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It is only those who have not thought that
appear to agree. It is in this case as with what is called the British
constitution. It has been taken for granted to be good, and encomiums
have supplied the place of proof. But when the nation comes to examine
into its principles and the abuses it admits, it will be found to have
more defects than I have pointed out in this work and the former.

As to what are called national religions, we may, with as much
propriety, talk of national Gods. It is either political craft or the
remains of the Pagan system, when every nation had its separate and
particular deity. Among all the writers of the English church clergy,
who have treated on the general subject of religion, the present Bishop
of Llandaff has not been excelled, and it is with much pleasure that I
take this opportunity of expressing this token of respect.

I have now gone through the whole of the subject, at least, as far as it
appears to me at present. It has been my intention for the five years I
have been in Europe, to offer an address to the people of England on
the subject of government, if the opportunity presented itself before I
returned to America. Mr. Burke has thrown it in my way, and I thank
him. On a certain occasion, three years ago, I pressed him to propose a
national convention, to be fairly elected, for the purpose of taking
the state of the nation into consideration; but I found, that however
strongly the parliamentary current was then setting against the party
he acted with, their policy was to keep every thing within that field
of corruption, and trust to accidents. Long experience had shown that
parliaments would follow any change of ministers, and on this they
rested their hopes and their expectations.

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 reference is had to national conventions. Discussion
and the general will arbitrates the question, and to this, private
opinion yields with a good grace, and order is preserved uninterrupted.

Some gentlemen have affected to call the principles upon which this
work and the former part of Rights of Man are founded, "a new-fangled
doctrine." The question is not whether those principles are new or old,
but whether they are right or wrong. Suppose the former, I will show
their effect by a figure easily understood.

It is now towards the middle of February. Were I to take a turn into
the country, the trees would present a leafless, wintery appearance. As
people are apt to pluck twigs as they walk along, I perhaps might do the
same, and by chance might observe, that a single bud on that twig had
begun to swell. I should reason very unnaturally, or rather not reason
at all, to suppose this was the only bud in England which had this
appearance. Instead of deciding thus, I should instantly conclude, that
the same appearance was beginning, or about to begin, every where; and
though the vegetable sleep will continue longer on some trees and plants
than on others, and though some of them may not blossom for two or three
years, all will be in leaf in the summer, except those which are rotten.
What pace the political summer may keep with the natural, no human
foresight can determine. It is, however, not difficult to perceive
that the spring is begun.--Thus wishing, as I sincerely do, freedom and
happiness to all nations, I close the Second Part.




APPENDIX

As the publication of this work has been delayed beyond the time
intended, I think it not improper, all circumstances considered, to
state the causes that have occasioned delay.

The reader will probably observe, that some parts in the plan contained
in this work for reducing the taxes, and certain parts in Mr. Pitt's
speech at the opening of the present session, Tuesday, January 31, are
so much alike as to induce a belief, that either the author had taken
the hint from Mr. Pitt, or Mr. Pitt from the author.--I will first point
out the parts that are similar, and then state such circumstances as I
am acquainted with, leaving the reader to make his own conclusion.

Considering it as almost an unprecedented case, that taxes should
be proposed to be taken off, it is equally extraordinary that such a
measure should occur to two persons at the same time; and still more
so (considering the vast variety and multiplicity of taxes) that they
should hit on the same specific taxes. Mr. Pitt has mentioned, in his
speech, the tax on Carts and Wagons--that on Female Servantsthe lowering
the tax on Candles and the taking off the tax of three shillings on
Houses having under seven windows.

Every one of those specific taxes are a part of the plan contained in
this work, and proposed also to be taken off. Mr. Pitt's plan, it is
true, goes no further than to a reduction of three hundred and twenty
thousand pounds; and the reduction proposed in this work, to nearly six
millions. I have made my calculations on only sixteen millions and an
half of revenue, still asserting that it was "very nearly, if not quite,
seventeen millions." Mr. Pitt states it at 16,690,000. I know enough of
the matter to say, that he has not overstated it. Having thus given the
particulars, which correspond in this work and his speech, I will state
a chain of circumstances that may lead to some explanation.

