As the publication of this work has been delayed beyond the time intended, I think it not improper, all circumstances considered, to state the causes that have occasioned the delay.

The reader will probably observe, that some parts in the plan contained in this work for reducing the taxes, and certain parts in Mr Pitt’s speech at the opening of the present session, Tuesday, 31 January, are so much alike, as to induce a belief, that either the Author had taken the hint from Mr Pitt, or Mr. Pitt from the Author. —I will first point out the parts that are similar, and then state such circumstances as I am acquainted with, leaving the reader to make his own conclusion.

Considering it almost an unprecedented case, that taxes should be proposed to be taken off, it is equally as extraordinary that such a measure should occur to two persons at the same time; and still more so (considering the vast variety and multiplicity of taxes) that they should hit on the same specific taxes. Mr Pitt has mentioned, in his speech, the tax on Carts and Waggons—that on Female Servants— the lowering the tax on Candles, and the taking off the tax of three shillings on Houses having under seven windows.

Every one of those specific taxes are a part of the plan contained in this work, and proposed also to be taken off. Mr Pitt’s plan, it is true, goes no farther than to a reduction of three hundred and twenty thousand pounds; and the reduction proposed in this work to nearly six millions. I have made my calculations on only sixteen millions and an half of revenue, still asserting that it was ‘very nearly, if not quite, seventeen millions.’ Mr Pitt states it at 16,690,000. I know enough of the matter to say, that he has not overstated it. Having thus given the particulars, which correspond in this work and his speech, I will state a chain of circumstances that may lead to some explanation.

The first hint for lessening the taxes, and that as a consequence flowing from the French revolution, is to be found in the Address and Declaration of the Gentlemen who met at the Thatched-House Tavern, 20 August 1791. Among many other particulars stated in that Address, is the following, put as an interrogation to the government opposers of the French Revolution. ‘Are they sorry that the pretence for new oppressive taxes, and the occasion for continuing many old taxes will be at an end?

It is well known, that the persons who chiefly frequent the Thatched-House Tavern, are men of court connexions, and so much did they take this Address and Declaration respecting the French Revolution and the reduction of taxes in disgust, that the Landlord was under the necessity of informing the Gentlemen, who composed the meeting of the twentieth of August, and who proposed holding another meeting, that he could not receive them.1   2

What was only hinted at in the Address and Declaration, respecting taxes and principles of government, will be found reduced to a regular system in this work. But as Mr Pitt’s speech contains some of the same things respecting taxes, I now come to give the circumstances before alluded to.

The case is: This work was intended to be published just before the meeting of Parliament, and for that purpose a considerable part of the copy was put into the printer’s hands in September, and all the remaining copy, as far as page 286, which contains the parts to which Mr Pitt’s speech is similar, was given to him full six weeks before the meeting of parliament, and he was informed of the time at which it was to appear. He had composed nearly the whole about a fortnight before the time of Parliament meeting, and had printed as far as page 257, and had given me a proof of the next sheet, up to page 266. It was then in sufficient forwardness to be out at the time proposed, as two other sheets were ready for striking off. I had before told him, that if he thought he should be straightened for time, I would get part of the work done at another press, which he desired me not to do. In this manner the work stood on the Tuesday fortnight preceding the meeting of Parliament, when all at once, without any previous intimation, though I had been with him the evening before, he sent me, by one of his workmen, all the remaining copy, from page 257, declining to go on with the work on any consideration.

To account for this extraordinary conduct I was totally at a loss, as he stopped at the part where the arguments on systems and principles of government closed, and where the plan for the reduction of

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