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and I cannot but think that his original positions are rather weakened than fortified by those amusing details. I have therefore endeavoured to confine my historical and statistical illustrations to the turning points or pivots of the argument, (if I may use the expression,) and to a reference to facts, upon the authenticity of which no question will probably be raised. I have thought the genuine account of one or two communities, actually passing through each of the stages of society to which I wished to refer, sufficient for my purpose, and less likely to withdraw the reader's attention from the main argument, than a desultory excursion through the paths of history, or the tracks of voyagers and travellers. If the references contained in the preceding chapters are not sufficient to convince the reader of the truth of the positions, which I am now about to recapitulate, I do not think, that an accumulation of facts, selected to assist the force of the impression, would be likely to meet with better success;–though it would certainly afford additional matter for the amusement of a controversialist. It is enough to show, that certain grand outlines distinguish certain conditions of society from each other, and that the progress of mankind, from one stage to the next, is to be traced to certain uniform causes, and is followed by certain general consequences. I trust that this has been satisfactorily performed, and that facts enough have been produced to satisfy a candid and reasonable mind of the following truths. And first, with respect to the earliest and most simple states of society, I think it has been sufficiently demonstrated, both by argument and from experience, (see chap. vi.) that population neither does nor can, by any possibility, increase beyond the powers of the soil to afford it farther subsistence, but that it does, in fact, keep at an immense distance within those powers. But as they are scarcely at all called forth, the numbers of the people will in time undoubtedly increase beyond the actual means provided for their sustenance. It is nevertheless evident that this natural tendency of population to exceed the spontaneous supply of food from the uncultivated land is absolutely essential to stimulate the people to industry, and to the further production of food, by the inevitable force of necessity. If this call upon their industry be answered, the law of nature, just enunciated, so far from making any addition to the hardships of any rank of the people, confers comfort and happiness upon individuals and the community. The pressure, therefore, instead of being the cause of the miseries peculiarly incident to these states of society, is, in fact, their remedy; being the leading motive to all industry, and the primary cause of all advancement in public happiness and prosperity. With respect to the purely agricultural, and the early stages of the commercial states of society, (see chapter v.) it is, I trust, distinctly shown, that so long as a people is wholly employed in agriculture, and the simple trades connected with it, population, so far from exceeding the powers of the soil to return further produce, can never even approach to any thing like actual pressure against the existing supply of food; because one family, employed in cultivating good land, can always support itself and several others: but when, from the progress of this system, the best spots of land are already occupied, and men begin to turn their attention to manufactures and commerce, a population employed in these latter pursuits will gradually spring up and increase, till it has overtaken the surplus produce of food raised by the cultivators in the purely agricultural state of society. But I have shown that this progress of population will be considerably retarded by the spontaneous change in the habits, and by the diminution in the prolific powers, of the people, introduced in consequence of the change that ensues in their pursuits, employments, and places of residence: they will therefore very slowly overtake the actual supply of food, and their reasonable wants will by no means exceed the powers still inherent in the less fertile and yet unoccupied spots of land, which will now be cultivated for their subsistence. But still it appeared obvious, that unless the number of people did at length increase, so as to press against the actual supply of food derived from the surplus produce of the agriculturalists, now further cultivation would take place; because no man would be foolish enough to raise produce at an increased expense, without a previous and growing demand for it; consequently the state could make no further solid progress in wealth and prosperity. We find therefore that population does actually advance, though with abated rapidity, as the power of supplying it with food becomes more scanty and precarious. The means are nicely adapted to the end; and, by an admirable contrivance of Providential mechanism, the strength of the spring is spontaneously reduced, in proportion to the gradual diminution of the force it is destined to restrain. This is conceived to be made very evident in the sixth chapter of this book, tipon the natural tendency of population in the more

advanced stages of society; where I have endeavoured to show, in some detail, the various causes which, in all tolerably well regulated communities, spontaneously operate in adjusting the increase of population to the diminishing powers of the soil for the further supply of food. These causes appear to be of such powerful and certain efficacy, as to produce consequences which may, at first sight, appear contradictory; although they are in truth nothing more than the natural result of the Providential care, which has made the comfort and happiness of man dependent upon the fair discharge of his moral and political duties; for I think it is established, by the evidence of fact, in the sixth chapter, that the nearer the industry of the people has brought their country to a full state of cultivation, and consequently towards the end of its resources for a further supply of food, the less will the population be observed to press against the actual means of subsistence. While on the other hand, the more the idleness and apathy of the people have induced them to neglect the cultivation of their soil, and consequently the more power it still retains to afford a further supply of food, the deeper will be the distress produced by the pressure of population against the actual means of subsistence. The solution of these apparent contradictions is to be found, 1st, in the different use which each party makes of the resources yet at its disposal, whereby the one starves in the midst of the means of plenty, while the other' lives at ease with very confined means;—and 2dly, in the different habits adopted by the two parties, whereby the one runs thoughtlessly like a spendthrift into engagements which he cannot answer—while the other acts upon feelings and principles, which, without any direct reference to the future, will from their natural effects always preserve him in a state of moderate competence. The one, in short, acts on the principle of increased industry and diminishing expenses, the other upon that of diminished industry and increasing expenses. Although the latter therefore may at some given moment be the richest in available means, he will always be the poorest in fact, because he will not turn his means to profit. If a country, however, is to continue indefinitely increasing in population, in however retarded a ratio, it must at length come to the end of its resources of food, land being an absolute quantity and capable of making only a definite return of produce. In order, therefore, to make the argument of my Treatise complete, I have in the seventh chapter of this book endeavoured to show, that long before a country, conducting itself upon such a reasonable system as to carry it far towards the fullest possible state of cultivation, has arrived at any thing near to that condition, it will also have found itself in another predicament with respect to the increase of its people, which will have altogether ceased to re-produce their own numbers, or as I have ventured to state it, that the population will have arrived at ITS POINT OF NON-REPRODUCTION. I think I have shown that this effect would be produced by physical and moral causes spontaneously arising out of the habits and distribution of the people, which cannot be materially altered so long as the society continues in the same advanced stage. And although this part of the argument is introduced, more with the view of answering a plausible argument which appeared to arraign the wisdom

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