosecution
(whether wisely or unwisely, justly or unjustly) is already commenced
against a work intitled RIGHTS OF MAN, of which I have the honour and
happiness to be the author; I feel it necessary to address this letter
to you, and to request that it may be read publicly to the gentlemen who
shall meet at Epsom in consequence of the advertisement.

The work now under prosecution is, I conceive, the same work which is
intended to be suppressed by the aforesaid proclamation. Admitting this
to be the case, the gentlemen of the county of Surry are called upon by
somebody to condemn a work, and they are at the same time forbidden by
the proclamation to know what that work is; and they are further called
upon to give their aid and assistance to prevent other people from
knowing it also. It is therefore necessary that the author, for his own
justification, as well as to prevent the gentlemen who shall meet from
being imposed upon by misrepresentation, should give some outlines of
the principles and plans which that work contains.

The work, Sir, in question, contains, first, an investigation of general
principles of government.

It also distinguishes government into two classes or systems, the one
the hereditary system; the other the representative system; and it
compares these two systems with each other.

It shews that what is called hereditary government cannot exist as a
matter of right; because hereditary government always means a government
yet to come; and the case always is, that those who are to live
afterwards have always the same right to establish a government for
themselves as the people who had lived before them.

It also shews the defect to which hereditary government is unavoidably
subject: that it must, from the nature of it, throw government into
the hands of men totally unworthy of it from the want of principle, and
unfitted for it from want of capacity. James II. and many others are
recorded in the English history as proofs of the former of those cases,
and instances are to be found all over Europe to prove the truth of the
latter.

It then shews that the representative system is the only true system of
government; that it is also the only system under which the liberties of
any people can be permanently secure; and, further, that it is the
only one that can continue the same equal probability at all times of
admitting of none but men properly qualified, both by principles and
abilities, into government, and of excluding such as are otherwise.

The work shews also, by plans and calculations not hitherto denied nor
controverted, not even by the prosecution that is commenced, that the
taxes now existing may be reduced at least six millions, that taxes may
be entirely taken off from the poor, who are computed at one third of
the nation; and that taxes on the other two thirds may be considerably
reduced; that the aged poor may be comfortably provided for, and the
children of poor families properly educated; that fifteen thousand
soldiers, and the same number of sailors, may be allowed three
shillings per week during life out of the surplus taxes; and also that a
proportionate allowance may be made to the officers, and the pay of the
remaining soldiers and sailors be raised; and that it is better to apply
the surplus taxes to those purposes, than to consume them on lazy and
profligate placemen and pensioners; and that the revenue, said to be
twenty thousand pounds per annum, raised by a tax upon coals, and given
to the Duke of Richmond, is a gross imposition upon all the people of
London, and ought to be instantly abolished.

This, Sir, is a concise abstract of the principles and plans contained
in the work that is now prosecuted, and for the suppression of which the
proclamation appears to be intended; but as it is impossible that I can,
in the compass of a letter, bring into view all the matters contained
in the work, and as it is proper that the gentlemen who may compose that
meeting should know what the merits or demerits of it are, before they
come to any resolutions, either directly or indirectly relating thereto,
I request the honour of presenting them with one hundred copies of the
second part of the Rights of Man, and also one thousand copies of my
letter to Mr. Dundas, which I have directed to be sent to Epsom for that
purpose; and I beg the favour of the Chairman to take the trouble of
presenting them to the gentlemen who shall meet on that occasion, with
my sincere wishes for their happiness, and for that of the nation in
general.

Having now closed thus much of the subject of my letter, I next come
to speak of what has relation to me personally. I am well aware of the
delicacy that attends it, but the purpose of calling the meeting appears
to me so inconsistent with that justice that is always due between man
and man, that it is proper I should (as well on account of the gentlemen
who may meet, as on my own account) explain myself fully and candidly
thereon.

I have already informed the gentlemen, that a prosecution is commenced
against a work of which I have the honour and happiness to be the
author; and I have good reasons for believing that the proclamation
which the gentlemen are called to consider, and to present an address
upon, is purposely calculated to give an impression to the jury before
whom that matter is to come.



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