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PRESIDENT WASHINGTON'S ANSWER.
ORN, Sir, in a land of liberty; having early learned its value; having engaged in a perilous conflict to defend it; having, in a word, devoted the best years of my life to secure it a permanent estab lishment in my own country; my anxious recollections, my sympathetic feelings, and my best wishes are irresistibly excited, whensoever in any country, I see an oppressed nation unfurl the banners of freedom. But above all the events of the French revolution have produced the deepest solicitude, as well as the highest admiration. To call your nation brave, were to pronounce but common praise. WONDERFUL PEOPLE! ages to come will read with astonishment the history of your brilliant exploits.
I rejoice that the period of your toils and of your immense sacrifices is approaching. I rejoice that the interesting revolutionary movements of so many years have issued in the formation of a constitution designed to give permanency to the great object for which you have contended. I rejoice that liberty, which you have so long embraced with enthusiasm; liberty, of which you have been the invincible defenders, now finds an asylum in the bosom of a regularly organized government; a government, which, being formed to secure the happiness of the French people, corresponds with the ardent wishes of my heart, while it gratifies the pride of every citizen of the United States, by its resemblance of their own. On these glorious events accept, Sir, my sincere congratulations.
In delivering to you these sentiments, I express not my own feelings only, but those of my fellow citizens, in relation to the commencement, the progress, and the issue of the French revolution; and they will cordially join with me in purest wishes to the Supreme Being, that the citizens of our sister republic, our magnanimous allies, may soon enjoy, in
peace, that liberty which they have purchased at so great a price, and all the happiness which liberty can bestow.
I receive, Sir, with lively sensibility, the symbol of the triumphs and of the enfranchisement of your nation, the colours of France, which you have now presented to the United States. The transaction will be announced to Congress, and the colours will be deposited with those archives of the United States, which are at once the evidences and the memorials of their freedom and independence. May these be perpetual; and may the friendship of the two republics be commensurate with their existence.
THE OPPRESSIVE LANDLOrd.
Enter DON PHILIP and WIFE.
Don Philip. WELL, my dear, I have warned all
the families out of my long range of buildings, and ordered them to pay double the rent they have done, for every day they remain. From every new tenant I am determined to have three times the sum. The present rent will never do in these times. Our children will become beggars at this rate; and you and I shall have to betake ourselves to hard labour, like the common herd, to earn our daily bread.
Wife. But I fear that some of our tenants are too poor to endure a rent double to what they now pay; and I am certain it will be impossible for them all to remove, on account of the scarcity of houses to be obtained. ইन
Don P. That is not my look out. It is enough for me to attend to my own interest, not theirs.
Wife. But you will exercise a little lenity towards them at this distressing time. I am persuaded, my dear, that you will not turn them into the street. Besides, it is thought by some, that they already pay a reasonable rent.
Don P. I have nothing to do with lenity. Wo
man, would you not have your husband be looking out against a rainy day? What would become of you and your children, if I were to spend my time in stu dying lenity, instead of my interest-table? I tell you that now is the harvest time, and I am determined to thrust in the sickle, and reap my proportion of the crop, before the season's over. The town is crowded with foreigners who are exiled from their homes, and necessity obliges them to pay whatever price is demanded, for a shelter to cover their heads.
Wife. Would you then profit by the necessities and misfortunes of your fellow creatures? These exiles are entitled to our compassion, instead of xperiencing our oppression.
Don P. You talk like a poor weak woman. Did I not tell you that I had nothing to do with other people's good or ill fortune? It is more than I can do to take care of my own dependents. We should make fine way ahead, if you were at the helm. I believe in my conscience, that if you possessed the keys of the strong box, you would squander away to the full amount of a pistareen a week upon those poor starying runaways. I have not yet forgotten how you lavished a whole gallon of cider upon those three miserable wretches that cleared out our well, the day before thanksgiving. Does this look like taking a prudent care of your family? Pray how do you read your Bible? Has not Nebuchadnezzar said, that, he who provides not for his own household, has denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel?"
Wife. If you had studied your Bible as faithfully as you have your interest-table, you would not have put St. Paul's words into the mouth of the king of Babylon. Does not the same scripture say, that "He who oppresseth the poor, and-"
Don P. Hush, I say; one of my tenants approaches. Banish your womanish feelings; and let not your unruly tongue betray your weakness.
Ten. Sir, I come to inform you, that I have at last been fortunate enough to procure a shelter for my family, though an indifferent one; and have brought you the rent of your tenement, which I quitted with reluctance yesterday..
'Don P. It is well you are out; for you would have met with trouble, if you had remained three days longer. I had ordered my attorney to give directions to an officer to tumble all your goods into the street, and and you children after them. your
Ten. Then a good Providence has preserved us. Don P. Providence has smiled upon me, I confess, in granting me such a riddance..
Ten. I contend not with an adversary who is mantled in gold. Will you please to count your money, and give me a discharge?
Don. P. [counts the money.] Why, man, the sum is deficient; I cannot receipt it.
Ten. It is the same, Sir, as I paid the last term. Don P. That is very true; but did I not double the rent three days ago?
Ten. You did, indeed; but my reply was, that I was utterly unable to pay a higher price; and as the time was so short, I thought you would not stand for trifles.
Don P. Trifles! If you were to receive it, I believe you would not call it a trifle; neither do I. I~ demand the utmost farthing.
Ten. For the sake of peace, though I think your demand unjust, I will take your receipt for this, and - bring the remainder to-morrow.
Don P. Not a cent will I receive without the whole, lest by some quibble of the law I lose the rest. Ten. Your avaricious disposition leads you to act contrary to your own interest.
Don P. I shall not apply to you for lessons of instruction. I shall conduct my own affairs according to my sovereign will and pleasure. Let me tell you,
Sir, this impudence does not well become a man of your circumstances.
Ten. "Sir, your honoured father never used me thus." Alas! he little thought in what oppressive hands he left his large estate. Could he be permitted to revisit the earth, his ghost would haunt your guilty soul; and, if you have any conscience left, harrow up remorse, and awaken you to repentance.
Don P. I did not admit a tenant into my house to hear a moral lecture from him.
Ten. If you will take your money, I will quit your house with pleasure. But before we part, give me leave to tell you, that, though your great wealth has exalted you above yourself, and in your opinion, placed you beyond the reach of poverty, the time may come when you will feel what oppression is.
Wife. I entreat you to receive the money, and be
Don P. A woman, who can't be silent in her husband's presence, especially when he is negotiating important business, may take a modest hint to leave the [Exit Wife. Ten. If you are resolved not to receive your money, I must carry it home again. And I hope the time is not far distant, when I shall be out of the reach of your oppressive hands., [Exit. Don P. [Solus.] Every man I deal with is trying to cheat me. Mankind are by nature all knaves. I am afraid to trust even my best friends. What an affliction it is to have property! The poor always think that the rich are bound to maintain them, and are never satisfied with what is done for them. My tenants would be glad to live in my houses rent free if they could. This, I am persuaded, they learned of my father; but I'll soon teach them to expect different things. Rather than matters should go on at such loose ends, I'll sell every one of my buildings, and put the money in bank. My mind is constantly on the stretch to contrive ways and means to preserve what