« 이전계속 »
tions, which are calculated to prevent, and certainly do prevent, a great number of persons, in all civilized nations, from pursuing the dictate of nature in an early attachment to one woman.—This check, the restraint from marriage, he properly denominates moral restraint.
The positive checks to population are extremely various, and include every cause, whether arising from vice or misery, which in any degree, contributes to shorten the natural term of human life
Under this head, he, therefore, enumerates all unwholesome occupations, severe labor, exposure to the seasons, extreme poverty, bad nursing of children, great towns, excesses of all kinds, the whole train of common diseases and epidemics, wars, plague, and famine; and on examining these obstacles to population, it will appear that they are resolvable into moral restraint, vice, and misery. That there is a real and universal tendency to increase beyond the means of subsistence, that these are the constantly operating checks to a redundant population, and that, moreover, the state of population, never ceasingly, varies according to the fluctuations in the state of human food, Mr. Malthus endeavors to prove by referring to the history of man, in all ages, in all countries, and under different, and the most opposite states of society; in that of the lowest state of savage barbarism, and in that which has obtained the highest degree of civilisation and social refinement; and he gives a detailed, and, apparently, a correct view of society and manners, as influenced by the state of numbers, in the several countries, and among the inhabitants of Terra del Fuego; New Holland ; America; the American Indians; the Islands of theSouth Sea; the ancient inhabitants of the North of Europe; the more modern pastoral nations; the different parts of Africa; Siberia, northern and southern j the Turkish dominions and Persia; Indostan and Thibet; China and Japan; the Greeks; the Romans; different states of modern Europe ; Norway ; Sweden ; Russia; the middle parts of Europe ; Switzerland; France; England, Scotland, and Ireland. ". n ioto, '.>d> ad'
The accumulated facts contained in these extraordinary details are certainly appalling, but neither can they be controverted, nor their possible results be denied; and were not the circumstances adverted to, extreme ones, and the period of their calamitous occurrence remote and indefinite, at least in countries which have attained a certain degree of civilization, they could not be dwelt upon without painful emotions, or fail to excite distressing forebodings for our posterity, even in this favored country.
In endeavouring to form an idea of an approximation to a state of population, with such an adequate supply of food, as should induce the wretched circumstances contemplated, the imagination
magnitude of terror, is of little moment." It will, I believe, indeed, be admitted that this system has greatly enfeebled, if not destroyed, the most powerful motive to a poor man's industry, loosened the only strong hold on his uniform exertions, the apprehension of absolute want ; and induced, among the poor, on all occasions of pressure and difficulty, a reliance on the parochial rate rather than on their own efforts, thus most unfavorably changing their character, by the extinction of independent and moral feelings.
Mr. Malthus has enlarged, most impressively, on this subject; and few persons will, probably, read his observations without a full conviction of their force and truth; and yet few, I fear, will read them, without an equal conviction of the difficulty, if not impracticability, of doing away the poor laws, notwithstanding his proposal of effecting their gradual abolition, by preventing children, in future, being entitled to parish assistance, excepting every one above the number of six in a family; as the attempt to put it in force would, probably, meet with insuperable opposition in the general feeling of commiseration excited for such unfortunate and helpless beings, and which feelings, however in this instance they may be acknowledged to be misdirected, it certainly is not desirable, nor perhaps would it be practicable to extinguish,1
It must, however, after all, be admitted, that population in this country has been increasing for sometime past; the census, which, within a few years, has been twice taken, is unequivocal evidence of it; in England alone, that of 1811, exceeding that of 1801, by 1,162,250; and the increase in thirty-eight years, from 1773 to 1811, in the three towns of Manchester, Liverpool, and Leeds, having been no less than 180,163.1 « And there seems reason to believe that the accelerated progress of increase, exhibited by the
1 In adverting to the evils manifestly produced by the system of poor laws in England, and which are beginning to be felt as a most serious national calamity, I was a little surprised to find Mr. Malthus has not noticed, probably not having seen, Dr. M'Farlan's excellent Enquiry concerning the poor, published in 1782. He would have found in it many important apposite remarks, some anticipations of his own excellent ones, and much matter for thinking.; , , . .:. •.>
I still more wonder that the well-informed writer of the admirable article on pauperism, in the Edinburgh Review, for March, 1817, should not have adverted to it; particularly as Dr. M'Farlan so well considered the state of the poor in Scotland at that period, so plainly, also, foresaw, and so justly predicted the ill effects of the change of system of relieving them, then beginning to take place, in the substitution of something like parochial assessments, for the voluntary and more charitable donations at churches, and which is so satisfactorily and impressively enlarged upon in the Review.
