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It would not
be worth having Kings, my Lords, if it were not that they never go to
war.

"If we look at home, my Lords, do we not see the same things here as are
seen every where else? Are our young men taken to be horsemen, or foot
soldiers, any more than in Germany or in Prussia, or in Hanover or in
Hesse? Are not our sailors as safe at land as at sea? Are they ever
dragged from their homes, like oxen to the slaughter-house, to serve on
board ships of war? When they return from the perils of a long voyage
with the merchandize of distant countries, does not every man sit down
under his own vine and his own fig-tree, in perfect security? Is the
tenth of our seed taken by tax-gatherers, or is any part of it given to
the King's servants? In short, _is not everything as free from taxes as
the light from Heaven!_ (1)

"Ah! my Lords, do we not see the blessed effect of having Kings in every
thing we look at? Is not the G. R., or the broad R., stampt upon every
thing? Even the shoes, the gloves, and the hats that we wear,
are enriched with the impression, and all our candles blaze a
burnt-offering.

"Besides these blessings, my Lords, that cover us from the sole of the
foot to the crown of the head, do we not see a race of youths growing
up to be Kings, who are the very paragons of virtue? There is not one of
them, my Lords, but might be trusted with untold gold, as safely as
the other. Are they not '_more sober, intelligent, more solid, more
steady_,' and withal, _more learned, more wise, more every thing, than
any youths we '_ever had the fortune to see.' Ah! my Lords, they are a
_hopeful family_.

"The blessed prospect of succession, which the nation has at this moment
before its eyes, is a most undeniable proof of the excellence of our
constitution, and of the blessed hereditary system; for nothing, my
Lords, but a constitution founded on the truest and purest wisdom
could admit such heaven-born and heaven-taught characters into the
government.--Permit me now, my Lords, to recal your attention to the
libellous chapter I have just read about Kings. I mention this, my
Lords, because it is my intention to move for a bill to be brought into
parliament to expunge that chapter from the Bible, and that the Lord
Chancellor, with the assistance of the Prince of Wales, the Duke of
York, and the Duke of Clarence, be requested to write a chapter in the
room of it; and that Mr. Burke do see that it be truly canonical, and
faithfully inserted."--Finis.

1 Allusion to the window-tax.--Editor,

If the Clerk of the Court of King's Bench should chuse to be the orator
of this luminous encomium on the constitution, I hope he will get
it well by heart before he attempts to deliver it, and not have
to apologize to Parliament, as he did in the case of Bolingbroke's
encomium, for forgetting his lesson; and, with this admonition I leave
him.

Having thus informed the Addressers of what passed at the meeting of
Parliament, I return to take up the subject at the part where I broke
off in order to introduce the preceding speeches.

I was then stating, that the first policy of the Government party was
silence, and the next, clamorous contempt; but as people generally
choose to read and judge for themselves, the work still went on, and the
affectation of contempt, like the silence that preceded it, passed for
nothing.

Thus foiled in their second scheme, their evil genius, like a
will-with-a-wisp, led them to a third; when all at once, as if it had
been unfolded to them by a fortune-teller, or Mr. Dundas had discovered
it by second sight, this once harmless, insignificant book, without
undergoing the alteration of a single letter, became a most wicked and
dangerous Libel. The whole Cabinet, like a ship's crew, became alarmed;
all hands were piped upon deck, as if a conspiracy of elements was
forming around them, and out came the Proclamation and the Prosecution;
and Addresses supplied the place of prayers.

Ye silly swains, thought I to myself, why do you torment yourselves
thus? The Rights OF Man is a book calmly and rationally written; why
then are you so disturbed? Did you see how little or how suspicious such
conduct makes you appear, even cunning alone, had you no other faculty,
would hush you into prudence. The plans, principles, and arguments,
contained in that work, are placed before the eyes of the nation, and
of the world, in a fair, open, and manly manner, and nothing more is
necessary than to refute them. Do this, and the whole is done; but if ye
cannot, so neither can ye suppress the reading, nor convict the author;
for the Law, in the opinion of all good men, would convict itself, that
should condemn what cannot be refuted.

Having now shown the Addressers the several stages of the business,
prior to their being called upon, like Csar in the Tyber, crying to
Cassius, "_help, Cassius, or I sink_!" I next come to remark on the
policy of the Government, in promoting Addresses; on the consequences
naturally resulting therefrom; and on the conduct of the persons
concerned.

