THE MERCER'S SON OF MIDHURST. 183
Enjoy'd his land at last,
After much misery : Many years after that
Liv'd he most happily.
Far richer than before—
By this means was he known— He helpt the sick and sore,
The poor man overthrown. But this was all his song,
Let all men understand, Those parents are accursed
Who live on their children's land."
" The moral of the story," says Mr. William Chappell, " is that parents should not during life relinquish the power over their property and transfer it to their children ; or else they may expect an ungrateful return; . . . If an old house at Midhurst or at Guildford has not yet been consecrated by tradition to the Mercer of Midhurst, or to the Clothier of Guildford, it is easy still to remedy the defect. ' Nothing so easy as to make a tradition/ says Sir Walter Scott."
The moral of the story is the moral of " Lear," and it is one that was often enforced by the mediaeval moralists.