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It is the child of Avarice, the brother of Iniquity, and the father of Mischief.
It has been the ruin of many worthy families, the loss of many a man's honor, and the cause of suicide.
To all those who enter the lists, it is equally fascinating. The successful gamester pushes his good fortune, till it is overtaken by a reverse. The losing gamester, in hopes of retrieving past misfortunes, goes on, from bad to worse, till, grown desperate, he pushes at every thing, and loses his all.
Few gain, by this abominable practice; while thousands are injured.
EVILS OF RUM, IN THE ARMY.
The quantity of spirituous liquors, which is a component part of the ration, is so large, as to engender, where they might not before exist, habits of intemperance, alike fatal to health and discipline.
Experience has repeatedly shown, that many soldiers will exchange their rum for other articles; which is productive of the double mischief, of subjecting those with whom the exchange is made, to the loss of what is far more necessary, and to all the consequences of brutal intoxication. The step having been once taken,
a change is delicate; but it is believed to be indispensable, and that the temporary evils of a change, can bear no proportion to the permanent and immense evils of a continuance in the error.
From the known humanity of your Excellency, I am induced to ask your protection for Mrs. Arnold, from every insult and injury that a mistaken vengeance of my country may expose her to.
General BENEDICT ARNOLD, Sept. 25, 1780.
I receive the greatest attention from his Excellency, General Washington, and from every person under whose charge I happen to be placed.
Major JOHN ANDRE, Sept. 29, 1780.
MODERATION AND TENDERNESS.
Though I shall always think it a sacred duty, to exercise, with firmness and energy, the constitutional powers with which I am vested, yet it appears to be no less consistent with the public good, than it is with my personal feelings, to mingle, in the operations of government, every degree of moderation and tenderness which the national justice, dignity, and safety, may permit.
EFFECT OF LENITY.
Lenity will operate with greater force, in some instances, than rigor. It is, therefore, my first wish, to have my whole conduct distinguished by it.
SEVERITIES, NOT TO BE UNDUE.
I shall always be happy to manifest my disinclination to any undue severities, towards those whom the fortunes of war may chance to throw into my hands.
LENITY TO TORIES.
In behalf of the United States, by virtue of the powers committed to me by Congress, I grant full liberty to all such as prefer the interest and protection of Great Britain, to the freedom and happiness of their country, forthwith to withdraw themselves and families within the enemy's lines.
RULE OF LENITY.
Where acts of Providence interfere to disable a tenant, I would be lenient, in the exaction of rent. But, when the cases are otherwise, I will not be put off; because it is on these my own expectations depend, and
because an accumulation of undischarged rents is a real injury to the tenant.
MILD MEASURES, RECOMMENDED.
With respect to the Tory, who was executed by your * order; though his crime was heinous enough to deserve the fate he met with, and though I am convinced you acted in the affair with good intention, yet I cannot but wish it had not happened.
In the first place, it was a matter that did not come within the jurisdiction of Martial Law; and, therefore, the whole proceeding was irregular and illegal, and will have a tendency to excite discontent, jealousy, and murmurs, among the people.
In the second place, if the trial could properly have been made by a Court-Martial, as the Division you command is only a detachment from the army, and you cannot have been considered as in a separate department, there is none of our articles of war, that will justify your inflicting capital punishment, even on a Soldier, much less on a Citizen.
I mention these things, for your future government; as what is past cannot be recalled.
The temper of the Americans, and the principles on which the present contest turns, will not countenance proceedings of this nature.