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he knows not how to dispose of. He was forced at last to have recourse to this invention : he daily scattered pieces of paper about the floor of his little room, and then employed himself in picking them up and sticking them in rows and figures on the arm of his elbow-chair ; and he used to tell his friends after his release, that he verily believed if he had not taken this method he should have lost his senses. One of the philosophers, I think it was Plato, used to say, that he had rather be the veriest stupid block in nature, than the possessor of all knowledge without some intelligent being to communicate it to.
TAXES. The remissness of our people in paying taxes is highly blamable, the unwillingness to pay them is still more so. I see in some resolutions of town meetings a remonstrance against giving congress a power to take, as they call it, the people's money out of their pockets, though only to pay the interest and principal of debts duly contracted. They seem mistake the point. Money justly due from the people is their creditors' money, and no longer the money of the people, who, if they withhold it, should be com. pelled to pay by some law. All property, indeed, except the savage's temporary cabin, his bow, his matchuat, and other little acquisitions absolutely necessary for his subsistence, seems to me to be the creature of public convention. Hence the public has the right of regulating descents, and all other convey. ances of property, and even of limiting the quantity and the uses of it. All the property that is necessary to a man for the conservation of the individual and the propagation of the species is his natural right, which none can justly deprive him of ; but all property superfluous to such purposes is the property of the public, who by their laws have created it, and who may therefore by other laws dispose of it whenever the welfare of the public shall desire such disposition. He that does not like civil society on these terms, let him retire and live among savages. He can have no right to the benefits of society who will not pay his club towards the support of it.
In thus employing myself I shall yield to the in. clination so natural to old men, of talking of them. selves, and their own actions; and I shall indulge it without being tiresome to those, who, from respect to my age, might conceive themselves obliged to listen to me, since they will always be free to read me or
And lastly (I may as well confess it, as the đenial of it would be believed by nobody) I shall perhaps not a little gratify my own vanity. Indeed, I never heard or saw the introductory words, “ with. out vanity, I may say,” but some vain thing im. mediately followed. Most people dislike vanity in others, whatever share they have of it themselves; but I give it fair quarter wherever I meet with it, being persuaded that it is often productive of good to the possessor, and to others who are within his sphere of action: and therefore in many cases it would not be altogether absurd if a man were to thank God for his vanity among the other comforts of life.
OBSERVATIONS ON WAR.
By the original laws of nations, war and extirpation were the punishment of injury. Humanizing by de. grees, it admitted slavery instead of death : a farther step was, the exchange of prisoners instead of slavery : another, to respect more the property of private per sons under conquest, and be content with acquired dominion. Why should not this law of nations go on improving? Ages have intervened between its several steps; but as knowledge of late increases rapidly, why should not those steps be quickened? Why should it not be agreed to, as the future law of nations, that in any war hereafter, the following description of men should be undisturbed, have the protection of both sides, and be permitted to follow their employments in security ? vize
1. Cultivators of the earth, because they labour for the subsistence of mankind.
2. Fishermen, for the same reason.
3. Merchants and traders in unarmed ships, who accommodate different nations by communicating and exchanging the necessaries and conveniences of life.",
4. Artists and mechanics, inhabiting and working in open towns
It is hardly necessary to add, that the hospitals of enemies should be unmolested they ought to be assisted. It is for the interest of humanity in general, that the occasions of war, and the inducements to it, should be diminished. If rapine be abolished, one of the encouragements to war is taken away; and peace therefore more likely to continue and be lasting.
The practice of robbing merchants on the high seas - remnant of the ancient piracy—though it may be accidentally beneficial to particular persons, is far from being profitable to all engaged in it, or to the nation that authorizes it. In the beginning of a war some rich ships are surprised and taken. This encourages the first adventurers to fit out more armed vessels; and many others to do the same. But the enemy at the same time become more careful, arm their merchant ships better, and render them not so easy to be taken : they go also more under the protection of convoys. Thus, while the privateers to take them are multiplied, the vessels subjected to be taken, and the chances of profit, are diminished ; so that many cruises are made wherein the expenses overgo the gains; and, as is the case in other lotteries, though particulars have got prizes, the mass of adventurers are losers, the whole expense of fitting out all the privateers during a war being much greater than the whole amount of goods taken.
Then there is the national loss of all the labour of so many men during the time they have been employed in robbing : who besides spend what they get in riot, drunkenness, and debauchery; lose their habits of industry ; are rarely fit for any sober business after a peace, and serve only to increase the number of highwaymen and housebreakers. Even the undertakers, who have been fortunate, are by sudden wealth led into expensive living, the habit of which continues when the means of supporting it cease, and finally ruins them: a just punishment for their having wantonly and anfeelingly ruined many honest, innocent traders and their families, whose substance was employed in serving the common interest of mankind. (See Privateering.)
THE WHISTLE: A TRUE STORY.
When I was a child, at seven years old, my friends, on a holiday, filled my pockets with coppers. I went directly to a shop where they sold toys for children ; and, being charmed with the sound of a whistle, that I met by the way in the hands of another boy, I volun. tarily offered him all my money for one.
I then came home, and went whistling all over the house, much pleased with my whistle, but disturbing all the family. My brothers and sisters and cousins, understanding the bargain I had made, told me I had given four times as much for it as it was worth. This put me in mind what good things I might have bought with the rest of the money ; and they laughed at me so much for my folly, that I cried with vexation; and the reflection gave me more chagrin than the whistle gave me pleasure.
This, however, was afterwards of use to me, the impression continuing on my mind ; so that often, when I was tempted to buy some unnecessary thing, I said to myself, Don't give too much for the whistle ; and so I saved my money.
As I grew up, came into the world, and observed the actions of men, I thought I met wit many, very many, who gave too much for the whistle.
When I saw any one too ambitious of court favour, sacrificing his time in attendance on levees, his repose, his liberty, his virtue, and perhaps his friends, to attain it, I have said to myself, This man gives too much for his whistle.
When I saw another fond of popularity, constantly employing himself in political bustles, neglecting his own affairs, and ruining them by that neglect; He pays, indeed, says I, too much for his whistle.
If I knew a miser, who gave up every kind of comfortable living, all the pleasure of doing good to others, all the esteem of his fellow citizens, and the joys of