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stone of the national debt.
Now I have very grave and compunctious doubts whether the social compact confers upon us any right to commit this doubly noxious injustice. Individuals are not responsible for the debts of their parents,—why should a collection of individuals be so? Why should I, or you, tax-paying reader, be at this moment putting our hands in our pockets to defray the charges of all the mad wars waged since the time of our revolution, when the perverse folly of “our sage ancestors” first discovered the secret of the Funding system? What authority have we to mortgage the flesh, and bones, and sweat of many generations, to gratify the insane pugnaciousness or extravagance of one ?-what charter
empowers us to discount futurity for blood-money? O fatal discovery, which torments whole ages with war, and its successors with debt, thus spreading misery over a surface of centuries! If the Holy Alliance would really merit the title of benefactors of the human race, let them invite the whole of Europe to join them in a solemn compact and agreement that every nation shall hereafter fight its own battles, and pay for its own wars; and they will have done more in one day for the maintenance of perpetual peace than they will now effect in a hundred Congresses.-Let them proclaim a public universal law, absolving our successors from all responsibility, legal or moral, for the hostilities of their forefathers; and they will not only have conferred a signal blessing upon the present generation, but have performed a great act of justice towards that ill-used gentleman, who has been subjected to such a series of ante-natal inflictions-poor Mr. Posterity.
THE BARD'S SONG TO HIS DAUGHTER.
O Daughter dear, my darling child,
Prop of my mortal pilgrimage,
And wreathed with Spring my wintry age,-
Of life, when but to live is glee, And jocund joys, and youthful hopes,
Come thronging to my heart through thee. Backward thou lead'st me to the bowers
Where love and youth their transports gave; While forward still thou strewest flowers,
And bidst me live beyond the grave; For still my blood in thee shall flow,
Perhaps to warm a distant line, Thy face my lineaments shall show,
And e'en my thoughts survive in thine. Yes, Daughter, when this tongue is mute
This heart is dust-these eyes are closed, And thou art singing to thy lute
Some stanza by thy Sire composed, To friends around thou may'st impart
A thought of him who wrote the lays, And from the grave my form shall start,
Embodied forth to fancy's gaze. Then to their memories will throng
Scenes shared with him who lies in earth, The cheerful page, the lively song,
The woodland walk, or festive mirth; Then may they heave the pensive sigh,
That friendship seeks not to control, And from the fix'd and thoughtful eye
The half unconscious tears may roll :
Such now bedew my cheek_but mine
Are drops of gratitude and love,
The gift below, its source above.-
Can only be by tears exprest,
While thus I clasp thee to my breast.
THE TANNER’S WIDOW.
Angels and ministers of grace defend us !
Hamlet. MR. and Mrs. Pitman would have been the best assorted and happiest couple in all Leighton-Buzzard, -in fact, they might have successfully claimed the Dunmow flitch of bacon,--but for certain natural differences of temper, habits, and pursuits; and their perpetual squabbles on the subject of dress, housekeeping, amusements, and all that regarded pecuniary disbursements. He stoutly determined not to die a beggar, she as sturdily declared that she would not live like one; and both kept their words. It certainly did not become a thriving tanner's wife, as she very justly observed, to go draggling about in rags and rubbish ; but then it was equally unseemly, as he
very pertinently rejoined, to flaunt through the town in scarlet velvet pelisses that set all the place in a blaze, and wear such a variety of plume-crowned bonnets, that more people went to church to look at her single head, than to mark the three into which the clergyman regularly divided his Cerberus sermons. Whether this was the fault of the lady, the congregation, or the Reverend Mr. Snuffleton, he did not presume to decide; but all those who were poorer than Mr. Pitman joined in condemning his wife's extravagance, while all those who were richer contented themselves with laughing at it. Certain it is, that she introduced unheard-of luxuries among the good tradespeople of Leighton-Buzzard. She it was who first put a livery upon one of the apprentices, and made him wait at table when there was company, to the great clamour of the whole town and tan-yard ; and she it was who first placed before her guests gooseberry wine ennobled with the title of Champagne, which, being in lank narrow-shouldered bottles, well sealed down and secured at the mouth, and very sparkling, frothy, and vapid when it found vent, might well have passed off, even with travellers, as a genuine native of France. The neighbours, who came eagerly to taste this rarity, were quite as eager, when they went away, to abuse the donor; and Mr. Pitman, anxious for his double credit as a manufacturer of gooseberry-wine and a frugal tanner, burnt with impatience to reveal the secret ;- but his wife having sworn that she would order a new velvet pelisse from Bond-street the moment he divulged, he kept his
tongue between his teeth, and his money in his pocket. To do this the more effectually, he had repeatedly declared to the tradespeople that he would not pay one farthing of his wife's extravagant debts; and he was a man of such firmness and decision of character, that Mrs. Pitman was constantly obliged to go to him, and insist upon having the money immediately, that she might discharge them herself.
The gravedigger in Hamlet assures us that a tanner will considerably outlast others under ground: though they should not therefore outlive their fellows upon earth, they may consider themselves gainers in the long run.
There is no quarrelling about tastes, but for my own part I would rather be a lively young man, than a mummy, however old. Mr. Pitman might have made the same decision, had a choice been afforded him; but it was not. He quitted us all without notice, evaporating as it were, without any visible motive for becoming invisible ; and when I inquired the particulars of my friend, the schoolmaster at Leighton-Buzzard, he could only exclaim in the words of Cicero, “ Abiit-evasit-excessit-erupit !"
Mrs. Pitman was as inconsolable as bombazeen could make her ;-her cap was a perfect pattern of grief, and nobody could have suspected her of laugh, ing in her sleeve when they saw the depth of its weepers. And yet as a lover of expense, and not of her husband, she might well have been justified in some ebullition of pleasant surprise, when she found that, owing to a prize in the Lottery, which he had kept a secret, and certain usurious transactions which