1 Enfield's History of Liverpool, page 25, gives the population of these towns in 1773, and that in 1811 is taken from the census of that year.
growing ratio of excess of births above deaths, to the whole population, has yet received no check ; and that the augmentation, of the people is increasing with a rapidity as great in the second as in the first decade of the century."1
The general improvement in the condition of society; the greater attention, at present, paid to cleanliness, and the removal of sources of vitiated air, in towns; the more rational methods of nursing children; the better general treatment of diseases, particularly in the office of nursing; the measures practised to prevent the spread of contagion, and the extensive influence of vaccination,1 all, obviously, tend to keep up population, and seem likely, not only in continued, but in progressively increased operation, more and more to reduce the positive checks to it. to y titnlBDifD>iTqm
Every advance, moreover, in civilization; every amelioration in morals; the march of science; the progress of arts; multiplied inventions; every new discovery; every new application of a principle; the researches made into the laws and economy of nature, &c. all tend to improve the condition, to increase the security, and, as a consequence, to multiply the numbers of the human race. ,c„ . hrsb'nwonibfi ?>d yi-ttt y9</
And are not all our energies employed, andall our efforts uniformly and constantly directed to promote these? Is it not the
1 See a well-written paper on the increasing populousness of England, in the Journal of Science and Arts, No. X. page 307.
,* Among the various facts adduced to prove the power of vaccination in securing human life, and its consequent influence on population, none is more striking than the following extract from the Esssi politique sur let Probabilites, by the Count Laplace, noticed sometime ago in the Edinburgh Review, and which cannot be too much known:
"The ratio of the population, to the number of births, would be increased if we could diminish or destroy any disease that is dangerous and common. This has been done, happily, in the case of the small pox,—first by the common inoculation for the disease itself, and afterwards in a much more complete manner, by the vaccine inoculation, the inestimable discovery of Jenner, who has rendered himself, by that means, one of the greatest benefactors of the human race.
"The most simple way of calculating the advantage which the extinction of a disease would produce, consists in determining, from observation, the number of individuals, of a given age, who die of it yearly, and in subtracting the amount from the total number of deaths of persons at that same age. The ratio of the difference, to the total nnmber alive at the same age, would be the probability of dying at that age, if the disease did not exist. By summing up all these probabilities, from the beginning of life to a given time, and taking the sum from unity, the remainder will be the probability of living to that age. on the hypothesis of the disease in question beingextinguisJved.r-rErom the series of these probabilities, the mean (fiir^ribif,<sf life, os* tbp fiamasupposition, may becompiited'accordingtb niles'tnAr!'are well knowti* -.- M. fhinvtXD has found that themean duration Of' human life is increased, at least, three years by the vaccine inoculation?'
object of every human action and occupation to better the condition of man? Next to the strong principle of self-preservation, next to the desire of promoting individual interest, do we not constantly combine in all our public acts, to promote the general welfare? are they not, indeed, inseparable? and are not our sympathies, our affections, our best moral feelings, given us for this express purpose?! . ;*
And shall we then, under such circumstances, under a proved actually and rapidly increasing population, lightly appreciate the exertions directed to the increased population of human food, which can alone meet it? Shall we lightly estimate those who are improving and successfully practising the only art which can create it? Shall we think little of agriculture, which, as Hume states, "is not only that species of industry, which is chiefly requisite to the subsistence of multitudes, but which is, in fact, the sole species, by which multitudes can exist i"
And shall we, moreover, withhold the meed of respect and gratitude to the distinguished individual, who has so unremittingly, during the whole active period of his life, " devoted his time; mis' talent, and his ample fortune, not only to improve the principles of agriculture, but to meliorate the condition of the farmer ?" as the surest means of securing his continued exertions, and laying the foundation of an extensive and permanent improvement in agriculture, so as by a gradually increasing productiveness, to meet, as before observed, the more pressing wants of an increasing population, and prevent the recurrence of scarcity and its attendant distress.
. .' .. i
_ MiThe essay on the right of property in land is an ingenious and benevolent speculation, but it is merely a speculation. The author considers the public happiness as the true primary object which ought to claim the attention of every state. He considers agriculture as indispensable to the general support of man, and to the prosperity of nations; as the natural employment of man, and that, of all others, the best calculated to produce individual and public benefit. He thinks, therefore, that every effort should be made for the more extended cultivation of the earth; but he is of opinion, that this can never be adequately effected, unless he who cultivates it has a greater interest in the soil, unless, indeed, he be the proprietor; and he carries this conviction so far, as to suggest that every individual inclined to employ himself in cultivating the ground, for his own subsistence and that of his family, should be entitled to claim, in full property, a reasonable share of the soil of his country.