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This paper examines the dual discourses of Henry Hetherington's Poor Man's Guardian, arguing that the reason the PMG oscillates between anti-violent and violent rhetoric has to do with its rapid response journalism. A voice of retribution prescribing violence surfaces precisely when radicals were confronted by authorities. Otherwise the language of moral suasion dominates. Demonstrating that the studied and controlled language of the essay, with its focus on "property" and systemic injustice, runs opposite to the language of immediacy, this paper argues that the instinct of the PMG, and English radicalism more generally, was toward class solidarity and not an eighteenth-century style of political reform.