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he indulges a hope that they may prove a nucleus for many benefits to his country; though he cannot but regret, that by the impracticability of the Duke affording an hour or two to the subject, he was precluded from knowing whether, in the Duke's judgment, there would be any thing in the observations calculated to injure his country, or place in jeopardy any honest interest.
THE CHIEF DIFFICULTIES & DISADVANTAGES
AN INQUIRY INTO THE MEANS OF PROCURING ABUNDANCE FOR THE DESTITUTE,
RESPECTABILITY FOR THE DEGRADED, USEFULNESS FOR THE MISCHIEVOUS, AND HAPPINESS FOR ALL, THROUGH THE MEDIUMS OP
VIRTUE FOR THE VICIOUS, AND INDUSTRY FOR THE IDLE.
Conscious that man endures much unhappiness in almost endless variety, and apprehending that but a very small portion is inherent in his nature or inseparable from his circumstances, the writer of these observations, deeply regretting that individuals and nations should exhibit such gratuitous suffering, offers these
suggestions as remedies for their removal; not deterred by the observation, that if any one advise against oppression, or other inhumanity, he may expect great opposition from those who profit by the evils, who, if they be numerous or otherwise influential, will find various means of deducting from his comfort; and while few will care to help one who presumes to hold a looking-glass to their eyes, many will bestow on him an ill turn, as occasions may serve, if, in pleading for the destitute and forlorn, he find it needful to turn attention to the oppressor, for so it has generally been, especially where a specific object of benevolence has not worked in classes, but single handed.
The more we reflect on the adequacy of legislative enactments, promptly, yet mildly enforced, to increase the happiness, respectability, comfort, wealth, and mental and physical energy of man, the more we may see that the afflictions of poverty and disease are needful to keep man from becoming still more injurious to himself and others, until religion has a good deal curbed his passions, 21
and he attains a strong tendency to desire to know his duty, and to perform it, lest he offend in that quarter where his soundest and most interesting hopes will then be concentrated.
If this be admitted, which appears to be proved by history from Adam to George the Fourth, and so would our own experience prove it, if we traced back the events of our own lives; the grand preliminary inquiry is, what most involves man in the disapprobation of his MAKER? an inquiry which naturally excites the desire that all legislative measures should be first directed to removing, as far as possible, the temptation to crime, more especially nipping it in the bud in youth, and not neglecting to root it out of the more experienced offender, and that all encouragement should tend to the side and aid of virtue.
Among the many anomalies of this anomalous age, perhaps few are so striking, or so important, as the wisdom and strength of our government, contrasted with the inefficiency of our laws; and the wide spread of our benevolence and kindness, compared with the
extent of our crimes. Should the government now carry a simple, practicable, efficient code, would they not thereby far more promote the good of the country than all the laws have that have ever been made in it? And should extensive doubts exist, as to the safety of a thorough change in the criminal and civil jurisprudence of the country, and other of its institutions that need a change, they might be adopted for a specific period, to be decided on by their fruits; and if they did not reduce crime in as rapid a ratio as for many years it has increased, we could but take our old code back again: our enemies would not wish to deprive us of it, however our friends might feel on the occasion.
Could we once divest our minds of the prejudices of sophistry, might we not admit that honest, candid, straight-forward legislation would be easy, whether relating to criminal and civil jurisprudence, or the maintenance of those who would be otherwise destitute; or the revenue of the country, its debt and expenditure; either one of which, if fairly met and acted on, would produce an