By Thomas Robert Malthus (auth.)
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Will he not subject hirnself to greater difficulties than he at present feels? Will he not be obliged to labour harder? and if he has a large family, will his utmost exertions enable hirn to support them? May he not see his offspring in rags and misery, and clamouring for bread that he cannot give them? And may he not be reduced to the grating necessity of forfeiting his independence, and of being obliged to the sparing hand of charity for support? These considerations are calculated to prevent, and certainly do prevent, a very great number in all civilized nations from pursuing the dictate of nature in an early attachment to one woman.
Misery and vice. Among mankind, The former, misery, is an absoiutely necessary consequence of it. Vice is a highly probable con- sequence, and we therefore see it abundandy 16 AN ESSAY ON THE dantly prevail; but it ought not, perhaps, to be called an absoiutely necessary consequence. The ordeal of virtue is to resist all temptation to evil. This natural inequality of the two powers of population, and of production in the earth, and that great law of our nature which must constantly keep their effects equal, form the great difficulty that to me appears insurmountable in the way to the perfectibility of 50ciety.
I cannot properly con- But before he can expect to bring any reasonable person over to his opinion, he ought to shew, that the necks of mankind have been gradually elongating; that the lips have grown harder, and more prominent; that the legs and feet are daily altering their shape; and that the hair is beginning to change into stubs of feathers. And till the probability of so wonderful a conversion can be shewn, it is surely lost time and lost eloquence to expatiate on the happiness of man in such astate; to describe his powers, both of running and Bying; to paint hirn in a con- PRINCIPLE OF POPULATION.