Page:An address to the middle and working classes engaged in trade and manufactures throughout the empire on the necessity of union at the present crisis.djvu/7

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Friends and Fellow Citizens,

Nothing but a deep conviction of the importance of the present crisis, should induce me, uninfluential and unknown as I am, to offer my opinion in this public and formal manner; but at present, it appears to me, the duty of every good citizen, to speak out, according to the light which God has given him. If I speak aright, act up to my advice; if I am wrong, apply the test of reason to my errors; in any case, accord me a patient hearing.

The discord, at present existing betwixt the middle and lower classes, particularly those portions of them engaged in trade and manufactures, is at once more injurious to their common country, than any set of bad laws whatever, and the best guarantee for the continuance of such laws. I believe that a favourable moment has arrived for putting an end to this deplorable state of things.

Both classes have a common enemy in the small feudal, or aristocratical class, which owns the soil, and monopolises the government of these islands; but they do not both regard it in the same light. The middle classes, hitherto, at least, have desired to be on good terms with the privileged order, provided the honour could be procured on moderate terms. They have been ambitious of the favour of rank, because they have hoped, some day or other, by complaisance and perseverance, to attain it for themselves. Only, when their "noble" friends proceed to make too