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of view, the clearer, it is conceived, will her operations appear, till it will be found that there is nothing isolated or independent in the uni verse but its eternal Author; and least of all man. Seeing, then, how exactly he is adapted to the station he holds, and the condition in which he is placed in nature, it would be monstrous, indeed, to suppose that, last of all, his numbers should be disproportionate to the space he is appointed to occupy and the sustentation provided for him. But in pursuing the thoughts that thus suggest themselves on the subject, I am wandering far from the purpose of the present publication, to which I shall now return.

It has been already remarked that, on applying the law of population, as explained, to the test of past history in different nations of the world, or to their present condition, its truth арpeared abundantly confirmed. There remained öne country, however, and that, unhappily, a portion of the British Empire, which, before examination, I had concluded would constitute an exception, though such an exception as would confirm, rather than confront, the general rule; I mean Ireland. That country, deprived as it long had been of its capital, and degraded and impoverished by absenteeship and emigration, was plainly placed in an unnatural state; and would, according to the preceding view of the subject, continue rapidly to increase, without that increase being accompanied, as in other cases, by corresponding advantages. But, on

examination, I found that even Ireland still conformed to the general law, in precisely the same manner as all other countries, though, perhaps, not to an equal degree; that those districts which were the least peopled were the most prolific; and that the most densely inhabited parts, notwithstanding the comparative sterility of their soil, were invariably the most prosperous ones. The historical part of the inquiry was likewise equally conclusive, and added another proof to the uniform body of evidence previously collected on the same subject. The most exact analogy was, therefore, established; authorising me to apply the whole theory of population, thus confirmed in all its essential particulars, to Ireland. But even the statistics of that country alone, establishing the true and immutable law of increase, afford abundant proof that the expedients meditated in regard to its inhabitants are as opposed to the principles of nature, as they are to those of patriotism and sound policy; and that, as certainly as they are attempted, they will be frustrated. It, perhaps, may be thought to minister to the ends of individual selfishness to "clear estates," " tax," or demolish "cottages," "drive" hamlets, and expose helpless multitudes to direct starvation, though this, if duly considered, is extremely doubtful: but let not the actors in such disgraceful scenes any longer claim the merit of patriotism for their deeds; at least let the nation forbear to act upon the

exterminating hypothesis, that getting rid of a thousand labourers here and there would be "a gain certainly;" or contemplate the deportation of tens and hundreds of thousands of the inhabitants, upon the principle of making vacuums, to use the absurd phrase of the day. Those vacuums nature abhors, and will take good heed hastily to replenish. The fact has been long noticed; the cause, it is believed, is now developed; and is perfectly distinct from the common supposition of their occasioning an increased number of marriages. Those who may be inclined to dispute this point, are forewarned that they will have to maintain their argument against a few of the first rules of arithmetic. Nor is it less important, or less obviously true, on examination, that to diminish the number of people would be to deteriorate the condition of the remainder. As a false and contrary principle of population, however, is being acted upon, inflicting great individual misery wherever it obtains; and as it seems to be in immediate contemplation to carry it into effect to a still larger extent,-I have been induced to put forth the following pages somewhat prematurely; and, perhaps, in reference to the general argument I have undertaken, which is of a more important character, and will occupy a far larger work, somewhat injudiciously for although Ireland itself fully proves the principle for which I contend, yet as it furnishes the fewest statistical facts by which

to substantiate it, of any country to which I have appealed, it certainly forms the least striking part of that series of demonstrations which will be shortly submitted to the public. If, however, the principle unfolded be true, no personal considerations could have justified me in withholding it from the public at the present crisis, so momentous in reference to it. I have acted upon that consideration; and in now reviewing what I have produced, I fear much has been omitted very pertinent to the subject, and still more retained that is, perhaps, superfluous to it. If the latter comprise any thing that can be construed personally, I shall still more deeply regret the haste and inadvertency with which I have written. Not so, however, as it regards any arguments or expressions, however strong, aimed against the system I have opposed throughout; that would be to affect a candour very inconsistent with sincerity and truth, and one which, as applied to the subject, would be a very dubious virtue. Feeling, as I do, that it is equally opposed to the honour of God, and the interests of mankind; and is, from first to last, as cruel as it is fallacious, I have expressed myself in corresponding language; and, in so doing, if any justification seem necessary, I will present it in the words of Bacon. Sharp and bitter writing," says he, " is not hastily to be condemned;-for men cannot contend coldly, and without affection, about things which they hold dear and precious."


Having now, as I intended, developed the true principle of population, and the nature of the proofs by which it is supported, it is due to the theory to state some of the difficulties it will, doubtless, have to encounter, which may cause it to be disputed or neglected for a time, but which I feel confident, (founded as it is upon indisputable facts,) will only postpone, without being able to prevent, its ultimate prevalence.

And, first; the contrary system which it has to displace before it can obtain attention, forbidding as it seems to be, has many points of attraction to those who espouse it, and has undoubtedly spread very widely and taken deep root. The modern and fallacious principle of population appeals to the strongest, though certainly not the most amiable passions of the human heart; it consults the fears and soothes the selfishness of those to whom it addresses itself; it graduates the virtues and charities of social life, and even changes their nature, as expediency or interest dictates: it absolves, in great measure, wealth and power from their deep and anxious responsibilities; excusing the sloth and negligence, if not even sanctioning the misrule of those whose elevated dut it is to mitigate or remove human miseries, by attributing those miseries to the laws of nature and of God *. Moreover, it is so propounded as to avail itself of the weaknesses of the intellect, as well as those of the heart. It


*Malthus, Essay on Pop., p. 367.

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