« PreviousContinue »
many persons are not so thankful as they ought to be for the benefit which they enjoy in living under the protection of a government, because they do not know, or do not consider, the wretched condition of those who are without any regular government. Of all the commodities we pay for, there is none so cheap, compared with what it would cost us to provide ourselves with it, as the protection which is afforded us by government. If we all made clothes and shoes for ourselves, instead of buying them of the tailor and shoemaker, our clothes and shoes would, indeed, be much worse than they are, and would cost us much more. But we should be far worse off still, if each of us had to provide by himself for the defence of his own person and property. Such protection as he would be thus able to obtain, would cost a great deal, and be worth very little.
Much the greatest part, however, of the taxes that are paid goes to the expenses, not of the present year, but of past years; that is, to pay the interest on the National Debt. During our long and costly wars, much more was spent in each year than could be raised by taxes. Government, therefore, borrowed money of rich merchants and others, engaging to pay interest on this till it should be repaid, which most of it has not been, and perhaps never will be. The lenders, therefore, received in exchange for their money, annuities; that is, a right to receive so much a year out of the taxes raised by Government; and these annuities, which we call Government securities, or property in the funds, may be sold by one person to another, or divided among several others, just like any other property. When a poor man has saved up
a little money, he generally puts it into the funds, as it is called, or deposits it in a savings' bank, which does this for him; he is then one of the government creditors, and receives his share of the taxes. You see, therefore, that if the National Debt were abolished by law, without payment, many, even of the labouring classes, would lose their all; and the nation would not be relieved of the burden; since it would be only robbing one set of our countrymen for the benefit of another set.
We may be sorry that so much money was formerly spent on gunpowder, which was fired off, and on soldiers' coats, and ships, which were worn out; but nothing we can now do can recall this, any more than last year's snow. The expense is over and past, and the taxes raised to pay the interest of the money borrowed, are not so much lost to the country, but only so much shifted from one to another. All of us contribute to pay this in taxes; and all government creditors, that is, all who have money in the funds, or in the savings' banks, receive a share of it as a just debt. Thus the taxes find their way back into many a poor man's cottage who never suspects it.
I have said that far the greater part of the taxes are raised for this purpose; that is, for paying the interest of the National Debt. The following calculation will make this clear to you; every twenty shillings paid in taxes, are disposed of in about these proportions :
Expense of the Army, Navy, &c.
Civil List.-Sovereign, Judges, Ministers of State, and other public officers. Pensions and Sinecure Places, i. e. those that have no duties belonging to them.
Interest of the National Debt
0 12 0
OF AN ADJUDGED CASE, NOT TO BE FOUND IN ANY OF
BETWEEN Nose and Eyes a strange contest arose,
So Tongue was the lawyer, and argued the cause
So famed for his talent in nicely discerning.
In behalf of the Nose it will quickly appear,
And your lordship, he said, will undoubtedly find, That the Nose has had spectacles always in wear, Which amounts to possession time out of mind. Then holding the spectacles up to the court
Your lordship observes they are made with a straddle, As wide as the ridge of the Nose is; in short,
Design'd to sit close to it, just like a saddle.
With a reasoning the court will never condemn,
For the court did not think they were equally wise.
So his lordship decreed, with a grave solemn tone,
FIRST LESSONS IN GEOMETRY.-PART I. GEOMETRY is made up of two Greek words, which mean together Earth-measurement, and a Geometrician means literally a person who studies the measure
ment of the earth."
When people first set about measuring the earth, they found it necessary to know something of lines and figures. So they began to study these things. Those who studied them did not always measure lands themselves, but they were very useful to those who did.
Thus, for instance, they found out that if a line be drawn from one corner of a square to the opposite, it divides the square into two equal parts.
Again, they discovered how to draw lines of any length and in any direction they pleased.
These and other such discoveries are very serviceable in measuring land. But they are also useful for many other things.
A carpenter who works by line and rule must know something of lines and figures.
A mason who plans or builds a house must know something of lines and figures.
The study of lines and figures is called the study of Geometry, and the person who learns and teaches it is a Geometrician. This person need not be either a land-measurer, or a carpenter, or a mason. But each
of these must learn something of Geometry, and so must every one who draws anything, whether picture or plan.
Besides, we all are constantly meeting with lines and figures of one kind or other, and it is in many ways advantageous to know something about them.
The first step in Geometry is to know the meaning of the terms we use. Every child has some notion what a circle is, but he may want an explanation of such words as triangle or parallelogram.
The explanation of such terms is called a Definition. If we say, "A triangle is a three-sided figure," that is a definition of a triangle.
A diagram is a drawing which represents lines and figures. The drawings in this lesson are diagrams.
A plane surface, or a plane, is a surface perfectly level and even, like that of still water in a pond.
Parallel.-Two straight lines are said to be parallel when they lie along side of one another in the same plane, but, however far they are drawn, never meet. The two lines made in a road by the wheels of a carriage are parallel lines.
An Angle. The word angle is derived from a Latin word, meaning "corner." What an angle is, will be best understood by an example. Open a carpenter's two-foot-rule, there is an angle between the two legs of the rule. The wider you open it, the larger the angle becomes, till at last the two legs are in the same straight line. Then there is no angle.
Observe that the size of the angle, or the width of the corner, depends upon how far the rule is opened, not upon the length of the legs. The length of the