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They cannot take to themselves the miserable consolation, that, if now they are distressed, they have at least lavished their money themselves, and had their period of profusion and riot.

There is no reason to be found in the code of impartial justice, why one man should work, while another man is idle. Mechanical and daily labour is the deadliest foe to all that is great and admirable in the human mind. But the spendthrift is not merely content, that other men should labour, while he is idle. They have reconciled themselves to that. They have found that, though unjust in itself, they cannot change the system of political society; and they submit to their lot. They console themselves with recollecting the stipulated compensation of their labours. But he is not satisfied that they should labour for his gratification : he obliges them to do this gratuitously; he trifles with their expectations; he baffles their hopes; he subjects them to a long succession of tormenting uncertainties. They labour indeed ; but they do not consume, the commodities they produce, nor derive the fimallest advantage from their industry. “We have laboured ; and other men have entered into the fruits of our labours

Setting therefore out of the question the man

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* That we may try the question in the most impartial manner, we will set out of the view the man who subjects himself to expences which he is unable to discharge. We will fuppose it admitted, that the conduct of the man, whose proceedings tend to a continual accumulation of debt, is eminently pernicious. It does not contribute to his own happiness. It drives him to the perpetual practice of fubterfuges. It obliges him to treat men, not according to their wants or their merits, but according to their importunity. It fixes on him an ever gnawing anxiety that poisons all his pleasures. He is altogether a stranger to that genuine lightness of heart, which characterises the man at ease, and the man of virtue. Care' has placed her brand confpicuous on his brow. He is subject to occasional paroxysms of anguish which no luxuries or splendour can compensate. He accuses the system of nature of poisonous infection, but the evil is in his own system of conduct.

The pains he suffers in himself are the obvious counterpart of the evils he inflicts upon others. He might have foreseen the effects of his own conduct, and that foresight might have taught him to avoid it. But foresight was in many instances to them impracticable. They suffer, not in consequence of their own extravagance.

They

.

They cannot take to themselves the miserable consolation, that, if now they are distressed, they have at least lavished their money themselves, and had their period of profusion and riot.

There is no reason to be found in the code of impartial justice, why one man should work, while another man is idle. Mechanical and daily labour is the deadliest foe to all that is great and admirable in the human mind. But the spendthrift is not merely content, that other men should labour, while he is idle. They have reconciled themselves to that. They have found that, though unjust in itself, they cannot change the system of political society; and they submit to their lot. They console themselves with recollecting the stipulated compensation of their labours. But he is not satisfied that they should labour for his gratification : he obliges them to do this gratuitously; he trifles with their expectations; he baffles their hopes; he subjects them to a long succession of tormenting uncertainties. They labour indeed ; but they do not consume the commodities they produce, nor derive the fmallest advantage from their industry. “We have laboured ; and other men have entered into the fruits of our labours."

Setting therefore out of the question the man

* John, Chap. viii, ver. 38.

who

prietors found then, as they find now, that they could not centre the employment of their wealth entirely in themselves; they could not devour to their own share all the corn and oxen and sheep they were pleased to call their property. There were not then commodities, decorations of their persons, their wives and their houses, sufficient to consume their superfluity. Those which existed, were curnbrous and durable, a legacy handed down from one generation to another ; not as now, a perpetual drain for wealth and spur to industry. They generously therefore

gave away what they could not expend, that it might not rot upon their hands. It was equitable however in their idea, that they should rcceive fome compensation for their benefits. What they required of their beneficiaries, was that they should wear their liveries, and by their personal attendance contribute to the splendour of their lords.

It happened then, as it must always happen, that the lower orders of the community could not be entirely starved out of the world.

The commodities that fubftantially contribute to the subsistence of the human species, form a very short catalogue. They demand from us but a Nender portion of industry. If these only were produced, and sufficiently produced, the

species

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dustriously employed, well fed, warmly clothed, cleanly and contented.

Another view of the subject which has led to the same conclusion is, that the wealth any man poffefles is so much of pleasure and happiness, capable of being enjoyed, partly by himself, partly by others; that it is his duty to scatter the seeds of pleasure and happiness as widely as possible ; and that it is more useful that he should exchange his superfiuity for their labour, than that he should maintain them in idleness and depend

cnce.

These views of the subject are both of them erroneous. Money is the representative and the means of exchange to real commodities; it is no real commodity itself. The wages of the labourer and the artisan have always been small; and, as long as the extreme inequality of conditions subsists, will always remain fo. If the rich man would substantially relieve the burthens of the poor,

exclusive of the improvement he may communicate to their understandings or their temper, it must be by taking upon himself a part of their labour, and not by setting them tasks. All other relief is partial and temporary.

Three or four hundred years ago in England, there was little of manufacture, and little comparatively of manual labour. Yet the great pro

prietors

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