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ARISTOCRACY OF ENGLAND:
A HISTORY FOR THE PEOPLE,
BY JOHN HAMPDEN, JUNR.
CROMWELL. What then is the great root of all our grievances ?
Pym. The Aristocracy! Give us their true history, and you unriddle the
PUBLISHED BY CHAPMAN, BROTHERS,
121, NEWGATE STREET.
“The protection of THE LIBERTY OF BRITAIN is a duty which they owe to themselves, who enjoy it; to their ancestors, who transmitted it down; and to their posterity, who will claim at their hands this, the best birthright, and noblest inheritance of mankind."_BLACKSTONE'S COMMENTARIES, vol. iv. p. 443.
“THERE is one thing which, above all, the people should get rid of, namely, their reverence for even the worthless portion of the Aristocracy. It is a false and worthless idolatry ; a bowing down to Baal. I reverence and respect the laws when they are the embodiment of just principles; but I cannot countenance the reverence paid by the people to those who oppress, grind them down, and scourge them. I hope the day will arrive when they will throw off the burdens with which they are oppressed by this Aristocracy, and stand forth the bravest, the freest, and the most virtuous people on the face of the earth."-SPEECH OF JOHN BRIGHT, Esq., at Covent Garden, Feb. 27th, 1844.
THE Author has only simply to remark, by way of Preface, that this work has been the favourite subject of his thoughts for these ten years past, and has for six years occupied his pen.
Since he has been engaged upon it, he has seen one or two announcements of treatises on the same subject, but he has carefully abstained from reading them, not wishing to disturb the clear impressions of his own theory with the plans of others, and material for his own purposes being only too abundant. The only difficulty has been to extract, from our best histories and most authentic sources, the mass of luminous facts, and to arrange and condense them, so as to illustrate the grand fact of the present political period, and “ the great root of all our national evils."
At the very moment that this volume is going through the press, the most monstrous of the aristocratic impositions of which it complains—the Corn Law-is doomed to extinction by the parliament and people of England. Providence, by the gift of a drenching summer, and the consequent disease of the potato, has sent the necessary pressure to compel the people to speak out. Public opinion, and that great organ of public opinion—the Anti-Corn-Law League_have compelled the startled government to listen to the people's voice. Wonderful conversions of public men in the hour of terror have taken place. Our gracious Queen has shown herself worthy of the great throne on which she sits, by her