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« The subject has been treated in such a manner by some of the French economists, occasionally by Montesquieu, and among onr 'own writers by Dr. Franklin, Sir James Steuart, Mr, Arthur Young. and Mr. Townshend, as to create a natural surprise that it had not excited more of the public attention.
« Much, however, remained yet to be done. Independently of the comparison between the increase of population and food, which had not perhaps been stated with sufficient force and precisions some of the most curious and interesting parts of the subject had been either wholly omitted or treated very slightly.. Though it had been slated distinctly that population must be always kept down to the level of the means of subsistence ; yet few inquiries had been made into the various modes by which this level is effected; and the principle had never been sufficiently pursued to its consequences, and those practical inferences drawn froin it, which a strict examination of its effects on society appears to suggest.”
We will venture to say that a more fair, candid, and correct account of the state of the subject, when it was first assumed by Mr, Malthus, could not be given. Whoever will take the trouble of verifying it will be of our opinion, and will per: ceive bow little that person must adhere to fact, who can insinuate or intimate that Mr. Malthus has only the merit of varying the words of Mr. Wallace. The long quotation from that writer might have been spared, since Mr. Malthus had stated the effect of it. *
From the subsequent passages, the reader will learn something more of the complexion of the present work :
• Mr. Malthus's reputation may, I fear, prove fatal to the poor of this country. His name hangs suspended over their heads, in terrorem, like some baleful meteor. It is the shield behind which the archers may take their stand, and gall them at their leisure. He has set them up as a defenceless mark, on which both friends and foes may exercise their malice, or their wantonness as they think proper, He has fairly hunted them down, he has driven them into his toils, he has thrown his net over them, and they remain as a prey to the first invader, either to be sacrificed without mercy at the shrine of cold unfeeling avarice, or to linger' out a miserable existence under the hands of ingenious and scientific tormentors.--- There is a vulgar saying, “ Give a dog a bad name, and hang him.” The poor seem to me to be preity much in this situaiton at present' The poor labour under a natural stigma; they are naturally despised. Their interests are at best but coldly and remotely felt by the other classes of society. Mr. Malthus's book has done all that was wanting to increase this indifference and apathy.'
That Mr.Malthus was intentionally the enemy of the poor were a gross calumny, which even this bold accuser will not hazard.
* See Essay on Population. Vol. Il. p.78.
The real question is, who is the truest friend of the poor; Mr. Malthus, who recommends it to them to rely on their own thrift and industry rather than look to parochial relief, and who advises them not to be accessary to the introduction of beings into the world for whom they have no means of providing; -or those who flatter their prejudices, and support a system which degrades them by rendering them profligate and improvident? Does this writer consider that there is an industrious class who are compelled to contribute to support the improvident, who frequently suffer far greater hardships than the relieved poor, who are overlooked by him, and at whese expence he is humane? As they respect this valuable class, his notions of humanity lead to incredible hardships.
In the same spirit and style, the author says:
• Mr. Malthus's system must, I am sure, ever remain a stumbling block in the way of true political economy, as innate ideas for a long time confused and perplexed all attempts at philosophy. It is an ignis fatuus, which can only beguile the thougbtless gazer, and lead him into bogs and quicksands, before he knows where he is The details of his system are, I believe, as confused, contradictory, and uncertain, as the system itsdf. I shall, however, confine my re· marks to the outlines of his plan, and his general principles of reason
ing. In these respects, I bave no hesitation in saying that his work is the most complete specimen of illogical, crude, and contradictory reasoning, that perhaps was ever offered to the notice of the public.'
• Nothing was ever more loose and incoherent than his reasoning, “ The latter end of his commonwealth always forgets the beginning." Argument threatens argument, conclusion stands opposed to con. clusion. This page is an answer to the following one, and that to the next. There is hardly a single statement in the whole work, in which he seems to have had a distinct idea of his own meaning. The principle itself is neither new, nor does it prove any thing new; least of all does it prove what he meant it to prove. His whole theory is a continued contradiction; it is a nullity in the science of po. litical philosophy:
In what school this writer has studied political economy, we are at a loss to conjecture: but the loose manner, in which he expresses himself on the many points of it which come under bis consideration, satisfies us that his acquaintance with it is indeed very slight.
The impression made on us by Mr. Malthus's performance is certainly very different from that which his anonymous opponent has received from it: but, while we spoke of it with that warmth of commendation which gratitude for so original, ingenious, and learned a work inspired us, we were anxious fairly to appreciate its merits; and we never delivered a judge ment which has been more generally ratified and corroborated.
The The honorable situation which its author has been called to fill by the East India company, the tributes recently paid to him in the senate, and the numerous testimonies borne too wards him by persons of high authority, furnish very strong proofs of the soundness, of our decision. The truth is that in every competent judge the doctrines of Mr. Malthus have found a proselyte; and that no one has appeared their oppugner, who was not deficient in the necessary information, or did not possess a mind that was adapted for investigations of this kind. It is not a little singular, then, that the whole enlightened public should have received strong impressions in favour of Mr. Malthus's positions, while his detractors have been con. fined to a few persons, notoriously incompetent to form a judgment on the subject: but the fact is indisputable; and should it not have led an unknown and nameless writer to some reserve in language and manner? If an author will set modesty, breeding, and a sense of decency at defiance, be his talents and acquirements what they may, he is an objectionable public instructor: but if he be also found, as in the present instance, to possess qualifications as slender as his manner is disgusting and preposterous, we trust that we shall not be blamed if we dismiss him from our tribunal with slight notice: indeed, the share of it which he engages, he owes to our desire to exhibit his conduct as a warning to all others.
