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cannot dispose of any surplus produce, until industry have first built her cities of commerce and manufacture, and provided the consumer with an income to offer at market. Our author is historically, as well as theoretically, mistaken, in proclaim. ing agriculture to be a more permanent source of prosperity than commerce.
There is certainly a radical error in the position of Adam Smith (book IL c. 5.), that the capital employed in agricul. ture adds a greater value to the annual produce of the country than an equal capital employed in manufacturcs; or, in other words, that agriculture is more profitable to the com-' munity than manufactures. Smith altogether omits, in his calculation, to estimate the capital value of the farm to be cultivated, which is as much a part of the capital employed by the cultivator to put industry in motion, as the machinery or raw materials of the manufacturer. Reckoning as he does, it was natural to infer the superior productiveness of the busi, ness of the farmer. In like manner, Dr. A. Smith (book III. c. 1.) considers the industry of the country as necessarily prior to that of the town; and supposes the progress of opu, lence naturally to begin with the surplus produce of the farmer, which he is afterwards supposed to convert to pur, poses of manufacture. Yet the annals of society do not sup. port this imaginary progress. Towns are founded ncar convenient rivers in pastoral countries; and agriculture has every where becn the consequence of a contiguous market resulting from commercial industry. Manufactures precede husbandry The oldest countries are the best cultivated. Norfolk, where the worsted manufactures began, has little waste land, poor as its soil is. Lancashire, where the cotton manufactures are recent, has comparatively little inclosure. The peat-bogs of Ireland will not be improved, until the rise of large towns shall furnish to the farmer such customers as may replace to him the expense necessary for rendering them productive.
The only merit of the economistes, or physiocrates, consists in arguing well against legal interference, and legal restraint; against bounties or drawbacks on importation or exportation; against duties and regulations; against statutes of apprenticeship, or legal recipes for brewing and baking. Tax the rent of houses and lands, is their cry; and leave every thing else untouched by the mischievous rapacity of meddling finans ciers. If your taxes, by progressive augmentation, eventually absorb half the rent, where will be the mischief? The capital value of your estates will, indeed, have diminished; they will thus become more transferable; and every transfer occasions the fixation of additional capital: but they will not become less productive; they will afford as much food, as much shelter, as much employment, as before. Every other form of taxa
tion injures the consumer; this alone is not assessable on the commodity produced; its price depends on the competition of an open corn-market ; it falls, therefore, exclusively on the proprietor, on the idle, the useless, the unproductive citizen. .
The physiocrates, when they place national wealth in net proluce, use a jargon: Smith is not correct in placing it in the exchangeable value of annual produce; for there are other exchangeable values, as of perpetual annuities in the funds, which constitute a part of positive national wealth, so long as they retain an exchangeable value, although they are the very reverse of annual produce. National wealth is the sum of individual wealths; national income the sum of individual incomes; and the profits of a profession are as much a part of it, as a tuft of green hemp, or the boiler of a steam-pump.
We deprecate extremely the doctrine with which the ninth chapter of the third book concludes, that a bounty should be given for the production of corn. From the moment that it ceases to answer to our farmers to raise it at home, let it be brought from the Susquehannah and the Patowmack, where rent constitutes no part of its price, and where it can, consequently, still be reared to advantage during a period of plenty and of cheapness. Beef, butter, and all the articles which cannot be brought from a distance, are the more essential productions of domestic industry.
In the fourth book, a remarkable dissertation on the poorlaws occurs: this author recommends their total abolition, Dr. Priestley has somewhere hazarded the same opinion, The people would, in this case, be left to voluntary provisions against adversity. Purse-clubs and benefit-societies 'would be more frequent. The benevolent rich would become members, and would bring about very extensive associations,
There would be overseers in every district to collect contributions, and apportion relief. The improvident poor, and the niggardly rich, would alone be left out of the association, Why not call in the aid of law, then, to procure, for the one and from the other of these classes, their natural share of aid?
In the eighth chapter, some curious doctrines are advanced concerning the meritoriousness of celibacy.
• The merits of the childless, and of those who have brought up large families, should be compared without prejudice, and their different influence on the general happiness of society justly appre. ciated.
• The matron who has reared a family of ten or twelve children, and whose sons, perhaps, may be fighting the battles of their coun. try, is apt to think that society owes her much; and this imagi. nary debt, society is, in general, fully inclined to acknowledge. But if the subject be fairly considered, and the respected matron
weighed in the scales of justice against the neglected old maid, it is possible that the matron might kick the beam. She will appear rather in the character of a monopolist, than of a great benefactor to the state. If she had not married and had so many children, other members of the society might have enjoyed this satisfaction ; and there is no particular reason for supposing that her sons would fight better for their country than the sons of other women. She has therefore rather subtracted from, than added to, the happiness of the other parts of society. The old maid, on the contrary, has exalted others by depressing herself. Her self-denial has made room for another marriage, without any additional distress; and she has not, like the generality of men, in avoiding one error, fallen into its opposite. She has really and truly contributed more to the happiness of the rest of the society arising from the pleasures of marriage, than if she had entered in this union herself, and had besides portioned twenty maidens with a hundred pounds each; whose particular happiness would have been balanced, either by an increase in the general difficulties of rearing children and getting employment, or by the necessity of celibacy in twenty other maidens somewhere else. Like the truly benevolent man in an irremediable scarcity, she has diminished her own consumption, instead of raising up a few particular people, by pressing down the rest. On a fair comparison, therefore, she seems to have a better founded claim to the gratitude of society than the matron. Whether we could always completely sympathize with the motives of her conduct, has not much to do with the question. The particular motive which in. fluenced the matron to marry, was certainly not the good of her country. To refuse a proper tribute of respect to the old maid, because she was not directly influenced in her conduct by the desire of conferring on society a certain benefit, which, though it must undoubtedly exist, must necessarily be so diffused as to be invie sible to her, is in the highest degree impolitick and unjust. It is expecting a strain of virtue beyond humanity. If we never reward any persons with our approbation, but those who are exclusively influenced by motives of general benevolence, this powerful encouragement to good actions will not be very often called into exercise.
