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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 39

The Proletaire

The Proletaire.

By far the largest part of the English people is born in the ranks of the proletariat. The proletaire is a man without a recognised right to an honorable livelihood. He has no legal claim to anything except poor relief. He finds all the material wealth of his native country bespoken, so that he has no opportunity of laboring on his own behoof. No one is required to employ him, or to give him a yard of standing-ground. He may not obstruct the highways, dead or alive. The very seas are appropriated for fisheries. He cannot die in a ditch without trespass. But for the union, that immoral institution so exactly fitted to cast unjust reproach on honest want and to encourage profligacy, he would be legally bound to annihilate himself or vanish when not wanted as a drudge. As Malthus says, he must take himself away; but by what chemical process ought he to evaporate himself? Good Queen Bess hung her surplus subjects, understanding that they required to be provided for; the Roman Cæsars fed the Roman plebs at the cost of the provinces; the Catholic Church sanctifies mendicancy; other societies have practised abortion or infanticide, while Plato and Aristotle, both of whom have been all but canonised by the Christian Church, proposed to regulate child-bearing. It is a peculiarity of the modern Protestant, on the most vital questions, to have no policy, and not to see the need of one, while a school of economists has actually formulated a science of imbecility. Accordingly, the well-fed philosopher pats his fat stomach page 6 after dinner, and, having mumbled through his catechism of supply and demand, thinks he may consign the starving to oblivion.