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women how to spin and weave; and the agent has appointed as a temporary assistant, a young Englishman, from a manufactory in Stockport, England, who can make looms and spinning wheels, and every thing appertaining to them, and he understands weaving. He will in a few days have a ninth loom set up at the residence of the agent. The women have this spring adopted this part of the plan with spirit, and have promised to follow the directions of the agent with exactitude. These Indian women, of one family, have been spinning for two years only, have clothed themselves well, are proud of the exertions they have made, and are, by their conduct, a stimulus to their countrywomen. One of the looms and two of the spinning wheels in use, were made by an Indian chief, for his own family.
“The chiefs, who were apprehensive at first, that if their women could clothe and find themselves by their own exertions, they would become independent of the degraded connection between them, have had proofs that the link is more firm, in proportion as the women are more useful, and occupied in domestic concerns.”
“Perhaps,” says Babbage, “to the sober eye of inductive philosophy, these anticipations of the future may appear too faintly connected with the history of the past. When time shall have revealed the future progress of our race, those laws which are now obscurely indicated, will then become distinctly apparent; and it may possibly be found that the dominion of mind over the material world advances with an ever accelerating force. “Even now, the imprisoned winds which the earliest poet made the Grecian warrior bear for the protection of his fragile bark; or those which, in more modern times, the Lapland wizards sold to the deluded sailors; these, the unreal creations of fancy or of fraud, called, at the command of science, from their shadowy existence, obey a holier spell: and the unruly masters of the poet and the seer become the obedient slaves of civilised man. “Nor has the wild imagination of the satirist been quite unrivaled by the realities of after years: as if in mockery of the college of Laputa, light almost solar has been extracted from the refuse of fish; fire has been sifted by the lamp of Davy; and machinery has been taught arithmetic instead of poetry. “In whatever light we examine the triumphs and achievements of our species over the creation submitted to its power, we explore new sources of wonder. But if science has called into real existence the visions of the poet—if the accumulating knowledge of ages has blunted the sharpest and distanced the loftiest of the shafts of the satirist, the philosopher has conferred on the moralist an obligation of surpassing weight. In unveiling to him the living miracles which teem in rich exuberance around the minutest atom, as well as throughout the largest masses of ever-active
matter, he has placed before him resistless evidence of immeasurable design. Surrounded by every form of animate and inanimate existence, the sun of science has yet penetrated but through the outer fold of nature's majestic robe; but if the philosopher were required to separate, from among those countless evidences of creative power, one being, the masterpiece of its skill; and from that being to select one gift, the choicest of all the attributes of life;—turning within his own breast and conscious of those powers which have subjugated to his race the external world, and of those higher powers by which he has subjugated to himself that creative faculty which aids his faltering conceptions of a Deity, —the humble worshipper at the altar of truth would pronounce that being, man; that endowment, human reason.
“But however large the interval that separates the lowest from the highest of those sentient beings which inhabit our planet, all the results of observation, enlightened by all the reasonings of the philosopher, combine to render it probable that, in the vast extent of ereation, the proudest attribute of our race is but, perchance, the lowest step in the gradation of intellectual existence. For, since every portion of our own material globe, and every animated being it supports, afford, on more scrutinising enquiry, more perfect evidence of design, it would indeed be most unphilosophical to believe that those sister spheres, glowing with light and heat radiant from the same central source—and that the members of those kindred systems, almost lost in the remoteness of space, and perceptible only from the countless multitude of their congregated globes—should each be no more than a floating chaos of unformed matter; or, being all the work of the same Almighty Architect, that no living eye should be gladdened by their forms of beauty, that no intellectual being should expand its faculties in deciphering their laws.”
THE VALUE AND USES OF PROPERTY.
“The sense to value riches, with the art
“Alas! for the sordid propensities of modern days, when every thing is coined into gold, and this once holy-day planet of ours is turned into a “mere working-day world.’” IRVING.
