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stitution of society which necessarily prevents this condition from being fulfilled at any period of its progress, or from continuing in vigour for an indefinite period when once established, I trust that the contents of this book have been equally successful in showing the specific means by which the condition may be practically realized. It has shown, first,(see c. i.) that population, having a natural tendency to keep within the powers of the soil to afford subsistence, a well regulated community may safely encourage its increase, either with a view to public strength or private happiness, because in such a community that increase will certainly be accompanied by a contemporaneous extension of agriculture. It has shown (c. ii.) that the tendency inherent in the principle of population to keep it within the powers of the soil can never be destroyed, because, among other reasons, it appears that, as society advances, the number of the people never presses against the mere necessaries of life, but only against the luxuries of the higher orders. And further, (c. iii.), that population, being the cause of the production of food in the higher stages of society, it is only necessary to permit that cause, under due moral regulation, to operate its legitimate effect until the people naturally cease to reproduce their own numbers, in order to prevent any permanent pressure of their wants against the means of subsistence. But in order to enable the natural increase of population to operate its legitimate effect in increasing the production, of food, several precautions are necessary, all of which however are also essential to the people's happiness, independently of any view to their comfort
able subsistence: as, first, (c. iv.) To prevent any unnatural acceleration in the progress of population whereby an idle and unemployed people might come to press perniciously against the food, which is only increasing at the matural rate indicated by the demand of the industrious consumers who have a fair equivalent to give for it. Secondly, (c. v.) That the productive energies of the soil shall not be depressed below their natural powers, so that the industrious consumers shall be disappointed of their fair expectation of subsistence, in return for the remuneration they are prepared to give for it. To prevent this depression it appears, (c. vi.) that as society advances, and food is raised, at an increased expense, upon land of inferior staple, the cultivator should be protected from the competition of corn raised by the capital and labour of foreign countries, who can still cultivate it on good land at a small expense. And to secure to the domestic cultivator of inferior land such a sufficient price for his produce, as shall induce him to persevere in his useful occupation, and tempt others to enter into it, it appears also necessary, that that price should cover the following outgoings; viz. (c. vii.) a fair rent to the landlord; (c. viii.) the tenant's fair expenses and profits, consisting of 1st, (c. ix.) such wages to the farmer's labourers as shall maintain them and their families in comfort and decency; 2dly, (c. x.) such a sum of money as shall keep his stock and implements in good order; as shall keep his land in heart; as shall pay his moral and religious instructors; his taxes to the government; and, after all, shall not only afford him common interest for his capital which is necessary merely to save him from ruin, but shall also afford him a Y
liberal clear profit upon that capital in reward for his industry and exertions. It does, I trust, appear that, under the operation of the principles established in the first book of this treatise, the production of all these objects lies within the compass of such laws as a free people may not only cheerfully live under, but by which they will find their political condition and private happiness materially improved. The people must indeed contribute their share to the production and permanence of these blessings, by the adoption of a reasonable and moral system in their private and public conduct. The force of no political institutions that ever were promulgated is sufficient permanently to carry on the public prosperity, when opposed by a profligate and discontented, and consequently a factious people; a consideration which should convince mankind, if any thing is capable of working the conviction, of the paramount influence of morals over politics. But so long as the people will faithfully and steadily adhere to such a system, there seems to be no political necessity that their condition should ever alter for the worse. The conservative principle involved in the propositions maintained in the first book of this treatise seem to guarantee society from that principle of decay connected with the progress of population, to which it has been assumed to be necessarily liable from its very constitution and essence. There is evidently no physical impossibility of maintaining the people in comfort, from their internal resources, up to any given period of time. It must, however, again be pressed upon the reader's attention that, in order to induce a people faithfully and steadily to adhere to their system, something more is necessary than a mere conviction of its political utility. This conviction has ever been too weak to overcome the indolent or selfish propensities of mankind. To become effectual, it must be aided by public principle, which can only be founded in moral knowledge and integrity, which, again, can find its source in no other spring but sound and pure religion. This, to use a simile of Sir James Steuart, is the top of the pyramid. If it be not contracted to this point, but its summit left bare and exposed by the omission of the apex, the storms will enter, and the edifice must gradually decay, and crumble into ruins. It is partly for these reasons that I venture to add a third book to this treatise, containing the moral consequences deducible from its fundamental principles. I have also been induced to make this addition, because some departments of moral conduct, most nearly affecting the comfort and happiness of mankind, derive a peculiar character from the principles of this treatise, distinct from that which my opponents have endeavoured to impress upon them. This is particularly true of many objects relating to the exercise of charity, to the marriage of the lower orders of the people, and to a few other points which are detailed in the following book. I trust that they will be found not altogether wanting in interest or novelty—nor, above all, in TRUTH,
MoRAL CONSEQUENCES DEDUCIBLE FROM THE PRINCIPLES OF THIS THEATISE.
Application of the third Principle—That the Tendency of Population will neither be materially altered nor diverted from its natural Course, (as evhibited in the foregoing Chapters,) in a Coun
try whose Government, Laws, and Customs, are
founded, in the main, upon Principles of Religion, Morality, rational Liberty, and Security of Person and Property, although these Principles may obtain only an imperfect Influence.
THE preceding books of this treatise have probably been successful in establishing the connexion between the principles of sound politics and of pure morals, as well as in exhibiting the dependance of the most important conclusions in political economy upon the preservation of rational liberty, security of property, and the consequent promotion of industry. The whole foundation of the argument in the preceding books resting upon the spontaneous operations of men as society advances, the enjoyment of rational liberty in their actions, and of security in their persons and properties, is of course implied. It is unnecessary therefore to dwell upon the applica