The first hint for lessening the taxes, and that as a consequence
flowing from the French revolution, is to be found in the Address and
Declaration of the Gentlemen who met at the Thatched-House Tavern,
August 20, 1791. Among many other particulars stated in that Address, is
the following, put as an interrogation to the government opposers of the
French Revolution. "Are they sorry that the pretence for new oppressive
taxes, and the occasion for continuing many old taxes will be at an
end?"

It is well known that the persons who chiefly frequent the
Thatched-House Tavern, are men of court connections, and so much did
they take this Address and Declaration respecting the French Revolution,
and the reduction of taxes in disgust, that the Landlord was under the
necessity of informing the Gentlemen, who composed the meeting of the
20th of August, and who proposed holding another meeting, that he could
not receive them.*[41]

What was only hinted in the Address and Declaration respecting taxes and
principles of government, will be found reduced to a regular system in
this work. But as Mr. Pitt's speech contains some of the same things
respecting taxes, I now come to give the circumstances before alluded
to.

The case is: This work was intended to be published just before the
meeting of Parliament, and for that purpose a considerable part of
the copy was put into the printer's hands in September, and all the
remaining copy, which contains the part to which Mr. Pitt's speech
is similar, was given to him full six weeks before the meeting of
Parliament, and he was informed of the time at which it was to appear.
He had composed nearly the whole about a fortnight before the time of
Parliament meeting, and had given me a proof of the next sheet. It was
then in sufficient forwardness to be out at the time proposed, as two
other sheets were ready for striking off. I had before told him, that
if he thought he should be straitened for time, I could get part of
the work done at another press, which he desired me not to do. In this
manner the work stood on the Tuesday fortnight preceding the meeting of
Parliament, when all at once, without any previous intimation, though I
had been with him the evening before, he sent me, by one of his
workmen, all the remaining copy, declining to go on with the work on any
consideration.

To account for this extraordinary conduct I was totally at a loss, as
he stopped at the part where the arguments on systems and principles of
government closed, and where the plan for the reduction of taxes, the
education of children, and the support of the poor and the aged begins;
and still more especially, as he had, at the time of his beginning to
print, and before he had seen the whole copy, offered a thousand pounds
for the copy-right, together with the future copy-right of the former
part of the Rights of Man. I told the person who brought me this offer
that I should not accept it, and wished it not to be renewed, giving him
as my reason, that though I believed the printer to be an honest man, I
would never put it in the power of any printer or publisher to suppress
or alter a work of mine, by making him master of the copy, or give to
him the right of selling it to any minister, or to any other person,
or to treat as a mere matter of traffic, that which I intended should
operate as a principle.

His refusal to complete the work (which he could not purchase) obliged
me to seek for another printer, and this of consequence would throw
the publication back till after the meeting of Parliament, otherways it
would have appeared that Mr. Pitt had only taken up a part of the plan
which I had more fully stated.

Whether that gentleman, or any other, had seen the work, or any part of
it, is more than I have authority to say. But the manner in which the
work was returned, and the particular time at which this was done, and
that after the offers he had made, are suspicious circumstances. I know
what the opinion of booksellers and publishers is upon such a case, but
as to my own opinion, I choose to make no declaration. There are many
ways by which proof sheets may be procured by other persons before a
work publicly appears; to which I shall add a certain circumstance,
which is,

A ministerial bookseller in Piccadilly who has been employed, as common
report says, by a clerk of one of the boards closely connected with
the ministry (the board of trade and plantation, of which Hawkesbury is
president) to publish what he calls my Life, (I wish his own life and
those of the cabinet were as good), used to have his books printed at
the same printing-office that I employed; but when the former part of
Rights of Man came out, he took his work away in dudgeon; and about a
week or ten days before the printer returned my copy, he came to
make him an offer of his work again, which was accepted.



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