Black Dwarf,  1 (1817), 3–4.

The Two Lords Camden





Politics, Natural Law, Medical Treatment, Government, Radicalism

    The first Lord Camden (i.e. Charles Pratt (1st Earl Camden)), is quoted as claiming that the constitution is 'founded on the eternal and immutable law of nature; a constitution whose foundation and centre is liberty', in which taxation and representation are 'inseparably joined'. The quotation ends, however, with the regretful wish that 'men's minds were cool enough to enter upon the task' of reform. The second (and present) Lord Camden (i.e. John J Pratt (1st Marquess Camden)), 'was born a lord, and is not vulgar enough to be useful in defence of popular rights', 'Yet he has his merits too'. He saw that minds were not cool enough still: 'The body politic had surfeited on roast beef, plumb [sic] pudding, and strong beer, until it became affected with a delirious fever. The state physicians were called in, and they prescribed leeches in abundance, to reduce the habit, and soften the inflammatory symptoms'. With diligent leeches, the 'mass of the population' have now been rendered 'quite cool'. The leeches continue to be applied to 'prevent the return of inflammatory symptoms' so that reform 'may proceed as steadily as hunger and depressed spirits will allow'. (3) However, the nation may yet be grateful to the younger Camden 'for bringing it, even in beggary to its senses; and uniting every honest man against the noble and illustrious hirelings of a system, as mischievous in its consequences to public freedom, as it is destructive to private property in its operation' (4).

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