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crease of population cannot be very rapidly accelerated, and is itself one of the most powerful encouragements to the further exertion of industry on the soil; and that in the less advanced states of society there, is always a surplus produce of food; consequently the whole population cannot generally presse either mischievously or otherwise against the total supply of food. These considerations should seem to reduce the subject of the present chapter within very narrow bounds, unless we encroach upon the third and fourth fundamental principles of this treatise, which embrace the moral part of the subject. Important objects, however, may still be comprised under this head; for there are certainly methods in the earlier stages of society, by which population is encouraged without any reference to industrious exertion, and consequently where the pressure of a part of the people against their means of procuring subsistence produces much individual want and misery, although the whole population may not press against the total supply of food. The following case may be stated for an example: Even in the advanced stages of the agricultural state of society, great carelessness is apt to prevail respecting the appropriation of small portions of inferior land. It appears at first sight indifferent to the possessor of an hundred acres of good land with hands enough to cultivate it, what becomes of seven or eight detached acres of inferior and neglected soil lying round the corners of his hedges. But let us suppose seven or eight miserable hovels erected upon these acres, the land converted into potatoe gardens, and each maintaining half a dozen human beings, for whose labour the condition of society, (according to

the principles on which it should be conducted,) offers no demand; and he will begin to lament too late that his indifference to the neglected portion of his property has permitted such a nuisance to grow up upon it. Let us suppose the prevalence of this system general in a country, and its government will presently discover that its duties towards the people have been grossly neglected. It by no means follows that the population thus reared would tend to encourage industry by lowering the price of labour, (as they certainly would do had they their labour only to depend upon for procuring the means of subsistence;) because in the case supposed, the produce of the land attached to the cottage is sufficient to afford a subsistence compatible with idleness. This removes the necessity of that mutual dependance between the employer and the employed, so essential to good order in every community. The care and observation of the higher orders is entirely removed from the lower; and the natural consequence of such a state of disconnexion between them, (notwithstanding all the fine sentiment concerning the advantages of independence among the lower orders,) has always been found practically to lead to vice and insubordination. It would be strange indeed if uncontrolled and unmitigated ignorance could end in other results. The first generation of these interlopers therefore will scarcely be reared, when either property will become insecure, the laws set at nought, and violence become prevalent; or a system of severity must be adopted in the practice of the government abhorrent to all rational liberty, and finally aggravating rather than allaying the symptoms of the disease. For in these kinds of contests the government is always ultimately defeated; in the long run severity wears itself out against so dense a body of resistance. When the government is overcome, the proprietors, who come into immediate contact with the danger and the evil, have little chance of success. They can only palliate for a time by submission. Their sturdy neighbours may be induced to assume the character of tenants without the feelings of that condition; and all the disorder, idleness, and profligacy of the feudal system, (without even its limited subordination to the immediate superior,) will be introduced into a society having no fair claim to them. But this palliation is merely temporary, and must necessarily end in further aggravation; for the children of the immediate possessors will enforce their demand of a settlement by the same cogent reasons which their fathers found successful. If waste land of a good staple beyond the limits of cultivation had still existed to be occupied, as in North America, these applicants would be a blessing rather than a curse to their country. But if, as in Ireland, the mass of the land is appropriated, what resource is there but, either, that they be left to starve, or that further portions of the land already cultivated be allotted to the claimants, till employment can be found for them in regular departments of industry foreign to the soil. But in such a condition of society it is to be feared that the establishment of manufactures would offer no resource for the employment of the superfluous hands. The want of subordination, and the insecurity of property incident to the system, will more than counterbalance the natural effect of the cheapness of labour, in tempting the capitalist to turn his views to manufactures. The immense surplus of hands in the uncivilized parts of Ireland has scarcely

tempted a single capitalist to transfer his industry to

those devoted regions. There appears therefore to

be no probable result, but a continued contest between the pressure of severity in the government

against the people, and that of misery in the people against the government; between the outcry of a depressed and starving population, and the fears of a proprietory prevented in all its legitimate views towards the accumulation of capital. A more deplorable picture of society, a condition more devoid of hope, a state of political darkness more impervious to a single ray of light, can scarcely be imagined. Yet it is impossible to deny that a mischievous encouragement of population, beyond its natural rate of progress, is, at least, the immediate cause of the evil. If either the proprietors had used more precaution in preventing their wastelands from being settled by a race whose labour was surperfluous in the place of their settlement, or if the government could have found the means of opening sources of industrious employment for their children, in situations where the abatement in the progress of population, natural to the advancement of society, could have had its fair operation; none of the evils just recited would probably have occurred: for the individuals, instead of multiplying in miserable hovels, devoid of all concern and taste for the comforts and decencies of life, would have been drawn off from their native villages, for the regular supply of the mercantile and manufacturing towns, or for the other departments of industry. I think it may be safely affirmed that the general spread of such a

population, as is here reprobated, over the face of a country, can only be the result of a long course of misgovernment and of misdirection of public industry, and that it is a reproach to any nation. A few individuals might have so settled in particular districts, wholly through the apathy and neglect of the proprietors; but a general system of the kind argues something worse than neglect or apathy on the part of the government. Upon investigating the foundation therefore of this unnatural encouragement to population, we find that it resolves itself into misconduct on the part of the government and the proprietors of land, and ignorance and evil customs on the part of the people. The remedy, to be effectual, must be gentle and slow in its operation; for the task is nothing less than to correct the sturdy prejudices, and to alter the inveterate habits of a numerous population. A gradual elevation of the religious and moral character of the natives; the introduction of a taste for the comforts and decencies of life; laws enlisting the self-interest of the proprietors to second these philanthropic objects, and to prevent the further progress of the evil, by charging them with the support or employment of the superfluous population which they encourage to grow up under their eye; these, joined with enlightened measures for the promotion of domestic industry, and honourable distinctions conferred on those, who are zealous and active in devoting their time and talents to the amelioration of their country, would in the course of time operate a happy change, and in some degree atone for the long neglect which had diverted a portion of the people from their just and legitimate functions

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