With respect to the policy, it evidently carries with it every mark
and feature of disguised fear. And it will hereafter be placed in the
history of extraordinary things, that a pamphlet should be produced by
an individual, unconnected with any sect or party, and not seeking to
make any, and almost a stranger in the land, that should compleatly
frighten a whole Government, and that in the midst of its most
triumphant security. Such a circumstance cannot fail to prove, that
either the pamphlet has irresistible powers, or the Government very
extraordinary defects, or both. The nation exhibits no signs of fear at
the Rights of Man; why then should the Government, unless the interest
of the two are really opposite to each other, and the secret is
beginning to be known? That there are two distinct classes of men in
the nation, those who pay taxes, and those who receive and live upon
the taxes, is evident at first sight; and when taxation is carried to
excess, it cannot fail to disunite those two, and something of this kind
is now beginning to appear.

It is also curious to observe, amidst all the fume and bustle about
Proclamations and Addresses, kept up by a few noisy and interested men,
how little the mass of the nation seem to care about either. They
appear to me, by the indifference they shew, not to believe a word the
Proclamation contains; and as to the Addresses, they travel to London
with the silence of a funeral, and having announced their arrival in
the Gazette, are deposited with the ashes of their predecessors, and Mr.
Dundas writes their _hic facet_.

One of the best effects which the Proclamation, and its echo the
Addresses have had, has been that of exciting and spreading curiosity;
and it requires only a single reflection to discover, that the object
of all curiosity is knowledge. When the mass of the nation saw that
Placemen, Pensioners, and Borough-mongers, were the persons that stood
forward to promote Addresses, it could not fail to create suspicions
that the public good was not their object; that the character of the
books, or writings, to which such persons obscurely alluded, not daring
to mention them, was directly contrary to what they described them to
be, and that it was necessary that every man, for his own satisfaction,
should exercise his proper right, and read and judge for himself.

But how will the persons who have been induced to read the _Rights of
Man_, by the clamour that has been raised against it, be surprized
to find, that, instead of a wicked, inflammatory work, instead of a
licencious and profligate performance, it abounds with principles of
government that are uncontrovertible--with arguments which every reader
will feel, are unanswerable--with plans for the increase of commerce
and manufactures--for the extinction of war--for the education of
the children of the poor--for the comfortable support of the aged and
decayed persons of both sexes--for the relief of the army and navy, and,
in short, for the promotion of every thing that can benefit the moral,
civil, and political condition of Man.

Why, then, some calm observer will ask, why is the work prosecuted, if
these be the goodly matters it contains? I will tell thee, friend;
it contains also a plan for the reduction of Taxes, for lessening the
immense expences of Government, for abolishing sinecure Places and
Pensions; and it proposes applying the redundant taxes, that shall
be saved by these reforms, to the purposes mentioned in the former
paragraph, instead of applying them to the support of idle and
profligate Placemen and Pensioners.

Is it, then, any wonder that Placemen and Pensioners, and the whole
train of Court expectants, should become the promoters of Addresses,
Proclamations, and Prosecutions? or, is it any wonder that Corporations
and rotten Boroughs, which are attacked and exposed, both in the First
and Second Parts of _Rights of Man_, as unjust monopolies and public
nuisances, should join in the cavalcade? Yet these are the sources from
which Addresses have sprung. Had not such persons come forward to
oppose the _Rights of Man_, I should have doubted the efficacy of my
own writings: but those opposers have now proved to me that the blow was
well directed, and they have done it justice by confessing the smart.

The principal deception in this business of Addresses has been, that the
promoters of them have not come forward in their proper characters. They
have assumed to pass themselves upon the public as a part of the Public,
bearing a share of the burthen of Taxes, and acting for the public good;
whereas, they are in general that part of it that adds to the public
burthen, by living on the produce of the public taxes. They are to the
public what the locusts are to the tree: the burthen would be less, and
the prosperity would be greater, if they were shaken off.

"I do not come here," said Onslow, at the Surry County meeting, "as the
Lord Lieutenant and Custos Rotulorum of the county, but I come here as
a plain country gentleman." The fact is, that he came there as what he
was, and as no other, and consequently he came as one of the beings I
have been describing.



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