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to enlarge upon the degradation induced on the human mind by commerce and extended manufactures. They assume, that the moral degradation of the inhabitants is commensurate with the degree in which the division of labour exists in a country; and suppose, that when the public prosperity has been raised to a great height by the minute subdivision of labour, the ideas of the people will in each class be limited to the performance of one single manipulation. The only mistake in this proposition seems to be, that the word ideas has been used instead of hands ; unless, indeed, it is intended to assert, that men receive their ideas through their fingers' ends, or the palms of their hands ! A man's hands may be limited to one single manipulation; and, in proportion to the adroitness with which he performs it, his ideas may wander at large. A weaver, for example, long before his apprenticeship is expired, may throw the shuttle to and fro by mere habit, with little mental exertion, or even attention; and he is in constant intercourse with a large society of men, whose minds require only the proper pains, which it is the duty of every government to take in providing for their cultivation, to turn the activity, naturally resulting from the collision of ideas, to the moral advantage of the individual and of the community. Let any man set a ploughboy and a mechanic to an employment which requires ingenuity and thought, and with which both are unacquainted, and it will presently be seen which has had most opportunity of cultivating his mind and improving his faculties. Let any man revert to the origin of those who in revolutionary times have risen from the lowest orders into consequence; or of those who, in countries where liberty and equal laws give every man a property in the works of his head as well as of his hands and confer distinction upon those who are successful, have risen from obscurity by works of inventions or genius; and then let him ascertain how many have sprung from the rude peasantry, how many from the inhabitants of towns 2 If the inquiry should turn out in favour of the townsman, surely the variety of ideas, and the solid advantages, which lead to or follow these results, may be fairly set down to his account as sé much happiness; at least, as so much additional capacity for enjoyment, and, as I think, for moral improvement also. I cannot think, therefore, that the collection of people into towns necessarily induces any moral degradation among them; on the contrary, I am tempted to believe that letters and arts introduce into the morals greater advantages, if properly seized, than wealth does disadvantages, notwithstanding the absurd paradoxes of Rousseau and his imitators upon this subject; and I heartily subscribe to the striking illustration of the antient philosopher, “Quid enumerem artium multitudinem sine quibus vita omnino nulla esse potuisset. Quis enim zegris subvenisset 2 Quae esset oblectatio valentium? Qui victus aut cultus, nisi tam multae nobis artes ministrarentur, quibus rebus exculta hominum vita, tantum destitit a cultu et victu bestiarum.” (Cicero de Officiis, lib. 2.) Although, therefore, the townsman's life may be somewhat shorter in duration than that of the countryman, it may certainly be said to be longer in giving more enjoyment to the individual. As to the effect on the community, the spread of knowledge and talents will always secure freedom, at least in the practice, if not in the form, of governments; and the latter will usually by degrees adapt itself to the former. Unless the wisdom and magnanimity of the present Emperor of Russia shall anticipate the course of events by benign concessions, the natural progress of industry and improvement in that country will provide that its government shall not be despotic half a century hence. In quitting this part of the subject, I cannot help remarking that if towns have been called the hotbeds of vice, they have deserved that appellation more from indolent despair than from necessity. The towns have hitherto by no means had fair play. Notwithstanding the extreme difference between the dispositions, mammers, opportunities, and temptations of the inhabitants of towns and the country, not only have the same laws been thought adequate to the government of both, but too often those laws have even been relaxed in towns. Where regulation has been most wanted, it has been most neglected; and what is worse, religious instruction, the only sure foundation of all morality, has usually been more scantily provided in the same proportion. It is pleasing, nevertheless, to reflect, that if towns have been actually the hot-beds of vice, they have been no less the seats of exalted virtues. The most enlightened exertions for bettering the condition of mankind have been struck out by the intellectual collision of many enlarged minds collected into the focus of a great metropolis : and although we cannot quite windicate from partiality the predilection for a city life, entertained by our great philosopher and moralist Dr. Johnson, I cannot either avoid thinking that he who would, if possible, reduce cities and towns to annihilation, rather than use due exertions for their im

provement, and to render them more conducive to the views of Providence in making them a necessary condition of one state of our political existence, would, by the same rule, hang a boy for his firstfault, rather than endeavour to root out the innate seeds of evil implanted in his mind. But perhaps it may be said that the number of the childless and unmarried among the higher orders is a clear addition to the mass of public misery as society advances. To this it may be sufficient briefly to reply, that those qualities of the mind and body, which are least favourable to the production and care of large families are often the most so to other pursuits not less useful or advantageous, nor less capable of conferring happiness. It is upon these ranks that the task of mental thought for the whole society often devolves, and it is another instance of the gracious dispensation of Providence fitting every creature for its appointed end, that the mind is often most vigorous and capable of high cultivation in the most delicate frames of body. If a lad be prevented by a puny frame from joining in the boisterous sports of his schoolfellows, does he not find comfort and pleasure in books and contemplation ? And if, upon growing up into a man, he be not able to distinguish himself in the sports of the field, or in the robust pursuits of life, is it not often the foundation of a more substantial, noble, and lasting celebrity in knowledge, in eloquence, in arts—may, since the modern improvements in warfare, frequently in arms ? Yet these are precisely the men who are the least likely to become the fathers of large families—a condition, if they fulfil the duties of it, that must evidently tend to subtract from their public utility. Strange as it

may appear, unless we revert to this solution of the fact, the greatest heroes and most celebrated men have in very many instances been childless, if not unmarried. But have they been therefore the more miserable? By no means. That affection which would perhaps have been engrossed by their families has all been lavished on their country and on mankind. And, however great may be the satisfaction arising from domestic endearments, the high-wrought pleasure flowing from a consciousness of having conferred a benefit upon one's country and upon the world—of having been the humble instrument in the hand of Providence of furthering the moral and religious welfare—of increasing the general happiness of mankind—or of deserving public applause and gratitude, will scarcely yield to it in intensity of delight. If it be said that this applies exclusively to men, it may be answered—that the names of many emiment single women may be cited, both in this and other countries, which show that the other sex have their full share in the observation. It would not, however, be reasonable or decorous to close this discussion without some more particular reference to the effect which the increasing celibacy of civilized society has upon the comfort and happimess of the female sex. This, at first view, would appear to be an unhappy one, for supposing the proportion of women to men to remain the same, the former would of course seem to have a diminished probability of enjoying the comforts of matrimony; and it is not evident in what manner civilization affords them a full compensation for this loss. The will of Providence, with respect to the proportions of men and women who are respectively born or existing

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