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From: Monarch Notes
The Old Cumberland Beggar
There is in this poem political reaction, reaction to such legislation
as that of Benthamite utilitarianism, and that of the Poor Relief Act of 1795.
There were in Wordsworth's day utilitarian movements against beggars. The Poor
Relief Act of 1795 provided for relief for beggars through providing monies
out of parish treasuries. Wordsworth was against any such institutional
programs and opposed them as the unwanted, inappropriate meddling of state
legislation in private lives. The poem should be read as being in part a
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