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TENDENCIES OF THE AGE:
G. A. DEAN, Esq.,
AUTHOR OF WORKS ON THE LAWS RELATING TO LANDED PROPERTY,
COPYHOLD ENFRANCHISEMENT, THE CONDITION AND IMPROVEMENT OF THE
LABOURING CLASS, AND OTHER WORKS.
Price 7s. 6d.
THE AUTHOR TO THE READER.
READER! permit me to inform you that after I had written the following pages, and thought my task done, I was told that a preface was required. So, without asking why or wherefore, comply with the request; and in doing so ask permission to dedicate my book to you. The title of it will scarcely convey
mind the importance of some of the subjects alluded to in it; this must be ascertained from a perusal of what has been written. Should you desire to know how I have found time for writing, my answer is, by the employment of hours which far too many men spend in doing nothing at all, or something worse.
In the words of Cicero I ask, “Who can justly blame, who can censure me, if, while others are pursuing the views of interest, gazing at festal shows and idle ceremonies, exploring new pleasures, engaged in midnight revels, in the distraction of gaming, the
madness of intemperance, neither reposing the body nor recreating the mind,” I spend my leisure hours with the view of benefiting my fellow-creatures ?
Should it be asked what are my pretensions to a knowledge of the subjects discussed, I answer that it has been my lot in life to come much in contact with all classes of society, from the Prince to the Peasant; to have been largely engaged in professional and commercial pursuits, and to have had under my charge many thousands of mechanics, labourers, and others; I have, therefore, had unusual opportunities of becoming acquainted with the ideas and sentiments of all ; which men, not so engaged, cannot have had. Whether I have correctly represented them is not for me to say. As ambitious Demagogues are continually starting up, and are endeavouring to mislead the people, all who wish well to the State have a right, not merely to give their unbiassed opinions respecting any particular public measures, but also to oppo them in a decided manner, whenever the welfare or safety of the State require that fallacies or injurious tendencies should be exposed.
In addition, love of country is as great with me as it is with the most loyal of Her Majesty's subjects, notwithstanding my stake in it may be but comparatively small. I care not who may administer the affairs of the country, so they be well administered. At the same time I am desirous of defending one class of politicians from the obloquy attempted to be cast upon them by the unprincipled and evilly , disposed. I allude to Conservatives, among whom are some of the most learned, noble-minded, philanthropic, and patriotic men who ever had charge of the affairs of a nation. Men who have devoted their lives in endeavouring to benefit their fellow-subjects, and who have benefited them largely. I will not personally allude to any who are living, but to the late Earl of Derby, as one among those of the departed who largely contributed to the prosperity of the country, and who were ever endeavouring to benefit their poorer fellow-creatures, and their country generally; while those among the living being satisfied with the purity of their intentions, and the result of their labours, have not condescended to vindicate themselves from the foul aspersions that have been attempted to