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fpect they differ materially from thofe that rose by conqueft, and were fed by precarious tribute. Their internal resources and their political connexion, promife therefore a durability that discountenances the prediction of the decline of Europe by the rife of any western or other empire. The more empires arife by the ftrength of cultivating internal advantages, the more fecurity they will mutually afford to, and receive from, each other; poffibly alfo the law of nations may, in time, receive fuch establishment and improvement as to diminish warlike contefts, render political intercourfe more equitable and liberal, and confequently give more permanence to public communities. This, however, may be deemed a great ftretch in fpeculation, and being, moreover, rather befide the immediate, fubject in confideration, we shall leave it for others to overturn or build upon.
The three continental wars we fuftained in this century, are not allowed to have produced the effects attributed to them by Dr. Price. Mr. Howlett refers to what he faid before, of the manufactures requifite for the fupport of armies and navies. He adds, could we fuppofe the cafe of a war, carried on with perfect.fecurity to our manufactures, commerce, and agriculture; inftead of diminishing our inhabitants, it would, probably, on the whole, tend to encrease them.' The deftruction of lives in thefe contefts, he thinks, is neither peculiar to this nation, nor to this century; our enemies fuffering at leaft equally with, if not more than we, in flaughter and the civil war in the laft century, together with the still more bloody wars occafioned by the contefts between the houfes of York and Lancaster, all which were among ourselves, deftroy the fuppofition that depopulation can be owing to wars peculiar to this century.
The diminution of inhabitants from migrations to our foreign fettlements, Mr. H. does not believe to be proportionate to the numbers who actually leave us: thofe who remain behind having thus probably more ample means of fubfiftence, and finding more encouragement to marriage by their abfence. To a variety of arguments under this head, he adds the opinion of Dr. Franklin, an authority he believes Dr. Price not difpofed to controvert, who fuppofes there may be now above a million of English fouls in North America; and yet, perhaps, not one the fewer in Britain, but rather many more.
Few perfons who have attended to the subject in question, are ignorant of the arguments produced for and against the inclosing of commons and wafte grounds, and the uniting fmall farms together to form larger. Mr. H. confiders each of these subjects with great appearance of judgment and knowledge, from which he infers, that the engroffing of farms, fo generally and fo loudly complained of, while attended with those improvements in agriculture which it almost always occafions, is so far from K 3
being, upon the whole, a caufe of the depopulation of our country, it is either productive of a contrary effect, or a prefumptive evidence that this contrary effect is really taking place in the nation at large. With regard to Acts for the incloture of commons, he obferves, Provided they are fairly obtained, and the feveral allotments of ground equitably and judiciously apportioned, I have never yet met with a folid objection to them, With these precautions, therefore, and under thefe reftrictions, I hope and trust they will go on, till there is fcarcely an uninclofed, or wafte and barren fpot, from one extremity of the ifland to the other; but all are converted into fruitful fields or paftures, and the whole refembles one large, rich, and variegated garden.'
The high price of provifions, with the increase of public debts and taxes, are admitted to be caufes of depopulation or not, according to their proportion to other things. They may difcourage hufbandry and manufactures, and thereby diminish our numbers, if they rife remarkably higher here than among neighbouring nations: but while they are known to rife rapidly in other countries, which are plunged in debts in full proportion to their refources, ours may, perhaps, continue to rife without producing the apprehended mifchievous confequences. Our Author afferts on his own knowledge, that in France and Flanders, which he vifited in 1770, and in 1776, the prices of provifions, and the charges of travelling, in that fhort space of time had increased one fifth: alfo, that by the accounts of the Victualling-office, the leading and more fubftantial articles of food, were, on an average of ten years, in the latter end of the reign of Queen Anne, and beginning of that of George I. as dear as they have ever been fince.
Though Mr. H. difclaims the pernicious doctrine, that private vices are public benefits, he does not look upon the luxury of fuperior accommodations and elegancies in the way of living, which in turn fupply multitudes of induftrious artificers with food and clothing, as pernicious to the country. If it has not the merit of charity, it produces at leaft fome of its beneficial effects, conveyed through the channel of inceffant induftry.'
