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brought us together. On the subject, for instance, which we
have just been treating, namely, taxation and its connection
with pauperism, Mr. Lowe has called it "an instrument of cir-
culation rather than a privation of wealth,' and regards pau-
perism as more connected with a high price of corn: but we
find him afterward (p. 203.) admitting that any reduction of
the taxes on the necessaries of life may with confidence be
considered the forerunner of a reduction of poor-rate. We
are nearly agreed, then; being persuaded that very few if any
taxes exist which do not ultimately fall on the necessaries of
life. French silks and Oporto wines are not, strictly speaking,
necessaries of life to those who consume them : they are both
luxuries imported from foreign countries : yet they are so far
necessaries of life that they afford the means of living to those
who produce them abroad, and equally supply the means of
living at home to those of our own countrymen, the product
of whose labor is given in exchange for them. The lower
orders of England earn the necessaries of life not from this
country alone, but from every other in the world with which
it has commercial dealings; and we perfectly concur with Mr.
Lowe that, the more the charges on the necessaries of life in
this country are approximated to those of the Continent, the
more we achieve towards confirming the superiority of our
manufacturers : resting the support of our lower orders on the
basis of the wide world instead of England, and substituting
for an eleemosynary grant the earnings of independent labor.
The practicability, however, of carrying any essential reduc-'
tion into effect, is questioned by those who contemplate the
vast desires of an ambitious rather than the constitutional wants
of an economical government: but these persons would mo-
dify their objections, were they to attend to a few fundamen-
tal truths ; such as that the only solid basis of taxation is pro-
ductive industry; that productive industry, the increase of
which is regarded as the source of all our distress in the
• Resolutions" before mentioned ; - that the proceeds of a
tax by no means decrease in proportion to the reduction of its
rate, but, on the contrary, in nine cases out of ten, augment as
the rate is diminished;- and that new and unforeseen resources
are opened by the enlarged and more extended activity conse-
quent on such reduction.

Mr. L. has supplied us with a very excellent chapter on our Agriculture; containing an historical sketch of the corntrade, and of the fluctuations of prices at various periods. The late returns manifest a rapidity of advance in our population, which for many years before had been the subject of dispute and doubt, and the main cause of which is probably

to

to be found in the universal adoption of vaccination, while an extensive improvement has also been taking place in the situation of the lower orders, in their diet, their personal cleanliness, the ventilation of their houses, &c. From this increase in the number of consumers, many inquirers have anticipated a speedy relief to the agriculturists; not sufficiently adverting to the consideration that producers multiply, though certainly not so fast as consumers; and that the productive powers of the soil are by no means confined within the imaginary limits of an arithmetical ratio, but are indefinitely augmented by the application of labor, machinery, and manure.

Mr. L. observes that France, where manual labor forms the basis of agriculture almost to the exclusion of machinery, is just as capable of maintaining a population of thirty millions now, as it was of maintaining twenty millions in the beginning of the eighteenth century, or fifteen millions in the beginning of the seventeenth. In England, also, where machinery and capital are so largely employed, the next generation will, in all probability, raise a supply of subsistence as far beyond ours as ours is beyond that of the last age; and, on comparing the two periods, it may feel no little surprize at the negative predictions of some of our political economists.

• England is, after the Netherlands, the portion of Europe in which population is both most dense, as to numbers, and most closely connected by roads and canals. Compared to us, the inhabitants of France, on an equal surface, are in the proportion of only two to three ; and the degree of separation is very materially increased by another cause — the inferiority of the roads, and the want of water-communication. Germany is still more inferior to England, both in numbers and in frequency of intercourse; and it is needless to show how much more the deficiency prevails in other parts of Europe, in Spain, Sweden, Poland, Russia. The point at issue is, to ascertain whether density of population necessarily tends to raise rices, to render a country dearer than its scantily peopled neighbour? That it has in an eminent degree that tendency is the general impression and report of those among our travelling countrymen, who found their inferences on a few points most obvious to common observation, such as the moderate price of labour on the Continent, and the no less moderate rate of excise duties; but they overlook the various considerations on the opposite side of the question, such as the general inferiority of machinery and workmanship, the loss of time caused by distance from towns, and by the necessity of doing personally that which, in a busy, commercial community, is prepared by others, and obtained by purchase. In a subsequent publication, when treating of " Economy and Retrenchment,” we shall take occasion to explain the distinction between real and apparent saving, and describe the habitual waste of time in petty occupations by the inhabitants of provincial towns on the Continent : at present our wish is merely to lay down the general rule, that a population dense, improved, affluent, does not necessarily render a country more expensive than one that is poor and thinly

pations

inhabited. The difference is in the mode of living, not in the price of the articles. An increase of population, by leading to an abridgment of labour, and to the transaction of business en masse, brings with it a dispatch and an extent of accommodation; the saving from which is equal, we believe more than equal, to the enhancement in provisions attendant on augmented numbers.'

