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with him or give him fair battle.

It was thought a work of no small labour and ingenuity to make a harmony of the Evangelists. I would recommend it to some one (who thinks himself equal to the task) to make a harmony of Mr. Malthus's different performances. Till this is done, it seems impossible to collect the sense of his writings, and consequently to answer them. It should not therefore be the object of any one who would set himself to answer Mr. Malthus, so much to say that such and such are the real and settled opinions of that author, as that such opinions are floating in different parts of his writings, that they are floating or fixed in the minds of his readers, and that those opinions are not so correct as they might be. If Mr. Malthus had chosen to disclaim certain opinions with their consequences, advanced in the first edition, instead of denying that he ever held such opinions, though he may still be detected with the maner, he would have saved me the trouble of writ. ing, and himself the disagreeable task of reading, this rude attack upon them.

Mr. Malthus lays down as the basis of all his reasonings the two following positions, viz. “First, that food is necessary to the existence

66 of man.”

“ Secondly, That the passion between the “sexes is necessary, and will remain nearly in “ its present state.”

“ These two laws,” he adds, "ever since we " have had any knowledge of mankind, appear " to have been fixed laws of our nature ; and

as we have not hitherto seen any alteration in “ them, we have no right to conclude that they “ will ever cease to be what they are now, “ without an immediate act of power in that

Being who first arranged the system of the “ universe. The best arguments for the perfec

tibility of man are drawn from a contemplation “ of the great progress that he has already made “ from the savage state, and the difficulty of “ saying where he is to stop. But towards the “ extinction of the passion between the sexes, “ no progress whatever has hitherto been made. “ It appears to exist in as much force at present

as it did two thousand, or four thousand

years ago. There are individual exceptions “ now as there always have been. But, as these

exceptions do not appear to increase in num

ber, it would surely be a very unphilosophical “ mode of arguing to infer merely from the “ existence of an exception, that the exception “ would in time become the rule, and the rule “ the exception.”

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As to the first position here laid down that food is necessary to the existence of man, I shall not certainly dispute it. As to the second kind of necessity, the gratification of the passion between the sexes, I must beg leave to deny that this necessity is “ like unto the first” or to be compared with it. Does Mr. Malthus really mean to say that a man can no more abstain from the commerce of women, than he can live without food ? If so, he states what is not the fact. Does he mean to assert, that the impulse to propagate the species, call it lust, or love, is a principle as strong, as ungovernable, as importunate, as uniform in its effects, as incapable of being subjected to the control of reason, or circumstances, in short as much an affair of mere physical appetite, as hunger? One would suppose so, for he makes no distinction between them, but speaks of them both in the same terms, as equally necessary, as equally fixed, and immutable laws of our nature, the operation of which nothing short of a miracle can suspend or alter. There are two circumstances, the mentioning of which will however be sufficient to shew that the two kinds of necessity here spoken of are not of the same order, or cogency, and cannot be reasoned upon in the same manner, namely, that there are many instances of persons who have lived all

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their lives without any intercouse with the other sex, whereas there is no instance of any person living without food; in the second place, what makes a most marked distinction between the two cases, is that the longer we have been accustomed to do without the indulgence of the one appetite, the more tractable we find it, whereas the craving occasioned by the want of food, the longer it continues, becomes more and more pressing, and at last utterly ungovernable, and if not satisfied in time, is sure in all cases whatever, without a single exception, to destroy the person's life. These two considerations are of themselves quite sufficient to overturn the analogy which is here pretended to be set up between love and hunger (a delicate comparison)—to shew that the first of these impulses is not an affair of mere physical necessity, that it does not operate always in the same way, and that it is not a thing, over which reason, or circumstances have no power. What can be a stronger instance of the power of reason, or imagination, or habit over this principle than the number of single women, who in-every country, till the manners become quite corrupt, preserve either through their whole lives, or the best part of them the greatest purity and propriety of conduct? One would think that female modesty had been a flower that blossomed

only in other climes (instead of being the peculiar growth of our own time and country!) that Mr. Malthus in the heat of his argument, and urged on by the ardour of his own feelings, is blind to the example of so many of his fair country. women, in whom the influence of a virtuous education, of virtuous principles, and virtuous dispositions prevails over the warmth of the passions and force of temptation. Mr. Malthus's doctrine is a most severe satire against the modesty and self-denial of the other sex, and ruins in

one sweeping clause the unblemished reputations of all those expecting or desponding virgins who had hitherto been supposed to live in the daily, hourly practice of this virtue. Trenched as he is behind history, philosophy, and a knowledge of human nature, he laughs at all their prudery and affectation, and tells them fairly that the thing is impossible ; and that unless a miracle could be worked in their favour, they might as well pretend to live without eating or drinking, or sleeping as without the men. He must be of opinion with Iago, that “ their greatest merit is “not to leave it undone but keep it unknown.” Surely, no maid could live near such a man.Though this is what Mr. Malthus might say, it is not what he does say: on the other hand, when he comes to particulars, (as he is rather a

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