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from foreign countries for numbers, who are thereby enabled to marry and raise families. If the nation be deprived of any branch of trade, and no new employment is found for the people occupied in that branch, it will soon be deprived of so many people. 4. Loss of food. Suppose a nation has a fishery, which not only employs great numbers, but makes the food and subsistence of the people cheaper: if another nation becomes master of the seas, and prevents the fishery, the people will diminish in proportion as the loss of employ and dearness of provision makes it more difficult to subsist a family. 5. Bad government and insecure property. People not only leave such a country, and settling abroad, incorporate with other nations, lose their native language, and become foreigners ; but the industry of those that remain being discouraged, the quantity of subsistence in the country is lessened, and the support of a family be. comes more difficult. So heavy taxes tend to diminish a people. 6. The introduction of slaves. The
negroes brought into the English sugar islands have greatly diminished the whites there: the poor are by this means deprived of employment, while a few families acquire vast estates, which they spend on foreign luxuries ; and, educating their children in the habits of those luxuries, the same income is needed for the support of one, that might have maintained one hundred. The whites, who have slaves, not labouring, are enfeebled, and therefore not so generally prolific; the $laves being worked too hard, and ill fed, their con. stitutions are broken, and the deaths among them are more than the births; so that a continual supply is needed from Africa. The northern colonies, having few slaves, increase in whites. Slaves also pejorate
the families that use them; and the white children become proud, disgusted with labour, and, being edu. cated in idleness, are rendered unfit to get a living by industry.
Hence the prince, that acquires new territory, if he finds it vacant, or removes the natives to give his own people room ;-the legislator, that makes effectual laws for promoting trade, increasing employment, im. proving land by more or better tillage, providing more food by fisheries, securing property, &c.; and the man that invents new trades, arts, or manufactures, or new improvements in husbandry, may be properly called fathers of their nation, as they are the cause of the generation of multitudes, by the encouragement they afford to marriage.
DIALOGUES BETWEEN PHILOCLES AND HORA. TIO, CONCERNING VIRTUE AND PLEASURE.
Dialogue I. Philocles. My friend Horatio ! I am very glad to see you ; prithee how came such a man as you alone ? and musing too ? What misfortune in your pleasures has sent you to philosophy for relief ?
Horatio. You guess very right, my dear Philocles, we pleasure-hunters are never without them; and yet so enchanting is the game, we cannot quit the chase. How calm and undisturbed is your life! how free from present embarrassments and future cares ! I know you love me, and look with com. passion upon my conduct; show me then the path which leads up to that constant and invariable good, which I have heard you so beautifully describe, and which you seem so fully to possess. Phil. There are few men in the world I value
more than you, Horatio ! for amidst all your foibles and painful pursuits of pleasure, I have oft observed in you an honest heart, and a mind strongly bent towards virtue. I wish, from my soul, I could assist you in acting steadily the part of a reasonable creature ; for, if you would not think it a paradox, I should tell
you I love you better than you do yourself. Hor. A paradox indeed! better than I do myself! when I love my dear self so well, that I love every thing else for my own sake.
Phil. He only loves himself well, who rightly and judiciously loves himself.
Hor. What do you mean by that, Philocles ? You men of reason and virtue are always dealing in mysteries, though you laugh at them when the church makes them. I think he loves himself very well and very judiciously too, as you call it, who allows him. self to do whatever he pleases.
Phil. What, though it be to the ruin and destruction of that very self which he loves so well ? That man alone loves himself rightly, who procures the greatest possible good to himself through the whole of his existence; and so pursues pleasure as not to give for it more than it is worth.
Hor. That depends all upon opinion. Who shall judge what the pleasure is worth ? Suppose a pleasing form of the fair kind strikes me so much, that I can enjoy nothing without the enjoyment of that one object : or, that pleasure in general is so favourite a mistress, that I will take her as men do their wives, for better, for worse; minding no consequences, nor regarding what is to come. Why should I not do it ?
Phil. Suppose, Horatio, that a friend of yours entered into the world about two-and-twenty, with a healthful vigorous body, and a fair plentiful estate of about five hundred pounds a year ; and yet, before he had reached thirty, should by following his own pleasures, and not as you, duly regarding consequences, have run out of his estate, and disabled his body to that degree, that he had neither the means nor capacity of enjoyment left, nor any thing else to do but wisely shoot himself through the head to be at rest; what would you say to this unfortunate man's conduct ? Is it wrong by opinion or fancy only ? or is there really a right and wrong in the case? is not one opinion of life and action juster than another ? or does that miserable son of pleasure appear as reasonable and lovely a being in your eyes as a man who, by prudently and rightly gratifying his natural passions, had preserved his body in full health, and his estate entire, and enjoyed both to a good old age, and then died with a thankful heart for the good things he had received, and with an entire submission to the will of Him who first called him into being ? Say, Horatio, are these men equally wise and happy ? And is every thing to be measured by mere fancy and opinion, without considering whether that fancy or opinion be right?
Hor. Hardly so neither, I think; yet sure the wise and good Author of nature could never make us to plague us.
He could never give us passions, on purpose to subdue and conquer them; nor produce this self of mine, nor any other self, only that it may be denied; for that is denying the works of the great Creator himself. Self-denial, then, which is what I suppose you mean by prudence, seems to me not only absurd, but very dishonourable to that supreme wisdom and goodness which is supposed to make so ridiculous and contradictory a creature, that must be always fighting with himself in order to be at. rest, and undergo voluntary hardships in order to be happy. Are we created sick, only to be commanded to be sound ? Are we born under one law, our passions, and yet bound to another, that of reason ? Answer me, Philocles, for I am warmly concerned for the honour of nature, the mother of us all.
Phil. I find, Horatio, my two characters have affrighted you ; so that you decline the trial of what is good, by reason; and had rather make a bold attack upon Providence, the usual way of you gentlemen of fashion, who, when, by living in defiance of the eternal rules of reason, you have plunged your. selves into a thousand difficulties, endeavour to make yourself easy by throwing the burden upon nature : you are, Horatio, in a very miserable condition indeed ; for you say you cannot be happy if you control your passions ; and you feel yourself miserable by an un. restrained gratification of them; so that here is evil, irremediable evil, either way.
Hor. That is very true, at least it appears so to me; pray what have you to say, Philocles, in honour of Nature or Providence? methinks I am in pain for her: how do you rescue her, poor lady?
Phil. This, my dear Horatio, I have to say; that what you find fault with and clamour against, as the most terrible evil in the world, self-denial, is really the greatest good, and the highest self gratification : if indeed you use the word in the sense of some weak moralists, and much weaker divines, you will have just reason to laugh at it; but if you take it, as under. stood by philosophers and men of sense, you will presently see her charms, and fly to her embraces,