• There are very few women who might not have married in some way or other. The old maid, who has either never formed an attachment, or has been disappointed in the object of it, has, under the circumstances in which she has been placed, conducted herself with the most perfect propriety; and has acted a much more virtuous and honourable part in society, than those women who marry without a proper degree of love, or at least of esteem, for their husbands; a species of immorality which is not reprobated as it des serves.
• If, in comparisons of this kind, we should be compelled to ac. knowledge that, in considering the general tendency of population to increase beyond the means of subsistence, the conduct of the old, maid had contributed more to the happiness of the society than that of the matron; it will surely appear, not only unjust, but strikugly impolitick, not to proportion our tribute of honour and
estimation more fairly according to their respective merits. Thoughwe should not go so far as to reward single women with particular distinctions ; yet the plainest principles of equity and policy require, that the respect which they might claim from their personal cha. racter, should, in no way whatever, be impeded by their particular situation; and that, with regard to rank, precedence, and the ceremonial attentions of society, they should be completely on a level with married women.
• It is still however true, that the life of a married person with a family; is of more consequence to society than that of a single pera son; because, when there is a family of children already born, it is of the utmost importance, that they should be well taken care of, and well educated; and of this there is very seldom so fair a pro. bability when they have lost their parents. Our object should be merely to correct the prevailing opinions with regard to the duty of marriage ; and, without positively discouraging it, to prevent any persons from being attracted, or driven into this state by the respect and honour which await the married dame, and the neglect and ina conveniences attendant on the single woman.
It is perfectly absurd as well as unjust, that a giddy girl of sixteen should, because she is married, be considered by the forms of society as the protector of women of thirty, should come first into the room, should be assigned the highest place at table, and be the prominent figure to whom the attentions of the company are more particularly addressed. Those who believe that these distinctions, added to the very long confinement of single women to the paren, tal roof, and their being compelled, on all occasions, to occupy the back ground of the picture, have not an influence in impelling many young women into the married state against their natural inclina. tions, and without a proper degree of regard for their intended hus, bands, do not, as I conceive, reason with much knowledge of human nature, And till these customs are changed, as far as circum, stances will admit, and the respect and liberty which women enjoy, are made to depend more upon personal character and propriety of conduct, than upon their situation as married or single; it must be acknowledged, that among the higher ranks of life we encourage marriage by considerable premiums. P. 549.
· There is, in this, much of truth, If all those who are afflicted with hereditary diseases and imperfections, would resolutely abstain from propagation, it is probable that the health and beauty of the human race would sensibly im. prove; and there can be no doubt that the various departa ments of society would still be sufficiently stocked with active members. Other motives justify, and are promoting, the increase of celibacy.-Connected manners may follow, Monastic institutions were rationally encouraged in the over-peopled countries of ancient times, for the purpose of separating the imperfect portion of the species from the more finished portion, which was in duty bound to live a creative life, These institutions may have become receptacles of indolence,
or have degenerated into manufactories of superstition; but they are assuredly capable of an organisation which would contribute to the comfort of age, to the amusement of singleness, to the progress of literature, and to the accommodation of penury. Vows may be foolish ; vigilance, unwholesome; segregation, dull; and uniforms, ridiculous: but Charity will remember with gratitude the Sisters of Mercy, and Learning record with veneration the instructive toils of the Benedictines. Tasks of beneficence or utility, adapted to the rank and education of the component individuals, might be distributed among these endowed public boarding-houses: in some, children might be taught to read; in others, statesmen to legislate: here might arise an hospital of nurses, there of muses: here might be manufactured tobacco-pipes, there encyclopædias. We especially recommend the foundation of a splendid college for the luxurious accommodation of a corps of reviewers: we shall willingly assist in the selection of the library, and solicit the refusal of the pleasanter apartments.
This truly philosophic work contains important contribo. tions to statistical knowledge and to political truth: it conducts controversy with urbanity; it is composed with perspicuous propriety.
Art. III.-— Remarks or a late Publication, entitled, “ An E's
say on the Principle of Population; or, a Viena of its present and past Effects on Human Ilappiness, By T. R. Malthus, A, M. &c," 800, 25. Bicherstaíf. 1803.
THIS commentary is about worthy to form an article in one of our daily newspapers. It notices with early attention the distinguished work of Mr. Malthus, and fixes especially on two sweeps of argument for critical animadversion. The one respects latc marriages, which Mr. Malthus recommends as the least mischievous check on the top rapid progress of population. There can be no doubt of the efficacy of this remedy. Marriages usually produce from four to five children. Out of four or five births, only two live to marry; so that each marriage exactly rears one couple, and no more: If, therefore, all persons married at thirty-five and died at seventy, thcre would be no increase of population at all: the grand-children would replace tlic grand-parents, and the numbers of mankind would neither diminish nor augment. If all persons married after thirty-five and died at seventy, population would decrease. If all persons married before thirty-five and died at seventy, population would increase. All the rapid progresses of population are accomplished by early