Black Dwarf,  1 (1817), 644–50.

Letters of the Black Dwarf. From the Black Dwarf, to the Yellow Bonze, at Japan.

The Black Dwarf, pseud.  [Thomas J Wooler] *


Regular Feature, Letter, Spoof


Political Economy, Agriculture, Population, Class, Government, Radicalism

    Writes that England is a country '[w]here famine mocks the labour that would earn its food—the land untilled and abandoned, presents a desert in the midst of civilization and refinement. Can there [...] be a stronger mark of some inherent defect in the government of a country, than to see millions of acres out of cultivation, and yet a great proportion of the populace clamouring in vain for food?' A footnote relates a report from The Times of a man 'Found dead, STARVED TO DEATH'. Observes: 'Malthus, some years past alarmed the nation about the possibility of a want of food; and advised the people as a remedy not to marry, and procreate families, which certainly must be starved themselves [...]. The effect threatened has been realised; but not from the cause which was announced. Cultivation has not yet reached its height. [...] Nay much highly cultivated land is lying waste [...] the demands of the state render is an absolute loss for the farmer to cultivate his ground'. (645) Describes the taxes, poor rates, and tythes which contribute to the lack of cultivation of land and the excessive government spending that leads to such taxes.

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