Abbildungen der Seite

Nor thus beneath the straw-roof'd cot, Thy sweetest charms, thy gentlest thrall,

Alone-should thoughts of thee pervade , Words, phrases, fashions pass away, Hearts which confess thee unforgot, But Truth and Nature live through all.

On heathy hill, in grassy glade ; In many a spot by thee array'd

These, these have given thy rustic lyre With hues of thought, with fancy's gleam, These amid Britain's

tuneful choir

Its truest, and its tenderest spell; Thy memory lives !-- in Euston's shade,

Shall give thy honour'd name to dwell : By BARNHAMWater's shadeless stream!

And when Death's shadowy curtain fell

Upon thy toilsome earthly lot, And long may guileless hearts preserve With grateful joy thy heart might swell

The memory of thy song, and thee :- To feel that these reproach'd thee not. While Nature's healthful feelings nerve The arm of labour toiling free ;

To feel that thou hadst not incurr'd While Childhood's innocence and glee

The deep compunction, bitter shame, With green Old Age enjoyment share;

Of prostituting gifts conferr'd Richards and Kates shall tell of thee,

To strengthen Virtue's hallow'd claim. WALTERs and Janes thy name declare.

How much more glorious is the name,

The humble name which thou hast won, On themes like these, if yet there breath'd Than—“ damn'd with everlasting fame,” A Doric Lay so sweet as thine,

To be for fame itself undone.
Might artless flowers of verse be wreath'd
Around thy modest name to twine :-

Better, and nobler was thy choice
And though nor lute nor lyre be mine

To be the Bard of simple swains, To bid thy minstrel honours live,

In all their pleasures to rejoice, The praise my numbers can assign,

And soothe with sympathy their pains; It still is soothing thus to give.

To paint with feeling in thy strains

The themes their thoughts and tongues disThere needs, in truth, no lofty lyre

cuss, To yield thy Muse her homage due; And be, though free from classic chains, The praise her loveliest charms inspire Our own more chaste THEOCRITUS.

Should be as artless, simple too ;
Her eulogist should keep in view.

For this should SUFFOLK proudly own Thy meek and unassuming worth,

Her grateful, and her lasting debt ;And inspiration should renew

How much more proudly—had she known At springs which gave thine own its birth. That pining care, and keen regret,

Thoughts which the fever'd spirits fret, Those springs may boast no classic name And slow disease,-'twas thine to bear;To win the smile of letter'd pride,

And, ere thy sun of life was set,
Yet is their noblest charm the same Had won her Poet's grateful prayer.

As that by CASTALY supplied ;
From AGANIPPE's chrystal tide

"Tis now TOO LATE!' the scene is clos'd, No brighter, fairer waves can start,

Thy conflicts borne, -thy trials o'er ; Than Nature's quiet teachings guide

And in the peaceful grave repos'd From feeling's fountain o'er the heart.

That frame which pain shall rack no 'Tis to THE HEART Song's noblest power- Peace to the Bard whose artless store

Taste's purest precepts must refer ; Was spread for Nature's lowliest child; And Nature's tact, not Art's proud dower, Whose song, well meet for peasant lore, Remains its best interpreter :

Was lowly, simple, undefil'd.
He who shall trust, without demur,
What his own better feelings teach,

Yet long may guileless hearts preserve Although unlearn'd, shall seldom err,

The memory of thy verse and thee ;

While nature's healthful feelings nerve But to the hearts of others reach.

The arm of labour toiling free. It is not quaint and local terms

While SUFFOLK PEASANTRY may be Besprinkled o'er thy rustic lay,

Such as thy sweetest tales make known,Though well such dialect confirms

By cottage-hearth, by greenwood tree, Its power unletter'd minds to sway, Be BLOOMFIELD call'd with pride their But 'tis not these that most display


more ;

Some Articles promised this month, and Answers to numerous Correspondents, are unavoidably postponed for want of room.


London Magazine.

OCTOBER, 1823.


