Poor Robin’s reply to the Farmer


++Honest Mr. FARMER,
And I must own, that I cannot help thinking you such, if in reality you be what you say you are, “not overgrown”, for if so, I do not suppose the Manufacturer ever meant to bring you in the least Question; but, I cannot but imagine you must be a great stranger in this Country, if you know “none that is”. I confess I am greatly pleased with the humanity you express, when you wish Mr. Arator quite singular in his Opinions, with regards to his objections to the prohibition of the export of Grain, when the price is high; and also the laws made in favour of the Poor.
++I hope the Manufacturer will not stand charged with false Insinuations, tending to lead the ignorant to rioting &c. when it is notoriously known, that the Farmers will not sell a single Cheese to any of their poor Neighbours. No! say they, the Factors will come and buy the whole Dairy! and, as for the other little necessary articles, such as Bacon, Butter, Eggs, &c. those can be had no where (at a mile or two from Market) but at the Hucksters; where the poor housekeepers must pay just what they please, for every little article they want. And, is it not a shame, that these vermin shall be suffered to go to the Market, and buy an Horse-load of Butter (which must sensibly affect a small Market) at four, or five pence per pound, and retale the very same Commodity at eight, or nine pence, to their poor indigent Neighbours.
++I know it is the Merchant that exports the Grain, and (to be sure) for his own profit; and I also know, that he cannot export it without the Farmers assistance; which must likewise be to his advantage: And, every body must know, that if there were no Receivers, there would not be near so many Thieves: And it is by this means (remember) that the whole kingdom (and great pity it is) have been too often, and too much impressed upon, and deprived the enjoyment of the most valuable blessing, given us by Heaven to our native Country.
++It is also notoriously known, that the Farmers on general, are always repining, or at least complaining about something or other, in order to enhance and keep up at a great price, what ever they have to sell: The weather is but too often found fault with — (which by the bye, is little better than blaming the divine Providence for sinister ends). Now, it is so wet (they’ll tell you) they cannot get the seed into the ground! But, then again, in ten days or a fortnight’s time, the sam land shall be dried and baked so hard, that the Plough cannot penetrate it! — A single rainy day in Harvest, will raise Corn a shilling or eighteen pence a Bushel, at every market in England! Thus, always murmuring, and ever dissatisfied, what can the poor unthankful men do? why, apply to the rich Bankers, and honest Millers; who taking large quantities (I had almost said Monopolising) make the Markets always appear with a thin look, for it is little better than Exported when once got into their trusty hands: So that amongst you all, it is hard to say which it is that grind the poor most cruelly.
++And as a further wicked means, to oppress the poor by enhancing the price of Provisions (not to mention secret machinations) is it not too obvious that the Jobbers in conjunction with the Farmers and Graziers, use many illegal methods, whereby they artfully keep up the price of all sorts of Butcher’s meat at a most exorbitant rate?
++Thus oppression is become habitual to the poor, while a set of wicked and designing men are wantonly sporting with the blessings of divine Providence.