The weather continues extraordinarily cold. I went to the Office as usual where I finished the first volume of Sismondi’s Political Economy. He is a clear writer and in many respects a strong one, but in his extreme hurry to reply to the system of Malthus, he makes for himself a system almost equally erroneous. The ground of the former is that consumption is overtaking production, that of the latter that production exceeds consumption, and either view is almost equally melancholy to the human race. I for my part believe in neither. The providence of God has arranged this matter beyond the reach of reasoning. Overproduction finds its check in depopulation, while overconsumption promotes it again,1 so that the thing turns in a circle. To be sure there is suffering in the motion of this pendulum, but that is inevitable and no device of man can produce a remedy.
Athenaeum to get a book or two and wrote to Mr. Angier about my Lecture.2 Home to Sophocles. Afternoon, coins. Evening out at Mr. Frothingham’s to hear his choir practice and his boys whom he wishes to join in. The choir is not well assorted and sing ill in a room. Home early, but found my Wife suffering. Continued the coins.
The antecedent of “it” would seem to be [production], but the thought in the sentence, and in the preceding ones, seems muddled.