We say that the people were virtuous because they were busy; for there
is no principle of political economy more fully established than that
vice in the social state is the incident and symptom of idleness. It
prevails always in those classes of every great population who are
either released by the possession of fixed and unchangeable wealth from
the necessity, or excluded by their poverty and degradation from the
advantage, of useful employment. Wealth that is free, and subject to its
possessor's control, so that he can, if he will, occupy himself in the
management of it, while it sometimes may make individuals vicious, does
not generally corrupt classes of men, for it does not make them idle.
But wherever the institutions of a country are such as to create an
aristocratic class, whose incomes depend on entailed estates, or on
fixed and permanent annuities, so that the capital on which they live
can not afford them any mental occupation, they are doomed necessarily
to inaction and idleness. Vicious pleasures and indulgences are, with
such a class as a whole, the inevitable result; for the innocent
enjoyments of man are planned and designed by the Author of Nature only
for the intervals of rest and repose in a life of activity. They are
always found wholly insufficient to satisfy one who makes pleasure the
whole end and aim of his being.

[...]
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