made, to comply with repeated requisitions for men, and supplies to support the army, and which had been done upon their own particular credit. The weight of this burden must strike us in a strong point of view, if we compare it with the debt before the war, which fell short of 100,000l. and with still more force, perhaps, if we consider, that by the customary mode of taxation, one third part of the whole was to be paid by the rateable polls alone, which but little exceeded ninety thousand. True it is, that a recollection of the blessings which this debt had purchased, must have operated, in the minds of a magnanimous people, to alleviate every inconvenience arising from such a cause; but embarrassments followed which no considerations of that nature could be expected to obviate.
Upon the right management then, of the publick debt, the future tranquillity
of the Commonwealth greatly depended : And it was a melancholy circumstance,
that various causes existed to prevent a fair experiment of the abilities of
the people to discharge it. They had been laudably employed, during the nine
years in which this debt had been accumulating, in the defence of their liberties
; but, though their contest had instructed them in the nobler science of the
rights of mankind, yet it gave them no proportionable