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prosperity is now, in many points, become antiquated. This is no fault of M. Dupin. Many persons have been surprized that the most exact and ample account of our present means should be the work of a foreigner, and not of an Englishman. But it is precisely from a foreigner that such an account is to be expected. All that struck him with amazement is too much in our daily habits to stimulate us to write. All that he came to study among us, for the benefit of his country, is too familiar to occupy our pens; and it is only a foreigner who will embody his thoughts in describing it. Among the crowds who practise the useful arts, how few there are who write upon them; and men rarely publish the travels they have made in their own countries.
Let us admit that France had some claim to be called superior to England half a century ago; it must be confessed that the merit of this island, in having made the progress which, in that case, she must have made in fifty years, is extreme, and amply repays the delay. England ought not to be superior to France; she ought to be-not perhaps a province of that rich kingdom, a dependant on the French crown—a feudatory—but at least her inferior in strength and in riches. Let us hear the account which M. Dupin himself gives of the comparative means of both countries; for it is, perhaps, the only accurate part of his whole statement.
Notre territoire est plus vaste, notre climat plus beau, notre sol plus fertile. Une immense frontière et deux mers ouvrent leurs débouchés aux produits des entrailles et de la superficie de notre terre. Mais nous manquons encore, pour arriver à ces limites, de communications intérieures assez nombreuses, assez aisées, assez économiques.' And just before, “Ni l'ardeur et l'activité, ni la science et le génie ne manquent à notre heureux pays, &c.
Now it is perfectly true, that the territory of these islands is not more than the half of the territory of France; and moreover-what M. Dupin has not mentioned—it has the incalculable disadvantage of not forming one whole, but of being divided into two unequal portions by a broad sea. It is true our climate, not merely when we compare the Highlands of Scotland with Provence and Languedoc, but when we take an average of the two conntries, is much less propitious to vegetable productions. True it is also, that the average of our soil, even comprizing Ireland, is less fertile. How then can it be expected that we should vie with France; that, according to the common principles of national prosperity, we should be able to enter into competition with an empire so much more gifted by nature, so much moře extensive; and struggle with superior soil and climate, which, in the due ratio of po
pulation, ought to be improved by twice as much“ ardour, activity, science, and genius'?
The sources of national prosperity can be but two-fold ; physical and moral. Now, supposing the former to be equal in two nations, one of which has risen much above the other, the latter must be proportionally greater in that which has become preeminent. But how much more excessive must it not be, when physical means are smaller! To raise these islands to the level of France, more than twice as much mind was indispensably necessary; and every degree of superiority which they have reached, was attained by a portion of intellect more than twice as great. How many these degrees, how many these portions may be, it may not be easy to determine. They must be measured by every national concern collectively; by liberty, by wealth, by poetry, by philosophy; by all that has been effected in war or in peace. Some of these topics we have at various times discussed; that which we have now considered leaves a prodigious balance in favour of England; at least four times as great as it ought to be in reason of the means. Now a nation which, in industry, in commercial activity, so easily reducible into the shape of a debtor and creditor account, can prove itself to be four times as great as she ought to be, at the very moment when she is charged with inferiority, may allow us to laugh when we hear her grumblingas she is very apt to do—at every little scratch she receives, in the midst of the most plethoric health that ever visited human society.
The prospects which are now opening to England almost exceed the boundaries of thought; and can be measured by no standard found in history. It is not by conquest that her empire is to be extended, neither is the power towards which she is advancing to be steeped in blood. The destiny which the present æra foretels her is to be fulfilled by promoting happiness, and she will grow prosperous as mankind become civilized. It is by introducing comforts into uncultivated regions; by making savage man familiar with the blessings which the utmost reach of mind has discovered; by helping youthful nations into maturity, and by extending the pale of social intercourse, that the wisest, the most moral, and consequently the freest of nations is to fill up the çareer which is now before her. Instead of making distant shores resound with her great artillery, she will bless them with the produce of her still greater engines of peace; and her triumphs shall be illuminated, not by flaming cities, but by the nightly blaze which issues from her mighty fabrics of prosperity and happiness. These are the labours which suit the people that brought back peace to Europe; and it is a just recompense that the strongest
in war should be the foremost in industry. When this ceases to be, civilization will have become retrograde.
Although it may not be very easy to give a just estimate of the means which England possesses, at this moment—means which are entirely of her own creation—to accomplish these ends; and to increase her own prosperity, as well as the happiness of mankind; yet the object is so vast, so much beyond what any former period of the world could have imagined, that we cannot resist the gratification of stating one or two particulars which, taken with the due restrictions, may yet give some notion of the stupendous power which is now at her disposal.