No. II.


and see

“Go, my son,"—said a Swedish totally groundless: both tend to in. chancellor to his son," go

crease in a geometric ratio; both with how little cost of wisdom this have this tendency checked and counworld is governed.” “ Go,” might teracted in the same way. In every a scholar, in like manner say, after a thing which serves for the food of thoughtful review of literature, “ go man, no less than in man himself, and see-how little logic is required there is a positive ground of increase to the composition of most books.” by geometrical ratios : but in order Of the many attestations to this fact, that this positive ground may go on furnished by the history of opinions to its effect, there must in each case in our hasty and unmeditative age, be present a certain negative condiI know of none more striking than tion (i. e. conditio sine qua non*): for the case of Mr. Malthus, both as re- the food, as suppose for wheat, the gards himself and his critics. About negative condition is soil on which it a quarter of a century ago Mr. Mal- may grow, and exert its virtue of thus wrote his Essay on Population, self-multiplication; for man the newhich soon rose into great reputa- gative condition is food : i.e. in both tion. And why? not for the truth it cases the negative condition is the contained ; that is but imperfectly samemutatis mutandis : for the soil understood even at present; but for is to the wheat what the wheat is to the false semblance of systematic man. Where this negative condiform with which he had invested the tion is present, both will increase truth. Without any necessity he geometrically; where it is absent, placed his whole doctrine on the fole neither. And so far is it from being lowing basis: man increases in a true that man has the advantage of geometrical ratio—the food of man the wheat, or increases according to in an arithmetical ratio. This pro- any other law, as Mr. Malthus afposition, though not the main error firms, that on the contrary the wheat of his work, is one ; and therefore I has greatly the advantage of man shall spend a few lines in exposing it. (though both increase according to I say then that the distinction is the same law). But, says Mr. Mal

Once for all let me say to the readers of these memoranda that I use the term negative condition as equivalent to the term conditio sine qua non, and both in the scholastic sense. The negative condition of X is that which being absent X cannot exist ; but which being present X will not therefore exist, unless a positive ground of X be co-present. Briefly, -If not, not: if yes, not therefore yes.

Oct. 1823.

2 A

[ocr errors]

thus, you would find it impossible to of increase in man and in the food of increase the annual supply of wheat man is equally inefficient, is within England by so much as the con- drawn in fact as a country grows tinual addition even of the existing populous : for the sake of argument, quantity; whereas man might, on a and as the basis of a chain of reasoncertain supposition, go on increasing ing, it may be restored in idea to his species in a geometric ratio. either ; but not more to one than to What is that supposition? Why the other. That proposition of Mr. this--that the negative condition of Malthus therefore which ascribes a increase, the absence of which is the different law of increase to man and actual resistance in both cases to the to the food of man (which proposirealization of a geometric increase, is tion is advanced by Nr. Malthus and here by supposition restored to man considered by most of his readers as but not restored to the wheat. It is the fundamental one of his system) certainly true that wheat in England is false and groundless. Where thé increases only by an arithmetic ratio ; positive principle of increase meets but then so does man: and the in- with its complement the negative ference thus far would be, that both ground, there the increase proceeds alike were restricted to this law of in a geometrical ratio-alike in man increase. “ Aye, but then man," and in his food: where it fails of says Mr. Malthus, “ will increase by meeting this complement, it proceeds another ratio, if you allow him an in an arithmetical ratio, alike in both. unlimited supply of food.” Well, I And I say that wherever the geomeanswer, and so will the wheat: to trical ratio of increase exists for man, suppose this negative condition (an it exists of necessity for the food of unlimited supply of food) concurring man: and I say that wherever the with the positive principle of in- arithmetical ratio exists for the food crease in man, and to refuse to sup- of man, it exists of necessity for man. pose it in the wheat, is not only con- Lastly,—I repeat that, even where trary to all laws of disputing—but the food of man and man himself inis also on this account the more mon- crease in the same ratio' (viz. a geostrous, because the possibility and metrical ratio), yet that the food has impossibility of the negative con- greatly the advantage in the rate of curring with this positive ground of increase. For assume any cycle of increase is equal, and (what is still years (suppose 25) as the period of more to the purpose) is identical for a human generation and as corresboth : wheresoever the concurrence ponding to the annual generations of is realised for man, there of necessity wheat, then I say that, if a bushel it is realised for the wheat. And, of wheat and a human couple (man therefore, you have not only a right to and woman) be turned out upon Sademand the same concession for the lisbury plain-or, to give them more wheat as for the man, but the one con- area and a better soil for the expericession is actually involved in the ment, on the stage of Canada and other. As the soil (S) is to the wheat the uncolonized countries adjacent, (W), so is the wheat (W)to man(M); -the bushel of wheat shall have proi.e. S:W::W:M. You cannot even duced its cube-its 4th 10th-- Mth by way of hypothesis assume any cause power in a number of years which as multiplying the third term, which shall always be fewer than the numwill not also presuppose the multipli- ber of periods of 25 years in which cation of the first: else you suffer W the human pair shall have produced as the third term to be multiplied, and its cube—its 4th—10th-Mth power, the very same W as the second term &c.—And this assertion may be not to be multiplied.-In fact, the easily verified by consulting any recoincidence of the negative with the cord of the average produce from a positive ground of increase must of given quantity of seed corn. necessity take place in all countries II. The famous proposition thereduring the early stages of society for fore about the geometrical and ariththe food of man no less than for man: metical ratios as applied to man and this coincidence must exist and gra- his food—is a radical blunder. I dually cease to exist for both simul- come now to a still more remarktaneously. The negative condition, able blunder, which I verily believe without which the positive principle is the greatest logical oversight that