This passage may be considered as a sort of preliminary to an ample and argumentative discussion, in which Mr. Lowe has engaged, chapter vii., on the much agitated subject of Population, and how far subsistence is limited by physical

We cannot go over the ground again which we have so recently trodden in examining the publications of Mr. Gray, Mr. Godwin, and Mr. Place, but we shall not disguise the satisfaction which we feel in the alliance of such a calm and careful writer as Mr. Lowe; who, far from coinciding in the comfortless doctrine that increase of numbers leads to increase of poverty, and that a want of work among the lower orders at the present moment is attributable to a population advancing too rapidly for employment, maintains with Mr. Gray (whose productions on this subject have been so amply noticed by us). that augmented population forms the basis both of individual and national wealth. He even goes a step farther, and discovers, in the prospect of a progressive enlargement of our numbers, a source of relief also from our financial embarrassment. The progress of improvement has a very close connection with the advance of population : but it is the assemblage of a dense population in towns, rather than an equal aggregate of rural population, which is the cause of that minute subdivision and velocity of labour, that skill and variety of workmanship, which give polish and refinement. It is from the contact, as it were, and collision of intellect that the electric sparks of science are struck off, and in towns only can this collision take place: were it not for the distinction between a town-population and a scattered one, Ireland would claim an equal rank with England, and Flanders take precedence of Holland, * . It may also be remarked

causes.

that, * Availing himself of the official returns of population which have been made in most countries in the course of the present age, Mr. Lowe has furnished us with the following curious summary :

Inhabitants

per square Mile. • East Flanders,

554 West Flanders,

420 Holland

that, as the power of attraction in the physical world is in proportion to the quantity of matter contained in any body, so, in this world of human activity and business, the attraction of men towards cities seems to be in proportion to

Inhabitants

per Square Mile Holland (Province of),

362 Ireland,

237
England, distinct from Wales,

232
Austrian Italy, viz. the Milanese and the Vene-
tian States,

219
The Netherlands, viz, the Dutch and Belgic
Provinces, collectively,

214 Italy,

179 France,

150 The Austrian Dominions,

112 The Prussian Dominions

100 Denmark,

73 Poland,

60 Spain,

58 Turkey in Europe (conjectural),

50 Sweden (distinct from Norway and Lapland), 25 Russia in Europe,

23' The causes of this diversity, physical, political, and religious, are traced with much ingenuity. The following comparison may likewise be deemed interesting :

Population Return of 1821. ENGLAND AND SCOTLAND,

FRANCE.
London, Westminster,

Southwark, and the
adjoining parishes, 1,225,694 Paris,

720,000 Glasgow with suburbs, 147,043 Lyons,

115,000 Edinburgh, with Leith and their suburbs, 138,235 Marseilles,

102,000 Manchester, with Salford, 133,788 Bordeaux,

92,000 Liverpool, 118,972 Rouen,

86,000 Birmingham with Aston, 106,722 Nantes,

77,000 Bristol and suburbs, 87,779 Lille,

60,000 Leeds and suburbs, 83,796 Strasburg,

50,000 Plymouth, with Dock and suburbs, 61,212 Toulouse,

50,000 Norwich, 50,288 Orleans,

42,000 Newcastle on Tyne, with Gateshead, 46,948 Metz,

42,000 Portsmouth with Portsea, 45,648 Nîmes,

40,000 Rev. FEB. 1823. K

their

their population and magnitude. Our cities and towns are increasing their numbers in a much more rapid ratio than our hamlets and villages; and therefore the consumers of corn do augment their numbers faster than the producers. In the reigns of Elizabeth and James I., the agriculturists of England were considered to be 50 per cent. of the whole population, of the kingdom ; and Mr. Colquhoun estinated that the agriculture of the United Kingdom gave employment and support to five and a half millions of individuals, twelve years ago, when our population did not much exceed eleven millions, so that his proportion is 50 per cent. also: but the calculation is obviously vague, as it embraces not merely the cultivators of the soil but all those who are dependent on them for employment. Mr. Lowe reckons the agriculturists now to form 33 per cent of the population; a very diminished ratio. Notwithstanding, or, more correctly speaking, in consequence of this natural tendency in men to accumulate in cities, we are so far from agreeing with Mr. Malthus that the amount of subsistence regulates the amount of population, and that the latter has a natural tendency to augment faster than subsistence, that we concur in opinion with Mr. Gray that the amount of population regulates the amount of subsistence, in the same way as it regulates the supply of clothing and housing, because the quantity of subsistence raised on a given territorial surface depends on the amount of labor and capital bestowed on it :- population has a tendency to advance, but this advancement carries in itself the power of supplying its wants. Another doctrine also is maintained by Mr. Gray, which is in itself exceedingly cheering, namely, that the increase of population has a tendency to augment wealth, not nationally only but individually. The truth of this doctrine Mr. Lowe has endeavoured to corroborate by a reference to the actual situation of various countries : that is to say, by a comparison of the returns of their taxation and public burdens with their population per square mile. We have strong doubts, however, whether any inference can be trusted which is drawn from this comparison. Mr. Lowe is himself aware that the proportion of public burdens, paid by each individual in different countries, does not afford an unexceptionable criterion of national wealth : but he thinks that it forms the least defective basis, the nearest approximation to truth.

In chap. viii., Mr. L. has drawn out a statement of our publie burdens and national revenue, calculated for various periods:

Great

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