Having confidered what Dr. Price charges as the causes of our depopulation, Mr. H. proceeds to the Doctor's evidences of the fact; which are these three,
The decreafed number of houfes in the returns of furveyors of the window lights.
The decrease of burials in the London bills of mortality.
Thefe evidence our Author fhews fatisfactorily, as Mr. Wales had done before, to be too vague, from a variety of caufes, to fupport the argument for which they were produced, After
thus fuccefsfully oppofing Dr. Price through every stage of his gloomy labour, Mr. H. enters upon the agreeable task of proving an increafed and increafing population upon the more authentic teftimony of parochial regifters from a variety of places at diftinct periods. A great number of tables are collected with this view, all which uniformly establish the pleafing fact; particularly within the last twenty years, a period which Dr. Price had marked as the moft rapid ftage of our depopulation! Indeed, nothing but too implicit a regard to the authority of a contrary opinion, firft advanced on the fpecious foundation of calculation, and followed by a poetical auxiliary, deploring an ideal deferted village, could obfcure the appearances of a flourishing population from the common obfervation of every traveller throughout the kingdom.
Though it was neither convenient nor neceffary to enter minutely into the variety of particulars confidered, and tables formed, in this laborious undertaking; yet, to the above brief fketch, we fhall give at length the Author's fummary conclufion of his work:
The refult of the whole enquiry does, I apprehend, afford the fairest grounds for concluding that upon every mode of investigation, and according to the molt moderate estimate, the inhabitants of this kingdom must have been increased one third fince the Revolution, about one fixth during the lait twenty years, and that their present amount cannot be lefs than between eight and nine millions.
A variety of collateral circumstances incline me to believe, that all thefe computations are below the truth. Dr. PRICE himself acknowledges, that 10,000 houles in and about London have been built within the last twenty years; to thefe I may add near 40,000 that have rifen up in only about two thirds of the archdeaconry of Chefter fince the year 1720. With regard to the vicinity of the town of Manchester, I can, on the authority of a clergyman of diftinguished ingenuity, and uncommon accuracy of remark in that quarter, venture to affert, that the people there are multiplied twenty fold within these last thirty years. Wonderful as this may feem, I can eafily credit it, after being informed, that in feveral parishes of that neighbourhood three or four new chapels of ease to the mother church have been erected within little more than that compafs of time. In perfect agreement with this are the prodigious numbers which were a few years ago confirmed in that part of the kingdom. At the general confirmation for the diocese of Chetter in 1778, the number of young perfons confirmed amounted to above 37,00o, and in the laft for that of York to upwards of 75,000. And it is to be remembered, that almost all these were between the ages of fourteen and eighteen; which description I have feldom found to comprehend above a twentieth, or even a twentyfifth of the whole inhabitants in any place. If to these you add the Papifts and Diffenters, which abound there more than in any other quarter, you will find in thefe two diocefes alone, nearly two thirds as many people as our celebrated calculator could difcover in the whole kingdom. After viewing this unparalleled growth of populaK 4
tion in these counties and a very confiderable one in all the rest, we need not wonder that in the course of the last fix or seven years, we have recruited our army, and supplied our navy with more than two hundred and fifty thousand effective men. Had we been the poor depopulated nation that we have been taught to believe ourselves, these aftonishing drains would have left us no hands to till the earth, to' make our clothes, and prepare our food. We must have been our own labourers, millers and bakers, taylors and fhoemakers, or have been naked and starved. But in fact, this amazing multitude is fcarcely miffed from amongst us. The plough ftill goes brifkly forward, our fields ftand thick with corn, our workshops and manufactures are as yet but little thinned, and all ranks and orders are as well clothed and fed as ever.