One of the first of these is furnished by M. Dupin, who, however little we incline to admire his speculations upon moral questions, may be admitted as evidence in estimating physical forces. All the world is more or less acquainted with those immense masses, the pyramids of Egypt, which were considered among the wonders of antiquity. The materials of which the largest of them is constructed, were dug out of the earth at a considerable depth; and at no small distance from their present situation. They cover more than eleven English acres; and are piled up to the height of about 700 feet. According to M. Dupin's calculation, their volume is equal to about 4,000,000 of cubic metres; their weight is 10,400,000 tons; which raised to the height of eleven metres from the bottom of the quarries to the surface of the earth, and of forty-nine more as their mean elevation above the basis; in all sixty metres above their original level give 624,000,000 tons raised to the height of one metre. Now the steam-engines employed in England are equal to the force of 320,000 horses (1820), and can raise 862,800,000 tons to the height of one metre in twenty-four hours. But 624,000,000 tons being less than three-fourths of this quantity, it follows, that the steam-engines of England could have raised the materials of which the great pyramid is constructed out of the quarries, could have conveyed them to their present place, and heaped them up in their present. form, in less than three-fourths of one day, that is to say, in less than eighteen hours. According to Diodorus Siculus, this building employed 360,000 workmen; according to Herodotus, 100,000 workmen during twenty years. Whichever of these estimates be nearest the truth, it is certain that one of the most powerful monarchies of remote antiquity applied its whole disposable resources in the construction. Therefore the mechanical power
power of British steam-engines was, in 1820-and it has much increased since that time—to that of the Egyptian monarch Cheops, inversely as the times necessary to each to perform the same task; that is to say, as twenty years to eighteen hours, or about 10,000 times as great. Neither would it be unfair to deduce from this single fact, that the general power of the two monarchies, including that which is the source of power, knowledge, was, if not exactly in this ratio, at least in a proportion which could not widely differ from it-let us, with great moderation, say one fourth as great; that is, it is more than probable that the power of England is, at this moment, 2500 times as great as was that of Egypt, at the period when this pyramid was constructed. When we consider the reach of intellect which is necessary to devise the steam-engine, in its present state; together with its general influence upon civilization, and the part it acts in national prosperity, it would be impossible for a nation which it has made many times as powerful as another by its direct effect, to be less than one fourth as great in every branch where its action is only indirect.
By the power of steam every machine to which it is applied receives, not an addition, but a multiplication of force. The power thus produced in 1820 was computed to be equal to 320,000 horses, or about 2,240,000 men. At this moment steam, on account of its many new applications, and the improvements made in the manner of employing it, may perform the work of near three millions of men, in the united kingdom.
Let us now see the effect of this power in the manufacture of cotton. We have already shown the rapidity with which the consumption of this vegetable wool increased, between the years 1767 and 1787. The various machinery now used in manufacturing it has enabled one man to perform the work of one hundred and fifty. Now the lowest computation supposes 280,000 men-some say 350,000 men—to be employed in it. Hence the work now performed in this single branch would -half a century ago-have required 42,000,000 of men-according to some 53,000,000; that is to say, at the lowest computation, more than twice as many men, women, or children, as now people the British islands. Now supposing the labour of each of these men to cost, at this hour, the very moderate sum of one shilling per day, or £18 per annum, the pay of 42,000,000 of labourers would be £756,000,000 per annum, or a little more than thirteen times the annual revenue of England. Deducting from this sum the pay of the labourers now really employed at the above annual rate, (280,000X£18= £5,040,000) and allow: ing the enormous sum of £50,000,000 sterling for the wear and tear of machinery, buildings, and incidental expenses; the result is, that the machinery employed in the cotton manufactories saves £700,000,000 sterling to the British nation; or, in other words, that, without machinery and steam, the prodigy of British
industry and civilization would still have been wanting to honour mankind.
But still further— The power employed in the cotton manufactures alone, of England, exceeds the manufacturing powers of all the rest of Europe collectively. The population of this continent does not amount to 200,000,000, or to five times forty. Now one-fifth of this population certainly is not employed in manufacturing; and all Europe, supposing it be as industrious as England, and wholly occupied by cotton, could not, unassisted by machinery, spin and weave as much of that material as England now does. 'But the most industrious country of Europe is not half so much engaged in manufacturing as England is, and many of them are ten times inferior; in so much that the average hardly stands as high as one-fourth in industry; hence, then, four Europes could not, at this moment, spin and weave as much cotton as England does. But the manufacturing industry of England may be fairly computed as four times greater than that of all the other continents taken collectively; and sixteen such continents as Europe, in the average state of industry of the whole world, and exclusively occupied by cotton, could not manufacturé so much of it as England now does. Again, the cotton manufacture of England may be said to be one-fourth of her total industry; and her total industry could not be performed by sixtytwo such continents as Europe in the average condition of the world. But this ratio must be multiplied by the entire population of the world, divided by that of England; and the superiority of our eighteen or twenty millions of subjects will thus be at least as one thousand to one, over the average power and condition of mankind at large.
Such are the means which a rude approximation gives as those that England now possesses, to pour out the blessings of civilization on the rest of the world. But, lest this estimate should be thought too high, we are ready to reduce it to one-fifth, and to say that the productive power of Britons is only 200 times as great as that of an equal number of men taken in the average population of the earth. We know not what portion of this 200 M. Dupin means to allow as the present superiority of England, and to claim as the past superiority of France, and we shall leave him to settle the account as he pleases.
From this vast career of industry, now opened to the world, the French have taken the alarm, and their thoughts begin to turn toward that rising continent which promises so wide a market for all that men can manufacture. We must expect to find them as active rivals there as they have been elsewhere ; and employing the same means as ever to vie with us. Not that we