I T is certain that the agriculturist must earn more than is necessary for his own support before any other person can contrive to exist. It was with some reason, therefore, that the economists and Adam Smith put him in the first rank of productive labourers. However scanty may be his share in the distribution of wealth, except he abide in the ship, none can be safe. It is true that in the rudest agricultural, and even in the rudest pastoral age, the labour of the individual always produces more than is requisite for himself and his family. He can therefore be made to maintain others on his labour. Some of these consumers will benefit him, by increasing his comforts, by allowing him to devote his undivided attention to his own industry or calling, and by furnishing him with economies in the conduct of his business. Some will quarter themselves as of right or by force on his labours and their produce, and will colour their usurpation by
160 Society-Wages-Profits. tlleging that he owes them allegiance or duty. These claims are always most insolent and incessant when society is barbarous. As it becomes civilized, people reiterate, with apparent reason, that only the criminal and the utterly destitute are burdens on society, and that they who provide the pageantry, or are recognised as the ornaments of civil life, represent the highest utilities. It is to be hoped that labour and poverty are satisfied with this assurance, and are convinced that these pretensions are founded on a solid basis of facts. It will be found in the course of English social history that the assurance has been occasionally disputed, and the pretensions severely criticised. It is possible that the temaer which disputes or criticises may occur in force hereafter, when it is not anticipated or expected.