It cannot be concealed, that there have been apprehensions of the evil effects of manufacturing establishments in this country, but these forebodings have been chiefly prospective. It is not pretended that they have yet been productive of evil; indeed, the evidence is positive, that much good has been produced. With regard to the state of Rhode Island, I had an opportunity of knowing its moral condition previous to 1812; and I have since traveled in nearly every part of the state, and the change for the better, especially in the manufacturing districts, is incredible. No one but an eye witness could believe that such a favourable change of society could have taken place, in the short period of twentyfive years. It is true, that the abuse of these institutions may produce bad results, but the abuse is no argument against the thing itself. I am persuaded, that wherever a village is under good regulations, that the tendency is altogether favourable to morals and intelligence. There is, therefore, no more evil to be dreaded, in prospective, from the system of manufacturing for ourselves, than there is from the system of self-government; they may be turned to an evil purpose; and what blessing of heaven may not? But while a love of virtue and liberty remains, these institutions will be cherished with confidence and advantage to the whole community. Sufficient testimony has been adduced to prove that the present state of American manufactures is superior to any in the world, as it respects the rate of wages, the means of intellectual improvement, and their moral condition. If the introduction of labour-saving machinery, and of the whole manufacturing system, with all its accompaniments, had proved detrimental to the good order of society; if it had endangered the liberties of the people, or infringed on any principle of our free institutions; if it had reared a degraded, impoverished, or debilitated race of beings; if, in fact, ignorance and vice had marked these districts, as the victims of corruption and pollution, their destruction would have been inevitable : no laws could have saved a single establishment. All this and more was apprehended; and if these things had followed in the train of manufactories, I hope I should have been the last to have recorded their progress with approbation. I have eight powerful arguments to prevent such a course; but on the contrary, I trust I should have been the first to have stamped their features, in all their hideous forms, that they might justly receive the reprobation of mankind. No increase of wealth, or of strength, would have compensated for a destitution of virtue and intelligence. It was the circumstance, that I had witnessed the moral aspect of New England, decidedly improved, that induced me to attempt a survey of the subject. I agree that, if the threatened deleterious effects had followed the making of our own clothing, instead of importing it from Europe; I would say, indeed, it would be better to drain the country of every dollar of specie than to have laid the foundation of impunity and slavery. With the loss of truth, virtue, and liberty, wealth is inadequate to give happiness to man. The value of property is manifest, because it is the reward of the virtues of order, diligence, and temperance; and these are essential to the acquisition of it: for the industrious nations are elevated above all the people of the earth."
* Mr. Burke, one of the greatest and best friends of our liberty, speaking, in the house of commons, of the wealth which the people of New England had drawn from their fisheries, pronounced that eulogium upon their genius and enterprise, which should be indelibly engraven upon the memory of every New England youth, in honour of his father-land.
In speaking of the manner in which the whale fishery had been carried on, he says:-"And pray, sir, what in the world is equal to it 2–Pass by the other parts, and look at the manner in which the people of New England have, of late, carried on the whale fishery. Whilst we follow them among the tumbling mountains of ice, and behold them penetrating into the deepest frozen recesses of Hudson's Bay, and Davies’ Straits; whilst we are koking for them beneath the arctic circle, we hear that they have pierced into the opposite region of polar cold; that they are at the antipodes, and engaged under the frozen serpent of the south. Falkland Island, which seemed too remote and romantic an object for the grasp of national ambition, is but a stage, and resting-place in the progress of their victorious industry. Nor is the equinoctial heat more discouraging to them, than the accumulated winter at both the poles. We know that whilst some of them draw the line and strike
Mr. Webster's eulogy of Hamilton accords with my own views, and it will serve to introduce another extract from his report on manufactures, which I consider the true American doctrine on wealth. “Hamilton felt the full importance of the crisis; and the reports of his speeches are yet lasting monuments to his genius and patriotism. He saw, at last, his hopes fulfilled; he saw the constitution adopted, and the government under it, established and organised. The discerning eye of Washington immediately called him to that post, which was infinitely the most important in the administration of the new system. He was made secretary of the treasury, and how he fulfilled the duties of such a place, at such a time, the whole country perceived with delight, and the whole world saw with admiration. He smote the rock of the national resources, and abundant streams of revenue gushed forth. He touched the dead corpse of the public credit, and it sprung upon its feet. The fabled birth of Minerva, from the brain of Jove, was hardly more sudden or more perfect, than the financial system of the United States burst forth from the conceptions of Hamilton.” The following extract exhibits some of those lucid principles of national wealth:— “That which seems to be the principal argument offered for the superior productiveness of agricultural labour, turns upon the allegation, that labour employed in manufactures yields nothing equivalent to the rent of land; or to that net surplus as it is called, which accrues to the proprietor of the soil. But this distinction, important as it has been deemed, appears rather verbal than substantial. It is easily discernible, that what in the first instance is divided into two parts, under the denominations of the ordinary profit of the stock of the farmer, and rent to the landlord, is in the second instance united under the general appellation of the ordinary profit on the stock of the undertaker; and that this formal or verbal distribution constitutes the whole difference in the two cases. It seems to have been overlooked, that the land itself is a stock or capital, advanced or lent by its owner, to the occupier or
the harpoon, on the coast of Africa, others run the longitude, and pursue the gigantic game along the coast of Brazil. No sea but what is vexed by their fisheries, no climate that is not witness to their toils. Neither the perseverance of Holland, nor the activity of France, nor the dexterous and firm sagacity of English enterprise, ever carried this most perilous mode of hardy industry, to the extent to which it has been pushed by this recent people, a people who are still, as it were, but in the gristle, and not yet hardened into the bone of manhood.”