that any person should go the round about way of self-denial, and they declare that none do, with which a conscientious regard to actions and motives is always connected. A state of society, not founded on the principles of honest industry, must be degraded and low; and, like the inhabitants of South America, must be wretched and miserable. Mankind must be usefully and honourably employed, in order to be virtuous and happy. In proof of this position, compare the condition of South America with the United States, and more especially with that part of the United States, where manufacturing establishments have come into being and risen to eminence. The mighty contrast in the condition and character of the people, is altogether greater than that formed by the hand of nature in the two countries themselves. South America, particularly that part in the neighbourhood of the La Plata, in the hands of New Englanders, would at once become the paradise of the world, did they retain their moral and intellectual habits. Without these habits, we can pronounce what they would be, from what a resident well acquainted with the country affirms the South Americans are. With governments in distraction, and so enfeebled as to exert no force except by the sword and bayonet, vice, disorder, and confusion, every where prevail. The finest fields in the world for agriculture are suffered to remain barren and desolate, or to be traveled by wandering herds. Indolence and ignorance enfeeble the hands and put out the eyes of the inhabitants. Roaming in poverty, filth, and pollution, they are totally blind to their advantages and privileges: they are tossed about by every wind of prejudice and passion. Trained to view labour as a degradation, while trampling the most prolific fields and possessing everything requisite, and of the first qualities, for food and clothing, they would be obliged to go naked and starve, were it not for the industry of other nations. As it now is, robbers and assassins fill their streets, and thousands are disappearing by the only species of industry for which they have an adaptation, that of destroying each other. The inhabitants of New England, barren and rugged as she is, comparing her with this picture, and contrasting it with their own condition, will bless that Providence which has placed them as they are, and see at once that an introduction of the manufacturing interest has added in no small degree to their dignity and happiness. Slater, by the introduction of machinery, and by his arrangements in the various deparments of the manufacturing establishments, opened the means of employment, and excavated a mine more valuable than those of Peru, or than all the precious metals of the earth; because the human capabilities are brought into exercise. This gives to man his full enjoyment, in the pursuit of happiness. In contrast with South America, it is pleasing to see the spirit of enterprise and improvement rising in every part of our country. This spirit, if not now universal, is rapidly becoming so. We see it breaking out every where, in the middle states, in the northern, in the southern, in the western ; and like the kindling of fire, we see it gathering strength, as it rises and spreads. Who does not see in this rising spirit, a subject of national felicitation? Perhaps the greatest this country ever had before ; certainly greater than any other country ever possessed. Was even the spirit of liberty itself, which produced the revolution, and gave us our independence, more a subject of national congratulation ? Who can estimate the value of this new born spirit which now animates our country, when we consider our great and rapidly increasing population, their characteristic ardour in every lucrative pursuit, and the boundless scope which our country affords for the range of this spirit? Here we have every thing to invite to enterprise and encourage hope; the great and growing market afforded by our commerce and our manufactures is rendering every article of produce valuable and productive. Thus every department of wealth aids and unites in replenishing the boundless resources of our happy country.

“An object is not insignificant, because the operation by which it is effected is minute: the first want of men in this life, after food, is clothing, and as this machinery enables them to supply it far more easily and cheaply than the old methods of manufacturing, and to bring cloths of great elegance and durability within the use of the humble classes, it is an art whose utility is inferior only to that of agriculture. It contributes directly and most materially to the comforts of life, among all nations where manufactures exist, or to which the products of manufacturing industry are conveyed; it ministers to the comfort and decency of the poor, as well as to the taste and luxury of the rich. By supplying one of the great wants of life with a much less expenditure of labour than was formerly needed, it sets at liberty a larger proportion of the population, to cultivate literature, science, and the fine arts. To England, these inventions have brought a material accession of wealth and power. They are not confined in their application to one manufacture, however extensive, but that they have given nearly the same facilities to the woollen, the worsted, the linen, the stocking; and the lace manufactures, as well as to silk and cotton; and that they have spread from England to the whole of Europe, to America, and to parts of Africa and Asia: it must be admitted that the mechanical improvements in the art of spinning have an importance which it is difficult to over-estimate. By the Greeks, their authors would have been thought worthy of deification; nor will the enlightened judgment of moderns deny that the men to whom we owe such inventions deserve to rank among the chief benefactors of mankind.”—Baines.

“Cotton spinning, the history of which is almost romantic, has been made poetical by Dr. Darwin's powers of description and embellishment. In his ‘Botanic Garden' he thus sings the wonders of Arkwright's establishment on the Derwent, at Crom

—“Where Derwent guides his dusky floods
Through vaulted mountains, and a night of woods,
The nymph Gossypia treads the velvet sod,
And warms with rosy smiles the wat'ry god,
His pond’rous oars to slender spindles turns,
And pours o'er massy wheels his foaming urns,
With playful charms her hoary lover wins,
And wields his trident while the monarch spins.
First, with nice eye, emerging Naiads cull
From leathery pods the vegetable wool:
With wiry teeth revolving cards release
The tangled knots, and smooth the ravel'd fleece:
Next moves the iron hand with fingers fine,
Combs the wide card, and forms the eternal line;
Slow, with soft lips, the whirling can acquires
The tender skeins, and wraps in rising spires;
With quickened pace successive rollers move,
And these retain, and those extend the rove;
Then fly the spokes, the rapid axles glow,
While slowly circumvolves the labouring wheel below.”

[merged small][graphic]
« ForrigeFortsett »