All these circumftances taken together form a ftrong prefumptive teftimony in favour of a greatly increafed population, and tend to carroborate the pofitive proofs of it, which have been adduced in the courfe of this elay, and on which the merits of the question mult principally and ultimately reft. Thefe proofs are (as the reader will recolle) the deficiencies in the London bills of mortality; the deficiencies in the returns of the furveyors of the house and window tax; the numbers ferving in the militia, compared with the whole number of inhabitants in the refpective places and diftricts by which they are furnished, and the feveral tables of baptifms and burials in the two requifite periods, extracted from the registers of eight or nine hundred parishes.If these evidences, and the arguments founded on them are admitted, they must effectually overthrow Dr. PRICE's fyf tem, and establish a very different, and, to every fincere lover of his country, a much more comfortable doctrine. And it is not, I hope, affuming too much, or tranfgreffing the bounds of candour to fuggelt, that as the ingenious author has undoubtedly fuffered the weakness of his fpirits, or the ftrength of his prejudices to miflead his judgment, in eftimating one most important branch of our national force, they may have given the fame gloomy tinge to his reprefentation of our other refources alfo; and that he may have been almost as much mistaken in the flate of our finances as in the flate of our population. At least, this confideration furnishes the ftrongest reafon against admitting any of the principles of what may be called his political arithmetic, without a thorough examination; or adopting any of his difcouraging conclufions, without great caution and confiderable deductions.
That this kingdom is at prefent in very critical circumstances; that our enemies are powerful and numerous; that our taxes are heavy, and our public debts and incumbrances great, it is impoffible to deny. But whoever will allow himself to review with coolness, deliberation, and impartiality the whole of our fituation both abfolute and relative, will, I conceive, find reafon to think that the picture which has been drawn of us, as an enfeebled, impoverished, and utterly ruined and devoted people, is overcharged and exaggerated beyond all bounds of credibility and truth. We have in tormer times thewn ourselves greatly fuperior to France and Spain united. Since thofe times it appears, that the population of England has advanced more than twice as faft as theirs. Scotland and Ireland, judging from the latest and best writers on the subject, have probably multi
plied with almoft the fame rapidity. This addition of internal trength will, I truft, be more than a balance for the increased number of our external enemies. We have already made fuch efforts against them as have aftonished all Europe'; and there is little reafon to doubt, but that, with the bleffing of Providence upon our councils and our arms, with firmnefs in our governors, with intrepidity in our commanders by fea and land, and unanimity among ourselves, we fhall be able to refit effectually the formidable confederacy that has been perfidiously formed against us; and that we shall neither want men, money, spirit, nor perseverance to continue the war into which we have been most unhappily and unwillingly drawn, till we can clofe it by that moft defirable of all events, a fafe and honourable peace.'
We must observe, that though Mr. H. has ufed the utmost freedom with Dr. Price's arguments, he has treated him perfonally with that refpectful civility to which his acknowledged learning and abilities, and amiable private character, juftly enN.
FOREIGN LITERATURE. *
Memoir I. Concerning the firft Trial of the great Burning-glass, placed in the Garden of the Infanta at the Louvre, in the Beginning of October 1774 By Meffrs. TRUDAINE, MACQUER, LAVOISIER, and BRISSON. This lens is compofed of two glaffes, of four feet diameter, between which there are 140 (French) pints of spirit of wine; it is fix inches and a half thick in the middle; and the focus, which is 15 lines in diameter, is at the diftance of 10 feet and 2 inches from the lens. The first trials of this famous inftrument, which melted, in an instant, the clippings of bar-iron, promife great effects, when its powers, and the best manner of employing it, fhall be more fully known. Hitherto its effects furpafs thofe of the burning glafs of Tchirpnaufen, and the chemifts hope to receive new light from the experiments that may be made with it.
Memoir II. Concerning the Variation of the Loadflone, at the Royal Obfervatory, &c. By M. MONIER. It appears from the obfervations made by this Academician, in the years 1773 and 1774, that the declination of the magnetic needle towards
• The Foreign Articles in this month's Review were intended and written for our latt APPENDIX (just published), but could not be inferted for want of room.