[ocr errors]

has ever escaped any author of re- the geometric ratio of increase will spectability. This oversight lies in take place. But, as the arithmetic Mr. Malthus's view of population ratio must still be the law for the considered not with reference to its increase of food, the population will own internal coherency but as an an- be constantly getting ahead of the swer to Mr. Godwin. That gentle food. Famine, disease, and every man, in common with some other mode of wretchedness will return: philosophers,—no matter upon what and thus out of its own bosom will arguments,-had maintained the doc- the state of perfection have regenetrine of the perfectibility of man. rated the worst forms of imperfecNow, says Mr. Malthus, without tion by necessarily bringing back the needing any philosophic investiga- geometric ratio of human increase .tion of this doctrine, I will over- unsupported by the same ratio of inthrow it by a simple statement drawn crease amongst the food. This is from the political economy of the the way in which Mr. Malthus applies human race: I will suppose that his doctrine of population to the overstate of perfection, towards which throw of Mr. Godwin. Upon which the human species is represented as I put this question to Mr. Malthus. tending, to be actually established: In what condition must the human and I will show that it must melt will be supposed, if with the clear away before the principle which go- view of this fatal result (such a view verns population. How is this ac- as must be ascribed to it in a state complished? briefly thus :-In every of perfection), it could nevertheless country the food of man either goes bring its own acts into no harmony on increasing simply in an arithme with reason and conscience ? Manitical ratio, or (in proportion as it festly it must be in a most diseased becomes better peopled) is rapidly state. Aye, says Mr. Malthus, but “I tending to such a ratio. Let us sup- take it for granted” that no important pose this ratio every where establish- change will ever take place in that ed, as it must of necessity be as soon part of human nature. Be it so, I as no acre of land remains untilled answer: but the question here is not which is susceptible of tillage ; since concerning the absolute truth,-Is no revolutions in the mere science of there any hope that the will of man agriculture can be supposed capable can ever raise itself from its present of transmuting an arithmetic into a condition of weakness and disorder ? geometric ratio of increase. Food The question is concerning the formal then increasing under this law can or logical truth-concerning the truth never go on pari passu with any po- relatively to a specific concession prepulation which should increase in a viously made. Mr. Malthus had congeometric ratio. Now what is it sented to argue with Mr. Godwin on that prevents population from in- the supposition that a state of percreasing in such a ratio? Simply the fection might be and actually was want of food. But how? Not direct- attained. How comes he then to ly, but through the instrumentality take for granted' what in a moof vice and misery in some * shape ment makes his own concession void? or other. These are the repressing He agrees to suppose a perfect state; forces which every where keep and at the same time he includes in down the increase of man to the this supposition the main imperfecsame ratio as that of his food-viz. tion of this world—viz. the diseased to an arithmetic ratio. But vice and will of man. This is to concede and misery can have no existence in a to retract in the same breath; exstate of perfection; so much is evi- plicitly to give, and implicitly to redent ex vì termini. If then these are fuse. Mr. Godwin may justly retort the only repressing forces, it follows upon Mr. Malthus—you promised to that in a state of perfection there can show that the state of perfection be none at all. If none at all, then should generate out of itself an in

