a tour through cornwall in the autumn of 1808

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: thus perpetually'migrating? It is true, indeed, to all this may be answered, that the present convenience of travelling throughout England facilitates the intercourse of distant places; gives activity to the internal trade of the country; and above all, improves, promotes, and extends civilization through the land. Allowing thus much, however, I would still contend, we are yet without sufficient proof that the improvements in our public roads are promotive of the real happiness of our country. Frequent and intimate intercourse gives wings to corruption, and makes that licentiousness general, which, without its aid, would be only partial. Internal trade, beyond a certain limit, is the parent of luxury and profuse expense; of which the one only increases our wants, and the other, in endeavouring to satisfy them, plunges us into misery and ruin; and civilization is an ambiguous term, being either a good or an evil, a blessing or a curse, according to the degree to which it has arrived, or the measure which it has exceeded. Indeed, there is no question relating to the happiness of man in his aggregate character so difficult to be determined, as the exaft point at which civilization should stop in order to produce the greatest possible degree of public felicity. To me, I confess, it appears, that all the Writers on political ceconomy are equally distant chapter{Section 4from the truth in their reasonings on this subjeft. Without, however, attempting to settle the dispute between the disciples of Rousseau and the followers of Adam Smith, I would lay this axiom down as an incontrovertible One ; that, in proportion as civilization is promotive of virtue, morality, and religion amongst a people, so far is it a source of public felicity; but, on the contrary, that it becomes subversive o...
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