We have observed that this author admits the principle of Mr. Malthus, but he controverts its effects by setting up an error of Mr. Wallace, which Mr. Malthus has refuted. This is the foundation of a great portion of his cavils and objections. We repeat that it cannot be expected of us to animadvert at length on a writer who allows himself the liberty of saying that • Mr. Malthus's reasoning is of a kind to give one the headache,' ' that he is qualified for the delicate office of conscience. keeper to the rich and great, and who charges him with 'arguing against the improved cultivation of the earth, and not encouraging an increase of the means of subsistence. As we do not read these things in Mr. Malthus's performance, it would be useless to expose the loose and puerile decide mation which they call forth' in the production before us ; which, indeed, is wholly taken up in alternately misrepresent. ing Mr. Malthus, and in refuring those misrepresentations.
It is worthy of this writer to endeavour to magnify the dife ferences between the first and second editions of Mr. Male thus's work; and he is not deterred from thus wasting ink and paper, because it is not less invidious than it is idle and useless. He tells us,
.. Before . Before I proceed, I must stop to observe that I have just been perusing the corrections, additions, &c. to the third and last edition of the essay ; and I confess I have not much heart to go on. The pen falls from my hand. For to what purpose is it to answer a man, who has answered himself, who has hardly advanced an opinion that he has not retracted, who after all your pains to overturn the extravagant assertions he had brought forward, comes and tells you, Why I have given them up myself; 60 that you hardly know whether to look upon him in the light of an adversary or an ally.'-.
• If Mr. Malthus had chosen to disclaim certain opinions with their consequences, advanced in the first edition, instead of denying that he ever held such opinions, though he may still be detected with the maner, he would have saved me the trouble of writing, and hinself the disagreeable task of reading, this rude attack upon them.'
The assertion that Mr. Malthus answered his second edition in his third is just as true as the statement, that in that edition
argument threatens argument, and conclusion stands opposed to conclusion ; and that one page is an answer to the next, and that to the following one.' Mr. Malthus, like other eminent writers, in consequence of reflecting farther on his subject, finds occasion to correct some opinions, and to extend or qualify others. If he had answered himself, and if he had retracted all that his antagonist disapproved in his work, it was proper that the pen of that antagonist should • fall from his hand,' and it ought never to have been taken up again.
Nothing can be more destitute of foundation than the foul charge imputed to Mr. Malthus in the latter paragraph of the above extract. In the annals of philosophy, not a name occurs more distinguished by fairnessand ingenuousness, and which will be found to be more free from every semblance of literary charlatanrie, than that of Malthus. His anonymous opponent is presumptuous enough to think that Mr. M. will peruse the farrago which we have been condemning : but we greatly doubt that he will do much more than barely dip into it, since his time is too valuable to be thrown away on the perusal of a medley of coarse abuse, that can boast of neither logic nor learning. We by no means assert that this writer wants the abilities necessary to render service to letters; we only charge him with having in the present instance displayed a spirit and temper, a style and manner, which are a disgrace to those talents; and with having written on a subject of which his ignorance is egregious.
ART. ART. XI. A Supplement to the Practical Seamanship. Containing.
1. Observations on the present Construction of Ships, with an Account of the Four-masted Vessel Transit. II. Observations on the Log and Line, with a Description of various Instruments for measuring a Ship's way. III. Obervations on Marine Surveying. IV. On the Principles and Description of an Optical Instrument, applicable to the Mensuration of Distances. V. Mode of applying ihe Height of a Vessel's Mast as a Base Line, to determine the Dis. tances of Objects situated within the Circle of the Sensible Horizon, as viewed from the Mast-Head. VI. Description of an EyeShade, for the Use of Weak-sighted People, who suffer, as they · walk, from the strong Light and Heat which is reflected from a light-coloured Soil: together with an Account of a Reading-Tube, in lieu of Spectacles. With an Appendix. By Richard Hall Gower, Author of the “ Practical Seamanship :" and formerly ia the Service of the East-India Company. 8vo. 65. Boards. Mawman. 1807. The Transit made her first appearance with five masts, and
I a description of her in that state has been given to the public. ' As a five-masted vessel, however, she did not continue long; and her history with the reduced number of masts is now related by Mr. Hall Gower, who was the inventor both of the form of the hull and of the method of rigging.
Mr. Go's object in building the Transit was to produce a swift-sailing vessel; and he remarks that, as length was the leading feature, she became proporţionably narrow, and, had the body not been allowed to fall out (to increase in breadth] above the water-line, the vessel would have been too narrow aloft to support her masts. “The Transit's proportion with respect to length and beam, rather exceeds five beams to her length at the water-mark.' To this form of the hull the rigging was adapted. The length of the vessel, the want of breadıh to support tall masts, and the want of stability in a narrow hull to carry large sail, suggested the plan of making up for the smallness of the masts by increasing the number: but, as they were thus unavoidably placed near together, they did not allow room for square sails to work clear of each other; and sails of this form were therefore allotted only to the foremast. The Caravela, a veşsel formerly in use, had in like manner, and probably for similar reasons, square sails only on the fore-mast : but it differed from the Transit in having tri. angular sails on the after masts.
It appears in Mr. Gower's account, that the trials made of the comparative swiftness of sailing between the Transit and other ships turned out generally in favour of the Transit : but this advantage, we are of opinion, should be attributed rather to the length of the hull than to the fashion of the sails. In