* What is the particular shape which they put on in most parts of the earth—fur. nishes matter for the commentary of Mr. Malthus on his own doctrine, and occupies the greater part of his work. The materials are of course drawn from voyages and travels ; but from so slender a reading in that department of literature, that the whole should undoubtedly be re-written and more learnedly supported by authorities.


evitable relapse into that state of merits, it may be supposed that I do imperfection : but your state of per- not regard his critics with much fection already includes imperfection, sympathy: taking them generally, and imperfection of a sort which is they seem to have been somewhat the principal parent of almost all captious, and in a thick mist as to other imperfection. Eve, after her the true meaning and tendency of the fall, was capable of a higher resolu- doctrine. Indeed I question whether tion than is here ascribed to the chil- any man amongst them could have dren of perfection; for she is repre- begun his own work by presenting a sented by Milton as saying to Adam just analysis of that which he was

miserable it is

assailing, which however ought alTo be to others cause of misery,

ways to be demanded peremptorily -Our own begotten; and of our loins to

of 'him who assails a systematic bring

work, for the same reason that in the Into this cursed world a woeful race, old schools of disputation the reThat after wretched life must be at last spondent was expected to repeat the Food for so foul a monster : in thy power syllogism of his opponent before he It lies yet, ere conception, to prevent undertook to answer it. Amongst The race unblest to being yet unbegot. others Mr. Coleridge, who probably Childless thou art, childless remain :

P. L. Book X. contented himself more suo with read

ing the first and last pages of the What an imperfect creature could work, has asserted that Mr. Malthus meditate, a perfect one should exe- had written a 4to. volume (in which cute. And it is evident that, if ever shape the second edition appeared) the condition of man were brought to to prove that man could not live so desirable a point as that simply by without eating. If this were the replacing itself the existing genera- purpose and amount of the Malthution could preserve unviolated a state sian doctrine, doubtless an infra-duoof perfection, it would become the decimo would have been a more beduty (and, if the duty, therefore the coming size for his speculations. But inclination of perfect beings) to com- I, who have read the 4to. must asply with that ordinance of the reason.* sure Mr. Coleridge that there is

III. Thus far on the errors of Mr. something more in it than that. I Malthus :—now let me add a word shall also remind him that, if a man or two on the errors of his critics. produces a body of original and emiBut first it ought in candor to be ac- nently useful truths, in that case the knowledged that Mr. Malthus's own more simple—the more elementaryerrors, however important separately the more self-evident is the proposiconsidered, are venial as regards his sition on which he suspends the chain system ; for they leave it unaffected, of those truths,-the greater is his and might be extirpated by the knife merit. Many systems of truth, which without drawing on any consequent have a sufficient internal consistency, extirpations or even any alterations. have yet been withheld from the That sacrifice once made to truth and world or have lost their effect simply to logic,-I shall join with Mr. Ri- because the author has been unable cardo (Pol. Econ. p. 498, 2nd ed.) to bridge over the gulph between his in expressing my persuasion “that own clear perceptions and the unithe just reputation of the Essay on versal knowledge of mankind-has Population will spread with the cul- been unable to deduce the new truths tivation of that science of which it is from the old precognita. I say thereso eminent an ornament." With fore that our obligations to Mr. Malthese feelings upon Mr. Malthus's thus are the greater for having hung

Mr. Malthus has been charged with a libel on human nature for denying its ability even in its present imperfect condition to practise the abstinence here alluded tom-provided an adequate motive to such abstinence existed. But this charge I request the reader to observe that I do not enter into. Neither do I enter into the question-whether any great change for the better in the moral nature of the man is reasonably to be anticipated. What I insist on is simply the logical error of Mr. Malthus in introducing into the hypothesis which he consents to assume one element which is a contradiction in terminis to that hypothesis. Admit that Mr. Malthus is right in denying the possibility of a perfect state of man on this earth; he cannot be right in assuming an enormous imperfection (disorder of the will) as one constituent of that perfect state.

« ZurückWeiter »