Montesquieu
 

XVIII.10 On the number of men related to the manner in which they obtain their living

When nations do not culti­vate the land, here is the pro­por­tion of the num­ber of men there are. As the pro­duct of a fal­low ter­rain is to the pro­duct of a culti­va­ted ter­rain, so is the num­ber of sava­ges in one coun­try to the num­ber of far­mers in ano­ther ; and when the peo­ple who culti­vate the land also culti­vate the arts, the num­ber of sava­ges is to the num­ber of these peo­ple in com­pound pro­por­tion to the num­ber of sava­ges to that of far­mers and of the num­ber of far­mers to that of men who culti­vate the arts.

They can hardly make up a great nation. If they are she­pherds, they need wide areas to sub­sist in any num­ber ; if they are hun­ters they are even fewer in num­ber, and for their living make up a smal­ler nation.

Their region is gene­rally full of forests ; and as men there have not chan­ne­led the water, it is full of mar­shes, where every group confi­nes itself and cons­ti­tu­tes a small nation.