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Word Count: 573
THE following Essay owes its origin to a conversation with a friend on the subject of Mr Godwins essay on Avarice and Profusion in his Enquirer The discussion started the general question of the future improvement of society and the Author at first sat down with an intention of merely stating his thoughts to his friend upon paper in a clearer manner than he thought he could do in conversation But as the subject opened upon him some ideas occurred which he did not recollect to have met with before and as he conceived that every least light on a topic so generally interesting might be received with candour he determined to put his thoughts in a form for publication The Essay might undoubtedly have been rendered much more complete by a collection of a greater number of facts in elucidation of the general argument But a long and almost total interruption from very particular business joined to a desire perhaps imprudent of not delaying the publication much beyond the time that he originally proposed prevented the Author from giving to the subject an undivided attention He presumes however that the facts which he has adduced will be found to form no inconsiderable evidence for the truth of his opinion respecting the future improvement of mankind As the Author contemplates this opinion at present little more appears to him to be necessary than a plain statement in addition to the most cursory view of society to establish it It is an obvious truth which has been taken notice of by many writers that population must always be kept down to the level of the means of subsistence but no writer that the Author recollects has inquired particularly into the means by which this level is effected and it is a view of these means which forms to his mind the strongest obstacle in the way to any very
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